Greetings & Blessings to all,
Welcome to our October edition. We hope it finds you in good health, good company, and good spirits - especially with Spirit Night right around the corner! How did that happen? Where did September go? Somehow, the days turned into weeks, and here we are, looking at the imminent approach of the Celtic New year when it seems like only yesterday we were attending end of summer cookouts. The frost isn’t on the pumpkin yet, but the signs of Autumn are all around us. After a prolonged drought, coupled with chilly nights and warm Indian summer days, here in our Ohio valley we are being rewarded with brilliant color every where we look. Especially the maples! The downside is that the humming birds have left, but while we miss them, Russ changed our feeders and the year-round feathered friends are very happy!
Avery belated pinch punch, first day of the month for October. Please don’t ask us what it means - Bridget’s Dublin-born mother taught her children this old saying and the first of every month was always a donnybrook to see who could do the pinching and punching first!
We’d also like to wish all of our Canadian cousins a belated Happy Thanksgiving - we hope it was a safe and joyous celebration. Hard to believe that this time next month, we will be wishing all of our American readers a Happy Turkey Day.
Before we get on with it - is this your first issue? If so, many thanks for joining us and if you like our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends - go raibh maith agat!
Enough of the blitherin’ - on with the update!
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Whatever the occasion, stop by the Celtic Attic where you’ll find a wide array of ways to celebrate in authentic Celtic style, plus, take 5.00 off an order of $50 or more exclusively through Irish Culture & Customs. Just put the code IC01 in the add a gift card section!
Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
IN THIS ISSUE:
News: The County News for October will go out at the end of the month
From the Mailbag
Quotes, Toasts, Curses & Blessings
Joke of The Week
A Bit of the Wit
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week That Is
Leave 'em Laughing
FROM THE MAILBAG
Daniel McCarthy writes:
Please ask your readers to sign the petition to help make Shannon Airport more vibrant. The Give Shannon Wings web site has all the details. Please click
Trish O’Connell writes
The tidbit in the "Did You Know" section of the latest newsletter telling of the expression of Irishman buried under every railroad tie is almost literally true near where I live in Pennsylvania. In 1832, 57 Irish immigrants arrived in suburban Philadelphia to work on the construction of the railroad. Six weeks later they were all dead, presumably of cholera, and buried in a mass unmarked grave next to the railroad they were building. Bones found in July,2010 suggests some of the workers might have been purposely killed perhaps to avoid spreading cholera. More information can be found at http://duffyscut.immaculata.edu/
or in the book "The Ghosts of Duffy's Cut: The Irish Who Died Building America's Most Dangerous Stretch of Railroad" written by the men who excavated the site: William Watson, J. Francis Watson, John H. Ahtes III and Earl H. Schandelmeirer III(published in 2006 by Praeger Publishers) Thought you might like to know.
Doris Daly writes:
The Irish Club is looking for BAR & WAITRESSING STAFF
If any of you have sons, daughters, nieces, nephews who would like to work at the club and who have bar and waitressing experience, please pass a copy of their CV to email@example.com, FAO of Mary. Thank you.
Isabel Horan writes:
I wonder if you can pass this message on to Rosemary McGuire Nagy, the story of her ancestors working in the mill is the same as two great aunts of mine that I have been unable to get any information on. I would love the opportunity to be put in touch with her to see if she could help with my research in any way.
ED. NOTE:Rosemary is the author of an article on our site called Gathering The Threads. If you haven’t read it, here’s the URL:
And Rosemary, if you are reading this newsletter, please contact us so that we can put you in touch with Isabel.
Brígida Brisa sends greetings from Brazil and the following message:
Hi! I just want to thank you for the wonderful website and for not showing the bloody news disturbed people like to watch.
ED. NOTE: We appreciate all compliments, but especially like it when people notice our efforts to bring readers positive news.
Chris Byrne writes:
Thanks for the tip regarding the Celtic Attic. I DID, in fact, purchase a Celtic Warrior pendant, and am QUITE pleased with it, and with the service they provided.
ED. NOTE: We are always very happy to hear that a reader has received good service from one of our advertisers and likes what they bought. Wear the pendant in good health, Chris!
Layla Jacob writes
I have just read your article on pattern days. You might like to know the tradition still goes on in Ballyheigue Co Kerry - today 8th September is pattern day here. There is mass said at the grotto, and the village is full of many stall holders, many of which are run by travellers. They mostly sell cheap toys and clothes, some have jewellery, others bags. There is 1 stall selling jam. Whatever old traditions pattern day began with seems to have been lost, except the marking of the day with a mass. However, the village is full of tourists and the cafe and pubs are full today.
Sean Page writes
Please now note my show is on 6-8pm UK time on Tuesdays due to our new schedule. thanks for all the contacts I received from your site. Its amazing I have to link with the US to find out what's going on across what my mother referred to as the "Herring Pond"-the Irish Sea
To listen to Roch Valley Radio, please click
Irish Ghosts & Tales from Ireland
Describing ireland as "an emerald jewel in the paranormal crown", this site offers a comprehensive database featuring haunted locations all over the country.
Haunted Britain & Ireland
Intended to be the most comprehensive listing of British and Irish ghosts on the internet, the content on this site has been exhaustively researched and provides those who seek the mysterious with an unrivalled resource of true ghost stories.
From The Irish Page by Jack & Vivian Hennessey
Appropriately, we have selected from their site the page that celebrates Hallowe'en. and the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-en)
The old classic with a wicked twist. It's worth getting the letters wrong and losing just to hear the comments and see the end result! This one came to us by way of our good friend Hartson Dowd. Go raibh maith agat!
The death of an island
After centuries of resilient survival besieged by the Atlantic, the last 24 inhabitants were evacuated from Inishark island off Ireland's west coast in October 1960, marking the end of a remarkable way of life on the very edge of Europe. Fair warning - this moved Bridget to tears.
ED. NOTE: This link came about after learning that the surviving former residents of the island are planning a reunion. You can read the story here:
Waterford Crystal Audio slide show
Waterford craftsmen talk about how the crystal is made and their specific role in the process.
In the Ould Long Ago Illustrated Folklore Book
by Johnny McKeagney
A photograph may capture an instant - Johnny’s drawings cover centuries. A keepsake book that belongs in every Irish home, this comprehensive collection of illustrated Irish folklore is a work from the heart that took 30 years to complete. For complete details or to purchase, please click
Like the dramatic view? It could be yours at a dramatically reduced price!
For sale: Spacious custom-built home featuring panoramic ocean and mountain views from every angle. Located on the famous Dingle peninsula where the Irish language is spoken daily and Irish culture and traditions are proudly protected and maintained, the setting is ideal for a family seeking unique surroundings combined with comfort and convenience. The owner invites you to come take a closer look at a property that has been aggressively reduced in price to reflect the downturn in the market. All offers will be considered. Please click
Or contact Alex & Emer via email:
A Taste of Ireland - In Vancouver
Emma Ross raises pure bred Irish Wolfhounds and also offers charming B & B accommodations in a tranquil setting reminiscent of Killarney. Take a look:
Cleaning for a Reason
Many thanks to Pamela Boyd who sent us the following:
If you know any woman currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE
housecleaning - 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service.
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:
ED. NOTE: Maria Eryaatz advises that free mammograms are also available in all states via the VNA (visiting nurses association).
Click on 'Find A VNA' for the your nearest location.
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:
QUOTES, TOASTS , CURSES AND BLESSINGS
The following is supposed to be a real epitaph from an Irish graveyard:
Beneath this stone lies Murphy
They buried him today
He lived the life of Reilly
While Reilly was away.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Here's one that's as old and musty as we are - but it's funny all the same - and seems appropriate a few days before Hallowe'en:
Paddy, Sean and Seamus were coming home from the pub late one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old graveyard. "Come have a look over here," says Paddy, "It's Michael O'Grady's grave, God bless his soul. He lived to the ripe old age of 87." "That's nothing," says Sean, "here's one named Patrick O'Toole, it says here that he was 95 when he died."! Just then, Seamus yells out, "Good God, here's a fella who was 145!" "What was his name?" asks Paddy. Seamus lights a match to see what else is written on the marker, and exclaims, "Miles fromDublin."
A BIT OF THE WIT
Paddy was walking through a graveyard when he came across a headstone with the inscription "Here lies a politician and an honest man."
"Faith now," exclaimed Paddy, "I wonder how they got the two of them in the one grave."
DID YOU KNOW
1. Edgar Allan Poe's father was Irish? A failed actor, David Poe is said to have abandoned his family after the death of Poe's mother, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins. Edgar was two years old.
2. The crypt of St. Michan's Church in Dublin contains the almost perfectly preserved remains of corpses dating from the Middle Ages? The reason for their preservation appears to be the limestone walls of their tombs.
3. For centuries, an unholy ringing sound coming from a gnarled old oak tree on windy nights terrified the people of the County Down village of Kilbroney? In 1885, the tree was blown down and the source of the ghostly noise was discovered - a golden bell hidden in the hollow of the trunk by a monk hundreds of years before.
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS
First off, the answers to our current quiz:
1. The Irish Hedge School and Its Books, 1695-1831 by Antonia McManus
2. Dare You Ripple My Pond: The Autobiography of an Irish School Boy by Louie Bryne
3. Compulsory Irish: Language and Education in Ireland, 1870s-1970s by Adrian Kelly
There was just one response to this quiz - so go raibh maith agat to Tom McGuire who took the time to send in an entry. Apparently, several of our regulars had computer problems and other issues which prevented them from participating. Fingers crossed, we’ll get more entries this time around. Here is our next trio of titles:
1. Haunted Ireland - Her Romantic and Mysterious Ghosts
2. Haunted Hills - Ghost Tales of Ireland for Children
3. The Epics of Celtic Ireland: Ancient Tales of Mystery and Magic
Please send your answers to Bridget at firstname.lastname@example.org
Before we get to our next bit of skullduggery, here’s the answer to our previous poser::
In marble walls as white as milk, lined with skin as soft as silk,
Within a fountain crystal clear, a golden apple does appear.
No doors are there to this stronghold
Yet we can break in and take the gold.
Q. What is this everyday item?
A. An egg
This one proved to be far too easy for our Riddle People - we had dozens of correct answers. Congrats to Chris Byrne from
St. Louis, MO who was first in. Well done, Chris!
Hopefully the following head-banger will be a bit more challenging:
Seven men are on their way to church when it starts to rain. Six men run but get wet, The seventh stays still and remains dry.
Q. How is that possible?
Please send your answers to Bridget at email@example.com
It would be helpful if you put riddle answer in the subject line. Thanks!
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
As always, they have been busy adding new gift items in response to customer requests including the cleverly designed Ingrid Walking Stick Spike. The latest message tokens have arrived along with a range of unique rosaries in support of the military, police and firefighters. Please stop by their online shop and have a look around. Happy browsing and shopping !
THE WEEK THAT IS
1. Search Function Have you tried it out? You can find the search box in the banner on the left-hand side. Simply key in whatever word or words you wish and if they’re on the site, Google will find them!
2. Shopping Section:
Treat yourself or someone you love to a Sterling silver jack o'lantern from The irish Jewelry Company
Every purchase you make through our shop links helps support our efforts. Many thanks in advance.
3. Article: How the irish invented Halloween
4. Article: An irish Hallowee’n Part 1
5. Article: Protect your property and yourself - make a Parshell!
6. Article: Creepy Irish Creatures
7. Article: The Dullahan - Ireland’s Headless Horseman
8. Article: The Legend Of The Churchyard Bride
9. The Irish Kitchen: Barmbrack
10. Basic Irish: Halloween and Samhain
11. Kids’ Ireland: A Midnight Dance
12. Music Review
Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar offers a lovely salute to Christy Mooore - one of our all-time favourites.
13. October Trivia Contest
The new contest is well underway. All entries must be in by midnight, October 31 no matter what time zone you live in
In what can only be described as an amazing coincidence, our winner for September is the daughter of last month’s winner. Congratulations to Rachel Spinoza who was bound and determined to win a Warrior Pendant and indeed, she did. You can see the pendant here, which is so generously provided by our friend’s at the Celtic Attic/ It’s one of their best sellers and our most popular Trivia Prize.
14. The Daily News
We publish headlines for seven different stories from a variety of Irish newspapers - and we make a valiant effort to find material relevant to Irish culture and customs.
15. Circle of Prayer
Novena #7 in this cycle begins on October 20 and ends on October 28. You can view the complete list of begin and end dates on our Circle of Prayer page here:
Since last we wrote, we have not had any new prayer requests, but we did have good news about a member of our own family who is recovering well from surgery ; we also heard about a subscriber who had a serious infection in her foot. God wlling she will also make a complete recovery. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please keep these folks in your prayers or mediitations as well as Hartson, little Isabella, Mickey, Tara H, Patricia's daughter Heather, the family and friends of the McTiernans, and so many others, especially our military personnel serving their countries at home and abroad. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe from all harm and bring those away from home back to their loved ones soon.
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US $1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US$5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here: - and the best of Irish luck to you!
So there you have it until we write again - probably around the middle of November. If you were married in October or plan to tie the knot this month, here is your special verse:
If in October you do marry,
love will come but riches tarry.
We know this only too well as we were married in October and we’re still waiting on those riches if what is meant is financial wealth. The truth is we have been richly blessed in so many other ways.
Married in November - or looking forward to saying I do? here is your special verse:
If you wed in bleak November
Only joy will come, remember.
If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and when we write again, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.We’ll ’ll take our leave with a wish for a very happy Celtic New Year to you and yours and an old blessing edited and adapted for Hallowee’n:
At all Hallow's Tide, God keep you safe
From goblin and pooka and black-hearted stranger,
From harm of the water and hurt of the fire,
From thorns of the bramble, from all other danger,
From Will O' The Wisp haunting the mire;
From stumbles and tumbles
and tricksters to vex you,
May God in His mercy, this All Hallows protect you.
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!
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare
And this is for our dear friend Mary O’Hara who asked us to bring this phrase back:
May you be seven times better, a year from today!!
in the Irish
Go mba seacht bhfearr a bheas tu bliain o inniu!!
Are you a loyal reader of our newsletter? Your voluntary donation will help us keep sending it around the world each week. Please give whatever you can to Russ and Bridget, 5814 Blue Spruce, Cincinnati OH 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our email address there is firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
NOTE: All donations of $5.00 or more will receive this green ribbon bookmark featuring metal brass-colored shamrock charm.
DID SOMEONE FORWARD THIS ISSUE TO YOU?
You can get your own copy if you sign up by sending an email to: email@example.com
or click on this link:
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
Irish Abroad also has a comprehensive listing:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.
Cincinnati - October 28
The Cincinnati Fall Celtic Concert series begins on October 28th with Brendan Begley & Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh at the Madisonville Arts Center. The concert will feature songs from the duo’s new CD which has just been released. For ticket info, directions, and details about future concerts, please click
Houston, Texas November 5
Annual Irish Gala - An evening of Irish entertainment, exciting auction items and a delicious dinner benefiting the Center for Irish Studies’ academic and study abroad programs; 6:30 pm, Friday, November 5, 2010 The Houstonian Hotel , 111 North Post Oak Lane
Reserve your table or tickets now or request a formal invitation
Contact Lori Gallagher at (713) 525-3592 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamison, Pennsylvania - November 5
Daltaí na Gaeilge will hold our Irish Language Immersion
Weekend, November 5th - 7th, 2010 in Jamison, Pennsylvania. General Information, Directions and a Registration Form are available through this link: http://www.daltai.com/events/nov10.htm
Dublin, Ireland - November 7
Swap Till You Drop (featuring The Tunnel of Luck)
In aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association. Doors open to register items for Star Swap Show at 1:30pm. Swapping starts 3pm
Tickets: €15 Advance Booking:
Carribean Cruise - February 27
Patrick O'Flaherty invites you to join him and other entertainers as they set sail aboard the Norwegian Spirit on an 8-day, 7-night Cruise to the Caribbean, leaving from New Orleans on February 27, 2011. Ports of call include Costa Maya, Belize, Isla Roatan and Cozumel and the the highlight of the week will be O'Houligan's Ball, where General Livingston and his wife Sara will reign over the festivities as the 2011 King and Queen. Visit
or contact Susie Denman at 1-800-427-8473 ext. 7808 for more information.
CINCINNATI IRISH HERITAGE CENTER
Thanks to underwriting from the Riley School of Irish Music, the second Wednesday of every month, The Irish Heritage Center, 3905 Eastern Avenue, Columbia-Tusculum, (in the former McKinley Elementary School) will resume their "Session Night", featuring both an instrumental session and traditional singing session in two separate rooms from 7:30-11pm. Plenty of free parking behind the building. Come with your talents, tunes and stories. The bar will be open and there will be room for respectful listeners as well. For details, please contact:
Or Cindy at
IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB - HOLYWOOD , FLA
Stay up to date with all the upcoming events and click here:
Or call 754-281-7202 / 954-432-8292
THE IRISH CLUB - LONDON, ENGLAND
The Irish Club is adjacent to St. Brides Church, the Journalists Church off Fleet Street. the construction of which gave us the standard wedding cake shape and is reputed to have been founded by St. Bridget herself alongside a St. Bridget's Well. To learn more about the club and upcomoming events, please visit their web site:
FRIENDS OF IRELAND - LOS ALAMITOS, CA
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307
CEILI OF THE VALLEY SOCIETY - PORTLAND , OR
First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click
LEAVE ‘EM LAUGHING
In the spirit of the day that's in it (pun intended), here are some amusing epitaphs from all over: We’ve published these before, but we think they’re worth repeating. We hop[e you agree.
On the grave of Ezekiel Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekiel Aikle, Age 102.
The Good Die Young.
In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann, Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann. Dec. 8, 1767
In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.
In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast.
Pardon me For not rising.
In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas Instead of the brake.
A lawyer's epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange. Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.
John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne Cemetery, England:
Reader, if cash thou art In want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep; And thou wilt find a Penny.
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle
Went out of tune.
Anna Hopewell's grave in nosburg Falls, Vermont :
Here lies the body of our Anna -
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.
In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.
To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent
Until I know which way you went.