Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published
every week and sent out to going on 4000 readers all over the world.
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Greetings & Blessings to all,
The warmest of welcomes to all of our readers - especially the
hundreds we have just returned to the fold. We really do feel a bit
like shepherds as we went through all of the undeliverable messages
in our data base and restored them. You're all back in; all of the
mailbox fulls, mail boxes disabled, mail boxes unavailable and the
mysterious unknown host or domain name. Why did we do this? It
occurred to us that just possibly an address that didn't work before
might work now. So, if you are getting a newsletter after weeks or
may be even months of no shows, we're thrilled you're even reading
this. On the downside side, we do expect that our list will go down
quite a bit after we send out this latest edition. Oh well. It was
nice to think that for a brief moment, we were heading for a cool
4,000 readers. Of course, word of mouth and email forwards always go
a long way to increasing our numbers - so please feel free to
our meanderings and musings to all of your family and friends.
Meanwhile, it's been a tranquil week in our valley. That is if you
don't count the heat, humidity and hilarity of our grandson Fieval's
very first soccer game. Russ' sister who has much more experience,
tells us it's called the "swarm league." They're all about 3 or 4
and seem to clump together quite often; hence the nickname. With a
bit of dismay, we watched as Fieval refused to take the field. He
already told his dad who is one of the coaches that he didn't want
play soccer anymore because the other kids pushed him. That was
during practice. Fieval turns 3 next month. But he also made us
all proud when he finally decided to join his team and they drove
down the field to score the only goal of the game. Fieval's team
one. The other team naught. The swarm league a ten for
So how about the winner of the Rose of Tralee? Were you as surprised
as we were? Thanks to RTÉ and the internet, we watched both shows on
Monday and Tuesday night. We had our favourites and we're very
relieved we didn't have to make the final choice. What a terrific
field of candidates and well done to every one of them for being
there. But in the end, it was hats off to Kathryn Feeney of
Queensland Australia who laid claim to the ultimate recognition of
Meanwhile, it's hard to believe that many of the kids have already
started school and a good many more will be heading back next week.
So it really is the end of another summer, but we know from
experience that there 'll be at least one or more warm spells before
we Officially welcome "Another September." A lovely poem by Thomas
Kinsella you can read here:
Enough of the blitherin' - on with the update...
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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:
Punter lays 120k on a US Ryder win
Bookies William Hill have taken the biggest ever bet on the Ryder
- and it was laid by an Irish businessman who has staked a record
120,000 on the US to win the event at odds of 5/4.
Luxury car sales double
A Maserati , Bentley, or Ferrari is more likely now than ever to
grace the front drives of Celtic Tiger homes, with the number of
luxury cars on our roads having doubled in just 12 months.
Big turn-off as listeners leave RTÉ radio
Audiences have been tuning out from RTE Radio over the past year,
with tens of thousands of people switching off from Radio 1 and 2FM.
FROM AROUND THE COUNTIES:
Cavan: Celebrating Ireland's oldest fair
What is believed to be the oldest fair in Ireland has taken place
near Kingscourt The annual Fair of Muff is a one-day event which
dates back to the twelfth century and this year it was held on the
land of Jim Gartlan, who owns a pub in Kingscourt. He also arranged
to have a large barn on his land transformed into a pub for the day,
while a shed close by played host to a live band for dancing. Until
the middle of the last century the Fair of Muff would last for at
least a week, with different livestock sold on each of the days, but
it is now confined to just one day's sale of horses.
Cork: Cullen pipe band heralds anniversary with success
The skirl of the bagpipes echoed around the village as local
celebrated a notable success by a well-known pipe band on its 65th
anniversary. Cullen Pipe Band, which has been a fixture at many
important public events over a wide area since 1941, recently
finished fourth in the World Pipe Band Championships, in Glasgow.
Donegal: Thousands in Donegal Town for Hibernian parade
Recently, thousands of visitors descended on Donegal Town for the
annual parade of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Members from
Scotland and the US took part in the parade which also include 15
marching bands who entertained the throngs lining the road.
Co. Donegal President of the Ancient Order, John Byrne from
Glencolmcille said the organisation is still involved in charity
which is why it was founded in 1541.
Down: Rostrevor dinner looks back to 1792
A dinner held recently beside the lough at Carlingford Lough Yacht
Club brought back to mind a similar occasion more than two hundred
years ago when Wolfe Tone, as guest of honour, founded the United
Irishmen in the South Down area. Organised by author Siubhán Ó
Dubhaín, the menu for the dinner mirrored that served at the
event and guests were asked to attend dressed in period costume; in
addition, the Dissenters' Grace was recited.
Kerry: Dinis Cottage opens once more
A cottage dating back to the eighteenth century which provided
refreshment to visitors to Killarney and which was operated as a
tearoom for many years by Betty Crosbie has now been reopened by her
daughter, Noelle. The cottage has been refurbished at a total cost
600,000! Care was taken to preserve as many as possible of the
original features including a window pane on which it became
traditional for newly engaged women to scratch their initials with
their diamond rings.
Laois: US priest returns for historic Mass
Fr. Willie Treacy, originally from Ballyquaid, Ballybrophy, recently
returned to celebrate Mass on a site known as the Mass Pit, used
during Penal times. Also known as the Chapel of the Half Acre, the
site is on land at the six acres once owned by Fr. Treacy's family
and an altar was constructed for the occasion. The restoration work
on the Mass pit was led by his nephew, John Phelan from Garron, and
the altar has been enclosed by railings with a wooden gate. A canopy
erected over the altar has also been thatched by Joe Ward of
Borris-in-Ossory, to replicate the original chapel built three
hundred years ago.
Leitrim: The tale of the missing flag
The Keshcarrigan Development Association has had to issue a
appealing for the return of the American flag which adorns the Fr.
Mychal Judge peace garden in the village. For the second time the
flag has been removed from the garden. aWith between twenty and
thirty cars stopping at the garden each day, the memorial is a
popular venue. It is located on land once owned by Fr. Judge's
father and has been entered in a special award category in this
year's Tidy Towns competition.
Offaly: Birr was buzzing for Vintage Week
In celebration of the thirty-eighth annual Birr Vintage Week and
Festival, the event included a vintage parade on Main Street, a
range of sporting events and the Carlsberg Donkey Derby in the
grounds of the County Arms Hotel. Central to the festival throughout
its history has been the Antique and Fine Art Fair.
Tipperary: Will Nenagh have its own saint?
The people of Nenagh are speculating that the town might soon have
its own saint, with the promotion of the canonisation by the
archdiocese in Africa over which Archbishop Michael Courtney
presided. The Archbishop died at the hands of rebels in Burundi
years ago and this week a monument in his memory was unveiled in the
African country, matching one unveiled earlier this year in the
diocese of Clonfert. At the Burundi unveiling Archbishop Simon
Ntamwana expressed the hope of Burundi's bishops that the process of
canonisation would move forward. They hope soon to be in a position
to send files on the case to the Vatican for verification.
Tyrone: Gortin to be opened to tourists
The small town of Gortin has been made more attractive to tourists
with the reopening of two rights of way through Lisnaharney and
Eskradooey. The rights of way have been restored in a collaboration
involving Sperrin Tourism, Omagh District Council and local
landowners. The restored routes will provide a strenuous walk but
that is well signposted and which will bring walkers in a loop back
their starting point. The two paths lead to a height from where the
ramblers will be able to enjoy views of both the Sperrin Mountains
and the mountains of Donegal.
Wexford: Series of events mark Harbour centenary
Recently, bronze plaques were unveiled at Rosslare Europort and
Campile to mark the centenary of the Rosslare-Fishguard Ferry
Service. As part of a series of events, the Vintage Steam Train and
State Coach arrived at the Europort to take passengers on a return
journey over the Barrow Bridge to Waterford; the train also ran a
service to Enniscorthy. This past weekend, the harbour hosted the
Irish Coastal Rowing Championships and the Europort held an Open Day
featuring Irish Lights Vessel Granuaile and the Irish Naval Vessel
Wicklow: Quarrying stops but residents still concerned
Roadstone has agreed to stop quarrying operations on a temporary
basis at the south face of Arklow Rock, the last remaining peak,
concerns that the landmark may be destroyed. Although it is
believed that the company has the legal right to quarry the rock
since they have been quarrying in the area for more than fifty
a request has been made to Minister for the Environment Dick Roche
place a preservation order on the natural feature.
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,
FFROM AROUND THE WORLD
San Francisco: Daniel Cassidy, a lecturer in Irish studies at the
College of California, argues that hundreds of everyday words, such
dude, jazz, snazzy, moolah and slugger, are Irish Gaelic words
spelled phonetically in American English. Snazzy, for example, is
from the verb snas meaning to polish, gleam; Moolah comes from moll
oir, a pile of gold; and Buckaroo from bocai rua, meaning wild
playboys. His book, The Secret Language of the Crossroads: How the
Irish Invented Slang, will be published next year.
Gt. Britain: Celts' warpaint cancer weapon?
Woad, the warpaint of the Celts hich was recently displayed by Mel
Gibson in the film Braveheart could become another weapon in the
fight against breast cancer. New research has found that the plant,
Isatis tinctoria, a member of the cabbage family, has 20 times more
of an anti-cancer chemical than its cousin broccoli, already the
subject of research. So woad wmay be a better alternative.
SPONSOR: You can help us help us pay the expenses for producing this
newsletter when you visit our advertisers, including our good
If you are new to our list you may not know that our dear friends at
Lollysmith 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
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FROM THE MAILBAG
Last week, we mentioned Earl, an actor/boxer who needed help with
Cork accent for his role in the upcoming film Strength and Honour.
We're very sad to report that Earl has suffered injuries in training
and won't be in the film. We wish him a speedy recovery and better
luck next time.
I always enjoy your newsletter! was wondering if anyone could help
me with some impartial financial advice? A friend of mine has
retired to Ireland and he doesn't know if he is better off
closing his investments here and moving them to Ireland or to keep
them here. At the moment he is paying income tax in both countries.
From a new reader: I am a fairly new subscriber and look forward to
each issue of your newsletter. I have not seen anything about the
or the LAOH in your newsletter, but as I said, I am a new
A good friend of mine, Dorothy Flaherty Weldon was installed as
National President of the LAOH in Boston in July. Dorothy has held
many offices in the local divisions, many in the Pennsylvania State
and quite a few in the National Organization. Dorothy serves on
boards and was past chapter chairman of American Red Cross Board of
Directors. She received the Clara Barton Horor Award from the Red
Cross. She is a lector, Eucharistic Minister and CCD teacher at
Transfiguration Catholic Church in Monongahela. Dorothy was
by her parish to receive the Manifesting the Kingdom Award which was
presented by then Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh.
ED. NOTE: Our congratulations to Dorothy and our thanks to all LAOH
members who do so much for Irish communities all over the world.
Win a trip to Ireland
Last call for entries: ourism Ireland and Aer Lingus are
a 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
Irish Ways Radio Orogramme
Presented by our dear friend William Ramoutar who is originally from
Ireland and now lives in Florida, The show airs on WFCF Radio 88.5
FM, Sunday from 11:00 am to 12 noon EST.
The latest from the Irish Page
Jack & Vivian share a poem and song called Were you at the rock?
about the risky business of going to Mass during the penal times.
You too, can be an artist
This one came in from our friend AG; your mouse is your brush and
every time you click on it, the color changes.
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
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 , PROVERBS & TOASTS
The most important thing I would learn in school was that almost
everything I would learn in school would be utterly useless. When I
was fifteen I knew the principal industries of the Ruhr Valley, the
underlying causes of World War One and what Peig Sayers had for her
dinner every day...What I wanted to know when I was fifteen was the
best way to chat up girls. That is what I still want to know.
From the Secret World of the Irish Male by Joe O'Connor
A BIT OF THE WIT & AN OCCASIONAL CURSE
'Tis an old maxim in the schools, that flattery's the food of fools;
yet now and then your men of wit will condescend to take a bit.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Finding one of her students making faces at others on the
Sr. Mary Margaret stopped to gently reprove the child. Smiling
sweetly, the good sister said, "Seamus , when I was a child, I was
told that if I made uglyfaces, my face would freeze and I would stay
that." Seamus looked up and innocently replied, "Well, Sister,
you can't say you weren't warned."
DID YOU KNOW
1. The original name of Trinity College was "Trinity College Near
Dublin". The capital was a lot smaller then!
2. Belfast-born poet Joseph Campbell founded the Irish Studies
program at the Fordham Jesuit University of New York? Fordham has
many Irish ties; if you're interested, you can find out more here:
3. Douglas Hyde, founder of the Gaelic League was also fluent in
French, Latin, German, Greek and Hebrew? His passion for Irish,
already a language in severe decline, led him to found Conradh na
Gaeilge in the hope of saving it from extinction.
Please help us keep our newsletter free by visiting our good friends
at The Irish Lottery.
There was NO winner in Saturday's 's drawing which means Wednesday's
jackpot will be around 2.5 million euros. It has always been one
our fantasies that one of our readers will scoop the big one - but,
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
Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find
out! Click here for full details:
DO YOU KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS?
First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. The Bog Body from Tumbeagh by Nora Bermingham and Maire Delaney
2. Stories from a Sacred Landscape by Caimin O. Brien
3. Beat the Goatskin Till the Goat Cries written by Gabriel
Please clap your feet for our Irish bibliophiles:
God bless her, Caryn nominated Irish Culture and Customs as a
site. She also wrote: " I look forward to arrival of each of your
ED. NOTE: Nice comments like that make all the hard work worth the
effort. many thanks, Caryn.
For a relaxing read, I invite you to come visit my site and click on
Literary Tab - Missionary,
Inspirational, Devotional, Pets, Poetry, and Guest Authors, Also,
thanks for voting for my site.
An excellent site is Irish Books & Media. They are the largest and
oldest distributor of Irish books and media in the United States.
ED. NOTE: They are also the publishers and distributors of Bridget's
book, The Traditional irish Wedding - so we think they're excellent
Frank McNamara's "The Young Messiah - Messiah XXI" will be
on DVD on 10/3/06 - keep your eye out for it at your favorite DVD
Josephine M Battye
I nominate the following site as it tells you what to do and where
go in Dublin:
For all things feline, please visit
Rita Roche, Baltimore, MD, an avid reader
And now for this week's quiz - Who wrote:
1. Teacher Man
2. The Irish Hedge School and its books
3. Dare you ripple my pond: The autobiography of an Irish school boy
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
So far, we don't have an answer to our last Cranium Crippler - or
we miss your solution. Please let us know!
Q: Can you complete this sentence using words which are anagrams
of each other?
"At the school recently, only the ______students could solve
the ____ equation."
THE WEEK THAT WAS:
1. Article: The Annual Novena at Our lady of Knock
2. Article: The Rose of Tralee 2006
3. Article: Is Your Shillelagh a aSham?
4. Putting Out the Hare, Putting on the harvest Knots
5. Article: A Tribute to Liam O'Flaherty
6. Basic Irish - Going on Holiday
7. Irish Kitchen - Thackeray's Irish Lobster
8. Kid's Ireland - Irish children learning through film
9. Jokes department. If we have time we'll try to post a different
joke on the home page when we update it each week.
10. August Trivia Contest: Time's running out! All entries must be
in by midnight, August 31st no matter what time zone you are in.
11. Circle of Prayer: Our first Novena in this cycle began on
26th and continues through September 3rd. We haven't had any
additional prayer requests this past week, but your spiritual
support is still needed for many relatives and friends of our
including Joseph Peter, Heather, the Stout family, the George
O'Connell family, Pauline Dewberry; Scott H; Jane Fitz; 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. Of course, the
ultimate request would be that God would grant our world leaders the
wisdom to find peaceful solutions to confrontations world wide. To
visit our Circle of Prayer page, please click
12.Homepage Right margin: Liam O'Flaheerty works, Michaels Collins
DVD and the Rose of Tralee CD by the Sean O'Neill band.
THE WEEK THAT WILL BE, GOD WILLING
With a new month on the cards, we'll be busy putting together a new
Trivia contest, recipe, culture corners, Kids' Ireland feature and
more. We'll also have our regular features: the Sunday Blessing
already posted, Wednesday quotation, news and headlines daily and
history for the date. So please do visit us every day - there's
Are we done yet? Not quite - if you're celebrating a birthday,
anniversary or other special event between now and next time, may
grant that it be filled with joy. Also, pinch punch first day of
month white rabbit, and if you were married in September or will be
tying the knot, here's your verse:
Marry in September's shine, your living will be rich and fine.
Before we forget - we hope hope everyone in Gt. Britain has enjoyed
a safe and fun-filled bank holiday weekend. Our turn next week! 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!
WHEN MANY GIVE A LITTLE, A LITTLE BECOMES A LOT
We just paid bi-monthly fees to our newsletter host to cover
September-October. If just 10% of our subscribers - about 300 -
could send us a dollar, we'd cover our fees for a year and then
So please send whatever you can. Every penny does make a difference.
Our snail mail address is
Bridget & Russ haggerty
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.
YOU CAN ALSO SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS IN OTHER WAYS:
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
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,
are always eager to promote any and all Irish-related products and
services. Details can be found here:
Again, many thanks in advance for your help!
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of
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.
Philadelphia, PA - September 7, 8, 9
The Philadelphia Céilí Group presents its 32nd Anual Festival;
Traditional Irish Music & Dance All Events at: "The Irish Center"
Carpenter Lane & Emlen Street. Free parking Check it out at:
Temple Bar, Dublin - August 30-September 0
GÚNA NUA & CIVIC THEATRE In association with Origin Theatre Company,
New York PRESENT TROUSERS (OR: PANTS) By Paul Meade & David
For details, please visit:
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
"hometown." For complete details, please click
Lexington KY - September 30-October 1
Celtic Fest 2006. For compete details, please visit:
LEAVE THEM LAUGHING
This one came in from Karin Cook - go raibh maith agat!
Why English Teachers Die Young: these are just a few of the many
actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays:
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was
room-temperature Canadian beef.
Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a
bowling ball wouldn't.
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag
filled with vegetable soup.
From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an
eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city
and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across
the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one
having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other
Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences
that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap,
only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Pat. But unlike Pat,
this plan just might work.
It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around
with power tools.