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Preserving the Irish immigrant experience!

Wonderful podcast that shows how diverse the Irish immigrant experience is. Runs the gambit from the 1950s to very recently. Glad that these stories will live on due to Paul's wonderful work!

Jane McCooey

A tremendous story. Inspiring words from a born leader. Jane`s enthusiasm is infectious as she leads us to a series of leadership signposts. The Orchard County has produced an inspiring lady who leads us through her wonderful journey here ......skilfully guided by Paul. The Liberty Gaels are in safe hands, Well done to Paul and Jane for this excellent episode.

Niall O Leary

Very enjoyable podcast. A really refreshing voice on the Arts and what might go with it in the Big Apple. Well done to Niall and Paul.

Donie Carroll

Not knowing anything about Donie Carroll except for his singing, this was a fabulous way to get to know him better. Of course, his memories of his childhood brought back many memories of my own, especially our relationship to the Church. Well done Donie on your battle with alcoholism. It can't have been easy especially singing in pubs but you are to be commended on staying sober. I'm sure with your optimism and good medical care (and the help of Teresa and friends), you will also recover from the prostate cancer. We're all rooting for you. Our parents loved Delia Murphy and I remember often hearing "If I Were a Blackbird" on the radio. This was another lovely and informative podcast from CenterpieceNY. Keep it up.

That took me back!

What a pleasant hour to spend with Donie! Loved hearing about his early life in Ireland. I'm two years older that he is so can really relate. It was inspiring to hear about his battle with alcoholism. So sad about his mother's battle at such a late stage in her life. It was great hearing about Mick Maloney and his interest in the orphanage in Thailand. And If I Were a Blackbird brought back many sweet memories.


I love the title and it made me think, especially since I have a tendency to look to the past and occasionally to the future but often ignore nowadays. I have loved listening to all the episodes this season but I particularly like to hear about the recent Irish and the many and diversified paths they have taken in this country. This one on Eamon Harkin is a case in point. We have always had entrepreneurs who opened restaurants and pubs but his endeavor is certainly different. It's not likely that I will visit this but loved hearing about it and have read all of the coming events, all out of my 78 year old comfort zone but I am delighted to hear about his family and his own effort to open a new chapter in the Irish in NY. I wish him lots of success.

Eamon Hardin-This is The Only Time We Live In

Another outstanding podcast from Centerpiece NY. You have such interesting people on and it’s great to learn about all these very different Irish people in NY. I was moved by Eamon’s description of NY after 9/11. It brought back so many memories for me. I am impressed with his entrepreneurial skills and I hope to take my family to Nowadays in the Autumn. Their menu is mouth-watering. Like Eamon, I have on occasion cycled out to Brooklyn and very much enjoyed exploring various neighborhoods. I’m glad you found Eamon and brought his life story to us. I’m going to miss your podcasts for the next few months.

such a wonderful podcast!

I love to lie back and listen to Paul's podcasts that carry me away into the stories as if I am there, witnessing the yarns that are spun every episode. I so look forward to these podcasts which are such wonderful stories - not an episode to be missed!

Claire Channels the Best of Ireland

Thanks Paul. Nothing beats a leisurely stroll on a sunny day listening to this episode of Centerpiece with Claire McGovern. Terrific conversation about art, business and Irish wool. A show with a real design heart told by an artist with a poetic vision. Outstanding.

Thanks Breda

S2E4: Breda Skeados and the Baker's Dozen Thank you. I loved the podcast. Having my own Irish Catholic background and an Aunt who also spent time training as a nun around the same time, it felt quite personal to me. I loved hearing about your experience in the public education system and am certain that many young people were influenced in positive ways by your presence in their life.

Martin Nutty , The Pensive Podcast

Apart from the wonderfull enjoyment of listening to this podcast it lends to something else too - Reflection. Martin Nutty has thrown the hammer with much success and he throws out something else here , the need for us to reflect with more purpose on The Global Irish Nation. We must `lubricate` the interaction of the diverse flavours and gain a fuller apprecaition of the family of Irish America. This podcast is a reminder of Kinsella`s classic `Mirror in February`and should prompt each of us to look into our souls. Expertely put together by Paul . A real treat. Thank you gentlemen.

Shelly Ann Quilty -Lake

Shelly`s podacst gives us a very simple but deeply rich and beautiful insight on the nature of love of family , friends , and the richness of love. Her life journey from Wexford to Dublin, Boston and New York is great listening and she reminds us all of one wonderful lesson , that true bravery is being yourself. Thank you Shelly and Paul for such an enjoyable hour of listening.

Shelly Anne Quilty-Lake

It was great to hear from a woman who is so accomplished both athletically and professionally. I enjoyed living vicariously through her early life in Ireland especially her horseback riding and field hockey. It was also great to hear about her advocacy in New York and also her many contributions to Irish organizations in New York. I will have to check some of them out.

Breda Skeados - The Baker's Dozen

This is an absolutely fantastic podcast! One of the best I have ever heard --- Breda Donlon Skeados is a born storyteller with a wonderful story to tell. I could have listened to her beautiful speaking voice for hours more. As she introduces us to her lively siblings -- most of whom are still thriving in their 70’s and 80’s -- as well as her remarkable parents, we are completely drawn in and fascinated to learn how their lives unfold. And this is not the story you might expect -- including Breda’s own detour to enter a French convent before coming to America to teach, and ultimately leaving the convent for marriage, motherhood, and an impressive career as an innovative educator. I was sorry when it ended and only wished I’d been a childhood friend of the Donlon clan back in Ireland -- it would have been an extraordinary adventure! Brava, Breda! Thank you for sharing your family and your talents with us.

Breda Skeados and the Baker’s Dozen

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Breda tell of her journey from the small town of Knockatee to NYC. Every life is an adventure, and Breda dresses her adventure with positivity and light. As I listened, I got the same feeling I get when reading a good book—I didn’t want it to end. I will listen again.

A Window Into a Journey From Rural Ireland to Manhattan

I loved Breda's objectively told life story from being raised on a farm within a very large family in the Ireland of yesteryear (no running water or electricity), to a fairly brief stint as a nun in religious life, to a long and successful career as a teacher in the New York City school system, to present day being a grandmother to two beautiful grandchildren. Among many other interesting and humorously told vignettes, she gives the listener a wonderful picture of her impressively strong mother who wouldn't stand for the local schoolmaster mistreating her son and had no qualms about telling the local priest she was moving her son to another school - which was unheard of in those days! She valued reading so much she made sure to carve out an hour a day to read non-fiction books from the local library - amidst working on the family farm - milking the cows, baking the bread and raising a family of 13 children. I also loved her sister Kathleen's talking about how close all of the siblings have been throughout their lives and who love nothing better than being together. Treat yourself to Breda's most enjoyable story!

A Smile Within... Thank you.

I absolutely loved this podcast. Kathleen is a very good friend, and she sent it to me because our friendship began many, many years ago at the beginning years of The Irish Arts Center! I was one of the original participants - a young Italian American from Yonkers who became enthralled with everything Irish! Thank you for giving me insight into the Donlon's early lives in Gallway and Dunmore, and for Breda's lovely tone in speaking about her life's journey... Enjoyed it greatly!

Breda Skeados podcast

Breda’s podcast is excellent. She has a very relaxed delivery and is very articulate. It was fascinating to hear of her contribution to education and her determination to succeed and to keep growing in that profession. The Donlons made and make a very important contribution to cultural and social life in New York and in the US. We can be proud of them and their contributions.

Breda Donlon Skeados

I enjoyed enormously Breda's vivid description of leaving the farm for the convent, passing by Paris and St. Louis and, upon questioning her vocation as a nun, being told that her depression was "a sign of selfishness". Years later, negotiations with Marymount College concerning her degree and being told "we don't owe you anything" also expressed the arrogance of the church of the day . I enjoyed hearing about her early days as an activist for civil rights with NAIF, as well as her years teaching in the New York City school system. When she refused an unfair racist remark about a black teacher, she made me proud. A life of love, devotion and dedication as one of a family with so many children that the town made a song out of their names. I loved hearing from sister Kathleen about the mysterious early days of the Irish Arts Center and look forward to the Donlon family memoir. A+

Breda Skeados and the Baker’s Dozen

I loved it. I do not watch many podcasts but I believe I am hooked after listening to my sister Breda. She has an amazing memory. I like to say she is my older sister, even though we are only a year and a half apart. Her memory of our childhood is amazing. Of course I have heard many of her stories about when she was in the convent many times but they never get old. Paul Finnegan certainly makes any story very exciting. I just subscribed to CenterPieceNY so I can be informed of future events.

Breda Donlon

I’m not a big Podcast fan but this one totally convinced me that I need to follow this site constantly. I loved hearing about Breda’s interesting life both inside and outside the Convent and the reason it was so compelling was the manner in which she was interviewed. There were several instances when the host asked a question that shed so much life on the subject. Will definitely check this site regularly where I’m sure I’ll learn about other totally interesting characters.

Breda Skeados

Thanks for this great episode. I will be tuning in more often to hear stories of other families. I enjoyed learning more about my aunt Breda. I also found it very interesting to hear about growing up in Dunmore all those years ago. I wish all the Donlons would do an episode so we could learn even more about them!

Breda Skeados

Breda was fantastic speaking about her family and her life to date. I am honoured to be a first cousin could not get a nicer family.

Breda and the Baker`s Dozen

This is an incredible tale , from the fields of rural north Galway to the Liberty of New York. This wonderful episode will strike a chord with so many families in Ireland and the United States. Such an engaging, beautiful story ,told with grace by Breda and managed in style by Paul. Dunmore Abu.

An Irish American Legend

Thanks for this wonderful snapshot of 50s New York and the incredible story of Adrian's uncles and cousin the O'Dwyers. The apex of Adrian's story, apart from insights into music, dance halls, broadcast journalism is the creation of the Irish Hunger Memorial that will be a New York City testament to Adrian's love of Ireland and its history for generations.

Adrian Flannelly Episode

A lovely interview; personal, informative, and entertaining. Adrian is such a treasure to the Irish-American community and it was a delight to hear him as the subject of the interview for once. Paul is a charming and engaging host.

Sophie Colgan Episode

This is an outstanding podcast. Congratulations to Sophie Colgan and Paul Finnegan. Sophie`s honesty, bravery and leadership, shine through as vital material for the `new dress woven`that signals the future of the Irish Community in the `fabric`of New York. Refreshing words, expertly produced.

Jacqueline Kealy.from Tuam to New York

Am outstanding podcast that touches many strings of our emotional harp. This is a wonderful production and a great listen. Well done Jacqueline and Paul.

Adrian Flannery

I loved it. Then again, I have loved all your podcasts and missed you during the summer. Your voice is so soothing and I love your commentary in between your interviews.

Adrian Flannelly with Paul Finnegan

What a wonderful episode. An engagement with a legendary broadcaster who sheds light on our history and the Irish American journey , in a beautifully honest and totally compelling style. Adrian`s ``road`` is signposted with wonderful skill by the host. Celebrate this.