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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - August 2003

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

Milwaukee Irish Fest Features Another Blockbuster Music Line-Up

Irish Fest Stage Schedule

Applications Now Being Accepted for
Irish Fest Summer School. Classes Begin August 10

Wee Energy: Children's Activities Electrify Kids' Celtic Curiosity

Milwaukee Irish Fest Irish Idol Contest: To Showcase Best New Talent

The Good, the Bog and the Underworld - New Exhibits
Enhance Milwaukee Irish Fest's Cultural Village

Shamrock Club Color Guard Pipes and Drums News and Notes

Shamrock Club Football Outing Update

Milwaukee President's Message

Shamrock Club Annual Family Best Ball Golf and Dinner Outing

Milwaukee Shamrock Club Picnic

Hurling Club Update

Shamrock Club of Rock County

Dane County Shamrock Club

Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Statewide Meeting

Connery's Irish "worst film accent ever"

Shamrock Club of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Chapter:
Scenes from 2003 Post Parade Party

Shamrock Club of Wisconsin 2003 Raffle Winners

Re-Imagining Ireland in Virginia

St. Patrick's Help Fund

Welcome New Members

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events


Milwaukee Irish Fest Features Another Blockbuster Music Line-Up

At Milwaukee Irish Fest, August 14-17, fifteen stages will come alive with the latest and greatest in Irish and Irish American entertainment. The world's largest Irish festival promises another blockbuster entertainment experience in 2003.

"Each year we try to bring back popular talent while mixing in the best new talent, and we've really achieved that goal this year," says Chuck Ward, Irish Fest entertainment coordinator. "It's going to be a very exciting festival!"

Returning to Milwaukee Irish Fest's stages are some of the most popular Irish and Irish American performers, including Tommy Makem, Leahy, Gaelic Storm, Altan and La Bottine Souriante. Mix them with festival newcomers like Barra MacNeils, Slainte Mhath, Flook, The Cottars and Afro Celts, and it's a recipe for non-stop music and fun.

"Though our 2003 entertainers offer very diverse music styles, they all have one thing in common - a lot of energy!" says Barry Stapleton, Milwaukee Irish Fest rock stage coordinator and director of the John J. Ward Irish Music Archives at the Irish Fest Center. "What's interesting is that quite a few bands are coming from Canada this year, including Barra MacNeils, Leahy, The Clumsy Lovers (Canada), La Bottine Souriante, Evans & Doherty, and Slainte Mhath. Canada has a tradition of great folk fests and great folk fest bands, and those coming to Irish Fest have developed a strong stage presence. They know how to communicate with the crowd."

Milwaukee Irish Fest kicks off Thursday night, August 14 with a Hooley and preview performances by several groups, including Flook, Brigid's Cross and Slainte Mhath, which is fast becoming known for its folk-rock approach to Scottish dance music. Interestingly, the band members are the sons and daughters of the famed sibling band Barra MacNeils, also performing at Milwaukee Irish Fest on August 14 and throughout the weekend.

Groups such as the McPeake Family, Dublin City Ramblers, Carbon Leaf, Waking Maggie and Fonnmhor will perform several times during the four-day festival, as will Brendan Nolan and Welsh harpist Robin Huw Bowen.

Milwaukee Irish Fest goers have always found great diversity in the festival's entertainment offering, and the 2003 festival should live up to that popular tradition:

• Altan, North Cregg with Karan Casey, Charlie Piggott, Liz Carroll and Tommy Peoples are all on the "must-see" list for those who favor traditional Irish music, while Irish tenor fans will be sure to enjoy Irish tenor Daryl Simpson's encore performance.

• Previously known as the Afro Celt Sound System, the Grammy-nominated Afro Celts make their debut at Irish Fest this year. Fans will recognize the group's unique blend of Celtic singing, Irish melodies and West African rhythms on the soundtrack of the 2002 film Gangs of New York.

• With his unique blend of comedy and musical talent, balladeer Seamus Kennedy always puts on a show that has the audience laughing and singing along.

• Spirited steppers Cashel Dennehy Irish Dancers, Glencastle Irish Dancers and Trinity Dance Academy will perform, while fest-goers can dance to the music of Barefield Ceili Band, Public House Ceili Band and Toughlamore Ceili Band in the Sprecher Dance Pavilion.

• Popular local groups Blarney and Theiss & O'Connor return this year, as do Anam Ri, Leahy's Luck, Baal Tinne, Mary Ann Miller, and The Jeff Ward Band.

• The Irish Fest Choir and the Omagh Community Choir will partner for several performances. After touring on the east coast of the United States for several days preceding Milwaukee Irish Fest, the choirs will participate in an international youth exchange including an extended stay in Milwaukee for Irish youth.

"Irish and Irish American music is very popular with the younger generations, and that trend is reflected in some of the groups coming to Milwaukee Irish Fest," says Milwaukee Irish Fest Executive Director Jane Anderson. "All of the members of the Barefield Ceili Band, the Omagh Community Choir, The Cottars and our own Irish Fest Choir are still in their teens. They're very talented and a lot of fun to see."

"More than 50 groups will be performing at Irish Fest this year, so there's a great blend of contemporary, traditional, folk and rock music," adds Ward. "There's really something for everyone to enjoy."

For more information on all of the entertainers coming to Irish Fest in 2003, visit www.irishfest.com.


Milwaukee Irish Fest 2003

Thursday, August 14
Friday, August 15
Saturday, August 16
Sunday, August 17

Print 2003 Milwaukee Irish Fest Stage Schedule
(Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print golf registration form)


Applications Now Being Accepted
For Irish Fest Summer School
Classes Begin August 10

During the five days preceding Milwaukee Irish Fest each year, Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School offers the most diehard devotees of Celtic culture an interactive week of instruction spanning the music, history, dance, crafts and traditions of Ireland.

"Summer School furthers our mission to promote and preserve the Irish heritage by making Irish culture and traditions accessible to the public," says Milwaukee Irish Fest Executive Director Jane Anderson.

Summer School 2003 is August 10-15 throughout the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Accommodations for out-of-town students can be arranged for the university's residence halls.

Eamon O'Cuiv, Ireland's Minister of the Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs, will deliver the Summer School's keynote address at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13. O'Cuiv's presentation is titled "Ireland 1840-1940: A Personal Perspective" and may offer rare first-hand insights. O'Cuiv's grandfather was Eamonn de Valera, the activist for Irish independence who became Ireland's first prime minister and eventually its president.

Classes run $15-$110 for a single class. Weekly rates are $215 for one child including supervision throughout the day, $375 for a single adult and $500 for a family of up to five.

Classes are arranged for children 6-10; teens 13-18, and adults. Family participation is encouraged.

For more information about Summer School monitor www.irishfest.com or call Barb Breed-Heidt (262) 227-6538 or joheidt@ uwm.edu.


Wee Energy: Children's Activities
Electrify Kids' Celtic Curiosity

Milwaukee Irish Fest boasts a proud tradition as Milwaukee's only festival with an interactive children's area.

A rainbow of activities promise creative play with cultural value, including:

• The Lilli-putt mini-golf area, built by volunteers to look like Ireland including a drawbridge, a castle and sheep;

• crafts and educational activities, including castle-building with Legos, fashioning Celtic crosses from foam, weaving fairy wreaths, and decorating potatoes with JuJu fruits;

• the Fairy Ring musical game where youngsters hop among stepping stones; and

• birthday parades for Official Irish Fest mascot Paddy McFest on Friday and Saturday in which kids can participate using hand-made instruments.

Children's entertainment is designed with the interests and attention spans of the little ones in mind. Performances on the children's stage are interactive and under 45 minutes long. Attractions include storytellers, plays and sing-alongs.

KIDS TIPS

• Admission to Milwaukee Irish Fest is free for children under 12

• Children under 12 must be supervised by an adult in the Children's Area and throughout the festival grounds.

• Consider volunteering as a family with kids 12 and under; teens 13-17 may volunteer with friends or on their own.

• Kids rule at Irish Fest. If you know a talented teen Irish Fest enthusiast, please refer them to the new Youth Leadership Program.

For more information about activities for children and teens at Irish Fest, contact 414-476-3378 or ifest@execpc.com.


Milwaukee Irish Fest Irish Idol Contest:
To Showcase Best New Talent

The hype. The hopes. The heartbreak.

American Idol and its British forerunner, Pop Idol, have inspired an exciting new attraction at Milwaukee Irish Fest: a dramatic talent search for the best newcomer as decided by festival visitors.

"Milwaukee Irish Fest has long been known as the best American source for up-and-coming contemporary Irish music. This new contest showcases the latest talent in a fun and suspenseful format," says Robert Heuston, publisher of Irish Music Magazine.

Milwaukee Irish Fest, August 14-17, has identified more than 15 bands for consideration for the award. Each band will be making its Irish Fest debut in 2003. Voting will take place throughout the weekend by festival visitors; ballots will be available at festival information booths and in the Irish Music Magazine booth in the Cultural Village.

The Irish Idol winner will receive a Waterford trophy and be profiled in an upcoming issue of Irish Music Magazine.

The Irish Idol will be announced prior to the Sunday evening "Scattering," a musical farewell that unites many of the weekend's musical performers on one stage for a final performance.

For more information about Milwaukee Irish Fest, check out www.irishfest.com.


The Good, the Bog and the Underworld -
New Exhibits Enhance
Milwaukee Irish Fest's Cultural Village

Wherever you are, you are home.

This year, Ballyfest, Milwaukee Irish Fest's Cultural Village, celebrates that universal feeling of being in a place where the Irish congregate - by exploring the influence of the Irish outside Ireland.

Come home to several new cultural exhibits this year, including:

• "The Irish American Outlaws," examining the lives and times notorious villains of Irish descent, including of Billy the Kid, Mad Dog Coll, members of Murder Inc., and associates of Al Capone in Chicago;

• A still-building demonstration by stone wall builder Bartley O'Dohmnaill, highlighting the old Irish moon shining techniques used to distill poteen;

• An exhibit tracing the Claddagh area in County Galway and the origin of the popular Claddagh ring in cooperation with Dillons of Shop Street and Galway historian Peadar O'Dowd;

• Horticultural displays exploring the common traits of bogs found in Ireland and Wisconsin;

• A new interactive Irish music session activity for festival-goers led by Waltons Music of Dublin a and New York;

• Bing Crosby memorabilia from the Ward Irish Music Archives and a visit from Bing's nephew, Howard Crosby, in celebration of the Irish American crooner's recent centennial birthday; and

• Irish folklorist and storyteller Eddie Lenihan sharing stories about fairies in our midst.

Favorite attractions from past years will return and expand in 2003 including an enhanced exhibit about the Irish Railways; willow rod basket weaving demonstrations by Irish sallyweaver Grainne Ui Mhaitiu; the Hedge School and Seanachie's Space; Irish language, song and storytelling in the Gaeltacht, authentic crafts and wares in the Moore Street Market; some of the best in Irish music and song in the Pub, the opportunity to discover your family's roots in the Genealogy tent; and organized games of tug of war. Currach races will be held on Lake Michigan and hurlers will be playing north of the grounds at Urban Park.

For more information about the Cultural Area at Milwaukee Irish Fest, call 414-476-3378 or monitor www.irishfest.com.


Color Guard News and Notes

"PRIDE AND HONOR"

"God Bless America!" What a beautiful statement, as we take Pride and Honor in our country's independence.

Your Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums upheld these sentiments as they honored our country and the Shamrock Club on the 4th of July weekend with performances in the Menomonee Falls parade on the evening of July 3, followed by performances on the 4th of July in the Glendale and Brown Deer Independence Day parades.

The month of July parades were rounded out with the Unit marching in the South Shore Water Frolics (July 12), South Milwaukee Heritage Days (July 26) and the Dousman Derby Days parade on July 27.

"God Bless Ireland!" We pray for this every day, but in August we all come together to celebrate our Irish Heritage - Irish Fest! Parades on Friday (8/15) at 7 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday (8/16-17) at 4 p.m., and our Irish Fest Mass Sunday (8/17) at 9 a.m. make for an unbelievable "Irish Family" gathering. Don't forget, the Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums will also be giving two Special Performances on Saturday and Sunday at the Crossroads venue, times to be announced, so check the Irish Fest schedule. We would love to have a great show of support from Shamrock Club members as we perform, with "Pride & Honor", for all the attendees/visitors but mostly, for you, those we represent!

Also, in August, the Unit will be marching Aug. 2 (Sat., 9 a.m.) Sheboygan Brat Festival; Aug. 24 (Sun. 11 a.m.) Muskego Fest; Aug. 30 (Sat., 11 a.m.) St. Francis Days and don't forget the Janesville Labor Day Parade on Monday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m.

Your support means a lot! Please come and cheer on the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin's Color Guard, Pipes and Drums!

If you would like to have the Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes & Drums appear in a parade, special event or family occasion - or you would like to join the Unit as a banner carrier, color guard, piper or dummer, please contact:

Richard Pfeifer, Director
Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums
Telephone: (414) 769-1250
e-mail: milwpiper@cs.com

- Richard Stover


Football Outing Update

To get Notre Dame tickets we would have to go through "Preferred Tickets". Tickets start at $95 each, go as high as $250 each, and payment is required immediately. Therefore the Notre Dame game is out. I will try again next year.

The Wisconsin game is Saturday, November 15 against Michigan State. Game admission is $28, Badger Bus is $16, total cost for game ticket and transportation per person is $44. We will have beer, soda, and snacks on the bus. Forty tickets are available, so please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested.

- Tom Smith
(414) 384-4119
Email: JESmith26@aol.com


Milwaukee President's Message

Ladies and gentlemen, Shamrock Club members all,

It was the best of times it was... well you know the famous passage.

When I was elected, I (and several other board members) began to lay out an agenda to take the club to new heights.

Now, during my second term, we will try to expand on those goals.

1. Expand the membership of the Shamrock club

2. Create new opportunities for our members

    a. more benefits
    b. more exposure
    c. more functions
    d. more recognition
    f. more

3. Emerald Reflections

    a. create a better, more useful calendar
    b. allow Emerald Reflections to become a paper of record of all Irish events.

4. Expand our volunteer base and participation

    a. a better base
    b. phone tree
    c. hurling, currach, dance troupes, etc.
    d. concerts, feshes, fun functions for everybody
    e. phone banks (i.e. March of Dimes, 10/36)

The best of summer is now upon us... the picnic, Irish Fest, the Golf Outing, the beginning of a new year with new officers and a new board and it all happens in August, just about halfway to St. Patrick's Day. We hope to see you at all these events, bring your families, bring your friends, introduce us and the wonderful organization you have helped to build we will make everyone green with envy.

A special thanks to Kris and Daryl Ploskota for their hard work at the installation dinner. And very special thanks to Jim and Debie Dickmann for the arrangments reservations for the dinner.

- Joe Hughes


Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Annual Family Best Ball Golf
and Dinner Outing

Sunday, August 24, 2003
Edgewater Golf Club, Grafton
(I-43 north to Hwy 60, west 1.7 miles to 12th Avenue,
right 1.4 miles to Cedar Creek Road, left to coarse)
Individual Awards - for longest Drive, Longest Putt, and
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 Included
Cocktail Hour: 4:30-5:30 / Buffet Dinner: 5:30-7:00 /
AWARDS to be presented during dinner.

Print 2003 Shamrock Club Golf Outing Registration Form
(Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print golf registration form)


Milwaukee Shamrock Club Picnic

Live at the Lake Front
Lake Park: Picnic Area #6
AUGUST 10, 2003 • NOON til 6 p.m.
(Lincoln Memorial Drive at Kenwood Avenue - Milwaukee)
Free Miller Genuine• Draft and Miller Lite
Free Refreshments • Free Soda • Free Entertainment
Free Guinness Starting at 3 p.m. • Free Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
Irish DanceExhibitions • Join in sessions with local musicians
Games for kids from 1 to 93 years old
Free Shuttle to Milwaukee Hurling Games at McKinley Marina
For Information call: (414) 358-0408


Hurling Club Update

STANDINGS AS OF JUNE 29

Guinness Division:
4-2 Derry Hegarty's
3-3 Axel's
3-3 The Harp
3-3 McBob's

Harp Division:
5-1 Shamrock Club
3-3 Hanley's
2-4 County Clare
1-5 Milwaukee Ale House

FIRST ANNUAL YOUTH CLINIC

On June 14 and 21, the MHC held the first of many hurling clinics for kids between the ages of 7 and 14. In all, 35 kids participated over the two-day event to learn the basics of hurling. Many of the kids were apprehensive at first, but as you all know, we simply had to get hurleys into their hands and they were hooked! The second and final day the kids showcased their talents in a youth hurling scrimmage, which proved that kids learn quickly. Simply said, it was amazing! While the kids probably kept score, I believe the adults and trainers were too busy smiling to do so. Participants were offered a booster membership for an additional cost, which allows them to participate in our weekly practices.

We will be holding additional youth hurling opportunities at Irish Fest. Stay tuned for details.

- Matt Larsen


Rock County

UPCOMING EVENTS

• AUG. 19: Club Picnic at Sweet-Alyn Park

• SEPT. 16: Monthly Meeting, 7 p.m. at Janesville Senior Center

Our annual club picnic will be held on August 19 starting at 5 p.m. at Sweet-Alyn Park in Shopiere. This will be a potluck dinner so bring your own table ware and beverage and a dish to pass. We will eat at 6 p.m.

Several of our members attended the Beloit Snappers baseball game against the Fort Wayne Wizards on Tuesday, June 24. We won't talk about the final score. The Snappers were going to get even the next night but that game was postponed because of rain.

Hope to see all of our members at the picnic August 19 and at our September meeting.

- Tom Kennedy


Dane County Shamrock Club

UPCOMING EVENTS:

•AUG. 11: Board Meeting, Coliseum Bar, 6:15 p.m.

•AUG. 14-17: Milwaukee Irish Fest, Henry Meier Festival Grounds

•AUG. 16: State Advisory Shamrock Clubs meeting at ICHC, during Irish Fest, 10:30 a.m.

Congratulations to Pat McCarthy, the new editor of our newsletter, for her outstanding work on the Dane County Shamrock Newsletter. She will be sharing a publication schedule in future issues so that members will know when to submit articles.

At the midsummer picnic the new officers were installed and the gavel was passed to the new president, Bob Kerans. The other officers and board members were introduced to the club. Paul Buckalew, one of the outgoing co-presidents, gave a brief summary of the accomplishments during the past two years. This was followed by comments from the new president, Bob Kerans, regarding his direction for the Dane County Shamrock Club.

The entertainment at the summer picnic was both dancing and magic. The students of Shannon Gallagher, the director of the Premier Dance Academy, were the dancers. Her Academy was voted #1 dance studio in Dane County in 2002, by the Kids of Dane County newspaper. At the picnic three competing dance companies performed: the Petite Company - dancers in 4th through 6th grades; the Junior Company - dancers in 7th through 9th grades, and Senior Company - dancers in 10th through 12th grade. Some of these dancers performed on a cruise ship in the Bahamas, the Madison Holiday Parade, the Shamrock Parade, and the Middleton Parade. They will perform in August at the Waterpark at Wisconsin Dells.

Christopher Kunkel performed magic to the delight of the youngsters in the audience. This was Christopher's second year at the summer picnic - back by popular demand. He involved both the young and old of his audience in his magic.

Colleen and Paul conclude with an Irish wish for the Club and the new officers:

Like the Shamrocks of old Ireland
May your joys grow all year through,
And Irish luck and laughter
Be a part of all you do.

-Paul Buckalew and Colleen Schams


Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Statewide Meeting

Saturday, August 16, 2003
Irish Cultural and Heritage Cener
2133 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wiscosin
10:30 a.m. Breakfast Meeting
Cost: $8
Reservations please:
Cate Harris
(414) 321-5153
8835 W.Verona Ct.
Milwaukee, WI 53227
E-mail: CateH6@msn.com


Ananova

CONNERY'S IRISH "THE WORST FILM ACCENT EVER"

Sir Sean Connery's attempt at an Irish twang has been named the worst movie accent of all time. His efforts to play cop Jim Malone in the 1987 film The Untouchables topped a poll of experts at movie magazine Empire. It beat the performance of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins with his laboured cockney chimney sweep.

Commenting on Sir Sean, the August edition of Empire says: "Whether he's a Russian sub captain (The Hunt For Red October) or even an English King (First Knight and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves), always that baritone Highland burr remains."

Other Brits to make it into the top 10 include the late Lord Olivier at number eight for his "end of the pier Jewish" accent in the 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer. And Pete Postlethwaite is pilloried for the hammy Indian accent he attempts as Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects.

Empire top 10 worst movie accents:

1. Sean Connery in The Untouchables (1987)
2. Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (1964)
3. Brad Pitt in Seven Years In Tibet (1997)
4. Charlton Heston i n Touch Of Evil (1958)
5. Heather Graham in From Hell (2001)
6. Keanu Reeves in Dracula (1992)
7. Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly (1996)
8. Laurence Olivier in The Jazz Singer (1980)
9. Pete Postlethwaite in The Usual Suspects (1995)
10. Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa (1985)


Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
Milwaukee Chapter
Scenes from 2003 Post Parade Party

PARTY #1

John Gleeson, Mark Connelly, Mary June Hanrahan, and Kathy Radaj

PARTY #2

Pat Sadowski and Judy Townes at front admission.

PARTY #3

Bob Townes and Del Canon check for proper ID on ALL customers

Bob Hamill and Mike Boyle construct ideas.

Dancer waiting in the wings to perform.

PARTY #6

Sean Galloway hides at the back door.

(photos by Mary Crivello Witt)


Shamrock Club of Wisconsin
2003 Raffle Winners

$1000 Brenna McGee
$250 Mary Lynn Jahnke
$100 Maggie Matousek
$50 Jerry Dagen
$25 John & Barbara Bird
$25 Mary Moze
$25 Dan McCarthy


Re-Imagining Ireland in Virginia

During the early part of May, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities held a conference in Charlottesville, VA, entitled "Re-imagining Ireland." The purpose of the conference, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the home of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, was to "explore profoundly important topics connected with economics and culture, and the changing forms of expression through which individuals and nations gradually but inevitably negotiate their identity." The conference was centered in the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, but conference venues were spread across the city, in theatres, University of Virginia ballrooms and art museums, and theatres in downtown Charlottesville. Each day had a theme, be it economics, music and culture, the Irish Diaspora, or the difficult question of Northern Ireland.

The conference opened on Wednesday, May 7, with an address by Irish President Mary McAleese, in which she touched upon the real and the imagined Ireland. Her comment on the reality of the Irish and over-drinking was widely played up in the Irish press, but constituted one small portion of her overall talk. Following that were concerts by the Greenfields of America, and De Dannan.

On Thursday, a number of conferences took place, centered on the convergence of global economics, national politics, and traditional culture. Friday found the topics centered on how Ireland and the United States view each other in the development of the country, be it a part of the European Union, or with the close ties developed with Irish America over the past two hundred years. Saturday, the Northern Irish question was discussed, with both Unionist and Nationalist positions discussed.

A number of people came to the conference from Milwaukee Irish Fest. Among those attending were Shamrock Club members Nancy Walczyk, Kathy Mallon, Barb and Maureen Tyler, Colleen Kennedy, Brian Witt, and Ed Ward. Also attending were Irish Fest executive director Jane Anderson, Kathy Rave, Tadhg McInerney, and Jim Gillespie. Ed Ward was also a featured speaker on one of the panel discussions on Irish music. Also in attendance was former Shamrock Club member, and current Northern Ireland Arts Council member Martin Dowling.

The conference featured many leading experts from Ireland and around the world on topics pertaining to Ireland. Poets Cathal O'Searchaigh, Ciaran Carson, Paula Meehan, and Theo Dorgan; journalists Fintan O'Toole and Ed Moloney of the Irish Times, and National Public Radio's Jacki Lyden; Irish criminologists Ivana Bacik and William Binchy; Irish sociologists Arthur Aughey, Kieran Keohane, and John D. Brewer; human rights activists Robbie McVeigh, Peter McVerry, SJ, Sister Mary MacCurtain, and Susan McKay; writers Frank McCourt, Roddy Doyle, Nan Joyce, and Colm Tobin; and musicians Mick Moloney, Tommy Sands, Andy Irvine, Larry Kirwin, Martin Hayes, and Len Graham were amongst those who presented papers or programs. The conference, while on the academic side, was never too erudite nor beyond the grasp of attendees. Moderators hosted panel discussions and enforced time limits and kept talk on question. Disagreements were common, but in spite of the heady topics, common ground was usually sought, and found.

The conference featured a wide swath of the Irish experience. There were concerts and plays, as well as new Irish movies. Irish music and Irish poetry were married, as in the show with Martin Hayes and Cathal O'Searcaigh. Saturday's discussions on the North featured many pointed questions and comments, but civility remained a part of it all.

Lunch times were also interesting and often times included moving discussions. On Thursday, Irish-American author Frank McCourt, who penned Angela's Ashes, and 'Tis, discussed his experiences of becoming an American in the city he was born, and where he had become a teacher. His often-humorous recollections were also tinged with sadness, as he recalled how he had found a series of student essays written a decade or so earlier. Many were the papers of fathers and brothers of current students, and as his pupils read from the yellowed pages, many found the words of their loved ones speak to them from beyond the grave. Mick Moloney discussed the way in which Irish music and American music were married together, from a common parent. He had a number of musicians to demonstrate his thesis. On Saturday, a day centered on the questions of the North, Tommy Sands sang songs of peace, and had Unionist and Sinn Fein members stand up and share songs for the assembled audience. Saturday's lunch was sponsored by the Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation, whose president is Shamrock Club member Colleen Kennedy.

The conference closed on Saturday night, with a dinner show from Irish duo Grimes and McKee, and concerts by Cherish the Ladies and Solas.

Most participants felt the conference evoked questions and discussions which would never have been addressed if held in Ireland. A number felt the placement of the conference in Virginia allowed the discussions to expand.

- Brian Witt


St. Patrick's Help Fund

St. Patrick's Help Fund needs all kinds of non-perishable foods, and pampers. 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.


New Members

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

Milwaukee - Mike and Jill Cornell; Guzman Family; Robert and Rosalind Smocke.

MILWAUKEE CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP REPORT:

• May: 36 memberships up for renewal, 28 paid, 8 dropped for nonpayment.

• June: 32 memberships up for renewal, 22 paid, 10 due.

• July: 27 memberships up for renewal, 5 paid, 22 due.

PLEASE NOTE: do not send dues or correspondence intended for the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin to Milwaukee Irish Fest. We are two seperate organizations.

- Tom Smith


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