Tommy Sands

Friday October 18th  Friday  8pm
Tickets will be sold at door – $15/adult, $5/children.

“Enchanting,” “Irresistible,” and “Charming,” are but three words out of many that describe Ireland’s most acclaimed performer, Tommy Sands. County Down’s singer and songwriter, Sands has achieved something akin to legendary status in his own lifetime. A rare combination of storyteller, author, singer, songwriter and social activist, Sands’ reviews come from politicians and major authors as well as fellow musicians and music reviewers. Sands has become an integral part of the Irish folk music revival and a one of a kind North Ireland native, whose music is often found to speak louder than violence.

Since his pioneering days with the Sands Family, who brought Irish Music from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Moscow’s Olympic Stadium, Sands has developed into one of the most powerful songwriters and captivating solo performers in Ireland. His song writing, which draws the admiration of Nobel Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney and father of folk music, Pete Seeger, prompts respected US magazine “Sing Out” to regard him as “the most powerful songwriter in Ireland, if not the rest of the world.” Although the author of music masterful enough to reach a global stage, Sands’ work carries a special focus: to reach the people in his own country and affect the world. Songs including, “There were Roses,” and “Daughters and Sons,” covered by Joan Baez, Kathy Matthea, Dolores Keane, Sean Keane, Frank Patterson, Dick Gaughan, The Dubliners and many others, have certainly attracted the desired audience, and then some.

Sands, “It would take a mean bastard to dislike him”, according to Eamon McCann in Hot Press, has a way with words to charm and disarm and coax a chorus out of the tightest jawed audience.

In May 2002 Tommy Sands received an honorary doctorate of Letters from The University of Nevada for his outstanding work as musician and ambassador for peace and understanding and, May 18th was pronounced “Tommy Sands Day in Reno”.

In December 2002 although the Northern Ireland Assembly had been stood down, Sands managed to persuade the Members to return for a special Christmas musical party together. As one political after another joined him on stage for a song, Loyalist leader David Ervine was heard to remark, “Tommy Sands is the only man, without a private army, who can intimidate me.”

Day of Irish Language


Saturday October 5th from 8:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m

The Gaelic- American Club Language Group cordially invites members and others interested in learning Irish language and culture to attend LA’ GAEILGE- Language Day.
This event will be held at the club on Saturday, Oct. 5th from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Experienced teachers will  offer classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels,
and there will be a lecture presentation, workshops and group activities.  The cost of the day is $50:  OR pay  $40 if registered   by
Sept.20th.  Full-time students with ID can register for $25. The cost is an all-inclusive bargain,which includes continental breakfast,wonderful club lunch, door prizes and course materials,
There will also be the Daltai na Gaeilge Irish bookshop, and a pop-up store from Ogham Arts.
This day continues the language groups offering of an enjoyable, productive learning and sharing of the language,  Leading the advanced class will be Fulbright scholar, Yvonne de Faite, from Elms College.  Guaranteed CRAIC go leor!!
Registration forms and information are available in the club lobby. OR contact Roibin Griskus- Cait Thopsey- or

Irish History Lecture

“Irish Need Not Apply. Retracing the Footsteps of Our Irish Ancestors”

Presented by Dr. Christine Kinealy
Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 2:00 p.m.

The 24th in a Series on Irish History Lectures

Dr. Kinealy was educated at Trinity College Dublin. She is an author and authority on Irish History. She is the founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. Dr. Kinealy is considered “one of the most influential Irish Americans” (Irish American Magazine, 2011).

Since the 18th century, emigration has been part of the life-cycle in Ireland, with each generation witnessing thousands of their friends and family members leaving the land of their birth, the vast majority never to return.

Although emigration from Ireland was always high, it peaked during the tragic years of the Great Hunger and its immediate aftermath. But the Great Hunger of the 1840s was simply the most lethal of a number of subsistence crisis and local famines that visited Ireland throughout the 19th century. Each one resulted in a fresh wave of emigration, with over 80 per cent of the emigrants choosing North America as their new home.

The lecture, which is being presented by Dr. Christine Kinealy, will examine the push and pull factors that led people to leave Ireland and will explore the multiple challenges that they faced if they did emigrate. These challenges included death on route, or deportation upon arrival, and prejudice summed up in the adage, ‘Irish Need Not Apply’.

Brief reference will also be made to the 1,490 people who, in Black ’47, were sent from their homes in Roscommon to Canada; 600 did not survive the journey. In May 2019, a 100-mile commemorative walk, recreating their journey from Roscommon to Dublin, was carried out in their honour.

Where appropriate, the presentation will be accompanied by a selection of emigration songs.

Tickets – $5.00 (Students with ID $2.00)
Send check payable to Feile, Inc. to:
Mary Adams-Arroyo
221 McGrath Ct., Stratford, CT 06615
Email: Subject: Irish History Lecture
Phone: 203-377-2346


Saturday September 21st from 4-8:30pm
Featuring Bernie’s Orchestra and Bavarian Dancers and

Beer Tasting from Connecticut’s own Thimble Island Brewing Company!

Enjoy Thimble Island Brewing Co. Beer Tasting, Along with a Bountiful Buffet: Sauerbraten, Wienerschnitzel, Chicken, Brats, Brezen, Potato Pancakes, Salad & Strudel, Fun & Games, Spaten Bier, and Cash Bar.

For Reservations: E-mail & make check payable to GAC and drop off to Social mailbox or mail to GAC, Attn: Oktoberfest.
Adults $24, Children U12 $12
Everyone who purchases a ticket by Sept 6 will be entered in a raffle prize drawing

See Flyer

John Doyle & Mick McAuley


One of the founding members of the groundbreaking band Solas, John Doyle is considered one the greatest guitarist in Irish music today. He is also a superb singer and songwriter who has collaborated and produced albums for countless musicians including Eileen Ivers, Liz Carroll, Joan Baez, Martin Hayes and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Multi-instrumentalist Mick McAuley (button accordion, tin whistle, singer) has also been a long-standing member of Solas and has performed and recorded with countless other artists.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children. For reservations or more info call (203) 255-3848 or email

Woodstock Party

We’re flashing back to the 60’s! So join us in the Pub – Serving Light Fare, Drink Specials & Groovy Prizes and music by C-Sides. So wear your tie-dye,dance to your favorite tunes and party like it was 1969!

Past President’s Party

The Past Presidents Party has been rescheduled to Saturday September 28th @ 6PM

This is the social event of the year and each year gets better than the last. It’s the opportunity to see all your friends and neighbors you have been meaning to invite over but never got around to doing so. It will be catered by O’Neill’s of Norwalk so the food is outstanding. The menu will include passed hot hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour. Dinner will feature multiple entrees including Salmon Florentine and Chicken Dijonnaise.

For all the meat lovers there will also be a Roast Sirloin of beef carving station. There will be a selection of side dishes including carrots, broccoli, red roasted potatoes and cauliflower.
If you have room for dessert, there will be all the assorted
cookies you could ever want.

Music during the cocktail hour and dinner will be provided by the Connolly Family and has been specially selected to allow you to have a conversation with long time friends. After dinner we get stuck into it with Keltic Kick and dancing ’til 11. There will be two cash bars open in the Carolan Room for this special event and our premium wines, including Prosecco, whiskies and beers/ales will be available. For those who just can’t leave a party,
it’s a short trek to the pub.

Checks can be dropped off to the Social mailbox or mailed to the club, GAC 74 Beach Road, Fairfield CT, 06824 Attn: Past Presidents.

We will have assigned table seating. Requests made at the time of the reservation will be honored (eg booking a table, request to sit with specific others). A few days prior to the event.
So reserve your table now!


Announcing Dancing with the GAC Stars X Contestants:
John Begley, Nancy Day, Kelly Maffei, John Moran, Kathy Niznansky,
Roberta (Bert) Reynolds, Lorraine Stopa.

Our 10th annual charity fundraiser dance spectacular will be held Saturday, October 12 at 7 pm, stepping-off with a very special performance!

Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept 6th, 6 – 8 pm at the GAC and may also be purchased by dropping off or mailing check payable to GAC, attn Social; $22 pp. Please include your contact info and address. Tickets sell out quickly! If interested contact Fran Tartamella at 203-260-4180 or email

The Forty Shades of Green Tour’s Musical Fundraiser

The Forty Shades of Green Tour’s Musical Fundraiser features Tim Warren & Eric Donnelly of the Alternate Routes with opening act: The Irish Band!
Saturday June 1st @ 7:30 pm.
This event is open to the public so make reservations ASAP by calling Elizabeth Power, 203 873-6556 or email
Cabaret Seats $25, Theatre style $20,
Raffles, 50/50, Cash bar

Many thanks to GAC and Feile for all their support!




Grand Marshal candidates must be of Irish descent, active and strong supporters of community organizations and events and reside in the Greater Bridgeport Area.
Candidates must be available to participate in the Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and in events leading up to the parade including the Grand Marshal’s Ball and Half-Way to St. Patrick’s Day Party
All nominations should be submitted in writing by mail or email and received by June 14, 2019. Nominations should be sent to Peter F. Carroll, the 2019 Grand Marshal at 18 Fairlea Avenue, Stratford, CT 06614 or by email to

The first Grand Marshal was Martin Reidy in 1983.  Past honorees have included a First Selectman, a Police Chief, a priest, a physician, business, labor and community leaders, and other elected officials. For complete list of past Grand Marshals visit

Clan na Gael News

Free Summer Improv Comedy Classes ~ for high school students and adults taught by Barry Halpin,

Barry, wrote, directed and performed with the  LA based comedy group Constant Comedy. He has taught and directed Improvisational comedy for over 30 years.  He was the director of,  Slow Children At Play, 2000-2006, the resident improv group at The Stamford Center for the Arts.

Classes will provide an opportunity to explore your creative side through theatre games and exercises; creating short scenes, characters and monologues. A chance to connect with and build on ideas, share stories, use your imagination, have fun, and laugh a lot

Classes are 6/19, 6/26, 7/2 & 7/10
High School Students 6-7:00PM
Adults 7:30-8:30PM

An Improv performance, by all students, will be given on July 9th.  Email for more information.

CnG’s  Fall Production: Auditions for CnG’s fall production of “Nobody’s Talking To Me” a comedy by Tommy Marren and directed by Kelsey Guggenheim Dias, will be held on September 28th and 29th from 1:00 – 3:30.  The cast will consist of 4 males and 4 females ages ranging from mid 30’s to 70’s The performances will take place on November 21-24.

Readers Theatre:  On Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20 we will be presenting a staged Reading of THE SKULL OF CONNAMARA by Martin McDonagh, directed by Peg O’Leary  A perfect play for the Halloween season.

Come Join Us ~ No Experience  Necessary!


Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland by Mark McGovern

Féile, Inc. and the Bridgeport Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) co-host the book launch of Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland by Mark McGovern, PhD on Sunday June 9  at 2PM in the Carolan Room.

Dr. McGovern’s book focuses on the end game policy of collusion in the Mid-Ulster area, when Republicans and their families were targeted by Loyalist paramilitaries and criminals acting in concert with British State forces. It is the result of years of working with Relatives for Justice (RFJ) interviewing the bereaved and injured, and intensive research into collusion as a state policy.

Also attending the book launch will be Mark Thompson, human rights attorney and founder of Relatives for Justice (RFJ).  The RFJ was founded in 1991 and is a Northern Ireland based human rights NGO providing holistic support services to the bereaved and injured of the Troubles.

Sunday June 9th @ 2PM. The event is free and open to the public


Message from GAC President Gerry Reidy ~ May 2019

I would like to offer a few observations about our club. As you know we had the Andy Cooney Band and Deidre Reilly perform in the Carolan Room after the April Meeting. The band was shifted from the Pub where they were originally scheduled to play, to the Carolan Room to accommodate an anticipated greater number of members as Andy and Deirdre have been Irish Music headliners for many decades and have a large following. The shift was a wise decision as the room was packed and I saw many members, some in wheelchairs who had not come to the club in years. Everyone had a great time.

Another fun evening among many, was Trivia Night run by Faith Maciver. This event also packed, attracted a different segment of our membership. Everyone including yours truly, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I must admit however that I didn’t recognize 90% of the artists and songs we were asked to identify and I fear I was not much of an asset to my team.

My point is that we have many different constituencies in the club just like any extended family and we work hard to be inclusive and address them all.

I also want to tell you a bit about our many or not so many Volunteers who keep this club running. I was walking past the small dinning room last Tuesday afternoon when I saw two ladies taking the tablecloths off the tables and putting them in a bag. When asked what they were doing? I was told they took all the tablecloths home on Tuesdays, washed and ironed them and brought them back on Wednesdays. I won’t mention their names as I don’t want to embarrass them, and they don’t do it for recognition; in fact, I am sure that most club members myself included knew nothing of their service. I only mention it because they are just an example of many volunteers who strive to preserve the club; enabling the continued transmission of Irish hospitality and culture down the generations. Their numbers are dwindling. We need younger members to step up to the plate so their children will have a place to go to when they become young adults.
~ Gerry Reidy, GAC President

I want to bring you up to date on the various projects we are pursuing at the Club. As you may know, we have reached the point where we can no longer put off some urgent building repairs.  These include repairs to the roof, replacing a number of leaking windows, repairing the elevator, repairing the side yard fence and augmenting the basement drainage system to take care of the flooding problem. The bad news is that the total cost for the repairs is in the neighborhood of $100,000.00. The good news is that thanks to all the hard work put in the Finance and Facility Committees and others the past five years as well as the dues and price increases; we were able to set aside the required amount to pay for these urgent repairs.

We expect to let the contracts for the roof, windows and fence this month. We have been in touch with another elevator company and hope to resolve this problem in May.  We believe we are close to solving the flooding problem, but we need to do a bit more research on this item.

With regard to the use of the side yard, the present picnic tables and benches are shot and need to be replaced. We intend to put in about 15 tables and benches along with large umbrellas and outdoor game equipment. We will also be purchasing an outdoor rotisserie grill which will allow us to hold a number of Pig and other roasts. Its too late for this Easter, but I thought a lamb roast would be a traditional celebration for next year. Except for the Irish music, even the Apostles would feel right at home.

We are estimating a one time all in one cost of $9,000.00 to make it happen. We don’t have this project specifically identified in the budget which was previously approved, so I will be coming to the members at the May meeting to get approval to spend the money I will get back to you with progress reports from time to time.

Best Regards

Gerry Reidy


Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum Needs Our Support

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum in Hamden is facing a crisis. Quinnipiac University has decided that the museum must become financially independent by 2020 or it will close. While many Connecticut Irish Clubs and groups have launched fundraising efforts, we can all help by becoming dues paying members of the museum. There are eight levels of membership starting at $35, and all are detailed in attachments below. We hope that many of you will help save this important Irish Museum in its hour of need, but also to commemorate the sacrifices of our ancestors.

Membership Levels
Membership Application

Membership Levels
Membership Application

A Clan na Gael Production

Is Life Worth Living

This comedy is set in a quiet, seaside town in Ireland where summer brings tourists and entertainers. The arrival of a traveling theatre group presenting the classics, turns the town upside down as the locals begin to emulate the lives of characters in the plays.

Join our brilliant cast: Patrick Lane,Ann McGuire, John Moran, Brian Norris, Dan O’Callaghan, Mike O’Mara, Susan O’Hara, David Pirrie, Jillian Plomin, Eamon Speer, Amy Strachan, Marie Stehl and Byrne White, as they wonder…
Is Life Worth Living
Thursday, April 25th Friday 26th,
Saturday 27th at 8:00pm & Sunday at 2:30pm
Tickets: Bette Leary 203-767-0117
Production help and set builders needed

St. Patrick’s GAA Club annual Cúl Camp 2019

A summer camp in Gaelic football, hurling & camogie for children 5-15 years of age from June 24-28 at Notre Dame H.S., Fairfield. Whether you’re seeking to improve skills or never played, this camp is designed to introduce children to the excitement and challenges of Gaelic games. GAA Certified coaches direct from Ireland.

Camp hours are 9am-3pm each day. Graduation & medal ceremony on June 28th with family lunch & social at the GAC. Space is limited. Early registration and sibling discounts available. visit or email

2019 Executive Committee

Meet the Team

As of October 19th there are no contested positions for the 2019 GAC Executive Committee so there will be no need for an election on Sunday December 2nd 2018. The full list of 2019 Committee Members is as follows:


Gerry Reidy


Gerry O'Donovan

Gerry O'Donovan

Recording Secretary


Amy O'Shea

Director 3 Years


Faith Maciver

Vice President


Jim Corcoran

Financial Secretary


Hilary Dee Koreeda

Director 2 Years

Tom Harding

Tom Harding


John Comerford

John Comerford



Pat Carolan

Director 1 Year

Oral History Video Project

Volunteers are needed to assist in the filming of interviews for the Oral History Video Project.  This is a great learning opportunity for young people!  

If you are interested in assisting in the filming process, or if you are an Irish-born member interested in being interviewed, contact Peggy O’Leary at 203-243-8124 or