Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week and sent out to over 2800 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you!
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Greetings and blessings to all,

As always, it's lovely to be back. The warmest of welcomes to everyone and a special hello to our newest readers. Many thanks for subscribing and we hope you enjoy your first newsletter enough that you will want to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends. If so, please feel free to forward!

God willing, this edition will find you and yours in good health, good company and good spirits. As for ourselves, it's been a relatively quiet week, which is good! We are still receiving emails about the aftermath of Katrina, but , we're happy to report that for the most part, our news is positive:

According to officials. all Irish citizens who were in New Orleans have been accounted for.

O'Flaherty's Pub was not as badly damaged as first reported. On the downside, Danny, his family, and their employees won't be able to work for quite some time. Benefit concerts and fund-raisers are being arranged - check our events listing at the end; at one event in Alexandria Virginia, a signed copy of Bridget's wedding book will be auctioned. She's always had a soft spot for the New Orleans pub. In their little Irish gift shop, her book was on the shelf right along with Liam O'Flaherty and W. B Yeats. Talk about feeling totally unworthy of being in such company, but delighted all the same!

In other news, we are now watching the progress of yet one more hurricane. We hope and pray that all of you who may be in Rita's path will be okay. What a season! According to CNN's hurricane page, they are close to running out of names for up-coming storms. When that happens, they will resort to the Greek alphabet! The worst of it is that we are planning to head down to Florida at the end of the month to meet with Russ' sister and her husband so that we can decide what to do with mom's house and land - what's left of it. It will be a very difficult trip emotionally and we won't need the hassle of a hurricane to contend with as well.

On a lighter note, have you ordered anything from amazon lately? We were thrilled when someone clicked through our site and bought an electronic item which gave us a really generous commission - whoever you are - thank you! As we head toward the end of this quarter, we still need 200 orders to reach the 6% commission level. We don't make a lot, buy it does help us to pay our newsletter host who charges us $10 a month to send this tome out to each of you. Ironically, while we definitely want to keep increasing our subscribers, when we went over 2,000, we had to start paying a fee. Oh well. For us, each and everyone of you is well worth it.

Enough of the blather - on with the update:
Help us keep your newsletter free. Please visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
Welcome to Irish Gifts at LollySmith.Com. Here you will find a wide range of Irish and Celtic gifts imported directly from Ireland. From Irish Jewelry and Shamrock Seed to Connemara Marble, Tin Whistles and Irish Bodhráns, and much more. Please stop by our internet shop - we're always open. We also offer Irish and Celtic themed gifts from American companies such as Russ Berrie Angel Cheeks, Silver Moon Jewelry, and Dorfman Pacific Hats. And definitely take a look at our authentic Blackthorn and Hazel Walking Sticks from Ireland. Please click:
From the mailbag
Links of the week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Writer's Quiz
The Week That Was
The Week Ahead
Events & Classifieds
Leave 'Em Laughing


CARLOW: A rose for Kitty O'Shea
A rose breeder from Carlow has been chosen to develop a rose which will be planted on the West Sussex grave of Kitty O'Shea, the woman who married Charles Stewart Parnell. Members of the Parnell Society, who gathered in Wicklow recently for the Parnell Summer School, have commissioned a special white rose to be planted on the grave to mark the one hundred and fifteenth anniversary of her death. David Kenny, a Carlow rose breeder, has been asked to develop a white rose and has been testing a number of varieties over the last three years. The white rose commemorates a similar flower which fell from Kitty O'Shea's lapel on her first meeting with Parnell and which she found in his wallet after his death eleven years later.

CORK: Cork has broken the record for the world's biggest Céilí currently held by Dublin, Ohio. 8,371 people danced the Siege of Ennis for the required five minutes, at sites along the South Mall and Grand Parade. Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley, who did the countdown into the dance, did not dance but chose instead to play the flute alongside the Kilfenora Céilí Band.

CLARE: Ennis wins Tidy Towns after recent litter blackspot rating
It won the award less than one month after it received one of the worst litter ratings in the State. ED. NOTE: So how does that work?

DUBLIN: Dublin: Fiftieth swim for Palmerstown man
Although he did not win the event this year, Frank Emmett from Palmerstown nonetheless set his own personal record by competing in this fiftieth consecutive Liffey Swim. When Frank first took part in the swim the contestants jumped from a Guinness barge moored across the river and swam as far as the Scotch House on Burgh Quay.

GALWAY: Galway gain consolation at U-21s
Galway's U21 hurlers made up somewhat for the disappointment of their senior side by overcoming champions Kilkenny in dramatic style at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. The Cats were aiming for their third title in a row but fell just short as the young men of the west restored confidence in hurling in the county.

KERRY: Your very own sheep
A sheep farm at Moll's Gap on the Kenmare to Killarney road has instigated a novel idea to preserve the tradition of Kerry mountain sheep. The Kissane Sheep Farm will allow visitors to adopt one of the one thousand sheep or seven hundred lambs which graze the mountain; the adopter will also be able to choose a name for the new protégée. The adoptive parent will receive a certificate with the name of their sheep or lamb included, as well as its tag number and, depending on the fee paid, will enjoy part or full free entrance to the working farm and all its activities. The scheme has been co-funded under the EU Leader+ Initiative for Rural Development and is the first of its kind in Ireland.

WICKLOW: Lotto winner remains a mystery
As of this writing, the identity of the massive €7.4m National Lottery jackpot winner is still unknown. Locals in Bray were speculating wildly about who scooped the big prize, with some saying it could be a young mother or a senior citizen who was shopping in the local Tesco store at the time the ticket was bought there mid-afternoon on Wednesday.

USA: Little Caesars is to enter the Irish market as part of a major new European push. The company plans to open eight stores across the country with a total of 45 to open over the next five years.

MILWAUKEE, USA: IrishFest a success!
More than 137,000 people from Milwaukee and around the world took in the music, dancing, food and culture during the 25th annual Milwaukee Irish Fest. During an address on Saturday to a crowd of thousands, Ireland President Mary McAleese reported that Ireland was "prosperous, peaceful, strong and confident." She also called for expanding mutual trade and continuing cultural efforts that build on respect for difference and for democratic dialogue. President McAleese praised Milwaukee Irish Fest for its continuing effort in promoting Irish music and culture in the United States. If you missed her address, click here http://www.irishfest.com/learnaboutus/presidentspeech.htm

TEMPE, ARIZONA: Carlow singer-songwriter Eric Butler from Palatine Road will add his voice to celebrations at the Way Out West Oktoberfest. After Tempe, Butler plans a visit to Nashville and a performance in New York's Porter House, which is owned by Carlow man Fintan Seeley.

Help us keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox. Please visit our good friends at the Celtic Attic:
Become an Irish Land Baron! For a limited time only, the Celtic Attic is offering one cubic inch luxury sea side plots for $25.95US. Satisfaction Guaranteed! A fantastic Gift for Friends and Family! You will receive:
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Ashley writes: We have an autographed photo of Irish tenor John MacCormick which our grandmother acquired at a concert in Boston in the early 1900s. Any idea what this photo would be worth? Anxious to hear from you.

Constance writes: Hello: I am trying to find a web site and or catalog for Bridget's of Ireland. I recently purchased a fantastic shamrock stained glass table and would like to know more about their inventory and accessibility to products here in the US. Thank you!

Stacy writes: I was wondering if the Aran style is only available in knitting or if it can be crocheted. The sweaters I saw were absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately, I don't know how to knit, I can only crochet. Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

In answer to Ross' query about an all-cotton Irish flag, Hartson sent in several URLs:

Midwest irish Radio continuing to make a small world even smaller
Ireland's only dedicated Internet radio station will broadcast live and exclusively to listeners on line from 12pm to 2am Irish time every weekday Irish time. The service also provides a second chance nightly for those on different time zones who may have missed our most popular programmes with our rewind service. Have you listened in yet? If your computer has the capability, you really should. It's where we heard The Fields of Athenry sung backwards - absolutely hilarious. Make a request and tell them Bridget & Russ sent you!

A walk in the garden
As part of Bridget's prescription to help prevent her heart problems returning, , she must walk every day. In exploring the neighborhood, we found a beautiful garden created by the congregation of a local church. We now visit it every morning and it' s a lovely way to start our day. We thought you might enjoy seeing a few photos:

One more Bottle
Jack & Vivian of the Irish Page are featuring a Carolan poem called "One Bottle More". They have Carolan's music but his original lyrics have been lost. Humphrey Thompson provided the English lyrics of their text and Frank Osborne the Irish. It is a drinking song in the same light vein as the one Mario Lanza sang in the Student Prince:

Exquisite "good people"
The daughter of one of our very first subscribers is creating a the most beautiful one of a kind other world wee folk. Take a look!

Kerry coast DVD
Hartson also found this great site which features the photography and video offerings of Vincent Hyland and Patrick Kavanagh. Currently , they are featuring a DVD called Off the Kerry Coast DVD. We took a look at the clip and what we saw vas spectacular.
Be patient - it takes a while to load, but it's worth the wait:

Museums of Ireland - A comprehensive listing and description of the best museums in the country:

Your FREE guide to The Irish Riviera. Clear, informative and colourful -the very best guide of what to see, what to do, where to stay, hidden treasures and local knowledge:

Try not to spend all day at this... it's a little addictive. (Thanks Hartson for this link and many others!)

Write Like an Egyptian
Your name in hieroglyphs, the way an Egyptian scribe might have written it.

A reminder: The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes just a minute and there's no cost involved:

Last but certainly not least - our on-going gift to AG in California and all friends to animals, please click this link today and everyday. It only takes a second to feed an animal. Thanks!

It only takes a second to feed hungry people, too:
Never serve oysters in a month that has no paycheck in it. P. J. O'Rourke
This one was sent in by hartson - Thank you!
Two Irish nuns have just arrived in USA by boat and one says to the other, "I hear that the people of this country actually eat dogs." "Odd," her companion replies, "but if we shall live in America, we might as well do as the Americans do." Nodding emphatically, one of the nuns points to a hot dog vendor and they both walk towards the cart. "Two dogs, please," says one. The vendor is very pleased to oblige, wraps both hot dogs in foil and hands them over. Excited, the nuns hurry to a bench and begin to unwrap their 'dogs.' The older nun is first to open hers. She begins to blush and then, staring at it for a moment, she leans toward her companion and whispers cautiously, "What part did you get?"
Among the new Irish entries in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records to be released this week are:
1. The world record for the number of children making "Ring-a-ring-a' Rosies"?
1,950 children smashed the existing record by creating a massive ring spanning the entire perimeter of The People's park in Waterford and kept the playground rhyme going for six-and-a-half minutes, falling down and jumping up in unison.
2. The largest dog litter? Irish pet owner Anne lost count when her pet dog Tia gave birth to 24 puppies in one day.
3. The largest number of siblings to compete in a marathon? The Flahertys earned an entry when 11 family members entered last year's London Marathon.
To begin with, the answers to last week's quiz:

The Irish in New Orleans: 1800-1860 - Earl F. Niehaus
New Orleans Irish - Famine Exiles: John Finn
The Irish in the South: David T Gleeson
A round of applause and a pint to our latest Irish literary sleuths:

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May"
May 25 - June 8, 2005
View this year's itinerary:

Carol Feltman
the I rish site I recommend is: http://www.irelandseye.com/aarticles/culture/recipes/index.shtm
It has a bit of everything, but the link is for the recipes!! The food sounds wonderful and I will be trying most of them!

Marjorie Cunningham
Ireland's Michael Londra is releasing a single CD of his recordings of "Danny Boy" and "Star of Cartegena". All proceeds from the CD will go to Concern Worldwide.

Liezl M
(South Africa)

Alfred Clemente

Helen Dowd
Thanks for all who voted for my site. Lots of interesting things to read. See the Literary list on my site:
ED. Note - Helen, being the modest person that she is didn't mention that thanks to all of your votes, she is now on page two of the top Christian sites at position 19!

Pat Edwards
From across the pond

Hartson Dowd
The Thistle and the Shamrock
ED. NOTE: One of our favorite NPR programs!

Want to see your name in our next newsletter? Send us the names of the authors who wrote the following:
1. Mamie Cadden
2. A Town Tormented by the Sea
3. Vanishing Kingdoms
4. These books have something in common - can you figure out what it is?
ED. NOTE: Many books have the same title; please keep in mind that we are looking for Irish authors or Irish-related books.
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 - preferably Irish. 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
Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox every week - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
All you need are 6 numbers to hit the Irish Millions. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play, winnings are tax-free and checks are mailed within 48 hours. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! If you want to win it, you've got to be in it, so visit their totally revamped web site! Please click here for full details - and best of Irish luck to you!
But first off, how did you do with our most recent mind-mangler?
If you have six men and they each had six baskets. Each basket has six cats inside and each cat has six kittens.
Q: Assuming all are whole and healthy, how many legs are there?
A: There are six men who each have six baskets. This equals 36 baskets. Each basket has six cats which equals 216 cats. Each cat has six kittens which equals 1,296 kittens. Therefore the kittens represent 5,184 legs. The cats represent 864 legs. The men represent 12 legs. The sum total is 6,060 legs.
As always, our Riddle People didn't let us down and we had many correct answers. We also had quite a few wrong ones as well. (Russ is still scratching his head! In any event, first in was Clara Byrne - well done!
And now for our latest brain bruiser:
On three legs with four more beside,
In good company, we shorten the road.
Q. Who or what are we?
1. Article: Counties of Ireland: Antrim
2. Poetry Page:William Allingham
3. Article: St. Michael's Day in Old Ireland
4. Article: Yearning to Live in Ireland?
5. Article: Sean-nós: The music of what happens
6. Article: Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
7. Article: The Galway International Oyster Festival
8. Basic Irish: In the Irish calendar, there's always something special going on. In September, Oysters are back on the menu - and appropriately, this month's lesson is all about them:
9. Kids' Ireland: A Wolf Story. Check out the Kid's Culture Corner, too - before we change it!
10. The Irish Kitchen: Given the month that's in it - it couldn't be anything else but oysters!
11. Letter of the month. Have you read our pick of the letters we received in August?
12. Newsletters - are you receiving them whenever we send one out? When we do, we "lose" more than thirty subscribers to full or disabled mailboxes. We also lose subscribers to new email addresses that feature a spam filter. So, if getting your newsletter has been spotty, it may not be our fault. Check our archive URL and see if you've missed any recent issues:
13. Trivia Contest: Have you entered yet? There's still time:
14. Circle of Prayer: Our 8th Novena in this cycle began on September 18 and continues through September 26. Please join us in prayer or meditation for the people of Belfast in this terrible time of unrest, for those affected by Katrina, for those who may be affected by Rita, for our military personnel all over the world, for Andre & Christy Costigan, for Cindy's family, and for Hartson:

We haven't gotten to the new Kids' Ireland story, or the new Kids' Culture Corner - we hope to make amends for that soon. We also hope to revise the Galway Oyster Festival article to include details of another Oyster event that takes place at the beginning of the month. Regular visitors to the site will note that we have started off the counties of Ireland series yet again - Bridget is hoping this will inspire finally getting to Cork at long last! As always, we will update the home page at the beginning of the week, post a new blessing on Sunday, a new quotation on Wednesday and whatever else we can think of to keep you coming back. Keep in mind that we do update the news every day:
And we also post the history for the date:

So that's the long and the short of it for this week's edition. If you'll be celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event in the coming days, we hope it's a joyous occasion.

Until next time, may God enfold you and yours in the mantle of His love and protection.

Slan agus beannacht - and , as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Once in a while, we receive a very welcome donation. Go raibh maith agat to our latest donees, William Deegan and Beverly Moore.
If you enjoy our newsletter and the website, please give us a hand and help keep them coming. Imagine if 2800 people each sent dollar? Please send what you can to Bridget or Russ Haggerty, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati OH 45224. Or you can send a donation via PayPal. The URL is:
and our email address is this one:
Many thanks in advance for your kindness
To avoid duplication, we try to publicize only those events that are not already listed on the Wild geese web site:
Or the Irish heritage E-Mail Group:

Hollywood, Florida
After its summer hiatus, The Irish American Ceili Club is back! For details on up-coming events, please visit us on line:

Sebastopol California - September 22-25
Sebastopol Music Festival Among the headliners this year are Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, as well as Cherish the Ladies.

Beatty, Nevada - October 1-2
Celtic festival at the Phoenix Inn. For information they can contact either the Phoenix Inn directly (775-553-2250) or the Beatty Chamber of Commerce (775-553-2424)

Houston, Texas - Oct 6 th
Annual Irish Society Gala. The Gala honors Dr. Joseph McFadden and his wife, Norma McFadden. Dr. McFadden is a former president of UST, a professor of Irish and American History at UST, a former president of The Irish Society, and a member of the Center for Irish Studies Advisory Board and The Irish Society Board of Directors. Norma is a Friend of the Center for Irish Studies and a loyal supporter of UST and a member of The Irish Society. For information call Lori Gallagher at 713-525-3592 or Email

Alexandria, Virginia - October 16 from from 4pm to 9 pm
Pat Troy's Ireland's Own, 111 N. Pitt St. will be hosting a fundraiser with all proceeds being donated to help Danny O'Flaherty, his family, and those employed ! by him. Danny and his family are safe and we are glad to report that Danny's business has suffered limited structural damage. However, the business will be closed for months, affecting not only his family but the families of those employed at his establishment. In addition, Danny's livelihood as a singer, musician and educator of Celtic culture in New Orleans is on hold for the foreseeable future. If you would like to help, we urge you to attend this great event which features Seamus Kennedy, Don Cobert, John Hall, Mark Quinn, Brendan Sheridan, Justin Murphy and Danny's brother Patrick O'Flaherty.
Donations will be accepted at the door. There will also be an auction. If you would like to donate an item for auction contact:
at patrick@poflaherty.com.

In the upcoming month several additional establishments will be hosting events in and around the Washington D.C. area. For more information, contact Danny Doyle at:
dannythedoyler@cs.com or 703-361-8884

Portsmouth, VA - October 15
Frank McNamara will be appearing with The American Tenors at Willett Hall. For more details, please visit:

Midlothian Texas, Oct 28-30
O' Flaherty Irish Music Workshops - instruction on traditional Irish instruments such as Tin Whistle, Bodhran, Flute, Bouzouki, Guitar, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes, Harp, Hammered Dulcimer, Concertina, and more, There are also classes on Gaelic Singing & Dancing. "Master classes in fiddle will be taught by Liz Carroll, drop-D guitar by John Doyle, Uilleann pipes by Jerry O'Sullivan and Irish Bouzouki by Roger Landes, four of the most accomplished Irish musicians living in America. For more details, please click

Schenectady, New York October 29
The John F. Kennedy Division 1 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians will be celebrating its 125th Anniversary with a Black-tie optional Gala to be held at the College Park Ballroom of Union College at Nott Street and Maxon Road. Reservations or questions may be directed to Robert Harrison, Gala Committee, at 518-399-8890 or to RHarrison3@nycap.rr.com.

Houston, Texas - Saturday October 29th and Sunday October 30th
Irish Gaelic Song Workshop! Learn Irish Folk Songs in their Original Language. Impress your friends! Explore your heritage! Taught by award-winning vocalist, Jonquele Jones. Workshop will be held at a private residence in SW Houston, seating is limited. You Must Pre-Register. Cost is $20 per 3-hr session or $50 for three sessions. Contact Pat at 713-271-0784
or patpmcmahon@aol.com

Ottawa, Ontario - December 17
Frank McNally will be conducting the NAC Orchestra for a special concert of his Christmas arrangements at the National Arts Centre. For more details, please visit:

This from our good friend Judith - go raibh , maith agat!
A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a jar of alcohol. The second worm was put into a jar of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a jar of chocolate syrup. The fourth worm was put into a jar of good clean soil. At the conclusion of the Sermon, the minister reported the
following results:
The first worm in alcohol - Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead.
Third worm in chocolate syrup - Dead.
Fourth worm in good clean soil - Alive.
So the Minister asked the congregation - What can we learn from this demonstration?
A little old woman in the back quickly raised her hand and said, "As long as you drink, smoke, and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"