A business manager and consultant, poet and writer by trade, the author has twenty-three years experience as Assistant Director of Cleveland’s Irish Cultural Festival. A first generation Irish-American whose father is Founder and Director of the festival and hails from County Roscommon, Ireland; John continues his father’s legacy, love of the Irish heritage and vision for the festival, an annual civic event that draws over 35,000 attendees and celebrated its 23rd Anniversary in 2005. With nine stages, twenty-eight bands and extensive other attractions, the festival is recognized as on of the very best in the United States.

John has written articles, profiles and reviews for travel, heritage and special interest publications such as Irish American Post, Travel Home and Trailer Magazine, and poetry centered around the themes of love, loss and glory. He has extensive experience in dealing with health issues related to Rheumatoid and Psoriatic arthritis, hearing loss and back pain. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton and the Long Ridge Writers Group. Founder and Chairman of Eire Og (Young Ireland) John was Editor and sole-writer for the monthly special interest publication for the group, which has over 4,500 members, for more than two years. The publication features profiles, book and event reviews, historical items of interest and local and national special events.

Active in the Irish community in Cleveland and with the Festival Organizers Convention, where he is a featured speaker in 2005, John has been interviewed on numerous radio, television programs and newspapers and designed, wrote and produced “The Legacy Project,” a twenty-six minute video for the United States Library of Congress, highlighting Cleveland’s Irish Cultural Festival as “an event of cultural significance.” He has taught extensively in the areas of Leadership, Coaching, Behavior Based Interviewing and Microsoft Word and Excel.

John enjoys reading, traveling, attending cultural events and festivals and spending time with his seventeen nieces and nephews.

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From Tommy's Song

Freedom’s Sons are singing;
singing sad songs,
to their love, songs.
Pretty Maggie O’, Sally O’,
Pretty Saro and Rosie.

for some,
a Song For The Children.

In The Time Of Scented Roses,
let they be not black,
The Long Woman’s Grave.
Rather Sing Me The Old Songs;
of Rambling Rivers
in The Rambles of Spring,
Clear Blue Hills
or Grey October Clouds,
among Long Winter Nights.

If I should return,
If You Should Ask Me,
I’m Going Home To Mary,
Smiling Mary
I can see her, as she holds
our Gentle Annie in her arms,
listening to
The Listowel Blackbird sing;
Music In The Twilight,
In Newry Town

I will return again.

                 ~ John O'Brien, Jr.

John O’Brien, Jr.
14615 Triskett Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44111-3123
P 216.647.1144    John@songsandstories.net

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