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Showing posts from March, 2011

Omni Parker House Offering Great Baseball Packages to See the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in 2011

Boston's historic hotel, the Omni Parker House , is offering great baseball packages - from April through August 2011 - to see the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park .  The package includes luxurious hotel accommodations plus two tickets to select games, starting at $221.00 a night. The Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics are the Red Sox opponents for these select games. To see a full schedule of available dates, click here .  To book a reservation for the Omni Parker House baseball package, click here . For similar offers from Omni Hotels in other baseball cities, click here .  For year round details of cultural and sporting events in greater Boston, plus connections to hotels, pubs and restaurants, gift shops and museums, visit IrishBoston.org .

March 28, 1847: USS Jamestown Sails from Boston to Cork with Supplies for Irish Famine Victims

Photo of USS Jamestown by E.D.Walker , Marine Artist On March 28, 1847, the USS Jamestown set sail from Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston Harbor on a humanitarian mission to Ireland, carrying 800 tons of supplies for the victims of the Irish Famine. The mission was led by Captain Robert Bennet Forbes , a wealthy sea merchant living in Milton, MA.  With Forbes on the journey were 38 crew members who had signed on to help.  In February, Forbes had petitioned the US Congress for the loan of a naval ship to bring supplies, and permission to use the USS Jamestown had been granted. As the boat left the harbor on the morning of March 28, crowds lined the wharf and the shores, cheering as the ship headed out to open seas. The fifteen day voyage faced foul weather and rain, sleet, wind and fog.  The ship landed in Queenstown (now Cobh ), County Cork.   Back in Boston, the newspapers enthusiastically reported on the trip, failing to note the cruel irony that became apparent when the

Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan Performs at Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Sunday, March 27

International singing star Ronan Tynan is performing at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $35-$65 and can be ordered online . Formerly a member of the famed Irish Tenors, Tynan has become even more popular in New England since moving to the Boston area a year ago. Ronan is joined at the concert by local singing sensation Pauline Wells , a Cambridge police officer who has launched a singing career on behalf of local charities.  For year round information on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com . For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com .

Screaming Orphans Playing at Four Green Fields this Weekend in Boston

The Screaming Orphans , four sisters from Bundoran, County Donegal, are performing at the Four Green Fields Pub on Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, 2011 in downtown Boston.  They play a mix of Irish traditional music and melodic songs from REM and others. For a full schedule of upcoming events at Four Green Fields, click here . For year-round Irish cultural events in greater Boston and throughout the New England area, visit IrishBoston.org .

The Runway is Premiering at the Irish Film Festival Boston on Friday, March 25

The 12th annual  Irish Film Festival Boston (March 24-27) continues its film festival tonight, February 25,  with a showing of Runway , directed by Ian Power, at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, at 7:30 p.m. The film is inspired by the true story of a South American pilot who crashed his plane near Mallow, Co. Cork in 1983. Against all odds, the people of the town came together to build a runway to get him home and briefly caught the imagination of the nation. Check out the Festival schedule of great new films being shown at this year's Irish Film Festival Boston . For year-round information on Irish cultural activities throughout Massachusetts and the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com .

Massachusetts State Legislators are Forming a Committee to Honor South Boston's Ray Flynn

A group of Massachusetts legislators, led by new state representative Nick Collins from South Boston, is forming a committee to recommend a suitable memorial to Raymond L. Flynn , former Mayor of Boston and US Ambassador to the Vatican. Bill HO3029 was offered by former South Boston state representative Brian Wallace in January and is being sponsored by State representatives Collins,  Martin Walsh and Eugene O'Flaherty . The full text of the bill reads: "The Speaker of the House shall appoint a committee made up of elected officials and non-elected officials not exceeding 9 who would hold two hearings, one at the State House and one at City Hall and ask the public to testify as to the placement of a suitable Memorial to Vatican Ambassador, Former Mayor, Former State Representative and Former Boston City Councilor Raymond L. Flynn This bill was offered by Former Representative Brian Wallace and sponsored by Rep Collins, Rep Walsh, Rep O'Flaherty Said

Mass Convention Center Proposes 1,000 new Hotel Rooms to Meet Demand of Convention Industry in Boston

Boston Convention Center, South Boston The Boston Globe reported over the weekend a plan by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to add up to 1,000 new hotel rooms in the South Boston Seaport District to meet future demands of the convention industry. James E. Rooney , head of the MCCA, is quoted as saying, “We’re losing business, plain and simple.  Over the last three years alone we’ve competed for 46 events that have told us they can’t come to Boston because we don’t have enough hotel inventory.’’ Rooney has initiated a project called t5boston that seeks to develop Boston as one of the top five convention destinations in the United States.

Irish Parades are Underway Today in Boston, Holyoke, Scituate and Abington

Four St. Patrick's Day parades are taking place across Massachusetts today as the most Irish-American state in America celebrates its Irish heritage. The 60th annual Holyoke St. Patrick's Day parade in western Massachusetts kicks off at 11:45 a.m., and is one of the nation's largest parades.  This year American historian David McCullough was honored as recipient of the JFK Award. The South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade starts at noon and is expected to draw between 600,000 and one million people.  Started in 1901, the parade features dozens of marching bands from around the nation and from Ireland. The Abington St. Patrick's Day Parade , started by Jack Bailey, begins at 1:00 p.m. in Abington Town Center, and ends at the Knights of Columbus Hall, where there is live Irish music and step dancing. The Scituate St. Patrick's Day Parade on the South Shore starts at 1:00 p.m. and is expected to attract over 30,000 viewers.  Scituate was recently rec

Novelist Mary Pat Kelly reading at Four Green Fields in Boston on Sunday, March 20

Author Mary Pat Kelly , whose best-selling historic novel Galway Bay is based on her own family history from pre-Famine Ireland through the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, is reading at the Four Green Fields Pub & Restaurant in Boston on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. The reading is free and open to the public. A graduate of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College, Mary Pat received her PhD from the City University of New York.  The book is currently being developed as a TV mini-series. For a schedule of upcoming events at the Four Green Fields, click here . For year round details on Irish music and dance, cultural activities and special events in greater Boston, visit IrishBoston.org .

South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Breakfast - a Sacred and Unholy Southie tradition

The people in South Boston take their jokes and their politics seriously – and that’s why the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast this weekend is the city’s most important event of the Irish season. On Sunday, March 20, Southie’s popular state senator Jack Hart expects to welcome over 1,000 people to attend the breakfast at the majestic Boston Convention Center , a new facility presided over by another South Boston native, Jim Rooney . Last year newly christened Senator Scott Brown was there, and so were South Boston’s US Congressman Stephen Lynch , Governor Deval Patrick , Lt. Governor Tim Murray and State Senator Therese Murray .  Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams sat at the big table and gave the audience an update on Northern Ireland.   And Ronan Tyna n, who had just defected from New York to Boston, appeared in a Red Sox cap and sang a few songs.  Tynan has been invited back again this year. The two-hour slag fest of songs, stories, jokes, lampoons,

John F. Kennedy's First St. Patrick's Day in the White House, March 17, 1961

(Photo Courtesy of JFK Library)   by Michael P. Quinlin THE IRISH came bearing gifts on March 17, 1961, John F. Kennedy's first St. Patrick's Day in the White House. It's a practice that has spanned fifty years to this day. Online digital archives at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library which have been recently made available to the public contain a trove of information on President Kennedy's term at the White House, including his interactions with the Irish. The archives reveal that at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 17, 1961, the president's first in the White House, Ireland's ambassador, Thomas J. Kiernan, made his nation's annual pilgrimage to the Oval Office to present the ceremonial bowl of shamrock to the President. That tradition had started a few years earlier in 1958 when the inauguration of Aer Lingus transatlantic jet flights guaranteed fresh shamrock sprigs from Ireland on the big day. Joining President Kennedy in the Oval Office was Cong

Abby Park Restaurant in Milton Has Live Irish Music with Danny Gallagher and Conor Smith on March 17

Danny Gallagher  Abby Park Restaurant on Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts is celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year with live Irish music featuring Danny Gallagher and Conor Smith , on Thursday, March 17, 2011, starting at 6:00 p.m. And from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., the Abby is offering free appetizers on St. Paddy's Day. Considered one of the finest new restaurants to open up in the Boston area over the past few years, the Abby uses local, organic and natural products in its cuisine, and has a full bar, including an inventive cocktail menu.  For a full menu, click here . Abby Park is located at 550 Adams Street in East Milton Square.  For directions, click here .  For details on Irish activities around Boston throughout the year, visit IrishBoston.org

The Boston Celtics Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Tonight at the Garden, Wednesday, March 16

With a roster that includes a couple of O'Neills, plus a Murphy, Pierce and Allen, the Boston Celtics are ready for St. Patrick's Day this year as they take on the Indiana Pacers at the TD Garden on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. The Celtics have also drafted singer Paul Byrom , from the PBS group Celtic Thunder , to sing the American National Anthem prior to the tip off tonight. To find out about the origins of the distinct Irish iconography of the Boston Celtics, click here . To find out more about the praiseworthy Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, click here . For a full schedule of Irish activities in Boston this St. Patrick's Day, visit IrishBoston.org Go Celtics!

Tamo Bar at Boston Seaport Hotel Offering Irish Cuisine and Live Music this Week

  The Tamo Bar at Boston’s Seaport Hotel along the city’s scenic waterfront is hosting live Irish music and authentic Irish cuisine this St. Patrick’s Day season. Irish traditional ballad group Geese in the Bog is performing at Tamo on Tuesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  The quartet perform Irish and Maritime ballads on traditional instruments. Also, Chef Rachel Klein is serving up traditional Irish dishes, including a boiled dinner of corned beef & cabbage and hearty Shepherd’s Pie.  And the award-winning chef is putting her own special twist with her Guinness Oyster Shooters and corned beef & cabbage rolls. The Seaport Boston Hotel , located at One Seaport Lane, is conveniently located on the MBTA’s Silver Line and is also easily accessible by foot from downtown Boston. For year round details on Irish music and culture, history and heritage and special events like parades and festivals, visit IrishBoston.org . 

Irish Singer Paul Byrom Singing the National Anthem at Boston Celtics Game on March 16

On the eve of St. Patrick's Day, Paul Byrom , one of Ireland's best young Irish tenors, is singing the National Anthem at the Boston Celtics   game at TD Garden in Boston on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. The Celtics are playing the Indiana Pacers . Byrom has performed the Anthem at a Celtics game before, as a member of the group Celtic Thunder , in April 2009.  For year round details on Irish music, cultural events, parades and festivals and history and heritage activities in Boston, visit IrishBoston.org .

Eire Society is Holding its St. Patrick's Day Event at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Sunday, March 13

The Eire Society of Boston is holding its annual St. Patrick's Day gathering today, Sunday, March 13, 2011 at the Boston Harbor Hotel in Downtown Boston, starting at 3:00 p.m. The featured guest speaker is Belfast author Kyle Darcy , whose novel is Under Current Conditions. Formed in 1937, the Eire Society of Boston is one of the leading supporters of Irish cultural expression in New England.  For year round details on Irish cultural activities in greater Boston, visit IrishBoston.org .

Dropkick Murphys Take Over the House of Blues in Boston for Three Nights

The Dropkick Murphys , Boston's own punk-rock Irish band, opens a three-day stand at the House of Blues in Boston,, starting on Wednesday, March 16 through Friday, March 18, 2011. Tickets are $32.50 to $52.50 and can be ordered online . They'll be playing tunes from their new album, Going Out in Style , as well as classics like I'm Shipping up to Boston , the song that appeared in the film, The Departed ,  and When Johnny Comes Marching Home , the anthem written during the American Civil War in 1863 by Boston musician Patrick S. Gilmore .   For a full schedule of music at Boston's House of Blues, click here . For year round details on Irish music, cultural activities, history and heritage in Boston, visit IrishBoston.org .

Win Tickets to see Irish Band Dervish at Palace Theatre in Manchester on March 16

Dervish , one of the formidable traditional music bands coming out of Ireland in the past decade, is performing at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off two pairs of tickets to see the show.  To enter the contest, click here .  You can also purchase tickets directly online . For a full schedule of concerts coming up at the Palace Theatre, click here . For year round details on Irish music and cultural activities in the New England region, visit IrishMassachusetts.com .  

Boston Irish Tourism Group issues free St. Patrick's Day Travel & Culture magazine

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has issued its annual publication, Travel & Culture Guide, in time for St. Patrick's Day celebrations around Massachusetts. The 28 page Guide, which is free to the public, lists hundreds of Irish concerts, literary events, theatre, and cultural activities throughout the Bay State in March and through to May 2011, including the six St. Patrick's Day parades taking place in March. It also includes feature stories and news items, photos, and listings of Irish pubs, gift shops and cultural organizations as well as local hotels, museums, and travel agencies. And there is a special section on travel to Ireland and Celtic Canada this summer. The Guide is available for free at dozens of visitor centers, cultural venues, hotels and museums around the state.  In Boston, they're available at visitor centers on Boston Common and the Prudential Center, the National Park Service office on State Street and the John F. Kennedy Library .

Celtic Band Tin Can Hooley and Irish Dancers from Boston University Performing at Four Green Fields in Downtown Boston on Thursday, March 10

Boston-based traditional Celtic band Tin Can Hooley band is performing at the Four Green Fields Irish Pub & Restaurant in downtown Boston on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  Admission is free. Joining the band is Step about Boston , an Irish Step Dancing team from Boston University . The band plays an eclectic and fun-loving brand of Irish Celtic music on traditional instruments like tin whistle, fiddle and accordion.  For a full schedule of Tin Hooley's appearances this month, click here . Four Green Fields , located at One Boston Place at the corner of Washington and Court Streets, is Boston's newest Irish pub, opening its doors in February 2011.  It has a spacious dining area and bar, an authentic thatched cottage inside the pub, and a steady line-up of great performers.  For a full schedule of upcoming concerts and literary events, click here . For Irish activities across Massachusetts this St. Patrick's Day, visit IrishMassachusetts.com .  For

Back Bay Hotel in Boston is hosting TV Diner's St. Patrick's Day Special on Friday, March 11

Join New England's  popular show, TV Diner , staring Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson , for a preview of the annual St. Patrick's Day TV Diner special from 8:00 - 10:30 p.m. this Friday, March 11, 2011 at Cuffs ~ an Irish Bar , at The Back Bay Hotel in Boston. Tickets to the event are $50 and can be purchased online .  Admission includes two drink tickets, a selection of light Irish themed hors d'oeurves and entry into a raffle for a weekend stay at The Back Bay Hotel's sister property in Washington D.C., The Dupont Hotel . For a full schedule of Irish events in Boston during St. Patrick's Day, visit IrishBoston.org .

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

  The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day season with exhibits, concerts and family-friendly activities for residents and visitors. 100,000 Welcomes – $2 off Museum Admission Coupon In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the JFK Presidential Library invites the public to download a $2 off coupon , valid March 17-20, 2011. Children ages 12 and under are always admitted free. Saturday, March 19, 2011 Free Irish Music Concert for Children and Families The New England Irish Harp Orchestra and Réagánta perform Irish music, with harps of many sizes and shapes and traditional Irish instruments.  The concert includes Irish step dancing and audience participation.  To make a reservation, please visit the Celebrate! page online  or call 617-514-1644.  10:30-11:30 a.m. Fitzgerald Family Bible on Display in Museum The Fitzgerald Family Bible was brought to Boston from Ireland by President Kennedy’s forebears . The front pages contain a handwritte

Tommy Butler - One of a Kind

Thomas J. Butler , one of the best people you could ever hope to meet, was buried today at St. Joseph's Cemetery in West Roxbury.  His funeral mass at Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston this morning was filled to the brim with people who came from all over Boston and beyond to pay their respects. Rest in Peace Tom. 

A tour of Irish Boston with Courtney Holland of the Boston Globe

Boston's Irish Heritage Trail and local landmarks like the Black Rose Pub and Boston Omni Parker House are featured in Courtney Holland's Tour of Irish Boston, seen on Boston.com 's St. Patrick's Day Roundup..   For a full schedule of Irish cultural events, concerts, and special events in greater Boston for St. Patrick's Day, visit IrishBoston.org   For a list of parades, click here . For tourist information, visit BostonUSA and MassVacation.com .

Irish Pole Vaulter Breaks Records at IC4a Track Meet in Boston

Brian McGovern of Manhattan College broke his school record in the pole vault, jumping 16 feet, 10 3/4" at the IC4a Track & Field Indoor Championships held at Boston University over the weekend. The jump is also a new Irish national indoor record . McGovern's win is the 25th consecutive year that Manhattan College , which is in Yonkers, NY, has won an IC4a championship.  For a full schedule of events, click here . For year round Irish activities in Boston, visit IrishBoston.org .  

Boston's Irish Heritage Trail Details 300 years of History in the Capital of Irish America

This St. Patrick's Day, take a walk on the Boston Irish Heritage Trail , a three-mile, self-guided trip through 300 years of Irish-American history and heritage. The Trail was created by the Boston Irish Tourism Association , a group formed in 2000 to celebrate the city's rich Irish legacy and to promote Irish cultural activities throughout Massachusetts. A free copy of the Irish Heritage Trail map is available at the visitor information centers on Boston Common, the Prudential Center, the National Park Service on State Street, and at various hotels, pubs and museums in the Boston area. You can also order a copy to be mailed to you for $4.95 for postage/handling. For year round information on Irish activities in Boston, as well as pubs, gift shops, cultural groups, parades and festivals, visit IrishBoston.org . For visitor information about Boston, visit BostonUSA.com or MassVacation.com . 

Luck of the Irish: Good Weather for the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Parade This Saturday, March 5

Siobhan Magnus The 6th annual Cape Cod St. Patrick's Parade will have perfect weather for marching on Saturday, March 5, 2011, with temperatures expected to climb to 47 degrees, according to CapeCodonline .   The parade, featuring Irish Micky Ward as Grand Marshall and American Idol star Siobhan Magnus as the Queen of the Parade,  is not only a celebration of St. Patrick's Day but also a rite of spring, according to parade co-chair John Fallon in a video interview earlier this week. For more information about Cape Cod, including places to stay, eat and visit, go to CapeCodChamber . For year round details on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit IrishMassachusetts.com .

Irish Punk Rockers the Pogues Playing Boston's House of Blues on March 11-12

The godfathers of Irish punk music, the Pogues , are returning to Boston this St. Patrick's Day for two shows at the House of Blues on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:00 p.m.). Tickets are $51-$75 and can be ordered online . The band is led by crooner Shane MacGovern , who grew up in London and lived for a while in Tipperary.  He is best known for his composition, Fairytale of New York. The Pogues are being joined on this tour by New Jersey punk rockets Titus Andronicus. For a list of concerts coming up at Boston's House of Blues, click here . For year round details on Irish music and culture in Boston, visit IrishBoston.org .

Boston's Huntington Theatre Presents Educating Rita from March 11 - April 10

The Huntington Theatre Company is presenting the Olivier Award winning play, Educating Rita , by Willy Russell, from March 11 through April 10, 2011. The play is directed by Maria Aitkin. Tickets can be ordered online . In Educating Rita, Rita, a brash, young hairdresser with a free spirit, is hungry to improve her lot in life. When she enrolls at the local university, she discovers a passion for literature and turns her boozy and burnt-out professor’s life upside down in this award-winning comedy. For a list of upcoming plays at the Huntington Theatre Company, click here . For year round cultural activities in Boston, visit IrishBoston.org . For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com .

Irish Balladeers Makem & Spain Brothers Play at Rogers Center in North Andover on March 5

The Makem & Spain Brothers , one of New England's premier Irish ballad groups, is performing at the Roger Center for the Arts at Merrimack College in North Andover on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. The five-male voice uses precise three-part harmony backed by tasteful instrumental accompaniment.  They are true heirs to the Irish folk tradition perfected by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Make m over the past fifty years. You can win a pair of tickets free from the Boston Irish Tourism Association.  To enter the contest, click here . Tickets for the show are $20.00 and can be ordered online or by calling 978 837-5355.  Discounts for students, employees and seniors are available. For a full list of upcoming concerts at the Rogers Center for the Arts, click here . For a complete schedule of Irish events taking place in Massachusetts and the New England states this St. Patrick's Day, visit BITA's March Calendar page . For visitor information, go to MassV