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Sunday, March 29, 2015

George & Terri Kelley Present Free Ireland in Song Concert at Lawrence Public Library Today

Irish Heritage Month in Lawrence comes to a close on Sunday, March 29, 2015, when George and Terri Kelley present their annual concert, Ireland in Song, at the Lawrence Public Library on Lawrence Street.  

Sponsored by the Irish Foundation and the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library, the concert begins at 2:00 p.m. and is free and open to the  public. 

The Kelleys are long-time entertainers in the Merrimack Valley area who were inspired to take up Irish music after meeting the late Larry Reynolds, a Galway fiddler who settled in Waltham.  Here is a story in the Andover Townsman about the married couple. 

Irish Heritage Month in Lawrence was created by the men's and women's chapters of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 8.  The month-long celebration of the city's Irish-American heritage includes a series of lectures, exhibits, concerts, film screenings, and social events.  

The AOH, along with the Irish Foundation, has also created a significant collection of Irish materials - books, pamphlets, ephemera, recordings and photographs - at the Lawrence Public Library South Branch on Parker Street.   Much of the early work was initiated by the late David R. Burke, and today is carried on by his family and friends. 

Find year round details on Irish culture in Massachusetts and New England by visiting

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hanneke Cassel Trio Performs at Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, March 28

Former U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion Hanneke Cassel teams up with virtuoso contemporary cellist Mike Block and guitarist Keith Murphy at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI on Saturday, March 28, 2015, starting at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at the door.

The concert features innovative Scottish and Irish fiddle music and songs from Eastern Canada and Quebec.

Here is a schedule of upcoming events at Blackstone River Theatre.

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

Edward M. Kennedy Institute Opening in Boston to the Public on March 31

Excitement is building for the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, which opens its doors to the public on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. We spoke with Bill DeWalt, Executive Vice President & Museum Director, about Boston’s newest visitor attraction.

How influential was the late Senator Ted Kennedy in shaping the Institute’s vision and mission?

Certainly, the Senator was very involved with the conceptualization and initial planning of the Institute. He even kept a model of the building on his dining room table. His wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, who is the co-founder of the Institute and the president of our board, has done a masterful job leading us to where we are today.

Although the Institute bears Senator Kennedy’s name and is infused with his love of public service, he was very clear that he did not want this to be a memorial to him. He wanted the Institute to be a non-partisan center of learning about the important role that the United States Senate plays in our democracy.

The Senator was also very involved in choosing the location of the Institute to be next to the John F. Kennedy Library and on the campus of UMass – Boston.  Our strong partnerships with both institutions will enhance and inform our mission.

Tell us about the audience the EMK Institute hopes to attract.

The Institute will be a valuable resource for everyone from students to seniors. Our exhibits are designed to appeal to people of all ages, and we will offer a variety of programs, lectures and symposia for adults. Stay tuned for announcements about the distinguished individuals who will be speaking at the Institute.

We are also especially mindful of our location on Columbia Point and in Boston, and plan to launch programming this spring of interest to the local community.

The Institute will certainly attract an international clientele. How do you present such a distinctly American institution as the US Senate to visitors from around the world?

In many ways, the story of the United States Senate is the story of our uniquely American democracy. It is about the search for common ground and the courage to tackle the big problems throughout our nation’s history. From our focus groups with diverse audiences from the U.S. and around the world, we know that that story will be accessible to all visitors.

As far as translation, we are offering multiple languages on the digital tablet that guides non-English speakers through the exhibit. Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, and Portuguese languages will be available initially. These translations provide high-level interpretations of the basic content introduced with each exhibit. In addition, translators will be available for tour groups, for a small fee.

Can you tell us what the EMK Institute signifies for you personally?

This project is a way for me to translate the appreciation I have for all of the opportunities this country has given me. My parents only had grade school educations and my father worked most of his life as a coal miner. I was fortunate to earn bachelor’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Connecticut and eventually to become a Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. I served as Director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and as Founding President and Director, established the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

At the EMK Institute, I am using my academic and museum experience to encourage visitors to become engaged in our democratic system and to inspire the next generation of civic leaders.

Unfortunately I never had the chance to meet the senator in person, but I know that many aspects of my own life and of everyone in the United States have been positively affected by the legislation in which he was involved. Senator Kennedy worked across the aisle to improve our nation in areas like civil rights, health care, immigration policy, education and so many more.

I am honored and privileged that I am one of the large number of talented, committed people who are bringing Ted and Vicki’s vision to life – and I look forward to welcoming the world to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate to see what we have built.

For more information, visit the Edward M. Kennedy Institute online.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lawrence, MA holds St. Patrick's Parade on Saturday, March 28

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Lawrence, MA is taking place on Saturday, March 28, 2015, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  The parade starts at the intersection of Essex and Amsbury Streets and proceeds through town, ending at Market and Loring Streets.

This year's grand marshall is Tom Murphy.

The parade had previously been set for March 8, but that was postponed due to the weather.  You can also follow the parade on facebook.

For more about the Irish community in Lawrence. visit the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 8, Lawrence website.

For year round information on Irish activities in Massachusetts, visit

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Video Clips from Gaelic Roots: From an Irish Country Kitchen to the World Stage at Boston College on March 10

Photo by Caitlin Cunningham, 2014

On March 10, 2015, the Gaelic Roots program at Boston College presented "From an Irish Country Kitchen to the World Stage: Celebrating Irish Music and Dance with Live Performance, Historical Images and Commentary."  

Here are video clips from the sold-out show

This celebration of Irish music and dance is part of the Alumni Education Events series at Boston College. The program was hosted by master fiddle player Séamus Connolly, Sullivan Artist-in-Residence in Irish Programs at the college, and Kieran Jordan, an award-winning performer, choreographer, and teacher in the field of Irish dance. 

Find out more about Irish programs at Boston College.

For year round details on greater Boston's Irish community, visit

Friday, March 20, 2015

Massachusetts St. Patrick's Parades in Abington and Holyoke on Sunday, March 22

St. Patrick's Day parades continue in Massachusetts this Sunday, March 22, 2015, as the nation's most Irish state continues its month-long celebration of Ireland's patron saint.

The Abington parade begins at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday in Abington Center at the corner of Orange and Washington Streets.

The Holyoke parade at 11:00 a.m. starting at the K Mart Plaza.

There are two more remaining St. Patrick's Day parades after this weekend: one in Lawrence on Saturday, March 28, and the final one in Scituate on Sunday, April 12.

Find year round details on Irish cultural events in Massachusetts at

Irish band Dervish Performing Two Shows at Burren Pub on March 22

Dervish and the Burren: talk about a natural symmetry.  Since 1989, Dervish has been hailed as one of the top traditional music bands in Ireland, touring the world and creating a body of work that captures the essence of Irish dance music and song.  Since 1996, the Burren Pub in Somerville has been America’s Irish music headquarters, offering nightly music sessions and an exceptional concert series.

Dervish  performs at the Burren on Sunday, March 22, 2015, but both shows have already sold out, a testament to the band's popularity in greater Boston.  

The concerts are part of the Burren Backroom Series, which gives Irish music fans a perfect opportunity to see world class music played in an up-close, intimate setting.  It was founded by Burren owners Tommy McCarthy and Louise Costello – two excellent musicians in their own right – and is hosted by Brian O’Donovan of WGBH Celtic Sojourn.

Dervish is no stranger to the Burren, having played here before.  The band was included in The Burren Backroom Series Volume I, the recently-released compilation CD of concerts that took place at the iconic pub in recent years.

Coming up at the Burren on April 1 is Ireland's great singer/songwriter Sean Tyrrell.  Purchase your tickets now before the show is sold out 

For year round details on Irish events in greater Boston, visit

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Guided Tour of Boston's Irish Heritage Trail today on Boston Common

Check out the Boston Irish Heritage Trail tour today on the Boston Common, starting at 1:00 p.m. Led by tour guide Ted Kulik, the tour takes you on over 300 years of Boston Irish history, from the Revolutionary era to the present time.

The trail was featured on this morning's St. Patrick's Day coverage on New England Cable News.

For more about the state's Irish community and activities, check Travel & Culture Guide or following

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reagle Music Theatre presents 'A Little Bit of Ireland' concert this weekend in Waltham

The Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston presents its annual show, A Little Bit of Ireland, on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the Robinson Theater in Waltham.  Tickets to the show range from $35-$63, and are available online.  Discounted group tickets are available by calling 781 891 5600.

Now in its 17th year, A Little Bit of Ireland showcases the best features of Irish culture, especially its music, song, humor and dance.  This years performance features Broadway stars Rick Hilsabeck and Sarah Pfisterer, along with comedian Jerry Walker, the Harney Academy of Irish Dance, the Massachusetts Harp Ensemble, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and a full choir.

For details on other Irish events in greater Boston this month, visit

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Liam Neeson Narrates Ireland's 2015 St. Patrick's Day Video

Film actor and Northern Ireland native Liam Neeson has done the narration for Tourism Ireland's St. Patrick's Day video, entitled The World Goes Green on St. Patrick's Day.

Neeson says, ‘I’m delighted to be helping Tourism Ireland celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  It will be wonderful to see the world turn green again on the 17th of March as nations come together to celebrate the fun and warmth of the Irish.”

For information about traveling to Ireland, visit

To find out about the Irish cultural scene in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Boston's Beehive Celebrates St. Patrick's Day with Cat & The Moon on March 11

The Beehive, known for its live jazz, blues and world music, is featuring the Irish band Cat & The Moon, on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 to celebrate the St. Patrick's Day season.

Inspired by Irish, Celtic and Bluegrass music, Cat & The Moon is a lively ensemble specializing in upbeat jigs and reels with jazz and classical riffs.

Beehive's executive chef, Marc Orflay is offering an Irish-inspired menu that includes Grilled lamb and colcannon mashed potatoes and Finnan Haddie Smoked Fish & Chips.

The Beehive is located at 541 Tremont Street in Boston's South End and is open from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

For more Irish activities in greater Boston, visit

Monday, March 9, 2015

Q&A with Dawn Morrissey, Director of Irish Film Festival Boston

The Irish Film Festival Boston celebrates its 15th anniversary in March 2015, as one of New England’s premier ethnic film festivals and also one of Ireland’s most representative film festivals abroad.  We talked with Dawn Morrissey, director of the festival.

Congratulations to IFFB for reaching 15 years! How do you account for the festival’s longevity?

We show great films and have a huge loyal following, I know people who have been attending the festival since its inception. We also have stellar volunteers, and are lucky to have the backing of so many Irish groups both here in the US and Ireland. It benefits us that we are a not for profit organization also. It also helps that we were included in Moviemaker Magazine’s list of 20 Coolest Film festivals in the World in 2010. Toth Branding gave us “ Clover” our sheep logo - that has made a huge difference to our reputation globally. The Mayor of Somerville, MA awarded the festival with an official citation for our contribution to the City of Somerville.

Ireland is known for its literature and theater, its music and dance. Do you see a correlation between these types of Irish creativity and filmmaking?

The Irish have the gift of telling stories and that is what film and the arts are all about really. It’s in every Irish person’s blood to be a storyteller, if you’ve ever sat on a train from Dublin to Galway and heard the gossip you’d agree!

Is the Hollywood depiction of Ireland and Irishness something that helps or hinders Irish filmmakers?

With our record of having contemporary Irish film in the running for an Oscar every year for the past ten years in categories such as Best Short, Feature Animation, Best Song, or Best Set Design, Hollywood knows the days of Maureen O Hara and John Wayne’s The Quiet Man are long gone in Ireland. This is also pretty apparent when you see the number of US productions actually being shot on location in Ireland now. They know they are on to a good thing as our filmmakers are highly trained professionals with a great work ethic.

What surprises Boston audiences about the output of good film coming out of Ireland?

Two things come to mind, the number of great films that are now produced on an annual basis and how most of it is global cinema, dealing with issues people struggle with on a daily basis.

How did you get involved in the IFFB? Tell us about your own work in the industry.

I met Peter Flynn, the founder of the festival when I studied film at Emerson College. I went to see what the festival was all about in 2002 and ended up opening bottles of Guinness at the post screening party! The rest is history.

I am a film producer; I have worked on several feature films in Ireland and the USA and on several Boston Indies, one of which was a Sundance Finalist. I won regional and national awards from the Alliance for Community Media for my short films in my early days of filmmaking. I co- produced Green Grass, about illegal immigration, which was screened at the L.A. Film Festival and the Roxbury Film Festival. I executively produced the documentary Blazing the Trail; The O’Kalem’s in Ireland by Peter Flynn that screened at over 20 film festivals worldwide and was commission for broadcast by RTE in 2013.

I do have a feature script that I’m hoping to finish writing but working full time, directing a festival, finishing my masters degree at Boston College, being married to an amazing artist and being a mum to my two best productions, my boys, has me pretty much tapped out right now!

Congratulations Dawn!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Chieftains Perform at Fine Arts Center in Amherst on Sunday, March 8

The Chieftains, recognized as one of Ireland's greatest traditional ensembles in a generation is performing at the Fine Arts Center at University of Massachusetts in Amherst on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets range from $10 - $60 and can be purchased at the venue.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association gave a way a free pair of tickets to the show, plus a free night at the famous Lord Jeffery Inn on the Amherst Common, courtesy of the Fine Arts Center.

Here are directions to the Fine Arts Center on UMass/Amherst campus.

Formed in 1962 by uilleann piper Paddy Moloney, the band has flourished for 50+ years, traveling the world and serving as ambassadors to Ireland and its culture. Here is a profile of The Chieftains.

For year round information on Irish cultural events in Massachusetts, visit

Tourism Group issues free Travel & Culture roundup of Irish events in Massachusetts & Ireland

The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) has released its annual Travel & Culture Guide, a compendium of cultural events in Massachusetts and travel tips to Ireland.

The Guide is available to read online, and starting March 10, copies of the Guide are available at visitor centers and cultural venues around Massachusetts.  The Guide has a schedule of St. Patrick's Day parades, Irish Heritage Trail guided tours, concerts and dances, literary and museum activities and hospitality news.

Several people are profiled in this issue, including Boston Pops Maestro Keith Lockhart, Irish Festival Festival Boston Director Dawn Morrissey, Sligo Man of the Year Bill McGowan, and Edward M. Kennedy Institute Museum Director Bill DeWalt.

Also featured in this issue: details on the William B Yeats celebrations in June, marking the 150th anniversary of the poet's birth; and information on Ireland's Wild Atlantic West promotion from Cork to Donegal.

Find year round information on Irish culture, heritage and special events in Massachusetts/New England, as well as details about traveling to Ireland, by visiting

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tales from the Emerald Isle and Other Green Shores

Rowman & Littlefield
$14.95 paperback /$13.95 eBook / 280 pages / March 2015

“A lovely gathering of lyrical, lively writings.” – The Book Watch

(March 2, 2015) Rowman & Littlefield has just published Tales from the Emerald Isle and Other Green Shores: Classic Irish Stories, edited by Michael Quinlin.

First published in 2005 by Lyons Press, this 10th anniversary edition includes 20 short stories and excerpts from a variety of master short story writers.  

In his Introduction, Michael Quinlin writes, “While other nations have cultivated visual arts, architecture or even cuisine to define their civilizations this race of storytellers has always used language to express the deepest dimension s of their cultural identity.”

The writers in this volume include: Liam O'Flaherty, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Butler Yeats, Sarah Orne Jewett, George Moore, Frank Mathew, Samuel Lover, Bram Stoker, Katharine Tynan, Ellis N. Myles, Finley Peter Dunne, T. Crofton Croker, William Larminie, Lady Gregory, William M. Thackeray, Alexander Young, John McElgun, George A. Birmingham and Kate Douglas Wiggin.

It is available from Rowman & Littlefield, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound Books and other book suppliers.   

Michael Quinlin is the author of Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past, published by Globe Pequot Press in 2014. He created Boston's Irish Heritage Trail and has written  for numerous newspapers and magazines.

Irish Parades, Galas, Concerts and Dances Taking Place this Weekend in Massachusetts & Rhode Island

(Image courtesy of Cape Cod St. Patrick's Parade)

As a lead-up to St. Patrick's Day, check out these events taking place in Massachusetts and Rhode Island on March 7-8, 2015.

Saturday/ March 7

The St. Patrick’s Parade on Cape Cod kicks off at 11 am this work, starting in South Yarmouth and traveling two miles down to West Yarmouth.  Celebrity guests this year include New England Patriot running back Jonas Gray and Channel Five meteorologist Cindy Fitzgibbon.

As part of Lawrence Irish Heritage Month, check out the 144th annual Saint Patrick’s Day Banquet & Dance at the Fireman Association Hall in Lawrence, starting at 6 pm.  The evening includes a traditional corned beef & cabbage dinner, music by the Jolly Tinkers, and awards to deserving recipients.

The Irish Cultural Centre in Canton presents an Evening of Story & Song with Kate Chadbourne, starting at 6pm.  The popular singer, storyteller and poet is an expert on Celtic languages, and addition to singing, Kate performs on harp, flute and piano. 

 Irish traditional music duo Caitlin Nic Gabhann (concertina)& Ciaran O Maonaigh (fiddle) perform at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI, starting at 8pm.  They are joined at this concert by singer/songwriter Robbie O’Connell.

The Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes & Drums performs at the Boston Police Foundation's annual event at the Westin Hotel in Boston, starting at 7 pm. Earlier that day, the popular pipe band performed at the Cape Cod parade!

Sunday/ March 8

The John F. Kennedy Library & Museum at Columbia Point in Boston is a good place to appreciate the nation's first president of Irish descent.  Check out the exhibits of the Kennedy Family, JFK on Cape Cod and an exhibit on First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains, one of Ireland’s foremost traditional ensembles for the last 50 years, performs at Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst at 7 pm.  Winners of six Grammy Awards, this is the band’s only Massachusetts appearance.

The Irish Cultural Centre hosts a Ceili dance from 3-7 pm on Sunday.  With music by Billy O’Neill, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy set dancing, waltzes, quicksteps and other traditional dances.

At the Burren Pub in Davis Square, Somerville, check out continuous Irish and Americana music sessions in the front room, and an Acoustic Music series in the back room.

For more about the Irish community in New England, visit

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Irish Music and Poetry at the Chatham Fiddle Company on Cape Cod this Friday, March 6

St. Patrick's Day is being celebrated in style on Cape Cod as the Chatham Fiddle Company presents "Voices of Poetry, Voices of Erin," on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $15, or $5 for students (and under 21).

The poets include Jeanette de Beauvoir, Kevin Carey, Maggie Cleveland and Lee Roscoe, while musicians include Rose Clancy on fiddle, Stuart Peak on guitar, Rev. Edmund Robinson and Pheobe Schraft on harp. 

The Chatham Fiddle Company is owned by Rose Clancy, a well-regarded instrument maker and traditional musician.  Her father is Gene Clancy of the well-known musical family from County Armagh. 

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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Massachusetts Proclaims March, 2015 as Irish Heritage Month

Governor Charlie Baker proclaimed March 2015 to be Irish Heritage Month in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For a schedule of upcoming cultural activities throughout the Commonwealth, visit

For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to