Irish American Hall of Fame Inductees
Five individuals of Irish decent with strong connections to Beaver Island will be honored by the Emerald Isle Irish Féile (Festival) Steering Committee for contributions in the areas of Cultural Heritage, Arts, Entertainment and Religion. The inaugural class of 2022 will be inducted in a ceremony at the Beaver Island Community Center on Saturday, September 10th at 11:30 am, during the two-day Irish Festival (Féile). The Beaver Island Irish American Hall of Fame came about as part of the Féile planning process as an authentic way to recognize, support and remember Beaver Island’s traditional Irish community.
The following individuals will be inducted: Daniel Gillespie, Entertainment, nominated by Brother Jim Boynton; Mary Kay McDonough Masini, Arts, nominated by Donald Masini; Father
Patrick Cawley, Religion, nominated by Kitty McNamara; Sister Mary Clare Malloy, Religion,
nominated by Elizabeth Schwandt; and Mary Beth Greene Nelson, Cultural Heritage, nominated
by Maeve Green. The ceremony will be hosted by Beaver Island poet and historian Robert Cole
and the inductees will receive a medal and plaque. Their biographies and pictures will be housed at the Beaver Island Historical Society’s Print Shop Museum. Long-time Beaver Island summer resident and historian Helen Collar, though not of Irish decent, will also be honored at the event for her research of the genealogy of the original first Irish settlers and creation of sketches inspired by old photos and oral recollections from grandchildren of the first Irish settlers on Beaver Island.
Don Masini, husband and nominator for artist and Beaver Island native Mary Kay McDonough Masini who passed away on September 10, 2020 remarked upon hearing of Kay’s induction “How exciting that Kay has been inducted into the inaugural class of the Beaver Island Irish American Hall of Fame! She would have been proud to share the honor with the other deserving inductees.” The public is invited to attend the ceremony.