How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

Every edition of “How to Be Irish” is an opportunity to celebrate your heritage, but this week even more so, as you can delve into what, in Irish terms, might seem like relatively recent history. You can also dig into your own family story.

Here’s what’s up.

Friday, October 30

Frank Daly of Jamison Celtic Rock takes the stage at Gaul & Co. Malt House, 704 Huntingdon Pike in Rockledge, starting at 5 p.m. A great venue, and a crowd-pleasing musician. Live music is still a rarity—at least not as common as you’d like—so support this performance if you can.

If you’re not out and about and you’d like to indulge your taste for live Irish music, the great Mary Courtney is back with a show live on Facebook. Will she ever run out of tunes? Not likely. Is there any end to her talent? Not really. Anyway, check out her tunes here, starting at 6 p.m.: She’ll be accepting tips, too, so chip in.

Sunday, November 1

Get up early to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of a true Irish martyr, Kevin Barry. He was an Irish republican executed by the British during the Irish War of Independence November 1, 1920. He was just 18. The commemoration takes place at the Philadelphia Art Museum near the Rocky steps, starting at 7:30 a.m. Hosted by the Kevin Barry Gaelic Football Club. Wear a mask and observe social distancing.

You can continue in the same vein later in the day with hours of tunes commemorating the lives and sacrifices of Irish patriots, live on Facebook, starting at 1 p.m. Details here:

On the virtual stage: Paddy Mangan, Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones, Dreams of Freedom, Achill Crossing and Sheena Mullan.

Later in the day, starting at 5 p.m., take in a cocktail hour (and a half) with fiddler Caitlin Finley and flutist/piper Will Woodson. Check it out here: They’ll be taking tips, too.

Tuesday, November 3

Research your Irish ancestors, virtually over Zoom, hosted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. It’s the beginning of a full five-week class, which meets every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. All the details and registration info are on the Historical Society website:

The society promises to help you find “the best process for Irish research to get the maximum results for your research hours and explore the free online websites that may reveal where your Irish ancestors lived.” Instructors include professional genealogists Sydney Cruice Dixon and Frank Southcott, together with Pamela Guye Holland, who specializes in Irish and genetic genealogy.

If you’ve reached a point in your research where you’re just stumped—or if you just plain don’t know where to start, this seems like a really worthwhile endeavor.

And that’s it for this week.

Just an FYI: There won’t be a “How to Be Irish” next week.

Take care and see you when we see you.

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