National Finals Rodeo: where the cowboys roam, rope and ride

Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, USA

Dates: Starts in the first full week of December

Level of participation: 3 – attend the hoedown and gift show and hope for the rare chance to attend the rodeo

It could be argued that Las Vegas is a never-ending festival, a glorified fairground where the lights never go down. But there are moments when even Vegas outshines itself, and the 10-day National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is prime among them.

The big bronc of rodeo competitions, the NFR sees Vegas taken over by cowboys ready to ride and wrestle their way towards immortality. Known on the circuit as the ‘Superbowl of Rodeo’, NFR ropes in the season’s top 15 competitors (based on the ProRodeo world standings) in each of professional rodeo’s seven events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. At stake are not just their bones and pride, but around US$5.5 million in prize money, which even by Vegas standards is real currency.

Since 1958, the NFR spent almost three decades being hosted by different US cities. In 1984 it was held at the Thomas and Mack Center for the first time and has been staged there every year since.

Running in conjunction with the rodeo is the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center. No simple gift shop, the show contains around 400 stalls to help transform you into the cowboy or cowgirl of your rustling dreams. You’ll find boots, spurs, belt buckles as big as saucepans, and hats large enough to house small families. There’s also the Downtown Hoedown, a free honky-tonk party at the Fremont Street Experience, staged on the eve of NFR and featuring a host of big-name country musicians.

The toughest thing about NFR is not the cowboys but getting a ticket. Most tickets (around 100,000 of them) are allocated to riders and sponsors, leaving little more than 40,000 for the public. Such is the demand that tickets sell out more than a year in advance. It’s said that around one in 25 people who apply for tickets are successful.

Essentials: The rodeo is held nightly, beginning at 5.45pm or 6.45pm. If you missed out in the ticket ballot, the box office sells returned same-day tickets starting each morning around 10am. Cheaper ‘Mad Dash’ find-a-seat tickets let you scramble around to find no-show seats in the balcony area, with at least a guaranteed view of the action from the standing-room-only concourse.

Local attractions: The Strip is hedonic heaven and you can spend days bouncing from casino to casino. If central Vegas gets too much, head toRed Rock Canyon, an outdoor playground for local climbers and cyclists.

More info:


Adrenaline Vegas: an experience of Sin City extremes

You’ve bet (and lost) your shirt at the roulette table. You’ve eaten yourself into a coma at one of the legendary buffets. You’ve driven down the Strip blinking in awe at the shimmering neon. So now what? To find Vegas experiences outside the casinos but still guaranteed to get the pulse racing, our Destination Editor Alexander Howard went beyond the call of duty and reports back from the front line.

Get behind the wheel

I am not, it seems, a very good race car driver. At least not in the simulator. Robbie, my instructor, stands with his elbow resting on the roll-cage around me, waiting for me to find the right spot on the digitized track to make a turn. ‘You’re missing the apex’, he says, which is true, because at this point I’m off the track and driving over the pixelated gravel. The racing simulator is like something out of a video game arcade, and I’ve missed the apex nearly every time. ‘You’re braking too soon’, Robbie says with a hint of frustration.

The instructors promise that the simulator is harder than driving the actual track. Driving a race car requires depth perception, which is tough to replicate on a 2-d monitor, and the mind has a difficult time gauging when to turn and brake without the sensation of g-forces. I, for one, hope that’s true, and I sense that Robbie feels the same way.

It turns out, they’re right. After donning a helmet and a racing onesie, I’m squished into the driver’s seat of a Ferrari F430 GT. The ignition, a flip switch and a quarter-sized red button, brings the engine roaring to life. I snake out of the pit area and gun it onto the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the throaty sound of the V8 behind me overwhelming the car. Nearing a turn, my instructor’s Italian-accented voice comes through a pair of helmet-mounted speakers: ‘Brake hard’. I happily oblige, because this is the fastest I’ve ever driven – the car feels as though it’ll be ripped from the track, but I quickly sense the tires’ grip on the road.

The Ferrari F430 GT is a proper race car, fitted with a front splitter, a rear wing and a rear diffuser, all of which function to hold the car to the ground. The effect is immense. The 19in racing-slick tires magically stay on the track. This is not your average Ford Focus.

‘Go, go, go!’ my instructor is saying. I’ve left the turn and the track is open in front of me. I press hard on the accelerator, seeking the apex of the next turn.

Top tip: Book a time around noon, when the sun is high. The glare of a low sun can effectively blind a driver. And for an additional fee, Dream Racing ( will time your laps – a necessary bit of info when you can hardly look away from the road to glance at the speedometer.

Fire automatic weapons

The cracks of gunfire stutter out of a small brick building. I have arrived at Machine Gun Vegas (, and the violent sounds emanating from indoors are enough to get the blood flowing. But this isn’t your typical gun range: the arsenal here includes everything from small handguns to automatic rifles to lightweight machine guns (plus a minigun). This is, according to the party of young men next to me, a chance to live out your favorite Schwarzenegger moments.

My range safety officer, a former Navy servicewoman named Jackie, explains the proper use of my first weapon – a semi-automatic pistol similar to ones used in militaries and police departments around the world. Safety is clearly a priority here. Each range stall is managed by an instructor who’s never more than a foot away from the shooter.

I pop off a few rounds, and the effect is immediate: I’m grinning like a schoolboy. Once my magazine is empty, Jackie flips a switch that brings my paper target fluttering into view – 10 shots mostly placed where they were meant to go.

Next up is a powerful tactical shotgun that obliterates a zombie silhouette I’d picked to disperse next. All this destruction is not without a twinge of discomfort. The gun tourism industry has come under intense scrutiny since a 9-year-old was given a fully automatic Uzi (which allow multiple shots to be fired by a single squeeze of a trigger) in Arizona, resulting in an accident that left a safety instructor dead. In spite of the danger, gun tourism is rising in popularity, and gun ranges across the US are drawing visitors from gun-restricted countries, as well as domestic tourists seeking the rush of firing 50 rounds out of a lightweight machine gun.

Whatever your stance on America’s gun culture, Machine Gun Vegas is a chance to embed yourself right in the thick of it.

Top tip: Wear close-toed shoes, properly laced. A hot shell casing can burn bare skin. Also: listen to the instructor, and follow standard gun safety rules. The range isn’t a time for showy bravado. You may know your guns, but the instructor knows them better.

Fly an aerobatic plane

‘How hard do you want to take this?’ Denis, my pilot at Sky Combat Ace (, asks. Denis’ call sign is ‘Smokey’, which I’m hoping wasn’t a name bestowed as a result of a malfunction or aeronautical accident.

‘Let’s crank it up to 11,’ I say. A mistake, probably, fuelled by the macho aura of the fighter-jet hangar. Waiting around in the hangar in a borrowed, black flight suit has left me itchy, hungry to get into the air.

As we taxi out to the runway, Denis weaves the plane over the tarmac like a drunk swaying home after a long night out (he later tells me he does this to see over the engine cowl). He oscillates between chatty energy with me and cool professionalism with air traffic control.

Soon we are rushing down the runway, the plane’s engine like a distant, vibrating hum over the relative quiet of my noise-canceling headset. Without warning, Denis pulls back on the control stick and we are rocketing into the air.

The sky is a crisp, desert blue, sharper in the prism-like curve of the cockpit’s windshield. We fly out to where the Federal Aviation Administration has given Sky Combat Ace a space to work their magic – anything from a simulated dogfight with friends to an easy sunset cruise in an old-fashioned biplane. Today’s exercise is the Top Gun experience, which gives passengers a feel for the aerobatic plane’s abilities. Once over a nondescript space of desert, Denis begins his maneuvers, after which I’m given the opportunity to execute each myself: hammerheads, tail slides, tumbles and something Denis calls ‘The Rockstar’, which swings the horizon in perverse twists and spins.

Back on the ground, the rush of adrenaline subsides and is replaced by county-fair queasiness – my body slowly catching on to what it’s been through. I take a moment to sip from a much-needed can of ginger ale.

Top tip: Blacking out is a very real possibility, especially if you ask your pilot to take it to 11. Body size, age and fitness can affect the chance of blacking out, but tensing your lower extremities can reduce the amount of blood draining out of your head during positive g-forces. Luckily most trips with Sky Combat Ace come with footage from a cockpit-mounted camera, so any blackout-induced memory loss is supplemented by video evidence.

Alexander traveled to Nevada with support from Travel Nevada. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.


Las Vegas for foodies: top 10 new gourmet restaurants in Sin City

Hungry epicures have been singing ‘Viva Las Vegas’ for the past decade as the decadent spread of this neon-lit city moved from steakhouses and buffets to celebrity-chef destinations. That trend has continued as a slew of eateries offering adventurous cuisine have opened recently.

Some serve the glitzier side of Las Vegas, while others remain indebted to the informal-yet-gluttonous theme that made Sin City famous. All are flavor-forward with mouthwatering menus tailored to your culinary mood.

Perfect your French at Bardot Brasserie

The grand tradition of Gallic fine dining has been an essential aspect ofLas Vegas since its early days as a worldwide travel destination. Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie ( is the latest inheritor of this gustatory spirit. With a name nod to the voluptuous actress, Bardot brings alive a living slice of classic Parisian appetite and decor in the Aria at CityCenter. In a room of dark-toned paneled walls and incandescent vintage glass fixtures, impeccable French food like tuna tartare Niçoise with quail eggs is served with perfectly paired glasses of wine. The brunch draws fervent crowds.

Get to know the unforgettable Mr. Chow

The arrival of Mr. Chow ( in Las Vegas created huge waves of culinary excitement when it opened in the famous Caesars Palace. A star-studded clientele of Hollywood A-listers and business moguls flock to the Chinese-inspired temple of outrageous edibles. Tableside presentation is all part of the show at Mr. Chow, including elegant platters of Peking duck and giant steamed sea bass. The rolling Champagne cart makes bubbly stops at tables, too.

Italian goes to the next level at Carbone

Where do headlining performers go to devour Italian dishes with luxurious gusto when they are not on Las Vegas stages? That would be Carbone (, a cavalcade of cuisine in the Aria. In a stunning room of red velvet and golden trim illuminated by glittering chandeliers, gargantuan plates of pasta and more are served. Ravioli are stuffed to the brim with lobster, and tortellini are deluged with robust ragu. The veal chop Parmesan fills a platter like a delectable manhole cover. This is not a restaurant for light eaters in the least.

Cuisine rises to new heights at Rivea

High in the sky, looking out over the glowing Las Vegas skyline and the dramatic mountain peaks beyond, Rivea ( is like a shimmering modernistic dream. Located on the top floor of the Delano Hotel next toMandalay Bay, the room is filled with eye-catching blown-glass baubles that hover over plates filled with cuisine by the master French chef Alain Ducasse. Entrées such as duck breast in bigarde sauce and wild Alaskan halibut with morels match the view. The adjacent Skyfall lounge is James Bond cool, too.

Gather for dinner at Harvest by Roy Ellamar

Las Vegas has embraced the farm-to-table movement that’s caught fire in foodie culture across the globe. Nowhere along the thrumming Strip is this more apparent than at the vegetable- and viand-filled Harvest by Roy Ellamar ( A snug nook in the immense Bellagio, Harvest’s menu ranges from vegetarian-friendly farro porridge with wild mushrooms and truffles to meaty rack of lamb with chimichurri. Many visitors signal for the roaming Snack Wagon filled with munchies like housemade charcuterie and condiments including broccoli raab pesto.

The dining is snazzy at Herringbone

Style and cuisine often go hand-in-hand in Las Vegas, and that’s not just for glitzy dress-up, either. Upscale casual food is in high demand among famished travelers here, and Herringbone ( in the Aria is a fittingly snazzy destination. Taking its design cues from coastal Southern California, it features a welcoming and comfortable dining room plus a breezy patio area under Las Vegas’ dramatic evening skies. Experiment with charred whole Spanish octopus in preserved lemons or dig into grilled branzino with shaved fennel.

It’s time for some gustatory Therapy

The ongoing culinary fermentation of gourmet Las Vegas is not just something that’s happening along the Strip in enormous hotels.Downtown is a hive of edible explorations, too. One of the brightest dining spots in Old Vegas is Therapy ( This charming space along funky East Fremont Street contains a gastropub that’s advanced its mission into new territory. Here, sliders are filled with barramundi with truffle-lemon aioli and arugula. Macaroni and cheese croquettes are sided with bacon-tomato jam and red pepper remoulade slaw. You get the comfort food picture.

The culinary scene sparkles at Beauty & Essex

When it comes to entertaining epicureanism, the Las Vegas dining universe shines at Beauty & Essex ( Located in the trendy Cosmopolitan, this eatery is a place to imbibe cutting-edge mixology paired with innovative eats. Match a rum-sweet Melon Mojito with paprika-spiced salmon and sriracha-curry cauliflower. Side a bourbon- and maple-flavored Woodsman highball with savory roasted beef marrow bones with Rioja-braised shallot marmalade. Top off your evening with black-bottomed butterscotch pot de crème with coconut chantilly for good measure. Mix in ever present music, and this is dining with a distinct nocturnal vibe.

Branch off for dinner at Alder & Birch

Another segment of Las Vegas that’s seeing tremendous culinary advances is populated by what’s known as ‘locals casinos.’ These off-Strip destinations once mostly favored chain restaurants, and were usually only visited by out-of-towners when they were looking for a deal on lodging rather than fine-dining options. That’s changing, however, especially at establishments like Alder & Birch ( in The Orleans. In a handsome but relaxed dining room defined by ivory-hued leather booths and darkly lacquered walls, impressive dishes like herbed organic Jidori chicken in pan jus and Wagyu coulotte sirloin with grilled portobellini mushrooms are attracting more and more true foodies.

Journey to Chinatown’s Niu-Gu

Many first-time visitors are surprised to learn that this Mojave metropolis has an immense Chinatown district to the west of the Strip filled with scores of Asian restaurants representing the foodways of many nations. And at compact Niu-Gu (, this means contemporary gourmet flourishes riffing on the oldest cuisine in the world: Chinese. Mixing inspirations from various provinces, the tiny but capable kitchen produces unexpected delights like glistening squid ink fried rice, lobster-studded tropical fruit salad, fiery double-chili prawns and tender Angus beef short rib slices served on a dramatic leg bone. Niu-Gu is also an incredible deal in comparison to pricey Asian restaurants in the Tourist Corridor.


Best Las Vegas Saloons

Las Vegas left its Deadwood days in the dust long ago. But the big-hatted bull riders of Western lore still come to town, mostly for the rodeos held in fancy, indoor corrals and equestrian centers. And when the steeds are watered and the bulls bedded for the night, even a high-riding rodeo guy and gal need their beer and boogie fix.

These days, Las Vegas is known as much for Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney as it is for Celine and Cirque. The real cowboys, however, head to the Strip’s best saloons — the ones with endless shots of Jack Daniels and line dances that keep you in motion ‘till the cows come home. But don’t call these saloons quaint. Notorious is more like it — with famous names, sexy bartenders and plenty of VIP perks added to the mix. Here are our top picks.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar

This all-American country saloon, located mid-Strip, at the Mardi Gras-themed Harrah’s, serves Southern comfort food and libations such as “Who’s Your Daddy” margaritas. Additional cocktail options are pricey but definitely imaginative. Try “Whiskey Girl,” a tall glass of Jack Daniels, amaretto, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine. It’s a great way to wash down the menu’s fried bologna sandwich — a Keith fave. Keith himself is known to drop by when he’s in town and give a spontaneous little late-night concert.


At first glance, this bucking bronco and brawling bar draws a crowd that includes bachelorettes on the loose or company boys out bonding with the boss. Still, cowboy wannabes and real cowboys alike find Gilley’s a convenient gathering spot when the rodeo is in town. And there’s nothing tame about this place. Only the toughest (or most inebriated) of Stetson-wearing talent dares to take on the mechanical bull at Gilley’s. If you can last 8 seconds you’ve already beat the odds. Once a week, the dudes line up for the “Toughest Cowboy” competition and try to stay saddled long enough to win the $200 purse. Ladies also get their turn, during the “Bikini Bull Riding” competition.

Stoney’s Rockin’ Country

This popular country nightclub puts cool into the saloon experience. The colossal 20,000-square-foot nightclub includes 2 bars, a 3-lane bowling alley, a $250,000 sound system and a “cowboy ultra-lounge,” with perks such as a personal cocktail waitress and bouncer-protected entrance just steps away from the dance floor that’s the size of a barn. Free dance lessons allow the shyest cowboy or cowgirl to join the action on the dance floor with energetic, syncopated dance numbers. Live bands take the stage most nights, with top name acts such as Michael Austin and the Thunder Road Band. Toby Keith’s opening act, Flynville Train, has also popped in.

Bonnie Springs Restaurant

For a saloon sans bull riding and two-stepping, head out of town to a mountain spot between Red Rock Canyon and the hamlet of Blue Diamond, about 25 miles west of the Strip. Bonnie Springs Restaurant, a vittles (aka food) venue with a no-ties-allowed saloon has been a working ranch for more than 150 years. More recently, the ground’s have also become a high desert traveler’s attraction with a mini zoo, horseback riding and Old West town recreations. The saloon itself keeps a cozy feel going with a stone fire pit in the bar, while local cowboys, who work on this ranch and others nearby, keep the place hopping.

Dylan’s Dance Hall and Saloon

The logo, says it all: “Dylan’s — Get Bucked.” Just make sure to keep your hat on. You get points on your wager if you don’t lose your Stetson on the mechanical bull. It really is all about the bull here — and the beer: bottomless mugs, served by babes in leather tiny bikinis. Meanwhile, free dance lessons — the Texas two-step, the line dance — ensure you won’t be stepping on any toes. The sounds spin until dawn. And so does the bucking. But relax, the bull riding is free, and since this is a betting town, the wagers extend to the saloon’s pool, air hockey, darts, even beer pong tourneys.


The Other Side of Vegas

When you come to Las Vegas, it’s easy to be seduced by the draw of the Strip. However, if you take a deeper look, there are many fringe activities in Vegas that really make the city a wonderful place to live. Many visitors to the Entertainment Capital of the World miss the historic downtown area, but it offers some of the most exciting options for couples, singles, business travelers and families.

While there are countless attractions in Vegas worth mentioning, like Lake Mead, the Red Rock Canyon and nearby Hoover Dam, there’s plenty to see that’s often overlooked. On your next trip to this spectacular city, take a little time to explore the historic elements of Las Vegas, as well as some of the new, hip parts of the city that have been embraced by the city’s burgeoning tech crowd.


Fabulous Las Vegas Spots for a Perfect Marriage Proposal

When you are looking for a place to tie the knot, one place will always outstands in your mind and that’s no other than the Sin City, Las Vegas. Yes, Vegas has been known to be the best place to get married but it doesn’t stop there. If it’s good for getting hitched then of course, it’s the top-of-the-notch city as well to propose. Thus, if you’re thinking of where to pop the question then we have these absolute gorgeous spots in the Sin City to do it.

1. Propose along the Strip

A public proposal is one of the sweetest ways to do it because of the people that can witness that special event in your life, right? And of course, there’s no better way to do but along the Strip of Las Vegas. All the beautiful lights, awesome hotel structures and the fabulous performers and audiences on the street, your moment of popping the question will not be romantic but legendary, surely one for the books.

2. Romantic Hotel Marriage Proposal

If you’re the intimate and private kind of couple and you just want to savor the moment all by yourselves then you can do it so in a higher level at the location of your choice. You can choose from so many luxurious and exquisite hotels in Las Vegas and you can prefer something unique, themed, budget-friendly, etc. The room you’ll choose will be decorated with flowers, candle lights, rose petals and pictures of you and your love one. You can a bottle of champagne too for that celebratory toast after she said yes.

3. Amazing Proposal at the Gondola

Gondola ride is always sweet and romantic and it becomes better when it’s made private with chocolates, bouquet of flowers and a live serenade by a personal gondolier. Asking your partner while riding in this fantastic gondola ride will surely make her answer you with her special yes.

4. Las Vegas Strip Flash Mob Proposal

For sure you’re now familiar with flash mobs and how they tend to be so unique, amazing and romantic all at the same time. Imagine all those people that will instantly emerge from anywhere and will surprise your partner then you’ll ask that magical question. Well, you can have that too! You can select a location along the strip and a spontaneous flash mob can happen especially made for you and your partner. Surely, this will be the perfect moment for you to propose.

Popping the question in Las Vegas is already special but you can make it more appealing and even more romantic by following these steps and by proposing in these certain spots in the city. The places alone will make her say yes.

Great Las Vegas Honeymoons

Great Las Vegas Honeymoons

Weddings are big hits in the Sin City, this is the place where everyone seems to love the idea of getting hitched. That is also the reason why there are tons of awesome weddings venues in the city, beautiful chapels and so many weddings reception places. Nevertheless the romance doesn’t stop there because if you just tied the knot in Vegas then why not max your stay and do your honeymoon in the city. You have tons of choices how to celebrate the wedding you just had and brace yourself because Las Vegas honeymoon ideas are just absolutely for the books.

Romantic Honeymoon Ideas in Vegas

1. Sweet honeymoon staycation

You can never say no to a homey staycation at one of the most elegant hotels in the Sin City. You can stay at rooms of your own theme preference and of course, enjoy all the amenities. You can also fill your hunger with enormous set of scrumptious meals from various restaurants in the Strip. To make it more romantic, hotels offer relaxing couple spas and massages that will surely make you and your love one relaxed and feel refreshed while you’re on your vacation.

2. Adrenaline-rush honeymoon tour

Are you a couple who wants adrenaline-rush for your first dates as a newly-wed couple? Well, you can have them all in the Sin City. You can choose from different day tours consists of so many activities that are all extreme yet enjoyable. You can savor that wanderer in you by taking zip lines, driving 4×4 and ATVs, shout your heart in the roller coaster ride and so much more. If you want to take it to a higher level then why not ride a helicopter while enjoying the view of Grand Canyon and some more lakes. These tours are exclusive in Vegas and that’s the top reason why you should experience in on your honeymoon.

3. Watch various awesome shows

Are you both fans of musicals, acrobatic shows, dramas, comedy skits, etc.? Well, why not go on a full swing at the Strip and watch as many shows as you can. Only here in Vegas that you’ll have tons of opportunities to watch numerous attractions in just one place. You can also witness so many performers on the street for free and there are those that come with tickets but the performances are totally and surely spectacular. Vegas is the place on earth where the performers are all exquisite and they came from different parts of the world.

If you want to have a honeymoon of a lifetime then there’s no better place than Las Vegas. You have here all the honeymoon preferences you can think of and surely whatever you choose, you’ll have the time of your life. Happy honeymoon!

St Rochs Parish

The settling of the Irish played a major role in the opening of St Roch’s Church and Primary School (1907) by Canon Daniel Collins (Co Cork). His successor, Canon Edward Lawton (Co Cork), was influential in the opening of St Roch’s Secondary School in 1932. 1 other PP (Fr Malachy Bergin, Co Tipperary) and 29 of the 61 Assistants in St Roch’s came from Ireland, representing 13 different counties.

11 Men from The Garngad have become Priests in the Archdiocese of Glasgow (5), Archdiocese ofDublin (1), Diocese of Galloway (1), Congregation of the Passionists (1), Order of Saint Benedict (1),Salesians of Don Bosco (1) and Servants of the Paraclete Fathers (1).  Others have become Religious Brothers and Monks.

Hundreds of Women from The Garngad have become Religious Sisters and Nuns. Whilst the overwhelming majority joined the Little Sisters of the Poor (who were in The Garngad for 124 years between 1861 and 1992) others have joined the Sisters of Notre Dame, The Holy Ghost Sisters, The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and the Salesian Sisters.

St Roch’s Parish, which covers The Garngad and Germiston, is also home to 3 Catholic Schools: St Gilbert’s Primary (Germiston) and St Roch’s Primary and Secondary Schools (Garngad).

Today the Parish Community is as multi-cultural as ever with people from countries through out Europe, Africa and The Middle and Far East worshipping in St Roch’s. St Roch’s, under the current Parish Priest(Father Joseph Boyle, Co Donegal) celebrates 100 years since its foundation and opening of the church in 2007—among the many ways to mark this event a Souvenir History (‘St Roch’s, Garngad, 100 years in the ‘The Garden of God’) has been produced.

The story of the Garngad Irish

There were four main factors which were instrumental in the Irish arriving in The Garngad:

  1. Digging of Monkland Canal Basin at the foot of Garngad Hill in 1790;
  2. St Roch’s Chemical Works in 1799
  3. The building of the Saint Roch’s to Stepps Railway in 1831
  4. ‘An Gorta Mor’ (the Great Famine) of 1845/51

The Garngad became known as ‘Little Ireland’ because of the concentration of Irish People, mainly from the 9 counties of Ulster, who settled in The Garngad. At the turn of the century 90% of houses were headed by an Irishman and 75% were given the term ’Irish Household’ in Turner, Villiers, Bright and Cobden Streets which ran parallel south to north, from Garngad Road to Charles Street.

Amongst the most famous Irish characters to setttle in or come from The Garngad are:

Michael ‘Mick Garngad’ McLaughlin (Buncrana, Co Donegal) was a writer and performer and Poet Lauriat of The Garngad from 1900-1960. Mick wrote ‘The Ballad of James Connolly’ and ‘The Smashing of the Van’.

James Thomson (Belfast, Co Antrim) and his family were driven out of their home and given refuge by the Sisters of Charity before coming to The Garngad where he became a stalwart of St Roch’s Parish and Boys Guild Football teams.

Peader McAleer (Co Tyrone) was a founder member of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (Traditional Irish Music) at the Glasgow Diocesan Centre, Charing Cross, in 1957 and the Northern Aid Committee in 1969.

Pat McNulty (Co Monaghan) is a famed Vilean Piper who helped found the first Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann outside of Ireland in 1957 and became All Ireland Champion at Tyrone in 1958.

Frank Devlin was the third member of St Roch’s Parish to be a founder member of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann at the Glasgow Diocesan Centre in 1958.

Tomas MacGabhann (Blackhill, Castlebalney, Co Monaghan) became a founding member of Co Monaghan Credit Union (An Cumann Gaelach Muineachan), first President of the Credit Union League of Ireland and a promoter of the Irish Language and publications  through Comhdhail Naisiunta na hEireann (Irish National Congress of the Gaelic Language). His death was mourned in the Dail Eireann by Sinn Fein Leader Caoimhghin O’Caolain.
‘Go ndeana Dia trocaire ar a n-anamacha dilse.’

Welcome to the Las Vegas Chapter of the Gangad Irish Heritage Group

GIHG was established as a voluntary organization under the terms and conditions of a Constitution on Saint Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2005, and works with local and national groups to fulfil its ‘Mission Statement’.

GIHG supports the cause of the Irish Diaspora Association of Scotland and indorses An Sceal, the monthly Magazine of the Irish Community in Scotland.

GIHG is a not-for-profit organization and is funded by its members, local Las Vegas and Henderson fundraisers, and operating Irish American owned business of Southern Nevada.
Our mission is to serve the community of Irish living in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. We spotlight business and business owner that help to serve our cause.

We welcome your input and encourage your patronage to those that help and support GIHG with their donations and support.