St Patrick's Day is one of our busiest times of year at the Irish Arts Center, so I have lots of great memories. Opening plays such as "The Kings of Kilburn Highroad" by Jimmy Murphy and Tom McIntyre's "Gallant John Joe" starring the great Irish actor Tom Hickey, and of course "An Evening with Ronnie Drew." We were the last place that Ronnie played in the U.S. and he was such a lovely man, so that's probably my favorite memory. Have you ever marched in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade? I'm always working on St. Patrick's Day, but if I could march, it would probably be with County Down or the Irish Business Organization. Five essential Irish albums that should be part of everyone's music library: Anything U2; Ashley Davis's Down by the Sea; Tom Dunne's 30 Best Irish Hits; The 4 of Us - Songs from the Tempted (Give it up for Newry!); An Evening with Ronnie Drew. How much green do you wear on March 17th? I definitely wear green but I have to keep it somewhat classy, as I usually attend the Mayor's and Governor's breakfasts. I also like to try and wear shamrock if I can. Do you eat corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's Day? How about soda bread? I'd never heard of corned beef and cabbage until I came to the States, but when in Rome . . . As for soda bread - yes! It's always in supply at the Mayor's and Governor's breakfasts. Favorite Irish film? "Into the West" with Gabriel Byrne. Favorite Irish book? Reading Colum McCann's "Let the Great World Spin." right now. It's a wonderful book.
Favorite Irish song? "There Were Roses," by my neighbor Tommy Sands, is my party piece. It's about the Ryan Road, which is the road where I grew up in Co. Down. Complete this sentence: The most Irish thing about me is . . . my outlook in life. I'm blessed that my parents passed on the importance of family, friendship, fun, hard work and respect for others. which I think are very Irish sensibilities.