Since Thomas Dongan was appointed governor of New York by King James, the Irish have played an active role in shaping life on Staten Island. From the mid-19th century on, the Irish have comprised one of the largest ethnic groups in both New York City and Staten Island. The Irish have contributed to every facet of island life, including politics, religious and cultural affairs, finance, and athletics.
Old place names such as Tipperary Corners and New Dublin, along with Hylan Boulevard and Elizabeth A. Connelly Way, reflect the Irish influence on the island. Noteworthy Irish Americans on Staten Island, such as Msgr. Joseph A. Farrell; Fr. John Drumgoole; Terry Crowley; borough presidents Charles J. McCormack, John Lynch, and Robert T. Conner; and assemblywoman Elizabeth A. Connnelly, have left important legacies. The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade continues to celebrate Irish culture and pride on Staten Island.
Margaret Lundrigan is the author of several volumes on local history, including Staten Island, Staten Island Volume II: A Closer Look, and Staten Island: Isle of the Bay. She is a second-generation Irish American and grew up on Staten Island.