The Old World in the New
Maker attributed to Michael Casey, c.1850
Gift of Veronica (Sally) & Demi McGinley
A shillelagh (pronounced shi-LAY-lee) is a walking stick, but it could also be used as a club. When needs arose, a whack from the knob end could pack quite a punch! Shillelaghs have a long history in Ireland where receiving one was part of a young man’s transition into adulthood and continuing to carry it was part of being a man. Men leaving Ireland, like Michael Casey, often brought their shillelaghs with them to America. Like the shamrock, the shillelagh/walking stick has become closely associated with Ireland and Irish-American identity.