2023 Assembly Resolution 5
Relating to: celebrating Saint Patrick's Day on March 17, 2023.
Whereas, March 17 is Saint Patrick's Day, a day honoring the patron saint of Ireland; and
Whereas, Saint Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, Scotland, in AD 387; was captured and enslaved by Irish marauders at the age of 16; converted to Christianity; escaped slavery; entered the clergy; was named bishop of Ireland; returned to Ireland; converted Irish pagans to Christianity; established many monasteries, churches, and schools all over Ireland; and died on March 17 in AD 461; and
Whereas, Irish monks and scholars at the monasteries and schools founded by Saint Patrick preserved much of the learning that was lost throughout the rest of Europe during the collapse of the Western Roman Empire; and
Whereas, natives of Ireland began moving to Wisconsin during the 1840s, driven in part by the wake of the Great Famine; and
Whereas, Irish immigrants in Wisconsin principally settled in Brown, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, St. Croix, Sauk, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, and Winnebago Counties; and
Whereas, on September 8, 1860, the steamer Lady Elgin sank off the bluffs near Winnetka, Illinois, taking the lives of 297 people, including many of the Irish-American political leaders from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and marking the end of the Irish domination of Milwaukee politics; and
Whereas, Irish immigrants constituted a majority of the 17th Wisconsin Infantry, which fought in many of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War, including the Battles of Vicksburg, Shiloh, and Corinth; and
Whereas, the 17th Wisconsin Infantry contained company names such as the Mulligan Guards of Kenosha, the Peep O'Day Boys of Racine, and the Emmett Guards of Dodge; and
Whereas, the 17th Wisconsin Infantry led a fearless bayonet charge at the Battle of Corinth with the Irish Gaelic battle cry, “Faugh a ballagh!" which translates as “Clear the way!"; and
Whereas, the Smithsonian Institution named Milwaukee's Irish Fest the “largest and best Irish cultural event in North America"; and
Whereas, in 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that over 10 percent of Wisconsin residents claim to be of Irish decent, making Irish ancestry in Wisconsin second only to those claiming German heritage; and
Whereas, though originally a solemn Catholic holy day, Saint Patrick's Day has evolved into a much more secular holiday celebrating Irish music, culture, and heritage; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the assembly, That the members of the Wisconsin Assembly salute all of the persons of Irish descent for their significant contributions to this state, express appreciation for those persons who have kept alive Irish culture and traditions, and join with all Wisconsinites who revere their Irish heritage in celebrating Saint Patrick's Day on March 17, 2023.