One of south Louisiana’s favorite Irish performers is bringing a taste of Ireland to Baton Rouge this week.
Danny O’Flaherty will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at the Robert A. Bogan Baton Rouge Fire Museum, 427 Laurel St.
Hailing from County Galway in Ireland, O’Flaherty has lived in the United States since 1969. He’s recorded albums and performed constantly throughout the country in the years since.
Though O’Flaherty now lives in Texas, his ties to Louisiana run deep. An early-1980s visit to New Orleans hooked him on the city’s charms, and in 1989 O’Flaherty and his brother Patrick opened O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub on Toulouse Street.
The pub quickly became home to a dedicated clientele, and was the home of Irish dancing, music and culture in the city for 16 years.
In a 1990 article with The Associated Press, O’Flaherty talked about authenticity, and the desire to keep clichéd Irish songs like “Danny Boy” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” off the setlist.
″That’s not Ireland,″ he told the reporter. ″There’s nothing wrong with those songs; we just have something better.″
In 2005, the pub became one of Hurricane Katrina’s victims. In a blog post on his website, O’Flaherty talked of the day he closed the pub for the last time and fled New Orleans.
“I remember looking at the sky and it was full of dark, menacing colors,” he wrote. “I knew then that we had to leave the city as this was going to be dire, like nothing else we had ever experienced.”
“New Orleans was home to me for many years. Her soul and spirit have etched a place in my heart that will always remain.”
Tickets for Friday’s show are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. It is a BYOB event.