Greetings & Blessings to all,
It’s been another long spell between newsletters, but it couldn’t be helped. Without going into a myriad of details, suffice to say that the old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times”  could certainly be said of the Haggerty/Shields/O’Flaherty families these last few months. Things seem to have calmed down a bit and fingers are crossed it will stay that way for a while! 
Onwards. We hope this edition finds you and yours happy as a lark, on the pig’s back and as fit as a fiddle and if f this is your first issue, many thanks for joining us. If you enjoy our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family and friends.  
We are having another give-away thanks to the generosity of author Robert Sullivan who is offering five copies of his new and expanded Fun Things You Probably Don’t Know About Ireland. First compiled in 2007, many changes have taken place on the ould sod and so Robert decided it was time to update his Great Little book. If you would like to be included in our drawing which will take place on Sunday, July 14th, please send Herself an email with Sullivan book drawing in the subject line
We are making a few changes in the newsletter and on the web site. You may have already noticed that we have ended the web site trivia contest.  Twice in the past three months, we have received no entries. We are keeping the Trivia pages, but discontinuing the contest due to lack of interest.  For the same reason, we are discontinuing the Writer’s quiz in the newsletter. We’d like to thank all of you who have taken the time in the past to send in entries. Other changes include moving prayer requests to the Circle of Prayer on the web site which we think is more appropriate and combining Quotes & Toasts with A Bit of The Wit. And finally, we are discontinuing the events listing. Irish Abroad does such a terrific job that it seems redundant to have a separate listing.   
Our new poll is selecting your favorite Irish contemporary author  from a list of ten (including other). This poll is still pending approval - once we get the green light, you will find it in the right-hand margin of our home page. Meanwhile, you will find many polls on a wide variety of topics on the main Map Your Vote page:
If, for whatever reason, you think you might not have received one of our previous newsletters, they  are all archived beginning with the newest one first. Here’s the link:
The photo of the "rhodies" at the beginning was taken in Ireland. As beautiful as they are, they're very unpopular, especially with farmers, because they are so invasive. Here's where we "borrowed" the photo: 

SPONSOR: Please visit our friends at the Celtic Attic 
Owner Kristin writes:
Wow -  summer is in full swing & 4th of July is almost here already. I truly hope everyone is enjoying their summer out of school, with families and friends bbq-ing or sitting on the deck enjoying the sunsets as well as the storms.  We are delighted to announce finally after four  years, we will have a brick and mortar location once again. We will be in the Claywerks studio artisan loft. The address for those that would love to visit and get your Celtic on, it is 408 Pacific Ave, Bremerton WA 98337. Please check out our new Facebook for more information about what is happening at the store: We are still working on our website remodel. Trying to do this while working part-time and running the company is an overwhelming task. I honor my Irish and Norwegian roots by biting off more than I can chew all the time! Happy summer from all of us at the Celtic Attic!.
ED. NOTE: Exclusive offer just for I C & C readers: Get FREE shipping on orders over $50!   The discount will be removed after you place your order. Just put the code IC01 in the ‘add a gift card’ section!You can contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and please tell them Bridget & Russ said hello! 
Tel: 360)813-1113
9am - 5pm PST 
On line:
From the Mailbag 
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
The week That Is
Leave ‘Em Laughing

Charlene writes:
Just wanted to tell you both how much I enjoy your newsletter.  Growing up there wasn't much talk about our Irish "roots" and so, when I got an opportunity to visit Ireland with my "Italian" husband in March of 2012 which was after 9/11, I realized that I was missing a big part of what made me Me! We enjoyed our trip and your news letter brings sweet memories. Thank you.
ED. NOTE: And thank YOU for the nice comments, Charlene.
Dingle, Co. Kerry
We love this video as much for the pipes as the virtual tour of the town. There’s just something that tugs at our heartstrings when you hear the Irish pipes played well as they are here. So much more gentle on the ears than the Scots version! Please click
ED. NOTE: The first tune is She Moved Through the Fair and it’s performed by Planxty
How to Drive in Ireland...for Americans
One of the more entertaining of the gazillion "Driving in Ireland" videos on youtube. This one is humorously instructive -- well, humorous anyway...relatively. Shot outside of Dublin, on the M1 and around the Burren. Please click:
ED. NOTE: While it’s been a few years since we were there, the articles Himself wrote on this topic are still relevant:
Songs every Irish person MUST know the words to
Being Irish a number of heavy responsibilities. And one of them is to know the words to a number of carefully-selected songs, drummed into you from birth, that can be roared out on any dancefloor anywhere across the land at 2.30am. Here are the compulsory songs that every Irish person must know according to this particular resource - please click:
ED. NOTE: If you don’t gree,  please send your comments to the Journal and not to us - we’re just the messengers. 
Bunratty Castle’s darker side
Bunratty castle celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of hosting medieval banquets this year; however this pleasant way to spend an evening  hides a much less than pleasant history. Please click
Hard Working Class Heroes
Ireland's annual showcase festival and conference for new music, is inviting submissions for this year's event which takes place in October. The festival is once again calling on Ireland’s musicians, bands and singer-songwriters to apply for the chance to play and take part in the internationally-recognized event. For more details, please click:
The Willis Clan
This past week, a new series "The Willis Clan"  premiered on American TV. It  features  a family of 12 children from Tennessee aged two to 21 years who are all Irish dancers and musicians. The show is on  Great American Country (Check your local listings). Meanwhile, for a taste of what to expect, please click
The Irish Page
This time around, the Hennessy’s bring you a lesson on tools which they originally intended in celebration of Father’s Day. Sorry we’re a bit late for that - but it’s never too late to learn useful Irish words and phrases. Please click:
SPONSOR:  The Irish Lottery
In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online 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! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here:
What with the Irish Open just played and the Scots  and British Opens around the corner, we couldn’t resist this one - especially in view of how our players are doing lately! 
“Even if the ball was wrapped in bacon, Lassie couldn't find it.” Heard from an Irish caddie, after a particularly bad shot.
We  continue the golf theme with this oldie but goodie:
A Catholic priest and a nun were taking a rare afternoon off and enjoying a round of golf. The priest stepped up to the first tee and took a mighty swing. He missed the ball entirely and said  *#** , I missed." The good Sister told him to watch his language. On his next swing, he missed again. " *#**, I missed." "Father, I'm not going to play with you if you keep swearing," the nun said tartly. The priest promised to do better and the round continued. On the 4th tee, he misses again. The usual comment followed. Sister is really angry now and says, "Father, God is going to strike you dead if you keep swearing like that." On the next tee, Father swings and misses again. "***, I missed." A terrible rumble is heard and a gigantic bolt of lightning comes out of the sky and strikes the nun dead in her tracks. And from the sky comes a booming voice.........
"*#**, I missed."
In observance of Independence Day in the USA:
1. Among the citizens who signed the Declaration of Independence were at least eight Irish Americans, three born in Ireland.?  
ED. NOTE: This cries out for an article on the subject and Herself has promised to work on it! 
2. The tune of the Star Spangled Banner was composed by the blind Irish Harpist Turlough O’Carolan?
3. As of this writing, there are 22 US presidents with Irish roots? To see the full list. complete with their county of ancestral origin, please click 
To begin with,  the answer to our previous Brain Bruiser: 
A man in hospital has a visitor. Afterward, a nurse asks the man who the visitor was. The man replies: "Brothers and sisters I have none, but that man's father is my father's son." 
Q. What's the relationship between the man and the visitor?
A. The visitor is the man’s son
As always, this poser presented no problem for our Riddle People, but first in was B. J. Hamilton from Canada - well done, J. B.!
And now for our next Cranium Crusher:
It’s summertime in the northern hemisphere and the living is easy. So is this riddle:
There was a green house. Inside the green house there was a white house. Inside the white house there was a red house. Inside the red house there were lots of babies. What is it? 
Please send your answers to Bridget at the following email address
ED. NOTE: It would be helpful if you put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks.
SPONSOR: Lollysmith
Whatever the occasion, find the perfect gift  at Lollysmith! Choose from a comprehensive collection to mark every milestone event! Stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.

Here are the articles currently on our homepage:
1. A Dandy of an Irish Yankee
2. From our front porch 
3. A Letter from America
4. Discovering Ireland - in New York
5. Who are the Irish?
6. Have you lost your census?
7. The Irish Kitchen - Thackeray’s Irish Lobster
8. Basic Irish - Summertime
9. Kids’ Ireland - Never forget Ireland
10. Music Review- Paul Brady
Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar’s latest offering is about  songwriter & musician Paul Brady
So there you have it until we write again - God willing  next month. If you’ll be celebrating a birthday or anniversary between now and then, we hope it’s an occasion filled with joy and love. And if you plan on tying the knot or were married in June or July here are  your special verses:
Marry when June Roses blow*
Over land and sea you’ll go 
ED. NOTE: We used to think this meant when the roses past their prime. On the contrary, blow in this context is an archaism that means full bloom.
They who in July do wed
Must labor always for their bread
ANOTHER ED.NOTE:  In the old days, July was a time when food stores started to get low and there was a good chance of a “hungry July” - hence, the verse. 
 We wish all of our  all of our readers north of the US border a Happy Canada Day on July 1st and all of  our American readers wherever you might be, a safe and happy  Independence Day on July 4th...
...and  we’ll take our leave with this special Irish blessing from the heart of a friend:
May good fortune be yours, may your joys never end.
May your blessings be many, the sun shine above you,
Your life bring you gladness, and always... God love you! 
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. 
Téigh ar do ghlúine is bí buíoch le Dia go bhfuil tú fós ar do chosa.
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 Sean met a woman at a luxurious resort and fell head over heels in love with her. On the last night the two of them went to dinner and had a serious talk about how they would continue the relationship. Sean began by saying to his new lady friend that while she meant a lot to him, "It's only fair to warn you that when I'm at home I am completely consumed by golf. I eat, sleep and breathe golf. so if that's a problem,you'd better say so right now." "Well, since we're being honest with each other, here goes," she replied. "I'm a hooker." "I see," replied Sean, and was quiet for a moment. Then he added, "You know, it's probably because you're not keeping your wrists straight when you tee off."
With that, we really will take our leave but before we do, we wish all of the Irish golfers all the best in the upcoming tournaments - it’s been far too long between wins.