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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents -- July 1999

You are viewing the electronic version of Emerald Reflections,
the monthly publication of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin

Scoundrel of Cashel

Dane County

Shamrock Club of Greater LaCrosse Area

A Note From Milwaukee's President Elect

Milwaukee President's Message

Irish Fest Scholarships Available

Welcome New Members

Visiting Youth from Omagh to Perform

Subtle Suggestion

Milwaukee Installation Dinner

Milwaukee Annual Golf Outing

Golf Questionnaire

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Scoundrel of Cashel

by Robert J. Higgins

When it comes to colorful Irishmen you have to rate as one of the all time champs, a man from the 16th century known as the "Scoundrel of Cashel" Miler McGrath.

McGrath (sometimes spelled Magrath) was an archbishop in both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches and he managed to make himself unpopular with both sides.

While he wasn't a shining example as a religious leader McGrath scored big as an extraordinary character and he had lots of time in which to do it. McGrath just missed living to be 100 since he was born in 1523 and he died in 1622.

The Rock of Cashel, in Ireland's County Tipperary, is now a popular tourist attraction and one of the special features among its ruins is Miler McGrath's tomb.

Once the seat of kings of the province of Munster, the Rock of Cashel was given to the Church in 1101 by King Murtagh O'Brien.

McGrath entered the Cashel scene in 1571 as the second Protestant archbishop there. He came, originally, from County Donegal in Ulster Province, where his father, Donagh, was a local chieftain who was in charge of the penitential island known as St. Patrick's Purgatory, which is said to have inspired "Dante's Inferno."

McGrath belonged to a Catholic family and he joined the Franciscan order and became a priest. By 1565 he was the Catholic bishop of the dioceses of Down and Connor. England ruled much of Ireland at the time and in 1567 McGrath made what was then called his submission to the English government, meaning he transferred his allegiance to the Anglican Church.

However, when appointed Anglican archbishop of Cashel by Queen Elizabeth I, McGrath was still considered to be the Catholic bishop of Down and probably Connor too, according to Edward MacLysaght in "Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins."

There is much confusing information about McGrath, as some say he was married four times. However, Robert Wyse Jackson in his book, "Archbishop McGrath, the Scoundrel of Cashel," has him married only once.

The marriage occurred in 1575 to a woman named O'Meara, whose first name is given variously as Ane, Anne, Annie and Amy. Their children were Turlogh, Redmond, Bryan, Marcus, James, Mary, Cecilia, and Ann and Ellice.

There are stories that McGrath returned to the Catholic Church at different times and particularly when he was close to death, but there is no definite proof.

The pope in Rome waited several years, but he finally deprived McGrath of the Down and Connor dioceses in 1580, "for heresy and many other crimes."

McGrath held his post at Cashel until his death in spite of many accusations against him, including one that he scalped a tiler named John O'Mullony in 1572. McGrath's defense was that O'Mullony had violated the Statutes of Kilkenny by having long hair and that when McGrath tried to cut his locks with a knife a small piece of skin was accidentally cut off with the hair.

In 1593 Patrick Kearney of Cashel charged that Archbishop McGrath, "was a common drunkard and carouser, a whoremonger with a concubine in England, and open perjurer, at loggerheads with his wife and an open gamester with low class boon companions."

McGrath lived in turbulent times and he maintained his own army of about 100 men at Cashel. Sometimes when he traveled he wore body armor.

However, in spite of his precautions, McGrath and his son, Bryan, were captured by Conn O'Neill in 1599 and were held prisoner in Ballmackey Castle in north Tipperary. They were eventually ransomed.

McGrath had a nemesis in the Franciscan order from which he had defected, Friar Eugene O'Duffy, who frequently denounced McGrath in verse in the Gaelic language. One O'Duffy verse translates to:

To the friar whose religion is false,

To Miler McGrath the apostate;

Until he submits to God's word, the boor,

Give him a box on each big jaw.

Dane County

Our picnic will be held on Tuesday, July 13, at 5 p.m. (eat at 6 p.m.) at the K of C Council 4527 Building, 5256 Verona Rd. There is no access to parking from Verona Road. From Madison going toward Verona turn right at stop and go light near M&I Bank onto Williamsburg Way. Go one block, turn left onto Antoine Dr. KC Clubhouse is on left. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service. Come rain or shine we will enjoy air conditioned comfort.

At our May 11, 1999 meeting the slate of officers, as printed in the June issue of Emerald Reflections, was presented to the membership and was unanimously accepted.

The Raffle drawing was also held and the following were winners: Betty Christianson, Madison, choice of two free tickets to Ireland, or $1000 in cash; $250 to R.A. Carpenter, Madison; $100 to Tom Darcey, Sun Prairie; $50 to Shirley Rucker of Highland; $25 winners John Shackelton, Mazomania, Ruth Tormey, Madison, Mrs. James Tierney, Waunakee, and Ruth McNeill, Marshall. Congratulations to the winners and to the rest of us Maybe Next Year!

What is so rare as a day in June? We had a perfectly gorgeous day for our bus tour to Holy Hill and Town of Erin on Tuesday, June 8. We arrived at Holy Hill about 10:30 and I'm sure I don't have to tell you the beauty of this special place is really breathtaking. It was the kind of day where you could see for miles in every direction before entering the church high on the hill (by elevator thanks-be-to-God).

Father John, O.D.C. was the celebrant of the Mass at 11:00. After Mass Father addressed our group and told us the history of Holy Hill. He pointed out the beautiful stained glass windows, and the many artifacts available to visitors to view both inside and on the grounds. Just off the Main Church we visited the Shrine Chapel. This Chapel is dedicated to the Blessed Mother and houses a rare statue of Mary which was made in Germany and was exhibited at the World's Fair in Philadelphia in 1876. In my opinion this chapel is a special place to visit.

We then found our way down to the main entrance and to the Old Monastery Inn-Cafeteria. We were greeted by Betty Sydow who told us the history of the building and what is offered to visitors in the way of lodging and meals. A delicious dinner was served to the group just the mention of homemade cherry pie should inveigle you to stop sometime!

After lunch we were met at our bus by Maureen Flynn Mitchell who was to be our guide as we toured the Town of Erin. Maureen gave us wonderful insights into the lives of her early ancestors and their part in the history of the Town of Erin. We stopped to see St. Patrick's Church, built in 1855, at Thompson. The story was especially poignant as the church will be closed as of next Sunday, except for weddings and funerals, due to lack of priests.

We continued to drive through the many beautiful areas roads that would remind us of Ireland with its heavy foliage right up to the road with plenty of hills and curves. Through Maureen's efforts we were able to visit St. John's Church of Monches. It is a beautiful church with outstanding woodwork done by hand from wood grown in the area.

We toured the Town of Erin and saw Holy Hill from the four sides each being spectacular. Our tour ended with returning Maureen Mitchell to the parking lot at Holy Hill. It was with a deep sense of gratitude for a wonderful presentation and personal insight into her ancestors and the Irish people who settled in the Town of Erin that we bid farewell to Maureen Flynn Mitchell.

We would like to thank Barbara Gallenberg, Mary Hearn and Barbara Darcey for their efforts in making this bus trip into a very special day that we all will remember.

As this is my final column I would like to thank you for your kind words of encouragement and to Barb Darcey, Ruth Tormey and Eileen Heinrichs for always being there with the information I needed to make the deadline on time!

Margaret Courtney

Greater LaCrosse Area

Shamrock Club of Greater LaCrosse

Shamrock Club of Greater LaCrosse

Here we are enjoying the Sunfish Days Parade in Onalaska on May 29th. Leading our float with the banner are Donna Finn and Don Walsh. Enjoying the ride are our Irishman Don Venner and Irish Rose Dorina Lukins.

Our new officers, elected in May are as follows:

  • President: Marian Schnell
  • Vice President: Pat Moore
  • Secretary: Sue Crothers
  • Treasurer: Art Gale
  • Sergeant at Arms: Rick Przywojski
  • Parliamentarian: Marian McKenzie
  • Membership: Mary Kay Smith
  • Past President: Dennis O'Brien
  • Trustees: Dave McKenzie; Pat Stephens; Linda Pfaff; Katie Burns; Marcy Winchell

The new Board met on May 19th and set up a calendar of events from now until May of 2000.

Some of the coming attractions include the following:

JULY 14: Board Meeting

AUGUST 11: Board Meeting

AUGUST 14: Club Picnic at the Smith residence in Onalaska. This is a Bring Your Own Everything Party. Grills and singing will be provided. We will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

SEPTEMBER 17: General Meeting and Half Way to St. Patrick's Day Party at Forest Hills in LaCrosse. We will begin at 7 p.m.

There seems to be something here for everybody. If not, the Oktoberfest involvements will be sure to please our members. More in later Reflections.

Newsletter Chair, Fred Smith

A Note from Milwaukee's
President Elect

I want to thank all the people who voted for me in the May election. I am very proud to be your president and I realize that I have to fill some pretty big shoes. I think that Dale Brenon and your last board were very fine people and worked hard for the betterment of the Shamrock Club.

Your new board will be dedicated and we will continue to have a great club.

Thanks again.

Cate Harris, President-Elect

Milwaukee President's Message

Our by-laws mandate that the President issue an "Annual Report of the President". That report is due to the Board of Directors at their regularly scheduled, May monthly meeting.

Prior to last year, that report was published for, and with, only the Board of Directors. Last year, I broke with that tradition and shared it with all of you via this column.

So, as promised, (or, threatened, depending on your perspective), within last month's "Milwaukee President's Message," my final column, (thanks to the gracious indulgence of our new President, Ms. Cate Harris), is hereby utilized to forward the 1998-99 version of the "Annual Report of the President".


Again, as I did last year in this message, I must begin by expressing my very sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the unique and talented individuals who comprised our Board of Directors this past year. I was truly blessed to be given the opportunity to work with such a special group of dedicated, selfless, talented, diverse, superior, and efficient volunteers. Yes, that is a lengthy listing of adjectives. But, believe me, each and every one of those words are needed to adequately describe and define these terrific people. As I have verbally expressed a number of times recently, this, indeed, was the finest Board of Directors that I have ever had the pleasure of working/serving with.

Many of these exceptional individuals will remain on your Board of Directors for the 1999-2000 term. And, with the recent elections, we expect, we believe, and, in fact, we are quite certain, that your new Board of Directors, will continue this ongoing tradition of excellence in service. They are, as always, a direct reflection of the great quality and wisdom contained within the membership of this, the most special of all, ethnic organizations.

Some of the main things that I believe, we, as a Club, have accomplished this past year include:

  • Expansion of our Color Guard Pipes and Drums. Recruitment and retention of youth, as well as increasing the actual numbers of this group. We have also managed to get their budgetary process in-line with our Club's fiscal year of July through June. They continue to represent us via very proud, professional, dignified, and exemplary appearances as goodwill ambassadors, locally, statewide, nationally, and, internationally.
  • With dramatic decreases in projected income, due to untimely circumstances beyond our control and which could not have been anticipated, (re.: NBA Strike decreasing our Bradley Center dates/income, "Holiday Folk Fair" moving to an outdoor venue on the lakefront which had a very dramatic negative affect on attendance and revenue produced, etc.), we still managed to closely monitor the budget and ensured fiscal responsibility and accountability. We were greatly assisted in that process by the individual efforts of our fine Treasurer, Ms. Sharon Murphy. She adapted a new system for our monthly financial report, which allows the Board to monitor year-to-date figures on a much more efficient and timely basis.
  • Membership increases. (Totals: 1188 as of June 1997, 1208 as of May 98, and, 1299 as of May 99).
  • Overdue replacement of very key volunteer positions: Sales Booths Chairperson, (Noreen Barclay taking over for Jean Bills), Emerald Reflections Distribution / Mailing Coordinator, (Mary Glynn taking over for Romy and Evelyn Ament), and, Emerald Reflections Advertising / Billing / Invoicing / Sales Coordinator, (Cate Harris, Brian Witt, and Amy Dey taking over for Bill O'Boyle). Prior volunteers had served tirelessly for so very many years. They needed, deserved, and, finally received some relief. Of course, as always, that relief is just as devoted, efficient, and hardworking as those they replaced.
  • Through the extensive efforts of Board Member (Past President) Brian Witt, and Gail Williamson of Williamson Press, we moved smoothly into the advanced technological world of electronic communications by the establishment of our very own Internet web site: It includes several of the most recent issues of our Emerald Reflections monthly publication and "Irish Links of Interest" which assist in "surfing" additional related sites. They also setup our Shamrock Club of Wisconsin e-mail address: "" .

Some goals for the upcoming year, that I would like to see us, as a Club, achieve:

  • A very formal and motivated Membership Drive to continue to increase participation and involvement. Especially directed toward and emphasizing our fine youth. As we enter the new decade, century, and millennium, we need and desire their energy and vigor. We must assure that we continue to cultivate and pass-on the extremely important and very special aspects of our proud Irish-American culture, traditions, and heritage.
  • Coordinated, highly publicized, advertised, and, dramatic celebrations of our 40th Anniversary. Possibly tying this to a Membership Drive and "Irish Week" events surrounding our actual Birthday on St. Patrick's Day, 2000.
  • Redevelopment of a Scholarship Program, administered by our Club, with an annual award to a deserving and highly motivated college-bound member.
  • Continue our attempts to enhance our relationships with the other state chapters. Although we have made a number of unsuccessful efforts in the past to create a statewide Board comprised of designated representatives from the Board of Directors of each / every individual chapter, we cannot be dissuaded from realizing this goal. Perhaps the best method of making this a reality is to have them initiate future attempts.
  • With our 40th Birthday, consider revamping our image possibly even, in this most opportune of times, developing a new logo and utilizing same to project a renewed vibrancy and energy. (Clothing items, window and bumper stickers, membership applications, etc.)

Now, I need to take care of some personal business within this, my final year-end address to you as your President.

First, it is very important to me to detail for you how truly special and helpful one particular individual has been, to me, as well as to our Club, during these past two years that I have been honored to serve as your President. That person is Gail Williamson of Williamson Press. She always has gone far above and beyond what's required and/or necessary. She has been a real joy and pleasure to work with. Her personality and demeanor are very real and genuine. Most of the members of the Club have not had the opportunity to meet her or work with her, only us, the truly lucky ones, can attest to what an extremely valuable asset she is to our Shamrock Club of Wisconsin. She is indeed a "throwback" to better times when businesses sincerely cared for and about their clients. So, on behalf of the Club, The Board of Directors, and especially, from me, personally: THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU, GAIL !

Secondly, and, in conclusion, although I have often joked about the time and effort involved in serving as your President, the real truth is that I have been very humbled by the honor you have bestowed upon me by twice electing me to serve as your President. I will remain forever thankful to you for that great honor, for your trust, and for the treasured memories of serving with, and for, the greatest, extended-family-type, ethnic organization anyone could ever hope to be associated with.

Most Respectfully and Sincerely,
Dale R. Brenon
President, Milwaukee Chapter
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
May 27, 1999

Irish Fest Scholarships Available

Milwaukee Irish Fest is still accepting applications for two scholarships. They are the Edward J Ward Music Scholarship and the Irish Cultural and Educational Grant. Applicants may be of any age or ethnic background, and need not be residents of the Milwaukee area. Information and applications can be obtained by writing to Milwaukee Irish Fest, 1532 Wauwatosa Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53213, or by calling the Irish Fest office at (414) 476-3378 during business hours

The Irish Cultural and Educational Grant shall be awarded twice a year, with $1000 available, with dispersal into smaller grant amounts. Money can be used for a variety of Irish cultural and educational projects. Applications are due at the end of November for the December grant. The Edward J Ward Music Scholarship is a $1000 yearly scholarship that is to be used for the study of Irish instrumental music or song. Applications are due at the end of July.

Welcome New Members

DANE COUNTY Joanna and Patricia Bleakley; Paul Buckalew; Kathy and Mike Callies; Connie Coyle and Family; Patricia Delker; Michelle Heinrichs; Harry McCarthy; Maureen Schuartz; Joan Statz.

LA CROSSE Mariel Carlisle.


MILWAUKEE Charles J. Connell; David Delgado (referred by Victor Delgado and Pat McGovern); William G. Dooley (referred by Kathie O'Donnell); Thomas R. Dougherty; Grace Ellis; Al and Virginia Emmons; Michelynn Fintak (referred by Sue Dundon); Humers Family (Greg, Holly, Jenell and Samatha); Patricia Jameson; Khris Kleiner; Paula Perrin (referred by Sue Dundon); Barbara Peterson (referred by Jean Peterson); Julia Revane; Tom, Barb, Beth, Megan, Mark Tibbals.


Visiting Youth
from Omagh to Perform
Across the Bridge of Hope

Readers will recall the tragic bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland, in which many persons lost their lives and an even greater number suffered serious and permanent injuries. The Omagh Fund was established soon thereafter with the support of the governments of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom to help victims and their families. The fund has garnered strong popular support in those countries as well as in North America.

Milwaukee's Irish community is honored to host teenagers from Omagh who will perform Across the Bridge of Hope on Friday, July 16 at the Schwan Concert Hall, Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8815 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The performance begins at 8 p.m. These youths from both Protestant and Catholic communities, will present a musical and choreographed message that hope does exist notwithstanding the terrible events that have affected their lives. Admission to this performance is $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Omagh Fund. The Across the Bridge of Hope CDs are also available. Please call the ICHC at (414) 345-8800 or the Milwaukee Irish Fest Center at (414) 476-3378 for ticket information.

This is an event which the entire Irish community in Milwaukee should strongly support. If you are unable to attend, please keep the people of Omagh as well as all people in troubled lands in your prayers.

Subtle Suggestion

Cork's Coal Quay is one of the most colorful markets in the country and must be one of the few places where pounds, shillings and pence are still talked about. One old lady in charge of her stall was remembered to have said that decimal currency would never catch on there and that it was particularly unfair on old people who had been used to the other system all their lives. "Why didn't they wait until all the old people were dead before introducing it?" she asked.

(from Ireland's Own)


July 1, 1999 ICHC

Dinner 7 p.m. Installation 8:30 p.m.

This year's dinner will be a casual BBQ event

Join in a fun evening to say thank you to the
Milwaukee officers who served during 1998
and to welcome the new Board for 1999

Relax, Mingle, Eat and be Merry

BBQ: $9 per person, age 12 and under: $4

Call: Jean Cardwell 544-9391

Reservation Deadline: June 24, 1999


Sunday, August 29, 1999

Lakeside Country Club, Pewaukee

(Hwy. 16 West to Co. Trunk KE, South to Golf Course)

Group Awards for Low Net and Low Gross team scores

Individual Awards for longest Drive, Longest Putt, Closest to the Pin for MEN AND WOMEN!

(One Group or Individual winner per award)

Door Prizes and "Money Hole"

Golf will begin at 12 noon.

Carts available at $7 per person at Lakeside Golf Shop.

Club rentals available at $5 per person
at Lakeside Golf Shop.

Pull Carts available for $1 at Lakeside Golf Shop.

Cocktail Hour: 4:30-5:30 -- Buffet Dinner: 5:30-6:30 AWARDS to be presented during dinner.
Dancing to music of the 50s through 90s: 6:30-8:30



Please list the names in your party who will play golf; who will play golf and have dinner; and who want dinner only.






Please list preferred Tee Times. We will do the best we can to accommodate your requests.

(1)_______ (2)_______ (3)_______ (4)______

No.______ @ $30 each=_______







Please list preferred Tee Times. We will do the best we can to accommodate your requests.

(1)_______ (2)_______ (3)_______ (4)______

No.______ @ $15 each=_______







No.______ @ $15 each=_______


(No "AT DOOR" payments / registration on day of event can be permitted, except for "Dinner Only" Cost $20.)


Make all checks payable to the
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin.




Send your completed registration to
Richard Stover, 5326 W. Bluemound Rd.,
Milwaukee, WI 53208.

Please call (414) 774-9123 if you have any questions.

**Please include daytime ______________________ and

nighttime_______________________telephone numbers.

(You will be notified of your Tee Time August 19-22)

For FUTURE "Family/Members Golf,
Dinner Dance" Outings

1. Please suggest possible "Golf Courses"




2. Please suggest possible Restaurants for the Dinner/Dance (after Golfing), or if you want the Dinner at the Course, "if available."




3. Please circle the "Golf Format" you prefer:

(A) Family..... (B) Individual... (C) Best Ball... (D) Shot-Gun

4. Please circle "ALL" of the following you would be interested in having included in "Future" Outings:

(A) Golf "ONLY"......... (B) Dinner "Only"...
(C) Golf and Dinner Package
(D) Golf, Dinner and Cart Package
(E) Pull Cart............. (F) Motorized Cart
(G) Dancing (after Dinner)

5. Any additional thoughts, suggestions, ideas would be most welcomed!! I want this to be "YOUR OUTING!!" If you need additional space to write please feel free to include a separate sheet of paper.





This is YOUR Family / Members Golf, Dinner / Dance Outing! COME ENJOY HAVE FUN!!

THANK YOU!! Richard Stover