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Monday, January 31, 2011

Irish Poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill Reading at Harvard on Friday, February 4

Irish poet Nuala NĂ­ Dhomhnaill is reading in Irish and English from her collection "The Fifty Minute Mermaid" on Friday February 4, at 4:30 p.m. in the Thompson Room of the Barker Center at Harvard University,  located at 12 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The reading, hosted by the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures, is free and open to everyone interested in Irish writing.

Ni Dhomhnaill  is considered one of the most prominent poets writing in the Irish language today.

For more information contact Catherine McKenna at (617) 496-6036.

For year round Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit

Friday, January 28, 2011

Remembering Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, January 28, 2011

Boston native, history teacher and astronaut Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe died twenty-five years ago today when the shuttle Challenger she was on exploded shortly after lift off. 

Christa was selected from more than 11,000 applicants as the first teacher to participate in a space mission.  The world watched in excitement on January 28, 1986, as McAulife and her fellow astronauts lifted off at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but that excitement turned to horror and grief as the space craft exploded seconds later.

She was later awarded the Medal of Honor by President Ronald Reagan and since her death has continued to inspire new generations to learn about space exploration. 

Framingham State College, where McAuliffe received her teaching degree, created the Christa McAuliffe Center in her honor, dedicated to teacher excellence.  The Center recently announced plans to expand its facility and mission, according to MetroWest News.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Irish Harpist Aine Minogue Performing at Blackstone River Theatre on February 5

Irish harpist Aine Minogue is performing a special concert to celebrate Imbolc - the Feast of St. Brigid on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI, starting at 8:00 p.m.

Admission is $13 in advance and $15 the day of the show.  For reservations call 401 725-9272.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away two free pairs of tickets to the show.  To enter the contest to win, click here.

Don't miss this fascinating evening of Irish harp music, ethereal vocals, poetry and storytelling.

For directions to the Blackstone Valley Theatre, click here.

For year round Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the region, visit

Monday, January 24, 2011

Loretta Brennan Glucksman Receiving Ambassador of Ireland Award in Holyoke this March

Philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman, a longtime advocate and supporter of  Irish causes, is receiving the 20th annual "Ambassador of Ireland Award" in Holyoke, Massachusetts on Sunday, March 20, 2011.  The award is being presented by the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee and the Government of Ireland.

Glucksman joins a distinguished list of past winners, including:  Dr. Eoin McKernan, founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute, musicians Tommy Makem and John McDermott, writer Frank McCourt and US Congressmen Peter T. King and Richard E. Neal.

 "As chairman of the American Ireland Fund, Loretta's generosity to both countries is legendary," says US Congressman Neal.  "For more than a decade, she has single-handedly helped preserve and promote Irish culture around the globe.  I am proud to call her my friend, and I am delighted she will be honored on St. Patrick's Day weekend."

 A third generation Irish American, Glucksman grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Her material grandparents emigrated to the USA from Leitrim and her paternal grandparents from Donegal.  She attended Allentown Central Catholic School and St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia.

Also being recognized at the  St. Patrick's Day ceremonies in Holyoke this March is historian David McCullough, who is receiving the "John F. Kennedy Award" from the parade committee.

For more information about Irish activities in Holyoke in March, click here.

For year round Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This Day in History: John F. Kennedy is inaugurated on January 20, 1961

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's inauguration fifty years ago today, the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum has officially launched an innovative multimedia website designed to reflect the vibrancy and excitement of the Kennedy administration.

The new website has been created so that young visitors can explore the legacy of JFK through the core themes of public service, science and innovation, civil rights, domestic affairs, the arts, foreign policy and diplomacy and the environment.

The site includes a media-rich interactive graphic novel that brings to life events of that era; a video showcasing people who continue JFK's legacy in their respective fields; and exhibits that users can download, customize and produce.

For details on the exhibit at the Library -  Passing the Torch: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy - click here.

For year-round Irish cultural and heritage-related activities in Massachusetts, visit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ArtsEmerson Presents Irish Theater Festival in Boston Starting on January 27, 2011

ArtsEmerson at Emerson College in Boston is presenting three plays on Irish-American and Irish themes this winter at the newly renovated Paramount Theatre in downtown Boston.

The Color of Rose by Kathrine Bates, is the story of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, depicted here as "a woman of complexity, strengthened by faith and love of family."   It runs January 27 through February 6 at the Paramount Black Box.

The Cripple of Inishmaan, by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh, is a comic masterpiece with eccentric Irish characters on the island of Inishmaan in 1934.  It is presented by Ireland's famed Druid Theatre and runs February 2 through February 6 at the Paramount Mainstage.

And Terminus, by playwright Mark O'Rowe, is presented by the Abbey Theatre: Ireland's National Theatre. Three people are ripped fromtheir daily lives and thrown into a fantastic world of singing serial killers, avenging angels and love-sick demons.  It runs from February 8 through February 13 at Paramount Mainstage.

To find out more information about the times and ticket admission, visit or call 617 824-8000.

For year round information on Irish cultural activities in Boston, visit

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Robbie Burns Supper in Worcester, MA on January 22

A celebration of Scotland's famed poet Robert Burns is taking place at Mechanics Hall in Worcester Massachusetts on Saturday, January 22, 2011.

 The event features live music by the Pipes and Drums of the Worcester Kiltie Band, with special guests, the Worcester Fire Brigade Pipes & Drums, and master of ceremonies Sir Jeremy Bell, a Scottish comedial and International Toastmaster.

Tickets to the event are $51.50 and can be ordered online or by calling 508 752-0888. 

Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with dinner served at 5:30, and the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Mechanics Hall is considered one of the world's great concert halls because of its perfect acoustics and 19th century elegance.

For year round information on Irish and Scottish activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit

Friday, January 14, 2011

James M. Curley Declared Winner in Boston's 1914 Mayoral Contest

On January 14, 1914, U.S. Congressman James Michael Curley was declared the Mayor of Boston after a bruising, bitter campaign against Thomas J. Kenny.  Curley succeeded his arch rival, Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, who had backed Kenny in the race. 

The Boston Daily Globe declared that Curley carried sixteen wards, to Kenny's ten wards, wining by a margin of 5,720 votes.  The final tally was 43,262 votes for Curley, and 37,542 votes for Kenny.

Voter numbers were down by 10,000 in 1914 compared to the 1910 election, the Globe noted, due to the bitter cold on January 13, when the temperature dropped to minus seven degrees.

James Michael Curley dominated Boston and Massachusetts politics for the first half of the 20th century. He was mayor of Boston four times, and also served as U.S. Congressman and as Governor of Massachusetts. 

For more information on Irish-American political figures in Boston, visit

For year round cultural events in Massachusetts, visit