Saturday, July 9, 2011

Andy McGann Traditional Irish Music Festival 2011

Did you ever wish you could go to a special and wonderful event which people mainly hear about by word of mouth?

Well, "Psssssssssssst, do ye wanna hear wonderful Irish traditional music by some of the best from Ireland and the United States?

Then wend your way on down the road to East Durham and attend the Andy McGann Traditional Irish Music Festival on Saturday, July 16th from 11:30 AM to 7 PM at the Quill Festival Grounds."

I am exaggerating a bit. There are articles about it on the web and a Facebook page. Still, for the quality of who will be playing and what you will hear, you'll be hard pressed to find a better value.

All this is available an hour from Albany and only two and half hours from New York City.

Why does this Festival keep happening every year? The Andy McGann Festival is the culmination of an entire week of instruction and celebration on Irish traditional music and arts known as Catskill Irish Arts Week. Since all these great musicians and dancers are there for the week, they get together and appear on stage at the end producing hours and hours of wonderful entertainment. Besides the music, there is story telling mixed in, all of which is true!

The grounds are set up with two pavilions so if you wonder what's happening in the other one, just wander a few steps over and see. There are street fair type foods and Irish CDs, art, clothing, and jewelery for sale. Of course, cold drinks and Irish brews are available.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Whiterock Parade in Belfast

I've been informed through a personal report, and media coverage, the Whiterock Parade in West Belfast went off peacefully on Saturday, June 26, 2011. This was in contrast to during the 2005 Whiterock Parade when Molotov cocktails and blast bombs were thrown at police.

In the intervening years, the Whiterock parade has remained contentious between the Orangemen marchers and nationalist residents of the Springfield Road. The Parades Commission had placed restrictions on the route. Approximately 50 Orangemen, consisting of Orange Order No. 9 district officers and members of the Whiterock lodge, were allowed to cross the interface wall on Workman Avenue to march on to the mainly nationalist Springfield Road.

The other approximately 850 march participants were re-routed through the former Mackies Factory site to join the Springfield Road at West Circular Road and proceeded back to West Belfast Orange hall.

Reportedly, approximately 80 nationalist residents and protestors held a peaceful protest as the parade passed by on the Springfield Road. Signs saying “Loyalist threats work” and “Nationalists have a right to protest outside their own homes” were held by the nationalists, however there was no violence.

Police praised marchers and protesters for their responsible approach.

Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said, "The parade passed off without serious incident and that is largely due to a lot of hard work that went on beforehand behind the scenes."

Regarding the overall mood, many of both the republicans and nationists were very upset with the recent violence in Belfast and Derry (or Londonderry) which they felt was brought about by gangs. In general people were not going to allow the gangs to continue. There seems to be a sense of more cooperation from both sides.

Rory McIlroy Says Northern Ireland Deserves Peace