Sunday, April 15, 2012


Reading in Santa Barbara     

Very excited to be going to Santa Barbara with Martin for a wonderful event hosted by the American Irish Historical Society. See details of the event here.

The Society has an amazing collection of books on Irish topics I can't wait to see. Thanks to Frank McGinty and all for the invitation.

It would be wonderful to meet any of you Galway Bay fans from the Santa Barbara area.

Working away on Kelly Green and making some really intense discoveries in my research which I will save to surprise you with in the book. Might have news soon about the TV mini-series of Galway Bay. Will be blogging more (I promise!)

Happy Spring!

Best, Mary Pat

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Happy St. Patrick's Day     

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all the friends I've made through Galway Bay!!

I'm hard at work on Kelly Green, the sequel, and I've found that while I'm writing I'm not able to blog as much as I'd like. (The main character Nora Kelly is based on my great-aunt who went to Paris as a buyer for Marshall Field's in 1913. She was close to her cousin Ed Kelly and his political rise to become Mayor of Chicago is at the heart of the novel but Nora won't let me get her out of Paris!! You'll see why!)

Still I couldn't let our day pass without thanking you. Because of you Galway Bay is in its third paperback printing and still in bookstores. I love getting your emails and want to reply. If I haven't please write again. Lots of excitement in the offing. News about a TV mini-series very soon. I'm planning a trip to Ireland in November 2012. Please let me know if you'd be interested in coming along.

I'll be at many Irish Festivals over the summer and will post the dates on my website. I was in Chicago over the week-end. I put green chrysanthemums on Honora's grave, joined our Kelly Clan for the 4th annual reunion at the wonderful Polo Cafe in Bridgeport hosted by honorary Kelly Dave Samber, attended a stirring Irish-themed Mass at St. Catejan's and joined by father's sister Marguerite Kelly McGuire,93, at the South Side Irish Parade. My eyes never stopped smiling.

Sunday night I was in old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago Sunday, one of my favorite places in the world, sitting in while a full orchestra, a 100 voice choir, and soloists Catherine O'Connell, Rod Dixon and Alfreda Burke rehearsed for their annual Siamsa na nGael at Symphony Hall. Lots of friend there! One, Mary Evers, had written the script which tells the story of the meeting of Daniel O'Connell and Frederick Douglass in Dublin. Brian Dennehy was to be their narrator. I was transported by the wonderful music and the transcendent art work--amazing stained glass windows of the Irish Saints, Celtic designs painted in vibrant colors--beautiful. And standing over it all right there above the main altar was St Pat, himself, holding a bouquet of shamrocks. Thanks, I told him, for my family, for my Tyrone- born husband, for my friends which include you and for my heritage. I'm so grateful to our ancestors who, against incredible odds, not only saved themselves but wove their stories and songs into America's fabric for all to enjoy! So a joyous day!

I'll be marching on the 17th with the Irish American Teachers and on March 14th attending Irish America Magazine's event with editor Patricia Harty, who explores the Irish experience with such grace and intelligence, then joining The Kelly Gang for our annual fundraiser at Michael's restaurant in New York. This year our charity is City Harvest. I'll be on New York One tonight March 13th at 7pm and 10pm talking about how we Irish Americans, who endured the Great Starvation that killed one million, are honored to help to feed the hungry. SLAINTE!!!!!!! Love, Mary Pat

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Galway Bay Update     

I'm writing away on Kelly Green, the sequel to Galway Bay so I haven't been blogging as much. But I wanted to invite you to listen to three interviews I did recently.

I've really enjoyed meeting Alison Cuddy, the wonderful host of Eight Forty-Eight Chicago's NPR interview show. She's so knowledgeable and great fun. We talked about the Irish, the Church, Mayors of Chicago and the Civil War. And I've loved getting to know Kate O'Brien, the show's producer. Her aunt went to my high school, Marywood!

Also I sat down for a long interview with my long time friend Adrian Flannelly. For 40 years Adrian's radio show Irish Radio has given voice to Irish and Irish American issues. Thanks to the show's producer Aine Sheridan.

Also, there's a video clip from my appearance on Good Day, New York hosted by a fellow Kelly Gang member Greg Kelly.

Hope you enjoy this and if you're near where I'll be in May and June – please come by! You can check on events here on my site. Happy Spring (finally!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Happy St. Patricks's Day     

I've marched and sang and celebrated in Chicago and now I'm on my way to NY to be in the Parade. I've been staying in Bridgeport at the wonderful Polo Cafe and Bed & Breakfast where Dave Samber is a great host. I've been walking the streets Honora and her children knew so well and thinking of how hard all of our ancestors struggled so that we could live. Thinking too of the Japanese mothers right now fighting for their children's lives as they mourn the dead. So much like Irish women who refused to give up in spite of the horrors of the Great Starvation. As Honora said "We didn't die." She prayed St. Patrick's Prayer for strength and that's my wish for all who of us --that we be surrounded by grace and protection--above us, below us, in the radiance of the moon and the warmth of the sun and that we are all held in the palm of God's hand. Slainte!!!!!

Irish Names     

Lots of interesting history and legends around Irish names and Irish first names. My husband, Martin Sheerin researched them and created a
website Baby Names of Ireland.

You can hear the late great Frank McCourt recall the
legend and pronunciation in audio of each Irish name on the site. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, February 28, 2011


Galway Bay now in Paperback!     

I've been asking you, my readers and friends, to please help put the new paperback version of Galway Bay on the bestseller list by spreading the word to family and friends. It's out now!! And here's an exciting development-- Jean Doumanian, a producer with wonderful credits and lots of awards, is developing Galway Bay for a television mini-series and great sales help to propel the project forward. So fingers crossed!! I'm writing away on Kelly Green, the sequel to Galway Bay. The next generation moves through the Roaring Twenties, two World Wars and the controversial rise of Honora's grandson Ed Kelly' to Mayor of Chicago. He becomes head of the most powerful urban political party in the country. You can see why I'm not doing as many events but I'll be at the Irish Festivals this summer and if you call me I may come. The best part of writing Galway Bay is sharing it with you and swapping family stories!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Celebrating Honora     

I wanted to share with you a video of the day we placed a headstone on Honora's unmarked grave at Calvary Cemetery in Chicago.