St. Patrick’s Day fete will hail Society’s 275th anniversary

The Charitable Irish Society of Boston will celebrate its 275th anniversary with a gala dinner on St. Patrick’s Day at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. The evening will commence with a reception at 6 p.m. that will be followed by dinner at 7. The event is optional black tie. Members and non-members of the society are welcome to attend.

Founded in l737 by Irish immigrants who came primarily from Ulster, the society is the oldest Irish organization in the Americas. For almost three centuries, the society has remained firmly committed to its core missions to help Irish immigrants to Boston, to nurture unity and harmony among all Irish people, and to advance their social, moral and civic interests on both sides of the Atlantic.

As part of the celebration, the Society will confer Life Achievement Awards on four distinguished people of Irish ancestry who have contributed immensely to civic, cultural and public life in Boston: Sister Janet Eisner, SND, President of Emmanuel College; Dick Flavin, playwright and poet laureate of the Boston Red Sox; Henry Lee, founder and past president of the Friends of the Public Garden; and Kathleen M. O’Toole, former Boston Police Commissioner and currently Chief Inspector of the Garda Siochana Inspectorate in Ireland.

Tickets are $175 per person. Reservations can be made by contacting the society either by telephone at 617-330-1737 or by email at For further details, contact President Paul McNamara at 617-722-8100.

In advance of the anniversary gala, the Society planned to host an event on March 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bleacher Bar to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of America’s most beloved ballpark. The event will honor Charles E. Logue and James E. McLaughlin, the Irishmen who built Fenway Park.

Ground was broken in September 1911 for the construction of the park, which opened seven months later. Logue (1858-1919), a member of the Charitable Irish Society and an immigrant from Derry, Northern Ireland, was the construction engineer and McLaughlin (1873-1966), a son of Irish immigrants who was born in Nova Scotia, was the project architect.

Tickets are $35 per person and may be paid for at the door by cash or check but reservations are required and can be booked by calling 617-330-1737 or by e-mailing the Society at: The Bleacher Bar is located under the centerfield bleacher stands near Gate C of Fenway Park at 82A Lansdowne Street. A parking garage is located directly across the street.