Membership meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month, preceded by a social hour; monthly Happy Hours and luncheons are well attended. Annual events have included a Ladies’ Brunch, Irish Man and Woman of the Year, Tara Theatre production, Family Picnic, Irish Festival, Christmas Party, various children’s activities, and Irish cultural programs.
It is only fitting that the Irish Heritage Society of Milford had its beginning in the month of March! In 2006, Martin Hardiman and Christopher McEnerney, who had worked together on the Milford St. Patrick’s Day Parade, frequently discussed the possibility of forming an Irish Club in Milford. They placed a small article in the local newspaper announced that a meeting would be held, inviting anyone interested, and over 80 people attended in response!
From this first meeting, volunteers came forward and formed committees. The By-Laws committee held meetings and presented the by-laws to members at the May 2006 meeting. The Irish Heritage Society of Milford (IHSM) was now an official non-profit club located in Milford, with co-founders Marty and Chris serving as the first co-Presidents, along with an elected Executive Board.
The IHSM wasted no time in becoming active in Milford and the surrounding area. In August 2006, the group had a booth at the Milford Oyster Festival, and in September 2006, at the young age of 6 months, members had organized their 1st Annual Irish Festival. Within the following year, the tradition of the Lyle James Memorial Golf Tournament was begun, providing funding for three scholarships, awarded each year, as well as other local charities.
Proudly displaying its impressive array of all of Ireland’s county flags, the IHSM has marched in parades from New Haven to Mystic to Yonkers, NY, and at Irish nights for both the NY Mets and the Bridgeport Bluefish.
The membership of the IHSM, numbering around 200 by the end of 2006, has doubled in size, and along with its elected leaders, is working together toward the ultimate goal of a permanent home, a clubhouse of their own.