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Greetings and blessing to all,

Hello from the hot, humid and hazy Haggerty homestead. After two weeks of dark and dreary days, summer has arrived as it always seems to in our valley - suddenly - and with a vengeance.

Bridget's mother always said don't cast a clout until May is out - but that was in wet and windy Ireland - which we understand is having even more than its fair share of "Irish sunshine." Sorry about that . But we'd sure welcome the coolness of that mist-laden air right about now. Ah well. It's still May. Perhaps we could run naked through the May morning dew. Wonder what Mum would have thought of that!

Meanwhile, we hope this edition finds you in good health, good spirits and good company. If you're in the USA and the UK we also hope you've enjoyed a safe and relaxing holiday. (Ireland's turn next week). We haven't done much in the way of following the usual Memorial Day customs and traditions, e.g. going to parades and picnics. Just too hot, even to barbecue. We did wonder though, if Russ' Aunt Marian went to the cemetery and tended the graves of loved ones. She's up in years now and we don't know if she still does it. It's an old tradition that dates back to the years after the Civil War when the graves of fallen soldiers were decorated with flowers. In fact, that's what Memorial Day was once called - Decoration Day.

Enough of the blather. On with the update. And, if this is your first edition, we hope you enjoy it. Thanks for joining us and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends.

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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
Beckett Centenary Celebration a huge success
Around 100,000 people attended 64 events during the Beckett Centenary Festival held throughout April and May. Arts Minister John O'Donoghue yesterday hailed the success of the festival at a reception to mark the end of the event, and expressed his thanks for the contributions to its success. He said the festival was a "fitting tribute to the legacy of Samuel Beckett", and he was particularly delighted at the Dublin City Council decision to name the Macken Street Bridge in memory of Beckett.

Antrim: This past weekend, the clachan, a coastal community common to Antrim, Donegal and the Scottish Hebrides celebrated a "Ways of Life" program organised by the Glens of Antrim Historical Society. In addition to a traditional concert, workshops and talks took place in the Layde C of E Church in Cushendall, while Legge Green on Cushendall beach was the venue for the Clachan's School Project. Also, children dressed in traditional costume demonstrated some of the games played in years gone by.

Antrim: Renewal of vows 60 years on
A Belfast woman who married a GI sixty years ago recently brought him back to Belfast to renew their vows in the church in which they were married. Eileen Leyden from the Markets area of the city married Harry Copper, who was stationed at Langford Lodge Air Force Base. The couple were married at St Malachy's Parish Church, with Olivia Brennan as bridesmaid and Mary Leyden as flower girl. All three women wore silk dresses made from a parachute owned by Harry as dress material was in short supply and very expensive, and Harry had to return to his regiment the following morning.

Cork: Mountaineering first for Bandon doctor
Clare O'Leary, the doctor who two years ago became the first Irish woman to scale Everest, has now succeeded in becoming the first Irish woman to climb its neighbour, Ama Dablam. The 6,812m peak, which lies next to Everest in Nepal's Khumbu valley, is regarded by many in the mountaineering community as a more technically demanding climb. Clare has also made her mark by also achieving the distinction of being the first Irish woman to win the Seven Summits prize, an accolade awarded to those who succeed in scaling the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.

Cork: From school to hotel for 18th century house
The manor house at Castlemartyr, which for many years was a boys' boarding school run by the Carmelite order, is to become a luxury hotel and golf course. The house, which was once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh, stands on more than two hundred acres and much work has been put into its restoration.

Derry: Cannon return to Derry's walls
Recently, the city's mayor, Lynn Fleming, was joined at Guildhall Square by the governor of the Honourable the Irish Society, Sir Gavyn Arthur, and representatives from the London Livery Companies to welcome the return of the city's cannon. The last of the cannon was discovered being used as a bollard in the city centre earlier this year and now the complete set of twenty-four have been returned to the walls.

Dublin: New Yeats exhibition opens at National Library
A new exhibition dedicated to the life and works of legendary poet William Butler Yeats has opened at the National Library. The exhibition includes many items that have never before been seen in public.

Laois: Valuable cabinet for London auction
A cabinet which belonged to the Coote family of Ballyfin House and which has been kept in the family until now is to go under the hammer in a London auction house next month. The 17th century Ballyfin Cabinet is one of a very small number made in Augsburg and it is expected to reach a price of £800,000. Such cabinets are notable for their more than forty drawers and compartments, each lined with silk and featuring marquetry, and designed to contain small collectables from the natural and man-made world. The present owner, while exploring the cabinet with his grandchildren, discovered a hitherto unknown compartment.

Leitrim: Plaque marks waterways anniversary
The Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon was the venue recently for the unveiling of a plaque to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Carrick branch of Inland Waterways Association of Ireland; the plaque was unveiled in the foyer of the hotel. Tom Maher gave a short history of the local branch from its formation in 1954 through its amalgamation with the Carrick-on-Shannon Yacht Club six years later. He spoke of the work carried out by members in organising the first two Shannon Boat Rallies, providing facilities on the quay and helping to clear the Kilglass Cut.

Limerick: 40,000 greet arrival of Munster's holy grail
After some extraordinary odysseys Munster fans proved beyond doubt that they could never be called sunshine supporters when thousands braved heavy rain to welcome the European Cup champions back to Limerick.

Mayo: Goat Fair takes place in Foxford
The Foxford Goat Fair is is an annual event dating back several hundred years. It is believed to have been initiated by one John Bingham in 1683 and originally was a market place strictly for the buying and selling of goats. It has now evolved, however, and horses and fowl are also bought and sold, while home-baked bread and home-grown vegetables are also on offer. In its present form the Goat Fair has become an important date on the calendar for Foxford people who have emigrated, and many of them organise their visits home to coincide with the event.

Meath: New arts venue for Navan
Minister for Arts John O'Donoghue last week performed the official opening of the Solstice Arts Centre, a new facility in Navan which will benefit the whole county. At the official opening, at which an ecumenical blessing was given by Bishop of Meath and Kildare Most Rev. Dr Richard Clare, and Father Brendan Ludlow of Navan, music was provided by members of the local branch of Comhaltas Ceolteori Eireann. The inaugural programme at the aptly-named centre featured a wide range of artistic forms including ballet, circus, cinema, theatre and an art exhibition.

Offaly: Food award for Clareen father and son
At the third International Bord Bia Speciality Food Forum, held recently in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, the Best In Show award was presented to Ralph Haslam and his son Jonathan, both of Clareen. Ralph, the only organic cheese maker in Ireland, also received the gold Great Taste Award for his mature cheese and the silver for his smoked cheese. Having decided to go the organic route, Ralph set up the family farm as Mossfield Organic Farm and he sells his produce through his own shop in Birr as well as through other retail outlets.

Tipperary: Reunion in Thurles for 1956 Harty Cup team
A reunion dinner and Mass was held recently to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the winning of the Harty Cup by the 1956 team from Thurles CBS. The Mass was celebrated by Canon Liam Ryan, parish priest of Killenaule, who was assistant to trainer Brother Leahy on the occasion of the final, and he was assisted by Fathers Phil Barry and Tom McGree. The dinner took place at the Anner Hotel and on display was the report on the final as featured in the Tipperary Star fifty years ago. Martin Quirke, head of Thurles CBS Secondary School, presented members of the 1956 team with framed photographs of the squad while Tommy Gleeson presented personal profiles of each member of the panel.

Tyrone: Have passport, will travel
Eighty-five-year-old Paddy Kane from Laurel Drive in Strabane is planning to travel to a wedding in Canada in August and then go to Spain with his son the following month, but until recently it looked as though he wouldn't be going anywhere. Because his birth in the Glenelly Valley outside Plumbridge was never formally registered he was deemed ineligible for a passport. This was despite the fact that he had a baptismal certificate, a marriage certificate, birth certificates for his six children and had spent a lifetime as a civil servant. His granddaughter persuaded him to pursue the matter and now he has been told he can expect a passport to be delivered soon.

Wexford: Historical document presented to Enniscorthy man
Pat Sheridan of Enniscorthy, whose grandfather took part in the 1916 Rising in the town, was recently presented with a document which recognises the fact. John Coady joined the Volunteers in 1915 and was active in Enniscorthy, the only town outside Dublin in which an insurrection took place in 1916. Instrumental is acquiring the document, issued in the 1930s by the Adjutant of the 4th Wexford Brigade, was local TD Tony Dempsey, who presented it to Pat at his offices off Roche's Road in Wexford, to which Pat was accompanied by his wife Edle and his grandson, Dylan Sheridan Brady.

Wicklow: National champions for seventh time
The Arklow Shipping Silver Band achieved the distinction of winning the National Brass Band title for the seventh consecutive year in Dublin last month. This victory led to their representing Ireland in the European Brass Band Championships which took place in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast at the end of last month. At this competition, under the guidance of Derek Broadbent, they took fourth place, exactly the same position as they achieved in the 2005 championships in Holland. The band is now ranked in one hundred and third place in the world.

ED NOTE: Most 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

Minute of Silence in memory of Famine Victims
Irish people at home and abroad observed a minute's silence at 2:00pm on May 28 for victims of the Great Famine. Organized by The Committee for the Commemoration of Irish Famine Victims, the group believes the 19th-century disaster, in which roughly one million died and more were forced to flee the country, to be as equally important in Ireland's history as the 1916 Easter Rising. The Dublin-based commemoration committee led a small procession from the city's Garden of Remembrance to the Famine Sculptures at the docklands. The committee is also lobbying the Government to designate an annual all-Ireland memorial day.

Cannes: Swank will star in film of Ahern book
Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank has been signed to star in the film of the Cecilia Ahern novel, PS I Love You. Her casting was announced at the 59th Cannes Film Festival last week.

Greece: Monster win for Finland as Kennedy also displays mettle
Ireland's Brian Kennedy finished a respectable 10th in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest final, the surprise winner of which was Finnish monster metal band Lordi with their stadium-style anthem, Hard Rock Hallelujah.

Indiana: President McAleese conferred with Notre Dame degree
In addition, she gave the commencement address at the graduation ceremonies. Notre Dame President Reverend John Jenkins paid tribute to Prof McAleese, describing her as an inspirational role model for women, a champion for peace and a passionate voice within the Catholic Church.

Montana: Praise from one Irish president to another
President Mary McAleese announced a €30,000 gift for a new Irish studies programme at the University of Montana, describing it as a thank you for hospitality shown a century ago to the man who became Ireland's first president. Douglas Hyde came to Montana seeking help in saving the Irish language from extinction under British rule. The language scholar found thriving pockets of the Gaelic language in immigrant communities and received emotional and financial support from the state.

Kate wanted help in finding the story that goes with Sheep Island and how many sheep the wee bit of land can support. Here's what we found:
Sheep Island, for instance - 
whereon it is said just twelve sheep can be pastured. 
If there is one more than that number, 
they exhaust the feed and starve; 
if one less, they die from overeating.   

Zena asked when the next Doherty family reunion would take place.
Jack Doherty wrote:
The Doherty Family Reunion is every five years. For information on
the last reunion (2005) see:
Many thanks, Jack!

From patterns for sweaters to sheet music for hymns, we had many other requests which we were able to take care of. That said, bar one, we didn't get any response to our request for Irish birthday party ideas. C'mon, now - she'll be 15 and her mother would like to incorporate some Irish customs into the celebration. Any and all ideas would be welcome. The bar one? That was our Irish speaker Aideen who sent us the words and pronunciations to the Happy Birthday song. God bless her. Which has inspired the idea for a basic Irish lesson on birthdays. Watch for that one one soon.

World War One - Who's Who
Click on this link for biographies of Irish people who fought in the Great War:

Memorial Day Link
This site was created to help promote the return of the original intent and meaning back to Memorial Day, to be a central point for finding information on the day, and to provide an online community for people to share their feelings, pride, respect and honor for those that gave their all.

Shamrock Radio
We're repeating this link because they had a great response and we'd like to see that happen again! This is a weekly hour long programme hosted by Tommy Murphy and featuring Irish music, reviews, news from Mayo and email requests. http://www.shamrockradio.com/

The new Connemara Loop
Another new site we just found. In their words:
"Treat yourself to a break in Connemara, with so much to see and do you will be spoilt for choice."

Ireland's first ever Maritime Festival on the North Coast
The Celtic European Festival of the Sea 2006 is a celebration of shared maritime heritage and will bring together people from Ireland-North and South, Britain, Europe and even as far away as Canada, whose particular interest is classic and traditional craft including tall ships. It takes place from 22nd May 2006 & 4th June 2006

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:

Please help us keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox and visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
In stock right now, great gifts for dads and grads! Also Irish Hazel Walking Sticks have arrived, as well as our "Timothy O" summer caps which are made of lightweight 100% cotton and are perfect on the golf course, the tennis court, or the beach. Great as well for running, fishing, gardening, or his evening stroll. Come take a look!
Take a look at these and the many other unique items on offer. Please click
If there is one lesson the history of Ireland teaches, it is that military victory is not enough. Paul Johnson
"For the Great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad."
From G. K. Chesterton's epic poem, "The Ballad of the White Horse"

Will there be a war to end all wars or what?
The husband and his wife are sitting in the living room and he says to her, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle.  If that ever happens, just pull the plug." His wife gets up, unplugs the TV and throws out all the beer.
1. Two Irish nurses were awarded the George Medal for their heroism in WWII? Mary Fleming, G.M. and Aileen Turner G.M were both working in the Grove Park Hospital in London. One night, the hospital was hit by bombs and it was on this occasion that Mary and Eileen carried out the daring act which earned them the George Medal. They climbed into a first floor window and crawling along the floor of an upstairs ward, reached several stranded patients. They lead them back to safety through scalding steam from burst hot water pipes only moments before the floor of the ward crashed to the ground.

2. There is an American Civil War verse for The Minstrel Boy?
The minstrel boy will return, we pray,
When we hear the news we all will cheer it.
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as Heaven has intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And every battle must be ended.

3. Lord Kitchener was Irish?
Horatio Herbert Kitchener was born on 24 June 1850 near Kerry. Following an illustrious military career and with the outbreak of the First World War, Kitchener was recalled to England and made secretary of state for war.  Almost alone among his colleagues Kitchener foresaw a war lasting several years, rather than months. __________________________________________________________________

(Or books on Irish-related topics?)
Who wrote:
The irish Experience during the Second World War
The Blitz - Belfast in the War Years
The Emergency - Neutral Ireland

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. In the meantime, here are the answers to our last quiz:

1 . M y M o t h e r a n d F a t h e r w e r e I r i s h b y M a r g a r e t O ' D o n o v a n - R o s s a
2 . M o t h e r J o n e s : T h e M o s t D a n g e r o u s W o m a n i n A m e r i c a b y E l l i o t t J . G o r n

3 . S o m e M o t h e r ' s S o n b y J i l l O ' C a l l a g h a n

Hats off to the following Irish bibliophiles:

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland" June 28 - July 12, 2006. To view this year's itinerary, go to:

Helen Dowd
Thank you, all who have voted for my site, helping to boost it to #3 on Christians Unite. If you like stories, devotionals or poetry,
visit: www.occupytillicome.com

Hartson Dowd
An interesting Irish Website:
Special Olympics Ireland

Brenda Ross

Pat Edwards
My favourite Irish website (of course) is:
ED. NOTE: Go raibh maith agat, Pat!

To begin with , the answer to our last head-banger:
A girl is twice as old as her brother and half as old as her
mother. In 22 years, her brother will be half as old as his
Q. How old is the daughter now?
A. 22 years old
Well done to the legions of riddle people who wrote in with the right answer. But hats off to Jim McKenna of Newtown, CT, who was in first.

And now for our next mind-mangler:
The rungs of a ten-foot ladder attached to a frigate are one foot apart. If the water is rising at the rate of one foot an hour, how long will it take until the water covers over the ladder?
1. Memorial Day Tribute
2. Article: The irish Soldiers in the American Civil War
3. Article: The irish Soldiers in World War I
4. It's a Long Way to Tipperary
5. Danny Boy
6. Jokes Department
7. The Irish Kitchen: Aunt Hettie's War Cake
8. Basic Irish Occupations A to Z
9. May Trivia Contest: Time's running out - just a couple of days left. All entries must be in by May 31st, whatever time zone you're in.
10. Circle of Prayer. Our 9th and last Novena in this series began on May 28 and continues through June 5th. This week we ask that you remember Pauline, Barbara, Mickey, and Scott H. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please count your blessings and ask God to hear your prayers and intercessions for those less fortunate. And please don't forget to ask the Good Shepherd of us all to watch over our men and women serving in the military all over the world http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html

A new month, a new frenzy of activity? Perhaps. A lot depends on the weather. This is our severe stormy season and we don't run the computers when the radar looks threatening. But barring all of that, we'll be posting a new quiz and we'll be doing the daily updates, i.e. the headlines and history, We'll also have a new quote on Wednesday, a new recipe on Thursday (promise!) and a new blessing next Sunday. Bridget also has it in mind to write some articles. But don't hold your breath - the garden beckons!

So there you have it until next time. Between now and then if you're celebrating a special event, may it be a blessed and joyous occasion. And, pinch, punch first day of the month white rabbit this Thursday, June 1st. Were you wed in June or planning on tying the knot this coming month? Here's a variation of the old Irish verse:
Marry when June roses bloom
Over land and sea you'll roam.

'Til we write again, may Mary, the Holy Mother of God intercede on behalf of you and yours and ask for His protection in all your comings and goings. 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!
Donations have been very few and far between of late - which is why
we were so pleasantly surprised to receive a very nice gift from Linda Barbour in Candada. Gid Bless you Linda!
Please help us keep our newsletter and the web site coming to you at no cost; 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.
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate our efforts - or theirs.
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there we will be happy to list it here.
Dublin City, Co. Dublin, Ireland - June 13 & July 22,
Bewleys Café Theatre, Grafton Street Dublin
Tall Tales Theatre Company presents
MELODY: A theatrical lunchtime treat
Previews 12 June | 1.10pm
For more 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 her "hometown." For complete details, please click
Now that Saddam is no longer in power, we knew it wouldn't be long before someone would adapt this classic - but we're still not quite sure why the Irish would want to declare war on the French. If you can think of a good reason - i.e. funny - we'll share it with our readers!

Jacques Chirac, the French Prime Minister, was sitting in his office wondering what kind of mischief he could perpetrate against the United States when he was interrupted by a telephone call:
"Hello, Mr. Chirac?" a heavily accented voice said.
"This is Paddy down at Hardigans in Sligo, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on France."
"Well, Paddy," Chirac replied, "this is indeed important news! How big is your army?"
"Right now," said Paddy, after a moment's calculation, "there is myself, me cousin Sean, me next door neighbour Seamus, and the entire dart team from the pub. That makes eight!"
Chirac paused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have one hundred thousand men in my army waiting to move on my command."
"Jaysus", exclaims Paddy. "I'll have to ring you back!"
Sure enough, the next day, Paddy called again. "Mr. Chirac, sir, the war is still on. We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"
"And what equipment would that be, Paddy?" Chirac asked.
"Well, sir, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's tractor."
Chirac sighed, but was obviously amused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also, I've increased my army to one hundred and fifty-thousand since we last spoke."
"Saints preserve us!" said Paddy. "I'll have to get back to you."
Sure enough, Paddy rang again the next day. "Mr. Chirac, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We've modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from Mullaghmore have joined us as well!"
Chirac was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to two hundred thousand!"
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!", said Paddy; "I'll have to ring you back."
Sure enough, Paddy called again the next day. "Mr. Chirac! I am sorry to tell you that we have have had to call off the war."
"I'm sorry to hear that," said Chirac. "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"Well," said Paddy, "we've all had a long chat over a bunch of pints, and decided there's no foo-kin way we can feed two hundred thousand prisoners!"