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Orangetown Declares March Irish Heritage Month

The Orangetown Council passed a resolution to declare March as Irish Cultural Heritage Month at Tuesday's town board meeting.

Vince Tyer and John McGowan marched up to the front of the the old courtroom in Orangetown Town Hall during Tuesday's town board meeting, introducing a short ceremony to proclaim March Irish Cultural Heritage Month in Orangetown.

Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart read the opening paragraph of the proclamation, which detailed Irish contributions locally and nationally.

The opening paragraph reads:

"Whereas, from American's earliest days, Irish immigrants and their descendants have contributed leadership, wisdom and vitality to America, through nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and 22 Presidents with Irish roots as well as the indelible mark Irish Americans have made in shaping the great state and city of New York through numerous governors, legislators, mayors and public officials."

Stewart said the proclamation borrows liberally from the one State Sen. David Carlucci will read Monday in Albany, with contributions from members of the town board. This will be the third year for Irish American Heritage Month in New York State, which began in 2011. Carlucci also introduced the resolution in Albany last year.  

"We are going to read the resolution on the floor," said Carlucci, who attended Tuesday's Orangetown meeting. "What we are doing is calling on Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo to declare March as Irish American Heritage Month. It is really mpressive when you read the resolution to see all the contibutions Irish Americnas have made to the United States, particularly to our government to our democracy."

The proclamation also cites the contributions of Irish Americans to Orangetown through organizations such as the Gaelic Athletic Association, Irish Cultural Society and Ancient Order of Hibernians. This includes the Rockland County St. Patrick's Day Parade in Pearl River, which is organized by the AOH. 

This year's Parade Commander is Sgt. Kieran Murphy of Pearl River, a recent recipient of a Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan. 

Stewart also recognized Neil Cosgrove of the AOH and Mary O'Sullivan, one of the co-chairs of the St. Patrick's Day Parade organizing committee.

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