Talk: Introduction to Irish Drama

Please join the ICC for a special event, An Introduction to Irish Drama, given by Anna Ní Choirbín. Anna is the current Irish Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Elms College. Her talk will be Thursday, April 20 at 7:00 pm in the Alumnae Library theater at Elms College. This event is free and open to the public.

This presentation will detail a very short history of Irish drama, focusing on Irish language drama in particular from the establishment of the Freestate on. Anna will refer to four specific aspects of drama: playwrights, competitions, dramatic societies and the plays that were performed in theaters. She will also briefly detail the social context in which Irish language drama was being written and performed and the impact this had on modern Irish language literature.


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Irish Language Day is May 6

The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England will hold its sixteenth Lá na Gaeilge (Irish Language Day) on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. It is an opportunity for those with an interest in this ancient language, which is now enjoying a resurgence, to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of this vital component of Irish culture. The program consists of two classes available at four levels: a beginner’s class, a class for those who have an introductory knowledge of Irish, an intermediate-level class and a class for advanced learners. Download a registration form.

As well as formal classes, Lá na Gaeilge consists of workshops (singing, céilí dancing, film), and cómhrás (opportunities for conversation and dialog at the learner’s appropriate level).  A lecture, Introduction to Cross-Quarter Days, will be given by Karen Conneely. A native of County Galway, Karen has taught Irish from elementary to post-graduate level. Since her move from Ireland to Massachusetts in 2015 she has been sharing her love of the language through her classes with Cumann na Gaeilge i mBoston. Also participating will be Anna Ní Choirbín, this year’s Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Elms College. Lá na Gaeilge concludes in a seisiún with an opportunity for participants to display their musical talents, and all are encouraged to bring their instruments and voices.

Lá na Gaeilge begins with registration at 8:30 am and concludes at about 5:00 pm. The cost is $50 per person, and $45 for ICC Patrons. The cost for college-age and under students is $15. The price includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Lá na Gaeilge is a unique opportunity to encourage and promote Irish language learning at all levels. Registrations are due by April 26please download a registration form. For further information contact the ICC office at 413-333-4951 or email at

Irish Language Day

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Searson Performs Celtic Music Concert on April 30

Benefit show for the Irish Cultural Center’s library and museum.


The ICC is excited to welcome back the Celtic roots group Searson, known for their own original music from Canada’s Ottawa Valley, mixed with Celtic, East Coast, and Scottish. Searson is acclaimed for “Giving Canada’s old time sounds a renewal into modern roots…seamlessly blending spirited fiddling, energetic dancing and gorgeous harmonies.”

Proceeds from the show will benefit the ongoing renovation of the Irish Cultural Center’s library and museum.

Searson will perform on Sunday, April 30 at 4:00 pm at the Holyoke Elks Lodge, 250 Whitney Ave, Holyoke, MA. Doors open at 3:00 pm. Cash bar is available.

Tickets are general admission, table seating. Cost is $20 for ICC Patrons, $23 for general public, $28 at the door. Tickets are available online or by calling the Irish Cultural Center at 413-333-4951. Don’t miss the chance to see Searson in a rare New England show!

Receive a 10% off coupon for the ICC’s new Irish House Restaurant with each ticket purchased.

The sisters perform on a variety of instruments, including Colleen Searson on fiddle and vocals, and Erin Searson on piano, tenor guitar and vocals. Joining the group are Danno O’Shea on drums and percussion, and Fraser Gauthier on bass and acoustic guitar.

In the past 10 years, Searson has performed throughout the world. They are currently is touring in support of their eighth studio album, Stars Above the Farm. “The most satisfying part of performing live is seeing our fans singing along to songs that we’ve written and requesting fiddle tunes that we wrote.” Erin says, “There’s nothing better than seeing the audience emotionally involved in your live show.” Learn more about these dynamic performers and listen to tracks from Stars Above the Farm.

All sales are final. Refunds are given ONLY in the event of cancellation by performers.

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Celtic Adventures for Kids Summer Camp

Pass on the Heritage | July 24 –28, 2017 | Download a registration form.

Celtic Adventures for Kids is a week-long program designed to give children in Grades 1 through 9 an introduction to the richness of Irish culture, through the auspices of the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England and Elms College. Space is limited. Sign up early!

Daily Activities Include:
– Irish language
– Irish dance
– Irish music
– Arts & crafts
– Storytelling/literature
– Games

What to bring: Sneakers with non-marking soles; soft dance shoes if your child has them; swimsuit and towel; lunch (optional: money to purchase snacks.) The Maguire Center swimming pool will be available for the children to use daily during the week; lifeguard is on duty.

The program is in session from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Participants should be dropped off between 8:45 and 9:00 am at the Maguire Center at Elms College. Pick up is promptly at 3:00 pm at the Maguire Center.

WHEN: Monday, July 24 to Friday, July 28, 2017
WHERE: The Maguire Center at Elms College, Chicopee, MA
COST: $200 per child; $20 discount for Irish Cultural Center Patrons; $20 discount for each additional child from the same family
NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT: $50 with registration due ASAP

Download a registration form.

Celtic Adventures for Kids

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ICC Announces Opening Date of March 10

We are pleased to announce the opening date at our new location at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, MA. An open house period will begin on Friday, March 10, to invite our Patrons and the community to visit our new facility, including new office space, restaurant and traditional Irish pub.

Monday – closed
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday – Pub: 4 – 10 pm / Kitchen: 4 – 9 pm
Friday – Pub: 2 – 11 pm / Kitchen: 4 – 10 pm
Saturday – Pub: 2 – 11 pm / Kitchen: 4 – 10 pm
Sunday – Pub: 2 – 10 pm / Kitchen: 4 – 8 pm

The new phone number for restaurant questions or reservations is 413-342-4358.

The new Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub is managed by the professionals at the Log Cabin / Delaney House, and includes a handcrafted bar with custom woodwork, bar and table seating, fireplace and snug. An additional meeting room has been created for smaller events. The restaurant will feature the Log Cabin / Delaney House’s exceptional quality of food and service, and will serve as a training ground for staff. A full menu including starters, sandwiches, entrées and specials will be served in the cozy atmosphere of a Dublin pub.

This opening is the culmination of two years of hard work, since the ICC signed a twenty-year lease with the City of West Springfield in 2015 for the former home of the Elks Lodge. An extensive amount of work has been completed, including the cleaning out of the building, electric work, new plumbing and heating systems, kitchen renovation, new flooring, painting, and work on the grounds including new sidewalks and railings. Renovations are still ongoing, with additional stages planned that include a library and museum, and a performance hall.

The open house is designed as an introduction to the new space and a transitional period for the ICC, and is planned to last several months into the spring. At that time, access to the restaurant and pub will be limited to active ICC Patrons and guests, necessitated by the residential location and city zoning. The ICC office will continue to be open to all visitors for information. As always, the public is encouraged to attend ICC events, including concerts, lectures, and exhibits at our future library and museum. Community outreach and education is a vital part of the ICC’s mission, and will continue with programs such as Celtic Adventures for Kids this summer.

ICC President, Sean Cahillane, says “Our strategic planning goals call for growth and expanded outreach, and we seek to serve a wider audience throughout Western New England with enhanced educational, cultural and musical offerings. Our new home will provide the ICC with new, larger and better facilities thus allowing Patrons to gather in, and enjoy our Irish cultural offerings.” We encourage you visit our new space, and learn more about the ICC’s mission and future plans.

Irish Cultural Center Restaurant and Pub

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Visit by Consul General of Ireland

On February 24, 2017, the ICC hosted Fionnuala Quinlan, Consul General of Ireland in Boston, for a tour of our new building, along with city and state officials, members of our board of directors and friends of the ICC.

Visit our Facebook page for a full photo gallery and a sneak peak of the new restaurant, pub and office areas. There is work still to be done, but we will soon to be ready for our open house period. Stay tuned for more information!

Fionnuala Quinlan visit

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An Evening with The Irish Tenors

Evening with the Irish Tenors
Join the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in a Celebration of Irish Culture with An Evening with The Irish Tenors, on Saturday, March 4, 7:30 pm. Don’t miss the pre-concert discussion led by Congressman Neal on the Easter Rising of 1916.

The Irish-American community in the Northeastern U.S. has an enduring sense of identity and solidarity, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will not only commemorate the Irish experience, but provide a celebration of Irish tradition like no other with An Evening with The Irish Tenors, March 4 at 7:30 pm, supported by the Holyoke St. Patrick Day Parade Committee, an SSO community partner, and the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, an SSO affiliate.

The world-renowned trio will be preceded by a keynote presentation by Congressman Richard Neal at 6:30 pm on the historical significance of the Easter Rising of 1916. This moving pre-concert program is dedicated to the 101st anniversary of the proclamation that established the Irish Republic.

At 7:30 pm, The Irish Tenors and the SSO take the stage at Symphony Hall for a two-hour heart-warming and toe-tapping performance that is sure to include some of the best-loved Irish folk songs, such as Whiskey in the Jar, Fields of Athenry, Grace, and those recognizable to people of all cultures, such as Danny Boy and Toora Loora/Irish Eyes are Smiling.

Anthony Kearns, Finabar Wright, and Ronan Tynan—The Irish Tenors— were first introduced to the world in 1998 in a PBS special—the first of five such specials. Since that inaugural performance, their masterful and moving treatments of Irish classics has endeared them to an international audience. Ten albums and countless world performances later, they continue to sell out concert halls around the world.

The evening provides an ideal opportunity to enjoy the best of Irish culture, including Irish step dancing performances by The Griffith Celtic Dance and a post-concert Meet-and-Greet in the Mahogany Room at Symphony Hall, where concertgoers can rub elbows with The Irish Tenors.

Concert tickets range from $35–$85 and great seats still are available in all seating areas by calling the SSO Box Office at 413-733-2291 or by logging on to

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House of Hamill Returns for Trad Irish Fiddle and Folk

House of HamillUPDATE: This show is SOLD OUT; tickets will not be sold at the door. Thank you for your support.

The Irish Cultural Center invites you to an afternoon of Irish fiddle and folk music with House of Hamill, the duo of Brian Buchanan (of Enter the Haggis), and Rose Baldino (of Burning Bridget Cleary). Their intimate, relaxed performances have been extremely popular, and will include trad Irish sets and songs, and new, original compositions.

House of Hamill will perform on Sunday, February 19 at 3:00 pm at the Collegian Court Restaurant, 89 Park Street in Chicopee, MA.

Tickets are sold out for this intimate event.

You may purchase food and drinks at the Collegian Court during the show. Parking is available in the Collegian Court lot, on street, and at the Center Street Chicopee Savings Bank, which is a short walk across the street to the restaurant. Please note the direction of one-way streets when planning your visit.

About House of Hamill

In 2014, Brian joined Rose onstage at the Folk Alliance conference in Kansas City. The two performed with virtually no rehearsal for over an hour, and their connection was powerful and immediate. A few months later Brian moved from Canada to Philadelphia, and as a tribute to the first tune Rose ever taught to Brian, House of Hamill was born.

Brian and Rose are both accomplished traditional fiddle players and classical violinists, and have over 25 years of writing and performance experience between them. Together, they write unusual new fiddle tunes while also breathing new life into traditional and contemporary songs. Both are confident and unique lead vocalists, and the blend of their two voices in harmony is hypnotic and irresistible.

Whether House of Hamill is covering one of their favorite songs in a new way or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels, their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. You’ll leave with tired feet, a huge smile, and a new appreciation for the versatility of folk instruments in a modern context.

House of Hamill’s debut album, Wide Awake, is a collection of original songs and instrumentals spanning a diverse range of influences and styles.

All sales are final. Refunds are given ONLY in the event of cancellation by performers.

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2017 Annual Patron Support Campaign

Dear Irish Cultural Center Patron,

If you have already renewed your support for next year – thank you! This is a time of great opportunity, progress and growth for the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. Over this past year and into next year, we are vigorously implementing elements of our strategic plan for growth and development. We have worked steadfastly at our new location at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield. We are making significant progress in our efforts to renovate and restore the facility. The ICC’s administrative offices are now located at our new home; we expect other elements to open in 2017.

The 10-acre facility in West Springfield will enable the ICC to establish a new place in which to gather. When completed, our new home will include a library and museum, a performance center with banquet capabilities, a traditional Irish restaurant and pub, onsite parking, athletic playing fields and a nature trail. Construction of these spaces will continue in stages over the next year.

We sincerely appreciate your past and future support, and thank you for your continued allegiance to the Irish Cultural Center. Our 2017 Annual Support Campaign has now begun! As a non-profit charitable organization, your support is vital! Your commitment allows the ICC to manage operating expenses, develop new programs, exhibit our collection of cultural artifacts, and continue to provide high quality events and travel opportunities for the Irish community.

To coincide with our move and the new opportunities that come with it, the ICC’s Board of Directors has revised our annual support program for the 2017 calendar year. The revision better reflects how our support base financially contributes to the vitality of the ICC. The ICC is a non-profit organization that has been recognized by the IRS as tax exempt, under Section 501(c)(3). All donations are tax exempt. The distinguishing characteristics of the ICC are its emphasis on cultural and educational programming. The ICC also serves as a bridge between the Irish government, the citizens of Ireland and the Western New England region.

Your support as a donor is not just a membership – you are a Patron, a person who has made a commitment to preserve, promote and cherish Irish culture and heritage. We look forward to a visit from you at our new home; we will give you a guided tour of the facility and explain what we are up to.

Please renew your support today. Learn more about Patron benefits, download our Patron brochure, or submit your donation online. Stay up to date with our latest news on Facebook.

Thank you. Regards,

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ICC Presents Local Author Tommy Shea

Tommy Shea

*PLEASE NOTE* Due to the forecast of snow, this event has been postponed. Later date to be announced!

Springfield native and former sports and feature columnist Tommy Shea will read from and discuss his new book, Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History on a date to be announced at the Collegian Court Restaurant on 89 Park Street in Chicopee, MA.

The public is welcome to attend this free event. Doors open at 1:00 pm. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Parking is available in the Collegian Court lot, on street, and at the Center Street Chicopee Savings Bank, which is a short walk across the street.

Shea co-wrote the book with his friend and fellow writer Joshua Shifrin, who is a native of Longmeadow now living in New Jersey. The book is divided into 101 chapters, each one focusing on a brilliant home run, from present day and working its way back to the beginning of professional baseball in the United States.

Anyone who knows Shea understands that baseball is one of his passions. When he was asked to join Shifrin as co-author he jumped at the chance.

Tommy Shea Dingers“This was a natural for me because I was a longtime baseball writer life long baseball fan. The sport is something I live and breathe, and it was a thrill to get to do this project with Josh,” Shea said.

Shea said readers frequently tell him about their own home run memories.

“The selections were Josh’s and mine, but I’m sure any reader would have his/her own list to make. Part of the fun of reading the book is recalling your own home run memories,” Shea said.

Dingers was published by Sports Publishing in May of this year.

Tommy Shea is the oldest of seven children born to Maureen and Sean “The Diamond” Shea, who emigrated from the West of Ireland to Western Massachusetts in the late 1940s.

Big into sports as a child, at age 17 he marched down to the Springfield Newspapers in his hometown and asked if he could answer the phones in the sports department. In 2012 he ended 39 years of employment there and in the four years since co-wrote two books, worked on three others, taught journalism and spent a year as senior foreign editor at The National, an English-language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi.

In Springfield, his career included covering high school sports, the Boston Red Sox, general assignment, religion, and pedophile priest crimes, and for fourteen years wrote a thrice-weekly column the Boston Globe said “chronicles little-noticed acts of kindness and grace perpetrated by everyday people.’’

Tommy has taught journalism at Springfield, Holyoke Community and Elms Colleges and at Bay Path University, all in Western Mass. He is a member of the faculty at Bay Path University’s MFA program in nonfiction.

His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, New England Monthly, Baseball America, and the former New England Monthly. In 2002, he wrote the liner notes for the album Play It Again Sham by the Saw Doctors of Galway, Ireland.

In 2003, he received the New England Associated Press News Executive Award for best local New England column. In 2004, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  In 2006 he was awarded an honorary degree by Western New England University and in 2008 was named the Springfield Grand Marshal at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the second-largest such parade in the country.

He is married to the writer Suzanne Strempek Shea, with whom in 2013, along with M.P. Barker, he co-wrote 140 Years of Providential Care: The Sisters of Providence of Holyoke, Massachusetts. His new book, written with Joshua Shifrin, is Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History (Skyhorse Press).

He, Suzanne and their dogs, Tiny and Bisquick, live in Bondsville, Mass.

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Upcoming Events
  • Sun

    Searson in Concert

    The ICC invites you to an afternoon of Celtic music with Searson, know …

  • Sat

    Lá na Gaeilge: Irish Language Day

    The ICC is sponsoring our sixteenth Irish language immersion day, Lá n …

  • Mon

    Celtic Adventures for Kids

    Celtic Adventures for Kids is a week-long program designed to give chi …

Click for full events list.
"It’s great to be a part of this initiative to promote Irish studies. You should keep up the good work because there are so many lessons to be learned from Irish history, and Irish culture is beloved to so many people."
– Dr. Christine Kinealy
Professor of History and Irish Studies at Quinnipiac University