West Side Irish American Club News Archive

Archive for July, 2012

WSIA to appear in Kamm’s 4th of July parade…

Kamm’s Corners Independence Day Parade Join us for the July 4th parade at 9:30 am. Our beautiful float from the St. Patrick’s Day parade will be there. The parade departs from Kamm’s Plaza, travels east on Lorain Avenue, turns north at West Park Avenue which curves west to Rocky River Drive. Come along for the fun!

Gaelic Football history in Cleveland

Cleveland itself has an amazing GAA history going back to c1918 with the Cleveland Young Ireland’s Football team. Players on this team included the late Pat Duffy, Jim Mannion and Phil McGovern. There are stories of how the team would take the night boat to Detroit for games. After the game they would attend a dance then the night boat back to Cleveland. It is believed there were also active clubs in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Henry Cavanaugh was President of the Cleveland GAA in the 1930’s. Games were played at local venues such as Gordon Park, Edgewater Park, Puritas Springs Park and Shamrock Field. It is thought that none or very little Gaelic football was played in the city from the late 1930’s to mid-1940’s. It is in 1948 that we find records of the current club Cleveland St Pat’s GFC being formed.

In 1949 Pat Lynch, Henry Cavanaugh and Pat Duffy in conjunction with contacts in Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Buffalo formed the Midwest Gaelic Football League. Games were played at Brookside, League Park, Shaw Stadium and West Tech. A new practice field was eventually located at E110th and St Clair. In the fall of 1950 Katherine (Murphy) Kearney was elected secretary of the Cleveland GAA. At the same time a Midwest select team travelled to Boston to play a New England select team. The Midwest team was coached by Pat Duffy and had 2 Clevelanders on the team: Mickey Prendergast and Gene O’Donnell. The Midwest would win by a single point.

Throughout the 1950’s it seems there were several different Gaelic Football and hurling teams in Cleveland. It would be Cleveland St Pat’s team that would go on to dominate the North American GAA scene during the 1960’s winning 3 national titles in a row

Over the next few decades members of the Cleveland GAA would become greatly involved with the National GAA – John O’Brien, Sean Gannon, Henry Cavanaugh, John Herlighy, Al O’Leary to name but a few. St Pat’s GFC would continue alone through the 1970’s. this past few decades the club has seen several men take on the role as club chairman; from the 1980’s to early 2000’s it was the Gannon family who made the commitment with both Sean Sr. and Jr. taking on the role. More recently, since 2005 Derry native Mark Owens has served as Chairman.

Cleveland St Pat’s have been the long standing home team of the West Side Irish-American Club for quite a while and have long term plans to develop the current field with the help assistance of the GAA in Ireland. It is an exciting time for the local team as they will be leading the way in hosting the 2013 National Gaelic Games to be held in Cleveland.

If interested in playing for the team please email stpatsgfc@yahoo.com or visit their website at www.clevelandstpatsgfc.com. Feel free to call Mark Owens with questions at 440-331-3539.

Forever Young News: July 2012


Our annual Mass for deceased members was celebrated at our June 14, 2012 meeting. The Mass was inspiring, as was Fr. Cornelius Murray’s homily. Thanks to Marge Lavelle and Mary Napier for setting up the Alter. Good Job Ladies.

Our annual Picnic will be on August 8th. Tickets will go on sale at the July 12th meeting. Price will be $11.00 per person.

Mary Ellen Grealis is planning a trip to Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh for Tuesday July 17th. The cost is $26.00 per person. Please call Mary Ellen at 440-235-6528 if interested.


Mary Ellen Grealis, Chairperson 440-235-6528 Janet Saringer, Vice-Chairperson; Mickey Grealis, Treasurer; Mary Ellen McFarland, Secretary; Carol Trego, Sergeant-at-Arms

Please contact Rosemarie Houlehan, Health and Welfare Chairperson, at 440-353-0925, to send a card to Forever Young Members who are sick or have lost an immediate family member.