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.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Keeping Up with the O'Flahertys

News about Ireland & the Irish SG 03/16/07 A Little Bit Of Ireland (In Lewisburg, WV) BJ 03/16/07 Balladeers Keeping Tradition Alive (Poster’s Note: The latest news on Patrick & Danny O’Flaherty. If you are in West Virginia (or any place close) get to Patrick’s new place for St Patrick’s Day. In addition to their Beaumont performance Danny O’Flaherty & Danny Doyle will be performing at the University of St. Thomas in Houston On Wednesday 03/21/07 (see details below). Since both of these guys are my friends, I had to decide which of these articles to put first. So I choose 'age before beauty' Jay) ********************* Andrea O’Flaherty pours a proper pint of Guinness, while her family of partners sit at the bar. From left are Pat Izzo, Patrick O’Flaherty and Willa Izzo. Irish Pub co-owner Patrick O’Flaherty has been playing Celtic music for more than 30 years. All roads lead to Ireland. The Irish Pub features not only mementos and decorations from the Emerald Isle, but also from New Orleans, where Patrick O’Flaherty once owned a pub. The Irish Pub in Lewisburg has the well-weathered atmosphere of a public house that’s been around for years, when really it’s only been open for a few months. A Little Bit Of Ireland (In Lewisburg, WV) Lewisburg pub is a place to gather and socialize By Bill Lynch For The Charleston Gazette LEWISBURG - The old storefront on 109 E. Washington St. in Lewisburg has been through a lot of changes in its 100-plus years. The narrow space has been a coffee house, a grocery store, a gift shop, a movie theater and probably more. "It's been a lot of things," sighs Patrick O'Flaherty in his Irish brogue. The architecture doesn't change, just what's inside of it. "So, now it's a pub," Willa Izzo says. Sitting comfortably at a couple of polished tables with Pat and Willa Izzo, their daughter Andrea and her husband, Patrick, it's hard to imagine this place was ever anything other than the cozy little pub that it has become. Its walls are covered with pictures, flags and old Guinness advertisements. It looks lived in, like the Irish Pub has been here for years instead of just a few months. The Irish Pub in Lewisburg has been a long time coming. Patrick and Andrea O'Flaherty had owned and run pubs before in New Orleans and then Washington, D.C. Patrick cooked, sang and played traditional Celtic music. Andrea, in addition to her work as a consultant in literacy development for educational facilities, often tended bar and managed things while Patrick was touring. About 10 years ago, the Izzos accepted jobs in Greenbrier County as physical therapists. Patrick and Andrea visited her parents there. They liked the area and the two couples talked off and on about bringing an Irish pub to Lewisburg. They looked at a few places, but nothing really caught their eye until last year. "We had a Realtor friend," Willa explains. "She called and said, 'I think I found the place.'" The Izzos looked at it, then the O'Flahertys came up to see it. Everyone was hooked. They spent the entire summer renovating, repainting and re-engineering the space into place for people to settle in, socialize and maybe have a pint in the old country custom. Willa and Pat Izzo laugh. They were supposed to be retired. "I retired last May," Willa says. "What is this? Nuts?" Pat is more philosophical. "I rationalize this whole thing," he says. "I don't play golf. I don't hunt or fish. I don't have a boat. So, this is my hobby." ********************* Courtesy Photos/BETH ERIKSSON Danny O'Flaherty, above, and Danny Doyle, below, will perform Irish songs and stories Sunday, March 18, at the Logon Cafe, 3805 Calder, at 6 p.m. Danny Doyle Balladeers Keeping Tradition Alive By Gene Hughes Journal Editor When Danny O'Flaherty speaks in his lilting Irish accent, you can't help but imagine yourself in a farand away land, in a simpler time, when families and neighbors gathered together to share songs and stories passed down throughout the ages. It's a time, he laments, that sadly seems to be undergoing a decline, much in the same way as Gaelic Irish culture did in after centuries of English domination of the island. "A lot of the young folks are not remembering their past," he said. "In recent years, because of technology, it's kinda dwindling down. Country music is more popular in Ireland than Irish music. He remarked at the irony, since a great deal of Country music can trace its origins to Irish folk tunes, such as "The Streets of Laredo," which is sung to the Irish tune,"The Bard of Armagh." "It's very hard to get Irish music," he said. "You have to be there for awhile to find where the little cubbyholes are where these people are playing - which is kinda sad. There are still places along the West Coast of Ireland where you can see a lot of that still. O'Flaherty hails from Connemara, County Galway in the west of Ireland, one of the few remaining pockets of Gaelic culture. In his youth, he spent his youth fishing and learning to row a currach (the traditional allwooden rowing boat unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland). He grew up in a culture where good singers and storytellers were the rock stars of their day, and the best would come together to display their talents at music festivals in the same way that cowboys gather at rodeos. His mother came from the Aran Islands, and is related to novelist Liam O'Flaherty, whose work, "The Informer" was made into the 1935 film directed by legendary Irish- American John Ford ("The Quiet Man") "On both sides of the family, there were writers and singers and all that. As you know well, back in Ireland, everyone plays a tune,"he said."It won't take much for them to sing a few songs, but that's what's great about the Celtic/Irish people. It's what they do." In commenting upon The Emerald Isle's movement away from its Gaelic roots, O'Flaherty talked about Kathleen Lynch, who as a member of the Dail (Irish Parliament), refused to bow to pressure to attend a school to lessen her accent. "She wouldn't do it," he said. "She's got a lovely Cork accent, and whether they like it or not, tha's the way she is. "It's gettin' so Ireland is so 'Euro' these days," he said, referring to the influx of different nationalities. "It's becoming more cosmopolitan, and that's not a nice thing. O'Flaherty said that although Ireland has moved away from its roots, there is a good chance of a resurgence. "I think it's because of Ireland's new-found prosperity (referred to as the 'Celtic Tiger'), the people are starting to realize that with this prosperity, they're losing their own identity. The pendulum hasn't swung all the way yet." O'Flaherty, together with Danny Doyle, will perform Sunday, March 18, at the Logon Cafe, 3805 Calder, at 6 p.m.Tickets are $20. Doyle, O'Flaherty said, is a walking encyclopedia of Celtic song and story. "You should see him when he does "Ireland's Terrible Beauty," he said. "It's just fantastic. He does the writers of Ireland and "1798: The Year of the French" that's just fascinating, and so educational. Danny Doyle is the last of the bards who has such a wealth of knowledge. It's incredible what he does." No stranger to Southeast Texas, O'Flaherty has been paying visits to the area since the early 1980s. "I'm lookin' forward to it," he said."We always get a good response in the Beaumont area." ---- 03/21/07 – The Two Dannys at the University of St. Thomas. Balladeer's Danny Doyle and Danny O'Flaherty in Concert together at: University of St. Thomas Cullen Hall 7:00p.m. Wednesday, March 21, 2007 $20.00 per ticket For more information contact: Beth Eriksson at or 248-408-5282. ---- To Subscribe to Irish Aires Google News List, click Here. To Unsub from Irish Aires Google News List, click Here For options visit: Or join our Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE (Paste into a News Reader) To March Index To Index of Monthly Archives To Searches & Sources of Other Irish News
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