Remembering Mary Riordan

Chicagoland’s Irish community in general, and several Irish organizations, including Gaelic Park, recently suffered a terrible loss with the passing of Mary Riordan. Mary Riordan (nee Cunningham) was born in Kilmihill, County Clare, Ireland and was a loyal employee of CNA Insurance for 47 years. Mary was a long-time Director, Vice President, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Chicago Gaelic Park. She was a co-host of the Gaelic Park radio program for more than 30 years. She was an active member of the Claremen’s Association, and the beloved wife of Matt Riordan of Co. Kerry, Ireland.

At Gaelic Park, Mary was always present, always with the kind word and always with the ready smile. She was one of the sturdy foundation pillars that Gaelic Park was built on. Gaelic Park was quietly shepherded around many rocks with Mary’s gentle hand on the tiller.

Mary was a loving aunt to numerous nieces and nephews and an adored friend to many. In addition to the Claremen’s Association, she was also an active member of the Kerry Association.  At Gaelic Park, her various contributions are too numerous to state. As Board Secretary, she was the main historian of Gaelic Park, she worked hours on the Gaelic Park radio show, and she was well known for arranging the Masses and setting up the altar at Gaelic Park. Someone said, “If there was a Mount Rushmore for Gaelic Park champions, she would certainly be on it”.  She was a kind woman with the heart of a volunteer. Mary set the example of what it means to give back to your community and others.

Our lovely Rose of Clare, the hand of kindness and generosity can never be replaced. She will be sorely missed.