Hibernian Radio Debuts on WSBC 1240AM

By Izzy Cusack

Local Irish American impresario Mike Houlihan has launched another radio show into the stratosphere of the Chicagoland Irish community and it promises to be a stalwart on the dial for years to come. Kicking off HIBERNIAN RADIO on Saturday January 5th Houlihan told his audience. “I’m excited about this new venture and proud of what’s gone before. Back in 2013 I founded Hibernian Transmedia, a small public charity designed to preserve and promote our Irish and Irish American Heritage. Since then we traveled to Ireland each October, been doing a handful of Irish radio and TV shows, founded the Annual Irish American Movie Hooley film festival, and a variety of other ethnic endeavors. Most of us have reached an age, when we wonder what our legacy will be. What do we leave behind? We can’t all be great, but we can all be part of something that is great, and that is the culture, humor, and traditions of the Irish Diaspora. We are all pilgrims, searching for a raison d’etre that will validate our lives. So we ask ourselves, who are we? Who were our parents, grandparents, and those we’ve descended from? What culture spawned us? Each year we look to make that spiritual connection in Ireland and ask ourselves, ‘What kept our breed going’? Our faith of course, the only thing that continues to give meaning to this dance. So take a look, investigate, learn the myths that have been passed on from generation to generation. Take them to heart and apply them to our lives each day. For any of us who are fans of Irish mythology, from Tir na Nog to the Children of Lir, to Finn McCool and Oisin or any of the other great warriors of Irish mythology: The stories of Irish mythology are the fundamentals of our heritage and culture. I’ve always yearned for a more modern telling of Irish mythology. But I realize now of course that we have actual Irish warriors in our midst every day in our First Responders. So for us to discover the myths growing from our own experiences here in Irish Chicago, all we have to do is look to our Irish police, firefighters, and paramedics. These are the heroes of our time, fighting in a war that never ends, risking their lives for the safety and well-being of us and our families. So that’s what this new show, Hibernian Radio, is going to do, try to uncover the oral history and stories of our mythical Irish heroes and warriors. It hasn’t been easy lately for our First Responders. There are elements of modern culture that have encouraged violence against the police and the long blue line doesn’t get the support it used to get when we were younger. According to the Department of Justice, the suicide rate in the Chicago Police Department is 60 percent higher than the national average due to the chronic gun violence and high murder rate exposing officers to a staggering amount of trauma. So Hibernian Radio, starting tonight, is going to champion our First Responders, and help shape the new mythology of Irish America right here in Chicago”. Since that premiere on WSBC 1240AM, Houlihan has presented a mighty lineup of police, firefighters, and paramedics who bring some great stories to the show. It makes for some very compelling radio. In January alone the guests included CFD EMS Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice, retired Chicago Homicide Detective Neil Maas, 30-year CPD veteran Sgt. Eileen Guest, Firefighter Pat Quane, and Chicago Police Officer Patrick Johnson who was shot in the back and wounded a few years ago and has since returned to the streets. The show also delivers plenty of news from both Chicago divisions of The Ancient Order of Hibernians. Tune in to HIBERNIAN RADIO every Saturday night from 7-8PM on WSBC to hear the stories of our modern day Irish warriors. The show is presented by McCann’s Irish Oatmeal and Mike Haggerty Buick/GMC/Volkswagen and a host of other great Irish sponsors, including IAN. Or listen to the podcast and archives of past shows at https://hibernianradio.org You’ll also find podcasts and archives there of the long-running “Houli’s Hooley” featuring twin brothers Bill and Paddy Houlihan and their pal Clayton O’Brien wisecracking their way through the young Irish American experience on Saturday nights from 8-9PM on WSBC 1240. Visit hibernianradio.org for IRISH cops, firefighters, paramedics, music, news, obits, comedy, ‘houli-town’, life… -30-