Chairperson: Fred Berckmann, 860-521-0757            Vice Chairperson: Jeff Hutchinson, 203-949-8058

Secretary: Liz Farley, 51 Dimock Rd, Coventry CT  06238, 860-742-9165,

Public Relations: Jim Smith,            Treasurer: Bill Mayer, 203-265-5581

Past Chairperson: Joan Kennedy                Treorai na Gaeilge: Pat Kennedy

Auditors: Pam Lang & Bill Connolly                        Delegates: Rosemary Raymond & Cindy Smith

Spiritual Advisor: Deacon John O’Donovan


Courtesy of attendees Cornelius and Philomena Murphy and their grandson Patrick

The Annual Comhaltas Convention in St. Louis, on April 5 – 7, was very enjoyable.  Kathleen and John O’Donovan used up a week or more visiting friends in different states on the way to the Convention. The branch president Fred Berckmann, attended the convention.   St. Louis is a very clean city and the tours offered were excellent.  The numbers attending were low (450 approximately).  Some blamed 9/11 and others thought the “Neville” was scheduled too close for Northeast members to attend.  Whatever!  Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann needs your support, notwithstanding the other attractions. 

We just celebrated 50 years.  Let us aim for 50 more.  So on to Boston next year, April 24 –27, 2003. 

Call the Hilton Hotel at Logan Airport direct at 617-568-6700 or 1-800-HILTONS. 

Ask for the CCE special rate!

CO-chairpersons:  Larry Reynolds 781-899-0911 and Barbara Davis 781-293-7283.

(Email: Website:



The “TREOIR” subscription year runs January through December and the Membership year runs November through October. 


Irish-American Community Center, Venice Place, East Haven, CT

à         CEILI: Saturday May 25 featuring “The Pete Kelly Premier Ceili Band” 8-12.  Contact Bill Connolly 203-469-4837

à         FESTIVAL: June 22 - 23 North Haven Fairgrounds

Irish American Home Society, 132 Commerce St., Glastonbury, CT 860-633-9691

à         FESTIVAL: July 26 – 28

Gaelic American Club, 74 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT 203-393-0377

à         FESTIVAL: June 14 – 16  

Ancient Order of Hibernians, John T. Downey Division, 39 South St. New Britain, CT 860-832-8023

à         Please call for events

John Boyle O’Reilly Club, 33 Progress Avenue, Springfield, MA 413-788-8603,

à         Please call for events

The Keg Restaurant, 1247 Farmington Ave., Farmington, CT  860-678-1400 

à         SHOW: Saturday, June 8 featuring P.V. O’Donnell and Vinny Ringrose, 7:30 PM for more information email

Our Traveling Session had a spectacular turnout at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club on Tuesday April 23rd.  We are encouraging members to attend the various sessions and bring their voices, shoes, instruments and friends!

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Barbara Carbery and her family on the death of her husband and longtime Comhaltas member, Bob Carbery.



·         1st and 3rd Sunday of the month with Eddie Burke and Tom Walsh at the Irish American Home Society, Glastonbury. Slow Jam starts at 3pm and speeds up 4pm – 6pm. 

·         2nd and 4th Sunday of the month with Eddie Burke and Tom Walsh at The New Britain AOH.  4 – 6pm.

·         Every Sunday at the Playwright, 1232 Whitney Ave, Hamden.  3pm – 5pm. (203-287-2401)

·         Every Tuesday at the Playwright, 1232 Whitney Ave, Hamden.  8pm – 10pm. (203-287-2401)

·         Last Sunday of the month at The Irish American Community Center, East Haven.  6pm  (Pat Hosey 203-248-1538 or Joan Kennedy 203-393-0377)

·         Every Wednesday with PV O’Donnell sponsored by City Steam Brewery, Hartford.  7:30pm – 10pm.


·         First three Wednesdays of the month with John Droney at the Irish American Home Society, Glastonbury.  7pm  (860-521-2696)

·         Every Thursday with Pat and Joan Kennedy at the Gaelic American Club, Beach Road, Fairfield.  8pm  (203-888-4041)

·         Every Friday with Patti Thomas at the Irish American Community Center, New Haven.  9:15pm (203-393-0377)

·         Every Friday with Ginni McCauley at the AOH, 161 Main St., Danbury.  7:30pm  (203-748-0055)


·         Every Monday, Irish Language Lessons with John Feeney, at The AOH, 161 Main St., Danbury (203-748-7701)

·         Every Wednesday, Irish Language Lessons with David Manning at the Irish American Community Center, East Haven.  8 pm (203-888-4041)

·         Every Thursday, Irish Language Lessons at the Gaelic American Club, Fairfield.  7pm (203-933-3673)


·         Every Thursday, Irish Singing Group “The Curlews” with Bill Connolly at The Irish American Community Center, East Haven.  7pm (203-469-4837)


·         Every Monday at the Irish American Home Society, Glastonbury. (860-633-9691)

·         Every Friday at the Irish American Community Center, East Haven.  7pm  Pat (203-481-4033) or Fred (203-288-2948)







·         Next Newsletter in September.  Please submit your requests to the secretary by the end of August. Thank you!


Delegate Helen Gannon and Delegate John Pendergast represented North America at the May 3rd Ard Chomhairle meeting at CCE Head Office in Dublin. We were joined by Deleware Valley Br Delegate Vicki Pendergast at the May 4-5 CCE Congress. Here are some of the significant items from the meetings:

1. ARTS REVIEW in IRELAND. The new Arts Bill has now been published by Minister Sile De Valera.This will repeal the Arts Acts of 1951 and 1973. The Bill represents a radical and imaginative restructuring of the Arts
Council and Irish Traditional Arts will finally be enshrined in legislation.

A Standing Committee will be established for Irish Traditional Arts. This committee will advise the Arts Council on issues falling within its remit and will make recommendations to the Council on the advance of moneys to
any person relating to Irish traditional arts.

The Standing Committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the Minister and 4 ordinary members, 2 of whom shall be appointed by the Minister, and 2 of whom shall be appointed by the Council. Ordinary members
may be Council members or members who are not members of the Council.

The plans and strategies of the Council will be required to be compatible with Government policy on the arts.

The Bill provides that the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands shall promote the arts, both nationally and internationally and gives recognition to the role of the Minister in formulating overall State
policy on the arts.

Many Comhaltas members in Ireland, particularly Sen. O'Murchu, worked to bring about this beneficial status and opportunity for the Irish traditional arts.

The next step is to have the bill enacted.

2. IRISH LANGUAGE BILL. Comhaltas Ardstiurthoir, as Spokesperson on the Gaeltacht, had the honor to front the Bill in Seanad E'ireann on the 24th April when Minister of State Mary Coghlan introduced the Bill.

The new legislation will underpin in a pragmatic and accountable way, the widespread goodwill which now exists for the Irish Language. In essence, the Bill requires government services in Ireland to provide their services
in Irish as well as English.

3. FLEADH CHEOIL na hEIREANN. The Irish government has finally noted the tourist benefit of the Fleadh. CCE has been successful in negotiating an annual grant for the next three years for Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. The
annual sum, which will come via Bord Failte, is Euro 50,000 - commencing in 2002. This grant is to be used for innovative purposes related to tourism and is not intended to decrease income from other sources. For all your
2002 Fleadh questions see <>. It looks like the two contenders for the 2003 Fleadh will be Clonmel, County Tipperary and Ballina, County Mayo. Selection of the 2003 location will be at the Ard
Chomhairle meeting on 14 September.

4. FLEADH NUA. The program for Fleadh Nua 2002 was launched by Irish President Mary McAleese in Ennis on April 15. The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sile De Valera, was also in attendance. The launch was an impressive event attended by the Mayor of Ennis, public representatives, and present and past members of the Fleadh Nua. Fleadh Nua 2002 will be held 23-27 May in Ennis. See their web site at

5. NORTH AMERICAN CONVENTION. The Ard Chomhairle noted that the North American Convention 2002, which was held in St. Louis, was a gala affair with representatives from all over the United States and Canada. The
Convention was attended by the Ardstiu'rth6ir, Ardru'na1, Leinster Delegate Jo Morris and Coiste Rince Chair Billy Boylan who conducted dance workshops. The attendees felt that Helen Gannon and her committee did a superb job which was a credit to Comhaltas and Ireland. The North American Provincial Council handled the deliberations and planning of the movement with professionalism and panache. The Ard Chomhairle thought that the
five specialist committees established by the Council were particularly impressive.

The Ard Chomhairle noted that Provincial Chairman Frank is now planning to give a new dimension to Comhaltas in North America with the formation of a select Advisory Committee which hopefully will be launched at Convention
2003 in Boston next April. The main thrust will be "THE IRISH DIASPORA - AN ECHO FROM THE PAST, A VISION FOR THE FUTURE".

6. CCE/RlAM. An increase in entries for the traditional music examinations for this year has been reported. The examinations have also been extended to Britain. The possibility of Micheal 0' hEidhin (you met him in Toronto
at the introductory briefing) travelling to the United States, following the Concert Tour in October, to set the wheels in motion for the examinations in North America is being considered. The Tour could be used to publicise the project.

7. ANNUAL REPORT. 10,000 full-color copies of the Annual Report, which was presented to Congress 2002 , have been printed. In addition to this being made available to media, public bodies, etc., it is recommended that units could make full use of this for submissions, funding applications and public relations. Branches will receive 10 copies each; we anticipate the mailing in June via Regional Secretaries.

8. NORTH AMERICAN TOUR. The North American Concert Tour will be from the 30th of September to the 22nd of October. The Farewell Concert will be at the Culturlann on Sunday 29th of September. Helen Gannon reported  That the Budweiser grant for the North American Concert Tour will be reinstated following the cancellation of Tour 2001.

The artists are: Triona Flavin, Limerick (Flute); Joey Doyle, Dublin (Flute); Daire Muihern, Clare (Accordeon); Colin McGill, Laois; (Accordeon); Patricia Dooley, Laois (Fiddle); Padraig McGovern, Leitrim(Pipes); Sharon Carroll, Offaly (Banjo); Ita Cunningham, Gaiway (Fiddle);Lindsay Moynagh, Dublin (Harp); Kerry Herrity, Sligo (Banjo); Singers:Conor Waishe, Kerry and Astrid NiMhonga'in,Gaiway; Dancers: Denise Kerrigan, Dublin; Orla Byrne, Portlaoise; Richard Lawless, Portlaoise; Liam Guiney, Cork and John Collins, Limerick; M.C. Anne Marie McGowan, Dublin.

All venues should get their Bud form and venue info into Ira Goldman soonest.

9. IRISH TOUR. The Irish Concert Tour has moved to the fall and will be from October 12th to the 26th.

10 SEISIUN. SEISIUN in Ireland is back again for the summer.The following venues are included: Abbeyleix, Adare, Athenry, Ballina, Ballinlough, Ballyduff, Cashel, Corofin, Courtown Harbour, Drogheda, Dublin, Dungarvan,
Ennis, Enniscorthy, Ennistymon, Freemount, Gurteen, Listowel, Moate, Monaghan, New Ross, Rath Cairn, Renvyle, Rockchapel, Sligo, Templeglantine, Tralee, Tullamore, Waterford and Youghal.

If you are going to Ireland this summer, Seisiun is a great way to connect with some great traditional Irish music. Do your friends a favor and tell them to catch a performance.

11. NASC. North America won several items during the NASC drawing at CCE Congress on Sunday 5 May. Here is what we have:
1. $100 individual winner by Murphy Roche Br, IL
2. $100 individual winner by St John, NB branch
3. $1000 to Murphy-Roche branch for selling the most NASC tickets in CCE

Congratulations to the winners. NASC is a great money maker for branches as we see above and from the fact that branches get to keep 90% of what they sell. Talk it up for next year's drawing.

12. MEMBERSHIP. The ATHNUACHAN renewal program provides an appropriate opportunity to focus on the expansion of Comhaltas -- (a) new branches and (b) increased membership. Each unit could take a proactive role, in
addition to investigating the possibility of extra branches in their jurisdiction. to increasing membership. This could be done:
(a) through publicising the branch and inviting new members i.e. with a leaflet, posters, news item on local radio or newspapers, etc. and (b) direct personal contact with potential members.

Every effort should be made to broaden the parameters of the branch and make it more accessible to the local community.

The aim of ATHNUACHAN is to refresh the pioneering spirit of the early architects of Comhaltas. Think innovation; existing leadership could be complemented with youthful enthusiasm and idealistic endeavour supported by expertise. Branches could consider setting a goal for extra members, say 10 more members for the year.

ATHNUACHAN MEITHEAL Several developments are in the pipeline regarding the "Renewal" program following the first meeting of the CCE think tank called MEITHEAL: these include (a) school-based music projects; (b) the
possibility of professionally produced weekly Comhaltas video program on the internet; (c) an information drIven "philosophy and strategy" service by qualified personnel; (d) the sourcing of funds for cultural/artistic
purposes; (e) consideraion of the challenges facing Ireland by cultural globalisation.

13. CONGRESS. The nominees for Ard Chomhairle office were all non-contested this year.

The delegates to Congress passed the following motions which will take effect in January 2003. Several are just date changes to accommodate other Provinces and units, but the first motion adds a youth officer to our unit officer structure, another adds traditional singing to our CCE aims, while the last two are pertinent to North America.

a.That Branches, Co. Boards and Provincial Councils would elect an OIFIGEACH na nOG who would be 25 years or under in January of the Year of election.

That Annual Congress, on foot of nominations from Provincial Councils, would elect annually, where possible, two members of the Ardchomhairle who are age 25 years or under in January on the year of election.

b. That Comhaltas should consider appointing a fiill~time Education Officer (Timire Oideachais) to service the needs of students and teachers.

c.That article 2 of the Constitution be amended to specifically include and mention Traditional Singing in both English and frish.

d. That traditional and sean-n6s singing be included in the T.T.C.T. (Teachers' Course) and RIAM/CCE programs.

e. That Comhaltas should set up a group of musicians, singers and dancers to perform and do workshops in schools nationwide. Note: The spirit of this motion was accepted rather than the motion itself.

f. That Congress authorises the Ardchomhairle to negotiate and agree with the Revenue Commissioners the required clauses in the Bunreacht necessary to maintain our Charity Status. These clauses will cover: (a) Income and Property; (b) Additions, alterations or amendments; and (c) Keeping ofAccounts.

g. That Rule 14 Page 13 of An Bunrcacht be amended to read as follows:
The Financial Year shall end for Branches on 30th September. For County Boards on 30 November; Provincial Councils on 3l December; for the Central Executive Council on 31 December. In the Province of North America the
Financial Year for Branches shall end September 30th; for Regional Boards on October 3l and for Provincial Council on December 31.

h. That Rule 10 Page 27 of An Bunreacht be amended to read as follows:
An Annual General Meeting must be held before 30th October each year, All members of the Branch to be duly notified. The principal functions of the Annual General Meeting shall be the election of Officers for the coming
year and consideration of the Branch Financial Statement.

i. That Rule 12, Page 27 of An Bunreacht be amended to read as follows:
The Branch shall be responsible for the collection of the annual membership fee. The amount of this fee shall be as determined by Congress annually. This fee is due on the formation of a branch and on the ~ October annually
thereafier. The Branch shall remit such portion of this fee as is established by Annual Congress to the County Board or the Province where no County Board exists. The Branch shall collect a sum as determined by Congress annually from each member under eighteen years of age, such members to be known as 'Junior Members'. These fees shall be apportioned as Annual Congress decides. Junior members shall be considered for branch strength.

j. Amendment to Rule 7 page 37 re County/Regional Boards. Insert after January 20th "or December 31 in the case of Britain."

k. That the office of PRO in all units of the organisation be regenerated and elevated. Note: The discussion centered around the need to prepare a job description for this post.

l. Section 1 General. Motion: Add:
Note 3 The Province of North America is authorized to deviate from current manual membership processing procedures in order to test and implement a prototype automated CCE membership registration system. After the system is tested, evaluated and established, it will be offered to other units of Comhaltas.

m. Section 7 Annual Congress, paragraph 3: Motion: Amend to read as follows:
Two weeks before Congress each unit shall be furnished with .. (b) a list of nominees. In those instances when the North American Convention is held too late to meet the submission deadline, the North American Provincial
Council Standing Committee is authorized to submit the Provincial nominees to CCE Head Office within the deadline.

John E. Pendergast
Comhaltas North America
14A North East Isles Drive
North East, MD 21901 USA