The CraicFest, the long-running New York Irish film and music festival will present (in association with New York Irish Center) Queer Ireland, a conversation on how Ireland has inspired our panelists on their LGBTQ journey on June 12 at the New York Irish Center in Long Island City, Queens.

This discussion program will be part of the ongoing LGBT night at New York Irish Center (with the Craic LGBT film fest to be held later the same evening) and it will be moderated by Siobhan Ni Chiobhain.

Craic Fest founder Terence Mulligan told IrishCentral: “We are delighted to be working with George Heslin and the New York Irish Center (NYIC) on this Queer Ireland program on June 12. George and his staff are doing great things for the Irish community in Long Island City and we look forward to collaborating long term with the NYIC.”

The NYIC will host the LGBT Craic fest in association with Craic Fest, IFI Dublin, and Gaze Ireland, the Irish LGBT film festival. 

“For three years Now York Irish Center has hosted our LGBTQ quarterly networking series The Story Continues where we celebrate and share stories from the community,” NYIC Executive Director George Heslin tells the Voice.

“This partnership is building on our commitment to diversity as we share stories through the lens of filmmaking while offering the next generation of Irish filmmakers a platform here in New York.”

“Prior to the 7 P.M. screening at 5 P.M., the NYIC will present a reception and panel discussion on how modern Ireland and its support for equality inspires our panelists to live their best lives.”

Panelist Joseph Jones, originally from Belfast, has been living in New York for five years. Joseph is an actor, model, and Creative Ambassador for a non-profit with victims of conflict and terrorism. A graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, he has also walked runways in New York, Paris, and London. 

He is a proud Gaeilgeoir, teaching at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan, and is now working with Bloc TG4. He is also a recent contributor and interviewee on RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta, RTE 2fm, and BBC Gaeilge.

Panelist Marlow Murphy is a writer based in Brooklyn where she is an amateur student of Irish culture. Her father's ancestors originally came from Wexford and emigrated from the County Clare townland of Kinturk during the Great Famine. Her mother's father is descended from the Kanes of Ulster. 

As a child of the Diaspora na nGael, she has worked to restore her connection to the culture of Ireland by studying the Irish language and folklore. Marlow is transgender and has professional and volunteer experience in LGBTQ advocacy and events. 

Micheal Curtin is an Irish speaker, drama facilitator, and educator from Brooklyn. He currently directs a drama-in-education program at the CUNY Creative Arts Team. Previously, Micheal co-directed the Queer Youth Theatre with LGBT young people at The Door, a youth center in Manhattan. 

In Ireland, Micheal has led periodic projects using drama as a teaching tool in schools to support Irish language acquisition. Micheal learned his Irish between New York and Ireland over the past few years. He is passionate about languages, particularly the ways in which language can connect people to their past and begin to heal the wounds of colonialism.

Sean O hAodha is Deputy Consul General of Ireland in New York. Sean previously worked in the Humanitarian Unit of Irish Aid, which administers the Irish Government’s humanitarian aid budget, leading on humanitarian policy, the Red Cross, and Western, Central, and Southern Africa. 

Prior to this, he covered humanitarian and global health issues at the Irish Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva. Previous assignments within the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs include Addis Ababa and Brussels. Originally from Dublin, Sean lives in Hell’s Kitchen with his husband, Sebastiaan.

Siobhan Ni Chiobhain is an award-winning Creative Content Producer and Brand-Builder from Ireland. She has produced TV and Radio programming for BBC, UTV, RTE, TG4, and Raidio na Gaeltachta among others. 

She was selected as a “One to Watch” by the prestigious Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival in 2014. In 2019, she was selected as one of The Irish Echo's Top 40 Under 40. She also won The Irish Echo's People's Choice Award. She is a proud Gaeilgeoir and is co-founder of Gaeil Nua Eabhrac, a group that organizes Irish Language events in NYC.

For more information about the discussion and to hear more about the lineup of LGBT short films to be screened on the night visit www.craicfest.com.

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