December 2015 column from The Irish American News

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan The spirit speaks louder in Ireland. Every trip to Eire reminds me that the spirits are leading me back. Like embracing a woman who tells you, yes, you are loved and cared for and all will be well. Kathleen ni’ Houlihan is her name and we’ve been carrying on this mad […]

Irish American News Nov. 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan “It’s déjà vu all over again. The O’Brien family is resurrecting Reilly’s Daughter Irish Pub in Oak Lawn at 111th and Pulaski, where they operated for 27 very successful years.Boz O’Brien tells me, “The day we signed the agreement was the day Yogi Berra died.” Déjà vu indeed. Long considered the […]

Irish American News Column October 2015

  Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan It’s been almost 20 years since I started writing this column back in 1996. I’ve spewed a lot of blarney in this paper since then and loved every minute of it. But the other day I realized I finally have something of which to be very proud. Like many of […]

Danahey on the Loose about ITC’s ‘My Brilliant Divorce’

Barbara Figgins has acted in bars before. Who hasn’t, right? But in Figgins’ case it’s meant memorizing a whole script, not just a bunch of lines, to perform at the Atlantic Bar & Grill in Lincoln Square with Seanachie (now Irish Theatre of Chicago) and even in a biker gang version of Shakespeare’s Richard III […]

Danahey on the Loose: Upcoming Indianapolis Irish Fest

Warm weather is waning. So are the Chicago Bears. That means you might as well make the most of the next few weekends by going somewhere. This coming weekend offers opportunity to make that somewhere downtown Indianapolis where there will be an Irish Fest running Sept. 18 – 20, with a preview night Sept. 17. […]

Irish American News column September 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan Never let it be said that I don’t know how to throw a party. Case in point-Back in the eighties I was living in New York, City visiting Chicago, and dropped by my late brother Danny’s law office. He introduced me to the office manager Monica Dwyer Fox. (She was already […]

Danahey on the Loose in Milwaukee and Holy Sepulchre

Shay has been minded and safely returned. The Gobbins has finally opened. The ashes are in the trunk. The road ends. That’s the short version of how I spent the last weekend, the bittersweet one that holds the Milwaukee Irish Fest. Sure, the humidity Sunday made Milwaukee feel like Florida, but the Celtic gathering along […]

Irish American News column August 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan After twelve years of being a widow Angela Delaney felt like she was finally hitting her stride. Her late husband Tony had left her enough dough, not a fortune but enough where she didn’t have to work. That was important to her because if she had to work there wouldn’t be […]

Danahey on the Loose in Lake Geneva and Whiting

I hadn’t been to Lake Geneva in the summertime in decades, so when a buddy suggested a day trip, I figured this would be as good as any a place to visit. I am not old enough to recall the days when the town was mostly a resort area for wealthy Mr. Burns types from […]

Danahey on the Loose at Chicago’s great big fest of a weekend.

Last weekend, you could throw a rock pretty much anywhere in the Chicago area and find a festival of some sort or other. In fact, I’m starting the rock throwing festival next summer the weekend after the 4th of July to see who can hit the most of them. Off the top of my head, […]

Irish American News July 2015 Column

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan The other night I glimpsed a revelation of Irish revolution through music and songs hundreds of years old. Seated in an ancient mansion along the lake I watched an Irishman stand in half-light to tell us the story of our nation. With three musicians behind him, and a bodhrán in his […]

The Houli’s Hooley takes their show to Fitzgerald’s Nightclub

It’s the best brother act since the Marx Brothers. The center of the young Irish universe now spins in Berwyn every Thursday night when the Houli’s Hooley starts taping their show at 7:30PM. Bill & Paddy Houlihan started their hooley of a show just over six months ago and after moving out of the studio […]

Danahey on the Loose with the Scots, food trucks, and trains

To keep my annual ritual of heading to the Chicago Scots Scottish Festival and Highland Games from becoming routine like the movie Groundhog Day, instead of my usual visit on a Saturday, I headed to Itasca Friday night for the fun. There, I started the first official weekend of summer by wolfing down a Winston’s […]

Irish American News column for June 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan I auditioned for the Clifford Odets play “Awake and Sing” back in the late 1970s when I was a young actor in New York. After I finished reading for the part, the director, Ken Frankel, asked me to sit down. Oh boy, I felt like I had just nailed it. He […]

Danahey On the Loose at Glunz Beer Expo XXI, looking for summer brews

Here’s a helpful hint, like Heloise would give you if she liked to drink: If you know you are going to an event the next day where you’re supposed to be sampling beer, don’t have spinach dip the night before. Make that, don’t have spinach dip with two martinis. Experimental martinis made with Chartreuse (an […]

Danahey on the Loose with the playwright of THE WHITE ROAD

Karen Tarjan noted that when the Seanachai Theatre Company (now the Irish Theatre Company of Chicago) started 20 seasons ago, its tagline was “There’s nothing better than a good story.” Crossing that sentiment with Chicago’s Daniel Burnham-inspired penchant for making no small plans might explain what Tarjan and the troupe are tackling next – her […]

Irish American News Column May 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan Many old school South Side Irish remember being told stories of the mythological Ferocious Frank O’Hooligan by their grandparents. Frank had learned his Druid powers from his father Finbar in Kilrush and the not infrequent occasions of their use are what nurtured his legend. Here’s one of my faves. Frank was […]

Call for Entries

Gene Siskel Film Center & Hibernian Transmedia to present First Annual Irish American Movie Hooley Barbara Scharres, program director of The Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and Irish American News columnist and radio personality Mike Houlihan announced today their plan to present the first annual “Irish American Movie Hooley” at the Siskel Film Center […]

Irish American News Column April 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan After watching the mayoral race for the last six weeks, I wish St. Patrick could jump forward in a time machine and rid us of the reptiles in Chicago politics. He wasn’t the most articulate dude in the bunch, but I think Dr. Willie Wilson got it right when he called […]

Danahey on the Loose at Paddy’s Day & Remembering his late Father

  My St. Patrick’s-related festivities came to a close March 22 with tasting whiskies and shopping for trinkets at the Celtic Fest held at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. The marathon of mirth started March 13 watching a fireworks show with friends at my local in East Dundee. In between all the revelry, my […]

Irish American News column March 2015

Hooliganism By Mike Houlihan   Billy Lawless, I owe ya. That’s not exactly what I said to myself when they called me to ask if I would be a judge for the St. Jarlath’s “Dancing for Our Stars” contest out at Gaelic Park last month. The gal on the phone told me Billy Lawless suggested […]

Amazing Sights in Chicago Mayoral Race, Kass Fired.

Irish fighters have been celebrated over several centuries because they were seemingly without fear. Some will say that’s just because they’re hard headed but certainly every tyrant knows that a man with nothing to lose is the most dangerous. Here in Chicago we’ll all be able to celebrate that Irish fearlessness in the upcoming mayoral […]

Danahey on the Loose at the St. Louis Mardi Gras

For me and a good many of my friends, every Tuesday is Fat. And so are the other days of the week. I haven’t been to any of the bacchanalian events leading up to Ash Wednesday that go on in New Orleans from 12th Night until the start of Lent. So, being on a budget […]

Irish American News column February 2015

Hooliganism by Mike Houlihan I thought he was a gangster when I first met him. It was back in the eighties one night at Lino’s on Ontario Street after a long night of drinking. Tom Fitzgibbon sat at the bar with his French cuffs and moustache and bought me a drink. He had a heavy […]

The Chuy Garcia 19th Ward Super Bowl Blitz

  Mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia plowed through the 5th largest blizzard in Chicago history to introduce himself to the Irish American community in a Super Bowl Sunday blitz of 19th Ward pubs yesterday. Decked out in the colors of his alma mater, The St. Rita Mustangs, Chuy starting shaking hands in The Cork & […]

Danahey on the Loose at Rosie O’Hare’s Whiskey Winter Dinner

Within the last couple weeks I started working with a buddy on a book about all the distilleries kettling up in the Chicago area, and as fate would have it, my local, Rosie O’Hare’s in East Dundee, recently hosted a whiskey dinner. Sure, the meal didn’t feature any spirits made in these parts. But, as […]

Danahey on the Loose at 110th Norge Club Ski Tournament

It’s getting close to Groundhog Day, so, being in a winter rut, I decided to celebrate a little early. While I do live in the northwest suburbs, I didn’t head to Woodstock to pay homage to Harold Ramis’ best film. Instead, I hit the Norge Ski Club’s 110th annual ski jump tournament. I think Puxatony […]

Lauren Corry crowned 2015 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen

Chicago’s Irish community have chosen their queen. Lauren Corry, a 28 year old middle school art teacher from Wheaton, IL was selected today after a competitive nail biter of a contest to determine which of the windy city’s fairest colleens will wear the crown for the next year. Lauren will preside over the 60th Annual […]