By Diane Byrnes
Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle’s 30th Anniversary Celebration
This event took place Saturday, May 21, filled with music, memories, and tons of fun. Mark Guiser began singing at 2:00 pm, with so many of our favorite ballads and other Irish songs. Andy and Brian followed at 5:00 pm with more songs and stories, and they were followed by Gerry Timlin at 8:00 pm.
Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle first opened their doors February 10, 1992. The Pub was owned by Anne Mullaney, her brother Brian Mullaney, and Sean Patrick Murphy. Anne and Sean were ‘hands-on’ management, Brian lived in London.
The bartenders hired included David Regan from Shadyside and Declan Gilbert, originally from County Cork. Ann Burns, originally from County Armagh, was part of the staff, first as wait- staff then as bartender. There were several other people over the years that worked at the Pub and shared their magic, whether in personality and/or talent. David, Declan and Ann have continued and are still working at the Pub.
Gerry Timlin, originally from County Tyrone, then Philadelphia area, was the first entertainer to grace the stage and Gerry has been coming to Pittsburgh for at least thirty years. He truly is a favorite in Pittsburgh!
Since their beginning, the Harp & Fiddle has presented a venue for much of our local talent, including Guaranteed Irish, Michael Gallagher, Terry Griffith, Red Hand Paddy, Corned Beef & Curry and more. They also brought much national and some international talent to the Pub, including Seamus Kennedy, Tom O’Carroll, Celtic Clan, The Whole Shabang, Ryan Kelly & Neil Byrne as a duo from Celtic Thunder, then George Donaldson as a solo from Celtic Thunder and many other solos and groups.
Some of the sponsored events included the Lisdoonvarna Festival, the Oyster Festival, Finnegan’s Wake and a variety of special concerts along with other special events. There were also weddings & wakes. So many people met and eventually married as a result of these meetings. And thank God, it is still going strong today.
In April 2011, our dear friend Anne D. Mullaney passed away. She left so many people with a void in their hearts. Anne had vision, a sense of fairness, empathy and consideration of her fellow man. She is still missed today.
Another big event coming up in June is a Retirement Celebration for Ballad Singer Terry Griffith. Terry has been a signer and musician for at least sixty years, performing music on the guitar. He has ventured forth in a few genres of music prior to getting involved in Irish music, and he has been singing Irish music for at least fifty years. Terry has also penned several songs.
Over the years I have known Terry, he has been a member of several Irish organizations, was the Grand Marshall of our St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the early 2000s and has been very influential as a member of the Parade Committee, organizing the bands who have marched in the Parade. He created the Pittsburgh Irish Network, which was an online site for all the Irish related people and projects in our region.
Then from there he was heavily involved in many Renaissance Festivals. His wife Jan created very elaborate Ren costumes, which were always a hit.
Terry has hung up his guitar and retired from performing his style of music. Terry put his whole heart and soul into his music and I know many of us will miss his performing I speak for many when I say “Best of luck Terry in whatever your next endeavor might be.”
The Celebration takes place on Saturday, June 4 at Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle from 7pm. There will be speeches, videos, and a scrapbook created for Terry. Coordinating the effort here is Peggy Dague Mannion and Patrick & Gayle Rieger. Contact Peggy at pe******@ya***.com, Gayle at ri************@gm***.com.
On June 5th, the Gaelic Arts Society will present their annual High Tea at the University Club, Gold Room. Doors open at 12:15pm and tea is served at 1:00pm. The guest speaker is Liz Shovlin Grinko of the Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance. For info: pg***********@gm***.com.
PICT Classic Theatre presents ‘The Boys in the Band’ from June 16 through July 9. Performances begin at 7:30pm; weekend matinees begin at 2:00pm. Tickets: www.picttheatre.org.org.
The next big event coming to town is the Ancient Order of Hibernians / Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians National Convention July 13 – 16. Many AOH / LAOH members will be in town; plans are underway for a variety of activities.
*Diane Byrnes is Producer & Host of Echoes of Erin on WEDO 810AM, Sunday 12:30pm; online on Wednesday www.kdwradio.com @ 1:30pm (then click on Listen Live). Email: di**********@ve*****.net