Hallelujah! We survived

Ed Forry

IrishNetwork/Boston will gather together again- for the first post-pandemic time- on Thursday evening, June 24 at the Lawn on D, adjacent to the Boston Conventioin Ctr in South Boston

By Ed Forry,  
Boston Irish Publisher


Saturday night, June 12, was a very unusual night for me, an evening of a new-found sense of freedom. It was only a few days after Gov. Charlie Baker had sounded the all-clear signal beginning June 15 for the state of emergency, ending most of the Covid restrictions that had kept us socially distant from friends and neighbors – indeed, all other people – for more than a year. We were now free at last to resume activities that we once took for granted

With warm late spring breezes flowing off Boston’s waterfront, we took the occasion to venture into the city. After parking at a curbside meter on Atlantic Ave as twilight was turning to dusk, we wandered among the fascinating sights and boisterous sounds along the Rose Fitzgerald Greenway.

Everywhere we went, from a visit around the Aquarium to a stroll to Boston’s Long Wharf and the public access area of the Marriott for a quick view of Columbus Park, there was a sense of life having returned to our town. We joined dozens waiting for the pedestrian light to allow a crossover to Quincy Market,  where a queue for the second-floor dance party stretched for a half  block. And then, back to the Greenway, where some children and a handful of teens in their street clothes cavorted in the delightful water spray feature that’s become a such a welcoming attraction for tourists and locals alike

All over Boston town, in this second weekend of June, there had been a return to life: Our city was teeming with humanity with scores of people back to living their lives together in our city. The way it used to be and, please God, will be again.

There was one concern: Very few wore masks. Many of the happy smiling faces we encountered were people in their 20s and 30s, out celebrating the return to the nightlife, exulting in seeing each other for the first time in many months.

Although fully vaccinated, we chose to keep our masks with us, and when going indoors in the marketplace area, we put them back on.

For some, the return to crowded public areas may seem premature, even dangerous. For sure, there’s still plenty of signs that Covid 19 continues to be a danger, but our state is among the nation’s leaders in vaccinations, and now many are inoculated against the deadly consequences we have been so careful to avoid over this long siege.

Indeed, we can be considered survivors, and while we remain wary of those who refuse to get the vax, we’re also determined to return to living our lives.


There continue to be great signs of normal life returning all over town. Here are some of them:

Irish Network Boston – “It's been far too long since we have enjoyed the company of Irish Network Boston,” the organizers say. “With the weather finally turning and restrictions lifted, what better way to celebrate than to join us on June 24 at The Lawn on D, 420 D St, South Boston for our first SummerSocial!  All members (and their friends) are very welcome for this free event. Enjoy some apps and the first drink is on us! Register online at  lnkd.in/ePbs8TB\

Irish Social Club – President Richie Gormley says the ISC resumed Sunday socials on June 6, featuring Erin’s Melody with Margaret Dalton. “We have really missed seeing Margaret and the boys and hearing their great music. We are also looking forward to seeing all our Sunday night regulars and watching our spectacular dancers,” the IPC said on Facebook. “Coffee, tea, and light refreshments are served. Admission: $10 Time: 7–10 p.m. Founded in 1945, the Irish Social Club has made its home in West Roxbury since 1980 and serves as a gathering place for the Irish community in Boston.

JFK Library – The Library and Museum will reopen to the public on weekends with reduced hours beginning Sat., July 3, and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Advanced timed ticket reservations will be required, and the last ticket will be available for a 12:45 p.m. entry each day.

"We are so pleased to welcome our visitors back," said JFK Library Director Alan Price. "We know this year has been incredibly hard on individuals and families across our city, state, and country. We hope by making admission free this summer that many can come and find some relief by visiting our museum on beautiful Columbia Point. We are grateful to all those who helped get us through the pandemic safely." 

In appreciation of the significant sacrifices that were made by everyone over the past year to keep people safe, admission to the museum will be free in July and August. Tickets will be made available to reserve at the JFK Library's website beginning on June 27. 
Irish American Partnership – The
30th Annual Newport Golf Tournament resumed this year on June 15. Said IAP leader Mary Sugrue: “The highlight was when gifted college athlete and aspiring young Irish golf professional Paul Murphy from Rosslare, Co. Wexford addressed our group. We are delighted to name him our first Partnership Golf Scholar, and wish him the very best of Irish luck as he embarks on his inspiring journey to Golf Pro.”  

The Partnership plans its next two big events in the new year 2022 – Jan.  6 in Boston and Jan. 12 in Washington DC

Irish Pastoral Centre –We'd like to say we strolled at dawn through a soft misty rain - but it poured buckets at Castle Island this morning, June 5,” new IPC Executive Director Mary Swanton said . “However, it did not deter the many, many walkers who joined us” for an early morning fundraising walk. The center is close to resuming full on-site schedules; see more information on Page 9.

Irish Cultural Centre – The ICC collaborated with the Irish Consulate in Boston for a mid-day Bloomsday celebration on June 20 in the ICC tent. The campus is open again to the public with Friday night sessions in the Pub and GAA games every weekend. Also, the ICC plans a number of Tent Concerts this summer, among them: Strawberry Hill on July 17 and Devri on July 25. See more details on Page 17.

Sligo Assn. of Boston – The club sold-out its June 4 golf tournament at Brookmeadow CC in Canton and has resumed meetings at Waterford's Restaurant & Pub. The club may be reached by postal mail to County Sligo Association of Boston, 62 Cass Street, West Roxbury, 02132

Rián Immigration Center –  “We have been providing services remotely and have been able to support more families and from a wider geographical area,” Exerciutive Director Ronnie Millar reports.  “We intend to return to the Center in a phased approach and will continue to provide services both in-person and remotely.  We continue to provide emergency cash assistance to immigrant families impacted by Covid and we helped form the Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative to raise funds for families.

“Our Solas awards are on the evening of Nov. 9 and it will be a virtual event with a number of satellite ‘watch parties’ hosted by a number of Rian sponsors and friends.”

Eire Society- The society will honor two educators with its 2021 Gold Medal at a dinner and award ceremony on Sat., Sept 18, at the Seaport Hotel. Dr. Christine Kinealy of Quinnipiac Univ and Dr. Maureen Murphy of Hofstra Univ will be the honorees. The Society held its annual meeting on June 13 via Zoom, and re-elected Mimi McNealy Langenderfer as president. Two new board members elected that day were Kelly Matthews, professor of English and coordinator of Liberal Studies, Framingham State University, and P.T. Sullivan, second generation Irish American artist, photojournalist, and consultant focused on community arts and education-based projects.
Boston Irish Honors – The annual luncheon designed by Boston Irish Magazine to “tell the stories” of exemplary Irish families and persons with Boston and Irish heritage will resume on Oct. 29 after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. An event committee is currently being formed to select the honorees. Serving as co-chair are previous honorees Mary and Jim Judge.