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Greetings, Blessings and God save all here,
We hope this edition finds you in in good health, good spirits and good company. A warm welcome back to all of our readers and a special hello to our new subscribers.Thanks for signing up and if you like our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass them along to family and friends.
So how was your Hallowtide? Filled with sweet treats, we hope. Certainly, for us, the treat was having the grandchildren come make the rounds on our street. It was a perfect Autumn evening; in fact, the entire week has been just beautiful. The foliage is at its peak and it has been sunny and warm. Indian summer in the Ohio Valley can be spectacular and this is certainly one of those times.
As for our friends in Ireland, it's been rather wet and dreary - but we'd just as soon be there than anywhere, whatever the elements! We hope you all enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend. With that, on with the update.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
From the mailbag
Links of the week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
The Week That Is & The Week that Will be, God Willing
Leave 'Em Laughing
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES
Armagh: Tandragee oats London-bound
The company, which has been producing traditional porridge oats for more than a century and a half, has just signed a contract with Harrod's of London.
Kildare: Newbridge to have Ireland's largest regional shopping centre.
The Whitewater Shopping Centre which is to be developed in Newbridge will be the largest regional retail shopping centre in the country. The major tenant of the new centre will be Debenham's, who have taken seven thousand square metres and will now begin construction on their retail premises.
Laois: Two players feel the call of down-under
Mick O'Dwyer is in danger of losing two of his star players after offers from The AFL club Brisbane Lions. Colm Begley and Brendan Quigley, both aged nineteen, have been offered two-year contracts by the Australian club and the word is that they are favourably considering the offers.
Limerick: Riverdance man launches city festival
Bill Whelan, composer of "Riverdance", last week launched the fifth Sionna Festival of Music and Dance which is due to take place in Limerick City next month. The festival, organised by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, will feature The Chieftains, Jean Butler, Colin Dunne, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Lillis Ó Laoire.
Roscommon: Restored monastery back on market
A monastery in Granlahan, Ballinlough, which was built as a school for poor Catholic children in the mid-nineteenth century on the orders of Archbishop John McHale of Tuam, is for sale. The old Franciscan monastery bears little resemblance, however, to its original state as the present owners, artist Clea van der Grijn and Richie McDonagh, have carried out extensive restoration work on the building.
Wexford: Windfall for Wexford Festival Opera
At the official opening of this year's Wexford Opera Festival the chairman announced a donation to the Wexford Festival Foundation of 1m by Sir Anthony O'Reilly, an amount which has been matched by Independent News and Media. The funds will be put towards the development of a new 28m theatre in the town to replace the Theatre Royal.
NEWS FROM ALL OVER
Tempe , Arizona: Carlow singer wows the crowd
Eric Butler from Carlow, who was selected for Carlow's Celtic Circle Joe T. Ford Award, performed on the opening night of the Octoberfest in Tempe, Arizona, a town that has been twinned with Carlow for several years. Eric sang four times at the festival and received tremendous applause from the audience.
Monte Carlo: Sligo: Businessman bluffs his way to Monte Carlo
A thirty-four-year-old Cliffoney resident who has always played for small stakes is now headed for one of the world's biggest poker tournaments. Paul Roper, also known as "the Hangman", will attend internet game site PokerStars.com's European Poker Tour finals in Monte Carlo in November.
Help us keep your newsletter free. Please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
It's not too early to start "bringing home the Christmas" especially when you want authentic gifts from Ireland. Browse their web site for a a wide range of Irish and Celtic gifts imported directly from Ireland, including Jewelry and Shamrock Seeds, Connemara Marble, Tin Whistles, Bodhráns, and much more. Please stop by - They're always open and also offer Celtic themed gifts from American companies such as Russ Berrie Angel Cheeks, Silver Moon Jewelry, and Dorfman Pacific Hats. And definitely take a look at their authentic Blackthorn and Hazel Walking Sticks from Ireland. Please click:
FROM THE MAILBAG
Maureen from Hollywood, Florida writes:
All of us in the Irish-American Ceili Club survived the hurricane here in Hollywood,, Florida, thank God!
(Thanks for letting us know Maureen!)
Eben Reilly writes: I've thinking about your friend Emer's statement that "old is not good", an attitude held by my parents' generation here in the States. The sons & daughters of immigrants they couldn't burn the bridge fast enough--a bridge that one generation down the line I find myself rebuilding with my own kids. I think old is not only good, but given the superficiality of contemporary western culture, perhaps old is better.
Kendra wanted to know about the doors of Dublin. Cathrerine from Toledo writes:
The last time I visited Ireland, I spent a day in Dublin and took the City tour. This is an open air bus tour of the major sites in and around Dublin. When the group passed the area, one of the group asked why the doors were in different colors. The tour guide informed us that each family would paint their front door a different color so that they could tell which house was theirs. When the houses were built they were all designed the same and it was difficult to tell which one belonged to each resident. So each family would pick a color and paint the front door so they wouldn't walk into a strange house. It also helped the head of the household find his way home after a night with the boys at the local pub. I also discovered that in the west country, the houses are painted bright colors as well so that friends and family could tell which house was their destination just by looking at them. This was particularly important since the houses don't have numbers on them. You would tell visitors which color your house was and no one would lose their way. (Wonderful info' Catherine - thank you!)
Valeria from Argentina writes: I'm looking for a song called "Angel" that was, as far as I know, in the Irish charts between 1987/1988. I don't know who performs it, but I'd love to! The songs is something like "Don't say a word don't even wonder. my angel". I was wondering if there was anyway I could search through the Irish charts or you recognize that song.
Erin writes: I am a home-schooling mother in SW Washington state and have been interested in my Irish cultural heritage for a long time. I have been receiving your newsletter for awhile now with delight, and I always look forward to the cultural and traditional gems you have to share. My question to you is this; would you happen to know if there are any Irish cultural home-schooling groups anywhere in the states (or anywhere else) who are actively passing down the living culture to their children thru the use of school curriculum and also gather to share cultural lessons and activities in a supportive community? I have tried searching for such an entity and have come up empty-handed and I wondered if you good people might know if such a creature exists. Go raibh maith agat in advance for anything you might be able to share.
And Roslyn writes:
I am trying to find out about a very old Irish song called Leonora. I don't know who sang it.All know is that the lyrics refer to 'the troubles' and it could be a country and western song. Can anyone please help me? Indeed - can anyone help her?
Your letters are always a treat to read - especially when they are in response to a request from a reader. We do try to answer every message you send as quickly as we can. But, please be patient with us. We're just a couple of old codgers trying to keep up. Of course, that doesn't stop us from preening when we get messages that refer to us as "your centre." Which makes us wonder at times what you and visitors to the site think of it - and who is behind it? What's your impression? We're not fishing for compliments, mind you. We're just curious as to your first reaction when you found us.
LINKS OF THE WEEK
Gorgeous photos of Ireland
Jim Crotty is one of our loyal subscribers AND also a generous sponsor for our Trivia contest. It's his photo of shamrocks you'll see on our Trivia page, and we're proud to say we own a copy of it. So, we invite you to view all of his work which is spectacular. Given the time of year, we were especially intrigued by his "Ghost?" photo. He can't explain it. What do you think? Peat smoke in the air? Or something else altogether? Take a look:
Ever heard of the Elders?
Neither had we until Charles Broersma brought them to our attention. Joe Farrell on "Celtic Crossings" Hot Talk 1510 AM says the are "One of the best, if not THE best Irish rock band in America. Check them out here:
The Maid of Slievenamon
Vivian & Jack of The Irish Page sent us this link to a song which was written by one of Tipperary's most famous historical figures - Charles Kickham. More popularly known simply as Slievenamon, it is recognized by Tipperary people world wide as their National Anthem and is sung at major occasions within the county and in particular after hurling and football games.
Ordering from amazon for the holidays?
As many of you know, we are affiliate partners with amazon and we really appreciate all of the orders you have made through our site. Every penny helps to cover our monthly expenses - including the fee we pay to send out this newsletter. So please keep us in mind when you start your Christmas shopping. Here are the links for Canada, Great Britain and the USA. Go raibh maith agat!
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:
Last but certainly 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!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
QUIPS, QUOTES, ANECDOTES AND TOASTS
Heard on Midwest Irish Radio:
How can you tell the Mayo people in heaven? They're the ones who want to go home!
DID YOU KNOW
1. Irish St. Fiacre isthe patron saint of hemorrhoid sufferers? Supposedly, Henry V died as a result of his piles turning septic on August 30th - the feast day of St. Fiacre.
2. Fleet Street in London was the site of the city's first Irish community? It was centered on a holy well dedicated to Saint Brigid.
3. Ireland's holiest place is arguably the churchyard of St. Eanna on the Aran Island of Inismore? Over 120 recognized saints are buried there. ___________________________________________________________________________
JOKE OF THE WEEK
This week's guffaw is edited and adapted from a joke sent in by Carol Feltman:
An attractive young lady was on a plane arriving from Ireland. She found herself seated next to an elderly priest whom she asked: "Excuse me Father, could I ask a favor?" "Of course my child, What can I do for you?" "Here is the problem.I bought myself a new sophisticated vibrating hair remover for which I paid an enormous sum of money. I have really gone over the declaration limits and I am worried that they will confiscate it at customs. Do you think you could hide it under your cassock?" "Of course I could, my child, but you must realize that I cannot lie." "You have such an honest face Father, I am sure they will not ask you any questions", and she gave him the worrisome personal gadget. The aircraft arrived at its destination. When the priest presented himself to customs he was asked, "Father, do you have anything to declare?" "From the top of my head to my sash, I have nothing to declare, my son", he replied. Finding his reply strange, the customs officer asked, "And from the sash down, what do you have?" The priest replied, "I have there a marvelous little instrument destined for use by women, but which has never been used." Breaking out in laughter, the customs officer said, "Go ahead Father. Next!"
Love the aroma of a turf fire? Experience the next best thing with Irish Incense, the peaceful, nostalgic scent that will transport you back in time and place. The perfect gift for Christmas or any other occasion, order now. And when you mention that you heard about Irish incense in the Irish Culture and Customs newsletter, you'll receive an extra pack of incense for FREE (plus your newsletter writers will receive a nice commission which will help keep us going). Visit the Irish Incense web site today. Click here:
IRISH WRITERS AND BOOKS QUIZ
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
The Haunting of Kildoran Abbey - Eve Bunting
Famous Irish Ghost Stories - Mairtin O'Griofa
Between Two Worlds - True Irish Ghost Stories - Diarmuid A MacManus
A round of applause and a pint for this week's Irish literary sleuths:
In celebration of Hallowtide, how about t:
Sent in for Hartson by his sister-in-law Faith Splane visiting from Alberta
Welcome to the Irish Ballooning Association web site.
Whether or not I'm first or last in, I hope you'll have pity on me and help get the word out about my new novel, Brigid of Ireland. It will be published in March, but pre-orders are available now on Amazon. I have a link to it on my Web site:
(click on What is Cindy Writing?)
I invite you to visit my site and leave your comments in my "guestbook," or read something of interest by clicking on the "Literary" tab. Thanks to all who may have voted for my site. And thanks for your prayers for Hart.
ED. NOTE: As of this edition, Helen is at number six in the rankings!
Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
Tour Glorious Ireland: June 28 - July 12, 2006. To view our proposed itinerary, please visit:
I have no website to offer but I do enjoy all the bits of information in your newsletters. I avidly enjoy reading all your information! (Thanks, RIta!)
Not a web site - a book recommendation: have your read "True Irish Ghost Stores" complied by John Seymour and Harry Neligan? I enjoy your site, you've got great information especially for me, someone who is only a bit Irish but a wanna-be with a husband who is almost all Irish and kids who are more Irish than I. : (Thanks Caryn - we'll check out the book.)
If you want to find a town in Ireland, alphabetically listed go to: http://www.goireland.com/search/search_town_listA.htm
Pet Psychologist (yep, passed my course!) and editor of:
Am I the only person I know who can be found standing in the garden at midnight in a dressing gown shining a torch on my 19 year old cat's bottom to see what he's doing?
ED. Note: If you want an explanation, you'll have to contact Dr. Dewberry via her web site!
Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:
1. Kevin barry & His Time
2. A Martyr Bishop - The Story of St. Oliver Plunkett
3. The Great Melody : A Thematic Biography of Edmund Burke
ED. NOTE: Many books have the same title; please keep in mind that we are looking for Irish authors or Irish-related books.
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite - preferably Irish. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
All you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details - and best of Irish luck to you!
OUR NEXT RIDDLE:
But first, the answer to our last Brain Bruiser:
If this musical instrument was a person, you might say he or she had character and integrity.
Q. What is it?
A. An upright piano.
Well done to all of our Riddle People who sent in the correct answers - loads of you as always. But first in was our Fighting Irish fan from South Bend, Indiana - Jim Turley. - good job, Jim!
Ready for our next noggin nagger?
A headless man had a letter to write;
It was read by a man who had lost his sight.
The dumb repeated it word for word;
And deaf was he who listened and heard.
What is it?
WHAT IS AND WHAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
1. Article - Ghosts by W. B. Yeats
2. Article: Something Wicked This Wat Comes
3. Samhain - The Irish New Year
4. Article: The Day after Samhain - All Soul's Day
5. Front page feature: The Leprechaun
6. Basic irish. Lesson 66: Creepy Words
7. The Irish Kitchen - Colcannon
8. Kids' Ireland: A Midnight Dance
9. . Letter of the Month -October. With many thanks to Frances W. Dovel and Francis Eugene Baker
To read previous letters, please click
10. Culture Corner - From Bog Land to Turf Fire
11. Circle of Prayer: Our fourth Novena in this cycle began on November 2nd and ends on November 10. Once again the power of your prayers and meditations is proven in the wonderful news we received from Eileen McTiernan. Last week we mentioned that her husband Joe had been diagnosed with b;adder cancer. They've just learned that the diagnosis was a mistake and what he has is an illness that can be cured with medication. It doesn't get much better than that. We also heard that Hartson's surgery went well last Monday, but on a sad note, we received word from Mally Keelan who has serious problems with a muscles disease - and now his wife has learned she has cancer. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please join us each day in prayer or meditation for all of these fine people. Last, but certainly not least, we ask that you think of our military personnel all over the world, especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please visit our Novena page:
12. Trivia Contest. JThe new contest for November has been posted and we have a winner for October. Congratulations to Josephine Battye from Ireland!
So there you have it for another week. Belated happy Celtic New year, pinch, punch first day of the month, white rabbit and if you were married in November or getting hitched this month, here's the old Irish verse:
"If you wed in bleak November, only joy will come, remember."
May God bless you and yours and keep them 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
WHEN A LOT OF PEOPLE GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
If you enjoy our newsletter and the website, please give us a hand and help keep them coming. Imagine if 3000 people each sent dollar? Please send what you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness
My Dates Plus a Plug Four Fabulous Fiddlers
Patrick O'Flaherty is filling his calendar -which doesn't mean much unless he fills the hall. For performances near you, please check his website:
Dublin, Ireland Opera Ireland Winter Season
LA TRAVIATA (Verdi) - Co-production with Theater Aachen
With RTE Concert Orchestra and Opera Ireland Chorus
November 19, 21, 23, 25 and 27 at 7.30 pm
For coomplete details, please click:
Covington. KY - November 10
Renowned Irish story- teller Eddie Lenihan will be at Jack Quinn's! An opportunity not to be missed! Reservations call 859-491-6699. Information call 513-553-0964 (IACI Irish American Cultural Institute)
Brandon, Vermont - November 10
You are cordially invited to a reading from "Daughter Dedannan & the Cauldron of Undry", a novel of Irish myth, legend and history recently published by Braiswick, to be followed by a discussion and book signing with author Eben Reilly. 7 PM. Briggs Carriage Bookstore 16 Park For information visit:
Cincinnati, Ohio November 11. 12, 13
New Gate Celtic Theatre Company Presents - A Child's Christmas in Wales at the Columbia Performance Center, 3900 Eastern Avenue in historic Columbia-Tusculum. Based on the story by Dylan Thomas and adapted to the stage by Jeremy Books and Adrian Mitchell, this holiday musical is back for its second year to delight the young and young at heart. For tickets or additional information, call 513-305-7958 or e-mail email@example.com.
Philadelphia, PA - November 12
Annual irish Pilgrimage - A Memorial For Rev. Seamus Quinn, C.SS.R. Bring Your Family And Friends! National Shrine of St. John Neumann 1019 N. 5th Street - Philadelphia PA (5th & Girard). For complete details, please contact Phil Bowdren:
Carnegie Hall, New York City - December 8
The Irish Sopranos in The Magic of Christmas. Featuring the beautiful voices of Wendy Dwyer, Kay Lynch and Deidre Masterson Also on the bill are Ciaran Sheehan, Gay Willis, Marble Community Gospel Choir, the Festival Youth Chorus, New York Festival Orchestra, the Garden State Children Dance Company and the Gaelic Harpists. For tickets contact the CarnegieCharge at 212 247 7800. For Group tickets contact 914- For details, contact Anita Daly, Daly Communications, 212-772-0852 . Tell her Bridget said hello!
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
These gems were sent to us by our good friend Pauline across the Big Pond:
A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?" "Yep," the wife replied, "In-laws."
A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day - 30,000 to a man's 15,000. The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men. The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"
A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time. "The wife responded, "Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!
A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee." The husband said, " You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee." Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee." Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me." So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says: "HEBREWS"
A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."
The lesson to be learned? Men are not equipped for such contests. God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.
NOTE: Bridget's the writer and Russ is the editor; it will be interesting to see how much of this material makes it through!