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Breaking News
Aug. 29, 2014


Fine food, music, arts and more

Taoiseach Enda Kenny gathered  in Dublin with organizers of iFest as plans for this first major Irish Festival were announced this summer. The three-day event boasts that it will present the “Best of Ireland.”  	Photo courtesy iFest BostonTaoiseach Enda Kenny gathered in Dublin with organizers of iFest as plans for this first major Irish Festival were announced this summer. The three-day event boasts that it will present the “Best of Ireland.” Photo courtesy iFest Boston

iFest Boston, a first of its kind original festival of contemporary Ireland, has a jam-packed itinerary for its inaugural event, taking place in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center on September 26-28.

Presenting the best of Irish culture through the interactive iFest pillars of food & drink, live entertainment, culture and creativity, Irish roots, sporting heritage, and tourism and hospitality, the festival invites attendees to immerse themselves in all things Irish during three weekend sessions. Each five-hour session will feature the following events, designed to balance the Irish spirit of fun with rich cultural experiences.

Traveling People
Aug. 29, 2014

By Judy Enright

There was a very large billboard in Carna, Co. Galway, this spring celebrating Boston’s Irish Mayor Marty Walsh. The Connemara area will be thrilled to have him visit this autumn.There was a very large billboard in Carna, Co. Galway, this spring celebrating Boston’s Irish Mayor Marty Walsh. The Connemara area will be thrilled to have him visit this autumn.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has already taken Connemara by storm and he hasn’t even touched down on Irish soil for his first “official” visit. This spring, we came across a huge billboard applauding Walsh’s mayoral run at an intersection in Carna (Connemara, Co. Galway) where his father, John, was born.

Connemara is just one of many areas Walsh plans to visit when he lands in Ireland later this month and it’s an area he knows well from childhood visits to his grandparents’ home in Rosmuc.

Isn’t Walsh a lucky man? You could scarcely find a more varied or picturesque area of this stunning country to visit than Connemara – and he has familial roots there to boot.

Connemara really has it all – bogs, mountains, seashore, a fjord, wonderful hotels, lodges and B&Bs, great fishing, golf and many other sports, delicious food, friendly people, so-called green gold (Connemara marble), colorful towns, tourist attractions, including the first transatlantic radio station, and Connemara ponies – what more could anyone want?

Breaking News
Aug. 29, 2014

The Boston Irish Reporter, the region’s leading chronicler of all things Irish-American, will host “Boston Irish Honors 2014,” its annual an­niversary luncheon, on Fri., Oct. 24, at 11:45 a.m. in the main ballroom of Boston’s Seaport Hotel. The 35-member luncheon committee is chaired by Peter Meade, former director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The 2014 honorees are: The Burke Family – Jacquelyn, John, Paul, Dennis and Michael; Katherine Craven; and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Publisher's Notes
Aug. 29, 2014

It is a short ride up the highway from Boston to Portland – two hours, maybe a little more – and it was to that fine destination that I found myself joining a couple of friends one weekday August morning for a quick excursion to his wonderful waterfront city along the Maine coast.

Breaking News
Aug. 29, 2014

Boston’s own Barbara Lynch is a major iFest booster.Boston’s own Barbara Lynch is a major iFest booster.
South Boston native Barbara Lynch just returned from a trip to Tokyo to cook for US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in an attempt to create a more robust interest in American cuisine in Japan. But it’s Ireland, and the opportunity presented by IFest, that has captured her imagination lately.

Lynch, a James Beard Award-winner and Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, has been a major booster of the inaugural IFest. Last year, she took a brief, but enlightening tour of Ireland’s culinary scene. It was her first-ever trip to her ancestral homeland and she says it has inspired her to take a keen interest in developing stronger ties to Irish vendors.

“They really blew me away,” Lynch said of her visit to Cork and Killarney. “There was a Michelin star chef at the hotel in Ballymaloe and the food was beautiful. It’s funny because I always feel like Ireland has this reputation of older people and simple food. But I spent some time with Darina Allen at Ballymaloe and they are all real artisans and they use quality products.”

Around Town
Aug. 29, 2014

For Nathaniel Anglin, a teacher at The Neighborhood House Charter School in Dorchester, baseball has always been more than just a sport. “I’ve been playing baseball my whole life, basically from the time I was able to swing a bat,” said Anglin, who plays first base or pitcher. “I played college ball, but after my sophomore or junior year I kind of knew at that point that major league ball wasn’t going to happen.”

Arts and entertainment
Aug. 29, 2014

Sue McLaughlin, with three of the many puppets and masks she tends to backstage at Disney’s “The Lion King,” playing the Boston Opera House September 9 - October 12. 	Photo by Selena MoshellSue McLaughlin, with three of the many puppets and masks she tends to backstage at Disney’s “The Lion King,” playing the Boston Opera House September 9 - October 12. Photo by Selena Moshell

Somewhere in the depths beneath Boston’s Opera House lies a home and hospital for the extraordinary puppets that come to life nightly in Disney’s “The Lion King.”  One of the guardians of this theatrical ménage of giraffes, hyenas, and gazelles is the company’s Puppet Assistant, Sue McLaughlin. 

A native of Milford, NH, Sue has been working her magic with “The Lion King” for 16 years.  She was initially hired as a dresser with the original Broadway company, working closely with the Scar and Zazu puppets.  More recently, she has been applying her professional touch with the national touring company, which plays the Opera House from Sept. 9 to Oct. 12.

McLaughlin studied theater at Hofstra University and has a master of professional studies in art therapy from Pratt Institute.  Originally pursuing an acting career, she eventually found her calling backstage, building an impressive list of credits at Lincoln Center where she was part of the wardrobe department for prestigious productions of “Carousel,” “The Heiress,” and “A Delicate Balance.”  

We spoke by phone about her work with “The Lion King” during the show’s Washington, DC, run.  Here’s an edited look at our conversation.

Here and There
Aug. 29, 2014

  Ray Flynn, a Natural For Honors – At a recent birthday party celebrating former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn’s 75th birthday, City Councillors Bill Linehan and Stephen Murphy announced they will lead a move to recognize the South Boston native for his life of public service. What a grand idea and one that Bostonians and others should, and I am sure will, get behind. (Disclosure: I worked at City Hall during the Flynn years)

Boston Irish Commentary
Aug. 29, 2014

For many Irish Americans the key to a strong future for Ireland is the strength and creative energy of its educational system. A highly educated population and work force not only attracts inward investment but it also generates innovation, new ideas, and happier, more informed lives for Irish people.

Breaking News
Aug. 29, 2014

In what is expected to be a triumphal return to the birthplace of his parents, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh will head for Ireland this month. It will be his first out of country visit since his election last November.

The mayor leaves Boston for Shannon on Thursday night, Sept. 18 for a ten-day visit to the Emerald Isle. His itinerary includes five days with his Irish relatives in Connemara in his parents’ home villages of Rosmuc and Carna. Walsh plans visits to Dublin, Donegal, and Derry, and will make a presentation at a Belfast conference on September 25.

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