John O’Brien Jr. grew up in a house immersed in Irish culture. His dad is from Atteagh Mills, in Co. Roscommon, Ireland and his mom is from Montreal, with her parents from Skerries, in Dublin. John’s Dad has been President of the West Side Irish American Club for more than 25 years, where both spent a great deal of time. Plus, Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival was forged with the O’Briens in 1982.
Besides publishing the monthly iIrish newsmagazine, John has penned four books, Festival Legends: Songs and Stories, a biographical look at Irish music legends, including Tommy Makem, Liam Clancy, Danny Doyle, Johnny McEvoy & more; The Lyrics of Irish Freedom, about the songs of the Irish fight for freedom; The Greater Cleveland Irish Directory; First Generation, a book of original poetry; Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, History, Traditions and Activities, A Holiday Book for Kids.
The book tours connected John to Cliff Carlson, who publishes Chicagoland’s Irish American News. John is grateful that Cliff has been a huge mentor, supporter, and friend.
iIrish newsmagazine began in 2006, and is in the midst of an extensive 14 state expansion, from Cleveland to Clearwater. John credits iIrish’s success to being very deadline oriented already, along with the many talented columnists that join him on the monthly news journey. Marketing studies show we have 53,000 readers per month between the print edition and the online archives. Social media continues its rapid growth as well, with over 68,000 engagements per month. John really enjoys all that publishing iIrish brings – he says, “I get stopped in my tracks by someone who tells me what an impact a story or the paper has had on them. The success of the paper has allowed us to help organizations and continue to support those who don’t have the resources they need, to the tune of about $18,000 per year. THAT matters to me.”
The iIrish news magazine tagline: iIrish brings you the Irish movers, shakers and music makers each month through print, e-bulletin, web, video, and social media.