The Roaring Kelly Band delivers a big dose of Irish pride this Sunday at O’Connor’s Pub in Delray Beach, starting at 4pm. Why do we continue to raise the roof with traditional Irish tunes, heartfelt ballads, and songs of bloody rebellion? Because Irish Lives Matter!
In 1844, an early version of the Know Nothing political party (a super-nationalist or ‘nativist’ party), held a rally in Philadelphia to protest the threat that Irish Catholic immigrants posed to the American way of life. The claim was made that these foreigners held allegiance only to the Pope, were more likely to commit crimes, and had no moral character. This hate-filled rhetoric led to days of riots. A fire-station, St Michael and St Augustine Catholic churches were burned to the ground. Some 20 people died. It took an estimated 5,000 member militia to stop the violence and destruction. The riots became a national disgrace and were widely condemned. In the aftermath, Bishop Kendrick, who had ordered Catholic churches to close and all valuables hidden away during the rioting, encouraged the creation of Catholic schools and the Church of St. Augustine was rebuilt after winning suit against the city. Today, Philadelphia is the eighth most Irish city in the USA with more than 14% of its population claiming Irish ancestry. As for overcoming discrimination, the Irish-Americans today in Philadelphia who have succeeded as professionals, politicians, artists, musicians, craftsmen, laborers and builders are living proof of it.
Do Irish lives matter? Is Irish rain wet! The Roaring Kelly Band is here to perform and present beyond reservation our Irish pride. You are invited to witness it in full bloom this Sunday, May 21, at O’Connor’s Pub in Delray Beach starting at 4pm. Come be a part of the tunes, songs, and rousing fun.