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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Irish Pipers Club of Boston Holds its First Concert on January 11, 1910 in the South End

Patsy Touhey 

"The first concert of the Irish Pipers' Club of Boston was held in Wells Memorial Hall on Tuesday, January 11, 1910," according to The Republic Newspaper published on January 15, 1910.

The hall was located at 978 Washington Street in Boston's South End, then a heavily Irish neighborhood.  

The concert was significant for Irish music historians because it included notable uilleann pipers Michael and William Hanafin and John Nolan.  And guests in the audience were identified as Sergeant James Early of the Irish Music Club of Chicago and Patsy Touhey, who was born in Galway and grew up in South Boston. Touhey was considered by many to be the finest piper of his generation.

Other performers included singer Peter O'Neill, Irish step dancer James Cahill and the Irish Choral Society, led by director Charles F. Forrester.

The Republic Newspaper was owned by John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the grandfather of President John F. Kennedy

For more about Irish music in Boston, see Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past.

For details on Irish cultural activities in greater Boston, visit


  1. I spent some hours reading microfiche articles in "The Republic" at the BPL (~1904). It's a great resource for Irish Boston history, but it's a shame that years are missing. If you happen to know anyplace else that has these archives, please let me know.

    John Leahy
    Grandson of Mass Senator David D Leahy 1903, 1903. South End Boston.

    1. Thanks John, good to hear from you....have you tried BC's O'Neill or Burns Library?

    2. Nine months late with my reply, sorry. I tried Burns and I contacted JFK library, (Honey Fitz owned The Republic at one time. The librarian there just "sniffed" that their library is national in scope, "The Republic" was local to Boston.