By Jim Smith
A memorial Mass for Boston pub owner the late Tommy McGann, 43, will be said at noon on October 17, in St. Augustine’s Church on Dorchester Street in South Boston.
McGann, of Quincy, owner of the Irish Embassy Pub and McGann’s near North Station, was killed instantly September 23 in a one-car crash in Inagh, Co. Clare while he was on vacation. Several years ago McGann was treated for cancer, which was in remission at the time of the tragic accident.
The popular 43-year-old founder of two youth hostels in Boston was buried on September 25 in his native Kilmaley, Co. Clare, alongside his late parents.
Friends and family members from Ireland are expected to attend the memorial service, including his brother, Tony, and sisters Brid, Mary and Nora.
McGann and his brother Tony founded McGann’s of Doolin in 1976, a famous spot for tourists and locals in McGann’s hometown. Three years later he moved to Boston, where he worked as a bartender before moving to Cape Cod.
In 1982 he opened the Irish Embassy Pub in Falmouth, later changing its name to McGann’s.
In 1985 he opened another Irish Embassy Pub, in Easton, Mass. In 1993 McGann sold the Easton pub and opened the Irish Embassy Pub in Boston, near the old Boston Garden. In 1996 he and business partner Joe Dunne founded McGann’s Pub on a street next to the Irish Embassy, joining the two facilities with a common door and attracting some of Ireland’s best musicians to his cozy, intimate setting.
This past summer, Sinead O’Connor thrilled a packed audience at McGann’s with a brief performance after entertaining thousands of people earlier at Boston’s Harborlights.
McGann was known as a generous businessman who was eager to help immigrants from Ireland and other countries. Although he had an easy rapport with the rich and famous in the entertainment industry, he devoted much of his energy to the creation of two youth hostels in Boston.
A keen follower and supporter of the GAA, he was also one of the first to import Irish food products into Massachusetts after working in California and Vermont.
Thomas McGann is survived by his son Daniel, aged six, of Mansfield, Mass., his brother Tony, sisters Brid, Mary and Nora of Doolin; cousins Declan and Bernie of Falmouth, Mass., close friends Maureen Powers and partners Joe and Gaye Dunne, Orla Noonan, friends and staff, past and present, at Irish Embassy and McGann’s Irish Pubs, Irish Embassy and Beantown Hostels.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to Lahey Clinic, Clapham Cancer Center, Philanthropy, 41 Mill Road, Burlington, MA 01805. Cards of condolences can be forwarded care of The Irish Embassy Pub, 234 Friend St., Boston, MA 02114.