Music, Sports & Other Cultural Events At The Center This Summer
The camp culminated in a wonderful stage show in the St. Patrick’s room, on Friday July 1 called “Muirsheen Durkin: The Golden Years”. The capacity crowd enjoyed the show immensely. Camp Director Michael Dillon said “we had a great three weeks with the kids, and to see them all perform so wonderfully on stage in the variety show was the icing on the cake. We are already looking forward to planning next year’s camp!”. A special word of thanks to the UICC members who supported the Annual Appeal last December and the Emigrant Support Program (Irish Government) who provided financial assistance for this year’s summer camp.
Irish Summer Camp Proves to be a Hit! — The second annual summer camp has just ended after a three week run here at the Center. The camp built on last year’s inaugural success, by attracting over fifty campers to sign up this year. Musical theatre, drama, music, singing, Irish language, art and sports were activities that the kids enjoyed on a daily basis. We added computer coding this year to the list of optional activities the kids had the opportunity to participate in. Many thanks to Camp leaders Michael Dillon, Eamonn Flynn, Katy Porter, Tim Moriarty, Mary Radonovich, Jennifer Corry, James Ward-Mallison, JT Hardiman, Patrick Williams, and Shane Reidy for keeping the kids busy for the three weeks.
Farewell to SF Consul General — It is hard to believe that after a five year stay in the city by the bay, San Francisco’s Irish Consul General Robert O’Driscoll’s tenure is close to an end. The UICC and several community partners hosted a farewell party for the O’Driscoll family in the St. Francis room on June 11th. Irish violinist Gregory Harrington provided wonderful music during the afternoon. State Assemblyman Kevin Mullin attended and presented a certificate of recognition to Consul O’Driscoll from the California State Assembly.
I got to know Robert shortly after his arrival here in 2017 to San Francisco, as we were both part of a panel discussion and seminar on the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the SF area since 1854. The event was hosted by the Irish Historical and Literary Society. Fast forward to the last couple of years and Robert and I developed a close working relationship since I assumed the role of UICC President back in December 2020. During his time here in San Francisco, Robert has shown great support of all we are doing on a regular basis as a hub for the Irish American community and has wholeheartedly supported our aspirational dreams for the new Center. Robert has graciously advised the UICC on applications for grants for cultural programming and capital grant support for the 2025 Project. Robert has been very busy at the downtown Irish Consulate’s Office during the last few years having overseen a major relocation and refurbishment of the Irish government’s new hub at One Post Street, which now includes the Consulate, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland.
I want to extend my thanks to him on behalf of the entire UICC community for all he has done for us in the recent past. Robert and his family return to Ireland this August, and we wish him all the best in his diplomatic career.
Harrington Wows Audience — New York based Irish violinist Gregory Harrington wowed the audience at an intimate evening of chamber music in the St. Francis room on June 10th. Harrington who will play Carnegie Hall in New York for the fifth time next February gave an unforgettable virtuoso performance which will live long in the memory of those who were in attendance. It is understandable that Harrington is one of Ireland’s most recognized artists, having performed all over the world as a soloist.
Wrestling Nite July 8th — West Coast Pro Wrestling makes its debut at the Center on Saturday July 8th, with Motor City Machine Guns. This is another first time activity for the Center. Tickets at IrishCenterSF.org
Musical Evening July 9th — Wawona Gates will host an Irish music Seisúin led by the Gas Men on Saturday July 9th starting at 6.30pm. All Irish musicians are encouraged to come along and play. Later at 9.30pm local native Seamus Lucey and his band Saving the Suburbs (based in Chicago) will play in the Emerald Room.
Rock the Gates — We are launching a new initiative here at the Center this August as we announce an all day music festival – Rock the Gates – Summer Fleadh 2022. The event will be held on Saturday, August 27 at the Center on multiple stages. This festival will showcase a variety of bands from tribute bands, the Irish favorites, and will also include some Irish Dancing from some of our local dance schools. The line-up includes: License to Chill (Jimmy Buffet tribute); The Shams (Irish rock); Mangobus (SF reggae); The Pinball Wizards (The Who tribute); The Hooks (Alternative Rock); Fret & Fiddle (Celtic); Savage Craic (Irish trad); The Gas Men (Irish trad); Lucky ol’ Bones (Celtic folk/punk); Tommy & the Brothers (Clancy Brothers/Tommy Makem tribute); Irish Dancers and more.
Fight Nite #2 Success — Another capacity crowd attended the fight night #2 on June 25th. Hats off to Jimmy Ford and Fire in the Ring Boxing Club and UICC Board VP Mark Burke for driving the promotion and execution of another successful boxing card.
Summer Vacation — Next month’s message will be written while on vacation in the Emerald Isle. For the first time in four years, I will get the chance to visit my family in Co. Limerick, having last vacationed in Ireland in 2018. My family are super excited about the proposed trip, seeing their grandparents and cousins again. I am hoping to get the chance to see Limerick in an All-Ireland hurling final on July 17th at Croke Park, the National GAA Headquarters. I have watched the 2018, 2020 and 2021 All-Ireland victories stateside, so with a little luck I may make it to Dublin to see Limerick in the flesh.
All-Ireland Final Broadcast — The UICC will broadcast the All-Ireland hurling and football finals on July 17th and 24th at 7.00am. 16 Foot screen and full Irish Breakfast. Tickets at IrishCenterSF.org
Safe Travels — It is great to see so many people taking long awaited vacations this summer (including several of the hard working Board) so if you are traveling, please do take care, and we look forward to hearing about your trip and catching up at the Center when you return!
Happy 4th of July to Everyone in the Community!