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the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
by Patrick O'Hara
The Wild Geese, the Irishmen who left Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691, are well known to many Americans. These Irish soldiers and nobles, about 14,000 initially, left Ireland after Patrick Sarsfield surrendered to representatives of King William of Orange. Most sailed to France, where they fought under the banners of the French. The Irish went off to fight other countries' wars, hoping to eventually gain support for the invasion of Ireland. It was a hope that was never to be attained.
The Irish were brave soldiers, and their presence in the ranks of the foreign armies inspired and raised the level of the troops. It was said that the sergeants, corporals, and even privates, would make decent officers in most countries' armies.
But it was a commitment that had a great cost. The initial group of Irish soldiers were joined by others, totaling close to 20,000. In about 20 years of fighting for France, by the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, only 5,000 were left living. It was estimated that the Irish had lost close to one million men in the wars of France from the Treaty of Limerick in 1691 to the dissolution of the Irish Brigade at the end of the French Revolution in 1792. And France wasn't the only beneficiary of the Irish warriors.
Irish nobles officered the armies of Russia, Austria, and Spain. The Irish who fought in Austria distinguished themselves greatly. The most famous of them was Field Marshall Ulrich Maximillian Brown, who, educated in Limerick, rose through the ranks of the Austrian Army to become commander of all the Austrian forces. It was said of the Irish in the Austrian service, by the Emperor Francis, I, that "The more Irish officers in the Austrian service, the better our troops will be disciplined. An Irish coward is an uncommon character." At one point, there were 30 Irish generals in its service. At a 1765 St. Patrick's Day function given by the Spanish Ambassador to Austria, who happened to be a O'Mahony, the proceedings featured Count de Lacy, the President of the Austrian War Council, Generals MacGuire, O'Donnell, O'Kelly, Brown, MacElligot, and Plunkett, two governors, six Staff Officers, and four Privy Councilors.
The Irish also served in Russia. Count Peter de Lacy was Limerick born, and would find himself rising in the service of Russia and Poland. He took an underachieving Russian army, and defeated the Swedish Army, considered one of the best fighting forces in Europe, at the battle of Pultowa, in Crimea. Other families to fight in Russia's service were Nugents, O'Rourkes and Browns.
The Spanish service by the Irish was one of great glory. The Irish had three regiments in Spain, the Ultonia, Irlanda, and Hibernia. The leader of the Spanish Armies was Alexander O'Reilly. During the course of his life, he served as the commander of the Spanish forces at Havana, and the Governor of Louisiana. A Prime Minister of Spain was a son of an Irish soldier; Don Ricardo Wall served in the political service of the King of Spain.
The hope of a free Ireland kept the Wild Geese continually funneling the men of Ireland into the service of foreign armies. Their hope was that the countries they fought for would mount an invasion of Ireland, and help them to overthrow the British. It was a dream that would never be fulfilled.
The Irish left a legacy throughout Europe, though. Their officers, and foot soldiers, often remained in their host counties. Many rose through the ranks of the military and foreign service. Others settled in, and started businesses.
In France, the Hennesey cognac company was started by a former member of the Wild Geese. Others included the Lynch family, who were founders of the Bordeaux wineries; the Dillons, famed for their military exploits, also opened wineries. The Clarkes of County Down ran another Bordeaux area winery. The O'Briens from Galway eventually acquired the title of Marquis of Goulaine for their wine making.
The Irish would also take over as the rulers of Serbia. The House of O'Bradovich was descended from the O'Brady's, originally officers in the service of Austria. They, and the O'Branoviches, sons of O'Brien, would control that area of the Balkans for close to a century. The O'Bradovich dynasty would meet its end when Serbians revolted, storming the royal residence, and throwing the ruling family out upper story windows.
The Irish service to the French would also provide a number of the inhabitants of the French speaking areas of Quebec. Irish soldiers in the French Army knew that they would be arrested and executed after the fall of the French Army at the Plains of Abraham, in the City of Quebec. This defeat, which turned over control of Canada to the British caused the numerous Irish soldiers to flee into the woods of Quebec, passing themselves off as French. Many continued the charade of being French, marrying French women, and changing their names to a Franco-style pronunciation. Eventually, ties with Ireland and Irish life were forgotten.
The Irish in Spain's service made their way to the Americas. Juan O'Donoju was the Captain General of New Spain. He recognized the independence of the Mexican state in 1825, much to the consternation of the Spanish. He is considered one of Mexico's early heroes. Ambrose O'Higgins was Irish born. He served as viceroy of Peru. His son, Bernardo O'Higgins, is considered the father of the Chilean state. He was helped by other Irish, such as Raymond Morris, George O'Brien and Charles O'Connor. In Puerto Rico, Alexander O'Reilly's Protégé, Tomas O'Daly, was chief engineer of modernizing the defenses of San Juan, including the fortress of San Cristobal. The San Patricio area of San Juan stands on his former estates. Miguel Conboy was a founder of the tobacco trade in Puerto Rico, and Juan Kennedy was the chief slave trader in that area of the Caribbean. Tomas O'Daly's relative, Demetrio O'Daly, succeeded Ramon Power, a naval captain, as the island's delegate to the Spanish Parliament.
The Wild Geese stopped supplying soldiers for the armies of Europe after the Act of Union in 1801 allowed Catholics to join the British army. However, their descendants have spread across Europe and the Americas, in testimony to the desire to achieve Irish Freedom.
Happy New Year!
Important Reminder: All nominations for the 1999 honorees, (Irish Rose, Irishman of The Year, and Parade Marshal), are due prior to the start of the January Board of Directors Meeting. All nominations must be in written form. We are not allowed to accept verbal nominations. That Board Meeting will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, 1999.
Although these nominations must be in written form, please do not let that keep you from relaying your wishes to the Board of Directors. A short note will suffice. You can hand them to me personally or place them in an envelope and mail them to my attention at our new address at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center -- Shamrock Club of Wisconsin, 2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233.
This year's nominees will be introduced at our General Membership Meeting at the I.C.H.C. on Thursday, February 4, 1999. That meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.
Good News. Thanks to Mary Glynn for her prompt response to my pleadings for irreplaceable volunteers in my December 1998 column. She has graciously agreed to handle the important job of monthly preparation for the mailing of the Emerald Reflections. She will be relieving Romy and Evelyn Ament in labeling, sorting, and delivering of the monthly issue to the Post Office. Our sincere gratitude to the Aments for their many years of tireless, efficient, devoted, and extremely selfless service.
And, we're still in need of new volunteers in the other two areas that I detailed within my December column. Those very essential areas are: Sales Booths Operations (for Irish Fest and Folk Fair), and, Emerald Reflections Advertising Manager. Again, a period of time for orientation and acclimation will be a part of the transition. So, please, don't hesitate to come forward if you have interest in assisting the club.
Special note of thanks to Tom Blaha for his efforts on our behalf in changing our mailing address and assuring the forwarding process. For many years Tom has been picking-up our mail at our Post Office Box and ensuring that we received our correspondence in a timely manner. Also, Congratulations to Tom for his recent retirement from the U.S. Postal Service. Enjoy, Tom, you've earned it !
As we move into this New Year, it certainly is not too early to begin our preparations for St. Patrick's Day and the numerous events within that "Irish Week." Monitor upcoming issues for detailed information on all of those festivities. It is especially important to note here that our Post Parade Party will take-on additional significance this year. With the loss of numerous opportunities to raise funding at the Bradley Center due to the NBA strike, income from the Post Parade Party is essential to our annual budget.
Co-Chairs Karen Ryan and Anne Stibor can use some additional help. Please let them know that you are ready, willing, and able to assist in assuring the continued success of that event.
-- Dale Brenon
Celtic craftspeople for St. Patrick's Day Program at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Spinners, weavers, lace makers, straw craft, or any other Irish craft. Call Muriel Crowley: 782-4323.
Note: regretfully part of the following column arrived too late for the December issue.
South Central Shamrock Club held their monthly meeting at Longley's in Reedsburg, on November 11, 1998 after all present had enjoyed a lovely meal. A motion was made and seconded to go with the Voyageur in Reedsburg for our St. Patrick's Day Dinner on March 13, 1999. People were reminded to send their nominations in for Irish Rose and Irishman of the Year to Chairperson, Grace Terry. Mary Stieve gave a short talk on her recent trip to Ireland.
Fifty five members gathered at the Reedsburg Country Club for their Christmas party. A delicious dinner was followed by entertainment by Jerry Stitch's Choral Group. Don McConaghy closed the evening with Danny Boy.
The February 7 meeting will be held in Lyndon Station at the Depot, at 1 p.m. with lunch and meeting to follow. Bernidene Walsh is the Chairperson, Vince Marchetti will have the program. A door prize will be given by our President.
John Langer has tickets for "Cherish the Ladies," ($18) on February 19. 1999 at the Al Ringling.
-- Mary Stieve
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Happy New Year! It doesn't seem possible that we are at the start of a new year. We hope you all had a nice holiday season and we look forward to seeing you at our meetings which promise to be interesting and enjoyable for all.
Our January meeting will feature Rick March, a member of our Ceili Band, who will relate his experiences in bringing the State of Wisconsin Folklife Festival to Madison in conjunction with the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
At the February meeting the Madison Trinity Irish Dancers will honor Ginny O'Brien for keeping Irish Dancing alive in Dane County for over the past 20 years. Our President, Barbara Darcey would like to hear from former members of Ginny's dance group. Please call her at 837-3095.
Many of our members enjoyed "Ireland's Call" program starring Tony Kenny and other Irish performers at Memorial High School on November 18. We would like to extend a special "Thank You" to Patrick O'Neill of "Patrick's" at Hilldale for his accomplishment in bringing this excellent Irish program to Madison.
The Christmas dinner and program held at Jingles on December 8 was a beautiful evening for our members. We would like to express our appreciation to all of the members whose efforts made it such a beautiful evening, especially to Katie Sweeney for her traditional candlelight reading, which was dedicated to Tom McDermott and Wilfred Harris. The closing with the singing of "Silent Night" made it a memorable evening to usher in the Christmas Season.
-- Margaret Courtney
Happy New Year from LaCrosse and the gang who decorated our Christmas tree for the 1998 Festival of Lights. Pictured are (back row) Art Gale, our soon to be Past Irishman; Donna Finn; Sharon Candahl, our soon to be Past Irish Rose and Chair of the Lights activities for the Club; Ruth Kerska; and Hazel McGuire in front with the little elves. We didn't miss the snow either!
We elected our Irishman and Irish Rose for 1999 at our Christmas Party last December 10 and will prepare a schedule of March activities for them and the Club at the Board Meeting to be held at the home of Marcy Winchell on January 14 at 7 p.m.
-- Fred Smith
Peace Education Project, a local justice and peace organization, presents its annual Ceili Dance for Peace, January 16 at the ICHC! This event benefits the Peace Education Project, the Ulster Project and Casa Maria Shelter.
The program begins at 7 p.m. with a short concert of lively Celtic music by, Ceol Cairde. At 7:30 p.m., the Ceili dancing and teaching begins! Don't worry if you're new at this; Julie Clark, John and Joanne Woodford have taught hundreds of beginners an Irish jig or two! Irish Set Dancing will be taught by Jim and Kathie Vint at 9:30. Beginners of all ages are very welcome. This event is great for families. Beverages, snacks and Celtic bakery will be available. Admission is $6; or $5 with two nonperishable food items; $3 children 6-16; children under 6, free.
All labor donated by volunteers. For further information, call Kristina Paris at 372-3060, evenings.
The International Arts Festival will be honoring the Irish February 7 to March 5, 1999. The festival will feature a number of major performing arts groups showcasing Irish music, dance, theater, and culture. Participating groups include the Shamrock Club, Milwaukee Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Rep, Florentine Opera Company, Skylight Opera Company, and the Pabst Theater. For festival information, contact Jennifer Bergman at (414) 287-4465.
The Shamrock Club will host an organ and harp recital at the ICHC on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m. This will be under the direction of ICHC music director Dennis Janzer. Also, the club will have a St. Patrick's celebration at the Milwaukee Museum on Mar. 7 from 12-3 p.m., featuring crafts, Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers, and music. Other events include the St. Brigid Day Celebration at the ICHC on Feb. 6, the Cherish the Ladies concert on Feb. 13; an appearance by actor and writer Malachy McCourt at the Milwaukee Public Library's Centennial Hall on Feb. 14. Milwaukee Irish Arts will have a number of productions running in conjunction with the festival.
Many members of the Shamrock Club have enjoyed set dancing since the first beginners' series was offered in 1994. Once again, Jim and Kathie Vint will teach a new series of workshops on four consecutive Sunday afternoons, beginning on February 7, from 2-4 p.m. at the ICHC. If you are recovering from the football season or are looking for something to offset the long winter days, this is your chance to get in the (literal) swing before the St. Patrick's Day season arrives. If you have never danced a set, you will find this class just right.
The class will emphasize basic movements and steps. Over the four weeks, two complete sets will be taught and danced, giving all participants a solid foundation.
It's not necessary to come with a partner, but smooth-soled shoes are very important. Advance registration is recommended. The fee for all four classes is $15; registration at the door on February 7 will be $20. Please make checks payable to, and mail to, Kathie or Jim Vint, 8205 Jackson Park Blvd., Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53213. For more information, please call (414) 258-3370.
Will be held prior to the St. Patrick's Day Parade
Saturday, March 13, 1999 at 8:30 a.m.
At St. Patrick's Church
Shuttle Bus: from Wauwatosa Civic Center parking lot --
Bus To Leave Sharply at 7:45 a.m. for the Church
PANCAKE BREAKFAST ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT
RESERVATIONS WILL NOT BE TAKEN AFTER MARCH 6
For reservations or information contact:
(Send self-addressed, stamped envelope.
_______ Breakfast ................. _______ Shuttle Bus
Number of Reservations:_____________________
The Milwaukee chapter of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin will again be holding its annual St. Patrick's Celebrations in 1999 on March 13. These include our annual Mass in honor of St. Patrick, the 34th annual St. Patrick's Parade, and the Post Parade Party at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center.
The Mass will take place at St. Patrick's Church, 7th and Washington, at 8:30 a.m. It will be followed by a pancake breakfast at the United Community Center, 9th and Washington. Proceeds from the Mass and the breakfast will go to St. Patrick's Parish.
Our 34th annual St. Patrick's Parade will take place at noon, running from 53 and North in Milwaukee to 74 and North in Wauwatosa. The parade promises to be one of the largest yet in our history.
Following the parade will be the Post Parade Party, at the ICHC. It will run from 1-6 p.m. Entertainers for the 1999 edition include Blarney; Leahy's Luck; Frogwater; Great Outdoors; Anam Ri; Trinity Irish Dancers; Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers, and more.
The Post Parade Party will also feature food and beverages for sale. Potato soup, corn beef sandwiches, beer and soda are some items which will be available.
The Shamrock Club's Post Parade Party has become one of the largest St. Patrick's celebrations in the state. Last year, over 1500 people attended during the course of the day. There is continuous entertainment during the afternoon.
For more information on these various events contact: Mass and breakfast -- Chuck or Bonnie McLaughlin (414) 771-0458; Parade -- Tim O'Brien (414) 444-1989; Post Parade Party -- Party Coordinator Karen Ryan (414) 744-9524.
The North American premiere of A Most Notorious Woman, Maggie Cronin's acclaimed one woman play based on the life of legendary Mayo woman Grace O'Malley (Granuaile) will be performed at the ICHC on Friday, February 5 at 8 p.m. Co-sponsored by Milwaukee Irish Arts and Celtic Women International this Belfast Theatre production will then move to Cecilia's Pub on 2nd Street for a run from Sunday, Feb. 7-11 at 7:30 p.m.
Grace O'Malley was born circa 1530 in Connaught, along the wild coast of Connemara. Her Ireland was a Gaelic Ireland. Power was entrenched in the clan or family above all. By the end of the reign of Elizabeth 1st the Gaelic Order had broken down. English rule was established in the last strongholds of the North and the West.
Grace bore witness to all these changes. Ever the pragmatist, she allied herself to all and sundry when necessary, including the English. In those confused and turbulent times, this was not an unusual occurrence. One would swear allegiance to the Crown only to renege if one was in a stronger position later. Many other Chieftains did exactly the same thing. Grace was more harshly judged for her expediency. To the English she might have "o'erstepped the bounds of Womanhood." But to the Irish Chroniclers of the time, it's as if she never existed. There is no mention of her in the Irish Book of Annals. She lives on through song, myth and legend, and ironically through the English reports of the Governors of Galway to Elizabeth, where she is described in one dispatch as a "Nursemaid to all Rebellions" and "a most notorious woman."
In 1593, Grace sailed to meet Elizabeth at Greenwich. She went to protest the increasing severity of English rule over Connaught, under St. Richard Bingham. The fact that she took on such an arduous journey and at great personal risk, is a testament to her courage.
In many ways Grace's story symbolizes what happened to Ireland in the sixteenth century, its cultural erosion running parallel with the rise of the great maritime powers of England and Spain. Grace's is only a small part of this larger story, but there is something compelling and timeless in her struggle to hold onto something of her own.
Maggie has worked in many aspects of the profession from TV and radio to the mad world of alternative comedy. She has appeared in Dancing at Lughnasa in London's West End and She Stoops to Conquer, with Century Theatre. At the Lyric Theatre, Belfast she has appeared in The Crucible, Playboy of the Western World, Jane Eyre, An Ideal Husband and a Summer Nights Dream. Television appearances include Live at Jongleurs, Across the Water, The Bill, United and That's Not Me. Maggie has recently completed a film based in Derry entitled Gun (directed by Konrad Jay) and narrated One by One in the Darkness by Deirdre Madden on BBC Radio.
A Most Notorious Woman is just part of the contribution Milwaukee Irish Arts is making to Milwaukee's International Arts Festival. We are presenting the wonderful play, The Country Boy, at the ICHC Feb. 26-28, March 5-7; plus a major series of readings and pub performances ongoing through the month. We are also co-presenting the first Milwaukee Irish Film Fleadh Feb. 18-21. More information and tickets can be had by phoning 345-8800 or 352-3617.
-- John Gleeson
a hundred thousand welcomes
to our grand
St. Patrick's Day Gala
Tuesday, March 17th, 1999
Milwaukee Irish Arts and the
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
invite you to an evening of
story, song, music and laughter
Guests of Honor:
Irish Rose, Irishman of the Year
and Parade Marshal
Featuring seasonal entertainment
by Pull Up to the Fire
and Milwaukee Irish Arts.
Reservations Required: $30 per person [Cash Bar]
Free Parking available -- Enter on 10th Street
Wisconsin Club -- 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue
5:30 p.m.: Cocktails
7:00 p.m.: Gaelic Gourmet Dinner
8:00 p.m.: Tributes to our honored guests.
8:30 p.m.: A Celtic Celebration with Pull Up to the Fire
and Milwaukee Irish Arts
-- -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
NUMBER OF RESERVATIONS____________________
Information/mail to: Pat Sadowski -- 527-2934
LaCrosse -- Kevan and Mary Kay Kavanaugh.
Milwaukee -- Stewart M. Brase; Jeff and Fran Kelly; Sister Jennifer Ladowski; Judy E. Shattuck (reclaim).
Racine -- Karen M. Miller; James and Ruth Ann Pilney.
February 5-7, 1999 the Redemptorist Retreat Center at Oconomowoc will be offering a Celtic Christianity Retreat under the direction of John Gleeson, Dennis Doyle, and Fr. Peter Connolly, C.SS.R. This retreat weekend is about exploring the "Celtic Soul" in history, music, story, and prayer. The retreat will cover several key characteristics and themes present in both Christian and pre-Christian spirituality and each will be explored through the lives of Patrick, Brigid, Columcille and Brendan.
The center is handicapped accessible. The cost of the program is $125 per person for a double room, or $135 for a single room. Price includes program and materials, private room with shower, linen and meals. The center is located south of Oconomowoc at 1800 N. Timber Trail Ln.
Call (414) 567-6900 for more information, brochures and schedules. Space is limited. Information also available on the web (http://www.gdinet.com/phrc).
-- Fr. Peter Connolly, C.SS.R.
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