Kathleen Dewan O’Neill is actively involved in the Gaelic League/Irish-American Club. Since the mid 1970s, she has volunteered at Gaelic League related festivals, fundraisers, and charitable events, learned the Irish language and Irish step dancing. She has served in every Officer position and is currently an Executive Board Member and President. Kathleen has the distinction of being the Gaelic League’s first female President.
She volunteers in other Irish and local organizations, too. Kathleen is a delegate and was VP of the United Irish Societies. She is a founding Irish Genealogical Society Board Member. One of her greatest achievements and honor was being selected 2004 Grand Marshal of the annual Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade.
Weekly, Kathleen hosts an Irish Radio Show. For the past 19 years, the program, on WNZK 690am, has been a primary source of communication within the Metro Detroit Irish Community. Listeners enjoy Irish music, news, announcements, and guests’ interviews from local and international individuals.
In 2001, Kathleen and Mike Kerwin co-authored “A Glimpse of Irish Detroit, Through the Eyes of the Gaelic League”, a pictorial history book of the Gaelic League’s first eighty years, 1920-2000. She, also, assists with the League’s newsletter and website.
Retired, Kathleen taught cognitively impaired teens in Detroit Public Schools. She was involved with the Special Olympics, an in-school scouting program complete with overnight camping trips, and directed an adult recreational program for the impaired. Kathleen attended CMU and received her Masters Degree from WSU.
Kathleen and her husband, Dan resided in Corktown, a Detroit neighborhood first settled by Irish immigrants, for 25 years. They both have served as Gaelic League Presidents, Board Members, and elected terms on the Corktown Citizens’ District Council. Together, they enjoy international travel including numerous holidays to Ireland and Spain and most recently a cruise through Russia.
Proud of her Irish Heritage, Kathleen is devoted to preserving and promoting the Irish Culture. She credits her accomplishments to her faith in God, her parents and the loving support of family and friends.