Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to more than 1400 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,

A warm welcome back to everyone, and a special first hello to our newest subscribers. Many thanks for joining us and please feel free to pass our musings and meanderings along to your family and friends.

We hope this week's edition finds you in good health, good spirits and good company. As for ourselves, it was a bit of a mixed bag, some good, some not so good. Too many dips into the chocolate bar bowl are being blamed for Bridget's toothache which made her miserable. A visit to the dentist is imminent - and not eagerly anticipated. Bridget says she'd rather give birth than have a tooth filled - or pulled!

We also received the sad news of a dear friend's passing. We've known Jim Kaelin and his family for over 30 years - a good man who will be sorely missed by all who knew him. The funeral was yesterday. Always a great sports fan, he would have been thrilled with Notre Dame's win over Navy. One of those edge-of-the-seat games, it was 24-24 going into the last minute. A 40-yard field goal gave the Fighting Irish the win. However, Jim would not have been so happy with Ireland's performance in the quarter final rugby game with France. We took a thrashing - but for those of you who were following that series, you don't need the reminder.

One of the highlights of the week was baby-sitting our newest grandchild, Feival Owen, who now weighs more than eleven pounds - and we think at least a few ounces of that is the hair on his head. His mother says she may have to tie it back in a pony tail. He's a very good little baby and at the age when he's beginning to smile, gurgle and coo. His grandmother has reverted and is doing the same. Enough about us....

In news from Ireland:
Dublin: Tens of thousands of DART passengers are facing yet more disruption after Iarnród Éireann confirmed it is to shut down the southside part of the rail service from Christmas Day until January 5th. (Tens of thousands will NOT be happy!)

Dublin: Unmarked plot of Lockout hero given headstone. A headstone was unveiled in Deansgrange cemetery in Dublin last week to commemorate James Byrne who was an activist in the Lockout of 1913 and who died after going on hunger strike in prison.

Limerick: The planned 100 million Euro tunnel under the River Shannon will be the same height as the controversial Dublin Port Tunnel. The tunnel is part of the 350 million Euro Limerick city bypass. It will be 900 metres long and will have two dual carriageways.

Armagh: The Orchard County lived up to its name with the inaugural Apple Harvest Festival taking place last weekend. Apple-growing in the county is said to date back to St Patrick's planting an apple tree at Ceangoba.

Leitrim: One of the landmarks of the Lough Rynn area has changed forever with the falling of part of the "three sisters" oak tree in Gortletteragh. The huge tree, dating back hundreds of years, received its name from the fact that three trees grew out of the one trunk, but sadly, this has now been reduced to two.

Killarney: Celebration of Ties To Emmet. Recently, groups dressed as pikemen and women of the 1798 and 1803 risings marched through the town to mark the first celebration of its close links with Robert Emmet, whose mother was born there. An arched bridge, thought to have its origins in the 18th century, and a town park, near the former family home and estate on the edge of the National Park, were named after Emmet.

Offaly: The protection of the High Cross at Durrow has been assured for the foreseeable future with the announcement by Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Tom Parlon, that the government will buy part of the Durrow Abbey estate.

Tipperary: Roscrea landmark for sale. An eighteenth century house which was built in the late 1700s for the Birch family has been put on the market. Birchgrove has almost ten acres of land attached and has been beautifully restored.

In news from all over:
USA: The Emerald Isle Immigration Centre in NYC says it has seen a dramatic falling off in both queries and applications for a US Green Card. The implication is that the odds of receiving a Green Card should be greatly improved.

Rome: An Irish priest has been appointed as the Pope's chaplain. Monsignor Joseph Murphy, of Donoughmore in Co Cork, took up the post this past week. Also, during a private audience at the Vatican with President McAleese, Pope John Paul II said that Ireland, with its outstanding patrimony of spiritual and cultural values", had an essential role to play in the building of the new Europe.

From the mailbag:
Mike Duffy wrote to us about a new Irish association forming in Durham, Canada. "We've just started and are actively looking for those who can help with the formation of the association and those who just want to be a part of what will no doubt be a lively and entertaining ride as we attempt to awaken the docile Irish culture in the Durham region." For more details, contact June Duffy-Smith (Oshawa Area) (905) 723-0190 or Michael O'Hara (Pickering) (905) 837-1810

Links of the week:
In honour of our veterans, Margaret from NJ sent us an amazingly comprehensive page on the Irish soldiers in Korea:
The site also has a great deal of information on the Irish in other wars and on other battlefields:

A really nifty clock, sent in by John O'Callaghan, it was designed by University students in Poland:

Interview with God - whether you're a believer or not, the music is gentle and soothing, and the photos are gorgeous. This is from Alex of the Donegal Club yahoo group http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/popup3.html

Here's a wonderful time-waster from Hartson - Cat Bowling!

Enough blitherin' and blatherin'...on with the update:
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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
Then there's the Irishman on the construction site who was asked if he knows the difference between a joist and a girder. "Well, sure anyone would know that," he replies. "Joist wrote Ulysses and Girder wrote Faust."
This one has the ring of truth to it...
The wife had invited a houseful to Thanksgiving dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear your mother say," the father suggested. The daughter bowed her head and said, "Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
1. A US Marine of Irish descent, Daniel Joseph Daly, was awarded the Medal of Honor twice?
2. The "father of Argentina's Navy" was Admiral William Brown who was born in Foxford, Co. Mayo?
3.  Ireland's last Great War veteran was Thomas "Tommy" Shaw who was 102 when he died a year ago. He was buried with full military honours in Bangor, Co. Down, and a bugler from the Royal Irish Regiment sounded the Last Post.
Not only our countrymen utter Irish bulls.  Samuel Goldwyn gained such notoriety for this type of blunder that it rivaled his reputation as a Hollywood filmmaker.  He said of one of his stars, "We're overpaying him, but he's worth it." To someone who annoyed him, he remarked, "I never liked you, and I always will." More recently, Yogi Berra, the former New York Yankees catcher, demonstrated a particular genius for statements that contain an element of sprung logic.  "It ain't over 'till it's over," is, perhaps, his most famous remark. But he also uttered these priceless gems: "Sometimes you can observe a lot by watching."  He is also credited with saying that "Ninety-nine percent of this game is half mental" and "Half the lies they tell me aren't true." One day someone asked him, "What time is it?" and Berra replied, "You mean right now?"
Last week's answers: (our apologies for the typo on the year in the first title - it certainly didn't confound our sleuths!)

1. Irish Volunteer Soldier: 1913-1923 - Gerry White, Brendan O'Shea,
2. They Shall Not Grow Old - Irish Soldiers Remember the Great War - Myles Dungan
3. My Time in the War - An Irishwoman's Diary - Romie Lambkin
The Irish Brigade in the Civil War: The 69th New York and Other Irish
Regiments of the Army of the Potomac - Joseph G. Bilby

Congrats and a pat on the back to the following Irish bibliophiles:

Hartson Dowd
Always original in his thinking, Hartson has sent our readers a neat card:

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Interested in exploring "real Irish culture and history?" Take a look at our most recent tour and then request a brochure. In the meantime, we'd be happy to email you the itinerary.

Tim Shea
Great website for finding hundreds of Irish sites:

Debbie aka Mollie
A nice website to visit is Irish Literature, Mythology, Folklore andDrama found at:
It has not been updated since September of 2002 and a few of the links do not work but for the most part, it has some great literature.

Helen Dowd
You will find many articles on all subjects on Mission Magazine:
or visit my website at:

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Thanksgiving Day Kitchen Prayer Special:

Elizabeth Zollinger
Get to know the fascinating, rich and unique tradition of the Aran Islands during a cultural holiday on Inis Mór:

Marjorie Cunningham
My favorite is the official website of Frank McNamara, best known for his work with The Irish Tenors and The American Tenors

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. Wars of The Irish Kings
2. The Irish Brigade in the Civil War
3. The Irish Regiments: 1683-1999

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!)
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, here's the answer to the last one:
How do you get from one side of Dublin to the other without passing a pub? You go into every one! Well done, Debbie, for being first. We were bombarded with entries - just a tad too easy! So, we hope this week's will be more of a challenge:
Brendan stared through the dirty soot-smeared window on the 22nd floor of the office tower. Overcome with depression, he slid the window open and jumped through it. It was a sheer drop outside the building to the ground. Miraculously after he landed he was completely unhurt. Since there was nothing to cushion his fall or slow his descent, how could he have survived the fall?
We'll try to get the home-page updated as early in the week as we can - please be patient with us:
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New - Kids' Ireland: "Finn and the Aillen."
3. New - Irish Kitchen: St. Martin's feastday is this coming Tuesday and it used to be the custom to eat fresh pork. In honor of that tradition, we'll be posting another pork entrée early in the week
4. New - Video Library: The Fighting Sullivans
5. New - Spiritual shop: We've added several more "anachrons" of Irish saints
6. New - Music Library: There are now close to 20 holiday CDs featured
7. Featured - The Irish Soldiers in World War I
8. Featured - It's a Long Way to Tipperary
9. Featured - Danny Boy
10. Featured - Irish Celebrations: The Feast of St. Martin
11. Featured - Irish Celebrations: Martinmas
12. Ongoing - Circle of Prayer: Our fourth Novena in this cycle ends today. The fifth will begin on November 10th and continue through the 17th. With today being Remembrance Sunday or Poppy Day and with Veteran's Day being observed in the States on Tuesday, it seems appropriate to us to ask that you please keep our military personnel in your prayers or meditations - especially those stationed in Iraq. Please also remember Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Rita, Lindsea, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, Priscilla's family, and the Mulligan family. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day
13. Ongoing - Trivia Contest: We've been getting a lot of entries into this month's quiz - thank you! Haven't entered yet? You have until midnight on November 30th, whichever time zone you live in.
Congratulations to October's winner: Alda Tuk from Canada!
14. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for the past week
15. On-going -This month in Irish History:

Bridget hopes to catch up with everything she didn't get done the past week and apologizes for the delays. We'll have a new lesson from Aideen. We might have another music column from Michael of Irish Music International, and we'll have our regular features - a new blessing has already been posted (which really isn't a blessing; in honor of our fallen heroes, we put up the words to "Taps"). We'll have a new quote on Wednesday, and also whatever else we can think of to entertain you and keep you coming back. Incidentally, we should mention that visits to the site have been way up the past week or so - we've gone over a thousand on several days which is all very gratifying.

So that about wraps it up for this week, except for our usual bits and pieces. Besides Veteran's Day on Tuesday, our crazy calendar tells us that today we celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall and also Sadie Hawkins Day. The 10th is Tulip Lantern Festival in Switzerland and National Vanilla Cupcake day in the US. The 13th is World Kindness Day and National Indian Pudding Day; the 14th is Operating Room Nurse Day and it's also Children's Day in India. Last, but certainly not least, the 15th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! Celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special event in your family? Whatever it might be, we send you our very best wishes.

Until next time, may you and yours be showered with an abundance of blessings and may God keep you in the palm of his hand - but not close His fist too tight on you. 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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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
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer November/December here:

Texas Renaissance Festival
The Rogues are playing November 15th & 16th!
The Band will be performing at the Maypole twice on Saturday, 12:30 and 5:00, plus various lane shows, and the same on Sunday with a couple more shows at the Maypole. It's been three years since The Rogues have performed at TRF, and this is a one shot deal, so don't miss your chance to see The Rogues where it all started.
For more details, please click:

Monmouth, New Jersey - Fall Dance - November 16
Featuring The New York Show Band with Tommy Flynn; VFW Post 2179, Port Monmouth on RT 36. Sponsored by The Irish Federation Of Monmouth County; $25.00 per person - includes buffet dinner, wine and beer. Need more information? Please call Betty: 732-495-2656

Houston - November 16
The Houston unit of Irish Northern Aid will sponsor a free public meeting led by the Belfast author and historian, Sean Quinn. The main topic of the meeting will be "Policing in the North of Ireland". It will be held on Sunday, November 16, 2003 between 3PM-6PM at the Fedora Lounge in the Kaleidoscope Center, 10630
Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77042.

Silver Arm Performances - Greater Cincinnati area
Come out and enjoy Silver Arm at one of our upcoming performances.
Sat. Nov 15: Dilly Deli, Mariemont (513-561-5233) 7:30-10:30pm
Fri. Nov 21: John Sherman with Tom Paxton, 20th Century Theater, Oakley 8pm
Fri. Dec 12: Dilly Deli, Mariemont (513-561-5233) 7-10pm

Irish Writer's Centre, Dublin - November 22 and 23
The Writer's Guide To Publishing
Course Tutor: Cláir Ní Aonghusa Course Price: €110
For more details, please contact Bernadette Larkin: bernadette@writerscentre.ie

Song and Silence: A Weekend with the Celtic Saints - November 21-23
Pendle Hills, Wallingford, PA
For more information or to register, please contact our registrar, Steve Jackson, at ext. 142, (610) 566-4507 or (800) 742-3150, or e-mail him at registrar@pendlehill.org. If you have access to the Internet, please check out our website:

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. Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

Galveston, Texas
March 28, 03
Galveston 1894 Grand Opera House - James Galway, flautist Sunday March 28, 2004 3pm

Cais Conference/Reunion - May 26-29, 2004
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The theme is "Mother Tongues: The Languages of Ireland." For details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
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: