Irish flag raised at Holyoke City Hall

Hampden County

A flag raising with deep significance was held at Holyoke City Hall Friday.

Members of the Holyoke division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians raised the Irish Flag at Holyoke City Hall Friday morning. This fraternal organization was founded in Ireland some 500 years ago.

The Holyoke division dates back nearly 150 years.

“What we’re trying to do is bring awareness to the Irish Heritage and what they did for the city,” said Paul Hogan of the Holyoke division Ancient Order of Hibernians president. “They mainly helped build it, they dug the canals in Holyoke, built the buildings.”

“We built the city, we had a great part in building the city and a lot of times we were blocked from working in what we built,” Barabara Twohig of the Ancient Order of Hibernians women’s auxiliary told 22News.

The Hibernians consider the western Massachusetts Irish Cultural Center in West Springfield a significant source of  Irish-American history in western Massachusetts.

The cultural center is now in the process of building a new library to further awareness of recent as well as past heritage.

Then on Sunday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, the 68th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade will again attract tens of thousands of spectators lining the parade route, cheering the marching contingents, the floats, and the parade honorees.

If you’re unable to get to Holyoke on the 17, you can watch the Parade on 22News on the CW Springfield.

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