Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every fortnight or so and sent out to nearly 4600 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:
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Gleefully ghoulish and ghostly greetings to all, God help us!

We hope this Hallowe'en edition finds you in good spirits, good health and good company.

A very Belated Happy Thanksgiving to our friends in Canada; we also hope and pray that all of our friends in Ireland enjoyed the bank holiday this past weekend.

Are you ready for Spirit Night? This is our first Hallowe'en at Tadpole Cottage and it's lovely to see the effort our new neighbors have put into decorating their homes. All the pumpkins, corn shocks and scarecrow displays add an even greater splash of color to the changing leaves - those still on the trees and the piles gathering on the ground waiting to be raked and bagged. How we miss the aroma of burning leaves in Autumn! But that particular harbinger of Fall has been banned in our Ohio Valley for a good many years now. Oh well. One must assume it's better for our health and the environment.

Last time we wrote, we were enjoying temperatures in the 80s. Not anymore. This morning, the frost was most definitely on the pumpkin - or turnip! But no snow - yet. And that's a vast improvement over what ireland experienced the last couple of days. Did you see that headline in our news this morning about the tourists stranded by a blizzard in the Wicklow Mountains? The photo looks like the Rockies! If you haven't seen it, take a look at the news for today, October 30:

Onwards - and to a very sad piece of news indeed. Many of you have written to say how much you enjoy our Basic Irish pages. We could not have put those together without the help of our native speaker Aideen Barrett. Sadly, Aideen has passed away, RIP. It's a great loss for us as she had become a good friend and we will miss her very much. Bridget is putting together a tribute which will appear on the website as soon as it's finished.

On a much lighter note, we're busy preparing for the trick or treaters tomorrow night and we're crossing our fingers we've bought enough chocolate bars! We're also working on costumes for a party we'll be attending Saturday evening. Given that the US presidential election is this coming Tuesday, the theme is politics. Bridget was tempted to buy a Sarah Palin mask until she realised she couldn't afford the clothes to go with it! Just kidding. We'd tell you what we are going as but we have friends who will be there who will read this and we don't want to let on. We'll tell you all about it next time.

Enough of the blitherin'...on with the update:
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It's never too early to start the holiday shoppingand there are a good many advantages in getting a head start - you can be sure what you want is in stock, your gifts will arrive in time, and you won't feel rushed and frazzled. Come take a look at what's in store and start making those lists now - you'll be glad you did. For example, we have Jacob's Chocolates, genuine Blackthorn Walking Sticks, Hanna Hats & Caps, Connemara blankets and much, much more!
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
What follows are news clips from around the counties and elsewhere. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site where we post the latest headlines from Ireland every morning and we keep two week's of previous news: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
And more county news can be found here:

Aer Lingus links up with United Airlines
Aer Lingus customers will be able to access United Airlines' US network from April 2009. This means Aer Lingus customers will be able to book connecting flights with United through the six airports that Aer Lingus flies into in the US. and United Airlines' customers will be able to access destinations in Ireland and Europe.

Antrim: Castle wall collapses
Recently, a forty-foot section of the Barbican gate of Antrim Castle (also known as Massareene Castle),collapsed and damaged a nearby war memorial in Market Square The wall is believed to have been built in the early years of the seventeenth century by Sir John Clotworthy.

Antrim: Community secures church building
St Joseph's Church in Sailortown, which closed for public use in 2001, is to be leased by the Catholic Church to a local community group at no cost. Its closure caused major protests and Mass has been celebrated on the steps of the church every Sunday over the past seven years. Now, however, the Church has leased the building to the Sailortown Regeneration Group, though with conditions. These include a ban on holding a religious service of any denomination in the 19th century listed building, nor can any political organisations have the use of the church. The Belfast Building Preservation Trust will work with the local community to provide a heritage and educational centre in St Joseph's.

Carlow: Carlow band celebrates forty years
An open day at Scoil Mhuire gan Smál in Carlow was held to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Presentation School Band, beginning with a performance from the 2008 band. A special cake was also made for the occasion with band founder, Sister Anna Hyland, blowing out the candles. She then presented the band members with engraved medals, and introduced a perpetual cup which she presented to its first recipient, past pupil and one of the band's tutors Sandra Griffin. Band chairman Walter Lacey then announced that the band has been invited to Tralee next year for the fiftieth anniversary of the Rose of Tralee Festival.

Cork: Blarney vacancy calls for multiple skills
With the retirement of David Daly after ten years of helping people to kiss the Blarney Stone, the job is open for applications, but David insists that prospective candidates will have to have a friendly outlook as well as a good knowledge of the history of the area. They will also need to have a certain level of strength, since the tourists requiring assistance come in all shapes and sizes. David's oldest candidate was a 96-year-old American visitor, while his youngest was a three-week-old baby. And a number of men, after having kissed the Blarney Stone, have immediately proposed marriage to their girlfriends.

Derry: Helena is not for turning
Despite a number of offers to purchase part of her back garden in Limavady to enable a major development to go ahead, Helena Hunt is determined not to sell her land. Seven years ago the eighty-five-year-old turned down an offer of £250,000 for part of her garden and the latest offer, from Charlie Mullin of Oakmore Developments, has met with the same response.

Derry: Barracks to become movie house
During this year's Hallowe'en celebrations in Derry, the former British army barracks at Ebrington will be transformed into a drive-in movie park. According to the city's mayor, Gerard Diver, who announced the innovation, the Banks of the Foyle Hallowe'en Carnival will also have a fancy dress parade on the riverfront, which will be followed by a major fireworks display staged from the middle of the river with musical accompaniment.

Down: Baby otter to leave Newcastle home
A three-month-old otter which was found wandering at Oxford Island nature reserve has been in the care of Sandra and Peter Marsden of the 2nd Change Wildlife Rehabilitation Trust in Newcastle. The Marsdens have nursed the orphan back to health at their Main Street, Newcastle facility but don't have the facilities to reintroduce her to the wild, so she is to be sent to a rehabilitation centre on the Island of Skye. And the Flybe airline has offered to facilitate the otter's journey to the Scottish centre, flying her to Inverness where she will be collected by personnel from the International Otter Survival Fund.

Dublin: Dun Laoghaire to remember 1918 tragedy
An ecumenical service was held recently to commemorate the more than five hundred people who lost their lives when the mailboat RMS Leinster sank after being hit by a German U-Boat in 1918. The vessel had just left Dun Laoghaire harbour on its way to Holyhead when the disaster took place; the service was attended by the mayor of Holyhead and a delegation of victims' relatives. The service was conducted by both Irish and Welsh members of the clergy, and the names of all of the dead were read out by schoolchildren from the two ferry terminals.

Dublin: Firefighters break Channel record
Six members of the Dublin Fire Brigade have taken four hours off the Irish record for swimming the English Channel. The men, all seasoned swimmers, completed the swim from Dover to Cap Griz Nez in a time of twenty-one hours and twelve minutes.

Fermanagh: Belleek takes village title
The village of Belleek has been named the Village of the Year 2008 in a competition organised by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council and Calor Gas. A total of seventeen villages across the North were in competition for the title.

Galway: Blue heron is the new tourist attraction
Birdwatchers from all over Ireland, and a group from Britain, have been making their way to Letterfrack after the sighting of a rare bird. Local man Tom McCrudden was the first to report the sighting of the blue heron, a native of North America, in Barnaderg Bay to conservation ranger Aonghus Ó Dómhnaill.

Kerry: Memorial weekend for Monsignor O'Flaherty
A weekend of events have been organised for Killarney in mid-November to launch the new Killarney International Humanitarian Award in honour of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, known as Ireland's Oscar Schindler. The weekend has been organised by the Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Committee to raise funds for a memorial in the centre of Killarney; at present the only memorial to him in Ireland is a grove of trees planted in Killarney National Park fourteen years ago. Among the events will be an exhibition of photographs and the medals awarded to the Monsignor, and a presentation ceremony to grant him a posthumous Humanitarian Award
ED. NOTE: Gregory Peck starred as Monsignor O'Flaheerty in the movie, The Scarlet & The Black, We have also written ab article about GregoryPecks other links to ireland which you can read here:

Kerry: Two islanders return for Blasket celebration
Two of the last surviving Blasket islanders travelled from their Springfield, Massachusetts home to attend this year's Ceiliúradh an Bhlascaoid, which took place at the Blasket Centre in Dun Chaoinrecently. Brothers Micheál and Martín Ó Cearna were accompanied by Congressman Richie Neal of Springfield, whose family came originally from West Kerry.

Kildare: Major discovery for Celbridg astronomer
The first asteroid to be found by an Irish astronomer in the past one hundred and sixty years has been discovered by Dave McDonald who spotted the new asteroid from his observatory; it has been given the temporary name of 2008TM9. Further research has to be carried out to determine more about the orbit of the space rock around the sun, and when this is complete Mr McDonald will be given the honour of choosing the official name of his discovery. He already has an asteroid named after him, in recognition of his work promoting astronomy throughout Ireland.

Kilkenny: Official opening of Hoban garden
A delegation of more than twenty officials from the White House in Washington were in Cuffsgrange recently for the official opening of the memorial garden to architect James Hoban. Among those at the James Hoban Memorial Arbour at Desart were executive director of the project Denis Bergin, and White House curator Bill Allman, who spoke of the contribution made by Hoban to the early growth of the American capital. The opening followed a week of lectures and exhibitions in Dublin and Kilkenny which were organised by NUI Maynooth to mark the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Hoban's birth.

Longford: Irish language group formed in Longford
The first meeting of Longfort Le Chéile, Oiche Shóisialta, took place in Keogh's Bar last week. One of its aims is to widen the use of Irish from the purely educational milieu to public use. At present Irish classes are held in the libraries in both Longford and Granard and it is also planned to revive the conversation group, Ciuorcal Comhrá, which meets in the Longford Arms.

Louth: Orangemen hope to replace Boyne obelisk
The Boyne Foundation is hoping to replace an obelisk built in 1736 on the banks of the River Boyne to commemorate King William of Orange's victory of King James. At one hundred and thirty feet the monument was the tallest man-made structure in the country at the time, but it was destroyed during the Irish Civil War in 1923.

Mayo: Presidents opens Peace Park in Castlebar
President Mary McAleese was in Castlebar during the week to perform the official opening of the Mayo Peace Park and Remembrance Garden. The park, which commemorates more than one thousand men and women from the county who died in all conflicts in the past century, features a polished stone memorial inscribed with their names.

Mayo: New cinema opens in Erris
Last week saw the opening of a new cinema in Erris, which showed as its first film "Whaling Afloat and Ashore", dating from 1910 and filmed on the Iniskea Islands. The one hundred and fifty seat cinema is managed by Ian McAndrew and at the official opening was Seamus Cafferky who ran the last cinema in Belmullet until its closure almost twenty years ago. Films are to be sourced from the Access Film system, which is Government-funded, and will include black and white classics as well as children's favourites such as Willie Wonka, and Mary Poppins. The rural transport bus will also be brought into play to ensure that the older generation will be able to enjoy the new amenity.

Monaghan: Mass marks St Patrick's Church anniversary
A concelebrated Mass marked the one hundred and seventy fifth anniversary of St Patrick's Church in Bawn, with the chief celebrant being parish priest Father Tom Quigley. Mass was followed by an outline of the history of the area and of the church in particular, given by Brian McDonald. An imaginative part of the celebrations was a re-enactment of the handing over of the deeds for the building by Captain William Tennison to Father Patrick Murphy in 1828. Captain Tennison's direct descendant, William Tennison of Lough Bawn Estate, presented a copy of the original to Father Quigley.

Offaly: Killoughey ploughman takes Fives Nations
Brian Mahon brought home the Five Nations Championships cup from the recent competition which was held in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association. John overcame competition from the North, England, Scotland and Wales, as well as others from the South, and he is the first person from the Republic of Ireland to take the title.

Roscommon: First female vet to be honoured in Athleague
Ireland's first official woman veterinary surgeon is to be commemorated in Athleague, where she held a surgery at Castlestrange House. Aileen Cust, originally from Co. Tipperary, trained as a vet in Edinburgh but despite leading her class she was refused recognition by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. She joined William Byrne at his practice in Athleague but it was another twenty years before her qualifications were recognised.

Roscommon: Roscommon claims US VP candidate
According to genealogist Mary Lee Dunn., it was known that Sarah Palin's mother was a Sheeran and now the family has been traced back to the townland of Knockhall in the parish of Kilglass. Ms Dunn traced the connection through a database she had compiled while writing a book on Ballykilcline.

Roscommon: Raining frogs inRoscommon?
A man cycling along the Athlone to Roscommon road last week was astonished to see more than twenty-five dead frogs strewn along the roadside. At first he thought they might have been hit by traffic, until he noticed that some of them were encased in ice. He spotted the first frog near the Hill of Berries and was still finding them as he passed through St John's. The explanation seems to be that the frogs were sucked up into the higher levels of the atmosphere and then fell to the ground as rain. This is a not unknown, though very rare, phenomenon.

Wicklow: Memorial unveiled to Anne Devlin
The memorial stone to Anne Devlin, who played an important role in the 1803 Rising, was unveiled by Michael O Diohbilin, a visitor guide at Kilmainham Jail where Anne Devlin was incarcerated for a while. The ceremony took place in the Parnell Memorial Park in Rathdrum

Wicklow: Multiple awards for Arklow cheesemaker
At the World Cheese Awards, Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese based in Curranstown, Arklow took the Best Irish Cheese as well as a gold and bronze medal, after bringing home a gold, silver and two bronze medals from the British Cheese Awards last month. Prior to that the company's cheeses took a gold and two bronze medals at the Nantwich International Cheese Show in the UK.

Donations: We were very happy to receive a couple of nice donations in the last month and to show our appreciation, we sent a lucky irish Blessing coin to the contributors. One of those notes has come back to us as undeliverable. Ms. Roberta Billingsley, if you are reading this newsletter, please get in touch with us. Thanks.

Dave Rafferty writes: I was told that there is an irish tradition whereby when a son is half his fathers age, the son has to do something special for the father. I will be 40 years of age next year and my father will be 80. If this is true can you please let me know what it is called and what I am expected to do. Thank you.

Debbie writes:   I was wondering if I could ask fellow readers if they would help me with a research project called The Traumatic Impact of Irish Forced Emigration on Current Irish-Americans - An exploration of the multigenerational effects of trauma I am a trauma social worker by trade and between this and a project I am doing with the University of Maryland ( building a community Irish Heritage Park in Texas, Maryland) I decided I really wanted to gain a universal understanding of what made "us" tick. What made our families strong enough to survive and endure the famine, the sickness, the voyage here, the persecution and discrimination? I know in my own family, ghosts of the past have worked their way through the generations. I know it has for others too.
The first part of the project is a survey that can be found on my web site. http://www.healingfromtrauma.webs.com
All readers need to do is copy and paste the survey into their Word program, fill it out and Email it back to me at my professional address which is:
Many thanks in advance!

Happy Hallowe'en
Our good friend William Crotty sent us this amusing greeting. Thanks, Mr. Crotty:

Four great games for the season that's in it
Including: Bone Crusher, Remove the leaves, Find the Candle and Halloween Blast!

Another great game - Hallowee'n Hangman
Cleverly adapted with words appropriate to Spirit Night. Fair warning - very addictive! Scroll down a bit to get to the game after you click through to the site. Good luck!

Real ghost photos - Real ghost stories
Hollow Hill is one of the Internet's oldest and most respected sites for ghost hunters. They specialize in haunted sites that you can visit. http://www.hollowhill.com/

Hallowe'en in Dublin
If you're lucky enough to live nearby, here's what's happening around the city:

The Irish Page - His Blood is on The Rose
This time around, Jack & Vivian offer a poem on Irish and English by Joseph Mary Plunkett . Please click

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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:
SPONSOR: Please help us keep our newsletter coming - visit our friends at the Celtic Attic:
Top O' The Morning To All. We have finally finished adding all our Great new Christmas Ornaments, Clothing, Picnic Baskets, Heraldry items, Personalized items and much more. Now until November 15th, get Free or 1/2 off shipping with each and every order, a Complimentary GIFT and a FREE COPY of the CELTIC ATTIC COOKBOOK PDF with each order! In addition we will be adding a $5.00 off gift card to each other placed until November 15th and you can use it or pass it onto a friend.
PLUS for great savings on a wide range of gifts shop our sales pages where items are up to 80% off!
Order on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Order by phone: Tel: 360-765-0186
Order on line:

Thanks to Suzanne Neeley for the following very poignant epitaph of Irish immigrant Declan O'Connell who died in 1861. It's in a Virginia City graveyard where many Irish goldminers were buried.

"I came for the love of gold, and found that I had left it behind in Ireland."

The following are deathbed quotes - not necessarily last words:
When Turlough O'Carolan, the legendary harpist asked for his last drink of whiskey he said : "It would be hard if such good friends should part without a kiss."

And Oscar Wilde, a wit even in his final hours said after calling for a glass of the finest champagne: "Now I am dying beyond my means." _________________________________________________________________
This one is an oldie sent in by our good friend, Hartson which we published in a newsletter a few years back. We think it's worth recycling and most appropriate for this time of year:

One dark night two men were walking home after a party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery they were startled by a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Trembling with fear, they found an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph," one of them exclaimed after catching his breath, "You scared us half to death, we thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working here so late at night?"
"Those eejits!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!"
1. The first mummy to be seen publicly outside Egypt was displayed in Belfast in 1824? It is still there.
2. On April 13th 1829, the day that the British 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?
3. The Devil's Bit mountain near Thurles, County Tipperary, is so called because Satan, furious at finding no wicked souls in Ireland, supposedly bit a chunk out of the rock as he flew over it?
But first, the answers to our last quiz:

1. Notes from a Kerry Village - Gabriel Fitzmaurice
2. Close the Wicket Gate - Johanna O'Mahony Walters
3. House, Don't Fall On Me  - Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé 

A round of applause and a pint for the following Irish literary sleuths:

John Laney

Hartson Dowd
And my choice for a good Irish website is:

Helen Dowd
Please take a look at the NEWLY revised front page of my website: http://www.occupytillicome.com

Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter? Who wrote:
1. Irish Ghosts and Hauntings
2. Great Tales of irish Horror
3. The Book of Irish Weirdness
Hint: You'll find these books of the supernatural along with quite a few others in the library on our site here:

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!
First off, the answer to our previous skull scrambler:

You can find me in darkness but never in light.
I am present in daytime but absent at night.
In the deepest of shadows, I hide in plain sight.
Q. What am I?
A. The letter D
We would also have accepted the letter A.
Congratulations to Jim Turley from South Bend, Indiana who was first in. And thanks to all of you who sent in solutions. As always, our Riddle People didn't disappoint us.

And now for our next brain bruiser:
A popular member of the king's court well known for his quick thinking is charged with treason and sentenced to death. Because the king likes the wily fellow, he allows him to choose his own way to die. Q. What did he choose?
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good
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In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US $1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US$5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free! It's always been our fantasy that one of our readers will scoop the big prize; but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win it if you're not in it. To play on line, please click
1. Article: An Irish Hallowe'n - Part 1
2. Article: Protect your property and yourself - Make a Parshell
3. Article: A Tribute to Bram Stoker
4. Article: The Dullahan - Irelan'd Headless Horseman
5. Article: The Legend of the Churchyard Bride
6. Article: Who was behind the doors of Dublin?
ED. NOTE: We continue to leave this article on the home page to draw your attention to a very generous offer by Bob Fearon, the man behind the original poster officially sanctioned by Bord Fáilte - Bob will donate 50% of all profits from the sales of the posters and puzzles to Irish Culture and Customs.

7. Irish Kitchen: Colcannon - the traditional dish served on Hallowe'en
8. Basic Irish: Words and Phrases for Hallowe'en and Samhain
9. Kids' Ireland: A Midnight Dance
h10. Music Review: Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar's latest offering focuses on Mary Lamond's CD Stòras (bit we're hoping to have a new review next time)
11. Trivia Contest. Have you entered yet? All entries must be in by midnight, October 31st, no matter what time zone you are in. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
September's winner: Congratulations to Hannah Beck USA who selected the Tin Whistle set generously provided by our sponsor Lollysmith.
12. Circle of Prayer: The 8th Novena in this cycle began on October 26 and runs through November 3rd. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please keep the following in your prayers or meditations: The Dowd's missionary friends in India. Also, Isabella, Mary O's mom, Christy Banik, Joe Colum, Patricia's daughter Heather , the family and friends of the McTiernans, Pauline Dewberry, our daughter Catherine, Cyndi, Mickey, Hartson, Laureena Blankenship, Sierra Mitchell, Michelle Lester, Katie Lacinak and so many others including all military personnel serving serving their countries all over the world. Dear Heavenly Father, please keep them safe and bring them home soon.
13. New letter of the month. Kevin Bradley wrote a very interesting letter about the sailing ship Kathleen & May which was recently used to transport wine from France to Ireland.
14. New advertiser. Have you checked out the poster featuring seven of Ireland's most influential presidents? It's in the right-hand column of the home page and would be the perfect addition to any Irish home, school, pub or workplace.

Check our homepage for another group of Hallowe'en and Samhain articles:

So there you have it until we write again. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important event between now and next time we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness.

Happy Celtic New Year and pinch punch first day of the month, white rabbit! Were you married in November or tied the knot this coming month? Here's your special Irish verse:
If you wed in bleak November
Only joy will come remember.

On that happy note, we'll take our leave with this old blessing for protection on Hallowe'en and any time:
"From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, may the Good Lord, deliver us!"
...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

Please check with the Wild Geese - they have a huge listing of events and we don't want to duplicate their efforts:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.

Holywood, Florida - Irish American Ceili Club
We meet monthly (September - May) at the American Legion Hall - Post 92, Hollywood, to enjoy the food, music, singing & dancing of Ireland.  Every month, we offer good food & great Irish music & fun! To learn more, please visit us at

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 on-going 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

Eastern Caribbean Irish Genealogy Seminar Cruise - January 09
The Irish Ancestral Research Association is organizing an Irish genealogy cruise in January 2009 on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. Speakers include our friends Eileen & Sean O'Duill from Dublin. For complete details, please click

With what's happening to the world economy, we thought you might enjoy these descriptions of corporations and politics as they relate to cows. There's probably something here that will offend everyone.

Cows, Politics and Corporations Explained

A CHRISTIAN DEMOCRAT:  You have two cows.  You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

A SOCIALIST:  You have two cows.  The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

AN AMERICAN REPUBLICAN:  You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So what?

AN AMERICAN DEMOCRAT:  You have two cows.  Your neighbor has none.  You feel guilty for being successful.  You vote people into office who tax your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax.  The people you voted for then take the tax money and buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous.

A COMMUNIST:  You have two cows.  The government seizes both and provides you with milk.

A FASCIST:  You have two cows.  The government seizes both and sells you the milk. You join the underground and start a campaign of sabotage.

DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE:  You have two cows.  The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE:  You have two cows.  You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE:  You have two cows.  The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, then pours the milk down the drain.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.  You are surprised when the cow drops dead.

A FRENCH CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You go on strike because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon and market them World-Wide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

A BRITISH CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  They are mad.  They die. Pass the shepherd's pie, please.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION:  You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows.  You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION:  You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.

A BRAZILIAN CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You enter into a partnership with an American corporation.  Soon you have 1000 cows and the American corporation declares bankruptcy.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You worship both of them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported on them.

AN ARKANSAS CORPORATION:  You have two cows.  That one on the left is kinda cute.