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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In Boston, US Congressman James M. Curley Lays Corner Stone for the New Hibernian Hall in Roxbury on May 30, 1913

On Sunday, May 30, 1913, Massachusetts Congressman James Michael Curley laid the corner stone for the new Hibernian Building on Dudley Street in Roxbury, before a crowd of over 5,000 people.  Curley was joined by numerous Irish leaders from the city, state and nation, including members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which organized the project in 1906 to create a headquarters for AOH divisions throughout greater Boston.

The ceremony was called to order by Patrick J. Larkin, president of the Hibernian Building Society.  Also on the dais were architect Edward T.P. Graham, past AOH National President Matthew Cummings, President of the Ladies Auxiliary Mrs. Ellen Ryan Jolley and AOH State President John H. Dillon.

"The building will contain one of the largest dance halls in Boston, on the top floor of the four-story building, as well as a large banquet hall," and various smaller rooms for meetings and cultural activities, Graham told reporters.  "On the first floor there will be two large double stores, with meeting room in the rear.  The basement contains eight bowling alleys, five billiard tables, store rooms and a boiler room.  The building is finely situated...near the Dudley Street Terminal."

Congressman Curley gave the keynote address on the Progress of the Irish People in America, in which he said, "The Irishman today stands for liberty and progress and his daily life is the most highly developed form of American citizenship," wrote The Boston Globe, which continued,  "He spoke of the character, purity and honesty of the Irish, who came here at the time of the 13 Colonies and made such a republic possible.  He told of the Irish in the Civil War.".

After the address, Congressman Curley "laid the stone with a silver trowel.  The crowed cheered and waved small American flags," according to the Roxbury Gazette weekly newspaper.  "President Larking placed in the corner stone a copper box containing a copy of the ddes, pictures, newspapers and other things which will be of interest to the future."

Hibernian Hall officially opened on October 1, 1913, and for nearly half a century served as a gathering place for the region's large Irish community.  Read more about Hibernian Hall in the recent issue of BITA's Travel & Culture Guide

Today Hibernian Hall houses the Roxbury Center for the Arts, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting arts and culture to the Roxbury community. 

For more information on Boston's Irish history, visit Irishheritagetrail.com.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Irish and Scottish Festivals in New England and Quebec in Summer 2013

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill
at the Lowell Folk Festival in July 

Looking for outdoor Irish and Scottish festivals this summer in New England and Quebec?  The Boston Irish Tourism Association has released its schedule of the top festivals taking place in the region from June through September.

The season opens on June 7-9, 2013, when Irish fiddle legend Eileen Ivers opens the Boston Irish Festival at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, and ends with the New Hampshire Highland Games at Loon Mountain on September 20-22, 2013, featuring Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas.

Irish traditional duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, uilleann piper Paddy Keenan, Scottish singer Charlie Zahm and Boston’s own Dropkick Murphys and are just some of the performers appearing at Irish and Celtic festivals in New England and Canada this summer,

View the schedule of festival locations, dates and performers by visiting BITA's Festival Page.  More festivals are being added this spring and summer so check back for more festivals.

New England and eastern Canada have longstanding Irish and Scottish traditions dating back to the 18th century and continue through the present time, and a vibrant ethnic culture displayed through music, dancing and other folk arts. 

For year round details on Irish and cultural activities in these regions, visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guide Tour of Boston's Irish Heritage Trail this Sunday, May 26 at Boston Common

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is offering guided tours of the Boston Irish Heritage Trail on Sunday, May 26, 2013, starting at 2:00 p.m. at the Boston Common Visitors Information Center.
 
The 75 minute walk led by an experienced tour guide takes you on 300 fascinating years of Boston’s unique Irish history and heritage.
 
You’ll discover the Irish role in the Revolutionary War, learn about the 19th century Famine generation and the Irish part in the Civil War.  And you’ll discover famous politicians - from James Curley and Kevin White to John Collins and the Kennedy family - who put their indelible stamp on the history of the city and the nation.

The tour begins at the Visitor Information Center on Boston Common, which is located at 148 Tremont Street in downtown Boston.

$15 per adult, $8 for children under twelve
  
You can purchase tickets at the Visitor Information Center front desk prior to the tour.
For more information on Irish culture in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Exhibit of Irish Oil Paintings by Artist Daniel Roy at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton starting May 18


The Irish Cultural Centre in Canton is opening an exhibit of paintings by Daniel P. Roy on Saturday, May 18, 2013, with a reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  The reception is open and free to the public.

Roy, from Woodstock, CT, has produced a series of surreal paintings of sheep and landscapes inspired by trips to the Irish countryside, specifically County Galway and the west of Ireland. 

The exhibit is on display in the pub through the end of May. 

Find out more information about year round activities at the Irish Cultural Centre.  

And the Centre's annual Boston Irish Festival is right around the corner, schedule for June 7-9, 2013.  

Find year round details on Irish activities in the region by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com.

Believe in Boston: Reflections on the Boston Marathon


Here is an article entitled Believe in Boston: Reflections on the Boston Marathon, by Michael Quinlin, in the June-July issue of Irish America Magazine, published in New York.

Also, a fine editorial on the marathon entitled Grace and Healing by Patricia Harty, editor-in-chief of Irish America Magazine.

Folllow TheBostonIrish on Twitter.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray Lead Trade Mission to Ireland

Governor Deval Patrick and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray led a trade delegation to Dublin, Ireland this week to promote expanding opportunities for economic development and job creation between Massachusetts and Ireland.  They met with Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny, and with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Ireland Eamon Gilmore.

The trade delegation attended the Digital Health and Life Sciences Trade Summit, sponsored by the Massachusetts’ Life Sciences Center and the HealthXL Accelerator Program.  They also met with the Ireland-Massachusetts Partnership.

View more photos of the trip

In 2012, Ireland was the Commonwealth’s 14th largest export partner, with over $509 million in goods and services to Ireland.  Massachusetts is also Ireland’s sixth largest import partner. The Commonwealth imported over $1.2 billion worth of goods and services from Ireland last year.

For year round details on the Irish cultural community in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Boston Irish Fiddler Seamus Connolly Receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on Saturday, May 11, 2013


Seamus Connolly, a noted Irish fiddle player whose music, compositions and teaching have influenced a generation of Irish musicians, is a recipient of the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor on Saturday, May 11, 2013. 

The ceremony, which is organized by the National Ethnic Coalition Organizations, takes place on Ellis Island. The medal is given annual to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life, who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to the United States.  Connolly is one of 90 people across all ethnic communities to receive this year's award.  Here is a full list of the 2013 recipients.

The Sullivan Artist in Residence at Boston College and founder of the school's Gaelic Roots program, Connolly grew up in County Clare and is a ten-time All Ireland champion on the fiddle.  He has recorded numerous albums and issued several books on Irish music.  Here is a profile of Seamus Connolly and one of his recent projects.

There is currently an exhibit on The Musical Roots of Seamus Connolly at the John J. Burns Library at Boston College, running through May 23, 2013.

For year round details on the Irish community in greater Boston, visit IrishMassachusetts.com


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Guided Tour of Boston's Irish Heritage Trail this Sunday, May 5, Starting on Boston Common


The Boston Irish Tourism Association is offering guided tours of the Boston Irish Heritage Trail on Sunday, May 5, 2013, starting at 2:00 p.m. at the Boston Common Visitors Information Center.
 
The one-hour walk led by an experienced tour guide takes you on 300 fascinating years of Boston’s unique Irish history and heritage.
 
You’ll discover the Irish role in the Revolutionary War, learn about the 19th century Famine generation and the Irish part in the Civil War.  And you’ll discover famous politicians - from James Curley and Kevin White to John Collins and the Kennedy family - who put their indelible stamp on the history of the city and the nation.

The tour begins at the Visitor Information Center on Boston Common, which is located at 148 Tremont Street in downtown Boston.

$15 per adult, $8 for children under twelve
  
You can purchase tickets at the Visitor Information Center front desk prior to the tour.

For more information on Irish culture in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com