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Westmeath Men’s Ball – Enjoyable Function in New York – Proceeds in Aid of New Cathedral

The Westmeath Ball of 1935 has passed into history, but the memory of it will linger long in the minds of those whose good fortune it was to be present.

Although the night was very inclement– the first blinding snowstorm of the year making travel hazardous–it did not dampen the ardour of hundreds of patrons of the Westmeath Men.

Once inside the great ballroom of the Yorkville, Casino, everyone was carefree and happy. Indeed it was one of the most sociable gatherings that could be found in New York and the consensus of all present was that it was the most brilliant function ever held by the Association. One could not help but feel the thrill of old Ireland in his breast as he entered the spacious hall. Every side he turned was a reminder of the Emerald Isle. The magnificent array of lights, sparkling on the green and gold of the decorative banners, which hung from the boxes, was most attractive and greatly admired.

The ladies too, were resplendent in their gorgeous gowns of modern fashion against a background of the sharp black and white formal attire of the men.

A romantic touch was added to the festivities since a number of newlyweds were present. Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Duffy, who spent their honeymoon in Ireland last Summer; Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Delhanty, and Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Nooney, who were married a few days previous and who deferred sailing to Bermuda on the wedding trip until after the ball, and the floor manager, Patrick Kelly, who was selected to lead the grand march, with his charming fiancee, Miss Josephine Mullane. It is needless to add they were the recipients of hearty felicitations throughout the evening.

The ball committee should feel very proud of their work, which showed such splendid results, under the most trying weather conditions, and it reflects great credit on their hard and consistent work for the past six weeks. On this committee were– Michael Merriman, Fore, Chairman; Christopher J. Casserly, Killucan, Secretary who deserves a special word of praise, he did the lion’s share of the work. Others on the committee were Chris Brennan, Dysart; Joseph Horan, Rahan; John McCormack, Sonna; Dr. Joseph P. Brennan, Ballinagore; Chris Murray, Raharney; Michael McCormack, Sonna; Frank Tighe, Inny Junction; Andrew Coyne, Hightown; John Kelly, Terrycrew; James F. Weston, Streamstown; Chris Duffy, Crookedwood, and Patrick Casserly, Killucan.

The fact that the net proceeds were to be forwarded to his lordship, Most Rev Thomas Mulvany, as the contribution of the Westmeath Men’s Association towards the erection of the new Cathedral acted as a stimulus to greater efforts.

A double orchestra supplied the music for Irish and American dancing. The feature of the evening was the grand march, which was led by Patrick Kelly, Streamstown, and Miss Josephine Mullane, followed by the assistant floor managers, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Duffy, Patrick Casserly and Andrew Coyne, after whom came the officers of the Association and over two hundred couples.

Amongst those present the following were noted:

[hundreds of names. Insert at later date]

It was a wonderful night and a wonderful affair. Young and old had a thoroughly good time and it was with regret that a halt had to be called in the early hours of the morning.

It was inspiring to view the fine gathering of the young Westmeath folk and to note the decorum and the charm of expression on the faces of everyone present.

It was a really Irish night and one which will go down in the history of Westmeath men as a most enjoyable one. It would be hard to understand why all our Westmeath people in New York and vicinity do not attend this splendid annual reunion when so much pleasure and sociability is enjoyed by all who do attend. The heavy snowfall that continued throughout the day and night had a deterrent effect on the attendance. It prevented a good many out of town people from venturing out. However, what it lacked in numbers was made up in joviality.

The boxes were filled to capacity. Mrs. Keenan, Rosemount, who arrived here last October on a visit, who was the happiest woman at the ball. She was entertained in box “5” by her family, which included her sons, Thomas and Joseph, and their wives, and her daughters, Bridie, and Mrs. Christopher Shaw. Box “23” held a most congenial crowd. The newly weds, Matthew Delhanty and Christopher Nooney, both of Kilbeggan, entertained their friends in royal fashion. They had little respite throughout the evening from a continuous parade of well-wishers, who all but mobbed them.

Patrick Kelly, floor manager, was the cynosure of all eyes as he led the grand march. Was it because of his distinguished appearance, or was it because of his charming partner? Perhaps it was both. Reminded by one of the old-timers the remark that “history repeats itself,” in 1903, nearly 33 years ago, a committee was formed by the Westmeath Men’s Association, to aid and assist the late Rev. John L. Magee, who was then collecting funds for the new Cathedral, I cannot help noting the fact that on that committee were practically the same members who are acting in a similar capacity on this occasion, among whom are– Christopher Murray, John and Michael McCormack, and Frank Tighe.

The committee are very grateful to P. J. Cox, Rathowen, and Michael Jennings, Mullingar, who could not attend, but sent their donations. The same is true of Matthew Lynam, Killucan, now of Bridgeport, Connecticut. This is the spirit that has built the Cathedral!

— Christopher Murray

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Mullingar Cathedral August 8, 1936 - Irish Independent
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To Aid Mullingar Cathedral

The Westmeath Men’s Association and Auxiliary met at Tuxedo Hall in response to a call by the committee in charge of their 45th annual ball at Yorkville Casino, 210 East 86th Street, Saturday evening, November 23rd.

Christopher J. Casserly, a veteran member of the association, is secretary.

The net proceeds of the ball will be forwarded to his Grace, the Bishop of Meath, Most Rev. Thomas Mulvany, D.D., in behalf of the new Cathedral, Mullingar, which is rapidly nearing completion.

The Diocese of Meath includes Meath, Westmeath and part of Longford and Cavan. Friends will flock in large numbers from Tara’s Hill to Royal Uisneach, and from the Bridge of Finea to Virginia Road. Their hearty co-operation is invited and will be much appreciated.

The follow committee is in charge of the ball:–Michael Merriman (chairman); Christopher J. Casserly, secretary; Eugene Glennon, Andrew Coyne, John Kelly, Christopher Murray, James Duffy, Matthew Delahunty, Christopher Brennan, Patrick Carroll, and Christopher Duffy– From “The Advocate,” New York.


Photo is Mullingar Cathedral as shown on August 8, 1936 in the Irish Independent

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Status Of Irish Welfare Bureau

The Welfare Bureau came through with some astoundingly good work. One case represented the restoring to a woman of her life savings that had been filched by an undertaker’s friend. The other instances showed that a check for $3,500 had been turned over to an injured worker in a case that the worker originally was anxious to settle for $500. Apparently Manager Chris Murray has been hitting on all cylinders, and assuredly these results are striking indications of the serviceableness of the Bureau.

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Dr. Hyde’s Interest in The New York Feis

August 21, 1935

Dear Mr. Trimble:

I have read with great interest and pleasure about the Feis that is to be held in New York in October. I do hope it may be very successful and show our countrymen and women that we have a civilization of our own.

I am quite sure that the Feis will be a new departure for the bulk of the Irish in New York, but in my opinion it is a very necessary one. Alas! Many of the good Irishmen who helped me when I was there nearly thirty years ago have passed away, but I shall never forget all their kindness. The reception they gave enabled me to travel through the rest of the States with a certain prestige.

The money they so generously gave us at that time helped to win the University fight and it placed Ireland’s feet upon the road which she has been traveling ever since. 

With all good wishes for the success of the Feis.

Mise do cara.

An Craoibin (Douglas Hyde)

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Passing Observations

Despite rumors of ill health, we were glad to meet former Commissioner Christopher J. Murray of Westmeath at the Welfare Bureau during the week. Mr. Murray’s health has been somewhat erratic of late, but his great will power has reasserted itself and he is again around and about, performing the duties connected with the Irish Bureau’s activities in the same confident and pleasant manner that has earned wide praise from those visiting the bureau. Atta boy, Chris!

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Cusack Park, Mullingar – References in American Press

The “Gaelic American,” in its issue of 9th February, 1935, published the following:–Taking time from his duties as director of the Welfare Bureau (United Irish Counties) at the Knights of Columbus Hotel, Christopher Murray, for ever so long identified with Irish sports, of some years back, furnishes some new information about Cusack Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, which was erected the year before last. Christopher is the proud possessor of a letter from Peadar Cowan, Secretary, Westmeath Board G.A.A., in which the thanks and blessings of the Board are conveyed to him and the local Westmeath Men’s Association for a generous donation to the fund for the building of the new park. “Considering everything,” Christopher says, “Peadar Cowan and the Board report a very good year, and the prospects for the future are indeed very bright. The first big football match of the season will be played in the New Park on February 17th when Connacht & Leinster selections will play the semi-final for the Railway Cup. My old friend, Mr. James J. King, sent along his best regards. Jim is one of the oldest and most practical workers they have, and will not be content until a cinder path is laid round the pitch. A number of people will remember, I am sure,” added Christopher, “that Jim King was a famous athlete in his younger days. He has a husky son who will be a national champion one of these days.”

Quoting from the letter to Chris., Mr. Cowan says:– I was delighted at the splendid publicity given to Cusack Park in the Irish-American Press. The copies which you kindly sent me were indeed a revelation. We can never thank you and your fellow workers enough for all the trouble you went to on our behalf.

As soon as the Board is financially able a stand will be erected to commemorate the poet, Leo Casey. The funds to build the seating place will be derived from the receipts of competitions for a trophy that was recently donated by the town tradesman. From the description of the cup, Christopher loses not time in stating that there is nothing like it in Ireland. Resting on a pedestal of Kilkenny marble, it stands 2 feet high, resembling a monolith or tower, and is constructed of oxidised copper, varying in colour from that of glowing, bright bronze to deep purple. The four faces of the tower are chiseled and chased and enriched with inlaid enamels, silver and gold.

Further References

The “Irish World” of 9th February, 1935, in a column of large captions, says:– “The Westmeath Men’s Association during the past year raised three hundred dollars as a subscription towards defraying the expenses of Cusack Park, Mullingar. This has now been acknowledged by Peadar Cowan, of the Westmeath Co. Board, in a communication to Chris. Murray. Mr. Cowan, in a very interesting letter, convinces the reader that this is to be a hectic year for the Gaels of Westmeath, and pardonable pride in the new park, which, incidentally is the only park in Ireland called after the founder of the Association, permeates all through Mr. Cowan’s communication.

“The town tradesman of Mullingar presented to the Board a beautiful trophy known as “The Mullingar Town Trophy” for annual competition between the four principal football champions. The full proceeds go to the Cusack Park funds, and it is expected that the present debt will be liquidated in a couple of years. Then it is intended to go ahead with the erection of a stand on the grounds to commemorate the Fenian Gael, Leo Casey. Mullingar Town Trophy is distinctly original as a sports trophy in its general conception, in its form, in conveying a sense of restrained athletic power and embodying the thoughts appropriate to its use. It is unique also in respect of the material of which it is made, and in qualities of design and craftsmanship. In its general form the trophy resembles a monolith or tower–a tower of strength–and stands two feet in height. It is constructed of oxidised copper. The teaching also embodied in it is that the spirit of Cuchulan still lives in our modern athletics. On the front side of the tower is an emblematic figure of the athlete with background of waves and crests of the summerday seas, and as in the story of Cuchulan it is stated that he subdued to his purposes two wild horses, one symbolising day and the other night. Athletic power by day and by night is expressed in a panel beneath the figure two horses’ heads, being symbols of the sun and moon, respectively, attached to the harness. Crowning this combined arrangement, above the figure is a symbol if lightnight speed and energy–that of Uranus. The Arms of the four provinces are at around the base of the tower. On the front side is the inscription bearing date of Jubilee Year, October, 1934. Below the inscription is space for engraving the names of the winning teams, and at the foot is introduced a representation of the old water mill of Mullingar.

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Brilliant Function – Westmeath Exiles In The Ballroom

Forty-third Annual Ball In New York
Highly Interesting Particulars and Descriptions
For the forty third consecutive year, the Westmeath Ball has come and gone. Like its predecessors, this year’s affair on Saturday evening, Nov 24th at Yorkville Casino, was the Irish social triumph of the season. No other Irish social gathering in New York approaches Westmeath in style and attendance. It has been truly said that it is the outstanding event among the Irish societies in greater New York.

This tribute is due to the fact that the affair is run in such elaborate and highly creditable manner.

This ball, among our people, have been anxiously awaited and the mere word of its announcement is like music in their ears. It has the effect similar to that of a mother standing on the threshold of her door with outstretched hands bidding her children come to her. Heeding her call they flock in their hundreds from mountains, glens, and valleys to nestle in her arms; bringing with them their friends, regardless of county or province.

Many men of prominence in City and State affairs joined in the festivities, not among them were–Hon. George U. Harvey, President of Borough of Queens; Hon. Thomas Kelly, former Deputy Sheriff; Roderick J. Kennedy, General Chairman, St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Hon. Matthew J. Troy,–Assistant Corporation Counsel, who it is rumoured, will shortly be appointed to a Justiceship in one of the High Courts; Dr. Joseph P. Brennan, and Rev. John K Flanagan, O.C.O, Pastor Carmelite Church at Middletown, NY.

They enjoyed the proceedings immensely, particularly the grand march which began promptly at midnight when John Foley’s (Ballynacargy) famous Irish orchestra blended in musical harmony with that of Professor McGrath’s American band, as they struck up Leo Casey’s, “The Rising of the Moon.” The great crowd, catching the fervour of the stirring air sang out in ringing tone and the singing gathered in volume until at last a thousand voices was heard in:

“Oh, then tell me, Shaun O’Farrell,
Where the gath’rin is to be?
In the auld spot by the river,
Right well known to you and me.”

The march wended its way in endless columns (led by James Duffy, former captain of the Rosemount football team, and his partner was Miss Catherine Weston, charming young daughter of the President of the Association) until they came sixteen abreast, when the eight leading ladies were presented with eight bouquets of chrysanthemums by eight pretty little Westmeath girls, Mary Weston, Theresea McQuade, Mary Donnelly, Margaret Ogul, Sheila Brady, Evelyn White, Anna Casserly, and Dorothy Nugent. The march was directed by John McCormack (Sonna) and Joseph Horan (Rahugh). At its conclusion everyone stood at attention as the —- National Anthem and ——.

President’s Welcome

During a brief moment while the photographers were preparing their apparatus for a group picture, the President of the Association, Mr. James Weston, came to the centre of the stage and said, among other things to those assembled: “We greatly appreciate your presence and we extend our sincere gratitude to you for your valued patronage. The proceeds of this ball, like all others, will go towards replenishing the sick and death funds of the organization. May this affair bring to your hearts an abundance of joy and pleasure and may its memory linger in the minds of everyone present.”

Mr. Weston was heartily applauded for the message of good will.

Dancing then proceeded without interruption and the following were found regaling themselves to their hearts’ content:

[hundreds and hundreds of names to be added at a later date]

The number of names given above are small in comparison to the large number who attended the ball, but those people have cooperated with the committee in not only giving their names, but their town or townland as well. We are sure it will give a good deal of pleasure and consolation to the folks at home to scan the paper and find therein the names of their loved ones in a distant land, sharing the joys and pleasures of their schoolday chums.

The committee in charge of this splendid undertaking, which includes John Donnelly (Ballinafad), Chairman; Christopher Brennan (Castletown), Secretary; Patrick Mackin (Newtown, Castlepollard), Chairman of Boxes; John P. Smith (Raharney), and John McCormack (Sonna), publicity, deserve great credit for the manner in which they conducted the afffair.

They are not unmindful of the wholehearted support and encouragement that has been given to them by the “Westmeath Examiner” heretofore.

Refreshments and sandwiches were copiously distributed by the Ladies’ Committee, who were hosts in themselves and by their kind hospitality and courteous smiles added greatly to the pleasures of the evening.

— Christopher Murray.

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Westmeath Reports a Year of Progress

Record Gate Receipts: Opening of Cusack Park

The Border Problem Again

The report of the secretary of the Westmeath Co. Committee (Capt. Peadar Cowan) makes pleasant reading, and if the other counties can show such progress for the year, this will certainly be a record period in the life of the G.A.A.

Nine Senior Football teams, six Senior Hurling, thirty-three Junior Football, and sixteen junior Hurling teams took park in the year’s competitions–an increase of 12 on 1933. The gate receipts totaled £352 1s. 2d., another record, while only the Junior Football and Hurling competitions remain to be competed.

One of the chief reasons, perhaps for this happy state of affairs has been the setting up of District Boards with their more extensive organisation

Rosemount won the the Senior Football title by a narrow margin, while Castlepollard captured the Hurling honours.

Will Be Considered

The county suffered financial loss through its participation in inter-county competitions, though they showed a profit on the season’s working, and the suggestion is thrown out that the matter of future engagements in the National and Leinster Leagues should engage the attention of the Convention.

Though these competitions caused a financial loss, it may be worth while to continue losing a little money, as only by taking part in these Leagues and other inter-county competitions can experience be gained for the championships.

The county did not do too well in the Jubilee Year Championships, but the Gaels of Westmeath can find consolation in the fact that their conquerors in Senior Football (Dublin) and Junior Hurling (Kildare) reached the All-Ireland finals.

A Bone Of Contention

The Border problem will, without doubt cause much discussion, as in the past it has been the cause of innumerable difficulties to both Roscommon and Westmeath.

Athlone Town is, of course, the bone of contention, and if the decision of Congress is adhered to, that portion of the town west of the Shannon goes to the Connacht county.

Another Border problem has, however, been amicably settled by the Offaly Gaels deciding to cede for all G.A.A. purposes that portion of the county adjoining Horse-leap, in which a number of the Westmeath players reside.

Kinnegad is also likely to figure largely in the discussions at the Convention, as this little town has been also the cause of much worry, and its border problem has caused stormy meetings of the Westmeath Co. Board.

Cause For Congratulation

The outstanding achievement of the county has been the acquisition and improvement of Cusack Park at Mullingar.

The pitch is now recognised as one of the best in Leinster, or perhaps in Ireland, and the Central Council has fixed for this venue one of the most important games of the early spring–the Leinster-Connacht Football semi-final of the Railway Cup.

The County Committee will be called on to make provision for the growing attendance at matches at this very centrally situated venue, and much of their activities will be doubtless concentrated on making the Park the foremost of our many provincial venues.

The Committee must feel extremely grateful to the Westmeath Men’s Association of New York, who, through their Secretary., Mr. Christopher Murray (formerly of Raharney), sent a contribution of £60 to assist the G.A.A. in the county.

It is intended to purchase a suitable hurling trophy with this money, and in this connection a big drive is being contemplated to encourage hurling in the county.

The committee must feel quite happy in their endeavors to keep the Gaelic flag flying, and the fact that, despite the loss on inter-county games, a substantial profit has been made on the year’s working.

I could scarcely improve on the Secretary’s reference to the future:

The prospects for the future are distinctly bright and encouraging, and I am confident that 1935 will be a wonderful year not only for the Association as a while, but for Westmeath. With harmony, efficiency and common sense at our meetings, and a live-wire Committee to direct our affairs, no obstacle can impede our progress in our own Golden Jubilee Year.”

There are 26 motions all dealing with internal administration, while the large number of nominations for the different positions prove that the different areas are anxious to take a hand in the administration of the affairs of the county.

The Nominations

President– Rev. P. Dunne, C.C.

Chairman– M. Casey, Capt. P. Cowan, Sean Garland, N.T.; D. Leary, N.T.; Senator J.J. O’Boyle, N.T.

Treasurer– M. Casey, Capt. P. Cowan., D. Leary, N.T.; T. Manning, A. Mullen, J. Murray, J. Shanahan, B. Walsh.

Treasurer– M. Casey, P. Carey, J.M. Egan, Sean Garland, N.T.; Ben Hickey, N.T.; D. Leary, N.T.; B. Walsh.

Registrar– T. McCoy, B. Walsh

The Kilkenny Co. Convention will be held on January 27, while the Northern Division Convention takes place on December 23.

The All-Ireland Colleges’ Convention, fixed for Saturday next, has been postponed to January 19.

The Dublin-Louth National Football League tie, arranged for January 20, has been brought forward to January 13, as the Louth Convention is fixed for the former date.

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Westmeath Secretary’s Report

A Gaedheala,

I have the honour to present this, my Report for the Golden Jubilee Year of the Association.

Nine Senior Football, six Senior Hurling, thirty-three Junior Football, and sixteen Junior Hurling teams took park in our adult competitions during the year. This was an increase of twelve teams on the total number that participated in 1933.

The Midland Feis Committee provided Cups for competition in Senior Football and Senior Hurling and these were played for on the League system–the new competitions taking the place of the old Senior Leagues. The Feis Cup matches were all keely contested and the Finals, played at the Midland Feis in Cusack Park, on 27th May, were thrilling and spectacular. Rosemount, in Football, and Castlepollard, in Hurling, are first winners of the Feis Cups. The Junior Football and Hurling Leagues were also well contested and resulted n victories for Tubberclair and Walderstown respectively.

The Senior Football Championship was a splendid competition and the football at all stages reached a high standard. The final was a fitting conclusion to the qualifying round and results in a narrow win for Rosemount over Coralstown.

The Senior Hurling Championship was robbed of its glamour by the elimination of Clonkill on an objection after they had defeated Ardnurcher, and in the Final Castletown-Geoghegan, last year’s Junior Champions, were no match for a strong Castlepollard team.

The Junior Football Championship Semi-Finals and Final and the Junior Hurling Championship Final have yet to be played. The dates of these matches will be fixed after the Convention.

Inter-county Competitions

The Leinster Championship draws did not favour Westmeath and our Senior Football, Junior Football and Junior Hurling teams were eliminated in the first round. It is consoling, however, to know that our conquerors in all grades did exceptionally well in the Championships. Dublin, in Senior Football, and Kildare in Junior Hurling, were unbeaten right up to the All-Ireland Finals, and in Junior Football Kildare reached the Leinster Final undefeated. In the Leinster Hurling League our representatives gave a splendid account of themselves and were only narrowly beaten by the League winners, Meath, in the Semi-Final. Our footballers, after convincing wins over Leitrim, Offaly and Longford, have attained a strong position in the National Football League.

The County Minor Football team was denied an opportunity to competing in the Provincial Championships. This was unfortunate as we had a splendid young team and had gone to much trouble and expense in training it.

District Boards

The district organisation authorised by the last Convention was put into effect during the year and is now working smoothly and efficiently. District Boards were established in Athlone, Streamstown, Tyrrellspass, Ballynacargy, Coralstown, Castlepollar, Collinstown, and Mullingar. I attended the inaugural meetings of all the Boards and was impressed by the enthusiasm and obvious earnestness of all the Club representatives present. A word of praise is due to the District Secretaries for the able manner in which they carried out their many duties and for their great assistance in the County Committee. A slight alteration in the locations of district headquarters will probably be necessary in the coming year, but this will be decided by the affiliations.

Border Problems

Much time and energy were wasted by innumerable difficulties arising out of our peculiar border situation. The last Congress decided, contrary to the wishes of the Gaels in Athlone, to divide Athlone Town in two and place that portion west of the Shannon in Roscommon for G.A.A. purposes. The decision will come into effect on 1st January next when further difficulties are likely to arise. The County Committee has been informed that all the active and the great majority of the old Gaels in the area about to be taken from us, oppose any division of Athlone on the ground that such a division is detrimental to the best interests of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the town. Our Convention will now have to face the situation seriously and decide whether the best interests of the Association in Westmeath will be served by a rigid adherence to the decision of the last Congress, or by re-opening the whole question at next Congress. One of our border problems has been amicably settled during the past couple of months by the kindness of Offaly County Committee in ceding to Westmeath for all G.A.A. purposes that portion of Offaly adjoining Horseleap, in which a number of our players and adminstrators reside.

Recent events are very likely to ensure a comprehensive discussion on the Kinnegad border problem. It is certainly desirable that the situation in Kinnegad should be explained, as many members of the Association, both in Meath and Westmeath, are unacquainted with the facts.

Cusack Park

Cusack Park is now recognised as the finest athletic arena outside Croke Park, and the Central Council has just fixed the first big inter-Provincial of 1935–Leinster v. Connacht, in Senior Football–for it. Several other big matches will be played in Cusack Park next year, including the inaugural matches for the magnificent Mullingar Town Trophy. The incoming County Committee must, therefore, complete the sodding and drainage and lay the cinder foundations of the new cycle track early in January. These works will cost a considerable sum, but the expenditure is an absolute necessity. The attendances at the big matches are increasing enormously and it is our duty to provide every reasonable accommodation and convenience for the players and spectators. Only by doing so we can we hope to secure the big matches to which our ideal situation and our unrivalled transported facilities entitle us.

Financial

During the year the County Committee received a contribution of £60 from the Westmeath Men’s Association of New York, per their esteemed Secretary, Mr. Christopher Murray (formerly of Raharney). This generous action, which we deeply appreciate, shows that in our efforts to provide a fitting memorial in Westmeath to the founder of the Gaelic Association, we have the active support of every Westmeath man and woman at home and abroad. It is our intention to purchase with this subscription a suitable hurling trophy which will commemorate the generosity of the Westmeath Men’s Association in New York and enable us to develop and encourage our oldest National game.

As will be seen from the Revenue Account we sustained a dead loss of £100 7s. 8d. on inter-County competitions. The Leinster Hurling League resulted in a loss of £49 8s 4. and the National Football League in a loss of £39 3s. 4d. Tournament matches the training of the County Minor Football Team also caused a loss of £19 14s. Only in the Leinster Championships did income exceed expenditure and in this case the gain was £1 18s 0d. The question of participation in future National and Leinster Leagues requires the attention of the Convention.

The gate receipts in our own competitions reached the record sum of £352 1s. 2d. This is an indication, if one were needed, of the upward trend of the Association in the County and of the increasing public support for it.

I am glad to be able to state that for the third year in succession we have had a profit on the ordinary working of the County Committee, and this notwithstanding the heavy loss on inter-County Competitions. It is now established that, with judicious management, a substantial profit can be made every year, and I see no reason why the bank overdraft on Cusack Park can not easily be paid off once capital expenditure on the Park has been completed.

The Future

The prospects for the future are distinctly bright and encouraging, and I am confident that 1935 will be a wonderful year not only for the Association as a whole, but for Westmeath. With harmony, efficiency, and common sense at our meetings, and a live-wire Committee to direct our affairs, no obstacle can impede our progress in our own Golden Jubilee Year.

– Peadar Mac Eoghain
7th December, 1934

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Westmeath Ball

To the Westmeath Ball at the Yorkville Casino, and here we find another large and brilliant gathering worthy of a column of details. We enjoyed our stay very much and met many wonderful Westmeath folks introduced by Chris Murray. John McCormick and Doctor James Brennan. The grand march was a pretty one–the four leading ladies carrying bouquets of large chrysanthenmums (operator, you spell it). A list of all who attended the ball will be published in the Westmeath papers.

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What Ed. Gilgane Says

The October meeting of delegates and alternates to the United Irish Counties Association proved a wel­ come departure from the hitherto dilatory discursiveness of past expe­rience. For one reason, President Paul O’Dwyer was on the job literal­ly and figuratively, and used his gavel with positiveness and preci­sion, and for a second reason, there was a commendable absence of those technical equivocations that have been so mentally harassing. The roll call gave twenty-six counties answering, the delegates and alter­nates numbering about seventy-six.

We were delighted to see the vet­eran Patrick Boylan of Monaghan able to attend, being now almost fully recovered from a severe Illness. Pat is practically the last line of the old guard that brought to the coun­sels and activities of the U. I. O. A. much of the prominence and influ­ence it *enjoyed in the 42d street period. Need it be said that his re­turn was welcomed by general hand­shaking and expressions of his, future health. Men of his calibre do not come into Irish organizations over night, and their usefulness and sin­cerity are not measured by time. May your years be many.

We learned with much interest there is a probability that former President Matthew J. Troy will re­ceive from Mayor LaGuardia an ap­pointment to the vacancy on the Domestic Relations bench. Matt is certainly one man that we would like to see so honored. His training and experience are eminently suitable to such position. From personal knowl­edge of his ability to adjust difficul­ties, his qualifications are splendid. Here is one case, in our opinion, by which the Mayor can positively show that his statements are sincere in that his appointments are deserved and worthwhile. If capacity and suit­ability count, here is your man, Mr. Mayor!

The radio is supposed to provide intelligent entertainment that will appeal to and Interest both low-brow and high-brow. One of the Kerry delegates took exception to “stage- Irish” frivolities that have recently been on the air, and in answer to an Inquiry specifically mentioned Sta­tion WFAB as a purveyor of eccen­tricities that do not appeal to the Irish mind. The complaint was tak­en under advisement.

Brooklynites will not be able to at­tend the Irish ball in that borough thls year. The undertaking has not been quite so successful as hoped, and the consensus of opinion was that all efforts should be directed to making the Manhattan venture big­ger and better. One delegate was shocked that $750 should be charged for a Brooklyn hall, and another be­lieved that the K. C. Building at Prospect Park could be secured for $275. Delegate Hlckey caused a rip­ple of merriment when he declared that as a price $750 was “Irrelevant, immaterial, inconsistent and Illogi­cal” at this depressive period.

Because of his being called to en­gage In a higher sphere of commer­cial activities, the delegates learned with regret that Christopher J. Mur­ray, who has been directing the Wel­fare Bureau for many months, will be unable to give the unlimited at­tention he heretofore has been gratuitiously contributing. Mr. Mur­ray’s activities have been splendid, and while never reaching to the suc­cessful heights he worked so hard to achieve, the net result nevertheless has been very gratifying. There were many suggestions before the meeting by which to mark the delegates* ap­preciation of Mr. Murray’s services, and a committee will report later In the matter.

Dr. Joseph P. Brennan and Dick O’Brien developed an Interesting dis­cussion in expressing their belief that the Welfare Bureau should be abandoned because it did not Justify the expectations put forward at the time of its inception. In the mat­ter of unemployment, it was declared to be “a flop.” The president quick­ly sought the viewpoints of other counties, and these proved not alone diverting, but highly convincing. As an example, President McGinn of Monaghan told where at least 20 of his members had secured work through the bureau. John F. Maher supplemented with more than 250 men and women being assisted in getting first or final papers as citi­zens, while municipal Jobs were ar­ranged for others. Other delegates advised that as an economic adjunct the bureau was most serviceable for committee meetings, and there were still others who endorsed it as an in­formation center. Finally, the at­mosphere of doubt was dispelled, and a committee of seven will report at a later date in harmonizing the fac­tual material. The bureau will con­tinue to function.

Delegate Sisk, who was appointed chairman of a special auditing com­mittee at a recent gathering, was ready with a “report,” but gave the delegates some facts to ponder as to the apathy and laxity of delegates who accept appointments with no desire to function. He had called sev­eral meetings of the auditors, with results either nil or plus one. Noth­ing daunted, Mr. Sisk rallied a few compatriots and went through the procedure of auditing the hooks for the period March to August, 1934. He very properly asked the delegates’ sanction to his action, and this was promptly voted. The analysis showed a healthy balance in the banks, ev­ erything during the period being properly presented, and Treasurer Joe Brennan riding on a high wave of popular endorsement. The audi­tors were cordially thanked. We rather liked the action of Mr. Sisk, and believe If it is generally followed when committee members fall to act It will have a good result. Too often have those “window dressing” and “decorative” members been placed on committees in the past, with the ob­vious result that business has been hampered and the interest of work­ers impaired.

Chairman O’Connor of the Pels Committee gave a progressive report concerning its recent work, from which it would appear that the Feis will be “in the red” some dollars. This is to be sincerely regretted, be­cause the committee itself appeared to have worked energetically to bring about a successful financial accom­plishment. The undertaking was on­erous from the beginning, and there developed a sinister Indifference to its furtherance on the part of city newspapers. The Irish editors and newspapers aided very materially and cordially, but—Believe It or Not —not everyone of Irish birth or de­scent reads Irish newspapers; neither do they attend Irish affairs. It is safe to say that only those who read the Irish papers attend a Feis.

One of the featured diversions just now is the identity of one R. Des­mond Flyn, secretary. Secretary Flyn has been sending typed com­munications to certain United Irish Counties’ Association delegates, in which forceful language is applied to “stupid, obsolete and fossilized county units.” Secretary Flyn may be sincere In asking a merging of all county activities under one “highly progressive organization,” but it is obvious that he is unfamiliar with related matters when he intimates that “all funds now held by the in­ dividual county associations” be turned into one treasury. With all the law and lawyers we have in New York such a desideratum could-1 not be accomplished In a hundred years. Our own theory is that Secretary Flyn is “young,” with little experi­ ence in Irish affairs. Alexander Pope, in 1711, wrote of the fallacy of a little learning. The communication we have seen is a sequence to many other similar propositions in the past by well-meaning but uninitiated and impractical dreamers.

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michael macwhite, irish free state minister
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Christopher J Murray Meets With Irish Free State Minister Michael MacWhite

On this day of the annual Irish feis in New York, Christopher J. Murray was one of six individuals selected by the United Irish Counties Association to escort and welcome Irish Free State Minister Michael MacWhite to the event.

MacWhite was the official Irish Ambassador to the United States. “In 1929, MacWhite was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the Irish Free State to the United States, with a mandate to consolidate and encourage existing ties between Irish America and Ireland and to promote trade agreements between the two countries. He was an extremely energetic and popular diplomat in Washington circles and succeeded in cultivating contacts with the powerful Irish-American community and the Catholic hierarchy.” – Source

In addition to the reception committee, Murray was also on the prize committee. Murray’s importance at the 10,000-person event, sometimes described as a guest of honor, was also a matter of fact that the proceeds of the feis were said to be exclusively appropriated to the U.I.C.A’s Welfare Bureau, of which Murray was the founder and director.


Photo above is of Irish Free State Minister Michael MacWhite.

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Complete Feis Program For Sunday, Sept. 23

Minister MacWhite to Speak Over 1,200 Entries

Mr. John O’Connor, chairman of the United Irish Counties Feis Committee, announces that the Feis will be officially opened at 1 p.m., with the Irish Free State Minister, the Hon. Michael MacWhite, officiating. The chairman of the Entries Committee states that he has over 1,200 entrants in the 48 competitions that will be run off on that day; he also wishes to inform all entrants to be at the Coliseum not later than 12:30 p.m., so that the ceremonies can start at 1 p.m. sharp.

Mr. O’Connor called the first meeting of the Feis last April, and at that time stated that all such committee chairmen, appointed by him, would have to attend every meeting of the committee and render their report. This policy has been very successful so far, and as his opening ceremonies draw near he is able to give a very satisfactory report of the assistance his sub-committee chairmen have rendered him.

The chairman appointed by Mr. O’Connor are as follows; Andrew Trimble, entries; M.D. Fitzgerald, instrumental music; Michael Bennett, prizes; Thomas Finnerty, vocal section; Marty Lydon, reception committee; Jack Moore, step-dancing; John Donnelly, ball committee; Christopher O’Grady, radio committee; William Burke, general activities.

Martin Lydon, chairman of the reception committee, has selected the following committee to receive the Irish Free State Minister with him: Judge William O’Dwyer, Joseph F. McLoughlin, Christopher Murray, Michael D. Fitzgerald and Patrick Twohig.

Joseph Brennan, chairman of the Bronx Borough committee and treasurer of the Feis, has selected a committee to meet the Minister on his arrival in that borough. The following are also chairmen of committees: Patrick Heaney, chairman of the door committee; Miss K. Kearney, chairlady of the badge committee; Peador O’Callaghan, chairman, Gaelic committee; Mae Nugent, chairlady of the ladies’ auxiliary, and John Donnelly, chairman of the ball committee.

William Burke, chairman of general activities, announces the following program will be adhered to: the official opening will be at 1 o’clock sharp, with the chairman, John O’Connor, presiding. Mr. O’Connor will present Counsellor Paul O’Dwyer, president of the United Irish Counties Association, who, in a brief address, will welcome the gathering on behalf of the Irish people of Greater New York.

Door Committee

  • Patrick Heaney, chairman
  • Joseph Brennan
  • Jack Mannix
  • Patrick Devine
  • Thomas Corrigan
  • Bernard McCabe
  • Christopher McHugh
  • George Murray

Vocal Committee

  • Thomas Finnerty, chairman
  • Charles Walpole
  • Vincent O’Connell
  • J. O’Reilly

Badge Committee

  • Kathleen Kearney, chairlady
  • Mrs. Cordial
  • Miss Moran
  • Lillian Morris
  • Maureen Mulcahy
  • Mae Waiters
  • Mrs. Plunkett

Floor Committee

  • Joseph Townley, chairman
  • Richard O’Brien
  • Michael Carolan
  • Francis Drum
  • Edward Hoey
  • Francis Boylan

Dance Committee

  • John Moore, chairman
  • William Traynor
  • Mary O’Farrell
  • Kathleen Kearney
  • Betty Mulcahy
  • George Kelly
  • James McNamara
  • Philip Mulcahy

Prize Committee

  • Michael Bennett, chairman
  • William Honan
  • Christopher Murray
  • John J. McGinn
  • Michael McNally
  • Jeremiah Campion

Radio Committee

  • Chris O’Grady, chairman
  • Joseph Connelly
  • James A. Hayden
  • John Keane
  • Joseph Lydon
  • Michael Collins

Entries Committee

  • Andrew Trimble, chairman
  • William Tiernan
  • Sheila Crohan
  • John McLoughlin
  • Kathleen Kearney
  • Michael Kelly

Gaelic Section Committee

  • Peador O’Callaghan, chairman
  • Joseph Davitt
  • John Mullen
  • John Scanlon
  • Mrs. Catherine Feeley

General Activities

  • William Burke, chairman
  • John Keane
  • Joseph Lydon
  • Christopher O’Grady
  • James Hayden
  • A. Collins Healy
  • Thomas Albert
  • Paul O’Dwyer
  • Matthew J. Troy

Reception Committee

  • John J. O’Connor, chairman
  • Patrick Twohig
  • Christopher Murray
  • Martin Lydon
  • Michael D. Fitzgerald
  • William O’Dwyer
  • Joseph McLoughlin
  • John J. McGinn

Ladies’ Auxiliary

  • May Nugent, chairlady
  • Sheila Crohan
  • Delia Kelly
  • Margaret O’Brien
  • Mary McDonald
  • Anna Flynn
  • Ann Mulligan
  • Cathleen Mannix
  • Bina Keating
  • Noreen Collins
  • Mrs. Cunningham
  • Mrs. Slattery
  • Margaret O’Connell
  • Mrs. Plunkett
  • Judy Goode
  • Agnes Clarke
  • Mrs. J. Gallagher
  • Catherine Coyne
  • Peg. Hammill
  • Alice Hammill
  • G. Graham
  • May McGee
  • Kathleen Morris

Ball Committee

  • John Donnelly, chairman
  • William Honan
  • William Walsh
  • Daniel Brophy
  • Charles Walpole
  • Joseph Sheehan
  • John Murphy
  • Richard O’Brien
  • Gregory Kavanaugh
  • Joseph McLoughlin
  • Frank Monahan
  • Philip Cahill
  • Thomas Fenton
  • John McGinn
  • Patrick Devine
  • John N—
  • Joseph Townley
  • Francis Boylan
  • Gerald Maloney
  • Edward Byrnes
  • Martin Lydon
  • Frank Lee

Mr. O’Dwyer will present the Hon. Michael MacWhite and the Hon. Leo McCauley, Consul General at New York. The 1,200 competitors in their various costumes will form a parade, headed by the various pipe, fife, and drum bands competing.

At the close of the Feis there will be a prize winners’ ball, to which all are invited free of charge. Mr. Sean Hayes and his orchestra of 15 pieces will supply the music for the dancing.

A prize winners’ concert will be held at the MacMillan Theatre at Columbia University on the following Thursday, September 27. The prize committee states that they have over 600 trophies, medals and other prizes on hand. These will positively be distributed as soon as the various contests are over.

Among the trophies presented to date are:

  • Archbishop MacHale Trophy by the Mayo Men’s Associatoin
  • St. Fenton Trophy by the Leix Men’s Association
  • Donegal Trophy by the Donegal Men’s Association
  • Count Plunkett Trophy by the Roscommon Men’s Association
  • Father Tom Burke Trophy by the Galway Men’s Association
  • Sligo Men’s Trophy
  • Clare Men’s Trophy
  • Cork Men’s Trophy
  • James J. Hoey Trophy
  • Postmaster General James A. Farley Trophy
  • James J. Hines Trophy
  • Dr. Rilken Trophy
  • Fermanagh Men’s Association
  • Antrim Men’s Association
  • Matthew J. Troy Trophy
  • Maher Travel Bureau Trophy
  • Judge William O’Dwyer Trophy
  • Daniel Reeves Trophy
  • James Butler Trophy
  • Hon. Joseph McGoldrick Trophy
  • Longford Men’s Trophy
  • Irish Industries
  • Irish Students’ League
  • Bronx Celtic Society
  • Taylor & Co.
  • Candidate for Comptroller, Frank J. Taylor
  • J. Jameson & Co.

And many other prize donors.

The Coliseum can be reached by the Lexington avenue, East 180th Street, I. R. T. Subway, and the Seventh Avenue, Bronx Park, I. R. T. to 177 Street Station, which is right at the entrance to the Coliseum.

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Irish to Conduct Festival Sept. 23

An annual Feis, traditional Irish festival, will be held September 23 at the New York Coliseum, 177th Street and Starlight Park, under auspices of the United Irish Counties Association. The Feis will be opened by Michael MacWhite, Irish Free State Minister to the United States.

Guests of honor include Leo McCauley, Consul-General of the Irish Free State; Judge William O’Dwyer, Christopher J. Murray, M.D. Fitzgerald and James McLoughlin.

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Irish Entertainers to Compete in Feis, Held Under Auspices of United Irish Counties Association

The 1934 annual feis of the United Irish Counties Association will be held at the New York Coliseum, 177th Street and Tremont Avenue, on Sunday, Sept 23. Designed to “encourage Irish cultural activities” in this country, the feis will feature competitions in dancing, singing, and music between men, women, and children.

This year’s feis has been divided into four competitive sections–vocal selections, Gaelic selections, choral and step-dancing selections. In all, 48 events will be contested during the day, the features of which will be the jig, reel, hornpipe, slip-jig, bagpipe and warpipe contests.

According to William Burke, chairman of the general activities committee, entries for this year’s feis are pouring in so rapidly that the event is taking on the aspects of “the greatest Irish festival ever attempted by the Irish race in America.” Prizes will be awarded in each of the competitions.

In announcing the 1934 feis, Paul O’Dwyer, president of the United Irish Counties Association, extended an invitation to all persons to take an active interest in the event.

John L. Gerig, professor of Celtic literature at Columbia University, has traced the earliest feis in Ireland to the days of Ollam Fodla, who was King of Ireland seven or eight centuries before the Christian era. The assembly held triennially at the beginning of November, was attended by all Irish nobles and the principal scholars of Erin.

In addition to the feis there were numerous other assemblies, mainly of a legislative or tax-assessing character, according to Prof. Gerig. These included the deal, the mordal or ardal, the mitehal and the tomcorach, but the most popular was the aenach, which was open to people of all classes without distinction. The aenach, too, performed a triple function.

“These fairs were quite numerous,” he continued, “and prizes were awarded to the most successful poets, musicians and professors and masters of every art. These competitions naturally gave great impetus to the cultivation of the arts, so much that at one time in early Ireland, it is said, one-third of the patrician families followed the profession of poetry.”

The committee headquarters are at the Knights of Columbus Hotel, 51st street and Eighth avenue. All entries must be filed on or before Sept 1.

The active committee is as follows: John O’Connor, chairman; Frank Holden, secretary; Patrick Callaghan, Martin Lydon, John Keane, Chris O’Grady, Joseph Lydon, John Donnelly, Joseph Brennan, Francis Ryan, George Crummy, Michael McGrath, Vincent O’Connell, Thomas Finnerty, Joseph McLoughlin, Gregory Kavanaugh, Christopher J. Murray, Mrs. Slattery, May Nugent, Judy Goode, May McGee, Margaret O’Connell, Gay MacDonald, Bridie Greene, John McLoughlin.

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Westmeath Men’s New York Association

Due to the success of the recent popularity contest sponsored by the Westmeath Men’s Social and Benevolent Association in conjunction with their annual ball, they were enabled to forward a draft for three hundred dollars to the Cusack Park Memorial Committee, Mullingar.

This now park, excelled by only Croke Park, Dublin, is located in a most prominent site in the old historic town and it has been stated that it is the only Gaelic Park in Ireland dedicated to the famous founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association, the Golden Jubilee of which is being celebrated this year.

In writing to the Association, Capt. Cowan, Secretary of the Co. Committee, has said, among other things:

“The County Committee and the Gaels of Westmeath are delighted that they have your practical support and generous assistance in carrying out a work which has already done much to foster and advance the Gaelic movement not only in Westmeath but right through the Midlands. One example in providing a Gaelic Park owned and controlled by the Gaels themselves is being followed in Meath, in Offaly, in Longford, and in several other counties.

“We appreciate all you have done for us at a time when conditions made it extremely difficult to help, and are happy in the knowledge that we have the full support and co-operation of all Westmeath men and women in the great national work we have undertaken.

“Cusack Park,” he continues, “will do much to improve the standards of our hurlers, footballers, and athletes. Important championship fixtures can now be decided in Mullingar every year and our boys and girls will therefore get many opportunities of seeing and of competing against the foremost athletes. Such competition must bring about great improvement in athletic activities in the County and we look forward to the time not far distant, when Westmeath will be able to take its place in the athletic arena with the best of Ireland.”

It is quite apparent that Capt. Cowan and his brother officers are determined to bring the All-Ireland championship to Westmeath in the very near future and the Westmeath Men’s Association would do well to begin preparations for the American invasion of their kith and kin.

The energetic committee who had charge of the popularity contest were– Michael Carolan, Ballymahon, Chairman; Christopher Murray, Raharney, Secretary; James J. Weston, Streamstown, Treasurer.

Others on the committee were–Matthew Delahanty, Moate; James Gavin, Mount Temple; James McAllister, Mullingar; Christopher Coroon, Curraghmore; Bernard J. Troy, Ballyncargy; John Kelly, Terrycrew, KIllbeggan and Thomas Keenan, Mountnugent.

It will be remember the winner of the popularity contest was Miss Mollie Byrnes, Ballynacargy, and the round trip ticket was won by Mrs. J. Duffy, Monte.

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Letter to Captain P. Cowan, Westmeath County Secretary

To Captain P. Cowan

My Dear Captain Cowan,– It gives me great pleasure to respond to your very interesting and delightful letter of May 4th in which you gave a brief outline of the activities of Cusack Memorial Park.

The only exception noted was your request that we name the trophy. The organisation feels that this is your prerogative to do as you will concerning it.

The entire membership, quite familiar with your achievements under the most trying conditions, thrilled to your letter. With regard to myself I heard from Patrick O’Keefe, Secretary to the Central Council, while he was here with the Kerry team last year, of the difficulties which you had to overcome and the sacrifice which you were called upon to make. After listening to Mr. O’Keefe, we could not but be inspired by the splendid character of the work and the determination that prompted it as well as the excellent motive behind it.

The undertaking was gigantic and the ultimate reward will be found in the glories and triumphs of its fulfillment. When the Gaelic Athletic history of our age is written, it will record in indelible letters that in the preparation for its golden jubilee, the outstanding achievement was the purchase of the Cusack Memorial Park for Westmeath. Future generations will look back on this wise undertaking as it will have most beneficial results on the young manhood of the country from whose ranks will be recruited the future athletes who will carry on the good works so nobly begun by Michael Cusack, the Davin Brothers, and other famous Irishmen whose memory will for ever live.

We are glad to have the privilege and honour of being humble factors in helping to raise the amount which the enclosed draft represents, viz: £60.

In conclusion, I may assure you what I voice the best wishes of the entire membership of the Westmeath Men’s Association for the success of your venture and with hearty good wishes for each and every member of your excellent Committee. With kindest personal regards.

Yours very truly,

Christopher Murray

412 E. 202nd Street,

New York

June 18th, 1934

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Death of Chris Flanagan, Raharney Co. Westmeath

It is with feelings of profound regret that we record the death, after a brief illness, of Christopher Flanagan, native of Raharney, Co. Westmeath.

Mr. Flanagan was looking forward to many years of joy and bliss, which he felt was every man’s due in the autumn of life, when on March 2nd, he departed this life fortified by the rights of his church.

He was educated in St. Mary’s National School, Raharney, and so thoroughly did he apply himself as a pupil that he developed into a first-class teacher and was appointed by the late John Kelly, who then was master, to be his assistant. The sun-kissed village of Raharney, however, did not offer scope wide enough for the ambitious young pedagogue and so he came to the United States. He was not long here until he made his presence felt. His activities were directed in educational rather than social and athletic channels. He formed many debating societies and took a very keen interest in the debates which were of a historically Irish character.

The large crowed that assembled in the funeral parlors during the nights of the wake testified to his popularity and the many floral tributes sent by sympathizing friends were but another expression of sincere devotion in which he was held.

The funeral, large and representative, was held from St. Matthew’s Church on Easter Sunday. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery. On the following Monday mass of requiem was said for the repose of his soul.

He is survived by his widow; Mary; his sons, James and John; his brothers, Patrick and Thomas, and sisters, Delia and Mrs. Mamie Burns, to whom we extend our heartfelt condolence in their sad bereavement.


Christoper J. Flanagan was one of the founding members and original President of the Raharney Rover Social Club of New York City.

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Progress at The Irish Welfare Bureau

Testimony must be given to fealty of Christopher J. Murray for his work in connection with the Welfare Bureau. This department has shown progress and co-operative widening since its start. Neither change of temperature nor lack of positions have failed to keep this plugging Trojan from rendering to those who went to the bureau such help as he could render. Thanks Chris! May your earnestness and good-will be fittingly appreciated by the United 32 of Ireland. 

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Cusack Park – New York Westmeath Gaels Financial Rally

At the last meeting of Westmeath Co. Committee G.A.A. the following letter was read from the Westmeath Men’s Association, New York:–

Westmeath Men’s S. & B. Association
Central Opera House
205 East 67th Street
New York

Mr. John Garland, Streamstown
Co. Westmeath, Ireland

Dear,– Last summer you wrote to the president of our Association, Mr. James Weston, explaining to him, as I recall, the magnificent work that the members of the Gaelic Athletic Association has undertaken in Mullingar, and that this necessitated considerable funds to complete the project, and that perhaps the Westmeath Men’s Association might be interested in assisting in a monetary way. It is needless for me to assure you that the members of our Association, many of whom were shining lights in the Gaelic football arena around the old country a few years back, were only too delighted to respond, which made the work of our esteemed president, who was so eager and anxious to assist, all the more pleasant.

His first act, therefore was to form a committee. This accomplished, a plan was adopted whereby we felt that a considerable sum could be secured. The organisation permitted us to run a popularity contest in conjunction with their annual ball although we were fairly successful we fell far short of our expectations, however, we realised 300.00 dollars– close on £60.

We have now this money lodged in the bank and ready to forward to your committee upon request. In connection with this matter I might say that the committee convened a few evenings ago and deplored the fact that the rate of exchange is so unfavourable at the present time that they thought, perhaps, if it remained in the bank here for a short time, in an anticipation of an increase in the dollar, that it would be more beneficial to your committee.

It was thought too, and thoroughly discussed at this meeting that we offer to your committee as a matter of suggestion, that part of the proceeds which we are sending to be used for a county of intercounty trophy, to be linked in some way with the Westmeath Men’s Association. This, Mr. Garland, is merely a suggestion and should in no way influence your committee in the disposition of the money.

I am sorry I did not have the pleasure of meeting you when I was over there in 1932. I presume you were in the firing line at Tullamore, on that unfortunate summer afternoon when Westmeath lost in her attempt to win the three championships, notwithstanding the valiant efforts put forth by each team to win. I was an interested but keenly disappointed spectator on that occasion. Now with your new Park and proper facilities for work and practice, with the wisdom and foresight that thought of and planned it, I feel sure that a repetition of that day shell never come again to the boys that so nobly upheld the tradition of the men of Westmeath.

With kindest personal regards to your self and your illustrious co-worker, Captain Cowan, and to each member of the committee who worked so hard and zealously to the youth of Westmeath a playground that means so much to their future development.

— Very truly yours,
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY,
Secretary

The reading of the letter was received with applause, and after Rev. P. Dunne, Capt. P. Cowan, Mr. D. Leavy, Mr. Paddy Carey and other delegates had expressed their appreciation of an gratitude for this generous subscription towards the Park Funds from their fellow county men in New York, it was proposed by Mr. M. Casey, Milltown, seconded by Mr. B. Walsh, Mullingar, and passed unanimously, that the letter be incorporated in the minutes and that the best thanks of the County Committee be conveyed to the Westmeath Men’s Association through their esteemed Secretary, Mr. Christopher Murray

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The U.I.C.A Bureau – Educational Department

The United Irish Counties are now doing their utmost to carry on the work for which they were organized. The Bureau at the Knights of Columbus Hotel, the hope of our able president, Matthew Troy, is now in operation, and is under the capable direction of Christopher J. Murray. Already he has handled quite a number of cases relative to poor relief, naturalization and employment. If you are in trouble and need help, see Mr. Murray. His kind sympathetic advice and help will, I am sure, make light of your troubles.

The educational department of this bureau which I have the privilege of directing, cannot be stressed sufficiently. The object of this department is to help all those who wish to continue or improve their education. We cannot but feel grateful to the land of our adoption for the wonderful system of education which it has thrown open to those who wish to avail of it. Our grammar schools, high schools, and colleges are in session, morning, afternoon, evening and night, in order to cater to those who wish to attend school at any time. The best way to show our appreciation for such great advantages in education would be to avail of the opportunities offered, and thereby be a credit both to the land of our adoption and the land of our birth.

The object of the educational department of the United Irish Counties Bureau is to help those who wish to attend school and who through some misunderstanding of the credit system here, as compared to that of Ireland, cannot be placed in the proper class. All such obstacles can be removed, with little difficulty, and no cost.

Now is the to get busy and ready for the February school term. If you are desirous of attending school and do not know the regular procedure, or perhaps you may have some difficulty about being placed in the class for which you are best suited, either write to our office, or to the offices of this paper. Rest assured of a prompt and satisfactory reply. Those of you who may have time, should come to our offices on Tuesday or Thursday evening, between seven and ten p.m. Since to talk over a matter is at all times more enlightening , I would suggest the latter course, for all those who can come at such hours.

Following are answers to letters received:

Mr. C.K. 173d Street:
Your credits from night school are sufficient to warrant your entrance into high school. Since you intend entering law school at a future date, I suggest that you take the regular classical course. George Washington High School would be most convenient for you. See Mr. Boylan, the Principal.

Miss N.R. 147th Street:
It is necessary that you have a high school diploma or the equivalent before entering nurses’ training school. I would like to know what education you have had before suggesting where you should apply.

Mr. J.R. 73d Street:
I think it is possible for you to received your first papers. Mr. Murray, director of our bureau, has handled similar cases very satisfactorily. I suggest you see him at the bureau.

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United Irish Counties Bureau Makes Splendid Progress

The United Irish Counties Association Welfare Bureau has just passed its first month in operation, and from all reports it was badly needed for some time. The united Irish Counties during the two years that it has been going through a thorough reorganization has been promised a bureau of welfare and general information by its president, Matthew J. Troy. This object was a realized just four weeks ago, and since that time the bureau is the center of Irish activities in New York City. Its workings so far have more than justified the existence of the undertakings. 

The Irish Counties were indeed fortunate to obtain the services of Christopher Murray of County Westmeath to take charge of the bureau. Mr. Murray is giving his services free, and is certainly making splendid progress in the work of the bureau.

The affiliate county organizations send in their members to be taken care of. Non-members of the county organizations also come in. All names are placed on file and any assistance that may be obtained is given freely to all.

Naturalization is one of the main objects of the bureau. Over fifty cases have been taken care, some very difficult ones indeed. These difficult cases took quite a lot of time, but we finally succeeded in getting their affairs straightened out with the Labor Department. 

Evening school data is under the direction of Joseph Laffen, M.A., a teacher in one of our New York high schools. Mr. Laffen is a delegate from the Limerick Men’s Association, and he has offered his services to this particular field, with which he is so well acquainted. Professor Laffen will be at the bureau three nights each wee, so that interested parties may call and receive their information first-hand.

The employment department under the able direction of Mr. Murray, has accomplished some wonderful work in placing men in positions; not many, but enough to make the effort worth while. The ladies have been more fortunate in this respect. Already 23 people have been placed in regular employment by this bureau. The services of the bureau are open to men and women alike.

Welfare Department– This department is also under the direction of Mr. Murray and the assistance he has been able to render in this respect makes his work all the more encourage. Cases of urgency have been attended to with great success.

The bureau, which has been badly needed for our people for some time, has, on the whole, done some splendid progressive work. You will hear dissatisfaction expressed, no doubt, by some disappointed or overzealous persons who did not fare exactly the way they wanted to in their respective cases. This is to be expected in all similar undertakings.

If you hear any dissatisfaction voiced, it is your duty as an Irishman to counteract any bad influence. 

Call around any day or night and see for yourself the conditions as they really and truly are.

Mr. Laffen will be at the bureau every Tuesday and Thursday night from 7 to 10 pm and on Saturday afternoons. 

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Young Irish Exile in America

Three Years Left Ballynacargy


Her Appreciation of the “Examiner”


Views on Local and Other Matters


Interesting Letter

In enclosing a renewal subscription for the “Westmeath Examiner” Annie J. Pryce of 2 Willow Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., writes:

“Your paper is truly valuable to one so far away from the old home town. After all there is no place like one’s own home town, but especially when it happens to be an Irish town. And there is nothing that can take the place, or be “just as good” as one’s own town newspaper. How I love to receive it each week, clean and fresh, full of real old-fashioned news, and yet as up to the merit of one of our Metropolitan dailies, filled with advertisements and demoralizing filth of a great City. Such matter should never be allowed in public print to degrade a Nation, but that is what is fed to them. How different the Irish papers are, every item interesting and fit to read. I didn’t see one latter of congratulation from anyone on your splendid report of the magnificent ceremony of the Foundation Stone laying. You gave it your whole-hearted cooperation and you deserve the full thanks of all your readers. It was a magnificent event, nothing could surpass or even equal it in any country, or any American City. Let us all trust in God that we will live to see this majestic Temple completed and the great work of Chris the King carried on a larger and grander scale than is now in the old edifice that done so well during the last 100 years. Then again we read with great pride of your Cusack Park. Surely you will not limit it to Mullingar Park. All Ireland should be proud of it, it is one of the finest sport arenas in the world, there are few larger in america. The forsighted gentlemen who spent money and energy to make it a reality are to be congratulated. It is a noble undertaking. Then we read of your progressive County Concillors who are now with the aid of your L.G.D. erecting a Hospital. Also, to-day I am reading of the consideration of sites for your new Tuberculosis Hospital. Let us hope they will be guided by Providence to select the most suitable site for the benefit of those unfortunates who are so afflicted. Then again, your Mental Hospital is receiving due consideration and in a short time will be among the finest in Ireland. My hope and wish is that in the not too far distant future such institutions will no longer be necessary.

I read with regret that your town lost the Shoe Factory. What a great help it would be to all concerned, workers and merchants, it would be so up-to-date as to furnish inspiration to Mr. Doyle, T.D., who finds all “Infant Irish industries in kitchens and cellars.” Then too, we would like to read Mcgillycuddy of the Reeks if it was shorter and “snappier,” also the poems of John Kelly, not bad.

Now I read of your County making a bid for the Midlands Beet Sugar Factory. Well let us hope that your Mullingar men of enterprise who could build a Cathedral, Sports Park, the second finest in Ireland, will have no less than the finest Beet Sugar Factory in Ireland, in “not” the town of Mullingar, but the Midland City of Mullingar, and don’t stop there. In the near future have a Tobacco Factory there, don’t let Mr. Pilkington discourage you because Cap Factory was a failure. Make sure that it will not be a failure. I don’t think your interesting paper would be complete without Stroller and Passing Events. They tell their stories in “spicy” fashion.

Then I like to read your District Notices, Court trials, how simple they are in comparison to New York–no murder, kidnapping, or divorce. Then the Obituary notices to remind us of an old friend or neighbour who has passed on. Then we like to read of the fairs which are almost passing away, and the Agricultural Shows. These are so many items, all interesting.

Then again, how interesting your politics are. Such a small population, about the same as Brooklyn, and so many silly factions all fighting among themselves. I am really looking for a revolution fostered by England for her own good. Then she will send over a million men and separate the foolish Irish factions and bring about the law and order, settle the Land Annuities, boom up trade for her own enterprises, wipe out all foolish tariffs. Then all will be happy, no more little factories in cellars or kitchens, all manufacturing done in clean lightsome airy factories in England, and Irishmen can continue at the old trade they know best, agriculture, and a good price at Smithfield market. For centuries the whole world knew Ireland could not govern herself, too many parties, too many brands of religion, too much intoxicating liquor, anything to make the foolish silly Irish fight and squabble among themselves. So good old J.B. can be peacemaker and exporter on a large scale to Ireland, and in return what a fertile filed to supply England’s foods and men to fight her battles. I am not yet three from Ballynacargy, but I can see the difference between politics in Ireland and America. In New York all Irish are democrats and we will vote for John Patrick O’Brien for Mayor and not much argument about it. And when I cast my first vote I hope it will be for Mr. Matthew Troy of my own home town to be the first Irishman elected Mayor of New York. Of course I am not old enough yet to vote, not to think of getting citizen honours, but when I am a citizen I hope to be a good one, a Roosevelt Democrat. Now it will not be long before our Mullingar men have their great annual ball dance and reception, your paper publishes such a splendid account of it so ably collected and written by our untiring Secretary, Mr. Christopher Murray. But this year it will be better than ever as there will be a valuable prize for the most popular unmarried woman from Westmeath. Also, a passage ticket as as second prize offered by Mr. Troy of the Troy Steamship Agency. Now Mr. Editor, it is getting late. I feel tired and if you find and part of this long letter worth using to fill in news you may do so, as I don’t care who reads it. It is nothing but the truth as I see it, and there is no chance of my immediate return to dear old Mullingar.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, the advertisements, how I like to read them and compare prices and I find things are ever so much cheaper here in New York. I am at a loss why your merchants keep their goods a secret. If all would advertise, compete with each other, have more customers, more men employed, more money in circulation, more trains, lorries, buses, coming to town, in a word, all industry would benefit by advertising in your paper and all Midland papers. I saw a slogan in some paper: “Keep advertising and advertising will keep you.”

Very respectfully,
Annie J. Pryce

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Westmeath Men’s Ball, November 25

The 43rd annual ball of the Westmeath Men’s Social and Benevolent Association will take place on Saturday evening, November 25, at Yorkville Casino, 210 East 86th Street. Preparations began in earnest at their last meeting at Central Opera House, 67th Street and Third Avenue.

The “Miss Westmeath” popularity contest for the round trip ticket to Ireland, donated by Bernard J. Troy, has aroused great enthusiasm. Every fair daughter of Westmeath is either a contestant or is pulling wholeheartedly for some of her friends, with result that a very close and exciting contest is assured. A committee has been appointed, of which Christopher Murray is chairman and Patrick Mackin, secretary. Other members on the committee are John Smith, James Gavin, Andrew Coyne, Michael Carolan, Matthew Delahaunty, Joseph P. Horan, John Kelly and Christopher Duffy. A very important meeting will be held on Friday evening, October 6.

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How The “Examiner” Was Received

The following is from the “Irish Echo,” New York in “Celtic Chatter and Chaff.”

Friday night George Murray, secretary of the United Irish Counties Union, installed the new officers of the Westmeath Men’s Association at the Central Opera House–and every one of ’em a credit to his county:– James Weston, president, Michael Carolan, vice-president; James McAllister, financial secretary, Andrew Coyne, corresponding secretary, Patrick Kelly, recording secretary; John McCormack, treasurer; Frank Shanley, sergeant-at-arms, Dr. J. P. Brennan, Michael McCormack, Frank Tighe, Patrick Macken and Bernard J. Troy, trustees. An enjoyable social followed the installation ceremony. Pat Quinn, Joe Byrnes, Chris Keegan and Tom Crinnigan were the official dispensers of real Westmeath hospitality. T. B. Murphy, John McCoy, John Donnelly, C.J. Gaskin, Joe Horan, John Foley, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Glennon, Terrence O’Grady and Chris Casserly were a few noticed. Chris Murray was mobbed when he produced the latest edition of the “Westmeath Examiner,” containing a report of the last ball of the Westmeath Association here, complete with “art”: all supplied by Chris himself, a fine Press agent who missed his vocation. The editor of the “Examiner” would be a happy man if he could have seen how that paper was received. They did everything to it but eat it, every one of ’em looking for his or her name; the fragile link connecting them with their brethren in Ireland. Brother, incidents like that put a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye. Everyone who handled that paper was right as home in Westmeath until someone grabbed it away and brought back again the hard reality of exile in a foreign land.

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