Irish Language, Music, Song & Dance Classes

The Irish Cultural Centre boasts a strong programme of Irish Language, Music, Song and Dancing classes year round, both online and in-person at our 46 acre campus just off of RT138 in Canton, Massachusetts.

See below for details on all of our upcoming classes, lectures and workshops!


  • Tin-Whistle Classes
    January 7, 2023 - February 11, 2023
    9:30 am - 10:30 am

We’re now enrolling for our new term of Tin-Whistle lessons with Denis Galvin.

These lessons take place in person on Saturday mornings at the Irish Cultural Centre from 9:30am to 10:30am.

The class is one hour long and is suitable for students of all ages and abilities.


  • Fiddle Classes
    January 7, 2023 - February 11, 2023
    10:30 am - 11:30 am

 

We’re now enrolling for our new term of Fiddle lessons with Denis Galvin.

These lessons take place in person on Saturday mornings at the Irish Cultural Centre from 10:30am to 11:30am.

The class is one hour long and is suitable for students of all ages and abilities.

 

 


  • Button Accordion Classes
    January 7, 2023 - February 11, 2023
    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

We’re now enrolling for our new term of Button Accordion lessons with Denis Galvin.

These lessons take place in person on Saturday mornings at the Irish Cultural Centre from 11:30am to 12:30am.

The class is one hour long and is suitable for students of all ages and abilities.


  • Beginners
    January 16, 2023 - May 15, 2023
    4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

A fun filled exploration of the foundations of traditional step and Sean Nós dance with Jackie O’ Riley!

Jackie founded, directs, and teaches O’Riley Irish Dance, a one-of-a-kind non-competitive Irish dance program for kids and teens, now in it’s 13th year.  The classes emphasize dancing as a joyful, social activity rather than a competitive one.  Although each class addresses developing rhythm, timing, and technique, first and foremost the emphasis is on musicality: understanding the connection between music and dance, developing a listening ear, and trying to keep the music in the dancing. In the advanced level, students collaborate with live musicians. Students learn a mix of traditional step dancing, sean-nós dance, and set dancing, as well as some soft shoe and ceili dancing. Most importantly, Jackie is trying to pass onto her dancers not just the steps themselves, but the joy and vitality of carrying on this living tradition.

Jan 16 – May 15, no class 2/20, 4/10, 4/17

15 classes inlcuded

Beginners: 4:00 – 4:45PM

Continuing Students: 4:45 – 5:45PM

Class Fees :

$285 Non Members | $270 Members


  • Beginners
    January 16, 2023 - May 15, 2023
    4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
A fun filled exploration of the foundations of traditional step and Sean Nós dance with Jackie O’ Riley!

Jackie founded, directs, and teaches O’Riley Irish Dance, a one-of-a-kind non-competitive Irish dance program for kids and teens, now in it’s 13th year.  The classes emphasize dancing as a joyful, social activity rather than a competitive one.  Although each class addresses developing rhythm, timing, and technique, first and foremost the emphasis is on musicality: understanding the connection between music and dance, developing a listening ear, and trying to keep the music in the dancing. In the advanced level, students collaborate with live musicians. Students learn a mix of traditional step dancing, sean-nós dance, and set dancing, as well as some soft shoe and ceili dancing. Most importantly, Jackie is trying to pass onto her dancers not just the steps themselves, but the joy and vitality of carrying on this living tradition.

Jan 16 – May 15, no class 2/20, 4/10, 4/17

15 classes inlcuded

Beginners: 4:00 – 4:45PM

Continuing Students: 4:45 – 5:45PM

Class Fees :

$285 Non Members | $270 Members


  • February 2, 2023 - February 23, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Live Zoom Course: Thursdays 6 7:30pm. Feb 2, 9,16, 23

The county was officially established in 1543 and was named after the historic kingdom of Mide. The county was centrally involved in the 1641 rebellion and was active in the Williamite wars. Most of the Irish or Norman landholders lost their land following the 1641 rebellion.

County Westmeath : Contae na hIarmhí or simply An Iarmhí) is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster and is part of the Eastern and Midland Region. It formed part of the historic Kingdom of Meath, which was named Mide because the kingdom was located in the geographical centre of Ireland (the word Mide meaning ‘middle’)

Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the territory of the Gaelic Kingdom of Meath formed the basis for the Anglo-Norman Lordship of Meath granted by King Henry II of England to Hugh de Lacy in 1172. Following the failure of de Lacy’s male heirs in 1241, the Lordship was split between two great-granddaughters. One moiety, a central eastern portion, was awarded to Maud (de Geneville) as the liberty of Trim; the other moiety, comprising north-eastern and western portions, went to Maud’s sister Margery (de Verdun) and in 1297 became the royal county of Meath. The liberty and royal county were merged in 1461. While the east of the county was in the English Pale, the west was Gaelicised in the fourteenth century and outside the control of the sheriff of Meath.

As a part of the better administration of the newly established Kingdom of Ireland, the Parliament of Ireland passed the Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act 1543, the eastern portion retaining the name Meath and the western portion called Westmeath.


  • February 2, 2023 - February 23, 2023
    7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Live Zoom Course: Thursdays 7:30 – 9 pm – February 2023

Following the partition of Ireland in 1922 Ulster Unionists/ Loyalists were empowered to build the institutions of a new state designed to ensure their ongoing control. They marginalized the nationalist community, the progressive labor movement, and those unionists not committed to the realization of a sectarian state.   

The new devolved administration controlled by the main Unionist party, the Ulster unionist Party (UUP), ensured their control through gerrymandering of constituencies; the use of Special Powers and the formation of a sectarian police force; the use of social and economic policies designed  in the interest  of the majority unionist population; voting rights that gave some people (mostly non Catholic} up to six votes, and gave no vote to adults who did not own or rent property (mostly Catholics); exclusion of the minority population from public service positions; and many other forms of discrimination particularly in the areas of housing, education and employment. 

After World War 2 the UK government introduced reforms in education and in the provision of welfare benefits. These played an important part in radicalizing the generations of the 1950’s and 1960’s who sought to bring change to their communities. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement was a non-sectarian, peaceful movement that sought to reform the Unionist state. Their efforts were met with violent resistance and a refusal to consider any meaningful changes on the basis that such changes would undermine the nature of the Unionist state. Reform was not an option. 

The Civil Rights campaign and the support it received from active nationalist communities was criminalized and attacked to the point that nationalist areas had to rely on self-defense against drive-by shootings; bombings and pogroms by loyalist gangs and paramilitaries; provocative and discriminatory police raids; and after 1969 from British army activity. 

By the late 1960’s the IRA had been weakened to the point that it had little capability to effectively defend nationalist communities. As in 1935, Nationalists realized that they had to rely solely on themselves.  The British army, the Northern police forces, and the Republic of Ireland government were not going to help them. One of the main supports for the nationalist community and activists came from the examples set by the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, the anti-Apartheid movement, the Palestinian Liberation Movement, and the anti-Vietnam War Movement. 

The efforts of the Unionist state and the British government and army to repress the resistance in nationalist areas and the refusal to make any meaningful reforms was the reason why yet another devastating war had to be fought against the century’s old imposition of foreign rule on the people of Ireland by a foreign government and its local

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