Bus Trip to “Star of the Sea”

Star of the Sea

Please join the ICC on a bus trip to see Moonfish Theater’s Star of the Sea at the UMass Bowker Auditorium on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Tickets are $42 for ICC Patrons and $47 general – round trip bus and reserved seat at the show included in this special package! For youth under age 17, the cost is $30. To reserve tickets, please call the ICC at 413-333-4951. Seats are limited – reserve today!

The bus will travel from the ICC at 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, leaving at 6:00 pm for the UMass facility. The show begins at 7:30 pm. The bus will return to the ICC after the show. Parking is available at the ICC at no charge.

Star of the Sea takes place in the winter of 1847, when the famine ship by the same name is setting sail for the promised land of America with passengers whose lives and fates are more connected than any of them know. The cast of six, through Moonfish’s signature style of bilingual theater, plus video projections, choreographed movement and inventive sound effects, conjures up the worlds of those passengers. Adapted from Joseph O’Connor’s best-selling novel, this powerful production traces the effects of the Irish Famine through to the present. It is performed in both the Irish language and English.

Please reserve now and join us! Call 413-333-4951 to book.

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Annual Breakfast on October 15

The ICC’s Annual Breakfast is a great opportunity to meet and mingle, with good food, pleasant company, and a review of the year’s activities. The public is welcome to attend this annual event.

Please join us on Sunday, October 15 at 10:00 am at the Irish Cultural Center’s new building at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield. Please note the new venue! Tickets are $18 for ICC Patrons and $22 for the general public. Please call the ICC at 413-333-4951 for more info or to order tickets. Or download and mail in the order form. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Dr. Mary KellyDr. Mary C. Kelly, our featured speaker, will share her findings on the topic “From Irish-American to American-Irish: The Irish Question and the Ethnic Identity, 1919-1922.” Dr. Kelly is noted for her outstanding work making astute connections between the Irish of yesterday and today, including the subject of Irish immigration and assimilation.

Dr. Kelly’s talk will focus on how the enduring bond between immigrant community and ancestral home has shaped and influenced Irish-American culture from earliest times. At the heart of that connection, the struggle for Ireland’s freedom has stamped its distinct imprint on the immigrant Irish story in the United States. This talk will focus on Irish-American engagement with Ireland’s independence movement between the 1919 visit of Éamon de Valera to the United States and the birth of the Free State in 1921. The lecture will also reveal that Irish-American response to the Irish Question in 1919–1921 played a crucial role in redefining the ethnic identity for generations to come.

Dr. Kelly is a historian of the Irish-American immigrant experience. She graduated from National University of Ireland, Galway, and from Syracuse University, and has served as Professor of History at Franklin Pierce University for twenty years. She researches the ethnic identity in spheres of political culture, faith, and the enduring relationship with Ireland. Her latest book, Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory (Rowman & Littlefield), is now available in paperback (2016). She is currently working on Irish-American involvement with the 1916 Rising and Irish Revolution. Professor Kelly was honored with a 2014 Keene State College President’s Outstanding Women in New Hampshire Award and the 2016 Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Committee Ambassador Award.

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Immigration Law Implications with John Deasy TD

John DeasyPlease join the ICC and Irish government’s new Special Envoy to the United States Congress, Mr. John Deasy TD, for a conversation on current immigration law and its implications on the undocumented Irish in the region, on Saturday, September 9 at 2:00 pm at the Irish Cultural Center, 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield. This event is free and open to the public.

John Deasy has been a Fine Gael member of Dáil Éireann since 2002, representing the Waterford constituency. His father, the former Agriculture Minister Austin Deasy, held the same seat in the Assembly of Ireland for 25 years.

U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal said he is looking forward to Deasy’s visit to the ICC.

“I have known John Deasy since the 1990s when he was in Washington, D.C. working on immigration issues,” Neal said. “Since his election to the Dáil in 2002, we have worked together to strengthen ties between the United States and Ireland. That’s why I was pleased when the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appointed him Special Envoy to the United States Congress tasked with immigration reform.

“The issue of the undocumented Irish in America is serious and I look forward to working with Deputy Deassy  to find a solution to this problem that is mutually beneficial to our two countries. His visit to the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England could not be more timely,” said Neal.

West Springfield Mayor​ William Reichelt applauded the efforts the ICC is making while addressing paramount issues like immigration.

“West Springfield is an epicenter of immigration and a model of how foreign relations is beneficial to Western Massachusetts,” Reichelt said. “New businesses and patron-based organizations such as the ICC have been opening their doors in town, and have certainly added to the diversity of our community. We are quite fortunate to have these educational opportunities provided by the Irish Cultural Center.”

ICC President Sean Cahillane said the ICC is honored to be host Deasy’s visit and hear the discussion.

“Immigration is a key political issue right now in the United States, and it has already had an impact on many people Irish-born people living here, along with their families,” Cahillane said. “We’re all looking forward to Mr. Deasy’s thoughts on the matter.”

This visit to the ICC will be Deputy Deasy’s first trip to New England since his appointment to the important new post by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in June. Prior to his election, he worked as a Legislative Assistant in the United States Senate. He handled trade and foreign affairs for Pennsylvanian Republican Senator John Heinz until his tragic death in April 1991. He later worked as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Ronald Machtley of Rhode Island, and doing legislative work for the Chicago-based law firm of Gardner, Carton & Douglas, before returning to Ireland in 1997 and entering politics there in 1997.

In 2000, he succeeded his father as a member for the constituency of Waterford in Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament. Deputy Deasy has retained his Dáil seat at each of the elections held since then, most recently in February 2016.

Deasy has held a number of key positions in the Irish parliament, including Chairman of the European Affairs Committee and Vice-Chair of the Public Accounts Committee — the committee viewed as the most influential throughout the Irish government.

 

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Lecture “JFK Centennial: The Western Mass Connection”

JFKNoted author, local historian and Springfield Republican Executive Editor Wayne E. Phaneuf and political and government affairs professional Anthony Cignoli will present a lecture on the late President John F. Kennedy’s ties to and impact on Western Massachusetts, on Saturday, September 16 at 12:00 pm, at the ICC’s Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub, 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, MA.

The event, free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England and the Springfield Museums.

Phaneuf’s and Cignoli’s talk will include an overview of the life of Kennedy, with specific references to his ties and visits to Western Massachusetts, where he was extremely popular. The talk will include a question-and-answer discussion period. There will be a limited menu and cash bar available at the restaurant after the event.

It represents the kick-off for a series of displays and events at the Quadrangle in Springfield, to commemorate JFK’s 100th birthday. Organized by the Springfield Museums, the exhibition Jack & Jackie: The Kennedys in the White House, will celebrate the fascinating lives of America’s 35th President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Highlighting the White House years of 1961–1963, the exhibition will also honor the 2017 centennial of John F. Kennedy’s birth.

Wayne PhaneufPhaneuf is executive editor of The Republican and has been a journalist and historian for more than 47 years.

He has written or contributed to 13 books and developed The Republican Heritage Series to further understanding and history of ethnic groups throughout Western Massachusetts. He is a trustee of the Springfield Museums and chaired the building committee for the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.

He serves on the Armory Alliance and is a lifetime trustee of Old Sturbridge Village. His history column, Looking Backwards, ran in the daily News and The Republican for 10 years.

He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and currently lives in Brimfield, Massachusetts.

Anthony CignoliAnthony (Tony) Cignoli is the President of the A. L. Cignoli Company, the public relations, political and governmental affairs company he founded in 1992. The company serves political and corporate clients across America with bases of operation in Boston, Massachusetts, clients’ operations centers, and home base being Springfield, Massachusetts.

A.L. Cignoli Company has built a reputation creating success for both political and corporate clients in challenging situations; taking on tough assignments, from referendum campaigns other firms will not touch to assisting in turning around political and corporate campaigns in trouble. The firm is recognized for a holistic approach to public and governmental affairs solutions, melding Tony and his associate’s contacts and hands-on approach with an understanding of how to utilize modern applications of data mining, polling data and social media.

Tony is a veteran of over 350 political campaigns, including presidential elections in Peru, Prime Minister and Parliamentary campaigns in Italy and many referendums in Massachusetts and throughout New England. He is a frequent commentator and political analyst for newspapers, radio and television news programs.

In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and private collectors, the Springfield Museums aims to bring the presidency and legacy of this first family to life. Twenty-seven iconic photographs by Richard Avedon, on loan from the National Museum of American History, will anchor the exhibition, providing a glimpse into the Kennedys’ personal life while also documenting their public image. Building on the momentum of the Wood Museum of Springfield History’s popular 2013 exhibition titled The John F. Kennedy Experience: An Exhibit by Frank J. Andruss Sr, the Springfield Museums will also highlight local connections to the Kennedy presidency.

During the “White House years,” President Kennedy advocated for human rights, strengthened connections with allies, and oversaw the growth of the U.S. economy. Campaign materials and objects that were in the White House during his presidency will pay tribute to JFK’s lasting impression on our nation. In addition, fashion items from period, on display in the exhibition, will display the country’s adoration for Jackie’s elegant and sophisticated image.

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Irish Language Classes Start This Fall

People around the world study the Irish language as a way to preserve the culture and to connect to the soul of Ireland. The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England and Elms College are pleased to offer a range of Irish language classes for the 2016/2017 academic year.

We are pleased to bring to campus our eighth consecutive Irish Language Fulbright Teaching Assistant, Paul Snee, from Sligo. Snee is looking forward to acting as an ambassador for the Irish language, and the opportunity to further his career as an Irish language educator, to share and impart his knowledge of the language and its culture to his students. In addition, he says, “I would take immense pleasure in being able to introduce traditional Irish-style sean-nós singing, Gaelic football, and some of our valuable Irish language literary heritage to my students.“ Snee will teach the Intermediate/Advanced class on Wednesday evenings, which may be taken on a credit or non-credit basis.

In addition, experienced Irish teachers from the ICC will instruct non-credit course offerings. First Year Irish, designed for those who have no, or very little, knowledge of the language, will be taught by Kathleen Gilhooly on Tuesday evenings. Gerald Costello will teach Second Year Irish on Monday evenings. Costello will teach third Year Irish on Tuesday evenings, and Gilhooly will teach Fourth Year Irish on Saturday mornings.

Classes begin the last week of August and take place at Elms College. The cost is $150 for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Year classes, and $175 for Intermediate. ICC Patrons receive a $50 discount. View the schedule and registration details.

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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.


Thanks to Our Show Sponsors

Westfield Bank
Kathleen Doe Creative Design
  Logo DA Gulluni    Congressman Richard Neal

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
icctrinitypub@gmail.com
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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