Investing in Young Scholars, Musicians and Cultural Ambassadors

The Center has been a hive of activity over the past few weeks, with ongoing weekly Irish music, bagpipes, drumming, and Irish dance practices. But that’s just the beginning – there’s plenty more in store for our younger members in the weeks ahead!

Supporting Our Scholars

First on the agenda is our annual Leo T Walsh scholarship program, which provides financial support to graduating high school seniors and eighth-grade students from local grammar schools as they embark on the next phase of their educational journey. In its 31st year, this program has awarded over 700 scholarships since its inception in 1994, thanks to the generous contributions of our community supporters and donors. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of our scholarship recipients at the award ceremony at 3pm on May 19th, followed by graduation festivities here at the Center later in May.

Irish Camp Turns Four

Our annual Irish summer camp is gearing up for its fourth year, with an impressive 80 kids signed up to join Camp Director Máire Clerkin and her experienced team between June 10th and 28th. This year, campers will delve into the world of traditional Irish ballads and party songs, exploring the iconic sounds of artists like Sinead O’Connor, Christy Moore, and many more. Máire shares, “Ireland is famous for its music, and our campers will embark on a journey through both classic and contemporary Irish melodies, bringing these timeless stories to life through song and theatrical performance.”

A Delight for Campers

At camp, every participant will have the chance to shine, whether it’s through singing, acting, dancing, or playing instruments. With a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, including sports, arts and crafts, and technology workshops, our campers will be fully immersed in Irish culture and creativity. And with three weeks of workshops covering everything from music and dance to storytelling and theater, our campers will collaborate to create a spectacular theatrical production to showcase their talents on June 28th.

Camp Sign Up

There are still some spots available for this year’s summer camp which runs from 9am-3pm daily Monday through Friday. Starts June 10th and you can sign up online.

Kids’ Music Workshops

Don’t miss our kids’ music workshops during the traditional Irish Music Festival weekend from June 21st to 23rd! We’ll be offering instruction in bodhrán, tin whistle, bagpipes, banjo, fiddle, and more – a perfect opportunity for young musicians to develop an interest in a musical instrument and connect with their Irish heritage.

Giants Irish Night

Eleven-year-old Tanner Manning has been selected to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the SF Giants game against the Cincinnati Reds on May 10th as part of Irish Heritage night at the Giants.

What a great honor for our Irish community to take center stage at our local big league ballpark. Tanner is a great UICC ambassador—thriving in our Youth Music Program as he’s taken to the bagpipes. In addition to his singing talents, he’s also a talented Irish dancer. We are excited to cheer him on May 10! 

Wawona Gates Turns 4

We will celebrate the four year anniversary of Wawona Gates on the weekend of June 21-23. The outdoor space at the Center was very popular during the pandemic and continues to serve as an event space for several events and for private parties during the year. Look for the music and dancing line up next month!

AOH Young Ambassadors

In early June, two young men (Tony Sheridan and Shane Reidy) from the local community will travel to the Saint Patrick Center in Downpatrick, Co. Down as part of the Ancient Order of Hibernians National Young Ambassadors Program. The aim of the program is to create a network of informed and influential young individuals throughout America with specialist knowledge and links to the northern part of Ireland. The Young Ambassadors program aims to develop a meaningful and on-going relationship with Ireland and will continue to represent it when appropriate throughout the rest of their lives through their work in the AOH. 

Keepers of the Steps

The Keepers of the Steps exhibition “Irish Dance—Celebrating the Roots, Rhythms, and Rituals of the San Francisco Irish” at the San Francisco Historical Society downtown has been extended until July. Great news if you have not had a chance to check it out. Check the Museums website for opening times.

Pathway to Change

Ciaran Scally was in contact recently and is inviting the community to an evening discussion on peace and reconciliation in Ireland. The event takes place here at the Center on Thursday May 23rd at 7pm. Entitled “Planning and Preparing for a New and United Ireland” the event will feature two guest speakers from Ireland’s Future, a leading civic group which enjoys engagement with people from all across the entire political spectrum in Ireland. Niall Murphy is a Civil Rights Attorney and Karen Sethuraman is the only female Baptist Minister in Ireland.

Organized by the Knights of the Red Branch and The Irish Herald this event promises a lively, informative and positive discussion around the best ways to achieve a fair and just society for all the people of Ireland.

E-Waste Pick up

We have a Free e-waste removal service coming to the Irish Center on Tuesday May 7th at 10am. Bring along your old electronics before 10am to have them recycled properly. The materials will be picked up by the SF Conservation Corps. More info at 415-860-1854

Ronald Reagan

I had a note recently from John Haggerty (Santa Clara) who pointed out an omission in last month’s message. As part of my notes on Irish American Heritage month, I noted that three of California’s Governors (Pat Brown, Jerry Brown, and Gavin Newson had some Irish ancestry. However, I omitted to mention that California Governor (and later, two-term American President) Ronald Reagan also had substantial Irish ancestry. Indeed, all four of his father’s grandparents were Irish immigrants. Thank you John for helping to fill out the historical record.

World Champion Dancer

Congratulations to Hanah Logar (Whelan Academy) who won the World Senior Ladies Irish Dancer championship in Glasgow, Scotland recentl

Liam Reidy, President