Dubuque store offers a taste of Ireland - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque store offers a taste of Ireland

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- An Irish shop gives many people in the tri-states area a taste of heritage and home.

Maureen Siegert's lovely Irish lilt fills the sunny rooms of Shamrock Imports.

"The little children see me. They always say, 'There's the Irish lady, Mom!'" Siegert said, who grew up in a village outside Dublin.

"My husband Ken and I had the store for 33 years, and last year we sold it to our son," she said. "He and his wife Judy own it now."

Current owner Judy Siegert is enjoying her role as owner and manager.

"One thing about Irish people: they're very dedicated, and we have people from Bernard, Cascade, Dubuque's got a huge Irish community and very faithful in coming to the shop every year and spending their money on their green stuff for St. Patrick's Day," she said.

One of those faithful shoppers is Kay Schueller.

"We're here shopping for my sister's 60th birthday on St. Patrick's Day, and we're going to go out to dinner and stuff, so we decided to get her a boa," Schueller said, standing next to another sister of hers. "There's actually 10 of us. We're a big Irish Catholic family."

"St. Patrick's Day back in Ireland is a holy day of obligation," Maureen Siegert said.

The shamrock is intertwined in the story of Saint Patrick.

"He bent down, he picked the shamrock up and three leaves: Father, Son and Holy Spirit," the Irish native said.

She agreed that the holiday in the US has gotten away from its religious roots, but, she said, "that's everybody to themselves. As the old woman said when she kissed a cow, everybody to his own liking. That's an old my mother saying."

"People enjoy getting together, having a pint and spreading the Blarney, I guess," Judy Siegert said, laughing.

"They'll still be celebrating next week," Maureen Siegert said. "A little hey Mary along the way doesn't hurt anybody. That's my motto."

Owner Judy Siegert said St. Patrick's Day and the weeks before it bring in a lot of new customers. She said it gives the store a boost that gets it through until festival season in the summer.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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