The Council of United Emerald Societies, which brings together tens of thousands of long-established organizations, has warned the Catholic hierarchy that St Brigid’s, in lower Manhattan, represents an important part of Irish American heritage.
The New York archdiocese, led by Cardinal Edward Egan, wants to bulldoze the 158-year old church, making millions of dollars in a real estate play. The anticipated destruction of the church forms part of a wider plan to sell off churches, schools and other community assets held by the Church.
St Brigid’s is already shuttered, allegedly stripped of all of its valuable artworks, and faces the wrecking ball as early as this month.
“We’re losing our heritage,” said Tom Gormley, president of the Grand Council of United Emerald Societies. “They’re chipping away at us.”
The group brings together the Emerald societies that collectively represent the very foundation blocks of Irish New York; in police departments and fire departments in the city and Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and other counties; the Board of Education; Con Edison; and dozens of city and county government departments.
“It’s time we took a stand and defended what we believe in,