President Paul Lynch and members of the board of directors of the Irish in France (IIF) association, did everything to ensure that the Irish community in France had a St. Patrick’s Day to remember, despite the current global health crisis.
In 2018, the IIR organized the very first Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the City of Light, going out, under the snow, with 500 pioneer parades braving the elements. For the SPD 2019 parade, more than two thousand came out of the Irish Cultural Center.
In 2020, due to health problems, the IIR had to cancel the third parade of the SPD Paris.
HE Irish Ambassador to France Patricia O’Brien opened the IIR 2021 online celebrations. An Irish cast of stars, music, stage and film, zoomed in on each other waterside, including Michele Moran, Lisa Lambe, Fiachna Ó Braonáin, Mundy, Mary Murray (aka Mrs. Gibney) and Cairde.
Tubridy, who co-hosted the event with Páraic Maguire and Paul Lynch in his unmistakable ‘Late Late Toy Show’ style, chatted with the young Irish members from France. A youngster asked if he lived in a library. Ryan at home was surrounded by bookshelves and said he really enjoyed reading.
When an adult asked what advice he would give to young people, Tubridy said to read a lot of books and always be polite. He said the same advice applied to adults as well, those who read enough would never get caught up in conversation at a dinner party, and the politeness speaks for itself.
He said seeing everyone, especially the young people dancing around their living room, was like witnessing “a magnificent cultural domino that crosses the generations.” The wonderful performances of Irish children living in France throughout the event really showed that “Irish history crosses ocean and seas”.
Tubridy also acted as the raffle master, drawing winning tickets for many freebies generously donated by Bord Bia France and other “Irish in France” Advantage partners and friends.
Tubridy (affectionately also known as “Tubs”) was very busy with Irish stars based in France. Maria D’Arcy’s spectacular dance video on “The Mystery of Love” surprised everyone, especially Ryan Tubridy, who enthusiastically congratulated her on her sparkling spontaneity as she danced around the beautiful venues. from Paris. Irish storyteller, cabaret dancer and fiction writer, Maria has been based in Paris since 1997. “Tubs” spoke to her directly, commenting on how amazing it was to dance so carefree, like no one was watching, and how ‘he could see that she loved life, capturing the very essence of the fun Irish spirit.
Maureen O’Donoghue, IIR secretary, vocals Dublin’s rocky road was the local musical revelation of the evening. “Tubs” said her performance was so great it had to be heard again when we could finally get together in person.
Musician and songwriter Paddy Sherlock was also part of the festivities. He can set fire to any place or Zoom. Former resident musician of the “Coolin Irish Bar”, a legendary pub on the left bank, he has entertained us in the “City of Light” for years. He has given so many wonderful performances that he is part of many of our great musical memories. Dusk, his new album of exclusively original tracks, produced by Brisa Roché for Black Ash Records, will be released on April 30, 2021. “Like a Diamond” his pre-release single is already creating a real buzz:
“Tubs” said he hoped he would be back to see all of the event’s stars perform in Paris when regulations permit. He often stood up on “the Parisian occasion” alongside “Le Grand Paul Lynch”, as he called it on his RTE Radio 1 program on March 5. “Tubs” already hosts the Paris Goal charity balls organized by Lynch on several occasions.
At one of the balls, “Tubs” played his role of master of ceremonies until the end, continuing the post-ball festivities, to be one of the last people standing, in a mythical Parisian Irish pub in the ‘dawn. (Some Irish pubs stay open until 5 a.m. under normal circumstances).
In addition to the fabulous music and dance numbers, the brilliant reading of a children’s story by Michele Moran was wonderfully fun.
Mary Murray’s “Mrs Gibney” sketches have us dotted. ” Mrs. Gibney ”remarked that Irish people in France must be happy to get rid of“ kisses ”(kisses on the cheeks) during the Covid period. She said she could never know how many and on which cheek to start when she was in Paris on vacation. She hit the nail on the head; many Irish people living in France are delighted that the salutary kissing ritual has been suspended. Even after many years, many of us are still wrong.
But then Ardal O’Hanlon, in Father Dougal McGuire’s outfit, pointed out at the end of his sketch that the Irish in France were a pack of eejits and especially Paul Lynch himself!
The craic really brought me home. It seems that the more an Irishman insults you, the more he loves you. O’Hanlon is a great friend of Lynch, who has accumulated years of volunteering for the GAA in Paris and Irish charities in France, as well as his current volunteer role leading the Irish in France. His initiatives over the years have attracted many special Irish guests to France, spreading madness and relief to so many. The SPD 2021 celebrations continued in the same spirit.
There were smiles from IIR members and friends, and although everyone was at home, in their own living room, the event definitely brought us closer.
 The IIR receives funding from the Emigrant Support Program administered by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and is also strongly supported by the Irish Embassy in Paris.
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