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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - May 2002

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

The Offbeat News From Ireland

Milwaukee President's Message

Dane County Shamrock Club

Shamrock Club of New Dublin

Oh - What a Time We Had!

South Central Shamrock Club

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Attn: Milwaukee Football Fans

Color Guard News and Notes

Summer in Donegal

LaCrosse Member Reenacts History

State Advisory Board Meeting

Noted Speaker Program at ICHC

Blarney Benefit Concert

Celtic Women International First Friday Lecture Schedule

Welcome New Members

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

The Offbeat News From Ireland

Snippets of news from Ireland can be found in the Emerald Reflections on occasion. For the most part, the RTE bits consist of items of general interest. News about the Euro, social conditions, and environmental concerns are reported on.

However, there is an offbeat side to the news, too. Not all items make it into the daily reporting. Here are some of the quirkier things to come out of Ireland in the past few months. And our thanks to RTE, Irish Independent, Ananova News, and the AP for their reporting on these events.


Six men were remanded in custody for a week on public order offenses following an incident on the steps of Sligo Court House. Gardai had to use batons to break up a fight which had erupted outside the newly refurbished courthouse at 1 p.m. One man was hospitalized with eye injuries. Two women were also charged with public order offenses but were granted bail. One of them was a minor.

Judge Oliver McGuinness said that he "would not stand for that carry-on within the precincts of the court". He said that the men could go elsewhere for bail, as he would not grant it.


A Bank of Ireland employee has been injured in an attempted raid in Thomastown, County Kilkenny. Two masked men demanded money from staff. The raiders dropped a bag full of cash and made off empty handed after being challenged. One bank official received a minor cut to his head.

Three men from Dublin have been detained at Kilkenny Garda Station. They are being held under Section 30 of the Offenses Against the State Act.


A fish farm in County Antrim has accidentally released thousands of salmon into the sea. They swam up to Glenarm and on to the lines of masses of anglers.

Landing them was easy because the salmon is farm-bred and not used to being hunted.

Christopher Matthews, from Carnlough, told The Daily Telegraph: "It was brilliant for me to catch my first two fish but it was all a bit too easy."

Some began selling the fish for as little as £5 each on the roadside.

Fisherman believe tens of thousands of salmon escaped from one cage operated by the Northern Salmon Company. But Mannix McAllister, a former Antrim coast salmon fisherman, had this word of warning: "The fear about such farms has always been that the escapees will run with the wild salmon and affect them genetically, resulting in a loss of the homing instinct and possibly the ruination of wild salmon fishing here."


Two planeloads of Northern Ireland residents, many of them drunk after watching a hotly contested soccer match in Scotland, were told they were too boozed up to fly.

More than 200 passengers from a Sunday night's last two easyJet flights from Glasgow to Belfast were due to leave, but the captains decided they posed too much of a security risk and grounded the flights until they calmed down.

The most docile passengers were allowed to go home on a 10 p.m. flight, while many passengers slept in the Glasgow terminal until another plane took off about 2 a.m. Others checked into airport hotels and left on a flight about 10 a.m., according to Glasgow airport spokesman Sandy Ferrar.

"The captains of the two aircraft were well within their rights to refuse to take them until they calmed down," said Ferrar, who noted that extra police were deployed in the terminal to deter violence. "Given the high state of security consciousness that all airlines are in at present, any out-of-control behavior will not only frighten other passengers, but would cause pilots understandable concern."


Four men are due in court following a series of container thefts from Dublin Docks. The four were arrested after Gardaí raided a warehouse at The Ward in North Dublin.

Confectionery worth 64,000 was found. The gang are suspected of stealing at least 200,000-worth of goods in four raids.

The four men were arrested while unloading a lorry. Gardaí believe that the proceeds of the four previous raids were also stored at the warehouse.

Milwaukee President's Message

Just a reminder that the new Board of Directors Elections will be held during the May membership meeting. More than ever, every vote counts so please come out and make your voice heard.

Board Nominations are:

President - Joe Hughes
Vice President - Jack Suit
Secretary - Tom McAleese
Treasurer - Sharon Murphy
Trustee - Tom Cobb and Norene Barclay
Sergeant at Arms - Jim Dickmann
Parliamentarian - Tim O'Brien
Membership Chair - Tom Smith

I'm very excited about our sponsorship of a Hurling team this season. If you've never checked out the games before, this is the year to do so. We will print the 2002 schedule in the Reflections as soon as it becomes available. The energy and fun the players exude is just great. Come cheer your team on!

The Board, in conjunction with a newly set up Committee, is working to form a Scholarship Fund as we had in the past. We hope to have it in place by the fall.

A big thank you to all who made this past Green Season a huge success. It takes a lot of work to keep an organization like this vital and your efforts are much appreciated.

- Susan Dundon

Dane County Shamrock Club


Dane County ShamrockClub has its own "leprecaun in residence," Margaret Rupert, shown with co-presidents Paul Buckalew and Colleen Schams.


MAY 14 - Board Meeting at Jingles, 6:15 p.m.; General Meeting at 7 p.m. for nominations and elections of board members. No June meeting. There is a trustee and secretary position open on the board for this coming year.

MAY 18 - Shamrock Club of Wisconsin State Advisory Committee

Meeting in Appleton.

At our May 14 meeting we will have a report on the recent trip to Ireland with the Landa Cleary Travel Company, Inc. by members of the Club who experienced the trip.

We are basking in the success of our St. Patrick's Day events, as the club is still receiving compliments and comments about the entire day. What impressed our Club members most was the quality of entertainment both at the Capitol and the evening banquet. They especially liked the smooth transition from the noon ceremony, to the parade, to the evening event concluding with the presentation to Nelle Hogan Murphy the award for Irish Person of the Year.

For the first time in many years, the Dane County Shamrock Club worked with the Parade Committee so that the parade was planned to follow immediately after our noon flag raising ceremony. The Board was so moved by their enthusiasm, energy and commitment to their event that we succeeded in bringing many of their members into our Club. In fact, the Parade Committee was under the leadership of two of our newest members - Reghan O'Day Walsh and Ed Jaeger. Also, our new membership chairperson, Margaret Rupert, marched in the parade as our Club's leprechaun of the day.

True to the day, the luck of the Irish was indeed with the Parade Committee. They were fortunate enough to have the real "Jingles" O'Brien, father of Mike O'Brien, and his family as "Irish Family of the Year" and if that wasn't enough of a coup, they managed to get the recent Olympic Gold Medal winner, Casey FitzRandolph as the Grand Marshal of the parade.

As we close this year's major events, the Club acknowledges a great debt of gratitude to Mike O'Brien and his entire staff at Jingles Coliseum Bar. Mike personally, has been invaluable for his encouragement, support, suggestions and assistance in making a difference this year in the directions and changes to the Club. Most of all it was the time and personal attention from Mike that made it a great learning experience for the new co-presidents.

Always remember to forget,
the things that made you sad.

But never forget to remember,
the things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget,
the friends that proved untrue.

But never forget to remember,
those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget,
the troubles that passed away.

But never forget to remember
the blessings that come each day.

- Co-Presidents: Paul Buckalew and Colleen Schams

Shamrock Club Of New Dublin

At our meeting in April, we reviewed a very successful week of St. Patrick Days Activities. Although the weather in the beginning of the week was tough with rain, ice, and cold, the day of the New Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade and festival was bright and sunny. Attendance was great and everyone had an enjoyable time. Plans are already underway for next year's events.

The next major project that the Shamrock Club of New Dublin is involved with is finding an Irish city that will join New London in the Sister City Program. The City of New London joined the Sister City International program following a number of presentations from the Shamrock Club. The Shamrock Club will be the lead organization in the Sister City program. A number of Irish Cities are being contacted particularly those along the Shannon and other rivers, because New London is on the Wolf River.

The next Shamrock Club of New Dublin meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 6 at Sommer's Midtown in downtown New London.

- Patrick Nehring, Vice-President

Oh - What a Time We Had!

NEW DUBLIN - Whew! Another St. Patrick's Day has come and gone and now it's time to sit back and try to recapture all the fun moments we had! Once again, the members of the Shamrock Club of New Dublin put on an unforgettable week long St. Patrick's Day Celebration.

Our week actually began on Saturday, March 9 with a trip to Milwaukee for their St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was quite the trip to remember, but with all its ups and downs, we were happy to be a part of the Shamrock Club of Milwaukee's celebration. It was a true pleasure to attend the many performances at the ICHC. Congratulations on the brand new, beautiful parade route. Our hats off to the Shamrock Club of Milwaukee for their hard work and many sleepless hours that go into planning such an excellent community celebration. By the way, if you see the driver from MCS Towing, thank him for helping us save the Shamrock Club of New Dublin's float. Like I said, oh what a time we had!

Our leprechauns were up to their shenanigans again this year and early Monday morning; they were out changing the city limit signs from New London to New Dublin. Our City Council Members approve the change every year and as far as we know, we are the only city in the United States that changes the name for one week (albeit, it's a little confusing for some truck drivers). Along with the leprechauns changing the city limit signs, came visiting the residents, employees, and students at our local nursing homes, businesses and schools. What a treat it is for these people to see an actual leprechaun the week of St. Patrick's Day! Thanks to Mooch, Pup, Pat, Jolly Bob, Jerry, and Stretch!

New Dublin's parade wouldn't be complete without the Shamrock in the road!! Every year we go out and paint 4x8 foot shamrocks along our parade route. This year about a dozen of us went out on Tuesday. What a time we had! We started painting at about 10 p.m. and ended around 2 a.m. Of course, no tavern gets a shamrock without buying us a drink first! (We didn't get turned down by any of them either!) There was many a child (and adult) with a smile on their face to wake up the next morning and find shamrocks painted in the streets. Many thanks to all the helpers! Also, as usual, Pup's Irish Pub and Midtown Restaurant started their corned beef and cabbage dinners this day and both places were filled to the brim with people waiting to quench their appetites for the dinners.

For some of us, Wednesday is our day of rest. For some, it's a day to sing! Several members and non-members get together every year and go caroling to nursing homes, assisted living homes, and schools. Imagine the pleasure on the people's faces to see our crew walk in ready to serenade them with an Irish tune. For some, it is the most unforgettable night that they've had and we're happy to put that twinkle back in their eyes. Great job carolers!

We had a lot of fun at our Thursday Family Entertainment night. The freezing rain didn't deter us from going to the High School and enjoying local talent. We were treated to many stories from Patty Kostrzak (daughter of our Irishman and Irish Rose of the Year), and many tales from Jim Loughrin. We enjoyed a perfect rendition of "Danny Boy" from John Paters and Kay Mielke, and some beautiful Irish tunes from The New Dubliner's. We introduced our Grand Marshal, Jack Voight - State Treasurer, to the attendees. And the Irishman, Gerald Rohan, and Irish Rose Dorothy Cooney Rohan were introduced and presented with gifts. Gerald Murphy was a part of this program when he was a young lad and he entertained us with some acapella Irish songs. His son, Dick, now chairs the Family Program and is Master of Ceremonies and as always did an excellent job.

Friday brought a full day of work and play. We set up our Irish Fest Tent, which was 100 feet larger than the past years. We had "No Parking" signs to put up, picnic tables to set, beer gardens to fence off, stages to erect, chairs to be lined-up, speakers to hang, lights to be strung, etc., etc., etc. With many hands at work, we were finished by 5 p.m. Finished with the work ... now on to the fun!

Dick Murphy has chaired the Ceili at Crystal Falls since its beginnings. Every year we are in awe as to the number of young adults that join in the fun. There weren't any wallflowers twiddling their thumbs on the sidelines. John Ahern, our caller, made quite sure of that! We're sure that many lads and lasses will be taught some new dance steps by their dates at the next school dance. The adults and children had a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year's Ceili.

Well, Finnegan's Wake made their rounds again on Friday night. They began at Pup's Irish Pub and made their way around to other local establishments. Many an Irishman would like to be laid to rest by poor Widow Finnegan, Father Coyle, and Finnegan's Mistress. Although, I'm sure many an Irishman would agree that being laid to rest once would be quite enough!

Saturday morning was bright and way too early for many of us. The Parade Crew, Dignitary Crew, Announcers, and Irish Fest Tent Crew were all off and running by 8 in the morning. There was still much work to be done and the crisp morning air kept us going.

The tent opened at 11 a.m. Our friends, the New Dublin Jaycees, helped with the beer and food sales. We couldn't do it without them. We also had Irish gifts and trinket vendors set up. We had different entertainers on the stage throughout the day with a little break during the parade. With the sun shining on our faces and the wind at our backs, the parade kicked-off at 1:30 with over 130 entries ready and waiting to march. Everyone had a wonderful time and rumor has it that the estimation of number of people on the streets was around 30,000. Thanks to Mick McDermott, Tim O'Brien, and Dan Malloy for enjoying the day with us and judging our parade. We had a great time with you guys and hope to see you in New Dublin more often. By the way ... how was your ride home?

As a special treat for all who attended, we staged "Gaelic Storm" under the Irish Fest tent from 3:30 to 5:30. It was a very crowded standing room only. A great time was had by all and rumor has it that they wish to be invited back! After the concert, we had our raffle drawing with Jim O'Neil winning the grand prize of $1,500.

Well, after months of planning the week was over ... but not the work. We still had clean up to do. Sunday morning our hard workers were out sweeping streets and cleaning up under the tent. They were also busy returning borrowed and rented items. If any of New Dublin's members didn't make it down to the tent clean up, please make sure you thank the people that did. Some of us tend to forget that our week doesn't end on Saturday, it ends on Sunday ... after the work and clean up is finished.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone that helped in any way, shape or form. We get so busy with what is going on around us that I think sometime we forget to thank the hard workers that are right in front of us.

The Shamrock Club of New Dublin looks forward to next year's events being even bigger and better.

And once again ... Oh what a time we had!

- Jill Hart, Parade Director
Membership Chairperson

South Central

South Central Shamrock Club held its annual St. Patrick's Party at the Wintergreen in Lake Delton. Fr. Thomas Reardon led in an invocation, which was followed by a delicious dinner. Jack Gavin, president, welcomed all present.

Toastmaster, John Langer introduced all past award winners present. Irish Rose 2001 introduced 2002 Irish Rose Marguerite Heerey Murray, 2001 Irishman Mike Hickey introduced Tom Scanlon, Irishman of 2002. Comments about the two being honored were given by family members. Marguerite and Tom each had the opportunity to introduce family members. Tom had a wonderful surprise, his two sisters from New Jersey arrived in time for the celebration. Each honoree received a plaque in remembrance of this honor.

President Jack Gavin, presented Don McConaghy a plaque in honor of 25 years of service to the club. After this Don sang, "Danny Boy." Several door prizes were given out. The evening concluded with entertainment provided by the Jerry Stieh Singers. Several wonderful Irish songs were sung.

Our April meeting was held on the 14th at Longley's in Reedsburg.

- Mary Stieve, reporter

Rock County


No Meeting in MAY

JUNE 18 - Regular meeting

There will not be a meeting in May as the Janesville firemen are serving a Spaghetti Supper to raise money for the remodeling of Monterey Stadium. So, even though there is not a Shamrock Club meeting that evening, come on down to the Senior Center and bring some friends along to help support this worthy cause.

At our June meeting we will have the election of officers for the coming year.

- Tom Kennedy

Attn: Milwaukee Football Fans

If you'd like to attend the October 5 Badger football game as part of a group of Shamrock Club members, tickets are available from Tom Smith. Please notify Tom as soon as possible if you'd like to attend the UW-Madison vs. Penn State game. Tickets are $24 each plus the cost of a chartered bus. (We need at least 35 people to justify the bus charter, cost to be determined by response). Tom Smith; 1107 S. 26th St.; Milwaukee, WI 53204. (414) 384-4119. email

Color Guard News & Notes

The Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums launched their 22nd year with a flurry of activities and events beginning with the traditional St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

The 2002 Season began with "flying colors" March 9-10 as the Unit performed at Pre- and Post- Parade Parties, Mass at St. Patrick's Church and in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which returned to downtown Milwaukee.

Displaying its pride and honor, the group "distinguished" itself by being in the lead of the March 16 New London and March 17 Chicago Southside Irish St. Patrick's Day parades.

It was a privilege and honor for the Unit to participate in the "tribute" to the Quinlan family, Easter Rising Mass on March 31 at the ICHC and we closed out the first two months of the new season, April 27 with the Pewaukee Days parade.


May 19 - Burlington Chocolate Parade Burlington, WI; 12 noon

May 27 - Memorial Day Parade Menomonee Falls, WI; 10 a.m.

May 27 - Memorial Day Parade , Downtown Milwaukee; 2 p.m.

June 1 - Highland Games (Bavarian Inn) Glendale, WI; 12 noon

June 9 - Flag Day Parade, Waubeka, WI; 1:30 p.m.

June 30 - Reedsville Days Parade, Reedsville, WI; 11:30 a.m.

We encourage everyone to come and show support for "your" Color Guard, Pipes, and Drums!

Anyone who would like to share / experience the tradition, pride, honor and fun of the Unit, by being a Banner Carrier, Color Guard Pipe or Drum member - you will be made most welcome!

For further information regarding parade performances, Mass, funeral, special occasion appearances or membership, please contact:

Jim Dickman: Director/Commander
Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes & Drums
Telephone (262) 377-2601
Fax (262) 377-3901

- Richard Stover

Summer in Donegal

This is the year to spend three or more weeks in Ireland, and earn up to 6 UWM credits! UWM's Oideas Gael program is a unique opportunity to experience life on one of Ireland's most beautiful Atlantic peninsulas. This very affordable program takes place in July. Financial Aid and grants are available. For information, contact John Gleeson at 414-229-2608.

LaCrosse Member Reenacts History

Kevin Griffin is an historian who has been researching, writing, and portraying Irish history for more than two decades. The Father Peter Paul Cooney performance draws in research from his M.A. thesis entitled The 1st Irish, 35th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment 1861-65: A Military, Political and Social History. From 1987 to 1998 he was the editor and publisher of The Harp, an internationally known newsletter in the format of a nineteenth-century newspaper that chronicled the history of Irish participation in historic events of the world during the American Antebellum and Civil War Period. His portrayals of historical Irish personae have been part of the Classic Images video presentation, Milwaukee Irish Fest, and the Wisconsin Historical Society Civil War event.


Born in Ireland in 1832, Peter Cooney's family emigrated to Michigan, where he grew up. He attended the University of Notre Dame and from there entered the priesthood and was ordained in 1859. After the Civil War broke out, he became chaplain to the 1st Irish, 35th Indiana Infantry Regiment and was the longest serving Catholic chaplain in the Union Army. The role of chaplain allowed for many unique insights through out the war. Father Cooney spiritually prepared the men for battle and marched into the maelstrom with his men. He also organized a temperance society to curb the influence of drinking among the soldiers. Kevin Griffin brings to life the events detailed in Cooney's extensive letters, journal and account books in a manner that is enjoyable, educational and participatory. Griffin's acting and teaching experience allow his presentation to be tailored to the needs of specific audiences.

Kevin Griffin can be reached at: The Harp Publishing, P.O. Box 862; LaCrosse, 54602-0862. Work phone: (800) 794-1858 or email:

State Advisory Board Meeting

The state advisory board of the Shamrock Club will hold it's quarterly meeting in Green Bay on May 4, 2002.

It will be held at Buster's Bar & Grill, located at 2475 W. Mason St., just west of highway 41. Lunch can be ordered off the menu since they open at 11 a.m. The meeting will start at 12:30 p.m.

For more information call Ron Mc Kenzie, Green Bay chapter president at (920) 336-6635.

We hope to see representation from all chapters at this meeting to show our unified desire to promote our Irish heritage. Besides, it's fun to get together with everyone to share our ideas, frustrations and programs.

"Cead Mile Failte"


Noted Speaker Program at ICHC

We are delighted to announce a new program of speakers from Ireland at the Irish Cultural Heritage Center (2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., [414] 345-8800). In April we kicked off a series of entertaining evenings with knowledgeable experts direct from Ireland to talk to us about Irish heritage, history and culture. Initially there will be two speakers in the spring and two in the fall. The program continues on Tuesday, May 7, with our second of two spring speakers: Helen Brennan.

Helen Brennan presents the rich and illustrious history of Irish Dance in this 90-minute symposium. Helen's discussion imparts the wonderful traditions of Irish Dance and includes the revival of set dancing in the last decade and a half. After Helen's discussion, she will then ask the audience members to join her in participating in some of these wonderful steps.

Admission to the presentations is free to students and seniors. We ask a $5 suggested donation from others to help support cultural programs at the ICHC.

Blarney Benefit

On Saturday, May 18, there will be a Blarney concert to benefit Josie Nash, the former owner of Nash's Irish Castle, and a former Shamrock Club Irish Rose, at the Irish Cultural & Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave. The show, titled "Blarney Reunion: Members Past and Present", will begin at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call (414) 345-8800. The suggested donation is $15 and includes free entrance to ceili dance on second floor after the Blarney concert.

Celtic Women Int'l First Friday Lecture

FRIDAY, MAY 3: Speaker: The US Postal Service, as sponsor of the Milwaukee Community Quilt, will provide a speaker for the evening, who has a connection to the quilt project.

Also, local crafters and artisans will be on hand to tell of their Celtic artisitc endeavors. Some of their work will be on exhibit in Parlor B, with the Milwaukee Community Quilt as the main display. Other craft items will also be hung for your exhibit viewing. The exhibit was hung in April, but there will be a reception following the CWI Friday lecture at 7 p.m., with wine and cheese while you browse and talk to the artists and craft-persons. A Celtic Craft Evening to enjoy!

As always, the public is invited to CWI lectures, men and women, members and non-members alike. Admission is $5 per person; you may enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits while soaking up Celtic culture. We hope to see you at the ICHC on the above CWI First Friday lectures. 2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue.

- Jean K. Bills

New Members

NOTE: Please send your dues to your Membership Chairperson in your chapter. All names and addresses are listed in Emerald Reflections.

DANE CO. - Father Rupert Dorn; Michael Erickson; Ruth Erickson; Mat Givvons; Reghan O'Day Walsh; Molly McDermott.

LaFAYETTE COUNTY - Jessica Donnahue.

LaCROSSE - Rick and Hedy Otto.

MILWAUKEE - Sheila Bloomquist; George and Geargiana Childs; Douglas Defenbaugh; Jean Dodd (referred by Patti Garrity); Patricia Fuchs (referred by Robert and Judy Towne); Bill and Margaret Monthy; Michael O'Leary; Sandy and Kevin Quinlan; Thomas P. Schmitt; Cindy Secker; Patricia Small; Kelly and Daniel Thiemer.

SOUTH CENTRAL - Deane and Colleen Dubois.


February: 28 memberships up for renewal, 28 paid.

March: 66 memberships up for renewal, 45 paid, 21 due.

April: 47 memberships up for renewal, 14 paid, 33 due.