Board Meeting Dates

Annual Meeting: May 18th at noon

Current Board Members 2019


Leslie Thompson, President

Paul Ahern, Vice-President, Past President

Harold Bliss Jr., Treasurer

Patricia Prior, Secretary

Jim Daugherty, Chairman of the Board


Justin O’Brien

Frank Leavy

Jim Cunningham

Robert O’Neill

Declan Fox

Bridget Cunningham Costello

Pauline Kahabka

Jason O’Riain

Maureen Sullivan












Our Mission:


The mission of the Irish Cultural Center is to Celebrate and promote Irish and Celtic Heritage and its influence on and partnership with other cultures.  The goal of the McClelland Library is to make accessible a comprehensive collection of materials on Ireland and the Irish diaspora on the role of Irish-Americans in Arizona and the Western United States.  The Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library are divisions of the Irish Cultural & Learning Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are owned and maintained by the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.

Thank you to Norman P. McClelland for his dedicated service as Board Member and Treasurer.  He will be dearly missed.

Thanks to Sean Lee, Founder and Vice President of the ICLF, for his passion and commitment to the success of the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library.

Leslie Thompson, Irish Cultural & Learning Foundation President

Leslie Thompson was born in Dublin to Pat and Rita Curran also from Dublin. She is the eldest of three sisters and one brother, all of whom reside in Ireland. She studied Electronics and Computer Maintenance at Kevin Street College of Technology. She joined Intel Ireland in 1993 and in 1995 she took an assignment at Intel’s Chandler location. She has had various roles in wafer fabrication, technology transfer, human resources and as a manager. She is currently the Program Manager for People Systems in the Internet of Things group. She met her husband, Hal, at Intel and they have one daughter Sali. Leslie is passionate about helping others and has volunteered in STEM activities with an emphasis on young girls in technology, for Chandler Tullamore Sister Cities and at many of Sali’s Rodeo events.  She is also a member of INAZ (Irish Network Arizona). She sings and plays the guitar and loves a good session! Leslie is very honored to be the ICLF President, particularly in this 20th anniversary year, and her goal is to build on the rich legacy of the founders to launch the plan for the next 20 years!

A Note from Leslie Thompson: March 24th,  2020

To ICLF members, volunteers, affiliates, staff, community and board,

Well! I looked back at my February President Report and oh my have things changed! Our primary concern is the health and safety of our community. In alignment with the City of Phoenix we are closed until April 30th due to COVID_19.

We launched our Emigration Support Program on February 29th and we were honored to host Orla Keane the first LA Consul General for the event. We kicked off March with Tartanic and Proper Pint both of which were wonderful.

Our new Operations Director, Ciara Archer, started on Monday March 30th. All staff will WFH during the closure. In addition, Lynn and Ciara are focused on training during this time. Please send any requests to our information account and we will disposition them weekly for training purposes.

We are postponing our Board-Staff-Volunteer Orientation and Affiliate Meeting to a later date when we are open and can do them in person.

We have made our $20 membership coupon 2020NewMember available online during the closure.

Our events committee is reviewing all upcoming events and being proactive on plans and potential rescheduling. We have also begun initial planning on our annual Anam Cara.

Our 3 priorities for 2020 are establish an (1) ICLF Endowment (2) Emigration Support Program (3) Retail Space.

I will be using GoTo meeting for our Thursday meetings. I am very grateful for everyone’s continued support.

More details to come so follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Contact me at

Be respectful of the past, realistic about the present and optimistic about the future

If you were unable to attend either of the Community Updates for our Strategic Planning a summary is available by clicking here.