Boston space mourns loss of life of Brian O’Donovan, ambassador for Celtic music and Irish tradition – Boston 25 Information4 min read

BOSTON — The Boston space is mourning the loss of life of Brian O’Donovan, a longtime host of GBH’s radio present A Celtic Sojourn who additionally loved a notable profession in skilled sports activities by working for the New England Patriots and for the New England Revolution.

O’Donovan, who celebrated Irish tradition on his GBH radio program for over 20 years, died Friday at his residence after a protracted battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive kind of mind most cancers, in line with GBH. He was 66.

“His ardour for music and his sheer pleasure in sharing it was abundantly clear to GBH listeners, whether or not of his weekly present or of his spirited reside occasions,” GBH President and CEO Susan Goldberg stated in a press release on Saturday. “In additional than 35 years with our group, Brian by no means met a stranger. His heat to his colleagues, and his deep dedication to the mission of GBH, can be vastly missed.”

O’Donovan, a married father of 4 and grandfather of two, was additionally recognized for his common productions of “A Christmas Celtic Sojourn,” an annual occasion that included reside music, dancing and storytelling, throughout which O’Donovan shared with the viewers the Christmases of his childhood in Eire.

Born in 1957, O’Donovan grew up in Clonakilty in West Cork. He was the second youngest in a household of 9 youngsters. His father was a butcher and his mom was a full-time homemaker, in line with biographical info offered by GBH.

After graduating from the College Faculty Cork in 1978, he moved to London and have become concerned with the Irish music scene there.

Two years later, he visited Boston and finally moved to the Bay State. He met and married singer Lindsay Henes, whom he met at a reside Irish music session at a Brookline pub. The 2 have been married for 42 years.

O’Donovan started his radio profession as a graduate pupil at Emerson Faculty, the place he labored on the school radio station WERS, producing music festivals and fundraisers.

In 1984, he started working as a guide on an Irish music pageant that was being produced at Gillette Stadium, which was named Sullivan Stadium on the time. He started working for the stadium as an occasions planner, and he booked a number of big-name performers together with Madonna, Aerosmith, David Bowie and U2.

By 1987, O’Donovan was working as basic supervisor of the newly-renamed Foxboro Stadium. In 1994, after the Kraft household acquired the New England Patriots, O’Donovan grew to become the operation’s vice chairman, in control of services administration.

O’Donovan helped to safe america’ 1994 World Cup bid, and he went on to handle the World Cup soccer matches that have been performed at Foxboro Stadium and subsequently helped to create Main League Soccer. He finally grew to become basic supervisor and chief working officer of the New England Revolution.

In a press release Saturday, Robert and Jonathan Kraft stated O’Donovan was “universally revered by all who knew him.”

“We’re deeply saddened to lose an expensive pal in Brian O’Donovan,” the Krafts stated. “Our whole household extends our honest condolences to Brian’s spouse, Lindsay, their youngsters and grandchildren. You’re all in our ideas.”

“Brian was universally revered by all who knew him and had a heat, intelligence, and pleasure for all times that left an indelible mark on these round him,” the Krafts stated. “Whereas all of us will bear in mind Brian fondly for his many years on the Boston airwaves bringing A Celtic Sojourn into our houses and radios, we all know that with out his imaginative and prescient, soccer wouldn’t be the place it’s immediately in New England. Brian’s management helped us convey the FIFA World Cup to Foxboro for the primary time in 1994, after which when our household grew to become a founding accomplice in Main League Soccer the subsequent yr, Brian was the plain option to set the inspiration for the New England Revolution as our membership’s first basic supervisor and chief working officer.”

In 1986, he joined GBH to host a weekly radio present: A Celtic Sojourn. In a 2019 interview with GBH Information, O’Donovan mirrored on his life at the moment.

“Whereas I used to be main occasions administration at Gillette Stadium, individuals would usually say to me, ‘There’s a man on radio who has your identical title.’ They couldn’t reconcile the 2 worlds: skilled sports activities and an esoteric sub-stream music style program on public broadcast,” O’Donovan stated.

The present grew to become a fixture on Saturdays, increasing to a three-hour weekly present.

In 2017, then-Mayor Marty Walsh declared December 14 Brian O’Donovan Day “in recognition of his contributions to immigrant communities in Larger Boston.”

“Brian’s legacy is woven into the material of Boston and town’s distinct Irish-American tradition, and his affect can be felt for years to come back, particularly by all those that had the pleasure of realizing him,” the Krafts stated.

It is a creating story. Test again for updates as extra info turns into obtainable.

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