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Cultural Exhibits

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Culture Exhibits:

Ancient Order of Hibernians The Ancient Order of Hibernians is America’s oldest Irish Catholic Fraternal Organization founded concurrently in the coal-mining region of Pennsylvania and New York City in May,1836. The Order can trace its roots back to a series of similar societies that existed in Ireland for more than 300 years. The slogan, “To be Irish is a Blessing, to be a Hibernian is an Honor.” tells it all!

Connecticut Irish American Historical Society Genealogy Group The Connecticut Irish American Historical Society is part of the Ethnic Heritage Center located at Southern Connecticut State University and this arm of the Society focuses on helping people of Irish origin find their roots in Irish America and/or Ireland. In addition to their activities at the Heritage Center, the Genealogy Group meets on the first Saturday of each month (except July and August) at the Irish American Community Center, 9 Venice Place in East Haven. All inquiries are welcome and free help is available to all who seek to increase their knowledge of their family tree.

Greater New Haven Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee Starting on Saint Patrick’s Day March 17, 1842, the New Haven Saint Patrick’s Day Parade headed by the New Haven Blues Band, marched up Chapel Street to York Street to the Catholic Church on Mount Pleasant where Mass was held. After Mass the Hibernian Society marched through State, Elm, York and Chapel Streets to the corner of Church and Chapel Streets, where all gathered to sing songs about Ireland and Saint Patrick. With a few interruptions, the Parade has gone on every year since then.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum The mission of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University (located in Hamden, CT) is to collect, preserve, exhibit and study its collection of art, artifacts and literature related to the Irish Famine/Great Hunger that occurred from 1845–52. In doing so, it seeks to educate audiences of all ages about the underlying political, social, economic and historic causes of the Great Hunger, and the magnitude of the disaster on Ireland and its people. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art by noted contemporary Irish and Irish American artists as well as a number of period paintings by some of Ireland’s most important 19th-century artists.

Irish American Community Center  Dedicated to the preservation of Irish language, traditional music and dance, Irish drama, genealogy, and Irish American hospitality in a friendly, convivial atmosphere.  In addition, there is a very active Retiree’s group, a Golf League, and a Bowling League for people who want to get involved in other activities.

Irish and Irish Americans in the American Civil War History The Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers (Connecticut’s “Irish Regiment”) was organized in New Haven in September of 1861. They were transported to Ship Island, MS on the Gulf Coast by the end of the year where they saw action as well as in New Orleans the following spring. Despite the fact that the Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers were not allowed to place any memorial at Vicksburg until recent years, a monument honoring the Regiment was placed in New Haven in 1903. (As an aside, a special Civil War exhibit is currently on display at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven. One subject covered is the sacrifice made by the many Irish who fought and died in the American Civil War. Information for this exhibit was provided by Bob Larkin who will have a Civil War exhibit in the Culture Building at the Festival).

Irish History Round Table The Irish History Round Table was formed in March, 1971 as an offshoot of a local Civil War Round Table. It has held meetings every month since then, missing only one meeting in over 34 years due to a blizzard in 1996! Meetings are currently held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm in the Knights of Saint Patrick Hall at 1533 State Street in New Haven.

Irish Language Group Despite centuries of suppression by a foreign power, the Irish people managed to preserve much of their culture, including their language which was taught by “hedge schoolmasters” who risked their lives to pass the language along to the next generations during the Penal Laws. Today, you can learn the Irish language or just get to know Irish speakers in a convivial, supportive atmosphere.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Michael J. McGivney (an Irish-American Catholic priest), in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of the explorer Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, it developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to providing charitable services, including war and disaster relief, actively defending Catholicism in various nations, and promoting Catholic education. The Knights also support the Catholic Church’s positions on public policy issues, including various political causes, and are participants in the New Evangelization.

Knights of Saint Patrick  As an important part of the Irish American cultural scene and promoters of many social events during the year, the Knights of Saint Patrick have been an important part of New Haven history for many years. Their club rooms are located at 1533 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

Pioneers of the Sacred Heart  Founded in Gardiner Street Church, Dublin in 1898 by Fr James Cullen SJ, the Pioneer Association has played a vital role in Irish society for over a century. The mission of the Pioneer Association is to help build a society where people can live full lives without being dependent on alcohol or drugs. There is another way… Come and say hello to these extraordinary people at the CT Irish Festival.

If you have any questions contact the Cultural Exhibit Chairpersons Vincent and Mary McMahon


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