March 17, 2009


So, when it comes to that lovely, that special day, March 17th, often, many of us think of that very special country, the one I am loving to be in right now- IRELAND!

Indeed, Dublin was quite active the weekend leading up to today, tourists were rushing into town, and more stands were filling the streets selling green beads, green hats, green face paint- you name it. But here is my special surprise story about this special day in full detail.

It begins with an email from my dad on St. Patrick’s Day Eve. One of our favorite radio stations back home, Q104.3 FM with Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein, have their live broadcast at an Irish pub in NYC every year. The last 5 years my dad attended their show and this year informed me that Jim and Shelli would be doing the broadcast live from Dubin!!!!!!!!!! At Jameson’s Distillery, about a 20/25 minute walk from my apartment! Why not join the fun? With that in mind, I emailed Jim and Shelli, explaining my excitement that they were here, about my dad, and maybe would they want to meet some American Trinity students. Well, I really must be lucky because I received an email back from their producer saying to come on by, ask for this one woman, who would be expecting me and I could come and join the show for the morning! Cool, awesome, other words can’t even describe how great of an opportunity this was.

So I started my Saint Patrick’s Day by waking up at 7.45 am, dressing in my green gear, naturally an Irish rugby jersey, and I met with two of my HC friends that were willing to wake up and be ready at 9am to see what the radio show and Jameson on this Paddy’s Day would be like. It was a different scene outside Trinity in that stands and railings were set up for the Parade that would be passing in front of Trinity. We walked to O’Connell Street and took the Red Luas to Smithfield where the Jameson Distillery is located.

We walked in, and after talking to the right people, I met with the woman in charge who the producer told me to find. I couldn’t believe this was happening, I had woken up this morning, not knowing what to expect, after all, I just sent a quick email and now, we were being lead through the hallway of Jameson Distillery like VIPs. What a great sight!

The entrance room at the Distillery was filled with small tables with radio station crews from around the world and the USA! I saw stations from Chicago, Colorado, Tokyo, Baltimore, Tel Aviv, Spain, Texas- to name a few. I was then greeted by the producer of the Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein Rock & Roll Morning show and was told that I would be chatting with Jim and Shelli on the radio and get to give a shout out back to my family at home! Obviously, next thing I did was to call home ASAP, wake up my mom and say listen to the radio for the next 20 minutes!

We were told to relax, grab some muffins and coffee and stand by the bar and enjoy the business of several radio shows broadcasting live from Dublin! Near where we were standing was a stage where live traditional Irish music was being played by some great performers and we were also treated to some step dancing by a professional Irish troupe. Next thing I know, I am being called to come and sit with Jim and Shelli and experience first-hand what broadcasting is like.

Jim began by saying that it was a first for Q104.3 FM to be in Ireland for Paddy’s Day and away from the friends back home, but as fate has a way of working out, he said, we have one of our listener’s with us. He had me introduce myself, talk a little bit about what I’m doing in Dublin and Trinity, and what my plans were for the rest of the day. Lastly, I got to give a little tribute to my dad (who gave me the idea to check out the fun anyway), my brother, and my mom. I couldn’t believe I was in Dublin, talking on the radio that was being broadcasted back home, pretty much greeting my family and starting off their St. Patrick’s Day morning. I think this will always be my favorite St. Patrick’s Day; I was celebrating with friends in the best place to celebrate this day while also reaching out to my family!

After my little shout-out, I got to take pictures with Jim and Shelli and we were invited to stay the rest of the time as well. So, we had some Irish coffee, met with the photographer at Jameson, who took our picture (who doesn’t love American girls?), and enjoyed live music and dancing. Then, another woman took us upstairs to see the live radio cooking show where we were treated to some Irish soda bread. We were then called back downstairs to the radio broadcast area to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Jim Kerr’s broadcasting career, where Jim was treated to 35 kisses from the radio personnel there and the three of us girls as well. It was quite funny and still I couldn’t believe all the special treatment we were getting; everyone seemed really happy to have us and were so nice!

We got to speak with Jim and the producer a little more as well, glad to know I’m on a first name basis with them now…haha. Right before we left, we were also treated to burgers and chips (again, fries) and have some great conversations with the other radio personnel. Sadly, we had to leave, but I so appreciated the morning we had at Jameson and made sure to express my gratitude to those we met and whom took care of us.

Our next stop was to find our friends who were watching the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Boy, were the streets of Dublin packed, but it was so enjoyable because it was so lively, music filled, and nice and sunny!!!!! Well, we couldn’t find our friends in the crowd, but we would all be meeting up at Gill’s pub, with our cultural advisor, Silvia before going to see the matches at Croke Park. So, we took a very long route to get to the pub where we saw the floats in the Parade and zig-zagged through the crowds. Finding our friends at Gill’s, we enjoyed a pint and walked over to Croke Park.

The matches were great, but we were a little chilly under the overhang…least of our worries though. We were so fortunate to get tickets for the AIB (Allied Irish Bank) GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) All Ireland Senior Club Championship. The first match was a hurling match- one of the fastest games- between De La Salle (Waterford) and Portumna (Galway). It was a really exciting match to watch. The intermission between the first match involved a match between a kid’s league and there was a traditional band playing on the middle of the field as well. The second match was football, Gaelic football, that is, between Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) and Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin). Before this match there was a show, kinda like half-time at the Superbowl, with all these floats and people running on the field with HUGE hurley sticks, and music playing. It was quite a hilarious and entertaining scene.

After the matches, a bunch of us Holy Cross kids and friends headed over to O’Connell Street for some fish and chips for dinner. The city quieted down a bit since the parade was over. We went back to our places and reconvened at our favorite pub, The Ginger Man, where we had a pint and jigged and danced to some of the U2 and Riverdance music they were playing. Maybe a bit too cliché, or stereotypical, or touristy, but we all had a blast. We ended our night checking out the scene in Temple Bar and listening to some more live music.

The day was amazing and one I will always be thankful for and one I will always remember. I think regardless of what happened the rest of the day, my morning at the Jameson Distillery on the radio show followed by the matches at Croke Park was perfect enough.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so lucky in one day to have all these great things happened, so I am really grateful. I guess it was being in Ireland and having the Luck of the Irish that made today so great.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


PS- If you’d like to see a few pictures of inside the Jameson Distillery and me there on the radio show, here’s the link:
Look for Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Live from Dublin.

Also, here’s the link for the interview: kerr_031709

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