Search This Blog

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frankie Gavin and DeDannan Perform at Burren Pub on November 11

Irish Fiddler Frankie Gavin and DaDannan are peforming at the Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville, MA on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 7:30.  Tickets are $28 in advance and can be purchased online.

The concert is part of the Backroom at the Burren series recently launched at one of the top traditional Irish music pubs in the world.  The series is hosted by Brian O'Donovan, host of the popular radio show, Celtic Sojourn, heard on WGBH 89.7 FM.

For a full schedule of Irish concerts in the greater Boston area, visit

Irish Echo Hosts 4th annual Golden Bridges Awards in Boston on November 10-11

The Irish Echo Newspaper is hosting its 4th annual Golden Bridges Awards & Showcase at the Seaport Boston Hotel on November 10-11, 2011.  The awards spotlight Bostonians who are building business alliances and academic partnerships between Boston and Ireland, with an emphasis on the Northwest of Ireland.

Along with the awards luncheon is a series of stimulating seminar discussions by key business leaders, public officials and community representatives about investing in Ireland.

Tickets to the seminars and luncheon are $140, or you can attend just the seminars for $50 or luncheon for $100.  Discounts are also available to select Boston Irish organizations, and tables are available for purchase. 

For more information on tickets and to purchase online, click here.  

Among the speakers at the Irish Echo Golden Bridges Awards and Showcase: 
Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, in conversation with Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe
MA State Senate President Therese Murray
MA State Representative Charles Murphy
MA State Representative Eugene O'Flaherty

For a full schedule and list of speakers, click here.
For year round details on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Win Tix to See Josh Groban live in Manchester and Providence

As part of his North American tour, singer-songwriter sensation Josh Groban is coming to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH on Tuesday, November 8, and the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, RI on Wednesday, November 9, with his Straight to You Tour, named for a song from his album Illuminations. 

The Boston Irish Tourism Association, in association with LiveNation, is giving away a pair of tickets to each of these shows. The lucky winners will be notified and announced here on Friday, November 4, so be sure to check back then for the winning announcement!  To enter the contest click here.

For a complete schedule of Josh Groban's tour, click here.

For more changes to win tickets to great concerts in New England, visit the BITA Contest Page.

For year round details on cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Logan International Airport Features Boston Irish Heritage Trail Murals in Terminal E

The Boston Irish Heritage Trail is one of several iconic destinations featured at a new public art exhibit unveiled on October 18 at Logan International Airport in Boston.

The exhibit was created by staff at Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), the agency that runs Logan Airport.  It is located in the Terminal E area where passengers from Aer Lingus and Southwest Airlines arrive to collect their luggage.

The Irish Heritage Trail was created by the Boston Irish Tourism Association as a way to showcase the history and heritage of the Boston Irish community dating back to the 18th century.  It features 20 landmarks, from the Rose Kennedy Garden on the Waterfront to Fenway Park, which was built by Irish immigrant Charles E. Logue in 1912.

Other trails featured in the Terminal E exhibit include the Freedom Trail and the Black Heritage Trail.

Several cultural institutions are highlighted in the exhibit, including the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of African American History and the Sports Museum

Travel agencies in the exhibit include Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cambridge Office of Tourism and Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

Logan Airport was named in honor of Edward L. Logan, a first generation Irish-American from South Boston whose family emigrated from Ballygar, County Galway.  Logan was a celebrated military leader, civic leader and municipal judge during his illustrious life.

For more about the Irish Heritage Trail, contact or call 617 696 9880.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Irish Honors Awards Taking Place at Seaport Boston Hotel on October 20

The second annual Irish Honors Luncheon, sponsored by the Boston Irish Reporter, is taking place on Thursday, October 20, at Boston's Seaport Hotel.

The luncheon honors local Irish-American families, and this year's award recipients include the Corcoran, Hunt and Mulvoy families from Dorchester. Also being recognized this year: State Senator Thomas J. Kennedy of Brockton and former Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole, according to Ed Forry, publisher of BIR and the Dorchester Reporter.

Master of Ceremonies is writer, actor and humorist Dick Flavin, who recently acted in the one-man show, According to Tip.

For year 'round information on Irish activities in Massachusetts and New England, visit

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Irish Echo editor Ray O'Hanlon speaking at Boston Public Library in West Roxbury on Saturday, October 15

Ray O'Hanlon, noted editor of the Irish Echo, and author of the acclaimed thriller, The South Lawn Plot, is speaking at the West Roxbury branch of the Boston Public Library on Saturday, October 15, 2011, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. 

The event is free and open to the public, and sponsored by the Friends of the West Roxbury Branch Library. The Library is located at 1961 Centre Street in West Roxbury.  For directions click here.

O'Hanlon's book, The South Lawn Plot, is published by Gemma Media, a Boston-based publisher that specializes in quality literature from Ireland and the United States. 

For year round Irish activities in greater Boston, visit

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

9th annual Christmas Celtic Sojourn - Tickets on sale!

The wildly popular Christmas Celtic Sojourn concert, hosted by WGBH radio personality Brian O'Donovan, is back for its 9th season, and tickets are now on sale.

The concert evokes an old-fashioned Christmas in rural Ireland in days gone by, with plenty of music, dancing, singing, storytelling and poetry throughout the evening.

This year the concert has expanded to ten performances at five venues around New England, including:

Hanover Theatre, Worcester, MA
Friday, Dec. 9, 7:30pm
Get tickets >>

The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH
Saturday, Dec. 10, 3pm and 8pm
Discounted tickets are only available via phone or in person:
603-436-2400; 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, NH

Zeiterion Theatre, New Bedford, MA
Sunday, Dec. 11, 7pm
Discounted tickets are only available via phone or in person:
508-994-2900; 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA

Shalin Liu Performance Centre, Rockport, MA
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:30pm
Discounted tickets are only available via phone or in person:
978-5467391; 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA

Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College
Friday, Dec. 16, 8pm
Saturday, Dec. 17, 3pm and 8pm
Sunday, Dec. 18, 1pm and 5pm
Get tickets >>

You can support WGBH by purchasing tickets to these concerts online.

For a complete list of Irish cultural events year round, visit

Monday, October 10, 2011

JFK Library presents Forum on new biography of Ernest Hemingway on Wednesday, October 12

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is presenting author Paul Hendrickson to discuss his new biography of Ernest Hemingway on Wednesday, October12, 2011, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are free but you must register to attend.

The book, entitled  Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved and Lost in Life, 1934- 1961, explores Hemingway's life as seen through his long relationship with his beloved boat, Pilar.

The JFK Library houses the Ernest Hemingway Collection, a collection of the writer's materials that were donated by Mary Hemingway,his wife.  

This event is part of the Kennedy Library Forums that take place throughout the year to foster public discussion on historical, cultural and political topics.  For a schedule of upcoming events, click here.

For other cultural activities taking place in Massachusetts throughout the year, visit

For tourist information visit and

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cripple of Inishmaan at the Worchester Hibernian Center on October 14-15, 21-23

Pilgrim Soul Productions is presenting the Cripple of Inishmaan by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh at the Worchester Hibernian Cultural Center on October 14-15, 21-23, 2011.  The director is Aimee Kewley

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on October 14, 15, 21 and 22, with a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. on October 23. Tickets are $15 each or $12 for groups of ten or more.

The Hibernian Cultural Center is run by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 36

For more events coming up at the Center, click here.

 For year round details on Irish cultural activities throughout Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

For tourist information, visit

Boston Pops Holiday Season Tickets on Sale

Tickets for the 2011 Holiday Pops concerts by the famed Boston Pops Orchestra are on sale for this year's Holiday Pops season, which runs from Wednesday, December 7 through Saturday, December 24, 2001.

The concerts are being led by maestro Keith Lockhart, who invites a number of special guest conductors and performers throughout the season. 

A total of 37 concerts are planned, including a number of weekend matinees for children and families. For a full schedule, click here.

The Boston Pops was initiated in 1900 by Henry Lee Higginson and since then has become one of the world's most endearing orchestras.  For a history of Boston Pops, click here.

For year round cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit

For tourist information, visit and

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Singer Andy Irvine at Four Green Fields in Boston on Thursday, October 6

Legendary Irish singer Andy Irvine is performing at the Four Green Fields Pub & Restaurant in Boston on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. The concert is $10 general admission.

Irvine has influenced Irish music throughout his 45 year career, performing with Sweeney's Men, Planxty, Patrick Street and other top Irish bands.

Four Green Fields opened in Boston in February 2011 and is located at One Boston Place, at the corner of School and State Street.  Here is a full schedule of pub activities in October. You can follow Four Green Fields on Facebook.

Four Green Fields is near Boston City Hall and the Massachusetts State House, and a block from the Irish Famine Memorial on Boston's Irish Heritage Trail.

For year round information on Irish festivals, parades, concerts, sessions, pubs, gift shops and heritage sites, visit

For tourist information, visit

Monday, October 3, 2011

In Memory of Michael Cummings: Cherished Boston Irish Leader


Michael J. Cummings of Milton, Massachusetts died on Saturday, October 1, 2011 after a decade long battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease.   He was 87 years old.

His wake is taking place on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at the Al Thomas Funeral Home in Milton, between 4:00 -8:00 p.m. His funeral mass takes place on at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at St. Agatha's Church in Milton.  For more details read Boston Globe obituary

In the fields of Irish sports, music and dance, cultural heritage and immigration reform, Cummings was a formidable leader in Boston’s Irish community for over sixty years. 

Mike arrived in Boston in 1947 from Ballygar, County Galway as a heralded young football star.  His talents as an athlete were immediately on display as he led the Galway Football Club in Boston to five consecutive championships from 1948-1952.  He was elected the youngest president of the Gaelic Athletic Association in New England, a group he continued to support through his life.

In the 1950s, Mike became active in Boston’s Irish cultural community, teaching set dancing classes at the Intercolonial Hall in Dudley Square, Roxbury and at Harvard University.  He joined and supported Irish cultural groups like the Eire Society of Boston, Charitable Irish Society, Galway County Club and many similar groups.  

His leadership and knowledge were sought on many fronts.  In 1956 he helped the popular NCB television series, Wide Wide World, film a documentary on Boston’s Irish community, where Mike himself was interviewed on both the fine points of football and set dancing.

In 1964, when the Kennedy family took steps to create a presidential library for John F. Kennedy, Mike helped form the Irish American Committee for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Fund, which allowed small donors to contribute and feel part of the JFK legacy.  

Mike’s most lasting contribution to Irish heritage may be his extraordinary work over five decades on the life and music of Patrick S. Gilmore (1829-92), the great 19th century bandleader and composer who was born in Mike’s town of Ballygar, Galway.

Gilmore’s name was nearly consigned to the footnotes of history until Mike became interested.   In 1968, he formed the Patrick S. Gilmore Society, a musical appreciation group that organized annual band concerts on Boston City Hall Plaza and the Charles River Esplanade, encouraging a new generation of musicians to rediscover Gilmore’s music.

Using original research he conducted over years at the Boston Public Library and through public records, Mike wrote numerous articles about Gilmore’s life and lectured frequently at the Eire Society, Milton Historical Society, and local libraries. In1972 he helped archivists organize an exhibit at the Boston Public Library on Gilmore’s musical accomplishments, and got Ireland’s Tourist Board to unveil a plaque to Gilmore in Ballygar.

In 1992, to commemorate the centenary of Gilmore’s death, Mike led a fund raising drive to finally put a gravestone at Gilmore’s grave at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York.

In 2004, Mike donated his extensive collection of Gilmore research, music, lithographs and ephemera to the John J. Burns Library at Boston College.  Mike’s dedication to Gilmore lasted until the final months of his life, as he continued to respond to inquires from musicians, educators, doctoral students, genealogists and historians from around the world. 

In a similar vein, Mike undertook considerable research on Lawrence Logan, also a Ballygar native who lived in Boston and was an acclaimed military leader, commanding the 26th Yankee Division during World War I.  Boston’s Logan International Airport is named after Logan’s son Edward.

As an amateur historian, Mike’s curiosity extended beyond the Irish: in 1976 he was Chairman of the Bi-Centennial Committee of Milton, Massachusetts.

Throughout his life, Mike was generous in offering his leadership and talents to Irish causes.  When illegal Irish immigration became a pressing issue in the 1980s, Mike and local Irish leaders formed the Massachusetts Immigration Committee, enlisting US Congressman Brian Donnelly to help amend America’s immigration laws. 

In July 1986, Mike traveled with his longtime friend Thomas J. Flatley to Washington, DC, where Flatley testified in favor of the Donnelly Visa Bill, which passed and gave relief to nearly 20,000 Irish immigrants. This activism in Boston  led to the formation of Boston's two immigrant service centers: the Irish International Immigration Center and the Irish Pastoral Centre.

In the 1990s, Mike and Tom Flatley formed the Boston Irish Famine Memorial committee, which raised $1 million to build a Famine Memorial Park in downtown Boston to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine. The park opened on June 28, 1998, with 7,000 people attending. In addition to helping select the memorial location, Mike was one of the wordsmiths who crafted the narrative on the eight plaques encircling the Memorial.

Tom Flatley wrote about his friend:

“Mike Cummings is a man of commitment to his God, his family, his country and in particular his ‘old country.’ For close to half a century, Mike has been my friend, my historian and a man who on numerous occasions told me during moments of hesitation, ‘Tom, you can do it.’  After a few minutes with Mike, I would feel as if I could build the Empire State Building.”

Mike’s lifelong devotion to the Irish community provided him with many awards and acclamations during his life.  Among these awards:

The New England GAA honored him at its 1976 annual banquet, “for the tremendous contributions to the games and traditions of his native land.”

In 1999 the Famine Memorial Committee gave Mike a special proclamation and ceremony for his great contribution to that project.  And the Irish Cultural Centre and GAA recognized Mike at the ten year anniversary of the Centre.

In 2005 the Charitable Irish Society bestowed its prestigious Silver Key Award to Mike “for his visionary leadership and grassroots activism.” 

Since 2000, Mike was a strong supporter of and adviser to the Boston Irish Tourism Association and the Boston Irish Heritage Trail. 

Mike’s influence, leadership and contributions to Boston’s Irish community and to Ireland will remain intact for many years to come.

- Michael P. Quinlin