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

Valerie O’Shea Jenter

Kenneth Scully

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: August 16th, 2019

To ICLF members, volunteers, affiliates, staff and board, I am very happy with how the board and staff have come together to close on some short term items and begin our planning for the future. I also appreciate the candid feedback from those I have met with. Please continue to be patient with me as we move forward. We completed Board Orientation and Staff Orientation. We requested participation from board, staff and community in a survey and the input will be used in our strategic planning.

I was delighted to accept the gift of books at the CS Lewis event and attend the Arizona Colleen & Rose send-off. I was saddened to learn of the passing of Monsignor O’Grady and Owen Keating RIP. I am honored to work with the Consulate on the details for the International Famine Commemoration.

If you are not already please consider becoming a member online or by mail. We are closed to the public in August but our staff is in the office Tues-Fri 10am-5pm and by appointment.

Upcoming Events: First Friday on Sept 6th , Irish Heritage Family Night at the Sept 17th Diamondbacks Game with our Desert Shamrock and INAZ partners, along with many other including AZ Feis schedule, Academy Fall Schedule, Library Lecture Series, Family Story Hour

Save the dates! Music Session on Sept 28th in the Great Hall with special guests from Ireland and our Chandler Tullamore Sister City partners, Anam Cara Emerald Anniversary Gala on Oct 19th, International Famine on Nov 3rd.

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