After more than five years of planning and nearly two years of construction, the McClelland Irish Libraryis throwing open its doors to the public.
The grand opening Anam Cara Gala takes place Sept. 29 and the library officially opens on Oct. 2 with free tea, soda bread, Irish entertainment, exhibits and library tours from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. at 1106 N. Central Ave.
The $5 million library is the only one of its kind in the West.
The McClelland Irish Library was founded by Norman McClelland, chairman of Shamrock Foods. Part of the inspiration for the library and its genealogy center came from Mr. McClelland, who searched his own roots in Ireland and Scotland.
The results of his search are four books including, “The McClellands of Cloughenramer,” that are part of the library collection.
The purpose of the library is to educate, inspire and connect the people of Arizona with Irish and Celtic cultures. The building houses 6,000 books from Irish authors and poets, plus periodicals, music, manuscripts, photographs, movies and genealogical research tools. There is also a practice space for musicians. The McClelland Irish Library will position itself to become a leading Irish genealogical research center.
The McClelland Irish Library was designed by architect Paul Ahern. Mr. Ahern modeled the castle-like structure after many traditional buildings in Ireland. The arcs of the charming building were hand created by Ireland’s master stonemason Frank McCormack, using 22 tons of Irish limestone.
The McClelland Irish Library was created through a public-private partnership with the city of Phoenix and the Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation. The non-profit will operate the library. The city provided the land and the Phoenix Public Library will offer services to the library.
The building was funded through private donations.
The library will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays in October and 10
a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays in November.
For information visit
www.azirishlibrary.org. For tickets to the grand opening gala contact email@example.com.