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Weekend Recs: Irish Media

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Happy St. Patty’s Day, Wildcats! In the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every March 17 and has become a catch-all day to celebrate all things Irish or vaguely Irish-adjacent, including redheads, Shamrock Shakes, and leprechauns. It is also, despite its strong Catholic origins, an excuse to party with a pint of Guinness, wearing some shade of green, of course. While these tried-and-true (and albeit stereotypical) ways of celebrating the holiday are great, there’s more than one way to celebrate.

In celebration of St. Patty’s Day, this weekend’s recs will share some Irish recs that will (hopefully) allow you to broaden your celebration of all-things Irish.

If you have 5 minutes and 6 seconds…and want to listen to one of the most popular Irish songs in modern America, listen to “Zombie” by The Cranberries. Although you might be tempted to get lost in Dolores O’Riordan’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, the lyrics of this song are packed with a powerful narrative.

If you have 8 minutes and 38 seconds…and don’t know anything about the divisive history of Ireland, watch this video about “The Troubles.” If you were raised in the U.S. education system, you’ve likely heard something about the Irish potato famine, but more modern Irish history, including the decades-long conflict dubbed The Troubles, is sometimes overlooked or forgotten.

Bonus: if you don’t know anything about Irish history, watch this video for more background.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to pick up a new language, try an Irish (Standard) lesson on Mango, available through Falvey. All you have to do is use the link to create an account with your Villanova email.

If you have 20 minutes…and want to explore Irish mythology, read this article that shares some of the most popular stories in Irish mythology.

Bonus: if you want to read more about Irish myths and legends, read this Celtic mythology book, available at Falvey.

If you have 1 hour and 35 minutes…and want to watch the first Oscar-nominated Irish-language film, see The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin) in theaters at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (with subtitles). This coming-of-age film follows Cáit, a 9-year-old Irish girl who is sent to rural Ireland to live with distant relatives. Just be sure to bring your Villanova Student ID for a discounted ticket.

Photo by Anna Church on Unsplash

If you have 1 hour and 51 minutes…and are a fan of period-piece romances, watch Brooklyn, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Starring the truly amazing Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn is the love story of an newly immigrated Irish girl falling in love with a Brooklyn native.

If you have 1 hour and 54 minutes…and want to watch a festive Oscar-nominated film, watch The Banshees of Inisherin. Starring Irish actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, this film is a heart-achy tragicomedy about the suddenly rocky relationship of lifelong best friends Pádraic and Colm.

If you have 6 hours…and enjoy classic literature, read The Picture of Dorian Gray (or any other work) by Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, available at Falvey.

If you have 8 hours and 4 minutes…and need a new sitcom to bingewatch, watch Derry Girls. Following a group of 4 teenage girls (and 1 perpetually confused English boy) living in Northern Ireland in the 90s, this Netflix original weaves the political turbulence (to put it incredibly lightly) occurring on both sides of the Irish border with lighthearted humor and nostalgia.

Interested in learning more Irish history? Swing by Speakers’ Corner this Monday at 4 p.m. for Dr. Robin Adam’s presentation, Shadow of a Taxman: Who Funded the Irish Revolution (1919-21)? More details here

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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Peek at the Week: March 13


In The Lion King, Rafiki said, “Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

Happy Monday, Wildcats! Did you make any mistakes or fall into any bad habits this semester? Whether it’s procrastination, a bad sleep schedule, social isolation, or poor study habits, it can be hard to keep up with everything (especially when winter break goes by so fast).

But, there’s always time to improve. We can learn from our mistakes and make positive changes in our lives. The past can hurt, but our futures are always being rewritten. So, take the rest of the semester to make an achievable goal for yourself. By the end of the semester, you’ll thank yourself.


Monday, March 13

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, and Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Tuesday, March 14

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Wednesday, March 15

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Thursday, March 16

Spring 2023 Digital Seeds Lecture: Tyechia Thompson, PhD, and Carli Smith on “Baldwin’s Paris 2.0” | 4 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to the Public | Register Here

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

2023 Literary Festival Event: Tsering Yangzom Lama Talk & Reading | 7 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Friday, March 17

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting | 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Sunday, March 19

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 3-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


As many of you likely know, this Friday, Mar. 17, is St. Patrick’s Day, but here are some other fun holidays you can be celebrating:

Today, Mar. 13, is National Napping Day. For those who love naps, today is the perfect excuse to get in a couple extra hours and give yourself an energy boost (and hopefully sleep off any post-spring break malaise).

Do you love math (or fruit-filled pastries)? Tomorrow, Mar. 14, is National Pi Day. Always celebrated on (3/14), Pi Day is a day that celebrates the mathematical constant pi (3.14…). If you like goofy challenges (or are in-need of a pointless task to procrastinate with), try to see how many digits of pi you can memorize. Or you can just celebrate with a slice of your favorite pie.

Prefer salty treats? National Potato Chip Day is also celebrated tomorrow. If you’re craving a salty snack, grab a bag of your favorite chips (I’m a Sour Cream and Onion person, myself) or try a new flavor (the options are practically endless).

Sunday, Mar. 19 is Let’s Laugh Day. As we move into the second-half of the semester, workloads and stress levels are bound to increase. Take a moment on Sunday to laugh a little (and, if you’re feeling charitable, make someone else laugh). Even the smallest of laughs could brighten someone’s day and make you feel better.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


TBT: St. Patrick’s Day

By Anna Jankowski

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Check out these colorful and festive whiteboard displays the library has showcased throughout the years. All whiteboard display photos have been saved in Falvey’s digital collection and were created by Falvey’s resident artist and graphic designer, Joanne Quinn.

St. Patrick's Day whiteboard sketch

2011 St. Patrick’s Day whiteboard sketch

2015 St. Patrick’s Day whiteboard sketch













St. Patrick's day whiteboard sketch

2016 St. Patrick’s Day whiteboard sketch

In addition, here are some links to great resources about the history of St. Patrick’s Day all from Falvey’s collection!

St. Patrick’s Day
Consuming St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland; A Memoir of his Life and Mission

Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a Junior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey.


Villanova Featured on Irish National Website

By Rebecca Oviedo

Front pages of newspapers, The Irish Press, The Gaelic American, and The Clan-na-Gael Journal (Digital Library@Villanova University)


Villanova University’s well-known connections to Ireland, Irish and Irish American history, and the Irish diaspora has recently led to an invitation to share more about those connections and our collections on Century Ireland, a website hosted by RTÉ, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster.

The featured article is distinguished as being the first in a new series on “Global Archives,” which will highlight the rich historical collections available to researchers of the Irish Revolution in archives around the world.

Read the full article here:


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.



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Cat in the Stax: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

By Ethan Shea


It seems like a lot of these Cat in the Stax blogs are turning into holiday celebrations, but as we all know, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and because of Villanova’s enduring ties to Ireland, I’d love to talk about how you can celebrate Irish heritage here at Falvey.

To begin with some of the history of St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday originated as a celebratory feast to honor the death of St. Patrick, who is known to have brought Christianity to Ireland. The Irish symbolism of the clover stems from St. Patrick, as he is rumored to have explained the concept of Christianity’s Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland with the help of a clover.

Villanova University has a top-notch Irish Studies program, so we know there is no better way to celebrate St. Patrick than by reading some prominent Irish authors. Villanova is especially lucky to have one particular Irish author, Emma Dabiri, as the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish studies this semester. Her books Twisted (published as Don’t Touch My Hair in Ireland) and What White People Can Do Next were both remarkably successful and met with critical acclaim. Dabiri will be speaking on April 4 in Falvey’s Speaker’s Corner, so make sure you stop by! A recording of Dabiri’s recent Literary Festival reading is also available for viewing here.

"Chalice in 'Thirst for the Divine' Exhibit"

Chalice in “Thirst for the Divine” Exhibit

Another famous Irish writer, James Joyce, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of his classic novel Ulysses. You can read all about the centennial celebration on this blog.

A personal favorite novel of mine, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was written by the Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Although Wilde is known for his poetry, this work of prose is timeless and has even been adapted to film.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an article by Rebecca Oviedo, a Distinctive Collections Archivist here at Falvey. Oviedo noted that this article features Villanova “as the first collection in a new series on ‘Global Archives’ from RTÉ Century Ireland, which highlights the rich historical collections available to researchers of the Irish Revolution in archives at home and abroad.” You can read the article for yourself here!

Furthermore, Villanova recently opened an exhibit for a medieval chalice that came from Ireland over 500 years ago. This chalice has not been used in a Mass in over half of a millennium, so given Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, intends to do just that during Mass on March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, a historic moment is just around the corner.

In addition to the chalice, Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement (DCDE) has several items on display in support of the exhibit. If you would like to see these artifacts for yourself, the exhibit is available for viewing until April 20 at the Connelly Art Center Gallery.

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.

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TBT: Exploring Ireland

To continue our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, this throwback Thursday we’re featuring a picture of Dublin from 1821. You can almost imagine the leprechauns hiding in the hills of Phoenix Park in Dublin. This photograph is housed in the Joseph McGarrity collection in Falvey’s digital library

This photo is also featured in Rambles, Sketches, Tours: Travellers & Tourism in Ireland. This exhibit highlights Irish travel narratives and related materials, primarily from the Joseph McGarrity Collection, in Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


Cat in the Stax: St. Patrick’s Day

By Jenna Newman

I hope you’re rocking your green today because it’s St. Patrick’s Day! This week I wanted to dive deeper into the history of St. Patrick’s Day and answer some FAQs about St. Patrick’s Day and typical ways of celebrating.

Who was St. Patrick? Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. He was brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16, but later escaped. Later, he returned to Ireland and is thought to have brought Christianity to Ireland.

When did people start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Since the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been celebrating the feast day of St. Patrick on March 17; however, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade actually took place in the United States! Records show that in 1601 there was a parade in the Spanish colony that is now St. Augustine, Florida. In 1772, homesick Irish soldiers in the English militia marched in New York City to honor the saint – celebrations have only grown from there!

What’s the significance of shamrocks? One of the most told legends regarding St. Patrick is that he used a three-leaf Irish clover (a shamrock!) to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people when he brought Christianity to the country. 

What do leprechauns have to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Legends of leprechauns and their pots of gold at the end of rainbows go back centuries, although it was more recently that they became tied to St. Patrick’s Day. One theory has to do with a movie Walt Disney released in 1959 called Darby O’Gill and the Little People, which was about an old Irish man and his experiences with magical leprechauns. This movie became increasingly popular in the United States right around the time that celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day also were becoming more popular. Since St. Patrick’s Day is about celebrating Irish culture and leprechauns are a large part of Irish folklore, the connection is fitting. 

Why do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? It all has to do with the leprechauns! Leprechauns are known for their trickery and supposedly pinch everyone they come across. But, leprechauns also cannot see the color green, so we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day to avoid being pinched! Green is also one of the prominent colors in the Irish flag.

As part of your celebrations, I encourage you to take a deeper look into one of Falvey’s digital exhibits, Rambles, Sketches, Tours: Travellers & Tourism in Ireland. This exhibit highlights Irish travel narratives and related materials, primarily from the Joseph McGarrity Collection, in Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections.

Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


TBT: Irish Bards

Photo of the book "Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards" by Joseph C. Walker (1818).

Photo courtesy of Villanova University’s Digital Library.

Still celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Check out Cormac Common and other Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards by Joseph C. Walker (1818) on Villanova University’s Digital Library.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.






Last Modified: March 19, 2020

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