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Greetings and blessings to all,

A warm welcome back to each and every one of you - especially our new subscribers. Many thanks for signing up and if you enjoy this first copy of our weekly musings and meanderings, please feel free to forward on to your family and friends.

We hope this week's edition finds you all on the pig's back. For our readers in in the USA and Canada, it's Labor Day Weekend. According to our local news, more than 30 million Americans will be behind the wheel and most will travel more than 50 miles to enjoy the last blast of summer. If you are among them, safe journey where you're headed and home again.

As for ourselves, we awoke to a somewhat soggy Sunday. But it beats the heat and humidity of the last few days. Strange as it may seem, our Ohio Valley weather almost always matches the calendar. With Autumn officially just a week or so away and September 1st tomorrow, we can feel a change in the air. Indian Summer is yet to come, but for now, the forecast is definitely akin to fall.

In news from Ireland:
Top-ranking US naval officers are in west Cork this weekend to commemorate the legendary Sullivan brothers at their ancestral home of Adrigole. The five Sullivan brothers are an integral part of US naval history. George, Francis, Madison, Joseph and Albert Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, volunteered for the US Navy after a friend died during the Pearl Harbour attack. They served aboard the same ship. All five were killed in 1942, when a Japanese submarine torpedoed their ship, the USS Juneau, at the battle of Guadalcanal. Their ancestors left Adrigole in west Cork in the 1840s. This weekend, a US Navy destroyer, The Sullivans, will lead a navy
flotilla visiting the area, and a plaque in honour of the family will be unveiled by top naval officers. A movie was made of their life -The Fighting Sullivans. It's really well done. If you're interested, please click:

Speaking of movies, Ireland's longest-running film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, comes to an end this week after 22 years of Friday night screenings at the Classic Cinema in Dublin's Harold's Cross.

Salt tax? In yet another bout of what can only be called health hysteria, it seems that someone in the Irish government is proposing a tax on salt in an effort to combat Ireland's increasing hypertension and weight problems. Mercifully, for this particular politician's career, we can't remember his/her name.

Getting underway this weekend in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, Europe's biggest singles event - the International Matchmaking Festival. It runs every weekend from now until October October 5.

Men, women and children took to Dublin's streets today, dressed as workers from the early 1900s. Brandishing rifles and hurling sticks they filed through the city to re-enact the infamous ``baton charge`` clashes with police. Today is the 90th anniversary of when 400 major businesses across the Irish capital locked out workers to protest the rise of the trade unions.

In news elsewhere:
Olly Sach, New Zealand's #1 Irish dancer and the subject of a recent article on the site got a call from Lord of the Dance in Europe. Two, in fact. They want him to join the tour. He's in the midst of trying to emigrate to the USA, so he turned them down the first time. Then they called again. We'll keep you posted.

Links of the week:
If you'd like to hear a Dublin priest recite prayers in Irish, click here
Then click on Traditions. Real player is required to hear the file

This fun link is from Hartson:

Want to know what films were made in the year you were born? Patricia sent us this one:
She says she loves the films made in her birth year. "They're all old classics now, just like me!" We can identify with that!

From the mailbag:
Ann wants some ideas for naming her 12-stall horse farm. Thanks so much to all of you who sent in suggestions. Bill from NC suggested Dozen Horses - Dosaen Chapall (dhuz-ayn khah-pull) or 12 horses - Dhá Chapall Déag (ghaw khah-pull djayg). Special thanks to Aideen who corrected Bill's Irish and also gives us the pronunciations. Aideen's suggestion is12-horse farm. In Irish, that's Feirm an Dá Chapall Déag - firm on dhaw khah-pull djayg. She also cautions that dozen-dosaen is a word more often used for groceries as in a dozen eggs. And, she has kindly offered to translate/correct any of the ideas our other subscribers sent in. From Doreen in PA: Cothrom na Féinne láthair - Sportsmanship Ring (arena)
kuh-rum nah fay-inn-yeh law-hirr. From Audrey in CA:12 stalls; from Susan M: Happy Tails; and from Tom H: Anam Cara.

Maurice from Swords, Dublin writes: "The Josef Locke bronze statue proposal makes it into 'Ireland's Own' current issue (5TH September) by letter from yours truly." Maurice has been consumed with the idea of getting a statue erected in honour of Derry-born Mr. Locke who was one of the world's greatest tenors. If you've even been to Tupelo, MS, you'll see the results of another campaign by Maurice and his wife, Maureen. They're the ones who convinced the mayor that a statue of Elvis should be erected.

Enough of the blitherin' and blatherin' - on with the update:
Help us keep this newsletter free - please contact this week's affiliate:
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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
Sir Lewis Morris was complaining to Oscar Wilde about the neglect of his poems by the press. "It's a conspiracy of silence," he declared, "What do you think I should do?" "Join it!" suggested Wilde.
This is from Patricia in England. We've made it into a Kerryman joke - couldn't resist!
In Killarney, an American tourist sees a sign in front of a farmhouse: "Talking Dog for Sale." He rings the bell and the farmer tells him the dog is out back. The tourist goes behind the house and sees a black mutt just sitting there "You talk?" he asks. "Indeed." the dog replies. "So, what's your story?" The mutt looks up and says, "Well, I discovered my gift of talking when I was very young and I wanted to be of help to humanity, so I told Interpol about my gift; in no time they had me flying from country to country, sitting in rooms with world leaders, because no one would believe a dog would be listening. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and eavesdropping. I uncovered some very shady dealings there and was awarded a ton of medals. Then I settled down, had a wife, a dozen or so puppies, and now I'm just retired." The tourist is amazed. He goes back and asks the farmer what he wants for the dog. The farmer says, "Ten euros, sir." The tourist sputters, "But that dog is incredible. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?" The farmer shrugs and says "Ah well, sir, you, see, isn't he just the biggest liar this side of Croagh Patrick? He's done none of what he told ye."
1. The first casualty of the Irish Civil War (1922-23) was a Free State Sniper who was smashed over the head with a teapot by an elderly Dublin woman?
2. In the old days, it was the custom for the oldest girl in an Irish family to marry first and her sisters according age afterwards?
3. Dublin's oldest traffic light is situated beside the Renault garage in Clontarf? The light, which is still in full working order, was installed in 1893 outside the home of Fergus Mitchell who was the owner of the first car in Ireland.
Shaw was in a second-hand bookstore, poring over volumes which had been considerably marked down, when he came across a book containing his own plays. It was inscribed, moreover, to a friend, beneath whose name on the flyleaf, GBS saw the following, written in his own hand: "With the compliments of George Bernard Shaw." He promptly bought the book. That afternoon, he sent the volume back to the early recipient with his updated inscription: "With renewed compliments, GBS."
The answers for last week:

1. Skerrett - Liam O'Flaherty
2. Connemara Pony - Anne Rolinson
3. Our Lady of Knock - Mary Fabyan Windeatt

Congrats to our Irish bibliophiles and our apologies for sending many of you on a fruitless search for a title that was spelled incorrectly:

Hartson Dowd
The Irish Government's official web site with links to various departments such as Foreign Affairs, Health, Justice, and Revenue Commissioners, etc. Although visiting the taxman isn't exactly an entertaining experience, you can download comprehensive files on everything from vehicle-registration tax to self-employment requirements

Helen Dowd
Please visit my website at: www.occupytillicome.com/ where you can read stories, poetry, articles, and much, much more.

Norma Mackay
As usual, my favorite sight is your site. I would also like to mention that other site I was talking to you about
http://www.gov.ie for anyone Irish who is considering a return home after many years absence. Very informative.

Maureen Sweeney
I found Irish Culture and Customs through Doras; if you're looking for an Irish site, this is the place!

Christy Shanahan
Whether you are an experienced golfer or would just like to try some golf on your next visit to Ireland, this site will help you make the most of your trip

Pat Murphy
Biddy McGraw's the Pacific Northwest's only authentic Irish pub and the home 'o the "perfect" pint':

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? The McKiernans of Irish Books &

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. Road to Lisdoonvarna
2. Savoring Ireland: Cooking through the Seasons
3. A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna and Vicinity

1. Hint: All three titles can be found here:

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!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
Last week's answer is: Musicians
Four men sat down to play,
They played all night 'till break of day
They played for gold and not for fun
With separate scores for everyone.
When they came to square accounts,
They all had made quite fair amounts
Can you this paradox explain,
If no one lost, how could all gain?
Brigett Torrence was first with the answer. Well done, Brigett. We received many responses; one from Bill Smith of NC who said if he couldn't be first, he'd be best:
The four that sat them down to play
Had, each of them a different way:
One had a Cello and a bow,
Another had a Violo (sic)
The other two had fiddles, but
Had different parts to play. 'Tis shut!
The men had not once placed a bet,
But played within the same Quartet!
Bill wasn't the only one who waxed poetic. Patrick Corcoran sent us:
'Tis the Corcoran band:
Danny played the fiddle, Kevin played the piano, Mike and Pat both played the saxophone
One alto, one tenor...we played for money, not for fun, but we pleased everyone.
We made our money by our tone...now I'll be kissin' the Blarney Stone.
If anyone should ever wonder why Bridget doesn't get all those articles she's promised written, she's having too much fun reading your great emails!
This week's riddle: (Did we do this one already? Hope not!)
As a whole, I am safe and secure.
Behead me, and I become a place of meeting.
Behead me again, and I am the partner of ready.
Restore me, and I become the domain of beast.
We're a bit behind - the home page probably won't be refreshed by the time you receive this. But it will be by tomorrow!
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New Article: Our Lady of Knock Shrine - Place of Mystery & Miracles
3. New Article: The Annual Novena at Our Lady of Knock
4. Featured Article: Matchmaking in Lisdoonvarna
5. Featured Article: The Connemara Pony
5. Featured Article: A Tribute to Liam O'Flaherty
6. The Irish Kitchen - Finally - Irish Stew!
7. The Library: Our featured book this time is The Truth About The Irish.
8. Circle of Prayer. Our sixth Novena in this cycle began on Friday and continues through September 7. Please keep Eileen's brother, Bob, in your prayers; also C.J., Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, Priscilla's family, and our military personnel stationed all over the world, especially in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us in prayer or meditation each day
9. Irish News: Headlines for the past week
10. This month in Irish History:
11. Trivia Contest. Today's the last day. All entries must be in by midnight, whatever time zone you live in. A new contest will be posted tomorrow.

With the beginning of yet another month, we're busy putting together a new Culture Corner, trivia contest and kids' story. Bridget has been doodling with something on the Old Lammas Fair and we'll have something about the way they talk in Wicklow, contributed by a witty Irish wag, Mattie Lennon. We'll also have a new Irish lesson. With students heading off for college, we've taken Aiden up on her suggestion to do a lesson on "third level education."The blessing for the week is posted, there'll be a new quote on Wednesday and a new recipe from Hartson toward the end of the week. Each day, we'll update the news and headlines.

So that about wraps it up for another issue. As always there are a few bits and pieces before we leave you. Remember a week or so ago someone asking about the custom of swimming in the ocean on the Feast of the Assumption? Bridget just totally forgot that the answer is in one of her articles on harvest time in Ireland. As a somewhat devious way to boost our traffic, you can find it here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACustom/Harvest.html
There's also an addendum there about St. Bartholomew's Day.

Getting married in September, or celebrating an anniversary? The old Irish verse is:
Marry in September's shine, your living will be rich and fine.
And, for all of our readers heading back to school, we wish you much success and full marks. That reminds us of a very funny request we received sometime ago: "Could you please tell me what is on the traditional Irish Christmas tree? Someone is doing a project for school and I need to know." (Please be assured we were very gentle with the writer!)

Until next time, pinch punch, first day of the month, white rabbit! Happy National Australian Flag Day on September 3 to our readers down under; happy Welsh Rarebit day on the same date, happy Cheese Pizza Day on the 5th and happy Read a Book day on the 6th. For those of you keenly interested in what the entire month celebrates, it's Ethnic Foods Month, Honey Month, Latino Heritage Month,
Mushroom Month, National Beach Clean-up Month, National Chicken
Month, National Literacy Month, Piano Month, Rice Month, Sewing
Month, and Women of Achievement Month. Enough already!

May the coming week bring to you and yours a cornucopia of bountiful blessings and may He who bestows them hold you and yours in the palm of His hand, but not close His fist too tight upon you.

All the best - and as they say in Ireland - mind yourself!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
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Did you enjoy reading this edition of our newsletter? Voluntary donations to help keep us going are always welcome. Please send whatever you can to: 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. And many thanks 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: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com

The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
She is in Halifax Nova Scotia until September 2. For more details, please click: http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/voyage.asp?id=3

Let Me Take You To the Island 2003
The Rathlin week-end will take place on the 5th -7th September

The Houston St. Patrick's Parade Commission Presents:
2003 St. Paddy's Irish Open - Monday, September 15, 2003
2PM Shotgun Start - Four Man Scramble & Green Ball Contest at Augusta Pines, 18 Augusta Pines Rd, Spring, Texas For more details, please write: Irishmkk@aol.com

A Celtic Pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland
Sept 30 - Oct 8 2003
Learn. Pray. Observe. Meditate. Eat. Explore. Experience the beauty and mystery of Ireland in a unique spiritual journey to the Emerald Isle's sacred sites. For more details, please click

Aran Isles - Traditional Basket-Making - a journey into the past!
6 - 13 October 2003
You still can book for this last programme. October is a beautiful exciting month in Ireland, with wild seas, rainbows and ever- changing skies. For more details, please email Elizabeth Zollinger: info@irish-culture.ch

Samhain International Poetry Festival Friday 31 October & Mon 3 November in Gort a'Choirce, Co. Donegal. Email: info@samhainpoetrycompetition.com
or info@maggiedans.com

Ancient Order of Hibernians Historical Tour of Ireland
January 27, 04- February 4, 04
In conjunction with Our Lady of Knock Division No. 2; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, please call James V. Magee, Jr., President (513) 621-9660

Texas Dulcimer Cruise - February 5-9, 2004
Galveston to Cozumel on the Carnival Celebration. There will be workshops, jam sessions, talent show and more. These spots will go fast, so book early! Inside cabins are $430.80 pp, double occupancy and oceanview cabins are $480.80 pp, double occupancy. Delesandri Tours, booking agent for this trip Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: