Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to more than 1400 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,

Samhain's come and gone already, but we'd still like to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Celtic New Year! We hope everyone survived the grabby goblins and gremlins last Friday night; we thought we'd have a huge crowd because it was the warmest Hallowe'en in about five years - mid seventies well into the evening - and, nary a raindrop. But, when it was all over, we could measure the number of visitors by how many chocolate bars were still in the bowl. Definitely a light year - but, the candy won't go to waste - ahem, on second thoughts - yes, it will go to waist!

Overall, we enjoyed a very pleasant week. The only exception was worrying about all of you who live in the vicinity of the wild fires in Southern California. Many thanks to those of you who wrote to say you were okay, including Kathleen C. and Audrey G. We also heard from Maureen, one of the members on an Irish forum we belong to. She was supposed to have left for Ireland this past week; instead, they had to evacuate their home at 2:00 am last Sunday morning. They loaded no less than 4 horses, one donkey, 3 dogs, one cat, and one huge pig and then hauled out to the evacuation center. And that was just their own livestock! At the center, Maureen continued to help with picking up animals and logging them in - more than 200 horses, along with dogs, pigs, goats and more. The most tragic part of her story was when she heard that a close friend had lost her daughter. Ashleigh was just 16 years old and an Irish dancer. She and her sister tried to escape the flames in their car, but it went off the road. As of this writing, her sister is still in critical condition. So, please keep Ashleigh and her family in your prayers, along with all those whose lives have been devastated by these terrible fires. At least, for the moment, it does look as if the weather is now on their side, thank God.

In news from Ireland: Stargazers enjoyed a further rare sight of the northern lights after one of the largest solar storms of the past 30 years continued. A further treat for stargazers looms on the horizon in the form of a lunar eclipse which will be visible on the evening of November 8th.

This will make the soccer fans happy: Live premiership soccer is to return to RTÉ screens on Saturday afternoons from next August for the first time in more than a decade. Under the terms of a three-year deal just announced, the station will broadcast 15 Saturday afternoon fixtures during the 2004/2005 season.

Hallowe'en in Ireland
There was heavy use of fireworks in Dublin and one caller to The Irish Times described the scene in Donnybrook as being "as bad as Baghdad", with gardaí in the area acknowledging that the number of fireworks being let off was more than was usual. The situation in Galway was similar to Dublin, with gardaí reporting that the night was "busier than last year", although they experienced little trouble. Gardaí in Cork, however, described the situation as "quiet to very quiet". Likewise, Donegal and Limerick gardaí reported a quiet start to the night.

The Government is to apply to have the monastic settlement designated as a World Heritage site. Already on the list are the monastic ruins on Skellig Michael off Kerry's coast, the megalithic ruins in the Boyne Valley, and the Giant's Causeway.

Co. Kerry - Vatican War Hero Remembered
A wreath to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, the Vatican priest who is credited with saving the lives of thousands of people during the second World War was laid on his grave in Cahersiveen, last Thursday.

Co. Dublin
Ireland's biggest cinema will open in Dublin's Parnell St next month. The UCG multiplex has been transformed from a nine to a 17 screen venue.

In news from all over
New Orleans - Irish political leader Gerry Adams spoke to an audience of nearly 500 attendees last Wednesday, addressing topics ranging from his involvement in the Irish peace process to the role Irish Americans play in those events.

St. Paul, Minnesota
The St. Paul chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has put forward the idea of naming a two-block street near the Cathedral of St. Paul after Mother Teresa. If the City Council approves the proposal, Old Kellogg Boulevard would get a second name: Mother Teresa of Calcutta Boulevard.

New Orleans
In a demonstration of ecumenical spirit, James Mehaffey, an Anglican bishop from Northern Ireland, will deliver the sermon Sunday at the 4:30 p.m. Catholic Mass at St. Louis Cathedral. Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes will be the celebrant.

Washington, D.C.
Twenty-eight Irish soldiers have been granted citizenship by the country they fought and died for in battle. For more on this story, please click http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-3329980,00.html
There was nothing in our newspapers. Anyone else hear about it?

Albany, New York
Mike Connolly has been honoured for his contribution to Irish Music at the Irish Music Hall of Fame in Albany, USA. He moved to Watertown in Boston more than 40 years ago from his home in Polrevagh, Ballyconneely and made Irish music his life despite losing both his hands in an industrial accident in 1966. For more on this story please click http://www.galwayadvertiser.ie/dws/story.tpl?inc=2003/10/30/news/38457.html

From the mailbag:
Anna Bryan sent us another great travel tip: "...not all hotels offer wash cloths. I usually buy a dozen cheap wash cloths to take with me. It doesn't matter if you forget them and leave them behind."
Thanks, Anna.

Once a month, we receive a great Irish newsletter called PetePourri. It's put together by a very talented Irish balladeer, Pete McDonald. If you'd like to check out past issues, the URL is:
If you would also like to visit his website to find out where/when he's performing, listen to his music, buy his CDs, and more, the URL is:

Still interested in learning more about "pooka piles"? C.F. Drews sent us this link
Thanks, C.F.

More Irish links...
Irish Aires, Houston, has added more to their main list which can be found here:

Have you visited the site with the house for sale yet? Their ad is coming up next and if you've ever thought about owning your own Irish cottage, definitely click through and take a look.

Enough of the blither and blather...on with the update:
Help keep our newsletter free by visiting one of our sponsors for this week's edition: Carmel & Joe Mulligan
Dreaming of owning a house in Ireland? Here's your chance!
For Sale: Charming country cottage on a 1/4 acre near Saggart Co. Dublin, which is a rare find so close to the capital (just 13 miles from Dublin City Centre). It is also conveniently located just 6 miles from Blessington, Co. Wicklow. Local amenities include swimming, golf, fishing and hillwalking. The house includes many original features such as 8ft 6inch high ceilings and original wooden floors. A Quick Sale Is Required. Just the location alone is well worth further enquiries. For more information, please contact lorrainemulligan@eircom.net
To see photos of the house and for a complete description, please click http://www.remax-ireland.com/pubscripts/ListingFull.asp?AgentId=90401002&ListingId=174&Lang=ENI
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
In memory of George Bernard Shaw, who passed away on November 2, 1950:
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
With many thanks to Hartson who never fails to make us laugh...
A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a lad dressed in sunglasses, loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans. Saint Peter addresses the lad: "Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?"The fellah replies, "I'm Johnny O'Rourke, taxi-driver, Brooklyn, New York." Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the taxi-driver, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven." The taxi-driver goes into Heaven with his robe and staff, and it's the minister's turn. He stands erect and booms out, "I am Phillip Smith, pastor of Saint Mary's for the last forty-three years." Saint Peter consults his list. He says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven." "Just a minute," says the minister. "That man was a taxi-driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?" "Up here, we work by results," says Saint Peter. "While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed."
1. Ireland is the country with the largest number of Congressional Medal of Honor winners? The records show that 258 were either born in Ireland or were of Irish descent. Germany/Prussia is second with 128 recipients.
2. More than 350,000 Irishmen volunteered for service during WW1 in addition to the 50,000 Irishmen already serving in the regular army and reserve at the outbreak of the war?
3. During World War I, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers won 49 battle honours and three Victoria Crosses?
Here's a lovely Celtic toast - sounds a wee bit Scots to our ears....
Catch the moments as they fly
and use them as ye ought, man,
believe me happiness is shy,
and comes not, aye, when sought man.
The answers for last week:

1. Great Irish Tales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear - Peter Haining (editor)
2. Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories by - M.R. James (editor), Michael Cox (editor)
3. The Lively Ghosts of Ireland - Hans Holzer, Catherine Buxhoeveden (illustrator)
Bonus: Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People - Janet Bord

A round of applause and/or pints for our latest literary sleuths:

One of my favorite websites is called The Wonder of Ireland. It has a little bit of everything including info on Ulster Culture, postcards, Irish music, folklore, history and recipes. It is found at:

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Holidays and Our Everyday Heroes

Judith Flynn
I do believe it is safe to say that my all time very favorite site is yours, so toot your horn and put ICC by my name (Aw shucks, Judith - we're blushing and tooting at the same time - our horn, that is! Thank you)

Helen Dowd
I would like everyone to read a very touching poem by a good friend of mine. It is titled: "The Cutest Witch"
Need an angel today? Visit my website at:

Norma Mackey
Just recently I used two of the recipes from Irish Culture and Customs. Bread Pudding and yesterday, Pumpkin Pie. I used real pumpkin rather than from the tin. Delicious. I couldn't find any miniture bottles of brandy anywhere, so I had to substitute imitation rum extract! Oh well - but it was still very tasty. (Hartson will be very happy to read this, Norma - thanks!)

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
"Glorious Ireland in May" - May 25 - June 8, 2004
To view last year's itinerary, please click

Pat Murphy
Biddy McGraw's - the Pacific Northwest's only authentic Irish pub and the home 'O the "perfect" pint':

Catherine Walsh
The Irish Music Box
On-line magazine covering Irish music, rock, trad, pop - the whole spectrum of Ireland's music, worldwide, from B-witched to Van Morrison and The Corrs to Clannad:

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. Irish Volunteer Soldier: 1932-1923
2. They Shall Not Grow Old - Irish Soldiers Remember the Great War
3. My Time in The War - An Irishwoman's Diary
Hint: All three titles can be found 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
Did our last one make you groan? Where do baby ghosts go during the day? The Day Scare Center! First with the answer was Donna W. Well done!
Now for one that's just as much fun. This is from Yegor in the Ukraine (thanks!)
How do you get from one side of Dublin to the other without passing a pub?
As usual, we'll try to get the home-page updated by Monday, so please be patient with us:
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New: Article - Creepy Irish Castles & House
3. New: Article - Music for an Irish Wedding. Look for this one early next week.
4. New: Article - A Romantic Irish Proposal. A true story from one of our readers. This will be published early in the week as well.
5. New Basic Irish: Words and phrases for Hallowe'en & Samhain
6. New - Culture Corner - The Galway Hooker
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/CultureCorner/CultureCorner.htmlIrish 7. New - Culture Corner for Kids - Gaelic Football (includes a great link to the officiall GAA website for boys and girls)
8. New - Trivia Contest: November's quiz has been posted and October's winner has been contacted. If we receive permission to publish the name, we'll tell you who it is next week. You can't win unless you enter, so send in your answers before midnight on November 30th, whatever time zone you live in. Also check out an additional prize for this month - a wonderful print donated by highly-acclaimed Dublin water-colourist, Roger Cummiskey
9. New - Irish Kitchen: With the feast of St. Martin looming on the 11th, we'll be featuring recipes that include fresh pork which is traditionally eaten on this day. Watch for the first one early tomorrow or Tuesday
New - Kids' Ireland: Grainne has sent us another great story, "Finn and the Aillen."
As soon as we've found appropriate pictures, it will be posted.
10. Featured: Samhain, The Irish New Year
11. Featured: The Day After Samhain - All Soul's Day http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/DayafterSamhain.html
12. Featured: Tribute to George Bernard Shaw, in memory of his passing
13. Ongoing: Circle of Prayer. Our fourth Novena in this cycle began on November 1st and ends on November 9th. The fifth will begin a week from Monday. Last time, we were precipitous when we wrote about Eileen's brother Bob. Yes, his cancer is being treated, but the outlook is not very good. More than ever, he needs your prayers or meditation, as does Eileen's son Christopher who has also been diagnosed with cancer and just had surgery. Please also pray for Rita, Lindsea, Dianne, Claire C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, Priscilla's family, the Mulligans, and our military personnel stationed all over the world, especially in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day
14. On-going: Irish News: Headlines for the past week
15. On-going: This month in Irish History:

Believe it or not, we'll be dusting off the holiday offerings - the first Sunday in Advent is November 30! We're also planning on revamping the wedding page - check out our new sponsor for the home page in this section - Anne Lanier Weddings; if you have it in mind to tie the knot in Ireland, Anne can help with every detail.

Just a few more bits and pieces and we'll take our leave. From our crazy calendar: In Mexico on November 1st and for several days, they celebrate Dias de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead - a holiday that mingles the Aztec culture and Catholicism. Elsewhere, the 1st is All Saint's Day, the 2nd is All Souls' Day and National Deviled Egg Day; the 3rd is National Sandwich Day, the 5th is Guy Fawkes Day and National Doughnut Day; the 6th is Saxophone Day & National Nachos Day; the 7th is National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day and the 8th is St. Claude's Day, the patron of sculptors. Do you ever wonder who comes up with these?! Oh well, it's all in fun. Whatever you're celebrating this week, birthdays, anniversaries, or whatever, we send you our very best wishes. We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who signed up this past week. The warmest of welcomes - and do please feel free to pass along our musings and meanderings to family and friends.

Until next time, may you and yours enjoy good health, good spirits and good company, may the Good Shepherd of us all bless you and keep you, and... and as they say in Ireland...mind yourself!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the The Irish Lottery:
Remember the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes? It was replaced by the Irish Lotto in 1988. Since then it has become 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 prove it! Please click here for full details:
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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: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
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 for October/November here:

For the latest in Irish music events, click

Frankfurt, Germany
The Bogside Artists' exhibition at the Horse Hospital, London has ended and will now move on to the Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm.The show will comprise 10 enormous photos of the artists' murals digitally reproduced on vinyl and measuring twelve feet by nine. These murals are situated in the Bogside area of Derry. Further details of their work can be found on the group's web-site at http://www.bogsideartists.com

Irish Writer's Centre - Dublin
The Autumn - Winter Course Brochure is now available . For more details, contact Bernadette Larkin at bernadette@writerscentre.ie, or visit their website:

SouthEast Texas
November 9, 2003
Danny O'Flaherty, Irish singer/songwriter, will appear at a special benefit performance at the Julie Rogers Theater. For ticket information, call 982-4140 (weekdays) and 722-7298 (evenings and weekends).

The Houston unit of Irish Northern Aid will sponsor a free public meeting led by the Belfast author and historian, Sean Quinn. The main topic of the meeting will be "Policing in the North of Ireland". It will be held on Sunday, November 16, 2003 between 3PM-6PM at the Fedora Lounge in the Kaleidoscope Center, 10630
Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77042.

Song and Silence: A Weekend with the Celtic Saints - November 21-23
Pendle Hills, Wallingford, PA
For more information or to register, please contact our registrar, Steve Jackson, at ext. 142, (610) 566-4507 or (800) 742-3150, or e-mail him at registrar@pendlehill.org. If you have access to the Internet, please check out our website:

Texas Dulcimer Cruise - February 5-9, 2004
Galveston to Cozumel on the Carnival Celebration. There will be workshops, jam sessions, talent show and more. These spots will go fast, so book early! Inside cabins are $430.80 pp, double occupancy and oceanview cabins are $480.80 pp, double occupancy. Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

Galveston, Texas
March 28, 03
Galveston 1894 Grand Opera House - James Galway, flautist Sunday March 28, 2004 3pm

Cais Conference/Reunion - May 26-29, 2004
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
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: