Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1900 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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Greetings and blessings to all,

A warm welcome back and a special hello to all of our new readers; if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to send to family and friends. Thank you!

We hope this edition finds you fit as a fiddle and on the pig's back. As for ourselves, it was a busy week which began last Saturday night with seeing the final performance of our eldest son's band, Rockets To Mars. It's been a long time since we were out until 3:00 am, but well worth being totally banjaxed the next day (in this case, maybe the Irish slang should be changed to band-jaxed!). We had a great time and wish they weren't breaking up, but three members just became dads this past year, including our son Scott. The fourth member is moving out of state. Time for them all to move on.

The cacophony of cicadas continues and the noise is deafening when you walk under certain trees in the neighborhood; but, we're now on the downside of the invasion which is supposed to be completely over by July 4th.

Violent storms and tornadoes struck the plains and midwest again - we hope and pray if you live in those regions you and yours are safe. Touch wood, our area was spared, but we've had lots of rain. The side benefit of all the wet weather is that it shuts up the X@**#! bugs.

Wednesday was fraught with frustration as our local server went down and we couldn't make any changes to the web site. The problem was eventually resolved; however that brings up a special request. Almost exactly to the date the school year ended, our site visits went down considerably - and continue to go down. Our theory is that the kids are monopolizing the computers at home so the parents can't get on. We find it a bit difficult to swallow that 25% to 30% of our visitors are students. But maybe so. What we're asking is that you visit us once a day. To make it worth your while, the news and history are updated daily - usually by 9:00 am EST.

Speaking of visitors, and it might be you, someone purchased a very expensive wedding band through the site which yielded the biggest commission we've ever made. Whoever you are, thank you!

We hope all of our Canadian readers enjoyed their Victoria Day celebrations. For all of our US readers, we wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend; the same goes for our readers in the UK who will be enjoying a spring bank holiday. Next week, it's Ireland's turn!

The week ended with attending our granddaughter Caity's first recital. Even as doting as we are, it was very difficult to stifle the giggles as she and the rest of the kindergarten class managed to mangle the dance teacher's choreography left and right. We gave them a huge round of applause and it was a lovely way to end a Friday evening (Best of all, we were home by nine!).
Enough about us...
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In news from Ireland:

General - Following statistics compiled from health boards and other sources in recent days, the Office of Tobacco Control (OTC) will confirm there has been widespread national compliance (up to 97 %) with the smoking ban since it was introduced almost two months ago.(Yes...but what about all those tiny villages on those ever so little islands?)

Armagh - Tom "the Bam" McGlinchey, while still alive and kicking, will attend his own wake in Camlough next month to raise money for Cumann na Meirleach youth group in Crossmaglen.

Athlone - The Annual Service for Memorial Day, now in its fourth year, will take place tomorrow at St Mary's Church of Ireland. Members of the Irish United Nations Veterans Association, Royal British Legion, Reserve Defence Forces Association, Irish Australian Veterans and the Irish Vietnam Veterans will attend, as will Commander American Legion (Ireland) Liam Kane.

Cavan - Killian McGuinness from Mullahoran, a teacher at the Loreto College, last week received the Best Actor award at the All-Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone.

Cork - The Cork Film Festival is planning a Short Film Symposium to mark its 50th anniversary and the fact that Cork is the designated European Capital of Culture for 2005. They're looking for public submissions - know a budding filmaker? Check out:

Cork - This past week, the Fastnet Lighthouse on Cape Clear island celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Derry - Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland have unveiled "Old Man of the Forest", as part of the Northern Ireland Tree Campaign. The sculpture, made from one hundred and fifty year-old oak, was hand-carved by Kieran O'Doherty, a care worker from the Greenhaw Adult Training Centre, and John Magowan, manager of Conservation Volunteers of Derry.

Dublin - To cries of Keano, Keano, Roy returned to play for Ireland against Romania at Lansdowne Road. It was like he never left. Ireland won.

Dublin - The exclusive Portmarnock Golf Club had its liquor license suspended for seven days after the club's policy of refusing membership to women was ruled in violation of the Equal Status Act. An appeal has been filed.

Dublin - Niall Quinn, former Irish international soccer star, will officially open the Roganstown Golf and Country Club, located on the grounds of the former Roganstown House on Thursday next.

Fermanagh - Island on the market. John and Sheila Reihill are selling their sixty-two-acre island home on Lough Erne. Inishcorkish comes complete with its own licensed restaurant.

Leitrim - The long-awaited first traffic lights in the county, erected in Carrick-on-Shannon last month, are apparently causing "traffic chaos." The push-button controlled lights were installed to allow pedestrians to cross the main N4 Dublin/Sligo route, but the result, says one local business, has been "havoc".

Offaly - The popular French Market, which has toured a number of towns and cities in Ireland, is coming to Tullamore during the third week in June, where it will coincide with the Grand Canal 200 Festival.

Tyrone - Herdman's Mills, the last linen spinning operation in Ireland, has closed its doors. In 1989 the mill was one of the most modern spinning plants in the world. Herdman's has operated in the town since 1835 but has increasingly had to contend with competition from the linen industry in Russia and China.

Waterford: A pub in the Gaeltacht village of Ring which has been in the Mooney family for six generations is to be put on the market now that Anne Mooney has decided to retire. Mooney's Pub was the cradle for a number of musical careers and among those who played there were the Clancy Brothers, The Dubliners and the Furey Brothers. At present it is the musical home of traditional group Danú since Anne's eldest son, Donnchadha, is the uilleann pipe and bodhrán player with the group.

Wicklow - A new exhibition at the Glendalough Interpretative Centre has won a design award from the British Association of Heritage Interpretation (AHI). From Solitude to Community explains the nature of life in the ecclesiastical settlement which was once a monastic city high in the Wicklow mountains. The exhibition was compiled by Mr Mark Leslie of the Irish design firm Martello Media.

In news from all over
Portland, Oregon - Four young Irish students won major prizes at the world's largest science fair. Held at Portland's Oregon Convention Center, the Fair brought together more than 1,300 young scientists from approximately 40 countries who were competing for $3 million in awards.

From the mailbag:
Do you live in Edmonton, Alberta? We know we have a good many Canadian readers, so we're forwarding this request from the Ferguson's sent in via Hartson: We need somebody to water our geraniums while we're gone.They will need to be watered daily unless it is hot, then twice a day. We'd be extremely grateful and would be willing to pay the individual. Jim & Sheila Ferguson - jfergusons@shaw.ca

A reader requested authentic games that Irish children play; in today's high-tech world, Irish kids are just the same as their counterparts everywhere else - they love playing on the computer; however, Bridget had already done some research for her next book, God willing - The Traditional Irish Childhood - and we were able to provide several popular kids diversions from the past. Now that most kids in the northern hemisphere are out of school for the summer, it also gave us an idea for an article that might be of interest to parents and grandparents looking for ways to amuse the youngsters - and maybe get them off the computer for a while!

On a much sadder note, another reader requested assistance for adding Irish touches to the funeral of her 23-yr old nephew who was tragically killed in an accident this past week. We dropped everything to again delve into our files and it was very gratifying to be of help.

Angie from Oz (Australia) was kind enough to write and explain what Sorry Day is. Basically, and these aren't her words, it's a day when non-indigenous Australians take the opportunity to apologize for the terrible treatment of the aborigines. That's a huge over-simplification to a complex set of circumstances which led to the first Sorry Day on May 26, 1998. Certainly, other nations could learn from this wonderful gesture of reconciliation and hope. To learn more, please click

George of the Irish Heritage group writes Tickets for the Holy Cross School raffle are selling like mad. If you haven't ordered yours, don't wait much longer. You can view the prizes and links about the Holy Cross Trust at:

Yearning to own an Irish Wolfhound?
Doug and Sia Beaton in Texas have AKC pups which will be available for viewing after June 15th. They caution that these magnificent creatures aren't suitable for everyone. To view them on-line at 5-weeks old, please click
Serious enquiries only, call 281-890-7041 or 832-768-3105

Links of the week:
This is a nicely-done Memorial Day card you might like to share with family & friends

A reader requested info' about the flag/banner for Co. Donegal. This led us to the following link where you'll find all 32 counties represented:

This fascinating site was sent in by Penny R. Thank you! Here you'll find dozens of stories about trips to Ireland (and other countries as well). The site owners also offer the opportunity for you to publish your photos, travel notes, journals, stories, tips and so on. Best of all, it's free!

Great Irish music site sent in by John O'. Thank you!
Need a lift? Many thanks to our dear friend Judith F who connected us to:

Cute one from Hartson. Thanks!

Beautifully done spiritual message - also from Hartson

And last, but definitely not least - our on-going gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!

Enough of the blither and blather - on with the update:

A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. Oscar Wilde.
This is adapted from one sent in by John O. Many thanks!
Pat and Mike are drinking in the done-up version of their local pub, The Continental Bistro and Bar in the Ballybegorrah Arms Hotel, Killarney. They take in the no-sawdust on the new Italian tile floor; the hi-back red leather bar stools; the bowls of free black olives, cashew nuts and tasty "tapas" on the shiny, black, two inch thick, granite counter. "Ye know", Pat," says Mike, "it's all brilliant, but I miss the auld spittoon." Pat takes his pipe from his mouth, sips his pint, then says,"You always did, me auld friend. You always did."
1. More than 130 Irish soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor in the American Civil War?
2. Brussels was liberated by the Irish Group of the British Army in 1944?
3. The famous phrase "War is Hell" is attributed to the Cavan-born American Civil War General Phil Sheridan?
From a headstone in Ireland:
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
To begin with - the answers to last week's quiz:

1. The Irish Spirit: Proverbs, Superstitions and Fairytales by Laurence Flanagan
2. Irish Superstitions and Legends of Animals and Birds by Patrick V. O'Sullivan
3. The Good People - Authentic Irish Fairy Tales by Edmund Lenihan

While we love seeing our faithful group of literary sleuths, it would be wonderful to add some new names to our list - hint, hint! In any event a pat on the back and a pint for this week's Irish bibliophiles:

Hartson Dowd
Irish Wildlife Sites. The following are involved in some aspect of the welfare, care and/or status of animals, wildlife, and all creatures in Ireland:

Helen Dowd
For lots of interesting reading, check out Mission Magazine: http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net/mag/index.php

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004
Come visit our new website:

David Buchanan
Interesting site that covers the early Irish saints

Patricia Edwards
This site is great for mythological e-cards and the like!

Sean Lavin
Working on a family tree? This site could be helpful:

Katie Donahue
If you're looking for an Irish website, this one lists hundreds in their directory:

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy. Who wrote:
1. The Irish Brigade in the Civil War
2. Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies
3. Clear the Confederate Way!: The Irish in the Army of Northern Virginia

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and another great book on Irish soldiers in the Civil War here:

Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
For the Dads, Grads and Lads on your list, come take a look at our wide range of handsome gifts - from great-looking Guinness gear to genuine blackthorn walking sticks! The man of the house might also enjoy one of our new Irish Mustards made in Co. Tipperary, or how about an Ireland Licence Plate? Come explore what we have on offer - browse to your heart's content, and remember, when you buy from Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
First off, the answer to last week's - which turned out not to be diabolically difficult at all!
My beak is bent downward, I burrow below; I grub in the ground and go as he guides, my gray old master, foe of the forest. Stoop-shouldered, my warder walks at my back, fares through the field, urges and drives me, sows in my track as I sniff along. Fetched from the wood, cunningly fitted, brought in a wagon, I have wondrous skill. As I go my way, on one side is green; on the other side plain is my dark path. Set through my back hangs a cunning spike; another fixed forward is fast to my head. What I tear with my teeth falls to one side, if he handles me right who is my ruler.
Q. What am I?
A. A Plow
Again we were swamped with correct answers, but David Craig was first in. Well done!
And now for this week's brain bruiser; we spent a good deal of time trying to find one that might be more challenging. Our source for the following says that if you can come up with the answer, you're good!
What six letter word in the English language contains ten other words without rearranging any of its letters?
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. New - The Irish Kitchen: Guinness & Malt Wheaten Bread
3. New - Basic Irish lesson. This one continues with the food vocabulary D-J
4. Republished - Article: Whitsuntide in old Ireland
5. Republished - Article: It's A Long Way To Tipperary
6. Republished: Article: The Irish Soldiers in WWI
7. Ongoing - Free Genealogy Q & A. Have a question about your Irish roots? Get an answer for free from a professional genealogist in Dublin
8. Featured - Article: Guinness, for Strength!
9. Featured - Music Review - The SawDoctors Live in Galway (Great CD!) http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Libr/zSawDocs1.html
10. Featured - Driving in Ireland, Part 2
11. On-Going - May Trivia Contest. Time's running out. All entries must be in by midnight, on Monday, May 31st, whatever time zone you're in.
12. On-Going - Our ninth Novena began on on May 25 and continues through June 3. A new cycle will begin next Thursday. Please continue to remember Keith Matt Maupin being held hostage in Iraq and all members of our military serving there and all over the world, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley. We also ask that you continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Debbie's family, Mary Jo Mauchen, Jane Leo, Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Bertha, Rita, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans.
13. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
14. On-going -This month in Irish History:
15. Father's Day is coming up on June 20; we have a nice selection of gifts in our Men's Shop and we're featuring Guinness gear in the right margin of our home page:
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at the The Irish Lottery:
Did you know that 34 Millionaires were created by the Irish lottery in 2003? You could be next! One of the most trusted lotteries in the world, drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are tax-free. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Please click here for full details:
Bridget didn't get either the piece about the farm at Muckross House finished; nor Co. Cork! With Memorial Day imminent, she became distracted with the origins and also the role the Irish played. If all goes according to plan, we hope to have that article posted either today or tomorrow. Per the usual routine, we'll publish a new blessing tomorrow, refresh the home page on Monday, (and may be a new recipe as well), post the quiz for June on Tuesday, and we'll post a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be updated daily.

So that's the long and the short of it except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious:
Today is Ascension of the Baha'u'llah (Baha'i), International Jazz Day, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Birthday, Admission Day (Wisconsin) and Ratification Day (Rhode Island); Sunday is Loomis Day, Memorial Day (Traditional), Pentecost (Christian and Orthodox) Jerusalem Day (Israel) and Statehood Day (Croatia); it was also on this date in 1942 that Bing Crosby recorded "White Christmas." Monday is Memorial Day, World No Tobacco Day, National Macaroon Day, and Save Your Hearing Day (try telling that to the cicadas!) June 1st is Independence Day (Samoa), International Children's Day (China), and Navy Day - our source says it's an official Mexican holiday? This date is also the first anniversary of Irish writer John B. Keane's passing (RIP) Wednesday is National Bubba Day, National Tailors Day, Yell "Fudge" at Cobras in North America Day, (we're not making this up!) Coronation Day (Bhutan), Coronation Day (UK) Republic Day (Italy), National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day, and Clean Air Day. Thursday is Chimborazo Day (According to Chase's 2000 Calendar of Events, this is the day that publicizes that Mt. Chimborazo "pokes farther out into space than any other mountain on earth..." Near the equator and located in Ecuador, for some reason this proves that the Mississippi runs uphill. Go figure); June 3 is also Hunger Awareness Day, St. Kevin's Feastday, and Repeat Day; finally, Friday is another Hug Your Cat Day (how many is that so far?); it's also Flag Day (Finland), Labor Day (Bahamas), Old Maid's Day and Donut Day which was established in 1938 to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army 'sally lassies' who prepared donuts for thousands of soldiers.
Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month and June? Check out:

Until next time, "pinch, punch first day of the month on Tuesday." And if you were married in June, the verse is:
Marry when June roses blow, over land and sea you'll go.

In parting, may God keep you and yours safe from all harm - and, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!

Slan agus beannacht,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
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Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.com
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Seattle, Washington
The weekly telecasts of GAA games from Ireland are at the Irish Emigrant on University Way NE at 52nd St. Season Passes are available until May 30 at $100 per person. After that, weekly telecast admissions are $20 per person ($30 All-Ireland Finals). For the telecast schedule or more information, call 425-290-7839 or visit http://www.setanta.com

ReJoyce Dublin 2004
Celebrating the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival lasting until 31 August 2004. For more details, click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

Dundrum, Dublin - June 1-June 20
Noted Dublin artist, Roger Cummiskey, invites you to an exhibition of his paintings based on the writings and wanderings of James Joyce. Exhibition will be held at The Airfield Trust, Upper Kilmacud Road. For more details, visit Roger's website at:

Seattle, Washington - June 5
IRELAND v. ENGLAND & Ireland's team in the World Cup Seattle Soccer Tournament will play England on Friday evening, June 4th, at 9 PM. Ireland also plays Bosnia on Saturday, June 5th, at 2.30 PM and Armenia on Sunday, June 6th, at 11.30 AM. All the games are at Fort Dent Park, Interurban Ave S & Southcenter Blvd, Tukwila. Weekend passes for the June 4-5-6 games are available for $10 each from Tom Lagan at TLagan@aol.com or 206-850-8466. For more detailed information, visit

June 7th through 14th - 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre in Galway and Dublin. Trip includes 3 nights in Galway and 3 nights in Dublin. For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, Ph.D at kdonnellycom@aol.com

Fishtown/Philadelphia - June 12
2nd Support Our Troops Rally sponsored by the A.O.H/L.A.O.H Division 51 will take place at noon in Penn Treaty Park.
For more details, contact PHBowdrenSr@aol.com

Seattle, Washington, June 16
2004 marks the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, immortalized by lovers of James Joyce's Ulysses, the world's most highly acclaimed novel. Seattle's Bloomsday Centenary Celebrations will consist of two performances - Wednesday, June 16th, at 7.30 PM and Saturday, June 19, at 3 PM - at the UW's Brechemin Auditorium. For more information, contact Kieran O'Malley at 206 351-8607 or kieranom@u.washington.edu.

Baltimore, Maryland - June 23
Frank McNamara, Ireland's beloved Maestro, will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance with his newest venture, The American Tenors, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. For more details, please click

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Co. Sligo, Ireland - September
The Sligo Heritage and Genealogy centre is hosting a 4 day international conference on Irish genealogy, heritage and culture. Even if you come from another county, this conference will be of interest as experts in various fields of study from all over Ireland will be speaking on a wide range of topics. Preliminary details of the conference are available at:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: