Patrick O’Flaherty, well-known local musician, will be heading to New Orleans, to rejoin his group, the Poor Clares to participate in events commemorating the Irish Culture in the Crescent City. The Irish Government selected New Orleans, with its rich Irish history and traditions, to host the 2014 Irish Famine Commemoration which runs from Nov. 6 through Nov. 9.
The New Orleans Irish band, The Poor Clares, will headline two music events: Lace Curtain Night, Nov. 7, at the Irish Cultural Museum on 933 Conti Street in the French Quarter; and Irish Fest, Nov. 8, a new festival event to be held in conjunction with the Muggivan School Irish Channel Feis at Kingsley House.
The Poor Clares are renowned singer Betsy McGovern; mandolin player and Irish native O’Flaherty; flutist and multi-instrumentalist Justin Murphy; and Grammy nominated bouzoukiplaying songstress Beth Patterson.
The Irish Famine Commemoration was established in 2009. Other cities to host this event include Sydney, Boston, Liverpool, New York and Toronto. While the Irish Famine Commemoration honors those who lost their lives during what the Irish call An Gorta Mor – or the Great Hunger of 1845-1852 – it also celebrates the achievements of Irish men and women, forced into emigration by the Famine, as they built new lives in countries like Australia, Spain, Mexico and America.
“I don’t think that the Irish get a lot of coverage in New Orleans at all,” said O’Flaherty. “Everybody talks about New York, and Chicago and Boston, and Baltimore, but after the Famine, a lot of Irish also came to the South, to New Orleans, and to Savannah. I think that it is great that the Irish Government chose New Orleans to host the commemoration.”
During the commemoration, New Orleanians will be able to choose from a variety of events that reflect both the diversity of Irish Culture in the Crescent City, and the welcoming spirit of the New Orleans.
Events include a symposium at Tulane University, an Irish Feis, the groundbreaking of a new park created as a special tribute to the Irish, and Gaelic Football, as well as music events at the historic Gallier Hall, the Irish Cultural Museum, and Irish Fest.
Proceeds of commemoration events will benefit a number of non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross; Dags House; Lantern Light ministry at the St. Joseph Rebuild Center; and Kingsley House.
Further information about the Irish Famine Commemoration events is available at: http://ifnola2014.org/.