Irish community quick to
welcome the New Year

Cine Gael 2019 and the UIS’ search for a St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen

By Byron Tobin

Well, here we are a few days into the year 2019 and so far, so good…

Quick to announce two events of interest to the Irish community in particular are those of Cine Gael and of the United Irish Societies.

Black’49 film -

Frame from Black ’47 – Image: courtesy Element Pictures

Cine Gael Film Series 2019

The Cine Gael film series, now in its 27th year, will feature nine evenings spread over four months beginning on January 11.

The lead off film, Black ’47, discusses again the sad events of the Great Famine of the 1840s (some prefer to call it the Great Hunger) as there was other food, aside from the blighted potatoes, which “free market” contracts prevented the starving masses from consuming.

Other more light-hearted selections include the oft sold-out night of Irish short films on April 5, where the audience can vote for its winners.

For the complete schedule visit

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen Selection Evening

The United Irish Societies (UIS) is holding an evening on February 2 to select the next Queen and her court for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in March. The winner also receives a trip to Ireland by air, avoiding the tribulations her ancestors suffered long ago in creaking wooden boats.

St. Patricks Day Parade Queen candidates -

2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen candidates – Image : courtesy United Irish Societies

Young ladies between 18 and 25 of Irish descent who are permanent residents of Montreal or surrounding areas are eligible to enter.

Montreal’s parade, which will be its 196th, is believed to be the longest continuous one in North America.

For more information, contact or visit

Feature image: frame from Black ’47 Frame, courtesy Element PicturesBouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

Read also: Presenting the Byron Toben archives
More articles from Byron HERE

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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