Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every fortnight or so and sent out to nearly 4600 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:
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Greetings and blessings to all,

We're back! Neither hurricanes, nor computer crashes nor the birth of another granddaughter could keep us away - at least not forever. Although it may have seemed that way!

First things first and we'll save the best news for last.

Our most recent message was one of serious worries over Russ' computer as well as major concerns about the welfare of people in the path of hurricanes Hannah and Gustav. While it would appear that the affects of those storms weren't as dire as they might have been, the computer didn't fare as well.

On a positive note, the technicians were able to save the data and that is a huge relief. But the computer had to be replaced. It's a major financial hit but God willing we'll recover. (You can help with that if you'd like to and we'll tell you how at the end).

Meanwhile, we're just about caught up on the web site but we're way behind on the emails. Before another day goes by, go raibh maith agat to all of you who wrote to express your sympathies and hopes for the computer's recovery. Some of the messages were very funny, e.g. give that Mac an apple. You helped us keep our sense of humour during a particularly difficult time and we really appreciate that.

So enter the lovely sleek new Mac and guess what was waiting in the the wings? What was left of hurricane Ike. Our prayers go out to all of you in Galveston and environs because what happened to us here in the Ohio Valley is just a postage stamp compared to what happened to you. We can't take credit for the metaphor - it came from one of the local TV weather forecasters. What hit us were hurricane and tropical storm force winds which devastated our area last Sunday afternoon and caused the largest power outage in our region's history. As we write this, close to a half a million people are still without electricity. We just happen to be among the lucky ones who live near downtown and therefore got a priority rating when it came to fixing the outages.

The damage is incredible. We walked the neighborhood yesterday and as with our property and our street, everyone is dealing with downed trees and related debris. Our winds locally were clocked in excess of 50 miles per hour with gusts higher than that. We just can't imagine what it must be like to live through 100 plus. And the aftermath.

On to the good news. On Sunday afternoon, when the storm was at its worst, our son called to tell us he and our daughter-in-law were on the way to the hospital. At 7:46 pm, Elliot Louise Haggerty made her debut . We are tempted to nickname her Windy. Mother and daughter are doing well. Bridget doesn't feel so good. She hasn't held the new born yet and is feeling totally left out and deprived of what Russ thinks is bizarre female bonding. Bridget thinks it's obvious Russ just doesn't understand birth and the attendant rituals. As soon as the hurricane chaos settles down, we will be on our way over to see the baby.

So where does that leave us? Where we left off? That might work. Herewith, the intro to the newsletter just before the computer crash.

Is it possible that a month has gone by since we were last in touch? That the Olympics are over? That Bridget's already been on her annual trip to Maine and returned home? That the kids are back in school? That the leaves have started turning?

All as real as the single bright red leaf on the grass in front of Tadpole Cottage. Just one leaf - but what a wake-up call! For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the signs are everywhere - summer is coming to an end. But it also means that for all of our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, you have it all ahead of you!

Whatever the season in your part of the world, we hope this edition finds you in good health, good spirits and good company. And if this is your first issue, many thanks for subscribing. We hope you enjoy our musings and meanderings and do please feel free to pass them along to family and friends.

Someone once said he had a voice like a bullfrog with a hangover. And no matter what you thought of the Dubliner's lead singer, good, bad or indifferent, the passing of Ronnie Drew (RIP) marked the end of a very special era in the history of Irish traditional music. Did you know he came by his trademark beard quite by accident? He had warts on his face and his doctor told him not to shave. By the time the warts had gone away, inquiries were coming for "the fella with the beard". We share this anecdote with no disrespect intended. He was a good man with a fine sense of humour and it's the kind of story he would have delighted in sharing with his fans. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Did you enter our drawing for the Elders CS and DVD? We were swamped with people wanting to win, but alas we could choose only two names. Congratulations to Jane McHugh who wins the CD and to Karyn Hannigan who gets the DVD. Enjoy!
They're a great band and if you'd like to learn more about them, please click

Enough of the blitherin' ...on with the update:
SPONSOR: Please support our efforts by visiting our good friends at Lollysmith:

It's never too early to start the holiday shopping and there are a good many advantages in getting a head start - you can be sure what you want is in stock, your gifts will arrive in time, and you won't feel rushed and frazzled. Come take a look at what's in store and start making those lists now - you'll be glad you did. For example, we have Jacob's Chocolates, genuine Blackthorn Walking Sticks, Hanna Hats & Caps, Connemara blankets and much, much more!

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 elsewhere. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site where we post the latest headlines from Ireland every morning and we keep two week's of previous news: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
And more county news can be found here:

GENERAL: Jack and Sarah the most popular Irish baby names
Sean and Emma were the next most popular names. Four of the top five boys' names (Jack, Sean, Conor and James) have been in the top five since 1998, with only their order changing from year to year. Daniel is a new entry to the top five at number four. While Emma and Sarah have been in the top five since 1998, Katie has only been in the top five since 2003, Sophie has been in it since 2006 and Ella is in the top five for the first time.

Website to help find fun for kids
James O'Shea has launched Kids' Ireland to help parents find activities for their children. "By just clicking a mouse, parents will now be able to search by town, county and date to find something to do with their kids," he explained. It also contains information on child-friendly restaurants and accommodation. Mr O'Shea said simplicity was the cornerstone of www.irelandforkids.ie and businesses were also allowed to upload their own details. He said there was a growing demand for up-to-date information on all sorts of activities and services for children in Ireland. To explore the site, please click

Armagh: Portadown man takes world title
Conor Murphy from Portadown has been crowned World Bog Snorkelling Champion after taking part in the competition in Wales. The twenty-three-year-old, who is currently based in Leicester, did not break the world record of one minute thirty-five seconds, but finished in a creditable one minute thirty-nine seconds. He and the other entrants, some from as far away as Australia, had to complete two lengths of the sixty-yard course, having donned snorkel and fins; Conor also wore a wet suit though many contestants put on fancy dress for the occasion.

Cavan: Country's oldest fair takes place
What is said to be the oldest fair in Ireland took place once again when hundreds of stallholders arrived at Muff crossroads near Kingscourt to take part in the Muff Horse Fair. The fair, which dates from the twelfth century, is traditionally held on August 12 each year, being postponed for a day if that day happens to be a Sunday. And one unusual feature of the annual fair is the conversion of an old shed into a licensed bar for the day. Horses and ponies changed hands and there was also a live music session and barn dancing at the fair, which was banned for a few years during the nineteenth century.

Cavan: Killeshandra's own Entertainer
Every mother likes to help celebrate a son's birthday and one eighty-two-year-old in Killeshandra, described as beiing quite a character, was no exception. The woman's son was celebrating his fiftieth birthday in Frank Durran's Maggie's Bar on Main Street and the festivities continued well into the early hours of the morning. This was due, according to the solicitor acting for the family after they were found on the premises well after hours, to the entertainment value of the birthday boy's mother, who continued to sing to the assembled crowd as long as they were listening to her.

Clare: Another dig at Caherconnell
Heritage Week saw a second archaeological dig undertaken at Caherconnell Stone Fort in the Burren, following the first which took place during the same week last year. The new dig has been prompted by the possibility of an underground tunnel, or souterrain on the site. The dig was carried out by a team headed by Dr Michelle Comber from NUI Galway and Graham Hull of archaeological consultants TVAS.

Clare: Mathematician honoured in Kilnamona
A native of Kilnamona who introduced the country's first Leaving Certificate mathematics curriculum has been honoured in his native village on what would have been his one hundredth birthday. Brother Thomas Keane was a member of the Christian Brothers who counted among his pupils Charles Haughey, George Colley and Kevin Boland. His long teaching career took him to Dublin, Waterford, Tipperary and Limerick and he was conferred with a testimonial of merit by The Institute of Mathematics at Fordham University. A plaque was unveiled in Kilnamona Church by Annraoi Ó Beoláin after Mass which included among its concelebrants Father Eoin Haughey.

Cork: Colin promotes Paddy Olympics
Lawyer Colin Carroll from Fermoy does not fit the usual picture of a member of the legal profession, for this is a man who likes to undertake unusual sports. He has already represented Ireland in elephant polo, sumo wrestling and bobsleigh, and now he has sent proposals to the mayors of Boston, London, Beijing, Paris and New York, hoping they will agree to host the inaugural Paddy Olympics. This series will include such sports as mobile phone throwing, backwards running and an egg and spoon race, as well as the high dive belly flop and an interspecies relay. Colin says that one city in Ireland has already confirmed its interest in taking the games.

Cork: Commercial cargo under sail arrives in Youghal
For the first time in more than fifty years a wooden schooner has arrived in Youghal with a commercial cargo. The Kathleen and May was carrying thirty thousand bottles of French wine from the Langedoc-Roussillon region, in response to the rising cost of fuel and the increase in environmental concerns.  The one hundred and eight year old boat owned by Steve Clarke from Devon was chartered by a French company, CTMV, which is building other vessels and has already signed up some eighty vineyards in France to use the facility. For many years the boat was owned by Youghal coal merchant Martin J. Fleming who named it after his daughters.

Cork: Statue of musician for Cúil Aodha
An unveiling ceremony took place in Cúil recently on what would have been the birthday of Seán Ó Riada. A life-sized sculpture of the musician was unveiled after Mass in the grounds of St Gobnait's Church in the presence of his daughter Rachel Ní Riada, six of her brothers and sisters and eighteen of Ó Riada's grandchildren. Also in attendance were former members of the group he founded, Ceoltóiri Cualann, who gave a performance after the ceremony. The work of Kerry sculptor Mike Kenny, the sculpture portrays Ó Riada playing the organ.

Cork: Sanctuary comes of age
Recently, the Donkey Sanctuary at Liscarroll celebrated its twenty-first anniversary and attending the celebrations was Dr Elisabeth Svendsen from England who was instrumental in establishing the facility with Paddy Barrett and his wife Eileen. Situated on seventy acres over two farms, the sanctuary has its own hospital and looks after 388 donkeys on site while a further 486 are in foster homes.

Derry: Another new creation for famous wall
The Free Derry Wall in the Bogside has had yet another makeover, this time involving local residents who created what is titled "Vision of the Future". The images already on the wall were painted over by members of the Bluebell Arts Project; more than one hundred contributors highlighted such topics as regeneration and environmental issues. The artwork was augmented with the help of a group of Swiss spray-can artists who happened to be on holiday in Derry.

Derry: New mural for Free Derry Corner
Last Friday a new mural was unveiled on the back of Free Derry Corner, this one commemorating the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the civil rights campaign on October 5.  The unveiling was the first of a series of events which have been organised to mark the anniversary including a programme of lectures, exhibitions and meetings at the Guildhall at the beginning of October. Among those invited to this two-day event are President Mary McAleese and Professor Kadar Asmal, a member of the ANC government in South Africa.

Donegal: Souterrain found in Clonmany
An underground chamber has been discovered near Clonmany which could date back two thousand years. The souterrain was found by Sean Devlin, who first came across the structure some years ago while carrying out landscaping in his front garden. However it was only when he showed it to amateur archaeologists Eddie Harkin, Tommy Gallagher and Brian MacNeachtain that he realised its significance. Sean is now awaiting a visit from a Dublin-based archaeologist who will examine the structure in detail.

Donegal: Derrylaghan celebrates centenary
Hundreds of people gathered in Derrylaghan townland near Kilcar recently to celebrate the centenary of Derrylaghan National School. One of the school's oldest pupils, Francie McCloskey, was chosen to plant a commemorative tree outside the school and a reunion book was launched.

 Down: Warrentpoint couple help preserve controversial tradition
Larry and Bernadette Moore from Warrenpoint are helping to preserve a crop that changed the course of Irish history, and that was banned by the bishops of the time on pain of excommunication. The couple acquired seed from the Lumper potato, the blight-affected species that led to the Famine in the nineteenth century. The seeds had been secretly preserved by a Galway family who have been raising a small crop of the Lumper ever since and the crop grown by the Moores has attracted interest from a group of American historians who recently visited their farm.

Down: Groups come together for Warrenpoint baths
The Save Our Baths action group has joined forces with Old Warrenpoint Forum to draw up a petition for the reopening of the Warrenpoint Municipal Baths. The baths, one of the first seaside swimming baths in the country, will celebrate their centenary later this year. After closing in 1960 they have fallen into disrepair and the council had advertised for a developer to redevelop the site. However local feeling is that the baths should be returned to their original state and the campaign has now received the support of former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies.

Dublin: Heritage centre for Glasnevin
For the next eighteen months only funeral traffic will have access to Glasnevin Cemetery, following the commencement of preparatory work for a new Heritage Centre at the site. It is hoped that the cemetery will eventually become a major tourist attractions in the same way as Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC. In addition to providing the centre and a museum, restoration work is to be carried out on a number of monuments such as the O'Connell Tower, which marks the grave of Daniel O'Connell. Also to be highlighted are the graves of Charles Steward Parnell, Maud Gonne, Gerard Manley Hopkins and victims of the Famine.

Dublin: Dublin pub retains the old
A pub that has recently opened on George's Street prides itself on having acquired almost all of its fixtures and fittings from other buildings. The bar frontage in Shebeen Chic is made from corrugated iron dating from the 1940s, in an earlier life the counter was a series of scaffold planks, and much of the furniture was bought at auction for as little as 50c.

Galway: Ancient oak threatened in Moycullen
An oak tree said to be two hundred and fifty years old is threatened by cutting to prevent branches coming into contact with overhead power lines, according to the owners of the property on which it stands. The tree is in woodland at Pollnaglocha owned by Pat and Gia Howard, who say that the latest work by ESB contractors has cut to within feet of the ancient oak and has also clear-felled a strip across the whole of the wood, destroying many species of woodland flora. An ESB spokesman has said that it has a rota of timber-cutting to prevent trees and branches causing power cuts.

Galway: Letterard-Mayrus comes in from the dry
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink, or wash with. That's the way the people of the Letterard-Moyrus area of Connemara have been living for the past thirty years. They were waiting for the Carna-Kilkerrin scheme to join them up to mains water, but it passed them by. Now, however, the community, which lives surrounded by lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, will at last have running water. However they will still have to wait a few months as tenders have just been sought by the county council and work is not expected to be finished until January or February.

Galway: Green ears appear in Galway
The large green ears that have appeared in both Salthill and Galway city have nothing to do with environmental friendliness, rather they are an aid to visitors who would like to learn more about the area. (murmur) Galway is the idea of Máire Holmes and Pauline Bermingham who have collected batches of stories which can be accessed by mobile phone. Each large green ear, attached to lampposts and telegraph poles, includes a telephone number and the call is free of charge. The stories are site-specific and are told in the storyteller's own voice and to date twenty-two stories are available in fourteen locations.

Kerry: Stamp to commemorate Valentia landmark
A ceremony took place on Valentia Island recently to mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the sending of the first cable message from Europe to America. Designed by Irish illustrator Vincent Killowry, the stamp shows an image of HMS Agamemno and USS Niagara, both vessels being involved in the laying of the cable between Trinity Bay in Newfoundland and Knightstown on the island. The first message relayed, in August 1858, was sent by Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan. The ceremony included the unveiling of a plaque by Valentia native Mick O'Connell.

Kerry: Break from tradition in selection of Puck
This year there was a break with tradition in the selection of the goat to be crowned King Puck for Puck Fair in Killorglin. Goat catcher Frank Joy, who has undertaken the task for the past eighteen years, had a number of women among the team of eighteen that climbed Treangarriv mountain near Glencar overlooking Lough Caragh. There the women chose a white goat from the herd of thirty. Named King Ray he was crowned after a coronation parade, by local girl Aoife Johnston.

Kerry: Local couple win Sneem event
With competitors coming from Dublin and Meath as well as Cork, it was fitting that a couple from nearby Caherdaniel were named as winners of the Irish National Wife Carrying Championships which were part of the Sneem Family Festival. John O'Shea, a Seine boat enthusiast, and musician Aoife Desmond beat a couple from Killarney to complete the course in one minute and twelve seconds. They have won an all expenses paid trip to a village in the north of Finland where they will represent Ireland at the World Wife Carrying Championships next year.

Kilkenny: New memorial to White House architect James Hoban
A memorial to architect James Hoban in his native Desart, Cuffesgrange was celebrated recently after its completion by local residents, including local farmer Ned Brennan, and a group of American architectural students. The memorial to the man who built the White House took a week to complete. It is thirty metres long and up to three metres in height and incorporates different stone from rough uncut Kilkenny limestone to Italian marble.

Laois: Parking at a premium at traditional gathering
So many people turned up for the annual Mass at Ladywell, Ballinakill on August 15 that parking space was at a premium and even the sheltered seating was soon filled. And it's not just on the day itself that people frequent the well, since a novena begins on the last day of the month. The annual visit to the well has been taking place as long as local people can remember and now Dermot Dorgan and his daughter Julie have produced a booklet on the history of Ladywell, which includes pictures of pilgrims at the well dating from almost one hundred years ago.

Leitrim: Memorial seat unveiled in Ballinamore
As part of the McGahern Summer School the late writer's widow, Madeline, unveiled a memorial seat in The Square in Ballinamore, a town closely associated with the author. Madeline McGahern recalled that the seat was located in sight of the corner where her husband's aunt, Maggie McManus, had her sweet shop, and the corner where his uncle, Pat McManus, ran his garage. The seat was made by Adrian Smith of Smith Monumentals and the inscription reads: "The best of life is lived quietly, where nothing happens but our calm journey through the day, where change is imperceptible and the precious life is everything".

Limerick: McCourt joins historian on Ashes walk
Although he has previously declined an invitation to join one of Mick O'Donnell's Angela's Ashes walks, author Frank McCourt recently accompanied the local historian as he led a group around the places featured in the book. The author was in Limerick with a group of friends to whom he wished to show scenes from his childhood and so he joined Mick to walk from Henry Street to the Redemptorist church, from Roden Lane, the site of the McCourts' home close to the walls of Sarsfield Barracks, to the old school building in Harstonge Street. They also called into South's pub where Frank McCourt first tasted Guinness.

Limerick: Athea remembers its Olympians
The opening of the Beijing Olympics was chosen as a fitting date for the launching of a new book on the achievements of two Athea men more than one hundred years ago. "Ahearne Brothers, Athea, Olympic and World Champions" is written by local historian Tom Ahearne of Glensharold and records the gold medal won by Tim Ahearne in the hop, step and jump event at the 1908 Olympics in London. Tim's brother Dan set a world record in the same event after the brothers had emigrated to the United States. A ceremony also took place to unveil a bronze sculpture commissioned by Athea Community Council some years ago from the late Jim Flavin.

Mayo: Conservation plan for Inishkea
The county council is in the process of preparing a conservation plan for Inishkea North and South off the north-west coast, uninhabited since the 1930s just a few years after ten lives were lost in a fishing disaster. Farmers whose families owned homes on the islands have begun to rebuild the houses as holiday homes and conservation architects are working on a development plan. A team has already surveyed twelve of the existing structures and has suggested that other amenities be developed if the council is hoping to attract tourists to spend some time on the islands.

Meath: Old tradition revived in Slane
Recently, the traditional Lady Well Fete, celebrated for centuries, was revived in the grounds of Slane Castle, and this year the pilgrimage was augmented by a day of activities in the castle grounds. One of the main events was a duck race from Stackallen Bridge to the castle weir, with prizes totalling €1,000.

Waterford: Intrepid swimmers take to the water
A total of fifty-seven swimmers recently took part in the fifteenth annual Snamh Fada which goes from the Guillameme Cave to the pier in Tramore. The swim is open only to strong swimmers over the age of fourteen and the only criterion is that they must finish within an hour. The first to complete the mile-long swim was Catherine Browne, who led Stephen O'Rourke by a mere six inches at the finishing line. The swimmers bringing up the rear completed the swim in forty-seven minutes, well within the prescribed limits.

Wexford: Newborn seal rescued at North Slob
The first white-coated grey seal pup to be rescued this year was spotted by passers-by on the shore at the Wildfowl Reserve. Josh and Shane Carberry spotted the animal and reported the find to the Irish Seal Sanctuary. Representative Kevin McCormack was surprised to find that the seal was only two to three days old. Named Wally, he is now being cared for in Garristown, Co. Dublin and it is hoped that if he survives the next week or so. he will be well enough in three months' time to be returned to the water.

Wicklow: Two memorials for Fassaroe climber
Charles Barrington from Fassaroe, who was the first man to climb the Eiger in Switzerland one hundred and fifty years ago, has been commemorated by two memorials, in Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg. The memorials were unveiled by Stephen and Ron Barrington, descendants of the mountaineer. A visit will take place in October of a Swiss delegation to see Charles Barrington's home town. The bronze plaques were the work of Bray artist James Hayes. 

Our good friend "Big Mama" writes:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers against eating certain frozen cooked mussel products made by Bantry Bay Seafoods, imported from Ireland, because they may be contaminated with azaspiracid toxins, a group of naturally occurring marine toxins known to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
ED. NOTE: We very much appreciate receiving this warning as we had some of the product in our freezer. Bridget was so looking forwards to serving them on a special occasion. We took them back to our local supermarket and had no problems getting a full refund. If you'd like to read the entire FDA announcement as well as receive other food warnings, here's the URL:

Ronnie Drew singing Dublin in the rare Ould Times
This is a particularly nice version. Have a box of tissues ready - for the man and the song.

Ballad of Ronnie Drew
A moving musical tribute from a remarkable line-up of Ireland's best known entertainers:

A very Irish US election
it turns out that all four main presidential or vice presidential candidates have Irish ancestry. Surprising ? Maybe not, considering the history of emigration from European countries to the US.

Very addictive test - how old is your brain?
Our daughter sent us the following link. Fair warning - once you try it, you'll want to keep at it so you can improve your score:

Free Mammograms
Many women can't afford the test, but here's how you can help: Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if the site gets 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:
SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter coming - visit our friends at the Celtic Attic:
It's time to clear our warehouse shelves to make room for all the new holiday Items that will be coming in soon! Take advantage of the change in seasons and save on everything currently in stock PLUS get free shipping on most orders (some restrictions apply) and receive a Complimentary GIFT with each and every order as well as a FREE COPY of the CELTIC ATTIC COOKBOOK PDF. And don't forget to enter our monthly giveaway: http://www.celticattic.com/contact_us/free_giveaway.htm
Order on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
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May your troubles be as few and far between as my grandmother's teeth.
"A Kerry footballer with an inferiority complex is one who thinks he's just as good as everybody else."
- Author John B. Keane
The other day the wife and I went into a shop in O'Connell Street. We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a Garda writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him and I said, "Ah Jesus, Mary and Joseph, can ye not give an oul pair of pensioners a break?' He ignored us and continued writing the ticket so I muttered loud enough to make sure he heard me "Ye gobshite jackeen, ye manky waster." He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tyres. So then my wife said to me, again loud enough so he could hear her - "a right eegit altogether What do to think dear - a few bricks short of a hod? "That's when he peered closely at the windshield wipers and started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote. Personally, we didn't mind. We came into town by DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit). We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age.

Edited and adapted from Pete McDonald 's July newsletter
Pete is an Irish balladeer who is popular in the New Jersey, Philadelphia and Nw York areas; you can sign up for his free newsletter and learn more about him and when he's performing on his web site:
1. When told that Irish linen petticoats for Follies dancers were far more expensive than plain cotton, Florenz Ziegfeld replied: "I know. But Irish linen does something to their walk & remember, they are Ziegfeld Girls!"
2. The phrase "circling over Shannon" has become Irish slang for being drunk? The term comes from a visit a Russian leader made to Ireland in 1993, where he was allegedly too drunk to get off the plane. His plane circled six times over Shannon airport to give him some time to sober up.*
3. Shannon Airport is on NASA's list of emergency landing sites for the space shuttle?
*Source: Ireland Fun Facts
But first, the answers to our last quiz:
1. King of Diamonds: An Irish Show Jumping Dynasty - Nicholas O'Hare
2. Showjumping Legends: Ireland, 1868-1998 - Michael Slavin
3. Galway of the Races: Selected Essays - Robert Lynd

A round of pints and applause for the following Irish literary sleuths:

Helen Dowd
If you are looking for a good place to post your writings, check out: http://www.faithwriters.com/home.php , or visit my site at: http://www.occupytillicome.com

Hartson Dowd
Web-site of : Pol O Conghaile - an award-winning Irish journalist and author:

Patricia Edwards
Because of circumstances I have been to these 2 sites recently:

Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter? Who wrote:
1. An Irish Book of Shadows: Tuatha de Danann
2. The Names Upon the Harp - Irish Myths & Legends
3. An Irish Country Village
To begin with, the answers to our last Head Bangers: 
The Classic:
In a stable there are men and horses. In all, there are 22 heads and 72 feet. Q. How many men and how many horses are in the stable?
A. Eight men & 14 horses.
As always, the race to be first was won by seconds - well done to Pamela Boyd!
And now for the Groaner solution:
Q: What did one horse say to the other horse?
A. The pace is familiar but I can't remember the mane.
While we had some very creative and funny alternatives, that was the answer we were looking for and congrats are in order for John C. Laney who actually answered both puzzles correctly. However, Pamela beat him to the pole on the first but she didn't answer the second.

And now for our next brain bruiser - just the one this time - and we hope it's a good challenge for all of our brilliant Riddle People!
Six glasses are in a row. The first three are filled with Guinness and the last three are empty. By moving only one glass, can you arrange them so that the full and the empty glasses alternate?
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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 our fantasy that one of our readers will scoop the big prize; but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it if you're not in it. To play on line, please click
THE WEEK THAT IS (but not for long. We'll be updating the home page in the next day or so)
1. Article -Saint of 9/11: Fr. Mychal
2. Article -St. Kieran of Clonmacnoise
3. Article - The Clarenbridge Oyster Festival
4. Poetry Corner - Louis MacNeice
5. Article: Who was behind the doors of Dublin?
ED. NOTE: In case you might be wondering why we are leaving this article on the home page, it's because Bob Fearon, the savvy adman who created the original poster is generously donating 50% of the proceeds from any sales of either the poster or the puzzle to Irish Culture and Customs. Buying either product is one way you can help us pay for Russ' new computer!
6. The Irish Kitchen - There's an R in the month, as well as two big festivals, so it has to be Oyster recipes!
7. Basic Irish - Back to School
8. Kids' Ireland - Learning through film/Hedge Schools
9 Music Review - The latest offering from our resident reviewer William Ramoutar is Mary Jane Lamond's Storas
10. Circle of Prayer : The third Novena in this cycle began on September 12 and ends on September 20th. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please keep the following in your prayers and meditations: Baby Isabella, Patricia's daughter Heather , the family and friends of the McTiernans, Pauline Dewberry, our daughter Catherine, Cyndi, Mickey, Hartson, Laureena Blankenship, Sierra Mitchell, Michelle Lester, Katie Lacinak and so many others including all military personnel serving their countries all over the world. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe and bring them home soon.
11. The Trivia contest for September is posted. All entries must be in by midnight September 30th whatever time zone you're in:
Congratulations to our winner for August:, Mike Lorello, who chose the Tin Whistle package generously given by our sponsor from Lollysmith.

So there you have it unto the next time. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important event between now and next time we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness. If you're getting married in September or tied the knot this month, here's your special verse:
Marry in September's shine,
Your living will be rich and fine.
(Doesn't get much nicer than that!)

We take our leave with this lovely old blessing:
May Christ and His Saints
stand between you and harm
Mary and her Son.
Patrick with his staff.
Martin with his mantle.
Brigid with her veil.
Michael with his shield.
And God over all with His strong right hand.
...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

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.

Sea Isle City, NJ - Every Friday this summer
Fintan Malone, Irish traditional musician extraordinaire from Milltown Malbay, Co. Clara and Pete McDonald will be teaming up on Friday evenings at Kix McNulty's, 6400 Landis Avenue from 5 5 to 8 p.m.
For changes and updates, please check the website schedule page, http://www.petemcdonald.com/schedule.html

Los Alamitos, California -1st Tuesday of every month
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

Portland, oregon - 1st Friday of the month
Ceili of the Valley Society - First Friday of the month Céilís and on-going 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

Eastern Caribbean Irish Genealogy Seminar Cruise - January 09
The Irish Ancestral Research Association is organizing an Irish genealogy cruise in January 2009 on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. Speakers include our friends Eileen & Sean O'Duill from Dublin. For complete details, please click

Election humour from Ireland. This one has been making the rounds and many of you may have already seen it...but just in case you haven't:

"We, in Ireland, can't figure out why people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States.

On one side, you have a lawyer married to a lawyer, running against a lawyer who is married to a lawyer.

On the other side, you have a war hero married to a good looking woman who owns a beer distributorship.

What are you lads thinking over there?!?"

ED. NOTE: At the beginning of the newsletter we mentioned that we would tell you how you can help us replenish our severely drained resources after having to replace Russ' computer. There are several ways:
1. You can make a purchase through our web site
2. you can click through on the Google ads in the right margin of just about every article
3. you can make a donation through PayPal. It's safe, secure and best of all it's instant. our account with PayPal is our email address:
If you would rather snail mail a contribution, our address is:
5814 Blue Spruce Lane
Cincinnati OH 45224

Any amount is welcome and to show how much your support means to us, all gifts over $5.00 will receive a small Irish Blessing token.

Many thanks in advance for your kindness,