One Salad:

Editor’s Corner

One Salad …

We are many nations, but a description that sticks in my head is the U.S. is a salad bowl. For good health, lots of multi colored ingredients are mixed together, dressed in choice of different flavors. Add some nuts, or some flakes, a mustard seed, music for the taste buds … they all make for a great way to fuel the body and the mind of a person, or a country.

I think, when something bad happens, Like Ariel Castro, or 9-11, those pieces parts fall down the list of our priorities; they don’t matter. We become one: we unite to fight, or to celebrate.

Unfortunately, that One voice; One message seems to wear off, and we cheaply, sometimes anonymously, take a pot shot at our countrymen for no reason other than to try to make ourselves feel superior; Did it work? A land of immigrants should be wise to the trials of their fathers, and not exact those same hatreds on the fathers to be, or their children.

On the day after a beach wedding, I returned, for the sun and scenery. I was part of that salad bowl of America: Hispanics, African-Americans, Caucasians sat side-by-side and no one cared. We were working on tans, or burns, or just enjoying what has been a spectacular summer, appreciated more for the long cold winter in the rear view mirror. When a child got in trouble, we all jumped in the water.

A bright yellow inner tube drifted with the tide. Too late, a child saw the drifting with the tide; brother and sister went after it, using a brown inner tube to steady them. 300 yards out, they realized the push of wind and tide were faster, they would never catch the tube, and they let it go. They turned, to return, to the beach.

50 yards onward, the sister realized her brother, pushing her back to shore, was in trouble. She waved, she yelled, and suddenly, a peaceful, sunning beach, was galvanized. First her father went in, but he could not swim. He shouted, another relative went in, with another floatation device, for the father. He could not swim either.

Then, another man burst across the sand. With a long graceful leap, he dived across, and then into the water. He swam out. With power, the man quickly reached the panicked boy and girl. Reassurance in strength and skill, he calmed both siblings. The three made their way back on the legs of the one who could swim. By the time they got back to shore, the Sheriff’s, Police and Rescue units were all on scene; secure everyone was ok

                  Live a life less ordinary;
Live a life extraordinary,
With me
Live a life less sedentary;
Live a life evolutionary,
With me
– Life Less Ordinary, Carbon Leaf

People are sometimes surprised when they see a newspaper column of someone winning an award or recognition, for a service or achievement, above and beyond living. Perhaps we didn’t even know about that portion of someone’s life, a defining part of their life.

What we know, how much we know, of someone, is only a window view into a life; a trailer in a movie, not the full movie. It is someone’s perception of the highlights, maybe all of them. Or there may be more dramas, more excitement, more surprises, yet to come.

We all know we should never judge a movie from a clip, nor can we judge a life from the window seat. It is enticing, but it is not the full Monty. We don’t know their joys, their sorrows; their trials and their triumphs. We sit at the window, looking in, but we don’t see past the walls.

Be kinder than necessary, for someone is always fighting a battle unseen, in its fierceness, or effect. There is a difference between being nice, and being good. Be good. Want to figure out what to do with your life? Be something beautiful for God. That’s it. It is that simple.

If you don’t believe in God, you lose nothing by being good, but gain respect, both spiritual and in the eyes of other men, by doing good for others when there is no perceived reward for yourself. The greatness of a man can nearly always be measured by his willingness to be kind. That only leads to more open doors, more rewards. Be leaven for the world; plant seeds and nurture the flowers – what a wonderful world it would be.

Friendships break down; even tragedies break down, the self-imposed barriers between people. No one is born knowing how to hate. They learn it. They can unlearn it too. It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting; work and action; matter and form.

If you aren’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes. So the learned hate, doesn’t get unlearned, it is passed on to the next generation. Kids are our future and our legacy. What’s it gonna be? Gonna lead?


Get Up; Show Up; Lift Up

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;

20 things to do this weekend:

20 things to do this weekend
from your Ohio Irish American News:

Saturday 8/30

GAA Sr. Football Semi-Final Replay: Mayo vs Kerry 12:00 Pj McIntyre’s Live from Ireland
Pigs&Whiskey at Visit Downtown Willoughby
Cleveland Rovers Impett Park 1pm
NancyCorriganExhibitOpens International Women’s Air & Space Museum 7:30pm
Brent Kirby The Harp
AlexKates Flannery’s Pub
The New Barleycorn PJ McIntyres Irish Pub
CocktailJohnny The Hooley House – Westlake
DonegalDoggs John Mullarkey’s
GreekFest Kamm’s Live

Sunday 8/31

GAA All-Ireland Live from Ireland: Minor Football Semi Donegal vs Dublin 8:30 am / Sr Football Donegal Vs Dublin 10:30 am @PJMcIntyres
Pigs&Whiskey at Visit Downtown Willoughby
SinNite West Park Station
The Portersharks Carney’s Bar
JeffVarga Stampers Bar
GreekFest @Kamm’s Corner

Add Yours: If you don’t send em, we can’t print em!


“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;

Got Irish? Wanna Learn?

Got Irish? Want to learn? See the flyer below, register via email and Send a check to us at the Ohio Irish American News, 14615 Triskett Road Cleveland, OH 44111-3123 We will register those who have paid until the class is full.
Have a great holiday weekend,


Got Irish?  Wanna learn?
Got Irish? Wanna learn?

Out of the Mailbag: Marys Lane A story from this month’s issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Out of the Mailbag, Comes Songs & Stories
By John O’Brien, Jr.

Marys Lane, See You Next Time, 2014 11 Tracks, 43 minutes
Guests: Brent Hopper, Brian Bigley

Celtic rock – hard to define, hard to resist, much like Marys Lane. “Marys Lane” is a place, way back in the old country, not owned by Mary, at least not any more. The band Marys Lane is rock, and reel, but most of all, the good times roll. Their Cleveland Rock roots are evident, but they are knee deep in the ghosts of Ireland – not maudlin mind you, but in the typical Kitchen Party made so famous by the Irish – everyone comes, everyone joins in, one way or another, and everyone leaves wishing the night would never end.

Marys Lane
Marys Lane

Their newest release is See You Next Time. Given the prolific playing schedule of Marys Lane, it won’t be long, till next time, is tonight. The guys were all musicians, and got together one day at Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival; “Hey, we should start a band?”. One year later, they met again, and realized waiting was no longer an option. They have been full steam ahead ever since, playing festivals and gigs in an ever-widening circle testament to their skill, their fun, and the passionate following their performances and personalities provoke.

Marys Lane is Michael Crawley: Vocals, Guitar; Patrick Mulloy: Vocals, Guitar; Matthew Sofranko: Bass guitar, vocals; Mark Whalen: drums; Paul Kirk: fiddle.

Mailbag Marys Lane

1. Slowpoke – a tease of an intro, soft and subtle, gives way to the trademark, “Let it Rip” sound of Marys Lane in I got a Letter Today,
2. I Got a Letter Today – We all hear the wisdom – stick to the plan, go to college. Sometimes, it’s not enough.
3. Robin Hood of Collinwood (Danny Greene Ballad) – Danny Greene is a local legend, whose story went front page in the bombings that shook the Collinwood neighborhoods as he fought for control of Cleveland’s gangster streets circa 1977. Greene challenged the mafia head on, and survived four assassination attempts, brazenly. He gave to the neighborhood, and protected it fiercely.
Lyndhurst Police Chief Rick Porello wrote his story, ‘To Kill the Irishman: The War that Crippled the Mafia” that explained how bombs in Cleveland caused explosions across the US. For the first time in US history, Omerta was violated and the Mafia’s code of silence was broken. Convictions across the country became a model and an end. The movie, “Kill the Irishman”, starred Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D’onofrio and Val Kilmer.
4. Picture of Jesus – “This isn’t something that one Sunday can fix”. Regret, and wondering why, one little mistake, and ripples, why?
5. Sway – the song’s melody causes the sway, love of the next meeting, with a drink in your hand, when will we meet again? Classic merge of country and rock, with a little Americana thrown in to balance it all out.
6. Wrecking Ball with No Clue – One of my favorites, trying to win back the girl, and not knowing how; we’re a Wrecking Ball, despite best intentions. Another song that brings to mind a packed dance floor at PJ McIntyre’s, arms in the air at Avenue Tap House and a sweaty, pulsing, laughing, loving it, crowd at Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival.
7. The Tangie – Instrumental, The Tangie is a different kind of dance, starts quick and goes quicker, leaving nothing but spent breathes in its wake.
8. See You Next Time – The title track, “… take me to where the beaches are gold and the sheep guard the sea …” Going Home, the craic and the cousins, this may be Marys Lane most recognized song, full of joy and longing, home like only the Irish treasure it.
9. West Side IA – The West Side Irish American Club is home base for most of the Irish who came to Cleveland; 475,00 of their descendants and new immigrants are now in Greater Cleveland. The WSIA was first at West 65th, then at West 93rd and now, at it’s home since 1990, in Olmsted Township on 38 gorgeous acres. “Songs they wrote as they braved the boat” … Lovers met, wedding receptions, baby showers and baptisms, generations follow and home across the ocean becomes a two way street. West Side IA captures the essence of the 1st Generation.
10. Pretty Little Song – “I wonder when I’ll get my piece of the pie…” A little love, a little longing and waiting, anticipation, for you, with head held high. It’s a proud song, a bit of defiance, but not without hope.
11. Sweet Mary – A bit more bittersweet “do you remember the first time I asked you to dance, tho I didn’t have a chance … Take me back….”. We all wish we could fix the big wrong, have another chance for the missed “one”. It’s harder when they are still in sight. We can’t go back, we can’t stop wishing we could.

See You Next Time is a fun, rollicking ballad from start to finish. It is Irish life, with musical interludes, emigration, the auld sod, making your way to a better world, and the hills you have to climb to get to, where ever you are. The typical Irish American Story, sung well, played well, and with an unmistakable life loving style that is so typical of our story, with the style that is all Marys Lane. See You Next Time is a Top Shelf Selection.

Ohio irish American News, August 2014
Ohio irish American News, August 2014

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;

Illuminations: Wrong Way Corrigan: A story from this month’s issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Illuminations: The Flying Irishman
By: J. Michael Finn

Douglas Corrigan was born in Galveston, Texas on January 22, 1907, the son of a construction engineer and a teacher. Corrigan was named Clyde Corrigan after his father, but legally changed his name to Douglas as an adult. He was of Irish descent. The family moved often, until his parents divorced. Douglas Corrigan settled with his mother, and two siblings in Los Angeles, California. Quitting high school, he went to work in construction.

In October 1925, Corrigan saw people paying to be taken for rides in a Curtis JN-4 “Jenny” biplane near his home. He paid the $2.50 for his own ride. After that ride he was hooked on flying. A week later, he began flying lessons, spending non-flying time watching and learning from local aircraft mechanics. After twenty lessons, he made his first solo flight on March 25, 1926.

Benjamin Franklin Mahoney and T. Claude Ryan, aircraft manufacturers, operated Ryan Aeronautical Company from the airfield where Corrigan had learned to fly. They hired him to work at their San Diego factory. Charles Lindbergh commissioned the design and construction of the Spirit of St. Louis from the company shortly after Corrigan was hired. Corrigan was responsible for the wing assembly and the installation of the gas tanks and instrument panel. He recommended increasing the lift of the aircraft by extending the wing of Lindbergh’s plane 10 feet longer than any previous design.

After Lindbergh’s successful transatlantic flight in 1927, Corrigan decided he would duplicate it and selected Ireland as his objective. He discussed the idea with friends and even mentioned the possibility of flying without permission. In those days you required government approval to make a transatlantic flight. When Ryan Aeronautical moved to St. Louis in October 1928, Corrigan stayed in San Diego.

Corrigan moved from job to job as an aircraft mechanic and instructor, using his employer’s planes to develop his flying skills. He gained his transport pilot’s certificate in October 1929. He also made money with barnstorming displays of his stunt flying.

In 1933, Corrigan spent $310 on a used 1929 Curtiss Robin monoplane and flew it from the East Coast to California, where he again went to work as an aircraft mechanic while he modified the Robin for transatlantic flight.

He installed a new engine, increasing the plane’s horsepower to from 90 to 165. He also installed extra fuel tanks. Corrigan applied to the Bureau of Air Commerce in 1935, seeking permission to make the transatlantic flight from New York to Ireland. The application was denied. His plane was deemed unsound for a nonstop transatlantic trip.

Over the next two years, Corrigan made repeated modifications and reapplications for certification, but none succeeded. By 1937, after making extensive modifications to his plane, his aircraft was again refused renewal of its license because it was deemed to be too unstable for safe flight.

On July 9, 1938, Corrigan and his modified plane named “Sunshine” flew nonstop from California to Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York. The flight plan he filed called for him to make a return nonstop flight to California.

Upon his unannounced arrival at Floyd Bennett Field, Corrigan decided against repairing a gasoline leak that had developed during the flight from California. He wanted to take off that same night, but the manager of the airfield persuaded Corrigan to wait until first light. Corrigan also stated that the manager advised him to take off on the east runway and then circle back over the Atlantic to be headed west.

When he took off on July 17, 1938 at 5:15 in the morning he had 320 gallons of gasoline and 16 gallons of oil, Corrigan headed directly east from the runway of Floyd Bennett Field and kept on going. Corrigan consistently claimed to have noticed his directional “error” only after flying over the ocean for about 26 hours.

During the flight the cockpit floor was awash with gasoline leaking from the unrepaired tank. He had to use a screwdriver to punch a hole through the cockpit floor so that the fuel would drain away on the side opposite the hot exhaust pipe, preventing a midair explosion. His provisions on board were just two chocolate bars, two boxes of fig bars, and 25 gallons of water.

Corrigan landed at Baldonnel Aerodrome, County Dublin, on July 18, 1938 after a 28-hour, 13-minute flight. He stepped out of his plane, and exclaimed, “Just got in from New York. Where am I?” After being asked for an explanation, he stated that he flew the wrong way because his World War I compass stuck after entering a cloud bank. His plane had fuel tanks mounted on the front, allowing him to see only out of the sides of the plane. He had no radio.

His landing in Ireland caused a media sensation around the world. The press referred to him as “Wrong-Way” Corrigan. Even before he left Ireland, he had become an instant national celebrity. Did he really fly the wrong way or was it all a ruse to make the transatlantic flight that he always wanted to make? US aviation officials sent him a 600 word telegram to explain the number of aviation rules he had broken. His punishment was a 14-day suspension of his pilot’s license.

Illuminations wrong way corrigan

After his famous flight, “Wrong Way” and his plane returned to America, aboard a steamer. As the ship entered New York Harbor, whistles started blowing and fireboats shot streams of water into the air. The Mayor’s reception committee came on board and welcomed him to New York.

At noon the next day he was given a ticker tape parade down Broadway in New York. Later he received the United States Flag Association medal in 1938. Galveston, Texas named an airport after Corrigan. He was also given a ticker tape parade in Chicago. The US was in the midst of the Great Depression and somehow the Irishman’s implausible story of his wrong-way flight took the country by storm.

Corrigan wrote his autobiography, That’s My Story, within months of the flight; it was published on December 15, 1938. He also endorsed “wrong-way” products including a watch that ran backwards. Hollywood reinforced his celebrity status. He helped RKO Studios make and starred in a movie about his flight entitled The Flying Irishman in 1939. A high point of his life was when President Franklin Roosevelt assured him that he never doubted his story for a minute.

Corrigan retired from aviation in 1950 and bought an 18-acre orange grove in Santa Ana, California. He lived there with his wife and three sons until his death on December 9, 1995. Throughout his life Corrigan stuck to his story of flying across the Atlantic by mistakenly flying the wrong way.

*J. Michael Finn is the Ohio State Historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Division Historian for the Patrick Pearse Division in Columbus, Ohio. He is also Chairman of the Catholic Record Society for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. He writes on Irish and Irish-American history; Ohio history and Ohio Catholic history. You may contact him at

18 Things to Do this Weekend, and beyond

18 Things to do this Weekend: From your Ohio Irish American News

HAPPY Summer!

Friday 8/22

Austin Walkin’ Cane The Harp
Brittany Reilly Flat Iron Cafe
DJ Pj McIntyre’s
OtherBrothers Sully’s Irish Pub
DublinCornetbandShamrock Club Dart League
BarFlies Flannery’s Pub
Faction Hooley House – Mentor
@Brigids @HHW
BrendanBurtBand John Mullarkey’s

Saturday 8/23

Fior Gael @TheHarp
Kristine Jackson @Flannery’s
ComedyNite Irish American Club East Side, Inc
SuperSaturday Beck Center for the Arts w Something Dada
The New Barleycorn Barley @SullysIrishPub
Mossy Moran Mullarkey’s Irish Pub

Sunday 8/24

GAA All-Ireland Minor Football 8:30 Kerry vs Mayo / 10:30am Sr Football Kerry vs Mayo

Wednesday 8/ 27
Beoga, straight from Ireland at PJ McIntyres Irish Pub


Add Yours: If you don’t send em, we can’t print em!

Ohio irish American News, August 2014
Ohio irish American News, August 2014

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;

What’s Going On This Weekend: 18 Things to do from your Ohio Irish American News

HAPPY Summer!

Friday 8/15

NickZuber patio 5pm / CharlieintheBox The Hooley House – Brooklyn
PitchthePeat The Harp
Donal OShaughnessy Flat Iron Cafe
Colin Dussault Pj McIntyre’s
Mossy Moran @Sullys Irish Pub
Austin Walkin’ Cane Flannery’s Pub
Itex patio 5pm / TheUsualSuspects Hooley House – Mentor
BigShip The Hooley House – Westlake

Saturday 8/16

Chris Allen @TheHarp
DocRoc&theRemedies Shamrock Club Dart League
DJ PJ McIntyres Irish Pub
DonalO’Shaughnessy Sully’s Irish Pub
CocktailJohnnys @HooleyHouseMentor
DanMcCoy John Mullarkey’s

Sunday 8/17

GAA All-Ireland Hurling 8:30 Limerick vs Galway / 10:30am Cork vs Tipperary P.J. McIntyre’s
LiveIrishMusicEverySunday Stone Mad

Share, Share and Add Yours: If you don’t send em, we can’t print em!

Ohio irish American News, August 2014
Ohio Irish American News, August 2014

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;

Irish Fest – Riding Shotgun

Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Ireland is Calling You … to Cleveland: Riding shotgun

1 Facebook-ads-FINAL
This is my 32nd year with Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival. I grew up with it, I hope grew wiser with it and the life lessons it taught. My dad, John Sr., gathered a group of friends and we started the festival in 1982.

It has grown, massively, since the first fest. I am often asked if it has become a year round endeavor. In many ways, it has, certainly mentally, often physically.

On Sunday we close; on Monday we clean, we clear, we unscrew and we store, mindful of next year’s preparation, in putting things away. Then, the families disperse to their homes 3 and 6 hours away and we drive off the grounds, essentially for the last time that year, by 5pm on Monday.

LAST goodbye
LAST goodbye

There is still much to do. Pay bills of course, figure out where the heck we are going to put all this stuff, count everything so we know what we used, and what we will need to order for next year, store it so it wont be damaged, etc…

For the first time in months, I am able to park my truck in my garage, we pull the pop ups out of my backyard, cut and trim the weed patch otherwise known as my lawn; we put all the pieces parts away till May.

That takes a couple of weeks of course. I made the mistake of calculating how much vacation time I have taken for The Fest – a little over 6 months time in 30 years. I could write another book in that time. In fact, I have.

2 First Generation Front Cover

Through it all, the music and the madness, there is great love; not so much for the physical toll, the miles put on the car, the evenings and weekends given to preparing people, displays and processes, but in seeing the reunions, the relaxation, the families and the memories we help create for others – this is love. We get more than our fair share, coming below.

We will meet again in a month or so; talk about what we did, what went well, what didn’t. What do we have to change, improve, eliminate or add; everything but the weather gets a once over (This year, the weather once over’d us).

Then we look at the results, and we choose 12 charities to help for that year. We crossed half a million dollars in donations a few years ago.

Off we go, on another year’s journey. Bands come first mostly, though a million little decisions and agreements are made, long before the winters freeze settles in. By January we know most of our lineup, some of our new things, and bigger changes and challenges.

After that, it is a freight train on a downhill rush, always under control, sort of, and it is being driven, sort of. But time flies and the momentum won’t be slowed. We go forward, adding, discarding as ideas are played up, or played out.

We start on the grounds the Sunday before The Fest. Banners and lights mostly, but this year, more than a dozen people, new volunteers and older ones, got up and showed up for the exciting task of painting easels, all 75 of them; Black. 6 hours and some really funny conversation, we were done. With that.

5 Painting easles

Tuesday night we set those easels in place and unloaded more than 20 man sized boxes of displays, plus lights, signs, banners and Velcro, lots and lots of Velcro, into the Temple Bar & Museum, the Sports Hall, Tir Na nOg (Land of our Youth) kids area and Abbey Theatre. Sorted, arranged and left to be adhered.

3 Temple Museum

Set up Wednesday is the heart & soul of the effort. Stages, tents, dance floors, and loads of supporting pieces; the grunt work begins. I have 17 nieces and nephews. All 17 came.

6 Family shot

So did 30+ others each day, and 300+ the weekend of.  Some have been here so many times that they just show up with a hammer or a screw gun, grab a box of screws and get started.

Pat Leneghan and Andy Dever shook my hand as they walked in, and a few hours later, shook it again as they walked out. In between handshakes, they completed the Abbey Theatre set up, completed it, perfectly, all for the cost of a turkey sandwich and some chewy chocolate chip cookies. Friendship has no cost.  I would surely clone them if I could (the men, not the cookies).

7 Abbey pano

We melded the Celtic Heritage Hall into the brand new Temple Bar and Museum this year. We purposely did not have a ton of meetings, but we did have a ton of ideas, from our new subcommittee. Email facilitates less meetings, and more meaningful dialogue when we do meet. Over the months, more than a dozen people Got up, Showed up and helped us Lift up, the new festival feature, utilizing the best, and the most possible, of those ideas. Many more were written down, for next year.

Ballad, Pub, trad and dance Sessiúns, lessons and workshops, an Irish language teacher and the new Temple Bar brought great response and a few surprises. Maureen Conway Reich and crew did a masterful job.

3 Temple Bar chalkboard

I never expected the walk through the village, to the Temple Bar, lined with painted storefronts, to be a highlight. So many stopped and took photos, using the storefronts as backdrop. Families sharing a name with the storefronts, couples sharing a love; I took at least a ½ dozen pics of people, for people, over the weekend as I passed thru. I saw dozens more on Facebook and Twitter in the days following. Molly Kearney’s paintings were gorgeous.

4 Storefronts 2

We are so fortunate to have eloquent spokespeople like Rasa Chambers, Alec DeGabriel, John Delaney, Bob Canann of Claddagh Irish Pubs, Pat Campbell of Brady Campbell School of Dance, Marys Lane – people who jump in to do TV and radio shows and commercials promoting the fest, and freeing us up to assemble the giant. Their passion is contagious and their humor gives great stamina. They are our greatest feature, asset, ambassador, and most importantly, friends.

8 Marys Lane on Quinn

Each morning, certainly NOT with the sun, I grab a McD Bacon, Egg n Cheese bagel and a large coffee as I head out the road – a treat I love to push me on the road and onto the ground(s). Did you know what is $4.98 in West Park is $6.51 in Middleburg Heights? Why?

What’s that smell? Did you taste and smell the peat turf burning? Maureen Casey at Casey’s Irish Imports hunted down the product and the process to burn the quintessentially Irish turf all weekend in Temple Bar, without an open flame; a nice touch of home, whenever Ireland is calling you.

Through Thursday and into Friday signs, flags and flowers get hung, banners get found and placed, and the tables and chairs get set, tableclothed and filled to the brim. Our Celtic Cross honoring volunteers who have passed away had to be edited this year, as Eamon D’Arcy went to the biggest celebration of all, he went to heaven.

9 Celtic Cross
Then, the gates opened.

I have seen The StepCrew live before, but never like they performed at The Fest. They have been on far fancier stages, but no stage has ever seen such joy, energy and power. To watch Jon and Nathan Pilatske stand toe to toe, playing Julie Fitzgerald’s fiddle as she held it on her shoulder sticks in my mind, and will remain there forever more. On that set, Julie occasionally played it too, and all three burst into great rips of dance. The StepCrew are the only group to ever make Riverdance look melancholy.

The StepCrew
The StepCrew

Malachi Cush, Plunkett McGartland, Alec DeGabriel and many more joined in a Ballad Boom sessiún that could be heard far outside the building. Such voices are truly instruments of joy.

Ballad Boom Sessiun w Malachi Cush & Alec DeGabriel
Ballad Boom Sessiun w Malachi Cush & Alec DeGabriel

The little queen joined the High Kings and for many, tears flowed, as they saw the pure joy of the young fan, singing side by side with her favorite band – she knew every single word of every song and let it out with such happiness.

The Queen and The High Kings
The Queen and The High Kings

We rented 2 Air Conditioners for the first time – the delivery team didn’t know how to work them. I am serious. Neither did the front office. Calls in finally found the owner and also found 1 unit broken. A repairman came, twice. On Saturday, cooler air prevailed and we found the idea has possibilities.

Damien “DAMO” Dempsey, the Dublin, and now world-wide sensation, made his first fest appearance. Fantastic, mesmerizing; Damo is one of my favorite musical memories from this year.


When Damo joined the High Kings Sunday night on stage, I knew we were seeing something incredible, special, for the very first time. It was magic as they sang Damo’s signature ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin”.

Damo and The High Kings
Damo and The High Kings

Black 47 were also making their first, and their final, festival appearance. We were all on the Final Tour, as they are retiring after 25 years together. Surreal, Saturday’s show was surreal. I will always see Larry belting it out, the sax man, leaning back against him on one side, the bass on the other; the spotlights setting sun just right behind them.

Larry Kirwan, Black 47, spoke of the Final Tour, and the journey
Larry Kirwan, Black 47, spoke of the Final Tour, and the journey

Marys Lane were a highlight too. With a new CD and infectious passion, they showed why they are one of the top Celtic Rock bands on the circuit today.

The 2014 Sean Moore Memorial Irish Vocals Scholarship Winners Elise Scullin and Sydney Rexing were announced, and each sang so beautifully. If we can keep that flame lit, our ballad tradition shall rise again.

Sean Moore Memorial Irish Vocal Scholarship 2014 Winners: Elise Scullin and Syney Rexing
Sean Moore Memorial Irish Vocal Scholarship 2014 Winners: Elise Scullin and Syney Rexing

Every year, we give away a trip to Ireland, courtesy of Pat Hollywood at Travel Connections. This year, for the first time ever, the winner, Eastlake’s Cathleen Ellers, was in the audience when I called her name, drawn from the hopper by The Stepcrew’s Cara Butler. She screamed, we all screamed, for Ireland.

I remember later that Sunday nite. We had had a good day, sunny and with a nice crowd, after festifying in the Irish rain all day Saturday.

A Walk in the Irish Rain
A Walk in the Irish Rain

I always resolve to not clean up, to see a final show instead, as the fest comes to a close. The weekend is such a blur, we don’t get to see much of the music, but for a song or two. I did see some of the epic finale The StepCrew arranged, inviting Dervish and Eileen Ivers on stage for a rambunctious revelry of music that shook the posts and rocked souls like only Trad music can.

A frenetic finale; The StepCrew, Eileen Ivers, Dervish
A frenetic finale; The StepCrew, Eileen Ivers, Dervish

Yet … I am aware of all the work and money that goes into preparation, and how easily chunks disappear, when someone steals a sign for their bedroom. So I called for an available golf cart, and #1 nephew Tommy Beardmore roared around the corner, picked me up and we pulled all the signs and banners from the gates, before anyone could seek out a last souvenir gift for home. Tommy dropped me off and I kept walking, gathering more signs and banners as I walked the almost deserted midway, starting at the back gate, grabbing signs off beer & pop trucks, rest rooms and ticket booths.
We bring every sign, stage, light, tent, table and chair in to the festival grounds. They must be brought out too, by 5pm on Monday, the day after the fest. Of course, they have to be paid for, returned or not.

About 11:20, #3 Nephew John Beardmore radioed me “what’s your 20?” I said ticket Booth #2. He didn’t respond. I saw a bunch of kids just inside the new Temple Bar and stepped in.

Every square inch of the hall had been unscrewed, stacked and stripped. Maureen Carr, Kathleen Mangan, Dan & Kathleen Chambers and their nieces, nephews and friends had taken down and sorted in less than 1 hour, what had taken 2 ½ days to put up. Neatly and with Big picture, what are we going to use first next year understanding, to be boxed and stored .

Chambers/Campbell Clans
Chambers/Campbell Clans

My heart leapt, for the work and weight of tomorrow had been taken from my shoulders. They didn’t stop there, for they came BACK on Monday, and did much more, plus they brought Irish soda bread!

I celebrated and thanked each of them, then turned to cover the rest of the Midway, seeking the signs. Just then, #3 Nephew John walked in, with every single sign in hand and piled them with the already picked up signs. It is the simplest pleasures that tell us, in action, God provides.

The after parties at the hotel each night always live on in my mind. Sunday night especially is a release like no other. The ever laughing Alec DeGabriel, Malachi and Claire Mary Cush, Lisa McQuade, Plunkett McGartland, Bernadette Ruddy, Lex and Alex Fedoryka … T’was hard to go to bed with laughter hurtin sides and jaw so stitched up.

19 Mal Alec Me Plunkett CICF 14
The After’s Party: Malachi Cush, Alec DeGabriel, John O’Brien Jr, Plunkett McGartland

So many milestones and memories, none better than another; just bricks n mortar in what makes an event, momentous.

On Sunday we close; on Monday we clean …
Ireland is calling you; we’ll never know if what we do has an impact, but most of all, we at least hope, you had fun.


27 CICF.ad_Web_ThankYou

21 Things to do this Weekend

21 Things to do this Weekend: From your Ohio Irish American News

HAPPY Summer!

Friday 8/8

Carl&OldSchoolJoe patio 5pm / Breakfast Club The Hooley House – Brooklyn
Marys Lane The Harp
Kristine Jackson &BeckyBoyd @FlatIron
HouseTunes Pj McIntyre’s
TheNewBarleycorn @Flannery
GoodTimeCharleys Shamrock Club Dart League
TradMusic2GeneralGuineessBand @TaraHall
Morrison&McCarthy patio 5pm / SchoolGirlCrush The Hooley House – Westlake
CarlosJones Hooley House – Mentor
EricButler John Mullarkey’s
BrokenEnglish @Stampers

Saturday 8/9

GAA All-Ireland Sr Football 11am: Donegal Vs. Armagh
1:00 pm Dublin Vs. Monaghan @PJ McIntyres Irish Pub
MattJohnsonPianoFiasco @HooleyHouseBrooklyn
PorterSharks @TheHarp
@MarysLane and Bachelor Auction Benefit for St. Pats GFC @PjMcIntyre’s
TheNewBarleycorn Flannery’s Pub
WoodBrothers Sully’s Irish Pub
TheWesties Stampers Bar

Sunday 8/10

GAA All-Ireland Sr Hurling 10:30am Kilkenny Vs. Limerick
AnnualSteakRoast West Side Irish American Club
Varga&Criscione Stampers

Add Yours: If you don’t send em, we can’t print em!

92 Aug 14 Cover

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;