Social, Cultural, Charitable

In 1974 the Dane County Shamrock Club was organized by people interested in promoting their Irish heritage.

50 years later, we continue to share our love for Ireland, learn about Irish culture, support other Irish and humanitarian organizations, and maintain a supportive community.

Join the Cráic!

See our members in action

Pat McCarthy, Joe Herr, and Harry McCarthy  

Ryan Dunn in the St. Patrick's Day Parade

The Club in the 1970s


The Dane County Shamrock Club was born at the Park Motor Inn on October 15, 1974, and led by officers of Milwaukee Shamrock Club: Dr. John Walton, Mary Hippler, Bill O’Boyle, Kathleen Valente and Bill Reilly; appointed Tom Green and John Riley as co-chairs. The first organizational meeting was held in December 1974, at Holy Redeemer Church Hall. The first General Election was held in January 1975:
President = Tom Green
Vice President = Eamon O’Brien
Secretary = Sue Ruhland
Treasurer = Dolly Harmon
Membership = John Gaffney

First Annual dinner/dance at the Elks Club on March 17, efforts led by Bob McDermott and Mel Stapleton Committees included:
Membership = John Gaffney
Entertainment Chair = Francis McMahan
Dance = Virginia O’Brien
History = John Connell & Elizabeth Weber
Language = Shirley Armstrong & Mary McCann
Music = Betty Usher
Dinner/Dance Chairman = Bob McDermott

First-ever participation in Flag Raising, efforts led by Tom Green. First annual summer picnic at Warner Park on July 15. Hosted the St. James Choir and Orchestra from Dublin at Edgewood High School with over 500 attendees, an effort led by Eamon O’Brien. Over 350 members by close of 1975.


We marched in Milwaukee St. Patrick’s Day Parade, efforts led by John Connell. Club Flag Raising, led by Jack Cummings. 2nd annual St. Patrick’s Dinner/Dance at Eastside Businessmen’s Club; honored Dr. William O’Rourke, the first-ever Irish Person of the Year; 400+ attendees 2nd annual Shamrock Picnic at Warner Park. Club trip to Arlington Race Track, led by Shirley Armstrong Club sponsored “The Bards” at MATC, efforts from Francis McMahan.


Increase in volunteerism! Club Flag raising and parade. 2nd annual Dinner/Dance at St. Dennis Parish Hall; honored Larry McCormick as Irish Person of the Year. Co-sponsorship of “Boys of the Lough” concert. Film festival at Edgewood Club. Trip to Arlington Race Track, led by Shirley Armstrong. Part of “Irish-American Night” at Milwaukee Brewers. Shamrock Players, led by Flo Wrage perform “Spreading the News”


Flag raising and parade. Dinner/Dance at the Heritage House; honored Francis McMahan as Irish Person of the Year. Co-sponsorship of Diocesan Choir Concert at St. Raphael’s Church. Lecture from Margaret Phelan, honorary Secretary of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society Club. Members housed 81 members of St. James Choir from Dublin for days in July through August. Club trips to Ireland. We were asked to decorate a room at Governor’s Mansion with Christmas trimmings, efforts led by Lorraine Wilke.


Club trip to Ireland, led by Tom Green. Dinner/Dance at the Heritage House, 550+ attendees; honored Tom Green as Irish Person of the Year. Flag raising, led by Shamrock Choir (Tom McDermott, Joe Lawrence, Shirley Armstrong, Barbara James and Francis McMahan, Billy Murphy & Ginny O’Brien). Lectures and courses from Batt Burns, Headmaster from Sneem at Edgewood College over July, efforts led by Bill Murphy. Annual picnic at Warner Park. Lecture by Jim Donnelly of the UW History Department. Attended Midwest Regional Conference of the American Committee for Irish Studies at UW Madison. Participated in Monroe Street Festival


Majority of meetings at Elk’s Club. Flag Raising and parade. Numerous activities from Instrumental Group, Choral Group, and Dancers. Flag Raising takes place at Capitol Rotunda for the first time. Dinner/Dance at the Heritage House; honored Flo Wrage as IPOY. Annual picnic at Warner Park, which included exhibition game by the Shamrock Club Soccer Team. Appeared at Middleton Good Neighbor Festival and Waunakee Volkfest, special guest Conor Barrington, Vice Counsel of the Consulate General of Ireland Offices in Chicago

Irish Person of The Year Honorees...

1976-William O'Rourke
1977-Laurence McCormick
1978-Francis McMahon
1979-Thomas Green
1980-Flo Wrage
1981-William Murphy
1982-Margaret Courtney
1983-Ginny Bonner
1984-Mel Stapleton
1985-John Kennedy
1986-Virginia O'Brien
1987-Gerard Eyre
1988-Richard Fisher
1989-Maureen McDermott
1990-Gene Finley & Mary Murphy
1991-Matt Rideout & Sally Cassidy
1992-John Connell
1993-Lee Tvedten
1994-Gordon Reese & Barbara Darcy
1995-Ed Horkan
1996-Rosellen Poster
1997-Irene Hogan Reese
1998-Shirley Armstrong
1999-Eileen Meely Heinrichs
2000-Barbara Meade Gallenburg
2001-Eamon O'Brien
2002-Nelle Hogan Murphy
2003-Margaret Riley Rupert
2004-Joe Van Oostbree & Colleen O'Meara Schams
2005-Paul Buckalew & Harry and Pat McCarthy

2006-Robert Kerans
2007-James Bennett
2008-Ed McCabe & Sue McCabe Jaeger
2009-Bill & Carole Kinney
2010- Col. Jack Rogan
2011-Msgr. Gerard Healy
2012- Cheryl Sullivan
2013-Pat & Michel McGettigan
2014-Phyllis Nelson
2015-Ann Walsh
2016 -Sheriff Dave Mahoney
2017- Stephanie and Larry Lowden
2018-Ed Ledwidge, Jr.
2019-Joe Herr  
2020- Dr. Shannon O'Mahar
2021/2022- None (due to the pandemic)
2023- Ryan Dunn and Family
2024 - DeeAnn Adele Martin