Category Archives: News

Anne McConnell-Strong Passing

A CHAMPION of traditional music has died following a fall just moments after she accepted an award for her contribution to Irish culture.

Prior to her retirement this year Anne had arranged one last tour, Echoes of Erin 2016, which ran for 10 nights over the last fortnight at the Gerry Gallagher Hall in Toronto. On the final night of the tour last Sunday, October 2, Mrs. McConnell-Strong was invited on stage at the end of the show to accept an award in appreciation for 37 years of hard work which she accepted, beaming. On her way off of the stage, she fell. Tragically, she succumbed to her injuries.

Obituary

anne-mcconnell-strong

McCONNELL-STRONG, Annie – The family of Anne McConnell-Strong is devastated to announce her tragic passing on Monday, October 3rd, 2016.

A beloved wife, sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Anne was a loving light to her family, friends, and community, and a source of infinite grace and comfort.

Born in Co. Galway, Ireland, Anne trained as a nurse in England, and eventually settled in Canada in the 1960s. She quickly became a treasured part of the Irish community in North America, and owned two Irish pubs, Finnegan’s and Muldoon’s, as part of the Frontenac Hotel.

In 1978, Anne founded the local chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, was elected chairperson of the Eastern Comhaltas Regional Board in 1988, and spent nearly four decades ceaselessly promoting the development and preservation of Irish traditional music, dance and culture in Canada and the United States.

Anne is survived by her beloved husband Elmer, with whom she recently travelled the world, and with whom she shared a beautiful home in Glenburnie, Ontario, Canada. She is survived by her children, Ita (Pat), Dympna and Fintan (Katie), her grandchildren Madison, Wyatt, Austin, Shane, Liam, Fiona, Emer and Anais, and her great-grandchildren Bruce, Willamina, Sallyanne, Maeve, and Emrick.

Sister of Kate Lawton (Joe) of Kingston, Mary Finn (the late Sean) and Sally Burke (the late Brendan) of Ireland, and the late Teresa Kearney. She will be missed by her numerous nieces and nephews, and Elmer’s children Maureen, David (Linda), Larissa and Sonya, and her son Jack.

The family will receive friends at the Robert J. Reid and Sons Funeral home, Kingston on Thursday, October 6th between the hours of 4 pm -7 pm.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church on Friday, October 7th at 10:30 am. Rite of committal with prayers to follow at St. Mary’s cemetery.

Anne was a gift to this world, and was loved and respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. She will be dearly missed, but her light will continue to shine in the lives of all of those she blessed with her presence.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Martha’s Table.

 

Michael Connolly R.I.P.

The Reynolds Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann is saddened at the passing of longtime member Michael J. Connolly.

MICHAEL J. CONNOLLY’s Obituary in the Boston Globe follows:

MICHAEL J. CONNOLLY
CONNOLLY, Michael J. of Northport, Florida, formerly of Osterville and Watertown, died on September 1, 2016 at The Joy of Living II in Northport, Florida after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Born in Ireland, County Galway in 1938. He came to America in 1962, where he worked at BF Goodrich in Watertown where he had an industrial accident in November of 1966. In 1970 he went to work at John Hancock in Boston where he worked for 30 years as a computer operator until his retirement in August 2000.

Mike formed a band in the 1980’s called Mike Connolly’s CelticAires. He played at many weddings and parties for 3 decades and recorded 2 albums. Mike was inducted into the Irish Music Hall of Fame in 2002.

Devoted Husband of Trudy (Murphy) of 50 years. Beloved Father of Trish McHugh and her husband John, the late Michael Connolly and Maureen Connolly. Cherished Daideo of his granddaugher Grace McHugh. Beloved Son of the late Hannah (Heaphy) and John Connolly, brother to Julia Higgins, Paul Connolly and his wife Rose, cousin Bernadette Conneely, and the late Mary O’Toole, Ann McCann, John Connolly, Peter Connolly. Also survived by 18 nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 11:00 am at St. Jerome’s Parish, 632 Bridge Street, North Weymouth, MA. 02191. Burial will be private. Donations in Mike’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association .

Read a little more about Mike’s music from this 2013 Facebook post about O’Shea’s Old Inn Sunday night session.

And this page shows a couple of photos of Mike playing with other Irish musicians in Florida.

 

Daniel Hourihan R.I.P.

The Reynolds Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas CeoltóirÍ Éireann is saddened at the the passing of Daniel Hourihan, husband of  long time member, Jeanne Hourihan. 

In Memory of Daniel F. Hourihan 

(January 17, 1943 – August 7, 2016)

Daniel F. Hourihan, of Walpole, formerly of Charlestown, passed away peacefully on August 7, 2016.

Born in Boston, he was a U.S. Army veteran serving during the Vietnam Era. Mr. Hourihan retired from the U.S. Postal Service following 32 years of service and also worked as a Court Officer for the Social Security Administration Law Judge.

Beloved husband of Jeanne (Kelly) Hourihan; loving father of Daniel V. Hourihan and his wife Diana of Walpole, Maryanne Hourihan of Tampa, FL, Nancy J. Griffin and her husband John of Norfolk and Kelly J. Gjervold and her husband Colin of Tampa, FL; cherished grandfather of Patrick Daniel, Catherine Maria, Aidan Robert, Jake Daniel, Matthew Michael, Grace Kelly, Mariah Aine and the late Mia Jeanne; devoted brother of Marie Bimmler of Assonet and the late William Hourihan, John Hourihan and Helen Whalen. He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral Mass

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, August 11th at 10:00am in St. Timothy’s Church, 650 Nichols Street, Norwood. Interment will follow the Mass in St. Francis Cemetery, Walpole. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, August 10th from 5:00-7:00pm in the church.

Donations

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Monastery of St Clare. 920 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Gillooly Funeral Home
Norwood (781)-762-0174

Obituary Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 9, 2016

Annie Mullen RIP Long Time Branch Member

Annie Mullen, R.I.P.

We are saddened at the passing of Annie Mullen, long time member of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. We extend our deepest condolences to family and friends.

Annie Mullen RIP July 28 2016
Annie Mullen,long time member of the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of CCE

Annie’s husband Coleman (Coley) holds the position of Treori na Gaeilge for our branch (Irish Officer).

Funeral Arrangements

Friends and relatives are invited to visiting hours Monday 3-8 PM in the Murphy Funeral Home, 1020 Dorchester Avenue.  Dorchester (directions). A funeral Mass will be in St. Mark Church, Tuesday, August 2, at 12 noon.

Obituary

MULLEN Annie M. (McDonagh). In Braintree, formerly of Dorchester and Co. Galway, Ireland, July 28, 2016. Beloved wife of Coleman. Loving mother of Angela and her husband Kieran Kelly of Braintree, Aine and her husband Martin McDonagh of Quincy, and Caroline Mullen of Braintree. Sister of Maureen Mulkerrin of England, Colimin McDonagh of Braintree, Dudley McDonagh of Dorchester, Teresa Delaney of Ireland, and the late Paraic McDonagh. Devoted grandmother of Ciara, Claire, Annie, Nora, and Michael Kelly, Roisin and Fiona McDonagh. Survived by many nieces and nephews.

James A. Murphy & Son Funeral Home
1020 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125
617-265-9840

Obituary and tributes: http://jmurphyfh.tributes.com/obituary/show/Annie-M.-McDonagh-Mullen-103804268

Joe Derrane (R.I.P.)

Joe Derrane, RIP

The Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley Branch of Comhaltas wishes to extend its sincerest condolences to the family of Joe Derrane (Hall of Fame 1998) on his recent passing.  He was truly one of the legends of traditional Irish music in America and throughout the world.

Joe Derrane East Durham 2005 (image sourced from Wikipedia)
Joe Derrane, Irish-American button accordionist (image sourced from Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Years

Born and raised in Boston and while still a teenager Joe was playing his 2-row D/C# accordion in the various Irish dance halls at Dudley Street in Roxbury.  He became widely recognized for his highly ornamental and spirited playing.

Return to Music Scene

After a long hiatus and on the persistent urging of the well-known Celtic music critic Earle Hitchner, Joe began his return to traditional music culminating in his appearance at the 1994 Irish Folk Festival at Wolf Trap in Virginia.  His performance was met with such great acclaim that Joe began his now famous second career.

Recognition

He toured throughout Europe, played with The Chieftains at Symphony Hall in Boston, appeared many times on radio and television, and received a Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 1998 Joe was inducted into the Comhaltas Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding contributions to traditional Irish music.

Funeral Arrangements

Joe died on July 22nd 2016 at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, MA.  His funeral will be from the Hurley Funeral Home, 134 So. Main St. (Rt. 28), Randolph on Friday, July 29th at 9:15am followed by a funeral mass at St. Mary’s Church in Randolph at 10am. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours Thursday, July 28th from 4-8pm. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery, Randolph. In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to Homes for Our Troops, 6 Main St., Taunton, MA 02780.

[Barbara Davis]

Ceili Update and Newsletter Correction

Sunday February 24 Ceili Cancelled

The Seisiun / Ceili scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 24th, is cancelled due to inclement weather. The next one is Sunday, Feb. 7th, 2-6 p.m. (Note time change). If the NE Patriots are in the Super Bowl this one will be cancelled. Kindly spread the word.

Newsletter Correction

Barbara Davis announced Jan / Feb newsletter corrections . . .

Online access to Boston Comhaltas Music School is through the Branch Website:  www.cceboston.org (this website)  on the Music School page.

Contact phone number is (617) 696-0442.

Barbara Davis

Snow Levels Cancel Ceili Session

Due to snow levels and parking challenges at the Canadian-American Club in Watertown, the Sunday, February 22nd, seisiun/ceili is cancelled.

Musicians-in-the-Snow-1876-Unidentified-artist-MFA-Boston
“Musicians in the Snow” 1876 Unidentified artist, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; source: http://www.artclon.com/museum/museum-of-fine-arts,boston/8052_39.html

The following week Sunday, March 1st, is also in jeopardy but a decision will be made on that date next week.

 

Sean Gannon R.I.P.

Sad News

Sean Gannon
Sean Gannon, R.I.P., November 26, 2014

We are so sad to learn that Sean Gannon passed away on Wednesday. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Sean’s family, friends, and fellow musicians.

Sean was a gifted musician. Many of us remember hearing him play at ceilis and other events.

Sean is the son of, John Gannon, who has played every Sunday at the Burren  for the afternoon Seisun, and step-son of Gerry Gannon, a regular set dancer in Sally Harney’s class in Watertown. Sean’s mother was Mary Coughlin, deceased. Sean is also the brother of Colm Gannon who moved to Ireland and opened Gannon’s Music store in Galway.

The details on the wake and funeral are in the obituary below. May he rest In peace. He will be missed.

The following photo shows Sean on the right with his father John, on left, and his brother Colm, center.

John Gannon, Colm Gannon and Sean Gannon Source: http://www.tradcentre.com/smithandgannon/johngannon.html
John Gannon, Colm Gannon and Sean Gannon             Source: http://www.tradcentre.com/smithandgannon/johngannon.html

GANNON, Sean P. (John) of Dorchester on November 26, 2014. Devoted father of Niamh Gannon of Braintree. Loving son of John and his wife Gerry Gannon and his mother, the late Mary Margaret Coughlin. Caring brother of Colm and his wife Kelly Gannon of Dorchester and Maryann and Peggy Gannon. Also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Active member of the Traditional Irish music community here and in Ireland. Sean will be forever in our hearts.

Visiting hours in the John J. O’Connor & Son Funeral Home, 740 Adams St. (near Gallivan Blvd.) DORCHESTER on Sunday from 3-7pm. Funeral in St. Mark’s Church Monday morning at 10 o’clock. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Interment Cedar Grove Cemetery. [Obituary Source: O’Connor & Son Funeral Home]

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