Members of the family, well known and less known, come together every year in the city to celebrate the big Irish day and help out a chosen deserving cause.
This year, the Kellys, led by New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, will be raising funds for the education of the sons of journalist Michael Kelly, who was killed while covering the war in Iraq almost a year ago.
“This year, Commissioner Ray Kelly will be presenting a plaque of the Kelly
coat of arms to Madelyn Kelly and their two boys, 7-year-old Tom and 4-year-old Jack,” said New York Post journalist Keith Kelly, a co-founder of the “Kelly Gang,” so named after the 19th century Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly.
Michael Kelly, who was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1957, attended a Kelly Gang gathering on St. Patrick’s Day 2002, the first after 9/11.
“I remember someone giving out special St. Patrick’s Day T-shirts that said, ‘Remember the Heroes,’ in commemoration of the people who died on September 11. Little did we know that one of our merry band would be dead little more than a year later,” said Keith Kelly
This year’s gathering will be include a charity raffle with prizes, including a golf trip to Ireland along with copies of the soon to be released book, “The Collected Works of Michael Kelly,” which will be published by Penguin.
Entertainment will be provided by vocalist Ashley Davis, folk singer Kirk
Kelly, and a contingent from the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe and Drum corps.
The Kelly Gang gathering, which is open to Kellys and non-Kellys alike, is set for St. Patrick’s Night, from 7-10 at Michael’s Restaurant, 24 West 55th St. in Manhattan. The Suggested donation to benefit the sons of Michael Kelly is $100 per ticket payable to: Tom and Jack Kelly Education Fund, c/o Thomas Kelly, 250 West 57th St., Ste. 2430A, New York, NY 10170. Details and RSVPs to (212) 581-3813 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOOR TO DOOR
The cases of Irish nationals facing possible deportation from the U.S. were raised in a Capitol Hill blitz by members of the Irish American Unity Conference last week.
More than two dozen members of the group raised the issue of the deportees and the revised US/UK Extradition Treaty and the northern Ireland peace process in visits to over 50 Senate and House member offices.
The deportees issue was also raised at a hearing last week of the House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe.
During the hearing, Rep. Eliot Engel described moves to deport Irish nationals as “shameful.”
“We are beginning to deport Irish Nationals who are now in the U.S. We talk about fighting the war on terrorism and we lump them in on this war on terrorism,” he said.
“I don’t believe that’s fair I don’t believe it’s right. I don’t see how
these efforts in trying to deport people who are in this country, who are abiding
by the law, who are doing the right thing, who work and pay taxes and have
families here, I don’t see how the efforts to try to deport them help
promote the Good Friday agreement or peace in the north of Ireland,” Engel said.
Meanwhile, one of the individuals facing deportation, Malachy McAllister, will be the guest speaker at the annual Quill/Connolly celebration set for the Transport Union Workers headquarters, 80 West End Ave., at 64th Street, in Manhattan, on Tuesday, March 16, from 4-6 p.m. Admission free, all welcome.
OVER NEW YORK
The Cork City accent sounds sing-song to many so it’s not surprising that the city boasts a formidable male voice choir.
That ensemble, the City of Cork Male Voice Choir, begins a New York tour this weekend with an opening performance Saturday, March 13, during the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
The following day the choir will sing at the Friends of Firefighters Inc. concert at the Irish American Society Hall in Mineola. The concert begins at 4 p.m.
On Monday, March 15, the choir will give a 7 p.m. concert in aid of Maspeth Town Hall at Walter Crowley School in Elmhurst. For the Mineola event call (516) 742-1092 and for the Elmhurst performance call (718) 336-6059.
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Jersey Shore will be this week honoring a Seabee who came ashore during the Iraq War.
Cork native Jeremiah Greaney will be presented with the group’s Order of St. Brendan during its annual dinner this week.
Greaney, who lives in the Bronx, served with the Seabees for six months during operation Iraqi Freedom.
The group’s Irishman of the Year aware is being presented to entertainer Joe Finn while the Commodore Barry Award will be presented to retired navy commander Thomas J. Gorman.
A portion of the proceeds from the dinner, at Mike Doolan’s in Spring Lake Heights, will go to fund up to ten grants to high school seniors of Irish American heritage.