Promoting Awareness of Irish Culture
In the beginning there was the "Ancient Order of Hibernians"
and the "Harp and Shamrock Society" in San Antonio. These
were comprised of Ireland's greatest gift to the world: her
sons and daughters, and although the members of these two
organizations are all fine folks in their own way, there
was a need to promote an awareness of the higher and more
refined aspects of Irish culture.
Thus was formed the Irish Cultural Society dedicated to
promoting other, albeit less colorful, aspects of Irish culture.
The Irish are known as writers, speakers, poets bards,
playrights, songwriters, singers, dancers. The Irish have been
and are in every aspect of science, goverment, military, and the
list goes on.
The first meeting of the Irish Cultural Society(ICS) took
place on April 3rd 1975 at Incarnate Word College. About 40
people attended the first meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was the growing need for an
organization that would provide leadership and endeavor to
give a true picture of Irish culture and make visible the
rich heritage of the Irish on the Texas cultural scene.
Initially, membership was limited to those who were actually
born in Ireland. Fr. Terence Nolan was elected chairman, and
Sr. Carmel O'Callaghan was elected secretary. Based on an
exchange of ideas it was decided that the society would:
1) Promote Irish culture at its best, especially music.
The "stage" Irish and the "hooley" mentality, especially on
St. Patrick's Day, would be de-emphasised.
2) Make corrections and additions to Irish literature and
notations in the exhibits at the Institute of Texan Cultures,
make efforts to include the contributions of the Irish in the
history books of Texas.
3) Bring Irish Art exhibits to San Antonio.
4) Invite Irish drama and music groups to San Antonio.
5) Bring professional speakers to San Antonio.
6) Study the best in Irish literature and promote some of the
7) De-emphasize the "blarney," "Killarney," and flag-waving
8) Investigate native Irish talent in San Antonio and aid in
the developement of such talent.
9) Seriously strive to increase membership.
10) Promote the true facts about the Irish/English situation
through the media - press, TV, radio, magazines.
11) Get in touch with other Irish cultural groups in the USA
and especially with the Irish American Institute in St. Paul, Mn
( Since moved to New Jersey )
12) Give a series of talks on Ireland.
Under Tom Macken and Sr. Teresa Stanley CCVI and others, a
committee was formed to draw up a constitution. It was voted the
organization be named the "Irish Cultural Society of San Antonio"
On May 11, 1975 the constitution was approved.
On Oct 19, 1975 membership rules changed to open membership
to anyone with cultural interests similar to those of the
society's founding members.