Officially renamed: James C. Campbell AOH Division 19

In honor of the late James C. Campbell, a very active member and past president of Lowell’s AOH Division 19, as well as a fervent advocate for Irish culture in Lowell, our Division will henceforth be known as the James C. Campbell AOH Division 19.

Jim, a longtime police officer in Lowell, passed away on April 19, 2018.

Longtime member Angus MacDonald made the motion to rename our Division at a recent meeting and it passed overwhelmingly. In addition to his involvement with the Hibernians, Jim co-hosted with Angus the “Sounds of Ireland” radio show on WLLH and WCAP.

He is missed dearly, but we are thrilled to be honoring his dedication to and involvement with our fraternal organization with this formal renaming.

Brother Edward F. Croke has passed away

Longtime Ancient Order of Hibernian member Edward F. Croke passed away on Friday, April 7. He was 95 years old.

Services for Brother Croke will be handled by Dolan Funeral Home in North Chelmsford, with visiting hours from 4 to 7 p.m on Tuesday and a funeral Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Edward F. Croke
of Lowell

LOWELL — Edward F. Croke, 95, of Lowell died surrounded by his loving family on Friday, April 7, 2017 at the D’Youville Senior Care Center in Lowell.

He was the husband of Mary (Weidmann) Croke of Lowell with whom he celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on August 25.

Born in Malden, he was a son of the late William and Mary Croke. He grew up in Everett and graduated from Everett High School. He attended Oblate College, graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor in Education in 1949 and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston College.

Edward taught in the Everett School System for over 31 years before retiring in 1982. He previously taught in the Shelburn Falls school system.

He was a charter member of the Billerica Knights of Columbus, Boston College Alumni and the St. Vincent DePaul at the Immaculate Conception Church.

Edward was a communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell for over 50 years where he also taught Religious Education, was a member of the Church Choir and served as a Eucharistic Minister.

Besides his wife, he is survived by three sons and two daughters-in-law, Paul Croke of Charlottesville, VA, Kevin Croke and Deborah Estrem of Oakland, CA, Stephen Croke and Lori Holter of Londonderry, NH; six daughters and their husbands, Mary Therese and Thomas Linehan of Lowell, Anne and Harry Shoemaker of Marion, MA, Elaine and Gerald Felde of Lowell, MA, Maria and Thomas Sweeney of Sarasota, FL, Kathleen Croke, Bernadette Pugh and Richard Burrows of Tyngsborough, MA; nineteen grandchildren, Tom and Michael Linehan, Katie Wells, Chan Mao, Brent and Michaela Shoemaker, Daniel, Christopher, and Stephen Felde, Tom, Sean and Ben Sweeney, KellyAnn Estrem and Bridget Croke, Jake, Max, Seamus, and Brett Pugh and Julia Holter and 3 great-grandchildren, Brendan, Evan and Dylan Linehan.

He was the grandfather of the late Nicole Shoemaker who died in 2007 and of the late William Croke, Charles Croke and Helen Fredette.

The Family wishes to thank D’Youville Senior Care and Bayberry Assisted Living for their compassionate care of Ed.

CROKE — Edward Francis Croke of Lowell, MA died April 7, 2017. Visiting hours are Tues. from 4 to 8 pm. Funeral Wed. 9 am at the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 Middlesex St., Chelmsford, MA followed by a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am at the Immaculate Conception Church Lowell, MA. Burial in St. Mary Cemetery, Tewksbury. Memorials may be made in his name to the St. Vincent de Paul at the Immaculate Conception Church, 33 Fayette St., Lowell, MA 01852. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041. Guestbook at


Published in Lowell Sun on Apr. 10, 2017– See more at:

Lowell’s Irish Cultural Week is underway

Following a beautiful Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, several dozen hardy souls braved the frigid temperatures and biting wind to process from the church to Lowell City Hall for a short ceremony celebrating the start of the 34th annual Irish Cultural Week.

c6lxmmmuoaajyygMayor Edward J. Kennedy and State Senator Eileen M. Donoghue read proclamations from the city and state, respectively, inside the atrium at city hall. Eileen Sullivan, a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 1wreath, sang the Irish national anthem before the group headed outdoors for the official raising of the Irish flag, performed by Irishman of the Year Ray Ralls.

The festivities concluded with the group walking to Cardinal O’Connell Parkway to place a wreath at the Irish monument.

Visit to view a full list of the week’s activities, including the annual Dinner Dance at Lenzi’s on Saturday, March 11, at which the Lucky Leprechaun drawing, featuring a grand prize of $5,000, will be drawn. On Sunday, March 12, the traditional Ceili will be held at the Lowell Lodge of Elks.

To purchase tickets to the dinner dance ($38) or the Lucky Leprechaun drawing ($25), contact Lowell AOH Division 19 president Steve Daly at (978) 204-4723 or

Tranquility by the Sea

I recently returned from an 11-day journey to Ireland, my first ever trip to this beautiful country. From the moment I stepped off the plane I was entranced, joking with my family that if I hadn’t already purchased a ticket back to Boston I’d be nowhere to be found on departure day.

Our trip was a whirlwind of activity – in fact, we tried to do so much that I think we missed out on a lot, if that makes sense. We went from Blarney to Dublin to Belfast to Kingscourt, Cavan, to Galway and, finally, Bunratty before flying out of Shannon Airport. There were so many places in between that I’d have loved to discover but simply ran out of time.

On our last full day in Ireland, after stopping at the Cliffs of Moher, we came across the beautiful ruins of Kilmacrehy Church and its cemeteries, just east of Liscannor in County Clare. I was struck by its raw beauty, the tranquility disrupted only by the occasional mooing of cows in the neighboring field and the distance sound of the waves on Kilmacrehy Beach.

There are literally hundreds of these cemeteries dotting the Irish countryside. I hope when – not if – I return I’ll be able to explore more of them. Below are some of the photos taken during our stop at Kilmacrehy.

President, AOH Lowell Division 19

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

If you find yourself feeling a bit more chipper than usual on Saturday, check out the calendar. Sept. 17 holds a special significance for we Irish. No, not because it’s just five days away from the start of fall. It’s because it’s a mere 181 days until St. Patrick’s Day.

Sure we’ve got a long way to go, especially with a typical New England winter just a few brutal cold fronts away. But if you decide to raise a pint or enjoy a delicious bowl of Irish stew, know you won’t be alone.

Recognizing the significance of Sept. 17 began in earnest in 2009 when Guinness marked its 250th anniversary, with the Dublin-based brewery sponsored live music events and other celebrations around the world to help commemorate the day. And it’s become a minor holiday in its own right ever since.

You can read a quick history of the Halfway to St Patrick’s Day celebration here.

So if you see an unusual amount of green-clad Irish folk making their way around town on Saturday, rest assured there’s a pretty good reason for it.