This page contains background information about the author from the perspective of being Irish and his relationship to Kansas City. For more general information you could look at 101 Random Things About the Irish KC Author, if you are mad that is.
Q. Are you Irish?
A. Born and brought up in Dublin. Emigrated to the US in my thirties at the height of the economic boom known as the Celtic Tiger, against the migrant traffic which had many long-term Irish emigrants returning (I worked with many in the 5 years before leaving), and many new immigrants arriving from other countries. After 8 years in Kansas City I returned to live in Ireland in the autumn of 2007
Q. What does Eolaí gan Fhéile mean?
A. It’s a name. Eolas means ‘knowledge’ in Irish, and Eolaí comes from that, and means ‘Guide’. gan means ‘without’. And Féile means Feast (as in Saint’s Feast Day - e.g. St Patrick’s Day is Lá Fhéile Pádraig, or it also means Festival). Féile is aspirated with the ‘h’ when gan is placed in front of it. Put it all together, and you have Guide without a Feast Day/Festival. Either way it means I’m no saint.
Q. How Do I Contact You?
A. Either direct from the Contact Page, or just send an email to eolai at irishkc dot com. To be honest contacting me trough twitter, ideally through the IrishKC Twitter account is best as it will ensure I can keep track.
Q. But where can I send you a postcard/food/money/hate mail?
A. My mailing address in KC was:
215 West 78 Terrace
-currently in Ireland I’m of no fixed abode which is not as glamorous as it sounds - I’ll post a mailing address here as soon as I have one.
Q. How do you pronounce Eolaí gan Fhéile?
A. Eolaí like the oley in Holey Moley Batman, gan like the english word ‘gone’, and Fhéile where the ‘h’ renders the ‘F’ silent and leave you with ‘ay’ (as in day), and ‘le’ as in ‘let’. Put it all together and you have oley gone ay-le
Q. Have You Anything Irish to Disclose in Kansas City?
A. Yeah. Here’s an inexhaustive list.
Irish Festival Websites:
I created and maintained the websites of the Brookside Irish Fest, Westport Irish Fest, and Kansas City Irish Festival. I created the KC Irish Fest Blog in 2003 and authored it from the beginning until January 2006.
Other Kansas City Irish websites:
I once was responsible for the Celtic Fringe website, both design and content. I have also been responsible for the websites of WJ McBride’s Irish Pub in Overland Park, and Molloy Brothers Irish Pub in Westport. I have also maintained the website for WJ McBride’s Irish Pub in KCK. The website of the first annual Kansas City Feis was created and maintained by me.
Irish Festival Worker:
I was also committee captain of MCs for one Brookside Irish Fest, and was actual MC for the opening of that festival. And when you’re a volunteer you do much more than head committees. Among other festival functions, I have also worked the bars, handled backstage duties, and painted kids entertainment apparatus.
Irish Festival Vendor:
Separate to volunteer work, or paid web work, I have also been a self-employed vendor at the first three Kansas City Irish Festivals, where I offered my paintings of Ireland for sale.
At Irish and Celtic festivals in Kansas, Missouri, and surrounding states, I have worked with another vendor selling Celtic jewelry and clothing. And sometimes had a drink.
Irish Pub Quiz Trivia:
For 2 years I was MC of a Pub Quiz Trivia competition at Molloy Brothers Irish Pub, and for 4 years I compiled and was MC of a Pub Quiz Trivia competition at WJ McBride’s Irish Pub in Overland Park, KS. Prior to that I participated in 3 seasons of Pub Quizzes at O’Dowd’s Little Dublin, being on the Grand Final winning team once. The Manager of O’Dowd’s asked me to do both their website and their quiz, but before I could answer, the manager was asked to leave.
Food from Irish Stores:
I have bought food in Browne’s Deli & Market, Sheehan’s Irish Imports, and Brits in Lawrence. I intend to make it to the ones I have not purchased from yet, like Doherty & Sullivan’s.
Drinking in Irish Pubs:
I have drunk in every conceivable Irish pub (by whatever definition) in the region. I like American neighbourhood bars.
For some time my recorded voice was the Irish accent that greeted you on the phone at Harling’s Upstairs.
I have been a member of the Celtic Fringe, and have been part of the St Patrick’s Day Float Crew several times helping other harder workers and designers.
Having enjoyed being a customer so much, I then worked part-time for a year at Bloomsday Books.
I am the creator and founder of The Four-Legged Dog, a virtual Irish Pub in the Kansas City Area exclusively for the Irish who immigrated to the US.
I paint. I painted a cow. I paint Ireland. I paint Kansas City. I paint things I’m not telling you.
Irish Web Work:
As well as working for myself as an artist, in Kansas City I worked for myself in Web Development, primarily in the area of Search Engine Marketing. As well as the Irish-American business community in KC, on occasion I produced web work for clients in Ireland. On returning to Ireland I went full-time as an artist.
American Web Work:
Like Irish KC I also write and publish other things - such as American Hell. Before all this I was employed by an Irish-American I.T. firm.
Trips Home to Ireland:
In the eight years I lived in the US I traveled home to Ireland 8 times.
Irish KC is only supposed to be fun. If it doesn’t do that for you, don’t worry about it and go and give somebody a hug. I’m sure they deserve it, and you’ve been reading this too long anyway.