Montreal Daily Star, 19 March 1888, page 2
After the St. Patrick’s procession left the church, built to honor the memory of its Patron Saint, it slowly marched to St. Patrick’s Hall on McGill Street, from the balcony of which speeches were made to the crowd by Mr Barry, President of St Patrick’s Society; Premier Mercier, Hon Jas McShane, Acting Mayor Cunningham and Carroll Ryan, while the enthusiastic audience on the street below cheered itself hoarse for the speakers, the Grand Old Man and the clergy of St. Patrick’s Church. In the evening all the prominent Irish societies gave entertainments to celebrate the day. St. Patrick’s invaded the Academy, which was packed from top to bottom. On the platform were Mr. Dennis Barry, president of the society; United States Consul Anderson, Acting Mayor Cunningham; Messrs Redfern, President St. George’s; Caldwell, Secretary St. Andrew’s; Rutherford, President Caledonian; WJ Arnton, President Irish Protestant Benevolent; LO David, President St. Jean Baptiste, and many other prominent gentlemen. The Rev. Dr. Burns, DD of Hamilton, was the speaker of the occasion, and received quite an ovation when he stepped to the footlights and took up Ireland’s defence. For two hours he eloquently addressed his audience on the wrongs and rights of the Emerald Isle, and when he finished he was tendered a hearty vote of thanks. A little after ten the curtain was raised upon the Irish drama, “Ireland as it was.” The parts were well taken, Mrs Neil Warner especially in the character of Judy O’Trot keeping the house in continual roars of laughter. The play was of the orthodox kind, but thoroughly enjoyed by those present.
St. Ann’s Young Men’s Society gave a dramatic entertainment both afternoon and evening. The play was “Robert Emmet,” and it was most capitally rendered to audiences that filled St. Ann’s Hall to overflowing. It was followed by an amusing comedietta, “Pat’s Dilemma.”
Entertainment in Queen’s Hall
The Queen’s Hall was packed to its utmost capacity on Saturday evening on the occasion of the grand St. Patrick’s night concert and entertainment of the Young Irishmen’s Literary and Benefit Association whose green silk banner was proudly displayed upon the wall. Nearly every one present was “wearing o’ the green” either in buttonhole or bonnet, and a patriotic sentiment pervaded the whole meeting. The president in his opening remarks alluded in terms more of sorrow than anger to their exclusion from the procession, but stated that though absent in body they had been present in spirit. Under the guidance of Mr. Carroll Ryan and by means of some splendid dissolving views, a visit was made, as Mr. Ryan described it, “to Ould Oireland, to the scenes of our younger days, or to those which have been described to us by the old folk when sitting round the fire on a cold winter’s night.” Prof. AP McGuirk provided a capital musical programme, including some choruses by the YIL and its Glee Club, and some splendid violin playing by Mr. William Sullivan. The songs of Mr. Rowan, Mr. E Clarke, Mr T Grant and Mr CJ Hamlin were all extremely well rendered and received the hearty plaudits of the great audience.