Search This Blog

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy's Garden and Greenway along Boston Irish Heritage Trail

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890-1995), who held the Kennedy family together through tragedy and triumph for much of the 20th century, is permanently enshrined along Boston’s waterfront, with the Rose Kennedy Garden and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

The Rose Kennedy Garden  is the first stop on Boston's Irish Heritage Trail, a walking tour of twenty landmarks that tell three centuries of Boston Irish history.  The Trail winds its way through downtown Boston and into the Back Bay, then ends at Fenway Park.

Located on Atlantic Avenue, not far from Rose’s birthplace at 4 Garden Court in the North End, the Rose Kennedy Garden is a small enclosed rose garden, encircled by an iron wrought fence, with a granite fountain as the centerpiece. It is part of Christopher Columbus Park, which runs along the waterfront and looks out onto Boston Harbor.  The Garden was officially dedicated on July 22, 1987 by Rose’s family, including Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who called his mother “the greatest teacher and most wonderful mother that any child could ever have.”

Today, the Rose Kennedy Garden has 104 rose bushes, one for every year of Rose’s life.

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is Boston's evolving gateway of parks, hotels, restaurants, cultural institutions, beer gardens and tourist amenities that has helped make Boston’s waterfront area a bustling new destination for both residents and visitors.  

The 27 acre swath of Greenway once lay beneath the unsightly and noisy Central Artery, a four lane, mile and a half highway built in the 1950s.  When the highway finally came down, the greenway began to take shape, connecting the city’s waterfront to the rest of downtown.

Since opening in 2008, the Greenway has become one of the city’s most popular public spaces, drawing office workers, tourists, students, conventioneers and local residents to enjoy its sweeping vistas and friendly amenities.  With a magnificent Carousel, public art, water fountains, concerts, food courts, Wi-Fi access and well-tended gardens, the Greenway serves its mission of being an urban oasis that is free and open to all. 

Neighbors along the Greenway, including Boston Harbor Hotel and InterContinental Boston Hotel, have been partners in ensuring access to the wharfs and harbor walkway that encircles the harbor.

Rose Kennedy is officially enshrined in law too.  Some years ago, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill proclaiming her birthday, July 22 as “Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Day” in the Commonwealth.

To find more about her Rose’s life, visit the John F.Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline, or the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library at Columbia Point in Dorchester.  The Library recently issued a book, Rose Kennedy’s Family Album, which traces her life from 1878-1946 and has wonderful photos of the Kennedy family.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Irish Traditional Music in Vermont this Fall Features Haley Richard & Quinn Bachand, Frankie Gavin and The Murphy Beds

Three Irish traditional music concerts are coming up at Mount Hollywood Studio in Belmont, Vermont this fall.  Suggested donation to each concert is $20 and patrons are encouraged to BYOB.

Performances include:

October 26 - Haley Richardson & Quinn Bachand

October 29 - Frankie Gavin

November 29 - The Murphy Beds

These concerts are organized by Mount Hollywood Studios owner and  Rod Ferrell and noted traditional musician Claudine Langille.

Mount Hollywood Studios is located at 45 Frost Hill Rd in Belmont, Vermont. 

For year round information on Irish cultural activities in New England, visit

Boston Irish Beer Fest in Canton on October 19

The premier Irish Beer Fest takes place at the Irish Cultural Centre (ICC) in Canton on Saturday,  October 19, 2019.  The fest runs from 1 - 10 p.m..  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or at the venue. ICC members are admitted free.
Beer tasting tents include: Authentic Irish Ales & Stouts, Irish Craft Brew, Local 'Celtic' Brews, Irish Cider, Pumpkin & Ginger Brews.  In addition, Irish whiskey tastings are also being offered. 
ICC Chef Joe Kilcommons has created a special menu for the Irish Beer Fest, to include Guinness Stew, Kerry Gold Cheese Burger, Irish Seafood Chowder, Fish & Chips. 
Artisan Food Trucks are also at the fest.
Two music stages feature a variety of traditional and local bands throughout the fest.  Here is the schedule of performances:
Traditional Irish Music tent
1-4pm: Jimmy Lever, Ciaran Dalton & Jen O'Shea.
4-6pm: Natasha Sheehy & Billy O'Neill will lead an open music session from 4-6pm. Irish trad musicians welcome & will get free entry with their instruments
6:30pm - 9:30pm: Ceili Mor in the Big Tent with Ceoltas Ceoltoiri Eireann

The Tent on the MAIN field will feature
1-4pm: The Rebels ( A Tom Petty Tribute Band),
4-7pm: DEVRI
7-10pm: Barry Hynes, Dave Barry & Amanda Biagi

Family and children's activities take place from 1-4 p.m. Other activities include face painting,pony rides, a petting zoo much more.  There's also a Vikings encampment and battle, Tug-O-War competitions, Archery exhibits Irish dancing and more.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Gaelic Sports Rivalries in Boston, 1929, Kerry-Cork, Roscommon-Galway

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) of Massachusetts held a series of football games at Tech Field in Brookline on Columbus Day weekend on Saturday October 12, 1929.  Five matches in football and hurling were slated for the day.

The big matches were between Roscommon-Galway and Cork and Kerry.

Over Labor Day Weekend in August, Galway had defeated Roscommon 12-3 in its Labor Day match. And the Cork-Kerry match had ended in a 6-6 tie, according to The Boston Globe.

The GAA of Massachusetts formed in 1923, part of a series of local initiatives to preserve and promulgate Irish sports, culture, language and heritage in the Boston area.  By 1929 there were 9 hurling teams and 15 football teams in Massachusetts, according to author Alan Barnier in his book Sports and the Irish.

Read more about the Northeaster GAA Division, based at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA.