Celtic Culture at Risk
By Tony Becker, Sean Heaney and Jackie Gallanagh
For Celts, The Pub functions as the place to socialize for every occasion, public or personal, from births, to weddings and on to funerals plus everything in between.
In Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as well as here on the West Coast of America, EVERY city has a ‘local’ Pub, some long established, some are newly established, and all aiming to support our Celtic communities, and right now they are ALL struggling!
One of the great things about an older port city like San Francisco is the breath of ethnic diversity and culture there, and in that city, Sean Heaney established the Plough and Stars on Clement Street back in 1975. Last year, the City of San Francisco honored them with ‘Legacy Business’ status, and today ‘The Plough’ remains the #1 living venue for all things Irish in San Francisco.
The Plough, like many bars and restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, is struggling to survive. It is extremely difficult to support our family and employees with no ability to earn an income.
We have long prided ourselves on being ago to place for Irish traditional experiences. Over the years we have been privileged to host many well-known musicians from Ireland and around the globe. The Plough hosts weekly traditional Irish seisuns and dance. At our Irish Seisuns customers listen as musicians share tunes or even learn to play themselves. The Plough is also a vital venue for bluegrass jams and gigs, as well as a place where local musicians can be heard. We want to make sure that the Plough can continue in those efforts. We have been so touched by the support of friends, musicians, dancers, and patrons. They are what make the Plough the institution that it is and we can’t thank them enough for their support at this difficult time.
– Sean Heaney
Sláinte Irish Pub in Oakland may be the newest of our local Pubs here in the San Francisco Bay area, but is equally deserving if just for Jackie Gallanagh’s stellar support of Celtic culture in her first few years.
As I write this, today Wednesday, April 29th, Sláinte is celebrating its 3rd year anniversary under lockdown. None of us saw this coming and I am in shock everyday wondering how we got here and what we can do to survive this. We, the Irish Community, are fighters. We don’t give up easily and I am a super stubborn gay Irish women that has now has to fight for her place in the Bay Area. The support we have received from the Oakland community has been amazing and the Jack London Square neighbors that surround us are customers that want to save their neighborhood local. Thank you all for your support thus far but we need you now more than ever. Please keep us in your thoughts and give what you can, thank you. We will get through this together.
– Jackie Gallanagh
If we don’t step up and support these local Celtic businesses, they may not survive this trying time to continue and where will we go to meet then? So please join me and support your local! Just click on the link(s) below, and Dig Deep!
- The Plough and Stars Irish Pub, San Francisco, CA https://www.gofundme.com/f/sfplough
- The Starry Plough Pub, Berkeley, CA https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-starry-plough-stay-open
- O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, San Jose, CA https://www.gofundme.com/f/oflats-needs-you
- Sláinte Irish Pub, Oakland, CA https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-slainte-oakland
- O’Malley’s Irish Pub, Tacoma, WA https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-o039malley039s-irish-pub
- Whelan’s Irish Pub, Portland, OR https://www.gofundme.com/f/whelans-irish-pub-virtual-tip-jar