Thanks to everyone who joined the ICC over St. Patrick’s week and on March 17. We marched in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade and welcomed Congressman Richard Neal for his annual gathering after the parade. 

See more photos in our Facebook gallery >

St. Patrick's Day 2024
Clockwise: Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade with the Springfield Rifles Rugby Club; ICC Co-Vice President Kevin O’Connor, Cesar Ruiz, Congressman Richard Neal, ICC President Sean Cahillane, ICC board member Will Carey; The YankCelt Band; Attorney General of Ireland Rossa Fanning.

Trinity Pub fireplace
We have a full lineup of events here at the Trinity Pub to celebrate St. Patrick’s Week. We strongly recommend making a reservation if you plan on dining with us on March 16 – please call 413-342-4358. 

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13
• 6:30 PM Cassin Academy of Irish Dance
• 7 PM Trad Irish Music Session

THURSDAY MARCH 14
• 5:30 PM ICC Book Club
• 6:30 PM Pop Up Gaeltacht

FRIDAY MARCH 15
5:30 PM YankCelt Band SOLD OUT
Pub will be closed to the public. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

SATURDAY MARCH 16
The Trinity Pub is open from 12:30 – 10 pm. The Irish House Restaurant serves a special menu from 2 – 9 pm.
• 12:45 PM Six Nations Rugby: Ireland vs Scotland
• 3–6 PM Below the Gaff
• 4 PM Six Nations Rugby: France vs England
• 8–10 PM Jimmy McArdle and Jerry Murphy

The Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub is closed to the public on March 17 for a private event.

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 March 2024 is The Tudor Conquest of Ireland. Takes place on Thursdays, March 7, 14, 21 & 28 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 February 2024 is County Leitrim. Takes place on Thursdays, March 7, 14, 21 & 28 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.

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, March 14 from 5:30–6:30 pm at the ICC. 

We are reading The Parish and the Hill by Mary Doyle Curran. 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 >

The Parish and the HillAbout The Parish and the Hill
Told from the vantage point of a young woman who grows to maturity in a New England mill town in the 1920s, The Parish and the Hill portrays three generations of an Irish immigrant family in their urge to negotiate multiple identities. Mary O’Connor is the product of a family and a town divided by the conflicting values of the “shanty” and “lace-curtain” Irish. 

Originally published in 1948, The Parish and the Hill is now identified as one of the finest works of Irish American fiction, and one of the first to explore Irish life from a woman’s point of view. Brilliant and powerful on the themes of alienation, social class, and alcoholism, the novel offers complex and unforgettable portraits of the love between grandfather and granddaughter, mother and children, sister and brother. (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
April 11: Philadelphia, Here I Come by Brian Friel
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

The ICC held our annual Feast of St. Brigid Raffle Drawing on February 1, 2024. It was a fun and festive evening as everyone gathered to celebrate being together and hear the winners announced, and the Cassin Academy of Irish Dance joined us to celebrate. Thank you to all our ICC volunteers, board members, and staff who worked so hard to sell tickets throughout the year! And thanks to everyone who purchased tickets to support our non-profit mission and ICC travel.

Winners were drawn for the first prize trip for two to Ireland or $5,000; the second prize 14k gold St. Brigid’s Cross pendant from Brian de Staic Jewellers; and two $100 gift certificates to the Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub. Congratulations to Cathy Belisle of Southwick who won the trip; and to Meg Munroe of Holyoke who won the pendant.

We were happy to see so many people join us in our workshop on St. Brigid’s Day. Special thanks to illustrator and Irish arts/history enthusiast Kathleen Joss who guided participants through a session of making a traditional St. Brigid’s Cross.

See more photos in our Facebook gallery >

St. Brigid Raffle Drawing 2024

Six Nations Rugby on TV

Guinness Six Nations Rugby is back at the Trinity Pub! The Springfield Rifles Rugby Club and the ICC continue our tradition of hosting viewing parties for select matches during the tournament on our big screen tv.

The Trinity Pub will be open for all matches. Pizza will be provided by Springfield Rifles Rugby Club (excluding February 2 and March 16).

FRIDAY • FEBRUARY 2
France vs Ireland @ 3 pm

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 3
Wales vs Scotland @ 11:45 am
France vs Ireland @ 1 pm (replay)

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 10
England vs Wales @ 11:45 am

SATURDAY • FEBRUARY 24
Ireland vs Wales @ 9:15 am
Scotland vs England @ 11:45 am
Ireland vs Wales @ 1 pm (replay)

SATURDAY • MARCH 9
England vs Ireland @ 11:45 am

SATURDAY • MARCH 16
Ireland vs Scotland @ 12:45 pm
France vs England @ 4 pm

Guinness Pairing Dinner

The Irish Cultural Center’s Trinity Pub bar now opens at 2:30 pm on Fridays to celebrate the end of the work week. Perfect for teachers or anyone who needs a cozy pub to relax in on a Friday afternoon. Select appetizers are available.

The bar opens at 4 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Irish House Restaurant serves dinner from 5–9 pm Wednesday through Saturday.

St. Brigid Raffle - Dingle and St. Brigid Cross

The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England celebrates St. Brigid’s Day with a raffle drawing and craft workshop on Thursday, February 1.

The Feast of St. Brigid Raffle Drawing has a first prize of a trip for two on an ICC group tour to Ireland OR $5,000 cash! Learn more >

The Trinity Pub bar will open at 4 pm, with dinner service from 5–9 pm. The Cassin Academy of Irish Dance joins us for a performance at 6:30 pm.

The raffle event will begin at 7 pm with welcomes from ICC officials and our Fulbright Irish language teacher, followed by the drawings. (If you are planning on dinner, please help us plan ahead by making a reservation and call 413-342-4358.)

Those who attend will receive a free ticket for a chance to win one of two $100 gift certificates to the ICC’s Irish House Restaurant. You must be present to win one of these prizes. Cannot be used on the night of the drawing. 

The St. Brigid’s Cross workshop takes place from 6–8 pm; drop in any time. Illustrator and Irish arts/history enthusiast Kathleen Joss guides participants through a session of making a traditional St. Brigid’s Cross with pipe cleaners. All ages are welcome; we request that children under 10 years old have adult supervision.

Raffle First Prize
Winner may choose an all expenses paid trip for two people on a group tour to Ireland hosted by the ICC OR a $5,000 cash prize. Tour destinations and schedules are currently to be determined. Trips run approximately ten days. Prize is transferable to another party. 

Raffle Second Prize
A 14 karat gold St. Brigid’s Cross Pendant designed and crafted by renowned Dingle, Ireland jeweler Brian de Staic. Retail value €699.

St. Brigid Raffle tickets must be purchased by 6:30 pm on February 1. Cost is $20 per ticket. Cash, check or credit card accepted. Please call 413-333-4951 or visit the ICC to purchase tickets. Download printable order form.

February 1 is Lá Fhéile Bríde, or St. Brigid’s Day. It’s also Imbolc, the Celtic festival celebrating the beginning of spring and the returning of light. The St. Brigid’s Cross was traditionally woven from rushes, and used to keep houses safe from evil when hung above the door.

The Great Blasket Island is accepting applications for its caretaker role ahead of the 2024 season. Billy O’Connor and Alice Hayes, who own the holiday cottages and coffee shop on the Great Blasket Island off the coast of Co Kerry, seek two people who are “hardworking, responsible, and trustworthy” and “have great people skills and initiative” for the caretaker role.

The deadline to apply is January 18. Learn more about the position and application process >

The caretaker role for the couple runs from April 1 through October 1, and includes managing the coffee shop and the four holiday cottages. The living is simple – there is no electricity or hot running water on the island. Staff sleep above the coffee shop and share the main bedroom (hence why looking for a couple) and use the coffee shop kitchen and toilets as their own. Laundry will be collected and washed on the mainland, and food shops will be delivered daily. Billy and Alice caution: “Please be aware this is not a holiday job. The season can get very busy and you will be on your feet for most of the day.”

The Great Blasket Island has a deep connection to the Springfield, MA area. The vast majority of emigrants from the island settled in this area, and formed a tight communities where Irish was still spoken. To this day, this area maintains its connection to the Great Blasket and Ireland in general, with the Irish language continuing to be taught and spoken, and Irish culture continuing to be celebrated.

ICC President Sean Cahillane encourages people in our community to think about applying. “I ask people from Western New England to apply for this adventure of a lifetime, if Dingle and the Basket Islands are near and dear to them.”

Learn more about Springfield’s connection to the Great Blasket Island >

Great Blasket Island
The Great Blasket Island. Photo by Kathleen Doe. 

The Irish Cultural Center is linking 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 February 2024 is The Norman Conquest of Ireland. Takes place on Thursdays, February 8, 15, 22 & 29 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 February 2024 is County Dublin. Takes place on Thursdays, February 8, 15, 22 & 29 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.