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Monday, July 14, 2014

Cultural Event of the Month: Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival, July 19, in Massachusetts

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has named the Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival as the Cultural Event of the Month in Massachusetts.  The festival, now in its 21st year, is taking place on Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Look Park in Florence, MA, just outside of Northampton.

"It’s a wonderful family event that celebrates Scottish heritage in Massachusetts and the New England states," says BITA director Colette Quinlin.  Among the day's activities: continuous Scottish music and dancing, a gathering of Scottish clans and societies, bagpipe competitions, athletic contests and plenty of authentic Irish products, including food, beverage and gifts.

Western Massachusetts has Scottish connections that date back to 1753, when Ulster Scots settled there, according to festival organizer Peter Langmore.  Read the full story here

You can find year round details on Irish and Scottish activities in New England by visiting

For visitor information go to

Irish Music in Chatham, Cape Cod,Tuesday Nights this Summer

The best Irish traditional music on Cape Cod is taking place Tuesday nights at the Chatham Fiddle Company in Chatham, starting at 7:00 p.m.

The music is led by Gene Clancy, multi-instrumentalist and singer,and his daughter Rose Clancy, fiddler. Admission is free.

Read about the Clancy Family and its musical connections in County Armagh.  Here is a story on Rose Clancy, an instrument maker who started the Chatham Fiddle Company.

Find year round details on Irish music in the New England states by visiting

Monday, July 7, 2014

Joseph Finn is Boston's New Fire Commissioner

Photo Credit: The Boston Globe 

Congratulations to Joseph E. Finn, who has been named Commissioner/Chief of the Boston Fire Department by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

 Commissioner Finn has a distinguished 30 year career in the Boston Fire Department, and was also in the United States Marines. Here is the press release on today's announcement.

Mayor Walsh said that Finn "possesses a broad and impressive understanding of the Boston Fire Department, including personnel, public safety, and administration," adding that Finn's "experience and leadership style, along with his commitment to diversity and fairness, will help move our Fire Department into an even more successful era of service to the people of Boston."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

iFest - a Celebration of Ireland's Culture, Cuisine, Sports and Fashion - Comes to Boston in September

The Heathers 

Boston is welcoming a new Irish festival to town this fall, as iFest makes its North American debut at the Seaport World Trade Center on September 26-28, 2014. 

Described as a premium showcase of contemporary Irish culture, entertainment and innovation, iFest features an all-star cast of culinary innovators, leading musicians and dancers, fashion designers and athletes to present a taste of modern Ireland.

Among iFest's supporters are Tourism Ireland, Irish Food Board, Aer Lingus, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau Guinness and Jameson Irish Whiskey, so patrons will be treated to plenty of cooking demonstrations and food displays, along with whiskey and beer tastings.  Literally, iFest is going to offer a taste of Ireland.

On the culinary front, iFest has engaged top Irish chefs Darina Allen, Kevin Dundon and Catherine Fulvio to showcase their respective culinary work and also have teamed up with Boston’s grand chef Barbara Lynch for some cooking demonstrations.  And Maura Kilpatrick of Oleana Restaurant, named Greater Boston’s “Best Pastry Chef” several years running, is organizing afternoon teas with Bewley’s Irish Tea of Dublin. 

On the cultural front, iFest is presenting a literary salon, a genealogy master-class, film screenings, stand-up comedy, theater and a display of contemporary and classic art and heritage pieces from Ireland’s major museums.

As always with an Irish gathering, there is plenty of music.  On the traditional music side, uilleann piping master Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains performs along with accordion maestro Damien MullaneIreland’s Indi-Pop band the Heathers, featuring twin sisters Louise and Ellie Macnamara, is performing, plus the break-out rock band Riptide Movement, whose single “Getting Through,” was Number One on the Irish charts this spring.    

The world-famous Riverdance  troupe is planning a special ceili dance for the Boston audience. 

Irish designer Louise Kennedy has put together a top Irish Fashion & Design Catwalk, and nearby is a Shop Ireland Mall complete with the latest Irish fashions.

Irish sports get a showing at iFest, with a traveling exhibit on the Gaelic Athletic Association and film highlights of some of Ireland’s classic matches over the years. 

And finally, you’ll have a chance to see what Irish hospitality is all about, as Tourism Ireland staff showcase holiday and travel opportunities that will inspire you to take a trip to Ireland.

For local information on Irish cultural events year round, visit

Friday, July 4, 2014

Irish Singer Damien Dempsey Performs in Boston on Wednesday, July 9

Singer/songwriter Damien Dempsey is performing at the Brighton Music Hall in Boston on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. The talented Dublin musician is hailed as a voice of his generation, influenced by Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen as well as Christy Moore and Andy Irvine.

Tickets to the show are $25.00 and you can purchase online.

Also, Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a free pair of tickets to a lucky contestant. Enter the contest here.

Find year-round details on Irish cultural events in greater Boston at

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sligo Town = Cheoil + Craic

Right now, thousands of Irish musicians from around the world are practicing their arpeggios and fine tuning their instruments.   Dancers are checking their costumes and polishing their footwork.  From Boston to Sydney, musicians, dancers and music-lovers alike are booking their rooms and making plans to meet in County Sligo, from August 10-17, when the 2014 FleadhCheoil takes place.  

If you haven’t been to Ireland’s annual Fleadh Cheoil, this is the summer to go.  The week-long musical competition pits the very best traditional Irish musicians, singers and dancers from around the world in a week long competition that crowns the All-Ireland champions, a distinction that lasts a lifetime.

This year’s Fleadh is being held in Sligo Town, the first time since 1991.  It’s always appropriate to talk about traditional Irish music and Sligo, since so many great musicians have come from that county. Michael Coleman, James Morrison, Paddy Killoran, Lad O’Beirne, Seamus Tansey, Fred Finn, Kevin Burke, Carmel Gunning… the list goes on.

The caliber of music is surely the draw, but so is the craic (fun) that ensues in this celebratory setting of an entire town of people brought together by their collective love of Irish traditional music.  Enjoy yourselves!

For travel information, contact Discover Ireland

Friday, June 27, 2014

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Named "Irish American of the Year" in 2014 by Irish America Magazine

Congratulations to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has been named the 2014 "Irish American of the Year" by the New York-based publication, Irish America Magazine.

Mayor Walsh accepted the award at a luncheon held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the Seaport Boston Hotel, hosted by the non-profit group, the Irish American Partnership.

Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Irish America Magazine, praised Walsh for his empathy and for overcoming challenges early in his life, saying, “Who better to embody the tough, tireless, tender trajectory of our Irish story than Mayor Marty Walsh, son of immigrants and champion of the working class. We are thrilled to honor him as our Irish American of the Year.”

Mayor Walsh, who was profiled in the February/March 2014 issue of Irish America Magazine, is the son of Irish parents who emigrated from Connemara in County Galway to Boston in the 1950s and settled in the city's Dorchester neighborhood.

Upon accepting the award, Mayor Walsh said, "John F. Kennedy spoke of an 'emerald thread' running through the history of the Irish and surviving in all their descendants around the world, and this pattern runs deeply through the fabric of Boston. Irish-American identity is not something that survives without some effort. It has to be cultivated and encouraged, or else it can fade away into a distant memory.

"This award is about gathering together and recognizing that the heritage we share is meaningful and worth preserving," the mayor continued. "It's a great honor to receive this award."

Also speaking at the awards ceremony were Ireland's Consul General for Boston, Breandan O Caollai, and Mary Sugrue McAleer, executive director of the Partnership, who said that "Mayor Walsh has been a long-time supporter of the Partnership's efforts to honor our Irish heritage by supporting education and community programs in Ireland, North and South."

State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and  State Representative Brian Honan, along with Jim Brett, president and CEO of the New England Council, and Joe Leary, president and CEO of the Partnership, also attended the event. 

Walsh is the twelfth Boston Mayor of Irish descent to hold the office, which began with the election of Hugh O'Brien, an immigrant from County Cork, who served from 1885-88.

For more about Boston's Irish heritage, visit