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Spring 2019 / VOL. 19 ISSUE 1

Spring 2019 News

Francis Charles Mary "Frank" O'Dwyer

The Irish American Post and the wider Milwaukee Irish community mourns the passing of Frank O’Dwyer, our longtime webmaster and techie adviser. He was also active in various Irish causes and regularly helped Irish organizations with their online needs.

 O’Dwyer died suddenly on Nov. 8, 2018, leaving his wife Patricia (Patti) O'Dwyer; their, Aislinn O'Dwyer and Daniel O'Dwyer; and his children with his first wife Irene Cox, Aedin (nee O'Dwyer) McNeill, Aine O'Dwyer and Caitriona (nee O'Dwyer) Quinn; plus his sister Cora Stinton; niece Petra Curtis and nephew Mark Stinton; and many other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents (the late Daniel J. O'Dwyer and the late Eleanor (nee Hughes) O'Dwyer), O’Dwyer was preceded in death by his son Eoin O'Dwyer.


Born in Dublin, Ireland, on June 11, 1948. O’Dwyer was a retired pharmacist, the founder and former owner of O'Dwyer's Pharmacy in Ballincollig, Ireland. He met Patti when chairman of the Irish Retail Pharmacy Association.  He kept active outside the home as the Gaelicweb owner and webmaster and served his community as the Chief Election Inspector for the Village of Fox Point, Wisconsin. 


O’Dwyer also worked as an Irish travel specialist and tour guide for Slainte Travel Groups and as an Irish Scouting Master. He was an active parish member at St. Eugene Catholic Church in Fox Point, Wisconsin, serving as a Eucharistic minister, cantor and choir member.  O’Dwyer was a tenor in the Irish Fest Choir and acted in local theater groups.  He and Patti were noted for  St. Patrick’s Day parties in their Fox Point home.


The card distributed as his funeral service said it all:



May the Road Rise to Meet You,

May the Wind, Be Always at Your Back.

May the Sun Shine Warm Upon Your Face.

The Rains Fall Soft, Upon Your Fields,

And Until We Meet Again

May God Hold You In the Palm of His Hands.

Ireland Honors Founder of Milwaukee Irish Fest

Special to The Irish American Post

 CelticMKE is proud to share that Ed Ward, founder of the world-renowned Milwaukee Irish Fest, has been awarded Ireland’s Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.  The awards announcement was made Nov. 29, 2018.


Founded in 2012, the award is presented by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and recognizes individuals living abroad for their extraordinary service to the country of Ireland and Irish communities. Former recipients include businessman and diplomat Dan Rooney as well as acclaimed actor and philanthropist Liam Neeson. 


Each year, no more than 10 individuals receive this honor for their efforts across six categories, including Arts, Culture and Sports; Business and Education; Charitable Works; Irish Community Support; Peace, Reconciliation and Development; and Science, Technology and Innovation.


The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, T.D., announced and commended this year’s recipients, “Through their work, they contribute to building an invaluably positive image of Ireland and Irish people around the world.”


Milwaukee Irish Fest started out as a one-of-a-kind festival almost four decades ago and since then, has become the world’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture. Every August, the festival welcomes more than 100,000 fans of Irish and Celtic music and culture for four days of music, cultural events and family activities.


“Ed’s concept of staging an event to celebrate Irish and Celtic music and culture has evolved into the thriving organization known today as CelticMKE,” said Linda Clark Klibowitz, president of the board of directors for CelticMKE. “We’re incredibly happy for him and especially grateful for his tireless efforts over the years to build the festival.”


With Ed’s help, CelticMKE is now home to a number of informative programs such as the Ward Irish Music Archives and Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, which further educate the next generation on the music and history of Ireland.


Mick Moloney, global distinguished professor at New York University, also applauded Ed’s inclusion in this year’s honorees, “For close to 40 years, I have watched, often with amazement, as Ed pioneered and developed a breathtaking vision for the presentation and preservation of Irish culture all over North America and beyond.”


For more information on CelticMKE, in addition to Milwaukee Irish Fest, please visit


About CelticMKE

Through original programing and events, CelticMKE aims to preserve, promote and celebrate all aspects of Irish, Irish American and Celtic cultures, and to instill an appreciation of these cultures in current and future generations. CelticMKE produces the world-renowned Milwaukee Irish Fest along with a variety of Celtic-themed classes, lectures, concerts and cultural heritage projects.

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