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UFT Irish American Committee’s annual Heritage Celebration

Honoring the Tenement Museum

Miller Photography

Posing afterward are (from left) Donnelly, Meyer, McDermott, Bader, McCourt and Altomare. More photos >>

Miller Photography

Participants listen to one of the speakers.

The UFT Irish American Committee honored the Lower East Side Tenement Museum at its annual Heritage Celebration on March 6 at UFT headquarters, continuing a tradition of honoring a person or organization that promotes deeper understanding and appreciation of Irish heritage and culture. “It’s incumbent on us to pay tribute to a museum that makes it possible for countless teachers and students to learn about Irish immigrants and our ancestors,” said Doris Meyer, the committee’s chair. George Altomare, the director of UFT Professional Committees, presented the Irish American Committee’s Eileen Lynch Award to Miriam Bader, the museum’s director of honoring-the-tenement-museum-3Miller PhotographyRetiree Rose O’Connor (left) enjoyed the event with her daughter, Erin O’Connor. education. Maura Donnelly, who teaches in a hospital school at Mount Sinai Medical Center, recalled working with a student who couldn’t physically visit the museum. So instead, Donnelly tried to bring the museum to the student by collecting a number of educational materials from the museum’s gift shop. In a nod to the museum’s emphasis on immigration, speakers at the event discussed the challenges faced by Irish immigrants who came to America. Peter McDermott, the editor of the Irish Echo — the oldest Irish American newspaper in the United States — commended the museum for revealing the personal stories of Irish immigrants. Also present was Alphie McCourt, the youngest brother of celebrated Irish writer and former UFT member Frank McCourt, who read a piece written by his late brother.

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