Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Irish Center lunch kicks off political season


By Robert J. McCarthy

Ever since the late Assemblyman Dick Keane and his pal Tom Blake started the annual St. Patrick's Luncheon at the Buffalo Irish Center 41 years ago, the festive event has always been considered the unofficial kickoff of the Western New York political season.

It was no different on Friday as hundreds of guests descended upon the Irish Center -- presided over this year by Buffalo Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder -- to sample corned beef and cabbage at a place where it's important to "see and be seen."

This year's event was especially marked by a gaggle of judicial candidates, with some observers estimating more than two dozen potential contestants for State Supreme Court, not to mention those making the rounds for Buffalo City Court. That caused several wags to suggest the organizers should have rented out a separate hall for judicial candidates alone.

Other than judge wannabes, the Irish Center was also "crawling with comptrollers." State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli made his annual appearance, proclaiming "the place to be to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is right here in South Buffalo."

He was joined by other "comptroller types" such as Schroeder, Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw and former Buffalo Comptroller Andrew A. SanFilippo.

Amid lots of Irish music and dancers, Bishop Richard J. Malone delivered the invocation and a dispensation -- of sorts -- from the traditional Lenten requirement of abstaining from meat on Fridays.

Malone said he has never granted a dispensation or ordered an ex-communication as bishop, but allowed a "commutation" if those partaking on Friday would abstain from meat some day in the next week.

"It's just not a freebie," the bishop said. "Fair enough?"

 

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

Subscribe

Advertisement