Category Archives: Entertainment

Florida Panthers Irish Heritage Night

Keep the night of March 14, 2017 open on your calendar for Irish Heritage Night at the Florida Panthers:

March 14, 2017 - Irish Heritage Night at the Florida Panthers

March 14, 2017 – Irish Heritage Night at the Florida Panthers

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Join “The Gathering”

Irish television production company Animo TV is producing a new six-part documentary series called The Gathering – Homeward Bound for RTÉ, Ireland’s national television network. As part of this series, they are filming six well-known Irish people who currently live abroad.

One of those being profiled is Irish comedian Brendan Grace (of the famous Liberties in Dublin), who has been living with his family in Florida since 1994. The production company will be filming Brendan Grace at Paddy Mac’s Irish pub in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM. The producers would love to have a large crowd of Irish and Irish-Americans there for the filming. They are also interested in speaking with Irish or Irish-Americans living in Florida. Paddy Mac’s is located at 10971 North Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens. Directions can be found on the pub’s website.

 

The Gathering Ireland 2013

The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative is a massive tourism campaign, inviting everyone with Irish connections to “come home” to Ireland next year. Over 70 million people worldwide claim Irish ancestry. The campaign is being supported by Fáilte Ireland, the Irish tourist board, and Tourism Ireland. It promises to be Ireland’s biggest tourism initiative ever and reaches out to those who have moved away, their relatives, friends and descendants, and invites them home. Throughout 2013, there will be a series of events in Ireland to celebrate Irish history, traditions, families, culture, business and sport.

Here is a link to the official video about The Gathering Ireland 2013: http://www.youtube.com/embed/x2WylVJB4AY?rel=0&wmode=transparent

Here is a link to The Gathering Ireland 2013 website: http://www.thegatheringireland.com/About.aspx

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Watch “The Island”

“The Island” is a beautiful 78-minute film produced by RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcasting network. It combines low-level aerial photography of Ireland’s natural and man-made wonders, a haunting soundtrack and an educational narrative, weaving history, archaeology, geography, psychology and sociology to answer the question: How have the Irish been shaped by their island’s unique landscape?

Watch the video: http://www.hulu.com/watch/335141/ireland-the-lucky-country-the-island

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Watch “The Irish in America”

Click on the photo above to watch the entire video on Youtube

This powerful, moving and insightful documentary tells this story of the Irish immigrant experience in America from the colonial period of 1650 through the turn of the 20th century, including the Irish involvement in the American Revolution, the age of Jackson, the Mexican and Civil Wars, the Calfornia Gold Rush and the taming of the American West. It is a tale of how resilient people turned poverty into prosperity and changed the American continent forever. Contrasted is the suffering of the Irish living at home under British Rule and their fight for freedom and justice.

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Hurling in Florida

Hurling is the traditional sport of the Irish, dating back over 3000 years.  It is the world’s oldest continuously played sport. It is fast and physical, like the people who play it.

The Basic Rules of Hurling:

 Teams

1. A game of hurling is played by two teams. Each team is comprised of up to 15 players.

2. The player breakdown is as follows:

1 Goalkeeper

6 Defensive Players

2 Mid-Field Players

6 Offensive Players

3. Players pair up with their opposite marks.

Game Play

1. A game or match usually consists of two halves of 25-35 minutes.

2. The sliotar (ball) cannot be picked up from the ground directly with the hand. The hurley must be used to roll, jab, lift or flick the sliothar into the hand.

3. The sliotar can be caught while in the air or bouncing along the ground.

4. The sliotar can be transferred to the hand at most twice. If the sliotar touches the ground, the count is reset.

5. The sliotar can be hit with the hurley on the ground or in the air.

6. The sliotar can also be kicked or hand passed, using one hand for the entire movement. The sliotar cannot be thrown.

7. The sliotar can be kept in the hand for at most 4 consecutive steps or the length of time to take 4 steps.

8. The sliotar can be balanced on the stick for an unlimited time.

Fouls

1. Touching the sliotar directly with a hand while it is on the ground.

2. Overplaying the sliotar by catching it more than twice with the hand or running for more than four steps while in the hand.

3. Physically challenging a player while the sliotar is not present (off the ball challenge) or by playing in an aggressive and illegal manner.

4. A player may not grab or hold another player’s hurley.

Physical Contact

1. Hurling is a physical game and a certain amount of contact is permitted, provided it is in attempting to gain possession of the sliotar.

2. A fair shoulder charge is permitted.

Scoring

1. A point is scored when the sliotar is hit over the crossbar, which is above the goal keeper, and between the goal posts.

2. A goal is scored when the sliothar is hit under the cross bar and into the goal between the goal posts. A goal is worth 3 points.

3. Goals and points can be scored from play or from ‘set pieces’ such as a free or a side line cut.

 

Florida now has an active hurling community. The Orlando Gaelic Athletic Association & Orlando Hurling Club are the principal organizers of hurling events in Florida.  According to Scott Graves, an Irish-American and founder of the Orlando Hurling Club:  “Lately, a few of us in our club are attempting to build bridges between different Irish groups in Central Florida.”

St. Patricks Day Match, Atlanta v Orlando, 2011

“Our primary mission is to spread hurling throughout Florida and we’re having some luck in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Port St. Lucie. Local organizers, who have played for Orlando in travel matches this year, have returned to their towns gathering 3 or more players each. They will gather next weekend at the Central Florida Highland Games to play our first exhibition match.”  

Contact Orlando Hurling Club: http://orlando.florida.gaa.ie/club-executive

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Florida Irish Pipers

Florida Irish Pipers is an association of uilleann pipers from all around Florida. They are part of the Southeast Piper’s Club, which is a unique community of individuals living in the southeastern United States, happy to share information, tunes, and friendship. Many are also members of the Irish Piper’s Club, based in Seattle, WA, and Na Piobairi Uilleann, based in Dublin, Ireland. “We host a tionól in Florida every other year, sharing the responsibility of the Southeast Tionól with our Georgia piper friends. A ‘tionól’ is a music workshop, which usually focuses on Uilleann Piping, though other instruments are often represented. In the past, our tionóls have included instruction in pipes, Irish fiddle, and sometimes flute, whistle, concertina, bodhran and guitar. Our tionóls take place on a weekend with group classes on Saturday and 1/2 Sunday led by pipers who are masters on the instrument. Sessions are held Friday night and Saturday after the Saturday evening Instructor’s concert. This weekend is ideal for pipers, fiddle players, concertina players and Irish traditional musicians looking for a good music and great craic!”

Florida Irish Pipers at the 2011 Tionól

The next Southeast Tionól will be held sometime in late March 2012 at Roswell, GA.  In addition to the annual tionóls, Florida’s uilleann pipers regularly perform a various venues around the state.

Florida Irish Pipers website and contact information: http://www.floridairishpipers.org

Uilleann pipes give traditional Irish music its mournful, haunting quality and are distinguished from other forms of bagpipes by their tone and wide range of notes. They have a different harmonic structure, sounding sweeter and softer than other bagpipes. Not only do they have the ability to play two octaves, but they can play separate notes, lending variation and coloring to musical phrasing.

The bag of the uilleann pipes is inflated by means of a small bellows strapped around the waist and the right arm. Their name is part translation of the Irish language term “píobaí uilleann” which literally means “pipes of the elbow”, from their method of inflation. The bellows relieves the player from the need to blow into a bag to maintain pressure, and also allows relatively dry air to power the reeds, reducing the adverse effects of moisture on tuning and longevity. Uilleann pipers can converse or sing at the same time as playing. Unlike other bagpipes, uilleann pipes are most often played indoors, and are almost always played sitting down.

Mastering the uilleann pipes takes years of practice and dedication, and are one of the most difficult musical instruments to play well. Here is a short music video of Seamus Ennis, the world’s most famous piper, demonstrating his genius on the uilleann pipes:

If you want to purchase your own set of uilleann pipes, prices range from around $265 to over $10,000. According to Kathleen Cavanagh of the Florida Irish Pipers: a full set can cost up to $10,000 or more depending upon the maker. For instance, Rowsome sets or even Geoff Wooff sets can be $20,000. Since the instruments are hand-made for the most part, the price varies. Also, the waiting list of some makers can be quite long. It is best to talk to an experienced Uilleann Piper from the list of pipers on the FIP website for advice on buying a set BEFORE purchase. In addition, their site has one of the most comprehensive listings of Traditional Irish Music Sessions in Florida.

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Brogues Down Under in Lake Worth, FL

Brogues on Lake Avenue in downtown Lake Worth has a new Kiwi-Aussie sparkle to its old Irish charms. On June 28, Rod Regan, wife Emily and daughter Tania took over the venerable Brogues-On-The-Avenue pub and restaurant at 621 Lake Avenue and, after a thorough cleaning and refurbishment from top to bottom, have reopened and renamed the downtown landmark Brogues Down Under.  Rod is a native of Australia and New Zealand with a big Irish smile and Down Under charm.  Emily previously operated the Bees Knees thrift shop on Lake Avenue. Daughter Tania is Brogues new “task-master”.  The Regan family has lived here in South Florida for 21 years.

Rod spoke with me yesterday about the many improvements that he and his wife and daughter have made. The most important change is that Rod, Emily and Tania are on-site owner managers, personally greeting and serving customers. The most noticeable changes, in addition to the new name, are a sparkling clean appearance, new table cloths, an improved menu and 19 flat screen HD TVs. They hired a well-known and talented chef, Joseph Angelucci, winner of a 2010 People’s Choice Award. In addition to traditional Irish pub fare, Chef Angelucci prepares different nightly specials to please diners in the mood for international cuisine.

Entertainment is still a big part of Brogues appeal. In addition to the 19 large screen HD TVs for watching sporting events, from Tuesday through Saturday there is dinner music from 5:00 to 9:00 PM and live bands performing from 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM. For meetings, parties and special occasions, there is the large “Aussie Boomerang Bar” room, which can accommodate groups of 95 to 100 for table service, along with its own large bar.  The outside dining area under the awning on Lake Avenue is a great place to sit, have a leisurely drink, lunch or dinner and enjoy the lively downtown street scene.

Rod says “This is a service business!” And that’s what the new Brogues delivers – good service, good food and drinks and good times! Their website provides directions, menus, a calendar of eventsand contact information. View Brogues at SouthFloridaDines.com.

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Crossroads Irish Set & Ceili Dancers

Crossroads Dancers
Crossroads Dancers of West Palm Beach, Florida
“Our group teaches Irish Set & Ceili dances every Tuesday in West Palm Beach. Our main objective is to teach the Irish dances to the general public. We try to have a monthly dance for our students and the general public. Sometimes we have live Irish dance music at these monthly dances. American square dances are derived from these Irish dances. These dances are popular among elderly people in Ireland. In America they are popular among young people as well. These are not step dances like you see in Riverdance. We are not a performance group, for the most part, but we occasionally do a show at retirement homes and we do an annual show at the West Palm Beach Irish Fest. At the West Palm Beach Irish Fest we hosted an Irish dance tent. This tent had a wooden floor that we built at our expense. For 12 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday our volunteers taught Irish dances to Festival attendees. We also demonstrated many complicated Irish dances. Our dance tent had a live band to provide dance music for a few hours on Sunday. Please view our Facebook website which has many photos and the latest infomation:
Thank you, Liam Eagan”

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John Lennon in Florida

John Lennon died in New York City in 1980, but his spirit lives on through the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a non-profit 501(c)(3) mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. Since 1998, the Bus has provided free hands-on programs to hundreds of high schools, colleges, Boys and Girls Clubs, music festivals, concerts, conventions and community organizations.

Working together with some of the biggest names in music, the Lennon Bus encourages students to play music, write songs, engineer recording sessions and produce video projects using the latest audio, video, and live sound equipment.The interior is divided into three separate studio environments that can be opened to create one large studio. The front studio is a cutting-edge audio and video production room. The rear studio offers pro-level recording and mixing at the highest possible resolution, as well as an “iso” booth for acoustic recordings, and a chromate (green screen) booth. Powered by Apple computers, the studios feature traditional musical instruments and the latest Sony HD products and solutions. Also on-board is a Mackie P.A. system enabling performances on the side of the Bus.

The Lennon Bus is committed to providing students with increased access to music, audio, video, and broadcast technologies. The program works together with local partners to create free events for middle, high school, and college age students to tour the bus, and participate in the production of music, video and digital photography projects reflective of their ideas and concerns, regardless of their levels of expertise.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus website: http://www.lennonbus.org

John Lennon in Florida

John Lennon had some interesting connections to Florida.

The Beatles formally ended in Orlando, Florida in 1974

(As told by May Pang)

“At the end of 1974, after three years of court battles and acrimony, the final dissolution of The Beatles was about to happen. The meeting was scheduled for December 19 at New York’s Plaza Hotel – ironically, this was the first place the group stayed in America in 1964. George Harrison was in New York on his Dark Horse tour. Paul and Linda McCartney came in, and of course John and I were already in the city. Only Ringo was missing, but he had signed the documents in England. Julian was with us for the Christmas holiday and all was calm, all was bright. John was even planning to join George on stage during his concert at Madison Square Garden. Gathered around a huge table were: George, his lawyer and business manager; the McCartney’s, with Paul’s in-laws and lawyers; Ringo’s lawyer and business manager; Neil Aspinall, of Apple, with two sets of company lawyers (one for America and one for Britain); and John’s lawyer Harold Seider and his team. Harold told me that after a while, George said out loud what everyone was thinking: “Where’s John?” “Good question,” replied Harold. Harold left the room to call John, who wouldn’t come to the phone. I was with John and it was up to me to tell Harold he had decided not to attend the meeting.

Although John was concerned with shouldering a major tax burden because he lived in the United States, I could sense there was a bit more on his mind. His official reason for not showing was ‘the stars aren’t right’. George, already in a dour mood because his tour was getting poor reviews, went ballistic. He started yelling at Harold, as did all the other lawyers in the room. Then George picked up the phone and called John. I answered and asked if he wanted John, but he barked, “No! Just tell him whatever his problem is, I started this tour on my own and I’ll end it on my own!” before slamming down the receiver. John was listening over my shoulder. George’s rage didn’t last long. Julian went to George’s concert the next day and returned home with a message saying: “All’s forgiven, George loves you and he wants you to come to his party tonight.” We did go to the party at the Hippopotamus Club, where George, John, and Paul all hugged.

John, Julian and I left New York the following day to spend Christmas in Florida. On December 29, 1974, the voluminous documents were brought down to John in Florida by one of Apple’s lawyers. “Take out your camera,” he joked to me. Then he called Harold to go over some final points. When John hung up the phone, he looked wistfully out the window. I could almost see him replaying the entire Beatles experience in his mind. He finally picked up his pen and, in the unlikely backdrop of the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World, ended the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history by simply scrawling John Lennon at the bottom of the page.”

John Lennon in Palm Beach, Florida

During the last few years of his life, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their son Sean spent winter vacation time in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida. While there, Lennon consulted with the well-known metaphysicist and spiritual advisor Tamas Burger. Lennon and Burger were making plans to open a spiritual learning center together. In 1980, Lennon purchased the sprawling “El Solano” mansion (the former home of Harold Vanderbilt shown above), located on Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach. Lennon was murdered outside his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980, ending plans for life in Palm Beach.

John Lennon’s Memorial, at His Palm Beach Home

By Ken Davidoff

“The day that I found out that John Lennon was shot, I decided to go to his home in Palm Beach, and leave some flowers at the gate. Not to my suprise there were hundreds of people gathered at the property, the groundskeeper realized that the crowd was getting out of hand. The street was packed, and the local police were giving out parking tickets left and right. We were all allowed to come onto the property, and were led to the pool area. People just stood around and cried, pretty soon the groundskeeper lead everyone in a prayer. He let everyone stay a little longer to gather their thoughts, and say their own prayer. Everyone left in a slow sad silent march out the front gate. I went back to leave flowers every year thereafter, untill Yoko sold the house. A light that shone brightly had left the planet.”

So what’s “Irish” about this article ?

In case you didn’t already know, John Lennon considered himself to be Irish, and had two Irish grandparents. He first discovered his Irish roots in a manuscript that his estranged father, Freddie Lennon, had written regarding the Lennon family’s Irish history. It was sent to John after Freddie died. John had been raised by his mother’s Welsh family, the Stanley’s, so he knew nothing about his Irish Lennon family until that time. In the manuscript, which was also published in a book, called “Daddy Come Home,” by Freddie Lennon’s second wife, Pauline, John discovered that his Irish Lennon ancestors had been very accomplished musicians.

In their day, they were popular Irish crooners, fiddlers and toe-tappers. He then enthusiastically embraced his Irish heritage, and from then on considered himself to be more “Irish” than English. He even bought an Irish island and named his son by Yoko Ono, “Sean”, the Irish spelling for “John”.

In 1974, John looked up the name “Lennon” in the book “Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins” by E. MacLysaght, and found the name “(O)Lennon” and some uncomplimentary passages. He quoted one of those passages on his “Walls & Bridges” album cover: “No person of the name Lennon has distinguished himself in the political, military or cultural life of Ireland (or England for that matter),” which was followed with John’s handwritten response: “Oh Yeh?”  Since that faux pas, the book has been updated as follows: “John Lennon, an outstanding member of the Beatles group, assassinated in 1980, has become well known outside Ireland not only as a talented musician but also for his connection with the Peace Movement.”

If you would like to meet someone who knew John Lennon, spiritual advisor Tamas Burger still operates the “Rainbow Bridge” metaphysical book store, library and museum located at 7593 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Summer TV & Movie Guide

 

If you get tired of the beach, travel and sight-seeing this summer, there are hundreds of good television programs and movies that you can watch for free. 

We have compiled a guide to Irish-themed on-line television programs and movies that will keep you entertained during those rainy days of summer:

Summer 2010 On-line Television & Movie Guide

 

Here’s a good example of what’s available on-line for free viewing right now…

"Celtic Woman – A New Journey" – filmed live at Slane Castle

Watch the Celtic Woman concert from Slane Castle

 

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