Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor Visits Denver and Kansas City for St Patrick’s Day 2019
News18 March 2019
Minister Mitchell O'Connor & Eric Stonestreet at the St Patrick's Day Parade in Kansas City on March 17, 2019.
St Patrick’s Day has a special meaning for the Irish Diaspora in the United States where we celebrate the enormous contribution made by the Irish to the politics, society and culture of their adopted country.
This year, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. travelled to Denver, Colorado and Kansas City, Missouri to represent the Irish Government on St Patrick’s Day.
Although the first St Patrick’s Day Parade in Denver took place in 1889, the origins of today’s official St Patrick’s Day Parade date back to a visit by the Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1962. Today, the St Patrick’s Day parade in Denver is one of Colorado’s largest celebrations each year.
In addition to participating the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Denver, Minister Mitchell O’Connor met with the Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, and the Mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor also attended a special reception for the Irish community in Denver hosted by Honorary Consul James Lyons.
Kansas City, Missouri
Similar to Denver, the tradition of a St Patrick’s Day parade in Kansas City, Missouri had existed in the late 1890s but had been dormant for much of the 20th century. As Pat O’Neill, author of ‘From the Bottom Up – The Story of the Irish in Kansas City’ notes, the small parade that wandered through the streets of downtown Kansas City in 1974 has grown into one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the United States today.
Upon arrival in Kansas City, Minister Mitchell O’Connor visited the home of the Kansas City Irish Center in Drexel Hall which has been supported through the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme in recent years.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor attended the 2019 St Patrick’s Day Parade in Kansas City and met with actor Eric Stonestreet – the 2019 KC Parade Grand Marshall.
The Minister also met with Governor of Kansas, Laura Kelly, and the Mayor of Topeka, Michelle De La Isla during the visit.
CG Farrell, Governor Jared Polis & Minister Mitchell O'Connor in Denver, Colorado during St Patrick's Day 2019.
Mayor Michael Hancock & Minister Mitchell O’Connor at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Denver, Colorado on 16 March, 2019.
Governor of Kansas Laura Kelly & Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor in Topeka, Kansas during St Patrick’s Day 2019.