History & Related Events

History & Related Archives

Making Bridget’s Crosses • Feb 5

February 5 @ 3:00 pm5:00 pm at the UICC. Join the tradition of Bridget’s Cross makers, and learn how the Irish have put this famous piece together for generations. more

O’Neill Irish Music Festival • Feb 23-25

The festival opens on Thursday, Feb 23 with a presentation by festival founder Tom O’Neill on the “Incredible Life Of Francis O’Neill – The Man Who Saved Irish Music” at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon, with accompaniment by local Irish musicians. Two shows follow on Friday, Feb 24th and Saturday, Feb 25th at the Lodge in Tiburon, featuring Lucia Comnes, The Black Brothers, David Winter, Kyle Alden, John Caulfield, Todd Denman, Marla Fibish, and many more. See full musician lineup here

ILHS Speaker Series • Feb 26

Matt Spangler. The Irish Literary & Historical Society is planning two very special events for the months of February and March. In February they present a talk by ILHS Vice President, playwright and academic Matthew Spangler. Spangler, a Professor of Performance Studies at San Jose State University, will present a talk titled “Walking in the City: A Kurdish Asylum-Seeker’s Arrival in Dublin”.

Over the last ten years, Spangler has conducted a number of ethnographic interviews with a Kurdish asylum-seeker and now refugee living in Dublin, Ireland. A former member of the PKK – the Kurdish separatist organization, labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. and many Western European countries – he left Iran because, as he put it, he was too “old to be fighting and living in the mountains anymore.” Eventually he ended up alone and wandering the streets of Dublin, which he initially took to be Toronto. In Ireland he requested asylum and, after five years of hearings, rejections, threatened deportations, and appeals, was awarded refugee status. This presentation will focus on his first morning in Dublin, and subsequent application for refugee status. The talk will take place on Sunday, February 26 at 5pm at the United Irish Cultural Center, 45th Avenue and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco.

Annual Banquet, March 19. The ILHS presents their annual St. Patrick’s Banquet on Sunday, March 19 at the Saint Patrick’s Ballroom in the United Irish Cultural Center. This year’s event features harpist and storyteller Patrick Ball, with song and dramatic reading by Esther Mulligan, and music by fiddler, Anne Goess.

Contact Eileen Kivlehan at (415) 681-2078, or Brian Whitty at (925) 925-9015 with inquiries.

Celebration of the Pearse and Connolly Fife and Drum Band • Mar 12

Join Crossroads for a centenary celebration of the legendary Pearse and Connolly Fife and Drum Band. Founded in Butte, Montana in 1917, the band moved to San Francisco in the 1920s and has been an important cultural institution of the San Francisco Irish community ever since. You are requested to bring photos and memorabilia associated with the Pearse and Connolly Band to this event to showcase in a display.
Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street , San Francisco

For more information on this and other events visit www.irishamericancrossroads.org

Chinese, Irish, and the Transcontinental Railroad • Mar 26

“Chinese and Irish Workers in the Construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.” Gordon H. Chang, Professor of American History and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford, and Barry P. McCarron, Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow of Irish Studies at New York University, will lead a discussion about the roles and treatment of Irish Workers in the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad in the United States. For more information, visit the Irish American Crossroads festival website



Preservation and Discovery

Family Stories Workshop • Mar 26

Family Stories Workshop: Creating Narratives from Family Records. Margaret Cooley will give a talk and teach a workshop on how she began without any records, stories or photographs and found enough information to recreate a family story and write a book, The McQueeneys: From Ireland to America. Participants will receive a genealogy search form to fill out, and they may bring a family photograph or record. Margaret will assist them in using vital records and photographs to begin to tell their family stories and make their own books. United Irish Cultural Center, St. Francis Room. Part of the Irish-American Crossroads 2017 festival

Bay Area Irish Oral History • April 2


Join Irish-American Crossroads for this seventh annual event honoring the life histories of participants in the Irish Oral History Archive of the San Francisco Bay Area, a project of Irish-American Crossroads. Event takes place April 2, 2-4pm at the UICC.

About the Archive: Irish-American Crossroads is producing a comprehensive archive of the life stories of the Irish in the San Francisco Bay Area, representative of all generations of heritage. Dedicated to capturing the experience and contributions of men and women who emigrated from Ireland and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, and their Irish-American contemporaries, the archive is an important collection of recordings of life stories and personal histories. Note: The current phase of interviews is concentrating on Irish-born immigrants who arrived in the Bay Area up to the 1960s, and Irish Americans whose families emigrated to the Bay Area during earlier times.

Find out more about Irish American Crossroads’ annual festival and the Irish Oral History Archive. If you are interested in participating in this project, please email Hillary Flynn.

Peter O’Driscoll City Guides Tours • Ongoing

tour13_1Corkonian Peter O’Driscoll joined the San Francisco City Guides team several years ago, and conducts Irish Labor History tours of the waterfront as well as leading a tour at Coit Tower where famous murals – some controversial – created by 25 of California’s leading artists of the 1930s reflect scenes of the Great Depression, landscapes, farm workers, industries, a stylish soiree, and vibrant city life. Coit tours are conducted Wednesdays at 11am and future Irish Labor History tour information is available on request via email.

More on City Guides tours.

Robert Emmet Day Remembrance • Sept.

“Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”     Excerpt from Robert Emmet’s Speech from the Dock

Each year the United Irish Societies of San Francisco (UIS) lays a wreath at the foot of Robert Emmet’s statue in Golden Gate Park commemorating his struggle for Irish independence and for the civil rights of disenfranchised Irish Catholics. The UIS remembers his heroism with Irish music, dance, and a recitation of his memorable Speech from Dock, which he delivered at his trial on the eve of his execution. The public is invited to attend this moving event.

One of four statues created by Jerome Connor in 1916, the figure of Robert Emmet stands outside the California Academy of Sciences building overlooking the Band Concourse in the Golden Gate Park. Donated to the Park by James D. Phelan, San Francisco mayor and son of Irish immigrants, the statue was unveiled by Eamon De Valera in July of 1919 while he was on a fundraising tour of the United States. Emmet served as an inspiration to the Irish republicans in the years leading up to 1916 uprising.
September 19, 2016.

Filoli’s Irish Connection

Year round events at Filoli – check calendar.

Filoli is in its 41st year as a historic property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is recognized as one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. A  654–acre property with a 36,000 square foot Georgian country house and 16–acre English Renaissance garden. But the Irish surprise at Filoli is in the ballroom which has five large murals, painted by Ernest Peixotto in 1926, depicting views of the Muckross Estate in Killarney. Read about the Bourns, Filoli House and the Irish Connection

Maud BournMaud Bourn (Daughter of William Bowers Bourn II and Agnes Moody Bourn).

Irish Cowboys. Really.

cowboysSeeking stories on Irish who emigrated from Cork’s Duhallow region to Oregon between 1890 and 1955. Email info@irishculturebayarea.com for more information.

See past events of historical interest and cultural preservation…. archives