The Call of Ireland

CUA Gaels E-Board members and Irish dancers hosted and performed three events for Irish Week. Courtesy of CUA Gaels

By Caroline Carr

The Catholic University of America went all out for Irish Week, hosted by CUA Gaels, a student organization, which took place from March 18th to the 22nd with three different events throughout the Pryzbyla Center where students could enjoy these entertaining celebrations meant to preserve Irish history and culture. The events included an introduction to Irish dancing, performances given by talented students on campus, and trivia regarding the history and culture of Ireland.

The Irish Céilí event, in the Pryz Great Room A, taught by the Gaels encouraged the Catholic University community to learn traditional Irish folk dances. During this event, a student band named the Clovers played as students and faculty were taught the dances to the Irish music, creating a warm and light-hearted atmosphere. After the dancing and singing, people at the event enjoyed quintessential Irish snacks such as mashed potatoes, Irish soda bread, and Irish tea.

“I thought it was really fun and nice,” said Hannah Herron, a junior business management major. “It encourages me to get back to my Irish heritage and roots.”

The CUA Gaels hosted and participated in Wednesday’s event called “CUA’s Got Talent,” in the Pryz Food Court. This event celebrated the spirit of Ireland by serving traditional Irish cookies and having a panel of all Irish judges including Priest in Residence Reverend Micheál McGavigan who started the event off with a prayer.

The Gaels then took center stage, performing Irish step dancing in a synchronized fashion. They performed many fast-paced dances while the audience clapped to the beat. The CUA Gaels, as the first performers of the night dancing to Irish folk music, set the tone for the event. This was only heightened when Redline later sang “The Wild Rover,” a classic Irish folk song, encouraging the audience to sing along, followed by a set of three more songs. Three solo performers also performed at the event whose names are Nicole Mangione, Emberline Disalvo, and Cecilia Leskowicz. The last performers of the night were Focus, the Filipino Organization of Catholic University, performed a group hip-hop dance. At the end of the night, the judges announced that Redline won first place with Nicole Mangione in second place, and Cecilia Leskowicz receiving a place in third.

“I loved the event! I thought it was very well attended, and everybody that I spoke to said that they had a great time!” said Tara McDermott, a junior vocal performance major. “It was so great to be able to recognize, and appreciate the huge array of talents that we have at CUA.”

The last event, an Irish-themed trivia night, took place on Thursday in Murphy’s Grill. Students and faculty created teams to answer questions regarding Irish history or culture. Owen Crowley, a member of the CUA Gaels, hosted and asked history questions regarding Ireland, in order to educate and challenge students to think about their Irish history knowledge. Crowley also asked cultural questions regarding national sports in Ireland and hit TV shows in Northern Ireland. This event allowed students and faculty to work together as a team to learn more about Irish history and culture.  

Irish Week at Catholic University included three events over the course of the week, all hosted by the organization CUA Gaels. The mission of CUA Gaels is to bring Irish culture to the student body and to the whole community of Catholic University, they accomplished that through the events they hosted on campus. From performing traditional Irish dances to clapping and singing along with Redline to “The Wild Rover”, a traditional Irish folk song, CUA Gaels showed the students and faculty of Catholic University what it truly means to be Irish.  

Redline A Cappella takes first place at CUA’s Got Talent. Courtesy of CUA Gaels

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