Storming onto the main stage are international megastars Celtic Thunder, with LEGACY, a brand new show that celebrates the influence of Irish and Celtic music around the world. Show tickets are now available on HERE.

LEGACY is a live show featuring a mix of lively, fast paced and upbeat songs “A Place in The Choir” “Galway Girl” and “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” that represent the fun loving nature of the Irish and slower classic ballads “Danny Boy” “Noreen” and “Buachaille On Eirne” that portray a more nostalgic and romantic side.

Continuing their tradition of paying homage to the musical culture and traditions of Ireland, Celtic Thunder’s latest show is a depiction both their musical footprint over the past 8 years as well as their amazing heritage of Irish and Celtic music.

Both the ensemble and solo performances in this thrilling evening of entertainment highlight the diversity of Irish music and song. Powerful anthems Ireland’s Call and Caledonia, heartwarming ballads Song For The Mira and Take Me Home and lively crowd favorites such as Seven Drunken Nights all serve to showcase the musical talent of each soloist.

Formed in Dublin in 2007, Celtic Thunder is a multi-dimensional musical and theatrical ensemble celebrated around the world for emotionally powerful performances and a state-of-the-art production. Billboard magazine has named Celtic Thunder the Top World Album Artist (in 2008, 2009 2011 and 2015) while the group has had LPs placed in the World Album Top 10 every year since 2008.




Finally Celtic Thunder fans will be able to purchase passes for the pre-show Sound Check Parties and the post-show VIP Artist Events for the US and Canada LEGACY tour this fall! Starting on Wednesday April 27th at 10am EST both Sound Check Party and VIP Event Passes will be available to PLATINUM Members of the Celtic Thunder Fan Club. PLATINUM members will have exclusive access to these passes for the first 24 hours of the pre-sale.

GOLD Members can purchase their passes from 10am EST on Thursday April 28th and GREEN Members can join the pre-sale on Friday April 29th at 10am EST. The event passes will go on sale to the GENERAL PUBLIC on Saturday April 30th at 10am EST.



Have you got your Celtic Thunder LEGACY Tickets yet for the 2016 Australia Tour??

We are delighted to be bringing our brand new show Legacy to Australia next month!! We will be traveling coast to coast, meeting our Aussie fans in 15 different cities and we can’t wait! In case you have not yet purchased your tickets, don’t worry there are still some available. Links to ticket pages are listed at the bottom of this email.

Continuing their tradition of paying homage to the musical culture and traditions of Ireland, Celtic Thunder’s latest show is a depiction both their musical footprint over the past 8 years as well as their amazing heritage of Irish and Celtic music.

LEGACY is a live show featuring a mix of lively, fast paced and upbeat songs “A Place in The Choir” “Galway Girl” and “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” that represent the fun loving nature of the Irish and slower classic ballads “Danny Boy” “Noreen” and “Buachaille On Eirne” that portray a more nostalgic and romantic side. LEGACY has something special something to offer to everyone.

Make sure you have your ticket to see Ryan Kelly, Neil Byrne, Keith Harkin, Emmet Cahill and special guest artist Damian McGinty perform Celtic Thunder classics, backed as ever by the amazing 7-piece Celtic Thunder band.



As you know we had a very busy March this year. In late February we launched our new release LEGACY on CD, DVD and Vinyl worldwide. Early March saw the LEGACY TV Special air on Public Television stations across the US and Canada. Ryan and Neil jumped on a plane and traveled tirelessly from Coast to Coast, visiting stations, meeting fans and signing albums! We couldn’t make it to all the Public TV stations out there, as much as we wanted to, but a big shout out to the stations that hosted us! Ever gracious, they hosted Ryan and Neil with the warmest of hospitality. A big thanks also to the Celtic Thunder fans that turned up to say hi along the way. Over the course of 14 days Ryan and Neil visited stations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Tampa, Pittsburg, Bethlehem, Baltimore, Chicago and Minneapolis!! Quite the trip! Not to mention stopping into Barnes and Noble in Boston for a quick LEGACY signing.



It’s with very mixed emotions that I bring you this next piece of news about Keith. As you all know, Keith has been with Celtic Thunder since our very first show back at the Helix in Dublin in 2007. Over the past 9 years I have watched Keith grow both as person and as an artist; finding and honing his own voice and his unique style. He is an incredibly talented performer and composer, as he has proved in our Celtic Thunder shows and with his own material.




The zodiac was in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid-1st millennium BC), which, in turn, derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic. The construction of the zodiac is described in Ptolemy's vast 2nd century AD work, the Almagest.

The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, which in its turn comes from the Greek ζῳδιακὸς κύκλος (zōdiakos kyklos), meaning "circle of animals", derived from ζῴδιον (zōdion), the diminutive of ζῷον (zōon) "animal". The name is motivated by the fact that half of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are represented as animals (besides two mythological hybrids).

Read more about the signs of the Zodiac and check out the NEW  Zodiac Charm Necklaces at the Celtic Thunder Online Store as well as other exciting items the Celtic Thunder Merchandise Team has put together for you this month!



To bring everyone up to date, and for all the new readers this month, our last adventure was about the night vision camera traps for the leopard research program, headed by the Rhino Conservation Project in South Africa. I am delighted to announce that due to your very generous support, I was able to bring two awesome night vision camera traps with me to Africa!! These Night Vision Cameras were purchased by the donations made by you to the research project from the donations here on the page for the Charlie Browne Gone Wild Projects. EACH Donation was matched by the generous folks over at Celtic Thunder. Your continued support means so much to all my friends over at Wild Heart Conservation and myself. Through your donations, we've been able to turn our dreams of starting leopard research into a reality, and we already have some incredible footage that we can't wait to start sharing with all of you.




Along the elegant stretch of promenade stands Annie Moore. Her two brothers bustle about her legs and you instantly imagine them yanking at her dress, asking her unending questions and looking to her for comfort about the journey ahead. Just like her statue at Ellis Island, though, Annie’s face doesn’t begin to hint at nerves.

Was this a teenager beyond her years, or was she simply utterly unconscious of the part she was about to play in the story of Ireland’s emigration?

Scholar and tour guide Dr. Michael Martin has, in his own words “expounded the virtues of Cobh's past on the Titanic Trail Guided Walking Tour every day for the last 15 years”.

Over that time he has come to empathize with Ireland’s emigrants leaving Cobh, Annie Moore included.

“I am not so sure if she was scared or if she felt other emotions,” he says. “At only 14 years of age and looking after two younger brothers, it must have been an exciting and perhaps exhilarating experience. If one had never been on a transatlantic voyage there would be no idea what was in store.”



Throughout the Famine years, nearly a million Irish arrived in the United States. Famine immigrants were the first big wave of poor refugees ever to arrive in the U.S. and Americans were simply overwhelmed. Upon arrival in America, the Irish found the going to be quite tough. With no one to help them, they immediately settled into the lowest rung of society and waged a daily battle for survival.

The roughest welcome of all would be in Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Saxon city with a population of about 115,000. It was a place run by descendants of English Puritans, men who could proudly recite their lineage back to 1620 and the Mayflower ship. Now, some two hundred thirty years later, their city was undergoing nothing short of an unwanted "social revolution" as described by Ephraim Peabody, member of an old Yankee family. In 1847, the first big year of Famine emigration, the city was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land.

Proper Bostonians pointed and laughed at the first Irish immigrants stepping off ships wearing clothes twenty years out of fashion. They watched as the newly arrived Irishmen settled with their families into enclaves that became exclusively Irish near the Boston waterfront along Batterymarch and Broad Streets, then in the North End section and in East Boston. Irishmen took any unskilled jobs they could find such as cleaning yards and stables, unloading ships, and pushing carts.

And once again, they fell victim to unscrupulous landlords. This time it was Boston landlords who sub-divided former Yankee dwellings into cheap housing, charging Irish families up to $1.50 a week to live in a single nine-by-eleven foot room with no water, sanitation, ventilation or daylight.



While it has been argued (with little supporting evidence) that Irish explorers such as Brendan the Bold preceded the Norse to Canada, such wishful thinking is not necessary to establish the significance of the Irish contribution to Canada. Since the 17th century, because of political and military links between France and southern Ireland, the Irish have lived in what is now Canada. The Irish may have constituted as much as 5% of the population of New France. Indeed, some "French-Canadian" and "Acadian" surnames derive from a corruption of Irish names, eg, Riel (from Reilly) and Caissie (from Casey).

There have also been Irish in Newfoundland since the early 18th century, if not before. "Bristol" fishing vessels habitually stopped at Wexford and Waterford to take on provisions and an Irish crew and laborers for the Newfoundland fishery. There is some indication from New France and Newfoundland that among the Irish at this time there existed a measure of group consciousness, especially in Newfoundland where the Irish population continued to increase until the middle of the 19th century. During the 18th century, smaller groups of Irish began to arrive in the new British colonies. In the 1760s a group of Ulster Presbyterians settled at Truro, NS, and an undetermined number of Irish were part of the Loyalist migration.

All of the above were precursors of the main waves of Irish immigrants that arrived during the first half of the 19th century.

By the 1850s, over 500 000 Irish had immigrated to British North America, although many of them had moved on to the US (in NY and Boston there were 4 million Irish out of a total population of 24 million) or elsewhere. Today the descendants of these Irish immigrants comprise almost 14% of the Canadian population (4 354 155 single and multiple response, 2006 census) and have helped define the meaning of "Canadian." Because they spoke English, the Irish could participate more directly in Canadian society than many non-English-speaking immigrants, and they brought to bear on Canadian life many values that were Irish in origin.



The Irish were among the first settlers in Australia and have contributed substantially to the development of contemporary Australia. Around 6 million Australians (and an estimated 70 million people worldwide) are commonly believed to have some Irish ancestry.

The history of Irish migration to Australia dates back to 1791 when the first 155 Irish convicts arrived in Sydney. From 1791 until 1867 about 50 000 Irish convicts were transported to Australia mostly for criminal offences but a significant number were political prisoners from the uprisings in Ireland. During this period almost a quarter of all convicts were Irish.

In the first years of settlement a small but significant number of Irish free settlers also arrived in Australia. They included tailors, shopkeepers, journalists and accountants. These numbers increased dramatically in the 1840s when the potato crops in Ireland were destroyed by disease resulting in famine for the people. Ireland's population of 8 million was halved. Two million people died and two million emigrated including 23 000 to Australia. Between 1848 and 1850, over 4000 young women orphaned by the famine were sent to Australia to work mainly as domestics for established families. Most married soon after, raising families of their own.

The peak of Irish immigration into Australia was after the Great Famine where during the second half of the nineteenth century around 400 000 settlers, many young single women, migrated to Australia from Ireland either independently or with assistance from the government or the Catholic Church. Few immigrants could read or write. Many joined the gold rushes but most were agricultural laborers or domestic workers. Some ran small businesses or hotels. Some became involved in Australian politics. By the late 1800s, 60 per cent of the New South Wales police were Irish born.




Immerse yourself in Ireland’s food culture with Good Food Ireland –off the peg or bespoke food tours of the entire island, inviting you to experience Ireland on a plate

There is no better way of understanding a culture than by eating its food. Eat your way around the island of Ireland with a Good Food Ireland food tour, and get exclusive access to some of the people behind the best Irish food, and the fascinating stories behind those people.

For the past ten years Good Food Ireland has promoted a “farm to fork” experience around the island of Ireland. Founded by Margaret Jeffares, herself a farmer and food producer, Good Food Ireland is an organization that brings together farmers, food producers and fishermen, gourmet accommodation, pubs, cafés, cookery schools and specialty food shops. Today it is a trusted guarantee for everyone who simply loves good food.




Hillsborough Oyster Festival snaps up double-accolade success. The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival has two reasons to celebrate; it’s been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the world to visit in 2016 by WorldGuide and as one of the best Irish seafood festivals in 2016 by Coast Monkey.

Now in its 24th year the Festival is a popular fixture in the Northern Ireland food calendar and its placement from WorldGuide, an online travel and lifestyle resource, has helped put this local event and Northern Ireland firmly on the world platform. It ranks alongside the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in Australia, World Gourmet Summit in Singapore, Salon du Chocolat in Paris, Taste of Chicago in Illinois and Lona Coffee Cultural Festival in Hawaii.




How many oysters can you eat in three minutes? Most folk wouldn’t know, but at Ireland’s oyster festivals the competition is the main game. The current Guinness World Record holder (233 shucks in three minutes), Colin Shirlow, has held the title since 2005, so a worthy opponent is needed this year.

And this year is a big one for oysters in Ireland. The delicacy is such a gem of Ireland's food heritage that  the island has its own dedicated oyster season when food festivals all over the country celebrate the humble mollusc. September is seafood month and shucking (opening) is the main verb on the island.

No less than four festivals will be celebrating the moreish molluscs with tastings, music, parades and some competitions to break a world record or two. So here's to the salty, seafood-nourishing Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea. We always knew there was something special in Ireland's seawater and the oysters are proof.




The food and cooking of Ireland is steeped in history and heritage and Irish food draws on the wealth of ingredients available from the sea, the land, the moors and pastureland in Ireland. Home and family in Ireland play an important part in Irish food and cooking with the kitchen still the heart of every home with Irish hospitality and their love of celebrating renowned throughout the world.

Surrounded by sea, and with rivers and lakes, fish and seafood naturally play an important part in Irish food. Oysters, crab, lobster and langoustine, cockles, mussels, white fish, salmon fresh and smoked, are easily found and enjoyed throughout Ireland.

Check out this month's Authentic Irish Recipes with Beer Steamed Muscles to get your tasebuds geared up for the Beef & Ale Pie for the Entree. Finish up your meal with Irish Apple Care with Custard Sauce. A mouth watering meal worthy or Ireland's great recipes and resources!




Although the Titanic lies in 13,000 feet of water, the enduring story still captures minds and hearts throughout the world, especially within the United States of America.  To celebrate this, Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience in Northern Ireland, has uncovered many American ties to the famous liner that you may not already know!

RMS Titanic was owned actually owned by an American. Although the RMS Titanic was registered as a British ship, it was owned by the American tycoon, John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, whose company was the controlling trust and retained ownership of the White Star Line! He also owned US Steel, General Electric, as well as global financial services firm JP Morgan Chase & Co which still thrives today. When Titanic was launched on 31st May 1911 spectators and journalists travelled from as far as America to see the spectacle.

Titanic's passenger list included some of the crème de la crème of early 20th-century business, culture, high society, and sports on both sides of the Atlantic. There were many famous American passengers who were meant to travel on Titanic but for different reason did not!




Belfast has scooped a top accolade at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2016, winning the Best UK City award.

The annual awards recognize excellence across the tourism industry, and are voted for by readers of both the Guardian and the Observer newspapers. This is the first time Belfast has won the award, although it has previously been listed in the top five on several occasions, most recently in 2009.

Councilor Deirdre Hargey, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee welcomed the award for Belfast saying, “This is testament to how far the city has come in recent years and we are thrilled that Belfast has been officially recognized by Guardian and Observer readers as their favorite city.

“This award clearly demonstrates the strength of Belfast's expanding tourism offering and the quality of the visitor experience that we collectively deliver. The Council's investment in the flagship Visit Belfast Welcome Centre has been a great success, dealing with almost 700,000 enquiries in 2015.




Preparations are at an advanced stage for this year’s City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival, which is scheduled to take place from 28 April – May 02, 2016. The festival, now in its 15th year, attracts over 35,000 music lovers to venues across the city and region and is one of the region’s most anticipated and talked about social event of the calendar year.

Organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Jazz Festival features live music acts at over 70 venues and featuring over 200 musical acts over the Bank Holiday weekend. What is unique about the festival is how it brings the city alive to the sounds of live jazz and big band music and encourages people out onto to the streets and to venues to experience live music at its best.

Among the popular acts returning to the festival this year are Red Stripe Band, The Jive Aces, Ricky Cool & the In Crowd, Greggi G & His Crazy Gang, Cat Scratch Fever featuring Western Valley Hot Club, Bluez Katz, Harry Connolly Band, Jaydee Brass Band, Jiveoholics, Wild, Velocity Brown & The Hot Rods, Kings of Rhythm, Les Swinging Lovers, Oo-Bop-Sh’Bam and many more!




Imagine a day-tour experience, which includes a behind the scenes insight to purchasing, restoring and living in your very own private Irish Castle.

Secret Ireland Escapes is a boutique tourism company, which offer a selection of bespoke day-tour experiences of a ‘private’ Ireland, where their guests gain exclusive access to a range of unique locations and extraordinary private properties. One of their newest experiences for the summer of 2016 is visiting a series of private castles from those in ruin to those being used as private homes.

“It is the dream of many to live in an Irish Castle and now with this exclusive one day tour we can follow the entire process from ruin to restoration, and meet those who have done it”, explains Mark O’Dwyer, founder and director of Secret Ireland Escapes.

Begin your day by visiting two castle ruins and immediately a certain love affair ensues with these historic buildings, as their charm and character captures your imagination. Continue your journey, arriving on-site, to a live restoration project and gain a unique insight to the restoration process. Hear first-hand from the owners who are currently realizing their dream and labor of love, month by month.



Cantering on deserted beaches, hooves splashing the surf and the wind in your hair... – it's the horse-riding dream and it's one that'll have you champing at the bit for real on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. Horse-riding the Wild Atlantic Way is simply equestrian magic. A day in the saddle here becomes a feast for the senses as fresh salt air and gorgeous panoramas offer the chance to meld horse and rider into the beauty of Ireland's dramatic coastline. From spirited seaside canters to relaxing treks into the mountains, there are all sorts of destinations to be experienced by horse and rider along the Wild Atlantic Way – and nowhere better than the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry.

With Longs Horse Riding and Trekking Centre, proficient riders can experience that dream gallop on the golden sands of Ventry Beach, but for those with a slower pace in mind it offers a trek up Mount Eagle, complete with unparalleled views of the Blasket Islands. Dingle Horse Riding also offers a range of jaunts for horse lovers and would-be equestrians alike.




The magnificent northern section of the Wild Atlantic Way is an incredible slice of remote Ireland – it's untouched, it's off radar and it's just crying out for exploration. This beautiful region lies at the northernmost contour of the Wild Atlantic Way in County Donegal; it's the perfect place to get away from the world.

Donegal has the longest coastline in Ireland, so whether you want to embrace wide panoramic views or pick a small cove for yourself, you'll never be too far from the throbbing ocean as well as a host of things to see and do. Nature is spectacular and bracing in these Northern Headlands. From the sheer granite walls of some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Slieve League, to the sight of millions of seabirds gathering in great estuaries, to walking on deserted Blue Flag beaches, this is a place to let the sea air clear your head and lift your spirit.





The plot they hatched was as audacious as it was impossible—a 19th-century raid as elaborate and preposterous as any Ocean’s Eleven script. It was driven by two men—a guilt-ridden Irish Catholic nationalist, who’d been convicted and jailed for treason in England before being exiled to America, and a Yankee whaling captain—a Protestant from New Bedford, Massachusetts—with no attachment to the former’s cause, but a firm belief that it was “the right thing to do.”  Along with a third man—an Irish secret agent posing as an American millionaire—they devised a plan to sail halfway around the world to Fremantle, Australia, with a heavily armed crew to rescue a half-dozen condemned Irishmen from one of the most remote and impregnable prison fortresses ever built.

To succeed, the plan required precision timing, a months-long con and more than a little luck of the Irish. The slightest slip-up, they knew, could be catastrophic for all involved. By the time the Fremantle Six sailed into New York Harbor in August, 1876, more than a year had passed since the plot had been put into action. Their mythic escape resonated around the world and emboldened the Irish Republican Brotherhood for decades in its struggle for independence from the British Empire.




“A road to Damascus experience usually hits most at some time in life” All this lovely food is served in modern chic surroundings – an open plan airy dining space decorated in cooling sage green and soft cream, located in a courtyard setting off the main road. Garden tables outside for the good days, and plenty of atmosphere inside as hungry customers eager to enjoy what the chef has to offer mull over the menu with a drink. This is a good place for family celebrations and small parties with friends. But you can grab a table for two just as easy – and soak up the buzz as you eat. Sage is a good food place for people who love good food.

#12Mile is a culinary expression of great produce sourced from within 12 miles of the restaurant’s front door.  Sage’s 12-mile ethos is simple. They source the vast majority of our produce from within 12 miles of the restaurant. The lush farmland and dedicated farmers of Midleton and its hinterland enables Sage to source all the meat  served from within this radius. All their poultry is reared by “12 Mile” farmers and is free-range. The fish  they serve is trawled and line-caught by East Cork fleets in Irish waters. When the seasons allow, their vegetables, fruit and herbs are grown by “12 mile” farmers and growers or foraged by Chef Kevin. All Sage’s producers are united in their aim to bring the restaurant high-quality produce with minimal environmental impact.




See what it takes to truly say you've been to Belfast. Whether you think you know Belfast or you’ve never been before, prepare for a whirlwind tour of the city. From hilltop heights to street markets, why not see things from a different angle? Swap taxi rides for black cab tours and meet the people that give the city its unique atmosphere. You’ve got 48 hours to check it all off, so let’s go…




Northern Ireland is the home of motorcycle racing on closed public roads and every May the beautiful Causeway Coast plays host to one of the sport's most spectacular events. The International North West 200 attracts the finest line-up of road racers of any race on the planet, drawing thousands of visitors to the superfast 8.9-mile circuit that links the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. Hitting top speeds of over 200mph, racers like Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop and John McGuiness thrill 85,000 fans who come to enjoy the week long festival of speed on roads that locals normally use to make their way to work every other day of the week.

The 2016 race festival will run from May 10-14, with races on Thursday evening and Saturday. The North West 200 is a must see event for everyone, confirmed petrol heads and new recruits alike!

Many people ask why the North West 200 is called the North West 200. The answer lies in the spawning of the event. History reveals that although the Club’s original choice of name for the race remained, their original choice of venue did not. The name has continued to generate some confusion amongst those who are unaware of the event’s origins. The inclusion of “200” simply indicates that the event was originally run over a distance of 200 miles. “North West”, reflects the original intended, location of the race, i.e. on a public roads course in the North West of Ireland.




John Boyle O’Reilly

John Boyle O’Reilly was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and was transported to Western Australia. He escaped to America, and campaigned for the Irish community and culture through his paper Boston’s The Pilot.

The world is large when its weary
leagues two loving hearts divide,
But the world is small when your enemy
is loose on the other side.