Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Jump into Ireland" advertising campaign airing in 7 US Cities

Tourism Ireland is airing an ad in seven cities across the United States this week, encouraging Americans to visit Ireland. The cities include Boston, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC and San Francisco.

The campaign, titled Jump into Ireland, is "designed to convey a sense of playfulness and to reflect the immersive  nature of a holiday in Ireland with iconic experiences and warm, friendly people," according to officials. Here is the 30 second spot.

Irish tourism leaders were in Boston last September to introduce the new marketing initiative before several hundred tour operators, travel agents and media.

Boston's Logan International Airport has direct flights to Ireland throughout the year on Aer Lingus, according to Massport.   Daily flights between Boston and Shannon take place from January to December, and 14 round trips between Boston and Dublin per week from April to October, and 12 round trips a week from November to March.

Logan Airport is named after General Edward L. Logan of South Boston, whose parents emigrated from Ballygar, County Galway.

For more information about traveling from New England to Ireland, visit

To find out about Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and New England, visit

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Celebration at Blackstone River Theatre on Sunday, December 14

The final day of the annual Christmas Celebration concert at Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI takes place on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the show are $20 and can be reserved by calling 401 725-9272.  The Saturday show was completely sold out.

This concert features some of the top traditional musicians, singers and dancers in New England, including dance master Kevin Doyle,  members of the band Pendragon, Erika Damiani, founder of the dance company Tir na Nog, the Miller Family Trio and more.

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts in 2015 at Blackstone River Theatre.

Find year round details on Irish events in New England by visiting

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Celebrations at Irish Cultural Centre in Canton This Weekend

The Irish Cultural Center in Canton is kicking off its Christmas celebration this weekend with an open house, raffle drawing and children's event.

On Saturday December 13, the Centre's Annual Raffle offers a grand prize of $30,000, a second place prize of $5,000, and ten prizes of $1,000 each.  The raffle takes place from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.  You can still order raffle tickets by calling 781 821-8291.  Tickets are $100 each.

Then on Sunday, December 14, the Centre is hosting a Brunch with Santa from noon to 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 per family and includes brunch, activities for children, a visit from Santa Claus and stories from Mrs. Claus.

The Irish Cultural Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014 as the region's premier center for Irish culture, sports and heritage.  

For year round details on Irish activities in Massachusetts and throughout New England, visit

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Celtic Sojourn Opens in Boston Tonight!

The 12th annual Christmas Celtic Sojourn with radio host Brian O'Donovan opens tonight, December 12, 2014, at the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College in downtown Boston.

The show is one of the highlights of New England's Christmas season and features a dazzling line-up of traditional musicians, dancers and singers representing the music and culture of the Celtic nations.  It's a popular outgrowth of Mr. O'Donovan's radio show, A Celtic Sojourn, heard on WGBH 89.7 FM.

This year's show features Seamus Egan and Solas, fiddler Kevin Burke, the Foghorn Stringband, the Harney Dance Academy and more. They'll be performing 14 concerts this December, in Boston, Worcester, Rockport and New Bedford.

Here is a 2012  interview of Brian O'Donovan talking about Christmas Celtic Sojourn.

You can follow the latest updates on Facebook.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in New England, visit

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gaelic Roots Christmas Concert Features Robbie O'Connell & Aoife Clancy on December 9

The annual Gaelic Roots Christmas Concert is taking place at Boston College on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.  The concert, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the Cadigan Alumni Center on BC's Brighton campus, located at 2117 Commonwealth Avenue.

The concert features Aoife Clancy, the daughter of Irish balladeer Bobby Clancy, and Robbie O'Connell, her cousin, who performed with the Clancy Brothers. They come from an illustrious Irish music tradition in County Tipperary.

The director and founder of Gaelic Roots is master fiddler Seamus Connolly, who is the Sullivan Artist in Residence at Boston College. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Shopping for Irish Books: Cookbooks, Kennedys and the Boston Irish

Boston Irish Tourism Association's gift shop is offering some great books for Christmas shoppers this year, with BITA paying the postage/handling charges.

Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past / $18.95 paperback

Rose Kennedy's Family Album/ $45.00 hardcover

Elegant Irish Dining / $35.00 hardcover

In the Kennedy Kitchen / $35.00 hardcover

Classic Irish Stories / $9.95 paperback

You can order them directly on PayPal, and you'll receive written confirmation.  All shipments are sent priority mail via US Postal Service, shipped within one day of the order.  To guarantee delivery in time for Christmas, please place order by Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

If you are in the greater Boston area, you can pick up a copy of Irish Boston (Globe Pequot Press) at a local Barnes & Nobles or independent book stores like Harvard Book Store in Cambridge or the New England Mobil Bookstore in Newton Falls.

Boston Irish Tourism Association was formed in 2000 to promote Irish culture, history and heritage in Massachusetts and the New England states throughout the year.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Irish Echo Newspaper Roundup of Irish Christmas Shows in New England

The Irish Echo Newspaper in New York published a story on Irish-themed Christmas shows in New England this December.  The issue is available on news stands in greater Boston and also online.

For more details on Christmas shows throughout New England in December, click here.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas Coming to Beverly, Lowell & Plymouth, December 4-7

Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas show is coming to Massachusetts for six performances in three cities from December 4-7, 2014, as part of a national tour.  The show is coming to the Larcom Theatre in Beverly; Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth; and Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off a pair of tickets to each of the six shows.  Enter the contest here.

Led by master storyteller Tomaseen Foley, the show is set in a rural town in the west of Ireland, and features a wonderful range of storytelling, singing and dancing, and instrumental music on fiddle, tin whistle and uilleann pipes.

These shows are presented in New England by Spectacle Management, a full-service entertainment booking organization based in Boston.

For more about Irish and Celtic activities, visit

Monday, November 24, 2014

BITA Releases Free Travel & Culture Guide, Winter Issue

The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) released its Travel & Culture Guide (2014-15 winter issue) of cultural activities in Massachusetts and New England.  

The 28-page color magazine - also available in digital format - details upcoming holiday concerts, dances and theater through the winter, and the schedule of St. Patrick's Day parades slated for March 2015.  The Guide lists selected Irish pubs, gift shops and cultural groups in the Bay State plus hotels and tourism agencies for visitors from out-of-town.

The Guide is available for free at tourism centers across the state and at museums, hotels and cultural venues.  See distribution centers.

Among the people profiled in this issue are conductor Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops; promoter Melissa Farrington of Live Nation; and pianist Tom Garvey of Lawrence.  Also included: reviews on current books and CDs, and information on Boston's Irish Heritage Trail.  A section on traveling to Ireland in 2015 features Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association was formed in 2000 to promote cultural tourism year round.  It publishes three travel and culture guides each year, and has created an Irish Heritage Trail highlighting Irish landmarks in Boston and around the state. 

More than 24% of residents in Massachusetts claim Irish ancestry, making it the most Irish state in the United States, according to the US Census.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship Benefit Taking Place in Watertown on December 7

Fiddler Larry Reynolds

An Irish ceili dance to raise funds for the Larry Reynolds Memorial Scholarship Benefit is taking place at the Canadian-American Club in Watertown on Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 3:00-7:00 p.m.  

The event is hosted by the Boston chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. Admission is $12 at the door. 

Tara Lynch, chairperson of CCE Boston, says, "Larry Reynolds (RIP) dedicated his life to promoting traditional Irish music and passing on the tradition to the next generation. We believe the Scholarship Fund is a fitting way to uphold Larry’s legacy."

Here is more information on Larry Reynolds.

Located at 202 Arlington Street in Watertown, the Canadian-American Club was formed in 1937. The Boston chapter of Comhaltas has been holding its monthly celilis, sessions and concerts there for nearly 40 years.  

For year round info on Irish cultural activities in greater Boston, visit

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Celebration of Michael Joyce Memorial Playground in South Boston Taking Place on November 21

State and city officials, community leaders and Boston residents are coming together to celebrate the renovation of Michael Joyce Memorial Playground in South Boston on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

The park commemorates the life of Galway native Michael Joyce, who emigrated to Boston in 1949 and played an influential role in Massachusetts politics, immigration reform and in the Irish-American community. He died of cancer in 1989 at age 66.

The park officially opened on October 14, 2010, and since then the Friends of Michael Joyce has worked closely with the  Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation to renovate the facility.

US Ambassador to the Vatican Ray Flynn, when he was Mayor of the City of Boston, had this to say about Michael Joyce back in 1987, "It is impossible to measure the countless hours which this decent man has devoted to helping his fellow Irishmen and other immigrants unable to afford legal council."  Flynn called Joyce "an example of decency and compassion," adding, "You have never forgotten your people, and we will never forget you."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Irish Pastoral Center of Boston Holds Annual Banquet on November 15

The Irish Pastoral Centre of Boston is holding its annual banquet on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at Florian Hall in Dorchester. Tickets to the event are $100 and all proceeds benefit the year round programs and services of the Centre.

Special guest this year is Mickey Harte, Tyrone's legendary GAA manager and player who has led County Tyrone to numerous championships.  Harte is also a published writer and a popular motivational speaker.

Also, Eugene O'Flaherty, the City of Boston's Corporation Counsel, is receiving the IPC's first Community Award in recognition of his longstanding contributions to the Irish community in Massachusetts.

For more information about the banquet, and to reserve tickets, please call 617 265-5300 or email

The Irish Pastoral Centre was created in 1989 to help Irish immigrants adjust to new lives in the greater Boston area.  Read this profile of the IPC's work.

Find year round information on Boston's Irish community at

BC Gaelic Roots Concert with McAuley & Fraser Contrasts Irish and Cape Breton Fiddle Styles

The Gaelic Roots concert series at Boston College is hosting a concert showcasing two distinct fiddle styles of Oisin McAuley of Donegal, Ireland and Kimberley Fraser of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on Thursday, November 13, 2014.

The concert, which is open and free to the public, takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cadigan Alumni Center at 2117 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton.  Here are directions.  

The Gaelic Roots Music, Song, Dance, Workshop & Lecture Series was created and developed by Seamus Connolly, champion Irish fiddler, composer, teacher and music researcher. 

For year round details on Irish and Celtic cultural activities in New England, visit

Thursday, November 6, 2014

AOH Irish Concert to Honor War Veterans Taking Place November 7 in Lawrence

A concert honoring American veterans and featuring Irish entertainer Cahal Dunne and the O’Shea Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance is taking place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 7, 2014 at Reliefs In, located at One Market Street in Lawrence Massachusetts

The event is being sponsored by the Ancient Order ofHibernians, Division 8, Men’s and Ladies chapters.  Tickets to the show are $20 and can be purchased at the hall.

For more information please call 978 794-0911 or 978 682-4875.

For year round information on Irish cultural activities, visit

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blackstone River Theatre Presents Acoustic Music Stars on Saturday, November 1

Kathleen Conneely

The Blackstone River Theatre is presenting an evening of great acoustical music on Saturday, November 1, 2014, featuring Flynn Cohen & the Deadstring Ensemble along with Irish music duo, Kathleen Conneely & Mark Roberts.

The doors open at 7:30 and the show begins at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $15 at the door.

Here is a full schedule of concerts this fall and winter at Blackstone River Theatre.  Here is a profile of  Russell Gusetti, head of the Blackstone River Theatre.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in New England, visit

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New England Poet Galway Kinnell (1927-2014)

The poet Galway Kinnell passed away at his home in Sheffield, Vt, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at age 87.   His poetry over the past 50 years sought to bear witness to the richness of being he discovered in all living things, the beauty of language and art, and the social and political events, conditions and struggles he observed during his lifetime.

He was born in Providence, RI, the youngest son of four children born to immigrant parents.  His father, James Kinnell, was a carpenter from Scotland, and his mother, Elizabeth Miles, came from Ireland.

Kinnell published ten books of poetry, and his collection of Selected Poems, published in 1982 won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and also shared the National Book Award that year.  He was also recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award and was Vermont's poet laureate.

The Poetry Foundation has a full biography of his work, including essays, interviews and translations of European poets like Francois Villon and Ranier Maria Rilke. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Boston's Irish Heritage Trail - 20 Stops from the Waterfront to Fenway Park

If you're walking around Boston this fall, keep an eye out for stops along the city's Irish Heritage Trail, which covers 300 years of Boston Irish history.

The trail starts at the Rose Kennedy Garden & Greenway along the waterfront, winds its way through downtown, past the State House, and into Back Bay.  The Trail ends at Fenway Park.

You can find information on all of the stops along the way be visiting the Irish Boston History & Heritage Blog and searching for any of the landmarks.

First launched in 1994, the Boston Irish Heritage Trail has been developed by Boston Irish Tourism Association as a way of celebrating the positive contributions that Irish-Americans have made to the city.

For information on ongoing Irish cultural activities in the area, visit

Friday, October 24, 2014

iFest Debut in Boston is Deemed a Success by Irish Producer Rachel Kelly

The inaugural iFesta three-day Irish festival that debuted in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center in September 2014, received "very lovely feedback" from those who attended, says producer Rachel Kelly, who describes the three day event as a "premium social and cultural showcase" of Ireland.

"What iFest really wanted to do was show the Ireland of now, what we as a people are capable of now, in this century, and we're the first festival that really is bringing a modern, contemporary Ireland out there," Kelly said. 

Follow iFest on facebook and twitter for updates on the 2015 festival.

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

Win Tix to See Irish Singer Mary Black at Berklee Center on November 8

Irish singer Mary Black returns to Boston with a concert at the Berklee Performance Center on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.   The concert is presented by World Music/CRASHarts.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has a pair of tickets to give away for this show.  Enter the contest here.

You can also purchase tickets directly to the show.

Regarded as one of Ireland's best interpretive singers, Mary Black brings a wealth of understanding to Irish traditional music, while also exploring the new compositions of her generation.  Read more about Mary here.

You can find year round details on Irish cultural activities  in New England by

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mayor Walsh Leads a Video Tour of the Mayor's Office at City Hall for Boston Herald

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gave a video tour of the Mayor's Office on the 5th floor of City Hall, to Erica Corsano of the Boston Herald.

Among the treasures of his office:

. The desk of James Michael Curley, a handcrafted masterpiece made without nails.  "The woodwork is incredible," Walsh says, adding, "It's all hand-carved."

. The view, overlooking Faneuil Hall and beyond that, Boston Harbor.

. His Expresso coffee machine in the anteroom.

. A digital dashboard, which shows the metrics of the City at any given time, including social media traffic, data about senior services, and the Mayor's Hotline.

Other items spotted in the tour include a license plate with the word Walsh, and an Irish road sign that reads Ros muc, 3 1/2.

The coolest part of the Mayor's job?  "Just being able to help people," Walsh says.

To learn more about Boston's Irish history, visit

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

US State Department Names former Senator Gary Hart as US Envoy to Northern Ireland

US Secretary of State John Kerry named former Colorado Senator Gary Hart as the new representative for Northern Ireland issues.   Kerry said Hart will play a "direct, on-the-ground diplomatic role."

In a statement released on October 21, 2014, Secretary Kerry said, "I've asked Senator Hart to support the parties in Northern Ireland as they enter a new round of talks to achieve a lasting peace. We welcome these new talks, supported by the United Kingdom and Ireland. I am confident Senator Hart will help the parties strengthen the institutions and economy of Northern Ireland, as well as reinvigorate efforts to promote a shared society. Our Consul General in Belfast Greg Burton will serve as Senator Hart’s deputy for his Northern Ireland work. Senator Hart expects to visit Belfast before the end of the month."  

Here is the full statement

Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and long time supporter of peace and justice in a united Ireland, said, "Gary Hart is a long time friend. He is an idealist. When he believes in a cause, he fights to get it done. Great call John." 

Father Sean McManus, founder of the Irish National Caucus and long-time authority on Northern Ireland, applauded the appointment, saying, “I hope he can nudge all the parties in Northern Ireland along a progressive path. Most of all,  I hope  he can convince the two sovereign governments of London and Dublin to do their duty and keep the promises they have signed  in the international treaty of the Good Friday Agreement."

Follow Irish Americans for Obama on twitter @Obama_IrishUSA

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Boston Irish Reporter Honors Mayor Marty Walsh, Burke Family and Katherine Craven on October 24

Mayor Marty Walsh

The Boston Irish Reporter is presenting three special awards that recognize Irish-American achievements in business and public service at its annual luncheon on Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Seaport Boston Hotel.

This year's recipients include the Burke Family of South Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh, and Katherine Craven, long-time public official.  Read full details of the awardees here.

“We are especially pleased that this year’s honorees have agreed to share their stories with us,” said BIR publisher Ed Forry.

Tickets to the event are $150, and a table of ten $1,500.  For more information contact or call 617 436-1222.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Irish Cultural Centre Hosts Halloween Family Day in Canton on Sunday,October 19

The Irish Cultural Centre is hosting Halloween Family Day from 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 19, 2014, at its 46 acre campus in Canton.

Among the activities: storytelling and songs in the Irish Cottage; step dancing displays by the Harney Academy of Irish Dance; face painting and scavenger hunts; and prizes for best costumes.

Formed in 1989, the Irish Cultural Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014 as one of the premier Irish-American venues in the United States.

Find year round information on Irish activities in Massachusetts and the New England region by visiting

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Burren Pub Presents April Verch Band and Ashley Davis & Cormac DeBarra on October 15

The Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville, is presenting two great acts - the April Verch Band and traditional duo Ashley Davis and Cormac DeBarra, on Wednesday, October 15 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $23 and can be purchased online or at the door.

The show  is part of the Burren Back Room Series hosted by Brian O'Donovan of WGBH's Celtic Sojourn radio program.

Read more about the Burren Pub, founded in 1996 by musicians Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello.

For year round information on Irish cultural activities visit

Find visitor information at and

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Derry Singer/Songwriter Phil Coulter Performs at Benefit for Boston Irish Pastoral Centre on October 14

Phil Coulter, famed singer and songwriter from Derry in Northern Ireland, is performing at St. Ignatius Church at Boston College on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert benefits the Boston Irish Pastoral Centre , which does important work for immigrants since it was founded in 1987.  Tickets to the concert are $125 and can be purchased online or at the venue the night of the concert.

Best known for hit songs like "The Town I  Loved So Well" and "Puppet on a String," Coulter is also widely acclaimed as a recording artist, impresario, mentor and scholar of Irish culture.  In 1998 Coulter was a visiting scholar at Boston College, invited by fiddle champion Seamus Connolly, founder of BC's Gaelic Roots program.  Coulter gave a lecture entitled "A Musical Life" at the Gaelic Roots Festival & Summer School that year.

Steve Morse, music critic of The Boston Globe, called Coulter "a true character, a versatile, vaudeville-influenced performer who has left an indelible...mark on the pop world."

The Irish Pastoral Centre is holding its annual fundraising banquet on November 15, 2014.

Find out about year round Irish and Celtic cultural activities in the New England region at

Friday, October 10, 2014

Irish Drum Master Mance Grady Gives Workshop at Irish Cultural Centre on October 11

Mance Grady, a master of the bodhran, an Irish traditional  drum, is giving an Introduction to the Bodhran workshop at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, from 2:00 -3:30 on Saturday, October 11, 2014.  Cost of the workshop is $50.00

Long considered one of the premier Irish drummers of his generation, the Rhode Island native has been performing in New England for nearly four decades, playing with some of the region's finest musicians such as Seamus Connolly, Paddy Keenan, Roger Burridge and Jimmy Devine.

For more information call 781 821-8291 or email

The Irish Cultural Centre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014 as New England's headquarters for year-round Irish culture, sports, education and social gatherings.

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

Christmas, Celtic and Holiday Concerts in Greater Boston & New England, December 2014

Check out the Boston Irish Tourism Association's new schedule of Christmas and Holiday concerts taking place in December 2014 in greater Boston and throughout New England.

Concert series this year - including the Boston Pops Holiday Season, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan, and Tomas Foley's A Celtic Christmas - are presenting multiple shows in various locations around the region.

And there are great individual shows, including Tony Kenny's Christmas Time In Ireland at the Rogers Center, Christmas Time at Reagle Music Theatre, Handel's Messiah and Holiday Pops concerts at Mechanics Hall, several Christmas music and dance shows at Blackstone River Theatre, and the Gaelic Roots Christmas Concert at Boston College.

Here is a full schedule of cultural activities during December - including live theater, museum exhibits, lectures, children's shows and Irish celebrations.

Find year round details of the region's Irish-American community by visiting

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kevin O'Malley, new US Ambassador to Ireland, Greets the Irish People

Kevin F. O'Malley, the new US Ambassador to the Ireland appointed by President Barack Obama, issued a video this week to the Irish people.

The St. Louis native said he shared the president's commitment to Ireland, "and look forward to building on the family, cultural and business ties we share between our two countries."

O'Malley was nominated by President Obama on June 5, 2014 and was confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 18, 2014.

Here is a background on Ambassador O'Malley.

The US Embassy to Ireland is located at 42 Elgin Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Golden Bridges Conference Connects Boston and Northwest Ireland

The 6th annual Golden Bridges Conference is underway in Boston this week, taking place through Thursday, October 9, 2014 at the Seaport Boston Hotel and World Trade Center.

The two day conference brings together public officials, business leaders and tourism experts from Donegal and Northern Ireland with their counterparts in Boston and Massachusetts, for a discussion on ways to collaborate across the Atlantic and spur economic development in the two places.

Among the invited speakers are mayors Martin J. Walsh of Boston, Brenda Stevenson of Derry, and John Campbell of Donegal, along with Mairtin O Muileoir, former lord mayor of Belfast; Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray; State Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry; Ireland's Minister for Employment and Learning Dr. Stephen Farry; Joe McHugh, Ireland's Minister of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltach Affairs; Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau; and Alison Metcalf, director of Tourism Ireland in North America.

Several awards are being presented, to Joseph E. Finn, Commission of the Boston Fire Department, Billy Higgins, South Boston resident and founder of the Southhill Children's Fund, and Billy Sullivan, president of the AOH, Division Eight in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Here is the full agenda and schedule of the conference.

The conference is hosted by the Irish Echo Newspaper.

For more information about Boston's Irish community, visit

Monday, October 6, 2014

Boston Unveils Statue of Edgar Allan Poe

Boston honored native son Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) with a life-size statue this week, situated in a small square at the corner of Boylston and Charles Street across from Boston Common. The statue is not far from where Poe was born at 62 Carver Street (now Charles Street) on January 19, 1809.

The effort to build the statue was engineered by Paul Lewis, a Boston College English professor, and "a fine collaboration of several Poe scholars and aficionados," notes Poe authority Rob Valella.  They created the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston, which raised funds, worked with the City of Boston Arts Commission, and generated interest in the project. 

Poe's family originated in County Cavan, Ireland, and his great-grandfather John Poe and great-grandmother Jane McBride moved with their son David (Edgar's grandfather) to Baltimore around 1742-43, according to genealogist Mark Redfield.  His son, David, Jr, was Edgar's father.

An 1899 Boston Globe story on Poe reported that "The poet's ancestors were of the same Scotch-Irish stock that produced Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor."

Edgar's parents, David and Elisa,were actors at the Old Boston Theatre on Federal Street, and were performing there when Edgar was born in 1809.  Three years later, his father died of consumption and his mother died a month later, and Poe was adopted by the Allan family in Richmond, VA.

Poe returned to Boston as a young man and it was here he had his first book of poems, Tamerlane, published.  He also enlisted in the the U.S. Army in Boston, according to Boston Magazine.

For more information about Boston's history, visit

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Irish Novelist Donal Ryan Reading for CCAE in Harvard Square on Thursday, October 2

Irish novelist Donal Ryan is headlining a fundraising event for the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Harvard Square on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Admission is $30 and all proceeds go to support programming at the CCAE, a community treasure that has been offering a variety of adult education courses in Cambridge since 1938.

The reading takes place at the Spiegel Auditorium at 56 Brattle Street in Cambridge.

Born and raised in North Tipperary and now living in Limerick, Ryan is already recognized as an authentic and important new voice in Irish literature.  His first novel, The Spinning Heart, was published in 2012 and won numerous Irish Book awards and the Guardian First Book award.

Ryan's second novel, The Thing About December, was published in the spring and the American edition is being released this week by Steerforth Press in Hanover, NH. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wix Tix for Irish Singer Mary Black, Live at Berklee Performance Center on November 8

Irish singer Mary Black returns to Boston with a concert at the Berklee Performance Center on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.   The concert is presented by World Music/CRASHarts.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has a pair of tickets to give away for this show.  Enter the contest here.

You can also purchase tickets directly to the show.

Regarded as one of Ireland's best interpretive singers, Mary Black brings a wealth of understanding to Irish traditional music, while also exploring the new compositions of her generation.  Read more about Mary here.

You can find year round details on Irish cultural activities  in New England by visiting

Monday, September 29, 2014

Paschal Donohoe, Ireland's Minister for Tourism, Promotes Ireland in Boston

(l-r) Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, Minister Paschal  Donohoe, 
and Alison Metcalfe, head of Tourism Ireland in North America (Photo by Sandi Allen) 

Paschal Donohoe, TD for Dublin Central and Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, was in Massachusetts last weekend to participate in the launch of iFest, a three-day Irish festival that debuted in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center.

Also there to promote the marketing initiative, Jump Into Ireland and the successful 2014 initiative, the Wild Atlantic Way, Mr. Donohoe met with over 200 Irish tour operators, travel agents, representatives from Boston's key media outlets and Irish-American organizations at the Boston Harbor Hotel, bringing along with him the newly published report that the number of US visitors to Ireland increased by 18% in the first eight months of 2014. 

Furthermore, Donohoe told the Boston audiences, “In 2013 alone, one million US visitors spent $1 billion in the Irish economy.  This demonstrates the importance of further developing  Irish market share of the US tourism market, which is a central policy agenda of (the Irish) government.”

Minister Donohoe also joined members of the Irish AmericanPartnership for lunch at the Boston Harbor Hotel, where he thanked the group and the community-at-large, for their work on behalf of Ireland.

Tourism Ireland was out in force throughout the iFest event, showcasing the cultural, culinary, literary, fashion and sports richness of Ireland

Read more about Minister Donohoe's visit to Boston here. 

Find about more about visiting Ireland at 

To learn more about Irish culture, travel and special events in the New England region, visit

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ray Flynn & Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Featured Speakers at Irish Massachusetts Conference in Lowell

Ray Flynn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lt. Governor of Maryland, were two of the guest speakers at a three-day conference held at the University of Massachusetts/Lowell this week, entitled "Irish in Massachusetts: Historical Significance, Lasting Legacy."

Alana Melanson of the Lowell Sun wrote a good summary of the panel discussion with Flynn and Townsend, along with David Bartley, former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and President of Holyoke Community College.

Marty Meehan, Chancellor of UMass/Lowell and former U.S. Congressman, moderated the discussion.

Other speakers at the conference included writers Aine Greaney, Ronan Noone, and Michael Patrick McDonald.

The conference concluded on Saturday with a tour of St. Patrick's Cemetery, led by Lowell historian David McKean.

Find year round information on the Irish in Massachusetts by visiting

Friday, September 26, 2014

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Addresses Belfast City Council, Speaks of Sister-City Relationship

Here is video  of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addressing Belfast City Council in Northern Ireland on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

Mayor Walsh was welcomed to the Council Chambers by Belfast Lord Mayor Nicola Mallen, and after his address, he hear responses from the respective political parties, including Deputy Lord Mayor Marie Hendron, and a number of city councilors, including Mairtin O Muilleoir, Brian Kennedy, Bernie Kelly, Jim Rodgers and John Kyle.

In May, 2014, Belfast and Boston officially became entwined as Sister Cities, with officials from both cities promising to work together to create new collaborations in business, tourism, and cultural exchange.

Find more about Boston's Irish community by visiting

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Boston's Jim Brett Being Honored by the Special Olympics of Massachusetts

Congratulations to Boston Irish-American business leader Jim Brett, who is being inducted into the Special Olympics of Massachusetts Hall of Fame.

Jim is being honored for his tireless work to improve the lives of people living with intellectual disabilities.  He'll receive the inaugural annual John "Jack" Brett Champion's Award, named for his brother Jack, who inspired friends and family to advocate for communities of acceptance and inclusion for all.

A lifelong resident of Dorchester, Jim is President and CEO of the New England Council, and has received many awards throughout his distinguished career.

When he was named to the "Top 100 Business Leaders" by Irish America Magazine in 2006, Jim attributed his success to his family, saying, "I credit my success in business and politics to the great values that were instilled in me by my mother and continue to be reinforced by my wife, Pattie, and family who inspire me." 

Find out more about Boston's Irish community at 

Cape Breton Fiddle Music Comes to Chatham, Cape Cod on Saturday, September 27

Two outstanding fiddlers from Cape Breton - Troy MacGillivray and Andrea Beaton - are performing together at the Chatham Fiddle Company in Chatham, Cape Cod, on Saturday,September 27,2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the concert are $20 and can be reserved by calling 508 348-1885.

The concert is part of an ongoing series of small, intimate performances at the Chatham Fiddle Company, run by fiddler and instrument maker Rose Clancy and her father, multi-instrumentalist Eugene Clancy.  Read this profile on the Clancy family.

Find year-round information on Irish activities in Massachusetts and the region by visiting

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alisha Savage, Dana Farber Patient from County Cork, is Going to Disney World

Alisha Savage, a four-year-old girl from Cork City being treated at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for a rare brain tumor, is going to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL,and her supporters are throwing her a party at Logan International Airport on Friday, September 26, 2014.

Alisha's trip marks the 7,000th wish granted by Make A Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The trip is sponsored by American Airlines and the Something mAAgic Foundation's mAAgicSM flight.

Well-wishes are invited to join Alisha and her family at Logan Airport; here are details

Last May, Boston's Irish community held a fundraiser for Alisha at Florian Hall in Dorchester, raising needed funds for her care. 

Have a great trip Alisha!

BC's Gaelic Roots Series Kicks off with Celtic and Franco-American Music Duo on September 25

This season's Gaelic Roots Music, Song, Dance, Workshop, and Lecture Series at Boston College kicks off with a performance by Don Roy, often referred to as the "dean of Franco-American fiddling in Maine" and his wife Cindy Roy, an accomplished pianist and step-dancer, on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

They'll be performing at the Theology & Ministry Library Auditorium, accessible via the Brighton Campus gate at 2117 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Roys started and operate the Maine Fiddle Camp in Montville, ME, a program that provides traditional instruction to all levels of musicians each summer.

The Gaelic Roots Music, Song, Dance, Workshop, and Lecture Series is sponsored by Center for Irish Programs, in collaboration with the University Libraries and the Alumni Association of Boston College. The series is hosted by Sullivan Artist-in-Residence Séamus Connolly

You can follow Gaelic Roots on Facebook.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in New England, visit

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Natalie Hass and Alasdair Fraser Perform at Blackstone River Theatre Tonight

Celtic music duo Natalie Haas and Alasdair Fraser are performing in concert at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the show are $26 and can be purchased at the venue.

Haas, from California, and Fraser, from Scotland, have been performing around the world for over a decade, and have released several albums.

Here is a full schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre.

Find year round information on Irish and Celtic activities in New England by visiting

New Hampshire Scottish Festival at Loon Mountain Today, September 21

The final day of the 36th annual NH Highland Games & Festival takes place on Loon Mountain in New Hampshire on Sunday, September 21, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Among the activities today: New England Scottish Harp Open Competition; Pipe Band Melody Challenge; dance competitions; and athletic contests throughout the afternoon.

Featured performers include: Brendan Carey Block, the Brigadoons, Fellwater, and Albanach. Here is a full schedule for Sunday.

Find more information about visiting New Hampshire at

For year round details on Celtic activities in all of New England, visit

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Arrives at Shannon Airport to Start 11 Day Visit to Ireland & Northern Ireland

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh returned to Ireland this week on an eleven-day mission, where he will visit his parents' homeland in Connemara, County Galway, and strengthen trade and tourism between the City of Boston and Ireland / Northern Ireland.

Walsh’s parents both emigrated from Connemara, Galway to Boston in the 1950s.  John Walsh came from Callowfeenish in Carna in 1959, while his mother Mary O'Malley, who hails from Ros Cide in Rosmuc, arrived in 1959, according to Walsh's profile in Irish America Magazine.

In addition to his stay in Galway, Walsh is slated to visit Donegal, Derry, Belfast and Dublin, where he will meet with business leaders, government officials and community groups.

Walsh is the 12th Boston mayor of Irish heritage.

For more about Boston's Irish heritage, visit  For year round cultural activities visit

Friday, September 19, 2014

Boston Chef Barbara Lynch is the Food Ambassador for upcoming iFest on September 26-28

Boston's award-winning chef Barbara Lynch is serving as the Food Ambassador for the upcoming iFest, a celebration of Irish cuisine, culture, sports and entertainment.  It takes place at Boston Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center on September 26-28, 2014.

Chef Lynch is being joined at the festival  by a prominent list of culinary greats, including top Irish  chefs Darina Allen, Kevin Dundon and Cathal Armstrong, as well as great American chefs like Maura Kilpatrick and Anna Sortun.

Here is a video of Chef Lynch's recent trip to Ireland.

A native of South Boston, Chef Lynch is one of the most celebrated chefs in Boston, and America.  Winner of numerous awards, including the James Beard Award, she is author of the book, Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition. 

Find more about Boston's year round Irish traditions at

For visitor information, go to and

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New England Tenors Perform at Rogers Center at Merrimack College on Sunday, October 5

The New England Tenors are in concert at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College in North Andover on Sunday, October 4, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off three pairs of tickets to see the show.  Enter the contest here, and then check back on October 3 when the winners are announced.

Or, you can purchase tickets directly online; prices are $22 general admission and $20 for seniors and students.

There is a reason this talented trio of professional singers  - Jeffrey Hartman, Damien Corcoran, and John Middleton-Cox - are so popular throughout the region: their music ranges from opera and classical to Irish songs and popular hits, and their presentation and delivery is beautiful.

Check out the upcoming schedule of events at the Rogers Center for the Arts this season.

You can find year round information on Irish cultural activities by visiting

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Win Tix to Solas Concert at Somerville Theatre this Saturday, September 20

Boston Irish Tourism Association is giving away a free pair of tickets to see Irish supergroup Solas in concert at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville this Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.  Enter the contest here - the winner is being announced on Thursday, September 18!

The concert is being presented by World Music/CRASHarts. You can also purchase tickets to the show online or at the venue the night of the concert.

The band is presenting Shamrock City, a multimedia show that explores Butte, Montana in the 19th century, a booming mining town settled overwhelmingly by Irish immgrants seeking their fortune. Here are details of the show.

Check out moreWorld Music/CRASHarts concerts in greater Boston coming up this season.

For year round details on Irish cultural activities in greater Boston, visit

For visitor information, check out and

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Damian McGinty, former Celtic Thunder Star, Performs in Hartford and Providence this Fall

Damian McGinty, the young singing star from Derry, Northern Ireland who performed with Celtic Thunder, is returning to New England in October as part of a national tour with Ethan Bortnick.

They will be performing in Hartford, CT on October 5, followed by two shows in Providence, RI on October 12, 2014. Find details here.

McGinty was part of the original Celtic Thunder ensemble for several years, and left the band in 2012 when he won a coveted spot on the television show Glee.  Since then he has embarked on a solo career that has taken him around the world.  In 2013 McGinty was Cultural Ambassador for his home city of Derry, Northern Ireland.

Find year round details on Celtic and Irish cultural activities at