Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week or so and sent out to going on 3500 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:
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end -
but we do hope you'll stay with us. Also, if you need to update your info' or change your Email address, you can do that at the end as well.

Greetings & Blessings to all,

It's lovely to be back, especially with Bridget again in the writer's seat which gives your editor a chance to say well done to Russ who held down the fort and kept our web site visitors up to date with the daily news and more. It's really interesting to see the stories he selected. There are many good ones Bridget might have missed altogether. Check them out here:

Since last we wrote, our friends in Ireland had a long bank holiday weekend which we hope you all enjoyed. On our end, Bridget's trip back to New England was especially bittersweet as she got to see a dear friend Ollie who lives in Concord, Mass, is about to turn 95 and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She's from tough Nova Scotia stock and is proving all of the doctors wrong when it comes to how long she'll be with us. We had some great laughs and it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows her if she makes it to 100!

Another highlight of the trip was walking through Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and visiting Author's Ridge - the final resting places of Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne and the Alcotts. For anyone who loves both reading and writing, this is truly an inspiring spot to be in and Bridget goes there every time she's in Concord. If you'd like to take a quick look for yourself, here's a good URL:

Then it was off to sunny Maine! One can't always say that about the land famous for its lobsters and wild blueberries, but for the time Bridget was there, the weather was gorgeous.

So, here we are again and it was very gratifying to see all the new subscribers. Many thanks for joining us and please feel free to forward our meanderings and musings to your family and friends. By the way, if you're reading this, a special welcome to the Gilhooleys of Scarborough.

Enough of the blather - on with the update...
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There was NO winner in Wednesday's drawing which means Saturday's jackpot will be around 3 million euros. It has always been one of our fantasies that one of our readers will scoop the big one - but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it, if you're not in it. So enter today. It's incredibly easy to play, you don't have to live in Ireland, 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! Click here for full details:
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 was
The week that will be, God willing
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'em Laughing
ED NOTE: Did you know that we keep two week's of links to the latest news from ireland on the web site? What follows are the tidbits that don't always make the national papers. For those, read on. For links to major stories, click here:


Antrim: Second go at transforming Belfast loos
A renewed planning application is to be submitted in relation to the redundant public toilets at Shaftsbury Square.

Carlow: Duck problem solved?
A woman from Kilkenny heard about the disappearance of a number of ducks from the River Barrow in Bagenalstown and decided to do something about it. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, donated thirteen drakes to the people of Bagenalstown and they are expected to be delivered to the town over the coming days. However the drakes by themselves will be not able to repopulate the river so the search is now on for a collection of females to complete the process.

Cavan: Belturbet woman is new Lady
Recently at the Slieve Russel Hotel before a capacity crowd a Belturbet woman was crowned 2006 Lady of the Erne as part of the Erne Festival. Karina Charles from Gregrahan became the seventeenth Lady of the Erne, having beaten off competition from fifteen other contestants from all over Ireland.

Donegal: Grianan remains closed
Visitors to the Inishowen Peninsula who are hoping to visit the Grianan an Aileach hillfort on the borders of Derry and Donegal will be disappointed to find that it is still closed to the public. The final section of the wall, at the entrance door, will be completed this summer. However health and safety regulations make it impossible for the public to be admitted while the work is ongoing.

Fermanagh: Sisters travel to remember their Fermanagh ancestors
Recently, Mary, Ann and Kathleen Maguire paid a visit to the family grave in Ederney to unveil a memorial to their grandparents. Their father Frank was one of four young children of Johnny and Mary Maguire who, three years after the death of their father in 1893, were evicted from their farm in Monavreece when Frank was just eight years old. The family moved to a house in Crillen near Kesh and from there Frank emigrated to Scotland. His three daughters, who travelled from Scotland, Dublin and Boston, were led into the graveyard by a lone piper.

Galway: Hookers to gather in the docks
There will be a gathering of Galway hookers in the city's docks to highlight concerns about the survival of the specialist vessel. According to Michael Lynskey, King of the Claddagh and owner of the Annie, there are only two gleoiteogs in the Claddagh Basin where ten years ago there would have been seven or eight. The docks gathering has been organised by Dr Michael Brogan, an owner of a hooker who also heads the annual Cruinniú na mBád in Kinvara, and the two vessels in the Claddagh will be joined by others from Kinvara to Spiddal.

Laois: Ordination for Rathdowney native
One of eight women ordained to the priesthood on a chartered boat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week was a Rathdowney-born nun who made her First Holy Communion in the Church of the Holy Trinity. Dr Bridget Mary Meehan emigrated to America with her family in the 1950s; her father Jack Meehan was a noted musician with the Ballyroan Band. At the age of eighteen Bridget joined the Christian Community order, founded after Vatican II as an order independent of the Vatican and the local hierarchy. The ordination ceremony was conducted by three female bishops who had been secretly ordained by male bishops.

Limerick: Foynes replica completion
The final section of the flying boat replica at Foynes is about to to be put in place. The life-size replica is located in the main street of the village and commemorates the use of Foynes as a port for flying boats during the 1930s and 1940s. The twenty-five foot tail will be transported in six sections from the workshop of the Bill Fallover in Kilbride in Co. Wicklow, who has been responsible for the replica of the Yankee Clipper.

Mayo: Still going strong more than fifty years later
One man who took part in the first ever World Cup Trout Fly Angling Championships in 1953 was also a contestant in this year's event. Tom Kitterick from Ballina may be ninety-four but he is still a keen angler and was on Lough Mask last week for the event. He was one of six hundred and twenty anglers from Ireland and the UK to take part in the five-day event which is the angling world's most prestigious competition; this year's winner was Philip Rooney from Rossinver, Co. Leitrim. Initially organised by Castlebar and District Trout Anglers' Association as part of An Tostal, the competition was taken over by the Ballinrobe Competitions Committee in 1965.

Meath: "Name that buzzard" in Oldbridge
An unusual attraction at the Heritage Week events on the Oldbridge Estate at the end of this month will be a contest to name three buzzard chicks which were born on the site in May. The two male and one female chicks have yet to be named and entrants do not have to wait for the event, they can enter by emailing battleoftheboyne@opw.ie The chicks have been labeled C and E for the males, and D for the female, and names must begin with these letters. At the Battle of the Boyne site there is to be a mounted cavalry display, living history guided tours, a talk on the common buzzard, and a Bat Walk at dusk.

Roscommon: Keadue festival still has no home
The organisers of the twenty-eighth O'Carolan Festival in Keadue are still trying to raise funds for a harp centre for the village; at present musicians are using a variety of venues including the credit union and private houses for the events. With a prize of €2,500, the harp competition has attracted contestants from all over Europe and from America, while other instruments are also being studied, including flute, tin whistle, uilleann pipes and concertina.

Sligo: Classiebawn resting place for unbaptised babies
A monument has been unveiled in Mullaghmore to commemorate the hundreds of unbaptised babies who were buried in unmarked graves. The monument is located on the Classiebawn estate at a spot known locally as Cill na mBochtáin or the Church of the Poor. It was chosen as a burial site as the site had connections with early Christian Ireland. Until the 1960s unbaptised babies were refused burial in consecrated ground and many of them were buried in fairy forts as they were considered to be pagans.

Tipperary: Museum praises Leonard brothers
Officials at the National Museum have praised the actions of Kevin and Paudge Leonard, and machine operator Eddie Fogarty, for the way in which they handled the discovery of the rare psalter found on the Leonard brothers' bogland close to Gurteen College. When Eddie saw the manuscript fragment hanging from the bucket of his digger he called Kevin, who in turn summoned his brother, and the three decided to cover the pages with damp bog soil to prevent deterioration, before calling the museum authorities. According to Kevin Leonard, some years ago the same bog yielded ancient satchels and wooden bowls.

Tyrone: Omagh man takes top prize at the RDS
Jerome McCann from Omagh was presented with the overall award of excellence at the Royal Dublin Society annual National Crafts Competition. Jerome, a goldsmith, received the award for his sterling silver bracelet with diamond stud decoration. He is a graduate of Belfast College of Art and took up jewellery making in the final year of his course before going on to take a two-year course in jewellery skills in Kilkenny. With the award comes a bursary of €6,500 which Jerome hopes to use to set up his own workshop.

ED NOTE: Many of the above news items are from The Irish Emigrant. Space does not allow us to print them all. To read every item, please click

SPONSOR: You can help us help us pay the expenses for producing this newsletter when you visit our advertisers, including our good friends at Lollysmith:

A Very interesting development: Lolly and her elves have been working with a man in the South who has rediscovered a long, lost grove of Blackthorn planted by his great great grandfather in the early part of the last century. He remembered the old ways of curing and finishing the sticks using hemp and resin; he also uses no paint but rather covers the stick in soot from burning blackthorn and then applies a thin coat of poly. That's the only bow to modern methods. If you want one of these truly unique one of a kind sticks, you have to hurry as collectors are buying them up. Reserve yours today! Please click

Earl, a boxer/actor living in England, has been cast in an important role for the film "Strength and Honour." We ourselves were honoured that he asked us for help with the Cork dialect/accent. We suggested paying close attention to Liam Neeson in Michael Collins. It's been said his accent was flawless. But we're putting out the call for additional resources.

Win a trip to Ireland
Bridget's already entered. Have you? Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus invite you to compete in an exciting contest that can take you to Discover Your Very Own Ireland! All entries must be received by August 31, 2006 at 7:00 pm EDT. For more details, please click

Thinking of going home? Or emigrating?
Here's free information and advice about : Estate Agents, Jobs, Banks, Pensions, Taxation, Credit Cards and much more.

Golf in Ireland
With the Ryder Cup right around the corner, we'll be posting appropriate golf-related links over the next few weeks. Here's an example:

Irish Primary School Raffle
Tickets are fast running out for the raffle to help support the Gaelscoil. They are just $3.00 each and if you'd like to buy one or more, please make your checks out to the The Irish Heritage E-mail Group, and send to
George Trainor
548 Locust Ave.
Manteca, CA. 95337 - 5412

For complete details about the raffle, the prizes on offer and to see a photo of the irresistible Gaeilscoil kids, please click

Bittersweet moment for Mrs. Ohio
This Sunday, she will throw out the first ball at the Cincinnati Red's game. We watched Cay Mateyko Stout grow up to become a stunning young woman with a lovely personality. Tragically, the man she married came down with ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease. Doug passed away last Monday, but Cay has decided to go ahead with her appearance. To learn more about this remarkable young woman, please click

Free mammograms
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:
SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter free and visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Did you know that members of the Irish Spirit world prefer to be known as the "Good People?" That's not what they're called at the Celtic Attic, but we don't think they'll mind when they see the charming collection created in their honour! Check out the delightfully whimsical hand-painted Tee shirts, Prints, Greeting Cards, Wall hanging and Treasure Boxes! And don't overlook other new additions, including the Irish Cottage and Pet Stones. Give your life and home a Celtic twist - Browse and shop the Celtic Attic for all your Irish, Scottish and Welsh Gifts, as well as Wedding presents and Jewelry.
One of the all-time classics:
May the roof above you never fall in and the friends gathered below it never fall out.

The American tourist is looking over the menu and says to the waiter, "I didn't know they had lobsters in Ireland." Without a moment's hesitation, the waiter responds, "And isn't the Irish Sea red with them?"
With thanks to Karin in THE UK who sent us this one and the joke at the end:
A group of Americans were traveling by tour bus through Cork. They
stopped at a cheese farm and a young guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that on this particular farm, goat's milk was used. She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing. "These" she explained "are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce." She then asked, "What do you do in America with your old goats?" A spry old gentleman answered, "They send us on bus tours!"
Sponsor: Please help us keep our newsletter free and visit the web site of Cindy Thomson , author of Brigid of Ireland - an historical novel based on the slave who became a saint.
In 5th century pagan-dominated Ireland, Brigid is born a slave to her own brutal father. Torn from her mother's arms, and desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid converts to Christianity - and the miracles begin. But so does the opposition from rulers and the Druids opposed to her faith and her growing popularity. To read an excerpt, place an order or learn how the book cover was created, and to download a T-shirt transfer, visit:
To sign up for a free newsletter, or place an order, please click
Brigid of Ireland
The book is also available on amazon, from the publishers and wherever fine books are sold:
(ISBN: 082546112X)
First off, the answers to our last quiz:

1. The Last of the Celts: Marcus Tanner
2. The Atlantean Irish: Bob Quinn
3. Baptized in Blood: Gerry White/Brendan O'Shea

A round of pints and applause our latest literary sleuths:

Hartson Dowd
An enjoyable Irish Site is Ireland: Emerald Isle Exploration
Hiking in Ireland: Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry and the Burren
The Emerald Isle will embrace you and may never let you go. For hundreds of years, this romantic land has inspired bards, musicians, and artists. You too will be swept away by the beauty of the landscape and the warmth and wit of the Irish people. Your days spent exploring the surreal limestone paths of the Burren, the wild green hills of the Dingle Peninsula, the lush, forested valleys of the Ring of Kerry, and the quaint streets of small villages dotting the south and west of Ireland can only be topped by evenings in a traditional pub listening to lively music and sharing stories with the locals.
 http://www.boundlessjourneys.com/destinations/europe/ireland.html -

Helen Dowd
Thanks for voting for my site. For a relaxing read, I invite you to come visit as often as you can. On offer: stories: Missionary, Inspirational, Devotional, Pets and  Poetry:

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
Next year's tour dates: 24 May - 7 June; stay tuned, the itinerary is being finalized - this might be a 40th anniversary for McKiernan led tours!

Rita Roche
I love your newsletter!
ED: NOTE: Thank you kindly Rita.

Cathleen Toft
My website is about Belfast as I was there on holiday for three weeks. This is Elizabeth Adair's impression when it was very political.  Thank God its much quieter now and it is just like any other city; now, it's what I call home still.
And now for our next quiz. Who wrote:
1. The Bog Body from Tumbeagh
2. Stories from a Sacred Landscape
3. Beat the Goatskin Till the Goat Cries

Send in your answers and if you get two out of three correct, we'll list your name and web site (or your favorite Irish web site) in our next newsletter.
To begin with, the correct solution to our latest brain bruiser:
My first is in kendo but not in Olympics.
My second is in hurdles and in hunting.
My third is in bowman and in bowling.
My fourth is in cycling and in golf.
My fifth is in flying and not in swimming.
My last is in running and not in dancing.
My whole is a sport.

Q: What am I?
A: Kungfu
As always, our Riddle People were impressive with their promptness, but it's hats off to Bill Smith in North Carolina who was first in.
And now for our next Cranium Crippler:
Many students are already heading back to the classroom. This one is in their honour: Can you complete this sentence using words which are anagrams of each other?
"At the school recently, only the ______students could solve
the ____ equation."

1. Article: The Annual Novena at Our Lady of Knock
2. Article: Our Lady of Knock Shrine - Place of Mystery and Miracles
3. Article: The Rose of Tralee - How the Ballad came to be
4. Article: The Connemara Pony
5. Putting Out the hare
6. Poetry Corner: Francis Ledwidge - in honour of his birthday
7. Basic Irish - Going on Holiday
8. Irish Kitchen - Fraughan Fool
9. Kid's Ireland - Irish children learning through film
10. Jokes department. If we have time we'll try to post a different joke on the home page when we update it each week.
11. August Trivia Contest: As with the lottery, you can't win it if you're not in it. All entries must be in by midnight, August 31st no matter what time zone you are in.
12. Circle of Prayer: Our last Novena in this cycle begins today and continues through through August 25. Does the power of prayer work? We know it does! We are happy to report that Baby Joseph is home from the hospital. He has fought so very bravely but still needs your prayers.
Always keep in mind that while God promises a safe landing, He does not guarantee a calm passage. There are many others who also need your spiritual support: Joseph Peter who underwent open heart surgery last Monday, Heather in England - the daughter of a dear friend who has been diagnosed with a very rare cancer they don't know how to treat; also, Cay Stout, the daughter of a neighbor who just lost her husband to ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease. (See our link above); Stephanie, Jessica, George O'Connell, Paul Heilbock, Linda Showers and Lauren Sommer. Please also continue to pray for our good friend Pauline Dewberry; our son Scott who is struggling with a new job; peace in the Middle East and elsewhere; And please don't forget to ask the Good Shepherd of us all to watch over our men and women in the military all over the world. To visit our Circle of Prayer page, please click

Bridget still doesn't know what end is up. Too much fun in the sun! But we'll do our best to draw you back to the site every day with interesting news headlines and the history update. Well also have a new blessing on Sunday, a new quotation next Wednesday and if we have time, we'll add to the irish kitchen recipe file next Thursday.

So there's the long and the short of it until we write again. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, may God grant that it be filled with joy. Safe journey, safe home in all your comings and goings wherever you are, and as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!

Slan agus beannacht,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet!

Once again, we must thank Colleen Dobbs for sending us her earnings from an on-line survey, God bless you! As she herself says, says, it's not a lot, but every penny does make a difference, so please send whatever you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty.
Our snail mail address is 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Of, you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness.

We make a small commission on all products purchased through the merchants who advertise on our site and in this newsletter. Many thanks to all of you have taken the time and trouble to click through the links and buy something!

We also make a few pennies when you click through Ads by Google. You'll see them in the right-hand margin of just about every page. Click through whatever interests you and at the same time, you'll be helping us keep the site and this newsletter free of charge. Last, but certainly not least, if you know a business owner who would like to advertise with us, either in the newsletter or on the web site, we are eager to promote any and all Irish-related products and services. Details can be found here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Advertise.html
Again, many thanks in advance for your help!
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.

Temple Bar , Dublin, Ireland August 10-26
The Irish Premiere of Mother Teresa is Dead by acclaimed playwright Helen Edmundson. Presented at the Focus Theatre. For more details, please contact Conlath Teevan:
email: conlethteevan@eircom.net

Milwaukee, Wisconsin August - 17 - 20
The biggest Irish festival in the world! If you can make it, don't hesitate. It's an incredible experience. For complete details, please click
Be sure to have your speakers turned on.

Houston, Texas - August 19th
An Irish Summer Picnic with the St. Patrick's Parade Commission
at the West Alabama Ice House from 1 to 6 PM. This is a fundraiser benefiting the 48th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2007. Plan ahead! There will be a Picnic Food Competition. Cooking teams may enter 3
categories: Picnic Entree, Cold Salad/Side, & Dessert. Each category has a
$25 fee. All 3 categories, $65. Call Doc Dougherty at 713-446-8724 or Email Mary Kearns at Irishmkk@aol.com to arrange registration/payment.

Houston, Texas - August 20th
The Irish Society & The Irish Aires Show presents An Afternoon Of Songs & StoriesFor The Whole Family With The Irish Balladeer Danny O'Flaherty from 2:00 to 4:00pm At The Jones Hall On The University Of St. Thomas, 3910 Yoakum. For how to get there, lease click
For more about Danny, previously the proprietor of O'Flaherty's Irish Channel in New Orleans, has literally taken his Connemara Irish culture around the world with his songs & stories, please click

Dun Laoghaire, Ireland - August 25, 26, 27
Festival of World Cultures
Anyone who still believes that Ireland is mono cultural needs look no farther than Dun Laoghaire at the end of summer to see how global the country has become. For those that cannot make it to Dun Laoghaire, highlights of the Festival will be broadcast on RTÉ Two sometime in September.For further information visit

Philadelphia, PA - September 8, 9, 10
The Philadelphia Céilí Group presents its 32nd Annual Festival weekend rain or shine at The Irish Center, Carpenter Lane & Emlen Street.
For more details, please click
Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland - September 8, 9, 10
Are you a fan of Fidelma? Ireland's international best selling fictional detective will be celebrated at a weekend convention in her "hometown." For complete details, please click

Kevin, a 70-year-old, extremely wealthy widower, shows up at the Country Club with a breathtakingly beautiful 25 year- old blonde who knocks everyone's socks off with her sex appeal and charm. She hangs onto Kevin's's arm and listens intently to his every word. His pals at the club are in shock. At the very first chance, they corner him and ask, "Kevin, how did you get the trophy girlfriend?" Kevin replies, "Girlfriend? She's my wife!" Now totally amazed, they ask, "So, how did you persuade her to marry you?" "I lied about my age", Kevin replies. "What did you tell her - you were only 50?" Kevin smiles and says, "No, I told her I was 90."