There are a couple of benefits coming up this weekend before Thanksgiving. First, on Saturday, the Philadelphia Irish Open Golf tournament takes place at Cobbs Creek Golf Course in Philadelphia. It will raise money for the Tansey family, formerly of Mayo, who lost their home, belongings, and pets in an house fire.
Gabriel Donohue, Raymond McGroary, Seamus Kelleher, Bill Donohue, Raymond Coleman, and Diarmuid MacDuibhne will be singing and playing their hearts out to raise money on Sunday for the Philadelphia Sunday Irish radio shows on WTMR 800 AM. It all takes place at The Dubliner on the Delaware in New Hope, starting at 1 PM.
This Sunday, The Delaware Valley Irish Hall of Fame will induct four new members and present its new Commodore Barry Award to the Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band.
Musicians Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormley, who helped found the Next Generation group of young Irish traditional musicians in the Philadelphia region; Upper Darby physician Denis Boyle, MD, who offers his care to the homeless and undocumented; and Mary Frances Fogg, who has been both fundraiser and, using her government savvy, red tape cutter for the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade will all be honored at the event at the Irish Center.
Leading the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade as grand marshal this March will be a man who understands the price of equality, justice, and freedom.
Paul Doris, a native of Coalisland, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland, was a young man working in Portadown in 1972, when British troops in the mainly Catholic Bogside region of Derry shot 26 unarmed people protesting the British introduction of internment without trial in response to sectarian violence across the six counties. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Three days afterward, three men showed up at Doris’s door. One was armed. They ordered him to leave, telling him that Catholics would no longer have any work. Doris’s two younger brothers were subsequently imprisoned. One cousin was shot and killed and another wounded in two separate incidents.
It was just the thing that Jim McLaughlin would have loved. A big room filled with people he knew and a sprinkling of strangers he’d know by the end of the night, right on campus at his alma mater, St. Joseph’s University, his beloved Hawk Hill. There was music—provided by his young friend, fiddler Alex Weir, and his own brothers, Bob, who plays the flute, and Tom and his bluegrass band. And dancing. He loved to dance.
The Irish American Business Chamber and Network planned and executed a perfect Jim McLaughlin night on Thursday to honor its former president who died this year from a brain tumor at the age of 67. At his funeral mass in the chapel of St. Joe’s, the priest—a St. Joe’s professor and friend—called Jim McLaughlin “the most open, kind, and loveable” person he’d ever met.
The Mayo Ball is Saturday night at The Irish Center. They’ll be laughing and dancing and having, well, a ball, for the 110th time since the Mayo Association was founded. They’ll also be selecting Miss Mayo 2016. It all takes place in the ballroom starting at 8 PM. Entertainment will be provided by Vince Gallagher and his band, DJ John Shields, and the Rince Ri School of Irish Dance.
Also on Saturday night: Designer Bag Bingo to benefit the Cummins School of Irish Dance at the Holy Martyrs Church Hall in Oreland, and the Glenside Gaelic skating fundraiser at Old York Road Skating Club.
There are two events on Sunday where you can enjoy some Irish music and craic: First is the AOH Ceili, known as Veronica’s Ceili, at the hall in Swedesboro of the AOH Notre Dame Division 1. Jimmy and John McGillian and Tom McHugh will be producing the music to dance to. Second, the AOH/LAOH Annual Freedom for All-Ireland benefit will be held at the FOP Lodge #5 in Northeast Philadelphia. Proceeds from the event will go to charity and community organizations in Northern Ireland.
There was a full house on Mischief Night at The Irish Center in Philadelphia for an evening of original, ghostly tales from five writers who composed them just for the event.
The authors, who came in costume, included Marita Krivda, author of the historical book, “Irish Philadelphia,” who also organized the evening’s entertainment; Marian Makins, PhD, who teaches critical writer at the University of Pennsylvania and is a singer; Thom Nickels, the author of 11 books, the latest of which is the soon-to-be published “Literary Philadelphia;” Gerry Sweeney, and Lori Lander Murphy, a librarian, genealogist, and writer and photographer for www.irishphiladelphia.com.
Lori agreed to share her story of young love and death with us so you can feel like you were part of the evening.
The beautiful 19th century St. Malachy’s Church in North Philadelphia will be the setting on Sunday, November 1 for the annual Mick Moloney and Friends concert to benefit the church and school founded by Irish immigrants and the Sisters of Mercy.
Limerick native Moloney, who is both a musician and historian, first started the concert more than 25 years ago when he was living in Philadelphia and working at the University of Pennsylvania. The catalyst for the concert was his friendship with then pastor, Father John McNamee, whose book, “Diary of a City Priest,” chronicled his years ministering to the poor in North Philadelphia.
Moloney has been credited with renewing interest in traditional Irish music in the Philadelphia region. McNamee turned a small Catholic parish school into a showpiece for the benefits of a Catholic education: Most of its graduates go on to higher education; even its kindergartners test out at 10 percent above grade level in reading.
Before Halloween meant going from house to house in costume demanding candy, it was Samhain (Sah-win), a Celtic festival that marked the end of the year and, most important, a time when the curtain between the living and the dead, the flesh and the spirit, grew thin enough to permit passage between them. Ancient Celts left food for their dead ancestors and participated in rituals to honor the dead and any protective spirits hovering nearby.
It’s a harvest festival, the remnants of which remain in our carving of pumpkins and bobbing for apples (does anyone really do that anymore?).