The Irish Cultural Center of Western New England Board of Directors and Development Committee announce a capital campaign to fund completion of the $5 million project renovating its headquarters at 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA.
The campaign seeks to raise $2 million to complete the Community Performance Center, which will serve the needs of the greater region for concerts, events, meetings and private banquets. The remainder has been raised through individual donations, company gifts, grants — both government and private — and an ongoing cadre of volunteer help since the ICC moved into the building in 2017.
ICC President Sean F. Cahillane and Development Committee members Edward Sullivan, William Carey and Kevin O’Connor joined Mayor William Reichelt in announcing the campaign, which will officially launch on Feb. 1, 2024. The leadership team is being assembled for the campaign.
“These past years have been a labor of love, helping to create this facility that has brought so much enjoyment to so many,” Cahillane said. “We look forward to the next step of our mission and the completion of our center.”
The facility had been vacant for five years when the ICC took possession of it from the City of West Springfield nearly seven years ago. Since then, the threadbare shell has been converted into a vibrant, Irish country-style restaurant, pub and meeting and gathering place for Patrons and the community. It includes 11,500 square feet of space on four floors. The facility has become the perfect home for the ICC, which was established in 1999.
“Our museum and library have wonderful collections. The soccer and rugby pitch is home to the Springfield Rifles Rugby Team,” Cahillane noted.
Sullivan praised the ongoing team effort between the ICC and the City of West Springfield.
“The partnership between the ICC and the city is tremendous,” said Sullivan, who is President of the West Springfield City Council, former mayor and President of the West Springfield Sister City Organization which ties the city with Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland, and Valdarno, Italy.
Sullivan added, “We look forward to bringing this one-of-a-kind facility and performance center to fruition.”
Mayor Reichelt said the ICC has been a popular gathering spot for city residents and will have even more to offer when the project is complete.
“I’m thrilled to see the ICC reach the final phase of its development,” Reichelt said. “The center has become the cultural crossroads for people, especially those with Irish heritage. We’re proud to host them. I look forward to the completion of this project and the continued success of the ICC.”
O’Connor agreed, praising all those who have given time and funding to make the center the success story that it is.
“It’s exciting as we move into the final development phase of the ICC,” O’Connor said. “What an incredible amount of work has gone into the building and grounds over the past several years to provide a space for everyone in our communities to enjoy time with friends. The ICC has hosted activities and events for people to join in sharing of knowledge about their Irish heritage, to experience the Irish culture and for everyone in the region with community driven events.”
“Kicking off this capital campaign brings us the funding we need to complete the community performance center; the long-range vision by some very dedicated volunteers is coming together. I welcome everyone to learn how they can help bring this final phase to reality,” O’Connor added.
Carey spoke for all when he said, “We are looking forward to the culmination of our years-long endeavor to provide a world class venue to celebrate the Irish heritage of the people of Western New England and beyond.”
The Development Committee will formally announce the campaign at the ICC’s Feast of St. Brigid Raffle Drawing event on Feb. 1, 2024.