Friends of Irish Studies in the West

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The Month of March – Month of the Irish
March is the month that is synonymous with the Irish. All over the world parades and festivities will commemorate and honour St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. All of us, Irish or not, get swept up in the joy of the occasion. Here in Montana we have always been very creative when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the great contribution the Irish have made to our state. This year will be no different. The Irish Studies program, the Friends of Irish Studies and the Ancient Order of Hibernians have joined to put together a program of events that will appeal to all tastes. There is music, film, sport, history, dance, a parade and a banquet and auction to ensure the continued growth of the Irish Studies Program and Irish culture in Montana.
Celebrating Irish Culture and Heritage
1. March 6 and 7 – Irish Fiddle Concert: Fiddle maestro, James Kelly, plays the Montana Tech Library Auditorium on Friday, March 6 and the UM Recital Hall in Missoula on Saturday, March 7. Both concerts begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 at the door, $10 for students and Friends of Irish Studies, and are available in Butte at Cavavnaugh’s County Celtic, in Missoula at Rockin Rudy’s or online at
2. March 10 – St. Patrick Lecture: Dr. Traolach Ó Ríordáin will deliver a free public lecture at St. Anthony’s Parish Life Center, 217 Tremont, on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00pm. We would encourage you to attend this presentation; you’ll be very surprised at what you learn about Ireland’s greatest saint!
3. March 12 – Irish Film Night: The Roxy Theater will host the second annual Irish film night on Thursday, March 12. The first film, Song of the Sea, is an Academy award nominated animated film that draws its story from Irish mythology. It’s a family film and the kids will love it. The show begins at 5:15pm. The second presentation is Scéal ar Butte, a documentary in Irish with English subtitles about three brothers who emigrate from Ireland to Butte with tragic consequences. It is a beautiful and sensitive portrayal of life in early 20th Ireland and Montana. Tickets are $6 per showing; $10 for both features; and $12 a show for families.
4. March 14 – Irish Mass: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated in honour of St. Patrick at 8 am on Saturday, March 14 at St. Francis Xavier Church. The Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus will serve and all are invited to attend.
5. March 14 – St Patrick’s Day Parade: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will set off at 12 noon. All participants are asked to line up by 11 am. Dr. Dan Combo is this year’s Grand Marshall and Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Thane are Irishman and woman of the year. We encourage you all to attend as we honour these great Irish people.
6. March 14 – Hurling Game: The Montana Grizzlies’ hurling team take the field at Washington Grizzly Stadium at 2:30 pm. This is the team that took the nation by storm last year and won the National Collegiate Championship. Hurling is the oldest and fastest field sport in the world. Celebrated in ancient Irish saga, it was on the hurling field that the great heroes of Ireland first showed their mettle. If you have never seen it, go watch this game. The excitement will take the March chill out of your bones a lot faster than an Irish whiskey.
7. March 14 – St. Patrick’s Day Banquet and Auction: This evening is the closest you’ll get to a gathering of the Irish clans, all coming together in support of their shared heritage and culture. It is the Friends of Irish Studies main Fundraising Event for the Irish Studies program. There is a live and silent auction with a selection of items mostly Irish in theme and origin. The night is filled with great music, dance and conviviality. The event takes place at the Double Tree Hotel in Missoula and begins with a cocktail hour at 6pm. Tickets are $30 per person and all information is available at
8. March 17 – St Patrick’s Day Dinner: St. Anthony’s will hold their annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the Parish Life Center, 217 Tremont. The evening begins at 5:30 pm and goes until 7:30 and there will be lashings of corned beef and cabbage to go around. Irish musicians and dancers will provide the entertainment. The costs of the tickets are $10 each in advance and for seniors; $12 at the door; and $4 for kids. Children under $5 are free. For more information, call 543-3129.
9. March 20 and 21 – Irish Traditional and Contemporary Music: Liam Ó Maonlaí of the Hothouse Flowers will play Montana Tech Library Auditorium on Friday, March 20 and the UM Recital Hall on Saturday, March 21. This gifted musician and singer is one of Ireland’s most popular performers. This final music event is not to be missed. The concerts begin at both locations at 7:30. Tickets are available in Butte at Cavanaugh’s County Celtic, in Missoula at Rockin Rudy’s and online at www.friendsofirishstudies.
10. March 22 – Win a Trip for Two to Ireland: The drawing for the trip for two to Ireland takes place at 3 pm at St. Anthony’s Parish Life Center. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, time is running out. You get them at Bert and Ernie’s and at O’Malley’s in Helena; Cavanaugh’s County Celtic in Butte; The Stone of Accord, The Thomas Meagher Bar and all Noon’s gas stations in Missoula. The tickets are $5 each or $25 for a book of six. They make great St. Patrick’s Day gifts and all proceeds go to support the Irish Studies Program at UM and to promote Irish culture in Montana.
The Friends of Irish Studies wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. We encourage you also to visit our website and learn about the many other activities we have coming up this year. We will lead a tour to Ireland this summer for any of you who are interested; we also offer you the opportunity to learn the Irish language at our week-long immersion course in Butte. Members received a discount on all our activities. We invite you to join our organization or to donate if you share our mission to preserve, promote and share Irish culture in Montana.
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