Children’s Chorus

Joining the Children's Chorus

All school-aged member children are invited to join in learning Irish music through movement and singing! 2017 will be the fourth season for our GAC Children’s Chorus. First rehearsal this year is Wednesday, September 27th.

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

Clan na Gael Players

Clan na Gael Celebrates 30th Anniversary

This year we celebrate 30 years of  presenting plays by or about the Irish, as well as improving our craft both on and behind the stage. Hundreds of kids and adults have been involved in the fun and excitement of “putting on a show”. Each production brings forth new actors and production staff. Each performance brings the afterglow of satisfaction that comes from being a part of the CnG team.

You are warmly invited to come Play with us! We are an open and welcoming group, are we love getting new people involved.

Spring Production Audition Dates

Saturday, Feb. 25th from 1:00-3:30.and Sunday, Feb. 26th, from 3:00-4:30. Auditions are open to all. No Experience is Necessary. Anyone interested in working behind the scenes please come out as well.

Show Dates

April 20, 21, 22, 8:00pm, with a matinee on Sun. April 23rd. For more info contact Peg at opeggyo812@gmail.com

Our One Act Play Winners

The Clan Na Gael invites everyone to come to the club Sunday Feb 12th at 1pm for an entertaining afternoon of the Reading of the Winning Plays from the 2016 One Act Playwright Contest. After the Reading, the audience will have the opportunity to discuss the play-writing process with the playwrights.  The winning plays are:

  • A Chance Meeting – Written by Alison Flannery and directed    by Nancy O’Neil
  • Spiritual Counseling – Written by Jack Rushen and directed by Kelsey Guggenheim
  • Heroes – Written by Griffin Reidy and directed by Eamon Speer

The Readings are free to all and refreshments will be served.

History

The Clan na Gael Players had a humble beginning in 1987. Cardboard sets, lights in tin cans, folks dragged in from the bar to play a part! Ahh, but the audience enthusiasm towards this raggle-taggle group—that’s what made the Clan na Gael Players!

In addition to performing live theatre at the Gaelic-American Club, Clan na Gael has gone on the road to perform elsewhere – civic groups, fundraisers, pubs, schools and libraries. We have toured plays in Ireland twice, in Counties Kerry and Clare, in 2009 and 2016.

From the pens of such well-known playwrights as O’Casey, Gregory, and Keane have come several CnG productions. Equally, we point with pride to the premier productions where we have been privileged to work with playwrights in the creation of their work. Comedy, drama, music, song, dance, well-known and unknown, are all parts of Clan na Gael.

To all, thank you for supporting Clan na Gael! We look forward to continuing our stated purpose of presenting plays by or about the Irish. We hope you will continue to enjoy them as much as we enjoy presenting them to you. Break-a-Leg!

For more information, please contact Peggy O’Leary at opeggy0@gmail.com.

 

Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band

Lessons for all ability levels from beginners to advanced, of all ages, meets on Mondays at 6:30pm. The band practices in the auditorium of the First Church Congregational in Fairfield (diagonally across the parking lot from the GAC, on the corner of Beach & the Old Post Road). We look forward to seeing you!

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

Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night is back! Friday, March 31st from 6-9 pm. Each family is asked to bring one bag of Easter candy to be given to those less fortunate than we are.

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.

For more information, please email Bette Leary (203) 366.2027.

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.

Freamh Eireann Genealogy Group

Fréamh Éireann, the Gaelic words for “Irish Roots”, is the name of our genealogy group.  Our interest lies in assisting members of the Fairfield Gaelic – American Club (GAC) interested in researching their family roots.  We focus on, but are not limited to, Irish family research.

Functioning as a self-help group, the members vary in knowledge but all are able to learn from each other by sharing their research experiences, providing suggestions and guidance, identifying resources, programs, and organizational sources that assist in one’s personal research.

We do not conduct research for non-GAC members.

Through our monthly meetings we keep members of Fréamh Éireann advised of various genealogical seminars and events as well as members’ successful searches and/or questions.  Minutes and email notices inform members who may not be able to attend.

Periodically guest speakers are invited to address either our regular meetings or general meetings open to the public.  Occasionally field trips are arranged to points of genealogical interest.

The Genealogy Group meets the second Saturday of the month at 10:30 am in the O’Keefe Room. All members are welcome.

For more information email: fesecretarygac@gmail.com.

Or visit the Fréamh Éireann Genealogy Group Section

GAA Games for Ireland

The GAC broadcasts the GAA games live from Ireland via satellite every Sunday from May through September.   All are welcome to come down and support the games and cheer on their favorite Hurling and Football teams.  For more information, contact Tom Moran

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.

GAC Glee Club

 Join the Glee Club

Join us as we prepare a unique program of song from the Irish in America. The Glee Club is a great way to celebrate our Irish Heritage. The group rehearses at the club from 7 to 9PM every Wednesday. Come and give it a try!

Recent Performances

The rejuvenated Glee Club has perfomed for our Memorial Mass, presented a Christmas Program, and "We Will Remember," a program commemerating the 1916 Easter Rising. Although the numbers may be smaller than the orginal group, the spirit and love for singing vibrantly permeates the Glee Club's reincarnation. New members are always warmly welcomed.

GAC Glee Club

Current Glee Club members stand by their 1995 Glee Club photos. The original photo is on display in the GAC board room.

History

A Strong Beginning

The Gaelic-American Glee Club began in 1995 with fifty enthusiastic singers. The group flourished and grew to over one hundred strong. Co-founders Art Begin and Ed O'Connor led the group through many sucessful years including concerts at The ReginaQuick Center, the Fairfield County Irish Festival, the Levitt Pavillion and a trip to Ireland with a concert at the U.S.Embassy. After twenty years, attrition and changing times brought the group to a hiatus.

Rebirth of a Treasured Tradition

In 2015 the Glee Club was revived by Mary Ellen Lyons, a newly retired New Canaan Public Schools music teacher. "Commemorating the 1916 Rising needs voices to be raised in song!" Mary Ellen insisted. With the blessing and support of the GAC executive board and the urging of past Glee Club members, rehearsals began in the Fall of 2015.

Irish Language ~ Foghlaim Gaeilge

New Beginner and Intermediate Classes Thursdays at 6:30 to 7:30 and 7:30 to 8:30 respectively.

New Beginner Thursdays 6:30-7:30 pm upstairs in the Cultural Room – Contact Cecia.dalzel@quinnipac.edu.

New Intermediate Class – Thursdays 7:30-8:30 pm upstairs in the Cultural Room. Classes meet every Thursday. For more information and to register, contact Desnolan@optonline.net

New Grammar Class-Intermediate Level – every Wednesday, starting Sept 7 from 7:00-8:00 pm upstairs in the Cultural Room. For registration: jminehan@gmail.com

Current Intermediate Class – meets every Thursday from 6:30-7:30 in the library upstairs.

Grupa Comhra – Irish conversation group, any level, meets every Thursday from 7:30-ish- 9:00 pm in the snug at the end of the bar. For further information call: Cait 203-459-9686; no registration necessary.

Irish Literature Group

Do you like to read? Would you like to discuss a book written by or about the Irish, be it a mystery, a thriller or just some romance? Join us on Mondays at 7:30 pm.

This month the Literature Group will meet on Monday February 27th  at 7:30 in the library to discuss Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume. The Atlantic Journal calls it an “unsettling literary surprise” and a “stunning and wonderful achievement by a writer touched by greatness.” New members are most welcome! For more info 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

Join us for this month’s Senior Lunch!  Senior Lunch is Thursday, March 31st at 12 noon. Call for reservations by Sunday, February 19th. Cost for lunch $7 for members and $9 for non-members.

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.

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

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. They would love to teach you.

For more information, please call Carol Ruddy at (203) 255.2702.

St. Patrick’s Hurling & Football Club

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.