The Kansas City Irish Fest kicks off its annual Labor Day weekend party from Aug. 30 to Sept.1 at Crown Center in downtown Kansas City with a lineup that showcases the very best in contemporary and traditional Irish music along with terrific dancing performances and hilarious comedy acts.

This year’s festival will feature a new addition – the Emerald Club – that will give you comfortable shade and seating for a great view of the Boulevard Stage acts. The Emerald Club ticket gets you into to the Emerald Club at the day and time of your choosing, a general admission ticket, two drink tickets and access to a private restroom trailer. Early tickets sales for the Emerald Club will start at $60 at kcirishfest.com

DATES, TIMES AND TICKET PRICES
Friday, Aug. 30, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 31, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept 1, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Discount adult tickets single-day admission: $15 from 10 a.m. Monday April 8 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday April 14.
Adult tickets single-day admissions: $20 through July 31, $30 through Aug. 29 and $35 starting Friday, Aug. 30.
Adult weekend passes (3 days): $55 through July 31, $70 through Aug. 30.
Tickets are available on-line at kcirishfest.com
Details about tickets for Whiskey Tastings, Comedy performances, the Irish Breakfast and Special Experiences will be available at a later date on kcirishfest.com

FANTASTIC LINEUP
We are excited about our returning musical performers and talented new acts. Festival favorite – The Elders – will perform as well as headliners Gaelic Storm and Doolin’. Other notables include Mundy, Hermitage Green, Screaming Orphans, Siomha and Gadan featuring Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3. We welcome newcomers: Corner Boy, Reverie Road, Ally the Piper and Colm & Laura Keegan. Our local favorites include: Carswell & Hope who will lead an energetic Mix Tape performance, and Ashley Davis, Eddie Delahunt & Friends, Flannigan’s Right Hook, St. Andrew Pipes and Drums, Irish dancing groups and many other acts. Comedians Katie Boyle and Ger Staunton will perform Saturday and Sunday nights. A complete list of performers is on-line at kcirishfest.com

The Kansas City Irish Fest is dedicated to the preservation of Kansas City’s and the Midwest’s Irish heritage. Fans can follow the Fest on Facebook and Instagram.   

By Emmett Fitzpatrick

In the early 1980s, when teenager Christine O’Reilly-Riordan visited Comiskey Park to inquire about a summer job with the White Sox, she received a warm welcome from none other than Mr. White Sox, Minnie Miñoso, who, as Christine describes, “literally opened the door for me” to begin what has become a decades-long career with the organization. But to trace the origins of Christine’s success as Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Chicago White Sox Charities, one must go farther back in time to Ireland, where her paternal grandparents were born.

“We Considered Ourselves Irish. It Started and Ended There.”

Christine’s grandfather hailed from Cork, served in the British Navy, and emigrated to the United States around the age of 20, ending up, like so many Irish, in Chicago. There, he met Christine’s grandmother, who had recently emigrated from County Mayo and briefly stopped in New York before moving to Chicago with her brother.

“My grandpa had that thick Cork brogue,” Christine recalls, “so thick that visitors to our house would often ask me, ‘what did he just say’?”

Growing up in Mount Greenwood in an Irish Catholic family – Christine is one of six children – she remembers nearly everyone in her neighborhood being at least partially Irish. As she reflects, “we considered ourselves Irish, and it started and ended there.”

If being Irish was one hallmark of the legacy her parents and grandparents left on Christine, their dedication to service was another. Her father served as a Chicago Police Officer and her mother was a nurse, and Christine originally planned to serve as a special education teacher upon graduation from Illinois State University in 1983. Instead, she accepted a full-time job in the White Sox promotions department, figuring it would be a fun experience, particularly given that the team was ready to host the 50th anniversary of the All Star Game that year.

“I kept renewing my teacher’s license year after year because I never thought my job with the White Sox would be forever,” Christine acknowledges. 

She is now in her 42nd year with the team.

Remarkable Impact

The impact she has helped make over those 42 years is nothing short of remarkable. In her role, she oversees the team’s charitable giving, and since the founding of Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC), the organization has donated $47 million to nonprofit and social service agencies. She is also instrumental in the White Sox organization’s investment in youth baseball development in Chicago’s under-resourced neighborhoods, with more than $680,000 in annual funding serving hundreds of young people on the baseball field and in the classroom.

Ask Christine about the greatest impact she has helped to make during her time with the White Sox, however, and she will not focus solely on the numbers, though they are impressive. Rather, she will share one of the myriad stories of how she, on behalf of the White Sox, has facilitated special experiences for fans who are experiencing difficult life challenges. She references one example of organizing a special spring training outing in Arizona for the family of Andrew Weishar, a Brother Rice alum who was studying at Illinois Wesleyan University when he was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Andrew ultimately passed away, and his family started a charity supporting young people with cancer; Chicago White Sox Charities continues to provide funding and other support for the family and the organization.

“My job is personal to me,” Christine says, and notes how she views her work as an extension of her Irish heritage.

Sox Side Irish

Christine does not shy away from highlighting the lasting connection between the White Sox and Irish Chicago – particularly the South Side Irish:

“Chicago is such a neighborhood city. You ask each other, ‘Where are you from?’ ‘What parish are you from? With the team being situated on the South Side, which has historically been home to so many Irish Catholics, there’s a sense of ownership between the community and the team, and vice versa. That bond was created when the team was establishing itself on the South Side, and even though many families have moved away, we take that pride, that connection, with us wherever we go. The team has also had that blue collar mentality, that emphasis on grit, and when I think of my extended Irish family, we feel that way about ourselves. There’s an undeniable connection with the White Sox. It’s almost genetic.”

Dual Legacies

Christine made her first trip to Ireland to visit her daughter – one of her two children – who was studying at Maynooth University, and immediately fell in love with not only the beauty of the country, but the beauty of the people. She recalls meeting different people on her trip and experiencing the familiar culture of storytelling that she recognized from her father and grandfather. One conversation with Christine will confirm that she is carrying on that tradition of storytelling as well.

Christine’s legacy, much like her life’s work, is felt in the two communities she has called home: Irish Chicago and the White Sox organization. She recently welcomed her second grandchild, and she admits to “getting choked up” out of pride and happiness that her daughter and son-in-law chose an Irish name for the little one, ensuring that the sense of Irish-ness will continue in future generations. For the White Sox, she wants people to believe in the heart and soul of the organization, acknowledging the dedication of Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in making the team’s charitable and community accomplishments possible.

Christine sums up the legacy she would like to leave at the intersection of 35th and Shields succinctly: “If people see the positive, compassionate side of the White Sox through the work that I’ve been doing, that would be a ‘wow’ for me. That would be good.”

What the Tide Leaves Behind,” published by Dunnybegs Press, is a heartwarming tale about the power of community that will appeal to lovers of Ireland, dogs, and small town charm. 

The story follows the journey of Thomas McKay, as he finds himself tending to his late mother’s cottage along the remote, wind-scoured Donegal coast and trying to connect with her enigmatic border collie. As he adjusts to life in the small village of Dunnybegs, he discovers the rhythm of the community, filled with colorful characters and a rich archaeological history.



So begins a year of self-discovery, as Thomas forms a deep bond with the dog and through her, learns to really see the world. On their long walks across Donegal, he becomes a keen observer of the area, documenting the pair’s adventures through photography. Their story gains international attention on social media, turning them into local celebrities and embroiling them in a battle over the future of Killfish Bay, the small cove near Dunnybegs. There is an American corporation eying the bay and an offer has been made on the cottage. Thomas may have finally found his place in the world, but will he lose it all?

“What the Tide Leaves Behind” is a heartwarming tale of personal growth, the authentic charm of small communities and the enduring bond between man and dog. The novel explores themes of community, connection, and the transformative power of unexpected companionship.

BUY BOOK HERE!


About the Author
The novel is Malcolm McDowell Woods first published work of fiction. He is currently a freelance editor and writer living in Bay View, Wisconsin. 

He formerly worked at Carroll University as a writer and editor and worked for many years for Outpost Natural Foods as an editor for the Exchange Magazine and then Graze quarterly. He previously co-authored the book, Irish Wit and Wisdom, was managing editor of the former Irish American Post magazine, and a recipient of the Milwaukee County Arts Fellowship Individual Arts grant for Fiction Writing.

“What the Tide Leaves Behind” is available in print and ebook editions and can be ordered through local independent bookstores or through online book sellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Northlight Theatre continues 2023-2024 season with the Rolling World Premiere of Brooklyn Laundry
By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones
 
Featuring Sandra Delgado, Marika Mashburn,
Mark Montgomery, and Cassidy Slaughter-Mason
 
April 11-May 12, 2024
 
Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2023–2024 season with the rolling world premiere of Brooklyn Laundry by John Patrick Shanley, the Pulitzer, Tony, and Oscar-award winning author of Moonstruck, Doubt,and Outside Mullingar. Brooklyn Laundry runs April 11-May 12, 2024, at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd in Skokie. The press opening is Friday, April 19, 2024 at 7:30pm.
Fran is broke and chronically single. Owen has a bad back and a lot of baggage. And then he asks her out. They might be just what each other needs… but life still has some savage tricks in store. At turns funny and tragic, this new play takes a fresh look at relationships, family, and surprising second chances.
 
“Life is hard. And life is hilarious,” says Artistic Director BJ Jones. “John Patrick Shanley's plays have always brought seemingly little lives into close-up, throwing life’s larger challenges at them to examine their strength and courage under duress. In Brooklyn Laundry, Fran and Owen are middle aged people who are struggling with challenges in their life. I think the play is exhorting all of us to carry on and to trust that the human spirit is indomitable.”
 
Brooklyn Laundry features Sandra Delgado (Susie), Marika Mashburn (Trish), Mark Montgomery (Owen), and Cassidy Slaughter-Mason (Fran).
 
The creative team includes Jeffrey Kmiec (set design), Izumi Inaba (costume design), JR Lederle (light design), Lindsay Jones (original music and sound design), and Katie Klemme(stage manager).
 
Northlight's production of Brooklyn Laundry is supported in part by Paul Epner and Janet Gans Epner, Donna and Gene Frett, Nan Greenough, and Blythe McGarvie.
 
About the Artists
 
John Patrick Shanley (Playwright) is from The Bronx. His plays include Prodigal Son, Outside Mullingar (Tony nomination), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Savage in Limbo, Italian-American Reconciliation, Welcome to the Moon, Four Dogs and a Bone, Dirty Story, Defiance, and Beggars in the House of Plenty. His theatrical work is performed extensively across the United States and around the world. For his play, Doubt, he received both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the arena of screenwriting, he has ten films to his credit, most recently Wild Mountain Thyme, with Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, and Christopher Walken. His film of Doubt, with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis, which he also directed, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Other films include Five Corners (Special Jury Prize, Barcelona Film Festival), Alive, Joe Versus the Volcano (which he also directed), and Live From Baghdad for HBO (Emmy nomination). For his script of Moonstruck he received both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for best original screenplay. In 2009, The Writers Guild of America awarded Mr. Shanley the Lifetime Achievement In Writing.
 
BJ Jones (Director) is in his 25th season as Artistic Director of Northlight. Mr. Jones is a two-time Joseph Jefferson Award Winning actor and a three-time nominated director. He’s directed the world premieres of Charm (Jeff Award Best New Play), The Outgoing Tide (Jeff Award Best New Play), White Guy on the Bus (Jeff Nominated Best New Play), Chapatti (Nominated Jeff Award Best New Play), Better Late, and Rounding Third. Notably, he has directed productions of Outside Mullingar, Grey Gardens, The Price, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. As a producer he has guided the three world premieres of The Christmas at Pemberley Trilogy (Jeff Award Best New Play), Shining LivesThe Last Five Years, and Studs Terkel’s ‘The Good War’. Additional directorial credits include Pitmen Painters (Timeline, Jeff Award Best Production); 100 Saints You Should Know (Steppenwolf); Glengarry Glen Ross (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Suzi Bass nomination Best Director); The Lady with All the Answers (Cherry Lane, New York); Animal Crackers (Baltimore Center Stage); Three Musketeers, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing (Utah Shakespeare Festival), and four productions at the Galway International Arts Festival. As a performer, he has appeared at Northlight, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court, and other theatres throughout Chicago. Film/TV credits include The Fugitive, Body Double, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Early Edition, Cupid, and Turks, among others.
Sandra Delgado (Susie) is a Colombian-Chicagoan theater artist best known for La Havana Madrid, her hit play with music which will take the stage at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion this summer in a co-production with her artistic homes, Teatro Vista and Collaboraction. As an actress, she’s been on the stages of Steppenwolf, Goodman, Lookingglass, and The Public Theater in New York. Awards include a United States Artist Fellowship, NALAC Grant, Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, 3Arts Award, Joyce Award, TCG Resident Actor Fellowship. Her audioplay, if you belong to me as I belong to you, is on Audible as part of a collaboration with the Oscar-winning film, Women Talking. Her song and story project, The Sandra Delgado Experience, debuted at Joe’s Pub in NY last year and will be back in Chicago this July.
 
Marika Mashburn (Trish) Chicago: Verböten, Death & Harry Houdini, Season on the Line (The House); For Services Rendered (Griffin); The Wooden Breeks (Lookingglass); Regional: Arsht Center (Miami), Milwaukee Rep. TV/Film: Reporting for Christmas, Princess Cyd, Imperfections, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD. Marika was raised in a trailer in an Oklahoma cornfield and is a world traveler, having visited all 50 states and 32 countries on 7 continents, including a year-long stint driving ice road trucks and fronting the continent’s most famous alt-country band, Roll Cage Mary, at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
 
Mark Montgomery (Owen) returns to Northlight where he appeared in Discord, Mansfield Park, Outside Mullingar (Jeff nomination, Best Actor), As Bees in Honey Drown and Experiment with an Air Pump. Other select Chicago credits: 2666, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Camino Real and Stage Kiss(Goodman); Hedda Gabler, The Letters, Buried Child and The Scene (Writers); Agamemnon, Iphigenia in Aulis, and M. Butterfly (Court) and productions with Chicago Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf, Journeymen and Remy Bumppo, among others. New York credits: Mamma Mia! (Broadway), Our Town (Barrow Street), Macbeth (Public). Regional credits: Julius Caesar(American Repertory) as well as the show’s French tour. Television: Law & Order, Chicago Fire and Empire. Film: Candyman.
 
Cassidy Slaughter-Mason (Fran) is an actor and writer based in Chicago. Recent acting credits include: The Luckiest (Raven Theatre, Equity Jeff Award for Best Performer in a Principal Role), How A Boy Falls (Northlight Theatre), Kiss (Haven Theatre), Natural Affection (Eclipse Theatre), Significant Other (Theatre Wit/About Face), Scapegoat (New Colony) and Rapture Blister Burn(Goodman Theatre, Equity Jeff Nomination for actor in a Performer in a Supporting Role). Recent film and TV credits include: All Happy Families, Later Days, Ultra-City Smiths, Chicago Fire, Easy, APB, and Soundtrack. Cassidy is a graduate of the school at Steppenwolf, and a founding ensemble member of One Year Chekhov.

Win A Chicago Home Raffle Announces Grand Prize Winner

Over $500,000 Raised for Sports, Culture, and Heritage Programs at Chicago Gaelic Park 

OAK FOREST, ILLINOIS (April 4, 2024) - Matthew Hearn of Chicago is the Grand Prize Winner of the Win A Chicago Home Raffle, benefiting the charitable arm of Chicago Gaelic Park. WGN-TV reporter, Patrick Elwood, drew the winning ticket number—03263—at the Grand Prize Drawing on March 24, 2024. John Quinn, “Voice of Chicago Gaelic Athletic Association & Chicago Gaelic Park Special Events,” emceed the drawing.

Matthew won the choice of a custom-built 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,800 sq. ft. home located at 10430 S. Sawyer Avenue in Chicago’s Mt. Greenwood neighborhood ($650,000 est. value) or $450,000. After returning from a pre-planned Las Vegas vacation, Matthew and his wife, Jennifer, opted for the $450,000 prize. 

The raffle sold 12,443 tickets. This is the organization’s largest fundraiser since the founding itself of Chicago Gaelic Park, which is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Irish sports, heritage, and culture. The raffle was the brainchild of Board Member John Conroy, who was inspired by house raffles in his native Ireland. Conroy’s hope was to “raise as much money as possible to do up the fields for the kids at Gaelic Park.”

Fellow Board Members Noreen Lennon Hegarty, Maureen Gill O’Regan, and Mark Flynn co-chaired the raffle with Conroy. Mary Redmond and John Quinn of the Chicago Gaelic Athletic Association collaborated closely with them on the raffle’s promotion. The house raffle committee was ably assisted by Chicago Gaelic Park Board President Bill O’Sullivan, staff members, and volunteers.


House Raffle Committee Pictured left to right John Quinn, John Conroy, Maureen O’Regan, Noreen Hegarty, Mark Flynn, Independent Auditor
“We are thrilled for the Hearns and deeply grateful to all who supported this fundraiser! We are on the surefooted path to ensuring Chicagoland youth can share in Ireland’s national games for years to come as well as strengthening our other cultural heritage programs and charitable endeavors.” said Hegarty. 

About Gaelic Park Charities & Chicago Gaelic Park

Gaelic Park Charities is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. It is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Irish heritage and culture. Gaelic Park Charities is the charitable arm of Chicago Gaelic Park, a premier event venue which offers the finest in Irish hospitality, dining, and entertainment for all to enjoy. Chicago Gaelic Park is home to the Chicago Gaelic Athletic Association, Gaelic Park Players Theater Group, Chicago Irish Singers, Traditional Irish Music Session, and Ceili Dance Group and hosts its own Irish cultural heritage events such as Irish Fest, Kids’ Cultural Camp, and Heritage & Harvest Fest. Chicago Gaelic Park is open to the public. Visit www.chicagogaelicpark.com for more information. 

including: Leah Flack, Kate McCabe, and Rebecca Johns Trissler

Roundtable Discussion on Women, Writing and Academic Institutions

Caoilinn Hughes, Novelist & NY Public Library Cullman Fellow, Leah Flack, Marquette University, Kate McCabe, Bog and Thunder, Rebecca Johns Trissler, DePaul University

In celebration of the publication of Irish writer Caoilinn Hughes’s new novel, The Alternatives this roundtable invites a panel of women to discuss sisterhood, precarity, gatekeeping, and the unique joys and challenges women face in academic and creative pursuits.

Inspired by the tale of Hughes’s fictional Flattery sisters, all of whom have PhDs, the panel will feature women from a variety of creative and academic backgrounds: creative writing, food sustainability, and literary scholarship. Grounded in the Irish landscape and looking out to the wider global terrain this discussion will tackle some of the questions raised in The Alternatives including the debates surrounding ecological crisis, sustainability, and humanity’s shared responsibilities to the planet. Audience participation is encouraged but not required!


This event is free, but all participants must register in advance. Space is limited, so please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.

Register Here

About the Irish Studies Seminar

The Newberry Library Irish Studies Seminar brings together scholars to advance understanding of Irish culture both nationally and globally. The Irish Studies Seminar is supported by Mr. and Mrs. William F. Mahoney and Christine and Michael Pope, the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, and the DePaul University Irish Studies Program.

Celebrate with the Erin Rovers as they mark their 50th Anniversary with a Dinner Dance on April 20, 2024 at Gaelic Park, in Oak Forest.

Enjoy a 4-course meal with five hour premium open bar. Black and white attire is encouraged!

For info or tickets contact Peggy Donahue at 708-774-2467, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cocktails at 6pm followed by dinner and dancing. Tickets are $110, and $100 during presale prior to April 8th.

6119 W 147th St., Oak Forest Illinois.

By Ryanne Gallagher- Johnson

Flood Brothers Disposal and Recycling, run by its fifth generation of Flood family members, has been in the garbage hauling business in the Chicagoland area for nearly a century. Their recognizable orange and green trucks can be seen doing the sometimes-forgotten job of hauling away our junk and rubbish, helping us maintain our personal and public environments; the unsung heroes in an industry that most of us give little thought to. They move through our neighborhoods and alleyways every week, emptying bins and dumpsters, removing that burden from the general population. 

Joe, Kevin and Mike Flood

Although this specific endeavor was started by Joe and Mike Flood in 1963, the roots of the company can be traced back to the 1930’s. To fully understand the breadth and depth of the Flood family’s work in our city, to grasp how integral they’ve been within Chicago history, you have to look back in time, to where it all really started.

“My great-grandfather, Thomas Flood, and his wife, Anne Mullen Flood came through Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada,” explains Robert “Bob” Flood, one of the three current partners in the Flood Brothers business, along with his second cousins, brothers Kevin and Bill.

Thomas was born in County Meath, Ireland, and Anne hailed from County Longford. Thomas, after years of selling Irish wool and linens, eventually became Chicago’s first Health Commissioner, as well as opening Flood Brothers Undertaking and Livery Service in the late 1800’s. 

Emmett Flood is 2nd from the left

Bob’s grandfather, Emmet T Flood, partook in the family business for a while, but eventually split off to work for Marshall Fields, as a teamster. During his tenure there, Emmet organized the workers into a union. The taste of fair labor laws and helping his fellow employed people gain their rights turned out to be something that Emmet loved so much, he went on to become an organizer for the American Federation of Labor.

“My grandfather traveled through the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, organizing manufacturers, steel mills, and mining companies from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” says Bob.

But the Great Depression caused a hiccup in his work, as it did for many families at the time. Emmet found himself out of a job, with a wife and eleven children to provide for.

“[He] walked the alleys of Chicago, scrapping and looking for anything of value to support his family,” Bob told attendees at the Irish American Hall of Fame Hometown Heroes celebration in 2017, at which the Flood family was honored. “From there, he went on to establish an ash-hauling business.”

Before laws made it illegal in the mid-1950’s, households in Chicago would burn their trash to get rid of it. Those fires lead to literal tons of ash, which needed to be taken away and safely disposed of. Emmet saw an opportunity, and in 1930, he started the new family business, with one truck and one employee.

Emmet T’s first iteration of what would eventually become Flood Brothers Disposal was successful for a few decades, until, upon his death in the early 1940’s, his wife sold the business. But his children and grandchildren would later go on to restart the company and spend several decades evolving it to fit the needs of the growing Chicagoland area.

From the start of the business that we now know, the rapid growth meant that moving into bigger facilities every so often was a necessity, and they did so many times over the years. While in residence on Kedzie Avenue in late 1977, the entire garage was sadly consumed by a fire.

But they persisted. 

“They had to scramble,” says Bill Flood, one of Bob’s cousins and business partners. “They ran the office out of my Aunt Mary’s house.”

Kevin Flood, Bill’s brother and the third partner in Flood Brothers, elaborates, “My Dad went to Minnesota with three drivers, bought three trucks, and brought them back to my aunt’s house at Monticello and North Avenue, and [re]started the business [there].”

It took a couple of years, but they eventually landed on West Harrison Street in 1979, where their offices and garage are still located today, in addition to a main office in Oakbrook Terrace.

The current three Floods running the business, Bob, Kevin, and Bill, have their own unique stories for how they joined the family garbage disposal company.

Sue and Bob Flood at an Irish Fellowship Luncheon held at the downtown Hilton Hotel

Bob entered the family business in 1972, after venturing out on his own a bit. He graduated from Notre Dame High School, followed by St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine College) in Atchison, Kansas. Originally having visions of becoming a stock broker, he worked on the floor of the Midwest Stock Exchange (now the Chicago Stock Exchange), for the Milwaukee Company, an investment business that operates out of Wisconsin. 

When the draft came up, Bob joined the United States Naval Air Intelligence unit, and by the time he’d gotten out, his goals had changed, as is the case with so many who serve. He no longer wanted to work the stock exchange floor. 

“I interviewed with the US Treasury Department in downtown Chicago, and afterwards, I walked down the street. . . to my cousins’ garage,” he recalls. “There were Mike and Joe, and Emmet [the second, Emmet T’s son], and [we] got into a lengthy discussion. It was kind of exciting, hearing their history being in the garbage business.”

Bob started working part time for his cousins, doing cleanup and other odd jobs. Mike eventually asked if he’d come in and do accounting and work customer service for the business, so Bob went and ran the office and took care of the books.

“All of our accounts were in a little metal index card box. . . That was the extent of [the business],” Bob says. “It was Mike, Emmet, Joe, myself, and four drivers.”

But the time came when Bob wanted more than to be just a worker for his family’s business. His own family was growing, as he’d gotten married to his wife, Sue, and would eventually father seven children.

“There was an opportunity. I bought two days’ worth of a garbage route, and I bought a truck, and went into business for myself, back in about 1973. That was called Sun Disposal. I had a partner, my cousin Mark Garrity, and we built that into a two-truck, 6 day-a-week route. My brother Brian, who works for us still today, was a driver. He now works in the office on Harrison. He was my helper on the truck. [When] Mark wanted to get out of the business. . . I bought him out. And in 1974, Joe, Mike, and Emmet were buying a company called NorthWest Disposal, and asked me if I’d like to merge in and become partners with them. So I came back with them and became a partner, and now I’m a partner with Bill and Kevin. I’m still there after 50-some years.”

Kevin Flood, who is Mike’s son, came into the business a bit earlier in his life than his cousin Bob, but he similarly went off to find his passion before becoming a partner much later.

“When I was eight years old, I’d sleep outside my parents’ bedroom to make sure my Dad took me to work with him in the summertime,” he says. “Growing up, I worked every aspect. I delivered containers, I worked on a garbage truck, I did sales, I did bill collecting.”

Kevin attended St. Mary’s, followed by St. Viator’s, and graduated from Mount Carmel High School. But before heading to a full time university, he went to junior college his freshman year, and then took a year off to work in construction in New York. In 1983 and 1984, he worked on the Statue of Liberty renovation, and saved up enough money to return and attend Marquette, moving on to graduate school at the University of Notre Dame.

“I fully financed my entire education, except grade school. . . Post-college, my father said, ‘Go see the world, go figure out what you want to do,’ and I did that . . . One of my companies, the Astor Company, I founded over thirty years ago. That company is still around today. Kind of an Uber for garbage around the country.”

Among other things, Kevin became interested in real estate, and went to work for various companies in the field. He also ran for 42nd Ward Alderman, and although he lost, he met Mayor Daley and made a strong personal connection.

“We had lunch, and his election is the next election, and they called me to say ‘the Mayor wants you to run the 42nd Ward for him, with voter registration’. So I did. . . And after the Mayor’s race, I said, ‘Listen, if you ever need help with anything, let me know,’” he explains.

Kevin (r) and friends shortly after Mike Flood's passing

Kevin was eventually asked to oversee library constructions, and he took a leave of absence from The Astor Company, during which time his wife took over. His new work included library construction, planning for land and fire, overseeing construction for the Chicago Housing Authority, and overseeing construction at O’Hare and Midway airports.

“My work on behalf of the Mayor let me be a part of the fabric of the city,” he says of his time doing that work.

But he eventually went back to his own company, in 2007, and just over a decade later, in 2018, his parents called and asked him to come back and run Flood Brothers, along with his brother, Bill, and cousin Bob.

Gaelic Park's President, Bill O'Sullivan, and Barney Farelly of Gaelic Park fame, with Bob Flood

“[My parents] were both getting up there, weren’t doing well, and another family member had left the company. . . The timing was right [and] I could do it. I came back, and since then, we’ve put together a nice management team. We’ve doubled the size of the company, we built a transfer station we never had. . . It’s one of the biggest blessings in my life to have spent time back at the company with my father and brother before my Dad passed away.”

During Kevin’s absence, Flood Brothers underwent other exciting changes. In 1988, they expanded with the first automated recycling center, on West Taylor. Flood Brothers became the first fully licensed special waste hauler in Chicago in 1990, and in 1992, their recycling was the first ever to service the initial Chicago Recycling Program for the 12th, 31st, and 41st wards.

In 1993, they got their first residential contract in Oakbrook Terrace. They’d never been in a residential market before, as the contracts were very restricted and the insurance was too high. Contracts were written so that companies had to pick up trash within one to two days, which would have left their trucks sitting the rest of the week. Once they finally snagged the contract, by essentially offering free residential garbage removal indefinitely, while lowering the price for the commercial buildings, they increased their route by 450 homes, plus the surrounding businesses.

In 1995, they launched a container fabrication and repair facility. And in 1996, they opened an additional facility in Carol Stream (floodbrothersdisposal.com).

Bill says that that time in the mid-nineties was their biggest growth. “The Flood Brothers’ expansion out of the city of Chicago.”

Bill, unlike Bob and Kevin, went into the company straight out of high school. He came on when they were operating with ten trucks, total. Starting as a helper, he moved on to become a driver.

“I was the last Flood to drive a truck,” he says. “When I came off the truck in ‘99, it was because we changed software. . . I was kind of self-taught over a couple of years.”   Now, he runs the daily operations of the business, and Flood Brothers runs over 200 trucks.

“I’m not really into titles, per se, but I was given the title of president.”

In over fifty years, they’ve expanded into 240 municipalities and employ approximately 300 people, twenty of which are family members.

Along with service to the community at large through garbage disposal, Flood Brothers also has an extensive history in philanthropy, primarily benefiting Catholic charities and institutions, and children’s organizations.

From their business website page, they explain, “Flood Brothers celebrates and encourages community involvement, investment and volunteerism. Our corporate giving and employee involvement support foundations, organizations, and events that promote green initiatives and make a positive difference in the communities in which we serve.”

floodbrothersdisposal.com

Over the years, they also came up with ways to benefit the schools that they and their kids attended. 

“Back throughout our days, Joe had a clever idea, because his kids were going to Loyola Academy,” Bob says. “We had what was called Ride on the Night Route. This was another charitable contribution that we made, through Loyola Academy, and also Marillac High School in Northfield. . .You get picked up at your house by a limousine, and you get to ride with the garbage man doing our night route in downtown Chicago. They’d bid on it at their auctions. At Loyola, we had people bidding $5,000 to ride on our garbage truck at night. What we did was, throughout the route, we’d have containers full of prizes. . . It became very popular, but it was wearing on us, because we’d have to be downtown from midnight to eight in the morning. The limo would then, at the end of the route, take them to breakfast, and then take them back home.” 

On top of all of this, members of the Flood family have served on boards of schools, are involved with outreach programs, are big in the Chicago Catholic parishes, are involved with foundations, and offer free services to many different organizations.
“We are all involved in the communities in which we live and raise our families, and that is what sets us apart from others,” says Kevin.”We support the Irish American Partnership, Irish Fellowship Club, Irish American Heritage Center, Misericordia, the Ireland Fund, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, and Gaelic Park to name a few.” 

Kevn serves on the boards of the Jesse White Tumblers and After School Matters as well.

They’ve been honored multiple times over, including when Loyola University celebrated Flood Brothers through their business department with the Family Business of the Year award.

“Service was always instilled in us. . . The greatest joy, I think, of our business, is the fact that we’re able to help so many people,” says Bob.

Kevin adds, “We are an American Family of Irish descent, committed to our faith, community and dedicated to preserving our strong Irish  Heritage.”

You can find information on Flood Brothers Disposal and Recycling on their website, floodbrothersdisposal.com

#9 Jim McMahon joins family members at a Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade

Celtic Woman’s 20th Anniversary Spring Tour continues through May 2024 across the US & Canada and

Celtic Woman returns with a brand-new album and DVD to celebrate this incredible 20-year milestone

Returning to the group is soprano Mairéad Carlin, a former member who joins the show for this very special anniversary. Joining her are fellow soprano Muirgen O’Mahony, fiddle and Irish harp maestro Tara McNeill, as well as the newest member of the group, the multi-talented Emma Warren, who has toured with Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home and most recently performed in Les Miserables, London.

“20th ANNIVERSARY” - the LP - features 11 of the brand-new recordings that feature on the accompanying album, and is the group’s first new studio album since 2021’s Postcards From Ireland. 

It features new arrangements of beautiful and iconic songs, some new compositions and of course some fan favorites, including You Raise Me Up & The Parting Glass featuring special guests, original members Lisa Kelly, Máiréad Nesbitt, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha and Chloë Agnew.

There are two versions of the LP available: a standard black vinyl and a limited edition gold vinyl.

Throughout this year PBS continue to air the accompanying “20th ANNIVERSARY” TV special in North America across 60+ local PBS stations. 

In the 20 years since the global musical sensation’s debut, Celtic Woman has emerged as both a formidable musical presence and a genuine cultural phenomenon. The group's albums and DVD releases have been consistent multi-platinum best-sellers and its concert tours continue to touch the hearts of a devoted audience that spans the globe. Both an accomplished recording ensemble and a world-class performing collective, Celtic Woman introduces some of Ireland's most talented singers and musicians to the world stage.

Celtic Woman has sold over ten million CDs and DVDs, and amassed more than 3 billion streams, making it the only all-female act to achieve multi-platinum success in the classical crossover and world music genres during the past decade. Named Billboard’s #1 World Music Artist of the Year six times, 12 of the studio CDs have debuted at #1 on Billboard’s World Album chart. Celtic Woman has also scored two Top 10 debuts on Billboard’s influential album chart and five Top Five DVDs on Billboard’s Top Video chart, as well as achieving platinum-level sales in nine countries. Their 2016 album release, “Destiny”, was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best World Music Album, marking the group’s first-ever Grammy nomination.

PBS to broadcast “20th ANNIVERSARY” TV Special in More Than 60 Markets throughout 2024.

 

VINYL TRACKLISTING

A-1 Is Sinne Mná na hÉireann

A-2 Dúlamán

A-3 Rainbow

A-4 Cinema Paradiso

A-5 I Know My Love

A-6 Sionann (Shannon)

 

B-1 A Stór Mo Chroí

B-2 You Raise Me Up

B-3 Téir Abhaile Riú

B-4 An Cailín Dearg 

B-5 The Parting Glass

 

CELTIC WOMAN – 20 YEAR STATS:

  • 20 year legacy
  • 3 billion global combined streams
  • Grammy nominee - Best World Music Album
  • 4 million concert tickets sold
  • 10 million global album equivalent sales
  • Platinum in 9 countries
  • 12 consecutive Billboard number ones
  • 6 time Billboard World Music Artist
  • 910k+ FB  / 86K+ IG / 840k+ YT 

celtic woman site

The group's repertoire encompasses Irish classics, contemporary songs, classical favorites and stirring originals. The lineup of performers has evolved in the years since the group's inception but the signature sound of Celtic Woman has remained consistent, showcasing the members' individual and collaborative talents.
Celtic Woman is comprised of four young Irish women whose performing skills bring centuries of musical and cultural tradition to life. In concert, their angelic voices and instrumental virtuosity are accompanied by a robust ensemble that includes Irish dancers, bagpipers and a full band playing an array of traditional Celtic instruments, including bodhrán, tin whistle, bouzouki and Uilleann pipes.

Returning to the group is soprano Mairéad Carlin, a former member who joins the show for this very special anniversary tour. Joining her are fellow soprano Muirgen O’Mahony, fiddle and Irish harp maestro Tara McNeill, as well as the newest member of the group, the multi-talented Emma Warren, who has toured with Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home and most recently performed in Les Miserables, London.

Later this year, PBS will air the accompanying “20th ANNIVERSARY” TV special in North America across 60+ local PBS stations. Filmed in The Helix Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, it takes fans on a journey back to where it all began 20 years ago (and in the very same theatre). The TV special features appearances from four very special guests including original members Lisa Kelly, Máiréad Nesbitt, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha and Chloë Agnew -- who join Celtic Woman for this wonderful TV special packed with emotional and heart stirring performances.

Following the PBS broadcasts, the “20th ANNIVERSARY” album and DVD will be released in January 2024 and features brand-new compositions and arrangements plus some fan favorites.
 
Since 2005, Celtic Woman has sold over ten million CDs and DVDs, and amassed more than 3 billion streams, making it the only all-female act to achieve multi-platinum success in the classical crossover and world music genres during the past decade. Named Billboard’s #1 World Music Artist of the Year six times, 12 of the studio CDs have debuted at #1 on Billboard’s World Album chart. Celtic Woman has also scored two Top 10 debuts on Billboard’s influential album chart and five Top Five DVDs on Billboard’s Top Video chart, as well as achieving platinum-level sales in nine countries. Their 2016 album release, “Destiny”, was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best World Music Album, marking the group’s first-ever Grammy nomination.

For the complete tour schedule, tickets and more information, visit www.celticwoman.com/tour-dates. Sign up for Celtic Woman’s newsletters at www.celticwoman.com to learn about new tour dates, album releases and special offers.

Courtesy of Ireland Network Chicago

An Irish Woman in Business Success Story

An Ireland Network Chicago member since 2022, I and my company are delighted to support and sponsor the Doing Business in Chicago, Ireland Network Chicago, Women's Forum inaugural event for 2024.

In 2022 the parent company GBM, a 57 year-old family business, looked at the US as an attractive market which would allow us to scale and further develop our presence overseas. Leveraging from our award winning work with blue chip clients like DHL Express and DHL Freight Forwarding globally, our export brand Wallcoverings of Ireland was founded.


Julie Long

What do we do ?

Using visual storytelling, we tell the story of any company, brand, building, service or product by researching, designing, printing and fitting inspirational wallcoverings in any location and to any size. By creating 'experience' walls, we move people who move through a space by creating attention grabbing graphics that create meaning and connection.

How do we do it ?

We take a detailed brief from the client, and using elevations, floor plans or photographs of the space, we creating visuals which, once approved, we print & fit within an agreed lead time. Colour calibrated systems, certified process design and very experienced production teams ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction for every order. Designed in Ireland, we create global stories.

It's an art, a science and a process.

Why do we do it ?
To make a client space something special and beautiful; a space that engages people and gets them talking.
We have used printed wallcoverings as soft marketing tool for clients; helping to breath life into and monetize their brand through storytelling. 
Engaged by HR departments, we have used our graphics as a way to engage employee empathy and buy in by fostering an emotional connection in the worlplace.
Amplifying a building's story for owners and managers, we inject a space with meaning and added value for tenants.
Designing a history piece for client site pulls on heritage to give competitive advantage
What's your story ?

With offices both in Ireland and in Chicago, we export to Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Norway and the US. We have successfully partnered with architects, interior & spatial designers, construction and facilities management companies as a value added bolt on to their offering. We also work with end consumers in industry, hospitality, commercial and retail. If you have a wall, we can dress it. If you have a story, we can tell it.
 
Connect with Julie 




 

 



How does it work? It's easy. Send us your image or choose from the County Collection on our website wallpapersofireland.com. Don't see something you like? No problem, we can find one for you. Layout for non commission work is included in the price. We can add your family crest, your family tree, your logo or text. Tell us the size of the wall you want to use. Unlike buying online, we will customise your graphic for your space. We do the hard work so you don't have to.

The wallpaper drops are a standard 1m width so they are easy to handle by you or by one of our fitters. Just like regular wallpaper on a roll, paper will cover any width or height.
The importance of a ‘homeplace’ to a nation whose people left Ireland to find opportunities across the globe is unshakeable. Work with us to create something affordable, lasting, unique and beautiful. Let's tell your story.  

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Find us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or WhatsApp (312) 593-7476

This year, the Haymarket Center Gala will feature Irish-American actor, director, and travel writer Andrew McCarthy, who will discuss his own recovery from alcohol addiction. McCarthy explains, “I really support and believe in the work that Haymarket does because, let’s face it, treatment and recovery works. I’m living proof.”

Haymarket Center is Chicago's largest and most comprehensive provider of substance use disorder, (SUD) mental health treatment services, and primary care combined.  Proceeds from the Gala will support its work to restore hope for Chicago’s most vulnerable. Haymarket’s holistic approach integrates substance use treatment, mental health care, primary care and supportive services including family-centered care, job training and placement to support long-term recovery. It is the only provider in Chicago that admits patients 24/7/365, and the support Haymarket provides is available to all, regardless of ability to pay. 

Andrew McCarty is a director, an award-winning travel writer, and – of course – an actor.  He made his professional debut at 19 in Class, and has appeared in dozens of films, including such iconic movies as Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Less Then Zero, and cult favorites Weekend At Bernie’s and Mannequin. His memoir chronicling this time, BRAT: an 80’sStory, became a New York Times Bestseller in 2021.

Andrew has directed nearly a hundred hours of television, including The Blacklist, Grace and Frankie, New Amsterdam, Orange is the New Black, and many others.

For a dozen years Andrew served as an editor-at-large with National Geographic Traveler magazine. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many others. He was named Travel Journalist of the Year by The Society of American Travel Writers, as well as serving as guest editor of the prestigious BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING anthology. 

Andrew is the author of a travel memoir, The Longest Way Home and a Young Adult novel, Just Fly Away, BRAT, and Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain - all New York Times bestsellers. He lives in New York.

In 2015, his quest to discover his family’s roots in Ireland was featured in Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips and Strategies to Find Your Family History.

In the book, McCarthy discusses not feeling any special attachment to Ireland, despite his clearly Irish surname, until he visited the country for the first time in 1986, when he immediately felt “somehow ‘home.’” This led to many more visits to Ireland over the years, including one to Dublin during which McCarthy met his future wife. 

It was not until he bought a home in Dublin and had children that McCarthy began exploring his Irish roots. He had assumed his family was from County Cork, but learned to his surprise that he was “a Kerry man.” He said, “It was as if I awoke, after a lifetime of supporting the New York Yankees, to find that my people actually hailed from Boston, and I was actually meant to be a Red Sox fan.” Following a few mental adjustments, McCarthy embraced his new heritage, which led him to his great-grandfather’s house, where he met the second cousin who now lives there.

The Gala will be a fantastic opportunity to, not only learn more about McCarthy’s personal story, but also support Haymarket’s important work to address issues that touch all families and its effort to make Chicagoland communities safer and healthier. It will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue. More information can be found at https://www.hcenter.org/gala

 by Tom Coffey

First produced in 1960, Tom Coffey's play Anyone Could Rob a Bank is a spirited comedy, with a farcical, highly improbable plot. The play is set in the kitchen of Badger Grey’s house and shop, in the town of Ballybawn in rural Ireland. Having read a newspaper account of a failed bank robbery in Dublin, Badger, his brother Jeeren Grey, and his next-door neighbor Windy O’Sullivan fantasize how they might conduct a “successful” heist. Since they had no real intention of engaging in such a crime, imagine their amazement when two days later a robbery, to the exact specifications of these masterminds, is carried out at the local bank in Ballybawn. You won’t believe the mayhem, the accusations, the shenanigans that follow! Adding to the hilarity is a further cast of exaggerated characters: Badger’s hair-brained wife, Sarah; his flirtatious daughter, Noreen; Noreen’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, the local police sergeant; a current house guest, Tony O’Shea; and Badger’s nephew, Mickey--a wannabe champion boxer.

Coffey’s play is articulate. The characters mesh very well, and Coffey has granted them the opportunity to be creative and artistic. This ludicrous but light-hearted tale will grant a respite from your daily grind, and you’ll leave the theatre thinking “that was a good show!”

The play is being directed by seasoned actor and director Julie L. Zebleckis.  Julie has previously directed works for the Gaelic Park Players and for many other local community theater groups.

Performance Dates and Times are:

Fridays: April 12th and 19th at 8:00 pm 

Saturdays: April 13th and 20th at 8:00 pm 

Sundays: April 14th and 21st at 3:00 pm

Tickets are $15. 

In addition to the show, Gaelic Park is an excellent place to enjoy a meal. Join us for Dinner and the Show. Theatre-only tickets are available for $15. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Pub Dinner-Theatre Combo tickets are $35. On Sundays, the Buffet-Theatre Combo tickets with Buffet after the show are priced at $45. Reservations are a must, particularly for the Pub Dinner. Please book no later than 6:30 pm for Friday or Saturday reservations. Call (708)687-9323 to reserve.

Tickets can be purchased online at 

www.ChicagoGaelicPark.org 

or by calling Gaelic Park at 708-687-9323

Gaelic Park is Located at:    6119 W. 147th Street • Oak Forest, IL

OPEN VIEWING WEDNESDAY 3RD APRIL FROM 5.30PM TO 6.15PM

We are delighted to offer for sale this detached family home in the townland of Cragbrien within short driving distance of Ennis (8.5km's) and easy commuting distance from Shannon and Limerick. The property features 5 bedrooms (option of a study or fifth bedroom). Adjoining the house is a detached garage with loft office space, whilst it is positioned on a mature site, set well back from the public road and with generous front and rear gardens. Viewing is highly recommended.

OPEN TO OFFERS IN EXCESS OF €395,000

Contact Brian McMahon
011-353-87-993-0179

in Ireland 087-993-0179
Accommodation: 
Entrance Hallway: 4.86m x 2.48m Ceramic tile floor, hardwood painted stairs to first floor

Reception Room: 5.06m x 4.96m Vaulted ceiling with mezzanine gallery. Feature, full height stone fireplace, cast iron solid fuel stove, wooden flooring 

Kitchen and dining area: 4.96m x 4.66m Contemporary style fitted kitchen units, tiled floor and splash back, double electric oven, dishwasher, ceramic hob with extract fan, sliding door to south facing paved patio area. 

Utility Room: 3.37m x 2.58m Ceramic tile floor, plumbed for washing machine, door to rear yard 

Bedroom 1: 4.28m x 3.81m Front facing double room with walk in wardrobe and en-suite, newly carpeted

En-suite: 2.25m x 1.2m WC, hand basin and corner electric shower. Tiled floor to ceiling

Bedroom 2: 4.35m x 3.4m Rear facing double room, Newly laid "V" groove laminate flooring

Bathroom: 3.35m x 2.25m WC, hand basin & bath with shower attachment. Fully tiled floor to ceiling  

First Floor 
Landing Area: 4.48m x 3.79m Airing cupboard, shelved and fitted with dual electric immersion 

Mezzanine Level: 4.97m x 1.91m Solid wood flooring, ideal reading/relaxation area with excellent natural light

Bedroom 5 or Study: 4.97m 3.9m Rear facing room overlooking garden, solid wood flooring

Bedroom 3: 4.23m x 2.68m Front facing room with solid wood flooring

Bedroom 4: 3.36m x 2.98m Rear facing room with solid wood flooring

Bathroom: 3.1m x 1.3m WC, hand basin and bath, tiled bath area with electric shower overhead

Outside: Limestone faced front boundary wall, lawn area to front with mature hedging. Ample car parking on tarmac driveway. Terraced rear lawn area and concrete paved rear yard looking onto open countryside. 

Detached Garage:

Area 1: Garage 4.5m x 3.8m Roller door. 
Area 2: Utility space, 3.8m x 2.6m Stairs to loft space

Loft space: 7.1m x 3.75m wooden laminate floor, Velux and conventional windows, lighting and electrical sockets

For many years, the Ireland Tonight Radio Music Awards (formerly known as American Celtic Listener Supported Radio Awards) have honored those who have impressed radio hosts and listeners with the excellence of their music.  
For those of you who would like to listen to Ireland Tonight Radio at 90.9 FM on your radio dial, go to: Ireland Tonight Radio

For 2023, The Ireland Tonight Radio Music Awards have been presented to the following:

·      Female Vocalist of the Year:  Karan Casey, Nine Apples of Gold

·      Male Vocalist of the Year:  Joe Gibney, The Jeremiahs, Misery Hill and other stories.

·      Album of the Year:  Conor Mallon, Unearthed

·      Debut Album of the Year:  Reverie Road

·      Female Musician of the Year:  Katie Grennan

·      Male Musician of the Year:  Sean Heely

·      Live Performance of the Year:  Pauline Conneely,  Reel Housewives of Irish Traditional Music

Female Vocalist of the Year, Karan Casey in 2023 has provided yet another gem, her 12th album, Nine Apples of Gold.  This album provides the listeners with thoughtful arrangements and with Kate Ellis on cello, Ashley Hayes on mandolin and many others, the quality of this album has been enhanced.  The album focus’ on women and their variety of friendships.

Male Vocalist of the Year is Joe Gibney, The Jeremiahs.  The Jeremiahs celebrated 10 years as a band in 2023 and Dublin born Joe Gibney has been surrounded by both traditional Irish music and other music genres from an early age.  His love of music shows throughout this album and The Reluctant Farmer illustrates Joe’s love of music and his ability to tell the story.

Album of the Year goes to Conor Mallon for his album Unearthed.  Conor Mallon is from Keady, Co. Armagh in the North of Ireland and is known as one of the lead Uillean pipers today.  Per folking.com,  ‘ Conor Mallon is leading the next generation of Uillean pipe players.’  The dynamics of Conor Mallon’s Unearthed CD are absolutely mesmerizing and complex and you are totally drawn in as you eagerly await the next tune.  He captivates his audience with his uilleann pipes.   Band members include, Paul Starrett, electric guitar, Jack Warnock, acoustic guitar and vocals, Fintan Mulholland on bodhran and whistle.  Unearthed was created during the COVID lockdown and during this time Conor decided to focus all of his attention on unearthing the many unique sounds of the Uillean Pipes.  Conor not only is ‘the uillean pipe player’, he also composed many of the tunes on this album.  You realize very quickly that as you listen to each track you want more!  

Debut Album of the Year is Reverie Road.  Reverie Road is a group of highly accomplished musicians.  

John Williams, founding member of the group Solas , a multi -instrumentalist and an international wonder playing the flute, concertina, button accordian, bodhran and piano.  John has won five All Ireland titles as well as being the only American born competitor to win first place in the Senior Concertina category.

Katie Grennan, formerly from Gaelic Storm is a classically trained fiddle player and Irish Dancer who is not only working on the Reverie Road project but also on STEAM, the Irish Quartet, The Bow Tides and is the executive director of Share a Note which provides music to those that are not well in a variety of hospitals.

Winifred Horan, is a classical trained fiddler who has played with Cherish the Ladies as well as the Sharon Shannon band and is also a founding member of Solas. She is an accomplished teacher and often asked for sessions.

Utsav Lal rounds out the Reverie Road band.  He is an accomplished piano player that has performed several piano concerts which include Indian ragas at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center.Utsav Lal is currently on the teaching faculty of Piano School of NYC.

Four people who bring their love of Irish Traditional music and their musical experiences to the album makes Reverie Road a delightful listen.  

Female Musician of the Year is Katie Grennan. Katie has taken on several different projects this past year. She is formerly from Gaelic Storm and is a classically trained fiddle player and Irish Dancer extraordinaire who is not only working on the Reverie Road project but also on STEAM, the Irish Quartet, The Bow Tides and is the executive director of Share a Note which provides music to those that are not well in a variety of hospitals. Katie is a lead instructor at the trinity Academy of Irish Dance based in Chicago.  In addition to her many varied projects, Katie has released several solo albums.

Male Musician of the Year is Sean Heely.  Sean is a champion fiddler and singer and has released his latest album Dramagical in 2023.  Liz Carroll has referred to him as “One powerhouse of a fiddler.”  He is a U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion as well as an award winning fiddle and folk singer in Scottish Gaelic.  Dramagical provides the listener with the drama and magic that is Scotland.  In addition to performing Sean provides individual instruction in his private teaching school.  Sean developed a Celtic Christmas Concert that has always sold out and has plans to take it on the road next holiday season.  Sean features many original tunes and arrangements with the Sean Heely Celtic Band.

Live Performance of the Year goes to Pauline Conneely, and the Reel Housewives of Traditional Irish Music.   Pauline coordinated 14 ladies that have exceptional musical talent to perform together for the first time at Chief O’Neill’s in Chicago.  All had played with each other at some point in time but they had not all played together.  “The Reel Housewives of Irish Traditional Music,” included Eimear Arkins, Michelle Bergin, Laura Byrne, Liz Carroll, Kathleen Conneely, Pauline Conneely, Rose Flanagan, Patty Furlong, Eileen Gannon, Eileen Goodman, Liz Knowles, Siobhán McKinney, Margie Mulvihill, and Clodagh Ryan.  The talent, the wonderful camaraderie and the genuine enjoyment of playing together came through to the audience loud and clear.  

Congratulations to all of our Ireland Tonight Radio Music Award winners for 2023.

When I started painting, I painted everything and anything. City scenes, still lives of fruit, flowers, cutlery and crockery. I painted landscapes, woodlands, interiors and chairs. I painted cats and dogs…  you get the picture. 
 
After some hundreds of these little paintings, I was approached by a gallery. They liked the still lives. We had a show and they all sold. That was amazing... Gob smacking even.
 
So then, I painted more still lives. And then some more... After a short while I found that all I was painting were still life paintings. And I was bored. 
 
I realised that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. When you find yourself chasing a previous success, step in and remind yourself that the first success did not come by chasing it. It just arrived. Try to make way for the next one to arrive. 
 
My early success came from working the process. So I started painting more of the things I liked painting and concentrating on the process. And before long, my galleries started asking for other work and to my surprise, they sold too.
 
So my pennies worth of advice for today? Stop chasing previous success! Trust the process. Paint, then paint some more. Follow your curiosity. And… paint some more
 
Go get your studio dirty!

https://roisinofarrell.com

I was first introduced to Malachy McCourt when I was in the kitchen of my house in Queens and my mother from Co. Donegal was listening to the wireless as she called the radio and she said to me, "who could listen to that man. He claims he's from Ireland.” As angry as his comments made her she was a faithful listener, and I wondered what was it about him that made her listen to someone she didn't like. Little did I know that the voice coming out of the radio in Queens in 1972 would change my life.

When I got out of the Army in 1975 and started driving a cab, I got a show on WBAI radio because of my strong connection to Ireland. Malachy McCourt had just been fired from WMCA radio for being against the Vietnam war, and also ended up at WBAI with a show where being against the Vietnam war was a plus.
Our lives would crisscross for the next 40 years. We did fundraisers together. We went to demonstrations together, were guests on each other’s shows and became friends. Malachy was then off the radio for many years until a little over 10 years ago when WBAI gave me a 2 hour slot every Wednesday morning to cover all things  New York City. I asked Corey Kilgannon from the New York Times to join me as co-host, and I decided to ask Malachy to see if he wanted to be part of this new show. Malachy had always worked solo and didn't need a side kick so I thought he would never do it, but to my surprise he said he would. When that show ended, we moved time slots at WBAI to doing a show every Sunday  and for the last ten years I have been laughing each week at Malachy’s stories. It has been the greatest time I have ever had on the radio, and there hasn’t been a single show that hasn’t been fun.

Malachy and New York Cabbie, John McDonagh

Malachy and I have shared the stage at, among others, the Irish Arts Center, the New York Irish Center in Queens  An Bael Bocht in the Bronx, Rocky Sullivans, The Brooklyn Cafe, The Irish Repertory Theatre, and most recently, Q.E.D. in Astoria. We fit well together.  I would say “so,  Malachy . . .” and for the next half hour, he would keep people in stitches with his quick wit and stories. His take on the world was uniquely Malachy, invariably funny and always spot on. As he liked to say “I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say next.” Malachy was up for anything. A month before he passed away, he came in his wheelchair out to Queens to help christen the opening performance of a monthly storytelling show I am producing at Q.E.D. in Astoria.  He didn’t hesitate to agree to drive himself through the room in his motorized wheelchair sporting a blinking glow in-the-dark halo, parading behind a piper playing Amazing Grace. As he was ranting to the crowd about some aspect of organized religion his headpiece slipped, and no one laughed harder than him at the thought that he had just lost his halo.  Malachy was genuinely interested in everyone he met, and as someone who frequently drove him places, knew when it was time to leave it would take forever to get to the door, as everyone knew Malachy, wanted to talk to Malachy, and there was nothing he liked better than having a chat.

While we were doing the show, I was working on a one man play about 40 years of driving a cab in NYC.  I had been telling stories about driving a yellow cab in Rocky Sullivan's on Lexington Avenue in New York, and with Malachy’s encouragement, began showcasing the stories at the Irish American Writers and Artist salon which Malachy and Larry Kirwan founded.  Malachy then made a phone call that would change my life. He called his friend Ciaran O’Reilly, founder of the Irish Repertory Theatre, and said that he should look at what I was doing. Ciaran took my stories and developed them into an off Broadway play that he produced and directed and ran for 3 months at the Irish Rep to rave reviews and sold out shows. Ever since then I have doing the play all over New York, Boston and across Ireland - all thanks to Malachy’s phone call. As Malachy and his brother Frank also starred in shows at the Irish Rep, I couldn’t be prouder to have shared the same stage.

And that was Malachy. He wouldn’t hesitate to help out an artist when he could. If you had a book being published in New York that book would not be complete with a quote from Malachy. He gave helpful criticism but was also the biggest supporter, and didn’t hesitate to use his impressive collection of people in high places to help out someone just getting started.

Doing Radio with Malachy was a joy but could also be torture. We would have all the guests lined up for the show, but Malachy, who went out almost every night, would invariably have come across someone at the last minute, and have invited them on to the show, requiring massive juggling on my part.  While being able to broadcast from home was in many ways a blessing when Malachy became restricted to a wheelchair, trying to get him used to technology like zoom was incredibly stressful. Somehow, with the help of his family, we’d muddle through.  Right up until the end, doing the radio show was a source of joy for Malachy, and his top priority.  A week before he died he was in a rehab facility. There, at the end of his bed, was his list of medications and schedule of physical therapy and doctor’s visits.  At the top of the list “ On Sunday from 11-12:30, WBAI Radio Show,” Malachy making sure the nursing staff knew to keep his schedule clear.

While doing the show with Malachy, I knew that one thing a guest should never do was say that he grew up poor. Malachy would  ask, “did you have a bathroom in your house?”  If the guest said yes,  he would tsk say “and you say you grew up poor . . .”  then tell him about growing up in the lanes of Limerick, and what poor really looked like.  You could not out-poverty Malachy. Not matter how poor you grew up, after listening to Malachy talking about his life in Ireland you’d  believe you grew up middle class compared to him.

Malachy was treated like royalty in New York, winning many awards, among them having  March 17th deemed Malachy McCourt Day in New York City, and having the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team name a night after him. It always made me sad to see the sharp contrast in the way that he and his family were treated back in Limerick. Having traveled all over Ireland, you can see that most towns and villages are very proud of the people that came from there. In Derry every one takes pictures at the Free Derry Wall and the wall mural of the Derry Girls. In Ballyshannon, there is a wall mural and statue of Rory Gallagher. Dublin is awash with murals statues and plaques of their famous writers and artists. But in Limerick you would never know that Frank McCourt wrote the pulitzer prize winning book Angela's Ashes. There is no wall mural of the McCourts, or street named Angela's Way. Malachy and Frank are like the Rodney Dangerfied of Limerick "they don't get no respect.”  

Malachy and I always started our show singing along to a recording of Malachy and Frank singing the Bells of Hell from their play “A couple of Blaguards.”  I will continue to start each show the same way for as long as I am on WBAI. Fortunately, I have an extensive catalog of Malachy recordings, and his voice and stories will continue to be in the airwaves of New York City . It’s going to take a long time to get used to not being able to pick up the phone and talk to him. But Malachy’s rich legacy will live on, and we will continue to obey his command: “sing, children.”

Entropy Media Release New Podcast Series = “Underbelly: The Rebel Kind” - The Real-Life Adventure of a Chicago Trucker-Turned-Spy Who Took Down a Violent Faction of the IRA

Prepare to be captivated by the real-life story of Dave Rupert, a seemingly ordinary man who infiltrated the heart of a dangerous faction of the Irish Republican Army, in "Underbelly: The Rebel Kind," the second installment of Entropy Media's gripping "Underbelly Series". Told through the eyes of veteran journalists Bob Herguth and Abdon Pallasch, whose interviews with Rupert set them on a thrilling journey deep into the world of espionage, exploring the challenges, sacrifices, and hidden truths of one of the most daring undercover operations in recent history. The first episode of “Underbelly: Rebel Kind”, will be released on Wednesday, 13th March and a new episode will drop every week, with 12 episodes in this season.

From Trucker to Top Spy:
Forget James Bond – Dave Rupert was an unlikely agent. Dave was a low-profile ‘coin-operated’ Chicagoan – originally from upstate New York – with entrepreneurial dreams and a willingness to do whatever it takes. He wasn't your typical spy recruit, but a curiosity about Ireland and the promise of a paycheck was all it took. Rupert’s unassuming persona and ability to blend in despite being nearly 7 feet tall made him the perfect undercover asset for the FBI and MI5. In "Underbelly: The Rebel Kind," you'll discover how Rupert navigated the dangerous world of the Real IRA, a militant Irish republican group, collecting crucial intelligence that ultimately led to the 2003 conviction of IRA kingpin Mickey McKevitt.

Unveiling the Secrets:
Exclusive audio recordings – made in secret locations with Dave Rupert by veteran investigative journalists Abdon Pallasch and Bob Herguth – offer unprecedented access to his covert operation. You’ll hear firsthand the risks he faced, the challenges he overcame, the romances and friendships and the sacrifices he made along the way.

This riveting narrative is further enriched by the insights of Pallasch and Herguth, who worked with veteran podcast producer Dalton Main to bring their story together.


Link to Blog

Unraveling History's Impact:

"The Troubles," the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland, cast a long shadow. The podcast explores the lasting impact of such a long and torturous conflict on the people of Ireland and Northern Ireland – along with the Irish-American identity.

“Dave’s story, his daring, is a remarkable, and I’d say critical, bookend to the decades of modern violent conflict in Ireland between nationalists and unionists,” Herguth says. “No one suspected the Chicago trucker mopping the floor of his pub on the Northern Ireland border was the most successful spy in the history of ‘The Troubles’ and would help save the Peace Process,” Pallasch says. “This is a wild ride that will keep you tuning in every week.”

More Than Just a True Crime Story:
“Underbelly: The Rebel Kind" transcends the true crime genre by shedding light on the complex lives hidden beneath the surface. It explores the human stories within undercover operations, revealing not just the thrill of intrigue, but the individuals navigating the murky waters. From the calculated moves of operatives navigating shifting loyalties, to the ordinary lives unwittingly drawn into a hidden world, this podcast delves into the gray areas where motivations and consequences intertwine. “Underbelly: The Rebel Kind” isn’t just about heroes and villains, it’s about the real people and real consequences of paramilitary groups – and the one guy who put himself right in the middle of it all.

Join the Journey:
Tune in to "Underbelly: The Rebel Kind" on major podcast platforms and embark on this captivating journey into the heart of one of the most unexpected covert operations in modern history. The first episode drops on Wednesday, March 13th, so don't miss your chance to experience this thrilling exploration of espionage, improvisation, and how an average joe becomes a spy.

Underbelly The Series:
“Underbelly: The Rebel Kind”, the second podcast from Entropy Media, follows the success of their debut, “Underbelly: Brokers, Bagmen, and Moles”, released in April 2023.

“Underbelly: Brokers, Bagmen, and Moles” fascinated audiences with its high-octane tale of 1980s Chicago trading floors and the FBI's undercover sting operation against alleged broker fraud. Garnering nearly 1 million downloads, it set the bar high for the new podcast company launched by film veteran Anjay Nagpal.

Still to come in “The Underbelly Series”, “Life Sentence” where Danny Gold dives deep into Milwaukee’s underworld, once controlled by a powerful, hidden mob family. Finally, “Killing Kurt” features Kurt Calabrese setting the record straight on his dramatic family feud that culminated in a high-stakes Mafia trial that eviscerated Chicago’s Outfit. Follow Entropy Media to stay up to date with all new releases.

About Entropy Media:

Entropy Media is an audio first multimedia company founded by long-time film executive and producer Anjay Nagpal in 2022. We make premium & evergreen podcasts with a relentless focus on impactful stories, unique subcultures, and larger-than-life characters.

Entropy curates its slate with stories that will make fascinating podcasts, documentaries, films, and tv shows. In 2024, we will launch podcast shows that go deep into criminal underworlds and international intrigue. Our debut series, Underbelly: Brokers, Bagmen, and Moles, is an examination of an elaborate, expensive, and totally unprecedented undercover FBI investigation that attempted to expose massive fraud at Chicago’s storied futures exchanges. It premiered in April 2023. For more information on all of our shows, visit www.entropymedia.art

DEREK WARFIELD & THE YOUNG WOLFETONES 
“Let the Free Birds Fly”
“Lig do na héin ag eitilt saor in aisce”

A special group of Irish men and women have been responsible for preservation of the tradition of Irish ballad singing over the past 50 years. Derek Warfield is a distinguished name among them. Derek Warfield and The Young Wolfe Tones are bringing that musical tradition forward with a reverence for Ireland’s past and the energy and optimism of a new generation of Irish musicians.   Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones are thrilled to be celebrating 16 years ‘On the One Road’ and are delighted to be celebrating it in style with the release of their CD “Let The Free Birds Fly” and performances all over America.

 The title of this CD, “Let the free Birds Fly” was inspired by the powerful image of remembrance by renowned, Irish artist Robert Ballagh which depicts, in a very meaningful way, the spirit of freedom of the ten Irish patriots who died on a hunger strike in 1981. There is also something of a double entendre in the title “Let the Free Birds Fly” for it is synonymous with the band. Like all musicians and performers, they were confined in the pandemic and longed for an end .  Derek says, “The lockdown seemed like imprisonment for myself and our young performers, whose passion in life is to play, sing and perform to our audiences that are scattered around Ireland and around the world. All band members performing with the band and travelling as we do, know it’s a hard road which encompasses many factors. It is not only our livelihood and our heritage; it also embraces the unique history, rich culture and honourable traditions of our native land.  The content and sentiment inherent in our traditional music and song is not alone what motivates us to perform it on stage; it is also the compelling need to bring its musical excitement, literary heritage and ancient, artistic beauty to audiences that are scattered around Ireland and around the world.” The relief and joy that we experienced when we got back on the road was unimaginable and befitting to the title Let the Free Birds Fly”.          
          
The album is primarily a collection of songs that reflect the life traditions, feelings and aspirations of Irish people past and present, who love their faith, home, land and liberty and who express it in words, music and song . “Many ballads were written by ordinary people who lived in extraordinary times and left us in words and music of remembrance, a musical picture of their time and place. Many were poets and they had the artistic ability to record the reality of their feelings in words and music. Their stories must be heard and sung. In Ireland’s past we had no other means but our music and song to keep our history, traditions, heritage and culture alive and prevent it from being lost forever. We are very proud of its content because it was our music and song of love, life and liberty that told the story of our people in the past and which continues to tell our story today.” Derek Warfield 
Tour dates: www.theyoungwolfetones.com    Bio & full liner notes on request, Song list and times next page

LET THE FREE BIRDS FLY song list

1.The Fields of Athenry 4.35
2.Come Out Ye Black and Tans 4.37
3.Streets of New York 4.28
4.Home Boys Home 4.24
5.The Ballad of James Connolly Poem and Song 5.10
6.Back Home in Derry 4.10
7.The Lough Sheelin Eviction 6.34
8.Spanish Lady 3.43
9.The Flying Fingers Set (instrumental) 3.34
10.The Snipers Promise 7.10
11. Hand Me Down My Bible 2.59

The Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme will open for applications on 20 March 2024.


Work is ongoing on establishing online application systems, rolling out comprehensive training for staff - including in trauma-informed care - and ensuring that all necessary communications, information and application forms for applicants are in place.


Once the Scheme has been established it will be well publicised and clear information and support around the application process will be provided to those who want to apply. If you believe you are eligible for the Scheme, take a look at the How to apply to the Payment Scheme page, for further information on how the application process will work when the Scheme goes live.

Publication on how to apply

Where can I get an application form for the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme?

The Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme is not yet open for applications and, as such, application forms are not yet available.


Once the Scheme goes live, you will be able to apply online by visiting www.gov.ie/paymentscheme

If you’d prefer to apply by post, you will also be able to: download a form from our website; or contact the Payment Scheme Office by phone or email to have a form posted to you.


Will I need to submit records documenting the time I spent in a Mother and Baby and/or County Home Institution as part of the application?

No. When the Scheme opens, you will not need to supply records documenting time spent in a Mother and Baby or County Home Institution.

You’ll simply need to confirm that you (or the person you are applying for) spent time in a scheduled institution and include the name of the institution(s).

You will also be asked to provide an indication, or your best estimate, of the dates of arrival to and departure from the institution(s). We understand that not everyone will know the exact arrival and departure dates from the institution(s) concerned, so if this is the case, don’t worry.

If you have a query about accessing your personal information, you can find further information here

 

How do I get my identification certified for a Payment Scheme application?

When you make an application, you will need to provide a certified copy of photo ID, and other relevant documents, in some cases.

A certified copy of an original document is a photocopy that has been signed by an authorised person.

A full list of who can certify your identification is listed on the Certification of documents page.

What are people entitled to under the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme?

There are three benefits available under the Payment Scheme:

- a general payment;

- a work-related payment; and

- health support.

The level of the financial payment will depend on the amount of time spent in one of the institutions. Further information on the payment rates for general and work-related payments is available here.

The health supports will be either:

• an enhanced medical card; or

• for people living outside of Ireland only, a health support payment valued at €3,000, instead of the enhanced medical card.

The enhanced medical card entitles the holder to the following services, without charge, under the public health system in Ireland:

• GP services;

• prescribed drugs, medicines, aids and appliances;

• dental, ophthalmic (services to help with eye diseases) and aural (hearing)

• services;

• home nursing;

• home support;

• counselling;

• chiropody/podiatry (feet issues); and

• physiotherapy.

In addition, if you have a medical card you do not have to pay the €100 Emergency Department statutory charge.


Who is eligible for the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme?

People who spent time as mothers or as children in one of the listed Mother and Baby or County Home Institutions, may be eligible for benefits under the Payment Scheme.

As above, there are three benefits available under the Payment Scheme: a general payment; a work-related payment; and health supports.

Full information on the eligibility criteria for each is available on the Eligibility criteria page.

What institutions are covered by the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme?

This Scheme will cover the Mother and Baby Institutions investigated by the Commission of Investigation and all County Home Institutions. The full list, as per the legislation, is outlined

on the Institutions covered by the Payment Scheme page.

 

Can I apply to the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme on behalf of someone who has died?

Yes, it will be possible for the personal representative of a deceased relevant person to make applications for a financial payment where the person died on or after the date of An Taoiseach’s apology to survivors on 13th January 2021.

The Payment Scheme Office will only deal with one personal representative for an application. If you are applying on behalf of someone who has died, you will need to provide supporting documentation to verify that you are the personal representative for the deceased person’s estate. If there is more than one personal representative, you will be asked to attach a letter to the application, signed by all personal representatives, nominating you as the personal representative for the application and agreeing that the Payment Scheme Office will deal with you alone in respect of the application. If this letter cannot be provided, an application can proceed, but the Payment Scheme Office will deal with the first personal representative who has come forward with an application in relation to the estate of a deceased person.

In terms of documentation, you will need to provide a copy of the person’s Death Certificate, as well as an additional proof of your right to represent the estate, like a certified copy of the Grant of Probate, or a certified copy of the Letter of Administration.

For further information on the application process, take a look at the How to apply to the Payment Scheme page.

Will any applicants be prioritised within the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme? How will this work?

Yes, generally speaking, applicants will be prioritised by age and applications will be processed in age order.


I live abroad, can I apply to the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme?

The Scheme is not yet open to applications, however if you are living abroad and think that you may be eligible for this Scheme, you will be able to apply in the same way as someone

living in Ireland, once the Scheme opens – that is via the online portal or by post, if you’d prefer to use a paper form.

Regardless of where you are living, the financial payments from this Scheme are awarded in the same way.

In terms of health supports, the services available through the enhanced medical card cannot be availed outside of Ireland. So, if you live abroad, you can apply for a health support payment valued at €3,000, instead of the enhanced medical card. It’s important to note that, if you live outside Ireland and still wish to be issued with an enhanced medical card, to have should you return to Ireland either temporarily or permanently, you will need a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). In addition, to avail of the services offered through the enhanced medical card, you must be registered with a General Practitioner in Ireland.

Will I need legal representation to make an application to the Scheme?

There is no need to obtain legal support or advice to submit your application to the Scheme. The application process will be straightforward and the responsibility to check for records lies with the Chief Deciding Officer, not the applicant.

Once the Scheme is launched, there will be information and support available to applicants to help them through the application process..

Do I need to obtain legal advice at any stage of the process? Will I be required to sign a legal waiver before I receive a payment?

If you decide to accept a payment under the Scheme you will have to sign a legal waiver. The legal waiver says that you will not bring any legal proceedings and will discontinue any

proceedings already commenced (if any) against a public body, that relate to the circumstances your application to the Payment Scheme concerns. Signing a waiver will not prevent you from discussing the payment you have received from the Scheme, if that is your wish.

To help you to decide if you want to take the payment and sign the waiver, you will be entitled to a capped amount of financial support for independent legal advice. When you are asked to sign the waiver, you will also already know how much is being offered to you by the Scheme.

Until you accept an offer under the Scheme, you will still have the right to bring a case to court if you wish. If you have received a court settlement in respect of the circumstances experienced and relating to the same time period in the institution or institutions that is being applied for, you will not be eligible to apply for a general payment or work-related payment. However, you may still be eligible for health supports.

Are there counselling supports available to survivors and former residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions?

Yes. We recognise that for many survivors and former residents their experiences in these institutions continue to impact them greatly today. We are committed to ensuring that support is available for anyone who may need it. Professional counselling support is available, free of charge, for former residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions. Full details are available here.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Mayo Day and Home to Mayo 2024, Mayo County Council are bringing the magic of Mayo Day all the way to the Windy City of Chicago this year. 

On Saturday, May 4th Gaelic Park in Chicago will become a little piece of Mayo, when the international flagship Mayo Day event takes place. 

Mayo Day has become one of the highlights of the year over the past decade, having gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2005 – even the Covid-19 pandemic was not able to stop the spreading of the Mayo message in 2020 and 2021, when virtual events were held to celebrate Mayo Day. 

After its return to physical events in Castlebar and Ballina in 2022 and 2023 respectively, this year the local flagship event will be taking place in Belmullet. But to coincide with the ten-year anniversary celebrations of Mayo Day, at the same time an international flagship event will be taking place in Gaelic Park in Chicago. 

On the day you will find everything that you have loved as part of Mayo Day back home, with a stunning line up of music, arts, crafts, food, and family fun all part of a day to be remembered. 

Planning is well underway to ensure that Mayo Day in Chicago will be a day that will live long in the memory and Mayo County Council are calling on everyone with Mayo heritage in their blood in the USA to mark the date in their diary and plan a trip to Gaelic Park to celebrate Mayo Day. 

Pictured (l to r): Eibhlís Maher (Fáilte Ireland), Seamus Kavanagh (Hollister, Chicago), Ciara Sugrue (Fáilte Ireland), Bill Byrne (Director of Global Sales and VP North America, Aer Lingus, Kevin Byrne (Consul General of Ireland in Chicago), Mags Connell (Administrative Officer, Mayo County Council), Cllr Martin McLoughlin (Leas Cathaoirleach, Mayo County Council), Ruth Cawley (President, Mayo Association Chicago), Cllr Donna Sheridan, Martina Hughes (Senior Executive Officer, Mayo County Council), Paula Svadlena (Chicago Sales Manager, Aer Lingus) and Cllr Adrian Forkan

It will be a fantastic chance to catch up with old friends, forge new relationships with fellow Mayo people and have a day that you will not forget and to show your Mayo pride. 
Mags Connell from Mayo County Council said: “Mayo Day has always been a brilliant day to celebrate all that is great and good about Mayo and this year we are looking forward to making the day even bigger and better. 

“With Mayo Day turning ten and our Home to Mayo 2024 celebrations we decided that we were going to add an international leg to our Mayo Day celebrations, and what better place to do that than Chicago.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Mayo Diaspora in Chicago and they are always more than supportive when we have events and visits to the city, so it made perfect sense to have our international Mayo Day Flagship event in Chicago and we’re looking forward to a brilliant day out, where the Mayo pride will be front and centre on day to remember. 
If you are musician, artist, crafter, food producer with a Mayo connection or want to get involved and help out on the day email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more or log on to www.mayo.ie/mayo-day-2024.   

GrannyMac®  Keeping Celtic Traditions Alive

GrannyMac® Bake-At-Home Mixes
Baking is deeply rooted into the Celtic culture, GrannyMac® has captured these traditional tastes and textures of the Ireland and British Isles with these classic generational Bake-At-Home mixes. Irish Soda Bread, Brown Bread, Scones, Fancy Scones, Shortbread, and Scottish Oat Pancakes.

Back in 1997 Neville Gardner and his wife Linda decided to open Granny McCarthy’s Tea Room and Bakery in their building in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (right behind Donegal Square their Celtic import shop). Linda and Neville took an exploratory tour to Ireland to find the best Brown Bread in the country. Neville's mother and his aunt Sally had great recipes for Brown Bread or Wheaten bread as it’s called in Northern Ireland where he grew up, so he had some good options to start with!

They ended up deciding on a recipe from the Lifeforce Mill in Cavan Town, an old mill built to provide work during the famine and renovated in the mid 1990s. They read an article on the Mill in Ireland of the Welcomes Magazine and as a result visited the mill.

The tour involved learning the mills history and mixing up your own loaf of wonderful brown bread to bake while taking the tour. Sampling the fresh bread after the tour complete with butter and jam and a big mug of tea convinced them that we had the best brown brewed in Ireland. 

They imported the Wholemeal from the Mill for years as Wholemeal is the secret component to brown bread not available in North America, and later figured out their own blend of locally sourced grains to create their own wholemeal and mix. 

After years of selling Brown Bread and their Brown Bread mix successfully to 1000s of customers, they decided to Trademark their Brown Bread mix along with Soda Bread, Traditional and Fancy Scones, Shortbread and Scottish Oat Pancakes, all items that they have been selling successfully in Granny McCarthy’s and McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub - the restaurant and Pub which they morphed into Granny McCarthy’s Tea Room and bakery.

Here is a LINK to their site to try it for yourself, and let them know you found them in Irish American News!

And a link to the pub: 
Neville Gardner
President McCarthy’s Irish Pub Inc

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