Memorial Day Parade & BBQ

JOIN THE GAC AT THE FAIRFIELD MEMORIAL DAY PARADE AND HONOR ALL WHO SERVED

The Fairfield Memorial Day Parade May 27th @ 10am. Anyone interested in representing the GAC at the Memorial Day Parade please contact Susan Drew by text 203-362-8784 or susandrew3@gmail.com

Then after the parade enjoy the Memorial Day BBQ at the GAC from 12-3 with music by Mostly Green.

Father’s Day Irish Festival at the GAC sponsored by Féile, Inc.

Volunteers Needed For The Father’s Day Irish Festival at the GAC sponsored by Féile, Inc.

Volunteers needed for a couple of hours from 11-6 on Sunday June 16th at the Father’s Day Irish Festival.   We are looking for help at the door, selling raffle tickets, set up, clean up, etc. More details and a schedule to follow soon!

Please email feileinc89@gmail.com

 

Support Irish Culture in Greater Fairfield County Cash Prizes totaling $6500

1st – $3500 | 2nd – $1500 | 3rd – $350 | 4th – $350 | 5th – $350

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased online using by calling 203-545-0126 or emailing feileinc89@gmail.com. Drawing is Sunday June 16 at 6pm at the GAC.

PURCHASE TICKETS

For 35 years FÉILE has fostered Irish culture by supporting and sponsoring various arts programs including traditional Irish music, language, dance workshops, video histories, theatrical productions, and workshops as well as history and genealogy lectures. In addition, FÉILE awards charitable donations and grants to support numerous charitable causes for Irish cultural endeavors and awards annual scholarships to deserving high school seniors.

Irish Famine Commemoration Day

Workhouses, Coffin Ships, and Mass Famine Graves:
Places Where People Disappeared

By Loretto Leary

For Irish Famine Commemoration Day, May 19, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield reminds us that the past has relevant lessons for the present and the future. An Irish Famine Commemoration Slide Show Presentation will occur on Friday, May 17, in the Carolan Room at 7 pm. The Presentation is Free and Open to all. There will also be a Wreath Ceremony at the GAC on Sunday, May 19, at 12 noon in recognition of Irish Famine Commemoration Day. This year’s National Commemoration Day in Ireland will be held in Edgeworthstown, County Longford.

September 13, 1845: a watershed moment in Irish history. This was the day The Gardener’s Chronicle and Horticultural Gazette stopped the press with regret, announcing that the “potato murrain” had arrived in Ireland. “Where will the Irish be in the event of a potato blight?” the author of the article asked. Where indeed.

169 years later, with a diaspora of over 70 million around the globe, we now know where.

The Irish were the unwanted immigrants of the mid-1800s. After facing coerced starvation at home, our ancestors forged ahead on foreign soil, making new homes and better lives in America, Canada, Australia, and England. And here we are, 169 years later, struggling to talk about it and face the truth.

Photography was invented in 1839, but only the rich had access to it. Without photographic evidence to display the hardships experienced by Irish Famine victims, we must rely on newspaper accounts of 1845 – 1852 to tell us the cut-and-dried truth. Rich people leave photos and legacies, poor people leave memories, and some of these poor Irish Famine victims vanished. There are no traces of them left behind. The only visuals we have to remind us are workhouses, coffin ship replicas, or mass famine graves—places where people disappeared.

May 19th, 2024 is Irish Famine Commemoration Day. This year’s National Famine Commemoration will take place in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford. It is not widely advertised, and few people are aware of their own local commemoration ceremonies. Wreaths are laid, and a minute of silence is observed. Silence is fine, but we need to talk more about the relevancy of what transpired politically, economically, and universally to the Irish between 1845 and the years that followed.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, chosen by Quinnipiac University as the future custodian of the Great Hunger Collection, has over 170 pieces of art depicting the Irish Famine. Faces of starvation, coffin ships, and skeletal people tell their stories. Here, we find our ancestors staring back at us from a canvas, bronze, or bog oak.

This new museum in Fairfield will use innovative digital imagery to bring the story of the Irish Famine to their descendants and anyone who identifies with the relevancy of that turbulent time. There are lessons to be learned and stories to be heard.  Artists infuse paint, stone, and bronze with emotions. Their truth will not allow us to look away, and we should not.

Rowan Gillespie b. 1953 Statistic I and Statistic II 2010 Bronze 49 in (124.46 cm)

Famine Family, by Rowan Gillespie, treads a perpetual immigration path to the Jeanie Johnston on the Quays in Dublin. Gillespie uses bronze as his medium, creating a family without ethnicity or skin color. A universal memorial which has now been adopted by exiled Ukrainians in Ireland. It is here on Holodomor, November 23, that they leave flowers to commemorate those lost during the Ukrainian Famine, 1932-1933.

Gillespie’s memorials stand on the waterfront in Ireland Park, Toronto, Canada, Hobart, Australia and in Dublin. But for the millions who bypass the long wait lines to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, instead choosing to take the Staten Island ferry for a photo op with Lady Liberty, they remain unaware of the fact that thousands of Irish Famine immigrants are buried just a short walk away from the ferry terminal in Staten Island.

Gillespie’s Statistic 1 & 2, in the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield collection, reminds us that they “died like flies” when they reached the Staten Island Marine Hospital and Quarantine Station during 1845-1852. The site was burned to the ground in 1858, but a hill in front of the St. George Courthouse has a small headstone to mark the spot where some of the Irish Famine immigrants are buried.

Kieran Tuohy’s Thank You to the Choctaw in bog oak, also part of the collection, stands as a reminder of the charitable giving from a people who had faced their own hardships. A shared history that the Choctaw Nation deemed important enough to donate money to during the Irish Famine.

A minute of silence on Sunday, May 19th, is appropriate for Irish Famine Commemoration Day. However, for the rest of the year, we need to talk more about the Irish Famine, referred to in the US as Ireland’s Great Hunger. Each painting and sculpture in the new Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield will give voice to the silent dead. It is time they had their say.

To donate to Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, please visit our website donate | IGHMF. Please help us to reach our goal to open the doors to Irish Famine History in 2026.

About the Author:
Loretto Horrigan Leary, a native of Portumna, Co. Galway, Ireland, and now a resident of Norwalk, CT, is a published freelance feature writer. Her contributions to Irish Central, Yahoo News, The Irish Echo, and other prestigious publications have included stories of the Irish diaspora. Drawing from historical records, letters, and diaries, Loretto gives voice to those who endured The Great Hunger in Ireland and America. Loretto is a board member of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield and a member of the Gaelic American Club.

Loretto is passionate about Irish History, especially the Great Hunger. Her vast research into historical records, letters, and diaries has given a voice to those who endured the Irish Famine. This passion has fueled a series of articles about the counties of Ireland and how they were affected by the Famine of 1845-1852 (Stories of the Famine). Loretto has also created a Famine Commemoration Day Slide Show Presentation (taking place at the GAC on May 17, @7pm) to honor the memory of the millions who suffered and acknowledge their descendants in America.

Irish Famine Commemoration Day Slide Show – May 17th @ 7pm

This slide show presentation tells the story of  thousands of Irish famine immigrants who died at Staten Island Marine Hospital and Quarantine Station after enduring long, hazardous sea voyages. Join author Loretto Leary to learn more about the historical significance of Staten Island to Irish Famine Immigrant history and International Irish Famine Commemoration Day, which is Sunday, May 19th.

“Marrying Mike”

Clan na Gael’s Spring Production

“Marrying Mike”
Written by James Keary
Directed by Erin Williams
Produced by Marie Stehle and Jillian Plomin

Performances are Thursday 04/25, Friday 04/26 & Saturday 04/27 at 8pm and
Sunday 04/28 Matinee at 2:30pm

Featuring: Byrne White, Eileen Fickes,
Eamon Speer, Jillian Plomin, Dan O’Callaghan,
Patrick Baldwin, Laura Haynes

Elderly bachelor farmer Mike Fogarty, who has land and money despite appearances to the contrary, suddenly announces that he is looking for a wife. Mike’s scheming friend Barney O’Toole decides that his sister Colette would be an ideal candidate. Both Barney and Colette are determined that it will be a very short marriage. Mike’s friend Kate O’Sullivan discovers the scheme and rushes to the rescue. But Mike is a hard man to save from himself!
Admission for Marrying Mike is $20

For reservations please email Nancy O’Neil at playresvcng@gmail.com or call 203-377-1070

The East Coasters (Madeline Dierauf, Richard Osban, Calum Bell)

Saturday,  May 18, 7:30 pm
Sponsored by the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society and Gaelic-American Club.

The East Coasters are a group of young Irish musicians from the east coast of the United States whose sound and arrangements are a rich blend of the music in their local communities. Their innovative approach to the music combines syncopation and creative harmonies with a deep respect for the tradition.

 

Tuesday Nights in the Pub

THE PUB IS NOW OPEN ON TUESDAY NIGHTS

Beginning Tuesday February 27th the Pub will be open from 5:30- 9pm

Tuesday will be an adult game night – We’ve started a dart league so anyone interested in joining meet in the Children’s Room at 7pm.  You can also bring your board games like scrabble, checkers, etc.

The Kitchen will be closed so you can bring your own food and /or we can do a potluck dinner.

Irish History | Stair Na Héireann

THERE ISN’T ANYTHING MORE THE SEA CAN DO TO ME”
A MARITIME HISTORY OF MODERN IRISH LITERATURE”

Our May 5, 2024 Irish History Lecture will be presented by  Nels Pearson, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of English at Fairfield University. (Carolan Room, 2-4 pm)

The topic of the talk will be the role of the sea in modern Irish literature, and it will be drawn from his book manuscript (in process): Dissolving Britain: Water, Coasts and Islands in the Modernist Literature of “the British Isles” .

Professor Brendan Kane will be our guest lecturer on February 4, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. in the Carolan Room. Dr. Kane is from Reading, Pennsylvania, received a B.A. in history from the University of Rochester, an M.Phil in Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a PhD from Princeton. Prior to coming to UCONN in 2005, he spent a year as the NEH/Keough Fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough Institute of Irish Studies. He serves as Vice-President/President-elect of the Celtic Studies Association of North America, elected Council Member of the North American Conference on British Studies, and co-director of the digital humanities project Léamh.org.

He will lecture on Irish Bardic Poets and the Wider World, c. 1500-1650 considering the place of the Irish bardic poet in European context during the age of the Renaissance and Reformation. His talk will address some of the latest research on the Irish bardic poet in Continental context and will draw upon both Irish-language poetry and prose. It will aim to suggest some ways in which early modern Ireland might look a bit more European than expected and, conversely, how Europe might look a bit more Irish!

Tickets $5.00 (Students with ID $2.00) No scrip or credit cards
Register online: gaclectures@gmail.com.
Subject: Irish History. Please provide name, address, phone

 

GO RAIBH MILE MAITH AGAT

The Fréamh Éireann Genealogy Group would like to thank Féile and the Irish Language Group for their continued sponsorship of our Irish History Lectures. In May, we will be presenting our 33rd Lecture! Our February lecture, presented by Brendan Kane, Ph.D, was on Irish Bardic Poets.

First Friday Trad Musican

Damien Connelly playing in the Pub Friday May 3rd from 6-8pm.

Originally from Co. Clare, Ireland, and now living in the U.S., Damien began learning the accordion when he was 11 years old, taught by his father Martin. He competed in the Fleadhanna (Irish Music Competitions) throughout his teenage years, taking first place both locally and regionally. At age 16, he took up the fiddle, under the tutelage of his step-mother Maureen Glynn of Brooklyn NY. In 1997, Damien took first place in both the Under-18 All Ireland accordion and melodeon competition held in Ballina, Co. Mayo. The following year, he recorded three melodeon tracks on his father’s CD entitled Back to Brooklyn. In 2000, he recorded his first accordion and melodeon CD, Tippin Away, accompanied by guitarist Pete Mancuso of New York. This CD was generously praised by renowned accordion players Joe Burke, Joe Derrane and Bobby Gardiner.

 

New Irish Language Beginners Class

10 Week Beginners Irish Course  beginning Tuesday Sept 12th 6:45 PM . Classes can be taken in person at the Gaelic-American Club in Fairfield and/or via Zoom.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The class will start with three themes:

1) 20 Minutes – Speaking Irish: Taught using the communicative method and based on the European Framework for teaching languages, with a goal of teaching some spoken Irish that can be used on a daily basis.

Book Resource: ”Gaeilge Gan Stró! Beginners Level”, by Éamonn Ó Dónaill. A multimedia Irish language course for adults that costs approximately $60. Be cautious when buying the book, that the correct currency is being shown before you commit the order, or that you have done a currency conversion. Same for any other books. However, the first chapter I can send you for free and it will cover you for the first few weeks, especially, as I will be emphasizing how to pronounce Irish initially and moving at a slower pace through materials.

https://www.amazon.com/Gaeilge-gan-Str%C3%B3-Beginners-Level/dp/0956361447
https://www.siopa.ie/en/i-67-gaeilge_gan_stro_-_beginners_level/i.aspx

2) 20 Minutes – Additional Fun Stuff: Various traditional and pop songs,  Irish National Anthem, rhymes, tongue twisters, proverbs, idioms, poems, short stories, etc. in Irish, with the goal of providing material that you can use the rest of your life, even if you don’t seek out the
opportunity to regular speak Irish. In this section, I will point out available (mostly free) Irish learning resources.

3) 10 to 15 mins – Formal Grammar: For those who want it, will be taught at the end of each class. This is something that should be considered ”optional”, as I always point out to new students, there isn’t a child who learnt to speak a language at a young age that did so by learning
“formal grammar.” Still, a small portion of adults swear they can’t learn a language without learning the grammar, this is for you. However, I have found that many who start-out enthusiastic for “formal grammar” often steer away from it within a short time, so this portion of the class could be dropped over time. The book we will use here is ”Irish Grammar You Really Need to Know”, by Éamonn Ó Dónaill. Approx $20 for book or 99 cents for Kindle edition. Again, you don’t need to run out and buy this initially, I will give out some handouts to start you off.

https://www.amazon.com/Irish-Grammar-Really-Teach-Yourself/dp/1444189573
https://www.siopaleabhar.com/en/product/irish-grammar-you-really-need-to-know/

As I said the class will start with these three themes but may be modified by majority decision overtime, to give one or the other themes more emphasis.

Contact Information – Deasúin Ó Nualáin, DesNolan@Optimum.Net.

If people desire it, I can do an intro/review of the class a couple of weeks ahead of its start. Just reach out and let me know. In fact, reach out ahead of time and tell me why you are interested in learning the language and anything you might know already.

A word of caution, in the past, new classes have started out big and rapidly shrunk, because people don’t realize there is work and time involved in learning a language and making progress with it.  But for those with some time and commitment to learn, I’ve rarely failed to bring them along.

This time around, I am trying to blend in some ”additional” fun stuff (section 2) to keep people engaged. Things people will have the opportunity to go back to, the rest of the lives and enjoy.

However, I do encourage you to give serious thought to whether you have the interest and time (10 to 20 mins per day – 1.5 to 2 hours per week) to learn Irish, as personally I find it a little sad to start off with a large class of individuals and end up with a very small one, because
people didn’t factor in the time and effort commitment.

LÁ GAEILGE

LÁ GAEILGE: THE ANNUAL DAY OF
IRISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE EVENT
Saturday, October 7 FROM 8:30AM – 4:30PM

One-day Irish language immersion course for all levels of speakers, presented by the GAC Irish Language group and Féile, Inc.   The day features classes taught by Fulbright Scholars, cultural workshops, door prizes, “coffee & tea” all day, lunch by Chef Joe; so bring a friend and join us for the most fun you’ve had since the last Lá Gaeilge!  Cost is $50/pp, all inclusive; students with ID-$25.
For more information or questions:

Róibín Griskus, 203-233-4979, rdgriskus@aol.com

Cáit Thopsey, 203-459-9686, kthopsey01@gmail.com

25 Card Game

JOIN US SUNDAY MAY 21ST  AROUND NOON (IRISH TIME).

How 25 is played:

The game of 25 can be played with any number of players, preferably from 5 to 10, not to exceed 10 players. The object of the game is to see who gets 25 first. Each trick is considered 5 points. To begin the game, any player can deal out the cards. The first player to receive an ace is the player who actually gets the first deal. Each player receives five cards. When the dealer is finished dealing the cards, he turns up the next card. This card is called the head trump. Then each player looks at his hand to see how many trump cards he has. The more trump cards a player has, the better his chances are of reaching 25.

The leadoff man to start the game is to the player’s left. If he leads off with a trump, then all players have to play a trump if they have one. Otherwise, they can play any card. If a player has trump, and does not play it, he is guilty of reneging A simple thought to remember is, “the more of the red, and the less of the black.” Another thought is to watch who is getting close to 25. This is called keeping the game “IN.” It is okay to play a trump card anytime a player wishes. The Ace of Hearts is always a trump regardless of what is played. The 5 card is the best card when trumps are up, followed by the Jack of Trumps, followed by the Ace of Hearts.

A complete description of the game would take several pages. The game of 25 is best explained by sitting down and playing an actual game with people who have been playing the game for years. In short, hopefully in some way, this has helped to bring the basics of the game to you.

The late Tom McInerney, a long-standing member of the club, donated this article.

Ryan Mahoney Joins Team at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc.

Ryan Mahoney will assist with planning and exhibition of IGHM collection from Quinnipiac University.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc., established by members of the Gaelic-American Club in Fairfield, CT, is excited to announce that longtime museum professional Ryan Mahoney will be joining the association as an advisor.

Mahoney most recently served as the Executive Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University from 2017-2021 where he provided general management and oversight of all administrative operations of the museum, while managing all aspects of the collection’s care and maintenance. From 2013-2017, Mahoney was the Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany, NY and he currently works at Springfield Museums in Springfield, Mass., where he helps develop gallery and exhibition themes and supervises installation of exhibition areas.

Mahoney has a dual bachelor’s degree in history and political science from St. John Fisher College and a master’s degree in public history from the University at Albany. He brings over 15 years of professional experience in the museum field to the team at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc. Mahoney also has served as a national board member of the Irish American Cultural Institute, as well as a board member of the United Irish Societies of the Capital District, Inc. In 2016, Mahoney was named an Irish “Top 40 Under 40” by the Irish Echo.

“To say I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with this collection and help in the development of its new home would be an understatement,” said Mahoney. “This collection is powerful. Not only does it tell the story of Ireland in the 19th-century, but it also draws parallels to many contemporary issues that we see worldwide. The artwork here inspires conversations and provokes questions. It makes a topic like the Great Hunger more accessible to visitors of all ages.”

Mahoney added: “The Gaelic-American Club should be commended for the work that they have done to keep this collection together and home here in Connecticut. Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc. is assembling an impressive team of professionals to make sure this project is done correctly. This joint effort will secure the future Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum collection and ensure that it will thrive for generations to come.” (For more information visit https://www.ighmf.org/)

About the Gaelic-American Club of Fairfield

The Gaelic-American Club was founded in 1948 in Bridgeport by a group of Irish immigrants for the purpose of maintaining and celebrating Irish culture. By promoting social, civic, and cultural activities, the GAC continues long held Irish traditions and educates future generations. Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) and operates as an association of the Gaelic-American Club.

Community Support for Museum’s Move to Fairfield

St. Patrick’s GAA Club, Fairfield CT

IRELAND’S GREAT HUNGER MUSEUM TREASURES SAVED
Saving Art Treasures Critically Important to the Irish Community

Fairfield, Connecticut. March 3, 2022 – St. Patrick’s GAA Club welcomes the transfer of the collection from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum to the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield, Connecticut.

“This is terrific opportunity to preserve the unique artistic remembrances of the Great Hunger so that our community never forgets this tragedy,” said Jimmy Feeney, Chairman of St. Patrick’s GAA Club. He further added, “We are so grateful that the leadership of Quinnipiac University and the Gaelic American Club could work together and find a solution that maintains the public’s access to this important historical collection.”
In addition to preserving and promoting Gaelic games in Fairfield County, St. Patrick’s GAA Club supports Irish cultural programs and initiatives including traditional Irish language, music, dance, and literature.

Fairfield University’s response to Gaelic American Club saving and preserving Irish artifacts from Great Hunger Museum

The Irish Hunger Museum is not only among the most important Irish cultural institutions in the region and nation, but it’s collection is a crucial example of the role of art in rendering the human dimensions of loss, trauma, and the unspeakable. The museum represents and commemorates loss, injustice, and dehumanization. To see the museum survive, to have such a respected institution as the Gaelic American Club involved in its’ stewardship, and to have it located in such a well travelled area as downtown Fairfield is a blessing to us all.

Nels Pearson, PhD
Director, The Humanities Institute

Ancient Order of Hibernians JKF Division 1 Bridgeport, CT

It truly is great news to hear that Quinnipiac University is going to gift the entire collection of Art and artifacts of the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum to the Fairfield Gaelic American Club. As an Irish American I am proud of our heritage. As President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians JKF division 1, Bridgeport, CT my chest swells with pride that such an important collection will be in Fairfield. “Fair play to ye” and well done.

If there is anything our organization can do to assist in transfer and set up of the collection do not hesitate to reach out to me. I know our membership will be overjoyed and “over the moon”, happy to hear the news when it is public knowledge.

Mark T. Ryan DMD
President
AOH JFK Division 1
Bridgeport CT

View Letter

(For more information visit https://www.ighmf.org/)

St Patrick’s Day Photo Gallery

“Cead mile failte, 100,000 welcomes. Ireland and the Irish are famous for that sentiment, for the sincerity of their welcome and I want you to feel that uniquely Irish sentiment here today. I want you to feel like you’ve been welcomed home.

This past year, Ireland has felt much further away than any time is our life time and we appreciate even more our heritage, our culture and our home. We appreciate even more what’s it like to have a club like this, where we can feel that welcome, where we can meet a friend, enjoy their company, truly like a home away from home.

We pray that in this coming year, we can reflect NOT on what we’ve lost this past year, but what we’ve gained. An appreciation of what is truly precious in this life, the connection to those we love, and a deeper appreciation of what home and family really means.

We, as a community have learned that we must never take for granted what it means to have a home like this to come to. We must always remember the work the previous generations of Irish men and women have invested, and we must endeavor to continue their work so that our children can feel the same connection to our heritage that brought you all here today.

So today I wish you, with all my heart, Cead mile failte. Welcome home, and a very Happy St Patrick’s Day.”

Gerry Forde
GAC Executive Committee President

Fantastic Start to Fundraising Efforts for Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, INC

(Left to right) John Foley President of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc. Amy O’Shea Vice President of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc. Connecticut State Senator Tony Hwang Dr. Christine Kinealy PhD founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute Gerry Forde President of the Gaelic-American Club.


The Ancient Order of Hibernians hosted breakfast at the Gaelic-American Club on Sunday March 6th and a total of $10,000 was donated to the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc.

Dr. Kinealy was the guest speaker for the event and was introduced by Amy O’Shea. The following was Amy’s speech.

“Good morning everyone. My name is Amy O’Shea and I’m delighted to be the very first speaker from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield.

The journey you join us on today started when a few Gaelic-American board members joined the fight to reopen a shuttered museum in Hamden and it continued months later when we hosted an event there in the pouring rain in October.

What followed was months of quiet negotiations and representation of the Irish-American community in Connecticut.

Months of late night phone calls, text messages, emails and meetings in Hamden and Fairfield which lead us to this momentous decision by Quinnipiac on Friday.

The decision to transfer this great collection to the Gaelic American Club right here in Fairfield.

We are so very grateful that Quinnipiac is entrusting us with this incredibly important and prestigious collection and we fully understand and are prepared for the enormity of the responsibility we have undertaken.

The announcement has already been met with such an unbelievable outpouring of support from the Irish American community and we thank you for joining this small group at the beginning of our journey.

Over the coming months we will build something new and beautiful and we will show the world that Irish-America is as strong as ever. We will build on the story that Dr. John Lahey started and we will tell the story of our ancestors and how we got here.

Today I have the great honor to introduce someone who knows this great collection like no other and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Great Hunger. It is truly my great pleasure to introduce Dr. Christine Kinealy.”

A total of $10,000 was donated to the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum of Fairfield, Inc. at the event.  Many thanks to Ted Lovely family , the AOH for matching their donation and those who donated anonymously.

(For more information visit https://www.ighmf.org/)

Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night is BACK!

Friday March 29th from 6-9pm with a $5 kids buffet

Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night is an opportunity for our young families to come down to the club and have some fun and a meal together.  Family Fun Night takes place the last Friday of the month from 6-9pm. (except for February)   Corky and his staff will provide a ‘kid-friendly’ delicious $5 buffet.

Just a reminder,  The buffet is strictly for the kids, parents are asked to order from regular GAC menu  – so kids please remember there’s no sharing with the parents!  We try to keep the buffet price to a minimum and don’t want to increase the price. Ice cream is $1 and is served at 8PM.

PLEASE watch your children. Kids are NOT to leave the room without a parent. Toys are NOT to be brought into the Carolan Room from the Reidy (children’s) Room. NO toys or running on the dance floor. Please pick up food spills and help clear your table.

Buffet is served from 6-7:30pm only and Ice cream is at 8pm. Thank you for your help and consideration in these matters.

Any questions call Bette Leary at 203-767-0117.

Lets also keep in mind the GUIDELINES for use of the children’s room

Welcome to the GAC’s Children’s Room  dedicated in memory of Richard & Vivian Reidy

#1   Room Monitor is NOT a BABYSITTER!  Room Monitor is responsible for the contents of the room and safety of the children while in the room.  Parents are responsible for their children and guests behavior, whereabouts and use of items in this room.  Parents will be notified if any misbehavior or disrespect for the room or others is shown. The parent’s membership may be in jeopardy if behavior is not corrected or use of room is abused.  

#2 No Food or Drinks are allowed in this room by children.  If an adult chooses to bring in a beverage while watching their children, please make sure it is not left in the room.  The monitor is not there to clean up after adults.

#3 If you’d get in trouble at home for doing something, you’ll get in trouble here.  This room is a privilege for all children to enjoy and feel at home within the club, but just like any privilege it can be revoked.  

Just like on the pitch:

1st =  Warning – Parent is notified and child’s name is put in the book.

2nd = Yellow Card – Access to the room is suspended for a period of time.

3rd = Red Card –  Parent is required to go before the Executive Committee to explain, suspension or loss of family membership is possible.

Don’t be THAT kid or don’t be THAT parent that feels above the rules!  

#4 Common Sense Parenting is expected.  Intended for children 13 years and younger.  Parents may use discretion as to what age they feel their children are able to be in the room without parent supervision however, under 5 years of age supervision is required.
“Is leathan doras an teachín bhig”

Wide is the door of the little cottage  – Irish proverb

For more information, please email Bette Leary (203)767-0117

GAA Games from Ireland

GAA at the gac

 

Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football can be described as a mixture of soccer and rugby, although it predates both of those games. It is a field game which has developed as a distinct game similar to the progression of Australian Rules. Indeed it is thought that Australian Rules evolved from Gaelic Football through the many thousands who were either deported or immigrated to Australia from the middle of the nineteenth century. Gaelic Football is normally played on a pitch (playing field) approximately 137m long (150 yards) and 82m wide (90 yards).

The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one. The ball used in Gaelic Football is round, slightly smaller than a soccer ball. It can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or “hand-passed”, a striking motion with the hand or fist (similar to serving in volleyball). After every four steps the ball must be either bounced or “solo-ed”, an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. To score, you put the ball over the crossbar by foot or hand / fist for one point or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or hand / fist in certain circumstances for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points. Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows: One goalkeeper, three full-backs, three half-backs, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.

Goalkeepers may not be physically challenged while inside their own small parallelogram, but players may harass them into playing a bad pass, or block an attempted pass. Teams are allowed a maximum of five substitutes in a game. Players may switch positions on the field of play as much as they wish but this is usually on the instructions of team officials. Officials for a game comprise of a referee, two linesmen (to indicate when the ball leaves the field of play at the side and to mark ’45” free kicks and 4 umpires (to signal scores, assist the referee in controlling the games, and to assist linesmen in positioning ’45’ frees). A goal is signaled by raising a green flag, placed to the left of the goal. A point is signaled by raising a white flag, placed to the right of goal. A ’45’/’65’ is signaled by the umpire raising his/her outside arm. A ‘square ball’, when a player scores having arrived in the ‘square’ prior to receiving the ball, is signaled by pointing at the small parallelogram.

Hurling

Hurling is a game similar to hockey, in that it is played with a small ball and a curved wooden stick. It is Europe’s oldest field game. When the Celts came to Ireland, as the last ice age was receding, they brought with them a unique culture, their own language, music, script and unique pastimes. One of these pastimes was a game now called hurling. It features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mystical figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.

The stick, or “hurley” (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or “sliothar” is similar in size to a hockey ball but has raised ridges. Hurling is played on a pitch approximately 137m long and 82m wide. The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one.

You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. Unlike hockey, you may pick up the ball with your hurley and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. To get around this, one of the skills is running with the ball balanced on the hurley To score, you put the ball over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net by the hurley for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points. Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows: 1 goalkeeper, three full-backs, three half-backs, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.