Hall Of Fame
The Mid-Atlantic Region’s Hall of Fame was initiated in 1990 by then Region Chairman Jack Whelan from Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. The idea was to acknowledge musicians who distinguished themselves and helped promote the objectives of Comhaltas in fostering the love of Irish music and dance, and to give them the recognition they deserved. It also served as a popular fundraiser for the region as it grew both geographically and administratively.
The very first inductee was Tom Doherty, the great Melodeon player from Mountcharles, Donegal in 1990 at the Inis Fada Irish American Center in Mineola. Since then, 44 additional musicians have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Most of our induction ceremonies have occurred at the Mineola Irish Center, where CCE in North America was launched over 35 years ago. Occasionally, we have forayed elsewhere. To induct Mike Rafferty in 1991 we held the ceremony at St. Mary’s in Sunnyside; we went to Gaelic Park for Joe Madden’s induction ceremony in 1992. In 2005 and 2006, we celebrated in New Jersey at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Ridgefield Park, and in 2011 we were in Parsippany, NJ. Regardless of the venue, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Hall of Fame has become one of the legendary nights for traditional music in the New York area. The musicians always turn out to honor one of their own, along with families and friends who not only kept the tradition alive but cherished it.
The success of the Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame has inspired the other North American Regions to establish their own Halls of Fame now with similar occasions in the Northeast, Midwest and Canada.
– Paul Keating