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.

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,


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.

Giving TuesdayThe Irish Cultural Center is participating in GivingTuesday this November 29! This global movement of generosity allows non-profits to join together and raise funds for the causes that matter to them. Please consider making a donation to the ICC on November 29 – you can also make a donation early starting November 22 and it will be scheduled to count for the GivingTuesday total.

This is a time of great opportunity, progress and growth for the Irish Cultural Center. We have moved to the former Elks Lodge property at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, allowing us to expand our program offerings for our Patrons and the community. Our new home provides 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 restaurant and 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. You are also supporting the Irish arts in our community. We value your contribution and thank you for your support!

Eileen Markey

*Please note venue change! Event will now be held at the Collegian Court in Chicopee.*
Springfield native and investigative journalist Eileen Markey will read from and discuss her new book, A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sr. Maura at the Collegian Court Restaurant, 89 Park Street in Chicopee, MA on Saturday, November 26 at 2:00 pm.

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.

Markey’s book focuses on the life of Maryknoll Sister Maura Clarke, one of four American women – three of them Roman Catholic nuns – who were brutally murdered in El Salvador in December 1980. News of the killing shocked the American public and set off a decade of debate over Cold War policy in Latin America. But as Congress held hearings, the State Department, CIA and FBI traded memos, and supporters held emotional memorial services, the women themselves became symbols, shorn of context and background: hapless victims.

Eileen Markey A Radical FaithDrawing on interviews with Maura’s family and the people she loved and worked with, her letters, and still heavily-redacted government documents, Markey followed the trail of Maura’s life through four countries: from the sweeping green fields of her parents’ Ireland where her father’s involvement in the Irish revolution shaped her own ideas about rebellion; to the boardwalk and sidewalks of Rockaway, New York; to a remote gold mining town in the mountains of Nicaragua; down rutted, washed out roads in El Salvador to villages where survivors whispered the atrocities of civil war—and finally to the place where Maura’s body was buried in a hastily dug grave at the edge of the Cold War.

How did a sweet girl from Queens end up in a place like this? A RADICAL FAITH answers the question, weaving an intimate portrait of Maura’s spiritual and political journey.

Working in poor communities transformed Maura from an obedient and rule-bound young woman into a provocative critic of authority who pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be faithful to religious conviction—even if it meant challenging the CIA-backed regimes terrorizing the poor of Latin America.

In examining the forces that shaped Maura’s life, Markey was able to look closely at the inheritance of Irish nationalism, the immigrant experience in New York, the Cold War, the adaptations of the Catholic Church at Vatican II and the social and political movements that convulsed Central America in the 1970s and 1980s. Maura was shaped by each of these and is remembered with pride and affection by those who knew and worked with her- especially in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Her story continues to be relevant as the crimes of the 1980s in Central America begin to be prosecuted, the fall-out of those wars continue to reverberate in current immigration patterns, as Americans continue to grapple with the role of faith in public life and as we all negotiate a world of distraction and fear. Maura paid attention. She sincerely followed the very radical commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. I’ve tried to tell her story fully, with nuance and care so that this icon some of us know from prayer cards becomes a real woman again.

Markey grew up in Springfield, one of seven children of ICC members Martin and Sally Markey. Her investigative reporting work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, the Village Voice, the National Catholic Reporter and American Magazine. She has worked for WNYC and was a contributing editor at City Limits.

She has reported from Cambodia, Haiti, and London, and cut her teeth covering crime and corruption in Paterson, New Jersey.

She is a graduate of Fordham University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in the Bronx with her husband and two sons.

ONCE The MusicalONCE the musical is coming to the UMassAmherst Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 1. Please join the ICC on a bus trip to see this truly original Broadway experience and winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, ONCE tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. It’s an unforgettable story about going for your dreams, not living in fear, and the power of music to connect all of us. With our bus trip, you don’t need to worry about driving, parking or a long cold walk from the parking lot – you are dropped off right at the FAC door.

Tickets: $72 ICC Patrons, $75 General. The price includes the round trip bus, show ticket and driver gratuity. The bus will leave at 6:00 pm from the ICC at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield. Parking is available. The performance begins at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are limited, order early! Please order by November 28. Makes a great early Christmas gift! For information and to order tickets, please call the ICC at 413-333-4951. Or download and mail in the order form.

If you reserve a ticket and are then unable to attend, please call or text 413-896-4604 to let us know so the bus is not held up.

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 30 at 10:00 am at the Yankee Pedlar in Holyoke. Tickets: $20 ICC Patrons and $23 General. They will not be sold at the door; please call the ICC for more info or to reserve your place at a table: 413-333-4951. Or download and mail in the order form.

Dr. Mary C. Kelly, our featured speaker, will present “Empowering Exile: Irish-American Intellectual Culture from the Great Famine to the 1916 Rising.” Dr. Kelly will explore key aspects of the Irish-American nationalist tradition between the Famine and 1916.

Dr. Kelly is a historian of the Irish-American immigrant experience and its transatlantic foundations. She graduated from National University of Ireland, Galway, with a Modern Irish History M.A., and from Syracuse University with a Ph.D. in Modern American History. She is Professor of History at Franklin Pierce University, NH, where she has taught for almost two decades. Since publishing The Shamrock and the Lily: The New York Irish and the Creation of a Transatlantic Identity, 1845-1921 (2005), she has pursued themes of identity and transatlantic connections in Irish-American history. Her latest book is Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). Dr. Kelly continues to explore the nexus of faith and politics in current research on Irish-American involvement with 1916 and the 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.

Aideen HenryIrish writer Aideen Henry will be discussing and reading from her literary works on Saturday, October 15 at 2:00 pm at the Collegian Court Restaurant, 89 Park Street in Chicopee, MA. This event is free and open to the public. 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.

Aideen Henry lives in Galway and is a writer and a physician. She has published short fiction and poetry.

Her short stories were shortlisted for the Francis McManus Award in Ireland in 2011, 2012 & 2015. Her debut collection of short stories, Hugging Thistles, was published with Arlen House in 2013.

Her debut collection of poetry, Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2010 and she was shortlisted for the Hennessy XO Literary Awards for poetry. Her second poetry collection, Slow Bruise, was published with Salmon Poetry in 2015.

She has been awarded a Literature Bursary by the Irish Arts Council and has been writer in residence at the Heinrich Boll Cottage, Achill Island and at Áras Éanna, Inis Oirr, Aran Islands. Her work has been published in literary journals in Ireland, the UK and the US.

1916 The Irish Rebellion

*Update – this event is sold out. Thank you for your interest.* Please join us for this special event – a screening of the feature-length (86 minutes) version of the documentary 1916 The Irish Rebellion, followed by a panel discussion. Wednesday, September 28 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the Alumni Library Theater at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. This event is free and open to the public, but reservations in advance are required. Please RSVP here.

Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, 1916 The Irish Rebellion tells the dramatic story of the events that took place in Dublin during Easter of 1916. The documentary features a combination of rarely seen archival footage, new segments filmed on location worldwide, and interviews with leading international experts. The documentary is an initiative of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Panelists include:

• Christopher Fox (Executive Producer for Notre Dame of the documentary), Professor of English and Director, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame.

• Bríona Nic Dhíarmada (Originator, Creator, Producer and Executive Producer of the documentary), Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Professor of Irish Studies and Concurrent Professor of Film, Television and Theater, University of Notre Dame.

• Dr. Damien Murray PhD (Associate Professor of History at Elms College).

Event Hosts/Sponsors:
Elms College, Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Holyoke St Patrick’s Parade Committee.

When: Where: Alumni Library Theater, Elms College, 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA 01013

Please RSVP here.


*Please note* – Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel the bus trip to Boston on September 10. We still plan on running day trips like this in the future; stay tuned for new news.

The Irish Cultural Center is sponsoring a bus trip to Boston on Saturday, September 10, 2016. It’s Boston on your own! Perhaps visit Fenway Park for a tour, or follow the Freedom Trail, or stroll around Fanueil Hall Marketplace. Plenty of time to visit Boston’s favorite places and have lunch or dinner! A list of things to do in Boston will be provided.