Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy signed a joint resolution (AJR63) designating the month of March as Irish-American Heritage Month.
Irish-American Heritage Month will recognize the contributions of Irish Americans to the economic prosperity and culture of the State of New Jersey, the Governor's office says.
Approximately 1.3 million people in New Jersey claim Irish ancestry. Two New Jersey counties - Cape May and Gloucester- are among the top 10 counties in the US with the highest percentage of Irish.
Governor Murphy, who has Irish roots, said on September 15: “For centuries, the Irish have settled in this country seeking the American Dream, and through their hard work, America prospered.
“The culture of our country would be much poorer if not for the Irish who came to our shores, and the generations of Irish people who have shaped New Jersey and our nation – with humility, faith, generosity, and warmth. As an Irish-American, I am proud to establish Irish-American Heritage Month in New Jersey.”
Primary sponsors of AJR63 include Senators Patrick Diegnan and Steven Oroho, and Assemblymembers Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo, and Carol Murphy.
Senator Diegnan said: “As the son of Irish immigrants, I know firsthand the contributions of the Irish. Irish immigrants are the embodiment of the American Dream.
“Irish American Heritage Month will honor the values of the Irish and celebrate their unique impact on our country.”
Senate Minority Leader Oroho said: "For centuries, the Irish people, like many immigrants, came to this country and settled in states such as New Jersey looking for a better life for their families. "That life change usually involved accepting difficult and dangerous jobs just to make ends meet. Their steadfastness and will to succeed through generations has left a measurable impact on our culture, and contributed immensely to our growth and prosperity as a state.
"This joint resolution, now law, will formally recognize the courage and determination of Irish-Americans, and honor them for their considerable contributions, which helped shape the New Jersey of today."
In a joint statement, Assemblymembers Benson, DeAngelo, and Murphy said: “Irish-Americans have played a crucial role in the growth and development of the State of New Jersey. With their rich history, heritage, and hard work, Irish Americans have forged a path for future generations to follow. We are honored to have the month of March recognize our ancestors’ sacrifices and contributions that continue to enrich our communities.”
Ahead of St. Patrick's Day 2019, Dermot Quinn, a professor of history at Seton Hall University, discussed the impact that Irish immigrants had on New Jersey, and vice versa:
Irish people have shaped New Jersey in profoundly important ways.March 15, 2019
Earlier this year, Governor Murphy traveled to Ireland on a trade mission and met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and US Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin.
Just wrapped the third day of our economic mission to Ireland.
We met with government officials, held productive discussions, & met with over 50 companies interested in growing their businesses in NJ.
The partnerships we are forming will undoubtedly grow our innovation economy. pic.twitter.com/ZhEmDgHt9X— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 26, 2022