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Showing posts from May, 2018

Thomas J. Flatley (1931-2008) In Memoriam

Tom Flatley , business leader, philanthropist, devout Catholic, and champion of people in need, was the chairman of the  Boston Irish Famine Memorial  committee, which was formed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Ireland's devastating famines in the 1840s.   The Memorial, created by sculptor   Robert Shure , was unveiled on June 28, 1998 before 7,000+ people.  A Commemorative Book  was issued on the day of the unveiling, with text from the eight commemorative plaques encircling the twin statues. As part of  Boston's Irish Heritage Trail , the Irish Famine Memorial continues to be a destination for visitors and residents who pass the park each year and stop to reflect on the story of the Irish and other immigrants who cross oceans and desserts to come here.   Mr. Flatley died ten years ago on May 17, 2008, but his vision, charity and faith continue to inspire people who knew him.   

Feis Ceol Agus Seanachas Held in Boston

Courtesy of Performing Arts Archive A Festival of Irish Minstrelsy, Song and History, known in Gaelic as Feis Ceol Agus Seanachas, was held at Hollis Street Theatre in Boston on May 6, 1900.   The festival was organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians , the Philo-Celtic Society of Boston and the Gaelic Society.   Among the highlights: a Gaelic version of “The Star Spangled Banner” by eminent Irish baritone William Ludwig . The Boston Globe described the festival thus: “the occasion will form a novel innovation, inasmuch as for the first time in Boston the ballads of chivalry, love and war, Gaelic folk songs, gems of Irish opera and other unusual features of Irish national music will be heard, as well as the more familiar harp and bagpipe music of Ireland.” Professor Fred Robinson , Gaelic scholar at Harvard University was cited as an enthusiast for the city’s Irish language movement. Ludwig, ‘whose lifework has been given to the interpretation of Irish