2022 Beaver Island Irish Hall of Fame Inductees
Kay McDonough Masini
Kay was an artist, poet, and writer. She was the daughter of Sarah (Sadie) Gallagher and Bruce McDonough, losing her father in the ‘Marold II’ fuel-salvage disaster of 1937. Her grandparents were Willy John Gallagher and Mary Duffy – who was Beaver Island’s last Gaelic-speaking immigrant born on Arranmore Island. Kay painted over 200 art scenes including lighthouses, Donegal Bay, and Holy Cross Church, which displayed her enduring love for the island she grew up on. She designed a special ornament for the 150th anniversary of Holy Cross Church, which won a national design award. She created multiple paintings and sketches of early fisherman and their nets, which were exhibited in the Marine Museum; and played a vital role in the restoration of the Marine Museum’s iconic Zoltan Zepeshy mural of early fisherman. She participated in annual local art shows, and donated many wonderful art works to PABI auctions. Her poetry, writing, and art are valuable contributions to Beaver Island and it’s Irish history. *Also pictured Kay’s husband Don
Mary Beth Greene Nelson
A true island historian, Mary Beth has spent much of her life listening to island elders, collecting their stories, and recording information about many aspects of Beaver Island’s Irish genealogy and history. She devoted a truly remarkable amount of time and effort into the creation of a gravesite directory and map of Holy Cross Cemetery, offering an invaluable asset not only to the island community but for anyone searching for information on past islanders. Mary Beth’s priceless contributions have been enormously helpful in the preservation of our cultural heritage, in ways that will outlast us all.
Danny was born on Beaver Island in 1953 to Jewell and Rita O’Donnell Gillespie. His parents were island musicians whose music and singing deeply influenced Danny’s musical education, along with that of other islanders like legendary fiddler Pat Bonner and the beloved Edward Palmer. His musical career has seen him become a staple of entertainment for generations of islanders through his performances at house parties, pubs, homes, and events. His talent for making the music of the past relevant today shows his dedication to carrying the torch of traditional Irish and Beaver Island music passed on to him by his elders, making him a worthy honoree by the Beaver Island Irish-American Hall of Fame.
Sister Mary Clare Malloy
Was born on Beaver Island in September of 1891, the eighth of twelve children born to John Patrick ‘Buffalo’ Malloy and Bridget Theresa Boyle. She is remembered for her thoughtfulness and the ways in which she touched many lives on the island; becoming a bridge for the many distant cousins and relatives whose lives took them far from their island homes. Sister Claire served in the WWI Cadet Nursing Corps, was later a nurse, and then a Hospital Administrator. Her induction into the Beaver Island Irish-American Hall of Fame represents the many Islanders of that generation who left the island and joined the religious life to make a difference for others. *Also pictured Sister Mary Clare’s niece
Father Patrick Cawley
Father Pat served Holy Cross Church and the Beaver Island community with amazing compassion and “the heart of an angel” for many years. One of his most important contributions to the island’s Irish-American community was his staunch support for their traditions. He relished the sincere and time-honored death and burial traditions of the island’s Irish-American families, encouraging them to never let go of individually unique wakes, funeral processions to the Point, and visits to Holy Cross Cemetery, or whatever special honor the family felt the deceased would appreciate.
Beginning in 1915, Helen spent over fifty years listening to and recording the stories of numerous Irish-American island elders. Her tirelessly dedicated oral history work, accompanied by her exhaustive archival research locally and beyond, amassed a treasure trove of island genealogy and lore which continues to guide and illuminate countless island descendants, researchers, and writers today. Artistically, her flawless and evocative sketches of the first generation of Beaver Island’s Irish settlers, inspired by vintage photos and the oral recollections of their grandchildren, gives us a vivid glimpse of the visages and character of those early immigrants. In the words of one Irish-American islander, “She gave us our history”. *Also pictured George Broder.