Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every week or so and sent out to nearly 3,100 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the end - but we do hope you'll stay with us.

Greetings and Blessings to all,

Welcome to the first of two editions devoted in part to Valentine's Day. It's snowy and cold here in the Ohio Valley, but we went to the store and stocked up on all the traditional Cincinnati weather-emergency essentials - bread, milk, toilet paper and beer! It appears that the groundhog is correct - he saw his shadow which means six more weeks of winter. The old medieval poem also rings true:
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight,
But if it be dark with clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.

Whatever the weather where you are, we hope this week's missive finds you and yours on the pig's back and fit as a fiddle. We'd also like to say a special hello to all the new readers. Many thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoy reading your first issue; also, please feel free to pass it along to family and friends.

Enough of the blather and on with the update.
Please help keep our web site free and visit our good friends at Lollysmith!
Just in case you missed it last week, did you see on the news where eating porridge can help you lose weight and improve your love life? It's true and the Irish consumption of oatmeal has risen by 20%! If you'd like to join the ranks of this resurgence in old-fashioned goodness, Lollysmith carries authentic McCann's oatmeal: Please click:
They also have a great selection of gifts for your Valentine. Take a look:
From the Mailbag
Links of the Week
Quips, quotes, proverbs & toasts
Joke of The Week
A Bit of the Wit
Did You Know
Irish Author/Book Quiz
The Week That Was
What is & Will Be, God Willing
Leave 'Em Laughing

The Golden Pages four decades on:
For an instant rundown on the latest fads and fashions of the modern Irish, look no further than this year's phone directory. Bibles are out but divorce is in, and fur farmers have been jettisoned in favour of colonic irrigation. Grave diggers, snuff manufacturers and asbestos products have all been consigned to history while the latest classifications include smoking shelters, conflict resolution and balloon flights. A classification is included, or not, depending on the number of businesses requesting it, which generally reflects the level of public demand for that service. So it should come as no surprise that going on four decades after the first Golden Pages, covering the whole of Ireland, was printed in 1969, the listings have changed quite dramatically.

Some early listings which might now seem a little bizarre included shrouds and hog troughs while others, such as field glasses, ammunition, stove enameling and tugs, have stood the test of time. But Some of the new categories now sought after include feng shui consultancy, laser eye surgery and hot tubs. If only entrepreneurs and investors could know which listings will be on the rise in a decade's time . Perhaps that is why fortune tellers joined the top 100 classifications this year!

Belfast: The zoo is laying a Love Trail winding round its enclosures from today until February 14. By following hearts around the zoo and learning more about the animals and their lovers, visitors could be in with a chance to win one of many fantastic prizes.

Kerry: Landmark anniversary for Abbeydorney ploughing
Corridan's land in Ballysheen was the venue last weekend for the annual ploughing match in Abbeydorney which this year marked its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary.

Mayo: Castlebar 'charmer' to feature in TV documentary
The unusual life of Oliver Killeen is to be featured in a television documentary. Killeen, who has married no fewer than fourteen women, has travelled around the world for years, using two passports. His interesting career history ranges from a professional wine taster in America to a clinical psychologist in Ireland; in Oliver's world, qualifications were not necessary. Once described as "an absolute charmer", he is now living as a free man in Canada. The documentary will be aired in Britain in May.

Meath: Milestones for Edoxtown
Three granite milestones have been erected at Edoxtown cross in Rathfeigh; traditionally, milestones were commonly used as road markers. These stones will be inscribed with the names of the three roads which meet at Edoxtown cross: The New Line, the Borrowaddy Road and the Macetown Road. As part of the County Council's Pride of Place initiative, the stones are intended to encourage people to retain the old names. Also planned for the area is the restoration of part of the Old Laneway in Edoxtown for use as a wildlife sanctuary.

Sligo: Crosses made for St Bridget
People of all ages met together at the Benwiskin Centre in Ballintrillick last weekend to learn how to make St Bridget's Crosses. A five-hour workshop was led by local resident Paddy Joe Gallagher who brought along both rushes and straw and showed the participants how to make a number of different types of crosses. The completed crosses, which had been made by people from Leitrim and Donegal as well as Sligo, were brought to St Bridget's Church in Ballintrillick to be blessed on the saint's feast day, February 1.

Waterford: Memorial to First World War soldiers
Waterford has opened a memorial to the fallen of the First World War. The memorial includes a roll of honour and memorabilia from the men and women of the southeast who took part in the War. The permanent exhibition, which is on display at Waterford Institute of Technology, incorporates a memorial to the people of Newfoundland in Canada who enlisted in the war; Newfoundland was the destination of many from Ireland's southeast who emigrated during the Famine. The wall carries the name of the youngest Allied soldier killed in the war; Private John Condon of Waterford died at the age of thirteen; he lied about his age to enter the Royal Irish Regiment.

Wexford: Alan hands over his jersey at last
After thirty-one years an Enniscorthy man has donated his international rugby jersey to Enniscorthy Rugby Club. Alan Doherty of Munster Hill began his rugby career with the Enniscorthy club's under-age teams before moving to London and joining the London Irish. His next club was Old Wesley in Dublin, where he became both captain and president, and during his time with this club he was capped for Ireland. His jersey will now be on prominent display in the new clubhouse on Ross Road.

Wicklow: Dwelling with sea view on sale for just €120k
A property on one sixth of an acre with sea views at Kilcoole is on the market for just €120,000; the price might seem low until it is revealed that the property is a fisherman's hut dating from the 1930s with a total floor area of just two hundred square feet.

Latvia: Irish ice sculptors win competition
A team of Irish sculptors has scooped top prize in an international competition in Latvia. Daniel Doyle and Alan Magee won the contest with a see-saw made entirely from ice.A chubby child and a TV set compete on the see-saw, in a piece inspired by a popular Latvian soap opera.

Please help keep our newsletter coming to your mailbox - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery!
You mean to say you weren't one of the three who shared in that huge Euro jackpot? Never mind - we think you'd be far better off with the Irish Lottery! Check out all of the advantages: You don't have to live in Ireland to enter, 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! I Please click here for full details - and best of Irish luck to you!

Mike writes: Many years ago I read the diary of an English soldier in the Napoleonic wars. This English soldier had a friend who was an Irishman. When intoxicated, the Irish soldier would bemoan that he was in the grips of the "Crature." Subsequent information revealed that Irish people had a concept that when under alcoholic influence, the personality was taken over by the "Crature." I am wondering if you know anything about the origins of this myth.? Where it started and any other details?

Patricia would like to know the rest of the inscription on the base of the James Larkin statue in Dublin. The one that starts with " The great appear greater because we are on our knees. Let us rise."

Last time, Eileen was looking for genuine Aran yarn. Mary R. from Petaluma writes:
There are two online yarn stores I visit frequently. Their selection is huge, so they may have what she's looking for:



The Wild Geese introduce their "Hell's Kitchen" Blog
A blog in the truest sense of the term, our friends Gerry Regan and Joe Gannon, co-founders of TheWildGeese.com, have embarked on a new project chronicling events taking place in the irish diaspora. So now you can have your Irish past and your Irish present, too! Well worth taking a look:

Ireland's Greatest Composer
Jack & Vivian of the Irish Page pay tribute to Turlough O'Carolan who was said to have composed his tunes by fingering the buttons on his coat while traveling on horseback to a patron's home. He would compose the melody first and then the lyrics. The composer enjoyed his drink, but a doctor advised him not to imbibe. What happened there and thereafter is the subject of this song:

Debut of "Nanny McPhee
The link to the official web site for this new film came to us by way of our friend Owen at Lollysmith. He says the Irish walking sticks have been flying off the shelf ever since the movie was released. The premise is that a house full of very naughty children is changed forever when a new nanny arrives who brings calm amid the chaos with the tap, tap of her Irish walking stick. The site is a delight - your children will love it!
And if you would like an authentic stick of yer own, please click:
(Irish magic dust not included)

Frank Patterson web site
Our friend Malley Keelan wrote to tell us that the official Frank Patterson website is no more. As Malley says "That's too bad. "He deserves one and it was very well done. I hope interest in his voice and career hasn't slacked off to that point.'
ED. NOTE: We couldn't agree more. In the meantime, Malley recommends visiting Michael and Doreen McFarlane's wonderful site if you are interested in the preservation of classical Irish ballads and more:

Like golf? This so-called stress-reliever may change your mind!
It's a putting game sent in by Hartson. Thanks -'er, we think!

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:

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:


But all husbands are geese, though our pride it may shock,
From the first 'twas ordained so by Nature, I fear;
Ould Adam himself was the first of the flock,
And Eve, with her apple sauce, cook'd him, my dear."
From the poem Dermott O'Dowd by Samuel Glover


Love is in the air - so this joke from Pauline in England seemed appropriate - 'er - or maybe not?
Thanks, Pauline!

At 85 years of age, Patrick marries Kate, a lovely 25 year old. Since her new husband is getting on in years, Kate decides that after their wedding she and Patrick should have separate bedrooms, because she is concerned that he might overexert himself if they spend the entire night together.

After the wedding festivities Kate prepares herself for bed and the expected "knock" on the door. Sure enough the knock comes, the door opens and there is Patrick, her 85 year old groom, ready to make love. They unite as one. All goes well, Patrick takes leave of his bride, and she prepares to go to sleep. After a few minutes, Kate hears another knock on her bedroom door, and it's Patrick. Again he is ready for more love-making.

Somewhat surprised, Kate consents. When the newlyweds are done, Patrick kisses his bride, bids her a fond goodnight and leaves. She is set to go to sleep again, but, aha you guessed it - Patrick is back, rapping on the door, and is as fresh as a 25-year-old. Once more. they enjoy each other. But as Patrick gets set to leave again, his young bride says to him, "I am thoroughly impressed that at 85 you can perform so well and so often. I have heard that most men a third of your age are only any good just once. You are truly a great lover, Patrick." Patrick, somewhat embarrassed, turns to Kate and says: "You mean I was here already?"

Flo was fond of Ebenezer
"Eb," for short, she called her beau.
Talk of tides of love, great Caesar!
You should see them - Eb and Flo.
Thomas Daly (1871-1948)

1. The Republic of Ireland is among just a few countries that celebrates Valentine''s Day? The others are the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K.
2. The crocus, which starts to bloom in February, is called Valentine's Flower?
3 The relics of St. Valentine are enshrined at the Carmelite Church on Whitefriars St. in Dublin?
Help us keep your newsletter coming - Please visit Irish Celtic Jewels:
Looking for the perfect gift for that special person in your life? Take a look at the exquisite Valentine jewelry offered by Irish Celtic Jewels; unique Irish designs, set with stunning precious stones - diamonds, emeralds and pearls. Make this a Valentine's Day she won't soon forget - the day you win her heart with a ring, pendant or earrings from Irish Celtic Jewels! We invite you to browse the Valentine's page and the rest of this beautiful site. And should you decide to make a purchase, please let Irish Celtic Jewels know how you found them. Go raibh maith agat!
Please click

To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:
1. St. Brigid of Ireland by Alice Curtayne
2. Life of St. Brigid by John J Gaffney
3. The White Dove of Erin BY F.A. Forbes

A round of pints and applause to our latest list of Irish bibliophiles:

Pauline Dewberry
A nap, a snooze; a lap, with mews; life without a cat Is not a life.

Josephine Battye
As the rugby season is in with the Six Nations I suggest you download the screen saver from http://www.permanenttsb.ie/rugby They are the sponsors of the Irish Rugby Team. Also you can subscribe to their newsletter to get full information about the teams and venues of the Six Nations. They have a competition to win a rugby shirt which involves questions about rugby and you can enter as many times as you like.

Dérdre McKiernan-Hetzler
"Tour Glorious Ireland June 28 - July 12, 2006". To view the proposed itinerary, please click:

Rita Roche
A favorite place to shop on line is Blarney Woolen Mills:

Patricia Edwards
I think I may have suggested this site before, but it was a long, long, time ago - lol!

Helen Dowd
If you like quizzes and puzzles, check out:
Once again, thanks for all of you who have voted for my site.
ED. NOTE: Helen is just 600 votes or so away from moving up another notch!

Hartson Dowd
Please vote for Helen - and many thanks in advance for for your kindness.

Jack Doherty
Let me promote the Doherty Clan, with ancestral roots way up in the North of the Republic of Ireland in Co. Donegal.

Want to see your name on our literary sleuth list? Who wrote or edited the following:
1. Danta Gradha: An Anthology of Irish Love Poetry 1350-1750
2. The Darling of My Heart: Two thousand years of Irish Love Letters
3. Remembered Kisses: An Illustrated Anthology of Irish Love Poetry
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
To begin with, the solution to our last poser:
A car's odometer shows 72927 miles, a palindromic number
Q. What are the minimum miles you would need to travel to form another palindromic number?
A. 110. (73037)
We thought that this one would be somewhat of a challenge. Not for our "Riddle People! We had an avalanche of correct answers, but first in was Gary Jensen of California. Well done. And now for our next noggin nagger:
Assign every letter of the alphabet its numerical value: A=1, B=2, C=3, and so on, up to z=26.
Q. Can you think of a familiar 7 letter word whose letter values total only 21?
Hint: It's a popular Irish edible.

Love the aroma of a turf fire? Experience the next best thing with Irish Incense, the peaceful, nostalgic scent that will transport you back in time and place. The perfect gift for Christmas or any other occasion, order now. And when you mention that you heard about Irish incense in the Irish Culture and Customs newsletter, you'll receive an extra pack of incense for FREE (plus your newsletter writers will receive a nice commission which will help keep us going). Please click

1. Article: St. Brigit, the Giveaway
2. Article: Celebrating a Name Day
3. Article: Brigid of the Songs
4. Article: Celebrating Candlemas
5 . Article: Co. Clare - The Banner County
6. The Irish Kitchen - St. Brigid's Oatcakes
7. Basic Irish - St. Brigid & Spring
8. Letter of the month - January 06
9. Circle of Prayer: Our sixth Novena in this series began on January 31st and ends on February 7. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we ask that you remember all those who are seriously ill, undergoing treatment, recovering from surgery or experiencing any number of difficult situations. Specifically, please pray for Rosemary, Mickey. Pam who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and a daughter of the McTiernan family whose home was destroyed by fire. Thank God no-one was hurt. We also ask that you remember the men and women in the armed forces all over the world - that God will bring them home to their family and friends safe and sound. To join us, please visit our Novena page:
10. February Trivia Contest. The new contest has been posted. Keep in mind, this is a short month. All entries must be in by Fenruary 28th whichever time zone you're in.
January's winner: Congratulations to Catherine White, USA. Well done Cathy! Your Guinness glasses should be on their way.

With Valentine's Day just over a week away, we'll be focusing on matters of the heart and romance - Irish style! As per usual, we'll have a new blessing, (already posted) a new quotation and perhaps a new recipe. We will also update the news and history page every day. So do visit often to see what's different.

Well, that's the long and the short of it until we write again. In the meantime, if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this coming week, may it be filled with joy and happiness. With that, we'll leave you with this lovely old Celtic prayer:

Be the eye of God dwelling with you
The foot of Christ in guidance with you
The shower of the Spirit pouring on you
Richly and generously.

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
If you enjoy reading our newsletter or visiting the website, please support our efforts and send whatever 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:
NOTE: All donations over $20.00 receive a package of Irish shamrock seeds.

To avoid duplication, we list only those events not already mentioned in the Irish Heritage Newsletter or on the Wild Geese website. In fact, the Irish Heritage email group and the Wild Geese have joined forces to bring you a massive listing of Irish events all over the world! To subscribe to the list, send your e-mail address to group moderator George Trainor, at george@thewildgeese.com. Or visit The Wild Geese at:

Bellevue Kentucky - every Sunday at 10 pm
The B List pub owned by our son Ben haggerty is hosting Impromptu Irish music sessions. All are welcome. For more details, contact Ben at:
Crestview Hills, Kentucky -February 10
As part of the annual Tapestry Series of Irish History and Culture sponsored by Thomas More College and the Fenians of Northern Kentucky, a concert will beheld at 7pm in Steigerwald Hal. Ceol Mhor, Murphy's Law, and Silver Arm will be performing. Claddagh's Irish Pub is furnishing food prior to the concert .Also, Megan Kremer and Katie Consigli will offer their PowerPoint presentation on their Irish experience prior to the concert.For more details, please contact

Hollywood, Florida - February 11
Legendary Irish Entertainer Paddy Noonan will be on stage at the IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB 7p-11p at the American Legion Hall 211 North 21 Avenue, Hollywood FL
TICKETS @ $10 [members] & $12 [guests] IN ADVANCE ONLY at 954-432-8292
For details, please contact PATRICK O'DEA President, Irish-American Ceili Club
POB 220315, Hollywood FL 33022-0315
Tel: 954-522-4948 / email: irish32@aol.com

Washington D.C. - February 19th, 2006, 4 - 7 PM
Andy Stewart benefit Concert. The finest Scottish songwriter of our generation has been incapacitated by illness and is recuperating after an operation. He will be unable to work for more than six months. His DC friends are getting together to help Andy during this very lean time. Nanny O'Brien's Pub, 3310 Connecticut Ave, NW. Washington DC. 20008. 202-686-9189. For advance ticket sales or to send a donation contact: Danny Doyle, 10836 Moore Dr. Manassas, VA 20111. 703-361-8884.
E-mail: www.dannythedoyler@cs.com

Houston, Texas - February 26
Gathering of the Celts sponsored by The Celtic Chorus of Houston in conjunction with St. Andrew's Celtic Festival - Houston Heights. For more information, please contact

Crestview Hills, Northern Kentucky - March 1
As part of the on-going Tapestry Series sponsored by The Fenians of Northern Kentucky and Thomas More College, author David Quinn will dramatize the facts of the Irish Diaspora in It May be Forever, a novel he based on the wanderings and adventures of his great, great uncle, A book signing will follow.  For complete details, please click:
or send an email to: david.ebacher@thomasmore.edu 
ED. NOTE: David has graciously invited us to meet him at this event - and we have marked it on our calendar. If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area, we do hope you'll also consider attending - it will be a great opportunity for us all to meet!

Philadelphia, March 11
Starting At Philadelphia Art Museum. All proceeds from the Leprechaun Run/Walk benefit the Special Olympics in the Philadelphia area. For more details, please click
or contact
Colleen A. Breen, ACS

Hollywood, Florida - March 25
March Ceili at the IRISH-AMERICAN CEILI CLUB 7p-11p at the American Legion Hall 211 North 21 Avenue. For more details please visit:

Houston, Texas - March 30
Role Of Irish Americans In The History Of American Catholicism- A Lecture By Dr. David O'Brien For more information, contact Lori Gallagher, Director ! of the Center for Irish Studies, at 713-525-3592 or irishstudies@stthom.edu

Zurich, Switzerland April 8-9
Set-dancing Workshop in with Pat Murphy and Tony Ryan For more Information, send an email to
or call: 0041 44 252 09 18

Leesburg, Virginia - June 17th & 18th
The Potomac Celtic Festival in Leesburg VA is changing the June 2006 show date from heat (2nd weekend) to rain (3rd weekend) and competing with Father's Day. Come on out anyhow. For more details, please click:

Inishmore, Galway
Celtic Spirit Culture Weeks on Inishmore
Check out the progammed for 2006 http://www.celticexperience.net
The Statues
As is often the case, we are indebted to Hartson Dowd for send us this very funny joke - at least we think it's funny. We hope you do, too.

In a city park, in Dublin, stood two statues, one female and the other male. These two statues had faced each other for many years. Early one morning, an angel appeared before the statues and said, "Since the two of you have been exemplary statues and have brought enjoyment to many people, I am giving you your greatest wish. I hereby give you the gift of life. You have 30 minutes to do whatever you desire." And with that, the statues came to life, smiled at each other, ran toward some nearby woods and dove behind a couple of bushes. The angel smiled to himself as he listened to the two statues giggling, bushes rustling and twigs snapping. After 15 minutes, the two statues emerged from the bushes, smiling. Puzzled, the angel looked at his watch and asked the statues, "You still have 15 minutes. Would you like to continue?"The male statue looked at the female and asked, "Do you want to do it again?" Smiling, the female statue said, "Sure. But This time you hold the pigeon down and I'll poop on it's head!"