Irish American Cultural Institute

Providing leadership and resources to preserve, interpret, and promote Irish and Irish American Cultures

Omaha Chapter

Chair:   Eileen Reilly Buzzello, Vice Chair:   Michael Carroll, Secretary:   Cathleen Cavanaugh Amdor, Treasurer:   Mary Deane, Board Members:   Dr Richard Finbar Murphy (Emeritus Chair) Dr Lisbeth Buechalt, James Cavanaugh Esq, Hon John Murphy

The newly reconstituted Omaha IACI Chapter celebrated it's rebirth with the moving multi-media presentation of Look Behind You by Irish singer/songwriter/storyteller/historian Steafan Hanvey.Sponsored by the IACI Steafans' American tour featured music,photos,poetry,song and stories dealing with The Troubles and the effect they had and still have on those who lived through them , and those who did not. Steafans' concert presentation on March 16th at the University of Nebraska at Omaha featured songs and music from his latest album Nuclear Family performed with a multi-media backdrop of photos taken by Steafans father ,noted photographer ,journalist and radio presenter Bobbie Hanvey. 

The stories,observations,songs and impressions of a living participant are intermixed with images and contemporary recordings and news clips to weave together a powerful ,darkly magical conjuring of The Troubles and their meaning to us all. The relevance of this performance to us all today cannot be overstated.  This riveting mix of sound and light narrated by someone who grew up in the midst of war makes for a powerfully beautiful artistic rendering of a terrible time. A true terrible beauty.

The Omaha Chapter founded in 1976 has been revived by a group of local Irish cultural leaders that include several children of the original founders, including President Eilleen Reilly Buzzello daughter of writer ,scholar and founder Bob Reilly, Secretary Cathleen Cavanaugh Amdor daughter of founders and civic leaders Jack and Kathleen Cavanaugh and Treasurer Mary Deane daughter of founders and Mayo natives Ed and Kathryn Deane. 

These and a large audience of other Irish Culture lovers celebrated the return of the always excellent IACI programs (like that of Steafan Hanvey ) to Omaha with an enthusiastic reception of Steafan hosted by the Omaha Irish Cultural Center at the magnificently restored Paxton Ballroom on March 15 th. The OICC and the UNO Irish Studies Program joined with the IACI in co- hosting Steafans' performance at UNO the next day.

The rollout of the revived Omaha IACI Chapter was a huge hit and heralds a new day in Irish Cultural awareness across the wide Missouri. Building on the accomplishments of those who have gone before us we look forward to a bright future of renewed cultural awareness and appreciation among the Irish and Irish lovers in Nebraska. The Wests' Awake !