The Common Ground

Vol. IX, Issue 11

November 2011









Earlier this month,  Michael D. Higgins was inaugurated Ireland’s ninth President. His speech can be read  below. President Higgins gives us a lot to think about. He challenges all of us, Irish citizens and diaspora, to dream, to think, to collaborate, to seek common ground for the common good, for Ireland and for the world. Please take five minutes to read this speech. Then let me know what you want to do for Ireland and how I might help.

                           Inaugural speech of President Michael D Higgins

Muintir na hÉireann and friends of Ireland at home and abroad, there can be no greater honor than to have been elected Uachtarán na hÉireann - President of Ireland. I thank you the people of Ireland for the honor you have bestowed upon me and I accept and appreciate the great responsibilities of that office. Citizens of Ireland, you have chosen me to be your ninth President, to represent you at home and abroad, and to serve as a symbol of an Irishness of which we can all be proud. 

An Irishness which is carried by every citizen and which we must recall and forge anew together. 

I enter the ninth Presidency with a sense of humility, but also with confidence in the great capacity of our people, the people of Ireland, not only to transcend present difficulties but to realize all of the wonderful possibilities that I believe await us in the years ahead.

I wish to acknowledge the immense contribution of those who have previously served in this office, particularly the two great women who have immediately preceded me. 

They have made contributions that developed our consciousness of human rights, inclusion, and the important task of deepening and sustaining peace within and between communities in every part of our Island. It is work I will endeavor to continue and build upon.

As your President, I am grateful for the extent of the support, the strong mandate, you have given me. I also realize the challenges that I face, that we face together, in closing a chapter that has left us fragile as an economy, but most of all wounded as a society, with unacceptable levels of unemployment, mortgage insecurity, collapsing property values and many broken expectations.

During my campaign for the Presidency, I encountered that pain particularly among the most vulnerable of our people. However, I also recognize the will of all of our people to move beyond anger, frustration or cynicism and to draw on our shared strengths. To close the chapter on that which has failed, that which was not the best version of ourselves as a people, and open a new chapter based on a different version of our Irishness - will require a transition in our political thinking, in our view of the public world, in our institutions, and, most difficult of all, in our consciousness.

In making that transformation, it is necessary to move past the assumptions which have failed us and to work together for such a different set of values as will enable us to build a sustainable social economy and a society which is profoundly ethical and inclusive. A society and a state which will restore trust and confidence at home and act as a worthy symbol of Irishness abroad, inviting relationships of respect and co-operation across the world.

We must seek to build together an active, inclusive citizenship; based on participation, equality, respect for all and the flowering of creativity in all its forms. A confident people is our hope, a people at ease with itself, a people that grasps the deep meaning of the proverb 'ní neart go cur le chéile' - our strength lies in our common weal - our social solidarity.

Sin iad mór-théamaí na hUachtaránachta atá curtha romham agam, agus mé lán-dóchasach go bhfuilimid ar tháirseach ré nua d'Éirinn agus d'Éireannaigh, sa bhaile agus i gcéin. Ré nua ina mbeidh bunluacha na cothroime agus an chirt, agus spiorad na cruthaíochta, faoi bhláth: poblacht, a mbeidh Éireannaigh de gach aicme agus traidisiún bródúil aisti. 

My Presidency will be a Presidency of transformation, recognising and building on the many positive initiatives already under way in communities, in the economy, and in individual and collective efforts throughout our land. It will be a Presidency that celebrates all of our possibilities. It will seek to be of assistance and encouragement to investment and job creation, to innovation and original thinking - a Presidency of ideas - recognizing and open to new paradigms of thought and action. It will aspire to turn the best of ideas into living realities for all of our people, realizing our limitless possibilities - ár feidireachtaí gan teorainn.

In implementing the mandate you have given me, I will seek to achieve an inclusive citizenship where every citizen participates and everyone is treated with respect. I will highlight and support initiatives for inclusion across Ireland and also make it a priority to visit and to support the participation of the most excluded in our society, including those in institutional care.

I will champion creative communities who are bringing about positive change at local level by giving recognition to their achievements on the national stage. I believe that when we encourage the seedbed of creativity in our communities and ensure that each child and adult has the opportunity for creative expression, we also lay the groundwork for sustainable employment in creative industries and enrich our social, cultural and economic development. 

In promoting inclusion and creativity, I will be inviting all citizens, of all ages, to make their own imaginative and practical contribution to the shaping of our shared future. 

Active citizenship requires the will and the opportunity to participate at every level and in every way - to be the arrow; not the target. 

Next year Bunreacht na hÉireann is 75 years old and a Constitutional Convention is planned by Government. As President, I encourage all citizens, of all ages, at home and abroad to take the opportunity of engaging with this important review as an opportunity to reflect on where we have come from and on how we might see ourselves into the future. 

During my Presidency, I also intend to hold a number of Presidency Seminars which may reflect and explore themes important to our shared life yet separate and wider than legislative demand, themes such as the restoration of trust in our institutions, the ethical connection between our economy and society, the future of a Europe built on peace, social solidarity and sustainability. 

The first of these seminars will focus on being young in Ireland. It will address issues of participation, education, employment, emigration and mental health. I hope also that the seminars during the next seven years might encompass consideration of global issues, stressing the importance of the ethical connection between politics, economy, development and society.

In preparing for my Presidency, I recognize that our long struggle for freedom has produced a people who believe in the right of the individual mind to see the world in its own way and indeed that individual innovation and independence of mind has given Ireland many distinguished contributors in culture and science, often insufficiently celebrated. 

However, in more recent years, we saw the rise of a different kind of individualism - closer to an egotism based on purely material considerations - that tended to value the worth of a person in terms of the accumulation of wealth rather then their fundamental dignity. That was our loss, the source in part, of our present difficulties. Now it is time to turn to an older wisdom that, while respecting material comfort and security as a basic right of all, also recognizes that many of the most valuable things in life cannot be measured. 

Our successes after all in the eyes of so many in the world have been in the cultural and spiritual areas - in our humanitarian, peace-building and human rights work - in our literature, art, drama and song - and in how that drama and song have helped us cope with adversity, soothed the very pain which they describe so well, and opened the space for new possibilities.

Our arts celebrate the people talking, singing, dancing and ultimately communing with each other. This is what James Connolly meant when he said that: "Ireland without her people means nothing to me". Connolly took pride in the past but, of course, felt that those who excessively worshipped that past were sometimes seeking to escape from the struggle and challenge of the present. He believed that Ireland was a work in progress, a country still to be fully imagined and invented - and that the future was exhilarating precisely in the sense that it was not fully knowable, measurable.

The demands and the rewards of building a real and inclusive Republic in its fullest sense remains as a challenge for us all, but it is one we should embrace together.

A decade of commemorations lies ahead - a decade that will require us to honestly explore and reflect on key episodes in our modern history as a nation; that will require us to draw on the ethics and politics of memory in such a way as will enable us not only to be sensitive to differing and incomplete versions of that history, but also to remain open to the making of reconciliation or to the acceptance of different versions of aspects and events of memory if required. 

A common shared future built on the spirit of co-operation, the collective will and real participation in every aspect of the public world is achievable and I believe we can achieve it together. In our rich heritage some of our richest moments have been those that turned towards the future and a sense of what might be possible. It is that which brought us to independence. It is that which has enabled us to overcome adversity and it is that which will enable us to transcend our present difficulties and celebrate the real Republic which is ours for the making.

Every age, after all, must have its own Aisling and dream of a better, kinder, happier, shared world. 

Ní díomas ach dóchas a bheidh ag teastáil uainn ins na blianta dúshlánacha atá amach romhainn. Dóchas as ár n-oighreacht shaibhir, as ár ndúchas iolrach; dóchas as ár n-acmhainn samhlaíochta agus cruthaíochta; as an daonnacht choiteann a fáisceadh as stair chasta ár muintire i ngach cúinne d'Éirinn. 

It is my wish to be a President for all of the Irish at home and abroad. We Irish have been a diasporic people for a great part of our history. The circumstances that have impelled - and that continue to impel - many citizens to seek employment and a better life elsewhere, are not ordained by some mysterious hand of fate. They challenge our capacity to create a sustainable and prosperous economy and an inspiring model of the good society. We, in our time, must address the real circumstances that generate involuntary emigration, and resolve that in the years ahead we will strive with all our energy and intellect, with mind and heart to create an Ireland which our young people do not feel they have to leave and to which our emigrants, or their children, may wish, in time, to return to work and live in dignity and prosperity. I invite all of the Irish, wherever they may be across the world, to become involved with us in that task of remaking our economy and society.

Agus, ár muintir atá lonnaithe i dtíortha ar fuaid an domhain mhóir, bíodh a gcás, a gcearta agus a ngaiscí siúd ar ár n-aire againn. Tá rian a saothair agus a ndíograis fágtha acu ar gach tír inar lonnaigh siad: ar an gcultúr polaitíochta agus creidimh, sna réimsí oideachais agus sláinte, san eolaíocht, san saol gnó agus sna h-ealaíona ar fad: agus i ngluaiseachtaí éagsúla ar son chearta daonna agus dínit an duine. Ní suarach iad na gaiscí seo mar thaisce inspioráide dúinne sa bhaile. 

Let these, then, be our shared hopes, our common purpose, as we face the future. 

We Irish are a creative, resourceful, talented and warm people, with a firm sense of common decency and justice. Let us address the next seven years with hope and courage as we work together to build the future for our country -an Ireland we all feel part of, an Ireland we all feel proud of. 

Muintir na hÉireann, ar aghaidh linn le chéile leis an dóchas agus 




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The Irish Castle Vacation Prize Raffle

Ashford Castle – Galway       Dromoland Castle – Limerick         Clontarf Castle – Dublin

Roundtrip airfare for two - 6 nights accommodations - Car rental for 1 week 

 Donation $20

Winning ticket will be drawn December 19, 2011 at The Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA15222

For more information, contact the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh at 412-394-3900

Cash or Check made payable to Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh

Prize Subject to availability of dates. Allow three weeks for booking.

If you think you can sell a book of 10 - please contact us. If you can sell a book - the 11th ticket is on us as a thank you!









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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said he intends to propose that VAT be increased by 2% from 21% to 23% in the Budget. Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Noonan said the Government had not seen or signed off yet on his Budget proposals.

He described as disappointing the leaking of what he called confidential preliminary documents that the Government had supplied to the troika and which he said conveyed what the Government might do.

Mr Noonan said he would not increase income tax in the Budget and favored the VAT increase because it would have less impact on jobs.

The European Commission has said the issuing of the Government's budget document to the German parliament before being published in Ireland was "the sole responsibility of the authorities" in Germany.

Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said that as a member of the EU/IMF/ECB troika, it had a legal obligation to supply such information to the German Finance Ministry, which in turn is obliged to pass it on to the Bundestag budget committee.

Earlier, sources close to the troika said the confidential document, which indicates a 2% rise in the top VAT rate in next month's Budget, was mistakenly forwarded by the European Commission to the financial committee.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Sinn Féin Finance Spokesman Pearse Doherty said the incident was deeply embarrassing for the Government.

He called on the Government to publish the document so that Irish people are made aware of the full financial issues that will affect them.

The document involved is called "Ireland: memorandum of economic and financial policies".

It was attached to a draft "Letter of Intent" from Finance Minister Michael Noonan and the Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, to the IMF, ECB and the European Commission.

President has taken voluntary pay cut of 23.5%



Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said “the President has indicated to my department that he wishes to undertake a voluntary pay reduction, and that has been put in place”.

Legislation to reduce the Head of State’s salary to €249,014 from €325,507 is being processed but will only apply to the next president. Therefore, Mr Higgins has waived 23.5 per cent of his salary, to bring it in line with the Government’s intended reduction. He follows in the footsteps of his predecessor Mary McAleese, who took a similar pay cut.

The issue was raised by Fianna Fáil public reform spokesman Seán Fleming who had asked how many public servants were on salaries of more than €250,000. He also asked whether the cut would apply to Mr Higgins’s pension as a former minister.

Mr Howlin said he did not want to get into a discussion on the President “but the deputy can be assured that the highest probity will attach itself to all his actions”. However, during the presidential election campaign, Mr Higgins pledged he would waive his ministerial and TD pensions and his pension as a lecturer from NUI Galway if elected.

There are 18 individuals receiving more than €250,000 and “whose remuneration is subject to ministerial sanction” along with a number of academics “at professorial level in the health and education sector”. There are “no persons in either the Civil Service or local authorities with salaries above €200,000”.

Seven are chief executives of commercial semi-State bodies, “all of whom have taken a reduction, although their salaries are still over €250,000”. One is the chief executive of a non-commercial semi-State body, and the rest are the Chief Justice, the president of the High Court and the Supreme Court judges.

Mr Fleming said he asked the question because they were promised that people such as the chief executives of semi-States, along with hospital consultants, “would be dealt with at an early stage. That was last July, but there is no sign of this happening.” He suggested: “Let one or two of them go to court if they are so minded.”

The Government would have the support of the House if they cut salaries, he added.

Mr Howlin replied: “I do not think the deputy and I have any difference of opinion on this. It is a question of how we do it rather than what we do.”




The Croke Park agreement on public service pay and reform is unsustainable and needs to be renegotiated, the chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee has said.

Speaking after a speech in Dublin this morning, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said the pay and pensions of staff in the public service were being protected under the deal.

He said that only 58 per cent of the workforce in the country had a pension while 42 per cent had not.

“But those 42 per cent who cannot afford a pension for themselves are contributing to the pension of the public sector. It is creating a two-tier workforce, it is creating a two–tier pension scheme and it has to be renegotiated.”

Mr McGuinness said that in the context of around 37,500 more staff leaving the public service under the Government’s new reform measures announced yesterday, it was clear that there were going to be “serious difficulties” in front line areas.

"And we are not focusing on where we need to focus, which is at management level , get the best practices in there and strengthen our front line services."

Earlier, in an address to a Public Affairs Ireland conference, he said that off the top of his head he could probably identify five or six public service agencies that would be run in a better and cheaper manner by private companies as well as other bodies that should be amalgamated or shut down.

“The only reason why that has not been done up to now is that governments were prepared to waste money rather than talk sense to trade unions, culminating in that great monument to sacred cows, the Croke Park agreement.”

“That monument is now being eyed by technocrats who have no respect for cloud cuckoo land and have a great desire to pull down any monument built to false gods. The Croke Park agreement certainly falls into that category.”



Former moderator and founder of the Free Presbyterian Church Ian Paisley has announced he will retire as a senior minister.

Mr Paisley, 85, informed his congregation at Ravenhill Presbyterian in Belfast of the decision on Sunday.

He said he will step down from his ministry of 65 years at the end of December.

The former DUP leader, who stepped down as First Minister of the Stormont Assembly in 2008, is currently working on his autobiography.








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Science has finally figured out just why Guinness is so different. Unlike other brews, the bubbles in Guinness go down rather than up. Lucky members of the Royal Society of Chemistry investigated a selection of pints last week in London.

They used a super-fast camera that magnified the bubbles to 1000 percent of their normal size and zoomed in on their behavior.

They found that the bubbles rose rapidly at the center of the glass, pulling the surrounding liquid with them and setting up a circulating current while the outlying bubbles moved downwards.

Senior researcher Dr Andrew Alexander, who lectures in chemical physics at the University of Edinburgh, said he had wanted to do this experiment since drinking Guinness as a student ''I'd wanted to try and capture the bubbles going down as I had obviously wondered whether it really did happen, having drunk a few Guinness during my time at university, or whether it was an optical illusion created by the waves in the drink that don't contain any bubbles. Nobody had carried out the experiment before.

''To capture the image, we had a camera which uses 4,500 frames a second and a zoom lens of times 10. When we saw the bubbles really were going down, I was immeasurably happy. ''We then filmed it as a colleague pointed out that people might have said all we did was turn the photos upside down. But it's true. The circulation cells in the glass provide the same effect like you see in a tornado.''

A spokesman for the RSC said: ''Guinness is good for this experiment as the bubbles are small, due to being released at high pressure by the widget and therefore easily pushed around. ''The gas in the bubbles is also important. In lager beers, the gas is carbon dioxide which is more easily dissolved into the liquid. The gas in Guinness bubbles is nitrogen - not so easily dissolved and therefore not prone to grow larger.  ''Finally, the contrast between the dark liquid and the light cream bubbles make the bubbles much easier to see. We're pleased to have finally solved this mystery.


TLC is the latest to hop on the newly rejuvenated Irish dance craze with their new series ‘Irish Dancing Tweens.’ The new series will feature several dance schools, with each episode focusing on individual dancers during rehearsals, preparation, travel, and competitions.

‘Irish Dancing Tweens’ follows the success of the acclaimed film documentary ‘Jig’ that aired in special release over the summer. TLC has recently acquired the rights to air ‘Jig,’ the documentary that focused on dancers experiences with last year’s World Championships in Glasgow, but has not yet set an air-date for the film.

Amy Winter, General Manager of TLC, said to The Hollywood Reporter that “TLC is excited to share this subculture of dance with our audience. Irish jig dancing is a global phenomenon and the series will reveal the world behind the sport in a compelling combination of heart and competition.”

However, the comments section of the article on THR has already exploded with criticism of the dance form being referred to erroneously as “Irish jig dancing” instead of “Irish dancing” or “Irish step dancing.” Jigs are only but one form of dance that competitive Irish step dancers are familiar with.

‘Irish Dancing Tweens’ will undoubtedly draw parallels to TLC’s other big hit “Toddler & Tiaras” on the basis of children in competition. Hopefully TLC will take the time to realize that Irish dance is much more than competition in that it fosters a unique type of community that welcomes most anyone.

The announcement of TLC’s new program comes at a high-point of competition in the year for the world of competitive Irish dancing, as several regions hold their Oireachtas around North America during November and early December. 


Seamus Heaney has been given a lifetime achievement award at the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards. The Londonderry-born poet received the honor from Irish president and fellow poet, Michael D Higgins.

The Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award was in recognition of his contribution to Irish literature over the past six decades.   The poet continues to write after publishing his first collection of poems in 1966.

Mr Higgins said the former winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature "truly understands the Irish people and their historical landscape".  "By delving into the images and memories of a rural Irish childhood, he weaves a journey back to our future selves and the scenery of a few truths," he said.

Mr Heaney also had kind words for the newly-elected president describing him as the "president of the republic of conscience and president of the republic of letters".

In a pre-recorded video message, former US president Bill Clinton also described Mr Heaney as "one of the world's favorite poets" and praised his poetry as "a gift to the people of Ireland and to the world and a gift to me in difficult times".

He joked he had named his dog Seamus after the poet.







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Tyrone GAA chiefs have promised a full investigation after a mass brawl at the Division One League final spilled over into the crowd, with spectators involved in ugly scenes. Fighting which broke out between players in the closing stages of the title decider between Carrickmore and Dromore sparked trouble in the stand at Dunmoyle.

A number of spectators were left with open wounds as a result of the disturbance, which lasted almost 10 minutes.
Two Carrickmore players received straight red cards as a direct result of the on-field disorder, with Dromore running out five points winners once order was restored.

County chairman Ciaran McLaughlin promised that an in-depth investigation will be undertaken by the county's Competitions Control Committee."The matter will be left in the hands of the CCC," Mr McLaughlin said.  "Obviously they will have to investigate it completely and fully and if there are sanctions to be brought, they will be brought."

Adding that the involvement of spectators is a worrying development, he said: "When something happens outside the perimeter of the field and spectators become involved, it is very serious."

Earlier this season, a referee was seriously assaulted at a ladies match in Tyrone, as a result of which two men, one of them a member of the Carrickmore management team, received lifetime bans.


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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Help the Institute:


• Friday, & Saturday, November 18, & 19 

• Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Kevin McKrell out of New York and a soloist. Kevin is also with the group, The McKrells. 

Friday, November 18 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Happy Hour with Dean Kostlich at 5:30pm, then Kevin McKrell out of New York and a soloist. Kevin is also with the group, The McKrells. 

Paddy's Pour House , 215 East Main Street , Carnegie, 412.279.0770, features Ballad Singer Sean McClorey at 9:00pm. 

Saturday, November 19 

Paddy's Pour House , 215 East Main Street , Carnegie, 412.279.0770, features Ballad Singer Mike Gallagher at 9:00pm. 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, Kevin McKrell out of New York and a soloist. Kevin is also with the group, The McKrells. 

Sunday, November 20 

Gaelic Arts Society of Pgh will sponsor their Memorial Mass at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland , Noon. 

Echoes of Erin on WEDO 810AM at 12:30pm, Live News – The Ireland Report from Dublin with Davy Kettyles. Live Stream click on “Listen Live”. Information Diane Byrnes 412.781.6368. 

Wednesday, November 23 

• Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip
, 412.642.6622, features Corned Beef & Curry celebrating Thanksgiving, beginning about 8:30pm. 

Thursday, November 24 

• Thanksgiving Day, may you be thankful for all of your blessings! 

Friday, November 25 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Happy Hour with Andy Halter at 5:30pm . Live music at 9:00pm, TBA. 

Paddy's Pour House , 215 East Main Street , Carnegie, 412.279.0770, features Ballad Singer Sean McClorey at 9:00pm. 

Saturday, November 26 

In IRELAND – Annual Pól Kinsella Function in conjunction with '81 Hunger Strike Committee, remembering all those who played their roll during the 1981 Hunger Strike period both inside Blanketmen / Women Armagh and outside Relatives Action Committee / Youth Against Oppression. 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Celtic Rock with Red Hand Paddy, 9 :00pm. 

Paddy's Pour House , 215 East Main Street , Carnegie, 412.279.0770, features Ballad Singer Mike Gallagher at 9:00pm. 

Michael Londra, the voice of Riverdance, ( took over from Brian Kennedy) will participate in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, downtown Pittsburgh . Performing in Concert, ‘Beyond Celtic' at 8:00pm, The Palace Theatre, 21 West Otterman St. , Greensburg PA. 15601 . ( 724) 836.8000. His new TV special “ Michael Londra Beyond Celtic ” features an onstage 25 piece orchestra and choir with guests like Frankie Gavin and De Dannan plus Irish sisters, Sephira and airs across the US and Canada . 

AOH Division 17 in Monroeville present “ Corned Beef & Curry” at the Club Rooms, from 8:30pm. Information Bill O'Neil, . 

Sunday, November 27 

Echoes of Erin on WEDO 810AM, The Ireland Report from Belfast with Mairtin O'Muilleoir, Managing Director, Belfast Media Group, access at and . Guest in studio, Sarah McAuliffe Bellin , President, Irish American Unity Conference, IAUC. 

The Celtic Tenors in Concert at The Strand Theater 119 North Main Street, Zelienople, 16063 , 7:30pm. Tickets $39 @ Ovation Tix 866.811.4111. Further information call theatre 724.742.0400. 

Wednesday, November 30 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Mark Guiser at 7:30pm. 

Friday, December 2 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Happy Hour with Tim & John at 5:30pm, then Corned Beef & Curry, 9:00 pm. 

Saturday, December 3 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Ballad Singer, Terry Griffith at 9:00pm. 

Sunday, December 4 

Echoes of Erin on WEDO 810am, The Ireland Report with Patricia Sharkey, Donegal; Editor of the Donegal Newsletter at . Live Stream – click on “Listen Live'. 

• The Progressive Celtic Rockers “ Murder the Stout (MTS)” will be performing at The Altar Bar, 1620 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412-263-2877, Doors open at 6:00pm. The show consists of 4 Bands on the bill including: Street Dogs, Off With Their Heads, Murder the Stout, and Bastard Bearded Irishmen (this group is local to Pittsburgh ). MTS is headed up by Hugh Morrison on lead vocals & squeezebox. . Admission $14 Advance, $16 Door. 

Tuesday, December 6 

The Ladies AOH Division 4 present Andy Cooney's Classical Irish Christmas Show at the West View Fireman's Hall, doors open at 6:30pm. Reservations requested by November 29 th . Information: Sue Donnelly, Email: . 412-364-5840 or 412-734-9595. 

Thursday, December 8 – Saturday, December 10 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Tom O'Carroll on vocals & guitar. Tom originally from Dublin tells really good stories, will give a joke or two, and sing your favorite songs. Thursday at 8:30pm, Friday & Saturday at 9:00 pm. 

Friday, December 9 

Gaelic Arts Society of Pgh will sponsor their Annual Christmas Party. Reservations Earl McCabe 412.761.1844. 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, Private Party, Pub opens to Public at 7:00 pm. 

Wednesday, December 14 

• Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features Open Mic with Bob Banerjee at 7:30pm. 

Thursday, December 15 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, features TRIVIA with Johnny Connolly, live entertainment following. 

Friday, December 16 

Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle 2329 Penn Ave. , in The Strip, 412.642.6622, Private Party, Pub opens to Public at 7:00 pm. 

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  -

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)

-a representative organization of the Pittsburgh Pucas

Open Practices: Tuesdays @ 5:30pm, Frick Park



Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club (PIRC)




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.