Gormleys named ‘Celts of the Year'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    GREENWOOD LAKE-The past presidents of the Gaelic Cultural Society have chosen Sam and Unateresa-Sheahan Gormley as the 2005 "Celts of the Year." The couple will be honored at the Gaelic Society's Annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner Dance on Saturday, March 12, at the Greenwood Lake American Legion Hall located on Lakes Road. The dance will be from 8 p.m. to midnight, with music by the John Clancy Band. Tickets are $20 per person, which includes dinner, coffee, tea and dessert. For tickets call 845-268-6528,or 477-3472. Each year since its inception in 1980,the Gaelic Society honors an outstanding couple by choosing them as "Celts of The Year." In choosing the Gormleys, the Gaelic Society honors a couple that have done much to spread Irish culture throughout the entire tri-state area. As the drector of the Sheahan-Gormley School of Irish dance, Unateresa teaches hundreds of children. The school has performed on TV, at Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Hall in New York City. Some of its students have danced at Regional, All Irelands and World Competitions. Some members are dancing this year in Spain at the European Open. The school also is active in many local events such as the Mid-Hudson St. Patrick's Parade and in charitable events for Project Children, Inspire (the CP Center), local hospitals and nursing homes. The school also has an annual Feis, this year May 14th at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School. A native of the Bronx; Unateresa has participated in Irish dance since the age of 3. She has been a teacher for 20 years. Unateresa first came to Orange Countyin 1985 at the age of 16 through the Middletown Irish-American Society, and the Friendly Sons. Both groups asked Unateresa to teach dancing to both youth and adults. Michael Sheahan, Unateresa's brother, a famous Irish musician, provided the music for the sessions. In 1987 Unateresa married Sam Gormley, a native of County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. In 1994, year the couple decided to call Greenwood Lake their home. They joined the Gaelic Cultural Society in 1995. "The Gaelic Society took us in and we became like family," Unateresa said. The couple became involved in Project Children as a host family, opening their home to many children of Northern Ireland since 1995. Some children have returned and made the Gormley home their second home. The move to Orange County meant more locations to teach step dancing. Unateresa now teaches in Monroe, Goshen, Washingtonville, West Point, Garrison, the Bronx and Milford, Pa. The school has been instrumental in promoting Irish culture and tradition through teaching children Irish Dance. The couple are the parents of one son, Shea Anthony.