Our  History  Since 1905

Centennial  Year

Past  Presidents

Miss  Mayos

Our History on DVD

John O'Neill

As early as 1901, it has been recorded that Mayo men in Philadelphia began working together to help each other as they Adjusted to life in America.

In 1905, three Mayo men, John O'Neill of Foxford, Martin Clarke of Castlebar and John Green of Newport wrote the constitution of the Mayo Men's Association of Philadelphia. The membership grew to over 500 in 1914. At that time, the organization welcome ships coming in from Ireland to the port of Philadelphia, taking care of all young travelers who didn't have any family or friends to greet them.

In the early days the Mayo Association, in conjunction with the Galway Society of Philadelphia, raised a large sum of money for the relief of the families at home who were sufferers in the fishing boat disaster.

The Feis Erinn Concert, at the Academy of Music, was financed in part by Mayo funds, and the success of the concert was due in great measure to the enterprise of Captain Michael Cavanaugh, a member of whom the Mayo Society was very proud.  The success of the concert was so great that the committee in charge was able to refund the Mayo loan, a very unusual circumstance in Irish Fraternal experience.

When the Irish Race Convention of 1932 issued a directive that a Federation of Irish Societies be organized in the cities of the United States, the Mayo men took an active interest in the Philadelphia organization.

John J. Kelly and Patrick Callaghan of the A.A.R.I.R, Tom Minnick of the AOH, with Mike Prendergast and Tom McDonough of the Mayo Association comprised the organization committee.  Theirs was a Herculean task.

1917 Ball










Miss Mayo
1964 - 2009

Irish Societies were disorganized: no one seemed to know the address of any other than his own.  The questionnaire, which produced a semblance of representation, and the constitution of the Federation of American Societies of Philadelphia for Irish Independence, were children of Mayo's representatives.  The formation of the Commodore John Barry Memorial Association was a natural follow-up to the Federation.

In 1966, women were admitted into our Association as full members and the name was changed to the Mayo Association of Philadelphia.  In 1981, Attracta O'Malley became the first women President. Today, the association is comprised of immigrants and descendents of emigrants from County Mayo.

The Mayo Association has helped many people and causes over the years.  They worked with other Irish organizations in charitable endeavors, mostly notable being a donation to aid in the construction of the Shrine in Knock, County Mayo.  We have raised funds for Western Care in Castlebar, Aras Attracta in Swinford and St. John of God in Westville Grove, New Jersey.  These organizations help mentally and physically challenged children.

We have also Supported the disadvantaged around the world, including but not limited to the Kosovo Relief Fund and the famine relief fund in Somalia.  Our proceeds are directed to helping the less advantaged and to restoring communities through cultural and artistic expressions.

We are a major donor to "the Irish Memorial" at Penn's landing in Philadelphia, a national monument, dedicated to the memory of more then one million innocent men, women and children who perished during the years 1845 to 1850 and the millions of Irish immigrants who fund here in the  United States the freedom, liberty and prosperity denied to their ancestors in Ireland.

Our main fundraising event, the annual Mayo Ball, is one of the most elegant and enjoyable social events of the  year, featuring top area Irish musicians and the annual Miss Mayo Pageant.

Every year we celebrate a special Mass dedicated to Our Lady of Knock.  In 2002, our members unanimously voted to make Our Lady of Knock our Patroness and Protector.

From our first President John O'Neill to the current President Sean McMenamin the association has had 46 Presidents.

(Click on Ball & Miss Mayo Pictures to enlarge will take time on dialup modem)