Danahey on the Loose with those Pesky Christmas Ghosts

It’s easy to feel haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past this year, even more so than usual. Dickens aside, while some spirits come from Stephen King, others hail from the likes of Harvey Comics, Tim Burton,  Harold Ramis and a legion of others. Either way, for some reason – maybe with all the uncertainty […]

Danahey on the Loose: RIP Ed Dees and All Your Jazz

As a young man from Mississipp, Ed Dees learned to love jazz while serving in the military and stationed in Japan. To paraphrase a standard from the Great American Songbook, what a wonderful world. So wonderful it could be, sometimes. In fact, Ed said he once met jazz legend Louis Armstrong, who, of course, recorded […]

Advent 2020 with Danahey on the Loose

Good Lord, I can be lazy. It’s been almost three months since I posted here on Free Craic. So I’m using Advent as a good excuse as any to get back on track. I’m even wearing a purple shirt while I write it. I washed the top in soap that smells like a votive candle, […]


Reviewed by Mike Houlihan, Special to The Irish American News & The Irish Echo Christmas 2020 will hit in a few weeks and I can’t think of any Christmas song more perfect for this year of horror, death, and dystopian nightmares than “Fairy Tale of New York”, by Shane MacGowan of The Pogues and featuring […]

3rd Annual Hibernian Hooligan Ball at Cork & Kerry Irish Pub

Hibernian Media will host their annual Hibernian Hooligan Ball on Sunday Dec. 27th, from 3-7PM at Cork & Kerry Irish Pub, 10614 South Western in Chicago. This year’s shindig features a variety of terrific Irish talent, including The Larkin & Moran Bros, Liam Durkin, Jimmy Cloonan & Friends, Irish fiddler Lexia Kennedy, Irish dancer Tadgh […]

Hibernian Media’s Optimism Shines Through Pandemic

By Izzy Cusack Empresario Mike “Houli” Houlihan can’t wait to put 2020 behind him. “Thank God the Year of Living Dangerously will soon be over!” Houlihan founded his public charity in 2013 and dedicated their work to “telling stories to enlighten future generations while honoring our ancestors”. He’s an evangelist for Irish culture and up […]

Pat O’Brien for Cook County State’s Attorney

By Mike Houlihan, Exclusive to The Irish American News I’m scared. I don’t feel safe in Chicago anymore. Earlier this year I looked into buying a gun. I haven’t been downtown on the train or the El since early last March. At my age, (72 this December), I just feel like I’m no longer the […]

Danahey on the Loose: The Commitments outdoors at the IAHC

  Last Saturday (Sept. 19), I drove to the Irish American Heritage Center for an outdoor screening of The Commitments. It marked my first time heading to Chicago since March 8 and a trip to Chinatown. Raised Catholic and following science, I’ve been a good boy, staying very local during the pandemic, but for a […]

Danahey On the Loose: John McNally and The Fear of Everything

I first interviewed writer John McNally some 15 years ago, upon the publication of The Book of Ralph. It’s the only novel I’ve read set on the southwest side of Chicago, and quite possibly the only novel, ever, that mentions the band Styx. Back then, when bookstores weren’t so rare, I was out visiting family […]

HIbernian Radio Show settles in to Cork & Kerry Irish Pub for September!

The Hibernian Radio show’s Police Pub Tour, which kicked off on June 10th this summer at Cork & Kerry at The Park, and has hit a variety of Irish pubs across the city since then, including The Curragh Irish Pub, the Emerald Isle, The Celtic Boxing Club, and the Father Perez Knights of Columbus Clubhouse, […]

Hibernian Radio Launches Police Pub Tour

Hibernian Media Chairman Mike Houlihan is launching a promotional tour of Chicagoland’s Irish Pubs as he continues to salute local Irish First Responders on his weekly show, Hibernian Radio Hour, which is broadcast every Saturday night from 7-8PM on WSBC 1240AM and podcast at hibernianradio.org “We started the show in 2019 to honor our Irish […]

Danahey on the Loose In A Face Mask

Illinois Gov. J.B. “Jelly Belly” Pritzker last week came up with a face mask mandate. Come May 1, people must cover their faces in public places where they probably will wind up close to others. I’ll be using mine on trips to the bathroom. That’s a different story. According to Pritzker’s edict, you need to […]

Danahey NOT On the Loose: When I Met Brian Dennehy

Actor Brian Dennehy passed away April 15 at the age of 81. The prior link takes you to a fine news obit. This upcoming one leads to the Goodman Theatre tribute. I had the good fortune to see him perform in five different productions staged in Chicago.  Back in 1998 Dennehy starred as beleaguered Willy […]

Danahey NOT on the Loose: Party Planning During a Pandemic

Party planner during a pandemic isn’t something I ever thought I’d add to my resume.  But Best Fest Buddy Tom’s granddaughter turned 5 on Saturday (April 4). Her parents had planned a birthday bash at a Chuck E Cheese. (To protect the innocent, I’ve given the kids in this tale names that they can use […]

Danahey NOT on the Loose: A Coronavirus Chronicle

Welcome to my not-so-novel coronavirus chronicle. It’s just like Narnia, sans the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. How are things in your little corner of the quarantine, your safe space shelter-in-place? I’m fortunate enough to have a 5-year-old serving as my life coach through all this. She’s way better than the dimwits you find on […]

Danahey on the Loose Beyond Green Beer

Green beer? With all the nonsense going on in the world right now, you can’t blame anyone for wanting to have a drink or 200. But come St. Patrick’s Day season why green beer? Yes, I get it. For some in the US, the March holiday merely provides another reason to imbibe. It’s Irish Mardi […]

Danahey On The Loose Toasts A History of Irish Whiskey

Whiskey. Whiskey. I had to say it for SEO purposes.  No. I am not drinking while I write this. You mention your topic word ASAP. That’s a rule these days. Past that, come Sunday, it’s March – the lion, the lamb, the shamrock, boring basketball and the water of life You know because McDonald’s is […]

Danahey on the Loose with Cold Weather Valentine’s Day Tips

It’s a cold, snowy Valentine’s Day here in Chicagoland, one of the coldest days so far this winter. The coldest Feb. 14 in 77 years. Since I used to be part of the media, I’ve put together some tips for you to survive the partially subzero weather.  That’s what we do in the media when […]

Danahey on the Loose at Riverdance 25

I headed to see Riverdance 25 Tuesday night with Irish buddy Shay Clarke. Dundee-Crown High School staged it. Very innovative. Set along the Fox River. No dancing. Interpretive kayaking at the local park district pool, instead. Ok, we went downtown to the Cadillac Palace Theatre for the 25th anniversary version of the Irish music-and-dance spectacle […]

Danahey on the Loose with stuff for Super Bowl Sunday

By Super Bowl Sunday, after nine dreary days, we’re finally supposed to see the sun again. For your health’s sake get outside during the day, and sprinkle some Vitamin D on your nachos before gametime. Be thankful there’s not a blizzard like in 2015. That Super Bowl Sunday I braved the storm, walking from Best […]

Danahey on the Loose at the Funeral for Father Manny

Last Friday, Tom, his dad and I attended the funeral mass for Father Manny Gomez. Gomez’s official title was parochial vicar at St. Monica Catholic Church in Carpentersville. I knew him as the guy who said 9:30 a.m. mass on Sundays. He had only been at St. Monica’s for a few years, as the Rockford […]