“Stout Irish Festival” a hit

By Richard Tew

The first ever “Stout Irish Festival” was launched Saturday, Nov. 11 from 3-6 P.M. at the Continental Club in midtown.

On tap for performances Saturday were Blaggards, (who also hosted the event), The Naggins, Traveling Murphy’s and dancers from the Tew Academy of Irish Dance.

The response from those in attendance was overwhelmingly positive.

Plans are already underway for the next festival!

View a slideshow of the event below.

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Events update for November-December 2017 in and around Houston

 Saturday November 11, 2017 from 3-6pm Blaggards return to Houston from a long road trip to headline the Stout Irish Fest at The Continental Club, 3700 Main Street – Houston, Texas.  All ages welcome! Besides Blaggards, entertainment includes The Traveling Murphys, The Naggins, Tew Academy of Irish Dance Houston and more. Call for info: (713) 529-9899.


 ALSO Saturday November 11th 2017 at 7pm, The Dead Rabbits and friends are paying homage to those who serve, with a Veterans Appreciation Show down at Warehouse Live! Joining us on stage will be Blackgrass Gospel and D.Kosmo! 813 Saint Emanuel St, Houston, Texas 77003


PLEASE NOTE: The Sunday, November 12, 2017, Revels performance at The Black Lab has been cancelled.  The repercussions from Hurricane Harvey have made it impossible to put on this year’s planned performancesIf you have purchased tickets to “Something to Sing About” and wish to have a refund, please contact Sonia Beasley and she will work out a refund. If you wish to donate your ticket money to Revels Houston, we thank you and will send you an acknowledgement and tax letter. Please let Sonia know your preference at 713-668-3303.


Thursday November 16 2017 it’s Blaggards at Pimlico Irish Pub, 810 Waugh – 77019.  As always, we strongly encourage you to go to Blaggards.com to keep up with Blaggards, as they are always gigging!


Friday November 17 at 7PM it’s Frances Cunningham and EJ Jones in House Concert here in Houston. This will be a fun show in an intimate setting with these two native Houstonians coming home.  There is a suggested donation to attend.  Host Matt Carter will provide light bites, so you are not required to bring anything but both food and drink are always appreciated if you do so. Also,  feel free to bring your drink of choice or just something to contribute to the event. Come a bit before 7 for food, drink and socializing. CD’s will also be available for purchase.  RSVP as soon as possible by emailing mfcarter@gmail.com

Saturday, November 18th, 2017 It’s Wylde Meade from 11am to 12:30pm (our performance time) in an Art Crawl  at Mother Dog Studios, 720 Walnut Street, Houston, TX 77002.  We have the pleasure of welcoming all into this  incredible space that will be transformed for this year’s 25th Anniversary ArtCrawl theme of Flower and Garden! Come see what Houston’s Warehouse District Artists have to offer! We are so honored to be a part of such an historic event! No admission fee; Tipping allows musicians to plant more Flowers and Gardens! https://www.facebook.com/events/722374081281602


ALSO Saturday November 18 2017 Blaggards will be at Sherlock’s Baker Street Pub – on Westheimer in Houston, TX


Wednesday November 22 it’s Blaggards at The Continental Club 3700 Main St. Houston, TX 77002   713-529-9899



Saturday, December 2nd, 2016 from 6:30-8:30pm Constant Billy celebrates the Yule season at EQ Heights.  We will feature some brilliant yuletide music that you never, ever hear in elevators or shopping malls!  Yes, the Scary Welsh Song about hunting the Wren; the story of the astonishing Derby Ram; some rollicking English wassail songs; the lovely Wexford Carol from Ireland and so much more! EQ has great food and coffee and now serves beer & wine also.  No cover charge and free parking. Come share a special evening with us! EQ Heights, 1030 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77008 (713) 434-6923


Saturday & Sunday, December 2nd and 3rd it’s the 44th Dickens on the Strand festival in Galveston.  The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on five stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers.  Houston’s own Wylde Meade and also The Jig Is Up! will be performing on different stages and different times over the weekend. For tickets and more info www.galvestonhistory.org


Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 2 p.m. it’s A Celtic Christmas from the Flynn Center for Irish Studies: Song, Soul and Joy of the Season. It’s in UST’s Jones Hall located at 3910 Yoakum Blvd.  Parking available for a fee at the Moran garage, W. Alabama @ Graustark. 

Join world-renowned singer and keeper of Irish culture Nóirín Ní Riain, Ph.D. and her sons, Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin, for an afternoon of song and story celebrating the wisdom, charm and wit that the Celtic tradition holds in store for us all. Owen and Moley are greatly accomplished singers, composers and performers in their own right. There is a fee to attend. Nóirín says,  “This is an invitation, from my family to yours, to join us for a great gathering of song, spirit and a bit of fun too!”


Tuesday, December 12 at 7:30 PM  It’s the Celtic Tenors. Currently on tour in Germany, these three delightful Irishmen, are the only tenors with a truly global audience. Their first album achieved double platinum status in their homeland, and won them an Award for “Best Classical Crossover Act”. Since then, they’ve released 6 more albums and toured extensively in the US, Canada, and Europe. These are no stodgy stuffed shirts; they are known as much for their humor as their voices. With a program of beautiful Celtic songs, opera arias, contemporary songs and holiday classics, it promises to be an evening to savor.  There is a fee to attend. MATCH is located at 3400 Main St., Houston TX 77002 in Midtown. Tickets online or 713-521-4533


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Tew Academy’s Becca Bryan brings home World medals

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Sunday, April 23, Becca Bryan, a dancer and assistant instructor at the Tew Academy of Irish Dance, competed at the 2017 World Irish Dance Championships in Killarney, Ireland and brought home medals and a 15th place finish out of a large pool of very talented dancers.

Congratulations to her on a great performance!

For more about the Tew Academy of Irish Dance, visit their website at http://www.tewacademy.org.

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Martin McGuinness: Sinn Féin politician dies aged 66

BBC March 21, 2017

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister, has died aged 66.

It is understood he had been suffering from a rare heart condition. His funeral will be in Derry on Thursday.

The former IRA leader turned peacemaker worked at the heart of the power-sharing government following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The Queen is sending a private message to Mr McGuinness’ widow, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

Among the seismic moments in his time in government was the famous handshake with the Queen in 2012 and a toast to her Majesty at Windsor Castle.

Mr. McGuinness became deputy first minister in 2007, standing alongside Democratic Unionist Party leaders Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster.

He died in the early hours of Tuesday in a Derry hospital with his family by his side.

The Northern Ireland Assembly will be recalled on Wednesday due to Mr McGuinness’ death. “Bogside Republicans never retire,” a defiant but tearful Martin McGuinness told his supporters on the night he called time on his political career.

He never travelled far from his roots but his political journey took him far beyond the comfort of Derry’s Bogside.

But Sinn Féin’s one-time chief negotiator always found his toughest negotiation was with his own people, especially in his home city where he faced threats from dissident republican


A visibly ailing Mr McGuinness stood down from his post in January to protest against the DUP’s handling of an energy scandal, in a move that triggered a snap election.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said: “Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness.

‘Historic contribution’

“He was a passionate republican who worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation and for the re-unification of his country. But above all he loved his family and the people of Derry and he was immensely proud of both.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said although she could never “condone the path he took in the earlier part of his life, Martin McGuinness ultimately played a defining role in leading the republican movement away from violence”.

“In doing so, he made an essential and historic contribution to the extraordinary journey of Northern Ireland from conflict to peace,” she added.

Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son, Tim, died in an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993, said although he did not forgive the IRA or Martin McGuinness, he found him a man who was “sincere in his desire for peace”.

Julie Hambleton, whose sister, Maxine, was one of the 21 people killed in the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974, said “with his death, the truth is buried”.

“Mr McGuinness was very fortunate because he was able to live a full life unlike my sister, unlike 20 other victims and unlike so many other thousands of people who were murdered.”

No-one knows how many people Martin McGuinness killed, directly or indirectly.

As a senior commander in the Provisional IRA for many years, there is no doubt there was blood on his hands.

Security sources say he went on to become chief of staff of the organisation from the early 1980s, right through until the end of the IRA’s campaign of violence.

Nothing happened in Derry without him knowing.

Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “Our society suffered grievously throughout our troubled history; and many police officers and their families are among those who suffered.

“Martin’s journey in life challenges all of us who care about the future; to be prepared to change; to demonstrate leadership; and to work to understand the world, not just from our own perspective, but from the perspectives of everyone in our community.”

Northern Ireland’s former first minister Arlene Foster expressed her “sincere condolences” at his death.

‘Personal journey’

“Today’s news will come as a shock to many people,” she said.

“First and foremost, Martin McGuinness was a much loved husband, father and grandfather. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and the family circle at this very painful time of grief and loss.”

Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, said Mr. McGuinness’ “personal journey and the clear influence he had on others in the republican movement were instrumental in shaping political institutions in Northern Ireland founded on exclusively peaceful and democratic means”.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Enda Kenny said his passing represented a “significant loss, not only to politics in Northern Ireland, but to the wider political landscape on this island and beyond”.

The Democratic Unionist Party MP, Nigel Dodds, survived an IRA gun attack in Belfast in 1996 as he was visiting his sick child in hospital.

“We can’t forget his past. He himself didn’t forget his past. This will also be a difficult day for victims. But he did help move people forward when it comes to the peace process,” he said.

Martin McGuinness grew up in Derry’s Bogside, radicalised, he said, by discrimination and murder on the streets of his city.

In 1972, at the age of 21, he was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry at the time of Bloody Sunday, when 14 civil rights protesters were killed in the city by soldiers.

He had a leading role in the IRA during a time when the paramilitary organisation was bombing his home city.

He was convicted by the Republic of Ireland’s Special Criminal Court after being arrested near a car containing explosives and ammunition. He served two prison sentences – he was also convicted of IRA membership.

But his leadership potential was spotted early and he was just 22 when he and Gerry Adams were flown to London for secret talks with the British government: MI5 considered him serious officer material with strategic vision.

He claimed he made the transition to politics when he left the IRA in 1974 but security experts believe he was still a leader during some of the organisation’s most notorious attacks in the mid 1980s.

The years that followed saw the IRA hunger strikes, the Brighton bombing when Margaret Thatcher and the Tory Party conference were targeted and the Enniskillen bomb in 1987, in which 11 people died.

The shift to politics came slowly. Martin McGuinness was chief negotiator in the blossoming peace process and took on the post of education minister.

By 2007, he was Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister standing alongside First Minister Ian Paisley. The two forged an unlikely alliance – but they were working together for the same goal.

He worked alongside DUP first minister Peter Robinson and, until January, was in office with Arlene Foster.

In recent years, he said: “My war is over. My job as a political leader is to prevent that war and I feel very passionate about it.”


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Sunday March 12

  • 1pm it’s the annual Dick Dowling Statue Ceremony at Herman Park. Featured speaker will be our old friend Lori Gallagher of the University of St. Thomas Irish Studies program.
  • 39th Annual FM 1960 St. Patrick’s Parade Champion Forest and FM 1960 281-378-0800 1960parade.com  H-E-B’s Scott McClelland grand marshals this year’s 1960 St. Patrick’s Parade, which includes an appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales. Vendor market in the Home Depot parking lot at 4159 FM 1960 West at Gladebrook for carnival food, games and face painting. Proceeds benefit the Cypress Creek EMS Scholarship Fund.
  • 5pm Blaggards, will perform at Plimlico on Waugh for that venue’s 3rd Anniversary Party For more info on upcoming Blaggards performances, (there are a lot of them) please go to Blaggards.com.
  • 5-7pm it’s the 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Young Adult Cancer Awareness Fundraiser at St Arnolds Brewery. Music by Blaggards.  Please join us for a fun evening with friends, family and neighbors and learn more about what’s happening at Dan’s House of Hope. Food and beverages provided. Register now for reduced rate, or pay $50 at the door. Thank you to event sponsor – Crossroads Insurance Recovery Advocates, LLC, and to food sponsor – Central Bank
  • 7PM Jig is Up at Gorgeous Gael 5555 Morningside

Monday-Friday March 13-17, Bellaire City Library’s Irish Movie Week, 5111 Jessamine, Bellaire, 713-662-8166 bellairetx.gov  The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady kicks off Irish Movie Week at the Bellaire City Library, which includes afternoon screenings of My Wild Irish Rose and Irish Eyes Are Smiling and concludes on St. Patrick’s Day with the 1952 John Ford-John Wayne classic The Quiet Man. All showings are free.

 Tuesday March 14 at 6pm sharp, Irish Network Houston present their first “Irish Business Fireside Chat” sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, at Jones Hall (3910 Yoakum), University of St. Thomas, and hosted by the Center for Irish Studies.

 Wednesday March 15, Guinness Dinner at Gorgeous Gael 5555 Morningside, music by Jig is Up.  Call for tickets (832) 667-8321.

Thursday March 16, 7PM Blaggards at Keaneally’s Pub 2111 South Shepherd  713-630-0486  irishpubkenneallys.com.

Friday March 17 is ST PATRICK’S DAY! 

  • 11:00 Gorgeous Gael…Music by Jig is Up
  • 12 noon The Harp: big parking lot party. Zydeco Dots play at 4 and Lisa Novak band at 8pm. Irish Dancers come on at 7 . Bagpipers and great food. Free beads and plenty of giveaways.
  • 12:30 Mass at University of St Thomas Chapel of St Basil. Reception follows.
  • St. Patrick’s Day at The Woodlands Children’s Museum 4775 West Panther Creek Drive The Woodlands  281-465-0955  woodlandschildrensmuseum.org  Join The Woodlands Children’s Museum for an Irish-at-heart tribute with traditional Irish dancing from Cloggers Unlimited and the McTeggart Irish Dancers. Juggler Claude Sims will also be on hand to delight the young and young at heart.
  • 2pm start time: Fitzgerald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parking Lot Party & Blues Jam, 2706 White Oak 713-862-3838 com  Bluesman Mark May returns to the Heights to host a nonstop jam session that benefits the National Down Syndrome Society, in a parking lot packed with vendors, beer specials and Irish whiskey. Doors open at noon, and the music starts at 2 p.m. All ages welcome.
  • All day at Griff’s 3416 Roseland St, Houston, TX 77006, a full St. Patrick’s day’s entertainment including Murder the Stout.
  • McGonigel’s Mucky Duck 2425 Norfolk St, Houston, TX 77098 is celebrating 25 years of St. Patrick’s Day in a family-friendly festival.  The  entire property is covered under a big-top tent showcasing Celtic music and dance inside and outside the Duck throughout the day with pub grub and drinks. Music includes PIPER JONES BAND, MILKDRIVE, CLANDESTINE, JIGGERNAUT, IRISH DANCERS and more. There is a charge to attend.  Call (713) 528-5999 for details.
  • Lucky’s Pub St. Patrick’s Day Festival Downtown 801 St. Emanuel 713-522-2010 Green beer, leprechauns and bagpipers are aplenty at Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival, now at four locations. Downtown at the original Lucky’s, doors open at 6 a.m. for Lucky Charms and breakfast tacos, and the fun continues with 94.5 The Buzz broadcasting live all day, plus 15 bands and six DJs across three stages.
  • 5-10 pm Saint Arnold’s St. Patrick’s Day, 2000 Lyons 713-686-9494 saintarnold.com Come out and watch the crowning of a new Donegal Beard Growing champ at Saint Arnold brewery and enjoy its full beer lineup and Irish stew bread bowls from 5 to 10 p.m. Even better? This year the festivities at Saint Arnold are free.
  • 6:30-8:30 Wylde Meade Celtic St. Paddy Day Celebration at EQ Heights, 1030 Heights Boulevard
  • 7PM The Jig is Up at Bombshells South.
  • 7PM Murder the Stout plays Market Square downtown
  • 8PM Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire at Miller Outdoor Theatre 6000 Hermann Park Drive Houston, One of Ireland’s leading tenors brings you an evening of songs, stories, tunes and dance, from the heart of the Emerald Isle. World champion dancers from the casts of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance take the stage with exuberance.
  • 8-12PM Tom Fooligans at Bull and Bear 11980 Westheimer at Kirkwood.
  • March 17-18 Mo’s Irish Pub St. Patrick’s Day Celebration! 138 Vintage Park 281-251-0715 mosirishpub.com  Mo’s Irish Pub boasts green beer, bagpipes and Irish dancing at its two-day St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza. Stop by for the Irish-American menu, which includes food and drink specials, live music: Leo Mendoza, Turnmics and ThunderPants on Friday; OMG and Infinity’s Twin on Saturday, raffle prizes and free hugs.
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