Propaganda in the Poetry Of Yeats and
in 'The Informer' by O'Flaherty
by Elizabeth Scott
In their personal lives, both William Butler Yeats and Liam O'Flaherty
acted separately to try to bring about a politically and culturally independent
Ireland. Events of particular significance included the formation of the
Irish National Theater by Yeats and his colleagues and O'Flaherty's seizure
and occupation of the Rotunda Theater, both in Dublin. And though their
writing styles and in some ways their political views differed greatly,
they both wrote, too, for Ireland. In particular, Yeats' poetry and O'Flaherty's
The Informer exemplify their respective nationalist ideals regarding Ireland
In poems such as The Second Coming and No Second Troy, Yeats described
his desire for an end to the violence that was destroying Ireland and terrorizing
the people. However, he did hope for an independent Ireland and in poems
like Easter 1916 and Sixteen Dead Men he immortalized some of the people
who had died trying to bring about Irish independence, even John MacBride,
the "drunken, vain-glorious lout" who married the woman Yeats
In his poems Yeats used contemporary, historic and also legendary
themes to help create a new, non-English-dependent Irish national identity.
He took a deep and ancient Celtic tradition and made it alive in his present-referencing
and telling the stories of such figures as Cuchulain and "Cathleen
ni Houlihan." The beauty of ancient Ireland helped to awaken, emphasize,
and describe his feelings, and he began a symbolic and artistic re-creation
of Ireland, more than a political one. Poems like The Stolen Child and
The Death of Cuchulain portray the historical and intrinsically magical
side of Ireland, a revitalization of the ancient Celtic foundation of the
country. His extensive research of history could hopefully provoke others
to learn more for themselves, propagating a rise in Irish national knowledge
Not only the subject material, but the format of the poetry revitalizes
the Irish culture. Yeats wrote in a highly structured form much of the
time, with precise meter (iambic tetrameter in The Song of the Happy Shepherd
for example) and consistent rhyming. Though the form may seem stilted and
contrived to contemporary or modern ears, this strict adherence to a precise
form emphasizes the extremely poetic, creative, and crafted nature of Yeats'
writing. The revival of such a high style of writing and the deliberate
imitation of previous poets such as the Romantics would have given other
Irish artists something for which to strive in their search for Ireland
in their own writing.
One of the poems that best exemplifies Yeats' philosophy is To Ireland
in the Coming Times. The short lines give a sense of urgency to the poem,
accenting the message Yeats presented. He wanted to be remembered as siding
with the independence movement ("I cast my heart into my rhymes, /
That you, in the dim coming times, / May know how my heart went with them
/ After the red-rose-bordered hem' of") but his actions perhaps would
not reflect his desire for independence since he avoided violence. The
poem's form and words explain Yeats' view.
In line 18, Yeats mentioned three nineteenth-century Irish poets,
James Clarence Mangan, Thomas Davis, and Sir Samuel Ferguson. All three
wrote pro-Irish poetry, exalting the land and the people. In particular,
Mangan drew from historical and legendary sources, as did Davis. Referencing
previous Irish poets added to the nationalism drawn upon with mentions
of "faeries" and Druids that were present in Ireland "before
God made the angelic clan".
O'Flaherty was much more politically active than Yeats. Though he
avoided violence and bloodshed as well, (he fled instead of continuing
the occupation of the Rotunda, and even in The Informer the violence is
limited to the individual deaths) his writing advocated a revolution that
could require killing and destruction. He had been involved in the independence
movement and The Informer has been called a propaganda piece for that cause.
However, O'Flaherty's point in the novel is less than clear.
To most people, including many of the characters in the book, an
informer would be the "lowest of the low," someone to be shunned
for his or her dubious morals, not to mention the intrinsic danger of just
knowing a person who actively seeks and collects "blood money."
Most people see and portray informers as individuals first and foremost;
those who look out only for themselves and seek gain in others' losses.
On the other hand, O'Flaherty's main character provokes, in most readers,
sympathy and sorrow. Gypo is not suave or intelligent and though he turns
his friend in for personal gain he does not think of the repercussions
of his action-he is too stupid to ever realize what he really has done
until it is too late. A sort of fog surrounds him whenever he makes an
important decision and by the time he realizes what has happened, the decision
has been made and, as the cliché goes, due to his decisions there
is no turning back for Gypo. Turning back would only lead to death.
Unfortunately, this portrayal of the title character does not lead
to an immediate understanding of O'Flaherty's goal with the novel. The
writing itself is very ambiguous with respect to Gypo. He is pathetic and
stupid in addition to being an informer, but in the end he dies like Christ,
limbs splayed in a cross shape-a rather unmistakable symbolism. In a way
his death symbolizes his redemption in O'Flaherty's eyes, as his confession
leads to his redemption from Mrs. McPhillip.
In addition to the murkiness of Gypo's presentation, none of the
other characters in the novel have great morals or are very likable. Whores
and drug addicts, like Katie Fox, and extremely dangerous and violent men,
like Dan Gallagher, surround Gypo. Only Gypo's confessor, Mrs. McPhillip,
has redeeming qualities and her goodness serves merely to give Gypo his
happy ending. No one really deserves sympathy or empathy except Gypo. In
this respect Gypo has no excuse for becoming an informer. The fact that
all of the people around him are horrible does not provide enough motivation
to forgive Gypo his crime. The sympathy for Gypo leads the reader to think
of him as a better person, which would mean that he could not be an informer
and therefore his decision to inform is either more horrible or more pathetic,
or both. O'Flaherty presents only Gypo's view of the events because he
is the main character. The laborious thought processes and agony when he
realizes his danger and error give the reader some measure by which to
like Gypo, and by the end of the book, Gypo's Christ-like death is welcomed.
The reader wants Gypo's redemption, and Gypo receives it both symbolically
from O'Flaherty and in actuality from Mrs. McPhillip.
To confuse the symbolism even more though, O'Flaherty slaps the reader
with that same Christ-like end. He does not attempt to make it at all ambiguous.
In fact, the description gives Gypo a large role in his redemption: "He
stretched out his limbs in the shape of a cross". The actor in this
sentence is Gypo, not the violence of his death or his death itself. Instead
of "his limbs fell in the shape of a cross," Gypo himself causes
the Christ image. Together with the fact that throughout the novel O'Flaherty
spells out in sometimes excruciating detail readily apparent things and
repeats some descriptions two or three times, the ending appears as if
it possibly is not redemption, but a mockery of redemption. The process
of Gypo's thinking, particularly noticeable in the pages of decision making
in the first chapter, sets up the ending. Perhaps Gypo was not forgiven
by O'Flaherty or the audience, and only her sorrow caused Mrs. McPhillip
to bless Gypo upon his death, thereby rendering her forgiveness irrelevant.
This bleak and rather cynical view of The Informer breaks down because
O'Flaherty did write about Gypo, an unlikely and sympathy-loaded informer.
However, the two views are equally valid and only contribute to the confusion
surrounding the book and the author's point of view. Also, Gypo could represent
the oppressed Irish of O'Flaherty's time. His pathetic and stupid nature
leads to his need to inform to survive, paralleling the Irish helplessness
in the conflict for independence with Britain. But, this makes Gypo's decision
even more reprehensible, since he turns on his fellow countrymen, a practice
that would surely destroy the independence movement that O'Flaherty supported.
The Informer addresses only cultural and political concerns. O'Flaherty
did little to promote Irish understanding and history in the book. Yeats,
on the flip side, did much to promote a national literacy but he subdued
the political elements of his writing in order to not take away from his
main goal of peaceful independence and a revival of Irish culture. Together,
the two men provided a force for pro-Irish propaganda in different circles
in the early 1900s. Both desired a Britain-free Ireland and used their
talents in writing to help bring about changes leading to that goal.
South Central Shamrock Club
The Tenor and the Troubadors (left to right: John Gleeson, Geraint
Wilkes, Shelia Larkin, Eamonn O'Neill, and Bob Harrold) will be the featured
entertainment at the South Central Wisconsin Chapter St. Patrick's Gala
Dinner on March 8th.
South Central Shamrock Board of Directors met at the Log Cabin, in
Baraboo on January 8, for a dinner and meeting.
It was brought to our attention our treasurer and membership chairperson
will be moving out of the area. Rose Lee has agreed to fill out the term
of these positions. President Jack Gavin has appointed Rosemary Mitchell
to be our Sunshine Person.
It was decided all dues for members will be due by February 1 each
February 9, our meeting was held at the Voyageur Inn, in Reedsburg
with Lou Ann Cronn and her daughter speaking. Later all present enjoyed
a delicious meal.
There was much discussion on our St. Patrick's Party, which will
once again be held at the Wintergreen Resort in Lake Delton on March 8.
It will once again be a sit down dinner with entertainment later in the
evening with the Tenors and Troubadours. Corky Powers will be in charge
of decorations with help from Bill and Pat Wilde. Tickets ($22.50) may
be purchased from Jack Gavin (608) 524-2559.
April 6 our speaker will be Kay Wickus, the topic: Growing Up in
an Irish Family. The time and place for this meeting will be in our March
Election of officers for 2003 - '04, will be held at our May meeting
with time and place to be determined.
Chairpeople for the Irish Rose and Irishman are Pat McConaghy, Marguarite
Murray and Mary Stieve, while Don McConaghy, Bill Wilde, and Tom Scanlon
will serve on the latter group.
- Mary E. Stieve, Reporter
Shamrock Club of
Greater LaCrosse Area
Congratulations to Jack Lucey and Rush Kerska who have been selected
as our Irshman and Irish Rose for 2003. They will be honored at our St.
Patrick's Day banquet to be held on Saturday, March 8 at Forest Hills in
LaCrosse. Their stories follow:
John "Jack" Lucey can honestly claim being 100% Irish with
the exception of his maternal Scottish great great grandmother. His mother's
great grandfather, Kyran Cassidy, was born in 1882 in Ireland and settled
in Juneau County near Lyndon Station. He married Hannah Davenport, who
was of Scottish descent. His grandfather, also named Kyran, was born in
1860. He married Elizabeth Scully and they farmed west of Lyndon Station.
His paternal great great grandparents, Jeremiah and Catherine Lucey, lived
in the Barony of West Carbery in County Cork, Ireland. His great grandfather,
Peter, immigrated to the United States via Staton Island in 1855 and Peter's
future wife, Mary Young, immigrated in 1853. Jack's grandfather, William,
married Mary Boland in Seneca and began farming on O'Neil Ridge west of
Gay's Mills as did his father and mother. Future generations of the Luceys,
Youngs and Scullys settled around the Lyndon Station area.
Jack was born on the family's home farm in 1938 to Donald and Mildred
(Cassidy) Lucey the fourth of five sons. He attended Gay's Mills High School
and Platteville Engineering School. He began work with the State of Wisconsin
Department of Transportation-Highways in 1960 and spent six months on active
duty in the Army National Guard in 1961. He retired from the DOT in 1996
after 36 years of service.
In 1967 he married Kathleen Keilholtz. They have two daughters, Jada
Lucey Martinez and Erin Dayton who both live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jada and her husband, Mark, have a five year old daughter, Marissa, and
Erin and Jeff were expecting their first child as this was being written.
Jack, his brother Tom and nephew Greg, have a continued interest
in their home farm. In the 1970s and 1980s after planting over 32,000 trees,
he and Tom were awarded the Forest Management Award by the Crawford County
Land Conservation Department and continue today to preserve the forestland.
Jack also enjoys turkey and deer hunting on the land.
Jack is active in his church, has volunteered for the Salvation Army
and enjoys fishing and golfing with his friends. As a member of the Shamrock
Club for many years, he enjoys helping with the Rotary Lights and accompanying
the group in the parades and visits to schools and nursing homes. A trip
to Ireland in 2003 would truly be a highlight as is being named the Irishman
of the Year.
Ruth Kerska is a resident of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, world traveler,
and member of the Shamrock Club since March 1996. Some of her contributions
to the club include working with a committee for the Rotary Lights, trimming
the Shamrock Club Festival Tree at Riverside Park, helping out with Heritage
Night, being involved with the float for Octoberfest and going on tour
St. Patrick's Day visiting schools and nursing homes.
She retired from Trane Company and is a member of the 25 year club.
She attended Western Wisconsin Technical College and is a member of the
Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
Ruth holds a Certificate of merit awarded by the National Catholic
Community Service and was a U.S.O. Hostess during WWII.
Her grandmother, Theresa Raper (nee Klick) was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Her Irish descent is from her grandfather Thomas Raper (Rapier) who was
born in Waterford, Ireland.
Great Grandpa Raper was one of the first settlers in LaCrosse, having
come here in 1855 from Ohio. He was employed as head sawyer in the first
sawmill that was erected in LaCrosse. Grandma (Busta) and Grandpa Charlie
Kerska came to the United States from Pilzen, Czechoslovakia.
Ruth is looking forward to a grand year as our Irish Rose.
Shamrock Club Of
Our club's upcoming events are:
MARCH 9: Shamrock Club Mass and Breakfast in honor of St. Patrick.
Bemis International Center at St. Norbert's College, De Pere. For additional
info: Call Jean Barrett-Terry at (920) 465-8299.
MARCH 17: Ancient Order of Hibernians' Ball at Rock Garden Supper
Club, Green Bay. Make reservations with Bob McDermott (920) 432-0474).
Dane County Shamrock Club, Inc.
Leprechaun Margaret Rupert delivering her pot of gold. Margaret
has been named Dane County Shamrock Club, Inc. 2003 Irish Person of the
MARCH UPCOMING EVENTS
MARCH 11: Board Meeting, 6 p.m., Coliseum Bar
MARCH 16: St. Pat's Day celebration and dinner
Our annual St. Patrick's Day flag raising at the State Capitol Building
and dinner at the Coliseum Bar Restaurant is on Sunday this year. As the
17th is on a Monday, more people will be able to attend the Sunday celebration.
The flag raising ceremony will be at noon followed by short speeches by
the mayor, Dane County sheriff and hopefully, the governor. The program
includes the introduction of the Irish Person of the Year, Margaret Rupert,
the Zor Shrine Pipes and Drums, Irish songs and concluding with the Trinity
Immediately following the program at the Capitol is the St. Patrick's
Day Parade -a joint venture with the Parade Committee and the Shamrock
Club. Last year, the Parade Committee with the sale of pins and shirts
was able to make a donation of $3,000 to the U.W. Children's Hospital.
The traditional dinner of corn beef and cabbage is on the menu. This
year we are fortunate to have the StoneRings, a well known Irish band,
and an evening performance of the Trinity Dancers, concluding with singing
familiar Irish songs.
In view of our recent incorporation, the official name of our Club
is Dane County Shamrock Club, Inc.!
The membership continues to increase as a result of streamlining
club procedure and practices. We now have over 140 members. Wow!
Irish Laugh for the Day:
Michael and Tod are nailing up the side of a wooden bungalow. Tod
noticed that Michael was examining the nails and throwing away every second
"What's wrong with the nails?" he asked.
"Sure the head are on the wrong end."
"You straw-headed idiot, sure they're for the other side of the house!'
- Co-Presidents: Paul Buckalew and Colleen Schams
MARCH 11: Senior Center St. Patrick's Day Party, 5:30 p.m.
MARCH 16: St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Beloit, 1 p.m.
MARCH 18: Membership Meeting, 7 p.m. No-Bake Bake Sale
APRIL 15: Membership Meeting 7 p.m., preceded by Potluck Super,
The Senior Center is having a St. Patrick's Day Party and they have
extended an invitation to all of our Shamrock Club members to join them
for dinner and entertainment. The dinner will be at 5:30 and the entertainment
will begin at 6:30. The dinner is $4 and you can call Pat Tobin, at the
Senior Center, 755-3057, for reservations.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade is on Sunday, March 16 at 1 p.m. in
downtown Beloit. Get out your green clothes and get into the parade to
show Rock County that the Shamrock Club is alive and well.
At the March meeting there will be a No-Bake Bake Sale. Just donate
the money to the club that you would have spent to bake something and what
you would have spent to buy some baked goods. The nominating committee
is looking for a few good people to run for an office. Rosie Hughes will
show a video on Ireland.
At the April meeting we will have a potluck beginning at 6 p.m. We
will have nomination and election of officers at this meeting.
Shamrock Club of Rock County
Irish Person of the Year -
Our Irish Person of the Year for 2003 is Elnora McGinniss, better
known as Nell. She was born in 1918 to James and Elsie Waters, on a farm
in Door County, Wisconsin. Nell was married in 1941 and has nine children,
22 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
For many years, Nell was a cook at the Wisconsin School for the Visually
Handicapped. After "retiring" from the school, she cooked for
a Day Care Center for a few years. Nell also cooked for St. Patrick Church
and School, and was instrumental in starting the H ot Dog Days in the school
lunch program. Nell has been an Usher, for several years, at St. Patrick
Nell is a volunteer with Hospice and Mercy Healthcare System and
Castaways, a used article store run by the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary.
Nell is a real asset to the Shamrock Club of Rock County. Congratulations,
Milwaukee President's Message
Ladies and Gentlemen, all members of the Shamrock Club;
Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit ... Happy
Saint Patrick's Day to All Shamrock Club members.
Congratulations to Irishman of the Year Tim O'Brien, our Irish Rose
Sharon Murphy, and our Parade Marshal Alderman Robert Donovan. These individuals
are invaluable to our Club and even today continue to work for other improvements
while expanding our organization.
The Annual Special Mass to Honor St. Patrick will begin at 8:30 a.m.
at St. Patrick's Church. Archbishop Dolan will officiate the Mass, so make
sure you arrive early. A continental (Island?) breakfast will be available
after the service. Catch the bus to assure your seat for both events. See
Chuck McLaughlin for details.
It is said that everybody is Irish on Saint Patrick's Day, and a
good number of that 'everybody' will probably show up to celebrate our
Patron Saint, somewhere, somehow, someway. Many will crowd the streets
of downtown Milwaukee to watch, if not the biggest parade (no tigers, lions,
bears or elephants) but the Best parade-other folks will be Green with
The Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums will, as always, lead
our parade through a downtown route which features the diversity of our
city-down Wisconsin Avenue past the old and new architectural facdes, up
Water Street through the new Theatre district, crossing the river again,
and ending on Old World Third Street.
The Post Parade Party also features the best of the old and new,
from the traditional dance troupes to the forward sounding Celtic music
of Bogside Zukes, StoneRing, Finbar McCarthy Band, Green Side Up, etc...
and don't forget to fortify with Miller Beer and corned beef sandwiches.
See the full ad for more details.
The By-Laws Committee has met and several proposals are to be considered
by the Board and the General Membership. Read them carefully. These are
the Rules for our Club. Changes should be fully thought out. Thanks to
the Committee headed by Tim O'Brien for its work.
The Volunteer Party was a huge success... special thanks to Sharon
Murphy, who got the lists together and arranged the catering, entertainment
and the overall fun that was had by all. A reminder to all coordinators,
please keep your volunteer lists up-do-date. Identifying our most valuable
assets and properly thanking them with this party is a small reward, but
it is how we grow our community and our club.
Milwaukee Pays Tribute to
Irishman of the Year,
Irish Rose and
Parade Marshal 2003
TIMOTHY PATRICK MICHAEL O'BRIEN - SHARON MURPHY - ALDERMAN ROBERT
Pictured above from left are Milwaukee's Honorees for 2003: Irishman
of the Year Tim O'Brien with His Eminence Cahal Cardinal Daly, Archbishop
Emeritus of Armagh, Cardinal priest of St. Patrick, the 114th successor
to St. Patrick. Middle: Irish Rose Sharon Murphy. Right: Parade Marshal
Alderman Robert Donovan. Congratulations to all three deserving individuals!
TIMOTHY PATRICK MICHAEL O'BRIEN
MILWAUKEE IRISHMAN OF THE YEAR
Tim O'Brien is a 5th generation Irish-American who's great great
grandfather immigrated to American in 1847 from County Clare, Ireland.
Tim, age 53, is the son of his father Robert and cherished mother
Dolores, who passed away in 1998. He is the committed partner of Donna
Johnson, the brother of Dennis with sister in law Mary and loves his two
nieces Kelley Ann and Katie.
His efforts with the Irish community include:
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin-Milwaukee current Parliamentarian, St.
Patrick's Parade Director (five years, now chairman), Scholarship Fund
and By Laws Committees Chair, Bradley Center cook;
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center 2001 Volunteer of the Year,
Operations Committee member, in-house carpenter, builder of two beverage
service areas, events barman;
Irish Fest signs and decorations crew member, "Night of the
Bodhrans" Parade Director, cultural displays set-up man;
Ancient Order of Hibernians Midwest Conference Co-ordinator, 1st
annual picnic fund raiser organizer, St. Rose's Church-Jesuit School fundraiser
and hospitality Suite at Irish Fest crewman.
Tim also helps with the Doyle's Brain Cancer Run-Walk, Globe Peers,
Veteran Activities and other area fundraisers.
He is self employed in telecommunications and construction businesses
and has traveled extensively in 36 countries and 40 states. He attended
St. Rita Grade School, Greenfield High School and has received Bachelors
Degrees from UW-Oshkosh in Psychology and Philosophy, and has done graduate
studies in Clinical Psychology.
Tim is most proud and honored to be named Irishman of the Year and
hopes to contribute even more to our Irish community in the future.
It's been said that one of the most outstanding of the noble families
of Ireland is the O'Brien. Tim says, "If you happen to disagree, just
ask any O'Brien."
MILWAUKEE IRISH ROSE
Sharon Murphy spent most of her life in the Milwaukee area and first
discovered the world of volunteering a "lifetime" ago when she
was still in college. She coached grade school volleyball, softball and
soccer and high school summer softball. She loves sports and enjoyed helping
the children learn the basics and fine tune their skills.
Her children, Jared and Kamala, attended St. Catherine Grade School
and Sharon volunteered by coaching, counting the Sunday collections, as
PTA vice-president and president, working at the church festival and auction,
and as a member of the finance committee. When her children attended Brookfield
Central High School she found herself helping with Post Prom, Project Graduation,
and the BCHS athletic booster club. She discovered they needed a treasurer
and they hadn't gotten their 501(c)(3). She took care of that for them.
Kamala, her 20 year old daughter, danced for Cashel-Dennehy School
of Irish Dance for 12 years. While there, Sharon found that there was a
board in need of a treasurer and fundraisers to help with, as well as another
organization that needed their 501(c)(3) application processed. She again
took care of it.
Sharon started the Wisconsin Winterfeis and the Badger State Feis
as fundraisers for the Cashel-Dennehy School of Irish Dance and the Glencastle
Irish Dancers. Even though she was the inspiration and creator of the feisanna,
she credits the committees and the great volunteers from both schools for
their incredible success.
She has served on the Milwaukee Feis Society for nine years and has
provided the ICHC with some free tax help for the past few years. Irish
Fest is no different for Sharon where she has volunteered for the past
seven years. The last two years have been the most fun because she became
the 'expert' in making water for the culture area and also helped Tom Smith
in transporting entertainers.
Her mother is an O'Brien and her father was a Murphy so it is only
fitting that she would join the Shamrock Club. She has belonged to the
Shamrock Club on and off for over 10 years but had never been to a meeting
until she accepted the nomination for treasurer in 1997. She has been the
treasurer since and has also volunteered for the folk fair food booth,
the Bradley Center, the post parade party, the volunteer party, and St.
Patrick's parish plea. She recently got the Shamrock Club the IRS 501(c)(3)
In between her volunteer jobs, she has managed to raise 'two great
kids'. Jared, is a 21 year old senior at MSOE majoring in mechanical engineering.
Besides spending long hours doing schoolwork he also competes on the MSOE
wrestling and track teams. Kamala has recently started the cosmetology
course at MATC where she plans to play softball.
Sharon started her tax and accounting business in 1980 which has
given her the luxury of attending almost all of her son's soccer, wrestling,
track, gymnastic, basketball, football, and baseball competitions while
he was growing up. She also attended almost all of her daughter's soccer,
softball, cross country, basketball, volleyball, dance team, color guard,
band, and Irish dance competitions while she was growing up. Between her
children's activities and her volunteering, it is amazing that she ever
found the time to build her business.
Sharon has spent many years volunteering for many Irish, church,
and sports organizations and has never felt more appreciated than the last
five years as the Shamrock Club treasurer. Now, being chosen Irish Rose
is the icing on the cake. She only hopes that she can fill the shoes of
the women who have been chosen before her. Sharon feels, "it is a
who's who of women in the Milwaukee Irish community and it is a great honor
to be included with them."
ROBERT G. DONOVAN
8TH DISTRICT ALDERMAN
MILWAUKEE PARADE MARSHAL
Alderman Donovan has been active in a variety of community organizations
for many years. Prior to his election he held leadership positions with
the Southside Organizing Committee, the Layton Boulevard West Neighborhood
Association, the Near Southside Catholic School Association, Emerald Society
of Wisconsin and the Shamrock Club.
Born and raised on Milwaukee's south side, Alderman Donovan is a
graduate of Thomas More High School and has attended both St. Francis De
Sales College and UW-Milwaukee and has taken additional course-work at
Alderman Donovan and his wife Kathy are active members of Blessed
Sacrament Catholic Church and have five children: Stephanie, Eric, Amanda,
Eileen and Elizabeth.
Alderman Donovan is very pleased to be the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Parade Marshal, Milwaukee Chapter, for the year 2003.
Schooner Fare in Concert
Maine's Schooner Fare will bring their Yankee folk music back to
Milwaukee on Saturday, March 29 for a concert at Alverno College's Pitman
Theater, 3401 S. 39th Street. Reserved seat tickets for the 8 p.m. show
are $17 with all tickets for those aged 18 and under $8.
Proceeds from a raffle the night of the concert will benefit the
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin. The association provides educational
programs and support to individuals with Down Syndrome as well as to their
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
27th anniversary and are widely regarded as Maine's musical ambassadors."
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.
St. Patrick's Day Raffle
Please don't forget to mail your check and ticket stubs as soon as
possible. Additional raffle tickets are available by calling Frank or Noreen
Barclay at (262) 695-8563. This is not a toll call from area code 414.
Tickets will also be available at the March and April Shamrock Club meetings
and at the Post Parade Party on March 15.
The last chance to turn in or purchase tickets is at the April meeting
before the drawing at 7:30. Remember you don't have to be present to win.
Your support is needed to help make the St. Patrick's Day Raffle
the successful event we all want it to be.
Brendan Heart Fund Benefit
On March 9, 2003, between the hours of 1 - 5 p.m., the Emerald Society
of Wisconsin will be sponsoring the 13th annual benefit for the Brendan
Heart Fund of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
The Emerald Society of Wisconsin, an organization of members of the
criminal justice system, held the first Brendan Benefit in 1990. The Benefits
have always been held on a Sunday prior to St. Patrick's Day at Derry Hegarty's
Irish Pub, 5328 W. Bluemoud Ave. This Benefit is designed to be a family
event and we will continue to be a family oriented event. The cost of the
attendance has the family in mind, $5 in advance and $6 at the door, children
under 15 are free.
The afternoon's entertainment will feature Blarney and Trinity Dance
Academy. Blarney is a well known Irish group that has delighted its audiences
for 20 plus years. You will enjoy Blarney as they sing songs from their
extensive library of Irish Music. There is no doubt that you will hear
many of your favorites. This year we are also featuring the Trinity Dance
Academy, one of the successful dance schools in Milwaukee. Trinity has
brought fame to themselves and Milwaukee for their fine performance of
Irish dance. In addition to Blarney and Trinity, be prepared for other
events that will enhance the afternoon.
Mark this date, March 9, on your family calendar and join us for
a fine afternoon of Irish song and dance. Information can be obtained at:
Emerald Society of Wisconsin; P.O. Box 24; Milwaukee, WI 53201-0024 or
at our web page: www. emeraldsociety.us
Friday Film Club At the ICHC
Our Friday Film Club continues on the last Friday of the month. The
schedule for the rest of the season is as follows:
March 28: An Everlasting Piece. From director Barry Levinson comes
the hilarious and hair-raising comedy about an unlikely pair of barbers
(Barry McEvoy and Brian O'Byrne) who devise an outrageous plan to take
over the Northern Ireland toupee market. Leaving no rug unturned, they
cut their competition down to size.
April 25th: I Went Down. Critics have applauded and audiences around
the world have flocked to see this hilarious Irish tale of friends, enemies
and one incredibly talkative hostage. Will they survive their dangerous
mission, or kill each other in the process? I Went Down will keep you laughing
and on the edge of your seat.
The movies are screened at 7 p.m. in Parlor B. The bar is open, popcorn
is available and I will be there to introduce and discuss the movies. So
if you're an Irish movie fan don't miss our last Fridays.
Win an Irish Dream Vacation
Milwaukee Irish Arts is offering some lucky folks the opportunity
to win a week-long dream vacation in Ireland. The package includes your
own luxury three bedroom home, fully furnished with modern kitchen on the
beautiful quiet inner reaches of Galway Bay, the use of a rental car courtesy
of Sixt Car Rentals, your own local traditional music session and a round
of golf at the magnificent new Doonbeg golf course.
We are delighted to offer this unique prize in our first ever fund
raising raffle. Tickets are $10 (or 3 for $25) and are now available from
the ICHC, O'Donoghues, Paddy's Pub and from Milwaukee Irish Arts members.
The draw will take place during the run of our spring production, The Weir.
Winners will be notified by mail. With the minimal exception of a few blackout
dates the package can be enjoyed anytime through April 2004. So get your
raffle tickets now, plan to buy those cheap Aer Lingus tickets at Irish
Fest and start dreaming of your own special vacation in Ireland's friendly
Ulster Project Fun Night 2003
The Ulster Project Irish Fun Night 2003 is Friday March 7, 5 - 10:30
p.m., at Bergstrom Hall, Mount Mary College (enter from 92nd Street at
Entertainment includes music from Milwaukee's popular Irish band
Leahy's Luck, and dance from Glencastle, Trinity and Cashel Dennehy Irish
dance schools. The evening also features a "Grand Raffle," a
silent auction and mini-raffle opportunity tables.
The $5 admission (tickets are available at the door) includes one
raffle ticket. Prizes include round trip airfare for two to Ireland, a
golf foursome at Grand Geneva, one night at a luxury villa in Wisconsin
Dells and more.
Fish fry is on sale 5 - 7 p.m., and other food and beverages are
available throughout the evening.
For more information, please contact Terry Gillick, (414) 479-9064
or firstname.lastname@example.org (no hyphen).
Milwaukee Irish Arts
Performs in Ireland
Left to right - Eamonn O'Neill, director and actor; Kathy Radaj,
production manager; and Dennis Regan, author of Last Epitaph of a Wise
On December 8, 2002, Milwaukee Irish Arts made a little bit of history
in presenting Last Epitaph of a Wise Man by our resident playwright, Dennis
Regan at the All-Ireland One Act Drama Festival. We are the first American
group to be invited to participate in this prestigious event. With generous
support from the community, especially the Shamrock Club, our cast- Donte
Fitzgerald, Kelly Smith, Keith Tamsett and Eamonn O'Neill, production manager-Kathy
Radaj, and author-Dennis Regan, traveled to the festival. This is Dennis'
report of their experience:
"If you've ever lived a fantastic dream you'll know how the
six of us feel about being a part of the All-Ireland One Act Drama Festival.
We were treated like V.I.P.s. Graciousness and humor escorted our every
experience. None of this could have happened without the kindness of the
Shamrock Club, County Clare, Smith family, Cronin family, and all the many
friends that championed us to be there.
"'There' was Virginia, County Cavan. 'There' the talented Baileboro
Drama Group hosted us. 'There' 11 other exceptional one act performances
were staged. 'There' Alan Arkin's (yes, the American actor) play Virtual
Reality won the competition. 'There' we ate, we drank, we laughed, we danced,
we gave them our art.
"It was the first time in the near 40-year history of the festival
that an American troupe has been invited. Bravo to Milwaukee Irish Arts!
The sculpted trophy we received will soon be displayed at the ICHC. As
guests of the festival, our play, Last Epitaph of a Wise Man was not included
in the judging, but judging from the symphony of conversational cords it
induced - it played successfully.
"For those of us who were there, we toast those who were our
hosts. For those who were so giving to get us there, our fond memories
will always be a living toast to you. To you. For us it was an Ode to Joy."
Last Epitaph of a Wise Man was performed for the Shamrock Club on
February 22 at the ICHC.
We invite members who are Eucharistic Ministers in their parishes
to volunteer to help us as needed. We have two events a year - Mass to
honor St. Patrick at St. Patrick's Church at 8:30 a.m. the Saturday before
St Patrick's Day - and the Easter Rising Mass Celebration at the ICHC at
9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday. If you are interested please drop me a note
with your name, address and phone number. I will contact you as needed.
- Betty Mikush
2114 S 66th St., West Allis, WI 53219
MIA to Present THE WEIR
Milwaukee Irish Arts will present Conor McPherson's critically acclaimed
The Weir as their Spring production. Set in the Sligo/Leitrim region of
Ireland, the play takes place during one afternoon in a small rural pub.
It's full of ghost stories and local lore. "Sheer Theatrical Magic.
A modern classic," raved the Daily Telegraph during its extended run
in London. When The Weir opened on Broadway, Variety said, "It strikes
where the best storytellers take aim- deep inside the imagination and the
The production will take place at Wisconsin Lutheran College Arts
Center, 8815 West Wisconsin Avenue, Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3 at
8 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 at 4 p.m. There will be a preview at O'Donoghue's
Pub in Elm Grove at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. The Weir will be Milwaukee's
entry in the 2003 Acting Irish International Theatre Festival in Delray
Beach, Florida May 11 - 18. One pre-festival show will be staged at the
ICHC on May 9th at 8 p.m. Visit our website at http: www.MilwaukeeIrishArts.org
or call the ICHC for ticket information.
Irish Community Sponsors
LEAHY Benefit Concert
for Special Olympics
In an outpouring of enthusiastic support, Irish Fest and the Irish
Cultural & Heritage Center are sponsoring a concert by Leahy, Canada's
wildly popular Celtic band of performing brothers and sisters, to help
raise funds for Special Olympics. A delegation of 29 athletes will be representing
Wisconsin at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland, June '03.
Leahy has established a reputation as one of North America's most
entertaining groups, with a unique contemporary blend of Celtic and Canadian
folk music as well as French Canadian step-dancing. Nine brothers and sisters
comprise a super-charged band whose members can not only play instruments,
but also sing, dance, write their own songs and sell albums. Leahy last
performed in Milwaukee at Irish Fest last year.
The Leahy concert will be held on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2003
at the Irish Cultural & Heritage Center (ICHC), 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.,
Milwaukee. General admission tickets are $35. VIP tickets are $75 and include
a pre-concert reception with refreshments and additional entertainment
at the historic Pabst Mansion down the street from the ICHC. The concert
begins at 8 p.m.; doors will open at 6 p.m.
The impetus for the benefit concert is the first Special Olympics
World Summer Games to be held outside of the United States. Dublin will
host 7,500 Special Olympics athletes from 160 countries and 29 athletes
from Wisconsin will proudly march into Dublin's Croke Stadium on June 21,
2003. The World Summer Games will be the largest sporting event in the
world in 2003.
Special Olympics Wisconsin covers all costs for each athlete to attend
the World Games, with travel, food, lodging, uniforms and equipment totaling
about $2,500 per athlete. Irish Fest took the lead in providing support
for the Wisconsin World Games athletes. According to Ed Ward, founder of
Irish Fest, "It's a pleasure for the entire Irish community to demonstrate
its support for such an exciting opportunity for these athletes."
As a premier venue for Irish cultural activities, the Irish Cultural
& Heritage Center is lending its considerable expertise as concert
host. Students participating in the Ulster Project of Greater Milwaukee
will help out as volunteer ushers and helpers.
Tickets are available at Special Olympics office (262) 241-7786,
at the ICHC (414) 345-8800 and at the Irish Fest Center (414) 476-3378.
Special Olympics is a year-round program of sports training and competition
for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Nearly 9,000 athletes train
and compete in Wisconsin through 17 different Olympic-type summer and winter
sports. For more information about Special Olympics Wisconsin, or to find
out how you can help send the athletes to Ireland, contact Amy Brecher
at (800) 924-5202, or link to "http://www.specialolympicswisconsin.org".
From Clare to Here...
...Is the title of our new exhibit in the Parlor B gallery space.
This charming exhibit of photographs by local photographer, Mary June Hanrahan,
features people and places in County Clare with some subjects closer to
home. The images are an eclectic mix of color and monochrome and offer
a personal record of the chance encounters that make summer days in the
"Banner County" so special. There will be an opening reception
on Friday, March 7 at 6 p.m. You are all invited.
A Belated Golf Outing Update
Our 2002 Shamrock Club Golf Outing took place on Sunday, August 25,
2002, at the Lakeside Country Club, Pewaukee. Our numbers were few as we
had forty-one golfers and fifty-three diners.
Those that attended seemed to have a good time and everyone was indeed
a winner. Next year, why not bring a friend?
The 2003 Golf Outing will be held Sunday, August 24th, at Edgewater
Golf Club in Grafton, WI. Edgewater's tree lined fairways will offer a
challenge to golfers of all levels.
St. Pat's at the Milwaukee Museum
Join the Shamrock Club at the Milwaukee Museum for a St. Patrick's
Day Celebration Sunday, March 2, 2003 from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
The Shamrock Club will be at the Milwaukee Public Museum again for
our annual St Patrick's Day celebration. We will be in the European Village,
near the Irish Cottage. There will be a number of demonstrations, as well
as ceili dance instruction and a performance by the Glencastle Irish Dancers.
Demonstrations include: Celtic quilting by Julie Revane; bobbin lace
by Naomi Holthauis and Diana Sauter; Irish copper relief by Leslie Fox;
Irish soda bread by Marleen Wagner; straw weaving by Mary Roffers; and,
tatting demonstrations by Kammi Krueger. Joan Le Clair will demonstrate
the use of the 150 year old Dual Bobbin Spinning wheel. It is also known
as the gossip wheel, mainly for the stories that were elicited when it
was being used.
The Glencastle Irish Dancers will perform in the auditorium at 1:30
pm. Julie Clark will be giving ceili dance instructions at noon, 1, 2 and
3 p.m. In addition, there will be lessons on making a sheep, soda bread
handouts, and peat cutting displays. Sandy Hoffman will be giving Hedge
School instruction, the method that was utilized by the poor Irish who
were denied access to the state schools. She will also have a number of
handouts on the subject. There will also be a display on Merrill Park's
Irish past, with pictures and videos.
Our own St. Patrick, James Keane, will be present. He will have information
about St. Patrick. The Irish Cottage, which was furnished by the Shamrock
Club, will be open for people to walk through.
For more information about the Shamrock Club at the Milwaukee Public
Museum, call Muriel Crowley at (262) 782-4323.
To Be Honored on
Saint Patrick's Night
Eileen Louise O'Leary was born in Beardsley Minnesota, and raised
in Minneapolis in a family noted for great teachers and musicians. On graduation
from McPhail College of Music she joined the Red Cross and served in WWII
where she ran an entertainment unit attached to General Patton's army in
Europe. There, Eileen met and fell in love with Arthur Stein, a captain
in the US Army. They were married in Belgium and returned home to Milwaukee
in 1945. As Irish O' Leary, Eileen began singing and playing piano in clubs
across Milwaukee-the Crystal Palace, Gatsby's, the West Allis Inn and the
Depot in Waukesha among others. A great entertainer who loves to work the
crowd, she wrote the song We Love Milwaukee.
For close-on half a century, Saint Patrick's Day would not be complete
for many without a performance by Irish O' Leary with her delightfully
titillating songs! She played last year for St. Patrick's Day in Sedona,
Arizona! She is currently writing her memoirs. She is a great mom, grandmother
Milwaukee Irish Arts will honor Irish O' Leary for her contribution
to Irish performing arts in our community at our grand Saint Patrick's
Night Gala at The Italian Community Center, March 17. Irish has promised
to perform a couple of her favorite numbers. So, why not plan to join us
for a great evening?
RTE News Items from Ireland
DELL DENIES PLANS
TO CLOSE BRAY OPERATION
The US computer group, Dell, has denied they have any plans to close
their sales and support operation in Bray. A spokeswoman for Dell said
the Bray operation was pivotal to their operations in Europe and that the
company had no plans to move. However the company will not be renewing
its lease on a premises in Cherrywood in South Dublin when it comes up
for renewal in July.
Dell plans to absorb the 400 or so staff into its Bray operation
over the next few months. It is understood that following staff meetings
between 20 and 30 middle management jobs in sales and marketing will be
lost as part of a reorganisation of its operations. Dell employs around
3,000 people in Limerick and 1,300 between Bray and Cherrywood.
LAST HARLAND & WOLFF
SHIP TO BE NAMED
The last vessel likely to be built at Belfast shipyard Harland and
Wolff is to be officially named on January 25. The 22,000 tonne Anvil Point
is the second of two RORO ferries built for an English shipping consortium.
The vessel itself will be launched at the end of next month. The place
of Harland and Wolff as a leading shipbuilder is etched in history as the
construction site for vessels such as the Titanic, HMS Belfast and the
For decades now, however, the yard has struggled to get orders, forcing
it to reduce its workforce down to just 130 from a peak of 35,000 during
the Second World War. The order book at the East Belfast plant is now empty
and no new vessels have been or are likely to be commissioned in the years
ahead. Management at the plant is concentrating on the development of a
small scale engineering services company.
'NEIGHBOUR FROM HELL'
GIVEN SUSPENDED SENTENCE
A woman who was described in court as a "neighbour from hell,"
has received a four-month suspended sentence, after the court was told
that she had learned her lesson. Sixty-three-year-old Mary McGrath, from
Innishmore Drive in Ballincollig, County Cork, pleaded guilty to terrorising
her neighbour, Christopher Blackham, last May.
At that time, the court was told how Mrs. Grath continually abused
and threatened Mr Blackham and his wife, Geena, had frightened their two
young children, and had terrorised them with loud music and vicious verbal
abuse. The only evening when the loud music was not blaring from her home
was when she hosted Legion of Mary meetings, the court was told. Sentencing
had been adjourned several times last year to allow Mary McGrath-who suffers
from a severe alcohol problem-to show the court that she could mend her
At Cork District Court today, the defendant's solicitor, Brian Long,
told the court that his client was quite tired of the whole affair and
at this stage wanted to put it behind her. She had, he said, served six
weeks in Limerick Prison, and had learnt her lesson from that experience.
The media spotlight, he said, had taken its toll on her family. Judge Con
O'Leary imposed a four-month suspended prison sentence and bound Mary McGrath
to the peace for the next 12 months.
PIGS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN...
The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that Irish farmers could
face fines of up to 2,000 unless they provide pigs with toys. Under new
EU regulations, pig keepers are required "to enrich the pigs' environment,"
to keep them happy and deter them from chewing each other. The items used
can be straw, hay, peatmoss and novel objects, such as footballs or wood.
A Department spokesperson says the ruling has been law since 1 January
and farm inspectors will be monitoring its implementation.
RYANAIR WILL BUY BUZZ AND BOEINGS
The budget airline, Ryanair, is to buy its low-cost rival, Buzz,
from the Dutch company KLM. Ryanair, which says it normally avoids acquisitions,
described the deal as good value at almost 24m. In a statement to the
stock exchange, Ryanair said it would close some of Buzz's unprofitable
Volunteer Party Success
The Volunteer Party was held February 1, 2003 and was attended by
our great volunteers. All agreed the food was tasty, the music fantastic,
and a good time was on display. It is much easier to encourage volunteers
to give of themselves when they know they are appreciated and a special
recognition awaits them. Make sure when you volunteer that your coordinator
has your current address so we don't miss you on our invitation list.
February 28 & March 1, 2003
Join the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Celtic Studies
for a weekend celebration of sean-nós - the traditional Irish art
form of storytelling through song, one of the oldest singing traditions
in Europe. Come experience Gaelic language and culture with many well known
native Irish singers as they gather in Milwaukee for this unique weekend
of song sharing, workshops, sessions, archival recordings, and, of course,
For more information, please call the Center for Celtic Studies at
This event is co-sponsored by UWM's Center for Celtic Studies and
Craobh Curtin Conradh na Gaeilge.
St. Patrick's Help Fund
St. Patrick's Help Fund needs non-perishable foods, coats for adult
men and for children, blankets, any games for ages 4-11 for after school
programs, warm winter clothing for all ages. Please place in container
at each meeting. However, donations can be brought to the ICHC any time
during the week. It is not restricted to just meetings. A big thank you
to everybody who has contributed to help the needy people at St. Patrick's.
Questions? Call Katy Voss (414) 352-6479.
The Milwaukee Feis Society has joined us in helping St. Patrick's
parish.A donation of $1000 was made on their behalf, to be used as St.
Patrick's sees fit. We are happy to have their help in our endeavors.
Hallamor Concert Series
CONCERT #6: DUBLIN CITY RAMBLERS
Green Season opens Saturday, March 1st with none other than the Dublin
City Ramblers! Ireland's #1 Ballad and Folk group will kick-off the Green
Season in grand style. These three men with more than 30 years of experience
know how to get the "craic" going. The evening will be filled
with heartwarming ballads and hand clapping, sing-a-long pub songs. The
vitality, passion and humor along with the musical tapestry of Ireland
will jump-start the party that is the month of March.
The Ramblers have traveled the world spreading "Irishness".
They have been in demand everywhere. Over the years, they have built up
a tremendous fan base. They have even been given the keys to a number of
cities, such as Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida.
It is said that in the month of March, everyone is Irish or wishes
they were! There is no group better able to share and spread this feeling
than the Dublin City Ramblers. The Ramblers, led by founder, Sean McGuinness,
have that certain "staying power". Having entertained for more
than 30 years, having sold millions of albums (eight of them gold), there
can be no question of the Dublin City Ramblers' enduring popularity. Don't
miss this Green Season Opener! It'll put you in the right frame of mind!
Dublin City Ramblers
Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 8 p.m.
Irish Cultural and Heritage Center of WI
2133 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
$21 at the door
CONCERT #7 : GAELIC STORM
Gaelic Storm is internationally known as the Steerage Band from the
blockbuster movie, Titanic. Their concert slated for March 21 as part of
the Hallamor Concert Series is presently sold out. Thank you Milwaukee
for buying your tickets early, and often!
Friday, March 21, 2003
8:00 p.m. ICHC
NOTE: Please send your dues to your Membership Chairperson in your
chapter. All names and addresses are listed in Emerald Reflections.
LAFAYETTE CO. - Sara Lange Flanagan.
MILWAUKEE - James and Joy Dolan; Ellen Kirylak; Pat Wiedman.
MILWAUKEE MEMBERSHIP REPORT
December: 21 memberships up for renewal, 14 paid, 7 dropped for
January: 36 memberships up for renewal, 23 paid, 13 due.
February: 33 memberships up for renewal, 9 paid, 24 due.
Again, please do not send cash for dues through the mail. Instread,
make checks or money orders payable to Shamrock Club of Wisconsin. Thank