How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

Not soccer, Gaelic football!

Not soccer, Gaelic football!

If you’ve given up on the Phillies already, why not try some Gaelic sports? The University Gaelic Football and Hurling Tournament is in Philadelphia on Saturday. Hosted by St. Joseph’s University Gaelic Football Club, the match between a dozen or so college-level Gaelic footballers and hurlers will take place at Monsignor Bonner High School, 403 N. Lansdowne Avenue in Drexel Hill, starting at 1 PM and going till sundown.

If you’ve never been up close and personal with Gaelic football and hurling, we can promise you an action-packed day.

Then on Sunday, head over to Bishop McDevitt High School in Wyncote for an open house with the Glenside Gaelic Athletic Association, the latest club for youngsters interested in football, hurling, and camogie (the ladies’ version of hurling). It’s a way for kids to have fun, get exercise, and help carry on Irish culture in America.

On Saturday night, Jamison provides the music for the AOH Black Jack Kehoe Div. 4’s annual fundraiser at the Regal Banquet Hall in Prospect Park. All proceeds benefit AOH charities, such as the Hibernian Hunger Project, which provides food to the needy.

On Sunday, the Derry Society is holding its annual spring social at the Irish Center. There will be music (The Shantys and the Derry Brigade), a DJ playing music for the kids—the social is always very kid-centric. Of course, there’s food and Irish dancers.

On Monday, the Teetotallers—the extraordinary fiddler Martin Hayes, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Crawford (Lunasa) and guitarist John Doyle—will be performing at Ware Recital Hall in the Swope Building on the West Chester University campus. These are world-class Irish musicians (and Kevin Crawford is really funny).

On Wednesday, the individuals and groups that won awards in the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be honored at an event at Finnigan’s Wake, 3rd and Spring Garden Streets in Philadelphia. The $25 price includes a buffet dinner, beverages and entertainment. And you don’t have to be an award winner to attend. The CBS3 parade team often shows up.

On Thursday, the Irish Pub at 20th and Walnut Streets in Philadephia is holding its annual Gathering of Heroes to benefit the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, founded in 1995 to provide support for children of Marines and federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty or under exceptional circumstances. This year, four Medal of Honor recipients will be in attendance, all veterans of the Vietnam War. There will be opportunities to meet and talk to these men—two Navy Seal veterans, one Army vet, and a Marine—who will also sign autographs and pose for photos.

Also on Thursday night, there will be a free screening of the documentary “Embrace the Brutality: A Continental Divide Adventure,” by local film maker Shane O’Donnell at the McSwiney Club in Jenkintown. The film, about a group of hikers who hit the trail from Mexico to Monday, features the music of local group RUNA, the John Byrne Band, Rorey Carroll, and others.

And a real treat for you Saw Doctors and Water Boys lovers—you know who you are. Leo Moran of the Saw Doctors and Anthony Thistlethwaite of The Water Boys will be performing together on stage at the Tin Angel on Second Street in Philadelphia on Friday night. Opening for them, half of the John Byrne Band: John Byrne and Maura Dwyer. (We don’t know where Rob Shaffer is, but Andy Keenan is touring with Amos Lee.) To get reserved seating at the concert at this tiny venue, you need to make a reservation for dinner at Serrano, the restaurant downstairs. And you have to eat there—they only honor reservations for actual diners. (You folks who made reservations and didn’t show up for dinner—shame on you!)

It’s not too late to get tickets for the annual Charlie Dunlop Memorial Fundraiser, slated for next Saturday, April 19. Named for a beloved Delaware County man with roots in Tyrone, the Charlie Dunlop Memorial Fund carries on the work of the man who died too young—offering a helping hand to those in crisis. Look for more information on this event and others on our calendar.

Author: Denise Foley

Denise is one of the founding editors of and a veteran magazine and newspaper writer and editor.

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1 Comment

  1. “The film, about a group of hikers who hit the trail from Mexico to Monday,”?

    “Embrace the Brutality” follows a group of friends and hikers as they head north from deserts of New Mexico toward the glaciers of Montana following the “spine” of the continent.

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