The Rising of the Moon Irish Festival, Santa Cruz, CA. 9-17-2011
The Rising of the Moon Irish Festival was held on September 17 at the Poet & Patriot Irish Pub in Santa Cruz, California. The festival kicked off the California Irish Cultural’s Society’s fundraiser for the proposed Irish Hunger memorial to be erected in San Francisco.
Rick Trujillo from San Diego gave a moving tribute to Chris Mathews and John Fogarty, two Irish American icons who have recently passed away.
The full capacity crowd was entertained by, Wild Rovers, Pat Hamilton, Sea Dawgs, Sean “the Piper” and Poor House.
The commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Hunger Strikers concluded with Cathy Miller winning a beautiful handcrafted harp by a former Irish political prisoner.
George Trainor spoke about An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger) “The Irish hunger of 1845 – 1851 resulted in the death of millions people and the forced emigration of further millions. This tragic event changed Ireland irrevocably and the Irish emigrants shaped the face of many international communities in the years that followed. It would be a fitting tribute to have the legacy of the famine marked with a memorial to the victims of the Irish Hunger as well as the victims starvation worldwide.” Trainor went on to say “The dictionary describes the word famine as an extreme scarcity of food. There was plenty of food in Ireland. There was no FAMINE!!!!! It can be called many things, but never a FAMINE.”
The proposed Irish Hunger memorial was unveiled to the anticipating crowd by San Jose artist Patricia Hanlon. “As I drew this women I swear I fell in love with her and her story. I named her Maggie and I believe her story needs to be told and a monument in San Francisco is a great start. I really want to Thank the California Irish Cultural Society for the insight, the education and the experience drawing this portrait brought me. Although I was hesitant in the beginning now I can truly say it was an honor.”