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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AOH Unveils Celtic Cross in Worcester on September 18, 1977


AOH Ceremony at Celtic Cross, Easter 2010

To mark the 150th anniversary of the first permanent Irish Catholic settlement in Worcester, Massachusetts, the city's Irish-American community erected a Celtic Cross on Worcester Common on September 18, 1977.

The 15 foot high memorial, weighing over 13,000 pounds made of Barre Vermont granite, was designed by Joseph Calcagni.  It features patriotic, religious and family symbols pertinent to Worcester, America and Ireland.

At the Celtic Cross unveiling, Thomas J. Early, Mayor of Worcester presided, along with Daniel F. Herlighy, chairman of the Irish Memorial Committee, and members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, especially from Division 36 in Worcester

Prior to the Irish Catholic settlement, Irish Presbyterians from Ulster settled in Worcester in 1718. When they initially arrived that summer, Boston leaders were afraid they would be a burden on the town, so they sent them to Casco Bay, Maine, Worcester, Massachusetts and Londonderry, New Hampshire.

On May 25, 2009, Ireland President Mary McAleese laid a wreath at the Celtic Cross commemorating the arrival of the Irish in Worcester.

For more details on Irish heritage in Massachusetts, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.  Or  read Irish Boston, published by Globe Pequot Press.   

For year round cultural activities, visit IrishMassachusetts.com