Irish Night at Carroll - Thursday, March 30

Thursday, March 16, 2023

HELENA – Irish dancers will tap, Irish tin whistles will whistle, and champion Irish debaters will show off their accents as the Talking Irish face off against the Talking Saints on Carroll’s Irish Night, starting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 30, in the lower level of the Carroll College Campus Center.

“We let Butte have St. Paddy’s Day to themselves, but now it’s Carroll’s turn to celebrate all things Irish,” said Brent Northup, Talking Saints debate coach.

Irish Night will begin at 6:30 pm with a half hour of traditional Irish dancing from the Tiernan Irish Dancers, a troupe with students from ages 3 to 18 – complete with costume changes and colorful Irish attire.

Next up will be Gabe and Maggie plus more branches from the sprawling Brennan family tree. Gabe says the family will “offer up a few tunes” some Irish, some country. Come and enjoy guitars, banjos, tin whistles, mandolins, and harmonicas.

The evening will conclude with the debate, starting around 7:30 pm, featuring Ailbhe (“Alva”), Gavin and Oliver against three Talking Saint seniors: Roisin O'Neill, Vinny Gallardo and Hellie Badaruddin. Roisin and Vinny have Irish roots. Hellie, who spent last year in France, speaks Missoulian.

The debate will decide, once and for all, whether Irish sports are better than American sports…Gaelic football versus the NFL, hurling versus baseball.

Lively, fun, perhaps heated. Tripping will result in a trip to the penalty box.

The Irish debaters, two law students from Dublin and an aspiring engineer from Cork, won the Irish Times national championship on February 17 in Dublin. Their prize includes a tour of American colleges from Tennessee to Colorado to Montana.

Helena is their last stop before returning home on Sunday, April 2.

“Montana has a proud Irish tradition, and Carroll has a long legacy of Irish alums,” said Northup. “All our campus food at Sodexo – every bite – is baked in Irish sounds supplied by the cheerful voice of Clare O’Malley, catering manager.”

The community – from Last Chance Gulch to Anaconda – is invited to attend Irish Night, a free event, at 6:30 pm, Thursday, March 30, in the Lower Cube. A night full of happy Hibernians.

Oh, yes, and there will be Irish soda bread afterwards. But no Guinness – on campus.