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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - June 2001

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

Milwaukee's Unique Twist on Irish Sports

Fox Cities Shamrock Club

Fox Cities Photo: The Old Sod

Dane County Shamrock Club

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Milwaukee President's Message 

Raffle Thank You

Attention College Football Fans

Notice to All Chapters

RTE News Items!

Welcome New Members

Early History of Dane County Shamrock Club, Part VIII

Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Annual Golf Outing

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

Milwaukee's Unique Twist on Irish Sports

When people think of things Irish in Milwaukee, the usual image is of music and culture but Milwaukee is also home to two thriving sports, both Irish to their souls, and both as different as day and night. Hurling is the oldest of Irish sports. Currach racing is relatively new in Ireland, but the art of currach boat bulding can be traced back to the time of St. Brendan the Navigator, who sailed to the Americas in a boat built to the specifications of the currachs. The Milwaukee Hurling Club is the only coed hurling organization in the world. The Irish Currach Club of Milwaukee is also a coed club. Here is an update on these two organizations.


by Karen Seeliger

This year, the Milwaukee Hurling Club (MHC) celebrates its 6th year as the first American hurling club and the only coed club. Since 1996 the MHC has promoted the sport of hurling through education and game play.

Hurling, the oldest of Irish sports, was used to train warriors for battle and actually pre-dates Christianity. As the national sport of Ireland, more than approximately 100,000 Irish people play and its followers are as loyal and dedicated as that of our own sports fans.

Many times equated with soccer, lacrosse, or field hockey, hurling is considered the fastest field sport in the world. Players use an ash stick (the hurly or cumman) to hit and carry the ball (the sliotar, pronounced slit-er) to the end of the field and into the goal for points. The field (pitch) itself is fairly large by American standards, measuring 150 yards long and 100 yards wide. To score, a player must put the ball either over the crossbar for one point, or into the goal for three points. Each team consists of 15 players, including one goalkeeper, three fullbacks, three halfbacks, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.

The women's equivalent of hurling is called camogie and is played according to the same basic rules, but with a smaller pitch and smaller sticks. Even though camogie is offered, the MHC remains committed to its coed status.

The Milwaukee Hurling Club first introduced the sport of hurling to Milwaukee in 1996 with 30 members. In 1997, four teams were formed which enabled the club to hold regular games. Our 2000 season had a roster of 140 members, six sponsored teams, and a corporate sponsorship from Beamish. Unlike other hurling clubs, the MHC is coed and remains dedicated to this status. However, a camogie league is offered for the female members.

Due to the unique nature of the sport, much of our equipment is imported from Ireland. For example, the hurls are made of a specific ash wood that is only available in Ireland. Because the sport has not become a staple in American sports, the sliotars, helmets, and most of the protective gear are also imported.

The sport itself requires many skills from its athletes in order to excel: agility, hand-eye coordination, strength, ambidexterity, and stamina.

Our 2001 season began May 20th. Once again Mayor John Norquist honored us by tossing in the sliotar for the first game. All games are held at Veterans Park each Sunday near the lakefront and begin at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (excluding Memorial weekend and Fourth of July weekend). We welcome anyone interested in hurling, whether it be as a spectator or a player, to join us for what we promise to be an exciting experience.

For more information about the Milwaukee Hurling Club, call the MHC Hotline – (414) 297-9490. For information via email, write to, or visit us on the web at: (no hyphenation).


by Mickey McGeoghegan

The rowing season has begun for the Irish Currach Club of Milwaukee. Our boats are in the water at McKinley Marina and practices are being held Mondays through Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. Our club is always looking for men and women to be part of a competitive rowing team. If you are interested, please call Laura Kucharski at (414) 489-1100 or Mickey McGeoghegan at (262) 569-1459. Orientation days for new members will be held on Saturdays, June 9 and 16 at 9 a.m. at McKinley Marina. Hope to see you there!

Our 2001 schedule for regattas follows:

• May 19 – New Orleans, LA
• June 16 – Pittsburgh, PA
• June 30 – Philadelphia, PA
• July 21 – Albany, NY
• August 4 – Columbus, OH
• August 18 – Milwaukee @ Irish Fest
• Sept. 1-2 – Boston, MA
• Sept. 15 – Annapolis, MD

Fox Cities


• JUNE 18 – Dinner Meeting, see below

• JUNE 27 – Board Meeting, Conkey's in Appleton (all are welcome to attend)

Music: Sunday, June 10 Oshkosh Art Fair held at Oshkosh's South Park. Celtic Knot Trio and Mike & Karen Cove.

New officers will be announced in the July newsletter.

At our March dinner meeting almost 100% voted to have four dinner meetings in place of our monthly meetings. Therefore, we didn't mail questionnaires to the few members not attending our dinner.

However, we will still have monthly Board Meetings. These will be held the 4th Wednesday of each month. All members are welcome to attend.

Coming event: Monday, June 18, 2001 Dinner Meeting to be held at Trilogy in Greenville. Evening's schedule begins with 5:30 p.m. Cocktails and Socializing (cash bar), followed by dinner at 6:30. Menu choices are: (1) Ground Sirloin Burger (2) Marinated Chicken Breast, or (3) Vegetarian entree. In addition, home made coleslaw and potato salad, buns and rolls, dessert bars and choice of coffee, tea or soda will be served.

At 7:30 p.m., following dinner, music will take center stage. Enjoy Celtic acoustic jam and/or playing cassette tapes and CD's members bring. Feel free to bring any musical instruments to play (don't forget your voices are musical instruments!)

Price of dinner meeting will be determined before each member is called.

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

The Old Sod


Anna McGuinness from Mystic Ireland gift shop in Appleton is shown helping with the turf back in her home town of Donegal last August. This is what she grew up with as a child. It was hard work, sore on the back, but it was great. They enjoyed the lighting of a wee fire and putting on the old black kettle for a cup of tea and a few sandwiches. The rewards were great, especially on a cold winter's night as they sat around the warm turf fire as family and neighbors told many a good tall story.

Dane County Shamrock Club


• JUNE 23 - Field Trip to the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago.

We will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, at Dutch Mill Park and Ride. Club members will buy their own lunch at Abbey Pub and Restaurant in northwestern Chicago. After lunch, we will tour the Irish American Heritage Center which has a large collection of Belleek Pottery and Irish lace. On the way home, the bus will stop at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois. Shamrock members will be able to browse at Blarney's for Irish items. When we reach Janesville, we will stop at Roherty's Restaurant and Pub for members to purchase their own dinner. Your paid reservations of $25 apiece for the bus are due by Wednesday, June 6 to Mary Hearn, 3048 Woods Edge Way, Madison, WI 53711. The Rock County Shamrock Club has been invited to join us for this outing.

• JULY 10 - Potluck Picnic at Knights of Columbus Facility, 5256 Verona Road.

Take Hwy. 18 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 p.m., dinner at 6. 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 talking to friends and listening to tapes. After the dinner as an added treat, Dr. Robert McCleary, a local chiropractor who had the privilege of spending six years in Ireland, will share his experiences and knowledge about Ireland with us.

• AUGUST - No Meeting.

Attend Irish Fest on August 16-19 at Henry Meier Festival Grounds in Milwaukee. Call 414-476-3378 for info. The Dane County Shamrock Club will have a booth promoting membership, displaying Irish artifacts, and answering questions about Ireland at the O'Fitchburg Days on August 4 and 5.

In regards to our St. Patrick's Day Celebration, it was a great treat to have Jerry Eyre join us. It meant a lot to Eamon to have his brother in-law here from Ireland to help him celebrate his "Irish Person of the Year" award. Jerry sang a couple of songs for us at Jingles, one of them being Danny Boy. He still has his amazing voice at 84 years of age!

Our April 10 noon luncheon was a success. We were blessed with beautiful weather, delicious food, and a good turnout. Kate Wiskus, an Irish lady and a staff member at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, gave an enlightening presentation on Celtic spirituality supported by stories from her own family. A partial slate of officers was also presented to the members. The nominating committee is still working to complete the slate.

I wish to thank the following board members who served their term of office so faithfully this past year: Barbara Darcey - Past President, Bernard Gallenberg - Vice President and Entertainment, Carol Brunet - Secretary, Ed Horkan - Treasurer, Nelle Murphy - Parliamentarian, Lee Tvedten - Sergeant-at-Arms, Virginia Carpenter, Michael Brunet, and Mary Hearn - Trustees, and Eamon O'Brien - Membership. Thank you also to Carol Brunet for doing the publicity and to Sally Cassidy for arranging for the treats at the meetings.

Club members Grace Tvedten, Bob Finley, and Cletus Doyle have all recently undergone surgery. Please remember them with your cards and prayers.

Eamon O'Brien has taken on the task of setting up and updating the Dane County Shamrock Club's website at Furthermore, the website for the nine chapters of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin is http:// A good website to check out for celtic music, dance, language, arts, literature, and theater in Madison is (no hyphen). For a journal of contemporary Irish and Irish American affairs, check out (no hyphen).

Because the 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. Please send all new and renewal club membership dues to Eamon O'Brien, Membership Chairperson, 2667 Coffey Town Rd., Cottage Grove, WI 53527.

I look forward to seeing everyone on June 23 on our field trip to Chicago. Guests are welcome.

– Barbara Gallenberg, President
(608) 27l-8660

Rock County


• JUNE – No Meeting

• JULY – No Meeting

• AUGUST 21 – Annual Club Picnic

Please note that the date for our picnic has been changed. Our picnic will be held on August 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sweet-Allyn Park at Shoppiere. This will be a potluck supper so come early and enjoy visiting with all of the other Shamrockers and enjoy a great meal. Will will begin eating at 6 p.m. Your guests are always welcome.

– Tom Kennedy

Milwaukee President's Message

The newly elected officers for the Milwaukee Board of Directors are:

• President: Sue Dundon
• Vice President: Jean Cardwell
• Secretary: Mary McAndrews
• Treasurer: Sharon Murphy
• Trustee: Bob Hamill
• Sgt. at Arms: Jim LeClair
• Parliamentarian: Tim O'Brien
• Membership: Tom Smith

Also on the Board are Bob Voss (1 year), Mike Payne (2 years) and Cate Harris as Past President.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the candidates who ran.

We have a new system in place to get Emerald Reflections mailed. Pat Sadowski will get the lists into zip code order and two other people will put the labels on. Tom Smith will then take them to the post office. I hope this system works as it seems to be easier for several people to do the job than just one person.

The Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums had a very successful 20th Anniversary Party. The charter members were recognized and Chuck McLaughlin was honored on his retirement from the Color Guard for his 18 years of service. The group was also honored by several government agencies for keeping the presence of the Irish community alive. Last season they participated in 33 parades. The schedule for this season is not complete at this time but they will be out there. Come and cheer them on.

The Bradley Center season for 2000-01 is finally finished. The play-off games of the Bucks were very busy but quite lucrative. Please think about working some events next season.

Irish Fest is just a short time away so plan on volunteering there. Noreen Barclay and Mary McAndrews need your help.

The next event will be the Golf Outing on August 26, 2001. Tom Tibbals is working on that project. There is more info on that elsewhere in this newsletter.

Tom Blaha and committee presented the changes and were voted on and accepted. See Tom's article last month.

Happy Birthday, Anniversary and Fathers' Day.

– Cate Harris, President

Raffle Thank You:

A very big thank you to all the sellers and buyers of the St. Patrick’s Day raffle tickets. It was a very successful year and special mention goes to Tom Mulvaney and Richard Stover, super salesmen.

– Dick and Rosemary Quinlan

Attention College Football Fans:

Anyone interested in attending a University of Wisconsin-Madison football game as part of a Shamrock Club of Wisconsin group please call Tom Smith at (414) 384-4119. If enough interest is generated an outing will be organized.

Notice to All Chapters

Please ask your members to inform your Membership Chairperson if they are moving or going on vacation. The number of Reflections we are getting back is generating quite an expense. The post office will not hold or forward the Reflections. The Milwaukee chapter gets charged for all returns. Thank you for your help in this matter.

– Tom Smith


July 5, 2001
Derry Hegarty's Pub – 5328 W. Bluemound Rd.

Dinner 6:30 p.m. Installation 8 p.m.
This year's event will be a buffet dinner
Cash Bar

Join in a fun evening to say thank you to the Milwaukee officers
who served during 2000 and to welcome the new Board for 2001

$13 per person

Call: Beth Brzycki (414) 321-0958
Reservation Deadline: June 22, 2001

Installation Dinner Reservation

Please include the following information:

Day Phone:
Evening Phone:
No. of Reservations $13 @____________
Total Amount Enclosed $_____________

Please make checks payable to the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin

Mail to: Beth Brzycki, 3373 S. 84th St., Apt. #101,
Milwaukee, WI 53227 by June 22, 2001

RTE News Items


A new study indicates that the average price paid for a second hand house in Dublin has risen to £215,000, ($322,000 US). Despite this, the house price guide by Douglas Newman Good estate agents shows that the rate of increase in the price of second hand houses in Dublin has fallen by almost 2.5% over the last twelve months.


A giant sculpture which is claimed to be the biggest in the world has arrived in Dublin port. The 116 ft, 20 ton structure was built in Norfolk by London-based sculptor Angela Conner, but is due to grace a huge office complex on the edge of Dublin in the Park West centre.

Called The Irish Wave, the sculpture took more than two years to build. Ms Conner said: "It's thought to be the tallest in the world. One would have to do a tremendous amount of research to find out whether it is, but we can be extremely satisfied that it is the highest mobile in the world." Park West is one of Ireland's most successful office complexes, and covers a 200-acre site close to a motorway being built around Dublin.

The Irish Wave, a twisted vertical spiral, will be its focal point, and will have cost an estimated £750,000 once it is in position. It was transported across Britain to Liverpool and loaded on to a freight ferry to complete the trip to Ireland.


The historic Cross of Kells has been officially unveiled at its new location in the County Meath town by the Minister for the Environment, Noel Dempsey. The cross has been extensively refurbished after it was damaged by a bus at its original location. The unveiling comes just days after Kells

Urban District Council announced details of a renewed effort to secure the return of the Book of Kells to the town later this year.

New Members

DANE COUNTY – Ed and Toni Ledwidge; Theresa O'Connor; Mary Wall.

LaCROSSE – Ronald Potaracke (referred by Joyce Digman).

LAFAYETTE CO. – Stephen Fitzsimons.

MILWAUKEE – David and Sara Brust (welcome back); Kevin Ryan Connolly; Philip and Peggy Harris; Larry and Bernice O'Neil; Kathleen M. Peters.

ROCK COUNTY – Mary and Mark Houfe.

SOUTH CENTRAL – James Adkins and Leah Bryant; Mr. M.J. Kinney.

Early History of Dane County
Shamrock Club, Part VIII

Written by Margaret Courtney, typed by Barb Darcey


The highlight of the month on January 19 was celebrating the ninth Birthday of our Club! President Tom Green revived some of the "sounds of the past". We enjoyed a general reminiscing with scrapbooks and pictures.

In the month of February plans were underway, of course, for the St. Patrick's Day Celebration. It was announced that Mel Stapleton had been selected as the Irish Person of the Year. We also learned of the death of Larry McCormick, who was our second Irish Person of the Year. We were also reminded that Larry had suffered a heart attack while carrying the Shamrock Club Banner in the Bicentennial Parade in July 1976. Almost miraculously, he had recovered and we were privileged to have had him with us another seven years.

The only "minus" note in the write-up of the St. Patrick's Day Dinner-Dance on the 17th at the Heritage House was the weather! There were 23 "no-shows". However, there were still 356 hardy souls present for the usual excellent evening's entertainment and to pay homage to Mel Stapleton, who had been active and deeply interested in our club since the inception nine years prior.

The June meeting was an excellent slide show by Hugh and Maybelle Moore called "Ireland II" because it was the other half of a similar program they had put on for us sometime ago.

In July Tom Green stepped down as President, concluding his 4th term. John Kennedy succeeded Tom to carry on our Club's programs.

Milwaukee's fourth annual Irish Fest had an attendance that year of over 62,000 – a hike of over 10,000 more than in 1983. Showcasing over 250 musicians, with many stars of Irish music, the festival was becoming a big drawing card for all of Wisconsin.

The September location for our meeting was at Feldman's Restaurant on North Sherman Avenue at the Northgate Shopping Center. We had been meeting at the Elks Club since 1976, during which time we had a most amicable relationship with the Elks. However, due to their tax exempt status with the IRS, they were obliged to discontinue selling their services to outside organizations such as the Shamrock Club.

The Board, anticipating this problem, made a survey of a number of alternate places to meet. Considering location, cost, parking, and finally, restaurant and bar facilities, Feldman's Restaurant seemed to be the best choice.

At our September meeting Tom McDermott showed slides with views of Ireland not experienced by the average tourist. Of special note was a River Shannon boat trip which his party had taken part in. It was very evident that everyone had a good time.

In October we were treated to a very entertaining program given by Mr. and Mrs. Harold McCarthy. As some of you may remember, Harold was Manager of WHA Radio Station for many years. They acted out a scene from the well-known play by Neil Simon, Plaza Suite.

In November we had an excellent program of barbershop harmony. The group was called "Madison Harmony Review" and was made up of all women, 25 in number, under the direction of Fred Mount. It was a most enjoyable program.

Our Shamrock Dancers, under the direction of Virginia O'Brien, performed at International Day on November 11. This event was sponsored by all of Dane County's 4-H Clubs and it was held at the Dane County Fairgrounds.

Also in November, our president, John Kennedy, was recovering from major surgery at St. Mary's Hospital. We hoped he would be able to be with us at the December meeting. He thanked the membership for their good wishes and prayers.

For December we planned a sit-down dinner at Feldman's at 6 p.m. As usual, we had our own singers and musicians for a very Irish Christmas Party.

golf outing

Sunday, August 26, 2001

Lakeside Country Club, Pewaukee

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

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

(One Individual winner per award)

Door Prizes, "Money Hole" and Putting Contest

Golf will begin at 1 P.M.

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: 4:30-6:00 - Buffet Dinner: 6:00-7:00
AWARDS to be presented during dinner.


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


Name 1:________

Name 2:________

Name 3:________

Name 4:________

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

(1)_____ (2)_____ (3)_____ (4)_____

No.______ @ $32 each=_________



Name 1:________

Name 2:________

Name 3:________

Namd 4:________

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

(1)_____ (2)_____ (3)_____ (4)_____

No.______ @ $16 each=__________



Name 1:________

Name 2:________

Name 3:________

Name 4:________

No.______ @ $16 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

Tom Tibbals, 5761 N. 81st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53218.

Please call (414) 462-4673 if you have any questions.

**Please include daytime (______)______________________ and nighttime (______)______________________telephone numbers.

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