Calling all Belfast night owls: join me for tree talk and culture showcase at the witching hour on Friday 23.

For my lockdown sins, I have been volunteered to host two special virtual events direct from our Belfast studios for Irish America this Friday 23 April.

For the locals, that means we'll be starting late (10pm) and staying the pace right into the early hours of Saturday.

At 10pm, I'll be branching into a new line of endeavour to explain the wonders of a new tree planting project.

An Irish Heritage Tree is a living symbol planted in Ireland that celebrates your Irish roots and special family connections.

I am inviting representatives of Irish American groups to join me at 5pm ET (10pm Belfast) on April 23rd on Zoom for a presentation of the Irish Heritage Tree initiative and the fundraising partnership opportunity.

The Irish Heritage Tree team will cover both the cultural and environmental importance of the program and how involvement can benefit your organisation.  Register in advance for this webinar by clicking here

And, after fortifying yourself with coffee, stick around for the Irish Arts & Culture Awards honouring 40 formidable Irish Americans who have used arts and culture to ward off the pandemic blues. And there will be a special salute to those giants of Irish American arts, Thomas Lynch, Morgan Bullock, Alice McDermott and Malachy McCourt.

A famed seanchaí, Malachy is a brother of the late Frank McCourt of Angela's Ashes fame and rightly will be receiving the Irish America's Seanchaí Award from our great friends in the Irish American Writers and Artists Inc.

We kick off 6pm ET (11pm Belfast).

For the first-time ever, there will also be a special award for the Irish American group or individual who stepped up to ensure the Irish language would continue to blossom at online classes and in other uplifting activities, including choral sessions and film screenings, over the past 12 months. 

You can register for our arts extravaganza, with special speaker Congressman Conor Lamb of Pittsburgh, here