New club to bring Irish culture to campus

The Emerald Isle may be an ocean away, but some Yale students are looking to bring a bit of its culture to campus.

Starting this semester, leaders of the newly formed Irish Students’ Association at Yale will attempt to familiarize students with the country.

Founded by Colman Lynch ’05 and Bronson Commons ’07, both of whom are Irish, the group will bring Irish films, music, sports and prominent speakers to campus, Lynch said. Leaders said they hope the events will help show interested students the richness and depth of Irish culture.

Potential events include film screenings of “The Boondock Saints” and a production of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” and also a concert featuring traditional Irish music, Commons and Lynch said.

The events will “educate Yale [students] as to misconceptions about Ireland,” Lynch said, and although he could not speculate as to specific names at this time, he said the group has made some preliminary plans to host some very prominent Irish speakers.

Lynch and Commons said they formed the group as a means for a core group of Irish students to communicate the Irish culture to those around them at Yale.

“Ireland has a great reputation as a country, and Yale is a great place to be,” Lynch said. “We wanted to expose the two groups to each other.”

Commons said the group may also help from a foreign policy perspective. It is important to create Irish educational opportunities for people who may eventually hold high-power jobs, he said.

“Yale has already had several presidents and there is a good chance that there is a future president here right now, in addition to future CEOs and other important people,” Commons said. “It is important and beneficial to the country to educate these people about Ireland.”

Group leaders said students’ interest in the organization has been positive. Several hundred students have signed up for the group’s e-mail list, Lynch said.

Joining Commons and Lynch to form the organization’s core are Tadhg O’Callaghan ’08 and Rory Green ’08. All four students were born in Ireland and are Irish citizens, and will be the principal members responsible for planning and organizing group events, Lynch said.

Although the group is still in an organizational phase and has not yet scheduled any events, Commons said there will be at least two large events this year, and some events by the end of the semester. The organization’s events will be open to all Yale students.

In the next few weeks, the group will be registering with the dean’s office as a student organization and continue planning this year’s festivities, which most certainly will include a big event around St. Patrick’s Day, even though it falls over spring break, Lynch said.

The group will seek cooperation with the “vibrant” Irish community in the greater New Haven area, Commons said.

Leaders said the group will not be advertising its events, so the only way to find out about them is to sign up for it is to contact Lynch to get on the e-mail list.

Irish Students Association founders (left to right) Tadhg O’Callaghan ’08, Colman Lynch ’05, Bronson Commons ’07, and Rory Green ’08 are excited about bringing Ireland to the Elm City.
Susan Keppelman
Irish Students Association founders (left to right) Tadhg O’Callaghan ’08, Colman Lynch ’05, Bronson Commons ’07, and Rory Green ’08 are excited about bringing Ireland to the Elm City.

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