Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1200 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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,

The warmest of welcomes from a very brisk and breezy Cincinnati, Ohio - it's more like early fall than late spring! We hope this week's edition finds you happy, healthy and in fine fettle - especially our friends in Ireland who are celebrating their spring Bank Holiday this weekend. If you're out on the roads, safe journey, and we hope you enjoy yourselves. As for us, the Memorial day weekend was pleasantly uneventful - gave us a little time to do a bit of catching up here and there. However, in the rush to get the newsletter out, we somehow missed the fact that while the USA was enjoying a long weekend, so were our readers in the British Isles. Sorry we overlooked wishing you a safe and happy Bank Holiday, too.

In any event, it's great to be back, even if it does seem like we just did this yesterday! It's astonishing how fast the time goes by. What's even more amazing to Bridget is that tomorrow - June 1 - she celebrates 40 years in the US. Now that's hard to believe! Seems like only yesterday, she was meeting Russ in New York at what was then Idlewild Airport.

Are you getting married this coming month? Bridget's decided that from now on, she'll share the old Irish verse for each month of year. The one for June is "If you marry when June roses blow, over land and sea you'll go." We still receive emails from engaged couples asking for help with their wedding plans. Bridget's glad to help out, if it doesn't take up too much time. Of course, the easiest thing would be to buy her wedding book - but stock's running low and we're not sure if/when there'll be a reprint or new edition. So, if you know of anyone who's tying the Celtic knot, please let them know that the book is about to become a collector's item - at least, temporarily! It also makes for a very welcome shower gift.

Speaking of gifts - Father's Day is just two weeks away and we've gathered together some great suggestions in our "Men's Stuff" collection. To take a gander, please click:

Last week, we mentioned that we had a set of Antique solid-wood panel 'Pocket' Doors for sale; well, we still have them! Since we should probably assume that we don't have any takers on the subscriber list, please do us a favor and pass along the info' to someone you think might be interested. And please share the URL with them so they can see what they look like. Many thanks!

Also, in last week's edition, we mentioned under events that The New Gate Celtic Theater Company will be performing "Playboy of the Western World" by J. Millington Synge at the Walton Creek Theater in Mariemont, Ohio. What we didn't know is that Synge's great-great nephew lives right across the river from us in Northern Kentucky and will be attending the Friday, June 6 performance! We are also pleased to say that three of of our loyal subscribers are involved in the production, so we do hope if you live in the area, you'll consider attending. There are five shows over next weekend and you can get all the details as to time, days and dates on their web site:http://www.geocities.com/NewGateCelticTheatre, or by e-mail: new.gate@fuse.net.

Well, this time seven years ago, we were getting ready to come home just as the tourist season in Ireland really gets started. If you're planning a trip, in the next couple of months, we'll attempt to draw your attention to interesting events and places we find in our research. Next month, for example, the Galway Film Fleadh will celebrate fifteen years of bringing the best of Irish and world cinema together. It takes place from Tuesday, the 8th of July to Sunday the 13th. For more information, check out their web site:

Speaking of Galway, we were shocked to learn that Royal Tara China is closing its doors at the end of the year; one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area, it will be a great loss to both visitors and residents alike. We hope to have more on this either on the site or in an upcoming newsletter. Fingers crossed, they might find a way to save the company.

As always, the mailbag had some interesting messages. One was from a subscriber who was looking for samples of Yeats' handwriting; we did a quick search and found that several universities, including Trinity, have manuscripts in their collection. Turns out, our subscriber lives in Dublin so planned on going to Trinity that afternoon; we then told them that the National Library also had manuscripts. That's where they found what they were looking for. It always makes us feel particularly good when we can provide assistance.

As for the web site, Russ followed all of his revamping on the library with a complete overhaul of the shopping section. We've added a lot of new stuff because, as Russ did the overhaul, we realized just how thin the offerings were. So, please take a look and let us know what you think. We're trying to make it as easy to shop for the best of Irish products as we can, and your feed-back is really important.

Enough of the "bladder...." - can't take credit for that lovely malapropism - it was the creation of yet another great subscriber who sent us a message this past week! Keep those emails coming - we may not answer right away, but we will eventually.
Help support our efforts - please visit The Old Irish Print Company:
See Ireland as your ancestors did! The Old Irish Print Company provides quality framed prints of Ireland from 1829-1910. Where is your family from? We can show you the hills they walked, the bridges they crossed, the roads they traveled to see family and friends. If we don't have a particular town or village in stock, we will find it. Remember, Father's Day is 2 weeks away! Go to: http://www.oldirishprints.net
Use the code 333 and get free shipping inside the US (50% off shipping outside the US)
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
It has been said of Sir Boyle Roche, MP (1743-1807) for Tralee, Co. Kerry), that he only opened his mouth to change his feet. On one occasion he told his audience that "the cup of Ireland's misery has been overflowing for centuries and is not yet half full." Joining that remarkable cup is this spectacularly mixed metaphor, also by Roche: "All along the untrodden paths of the future, I can see the footprints of an unseen hand."
This one is for all of our Irish friends down under. Many thanks to AG for sending us this true story - it's not Irish, per se, but it's too good to pass up:

In Sydney, Australia, one of the radio stations offers $1000-$5000 for people to tell their most embarrassing stories. This one netted the winner $5000:

I was due later in the week for an appointment with the gynecologist. Early one morning I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for early that morning at 9:30 a.m. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45 a.m. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare. As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So I rushed upstairs, threw off my dressing gown, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in "that area" to make sure it was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothesbasket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment. I was in the waiting room only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, "My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?" but I didn't respond. When the appointment was over, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal...some shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. After school when my six-year-old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, "Mum, where's my washcloth?" I told her to get another one from the cupboard. She replied, "No, I need the one that was here by the sink. It had all my glitter and sparkles in it."
1. Dublin was originally called Dubh Linn meaning Black Pool? The pool to which the name referred is the oldest known in Northern Europe and currently forms the centre-piece of the penguin enclosure in Dublin Zoo.
2. Chieftains in medieval Ulster went out of their way to marry Scotswomen because their dowries consisted of axe-wielding galloglass mercenaries? When Turlough Luineach O'Neill married Lady Agnes MacDonald of Kintyre in 1568, she brought 10,000 troops with her.
3. Ireland's smallest church is at Portbraden in Co. Antrim? Only ten feet long by six feet wide, the structure is dedicated to St. Gobhnan - the patron saint of builders. (huh?!)
I've posed nude for a photographer in the manner of Rodin's Thinker, but I looked merely constipated. George Bernard Shaw
The answers to last week's quiz:
1. Irish Traditions - H. N. Abrams
2. Irish Voices - 50 years of Irish Life, 1916-1966 - Peter Somerville-Large
3. The Irish World - The History & Cultural Achievements of the Irish People -Brian De Breffny

A clap of the hands and a tap of the feet to this week's Irish literary sleuths:

Ann Riordan
A brilliant guide to the public libraries of Ireland

Hartson Dowd
For an excellent Irish site - click on -The Irish Internet Hub - Your passport to Irish locations on the Web

Helen Dowd
Looking for a place to put your writing? Try http://missionmagazine.tdlofton-ministries.net/. You will not only find out how you can submit your writings, but you will be able to browse in several categories for good reading. Mission Magazine has just changed their site, so most of the articles are in the archives, but it is no problem to access them. Check it out for yourself:

Dan Murphy
Good information here...
ED. NOTE: we took a look- and despite the numerous dancing leprechauns, this is worth a visit.

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Featuring Father's Day Keepsake Special http://namelygifts.com/Father'sDaySpecial.htm

Dan Hennessy

Judith Flynn
The Celtic Attic has everything you need to decorate your home and life with a Celtic Twist!
http://www.celticattic.com Phone orders 360-765-0186
NOTE: If you visit this site and buy anything, please be sure to enter the code IC46 in the comment area of the order form so that they know you came from the Irish Culture and Customs newsletter. This helps support out efforts and keeps this newsletter free. Go raibh maith agat to Judith for nominating the Celtic Attic - one of our favorites, too!

Catherine McCarthy
For anyone interested in researching their Irish roots, this is a great site!

This week's quiz - who wrote:
1. Between Innocence and Peace - Favourite Poems of Ireland
2. The Irish Roundtower - Origins and Architecture Explored
3. Luck of The Irish - Our Life in County Clare
Hint: All three titles can be found here:
(Please be patient - it takes a while to load the page)

Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
1. Article: It's A Long Way To Tipperary - the story behind the famous World War I song:
2. Article: The Irish Soldiers in World War I - did you know nearly 50,000 died during the "Great War?"
3. Article: Danny Boy - a personal and very moving recollection about a father in the service during World War II:
4. New: Shops Ireland; Russ has completely redone the shopping pages
5. The Irish Kitchen - Oatmeal-Cornmeal Blueberry Bread - another yummy recipe from Hartson's collection:
6. Circle of Prayer - Novena #5 in this cycle begins tomorrow and will continue through June 9. We are still praying for the intentions of little Sam in California who is just 5 and battling cancer; Gayla's brother-in-law whose cancer has returned; Steve in New York who was critically injured in an accident, and now, little 7-month old Christopher who has a brain tumor. Each week, we receive more than a few messages from readers who tell us about people in desperate need of help - and it's the children who always capture our attention. We've found two web sites which we think merit a visit: http://www.SaveOnePerson.org
By coincidence - or maybe not, the Circle of Prayer site has the same name as our own page. But this site is far more comprehensive than ours. If you believe in the power of prayer, we strongly urge that you take a look. To join us in prayer or meditation, you can also click here to bring up our own page
7. Irish Trivia Contest. Today is the last day! All entries must be in by midnight, tonight, EST.
8. News & Headlines for the past week or so
9. Today in Irish History for the past month

The beginning of a new month is always fun for us - and we hope for you, as well - especially since June 1 is the official launch of "high season" in Ireland - lots of fodder there. In any event, between now and the next edition, we'll bring you a new bit for the Culture Corner, a new story for children, a new Irish lesson, and a new Trivia quiz. Suffice to say, we have our hands full! But, we'll also make time to bring you the regular features - a Sunday blessing, a Wednesday quote, and a new recipe. If Herself has time, she has in mind to do something on St. Kevin - his feast day is June 3. In the meantime, there are still a few hours left to get your entry in for the May contest. Don't forget that this month, the winner gets to choose any one item from Irish Music International.

And so...that's about the lot for the week; we hope you've enjoyed our latest meanderings, especially our new subscribers - many thanks for signing up and if you think your family and friends might like a bit of the "bladder", please feel free to forward it to them.

We'll leave you with a couple of things that came in the mail. The first is for those times you need a boost. Try this - it's fun and it will make you feel good:

The second is a riddle. The Irish were always fond of riddles and we particularly like this one sent in by a subscriber who has become a great friend:

What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich don't need it and if you eat it, you'll die? Send us your answer - it will be interesting to see how our group measures up against Stanford University students and kindergarten students.

Until next time, may you feel the warmth of summer, may you and your loved ones bask in the rays of God's holy light, and may showers of blessings hold you, enfold you and protect you. (And, something we've mistakenly left off for the last couple of newsletters - as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!)

All the best,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Please help us keep this newsletter free by visiting our newest sponsor: O'Beans Irish Soda Bread Mix
Along with the potato, the mainstay of the traditional Irish diet was bread. We remember our mothers baking soda bread two or three times a week and now, with our authentic mix, you can do the same. It's extraordinarily easy to make - just add water. Choose white or wheat - they're both delicious and the perfect accompaniment to a wide range of dishes. Our mixes will also keep fresh for months on the shelf. So stock up now - great for gifts, fund-raisers, or use in a business, such as a pub, restaurant or B&B. To learn more, or to order, please visit us online:

You can also support our efforts by making a voluntary donation. If you enjoy reading this newsletter every week, please show your appreciation by sending whatever you can afford to Himself/Herself, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. Any amount is welcome and many thanks for your kindness!
Know someone who could use a bit of cheering up? Say it with flowers!
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html

Ohio - Miami Whitewater Forest
Celtic Heritage Day - June 1 - 2:00 pm
Sneak Preview of Playboy of the Western World - Act 1
For more information on all performances, please click

2003 Cincinnati Celtic Music & Cultural Festival
Time's running out for the writing contest. All entries must be in by June 2. If you're interested, you can get the rules and other details here: http://home.fuse.net/cfl/writers-contest.html

Patricia Wallace Bone Marrow Drive
June 7th, 2003 - 11am to 4 pm
John A. Anderson Recreation Center
111 North Oceanside Road
Rockville Centre, NY
For more details, please call 516-766-8002

Baltimore, Maryland
The Jeanie Johnston famine ship will be in Baltimore from June 3 to June 9. For details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: