What’s Going on this Weekend, from your Ohio Irish American News:
Friday: April 25th
No More Lenten Fish Frys and this Friday & Saturday are the last Flanagan’s Wake Shows of the year
Flanagan’s Wake – Cleveland @PlayhouseSquare
LiveMusic&FoodinThePub @ West Side Irish American Club
MaryAgnesKennedy@Irish American Club East Side, Inc
Mossy Moran@Sully’s Irish Pub
Samantha Fitzpatrick@The Hooley House
BreakfastClub@The Hooley House – Westlake
Monica Robins and the Ninja Cowboys@ParmaTavern
Sat: April 26th
Last Flanagan’s Wake Show of the year
@Samantha Fitzpatrick@ The Hooley House – Brooklyn
DJHotCar@lPJ McIntyres Irish Pub
Austin Walkin’ Cane@FlannerysIrishPub
Sunday: April 27th
ChrisAllen@STONE MAD PUB, RESTAURANT AND BOCCE
Kristine Jackson@Treehouse Bar
If you don’t send ‘em, we can’t print ‘em
Share the experience: Get Up; Show Up; Lift Up.
“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
Our Annual Fantastic Festival Focus Issue is back, already festivals all across the U.S. have signed on, including Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, Dublin Irish Festival, Great American Irish Fest (NY), Kansas City Irish Fest, Michigan Irish Music Festival, Ohio Celtic Fest and Pittsburgh Irish Festival, so far … < Are you one of them? You should be if you want to reach the 1.4 million people of Irish descent in Ohio, and their friends in Ohio and the 6 surrounding states where the Ohio Irish American News is distributed.
Logo on the cover in June, lineup, entertainment and other highlights and your web site each month from June thru your festival month, plus extensive web and social media support, plus all issues are archived online.
What’s Going on this Weekend, from your Ohio Irish American News
Friday: April 18th:
Fish Frys Everywhere
MattJohnsonDuelingPianos@The Hooley House – Brooklyn
Flanagan’s Wake – Cleveland @PlayhouseSquare
Kristine Jackson @The Harp
The New Barleycorn@Flannery’s Pub
Mossy Moran @IACES
TheUsualSuspects@The Hooley House
Dyngus DaySTONE MAD PUB, RESTAURANT AND BOCCE w/ CasualPolkaBand @4pm
Tuesday April 22nd
@Leo&Anto@PJMcIntyre’s is SOLD OUT
If you don’t send ‘em, we can’t print ‘em
Share the experience: Get Up; Show Up; Lift Up.
“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
Euro’s 2016 – Ireland The draw was made for the 2016 European Championships which will be hosted in France. The Republic of Ireland, now under the new management of legends Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane, were hoping for a favorable draw in an effort to get the Irish back to a major tournament, having missed out on qualification for this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Unfortunately, the draw was not as kind as all had hoped. The Irish will have their work cut out for themselves in their efforts to make Euro ’16.
The biggest news with the draw was that Ireland will once again face Germany, favorites to win this year’s World Cup, and who will be undoubtedly be favorites to win it all in 2016 s well. During the country’s last campaign to qualify for Brazil, you may remember that Ireland were thrashed by the German’s in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium by a score of 6-1, followed by a 3-0 loss in Germany when temporary manager Noel King was in charge. Ireland have been drawn into Group D. The other teams include Scotland, Poland, Georgia and international newcomers Gibraltar. The good news out of all of this is that for the first time ever, a total of 24 teams will qualify for the actual tournament, rather than the recent traditional 16 teams. This means that the top two teams from each group will automatically go through, plus the 3rd placed team with the overall best record. Additionally, the remaining 8 third placed teams will contest play-offs, with 4 ultimately going through. We Irish are always looking for a good omen, and in this case, I have found one – the Republic of Ireland were last involved in a group with Scotland when they qualified for Euro ’88, so let’s hope history repeats itself. Ironically, Gordon Strachan, who replaced Irish manager Martin O’Neill as manager of Celtic several years ago, now manages Scotland, so there should be a healthy rivalry with the two gaffers. Poland and Ireland played out a scoreless 0-0 draw in November. Ireland beat Georgia on both occasions they faced off, in the run up for qualification for the 2010 World Cup, although in both games the Georgians proved to be stubborn opposition and have got slightly better since then.
Gibraltar are a completely unknown factor; this is the first tournament they have tried to qualify for – they were only recently approved as an official country football association. It would be normal to expect full points against the minnows, but football can be a funny auld game sometimes. After the draw was made, the Irish manager commented: “It is a difficult group, but an exciting one, and the games against Scotland will be a great occasion”. O’Neill suggested that the Germans would likely qualify as group winners, but that “it looks like a group, apart from Germany, where teams might be able to take points off each other”.
On the flip side, Scottish manager Strachan commented that: “the commercial manager is happy. Every tie, there’s something in it. You’ve got Gibraltar, new to the completion; Germany, one of the best teams in the world; the Republic of Ireland; Poland, who we play in a friendly – we’ve just decided to knock that one in the head”. He added “it’s exciting, there are some groups you might call mundane, but we’re definitely in an exciting group”. The full draw of groups in team is shown below. Qualifiers will take place between September 7, 2014 and October 13, 2015, with the playoff matches in November 2015. Ireland will start their campaign away to Georgia on September 7th this year, followed by a home game against new boys Gibraltar.
GROUP A: Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland, Kazakhstan GROUP B: Bosnia-Hercegovina, Belgium, Israel, Wales, Cyprus, Andorra GROUP C: Spain, Ukraine, Slovakia, Belarus, Macedonia, Luxembourg GROUP D: Germany, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibraltar GROUP E:England, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania,San Marino GROUP F: Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Northern Ireland, Faroe Islands GROUP G: Russia, Sweden, Austria, Montenegro, Moldova, Liechtenstein GROUP H: Italy, Croatia, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Malta GROUP I: Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Armenia, Albania
Trivia: First, last month’s question: The Republic of Ireland will unfortunately not be at this year’s football world cup that takes place in Brazil this summer; when was the last time they played at the tournament? 2002 – when they qualified for the Korea-Japan World Cup and where they reached the final 16. This month’s question: When Ireland played at the 1988 Euro’s, they beat England 1-0. Christy Moore wrote a legendary song about it – who scored the only goal that fine afternoon?
*Mark Owens is originally from Derry City, Ireland and has resided in the Cleveland area since 2001. Mark is the Director of Marketing for Skylight Financial Group in Cleveland. Send questions, comments or suggestions for future articles to Mark at: email@example.com
“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
Get up; Show up; Lift Up
The Time of My Life
By Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee, Kelsey Higgins
I could start at the beginning of my Ohio Rose journey, but there isn’t enough space. I can tell you, however, that my dream of becoming a Rose started when I was just 15, and my dear friend, Jackie O’Donnell, who lives in Cork, Ireland, suggested I try out when the time was right. On April 19, 2013, the time was right; I was crowned the Ohio Rose.
It has been a whirlwind year for me and I will recap as much of the highlights as I can. After being crowned the Ohio Rose, my first stop was at a darling little Irish cottage right here in Ohio, where I met with many ladies who offered advice. The best advice I received was “be yourself”.
Afterwards, I was honored at a cocktail party at the top of Terminal Tower. It was very posh and I had a great opportunity to meet so many of you who support the Northern Ohio Rose. During that get-together I received a Proclamation from the Mayor of Westlake, Dennis Clough. I also received the key to the city of Westlake, which I thought was given only to dignitaries! May 18th, 2013 may have seemed like any other day to you, but to me it was special, for it was declared Kelsey Higgins’ Day in Westlake. Shortly after, I had the honor of being invited to the Ohio State Senate, on May 18, 2013.
There I received a beautiful Recognition on the Senate Floor given to me by Senator Tom Patton. Then I was quickly rushed over to the House of Representatives, where Representative Nan A. Baker also gave me Recognition on the floor of the House of Representatives. To top off my month of May, I made the cover of the Ohio Irish American News, May edition. With my grandparents living in Strongsville, we swiped as many copies as possible! We didn’t know it, but the fun was just beginning; summer came and I headed to Portlaoise, Ireland, where I competed in the semi-final round of the Rose of Tralee.
I met women from all over the world, and made friendships I will cherish for a lifetime. I did not make it to the final round of the Rose of Tralee, but the memories and friendships I made I will cherish for all my life.
Upon arriving back in the States, I made my first appearance on the Gerry Quinn show, and I danced a treble jig. Yes, on the radio! It was great fun. Following the Gerry Quinn show, the festivals began. First was in Painesville, where the New Barleycorn spotted me and asked if I would do a jig with them. Of course, I didn’t hesitate, even in my 5-inch wedges!
Following that festival I went to the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, where I had a great time meeting fellow Irish Americans and revisiting the old stomping grounds of the Cleveland Feis. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories.
Next stop, the Dayton Celtic Festival, where the Kentucky Rose, Savannah Miller, joined me. Then we were on our way to the Dublin Irish Festival; this time we had four Roses attending: the San Francisco Rose, the Toronto Rose, the Kentucky Rose and me! We spent the evening seeing bands and enjoying the delicious food, and we all did a reel step out on stage with the Parade of Champions, introduced by Mary McGing.
Events started to slow down after summer, then came my invitation to visit the Chernobyl Children’s International Charity. I was thrilled at the prospect of visiting the amazing kids at the Vesnova Children’s Mental Asylum. I knew immediately that I was going, however, I got a bit of push back from my parents. Their fears were valid, but then they realized what an amazing opportunity this would be for me; I received their full support.
Representing Ohio at the orphanage was one of the most life changing experiences one could ever imagine. During my time there, I fed the children, played with them and showered them with all the love and affection I could give. I learned the importance of loving one another.
Some asked about the language barrier – I had no issue with a language barrier between me and the children because the only communication that was needed was love – pure love. I know that I made a difference in these children’s lives and I cannot wait to go back to shower them with love and affection again – something they so desperately need and deserve.
I encourage everyone to research the Chernobyl Children’s International charity. This charity, started by Adi Roach of Cork, Ireland, has raised over 100 million euro. It has changed the lives of hundreds of orphans. The Irish community has built Homes of Hope for older orphans to keep them from going to the adult mental asylum at the age of 18. Unfortunately, not all can stay in the home and three of the children we met faced the doom of going to the adult asylum this week. They are not “adult” in anyway mentally and they will not receive the care they so desperately need. I also encourage everyone to view the Youtube video by Brendan Galvin of our trip this year. All you have to do is type in Belarus Chernobyl Rose Trip 2014.
These are the things that stand out as I think of my friends at the Ohio Irish American News; you have all become my friends through your support in this most amazing of years. As my year winds down and another lucky woman is crowned the Northern Ohio Rose, my best advice to her is “be yourself”.
As I was on the plane headed to Ireland, I started reading a little book given to me by my mentor, Denise McConville. Her inscription to me said it all “Remember to always be true to who you are. That is perfect and good enough. Have the time of your life.”
Boy, did I ever have the time of my life!!
2013 Ohio Rose
“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News
Ireland Past & Present: Some Anniversary Reflections
By Niamh O’Sullivan
It is four years since I last visited Kilmainham Prison; it is too painful for me to be there. I loved that grey limestone heap dearly and I miss it. The ugly place witnessed so much human suffering and courage. This late spring will number 98 years since its infamous Stonebreakers’ Yard was put to such terrible, brutal, early morning use: the executions of fourteen bound, blindfolded men.
Obviously, working there day to day, year to year, I was not often afforded the luxury of experiencing such a strong sense of occasion, but every so often on a rare quiet day, when I had the time and the privilege to make my way out and sit alone in that grey stone enclosure, I did sometimes think, “right – here”. Right where those silent simple metal crosses now stand, they gave their lives for an ideal infinitely bigger and grander than themselves; right here, their hearts stopped beating; right here, between the high windowless walls, under the grey sky, standing on grey stones. Right here.
But of course, things do not simply begin, or end, in that yard. Today still, not far from Kilmainham in the centre of Dublin city, there is a terraced row of near-derelict houses which lie huddled together, each one holding its neighbour upright, or so it would seem to the casual observer. This is Moore Street. Having escaped on the Friday of Easter Week from the burning GPO on Sackville Street and tunnelled their way through the walls of this now dilapidated row of buildings, some of the men and three of the women finally found themselves on the Saturday in Number 16, Moore Street, which became the last outpost of the GPO.
Here, five of the seven men who signed the 1916 Proclamation (or declaration of independence) and were later shot in Kilmainham Prison, held their final council of war. Among them was the severely wounded James Connolly, commander of all the Irish forces in Dublin. Amidst eerie echoes of the distant past, an image of Robert Emmet was displayed in the room where he lay in bed.
Here, in Number 16, Padraig Pearse, looking out the window, witnessed a Dublin family of three being killed in the crossfire between Irish and British forces, Pearse understood then that the time had come to surrender; Here, outnumbered in the subsequent voting, the determined old-before-his-time Tom Clarke witnessed the death of his dream; here, Sean MacDiarmada asked for a piece of white cloth that could be used as a flag of surrender, and from here, nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell set out on one of the most dangerous journeys in Irish history, to meet with Brigadier General Lowe on the British side, and to afterwards carry the surrender orders to the remaining Irish commanders all across the burning, ruined city.
Kilmainham Prison is saved. Restored in the 1960s and containing both a museum and archives, it is visited yearly by over two hundred thousand visitors both from Ireland and abroad. But that tumble-down row of houses on Moore Street – the Yorktown, the Appomattox – of Ireland, has for many years now faced the very great danger of being demolished and turned into a shopping mall.
After a lengthy campaign for it to be saved and protected as a National Monument, it has been announced in the Irish Parliament, as I’m writing, that numbers 14 to 17, Moore Street, will be preserved, and turned into a museum. In two years, we hope to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising. Better late than never? Some of the relatives of those who fought and those who took the decision to surrender in the Moore Street area do not believe this small measure will suffice, and that the entire area surrounding, being of such enormous historical importance, should also be protected and preserved.
I worked in the Kilmainham archives with a paper conservator who could always be relied upon to save and beautifully display shabby and torn letters, diaries and autograph books from the past. Pat McBride was not political, he just enjoyed conserving old papers. But working alongside us on the various exhibitions and displays in the old prison, he would find himself getting caught up in the stories against his better judgement. He would then pull himself up forcibly, and get on with the conserving.
Pat had a theory which we would frequently discuss. He thought, given everything that has happened since in Ireland, in almost every sphere of life, that the men and women of 1916 should have just stayed at home during those fateful days, and enjoyed their Sunday dinners, their own lives and their own families. From time to time, I felt compelled to agree. Then there is German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s famous dilemma: “Unhappy the land that has no heroes.” “No, unhappy the land that needs heroes.” Take your pick, Ireland.
Even the memories within memories can suffer. Many Irish people remember Joseph Plunkett, involved in the momentous decision to surrender in Moore Street and married hours before his execution in the little chapel in Kilmainham Prison to Grace Gifford. But how many people still recall his two younger brothers; George and Jack? Both sentenced to death after 1916, and both reprieved.
George continued the struggle during the War of Independence, and endured a lengthy hunger strike during the Civil War. He had a family of his own, who spent many a long day missing their husband and father, during the times when George was forced to lead a lonely life on the run.
After George’s too early death, Jack, himself ravaged by a 56 day hunger strike during the troubled 1920s from which he was not expected to recover, stepped in to assist his brother’s young family, making personal sacrifices of his own for which he was greatly loved. Unhappy the land…
I am honoured to have been able to mark the last few April / May anniversaries of 1916 with the readers of the Irish American News Ohio. What can we expect in Ireland, in two years’ time?
Flanagan’s Wake is Back!
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
Bellville – Jim Malcolm
2nd – Scottish Folk Singer, and former lead of Old Blind Dogs, Jim Malcolm, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 25 Church St., Bellville, OH, 44813. Seating limited, advance ticket suggested. firstname.lastname@example.org www.highlandsofohio.com 419-884-5116.
Cincinnati – Irish Heritage Center
Call for Irish Rugby Schedule Games Streamed in from Eire. Irish Teas/Library /Genealogy Detective/ all three by appointment. Irish Heritage Center 3905 Eastern Avenue 513.533.0100, www.irishcenterofcincinnati.com. Irish Heritage Center 3905 Eastern Avenue 513.533.0100, www.irishcenterofcincinnati.com.
ALL under Cleveland;
2nd – lonesome stars, 4th – irish session, 5th – the porter sharks, 9th – chris & tom, 11th – walking cane, 12th – chris allen, 16th – lonesome stars, 18th -kristine jackson, 19th – fior gael, 21st – dyngus day Edie Rodick Polka Band, 23rd – chris & tom, 25th – brent Kirby, 26th – pitch the peat, 30th – lonesome stars. 4408 Detroit Road, 44113 www.the-harp.com
6th – Holleran Traditional Irish Session, 13th – Honey Brown Bandits, 21st – Dyngus Day! The Casuals Polka Band 4 pm, 27th – Chris Allen. Live music entertainment every Sunday. Traditional Irish Session 1st Sunday of ea/month, Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4 – 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
6th – Becky Boyd; 13th – Chris Allen; 27th – Kristine Jackson. 820 College Avenue, Cleveland, 44113 www.treehousecleveland.com
2nd – Monthly Pub Quiz w/ Mike D. 7pm, 4th – Colin Dussalt & The Blues Project, 5th – The New Barleycorn, 11th – Samantha Fitzpatrick, 12th – Ace Molar, 16th – Old Time Music Session, 18th – DJ Hot Carl, American Blind Association Fundraiser, call for info!; 19th – Marys Lane, 22nd – Leo & Anto (From The SawDoctors) 8pm, $20 cover; 25th – Crazy Chester, 26th – DJ Hot Carl. 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. NEW CRAFT BEER REFRIGERATOR. A Local 10 Union establishment. Home of the Celtic Supporter’s Club. Book all your parties & Events in our Bridgie Ned’s Irish Parlor Party Room. 17119 Lorain Road, 44111. www.pjmcintyres.com 216-941-9311.
West Park Station
‘Merican Mondays & Trivia Night 7pm. Tues: Roll Call-discounted drinks for all Fire, Police, Military & Med Professionals 9pm. Wed: Karaoke 10pm. Thur: Girl’s Night 10pm. Sun: SIN Night 9pm. 17015 Lorain Avenue Cleveland 44111 www.westparkstation.com. (216) 476-2000. 17015 Lorain Avenue Cleveland 44111 www.westparkstation.com. (216) 476-2000.
4th – The Higbees, 5th – Kristine Jackson, 11th – The Bar Flys, 12th – Brent Kirby, 18th & 19th – The New Barleycorn, 25th – The Bar Flys, 26th – Walkin’ Cane. 323 East Prospect, Cleveland 44115 216.781.7782 www.flannerys.com
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
Irish American Club East Side
4th, 11th, & 18th – Fish Fry Fridays 5:30-7:30. 4th – One More Pint, 11th – Wally Franz, 18th – Mossy Moran, 25th – Mary Agnes Kennedy. PUB: 7:30 – 10:30. IACES 22770 Lake Shore Blvd. Euclid, 44123. 216.731.4003 www.irishamericanclubeastside.org
Stampers Bar & Grill
21750 Lorain Road, Fairview Park 44126. 440.333.7826. www.stampersbar.com
Logan’s Irish Pub
2414 South Main Street, Findlay 45840 419.420.3602 www.logansirishpubfindlay.com
Beck Center for the Arts
4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 25th, 26th & 27th – ‘night, Mother. 17801 Detroit Avenue Lakewood 44107 (216) 521-2540 www.beckcenter.org
Plank Road Tavern
Open Sessiún Every Thursday 7 – 10. $3 Guinness and Jamieson. 16719 Detroit Avenue, 44107
4th – Music Men, 5th – Donal O’Shaughnessy, 11th – Marys Lane, 12th – Tom Evanchuck, 18th -Good Friday, 19th – That Irish Band, 25th – Mossy Moran, 26th – Craic Brothers. April 12th – 6th Anniversary Celebration. 117 West Liberty Medina, 44256 www.sullysmedina.com
4th – Pop Culture, 11th – Big in Japan, 12th – School Girl Crush, 18th – The usual Suspects, 19th – Abbey Rodeo, 25th – Samantha Fitzpatrick, 26th – Collage. All starts @9:30. Every Tuesday – Open Mic w Nick Zuber, Every Wednesday – Trivia Night. 7861 Reynolds Rd Mentor www.1funpub.com (440) 942-6611.
West Side Irish American Club
Great food and live music every Friday in The Pub. 6th – Semi-annual 25 Card game, 12th – Easter Bunny Party. WSIA Club 8559 Jennings Rd. 44138 www.wsia-club.org. 440-235-5868.
4th -Big in Japan, 11th – Colin Dussault Band, 25th – Breakfast Club, 28th – Cocktail Johnny. 24940 Sperry Dr Westlake 44145. 1FunPub.com (440) 835-2890
4th – Jam Sammich, 5th – Kevin McCarthy, 11th – Eric Butler, 18th – Mo Andrews, 19th – Dan McCoy, 25th – Brendan Burt, 26th – Donegal Doggs. Wed: Karaoke, Thurs: Ladies Night w/ D.J. 4110 Erie Street www.mullarkeys.com
Shamrock Club Events
Happy Hour every Friday from 5-7pm! 60 W. Castle Rd. Columbus 43207 614-491-4449 www.shamrockclubofcolumbus.com
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.
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
• Croagh Patrick’s – 2nd Tuesday of every month 8 – 10pm
• Bardic Circle @The Shamrock Club of Columbus Beginner – friendly, intermediate level Irish session meeting every other Thursdays 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
• Irish Eyes Heavenly Pub, 1st Wednesday of month. 3324 Secor Rd, Toledo
Stone Mad – 1st Sunday of the month Holleran Traditional Irish Session, 7pm
• Plank Road – Every Thursday 7 – 10. All ages and experience welcome. 16719 Detroit Road, Lakewood, 44107
• The Harp – 1st Friday of every month, 9pm
• 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 8-10pm Slow Train Café, 55 East College St., Oberlin. Informal all experience welcome: www.oberlin.net/~irishsession
• Claddagh Irish Pub – Sundays 6:00pm-9:00pm. All experience levels welcome
585 S. Front St. Columbus, Ohio 43215
Do not lead, I may not follow; Do not follow, I may not lead;
walk beside, me,and together, oh what we will achieve!
March has been a month like no other. I am a Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade delegate to the United Irish Societies, representing Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival. The UIS are 28 organizations, together, responsible for putting on the Parade. This year’s Parade was the 147th Annual.
Each year the UIS select a Grand Marshall, a Mother of the Year and two Chairs; one called the Outside Chair, is selected from organizations outside the UIS, and an Inside Chair is selected from organizations within the UIS. Lifelong friend and fellow Fest volunteer John Lackey nominated me for the Inside Chair honor. The honorees are selected by the vote of all UIS Delegates.
Grand Marshall Andy Dever, Mother of the Year Bridie Joyce, Outside Chair Mark Owens and I are the 2014 Honorees. We followed Andy leading the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year. A trademark of Cleveland’s parade is that it is always held on St. Patrick’s Day.
My earliest memories are of being a marcher with the West Side Irish American Club, and on a bus to the parade, on a day much colder than this year’s. I remember sitting on Tom Byrne’s lap, him bear hugging me, to keep me warm.
I remember painting at the old WSIA on 93rd with Kevin Jennings, and always getting the calls from Dad, “Johnny, What are you doing? I don’t know Dad, what did you volunteer me for?” That led to McDonough’s Brigade and the fish frys, cleaning up after events and many other events and tasks.
It was of particular honor for me to stand up this year with these honorees. Mark works with me on the OhIAN, writing Owens Sports. The OhIAN is now more than 7 years old!
I went to St. Mel Grade School with Bridie’s children. St. Mel is the nephew of St. Patrick. Eileen Joyce and I were classmates, and Terry and Maureen were on either side of me. I got the opportunity to spend some time with Andy in Ireland in October, as part of the Cuyahoga County Delegation, and have had a few great chats since. He always teases me because I take a lot of pictures. I always tease him that he will be the centerfold this month.
One of the most gratifying parts of these past week or 10 days, is meeting people who come up to say congrats, and them telling me their stories about the paper, about what it means to them. You never know if you are on the right track, if what you are doing is paying forward the gifts you have received.
There is no easy way to end this: To the UIS, to the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, to everyone who said Congrats and shared a story, and allowed me to be a part of their celebrations, I simply say: Thank you.
There are many pics, and more of the story on my facebook page and blog, if you would like to check them out. Links are below.
The finale to all the United Irish Societies events is the Awards banquet, to be held this year on April 13th at the West Side Irish American Club. It is unprecedented for all four UIS honorees to be from the WSIA< so it is fitting that the banquet be held there. I am looking forward to it, and the opportunity to gather with all the honorees once more, and to say, I am humbled, I am blessed. The honor tho, is mine.
Congratulations to Patrick Campbell, Owner of Pj McIntyre’s, in getting on at Cleveland Fire Department.
Congratulations to Paul Kirk of Marys Lane for having “Jude’s Waltz” selected by Fiddler Magazine as a Honorable Mention Fiddle Song of the Year for 2013!
Congratulations to Parnell’s Irish Pub, celebrating their 1st Anniversary on Playhouse Square!
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Kearney family, who lost Kate Kearney on March 16th, and whose daughter’s adoption went thru the same day.
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