Sunshine and Shamrocks at the Irish Fest

 Sunshine and Shamrocks at the Irish Fest

Story and Photos
By Katie McFadden

No doubt, Monsignor Richard Ahlemeyer was looking down and bringing in the good weather for the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ 11th Annual Rockaway Beach/ Breezy Point Irish Festival last weekend. It was a beautiful weekend of Irish culture, music, dancing and fun, making it another success.

AOH Festival Chairman John Moroney opened up the festival on Saturday, June 8, with a tribute to the late Father Richie, whose photo graced the front of the stage throughout the weekend.

“We truly missed Monsignor Richard Ahlemeyer this year and dedicated this year’s festival in his memory. He was truly instrumental in getting this festival off the ground. I’m sure he played a role in us having fantastic weather this past weekend,” Moroney said after the event.

The festival committee, including Moroney, AOH president Mark Edwards, Patrick Forde, Michael Foley and Wil Hurley, and the many AOH volunteers worked hard to pull off the weekend and made it a wonderful time for all.

On Saturday, attendees got to enjoy music by The Irish Mutts, The Rockaway Troubadors (Walter Ensor, Gerald Bair, Mark Magliaro, Gerry Hughes and Brian Patrick Michael Hughes), Shilelagh Law, the Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipes and Drums band, and The Devil’s Brigade, plus a performance by the O’Malley Irish Dance Academy. On Sunday, June 9, everyone was treated to music by The Brooklyn Bards, Sheridan Ruitin, Maggie’s Clan, and The Gobshites. Kids got to enjoy bouncy houses and face painting and vendors sold goods all weekend.

As part of the fundraising efforts, folks got to enjoy dunking the likes of Whitney Aycock, Jerry Rea, Jay Jay McCabe and others in the dunk tank for a donation. Eleven lucky winners who bought raffle tickets went home with some big cash prizes. It was all to help the AOH raise funds that they’ll give right back to local organizations and charities.

The AOH can’t do it alone. If any Irish Catholic male, 18 and over, is interested in joining the AOH, their next meeting is Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m. at The Belle Harbor Yacht Club. Plans are already in the works for next year’s festival.

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