Monday, December 9, 2013

Celtic Corner - December 2013

Irish Christmas History

Irish Christmas history begins with the English King, Henry II in 1171. The English monarch took the Christmas celebrations to Ireland. Henry II built a very big traditional Irish hall in the village named Hogges. Sumptuous feasts and Christmas plays were held in which the Irish chiefs loyal to the English sovereign also took part. Down the ages, the Christmas celebrations in Ireland have deviated somewhat from the early times, but the spirit is essentially the same.

Irish Christmas history shows us some traditional rituals of Christmas in Ireland. Ritual here is used in a very broad sense, some have little religious significance, but great social importance. A lighted candle in the window on Christmas Eve is one such custom. All Irish homes have a lighted candle, which has the symbolism of showing the light to the stranger after dark. This is a most ancient custom when people were really hospitable. The candle has to be lit by the youngest in the family and extinguished by any girl named “Mary”. The custom of a laden table is also an endearing one. The table is laid with bread filled with caraway seed and raisins and a large pitcher of milk and a lighted candle. This means that any weary traveler or Joseph and Mary can avail of this hospitality if they so wanted and is an integral part of Irish Christmas History.

The Wren Boy Procession

The Wren Boy procession took place on St. Stephen’s day, the day after Christmas. It shows similarities to Halloween. Children wandered the streets, carrying a stick topped with a holly bush. They painted their faces, wore old clothes sang and played music, demanding money “for the hungry wren.” Although this custom seems harmless enough, its origins are rather dark. The wren was said to be a treacherous bird; it was blamed for betraying the hiding place of St. Stephen to his persecutors. It was also claimed that the bird beat its wings on the shields of the Norsemen to alert them to the presence of Irish soldiers. However, going further back in time, the wren may have been used in Druidic rites, to which Irish Christians would have been opposed. Early Wren Boy processions sported a real dead wren on top of the stick. Currently, a fake bird is used and the processions usually occur in the southern parts of Ireland.

Little Women’s Christmas

In the old times, housework was firmly considered women’s business, which means that after all the cooking, baking and cleaning, the women used to be completely exhausted. Come the 6th of January, they got one day of relaxation. On this day, the men did all the housework and the women went to the pub for a day out. Although “the New Man” has now arrived in Ireland, many Irish women love to keep this tradition alive. Little Women’s Christmas also marked the day when it was “safe” to take down Christmas decorations. Any earlier was considered unlucky.

An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you

The warmth of home and hearth to you

The cheer and good will of friends to you

The hope of a childlike heart to you

The joy of a thousand angels to you

The love of the Son and God’s peace to you

Nollaig Shona

Happy Christmas

Correspondence Secretary                                              President

Frank Darcy                                                                    Ken Egan

Friday, November 15, 2013

Celtic Corner - November 2013

Irish in America

          Many Americans who mark their national independence on July 4 are not aware of a third stanza of the American National Anthem which was diplomatically removed during World War II. This stanza, paying tribute to those who valiantly fought for freedom from the British, included the words:

                                      “…foul footsteps’ pollution of the British

                                      O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”

          The American Revolution of 1775 to 1783 involved many patriots of Celtic heritage. The historic figures who signed the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 included three men who were born in Ireland, two who were born in Scotland, and two born in Wales. Ten other signers were of Irish, Scottish or Welsh descent, including John Hancock, whose family came from Ireland. Thomas Jefferson, of Welsh ancestry, drafted the document itself. Irish born Charles Thomson made the first finished copy of the document, and John Dunlap, also born in Ireland, first printed it. An Irishman, architect James Hoban, born in Kilkenny Ireland, designed and built the White House-and rebuilt it after it was burned by the British in 1814. Eventually thirteen United States Presidents could claim Irish ancestry, including William McKinley and Ronald Reagan. Three presidents were born from parents who came directly from Ireland, including James Buchanan, Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant.

          During the American Revolution, the ill-fated commander-in-chief of the British forces, Sir Henry Clinton said that the best soldiers among the American rebels were the Irish (and hopefully proposed augmenting his own demoralized army with some of them). In 1784, after the successful Revolution, a speaker in the “Irish” parliament of then British-occupied Ireland lamented that “America was lost by Irish Emigrants.” A hundred years later, with so many Irishmen in America, a British home secretary petulantly complained that the rebellious Irish were now out of reach of the British government.

          During the Revolution, Irish-American John Sullivan was a lawyer who served as one of George Washington’s most able generals. Promoted to major general for his military successes against the British, he was later elected as New Hampshire’s first governor and was influential in getting the Constitution ratified. As many as fifteen of Washington’s top officers were born in Ireland. Not all the Celts who fought against the British in America were Irish. Scottish born Alexander McDougall, a fiery opponent to British trade restrictions in America, was a founder of the Sons of Liberty organization in New York. He served in the army against the British throughout the Revolution and was later in charge of West Point.

          An Irish American won honors for the Revolution at sea. John Barry was born in Wexford, Ireland. In 1776, while commanding the American brig, Lexington, he captured the British tender Edward, the first British ship taken by a commissioned American ship. In 1782 he took two other British vessels after a fight. Barry has been called the father of the American Navy.

          The “modern” Celtic migration was not confined to America. By 1851 in Australia, for example, 30% or more of the Europeans who settled that land were from Ireland, albeit involuntarily for some of them. (The 1990’s Prime Minister Keating was of Irish descent.) Yet


even allowing for the thousands of Celts who went to Australia and New Zealand, the journeying to North America from Europe was to be the last great Celtic migration in the world. While Scotland and Wales contributed significantly to the European settlement of America, the largest number of Celts who emigrated to America, however, was from Ireland--about 5 million in 150 years (more than the average annual population of Ireland itself).

          The early immigrant vessels to America were called “coffin ships” because four passengers, men and women together, slept in a space six by eight feet. The ships could also have been given this name for their ever-recurring outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. A further danger lay in the unseaworthiness of the ships themselves. Some of them sailed in the stormy Atlantic with their desperate but hopeful passengers and were never seen again. The approximate location of at least one doomed ship, the Ocean Monarch, is known. It burned and sank with a loss of 186 lives when still within sight of Liverpool, its port of embarkation.

          Once at sea, exploitive captains and crews sold spoiled food to the passengers at extortion prices. Fresh drinking water sometimes ran out before reaching New York. A thousand steerage passengers were crowded onto the bigger ships, but only the privileged few in cabin class were allowed to enjoy the fresh air on the open decks.

Gaelic Saying
Ní neart go cur le chéile.
Nee nyart guh cur le ch(k)aye-leh .
There's strength in unity



Your Correspondence Secretary                                                President

Frank Darcy                                                                               Ken Egan

Monday, October 7, 2013

Celtic Corner - October 2013


This was an article which appeared in the Irish Echo in 1998

Denis Mulcahy’s home village of Rockchapel, Co. Cork is not a million miles from Blarney. He speaks with a flowing, north-Cork accented voice which reveals virtually no watering down in all his years in America. When things get hectic on the phone, Mulcahy speaks semi-automatic, like the nine millimeter in his NYPD issue holster. In some parts of Northern Ireland they wouldn’t have the first clue what he was saying. But in a great many parts, they certainly know what this man is about and what this man has done for thousands of their children.

“We bring them out, they go into American homes, but the host families give them direction. It’s incredible what has come as a result of getting people together. Not all of them are Irish or Irish American homes. Many of our sponsor families are from other ethnic backgrounds, Jewish, Italian, Polish.”

Mulcahy is talking about the many American families who have embraced Project Children, the organization which has plucked kids from the furnace of Northern Ireland and placed them, Protestant and Catholic, before the hearth in American homes ranging across more than one third of the 50 states.

Project Children was born in 1975, one of the worst years of the troubles. Like Irish people the world over, Denis Mulcahy dangled in a kind of limbo, hemmed in by feelings of anger, frustration, pity and helplessness.

“It seems so long ago now”says the 53 year old veteran cop. “My brothers Pat, now back in Ireland, and John decided we had to do something to help so we ended up bringing over six kids for a vacation to get away from the violence. It was a family thing. We did it in Greenwood Lake (New York). It was very bad in Northern Ireland at the time. There was lots of rioting and a few kids were actually being killed. Why did we do it: I suppose it was prompted by all the reports in the press. My wife Miriam O’Rourke’s family also come from close to the border, Ballinamore in County Leitrim, and they were hearing terrible stories at first hand.

“The budget that year was $1,600 and we initially raised $1,400. Money was tight at the time. Finally someone donated the last $200 and we were able to bring the kids over. Three of the kids stayed with me and my brothers and the other three stayed with other families.”

From the first six kids, seeds if you will, grew a rather large Project Children family tree now totaling 13,000 young souls.

“We’ve dropped back a bit since Aer Lingus did away with the (Boeing) 747s. The timing was actually good because we were starting to work separately with some of the older kids. We now bring about 640 over each year. We were doing 900 with the 747s-two plane loads”.

To the faint-hearted, the thought of being stuck on a trans-Atlantic flight with several hundred excited kids-never mind kids from a divided society- is not exactly the recipe for a good night’s sleep. But the children would often put many grown-up travelers to shame.

“We put chaperones on the flights so there are no problems. The kids really are very well behaved. At first there used to be problems with the meals. Some of them couldn’t deal with all the different bits of an airline meal. Now we give them burgers and fries and they’re very happy.”

In more recent times, Project Children has entered into a partnership arrangement with Habitat for Humanity, the Jimmy Carter inspired voluntary organization that builds homes for those with the dream but not quite the means of home ownership.

“With Habitat” says Mulcahy, “we’re getting funds from wider sources. Also kids are now coming from both sides of the border in Ireland. And it (Project Children) should indeed be cross community and cross border.

From the early days, when Project Children subsisted on a budget of hundreds, the financial demands have, of course, increased dramatically.

“We have an annual budget now of well over half-a-million dollars which goes mostly to air fares and insurance. There are no salaries”


Irish Proverb:

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.


Your Correspondence Secretary                                      President
Frank Darcy                                                                    Ken Egan

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Celtic Corner - September 2013


Irish soldiers fighting for the British Army in India went on strike after hearing

Of British war crimes in Ireland on June 28, 1920, 93 years ago.

The Connaught Rangers were organized I 1881 as the county regiment of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon. Their two battalions were merged into one in 1914 following heavy losses at Mons and Marne. They also fought at Aisne, Messines, Armentienes and Ypres that year. They were moved to Mesopotamia in 1916 and Palestine in 1918 before being separated again into two battalions, the first being sent to India in October 1919. Nearly all the men who mutinied in 1920 were veterans of the Great War.

The Connaught Rangers were well known for the marching song, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary. The 2nd Battalion sang this song on August 13, 1914 as they marched in parade order through the streets of the French port of Boulogne on their way to the front. War Correspondent George Curnock witnessed this incident and his report of it was printed in The Daily Mail on August 18, 1914. From that day, that music hall song, written by Jack Judge in 1912, gained popularity amongst all the troops during the Great War.

On Sunday night, June 27, 1920, Joe Hawes, Paddy Sweeny, Patrick Gogarty, Stephen Lally and William Daly met in the canteen, Jullunder Barrcks, NE India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. They were veterans with twelve years’ service. Joe told the others of his experiences in Clare were he had been on holiday the year earlier and where the British authorities were stepping up repressive measures, theoretically against the republican movement, but where they proved elusive, beating and even killing likely looking young men. Newspapers and letters that had arrived the previous day told of the atrocities being committed by the “Black and Tans”.

“B” Company (200 men) arrived at the barracks and hearing the singing halted at the guardroom rather than march past. Their commanding officer, Col. Deacon arrived and told “B” Company to wait while he addressed those inside. He was about to make a serious mistake, in his belief that regimental pride would solve the developing problem. He had those in the guard room come outside and form a line in front of him. He made an improvised, and to his own mind, very moving speech in which he appealed to his own 33 years with the Rangers, their great history, the honors on the flag. Just at this point Joe Hawes stepped forward, interrupting him and said all the honors on the Connaught Flag are for England. There are none for Ireland, but there will be one after today and it will be the greatest honor of them all. One of the mutineers, Pat Coleman, overheard the adjutant mutter to the Sergeant Major,” when the men go, put Hawes back under arrest.” Coleman shouted out “you won’t get the chance of Hawes, we are all going back. Left turn! Back to the guardroom lads!” Col. Deacon was in tears as over a hundred members of “B” company ran over to the bars of the guardroom windows to talk excitedly with those inside These soldiers were armed and they urged those inside to come out. This was a critical moment. A personal decision made by four soldiers to leave the army became a fully blown mutiny of some 150 soldiers. Those inside poured back out to cheers.

61 men were sentenced, with 14 getting the death sentence, the ret term of imprisonment from 1 to 21 years. Helped by the situation Ireland, where British policy was changing from repression to negotiation, the C.I.C. of India commuted all the life sentences except for that over J.J.Daly. He was shot on November 2, 1920 by a firing party of London Fusiliers. There was a rumor that the local Indian population would attempt to storm the jail so several miles around the jail was put under curfew Daly gave his few belongings and a last postcard to Hawes. It is available in the Military Bureau and is nearly indecipherable with very many crowded scrawlings that seem to oscillate between real dread and comforting thoughts about the cause of Ireland. Daly was the last British soldier shot for mutiny, but his was not quite the last execution. August 1948 witnessed the hanging of three Indian mutineers and in January 1943 a British soldier was executed after being convicted of war treason.

After negotiations between the Provisional Government of the Free State and the British Government, all prisoners were released January 9, 1923. The mutineers were later honored and given pensions by the Irish State.

If you would like the complete story, E-Mail me @


For each petal on the shamrock

this brings a wish your way

good health, good luck, and happiness

for today and every day.


Your Correspondence Secretary                                      President
Frank Darcy                                                                    Ken Egan

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not the Celtic Corner - July 2013

Not the Celtic Corner - July 2013

This is not the Celtic Corner.  This is just a mid-summer update from the web and blog administrator for the American Irish Association of Woodbridge NJ (

So, as July comes to an end there was this compelling need to share a quick story about a trip to Upstate NY to the Great American Irish Festival in Frankfort, NY (Herkimer County), July 26 ~28, 2013.  My family history in Upstate NY is that of a visitor for well over 40 years.  A lot of camping, fishing, canoeing, and after my father purchased about 14 acres on the edge of the Adirondack State Park in Gray NY in 1970,  even more time in the Adirondacks would be in-store much vacationing and short trips.  For many years, I would head north with my wife and my daughters up to the “cabins” (as they are referred to by my family) for Columbus Day weekend.  Biking, running, hiking, fishing, some shopping, and definitely eating, along with closing and winterizing the cabins before the first heavy frosts hit the area.  We stopped the Columbus Day Weekend trips in 2003 and miss them deeply.  My dad still owns the property and we hope to be able to upgrade the two cabins and the utilities very soon, to make them (again) a great place to visit and relax.

Earlier in July, my father and I made a trip up to the property to check on things.  As many may know, a couple of years ago, Hurricane Irene pummeled the Northeast and NY State was hit very hard.  Now this year, significant flooding in Central (Upstate Region) NY area along the Erie Canal has occurred for much of this past June and July.  They are still having flash flood warnings almost daily from excessive rain.  During this quick trip with my dad, I noticed a poster for the “Great American Irish Festival” ( the weekend of July 26 through the 28th.  All I did was make a note of this and then suggested “offhandedly” to my wife that we should go to the festival.  She agreed, I was not terribly serious about heading back up, but when she became interested, I started some investigations.  It turns out that this year’s festival was the 10th anniversary. 

Since I know the area well, it was now a simple process to figure out where to stay.  We picked Little Falls, NY and stayed at an awesome B&B in the Canal Place section of the city, right along the Erie Canal about 15 miles from Frankfort and the festival location - the Herkimer County Fairgrounds.  Canal Place is a great place to visit.  This is a very low-key location, with restaurants, shopping (mostly antiques), art galleries and two B&B Inns.  We stayed at the Stone Mill Inn (  Very comfortable and unique building, and we highly recommend the location.  We brought up our mountain bikes, running shoes and hiking boots.  Great weather, no air conditioning, and we had lots to see and do.  The festival ran for three days, but we choose to go on Saturday only and spend that day at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds.  Our Saturday started off with a bang! A loud cannon start, in fact, for the Ranger Run 5K.  The race is directly part of the festival and is well worth the effort to participate.  Runners cruise around the neighborhood of Frankfort, NY starting and finishing in the middle of fairgrounds.  The best news is that our race registration gave us all day, come and go admission to the grounds.  The race finished about 1 hour before the festival began on Saturday.  Because we ran the race, we were able to stay within the fairgrounds as the festival volunteers readied the area for the day.  The Festival is camper friendly, so people arrived with campers, tents, and all the fixings to stay for the weekend.  This was an awesome sight to see, just off of Route 5s. 

The GAIF is an incredibly well attended event that was impressively well managed, with thousands and thousands of visitors.  The weather cooperated for the most part, just a light shower on Saturday evening.  We suspect Sunday may not have been as dry, but the festival had quite a bit of cover with large shelters.  This festival is all about the music and the Irish/Scottish crafts that were for sale.  Shopping was a lot of fun and expensive, but worth it.  Now back to the music.  They had a pipe band competition, with a few different categories judged, 17 bands in total.  When the competition ended, many of the bands assembled in a “Massed March”, through the fairgrounds.  This was a great sight.  Music everywhere, the festival organizers assembled an incredible line-up of bands and individual musicians.  They had three stages – Contemporary, Traditional and a Regional Stage for local artists.  You could easily move from venue to venue within a few yards, and see some amazing bands.  Not just random bands and musicians, but bands that you know or have heard of already.  A local band called 1916 from Rochester was the first band we listened to, and they mixed traditional and contemporary tunes with incredible ease, they are very talented.  Their version of “The Foggy Dew” is exceptional.   Later on, the Young Dubliners, who sing traditional Irish music to their own musical rhythms.  They played three different sets at the festival one Friday, then Saturday and another on Sunday.  We watched the Young Dubliners mid-afternoon on Saturday with a very large and rowdy crowd, their music was terrific.  Up next for us was Makem and Spain who sing traditional music also, they are very talented and very funny.  We then listened to Girsa, a band of young girls from Pearl River (NY) that were very traditional and their music was mostly instrumental, with an occasional great voice in the mix.  We all will be hearing more from this band, no doubt.  We then watched the High Kings.  They started with “Rocky Road to Dublin”, then sang some of their new music (being released later this year) and finished their set with a rowdy version of “Whiskey in the Jar”.

As mentioned, an incredible band lineup.  If you wanted to see all the musicians, you have to go for three days.  When we were watching one band, we were wondering what we were missing at the other venues.  Although not the case with the High Kings, we knew what we were doing and we were staying until they were finished.

I have assembled a small picture gallery and also scanned pages of the festival’s pocket program that you can review here.

Also, there is a video gallery that includes a couple of short videos of the pipe bands et al, and the 1916 Band (please forgive the video shakes which had nothing to do with my beer consumption as far as you know) <videos link> .  You can review the artist list on the festival website and in this gallery.  This was a great short trip and we may very well attend the 11th Great American Irish Festival in 2014.


Ben Campbell

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Celtic Corner - June 2013


Tribute to Father

Fathers are the biggest source of strength for a child. The innocent eyes of a child perceive father as the all-powerful, most knowledgeable, truly affectionate and the most important person in the family. For daughters, fathers are the first men they adore and fall in love with. While for sons their fathers are the strongest person they know and someone whom they look up to for the most experienced and honest advice that is always in the best of their interest. For this great figure in our life that we know as father-it becomes our utmost duty to pay our humblest tribute on the occasion of Father’s Day.

Say Thanks to Dad on Father’s Day

Children blessed with a loving father should consider themselves fortunate. For, they have someone to take care of their needs and interests. Someone to stop them when they are diverting to a wrong path and guide them on a road to success and virtue. For many of us, fathers have always been there to solve our innumerous mathematics and science problems and explain the same formula a hundredth times or more until it is understood by us. Fathers would never ever give a smallest of hint to let us know how hard they work to take care of our needs and fulfill even the most whimsical of demands. For all their adorable scolding and affectionate punishments we all owe a big thanks to our Dads.

Apologize to Dad on Father’s Day

Father’s Day also brings with it the wonderful opportunity to apologize for all our rude and insensitive behavior. We as children often take the love and affection of our parents for granted and treat them with outright contempt. We need to apologize. We must feel great to have the presence of a loving father in our lives and do not disrespect him. On Father’s Day we must say “SORRY” to our Dad and seek his forgiveness for our wrong behavior.

Celebrate Father’s Day with Dad

We must make all efforts to celebrate Father’s Day with our Dad. Children staying away from father must especially strive to spend the day with father and show gratitude for all their support and love. We must pamper father by spending the day in a manner he likes most. It could be going out for a picnic or indulging him with a gourmet meal. We can also express love with thoughtful gifts accompanied by a bouquet of his favorite flowers. The idea is to show our affection and tell Daddy how much he is loved and appreciated not just on Father’s Day but every single day of our lives.

"Lá na n-Aithreacha Sona"
Happy Fathers Day


Your Corres Secretary                                                              President
Frank Darcy                                                                              Ken Egan



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Celtic Corner - May 2013


Tribute To An Irish Mother
By Joseph R. Biden

My mother Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden is the soul, spirit, and essence of what it means to be an Irish American. She honors tradition and understands the thickest of all substances is blood.
She has taught her children, and all children who flocked to her hearth in my neighborhood, that you are defined by your sense of honor and you are redeemed by your loyalty. She is the quintessential combination of pragmatism and optimism. She also understands as my friend Pat Moynihan once said, there is no “point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually.”
But she is more. She measures success in how quickly you get up after you have been knocked down. She believes bravery lives in every heart, and her expectation is that it will be summoned. Failure at some point in everyone’s life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable. As long as you are alive you have an obligation to strive. And you are not dead until you’ve seen the face of God.

My mother, I believe, is a living portrait of what it means to be Irish –- proud on the edge of defiance. Generous to a fault; committed to the end. She not only made me believe in myself, but scores of my friends and acquaintances believe in themselves. As a child I stuttered, and she said it was because I was so bright I couldn’t get the thoughts out quickly enough. When my face was dirty, and I was not as well dressed as others, she told me how handsome I was. When my wife and daughter were killed, she told me God sends no cross a man is not able to bear.

And when I triumphed, she reminded me it was because of others.

I remember her watching through the kitchen window as I got knocked down by two bigger guys behind my grandfather’s house, and she sent me back out and demanded that I, to use their phrase, bloody their nose, so I could walk down that alley the next day.

When my father quit his job on the spot because his abusive boss threw a bucket full of silver dollars on the floor of a car dealership to make a point about his employees, she told him how proud she was.
No one is better than you. You are every man’s equal and everyone is equal to you. You must be a man of your words, for without your words you’re not a man. Her pragmatism showed up when I was in eighth grade, a lieutenant on the safety patrol. My job was to keep order on the bus. My sister and best friend Valerie acted up. At dinner that night I told my mother and father I had a dilemma. I had to turn my sister in as a matter of honor. My parents said that was not my only option. The next day I turned my badge in.

I believe the traits that make my mother a remarkable woman mirror the traits that make the Irish a remarkable people. Bent, but never bowed. Economically deprived, but spiritually enriched. Denied an education, but a land of scholars and poets.

Irish Proverb

A man loves his Sweetheart the most
His Wife the best
But his Mother the longest

Happy Mother’s Day
Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit

Your Corres Secretary                                                              President
Frank Darcy                                                                              Ken Egan


Monday, April 8, 2013

Celtic Corner - April 2013


March is always for St. Patrick. April is for the Rising. On Easter Sunday in Newark, a group of men & women commemorate the 1916 Easter Rebellion with a march from Military Park to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Frank & Kathie Darcy are honored to carry the banner in the march. A mass is celebrated in Irish Traditions and the Proclamation is read.  Below is that proclamation.




               IRISH REPUBLIC



IRISHMAN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old traditions of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organized and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organization, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organizations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes the moment, and supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on the fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we herby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State. And we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades in arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irish woman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities of all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government which have divided a minority in the past.

Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and woman, the Provision Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.


      Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government,

           THOMAS J. CLARKE


P.H. PEARSE                         EAMONN CEANNT




Remember there would not be an independent Ireland except for the brave actions of these men.

Your Corres Secretary                                                              President

Frank Darcy                                                                              Ken Egan



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Celtic Corner - March 2013


 March is for the Irish and we should think about all the contributions that the Celtic people have made to world culture throughout history. For such a small island, Ireland has made an enormously large contribution to the world of literature, art and music, in both the Irish and English language.

Ireland has produced many poets & authors. James Joyce is one of the Twentieth Century’s greatest authors producing the novels Ulysses, and Finnegan’s Wake. Oscar Wilde wrote the famous Portrait of Dorian Grey, while Poets William Butler Yeats and Samuel Beckett are influential to this day. Eighteenth Century fiction work derived by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels and Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield were known world wide. Irish writers have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature numerous times. Irish Literature can be traced back to the 5th Century.

Irish Theatre began in the 1600 but became of age with emergence of George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and the establishment in Dublin in 1899 of the Irish Literary Theater later to become the famous Abbey Theater, performing plays by W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, John Millington Synge and Sean O’Casey. In the Twentieth Century, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Brian Friel, Frank McGuiness and many more came into prominence.

Irish dance dates back to the Twelfth Century. The Irish Reels, Jigs and Hornpipes noted to be danced in Galway in the 16th Century with different styles all across the country. All of this brought Michael Flatly & Jean Butler into international acclaim. Riverdance and Lord of the Dance had world wide success.

When we talk about Irish in Music, we cannot forget George M. Cohen, Bing Crosby, Dennis Day, Carmel Quinn and Rosemary Clooney. There are so many, that I cannot begin to write them all down.

In Literature, Eugene O’Neill, F.Scott Fitzgerald, William Kennedy, Frank McCourt, Tom Clancy and so many more.

In the Media, there are Ed Sullivan, Phil Donahue, Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reilly just to name a very few.

And of course I have to include one of my favorites, Paul McCartney. Paul was with his new Band Wings when he released ”Give Ireland Back to The Irish”. The song was written in response to Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland on Jan 30, 1972. Paul was told not to release it, that it would be banned and not good for his image. Paul felt so strongly about what had happened that he forced its release. The song which was banned from the United Kingdom, The BBC, Radio Luxembourg and Independent Television Authority, still made it to the public. It was #1 in the Republic of Ireland. Also, one of the band members was badly beaten by a group of Protestants in Belfast. Paul McCartney who was born in Liverpool, England was one Hell of an Irishman.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit
La ale-lah paw-rig son-ah ditch

Correspondence Secretary & Irish Man of the Year 2013
-- Frank Darcy                                                       

Monday, February 4, 2013

Celtic Corner - February 2013


St.Patrick’s Day is just ahead of us, so who is St.Patrick and what is all the hype about?

St.Patrick’s Day (La Fheile Padraig) is first a religious holiday celebrated on March 17th. He is also the most commonly recognized saint in Ireland. This day is also celebrated all over the world.

Historians say Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century into a wealthy Romano British Family. Patrick’s father & grandfather were Deacons in the church. Patrick was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish Raiders. He was held captive in Northern Ireland as a slave. Pat escaped fleeing to the coast, boarding a ship, he returned to Britain. Patrick felt that God wanted him to return to Ireland, so he studied to be a priest then became a bishop and in the year 432 he returned to Ireland. His mission was to Christianize the Irish from their native Polytheism. Patrick used many props in his teaching methods such as; to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity he used the shamrock. After 40 years of teaching, he died on March 17th in the year 470. There were many other missions from Rome to Ireland but Patrick endured as the principle champion of Irish Christianity.

Shortly before his death in Ireland in about 461 A.D. Patrick climbed to the peak of one of Ireland’s highest mountains from where he blessed all the people of the country. Today he is Ireland’s patron saint, and the mountain he climbed (Croaghpatrick) is named after him. Saint Patrick was buried in Downpatrick, which was a great European shrine until its destruction by the English government in 1539.

 St.Patrick created this great faith in the Irish people. I would guess God gave him insight into the struggles that this great Celtic Nation would have to endure. The Irish always managing to keep their faith, were persecuted, jailed, hung, starved, kicked off their land and out of their country. So goes the old Irish Saying “Keep the Faith”. Whether it was the Irish that stayed in their own Ireland or were forced to Immigrate to other countries, they were united & proud. The Irish first marched in Boston on March 18, 1737. This was the first Irish Parade in the world. New York’s Parade was March 17, 1762, Ireland’s first parade was 1931 in Dublin, and New Jersey’s first parade was 1936 in Newark. So why did we march? We did it not just for the religious aspect of the day or the fun of the day, but we also marched in remembrance of the tough days. The many Bloody Sundays gone by and the injustices still taking place in Ireland & the rest of the world today. In the early days, unity got us jobs, acceptance, Political & Labor positions and don’t forget the Irish were decorated with more U.S. Medals of honor than any other country in the world. In recent years our proud tradition of marching lost a little spark. .In these days of our diverse nation, let us show that this Celtic Nation is alive & well in Woodbridge. Let’s get back to the old tradition, March behind our Grand Marshall, Ed Mullen, Irishman of the year, Frank Darcy & Irish woman of the year, Claire Miloscia,

Correspondence Secretary                                                                                     Frank Darcy


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Celtic Corner - January 2013


    While other European Celts are subject to the governments of Britain and France, the Celts of the Republic of Ireland (officially Eire in Gaelic) constitute an independent state-the only truly free Celts left in Europe. In an eight-hundred year history of bitter rebellion and savage repression, the English have been less than successful in their attempt to subjugate Ireland. However, up to now the “Emerald Isle” is not yet entirely free of foreign rule. In Northern Ireland, the descendants of the English planted Protestant settlers still formed a politico-religious majority which, as originally planned by the English, continued to favor being ruled by London. From 1969 fighting between the Catholics who favor unification with the Republic of Ireland, and the Protestants, supported by armed British soldiers, has killed over three thousand people.

          In the Republic of Ireland, by contrast, Protestants and Catholics have lived harmoniously together since independence was achieved from the British in 1922. The south’s majority Catholics have been as friendly and religiously tolerant as any people in the world. Since independence, popular elections in the Republic of Ireland produced a Protestant president of Ireland, a Jewish mayor of Dublin, and a Catholic female president married to a Protestant. The English were permitted to continue enjoying the life of landed gentry in Ireland.

          The Celts have always been known as fierce in battle but gentle in friendship. Classical writers said of the Celts that they provided hospitality and food to strangers before inquiring who they were. Centuries later, in Ireland’s 1742 A.D. Dublin (a city then larger than Hamburg or Berlin), the German composer Handel gave the world’s first public performance of what would become his most famous and beloved work, his Messiah. Contrary to what he had been let to believe in London, Handel found the Irish generous and polite.

          A stranger in Ireland today is still assured of “Cead mile Failte” (a hundred thousand welcomes). Internationally, the Irish people were recently voted the most friendly to foreigners of all the people of the European Community-as polled by the European Commission and published in the French newspaper, Liberation. In its 1991 annual report, the United Nations Development Program ranked the world’s nations in various categories of human development. These included the findings that the Republic of Ireland and Japan have the lowest murder and rape rates among all industrial nations. Dubliners were the happiest of city residents as indicated by a UNESCO survey, published in 1995, of fifteen European cities, which found that only seven percent of Dubliners would be happy about living somewhere else. Close behind in the survey were Barcelona and Copenhagen.


The Durable Celts

For centuries the Celts have known their share of war and famine, yet they are still around. Their passion for personal freedom is at the very core of their nature. This respect for individuality may not have served them well in fighting Rome’s single-minded legions, but it represented an early consciousness of human rights that has only recently become fashionable in democratic nations of the modern world.

Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day,
May the luck of the Irish
shine bright on your way


Correspondence Secretary                                                                 President

Frank Darcy                                                                                        Ken Egan