Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to more than 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
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Greetings and blessings to all,
What a week! It began with following hurricane Frances. All indications were that it was going to make a direct hit on Barefoot Bay where Russ' mom lives; we weren't worried about her safety as she is visiting Russ' sister in D.C.; but we were very concerned about friends, including subscribers who live in the Bahamas, Florida and other areas in the storm's path. The good news is that, so far, everyone appears to be safe and accounted for. On the downsid , while mom's house is tstill standing, the storage shed, car port and sun room are trashed. We don't know about the inside of the house; we'll keep you posted.
It was back to school for probably millions of kids. While watching where Frances was going, we were horrified at the news out of Russia; we have quite a few readers in that part of the world and we are so very sorry for your terrible loss. We'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
On a much lighter note, last week we posed the question Do you think the fascination in Ireland and the Irish is fading? We received a good many responses which confirmed our feeling that interest is still as strong as ever. Pete, publisher and editor of Midwest Irish Focus gave us permission to reprint his message which appears to be representative of your opinions. (It's at the end of the newsletter). We also plan on forwarding your messages to the publishers who don't think there's a market for Irish "stuff" any more. As one reader put it, if the stuff is fresh and new, she's all for it.
Have you played the Irish Lottery? Wednesday's drawing is heading toward a whopping 5m, as there was no winner for Saturday's jackpot of 4,211,711. Why not give it a whirl by clicking through the ad in this newsletter. They are one of our most loyal supporters and have just signed on for another three months.
Another loyal supporter is Roger Cummiskey, the Dublin artist who has graciously agreed to continue offering one of his prints as a prize in our Trivia Contest. Thank you Roger!
The week ended with a visit to our Son Scott's house for a cookout; we had a great time and got to see all the children and grandchildren except Ben who was exhausted from serving overflow crowds at his bar. For all of our readers in the USA and Canada, we hope you enjoyed the Labor Day holiday as much as we did. We also hope this week's edition finds you and yours in good spirits, good health and good company. We'd also like to say a special hello to all of you who subscribed since last we wrote. Many thanks and feel free to pass along our musings and meanderings to your family and friends.
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In news from Ireland:
In excess of 200 tickets for the Guinness All Ireland Hurling Championship final were stolen last Friday in transit to Croke Park. To check out the seat numbers, visit the official GAA website:
Information on the content of films, including details of scenes of violence, sex and bad language, is to be make available to parents through a new Internet website from the Irish Film Censor's Office. The website, www.ifco.ie, went live yesterday evening, explaining for the first time the reasons behind official classifications for new film, video and DVD releases. The Irish film censor, Mr John Kelleher, said the initiative was aimed at making his office - which issues age-related certificates for all movies in the Republic - more user-friendly.
Co. Antrim - More than a century of Jewish-Irish links have come under the spotlight at a two-day conference in Belfast organised by the University of Ulster. Academics from Ireland, Britain and Israel, including leading literary critic Terry Eagleton explored the literature, history and biography of 'Jewish Ireland' at the conference in the Linen Hall Library.
Co. Armagh: The Arena is no more - The Met Arena nightclub on the Moy Road in Armagh City welcomed its last revellers after the owner, Donald Gorman, decided to retire. He has sold the building to an English development company and, as far as he is aware, they plan to demolish the building which has been the entertainment centre for the Armagh area for the last fourteen years.
Co. Carlow - The title of All-Ireland Junior Coarse Fishing Champion has been won by an eighteen-year-old youth from Carlow town. Gary Doyle, who won the title at a recent competition in Cavan, is the first competitor from the South to have have done so in two consecutive years.
Co. Down - The more motorways, the more finds. The construction of new roads around the country has yielded significant amounts of archaeological finds and the latest is a Bronze Age burial ground which has been uncovered on the outskirts of Loughbrickland during work on the Belfast to Newry road.
Co. Dublin - Cian O'Connor's marathon lap of honour reached the Phoenix Park last week when Ireland's first citizen hosted Ireland's first Olympic show-jumping champion at a reception in Phoenix Park.
Co. Dublin - The Olympic Council of Ireland is reportedly considering inviting Brazil's Vanderlei de Lima to act as an honorary marshal at the Dublin City Marathon this October. De Lima was leading the Olympic marathon when he was pushed off the track three miles from the finish by former Irish priest Cornelius Horan. The 57-year-old Kerry native, who said his actions were related to an imminent Second Coming, received a 12-month suspended sentence.
Co. Dublin - echnology magazine publisher Scope and Today FM are organising an ICT industry pub quiz which is aiming for a world record attendance, with a target of 250 tables. The event will take place at 7:00pm in the Shelbourne Hall at the RDS, Dublin on September 16, and will cost 80 euros per team of four. The winners will nominate a charity to which all proceeds will be donated. Entries can be booked online at http://www.bigquiz.ie
Co. Kildare - County rises to Heritage Week challenge. A number of events have been organised throughout the county to mark Heritage Week, Newbridge is to have a riverside bat walk while organised tours have also been arranged for Castletown House and Kildrought House. Maynooth will take on a mediaeval air for a day with a re-enactment at the castle, and a fifteen-foot replica of "Endurance", Ernest Shackleton's ship, will be on display at the Athy Heritage Centre. Children in Celbridge will be able to take part in a treasure hunt as part of a canal bank walk which will also provide information on wildlife.
Co. Kilkenny - Old house becomes new hotel. Lyrath House on the Carlow Road, a protected structure which was the former home of Captain Anthony Tupper, is to be transformed into a one hundred and thirty seven bedroomed hotel in a development which will have a total cost of 50m. Work has already started on the conversion and the four-star Lyrath Estate Hotel is due to open for Christmas next year.
Co. Louth - Tipperary All Ireland winning and All Star goalkeeper Brendan Cummins created history on the Cooley Mountains on Saturday when he claimed the M Donnelly All Ireland Poc Fada Title. By winning the prestigious title he became the first Tipperary hurler to lift the Corn Setanta winner's trophy.
Co. Meath - Wave, you're on TV! Although one Irishman's impromptu appearance during the Olympics may not have been welcome, two brothers from Dunshaughlin managed to appear on camera in a more good-natured way. Pierce and Declan Fahey, along with Micheál Kilcrann from Roscommon, decided that the Kenyans would win the 3,000m steeplechase and located a Kenyan flag in a flea market in Athens. Positioning themselves next to the Kenyan coach, they were in the right place when the three victorious Kenyans were looking for a flag for their lap of honour. Altogether the trio believe they made it onto the big screen two dozen times, each time sporting Meath jerseys.
Co. Tyrone - Garden marks footballers' success A garden constructed by the Mullaghmore and Castleview Community Association in Omagh, in collaboration with the regeneration organisation Groundwork, has at its centre red and white paving with a Celtic pattern reminiscent of the Sam Maguire cup. Around the garden, the entrance to which has a goalpost feature, are fifteen ash trees representing the fifteen members of the victorious 2004 team. One of the trees stands taller than the others and is a tribute to the late Cormac McAnallen; it carries a plaque at its base with a quotation chosen by his family.
Co. Waterford - Twice-daily litter collections, house painting and new landscaping works helped Lismore win this year's national Tidy Towns competition.
News from all over:
South Dakota, USA - Westmeath farmer Michael Crinion and his family have set off for the prairies of South Dakota in the footsteps of the old pioneers. Michael and his wife Patricia have sold their family poultry business in Kinnegad and bought one hundred and sixty acres with a friend in the Mount Rushmore state. Taking their three daughters with them, they intend to go for three to five years to "see how it goes". At present, farmers are urgently required to manage some 65,000 cows to supply milk to a new cheese plant. South Dakota has cheap land and a rapidly expanding dairy industry, and is an ideal place for any ambitious farmer.
Irish and Canadian researchers seek World War I memories
Researchers undertaking a project funded by the Ireland/Newfoundland Partnership have appealed to members of the public whose relatives were involved in the WW1 war effort in any way to contact them. The team of researchers are working on a book and touring exhibition, highlighting the contributions made by men and women from the south-east of Ireland and Newfoundland to the First World War. They also intend to explore the important contribution of many women both as nurses at the front and in other support roles. Alice McDermott, a lecturer in history and communications at Waterford Institute of Technology http://www.wit.ie is part of the research team along with Waterford-based radio journalist Mark Power. They are urging surviving family members to help them tell their relatives' stories to a new generation. Alice McDermott and Mark Power can be contacted on 051-845572 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
From the mailbag:
The news on Hartson Dowd our resident Irish culinary expert isn't so good. Please continue to pray for him & Helen - they are such wonderful people and we miss them very much.
Phil writes: I was just given an H.O. Scale Irish Railway set, and I'd like to set it up with buildings, etc. that actually look like they belong in Ireland. Maybe one of your readers knows of a company that makes kits of Irish buildings and the like for a model railroad? Thanks!
Kayci writes: I was wondering if you could help me. I recently acquired my brother-in-law's old car, and I want to put some of my own touches on it. However, I can't find Irish/Scottish/Celtic anything! I'm looking for a steering wheel cover mostly, and possibly seat covers and floor mats as well. Do you know anywhere that has them? If not, could you please post this in a future issue of the newsletter? Perhaps someone knows where I can find one! Thank you so much!
Mike writes: I'm looking for a quote I saw some time ago, that went something like. . ." Being of the Irish, he was subject to occasional bouts of . . . . that saw him through the occasional periods of . . . . ." Am I mad? did I just imagine this??
Dont' forget - Eileen O Duill, the generous Dublin genealogist who has kindly offered to help with your genealogy questions thinks it might be easier if you contact her directly at:
She will send us the answers and we'll publish them on the website.
Links of the week:
Penny R sent us a great link to Irish gifts, religious items and more:
Subscriber web site spotlight: Amy is an artist in North Carolina who loves to paint Irish landscapes. Click http://www.AmyFunderburkArtist.com
then click on the "Aisling: an Artist's Vision of Ireland" series to access her latest creations.
Find an Irish pub in just about every corner of the world: (There are nearly 8,000 in Ireland!)
Cúl 4 kids - the official GAA site for boys and girls.
Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls
New website designed to focus attention on the forthcoming 400th anniversary of the Flight a decisive event in Irish history and the Irish diaspora. http://www.theflightoftheearls.net
World's Largest Pink Ribbon
3M Corporation is building the "World's Largest Pink Ribbon"on a billboard in Times Square this October. For every person who clicks on this link and signs up, Post-It will donate $1 to breast cancer research and place a Post-It in their name on the billboard.Here's the link:
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...
IN THIS ISSUE:
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
A bit of the wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
New This Week
The Week Ahead
QUIPS, QUOTES, PROVERBS & TOASTS
Ah, Ireland...That damnable, delightful country, where everything that is right is the opposite of what it ought to be ~ Benjamin Disraeli
A BIT OF THE WIT
Before undergoing bypass surgery, descendant of Irish emigrants and former President Bill Clinton was quoted as saying from his hospital bed: "The Republicans aren't the only ones who want four more years."
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
Fair warning - this is a groaner!
Moira brought her very limp pet duck into the vet's offce. As she lay her pet on the examination table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, your pet has passed away." Moira wailed, "Are you sure?" "Yes, I'm sure. The duck is dead," he replied. "How can you be so sure", she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something." The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room.He returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. As Moira looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog and took it out and returned a few moments later with a beautiful cat. The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed the bird from its beak to its tail and back again. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, jumped down and strolled out of the room. The vet looked at Moira and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." Then the vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys, and produced a bill, which he handed to tMoira. "One hundred euros"" she cried. "one hundred euros just to tell me my duck is dead?!!" The vet shrugged. "I'm sorry. Ifyou'd taken my word for it, the bill would have been twenty euros. But what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it all adds up."
DID YOU KNOW
1. The Scottish game 'shinty' is often confused with the Irish sport of hurling?
2. Hurling features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mystical figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years?
3. The Irish word for a hurling stick, or "hurley" is camán?
IRISH WRITERS AND BOOKS QUIZ
First off, the answers to last week's quiz:
1. Pósadh and Bainis: Guide to the Traditional Irish Wedding - Conrad Bladey
2. Forgetting Frolic: Marriage Traditions in Ireland - Linda Ballard
3. Irish Marriage Customs (Celtic Ireland) - Maria Buckley
A round of applause and pints to our latest list of Irish bibliophiles:
I really love this site as it brings back memories of school when we were taught these folk songs:
Ciara Thomas (née Kelleher)
Your back door to Ireland, Irish Roots, Irish Music and more:
Irish Festivals/Holidays/Observances - Festivals of the Seasons: Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter Festivals, and other Holidays and Observances:
histle & Drum - a great resource for quality Tin Whistles, Irish Flutes, Bodhráns, and more:
For the latest Irish weather forecast:
The website of the McManus families of Ireland and worldwide:
Want to see your name on next week's list? Try finding the following. (We assure you, it's really easy):
1. Historic Pubs of Dublin
2. Irish Pub Crack
3. Irish Shopfronts and Pubs
Hint: You'll find all three titles at the following website:
All correct entries will be listed in the next newsletter in the order in which they are received. Hint: All 3 titles can be found here:
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:
Back in Print!!!!
The Traditional Irish Wedding. Updated, expanded and revised 2nd edition now available:
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE
To begin with - the answer to our last skull-skewer:
Q: There is a common English word that is nine letters long. Each time you remove a letter from it, it still remains an English word - from nine letters right down to a single letter. What is the original word, and what are the words that it becomes after removing one letter at a time?
A: startling-starting-staring-string-sting-sing-sin-in-I. Well done to all those who sent in the correct answer and congrats to Pat Battles of Victoria, BC who was first in. Ready for a classic challenge? Try this noggin nagger:
My first is a number, my second another,
And each, I assure you, will rhyme with the other.
My first you will find is one-fifth of my second,
And truly my whole a long period reckoned.
Yet my first and my second (nay, think not I cozen),
When added together will make but two dozen.
How many am I?
THE WEEK THAT WAS
To see what's new and republished at a glance, check out our home page:
New: September Trivia Contest - All entries must be in by midnight, September 30, whatever time zone you're in.
New : Culture Corner - Reask Monastic Site
New: September basic Irish lesson (Please note that this will now be a monthly feature). From cottages to castles - words and phrases for various structures
New: Irish Kitchen - Connemara Apple Tart http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/1Home.html New
New: Updated Novena cycle; please keep little Sebastian in your prayers; also the mother of Greg Courtney who was just diagnosed with cancer, the families and friends of all those who lost loved ones in the Russian school atrocity, all those affected by the hurricane, and all of our military personnel stationed all over the world.
Featured: Celebrating St. Michael's Day in Old Ireland
NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING: We have received a delight ful CD from Aran Isle singer, Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaolawhich we hope to review asap. 'An Raicin Alainn', on her own label, has been very successful and continues to receive great praise from music critics in Ireland and abroad. Our Kids' Ireland page has been sorely neglected - we hope to make amends for that; we also have several submissions to consider. Thank you for sending them in. As always, we'll have a new blessing (posted) and a new quote.
So there you have it for another week, except for the return of the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - many of em' frivolous, but some serious:
September 4 - Newspaper Carrier Day; on September 4, 1833, Barney Flaherty becomes the first newsboy. On thisate in 1607, the "Flight of the Earls" took place;
September 5 - Be Late for Something Day, Cheese Pizza Day
September 6 Labor Day - National Holiday USA & Canada; Read a Book Day; Unification Day (Bulgaria) Defense of Pakistan Day (Pakistan)
Independence Day (Swaziland)
September 7 International Literacy Day; Teddy Bear Day ; Do It! Day: Grandma Moses Day; Neither Rain Nor Snow Day: Play Days; Independence Day (Brazil)
September 8 - Independence Day (Macedonia)
September 9 - Admission Day California; "The United Colonies" is renamed the "United States" by the Continental Congress, 1776; Wonderful Weirdos Day; Chrysanthemum Day (Japan); Independence Day (Tajikistan); National Day (North Korea); earliest verifiable date of a Viking invasion of Ireland in Dunrally
September 10 - Swap Ideas Day; Sew Be It! Day. Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Want to find out what wild and wacky holidays are on tap for August? Check out:
Until next time, may Godkeep you and yours 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
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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:
Edinburgh, Scotland - September 9
New exhibition opening at the Roxy ArtHouse, Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, Scotland. Reception 6.30-8.30. "A Stroll Thro' Ulysses - Bloomsday 100" http://www.rogercummiskey.com/gallery/rivergods.htm
40 new watercolour interpretations with a Joycean theme by Roger Cummiskey from Dublin, Ireland.
At the same venue - "International Joyce"
an exhibition organized by the Cultural Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.
Houston, Texas - September 13
The Houston St. Patrick's Parade Commission Presents The 2004 St. Paddy's Irish Open
Monday, September 13, 2004 2pm Shotgun Start
Four Man Scramble and Green Ball Contest at Hearthstone Country Club
Houston, Texas - September 18 The third annual 'Tis Great to Be An Irish American Celebration will be held on Saturday, Sept. 18th, from 2:00-6:00pm
at the VFW Club in Spring Branch (Long Point and Campbell). Call (281) 492-8780 for more information or e-mail
Dublin Fringe Festival - September 20 to October 10
Now in its ninth year, the Fringe is an event of both national and international significance, attracting audiences in excess of 50,000. It is the fastest growing cultural event in Ireland and one of Europe's leading independent arts festivals with over 125 different events and attractions and more than 700 performances. Details here:
Cincinnati, Ohio September 25 & 26 Coney Island Celtic World Festival Two plays of Irish interest will be performed at this annual two-day event: Last Epitaph of a Wise Man by Denis Regan & Lady Gregory's Ingredients. For details about these and other attractions, please click:
Sligo, Ireland - Early October
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:
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Just a quick note in response to your question if the fascination with Ireland and all things Irish might be on the wane - they are most decidedly not on the wane here in America's heartland!
As the publisher of the newest monthly publication for Irish-Americans in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota (yes, that Minnesota), Illinois, Arkansas and Oklahoma, I can tell you that interest is high and stable.
I attribute much of the interest our readers have in our culture and history to aging "baby boomers" who are seeking to connect with their "roots" as they enter the second half of their lives. After all, we all want to know where we come from to help us figure out who we've become, don't we?
To that end, we have always tried to include genealogical material, stories from Irish history (I am often amazed how little most Irish-Americans know of the real history of Ireland) and even a Gaelic language column which our readers seem to enjoy.
Throw in some current events from the Irish-American communities where our newspaper circulates and maybe a recipe or two and you've got Midwest Irish Focus, quite possibly the fastest-growing Irish-American publication in the U.S.
Of course, even with all this attention (which is what my advertisers are paying for, after all) I'm not saying I'm getting fabulously wealthy for all of that. And that is perhaps what those "publishers" back East were going on about. If we were in it for the big bucks we would have folded up shop months ago. We do it not to line our pocketbook but because we have an abiding pride in our history and our culture and get excited when we see this in our readers.
As I often tell our readers and advertisers, we are all in this together.
So, to make a long answer even longer, I would disagree that interest in all things Irish has not "tanked." At least not here in America's heartland.
All the best,