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!


  • September 8, 2022 - September 29, 2022
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Live Zoom Course: Thursdays 6:00 – 7:30 pm – September 8, 15, 22, 29

It is thought that humans established themselves in the Lough Gur area as early as 3000 BC, while megalithic remains date back further to 3500 BC. The arrival of the last Celts around 400 BC brought about the division of the county into petty kingdoms or túatha. From the 4th to the 11th century, the ancient kingdom of the Uí Fidgenti (Collins and O’Donovan) was approximately co-extensive with what is now County Limerick.

Limerick city was established by the Danes in 922AD. The Normans captured Limerick in 1195 and built King John’s Castle. They confiscated and then granted the Uí Fidgenti  lands to the Fitzgerald’s. Distrust by England of the leading Fitzgerald families precipitated a revolt against English Rule in 1569 which ended with confiscation of the vast estates of the Geraldines and other Irish families.

Limerick city was a battleground during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649–53. The invasion of the forces of Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s included a twelve-month siege  by Cromwell’s New Model Army. During the Williamite War in Ireland (1689–1691) the city was to endure two further sieges, one in 1690 and another in 1691. Following the Irish defeat, the Treaty of Limerick was signed and was followed by the expulsion from Ireland of soldiers who became part of the exiles known as the “Wild Geese”.

The Great Hunger/ Famine of the 1840s set in motion mass emigration and a huge decline in Irish as a spoken language in the county.

Limerick saw much fighting during the War of Independence of 1919 to 1921 particularly in the east of the county. The subsequent Irish Civil War saw bitter fighting between the newly established Irish Free State soldiers and IRA “Irregulars”, especially in the city


  • September 8, 2022 - September 29, 2022
    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Live Zoom Class: Thursdays 7:30 – 9 pm – September 8, 15, 22, 29

Northern Ireland was formed from six of the nine counties of Ulster: four counties with  unionist majorities and two counties, Fermanagh  and Tyrone, which had slight Irish nationalist majorities. It was created as a separate legal entity on 3 May 1921, under the Government of Ireland Act 1920.

The first years of the new autonomous region were marked by bitter violence, particularly in Belfast. The IRA was determined to oppose the partition of Ireland so the authorities created the Ulster Special Constabulary to aid the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and introduced emergency powers to combat the IRA. Many died in political violence between 1920 and 1923, during which Belfast experienced the worst violence in its history.

The origin of Northern Ireland lies in English colonial policy and activity in Ireland. It can be traced back to plantations of settlers in Ireland, in particular the Plantations of Ulster from 1606-1698. The defeat of the old Gaelic aristocracy in the nine-year war (1594-1603) was followed by a political and economic transformation of Ireland. Confiscation of land and property was followed by laws to restrict and control the indigenous economy and the creation of a Protestant ascendency to rule Ireland. The Act of Union in 1800 resulted in capital migration from southern Ireland to Northern Ireland further damaging the Irish economy. In the 1880’s the British Conservative party formed an alliance with Ulster Unionists and promised them that in return for their support in Parliament they would make sure that they would not become part of an Ireland that broke from the Union.  This commitment was fulfilled in the Government of Ireland Act 1920 which gave the six counties its own Parliament and their autonomy from the rest of Ireland. The result of this was continued persecution of a nationalist and Catholic population of the 6-counties and the eventual rebellion in the 1960’s that led to a 30-year war ending in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.


  • Tin-Whistle Classes
    September 10, 2022 - October 15, 2022
    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
    September 10, 2022 - October 15, 2022
    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
    September 10, 2022 - October 15, 2022
    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
    September 12, 2022 - December 19, 2022
    4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
  • Continuing Students
    September 12, 2022 - December 19, 2022
    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.

12 Weeks Term – No Class October 10th & November 21st 

Beginners: 4:00 –  4:45PM 

Continuing Students: 4:45 – 5:45PM

Class Fees :

$228 Non Members | $215 Members


  • Beginners
    September 12, 2022 - December 19, 2022
    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.

12 Weeks Term – No Class October 10th & November 21st 

Beginners: 4:00 – 4:45PM

Continuing Students: 4:45 – 5:45PM

Class Fees :

$228 Non Members | $215 Members


  • Tin-Whistle Classes
    September 17, 2022 - October 15, 2022
    8:45 am - 9:30 am

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

These lessons take place in person on Saturday mornings at the Irish Cultural Centre from 8:45am to 9:30am.

This class is suitable for children and young adults with minimal to no experience in traditional Irish music.


  • Beginners Irish Language Classes
    September 28, 2022 - November 16, 2022
    7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

With Tutor Pádraig Clifford

This class is suitable for absolute beginners and those with very little Irish. It will run for 8 weeks starting Wednesday, September 28th.


  • October 6, 2022 - October 27, 2022
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Live Zoom Course: Thursdays 6:00 to 7:30pm – October 6, 13, 20, 27

County Louth is named after the village of Louth, which is named after Lugh, a mythological warrior and leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Lúnasa the Irish word for August is called after him. Drogheda, its main town, was founded in 911 by the Norse Vikings. 

The whole area became part of the O’Carroll Kingdom of Airgialla (Oriel) early in the 12th century under Donnchad Ua Cerbaill.

In about 1183, the area was settled by English farmers and became known as English Oriel.  It was controlled by England over most of the following centuries. Louth was a part of Ulster, until the late 16th century, before being included as part of Leinster.

Oliver Cromwell attacked Drogheda in 1649 slaughtering the Royalist garrison and hundreds of the town’s citizens at the start of a campaign in which a half million Irish people died or were transported. Towards the end of the same century, the armies of the warring Kings, James II and William (III) of Orange, faced off in south Louth during the build-up to the Battle of the Boyne;

In 1798, the leaders of the United Irishmen included a number of people from Louth. The book County Louth and the Irish Revolution, 1912–1923 documents the role played by people from the county in that revolutionary period. Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein represented the people of Louth in the government of the Republic of Ireland from 2011 to 2020.


  • October 6, 2022 - October 27, 2022
    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Live Zoom Course: Thursdays 7:30 – 9 pm – October 6, 13, 20, 27

Article 4 of the  Constitution adopted in 1937 by the government under Éamon de Valera states that Éire is the name of the state, or in the English language, Ireland. Some Irish wit named the state “DevelEire”

Eire demonstrated its independence from Britain by remaining neutral in World War 11. As a result, Ireland was denied Marshall Plan Aid and was not admitted into the United Nations until 1955.

Under the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 the term “Republic of Ireland” is the official “description” of the 26-county state.

The 1950’s was the “lost decade” due to the high levels of emigration and unemployment.

The 1960 and ‘70’s saw the policy of economic nationalism replaced by direct foreign investment; traditional religious conservatism replaced by cultural and social openness; and the national question enter a new era with the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, the Provisional IRA, and war on the streets of the 6-Counties that spilled over into the whole country.

By 1948 the country had been ruled by Fianna Fáil for sixteen years and most people wanted a change. The opposition parties in the Dáil came together to form a coalition government after the election in 1948. 

1949 – Eire becomes the Republic of Ireland.

1957 – Eamon De Valera elected president and resigns from Fianna Fáil

1963 – Terence O’ Neill becomes fourth Prime Minister of  Northern Ireland.

1969 – Refugees started fleeing the violence in the 6-Counties to the 26-Counties

1972 – Bloody Sunday in Derry. Fourteen innocent people shot and killed by British soldiers.

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