Suffolk County hosts inaugural Irish American Heritage Celebration

Suffolk County hosts inaugural Irish American Heritage Celebration

Above, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, right, joins Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, left, who chose Walter Colleran for Legislative District 6. Photo from Steve Bellone’s Flickr page

In a sea of orange and green, Suffolk County officials, community groups and Irish Americans converged upon the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on Friday, March 24, commemorating the first-ever Irish American Heritage Celebration in county history.

In 2019, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution designating March as Irish American Heritage Month. Friday’s event marked the first such celebration sponsored by the county government.

Above, Legislator Leslie Kennedy with District 12’s pick, Matthew Kelly. Photo from Steve Bellone’s Flickr page

“We’re celebrating the incredible contributions that the Irish have made to the United States of America and to the world,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D).

The county executive also used the occasion to acknowledge the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, an Irish American heritage group with nine divisions across the county, including Port Jefferson, Selden, Smithtown and Huntington. Bellone said the AOH enriches Suffolk communities by celebrating Irish culture while giving back through various charitable endeavors.

Legislators from each of the county’s 18 districts had an opportunity to recognize an Irish American making an impact within their communities. Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) read off the biographical descriptions of each honoree.

Choral and bagpipe arrangements from several Irish American folk groups were performed, along with Irish historian Mike McCormack detailing the historical contributions of the Irish in Suffolk County.