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Greetings and blessings to all,
We hope this edition finds you in fine fettle and fit as a fiddle. As for ourselves, we've been on and off line a couple of times since last we wrote and in case you were wondering, that's why we haven't updated the web site on a regular basis or responded to any emails. As you might imagine, the backlog of messages is mind boggling and we were already behind!
Meanwhile, we've decided not to watch or listen to any more big sports events because our team always loses. Following the almost pre-ordained loss to France in Paris last Friday night, Notre Dame was beaten by Michigan on Saturday. And then, our hometeam Bengals pretty much ruined an otherwise great effort against Seattle last Sunday by bungling the ball in the last minute of play. It was not a good weekend - and the weather didn't help.
Predicted rain did not materialize. As of today we have set records with in excess of 50 days in the 90s coupled with being down more than thirteen inches of our usual precipitation. The lawn looks like hay; not too terribly attractive when one is trying to sell a home in a market as tough as this one. Recent Open Houses have brought us very few visitors, never mind offers and never mind that the price has come down drastically since the house went on the market a couple of months ago. But we're trying to remain optimistic. And perhaps you might know of someone who is looking for a property in the Cincinnati area? If so, please tell them to write to us. Thanks!
Enough of the blitherin' - on with the update:
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IN THIS ISSUE:
From the mailbag
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week That Is
Leave 'em Laughing
What follows are news clips from around the counties and the world. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site here
And more county news can be found here:
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES:
Antrim: New look for an old bar
Conservationists have been working away on the interior of Belfast's Crown Bar and work is expected to be completed by the end of next month.The original tiles were made by a firm still in existence, Craven and Dunnill, who were able to deliver reproductions. Also, more than a hundred pieces of glass were removed from the snugs to be restored by glass conservators Pat Jackson.
Cavan: Two quilt exhibitions in Ballyjamesduff
The Lakeland Quilt Fair has taken place in the County Museum and included two exhibitions featuring a collection of antique quilts on loan from the Ulster Transport Museuem.
Antrim: Spiritual centres coming and going
While one Belfast church has just reopened its doors after two years, a convent in the west of the city is to close. Both, coincidentally, have been in existence for one hundred and thirty-five years and the closure of the convent of the Bon Secours Sisters in Dunmisk Park, which was marked by a Mass celebrated by Bishop Patrick Walsh, is due to falling numbers. Willowfield Church of Ireland, on the other hand, has undergone complete refurbishment at a total cost of £1m and the congregation has resumed attending services in the Victorian building. While the work was ongoing services were held in the church hall on Woodstock Road.
Armagh: Locals hope to buy Richill Castle
The seventeenth century castle, owned by the Lyttle family, is a Grade A listed building which is in urgent need of refurbishment. The members of the Trust hope to restore the castle for use as a centre for conferences and wedding receptions, and they have already started work on sourcing funding for the project. Their proposal also includes an interactive museum along with a castle shop and tearooms.
Carlow: Anglers' paradise attracts Hollywood interest
A house on the border with County Wexford in which a famous fishing book was written has caught the eye of Hollywood actor Michelle Pfeiffer. The Mill House in Clonegal, below Kilcarry Bridge, was home to T.C. Kingsmill Moore, a Supreme Court judge and noted fisherman who wrote "A Man May Fish" while living there. The house dates from the eighteenth century and is at present owned by Chicago-based property developer Séan Conlon, who lives there with his sister Fiona; she occupies the guest cottage. Both are relocating to the States and have put the property, on seventy-three acres, on the market.
Clare: Sixmilebridge exhibition on O'Regan
An exhibition entitled "Empowering the People: The Career and Achievements of Dr Brendan O'Regan", has moved from the Sean Lemass Library in Shannon to the library in Sixmilebridge, Dr O'Connor's home place. The exhibition honours all of Dr O'Regan's achievements including the establishment of the world's first Duty Free Shop at Shannon Airport, the founding of the Shannon Free Airport Development Company, and the setting up of Co-operation Ireland.
Cork: Two special women at Cork concert
When choral music composer and conductor John Milford Rutter visited Cork recently at the invitation of the Carrigaline singers, there were two special guests at the concert in the North Cathedral in Cork. Elizabeth Goody, who was a well-known busker in the city with her husband, is a long-time pen friend of the composer and he had composed a special piece for her eightieth birthday. Also present in the cathedral for the masterclass was ninety-five-year-old Mary Shepherd who was a member of the first choir in the cathedral to admit women
Donegal: Rathmullen celebrates Flight of the Earls
The unveiling of a bronze sculpture of the chieftains O'Neill, O'Donnell and Maguire by President Mary McAleese was part of recent celebrations of the four hundredth anniversary of the Flight of the Earls. The departure from Rathmullen of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, with ninety followers, will be re-enacted using the replica famine ship the Jeanie Johnston, and an associated exhibition will be running in Donegal County Museum until next February.
Dublin: Inner city boasts Ireland's youngest mayor
Elected to the position by members of a local youth forum, sixteen-year-old Gerard O'Neill from Railway Street in the north inner city is the Lord Mayor of Sean McDermott Street, the youngest mayor in the country. Gerard has already had a meeting with all the politicians representing the area, with the notable exception of Bertie Ahern.
Fermanagh: Belleek flowers bloom in reality
The flowers depicted on Belleek pottery have been brought to life in the company's new "Rose Isle Garden", created as part of the celebrations of its one hundred and fifty years. The new attraction on the banks of the River Erne was formally opened by BBC Television gardener John Cushnie and is seen as a tribute to all the generations of families who have worked in the pottery. Among the flowers planted in the garden are roses, carnations, daisies and camellias, and the garden derives its name from the Rose Isle House, on the site of which the Pottery is built.
Fermanagh: Faldo to test out his own course
Golfer Nick Faldo will be flying into Enniskillen to play three holes of the golf course he has designed on the banks of the Erne. The Nick Faldo Championship Golf Course is due to open next year and according to the designer it will be a challenging venue, with shots to be played over water on at least six occasions. The course, seven thousand two hundred yards in length, is located between Lower Lough Erne and Castle Hume Lake and to date there are ten of the eighteen holes completed.
Galway: By currach from Scotland to Ireland
In order to raise funds for the Lifeboat service four Galway men have become the first to cross the north Irish Sea by racing currach. Patrick O'Malley, Martin Freeney, Niall Higgins and Fergus Colleran were accompanied by a support vessel on the thirty-five kilometre journey, with offshore craft at Portpatrick in Scotland and Donaghadee in Co. Down also on standby. Their target is to raise 20,000 which will be divided between the offshore lifeboat based on the Aran Islands, which is one of the busiest, and the inshore craft based in Galway.
Galway: Junior Cert joy
The niece of hatmaker to the stars Philip Treacy proved she had a head for figures herself - because Castleblakeney student Maud Treacy was one of only ten students in the country to achieve the maximum eleven A's in the Junior Cert results.
Kilkenny: New bishop hails from Callan
The parish of Callan can lay claim to the new Bishop of Ossory, Father Seamus Freeman who, although born in Mullinahone, moved to Coolagh when he was just eight months old. One of seven children, Father Seamus' father died some years ago, but his mother is still living in the family home. The new bishop attended primary school in Coolagh before going to the Christian Brothers School in Callan, after which he joined the Pallottine order, holding the position of Rector General for twelve years. Father Séaums succeeds Dr Laurence Forristal, who has been Bishop of Ossory since 1981.
Kerry: Sea victims remembered in Portmagee
During the recent annual blessing of the boats ceremony in Portmagee, a plaque commemorating the lives of some sixty people lost at sea over the past century and a half was erected in the village. In addition to local fishermen who lost their lives, five children who died in a boating yard accident are also remembered, as are World War II victims. These included eight German soldiers shot down near the Skelligs, eleven US airmen who crashed in the vicinity and thirteen Greek merchant seamen whose vessel was sunk by a submarine. The plaque will now form part of the village heritage trail.
Laois: Mountmellick student tops Junior Cert poll
In addition to being an accomplished musician, fifteen-year-old Michael McCrohan from Mountmellick has also shown himself to be an A student, having gained a grand total of thirteen A grades in his Junior Certificate. Michael, who is a student at the Cistercian College in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, also plays the traditional fiddle and won the Readóirí Junior solo prize earlier in the year. He was also placed third in the Junior Fiddle class at the World Fleadh which took place in Portlaoise.
Limerick: City honours its own
A statue of the late Richard Harris, in his role as King Arthur in the film "Camelot", was recently unveiled in the centre of Limerick city.The life-size bronze statue was created by Limerick sculptor Jim Connolly and the unveiling took place in the presence of the actor's first wife, Elizabeth, and their three sons, Jamie, Jared and Damien. Also present were Harris' brothers, Noel and Ivan.
Monaghan: Raferagh man reaches his century
Recently. several hundred people, including his daughter Sally, gathered in Raferagh to celebrate the one hundredth birthday of Mick Clarke, beginning with a Mass in St John's Church. This was followed by a party with champagne in Raferagh National School, the school which Mick had attended as a child. Master of Ceremonies for the occasion was Laurence Jones, who spoke of Mick's ambition to become the oldest man in Ireland. He also presented him with a framed history of his life and his family history, on behalf of all the guests. A presentation was also made by the Corduff Pipe Band, of which Mick is a member.
Roscommon: Fr Flanagan successor in visit to Ballymoe
Recently, the fourth successor to Father Edward J. Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, paid a visit to the priest's birthplace in Leabeg, Ballymoe. The visit of Father Steve Boes took place to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the foundation in Omaha, Nebraska, which is now known as Girls and Boys Town. Father Boes presented a portrait of his predecessor commissioned by alumni of the homes to the Father Flanagan Memorial Centre. Among those present at the ceremony was actor Mickey Rooney, who starred in the film about the life of Father Flanagan.
Sligo: Lord of the Dance launches Sligo Live
Michael Flatley, whose father comes from Culfadda, was in in Sligo recently for the official launch of the Sligo Live Festival 2007. Michael's father, also Michael, and his mother Eilish will be brought over to Sligo for the last week in October, when the festival takes place.
Sligo: Rosses point pub makes UK top list
Just two pubs and restaurants made the prestigious top ten list of premises in Ireland and Britain, compiled by the Guardian newspaper, and one of them is in Rosses Point. Austie's Bar and Restaurant has been in the capable hands of Anne Murphy for the past eighteen months after her return from America. Mentioned in the citation for the two hundred year old premises were the "nautical knick-knacks" which would be coveted by many museums.
Tipperary: GAA search for first chairmen's family
As part of its centenary celebrations the GAA board in south Tipperary is searching for relatives of its first chairman, James Meehan, who was elected to the office at the inaugural meeting in June 1907 at Ryan's Hotel in Clonmel. The board members, as part of the celebrations, have already presented medallions to past chairmen and have also laid wreaths at the graves of deceased office-holders, and they wish to honour Mr Meehan in a similar fashion. However he moved away from Clonmel some time after 1912, by which time he had been mayor of the town three times; the board are now hoping that they may find relatives in Co. Cork.
Tipperary: Mineworkers gather at Silvermines
Former miners and families of former miners gathered from all over the world in Silvermines last weekend in the first ever reunion of miners and staff who were associated with the Mogul and Macgobar mines from the 1960s to the 1980s. The reunion was organised by local publican Tom Hickey, on whose premises the proceedings began, and a slide show in the parish church was followed by an ecumenical service for deceased miners, led by Father Brendan Moloney and Rev. Marie Rowley Brooke. Tom and his fellow committee members had issued invitations to all former miners and their families, and guests flew in from the US, the Continent and Britain.
Tyrone: Preserved O'Neill castle opened to the public
Castle Hill overlooking Dungannon, once the seat of chieftain Hugh O'Neill before the Flight of the Earls in 1607, was recently formally reopened to the public. When Dungannon was gifted to Scot George Knox an eighteenth century townhouse was built on Castle Hill, and also open to the public during the week was the nearby Ranfurly House; this will later be converted to a cultural and exhibition centre.
Tyrone: Jim - the oldest member of the clan
At a recent gathering of the Gallagher clan in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, undoubtedly the oldest member of the clan attending was a Loughmacrory man who is ninety-eight years old. Jim Gallagher traveled to the reunion with his nieces Patricia McElduff and Caitriona Gallagher, and his sister-in-law Mary Gallagher. News of the gathering came to light when Patricia found a pamphlet about it in a café in Omagh, and the quartet went for a day, although the festivities went on for a whole week. Now Patricia has been inspired to delve into the family's genealogy, a subject that had always interested Jim.
Waterford: Cash-strapped sisters set up goat trust
Just in case you missed this on our web site daily news update, two sisters who have taken it upon themselves to look after the goats who live on Bilberry Rock in Waterford city are now appealing for funds to help defray the cost of the feed. Ann and Orla Foley have lived beside the Rock since they were young children and have always looked after the goats on a voluntary basis. Now, however, with the winter feed bill amounting to some eighty euro, exclusive of veterinary fees, the sisters have set up the Bilberry Goat Heritage Trust to encourage other Waterford people to help in the upkeep of the animals and to ensure their survival. If you'd like to make a donation, please send it to Permanent TSB, Morgan St, Hypercentre, Waterford, Co. Waterford, Republic of Ireland. Account Number - 11307370, sort code 99-06-32.
Waterford: Furniture company goes to third generation
Handmade furniture company Colclough of Waterford is now being run by a third generation of the Colclough family, since Owen Colclough has taken over the reins of the family business. He will be assisted by his sister Maura and his wife Bridget in the business based at Five Alley Lane in Ballybricken which was started by his grandfather, Arthur Colclough, almost seventy years ago. Arthur passed it on to his son, Owen's father Bernard, who took Owen into the business in 1989 where he developed an interest in both making and restoring furniture. Owen's wife Bridget runs the interior design department.
Wexford: Which came first, the road or the building?
Two brothers who bought an eighteenth century pub in Ferrycarrig in 2004, only to see it razed to the ground in a fire two years later, have been refused planning permission to rebuild their premises. Kieran and Bernard McGuinness bought one of the county's oldest pubs, The Oak Tavern, but when they applied to the county council to rebuild they were turned down on the grounds that the premises would be too close to the main road. However the brothers are of the view that the building was there long before the N11 was constructed, and they are to appeal the ruling to An Bord Pleanála.
Wexford: Aspiring champions launch song
Prior to their appearance at Croke Park last weekend four camogie players were in the recording studio to follow through on an idea thought up by the county team's publicity officer, Barbara Ryan. Last November she enlisted the aid of former county goalkeeper Teresa Shields who now leads her own group, Teresa and the Stars, and they dreamt up a country song for recording; Teresa was on the winning county team in 1968. The pair were then joined by team players Bridget Curran and Claire and Aoife O'Connor for the recording of the song, "The Girls of Wexford".
Wicklow: Great coming of age for Aughrim
The town of Aughrim, which has been entering the National Tidy Towns competition for the past twenty-one years, has at last had all its efforts rewarded. Not only did it win the award for the tidiest small town, it also took the overall award this year. Last year Aughrim lost out on the national award by just one point so this year's victory is doubly sweet. Accepting the award and a cheque for 15,000 from broadcaster John Bowman at Dublin Castle was the chairman of the Aughrim Tidy Towns committee, Bernard Keating, who invited all present to join in the 21st birthday celebrations.
Wicklow: Bonanza day in Arklow
An ATM machine in Arklow malfunctioned one day last week and began to deliver 50 notes when 20 notes were expected. Mobile phones were brought into play and word soon passed around, resulting in longer than usual queues beginning to form at the machine at the AIB branch on Lower Main Street. It took approximately one hour for the machine to register empty, and it remained out of service for the rest of the weekend. However the bonanza may be short lived as the bank has confirmed that it is aware of the identity of those who withdrew cash, even if they were not AIB customers.
FROM THE MAILBAG
Alicia writes: I was just wondering if you could do a section of 'Irish Pride' in your Basic Irish page. I can find some translations on the internet, but none with phonetic pronounciations. If you don't, that's fine, but just wanted to give the heads up and say maybe I'm not the only one looking for something like that.
ED. NOTE: How about some feedback on doing an irish lesson related to Irish Pride? Go raibh maith agat!
Anne writes: By any chance can you give me the words of a poem "Mullinahone?"
ED. NOTE: A preliminary search kep giving us hits on a famous native son Charles Kickham who wrote Knocknowgow. But no poem. Anyone know?
Okay - it's not an Irish seagull
But it's hilarious all the same!
Inspiration doesnt get better than this
Just when we think we have it hard. Just when we think life's unfair. Just when we think our situation is hopleess. Along comes Randy.
The Irish Page
God love 'em, every fortnight, they're they are. See what Jack and Vivian jave on offer this time around: around:http://www.irishpage.com/songs/carolan/Davises.htm
Do you know of a woman who can't afford a mammogram? Here's how you can help. Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if they get enough clicks , they'll be able to donate at least one free mammogram a day to underprivileged women. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:
Free Pet Food!
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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!
Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
QUIPS & QUOTES , CURSES & PROVERBS, TOASTS & SAYINGS
This is from a recent Peter McDonald newsletter and it reminded Bridget of her Dublin mother's typical Irish way with words:
'You three are a right pair if ever I saw one!'
ED. NOTE: Click here if you'd like to learn more about Peter - the Irish balladeer"
A BIT OF THE WIT
The small town of Listowel in Vo. Kerry plays host to an annual Writer's Week. One year, a keg of Guinness that was being unloaded into a cellar rolled onto the road and burst, and as the black liquid flowed down the street, one wag commented. "Tis ink for Writer's Week, bejaysus!"
FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
This came in from an old friend Greg Fehr:
An Irishman is walking through a field when he sees a man drinking water from a pool with his hand. The Irishman shouts "Ná hól an t-uisce, tá sé lán de chac bó" (Don't drink the water, it's full of cow dung.) The man shouts back "I'm English, speak English not gibberish, I don't understand you". The Irishman man shouts back , "Use both hands, you'll get more in."
DID YOU KNOW
1. Somewhere in the world someone enjoys a Guinness every eight seconds?
2. 19th-century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck.Bismark's favourite drink was Guinness and champagne which is commonly known today as a Black Velvet?
3. At the end of the 18th century the Protestant Guinnesses were accused of signing an anti-Catholic petition, and Guinness was boycotted as "Protestant Porter" ?
SPONSOR: Please help us keep the newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lotto.
There was one winner of Wednesday's drawing which ad a jackpot of
4,175,599. Was it you? It's' always been our fantasy that one of our readers will win; but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it if you're not in it. And here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and your winnings are not subject to Irish taxes! Click here for more details or to buy a ticket:
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. The Connemara Champion by Ann Henning
2. The Master by Colm Toibin
3. I Swear by David Nolan
A round of pints and applause to the following Irish literary sleuths:
Please visit my site at: www.occupytillicome.com. Thanks for voting. It is greatly appreciated.
Pat didn't nominate a site but we know she loves Walsingham:
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland" - next year's itinerary (22 May - 3 June, 2008)
Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter?
1. An Irish Eye
2. Ship of Dreams
3. Tara's Destiny
Uh, Oh. We know we received more than a few correct answers from our Riddle People. And we know there was a first in. But with all of the problems we've had with our email service, we're having difficulties retrieving key messages. So....we're re-running our last riddle with apologies to our legitimate "first in." Hopefully, it will be the same brilliant solver?
What row of numbers comes next?
THE WEEK THAT WAS & IS
1. Article: John McCormick - An Irish legend then and now
2. Article: A Taste of Ireland - The Potato
3. Poetry Corner: Louis MacNeice
4. Article: The Galway International Oyster Festival
5. Article: Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
6. Article: Celebrating St. Michael's Day in Old Ireland
7. Irish Kitchen: Michaelmas Pie
8. Basic Irish - Back to School
9. Kids' Ireland - The Salmon of Knowledge
10. Music Review: Mick Hanly - Do you know him?
11. Circle of prayer - The last Novena in this cycle begins on September 27 and ends on October 5. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please remember the following in your prayers or meditations: Simon Shepherd, Bette & Bill, Thelma & Leo, little Bradley., Aunt Maisie, Aunt Anne, Celeste. Bobby's wife Pat, 4-year old CJ, little Dominic & Siobhan, Aunt Anne, cousin Michael, Miriam's friend, Aunt Sally, baby Joseph, RoseAnn, baby Maggie, Michael Shea and his family, Liadan, Penny, Hartson, Pauline, Heather and so many others who need our prayers or meditations, especially our men and women in the military serving their country all over the world. Please God, they will all be home safe and sound soon.
12. Trivia Contest: Have you entered yet? Time's running out. All entries must be in by midnight, September 30, whatever time zone you're in.
So there you have it until we write again. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important event between now and then, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness. And if this is your first edition, many thanks for joining us; we hope you enjoyed our musings and meanderings and if so, please feel free to pass them along to family and friends.
By the way, While we were writing to you this afternoon, we heard unfamiliar sounds - thunder and the pitter pat of rain, Glory be. May God grant you and yours good weather, whatever that is and wherever you are. 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!
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.
Dublin, Ireland - September 27 through October 14
Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it is the oldest English-speaking theatre festival in the world. The expanded programme includes many major Irish and international productions, including the Druid Theatre Company's production of Long Day's Journey into Night. For complete details, please click
LEAVE THEM LAUGHING
Have you noticed that this edition has more than a few references to Guinness? That's because this week marks the birth of Sir Arthur Guinness who was born in in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, on September 24. So, in his honour, we leave you with this anecdote from Richard Harris:
Many people boast of being included in the Guinness Book of Records, but actor Richard Harris puts a different spin on things when he says he's proud of being in The Record Book of Guinnessess.
He also said of his native Limerick: "Going there and not having a drink is like going into a church and not saying a prayer.