‘Cats Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the Green


Brian Luppy/ Villanovan Photography

Students enjoyed nice weather on campus this past St. Patrick’s Day.

Katie Lewis, Staff Writer

Corr Hall glowed green on Friday night as Villanovans assembled at “Dublin Down on the Green”, a St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza hosted by the Campus Activities Team (CAT) and Villanova Irish Cultural Society (ICS).

Students lined up for food trucks that surrounded the fire pits, serving pizza, pretzels, roast beef, festive green “Shamrock Shakes”, and more. The event on the Campus Green also included a Beer Garden, open to those aged over 21, special giveaways, and performances by the Villanova Irish Step Dance Team and Irish Band.

“Dublin Down on the Green” was one of numerous St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities planned by student organizations on campus. On Thursday night, CAT partnered with ICS in a second event for its weekly Quizzo competition, held in the West Lounge in Dougherty Hall.

“ICS members were able to write about ten questions on random facts about Ireland as a country and its accomplishments,” said Genevieve Giammarco, who participated in hosting the Quizzo as a CAT Operations Leader and ICS Secretary. “The two other rounds focused on St Paddy’s Day trivia and Irish singers, respectively.”

The events of the weekend also provided ways for students to learn about campus organizations related to Irish culture and opportunities to study abroad in Ireland.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the student turnout we had at both events,” said ICS President Emmett Shea. “I know that all of us at ICS will be eager to have more events outside of St. Paddy’s, so this week was a great indicator of the potential turnout we can get.”

The festivities were scattered across campus on March 17 as Dining Services dished out St. Patrick’s Day specials. Villanovans enjoyed green bagels, corned beef and cabbage, and colcannon at campus dining halls, as well as whipped cream-topped Irish Cream Lattes available at Holy Grounds throughout the day.

Owing to Villanova’s Irish roots, St. Patrick’s Day always has a notable presence on campus. The university was founded in 1842 by Irish Augustinians and in 1979 founded its Irish Studies Program, which rose to a Center in 2016. In February, the university welcomed Ambassador of Ireland Geraldine Byrne Nason, who attended the annual Villanova Literary Festival in celebration of the 2023 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair for Irish Studies, Mary O’Donoghue.

“I really enjoyed getting involved in the events on campus celebrating St. Patrick’s Day,” said ICS Vice President Kaitlin Gibson. “As someone who’s really proud of their Irish history, it was really rewarding watching people realize how much of an impact Irish people and culture have had on our own.”

Senior Irish Studies Major Annie Caffrey Mantei brought Villanova’s St. Patrick’s Day spirit to Philadelphia and New York City. Selected by The Donegal Association of Philadelphia to represent Philadelphia and the university at the International Mary from Dungloe Arts Festival this summer in County Donegal, Ireland, Caffrey Mantei led the Donegal procession in both cities’ parades.

“It was such an honor to represent both the Donegal Association of Philadelphia and Villanova Irish Studies,” said Caffrey Mantei. “My decision to study Irish Studies has opened so many doors that I couldn’t have ever dreamed of, one of them being leading these parades. I will never forget walking JFK Boulevard in Philly and then Fifth Avenue in NYC.”

The Center continues to offer events celebrating Irish history, and culture throughout St. Patrick’s Day Weekend and the month of March, including film screenings and guest lectures. Fulbright Irish Language instructor Sorcha Gallagher also hosted Philadelphia’s first Pop-Up Gaeltacht at the Crossbar in Havertown on Sunday, open to all those interested in learning and speaking the Irish language.

“Villanova Irish Studies inspired us to run events from monthly conversational gatherings to social gatherings,” said Gallagher. “The Pop-Up Gaeltacht gives both the Villanova and local Irish American community who have an interest in the Irish language and culture the opportunity to come together and engage through the Irish language.”

The Center’s next Irish language offering will be a film screening of Éirí Amach Amú (Wrecking the Rising) on March 27, at 6 p.m. in Driscoll 132.

The Irish Step Dance Team will also perform again on campus for their Annual Showcase at 6:30 p.m. on April 1 at the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The

From food trucks to Irish trivia to corned beef and cabbage, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were lively throughout the Villanova community this weekend.