Columbus Irish: Meet (More) of the Leadership Team at The Shamrock Club

Columbus Irish: Meet (More) of the Leadership Team at The Shamrock Club
By: Maureen Ginley

Hello, OhioIANewsreaders! I am back this month with another article introducing you to some of the folks in leadership positions at The Shamrock Club of Columbus. This month, you’ll get to know Executive Board members Nora Feeney and Christina McConahay-Harris. Both women have storied histories at the Club, and both are individuals I admire greatly when it comes to being active in the Columbus Irish community.

I don’t remember specifically the first time I met either woman – they’ve just always been friends and role models since I joined and became active in the Club. I’m excited for the Ohio Irish community as a whole to get to know them a bit better.

Col Irish L to R President George Doyle Gamber, Vice President Andrew Shuman, Secretary Karen Komatsu, Director Christina McConahay Harris, Director Nora Feeney, and Director Jim McDonald.

First up – Nora Feeney! Nora is a Director at The Shamrock Club, and her family ties to Ireland run deep. Her paternal great, great, great grandfather, Thomas Kilpatrick, came from Co. Down. His family lived briefly in Scotland, but eventually returned to Belfast. Her maternal great, great, great grandfather, Robert Williamson,  also came from Northern Ireland. On learning more about this side of her family’s history, Nora says she wants to continue researching her relatives to learn more about they were from.

She has been a member of The Shamrock Club for over 10 years and has been enjoying getting more active as her children get older. During her term as Director, she hopes to increase membership, interest, and involvement of current members; promote the Club; and celebrate Irish culture as much as possible. On this, she says, “the Shamrock Club is such a wonderful place, I want everyone to know and to come see for themselves!” Her enthusiasm is infectious, and in the short time it’s been since she was elected, I can see her hard work in every Club activity she’s a part of.

Nora’s favorite memory of the Columbus Irish community is her first Proclamation Day at Columbus City Hall. An event that celebrates all things good about being Irish in Columbus, this day left her in awe.

A fun fact about Nora is that she went to kindergarten and lived in Mexico City.

Next, let me introduce you to Director (and my personal Girl Scout cookie supplier) Christina McConahay-Harris! Christina’s family ties to Ireland are a bit of a mystery – rumor has it they hail from Co. Cork. Her family is a fixture at the Club – and has been for years. They joined sometime in the 70s and have been active members since. Her mother was the office manager many moons ago, and her dad (who tells the bestjokes at every monthly meeting) was on the Executive Board and several committees over the years. Christina’s family has helped plan and run many events and fundraisers that were her introduction to the Shamrock Club as a teen and young adult.

She has always enjoyed the Joe Conley Extravaganza, because her family worked together to make the event a success. As the years have passed and her kids have grown up, she has found more time to be active with the Club and is enjoying volunteering and helping behind the scenes. Her duties as a Director have been a little bit of work, but also a lot of fun. She is very proud to be able to represent all the fine families that make up our great Irish family. 

In terms of her goals during her term as an E-Board member, Christina wants to help focus on the future of the Club and the youth in our Irish community. In relation to this goal, she says, “these kids will be our members and leaders one day, and I would like to help foster their appreciation of their Irish heritage and their local community starting today.”

When I asked what her favorite Columbus Irish memory was, Christina told a sweet story about the year her father (the one with the great jokes) was the St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshall. Not only was it 70°, but her brother Colin was able to get leave from the Navy and surprise the family by flying back to Columbus and marching with them in the parade. For her, that St. Patrick’s Day was extra special.

Christina’s fun fact was that her high school mascot was a unicorn.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about two of my favorite people in the Columbus Irish community. I can’t wait to introduce you to more of the leadership team at the Shamrock Club very soon.

*Maureen is an MFA graduate living and working in Columbus. She enjoys coffee, spending time with her dog, and all things Irish.
Don’t Forget, Send Maureen (maureenrginley@gmail.com) and John (jobrien@ohioianews.com) your Columbus Irish events news and pics so we can let everyone know. Deadline is 10thof the month, for the following month, so September 10 for October issue, etc …

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