Food & Drink

Behind the Bar: Jennifer Richart Michaels of Moriarty’s

Patrons of Moriarty’s in Center City can thank their lucky stars that Jennifer Richart Michaels found the 9-to-5 grind so restrictive.

“I tried working in an office, and it was horrifying every minute for me. I did it for two years and I couldn’t wait to get out of it,” she says. “I felt like I was locked in a cage. Every minute, every day. I would get up in the morning and I would think of 20 reasons not to go in. I would make the turn into the parking lot and it felt like somebody had hit me with a two-by-four.”

For the last 15 years, she’s been the day bartender at Moriarty’s, 1116 Walnut Street. Before that, she tended bar at Havana and the Logan Inn in New Hope—she’s from that area—before deciding to give Center City a try. Michaels had been working at a bar that closed when they expanded the Convention Center. That’s when she applied at Moriarty’s. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

A busy weekend of Irish-ness lies ahead.

We’ll start Saturday, with an evening with Órfhlaith Begley at the Philadelphia Irish Center.

Órfhlaith Begley is a Sinn Féin politician, the first woman elected as West Tyrone MP, in May 2018.

Begley, who works in a general solicitor practice, is well-known for her passionate human rights advocacy and her longtime interest in politics.

The presentation starts at 7 p.m. You’ll find the Irish Center at 6815 Emlen Street in Philly’s Mount Airy neighborhood. Continue Reading

News

Get Your Green On at Morris Arboretum’s Irish Day

It would be hard to imagine a place greener than the University of Pennsylvania’s sweeping 92-acre expanse of trees and spectacular plantings, Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill. So it’s only fitting that the arboretum should host a special Irish Day—a day chock full of Irish culture including music, dance, history, and even a sampling of beer.

Irish Day takes place on Sunday, May 5. All of the festivities are included in the price of admission.

“We did an abbreviated version last year,” says special events coordinator Michelle Conners. “We did it on a Monday, when not as many people were able to take part.” It was largely a special outing for the Irish Immigration Center’s senior luncheon group. Continue Reading

Sports

Liam Hegarty Liberty Bell Tournament in Pictures

A long rain delay meant a late start to last weekend’s Liam Hegarty Liberty Bell Tournament, sponsored by the Philadelphia Gaelic Athletic Association’s Youth Board. But a little rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds of young athletes from several states who converged on the playing fields in Malvern to face off against each other for trophies and bragging rights.

Among the winners according to local GAA and team officials:

In football, the U14 A and B Delco Gaels; the U14 Shannon Gaels; the U12 girls A, Rockland; the U10, Rangers, the U8, Glenside. In U10 camogie the honors went to the Delco Gaels. The U12 camogie trophy went to the combined Shamrocks, Glenside. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

It’s pretty busy this coming week, with a wide range of events—from Gaelic athletics to fund-raisers to a concert by one of the best Irish traditional fiddlers on the planet.

So here goes.

Tomorrow, Saturday, there are two noteworthy events:

The first is the Liam Hegarty Liberty Bell Tournament, a huge youth Gaelic Athletic Association tourney in Malvern. The event is named after the late Liam Hegarty, a man deeply dedicated to many local Irish causes, including the Delco Gaels youth athletic club and Gaelic athletics writ large. He passed away in December and is sorely missed.

We have a story about the tournament that provides a lot more details, but the long and short of it is, hundreds of young hurling and Gaelic football athletes from up and down the Northeast coast will converge upon the Line Road Fields, 137 Line Road, in Malvern, starting at 9 a.m. and going all day, culminating in a match between the adult Delco Gaels and Donegal Philadelphia. It’s all in support of a great cause, and a terrific way to learn more about Gaelic sports—if you’re not already intimately familiar. Continue Reading

Sports

Tournament Honors the Legacy of Liam Hegarty

When Liam Hegarty passed away December 3 of last year, he left behind a treasured legacy: The Liberty Bell Tournament, drawing youth Gaelic athletes from several states to the Philadelphia area for a day of hurling, football and camogie.

When more than 700 of those athletes from Philadelphia, New York and Boston converge on the playing fields in Malvern this Saturday, they’ll be honoring his memory in more ways than one. Yes, the tournament, which started several years ago, is this year named in his memory. But it’s also a way to perpetuate an idea that was his to begin with.

“It was his brainchild,” says Aidan Corr, Delco Gaels chairperson and Philadelphia Youth Board tournament organizer. “Liam was one of the founding members of the Delco Gaels 20 years ago. His four sons played for us all the way through, from when they were able to walk. His idea for the Liberty Bell Tournament on a Philadelphia Youth Board level, not a club level, was part of an East Coast league, with Boston and New York. It was essentially to get the East Coast teams ready to play in the main tournament at the end of every year (the Continental Youth Championships).” Continue Reading

News

Irish Genealogy Group’s Expanding Roots

Aengus Lawlor’s Presentation on Griffith’s Valuation at the April 9th Meeting

 

For over eight years, the Irish Immigration Center in Upper Darby has been steadily and surely attracting a growing crowd of dedicated researchers to their monthly genealogy group. Meeting on the second Tuesday of each month, the gathering has been led by Pat Corey for the past few years. For many people, including myself, who have heard how helpful, valuable, worthwhile and welcoming this group is but are unable to attend the daytime meeting, the Immigration Center has come up with a solution: beginning Thursday, April 25, a second, evening group will be meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of every month.

“We get a lot of phone calls from people inquiring about the genealogy group. They want to attend, but because of work and other commitments, aren’t able to make a meeting held in the middle of the day,” Nicola Bell, the Center’s Community Programs and Communications Director, explained.

About a month ago, the Center’s Executive Director, Emily Norton Ashinhurst, and I also discussed this. She knew of my interest and experience in genealogy and the podcasts I had recently started recording for this website. She had several members of the current group who were on board to assist with facilitating a second, evening meeting, but didn’t necessarily want to lead it regularly. She asked if I would be interested. I thought about it for about two seconds, and answered with a resounding, “Yes!”

Attending this month’s daytime meeting on Tuesday to get a sense of how the current group runs, I was struck by the genuine camaraderie and appreciation shown for each other’s research. With over 30 people in attendance (some meetings have seen as many as 60), everyone there came away with some new insight into how to further their own search for ancestors. Pat Corey has done a wonderful job of growing this group and providing guidance and leadership while making everyone feel like this is their meeting. I was also overwhelmed by how many people said that they plan on attending the evening meeting as well the daytime meeting from now on.

And that is what I envision the Thursday night group to be, a welcoming second place to come and share a love of all things genealogical. With current members Aengus Lawlor (who did an incredibly informative presentation on Griffith’s Valuation at Tuesday’s meeting) and Bill McCray on board to help facilitate, there will be a monthly topic to focus on, guest speakers, and lots of discussion.

Nicola Bell summed it up best when she relayed some of the comments and questions she gets from people enquiring about the meetings: “People will say, ‘I’m not Irish, can I join?’ And ‘I have no experience, can I come?’ And “I don’t know where to start, will I be welcome?’ I tell them all, ‘Of course. Everybody’s welcome.’”

“Everybody’s Welcome.” That will be the topic for the first evening meeting. Come out and join us at The Irish Immigration Center at 7 South Cedar Lane, Upper Darby, Pa., 19082, Thursday, April 25th at 7 p.m. For more information, check out the Immigration Center’s website and the Facebook Events page.

Can’t wait for the meeting? Listen to the “Who’s Your Granny” podcasts on “Tea with Irish Philly.

Podcast: A Beginner’s Guide to Irish Genealogy

Podcast: The Ins and Outs of DNA Testing

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

We’re coming up on Easter, and one of this week’s events will help you get ready.

But first …

Glenside Gaelic Club kicks off its season with a beef and beer Saturday night from 8 to 11 at Our Lady Help of Christians School, 1500 Marian Road in Abington. Pay $35 in advance or $40 at the door. You’ll get a lot for your money. First off, music by the fabulous Raymond McGroary, with beer, wine and food included. You can also try your luck at 50/50 raffles.For tickets, email Mairead at glensidegaelicclub@gmail.com. Continue Reading