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Denise Foley

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Don’t let a little chance of rain spook you. Hey, what does Hurricane Schwartz know? Tomorrow is a great day to head out to Cherokee Day Camp and Festival Grounds in Bensalem for the Philadelphia Fleadh. There’s fabulous music on five stages from Jamison, No Irish Need Apply, The John Byrne Band, the Bogside Rogues, the Shantys, the Paul Moore Band, the Kilmaine Saints and more. There’s a feis open to all dance schools, a ceili sponsored by Comhaltas, and loads of kids’ activities and kids under 12 get in free! It’s a great family outing.

The group Glengesh is at the Dubliner on the Delaware on Saturday night. They were asked to sing the National Anthem at Irish Heritage Night at the Phillies a couple of weeks ago. Continue Reading

News, People, Photos

More Than 250 Walked From Darkness Into Light

The Sharpie-written notes on the “Banner of Hope” offered the answer to the question, “Why did you get up at 3 in the morning to do a 5K in the rain?”

“In loving memory of my dear Lori. Love you. This one’s for you.”

“In memory of Paddy, Love, Brigid.”

“Missing you always!” This tiny message appeared under a drawing of a yellow butterfly whose artist added a smudge of orange and two tiny antennae with care.

Some left lists of names; Sinead. Johnny. Keiran. Wee Pat. Eddie.

All of them, messages to people who died by their own hand.

More than 250 people gathered outside Lloyd Hall on Kelly Drive at the top of Boathouse Row starting at 3 AM last Saturday to participate in the “Darkness Into Light” 5K to benefit Pieta House, an Irish organization that provides free counseling to those considering suicide or self-harm. Fox29’s Bob Kelly hosted the opening ceremonies and helped rally the runners and walkers who were already soaked by the persistent drizzle. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Tomorrow morning at 4:15, a group of runners and walkers will brave the rain, the chill, and the dark to do a 5K course, all to raise money for an Irish organization that helps those who are considering suicide.

The “Darkness Into Light” 5K will be duplicated around the world, from Canada to Ireland to Australia, anywhere Ireland’s diaspora live. It’s a major fundraiser for Pieta House, which offers free counseling for those in the depths of despair. Pieta House opened its first North American branch last August in New York. Local supporters hope to open a Pieta House in the Philadelphia area. Read more about it here.

The event start at Lloyd Hall on Kelly Drive, along the Schuykill River, and will end on the Art Museum steps at the head of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Latecomers are welcome. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish In Philly This Week

A wee bit of a light week as we welcome the flowers of May.

The 35th anniversary of the death of Irish Hunger Striker Bobby Sands will be commemorated on Thursday at Tir na nOg , 1324 Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. No details on what’s going to be happening, but it starts at 8 PM. There’s sure to be music.

Also on Thursday, the duo, Slainte, will be playing at Con Murphy’s Pub on the Parkway in Philadelphia.

The John Byrne Band will be performing in concert on Friday at the parish house at Christ Church Riverton in Riverton, NJ. Continue Reading

News, Photos

A Solemn Remembrance of 1916

With solemn ceremony and rousing speeches, Philadelphia’s Irish community celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising on Sunday, April 24, the lost battle that led to the ultimate victory of Irish independence.

The event started in the blazing sunshine at The Irish Memorial, where a number of local dignitaries, including State Rep. Mike Driscoll and Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon spoke. Using only an index card for reference, Irish-born Patsy Kelly, told the history of the uprising, in which about 1200 armed Irish men and women seized buildings in Dublin, launched by the reading of The Proclamation by Irish teacher Padraig Pearse.

That document, which proclaimed Ireland a free republic belonging to the Irish people, was read later at Independence Hall, first in English by Regina Mullen Bocchino and Dierdre Mullen, the granddaughters of Joseph McGarrity, a Philadelphia-based businessman from Tyrone who was considered the financier of the rebellion, and then in Irish by Temple University cardiologist Brian O Murchu, MD. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

This Sunday, April 24, Irish organizations from all over the region will converge on Philadelphia to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the lost battle that ultimately won Ireland its independence from British rule.

It starts with a flag-raising at The Irish Memorial at Front and Chestnut Streets at 10 AM followed by a procession to Independence Hall at 5th and Market Streets where the Proclamation—Ireland’s “Declaration of Independence”–will be read out loud.

There will be food available after the ceremonies at The Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street in Philadelphia. Several bands will be playing. Continue Reading

News, People, Photos

Meet the New Philadelphia Rose of Tralee

The 26-year-old executive director of a Philadelphia nonprofit serving homeless veterans was crowned the 2016 Philadelphia Rose of Tralee on Saturday night at the Radnor Hotel. The event was emceed by CBS3 consumer reporter Jim Donovan.

The latest Rose, Brigid Gallagher, has the inside scoop on what she’s in for this year. Her older sister, Colleen, was the 2007 Philly Rose. The two wrote and illustrated a children’s book and, along with running the Philadelphia Veterans’ House, Brigid Gallagher is completing her masters of art therapy and counseling at Drexel University. A graduate of West Chester University with a degree in graphic design and psychology, The new Rose is a marathoner and one of the newest members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the oldest Irish organization in the US, located in Philadelphia, which recently opened its membership to women.

Brigid is the middle sister of seven girls—so there may be more Gallagher Roses to come. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Whoever came up with the idea of turning Mick Moloney, Robbie O’Connell and Jimmy Keane into a group, hurray for you.

These three traditional Irish musicians have been at the forefront of Irish music for more years than they care to count. And they’re coming to the Irish Center on Saturday night for a concert sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group.

Singer and musician Mick Moloney, a Limerick native, is an honorary Philadelphia. He pursued his graduate studies at Penn in 1973 and stayed on for several years to revive the Irish music tradition in the city. He’s also the architect of two topnotch groups, Cherish the Ladies and The Green Fields of America. He is a Natational Endowment of the Arts Heritage fellow. Continue Reading