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News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)
February 11, 2007
Election Analysis: Numbers Don't Add
Click Pic to Enlarge
IT 02/12/07 Analysis: The Numbers Don’t Add
IT 02/12/07 Election Battleground
IT 02/11/07 Anti-GFA Unionist Oppose DUP In Key Seats
BT 02/11/07 Devolution Warning Over IRA Fugitives Deal
BN 02/11/07 Finucane Mural To Be Unveiled In Belfast
BT 02/11/07 Hain Supports Orde Amid Love-Child Controversy
IT 02/12/07 Hotel Plan Angers Nuns Who Sold Land For Park
Click Pic to Enlarge
RH 02/11/07 Pub Brings Taste Of Ireland To Lewisburg
Analysis: Something Must Give To Make Numbers Add Up
Mon, Feb 12, 2007
Overview: In essence, this election will be about who will
yield, writes Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor
At the start of election campaigns party psephologists
crank into bamboozle mode. That's their job.
Interrogate the main party experts and it's clear that the
Assembly election on March 7th will turn out like this:
DUP, 40 seats; Sinn Féin, 27 seats; Ulster Unionists, 24
seats; SDLP, 22; Alliance 7; and one seat each for United
Kingdom Unionist Party, Progressive Unionist Party and
Independents Dr Kieran Deeny and Paul Berry.
But, as the Americans say, do the math and you will observe
a problem. Those figures total to 124 politicians returned
to the house on the hill at Stormont if the DUP and Sinn
Féin do a deal (which is another issue entirely) by the St
Andrews Agreement deadline of March 26th.
Yet, try as you might, you can't squeeze 124 politicians
into 108 seats, because that's all there are. Something has
got to give, which in essence is what this election will be
about: who will yield and who will triumph.
Unlike the last 2003 Assembly poll, which ultimately was an
election to nothing, this potentially is an election to a
fully functioning powersharing northern executive with DUP
leader Ian Paisley as first minister and Sinn Féin's Martin
McGuinness as deputy first minister.
The key word here is "potentially". It's far from certain
that devolution can happen by March 26th because the DUP
leadership will not during the course of this campaign
provide straight answers to straight questions, which they
will be asked again and again, as to whether they will
There will be some of the DUP's harder men and women who
will insist there will be no government with "Sinn
Féin/IRA" in any circumstances. Indeed, only on Thursday
six Ballymena DUP councillors said they would not canvass
for Dr Paisley because they were so vehemently opposed to
powersharing. When the Doc is challenged by former ultra
loyalists in his own backyard you have a sense of the
internal tensions in the DUP. With UKUP leader Robert
McCartney as the focus, other former loyalists or
supporters are threatening to stand against DUP candidates.
It will be nasty and interesting.
The DUP's counter-argument to the no-dealers is that if
unionists don't rally behind the party they could have
Martin McGuinness as prospective first minister. Sinn Féin
will sell that same line to nationalists, but in reverse.
Keeping vague what happens after the elections allows the
DUP to maintain a semblance of unity and cohesion during
the campaign. But after March 7th hard decisions must be
made. That's when we will learn whether Dr Paisley can
still lead his party, or whether he is a prisoner to those
who won't share power with Sinn Féin.
There is evidence he is preparing for a bruising post-
election internal battle as the DUP has imposed strict
discipline for any successful candidates who breach party
rules, including heavy fines of some £2,000 (€2,986) and
The DUP is aiming for the biggest gains in this election,
primarily at the expense of the Ulster Unionist Party in
constituencies such as South Belfast, Strangford, Lagan
Valley and East Derry. Forty seats at this stage would seem
ambitious but, barring major damage inflicted by anti-deal
unionists, the DUP should be up on its current total of 32.
To try to survive the UUP will make great play on Dr
Paisley's refusal to state definitively whether he will
enter government with Martin McGuinness and hope that the
DUP vote splinters. Ulster Unionists will also argue that
unionists would be well minded not to cede too much power
to Dr Paisley and that a vote for the UUP will safeguard
the middle-ground, and help keep Paisley and McGuinness
Sinn Féin, after galvanising its base with an ardfheis and
dozens of meetings on policing, and notwithstanding its own
more minor internal tensions, probably has never been in
ruder grassroots health. It will face opposition from
Republican Sinn Féin and other republican purist candidates
but it too has a good chance to make gains in such target
constituencies as Lagan Valley and South Antrim.
The SDLP won 18 seats in 2003 and will be disappointed if
it doesn't at least maintain that figure. It believes it
has real opportunities of advances in Strangford, Newry and
Armagh, and South Down while facing difficulties in some
Alliance appears the most vulnerable party. In 2003, with
almost half the vote that it won in 1998, it held on to its
But the sharks are circling this time and four of its six
seats - Lagan Valley, North Down, South Antrim and
Strangford - are under threat. Chinese welfare candidate
Anna Lo in South Belfast, on the other hand, is aiming for
a gain. Alliance argues that with first preferences plus
the all-important transfers, plus the argument for
maintaining the centre ground, it could confound
Dawn Purvis will be hard-pressed to hold the late David
Ervine's seat for the Progressive Unionist Party in East
Belfast, which would spell the end of the PUP in the
Assembly, and possibly the end of the PUP as well.
In addition to Robert McCartney of the UKUP in North Down,
there is a raft of smaller parties and Independents
running, with hospitals candidate Dr Kieran Deeny in West
Tyrone and ex-DUP man Paul Berry in Newry and Armagh hoping
to hold their seats.
© 2007 The Irish Times
Mon, Feb 12, 2007
Constituency by constituency:
SF, 4; SDLP, 1; DUP, 1.
Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin have a huge ambition to capture a
fifth seat here, at the expense of SDLP MLA Alex Attwood or
Diane Dodds of the DUP. The SDLP is running two candidates
- Margaret Walsh with Attwood - which, given the
unpredictability of proportional representation, could
leave it tight for Attwood. But the SDLP votes are there.
Dodds took the seat against the odds in the 2003 Assembly
elections and, if Shankill unionists and loyalists are
thinking politically at all, she should be returned.
DUP, 2; UUP, 1; SF, 2; SDLP, 1.
Nigel Dodds and the DUP have their voracious sights on
Ulster Unionist Fred Cobain's seat, in an attempt to gain a
third seat here for the DUP. Cobain's a fighter though.
Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly should take another Sinn Féiner
into the Assembly with him, while the SDLP's Alban
Maginness is odds on for the other seat.
UUP, 2; DUP, 1; SDLP, 2; SF, 1.
Look at the Westminster figures and the DUP has a chance to
reverse the 2003 Assembly result, which had the UUP with
two seats and the DUP with one. MP Alasdair McDonnell and
Carmel Hanna seem well placed to hold their seats for the
SDLP, while Alex Maskey should maintain the SF foothold
established last time around. But will the arrival of
Chinese Alliance candidate Anna Lo upset the chemistry by
capturing the imagination of the floating South Belfast
DUP, 2; UUP, 2; Alliance, 1; PUP, 1.
Peter Robinson and the DUP have earmarked East Belfast for
a third seat, gained most likely at the expense of Dawn
Purvis of the Progressive Unionist Party, now that David
Ervine, sadly, has died.
The DUP does not rule out the chance of a fourth seat if
proportional representation works in its favour. The UUP
would be in serious danger if leader Sir Reg Empey and
Michael Copeland did not hold on to their seats. Naomi Long
for Alliance has the profile and has put in the work to be
DUP, 2; UUP, 2; Alliance, 1; UKUP, 1.
Had Sylvia Hermon been in a position to stand, there was a
chance here for the UUP to take a third seat. Alliance
speaker of the transitional Assembly Eileen Bell is not
running and there are greedy eyes on her seat. Stephen
Farry for Alliance hopes to fend off all opposition,
leaving the constituency as it was.
UUP, 3; DUP, 1; SDLP, 1; Alliance, 1.
The DUP now has three seats because of the defections of
Jeffrey Donaldson and Norah Beare - three seats which they
seem certain to hold on to, with even a shout of a fourth
if Donaldson can deliver big and if the vote is managed.
The UUP seems safe for one.
Big hitters Seamus Close for Alliance and Patricia Lewsley
for the SDLP are not running this time and both seats are
now vulnerable. Paul Butler, if he can overcome the absence
of transfers, has a chance for an SF first here. A tight
three-way tussle for final seats beckons.
DUP, 3; UUP, 2; Alliance, 1.
Odds are here for the constituency to remain as it was, but
Larne's SDLP mayor Danny O'Connor, who has withstood the
worst that local loyalist bigots could throw at him, is
striving to repeat his surprise of 1998 when he won a seat
and he could be there at the last.
DUP, 3; UUP, 2; Alliance, 1.
Fun and games here. Lord Kilclooney (John Taylor) is
standing down and the DUP believe Iris Robinson's vote-
getting ability could land four seats for the DUP. SDLP's
Joe Boyle, who was fewer than 300 votes behind Kieran
McCarthy for Alliance in 2003, figures this could be his
time, but will unionist transfers save McCarthy?
DUP, 3; UUP, 1; SF, 1; SDLP, 1.
The status quo in terms of figures would seem the likeliest
result, but persistent poll-topper Ian Paisley and DUP
believe there is an outside chance of winning an extra
seat, most likely from SDLP or Sinn Féin, now that neither
Seán Farren nor Philip McGuigan respectively are running
for the nationalist parties. Local DUP tensions threaten
that ambition though.
DUP, 2; UUP, 2; SDLP, 1; Alliance, 1.
This is where, in 2003, Sinn Féin's candidate Martin Meehan
prematurely and incorrectly called the final seat for
himself from Alliance leader David Ford, who held on.
The bigger gun of Mitchel McLaughlin has been sent in to
take on Ford, but those unionist transfers make this a
gamble for Sinn Féin. The SDLP could also be under threat
from SF if it can't nab Ford's seat.
SDLP, 2; SF, 2; DUP, 1; UUP, 1.
The SDLP will try to take back its 1998 third seat from
Sinn Féin, but when Sinn Féiners dig in they are hard to
uproot. Former UUP minister Dermot Nesbitt is not running
but it would seem there is a seat each here for the UUP and
DUP, 2; UUP, 2; SF, 1; SDLP, 1.
History is always shifting and there is no David Trimble on
this occasion. The DUP is all the time inching into the UUP
vote here, but would need a surge to gain a third seat from
it. Sinn Féin and the SDLP should hold one seat each.
Newry and Armagh
SF, 3; SDLP, 1; DUP, 1; UUP, 1.
With Davy Hyland deselected by Sinn Féin and running as an
Independent, there is an opportunity for the SDLP to take
back a seat from SF, but it won't be easy. Could Hyland
himself sneak it? Danny Kennedy should be okay for the UUP.
On paper the DUP has the votes, but many of them belonged
to Paul Berry, who is running as an Independent after he
was expelled from DUP because of tabloid allegations about
his private life. He can't be written off.
SF, 3; DUP, 1; UUP, 1; SDLP, 1.
Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness should have little difficulty
returning two colleagues with him. The UUP's seat would be
under threat from the DUP, looking for a second, but only
if the party has experienced meltdown. There is also a seat
there for the SDLP.
DUP, 2; UUP, 2; SF, 1; SDLP, 1.
The UUP is under pressure as the DUP and its MP Gregory
Campbell are targeting the party for a third seat here. The
SDLP and SF seem sure for one seat each.
SDLP, 3; SF, 2; DUP, 1.
With Derry Sinn Féiners Martin McGuinness in Mid Ulster and
Mitchel McLaughlin battling in South Antrim, SF seems to
have conceded Foyle to Mark Durkan, so it should be the
same again in numbers.
SF, 2; SDLP, 1; DUP, 1; UUP, 1; Independent, 1.
Tricky to call this one. Independent hospitals candidate
Kieran Deeny seems a good bet to hold his seat, won from
the SDLP in 2003, but it was a seat SF was targeting. The
SDLP must struggle for every vote and transfer to ensure it
holds its single seat from SF. The DUP is encroaching into
the UUP vote but the likelihood remains that there will be
one seat each for both main unionist parties.
Fermanagh, South Tyrone
UUP, 2; DUP, 1; SF, 2; SDLP, 1.
It was two to one for the Ulster Unionists in the UUP
versus DUP battle in 2003, but then Arlene Foster defected
to Dr Paisley. What the DUP has it should hold on to. SF e
sniffing a third seat from the SDLP, but Tommy Gallagher
for the SDLP still holds his quota and will be hard to
© 2007 The Irish Times
McCartney to stand in five constituencies
Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor
Mon, Feb 12, 2007
Unionists opposed to powersharing with Sinn Féin at
Stormont will stand against the DUP in key seats across the
United Kingdom Unionist Party leader Robert McCartney
confirmed last night that "seven or eight candidates and
three independent candidates" will join his opposition to
any move by the Rev Ian Paisley's party to enter an
executive with Sinn Féin on the basis of the d'Hondt
formula for sharing cabinet seats.
Nominations for the March 7th Assembly election close
tomorrow, but it seems certain that Mr McCartney will
contest North Belfast, South Antrim, West Tyrone, and
Fermanagh-South Tyrone, in addition to his own constituency
of North Down.
If elected to more than one constituency, Mr McCartney said
he would be empowered under Assembly rules to nominate a
replacement. He told The Irish Timeslast night he expected
nominations for IRA victims campaigner William Frazer to be
lodged in Newry-Armagh and possibly in Foyle, while papers
for David Calvert will be submitted in Upper Bann.
It is also possible that a candidate may be selected to
contest East Antrim which elected three DUP candidates in
the last Assembly poll in 2003. Veteran councillor Jack
McKee, who quit the DUP after the St Andrews Agreement,
said it was "quite possible" a name would emerge later
today or tomorrow.
Mr McCartney said he had addressed some of the DUP
councillors in Ballymena, Co Antrim, who vowed last Friday
they would not campaign for local MP and DUP leader Ian
"Five of them attended a meeting I held on December 21st,
set up by a local businessman in Ballymena. They came along
and after 45 minutes' questions, not a single one of them
disagreed with anything I had to say."
Another DUP stalwart has since quit the party in South
Down. George McConnell, branch chairman in Kilkeel for more
than 20 years, said he would not even vote in the election.
The DUP has confirmed it will require candidates to sign
resignation letters which will be acted upon in the event
of breaches of discipline. Fines of £2,000 will apply,
although £20,000 fines were considered.
This move was attacked as "anti-democratic and anti-
British" by the Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey. The
DUP said Sir Reg was wrong to suggest that Mr Paisley alone
can invoke the resignation, and insisted it was designed
only to ensure that DUP candidates remained true to their
Yesterday, SDLP leader Mark Durkan forecast that Sinn Féin
and the DUP would try to turn the election into a "ding
dong" about who is going to be the biggest party and first
minister. He said his party will be "fighting the election
about people's ambitions".
He accused Sinn Féin of being focused on "serving the
interest of past or former IRA people, serving their own
partisan interest rather than the interest of the wider
nationalist community or indeed society at large".
However, Sinn Féin chairman Mitchel McLaughlin claimed his
party would "act in the best interest of the electorate".
He added that "in the event that the DUP continues to
abdicate its responsibility to participate in a
powersharing government, we will apply what I believe will
be an increased mandate to ensure that the DUP does not
stunt or dictate the pace of change".
© 2007 The Irish Times
Devolution Jeopardy Warning Over IRA Fugitives Deal
[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 18:45]
The British Government was warned tonight it would be
placing any prospect of
politically stable devolution in Northern Ireland in
jeopardy if it gave an amnesty to IRA members who went on
the run to avoid prosecution.
The Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party issued the
warning following claims prosecutions of IRA fugitives and
members of the security forces accused of collusion were to
be dropped in the 'public interest'.
The Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney
General are to be asked to shelve cases against on-the-run
republicans as part of a final deal between Sinn Fein and
Downing Street, it is claimed.
To provide balance a similar no prosecution call for
members of the security forces accused of collusion with
loyalist paramilitaries would be made.
But Nigel Dodds, the North Belfast MP and DUP party
secretary, warned of dire consequences for efforts to
He said his party had defeated previous attempts to
introduce an amnesty for on-the-runs [OTRs] and made clear
to Prime Minister Tony Blair and subsequent attempt to re-
introduce such an amnesty directly or indirectly would be a
"An amnesty for OTRs is just as unacceptable whether it is
done directly in legislation or indirectly through some
kind of administrative fix," he said.
Mr Dodds added: "If Government does decide to go down such
a route then it is placing any prospects of politically
stable devolution in jeopardy."
© Belfast Telegraph
Finucane Mural To Be Unveiled In Belfast
11/02/2007 - 10:22:21
A mural in memory of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane is
being unveiled in Belfast today.
The Belfast solicitor was shot by Loyalist paramilitaries
in 1989 while eating Sunday lunch with his family.
The family have continually rejected British inquiries into
the incident, and have repeatedly called for an independent
review of his killing.
Hain Lends Support To Police Chief Orde Amid 'Love-Child'
[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 19:30]
The Northern Secretary Peter Hain has come out in support
of Sir Hugh Orde, after it was revealed that the police
chief fathered a secret love child.
The married PSNI Chief Constable has been unmasked as the
father of a 16-month-old boy, whose mother is an undercover
detective in the Metropolitan Police.
Sir Hugh, who has a 21-year-old son with his wife Kathleen,
insists his family was aware of his baby son, and that the
situation had not, and would not, affect his ability to do
Peter Hain has been swift to jump to Sir Hugh's defence,
saying neither the chief constable nor the Government will
be deflected by what is a private matter from continuing to
build on what he is achieving with the PSNI.
© Belfast Telegraph
Hotel Plan Angers Nuns Who Sold Land For Park
Michael Parsons in Cashel
Mon, Feb 12, 2007
A community of elderly nuns in south Tipperary has lodged
an objection to a planned hotel development on former
convent land which was allegedly sold for a fraction of its
The nuns sold the land to Cashel Town Council believing
that it would be used for a town park. But the council has
decided instead to allow a major commercial development on
the site which has created considerable controversy in the
The origins of the dispute lie in a decision, in 2000, by
the Presentation Order to end its 170-year presence in the
town, due to a decline in vocations. The nuns opted to sell
the convent and adjoining two acres of grounds at St
Francis Abbey, Friar Street.
Sr Patricia Wall, a spokeswoman for the Presentation Order
in Co Tipperary, said that a local businessman, Michael
McCormack, offered to buy the entire property for £600,000
(€761,000) and paid a deposit to the order's Clonmel-based
Mr McCormack planned to convert the convent into a nursing
home and use the grounds as gardens for the residents.
But Cashel Town Council "intervened", pointing out that the
two-acre site was zoned for "recreation" and intended for
"conversion into a town park".
Sr Patricia said the council threatened the nuns with a
compulsory purchase order forcing them to pull out of the
In subsequent negotiations, Mr McCormack bought the convent
buildings (and has since opened St Teresa's, a family-run
nursing home), while the council acquired the land.
The nuns received a total of £600,000 from the combined
Sr Patricia said they were "upset and annoyed" to discover
that the council then proceeded to "rezone the land" for
commercial development and invited proposals from
Last year, the council agreed to sell the site to a Clonmel
company for €1.9 million - resulting in a net gain of about
€1.5 million - having paid the nuns the equivalent of
The deal is subject to planning permission being granted to
CMS Developments Ltd of Gurtnafleur Business Park, for an
83-bedroom five-storey hotel, two commercial buildings and
a car park. The company lodged its planning application
last December and a decision is due by February 23rd.
But 37 objections have been lodged, including one from the
nuns "on the grounds that the conditions of sale were not
Sr Patricia explained: "We thought the land would be used
for a town park which would be our legacy to the people of
Cashel." She added "we are questioning the ethics and
morality of this deal", but said she found it "hard to
believe that the council would deliberately deceive us".
Shelagh Marshall, secretary of the Save Our Town Park
Committee said more than 1,400 people - over half the adult
population of Cashel - have signed a petition calling for
the convent grounds to be preserved as a town park.
Mr McCormack, who is also objecting, said he would be
forced to close his nursing home as "the noise from the
hotel disco" would distress residents.
Séamus Maher, town clerk of Cashel, said the development
was needed because "[ existing] hotels in the town can't
cope with tourist numbers", but declined to answer further
questions in advance of a statement due to be issued to
media and councillors in Tipperary today.
South Tipperary Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes said he would raise
the matter in the Dáil this week and ask the Minister for
the Environment to prepare a report on the matter.
The disputed land in the centre of Cashel comprises two
acres located behind the former convent buildings on Friar
The land contains a variety of mature trees including
beech, lime, oak, chestnut, sycamore and weeping ash.
A stone wall is inset with elaborate, delicately painted
Stations of the Cross sculpted in 1925 and "presented to Sr
Mary John Evangelist Barton".
A former summer house, which locals say should have been
preserved, has been demolished.
The site, with commanding views of the Rock of Cashel,
includes former tennis courts, a camogie field and a nuns'
graveyard. The grounds were traditionally used by the
townspeople for May processions.
The Save Our Town Park Committee claims the spot would make
an ideal public park and that the council owns 14 acres on
the outskirts of Cashel "which would be more suitable for
the development of a hotel and car-park to accommodate
tourist coaches". The planning application for the convent
site has space for "only two coaches".
© 2007 The Irish Times
Pub Brings Taste Of Ireland To Lewisburg
Patrick O'Flaherty plays the mandolin on stage at the Irish
Pub on Washington Street in Lewisburg. An eight-string
Irish Bouzouki sits to his left. O'Flaherty sings in both
Gaelic and English and has toured both nationally and
internationally. Live music can be found at the pub five
nights a week. Christian Giggenbach/The Register-Herald
By Christian Giggenbach
- LEWISBURG - The origin of the Irish Pub on Washington
Street is rich with flavor and style, much like the
eclectic, traditional Irish breakfast offered on its menu
The family-run business - equally owned by the quartet of
two parents, a daughter and her husband - sets the table
perfectly for this family-friendly pub where you can "grab
a Guinness" and sing along to every word of "Finnegans
Wake," all the while being treated to live music and
authentic Gaelic fare.
The recently opened pub has quickly become the talk of
downtown Lewisburg as the place to be for good food, good
friends and good times.
And don't ask for a burger and fries here because co-owners
Andrea Izzo, who runs the bar, and her mother and officer
manager Willa Izzo, won't be able to help you.
True to its name, Irish stew, cheese and tomato sandwiches,
and corned beef highlight the menu, which mirrors the no-
nonsense style of pubs found in Ireland.
Look closer at the top of the menu and you'll see the words
"no changes or substitutes please" right beside "no
separate checks - thanks."
Willa and her husband of 43 years, Pat Izzo (that's the
third owner for those keeping score), moved to Lewisburg on
a lark 10 years ago.
Pat got the inspiration to retire here after accompanying
Willa to a reunion at her alma mater, the former Greenbrier
College for Women - more commonly known today as Carnegie
But the word retirement can hardly be used to describe the
energetic pair while their new journey as entrepreneurs in
the Greenbrier Valley plays out. Pat even continues to work
three days a week as a physical therapist, despite his
duties at the pub.
"It's been wonderful and very invigorating," Willa, a
retired physical therapist, said of the new venture.
At least 10 Irish whiskeys and a host of draft beers,
including Smithwick's Irish Ale and Harp Irish Lager, are
behind the 35-foot-long bar. The bar was built from the
ground up by a Virginia carpenter who used planks of white
oak restored from a barn in nearby Renick. The walls of the
pub are adorned with regalia reminiscent of Ireland,
complete with a "hurley stick," which is used to hit a
leather ball in the Irish sport of hurling.
"Our beer is served in Imperial pints of 20 ounces instead
of the American style drafts which are normally 16 ounces,"
Andrea, who graduated from Loyola University in New
Orleans, said. "We also serve Almost Heaven Amber, made in
Thomas, West Virginia, and Woodchuck Cider.
"I think the atmosphere is really key. People just feel
comfortable, as if the pub has been here for a long time."
And what would an authentic Irish pub be without an
authentic Irishman to make the scene just right? Enter
Patrick O'Flaherty, Andrea's husband of 14 years, who
completes the fourth ingredient in this family Irish Stew.
Patrick comes to the Greenbrier Valley by way of the
Province of Connacht and "Cathair na Gaillimhe" - the west
coast Ireland city of Galway.
Patrick lived there until age 18 and would later meet his
future wife and business partner while honing his Irish
musical talents in the New Orleans nightlife by playing the
button accordion, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and a Celtic
guitar known as a bouzouki.
Andrea and Patrick met in 1989 while he worked and played
at the famous O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub in New
Orleans, which was owned by his brother. Singing in both
Gaelic and English, Patrick has toured the world and
performed for such notables as President Reagan and Pope
John Paul II.
Describing the music at the pub as a "Celtic umbrella,"
Patrick said a variety of Irish, Scottish and Gaelic songs
are played live five nights a week.
When he's not on stage at the pub, Pat uses his creativity
in the kitchen, where he's responsible for making
Shephard's pie and Sunday's Irish breakfast.
"The Irish breakfast is served with black pudding, white
pudding, Irish sausage, bacon (which is called ham in
America) potatoes, beans, fried tomatoes and toast,"
O'Flaherty said in his distinct Irish accent. "In Ireland
we believe that breakfast should fill you up and you
shouldn't have to eat another meal until the evening."
The pub is open 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday
and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The kitchen closes 10 p.m. On
special Tuesday nights, look for the "Pub Quiz," where
teams of patrons challenge each other in trivia - yet
another tradition carried over from Ireland.
Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and
bring along the whole family as well, according to Pat.
"We are a family friendly establishment and there is not a
heavy emphasis on drinking," Pat said. "It's very informal
and that's what an Irish pub is supposed to be."
And without a doubt, the sign which hangs prominently
behind the white oak bar says it all: "Cead mile failte" -
"A thousand welcomes."
For more information call 645-7386 or visit
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