The Buffalo Irish Center is much more than a meeting place in a pub, a bingo hall, or an establishment for little girls to learn dancing. Since 1970, the Center has grown to become home to over a dozen non-profit Irish-American organizations each promoting a different aspect of its culture. Collectively, the Buffalo Irish Center has become one of the richest cultural and ethnic centers in Western New York. Simply look under the different headings in this publication to find contacts for the different organizations.
The Irish Center was designed to enable the WNY Irish-American Community to share a common space where they could foster interest in our Irish heritage. The Gaelic American Athletic Association (GAAA), was formed to own and operate the Buffalo Irish Center.
For over 40 years, the beautiful ongoing renovations necessary to transform the old YMCA building into the reality of a true Irish Center, are the results of insightful and masterful planning by the GAAA Boards together with hard work, dedication and hours of volunteerism by members working diligently to accomplish each project as available funds dictate.
The entire building is smoke-free in compliance with current legislation within Erie County. Inside the main entrance is the pub area. Music by different Irish groups is featured Friday & Saturday evenings. A seisiun* is held the 3rd Sunday of the month at 6 PM for musicians, dancers, singers and storytellers to participate.
A two-year smoking-ban waiver has been granted only for the Thursday night BINGO at 7:30 PM, due to the Claddagh Room being designated for smokers as it complies with the strict rules set down by the Erie County Health Department.
For everything from weddings to fundraisers and anything in between, air-conditioned hall rentals are available with catering optional. The beautiful wainscoted décor of the Claddagh Room would set off any event for up to 140 seated people. The larger Emerald Room can seat 270 people. For booking or Center information, email: Mary@buffaloirishcenter.com.
Inside the Buffalo Irish Center is the GAAA Irish Library. This library was originally formed to house a collection of books donated by Mr. Roy Phelps of Niagara Falls. Through the years, it has evolved into a unique ethnic library in Western New York, one of a kind. Our all-Irish library continues to accept book donations that have an Irish content or the story is set in Ireland. Periodicals are graciously declined due to availability of space.
The library also houses research and reference materials of BIGS, the Buffalo Irish Genealogical Society. BIGS members donate their time to help patrons in the library every 1st & 2nd Saturday and the 3rd Tuesday each month from October thru June or by appointment. See library listings for contact information.
The GAAA also publishes the BUFFALO IRISH TIMES (5 issues yearly) comprised of volunteer staff members dedicated to the Irish Community in the Buffalo area. The 'TIMES' gives the non-profit clubs an avenue to share schedules and event information, a forum for thoughts on Irish concerns, and highlights and activities of interest to the Irish–American Community. This paper is funded through advertisements and subscriptions with outstanding balances absorbed by the GAAA. Please ensure the future of the BUFFALO IRISH TIMES by purchasing ads for your business or organization or buying a subscription. Please contact: Mary C. Heneghan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all these wonderful things happening at the Buffalo Irish Center, if you feel compelled to volunteer, join the GAAA through sponsored membership, or make a donation to help defray the rising costs of the Center, call the Center at 716-825-9535 for information oremail: email@example.com
PONDER THIS: If the Buffalo Irish Center ever ceases to be, where would our children, our grandchildren, or our great-grandchildren learn and experience the richness of our great Irish-American Heritage in Western New York?