The Fr. Abram J. Ryan Division of the AOH has successfully petitioned the House of Representatives to hereby recognize March as Irish American Heritage Month for Kentucky.
Due to the overwhelming number of citizens within the Commonwealth of Kentucky who are Irish or are descendents of Irish immigrants and the tremendous contributions of Irish Americans to our nation, our Commonwealth, and our communities, the House of Representatives hereby recognizes March as Irish American Heritage Month for Kentucky.
Full Press Release:
Fr. Abram J. Ryan Division
Ancient Order of Hibernians
Louisville, Kentucky USA
For Immediate Release
To: News Editors, Assignment Desks, and Producers
March Declared as Irish American Month for Kentucky
Louisville, KY – Kentucky now joins Washington, D.C. in recognizing March as Irish American Heritage Month. The national proclamation issued yearly by the President and Congress to honor the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants has been extended to those living in Kentucky.
House Resolution 79, sponsored by Representative Jeffery Donohue, received bipartisan support to passFeb. 4, 2015. Donohue, a fourth generation Irish American, represents House District in Jefferson County.
Donohue worked with the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) in Louisville to prepare the resolution.AOH historian William Whelan provided research to support the resolution.
Contributions from Irish American’s noted in the resolution include the following:
- Nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and 22 American presidents have Irish roots
- 20 of George Washington’s generals and an estimated quarter of the Continental Army were Irish Americans
- Irishman John Barry was the first officer commissioned by Washington in the newly formed Navy, who later became Commodore of the Continental Navy
- Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon of Kentucky led a critical charge to win the battle against the pirates in Tripoli that is remembered in the Marine Corps Hymn
Donohue will present the declaration of Irish American Month in Kentucky to AOH president Mark Wakefield at the annual Blessing of the Beer and St. Patrick’s Parade Kickoff at 6:30 p.m., March 12, at O’Shea’s Irish Pub, 956 Baxter Avenue in Louisville’s Highlands.
“We invite all those of Irish descent, our loyal St. Patrick’s Parade supporters and the whole city of Louisville as the Hibernians celebrate our culture and heritage on this historic occasion as the Commonwealth of Kentucky commemorates its very first Irish American Month,”Wakefield said.
The heriitage month is in March to coincide with the Irish national holiday on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day and related events. The AOH sponsors the St. Patrick’s Parade the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day to be held this year on March 14. This will be their 42nd parade in what is now an annual tradition in Louisville and second only to the Pegasus in size.
On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, AOH members cook and serve an Irish breakfast of corned beef and cabbage to the hungry at the Franciscan Kitchen, 748 S. Preston, in remembrance of so many Irish families that suffered in the Great Famine in Ireland.
Following the breakfast, members and other friends of the Irish will gather at the Bloody Monday Historical Sign, at 11 a.m., 1011 W. Main, to remember the hardships, discrimination and sacrifice the Irish immigrants faced in settling in their new homes in Louisville. Local historian Tom Owen will speak.
Then all those present will be led by a piper on “The Irish Way” to Patrick O’Shea’s, 123 W. Main, to share food and drink in honor of the Irish.
The AOH is an Irish-Catholic fraternal organization with over 170 members in Louisville, ranging in age and all walks of life. It is the oldest and largest Irish cultural organization in the U.S. with roots back 300 years to Ireland. The organization supports Irish culture and local charities in Louisville.