|News of Ireland
and of Irish Interest
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Dervish at Milwaukee’s Irish Cultural and Heritage
Center March 7
iconic Irish band Dervish will spread more than a bit of exhilarating musical
magic when they bring their passionate vocals and dazzling instrumentals
to the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee,
on Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Founded on Ireland’s windswept Atlantic coast during Sligo pub sessions,
Dervish’s exceptional musicianship, groundbreaking songs, and carefully
crafted arrangements explore the endless rhythms and complexities that
go into making great Irish music. Respected for their treatment of tradition,
Dervish is also known for a fresh, vibrant approach.
The group is fronted by Cathy Jordan’s hauntingly charismatic vocals
and engaging stage presence as well as a core built around the tight and
intuitive interplay between Michael Holmes on bouzouki and mandolin, Liam
Kelly on flute, Brian McDonagh on mandola and mandolin, Shane Mitchell
on accordion, and Tom Morrow on fiddle.
Dervish has wowed audiences around the globe and shared stages with
artists as diverse as Sting, James Brown, and the Buena Vista Social Club.
As worldwide ambassadors of Irish music, they accompanied Ireland’s Taoiseach
(prime minister) on a historic trade mission to China in 2006.
During a 26-year critically acclaimed career, Dervish’s proudest moment
may have been receiving the Freedom of the Borough of Sligo, putting them
in the company of W.B Yeats, the first native to receive the award for
international artistic achievements.
Concert tickets are $29 in advance, $33 on concert day and $10 for students
with ID.To order tickets online, go to www.ichc.net.
Tickets may also be ordered by calling (414) 345-8800.
"There’s no substitute for class…this Sligo super group is virtually
in a class of its own. Dervish’s music impresses immediately, with every
— Irish Music Magazine
Milwaukee Irish Fest Announces Tommy Makem Cultural
Continuing the organization’s mission to preserve, promote and celebrate
aspects of Irish, Irish-American and Celtic cultures, Milwaukee Irish Fest
has announced the Tommy Makem Cultural Legacy Fund.
Tommy Makem, who passed away in 2007, was a celebrated folk artist,
poet and storyteller, as well as a longtime supporter of Milwaukee Irish
Fest. Established as a tribute to his memory, the Tommy Makem Cultural
Legacy Fund will support individuals who are promoting and living a legacy
of Irish music and culture, through an annual grant or scholarship.
To help with initial funding, Milwaukee Irish Fest has provided a $25,000
challenge grant. For every dollar donated to the fund, the organization
will match up to $25,000. Additionally, Ed Ward, the founder of Milwaukee
Irish Fest, as well as his wife Catherine Ward, president of Milwaukee
Irish Fest, have issued a $5,000 challenge grant. The challenge from the
Ward family will match $1 for every $2 donated to the fund.
"Tommy Makem is a legend in the Irish music world, and was a dear friend
and supporter of the festival," said Ed Ward, founder, Milwaukee Irish
Fest. "By funding his legacy, we are ensuring continued support of the
preservation of Irish music and culture for years to come."
To learn more about the Tommy Makem Cultural Legacy Fund or for information
on how to donate, visit www.irishfest.com.
About Milwaukee Irish Fest:
Milwaukee Irish Fest is the World’s largest celebration of Irish music
and culture. The four-day festival showcases more than 100 entertainment
acts on 16 stages at Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront.
The annual festival occurs every third weekend in August. The 35th annual
festival takes place August 13 to 16, 2015.
More than just a festival, the Milwaukee Irish Fest organization is
passionately committed to igniting a love of Celtic culture in all people.
With the help of more than 4,000 volunteers, Milwaukee Irish Fest promotes
Celtic music, dance, drama, sports, culture, children’s activities and
genealogy through year-round programming. For more information visit www.irishfest.com.
Limerick Man Claims Christmas Tree Throwing Championship
man John O'Dea reclaimed the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship
title he last won in 2013 when he threw his Christmas tree a winning distance
of 8.6 metres. The competition was held on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015.
by Clare County Council in conjunction with Active Ennis Sports and Leisure
Facilities, the fourth annual event took place at Active Ennis Tim Smyth
Park in Co. Clare with all proceeds raised this year going to ISPCC Childline.
The holiday trees are recycled.
Championship, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace
across Germany and Austria, saw members of the public competing to achieve
the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree.
'Dea was unable to beat the current Irish Record of 10.3 metres, which
he shares with Dubliner Gary O’Growney, but the Cappamore man managed to
stave off competition from 250 others to reclaim the Irish Christmas Tree
Throwing Championship trophy. Meanwhile, the winner of the Ladies section
was Audrey Kavanagh (4.1m) while the Under 12 section was won by Shane
Kenny from County Clare.
championship, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace
across Germany and Austria, saw members of the public competing to achieve
the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree.
Limerick’s O'Dea and Gary O'Growney from Dublin share the Irish Record
having both thrown their trees a distance of 10.2 metres, which is just
under two metres short of the World Record currently held by Klaus Pubnaz
who hurled a tree a distance of 12 metres at an event in Germany four years
ago. Last year's Under 12 section was won by Soran Drayas (9.2m), who finished
ahead of second placed Aoife O'Gara (7.86 m).
This year's winner once again received the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing
Forde, general manager of Active Ennis Sports and Leisure Facilities, described
the competition as "a novel way to turn Christmas tree recycling into a
sport, while at the same time raise funds for a needy cause".
He added: "This is a sporting charity event with competitors from the
four corners of Ireland and further afield being invited to take part.
The event is open to men, women and children, and each contestant will
get three attempts at throwing the Christmas tree."
"Disposing of the Christmas tree is often an arduous task for many so
this event allows people to do so in style and with relative ease. The
Council will be providing a free Christmas tree recycling service at various
locations throughout Clare, but we would welcome anyone who wishes to drop
their tree at the contest and make a donation to ISPCC Childline Services.
We will also arrange for the tree to be mulched for use by the Council's
gardening section," explained Forde.
Des Bishop Starts Barrow Street Theatre Run March
Irish-American comedian and television star Des Bishop brings his "Made
in China" to the Barrow Street Theatre for a limited 3-week run starting
Monday March 9 at 7:30 p.m. The 2014 Edinburgh Fringe sensation opens on
Sunday March 15 at 5pm, and runs to Sunday, March 29. This is the show’s
North American premiere.
In "Made in China" Bishop reveals what compelled him to travel to China
to learn Mandarin and perform stand-up comedy for a Chinese audience. Not
only did he meet this improbably difficult challenge, he landed a hosting
job at a busy restaurant, started a comedy club, and then looked for love
in a Beijing trade fair for spouses before finding himself on a television
dating show seen by over 40 million viewers.
Raised in Queens, and transplanted to Ireland as a teenager, the peripatetic
Bishop has made a habit of pushing through boundaries. An unruly teen with
a drinking problem, he nonetheless discovered a predilection for language,
comedy and commentary, rising to national prominence sparking debate about
Irish identity, alcohol and drug abuse, and relationships.
"Made in China" explores the very timely cultural divide between the
West and China. His China exploits were captured by the Irish broadcaster
RTE, which aired Breaking China -- a much-discussed, six-part reality series
starring Bishop -- last year. For the record, Bishop performed "My Father
Was Nearly James Bond" for a weekend run at the Barrow Street in 2010.
"Made in China" joins Barrow Street Theatre’s "Every Brilliant Thing,"
where the two will play in tandem. Performances (a total of 16) are Monday
at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and
Sunday at 5 p.m. For tickets, which are $45, call 212/868-4444, or visit
www.smarttix.com The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow S. (Bleecker
& 7th Ave.), NewYork.
NASA Technology Gives Mid-West Athletes a Lift
age technology originally developed by NASA is being used at Active Ennis
Leisure Complex in County Clare to help improve recovery times, increase
mobility and lessen the chance of future injury for athletes and patients.
Active Ennis Leisure Complex is the only facility in the Mid West Region
to provide public access to an anti-gravity AlterG treadmill which has
previously been used by internationally renowned sports stars such as former
Irish rugby international Brian O'Driscoll, Barcelona footballer Luis Suarez,
multiple tennis Grand Slam champion Rafa Nadal and Irish Olympian Derval
It's more widely used across the United States where it is a regular
feature of the recovery process for injured professional basketballers
and American Footballers.
antigravity treadmill relies on advanced air pressure technology, which,
after calibrating the user’s weight, reduces the load and impact on legs
and joints at anywhere between 20 and 100% of the user's body weight to
allow them to walk or run.
Physiotherapists throughout the world have hailed the treadmill for
its role in expediting rehabilitation for athletes overcoming lower leg
injuries, or for patients with a variety of medical conditions such as
strokes, Parkinson’s disease and total knee and hip joint replacements.
"We are delighted to expand our offering by providing this new facility
in conjunction with an in-house consultant physiotherapist," commented
Tim Forde, Active Ennis general manager.
"Built in Silicon Valley using the NASA technology, this unique device
has proven to be extremely successful in the areas of sports and medical
rehabilitation and obesity. It has been utilized by top Olympic athletes,
Premiership soccer teams and Irish rugby players, added Mr. Forde.
AlterG treadmill is perfect for individuals who have suffered a lower extremity
injury, like an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, hip or
foot and ankle injury," explained Anne Marie Kinsella, a chartered physiotherapist
based with Active Ennis.
"Active Ennis has already received significant interest from sports
clubs looking to treat athletes who are recovering from injury or seeking
to avoid an injury, as well as patients who are post-operative or trying
to prevent surgery. Non-injured athletes have also found ways to utilise
the AlterG before and after endurance events. For example, long distance
runners can use the treadmill without the impact before a marathon, or
equally as a tool for recovery following a long race.
"Even stroke patients can benefit as the AlterG helps to retrain their
legs and brain with supported movements," added Kinsella.
Active Ennis operates Active Ennis Sports and Amenity Park (Lees Road),
Active Ennis Leisure Complex, Active Ennis Tim Smythe Park, Active Ennis
Pitch (Coote Park), Active Ennis Pitch (Glenina), and Active Ennis All
Weather Pitch (Cloughleigh).
Mitchell Scholars Alumni Board Formed
A Mitchell Scholars Alumni Board has been formed. There are now 160
alums. Derick Stace-Naughton and Cassie Farrelly will serve as co-chairs.
Those on the inaugural board are:
Derick Stace Naughton – co-chair (Chicago)
Cassie Farrelly – co-chair (NYC)
Ben Bechtolsheim (SF)
Katie Boyle (SF)
Mark Brennan (Boston)
Catherine Fontana (NYC)
Yongjun Heo (SF)
Mohammad Modarres (LA)
Vicki Moore (Annapolis, Maryland)
Ben Trachtenberg (Columbia, Missouri)
Amanda Wetzel (Paris)
Kellys Eye Return to Mayo
The Kelly Clan is returning to Westport, Co Mayo, for the 11th Kelly
Clan Gathering. The last time the Clan visited the town was in 2003.
The International Gathering is set for May 15-17, 2015, held in the
four-star Star Castlecourt Hotel, with guests expected from Ireland, the
US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala and the UK. The event is
being supported by Westport County Council.
Included in the weekend's program will be a tour of locations of Kelly
interest including Burrishoole Abbey, St. Patricks Church in Newport to
view the Harry Clarke windows and Westport House, which has a strong Kelly
connection. Among the speakers will be a local historian and the Clan's
Genetic Genealogist giving an update on the DNA program. A five-course
dinner will be the highlight of the Saturday evening.
Mary Kelly, one of the organizers and a spokesperson for the association,
said that although the weekend will be action-packed, the atmosphere is
relaxed. "It's a real opportunity for people who have a genetic, historic
and cultural link to meet and have a good time, in a great location, with
the added benefit of learning about their ancestors, as well as meeting
living relatives," she affirmed.
Further information can be found on the Kelly Clan Website www.kellyclans.comemail
or phone Mary Kelly on + 353 (0)86 3296475.
Submarine Inventor Remembered in Clare
100th anniversary of the death of submarine inventor John P. Holland and
to mark the anniversary a special commemorative event is being planned
for later this month in his native County Clare.
The Liscannor Development Committee will host a day of events honouring
the life and achievements of the local inventor on Sunday 31st August as
part of Heritage Week 2014.
The event at Liscannor Harbour will feature the unveiling of a commemorative
stone and a talk on Holland’s life, a film of his achievements, music and
songs of the sea, and a photography and children's art exhibition.
John Philip Holland was born in Liscannor in 1841. His father, John
Holland, Sr., patrolled the headlands of County Clare as a rider with the
British Coastguard Service. The young Holland was a teacher in Ireland
until 1872 when he immigrated to the United States, where he taught in
Paterson, N.J., until 1879. He drew up plans of submarines and in 1881,
with funds from Irish associates, launched a small submarine called "The
Fenian Ram". He was later awarded a contract to build a submarine for the
1900, the Navy bought the Holland VI for $150,000, about half of its design
cost, and later renamed it The USS Holland. The vessel could travel 800km
on the surface of the sea and 40km submerged. One US newspaper described
it as "Uncle Sam's Devil of the Deep". Other countries, including Great
Britain, Japan and the Netherlands, purchased Holland's submarine designs.
He died Aug. 12, 1914, just months before a German submarine sank a British
vessel at the start of World War I.
The John P. Holland Commemoration is one of 75 Heritage Week events
being coordinated by Clare County Council and The Heritage Council, with
support from the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Fáilte
Ireland. Among the other events taking place in Clare from August 23-31st
is a a lecture on the life of an Kilrush-born Boer War General Sir Thomas
Kelly-Kenny, a Victorian Heritage Walk around Kilkee, a tour of Lisdoonvarna's
famous restorative waters, a tour of towerhouses around Shannon Town, and
a recital of traditional Irish tunes on the Uilleann Pipes by Matt Horsely
at Ennis Friary.
The centenary of the outbreak of World War I also being marked with
a lecture by historian Cormac O Comhrai's on life in Ireland during the
Great War, while Killaloe will also be marking the millennial anniversary
of the death of one of its most famous citizens, Brian Ború. Meanwhile,
annual festivals such as the Tulla Week of Welcomes and the Dan Furey Weekend
in Labasheeda are holding heritage events as part of the weeklong celebration.
Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative
of the Council of Europe and the European Union. Download the free "National
Heritage Week" App for iPhone or Android smartphones at www.heritageweek.ie.
For further information on the 75 events taking place throughout Clare
contact Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer, Clare County Council, New Road,
Ennis, Co. Clare, at Tel: 065-6846408 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen O'Hara Receives Oscar Award.
and lifelong Shamrock Rovers supporter Maureen O'Hara received a lifetime
achievement award in November, 2014, from the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences.
O’Hara, 94 who appeared in films such as the French-themed Hunchback
of Notra Dame (1939), the Welsh setting for How Green is My Valley
and the Cong, Co Mayo rolling fields for her favorite, the classic The
Quiet Man,...... with John Wayne, "The Duke."
Council Moves to Holy Island
County Council confirmed Sept. 10 that it is an advanced stage of negotiations
to secure the purchase of Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) on Lough Derg, the
largest lake on the River Shannon.
Holy Island is one of the most important historical and ecclesiastical
sites in Ireland, has important links to Brian Ború and is known
throughout East Clare as the "Jewel of the Lough'. The island comprises
some 50 acres of which more than four acres are in the ownership of the
Office of Public Works (OPW).
Still used as a burial ground, the ruins and buildings still standing
on Holy Island date back as far as the 7th century when the monastic site
was established by St. Caimin. Buildings on the island include a 24-metre
high Round Tower, an Oratory, and a number of churches. The Island lies
close to the village of Mountshannon and is on the UNESCO World Heritage
site tentative list as an Early Medieval Monastic site along with Clonmacnoise,
Durrow, Glendalough, Kells and Monasterboice.
John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, was delighted that discussions
are at an advanced stage and said he is "confident the acquisition of this
important site can be completed."
The Cathaoirleach added: "I briefed the Tourism Minister, Mr. Pascal
Donohue, T.D., on the current status during his recent visit to Clare and
I also have been in contact with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the
Gaeltacht and the Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW who
already own land on the island. It would be tremendous to secure public
ownership of Holy Island this year, considering it is the millennial anniversary
of the death of Brian Ború."
"My Council colleagues as well as Clare’s six Oireachtas members are
very supportive of public ownership of this important site," he added.
Dollard, Director of Services, Clare County Council confirmed that the
acquisition of the island has been under consideration for a number of
years and that an opportunity recently arose to bring the site into public
"We are fully aware of the significance of this location and would be
anxious to see it forming part of the local tourism product and available
to the wider public," explained Dollard.
He continued: "We are conscious of the strong heritage, environmental
and conservation considerations associated with the Island and for that
reason have commenced the preparation of terms of reference for a visitor
management plan on how the untapped potential of this site can be realised.
A critical first step is to secure public ownership and we look forward
to receiving ongoing Government support for this initiative."
Irish Techies Win Awards
Ding*, the world’s largest international top-up provider, has been awarded
the number two spot in Deloitte Technology Fast 50, a ranking of the 50
fastest growing technology companies in Ireland. Rankings are based on
average percentage revenue growth over five years and ding* posted growth
of 1073%. This is the third year in a row that ding* has featured prominently
on the list having brought home the top prize in both 2012 & 2013 and
was also named Deloitte’s Rising Star in 2011.
& CEO Mark Roden commented: "It’s an honour to be recognised in Deloitte’s
Fast 50 for a third time. Not only does this award recognise our successful
growth to date but it is also a wonderful validation of all the hard work
and long hours put in to building the business by all the team at ding*."
He also congratulated Inhance Technology, a Cork based company that develop
white-label mobile applications who were awarded the top spot.
ding*, formerly ezetop, enables people living abroad to top-up the mobile
phones of their friends and family back home, making it easier for them
to stay connected and empowering the receiver to get the most out of their
mobile phone. Since its inception in 2006, ding* has built a network that
spans half the world and is partnered with over 300 mobile operators in
130 countries with a total reach of a staggering 3.5 billion phones. Through
www.ding.com, the ding* mobile apps and its 500,000 retail outlets, the
company delivers a top-up every second of every day.
The year 2014 was great for Founder & CEO Mark Roden, who was awarded
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 and was also named ‘Business Person of
the Month’ by Business and Finance.
As the world’s largest top-up provider, ding* safely delivers a top-up
every second of every day. Created to help people living abroad to support
loved ones back home, the company is directly connected to 300 mobile operators
in over 130 countries with a reach of over 3.5 billion phones. People can
send top-up on www.ding.com, the mobile app and in more than 500,000 retail
locations around the world.
ding*employs 200 people and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland with
regional offices in Miami, Dubai, San Salvador, Bucharest and Dhaka.
It’s been a busy month for Founder & CEO, Mark Roden as in addition
to receiving the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2014 he was named
Business and Finance Business Person of the Month for October. He has also
secured his company’s place as the world’s largest international top-up
providers after acquiring RecargasaCuba.com, a website specialising in
mobile top-up exclusively to Cuba.
Limerick Lace Part of City's Social Fabric
important new book profiling the 200-year history of Limerick lace was
researched and written by Dr. Matthew Potter and edited by Jacqui Hayes,
both of Limerick Museum and Archives. Amazing Lace, A History of the
Limerick Lace Industry documents how Limerick lace manufacturing emerged
as the largest in the history of Irish lace and one of the largest industries
of any kind to operate in Limerick over the past two centuries.
At its peak in the early 1850s, an estimated 1,800 workers were employed
in Limerick City making lace. Over many decades, it produced a large output
of lace products, from dresses, christening shawls and ecclesiastical robes
to handkerchiefs and doilies.
"Limerick lace was one of the greatest craft industries in Irish history
and one of the most famous and beautiful laces in the world," explained
Commenting on the background to his book, Potter said: "The book was
compiled using newspaper accounts of Limerick lace, including working conditions,
adverts and accounts of where it was sold, as well as contemporary accounts
by visitors to Limerick, trade directories listing lace manufacturers in
Limerick at different dates, the private papers of manufacturers Florence
Vere O'Brien and Maude Kearney, and Census returns.
Many of the images featured in the book came from the collection in
Limerick Museum and Archives, plus the private collections of Florence
Vere O'Brien and Maude Kearney, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Archives of the
archivist /editor Jacqui Hayes stated that the social history of Limerick
was altered by the lace industry. "Limerick lace provided employment to
a significant proportion of the female workforce, who in turn supported
or helped to support a large number of dependent relatives. In 1851, it
was estimated that each lace worker maintained two or three other family
members," she outlined.
Hayes noted that the significance of Limerick lace as perhaps the city’s
leading brand name has resulted in its usage in a number of contexts.
During the 1920s and 1930s, one of the most famous horses in the world
was the celebrated show jumper ‘Limerick Lace’ ridden by Major Ged O’Dwyer,
of Bruff, County Limerick. Limerick Lace was worn by thousands of women,
including a few who figure prominently in the pages of history, such as
Queen Victoria, American First Lady Edith Roosevelt and Countess Markievicz.
Generations of churchmen also wore Limerick lace and used lace to decorate
their churches, in Ireland and throughout the Irish Diaspora.
In 2014, Limerick composer Bill Whelan marked his native city’s designation
as the first national City of Culture by writing a flute concerto for Belfast
flautist Sir James Galway entitled Linen and Lace in honor of the
major textile industries associated with their respective native cities.
"Whelan’s naming of his piece demonstrated how deep were the roots that
Walker’s 1829 foundation had put down in Limerick and that even after 185
years, Limerick lace still continued to be closely associated with the
city," explained Hayes.
Amazing Lace, A History of the Limerick Lace Industry is available
in O’Mahony’s Bookshop, O'Connell Street, Limerick.
Background to Limerick Lace:
Limerick lace is a specific class of lace which evolved from the invention
of machine made net in 1808. Limerick lace is a form of hand embroidery
on machine made net and is a "mixed lace" rather than a "true lace," which
is entirely handmade. Limerick lace comes in two forms: tambour lace is
made by stretching a net over a circular frame like a tambourine and drawing
threads through it with a hook and needlerun lace is made by using a needle
to embroider on a net background.
Limerick lace industry was established in 1829 when Charles Walker, an
English businessman selected a premises in Mount Kennett, Limerick city
as the location for a lace factory. Limerick lace was produced mainly in
factories for the first forty years of its existence. Between the 1830s
and 1860s, several lace factories operated in Limerick, mainly in Clare
Street and Glentworth Street. I
t was also made in Cannock’s and Todd’s department stores. In the 1840s,
Limerick lace making was introduced to a number of convents and convent-run
institutions, both in Limerick and elsewhere. In 1850, lace making was
introduced to the Good Shepherd Convent on Clare Street Limerick, but it
was also made in other religious houses based in the city, including the
Presentation Convent in Sexton Street and the Mercy Convent at Mount Saint
Vincent, on O’Connell Avenue.
Limerick lace was disseminated widely throughout Ireland by Catholic
religious sisters anxious to provide employment at the time of the Famine.
They introduced it to several other convents including religious houses
in Youghal, Kinsale, Dunmore East, Cahirciveen, and Kenmare.
In the 1860s, the spread of machine-made lace from Nottingham brought
about the collapse of large scale factory-based lace making in Limerick
and many of the lace makers lost in their jobs. In the 1880s, Limerick
lace underwent a significant revival due to the activities of Florence
Vere O’Brien, an English lady who married into the O’Brien family of Dromoland
Castle. She began to employ several former factory workers to make lace
for her in their own homes, which she then sold.
1893, she established a Limerick lace school in George’s (now O’Connell)
Street which taught skills, provided workrooms and was used as depots where
the lace was sold. After their training was completed, the former pupils
usually became lace workers, working at home and using the school as their
In 1904, Maude Kearney, a daughter of James Hodkinson, founder of the
famous firm of specialists in church decoration in Henry Street, Limerick,
established a lace making business which she called the Thomond Lace Industry.
Based in Thomondgate, Thomond Lace employed between fifty and eighty workers
at the height of its success. After the Second World War Limerick lace
declined rapidly but the tradition is still continued by a number of individual
lace makers and lace classes.
Causeway Tees Up Top Amateur Golf Tournament
Entries are open for the largest amateur golf tournament in Europe,
set to swing into action at Northern Ireland’s legendary Causeway Coast
this summer. The Causeway Coast Golf Tournament, which takes place on four
major golf courses surrounding the World Heritage Site of the Giants Causeway,
is in its 48th year. The competition attracts amateurs from all over the
world to play the best courses on the celebrated north coast.
The awe-inspiring scenery of the area is known as a ‘golfer’s paradise’
or more recently ‘The Major Golf Capital of the World’, following the major-winning
exploits of Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, who grew up nearby and who
honed their games on the tournament’s venues.
The venues, Royal Portrush (Valley Course), Castlerock, Ballycastle
and Ballyliffin are regarded as four of the finest course on the island
of Ireland, with the Royal Portrush Dunluce links now added to The Open
With incentives of individual and daily prizes on offer, the four-day
72-hole individual Stableford competition (June 1-5), played in four-ball
groups, attracts amateur players at every level.
As well as the setting of the Causeway Coast, a designated Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty, the tournament is famous for its camaraderie and Irish
hospitality – it regularly attracts up to 1,000 golfers from South Africa,
Canada, Australia, the USA and Europe.
The 2015 opening ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 31, at Castlerock
Golf Club, where entertainment will include a golf trick show artist, traditional
Irish music, Bushmills whiskey tasting, hog roast and perhaps a pint of
the black stuff.
Nearby attractions such as the Giants Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery
and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge are close by for golfers to explore, and
Game of Thrones fans may also be able to spot several locations in the
area used in the hit TV series. Various packages offering accommodation
and entry fee combinations, as well as a dedicated tournament app, are
Hunger Museum Opens
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.,
has launched a digital database of materials relating to Ireland and its
devastating famine of 1845-‘52.
The new database offers students, scholars, historians, and interested
members of the Irish diaspora free access to over 1,500 articles and illustrations.
They include excerpts from illustrated newspapers and publications such
as The Illustrated London News, Punch, The Pictorial Times
and The Graphic.
"Because photography was in its infancy, these illustrations were how
people saw and learned about what was going on in Ireland at that time,"
said Grace Brady, the museum’s executive director.
A key part of the museum’s mission is to educate people about this avoidable
tragedy in Ireland’s history and the database is another way to do so,"
The database was officially launched Dec.16, with a Dec. 16, 1848, sketch
from The Illustrated London News depicting a starving family that
had been dragged from its cottage and forced to spend Christmas in a hole,
burrowed in the ground "like otters and snipes."
The museum acquired the volumes of the pictorial newspapers from Kennys
Bookshop and Art Gallery in Galway. Four scholars from the museum worked
for over a year to ready the scans for public viewing.
"This database provides a unique insight into the aesthetic, technical
and contextual roles of pictorial newspapers in narrating and interpreting
the Famine," said Niamh O’Sullivan, Quinnipiac’s Professor Emeritus of
Visual Culture and Curator of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum.
"The value of the database to scholars, teachers, researchers and students,
no less than the diaspora, is inestimable. The museum's commitment to Famine
scholarship is imbedded in this ongoing ambitious digitization program."
Over the course of the next year, articles from before 1845 and after
1852 will be added to the database.
You can access the database here. Learn more about the Ireland’s Great
Hunger Museum, the world's largest collection of visual art, artifacts
and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine, here.
Limerick Tackling Homelessness
Limerick City and County Council has released figures showing that emergency
accommodation was provided to 205 people in the week up to and including
Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014).
Figures for seven-day periods during the previous months show 211 (June),
201 (July), 212 (August), 208 (September), 218 (October) and 229 persons
(November) were accommodated in emergency hostels, transitional accommodation
and long term-supported housing throughout Limerick.
While acknowledging that the number of people sleeping rough throughout
Limerick is "significantly lower" than other urban locations in Ireland,
the Council's Homeless Action Team said it continues to experience "high
demand" for emergency accommodation.
The Homeless Action Team is based at No. 2 Church Street, St. John's
Square and is the first point of contact for persons who become homeless.
The service is jointly staffed by the Local Authority, Department of Social
Protection and the HSE, delivering a multidisciplinary approach to solving
"Rough sleeping may occur in our administrative area on occasion, however,
with our partnership funding arrangement with the HSE, we have ensured
that our emergency accommodation providers have capacity to accommodate
those who are willing to accept help," commented Rob Lowth, Coordinator
of Homeless Services, Limerick City and County Council. Lowth noted that
the Local Authority, the HSE and the NGO's conduct regular Street Searches
for rough sleepers.
These was a co-ordinated effort between An Garda Síochána
in relation to rural areas and smaller towns while the majority of the
search took place in the City and key locations in the environs.
"The search found no rough sleepers or no evidence of rough sleeping
during this search. While this could change daily, the Homeless Action
Team is in regular contact with emergency services and reports will be
logged and investigated as a priority by the Team. We also contract an
Out of Hours Service with the NGO sector to deliver a 24/7 cover in relation
to ensuring solution can be put in place for after 5 p.m.," he added.
Lowth said the Council delivers a "vast and extensive" range of services
to persons who find themselves homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
"Accommodation and Support Services are provided on behalf of the Local
Authority by a range of Non-Government Organisations (NGO's) who are also
Approved Housing Bodies. This allows them to utilise various capital grants
via the Local Authority to provide specialist solutions for homeless persons.
The types of accommodation range from emergency hostels, transitional accommodation
and long-term supported housing," he stated.
"At the Homeless Action Team base in No. 2 Church Street, St. John's
Square, the Duty Officer is the contact staff member for a homeless person
or family, a level of reassurance is offered and a full holistic needs
assessment is carried out covering everything from accommodation history
to mental and physical health. Following assessment the Duty Officer places
the person or persons into the most appropriate accommodation available,"
Members of the public who are concerned about known rough sleepers are
asked to contact the Limerick Homeless Action Team at No: 2 Church Street,
St. John's Square, Limerick, or on Tel: 061 - 481212.
Hallamor Concert Series, Irish Cultural and Heritage
Hallamór Concert No.2
Sat., March 7, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
$29 advance / $33 on concert day / $15 students with ID
Michael Holmes – bouzouki
Cathy Jordan – vocals, bodhrán
Liam Kelly – flute, whistles
Brian McDonagh – mandola, mandolin
Shane Mitchell – accordion
Tom Morrow – fiddle, viola
The members of this iconic Irish band have wowed audiences in every
corner of the world from Brazil to Israel during the past 25 years and
shared stages with artists as diverse as Sting, James Brown, and The Buena
Vista Social Club. As worldwide ambassadors of Irish music, they accompanied
Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) on a historic trade mission to China
Dervish’s exceptional musicianship, groundbreaking songs, and carefully
crafted arrangements explore the endless rhythms and complexities that
go into making great Irish music. Fronted by Cathy Jordan’s singing and
masterful stage presence as well as a core sound built around the tight
and intuitive interplay between flute, accordion and fiddle, Dervish is
one of traditional music’s most magical and dazzling bands. Its 13th album,
Thrush in the Storm, was released in 2013.
"There’s no substitute for class, and after almost twenty-five years
together this Sligo super group is virtually in a class of its own. Dervish’s
impresses immediately, with every member
shining." – Irish Music Magazine
Hallamór Concert No.3
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas
Sat., April 11, 2015 – 7:30 p.m.
$21 advance / $25 on concert day / $10 students with ID
Alasdair Fraser – fiddle
Natalie Haas – cello
The ICHC welcomes back internationally acclaimed Scottish fiddler Alasdair
Fraser and dynamic cello player Natalie Haas. The musical collaboration
of Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador and the stunningly talented young
instrumentalist is credited with helping return the cello to its role at
the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music.
Referred to as "the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddle" by The San Francisco
Examiner, Fraser’s fiddling has thrilled audiences around the world for
more than 30 years including during the 2014 Milwaukee Irish Fest. In addition
to a long list of awards and accolades, he has been featured on movie soundtracks
including The Last of the Mohicans and Titanic.
A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Natalie was 11 when she
first attended Alastair’s Valley of the Moon Scottish fiddling school in
California. In her percussive bowing and musical spontaneity, Alasdair
found the perfect partner for a musical conversation.
"While his fiddle dances, her cello throbs darkly or plucks puckishly.
… Their sound is as urbane as a Manhattan midnight, and as wild as a Clackmannan
winter." – Boston Globe
Queen’s University 9th in the UK for Research Intensity
Figures released in mid-December, 2014, by the national Higher Education
Statistics Agency have confirmed that Queen’s University has been placed
joint ninth in the UK for research intensity.
Queen’s returned the fourth largest percentage of staff next to the
University of Cambridge, UCL and Queen Mary University, with more than
95% of Queen’s academics assessed. The University also has 14 subject areas
ranked within the UK’s top 20 and 76%t of its research classified in the
top two categories of world leading and internationally excellent.
These results are part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
results, also released this morning, which announced that over 75 per cent
of Queen’s researchers are undertaking world-class or internationally leading
The ‘Research Excellence Framework,’ which assesses the quality and
impact of UK higher education institutions’ research, is also used to allocate
£2 billion in research funding across the UK.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston said: "This spectacular news,
coming on the back of our excellent REF 2014 performance, clearly validates
Queen’s as a University with world-class researchers carrying out world-class
He asserted that to be positioned 9th in the UK is an outstanding achievement.
Johnston also praised the work of his academic colleagues "that has enabled
this excellent result. The breadth and depth and the quality of research,
right across the University, has clearly been recognised at a national
level and we should be rightly proud."
Johnston pointed out in food security, education, pharmacy, health,
modern languages, astrophysics, engineering, cyber security, english or
history, Queen’s research impacts right across society and makes a huge
contribution to both the local and global economy.
By creating jobs, informing government policy, developing new treatments
for many of the world’s most chronic illnesses, protecting children or
creating new technology, Queen’s is having real and meaningful impact,
"Queen’s University is on a journey to become a powerhouse of world-class
research and this is a great platform from which to build a world-class
research institution that is globally competitive," according to Johnston.
Present O’Rowe’s Terminus
Special to The Irish American Post
Gigante brings Terminus, Mark O’Rowe’s international sensation and
tour de force of poetry and drama, to the Milwaukee stage May 1-16. O’Rowe
is one of a steady influx of young Irish dramatists who are inventing a
new brand of modern theater based on heightened poetic language.
Terminus is a supernatural fantasy of interlocking monologues
sweeping the audience on a helter-skelter ride through the wildest parts
of the imagination, our greatest hopes, and our darkest fears. According
to the producers, the play is not for the faint of heart. Terminus is
directed by Mark Anderson, the cast includes Tom Reed, Isabelle Kralj,
and Megan Kaminsky. Set design is by Rick Graham with lighting by Alan
Piotrowicz.The language is a vertiginous conncatenation of assonance and
rhyme, whose rhythm remains limber enough to let the play – and its audience
Terminus is a luridly compelling waking nightmare of Dublin as
an eighth circle of hell.The Guardian calls it "uncomfortable and
exhilarating, pared-down but full to bursting of linguistic, emotional,
and imaginative riches. not just a welcome reminder of what theater can
do; it feels like what theater is for." Gritty details, grotesque flourishes
and internal rhymes pour from Mark O’Rowe’s characters with a velocity
to match the ferocity of his narrative in TERMINUS…
Terminus runs May 1-16, at the Kenilworth Studio, 508 Theater,
1925 E. Kenilworth Pl., Milwaukee.