State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced he has introduced H.R. 120, designating March 2019 as “Irish-American Heritage Month” in Pennsylvania.
“Since this nation’s founding, American citizens of Irish descent have made many significant contributions both within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States. Today, they continue to thrive and excel in many spheres of human endeavor, from academia to business and beyond,” Driscoll said.
The celebration of Irish heritage is a long-standing tradition in the commonwealth, which hosts among the largest and oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country each year. Irish heritage will be celebrated from Philadelphia, where the city’s parade first took place in 1771, to Scranton, which hosts the second-largest St. Patrick’s parade in the country.
“As a proud Irish-American myself, it is always an honor to sponsor a resolution recognizing the impact Irish-Americans have been making since before our country’s founding. Thank you to my co-sponsors for their show of support and for extending their best wishes to the Irish community with House Resolution 120,” Driscoll said.
The state House of Representatives also unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by Rep. John Galloway recognizing March as Hibernian Heritage Month in Pennsylvania.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is the oldest Irish Catholic organization in America and was founded concurrently in New York and Pennsylvania in May 1836.
“The Ancient Order of Hibernians is one of those great civic enrichment groups that add so much to the culture, history, and pride here for Bucks County – as well as across the commonwealth,” said Galloway, D-Bucks.
“And, as we look forward to the annual Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, I never miss the opportunity to point out that the Bristol Ancient Order of Hibernians Division No. 1 is the oldest division in the United States – a fact I’m proud to boast as a member.”
The group’s roots can be traced back 300 years earlier when members’ ancestors risked their lives to keep the Irish language, culture and Roman Catholic religion alive in Ireland.
The twin goals of the organization are to assist in the reunification of Ireland and promote Irish culture; additionally, it historically gave aid to the newly arrived Irish, both economically and socially, and is among the first to welcome new Irish immigrants.
There are more than 80,000 members of the Hibernians in 46 states, Canada and Ireland.