Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every fortnight or so and sent out to nearly 4300 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:
If, for any reason, you wish to unsubscribe, instructions are at the very end - but we do hope you'll stay with us. And if you need to update your info' or change your email address, you can do that at the end, too.

Greetings and Blessings to all,

It's so hard to believe that in the Celtic calendar, this Friday, St. Brigid's Day, is Imbolc - the first day of Spring! May it be a mild one for us all, ever mindful that last February was bitterly cold in our part of the world.

Meanwhile, God willing, may this edition find all of our readers wherever you might be in good health, good spirits and good company. The warmest of welcomes to everyone and a special hello to our newest readers. Thanks for becoming subscribers and if you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass them along to your family and friends.

Since last we wrote, our friends down under celebrated Australia Day - we hope it was a safe and happy holiday for you and yours in Oz. Also, we hope all of our Celtic cousins from Scotland enjoyed their Burns Supper of haggis, tatties and neeps washed down with a few drams!

As for ourselves, it's been a fairly uneventful couple of weeks which is usually okay for a couple of old fogies who can't handle a lot of excitement. However, since we made our plea for donations in the last newsletter, our adrenaline levels have risen every day waiting for the post or checking PayPal. As in other years, Bridget has had this fantasy of sacks of letters being delivered. Alas, also as in other years, it looks like it will be a long wait. But we have had a few contributions and we're very thankful for them. (In appreciation, we are sending out a lucky Irish coin to anyone who sends us $5.00 or more). If you would like to be among those helping us to keep the newsletter and the web site going, you can make a donation directly to PayPal:
http://www.paypal.com and use the email account

Or you can send a donation to:
Bridget & Russ Haggerty
5814 Blue Spruce Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45224

Go raibh maith agat in advance for your generosity and kindness.

Enough of the beggin' and blatherin' - on with the update:
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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 the world. Links for more news stories can be found on our web site here
And more county news can be found here:

Ireland's oldest citizen RIP

Bridget Conroy passed away recently the age of 107. Miss Conroy, who was from Co Galway, was born in 1900. She was due to celebrate her 108th birthday in April.

Armagh: Family pub goes on the market
The pub in Camlough owned by the family at the centre of a dispute over land bequeathed to the parish has been put up for sale. Doyle's Bar was opened in 1827 by Edward Doyle and until four years ago was run by members of the Doyle family; the last member was Mary Elizabeth Doyle. On her death the running of the pub was taken over by the fiancée of her late son John, Liz Madden, and she has now decided to sell the premises. One of the pub's claims to fame was that it was the site of a speech to supporters by Eamon de Valera in the early years of the last century.

Armagh: Patience is rewarded for Lurgan angler
After spending seven hours a day for four and a half days in sometimes freezing conditions, Colin Gardiner from Lurgan eventually landed the first salmon of the year. Colin was fishing the River Drowse on the borders of Leitrim and Donegal when he landed the thirteen-pound fish; he also took the honour of first salmon two years ago in the same river.

Carlow: Fifteen acres for the people of Tullow
A fifteen-acre site along the banks of the River Slaney in Tullow are to be developed as a park for local people offering a variety of facilities. Four acres will be devoted to a playground close to the pedestrian bridge, while a further five acres will feature playing courts and play areas. Walkways, grassy areas and flower gardens will complete the site on the land towards Ouragh.

Cavan: Norbertine order to sell abbey and lands
The Ballyjamesduff order has put on the market the Holy Trinity Abbey at Kinacrott and the accompanying forty acres of land, with an expectation of the sale yielding more than €3m. One of the reasons given for the sale, as with the sale of so much land owned by religious communities, is the age profile of the members of the order.

Clare: New ambition for cave-owners
Three years after finally receiving permission to open a cave holding the largest free-hanging stalactite in the world, a Doolin couple have lodged another application for a visitor centre at the site. John and Helen Browne spent many years asking for permission to open Pol an Ionáin, and now they are hoping that the visitor centre will be subject to far less opposition from environmental groups. Visitor numbers at the site last year were double those of 2006 and the visitor centre will provide tourists with a shop, a café and a display area.

Clare: Artists join group to save woodland
A number of artists including Aosdana member Joe Comerford have joined a group endeavouring to protect a woodland seven kilometres from the villages of Tulla and Feakle. The more than four hundred acres of forestry is threatened with demolition in the plans lodged last year by Ventus Energy for a €10m windfarm in the area comprising one hundred and twenty-five turbines. Also objecting to the proposal is Máirín Kelly, who has pointed out that the forestry is close to Lough Graney, the setting for one of Ireland's most famous poems, Merriman's "The Midnight Court".

Cork: Victorian charter returned to city
The charter granted by Queen Victoria which transformed the position of mayor to that of lord mayor of Cork city has been returned to the city. A presentation took place at Cork City Hall during the week at which the 1900 charter was presented to the present Lord Mayor, Donal Counihan by Professor Timothy Counihan and his son Michael. The charter was inherited by Professor Counihan's wife, Mary Rose Powell, who was related through marriage to the city's first Lord Mayor, Daniel Hegarty.

Derry: Fishermen hang up their nets
More than one hundred drift and draft fishermen, some of whom had been fishing on the Foyle for fifty years, have handed in their nets as part of a programme to improve marine life in the river. A compensation package had been agreed with those surrendering their nets. There are now just twenty-eight drift and draft net fishermen working on the Foyle.

Derry: Seven decades as a choir member
Aubrey Fielding from Knockwellan Park in Derry joined the choir of St Columb's Cathedral just after his sixth birthday and has now celebrated seventy years as a member. The most senior member of the choir, he is also honorary captain of the bell ringers and is a member of the Select Vestry. Aubrey, whose five brothers were also members of the choir, and his wife Elizabeth have four sons, all of whom have sung with the choir. A keen genealogist, he is at present working on the cathedral records, putting the registers of births, marriages and deaths onto computer.

Donegal: Author's house has a rock room
The Pink House, owned by writer Edna O'Brien and designed by her son Sasha Gebler, features a rock room, but this is no place for budding musicians. For the room has been carved out of granite and was originally intended for use as a sauna and Jacuzzi. The house, within walking distance of Carrickfin Airport, has been built onto an original cottage which now forms the kitchen and dining area. The house stands on an acre of land on a headland overlooking its own beach, with a jetty and a boathouse. The writer has put the house on the market as she is now looking for something smaller in Ireland; she spends most of the year in her London home.

Down: Planning proposal draws numerous objections
A planning application by a Belfast based development company, for the demolition of buildings on the Shore Road in Portaferry, has prompted a total of seventy-seven objections from local residents. The site includes The Narrows, an award-winning restaurant whose façade has recently been used in a BBC series. Among the objectors are David Russell, who lives nearby, and Caroline Nolan; both believe that the loss of the restaurant, which is a major tourist attraction, would be a blow to the whole area. The property company proposes to construct a housing development on the site.

Dublin: Guinness barges to be raised from sea bed
The Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Company is hoping to receive permission to raise from the sea bed off the coast of Northern Ireland four Guinness barges which were latterly used to transport sand. The company hopes that the barges will be used to carry passengers on the River Liffey from Houston Station to Dublin Bay on cruises lasting two to four hours. Also part of the planning application is a pontoon of one hundred and twenty metres at Ormond Quay, effectively a floating street, with a Guinness barge alongside as a floating café.

Dublin: The jewels are still missing, but the safe is back
The safe that contained what became known as the Irish Crown Jewels has been returned to Dublin Castle, from where the jewels were stolen one hundred years ago. Officially known as the Regalia of the Order of St Patrick, the fate of the jewels has provided much speculation over the years but there has been no sighting of them since that time. The safe in which they were kept has been in Kevin Street Garda station for the past one hundred years but that building is undergoing refurbishment and so the safe has been placed in the Garda Museum in Dublin Castle.

Fermanagh: New artefact for Fermanagh museum
The County Museum in Enniskillen Castle has acquired a new item for display after having purchased at a London auction a copy of a book shrine. The original St Molaise book shrine dates from the eleventh century and was made in the monastery founded by the saint on Devenish Island in Lough Erne. The sale of the item was brought to the attention of the museum by one of its patrons, Lord Belmore, and the purchase of the nineteenth century copy was undertaken. The original book shrine is in the possession of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

Galway: Rooting through the rubble for a 15th century bishop
A Galway historian who had spent some time tracking down the stone head of a bishop which had originally been part of the Dominican Abbey in Athenry had eventually to get down on his hands and knees and search through rubble to retrieve it. Seamus Lynch located the carved head set into the wall behind a sweet shop in the town, but then discovered the wall had been knocked during renovation work. However he and the JCB drive, helped by a couple of workmen, picked through the rubble until they located the carved head. Seamus now hopes it will be put on permanent display in the local heritage centre.

Kerry: The Blasket saga continues
The plan to build a café on Great Blasket, approved by the county council, has run into difficulty following two objections having been lodged. Sue Redican, who has lived on the island for twenty years, believes that it will not be granted the status of a World Heritage Site if the café and associated facilities are allowed to go ahead. Virginia Brownlow, who camps on Great Blasket on a regular basis, based her objection on the development's effect on the island's wildlife, in addition to voicing reservations about the size of the proposed café. It is uncertain whether a further application will be made if the present one is unsuccessful.

Kilkenny: Record numbers for Welly Race
According to festival organiser Chubby Brenny, there were record numbers participating in this year's Castlecomer Welly Race, with more than six hundred walkers, runners and novelty entrants. And with between eight and ten thousand people coming out to support the event it is no surprise that more than €40,000 was raised for a number of charities.

Laois: Imaginative programme for Durrow's 300 years
The town of Durrow, which is celebrating three hundred years this year, has a series of celebrations which will be launched in County Hall Portlaoise on February 14. Among the events scheduled is an unusual St Patrick's Day Parade whose participants will be encouraged to don eighteenth century dress, and the organisers have stipulated that no mechanically propelled vehicles are allowed to take part. Also on offer will be an environmental week, a welcome home festival, an arts week and an inventors' seminar; this last is to mark the town's association with the inventor of the carpet loom, Thomas Flower.

Laois: Josie has her big break - at 80
Josie Dunne from Abbeyleix has waited a long time to release her first CD for the event took place recently close to her eightieth birthday. Josie recorded four songs for the CD, two of them composed by the late James "Lal" Deegan, also from Abbeyleix. The CD was launched in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel where Josie was joined by some two hundred family members and friends. The launch was carried out by John Hosey, who was also the producer, and Josie sang the four songs on the night, one of them an old version of 'Lovely Laois', accompanied by The Statesmen.

Leitrim: Paper's all-Irish page proves a success
The decision by the Leitrim Post to expand its Irish language column to an all-Irish page has been such a success that the paper's owners are now considering including a similar page in their Donegal and Sligo papers. The idea was first mooted by Rossa Ó Snodaigh, a member of the band Kila who lives in Manorhamilton, and he is one of those providing copy for the page. The papers editor, Colin Regan, believes the success of the page reflects the recent upsurge in interest in the language locally, with two Gaelscoileanna now operating, one in Carrick-on-Shannon and the other in Manorhamilton.

Longford: Eighteenth century Ballymahon house on market
Castlecore House, just a short distance from Ballymahon, was built in the mid-eighteenth century by the Very Rev Cutts Harman, Dean of Waterford. The Dean based its design on the hunting palace of Stupingi, near Turin, owned by the Dukes of Savoy and it served as a hunting lodge for nearby Newcastle House. In subsequent years the property, standing on ten acres of land and approached by a three hundred metre long avenue, became a gentleman's residence and then a convent.

Louth: Traditional feast in Drogheda
The next few weeks will see a feast for lovers of tradition music in the county with two events lined up by Droichead Arts Centre for the Stockwell Street Theatre. Next weekend a group called Horsehair, Wind and Reeds will take to the stage; two weeks later it will be the turn of sean-nós singer Lorcan Mac Mathúna from Dublin, who will be joined on stage by Joey Doyle on flute, piano and guitar, and Barry Lyons on fiddle and bodhrán.

Meath: Graveyards fuel campaign against quarry
The discovery of two mediaeval graveyards during archaeological excavations have given a new impetus to the residents of Rathmolyon in their fight against the expansion of a quarry at Trammon. The two burial grounds were uncovered during work carried out on foot of a request for further information, and Kieran Cummins of the Rathmolyon Environmental Alliance believes the discovery should put a stop to any thoughts of quarrying. The group is also objecting on the grounds that there are already eleven quarries in a five-mile radius of the site proposed by Keegan Quarries.

Offaly: Change ahead for award-winning cottage
A cottage in Shinrone which received a European Heritage Award two years ago has been put on the market. Woodbine Cottage was built in the eighteenth century as part of the original Cangort Castle Estate and ten years ago the owners completely reconstructed it, while adhering strictly to the traditional lines and interior of the building; one of its gems is an original ladies' Victorian scroll top free-standing bath.

Offaly: Moneygall celebrates
A distant relative of the US presidential contender Barack Obama had his pub in Moneygall covered in posters of his famous relative following Obama's success in Iowa. Ollie Hayes is related through shoemaker Fulmuth Kearney, who left Ireland at the age of nineteen in the wake of the Famine; Obama's mother is a descendant of Kearney. Joining in the celebrations were members of the Irish and Irish Americans for Obama group, who chose Hayes' pub because of its family link with the Democrat hopeful. The people of Moneygall are now hoping that Obama will go all the way to the White House, a result that will almost certainly increase tourism to the small town.

Waterford: Rice centre to open next month
The newly developed Mount Sion site in Waterford is due to open next month as the Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre. The centre on Barrack Street is on the site of the first community and school set up by Edmund Rice at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and has a new Edmund Rice Chapel which contains his tomb; it also features stained glass windows from the original building demolished in the 1970s. The founder of both the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers is the subject of the museum, which is housed in some of the period buildings at Mount Sion.

Wicklow: Greystones surfers catch the last wave
The €300m renovation of Greystones harbour will see the end of surfing in the area since the new marina will provide just backwash rather than natural waves. The one hundred and fifty-five members of the East Coast Surf Club, founded more than forty years ago by Kevin Cavey, were last week enjoying their last surfing outings in Greystones. They have also lost facilities in the Brittas Bay area following closure by private developers. The development of the harbour, which is due to begin this week, includes a marina, and residential and commercial units.

Hallowe'en brack faces chop under new EU rules
The traditional Hallowe'en cake which contains a toy ring baked into the centre will no longer be allowed to contain the ring or other foreign objects under new guidelines on toy safety standards which were unveiled by the European Commission recently. Boxes of cereal or other edibles containing giveaway toys or other non-food items in the same packaging would also be banned under the new guidelines before the European Parliament.
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith:
The countdown to St. Patrick's Day has begun in earnest - but before that comes St. Brigid's Feast day followed by St. Valentine's and here at Lollysmith we have a great selection of gifts appropriate to just about every Irish feastday or festival. St. Patrick's Day! Come explore:
Phyllis writes:
Does anyone know the origin and meaning of:

'Memory as deep as manner
belie (or beligh) the person'

ED. NOTE: We had no luck with this one. It might be a line from a poem.

St Brigid - Life, Customs, Traditions and More
The Brigidines have compiled a comprehensive list of links. We haven't looked at them all - yet. But at first glance, just about every aspect of the saint's life and the customs/traditions associated with her feastday appear to be covered.

St. Brigid of Ireland Suite and Kildare Prayer
Barbara Gallagher is an accomplished pianist and composer whose work has been heard on NPR's Thistle & Shamrock. Here are links to two timely pieces. But if you have more than a few minutes, check out all of the compositions she has available for you to listen to.
St. Brigid of Ireland Suite:
Kildare Hymn:

Kate Rusby - The Yorkshire Nightingale
If you haven't heard this lassie sing, you're in for a real treat. She's not Irish, but no matter. If you like Irish trad, you will love Kate. With thanks to our music reviewer William Ramoutar who led us to finding out more about her after sending us his January review. You can read that here:
And you can see and hear Kate perform here:
ED. NOTE: There are quite a few videos; we suggest you take a look at them all!

Kerry Whistles
We noticed while watching the Kate Rusby videos that a couple were from a site called Kerry Whistles. We checked it out and ran into a goldmine of great trad tunes! Here's the URL for the first grouping:

The Irish Page
Of all the bards Ireland  ever produced, the last and the greatest was Carolan the Blind. This air was written for one of his patrons, John O 'Connor by name.  We haven't played tunes composed by Carolan in several months and we thought you'd like to revisit Ireland's greatest composer again.

Brent & Una's Trip to Ireland
We belong to a travel forum called All-Ireland Travel and so do Brent & Una. They posted links to videos they took during their recent trip and have graciously given us permission to share them with you. Enjoy.

Kevin McCrell
A reader brought our attention to this remarkable musician. (sorry, we lost your name, but not your recommendation!) Kevin is a founding member of some very popular bands including Donnybrook Fair, and his namesake band, Celtic Bluegrass band The McKrells.

Free Mammograms
Many women can't afford the test, but here's how you can help: Go to the Breast Cancer site and click on their free mammogram link; if the site gets 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:

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:
The lying man has promised
Whatever thing he could
The greedy man believes him
And thinks his promise good
Old Irish Saying. We don't think it's supposed to be in reference to politics and politicians - what do you think? __________________________________________________________
Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation.
George Bernard Shaw

Another good one from our dear friend in California, AG:

A doctor wants to get off work and go fishing, so he approaches his assistant. "Seamus, I am going fishing tomorrow and don't want to close the clinic," he says. "I want you to take care of the clinic and all my patients." "Yes, sir!" answers Seamus. The doctor goes fishing, returns the following day and asks, "So, Seamus, how was your day?" Seamus tells him that he took care of three patients. "The first one had a headache, so I gave him asprin" "Bravo, Seamus, and the second one?" asks the doctor. "The second one had an upset stomach and I made him a cup of tea," says
Seamus. "Bravo, bravo! You're good at this. And what about the third one?" asks the doctor. "Sir, I was sitting here and suddenly the door opens and a woman bursts into the room. She undresses herself, tearing off every stitch of clothing including her bra and her panties, and lies down on the table. She spreads her legs and shouts, "Help me, I beg you! It's been five years since I've seen a man!" Sweet holy Jesus, Seamus, what did you do?" asks the doctor. "I put drops in her eyes."

1. According to legend, the medieval Knights of Chivalry chose Saint Brigid as their patroness, and that it was they who first chose to call their wives "brides"?

2. It was the custom on St. Brigid's Day to take a straw saved from the Christmas nativity scene and place it in the rafters? This was to protect against evil spirits - and ringworm!

3. To see a hedgehog on St. Brigid's Day was a sign of good weather to come? However, an exceptionally fine day was taken as a poor omen.

To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:

The Story of Ireland: Brendan O'Brien
All Our Yesterdays: E.E. O'Donnell
40 Shades of Green: Des Geraghty

A pat on the back and a tip of the hat to our latest Irish book sleuths

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland" 22 May - 3 June, 2008: view itinerary at

Jennifer Beatty
Irish Page is certainly one of my favorites because the
story is in Gaelic as well as English. But so many of them are just great!

Rita Roche, Baltimore, MD, USA

Helen Dowd
Thanks for visiting my site. Please note the new guest book, right on the front page. I'd love it if you would drop a note

Pauline Dewberry
DO YOU LIKE CATS? Then you will love this site - full of warm, funny stories that will make you laugh and occasionally shed a tear. Join us as my wonderful feline companions and I share what life is like - living in a multi-cat household. It will be a journey you won't forget!

Want to see your name and favorite web site in our next newsletter?
Who wrote:
1. Why Irish? Irish Language and Literature in Academia
2. Monumental Beginnings - archaeology of the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road
3. Writing Irish History: The Four Masters and Their World

Hint: Check Kennys
SPONSOR: Please help us keep the newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lotto.
In operation since 1988 , it's one of the oldest online lottery 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!

Latest results: There was 1 winner of Saturday's drawing. Was it you? It's always been our fantasy that one of our readers will win; but, as they say in Ireland, you can't win if you're not in. To buy a ticket for next Wednesday's drawing, please click
First off, the answer to our last brain bruiser:
Q. What one syllable word becomes a three-syllable word with the addition of a single letter?
A. ARE + A = Area
There were actually a slew of solutions - almost as many as there were solvers. Congrats once again to all of our brilliant Riddle People and well done to Earlene  Mara of Pawtucket, RI who was first in.

And now for our next skull scrambler:
Deirdre, Emer, and Emmet are drinking Irish coffee.
Aoife, Ethna, and Cillian are drinking Guinness.
What is Aideen drinking? Coffee or Guinness? __________________________________________________________________
1. Article: Have you lost your census?
2. Article: St. Ita - Foster-mother to the saints of Ireland
3. Article: In search of ncestors
4. Article: Returning home to Carrigaline, Co. Cork
5. Article: Irish genealogy Q & A
6. Article: Gathering the threads
7. Soundtrack Review: The Waterhorse
8. Irish Kitchen - Darina Allen's Leek & potato Soup
9. Basic Irish: A New Year/A New You
10. Kids' Ireland: Making St. Brigid's Crosses
11. CD Review: Our music reviewer William Ramoutar introduces us to Kate Rusby
12. January Trivia Contest . Time's running out! All entries must be in by midnight. January 31st, whatever time zone you're in:
13. December Letter of the Month - A delightful contribution from Glen and Michele Whelan (please scroll to the bottom of the home page:
14. Circle of Prayer The fourth Novena in this cycle began on January 22 and continues through January 30. Whatever your spiritual leanings, please keep the following in your prayers or meditations: The O'Dea family after losing their dear mother; Maureen Carberry who is in rehab after suffering a stroke (the prognosis is good). Johanna who has colon cancer, Bob Higgins' grandson Bob Duffy he is beginning a 30 day period in isolation to see if a bone marrow transplant coupled with chemotherapy will arrest or retard the cancer that started as a tumor in his head. Celeste's husbanGene who just went through the first of two total knee replacement. Our dear friend Eileen and her family who are in mourning for heir Aunt Anne; little CJ who has regained vision in the top half of his eye with 80% of his retina reattaching itself naturally; Ellie, Baby Joseph who is back at home with his Mom, Dad and sister and he is now receiving nursing care there, Thelma, Aunt Marie, Linda, Dottie, Leo, Carole's mom, Anne, baby Maggie, her brother Kevin, little Isabella who turns out to be a very active toddler and not a baby as we reported last time. If you'd like to check on her progress and see new pictures, please click
Also Liam Nolan who may have to have a kidney removed, our daughter-in-law's dad George Reynolds , Hartson Dowd who is still in the hospital, Heather whose cancer has returned, Pauline who is still experiencing many problems since her bone marrow transplant, Benjamin H, and so many others who need our spiritual support especially our men and women in the military serving their country all over the world. Please God, they will all be home safe and sound soon.
ED. NOTE: Margaret's baby Siobhan is clean as a whistle.  No more cancer!  God bless you for thinking of her in your prayers and meditations.

With St, Brigid's Day this Friday followed by Candlemas and then Lent right around the corner, we're putting up a new home page a wee bit earlier.

1. Article: St. Brigid, the Giveaway
2. Article: Brigid of the Songs
3. Article: Celebrating a name Day in Old Ireland
4. Article: Celebrating Candlemas in old ireland
5. Article: Shrovetide - the marrying Season
6. Article: Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day!
7. Article: Ash Wednesday & the Lenten Seasonj in Old ireland
8. The irish Kitchen - St. Brigid's Oatcakes
9. Basic irish - St. Brigid/Spring
10. Article: Making St. Brigid's Crosses
SPONSOR: Please help us keep the newsletter coming - visit our newest sponsor: St. Patrick's Day and Irish T-Shirts.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY AND IRISH T-SHIRTS, SWEATSHIRTS & GIFTS are made with you in mind. Irish Drinking T-shirts, St. Patrick's Day shirts or Proud to be Irish T Shirts. We have over 100 designs. We have designs for the whole family and all the relatives, too. Irish Dad T-Shirt, Irish Mom, Irish Grandpa, Grandma, and even t-shirts for the new Irish baby. We even have Saint Patrick's Day greeting cards.
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NOTE: Made in and shipped from the USA
So there's the long and the short of it until we write again. If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important event between now and then, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy.
In the meantime, pinch punch, first day of the month! If you were married in Fevruary or plan on tying the knot, here's the special old Irish verse:
When February birds do mate, you may wed, nor dread your fate.

We leave you with this reading attributed to St. Brigid
I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity.

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.

Dublin, Ireland - February 4th through March 1st
Miss Julie by August Strindberg, in a version by Frank McGuinness
Project Arts Centre & Space Upstairs
East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
For more details, please write to Layla O'Mara

Hollywood, Florida - February 23
The Irish-American Ceili Club 36th Gala Party at the Hollywood Golf & Country Club - Just 100 tickets available and they're selling FAST! For more details on this event and other upcoming activities, please click

Los Alamitos, California
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

This was sent to us by another loyal reader - Mike Horan. Thanks, Mike!
We had to make a slight modification with the "product" at the end. We'll leave it up to you to put in your own!

Two Englishmen- businessmen in London - were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new store. As yet, the store wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set up.
One said to the other, "I bet any minute now some thick tourist is going to walk by, put his face to the window and ask what we're selling."
No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a  curious Irishman walked to the
window, had a peek, and in a thick Irish   accent asked "What  are you selling here? One of the men replied sarcastically, "We're selling dim bulbs."
Without skipping a beat, the Irishman said, "You are doing well ... Only two left!"