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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

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