Clubs and Activities

25 Card Game

Card players meet every Thursday at 7:30 pm in the Carolan Room.

How 25 is played:

The game of 25 can be played with any number of players, preferably from 5 to 10, not to exceed 10 players. The object of the game is to see who gets 25 first. Each trick is considered 5 points. To begin the game, any player can deal out the cards. The first player to receive an ace is the player who actually gets the first deal. Each player receives five cards. When the dealer is finished dealing the cards, he turns up the next card. This card is called the head trump. Then each player looks at his hand to see how many trump cards he has. The more trump cards a player has, the better his chances are of reaching 25.

The leadoff man to start the game is to the player’s left. If he leads off with a trump, then all players have to play a trump if they have one. Otherwise, they can play any card. If a player has trump, and does not play it, he is guilty of reneging A simple thought to remember is, “the more of the red, and the less of the black.” Another thought is to watch who is getting close to 25. This is called keeping the game “IN.” It is okay to play a trump card anytime a player wishes. The Ace of Hearts is always a trump regardless of what is played. The 5 card is the best card when trumps are up, followed by the Jack of Trumps, followed by the Ace of Hearts.

A complete description of the game would take several pages. The game of 25 is best explained by sitting down and playing an actual game with people who have been playing the game for years. In short, hopefully in some way, this has helped to bring the basics of the game to you.

The late Tom McInerney, a long-standing member of the club, donated this article.

Childrens Chorus

The Children’s Chorus

2016 is the third season (Sept. through June) for our Children’s Chorus. Over the past two years the chorus has performed for Memorial Masses, during Christmas Fairs, a Christmas Sing- Along Program and a program commemorating 1916, ‘We Will Remember’. The Chorus is for school aged children and teaches Irish music through movement and singing. Children are encouraged to add creative ideas and their various talents during performances.
First rehearsal this year is Wednesday, October 5th

Clan na Gael

The Clan na Gael Players had a humble beginning in November of 1987. Cardboard sets, lights in tin cans, folks dragged in from the bar to play a part! Ahh, but the audience enthusiasm towards this raggle-taggle group—that’s what made the Clan na Gael Players! In addition to performing live theatre at the Gaelic-American Club and the Fairfield County Irish Festival, Clan na Gael has gone on the road to perform elsewhere, including civic group fundraisers and libraries and in Co.’s Kerry and Clare, Ireland in 2009. From the pens of such well-known playwrights as O’Casey, Gregory, and Keane, have come several CnG productions. Equally, we point with pride to the premier productions where we have been privileged to work with playwrights in the creation of their work. Comedy, Drama, Music, Song, Dance, Well known, Unknown; all parts of Clan na Gael. We’ve spent more than 25 years improving our craft both on and behind the stage. Hundreds of kids and adults have been involved in the fun and excitement of “putting on a show”; each production brings forth new actors and production staff. Each performance brings the afterglow of satisfaction that comes from being a part of the CnG team. To all, thank you for supporting Clan na Gael! We look forward to continuing our goal of presenting plays by or about the Irish. We hope you will continue to enjoy them as much as we enjoy presenting them to you. Break-a-Leg!


For more information, please contact Peggy O’Leary at

Fairfield County Irish Festival

The ever popular Fairfield Irish Festival returns to the fields of Fairfield University on Father’s Day weekend: June 19, 20 & 21.

The three day festival has been a mainstay in Fairfield County for 26 years celebrating Irish culture through music, dance, sports, food and crafts.  Through out the years this festival has been run (rain of shine) by the volunteers of the Gaelic-American Club.  And for this, the festival’s 27th year, we expect more of the same spirit that has kept Irish Culture thriving in Fairfield County.

For more information on Festival happenings, please visit the Festival Website.

Fairfield GAC Over-40 Soccer Club

Seeks players for the fall season in the Shoreline Adult Soccer League, which begins Aug. 17. Home field matches are played at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

For more information, please email Mark Moraz (

Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band

Lessons for all ability levels from beginners to advanced, of all ages, meets on Mondays at 6:30pm. The band practices in the auditorium of the First Church Congregational in Fairfield (diagonally across the parking lot from the GAC, on the corner of Beach & the Old Post Road). We look forward to seeing you!

For more information, please call Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band (475)329-0202 or visit

Family Fun Night

An opportunity for our young families to come down to the club and have some fun and a meal together.  Family Fun Night takes place the last Friday of the month from 6-9pm.

For more information, please email Betty Leary (203) 366.2027.

Fireside Friend's Knitting Group

Ever dreamed of knitting a sweater? Or even an afghan blanket. Just bring your yarn and needles and join the GAC’s Fireside Friends every Monday night at in the dining pub.

For more information, please call Mary O’Driscoll at (202).414.9462.

Freamh Eireann Genealogy Group

Fréamh Éireann, the Gaelic words for “Irish Roots”, is the name of our genealogy group.  Our interest lies in assisting members of the Fairfield Gaelic – American Club (GAC) interested in researching their family roots.  We focus on, but are not limited to, Irish family research.

Functioning as a self-help group, the members vary in knowledge but all are able to learn from each other by sharing their research experiences, providing suggestions and guidance, identifying resources, programs, and organizational sources that assist in one’s personal research.

We do not conduct research for non-GAC members.

Through our monthly meetings we keep members of Fréamh Éireann advised of various genealogical seminars and events as well as members’ successful searches and/or questions.  Minutes and email notices inform members who may not be able to attend.

Periodically guest speakers are invited to address either our regular meetings or general meetings open to the public.  Occasionally field trips are arranged to points of genealogical interest.

The Genealogy Group meets the second Saturday of the month at 10:30 am in the O’Keefe Room. All members are welcome.

For more information email:

Or visit the Fréamh Éireann Genealogy Group Section


GAA Games From Ireland

The GAC broadcasts the GAA games live from Ireland via satellite every Sunday from May through September.   All are welcome to come down and support the games and cheer on their favorite Hurling and Football teams.  For more information, contact Tom Moran

Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football can be described as a mixture of soccer and rugby, although it predates both of those games. It is a field game which has developed as a distinct game similar to the progression of Australian Rules. Indeed it is thought that Australian Rules evolved from Gaelic Football through the many thousands who were either deported or immigrated to Australia from the middle of the nineteenth century. Gaelic Football is normally played on a pitch (playing field) approximately 137m long (150 yards) and 82m wide (90 yards).

The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one. The ball used in Gaelic Football is round, slightly smaller than a soccer ball. It can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or “hand-passed”, a striking motion with the hand or fist (similar to serving in volleyball). After every four steps the ball must be either bounced or “solo-ed”, an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. To score, you put the ball over the crossbar by foot or hand / fist for one point or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or hand / fist in certain circumstances for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points. Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows: One goalkeeper, three full-backs, three half-backs, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.

Goalkeepers may not be physically challenged while inside their own small parallelogram, but players may harass them into playing a bad pass, or block an attempted pass. Teams are allowed a maximum of five substitutes in a game. Players may switch positions on the field of play as much as they wish but this is usually on the instructions of team officials. Officials for a game comprise of a referee, two linesmen (to indicate when the ball leaves the field of play at the side and to mark ’45” free kicks and 4 umpires (to signal scores, assist the referee in controlling the games, and to assist linesmen in positioning ’45’ frees). A goal is signaled by raising a green flag, placed to the left of the goal. A point is signaled by raising a white flag, placed to the right of goal. A ’45’/’65’ is signaled by the umpire raising his/her outside arm. A ‘square ball’, when a player scores having arrived in the ‘square’ prior to receiving the ball, is signaled by pointing at the small parallelogram.


Hurling is a game similar to hockey, in that it is played with a small ball and a curved wooden stick. It is Europe’s oldest field game. When the Celts came to Ireland, as the last ice age was receding, they brought with them a unique culture, their own language, music, script and unique pastimes. One of these pastimes was a game now called hurling. It features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mystical figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.

The stick, or “hurley” (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or “sliothar” is similar in size to a hockey ball but has raised ridges. Hurling is played on a pitch approximately 137m long and 82m wide. The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one.

You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. Unlike hockey, you may pick up the ball with your hurley and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. To get around this, one of the skills is running with the ball balanced on the hurley To score, you put the ball over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net by the hurley for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points. Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows: 1 goalkeeper, three full-backs, three half-backs, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.

GAC Bowling League

Join us on Sundays at 6:30 pm at Nutmeg Bowl in Fairfield. Come alone or with friends!

For more information, please call Donna Lillis at (203) 373.9129 or Hilary Koreeda at (203) 335.6681.

Irish Dance

All levels of irish dance instruction are offered.

Irish Language

Labhairt Gaeilge! Speak Irish! Learn our native language, sharpen your skills or help us sharpen ours.

New Beginner and Intermediate Classes Thursdays at 6:30 to 7:30 and 7:30 to 8:30 respectively.

New Beginner Thursdays 6:30-7:30 pm upstairs in the Cultural Room – Contact

New Intermediate Class – Thursdays 7:30-8:30 pm upstairs in the Cultural Room. Classes meet every Thursday. For more information and to register, contact

New Grammar Class-Intermediate Level – every Wednesday, starting Sept 7 from 7:00-8:00 pm upstairs in the Cultural Room. For registration:

Current Intermediate Class – meets every Thursday from 6:30-7:30 in the library upstairs.

Grupa Comhra – Irish conversation group, any level, meets every Thursday from 7:30-ish- 9:00 pm in the snug at the end of the bar. For further information call: Cait 203-459-9686; no registration necessary.

Go raibh maith agat! Thank you!

For more information, please email Kathy Thopsey at

Irish Literature Group

Do you like to read? Would you like to discuss a book written by or about the Irish, be it a mystery, a thriller or just some romance? Join us on Mondays at 7:30 pm.


The Leabharlaan, located on the 2nd Floor, holds over 2,000 books, newspapers, magazines and videos. All books are written by Irish authors.

For more information, please email contact Gloria Piche

Monday Night Musicians

Young or old, beginner or advanced, Monday night is your time to practice with the instruments associated with Irish Traditional Music. Come by every Monday at 8:00 pm!

For more information, please email Tim Quinn at


Are you retired with some free time? Why not get active with the GAC Seniors? They occasionally go on Day Trips & they hold a mean luncheon the last Thursday of each month.

For more information, please call one of the following:

Ann Hague at (203) 374.5198

Shirley McMenamy at (203) 268.5083

Sally Savage at (203) 366.4826

Rowena Tetreau at (203) 371.2391

Set Dancing

Have you ever sat and watched a group on Set Dancers circling around and round. They all seem like they are having a grand old time. Then why not join them. They would love to teach you.

For more information, please call Carol Ruddy at (203) 255.2702.

St Patrick's Football Club

St. Patrick’s began in 2003 as a dream of several people who grew up playing the sport in Ireland and wanted to provide the opportunity to children in Fairfield County. In their very first year, their newly formed youth team won the GAA U10-B Championship in New York and the U14-B Championship for the past 2 years. The skills learned are easily transferred to other sports like soccer & rugby, both of which grew out of Gaelic Football. The excitement is unlike any other.

Youth Summer Camp in Gaelic Games

St. Patrick’s GAA Club annual summer camp in Gaelic football and hurling: June 29th to July 3rd for children 5-15 years of age. This camp is designed to introduce boys and girls to excitement and challenges of Gaelic football and hurling. GAA Certified coaching staffing – many coming direct from Ireland to lead the training. Camp hours: 9am to 3pm each day. Graduation & medal ceremony on Friday July 3rd with player & family social at the GAC. Space is limited. For registration and more information please visit our website or email


A fun-fundraiser will be held at 7 p.m., on Saturday, June 6th at the GAC to send 60 youth players to San Francisco for the North American Youth GAA Tournament. All proceeds exclusively for youth player travel expenses. Music by the legendary Bainbridge Avenue Band (sister band of McLean Ave Band) featuring fiddles, accordions, and much, much more. Tickets cost $35 dollars and include light food and appetizers. Advanced purchase recommended. Cash bar and terrific silent auction planned. Corporate and individual sponsorships available. This tournament is the world’s largest youth GAA games and features clubs from all over the United States and Canada playing Gaelic football, hurling, and camogie. Please come & support the youth of our Club and help send them to the Gaelic games in San Francisco! For tickets and more info, please call 203.326.0755, or via email or visit the website at



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Ancient Order of Hibernians, Bridgeport, CT

The Junior Division is open to boys, ages 8-16, who are practicing Catholics of Irish descent.

For more information, please email Chris ( or visit


Féile is a nonprofit organization promoting Irish culture. To achieve this, it hosts events such as the One Act Playwriting Contest and Fairfield County Irish Festival.  Scholarships are granted, as well, for higher education.

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