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Annual Claddagh Award Celebration
to Honor Michael Connolly
Thursday, October 20th at 5:00 PM
The Maine Irish Heritage Center
Gray & State Streets, Portland, Maine
We are proud and pleased to announce that this year’s Claddagh award recipient is Michael Coleman Connolly. Michael is a longtime friend of the MIHC, an accomplished author who has written extensively about the Irish in Maine and in particular the Irish of Portland. He has authored books about the Irish immigrant experience in Maine and the Irish longshoremen of Portland, and co-authored a book of essays about Hollywood director John Ford. He has also conducted dozens of oral histories of first generation Irish immigrants. Michael is a full professor at Saint Joseph’s College and was instrumental in creating the partnership between the MIHC and Saint Joseph’s College. A long time champion of the Irish language and of traditional Irish music, Michael has been playing music for over 30 years and still plays with the Portland Ceili Band. Michael is a true champion of all things Irish and we are happy to be honoring him with this award.
Every year MIHC honors a prominent member of the Irish community in a celebratory evening of food, speeches, music and good cheer. The Claddagh—a beloved symbol to people of Irish descent—represents the ideals of friendship, love and loyalty. The award recognizes a person who has devoted his or her life to serving our community and state and who has made us all proud of our Irish heritage.
Past Recipients include Jim Wellehan, Sara J. Burns, Governor Joseph E. Brennan, Senate President Gerard P. Conley, Sr., activist and community leader Cynthia Murray Beliveau, philanthropist Moira Hastings Fuller, TD Bank President William J. Ryan and the architect of the Northern Ireland peace process, Senator George J. Mitchell.