The Maine Irish Heritage Center (MIHC) has announced the recipient of its tenth annual Claddagh Award – Senator Susan Collins, the senior senator of Maine. The award will be presented at a celebration and dinner at the Maine Irish Heritage Center on Gray Street in Portland at 5:00 pm on November 10, 2017.
Raised in Aroostook County, Senator Collins is a fourth-generation Irish-American whose first job was picking potatoes as a teenager, which she says led her to appreciate the connection to Ireland and the struggles of Irish people.
“I am fortunate to have grown up amid the hard work,determination, innovation and common sense that define this great industry," said Collins. "To me, nothing says ‘home’ like the sight of potato blossoms stretching as far as the eye can see and the heritage they demonstrate.”
Senator Collins joined the Senate in 1997 and has become a well-respected voice for bi-partisan solutions. She chairs the Senate Aging Committee, serves on theIntelligence Committee and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Last year she received the inaugural Jacob Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership.
Known for her Maine work ethic and thoughtful practical solutions to solving important problems, Senator Collins has never missed a roll call vote- she has cast more than 6,300 votes since joining the U.S. Senate. Senator Collins is the 10th annual Claddagh recipient, and joins ranks that include Senator George Mitchell and Governor Joseph Brennan.
The Claddagh, which exemplifies the ideals of friendship, loyalty and love, is a beloved symbol of Irish culture and tradition all over the world. Each year the Maine Irish Heritage Center honors a distinguished Irish-American in Maine who has devoted their life to serving and improving our community and the state of Maine, and brought honor to their Irish roots by doing so.
The Maine Irish Heritage Center’s mission is to serve the state of Maine while protecting, preserving and restoring the historic landmark that was formerly St. Dominic’s Church, a hub of early Irish community in Maine; to provide a center for Maine’s diverse communities to share their cultural experiences through education programs and community events; and to house Maine’s Irish genealogical center, museum, archives and library, preserving the story of Irish history in Maine.
All are welcome to attend the Claddagh Award Dinner Friday November 10th and purchase tickets or sponsor the event by contacting the MIHC.