When the Democratic National Convention takes place in Denver August 25-28, the city will be taking advantage of approximately $50 million provided by the federal government to cover security costs for the event. One man will be heading up the cause to ensure that only those federal funds will be used for convention security”not the taxes of local Denver citizens. That man is Dennis Gallagher, Auditor of the City and County of Denver.Gallagher, a Denver native and proud Irishman, was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1970. Since then, he has built an impressive political career of public service, culminating in his being awarded the Community Leader Award on May 14, 2008. The award recognizes Gallagher”s work to modernize and streamline the Denver Auditor”s office. Ever since Gallagher was elected Auditor in 2003 (Denver is one of only a few cites where the position is an elected one), he has been working to protect the city”s taxpayers by acting as a financial watch dog, and eliminating waste — going so far as consolidating his own department. In January, he helped to change the city charter to establish a truly independent audit committee, one that conforms to nationally accepted standards and avoids any conflicts of interest. Gallagher is the man who is literally keeping our local government honest. “I tell truth to power,” Gallagher says. “Whether they want to hear it or not.”While the branches of his political career span almost 40 years, his roots of Irish heritage go deep. Walking into his office in the Wellington Webb building in downtown Denver, you may be greeted in Gaelic. Above his bookshelf is the statue of a harp, the symbol of Ireland. And not only are his Irish roots deep, but also they are firmly planted in Colorado soil. His grandfather, William Joseph Gallagher, immigrated to Denver from Sligo in the early 1900s, finding work on the railroads. This was a time when Protestants and Catholics marched together in Saint Patrick”s Day parades. (They later split after the Irish civil war.) William was a member of the Irish Fellowship Club, and the United Mine Workers. “You look up the death rolls in Leadville,” Gallagher says of the old mining town. “There”s lots of Gallaghers buried in Potter”s Field.” Gallagher”s passion to protect the citizens of Denver surely stems from his grandfather”s Irish-American experience of hard work, solidarity, and love of freedom and opportunity for the common man. “God bless America and the union label” was a regular refrain in the household, and his son, Gallagher”s father, went on to become a firefighter. Things were very different in those days, and not always easy for Irish immigrants during the Ku Klux Klan era ” even as far north as Denver. Gallagher tells the tale of his mother, Ellen Flaherty, a young coat check girl at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, being ushered into a hiding place among the jackets one night so the roving Klansmen couldn”t find her.From North Denver, Gallagher attended Skinner Middle School, where there were “37 straight years of Gallaghers,” he says. While he only had one sibling, a brother, his aunt had 11 children. A recreation center has to be rented just to accommodate family reunions.After Skinner, Gallagher attended Holy Family Grade and High School, and then went on to Regis College, where he earned a BA in English Literature and minors in Latin and Greek. That”s how the hook of public service finally became firmly implanted in his hungry mouth. At Regis, he was exposed to, and greatly inspired by, classical writings on arts and public policy, especially Cicero”s speeches against the tyrants of the Roman Republic. After Regis, Gallagher attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in Speech Communication, which he has been teaching for the past 42 years. He returned to Regis, where he is now Professor Emeritus.An astonishingly learned and well-read scholar, Gallagher shows no signs of slowing down after his retirement from Regis in 2003. He leads cemetery and neighborhood tours, utilizing his encyclopedic knowledge of his city. In July, he led a group of Regis students on a two-week tour through Ireland, to explore the nation”s literature, culture, history and politics. When he returns to Denver, he will continue to advise city administrators on how they can do things better, and more efficiently. “I should have been an anthropologist,” he says. “What we”re doing is trying to change the culture, to make the city more accountable and improve the business processes.”With a desk buried under copies of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, (which he distributes), it”s apparent that he truly loves America and what it stands for. His grandfather from Sligo instilled in him the “idea that you could give something back. The country was good to us.”Denver is lucky to have such a committed, vigilant servant keeping his watchful eyes on taxpayer dollars. While the upcoming Democratic National Convention will fill Denver with high hopes and celebrations, Gallagher will continue to save us money, and to protect the money we already have.Editors note: Dennis has just been named Grand Marshall of the 2009 Denver ST. Patrick”s Day Parade. As an Irish-American and public servant Dennis has marchedin the annual parade for many years. On Saturday March 14 he will be honored for his service to the Denver community and his support and perpetuation of his Irish roots and culturePublished in August 08 Celtic Connection
In July the Colorado Irish Festival enjoyed a financial, cultural, and musical success. Featuring world class entertainers like Gaelic Storm, Solas, The Elders and Cathie Ryan this year”s festival drew 32,000 visitors or a 50% increase over last year. In its 14th year the Co President Kacey O”Connor took no bows. Instead, as usual, she pointed to others.”The Festival”s success is largely due to the visionaries, 14 years ago, that started the event. Without them and their fanatical determination we would never be where we are now. We have 400 volunteers tirelessly committed to the festival. We are expanding and hopefully improving the Festival each year. Ciaran (Ciaran Dwyer the other Co-President) and I get the accolades but really it”s the management team and the volunteers that are responsible for our success.”The festival made two changes this year and one caused a mild controversy. First of all the old smaller location in Clement Park became too congested. The festival management team decided to move west in the park to a larger area with an amphitheatre. The change presented a few logistical challenges but the new site worked well and the guests enjoyed it. The second decision was the selection of Coors as exclusive vendor for beer sales.Kacey explains. “In reality the decision was a no-brainer. Coors offered us a significant contribution. Their people are fabulously cooperative and huge supporters of the festival. Their contribution helps us bring the world renowned talent to the festival.”A visit to Kacey”s store reminds one of a visit to a store in a small village in Ireland. It”s quaint, clean, well stocked with merchandise and staffed with warm friendly people. Daughter Lillie helps with managing as well as purchasing dance outfits, shoes and wigs. As Kacey puts it “Lillie is tuned into what young girls want in their dance outfits. She is invaluable in our purchasing.”Humor seems to surround Kacey. On a recent Saturday a huge middle age gentleman came to the store to connect with his newly discovered Scottish roots. After browsing for awhile he settled on a kilt. Returning from the change room he proudly pranced around the store. Lillie saw the customer and almost collapsed trying not to laugh. He had put the kilt on backwards. She rushed to her mother and Kacey diplomatically approached the egotistical customer with “that looks fabulous on you and it”s surely the right size but I think it would look much better turned around.” The customer sheepishly returned to the changing area, turned the kilt around and left with his first kilt. Charming, hard working, feisty and fun loving, she is a credit to the Irish community.
Irish folk legend Ronnie Drew – the former frontman of ballad group The Dubliners – has been given an old-fashioned Irish wake by his family. The gravel-voiced singer, who passed away on 16th August, was waked in his Greystones, Co Wicklow home, by hundreds of fans, friends, family members and neighbours before his funeral in the nearby Church of the Holy Rosary. Among those dropping in to pay their respects to his son Phelim and daughter Cliodhna – and Ronnie himself – was composer Phil Coulter, singer Paul Brady, Riverdance composer Bill Whelan, Eurovision Song Contest winner Shay Healy and Sinead O’Connor.Local people in Greystones supplied food and drink for mourners who had traveled from far and near. And Ronnie was laid-out inside in his coffin in one of his best suits.His agent and friend Brian hand said: “He wanted a big party more than anything else. This was a celebration of life. He was a real man of the people and that was what he wanted. So he got it.”Ronnie was laid to rest in Greystones cemetery after a service that include music from his old Dubliners colleagues Barney McKenna and John Sheehan. The church was so full, loudspeakers broadcast the ceremony to the hundreds outside in the car park.Ronnie ” regarded as the ultimate Dubliner ” passed away after a long battle with throat cancer. Last year his wife Deirdre, who nursed him through the initial stages of his illness, contracted cancer herself and died. But he battled on enduring bout after bout of exhausting chemotherapy, supported by his children, five grandchildren and extended family.Earlier this year U2 star Bono was behind a tribute song to him called The Ballad Of Ronnie Drew. It reached number one in the Irish charts and featured contributions from The Edge, Andrea Corr, Moya Brennan of Clannad, Sinead O’Connor, members of The Dubliners and a host of others.Ronnie was suitably embarrassed by the tribute, which was broadcast in a TV special while he sat in the audience. The song was co-written by Bono and The Edge along with contributions from Robert Hunter, the lyricist with legendary American band The Grateful Dead.While Bono attended Deirdre Drew’s funeral last year to console Ronnie, there was no sign of him at the singer’s own funeral. He was believed to be on holiday with family and friends at his home in the south of France.But manager Paul McGuinness was there to represent the supergroup, while President Mary McAleese and Taoiseach Briwn Cowen were also represented by aides. And colourful Pogues singer Shane MacGowan arrived in a black top hat to pay his respects.The Dubliners formed in the early 1960s and were originally called The Ronnie Drew Group. But the changed their name to The Dubliners after the James Joyce book that group member Luke Kelly was reading at the time.In 1967 they were the first Irish act to appear on British chart show Top Of The Pops singing the controversial Seven Drunken Nights, which was banned on Irish radio. Nearly 20 years later they teamed up with punk-folk band The Pogues to appear on the same show singing The Irish Rover.As famed for their drinking sessions as their songs, they toured for decades. But nearly 20 years ago Ronnie called a halt, quit he group and gave up drinking.Since then he performed regularly, doing solo shows, readings, pantomime and occasionally re-uniting with the band for special shows.With a voice of gravel that belied a heart of gold, he died peacefully in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin surrounded by his family. A true Irish legend.
(Published in September 08 Celtic Connection)World-Class musicians from around the U.S. and abroad will travel to Huerfano County in south central Colorado for the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival September 25 -28. They will give concerts, offer music lessons, talk on the music traditions, and partake in impromptu music sessions along the way. The towns of Walsenburg, La Veta, Cuchara, and Gardner, all take part in the County-wide festival ” and it all started in a shack and trailer that Jack and Barbara Yule called home.Jack and Barbara moved with their four cats from Scotland to Gardner, Colorado in December of 2000 just in time for Christmas. In the previous spring they came across for a month so Jack could “knock up a shed” where they could live while he single-handedly built the two-story house he had designed for the couple to live. Luckily they had an old tiny used trailer to stay in while this job was being completed. The shed turned out to be 16″ by 20″ ” divided the long way for a half to hold Jack”s work tools and the other half for them to live in ” no amenities, including no electricity the first year. World-Class musicians from around the U.S. and abroad will travel to Huerfano County in south central Colorado for the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival September 25 -28. They will give concerts, offer music lessons, talk on the music traditions, and partake in impromptu music sessions along the way. The towns of Walsenburg, La Veta, Cuchara, and Gardner, all take part in the County-wide festival ” and it all started in a shack and trailer that Jack and Barbara Yule called home.Jack and Barbara moved with their four cats from Scotland to Gardner, Colorado in December of 2000 just in time for Christmas. In the previous spring they came across for a month so Jack could “knock up a shed” where they could live while he single-handedly built the two-story house he had designed for the couple to live. Luckily they had an old tiny used trailer to stay in while this job was being completed. The shed turned out to be 16″ by 20″ ” divided the long way for a half to hold Jack”s work tools and the other half for them to live in ” no amenities, including no electricity the first year. American born, Barbara went to Scotland in 1978 with her then eight year old daughter Heather to study for a doctorate in folklore at the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh University. Jack and Barbara met and married and her stay extended beyond the degree for 22 years. Jack had been first a boat builder in a East Lothian boat yard, then a cabinet maker and somewhere in between he worked in the building trade. His final challenge after he and Barbara were married was to learn how to design and make Celtic harps. He became so successful at his art that in 2004 the Smithsonian Institute invited him as the only harp maker from Scotland to exhibit his harps at their Washington D.C. Folk Life Festival honoring Scotland and their finest traditional artists. Besides working in wood, Jack”s other love was playing his squeezebox or melodeon, a popular folk instrument in Scotland. He learned to play while growing up on various farms in East Lothian where his father was a ploughman. Barbara set the backdrop for the family Yule, “Our little cottage in the hamlet of Silverburn south of Edinburgh drew musicians both professional and amateur for regular ceilidh evenings. Storytelling, my field, was also popular at these events. This was Heather”s upbringing including getting the opportunity when she was still a schoolgirl to accompany me on many of my field collecting trips. We traveled widely throughout the country so I could record traditional stories told by the traveling people (formerly known as tinkers). It is no wonder Heather eventually went on to become a professional Celtic harp player and storyteller herself.”When Jack and Barbara moved to Scotland, Jack was and still is the only Scotsman living in Huerfano County. It took him a wee while to find other amateur musicians like himself who enjoyed playing Scottish and Irish music. He did find a few such men and they met regularly once a week to jam together.Barbara explained how the seeds of the Celtic Fest were planted. “In the summer of 2001 a couple of our musician friends from Scotland came across to camp on our land, and so we organized a ceilidh in their honor. The word spread, as seems to happen easily out here in the country, and about 75 people showed up with food and drinks and we had a rip roaring good time. Another ceilidh was held the following year and the year after that ” whenever one or more of our friends would cross the ocean, instruments in hand. Every summer participants to these rather spontaneous events increased and dancing and sing-alongs were added. After the 2004 summer ceilidh a number of us thought it might be fun to organize an actual weekend Celtic music festival.”With only a start up loan of $2500, all Barbara could think to do was to phone several of their professional musician friends who, because of Jack”s profession, were predominantly harp players, and ask them if they would come at their own expense to help launch a new festival. “To my surprise everyone I asked agreed!” said Barbara. That first year included Scottish ballad singer Alison Bell, world renowned harpers Billy Jackson (Scotland), Grainne Hambly (Ireland), international jazz harpist Park Stickney who flew in from Switzerland and Alfredo Ortiz, master player of the Paraguayan harp, and finally Jane McMoran, a fabulous Celtic fiddler from Tennessee. “Jack volunteered to host the concerts and his dry humor made such a hit that he still has that job today. We even had our daughter Heather across that year to take part as a harp teacher and storyteller. We couldn”t guarantee these wonderful artists the price of their flight tickets let alone offer them a fee! – As it turned out in the end we were able to reimburse all their expenses, pay back our loan, and still have a little money left over as a start for a second year!”Not bad for the first try especially so when you figure the preparation for the festival took place in the 8″ by 10″ living-work space in the shed that Jack built, still without running water and just a wood stove for heat, and six cats (they had added two American strays to their family). At least the shed now had electricity and an uncertain telephone that was on the blink more than it worked ” they would have to wait for their telephone poles later along with a well for water.The next years saw many more great international and American artists join their festival ranks. From the very first year outreach programs were presented by the guest artists to all Huerfano County schools K-12 during the week leading up to the festival itself. During the weekend they offered classes, workshops and demonstration talks especially with musicians and lovers of Celtic culture in mind. The festival has grown in number and popularity year to year, but by design it strives for quality and not quanity.”Ours will always be a small festival because our concerts (this year 5, one of which is free) and our strong educational music program does not have as broad an appeal as say, a Highland Games event,” explained Barbara, “We try and bring in artists as much as possible from Celtic countries, or Americans with direct Irish and or Scottish ties who perform internationally to offer participants an opportunity to hear, enjoy and learn from artists not normally accessible to Southern Colorado. We hope in the future to include more of the exciting best Celtic musicians Colorado has to offer as we are getting to know them from their visits to our festival.” This year the festival have two popular duos with local Colorado ties ” the delightful Willson and McKee who actually are rooted in Walsenburg and Shannon and Matt Heaton who have a big Colorado following from their years displaying their skills in their Colorado based band Siucra (Shoo-cra, Irish for “sugar). The Heatons will be joined on stage for the Saturday night concert at the Fox Theater in Walsenburg with internationally renowned Irish fiddler Liz Carroll, premier Uilleann piper Jerry O”Sullivan, and Kieran Jordan, a beautiful master of Sean-Nos (Old Style) Irish step dancing.As the festival closes in on its fourth year Barbara, as festival director, continues to take on the mighty task of presenting the pure form of Celtic music and dance to Colorado, while Jack single-handedly builds a house and home. Progress has been slow but steady -Jack and Barbara moved into their unfinished house (November of 2006) and now they have running water as well as electricity! Stop down to the beautiful Spanish Peaks region the last weekend in September and enjoy the fruits of their labor. “We welcome all to another festival we think you will find exciting, and this time, you will be pleased to know, we finally have found a great pub in La Veta happy to welcome late night session players! For more information visit www.CelticMusicFest.com
Irish Band Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys have an internet hit on “YouTube” in the works with their song celebrating Barack Obama’s Irish ancestry, “There’s No One as Irish As Barack O’Bama”. The band from Limerick, Ireland, made up of brothers Ger, Brian, and Donnacha Corrigan wrote the song after learning about a study last year that revealed Barack Obama roots to Moneygall, a small town in County Offaly. “We have been messing around for the last year or two as a band” said Ger Corrigan who described the band as “specializing in parody songs.” “We wrote the song about Obama because we heard he was from Moneygall, and we were really just doing it for a bit of fun.” The bands initial offering of the “Obama song” went without fanfare.”We put the song on Youtube in March and by the end ofApril it had only 25 hits” said Ger Corrigan. But that has all changed since the worldwide media have picked up on the “bit of fun” of the song and story. Now newspapers, TV, websites and bloggers from all over the world are covering the story.Irish media has also been joining in on the fun. At the end of June Hardy Drew and The Nancy boys headlined the “Obama Nomination Celebrartion Gig” in Obama”s “hometown” in Moneygall Ireland. This was carried live on the Irish National News TV3. A documentary maker following the bands story and recorded the celebration gig for posterity.The facts behind the fun come from recent findings uncovered by Canon Stephen Neill, a Church of Ireland rector in Moneygall, who found that the Hawaiian-born Illinois senator’s Irish Anglican ancestors hailed from the village, many of whom emigrated to America at the time of Ireland’s potato famine in the 1840s. Baptismal and marriage records has traced Mr Obama’s maternal family tree back to his great-great-great-great grandfather Joseph Kearney, a well-to-do shoemaker from Moneygall, Co Offaly, who lived from 1794 to 1861.Mr. Obama ,son of a Kenyan man and a woman from Kansas, recently spoke with Irish televison RTE in regards to his Irish roots. He said in jest, “I”ve always maintained that Obama is and Irish name ” just put the apostrophe after the O and your all set.”There is no word yet if the band will fly to Denver this month for the Democratic National Convention to honor the presidential candidate as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2008 presidential election, but “Michiganders for Obama” have invited the band to play in Michigan if Obama succeeds in the November Presidential Race.Pat McCullough August 08 Celtic Connection
New Irish-American Partnership for Biggest Building Blitz in South Africa Global Partnership Brings Over 2000 Irish and American Volunteers Together to Replace Shacks with New Homes in South African Township
The groundbreaking partnership aims to bring over 2000 volunteers from the”U.S.”and”Ireland”to the Khayelitsha township, located approximately 25 miles outside”Cape Town. Meaning Xhosa for “our new home,” Khayelitsha is one of the youngest and biggest townships in the”Cape”Flats area. The Blitz will take place at the overcrowded Site C, the oldest part of the township with only a few decent houses in the area.”In one week, volunteers will build more than 250 houses, as well as a community center, and a Garden”of”Hope. An additional 550 houses will be built during the year by township residents trained in the construction trade.”We”re looking for people who want to change the lives of hundreds of South African families forever,” says Mellon. “If you can”t come, maybe you know someone who can” a sister, a brother, a work colleague. Please help us spread the word because we need your help to recruit volunteers.”The sixth annual Building Blitz program is well underway with Irish volunteers, including more than 1,300 construction workers, already raising funds in Ireland to participate in the event.”Each volunteer must raise $8,000, which covers flight, accommodation, and construction costs for the houses. The Township Trust covers administrative costs.”Going into the Blitz, I didn”t know what”to expect. My Irish friend Gavin Bonnar has volunteered with the housing project for six years and has always”told”me, “it will change your life,”” says Dylan Hoffman, a 2007 volunteer from”New York. “I have always thought of myself as a giving person. I have supported various organizations such as the World Wild Life Federation and National Public Radio. I have also given annually to the police and volunteered on Thanksgiving soup lines. But I had no idea how much I would be affected by this experience. Handing”keys to a family that has been waiting 20 years for their home ” a home you built no less ” is an incredibly moving experience and something every human being”should”touch upon.””Since 2002, NMTT has built nearly 5,000 houses in 10 townships in the”Western Cape”and 13 townships in”Gauteng, with 21,235 township adults and children moving into new homes in 2007 alone. The organization also works alongside the South African government to install running water and sanitation facilities and to provide children with a safe place to study and a dry place to keep their school books and uniforms. In addition, thousands of job opportunities have been created for township residents who have graduated the NMTT construction trade training program.”It gives us back our dignity to have a key in your own door and to open the door. It makes you feel human,” says Elize Tully, a new home owner from the Netreg township.2008 volunteers, mainly from”Ireland, the”U.S., and other countries, including”England,”Wales, France,”Germany, the”Netherlands, Italy,”Finland,”Lithuania”and”Australia, will participate in the Blitz. More than 1800″Irish volunteers have already been recruited, including 710 “veteran” volunteers who participated in past efforts. Approximately 80 percent of the Irish volunteers are trades people, representing a wide variety of skills from carpentry to block laying. The remaining 20% will come from a diverse range of backgrounds, faiths, and professions.”Apartheid is over, but its legacy ” homelessness ” remains,” says Paddy Maguiness, Worldwide CEO of the Township Trust. “The”South Africa”government has built over 2 million houses for the poor since the fall of apartheid. Despite this achievement nearly 2.5 million people still live in shacks. This partnership adds a new dimension to existing efforts to change the direction of housing and poverty alleviation efforts in Africa and, by partnering with our friends across the Atlantic, we can make a real difference.”Many elected and government officials welcome the effort to bring Americans on board, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Congressman Charles Rangel, Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick, the Congressional Black Caucus, and prominent faith leaders, including Diocese of Washington Rev. John Bryson Change. Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former South African President Nelson Mandela also support the initiative.About”Niall”Mellon”Township”Initiative
Since 2007, the Niall Mellon Township Initiative (NMTI) is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible not-for-profit organization registered in the”U.S.”All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. NMTI works in close partnership with The Niall Mellon Township Trust (NMTT) based in”Dublin,”Ireland. To learn more about the Building Blitz, visit www.you-tube.com”and type in “Niall Mellon Township Trust.”
What”s In a Name? Ken Hannon Larson Will Show You At the 2008 Colorado Irish Festival”s Irish Surnames (Sloinnte Gael) Exhibit
As a school boy he listened as his history teacher talked for two days about the Algonkin Indian tribe of Canada who were constantly at war with the Iroquois Nation of upstate New York. “On the second day I asked, “Can you tell me why these two were not getting along?” and his answer to me was, “Well Kenneth, that”s just the way it was.” And I said to myself “that answer is no answer at all!””As an adult, Ken sought to not only answer the Algonkin /Iroquois question, but as a labor of love researched all American Indian tribes as well as their languages over a 15-year period. He knows the answer to his question now ” and it is much more complex than anything his former teacher could have imagined. In 2002, Ken began to research his own Irish ancestry. His mother, Bridget Agnes Hannon, was a 15-year-old girl when she emigrated from a hamlet near Ballymote, Co. Sligo. “My wife, Diane, said to me, “You know you really should look into your mother”s Irish surname (Hannon)””. He found a quote from a popular genealogist that said “for an armigerous family very little is known about the Hannons”. For Ken it was “game on!” He made a vow to himself that the lack of knowledge would end that day. “I just started pouring into it ” I knew where to go and what to do and how to find the information.” Not only did he learn about the Hannon name, but he also became one of the founding officers of Clan Hannon. “We have members now in 16 countries on 5 continents ” we are also members of the Clans of Ireland Ltd. of County Dublin, Ireland, (that was begun by the Irish government) which actually organizes all officially registered Irish clans.” Ken has also spoken to many Hannons worldwide giving proof to the width and length of the Irish Diaspora; including descendents of the Wild Geese still living today on the European continent that hunger for information on their Hannon ancestors. In 2005, as a dual citizen of both the USA and the Republic of Ireland he returned from San Francisco”s Irish Consulate with his new Irish passport. “My siblings and I consider the opportunity to obtain an Irish passport a final gift from our immigrant mother.”Turned on to his Irish side, Ken got involved with the Colorado Irish Festival. For the past 4 years he has been Cultural Coordinator in charge of the fest”s Cultural Village. After last year”s fest, fellow board members approached him about adding an Irish surname exhibit to the Cultural Village. They didn”t need to twist his arm. “I have a tremendous respect for our Irish ancestors and have studied and researched this topic for years ” so it”s something pretty close to my heart” said Ken, who has been working on the exhibit the better part of this year. “I spent some good time working on this,” he chuckled, and added, “I think this will be worth the time for people to come and see the exhibit at the Colorado Irish Festival.”Ken continued with great enthusiasm about Irish surnames and of the information that will be on hand at the exhibit. “Ireland was the first country in Europe to have surnames ” ” Cl”irigh (O”Cleary) being the first on record in 916 A.D.,” he pointed out proudly, “That fact has been forgotten because of all the turbulence that Ireland has gone through over the centuries ” and also because Ireland”s surnames were forced to be anglicized from their original Irish spelling. The Irish surnames in their Irish form mean something totally different from the anglicized form which was adopted, and those anglicized versions for the most part have remained today, though many are reverting back to the original form in Ireland itself.” To put things in perspective ” Norway did not have permanent surnames “til they passed a law in 1925 (1,000 years after Ireland!) and Iceland to this day still does not use permanent surnames.Early Irish surnames often indicated a clann, place of origin, or a trade, under “Brehon Law” (the Celtic legal code). At the exhibit there will be Irish surnames that show the original Irish language spelling and meaning next to the anglicized version ” along with the spelling used by 137 historic figures who had those surnames. He found 103 Irish surnames that begin with “Mac Giolla …” which means “son of the servant of” followed by an Irish saint”s name. The exhibit has included a couple of those names.Ken wants people to know and understand that the surname their ancestor had is different than the one they have today. “I want to tell the stories of the men and women who no longer can speak for themselves. I want to tell the story of the people who suffered in the Great Famine “An Gorta Mor.” I want to tell the story of the 138 years of the Penal Laws which lasted through six British monarchs (five to six Irish generations) ” not to make people angry, but rather to educate them and make them proud of their ancestors who faced those hardships and survived. If our ancestors had not survived, we ourselves would not be here today. According to Ken, the first time England tried cracking down on the Irish surnames, along with the Catholic Cambro-Norman surnames, was in the 1300″s. England escalated efforts in the 17th and 18th century to anglicize the Irish surnames ” names that spoke of family history and religion. “So the Irish name, spelling, pronunciation, and meaning that had been used for 775 years now had to be changed. In the exhibit I talk about this, how they (England) made suggestions to the Irish ” “Use the name of your trade ” if you are a butler, clerk, cook, or blacksmith for example, use those names ” or just use the surname of White, Brown, or Black.”An example of how the English neutralized the Irish surnames was given by Ken, “McGowan (anglicized), a surname originating in Ulster, where the McGowans of Co. Cavan changed their name to “Smith” (their trade was blacksmiths) ” however, the McGowans in Counties Sligo, Leitrim, and Donegal, kept the name of McGowan ” and yet they were all related to begin with, but you would not know that at first glance.” Most of the Irish tried to stay as close to their surname as possible, but if they wanted work they had to anglicize their surnames. “If you were Irish Catholic you could not educate your children, practice your religion, own property, or own your own business ” in effect all Irish Catholic men were destined to be day laborers under the Penal Laws.”Ken pointed to a University College in Cork 3-year research project that recently ended resulting in the discovery of 3,700 Irish Surnames ” spelled 11,500 different ways! “We cannot do all of the 3,700 Irish Surnames ” that”s just physically impossible…but we do have ninty-six featured surnames as a microcosm of Irish history covering over a thousand years.” Most of the names in the exhibit are taken from the local Colorado Irish community, but there will be some historical Irish heroes” surnames as well.Much of Ken”s research material for the exhibit came from the work of Reverend Patrick Wolfe who wrote a book “Irish Names and Surnames” in 1923. His research and book are still highly regarded by many who study Irish surnames. Ken spoke with great respect and admiration, “For twenty years Reverend Patrick Wolfe researched Irish forenames and surnames. He went from town to town throughout all 32 counties. He also went to the Gaelic areas of Scotland because of the Dalriadan Clans (Irish who left Co. Antrim c.500 AD, colonized Scotland, and later gave rise to the term “Highlanders”). He met many people during those 20 years ” people who told him where they were from before they were transplanted off their lands, and where their surnames originally came from “.With hopes that folks make an effort to experience the new Irish Surname (Sloinnte Gael) Exhibit at the Colorado Irish Festival this July 11-13, Ken believes that they will be educated if not surprised ” and some might be outright encouraged. “If I can tantalize you a little bit by helping you find out where your surname was from perhaps you will get into researching a bit more than you might have. Perhaps you will do your own family research ” maybe not to the extent that I did with the Hannons, but I”m hopeful that many people will. The joy of discovering the history of your ancestors can be very rewarding.”For more information on the Colorado Irish Festival go to www.ColoradoIrishFestival.org.
Fearing for her safety and the safety of her family, Nelson went to the RUC looking for protection. Her cries for help were denied. Nelson then went to many people with reports of threats against her life and her subsequent requests for protection ” including Burke with whom she met in Lurgan at a March 1998 dinner, and other delegates from the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland. After many requests to the authorities (RUC) for protection, she was murdered outside her home in March 1999 by a car bomb. The Rosemary Nelson Murder Inquiry”s main objective is to determine if British authorities, particularly the RUC, had involvement with the murder or protected those involved.Burke did testified in Belfast Thursday the 22nd of May. Here are a few of his thoughts upon returning to Denver. (To read Burkes full testimony go to www.rosemarynelsoninquiry.org – Click on “transcripts” and go to May 22, his testimony is the second that day).”The big thing I thought was very impressive was the people that I had never met nor knew about, who had very similar testimony to mine ” about the death threats that had been made and the attempts to get help for her (Nelson)…one of them was a peer (British) Sir Lewis Blom Cooper, he started off by giving testimony that seemed favorable to the British, but then as he got into it he talked about all of his contact with her and how terrible the situation was for her (Nelson)””They”re (British) trying to show that she was a publicity hound ” and having an affair with a client ” which was just ridicules.” Burke went on to give reasons why everyone who knew Rosemary Nelson believed it was ridicules, including her high ethics as a wife and local lawyer and the small town environment (no secrets). Burke implied that it was common belief these were fabricated rumors put out by the RUC after her death as a diversion and/or to further discredit Nelson. “One person that was on the witness stand was a person who worked in Nelson”s office ” she was asked, “Have you heard anything about an affair between Mrs. Nelson and Colin Duffy?” and she said, “Yes I have…I saw it in a newspaper after she was dead and I didn”t believe it.””The lawyer (Barry Philips) for the inquiry ” called a Barrister ” was the only one permitted to ask questions. Burke thought that the Barrister was generally reasonable in his line of questioning ” with the exception of some argumentative questions that were emailed to him from a solicitor named Donaldson who represented the RUC/PSNI.Burke believes that the Inquiry will go into 2009. He will give periodic updates to the Celtic Connection and the results of the Inquiry.
Rosemary Nelson, mother of 3 young children, drove from her home in LurgenLurgan, a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, on March 15, 1999. A hundred yards from her home and down the street from her children”s school, a bomb that had been placed under her car detonated. Friends and family rushed to the wreckage to find her dying of mortal wounds which included loss of both legs and severe abdominal injuries. They tried to aid and comfort her but little else could have been done. Nelson died a few hours later after unsuccessful surgery to save her life at the age of 40. Shortly after the murder, the Red Hand Defenders, a Protestant loyalist/unionist paramilitary group not in support of the Good Friday peace accord and the cease-fire agreement, placed a call to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and claimed responsibility for the killing.Rosemary Nelson was the sole solicitor in her small legal practice in Lurgan (less than 20 miles southwest of Belfast). In her practice she crossed over the sectarian lines that divided her town and represented clients from all backgrounds in routine legal business.As a part of her local practice, she came to public prominence for representing Catholic residents of nearby Portadown in the volatile dispute over the routing of Protestant Orange Drumcree parades. She also took on a small number of other controversial cases in which she represented high profile Catholic clients including the family of Robert Hamill ” a Catholic kicked to death by a loyalist mob while Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were nearby, and also defended leading republican Colin Duffy and overturned his conviction for murdering a soldier after it emerged that a crucial police witness was a loyalist paramilitary. It was this small percentage of Nelson”s work that led her to be target of vilification by factions of the Protestant loyalist community, and to receive threats to her clients and to herself from that community and the overwhelmingly Protestant unionist RUC. After Nelson”s death many questions emerged about the suspicious circumstances surrounding her murder.” Did neighbor”s reports of intense amount of British Army activity around the Nelson home in the days and hours leading up to the murder have some part to play in the deployment of the bomb?” Did the Red Hand Defenders have assistance from a more mainstream paramilitary organization(s), participating in the cease-fire? ” Was her murder it intended to disruptive the peace process by inciting counter-violence from Catholic, pro-Irish paramilitaries? ” Subsequently, was there a failure of the RUC to secure the crime scene and follow-up investigation?” Was the attack targeted specifically against Nelson because she was a solicitor, or was it a warning to those she represented? Nelson’s murder was one of more than three thousand during the modern day Troubles that began in 1969. In the eyes of many who followed the plight of Northern Ireland, aspects of Nelson”s killing were immediately recognized as similar to those surrounding the murder of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989 (Three masked men shot him in front of his horrified family in 1989), a killing widely recognized as a result of British security force collusion. What sets Nelson”s murder case apart and adds further controversy is the refusal of the British state to protect her after her repeated reports of RUC death threats aimed at her and specific requests for protection from these threats were made known to RUC by various people and agencies, including international human rights lawyers ” and even to the US Congress and the United Nations!Denver attorney Tom Burke and others met with Nelson in 1998 and were told directly by her of threats made against her life, and at her request went to the RUC and requested protection for her.Thomas (Tom) J. Burke Jr. lives with his family in Denver, Colorado where he practices civil law for Jones & Keller, P.C. He was born and raised in Minnesota. His ancestors are immigrants from Ireland who came to Minnesota to live and raise families in the State”s first Irish settlement, Shieldsville. Influenced by his family”s Irish background the subject of Ireland became increasingly dear as he grew. While an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota he studied the history of the British Isles, with emphasis on the history of Ireland. During the late 1960″s distressing events that later became known as “The Troubles” remerged in Northern Ireland. Burke developed a life-long interest in Northern Ireland that would eventually involve him as a witness in one of the most intriguing murder cases of The Troubles.In the early to mid-1990″s Burke became a member of a couple of internet discussion groups having to do with Northern Ireland issues. Through these he learned of Ed Lynch and his New Jersey non-profit group, Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland.”It was a group of lawyers who were interfacing with judicial and political authorities in Northern Ireland,” Burke said, “At that time we had about a hundred members, and it was a very active organization ” they were appearing in all of the court cases where people were being deported (Irish republican/nationalists activists), but the big thrust of the organization was going over there (Northern Ireland) and engaging and convincing them (both sides) that you would never get any peace in the form of a new government without everybody being allowed to participate”Lynch invited Burke to join the Alliance delegation to Belfast in February, 1998. Burke and the delegation arrived in Belfast mid February. The first days the delegation, in whole or in part, met with members of both sides of the divide, Particularly, but not exclusively with those of legal, political, and policing-related groups and professions in Belfast. On the evening of February 17th Burke and all of the members of his delegation met in a secluded separate dining room in the Beresford Arms in Lurgan for a private dinner with a few members of the community. One of the guests was Rosemary Nelson, and it became obvious to Burke that she was the featured person on that particular evening. During the meal Nelson stood up and introduced herself and recounted the nature of her law practice in Lurgan, which seemed for the most part a standard small-town practice. She went on to mention that she also represented people accused of offenses such as being a member of the IRA and also those allegedly involved in IRA actions. At this point there was a pregnant pause ” Nelson went on to say that she wanted the delegation to know that she had been receiving death threats from the RUC. In Burke”s estimation she recounted the fact that 4 or 5 of her clients were independently taken to Gough RUC Barracks outside of Lurgan and typically held for several days and were bruised and battered before being released, normally for a lack of evidence. When here clients were released they went to Nelson with instruction from the RUC officers to inform her that she was going to die.Looking back on the meeting with Nelson and his N.I. experiences in general, Burke offered his opinion of the climate that surrounded Nelson at the time. “It all started when she (Nelson) had a client by the name of Colin Duffy, who was suppose to have been responsible for some sort of homicide, and she represented him, took it to trial and he was acquitted. The ” all the RUC police just went nuts ” that”s when they started picking people up and bringing them up to the RUC barracks outside of Lurgan and pounding them around for a couple of days and never bring them to charge.” Adding a perspective as an American attorney he continued, “Under American law you have to arraign after you pick them up ” up there they have a week ” and a lot of stuff can get done in a week. People were given damage awards right and left ” 30,000 pounds, one of them ” they didn”t care, they would just pay it and keep on going.”As Nelson continued to stand before the delegates at the 1998 dinner, she told Burke and the delegates that she was concerned for her safety and also for that of her husband and three school-age children. She also directly asked the members of the delegation to meet with the local RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan in regards to her safety concerns and specifically requested to get on the Protected Persons Programme.Burke and other members of the delegation told Nelson that they already had a scheduled meeting with Flanagan in a couple of days and assured her that they would raise her safety concerns and request to be on the Protected Persons Programme.After Nelson sat down and the meal continued Burke, who sat one or two seats away from Nelson, had further conversation with her. She told him one particular story which took place just a couple of weeks previously that frightened her terribly. Nelson had been pushing her cart through a grocery market store in Lurgan when she noticed a large man that she believed was following her. When they got to an area where there were only two f them, he approached her and said that if she continued representing “IRA scum” she would be killed. Having grown up in Lurgan she knew many people by sight, but Nelson said that she had never seen this man before. Two days after their dinner with Nelson, Burke and some members of his delegation met with Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan at RUC Head Quarters. As promised to Nelson, members of the delegation succinctly relayed her concerns of death threats which came from RUC officers via her clients, and her concerns for her safety and her request to be placed in the Protected Persons Programme. Flanagan initially responded by moving to the topic of how difficult it was to investigate matters involving his officers, but eventually said that he would look into matters of Nelson. Almost a year later, in February 1999, Burke and a smaller LAJI delegation which including Ed Lynch returned to Belfast. They had arranged a meeting at RUC Head Quarters again with Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan to follow-up on the previous year”s conversation about the protection of Rosemary Nelson. According to Burke, Flanagan”s response, in essence was that Nelson was not entitled to any protection under the law.”He was very well aware of what was going on, but seemed resolved that he wasn”t going to do anything to protect her.”Within weeks Rosemary Nelson was murdered.By then, Burke was back in the United States. He was working in his Denver office when he heard the report on the news, followed by a call from Ed Lynch who also relayed the news. That evening at home, Burke turned on one of the American network news programs and caught a BBC report on the murder. He recalled seeing RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan commenting on camera with words essentially saying”I am only sorry we had no notice that protection was necessary.” Having been in two meetings with Flanagan in a year”s time, and having knowledge to the contrary of Flanagan”s comments, Burke was completely shocked.In reflection Burke commented, “We all took oaths as lawyers to resolve disputes not by violence but by the law ” and we didn”t advocate violence. But it”s quite another thing to say that you understand why the violence was occurring ” because basically what they (unionists) were doing was trying to squeeze any nationalist out of the new government, they just wanted to organize it so that the Catholic portion of the population wasn”t going to be a part of it ” most particularly the republicans who wanted pretty much an immediate unification with the South.”In 2001 a retired Canadian Supreme Court Judge, Peter Cory was appointed by the British and Irish governments to undertake a thorough investigation of allegations of collusion between British and Irish security forces and paramilitaries in six particular cases involving “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland which were so controversial they stood in the way of a peace agreement.One of those cases was that of Rosemary Nelson”s murder. One of the witnesses asked and who subsequently gave a statement was Tom Burke.The Cory Collusion Inquiry report was delivered by Judge Cory in October of 2003. Cory recommended inquiries including Nelson”s case. The British government agreed to set up an inquiry into Rosemary Nelson’s death following the recommendations ” and pressures ” from Judge Cory.The inquiry”s scope was, “To inquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland Office, Army or other state agency facilitated her death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of her death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.”The official opening of the Inquiry in Craigavon, Co. Armagh was in April 2005. Burke, Lynch, and Ned McGinley, then National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, attended the official opening. Burke, Lynch and others at the two meetings with Flanagan were summoned to New York City to give the Inquiry”s solicitors further statements in May, 2006. ” However, the the actual public hearing where British intelligence officers, police chiefs and top civil servants will be questioned to determine if authorities had a role in the murder of Nelson just opened April 15, 2008 in Belfast at the Interpointe Center in Belfast. Tom Burke has been summoned to Belfast for the Inquiry and as of this writing he is scheduled to give testimony on May 22nd.Celtic Connection, May 2008 issueSources: Celtic Connection interview with Tom Burke; Witness statement of Thomas (Tom) Burke from Cory Inquiry; Irish Aires News; BBC; An Phoblacht; Rosemary Nelson & The Quest for Justice by James J. Brosnahan, Esq. & Dan VanDeMortelwww.injusticebusters.com; www.rosemarynelsoninquiry.org/; www.breakingnews.ie; www.ireland.comhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary_Nelson; http://news.sky.com; www.serve.com/pfc/rosemary/rosemary.html
Native-American lore preserves an illuminating record of a complex and extensive interaction between indigenous peoples and the Irish on many different levels. On one level, the happy consummation of native and Irish led to the emergence of the M”ti community, a mixed-blood people who trace their ancestry back to the intermarriage of Indian and Irish-speaking settlers and whose unique culture of music and dance is unquestionably of Irish Gaelic provenance. In more turbulent times, Thomas Francis Meagher, Irish patriot, Civil War veteran and commander of the “Fighting 69th,” and then governor of Montana Territory would use the fear of Blackfeet Indians to inveigle weapons from the federal government as part of a planned Fenian invasion of Canada. In June of 1876, Captain Myles Keogh, Carlow native, recipient of the Papal Medal, and Civil War veteran would join General Custer in the infamous and ill-fated attack on Sitting Bull and the Indian confederation camped on the Little Big Horn. Keogh”s bravery so impressed his foes that they honored him in not mutilating his lifeless body and leaving his horse, Comanche, by his side, the only living thing on the battlefield. Believing his Papal Medal to be a talisman and source of his courage and leadership, the Indians did remove the medal and gave it to Sitting Bull. Legend has it that later pictures of the great Sioux Chief show him with a crucifix and silver disk around his neck ” Keogh”s Papal Medal! Against this classic western background of cowboys, Indians and cavalry, there emerged a city unlike any other in the Irish experience; for where the Irish would come and accommodate to the great metropolises of the east coast like Boston and New York, the Irish in Montana would build the city of Butte from the ground up and shape its character to reflect their Irish, Catholic and Gaelic ethos and heritage. This Irish town quickly came to play a central role in American labour history and to exert a powerful influence on all movements dedicated to the promotion of Ireland, her culture and political freedom.”Great nationalist leaders such as Douglas Hyde, Eamon de Valera, Mrs. Mary McSwiney and others came to Butte seeking help for Irish cultural movements and the cause of Irish independence. They found a city where the Irish language was spoken, Irish dance and music were known to all, Irish Gaelic football was played competitively, and local papers reported tidings from Ireland as faithfully as local and national news.” The efforts made by Irish nationalists leaders to come to Montana is instructive of how important Butte and Irish-American communities were in the fight to preserve Irish culture and secure Irish independence. As far back as the time of the Great Famine, representatives of Irish nationalist movements had recognized that “it is on the Irish of America that every movement for the advancement of the old country is largely dependent for support.” It is highly unlikely that the old language and culture of Ireland would be around today were it not for the support of Irish-America; it is also improbable that the Irish War of Independence between 1919 and 1921 would have been won were it not for the support of the Irish of America.” The struggle to preserve Ireland”s ancient culture and heritage continues and Montana, as home to the largest per capita population of people of Irish descent, has once again assumed a prominent role in this effort through its Irish Studies program at the University of Montana, Missoula.The Irish Studies program at the University of Montana is a product of collaboration between faculty and the local community. For a number of years, research scholars have been examining the role of the Irish in Montana; in the meantime, descendants of the copper-miners of Butte, anxious to preserve their Gaelic heritage, established a local group to teach Irish language, music and dance. In 2005, members of this group and faculty worked together to formulate a program of studies that combined rigorous academic study with a commitment to preserving and promoting Ireland”s living Gaelic culture. Students will study Irish literature and history, learn of Ireland”s unique contribution to western civilization, the role of the Irish in America, and, in particular, the much neglected but extremely important contribution of Irish America to the evolution of politics, culture and society in Ireland. Allied to this is the cultural program where students will learn to speak Irish fluently, acquire modern teaching methods to pass the language on to others, learn and participate in Irish music,” dance, theatre and film. The objective is to make Irish culture accessible to those of Irish descent in Montana and the west coast, and to make this access affordable to all. In 2006, her Excellency, Mrs. Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, in officially launching this program, described it as a tribute by those who draw the water to those who dug the wells. Those who dug the wells were the early immigrants from Ireland who worked and sacrificed to pass on their faith, culture and heritage. In many ways, the Irish Studies program is a continuation of that work, part of a legacy or tradition inherited from an earlier generation with all the obligations such entails. One of these obligations is to make access to the tradition affordable to all. In this regard, the Irish Studies program located in Montana”s beautiful Rocky Mountains is relevant to all wishing to learn of the Irish and their remarkable culture. If you are interested in more information, please contact me, Traolach ” R”ord”in, at [email protected], or our web site at http://www.cas.umt.edu/irishstudies.Traolach ” R”ord”in is a native of county Cork, Ireland and currently adjunct professor of modern Irish language and literature at The University of Montana. He is a graduate of the National University of Ireland where he was awarded a PhD in modern Irish literature for his work on the Gaelic League, the organization which spearheaded the revival of Irish and Irish Gaelic culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This work was the first comprehensive study of the Irish revival movement in all its aspects, and is considered to be of special importance for the light it casts on the political implications of cultural nationalism. Entitled Conradh na Gaeilge I gCorcaigh, 1893-1910, it was published by Cois Life, Teo in 2000. Traolach is currently researching the place of Irish Gaelic Culture in America and the impact of Irish American communities in the development of a coherent ideology of cultural nationalism in the era after the Great Famine. He has also devoted much of his time designing a teaching methodology specifically for American students. UM Irish Studies Testimonials…Lily Gladstone
Lily is majoring in Drama/Dance and recently acted in UM”s production of the Irish play Riders to the Sea, which was directed by Bernadette Sweeney, a professor of drama from University College, Cork who was visiting UM as part of the Irish Studies program. Lily is a member of the Blackfeet tribe of American Indians.”The Riders experience has possibly changed my whole life and given me new perspectives. I”ve had a pretty strong draw to Ireland for awhile”and to Irish theater in particular”due to the historical, political, and in many ways, cultural similarities that I see to my American Indian heritage. Perhaps the most striking similarity is the tie to the elements. Both cultures share a deep and profound respect for the natural world, as opposed to a more western idea of a “man taming nature” view. Other common themes are religious tension, foreign oppression, the battle for sovereignty and independence, and family to name a few”and these are practically identical to themes in Indian Country. The Irish Studies program has changed the way I view the world by allowing me to see these connections between cultures which are on different sides of the globe. The program will open up a world of different perspectives for others, as it did for me.Tom Stock
Tom is a current Irish Studies student who served a lifetime career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon his retirement, he decided to return to the university.”Irish Studies is important because it is a direct and active link with over 2,000 years of history and heritage for all persons of Irish descent ” Its loss or extinction would produce an irresolvable cultural void. The continued revival and use of the language will prevent such a tragedy. As a learner of Irish I sense that I am doing my very small part toward its perpetuation. I want to be able to again visit Ireland and live briefly among the Irish and converse with them on their terms, in their own bailiwick, with as much fluency as I can achieve to become, in a sense, one of their own as my ancestors were prior to 1880.”
The O”Boyle”s recently celebrated their first anniversary at their Irish pub and restaurant and are delighted with the results of their efforts and risk. “We opened our doors January 1st 2007 and have never looked back ” I have to say, of all the places”I have worked from Dublin to Melbourne Australia to New York, Pogue Mahone’s has probably the best customers I have ever seen.” said Carl, adding “It has a great family atmosphere and everybody gets on really well. I don’t think I am the only one who has made a lot of friends for life since we opened ” And if it were to all end tomorrow, we would all be the richer for Pogue Mahone’s.” Pogue Mahone”s offers authentic Irish food, including traditional specialties like Irish Breakfast, Guinness Beef Stew, Bangers & Mash, Harp beer-battered Fish & Chips and Mrs. O’Boyle’s own recipe for Shepherd’s Pie. Mouth-watering entr”es include Irish Duck Breast, Salmon O’Boyle, Dublin Roasted Pork, and Dublin Medallions. Weekly events and pub specials make the atmosphere fun and inviting. Live Irish music is scheduled for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with Poker Night, Guest Bartender Night, and Irish Night (specials on Irish food and beverages) fill in the rest of the week.The O”Boyle”s are gearing up for a big St. Patrick”s Day on Monday, March 17, “We have Chris Parente and Channel 2 TV coming in early to do the live morning show, so if you want to be on TV come on down ” we will be open at 6:40 in the morning with live Irish music and dance ” continuing til” 2:00 am! So, how did they come up with the name “Pogue Mahones”? Carl laughed and at the frequently asked question. “I have no idea, I just always liked it ” its an old Irish expression loosely translated to mean “how do you do”” he explained with a sly chuckle.So stop in for a visit to the family-owned business and welcome the O”Boyle”s to Colorado with a big hearty “Pogue Mahone!” Smooch! Pogue Mahone”s Irish Pub, 17904 Cottonwood Drive, Parker, CO 80134, 720-870-5720, [email protected], www.poguemahones.net
Ms. Kretschmar, 22, is a Denver native and a full time student, who is currently on the Dean”s List and National Scholars” Honor Society at Metropolitan State College of Denver. She is working towards a degree in psychology with a minor in communications. She is employed full time for an investment banking firm in downtown Denver where she provides IT and office administration support. She volunteers with various organizations striving to make a difference both locally and worldwide. For example, Kelly serves food to the homeless at the Denver Rescue Mission. She also is involved with Women for Women International, an organization that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with encouragement, hope and support to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency.Growing up, she was surrounded by the members of the Denver St. Patrick”s Day Parade Committee of which she is now a member. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, crafts, and the amazing Colorado outdoors. Kelly will reign as Queen Colleen for one year and will represent the Parade Committee at many community events. Ms. Kretschmar and her court of 15 ladies will ride in the Bellco Credit Union Denver. St. Patrick”s Day Parade on Saturday, March 15 in lower downtown Denver.