On March 1, Irish Ambassador to the United States Daniel Mulhall will be on hand to present the Irish American Business Chamber & Network‘s 2019 Ambassador’s Awards.
Recently, we interviewed him about the awards, the Business Chamber and the broader significance to Irish-American commerce. We also chatted about a wider range of issues—from the involvement of Irish-Americans in Irish government interests, such as United States immigration policies, to Brexit and the Northern Irish peace process.
Here’s what he had to say.
The ballroom at the Philadelphia Irish Center is often home to social events of one kind or another, including concerts and pageants, or banquets and balls hosted by the city’s many county organizations.
It’s a popular place—but often, mostly among adults.
On Saturday, March 2, the ballroom will play host to a younger crowd. Much younger.
That evening, the Irish Center (also known as the Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center), will host its first-ever Middle School Social for 6th, 7thand 8thgraders. The Center is located in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood.
It’s all part of an effort to make the Center a more welcoming place for the next generation and their families. That, in turn, is an outgrowth of a survey the Center conducted fairly recently when it became incorporated as a nonprofit.
Every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., a group of teenagers, 12 to 18 years old, meet at the Irish Immigration Center of Greater Philadelphia office in Upper Darby. There’s fun, of course—they’re teenagers—but they also have a serious mission: carving out a better future for themselves and for their community.
It’s the Foróige Youth Group, a local chapter of Ireland’s biggest and most successful youth development leadership program.
The Immigration Center chapter of Foróige (pronounced fo-ROY-guh) has about 30 members. It’s the first in the United States.
About 43,000 Coast Guard service members and employees nationwide continue to work during the government shutdown, including about 200 at the Coast Guard station in South Philadelphia on Columbus Boulevard.
Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians/Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians are banding together to provide the local Coast Guard members with the essentials they need to keep providing for themselves and their families until the shutdown ends.
One too many snickerdoodles this holiday season? Or has the weight just been coming on for a while?
Here’s an opportunity to shed those unwanted pounds and help out the Irish Immigration Center of Philadelphia at the same time.
It’s the center’s Biggest Loser challenge, set to begin Monday, January 14, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Anyone can join the challenge. All you need to do is set your mind to it—we admit, that part can be tough—and visit the center for a weekly private weigh-in. The three “losers” with the largest percent weight loss after eight weeks will win cash prizes. Entry fee is $50, which supports the Immigration Center.
For the ninth year in a row, the Hibernian Hunger Project has helped make Christmas dinner a reality for area families in need.
This past Saturday, volunteers gathered at the Shamrock Food Distributors warehouse in Frankford to pack cars, minivans and trucks with heavy cardboard boxes, each one filled to the top with all the fixings for a Christmas dinner—turkey or ham, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, and more—and spread out across the city and, in many cases, well beyond, to deliver the food to needy families.
They say if you want to get something done, ask the busiest person.
That summed up the beloved Liam Hegarty, as one longtime friend put it. Hegarty is well-known for serving on the board of the Irish Immigration Center of Philadelphia and in various leadership roles for the Delaware County (Delco) Gaels, the Gaelic Athletic Association locally and nationally, Irish Network-Philadelphia, and the Irish American Business Chamber and Network—but his influence and rampant creativity touched many other organizations and, say those who knew him best, made them better.
Hegarty, of West Chester, born in Ednamuck, Mountcharles, County Donegal, passed away suddenly earlier this week. Born October 10, 1967, he was just 51. His untimely death leaves many trying to imagine what life will be like without his friendship and dedication.
“He really was a visionary,” says his friend of 30 years, Tom Higgins, who played with Hegarty for the Donegal football club and served on many boards with him, from the Immigration Center to the Delco Gaels. “This whole youth sports organization is basically his design, not just in Philadelphia but around the country. The Liberty Bell championships, which happen a week before the annual Continental Youth Championships for mainly teams on the East Coast—that’s all Liam too. His idea.”
Listeners throughout the country tune in to hear Marianne MacDonald every Sunday at noon as she hosts “Come West Along the Road” on WTMR 800 AM. The show features traditional Irish music and interviews, along with local concert and event news.
She’s been hosting the show for many years, and for her, clearly, it’s a labor of love. “It’s a highlight of my week,” she says, “and I really look forward to hearing from my listeners.”
It would have to be a labor of love. The show takes a lot of preparation, and costs thousands of dollars to produce.
You can help out. An on-air two-hour pledge drive will take place this Sunday, December 2. Listeners can phone in their pledges and donations of any size at 856-962-8000.