Our Story

Irish Need Not Apply 

Founded in New Haven in 1878, the Knights of St. Patrick is a cultural, educational, nonsecular organization promoting and preserving the Irish heritage. Our first President was a man who overcame prevalent anti-Irish sentiment in America (“Irish Need Not Apply” signs had been commonplace). Francis Donnelly, a native of County Tyrone who emigrated in 1836, prospered in real estate and in the quarry business. His success story is repeated by other founding members and subsequent Presidents. Their lives echo the business, civic and political history of New Haven.