St. Patrick’s GAA Club News

ST. PATRICK’S SPRING CHAMPIONSHIP 2018

St. Patrick’s congratulates the 47 boys and girls who completed the “Introduction to Gaelic Football” training over the past six weeks. An additional session has been added for Sunday March 25th in Stamford. Please see website www.stpatricksgfc.org for more details or email: admin@stpatricksgfc.org.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

  • St. Patrick’s invites all girls & boys, ages 5 through 18 to play Gaelic Football, hurling, and camogie with the club for the NY GAA Spring 2018 Championship. No prior experience needed.
  • St. Patrick’s will host the Club’s annual summer camp in Gaelic Games from June 25-29, 2018 at Notre Dame High School from 9am to 3pm each day. Please see the website for more details. All are welcome and no prior experience needed!!

25 Card Game

Card players meet every Thursday at 7:30 pm in the Carolan Room.

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.

Children’s Chorus

The Children's Chorus is on hiatus ~ but stay tuned for it's return

The following information is here for reference only as the group is presently on break ~ stay tuned for the return of the children's chorus

All school-aged member children are invited to join in learning Irish music through movement and singing! 2018 will be the fifth season for our GAC Children’s Chorus.

Rehearsals begin September 6th @ 5PM in the Carolan Room. The group will sing at Memorial Mass on Nov. 4th, Christmas Fair and Christmas Program, Sunday - Dec 9th (dress rehearsal Dec. 8th) Performance begins at 6PM, Carolan Room will be open for Dinner at 5PM.

Registration form

Over the past two years the Children's Chorus has performed for Memorial Masses, Christmas Fairs, a Christmas Program and a special program commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising, ‘We Will Remember’. The Children’s Chorus frequently shares the stage with the adult Glee Club. Children are also  encouraged to add creative ideas and their various talents during performances.

For more information, please contact Mary Ellen Lyons at maryellen.lyons@outlook.com

Fairfield GAC Over 40 Soccer Club

Soccer Club News

The Fairfield GAC FC Over 40 team was asked to participate in the USASA Over 40 National Cup based on our success 2 years ago in that competition. This year, USASA asked more teams to participate. In Region 1 (which includes all states from from Maine to Virginia) . The Over 40 competition included 12 teams this year including two from Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey, along 1 each from Massachusetts and Virginia. Fairfield GAC FC easily won it’s first game of the competition overwhelming SC Eintracht by a score of 8-0. The second game, against national power and Massachusetts state champion Safira FC, ended after both regulation and overtime in a 0-0 tie. Fairfield GAC FC was fortunate to win that game in penalties 4-3 after a great save by our goalkeeper Seth Cohen on their 4th kick.

Entering the regional semi-finals, Fairfield GAC FC drew state (and Irish club) rival Glastonbury Celtic. Dominating most of that game Fairfield GAC FC won rather easily 2-0 to advance to the regional final for the second consecutive year (there was no cup in 2020 because of Covid). In the regional final Fairfield GAC FC was slated to play Virginia state champion Renegades from Richmond Virginia. Renegades would prove to be a very tough test after their successful run in the cup having beaten national powers Christos from Maryland as well as two time defending Region 1 champion West Chester, PA. They also claimed over 10 former Division 1 soccer players as well as a couple of former MLS players as well. Despite this impressive pedigree, Fairfield GAC FC was the clear better team with much more possession and having created many more chances than Renegades during the game. Unfortunately, the game ended in yet another 0-0 tie after both regulation and overtime leading to yet another penalty kick shootout.

What ensued was rather remarkable (and the longest shootout I’ve ever encountered) with Fairfield GAC FC coming out on top by a score of 14-13 after 17 rounds of penalties (where again Seth Cohen came up huge saving 3 of their shots with their 4th hitting the crossbar giving us the win). So we hoist the Region 1 championship trophy for the first time in club history and head back to the Final Four. This year that will be hosted in Michigan on August 20 and 21.

On our road to the Region 1 crown, Fairfield GAC went 4-0, scored 10 goals in the run of play while giving up no goals, and beat the state champions from both Massachusetts and Virginia as well as perhaps the sweetest win was to beat Glastonbury Celtic from Connecticut. We are very excited to be representing our league and our state at the national finals, as well as of course, the Fairfield Gaelic American Club.

Here is the website for reference. (Results) While the  Over 40 Soccer Club does not yet have an opponent for August 20th but are optimistic that we can continue our run and perhaps even win the national championship.

Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band

The group practices Mondays at 6:30pm in the Carolan Room of the GAC. Lessons also available for all ages and ability levels.

For more information, please call Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band (475)329-0202 or visit fairfieldgaelicpipeband.org.

Family Fun Night

family fun night GENERALLY HAPPENS ON THE LAST FRIDAY OF THE from 6 to 9pm

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

Fireside Friend’s Knitting Group

Ever dreamed of knitting a sweater? Or even an afghan blanket. Just bring your yarn and needles and join the GAC’s Fireside Friends every Monday night at 7.pm. in the dining pub.

For more information, please call Mary O’Driscoll at (202).414.9462.

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.

Irish Language ~ Foghlaim Gaeilge

The Group meets Thursday Evenings via Zoom
6:45 beginners | 7:30 intermediate

For more information: Cait Thopsey – 203-459-9686

UPCOMING EVENTS

LA GAEILGE DAY OF IRISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

The Irish Language class will once again be presenting a La Gaeilge day of Irish Language and Culture on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 9 am – 1 pm.

Our format will be different, as we plan to have a hybrid style event: Zoom availability as well as in person.

Our day will include the flag raising and National Anthem, a bi-lingual lecture by Patrick Mahoney, Gaeilgoir, historian and author, some break out classes and music. For those attending in person, we will have lunch at 1 pm followed by a sesiun.

Bigi Linn! Join us! For further details
Cait Thopsey 203-459-9686
Robin Griskus 203-233-4979

Irish Literature Group

October 20th at 6pm to discuss Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. The novel is a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Circle Award winner. Drawing on O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little known story behind Shakespeare’s play, Hamnet is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child. We will meet outside in the back yard of the club, weather permitting All are welcome! For questions, please contact Clare Burnett at clareburnett@optonline.net

 

Previous titles read by the book club.

The Literature Group will meet on Wednesday, September 22nd at 7 p.m. to discuss Donal Ryan’s Strange Flowers. Five years after she went missing, a beloved daughter, Moll Gladney, returns to rural Tipperary with a secret in a novel that explores all forms of love. The New York Times says it is written with a quiet lyricism that puts Ryan at the top-most branch of the flourishing tree of contemporary Irish fiction. We will meet in the backyard of the Club, weather permitting. All are welcome! For questions, please contact Clare Burnett @optonline.net.

 

The Group meets Monday, Nov 18th at 7:30 to discuss acclaimed novelist Maggie O’Farrell’s memoir “I AM, I AM, I AM”. It is an unforgettable account of a life in near-death experiences. In taut prose, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminated the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself. For more information contact clareburnett@optonline.net

 

 


On Monday, October 21st at 7:30, we will meet to discuss When All Is Said by Anne Griffin. The impressively, confident debut novel revolves around five monologues from an elderly man at a bar in Rainsford, County Meath who is looking back on his life. The monologues are linked by the presence of a stolen coin. For more information, contact Clare Burnett@optonline.net.

 

 

 

Monday, May 20th at 7:30 to discuss Edna O’Brien’s The Lonely Girl, part of The Country Girls Trilogy And Epilogue. The Washington Post Book World said, “There is no writer alive who sounds quite like Edna O’Brien. Her prose has a unique mixture of darkness and light that makes it immediately identifiable.”

 

 

 

We meet on Monday, April 22 at 7:30 to discuss ‘The Way We Were’ by Sinead Moriarty. The novel is a heartbreaking family drama about love, loss and new beginnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This month we’ll meet in March 18th at 7:30, to discuss Mink River by Brian Doyle. This stunning debut novel brings to life the fictional town of Neawanaka on the wet coast of Oregon through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people.

 

We’ll meet on Monday, February 18th @ 7:30pm in the library to discuss Bernard MacLaverty’s Midwinter Break. The novel tells the story of Stella and Gerry Gilmore and contemplates the mysteries that lie at the heart of every marriage. It is a profound examination of human love and how we live together. MacLaverty is known for his effortlessly elegant writing and tender, intimate heartrending stories. New members are most welcome! it is a short book of only 240 pages. Give it a try!

 

We will meet at 7:30 on Monday, January 21st in the library to discuss The Library At The Edge Of The World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. Good Reads calls it a warm, feel-good novel about the importance of finding a place where you belong. The novel follows Hanna Casey as she drives her mobile library van between the villages of Ireland’s west coast. All welcome! If you have any questions, contact Clare Burnett at email ClareBurnett@optonline.net or phone 203-255-3848.

 

On Monday October 22nd @ 7:30 the group will discuss Saints For All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan.  A New York Times Critic’s Top Book of 2017 and the Washington Post called it the year’s best book about family. The novel chronicles the Rafferty family in Boston. It draws the reader into the lives of the Rafferty clan, and, in the rare miracle of fiction, makes us care about them as if they were our own family. Sullivan writes “this family has a way of forgetting what it doesn’t want to know.”   If you have any questions, contact Clare Burnett at email ClareBurnett@optonline.net or phone 203-255-3848.

 

 

On Monday, September 17th at 7:30 in the library to discuss William Trevor’s Last Stories. If you have any questions, contact Clare Burnett at email ClareBurnett@optonline.net or phone 203-255-3848.

 

On Monday, April 16th at 7:30, we will meet to discuss Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder. The novel concerns an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months. The nurse soon finds herself fighting to save the girl’s life. If you have any questions, please call Clare Burnett at 203-255-3848 or email ClareBurnett@optonline.net. Everyone is welcome!

 

On Monday, March 19th at 7:30 in the library to discuss In The Woods by Tana French. It is her first in a series of novels about The Dublin Murder Squad. The Washington Post calls her “the most interesting and most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years.” The New York Times calls the novel “required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting. New and returning members are most welcome! For questions, please call Clare Burnett at email ClareBurnett@optonline.net  or call 203-255-3848.

 

Monday, February 26th at 7:30 we will meet to discuss the play Translations by Brian Friel. The three-act play, written in 1980 is set in Baile Beag, a Donegal village in 19th century agricultural Ireland. Friel has said that it is “a play about language and only about language” but it deals with Add Newa wide range of issues, stretching from language and communication to Irish history and cultural imperialism.

 

Monday, January 22 at 7:30 to discuss The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott. The novel is listed among the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of 2017. Beginning with a suicide and ending with a murder, it is a powerfully affecting story spanning the 20th century of a widow and her daughter and the nuns who serve the Irish-American community in Brooklyn. New members are most welcome and former members too! Contact Clare Burnett at 203-255-3848 or ClareBurnett@optonline.net with any questions.

 

The group will meet on Monday, November 20th at 7:30pm. We’ll be reading a novella by Claire Keegan called Foster which describes a small girl being sent to live with foster parents on a farm in rural Ireland, without knowing when she will return home. The novella can be read online for free here: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/02/15/foster. If you have any questions, please email me at clareburnett@optonline.net or call me at 203-255-3848. New members are welcome!

 

The group will meet on Monday, September 18th at 7:30 in the library to discuss Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs. The New York Times says it is a “Boldly imagined and harrowing new novel that is both an exploration of the theme of Irish provincial life from the perspective of girls and women and a work of alternate history in which the devastation of a war-torn Central European country intrudes upon the primal innocence of rural Ireland.” New members are most welcome!

Do you like to read and  discuss a book written by or about the Irish, be it a mystery, a thriller or just some romance? Then join the Irish Literature Group, we meet on the 3rd Monday of the month. For more information phone Clare Burnett 203-255-3848 or email her at clareburnett@optonline.net.

 

 

Monday Night Musicians

Young or old, beginner or advanced, Monday night is your time to practice with the instruments associated with Irish Traditional Music. Come by every Monday at 8:00 pm!

For more information, please email Tim Quinn at tmquinn@optonline.net.

Seniors Activities

Senior Lunch ~

Senior Lunch is generally the last Thursday, of the month  at 12 noon.  But please do call for reservations by the Sunday prior to the Lunch.  Cost for lunch $7 for members and $9 for non-members.   Ann Hague 203-374-5198; Shirley McMenamy 203-268-5083; Sally Savage 203-366-4826.

Are you retired with some free time? Why not get active with the GAC Seniors? Join us for Senior Lunch on the last Thursday of the month.

Celtic Rovers on the Road

for more information:

Ann Ford Roach, 292 Parkwood Rd., Fairfield, CT 06824. Call 203-520-1677

Other Senior Activities include:

Day Trips
Bingo & 50/50 raffle
Movie viewings
Musical entertainment

The Senior group also participates in charity activities for organizations like Operation Hope, Turkey Drive, Under the Bridge, Salvation Army, and the Merton House.

For more info contact Faith Maciver at fmaciver@easct.com or 203-520-8048.

Set Dancing

Set dancing will resume on September 16

Have you ever sat and watched a group on Set Dancers circling around and round. They all seem like they are having a grand old time. Then why not join them. Well here’s your chance…Lace up your dance shoes because Set dancing resumes on Thursday Sept. 16th at 7:30pm. All are welcome! Brian Reynolds 203-214-2921.

Trad Music Session

Enjoy live trad music led by the Shamrogues on the first Wednesday of the month from 7-9pm. All musicians are welcomed to sit in on the session. So dust off those instruments, warm up your voice and get energized with Traditional Irish Music.

 

 

Trivia Night

 TRIVIA NIGHT is back on July 10th @ 7pm (rain date 7/17)

 

GAC’s infamous Trivia Night (the outside edition) is happening on July 10th @ 7pm. Please call (203 254 0673) to reserve a table as this event will sell out! No snacks can be brought into the Club (as per the Governor’s regulations), but the happy hour and regular menu will be available. Rain date: Friday July 17th.

Any questions or concerns please contact 203-520-8048

St. Patrick’s Hurling & Football Club

ANNUAL DINNER DANCE

St Patrick’s GAA Club will host it’s annual dinner dance beginning at 6:30 pm on Saturday Dec. 1nd at the GAC. We are pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2018 “Gaels of the Year” Award are Jim and Caroline Feeney for all their hard work, dedication and countless hours of volunteering for the GAA, the GAC, & promoting traditional Irish cultural activities in Fairfield County. In addition, the recipient of the 2018 Senior Gaelic Football Player of the Year Award is Joe Jones . Tickets are $100 and include live band, cocktail hour, dinner, dessert, and open bar. Tickets and table reservation requests may be sent to lizgiardina@hotmail.com. Commemorative journal ads may be sent to: fundraising@stpatricksgaa.us.

INTO TO GAELIC FOOTBALL FOR CHILDREN

Mark Your Calendars! St. Patrick’s G.A.A. Club will host its annual winter training program “Introduction to Gaelic Football for Children 6-8 Years Old” on Saturdays from 4-5pm at The Field House in Fairfield for six weeks beginning on Sat Jan 19, 2019. All training is non-contact and emphasizes fun, games, hand-eye coordination and basic skills. Cost is $60 and includes T-shirt and graduation ceremony. Limited capacity. To register, please visit: www.stpatricksgfc.org. Email questions to: admin@stpatricksgfc.org.

St. Patrick’s GFC is the fastest growing Gaelic football club in the tri-state area. The club, headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, was created in 2003 to provide training, instruction, and athletic competition in Ireland’s favorite sport, Gaelic football. Prior to the Club’s inception, children and adults interested in learning or competing in Gaelic football had to travel to clubs located in New Haven or New York. In just a few short years, the Club has grown dramatically from four founding members to over 150 members and five teams in youth (Under 8 through U-14) and adult levels.

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Saturday Morning Runners Club

The Saturday Morning Runners (and Walkers) club is active year round and all are welcome to walk or run the courses provided at anytime on their own.  Ken Gallagher will be available as a guide on Saturday’s from Oct to April, weather and holiday’s permitting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5k route: Meet Saturday mornings at 8:30am. Suggested route:  Run / walk from GAC to Old Post, to South Benson, to Clinton, to Oyster, to Jennings Beach Parking Lot, thru Parking Lot to Fairfield Beach Rd, to Rowland, back to Old Post, then back to GAC. 3.1 miles. Map

2.5k route: Meet Saturday mornings at 9am.  Suggested route: Walk to the Fairfield Beach Club and back to the GAC is 1.5 miles. Map

Contact Ken Gallagher @ kengallagher@gmail.com or 203-685-2993