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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Irish Fiddle Star Eileen Ivers Performs in Beverly, MA on Saturday, April 29

Eileen Ivers, a virtuoso fiddle play who has toured with Riverdance and Cherish the Ladies, performs in concert with her band, Immigrant Soul, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly.

Presented by Spectacle Management, tickets to the show can be purchased online or at the venue the night of the concert.

Raised in the Bronx to Irish immigrant parents, Eileen Ivers is regarded as one of the finest musicians of her generation, a passionate, innovative player who brings out the best in Irish traditional music while also blending the sounds of other genres, including rock, soul and world music.

Here is a schedule of upcoming concerts from Spectacle Management.

For year round information on Irish cultural activities, visit

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Grant Maloy Smith Performs at Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, April 22

American roots artist Grant Maloy Smith performs a special Earth Day concert at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Eastern Medicine Singers, a group that performs Algonquin  and American Indian music,  is providing the opening set.

Tickets are $15 at the door.

Smith’s new CD, "Dust Bowl – AmericanStories," relates the story of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s in the Great Plains, considered to be a major environmental disaster in American history.  Smith calls it “a cautionary tale about the environment,” and believes .  “we can learn a lot from the Dust Bowl. Reliving it through these songs and images is a powerful elixir.”

Find year round details on cultural activities in New England at

Boston Chef Barbara Lynch Named in Time Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in the World

Congratulations to Chef Barbara Lynch of South Boston, who was named one of Time Magazine's Top 100 influential people in the world.

Chef Lynch was cited in Time Magazine for her ascent in the culinary world as an elite chef, for which she won two James Beard Awards as well as numerous other prizes.  She owns and operates seven restaurants in Boston, and runs Stir, a demonstration cooking kitchen that offers year round classes.

 Her cookbook, Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition, was published in 2009, and her new memoir, Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire,was published on April 11, 2017.

Chef Lynch began her cooking career at the local church rectory kitchen in South Boston before progressing to the St. Botolph Club, Olives and Michaela's.  She traveled to Italy to learn about Italian cuisine first-hand from local women, where she perfected the delicate pastas for which she is now famous.  In 1998 she opened her first restaurant, No. 9 Park, named one of the "Top 25 Restaurants in America" by Bon Appetit Magazine, one of the "Top 50 Restaurants in America" by Food & Wine and Gourmet.

Read more profiles of Irish-Americans from Boston & Massachusetts here. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

John J. McDermott Won the First Boston Marathon in 1897

Illustration from The Boston Globe, April 20, 1897

The first Boston Marathon was held on April 19,1897, inspired by the first modern Olympic Games held the previous year in Athens, Greece. 

The race was sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association, and the initial field consisted of fifteen runners, of which ten finished the race. John J. McDermott of the Pastime Athletic Club of New York won the race, finishing in two hours, fifty-five minutes and ten seconds.

Thomas E. Burke, who won first place in the 100 and 440 yard races at the Athens Olympics in 1896, was the official starter of the race.

The race started in Ashland and finished at Irvington Oval near Copley Square in Boston, which had a 220 yard track.  There BAA officials had organized an entire track and field meet in the spirit of the Olympic Games the previous year.

Among the most talked about races was the 100 yard dash, which had a stellar field that included Olympic medalist Tom Burke of Boston University, J.S. Quinn  and W.J. Holland from Boston College, Frank Quinlan from Fordham University, and D.C. Byers of Yale.  Holland won the race, and his BC teammate Quinn took second. 

McDermott apparently lost nine pounds running the race, and afterwards said, "This will probably be my last long race...look at my feet," wrote The Boston Globe in its April 20, 1897 story.  McDermott returned to Boston in 1898 and finished fourth.

For more on Boston's Irish history and heritage, visit

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hanneke Cassel, Keith Murphy and Mike Block Perform at Blackstone River Theatre on April 15

A trio of accomplished Celtic musicians - Hanneke Cassel, Keith Murphy and Mike Block perform in concert at the Blackstone River Theatre at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Tickets are $18 the day of the show and can be purchased at the venue.

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

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ireland Ranked as Third Best Tourism Marketing Destination in the World

Congratulations to Tourism Ireland for its outstanding performance marketing the island of Ireland in the past two years.  Ireland is ranked at number three in the world, out of 136 countries, for ‘effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists,' according to the World Economic Forum's recent Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017.  

Ireland moved up two slots from its 5th place ranking in 2015. 

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “I am really pleased to see that Ireland has moved up to third position in the world for tourism marketing and branding. The international tourism marketplace is an extremely competitive one and we are constantly looking at innovative and engaging ways to reach potential holidaymakers, to ensure the island of Ireland stands out from other destinations.”

Find out about visiting Ireland here.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

One Boston Day, April 15, Giving Back to Boston

April 15th, 2015 marked the beginning of a new annual Boston tradition: One Boston Day

Each year, the day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the resiliency, generosity, and strength demonstrated by the people of Boston and those around the world in response to the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy of April 15th, 2013. 

In anouncing the 3rd annual One Boston Day, Mayor Marty Walsh said,  "The Boston Marathon is a key part of our city's identity, and continues to show the world that Boston is strong, and our traditions will endure, no matter what. The spirit of the day on April 15 shows the best of Boston: how Bostonians from all backgrounds come together to line the streets, celebrate one another and do good for their community. I hope everyone can mark this day in a way that inspires each other with the love we have for our community, our neighbors and our City."

How will you make a difference this year?

Read about the Martin Richard Park being built to capture the spirit of Boston. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Tourism Ireland Prepares for 2017 Season of Visitors from around the World

After a banner year in 2016, when the island of Ireland welcomed 19.37 million overseas visitors who spent about €5.4 billion, Tourism Ireland is focusing its attention on the 2017 tourism season.

"Our aim is to grow overseas tourism revenue this year by +4.5%, to €5.7 billion, for the island of Ireland,” said Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.   Among the plans for 2017, Gibbons said, is to highlight iconic experiences like "the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Titanic Belfast and the Causeway Coastal Route.

"We will also promote Dublin and Belfast, in particular for shoulder and off-peak travel,” Gibbons said, adding that “Screen tourism will remain a priority, as we continue to capitalize on our connections with Star Wars and Game of Thrones."

Read more stories about traveling to Ireland from the Boston Irish Tourism Association.

For details on traveling to Ireland this year, visit

JFK Library Presents 2017 PEN Hemingway Award to Novelist Yaa Gyasi on April 2

The John F. Kennedy Library is hosting the 2017 PEN Hemingway Award to novelist Yaa Gyasi at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. This program is presented in partnership with PEN New England.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  Register here. You can also watch a live webcast of the ceremony.

Patrick Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's son, is presenting the award to Gyasi for her novel Homegoing. Novelist and biographer RoxanaRobinson, President of the Authors Guild, delivers the keynote address.  

 The Kennedy Library is the major repository of the  Ernest Hemingway Collection of the author's works. The PEN New England Awards in Nonfiction, Poetry, and Fiction are also being presented at the ceremony. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

American Roots Band Spuyten Duyvil Performs at Blackstone River Theatre on Saturday, April 1

Spuyten Duyvil is performing at the Blackstone River Theatre at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2017.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the venue.

Based in New York, the band's brand of original and traditional American roots music blends old time, blues, bluegrass, and folk rock with a pinch of punk energy to create a uniquely modern mix.

The band’s third CD, The Social Music Hour, Volume I, was nominated for the 2016 International Folk Music Awards “Album of the Year.” 

Check out the schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre this spring. 

Visit for year round details on music and culture.