County Longford Association
of Greater New York, Inc


About Us

The County Longford Association in New York

  The Year was 1891. Benjamin Harrison was the President of the United States. Lee XIII issued his famous Encyclical “ Rerum Novarum” on social justice and the rights of labor. Victoria was on the throne of England. Charles Stewart Parnell “the uncrowned kings of Ireland” died. It was an age of rugged individualisms and the “Robber Barons” The social programs we take for granted today were unknown.

 During this period the poverty of immigrations was extreme. Life expectancy was short and many a bread winner was snatched away leaving a widow and children destitute. In order to help relieve this distress, a group of County Longford men established the County Longford Social and Benevolent Association in the City of New York on February 12th 1891. The goals of the society were to assist as much as possible the needs of those in want.

The State charter of the Association was sealed on December 27th 1892. Six members signed as trustees: Patrick Quirk, Bernard McCabe, John Kirk, William Cooke, Frank Mollahan and Daniel O’Brien. Patrick Quirk was probably the first president. Among the early presidents were Bernard Corrigan and Patrick Quinn.

No adequate history of the association is available because all of the early records have been lost. Thus many notable events and names are unknown.

How well the Association carried out its functions? Our scant records indicate that thousands of dollars were paid out in sick and death benefits over the years. In the early years when poverty of our people was extreme this was probably the Association’s most important function.

In order to insure Christian burial of any member who died without funds, the Association purchased a grave site in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside Queens, NY. On August 14th 1898 Patrick Rudden, forty years of age was interned in this grave, located in 3rd Calvary, Section 20, Plot 10, Range C, grave 14.

Its charity was also extended to the missions and missionary priests laboring in fields afar. Many churches in Longford have been helped financially. Substantial sums were sent to Ennybegs church.
The church in Ballinalee received donations for the main altar, dedicated to the memory of Sean Connelly killed in action by the British in March 1921. Smaller amounts went to Abbeylara and others.

There is no way of measuring the contributions of the Association to the struggle for Irish Independence – most of the work by its very nature will remain unknown. Members attended the Irish Race Convention in 1916 and the friends of Irish Freedom convention.

The Association contributed to the Defense of Ireland Fund, to the fund for the suffering of people of Ireland and to the Victory fund in 1919. Many of the members were active in the Clan –na Gael during that period.

In March 1921 almost $4,000 was sent to the County Longford Relief Fund to assist those in the areas of the county affected by the war.

Members of the association have served in World War 1, World War II, Korea and Viet-Nam. At least twenty five members served in World War II. One member served in both World War II and Korea.

In 1939, the Longford Ladies Auxiliary was established. The late Ann Corrigan was installed as President with her slate of Offices at the Saint Patrick’s Ball on March 17th 1940. Rose Cosgrove was elected President in 1941. The Ladies Auxiliary was disbanded in recent years and incorporated into the men’s Association with the name change to the County Longford Association of Greater New York.

Happily, the social problems which prompted the founding of the Association have been greatly reduced by the upper mobility of our people on the social and economic level. We can now turn to other fields of endeavor such as assistance to any newly arrived immigrants and by offering scholarships to the children and grandchildren of our members.

The Association Scholarship Fund was named in memory of Rev. John Drumgoole, born in Longford in 1861. Father Drumgoole was a pioneer in the child care field. He was ordained on May 22nd 1868 in his 53rd year. He assumed control of St Vincent’s Home for homeless boys in September 1871. In 1882 he founded the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin and Mount Loretta on Staten Island. By 1886, he was caring for approximately 1200 children. Father Drumgoole died on March 28th 1888.

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