The Philadelphia Donegal Association

Image of a dimly lit stage with Donegal Association of Philadelphia in the background.

There are many networks and organisations that have supported the lives of the Donegal diaspora in Philadelphia.  For over 125 years the Philadelphia Donegal Association has been integral to the support and connection of people abroad. 

The history of the Donegal Society dates back to September 18, 1888 when a group of men gathered at Lewars Hall, Ninth and Spring Gardens Streets in Philadelphia.  They had just heard of another crop failure in Ireland and were moved with a deep sense of compassion to respond to those in need.  Today the Donegal Association of Philadelphia still has that deep sense of compassion for those abroad as well as in the USA. 

The trust and legacy of this organization has been handed down year after year and thus the Philadelphia Donegal Association is celebrating its 125th Anniversary.  The annual fundraiser is the Donegal Ball which is rich with history and tradition.  This year’s ball will be held on Saturday November 30th at the Irish Center of Philadelphia 6815 Emlen Street, Philadelphia PA. 

The organisation has been active for years in the support of the Mary from Dungloe in Ireland.  Over the last few years there have been two international winners from the Philadelphia area and they welcome any young women interested in participating in the competition.  Representatives will win a free trip to Ireland to participate in the Mary from Dungloe.  Those who have participated say it is a life changing event!

The association hopes for continued survival and growth through the introduction of new members.  If you are in the Philadelphia area, have an affinity to Co. Donegal and are interested in giving to others as well as learning about your Irish heritage in Donegal, you are welcome to attend the monthly meetings.  Meetings are held on the third Sunday of the month at the Irish Center, 6815 Emlen Street, Philadelphia PA from September through May. 

For more information contact Bernadette Browne (President) at

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