A Letter from the Editor: August issue of the Ohio Irish American News is out.

“I walked the hills, when rain was falling. Heard a stranger call me friend. Every time, my mind was troubled, found a smile, around the bend.” … Tommy Makem

We have been shouting out the good news of the GAA Finals coming to Cleveland this Labor Day Weekend. 111 teams from across the US, Canada and the Cayman Islands are coming to compete in Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie. More than 2,000 athletes, and their families and friends, are coming to play and share the wealth. I remember as a small boy my dad taking me to the Nationals in Boston, and in LA. A new generation is taking their sons and daughters to Cleveland. Our cover is but a singular moment of the action.
Now, before the next issue hits, it will be upon us. From sunup to sundown Friday thru Sunday, action, adventure and suspense will play out on the fields of glory. Don’t miss a minute.

August cover

Can you imagine what our grandfathers and mothers leaving Ireland, often under duress, would think to know that generations later, the games of their youth and their heroes would follow them, into their new digs? Schedules, music, and more details are at www.gaacleveland.com.

Ohio Irish American News ~ Official Media Partner of the 2013 Gaelic Athletic Association North American Championships
Ohio Irish American News ~ Official Media Partner of the 2013 Gaelic Athletic Association North American Championships

We’re 1/2 way thought the summer; did we live it well? Festivals and fundraisers filled July. Like generations before us, we pay it forward in laying a lifetime of links, connections and memories for the young ones and a lifeline for help for any that calls our name. Opportunities abound to create those memories and to lend a helping hand. Some are within these pages too; take a look about, and lead a purpose driven August.

Other things you will see within:
Stories on, Illuminations: The Snail & Irish History; Rachel Gaffney ‘s Real Ireland Titanic Cesar Salad Dressing; A Letter from Ireland, Mark Owens Sports reports on the upcoming GAA games, Festival Songs Crossword Puzzle; Ireland Past & Present, The Dunamore Workhouse; Book Reviews; Blowin’ In: Castles & Pirate Queens; The 9-1-1- Garden of Remembrance in Ringfinnan, Kinsale, Co. Cork; Terry from Derry’s Puttin on the Glitz; On this Day in Irish History and more.

Hope to see you at the Dublin Irish Fest, where I am presenting “The Irish American Journey” at 3:00 Saturday in the Spoken Word Tent. It is a mostly true tale in poem and lyric of the immigration path so many walked, to avoid The Great Hunger, for opportunity, for freedom, and to America, which welcomed them with open arms. I will be signing my books all weekend long as well. Please stop by, and share your story with me.


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O’Bent Enterprises includes:
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Congrats to Brigid’s Cross’ Richie Reece and his wife Christine on the birth of their first child, Emma, on July 7th.

Congratulations to my partner, Ohio Irish American News Co Founder and Co Publisher, Cliff Carlson, who got engaged to Chicago and Ohio Irish American News’ webmaster, graphic artist, problem solver and amazing photographer, Cathy Curry, July 12th. THANK God, she said yes!

We’re all off to Dublin, in the green, in the green

I am not a singer, tho I know all the auld songs;
I am not a musician, tho chords and frets have danced from the fingers of my mind;
I am a fest organizer and a presenter; I know audience response determines whether doors open, or close.
Please stop by The Spoken Word Tent at Dublin Irish Festival on Saturday at 3:00 and/or the Author’s Corner all weekend long, so fest organizers see the passion and the interest in our written and spoken word, … and keep opening doors.



Read to get your Irish on, Again?

Ready for a little August issue of the Ohio Irish American News? Issue #80 Hits the streets Thursday, featuring Gaa Cleveland and the Games, plus stories on Castles & Pirate Queen’s; The Snail & Irish History; The Dunamore Workhouse; Festival Songs; Puttin on the Glitz; The 9-1-1 Garden of Remembrance in Ireland; The Pipe Band Simulator; Rachel Gaffney ‘s Titanic Caesar Salad; A Letter from Ireland, Mark Owens Sports & the GAA North American Games coming to Cleveland Labor Day Weekend; On This Day in Irish History, Book Reviews; A Letter From the Honorary Consul of Ireland and more. Available Thursday; pick up yours at over 240 locations in and around Ohio, or see us online at www.ianohio.com, or www.twitter.com/jobjr

What’s Going on 2Nite?

Whats on 2Nite? Marys Lane The Hooley House – Brooklyn, JoeRollinPorter @FlatIron, DJMcKidd Pj McIntyre’s Etiquitte West Park Station HH, BarFlys Flannery’s Pub. DonegalDoggs Sully’s Irish Pub, CarlosJones The Hooley House, BrendanBurtBand John Mullarkey’s. Add yours!

July Milestones and Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner & Milestones:

Cleveland is a city of immigrants, yours, neighbors and mine. So much has been going on in the Rock-n-Roll Capitol that it harkens back to the days when Cleveland was the 10th largest city in the U.S., built by immigrants from every nation of the world. There were one or two Irish among them.

It is an exciting time. I grew up here. The missing vibrancy that attracted so many to Cleveland is back, full of vision, dreams and bricks & mortar. Grande openings, ribbon cuttings and announcements of new developments and hotels are each spurring another round of investment, and another, with another chance for Cleveland to shine. Dreams are not only being crafted, but realized too.

The contributions of the Irish have always added so much to Cleveland, much to the United States, much to where ever they settled around the world. They brought labor, music, leadership and yes, games. If you haven’t been to Cleveland in a while, there is much to see; here is your invitation.

Gaelic Football is a cross between soccer and rugby, marked by fast-paced, non-stop action. There are no time outs. In Ohio, Cleveland St. Jarlath’s, Cleveland St. Pat’s and Columbus Naghten Street Gaelic Football Clubs and the Akron Celtic Guards Hurling Club are part of the Midwest Division of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The Midwest Division is part of the North American County Boards.

Each year the North American Boards hosts a National Championships weekend, with divisional winners from across the United States meeting on the road to The Finals. Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Chicago usually host this championship round and the Finals, over Labor Day weekend.

This year, Cleveland is the host. 108 teams will descend upon the city for what will become the biggest and most spectacular North American County Board Games yet. The games of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie will be featured all weekend at Barton-Bradley Fields in North Olmsted, plus music, a cultural village, food and great company. For the Finals schedule, see: gaacleveland.com/2013-playoffs-draw.html.

For a great chance to see Gaelic football before the Games, and 108 teams arrive, check out the GAA schedule in this issue. Save two hours on a Saturday to check out the home teams at a field near you. You’ll be ready for the Finals, and Cleveland will have a home-team advantage second to none.

Congratulations are much in order this month:
To the Cleveland GAA Committee for their work in bringing the GAA Nationals to Cleveland;
To 2012 Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee Ashley Speaker, who got engaged to Kyle Buckel last month;
To Hooligan’s Pub in Put-in-Bay, celebrating their 5th anniversary;
To Croagh Patricks, celebrating their 4th Anniversary;
To Capt. Mike Kilbane, formerly of the North Olmsted Police Department, appointed Chief of Independence Police Department.

So many American dreams … Happy 4th of July; for many Irish, a different kind of independence, even though from the same crown. Many dreamed of America for its freedom, for its freedom from an oppressor, for its freedom of religion and freedom of opportunity. But they didn’t just dream, they took action and they took to the seas.


The Irish American Journey

The Irish story is an epic one of immigration, & success. Delighted to be presenting The Irish American Journey at Dublin Irish Festival Spoken Word Tent this year, and signing my books too. We’re all off to Dublin in the Green, in the green … Will I see you?

a new poem: Needling

By John O’Brien, Jr.

When I was 10, and in my prime
Before the pain of Rheumatoid, stole my mind
I drank of life, as only a child could
And if I could be that child again? I would

When I was 20, I ran into a blind
I had no idea, meds would erase my mind
and alter my dreams, as He oiled my wheelchair
Instead I learned not to limp, who can tolerate despair?

When I was 35, still with dreams like any other
I broke my back, pain and I, now brothers
Bent at times, I cannot bow,
Spent I live, life begins now

When I was 45, I settled into place
And found the peace, and a saving grace
I won’t conquer the world; I won’t die without a ripple
Or fade into the drink, with enchanting, devastating nipple

The needles took away my past, I remember not my youth,
Adopted memories, co-opted from a photo booth
but in brief sporadic moments, in snapshots I can’t find
Those pictures and sisters fill, what deeply I pine

Numbing agents, of both mind and nerve
Erasing against experience, of a bell curve
I love life, adjust against fate
Love is a terrible thing, to hate.