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Denise Foley

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

How to Be Irish in Philly

How To Be Irish in Philly This Week

Put up your dukes! This Saturday quite a few people will be doing just that at the Young Irelands Gaelic Football Club’s “Fight Night” fundraiser at The Irish Center in Philadelphia. There will be a real ring, real referees and real fighters. And yes, real blood. It’s real boxing. It happens.

You’re a lover, not a fighter? Well, Jamison is The Red Rooster in Philly on Saturday night. You’ll love their brand of Celtic rock. They’re also the only band in Philly whose fiddler is sometimes airborne. Said fiddler CJ Mills will also be at Reedy’s on Frankford Avenue on Friday, April 15, as part of Slainte, with Frank Daly, his Jamison bandmate. Continue Reading

History, News

Gravesite Remarks by Monaghan Councillor Sean Conlon

Sinn Fein member Sean Conlon, who spent part of his childhood in Delaware County, graciously shared with the remarks he made at the grave of Luke Dillon at the Easter Rising Ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.

A chairde,
It is an honour for me to be here, on the occasion of the centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising and stand with true friends of Ireland, and advocates for her liberation, to commemorate the contribution and sacrifices of Ireland’s patriot men and women associated with the Rising, and in all campaigns of resistance waged against the foreign occupation of our homeland. Today here at Holy Cross Cemetery, we invoke in particular, the memory of those who resided in the Philadelphia region, and that despite the distance of separation and communication, remained firm in dauntless spirit, and action, in supporting the efforts of their comrades in Ireland.
Since our last assembling here twelve months ago, we reflect on loved ones who have would regularly have attended events such as this commemoration or other opportunities to raise the flag for Ireland and her total independence. As a fellow activist who I recall in years when I lived in this area is the name of Tommy Flynn, along with the name of Sean Rocks, who as a member of the Breen family, is also especially missed today. Continue Reading

History, News, Photo Essays, Photos, Videos

Poignant Easter Rising Ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery

The annual Easter Rising ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery on April 3 took on special poignancy this year, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Dublin battle between Irish revolutionaries and British soldiers that played a pivotal role in the birth of the Irish Republic in 1922.

Members of the families of three prominent Irish freedom fighters who are buried in the Yeadon cemetery took part in the ceremonies, which included rifle salutes by the Pennslvania 69th Irish Volunteers re-enactors, speeches by Sinn Fein’s Sean Conlon, the Monaghan town councillor who spent part of his childhood in Delaware County; Judyann Gillespie McCarthy of the local 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration Committee, and Tyrone native and historian, Patsy Kelly. Continue Reading