This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Danny O'Flaherty- On the Road Again (but not makin' music with his friends)

http://www.irishabroad.com/news/irishinamerica/news/bar-owner-sept2805.asp Bar Owner Evacuates Twice By Sean O' Driscoll A New Orleans pub owner is back on the refugee trial again this week after Hurricane Rita wrecked his temporary home in Texas. Danny O'Flaherty said that he was "exhausted" and wanted to get back to work after his family had been forced to escape both Katrina and Rita. Danny, who owns O'Flaherty's, New Orleans largest Irish bar and Celtic culture center, was interviewed by the Irish Voice last week about his last minute escape from New Orleans before Katrina hit. He, his wife, Susan, and their children fled to Jasper, Texas where his brother-in-law offered them a house. However, the town was evacuated before it was flooded by Hurricane Rita, which smashed a tree into O'Flaherty's temporary home. O'Flaherty, an Irish traditional music player originally from Connemara, Co. Galway, was coming back from a tour in Ireland when his flight was diverted from Houston to Dallas. "I had to way of reaching my family. My family was evacuated on Thursday from Jasper to the town of Texerkana, where they met up with Susan's mother," he said. Meanwhile, Susan's grandmother narrowly avoided being hit by a flying tree when she fled coastal Texas with a friend to be with her granddaughter. O'Flaherty said he spent two nights in Dallas before he could be reunited with his family in the town of Benton, Texas, where they are staying at his brother-in-law's own home. He said that it would be two to three weeks before they will be allowed to return to the house in Jasper. Meanwhile, his bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans will probably not reopen until January. Irish folk and traditional musicians, including the legendary Tommy Makem, are putting together a CD to help get the pub up and running. O'Flaherty has legendary status among musicians as a one of the best venues in the U.S. The venue also hosts an Irish cultural center. O'Flaherty said that he would likely separate from his family for some weeks so that he can get back to New Orleans and get the business restarted. He said that East Texas had many pine forests and that his temporary family home in Jasper was right in the eye of the storm. "We're suffered tree damage, but we're not as badly off as other people," he said. "Katrina was bad for us, but this is another nightmare, we're tired of it, I swear to God," he added. He said that when he first heard that Rita was coming, he felt like leaving the country. "I remember thinking, Not another one coming. I'm going back to Connemara!" he said. During his visit to Ireland, O'Flaherty played a concert in Ennis, Co. Clare on behalf of Red Cross efforts in Louisiana. "I'm very grateful to all those who have helped us and I want to help others who haven't been as lucky," he said. He added that people are out of touch with nature and no longer able to read its signs. "It's a real pity that has happened because I feel we are really out of sync with nature and that could be the problem," he said. O'Flaherty added that there was a lot of speculation that global warming could be responsible for the increase in hurricanes in the gulf. "It could be heating up the oceans and feeding the hurricanes but opinion seems to be divided," he said.
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