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Greetings and blessings to all,

It has been a glorious day in the Ohio Valley - sunny, in the 70s and low humidity. Of course, those warm temperatures are harbingers of a strange phenomenon to come. Every 17 years, we are invaded by cicadas which are a very odd-looking, large flying insect. Literally, millions of them emerge to find a mate, and once eggs are laid for the next generation, they die. And we're left to sweep up piles of carcasses! ETA is the next few weeks or so - we'll keep you posted.

Brilliant tulips, red-bud trees, and a white flower we think is called scilia have now joined the on-going blooming spring-time spectacle. The scilia, if that's what they're called, carpet a neighbor's lawn so it looks like snow-fall. Don't know if we can persuade Himself to take a photo, but an effort will be made.

While Mother Nature was busy outside, we were stuck indoors for the better part of the week with Russ working on taxes and Bridget slogging through the revisions on the wedding book. Uncle Sam got his usual bite on time (picture Russ writing the check in blood!), and Herself ended the week about halfway through what needs to be done.

However, it wasn't all work and no play; last evening, our daughter treated us to tickets to see an exhibit called St. Peter and the Vatican - an incredible display of more than 300 items that date back hundreds of years. Just four US cities are hosting the tour - next is San Diego, California.

The week also brought disturbing news of an American soldier in Iraq who was taken hostage. You may have seen Keith Matt Maupin on the news. He is from our area and there has been an on-going series of vigils for his safe return. The family has also asked that wherever you are, please put up a yellow ribbon until he's safely back home.

On a lighter note, our Easter holiday was lovely - especially since Bridget didn't have to cook. Rain was predicted, but held off, the company was great, and our hostess put on a fantastic meal - thank you, Jane!

We hope your holiday was as enjoyable - especially for those of you who are in Ireland or Gt. Britain and got to make a three-day weekend of it! We also hope this week's edition finds you happy as a lark and healthy as a horse. A warm welcome back to you all - and especially to our new subscribers. Many thanks for signing up and please feel free to share our dribbles and drabbles with your family and friends.

Enough already, on with the news, etc.
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In news from Ireland

Co. Antrim - Last Easter weekend saw the annual Vintage Tractor Run when a total of five hundred and twenty seven vintage tractors set off from Loughside Quarry outside Larne and made their way to Glenarm. The long queue of tractors then returned to the Quarry via the Shore Road and Drumnagreagh.

Dublin - The Irish equivalent of London's Hyde Park Speakers' Corner is due to open in Temple Bar on Sunday week.

Co. Limerick - A collection of rare coins dating from between 1015 and 1826 has been presented to the University of Limerick by the owner, Fr. Patrick Conlan. Fr Conlan presented the collection on behalf of his family, who have had a long association with Limerick. The collection includes coins, tokens and ring-money, and a Bronze Age twisted gold ring from Lough Gur dating from 1000BC.

Dublin - This is supposed to be a true story! At a local funeral home, families are given the chance to choose the music they would like playing when people enter the church for the service. One family asked for Elvis Presley's hit, "Love me Tender." Unfortunately the wrong track number was entered into the CD player, and the family found themselves walking in to, "Return to Sender." (Thanks to Hartson for sending us that one!)

Co. Galway - A new solar-powered apartment block is to be built on Forster Street in Galway City, making it the first such building to generate its hot water solely through the use of solar panels.

Belfast - The World Irish Dancing Championships are over for another year. We had personal acquaintances competing and while Olly Sach and Emily Anson didn't win in their categories, Olly's brother Frances placed 5th in the men's 16 to 17 group. Well done, Frances!

Belfast - This past week, the city marked the 92nd anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic which was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard. Lord Mayor Martin Morgan and John Parkinson, President of the Belfast Titanic Society, laid wreaths at the Titanic Memorial in the grounds of the city hall on Wednesday. As a boy, Mr. Parkinson witnessed the liner leaving the city.

Co. Kilkenny - Mooncoin born singer, Darren Holden, who is currently touring America in the lead role of a production of the hit musical 'Movin' Out', has been nominated for a 2004 New Music Weekly Award in the category of best country male artist. The award ceremony will take place in Los Angeles in June and also includes artists such as Justin Timberlake, Beyonce Knowles and Coldplay among its nominees.

Co. Tipperary - An extra ceremony took place on Easter Sunday in Thurles when Archbishop Dermot Clifford, a GAA patron, unveiled a memorial to one of the town's most respected sons, the legendary hurler Tom Semple, after whom the stadium in Thurles is named.

Co. Mayo - With the decline of traditional farming on Clare Island, locals are turning to more creative measures to sustain the community. A group of island women have proposed the establishment of a Connemara pony co-operative where pedigree animals will be bred for sale and export.

In news from all over:
London - Guinness will no longer be made in London after the summer of 2005. Drinks giant Diageo has announced it will will close its Park Royal brewery and transfer production for the UK, its largest market, to the St James's Gate site in Dublin.

Seville, Spain - Paul McGinley has been forced out of this weekend's Seville Open due to injury. McGinley had sacrificed defending his Irish PGA title for the chance to obtain valuable Ryder Cup points but a knee injury has forced the Dubliner out of action for at least two weeks. In his absence the Irish challenge at the European Tour event consists of Gary Murphy, Graeme McDowell, Peter Lawrie, and Damien McGrane (+3).

The Hague, Belgium - A quilt designed and made by the Four Winds Patchwork Group of Co. Cork has been selected to be displayed at the Patchwork and Quilting Expo at the end of the month. After the Dutch exhibition, it will travel to Houston for the International Quilt Festival.

From the mailbag:
Resolving the Daylight Savings Time issue; many thanks to those wrote in and finally put us straight. Here's the official info: Daylight Saving Time -- for the U.S. and its territories - is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Eastern Time Zone portion of the State of Indiana, and by most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona).

Gidget Simmons writes: I am trying to research Math in Ireland.I have to write a 3-page paper on the growth and uses of Math in the Irish culture. Can you help me with a website to get info on this topic? Anyone have any ideas?

Do you like to enter contests, but don't have much time to spare? We mentioned this in last week's newsletter - but if you missed it, here it is again: Derek Waugh has started a newsletter which tells you how you could be winning lots of prizes and he does all the work! To find out more, write to Derek here: dwaugh2@shaw.ca

Links of the week:
See examples of the Vatican exhibit we went to last night:

The generosity game - taking random acts of kindness a step further

A beautiful site featuring Celtic standing stones and more http://www.stonepages.com/

Are You Lonesome Tonight - senior citizen version - hilarious! Thanks to Emerald B for sharing this one:

The Important Things in Life - wonderful greeting

How good is your US geography? Betsie sent us this one - thanks!

And 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 blither and blather - on with the update:

A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.
Attributed to an anonymous Irish author
Help keep our newsletter free - please visit the Celtic Attic:
To all our Irish Mothers - lá mháthair shona dhuit - God bless you on mother's day, May 9. Buy now for Mum's Day or the Summer! Order over $100 and receive a $5.00 gift certificate good off any future purchase at the Celtic Attic http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/home_decor/mums_day_gifts.htm
Also, place your order this weekend and receive a free Celtic Cross Pendant or Gemstone Pendant with each order over $50.00
Have you entered our April Giveaway yet? This month the prize is a welcome to spring collection which includes flowers, seeds, relaxing tea and a tea cup to sip it in, candles, potpourri and a Celtic suncatcher - Value of this Gift is $25.00. Enter now! http://www.celticattic.com/contact_us/free_giveaway.htm
Note: If you do place an order - and we surely hope you will - please mention the code IC46 in the comments section on the order form. This will earn Irish Culture and Customs a small commission. Thank you!
This is adapted from one sent in by AG - thanks!
An Irishman died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?" St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone in the universe has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock will move." "Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?""That's St. Patrick's. The hands have never moved, indicating that he never told a lie." "Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?" St.Peter responded, "That's Daniel O'Connell's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that he told only two lies in his entire life." "Where's Bertie Ahern's clock?" asked the man. "Bertie's clock is in God's office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."
1. An Irishman wrote the song The Teddy Bear's Picnic? His name was Jimmy Kennedy from Omagh, Co. Tyrone
2. Tiny Coliemore Harbour beside the Dalkey Island Hotel was the main harbour for Dublin from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century?
3. The area of the entire island of Ireland is 32,593 square miles? A mere coincidence that it also has 32 counties?
"Mr. de Valera has been talking non-stop since eight o'clock this morning, filling me in on the background to the Irish fight for freedom. And after eight hours and sixteen minutes he hasn't even reached the Norman invasion of Ireland yet."
Attributed (but probably apocryphal) to David Lloyd George during the 1922 peace negotiations.
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Don't forget - Mother's Day is right around the corner - May 9th! Come take a look at our wide range of lovely gifts - from Bewley's coffee and tea (just for the talkin') to beautiful gold and silver jewelry reflecting the artistry and craftsmanship of Irish designers, ancient and modern. Browse to your heart's content and remember, when you buy from Lollysith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
First off, the answers to last week's quiz:

1. Ireland since the Rising by Timothy Patrick Coogan
2. Grace Gifford Plunkett and Irish Freedom by Marie O'Neill
3. The 1916 Proclamation by John O'Connor

A round of applause and a pint for this week's literary sleuths

Hartson Dowd
One of my favorite sites that will answer most questions and queries is:

Helen Dowd
If you want a good variety of Christian website links, go to this page: http://www.greasycreek.net/Christian_Links.html

Eileen O'Duill

Pauline Dewberry
A warm and witty website about living in a multi-cat household where the writing is done in the dead of night so that desk space can be reclaimed from the 2 or more cats that curl up like a row of commas

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004
View this year's itinerary:

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. The Easter Rising in Song & Ballad
2. Dublin Castle and the 1916 Rising
3. The 1916 Proclamation

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a related great work of fiction here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=irishcultucus-20&path=tg/detail/-/0140296131

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. 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!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
First off, the answer to our last mind mangler:
Q. What is the English word that can be formed from all these
A. SLEEPLESSNESS. This one was way too easy - we were inundated with answers! However first honours go to Dallas Franklin - well done!
And now for this week's head-banger:
The Galway Historical Society has leased a castle to use as a museum. The original lease was for 99 years. The curator was asked how much time was left on the lease. His answer was as follows: two-thirds of the time past is equal to four-fifths of the time to come.
Q. How many years are left on the lease?
Help keep our newsletter free - visit Go Ireland:
Go Ireland are delighted to offer a very wide range of Walking and Hiking Tours in Ireland, in some of the most scenic, historical and culturally rich regions on this beautiful island of ours. Enjoy the natural beauty, the cultural diversity and the Heritage of Ireland and everything else which makes Ireland so special - the people, the humour, the hospitality, the unforgettable scenery, the history and yes - the passion, the poetry, the creativity. Check out:
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. New - Column: The New Generation. We are delighted to welcome back Michael Carlin with his views on up and coming Irish musicians
3. New - Book Review: Traditional Crafts of Ireland
4. New - The Irish Kitchen: Spring Lamb & Salad
5. New - Basic Irish: Cooking Terms
6. Featured - Article: Easter Monday Mirth
7. Featured - Article: Sean-nos, the music of what happens
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMusic/SeanNos.html The Irish 8. Featured - Article: God between us and all harm - Irish superstitions
9. Featured - Article: The Weavers of Donegal
10. On-Going - Our fourth Novena in this cycle ends on April 19 and the fifth begins next Tuesday. Please remember Keith Matt Maupin who is being held hostage in Iraq. Please also continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Debbie's friend Bertha, Rita, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans. It has been a very difficult week for the armed forces serving in Iraq - please remember them, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley
11. April Trivia contest - Have you entered yet? As they say in Ireland, you can't win it, if you're not in it.
12. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
13. On-going -This month in Irish History:
14. Have a wedding coming up? Find a selection of lovely gifts here:

While we managed to get some new material posted, it was an exhausting week and we didn't get done what we hoped. Once Bridget's book is at the printers, the pressure will be off a bit and she's longing to get back to updating features like the Culture Corners. We're also hoping to have a new children's story from Grainne, a review of the new Black 47 album, and another recipe from Hartson's seemingly endless collection. As always, we'll post a new blessing tomorrow and a new quote on Wednesday.

So there's the long and the short of it until next week - except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious. Today is Stress Awareness Day and tomorrow is International Juggler's Day, the start of National Library Week, and Pet Owner's Day. The 19th is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts, as well as National Garlic Day. The 21st is Administrative Professionals Day (formerly Professional Secretaries Day) and Kindergarten Day. It's also San Jacinto Day, a state holiday in Texas. On April 22, many places observe Earth Day. However, the official Earth Day is March 21 - always falling on the Spring Equinox. It's also Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day, Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and National Jelly Bean Day. And last, but not least, April 23 is Go Girl Go! Day (formerly Sneaker Day). This is a world event sponsored by the Women's Sports Foundation to help all girls and women achieve a healthy and active lifestyle. For more information, visit www.SneakerDay.org. In the Irish calendar, the 23rd is also when Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, defeated the Vikings at Clontarf, Dublin in the year 1014. Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out:

Until next time, may the Good Shepherd of us all bestow upon you and yours bounteous blessings; may He keep you from all harm - but do help Him out a bit: 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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Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.com
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click:
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

ReJoyce Dublin 2004
Celebrating the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival lasting from 1 April 2004 to 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Dublin, Ireland Day of Welcomes from April 19 to May 1
The 'Day of Welcomes' on Saturday 1st May marks the historic day when 10 new countries join the 15 current member states of the E.U. For more details, click

Hollywood, Florida Caeli Club - April 25
The Irish Divorce, club member Ann Burke's new play will be read on Sunday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. Coffee, Tea, & sweet treat - and it's all free!
For more details, please send an email to Irish32@aol.com

New York City - Carnegie/Weil Hall - May 1
International recording soprano artist Patricia Brady-Danzig will give a recital that includes works from her latest CD "Ojos Verdes" - Green Eyes. For more information, please click

Dublin, Ireland - May 4
Celebrating 21 years of journalism at DCU. This is an invitation, particularly to graduates of the Graduate Diploma in Journalism and the Masters in Journalism, to the DCU Media Round Table and a reception afterwards. For more details, visit:
To book a place please contact Mary Nulty at +353-1-7005220 or mailto:mary.nulty@dcu.ie

Houston - University of St. Thomas - May 6
The Irish American Cultural Institute Irish Perceptions Series presents "An Integrated History of the Uilleann Pipes" with Peter Browne. He will perform and present a history of the Uilleann Pipes from its first appearance in Ireland to the present day. For more details, please click

Boston, Mass - May 8
Irish Genealogy Seminar sponsored by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Several speakers will lecture on genealogy topics and the husband of one of our readers, Sean O'Duill, is coming from Dublin (with Eileen, our reader) to present his talk on Matchmaking and Marriage customs in 19th century rural Ireland. The URL for further information is:

Aran Isles - The Celtic Way", 15 - 22 May 2004
There are still a few places left in this fascinating and beautiful programme which introduces you to the ancient culture of the Celts and the "Celtic Church." in Ireland). For more details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

June 7th through 14th - 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre in Galway and Dublin. Trip includes 3 nights in Galway and 3 nights in Dublin. For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, Ph.D at kdonnellycom@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Co. Sligo, Ireland - September
The Sligo Heritage and Genealogy centre is hosting a 4 day international conference on Irish genealogy, heritage and culture. Even if you come from another county, this conference will be of interest as experts in various fields of study from all over Ireland will be speaking on a wide range of topics. Preliminary details of the conference are available at:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: