St. Paddy’s Day kicks off SHU’s first ever Irish Heritage Week

Seton Hall’s first Irish Heritage Week begins on St. Patrick’s Day and will consist of a weeklong celebration of Irish tradition and culture, ending on Thursday, March 23.

The week is coordinated by students and alumni of the Pirates of Irish Persuasion and Extraction (PIPE).

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Eilish Harrington is the founder of PIPE and current PIPE advisor as well as an institutional research specialist. She said Irish Heritage Week begins with a St. Patrick’s Day Mass on March 17 at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.

Following Mass, a flag-raising ceremony will be held outside the Bishop Dougherty University Center. After the ceremony’s conclusion, registered marchers will board charter buses to participate in New York City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Harrington said in an email interview.

“The Irish have had a profound impact on life at Seton Hall, on the American experience, on the Catholic Church, and on Western Civilization as a whole. Irish Heritage Week will be a celebration of this rich tradition,” Harrington said.

Brian O’Malley, director of Alumni Clubs, said in an email interview that approximately 50 students and alumni will travel to New York to represent Seton Hall in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

According to Harrington, PIPE began in fall 2006 with the intention of providing a social platform for students fascinated with the Irish experience. Additionally, Harrington said that Irish Heritage Week came to fruition because of the Irish community’s influence on Seton Hall and beyond.

Moreover, Irish Heritage Week will comprise of several other events, according to Harrington. There will be a feature presentation titled “Ireland and New Jersey: From History to Heritage,” by Dr. Dermot Quinn, professor in the department of history, on Thursday, March 23, at 7 p.m. in the Nursing Amphitheater.

Drew Crossmann, a freshman undecided major, said that although he does not regularly celebrate his Irish heritage, he plans to take advantage of the events and opportunities provided during Irish Heritage Week.

“[Irish Heritage Week] gives me the opportunity to learn something I don’t already know about myself,” Crossmann said.

Mikaela Scanlon, current PIPE president and a senior marketing, management and finance major, expressed her excitement in observing PIPE’s growth over her time as a student at Seton Hall and the much anticipated St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“It’s so exciting to see how much PIPE has grown since I came to SHU four years ago and how it continues to grow. The first annual Irish Heritage Week is a really exciting event,” Scanlon said via email. “The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City is definitely my favorite part. Marching down Fifth Avenue with my fellow Pirates is an experience like no other.”

Thomas Schwartz can be reached at

Author: Thomas Schwartz

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