ICC Welcomes Sheryl Quinn, James Leydon to Board

The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England Board of Directors has added two new members – Sheryl Y. Quinn of Holyoke, retired Executive Director of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke, and James F. Leydon Jr. of Springfield, who is Director of Communications and Public Information in the office of Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni.

Sheryl Quinn and James Leydon

Quinn and Leydon bring the board’s membership to a full complement of 14.

ICC Board President Sean F. Cahillane welcomed both, saying they bring unique personal strengths and professional skills that will help lead our regional, non-profit organization forward into the future during an expansion of our newly opened facility on Morgan Road in West Springfield.

“Sheryl and Jimmy are well known and well liked across the region, with years of highly regarded experience between them that will make them outstanding members on our board,” Cahillane said. “We look forward to working with them.”

Quinn ran the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke for 16 years, retiring in 2012. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Ana Maria College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts.

A lifelong resident of Holyoke, Quinn said she has always been proud of her Irish ancestry and has more recently been very interested in genealogy and researching her family roots. She noted that her ancestors were among the first to settle from Ireland to Holyoke, in 1845.

“As I’ve studied each generation I’ve been able to learn about their commitment to hard work, the love of family and church, and the strident belief in education that was passed down to each succeeding generation. My grandmother was one of six children (all females) and each one of them received education beyond high school,” she said. Quinn looks forward to lending her business expertise to the ICC board as it enters into a new era of expansion.

“When I realized all of the work that has been done by the board and the volunteers to date, and the future plans to grow the Center, I realized that I would love to be part of that future,” she said.

Leydon is a lifelong resident of Springfield who brings considerable political and business acumen to the board. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from American International College, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. He has worked in the District Attorney’s office for the past two years, after working three years as Communication Director for Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Leydon called himself a “proud Irish-American” who is enthusiastic about contributing to the ICC.

“I am looking forward to helping preserve our Irish heritage and its legacy locally. Working on furthering the establishment of the Center as a place where families can come and enjoy themselves is what I aspire to the most,” he said.

“Some of my fondest memories are those spent on political campaigns as a kid, mainly those of a prominent Irish-American, Congressman Richard Neal,” Leydon said.

“What I carry with me from those days is how events and activities associated with the Congressman brought so many families and friends together for so many years. I see the same thing in the ICC, an opportunity to help establish an environment to honor our past and celebrate our future with families and friends from all over.”

Thank you for your commitment, Sheryl and James – the ICC looks forward to working with you!

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Restaurant and Pub Summer Hours and Entertainment

The Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub moved to our summer schedule on July 12.

New Summer Schedule
• Open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
• Pub will be open 5:00 – 10:00 pm
• Kitchen will be open until 9:00 pm

Wednesday Seisiún
The weekly trad seisiún with John Tabb, Ellen Redman and friends will now take place on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm.

Saturday Entertainment
We are now offering live Irish music on Saturday evenings at 7:00 pm – view the schedule. We look forward to seeing you!

Learn More
Learn more about the restaurant and pub, view our menu and special theme night offerings.

Irish House Hours

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Celtic Rock with the Young Dubliners on August 11

Young Dubliners
The Irish Cultural Center invites you to an evening with the Young Dubliners, one of the most acclaimed and quite possibly Celtic rock’s hardest working band. This is a special opportunity to see the California-based band, made up of Irish and American musicians, in a rare New England appearance.

The Young Dubliners perform on Friday, August 11 at 8:00 pm at the Holyoke Elks Lodge, 250 Whitney Ave, Holyoke, MA. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Cash bar is available.

Tickets are general admission, table seating. Cost is $18 for ICC Patrons, $20 for general public, $25 at the door. Tickets are available online or by calling the Irish Cultural Center at 413-333-4951. Online ticket sales end at 9:00 am on August 11.

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

Sound clipListen to an interview from July 23, with lead singer Keith Roberts, and Louise Dunphy of Celtic Crossings.

About the Young Dubliners
The Young Dubliners sound is most commonly called Celtic rock. The Irish influence is there, certainly, but its not the only influence that rears its head on their albums, or in live shows. “That was always the idea,” Keith Roberts, lead singer for the band explains. “The sound was always intended to be a hybrid because we all come from different backgrounds. Even though two of us are from Ireland, a lot of the music we listened to growing up wasn’t Irish at all, but when we got here, we got homesick and developed a new appreciation for Irish Music. In truth the Celtic riffs can just as easily come from the American band members. Everyone writes now so you never know what we’ll end up with when we start on a new album.”

The band has produced 6 albums to date. Relentless touring has garnered them a following of the faithful and this has allowed them to follow their dream year in and year out. “We are very appreciative of how the fans have continued to support the live shows. It makes for a crazy but enjoyable year despite the hectic travel schedule,” says Roberts. The Young Dubliners are made up of lead singer Keith Roberts, with Chas Waltz on fiddle, Brendan Holmes on bass, Bob Boulding on guitar, and Dave Ingraham on percussion. Learn more about the Young Dubliners.

Young Dubliners

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

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ICC Launches Major Donor Campaign

Irish Cultural Center of Western New England Formally Launches Its First Major Donor Campaign in Eighteen Years; Seeking $477,000 for Capital Improvements

The Irish Cultural Center, located on Morgan Road in West Springfield, is publicly launching a capital improvements campaign, seeking funds to further its mission of preserving and promoting the culture and traditions of the Irish in Western New England. ICC President Sean Cahillane explained the intent of the campaign, saying, “We wish to establish a quality facility, a monument to the Irish for the next 100 years. We are moving into the next leg of our undertaking – we intend to build out the next phases of our facility.” Phase One was completed in March, including office space, the fitting out and opening of the Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub, and outdoor improvements.

The ICC’s goal is to now complete projects in Phase Two, including an outdoor patio, library and museum, and additional exterior renovations. The campaign also seeks funds for educational and cultural programing. Over the last several months during the silent pre-launch phase, funds and donations have already been received to help complete the fireplace, landscaping, tile flooring, carpet, furniture and fixtures, totaling $117,000 or 25% of the overall $477,000 capital needs. The balance to be raised in this Phase Two of the project is now $360,000.

Edward Sullivan, former Mayor of West Springfield, gives full support to the campaign, saying, “The population of Irish descent in this region is significant in numbers, professional accomplishments, and financial resources. This undertaking by the ICC seeks to bring the entire Irish community together with the aim of asking for active participation in advancing and promoting Ireland’s ancient culture.”

The Irish Cultural Center is a multi-faceted charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, offering a range of activities. The vision for the Morgan Road site entails promoting all things Irish – cultivating a museum and library for the ICC’s many artifacts, and promoting educational endeavors, scholarly lectures and musical offerings, in addition to the Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub, in operation as part of Phase One.

Leading the campaign effort are ICC President Sean Cahillane and the ICC Development Team, which includes Attorney Frank Fitzgerald of Hampden, James Garvey of East Longmeadow, former Mayor Edward Sullivan of West Springfield, City Councilor George Kelly of West Springfield, Mike McCormick of West Springfield, Attorney Martin Dunn of Holyoke, Sister Mary Caritas of the Sisters of Providence, and ICC Board Members Mary Ellen Lowney of Chicopee, Brian Corridan of Springfield, James Leydon, Jr. of Springfield, and Sheryl Young Quinn of Holyoke.

The Board Members of the Irish Cultural Center are looking for additional help with our first-ever capital campaign; we want to make this drive a success. If you are interested in spending some of your time, talent and treasure assisting our effort, please call Sean Cahillane at 413-348-5849, or email the ICC at irishcenterwne@gmail.com.

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Dinner Special Theme Nights

The ICC’s Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub now has a special theme offering every night, at a great price! Come join us, and enjoy new tempting comfort food every night. Make it the perfect night out with family and friends, with our cozy atmosphere and Irish hospitality.

Tuesday – Meat and Potatoes – $10
Steak or chicken baked stout pie, with mashed potato, vegetables and flaky pastry crust
Plus a traditional Irish music seisiún from 7:00 – 9:30 pm. More info.

Wednesday – Appy Hour from 4:00 – 6:00 pm – $5 each
Potato Skins / Colcannon Flat Bread / Chicken Gyons / Bangers and Chips

Thursday – Burger Night – $5
Grilled quarter-pounder cheese burger, mushroom burger, or bacon burger, with lettuce, tomato, pickles; add French fries for $1

Friday – Fish Fry Fish and Chips – $15
Beer battered cod, with French fries, Chef CJ’s clam chowder and an ice cream sundae

Saturday – Prefix 4 Course Meal – $20
Bread, soup or salad, any entrée or sandwich, and an ice cream sundae

Sunday – Big Roast Dinner – $15
Chef CJ’s roast beef with gravy, soup or salad, and an ice cream sundae

The Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub Hours:
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 – 9 pm / Kitchen: 4 – 8 pm

Located at the Irish Cultural Center, 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, MA

Manager Sheri Hannifan
Questions or reservations: 413-342-4358

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Restaurant and Pub Are Open

The Irish Cultural Center’s new location at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, MA opened in early March 2017. An open house period is currently ongoing to invite the community to visit the facility, including the new Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub.

Managed by the professionals at the Log Cabin/Delaney House, the restaurant includes a handcrafted bar with custom woodwork, bar and table seating, fireplace and snug. An additional function room for smaller events is available for rental. A full menu of comfort food including starters, sandwiches, entrées and specials is served in the cozy atmosphere of a Dublin pub.

A weekly traditional Irish music seisiún is now running in the pub on Tuesday nights from 7:00 – 9:30 pm, with well-known musicians John Tabb, Ellen Redman and friends. On May 19 at 7:00 pm, Irish folk singer Pat Kelleher will perform in the pub. Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner during these events – please call the restaurant at 413-342-4358.

The open house period is planned to last for several months. The ICC encourages the public to visit, learn more about its mission, and consider becoming Patrons. Access to the restaurant and pub will eventually be limited to ICC Patrons and guests, necessitated by the residential location and city zoning. 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. The ICC office is open to visitors for information.

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.” Renovations are still ongoing, with additional stages planned that include a library and museum, performance hall, patio and nature trail.

The public is encouraged to visit and learn more about the ICC’s mission and future plans. More information about the restaurant, menu, hours, and becoming a Patron.

Irish House Restaurant and Pub

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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 irishcenterwne@gmail.com.

Irish Language Day

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Searson Performs Celtic Music Concert on April 30


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, $25 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.

Green Sponsor: Congressman Richard Neal

About Searson
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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"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