After six years as chairperson of the Aisling Irish Community Center (AICC), during which time she shepherded the expansion and redevelopment of the center’s state-of-the-art location on 990 McLean Avenue in Yonkers, Caitriona Clarke has stepped down and handed the reins to Siobhan Henry, who has been a member of the center’s board for 10 years.  Taking over as vice chair is Nuala Purcell, a board member since 2010.

The Aisling Irish Center revealed the new personnel changes in a  press release. “We thank Caitriona sincerely for the incredible work she did to get the Aisling Center to what it is today.  She was instrumental in securing the purchase and renovation of our building and developed the very successful Build-A-Brick fundraising campaign,” the release said.

“Additionally, Caitriona, along with members of the Executive Board, sought out contractors and suppliers who were willing to assist the center in the massive rebuild.  As if this wasn’t enough, Caitriona was one of the people who spearheaded the Sláinte 2020 initiative to raise funds for those suffering from extreme hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic. Caitriona checked in on staff and Friends of the AICC to make sure programs were continued and needs were being met. For example, some of our senior population who avail of weekly meals at the center had their meals delivered to their homes by our volunteers.  

“A recent addition to the AICC is the beautiful donor wall that Caitriona oversaw to fruition. What started with her effort to thank our generous community for their contributions, finished with a creative design that graces the walls of our lobby.  We encourage you to stop by and visit the fruits of Caitriona’s labor with a walk-through of our new home at 990 McLean Avenue!”

Henry, the press release noted, was born in County Longford and was raised in Woodlawn after her family emigrated. She holds degrees from Boston College and Fordham University Graduate School of Education and is a teacher in the Yonkers Public Schools.

“Siobhan has coordinated numerous AICC events and is well versed in the operations of this long-established and growing neighborhood Irish hub. She brings a wealth of skill, expertise and vision in the area of systems management as well as Irish community outreach and networking. Siobhan is grateful for Caitriona’s vision, dedication, and passion over the last six years and is excited for what the future holds for the AICC in the next chapter,” said the press release.

Purcell, a native of County Down, is an event photographer in the Irish American community who began her photo career at the Irish Voice. She was born in Kilkeel, Co. Down and raised in Woodlawn.  She earned a BA in psychology from Lehman College and a master’s in strategic communication from Fordham University.

“Nuala is well-known within the local Irish community and understands the many needs of the neighborhood. She has served as dinner dance committee chair for the AICC’s biggest annual fundraiser,” said the press release.

“Nuala is keenly aware of the importance in keeping the community aware and informed of AICC’s services and programs through all communication platforms. Nuala looks forward to continuing her work with the staff and board in serving this wonderful community.”