Events Archive

Christmas Concert

Saturday, December 2, at 7:00 pm - University of Montana Recital Hall
Sunday, December 3, at 3:00 pm - University of Montana Recital Hall
christmas garland with ornaments and twinkle lights



Irish History Lecture Series to host Professor Ruan O’Donnell from the University of Limerick

Ruan O'Donnell

Irish History Lecture Series

Professor Ruan O’Donnell from the University of Limerick is our current Fulbright Irish History Scholar in Residence. Ruan will give a free public lecture in Missoula on Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 pm, in the Dell Brown Room on UM campus. He speaks at the Butte Silver Bow Archives at noon on Wednesday, December 13 at noon. The title of his talks is 'Fenians: The Irish revolutionary movement of 1867 and America.’ 

Dr. Ruan O’Donnell, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Limerick and Visiting Chair of Irish Studies, Notre Dame (2010-11), is the author of numerous books on the history of Irish republicanism. His new title Patrick Pearse has been acclaimed as the ‘definitive biography’ (O’Brien Press). O’Donnell has contributed to the globally screened ‘1916’ documentary series an dhsi writings on Pearse have appeared  in The Irish Times and Irish Examiner. He is Co-Genera Editor of the ground breaking ’16 Lives’ publication series which re-examines the polital contribution of the sixteen Irish republicans executed by the British of involvement in the Easter Rising. A note public speaker, O’Donnell is a member of the ‘Universities Ireland Decade of Committee’ and the Irish Manuscripts Commission. He is currently Fulbright Scholar in Residence at the University of Montana.

Friends of Irish Studies Big Hole Float

John Honsky won the guided float trip donated by Tim Flynn at our annual auction.  A special thank you to Tim Flynn for his donation and continued support of FISW.  If you are interested in a guided float look up Tim Flynn. He’s the best!!

Beir Bua,
John Monahan
Uachtarán Chairde Léann na hÉireann
President of the Friends of Irish Studies

John Honsky on Big Hole Float guided by Tim Flynn

Irish Heroine’s Granddaughter to Speak in Missoula, Butte

Irish Heroine’s Granddaughter to Speak in Missoula, Butte

Irish Heroine’s Granddaughter to Speak in Missoula, Butte

MISSOULA – Micheline Sheehy Skeffington – the granddaughter of prominent Irish nationalist, feminist and suffragist Hanna Sheehy Skeffington – will deliver a lecture at the University of Montana this month celebrating the 100th anniversary of her grandmother’s tour of America in 1917.

Micheline Skeffington, a plant ecologist at the National University of Ireland, Galway, will talk about her grandmother’s fight for justice for both her husband and Ireland.

The Missoula lecture is at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, in Turner Hall’s Dell Brown Room on the UM campus.

Micheline also will deliver a speech in Butte at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Butte-Silver Bow Archives, located at 17 W. Quartz St.

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Although not involved in Ireland’s Easter Rising, Hanna’s husband, Francis, a committed pacifist, was murdered by a British firing squad. After being denied justice by the British government and refusing a sizeable payment for her silence, she brought her case against English rule in Ireland to America’s court of public opinion.

She toured from coast to coast for 18 months, gave 250 speeches, received a rousing reception in Montana and met President Woodrow Wilson – the only Irish rebel to do so.

John Devoy, leader of Clan na Gael, the largest Irish American nationalist organization of the time, claimed Skeffington’s tour of America did “more real good for the cause of Ireland than all the Irish orators and writers over the past 25 years.”

On the 100th anniversary of that tour, Micheline’s talks serve as a timely reminders of the critical role the Irish of America played in winning independence for Ireland.

The lectures are sponsored by UM’s Irish Studies program, the Butte-Silver Bow Archives, the Friends of Irish Studies, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the generosity of Sam and Julie Baldridge.

For more information, call Traolach Ó Ríordáin, UM Irish Studies program director, at 406-243-6359, or email

We hope you will join us!

Special Guest Lecturer David O'Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the United States

EU Ambassador to the United States

Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:00pm in the UM Montana Theatre.

Ambassador David O'Sullivan has a long and distinguished career as a negotiator and diplomat. He is a foremost international expert on both modern European politics and US-European relations. At a critical juncture in world history, a conversation with Ambassador O'Sullivan promises to provide keen insights into the state of our world today.

Free and open to the public.

Rince Gaelach – Irish Dance

Missoula Irish Dancers at Caras Park Missoula

The Missoula Irish Dancers continue to go from strength to strength and their progress has been remarked upon by all those who have watched them over the past few years. They have performed at the Celtic Festival, at the Bitterroot Celtic Games and Gathering, and at the Kalispell Celtic Festival over the past two months. If you want to join or learn more about this school, please visit Missoula Irish Dancers website.

There are also young dancers in Anaconda, Butte, Helena and Great Falls and, I’m sure, in other parts of the state. Please contact the local divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians [AOH] for information at the Hibernian website.

Iomáint Sinsir – Senior Hurling

The Thomas Meagher’s competed in the GAA National Championships in Seattle over Labor Day Weekend. This was their first time playing on a national level and they learned a lot. They acquitted themselves very well and made it known that hurling in Montana is going from strength to strength. If you would like to join the club, please contact Kallie Moore at

Iomáint na nÓg – Youth Hurling

The Éire Óg youth hurling team continues to meet and train at Missoula International School [Prescott Elementary] on Harrison Street every Wednesday at 6:00 pm and every Saturday at 2:00pm. This is a very dedicated group kids working with a trained coach, Pa Sheehan. We are always looking for new kids to join in. So, if you have kids or grandkids, encourage them to take a look. You can contact Cara Shea at for more information.

Rince ar an Sean-nós – Sean-nós Dancing

Sean-nós dancing is traditional free-flowing Irish Tap dance, the tradition that so greatly influenced and shaped American Tap. A number of years ago, with the help of the Friends of Irish Studies, UM was able to bring Máire Ní Chuaig, an Irish language and sean-nós dance instructor, to Montana. She left her mark on her students, and now one of them, Brianna Kienitz, is passing on to others the style and techniques she learned from Máire. If you’re interested in learning, please contact Brianna at

Liathróid Láimhe – Handball

That great Irish game of handball is making a comeback! Some well-known Irishmen and women from the community have joined together to build a complex for handball and racket ball. Members of this group have also discussed the possibility of reforming the University of Montana handball club. This is very exciting for us. Can you imagine a university offering activities and courses in hurling and handball. Well, imagine no more, because if I know these guys, they will make it happen. If you’re interested in learning about or helping with their current project, please contact Tom Sullivan at

Summer Hurling Camp - Become a Coach/Trainer

hurling in action

This summer will see the first hurling camps organized to teach the finer skills of the game. There are two hurling camps: The first runs from June 5 – 9; the second from July 10-14.

Visiting Fulbright Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana, Pa Sheehan, is the instructor and he will be assisted by members of the hurling community here in Montana. The course is designed to teach the skills of the game and the best exercises for mastering them.

The course is ideal for all hurlers, but will be of special benefit to those wishing to coach or train. The camps are sponsored by the Friends of Irish Studies in partnership with UM’s Irish Studies Program.

2017 Summer Hurling Camps Information

Special Guest Poetry Reading | Leanne O'Sullivan

leanne o sullivan photo

Leanne O’Sullivan comes from the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and has published three collections of poetry, all from Bloodaxe Books, including Waiting for my Clothes (2004), Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009), and The Mining Road (2013).  The winner of several of Irelands Poetry competitions in her early 20s (including the Seacat, Davoren Hanna and RTE Rattlebag Poetry Slam), she was most recently given the Ireland Chair of poetry Bursary Award in 2009, the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish poetry in 2011, and she received a UCC Alumni Award in 2012.  She is currently Writer-in-Residence at University College Cork.

In Missoula—Fact and Fiction, Thursday, April  20, at 7pm

In Butte—Butte Brewing Company, Friday, April 21, at 7pm

Magic of Ireland Tour

Join the Friends of Irish Studies on a nine-day tour of Ireland this coming summer. This is a journey home, to the place where it all began for many of you. You will see the sites, meet and talk with the people, and immerse yourself in the culture. This tour is about reconnecting with the past and with the soul of a people whose descendants live all over the world. The tour runs from June 18 to June 27, is led by Dr. Traolach Ó Ríordáin, Professor of Irish language and Literature at the University of Montana, and is limited to 20 people.

For more information, a full itinerary, and to sign up for the tour visit Ireland Tour webpage, or email us at

tour and immersion

MeagherFest 2017

helena capitol thomas francis meagher statue

The Thomas Francis Meagher Association will be honoring the life and legacy of Thomas Francis Meagher with a festival in Helena, Montana, U.S.A. on July 1, 2017. This will be the 150 year anniversary of his death in Fort Benton, Montana. We hope you will be able to join us for this family friendly celebration!

Below is a rough schedule of events to tale place in Helena! Please visit as they continue to update activities and solidify their schedule.

Thursday, June 29 

5 – 7 pm – Social for participants followed by Irish music until 10 pm

Friday, June 30

  • Bus tour to Virginia City/Ft. Benton           
  • 7 pm – Inquest reenactment In Helena, Montana

Saturday, July 1

Official opening of the 2017 Thomas Francis Meagher Festival, Meagherfest! There will be music, dancing, historic and cultural presentations, vendors, and much much more!

Sunday, July 2

Bus tour to Virginia City/Ft. Benton

For a complete schedule and more information please visit

Cúrsa Tumoideachais sa Ghaeilge – Irish Language Immersion Course

irish immersion classroom and students

The Friends of Irish Studies will sponsor another Irish language immersion course this summer in Butte, Montana. The course will run from July 22 to July 29, 2017.

You probably don’t know this, but Butte was considered one of the most Gaelic of all American cities; it was also one of the main contributors to summers schools back in Ireland in the early 1900s. The immersion course offered every summer in Butte is part of that tradition. If there one thing that Butte and Anaconda remind you of, it’s that past will always shape the present. Our thanks to Montana Tech., and to all the people of Butte, for supporting this program.

If you want to learn the Irish language or participate in this program, you can register on the Immersion webpage, or contact the Friends at

Past Friends of Irish Studies Events

St. Patrick's Day Celebrations: Saturday, March 11, 2017


  • Mass - 8 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church
  • Parade - 11:00 a.m. Line up; 12:00 Departure
irish whiskeys for tasting
  • Irish Whiskey Tasting - 2:00 pm at Rhino Bar
  • Free Carousel Rides - 2:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Hurling Game - TBA
  • Banquet and Auction - 6:00 – 9:30 at Holiday Inn Parkside