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Monday, September 28, 2009

Irish Cultural Center at Elms College Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Irish Cultural Center at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts is celebrating its ten year anniversary on October 9-10-11, 2009 with a variety of events that accentuate the Center’s cultural and literary mission.

The activities kick off Friday evening, October 9, with an art exhibit by Irish painter Vincent Crotty, entitled Recent Paintings: Images of the Blasket Island, Ireland and Beyond. The exhibit takes place from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Borgia Gallery at the Dooley Campus Center. The exhibit runs through October 26.

Following the opening a group of local musicians are leading a traditional music session in the Dooley Center Dining Hall Annex. Dancers from the McDermott School of Irish Dance are performing.

On Saturday, October 10, the Center hosts all-day workshops at Berchman’s Hall. They include dance workshops with Maureen McDermott of the McDermott Academy of Irish Dance; genealogy with Judy Lucey of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; bodhrain and bones playing with Steve Brown of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann; Irish language with Mary McShane, Boston Irish Language Society; and Gaelic games with Mike Carney of Springfield.

Also, Irish films are being shown, including Give Up Yer Aul Sins and New Kid; On Another Man's Wound; JFK in Ireland; The Story of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem. And Odyssey Books will display books for sale from Irish and Irish-American authors, plus titles about Ireland.

On Saturday evening Irish folksingers Makem and Spain Brothers perform at the Wherehouse in Holyoke. Tickets are $35, which include admission plus a corned beef sandwich. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, October 11, Monsignor Christopher Connelly says mass at 10:30 a.m. in Our Lady’s Chapel, with readings in Irish.

Following mass, noted New York essayist and novelist Peter Quinn is the guest speaker at a brunch in the Dooley Campus Center. His topic: Unremembered and Unforgotten: Irish America and the Great Hunger. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. The three founders of the Irish Cultural Center will be honored at the brunch: Sr. Kathleen Keating, Tom Moriarty and Sean Cahillane.

For more details, contact the Center at 413 265-2537 or email

Friday, September 25, 2009

Statement by Caroline Kennedy on the appointment of Paul G. Kirk, Jr. as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts

I congratulate Governor Deval Patrick on his selection of Paul G. Kirk, Jr. to represent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States Senate.

Paul Kirk is the epitome of a citizen-patriot. He is a wonderful friend, and I am thrilled that the citizens of Massachusetts will benefit from the same extraordinary leadership that he has brought to the Kennedy Library and Foundation.

Paul’s life long commitment to democracy and civic engagement has given life to my father’s belief that one person can make a difference, and earned him the friendship and respect of politicians on both sides of the aisle. Paul’s wisdom, kindness and integrity mean the world to the entire Kennedy family.

For further information: Rachel Day (617) 514-1662,

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Moveable Feast

On Sunday, September 20, The Kennedy Library Forum Series presents a discussion on the restored edition A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway's fascinating memoirs of his life in Paris during the 1920s.

Participants include Sean Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's grandson and editor of the restored edition, which was published in July 2009. He is being joined in the forum by Adam Gopnik, New Yorker writer and author of Paris to the Moon; and Diane Johnson, author of Le Mariage and Le Divorce. Scott Simon, host of NPR's Saturday Weekend Edition, will moderate.

This forum runs from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in Stephen Smith Hall at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston.

All forums are free and open to the public. To make reservations and for further information, visit the Kennedy Presidential Library web page at or call (617) 514-1643.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Annual Dinner Dance at Worcester Hibernian Cultural Center, September 25

(Worcester) - Enjoy traditional dancing - waltz, fox trot, two-step and ceili- at the annual Dinner Dance at the Hibernian Cultural Center, 19 Temple Street in Worcester.

Music is by the Andy Healy Band, one of the region's most popular Irish groups.

Cost of dinner and dance is $30.00, starting at 6:00 p.m., or $10.00 for just dancing, arrive after 8:00 p.m.

The Worcester Hibernian Cultural Centre opened in November 2005, and is located in downtown Worcester, within walking distance to City Hall, and with easy access to Union Station and nearby Interstate 290. For more information about the Centre, including information on holding functions there, call 508 795-0400.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gaelic Storm Performs at Lowell Summer Music Series, Friday, September 18

Gaelic Storm, the popular Irish band from California, is capping off this year’s Lowell Summer Music Series with a concert at Boarding House Park on Friday, September 18, at 7:30.

Combining original and fresh arrangements of Irish traditional melody with a unique blend of world rhythms, Gaelic Storm is renowned for its live performances and for audience participation. The band has been together for over ten years, and has recorded seven albums and logged in hundreds of concerts around the world. It last played in Lowell in summer 2005.

The Lowell Summer Music Series just completed its 20th season of booking outstanding musical talent that ranges from Irish and world music to rock n roll and blues.

Gaelic Storm in Concert

September 18, 2009

7:30 p.m. / $16 advance, $20 day of concert

Boarding House Park
40 French Street
Lowell, MA 01852

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Irish Singer Sean Tyrrell Performs at Boston College, September 16

Galway singer and multi-instrumentalist Sean Tyrrell performs a special concert on Wednesday, September 16, as part of the Gaelic Roots Music, Song and Dance series at Boston College.

Tyrrell's concert is entitled "Message of Peace: Songs and Poetry of John Boyle O'Reilly," and takes place at the Connolly House (photo above) , 300 Hammond Street in Chestnut Hill, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

O'Reilly (1844-1890) was an extraordinary Irish leader in the 19th century who escaped from a British penal colony in Austrailia and made his way to Boston. Starting as a journalist, he became publisher of The Pilot newspaper and was a well-regarded poet, essayist, public speaker and advocate for the downtrodden.

Using elements of O'Reilly's life story as well as his lyrics and verse, Tyrrell has put together an inspiring show that resurrects one of the great Irish leaders of the 19th century for modern audiences to appreciate.

The Gaelic Roots Music, Song and Dance program at BC was created by master fiddle player Seamus Connolly. For a full schedule of events this fall, visit

Monday, September 14, 2009

Boston's Edward L. Logan International Airport
East Boston
MBTA: Blue Line to Airport Station

Boston’s Logan International Airport was named for General Edward L. Logan (1875-1939), a first generation Irish-American, military leader, civic leader and municipal judge with family roots in Galway and South Boston.

Edward was the oldest of nine children of Lawrence and Catherine (O’Connor), according to Michael Cummings of Milton, an expert on the Logan Family. Edward’s father Lawrence immigrated to Boston from Ballygar, County Galway, in 1858, and became a successful businessman at a young age when he became president of the Boston Brewing Company in South Boston. The family resided at 560 East Broadway in South Boston.

In 1898 during his senior year at Harvard University Logan enlisted in the 9th Irish Regiment of Massachusetts when the Spanish American War broke out in Cuba, joining his father Lawrence, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the regiment. Edward stayed stateside at Camp Dewey in Framingham taking charge of reenlistment, while the regiment sailed to Cuba. It suffered heavy casualties, and Lawrence Logan himself nearly died of yellow fever, which claimed the life of his brother-in-law and Edward's uncle, Major Michael O'Connor.

Edward continued in military service, and during World War I was commander of the 101st Infantry regiment of the 26th Yankee Division, which fought with distinction. It was the first state regiment to cross the ocean for France, leaving in August 1917.

Elected to local offices, Edward served as a state representative and senator from South Boston. He made an unsuccessful run in 1906 for the Congressional 10th District, losing to Joe O'Connell, and was appointed a Justice of the South Boston Municipal Court in 1907. He was active in charitable programs such as the Home for Destitute Catholic Children. In 1929 Pope Pius made him a Knight of the Order of Malta in recognition of his charitable work during his life.

He died suddenly in 1939 of "heart ailment" according to the Boston Globe. His brother Reverend Leo J. Logan presided over the funeral mass at the Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston, with tributes by leading politicians like Senator David I. Walsh, former Massachusetts Governor and Boston mayor James M. Curley and former Mayor John F. Fitzgerald. He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery in West Roxbury.

In 1943, the Massachusetts state legislature voting to approve a $4.75 million expansion of the East Boston airport, and state house lawmakers voted to officially name the new airport in honor of Edward L. Logan in 1956.

(Written by Michael P. Quinlin)

Irish American Heritage: For more on the history and heritage of the Boston Irish, visit

Friday, September 11, 2009


Legislation Will Create Jobs, Enhance US Image Abroad

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate passed legislation this week championed by U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt to promote global travel to the United States.

Since introducing the bipartisan bill two years ago with Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Delahunt has pressed for its enactment as both economic stimulus and public diplomacy. “In one bold step, we can create jobs in the tourism sector and enhance America’s image abroad,” Delahunt said. “We all know the best ambassadors for our nation are ordinary Americans, so every additional visitor to the US will return home to report on the warmth and vitality of our hospitality.”

The bill, which seeks to address a chronic decline in overseas visitors to our shores, will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

The Senate 79-19 vote to approve the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) came after months of bi-partisan efforts to bring the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote. Last year, Delahunt and Blunt were able to win House passage of the Travel Promotion Act, but the bill never reached the Senate floor. Today’s news sets the table for reconsideration by the House. Delahunt said he is determined to see the bill enacted into law during this congressional session.

Since 2001, the U.S. share of the world travel market has decreased by nearly 20 percent, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue. Additionally, the travel industry is feeling the sharp effects of the economic downturn. In 2008, nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs were lost nationally, and the U.S. Commerce Department forecasts that another 247,000 jobs will be lost in 2009.

Nearly every developed nation in the world has a travel promotion program as a tool for economic development. Nations such as Australia, Greece, Mexico and Malaysia spend more than $110 million annually competing for visitors. The United Kingdom and Turkey spend more than $80 million annually; Canada spends more than $60 million each year. While 633,000 fewer overseas travelers visited the United States in 2008 than in 2000, other countries welcomed more international visitors. Over the same period, international visitation to the United Kingdom increased by 24 percent, Australia is up 18 percent and Mexico is up 8 percent. These nations are competing with the United States for international visitors, and are winning. The United States is one of the few developed countries in that does not have a nationally coordinated campaign.

The Travel Promotion Act will establish a public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier international travel destination. The legislation calls for travel promotion to be paid for by private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who enter the United States under the auspices of the visa waiver program. The bill - which requires no money from the American taxpayer - is estimated to attract 1.6 million new international visitors to the country and add $4 billion to the U.S. economy. An analysis by the U.S. Travel Association reveals that this program would create nearly 40,000 new American jobs.

The legislation, which current has 70 House cosponsors, would also establish the Corporation for Travel Promotion, an independent, non-profit corporation governed by an 11-member board of private-sector directors appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.

Tourism is the fifth largest industry in Massachusetts, generating $11 billion in sales and providing nearly 14 percent of the state’s total private sector employment. One out of every eight jobs nationally is associated with the tourism industry.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Singer Pauline Wells Leads Boston's Tribute to 9/11

Boston is putting on a special 9/11 Tribute on Friday, September 11, featuring Irish-American singer Pauline Wells, at the historic Wilbur Theatre in downtown Boston. The concert benefits the charity group, Cops for Kids with Cancer.

Wells, who is a sergeant detective in the major case unit of the Cambridge Police Department, is being joined by the renowned Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, as well as local Irish traditional band Devri.

As a special tribute to the evening, 40 members of the NYPD Emerald Society of Pipes and Drums are traveling from New York City to offer a special tribute.

Wells is a popular singer in the Boston area and has performed the National Anthem at dozens of venues, including the Massachusetts State House, Faneuil Hall and Fenway Park. She and her band Devri also perform at local Irish pubs and cultural venues around Boston.

Each March, Wells and her husband, Police Chief Richard G. Wells, Jr. of the Milton Police Department, organize a concert in Milton entitled "A Celtic Crossing" that raises money for the Jimmy Fund and the Pan Mass Challenge.

To purchase tickets for the 9/11 Tribute concert, please contact ticketmaster or visit

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

19th annual Irish Festival at Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, September 12-13, 2009

(Canton) - Irish music and dancing, storytelling and genealogy, author readings and children's activities mark this year's 19th annual Irish Festival taking place on September 12-13, at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England.

The festival boasts a variety of local performers on the 46 acre campus in Canton, which is just twelve miles from Boston.

Among the musical acts: Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, Noel Henry Band, Erin's Melody and the Andy Healy Band. Other highlights include storyteller David O'Doherty and writer Peter Stevens, author of Hidden History of the Boston Irish.

General admission is $15, and $10 for members. Children under 12 are free. For more information, call 1888 GO IRISH or visit

For a full list of Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit