Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Historical Times

To say that we are living in historical times would be a massive understatement. When we look back on the last ten years it has been so incredible. So many things have happened in the world that has shaped a very different future for so many. Whether its the poor in Thailand who had all they owned in life washed away on that faithful day the Tsunami stroke their world, or the thousands of innocent civilians making their way to work on that sunny morning in September here in the U.S only to meet their maker instead of returning to their loved ones at home. All the lives affected since, in the likes of Afghanistan and Iraq. Thoughts also go to the people affected by Hurricane Katriana, who to this day, for one reason or another are still struggling to recover. What about Haiti, wow, mother earth is an angry lady. There are no words. In more recent times, the Earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand reassure us that she is still angry and more powerful than any army in the world or any amount of money a Government may have. 
Of course it hasnt all been bad. I know that one of the happiest memories in my life was when the Good Friday agreement was struck in Northern Ireland. Having an affect on so many lives. For too long people suffered at the hands of terror on my shores of Ireland and those of England too. Lets never forget, that innocent lives were lost on both sides of the trouble in Ireland and the UK. So when the likes of George Mitchell came over under the instruction of President Bill Clinton and through the work of all parties in Ireland and the Uk and decided enough was enough, well many people rejoiced. Peace at last. Yes there are still a lot of angry and hurt people who lost loved ones through the troubles who will take time to get over the pain, if ever. However what we have now is a will for both countries to move forward. There will be those who will do their utmost to derail what we have achieved, but thankfully, there are too many good people living in my country and my neighbours to let that ever happen. We shall NEVER return to those times again. 

So why, Im sure are you asking am I going on about these things. Well for no other reason than I think it important to sometimes sit back and look at the world we are living in today. What have we created and how can we change it. Yesterday for the first time in over 100 years, a head of the British Monarch touched down on Irish soil. It was hugely momentous and one that would never have been contemplated 10 years ago. To have her come and pay respects to Irish history and to those who died creating a better future for all that live in it today, was hugely significant. I was extremely proud watching it all unfold, and hope that the remainder of her visit on my island will be a pleasant one. When talking to my Grandma yesterday on the phone, she said that she too was very proud. A woman of 92 years of age, who has seen Ireland grow and develop through its formative years, was delighted to have the Queen in her country. That for me questioned why the handful of thugs that we're demonstrating on the Dublin streets yesterday would have an issue with her visit. What harm would it do to mend bridges. Im sure if asked, a lot of them wouldn't know. When interviewed on a Dublin radio station last night, one of the thugs couldn't even name the 6 Counties he wanted the Queen to give back. MORON! 
Needless to say when the Queen dined tonight at Dublin Castle, hosted by our President Mary McAleese, I was sensing from Twitter and Facebook, Ireland was turning a page in what has been a turbulent past.
To move on to lighter matters. How over whelming it is to sit and read all the letters and open the gifts you have sent me since arriving here in New York. For any of you who doubt it, I open all the letters myself and read them all. If it was someone else doing it, as has been accused, many of you would have received responses sooner than now. The delay is due to the fact that I want to read them all, and find many of the stories told to me extremely interesting. Some funny and some very moving. It saddens me that there a some out there who are very lonely. Who find music to be their only friend or comfort. Why is that? I often ask. I was blessed with a wonderful family and great friends, so ask how come I get that, and so many dont. If my music can bring solace to this people, it makes whatever I do so worth while. 
I have been trying to reply to one and all in recent days, but am quickly realizing that this maybe a task too far. Today I sent over 100 letters in the post, yet Im not even half way through. Its not going to be a case where I will pick and choose who to write to because of the best story, or the best gift, but I will have to come up with some sort of plan. In the meantime, I will continue my task of finishing the job I started.
I want you to know that I appreciate it all. Genuinely. Today I received $5.00 in a card from a kid to buy myself a coffee. I was utterly touched by how one could be so generous. So whether you send a letter, a card, or a gift, I appreciate them all and thank you for them. I often get great encouragement from reading your letters and thoughts. So keep them coming. I will get around to reading them all at some point. This I promise.

I feel it important to take a moment to talk about the recent departure of Ryan Kelly from the Celtic Thunder group and from public life in general. I know many of you were shocked and saddened by the news. As was I. I was unaware of his intentions. I have got to know Ryan well over the four years working with him and we have shared many a great laugh together. This I expect to remain intact. I do know that Ryan is a very private person and that whatever reason he felt he couldnt continue is for him to divulge in his own time. Being in the public eye is difficult. Its not one I complain about as it is something I knew came with the territory of being a professional singer. I was fortunate to have had experience of this lifestyle prior to joining Celtic Thunder. For some in the group its easier than others. Im not for a moment suggesting Ryan struggled with this. In fact I know he appreciated the support and adoration he got from many of his fans, as we all did. However, sometimes it can get tough due to a handful. For this I hope is not the reason Ryan needs time away. 
Whatever it is, I do want to thank him for all his support and friendship over the years. I want to wish him well in whatever road he decides is best for him, and hope that both himself and Anna find true happiness together. I can assure you all the rumours that have been brought to my attention are untrue. He is not joining the army, or going to the jungles to save the Rainforest, or expecting twins, or adopting orphans, or joining the Greenpeace fight against whale fishing. He just wants time out, and for those who love his music and indeed himself, Im sure you'll give it to him. We will ALL be here for him when and if he decides to return. Of this Im sure.
As for the GLEE project. Where to begin!! I dont watch the show Glee so when the wee man was here in New York visiting, I had to have him explain it all to me. Im still confused. There's no shooting, no murders to be solved, no text voting, its all about high school??!! OK! Great. 
Damian is very excited and I know they are exciting times ahead for the fella. How he copes with it all, we will have to see....on a weekly show!! I wish him the best, as if its needed to be said. I feel there are great things ahead for him. How super cool would it be if he got on the OMG, LOL!!! 

I know the boys are in studio recording new stuff as I type. I wait like the rest of you, to hear it. It is changing times for Celtic Thunder, and after spending 4 years building and developing the show and the brand, I can only wish them continued success.

Now, Im off to reply to some more mail and make my dinner. Dom is working, so one has to figure out what to eat. 

Keep well my loves 
my doves 
my eggs



  1. As always, I enjoyed reading your blog. good luck with all that fan mail, there should be something in there from my friend and I... I do hope you like it when you discover it :)

    lots of love,

    Heather (AKA Unrulyemu)

  2. Great to hear all the AMAZING news Paul!! You really are working hard & it's so touching most of Ireland is welcoming the Queen with open arms! :D

    Loads of luck on that fan-mail, my friend! I can just imagine what your living room or dining room looks like about now! LOL You should take a picture of the chaos & post it! I'm sure MANY would get a kick out of it!

    Have a good evening & thanks again for the blog!


  3. Wonderful blog Paul. I too sometimes wonder what the world is coming to. I wonder at times what hardships my grandchildren might have to endure. The only thing one can do is trust that God will work his miracles in keeping all well. I was so very glad to hear and see of the Queens visit to your homeland. Big advancements in peace there hopefully. Will really miss you and Ryan on the CT tour this year, but wish you both the very best life has to offer. I am looking forward to your tour in the fall and am really hoping that you will be appearing within traveling distance for me. So very glad all is well in your world. Wishes for much success and happiness.

  4. Paul,
    That was a great blog and very meaningful...
    You know that I always wish the best for you..As one of the administrators in Paul's Pub I try very hard to keep everyone in form of what you are doing ..
    Take care and God bless you and Dom always...
    Charlotte A Patton ( Fairless Hills, Pa )

  5. Enjoyed reading your blog. :)

    Question for you though- There is a video making its way around You Tube showing police confiscating Irish flags from people lining the street during the Queen's visit. Any thoughts on that?

  6. Great blog, as always, Paul. So much tragedy in the world. It's unconceivable. A bright spot is Queen Elizabeth visiting Ireland today. Hoping there is less & less trouble there.

    Ur right about Ryan's news shocking us. It was so sudden. Never saw it coming. I hope he *finds what he is looking for*. Maybe someday he will come back to us, whether it be with CT or on his own. All his loyal fans wish him the best, always.

    Lastly, u r awesome for trying to respond to all the letters u have received from ur fans. That is a daunting task. Do u have writers cramp yet? Channeling Jim Carrey from *Bruce Almight*, It's the, CLAW. lol

  7. Hi Paul,

    As always, a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing your feelings on Irelands history and the other events of our world. You write beautifully. We truly are one world. It's a shame we can't be kinder to each other.

    Ryan is such a kind and loving man. I'm sure he'll find what he needs to attain both the personal and professional life that he seeks for himself and those he loves! I respect him so much for making this very difficult decision. It took a great deal of courage! What a testament to the man he is.

    Good luck with the fan mail. What a gift to be able to see the many ways that your music affects people. We are all such a mixed bag? All searching for or
    living through something different.

    big HUGS to you and yours!

  8. Enjoyed your blog as always! Thoughtful insight on the what has been happening in the world and the historical event taking place at this time in Ireland. Thanks for talking to us about Ryan. We all were stunned at his sudden disapperance, but just want what is best for him. Can't wait to find out where you will be appearing on your fall tour! All the best!

  9. Paul, you are quite generous with your time and your thoughts...this blog must have taken a while. And I can just imagine you sitting there, surrounded by piles of paper and cards!!! Nice to be loved, eh?

    I've always appreciated hearing your thoughts on events, and life in general. The things that you write about are what blogging was intended for, I think anyways. So thank you again.

    Take care Paul,

  10. As always your blogs are a delight- truly well written and insightful. We continue to wish you all the best and wait to hear about your concerts.
    Take good care~

    You are so insightful for one so young. Your compassion shows through most of what you do. You are such a good writer and we are lucky That you share so much with us. Thank You!
    To you and your lovely lady,

  12. Thanks for the thoughts. I've read and studied the political situation in Ireland/UK and while I "understand" it from an academic sense I haven't lived it so I can only imagine your emotions in seeing these events. I'd love to chat with your Grandma for her memories and insights! May the good days continue to roll.

    My favorite supper when alone - pasta tossed with butter, some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and lots of cracked black pepper. Then treadmill to get over the pasta, butter and wine!


  13. Thanks so much for your blog Paul. I was hoping you'd write to appease we Thunderheads who are struggling with Ryan's sudden departure. Of course we wish him the best, and hope only that after a time of rest, he'll again share his talent with the world.
    You are, as always, a delight to your legions of fans. Loved every word.
    Love & ((((hugs))))) Colleen from Canada

  14. Wow, Paul. Thanks for the blog. That was like a comforting hug. You are good friend. Just what the world needs right now.

    Jane from VA

  15. So eloquently put. Love to hear your thoughts on the situations in Ireland and the progression that is being made. Thank you for giving us some insight into what the Irish have gone through and how they are looking toward the future.

  16. You have such an honest and emotional power of words not only in what you say, but it comes so true in your music and your voice. You feel so much for your country and England, the unfortunate situations in the world, Ryan, your CT friends and fans. We all hope and pray with you for peace around the world, no more nature destructions, etc. Thank you for being u and giving us so much pleasure and joy. Hope to be able to see you in one of your concerts. Hugs and love, Farideh

  17. Thank You so much Paul for your kind words today. yes as Farideh said above....honest and emotional...will miss you and Ryan so much as going to see CT this Sept in Lancaster PA.
    I sure hope Ryan will keep in touch w/you. There's one dear and humble man..It just shined thru him. Bless his heart and thanks so much for all of your writings. You are amazing!

  18. Hi Paul,
    You have included one of my favorite photos of you and Ryan. We were all so new to the whole CT experience then. Ahhh, memories of the good old days!
    I love your blog, its almost as if we are sitting in a cozy pub sharing random thoughts in a friendly conversation. I thought the Queen's visit to the Emerald Isle to be clearly a classy move on her part; with all of the unrest in the world, whether politically motivated or by Mother Nature, it was amazing to see.
    As for the recent departure of Ryan from the spotlight, I am sure that since he considers you a lifelong friend that he will stay in touch with you and his other pals from the show. We fans should only honor his request for privcy, and be here if or when he wishes to return to his music career.
    I have to say that I am enjoying immensely your thoughts and messages daily on Twitter. I feel as if we are getting to know you better, and liking what we know!
    Take care, see you online!

  19. Dear Paul,

    Thank you so much for yet another lovely and insightful blog. You certainly have a talent for expressing yourself not only through song, but through the written word. It is amazing the times we live in isn't it? For myself, after being on this earth 60 yrs I have a hard time listing all the amazing things that have come to be part of our everyday lives. All of a sudden it seems I've become part of the "older generation". You know, the one that remembers the time before the internet, cell phones in your pockets, tvs on your phone, & yes, computers. And don't even get me started on all the political history I've lived through. Your thoughts on the visit by the Queen certainly stirred a look back to my younger days and that's never a bad thing.

    Thanks for your support of both Ryan and Damian. Your unflagging friendship is certainly something to be treasured as I'm sure they do. Oh, and thanks for setting everyone straight about Ryan not going to save the whales with Greenpeace. I was really worried about that one. :)

    Much love to you and Dom..Pat

  20. I wish you well in your solo career, not that I am not going to miss you with CT. When I heard you where leaving I was upset and then with Ryan's departure as well I was very upset, felt like my own children had up and left. I do hope you and Ryan find all that you are looking for in your careers and private lives. If you talk to Ryan tell him hi and we miss him and hope to see him soon, and even though we don't know why we are behind him. Hope you release a CD soon I enjoy listening to your music and hope to see you in concert. Best wishes to you and be healthy and happy. Love to you and Dom... Kim

  21. Paul, thank you for that wonderful blog! I have watched you all since the beginning of Celtic Thunder and have really enjoyed the journey you have been on! I appreciate how open you are to all your fans and how much you share with us.
    I'm excited for what is ahead for you in your new solo career! We are living in amazing times! I do like to see positive things making history instead of negative!
    Thanks for sharing your insight about Ryan's stepping aside. So sad to see this happen, but I totally understand. If you see him please let him know that he will be missed and that prayers are going out for him. You are in my prayers as well that everything goes well for you.

  22. Paul - you are so eloquent. I really appreciate your contemplative side, as well as your humorous side. Thank you so much, once again, for taking the time to write this blog and letting us know what you've been thinking about some momentous events - worldly and CT-ly!

    Hoping that things are going very well for you. And I'm looking forward to seeing you someplace for your solo gigs. :)

  23. Dear Paul
    I just finished reading your post. It was moving touching and pretty much states what I and I'm sure a lot of people feel. I have lived on this planet for 60 plus years and still continue to wonder why the violence why the pain being caused by people who are idiots sorry the words I want to use are unlady like. Thank you so much for writing this. I am printing it to keep as a reminder of all that is important. I am also happy that the Queen of England visited Ireland to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives. I know your Irish to the core but someday I hope you become a citizen of the US. I follow you on Twitter. I follow your music and try to follow you as much as I can. Your a person I deeply admire next to my husband. Someday I would like to meed you and just talk to you person to person. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us your fans. May you have an awesome day. God Bless you and Dom now and always
    Peace Friend( I wish you were)

  24. Paul I apologize for the miss spelled word in my earlier post guess I should of proof read it first. I just went and read all the comments psoted before mine. All of them are right on. I wish nothing but the Best for Ryan and Anna and may he find the peace and happiness he and everyother human on this planet deserves. As others have said it you and Ryan both will be missed on the fall tour. I have tickets already. And I hope Damian achevies all that he can weather it be on Glee or Solo or with CT, you all deseve the best life has to offer. Must close now and go to work. !!!!!!! Have an absolutely awesome day. And perhaps I shall receive a letter from you someday. Hope you liked the presents I sent one of them should be able to help you with the etter writing.


  25. Really great hearing from you Paul!!! Thanks! --Shelties

  26. Paul,

    I can't let it go unsaid how touched I was to read your words about Ryan... and it truly put tears in my eyes and couldn't have been said any better how you or all of us feel about him. He's a wonderful person and performer and talent like that can not be stifled for long. So, hopefully, he will find an appropriate outlet to share his gifts again... and I'm sure he will.

    Thank you for being the caring person that you are and I hope that never changes about you, no matter how successful you become. In my experience, Irish people are some of the friendliest and most hospitable folks I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I'm proud to say that I'm of Irish blood, with family still living Kilkenny to this day.

    Thank you for being YOU, Paul... outspoken, uncensored, genuine, fiercely loyal to family and friends, and for the attention that you give to those that support you with all of their hearts.

    Best of everything,

    Lisa in Seattle

  27. Love reading what you post :)

  28. Paul,

    I loved reading your blog. Your comments from you grandma made me cry. I miss my grandma so much. You are very special person that is so eloquent with your words. I will miss you when Celtic Thunder visits Fox Theater in Detroit in December but I will make certain to get your cd when it is released.

    Yours truly,


  29. Paul, it means the world to me that you got my card...*I'm* the kid who sent the $5! You are well-loved by many.

  30. What a beautiful blog Paul. You are such a caring guy, thats why you are so loved. You were brought up by some wonderful parents, it shows by the way you live. They deserve a big thanks for sharing you with all of us. Your talent is amazing and I know that I for one will miss seeing you in Celtic Thunder, but look forward to seeing you out on your own tour. I hope you have a great experience, I know that you will. Again, thanks for the blog. If only the world was made up of people like you....what a great place it would be. Karen

  31. I am hoping that some time in your new career, you will be able to come to Hawaii for a concert. Although I live on the Big Island of Hawaii, I would definitely come over to Oahu or any of the other Islands to hear you sing in person. I will continue to enjoy all I can listen to of CT as well, even though you are no longer with them. Your blog about history was very interesting and full of great insight. I am not sure where my Irish heritage has its roots, I believe it is Donegal, or possibly County Cork. My maiden name was Bradley. I am also a Scot on my Mother's Mother's side from the Isle of Skye. Blessings to you as you try to keep up with all of your letters, and how thoughtful that you want to open, read and reply to them all personally. May God be with you always.