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Showing posts from April, 2015

Irish Rebels Seize Dublin Post Office in Easter Uprising, 1916

Flag of the Irish Citizens Army On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, an insurrection against British rule in Ireland took place in the capitol city of Dublin .  Led by a collection of volunteer organizations including the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Sinn Fein, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizens Army, the armed uprising was planned for months in advance.  But the capture of the German ship, the Aud, bringing guns for the rebels meant that “any chance of a successful uprising disappeared,” wrote Irish historian Michael Kenny in The Road to Freedom , published by the National Museum of Ireland. An official British communication, published in The Boston Globe , read: “At noon yesterday serious disturbances broke out in Dublin .  A large party of men identified with the SF party, mostly armed, occupied Stephen’s Green and took possession forcibly of the Postoffice, where they cut the telegraph and telephonic wires.  Houses were also occupied in Stephen’s Green, Sac

Boston College Arts Festival Features Gaelic Roots Performers on April 23

Seamus Connolly The 17th annual Boston College Arts Festival , which runs April 23-25, 2015,  kicks off this year with a performance by BC's Gaelic Roots program , run by master fiddler Seamus Connolly.  The performance of Irish music with dancing takes place at O'Neill Plaza on campus, from noon to 12:45 on Thursday, April 23. The three-day festival includes dozens of performances, ranging from music and dance to theater and art exhibits to literary readings and film showings.  Here is a complete 2015 schedule . The Gaelic Roots program was first introduced to Boston College by Seamus Connolly in 1990, and since then it has become one of the most important academic programs for the study of Gaelic music and dance. You can follow Gaelic Roots on Facebook . Find year round information on Irish cultural activities in greater Boston at .

Johnny Kelley - One of the Boston Marathon Greats

Photo Courtesy of Boston Public Library The 119th annual Boston Marathon  takes place on Monday, April 20, 2015, a good time to reflect on John Adelbert  Kelley, considered by many to be the quintessential amateur runner who exemplifies the spirit of the Boston Marathon.   Kelley ran his first marathons in 1928 and 1932 but did not finish either race.  He ran again in 1933 and then competed in every single race through 1992!  He finished in the top 10 eighteen times, taking first place in 1935 and again in 1945.  He owns the record for the most races started (61) and the most finished (58).  His best time was two hours and thirty minutes, posted in 1943.  He was 84 when he ran his last race in 1992, posting a time of five hours and fifty-eight minutes. He was christened Johnny "The Elder" Kelley, when John J. Kelley (no relation) emerged as a champion in the 1950s, winning the race in 1957.  Kelley was born in 1907 in Medford, MA, and traces his ancest

April 18, 1949: 26 Counties of Ireland Officially became the Republic of Ireland, Despite deValera Objection

√Čamon de Valera, who served as  Ireland ’s prime minister from 1933 through 1948, had remained forceful in calling for the unification of  Ireland  and for breaking away from the  British Commonwealth . De Valera toured the US in March 1948, rallying Americans to help Ireland get rid of partition.  In Boston he said, "If people around the world would make it clear that partition cannot be, it would disappear."  In December 1948  the Irish Parliament passed the  Republic  of  Ireland Act , in tandem with the British Nationality Act, declaring that “People born in Eire in the future will be  Eire  subjects and not British subjects.”   On Monday, April 18, 1949,  Ireland  officially became the  Republic  of  Ireland  and severed its ties to the  British Commonwealth .  But the six counties known as Northern Ireland opted to remain part of Great Britain.  In Dublin, 200,000 people jammed onto O'Connell Street to celebrate the new Republic, noted  The Bos