Ireland 101

Join us at the ICC for Ireland 101 – A Summary of Irish History presented by historian Sean Murphy on Saturday, June 1 from 3–4:30 pm. Sean leads us through a crash course on the entirety of Irish history, beginning 430 million years ago when three super-continents collided and separated, forming the landmass of Ireland, and continuing through the years to present day.

A number of topics are covered, including:
• What characteristics Ireland has had over millions of years
• How and when Ireland moved across the equator to where it is today
• When people arrived in Ireland and what we know about them
• Who were the Gaels
• How and why Ireland became Christianized
• When and why the Vikings invaded
• When and why the Normans made their conquest of Ireland
• How the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests affected the Ireland of today
• Why there was a Great Hunger/Famine in the 1840’s
• How the struggle for national independence evolved

The presentation takes place in the main room of the Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub. The bar will be open for drink orders.

Sean Murphy was born in Dublin and now lives on Cape Cod. He has a passion for his homeland and loves to share his knowledge and interest about his heritage through classes, workshops and conversation. He is a teacher of Irish history, music, and dance. Over the past twelve years he has taught courses at the Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton, Cape Cod Sons of Erin, Cape Cod Cultural Center, the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and at venues on Nantucket. He leads a traditional Irish music session in O’Shea’s Olde Inne in West Dennis. He speaks on Irish cultural and historic issues at libraries, and at private and community events across the Cape and beyond.

Join us in the Irish Cultural Center Book Club. We’ll enjoy good craic and delve into Irish and Irish-American literature, with guided discussion in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. This event is open to all.

Our meeting will take place on Thursday, June 13 from 5:30–6:30 pm at the ICC. 

We are reading In The Woods by Tana French. Participants are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early to get settled, perhaps grab a drink, mix and mingle. You are welcome to stay after at the Trinity Pub to socialize with dinner or drinks. 

To Register
The Book Club is free to join. Please register ahead so we know how many people to expect. Register online >

In The WoodsAbout In The Woods 
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past. (text from Amazon)

Available from several vendors online or your favorite local book shop. Or, check your local library.
Amazon.com (new) >
Better Worlds Books (used) >

Books for Upcoming Meetings
July: Summer Hiatus (no meeting)
August 8: We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
September 12: Northern Spy by Flynn Berry
October 19 (Saturday at 1 pm): Nora by Nuala O’Connor – Special Book Club Presentation with author via Zoom

The Irish Cultural Center has linked up with Irish historian, Sean Murphy, to introduce our community to live, weekly online Irish history courses. Sean presents two monthly topics, divided into four-week modules. On enrollment, participants will receive the Zoom link, a copy of each week’s PowerPoint presentation, and additional background materials. The courses may be taken as recordings if Thursday presents access difficulties for any reason. Participants also have a half hour one-on-one session with Sean to answer any questions on the course content.

*June special offer for NEW enrollees – the two courses for the price of one!*

The first topic is a general history of Ireland from ancient times to the present day. The course module for June 2024 is The Confederate Wars and Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland. Takes place on Thursdays, June 6, 13, 20 & 27 from 7:30–9:00 pm. Download course flyer >

The second topic is a general history of each of the thirty two counties in Ireland. Featured in June 2024 is County Sligo. Takes place on Thursdays, June 6, 13, 20 & 27 from 6:00–7:30 pm. Download course flyer >

To Enroll
The enrollment fee is $100 for each four-week course. Please contact Sean directly for information or to enroll in his course(s) – send an email to seanmurphy630@gmail.com or register at www.irishhistory.online.

About Sean Murphy
Sean Murphy was born in Dublin and came to live on Cape Cod in 2005. He has a passion for his homeland and loves to share his knowledge and interest about his heritage through classes, workshops and conversation. He is a teacher of Irish history, music, and dance.

The Beveridge Family Foundation has awarded the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England (ICCWNE) a $35,000 grant in support of creating a Community Performance Center at the ICCWNE’s Morgan Road facility.

The grant will support the ICCWNE’s $2 million Capstone Campaign. Funds from the Capstone Campaign will be used to complete the Community Performance Center, which will serve the needs of the greater region for concerts, events, meetings, and private functions. Notably, the Community Performance Center will provide a home for local, regional, national, and international performance groups, making it a full-scale regional base for Irish heritage and culture as well as a center for cross-cultural collaboration. The space will be able to house performances by major Irish cultural groups, such as Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, as well as regional performers of all ages.

“We are thrilled to see our campaign continue to gain traction and momentum,” Chair of both the Board of Directors and the Capstone Campaign, Sean Cahillane said. “We are thankful for this generous support from the Beveridge Family Foundation and are eager to complete work on the Community Performance Center so we can invite the community to enjoy it.”

“The Beveridge Family Foundation is pleased to support the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England in this endeavor that will serve Hampshire and Hampden Counties and improve the quality of educational and arts opportunities in the region,” said Ward Caswell, President of The Beveridge Family Foundation. “An important part of the Foundation’s mission is to preserve and enhance regional quality of life and we are impressed with the ICCWNE’s plan. This project will add substantially to our region’s cultural offerings for many years to come.”

Formerly the home of the Elks Lodge, the facility had been vacant for five years prior to the ICCWNE taking possession of it through a partnership with the City of West Springfield. Improvements have included developing a vibrant, Irish country-style restaurant, pub and meeting and gathering place for the community. It includes 11,500 square feet of space on four floors. The facility has become the ideal setting and home for the Irish Cultural Center, which was established in 1999.

West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, also a Capstone Campaign Steering Committee member, said that while the ICC is already a vibrant gathering spot the Community Performance Center will expand impact on residents and visitors alike.“We are grateful to The Beveridge Family Foundation for their support of the Capstone Campaign,” Reichelt said. “The Center has become a cultural crossroads for West Side, and I urge others to join the Campaign so that we can leverage the Beveridge Foundation’s support for the Community Performance Center.”

The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation has awarded the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England a $100,000 grant towards their $2 million goal to help create a Community Performance Center at their Morgan Road facility.

The grant will support the ICCWNE’s Capstone Campaign. Funds from the Capstone Campaign will be used to complete the Community Performance Center, which will serve the needs of the greater region for concerts, events, meetings, and private functions. Notably, the Community Performance Center will provide a home for local, regional, national, and international performance groups, making it a full-scale regional base for Irish heritage and culture as well as a center for cross-cultural collaboration. The space will be able to house performances by major Irish cultural groups, such as Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, as well as regional performers of all ages.

“We’ve been working diligently throughout the winter to build campaign momentum,” Chair of both the Board of Directors and the Capstone Campaign, Sean Cahillane said, “and we are so grateful to the Davis Foundation for this generous grant that will be instrumental in completing our renovation.”

“The Davis Foundation is proud to support the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England as they create space to offer arts and cultural opportunities for the residents of Hampden County,” said Paul Belsito, Executive Director of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. “We are excited to support a project that will add significantly to our region’s cultural landscape.”

Formerly the home of the Elks Lodge, the facility had been vacant for five years prior to the ICCWNE taking possession of it through a partnership with the City of West Springfield. Improvements have included developing a vibrant, Irish country-style restaurant, pub and meeting and gathering place for the community. It includes 11,500 square feet of space on four floors. The facility has become the ideal setting and home for the Irish Cultural Center, which was established in 1999.

West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt said that while the ICC is already a vibrant gathering spot the Community Performance Center will expand the impact that it has on city residents and visitors alike.

“The campaign’s progress is truly impressive and we are grateful to the Davis Foundation for their generous support,” Reichelt said. “The Center has become a cultural crossroads for West Side, especially for those with Irish heritage. We’re proud to host them, to see the Community Performance Center complete, and to see such support from the community.”

Join us in the Irish Cultural Center Book Club. We’ll enjoy good craic and delve into Irish and Irish-American literature, with guided discussion in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. This event is open to all.

Our meeting will take place on Thursday, May 9 from 5:30–6:30 pm at the ICC. 

We are reading Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. Participants are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early to get settled, perhaps grab a drink, mix and mingle. You are welcome to stay after at the Trinity Pub to socialize with dinner or drinks. 

To Register
The Book Club is free to join. Please register ahead so we know how many people to expect. Register online >

Small Things Like TheseAbout Small Things Like These 
Small Things Like These is award-winning author Claire Keegan’s landmark new novel, a tale of one man’s courage and a remarkable portrait of love and family. It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church. (text from Amazon)


Available from several vendors online or your favorite local book shop. Or, check your local library.
Amazon.com (new) >
Better Worlds Books (used) >

Books for Upcoming Meetings
June 13: In the Woods by Tana French
July: Summer Hiatus (no meeting)
August 8: We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
September 12: Northern Spy by Flynn Berry
October 19 (Saturday at 1 pm): Nora by Nuala O’Connor – Special Book Club Presentation with author via Zoom

1916 Easter Uprising Presentation

**Please note, registration is now full.** Join us at the ICC on Wednesday, April 24 for a presentation on the 1916 Easter Uprising, in our Celtic Room from 5–6:30 pm. Space is limited; we ask that you register ahead for this free event. 

Register online here or join the wait list >

This fascinating talk will include the history of background rebellions and disappointments leading to the 1916 rebellion, “hero and heals” of the revolt, and the aftermath of the revolution. The three presenters, W. Michael Ryan, G. Anthony Ryan and William O’Riordan, have a wealth of experience and interest in Irish history.

Presented by:
W. Michael Ryan
Ret. Judge, District Court, Hampshire County
Former Northwestern District Attorney, Hampshire and Franklin counties, and town of Athol

G. Anthony Ryan
Ret. Asst Superintendent, Hampshire Regional School District

William O’Riordan
Ret. Chief Probation Officer, Hampshire County Probate Court

The Irish Cultural Center has linked up with Irish historian, Sean Murphy, to introduce our community to live, weekly online Irish history courses. Sean presents two monthly topics, divided into four-week modules. Courses are presented on Zoom. Each student will receive an electronic copy of each presentation.

The first topic is a general history of Ireland from ancient times to the present day. The course module for May 2024 is The Flight of the Earls and the Plantations of Ulster. Takes place on Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16 & 23 from 7:30–9:00 pm. Download course flyer >

The second topic is a general history of each of the thirty two counties in Ireland. Featured in May 2024 is County Roscommon. Takes place on Thursdays, May 2, 9, 16 & 23 from 6:00–7:30 pm. Download course flyer >

To Enroll
The enrollment fee is $100 for each four-week course. Please contact Sean directly for information or to enroll in his course(s) – send an email to seanmurphy630@gmail.com or register at www.irishhistory.online.

About Sean Murphy
Sean Murphy was born in Dublin and came to live on Cape Cod in 2005. He has a passion for his homeland and loves to share his knowledge and interest about his heritage through classes, workshops and conversation. He is a teacher of Irish history, music, and dance.

At a festive reception on April 2, 2024 featuring Massachusetts Congressman and Honorary Campaign Chair, Richard Neal, West Springfield Mayor and Campaign Committee member, William Reichelt, and ICCWNE Board President and Campaign Chair, Sean Cahillane, the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England announced the formal launch of its Capstone Capital Campaign to raise the final $2 million needed to complete its facility at 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA.

Funds from the Capstone Campaign will be used to complete the Community Performance Center, which will serve the needs of the greater region for concerts, events, meetings, and private functions. Notably, the Community Performance Center will provide a home for local, regional, national, and international performance groups, making it a full-scale regional base for Irish heritage and culture as well as a center for cross-cultural collaboration. The space will be able to house performances by major Irish cultural groups, such as Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, as well as regional performers of all ages.

“What a fine example this project is, of building and strengthening the bonds that tie us together,” said Congressman Neal. “The essence of the ICCWNE is community, and this space provides a place for cultural expression and for people to gather in friendship while sharing their cultural heritage. I am so proud of the progress that has been made, and am gratified that completion is now in sight.”

“We’ve been working diligently throughout the winter to build campaign momentum,” Cahillane said, “and we are so grateful to our good friend Congressman Neal for agreeing to be honorary chair. His support for our Center has been instrumental in our success to date.”

According to Cahillane the Capstone Campaign is close to reaching its first milestone – meeting a $200,000 challenge grant from the Mass Cultural Council’s Mass Cultural Facilities Fund. “We are very close to achieving this important match, so I encourage folks to step up now.”

The Center is encouraging families to come together to coalesce family commitments, and is seeking grants and corporate support as well. “Just as our Center strengthens ties and bonds between and across groups and generations, this campaign can build and strengthen community and familial bonds as well,” said Cahillane.

Formerly the home of the Elks Lodge, the facility had been vacant for five years prior to the ICCWNE taking possession of it through a partnership with the City of West Springfield. Improvements have included developing a vibrant, Irish country-style restaurant, pub and meeting and gathering place for Patrons and the community. It includes 11,500 square feet of space on four floors. The facility has become the ideal setting and home for the ICCWNE, which was established in 1999.

Mayor Reichelt said the ICCWNE is a vibrant gathering spot, and that the Community Performance Center will expand the impact that the Center as a whole has on city residents and visitors alike.

“The progress that the campaign has been making is truly impressive, and I look forward to additional milestone announcements and construction later this year,” Reichelt said. “The Center has become a cultural crossroads for West Side, especially for those with Irish heritage. We’re proud to host them and to see the Community Performance Center complete.”

Read more about the campaign and ways to give >

View WWLP-TV22 News coverage of the event >

See more photos from the event in our Facebook gallery >  

Congressman Richard Neal
Congressman Richard Neal
Will Reichelt and Sean Cahillane
West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt and ICCWNE President Sean Cahillane
Community Performance Center
Future home of the Community Performance Center on the 4th floor
Community Performance Center group and interview
Mayor Will Reichelt, Congressman Richard Neal, ICCWNE Vice President Ed Sullivan, and ICCWNE Board Member Will Carey / Congressman Richard Neal being interviewed about the campaign
Trinity Pub and Irish Session
Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub during the campaign launch / Trad Irish Session musicians David Clopp, Ellen Redman, and Seán Burke

Join us in the Irish Cultural Center Book Club. We’ll enjoy good craic and delve into Irish and Irish-American literature, with guided discussion in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. This event is open to all.

Our meeting will take place on Thursday, April 11 from 5:30–6:30 pm at the ICC. 

We are reading Philadelphia, Here I Come! by Brian Friel. Participants are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early to get settled, perhaps grab a drink, mix and mingle. You are welcome to stay after at the Trinity Pub to socialize with dinner or drinks. 

To Register
The Book Club is free to join. Please register ahead so we know how many people to expect. Register online >

Philadelphia, Here I Come!About Philadelphia, Here I Come! 
Fed up with the dreary round of life in Ballybeg, with his uncommunicative father and his humiliating job in his father’s grocery shop, with his frustrated love for Kathy Doogan who married a richer, more successful young man and with the total absence of prospect and opportunity in his life at home, Gareth O’Donnell has accepted his aunt’s invitation to come to Philadelphia. Now, on the eve of his departure, he is not happy to be leaving Ballybeg. With this play Brian Friel made his reputation and it is now an acknowledged classic of modern drama.(text from Amazon)

Available from several vendors online or your favorite local book shop. Or, check your local library.
Amazon.com (new) >
Better Worlds Books (used) >

Books for Upcoming Meetings
May 9: Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
June 13: In the Woods by Tana French
July 11: We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange