WINTER 2014 / VOL. 14 ISSUE 1

Strypes to Play at L.A.’s Oscar Wilde Film Party

The US-Ireland Alliance has announced that the Irish band, The Strypes, will perform at their "Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film" event on 27 February at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica. YouTube founder Chad Hurley and writer/producer Conan O’Brien will be honored on the night.

Hailing from Cavan, Ireland, The Strypes are Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). They’ve spent the past 18 months launching their explosive R&B assault on the clubs and festivals of Ireland, the UK and Europe, viciously hammering out a no-nonsense blues repertoire drawing from the songbooks of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Slim Harpo with the passion and venom of British blues groups such as Dr. Feelgood, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones and The Animals.

Just under a year after they emerged with their first release - Young, Gifted & Blue, a set of vintage R’n’B covers - The Strypes continued their phenomenal rise with the April release of their debut single, Blue Collar Jane and the September release of their debut album, Snapshot.. They’ve been touring extensively, including a set on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury. In October/November, they embarked on a European stadium tour with the Arctic Monkeys.

Trina Vargo, founder and president of the non-profit organization that hosts the event, said it was legendary Irish film director, and US-Ireland Alliance board member Jim Sheridan, who brought the band to her attention.

"I was in Dublin in September and Jim had invited me along to one of their gigs. I, unfortunately, couldn’t go but was intrigued by Jim’s enthusiasm for the band. So I surfed YouTube for a video — thank you. Chad Hurley — and immediately reached out to see if they could join us," she said. 

The band caught the eye of Elton John, whose Rocket Music Management now manages them, and their label is Virgin/EMI, part of the Universal Music group. Sir Elton said of the Strypes, "They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I’ve only amassed in my 65 years. They’re playing music like the Rolling Stones used to, or the Yardbirds, or The Beatles. And it’s astonishing …." Dave Grohl called them "unbelievable" and their fans include Jeff Beck, Paul Weller and Niall Gallagher. NME tipped them as the No. 1 new band to watch so the guests at the intimate Oscar Wilde event will be in for a treat.

Accenture and Delta Air Lines are sponsors of the annual event, which is well known for its jeans casual, relaxed party atmosphere, a break for many from the black-tie week. The event also has as much of a rep for introducing Irish musical talent as for it’s ‘green’ carpet that has seen the likes of Colin Farrell, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, Van Morrison, Paul Rudd, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Jon Hamm, Michelle Williams, Kate Winslet, Jim Brooks, John Logan, Fiona Shaw, Ken Branagh and J.J. Abrams.

To listen to the music of the Strypes and check out the video on:

Follow breaking news on the event on Twitter at @OscarWildeLA14

Tune in with Frankie Gavin

St. Patrick's Festival & RTÉ Radio 1 present
Céilí House Live in Concert
Saturday 15th March 15, 8 pm

Room: Main Auditorium
Prices: €35, €30, €25, €18 (Choir Balcony)
15% discount for Friends of the National Concert Hall
15% discount for Groups of 10 or more

Frankie Gavin and De Dannan
The Céilí House All Stars Céilí Band
The Bonny Men
Kieran Hanrahan, presenter

Join Irish music legend Frankie Gavin and one of Ireland's most influential trad groups De Dannan, as they combine forces to deliver an electrifying evening of live music. The internationally-renowned band is led by Frankie Gavin on fiddle, with vocals from Michelle Lally, Barry Brady on accordion, double bass player Paul O'Drisceoil and Colm O’Caoimh on guitar.

The line-up on the night will also feature the Céilí House All-Stars, a specially-assembled group of the finest musicians, delivering spectacular arrangements, as well as The Bonny Men, one of Ireland's most exiting young bands to emerge from the trad/folk scene in recent years. More acts will be announced, completing this talented line-up, in what promises to be an unforgettable evening.

Presented by St. Patrick's Festival & RTÉ Radio 1. For more information:

Bulletin Ready to Read

The first New Irish Art Bulletin of 2014 is ready to read.

Quilt Tour Set for Ireland

Houston native Debbi Cagney of Houston and Canadia Kim Caskey, of Canada are planing a quilters shop-hop and tour of Ireland this June with Journeys Connected. The tour begins with an overnight flight to Ireland on June 3, return on June 13. The expedition begins in Dublin and includes visits to New Ross, Killarney, Dingle and Galway before returning to Dublin. 

Cagney and Caskey have worked closely with the Irish Patchwork Society and five participating shops. The tour offers four-star hotels, Kerry Coaches with professional driver, full breakfast daily, five three-course dinners, in addition to tours of Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Aran Islands, and more. All admission fees are included in the tour price.

Quilting is becoming more popular in Ireland, as can be seen by the new quilt shops opening, according to Cagney, who added that the Irish quilters are excited to meet with their counterparts from North America. The Irish Patchwork Society to have a Guild meeting with quilters from North American, Ireland and Europe, she went on. "We are so excited to be able to share ideas, see what other quilters are working on and to develop friendships," said Cagney. 

For more information: Debbi Cagney, 281-361-6847;; facebook: Quilt Tours of Ireland. 

Geopark Shortlisted for International Tourism Award

The successful management and promotion of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark as a sustainable destination has been officially recognized by one of the world’s foremost tourism and travel awards.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has confirmed the Geopark as one of 18 finalists for its 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, just two months after the Clare destination was shortlisted for a top honor in the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards.

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry recognising sustainable tourism best practices in businesses and destinations worldwide, ranging from local destinations to global hotel groups, international airlines, luxury tour operators and small eco-lodges.

Award applications were received this year from 56 countries, representing all continents. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been shortlisted alongside Bonito (Brazil) and Temes S.A. - Costa Navarino (Greece) as ‘Destination Award’ finalists for "showing commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations."

Winners and finalists will be recognised during at WTTC’s annual Global Summit, to be held in Hainan, China, on April 24, 2014. Ahead of the ceremony, an independent panel of expert judges from around the world will conduct an on-site evaluation of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark during February.

The news has been welcomed by Mayor of Clare Cllr. Joe Arkins who said: "Being shortlisted for the ‘Destination Award’ of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will greatly help the efforts of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark team and their partners the Burren Ecotourism Network in communicating the wonder and diversity of the destination to the worldwide visitor."

Carol Gleeson, manager of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, said the award nomination is testament to the partnership approach to promoting sustainable tourism in the Burren that has been developed by regional development agencies and the local community.

She explained: "Since 2008, Clare County Council has been working in the Burren to develop a truly sustainable tourism destination that gives direct benefits to the local community, promotes and celebrates local culture and produce, preserves the environment and provides a great experience for our visitors. This has been achieved with great support and partnership from local communities and businesses and agencies responsible for tourism and conservation and local development."

"This work includes establishing the Burren Ecotourism Network as far back as 2008, achieving UNESCO recognised Global Geopark status in 2011 and providing environmental and business training, developing a destination brand, promoting certification, and importantly linking high responsible tourism standards with economic benefit to the area. The Geopark has also attracted €2.2m funding through the EU Life programme to develop an international sustainable tourism destination model," Ms. Gleeson added.

According to Costas Christ, chairman of the judging panel: "Each year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognize sustainable tourism best practices in action, helping to transform the Travel & Tourism industry based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world."

"This year's Finalists continue to demonstrate that when carefully managed, tourism can be a powerful force for improving livelihoods and protecting our planet for future generations," he added.

Further information on the Burren & Cliffs of Moher is available on For more on the 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards visit

Historic Documents Come to Queen University 

The Morpeth Roll, a unique testimonial signed by over 160,000 people across Ireland in 1841, was on show at the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University through Jan. 26, 2014. 

The Roll was created in 1841 as a public tribute to George William Frederick Howard, Lord Morpeth, on his departure from Ireland after six years as Irish Chief Secretary. The roll demonstrated the popularity of both the man himself and the reforming Whig government in which he served.

The Roll, which measures 420 metres in length and comprises hundreds of sheets of paper, was recently re-discovered in the archives of Castle Howard in Yorkshire. It has been conserved at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and digitized for its wealth of pre-Famine genealogical information by

To coincide with its visit to Belfast, Special Collections and Archives, Queen’s Library, the School of History and Anthropology, and the Ulster Society for Irish Historical Studies hosted a seminar on the history and interpretation of the Morpeth Roll prior to the show opening in December.

A complementary exhibition on ‘"Irish Politics in the Era of the Morpeth Roll" in the Naughton Gallery foyer, ran concurrently with the Morpeth Roll Exhibition.

For further information visit

Exhibition of Historic Photographs Launched in Limerick

An exhibition of rare photographs documenting life in Limerick City and environs, including southeast Clare and Kerry during the last century was launched in mid-January by Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Haselbeck Collection features archival images, documents and photographic equipment from the studio of Franz S. Haselbeck, who worked as a professional photographer in Limerick City from 1912 until his death in 1973. The free exhibition runs at Limerick City Hall during February as part of Limerick City of Culture 2014.

Haselbeck cycled all over Limerick City and the surrounding countryside to photograph the important events of his time including the War of Independance and major construction projects, as well as everyday events around the city. Today, the Haselbeck Collection is regarded as one of the country’s most important private photographic collections.

Patricia Haselbeck Flynn, who inherited The Haselbeck Collection in 1990, has offered the use of the collection to her native city and worked in close partnership with Limerick City Museum and Archives (LCMA) in presenting a selection of her grandfather’s work. Having successfully ensured its survival, and through meticulous research, the author of "Franz S. Haselbeck’s Ireland," published by The Collins Press 2013, has brought it back to the people on whom it is based.

Haselbeck Flynn commented: "This collection of images of early 20th century Limerick right though to the 1960s and the inclusion in this exhibition of selected pieces from my grandfather’s photgraphic equipment, personal archive of documents and correspondance, as well as books from his extensive photographic library, make this a both beautiful and fascinating record of past times with something of interest for all. I am sure my grandfather would be very proud of their use in this wonderful exhibition, especially during the City of Culture 2014.

According to Jacqui Hayes, Limerick City Archivist: "'Franz Haselbeck was an exceptional photographer who took his art very seriously. This beautiful selection of photographs on public display in City Hall is a unique and valuable record of Limerick and its environs, including southeast Clare.'

Haselbeck’s family moved from Germany, via England, to Wolfe Tone Street in Limerick during the early 1900s before establishing a sausage and pudding craft business in St. Johns Square. Franz’s artistic flair led him to study at Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. He also served his apprenticeship as a photographer in Dublin. Haselbeck went on to pursue his photographic career in Paris before returning to Ireland to work with the renowned Louis Anthony in Killarney. In 1912 he settled back in Limerick where he set up his own studios while also working as a freelance photo journalist. 

Some of the earliest photographs featured in the exhibition relate to the Irish Volunteers and the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1913 and 1914 at a time when the world was heading towards war and Ireland was striving for Home Rule.

The exhibition also features photographs relating to major infrastructure and industrial projects in Limerick City and southeast Clare, including Irish Wire on the Dock Road, Ranks Flour Mill, Mungret Cement Factory and the construction of the Shannon Scheme at Ardnacrusha. Haselbeck also photographed Limerick’s streets, its lanes, shop fronts and major buildings from churches to the City’s famed Georgian terraces. In his studios he captured a permanent record of many Limerick families from Christenings’ to Holy Communions, weddings and family portraits.

For further information on the Haselbeck Collection exhibition, visit or contact Limerick City Archives on 061-407293.

Riverdance/Trinity Join Forces for Anniversary

Marking its 20th anniversary, the internationally acclaimed Irish performance, Riverdance, has joined forces with Trinity College Dublin to host The Riverdance-Trinity International Summer School, August 11-22, 2014.

Participants will travel to Trinity from all over the world to learn from special guest tutors on aspects of the performance, choreography and the Irish cultural context. They will also examine the development of the music from its ethnic roots through to its Grammy Award-winning success. The international summer school will be hosted by Trinity's School of Drama, Film and Music, The Lir - Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

"This is an innovative coming together of culture and higher education, where international participants will gain insight into the award winning performance that has contributed to the re-shaping of Irish cultural heritage. Trinity is delighted to host the international summer school, where our global participants will be provided with a deep understanding of one of Ireland's great success stories and cultural milestones," said Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity.

The summer school's seminars and workshops will provide the theatrical, historical, social and cultural contexts of Riverdance, its emergence from the Eurovision Song Contest where it was first performed in 1994 to its global success. It will also provide an overview of the use of popular culture in the construction of a national success narrative for Ireland. Seminars will include guest speakers such as the show's producer, Moya Doherty and director, John McColgan, costume and set designers, Joan Bergin and Robert Ballagh, and Professor of Drama and Theatre at Trinity, Brian Singleton.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music will host the musical component of the summer school, including a master class with Riverdance score composer Bill Whelan, as well as practical workshops with the show's percussionists who will explore the relationship between the rhythm of music and the rhythm of dance.

"We are delighted to be collaborating with Trinity, Ireland's auspicious seat of learning and the leading cultural institutions, The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in this summer school. Twenty years on, the journey that is Riverdance continues, and with the aid of our prestigious collaborators we hope to share some of the knowledge that we have gathered along the way with our international participants," said Moya Doherty, Riverdance producer.

The Riverdance - Trinity International Summer School will take place in and prospective participants are currently being invited to apply. There are 45 places available. Application details will be made available on the Lir website shortly.

Trinity College Dublin:
Founded in 1592, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, is situated in an historic campus at the heart of Ireland's capital city, Dublin. Many of its alumni have helped shape history and include two Nobel prize winners - Ernest Walton for physics and Samuel Beckett for literature. Today, Trinity College Dublin offers a multicultural environment with 16, 646 students from 122 countries. 

It is recognised internationally as Ireland's premier university. Cutting- edge research, technology and innovation places the university at the forefront of higher education in Ireland and globally. It encompasses all major academic disciplines, and is committed to world-class teaching and research across the range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, engineering, science, social and health sciences. Trinity is Ireland's leading university across all international rankings, and is ranked 61st globally in 2013 QS World University Ranking

Riverdance was first performed 20 years ago in May 1994 as the interval Act in the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin before being developed into a full length stage show with Grammy winning music and lyrics by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, With its fusion of Irish and international music and dance, the show has broken box-office records all around the world and has now been performed over 11,000 times in 46 countries to a live audience of over 24 million. 

The most popular western show in China, Riverdance has three companies playing around the globe and in 2014 for its 20th anniversary tour Riverdance will have over 1 million tickets on sale in theatres and arenas from Limerick to Leipzig to Lanzhou.

The Lir - Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art:
The Lir - Ireland's National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin is the first academy in Ireland to offer conservatoire style training to theatre practitioners including actors, directors, playwrights as well as stage managers and theatre technicians. It is formally associated with the world renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. It was developed by the partnership of the Cathal Ryan Trust and Trinity College Dublin. The Lir has sourced highly acclaimed Irish and international directors, producers, voice coaches, movement tutors, playwrights, singing coaches and designers to work with students and offers the ideal environment to nourish talent.

Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM):
The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) is Ireland's leading music conservatoire. A home of musical excellence and dynamism, The RIAM maintains the highest standards of performance and appreciation in all musical disciplines. Founded in 1848 the RIAM is Ireland's oldest musical institution. Its teachers include many international and national prizewinners, members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert orchestra and individuals whose names have become synonymous with music education in Ireland. As an associate college of Trinity College, Dublin, the RIAM's reputation has grown worldwide and is known as an institution which offers the finest Irish musical training to students from all corners of the world.

Limerick Public Bike Plan Due for Autumn Launch

Limerick Smarter Travel has announced that the proposed Public Bicycle Share Scheme for Limerick City Centre is expected to be up and running by autumn, 2014.

The plan will feature 23 docking stations housing 400 individual sistes across the city and is styled on the hugely successful Public Bicycle Share Scheme in Dublin, which has so far recorded over three million journeys since its launch in 2009.

Hosted by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Limerick Smarter Travel, the information session takes place in conjunction with an ongoing public display of maps identifying the proposed Docking Station locations within the city and illustrations of how some of the Docking Stations might appear. 

Pat O'Neill, Project Manager, Limerick Smarter Travel, said: "Following the success of the Public Bicycle Share Schemes in Dublin, the NTA has initiated the introduction of similar schemes in the regional cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway"

"We are delighted to work with the NTA on the roll-out of this project which aims to develop an environmentally-friendly means of public transport that is healthy, relatively inexpensive, brings jobs closer to where people live, and ensures an improved quality of life in the city's natural and built environmen," he continued.

O’Neill added: "The NTA has recently commenced the Tender process for the award of a contract to supply, install, operate and maintain the Public Bicycle Share Scheme for Limerick City Centre. Under the proposed scheme, 200 bicycles will be deployed in the city at 23 Docking Stations and will be redistributed throughout the city during the day to cater for demand by ensuring that there are both sufficient vacant docks to dock bicycles and sufficient bicycles at each docking station."

The drawings of the system are available at and

New Free Online Diaspora Service Launched links the Irish Diaspora based on shared languages and shared interests with an emphasis on videochatting. Officially Beta Launched at Oireachtas na Samhna this past November by Liam Ó Maolaodha, director of Oireachtas na Gaeilge, STC, provides an online language/culture community at every Irish person’s fingertips wherever he or she is in the world.

According to Ó Maolaodha, participants can log in and create their language and interest profile and be linked with others who share a similar profile. The site is available entirely in English or as Gaeilge (STC contains the First Online Gaeltacht) and has immediate/scheduled videochat, internal messaging, groups and forum functionality and is available on PC and mobile. 

Aidan Duggan, founder of STC, said, "One of the reasons I formed this Irish company was to help members of the Irish Diaspora to link and connect together. SpeakTalkChat is also a free service whereby businesses, groups and organisations can use our online facilities as a platform to communicate with each other. There are over 70 million members of the Irish Diaspora spread across the globe and I want to be part of bringing them together."

SpeakTalkChat was An Alpha Startup at the Dublin Web Summit and featured on RTÉ, TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta. STC is based in Conamara. Contact:

Ryanair to Increase European Service

From April, 2014, Ryanair will begin operating from Shannon to Berlin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Munich, Nice, Paris and Warsaw, delivering an additional 300,000 passengers per annum to the airport. 

Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins said the announcement of eight new routes and the airline’s decision to increase its Shannon passenger numbers by 300,000 per annum puts the newly independent airport on a "much firmer footing" regarding its future prospects for growth.

The Mayor pointed out that 2014 marks 68 years since the first scheduled commercial flight, an American Overseas Airlines DC-4, landed at Shannon Airport.   "Shannon has seen some periods of growth and some bad days in the period since but I firmly believe that the airport is now on a much firmer footing than it has been in the past," he said.

Arkins continued: "Only a year ago, I remember walking through an empty terminal building which today is buzzing with passengers. The turnaround over the past 12 months has been nothing short of remarkable and I wish to acknowledge airport management and the board for their excellent work in securing new business."

Clare County Manager, Tom Coughlan also welcomed the announcement by Ryanair, adding, "A thriving Shannon Airport is good for the local economy and as a result today’s announcement is a significant moment for the entire West of Ireland Region."

He explained: "The future growth of Shannon Airport always has been dependant on the provision of services to destinations throughout the UK and Europe, particularly those locations that provide quality onward connectivity. The routes announced by Ryanair open up a number of new markets for Irish holidaymakers and the local business sector but more importantly, will contribute to the already growing number of Continental tourists holidaying in the West of Ireland."


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