Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to over 1800 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,

In her eyes are the blue lakes of Killarney,
On her cheeks the pink rose of Kildare,
On her lips just a wee bit of blarney,
And the sheen of the Shannon's in her hair
She's as sweet as the day
She stole Dad's heart away
That dear Irish Mother of mine

We wax a bit more than sentimental but, after all, in many parts of the world, it is Mother's Day tomorrow. Count yourselves lucky indeed, if yours is still with you.

It's been a great week on this end - beautiful weather, a day watching our one and only favorite grandson, and terrific news about our car. We paid the bill today, and it was a lot less than we had been initially quoted.

The week also saw the introduction of a new section on the site - Genealogy Q & A. For all of you in search of ancestors, we hope you'll find it useful.

They're coming....the 17-year Cicadas! We were here for the last go round of this cyclical invasion and the latest is that we'll start hearing them, and then seeing them, in the next day or so. Imagine, five billion inch-long insects emerging from underground; did we mention they have wings? They don't all come out at once, but enough of 'em do to create an incredible noise - and a horrible mess when they're done mating. As one optimist put it - think of it as crunchy mulch. Yech.
Enough about us. We hope this edition finds you fit as a fiddle and in fine fettle. A warm welcome back to you all, and a special hello to our new subscribers. Thanks for joining our list and please feel free to forward our musings and meanderings to family and friends.

On with the update:
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:
In news from Ireland:

Co. Limerick: Just weeks after two leading Limerick hotels announced closure and some months after the Ardhu Ryan closed, pending redevelopment, the Castletroy Park Hotel, owned by the Irish-American philanthropist,Chuck Feeney is up for sale with a starting price tag of 17million.euros

Co. Antrim: The work of hundreds of school students from both sides of the border will be on display at the annual Co-operation Ireland Civic-Link showcase which will take place in the Lagan Valley Centre, Lisburn, Co Antrim on May 13

Co. Waterford: The €300 million Waterford city bypass may have to be rerouted after the discovery of a major Viking settlement in excavations.

Co. Armagh: St. Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh has reopened after a rededication ceremony led by the Most Rev Dr Robin Eames.

Co. Kildare: The Best Dressed Lady on the final day of the National Hunt Festival at Punchestown last week insists that she had gone to no extra trouble to choose her outfit for the day. Former Aer Lingus cabin crew member Kathy Dowd from Donadea was awarded the title and a €2,000 voucher for Naas' Kalu Boutique, for her Lainey Keogh outfit which was matched by a hat bought at the Ascot Boutique.

Co. Dublin: A majestic Irish oak tree has paid the ultimate price for EU enlargement - and for the betterment of TV reception, no less. A pair of the 350-year-old hardwood trees used to stand 200 yards from Farmleigh state guest house in Dublin, where leaders of the now 25-nation European Union were feted last Saturday with a champagne dinner. But that was until last week, when one of the oaks was felled so that live TV images from the dinner could be beamed clearly to a nearby press centre!

Co. Meath: New school makes history The first Church of Ireland school to be established since the foundation of the State will open its doors in September in Dunboyne.

Co. Monaghan: On May 24, Miss World Rosanna Davison will launch centenary celebrations in Carrickmacross to honour poet-author Patrick Kavanagh; she will unveil bronze plaques, which are being erected along the town streets, to form a "Kavanagh Walking Trail".Each plaque will contain excerpts from Kavanagh's writings.

Co. Kilkenny and Co. Carlow: After a break of over four months, local radio returned has returned.Now officially launched is KCLR 96FM, the new station which replaced the old Radio Kilkenny and CKR (Carlow-Kildare Radio).

In news from all over:
Beijing: A slice of Irish culture has come to China with the opening in Beijing of a contemporary collection from the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) as part of the Irish Festival of Arts and Culture. The festival will be officially opened in the Chinese capital tomorrow by the Minister for Arts, Mr O'Donoghue.

From the mailbag:

It's always lovely to receive word from PayPal that a reader has sent us a donation. It doesn't happen often, which is why we were delighted to send off shamrock seeds to a lovely lady in Michigan. Thank you!

We also heard from a friend in Dublin who was concerned about the cost of repairing our car. After we we told him it would be more than a few hundred dollars, he wrote again, suggesting that we say a special prayer to St. Theresa, make a wish, and then pass it along. We'd seen this prayer before, but this time we decided to actually do it. Within a half-hour, the mail brought two totally unexpected checks which will more than cover the cost of the repairs! Thank you RC in Dublin - and St. Theresa.(RC also shared another St. Theresa's prayer with us - this was when he was a kid and in really deep Bart Simpson-style trouble:
Little Flower in this hour, show thy power.")

Jack from the Irish Page has a request from one of his subscribers:
Shigeko Funato of Japan writes:
I want to know if I can listen to an Irish radio program every week on WYOS in Japan.I also want to ask you to give me the chance to listen to some poet's poetry reading like Nuala Ni Dhomnaill. If you can be of any help to Shigeko, the email address is: funato-s@bolero.plala.or.jp

Links of the week:
In honor of Mother's Day:

Looking for something specific about Ireland? Try this link:

The Irish Page
Every two weeks, the Irish Page offers something new and interesting. This time around, it's a beautiful eulogy written by O'Carolan on the loss of his wife, Mary:

Spotlight on our Readers:
Stu Fralich - host of The Irish Show every Sunday Morning on WYOS 1360
http://www.the irishshow.com
Pete who is an Irish baladeer, musician and great newsletter writer:
Roger - a wonderful artist - check out his works here:
John who writes Jig Time and "puts music in your mailbox" (and who also writes a great newsletter)

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 blitherin' and blatherin - on with the update:

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
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.' Oscar Wilde
Twins Jack and Sarah were always squabbling. Tired of listening to them yelling at each other and knowing full well neither one would admit they were in the wrong, their mother says, "I have an idea: Sarah, why don't you tell Jack you were wrong, and Jack, you tell Sarah she was right. So, Sarah says to Jack "I was wrong."Jack grins and says to Sarah: "You are right."
1. Co. Cork-born Mary Harris Jones, one of America's early labor champions, is also known to many as "Mother Jones"?
2. One of the world's first women drivers was Miss Jennie Richardson, who took controls of the Bessbrook to Newry tram in 1884?
3.The world's oddest royal family is that of the Caribbean island of Redonda? This crank dysasty was founded by an Irish sailor when his ship stopped off at this desolate rock in 1865. He passed the 'title' King of Redonda onto his decendants. The reigning monarch is a housewife in Manchester.
He is scant of news that speaks ill of his mother. Irish saying
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith:
For the Dads, Grads and Lads on your list, come take a look at our wide range of handsome gifts - from great-looking Guinness gear to genuine blackthorn walking sticks! The man of the house might also enjoy one of our new Irish Mustards made in Co. Tipperary, or how about an Ireland Licence Plate? Come explore what we have on offer - browse to your heart's content, and remember, when you buy from Lollysmith, you'll always enjoy great prices, quick shipping, and friendly, personalized service.

To begin with, the answers to last week's quiz:

1. The Brendan Voyage by Timothy Severin
2. Norman Invasion of Ireland by Richard Roche
3. The Irish Book of Arms, Genealogy & Heraldry by Michael C. O'Laughlin

A round of applause and pints to this week's literary sleuths:

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

Helen Dowd
Want to publish your book? Check this site out:

Patricia Edwards
We probably shouldn't let anyone nominate our own site - but it does make us feel good! Thank you, Patricia!

Hartson Dowd
A pleasantly presented site providing current news from the Co. Mayo town of Foxford and featuring its amenities and history:

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy (and this will be the last trio of books on the Easter Rising. Our apologies if we had any repeats during the past month!) Who wrote:
1. Mothers and Daughters: Irish Short Stories
2. Motherland: Writings by Irish American Women About Mothers and Daughters
3. Mother Ireland

Hint: You'll find all of the above titles and a great book about an Irish mother here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=irishcultucus-20&path=tg/detail/-/0452281032/qid%3D1084031606/sr%3D1-1

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
First off, the answer to last week's skull-cracker:
Q. What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a head but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps?
A. River. Congrats to Alan Meagher who was first in with the answer. And now for this week's head-banger:

Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.
I'm double, I'm single,
I'm black, blue, and gray,
I'm read from both ends,
And the same either way.
Q. What am I? ==================================================================
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:
1. Home Page - See what's new or recycled at a glance:
2. New - Music Review: Mother - Celebrating Mothers & Motherhood
3. New - Column: Genealogy Q & A
4. New - The Irish Kitchen: Jams & Jellies
5. New - Kids' Ireland: The story of Finn & Midac
6. Republished - Article: In Search of Ancestors
7. Republished - Article: Mothering Sunday in Ireland
8. Republished - Article: A Powerful Woman
9. Republished - Article: Bantry Bay in May
10. Featured - Article: The Bright Flames of May
11. Featured - Article: Countoes of Ireland, Armagh
12. Featured - Article: Irish Linen, The Cloth of Kings
13. On-Going - May Trivia Contest. As they say in the Irish Lotto, you can't win it if you're not in it, so send your entry before May 31. All entries must be in by midnight, whatever time zone you're in.
14. On-Going - Our seventh Novena in this cycle began on May 7th and continues through May 15. Please continue to remember Keith Matt Maupin being held hostage in Iraq and all members of our military serving there and all over the world, especially the children of personal friends, Paul and Ashley. We also ask that you continue to keep the following in your prayers or meditations: Debbie's family, Mary Jo Mauchen, Jane Leo, Doug, Ryan Declan, Eileen's brother Bob, her son Christopher, Maggie's family and friends, Bob and Kathy in Utah, Bertha, Rita, Lindsey, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligans.
15. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for today and the past week. Note that we do our best to find the "good news"!
16. On-going -This month in Irish History:

Per the usual routine, we'll publish a new blessing tomorrow, refresh the home page on Monday (new recipe as well) and post a new quote on Wednesday. News and history will be updated daily.

So that wraps it up for another week except for the "essential" goings-on in our crazy calendar - most of em' frivolous, but some serious: Today, the second Saturday in May, is always designated International Migratory Bird Day; it's also Iris Day, National Teachers Day, No Socks Day, V-E Day and World Red Cross Day. Tomorrow is Mother's Day in many parts of the world; it's also Lost Socks Memorial Day, Receptionist's Day and the birthday of Irish poet, Austen Clarke, who was born on this date in 1896. All Mams, Mums and Moms will love this one: Monday is Clean Up Your Room Day! And for those on a diet, Tuesday is Eat What You Want Day! Wednesday is Limerick Day, Thursday is Leprechaun Day (it's also the date Samuel Beckett was born in 1906, however, some records say that it was April) Finally, Friday is Birth Mother's Day and Dance LIke a Chicken Day.
Celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event this week? We hope it's a joyous occasion for you and your loved ones! Can't wait to find out what's coming up for the rest of the month? Check out:

Until next time, to all mothers tomorrow: lá mháthair shona dhuit - God bless you on Mother's Day.And, for everyone, may the Holy Mother of God wrap you and yours in her mantle of love and protection. (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.com
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:

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 until 31 August 2004. For more details, click

Delray Beach, Florida - May 9
The Inishfree Irish Theatre will perform Eclipsed at the Crest Theatre. All seats $20. For discounted tickets for IACC members, call Harry Cussen direct at 561-368-7325

Hollywood, Florida - May 15
The Irish American Ceili presents its last Ceili before summer! American Legion Hall, 211 N. 21 Avenue, Hwd-Fl
For more details, call Maureen [954-432-8292] or Dorothy [954-920-4583] or visit our website:

Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey - May 22
The Irish Federation of Monmouth County, New Jersey is holding a Spring Dance from 8PM - 12AM at the VFW on Cliffwood Ave, Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey. $20.00 per person. Music by Irish Band "Round the House." For more information, please contact Gail at Roscom1lass@aol.com

Aran Isles - The Celtic Way", 15 - 22 May 2004
There are still a few places left in this fascinating and beautiful programme which introduces you to the ancient culture of the Celts and the "Celtic Church." in Ireland). For more 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

Dundrum, Dublin - June 1-June 20
Noted Dublin artist, Roger Cummiskey, invites you to an exhibition of his paintings based on the writings and wanderings of James Joyce. Exhibition will be held at The Airfield Trust, Upper Kilmacud Road. For more details, visit Roger's website at:

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

Fishtown/Philadelphia - June 12
2nd Support Our Troops Rally sponsored by the A.O.H/L.A.O.H Division 51 will take place at noon in Penn Treaty Park.
For more details, contact PHBowdrenSr@aol.com

Baltimore, Maryland - June 23
Frank McNamara, Ireland's beloved Maestro, will be conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance with his newest venture, The American Tenors, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. For more details, please click

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

Co. Sligo, Ireland - September
The Sligo Heritage and Genealogy centre is hosting a 4 day international conference on Irish genealogy, heritage and culture. Even if you come from another county, this conference will be of interest as experts in various fields of study from all over Ireland will be speaking on a wide range of topics. Preliminary details of the conference are available at:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:
(Passing requires only 4 correct answers out of ten
1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get cat gut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI's first name?
8) What color is a purple finch?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?
All done? Check your answers below!

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert
8) What color is a purple finch? Crimson
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?
Pass this on to some other brilliant friend