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Dateline Irish on Echoes of Erin
with Diane Byrnes

Dear Friends,


Attached is Dateline Irish for Sunday, January 4th., Program number 1870.  The final program for 2024 should be 1920.  Of course that is if I do not mess up with the program numbers.  For those of you who have been reading this newsletter for a good while you know I mess up (sometimes). Of course I do not want to think of December 2024 yet, there is much too much to do up until that time.


May we all be hopeful that 2024 will be a generous and kind year with tons of hope and good wishes.  I know I am so discouraged with all the negativity in the world today, it is difficult to enjoy life with such bad news.  We are going to have fun this year, and we are going to enjoy each other and perhaps engage in some new activities.


When was the last time you read a good book?  I used to read so much more that I do today and I have a ton of really good books that I do not even touch anymore.  Well I think it is time to start reading again.  Television is becoming a boor, as I watch too much of it.  Now I do not have cable, (I guess not many folks do today) or streaming services or any 'state of the art' technology where I can watch anything.  I have just plain old antenna TV.  That has been satisfactory for me.  Years ago, although I had TV I did not watch it regularly, like for 25 years.  So what I watch today are programs 25 years old or older.  I think it is time to turn it off and explore some more creative ideas.


The Ireland Report should come to us from Galway with Brian Nolan.  I have not been able to reach Brian yet.  It could be very bad weather in Ireland, which makes transmission difficult.  Of course I will keep trying.  If I am unable to reach him then you will have the pleasure of my company announcing the news.


Our sponsor of The Ireland Report is Jack Goodrich, Goodrich & Associates, 412.261.GooD.  The sponsor for The Top of the Hour Moment will be The Irish Society for Education & Charity.  This is the organization that oversees the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which takes place on Saturday, March 16th.  There are a few activities that take place to support our Parade.


There will be the search for Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and St. Brigid's Court of which I haven't any details yet.  However, young women, assemble your resume's and have a new, good photo taken of yourself.  There is the first Parade Fundraiser on Thursday, February 15th at Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle.  Here there will be NO Cover Charge only raffle tickets at the door. The Committee is counting on you to purchase these tickets in place of a cover charge, plus there will be a Basket of Culture & Cheer and some Give-Aways.


Then there is the Button Party, no details yest, but soon.  This is always a really good time and so many people come out to support it.  You can purchase your Parade Button here or at the first Fundraiser at Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle.


Usually Michael Lamb has a party as well during this time, although I haven't a clue if he will have one this year.  The Pittsburgh Ceili Club will host their annual Kick-Off Ceili on March 9th, plus Mullaney's Harp & Fiddle and Riley's Pour House will have special events to celebrate this marvelous occasion!  We need a lot of positivity right now and the St. Patrick's celebrations are such a wonderful time to share with old friends and make some new ones.


There also will be the Crowning of Miss Smiling Irish Eyes and St. Brigid's Court, a Catholic Mass will take place at St. Patrick's Church on the day of the Parade.  There are probably a few events I have left out, but make sure you tune into Echoes of Erin at least now until Sunday, March 17th for all of the details on the events.


This year should be very Rich Fitzgerald will not be with us in the same capacity he has been the past 12 years. Sarah Innamorato, who is now our County Executive, should be the person to continue with Mr. Fitzgerald's role.  He did a really good job and I hope she will also do a good job - and of course she will.  Hopefully Rich Fitzgerald is still around to enjoy and participate the festivities.


Well folks, as I read over all of this information, I certainly have given you much 'food for thought'.  Do plan on coming out and celebrating!


On another note - Do you recall reading about 'the death of Irish America'.  This is where census workers have said the Irish in America are dying and we are at an all time low.  This is not true.  In 2020 there were nearly 39 million Irish-American's in the United States.  It seems that research from, Irish America's background was the most hidden of all ethnicities.  So, there are many more of us than what was originally thought.  This is surely something to celebrate.  (Fall 2023 Issue, Page 27).


Happy New Year,

Diane Byrnes

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