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Cavanaugh's County Celtic owner and Butte's 'Irish matriarch' dies

“She had an indomitable spirit, she always had a smile regardless of how she was feeling"
Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 10:27:43-04

BUTTE — Her Irish eyes were always smiling. But this week, many eyes in Butte will be wet as they mourn the loss of Monica Evans Cavanaugh.

“She was just a wonderful, warm person to everybody, so she has become an icon in Butte and I guess when you lose an icon it shakes you to your roots,” said long-time friend Evan Barrett.

Monica died on April 27th after struggling with health problems for years. She and her husband Jake ran Cavanaugh’s County Celtic which’s been a fixture on Park Street for 20 years selling everything Irish and Celtic. Monica also had a hand in getting the An Ri Ra Irish Festival going in Butte.

“She is, if there’s anyone, she is the matriarch of our Irish culture in Butte. Everyone knows her, she’s like a great ambassador. People come to Butte to see Monica and to go into her store,” said Barrett.

Monica helped promote the Irish performers at her store. The Butte Irish band Dublin Gulch credited Monica for selling 2,000 of their CDs.

“What a wonderful woman to treat us, myself and my bandmates so well, and every Irish musician she encountered,” said Tom Powers of the Butte band Dublin Gulch.

She was an entrepreneur, a cultural ambassador to the city of Butte, but Monica’s big, Irish heart made her beloved by those in Butte and beyond.

“She had an indomitable spirit, she always had a smile regardless of how she was feeling, she always had a smile and a good word. I’m glad to have known her,” said Powers.

Cavanaugh’s County Celtic

  • Started in a nook at the former Osco Drug Store on Harrison Avenue about 30 years ago
  • Moved to a small house on South Montana Street.
  • In 2001, relocated to the current location 131 W. Park Street