The Irish Cultural Society is a group of your friends and neighbors who want to know more about their Irish heritage. The group, non-political by its charter, endeavors to bring together people with the common goal of learning about our roots and supporting Irish culture and study.

At Our Next Meeting: Discussing 'Ahanagran: A History of Stories' 
The Society welcomes back Dr. Miriam Nyhan to the library’s stage. Dr. Nyhan will speak about her research on Richard White’s history/memoir Remembering Ahanagran: A History of Stories.  The book is controversial in its challenging memory as a reliable source for historians. Dr. Nyhan will share the discoveries to which her research led her with the audience at the Irish Cultural Society meeting. Click here for more details.

Remembering Martin Kelly and Joseph McCormack


The chant of the bagpipes outside Saint William the Abbot Church on July 7 announced to the public that an Irishman had passed away.  And so it was—Martin Kelly, the President of the Irish Cultural Society, was going home to his beloved Catherine and to his reward for a life lived largely.  We who knew Martin were reminded by the bagpipes of his disposition for doing things in a colorful and memorable manner.

Marty always wanted a pipe band to march with us in the Mineola/Garden City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  Colorful, uplifting, exciting, the pipers fit Marty’s larger vision of the Irish Cultural Society as a group which celebrated Irish culture as a feast for the eye and ear, and for the mind, too, as the writers, professors and entertainers at our meetings attest.  Where is Martin Kelly’s vision today?  When Marty died, he had left an organization that has robust attendance at the monthly meetings, a writing contest that packs the meeting room on Awards Night, and a financial statement which is in the black.

Marty’s greatest contribution to the Irish Cultural Society was himself.  No matter how riveting our guests were, his introductions were a part of the delight of the evening.   In Marty’s presence we were in a place of acceptance, a kind of Newgrange in Garden City where the light of Ireland beamed on all of us.  As one of our members said about Martin and Catherine, “They embraced Cead Mille Failte by their warm, receptive countenances and welcoming smiles.”

Marty was one of the founders of the Irish Cultural Society along with Tom Lee, Ray Coyne, Dan Martin, John McGowan, and Tom Dwyer.  He served as president for the last twenty-three years.

We as an organization have made a contribution to the Martin J. Kelly Scholarship Fund at Freeport High School, and we have renamed the writing contest the Martin J. Kelly Writing Contest of the Irish Cultural Society.  May Martin and Catherine rest in peace.


Joe McCormack, our membership chairman, passed away on July 7.  Joe kept our membership list current and accurate to facilitate the correctness of our mailings.  He was a reliable presence at our meetings, helping with the refreshments, our author book sales, and the Awards Night presentations.  Joe risked frost bite in his fingers every March when he carried our banner in the Mineola/Garden City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Joe left us a gift of twenty articles published in the Hedgemaster.
  His last articles taught us about the priests who led the temperance movements in Ireland in the 19th century, Father Theobald Mathew and Father James Cullen.  He wrote the series of articles on Irish Medal of Honor winners.  Gene Tunney, the Orphan Trains and the Belfast and Derry Murals are among Joe’s articles.  Many of the articles can be read in our Hedgemaster archives.

We extend our sympathies to Jane and Joe’s family.
  May he rest in peace.  We have made a contribution to the Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village in Joe’s name.

The Hedgemaster
Our latest addition to the archives is "The Ogham Alphabet", written by John Walsh. 
Members receive our newsletter, the Hedgemaster, four times a year. The Hedgemaster announces meetings, theater trips, and other news of interest to people interested in matters Irish, and contains an article of about 1000 words on a topic from Irish history or culture.  The Book of Kells, the Wild Geese, the Apprentice Boys, the Travelling People, the Brehon Laws, and the Potato Famine are among the many subjects of articles in the Hedgemaster. Please visit our Hedgemaster Archives to sample past articles.
Contact Us
Mailing Address
Irish Cultural Society
P.O. Box 247
Garden City, NY  11530
E-Mail Address