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Showing posts from September, 2011

William B. Yeats Promotes - and Defends - New Irish Theatre in Boston, September 28, 1911

by Michael P. Quinlin Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats addressed an audience at the Plymouth Theatre in Boston on Thursday, September 28, 1911 on the subject, History of the Irish National Theatre and its Purposes. As managing director of Dublin's Abbey Theatre , Yeats was in the United States to introduce a new literary movement taking place in Ireland that he hoped would be "the awakening of the mind of Ireland." The Plymouth Theatre , located at Eliot Street (now Stuart) and Tremont Street, was a brand new playhouse, described as "a cozy, compact and home like-arrangement, with the seats in all parts of the house as near the stage as possible."  The Abbey players christened the new theatre with their productions. The Irish plays on opening night included The Shadow of the Glenn by John M. Synge, Birthright by T.C. Murray, and Hyacinth Halvey by Lady Gregory Yeats was introduced to the audience by George Pierce Baker , professo

Win Tickets to Opening Night Boston Bruins Game - and Help Support the Michael Joyce Playground in South Boston

The friends of the Michael Joyce Memorial Playground in South Boston are holding a special raffle to raise funds to improve and maintain the park.  The group is raffling off a pair of tickets -- eight rows from center ice - to the season opening game at TD Garden between the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, October 6, 2011. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Gerard's Restaurant in Adams Village, located at 722 Adams Street in Dorchester. Tickets are $20 or three for $50.  To order tickets, call (617) 265-7718 or (617) 439-0860. Michael Joyce was born in Connemara, County Galway and lived in Boston from 1949 until his death in 1989.  He worked at the Massachusetts State House for twenty years, and was recognized as a great leader in the Irish community who helped many immigrants make the transition to American life by offering wisdom and wise council. For more details

Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan Performs at Rogers Center in North Andover on Saturday, October 1

Famed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan is performing at the Rogers Center at Merrimack College in North Andover on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.   Tickets to the concert are $35 ($32 for seniors) and can be reserved online . Also, the Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off three pairs of tickets to lucky contestants who enter the contest .   The winners will be announced on the site on Thursday, September 29. Tynan is an inspirational figure and rare talent who has gained a loyal following of music lovers that crosses generations and musical genres. He has performed before presidents and prime ministers, and in opera houses and ballparks, including Fenway Park and  Yankee Stadium. The Rogers Center for the Arts is a magnificent, 600 seat concert venue with wonderful acoustics and a welcoming ambiance.  For a complete schedule of upcoming events, click here . For year round information on Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts and the New England region

Mayor Fitzgerald Hails the Irish National Theatre in Boston in September 1911

Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald , addressed the audience at the Plymouth Theatre on the opening night of the Abbey Theatre 's first performance in Boston on Saturday, September 23, 1911.  The theatre company was embarking on a six-month North American tour to promote the new Irish National Theatre of William B. Yeats , Lady Gregory and others.  The Irish plays on opening night included The Shadow of the Glenn by John M. Synge, Birthright by T.C. Murray, and Hyacinth Halvey by Lady Gregory Mayor Fitzgerald, who was the grandfather of President John F. Kennedy , said to the audience: "Ladies and Gentlemen — Like most of you I came here tonight as a learner and would prefer to listen rather than to speak. It has been my privilege to read some of the works of the remarkable group of Irish writers who have so recently won the enchanted ear of the English-speaking world. And I know from general report the claims and distinction of their writings. "

John F. Kennedy Library in Boston Examines the Missile Gap Controversy on September 26

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum is holding two panels on the famous missile gap controversy that President John F. Kennedy faced 50 years ago.  The events take place on Monday, September 26, 2011 at the JFK Library in Boston.  The CIA Overview of the Missile Gap takes place at 1:00 - 4:45 p.m. , followed by the Missile Gap Controversy, taking place from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.   Among the participants: historians Timothy Naftali, Fred Kaplan and John Prados.  Mary Elise Sarotte, Professor of International Relations at USC, is  moderator. For more details click here .  Kennedy Library Forums are a series of public affairs programs offered by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to foster public discussion on a diverse range of historical, political and cultural topics reflecting the legacy of President and Mrs. Kennedy's White House years. For a schedule of upcoming events, click here . For other cultural activities taking place in greate

Brig St. John commemoration taking place in Cohasset on Sunday, October 9

On Sunday, October 9, 2011, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Plymouth Div. 9 , is holding its annual commemoration of the Brig St. John, which sank off the coast of Cohasset, Massachusetts on October 6, 1849, drowning 99 people. The event starts at 1:00 p.m. with a Mass at St. Anthony’s Church , 129 South Main Street in Cohasset, followed by a reception at the church hall.  Then participants will walk over to the Cohasset Central Cemetery for a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the large Celtic Cross, which was placed there by the AOH in 1914. The Brig St. John was traveling with 104 passengers and 16 sailors from Galway to Boston Harbor on October 6, 1849, when it encountered a nor'easter that was wrecking havoc along the coast.  The storm pushed the boat south as the Brig tried unsuccessfully to anchor near Minot Light.  Local residents made valiant attempts to save lives and spent days trying to recover bodies of the drowned victims.  Most of the pas

Celtic Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts Unveiled in September 1977

2010 AOH Ceremony Marking Easter Uprising To mark the 150th anniversary of the Irish settlement in Worcester, Massachusetts, the local Irish-American community erected a Celtic Cross on Worcester Common .    The 15 foot high memorial, weighing over 13,000 pounds made of Barre Vermont granite, was designed by Joseph Calcagni .  It features patriotic, religious and family symbols pertinent to Worcester, America and Ireland.  The Celtic Cross was formally unveiled on Sunday, September 18, 1977.   Thomas J. Early, Mayor of Worcester presided, along with Daniel F. Herlighy, chairman of the Irish Memorial Committee, and members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians , especially from Division 36 in Worcester .  On May 25, 2009, Ireland President Mary McAleese laid a wreath at the Celtic Cross commemorating the arrival of the Irish in Worcester.   For more details on Irish heritage in Massachusetts, visit .   For year round cultural activities, visit Irish

Cornerstone of Boston's Soldiers & Sailors Memorial is laid on Monday, September 18, 1871

The City of Boston laid the cornerstone for the Sailors and Soldiers Monument at Flagstaff Hill on Boston Common on Monday, September 18,1871. According to the official documents, "the event was celebrated by an imposing public display.  Business was generally suspended, the streets were thronged with people drawn together from all parts of the State to honor the occasion." Among the attendees were Martin Milmore, the Irish-born sculptor who had won the commission to create the monument; Patrick A. Collins , state senator from South Boston; General P.R. Guiney of the Massachusetts 9th Irish Regiment, and Gilmore's Band, led by Patrick S. Gilmore . The following year Milmore went to Rome, Italy, where he spent the next five years working on the monument.  It was shipped back to Boston and officially unveiled on September 17, 1877. For more information, see Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past . For more on Boston's Irish hi

Irish Musician Joe Derrane Discussed at Boston College on Thursday, September 22

Boston accordion legend Joe Derrane is the subject of a lecture by Earl Hitchner of the Irish Echo newspaper this Thursday, September 22, 2011 at Boston College .  The event takes place at Gasson Hall on BC campus from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Along with the lecture by Mr. Hitchner is a performance by Derrane, mandonist John McGann, professor of strings at Berklee College of Music, and Seamus Connolly , All-Ireland fiddle player and head of the Gaelic Roots Irish Music program at Boston College. Derrane was born in the Mission Hill section of Roxbury, a neighborhood of Boston, in 1930, to Irish immigrant parents.  He studied the accordion with noted accordion player Gerry O'Brien, and by the time he was a teenager was a recording artist and noted musician in Boston's vibrant Irish community.  This was also during the heyday of the Dudley Street Irish Dance Hall era in Roxbury, where hundreds of Irish immigrants, Irish-Americans and Canadians convened each night to dance to

Halfway to St. Patrick's Day at the Black Rose in Boston on Saturday, September 17

Boston's most famous Irish pub, the Black Rose Pub ,  is celebrating halfway to St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, September 17, 2011.  Festivities feature Joshua Tree , the premier tribute band to U2, who perform starting at 9:30 p.m. The event is one of the many Black Rose 35th anniversary celebrations taking place in 2011. The Rose opened at 160 State Street in Boston in 1976, when Richard Ford was US President and a few months before Faneuil Hall first opened.  Since then it has gained a world-wide following, and offers live Irish music seven nights a week, a great menu and drinks selection , and a special ambiance that keeps people coming back. Today the Black Rose Pub is owned by Glynn Hospitality Group , a family-run business with roots in County Galway, which has eight dining and entertainment locations in Boston.  You can follow Black Rose Pub on Facebook , or visit the BlackRose web site . For a full schedule of Irish activities in greater Boston and thr

On Boston's Irish Heritage Trail with Patrick Collins, Irish-born Mayor of Boston

by Michael P. Quinlin  The  Boston Irish Heritage Trail  includes the Memorial to Patrick Andrew Collins (1844-1905).  He was born in Ballinafauna, a townland outside of Fermoy, Cork , and came to Boston in March 1848, with his widowed mother, part of the mass exodus from Ireland due to the  Irish Famine .  They settled in Chelsea , where the anti-Irish Know Nothing movement was fully blown in the 1850s.  Patrick got a job as an office boy with  Robert Morris , an African-American lawyer, and later become a lawyer himself.  He entered into an upholstery apprenticeship, where he eventually became foreman.  All the while he was attending classes at Harvard University while studying at the  Boston Public Library  evenings.  Collins made his first foray into American politics when he became a state representative from South Boston in 1868-69,and a state senator in 1870-71.  He became the first Irish Catholic  US Congressman  (1883-85).  He campaigned for  President Grov

Some Boston Connections of Commodore John Barry, Father of the American Navy and Revolutionary War Hero

by Michael P. Quinlin Visitors to Boston's Irish Heritage Trail will notice a small memorial to Commodore John Barry , located on Boston Common along Tremont Street, between Lafayette  Mall and the Visitor Information Center . Barry was a naval hero of the Revolutionary War.  He was born in  Tacumshane, County Wexford in 1745, and emigrated to Philadelphia in 1760.  He joined the American forces at the outbreak of the war, and was the first Catholic appointed to command a vessel by the Continental Congress.  Barry's ship, Lexington , was the first to capture a British vessel under the American flag.  During much of the war, Barry commanded ships out of Boston Harbor, including the Delaware and the Alliance . After the war, President George Washington assigned Barry to help create the United States Navy.    Bostonians have been commemorating Barry's anniversary each September on Boston Common dating back to 1919.  For a time in the 1940s the celebrants also

2011 Boston Holiday Pops tickets now on sale!

Tickets for the 2011 Holiday Pops concerts by the famed Boston Pops Orchestra have gone on sale this week.  This year's Holiday Pops season goes from Wednesday, December 7 through Saturday, December 24, 2001. The concerts are being led by maestro Keith Lockhart , who invites a number of special guest conductors and performers throughout the season.  A total of 37 concerts are planned, including a number of weekend matinees for children and families. For a full schedule, click here . The Boston Pops was initiated in 1900 by Henry Lee Higginson and since then has become one of the world's most endearing orchestras.  For a history of Boston Pops, click here . For year round cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit . For tourist information, visit and .

British Comedian Bill Bailey Performs at House of Blues on September 20

British comedian, actor and television personality Bill Bailey is bringing his Dandelion Mind   show to the House of Blues in Boston on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the show are $30 (standing) and $35 (reserved seating) and can be purchased online . The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) is raffling off a free pair of tickets to the show.  To enter to win, go to the BITA Contest Page and follow instructions there. For a full schedule of concerts and events at House of Blues, click here . For year round details on cultural activities and Irish events in Massachusetts, visit . For tourist information, visit or .

9/11 reflections at the JFK Library in Boston

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston is a good place to reflect upon the challenges, risks and rewards of sustaining a democratic system of government in a dangerous world.

Colm O'Brien and Sean Connor performing at Four Green Fields in Boston on Friday, September 9

Irish music duo Colm O'Brien and Sean Connor are performing at the Four Green Fields at One Boston Place in downtown Boston on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. O'Brien, from Dublin, and Connor, from Kilmaine, Mayo, have been performing as a duo over the past three years, across the United States and in Ireland.  Four Green Fields, Boston's newest Irish pub, opened in town last February and is offering live Irish music and traditional sessions several nights a week.  It has a full lunch and dinner menu , a giant movie screen for televised sporting events, and an authentic Irish cottage inside the premises. Four Green Fields is located along the Freedom Trail and near the Irish Famine Memorial along the Boston Irish Heritage Trail .   It is a member of the Boston Irish Tourism Association and the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau .

Louis Sullivan, Father of American Architecture, Born in Boston on September 3, 1856

Louis Sullivan   Regarded as the Father of American Architecture, Louis H. Sullivan (1856-1924) was born on September 3, 1856 to an Irish father and a French-Swiss mother.   The family lived at 22 South Bennett Street in Boston's South End, and he attended local public schools, including English High School. He spent his summers with his grandparents in South Reading in a bi-lingual household and he advanced quickly as a student, attending MIT at age16 and then moving to Paris to complete his studies before settling in Chicago right after the Chicago Fire of 1871, where his services were in great demand. Sullivan's father Patrick Sullivan arrived in Boston on the ship The Unicorn in July 1847 just weeks after Deer Island's quarantine station had opened for hundreds of passengers too sick to come ashore.    According to Louis, in his book, Autobiography of an Idea , his father "immediately set up a (dance) academy and was successful.   He was always successful.

British Rocker Richard Thompson Performs at Lowell Summer :Music Series on Friday, September 2

Acclaimed British musician and songwriter Richard Thompson is performing at the Lowell Summer Music Series in Boarding House Park in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the concert are $28 in advance and $35 the day of the concert, and can be ordered online . From his early career as a member of Fairport Convention to his solo career, Thompson has created a unique brand of folk rock music that has influenced musicians over the past 40 years. For more upcoming shows at the Lowell Summer Music Series, click here . For year round cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit . For tourist information visit .