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Greetings & Blessings to one and all,

We hope this edition finds you and yours in good health, good spirits and good company. If this is your first issue, many thanks for joining us and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to forward them on to your family and friends.

Since last we wrote, the frost most definitely has made its presence felt on the pumpkin! Old man winter is in the air and snow showers are predicted for this Friday; but we have also enjoyed one of the most glorious Indian Summers we can remember in a long time.

Best of all since we were last in touch, Russ’ surgery for prostate cancer went well and the prognosis for a full recovery with no long-lasting after affects is excellent. For those of you who have experienced what can happen, you know full well what the implications can be. But medical science is making great strides and we are hoping that he will be back to his normal self in no time. Meanwhile, he is still experiencing a lot of discomfort, but given what could have happened with his diagnosis and treatment, we have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving holiday.

We also appreciate the outpouring of emails and cards! Your prayers and support have been a great comfort to both of us. Go raibh maith agat!

Onwards. It is so hard to believe that the holidays are here again. Radio stations are playing non-stop Christmas music already and the stores have been decorated since before Halloween! But at least in the Haggerty household there will be no Christmas music played until AFTER Santa goes in to Macy’s at the end of the parade on Thursday! We’ll probably tune into AccuRadio’s Celtic Christmas and leave it playing (for the kitties) before heading over to our daughter’s home for a turkey feast with our family. We truly feel blessed this year and the grace will be one of deep gratitude for all that God has given us. May it be so for you and yours.

Exciting News! Speaking of Christmas and music, we are having a drawing for several Christmas CDs by the Irish Tenors. This is their newest Christmas album featuring a great collection of popular carols and seasonal songs. If you would like to be entered into the drawing, please send an email to Bridget:

It would be helpful if you put Irish Tenors Christmas in the subject line. Thank you.

Enough of the blitherin- on with the update ...
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Christmas is coming and the nice folks at Lollysmith have stocked up on great gifts for everyone on your list, including new Angel Cheeks ornaments and figurines. They also have a wide array of authentic Irish products, from Feadog Irish Pro 'D' Tin whistles to Connemara Marble Rosary beads and more. And for those who haven't been or would just like to reminisce, the Over Ireland DVD takes you on a tour of the Emerald Island in a whole new way - from above!  A breathtaking experience without leaving your home!
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 Is
Leave 'em Laughing


Antrim: Bridge to open all year round – weather permitting
The Carrick-a-Rede bridge near Ballintoy on the north Antrim coast is to remain open all winter to accommodate the many tourists who arrive outside the normal season. The rope bridge, which is twenty metres long and is suspended thirty metres above rock level, attracted more than one hundred and seventy thousand visitors during the summer season. The bridge is operated by the National Trust and site manager Caroline Reid has emphasised that the possibility of tourists crossing the bridge would be very dependent on the weather during the winter months.

Armagh: Armagh man sells collection of Kavanagh papers
Jim Vallelly from Armagh, who is a great fan of the work of poet and author Patrick Kavanagh, recently saw the fruits of fifteen years search sold at the annual Belfast Book Auction. Jim has collected over the years thirteen of the fifteen editions of “Kavanagh's Weekly”, a newspaper written and edited by Kavanagh and funded by his brother Peter. As far as Jim knows this is only the second time editions of the paper have gone to auction, the last time being twenty-five years ago in Dublin.

Armagh: Gold fever mounting in the county
The Conroy diamonds & Gold exploration firm has said that a lake near Keady could be one of the largest untapped sites in the British Isles. Clay Lake, which is just over the border from a site where gold has been found in Monaghan by the same company, first came to attention more than twenty years ago when a farmer found a gold nugget weighing twenty-eight grammes in a stream bed near the lake. Traces of zinc have also been found just south of Clay Lake, which has been known primarily for its pike fishing. The gold nugget is now on display in the Ulster Museum.

Carlow: Kildavin school marks 50th anniversary
Recently, a past pupils' reunion took place in Kildavin to mark the school's fiftieth anniversary. The celebration included a Mass in St Lazarian's Church followed by the ceremony of cutting the cake in Conway's pub.

Carlow: Nun swears by ice cream for a long life
Sister Finian Morrissey has obviously proved that the secret to a long life, apart from porridge for breakfast and a deep devotion to God, is a regular scoop of Haagen Daaz Baileys ice cream. Sister Finian, who is one of four children born to the Morrissey family in Graiguenaspideog, celebrated her one hundred and fourth birthday recently in the Riverdale Nursing Home in Tullow where she has lived for the past twelve years.

Cavan: Cavan: Reillys gather in Ballyjamesduff
Part of the Culchie Festival in Ballyjamesduff recently was a gathering of Paddy Reillys, with a total of eighty-three of them arriving in the town, one of them from Virginia in the US. The Reillys ranged in age from six months to eighty-plus and included the Paddy Reilly Band, all of whose six members bear the name. The Culchies also linked up with the Virginia Pumpkin Festival, learning how to dress one of the fruits. Both the gathering of Reillys and the aptly named Paddy Reilly Band are heading for the record books, according to organiser Paddy Rock.

Clare: The end of an era at Bunratty
A career of almost three decades at Bunratty has come to a close with the retirement of Noel Murphy, who has played the part of the butler to the Earl of Thomond at Bunratty's mediaeval banquets since 1981. A Corkman, Noel worked in both Dunguaire and Knappogue Castles in the 1970s and returned to Clare after a spell in Dublin. He paid particular tribute to the support he received from his colleagues, whom he describes as his extended family, at the early deaths of both his wife Nuala and their son Conor. He is now looking forward to starting his retirement by spending a long holiday in Australia with his brother Frank.

Cork: Cobh on Queen Mary's itinerary
Recently, Cobh was one of the ports of call for the Queen Mary II, which was celebrating its fifth birthday with a maiden Round the British Isles voyage. It is the largest liner ever to visit Ireland. While the vessel was in Cobh the managing director of the Cunard Line, Peter Shanks, and master of the liner Commodore Bernard Warner, together took part in a ceremony at the Lusitania Memorial. The Lusitania was also a vessel of the Cunard line. The company, which has had a relationship with Cobh stretching back to the nineteenth century, is also celebrating the 170th anniversary of its foundation this year.

Derry: John sees missed opportunity
John Thompson, who has managed the Amelia Earhart Museum for the past twenty years, feels the City Council has missed a great opportunity to increase tourism in the region through their decision to close the museum due to lack of funding. The council has asked that it be opened once a week with the help of volunteers, but John believes that the museum could attract increasing numbers of visitors due to the release of the movie “Amelia”, starring Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor. At the end of her transatlantic flight Amelia Earhart landed in Gallagher's field in Ballyarnett.

Derry: Playwright thanks artists
Although he doesn't often attend public engagements, playwright Brian Friel was in Derry recently to receive a picture montage of their murals by the Bogside Artists, Tom and William Kelly and Kevin Hasson. Mr Friel expressed his gratitude to the three artists, whom he has continued to support over the years, and said he believed they were taken very much for granted. His was one of the contributions in the Bogside Artists' book, “The People's Gallery”. The presentation to the Donegal-based playwright was to honour his 80th birthday earlier in the year.

Derry: Mural unveiled in Limavady
Youths from the Glens area of Limavady have been working alongside Derry's Bogside Artists to create a mural in the town which they have designed themselves. The mural, based on themes reflecting the Roe Valley Country Park and the song “Danny Boy”, was unveiled last week.

Donegal: Call goes out for Santa's elves
Pat Doherty, who has a number of tourism enterprises on his land at Doagh Island, has advertised for people over the age of sixteen and under fifty-four inches tall to come to take the part of Santa's elves at the annual Christmas village. Pat, whose Santa's island attracts thousands of visitors from Ireland and Scotland each year, has until now taken on children to act as Santa's elves, but this year he thought it would be a good idea to hire small people instead.

Down: GAA founder's roots confirmed
Researchers had established that one of the founders of the GAA was from the county, but after an appeal in the Irish News they now have confirmation of the fact. John McKay was at the first meeting of the association in Thurles one hundred and twenty-five years ago and his great-grand-nephew, Danny McKay, has been able to provide Donal McAnallen and Kieran McConville with a letter that gives the family history. From this it has emerged that John McKay was born in 1852 in the townland of Cargagh near Downpatrick and that one of his sons, who changed his name to Paul Murray, went to London and worked with film director Alfred Hitchcock

Dublin: John is honoured by Wolfhound Association
John Kelly and his wife Kathleen began breeding Irish Wolfhounds in the late 1950s, after their friend Dr May gave them a wolfhound puppy, and recently their contribution to the success of the breed was recognised by the Irish Wolfhound Association of Ireland. John was presented with a silver perpetual trophy by Mike and Kathy Verble of Manasota Wolfhounds. John and Kathleen, who run Nutstown Kennels, both serve on the board of the Association and they have been invited to act as judges in a number of international events. John spends up to six hours a day exercising his hounds in the fields close to their home.

Fermanagh: Donal's catch is a world record
Donal Maguire from Enniskillen took part in the recent three-day Pike Fishing Classic and took the world record by landing the biggest pike. Donal was fishing close to Maguire Castle when he landed the 20lb 11oz pike to take home a prize of £3,600, just beating into second place Glen Hall from Maguiresbridge.

Galway: Third place for Galway accent
Galway people have the third most popular accent in the country. That's according to a new study carried out by Travelodge. It showed that Irish people voted the Dublin accent as the nicest, with 31 per cent of votes, with the Cork lilt in second place with 18 per cent.

Kerry: Dennys return to Tralee
A book launch was one of the main reasons for a gathering of members of the Denny family in Tralee recently. Originally Elizabethan planters, the family left the town in the nineteenth century but left their legacy in the name of the town's main street. Attending the launch of “History of Tralee, Its Charter and Governance” by Gerald O'Carroll were Sir Anthony and Lady Catherine Denny, their son Thomas and his wife Benita. Also taking place during their visit was a civic reception in their honour, a tour of the town and a visit to places connected with the Denny family over the years.

Kilkenny: Local woman is conker conqueror
Aileen Dooley from Freshford did not have far to travel to take part in this year's Irish Conker Championships and she admitted to hours of practice over the past year which led to her winning of the Championship Cup. A Woodsgift boy, eight-year-old Jude McKinley, won the under-12 event, claiming an advantage in having a horse chestnut tree in his garden.

Kilkenny: Mayo man wants to return medal
Retired garda Stephen Clancy has a Star medal which was awarded to Corporal Matthew Bourke, who served from October 1915 until he was discharged in April 1919. Mr Clancy knows that Matthew Bourke was born in Kilkenny on September 3 1882 and, on his discharge from the British Army, he joined the RIC, being posted to Kerry. In addition to his Star award he also received the Victory Medal.

Kilkenny: Red-coated dash on streets of Kilkenny
The first Saturday in December will see large numbers of Santas undertaking a run through the streets of Kilkenny city as part of its first Santa Run. The organisers, Active Age, are hoping to attract up to one thousand people to join in the run which will begin at the Castle, go down Rose Inn Street, over John's Bridge, out onto the Castlecomer Road and back into the city by way of Green's Bridge; it will finish at the Parade. Participants will be asked to pay €25 to enter, for which they will receive the full Santa costume, with all proceeds going to a local charity and to local schools for the provision of playground equipment.

Laois: Bord na Mona to lease Abbeyleix bog
Bord na Mona, the owners of Killamuck bog in Abbeyleix, have decided to lease the bog rather than sell it as they want to ensure it isn't in future used for commercial projects. The bog will primarily be used for the restoration of habitat and local people were assured that activities such as horseriding and walking through the bog would continue.

Leitrim: Massive crane visits Drumsna
The largest crane ever to be used in Ireland was in Drumsna recently to lift into place a €5.5m railway bridge across the Shannon at Derryoughter, Drumsna between Annaduff and Kilmore. The crane, which has a lifting capacity of thirteen hundred and fifty tonnes, was imported from Texas for the occasion. It arrived on eighty lorries and was assembled on site.

Louth: Local paper celebrates 160 years
It is one hundred and sixty years since Joseph Cartan founded the Dundalk Democrat, to support Daniel O'Connell, In the entire period there have been just nine editors, with the present one being Anthony Murphy.

Sligo: Thousands tune in to Sligo music festival
Traditional music sessions in a number of venues in Sligo were the setting recently for a music festival that was broadcast around the world by webcast. Hargadons, Shoot the Crows, the Rendevouz and Fiddler's Creek were among the venues, with headline acts including Martha Wainwright, Imedla May, The Saw Doctors, and Frankie Gavin. The webcast, which drew requests from viewers in Pakistan and the Shetland Islands among other places, also featured the Fiddler of Dooney competition.

Sligo: Lisa pays tribute to musical parents
A new album has been launched this week at the Sligo Park hotel by Sligo woman Lisa Stanley, who pays tribute to her late mother, Maisie McDaniel, and her father Fintan Stanley. The album, “"Lisa Stanley sings the hits of Maisie McDaniel”, will feature not only Lisa's father, but also her mother's sister Deirdre. Maisie McDaniel, known as the queen of country music at the peak of her success, died suddenly last year before she and Lisa could work on an album they were planning to produce together. Also featuring on the debut album are singers Philomena Begley and Sandy Kelly, both old friends of Lisa's mother. 

Westmeath: Work continues on Hevey Institute
Architectural restoration work is taking place at the Hevey Institute in Mullingar and the wish of Coláiste Mhuire's school principal Joe O'Meara is that one day it will become part of the school once again. Dating from the middle of the nineteenth century, the Institute also features a clock in the front of the belfry which, according to Mr O'Meara, has not been heard to strike in living memory. He is hoping that perhaps a past student can be found who is willing to sponsor the repair of the clock. Phase three is at present in progress, including work on the building's one hundred and three windows.

Wexford: Lifeboat station plaque returned
The plaque, which commemorates lifeboat rescues prior to 1924, was originally located near the Point of the Raven before being washed away by high tides. Missing for years, it was discovered some time back and put on display at The Guillemot at Kilmore Quay before being returned to the lifeboat station.

Wicklow: Restoration hope for Russborough
The demesne of Russborough House might now be in line for restoration following its inclusion in the 2010 World Monuments Watch. Features noted by the World Monuments Watch include the bridge to Lady's Island, the wooden planks of which have either fallen away or are dislodged while the support railing is in a precarious state. The Lime Kiln and the ice house also came in for inspection and Eric Blatchford, chief executive of the Alfred Beit Foundation believes that the estate's inclusion on the list will lead to funding becoming available for restoration work.
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Joan Kreuser writes: I am looking for the author of a poem that starts:
Christmas time in Ireland, in the days when I was young
When we'd gather 'round the fire and the old songs they were sung
To hear my dear old mother tell of bygone days of yore
And the way that she spent Christmas on dear old Erin's shore.
There are 5 verses in the poem and I would like to have the name of the author.  Of course, it may simply be an author unknown as so many old poems are.
Jaryd McCree writes: Liam Clancy consistently wears the same cap at all of his performances.  If you go to youtube and look at the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem singing "The Irish Rover" or "Isn't it Grand Boys," you will see the cap.  Bottom line, where can I get a cap or two like that?
ED. NOTE: We’ve been looking, but no luck so far. Any help would be appreciated!.
Fiona writes: I want to give my new baby (as yet unborn) an Irish name and so I was wondering if you could give me some information on two boys names:
 Lugach: meaning of name, any history/stories associated with it and whether it should have a fada on the u. Could you also write as best you can how this might be pronounced – at present I am of the impression that it is pronounced Loo och. Is this right and would it change if there were a fada?
 Eolann - meaning of name, any history/stories associated with it. I would appreciate this information asap as I am due soon.
 Any direction to good websites or books for Irish names would be much appreciated, particularly since we are really stuck for a girls name.
Micheal O Murchu has a question:
 When I was growing up in rural Ireland, in the heart of the Midlands, a particularly resilient folk-belief in that region and, for all I know, in other parts of Ireland, was that of the "weasels' funeral." I can remember hearing several people recounting at different times their version of the phenomenon; some even claimed to have witnessed it. My own father, Lord rest his soul, never claimed to have actually seen one, but he was adamant it was more than just another piseog of which, as we all know, there is an abundance in  every part of Ireland. He simply refused to doubt the word of those friends of his who swore they had seen it.
Briefly, the details as described by the person who claimed to have actually happened upon the "funeral" are as follows: he/she is walking along a country road or boreen in broad daylight. Then, suddenly, there emerges from the hedgerow and long grass, a line of weasels dragging the dead body of one of their fellows. They cross the road, ignoring the observer, and make their way into a nearby field where the procession continues -- to where exactly I never found out,  or perhaps I've forgotten. In some accounts, the "funeral procession" is seen proceeding along the bank of a stream or river.
I know of many folk-beliefs concerning weasels besides that which I've just described. They all have one feature in common: the weasel is a dangerous animal with mysterious powers better avoided and confronted at one's peril. In the Irish language there is actually no word for "weasel." The latter is often wrongly translated "easog" which, in fact, means a stoat. I vaguely recall reading an article by a naturalist in one of the Irish newspapers many years ago that there are no weasels in Ireland, only stoats (which people
simply call weasels.). Nevertheless, whether or no, I still remember those people long ago who crossed their heart as incontrovertible proof their accounts of that (eerie) funeral procession were "the gospel truth."
 I'm eager to hear your readers' responses.

A Thanksgiving greeting for all of our readers in the USA
If you are familiar with Jacquie Lawson cards, then you already know what a brilliant job she does. We especially liked this one as it features an extract from one of our favorite pieces of music - the New World Symphony by Dvorjak. Enjoy!

A beautifully done Thanksgiving video
Sent in by a reader “My Ireland” who is one of our faithful subscribers, this is a heart tugger and you’ll want to have the tissues handy. It also links to many other similar videos:

John McCormick sings Bless this House
This hymn is often sung in many churches at Thanksgiving and at Christmas time. However, if you grew up in post-war England as Bridget did, more than likely, it was the Gracie Fields version that you heard. Listening to it brought back many fond memories.
John McCormick video:
Gracie Fields video:

We Gather Together by the Celtic Women
This old hymn is traditionally sung at Thanksgiving time in the United States. It’s a more upbeat version than we’re used to hearing, but very nicely done all the same.

Catch the falling apples
If Bridget had to depend on using the apples she caught for making her apple pie, we'd have to go without. See how well you do with this fast moving game. Please click

The latest from the Irish Page
For the very first time IrishPage, is starting a series of articles.  This will be Part 1 and in two weeks they will send Part 2 and so on.  This will bring us right up to and through Christmastide.  It has been our custom year after year to send something inspirational during this special time of year. This is why theye chose the inspirational tale of Séadna now. 

It happened this week: Remembering JFK
It’s so difficult for us to believe that it’s been 46 years since that awful day in Dallas - Russ’ 20th birthday and just a couple of months after our wedding day. This web site has a lot of info and videos. Well worth exploring:

Autumn Sunrise in Hocking Hills, Ohio
Too often, we overlook just how gorgeous Autumn can be in our part of the country - and this fall has been . Here, our generous sponsor , friend and near neighbor captures the beauty of Indian Summer in the Midwest.

One of our long-time loyal readers, Jim Smith sent us this link which features the work of a very clever and imaginative artist. Thanks Jim!

New works by Amy Funderburk
By popular request over the years, and thanks to the efforts of Mike and Becky at Art Purveyors and Wildflowers Publishing, Amy now has two giclee reproductions currently available for purchase - Lakes of Killarney and Manifestatiosn of Rabbit. To see these works and get more details, please click

Irish Classical Music Pioneers
During the period, 1770 to about 1870,  seven Irish born classical musicians and performers emerged on the concert stages and in the salons and opera houses in Europe, Russia, America, Australia and elsewhere with great success. Read their story by Basil Walsh here:

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:
ED. NOTE: Maria Eryaatz advises that free mammograms are also available in all states via the VNA (visiting nurses association).
Click on 'Find A VNA' for the your nearest location.

Free Pet Food!
Last but certainly not least - our ongoing 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!

Free People Food!
It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:

A toast to our American readers:
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!
Author unknown
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations. Oscar Wilde
A bit of twisted humour about what can happen when we delve into our family roots:

The Taylor's were proud of their family history. Their ancestors had travelled to America with the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower. They had included Congressmen, successful entrepreneurs, famous sports people and television stars.  They decided to research and write a family history, something for their children and grandchildren. They found a specialist genealogist and writer to help them.  Only one problem arose - how to handle Great Uncle Jefferson Taylor who was executed in the electric chair.  The writer said she could handle the story tactfully. When the book appeared the section about Jefferson read:
Great Uncle Jefferson Taylor occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, he was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock.

1. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest time to pluck a turkey was achieved by Vincent Pilkington of Cootehill, Co Cavan? He plucked a turkey in one minute and 30 seconds on RTÉ television in Dublin on November 17, 1980 As far as we know, his record still stands and he was so enthusiastic about his skills that he even carried out 24 hours of turkey plucking to raise funds for his local Holy Family School. In this time he plucked 244 turkeys.

2. Dustin the Turkey, an Irish television puppet and star of RTÉ's The Den is celebrating 20 years on Irish TV this month? A "turkey vulture" with a strong Dublin accent, Dustin is one of a handful of popular Irish puppet characters on Irish television.

3. In the UK, 200 years ago, turkeys were walked to market in herds and wore booties to protect their feet?

First off, the answers to our last quiz:
1. A haunted land : Ireland's ghosts / Bob Curran
2. Mysterious world : Ireland / Ian Middleton, Douglas Elwell
3. Famous Irish ghost stories / edited by Mairtin O'Griofa

Hats off and a pat on the back to the following Irish bibliophiles:

Anne Gilchrist

Jack Donahue

Brian Hopkins

Gabrielle Patricia Cleeland
“Gaye” confessed she cheated by going to a link down under to find the answers. Actually, we consider any effort to find the titles worthy of mention and certainly not cheating. here’s the link, in case you’re curious:

Tom McGuire

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
Personalized Tours of Ireland:
Imagine you’re in the country of your dreams with your favorite people. It could be your closest colleagues through the years from work, or your extended family, for a once-in-a-lifetime gathering.  Instead of being herded onto a huge tour bus of strangers, you’re together in a small van getting a personalized tour of Ireland. To learn more, please click

Helen Dowd
ED. NOTE: Thanks to your votes, Helen remains in first place on the top Christian site.  

Hartson Dowd
Ancient Music of Ireland
A few pages mainly inspired by the collections of Edward Bunting, who had attended the famous Belfast Harp Festival in 1792 and had been engaged to note down the music from the last harpers, before it would vanish with them for ever.

Jack & Lee Patterson
Jack & Lee are presenters on Irish Shamrock Radio and would love to have you stop by for a visit:

If you’d like to see your name in our Irish bibliophile’s list, tell us who wrote the following:

1. Aishling Gayle
2. Tara Flynn
3. The Summer of Lily & Esme

Hint: You’ll find these and many other here:

Please send your answers to Bridget:
Don't forget to nominate a favorite Irish site and it would be helpful if you put "Know Your Writers" in the subject line of your email. Thanks!
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Time to deck the halls and do it with a Celtic twist! From Irish Nativity sets to Irish Santas, you’ll find more than a plethora of ways to show off your Irish heritage this holiday season. Plus, take 5.00 off an order of $50 or more  exclusively through Irish Culture & Customs. Just put  the code IC01 in the add a gift card section!
Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Tel: 1-360-286-2307
On line:
To begin with, the answer to our last frightful groaners:
1. Q. Where do baby ghosts go during the day?
A. The Day Scare Center

2. Why do mummies make good employees?
A. They get so wrapped up in their work.

As always, our Riddle People didn’t let us down and we had an avalanche of correct answers. But first in was Ruth Craig. Well done, Ruth!

And now for our next mind mangler - and we couldn’t help but nod our heads in the direction of a popular Thanksgiving dessert:

Q. What you get when you divide the diameter of a jack-o-lantern by its circumference ?

Please send your answer to:
It would be helpful if you put riddle answer in the subject line. Thanks!

1. SEARCH FUNCTION: Have you tried it out? You can find the search box in the banner on the left-hand side. Simply key in whatever word or words you wish and if they’re on the site, Google will find them!

Take a look and you’ll also see a link to their official homepage as well as an opportunity for on-line visitors to enter our free CD drawing.

3. SHOPPING SECTION:  After Thanksgiving? Christmas! It’s not too early to start thinking about the holidays and our shops are already stocking up on festive fare, gifts for everyone on your list, Irish-inspired decorations and more. Please click
ED. NOTE: Every purchase through our shop links, helps support our efforts. Many thanks in advance.

4. Article: Last call for Ireland’s Phone Boxes

5. Article - Two Weeks in Heaven by Jane Fadely. A delightful travelogue we are certain you will enjoy.
ED. NOTE: After you read the article, Jane welcomes your comments or questions:

6. Poetry Corner: Mary Joseph Plunkett

7. Article: In My Father’s Time

8. Article: Preparing the Puddings

9. The Irish Kitchen Irish Christmas Goose

10. Basic Irish: The Big Dinner

11. Kids’ Ireland: The Story of Sadhbh
Also: Gaelic Football in the Culture Corner.

12. Music Review:  Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar recommends the latest from Beoga - “The Incident”:

13. Trivia Contest:  The new contest for November is posted and all entries must be in by November 30 no matter what time zone you’re in.  
October’s Winner: Congratulations to Ruth Craig from Nova Scotia who chose the Penny Whistle set generously provided by our sponsor Lollysmith. Ruth is giving the prize to her husband and hopes he will learn how to play.

14. Circle of Prayer: The 6th Novena in this cycle began on November 19 and continues through November 27. Whatever your spiritual leanings we ask that you keep Russ  in your prayers and meditations that he continues to make a full recovery; also our good friend Mickey who is in intensive care; Robin’s husband Gregg who is in hospice, Keyra who has a malignant brain tumor; Mary in NYC and her mother; Linda, the aunt of our friend Carlos who has advanced breast cancer; Jeff Minnick’s 3-month old son in the hospital with meningitis, Ronnie Kennedy and Joe Colum, Hartson Dowd,  Burnett McManus’ friend who recently underwent surgery for lung cancer, Christy Banik, Joe Colum, Patricia's daughter Heather, the family and friends of the McTiernans, Laureena Blankenship, Sierra Mitchell,  Katie Lacinak and so many others as well as all those who are suffering from the financial hardships of the economic downturn.  And please don't overlook  our military personnel serving their countries at home and abroad. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe from all harm and bring those away from home back to their loved ones soon.

So that’s the long and the short of it until we write again.  If you or a loved one are celebrating a birthday,  or other special event between now and then,  we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.  Also, since it will be after December 1st, when we’re next in touch - pinch, punch white rabbit! Getting married in December? Here’s your special old Irish verse:
When December showers fall fast
Marry and true love will last.

Safe journey and safe home to those of you travelling over the Thanksgiving holiday and we’ll take our leave of all our readers with this lovely old blessing:

May God in His wisdom and infinite love
Look down on you always from heaven above.
May He send you good fortune, contentment and peace,
And may all of your blessings forever increase.

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!
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
or click on this link:
Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:

Irish Abroad also has a comprehensive listing:

If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.


Andalusia, Spain - Now through November 30
Two Artists, Two Countries
Margit Björklund from Sweden and Roger Cummiskey from Ireland, members of the Andalusian International Artists Group, exhibit a selection of their artworks.
For more details, please click

Nyack NY - Now through December 12
The Elmwood Playhouse at 10 Park Street is presenting "A Man of No Importance" - an extraordinary tale of an ordinary man. Adapted from the book by Terrence McNally and featuring music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty . For complete details, please click

Dublin, Ireland - December 3
The National Chamber Choir of Ireland perform a magnificent new programme exploring Ireland’s influence in choral music.The Shaw Room, National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square. For complete details, please click

Hollywood, Florida - December 5
The Irish American Ceili Club invites you to a Christmas Ceili on Saturday, December 5 with a lavish buffet of Turkey, ham & all the fixins', and Music by Noel Kingston. American Legion Hall
211 North 21 AvenueHollywood-FL. Admission: $10 members & $12 guests. More info:
Or call Call Patrick @ 754-281-7202

December 12 - Aronoff Centre, Cincinnati, OH
The Irish Tenors Christmas Show! As many of you know, we live in Cincinnati and so the publicist for the trio has enlisted our help in spreading the word. We checked with the ticket office and there are plenty of good seats available. So, if you live in the tri-state area, here’s your chance to see the irish Tenors in person. For tickets or information, please click:

Los Alamitos, California -1st Tuesday of every month
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307

Portland, oregon - 1st Friday of the month
Ceili of the Valley Society - First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click

This is a reprise of what we ran a couple of years ago - and we think it’s worth running again. We hope you agree!

Why was the United Nations worried when a waiter dropped a platter of turkey? It meant the fall of Turkey, the ruin of Greece, and the break-up of China.

What does a turkey say?
Gobble, gobble, gobble . Not always! Here are some alternatives:

A jewelry-lovin' turkey: Bauble bauble bauble

A dyslexic turkey: Boggle Boggle Boggle

A turkey in the shoe repair shop: Cobble cobble cobble

A turkey who was an old-time movie fan: Gable, Gable, Gable

A turkey with a sore throat : Gargle Gargle Gargle

A turkey with a sore leg : Hobble hobble hobble

A football turkey: Huddle, huddle, huddle

A dieting turkey: Nibble, nibble nibble

A one-legged Cockney turkey 'Obble 'Obble 'Obble

A turkey who argues a lot: Squabble squabble squabble.

Then there was the Turkey who drank too much Wild Turkey and went: Wobble Wobble Wobble!

'Twas The Night Of Thanksgiving
'Twas the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned,the dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!

I crashed through the ceiling. Floating into the sky,
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees...
Happy eating to all! Pass the cranberries, please!