Hurricane Sandy gave us a new normal in New York. We had long since become skeptical of forecasts of severe weather, but Sandy changed all that. If there is a silver lining to this catastrophe, then it is that it has shown how important Irish Centers are to the well-being of our community. In Sandy’s wake, as its awful aftermath became clear, the local Irish Centers were among the first to mobilize, the New York Irish Center among them, gathering and coordinating deliveries of emergency supplies to the worst-hit areas. We are now a key contributor to community-wide relief efforts.

A year goes by so quickly, doesn’t it? It certainly seems so for my wife Rosa and I, as we watch our children grow pace. 2012 has also been great for my other great passion, the New York Irish Center.

Looking back, we have much to be grateful for, especially for the huge support we enjoy in the community. This was abundantly clear from our Comedy Night fundraiser at Symphony Space in June, which played to a packed house!

December is also a time to look ahead, and as we finalize our plans process for 2013, we remain focused on helping those affected by October’s terrible storm. Stacked against the suffering of so many in our community at this time, we feel especially blessed, and I pledge we will continue to fulfill the vision of our founders in 2013, to provide a home for the Irish at heart in New York, building community through culture, identity and friendship.

A year ago we made the conscious decision to invest in telling our story, a crucial component of any successful operation.

In this regard, we have accomplished so much, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer Board members and energized staff, all of whom comprise can get to know us better by spending time on our website, or watching our exciting and innovative whiteboard animation, at

You’ll also read and hear about us more frequently in the media these days, and we’ve mastered Twitter and Facebook! None of this is a substitute for a visit here of course, so if you haven’t been, come on over…seeing is believing!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

**  Paul Finnegan -- Executive Director, New York Irish Center

Paul Finnegan -- Executive Director, New York Irish CenterGoogle Images