The Common Ground

Vol. IX, Issue 1

 Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Daoibh

January 2011



Common Ground readers and other supporters of the Ireland Institute can now follow Jim on Twitter.

Log on to, and enter Jim's ID in the search tab.  His ID is Jim_Lamb.

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REMARKS --Honorary Consulate Installation

A Message from our President James J. Lamb

"...I am thankful for the many organizations and individuals that have helped me understand and internalize the Irish American relationship, the history, the hardship, the importance of faith and family, the incredible contributions of the Irish in America over several generations, and the many US initiatives that continue to help Ireland heal after centuries of oppression, war, and poverty.

Ireland today faces many challenges—a banking crisis, high unemployment, an uptick in dissident activity in the north, Church Scandals, and significant social problems across the island.  But Ireland also presents great opportunities—an excellent education system, business-friendly atmosphere, terrific tourism and recreational facilities, a rich cultural identity, and for Irish America, a Second home.

I’m thinking tonight about my cousins in Galway, our ancestors, who were separated by immigration, and our common resolve to maintain a transatlantic connection over many generations.  The story of my ancestry is like most people in this room—and like Irish Diaspora across this country.

Ireland belongs to us. We are part of her. It is my intention to raise the profile of Ireland here in Pittsburgh, and to promote our region in Ireland. And tonight I am asking the Pittsburgh Irish community to help me.  The work of the honorary consulate of Ireland in Pittsburgh will not and should not be carried out by one man. It takes the leadership of the entire Pittsburgh Irish community. It takes the AOH and IAUC leading the local charge for peace and justice in Ireland. It takes the local GAA, the various dance schools and traditional music outlets to ensure that Irish culture in Pittsburgh remains vibrant.

And we must reach beyond ourselves. We must engage companies and universities to develop partnerships that create jobs in Pittsburgh and in Ireland. This isn’t easy…but it’s necessary.

Let’s encourage two-way tourism, educational exchange, business, trade, and investment that lifts both Ireland and Pittsburgh. Let’s continue to stamp out sectarianism in Ireland by exposing her young people…OUR young people to this most livable, diverse, friendly city. Let’s continue to cherish our heritage through the many Irish cultural outlets available to us—sports, music, dance, literature, language.


I hope you will join me in carrying out these objectives on behalf of Ireland and Pittsburgh. I look forward to discussing then with you in further detail.  I thank you for coming tonight, and I especially thank Ambassador Collins, Consul General Kilkenny for taking time out of there busy schedules to mark this occasion.  Thanks!"


References for today's letter:'fail'%20to%20prepare%20students%20for%20life%20or%20work



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                                                IIP News

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh would like to congratulate Jim who was installed as Honorary Consul of Ireland to Pittsburgh on behalf of his excellency, Michael Collins, Irish Ambassador to the United States and the Honorable Noel Kilkenny, Irish consul General on Friday, January 21, 2011.


Green neckties and sweaters filled the room Friday night, but with nary a New York Jets fan in sight, the party belonged to Pittsburghers of Irish heritage celebrating another link between their hometown and their homeland.  Irish Ambassador Michael Collins traveled to Pittsburgh to appoint James Lamb, president of the nonprofit Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, as honorary consul of Ireland in Pittsburgh for Western Pennsylvania.

Lamb, 50, of Dormont is the brother of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb. The Lambs trace their roots to County Galway in Western Ireland, and James Lamb's wife, Ann, hails from County Armagh in Northern Ireland.

"When I think about the work of a consulate, honorary or otherwise, it is really about connecting the country that you're representing to companies and people here," Lamb said at the celebration held in law firm Reed Smith's glass-walled offices on the ninth floor of Three PNC Plaza, Downtown.

With Lamb at the helm, the institute arranges trade delegations, student exchanges and university collaborations between organizations in Ireland and the Pittsburgh area. Its primary mission is peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Collins said Lamb's appointment will raise awareness of his work and Pittsburgh's large Irish community, which includes Steelers Chairman and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, who plans to travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday to watch the Steelers take on the Jets in the AFC Championship Game. "In Western Pennsylvania, we were absent, in a formal sense, and we think that someone like Jim would help our visibility," Collins said. "We're really in the business of promoting Ireland."

Ireland could use the help to increase tourism and corporate investment as it grapples with rising unemployment and fears of a brain drain as young people leave the country to find work in Australia, England and the United States.  About 100,000 people are expected to leave the country of 4.6 million between April 2010 and April 2012, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute. The highest previous rate was 44,000 a year in 1989.

"We would like to believe this is temporary," Collins said. "The economy, generally, has stabilized."  Ireland's economy is reeling from a mammoth banking crisis.  In late November, European Union nations committed $89.4 billion in bailout loans to shore up the reserves of state-backed banks.

During Ireland's real estate boom, banks borrowed heavily from foreign lenders to fuel speculative real estate investments and home mortgages. Rapid growth from a poor country to a wealthy one led economists to dub it the "Celtic Tiger."  In September 2008, the government backed debts and deposits at six banks in what was ultimately a failed attempt to protect them from the growing financial crisis in the United States.  An unemployment rate of 13.5 percent and government austerity measures such as sharp tax increases and deep welfare program cuts have touched off public protests.

Lamb said the economic woes have contributed to an uptick in dissident activity among loyalist and republican fringe groups in historically violence-plagued Northern Ireland.  "I think it's easier for those guys on the fringe to recruit desperate kids when those (poor) economic conditions exist," Lamb said.  Ireland's education system and business-friendly environment remain strengths that will lead to its economic rebound, Lamb said.









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resident McAleese has said it is imperative that Ireland musters the self belief and determination that will reinvigorate the country psychologically and economically. 

In her Christmas and New Year message, she said Ireland faces a painful economic recovery but as a people rich in imagination, creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills, 'we do indeed have many strengths to help us on the journey ahead'. 

Mrs. McAleese said that confidence and pride would be generated by the choices made today and in the future to make Ireland a successful, forward looking and an egalitarian country.

The President added that Ireland has a talented and ambitious cohort of young people who deserve the gifts of confidence in their future and pride in their country. 


THOUSANDS of Irish emigrants last night had their travel plans thrown into disarray as they try and get home for Christmas through the dire 

Two-thirds of flights were cancelled at Heathrow airport in London yesterday, leaving a large backlog of Irish travelers who had to rearrange their travel plans for the festive season.  And because Heathrow is a major hub airport, passengers traveling to Ireland from all around the world were hit. 

Aer Lingus said half of all their scheduled flights in and out of the busy hub were cancelled while Ryanair had to cancel some flights between Dublin and Brussels, London Stansted and Milan.  Both airlines said they would try to provide extra flights to make up for the shortfall. Typically most flights are full during the Christmas period as people come home for the season.

Hundreds of people were forced to bed down in Heathrow as a result of the disruptions.  Police and airport staff tried to control the crowds as passengers faced a wait of up to two hours just to get into the airport. They were told that once they were in, they could not leave. 

American tax office worker Kelly Northime (43) was stuck on her way to Shannon to see her mother Marion, who lives in Limerick. "I flew to Heathrow from Philadelphia and got here about 7am Saturday. I was supposed to get a connecting flight to Shannon but it got cancelled and I'm still waiting to hear if I can get on another one," she said yesterday.

Sarah Hyland, who lives in Fulham, West London, was trying to return to Dublin to spend time with her family. "When we got here today it was literally mayhem. There were police at every entrance and they were not letting anyone through. No one was telling us what was going on," she said.  "We were waiting in the freezing cold for over two hours. It was so bad staff had to hand out heat blankets. There were people with children and I saw some pregnant women. No one was helping. We didn't know what was going on. There was even talk there was a bomb scare at one stage. Even if we had wanted to leave we couldn't, it was just so busy. It was an absolute mess."

Meanwhile, 2,000 people who were bound for UK airports were stranded in Dublin when their flights were diverted. They were accommodated in nearby hotels.  Over 2,300 air travelers from Nigeria, Japan, Canada and the US spent the weekend in hotels across Clare and Limerick due to disruptions at Heathrow which meant they were diverted to Shannon.


Four dissident republicans have begun a court appeal in Belfast, after they were sued by families bereaved in the Omagh bombing.

Michael Gallagher - Believes the court should have awarded exemplary damages Four dissident republicans have begun a court appeal in Belfast, after they were sued by families bereaved in the Omagh bombing.

The appeal court heard that an FBI agent whose evidence was crucial in the case against a dissident republican leader found liable for the Omagh bombing is a pathological liar.  Testimony from American undercover operative David Rupert, who claimed to have infiltrated the Real IRA, was key in the successful civil action against Michael McKevitt.  McKevitt and three other republicans, Seamus Daly, Liam Campbell and Colm Murphy, were found responsible in the landmark civil case taken by bereaved relatives in 2009.

The bombing in the Co Tyrone town on 15 August 1998 killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins. More than 200 were injured in the car bomb explosion.  While Mr. Rupert did not give evidence at the civil trial in Belfast High Court, testimony he had given against McKevitt at his 2003 criminal trial in Dublin for directing terrorism was submitted.

Opening the appeal case, his barrister Michael O'Higgins said objective evidence showed Rupert was a liar.  'Mr. Rupert is a pathological liar and a confidence trickster, and a man who it was very strongly submitted (at civil case), a submission based on forensic investigation, engaged in serial perjury in the course of giving his evidence in the Dublin trial,' he said.  Mr. O'Higgins said the fact Rupert had not given evidence in the civil case denied McKevitt an opportunity to cross examine the witness.

In a separate move, relatives who were among those that lost loved ones in the attack are also appealing the £1.6m in compensation recommended in June 2009 after their historic civil action.  No one has ever been successfully convicted of the Omagh bombing, with the only man jailed in connection with the attack, 57-year-old Co Louth builder Colm Murphy, cleared by a retrial in Dublin.

In December 2007, Sean Hoey, 38, from Jonesborough, Co Armagh, was cleared at Belfast Crown Court of murdering the 29 people. He was acquitted of 58 charges, including some not directly linked to the bombing.  The families' have described the ground-breaking civil action as an attempt to bring as much information into the public domain as possible.  The legal bid cost an estimated £2m. The families were supported in their efforts.



Bitterly cold temperatures, high winds and heavy snow are expected in Ireland over the weekend as “The Big Freeze Part 2” hits Ireland and is expected to last until after Christmas.

Severe weather alerts have been issued as the winter storm is expected to cause havoc on Ireland's roads, which are now unsalted

Forecaster Eoin Sherlock warned that the Arctic wind will make it feel “a lot colder” than it did during Ireland’s last cold spell.

This new band of snow came inland from the north and north-west yesterday afternoon. Heavy snowfalls were recorded in Ulster last night, as well as parts of the midlands, north Leinster and west Munster.

Ultster, Mayo and Leitrim have all been affected. Winds gusting to gale force conditions are creating blizzard conditions in some places.

Another band of snow is expected to affect the rest of the country on Friday afternoon and night. By Saturday much of the country will be experiencing snow.

Joan Blackburn from Met Eireann, Ireland’s meteorological services, said this cold snap is being brought by winds from the Arctic north. It is expected that it will snow for the next four or five days. Met Eireann expects most areas to receive 3 to 10 cm of snow with larger amounts on higher ground.  Nighttime temperatures are expected to be as low as -10C (14F) in some areas.

Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport have cancelled all flights due to the snow. The hope that by Friday afternoon flights will resume. Ireland West Airport has also advised that there may be disruptions to their schedule today. Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports remain open with some delays due to bad weather across Europe. Passengers have been advised to check their flight status before departing for their airport.

Due to the past cold snap the National Roads Authority and County Councils have run low on salt to grit the roads. Roads will not be treated until this salt arrives. This year there are 15,000 tons of salt in storage, in comparison to 5,000 tons last year. So far this year 75,000 tons of salt have been used at a cost of $13.3 million.

Michael Phillips, transport mangers at Dublin City Council has advised people not to drive unless necessary during the cold weather, to use public transport and to keep footpaths outside their homes and businesses clear.


Brian Cowen has stepped down as leader of Fianna Fail but hopes to remain as Prime Minster until the upcoming election.

He made his decision known at a press conference in Dublin today. He stated he had “done the right thing” and made the decision last night.

He thanked his wife and family for their support.

His position as party leader had become untenable after a botched attempt to force six of his ministers to resign and replace them with younger members of his party. He did not consult the minority party in his coalition, the Green Party, on his move and they objected and threatened to bring down the government.

Despite the fact that he had won a vote of confidence from his party on Tuesday last, his move on cabinet ministers rebounded badly on him and the party turned on him.

He hopes to remain as Prime Minster because the position is separate from party leader. In addition, his party does not have the votes anymore to elect a new Prime Minister.

His most likely replacement as party leader is Micheal Martin, former Foreign Minster who challenged Cowen on Tuesday and lost.

The election date was set for March 11 but it may be sooner now because a Labor Party vote of no confidence in the government is coming next week. If that succeeds, there would be a mid to late February date for the election.








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Civilization and empires have come and gone. Many have left iconic landmarks to their existence - such as the temples built by the Maya or the Egyptian pyramids - but all of these were built long after this truly special place. 

Indeed, many claim Newgrange is the oldest building in the world. It was built 500 years before the pyramids and 1,000 years before Stonehenge.
Although other passage tombs survive there is nowhere quite like Newgrange.  It was built over 5,000 years ago close to the river Boyne by Neolithic farmers and is one of the several passage tombs in the area - the others being Knowth and Dowth. 

The Boyne Valley has been dubbed Ireland's Valley of the Kings because of the huge number of archaeological sites in it, including the three passage tombs at the complex now known as Brú na Boinne (the bend in the Boyne), Tara, Loughcrew and the Hill of Ward.

It would have taken many decades to create Newgrange using material that came from all over the east coast of Ireland. Some 200,000 tons of stone and earth were used in its construction. Boulders weighing several tons were probably excavated nearby and dragged up the hill to the site on logs. 

It's estimated it would have taken 300 people 20 years to build.  It is likely that fewer people were involved but it would, obviously, then have taken longer to build. Possibly several generations.  Some passage tombs like those on Loughcrew were built so the rising sun on certain times of the day will light up the inner chamber.  But the builders of Newgrange showed a level of sophistication that was truly remarkable.

The rising sun on the days surrounding the winter solstice - the longest night and the shortest day of the year - shines through a box built over the entrance to the chamber.  Just before 9am, the sun rises over the nearby hills and four minutes later a shaft of golden sun lights up the inner chamber. 

When it was originally built, the light would have struck the back of the cruciform (built in the shape of a cross) chamber but due to changes in the earth's axis over the millennia, the light now just reaches into the chamber and stops two meters short of the back recess.  The event lasts 17 minutes before the sun rises too high for the light to enter the chamber and everything is plunged back into darkness again for another year. 

It thought to be a passage tomb and the remains (probably the bones or ashes) of individuals were deposited there after their death. Given the scale of the building project, it is likely those whose remains were left here would have been very important to the society but no one knows who or why. 

There are also a considerable number of Neolithic artworks carved into the stones at Newgrange but no one understands their meaning. They are maybe linked to the solstice or they could have other meanings. As with many things about Newgrange, no one really knows. That knowledge was lost thousands of years ago.

Newgrange itself was 'lost' for several thousand years when it was covered with soil and grass.  It was then just one of several mounds near the Boyne River but through the millennia it never really lost its importance for religious ceremonies. There are 12 standing stones around the tomb and they marked it out as a place of significance. There may have been more standing stones that could have surrounded Newgrange but they disappeared over time. 

Excavations also uncovered some Roman artifacts buried there, probably by Roman auxiliaries as a tribute - so it had significance for many people over many years. 

The passage tomb was rediscovered in 1699 when material was being taken for a road building project.  It was not until 1962 that a full excavation of the site took place. 

During this, thousands of pieces of brilliant white quartz were uncovered around the base of the tomb. During the 'reconstruction' phase they were put up around the front façade of the tomb where it is believed they once were.

Professor Michael J. O'Kelly was spent 13 years excavating and restoring the monument and is one of the people closely associated with Newgrange. It had been a tourist attraction since it was rediscovered but, acting on a hunch, he drove up from his home in Cork to be in the chamber for the winter solstice in December 1967. 

Sometime earlier they had uncovered the light box over the entrance but no one knew what it was for. He sat for some time in the dark chamber but when the sun rose and lit up the chamber he became the first human for thousands of years to see what it was all for.  It was an event that would change him and Newgrange forever.

It is not known why the builders of Newgrange aligned it to the winter equinox, but given the time and effort it took to achieve it must have been an important reason

The sunlight illuminates the chamber of several mornings surrounding the equinox (18 December to 23 December) but December 21st is the solar equinox and when most people gather at Newgrange. 

On the morning, the sun rises at 8.52am over the hills at the far side of the river. Four minutes later the first light hits the chamber through the light box. At first it is a narrow beam but then widens out. After 17 minutes the light disappears entirely from the chamber as the sun rises.

Several hundred people gather outside the chamber at the solstice for a variety of reasons. Some to welcome the start of a new astronomical year, others to commune with the spirit world, others just to enjoy the occasion.
Most of those lucky enough to be in the chamber for the solstice had their names drawn out by school children in the annual draw. 

People can enter this draw when they visit the Bru na Boinne visitor center and this year there were 25,345 applications. 50 names are drawn from all over the world so they and a friend can enter the Chamber during the days of the solstice.  But whether we actually see the sunrise - well that really depends on the sun gods and whether they want to shine on us.

RTÉ had numerous cameras at Newgrange for the event on Tuesday. There was one camera inside the chamber to witness what this monument was created for. 

There was a second camera positioned elsewhere in the chamber while a third camera captured the scene outside, including the sun rising over the hills and the reaction of the assembled crowd. Only a handful of humans have ever seen the sunrise from inside the chamber at Newgrange. 21 December 2010 was not one of those days.


Star-gazers in Northern Ireland were ideally placed to watch a heavenly phenomenon on Tuesday, December 21st.  For the skies played host to a total lunar eclipse - an event which turned the sky a deep red.

It was the first time in almost 500 years that a lunar eclipse had coincided with the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year - on 21 December.

There was also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a selenelion, which occurs when the sun and the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time. This is also known as a horizontal eclipse, because both sun and moon appear above the horizon at nearly opposite points in the sky.

The last time a selenelion occurred, the Tudors were in power in England.  Terry Moseley from the Irish Astronomical Association, said the next full lunar eclipse which would be visible from Ireland would not be until 2015.


The chief executive of a major hospitality body in Northern Ireland has said the situation for the local industry is "critical" after trade was badly hit by the harsh December weather.  Hundreds of Christmas functions had to be cancelled  after snow caused massive disruption.

Colin Neill of Pubs of Ulster, which represents 70% of pubs in NI and and a third of all hotels, said he expected "a lot of bars" to close in the new year. "This is probably the worst trading period over Christmas on record for our industry," he added. "We normally do 20% of our year's turnover in December and we have people canceling left, right and center.  The big impact is that so many pubs and hotels are doing food at Christmas. It just doesn't keep and it is not like we can hang on to the food and sell it again.  I think it is critical, we had pubs on Friday and Saturday actually close on the busiest weekend of the year."

Mr. Neill said that the hospitality industry traditionally relied on sales from the Christmas period to cover bills for January and February.  "The industry was already in dire straits with the recession and this is going to add the death blow to a number of premises," he added. "I think we are going to lose a number of bars right across the province on into spring and the summer."


Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite has died after a long fight with cancer.

Journalist and friend Andrew Richardson said Mr. Postlethwaite passed away peacefully in hospital in Shropshire yesterday. He was 64.

Julie Walters led tributes to a man equally at home on a British stage or the set of a Hollywood blockbuster. Ms Walters, who worked with him at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre in the 1970s, told the Press Association: "He was quite simply the most exciting, exhilarating actor of his generation. He invented 'edgy'. He was an exhilarating person and actor. Spielberg was right when he said he was the best actor in the world."

Mr. Postlethwaite, who was made an OBE in 2004, was once described by director Steven Spielberg as "probably the best actor in the world today".

Mr. Postlethwaite's films included 'Brassed Off', 'The Usual Suspects', 'The Shipping News', 'Inception' and 'Romeo & Juliet'. He received his Oscar nomination for his performance as Guiseppe Conlon in the 1993 film 'In The Name Of The Father', about the wrongful convictions of the Guildford Four for an IRA bomb attack.

Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, praised the actor's portrayal of his dying father. "There were times when he turned and these quirky mannerisms that he performed, it was like looking at my dad," Mr. Conlon told RTÉ Radio. "I think In the Name of the Father and the part he played in it opened so many doors for him in his versatility." Jim Sheridan, who directed the film, said: "He was a great warrior. He looked indestructible, that was the thing about him."

It is understood Mr. Postlethwaite was first diagnosed with cancer around the time of filming 'In the Name of the Father'. Mr Sheridan said the IRA's 1993 bomb attack on the actor's home town of Warrington had a big impact on him.

Mr. Postlethwaite was also a political activist who marched against the war in Iraq, supported the Make Poverty History campaign and starred in the 2009 film about global warming, 'The Age of Stupid'.

His most recent work includes 'Killing Bono' and 'The Town'. He is survived by his wife, Jacqui, his son Will, 21, and daughter, Lily, 14.






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The Rugby Six Nations commences on 4 February, 2011 at Millennium Stadium with a match-up between Wales and England. 



Friday, February 4th, 2011

Wales v England           19:45


Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Italy v. Ireland                14:30
France v Scotland          17:00

Saturday, February 12th, 2011
England v Italy               14:30
Scotland v Wales           17:00

Sunday, February 13th, 2011
Ireland v France             15:00


  Ireland squad named for RBS 6 Nations


Declan Kidney has announced a 32 man squad for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations with Connacht's Mike McCarthy getting his first call-up to international duty.  Speaking about the squad, Declan Kidney said: 'As always the selection of the squad is never an easy one but certainly the level of competition in each position is probably as great as it has ever been over the last two years.  'Players have been really pushing their performances for their provinces, so that level of competition can only be good. That translates into more competition for each place in the squad and then for the first selection against Italy, which can only be a good thing coming into the championship.' 

Ireland Squad for RBS 6 Nations Championship:


Tommy Bowe, Gordon D'Arcy, Gavin Duffy, Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Shane Horgan, Ronan O' Gara, Brian O'Driscoll, 
Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton, Peter Stringer, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace. 


Rory Best, Tom Court, Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen, Stephen Ferris, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings, Denis Leamy, Mike McCarthy, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Sean O'Brien, Mick O'Driscoll, Michael Ross, 
Rhys Ruddock, David Wallace.



If you are interested in becoming a Host Family for the Wider Horizons Program in 2011, please contact Robert Tierney at or phone (412) 394-3900.





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January 28th-February 4th

Andy Cooney's Cruise of Irish Stars, aboard Costa Atlantica sailing 7-Night Western Caribbean - depart Miami; entertainment with Andy Cooney, Ronan Tynann, Noel V.Ginnity, Cherish the Ladies, Taylor's Irish Cabaret, Paddy Noonan, Declan Aungier, The Screaming Orphans, Pat & Fran Marnane, Noel Kingston, Stephen Green, Bill Lewis, Willie Lynch Band, Tom Comerford and more.  Book with Cruise Specialists of Long Island, 1-800-499-2010,


January 30th-February 6th

Irish Festival Cruise aboard MCA's Poesia sailing the Western Caribbean- Key West, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with The Black Family, Girsa, Ennis, Bridgets Cross, Dublin City, Ramblers, Matt Cunningham, Eugene & Kevin Byrne, Tom Sweeney, plus more. Information 1-800-441-HARP.


January 30th

The Gaelic Arts Society presents the movie "Secret of Ronan Inish" at the Dithridge House Party Room, 220 Dithridge St., Oakland, 2:30pm.


February 5th

Pittsburgh Ceili Club at is sponsoring their monthly ceili at the VFW in Morningside on Morningside Ave.,  "Used Book Sale" Ceili at 8:00pm.


February 11th & 12th

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Ave., in The Strip, 412-642-6622 features The Malones from Philadelphia at 9:00pm.


February 18th

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Ave., in The Strip, 412-642-6622 features The GREAT GUINNESS TOAST with Corned Beef & Curry at 9:00pm.


February 19th

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Ave., in The Strip, 412-642-6622 features Celtic Rock with Red Hand Paddy at 9:00pm.


February 21st

The Gaelic Arts Society presents "Irish Folk Songs" with Sheliah Collins, Celtic music singer at the Dithridge House Party Room, 220 No. Dithridge St. Oakland, 2:30pm.  Information Earl McCabe 412-761-1844.


February 25th, 26th, & 27th

AOH Allegheny County Board Men's Retreat at St.Paul's Retreat House in Southside.  Information Larry Squires, 412-760-2600 or Email:


Pittsburgh Irish Dance Schools


            Bell School of Irish Dance  


            Burke Irish Dancers  


    Pittsburgh Irish Reelers  

    Shovlin Academy of Dance  

    Pittsburgh Ceili Club  




Pittsburgh Irish Sports


    Pittsburgh Gaelic Athletic Association (PGAA)

- a representative organization of the Pittsburgh Celtics, Pittsburgh Banshees, and Pittsburgh Celtics Youth



Pittsburgh Hurling Club (PHC)



Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club (PIRC)


become a regular at these local programs!

 The Echoes of Erin is marking its 22nd year!  It airs every Sunday afternoon at 12:30-2:00p.m. on WEDO, 810 AM.  Diane Byrnes continues to provide Irish music, news, and other great information from the Emerald Isle.  Keep up the good work, Diane!


Paddy's Pour House located on Main Street in Carnegie, PA hosts live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night starting at 9:00 p.m.  Tuesday nights, come for Irish Night: Guinness, Smithwick's, and Half and Half specials 8-12 p.m.  For more information, visit their website or call (412) 279-0770.


Catch the Thistle and Shamrock every Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. on WYEP 91.3FM for Celtic music performances and discussions.


We're always looking for events to include: If you'd like to include your next event in this newsletter, please send event information including date, time, location, admission cost, and contact information to


Check Performance Schedules, Etc.

Aran from Johnstown PA -      George Balderose  -

Carnival of Souls -

Ceann  -  

Cue Ball Music  

Cahal Dunne  -

Tony Egan   -  

Michael Gallagher  -

Terry Griffith  

Guaranteed Irish    -

Hiraeth  -

Hooley  -

John McCann  -

Corned Beef & Curry -

Michael Murphy & TSRB

Na Gaels  -

Jack Puskar  -  

Red Hand Paddy  -

Rolling Scones  -


The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh’s mission is to promote mutual understanding of the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Northern Ireland and economic development throughout all of Ireland. The Institute fulfills its mission by providing quality programs in job training, economic development, leadership development, educational alliances and reconciliation. The Institute is a change-oriented organization that collaborates with industry, educational and government institutions in the development of all programs.

The Ireland Institute relies on its donor and volunteer network to continue its mission of mutual reconciliation and economic development. Your generosity is kindly appreciated.


The Ireland Institute is available to accept donations through the United Way. Please remember our code for the United Way Campaign of Southwestern Pennsylvania: 4534. We are also listed as a non-Profit under the Combined Federal Campaign. Our number is: 12438. A third option is to donate through the local Federal campaign. This number is: 9016.


If you prefer, a tax-deductible donation can also be made directly to the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh. The Ireland Institute also appreciates in-kind donations such as event tickets etc. that we can then distribute to our participants.


For further information or questions about how you can donate, please contact us at 412-394-3900.


 All articles are adapted from, the Irish Emigrant, the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish Examiner, BBC, and other news sources.