How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

One of the most exciting highlights of the Philly Irish calendar is set to step off this week. It’s Dancing Like a Star, a great competition to benefit the Delaware County Gaels Youth GAA Club. Details on that in a few moments.

But before that happens …

There’s a fundraiser Saturday sponsored by one of the dance teams—Team Red, a/k/a Tommy Higgins and Heather Crossan—at McKenna’s Kitchen and Market, 1901 Darby Road in Havertown. It’s a delectable brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and part of the proceeds will go to the Delco Gaels and helps Team Red in Dancing Like a Star. Go and strap on the old feedbag for a worthy cause. Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Behind the Bar: Tammy Rhodes of McGillin’s Olde Ale House

You want to go where everybody knows your name. True. But McGillin’s bartender Tammy Rhodes got to know one patron so well, that she took his name.

Tammy met her future husband, construction worker Dusty Rhodes, in the bar about 17 years ago.

“He was a regular on the floor,” Tammy recalls, “but I got him to come up to the bar. He always sat at a table. One of his friends always used to mess around with me, joking, and one day he said to him, you should get her away from her boyfriend. He’s mean to her. Once he came up to the bar, we started talking.”

They haven’t stopped talking since. Three years ago, they were married at City Hall. “January was actually our third anniversary,” Tammy says. “We got married right around the corner, and after that we came back to McGillin’s. When we walked in, my bosses had given all my customers champagne. They were all cheering us. It was really nice.” Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Hometown Favorite: Chocolate-Irish Cream Cheesecake with Walnut Crust


It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to love—love and Champagne, hearts, flowers and, of course, chocolate.

Try this yummy Irish cream-laced chocolate cheesecake (made with Philadelphia cream cheese) for a delicious Valentine’s Day treat.

You’ll find other recipes like this in my Favorite Flavors of Ireland cookbook. To order, visit Continue Reading

Audio, Music

Podcast: Interview with Oisín Mac Diarmada of Téada

In the world of Irish traditional music, you would be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished and creative group than Téada.

County Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, the group’s founder, recently sat down for an interview with The conversation was wide-ranging, starting with his earliest days in County Clare learning the fiddle—sometimes when he might have preferred playing football to practicing—to a time when it seemed his career path might lie in the field of education, and ultimately to the successful career he has carved out with Téada and his talented bandmates.

The picture he paints is one of a musical journey ever evolving and ever more creative.

Téada will be appearing Thursday, February 21, at Sellersville Theater 1894, 24 West Temple Avenue in Sellersville. The show starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30. Ticket prices range from $21.50 to $29.50.

Tickets and more information here.

Editor’s note: All Irish Philly podcasts are now available on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and Spotify.

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

This week’s roundup includes a couple of activities for the kids that are really guaranteed to help them learn how to be Irish. Of course, there’s a lot for the rest of us, too.

First, a couple of quick reminders:

Tonight, try your luck at LAOH Division 87 Our Lady of Knock, 2171 Wakeling Street in Philly’s Port Richmond neighborhood, by playing Mystery Prize Bingo. It’ll cost you $35 for 10 rounds of bingo, desserts and coffee. BYOB and snacks. The event is from 7 to 10 p.m.

The winner of each round will pick up a “mystery” prize with a minimum retail value of $100. With 10 or more paid tickets, reserve a table. For tickets contact Nancy Jones at 267-241-4677 or

Continue Reading


Podcast: Interview with Celtic Woman’s Tara McNeill

With her violin, Tara McNeill provides what she calls Celtic Woman’s fourth voice. And a lovely voice it is.

From early childhood, when she first took up violin, harp and singing, violin has always been her first love. The sound of the violin, she says, conveys layers of emotion that have always appealed to her.

In 2016, she realized a life’s ambition—joining Celtic Woman as a principal member, replacing the previous violinist Mairead Nesbitt. Continue Reading


Put on Your Dancing Shoes, Kids! Come to the Irish Center’s Middle School Social

The ballroom at the Philadelphia Irish Center is often home to social events of one kind or another, including concerts and pageants, or banquets and balls hosted by the city’s many county organizations.

It’s a popular place—but often, mostly among adults.

On Saturday, March 2, the ballroom will play host to a younger crowd. Much younger.

That evening, the Irish Center (also known as the Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center), will host its first-ever Middle School Social for 6th, 7thand 8thgraders. The Center is located in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood.

It’s all part of an effort to make the Center a more welcoming place for the next generation and their families. That, in turn, is an outgrowth of a survey the Center conducted fairly recently when it became incorporated as a nonprofit. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

If you like bingo and other games, this is your week.

Let’s start with a quick reminder. There’s a cash bingo tonight at St. George’s Church, 1 West Ardmore Avenue in Ardmore, to benefit the Irish Immigration Center of Greater Philadelphia’s Foróige Youth Club. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets $35. There will be 10 games and raffles. BYOB.

On Friday, you can try your luck at Mystery Prize Bingo, sponsored by Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 87 Our Lady of Knock, at 2171 Wakeling Street in Philly’s Port Richmond neighborhood. Tickets are 35 bucks and include 10 rounds of bingo, bringing you 10 chances to win cool mystery prizes valued at $100 each. The event includes coffee and desserts. BYOB and snacks. The games start at 7 p.m. For info, contact Nancy Jones at 267-241-4677 or email Continue Reading