Mary Holt Moore, who served as the second ever female grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1991, passed away last week. She was 88 years old, and a resident of Pearl River, New York.
Born in the Bronx, Holt Moore was a graduate of Hunter College, where she founded its Gaelic Society. An unrepentant Irish Republican and devout Catholic, she dedicated her life to the cause of Irish freedom. Her parents were natives of Leitrim and Wicklow.
She shared her love of Irish history and language as president of the Bronx Gaelic League and Council of Gaelic Societies. She was an active participant in New York’s Irish American community.
“Though she loved the United States, her love for Ireland, its language Gaeilge, culture and history was boundless. When we first met in the early seventies, the fact that I was a native Irish speaker cemented a friendship that would last forever,” Maurice Brick, an official in the Kerrymen’s Association of New York, said.
“I remember how she fought and cajoled whom ever she could to get the Prayers of the Faithful in Irish included in the St. Patrick's Day Mass in the Cathedral and her sheer joy when she succeeded.
“No one was her match and it was my delight, on many occasions to witness her acute attention to detail when extolling the virtues of the land of her forefathers.
Moore’s husband Thomas, a former deputy chief of the FDNY, predeceased her. She is survived by eight children and 21 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A funeral Mass was held last Saturday at St. Margaret’s in Pearl River. Moore was laid to rest at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne.