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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Alabama Celtic Association

Volume 4 Issue 3


"To call members of the Hibernian Race foreigners would be an anomaly, as they are an integral part of Americanism.  The Irish have become an integral part of us, even those of us who may be descended from passengers of the Mayflower can hardly look upon them as foreigners.  Once here, the Irish have bound us so closely to that little isle whence they came that we can no longer look upon Ireland as a foreign country....Everyone in the United States knows that the "Old Country" can refer only to the Emerald Isle...This very remarkable psychological state is due entirely to the Irishman's wonderfully passionate patriotism....
But the Irishman's love for his old home has never made him relegate America to a second place."
Editorial in Brooklyn Daily Eagle - 1916

Click Here for Photos From Celtic Evening, Gerry O'Beirne House Concert, and AAID at Zoobilee 


Birmingham Irish Cultural Society Hosts Annual St. Pat's Benefit

The 24th Annual Birmingham Irish Cultural Society St. Patrick's Dinner will be Friday, March 19 at 7:00 at the Pine Tree Country Club. All proceeds ($50 per included dinner and beer) will go to the Birmingham Chapter of the American Heart Association. As always the event will feature our own homemade Irish ales supervised by our Master brewer, Doug McCullough. You will join in the official “tapping of the firkin”. Enjoy traditional Irish music, join in traditional Irish dance, sing along with the Irish tenors and feast on a huge spread of our famous Celtic recipes. All of this is included in the ticket price! In addition, you can expect to be tapped (pardon the pun) during the party for our yearly single malt tasting as well. Last year, BICS raised about $6,000 for the Birmingham Athletic Partnership. This year we hope to do even better for this incredibly important cause (we mean the Heart Association, not the Irish committee). Heart disease has been our nation’s number one killer; help us take on the monster. Reservations with Elaine Connors at 663-8135 or Marty at 908-6617. (submitted by BICS)
South Alabama's Biggest St. Pat's Event - Luck of the Irish Cook-off in Mobile
The Exchange Club of Mobile will be sponsoring the 2nd Annual Irish Cook-off in downtown Mobile on March 13.  This fun St. Patrick's Weekend event offers children's activities, Irish dance and entertainment, prizes for Best Irish Stew, Best Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage and Best Dressed Irish Chef!  The event also features a loud and lively St. Patrick's Day Parade. Events get underway at Bienville Square and Dauphin Street on March 13, 2003, the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day and event proceeds benefit the Family Center of Mobile for the Prevention of Child Abuse and other Exchange Club projects.  If you are in the South Alabama / North Florida area and looking for the best way to add Celtic Flavor to your St. Patrick's Day Weekend - come join the Luck of the Irish Cook-off.  For more details, .  Information about all of the events and the sponsoring organizations is at .  (Submitted by Fred Jones)


Don't Miss the 5th Annual "Irish Evening" - Huntsville's Celtic Benefit for United Cerebral Palsy
Huntsville will celebrate St. Patrick's Day weekend in style with the 6th Annual Irish Evening, a benefit for United Cerebral Palsy.  The event entertainment will feature live music from Hooley, Irish Dance from the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts, Irish Cuisine from the Heritage Club, Live DJ and more.  Hosting the event are John Malone and Abby Cay from Lite 96.9 Radio.  There will be live and silent auction with Celebrity auctioneer, Steve Johnson of News 19.  This year's sponsor is Redstone Federal Credit Union with RFCU President, Gerald Toland as Honorary Chairman.  The Irish Evening will be 6:00 P.M. on March 13, 2004 at the Marriott Huntsville, 5 Tranquility Base (U.S. Space and Rocket Center) in Huntsville, Alabama. Tickets are $50 (or $500 per table).  For more details,  256-859-4900 or  All proceeds benefit United Cerebral Palsy. (Submitted by UCP Huntsville)

Birmingham's St. Patrick's Day Parade - NEW - Hot Rods Take to the Streets!

Operation New Birmingham's 19th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held Wednesday, March 17, beginning at 11:30 a.m.  NEW -This year's parade will feature a super cool collection of Hotrods valued at 2 Million Dollars.  The parade starts a Five Points South, traveling north on 20th Street and ends at Linn Park.  Floats, bands, horses, clubs and cars should line up at 10:00 a.m. starting at the corner of 12th Ave. South and 20th street right by Dave's Pub - stretching back along 12th Ave.  Police will have most of the Line-up area blocked off for parade traffic only.  The Parade will line-up from that point back  - west along 12th Ave. For more information on or to participate in Birmingham's St. Patrick's Day Parade contact:  Lizzie Holt at 205-328-3595 X. 111.


NEW - St. Patrick's Day O'Maxx Shamrockin' Tour - Birmingham's Irish Pub Crawl

This year will premiere Birmingham's first O'MAXX Shamrockin' Tour during the evening of St. Patrick's Day on March 17.  Sponsored by Birmingham Weekly, Advantage Associates, MAXX and City Center Merchants - The St. Patrick's Evening O'Maxx Shamrockin' Tour features festive green Dart Trolleys chauffeuring St. Pat's revelers around pubs, restaurants and hotels in Birmingham's City Center until about 1 a.m.  Celtic entertainers will be along for the ride on the Green Trolleys as the make their way from one fun destination to another.  Look for give-aways and prizes during the night - It's THE place to be during St. Patrick's Evening!  For more the complete list of destinations, perks and performances, visit or pick up a copy of the Birmingham Weekly for all the news on the O'MAXX Shamrockin' Tour.


Huntsville's St. Patrick's Day Parade to Finnegan's Pub

The St. Patrick's Day Parade and festivities in Huntsville are sponsored by Finnegan's Pub, South Memorial parkway (in front of Joe Davis Stadium).  The parade will be downtown on the 17th, starts at 11:00 with the first unit, goes up around the Court House and back to the starting point - a distance of about a mile (or so). The Grand Marshall will once again be driven by the red head in the red car. Everyone is invited back to Finnegan's for corned beef & cabbage ($6.00 or so per plate for a LOT of food), and libations.  The party goes on all day and all night!  The telephone number for Finnegan's is (256) 881-9732.


Auburn Center for Diversity Hosts Irish Celebration

The Center for Diversity and Race Relations at Auburn University will host a St. Patrick's Day celebration.  The celebration kicks off a 3:30 p.m. with a lecture on "Who is St. Patrick?".  The Auburn Celtic Dancers will be performing at the Ballroom in Foy Union from 5 - 6 p.m.  For more details, contact the CDRR at 334-844-2976.


Irish Sessions in March at Auburn

Friends are gathering in Auburn for an informal evening of Irish music and dance (and a few beers) twice a month.  Sessions for March will be on the 9th and the 23rd from 7 - 9 p.m.  All ages are welcome, as well as all musicians, singers, dancers, and friendly spectators.  Please join us for some nice Irish entertainment.  Bring your own beverages and a folding chair or two if you have any. To find out more about what an Irish Session is, check out our web page .  This page also features an extensive collection of links (resources for learning tunes and instruments included), session dates and times, dance class info, and upcoming shows in this area - plus information on all Irish happenings in Auburn.  For details:  / 334-663-3844 or / 334-502-3659 )  (submitted by Jennifer Arnold) 


Birmingham School of Celtic Arts and FOOTMAD Join Forces for a Ceili / Contra Dance on March 13

Birmingham School of Celtic Arts will be participating in a ceili/contra dance with Birmingham's own FOOTMAD (Friends of Old Time Music and Dance) at the downtown YWCA on Saturday March 13th.  Join us as we dance to the music of Carter's Little Pills.  Instruction in contra and ceili dancing begins at 7:30.  Music begins at 8:00.  Dancers with BSCA will be performing during the intermission.  BSCA Parents group will be selling our world famous Irish Whiskey Cakes as well.  For more info on this event or the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts please contact Mary Dougherty at .  Summer classes for BSCA will begin Tuesday June 15th and will continue through Tuesday July 20th.  For registration information, please contact Mary Dougherty at .


Vestavia City Center Hosts Bagpipe Bands, Irish Dance, Traditional Irish Music and More on March 17th
Pipers, dancers, musicians, and storytellers will gather to celebrate Birmingham's Irish and Scottish heritage, in an afternoon program at
Vestavia's City Center Plaza on St. Patrick's Day, Wednesday, March 17. An outdoor presentation featuring authentic Celtic performers, the event begins at 4pm, and is free to the public. It is co-sponsored by The Moonlight Music Cafe, Starbucks Coffee, AIG Baker Vestavia, and High Ground  Solutions. The Birmingham Society of Piping will begin the festivities by marching to the Plaza and performing a half-hour concert. A twenty-piece ensemble, the Band members play bagpipes and drums, wearing traditional kilts and the tartan of Ancient MacDougal. Their show will be followed by dancers from the Birmingham School of Celtic Arts, the Drake School of Irish Dance, and the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance. Piper Dain Forsythe will play reels, airs, and historic tunes in short segments between dance performances, and will join with local piper Trent Bradford for a multi-instrument demonstration. Storyteller Matt Parrish will also contribute Irish lore, and offer a handful of songs in original Gaelic. A final dance exhibition will feature The Tinker's Daughters, before The BSOP leads a closing march across the street to The Moonlight Music Cafe, who will host a ticketed show at 8pm with local Irish band Shillelagh Law. Further information concerning the event, including a detailed schedule of performers, can be found on the Calendar page at, or obtained by calling the Cafe at 205-822-1400. (Submitted by Lindsay Stone)


New Music in Alabama - The Birmingham Harp Ensemble

Announcing the creation of the Birmingham Harp Ensemble!  Performer, teacher and recording artist, Cynthia Douglass, has created a fifteen member harp ensemble which is already performing in the Birmingham area.  New harpers/harpists are welcome to join.  Watch the Calendar for performance announcements.  For more information, call 205-879-2248. (Submitted by the Harp Ensemble)


Review of Burns Night with Scottish Society of Mobile
Another Burns Night is behind us as the assembled had a wonderful time celebrating the Scottish Bard's birthday. A special treat was the "Bonnie Knees" Contest - which promises to become an annual event. It had to be tough for our Judge, Mary McDonald, to pick the best and Bonniest of the knees because there were indeed some handsome knees knocking! The Blue Ribbon may have gone Rob Etheredge but the others were all GREAT contenders. Thanks go to David Snyder for providing our Haggis and Mary McDonald and Terry Homer for shortbread Special thanks to Michael Whinery who piped in our Haggis performed during the Ceilidh and to Albert Hunter who did such a good job with the "Address to the Haggis."  Brandy Jones did a solo, too.  Marlene Lowing received the "President's Award" which recognizes someone who has helped and supported them through their year as president. Marlene keeps a low profile but always rises to the occasion whenever a helping hand is needed. She decorates and arranges the food at our meetings and just does whatever needs to be done. Congratulations, Mary! Many, thanks also to our members who contributed the super door prizes and all our sponsors, too! The Committee members who worked so hard - Bobbie Bayne, Marlene Lowing, Georgine Ferguson, Sylvia Ensley, and Butch Homer - created the best Burn's yet! (Review compiled from several submissions from Mobile Scottish Society)

Good Fortune Celtic Arts Community Hosts Regular Session - March 2

The Corner Grill and Pub off Bailey Cove South in Huntsville and members of Good Fortune Ceili Band host the best of Scottish and Irish Tuneplay on the first Tuesday of every month from 8 P.M. until about 10 P.M.    All are welcome to attend to share, learn, play or just enjoy Celtic tunes in the best of company.  For more details: . (submitted by Larry Hogan)


ACA Welcomes New Affiliate - The Nashville Irish School of Dance in Huntsville

A little bit of Ireland is coming to North Alabama! Instructors Jason Heym and DeeAnna Thorn, Huntsville residents and members of the Nashville Irish Step Dancers, will be starting classes soon in the Huntsville area under the direction of Mary Moran TCRG. Various forms will be taught, including reel, jig, slip jig, hornpipe and treble jig, both in traditional and modern styles as seen in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. All ability levels and ages are welcome. Students will have the option of performing, competing, or both.  Regional Irish dance competitions, featuring over 500 competitors can now be found throughout the southeast several times per year, in cities including Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta. For more information: 256-627-9540 or 256-767-7852 or .


ACA Welcomes New Affiliate - The Alabama Academy of Irish Dance

The Alabama Academy of Irish Dance(AAID), based in Birmingham Alabama,  was founded in 2002. AAID focuses on preserving and promoting the traditional Irish arts through music and dance.  AAID hosts regular Irish dance workshops for anyone interested in learning the art form and participating in the Irish dance troop. Our troop takes part in community out reach programs such as school enrichment programs and nursing/retirement homes, we are also available for parties, weddings, wakes, and other events. Dancers with AAID are strongly encouraged to explore their musical talent by studying an Irish instrument of their choice and performing along with AAID, as well as participating in the local sessions.  For more information or bookings please contact:  706-7308, or . Check Out AAID Photos Here
Heritage Pipes and Drums Win Second Place at Atlanta Competition
Heritage Pipes and Drums placed second at the Southeastern Workshop sponsored by the EUSPBA which featured the competition in Atlanta, Georgia.  The other bands competing were:  APB Academy Pipe Band (First Place), Palmetto Pipes & Drums, City of Charleston, Police Pipes & Drums, Knoxville Pipes & Drums, Atholl Highlanders Pipes & Drums, Loch Norman Pipe Band V. This was Heritage's first competition of the season, and it follows a third place victory against seven other bands in September 2003 in Montgomery, Alabama. The workshop included piping and drumming instruction as well as a four-hour session on Sunday morning to discuss each band's performance with the judges. ALSO - Tune in to 107.7 "The X" on March 17 from 6 a.m. til 10 a.m. to catch Pipe Major Ryan Morrison playing the pipe on location at Innisfree Pub and surely fielding some questions about the kilt (Submitted HPD)
Old Style Irish Dance Workshop taught by Patrick O'Dea
Patrick O'Dea known worldwide as one of the last dance masters teaching SEAN NOS, an old style of Irish dance that has almost vanished from the Irish dance scene. The Birmingham Chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltiori Eirreann (CCE) is proud to sponsor a Sean Nos Workshop taught by Patrick O'Dea. The workshop will be held at Children's Dance Foundation studio #5 , March 9th from 7:30-9:00, fee:$7.00 per person. To sign up please contact: (Submitted by AAID and CCE)


The Caledonian Society of Alabama Host Annual Picnic in May

Election of officers and review and voting changes to the by-laws will be on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting of the Caledonian Society of Alabama.  The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 20th at the Vestavia Hills Library (2nd Floor Meeting Room.  There will be light refreshments and the Heritage Pipes and Drums will entertain.  On May 8th the Caledonian Society will host their annual Spring Picnic on the lake (Loch Douglas) at the home of Herbert and Tad Douglas in Hoover.  Picnic on the grounds (bring a covered dish) with the Society furnishing meat and drink.  Festivities begin about 10 a.m. Entertainment from HPD.  Anyone interested in Scottish Heritage is always welcome!  For more details, Charles Ingram at (Submitted by Charles Ingram)


A Celtic Evening 2004 - Thanks to All for Another Sold-Out Success!

The Alabama Celtic Association's annual benefit, A Celtic Evening, on February 7 was once again a great success!  Alabama's Celtic Artists are truly a treasure to enjoy all on one stage.  The volunteers worked tirelessly, managing ticket will call (nightmarish for a non-profit without PayPal), finding seating for folks in a sold-out event, setting up onstage, backstage and in the lobby  and everything else that needed the special attention of willing hands.  We appreciate the audience coming out to make the whole event worthwhile.  The funds raised on this one evening make amazing things possible all year long!  ACA would like to thank:  The artists:  After Class, Redhill, Hooley, Shillelagh Law, Birmingham School of Celtic Arts, Henri's Notions and Jil Chambless, Russell Hopper and Dain Forsythe, The Birmingham School of Celtic Arts, Roberta Stamp's Irish Set Dancers, Erin Higginbotham and James Brooks-Hamilton, The Birmingham Society of Piping and Heritage Pipes and Drums. Thanks also to:  Barbara Bell, Libby Wayland, Holly Massey, Chalmer and Marcie Wayland, Theresa Gasser, Cathy and Chip Pharr, Linda Darwin, Mary Dougherty, Terri Dann, Jenny Honeycutt, Robert, Margaret and Austin Farley, Nathan Tucker, Pat and Shannon Sullivan and many other volunteers who made everything work that evening.  Special Thanks and appreciation to the Show's Director - Randy Palmer, the Stage Manager - Dan Gainey, the Technical Stuff - Don Neil and the Evening's Host, Lance Kinney.  Managing a complex show like Celtic Evening is a grueling task - but these faithful friends just make it happen every year.  Thank you all so much - You are all heroes! Check Out Celtic Evening Photos Here


Subscribe to  - The Alabama Celt

The Alabama Celtic Association produces a quarterly print news, The Alabama Celt, which is available by subscription for $25 annually.  The Alabama Celt features Celtic Alabama photos, news and arts briefs, articles on Celtic history and tradition, book and music reviews, and more.  To subscribe send $25 check or m/o to:  Alabama Celtic Association, P.O. Box 724, Trussville AL 35173. Your support helps us preserve Alabama's Celtic legacy!

For Your Information...


Music of Ireland in Atlanta - Features One of Alabama's Own

Do you have Irish Fever? Join us Friday March 5th 8pm at Canon Chapel of Emory University for a kick-off to St. Paddy’s day concert, entitled The Music of Ireland.  Hosted by John Cutliffe of, Music of Ireland features a rollicking program of Irish pipers, fiddlers, whistlers, singers, dancers, harps and more (including our Alabama Friend - Scott Miller of Redhill) For more information, please visit our website, or email us at Tickets may be purchased by calling the W.B. Yeats Foundation at 404- 727-6180 or at the door. Hope to see you there! (submitted by Katherine Irwin Thomas IMT Chairperson)


Seeking Irish Veteran Information

The Irish Veterans Historical Research Centre is currently seeking information on Irish men and women who served in United States Military from 1900 to the present day.  Their aim are to identify those Irish men and women who served in Defence Forces outside the Irish State, and to create a suitable Memorial in Ireland to their service and sacrifice.The genesis of the project lies in the 1998 exercise to identify Irish-born soldiers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. The official US records showed one solitary Irishman as having died, but within a year 16 Irish-born had been identified. As research has continued into the Irish Vietnam dead, the total identified presently stands at 19 Irishmen and one Irish woman who died serving in US uniform. Another four Irishmen died serving with Australian forces in Vietnam.  Korea, World War Two and World War One hold similar knowledge gaps, with the exception that we know that upwards of 49,000 Irish lost their lives in World War One serving in British Army regiments. The numbers of those who served in US, Australian, Canadian and other forces in that same war, and others, are as yet unknown.Information and other support may be sent to Irish Veterans Historical Research Centre Ltd, Capel Chambers, 119 Capel Street, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland. Declan Hughes can be contacted at


On Eagle's Wings - Scots-Irish Musical Debut in Atlanta
Based on the history of the Scots-Irish over 500 years, ‘On Eagle’s Wing’, is a musical celebration of the people that gave America seventeen Presidents (not forgetting some of history's most notorious rogues, rebels and revolutionaries along the way!). With exciting original music and dance, ’On Eagle’s Wing’ features a large cast of actors, thirty professional dancers (modern and traditional), choirs, bands, pipes, fifes, drums, traditional instruments and full orchestra supporting a narrator who tells the story of the Scots-Irish through the eyes of individuals throughout their history. The narrator commands the stage and the big cast in this huge story of emigration, separation, love and loyalty. As the story spans the centuries, the narrator also enters the action as he manipulates the characters on stage and plays various roles from the part of a shipping agent to the American President Andrew Jackson.  After attending a special VIP performance, Former United States President Jimmy Carter has given the new Scots-Irish musical 'On Eagle's Wing' a tremendous personal endorsement. In a letter to Lord Laird of Artigarvan, chairman of the Ulster-Scots Agency, Mr Carter said that the stage show, which traces the movements of the Scots-Irish to the USA, was sure to promote the parity of esteem initiated with the Belfast Agreement of 1998. President Carter added: ""I wish this production every success in achieving its goal of education, enlightenment and entertainment as it supports efforts towards reconciliation, peace and acceptance of cultural differences." The Carter commendation for the show, came after a special presentation was arranged on June 7 in Atlanta, Georgia.  On Eagle's Wing will premiere at the Gwinnett Center Arena on Friday May 7th, 2004, before continuing to Jacksonville, Baltimore and then on to Ireland.  The show will return to the U.S. in the Fall of 2004 for an extensive tour.  (submitted by Bernard Gilliland)


Theatre Gael in Atlanta - Irish Presentations in March

Closing out the Twentieth Anniversary Season of Theatre Gael in Atlanta will be 'LOVERS',by Tony-award-winning Irish playwight, Brian Friel.  This play unfolds in two acts - the first relating the experience of teenagers on the brink of love and propelled by its mysteries.  Act Two find the lovers middle-aged, somewhat wiser, yet no less desparate for the healing touch of romantic love.  LOVERS will be running from March 19th through April 25th (closed April 11 for Easter Sunday).  Shows are Thursday through Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 5 p.m.  Ticket prices are $16 - $22 with discounts available for seniors, students, military and groups. 

Theatre Gael will also produce a staged reading of BEOWULF during three dark nights of the LOVERS run.  BEOWULF will be presented on March 28th at 2 and 8 p.m. and March 29 - 30 at 10:30 a.m.  For reservations, patrons should phone 404.733.4750 or go online to


Don't Miss "The Thistle and Shamrock" - Sponsored by Alabama Celtic Association 

Here's a sample of what's coming up on Thistle and Shamrock (Saturdays, 7 P.M. in Birmingham and Gadsden)

March 6 |  Shetland Dialect
Aly Bain, Bongshang, Catriona MacDonald, and Rock, Salt and Nails, all take us to the most northerly group of islands in the British Isles, Shetland.
March 13 |  Liam O'Flynn
Meet the celebrated Irish uilleann piper who set the tone for an outstanding career as part of the legendary '70s group Planxty. Liam O'Flynn reminisces with Fiona about past triumphs, including being the first uilleann piper to play at the Sydney Opera House.
March 20 | Celtic Incantation
This week's music of enchantment, sorcery, charms and hauntings features singer June Tabor, harper Savourna Stevenson, and Malinky.
March 27 | Spring Ceilidh
Savor an encounter with the romantic and optimistic moods of the season. Dougie MacLean and Solas head this week's playlist.
April 4 | New Releases Hear debuts from emerging artists along with new recordings from some of your favorite names in Celtic music, in an hour of new releases from both sides of the Atlantic. 


 Don’t Miss the Celtic Alabama News Photo Gallery for this Month!


For more Celtic events and performances: 
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