Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1700 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
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Greetings and blessings to all...

A warm welcome back to everyone and a special hello to our newest readers. Many thanks for subscribing and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends. We're flirting with 1700 subscribers and we'd love to make 1700 by the 17th!

We hope this pre-St. Patrick's Day edition finds you on the pig's back and ready for the week's festivities. Many parades are taking place this weekend and we pray your weather will be fair. Our parade here in the Queen City is tomorrow - and so far, the forecast is good. That will make a welcome change from previous years when we've had freezing temperatures and snow. As always in this part of the world, you can count on roller-coaster weather in March - this week it's been in the 60s during the day and down to the 20s at night. Still too early to work outside. Indoors, it's been quite a different tale to tell - it's not too cold to paint and Himself is worn out from it! It's all part of the prep work that needs to be done before we officially put the house on the market - we're estimating April 3rd or 10th. Guess it's time to buy that statue of St. Joseph!

Still no news of our pet, Roxie; it will be three weeks tomorrow since she went missing. That's a long time, but we're still hoping she'll come home.

On a happier note, earlier this week, Bridget was interviewed by reporters from National Geographic (on-line) and our local paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer. She's getting a lot more used to this sort of thing, especially at this time of year. The stories are supposed to appear this coming week - if there are URLs to them available, we'll let you know in next week's edition.

And, in a much more serious vein, for all of you with family or friends in Spain, our deepest sympathies for your tragic losses this past week. One of our readers, Diego Haggerty, lives in Argentina but both of his sons and their families are in Madrid. He wrote to let us know they are safe. God willing, may it be so with everyone on our list.

Enough about us...

In news from Ireland:

Co. Carlow - A total of forty-six new trees were planted in Carlow town during the past week as part of National Tree Week, which runs from March 7 to March 14. Organised by the Tree Council of Ireland and sponsored by the State forestry body, Coillte, among the trees planted were the common and silver birch, oak, ash, Norway maple, sycamore and rowan.

Co. Cork - Being the father of twin girls, farmer Ted Buckley of Milmorane, Ballingeary is no stranger to multiple births, but even he was astonished when one of his Limousine cows gave birth to quads!

Co. Cork - Dunkathel House, a large period estate dating from the late eighteenth century and set in 150 acres of land, has been sold for 24 million euros to O'Flynn Construction.

Co. Derry - Derry citizens who celebrate St Patrick's Day by going to their local for a drink are to be encouraged by a Derry-based Irish language organisation to toast the national saint in Irish. An Gaelaras is to distribute a number of cards to the pubs in the city which will carry a range of simple phrases in Irish; the project is part of Seachtain na Gaeilge or Irish Language Week, during which St Patrick's Day falls this year.

Co. Offaly - What has been forecast as the biggest parade ever held in Tullamore will take place this week, the twenty-first year it has been held in its new form. The official opening will be performed by county footballer Matt Connor and leading the parade, after the colour party, will be fifty hunt horses coming from all over the county.

Co. Waterford - Three and a half thousand people turned out in Waterford city last week to welcome back to his native county Ireland's representative at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Chris Doran jumped onto the stage at Ballylicken with a shout of "Up the Deise" and promised to bring the Eurovision title not only to Ireland but to Waterford.

In news from all over:
Australia - Thirty-year-old Conor Keenan, originally from Swords in Dublin, has been chosen as one of twelve Irish bachelors to feature on a calendar which will be distributed in Australia, Ireland and the US. Conor has been in Australia for four years and lives in Fingal Bay, New South Wales.

California - Two conflicts, both alike in tragedy, will come together on the Valencia High School stage St. Patrick's Day. In the spring production of "Romeo and Juliet," director and theater arts teacher Stephen Whelan has transposed the Shakespearean tale of young love poisoned by social conflict from 15th century Verona to a 1970s Northern Ireland reeling from "The Troubles."

From the mailbag:
Last week, Frances McGinley asked about the legend of "lifting the Garton clay" Gloria Smith writes: "I asked someone I know who comes from near Letterkenny and she told me she lives only 6 miles from Garton. The legend is that if you leave your home in Garton you bring/carry some clay with you always as it will ensure you return to your homeland She also thought there were some associations with St Columcille and healing and that there may have been healing properties in the clay. She is going to check it out with her mother. (Thanks, Gloria!)

Last week, we mentioned that the son of a friend of ours was leaving for Iraq. He's a member of the 7th Cavalry and she shared a link to the Garry Owen page - the fighting tune of the regiment. Jolene wrote: "You email her and tell her he should come to the Irish Dragoon Pub in Killeen Mall before he leaves. I sent the link to pub owner George Shott as Garry Owen is his favorite song!" Many thanks, Jolene, but Paul will have to take you up on the invitation when he gets back in about a year. His unit shipped out last Monday. Please keep Paul in your prayers.

Garry Owen also generated this response from another reader
"As a veteran of the Fighting 69th I wish to inform you that the soldiers of the 69th were fighting to the tune of Garry Owen way before George Custer ever heard of it. It was the 69th's battle song in the Civil War and still is the Regimental March. One favor you can do. There is no known vocal recording of the tune. Only the music. The words are readily available but no one has sung it except the soldiers of the 69th and 7th Cavalry." Any of our subscribers who are professional singers/musicians interested? You could have a huge hit on your hands...well, 'em...one guaranteed sale, anyway!

Also in last week's mailbag, Gary requested a Russian translation of It's a Long Way to Tipperary" Yegor writes: "You can tell Gary, that I'm Russian, and a translator. So, if he can send me the text of the song, I could translate it." Many thanks, Yegor!

Links of the week:
A selection of St. Patrick's Day cards for you to send to family & friends

Listen to your favorite Irish songs and read the lyrics here: (thanks, Hartson!)

Irish balladeer - Pete McDonald
We've been remiss in not mentioning Pete before; he's a very popular entertainer in the New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York areas. His 25 years as an Irish balladeer keep him a favorite among locals who enjoy Celtic music from classic ballads to traditional folk songs to raucous bar room tunes. He also writes a great monthly newsletter - well worth subscribing to. To learn more, here's the link to his website:

Picturesque Ohio through the lens of Jim Crotty
Jim is one of our subscribers and he's also a very talented photographer. His pictures of our home state and other places are well worth viewing:

Another talented subscriber has the Irish teapot she made featured on the cover of Popular Ceramics. Shannon B. Reilly is a ceramics art teacher and you can see her latest creation here:
You can also learn more about Shannon and her work here:

Culture Northern Ireland
A unique "cultural atlas" exploring local arts, heritage, and traditions, this website went live on March 8, 2004. Well worth a visit:

Some St. Patrick's Day fun for the children

Did you know the largest observatory in the world was once in Ireland?
This fortnight, the theme of the Irish Page is astronomy and the Solar System.

If you're lucky enough to live in Dublin, you can see the works of Roger Cummiskey, the very generous sponsor of our Trivia Contest, at the Spring 2004 Exhibition, the Old Courthouse in Howth,today and tomorrow. For more details and to see examples of his work and other artists featured in the show , please click

Brighid brought the threat to the Hill of Tara by the proposed extension to the M3 motorwayto our attention once again; but it's worth repeating as test trenching is set to begin at the end of this month. What's needed is immediate pressure on this administration in order to force a settlement & Nobody wants another Carrickmines & and this promises to make Carrickmines look like a picnic For more details and to sign a petition, please click

Do you like hummingbirds? Margaret sent us the following link where you can see photos of a nest and the baby birds, all the way from the egg to leaving the nest. Took 24 days from birth to flight! Great for the kids and grandkids to see:

Things we learn from our kitties

"Is it time for your medication or mine?" Phrases to have in hand for those stress-filled days

A different kind of color test - thanks Hartson!

And last, but definitely 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!

Enough of the blatherin' - on with the update:
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IrishAbroad.com is the largest online Irish community website worldwide with over 158,000 registered members. Dedicated to all people who have an interest in anything Irish and Ireland, IrishAbroad.com provides a wealth of content, including Irish-related news and features from around the world, genealogy, history, culture, recipes and more. It's important to note that IrishAbroad.com is not just a content website - it's also interactive. Users can get involved in discussions, add their own photo albums, add events, search for other members in their area, buy gifts, send e-cards and have access to premium email service, among many other great services. To learn more, please click
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
You've heard of St. Denis of France,
He never had much for to brag on.
You've heard of St. George and his lance,
Who killed old heathenish dragon.
The Saints of the Welshmen and Scot
Are a couple of pitiful pipers,
And might just as well go to pot
When compared to the patron of vipers:
St. Patrick of Ireland, my dear.
Parody attributed to William Maginn
Help keep our newsletter free - visit Go Ireland:
Go Ireland are delighted to offer a very wide range of Walking and Hiking Tours in Ireland, in some of the most scenic, historical and culturally rich regions on this beautiful island of ours. Enjoy the natural beauty, the cultural diversity and the Heritage of Ireland and everything else which makes Ireland so special - the people, the humour, the hospitality, the unforgettable scenery, the history and yes - the passion, the poetry, the creativity. Check out:
Since it is the Lenten season, we thought it appropriate to repeat one of our favorite classics of all time:
Sean goes into the pub and asks for three Guinness. He sits there and sips from the first one, then the second, and the third. He does this until finally all three pints are finished. He pays the bill and leaves. A couple of nights later he comes back and repeats the ritual. This goes on for a while and finally the bartender's curiosity gets the better of him and he asks why the three Guinness and why drink them all together the way he does. "Well, " says Sean, "My brother Michael is in the USA and my other brother Liam is in Australia. We can't meet in the pub and share a Guinness, so we have an agreement that whenever we go have a drink, we order three pints and pretend we're together." The bartender thinks to himself, "What a wonderful idea." A few months go by and one night Sean comes in and he orders two Guinness. The bartender is afraid to ask, but Sean seems fine, so finally the bartender says, "I see you've only ordered two Guinness tonight. Did something happen to one of your brothers?"No, no," says Sean, "They're both fit as a fiddle and healthy as horses!" "So why only the two Guinness?" asks the bartender. "Ah, well now," says Sean, "I've given up Guinness for Lent."
1. The Popularity of Patrick as a Christian name in Ireland is due to the great 17th century general Patrick Sarsfield, not the national saint?
2. Irish-born Patrick Maguire was the first man of Christopher Columbus' crew to step on North American soil?
3. Customarily, on St. Patrick's Day, the only green Irish people wear is a sprig of shamrock in the lapel of their coats?
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
Welcome to our Irish Gift Shop where there's still time to look the part - and party on St. Patrick's Day! Caps, shirts, walking sticks, Guinness gear and glasses, lapel pins and more! Also, don't overlook another important date this month - if your mother lives in Europe, Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day is March 21st! Come browse to your heart's content and if you buy, you'll enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service
Here's a special toast for when you bend your elbow next Wednesday - or any day!:
St. Patrick was a gentleman who through strategy and stealth
drove all the snakes from Ireland, here's a toasting to his health;
But not too many toastings lest you lose yourself and then
forget the good St. Patrick and see all those snakes again!
To start off: the answers to last week's quiz:
1. St. Patrick's Day - A Love Story by P. D. St. Claire, P. D. St Claire;
2. A Fine St. Patrick's Day by Tom Curry (Illustrator), Susan Wojciechowski (Author)
3. The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh by Janet Nolan, Ben Stahl (Illustrator)

A tip of the hat and a pat on the back to our literary sleuths:
Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!

Hartson Dowd
Stones of Ireland
Ancient and contemporary reproductions of Irish carvings and crosses, beautiful work, plenty of history and information.

Helen Dowd
Check out the newest story in: Christ's Ministry Series - http://www.occupytillicome.com/biblestudies/messages/96.html
And please visit my site to read Chapter Six - Give Me A Drink

Déirdre McKiernan Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004 View this year's itinerary:

Donna Lillis-Lynch

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

1. Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
2. Hooray for St. Patrick's Day
3. It's St. Patrick's Day!
Hint: You'll find all the titles here:
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!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing. NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
To start with - the answer to last week's poser:
Q. A man was going on a one-way bus trip. He intended to ride for a certain distance, get off the bus and walk back to town. If the bus travels at a rate of nine miles per hour and he was to jog back to town at a rate of three miles per hour, how far would he ride so that he'd be back in eight hours?
A. 18 miles. Since he is riding three times as fast as he can jog, three quarters of his time must be spent jogging. Since he rode for two hours, travelling 18 miles, and jogged for six hours, travelling at three mph he made the round trip in eight hours. Congrats to Margaret Ward who was first in with answer.
Now for this week's mind-mangler:
It wasn't my sister, nor my brother, but still was the child of my father and mother. Who was it?
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the The Irish Lottery:
Did you know that 34 Millionaires were created by the Irish lottery in 2003? You could be next! One of the most trusted lotteries in the world, drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are tax-free. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Please click here for full details:

1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. New - Music Review: No Irish Need Apply
3. Republished - Article: Mothering Sunday in Ireland. It always falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent which means it's coming up fast - March 21st!
4. Republished - Article: Is Your Shillelagh a Sham?
5. Republished - ArticIe: Corned Beef and Cabbage: The Feeding of a Myth now featuring the addition of "Good Grief, Not Beef" - a whimsical verse sent in by one of our readers
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/aCBeefCabge.htmlPatrick6. Republished - Article: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Old Ireland
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/StPatsDay.htmlthe Sinner
7. Republished - The Irish Kitchen: Fish for Friday - Brown Trout
8. Republished - Article: A Taste of Ireland: Guinness For Strength!
9. Republished: Kids' Ireland - St. Patrick from Slave to Saint
10. On-going - Circle of Prayer: Our 9th Novena in this cycle ends tomorrow. A new cycle will begin on Monday (and keep in mind that according to tradition, prayers to St. Patrick on his feastday will be answered) Please continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Debbie's friend Bertha, Rita, Lindsea, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, the Mulligans and our men and women in the military, especially Paul and Ashley serving in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day:
11. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for the past week
12. On-going -This month in Irish History:

We'll be posting the President's St. Patrick's Day message, a review of a new video on Northern Ireland, and a wrap-up of the festivities in Dublin and around the world. We will also have a new basic Irish lesson from Aideen. And, as always,we'll have the usual blessing on Sunday, a quote on Wednesday and a recipe from Hartson.

So, that's about it - except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious: Today is Ear Muff Day(?!) and Jewel Day; tomorrow is Learn about Butterflies Day, National Potato Chip Day, and National Pi Day- Why? Because Sunday is 3.14, the value of Pi. On Monday it's Beware the Ides of March and Incredible Kid Day; it's also the anniversary of when the American Legion was founded and the escalator was patented; the 16th is Freedom of Information Day and then, on Wednesday it's St. Patrick's Day - Slaínte! March 17 is also Campfire Founder's Day and Submarine Day (the food or the boat?) Thursday is Goddess of Fertility Day and National Quilting Day, and on the 19th, we celebrate St. Joseph's Feast Day as well as Poultry Day. Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and yours! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out: http://www.butlerwebs.com/holidays/march.htm or

Until next time, here's a link to special St. Patrick's Day Greeting just for you and yours. Of all the St. Patrick's Day cards we've seen over the years, this one remains our favorite:

If you can't access the card, here's the wish it conveys:
Warm be the love that surrounds you;
Good be your friends, and true;
Constant be hope and promise;
Useful the work that you do;
Close be your family around you;
Good health be yours day by day;
Long be the life that you're living,
And full of much joy on the way.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig (pronunciation: ban-ochth-thee na Fay-leh Paw-drig).

God bless you and keep you safe from all harm - 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
Are you a loyal reader of our newsletter? Your voluntary donation will help us keep sending it around the world each week. Please give whatever you can to Russ and Bridget, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH, 45224. Donations can also be made via PayPal at
Our email address there is haggertyr@primax.net
FREE shamrock seeds for any donation over $25! Many thanks in advance for your kindness.
Events & Classifieds
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:
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer here:

Cincinnati, OH - March 15 & March 17
On March 15, Silver Arm will be playing at Maloney's Pub, East, 7660 Beechmont from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm. On St. Patrick's Day, they will be performing with the McGing Irish Dancers at the Main Public Library Downtown - 12 noon. For more details and future performances, please visit their website: http://www.silverarmmusic.com

New York City - Through March 21
The Irish Arts Center is presenting the show "An Evening with Ronnie Drew (formerly of the Dubliners) and special guest Mike Hanrahan." The Irish Arts Center is located at 553 West 51st, New York, NY 10019. Tickets are $35/$40 and may be purchased from Smarttix at 212- 868-4444 or online at www.smarttix.com.

Zurich - March 13-14
Sean-nós work-shop with Treasa Ní Mhiolláin from Inis Mór, Aran Islands. For more details, please contact Elizabeth: info@irish-culture.ch

Melbourne-based graduates' dinner - March 19
The 5th Annual Irish University Link Dinner, for graduates of Irish universities living in Melbourne, is taking place at The Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen Street, Melbourne at 7:00pm on Friday, March 19 For more information or to book tickets please contact the Queen's University Belfast Alumni Association secretary, Danny Rooney, at mailto:rooneydanny@hotmail.com, or the UCD Melbourne Chapter President, Gerry O'Reilly, at mailto:goreilly@iinet.net.

Houston, Texas - March 19
An Evening Of Traditional Celtic Entertainment performed by St. Brigid's Flame, plus Sing-Along With The Celtic Chorus of Houston. The Knights of Columbus Council 803 (Anchor Room) 2616 Louisiana. For more info, please write to Dianna: diannashipman@att.net

Galveston, Texas - March 28
Galveston 1894 Grand Opera House - James Galway, flautist. More details coming.

Zurich - April 3 & 4
Irish Set Dancing Workshop with Pat Murphy (Westport) and Tony Ryan (Galway) For more information, please visit our website:

Parsippany, NJ - from April 15 to18
Traditional Irish Weekend
Each year Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in North America holds a Traditional Irish Weekend in a North American city. The location this year is The Hilton in Parsippany, NJ, about 45 minutes outside of New York City. The event attracts over 3000 people, many staying the entire weekend to attend music sessions, ceilis and music/language workshops. Renowned traditional musicians, many All Ireland Champions, will be conducting the music workshops. For full details, please visit our websites:
http://www.ccenorthamerica.com or http://www.Comhaltas.com
You can also contact Jim Madden at NewJerseyIrish@aol.com

Day of Welcomes from April 19 to May 1
The 'Day of Welcomes' on Saturday 1st May marks the historic day when 10 new countries join the 15 current member states of the E.U. For more details, click

ReJoyce Dublin 2004
Celebrating the centenary of Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. Ireland is planning a world-class, five-month festival lasting from 1 April 2004 to 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Nova Scotia, Canada - May 26-29
Cais Conference/Reunion, Saint Mary's University, Halifax. The theme is "Mother Tongues: The Languages of Ireland." For details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

June 7th through 14th - 100 Years of the Abbey Theatre in Galway and Dublin. Trip includes 3 nights in Galway and 3 nights in Dublin. For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon Donnelly, Ph.D., at kdonnellycom@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th
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: