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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In Boston, The Black Rose Celebrates 35 Years as One of America's Favorite Irish Pubs

Congratulations to Glynn Hospitality Group in Boston, whose flagship The Black Rose Pub is celebrating its 35th anniversary as one of America's favorite Irish pubs.

Located in the heart of Boston’s Quincy Market, The Black Rose set the standard early for what an Irish pub in Boston should be, offering live Irish music seven nights a week, tasty and affordable meals, a full bar of great beers and beverages, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Since then the Rose has served three million pints of hand-poured Guinness, 250,000 bowls of Irish stew and 300,000 plates of fish & chips. It has provided live Irish music every night for 35 years, with the exception of each Christmas Eve and the evening of 9/11/2001.

“Celebrating 35 years in business is especially significant and worth noting to our staff, our patrons and our family and friends. Times are tough and we hope that The Black Rose has given many people a friendly and affordable place to go over the years. At The Black Rose we offer award-winning food, Irish hospitality, and live Irish music 7 days a week,” stated Michael Glynn, Owner of The Glynn Hospitality Group.

To celebrate its anniversary, The Black Rose has rolled back the price of a pint of Guinness to 1976 prices, or $2.50 a pint, for the week of November 27, 2011.  And as always, you'll get to enjoy live Irish music, tasty food and great conversation in one of Boston's most popular gathering spots.

Find out more about other Irish pubs and restaurants owned by the Glynn Hospitality Group

Posted by Boston Irish Tourism Association.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Win Tix to See Four Celtic Voices at Rogers Center for the Arts in North Andover on Friday, December 2

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is raffling off three pairs of tickets to see Four Celtic Voices, an exciting new ensemble of virtuoso musicians, in concert at the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College in North Andover on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

To enter to win, go to BITA's Contest Page and follow the instructions. 

If you don't want to take the chance, since the show might be sold out, you can purchase tickets online for $30 each.

An all-women group, consisting of Celeste Ray, Erin Hill, Carol Crittenden and Maria Johnson, Four Celtic Voices released its debut CD on March 17, 2009 on QVC television and has since performed in concert halls around the country.

For a schedule of upcoming events at the Rogers Center for the Arts, click here.

For more Irish cultural activities in Massachusetts, visit

Boston Fiddle Champion Brendan Bulger in the Irish Music Hall of Fame

 Brendan Bulger and Larry Reynolds
(Photos by Mary Hegarty Neschke)

Congratulations to Irish fiddle champion Brendan Bulger of Boston, who was one of five musicians and cultural leaders recently inducted into the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Northeast Region Hall of Fame.  The ceremony took place on November 4-6, 2011 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.

Larry Reynolds, president of the Boston chapter of Comhaltas, was on hand to present the award to Brendan, who was joined by his brother Chris and Chris' wife Margaret, both musicians.

Bulger is one of just few American-born musicians to win the prestigious All-Ireland fiddle competition, which he won in the 18-Under Category in 1991 in County Sligo.  Brendan's music teacher was Seamus Connolly, Sullivan Artist in Residence at Boston College and head of the Gaelic Roots program there. 

He has recorded on numerous CDs, including the award-winning Music in the House in 2004, with Chicago musicians Marty Fahey and Katheen Gavin, which was named one of the Top Ten Records of the Year by the Irish Echo.

For a full story on the Hall of Fame weekend in Connecticut, read Earle Hitchner's article in the Irish Echo.

For more information on Irish music, dance and cultural activities throughout Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Luck of the Irish! Boston Celtics Start the Season on Christmas Day

The Boston Celtics are back!  After a 149 day lock-out, the team owners and the players have come to an agreement and the National Basketball Association has salvaged part of this year's season. 

The Celtics open against the New York Knicks on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

Many people wonder why the Boston Celtics basketball team sports shamrocks on the players' green uniforms, and why the team logo features an Irish leprechaun.   According to the team’s official history, the name Celtics was chosen in 1946 when owner Walter Brown sat down with his public relations guy, Howie McHugh, to figure out what to name the new team.

Some of the ideas included the Whirlwinds, Unicorns, Olympics and the Yankees!

Then Brown had an epiphany, saying, “Wait, I’ve got it – the Celtics. The name has a great basketball tradition from the old Original Celtics in New York (1920s). And Boston is full of Irishman. We’ll put them in green uniforms and call them the Boston Celtics.”

In 1950 Brown hired Red Auerbach to coach the team, and the rest is history.  Auerbach commissioned his brother Zang, a graphic designer in the newspaper business, to come up with a logo to suit the name.

Zang’s artwork incorporated all of the iconic depictions of the Irish in America that were prevalent in the 1950s: a leprechaun with shamrocks on his vest and a bowler hat, smoking a pipe, holding a shillelagh and sporting a mischievous grin!

The logo is said to have brought the Celtics good luck, since they won their first championship in 1957, so it has remained ever since. Seventeen world championships later, the logo at center court is one of Boston’s most cherished icons and a symbol of a great sports franchise.

For more on Boston's Irish history, visit

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Civil War Lecture on the Irish Fighting Ninth Regiment at the Boston Public Library on Wednesday, November 16

Ninth Regiment Flag, in the Flag Display at the Massachusetts State House

Author and historian Christian Samito is giving a lecture entitled The Fighting Ninth Massachusetts Regiment at the Boston Public Library on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Mr. Samito is author of Commanding Boston's Irish Ninth: The Civil War Letters of  Patrick R. Guiney. and Becoming American Under Fire.

The 9th Regiment was organized in June 1861 shortly after the war broke out and was composed mainly of Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans.   Colonel Thomas Cass was the leader of the regiment.

The lecture is part of the Boston Public Library's ongoing series of exhibits and lectures to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

For more information on Boston Irish history and heritage, visit

For cultural activities of the Irish community in greater Boston, visit

For tourist information visit and

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boston Massacre Memorial Unveiled on November 14, 1888

On Wednesday, November 14, 1888, the citizens of Boston unveiled the Boston Massacre Memorial on the Tremont Street Mall on Boston Common.  The Memorial commemorated the death of five Bostonians who were gunned down by British soldiers in Boston on March 5, 1770, an episode that helped launch the Revolutionary War.

Governor Oliver Ames attended, along with Mayor Hugh O'Brien, the city's first Irish-born mayor of Boston.  Irish-born poet John Boyle O'Reilly penned a poem for the occasion,  He entitled  it, Crispus Attucks, in honor of the African American who was one of the five martyrs killed that evening, along with Patrick Carr, an Irish sailor, Samuel Gray, James Caldwell and Sam Maverick.  

Surprisingly, there was opposition to the Memorial from old-line Bostonians.   Jeffrey Roche noted in his biography of O'Reilly:

"A vigorous attempt was made by certain gentlemen of Tory proclivities to prevent the (memorial), by showing that Attucks and his comrades were "rioters" and "rebels."  The Massachusetts Historical Society petitioned Governor Ames to refuse his sanction to the bill, and made a bitter attack on the memory of the Revolutionary martyrs.  O'Reilly, true to his democratic instincts, ranged himself on the side of those who desired to honor the (patriots)."

For a great account of the Memorial by Boston writer and blogger Chris Klein, click here.  

For more about Boston history and the Boston Irish contribution, visit

Monday, November 14, 2011

Irish Musicians Grainne Murphy and Kathleen Boyle perform at Boston College on November 15

Irish traditional music duo Grainne Murphy and Kathleen Boyle perform a free concert as part of the Gaelic Roots program at Boston College on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

The concert takes place at 2101 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Gaelic Roots series is organized by Seamus Connolly, Sullivan Artist in Residence at Boston College, and sponsored by the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College.

Murphy is a champion fiddle player from the Boston area and is part of a musical family.  She studied the fiddle with Seamus Connolly.  Boyle is based in Glasgow, Scotland and is a champion accordion player.

For year round details on Irish music and dance in Massachusetts and the New England states, visit

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tony McManus Performs at Blackstone River Theatre on November 12

Virtuoso Celtic guitarist Tony McManus is performing at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling 401 725-9272. 

McManus is a self-taught traditional musician from Scotland whose records have won numerous awards over the past fifteen years. In addition to releasing six CDs, McManus has appeared on numerous other albums with top Celtic musicians.

For a full schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, click here.

For year round Irish and other cultural activities in Massachusetts and the Neew England region, visit

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lecture at Boston University on Japanese Noh Performance & the Irish National Theater on Thursday, November 10

Carrie Preston, Assistant Professor at Boston University's College of Arts & Sciences, is holding  live demonstration and discussion of Japanese Noh and its adaptions around the world at a luncheon on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. at the Castle at 225 Bay State Road in Boston.

Admission is $10 and registration is required by 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.  For online registration, click here.

A classical Japanese musical drama started in the 14th century, Noh Theatre was adapted by Irish poet and playwright William B. Yeats for Ireland's National Theatre movement at the turn of the 20th century.

Preston, who studied Noh in Japan, will discuss how Noh performance technique led her to  reconsider her own assumptions about teaching, learning and national identity.

The event is part of BU's Arts, Culture, and Ideas series, which gives alumni a chance to dicuss topics with faculty members.  It is sponsored by the BU Alumni Association and the BU Humanities Foundation.

For other Irish cultural activities in the greater Boston area, visit

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blackstone River Theatre Presents Long Time Courting in Concert on November 5

Long Time Courting, a female Irish traditional and folk music ensemble, is performing at Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI on Saturday, November 8, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 day of of show.

The band includes Sarah Blair on fiddle/vocals, Liz Simmons on guitar/vocals, Shannon Heaton on flute/vocals, and Ariel Friedman on cello/vocals.  Based in Boston, the women came together over their shared love of traditional Irish, Scottish and American folk music as well as contemporary material. They bring elements of these various genres to their repertoire in a way that is seamlessly innovative, inventively arranged, and skillfully rendered.

For a full schedule of upcoming concerts at Blackstone River Theatre, click here.

For year round details on Irish-American culture, music, dance and other activities, visit