May the Irish Club always walk in sunshine

By: Andrew Swan, MLA for Minto

As published in The Metro

October 26, 2015

The West End is home for many vibrant organizations, supported by proud Manitobans who are also fiercely proud of their heritage.

The Irish Association of Manitoba was founded in 1972 by Irish immigrants who had arrived in Manitoba the previous decade. Their hope was to create a friendly and social atmosphere to celebrate Irish heritage and maintain their culture and traditions for future generations.

Located at 654 Erin St., the "Irish Club" is proudly non-sectarian and non-political. You will not be surprised to learn that the Irish Club boasts a pub that rivals any other establishment in the city — warm and inviting, the perfect setting for a good story and a pint of Guinness or Smithwick’s. It is open to the public on Fridays, and hosts traditional Celtic musicians every Thursday.

You also will not be surprised to learn that Manitoba’s Irish community gathers at the Club to support Ireland’s national Football and Rugby teams. If club football is more your thing, the Club is home to a devoted fan base of Celtic FC — founded in Glasgow by Irish immigrants more than 100 years ago.

The Club is also home to the Tara Players, a local theatre group that profiles Irish plays and authors. The group performs five plays a year at their intimate stage at the Club. This season begins in late November, with the play Halcyon Days. To make the evening even more special, the Tara Players offer a dinner theatre option on the first Saturday after a play’s opening show. For more information about the Tara Players, including dates, shows and prices, please check them out at http://www.irishassociation.ca/

The Irish Myst Choir carries forward a long tradition of singing, and those who love to sing (whether Irish or not!) are invited to join. Irish Myst will host a Carol Night at the Club on Dec. 19, and all are welcome to enjoy Christmas music.

It is said that on St. Patrick’s Day, there are only two kinds of people: the Irish, and those who want to be Irish. A pint of Guinness, a plate of food, and a performance by the McDonnell School of Dance will make that perfectly clear.

I am proud to be a friend of the Club, and also proud that our provincial government has assisted the Club with capital improvements through the Community Places program. I look forward to what the future will bring for the Irish Association of Manitoba.

If you have any questions, please give my office a call at 204-783-9860 or email us at Andrew.Swan@yourmanitoba.ca