Our Mission

The mission of the Irish Cultural Center is to provide a link between the people of Arizona and the people of Ireland and other Celtic 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 and 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.

Board Meeting Dates

Annual Meeting: May 18th at noon


Leslie Thompson, President

Paul Ahern, Vice-President, Past President

Lee Cooley, Vice-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


Letter from the President

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

Today marks my first 30 days as President of the ICLF. It has been a wonderful learning experience with more to discover. I really enjoyed the Unquiet Graves movie and QnA with Yvonne. I was sorry to miss the 13th Annual Bloomin’ Beerfest but my daughter had a rodeo event that I couldn’t miss – family first. Our summer camp was sold out – look for the fun videos on our facebook page. My to-do list continues to grow but I have also got some things done including chartering the Events Committee Co-Chairs from staff and the board, securing an external facilitator for our 3 – 5 year Strategic Planning and understanding our current financial situation. I am at the center on Thursdays from 3 to 8PM and I am available ~5PM after the staff meeting. I look forward to meeting with our members, volunteers and affiliates in the upcoming weeks. If you are not already please consider becoming a member online or by mail. This is one of the best ways to support ICLF and gives you access to our calendar of events. It also helps us secure grants and understand event interest and logistics. We are closed to the public for the month of August but our staff is in the office Tues to Fri 10AM-5PM. Save the dates: 1st Friday fun events, 3rd Friday ceili, Anam Cara Gala Oct 19th! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

You can contact me at leslie.thompson@azirish.org and I value your feedback.

Slan agus beannacht,

Leslie Thompson, May 18th 2019

Thank you to:

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.

Meet Our Board

Leslie Thompson

Leslie Thompson


Learn more about Leslie.
Paul Ahern

Paul Ahern

Vice President, Past President

Harold Bliss, Jr.

Harold Bliss, Jr.


Patricia Prior

Patricia Prior