Pioneering Woman Mary Holt Moore

Mary Holt Moore.
Mary Holt Moore.

By Tom Deignan, Contributor
August / September 2016

Mary Holt Moore – a prominent leader in New York’s Irish American community and only the second woman to lead the St. Patrick’s Day parade down Fifth Avenue – died in July at the age of 88.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Moore attended Hunter College, where she founded the school’s Gaelic Society.

She also taught Irish language classes as well as céilí dancing.

Moore, former president of the Bronx Gaelic League, raised eight children with her husband Thomas Moore, a Fire Department of New York chief, who died in 2012.

Moore was also selected as a member of the North American Feis Commission’s Irish Cultural Hall of Fame.

Moore led the 1991 New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, when she was just the second woman selected for the honor.  Two years earlier, in 1989, the “first woman of Irish radio,” Dorothy Hayden-Cudahy (d. 2010), was the first woman to lead the march. ♦

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