Banquet of Thanks in Galway

The beautiful banquet hall at the University of Galway. The university’s president attended and welcomed us all. Here’s a photo of Jimmy O’Brien Moran playing Jonathan Kennedy’s uilleann pipes. What a treat!  Jimmy is a former Fulbright who I got to hear sing at a Fulbright reunion held in Dublin earlier this fall.

Thanksgiving dinner at the University of Galway.

Thrilled to be part of the Fulbright community here in Ireland, I accepted the invitation to Thanksgiving dinner in Galway and hopped on a train headed west.  I saw the event as a chance to see Amanda Bernhard and Jonathan Kennedy (who are studying at the University of Galway) and reunite with the always-interesting Fulbright community.

Shannon Chance, Anne Weadick, Roisin Tiernan, Amanda Kelly, John Madden, and Anne Madden at dinner. Photo by Felix O Murchadha.

The banquet hall at the University is a truly amazing space!  The event felt a bit like being in the movies.

Dinner was delicious: ham and turkey with dressing, root vegetables, potato au gratin, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie!  A real American feast.

At the end of the meal Amanda and Jonathan played a piece, their Irish teacher and mentor sang a song in Irish, and Jimmy O’Brien Moran gave us a tune using Jon’s uilleann pipes.  It’s amazing the talent these Fulbright have!

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Jonathan Kennedy and Amanda Bernhard played some Irish music after dinner. Lillis Ó Laoire sang and Jimmy O’Brien Moran played pipes as well.

At the end of the meal Amanda and Jonathan played a piece, Lillis Ó Laoire (their Irish teacher and mentor sang a song in Irish), and Jimmy O’Brien Moran gave us a tune using Jon’s uilleann pipes.  It’s amazing the talent these Fulbright have!

I’ve heard people muse that perhaps Ireland should become the 51st State.  Although Puerto Rico has beaten Ireland to the punch in requesting that position, I sometimes feel that Irish values are so close to our own that perhaps they effectively did become a state some time ago.  Perhaps they actually came in about 35th?

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We headed to the Scholars Rest for pints after dinner. Of course!

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3 Comments

  1. […] After a traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey and all the trimmings, guests were entertained with traditional musical performances from some of the very talented Fulbrighters, including Amanda Bernhard and her husband Jonathan Hohl-Kennedy, Dr. Lillis O’Laoire, and Dr. James O’Brien-Moran. Fulbrighter Shannon Chance also wrote up her experiences at the Thanksgiving dinner, which you can read here. […]

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