2018 Cultural Village
This year’s Cultural Village will showcase the journey of the Irish from Ireland to Colorado – as it relates to mining.
In the nineteenth century, the Irish were the second largest foreign-born ethnic group in Colorado, with the major sites of Irish settlement at Denver, Leadville, and Cripple Creek. The earliest Irish migrants in Colorado were miners, railroad workers, soldiers, and domestic servants. In Denver, many Irish worked as common laborers.
In 1877, miners in Lake County realized that the black sand they had been tossing off to the side when looking for gold was actually silver. This led to a silver boom, causing the city of Leadville to spring up overnight. By far the largest ethnic group in Leadville was the Irish, and Leadville became the most Irish city in the Rocky Mountain region by 1880. About 9% of the population had been born in Ireland and another 7% were second generation Irish Americans. The majority of Irish were miners, and like most groups in Colorado at this time, were mostly men.
The Cultural Village will focus on prominent Irish and Irish Americans involved in mining in Colorado. There will be a central display with a façade mine entrance based on an actual mine in Leadville. Presentations will include presenters and demonstrations showcasing the miners and their efforts.
In addition, various groups/people from Ireland/Irish descent who made a significant contribution in Colorado will be highlighted. Other attractions also included the Rocky Mountain Wolfhound Association, Irish genealogy support from WISE (Wales, Irish, Scotland, England Family Search Society), and the Irish county flag display.
2018 Cultural Village Presentation Schedules
Friday, July 13th
|Friday, July 13th|
|5:00 PM||Irish Seisun|
Saturday, July 14th
|Saturday, July 14th|
|11:00 AM||Tracing My Irish Heritage with DNA||Sylvia Tracy-Doolos|
|12:00 PM||Traditional Nova Scotian Songs||Maggie MacDonald|
|1:30 PM – 4:30 PM||Pipe Band Competition|
|4:30 PM||Michael Mooney & The Colorado Miners||James Walsh|
|5:15 PM||Cape Breton Step Dancing & Square Dancing Lessons||Cassie MacDonald|
|6:00 PM||Pub Sing||Michael Thompson/Mulligan Stew|
Sunday, July 15th
|Sunday, July 15th|
|10:30 AM||Tracing My Irish Heritage with DNA||Greg Liverman|
|11:00 AM||Traditional Nova Scotian Songs||Maggie MacDonald|
|12:00 PM||Readings from Great Irish Poets & Writers||Sean Scanlan|
|12:45 PM||Basic Irish Phrases/Irish Slang||Dermot Healy|
|2:00 PM||Cape Breton Step Dancing & Square Dancing Lessons||Cassie MacDonald|
|3:15 PM||Irish Immigration Post Civil War||Dennis Gallagher|
|4:30 PM||Basic Irish Phrases/Irish Slang||Dermot Healy|
|5:30 PM||Pub Sing||Michael Thompson/Mulligan Stew|
2018 Cultural Village Presenters
Denver native Dennis Gallagher, is son of Ellen Flaherty Gallagher and William Gallagher, a Denver firefighter. Dennis served 24 years in the Colorado Legislature and eight years on city council. He co-authored Images of America – Irish Denver which showcases the very first Irish in Denver who came as miners, railroad workers, soldiers and domestic servants.
Originally from a small town in County Galway (West of Ireland), Dermot Healy has been in the US for over 20 years – 15 in Upstate New York and since 2010 in the Denver-area. He has been active in the Irish-American community and has provided Irish language and cultural instruction over his years in the US. He is board member of the Irish Network Colorado and is an engineer by education. He travels back to Ireland frequently to see family and friends. He is married to Kristy and has two sons, Patrick and Conor.
Cassie & Maggie MacDonald
Fun, exciting, charming and talented Cassie & Maggie MacDonald are a dynamic Celtic sister duo who have emerged onto the music scene as the ones to watch. Born in Halifax, with strong roots in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, the girls have been wowing audiences across Canada with their unique blend of original and traditional Celtic music. Cassie’s fiddle playing has been described as sweet and elegant with just the right amount of raw power while Maggie’s piano playing has an irresistible drive that will leave your foot incapable of staying still and compliments Cassie’s playing perfectly. Together these delightful sisters bring more than your average fiddle and piano duo; Cassie is an award winning highland and step dancer and also sings harmony for Maggie. In addition to her virtuosic piano playing, Maggie sings lead, plays guitar and is also an accomplished step dancer. Their music fits together seamlessly, encompassing various styles from Cape Breton reels to Antigonish Polkas, Quebecois fiddling and foot work to down east standards. Their vocal harmonies are sweet yet powerful and their step dancing exact and exciting, showing off their youthful charm and energy. They are certainly rising stars in the Celtic music scene; their act is exciting, captivating and not to be missed! Cassie & Maggie will be performing on the Clontarf Stage all three days of the festival!
Sylvia Tracy-Doolos has been interested in genealogy for over thirty-five years, and working as a genealogist for nine years as the owner of New Leaf Genealogy. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and Broomfield Genealogy Society. Sylvia is President of the Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England Family History Society, and Genealogist for Adams County Genealogical Society. She recently completed her B.A. in History with a minor in “American Linguistic Heritage”, after a career based on her education as a computer programmer. She also is a family history writing coach, guiding and inspiring people as they share their family’s story in their authentic voice.
James Walsh Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Dept. at the University of Colorado Denver, where he has taught for the past 19 years. He specializes in Irish-American, Labor, and Immigration history and politics. Walsh is the co-author of Irish Denver and several articles about Irish miners in 19th century Leadville. He is also the founder of the Romero Theater Troupe, an all-volunteer community organic theater troupe that preserves unknown stories of human rights struggles in Colorado.
Sean Scanlan is a philosopher and writer from Dublin, Ireland. His paternal grandfather, Sean Scanlan, commanded a platoon of Republican Irish soldiers on the streets of Cork during the Easter Rising of 1916. When Sean – Lieutenant Scanlan’s grandson – was growing up in Ireland, his father, Paschal Scanlan, was in charge of the Irish Office of National Parks and Monuments. Thus, Sean spent much of his childhood among ancient Irish prehistoric monuments, Round Towers, Medieval Castles, and the natural beauty of the Irish National Parks and historical sites – such as Glendalough, the Lakes of Killarney, and the Boyne Valley. Not surprisingly, Sean went on to study Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin, where he earned a BA in that subject, as well as a BA Moderatorship in Zoology. He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Computing Technology from Middlesex University in England, as well as an MA in Buddhist philosophy and religious Studies from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He studied Western Philosophy at the University of Colorado in Denver, and he is a graduate of the Ngedon School of Higher Buddhist Studies. He also holds certificates from the Nitartha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, which he attended for ten years. He spent many years teaching both Western and Eastern Philosophy, Ethics, Reasoning, and Rhetoric to college students on the Auraria Campus at Metropolitan State University of Denver, before retiring to nearby Boulder, where he lives today, here in Colorado. He will be speaking at the Colorado Irish Festival, reading selections from the works of some of the great Irish poets and writers, and sharing some of his knowledge of Ireland by drawing from his studies, his personal experience and his observations of the cultural intersections of Ireland and Irish-America.
2018 Cultural Village Organizations & Their Displays
Ancient Order of Hibernians – Michael Collins Division:
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish American Fraternal Organization founded in New York City in 1836 at New York’s St. James Church. The Order can trace its roots back to the early 1600’s in Ireland. The Order evolved from a need in the early sixteen hundreds to protect the lives of priests who risked immediate death to keep the Catholic faith alive in occupied Ireland after the reign of England’s King Henry VIII. When England implemented its dreaded Penal Laws in Ireland, various secret social societies were formed across the country. These groups worked to aid and comfort the people by whatever means available. Similarly, the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was founded to protect the clergy, and church Property from the “Know Nothings” and their followers. The first waves of Irish immigrants arrived in Colorado with the discovery of gold near Central City in the late 1850’s. By the early 1860’s, the Irish comprised Denver’s largest, and most visible, immigrant group. Desiring to band together as Irishmen and to protect the Catholic Church, a group of Irish miners in Central City formed the first AOH division in Colorado in 1878. AOH membership in Colorado soared throughout the 1880’s and 1890’s. By 1901 there were nine AOH division in Colorado. These divisions sponsored social and political activities and protected Catholic churches from the rising tide of reactionary anti-Catholicism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The AOH also participated in labor organizing in the mining region of Leadville. The Michael Collins AOH division will display information about where in Ireland those that immigrated actually came from – whether it was small, unincorporated crossroad villages, or larger cities or counties. In addition, they will display information about the history and locations of AOH divisions in Colorado.
Colorado Emerald Society
It is sung “It’s a long way to Tipperary”, but is a much longer way to Colorado from Ireland, especially if you are leaving Ireland during An Gorta Mor (great famine). Rather dwelling on the horrific circumstances that caused a million Irish ancestors to leave Ireland during the years of hunger, blessings should be counted that these ancestors provided the opportunity to be born in the United States of America, and for many of in the state of Colorado. The luck of the Irish, also known as the guiding hand of God, was with the Irish during a frightening and unpredictable voyage across the ocean. The courage, perseverance and adaptability our forefathers showed as they migrated from the east to west. They worked as maids and terriers (railroad workers) and farm laborers and miners so that their families could prosper. They educated their children who became police officers and fire fighters, and their children integrated into the world of business and politics. Today the Irish spirit touches every aspect of American life. Their courage became a part of Irish American heritage and it provided opportunities beyond their dreams. The Colorado Emerald Society pays respect to An Gorta Mor immigrants: Thank you for your courage. You endured the worst of life so that we could enjoy the best of life.
Hurling was said to be played in ancient times by teams representing neighbouring villages. Villages would play games involving hundreds of players, which would last several hours or even days. Injuries were rife in the early form of the game, but this changed dramatically in the mid 1800s with the introduction of the ball, which was due in no small measure to the tireless lobbying of Sir William Arthur Clement, and led soon after to the flattening of the hurley stick, and removal of the notorious ‘Claddagh’ spikes. The eighteenth century is frequently referred to as “The Golden Age of Hurling”. This was when members of the Anglo-Irish landed gentry kept teams of players on their estates and challenged each other’s teams to matches for the amusement of their tenants. Due to this year’s Rumble in the Rockies Southwest Invitation Tournament on July 14-15 at the Lowry Sports Complex in Denver, the Denver Gaels and other teams will be unable to participate at this year’s Colorado Irish Festival. We encourage you to support all teams including the Denver Gaels at the tournament. Learn more about Irish Hurling and also boxing, baseball and Gaelic football and how they have evolved through the years.
Irish Network Colorado
Irish Network Colorado (IN-Colorado) is a business network that connects Irish expatriates, Irish-Americans and friends of Ireland. Our mission is to provide a forum for social, business, and professional networking for our members and to strengthen economic, social, and cultural ties between Irish and American businesses in Colorado and more broadly between the U.S. and Ireland.
Kennedy Society of North America
The Kennedy Society of North America will play on J.R.R. Tolkien’s quote “Not all those who wander are lost.” They will loosely follow a “true to life” Irish immigrant family who survived the Great Famine and was part of the immigrant wave from Ireland that passed through Ellis Island. They will then ‘follow’ them to the coal mines in Ohio, and finally to Leadville, Colorado in pursuit of a better life. While their journey is a sad and tragic story, the Kennedy Society will focus on the indomitable Irish spirit and grit that kept this family moving forward and honor them for paving the way for all those of Irish descent to enjoy the life we have today. The Colorado Irish Festival is a celebration of who we are, where we have been, and where we are going!
Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians:
Come explore artifacts depicting the beginning of the LAOH from the national organization. This organization was developed to welcome and support Irish women immigrants and their families as they came to America. Stop by their booth to enjoy traditional Irish recipes, bookmarks from the woman’s role in the 1916 Easter Rising and view their scrap book of faith, unity and Christian charity.
O’DEA Clan Association – U.S. Western Region
The O’Dea Clan is listed with the Clans of Ireland. This past May, they celebrated the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Dysert O’Dea in Ennis, Ireland May 10, 1318. Membership to the Dysert O’Dea Clan Association is open to anyone with the name O’Dea, O’Day, Dee, Dea, Day or other variation whose ancestors were from Ireland. Learn more at www.odeaclan.org. Next June 23-26, 2019 The North American Chapter of the O’Dea Clan will be hosting the International Clan Gathering in St Charles, MO.
Rocky Mountain Wolfhound Association
The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed, known in Ireland since before the Romans invaded. Many tales of these imposing dogs exist from 200 BC onwards. Used for battle, hunting, and guarding duties, the wolfhound gradually came to specialize in hunting wolves. After the wolf population was eliminated from the British Isles, wolfhound numbers decreased substantially. The Great Famine in the 1840s was also hard on this giant breed because people were unable to feed these huge dogs. In the late 1800s, Captain George A. Graham dedicated himself to restoring the breed to its ancient type. Generally a companion dog today, the Irish Wolfhound is also capable at lure coursing. Visit their booth and learn about their history, their immigration to the U.S. and how they have come to be a modern day family pet.
W.I.S.E. – Irish Genealogy
Volunteer Irish genealogists from WISE (Wales, Irish, Scotland, England Family Search Society) will be on-site to answer your questions about your Irish roots. They will have family location maps and surname displays available.