Galway Guide Is a Bird in the Hand
Visitors to Galway and other parts of the West of Ireland are well advised to pick up a handy new magazine which contains extensive information on where to eat, dance, drink, hang out and generally just be seen.
Magpie magazine, launched last year by the highly successful Galway Advertiser group, also features regular articles on a variety of topics, and focuses on West of Ireland natives who have made it big in their respective fields all over the world. A monthly publication, available on most newsstands in the West of Ireland, it’s a sharp, bright and fun-filled read, and better still it costs just £1.50. Recent features include interviews with actor Gabriel Byrne and race car driver Eddie Irvine. Comedian Gerry Mallon and singer Julian Gough (of the band Toasted Heretic) are regular contributors. An invaluable guide if you’re planning a sojourn in the wild west anytime soon!
Irish Teachers Visit King’s College, PA
Through the Irish Teachers’ Program, a group of 18 teachers from Ireland visited King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to gain a better understanding of the education, technology and culture of the United States.
The annual visit, organized and sponsored by King’s College, is the only program of its kind in the country and gets its support from local merchants, families, organizations and individuals. Over 700 teachers from Ireland have come to the U.S. since King’s College began the Irish Teacher’s Program developed during the 1950s out of a small government grant given to the Universities of Delaware and California, the State University of New York and King’s College. The grant eventually ran out, and King’s was the only college to continue its commitment to providing a program in which cultural, social and educational experiences are shared.
“The America they know from TV is the sensational America. They come here and meet American families and see an entirely different America. They then take their experiences and relate them in the classroom, thereby giving the students a more realistic picture of the U.S.,” says John McKeown, the program’s coordinator.
To learn more about the area’s history and culture, the teachers toured Lancaster, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., where they toured the White House.
McCourt’s ‘Mom’ Attends Book Launch
There was a very special guest at the September launch of Frank McCourt’s new book, ‘Tis, in Manhattan. Actress Emily Watson, who plays McCourt’s mother Angela in the movie version of his first book, arrived at the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station towards the end of the launch, fresh from a blitz of publicity interviews for the Alan Parker-helmed movie. “Myself and [wife] Ellen saw the movie a few weeks ago,” remarked Frank. “It’s just gorgeous.” Meanwhile, the book continues to hold the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list, with Angela’s Ashes occupying the top space on the paperback listing.
U.S. Musicians in Fine Fettle at All-Ireland Fleadh
Once again, Irish Americans have demonstrated their mastery of traditional Irish music at the All-Ireland Fleadh (pronounced ‘flah,’ Irish for festival) Cheoil Na hEireann, held at Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford in September.
Sean Tierney of the Bronx captured the All-Ireland Championship for Flute Under 12, a feat performed by the renowned Joanie Madden some years ago.
Patrick Mangan of Brooklyn captured the Fiddle championship in the 12 to 15 age group, adding that title to the Under 12 crown he had previously won, and Mariah Reilly of Queens won third place for flute in the 15 to 18 age group.
From the Washington, D.C.-Virginia area, Brendan Callahan won second place for Fiddle Slow Airs and third place for Fiddle, both in 15 to 18. He also teamed with fellow branch member Aran Olwell for third place in the 15 to 18 Duets.
Detroit was represented by Tyler Duncan, All Ireland champion on the Uilleann Pipes, 12 to 15, who teamed with Jeremy Kittel to take third place in Duets 12 to 15, and by the Crotty-Doran Grupai Cheoil who captured second place in the 15 to 18 age group.
Sean Ryan of Chicago’s Irish Musicians Association won the third place medal in the Senior Flute Competition and two Senior second place medals for Uilleann Pipes Slow Airs. And finally, Eileen Gannon of St. Louis captured a second place medal in the Senior Harp competition.
Murphy Gets Stamp of Approval
The campaign to honor Audie Murphy, the most decorated U.S. soldier in history, has moved one crucial step closer to reality, having gained the endorsement of Army Secretary Louis Caldera. In a letter to Postmaster General William Henderson dated September 16, Caldera wrote, “His [Murphy’s] military service speaks to the highest values held by this nation – duty, honor, responsibility, courage and, above all, service.” The Post Office has yet to make a decision.
All in all, Murphy (included in this publication’s special Millennium issue as one of the Greatest Irish Americans of the century) was awarded an astounding 37 medals, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. After returning to the States, he launched a career in the movies, including a role in the war film To Hell and Back, in which he played himself.
Murphy was killed in a plane crash in 1971 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.♦