Irish History Course “Christmas in Ireland”

The Irish Cultural Center is linking up with Irish historian, Sean Murphy, to introduce our community to live, weekly online Irish history courses. The courses will be presented using Zoom. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, no problem. Sean will contact you directly and assist you to get connected.

This December, Sean presents one two-week course, Christmas in Ireland. The presentation includes a history of the emergence of the Christian annual celebration in Ireland.  It explains how some of the pre-Christian pagan traditions in Ireland were incorporated into the Christian celebration and maintained to this day. Characters such as Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, and Father Christmas, as well as traditions surrounding Christmas are also examined such as “decorations,” “Women’s Christmas,” “The Wren Boys,” legends and superstitions, and gift giving. The presentation includes multi-media coverage of some Christmas activities that take place in Ireland to create a holiday friendly atmosphere. Takes place on Thursdays, December 10 and 17, at 7:00 pm. Download course flyer. 

The enrollment fee is $40. Courses will be presented on Zoom using PowerPoint. Each student will receive an electronic copy of each presentation. The classes are one and a half hour long to allow adequate time for questions and answers.

To Enroll
Please contact Sean directly for information or to enroll in his course(s) – send an email to or call 508-790-0438.  

About Sean Murphy
Sean Murphy was born and reared 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 worked as a math teacher in public schools until he retired in 2017.

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.

Since the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic he has been presenting his courses online using Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook. He has recently decided to offer online Tin Whistle classes at the Nantucket Community and Music School.

His interest in Irish history and culture stems from his involvement in a wide range of community activities in Ireland starting in the late ’60’s. In 1998 he was elected as the representative of the community and voluntary sector on the Dublin City Development Board that produced the strategic Plan “Dublin: A City of Possibilities 2001-2012.”

In 2014 and 2019 he was awarded the Thomas P McCann “Altruism Award” trophy by the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Day Committee for his “support and commitment to the Culture and Heritage of Ireland and its people.”

He leads a traditional Irish music session in O’Shea’s Old Inne in West Dennis every Sunday night.

He speaks on Irish cultural and historic issues at libraries, and at private and community events across the Cape and beyond.

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