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16 Irish Events to Attend in Nashville in March

march irish events in nashville

Maybe February 10 is too soon to start talking about how we’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Or maybe it’s our favorite holiday of the year, so we start thinking about it and planning for it all year long. It’s probably the second one. If that’s how you feel, too, then you’ll love these Irish events going on all over Nashville during the month of March. You may also appreciate the advance notice so you can get tickets before they sell out.

Some of these are part of the Music City Irish Fest, and you can keep up with that calendar on the festival website. We’re also running a giveaway for one of the events, so keep your eyes on this page to make sure you don’t miss your chance to win.

March 1 – Altan at the Franklin Theatre

This band from Donegal is considered an icon of traditional Irish music. To enjoy an evening of Irish jigs and reels, visit the website and get your tickets soon!

March 2-4 – Irish Film Festival at Watkins College

See some of the most popular Irish movies, including Leap Year, Brooklyn, Waking Ned Devine, and Jimmy’s Hall. (We might ask where The Wind That Shakes the Barley and The Commitments are in this list, but it’s still a good selection). It’s free to the public!

March 6 – TenX9 Storytelling at Douglas Corner Café

Nine people tell nine stories of ten minutes in length. The theme of the night is “Anything Irish,” so prepare to laugh, cry, and rage, as you’re entertained with real stories of Irish joy, struggle, and triumph. Or maybe just a funny story about a lad in a pub.

March 7 – Scots Irish Genealogy Event

Want to learn more about your heritage? Visit The Hermitage and discover your Irish and Scots Irish roots. Costs vary according to the activities you enjoy during the day. Learn more about it at the Hermitage’s website.

March 7-8 – Sharon Shannon at McNamara’s

Two nights of traditional Irish music from Shannon Sharon of County Clare, Ireland. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased through the McNamara’s website.

March 9-11 – The Chieftains at The Schermerhorn

Perhaps one of the best known traditional music acts in Ireland right now, The Chieftains tickets are known to sell out quickly, even with multiple shows. Get your tickets now at The Schermerhorn website.

March 11 – Introduction to Irish Sports with the NGAC

The NGAC will host a day of Irish sports for anyone who wants to join. Learning hurling and Gaelic football. If you love it, you can even join the club! Open to any and all over the age of 18, regardless of skill level or current athletic ability.

March 11 – Main Street Brewfest in Franklin

The 14th annual brewfest is a big part of Irish fun. Enjoy Celtic performers and Irish cheer as you sip on some of the best local and craft beer available. Tickets are required, and they sell out quickly. Get them here!

March 12-13 – The Final Days of Wolfe Tone at TPAC

This award-winning play tells the story of Ireland’s foremost rebel from the 1798 Irish rebellion. We’ll be giving tickets away to three lucky winners, but if you don’t want to take a chance on missing out, you can get tickets right now at the TPAC website.

March 14 – Traditional Irish Session at McNamara’s

Grab your instrument and join in as locals and guests play traditional music all evening. We gather there’ll be some room for dancing, too.

March 15 – Andrew Jackson’s 250th Birthday

Celebrate the 7th president’s Irish heritage at The Hermitage. The people of The Hermitage have been great friends to us over the past two years as we introduced hurling to the Highland Games. We reckon it’s because Old Hickory was Irish.

March 16 – Whiskey and Golf at the Sounds Stadium

Do you like whiskey? Do you like putt-putt golf? Then this is the evening for you! Just don’t party too hard on the course, because you have to save yourself for the big day!

March 17 – Party at McNamara’s

Enjoy a full day of Irish food, music, dancing, and fun at McNamara’s Irish Pub in Donelson. There’s a cover charge, so come prepared. The party lasts from 10 am to midnight. You’ll probably see a few of us there!

March 18-19 – Celtic Rhythms on Fire with the Nashville Irish Step Dancers

Enjoy beautiful and passionate Irish dance these two days during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. These tickets do sell quickly, so be sure to grab yours as soon as possible.

March 25 – Music City Invitational Tournament

Watch hurling, camogie, and maybe some Gaelic football as friends from clubs all over North America come to compete for the Music City Cup. The fun starts at 9 am and goes all day, including an after party. More info on that soon, so keep an eye on this page!

New events may crop up as plans are finalized. We’ll update with another post if that happens. For now, start marking your calendars so you can make it to everything!

 

**Edit 2/15 – The East Nashville St. Patrick’s Day Festival will not occur this year. It has been removed from the list. I know; we’ll miss it, too.

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How to Get Involved with the NGAC When You Don’t Play

We’re so excited to have new members and new fans on the sidelines! The Nashville GAC needs the support from wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, moms, dads, and friends just as much as we need the players. If you’re brand new to the world of Irish sports, you may be wondering just how you can get involved to help the club keep growing. Here are a few things that would definitely support the NGAC as we spread love for Irish sports and culture.

Become a Member

You don’t have to play—ever—to be a member of the club. The dues structure allows for non-playing members to join at $20 per year. What do you get with that $20? You get a voice in all major votes, which are usually held at the Annual General Meeting each December.

You also get some pretty neat swag every time we come out with something new. So far, we have bumper stickers, T-shirts, koozies, and key chains. More cool stuff is always in the works.

Ready to join now? Send your $20 through PayPal to banker.ngac@gmail.com.

Come Prepared

If you’ve been out to watch a match, you know things can get a little intense. Players are usually concerned with having their hurley, helmet, and jersey. Everything else might get left behind. That means extra ice, water, bandages, pain meds, wraps, and even hurleys could help a great deal.

Join a Committee

Want to give even more? We have committees planning, moving, and shaking all year long. Our most important ones focus on recruitment and events. If you’d like to know more about these, contact Emily Rodriguez and Brendan Rauer, respectively. We also would love to revisit fundraising and sponsorship possibilities and could use a little leadership in that area.

If you have other talents that might be of use, let us know! If we don’t have a committee for it already, we’ll put one together.

Become a Board Member

Believe it or not, you don’t have to play hurling, camogie, or Gaelic football to serve on the board. Any member is eligible to serve. This year, we’ll have several openings available, so think about offering your time, organizational skills, and leadership abilities by serving on the board.

Spread the Word

We’re a grassroots organization, which means we see our biggest growth through word of mouth. If you know someone who might like our sports, tell them about us! If they’re okay with you sharing their contact information, just let us know and we can take it from there.

Just Keep Cheering

Nothing is more exciting than hearing those cheers from the sidelines. We started small, with one person on the sidelines every Sunday. Now, we see upwards of twenty on really great days. The cheering section inspires players to keep giving their all, which means they have to learn as much as they can about the sport, come to trainings and events, and push hard to carry their team to victory. In other words, just cheering the players on helps us grow as a club. You do that!

We can’t tell you how happy we are that you’re here. There really are no words to express our gratitude for your support thus far. Whether you decide to do one or all of the things listed above, you’re driving us forward. Welcome to the club.

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4 Facts You Should Know About Hurling

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If your fact-finding mission about hurling includes watching a match, breathless and eyes bugged out while you try to absorb everything going on, then it’ll be a long while before you learn everything you need to know. There are a few things that everyone who’s ever played the game hold true in their hearts—things no fact-finding mission could ever erase.

  • Once you play hurling, no other sport will suffice.
  • Sure, it looks dangerous. What’s the point of playing a sport that can’t get you killed?
  • You’ll be made fun of for wearing protective gear other than the required helmet.
  • A pint after training, matches, or a general puck around is required. REQUIRED.

Ask anyone who plays; they’ll back us up. And while this might convince you to give hurling (or camogie) a shot—and thank God, because that’s what this blog is all about—it still doesn’t give you the hard facts.

1. Hurling is about 3,000 years old.

Let’s consider the things that were going on in the world during the first years that hurling was played. The Iron Age. Ancient Greece. The Roman Empire. The Persian Empire after that. It’s even older than the recorded history of Ireland. If you’re looking for a sport that will impress your friends, you’ve found it.

2. A hurling pitch in Ireland can be as big as 158 yards by 98 yards.

Yeah, the pitch is huge, but that much flat, open space is hard to find here in the States, so we usually use American football or soccer fields. We also play with fewer people on teams. If we played with Ireland’s usual 15 a side, then there wouldn’t be enough room to run on the smaller fields here. In larger cities, such as Chicago and New York, the Irish populations are big enough to warrant full-sized fields and teams. For the most part, however, you’d get started on something much smaller here.

3. Protective gear really is sparse.

Imagine a sport this brutal played without any protective gear at all. That’s what happened for three thousand years. Before 2010, the hurley (stick) was the only protection a player could count on. Now, helmets are required. And, while you might get a little ribbing from your teammates for investing in additional protective gear, it’s never a bad idea to protect other parts of your body as well. (You may or may not want to click the link. Among other sports-related injuries, you’ll also be regaled with a tale about a shattered testicle.) Really. Wear the gear.

4. Even the best hurlers in Ireland play for free.

In this sport, glory is all you get. There isn’t a single professional hurler or camogie player in the world. These hurlers draw crowds in the tens of thousands, risk life and limb, and bring home enormous trophies to their home counties, all because they love the game that much.

Now, be honest with yourself. Wouldn’t you love to play a sport that inspires that kind of dedication? Wouldn’t you love to hit the pitch with your teammates and lose yourself in a sport that’s been three millennia in the making? Wouldn’t you love to finish off a day of Irish culture and sport with a cold beer and banter with your local hurling club?

You can. And if you reach out now, you WILL. If you’d prefer to check it all out before you join, that’s cool. Visit our Facebook page to see what we’re up to all the time. Come out and watch a puck around and get an introduction to the people, the equipment, and the game.

And remember, if you’re reading this but don’t live in Nashville, it’s not over yet. Google hurling in your city. There’s probably a club nearby. If there’s not, maybe it’s about time someone started one.

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Nashville City League Match Report

Week 3 of Competitive League

By: Jameson Hurley

Week 3 of the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club proved even more exciting than the first two weeks. As player skill and fitness improves, so does the quality of play. Officially, it was the second day of summer, and if game time temperatures were any indication, Nashville is in for a hot one. It was as if the men and women of the NGAC wanted to be “one in heat-suffering spirit” with the USA Men’s Soccer team, as game time temperatures in Nashville exceeded those predicted in Manaus for later in the day. With pop-up tents for shade, and ice water on hand, the matches were underway.

Match 1 featured the Blue Notes v. the Leesiders. A question hanged heavy in the heavy hanging air: Would Captain Gill lead the Lees to victory with the confidence gained from their prior week’s win over the Blue Notes, or would Captain Joley rally his squad and rebound from their loss? It was clear from the start that this would be a memorable battle. The ball moved about the field like a butterfly on a calm spring day, but when shots were fired for scores, they were erratic and often off target. While the gladiators did battle at midfield, the goalies were kept busy with puck outs after the countless wides. In time though, the scores did come, with Anji Wall leading all scorers with 5 points from play. The score line remained close throughout the match, with both teams gaining and losing their advantage, but in the end, it was the grit and determination of the mighty Blue Notes that won on the day, edging out the Leesiders by 1 point. Blue Notes 1-7 (13) to Leesiders 2-6 (12).

With that, the Leesiders retreated to the shade for rest while the Blue Notes remained in the sun’s glaring rays for the second match of the day. Captain Ouellette’s Ports, eager to hold the top position in the league, and to rebound from their drawn match against the Notes in week 2, took to the pitch in varsity fashion. From the throw in it was clear that the Ports meant business, marking the opening score of the game. The Notes gave an early response, with a cracker of a goal from Captain Joley, but that was nearly it for the scoring from the Dublin colored side. Captain Ouellette, in goal, locked down the net, and his defenders took care of minimizing points from play. Some fantastic battles took place for the ball, but all too often it was the Ports who emerged from the scrum with possession. And all too often those won battles resulted in goals and points. The Blue Notes, exhausted from their earlier battle, did indeed leave it all on the pitch, but at the final whistle, the referee’s score card read: Blue Notes 2-1 (7) to Ports 5-6 (21).

nashville hurling leagueDid the Ports leave enough in the tank to finish the day with two wins? The Leesiders emerged from the shade, and took to the pitch to find out. You’ll recall the incredible battle between these two teams during the second week of play, when the Ports scored a late goal to defeat the red and white side by two points. From the opening toss, this match looked to rival that classic. Quick scores from both sides got things going, and the points continued to come with ease, in this, the second highest scoring match of the season. The usual suspects: Nick Chamberlain, Eric Vick, and Corbett Ouellette for the Ports, and C.s. Kammerzell and Sam D’Amico for the Leesiders, were joined by newcomers to the scoring sheet, Jesse Gammons and Greg Roberts, who all had points from play. The crowd was treated to an exciting and very tightly contested match, and when the referee blew his whistle for the “player welfare water break,” The teams were separated by only 1 point. At the restart, it was clear that both sides had imbibed on some sort of “goal scoring” tonic during the break, as the sleepy keepers were unable to defend their nets. A final Leesider free into the box failed to be converted by the attackers for a much-needed goal, and with that the full-time whistle blew. The Ports held their seat at the top of the table. Ports 5-8 (23) to Leesiders 4-7 (19).

Join us for the games next week at 4:00 at Heartland fields. Game 1, Ports v. Blue Notes, followed by Blue Notes v. Leesiders, and finally, Leesider v. Ports.

Standings: Ports 16 pts., Blue Notes 7 pts., Leesiders 3 pts.

Nashville hurling city league DSC_4540 DSC_4523 DSC_4519 DSC_4518 DSC_4509 DSC_4494 DSC_4399 DSC_4473 DSC_4387 DSC_4411 DSC_4535All photos by Ashley Raby.