“Bloody” Alejandro O’Reilly
by Brian Witt
I always enjoy Len Graham’s concerts. For one thing, they are extremely entertaining. For another, he has historical gems that cause me to delve deeper into subjects.
Len was talking about the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, in which Bonny Prince Charlie Stuart fled Scotland with the help of Flora MacDonald and an Irish captain, Felim O’Neill. O’Neill was a member of the Hibernia Regiment, based in Spain, and had joined the Prince in the battles to garner the British throne for the Stuarts.
After he left Stuart in the hands of the French, O’Neill went back to Spain, and eventually rose to the rank of general in the Spanish army. Felim, or Felix, O’Neill, also has his account of the Battle of Culloden enclosed in a Scottish museum. It was written on a deck of playing cards, the only paper the young officer had in his pocket.
O’Neill was a member of the Clanaboy O’Neill’s, and the Hibernia Regiment. The Regiment of Hibernia, called by many O’Neills in Spain, the “O’Neill’s Regiment” was formed in 1710 from some of the many Irishmen who fled their own country in the wake of the Flight of the Earls. This regiment sent officers to the Spanish holdings in the Americas.
One of the more colorful, and influential, of the Hibernia Regiment was Alexander O’Reilly. He was a military reformer and Inspector-General of Infantry for the Spanish Empire in the second half of the 18th century. O’Reilly served as the second Spanish governor of colonial Louisiana, being the first Spanish official to actually exercise power in the Louisiana territory after France ceded it to Spain. For his much appreciated services to the Crown of Spain, he was ennobled as a Conde (count), and granted a coat of arms.
O’Reilly was born in Dublin in 1722. Like many so-called “Wild Geese” of his generation, he left Ireland to serve in foreign, Catholic armies. He joined Spanish forces fighting in Italy. O’Reilly became a colonel in the Austrian army. After campaigning in the Spanish invasion of Portugal, he swore allegiance to Spain and rose to brigadier general.
O’Reilly was sent to Havana, where he received the city back from the British forces that had besieged and occupied it at the end of the Seven Years’ War. Doing a post bellum analysis, he made recommendations on fortifications and military reforms. They were immediately approved by the Spanish Crown. With the help of military engineer of the Royal Army, Silvestre de la Abarca, the works of the strategic fortress of La Caba�as undertaken.
In 1765, Carlos III sent O’Reilly to Puerto Rico, to assess the state of the defenses of that colony. O’Reilly, known today as the “father of the Puerto Rican militia,” took the first comprehensive census of the island and recommended numerous reforms, including those involving the military. He had soldiers paid directly by the treasury, instead of indirectly from their commanding officers, a long-standing practice that had led to abuses. O’Reilly built up the defenses of the Castle of Old San Juan, making the walls almost impenetrable from sea attack.
O’Reilly returned to Cuba, where he wed Rosa de Las Casas the sister of Luis de Las Casas, who served as Governor of Cuba. In 1769, O’Reilly was appointed governor and captain-general of colonial Louisiana while in Spain. He was sent to Havana, and with 3,000 troops put down the revolt.
Arriving in New Orleans in August 1769, O’Reilly took formal possession of Louisiana. O’Reilly then held trials and severely punished those French Creoles responsible for the expulsion of Spain’s first Governor, Antonio de Ulloa, from the colony. He had the six most prominent French and Creole rebels leaders hanged, for which he is still remembered in New Orleans as “’Bloody’ O’Reilly.”
O’Reilly sent the majority of his army back to Cuba, and focused his attention on administratively getting Louisiana back on its feet, and stabilizing the food supply. Again, O’Reilly acted as a reformer. He changed the ability of slaves to buy their freedom, and the ability for masters to more easily manumit slaves. He built bridges, standardized the weights and measurements, and regulated doctors and surgeons.
Having completed his task, he returned to Cuba in December, leaving a subordinate as acting governor, but kept the overall authority for himself. He returned to Spain, and was tasked with organizing six new regiments to be trained near Cadiz, in case war would break out between Spain and Britain in the Americas.
The count died in the city of Cadiz in 1794, aged 72, while on his way to take command of an army in the Eastern Pyrenees that had been ordered to oppose invading French revolutionary forces, just after the beheading of Louis XVI during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Field Marshal O’Reilly is buried in the parish church in Bonete, Spain. He has streets named after him in Cadiz, Spain, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Havana, Cuba.
And one last word to Len Graham: Len, no, you do not get a finder’s fee for this story.
Shamrock Club News
The La Crosse Chapter held its chapter elections on May 16 at the View Country Club. The board for 2012-2013 is as follows: President: Linda Boyle; Past President: Debbie Kroner; Vice President: Pam Smith; Secretary: Stephanie Hicks; Treasurer: Shawn Hicks; Membership Chair: Donna Finn; Parliamentarian: Jim Kroner; 2 Year Trustee: Shiela Slaback; 1 Year Trustee: Tim Sprester; 1 Year Trustee: Patrick Mehren; State Board Rep: Linda Pfaff. Some offices were still being contested at the time of publication.
Join the Shamrock Club at the 8th Annual La Crosse Irish Fest. It takes place from August 10 to the 12, 2012, at the Southside Festival Ground. For more information, go to [http://irishfestlax.org/index.htm].
New Dublin News
Our parade was a success this year. Playing a bit of catch-up, here are the results of awards. The New Dublin Shamrock Club St. Patrick Parade issued the 2012 New Dublin Parade Awards:
• Grand Marshal Award (Best of Show)– Crain Clan
• Best Musical Entry – Freedom High School Band
• Best Non-Commercial Entry – New London FFA
• Alumni Best Commercial Entry – St. Joseph Res.
• Best Clan – Crain Clan
• Director Choice Awards: City of New Dublin, presented to Mayor Gary Henke; City of New Dublin Police Department; City of New Dublin Fire Department; City of New Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
The New Dublin Dash had the following winners. For Female overall it was Sue Pierson. For Male Overall it was Stephen Wagner.
New Dublin Club Gets Milwaukee Parade Award
The Shamrock Club of New Dublin won the best float award for their float entry in the 2012 Milwaukee St. Patrick’s Day parade held on Saturday, March 10.
Join us at the Oshkosh Irish Fest, where we will again be pouring beer at the Guinness tent.
The club meets the first Monday each month 7:30 p.m. at the VFW on Division St. We would love to see you.
Join us for the Shamrock Club Lunch Bunch, Saturday, June 2 – 1 p.m. at Mulligan’s Irish Pub, 830 Oregon Center Dr. (Cty CC), Oregon, WI. Everyone is invited. Bring a friend. For reservations, Contact Harry McCartrhy at (414) 277-0394.
Our annual picnic is July 17 at McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg. Social hour starts at 5 p.m. It is a pot luck dinner.
The Dane County chapter meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Coliseum Bar in Madison at 6:30 p.m. (excluding July and August). For more information, find us at [http://danecountyshamrockclub.blogspot.com].
As I write my final column after two years, (believe me I hated to write these columns: I would stare at a computer screen for hours thinking of something original and intelligent to write, being successful half the time by my count, knowing that Brian Witt was anxiously awaiting me to finish so he could get Reflections to the printer on time), I just would like to say that I was honored and proud to serve as your President of what I consider the premier Irish organization in the state of Wisconsin.
My job was made easier by the outstanding board of directors and officers that the membership has elected to serve. Each and every board member, past and present, has stepped forward, volunteered their time and talent and put forth an extraordinary effort to better the Shamrock Club. To them I say thank you.
My thanks to those members who have also, and in most cases, without asking or begging, chaired an event or offered to assist.
The two years have passed quickly and not everything that I wanted to accomplish has been realized. There have been some unexpected bumps and side steps along the way, but I believe that I pass on to the incoming board an organization as strong and vibrant as was passed on to me.
Just a word in passing, it is only through membership we grow. Over my term and thanks to the efforts of the club’s membership director we have welcomed new, enthusiastic and involved members into the club. But we need more.
Again thank you very much for the past two years and I’ll see you at the next meeting.
Josh Walton, President
Shamrock Club of Wisconsin board members for the 2012-13 term are:
• President: Kathy Donovan
• Vice President: Mary Culver
• Secretary: Mary Jo Kauffman
• Treasurer: John Fisher
• Membership: Denis Donohoe
• Parliamentarian: Dan Stottmeister
• Sergeant At Arms: Glenn Nowak
• Ken Tehan
• Pam Canon
• Trustee: Patty Hogan
Oshkosh Irish Fest
This is the fourth year of the Oshkosh Irish Fest. We have some special events this year, including a Medieval Banquet; Irish Fest Idol Round; nightly fireworks; Sunday Mass, and the official after-fest party continues at Barley & Hops Pub and Peabody’s Ale House. We will also have the Irish Fest 5K Charity Run/Walk – proceeds to benefit Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin, on Saturday.
On Sunday, our Irish Fest Mass takes place at 10 a.m., with Fr. Bill Hower as the celebrant. It will be featuring Switchback as they debut their Hibernian Mass Music and introduction of the Oshkosh Irish Fest Choir! Free Admission to the festival with a donation of non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army. Offertory collection during the mass is directed to Most Blessed Sacrament Parish (church envelopes welcome).
Entertainment includes: Gaelic Storm; Ian Gould; �as; Seamus Kennedy; The M�t�de C�n Project; Clan Donald Pipes and Drums; The Rovers; Folk-n-Irish; Sheamus Fitzpatrick and the McNally Boys; Rising Gael; Richard’s School of the Dance; Switchback; Whiskey of the Damned; The Tooles; Leahy’s Luck; Green Tea; Trinity Academy of Irish Dance; Derek Byrne; Reilly; and U2 Zoo.
We have weekend passes available for $15. The Oshkosh Irish Fest is held at The Leach Amphitheater in Riverside Park, downtown Oshkosh, along the historic Fox River. For more information, email us at [info@OshkoshIrishFest.com] or call Matt Miller at (920) 573–0959. Our website is [http://www.oshkoshirishfest.com].
We look forward to seeing you at the Fest. Sl�te!
Thanks to all who answered this past month. The answer was Count John McCormack. Winners are, almost all coming in at the same time, Tom McAleese, Nancy Vose, Eamon O’Brien, and Kay Scanlon.
Here is our person for June.
1. I was born in the Littkle Ireland section of Edinburgh.
2. When I was 14, I joined the British Army, deserting and returning with my wife to Edinburgh.
3. I joined the Socialist movement in Scotland. I became secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation.
4. I moved to Dublin, and joined James Larkin in the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
5. I was one of the commanders of the Easter Rising in 1916.
If you know who our mystery person is, email us at [email@example.com]. June’s first winner will receive a copy of Dublin O’Shea’s first album.
Glenn’s Corner Cupboard
The Shamrock Club dinners before meetings continue. Here are the next few month’s menu ideas:
June – Pot Luck, A-I bring a dessert, J-R bring a main dish, S-Z bring a salad.
July – Picnic Theme.
Milwaukee Celtic Soccer
Our spring season is here. Both the Reserve and First Teams are underway. As we play in the Shamrock Club colors, we would love to see you at our matches.
Here is the Reserve Schedule for June, all matches begin at 12:30 p.m.:
• May 27: Milwaukee Kickers v. Celtics; Uihlein Park, 76th & Good Hope
• Sun. June 3: Croatian Eagles v Celtics; @ Croatian Park, Franklin WI
• Sun. June 10: Polonia v. Celtics; @ Polonia Club, Franklin, WI
• Sun. June 17: Celtics v. Milwaukee Sport Club
• Sun. June 24: Celtics v. Verdi. TBA
The First Team plays all of its matches at Polonia, 112 and Loomis Road, Franklin. The First Team Schedule is:
• Sun. May 27 - 12:30 p.m.: Celtics v. Big Fish
• Sun. June 3 - 12:30 p.m.: Condors SC v. Celtics
• Sun. June 10 Celtics Bye
• Sun. June 17 - 3:00 p.m.: Highpoint FC v Celtics.
• Sun. June 24 - 3:00 p.m.: Celtic v. Lincoln FC
• July 8 - 12:30 p.m.; Celtics v. Aztecas United FC; reschedule from April 29
If you have any questions, please contact me at [firstname.lastname@example.org]. We hope to see you at one of our matches!
– Dan Koth, Administrative director
The Milwaukee Hurling Club had its opening day on May 20 at Brown Deer Park. We then took our only weekend off until Memorial Day. Otherwise, the Club will be playing through until August 12, for the semi-finals. Our finals will be August 26 at Brown Deer Park.
Save the date for September 7, for the annual Hurlers Ball. The venue is to be determined, but it will be a night of fun.
We are looking forward to another year of playing in the Shamrock Club colors. Thank you again for a dozen years of sponsorship.
Come out and join us each Sunday at Brown Deer Park. We are starting some of our matches a bit earlier this year, at 9:30 a.m. For info: [http://www.hurling.net].
Irish Soda Bread
(Thanks to Jeannie McCue for finding this recipe)
From Judy O’Leary Anderson of Syracuse, New York (Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook):
Here is a treasured recipe for Irish Soda Bread made by my mother, Nellie T. O’Donoughue O’Leary, who came through Ellis Island in 1920 from the village of Rathmore, County Kerry, Ireland.
My mother was a remarkable woman who was loved and admired by everyone who knew her. Hers was the typical Irish story: a marriage arranged for the only son: in the family necessitating in the three daughters leaving the farm to find positions elsewhere. She was sponsored by an uncle and immigrated to the USA. She was hired to work in the home of a prominent Buffalonian.
From an early age on, we knew that our mother was someone special. In the early 1930s, it wasn’t unusual to walk into our back hall and see a homeless victim of the Depression eating on the steps.
Every holiday we would have one or two children from a local orphanage joining in our celebration (we would never understand why they always wanted to stay inside the house instead of going out to play). More often than not we’d have an elderly neighbor too, and many’s the time we’d have to deliver a basket with a hot turkey dinner in it to an ill or confined neighbor before we sat down to our own. We’d take turns doing it. There were six children in our family, but there was always enough food to share.
Mom was always there when there was a need. During the war she rolled bandages and worked for the Ladies of Charity, sewing and making clothes for poor children. She was the one who walked door-to-door, collecting money for the March of Dimes and signing up neighbors to give blood and/or donations for other worthwhile organizations. If there was a fund-raiser for the church or school she was either in the kitchen cooking the dinner or working at the bake sale or card party. She was an excellent cook, and whenever Confirmation was held in her parish, the pastor would call her to come and cook the dinner for the Bishop.
Every St. Patrick’s Day, after the parade, we would have about thirty people squeezed into our little flat for a ham and corned beef and cabbage dinner with Irish Soda Bread and tea. She was the spearhead in welcoming new “greenhorns” and getting together the members and friends of her Irish family. She would organize picnics and parties so that they would have a sense of belonging in their new country.
Although she had little education herself, she saw to it that her six children had an excellent education.
My mother was a woman of deep faith, a devoted wife and mother, and a loving, caring person. Anyone who ever knew her would attest to the fact that she touched their lives in a way they would never forget!
Nellie O’Leary’s Irish Soda Bread
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 stick melted butter
• 1 1/2 cups raisins
• 2 tbsp caraway seeds
• 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
• 1 egg, slightly beaten
• 1/3 tsp baking soda
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar; add melted butter and mix. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Combine buttermilk, egg, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the batter. Poor liquid ingredients and stir into flour mixture. Place in large iron frying pan, well-buttered. Use a knife to make a cross on the top. Moisten with melted butter. Bake in a 375� oven for an hour, or until golden brown and shrinks from the side of the pan.
The Milwaukee Highland Games will take place at Hart Park, 7300 Chestnut St., (70th and State Streets), on Saturday, June 2, 2012, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., rain or shine.
The gates open at 9 a.m. Tickets are Adults: $10; Children 12 and under: Free; Active Military in Uniform: Free.
Events will feature piping competitions, both band and solo; Highland Dance competitions; haggis taco eating competitions; athletic, sheepdog, heavy game competitions; and demonstrations featuring archery, kilt and battle axe. The Massed Bands will perform at 5 p.m. Kilt Demo and History of Ancient Weapons in the Cultural Tent.
The C�idh begins at 6 p.m. Throughout the day the C�idh Tent will feature music by Dublin O’Shea, Steel Bonnets, and The Finn MacCools.
For more information, contact Scottish Festivals, Inc., W167 S6827 Oakhill Dr., Muskego, WI 53150, (414) 422-9235, (Tom Cobb, President). For Public Relations contact Dave Berger, email@example.com, (414) 774-0897.
All events will be held rain or shine. The schedule is subject to change. There will be NO REFUNDS on ticket sales. No pets are allowed at the Games. No coolers or food may be brought into the park.
For more information, go to our website at [http://www.milwaukeescottishfest.com].
Tom Cobb, Shamrock Club member,
President, Milwaukee Scottish Festival
Celtic Women First Fridays
Date: June 1, 2012
Topic: “The Honor Flight”
Speaker: Jerry Hill
The Honor Flight Network was formed to honor World War II veterans by flying them to Washington DC to visit the memorials erected for them. The inaugural Honor Flight took place in May of 2005. Jerry Hill is one veteran who made the trip in October 2011; he will describe what the day was like and what it means to those who fought in the war to be recognized in this way. They visited the WWII Memorial, the Air Force Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Jerry Hill has been a member of the Shamrock Club for over 25 years; he was a driving force in restoring the organ at the ICHC and the stained glass windows of St. Patrick’s Church years ago. He served on the ICHC board for four years.
Lectures are held from 5:30–7 p.m. at Greene Hall, 3347 N. Downer Ave. on the UWM campus. Plenty of meter street parking at the door with wheel chair access. The public is always invited. 2011-2012 is our 15th year of lectures without interruption. The public is invited as always. We offer tea and home-made snacks and promise a delightful couple of hours. $7 admission.
The Shamrock Club Irish Studies Scholarship winners for 2012 are as follows:
• Kari Quinlan, Notre Dame University, and past Color Guard member.
• Matt Waters, UW Whitewater, and current Color Guard member. Matt will use his scholarship to study for a semester at Trinity College, Dublin.
• Kevin Gartski, UWM. Kevin will use his money to work on an archealogical dig in Ireland. He most recently worked on a dig in Crete.
• David Menees, UWM. He will use his scholarship for a semester at Glencolmcille, Donegal.
The AOH Milwaukee chapter awarded a scholarship to Elizabeth Eaves, of UWM. She will study in Glencolmcille, as well. Her uncles are Tom Farley, and Phil and Tom Callen.
This is the 40th year of the scholarship. The first winner was Nancy Madden Walczyk, who recently retired as director of the UWM Celtic Studies program.
Officers Installation Dinner
July 12, 2012
Join the Shamrock Club for its annual Officers Installation Dinner on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at The Patio, 1421 East Howard, Milwaukee.
Cocktails at 6 p.m., Dinner at 7 p.m. $25 per person
To send your application online, go to [http://shamrockclubwis.com/InstallationDinner.html]
Reservations need to be in by July 1, 2012. You can pay at the door, as well.
For more information, please call John Fisher at (414) 744-1770.
Milwaukee Irish Fest
Learn about Irish music, cultural, language ands dance at the Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School. The school is held August 13 to 17 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Student Union, 1028 N. Broadway, downtown Milwaukee.
The school encompasses all aspects of Irish cultural and musical life. Classes in the Irish language are taught by Ray MacManais and Liam O’Cuinnegain, two of the best in all of Ireland. Music is taught by Bruce Molsky, fiddlers Matt Cranitch and Liz Carroll, banjo by Gerry O’Connor; Irish mandolin by Brian McGillicuddy; and guitar by Mick Heffernan. Crafts classes are done by Aran Island basket weaver Vincent McCarron. Patrick Gallagher is teaching Celtic design. Irish sean nos dance is taught by festival favorite Brian Cunningham. Julieann Donlin will teach Celtic spirituality. Mick Moloney will have a class on Irish Influences on American music.
There are sessions and after-school events each night at area pubs. For more information, go to the Irish Fest website, [http://irishfest.com].
Join us at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., for family Irish dancing at its best! Beginners and all ages welcome. Instruction begins at 7:30 p.m. and continues all evening. Music and dancing begin at 8 p.m.
The dances are called, and direction is given, by two of the Midwest’s best ceili instructors, Gail McElroy on Fridays and Julie Clark on Saturdays.
• Fri., June 1 – �as
Entrance is $8 Adults, and $5 for Students, Seniors, and Children. All proceeds benefit the work of the ICHC.
Irish Word Of the Month
Puisan - (Pu-wisheen) - Kitten
Irish phrase: C�hfuil an puis� (Caw Wheel an Pu-wisheen) English translation: Where is the kitten?
Color Guard News and Notes
June is here already. Amazing. Summer is back, and we are all ready for it.
Our season has started for the summer. We had two parades in May, the Memorial Day parades in Elm Grove and Milwaukee. June is going to be busy. The Highland Games at Hart Park will have us walking through, leading the Scots. On June 3, we will be a part of the Newburg Fire Department Picnic Parade; on June 9, we will be playing for the University of Phoenix Graduation. We travel to Central Wisconsin for a parade in Wisconsin Rapids on June 24. Then we will be at the Thiensville Fun Before the 4th Parade on June 30. Looking forward to July 4, we will be in parades in Wauwatosa and New Berlin.
We said goodbye to Sean Cavanaugh in mid-May. He is on his way to be Hollywood Marine. Good luck, Sean, and keep playing the pipes.
As we represent the Shamrock Club, please stop by and say hello at our appearances, and tell us you are members.
Until next month,
– Rand Harteau,
Color Guard director
Milwaukee Membership News
Summer is just around the corner and a lot of activity is gearing up as well.
For May, please welcome our new members David and Margaret Wojnowski. Let’s give them a warm welcome when you see them at our next meeting.
For May, we had 30 membership renewals and 16 membership drops from non-renewals in the Milwaukee chapter. At present, the Milwaukee chapter has 325 memberships with 144 families, 148 single, and 32 complimentary (libraries, businesses, etc.) memberships. Statewide our membership totals 430 memberships where the others receive a copy of our Emerald Reflections newsletter.
Please be sure to have your memberships renewals in before end of June for those who’s expire on or before 6/30/2012. Check your membership cards for the expiration date. Also, check out the new Club apparel we have for sale.
See you at the next meeting.
– Denis Donohoe, Membership Chair
Andrew and Erin Hughes Rinderle welcomed son Callen to the world in early May.
John Garsombke graduated from UW Madison with a double major, and degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology. The Pat and Jane Fitzgibbons family had two graduations in May. Emily graduated from Ohio Weslyan, and Jack graduated from Marquette High School.
Shamrock Club members John and Judie Finnegan, Tom McKale and Jim Sanfillipo recently attended the 18th Annual Emerald Society & Pipeband March and Service in Washington, D.C.
Cynthia Nazario recently spent a week in Anaheim. Colleen Kennedy was in Ireland at the end of May.
If you have done anything you want us to know about, send it to [Membersdoings @shamrockclubwis.com].
Maricolette Walsh recently had surgery.
If you have any news for the Sunshine Club, please call me at (414) 344-0688 or send e-mail to: [slainte4142 -firstname.lastname@example.org].