The Celtic Connection

Irish culture history vancouver

New Beginnings

Farewell Introductions

Welcome dear friends to our new website

It was almost 30 years ago when Maura De Freitas (McCay) and her mother Catholine Butler launched the first edition of The Celtic Connection and it’s been an interesting journey. Despite all the ups and downs it has been one of the most exciting and rewarding adventures of our lives. You can read our stories here.

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Looking Back

We are inspired by the words of Irish writer John O’Donohue who wrote: “Anam is the Irish word for ‘soul’ and Ċara is the word for ‘friend’. In the Anam-Ċara friendship, you were joined in an ancient way with the friend of your soul. This was a bond that neither space nor time could damage. The friendship awakened an eternal echo in the hearts of the friends; they entered into a circle of intimate belonging with each other.

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A selection of snippets and comments 
from our friends and supporters

Quote 10

Another sad sign of our times! Thank you for all the effort you have made and the joy you have brought us over the years! Cheers for the future.

– Donna John Pye

Quote 9

This is sad! Loved reading the monthly paper to catch up on the local news. Thanks to The Celtic Connection team for everything you did for the Irish in western Canada (and Seattle)!

– Paul McGinley

Quote 8

Thank you for your contribution to Celtic culture in Canada from the Rock Newfoundland. I read the paper regularly when I was in Edmonton and drank my beer at the Irish Sports and Social Society in Edmonton. Some type of form would be good. God bless yah!

– Chris Gosse

Quote 7

I met Catholine many years ago when I worked at O’Shea’s Market Ireland. Have enjoyed following her successful paper. Sorry to see it go and hoping a post-COVID-19 op will open up for this dynamic mom daughter duo.

– Janice, South Edmonds

Quote 6

Thank you for all that you have done over the years. I was very honoured to have been featured in your newspaper back in 2011 when I represented Edmonton/western Canada in the Rose of Tralee festival. I have always enjoyed reading your articles and will miss them greatly.

– Tara Maria Stannard

Quote 5

As just a regular Joe reader, thanks to everyone who has managed, produced and contributed to the paper over the nearly last 30 years. A job well done, you can bow out with pride and congratulations.

– Tim Savage

Quote 4

Will miss the paper and all the wonderful articles. Thank you for everything.

– Paula Burke Keigher

Quote 3

Heartbreaking news! And a heartfelt thank you for all that you and Catholine and everyone else has contributed to our collective communities throughout the years! Your newspaper will be missed. I am hopeful your FB Page will stay active to keep us apprised of your future adventures.

– Jan Ingram

Quote 2

The Celtic Connection was a phenomenon. Catholine Butler is a wonderful woman: energetic, engaging and a pleasure to know. Sorry this has to happen but kudos for all the hard work and all the pleasure you provided. From Winnipeg…Beir bua!

– Maureen Taggart

Quote 1

Will be very sad to no longer be able to read this wonderful newspaper. Many thanks to everyone involved for all the wonderful years you have given us. It was a lot of hard work on your parts, but it was genuinely appreciated. Will look forward to the goodbye edition in September. Enjoy your well deserved rest

– Deirdre O’Sullivan

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Past Issue Highlight

The following is a selection of highlights of our issues from 1991-2020. These issues are filled with interviews and news of Celtic groups and organizations across North America. It is our hope they will continue to be reviewed and serve as an historical archive for generations to come.

Highlights 1991-2000

Highlights 2001-2010

Highlights 2011-2020

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A Memorial To Our Friends

TO EVERYTHING there is a season....a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Over the past three decades we have been blessed to know so many wonderful and talented people – friends – and in that time we have said farewell to far too many. So much laughter shared, so many songs and dances enjoyed together over the years.

It’s still hard to believe some of them are no longer with us, but they will never be forgotten by those of us who have known and loved them. We have listed below the names of some of those who have now gone before us to their eternal rest:

  • A
  • ABBOTT, Dave
  • AIKEN, Robert
  • ALLAN, Sgt. Maj. John (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • B
  • BARRETT, Tom Dr.
  • BARRON, Allan
  • BENNETT, Eamon Bennett (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • BOGGAN, Clare
  • BOLAND, Rev. Brendan
  • BOYCE, Lena
  • BOYLAN, Angela O’Neill (Edmonton / Belfast)
  • BOYLE, Pat (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • BRADY, Seamus
  • BRAY, Danny (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • BROWNE, Dave
  • BRUCE, George
  • BUCKLEY, Sean Buckley (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • BURNS, Bridget (Bridie)
  • BURNS, Danny
  • BUTLER, Ed
  • BUTLER, Tom
  • BYRNE, Annie (Stage Eireann)
  • BYRNE, Sean (Stage Eireann)
  • BYRNE, Tom (Stage Eireann)
  • C
  • CAMERON, Vern (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • CARBIN, Jim
  • CARVER, Graham
  • CHARLES, Mary (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • CLEARY, Ira
  • CLYDE, Bill
  • CONNELLY, Paddy
  • CONSIDINE, Donny (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • COOKE, Lee ((Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • CORRIGAN, Mairead (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • COX, Jim (Liffey Players Calgary)
  • CROTHERS, Billy (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • CUDDY, Father Joe
  • CURRAN, Mike (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • CUSSEN, Myrna
  • CUSSEN, Noel (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • D
  • DALY, Francis (Fran)
  • DALY, Mary
  • DENNISON, Wally (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • DUNCAN, Bill
  • DUGGAN, Johnny (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • DUNCOMBE, Ita (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • DUNNE, Frank (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • DUNNE, James (Sons of Eireann, ISSC)
  • E
  • ERTEL, Frances (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • F
  • FAHEY, Jim (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • KANE, Christy (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • KANE, Mary (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • KANE, Paddy
  • FERGUSON, Jimmy (The Irish Rovers)
  • FITZGERALD, Philomena
  • FLANAGAN, Paul (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • FLYNN, Christine
  • FOELLMER, Thelma (Irish Fancy)
  • FOODY, Jay
  • FORBES, Bill (Stage Eireann)
  • FORD, Robert (The Stoaters)
  • G
  • GALLAGHER, Brendan (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • GAVIN, David (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • GEARY, Colin (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • GIBBONS, Agnes
  • GIBBONS, Dan (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • GIBBONS, Liam
  • GIBBONS, Tom (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • GLASS, Pam & Cecil (Stage Eireann)
  • H
  • HARKIN, Eddie (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • HARRINGTON, John (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • HARRISON, Betty
  • HARVEY, Jack (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • HATCH, Paddy
  • HAYES, Michael (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • HENNESSY, Sue (Stage Eireann)
  • HICKEY, Pat (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • HORAN, Frank (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • HUGHES, Dan & Myra
  • HUGHES, Tom
  • HYLAND, JJ (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • HYLAND, Mary (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • J
  • JACOBSEN, Kitty (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • JERVIS, Norman (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • K
  • KANE, Christy (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • KANE, Mary (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • KANE, Paddy
  • KAVANAGH, Frank
  • KELLY, Andrew
  • KELLY, Jerry (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • KELLY, William (Bill) (William Kelly & Sons)
  • KEMPSON McALERNEY, Lily (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • KENDELLAN, Margaret (Peggy)
  • KEOHANE, James
  • KEOHANE, Maura
  • KIERNAN, Ian (Irish Sporting and Social Club Vancouver)
  • KILGREN, Eileen (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • KING, George (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • L
  • LANE, Fr. Bill (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • LANGSTAFF, Lydia
  • LaPOMA, Ann (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • LAVELL, Eamon (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • LYNCH, Mick (aka Brian Boru)
  • M
  • MacINNIS, Dennis (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • MacIVER, Murdo (Gaelic Society of Vancouver)
  • MACKIN, Jack
  • MADDEN, Micky
  • MANSER, Ina (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McCAFFREY, Johnny & Janet
  • McCONVILLE, Babs (Stage Eireann)
  • McCULLAGH, John (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • McDONNELL, Barney (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McFADDEN, Kevin (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McFARLAND, Mazie (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • McGINLEY, Frank
  • McGLYNN, Colm (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • McGOLDRICK, Rev. Des
  • MCGREGOR, Suzanne (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McILVENNA, Hugh (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McILVENNA, Maeve (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McKENNA, Malachy
  • McKENNA, Peggy
  • McMAHON, James (Seamus)
  • McNULTY, Derm (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • McNULTY, Mary (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • MEEGAN, Mary Ann (Meegan Insurance)
  • MILLIKIN, Cameron (Honorary Irish Consul General Alberta)
  • MOHAN, Rev. Oliver Patrick Mohan
  • MONAGHAN, Matt (Irish Sports and Social Society Edmonton)
  • MONAGHAN, Maureen (Irish Sports and Social Society Edmonton)
  • MOORE, Des (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • MOORE, Nora
  • MULVIHILL, Msgr. Charlie (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • MURPHY, Jackie (Wee Jackie)
  • MURRAY, Hugh (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • N
  • NOTTAGE, Jere (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • O
  • O’BRIEN, Denis (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • O’FARRELL, Sr. Meg (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • O’FLYNN, Betty
  • O’FLYNN, Tom (ISSC & St. Vincent de Paul)
  • O’GALLAGHER, Marianna
  • O’LOUGHLIN, Eamonn (Toronto Irish News)
  • O’MALLEY, Mike (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • O’SULLIVAN, Michael (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • P
  • PARK, Angie
  • PAUL, Mike (Scottish Cultural Society of B.C.)
  • PROULX Sr., Dan & Kathy (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • PYE, John (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • Q
  • QUINLAN, Tom (Irish Heritage Club of Seattle)
  • QUINN, Wayne (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • QUIRKE, Moira (Edmonton Irish Sports and Social Society)
  • R
  • REID, Patrick
  • ROCHFORT, Jim, (Irish Club of White Rock)
  • ROGERS, Margaret
  • ROWLAND, Finian (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • RYAN, Mike (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • S
  • SAMPSON, Tom (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • SCANLON, Tom (St. Vincent de Paul)
  • SHAVER, Theresa (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • SHRIANE, Frank (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • STABLER, Veronica (Stage Eireann)
  • STACK, Pydge (Co. Clare)
  • T
  • TALBOT, Frank (Liffey Players Calgary)
  • TAYLOR, Jim & Eileen (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • THOMAS, Neville (Vancouver Welsh Society)
  • TINNELLY, Daniel
  • TORMEY, Meagan (Irish Heritage Club, Seattle)
  • TORRIE, Bill (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • TOYE, Barney (Irish Cultural Society of Calgary)
  • TUTT, Dave (Okanagan Irish Club)
  • W
  • WALLACE, Jack
  • WARD, Margaret
  • WARREN, Pat (Stage Eireann)
  • WARREN, Vincent
  • WATTERS, Mae
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Community Network

The following is a listing of clubs and cultural organizations along with other community resources across Canada and the USA.



We welcome financial support from both corporate and individual sponsors to help maintain this website. We would love to see your logo here. For more information, e-mail Catholine Butler at: or call (604) 434-3747.