President Michael D Higgins was among the attendance at a major event in Boston recently to honour Tullamore man Seamus ‘Jim’ Mulligan and renowned tenor Ronan Tynan.
The Eire Society of Boston presented its highest award to Ronan Tynan and Seamus Mulligan, host of the weekly ‘Feast of Irish Music Show’ on WROL in Boston, at the society’s 75th Gold Medal Awards dinner on Thursday May 10.
The award itself has been presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to benefit society in their chosen fields of expertise.
Both Tynan and Mulligan joined a list of highly-acclaimed Irish and Irish-Americans to receive the prize over the years, including President John F. Kennedy, poet Seamus Heaney, and former Irish President Mary Robinson.
The Tullamore man emigrated to the USA in the late 1950s moving first to New York and then Boston. He has been a frequent visitor to his home town over the years as his brother Paddy and sister Helen both live in Tullamore and another brother Frankie lives in Clara.
For his part, Mulligan lays out the mission of his Sunday afternoon show succinctly: “To present what Ireland and the Irish have accomplished – with admiration, intelligence, and pride. To showcase Ireland’s songs and stories of unmatched beauty, the complex music, the witty and wise proverbs and sayings, the vernacular architecture, now and again a few racy curses and the devout folk prayers.” Mulligan is a resident of Randolph, MA.
Coincidentally Ronan Tynan lived in Tullamore briefly in the 1980s when he worked with Rehab. He now lives in Milton MA.
The Eire Society is one of Boston’s oldest Irish organisations and was founded in Boston in 1937. The society’s vibrant membership includes a wide variety of individuals from various backgrounds, professions and age groups.
Some prestigious members and Gold Medal honorees include John F. Kennedy, Seamus Heaney, The Chieftains, John Hume, Siobhan McKenna, Sean McBride, George Mitchell, John Huston, William Bulger, ‘Tip’ O’Neill and Maureen O’Hara.
The Eire Society promotes knowledge of Irish culture through the encouragement of study in the arts, sciences, literature, language and history of Ireland; the contributions to civilization made by the Irish and those of Irish ancestry; networking between all Irish and Americans; and raising awareness of the actions made by the Irish for the advancement of American ideals.