Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County, P.O. Box 61, Cranford, NJ 07016-0061

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A Registered 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization

2015 Dinner Reservations

Calendar of Events: Click Here or on the Left.


click here for the membership application

The 2014 Peter Davis Golf Classic on July 22th was a great success. Thanks to all of you for your support and help. Pictures will be posted in the near future.


Click here for jigs and reels music

An Irish Blessing, adapted by Phil Coulter and narrated by Roma Downey


The Ballad of Father Gilligan
By William Butler Yeats

The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
Was weary night and day;
For half his flock were in their beds,
Or under green sods lay.

Once, while he nodded on a chair, 
At the moth-hour of eve,
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.

“I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace,
For people die and die”; 
And after cried he, “God forgive!
My body spake, not I!”

He knelt, and leaning on the chair
He prayed and fell asleep,
And the moth-hour went from the fields, 
And stars began to peep.

They slowly into millions grew,
And leaves shook in the wind,
And God covered the world with shade,
And whispered to mankind. 

Upon the time of sparrow chirp
When the moths come once more,
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
Stood upright on the floor.

“Mavrone, mavrone! the man has died, 
While I slept on the chair.”
He roused his horse out of its sleep,
And rode with little care.

He rode now as he never rode,
By rocky lane and fen; 
The sick man’s wife opened the door:
“Father! you come again.”

“And is the poor man dead?” he cried.
“He died an hour ago.”
The old priest, Peter Gilligan, 
In grief swayed to and fro.

“When you were gone, he turned and died
As merry as a bird.”
The old priest, Peter Gilligan,
He knelt him at that word. 

“He who hath made the night of stars
For souls who tire and bleed,
Sent one of His great angels down
To help me in my need.

“He who is wrapped in purple robes, 
With planets in His care,
Had pity on the least of things
Asleep upon a chair.”

Brief History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

Among the honorary members of the first meeting were John Dickenson, Robert Morris, who later signed the Declaration of Independence, and General George Washington. The first president was General Stephen Moylan, who was a private secretary to General George Washington. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin also frequented meetings of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

We don't have much in the way of the early history of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County. Someone has a picture of a dinner predating WWII but the best we can determine is it became most active after WWII.

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County was reorganized in 1962, with Joseph Higgins being the first president. The organization was later incorporated in the fall of 2005.

More than 45 years later, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County continues to provide scholarships to young men of Irish ancestry and support to worthy charitable

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County is a registered charity in the State of New Jersey and is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with the Internal Revenue Service.

More history can be found here:

 County Clare
Phone(s): +353 (0) 65 905 5602
Fax: +353 (0) 65 905 5247

Doonbeg Golf Club has a diverse landscape that sprawls from a crescent-shaped beach covered in centuries-old sand dunes inland towards verdant rolling hills. Greg Norman, the course's designer, was immediately aware of the enormous potential available. The rugged terrain practically made the course itself. Fourteen of the greens and twelve of the fairways required no changes at all, just a simple mowing of the grass. Routed along the existing 100-foot dunes, the layout is a simple loop of nine holes out and nine holes back, but the speed and direction of the wind make the course uniquely challenging every time you play. The towering fescue rough throughout is nearly impenetrable but they are nicely balanced by the wide fairways. There are also different bunker varieties used, including Scottish-style pot bunkers.

John Boyle receives the Irishman of the Year Award
Bob Coloney (r) and Bill Neafsey (l) present the Award

President of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Bob Coloney, and Dinner Emcee, Bill Neafsey, Jr. give the Irishman of the Year Award to John P. Boyle, III.


Doonberg Golf Course

Click here to download the membership application!

To join the organization, print out the form above and mail it in with your dues payment. Otherwise please get in touch to offer comments and join our e-mail list to stay informed:


Annie Moore, first immigrant to pass through
Ellis Island.

This statue of Annie Moore - the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island - stands on the dock in Cobh. Co. Cork. She looks back towards the home she is leaving while her brothers look out to sea and, beyond the horizon, the New World, three thousand miles away.
Annie set off for America from here aboard the S.S. Nevada, on December 20th, 1891. Imagine how excited and nervous she must have been when she and her brothers arrived in New York on January 1, 1892. As the very first of 700 immigrants to disembark from her ship and two other boats that day, she was given a wondrous welcome - and also a $10.00 gold coin!

Blessing before a meal:

Beannaigh sinne, a Dhia.
Beannaigh ár mbia agus ár ndeoch.
ós tú a cheannaigh sinn go daor
Agus a shaor sinn ó olc,
Mar a thug tú an chuid seo dúinn
Go dtuga tú dúinn ár gcuid den ghlóir shíoraí.

Bless us, O God.
Bless our food and our drink.
Since you redeemed us so dearly
and delivered us from evil,
as you gave us a share in this food
so may you give us a share in eternal life.

A blessing for you!

St. Patrick's Grave, Downpatrick, Co. Down

This day I call to me:
God's strength to direct me,
God's power to sustain me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's vision to light me,
God's ear to my hearing,
God's word to my speaking,
God's hand to uphold me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's legions to save me.
from A Retreat With St. Patrick

Irish Blessing
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
And quick to make friends.
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

Friendly Sons Of St. Patrick, Union County, New Jersey

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The Annual Charity Dinner was a great success, wonderful supporters, award recipients and scholarship winners. Good Job Committee!

Go to the Calendar page for the meeting and activities dates for the year. As new activities or date changes are made they will be updated there.

Gilligan's Gourmet: Christmas pudding with brandy butter


Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County, NJ, P.O. Box 61, Cranford, NJ 07016-0061