Lisa O’Rourke
Akron Irish Columnist

Akron Irish Columnist Lisa O’Rourke

I enjoy doing these profiles of the people who are columnists for the Ohio Irish American News. Everyone I’ve spoken to, I’ve felt a special kinship to. All have a passion for Irish culture and history, and all have been very helpful in these interviews, even though most would rather focus on the history or the writing, rather than themselves. This is especially true of Lisa O’Rourke.

Lisa was born and raised in Akron. She attended Kent State and received degrees in English and Elementary Education. She also has a Master’s in Elementary Education and Administration.

OhIANews: Lisa you lived abroad for a time, when was that?

Lisa: I met my husband, Dónal, in New York City in 1989. We went to Ireland at that time. Eventually, we moved to London. We were married there and stayed there for three years. During that time, I worked as a teacher and our son Danny was born. We decided to go back to Ireland, and lived in Moycullen in Co. Galway for a year. Our second son, Liam, was born there.

OhIANews: You and your family moved back to Akron, what do you do there?

Lisa: I’m a proud employee of Akron Public Schools. I taught first grade for over ten years and now work with teachers to help them maintain their licensure and to find professional development. I got involved with the Irish Language group in Akron and have continued that at the Hibernian Club in Akron. My family travel to Ireland almost every summer to visit family and friends. My other hobbies are painting, reading and listening to music.

OhIANews: How did you get involved with the OhIAN?

Lisa: I came to the paper through a personal recommendation from Mike McKenzie of the Mark Heffernan Ancient Order of Hibernians in Akron. My first column appeared in the August 2014 edition.

OhIANews: Lisa and I spoke at some length on the phone, doing this interview. We have a shared enthusiasm for the Irish Language and spoke mostly about Gaeilge, and different ways of making our respective classes enjoyable. Lisa’s next group of lessons will start at the Hibernian Club on September 28. The lessons are from 6:30 to 8pm on Wednesdays in the Hall and run for ten weeks. Anyone interested should contact Lisa via phone (330-836-2887) or e-mailol***** prior to that date.


Lisa O’Rourke is an educator from Akron. She has a BA in English and a Master’s in Reading/Elementary Education. Lisa is a student of everything Irish, primarily Gaeilge. She runs a Gaeilge study group at the AOH/Mark Heffernan Division. She is married to Dónal and has two sons, Danny and Liam. Lisa enjoys art, reading, music, and travel. She enjoys spending time with her dog, cats and fish. Lisa can be contacted at ol*****@ic****.com. Please send any Akron events to be published in the OhioIANew to my email!