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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - April 2001

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

The Search for Sweeney

Dane County Shamrock Club

South Central Shamrock Club Honorees 2001

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Shamrock Club of Lafayette County

Fox Cities Shamrock Club

Milwaukee President's Message

Nominations for Milwaukee Club Offices

Easter Rising Mass

Ethnic Fest 2001

Editor's Note

Colorful Art!

Milwaukee Irish Arts "The Cavalcaders"

Milwaukee Set Dance Club - April

Irish Government Funds UWM Irish Studies Center

Brother: On the Road Again

Mailing Help Needed

Color Guard Pipes and Drums Celebrate their 20th Anniversary!

"The Celtic Tiger: Ireland Today" New UWM Course

Share Your Favorite Recipes!

Schooner Fare in Concert

New Irish Cardinal

Dublin: 73rd Most Expensive City

Welcome New Members / Milwaukee Membership Report

Early History of Dane County Shamrock Club, Part VI

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

The Search for Sweeney

by Brian Witt

One day, the people of Tir Connell realized that there was no official portrait of the King. It had never been a problem before, since no other sitting member of royalty had their likeness so captured. Still, their king, Sweeney, had taken mad, and would only come down from his tree when he could see his likeness.

Sweeney had become insane a number of years earlier. In his bout of lunacy, he had decided to perch himself naked in a tree, ruling his people as though he was a bird. His subjects loyally indulged him in this act, feeding him and carrying his edicts to the various areas of the kingdom. It was an unusual arrangement, but the kingdom was peaceful, and prospered in spite of Sweeney.

One day, though, Sweeney flew into a rage. He had not combed his hair in many a month, and no mirror could be brought to him. He wanted a likeness done, and now. The people were in a dither. What to do? Although Sweeney was totally gone away with the faeries, he was generally a good king. Discussions ensued, and it was decided to find a portrait maker to assist the king.

It first fell upon Bob Hamill, a handyman from Lough Michigan, to build a platform to hold the portrait maker. Hamill labored long and hard, creating a scaffold that stood the height of the trees. A young man of the area, Eamon O'Brien, found the correct wood for an easel.

A trio of Roses, Jean Cardwell, Linda Smith and Reed provided the refreshments to assist the portrait maker. An argument broke out amongst the three as to who was able to make the best scones. Shouting and screaming was heard as the threesome tossed pans and curses. Someone rushed out to find an arbitrator. At long last, Jeremiah Hegarty appeared on the scene. Jeremiah was well known for his ability to deal with situations politic. He soon got the three to agree to make different types of scones. Peace then made reappearance.

Then, a portrait maker was found. This man mixed water with dyestuffs made from the colors of the earth. He ascended the scaffold, pulled out a piece of canvasboard, and started to stare at Sweeney. He watched the king, who was sitting motionless in the branches, almost never moving a muscle, for days on end. He sat as the king sat. He stood as the king stood. He flexed as the king flexed. The people below were wondering what they had got in the bargain. Now, instead of one madman poised over their heads, they had two. Murmuring occurred amongst the people on the ground. Then, on the fifth day, he pulled out his brush and started to paint. He painted fast, he painted sharp, he doodled on the edge of the canvasboard. He painted early in the morning, starting at the break of dawn, until late at night, when the sun set well behind the hills

Then one day, he came down from his perch. His portrait was done, he announced to the waiting crowd. He was ready to show the king how he looked. A group of the king's subjects mounted the scaffold to show the king his new portrait. All were amazed when they saw the lifelike rendering of their beloved king, so realistic was it. It was almost as though Sweeney's eyes were following them. Eamon O'Brien cleared his throat, and called to Sweeney. Sweeney craned his head to look at this interruption. "My king," he said, "We have your likeness here. You can now see how you appear to the rest of the world."

Sweeney worked his way to the edge of the limb. He got to the very end of the branch when a deluge of mammoth proportions came down upon all assembled. A few were washed off the platform. Sweeney retreated to the interior of the tree. O'Brien was shocked at what happened next. As he stood looking at this painting, he watched as the colors all ran off the canvasboard. For, while the painter made his colors from the clays of the earth, he did nothing to secure these pigments to the board. The lifelike likeness of Sweeney was now an indistinguishable mound of mud, highly colored mud, mind you, but still mud, all sitting at the bottom of the canvasboard. Dejected, the painter left Ireland, never again to be heard from.

What could be done? A new portrait maker was needed. There were rumors of the arrival of a man from a quaint village called Oconomowoc who had a new idea on how to make portraits. It was called a Brownie, and it wound film. This new person was like a magician, so real were his pictures. Who is this man, this saor of the picture? His name was Robert Higgins. Get him, now, and tell him of the urgency.

A chariot was dispatched, and soon this man of miracles was at Sweeney's tree. A person of short dimensions was dislodged from the chariot. He wore a strange amulet around his neck, boxy and of a metal unseen in that part of Ireland heretofore. The driver, named Ron Smith, called, "Goodbye, Scoop" as he drove off. Higgins slowly mounted the scaffold, and sat across from the king. Quietly, this man started to work. He looked into his little metal box, focused on the king, and then, a "Click" emitted from the device. He clicked again, and then again. Numerous clicks occurred, as Higgins walked slowly from one side to the other, the entire time focused fully on the king. At long last, he stopped. Higgins then descended from the platform.

A throng of people surrounded this magician. Where were the likenesses of the king he had promised? Were they in the box? Yes, they were in the box. Could they see them? No, they could not. Why not? Well, they had to be developed. What was developed? Well, said Higgins, it was about a week from that day. Yes, for sure, it was a week from that day they would see them. Why, the crowd asked, would it take a week?

"Well," said Bob Higgins, "one week from today is April First. What better day to show the king his likeness than on April Fools Day?"

(Bob Higgins was the longtime editor of the Emerald Reflections. He wrote an annual shaggy dog story for the April issue each year. Bob died in December, 1999. Happy April Fools Day, Bob. )

Dane County Shamrock Club


• APRIL 10 - Board Meeting (10:45 a.m.) / Membership Meeting (12 p.m.)At Jingles.

Members will purchase their own lunch off the menu. Kate Wiskus, a diocesan vocation team member at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, will give a presentation on Celtic spirituality. She will explain how Irish connectedness to the land and to images of creation affect the Irish outlook and approach to life. This noon meeting will take the place of our regularly scheduled 7:30 p.m. meeting. A slate of officers will also be presented to the members.

• MAY 8 - Board Meeting (6:15 p.m.) / Membership Meeting (7:30 p.m.) At Jingles.

Patricia Geyh will explain the available resources for studying Irish genealogy at the Irish Emigration Library located in the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center in Milwaukee. This interesting program is helpful to those seeking to trace their Irish roots. In addition, officers will be elected who will take on their duties in July.

• JUNE 23 - Field Trip to Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. Plans are still being finalized.

• JULY l0 - Potluck Picnic at Knights of Columbus Facility on 5256 Verona Road.

(Take Hwy. l8 west past Home Depot, turn right at M&I Bank onto Williamsburg Way, drive one block, turn left onto Anton Drive.) Bring a dish to pass and your own tableware. Social hour from 5-6, dinner at 6 p.m. As we have the use of the Clubhouse for free, we encourage the purchase of beer and pop on the site to support the Knights. Please, no carry in beverages. Enjoy chatting with friends and listening to Lee Tvedten's newest tape.

• AUGUST - No Meeting. Attend Irish Fest at Henry Meier Park in Milwaukee.

At our February meeting, members were delighted by the performance of the Dybdahl Girls and Francis McMahan. Erin played the fiddle, Angela the keyboard, and Francis alternated playing the fiddle and drum. Selecting a wide variety of music, the trio entertained us with waltzes, jigs, and reels. As a tribute to Shirley Armstrong, a devoted charter member of the Dane County Shamrock Club who passed away in January, the group played When Irish Eyes Are Smiling as the audience sang along.

Eamon O'Brien, our Irish Person of the Year, was honored as the group dedicated My Wild Irish Rose to him as we all joined in singing. In commemoration of Valentine's Day, the musicians played Let Me Call You Sweetheart as we again sang along. The Dybdahl Girls and Francis surely enjoyed playing for us, ending the evening with the girl's signature song, The Orange Blossom Special. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Francis for introducing us to these talented girls.

The dessert for the meeting was very special, just like the entertainment. Ginny Bonner Roehl brought a large, beautifully decorated birthday cake to celebrate not only her birthday but everyone who had a February birthday. Betty Watters baked her husband's favorite cookies to share. Our treat chairperson, Sally Cassidy, supplied us with four boxes of heart shaped chocolates to savor.

Our nominating committee, responsible for getting a slate of candidates for the various offices, are: Virginia Carpenter, Mary Hearn, and Ruth Tormey.

If you would like to hold an office or if you have ever considered holding an office, you should contact one of these ladies. If you get called to hold an office, you should consider the position carefully. I can speak from experience that the board has been very helpful, cooperative, and supportive these past two years. Hey, the Irish are great people! Holding an office can be fun and rewarding.

The state meet which was scheduled for February 26 to draft by laws for unifying the chapters was canceled due to the inclement weather. It has been rescheduled for May 12.

Best wishes go out to Ginny Bonner Roehl who was ill and had been hospitalized. Mary Grace Green, wife of Thomas R. Green who was one of the founders of our club, is no longer in her home. She now resides at the Milwaukee Catholic Home: #l024, 2330 North Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211. I am sure that Mary Grace would be very happy to hear from any of you who would write to her. We were saddened to hear of Dolly Harman's death in late February. She was a charter member of the Dane County Shamrock Club, and its first treasurer serving from 1975-1977. John Ryan also passed away.

Eamon O'Brien has taken on the task of setting up and updating the Dane County Shamrock Club's website. Check us out at Another good website to check out for celtic music, dance, language, arts, literature, and theater in Madison is (no hyphen).

Because the Dane Co. Shamrock Club is not having a raffle or any other fundraiser, membership dues increased as of January 1. A single membership will cost $20, and a family membership will cost $30.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our April 10 luncheon on Celtic spirituality. Guests are welcome.

Barbara Gallenberg, President

South Central Shamrock Club Honors Their 2001 Irishman of the Year Michael J. Hickey and Irish Rose Mary Stieve With Banquet and Blarney Concert

The nationally known and award winning Irish instrumental and vocal group, Blarney, presented a two hour concert of Irish songs and music at the South Central Shamrock Club's annual St. Patrick's Day celebration at Kalahari Resort in Lake Delton on the evening of March 10, 2001.

The evening began with a social hour at 5:30, followed by the Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Following the banquet, the presentation of the club's annual Irishman of the Year and Irish Rose were presented to Michael J. Hickey and Mary Steive.

Congratulations Michael and Mary!



A man who has had a significant impact on many lives is this year's Irishman of the Year for the South Central Shamrock Club. Michael J. "Mike" Hickey of Reedsburg is that honoree.

In 1984 Mike and his wife, Alice, experienced the devastating loss of their son in a motorcycle accident. After several years of struggling through grief the Hickeys wanted to try to help other bereaved parents. They formed a support group in their previous community which was successful. After moving to Reedsburg they helped establish a chapter of The Compassionate Friends, which meets monthly to provide self-help and mutual support to all who have lost a child. As a result of the efforts of Mike and Alice many couples have received support and hope, despite the disruptive and tragic loss of a child.

Mike was born in 1939 in Reedsburg to Walter and Beth Hickey. He has a substantial Irish and Sauk County background. His paternal great grandfather, Patrick Hickey, who came from Ballycroy, County Mayo, Ireland, was the first settler in the Town of Delona in 1846. Mike's grandfather, John, was co-owner of Hickey Livestock, which later became Hickey Stockyards, a business that Mike's father, Walter Hickey, operated in the Reedsburg area for 52 years.

Mike graduated from Reedsburg High School in 1957.

In 1960 Mike married a fair lass, also of Irish ancestry, Alice Phelan. Four children were born to this marriage: Denis (deceased), Elizabeth (Tom) Gunderson of River Falls, Michael Joseph "Joe" (Diane) of Wisconsin Rapids and Tim of River Falls. Today much of the family activity centers around the five grandchildren who delight Mike's life - Megan and Molly Gunderson; Devon, Brennan and Bryan Hickey.

After graduation from what was then known as Stout State College with a degree in industrial technology, Mike went to work for IBM and stayed with that company until his retirement in 1991 at which time Mike and Alice returned to Reedsburg. During his time with IBM he received awards for outstanding Branch Office Achievement, Regional IBM awards and Special Assignment tributes. In 1975 he received the Boss of the Year award from the Fargo, N.D. Jaycees.

Mike's employment caused the family to live in 13 cities. He always found time to contribute to those communities. For example, Mike was a member of the Fargo Planning Commission. In 1998 Mike was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council in Reedsburg and was elected to fill the balance of that term in 1999 and to a full term as alderman in 2000 and is also presently serving on its Personnel Committee, and the Reedsburg Utility, and Police and Fire Commissions.

Mike actively promoted youth hockey programs in Minnetonka, Minn., West Fargo, N.D. and River Falls, Wisc.

He served as chairman of the Executive Fund Raising Committee and as a director of the Fargo United Fund. He was also active in the St. Paul, Minnesota United Way for many years.

As a member of Reedsburg's Sacred Heart Parish, Mike has served on the Parish Council, Finance Committee and as an usher. He has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1975.

Unable, even with all his civic responsibilities, to fully accept retirement, Mike started his own electric contracting company, Hickey Electric Co., which sports a shamrock logo.

Mike has served as President of the South Central Shamrock Club and also conceived the idea for its very successful trip-to-Ireland. Raffle tickets are $5 each or six for $25. The prize is $2500 towards a trip to Ireland. Chances on the raffle may be purchased from any member of the Club. Part of the proceeds from the raffle will pay for the fees for the Blarney concert



A second generation Irish lady who has taught in St. Joseph's Catholic School in Baraboo for 30 years and who has been a leader in many community organizations while finding time to raise her five children is this year's Irish Rose of the South Central Shamrock Club.

Mary Ellen McCormick Stieve of Baraboo received that recognition at the Shamrock Club's annual St. Patrick Day celebration.

Mary was the first baby born in the then-new Reedsburg Hospital. She was one of five children of Joseph A. McCormick and Helen Condon McCormick. She graduated from Baraboo High School in 1951, from Sauk County Normal School in 1953 and from UW Platteville in 1972 with a degree in elementary education. She taught in the following one-room school houses in Sauk County: Happy Hill in the Town of Excelsior (1 yr.), Far View in the Town of Baraboo (1 yr.), Diamond Hill in the Town of Freedom (1 yr.), Chapel Hill in the Town of Merrimac and then 30 years at St. Joseph's.

In 1954 Mary married Roger Stieve, also of Baraboo. Their children are Anthony "Tony" Stieve of Des Plaines, Ill., and Teresa (Tom) Dorner, Timothy "Tim" Stieve, Kathryn (John) Statz and Kevin (Tammy) Stieve, all of Baraboo.

Those who know Mary, know that she is extremely well organized, very determined to properly carry out the responsibilities of any position to which she is assigned or for which she volunteers. With those qualities, she has devoted her leadership skills to:

The St. Clare Hospital Auxiliary, where she is currently in her second year as president. The Daughters of Isabella where she has served eight years as Grand Regent. The Baraboo Elks Ladies where she has served as president and has been active in its Children's Christmas program, charities, hop shoot program and fund raising. St. Martha's Circle where she assists with post funeral meals. The South Central Shamrock Club which she served as a very capable secretary The Baraboo High School Class of 1951 which she has served as reunion chairman. Sauk County Retired Educators which she served as secretary. Baraboo Fire Dept. Auxiliary which she served as president.

Mary has always been proud of her Irish ancestry as shown by the fact that she can always be identified by her kelly green attire in March of each year. She frequently used to teach her students an Irish jig. She inspired an appreciation of all things Irish, including Irish food, in her children.

With the look of the Irish all over her face, it should be no surprise to learn that her grandfather, John McCormick, came to America from the Galway Bay area in Ireland. He married Julia Costigan, the daughter of John Costigan and Margaret Collins, in 1886. Mary's father, Joe, was one of 11 children born to this marriage.

Her mother's maternal grandparents came from County Cork and County Limerick in Ireland. They married in Ireland and immigrated to the US around 1850. They had a son, William J. Condon, who married Ellen Sullivan. To this marriage Helen Condon, Mary's mother, was born.

Rock County


• APRIL 17 - General Membership Meeting at the Alliant Energy Building, 3730 Kennedy Rd., Janesville, 7:30 p.m.

• MAY 15 - General Membership Meeting, 7:30 p.m.

At our February 20 meeting, we enjoyed a fine program with John and Helen Nevins telling of their experiences in Ireland this past summer. We hope they will come back to a future meeting and tell us more about their time spent in Ireland.

St. Patrick's Day and our annual parade are now behind us and we are going to start planning for our 2002 St. Patrick's Day Parade which will be held on March 17 in Beloit. Let's make this one the best. If you have any ideas or suggestions bring them to our meetings.

There will be nomination of officers at our April meeting and the election at the May meeting. If you would like to volunteer to hold an office, get your name on the ballot or if you know someone you feel would be a good officer nominate that person at the April meeting.

Tom Kennedy

Lafayette County

On the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day, March 11, our club attended 10:30 mass at Holy Rosary Church. Following mass the members attended a brunch and the March monthly meeting. Our young Irish Dancers gave us a demonstration of their talents.

St. Patrick's Day brought a full schedule. We started by pulling a float down downtown Darlington about 7 a.m. to remind people what day it was. We then took two floats to Monroe Wis. to participate in their St. Patrick's Day Parade at noon. We came back to Darlington and sang Irish songs at the Lafayette County Manor at 2 p.m., after which we paraded on Main Street at 5 p.m. and had a raffle drawing at the court house. After a long and fulfilling day it was finally time to settle down to corn beef and cabbage and green beer.

Ed Flanagan, Parade Chairman

Fox Cities


• APRIL 11 - Business Meeting, Conkey's bookstore in Appleton, 7 p.m.

• APRIL 25 - Board Meeting, Conkey's, 7 p.m.

Music: Trilogy in Greenville is now completely smoke free. April 27 and May 18 = Druid's Table 7:30 to 11 p.m.; May 12 = Mike and Caren Cove both at Trilogy.

The Grand Opera House in Oshkosh will have Natalie MacMaster on May 12.

We need all members' input for nominations for new officers of our chapter. If you would like to volunteer as a candidate or know someone either come to our April business and/or board meeting or call one of our officers.

If you didn't attend our St. Patrick's dinner you would have received a member ballot in the mail for your choice of direction for our club. Please return your ballot to either Mystic Ireland or mail it to our P.O. Box 1632, Appleton 54912-1632 by April 9th.

Keep the last day of Irish Fest open on your calendar if you would like to ride our bus again this year. Last year a great time was had by all who went with us and Kate is planning on chartering one again this year. Call me if you would like to be called when we have made the arrangements, date - time - pickup points, etc.

Remember to watch your renewal month on your address label and mail to our P.O. Box 1632, Appleton, WI 54912-1632.

Elaine Hoes (920) 733-5254

Milwaukee President's Message

The March holidays are over - they sure went fast. The Mass, as usual, was beautiful. The choir sounded great. The new parade route was very good. The crowds were very large and enthusiastic. It was a real fun parade and it was bigger and better than ever. Tim O'Brien with his co-chairs Mick McDermot and Dan Malloy did another fantastic job. This parade, the move and all the work involved has been going on for a year and many of us saw the worthwhile event.

Muriel Crowley did another program at the museum and again came in under budget. She was interviewed by Gus Gnorski on March 2nd and did a good job. Thanks, Muriel.

The bus to Chicago for the "Southside" Irish parade was full. Everyone who went had a very good time and thank you John Shannahan for your generous donation. It was enjoyed by many.

The March nominations are in and are as listed:

• President: Sue Dundon
• Vice President: Jean Cardwell / Kris Carrigg
• Secretary: Mary McAndrews
• Treasurer: Sharon Murphy
• Membership: Tom Smith
• Trustee: -
• Parliamentarian: -
• Sgt. at Arms: -

Please come to the April meeting and be nominated for an office. It is much more interesting when there is more than one candidate running for each office.

The February State Board Meeting was cancelled because of bad weather. The next scheduled meeting is in May. At this time we are working on By-laws and Articles. This is an advisory board. The board will discuss these things at the March Board Meeting and report to you.

Emerald Reflections is your paper. We want to tell everyone about your event, but a full page ad has to be approved by the board. If not, you will be billed for it. Any inserts also have to be approved. Send us your articles in story form, as you usually do, and they will be printed.

Don't forget our April events: The Volunteer Party of April 7 and the Easter Rising Mass on the 15th. The Mass at the ICHC on Easter Sunday will begin at 9:30 a.m. A continental breakfast follows. Peg Hamill is arranging this event.

Happy Easter! And Happy Birthday and Anniversary to April celebrants.

Cate Harris

Nominations For Milwaukee Club Offices

Additional nominations for all offices of the Shamrock Club's Milwaukee Chapter will be taken at the April meeting. Nominees must be members in good standing, with dues paid and current. Nominees must be present at the time of their nomination.

The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin's
Sunday, April 15, 2001
9:30 AM
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center
Continental Breakfast to Follow
The Easter Rising Mass is in commemoration
of the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin

Ethnic Fest 2001

The Marian Center for Nonprofits (formerly St. Mary's Academy) will be hosting their first annual Ethnic Fest on Sunday, April 22. Hours of this event are 1-7 p.m. The Center is located at 3195 S. Superior St., Milwaukee.

The Irish will be represented at this family event. Traditional Irish music will be performed by Ceol Cairde. Enjoy foods like Irish soda bread, baked potatoes with various toppers, and Irish cream coffee.

Other groups participating in the festivities are the Ukrainians, Norwegians, Italians, Polish, Fins, Swedes and Philippinos. Enjoy the music and foods native to these countries. Enjoy the rich culture being brought together in one place.

Parking is free. Admission is only $2 for adults, $1 for children 6-18 yrs, and children 5 and under are free. For more information call: (414) 483-2430.

Editor's Note

In last months Reflections, there was a comment that the Emerald Reflections was the Milwaukee newsletter. Just for the record, as long as I have been editor, if any chapter has submitted anything for publication, we have printed it. I have never edited the length of articles.

Please think of the Reflections as the statewide newsletter. One thing that I have found is that people are interested in what is going on in other chapters. Remember, your news is news for all.

Brian Witt

Colorful Art!

West Bend native Mary Ulm-Mayhew is the featured artist at a special St. Patrick's season exhibition at the Irish Cultural Heritage Center.

Mary Ulm-Mayhew's colorful rural landscapes and evocative portraits of country folk have been compared to the work of noted Sligo painter Jack Yeats. Mary is proud of her Celtic-American heritage. Her great great grandmother came from Dublin and the Mayhew name goes back to 1246 in Wales!

Mary's work has been featured on the cover of Artist's and Art In Wisconsin magazines. She is the recipient of numerous honors and some of her paintings have been purchased by the corporate collections of Northwestern Mutual Insurance, Wausau Insurance, St. Mary's Hospital, Seton Corporation and more.

Running in tandem with this exhibit will be a show featuring linoleum block prints of Celtic design. Art students at Lincoln Center of the Arts, under the direction of Jeff Cartier, studied Celtic migration and design, then transformed traditional art into colorful and beautifully carved relief prints. Images from the Book of Kells and other sources are included. The show will include the original hand carved blocks which may be purchased for suggested donation of $100 for those who would like to do their own printing!

The exhibition will run through May 30, 2001, and works may be viewed Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Evening and weekends by appointment. Call (414) 345-8800.

Milw. Irish Arts "The Cavalcaders"

This delightfully dark comedy takes a bitter-sweet look at the lives and loves of four lads who work in a cobbler's shop in a small Irish town. By day they mend shoes and practice their singing. By night they are the stars of the local charity concert circuit. The show features both original songs and old standards and has something to say about the changing Ireland of today. The Calvacaders is written by award-winning Abbey Theatre playwright, Billy Roche. This is the American premiere of the play. April 6, 7, 8, 13, 14. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. at the ICHC. Admission is $10. Tickets available from the ICHC (414) 345-8800.

Milw. Set Dancing

The Milwaukee Set Dance Club will continue teaching set dance skills, with a series of set dance classes for advanced beginners, beginning April 29 (2-4 p.m.) and continuing over the next three Sunday afternoons. These classes will be held at the Irish Fest Center at 1532 Wauwatosa Ave.

The classes will be taught by experienced local set dancers. It is not necessary to bring a partner, but it is recommended that smooth-soled shoes be worn.

Advance registration is suggested. The class fee for each series of four classes is $10, payable in advance or at the door. For more information, call Julie Puhek at (414) 321-3521 or you may send e-mail to

The Milwaukee Set Dance Club will also be hosting its April set dance on the 28th at 8p.m., on the second floor of the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center at 2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue.

There will be live music for dancing, following the instruction of the set dance of the month (from 7:30 to 8 p.m.)

Irish Government Funds
UWM Irish Studies Center

In a gesture that is akin to a St. Paddy's Day present to Milwaukee, the Irish ministry has recently given funding to help establish a Center for Celtic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Center will offer both the community and UWM students access to more instruction in Gaelic and other cultural course work and lessons, and the opportunity to hear scholars from the Emerald Isle. In addition, the Center's connections will mean more options for studying in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

It also could be the catalyst for the College of Letters and Science approving a certificate program in Celtic Studies.

The partial funding of the Center for Celtic Studies marks the third time within a year the government of a foreign country has contributed financial support for an academic center or program at UWM.

Minister of Ireland, Eamonn O'Cuiv, T.D., offered funding for the Center "in recognition of the work we've done to promote Celtic culture," says John Gleeson, coordinator of the Irish Studies program. UWM and the state are matching those funds. The formal launch of the Center is scheduled for fall.

"One purpose in creating the Center is to acknowledge and accommodate the growing enrollment in Gaelic and Celtic cultural courses, says Gleeson. "The Center will be a cultural treasure chest from which the riches of the Celtic imagination will be shared with the community."

The international renown of Irish Fest, Irish Fest Summer School, and the heightened popularity nationwide of Celtic music, dance, and film have contributed to enrollments, he says. And the number of students taking Gaelic at UWM has steadily increased during the last five years.

"We want to develop and expand classes in the community that are currently offered through our connections with the Gaelic League and the Irish Culture and Heritage Center," Gleeson adds. "Those would take the form of weekend workshops, evening courses, and lectures."

A unique aspect of the Center will be its interdisciplinary structure, says Jose Lanters, an associate professor of English, who teaches Irish and British literature.

Other departments that are interested in becoming involved include archaeology, economics, business, philosophy, literature, the arts, history, and even social work.

The Center also hopes to bring a native-speaking teacher each semester to conduct courses, develop more study abroad agreements, arrange for shared research of issues that are important to both countries, and offer at least one Freshman Seminar each year on a Celtic topic.

Although Milwaukee has a much higher concentration of German and Polish populations, the longevity of the Irish Studies program at UWM and Milwaukee's proximity to heavily Irish Chicago helps make it a destination for tourists interested in the Celtic, says Irish poet James Liddy, a professor in the Creative Writing program.

Gleeson believes Irish Fest Summer School, held on campus every August, also has helped brand Milwaukee as a hub of Irish scholarship.

Brother: On the Road Again

After a very serious van accident and a long period of recuperation, Milwaukee's favorite Celtic rock group, Brother, from Australia is on its way back! They are on the road and entertaining again. They will be in Milwaukee on April 20. Tickets are going fast, so don't be left out in the cold. Brother blends the ancient with the contemporary, creating a unique mix of rock with strong primal influences, blending guitars and drums with the haunting sounds of the bagpipe and the didgeridoo. They create a musical sound with a special power that moves audiences.

Brother began playing in Sydney 10 years ago, and touring eight years ago. They write much of their own music and produce their own CDs on their Rhubarb label, most recently, a live concert CD in June 2000, This Way Up!

Friday, April 20, 2001
Doors open 8 p.m.
Brother concert at 9 p.m.
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center
2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
(414) 345-8800
$15 / advance, $17 / at door
$2 discount for seniors (60 & older)
and students with ID


Due to health problems Mary Glynn is looking for an individual(s) to take over the monthly mailing duties of Emerald Reflections. If you'd like to volunteer, call Mary at (414) 257-0159 or Cate Harris at (414) 321-5153.

The Shamrock Club
Color Guard Pipes & Drums
Invite you to Celebrate their


Saturday, May 12, 2001
Tripoli Shrine
3000 West Wisconsin Avenue • Milwaukee, WI 53208
Cocktails at 5:45-6:45 p.m. / Dinner at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Dancing 'til 11:30 p.m.
Dinner Selection
Prime Rib or Stuffed Chicken Breast
Salad - Vegetable - Dessert and Beverage
Open Bar All Evening
Tickets $25 per person / $50 per couple

Color Guard Anniversary Dinner
Enclosed is my check / money order for $________ payable to the SHAMROCK CLUB.

Mail to:

Color Guard Anniversary Dinner
c/o Kay Cobb
W167 S6827 Oakhill Drive
Muskego, WI 53150-9732





Dinner Selection for YOURSELF:

_____________________________ŽPrime Rib ŽChicken

Dinner Selection for GUEST:

_____________________________ŽPrime Rib ŽChicken

Please respond no later than May 5, 2001

"The Celtic Tiger: Ireland Today"
New UWM Course

Economics 258: The Celtic Tiger: Ireland Today (3 credits; prerequisites: none). Four weeks, beginning June 25, 2001. Mon., Tu., Thr. 12:30-3:30 p.m. Instructor: noted Irish professor Noel Kavanaugh, Professor of Economics, University of Birmingham, UK.

The course deals with the emerging "New Ireland" in the context of the so called Celtic Tiger economy and its implications for the future development of Ireland.

The course will trace the evolution of Ireland's Economy and its major economic, political and social problems. The recent success of the Irish Economy in the latter end of the 20th century is a remarkable contrast to the underdeveloped economy of the 19th century under the Act of Union between Britain and Ireland and the uneven and lagging development of the economy under Self-Rule for the most of the 20th century. The persistent major problems of low income levels, unemployment and mass emigration of the 19th and 20th centuries are examined. Have these persistent problems found solutions in the emergence of the so-called Tiger Economy?

The role of the European Union and US overseas investment in the success of the "Tiger Economy" will be evaluated.

The course is presented with a historical perspective from the Act of Union of 1801 between Britain and Ireland and the period of Self Government from 1922 to date.

The subject matter of the course, will be of interest not alone to students of Irish Studies but to students of economics, industrial policy, economic and social history, political science, regional studies and contemporary history. For information call (414) 229-6493.


Family Secrets . . . Irish Specialties . . .

(And if you have a tale to go along with it, all the better!)


Your Name:

Jot down, and Send to:
Jean Cardwell; 21445 W. Oakcrest Dr.; New Berlin, WI 53146

Schooner Fare In Concert

Yankee folk music will return to Milwaukee on Saturday, April 28, when Maine folk trio Schooner Fare performs at Alverno College's Pitman Theater, 3401 S. 39th St. Reserved seat tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $18 and $15 with all tickets for those ages 18 and under $8.

Proceeds from an ad booklet and a raffle held the night of the concert will benefit the John J. Ward Jr. Irish Music Archives. The archives, which are housed at the Irish Fest Center, were established in 1992 and are considered one of the country's largest collections of Irish music. In addition to preserving the music, the 30,000 pieces serve as a resource for the public.

Schooner Fare's Steve and Chuck Romanoff and Tom Rowe are one of folk music's most popular and enduring acts. They recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and on the latest of their 13 recordings, were called "a true Maine treasure" by Maine Gov. Angus King. They are well known to Wisconsin audiences from frequent appearances at Milwaukee Irish Fest.

For tickets and information, call Kathy Schultz at (414) 332-8521.

New Irish Cardinal

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Desmond Connell, has been created a Cardinal. The announcement was made by Pope John Paul. The ceremony took place in late February. News of the move has been welcomed by political leaders. President McAleese congratulated Dr. Connell, saying the announcement was a cause of great pride and satisfaction to the people of Ireland.

The Taoiseach said he was delighted at the announcement of the elevation of Dr. Connell to cardinal. He said this is a great honour for Dr. Connell and for the archdiocese of Dublin who must be very proud of him. John Paul named 37 new cardinals, possibly including the man who one day will succeed him as Roman Catholic leader. Cardinals are the elite "princes" of the Church. Those under 80, called "cardinal electors," can enter a secret conclave to elect the next Pope from among themselves after John Paul's death.

newsbits from rte

Dublin: 73rd Most Expensive City

Dublin is the 73rd most expensive city in the world to live in, dropping from 48th place last year according to a comparative cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Dublin shares 73rd spot with Melbourne, Guatemala City and Ho Chi Minh. Due to the weak Euro, all Eurozone cities have dropped down the index compared with last year, with Paris falling from 8th to 26th. London remains in the world top ten at number eight, and Tokyo in Japan kept the top spot.

newsbits from rte

New Members

NEW DUBLIN - Maureen Egan; Eileen Heckle.

MILWAUKEE - Betty Champion (referred by Richard Champion); Kenneth and Maureen Milton (referred by John Monahan); Bob and Kathleen Powers (referred by Ed Barlow); James, Maggie, Rebekah Trussler.


• January: 25 memberships up for renewal, 18 paid, 7 dropped for non-renewal.

• February: 33 memberships up for renewal, 17 paid to date, 6 due.

• March: 74 memberships up for renewal, 3 paid to date, 71 due.

Early History of
Dane County Shamrock Club,
Part VI

Written by Margaret Courtney, typed by Barb Darcey


By the 1980's, the Shamrock Club was well established. Its members were interested and vibrant in many activities. We were meeting at the Elk's Club with dining facilities available to our members.

By this time our yearly events were firmly established: The Flag Raising, St. Patrick's Day festivities, concerts and film festivals, and picnic. We had already had two visits from the St. James Choir of Dublin, plus the continuous programs of the Instrumental Group, Choral Group, and the Dancers at Nursing Homes throughout Dane County.

For the first time the Flag Raising was held in the Capitol Rotunda (through the efforts of Gordy Reese - it was pretty cold outside two years prior!) The St. Patrick's Day Dinner-Dance honoring Flo Wrage, our Irish Person of the Year, was held at the Heritage House. A little bit "different" honor was presented to Governor Dreyfuss at his appearance at the Flag Raising at the Capitol - he was presented with a beautiful green vest (to replace his well-known red one) for the occasion. The vest was hand-made by our own "native-Dubliner" Mary O'Dowd!

The British-Irish House's co-owners, Naila Harper and Ann Rose presented a program displaying clothing, tapestries housewares, books, tourist aids from Ireland and our own Shamrock members were models for an "Irish Fashion Show."

The annual picnic was highlighted by a visit by Batt Burns and his family at Garner Park. Batt regaled the members present with some of his Irish stories. We also enjoyed an exhibition game by the Shamrock Club Soccer Team.

In the fall of 1980 our musical groups were busy being good neighbors - appearing at the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival and later at the Waunakee Volkfest - a special guest was the Vice Counsel Conor Barrington, of the Consulate General of Ireland offices in Chicago.


At a meeting of the Board and members of the Elks, it was agreed to continue to meet at the Elks Club during 1981. The music groups, as always, were busy in March. On our schedule was the Nazareth House - always a delightful spot for the Choral Group, Instrumental Group and our Dancers, Nora and Sheila O'Brien and Bill Murphy. Sister Rose always out-did herself in treating the residents and the entertainers with her Irish Scones!

In the month of March our largest social event of the year is always a busy time for all who help to make our program a very special night. In 1981 Bill Murphy was selected as the Irish Person of the Year. The Dinner-Dance had a total attendance of 430 at the Heritage House - it was a "truly grand affair!"

The first Irish Fest was held at Milwaukee's Lake Front on the weekend of August 21st. This was the beginning of an annual event that most of our members attended. It was the opportunity for people to see and hear national and inter-national Irish performers! Just a few names of that very first Irish Fest included: Carmel Quinn, Green Fields of America, John Gary, Joe Feeney, Gael Winds, Fiddler's Green - should bring back some wonderful memories.

Gertrude Walsh of Wexford, Ireland, visited our August meeting. Jerry Murphy, our President said, "It is events like this which bring us as close to Ireland as we can get, without climbing aboard an Aer Lingus."

Our December meeting was a buffet supper which was well attended. Music was provided by our own Choral and Instrumental Groups and dancing was to the music of Bob Junceau's Orchestra.


Under the direction of Flo Wrage, members of our club performed in a play, "Mr. McGillicuddy Comes to Washington". Jerry Eyre and Lorraine Wilke were the "stars" - the entertainment was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The Flag Raising at noon at the State Capitol Rotunda was the start of our biggest celebration of the year. The Dinner-Dance was held at the Heritage House starting at 5:30. Margaret Courtney was chosen as the Irish Person of the Year. Music for dancing was by the "Ambassadors" and a good time was had by all.

Many of our members chose to attend "The Chieftains" concert on March 20 at the Civic Center with a "group" of Shamrock members. It was a tremendous evening with those wonderful Irish musicians. It was enjoyed by a "packed house".

Batt Burns and his family returned to Edgewood for a two-week course entitled "Irish Culture in Literature and Legend" from July 12-23.

Tom Green was elected President for the 82-83 term and Jerry Murphy was our retiring President. Tom was back at the helm after a five-year "rest".

Our annual picnic was held on July 18th at Warner Park, and our soccer team played an exhibition game.

The month of August lined up as a busy, busy time. Gertrude Walsh and her dancers, from Wexford, Ireland, made their first trip to America. They appeared at Irish Fest, Door County, and of course, our Shamrock Club meeting on August 10. As many will remember, the August meeting was "One for the Books"! The wonderful girls, 19 of them, sang, danced spectacularly, recited poetry. It really was thrilling to see. The girls were a tremendous hit at all their appearances throughout the State and we were all so proud of them! Their first appearance was at Irish Fest in Milwaukee and their outstanding dancing was seen by hundreds of people including their "loyal" Madison fans who were in the audience to cheer them on!

At the October meeting Martin and Mary Kennedy and Gordy and Irene Reese told us about their 1982 trips to Ireland.

Tom Green commended the efforts of the Shamrock Chorus, the Instrumental Group, Dancers Bill Murphy, and Nora and Sheila O'Brien who provided programs this month of November at the Ingleside Nursing Home in Mount Horeb and the Waunakee Manor.

The performance of the "Sweet Adelines" at the November meeting was very well received. Many favorable comments were made on the quality and variety of selections.

In December our Buffet Dinner and Christmas party was a tremendous success for the more than 100 members who enjoyed our music and festivities. Santa Claus "Ho! Ho! Ho'ed!" his way through the crowd and collected $65 for the Empty Stocking Fund which put a little cheer in the lives of the less fortunate while we all enjoyed ourselves!