Aon Sceal?

[cincopa 10740797]Well, she may not have brought home a third crown (the London Rose took it for a second year in a row), but the Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic Rose of Tralee, Mairead Conley, made a big impression when she competed a week ago in the international Rose of Tralee pageant, one of the largest festivals in Ireland.

Maureen O’Dwyer, who lives in Galway, emailed to praise Mairead. Here’s what she wrote:

“I have been watching the Rose of Tralee here in Galway with family, and all of us just think the Philadelphia Rose has been the most refreshing and brilliant ever. Never mind the Rose of Tralee: She just shines as a fab and great person … if you don’t win you have really won in other ways … good luck, Mairead!”

We agree. Mairead, who holds a degree in sociology from Temple University, serves as deputy director of community programming at the Irish Immigration Center, is on the board of directors of Irish Network-Philadelphia and is a singer, was feted by her friends this week at the Immigration Center. But, as you can see from the picture, she was back at work immediately—sashed, but no tiara.

In this video, Mairead reprises her talent.

Taking the Mommy Track
We recently ran into Laine Walker Hughes–she of the 1000-watt smile and the killer fiddle playing—who told us she’s left Paddy’s Well to concentrate on being a mom (she and bandmate/husband Joe Hughes have a young son) and her job as music teacher and band coordinator at Norristown Area High School.
“I even have a little group of fiddlers who are really great,” she said.
Paddy’s Well’s new fiddler is Paraic Keane, a Dubliner who comes from a noted Irish musical family: His father, Sean, was a member of The Chieftains, and his uncle James is such a well known box player, there’s even an instrument named after him (the Keane box).
Penn State Vs. Notre Dame
We happened across a rousing locker room speech video from Penn State on Facebok and had to find out more about it.
No, it wasn’t JoePa.
Turns out, there’s a serious rivalry brewing between Penn State and Notre Dame–at least, among the managers and staff at the Kildare’s Irish Pubs that have opened up in State College and in Indiana near the two big football schools.
So we asked Kildare’s marketing guy, Frank Daly, who is also a member of the Celtic rock band, Jamison.  “This is a pretty cool story,” he told us. “The GM of Kildare’s at Notre Dame, Jay Murphy, was a peer of the GM of Kildare’s Penn State, Eric Humphrys, when both of them worked for Molly Branigans. We ended up hiring both of them to run locations that are close to two of the most competitive football schools in the nation. They have been going back and forth on who’s pub will do better, so I thought I’d stir the pot a bit. “
Expect a Notre Dame response soon.
It’s an Irish Thing
Conan O’Brien (no, he’s not from here) told reporters that he dropped his last name from  his new late-night show—calling it simply, “Conan”—because he wants to “get away from the whole Irish thing.”
Of course, he’s kidding. That’s what he does for a living.
What’s Aon Sceal? It’s pronounced ay-n sh-kayl and it’s Irish for “what’s new” (or, technically, “any story”). It’s your chance to see your name in bold face print. Send your news to us at
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