Across the United States, local Irish and Celtic shops represent the heartbeat of Irish culture in their communities, a place for Irish Americans to connect with their roots, on such store is Irish Traditions, in Annapolis, Maryland.

During this unprecedented time, IrishCentral is shining a light on local Irish stores and the dedicated shop owners who pour their hearts and souls into providing the best possible experiences for their customers.

One of these is Irish Traditions, which opened in May 2005 in Annapolis, Maryland, home of the United States Naval Academy and Maryland’s State Capital.

“After 20 years working for a Wall Street firm and moving back and forth across the country, we decided to leave the corporate world and return to Maryland," owner Margaret McLemore shared with IrishCentral.

“Having grown up in the Washington DC/Maryland Irish community, bringing quality Irish products to the area seemed a good fit for a ‘next act’.” 

Margaret’s Irish roots run deep. Her father, John Barry, emigrated from Currans, County Kerry to Chicago in 1959. The US Army sent him to Fort Meade in Maryland, where he met Kathleen Cooleen at one of the frequent gatherings of the Irish and Irish Americans in Washington, DC.   Kathleen is a native Washingtonian whose parents hail from County Clare.

Irish Traditions store owner Margaret McLemore.

Irish Traditions store owner Margaret McLemore.

Margaret typically gets to Ireland and Scotland at least twice a year to attend trade shows and travel around the countries seeking out new products. Irish Traditions’ customer base is quite varied, she said, and they strive to have something for everyone.

“Our food section is the favorite of Irish, Scottish and British natives, as well as many first-generation Americans. Our apparel and jewelry appeal to all of our customers, whether of Irish heritage or not. We have many visitors to Annapolis from around the country and the world who appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of our Irish produced knitwear, tweeds, and jewelry.”

In addition, they expanded into Scottish products a number of years ago, so those of Scottish heritage enjoy Irish Traditions’ extensive range of kilts and tartan accessories.

Annapolis, Maryland

Situated on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is a jewel of historic preservation and the city lends itself to outdoor activities year-round.  An easy drive brings visitors from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, to stroll the historic streets, view colonial architecture, and enjoy public art displays around the city.  Outdoor dining is plentiful with scores of restaurants providing something for every taste while enjoying the vista.  While visiting, be sure to stop into the many unique shops and boutiques, including Irish Traditions.  You’ll find quality handcrafted treasures not seen in chain stores. 

If you can’t get to Annapolis in person, shop online at site is frequently updated with new arrivals showcasing the latest in apparel, jewelry, and accessories for your home. 

Irish Traditions is located at 141 Main Street, Annapolis, MD, 21401. You can also visit them online at and stay in touch via Facebook @IrishTraditions, Twitter @IrishTraditions, Instagram @IrishTraditions, and Pinterest @IrishTraditions. 

Looking for an Irish store near you in the US check out NACTA's store locator on IrishCentral.