Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to over 1800 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,

Has it really been a week? It definitely went by in a whirlwind for us as we scrambled to finish the revisions and additions to the 2nd edition of Bridget's book; we're almost there and God willing, it will be at the printer's on Monday (thanks to computers and email!).

Speaking of whirlwinds - the tornado type - the past week brought the season's first cluster to parts of the midwest. There were fatalities, numerous injuries and incredible damage; we hope and pray you and your loved ones weren't affected. So far, we've escaped severe spring storms. In fact, it's been downright chilly the past day or so. We've also had lots of rain and the grass needs cutting - again! But overall, we're not complaining - it has been a beautiful spring thus far.

We hope this edition finds you enjoying whatever season you're in, weather-wise or age-wise! It's lovely to welcome you back and we're also delighted to welcome a dozen or more new readers. Many thanks for signing up and please feel free to pass along our musings and meanderings to family and friends.

After neglecting most of our regular duties because of the book and/or sprucing up the house for sale, we have a boatload of catching up to do, so we'll keep this intro briefer than usual and get on with the news:
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In news from Ireland:

Co. Antrim: A series of special boat trips will be available this summer which will take you along the north Antrim coast from Portballintrae Harbour. Each voyage will take in the Giant's Causeway and the site of the wreck of the Girona, a ship of the Spanish Armada which sank in 1588.

Co. Clare: At least seven new millionaires have been created in the county following the compulsory purchase of land from seven farmers in order to complete a new bypass around Ennis.

Co. Derry: The Bogside Artists are calling on the public to advise them as to what they'd like to see as the final outdoor painting in the Bogside area of Derry city. Tom Kelly, Kevin Hasson and William Kelly will create a peace mural for their last work to complete their outdoor art exhibition which they have entitled "The People's Gallery."

Connemara: Despite opposition and appeals from all quarters, especially the region's isolated rural customers, the Bank of Ireland's two mobile units have made their final run through Connemara. Barna, Spiddal, Inverin, Casla, Carraroe, and Roundstone. Falling customer numbers and security were cited as two of the reasons the bank is discontinuing the service, (despite the fact that no mobile unit has ever been robbed).

Co. Donegal: Although it has taken eighteen months due to the remoteness of his home, a Glenties pensioner has now had a phone line connected and is enjoying contacting friends and relatives. John Ward lives in the Tievelogue area and applied for the phone a year and a half ago.

Dublin: An unpublished intimate letter from James Joyce to Nora Barnacle Joyce is to be included in an auction of Joyce materials at Sotheby's in London on July 8th.

Dublin: Drink sales in some Dublin pubs have fallen by up to 20 per cent since the smoking ban was introduced, according to the city's publicans.

Co. Down: Ivan "Ivy" Donaghy of Waringstown recently scooped the top prize of 68,000 euros in the Irish Open Poker Tournament.

Co. Meath: A conflict has arisen in Navan following a planning application for a new development at Convent Road. It would necessitate the demolition of the house in Boyne Crescent where Bond star Pierce Brosnan spent part of his childhood. Local vet Michael Carolan believes the house should be turned into a James Bond museum.

Co. Westmeath: Author of The Ginger Man, JP Donleavy, has posted a sign at his cattle farm in Mullingar announcing it to be GM-free; his example is expected to be followed by a number of other farmers in a bid to halt any contamination of their lands by genetically modified crops and seeds, By the way, the author turned 78 years old yesterday.

Co. Wicklow: This coming week sees the launch of the fifteenth annual Wicklow International Gardens Festival at the National Gardens Exhibition Centre in Kilquade. The largest event of its kind in the country, the festival will run for three months from May to July.

In news from all over:
Rome: For the time being, at least, altar girls will be allowed to continue serving at Mass. The proposed ban was dropped this past week.

From the mailbag:
It was heart-warming to receive messages of support for our local man being held hostage in Iraq. Thank you! Yellow ribbons are springing up all over town and some families are placing a single candle in the window to light the way home for Keith Matt Maupin. God willing, may it be so.

Links of the week:
Brian Boylan is an artist from Dublin who now lives in the US. We enjoyed seeing his work - hope you will, too:

To learn about a comical event in the life of Turlough O'Carolan and his best friend, Charles MacCabe, visit the Irish Page (thanks, Jack!)

Spotlight on our subscribers
Terry Keegan is a reader - and the owner of a great-looking new pub in Minneapolis; you can see how it all came together here:

Molly Nance is another reader who has just opened an Irish import shop in Lincoln, Nebraska. Selling "lovely things from Celtic lands," you can see what's on offer here:

An American-based Irish Education Group has been formed to develop a comprehensive ten DVD (20 hours) series on Irish History from ancient times through today.
For more details, click

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute and doesn't cost you anything:

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
Never serve oysters in a month that has no paycheck in it.
P. J. O'Rourke
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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 Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.
This was sent in by Kathy W. Thanks for the laugh!
Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had set their new wives straight on their domestic duties. The first man had married a woman from Italy and boasted that he had told his wife she was to do all the dishes and house cleaning that needed to be done. He said that it took a couple days but on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were all washed and put away. The second man had married a woman from France. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, all the dishes, and the cooking. He told them that the first day he didn't see any results, but the next day it was better. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes were done, and he had a delicious dinner on the. table. The third man had married an Irish girl. He boasted that he told her his house was to be cleaned, the dishes washed, the cooking done and the laundry washed. And this was all entirely her responsibility. He said the first day he didn't see anything and the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down so he could see a little out of his left eye!
1. The bullaun stone, which is kept in St. Matthew's Church on the Woodvale Road in Belfast, is said to have the power to cure warts, spots and acne?
2. In Sligo, you still officially need a licence to buy molasses? It's a legal hangover from the days when the county was the pocheen capital of Ireland?
3. On 13th April 1829, the day that the United Kingdom Parliament gave the vote to Irish Catholics, the statue of George Walker - Protestant hero of the 1689 siege of Derry -which had stood quietly on the city's famous walls for more than a century, inexplicably crumbled?
Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you; their tastes may not be the same. George Bernard Shaw
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To begin with, the answers to last week's quiz:

1. The Easter Rising in Song & Ballad by: C. Desmond Greaves

2. Dublin Castle & the 1916 Rising by: Leon O Broin

3. The 1916 Proclamation by: John O'Connor

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

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

Patricia Edwards
God bless her, she nominated our site:

Helen Dowd
For inspirational stories and poems, visit Bob Miller's Skywriting site: Here is a story of mine he has featured:

Hartson Dowd
A website of interest with articles about Ireland:

Kathryn L. Wager

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Graduation and Mother's Day Specials

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy (and this will be the last trio of books on the Easter Rising. Our apologies if we had any repeats during the past month!) Who wrote:

1. 1916 Rebellion Handbook
2. When History was Made: The Women of 1916
3. The 1916 Poets

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/-/0937702196/qid%3D1082818995/sr%3D1-72

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 head-banger:
The Galway Historical Society has leased a castle to use as a museum. The original lease was 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?
A. 45 years. Congrats to Brenda Ross who was first with the correct answer. And now for this week's brain-bruiser:
Five hundred begins it, five hundred ends it,
Five in the middle is seen;
First of all figures, the first of all letters,
Take up their stations between.
Join all together, and then you will bring
Before you the name of an eminent king.
Q. Who is it?
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
Does your mum have a sweet tooth? Do you? Try our new Butler Chocolates Irish Truffles, Jameson Toffee or Milk Truffle Bars. These are the Best of Irish Chocolates!:
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!
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. Republished - Article: How to prevent Mayhem
3. Republished - Article: Emblems of Ireland: The Harp
4. Republished - Article: Counties of Ireland: Antrim
5. New - Culture Corner: The Easter Lily Pin
6. Featured - Column by Michael Carlin: The New Generation: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMusic/NewGeneration.html
7. New - Book Review: Traditional Crafts of Ireland
8. Featured - Article: Sean-nos, the music of what happens
9. Featured - Article: God between us and all harm - Irish superstitions
10. On-Going - Our fifth Novena in this cycle began on April 20 and continues through April 28. Our 6th one will begin next Thursday. Please continue to remember Keith Matt Maupin being held hostage in Iraq and all members of our military serving over there, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley. We also ask that you 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. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
11. April Trivia contest - Just a few days left and it's over! All entries must be received by midnight, April 30, whatever time zone you live in.
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. New product on our home page: Clans & Families Map of Ireland. It's in the right-hand column underneath the great-looking tweed cap:

We're way behind as usual! Grainne's story is here waiting for us to find appropriate pictures, we have a recipe from Hartson waiting to be posted, and we have several articles that need finishing. Whatever happened to Co. Cork, you say? Or the rest of Ireland's counties. Sigh. We'll do what we can. We don't have an official complaint department (yet) but as one wag put it, you can always ask for your money back!:) Per the usual routine, we'll post a new blessing tomorrow and a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be refreshed daily.

Until next time, that does it for another week, except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious. Today is Astronomy Day which occurs on the Saturday near or before the 1st quarter Moon. It's also the anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1916. Tomorrow is Anzac Day in Australia & New Zealand; (it's to remember those killed in war and honor returned service men and women). In the USA, it's Arbor Day. The 26th is Confederate Memorial Day which is observed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. It's also Pretzel Day and Hug an Australian Day! Tuesday is Tell a Story Day which is followed on the 28th by National Mourning Day, or Workers Memorial Day. First observed in Canada to remember those killed and injured in the workplace, the observance has now spread to 80 additional countries around the globe). On a lighter note, April 29th begins the celebration of Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and Latin American countries. It's also Zipper Day (it was patented on this date by Gideon Sindback in 1913) and Shrimp Scampi Day. Then, no word of a lie, Friday is National Honesty Day!
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:

May the next week be filled with God's blessings for you and yours, may He hold you in the palm of His hand (but not close His fist too tight on you) 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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Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.com
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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, April 25
The Irish-American Ceili Club will present a reading of Ann Burke's new play, "The Irish Divorce" at 2pm at the American Legion Hall, 211 North 21 Avenue. Enjoy a FREE show, plus complimentary Tea, Coffee, Cake, etc.
For more details, click

Houston, Texas - April 29
Irish thriller writer John Connolly will appear for a book signing of his new novel Bad Men at Murder by the Book, 2432 Bissonnet. (6:30pm). He exploded on the literary scene with his first novel Every Dead Thing, which received international critical acclaim and hit U.K. bestseller lists. For more details, call 713-524-8597 or visit http://www.johnconnolly.co.uk

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

Fishtown/Philadelphia - June 12
2nd Support Our Troops Rally sponsored by the A.O.H/L.A.O.H Division 51 will take place at noon in Penn Treaty Park.
For more details, contact PHBowdrenSr@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: