Cuimnidh ar Luimneach agus ar Feall na Sasanach!

"Here's to the Irish
The Men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad."
- G.K.Chesterton.


An Cumann na mBriogáid Éireann
Semper et Ubique Fidelis

"When anything absurd, forlorn, or desperate was to be attempted,
the Irish Brigade was called upon."


The Honourable Society of the Irish Brigade was formed in 1994, on the 300th anniversary of the death of its founder, Justin MacCarthy, The Viscount Mountcashel (first Duke of Clancarthy). A society to commemorate the lives and achievements of the Irish Soldier in Foreign Service was created. At this time organisations existed which commemorated the Irish contribution to specific conflicts such as the American Civil War, The Irish Regiments of the British Army and such, but no organisation existed that spanned all ages and all units in which the Irish had served. Colonel James Shortt, The Baron of Castleshort, commander of the Royal Galloglas Guard, was tasked with forming the Society as its first Convenor-General.

Membership of the Society was originally limited in the constitution to those whose families had served in the Irish Brigade in French Service, but was later opened to all those who had served or whose relatives or ancestors had served in Irish units in foreign service. 


Members of the Royal Galloglas Guard were extended an invitation to, and participated, in uniform, in the 1999 New York Saint Patrick's Day Parade, held this past March 17. The Galloglas marched along with the Cork County Band and the Cork Association, leading with a color guard of the American flag, the Irish National flag, and the Munster flag. The 4-hour long parade route led them down 5th Avenue, where they stopped and paid their respects to the Parade Grand Marshal, actress Maureen O’Hara. The Commander, James Shortt of Castleshort, and the Galloglas Piper, Captaen Noel Whelan, were introduced, and paid their respects to John Cardinal O’Connor, archbishop of New York, on the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

The night before the Parade the Galloglas were guests of the Irish Brigade Association and the 69th New York at Fort Hamilton. There they participated well into the night in a music session with acclaimed musician David Kincaid (most recently famous for his album THE IRISH VOLUNTEER, SONGS OF THE IRISH UNION SOLDIER 1861-65). After closing down the club the group remanded to Rosie O’Neill’s pub until the wee hours of the morning. They only just had time to shower and shave in order to be invited guests of The Hon. Mayor Giuliani at a breakfast at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence. There the 10-man contingent met with the mayor, as well as NY Governor Pataki. From there they left to assemble at the controlled confusion which is the country’s largest Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Galloglas are drawn exclusively from Irish Gentlemen, or gentlemen of proven Irish descent, who are graduates of the International Bodyguard Association. The Galloglas is headquartered in Ireland and commanded by Colonel The Chevalier James Shortt, The Baron of Castleshort who, along with 9 other members of the Galloglas, including Piper Captaen Noel Whelan, and Anthony Shortt, the Commander's son and Tanist, participated in the Parade.

In one of their ceremonial roles, the Royal Galloglas Guard represent The Honourable Society of the Irish Brigade (in French service), at commemorations of Irish Soldiers in Foreign Service. Officers of the Royal Galloglas automatically are Officers of the Society by virtue of representing the Society at Memorial events.

The Mountcashel Cross of The Honourable Society of the Irish Brigade was drawn by Dennis Ivall, and is worn by Officers. It is named after Justin MacCarthy, Viscount Mountcashel (first Duke of Clancarthy), the founder of the Irish Brigade. The Cross features crossed Galloglas Swords to the rear and a Gaelic Cross above. In the centre appear the Royal Arms of the Kings of France and in a belt the motto given to the Brigade by the French Royal Family - Semper et Ubique Fidelis - Always & Everywhere Faithful - and above this the date 1694 being the date of the death of Lord Mountcashel.

This page under constant construction.
Last update: 2
0 November 2000
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Baron James Shortt of Castleshort