End of Summer Doesn't Mean Nothing's Going On

Ed Forry

As this prolonged summer comes near its end, there remain several events to attract folks outdoors before the snows of winter arrive. With Labor Day late this year, the traditional Waterfront Irish Festival in Newport will take place on the holiday weekend, September 5, 6 and 7. There will be five stages of entertainment, with performances from the likes of Eileen Ivers, Black 47, The Makem Brothers & Spain Brothers, Calley McGrane and The Exiles and many more.

As noted in this month's BIR arts and entertainment pages, the Irish Cultural Centre of New England will produce its own Irish Festival on the weekend of Sept. 12 and 13 at the ICCNE campus in Canton. Performers include singer Andy Cooney, trad all-women ensemble Girsa, the Noel Henry Irish Showband, Curragh's Fancy, the Fenian Sons, Tradition, the Gobshites and Andy Healy.

Next month, a fledgling one-day Irish festival is set for the Adams Corner section of Dorchester on Sun., Oct. 11, during the Columbus Day holiday weekend. The outdoor venue will be along Adams Street at Gallivan Blvd., the location of the Eire Pub and Gerard's Restaurant. Out west on Columbus Day weekend, the Irish center at Elms College in Chicopee celebrates its 10th anniversary with a weekend of events, including an art exhibit of the work of County Cork's Vincent Crotty, Saturday workshops, concert and films, and a Sunday brunch with author Peter Quinn. Information at irish-cairde.org.


A Sept. 11 Concert at Boston's Historic Wilbur Theater is being planned to mark the anniversary of terror attacks. "A Celtic Crossing" will present a musical 9/11 concert , with proceeds going to benefit Cops for Kids with Cancer. Headlining and hosting this event will be Pauline Wells of Milton. A Sergeant Detective in the Cambridge Police Department, she began singing in Ireland in 2000 while on a trip with the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, and has performed numerous benefit concerts over the years. She will be joined by 40 members of the legendary NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. More information at thewilburtheater.com, paulinewells.com or by phone at 617-696-7172.


Boston's Consul General of Ireland, David Barry left for a new assignment last month. "After four years at the Consulate General of Ireland in Boston the time has come for me to leave," Barry said in an e-mail to friends.  "After a short break, I will be taking up my new assignment in the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. I want to thank you all for your friendship  and support during my stay in Boston." He has been succeeded in the Boston post by Michael Lonergan.  "I have no doubt  that you will welcome him  to Boston with the same openness and kindness that I experienced over the last four years," he said.


Big changes being announced this month with the reorganization of ICCUSA/New England. "Effective immediately, The Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA New England is now the Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA)," Paul Dwyer, president,  and Jim O'Brien, chairman, said in a joint announcement.

"Tip O'Neill once said that 'All politics is local.' His point was simple: Focus on your own backyard first and everything else will fall into place. It is in this spirit that we have decided to change the focus of our organization, concentrating our efforts at home in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," they wrote.

"As BIBA, we will work hard to maintain and expand the fantastic network we have built, especially within the environs of the Massachusetts business, political and academic communities. We will use these contacts and affiliations to further build our strong ties with Ireland and with other national organizations with a similar affinity.

"The launch of BIBA will incorporate our re-branding and the establishment of an improved meeting calendar, which will include more events, tailored to specific industry verticals. We will revamp our morning and evening speaker series and establish a new young professional's organization. We will also be reaching out to other like-minded business organizations in the state and we will work to cement the fine relationships we have built at both the Massachusetts State House and Boston City Hall."  


TIARA, The Irish Ancestral Research Association, begins the fall season with its first monthly meeting on Fri., Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m. at Boston College, Room 511, Fulton Hall. Featured speaker will be Melinde Sanborn on "The Irish of Ward One, Boston; Clues & Misdirection from the Census." … On Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. comedian Jimmy Tingle will perform in concert at Dorchester's Florian Hall to benefit the Brady Academy of Irish Dance.  This event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 617-481-0642.