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version of Emerald Reflections,
the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Welcome New Members
Milwaukee President's Message
Milwaukee Elections -- 6-8 p.m. Vote May 6!
Dane County Shamrock Club
St. Patrick's Day Parade Raffle
Milwaukee Irish Fest Currach Club
Cure for Irish Depression
The Real Zorro
The Return of Ballykissangel
Irish Entertainer Daniel O'Donnell
Daniel O'Connell -- The Liberator
by Brian Witt
He remains one of the best known of the American outlaws. His renown with a weapon, and his penchant for killing, have made his name a household word. He has had a number of movies made about him. Agnes De Mille wrote a ballet in his name. And he was an Irish American. He was Billy the Kid.
Billy the Kid was born in New York of Irish parents. He was called Henry McCarty. It was said that his mother was from County Cork or Kerry. His real father was not known, but his mother, until her marriage to William Antrim, was called Mrs. Catherine McCarty. After her marriage, the young Henry McCarty was known as Billy Antrim, Jr. The family lived in a number of towns on the Midwestern frontier.
Billy's life was filled with violence. Supposedly, in one legend, he was avenging his stepfather's death when he killed his first man. Another story said that he was avenging the theft of his horse by a man named Frank Cahill. One way or another, Billy's life was filled with plenty of Irish and Irish Americans.
Billy was a fugitive for a number of years, living in the mountains, and eventually becoming a part of the Lincoln County, New Mexico, land war.
As the story unfolds, Billy, then known as William Bonney, attached himself to the efforts of an English landowner and shop owner by the name of Tunstall. Tunstall was a calming influence on Billy, and Billy held the man as a father figure. Billy and Tunstall soon found themselves involved in a fight with a group of former Irish American soldiers that had control of the town, Laurence Murphy, a Wexford man, and the Galway born James Dolan. When Tunstall was murdered by the sheriff, Brady, Billy killed Brady in reprisal. Brady's deputies, Riley and Boyle, led the attacks against Billy and his associates, McCloskey, O'Keeffe, and O'Folliard for a two year period. The Lincoln County War lasted from 1878 to 1880. Ranchers and town people were involved, with sides chosen between the Irish gangsters led by Murphy and Dolan, and ranchers, who were defended, for a while, by Billy and his friends. The War is one of the bloodier fights in American history, with many hired gunmen coming in to fight on one side or the other.
Billy and friends were initially looked upon as saviors, and defenders of the interests of the ranchers. After a while, they degraded into general theft and banditry. Finally, a new and independent sheriff, Patrick Garrett, himself the son of Irish parents, and a former friend of Billy's, would kill Billy the Kid. At the time of his death, Billy the Kid was twenty-one or twenty-four years old.
Billy had a number of movies made about him, including the romanticized Billy the Kid, the slightly more factual Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, the entirely fictional Billy the Kid Meets Dracula, and the classic The Outlaw. His story resounds the same way that the story of Dolan, "The Wild Colonial Boy" in Australia does.
In other ways, the story of Billy sounds like the old Irish legends, of unfulfilled fights, and ultimate and horrid deaths. William Griffin, in his book The Book of Irish Americans, says that "the story of the warrior youth who comes out of the wilderness to take part in a struggle in a battle between battling clans is reminiscent of ancient Irish tales." In some ways, Billy's fight is like that of Cuchullain, fighting to his death, alone at the end of his life. In other ways, the death of Diarmad, who was tricked into surrendering after he and Grainne were told no harm would come to them, rings forth, with Billy dying at the hands of a former friend, unarmed, and unaware.
However the legend's spread, Billy the Kid is another in the link of Irish America and the development of this country.
Dane County Robert and Laura Kerans; David and Susan McCarthy; Harry McCarthy (referred by web site).
LaCrosse Ed and Jean Biddick (referred by Linda Pfaff); Pat and JoAnne Killeen (referred by Pat Stephens); Jim and Debbie Kroner (referred by Linda Pfaff).
Milwaukee Jeanne Lauer (referred by Dale Brenon); Bridget and Herbert Moen (referred by Richard Stover); Bill and Tracy Smith (referred by Richard Stover); Roni Sullivan (referred by Nancy Laahs).
Northeast Wisconsin Donald O'Reilly and Moreen Mersberger (gift from Rand McNalley).
South Central John and Mary Gavin; Joe and Patty Horkin; Raymond T. and Loretta Ryan.
Our Easter Rising Mass, commemorating the 1916 Dublin Uprising, held on Easter Sunday morning at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center of Wisconsin, was very special. As a direct result of the recommendation and efforts of John Maher, we were able to donate $413.75 to "Kosovo Relief". That contribution, through Catholic Relief Services, was made for the very direct and restricted purpose of efforts to relieve the hardships faced by the Kosovar refugees.
Congratulations to all seven of our winners in our 1999 St. Patrick's Day Parade Raffle. The drawing was held at our April 8th meeting. Again, many thanks to Dick and Rosemary Quinlan for their hard work handling this important fund-raiser. Our sincere appreciation also to: Tom Wiseman / "Brett Funeral Home" for the donation of the tickets and to all those who gave that extra in selling big numbers of tickets you will find them listed in another location within this issue. Note: One of those special people who sold great numbers of tickets, Richard Stover, also ended-up wining not just one, but, two of the prizes drawn.
The second, and final, round of nominations for our 1999-2000 Board of Directors was completed at our April 8 meeting. The final ballot/slate for the elections at our May meeting is:
President: Brian Witt; Cate Harris
Vice President: Sue Dundon
Secretary: Lisa Blake
Treasurer: Sharon Murphy; Noreen Barclay
Membership Chair: Tom Smith
Trustee: Michael Payne; Bob Voss; Richard Stover
Parliamentarian: Tom Blaha; Mary McAndrews
Sgt.-at-Arms: Jean Cardwell
The election will take place at our May 6th meeting with voting beginning at 6:00 p.m., one hour prior to the start of that meeting. Voting continues during the meeting and concludes with the poll closing at 8:00 p.m. Results will then be tabulated and announced just prior to the conclusion of the meeting. Remember that you must be a member in good standing to vote. So, make sure your dues are paid. Our Membership Chairperson, Cate Harris, will be available if you wish to renew your membership just prior to casting your ballot. The Club truly appreciates these special people who have stepped forward and agreed to run for election to the Board.
Listed below are the candidates; their present, past and on-going activities; years in the Shamrock club; and work experience.
MAY CALENDAR OF EVENTS
At our May meting we will have Election of Officers for the 1999-2000 year, which will take us into the new millennium! We hope you will make an effort to attend this very important meeting and show your support for both the out-going and incoming officers.
A reminder on the the drawing for the raffle: The first prize is two round-trip air fares to Ireland (or $1000 in cash), plus seven other cash prizes. You must return your sold raffle stubs by the May meeting to Eamon O'Brien.
The program for our May meeting will be a presentation by John Driscoll on "Wisconsin in the Civil War." He will also talk about the role of the Irish of Wisconsin the Civil War plus other related topics. Mr. Driscoll is an author and has written a book entitled "The Baraboo Guards" published in 1995, which will be on display at the meeting.
Before we leave March too far behind us, we would like to express our appreciation to Barbara Darcey, Lee Tvedten, Sheila O'Brien, Barbara Gallenberg, Mary Hearn, John Gaffney family, Farley's House of Pianos, and others who contributed in making the program at the Capitol, and the Dinner and excellent program at the Holiday Inn a very special St. Patrick's Day for all who attended.
You will be happy to learn that Father Gerard Healy is recuperating daily at home following surgery at St. Marys on March 18.
A very special "Thank You" to all Club members throughout the state who purchased and sold raffle tickets making this a very successful year. We are especially grateful to Tom Wiseman for underwriting the ticket cost and to our super salespersons Richard Stover ($310) Tom Mulvaney ($220), Wally Edwards ($210), Tonya and Dennis Jones and Pat Bolger (Sports Page).
Dick and Rosemary Quinlan
Somewhere between Chicago and Canada. That's where the eastern seaboard currach teams placed Milwaukee. Now we're really on the map, even recognized in Ireland after taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in international competition.
This past October at the New Orleans Celtic Festival, teammates Judy Bohn and Barb Dearborn placed 3rd in the 2-woman race and then with Laura Kucharski took 2nd in the 3-woman event. Milwaukee member Maggi Matousek, rowing with two women from Albany, snatched the International World Cup from the All-Ireland top women's team, who were unbeaten in past years.
You practice hard, attend regattas, win races, and you want to practice harder. It's a vicious winning cycle! The youngest team in the conference, Milwaukee has had minimal participation racing in past years, mostly just during our own regatta. Traveling rowers pay their own expenses, which limits involvement at other sanctioned races in Annapolis, Albany, Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Maggi is representing the team at Lettermullen, Ireland in August for the All-Ireland Cuigeal, partially funded by a scholarship from Irish Fest, Inc. It's a 3-mile course in the Atlantic Ocean off the Aran Islands west of Galway where currachs are still used for fishing.
Milwaukee holds its regatta during Irish Fest against Pittsburgh and Annapolis and a few individuals from other teams. We row in early spring on the Milwaukee River and move to McKinley Marina in May. Anyone interested in becoming a member or making a contribution to the team should contact club president Kevin Kennedy at 461-7736.
Going through withdrawal? Trying to stretch the Green Season? Tell me now, are you secretly wearing shamrock boxers? Have you played your Chieftains tapes so often they are about to snap? Stop crying in your Guinness there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Between St. Patrick's Day and Irish Fest, weep no more. Conradh na Gaeilge brings you the Annual Deireadh Seachtaine (Gaelic Weekend) promising a full weekend of Irish culture.
Join us at the Deireadh Seachtaine, May 7-9, 1999 at the Redemptorist Retreat Center on beautiful Crooked Lake, near Oconomowoc. Irish language instructors, musicians, and singers from Ireland will join us for this weekend of cultural immersion. Fill your every pore with music, entertainment, lectures, workshops and Irish language classes for every level. We are featuring as keynote speaker, Ray MacManais of Dublin. Ta se Phriomhoide ar Ghaelscoil Mide... he is the Principal of Gaelscoil Mide, an Irish Language primary school in Dublin. Ray is also the Irish language speech writer and private tutor to Mary McAleese, President of Ireland and is a seasoned musician, actor, and television scriptwriter for RTE and BBC, and longtime friend of Conradh na Gaeilge.
Conradh na Gaeilge, your host for the weekend is an organization whose sole purpose is to promote Irish language and culture with educational and social activities throughout the calendar year. Don't pout another day. Call for more information straight away, 414-567-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations are required but spaces are still available.
Immersion weekends have become an international craze and continue to grow in number. Why? You may ask. The cradle of the Irish Culture is the Gaeltacht, small communities on the peninsula and islands off the rugged West Coast of Ireland. They are rich in language, dance, music, and folk tradition. The Gaeltacht is where it all began and Conradh na Gaeilge is creating a gaeltacht in Wisconsin, complete with currachs the indigenous boats of Ireland's Atlantic Coast. Can you smell the turf fire burning?
Interested in becoming a member of Conradha na Gaeilge? Meetings are held at 7:30 p.m., the third Tuesday of every month at Nash's Irish Castle. Everyone is welcome. For more information on scheduled events or to become a new member check out our web site:
Or call Sinead at 414-783-4830. Sin é... that's it.
The story of Zorro has proved popular over time. In 1959, TV actor Guy Williams rode in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena, California as the famous masked bandit.
(photo by Robert J. Higgins)
With the recent release of the movie "Zorro" in Ireland and England, the BBC and the Times of London have announced that the real Zorro was actually an Irishman. The Times said that the real Zorro was a member of the Wild Geese, Michael Lampert, who was serving in the Spanish Army in California. Lampert found that the effort to enslave the California Indians deplorable, and helped lead them in an uprising against the Spanish. After a period of time, Lampert was captured and executed by the authorities.
One of the favorite shows of many people in Wisconsin is Ballykissangel. The show, produced by BBC, and filmed in the County Wicklow village of Avoca, is set in the town of Ballykissangel, Co. Wicklow. The series has run three seasons, and a fourth is now in the works.
At the end of the third season, pub owner Assumpta Fitzgerald had been electrocuted, and the English priest who had become an integral part of village life, Peter Clifford, decided to leave the priesthood, and the village. In the upcoming episodes, a new priest, new town character, new nephew, and a new mysterious young woman join the mix. The priest, Fr. Aidan O'Connell, played by Don Wycherly, has been a monk who has become bored with monastic life. Moving in with him is his big sister, Orla O'Connell, a non-religious woman who comments on his sermons. The farmer, Eamon Byrne, has a new nephew that appears on the scene in the form of Danny Byrne, (Col Farrell.) Sean Dillon is a long ago member of the village who returns to BallyK and upsets the order of the village.
Returning characters include Brian Quigley (Tony Doyle), the schemer, the village handymen, Donal and Liam, (Frankie McCafferty and Joe Savino), the parish priest, played by Irish comedian Niall Tobin, new pub operator Niamh, (Tina Kellegher) and her husband, garda Ambrose(Peter Hanly), Eamon Byrne, (birdie Sweeney) and others.
The new episodes are scheduled for a release date in June, 1999 on PBS stations. The show will air in Milwaukee on Channel 10 at 9 p.m. Saturdays. Outside of Milwaukee, it will run on the Wisconsin Public Television Network at 8 p.m. Saturdays.
Daniel O'Donnell is the most successful easy listening/country entertainer in Britain today.
He was born in Kincasslagh, County Donegal, Ireland. He grew up in a family that had already nurtured one of Ireland's most successful country music artists: his eldest sister Margo. While studying to be a teacher at Galway College, Daniel decided to follow her into the music business, and it was Margo who, recognizing her brother's potential, invited him to join her band.
After two years he had gained enough experience, and earned enough money, to record two songs My Donegal Shore and Stand Beside Me which he released independently as a single. An invitation to perform at the immensely popular, annual London-Irish Festival took the event by story and resulted in a record deal with Ritz Records. A few months later saw the release of his debut album, "The Two Sides of Daniel O'Donnell."
Daniel is now one of the biggest touring attractions in show business. His concerts sell out months in advance and his fans wait in line for days to ensure they get tickets. In recent years his fame has spread overseas, and he possesses the ability to sell out prestigious world venues from London's Royal Albert Hall to the Opera House in Sydney to New York's Carnegie Hall.
His recording career is equally successful, and his album sales now exceed the three million mark. His albums and singles regularly make the UK pop charts, with every album achieving the top slot in the UK country album charts. His videos, with current sales now over one million, earn top-billing in the music video charts and outsell virtually all British and American superstar attractions.
Daniel made his U.S. stage debut on the International Show at Nashville's Fan Fair in June 1988, and during the same visit, appeared on the world renowned Grand Ole Opry. During subsequent visits to Nashville he appeared three times on the prime time evening show "Nashville Now" as well as taping spots for other Nashville Network (TNN) shows "Crook & Chase" and "Video Country," all of which were seen throughout the United States and Canada.
As an encore to his U.S. debut, in 1989 O'Donnell recorded the award winning "The Last Waltz" album in Nashville, working with Allen Reynolds the prominent producer who had already built his reputation recording such artists as Don Williams, Crystal Gayle, Kathy Mattea and Garth Brooks.
The 1990s have been a whirlwind of chart-topping singles and sold-out tours throughout the world. In '92 and '93 Daniel had success with five UK chart singles. In 1994 Daniel undertook a massive UK sellout tour. In October of that year his album "Especially For You" entered the UK pop chart at No. 14 and debuted in the country charts at No. 1 (in common with all his other albums throughout the previous seven years).
1995 marked the tenth anniversary of the hugely successful Daniel O'Donnell / Ritz Records partnership. During that year he completed a sold out UK spring tour followed by S.R.O. appearances in Ireland, Australia, and the United States. At the same time he continued to remain the most prominent artist in the UK country charts with three albums in the Top 20, "Especially For You," "A Date With Daniel O'Donnell - Live" and "The Last Waltz."
Daniel O'Donnell has visited the U.S. many times and returns in the spring of 1999 for a North American tour.
by Robert J. Higgins
Daniel O'Connell, a Catholic lawyer from County Kerry, Ireland, was born in 1775 and he lived to 1847. He was known as "The Liberator." Prime Minister Gladstone of England called him "the greatest popular leader the world has ever seen."
During all of O'Connell's life and for long before and long after his death his land of Ireland was ruled by an outside power England but because of him there were improvements in Irish life.
O'Connell was born into a prominent County Kerry family near the small village of Cahirciveen in the area now known as the Ring of Kerry. His father was Morgan O'Connell. His mother was Catherine O'Mullane. Although they were Catholics they had to be married in a Protestant church in Cork since Catholic marriages were not recognized by the ruling English.
The language used at Cahirciveen was Irish (Gaelic), although English was also spoken. As an infant O'Connell was sent out in fosterage to the mountain home of a herdsman on his father's land. This family spoke Irish only and O'Connell, who was with this family four years, thought the man and woman were his father and mother.
Conditions were so primitive the family lived in a one room cabin with no windows or chimney. Each night sheep joined the humans in the dwelling.
As a youth O'Connell was adopted by and received the financial support of his uncle, Maurice O'Connell, usually known as "Hunting Cap." The boy began his education in one of Ireland's hedge schools (because the English would not permit the Irish to maintain formal schools, teachers gave children lessons secretly outdoors in the hedgerows). Later the young O'Connell was sent to a Jesuit school in France, but he wasn't there long when the French Revolution began and he had to flee the country because the new government planned to close all religious schools.
O'Connell later studied law in London and was admitted to the Irish Bar. However, he did not have all the privileges which Protestant lawyers had and he could not hold public office because he was a Catholic. Although he always worked for Irish rights he took little part in the Irish Rising of 1798.
O'Connell helped form the Catholic Association in 1823. The organization worked to gain political rights for Irish Catholics. In 1828 O'Connell was elected to the British parliament from Kerry, but he was unable to serve because of his religion. Then pressure from the Catholic Association brought about Catholic emancipation and after winning another election in 1829 O'Connell was able to take his parliamentary seat in London.
In parliament O'Connell worked for repeal of the Act of Union, which incorporated Ireland directly into the English administration, so Ireland could once again have its own parliament, as it did in the 18th century, but he never succeeded in obtaining this goal.
At the time O'Connell scored his victory in obtaining Catholic emancipation he also suffered a serious defeat. As the price for emancipation the British government abolished the forty-shilling freehold vote in Ireland though not in England. This was part of a move to destroy the mass support O'Connell had built up by raising the property ownership qualification for voting in Ireland from forty shillings to ten pounds. The result was the reduction of Catholic freeholders who could vote from 200,000 to 19,000.
O'Connell did well financially as an Irish barrister, but since the amount of fees he could charge was restricted because he was a Catholic he had to work long hours. In one of his famous cases four men were on trial for murder in Cork. After the trial had started O'Connell was called into the defense and he had to ride a horse all night from his Kerry home, some 90 miles away. After entertaining the courtroom while the trial was in progress O'Connell had food sent in, since he had not had time to eat on his trip. He soon found many holes in the prosecution's case and won acquittal for the accused.
Although O'Connell was the champion of the Catholic cause in Ireland during his entire career, he clashed with the Catholic Church over a plan that would have given the English government the right to approve or disapprove the appointment of Catholic bishops in Ireland, as well as the right to supervise all documents that would pass between Rome and the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland and England.
O'Connell believed the Pope, himself, favored this plan, but he aroused the people of Ireland against it. "Though I am a Catholic," he thundered, "I am no Papist! And I deny temporal rights to the Pope in this island!"
O'Connell was not popular with English Catholics. Their leader, Lord Shrewsbury, derided him as "king of the beggars." Even Cardinal Newman said he had an "unspeakable aversion" to O'Connell.
However, O'Connell was popular in other countries. He was given a special honor in 1830 when the people of Belgium, newly liberated from Dutch rule, wanted to make him their king! O'Connell declined the honor.
O'Connell was associated with many of the famous men of his period, including the Duke of Wellington, Benjamin Disreali and King George IV, although he was seldom on friendly terms with them.
In 1843 O'Connell was arrested for conspiracy because he made speeches advocating a free Ireland. He was convicted, but the House of Lords released him from punishment.
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