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Ireland Culture

March 15, 1994 | BERT ELJERA
St. Patrick's Day on Thursday is that time when everyone wants a "wee bit o' heaven" and to be Irish for a day. But for Tom and Mary Kelly of Tustin, every day is St. Patty's Day. At their gift shop on El Camino Real, the shamrocks never disappear. Kelly's Gift and Hobby Shop sells a variety of Irish products throughout the year, from food to clothes to jewelry to gifts.
August 1, 1993 | MARY ROURKE
With a name like mine, and a face like a map of Ireland, I should have known why the place was calling me. But for years I fought it. The land of my ancestors looked to me like a nation of brawlers and hopeless romantics. I vowed early never to set foot in it. You can say things like that about what is your own. I'd be incensed if anybody who isn't Irish criticized Ireland. But I am: Irish American, three generations, right and left on the family tree.
June 6, 1993
Mad as Hell is an occasional feature in which readers may express their views on issues related to the arts and entertainment. Let the phrase uttered by Howard Beale (as portrayed by Peter Finch, left, in the movie "Network") be your guide: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Psst! Wanna Buy a Ticket? Why are the arts in trouble? Why do classical concert series always need to be bailed out by wealthy patrons? I've got one answer.
September 8, 1991 | DAVID GRITTEN, David Gritten is a free-lance writer based in London. and
Until about 30 years ago, a score of traveling theater troupes toured small Irish towns and villages. Typically headed up by a flamboyant actor-manager, these troupes would stop in a particular village--like this one hard by the Ulster border--for a week at a time, pitch a tent on the edge of town and perform their repertoire. The actors might have seen a new film in a larger town or city, and would re-enact it for the villagers who lived in areas too remote for moviegoing.
Andy Irvine had an invitation to join the British folk-rock boom of the early 1970s, but his own musical inclinations left him otherwise engaged. Instead, Irvine, who plays a solo concert Monday at Shade Tree Stringed Instruments in Laguna Niguel, has been content to spend the last 20-odd years exploring new possibilities within the Irish folk tradition.
March 14, 1991 | MIKE BOEHM, Mike Boehm covers pop music for The Times Orange County Edition.
Mention of St. Patrick's Day does not bring a twinkle to Dan Cartmell's eye, nor does it make Margie Mirken want to break into a jig. It isn't that these Orange County musicians turn into grinches at the sight of green. Actually, Cartmell's band, the Bold Fenian Men, and Mirken's group, Blackthorn, see more green--of the negotiable type--around St. Patrick's Day than they do the rest of the year.
March 17, 1990 | RICK VANDERKNYFF
In 1956, Frank O'Kelly and his future wife, Agnes, left Ireland for a new life in North America. But in a twist on their immigrant success story, their youngest son is hoping to make a permanent home in the country they left behind. "He'll probably reverse the trend that I started," Frank said. "He's thinking of staying." Frank Jr. was one of the medical students "rescued" by the U.S. invasion of Grenada in October, 1983. Not wanting to return there, he was at a loss; Frank Sr.
Gerry Mackey is sitting at the door of his Costa Mesa pub, the Harp Inn, where he greets--by name--each person who enters. Inside, the pub is noisy, but not from loud music or even the wide-screen TV in the corner, where a Boston Celtics basketball game plays silently. The lively din comes from the customers--laughing, telling stories, trading jokes. "The art of conversation is one of the greatest things we have to offer," says Mackey, stroking his graying beard.
March 17, 1990 | PATRICK MOTT
If the evaporation of the baseball season has left a deep, gnawing void where your rah-rah sensibilities usually live, and you think you might have to slug your way through summer watching tractor pulls on ESPN, then you might want to turn to the Irish for consolation. As it happens, the Irish have their boys of summer too. And they take their cuts with the ash just as lustily as Bo Jackson ever did. But they do it on the run.
For Americans visiting Dublin, Jury's Hotel has become a one-stop spot to sample a variety of Irish cultural traditions, home of a cabaret-style show that has served up Irish music, dance and storytelling to sellout, tourist-heavy crowds since 1964. "We do get quite a lot of American visitors," said Tony Kenny, a tenor and one of the show's stars. For Americans who can't make it to Dublin, Jury's Irish Cabaret has hit the road in a tour that stops tonight at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center.
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