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)

April 29, 2008

Garvaghy & Lower Ormeau Press Release

Lower Ormeau Concerned Community
97, Balfour Avenue
County Antrim, Ireland

Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition
3, Ashgrove Road
County Armagh, Ireland


As the Strategic Review Body on Parading formally launches its consultative report, two key
residents’ groups - the Lower Ormeau Concerned Community in Belfast and the Garvaghy Road
Residents Coalition in Portadown – whose communities were at the very heart of the turmoil
and conflict over contentious marches in the 1990’s have jointly published their views and

In summary, these two key residents’ associations state that they believe the Report to be
unnecessary and largely unhelpful.

They are concerned that the Strategic Review Body’s recommendations will politicise, rather
than de-politicise, the marching issue.

The Review Body itself has linked the marching issue to outstanding and unresolved political
matters. It links the marching issue to locally elected political institutions, including
local councils – a number of which have proven track records of discrimination.

The two residents’ bodies say the Review Body has opened a doorway for those who wish to
turn the marching issue into a major political football - where political expediency will
take precedence over valid human rights concerns.

Both LOCC and GRRC do not believe that this Report has brought forward any suitable or
viable alternative to the concept of an independent Parades Commission.

Instead, they see only potential for political interference and manipulation within each of
the various strands of bureaucracy it proposes and they fear that the majority of proposals
will lead to a pre-1998 situation, re-ignite past tensions and create future inter-communal
unrest during the “marching season”.

For further information contact:

LOCC - Gerard Rice - 028 90 312377 or 077 422 839 06


GRRC - Breandán Mac Cionnaith – 078 178 685 91

Since the 1990s, both the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition and the Lower Ormeau
Concerned Community have campaigned for change in the way contentious marches are

It is our view that the creation of the Strategic Review Body on Parading was not motivated
by any genuine desire to improve the effectiveness of the Parades Commission or current
processes for dealing with contentious parades. Instead, its genesis in 2006 was as a
political concession to unionist parties opposed to any restrictions on the relatively small
number of contentious loyal order marches.

We are very mindful of the injustices inflicted upon our communities as a result of parades,
particularly during the 1990s.

All that our communities had sought was the re-routing of a small number of contentious
marches. We had argued for the right to live in peace without the deep sense of fear,
outrage and humiliation that consistently marked these sectarian parades through our

Instead, due to political expediency, unwanted sectarian marches were imposed upon our
communities through the use of threats and violence by unionism and force from both the
police and the British Army. The indiscriminate use of plastic bullets, brutal assaults upon
residents, illegal curfews and massive restrictions on the movement of people within our
communities were a harsh reality.

We welcomed the Independent Review on Parades and Marches (the North Review) established
in 1996 in response to events in Portadown and the Ormeau Road. We expressed some
scepticism about the need for a Parades Commission. It was our belief that Government was
abdicating its responsibility to protect minority communities from fear and the threat of

Nevertheless, in our view, the Parades Commission concept did succeed in introducing a
degree of autonomy into decisions about contentious parades that was noticeably absent when
such decisions were previously taken by the police, politicians or the courts. While we
have not agreed with all determinations on contentious marches, there is no doubt that the
first and second Parades Commissions did eventually succeed in changing the climate around
such contentious marches.

Since the start of this millennium, the re-routing of sectarian marches away from the
Garvaghy and Ormeau Roads by the Commission has meant that our communities – and the wider
community – have enjoyed successive peaceful summers.

The clouds of fear, tension and violence, and the physical sieges of our two communities
that accompanied those sectarian marches, have also disappeared. Residents in our
neighbourhoods now enjoy family and community life in relative peace and tranquillity.

It is against this background that we believe this present Report to be unnecessary and
largely unhelpful.

We are concerned that the Strategic Review Body’s recommendations will politicise, rather
than de-politicise, the marching issue.

The Review Body itself has linked the marching issue to outstanding and unresolved political

It links the marching issue to locally elected political institutions, including local
councils – a number of which have proven track records of discrimination.

By making these linkages, the Review Body has opened a doorway for those who wish to turn
the marching issue into a major political football - where political expediency will take
precedence over valid human rights concerns.

There is also concern at the Review Body’s attempt to downgrade “the right to freedom from
sectarian harassment”.

We do not believe that this Report has brought forward any suitable or viable alternative to
the concept of an independent Parades Commission.

Instead, we see only potential for political interference and manipulation within each of
the various strands of bureaucracy it proposes.

We fear that the majority of proposals will lead to a pre-1998 situation, re-ignite past
tensions and create future inter-communal unrest during the “marching season”.

As for the current Parades Commission (which is the third such body), it is obvious that
political manipulation lies at the core of its present difficulties. The corruption by Peter
Hain and the NIO of the appointments process led to a two-year legal battle which culminated
in the House of Lords earlier this year upholding the residents’ case that those
appointments were indeed biased and unlawful.

Questions still remain over the integrity of this Commission’s own internal processes which
for two years failed to recognise or properly handle the resultant major conflicts of

Leaving those facts aside, we wish to make it clear that we fully support the concept of a
Parades Commission – but it must be a Commission which is completely independent and free
from political interference at all levels, commencing with the appointments process itself;
one that is open and transparent in its dealings with everyone; and one which does not
second its staff from government departments, including the NIO.

Obviously, this Review did not start from the same premise of seeking to enhance the
Commission’s independence, to free it from political manipulation or improve its

Seven years ago, the Quigley Review of parades was created following a side-deal at Weston
Park between the British government and unionists opposed to restrictions on loyal order
marches. The report and recommendations from that Review now gather dust on some shelf
within the NIO.

The report from this Strategic Review Body should be consigned to a similar fate without

April 20, 2008

Irish Unity High On Irish Northern Aid's Agenda


By Graydon Wilson
Special to Irish Echo

"The war in Ireland is over," Paul Doris began. "The next step is the push
for a united Ireland ." National Chair of Irish Northern Aid, the American
organization formed thirty-seven years ago to support the families of
republican prisoners in Ireland , Doris was speaking at the group's Annual
General Meeting, held in Boston this past Saturday, April 12, 2008.

Emphasizing the strictly political nature of the struggle for independence
from Britain as well as the push for unity, INA brought over two Sinn Féin
members to speak to the gathering -- Seamus Morris, from County Tipperary, in
the Republic of Ireland, and Daithi McKay, from County Antrim in the north.

Morris, a member of the Nenagh Town Council in addition to his full-time job
as a postman, related some of his own family history as an example of
politics being able to accomplish goals in Ireland . He said that both his
father and his brother "left politics" in 1986, joining the dissident group,
Republican Sinn Féin. "They couldn't believe that Ian Paisley could be
brought across the threshold," Morris said. "But that is exactly what
happened last year." Acknowledging Noraid's support over all the years, he
thanked the group "for keeping it going. But it's not done yet. There's a
massive job to do. We need to drive this over the line. We need to drive
the all-Ireland agenda."

Perhaps more than anyone, McKay represented the face of the future. At just
26 years of age, he's a member of the Ballymoney Borough Council, a Member of
the Legislative Assembly and a member of the Police Board. He echoed
Morris's praise for INA. "Without Noraid's support, we wouldn't be where we
are today -- and where we are is closer to a united Ireland ," which he said
was the only guarantee to a lasting peace.

McKay predicted that Sinn Féin will become the largest political party in the
north. He said that the party is looking at areas where unionism is failing
its electorate. "There's a massive working class deficit in terms of
representation," McKay explained. "That's an opportunity for Sinn Féin.
Protestant workers are coming to Sinn Féin, looking for support."

He also criticized Britain 's control of the police as undemocratic. "Police
oversight needs to be taken away from the British and given to the local
politicians," McKay said. "I believe that could happen within the next

Answering questions from the floor, Morris said that the greatest potential
roadblock to unification was apathy. "If we think the job is done, we're in
trouble, " said Morris. "We have to work ten times harder. Noraid has been
there for thirty-seven years and it will be there when the job gets done."

McKay agreed. "There's a danger that we might take all of this for granted
simply because the war is over," he said. "We can't let that happen. We
need to tackle apathy. We must re-motivate those who were there for Ireland.
We need to re-engage Ireland 's supporters." Looking at the tasks ahead,
McKay said that organizing was "the road map to Irish unity, just as Gerry
Adams said at the Ard Fheis in February." He added that Irish Northern Aid
was already playing a role and urged the group to "get stronger."

Rich Lawlor, INA's Regional Director for New England , picked up on the
forward-looking theme expressed by Morris and McKay. " America has always
played a role in Irish freedom," Lawler said. "We need the next generation."
He said that he would like to see Sinn Féin sending young people over to meet
with young people in America and on college campuses. "Get them engaged,
bring in the next generation," Lawler said.

Members attending the AGM hailed from locations all across America ; San

Diego , Chicago , Detroit , Kansas City and Houston ; Boston , Hartford ,
New York City, Cleveland , Washington , D.C. and Vermont . The location
for next year's AGM was discussed but not decided. Venues under consideration
are New York , Philadelphia and Tampa , Florida .

April 18, 2008

Current Events

What's New?
04/19/08 – Bill & Emily Host the Irish Aires show.
05/02/08 - 2008 Huntsville: General Sam Houston Folk Festival (updated info)

To see our playlist as we play it, go to:

Archived shows WITH Playlists

KPFT Archived Programs Sorted By Name

Irish Aires 04/12/08 (Available thru 06/12/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 04/05/08 (Available thru 06/08/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 03/29/08 (Available thru 05/29/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 03/22/08 (Available thru 05/22/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 03/15/08 (Available thru 05/15/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 03/08/08 (Available thru 05/08/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 03/01/08 (Available thru 05/01/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 02/23/08 (Available thru 04/23/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 02/16/08 (Available thru 04/16/08) Play Download Playlist
Irish Aires 02/09/08 (Available thru 04/09/08) Play Download Playlist

04/18/08 – The Blaggards at R&R Sports Bar & Grill
Friendswood, TX
3338 FM 528
Friendswood, TX 77546


04/18/08 - 2008 Scottish Festival 8 p.m., Friday, April 18
Five time Juvenile World Champions this year's theme "Legend of the Glen."
Toyota Center 1510 Polk Street Houston , TX 77002 P: (713) 758-7577


04/21-22/2008 - Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance Jones Hall
5 Lord of the Dance (With Taps) Ronan Hardiman Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance 4:48 1997


05/02/08 - 2008 Huntsville: General Sam Houston Folk Festival
Performers Will Include: The Gaelic Chorus Of Texas, Jed Marum, Sia Beaton, Constant
Billy, Dave Hutton, Hugh Morrison, Kendall Rogers & Jonathan Chamrad, Jalapeno
Honey,Celtic Chorus Of Houston, Good Time Scottish Dancers. Hugh Morrison, Kendall
Rogers & Jonathan Chamrad Plan To Play. Celtic Menagerie Dance Group from Corpus will be
there on Sat / Sun. Some Gigs In Huntsville Thursday And Friday
Evenings; Dianna Shipman, 713 522 1212 Diannashipman@Att.Net


05/07/08 - 2008 Houston: Houston Highland Games & Celtic Festival


05/08/08 – Clandestine at the Mucky Duck 7:30PM $15


05/16-18/2008 - 2008 Houston: Houston Highland Games & Celtic Festival
Main Stage: Ed Miller, Needfire, Jiggernaut and Loescher + Kenneth
Ceilidh Stage: Houston Highlanders, RSCDancers, Celtaire String Band, Gaelic Chorus, Kristen
Jensen, Sia Beaton, Fish & Chips, Celtic Chorus of Houston, KIDS Dancers, Simply Scottish, Fair
& Forty, Comhlan Oganta, Rovers Return, Ed Miller/Cliff Wigginton-piper, Hugh Morrison, Good
Time SCDancers, David Sparks


05/23-24/08 – Blaggards at Downtown Molly’s Grand Opening

Friday, May 23 & Saturday, May 24

Molly's Pub Downtown, 10pm
Houston, TX

509 Main St
Houston, TX 77002


06/05/08 – Seven Nations at the Mucky Duck


06/06-08/08 - Arlington: Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games
This year’s entertainment schedule has not been posted yet but performers in the past have
included: Alasdair Fraser, John Taylor, Smithfield Fair, Quebe Sisters Band


07/31/08 – Author Tana French at Murder by the Book

2008 Edgar Award nominee Tana French will be here, Thursday, July 31, 6:30 p.m., to sign her new thriller, The Likeness. Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the U.S. and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theatre, film and voiceover. Her first novel, In the Woods, has been nominated for the 2008 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Visit her website here:


10/05/08 - 2008 Celtic Festival & Gathering Of The Celts
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Heights, Houston, Texas


11/14/08 - 2008 Annual Irish Gala
When: Silent Auction and Reception: 6:30 p.m.
Dinner: 8 p.m.
Where: Houston Hotel, 111 North Post Oak Lane, Houston
Honorees: Honorary Consul of Ireland John B. Kane and Alayne Kane


ON GOING Events:

Note: Irish Aires can now be HEARD of DOWNLOADED from the Internet. ALSO,
there is a new link to hear KPFT Live

Internet listening (live) is available through our MP3 streams.

If you have Winamp, Media Player or iTunes installed on your
computer, you can connect HERE or

Free Player Downloads:
Windows Media Player

Irish Aires is also podcast at:

Internet listening (live) is available through our MP3 streams.

If you have Winamp, Media Player or iTunes installed on your computer, you
can connect HERE or

Free Player Downloads: Winamp
Windows Media Player


Ireland 2007 Pictures

Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -
Part 6 -
Part 7 -
Part 8 -

New – A Compilation of All my 2007 Irish Pics with music & videos.
See instructions on how to see at Irish Aires Blog.


Paisley Close Press Release
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 20:28:16 -0600

Over the past few years, I have been asked time and again
"Why Paisley Close"? Like every tale you must start at the
beginning to get to the end. On November 24th 1861, at a
spot along High Street in Edinburgh 's Royal Mile, two
overcrowded and decrepit tenements collapsed. According to
legend, workers were clearing the debris away when they
heard a voice shout out "Heave awa' lads, I'm no deid yet!"
As a memorial, Paisley Close (the cul-de-sac) was built in
place of the collapsed buildings. Paisley Close (the
band) was built by resurrecting former bands-mates.
Paisley Close (the band) felt that the young man's luck,
tenacity and symbolism was a fitting name.

Now with a heavy heart I must announce the passing of this
great band. Paisley Close is going through a major
transitional period and collectively they have decided to
put the band on an indefinite hiatus. The members of
Paisley Close remain friends but personal commitments have
forced them to make this difficult decision. Through the
last three years they have had the opportunity to play on
some amazing stages at some of the best festival in the
county and for this they are extremely grateful. Even
more outstanding has been the people they have met and the
friendships forged. That is the biggest aspect that I will
personally miss the most. As the bands booking agent I
have had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing
directors, coordinator and volunteers; who without you, the
show would literally not go on. Thank you for allowing us
the opportunity to grace your stages and share a pint or

I speak for the entire band (Cidnie MacNamee, Bernard
Schreiber, Amy Price and Rabbit Boyett) in saying that it
has been an honor and a privilege!

Although this chapter may be over we raise our glasses to
everyone "were not dead yet!"

We wish you peace and joy and hopefully will see you all
sometime down the road.

Sláinte - Cheers,

Hopie Lopez-Boyett
Booking Agent


Spring Irish Studies Courses - University of St Thomas
University of St. Thomas Spring 2008 Irish Studies Courses

Dia duit! We have some wonderful Irish Studies Courses
available for Spring 2008.

Open to audit and credit students, with first priority
given to credit students

Credit students: Sign up to reserve your places!

Audit students must submit a signed written form to the
Registrar, first-come, first-served. No payment is required
from audit students until the Registrar notifies audit
students that they have a place in the class.

Irish Language Courses

Irish I, Mondays, Wednesdays, 3:10 to 4:25 p.m.
Catalog No.: 1331; IRST Class No. 1854, Section A; MACL
Class No. 1875, Section A

Irish II, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 3:35 to 4:50 p.m.
Catalog No.: 1332; IRST 1855, Section A; MACL Class No.
1876, Section A

Intermediate Irish, Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:15 p.m.
Catalog No.: 4393; IRST Class No. 1856, Section N; MACL:
Class Number 1877, Section A

All Irish Language Classes taught by Prof. Maeve McInerney
from University College Cork

Cross-listed with Modern and Classical Languages and Irish
Studies - Fulfill Language Requirements

Scholarships available for first fifteen (15) students to
sign up for Irish I and fulfill scholarship application

Contact me for a scholarship application form or an audit

Contemporary Irish Political and Social Issues

Dr. John F. Burke, Political Science
Mondays, Wednesdays, 1:40 to 2:55 p.m.

Catalog No.: 4393; IRST Class No: 1857, Section A; INST
Class No. 1848, Section B; POSC Class No. 2107, Section B;
WCS Class No. 2133, Section G; MLA Class No.: 1603, Section

Cross-listed with Irish Studies, International Studies,
Political Science, Women, Culture and Society and MLA.

Medieval Celtic Literature

Dr. Kerry MacArthur
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 2:10 to 3:25 p.m.

Catalog No.: 4393; IRST Class No. 1858, Section B; ENGL
Class No. 1788, Section A; MLA Class No. 1604, Section B

Cross-listed with Irish Studies, English and MLA.

We look forward to seeing you in our Irish Studies courses!

Best regards and happy holidays,

Lori M. Gallagher, J.D.
Director, Center for Irish Studies
University of St. Thomas
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
Fax: 713-525-3866

Wednesday Nights at 8ish PM. The Mucky Duck continues a
twenty-five year tradition, hosting Houston's Irish
Session. The Mucky Duck incarnation of the Session, if for
no other reason than the frequent participation of younger
musicians, gives a very real sense of tradition passed on
and history handed down. The most visible Celtic-influenced
traditional bands around Houston -- make participating in
the Session a regular, energy-charging part of their
regular routine.

What is celebrated is the whole of Celtic culture, and a
musical tradition that, over the centuries, has become as
much American roots music as bottleneck guitar. The drums
of western Africa are what gave American music its rhythm;
more often than not, though, the melody is Celtic. The
popularity of Celtic folk music is either a testament to
the timeless appeal of these sometimes haunting, sometimes
hilarious, sometimes jig-inspiring tunes, or perhaps an
argument in favor of the nebulous theory of racial memory.

Celtic blood-ties real, suspected and imagined have given
many the impetus to learn the folk-arts of the ancient
tribes; that's just one reason why the Wednesday night
Session at the ` is as much a school and tribal
gathering as a musical event. This is a great way to
explore Irish music and tradition.

Music starts at 8pm, and there is no cover charge.2425
Norfolk Houston, TX 77098 713.528.5999 Phone

Be sure to check our calendar in case we have booked a
special show that might preempt our regular Irish Session

Ar mhaith leat Gaeilge a labhairt?
Would you like to speak Irish?

Beginning Irish Conversation

Jason’s Deli
Westheimer & Shepherd
2611 S Shepherd Dr Houston, TX 77098-1561

If you are interested in learning a little Irish then come
join us at Jason’s Deli on Wednesday evenings at 7:00

This Irish class is tailored to the beginning student who
has had no prior exposure to Irish. You will learn basic
conversational greetings, helpful phrases, informative tips
for traveling through the Gaeltacht such as common signage,
asking directions and most important of all how to
pronounce those mystical Irish words.

Pocket phrase books do the tourist no good unless they know
how to pronounce what they are reading! This course
provides the beginning student with phonetically spelled
out Irish words, something most beginning tape and book
courses fail to offer.

If you have any questions please contact Tim Theisen
(tyson) at or phone me at (713) 263-9691

If you are interested please come join us on Wednesday
evenings at 7:00 P.M.

There is a $5.00 donation to cover cost of the handouts.

Labhraímis Gaeilge is linne í !
Speaking Irish is cool!

Learn Irish Gaelic! (Katy Class)

SATURDAY - Beginning Conversational Irish (and every
Saturday for the next few months) Katy, TX 10 AM - Noon
Self-Study Group

Using Interactive CDs, Books, Tapes, and other materials
for spoken and written Irish.

Class moderated by an advanced American student of the

$7 per class to cover costs.
$5 for Irish American Heritage Association members.

Call Pat McMahon at 713-271-0784 for location and
directions, or e-mail location: The
Carriage Inn, 1400 Katy- Flewellen Road in the Computer

Wednesdays, 7-10 pm


New Dancers Welcome - Families Welcome
(children must be accompanied by parent / guardian).
$5 for those 14 and over; $2.50 those under 14
($15 maximum per family) - fourth consecutive Wednesday

1st Wednesdays: FREE at
Churchill Room, Black Labrador Pub
4100 Montrose Blvd. Map
(Montrose near Richmond)

2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Wednesday
Location: Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th St. (Heights),
Houston, Texas (3rd building on left traveling east from
Heights Blvd. - 2 story red brick - entrance recessed about
15 feet from street - dancing upstairs).

LINKS ON WEBSITE with map & photo (Map)
The Irish American Heritage Association of Katy, Texas. We
meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm at the
Municipal Utility District Building on Cimmaron Pkwy at
Hidden Canyon Rd (just west of S Mason Rd) in Katy, Texas
to enjoy speakers, performances, and presentations on
Ireland and the Irish. We also publish a monthly

The Irish Heritage News.

For more information or directions, please call:
Bridget Connelly . . 281-492-8780
Mike Long . . . . . . 281-395-3038
Dennis Donlan . . . 281-392-0894

E-mail us at:

Thurs Night Irish Session @ Coffee Oasis on NASA Rd One
Session starts about 7:30PM every Thurs night
4650 NASA Road 1
Seabrook, TX 77586

You are likely to see Laura (of Echoes of Ireland) or Tom


Do you like to hum or sing along with the music played on
Irish Aires or The Three Irish Tenors? Then join us every
Thursday night at Black Labrador Pub, 4100 Montrose Blvd.
(Montrose near Richmond)
NEW TIME: 7:00 - 9:00 P.M.

We will join together in a sing-a-long session and then
later those who wish to learn four part music may stay and
learn choral music of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. If you
need more information contact Richard McGinty 713-943-9600
or e-mail

The mission statement reads in part: "to provide a
community meeting place for those interested in the Celtic
heritages." The first half of the evening focuses on
singalong songs and the second half on choral arrangements.
The singalong songs: Will You Go Lassie Go The Minstrel Boy
Sally Gardens Molly Malone (In Dublin's Fair City)
Finnegan's Wake The Foggy Dew Black Velvet Band Mcnamara's
Band Danny Boy When Irish Eyes Are Smiling The Unicorn Song
I'm Lookin' Over A Four Leaf Clover Whiskey In The
Jar The Wild Rover The Bard Of Armagh Choral Arrangements:
Danny Boy The Minstrel Boy An Irish Blessing My Wild Irish

New Galveston Session Starting: Poor Michael's Pub in Galveston (2007 Strand)
wants to start a regular session at their establishment. All levels of musical
expertise (including those who just like to listen) will be welcome! Contact
Michael at or call him at 409-762-1967 to get more details.
Also, Poor Michael's has some employment opportunity for bartenders.

"One hundred thousand welcomes!" This age-old Gaelic
greeting is a timeless _expression of Scottish hospitality
and goodwill. We can't think of a better way to welcome you
than to invite you to Houston's Heather and Thistle Society
(H&T). The Heather and Thistle Society was founded in 1953
by Scots living in Houston who wished to "cultivate an
interest in and fond recollections of Scotland, its history
and traditions, its literature and ideals, its minstrelsy
and song, its customs and amusements; and to provide
opportunities for good fellowship and social contact
through typically Scottish functions, so that the blessing
of our Scottish culture may never die in our new homeland".
The Heather and Thistle Society meets 10 times a year,
September through June. Programs include "ceilidhs",
lively lectures, slide shows and movies about Scotland. We
are an organization that promotes our Scottish heritage in
various ways.

Membership in the Heather and Thistle Society is open to
all with an interest in Scottish Heritage and Culture.
Annual Dues are $10.00 for an individual and $15.00 for a

H&T meets the fourth (4th) Monday of each month, September
thru June, at 7:30 P.M. Current meeting location:
Auditorium of St.Thomas Episcopal School, 4900 Jackwood,
Houston, TX 77096

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Dancing

General Class Mondays - 7:30-9:30 p.m In progress Classical
Arts Dance Studio, 530 N Illinois, League City - Contact
Moon Weiss, 713-465-9650,

Basic Class Tuesdays - 7:30-9:30 p.m. In progress DewAnn
Cotton Dance Studio, 9423 Glenfield Court (By S.
Braeswood/Hillcroft) South West Houston For info: Carol
Palmer, 713-776-8531,

General Class Thursdays - 7:30-9:30 p.m In progress DewAnn
Cotton Dance Studio, 9423 Glenfield Court (By S.
Braeswood/Hillcroft), South West Houston Teacher: Bill
Zobel, For info: Carol Palmer, 713-776-8531,

Stepdancing & Ceili classes
O'Maoileidigh School of Irish Dance
Houston, TX
Sundays starting at 9:30 AM
For more information contact

Step Dancing Lessons

Stepdancing Lessons
McTeggart Irish Dancers
The Woodlands, Texas
More info@

*With over 60 dancers and 21 Championship dancers McTeggart
Irish Dancers of South Texas have a lot to be proud of.

*Last year they had 6 dancers travel to Killarney Ireland
for the World's Championship in Irish Dancing. These
dancers faced up to 150 of the world's top dancers in their
age groups. Two of the dancers did very well: Zane
Glotzbach placed 24th and was 5th out of all the U.S.
competitors and Annelise Rubbo placed 33rd overall.

*Last year they had 21 dancers travel to Norfolk, Virginia
for the Southern Region Championships, also known as
"Oireachtas". Most of these dancers placed high in their
age groups, with 3 receiving first place: Annelise Rubbo,
Zane Glotzbach and Shannon Powell.

From this competition a dancer qualifies for the World's
Championship and Annelise Rubbo, Jaclyn Rubbo and Zane
Glotzbach achieved this accomplishment.

*Another well-known International competition is the All-
Irelands. Later in January 2004, Annelise Rubbo and Jenna
Pace will be traveling to Ennis, Ireland to compete.

*Also in 2004 several dancers are heading to Philadelphia
for the North American Nationals Competition, held each
July. In addition, McTeggart Irish Dancers of South Texas
hopes to have over 25 dancers travel to North Carolina for
the next Southern Region Championship.

*A new beginner class started Sunday, Jan. 11.For
information on classes or performances, go to
or call 936-321-6583

"The Maguire Academy of Irish Dance"

Come join us at our first weekly class for our new school starting this Sunday
(12/16/07) Classes will be every Sunday from 4PM To 5:30PM at
Amy Blakes Academy Of Dance Located At The Intersection Of Thor St And Bay Area
Blvd. On January 13, 2008, there will be a Master Class from 1PM to 4PM (The
workshop cost is $40 for a 4 hour masterclass).

We are opening up in the Clear Lake area and would love to have all interested
in learning Irish dance, come and join our school.

About us:
Darren Maguire is a former lead male dancer in Riverdance the Show, world
champion level dancer, and fully accredited TCRG/ADCRG with the Irish dance
commission in Dublin, Ireland.

Richard Tew is a national, and regional champion level dancer, and regional
senior men's champion in 2003. Richard is also a TCRG candidate having already
taken and passed most of his requirements.

Amy Blake's Academy of Dance" located at:
2150 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston, TX 77058

Our weekly classes are being planned right now, and will be at the same location
as the workshops.

Please either email: or call 281-989-3575

Richard Tew


Community Annoucements:

Wedding Announcement

Bill Galbraith & Emily Standish Have Announced Their MARRIAGE!

Bill and Emily play Celtic music as CONSTANT BILLY.
Support The Pat Finucane Centre Today!
(Poster's Note: This organization really needs the support
of all Irish & Irish Americans. The family has suffered so
much and the PFC has done so MUCH for MANY Irish causes.

TODAY, please write a check OR even better, go to their web

You can make a donation with PayPal online & it will only
take a minute. We should all try to make AT LEAST a $20
contribution (a $100 would be better. Jay)



From: "Pat Finucane Centre"
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2005 15:36:49 +0100
Subject: Urgent Appeal To Friends & Supporters.

An Urgent Appeal To All Friends And Supporters Of The Pat
Finucane Centre.

Dear Friend of the PFC,

This is an urgent appeal for donations! We are in the red!

The Pat Finucane Centre, though Derry based, has had an
impact far beyond the north west of Ireland. Earlier this
year a reception was held at the Guildhall in Derry to
honour the work of the Centre. Families and individuals
travelled from 11 of the 32 counties in Ireland, and from
Scotland and England, in itself ample testament to the
respect felt in the wider community.

The work of the centre over the last year has included;

-organising public meetings with the Mayor of London on the
End Impunity Campaign,

- research on collusion that has resulted in a number of
cases currently being heard before the European Court of
Human Rights at Strasbourg,

-participating in the Advisory Group on the Sean Brown
murder investigation,

-logging all sectarian /racist incidents from June 2005 to
September 2005 (the log will be available soon)

-giving evidence to Committees of both the Irish and
British parliaments,

-initiating a number of investigations into conflict
related deaths by the Police Ombudsman's office,

-reenacting closed meetings of the Policing Board as street
theatre and

--applying to the Guinness Book of Records to have
Rosemount PSNI barracks logged as the least used police
station in the world!

The ongoing day-to-day advocacy on behalf of families is
largely confidential and hidden from view but the Centre
works with over 120 families who have lost relatives in the
conflict. In addition individuals approach the Centre with
complaints and are referred to solicitors and/or to the
Police Ombudsman.

Against this background it will come as no surprise to
realise that the centre deliberately steers away from
official funding that is linked to the NIO. Stubbornly
independent as it is the Centre is largely dependent on
individual donors. The Pat Finucane Centre website carries
the following quote from Geraldine Finucane,

'If you believe in shaping stronger human rights protection
then invest in the Pat Finucane Centre and those who find
themselves in the frontline in their work to defend human
rights. '

The Centre urgently requires donations in order to continue
that work.

There is no money in the bank! Please respond this week!

Note. Donations can be made by cheque or online (today!)
through the secure Paypal system at

Postal address:

The Pat Finucane Centre,
1 West End Park,
BT48 9JF
Ireland (North).

Telephone: +44 28 71 268846
Fax: +44 28 71 266453


Ireland Photos

Pictures from Ireland in 2006
To See Irish pics, click the following:

:: Irish Aires Has A Brand New Blog!! (actually we have

Below are links to hear broadcasts & playlists. If you have
RealAudio, a soundcard & speakers on your computer, you
should have no problem listening to the shows, EXCEPT that
if too many people are trying to access the stations audio
files at once, you might get an error. Try back later.

:: Rory Oliver Miggins, RIP

Rory Oliver Miggins

RORY OLIVER MIGGINS, 52, entered into life everlasting on
December 7, 2007, in his parental home in the shadow of St.
Anne's Church, after a valiant 3-month battle with

Rory was born in Houston, Texas on September 11, 1955, the
first-born of 12 children of Kathleen and Larry Miggins,
who survive him.

Rory was a natural competitor. He had a distinguished
athletic career at St. Thomas High School in basketball,
baseball, and, particularly, football, garnering All-
District, All-State, and All-American honors as running
back. Rory graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1974.

He graduated from the University of Houston in 1979 with a
BBA in Finance.

He was a lifelong athlete, playing baseball for 16 years
with the Houston Men's Senior Baseball League, most recently
with the Colt 45's during the spring of 2007.

During his 29-year career as a marine manager with ILA
Local 1351, Rory rose to Class A rank and served on its
Executive Board.

It was through his work at the Port of Houston that Rory
developed a love of the waterfront, prompting him to form
the Waterfront Association that sponsored the Waterfront
Fishing Festival for many years dedicated to cleaning and
beautification of the environment.

Rory's love of music, fostered by his Irish heritage,
inspired him to create an East End legend, Local Charm, a
venue for regional blues, rockabilly, country, and zydeco
bands where he lived by the motto "You are a stranger here
but once." His eclectic music bar launched many new talents
in the 80's and 90's.

He was recognized for these efforts and was appointed the
2008 Honorary Chair of the Musician's Benevolent Society
that he co-founded in the 80's. An example of Rory's
originality and creativity is the first ever St. Patrick's
Day Snake Races held at Local Charm.

Always interested in Texas history, Rory joined the Texas
Army and achieved the rank of Colonel. He was also
recognized as a Knight of Texas for his work in connection
with the annual Greening of the Bayou for St. Patrick's

In addition to his parents, Rory is survived by his 11
grieving siblings, their spouses, and his 15 nieces and 16
nephews to whom he was a terrific uncle: Eileen Hohlt
(John), Mary, John, and Annie Hohlt; John (Debbie),
Christine, Julia, and Matthew Miggins; Larry (Sherl),
Thomas and Laura Miggins; Maureen Swanson (Pat), Fiona,
Patrick, Brian and Kenneth Swanson; Noreen Gottschalk
(Stephen), Robert and Daniel Gottschalk; Matthew
(Penelope), Gabriella, John, and Maria Miggins; Kathleen
Hibbler (Jim), Elizabeth, Conor, Bridie, and Rory; Neil
(Serena), Charlie, Jack, and Adelaide Miggins; Robert
(Julie), Lily, Carlo, and Patrick Miggins; Patrick (Nancy)
and James Miggins; and Michael (Abby), Molly, Cate and Lucy
Miggins. Rory's surviving aunts and uncles include John and
Helen Miggins of Tunxis Village, CT; Rita Miggins of Boca
Raton, FL; Eileen (Rory's godmother) and Jake Hoppenthal of
Artesia Springs, CA; Thomas and Margaret McMahon of
Chicago, IL; Andy and Ann McMahon of Melbourne, Australia;
and Bridie and Jimmy Morrissey of London, England. He has
countless cousins, world-wide, who survive him, many of
whom supported him with visits and phone calls during his

In addition to his activities noted above, Rory was a
member of many other families including St. Anne's parish,
the Houstonian Club, Art Car Parade Commission (founding
member), the Orange Show Commission, the Waterfront
Association, the Texas Army, Slippery Rock Booster Club,
Idylwood Civic Club, St. Patrick's Parade Commission,
Houston Blues Society (founding member), Dick Dowling Irish
Heritage Society (founding member), The Irish Society, The
Seaman's Center, and St. Thomas High School Alumni

Never was Rory's loyal and diverse network of friends more
evident than during his illness when they kept his spirits
high and ministered to his spiritual needs. Rory wanted to
express his appreciation to the doctors and nurses at MD
Anderson who did their best to arrest his cancer. Showing
his indomitable spirit, just last Monday, Rory said "I'm
your man" if a clinical trial became available.

Neither the Miggins family nor Rory could have faced the
challenge of this vicious disease without the loving
expertise of Rory's brother-in-law and Noreen's husband,
Dr. Stephen Gottschalk, who tirelessly trouble-shot on
Rory's behalf.

The family will receive friends at St. Anne's Catholic
Church, 2140 Westheimer (at Shepherd) on Monday, December
10 from 5 8 pm, with the rosary recitation at 7 o'clock.

The Funeral Mass will begin at 10:00 am on Tuesday,
December 11, with a light luncheon to follow in the parish
hall. Following the luncheon, Rory's remains will return to
his beloved East End for interment at Forest Park Lawndale.
Rory's pallbearers are his seven surviving brothers.

For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made in
Rory Miggins' name to:

· The Hole in the Wall Gang (a fund for crippled children)
c/o ILA 1351, 7524 Ave. N, Houston, TX 77012;

· St. Thomas High School, Rory Miggins Memorial Scholarship,
4500 Memorial, Houston, TX 77007;

· St. Anne School Foundation, 2120 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77019;

· The St. Brendan Society, c/o Jeannie Kearns, 10220
Memorial Drive #131, Houston, TX 77024. "

Fare thee well, my child, forever. In this world we have
lost our joy. But in the next we will never sever. There
we'll find our darlin' boy."

Sign guest book at:

:: George F. Little, RIP (Pete Little’s Father)

September 2, 2006, of Depew, NY, husband of the late Muriel
C. Little; father of Mary Catherine (James) Spilman,
Michael (Ann), David (Elisabeth Alvarsdotter), John
(Barbara), Margaret (Kevin) Craig, Anne Militello, Stephen
(Maureen), Jeanne (Paul) Konetzny, Peter, Teresa, Maureen;
brother of Eleanor Rigdon, Catherine Little; grandfather of
20; great grandfather of 18. Memorial Mass to be announced.
Memorial contributions may be made to Rapid Response Home
Care Program at Millard Fillmore Hospital, Gates Circle.

Published in the Buffalo News on 9/7/2006.

:: AL CAMPBELL (Houston Highlanders Bagpiper )(1931- 2006)

It is with great sadness that we inform our membership that
our friend and piper, Al Campbell, passed away last
evening. Over the years, we could always count on Al to
support H&T with all our piping requests. He gave
generously of his time, and was a very special contributor
to our Society. In addition to his dignified performances,
Al had great humor which he occasionally added for fun and
laughter. We shall miss him.

Our special condolences to his wife, Betsy, his family and
close friends.

:: PHILLIP JAMES CONNELLY, of Katy, passed away on
Thursday, August 11, 2005 in a Houston hospital at the age
of 74 years.

Phillip James Connelly was born on September 14, 1930 in
Tulsa, Oklahoma to Paul and Peggy Connelly. He graduated
from Holy Family High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the
University of Oklahoma. He served his country during the
Korean War as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army based out of
Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

On April 4, 1964, he married his beloved wife, Bridget
Imelda Corr. He retired from General Electric's Lighting
Division after 30 years of service.

Phil was a founding member and former president of the
Irish American Heritage Association of Katy and a member of
the Irish Society in Houston, Texas. He was a member of the
Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, in Katy, and a member
of the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree, Assembly 2721. He
was also a friend of Bill Wilson.

He was a life long Democrat. Phil was an active participant
in the Forever Young Group in Epiphany, as well as many
other organizations.

He is survived by his wife, Bridget Imelda Connelly of
Katy; his sons, Mike Connelly of Keller, Texas, and Tim
Connelly and his wife Sylvia of Ardmore, Pennsylvania; and
his grandson, Sebastian Connelly. He was preceded in death
by his parents, Paul and Peggy Connelly; and by his
brother, Jack Connelly.

Those wishing to make memorial gifts may do so to the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 5005 Mitchelldale, Suite 115,
Houston, Texas 77092-7230 or to your favorite charity.

Other Irish Celtic Calendars & Sources:

Scottish Country Dancing & More:

Houston Irish Development Assoc:

Texas Celtic Music Network Calendar

Southwest Celtic Music Association

Texas Scottish Heritage Society

Houston Chronicle Search for World Music Local bands

Houston Press World Music Listing

April 13, 2008

Nelson Murder Inquiry to Begin

Nelson Murder Inquiry To Begin

Last Updated: 13/04/2008 08:18

British intelligence officers, police chiefs and top civil servants
will be questioned at a public inquiry into the murder of solicitor
Rosemary Nelson set to open in Belfast.

The public inquiry follows a 2004 report on her case by Canadian
judge Peter Cory
The public inquiry follows a 2004 report on her case by Canadian
judge Peter Cory

Nine years after the 40-year-old was killed in a loyalist car bomb
attack, the inquiry will begin its public hearings on Tuesday to
determine if the authorities had a role in her murder.

Today a former United Nations official who had warned of the dangers
facing the mother-of-three before her death, described her as a
fearless solicitor who took on controversial cases others were afraid
to touch.

Former UN investigator Param Cumaraswamy said: “I welcome the
inquiry. The perpetrators of that tragic brutal murder of Rosemary
Nelson on March 15th, 1999 must be identified and brought to justice.

“I trust that the process of this inquiry will leave no stones
unturned to seek the truth.”

The Public Inquiry opens on Tuesday and will be led by Sir Michael
Morland, a retired Judge of the High Court of England and Wales.

It can investigate the conduct of MI5, the Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC), the British army and the Northern Ireland Office.

But early estimates suggest its work could take at least two years as
it attempts to unravel a case with a long and troubled history.

In 1998 Param Cumaraswamy complained to the UN in Geneva and to the
British government having met Mrs Nelson and heard her claims of RUC

Mrs Nelson made the same allegations at a special hearing in the
United States congress in Washington and there were fears her case
resembled that of solicitor Pat Finucane, shot dead by loyalists 10
years earlier in 1989.

Both lawyers represented republican suspects and both said they later
faced threats from the security forces and from loyalist

Ms Nelson ran her own small legal practice in Lurgan, Co Armagh, a
town divided along sectarian lines and based near Portadown, home of
the Drumcree parades flashpoint.

Most of her work involved routine legal business, but she also
accepted a number of controversial cases which put her under the

Ms Nelson represented leading republican Colin Duffy and overturned
his conviction for murdering a soldier after it emerged a crucial
police witness was a loyalist paramilitary.

She also represented the family of Robert Hamill - a Catholic kicked
to death by a loyalist mob while RUC officers were nearby.

But it was Ms Nelson’s role as solicitor to the Garvaghy Road
Residents’ Coalition against Orange Order parades that attracted most

By the late 1990s the local marching dispute at Drumcree had
escalated to become a focus for mass protest and murderous violence.

Ms Nelson told relatives and friends she received a catalogue of
threats, but she found it difficult to believe she would be killed
for doing her job.

The public inquiry follows a 2004 report on her case by Canadian
judge Peter Cory, which gave a chilling insight into Mrs Nelson’s

Judge Cory wrote: “Rosemary Nelson’s 10-year-old son took a call at
home and when he gave the phone to his mother the caller said: You’re
dead, you’ll be shot.”

He added: “She had been shopping in a local food market when she
noticed that she was being followed around the store by a large man.

“At one point, when other shoppers were not in the vicinity, this man
came up to her and told her that ‘if she didn’t stop representing IRA
scum, she would be dead’.”

Judge Cory said 11 of Ms Nelson’s clients claimed RUC officers
threatened her.

One is alleged to have said: “You’re going to die when you get out.
And tell Rosemary she’s going to die.”

The police have always denied the claims, which they argue have been
investigated by the then RUC and the Metropolitan police.

On the day she was killed Mrs Nelson drove from her home at around
12.40pm. She braked at a junction opposite Tannaghmore Primary School
where her daughter was a pupil.

Police later said a mercury tilt switch in the bomb under her car
detonated the device. An explosion ripped through her silver BMW.

Friends and relatives ran to Ms Nelson’s aid and one of her sisters
held her hand as she lay fatally wounded in the wreckage.

In the outrage sparked by her murder, the authorities resisted calls
for the RUC to be frozen out of the subsequent investigation.

Four years later the murder hunt led by a senior officer from
England, but which included RUC officers, ended without charging
anyone over the killing.

Approximately ú15 million has been spent on the Nelson case so far.
Security chiefs and a number of senior politicians question the role
of expensive public inquiries, while other murders from the Troubles
remain unsolved.

But Param Cumaraswamy today argued no-one could put a price on
justice. “While I appreciate taxpayers’ apprehension of the high cost
of such a public inquiry, such cost should not be a barrier for the
pursuit of truth and justice which are priceless human values,” he

“Otherwise impunity will flourish and erode the fabric of society.”

⌐ 2008

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