Irish St. Patrick's Day hat for Cincinnati ParadeAs St. Patrick's Day approaches, there are so many ways that the Irish backgrounds of so many Cincinnatians are honored.  Check out some Irish information to enjoy the day even more! 

Cincinnati Irish History

Before the American Civil War, most immigrants arrived in the United States from Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland.  People of Irish heritage were among the earliest white settlers of Ohio. Many migrated from Pennsylvania during the late 1700s and the early 1800s along Zane's Trace. Others came later to help build the numerous canals constructed during the 1820s and 1830s.

Many of these people came to Ohio as a direct result of the potato famine in Ireland during the 1840s. Unable to pay mortgages for their land due to the poor potato crop, many of these people hoped to come to the United States to start their lives again. Many arrived with nothing more than a few pieces of clothing.

While most of the Irish immigrants hoped to become farmers, without any money, they took whatever jobs they could receive. These jobs were usually among the least desirable ones in the United States, because of the hard work and the poor wages. Many of these people who came to Ohio first served as Irish Girl for Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day Paradelaborers on canals like the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal. Once railroads arrived in the state, many of these same workers helped lay the track.

Trouble for the Irish Immigrants

Other Ohioans did not always receive the Irish migrants with open arms. Most Ohioans were from Protestant faiths and opposed the Irish, who usually followed Roman Catholicism. Struggling Ohioans also did not like competition from the recently arrived migrants. During the 1850s, many Ohioans joined the new Know-Nothing (American) Party. This political party vehemently opposed new immigrants—especially the Irish—from coming to the United States. Hatred of the Irish was so deep during this time period that many communities required deceased Irishmen and women be buried in Irish-only cemeteries. Despite their difficulties, many of the Irish migrants succeeded in establishing successful lives in Ohio.

Irish Heritage Census Information

By 1850, Cincinnati had an Irish population of 13,616, 12 percent of the city's residents. The only larger group of foreign immigrants was the Germans.  Today, 31,880, or 10.6 percent, of Cincinnati's residents are of Irish-American ancestry, according to the latest estimates of the U.S. Census Bureau. It's still the second-largest national ancestry in Cincinnati, trailing only the Germans. The percentage of Hamilton County residents of Irish ancestry is even higher. The county has 126,924 residents of Irish ancestry, nearly 15 percent of the population

Reserve these Dates to Celebrate Your Irish Heritage

  • March 13 and 14th, 10 am -5 pm -Celtic Lands Culture Fest at Duke Energy Children's Museum.  Download the program. Music, dancing and storytelling in the Irish traditions.
  • March 13, 11 am - St. Patrick's Day Parade - Cincinnati's St. Patrick Parade began in 1967. Members of the St. Patrick, Division 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians decided to have a parade in St. Patrick's honor. "Big" Jim Murphy secured a religious procession permit for Friday March 17th. 

Catholics of the city and others left work, stores and bars to join the procession. What started out as a small religious procession with members of the AOH and their families became a large parade. Traffic on the city streets did not move for over 2 hours. Since then, it has become a true parade with street closings, floats, pipers, step dancers, Irish Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day Paradefamilies, marching bands, etc. 

Start at Fifth and Sentinel Streets, travel west on Fifth St. to Plum St, turn south on Plum St. go to Third St. and turn west on Third St. and continue until ending at Third and Central Streets.

  • March 14 - 2-6 pm Irish Rhythms at the Camboni Mission.  A celebration where everyone in the family is Irish. Don't miss the Irish Pot 'o Gold Raffle, music, dance, Irish Carnival Games and more.
  • March 17 - noon - Rising Phoenix Theatre is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a reading of plays by George Bernard Shaw and W.B. Yeats at Play With Your Lunch.  Readings by Dale Hodges, Kevin Crowley and Charlie Clark and directed by Herb DuVal. Held at the Wyoming Civic Center.  Tickets include lunch.
  • April 30, May 2 at 7:30 pm and May 1 at 2 pm - "Moll" presented by the Irish American Theater at the Irish Heritage Center 
  • June 25 - Irish Heritage Night at the Great American Ball Park.  Game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians. Gates open at 5:40 pm
  • June 27- Irish Feis - Irish Dance competition presented by the Cincinnati Irish Cultural Society at Northern Kentucky Convention Center

Happy St. Patrick's Day Cincinnati

Irish Eating Establishments and Pubs

  • RP McMurphy's Irish Pub - RP McMurphy's Pub, located in Cincinnati Ohio, offers live Music on Friday and Saturday Nights, RP McMurphy's Pub is one of Cincinnati's finest pubs. Address: 2910 Wasson Rd Cincinnati OH. 45209 Phone: 513-531-3300
  • O'Bryon's Irish Pub - Since 1994 O'Bryon's Irish Pub remains as one of Cincinnati's award winning Irish Pub and Restaurant. 1998 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH. 45208 Phone: 513-321-5525
  • Hap’s Irish Pub, located at 3510 Erie Avenue in Hyde Park, has been voted Cincinnati’s Best Overall Irish Bar by the Best of Cincinnati. The most authentic Irish bar in the Cincinnati area, Haps definitely pays homage to the true Ireland. The original owner, Gordon Thomas, built this bar to mirror the Irish bars he saw during his travels. Pictures of the Pope and Ireland dot the wall and it is not unusual to hear an Irish accent or two at this pub. Hap’s was named after Gordon’s father and the tradition of memorializing the patrons continues with brass plaques on the bar stools that humor long time patrons past and present. Corned beef and Irish stew are favorites on the menu here, especially on St. Patrick's Day.
  • Pub at Rookwood Mews, located at 2692 Madison Road, is more of an upscale Irish Bar, if there should be such a thing. Millions were poured into this bar to create an American interpretation of what a perfect Irish bar should be. This is a bar where people come to see and be seen. In the center of the pub is a massive wooden bar. Old world charm oozes from this masterpiece and literally cries for patrons to come up and take a seat while they sip on their refreshing lager. This bar definitely transports you out of Cincinnati, if only temporarily, into a world of Ireland as it was meant to be. Beyond all the hoopla though, the food is great here and you can find a full bar with an amazing beer selection, all the liquors, and a great wine list. Traditional Irish beers, like Guinness and Old Speckled Hens are the favorites here, as well as black and tans
  • Molly Malone Irish Pub - Pleasant Ridge. A fun, local Irish Pub that caters to all your needs, with a great beer selection and traditional Irish fare. join them on Tuesday night for trivia, or on Sunday morning for brunch
  • Crowley's Highland House - Crowley’s is Cincinnati’s oldest Irish Pub and the only Irish Pub in Mount Adams, once home to many of the Irish immigrants.  It offers a great selection of beer with its specialty being the ever-popular Guinness. It is a well-liked spot that is always hopping Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Dingle House Irish Pub - West Chester.  Dingle House offers authentic Irish atmosphere, as all of its furnishings hail from the Emerald Isle. There's plenty of above-average pub food to choose from, such as crab-crusted filet or fish & chips. Dingle House also has 20 beers on tap, and 65 in bottles, including plenty of Irish and domestic micro-brews.

Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati 

Newly establishIrish Heritage Center - Cincinnatied center in the old McKinley Elementary School.  3905 Eastern Avenue, 45201.  A fulfillment of a long-pursued dream for the Cincinnati's Irish Americans, the center intends to serve as a home for numerous Irish groups around the city.

The Center will be home for the Irish American Theater. In addition to plays and musicals, the center will offer concerts, dance recitals and story-telling. Eventually the center plans to have an Irish library, a museum, art and artifact displays, and classes for Irish-related activities.




Irish Dance, Music and Theater

  • Riley School of Irish Music opened for classes in January of 1996. The founder of the School, Susan Cross, started the school in memory of her mother, Elsie Riley Goodman. Students aged 8 to 80 are taught how to play music in the Irish traditions.
  • Dark Moll - This traditional Irish music, firmly rooted in the centuries-old tradition of Irish dance music, features a unique sound with ballads, lively Irish reels, jigs, slip jigs, hornpipes, polkas and airs. Dark Moll's name is taken from the traditional Irish song "Moll Dubh A' Ghleanna" which translates to "Dark Moll of the Glen," includes fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bodhran, bouzouki and more!
  • Irish American Theater Company next presents "Moll", a play, at the Irish Heritage Center
  • Erickson Academy of Irish Dance  Dancers have competed on local, regional, national and world states and perform throughout Cincinnati at such venues as the Appalachian Festival, Celtic Festival, Fine Arts Fund Sampler as well as at a variety of schools and senior centers. It is the goal of the Academy to teach Irish stepdancing in a positive, fun way. 
  • McGing School of Irish Dance, has been in existence for 28 years. From its humble beginnings with 28 dancers, the school has established a rich history in the city of Cincinnati and is widely recognized around the world. Dancers have performed in Hollywood for the late great Gene Kelly, danced in the Soviet Union, and toured with the Cincinnati Pops.  

Shopping for Irish Products in Cincinnati

  • Celtic Corner Store - Scottish Bagpipe and Drumming Supplies, Highland and Irish Dancing Supplies, Celtic Jewelry, Gifts and more. Address: 502 Old St. Route 74, Cincinnati, OH. 45244 Phone: 513-528-5578. After teaching dane, it became apparent to the owners of this shop thehat there was a huge need for somewhere to buy supplies, kilts, and beautiful costumes at a reasonable price.  So grows a business.
  • Cincinnati's St. Patrick's Day ParadeErie on Erie - "purveyors of all things Irish" -  lovely gifts that are very authentic.  You can also get Hap's Irish Pub Tshirts and other St. Patrick's day memorabilia.
  • Churchill's Tea Room -It's hard to know whether to classify this as a tea room or a shop.  For the tea drinker you will welcome the many varieties of tea available and appreciate the fact that someone still celebrates an afternoon of leisure complete with clotted cream. Their gift shop sells Celtic jewelry, Irish trivia games, tea accessories and more.