The Elders

Buy tickets for The Elders
Back by popular demand! The Irish Cultural Center invites you to an evening with The Elders, one of the most critically acclaimed American Celtic folk rock groups touring today, as they return to western MA.

WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 2016
WHERE: Portuguese American Club, 149 Exchange Street, Chicopee, MA. Get directions.
TIME: The Elders take the stage at 8:00 pm. Doors open at 7:00 pm.
TICKETS: Advance tickets $25 / ICC members advance tickets $22
All tickets $30 at the door. General admission, table seating.

Tickets are available online, or by calling the ICC at 413-265-2537. Don’t miss this opportunity to see The Elders in a rare return to the Pioneer Valley – get your tickets today. A cash bar will be open, and there’s plenty of parking at the Club.

They have performed across the United States, Ireland, and Europe, drawing faithful crowds and earning new fans wherever they go. They first played for the ICC last fall to a full house, creating new fans from a very enthusiastic crowd. We heard several comments from people that it was the best show they had ever seen. *Note: phone orders will end on April 7, and online ordering will close at 9:00 am on April 9.*

Watch videos, listen to tracks and learn more about The Elders.  See what the critics say.

About The Elders
Since forming in 1998 in Kansas City, The Elders have set the music scene on its ear, thanks to a skillful blend of American roots rock and amped-up Celtic folk; a cross-pollination of elements that is high-octane and progressive, yet rooted in tradition.

Employing a variety of instruments including guitars, drums, banjo, accordion, mandolin, piano and fiddle, these six artists collectively create music that transcends the stereotypical notion of Celtic music. Powerful four part harmonies, blazing instrumentals and song writing that is unaffected by fads, trends and the giant maw of mind-numbing commercialism.

The Elders are fronted by vocalist and percussionist Ian Byrne, a native of Ireland’s County Wicklow, with guitarist Steve Phillips, bassist Norm Dahlor, keyboardist and fiddler Brent Hoad, drummer Kian Byrne, and fiddler Diana Ladio. To date, The Elders have produced 7 full-length studio CDs and 3 live CD/DVDs.

Their songs are mystical, comical, political and cultural, while covering a wide variety of topics such as poverty, civil war, family bonds, spirituality, love and friendship. They tell us stories of people, places and events – some recent, some distant, some real and some imagined.

Thanks to our Sponsors:

Chicopee Savings

Kathleen Doe Creative Design

Dr. Megan Doe

Congressman Richard Neal




Mary Ellen O'Brien

Mary Ellen Lowney and Sean Cahillane

City Line Cafe




Sullivan Keating Moran Insurance




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

I am writing to ask current members to renew your membership for 2016, or for new members to join the ICC for the first time.

Your membership enables the ICC to provide a wide range of programming, including Celtic Adventures for Kids summer camp; Irish film series; two annual tours to Ireland; our Annual Breakfast; Irish Christmas celebrations; and Irish language classes taught by an Irish Fulbright foreign language teaching assistant. This year, we were excited to present Leo and Anto of The Saw Doctors, and we hosted an extremely popular three-show summer Concert Series, showcasing traditional Celtic music and introducing new artists to this area.

Our 2016 Membership Campaign is now in full swing! Please download and return our renewal form. Or, you can easily join online using PayPal. I encourage you to help the ICC grow its membership; seek out a friend or family member and ask them to join.

The ICC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. Membership dues and charitable donations are vital to help the ICC pay operating expenses, develop new programs, expand and exhibit our collection of cultural artifacts, and continue to provide high quality events for the community. We also offer options for sponsorship, additional charitable donations, and bequests.

This is a time of great opportunity, progress and growth for the ICC. As you know, we will soon be moving to our new facility at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield. We have been working steadily at our new location, and are making significant progress in our effort to refurbish the building and grounds. We are currently in the design phase of the first round of restoration, including the offices, playing fields, and the Irish pub, and will continue to update you throughout this exciting transition.

The ICC provides unique opportunities to support and actively participate in Irish culture. We sincerely appreciate your support, and thank you for your continued commitment to the Irish Cultural Center.

Sean F. Cahillane
Irish Cultural Center of Western New England

GIving TuesdayThe Irish Cultural Center is participating in GivingTuesday this December 1! This global movement of generosity allows nonprofits to join together and raise funds for the causes that matter to them. Please consider making a donation to the ICC on December 1 – you can also make a donation before the event and it will be scheduled to count for the GivingTuesday total.

The ICC is in the running to win a category based Golden Ticket, during the Arts & Culture hour of 3:00 – 4:00 pm. The nonprofit with the most unique donors during this time wins $500. Please help increase our chances by donating during this time!

This is a time of great opportunity, progress and growth for the Irish Cultural Center. In due time, we will be moving to the former Elks Lodge property at 429 Morgan Road, allowing us to expand our program offerings for our members and the community.

This new site will provide an amazing opportunity for the ICC to expand into larger space, with a multi-level building and almost 10 acres of land. The facility will include a performance, banquet and lecture hall, a museum and library, three larger offices, a traditional Irish pub, grounds with gardens and athletic playing fields.

Your donation this GivingTuesday will add to our fundraising efforts for the refurbishment of the building and grounds. We value your contribution and thank you for your support!

Cherish the LadiesThe ICC is sponsoring a bus trip to see Cherish the Ladies: Celtic Christmas at the UMassAmherst Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 10. Cherish the Ladies create an evening that includes a spectacular blend of virtuoso instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements, and stunning step dancing. Their continued success as one of the top Celtic groups in the world is due to the ensemble’s ability to take the best of Irish traditional music and dance and put it forth in an immensely entertaining show. Celebrate the season with this special Christmas concert!

Tickets are $48 for ICC members and $53 for non-members. Ticket cost includes bus transportation, driver tip, and reserved seat at the concert.
Don’t bother with the hassle of driving to the venue and parking. Leaving your car at Elms College is easy and convenient. The bus will depart from Elms College at 6:30 pm from the Sheila Ryan Flynn Parking Lot on the corner of Springfield Street and Fairview Avenue in Chicopee, MA (near the traffic lights). Performance begins at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are limited, order early! Makes a great Christmas gift! For information and to order tickets, call the Irish Cultural Center at 413-265-2537. Please RSVP by December 1.

Cherish the Ladies: A Dash for the Presents / Joy to the World / Parnell’s March

Lisa TaylorLisa C. Taylor, a Connecticut-based author who travels to and writes regularly in Ireland, will read from and discuss her new short story collection Growing a New Tail on Sunday, November 22 at 3:00 pm.

The Irish Cultural Center will present the event at the Collegian Court at 89 Park Street in Chicopee, MA. It is free and open to the public. Food and drink will be available to order at the restaurant.

Taylor’s new book, published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press and released in Dublin in September, is a collection of short stories written in Irish-style film noire, reflecting the heavy influence of her trips to Ireland, where she has lived and traveled through extensively.

Her fondness for dark stories and complex characters comes from her love of Irish literature and her various mentors both here and abroad.

Growing a New TailJoin the ICC for a book talk and reading from Growing a New Tail, a collection about which one reviewer had this to say:

“With Growing a New Tail, Taylor has crafted a staggeringly beautiful collection, each story balancing upon the precarious vision of its narrator, the heavy hand of memory and tenuous film of the future.  It is a collection in which God truly is ‘a fickle sort.’  Taylor is an expert craftsman, shaping with a precise and nimble hand, stories which leave you breathless, lingering, latched to the back of your throat: there are no gift wrapped endings here.” (Sonder Review, 2015)

Taylor is the author of four collections of poetry and her new collection.

Taylor’s poetry and fiction writing has been published in the Worcester Review, Crack the Spine Anthology (best of), Crannóg, Connecticut River Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Map Literary, Sonder Review, and many other national and international journals and anthologies.

Her honors include the Hugo House New Works in Fiction Award (2015), Pushcart nominations in fiction and poetry, five AAUP Faculty Development Awards, a Surdna Arts Teaching Fellowship, the University of Connecticut Elizabeth Shanley Gerson lecturer of Irish Literature (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), and artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland.

Her last poetry book was featured as a literary pick on Faith Middleton’s book show on WNPR in 2013. She was a spotlight feature for Associated Writing Programs in January of 2015 and a writing mentor in spring of 2015. Two of her collections have been taught in college classes. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine, and an MA from University of Connecticut. She teaches creative writing, critical thinking, gender roles in media, and fiction at Nichols College and Eastern Connecticut State University.

DingleAn informational session about the Irish Cultural Center’s 10-day springtime tour to Ireland will be held on October 18 at 2:00 pm in the Mary Dooley Campus Center, Room 207, at Elms College, 291 Springfield Street in Chicopee, MA.

Participants can experience Ireland’s two treasures – Dingle and Galway. The Irish Cultural Center’s Rose Baker and Pat Baker are teaming up to host the trip from May 10 to May 19, 2016.

The tour is well-rounded with beautiful coastal scenery, charming towns, and bustling cities, as well as visits to some of Ireland’s most historic settings. There will be multiple night stays in Dingle and Galway to allow for a more leisurely tour with more free time to immerse in the beauty, hospitality and culture of Ireland’s two favorite towns.

Travelers will stay five nights in Dingle (Dingle Skellig Hotel) and three nights in Galway (Galway Bay Hotel) at top-rated hotels. Highlights of the tour include day trips to Slea Head, Gallarus Oratory, Kilmalkedar Church, Blasket Centre, Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher and more.

The trip will include direct flight/roundtrip airfare to Shannon Airport, transportation to and from New York’s JFK International Airport from Elms College, and dinner and breakfast every day.

The total cost of the trip per person/double room occupancy is $2,425; $2,750 single room occupancy. A $1,000 per person deposit is requested to reserve space on the tour.

Tour is limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, contact Rose Baker at (413) 519-2135 or Pat Baker at (413) 348-3263 or visit the tour info page.

The ICC’s Annual Breakfast, on Sunday, October 4 at 10:00 am at the Yankee Pedlar in Holyoke, 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.

Tickets are $20 for members and $23 for non-members. They will not be sold at the door; please call the ICC for more info or to reserve your place at a table: 413-265-2537.

The Last Blasket KingAuthors Gerald Hayes and Eliza Kane will be featured speakers at the event. Hayes and Kane are authors of the recently released “The Last Blasket King, Pádraig Ó Catháin, An Rí,” which tells the story of the last King of the Great Blasket Island located off the coast of Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland.

The Great Blasket has special significance in the Springfield area because so many islanders relocated here during the decline of the island in the first half of the twentieth century. Among those who settled in Springfield was Mike “The Fiddler” Kane, the King’s first-born son.

Eliza Kane is great-great-granddaughter of Pádraig Ó Catháin, the last King of the Great Blasket Island. She is co-producer of “The Crest,” a documentary film about the King and his descendants. She has taught literature and writing in the United States and France. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the King.

Gerald Hayes is the son-in-law of Michael Carney, a Blasket-born Springfield resident who died in late August at the age of 94. In 2013, Hayes and Carney co-authored “From the Great Blasket to America: The Last Memoir by an Islander,” which tells of Carney’s own life voyage from the Great Blasket to Springfield. Hayes is a retired vice president of Westfield State University in Westfield.

Hayes and Kane will speak about their book, which has been published by The Collins Press of Cork, Ireland. Autographed copies will be on sale at the event.

From the book:

“There is something magical about the notion of a King on a small isolated island. Few would look at the ruins on the Great Blasket and imagine a King had lived there. Yet the King was a very forceful presence on this island. The last was Pádraig Ó Catháin, known as ‘Peats Mhicí,’ who served for about twenty-five years until his death in 1929. To the islanders, he was arguably the most important citizen and was the central figure on the island during its literary flowering. He helped the slanders navigate through life and national and world events such as the 1916 Rising and The Great War. He collaborated with the other ‘elders’ in planning the transfer of ownership of the island from the Earl of Cork to the Congested Districts Board in 1907 and, in turn, to the islanders themselves. They also participated in the reorganization of the field system between 1907 and 1917.

This is the first account of the King’s extraordinary life, written in collaboration with his descendants in the USA and Ireland. It tells of the very special, unique man, his many contributions to the island and his extended legacy.”

Please join us for this enlightening and entertaining event.

In Irish, the phrase “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam,” means “A country without a language is a country without a soul.” For centuries, the Irish language in Ireland was suppressed and diminished, but it was never completely eradicated. As a way to preserve the culture and to connect to the soul of Ireland and our ancestors, many people both in Ireland and also around the world study the Irish language.

To that end, the Irish Cultural Center and Elms College are pleased to offer a range of Irish classes for the 2015/2016 academic year. In addition, this partnership is again successful in bringing to campus our sixth consecutive Irish Language Fulbright Teaching Assistant, Síle Dolan, who has a B.A. in Irish and French from National University of Ireland in Galway and has completed her work for a M.A. in Irish Language from University College Dublin. She brings a great deal of talent, enthusiasm, and experience and will help us showcase and develop the language in our community.

Síle will teach a Novice class for credit on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. She will also teach the Intermediate class, which may be taken on a credit or non-credit basis. This meets on Wednesday evenings.

In addition, members of the ICC will instruct non-credit course offerings. There will be two sections of First Year Irish, which is designed for those who have no, or very little, knowledge of the language. Gerald Costello, who has participated in Immersion Programs in Kerry and Connemara and has taught Irish at local schools, will teach one section on Tuesday evenings. Kathleen Gilhooly, a recently retired English teacher at Springfield Central High School, an instructor at the ICC’s Lá na Gaeilge and the Celtic Adventures for Kids camp, and who has been studying Irish since 1981, will teach the other First Year Irish section on Thursday nights.

On Monday nights, Chip will teach First Year Irish, Semester Two for those who have had one semester of Irish or its equivalent.

On Saturday mornings, Kathleen will teach Second Year Irish for those who have had one year of Irish or its equivalent.

On Tuesday nights, Tom Moriarty will teach Third Year Irish, a course designed for those who have had two or more years of Irish but are not yet prepared to enroll in the Intermediate class. Tom, a professor emeritus at the Elms and a founding member of the ICC, also began studying Irish in 1981, and has taught Irish for many years. He has participated in Immersion Programs in Kerry and Donegal.

On Friday nights, an informally structured Irish study group for advanced learners meets on a regular basis throughout the year, including summers. This group has been meeting since 1984, with various members, and is always eager to welcome new participants.

The ICC does have funds that have been provided by donations in memory of John Johnson. If you are aware of anyone who would like to study the language and might need some assistance, please call the ICC at 413-265-2537 for details.

If you have any comments or suggestions, or would like to become a member of the Irish Language subcommittee of the ICC, please contact,, or

We look forward to seeing you this fall!
ICC members receive a discount on class tuition.

Learn more about each class and download the registration form.
Or call the Registrar’s office at 413-265-2314.

ICC New Sign and Location

The Irish Cultural Center is pleased to announce its new future location at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, MA. It is the former home of the Elks Lodge. The ICC has signed a twenty-year lease with the City of West Springfield, and in due time will be moving to its new location. View photos from the official lease signing ceremony on July 28, 2015.

ICC President Sean F. Cahillane said the Irish cultural organization is thrilled to have a new home with room to hold lectures and concerts, sports events, meetings, as well as an ICC museum and library. Since it began in 1999, the ICC has been based out of the Elms College in Chicopee, MA, hosting events there and at various other locations, and recently struggling for space as the college continues its own expansion.

“The West Springfield property is the perfect space for us. We have been looking for some time for a suitable property that we can call home, and that can meet all of our needs,” Cahillane said. “This is clearly it. We’re happy to be working with the City of West Springfield on our new location.”

Cahillane said the ICC will continue its strong collaboration with the Elms, including offering Irish language classes this year, with a sixth consecutive Irish Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant.

President Sister Mary Reap, IHM. Ph.D., says “The community of the College of Our Lady of the Elms is delighted to learn that the Irish Cultural Center has acquired a new home in West Springfield. We have been very happy to house the offices on our campus for many years. But, we are also very pleased that the membership and activities have grown to a level where more space is sorely needed. Our partnership will continue just as it has continued with the Polish Center that also began on the campus and moved to larger space as it grew. We look forward to this next phase of development for the Center and for the additional ways in which the Irish culture, so important to our history, can be passed on to future generations.”

The lease on the property, which includes a two-story building and 27 acres with parking lots and ball fields, is the culmination of an extensive search of dozens of alternative sites examined over the course of the last 12 months.

Rose Baker, an ICC board member who lives in West Springfield, said the new space would serve as a vehicle to highlight the area’s rich Irish culture. “This location will allow the ICC to offer a collaborative, unique space where people can come together to celebrate and promote the Irish culture and heritage,” Baker said. “As a resident of West Springfield, the City provides an extremely supportive community that embraces the development of long-term relationships.”

The ICC’s name is also changing to the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, to reflect the broadened scope of their mission and membership. The new facility and name change are the culmination of two years of strategic planning.

Mayor of West Springfield, Ed Sullivan, said he is delighted the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England has chosen West Springfield as its home. “I believe this will be a great partnership and I am looking forward to the Center becoming an integral part of the fabric of our community and region. I look forward to the opportunities the Center will provide to educate others on the rich history of the Irish both in the United States and Europe. May the great luck of the Irish be with the Center for decades to come.”

The ICC will soon launch a capital campaign to raise funds for the refurbishment of the building. During this process, the ICC will move forward, expanding event offerings, community outreach and member benefits, thus fulfilling the promise of keeping the Irish arts alive.

The Irish Cultural Center was established in 1999 to foster an appreciation of Irish culture in Western New England. The mission of the Irish Cultural Center is to cultivate a connection with Ireland, through the arts, culture, history, language, and heritage. The Center offers opportunities to engage in educational, travel, and social events that promote Irish culture.

The Irish Cultural Center is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable cultural organization.

We at the Irish Cultural Center are celebrating over fifteen years of following our mission of keeping the Irish arts alive with the various events we offer throughout each year – from speakers to films, from concerts with exciting new musicians to our annual Christmas with an Irish Touch celebration, from Celtic Adventures for Kids to Irish Language classes and group cultural visits to Ireland. In everything we do, we strive to provide our members and the general public with many varied events.

This summer, we are proud to showcase traditional and popular Celtic music with our Summer Concert Series. We have lined up three shows with highly acclaimed performers who represent the best of the Celtic music world, from masterful trad to dynamic, original tunes. This type of connected event series is a first for us, and such a musical celebration continues our mission of promoting the Irish arts by bringing new music to the community.

The series will include Canadian Celtic group Searson on July 11, eclectic fiddle
and folk with House of Hamill on July 19, and an Irish trad trio with Matt Molloy of The Chieftains on August 9. We encourage you to visit the links above to learn more about these world-class performers.

We are offering sponsorship opportunities for the entire Summer Concert Series. Sponsors’ logos will be displayed prominently on signage at all three shows, and will be linked on our website with each event listing. Sponsors will also receive complimentary tickets to each show. We hope you will be interested in supporting us in this ambitious undertaking. Kindly complete the information on the enclosed form and return it along with your payment to the Irish Cultural Center by July 8. The Irish Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organization. Download the sponsorship form here.

We thank you in advance for supporting us.

Sean F. Cahillane
Board of Directors