Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 2000 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
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings and blessings to all,

It's grand to be back - or to paraphrase George Burns, it's grand to be anywhere! We debated whether or not to wait until Bridget was fully recovered before resuming our weekly tome, and decided that even an abbreviated version was better than no newsletter at all. So, please bear with us if many of your favorite features are missing; as Bridget regains her strength and stamina, we'll so our best to bring everything back to the way it was.

In the meantime, we're way overdue in saying thank you for all of he e-cards, Mass cards, flowers and literally hundreds and hundreds of get well email messages - so many that to answer each one would take months, given how long it now takes Bridget to type an error-free sentence! So please forgive us for not sending you a personal note of appreciation - rest assured that we will never forget the incredible out-pouring of care and concern. We're convinced that it was because of your prayers God gave Bridget a second chance. She was also very lucky in that there are no obvious physical side effects from the stroke (we don't count the baggy skin from the sudden loss of so much weight!) However, she does have problems with her vision on the left. The neurologist said it could take up to a year before her sight is back to normal. As someone who does so much writing, reading and research, it is proving to be very frustrating - but when one considers how much worse it could have been, we count our blessings.

It's hard to comprehend that two months have gone by since last we wrote. A big surprise for us was the upsurge in new subscribers - nearly a hundred! Thank you for signing up and a warm welcome to our list (and please feel free to share our ramblings and meanderings with your family and friends).

And for all of our cherished members, we hope this edition finds you and yours on the pigs back and enjoying the waning weeks of summer in the northern hemisphere or looking forward to spring in the south. Here in the Ohio Valley, we have been enjoying perfect weather. August is usually stifling, but for the past week or so, it's been more like spring - mild temperatures and low humidity. Enough about the weather; the important news we need to share with you is about Hartson Dowd. Hart and his wonderful wife, Helen, have made significant contributions to both our newsletter and the web site - the majority of our recipes in the Irish Kitchen are from files that belonged to Hart's grandmother. In the same week Bridget was taken ill, Hartson was also sent to the hospital with a very serious blood infection. He is still there. Please pray for him - and Helen, too. Ever the eternal optimists, they have challenged Bridget to a race to see who will be the first to be completely recovered. We're thinking that their faith is so strong and unwavering, they may have the edge!

We received several genealogy questions which we will be passing along to Eileen, a professional genealogist in Dublin. Researching your roots and need help? Check out the following link and take advantage of free assistance!
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our good friends at 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:

In news from Ireland

Belfast:The Ardoyne Fleadh Cheoil began in earnest on Saturday and will dish out a generous helping of fun, music and craic over an eight-day stretch.

Galway: Showband legend back in Ballygar
Larry Cunningham, who was responsible for attracting the biggest ever crowd to Ballygar in the 1960s, returned last week to launch a book which will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Ballygar Carnival. "Just for the Record" includes stories of football matches, fancy dress parades and the bands and band managers who were all part of the carnival over the years since its inauguration in 1945.

Kildare: First woman winner for Angling contest
A Maynooth-based woman has been named as the World Cup Trout Fly Angling world champion, the first time that a woman has won the competition since it began fifty-one years ago. Julie Gerry is originally from Hampshire in England but moved to Ireland four years ago with her husband Kevin; she settled in Maynooth where she now holds the position of manager of Maynooth Fisheries. Julie, who won the Best Lady Angler title two years ago, overcame competition from five hundred male anglers to gain first place. The Fly Fishing Championships took place on Lough Mask in County Mayo on Bank Holiday Monday.

Mayo: Inishbiggle To get first contracted ferry service for the first time in the island's history.
The service is expected to start this month and will operate between Gob na Dubh on Inishbiggle and Doran's Point in Ballycroy. The ferry will operate Monday to Friday, but it is hoped it will be extended to a seven-day service in time. A bus link from Doran's Point to Castlebar, Achill and Belmullet is also part of the plan. The ferry service will be an interim one, operating until a cablecar service is set up. Currently people coming from the Achill side arrive chiefly by currach. A boat licensed to carry eight passengers operates between the island and Ballycroy on the island's east side.

Offaly: Lúnasa for Lúghnasa
The headline act at the Lúghnasa Festival held at Kinnitty Castle over the August Bank Holiday weekend was, fittingly, Lúnasa, who recently recorded their fifth album at the venue. In addition to musical entertainment, Leinster Re-enactments, fully kitted out in armour, put on a display of medieval battle, and there were bouncing castles, magicians and face-painting for the children. Meanwhile the adults could choose between clay pigeon shooting, falconry, archery and horseshoe throwing, while all enjoyed the spectacular finish with Irish, Scottish and Galician pipers ushering in a firework display.

Tyrone: A gift from South Dakota
Strabane librarian Madeleine Coyle last week accepted a gift from a delegation from Sioux Falls in South Dakota who were representing US educationalists. The handing over of a special collection of books took place at a reception organised by the Western Education and Library Board at which the South Dakota Acoustic Ensemble performed. For the past eleven years Strabane and Sioux Falls have been sister cities and, according to Ms Coyle, the collection of books will help to introduce the children of Strabane to the culture of native Americans.

Wexford: A market first for 300-year-old house
A three hundred year old house at Bridgetown has come on the open market for the first time in its history. Harpoonstown House has been leased for the past number of years but it has now been purchased outright in a private transaction for a substantially higher sum than the €450,000 highest auction bid. Standing on fifty-four acres, in 1980 the farmhouse won the All-Ireland title for a pre-1900s farmhouse, while coming second in both 1979 and 1980 in the overall Farmhouse category. One previous owner, in 1870, was South Wexford MP Peter French, who married into the property.

News from all over

St. Paul, Minnesota We mourn the passing of Dr. Eoin McKiernan, founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute who died in July of natural causes.He was 89 .Dr. Kiernan was credited with leading efforts to revive and preserve the Irish culture and language in the United States. He wanted people to see beyond the hoopla of St. Patrick's Day and enjoy Irish folk tales, artists, dances and history. As Irish Americans assimilated in the United States, Dr. McKiernan feared their heritage was being lost, prompting him to create dozens of public television programs celebrating Irish artists and culture. On a personal level, he was the father of Bridget's publisher, Ethna McKiernan of Irish Books & Media. We extend our deepest sympathy to her and the family, including long-time, subscriber, Déidre. McKiernan Hetzler.

Links of the week:
Made up of three sections or cycles, The Mythological cycle, Ulster cycle and The Fenian cycle, this fascinating site explores the stories, legends, sagas and adventures that have been handed down to us from ancient times.

A subscriber asked us to repeat the link to the Fly the helicopter game; fair warning - once you get the hang of it, it's terribly addictive!

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 blather - on with the update:

Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A wealthy couple from Texas were touring Ireland and found themselves in a tiny rural village at lunchtime. The only place serving food was a somewhat rustic looking cafe which in their opinion, had seen better days. Having no other choice, they carefully stepped over the pooch snoozing on the threshold and went inside. As they sat down, the husband frowned as he brushed some crumbs from his chair and his wife did likewise as she wiped the table with her napkin.The waitress came over and asked if they would like to see a menu. "No thanks," said the husband. "I'll just have a cup of tea with cream and sugar."I'll have the same", his wife said. "And please make sure the cup is clean." Unphased by the rudeness of the remark,the waitress smiled and marched off into the kitchen. A few minutes later, she was back."Two cups of tea," she announced in her lovely lilting Irish brogue..."And which one of you was it who wanted the clean cup?"
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Come take a look at our wide range of authentic Irish ifts - from great-looking Guinness gear to genuine blackthorn walking sticks. 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.
To start off, the answer to our last mind-mangler:
Q. Always old, sometimes new, never sad, sometimes blue. Never empty, sometimes full, never pushes, always pulls.
Q. What am I?
A: The Moon. We had a slew of correct answers, but only one could be first - Well done, Clara Byrne!
And now for this week's cranium-crusher:
here are 16 books of the Bible in the following paragraph. Can you find them?:
I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu; kept people looking so hard for facts and for others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam especially since the names of the books were not capitalized, but the truth finally struck home to numbers of readers. To others, it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes there will be some really easy ones to spot. Others may require judges to help them. I will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them, and there will be loud lamentations when it is found. A little lady says she brews a cup of tea so she can concentrate better. See how well you can compete. Relax now for there really are sixteen names of the books in the Bible in this story.
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:

Day by day , we hope to re-vamp the home page and resume our regular weekly features.

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? Check out:

Were you married in July or August? The Irish verses are:
They who in July do wed must always labor for their bread;
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.

So, until next time, that's the long and the short of it. It's taken many hours and much hunting and pecking to get this far, but fingers crossed, as time goes by it will get easier.

In parting, may the week bring you and yours an abundance of blessings, may God keep you 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
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, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
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:

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

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: