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Emerald Reflections Online

Table of Contents - June 2004

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

Fungie -- An Daingean Deilf

Shamrock Club of Rock County

South Central Shamrock Club

Green Bay News

Dane County Shamrock Club

Shamrock Club of New Dublin

Milwaukee President’s Message

Shamrock Club Milwaukee Election Results

Celtic Women First Friday

Corrections for May issue

Color Guard News and Notes

Youth Hurling Clinic

Women Hurlers

RTE News Items

Teaching Teachers in Ireland

St. Patrick's Help Fund

Welcome New Members

Milwaukee Calendar of Events

Wisconsin Calendar of Events

Fungie -- An Daingean Deilf

by Brian Witt

A recent trip to County Kerry required a stop in the town of Dingle, on the Dingle peninsula. We stayed at the Dingle Skellig Hotel, overlooking the bay. Walking to dinner the first night, I noticed one of the rooms was named “Fungi”, and its door was decorated with a dolphin. I was wondering why the room was named after mushrooms, with an aquatic theme.

Picking up the hotel postcard unraveled the mystery. On it was a picture of a dolphin jumping above the waters of Dingle Bay. The inscription on the back said “Dingle’s very own Fungi the Dolphin in front of the Dingle Skellig Hotel.” I had known of the cetacean in the waters in Kerry, but I didn’t realize he had a name. Or, upon more investigation, how popular this fellow was.

According to a local web site,, the history of this mammal started way back in 1984. Paddy Ferriter, the Dingle Harbour lighthouse keeper, first began watching a lone wild dolphin escort the town’s fishing boats to and from port. By August of that year, local Ministry of Marine manager Kevin Flannery was able to officially record the dolphin as a “permanent” resident of the entrance channel and self-appointed “pilot” of the fleet.

Nine months of intensive aquatic contact later, the dolphin had decided to develop from a timid but inquisitive observer of the human visitors into a playful, though mischievous, companion. It also soon became apparent that having become accustomed to them, all humans, particularly females, would be welcome.

The working vessels that regularly cross the dolphin’s chosen territory, however, remain his main priority, and it is a rare and special privilege when he remains with a vessel during their seaward or homeward passages. On occasion he has been seen to clear the water to the height of a vessel’s bridge, but usually he seems to “roll” ahead in the bow wave, appearing so quickly as to give the impression that there must be more than one.

The Dingle Dolphin – or Fungie (also spelled Fungi), the name given to him by the fishermen – is a fully-grown, possibly middle aged, male bottlenose, Tursiops Truncatus. He weighs in at around one-quarter ton and measures in the region of 13 feet. Although it is by no means unique to find these usually social, open creatures living alone in a “restricted” zone and befriending humans, it is still a relatively rare world event, and Fungie is Ireland’s first recorded occurrence. From observation of body scarring it seems he does still frequently encounter other whales, dolphins or porpoises, proving perhaps he is neither true hermit nor outcast from his own kind, but rather that he is simply content with his current circumstances.

Dolphins’ maintaining some sort of residence in Irish waters is not that rare. Dony is a bottlenose who has been seen across the Atlantic, from Dingle to Brittany. Dusty is a County Clare based dolphin, seen from Doolin to Derreen. Other species of dolphins are seen in the bays and inlets, as well.

Fungie was reportedly first seen about the time a female bottlenose washed up dead on the beach. Speculation was that she was Fungie’s mate. A few years back, another bottlenose showed up for a while. This dolphin was named “Smokey”, and there were reports of the two of them sailing off for the South Seas, or somewhere more exotic than West Kerry. However, the romance was short lived and Smokey left Fungie to go off to the bright lights of the further Atlantic. Fungie, it seems, is happy in his hometown.

During the summer months Fungie is often seen taking fish in the harbor mouth. On several occasions he has been observed catching a fish commonly known as a “Garfish”, a species which had not previously been recorded as part of a dolphin’s diet. During the winter months he must travel further afield for his nourishment.

And with the popularity of Fungie has come other industries. Boat trips to visit him, or to swim along are a thriving business. Then there is An Domhan Fothoinn sa Daingean, or Dingle Oceanworld, a state-of-the-art aquarium overlooking Dingle Harbour and the Dingle Marina. It is Ireland’s premier purpose-built sea life center and sanctuary for the rare fish life often found stranded along the shores of the Dingle Peninsula. The overall theme of Oceanworld reflects the sea culture of West Kerry and indeed, the whole western seaboard of Ireland. It also highlights the historic interface of West Kerry’s people with the wild Atlantic Ocean through the mists of time.

Alas, I did not see the world-famed celebrity during my brief stay in town. Watching the fishing boats sailing in and out of the bay, I wondered if this local boy made famous understood he was even more popular than another hometown boy, named Brendan the Navigator. As both are known for their seagoing exploits, they might have been able to share their love for Kerry and the sea.

Rock County


• No meetings during June, July and August

• AUGUST 17 – Club Picnic, Sweet-Allyn Park at Shopiere

Our annual Club Picnic will be held at Sweet-Allyn Park in Shopiere, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will eat at 6 o’clock. Bring your own table service and beverage, and a dish to pass. We will be in the shelter house, so plan on coming rain or shine as we will be under cover.

Have you taken any trips this summer? If so, tell us about your trip. If no trip, tell us what you have been doing since our last meeting.

– Tom Kennedy

South Central

Sunday, April 18, we met at the Mauston Park Oasis with 25 members present.

Our guest was Fr. Daniel Kelly. He gave a short background of himself and as a priest, he told of one of his recent trips to Ireland to marry a great niece, with all members of the wedding party traveling to Ireland for the wedding.

Following Father’s talk, a short business meeting was held. May 16, the Club was to meet at the Kalahari in Lake Delton for election of officers. Many members remained to eat and socialize.

– Mary E. Stieve, Reporter

Green Bay News

The May 17 meeting featured Poet Kathy Mallon and harpist Cheryl Murphy in a program entitled “Interlace.” Cheryl is a well-known harpist in the Green Bay area, and performs with Celtic Consort. Kathy has been published in Emerald Reflections, was a two-time Irish Fest Poetry Contest winner, and was featured in Look Back Upon Erin.

The Shamrock Club Summer Picnic will take place Monday night July 19 at Bay Beach. Information will be sent out in June. The Shamrock Club will have a food booth at Festival Foods on July 23-24. Come support your Club.

Dane County Shamrock Club

There was no formal Board or General Meeting in May. Instead, club members were urged to attend “Fitchburg Days” which were held May 21 through May 23, 2004, at McKee Park in Fitchburg. Fitchburg Days has Celtic/Irish emphasis on the Saturday events with extensive cultural events running from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. Additionally there was entertainment running from 1 p.m. to Midnight.

The Dane County Club contributed 32 volunteer hours in various booths most of which were selling raffle tickets for a special trip. Other booths manned by Dane County volunteers were the food and beer tents. There were a number of visitors from many of the club branches who stopped by the Dane County booth. Fitchburg Days continues to grow in popularity and participation each year. I would recommend it as a scheduled event next year as it will only get better.

– Bob Kerans, President

New Dublin

A picture of the Shamrock Club of New Dublin members was the number one “Whacky Irish Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day” on AOL this past March. The photo showed members taking down the New London street signs and replacing them with New Dublin signs.

In related news from New Dublin, the tentative schedule of events for Irish Week for 2005 has been released. The name changing starts the week on March 14, with the Irish Festival on March 19. Here is a list of events:

Monday March 14: Leprechauns change the name of the town the New Dublin.

Tuesday March 15: HOOLIGAN DAY. Corned Beef & Cabbage served at Pup’s Irish Pub, Hwy 54 in North Dublin and Sommer’s Midtown, Downtown New Dublin as well as many other fine establishments in New Dublin.

Wednesday March 16: Irish Caroling at St. Joseph’s Residence and Franklin Park apartments. A great way to learn all the traditional Irish sing-a-longs. Song sheets provided. Meet in the lobby of St. Joseph’s at 5 p.m.

Thursday March 17: HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Irish Entertainment at New London Sr. High School auditorium 7 p.m. Talented artists of New Dublin present an evening of Irish entertainment featuring songs, dances and humor of Ireland. Introduction of the 2005 Irish Man of the Year, Irish Rose, Grand Marshal, and the Irish Lad & Lassie. Great family entertainment. Public invited. Free admission, donations appreciated.

Friday March 18: 8 p.m. Finnegans wake service begins at Pup’s Irish Pub two miles west of New Dublin on Hwy 54 and proceeds to other local establishments. 7 p.m. Irish Ceili at Crystal Falls. Free admission.

Saturday March 19: The Grand Parade & Irishfest. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Irishfest under the Big Top in Festival Foods Parking lot, Downtown New Dublin. Admission $5 for all day. 1 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown New Dublin. Wisconsin’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade with marching and bagpipe bands, clan and business floats. Over 100 units. Prizes awarded.

Milwaukee President’s Message

Ladies and Gentlemen, Shamrock Club Members All,

Congratulations to our newly elected Officers and Board. Thanks to all of the candidates for their commitment to our Shamrock Club. Thanks also to those who have served these past years, your continued concerns and volunteer efforts are a true source of inspiration to our new members.

Our June meeting will feature its own brand of special entertainment, and a discussion of proposed bylaws changes. Remember these are the guiding rules of our organization.

Summer is here and you will see our Shamrock Club Color Guard starting Memorial Day and in several parades all over the state.

June 4 the Celtic Women will meet at the ICHC.

June 5 our fellow Celts, the Scottish will host the Highland Games, featuring food and entertainment. All this fun will take place at Heidelberg Park.

Check out the Shamrock Club Hurling team live at the lakefront every Sunday.

– Joseph Hughes

Milwaukee Election Results

The yearly election of officers for the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Board of Directors was held May 6, 2004 with the following results:

• President: Julie Smith

• Vice President: Kris Carrig

• Secretary: Kathy Ferrell

• Treasurer: Patrick Fitzgibbons

• Membership: Tom Smith

• Trustee: Del Canon

• Parliamentarian: Tom Blaha

• Sgt. At Arms: Kerry-Jo Pfeifer

Celtic Women First Friday Lectures

JUNE 4, 2004. Topic: “Immigration Patterns of the Celts to North America.” Speaker: Patricia Keeney Geyh, genealogist; co-director of the Irish Emigration Library housed at the ICHC in Milwaukee. Pat is a founding member of the Irish Genealogical Society of Wisconsin. She has been involved in genealogy for 28 years, traveling to libraries and archives throughout the U.S., Canada, Ireland, England, France and Denmark. Through all of this research she has become fascinated with the various migration patterns followed by immigrants into this country.

FOLLOWING THIS LECTURE: there will be a wine and cheese reception in Parlor B to open the new exhibit of genealogy mounted by the Irish Genealogical Society of Wisconsin. Free and open to the public. Please join us!

All lectures are held from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the ICHC in Parlor A. Admission is $5. Everyone is welcome including men and non-members as well as Celtic Women members. Tea and biscuits are served. Please join us for a delightful few hours of Celtic education and entertainment. You may call the ICHC at (414) 345-8800 for more information.

Please pay attention to parking regulations at the ICHC. The areas on either side of the ICHC building are not to be used for our parking at any time.

– Jean Bills


The Emerald Reflections May 2004 story titled: “Milwaukee Irish Arts Thanks” was incorrectly worded and should have stated, “The Shamrock Club would like to thank Milwaukee Irish Arts for hosting the Club honorees at their St Patrick’s night gala.”

Also, in the April 2004 issue, Kinsella Academy’s address was incorrectly stated. It is located at 3410 West Forest Home Ave. An incorrect street name was given.

Color Guard News and Notes

For your Shamrock Club of Wisconsin Color Guard Pipes and Drums the month of April is one of preparation, practice, fine tuning and anticipation!

With an eye towards the upcoming 2004 Parade/Events Schedule the Unit has been putting in countless time and effort to – with “Pride and Honor” – organize and plan to represent you the members of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin with the highest level of dedication to all the values, traditions, heritage and ancestry of the club, and all that is Irish. The Pipes and Drums meet every week to work on the precision of their music, while the entire Unit meets once a month to discuss and lay out strategy to be used in upcoming performances, which will allow the group to achieve the highest level of success.

Over the past months, the Color Guard, Pipes and Drums has welcomed into the Unit several new members – when next you attend a Parade/Event or other Club function, please step forward to introduce yourself and get to know, those who have chosen to represent you and make them feel “at home” with the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin; your support means a lot!

The Color Guard, Pipes and Drums, as is tradition, were very honored and proud to be participants in the annual Easter Rising Mass, held on Sunday, April 11 at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center. Once again the Unit stepped forward, showing its flexibility and versatility by discarding its original performance plans and adjusting to last minute changes in the program and providing a well balanced and organized performance; we hope you were as proud of us, as we were proud to represent you, the members of the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin.


• MAY 31 – Menomonee Falls Memorial Day Parade, 10 a.m.

• MAY 31 – Milwaukee Memorial Day Parade (Zeidler Park), 2 p.m.

• JUNE 5 – Milwaukee Highland Games, (Heidelberg Park, Glendale) noon

• JUNE 13 – Waubeka Flag Day Parade, 1:30 p.m.

If you would like to have the Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and 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 drummer, please contact:

Richard Pfeiffer, Director
Shamrock Club Color Guard, Pipes and Drums
Telephone: (414) 769-1250

– Richard Stover

Youth Hurling Clinic

Continuing on what seems to be a new found tradition, the MHC will host the 2nd Annual Youth Hurling Clinic on June 12 and 19 for kids aged seven to fourteen. The two-day event will cover the basics of hurling and feature a scrimmage by participants at the conclusion of the second day. The $20 cost will cover lunch for both days, refreshments, a commemorative t-shirt, and use of necessary equipment. Please contact Jessica Huver or Karen Fink for more information. You can leave either one of them a message on the hurler’s hotline at (414) 297-9490.

Women Hurlers

The Milwaukee Clash camogie team (women’s version of hurling) traveled to Washington DC on May 1st to compete against the DC Gaels, their always worthy opponents. And once again, Milwaukee brought home a victory! Playing 10-aside, the team was able to outsmart, outplay and outscore. The Clash has competed against the DC Gaels four times in the last year, including the NAGAA Junior Camogie Championships in Boston last year. And in case you didn’t hear the news, the Clash brought home the trophy for that as well!

RTE News Items


The Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Martin Cullen, has said electronic voting will not be used in the local and European elections in June. Mr. Cullen’s decision follows the publication of the report from the Independent Commission on Electronic Voting, which said the system’s reliability could not be established to its satisfaction. In its report, the commission said it has not been able to satisfy itself sufficiently as to the accuracy and secrecy of the chosen system. The commission emphasizes that its conclusion is not based on any finding that the system will not work, but on the finding that it has not been proven at this time to the satisfaction of the commission that it will work.

Testing identified an error in the count software that could lead to incorrect distribution of surpluses. The Commission found it was ‘very easy’ to bypass security measures on the computer doing the count, and it had concerns about the secrecy of the ballot.

The commission was set up by the Government to look into the accuracy and security of the electronic voting system.

In the wake of the report, the Labour Party has called on Minister Cullen to resign. Labour claims Mr. Cullen totally ignored all valid concerns raised by Opposition parties and by every technical expert.

The Fine Gael Spokesman on the Environment, Bernard Allen, claimed Minister Cullen had tampered with the very essence of democracy and had wasted taxpayers’ money. Mr. Cullen rejected the claims but said today had not been a great day for him. Around €40 million has so far been spent in acquiring the necessary machines. (Bernard Allen appeared in Milwaukee for the Shamrock Club’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in 1998. At that time, he was a minister of Health, Youth and Sport for Ireland.)


The Revenue Commissioners collected almost E80m from tax defaulters in the final three months of the last year. One of the highest settlements involved one of the Taoiseach’s favourite pubs, Kennedy’s in Dromcondra in Dublin. The deceased owner of that pub, Thomas Kennedy, had to pay more than E1m as a result of the bogus non-resident accounts investigation. The quarterly list of tax defaulters published is dominated by farmers and company directors.

Teaching Teachers In Ireland

Dr. Patrick Fleming, Assistant Professor in the Education Department of Edgewood College, in Madison, Wisconsin, has been invited by the County Cork Education Centre in Cork City, Ireland, to present two eight hour workshops to Irish teachers in Macroom, County Cork, Ireland, the last week of August, 2004.

This will be the fourth summer that Dr. Fleming has been invited back to Ireland to share the best educational practices that are being implemented in Wisconsin schools. He has presented 20 hour workshops to over 40 teachers and administrators in each session in Limerick and Dublin, Ireland. Because of his work with teachers in Limerick he was asked to present the nation’s Primary Inspectors by the Ministry of Education in Dublin.

As a member of the education faculty at Edgewood College, Fleming supervises student teachers and is able to witness firsthand the outstanding teaching that is taking place in Wisconsin schools. “As our society becomes more complex, it challenges educators to develop more effective ways to meet the diverse needs of our young people,” said Dr. Fleming. In his workshops he shares with the Irish teachers the best educational practices that will help them cope with the changes in their society that have taken place since joining the European Economic Community.

A charter member of the Dane County Shamrock Club, Patrick Fleming has been making trips to Ireland since 1971. In addition to educational study trips to Ireland, Fleming has lead tour groups as well.

St. Patrick’s Help Fund

St. Patrick’s Help Fund is in desperate need of non-perishable foods. 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 – Greg and Debbie Baran (referred by Joe Hughes, Jr.); Cheryl M. Bates (referred by self); Colleen J. Kohn (referred by self); Patrick, Bridget, Nora, Magan, Sean, Molly, Rosie Minster (referred by Glencastle Irish Dancers); Kate Paszkowski (referred by Glencastle Irish Dancers); Terry and Kathy Stephens (referred by Glencastle Irish Dancers);


• MACH: 82 memberships up for renewal, 56 paid, 26 dropped for nonpayment.

• APRIL.: 51 memberships up for renewal, 30 paid, 21 due.

• MAY: 40 memberships up for renewal, 15 paid, 25 due.

– Tom Smith>