Friday, March 6, 2020




The Saint Patrick's Day Parade in New York this coming Tuesday, March 17, has been cancelled and postponed until later this year. Governor Cuomo made the official announcement on Wednesday evening having consulted with the parade leadership.
We will keep you posted on further details as they develop.
Enjoy and celebrate  the special on the 17th. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you all.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Assembly Time  Our Laois Association will assemble this year at its usual location opposite 48 West 48th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. We are scheduled to assemble at 3:20 p.m., after County Meath and ahead of County Wicklow.  Please remember to respect the parade committee’s dress code, which prohibits sneakers, jeans, or inappropriate dress and head gear.
Grand Marshal   William Traver has graciously accepted the Laois Association’s invitation to serve as its Grand Marshal this year. Over the past 30 years, Bill has helped carry our Laois banner and flags on St. Patrick’s Day. This year he will wear the Laois Grand Marshal sash, and he tells us he is very proud to lead his fellow Laois marchers up the Avenue.  Bill has marched with Laois ever since he joined the Kehoe family several years ago his through marriage to Lesley Kehoe, herself a former Grand Marshal. He traces his Irish ancestry back to the Faheys of Galway, where his daughter Jennifer currently makes her home.
     A graduate of Bucknell University, Bill earned his MBA and MS in data analysis from Miami University of Ohio. Professionally he advanced through various positions in marketing and operations management in several companies including Reader’s Digest, FlexPak, and Ashland Inc. When he retired from the corporate world, Bill turned his attention to managing his real estate portfolio. He is an avid sportsman, having played rugby at college and later with several senior rugby clubs. Bill has continued to coach the sport, and for many seasons he led his team--on which his son, Will, was a player--to a top ten standing nationwide. Moreover, he’s an accomplished martial arts practitioner, with a third-degree black belt in taekwondo and hapkido. Bill also finds time to be an active member of his parish, where he co-teaches a third-grade CCD class with his daughter Elizabeth. One of the guiding principles in Bill’s life is the importance of a strong family, and he is exceptionally proud of his wife, Lesley; son, Will; and daughters, Jennifer and Elizabeth. He is most appreciative of all of their support. 
Delegation from County Laois  The Laois County Council in Ireland has kindly accepted our Association’s invitation to fly into New York and march with us on Fifth Avenue. The County Council delegation includes Councillor Conor Bergin, who will be representing the County Chairman (Cathaoirleach) Willie Aird. He will be accompanied by John Mulholland, the Laois County Chief Executive.
Mike Dunphy, President, (973) 886-6097,                                                 Larry McEvoy, Vice President, (917) 833-3218,
Minister Charlie Flanagan   Our sincere thanks to Minister Charlie Flanagan, whose constituency is Laois-Offaly, for marching with us last St. Patrick’s Day. The Laois Association congratulates him on his recent reelection.
Bill McEvoy  Congratulations, too, to Bill McEvoy, our association’s senior statesman, who recently celebrated his 97th birthday. Bill hopes to join us on the Avenue again this year, even though he has just overcome a tough fight with pneumonia. We wish him a speedy recovery. Still active at 97, Bill continues his great life’s work with the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in the U.S. and Canada, which he founded in the 1960s.  Bill still takes pride in playing a mean fiddle in his own band, especially on St. Patrick’s Day.
Tom Phelan   Mountmellick author Tom Phelan’s acclaimed memoir of growing up on a small farm in Laois, We Were Rich and We Didn't Know It: A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood, has now been released in paperback. Following its launch in New York last year, the memoir was also published in Ireland and the U.K.  In the coming weeks Tom will give talks about his Laois boyhood and read from his memoir at several venues. These include:  
·         Thursday, March 5, at 7 p.m., Hillside Public Library, New Hyde Park, NY
·         Thursday, March 12, at 2 p.m., Bethpage Public Library, Bethpage, NY 
He is also scheduled to participate in the following festivals:
·         Sunday, March 8, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hofstra Irish Festival, Hempstead, NY
·         Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Baldwin Library Author Festival, Baldwin, NY
     We would like to thank Patricia Phelan, Tom’s wife, for helping to edit this newsletter. Patricia is the program chair for the Irish Family History Forum genealogy group (, which meets monthly at the Bethpage Library. Please contact: for further details.
2020 Scholarship Contest  The Parade Committee offers several scholarships this year, three for a college-level research paper and three for a high school–level research paper. Details, eligibility, and forms for applicants are available on the Parade’s website at:  Deadlines for research papers must be submitted no later than Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 11 p.m.

Important Websites
·         NY Co. Laois Assn: And please follow us on Facebook.
·         United Irish Counties: 
·         Laois news from Ireland:
·         Official NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade:
See You on the Avenue ... Le Chonaigh De