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Jeff Meade

News, People, Sports

Update on Local Gaelic Athlete Injured in Kelly Drive Accident

Paddy McStravog, 26, a member of Na Toraidhe Hurling Club and the Kevin Barry Gaelic Football Club, is awaiting a third surgery on his badly injured left leg following a motor vehicle accident on Kelly Drive near Falls Bridge on December 30. McStravog, who resides in Manayunk, is from Dungannon, County Tyrone. He arrived in the United States in March 2019.

Driver Paul Young, 35, of Mitchelstown, County Cork, and passenger Scott Ball, 36, did not survive the crash.

McStravog, a bricklayer by trade, is in Penn Presbyterian Hospital. He underwent 10 hours of surgery to repair injuries to his ankle and lower leg immediately following the accident. “He had gone in for a second surgery, but they didn’t complete that because his leg was too swollen,” says Katrina Terry, club secretary for Na Toraidhe. 

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How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

A relatively slow week is on tap, but … at a time like this, we’ll take anything we can get, right?

So here’s what’s going on:

Friday, January 15

Difficult choice tonight:

The effervescent Raymond Coleman will be playing at the Henry James Saloon, 577 Jamestown Avenue in Philadelphia, from 6 to 9 p.m. He’s always a guaranteed good time. Masks required, of course.

Jamison Celtic Rock front man Frank Daly is slated to appear at Gaul & Co. Malt House, 704 Huntingdon Pike in Rockledge, from 7 to 11 p.m. Also one of our very best performers. 

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News, People

Philly St. Patrick’s Parade Marches On … Next Year

With COVID-19 still very much an issue and a city moratorium on large gatherings in effect, the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day 250th parade is postponed until next March.

But fear not—you’ll probably be able to get your parade fix, at least in a little way.

The Philly parade was the first major event to be canceled in the city last year when the pandemic first started to take root. It was a major disappointment, but completely understandable. Making the same call this year also made sense, says Michael J. Bradley, Jr., a member of the St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association’s executive committee and parade director from 2002 to 2019.

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How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

We’re baaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaack.

Hope you all had a nice Christmas and New Year. (And here’s hoping and praying for a better new year, while we’re at it, though we’re clearly off to an incredibly rough start.)

We have a bunch of Irish-ness lined up for you.

So here’s what’s on tap:

Saturday, January 9

Frank Daly, front man for Jamison Celtic Rock, and fiddler Alice Marie, take the stage at Haggerty’s Cafe, 2373 MacDade Boulevard in Holmes, starting at 7 p.m.

Sunday, January 10

And … catch them again at Mifflin Tavern, 1843 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, beginning at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, January 12

The Irish Diaspora Center hosts its genealogy group (virtually), starting at 11 a.m. This session’s guest is Emily Schmidt, author of “The Galvin Girls.” (Story about that here.) You can register for the presentation right here.

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How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

It’s beginning to look a lot like Irish Philly Christmas. Most of what’s happening is online—however, there are a couple of live performances. Don’t let a little cold weather stop ya. There’s also a very special online concert that you will not want to miss on Monday.

Here’s what’s what.

Friday, December 18

You can’t keep a good band down, pandemic or no.

Jamison Celtic Rock presents “Celtic Christmas Live” at Renault Winery Resort’s “Vintner Wonderland,” 72 North Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City, N.J., starting at 6 p.m. It’s all socially distanced in the winery garden. (With lots of fire pits.) Details here.

Starting at 6 p.m., singer Mary Courtney offers up a bunch of tunes via Facebook. Check it out here. Mary will be accepting tips by PayPal and Venmo.

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Music, News

Up the Celts: A Benefit Irish Rock Band Festival on CD

Twenty years ago, seven of Philly’s top Irish rock musicians and bands helped raise money for the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Philadelphia by contributing tunes to a benefit CD called “Up the Celts.”

Now, a new CD is on the streets—Up the Celts Volume 2—with 15 contributors this time around, including Jamison, Raymond Coleman, The Shantys, the Birmingham Six, the Bogside Rogues, the John Byrne Band, and more.

As with so many projects and initiatives, this one was held up by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We started off this project in February,” says Brian Coleman, AOH Philadelphia County Board president. “We had all the bands on board right at the beginning of March—and then, you know what happened.”

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News, People

Looking After Their Own: Irish Community Rallies to Support Sean Hughes and Family

Grange, County Armagh, native Sean Hughes is in a medically induced coma in a Delaware hospital after suffering a severe head injury in a job site accident.

Hughes, a resident of Drexel Hill for the past five years, is a member and player of the Young Irelands Gaelic Football Club. Now, members of that tightknit community—and for that matter, hundreds of people from literally everywhere—are coming to the aid of Hughes, his wife Emily O’Neill and son Sean, 2 years old.

An online fund drive sponsored by the Young Irelands thus far has raised close to $70,000 in financial assistance for the family in just a few days.

No one expected the campaign to have a global reach.

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History, News

St. Stephen’s Day Wren Hat Competition!

December 26 is the feast day of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. 

Legend has it that St. Stephen’s hiding place was betrayed by the chattering of a wren.For centuries, the feast day has been recalled in Ireland by the “Wren boys,” who dress in motley clothing, marching from house to house to collect money for a party for the whole town or village, and sometimes to support a charity. 

Traditionally, they exacted their vengeance on the unfortunate bird by carrying a wren aloft on a stick—hunted down in the old days, but for years (mercifully) a toy bird.

One way to celebrate the day is by creating a colorful wren hat. Shannon Lambert-Ryan, with help from her eager assistant Liam de Barra, show you how in this video, a special edition of their Baking with Babies series. (Hint: It’s not just for babies!)

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