Ireland is Calling You … to Cleveland

July 7th, 2016

Rock n Reel – Cleveland Irish Fest is Coming!

Ireland is Calling You … to Cleveland. The 34th Annual Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival takes place at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio July 22, 23 & 24.

The U.S. has been so generous in welcoming the Irish to this blessed country, and we love paying it forward, in thanks.  Festival proceeds benefit The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Holy Family Home and ten other local and national charities.  Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival has donated more than $770,000 dollars to charities since its inception in 1983.  

Live More Life; Be More Irish ~ Thirty-one bands, dancers and performers on three indoor and five outdoors stages will fill 117 acres, with entertainers from Ireland, Canada and across the U.S. highlighting the rich and varied Irish heritage.

The festival offers a wide range of music from traditional to Celtic Rock.  Rock-n-Reel Headliners include Ronan Tynan, of the Irish Tenors; Scythian; Ennis Sisters, The Fitzgerald’s, like Riverdance, only faster! One Shot Paddy; Hedgeband; Derek Warfield & the Young Wolfe Tones; and Socks in the Frying Pan.

In a Festival first – Celtic Rockers Seven Nations with “KIR”, featuring a full Pipe Band; Returning favorites include Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Ashley Davis, Marys Lane, Irish Descendants, Patrick O’Sullivan, Dermot Henry and Marys Lane.

Bring your dancing shoes, your energy, and your friends. Live More Life; Be More Irish, and dance like no one is watching.

The New Barleycorn, Brigid’s Cross, James Kilbane, Dennis Doyle, and The Kilroys will also be performing. Irish dance Schools Brady Campbell School, Tesse Burke School and Leneghan Academy join the 87th Cleveland Pipe Band, Firefighter’s Memorial Pipe Band, and West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band. “Things will happen!” as Barleycorn’s Alec DeGabriel always says!

Presenting the very best of Ireland doesn’t stop with the music.  The festival showcases championship dancing and pipe bands, and award-winning drama. Authentic Irish food vendors include Claddagh Irish Pubs, Sully’s Irish Pub, the Irish Coffee House and Winston’s Import Catering, and plentiful American fare for kids and adults alike is also available.

Things New to the festival this year include Online Admission tickets and weekend passes, Friday and Saturday Whiskey and Beer Tastings; craft beers; Online Merchandise sales; and so much more.

Expanded at the Festival this year is Temple Bar & Museum - Modeled after the world famous entertainment district in Dublin city centre, our Temple Bar & Museum has loads of singing, dancing, sessions, carrying on, lessons, workshops and exhibits. Walk thru our beautiful hand painted Irish village storefronts to Temple Bar, have a pint of our new craft beers, a traditional Guinness, Harp or Smithwicks, or a pop, have a listen or share a song, a story, or a set dance lesson; you’ll find all the tradition of an Irish pub in our Temple Bar & Museum.  There are over 50 Irish vendors with everything from Aran knits to delicious Irish chocolate, T-Shirts, Jewelry, music and that special gift, calling you home.

 

#tbt Champions

June 23rd, 2016

I wasn’t able to join the parade yesterday, but am reminded of this story Tom Byrne told me long ago.

Tom Byrne, a flute teaching local legend, emigrated from Ireland to Cleveland in 1948 to join family already come over. He came into Terminal Tower on the train, to catch a bus out to his family on the east side. He was nervous, excited, hopeful and scared.

He walked onto the square and the world had gone mad. Streamers, confetti, a parade, tens of thousands were on the street singing, hugging, cheering, and he thought, “Wow! What a country, to welcome a poor farm boy to their world.” He thought the celebration was given for everyone. He didn’t know that the Indians had won the World Series the day before.

Johnny Coyne Tom Scott Al OLeary Tom McCaffrey Tom Byrne courtesy Jim CoynePic Des:
Johnny Coyne, Tom Scott, Al OLeary, Tom McCaffrey, Tom Byrne. Pic courtesy Jim Coyne

Hear Ye, Hear ye!

June 1st, 2016

Hear ye, Hear ye, the 10th Annual Festival Focus issue of the Ohio Irish American News has hit the streets, over 240 locations in and around Ohio ~ Did you get yours yet? Post a pic here or@ Ohio Irish American News and win a perfect Party Pak

Our Cover features a look DOWN Croagh Patrick’s at the beautiful Co Mayo Countryside. Have you been there?
Photo by John O’Brien Jr.

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish — with Richard Lardie, Sue Mangan, Francis McGarry, Terry Kenneally, Bob Carney, Lisa O’Rourke, Linda Fulton Burke and Maureen Rose Ginley.

10th Annual Fantastic Festival Focus issue!

10th Annual Fantastic Festival Focus issue!

What is Social Media and Why Does it Matter to the Ohio Irish American News, and to you?

May 5th, 2016

Editor’s Corner
by John O’Brien, Jr.

Social Media can no longer be called new. It is vital, but not new.  Twitter just celebrated their 10th Anniversary on March 21st, 2006; Facebook preceded them, on February 4th, 2004. Small companies like ours have to find other ways to share our stories. There is the financial reason of course, but far deeper, is reach – reach is everything in publishing, and in advertising.

Social Media has been a Godsend for us, to meet our mission of seeding and promoting people, events, causes and concerns, all on a shoe-string budget, dedicated to being the gardner.  Preserving, presenting and promoting our rich Irish heritage is our passion and our fulfillment.  Through our many platforms of print, webpage, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts, we reach and share with an additional 20,000 people each and every month.  In March and December, it is more than 50,000, above and beyond those who read and share our print edition at home and work.

Too many people listen to reply. Listen to understand. We can spray and pray, that someone will see our posts, react to them, and then heed the call to action by liking, sharing and most importantly, attending. But we’d rather have you as part of our army.

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Think of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox – We know each has followers and fans. Who is the audience on each platform?  They overlap, but don’t they have very distinctive audiences? What is their need? And how do you fulfill it? It is different for each network; it is different for each platform.

Did you know when you share someone’s post, the number of eyes that see it is 10x what it reaches with no shares, and that number increases at even greater proportions, as the number of shares and likes, activates another level in sheer numbers of people who see your post? What does that mean?

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The number of people who see your post is determined by rules written by Facebook, often called algorithms.  More of your audience sees your post every time a reader shares it to their own followers, so a good post gets a double bonus. Facebook is set up for popular posts to be shown to more people; unpopular ones die a quick death.
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Only 13% of your “followers”, people who have liked your page, actually see your posts, unless they have clicked a button, called ‘subscribe”, which makes sure they see ALL your posts.  This is how Facebook convinces you to buy ads on their site – more people will see your posts when you advertise than when you don’t. As people react to your posts or tweets, the percent of your followers who see it rises, dramatically. If you include an image, the eyes on you multiplies by 3-4 times.

Put feet to your faith, whether it be support for your business, your passion, your spiritual beliefs, your charity or your music. Be verbal, but be physical too – Get up; Lift up; and Show up. And then live it all over again, on Facebook. If you want to give a hand to a friend, share.

Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil

(Until next month, goodbye)

John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.instagram.com/LiveMoreLife
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

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May issue of the Ohio Irish American News. Cover features Andrew Fowler, Pipe Instructor, West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band. Photo by John O'Brien, Jr.

May issue of the Ohio Irish American News. Cover features Andrew Fowler, Pipe Instructor, West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band. Photo by John O’Brien, Jr.

This is no April Fools – there is a LOT going on this weekend

April 9th, 2016

Out & About Ohio April 2016

LAST CALL! Flanagan’s Wake to end this month!
The Hilarious Interactive Irish Wake is Every Friday & Saturday at 8pm and Kennedy’s Theatre at Playhouse Square, Downtown Cleveland. 216-241-6000 or 866-546-1353 www.playhousesquare.org

Brooklyn – Hooley House!
1 – School Girl Crush, 8 – Abby Normal, 22 – The Fabulous Grungetones. Wed: Pub Trivia. 10310 Cascade Crossing, Brooklyn 216-362-7700. 1FunPub.com

Cincinnati – Irish Heritage Center
4th – Reds Parade Day w Ohio Rose of Tralee Kathleen Rose O’Donnell, 7th – Irish Pub Night 7:00, 9th – The John Byrne Band Concert, 21st – Irish Pub Night w Mick & Friends, 24th – 100th Anniversary Easter Rising 1:00 Laying Memorial wreath @”An Gorta Mor” at Sawyer Point, 1:15 Soup & Soda Bread @ Irish Heritage Center, 2:30 Easter Rising 1916. Irish Teas/Library /Genealogy Detective/ all three by appointment. Irish Heritage Center 3905 Eastern Avenue 513.533.0100. www.irishcenterofcincinnati.com.

ALL under Cleveland;
The Harp
1st – Traditional Irish Session, 2nd – The Porter Sharks, 6th – Lonesome Stars, 8th – Crawley, Custy & Taylor, 9th – Webster, Carr & Custy, 13th – Chris & Tom, 15th – Fior Gael, 16th – Chris Allen, 18th – Support our music variance @ Board of Zoning 9:30am Cleveland City Hall Room 514. 20th – Lonesome Stars, 22nd – Bill Fox, 23rd – Brent Kirby, 27th -Chris & Tom, 29th – The Kilroy’s. 4408 Detroit Road, 44113 www.the-harp.com
Stone Mad
Traditional Irish Session 1st Sunday of ea/month, Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4 to 7. 1306 West 65th Street Cleveland 44102 216-281-6500
Flat Iron Café
1114 Center St. Cleveland 44113-2406 216. 696.6968. www.flatironcafe.com
Treehouse
3rd- Michael Crawley, 10th- Chris Allen, 17th- Becky Boyd, 24th- Tom Evanchuck. 820 College Avenue, Cleveland, 44113 www.treehousecleveland.com
PJ McIntyre’s
1st – Cats On Holiday, 2nd – Iced Cherry, 5th – Monthly Pub Quiz- w Mike D. 7pm. 8th – Craic Brothers, 9th – Disco Inferno, 15th – Marys Lane, 16th – Stone Pony, 22nd – Big Ship, 23rd – Bluestone Union, 29th – Michael Crawley & Brent Hopper Happy Hour Duo 5-8, then Juice After, 30th – The Westies. Don’t forget T-Shirt Tues: wear any PJs T-Shirt get 15% off bill! Whiskey Wed: ½ off every whiskey in the house. Thurs – Craft Beer $2.50. PJ McIntyre’s is a Local 10 Union establishment. Home of the Celtic Supporter’s Club and the GAA. Book Parties & Events in our Bridgie Ned’s Irish Parlor Party Room. 17119 Lorain Road, 44111. www.pjmcintyres.com 216-941-9311.
Music Box Supper Club
3rd – Ballinloch, 17th – Portersharks, 22nd – Alan Doyle, 24th Brittany Reilly & Achill Sound. 1148 Main Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113. http://www.musicboxcle.com
Flannery’s Pub
323 East Prospect, Cleveland 44115 216.781.7782 www.flannerys.com

April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration

April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration

Avon Lake
Ahern Banquet Center
Ahern Banquet Center is booking weddings and special events. Call Tony Ahern / Lucy Balser @ 440-933-9500. 726 Avon Belden Rd, Avon Lake 44012. www.aherncatering.com

Euclid
Irish American Club East Side
1 – Bog Trotters, 15 – Mad Macs, 17 – Padraic Pearse Ladies Reverse Raffle, 22 – 1916 Easter Rising Commemoration. PUB: 7:30 – 10:30. IACES 22770 Lake Shore Blvd. Euclid, 44123. 216.731.4003 www.eastsideirish.org

Findlay
Logan’s Irish Pub
Trad Sessiún 3rd Wednesday. 414 South Main Street, Findlay 45840 419.420.3602 www.logansirishpubfindlay.com

Lakewood
Plank Road Tavern
Open Sessiún Every Thursday 7 – 10. $3 Guinness and Jamieson. 16719 Detroit Avenue, 44107

Medina / Montrose
Sully’s
1st – Marys Lane, 2nd – New Barleycorn, 8th – One – A U2 Tribute Band, 9th – Donal O’Shaughnessy, 15th – Craic Brothers, 16th – Dulahan, 22 – - Island Doctor, 23rd – Music Men, 29 – - Brittany Reilly & Achill Crossing, 30th – Big Mike & Company. Come celebrate our 8th Anniversary on April 2nd with the New Barleycorn! 117 West Liberty Medina, 44256 www.sullysmedina.com.
Hooley House Montrose
1 – Festivus, 15 – Almost famous, 22 – Sunset Strip, 29 – Michelle Romary Band, Wed: Pub Trivia. 145 Montrose West Avenue Copley, Oh 44321 (234) 466-0060 www.1funpub.com

Mentor
Hooley House
1 –Collage, 8 – London Flatts, 15 – Faction, 23 – Abbey Rodeo, 29 – Almost Famous. Wed: Trivia Night. 7861 Reynolds Rd Mentor www.1funpub.com (440) 942-6611.

Olmsted Twp
West Side Irish American Club
16th – Wine Tasting, 23rd – 1916 Easter Rising Centennial Celebration, 24th – Annual Style Show & Luncheon. Great live music & food in The Pub every Friday. WSIA Club 8559 Jennings Rd. 44138 www.wsia-club.org. 440-235-5868.

Valley City
Gandalf’s
9th – Sarena Tamboritza Orchestra, 16th – Marty Scionka. Join us for Brunch EVERY SUNDAY. Great food, atmosphere, staff and fun. 6757 Center Road Valley City, 44280 www.gandalfspub.com.

Westlake
Hooley House
1 – Michelle Romary Band, 8 – New Barleycorn, 9 – Post Road, 15 – London Flatts, 22 – School Girl crush, 29 – Faction. Wed: Pub Trivia. 24940 Sperry Dr Westlake 44145. www.1FunPub.com (440) 835-2890

Columbus
Shamrock Club Events
2nd – Central Ohio Folk Festival, 3rd – General Meeting, 9th – Singer/Songwriters Showcase, 16th – Easter Rising Concert, 17th – Athletic Awards Presentation, 17th General Meeting and Officer Elections, 23rd – Ladies of Longford, 30th – New Officer’s Installation Banquet, 30th – Homeland. Happy Hour every Friday from 5-7pm! 60 W. Castle Rd. Columbus 43207 614-491-4449 www.shamrockclubofcolumbus.com
Columbus GAA
9th – Hosting Men’s Tri-State Invitational w Cincinnati, Indianapolis & Louisville. Columbus GAA will debut their new kits! All are encouraged to come out and enjoy some great games, drinks and fun! Call for female Gaelic Football players! Contact w interest/questions. www.columbusgaa.com.
Tara Hall
Traditional Irish music w General Guinness Band & Friends 2nd Friday 8:00 – 11:00pm. No Cover. Tara Hall 274 E. Innis Ave. Columbus, 43207 614.444.5949.

Traditional Irish Social Dancing
Sunday Ceili’s at the Music Box, April 17, May 8, 15, 4-7 pm, FREE
Set dancing lessons, Tuesdays 8-10 pm, St. Clarence Church, North Olmsted
Wednesdays 7-9 pm, Irish American Club – East Side
Ceili dancing lessons, Thursdays, April 7, 14, 28, 7-9 pm, West Side Irish American Club
Coming on May 22–1916 Commemorative Ceili, West Side Irish American Club, 4-8 pm
For more information, contact CeiliClubCleveland@gmail.com or find us on Facebook

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Ongoing Traditional Irish Sessiúns – Bring your instruments and play along!
• Akron Hibernian’s Ceili Band Sessions, Wednesdays 7:30 pm. Mark Heffernan Div 2 Hall 2000 Brown St, Akron 330-724-2083. Beginner to intermediate
• Bardic Circle @The Shamrock Club of Columbus Beginner – friendly, intermediate level Irish session meeting every other Thursdays 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
• Briquette’s – 1st Saturday of the month, 4-6 pm. Ashtabula on the Harbor
• The Harp – 1st Friday of every month, 9pm. 4408 Detroit, Cleveland
• Logan’s Irish Pub – 3rd Wednesday of the month, 414 S. Main St., Findlay, 7:30 pm
• Oberlin’s Traditional Irish Session – 2nd Monday of the month 7 – 9 Slow Train Café, 55 East College St., Oberlin. Informal all experience welcome: www.oberlin.net/~irishsession
• Plank Road – Every Thursday 7 – 10. All ages and experience welcome. 16719 Detroit Road, Lakewood, 44107
• Tara Hall -Traditional Irish music w General Guinness Band & Friends 2nd Friday 8:00 – 11:00pm. 274 E. Innis Ave. Columbus, 43207 614.444.5949.

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I ain’t Mad, How Much March Madness Was in Your March?

March 26th, 2016

I ain’t Mad! Editor’s Corner

How mad was the March madness in your March? Mine was mighty, warm and filled with faith, friends and family. I am an active advocate of telling people you love them, how much you appreciate them, while they are still here to hear it. We too often don’t take the time, until after time has already run out.

Many St. Pat’s Honorees got to hear how much they are loved last month, during all the parade and surrounding activities. I love hearing their stories, preferably first hand. I like watching older folks unobserved, to see the light in their eyes, what stirs them. I wonder what they have seen, what they are remembering, and how to connect with them, so they will share with me.

As I get older, wisdom, perhaps, allows me to see the tragedy in her story, the hurt and the beauty in his eyes, behind the shining. The beauty in a person or a people is readily evident, despite instant gratification impulses. Gotta let it steep; gotta let them know.

April 2016, Editor's Corner

April 2016, Editor’s Corner

One of my favorite people is Pulitzer Prize winning author and columnist Regina Brett. She writes with and of common sense, caring, leaving the judgement at the door in a life well-lived and the lessons learned. She says in her book, God Never Blinks, “People don’t want to be saved; they want to be loved; that is how you save them.”

We could all use a little saving I suppose. In turbulent times, Demons draft with glee. But a little love leaves a long legacy. Sometimes, people just need a break. Surely tomorrow, that extra bit of time you gave today won’t be missed by you. But for them, it will be life changing.

St. Patrick’s Day, like Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or perhaps too, the festivals, slows things down enough for us to see the gathered gifts we have gotten, the graces and breaks we have received. To those that paved the path, that planted seeds or nurtured their growing, to those who received the honors and the appreciation, and those who did it without any recognition at all, I wish to say, Thank you.

The Easter Rising Commemorations are in full swing. Many events are listed within. Commemoration is important, to not only say thanks, but to learn or remember; who we are is not limited by from where we came, but it is certainly influenced by it. Knowledge is power and there is power in remembering, and saying Thanks.

Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/ http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/
***

Milestones:

Our condolences to Paul and Peggy Baker, on the loss of Paul’s mom on Friday March 11th. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Congratulations to: The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Irish history contest year focused on the women’s’ involvement in the Easter Rising. The winners of are:
Level 1: 1st place – Ashlyn Garthwaite; 2nd place – Brigid Donnelly; 3rd place – Brian Royea. Level 2: 1st place – Morgen Donnelly; 2nd place – Liam Craig; 3rd place – Delia Lowry. Honorable Mention – Sophia Murphy

Congratulations to Writer and Director Sean Lackey, whose movie, ‘The Yank‘, a romantic comedy about a clueless four-generations Irish descendant returning to Ireland for the wedding of his friend, will be now available in DVD & VOD by Vision Films.

Congratulations to Katherine Boyd, named Host on the Morning Edition, WCPN Ideastream’s 90.3.

April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration

April 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration

How Do You Celebrate St. Pat’s?

March 13th, 2016

Editor’s Corner

How do you celebrate? I start out with my family, and my extended loving family, the West Side Irish American Club, with the annual mass at St. Colman’s, whose gorgeous marble, and design, commissioned to Irish men in Dublin, I appreciate more and more each year; I may be daydreaming, but ghosts seep out of the marble for me. Then it is off to this year’s 149th Annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I walk with the Sheriff’s Dept. at the front of the parade, then circle around and march with the WSIA family, again.

I absolutely love it. The massive crowds are awesome to see, a culture like no other, one that invites all cultures to join us as we celebrate roots, family, and a passionate heritage that touches every curve and corner of the globe, through our own hard work, perseverance, and passion for freedom, in so many forms.

After walking the parade, we walk to a local hotel, and eat, drink and make merry, as outside our walls, downtown clears out. A few other parties and must go to appearances fill out the day, until we all reassemble at the Folks, for dinner, stories and as many cups of tea as your nerves can handle.

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish is my personal social media tag line and has been my credo for as long as I can remember; it is a life urgency instilled by my father, to make a difference as you trade each day of your life, for something; let it be worthwhile. You can find that same credo throughout the Irish community; it translates to any culture. Be aware, be awed and be grateful.

There is much to do this month; of course musical and event lists and labels run rampant in this issue. Deliberate, and then deliberately, pick your passion; pick your company, and Live More Life, as the Irish are wont to do.

We would love to hear and share how you celebrate – send me a note (jobrien@ianohio.com) or post on our FB page. Pics are welcome, as long as you own them. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages listed below and Opt-in to our Cleveland Irish Fest (clevelandirish.org) and Ohio Irish American News (ianohio.com) occasionally and respectfully sent and guarded email list, and win prizes like fest tickets, an annual OhIAN subscription, books or CD’s. We will run favorites in our April issue; share your memories, share your milestones, share all that being Irish, means to you.

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Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

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“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/ClevelandIrishCulturalFestival
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.linkedin.com/jobjr/

http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

www.instagram.com/LiveMoreLife

Who Was St. Patrick?

March 13th, 2016

Who Was St. Patrick?

Patrick wasn’t Irish, yet America’s biggest Irish celebration is held in his name; he wasn’t the first bishop sent to Ireland, yet he is responsible for launching the evangelical push that converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. He never drove the snakes out of Ireland – there weren’t any, at least not in the literal sense.

St. Patrick is one of three patron saints of Ireland (the other two are Brigid and Columba). He was born in the late 4th century, most sources say 387, somewhere on the coast of Britain, perhaps in Wales or Scotland. As early as 431, Pope Celestine sent a bishop named Palladius to minister to the Christians in Ireland. Patrick came to Ireland when he was sixteen, but he came against his will, as a slave.

Fortunately, we have his own words left to us in the form of his autobiography, referred to as his Confessio, and his Epistola, an admonition of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

StPatrick
Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders who were searching for slave labor, a common practice in those days. He worked for six years as a shepherd, and in those lonely times, as he later explained in his Confessio, he began to pray in earnest and trust God. He escaped and made his way back to his homeland.

Later he became a bishop and had a dream or a vision in which he heard the voice of the Irish calling to him to come and walk again among them. He did return, and apparently had several run-ins with pagan kings. Patrick stood up for his beliefs and was instrumental in guiding the Irish people to Christ. His predecessor, who was probably already in the country when Patrick returned, had been sent to minister to people who already believed; Patrick ministered to the unbelievers.

Did Patrick convert all of Ireland? That would have been a near impossible task in one man’s lifetime, especially since it was done without warfare, unlike Europe during the Crusades. Others came after him and carried on his work in Ireland and beyond: Brigid, Columba, Brendan, Aidan, and Columban to name a few. But St. Patrick is the name today that identifies all things Irish. The holiday is no longer just a religious observance; it is a day of cultural pride for all those with Irish blood.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/ www.instagram.com/LiveMoreLife

Irish Symbols and things to know for St. Pat’s

March 13th, 2016

The Irish Sweater:

The ubiquitous Irish sweater. On St. Patrick’s Day, it seems as though everyone dons one, whether traditional ivory-colored, hunter-green, or high-necked and fuchsia. The cabled patterns of the Irish fisherman’s sweater are reportedly symbolic. The foundation, the cable, represents the lifeline for the fisherman’s survival. A honeycomb pattern symbolizes the industry of the bee. Various patterns hearken back to the Book of Kells, and ancient Celtic drawings found on megalithic stones and burial sites.

A romantic idea exists that each Irish fishing family had its own pattern knitted into the jumper, or sweater, so should Fate turn against the fisherman, his body could be identified when it washed up upon the shore. Historians believe this notion to be purely fabricated for storytelling purposes. In John M. Synge’s “Riders to the Sea,” there is a reference to the knit on the jumper of the drowned fisherman, but a specific family design is not mentioned.

Regardless, the traditional cabled fisherman sweater has been worn by sailors in Ireland and the United Kingdom for generations. Crafted with natural, untreated wool, báinín the lanolin from the sheep was retained and provided a waterproof barrier between the wearer and the harsh elements of nature.

As early as the beginning of the twentieth-century, a group of economically industrious women realized the market for the Aran knit among the tourists and artists who began to visit their Aran Islands. Profit could be had for their skillful knitting. Thus, the Irish fisherman’s sweater became known as an Aran knit. The cabled pattern soon became quite popular and was even featured in Vogue fashion magazine in a 1950s spread.

Claddagh
The Claddagh is a ring traditionally given to a lover for an engagement or wedding, or as a symbol of affection. Originating in the fishing village of Claddagh, near the city of Galway, it was first produced during the reign of William and Mary in the late 1600s. The heart, hands, and crown of its distinctive design stand for love, friendship, and loyalty respectively, and the ring can be worn in different ways to indicate the relationship status of the wearer. A Claddagh worn on the right hand with the point of the heart facing down, toward the end of the finger indicates a single wearer, while turned around, it signifies romantic attachment. Worn on the ring finger of the left hand, the ring indicates engagement or marriage.

Celtic Cross
Popular legend holds that the Celtic Cross was introduced to Ireland by St. Patrick or St. Declan, in order to explain the importance of the cross to Irish pagans. In the early days of Christianity in Ireland, Celtic crosses were used as freestanding monuments. A number of huge high crosses were erected in the eighth century and probably followed earlier versions constructed from wood. These crosses were often decorated with ornate Celtic art and occasionally displayed inscriptions carved in runes. This tradition later evolved into a custom of using Celtic crosses as grave markers, a practice which became particularly fashionable in the 19th century. From this point onward, it also became a symbol of Celtic heritage and pride and is today a popular design

Rest in Peace Volunteers Celtic Cross
St. Brigid’s Cross
Made from rushes or occasionally from straw, St. Brigid’s Cross first appeared in the 17th century, but the legend of its origin is set in pagan times. Legend says that St. Brigid was called to the deathbed of a dying Celtic lord by some of his Christian servants in order to try converting him to Christianity before his death. When Brigid arrived, the man was too delirious to understand her, so she began weaving together rushes from the floor of his sickroom. When asked what she was doing, she explained that she was weaving a cross, and the lord’s delirium slowly gave way to questioning. Converted, he was baptized just before he died.

Later, it became tradition to weave St. Brigid’s Crosses on February 1st, the Feast Day of St. Brigid. These crosses were hung in Irish homes to ward off evil, particularly fires, and were therefore most common in kitchens.

The Harp
Played by Brian Boru, the last true and now legendary High King, who ruled all Ireland in the 8th & 9th centuries, the harp has been a symbol of Ireland ever since. In 1542, it was adopted as an official symbol. In 1922, the Republic of Ireland adopted a left-facing harp, based on the Trinity College Harp located in the library of Trinity College in Dublin as its official symbol. It appears on state documents and seals, along with the cover of every Irish passport. The medieval tradition of printing harps on Irish coins also continues into the present with the left-facing Trinity College Harp featuring on Irish printed Euro.
Shamrocks and Four-Leafed Clovers

While the two plants are commonly confused, the shamrock and the four-leafed clover have very different meanings. The first has three leaves and is a symbol of Ireland and the Christian Holy Trinity; the second is one of the best known good luck charms. While the three leaves of a shamrock are sometimes said to represent Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the leaves of a four-leafed clover are said to represent faith, hope, love, and luck. Additionally, the shamrock is a specific kind of clover, the three-leafed old white clover, while four-leafed clovers can be found in any clover species. In fact, the shamrock’s name indicates its uniqueness among clover. It comes from the Gaelic seamróg, a diminutive of seamair, the name used to refer to all clover. However, in spite of shamrock referring to a specific species, four-leafed clovers, produced by mutation, are rarer. They only occur in 1 out of every 10,000 clovers, which must be why it’s considered so lucky to happen upon one.

17 Amazing Things To Do in March to celebrate the month of St. Patrick!

March 6th, 2016

17 Amazing Things To Do in March
to celebrate the month of St. Patrick!

1. #17DaysofMarch – @Croagh Patrick’s, features music, special events, toasts, and fantastic food, with a different theme and special each day. www.facebook.com/Croagh-Patricks-Pub

2. Irish Music Sundays every Sunday @Music Box Cleveland www.musicboxcle.com

3. March 8th – Kathleen Linn – Rebel Doctor (Film) – Never before shown in the US, the film celebrates the rebel Dr., commanding officer, medical pioneer and humanitarian. River’s Edge 3430 Rocky River Drive (next to St. Joe’s Academy). 7pm

4. March 11 – We Banjo 3 @ Logan’s Irish Pub www.LogansIrishPubFindlay.com

5. Pogues Tribute w Boys from the Co Hell @MusicBoxCLE

March 12:
6. #StMalachiChurchRun www.hermescleveland.com

7. LunaLaunch – #LyricsofIrishFreedom – Luna Team Shop is the new, year-round provider of amazing and fun gear for Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival. To celebrate the launch, Luna and surrounding shops are offering great specials from 11am to 3pm. Author John O’Brien, Jr. will be signing his new book, The Lyrics of Irish Freedom, the story behind the Irish songs of rebellion and freedom, with bagpipers, Irish Wolfhounds and more. Luna is at 113 Front Street, just 4 miles from the festival grounds. www.lunateamshop.com

A Hooley ~ @Luna Team Shop Mach 12th - author John O'Brien, Jr, Irish Wolfhounds, Bag Pipers and more

A Hooley ~ @Luna Team Shop Mach 12th – author John O’Brien, Jr, Irish Wolfhounds, Bag Pipers and more

8. Claddagh Ball @ West Side Irish American Club www.wsia-club.org

9. March 14TH – #LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish If you would like to volunteer to help “Make the Irish Fest Great Again” (Sorry Donald), the magnificent Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival Creative Team, charged with nurturing new ideas and making sure guests and volunteers alike have a blast, meet Monday March 14th, @PJ McIntyre’s (17119 Lorain Road at Kamm’s Corner, in their basement Party room) 6:15pm. Good food, good friends and exciting new things coming for 2016. We need your ideas, but most of all, we need YOU.

34th Annual Cleveland Irish Fest

34th Annual Cleveland Irish Fest

10. March 15th – If you want a say in making a better America, you have to have a seat at the table – PLEASE VOTE!

11. March 17th – Sober 17th – non-alcohol alternative Bash with James Kilbane, Mary Agnes Kennedy, Brady-Campbell School of Dance, St. Ignatius Circus Company: great food, fellowship and family fun. Ahern’s Banquet Center 726 Avon-Beldon Road. 5-8pm sober17th@gmail.com
12. THE High Holy Day! Many start with Mass at one of the local Irish parishes. The 149th Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at 1:04 pm: parties, pomp and great craic fill the day at pubs and clubs across the state.

Happy St. Pat's

Happy St. Pat’s

March 18th:
13. Win a trip to the Auld Sod! And support Historic St. Patrick’s Church on Bridge Avenue in Cleveland. Tickets are $5 ea or 3/$10 Kathy Pierce @ 216.49.9064.
14. Welcome Home – Irish artist Kathleen Dorsey show at 78th Street Studios (West 78th Street, Cleveland) – amazing paintings of Ireland. 5pm to 10 pm. She is in Room 105, but all the studios are open that night.

15. March 20th – Emmitt Cahill (Celtic Thunder) @ West Side Irish American Club www.wsia-club.org

16. March 29th – Speak Irish Cleveland new classes begin, every Tuesday, 6:15 to 8, all levels welcome. Jobrien@ianohio.com

17. March 30th – #CIFF – the Cleveland International Film Festival kicks off March 30th. 193 feature films and 213 short films fill Cleveland Tower City and surrounding theatres. Supporting the arts is part of our blood; check out CIFF at www.clevelandfilm.org

CIFF40_OhioIrish_300x100-C

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