Mourning the death of Mary C. Heneghan, a devoted wife and mother, and tireless champion for the Irish American community

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Senate Resolution No. 528


MOURNING the death of Mary C. Heneghan, a devoted
wife and mother, and tireless champion for the Irish
American community

WHEREAS, There are certain outstanding members of our community who,
through their selfless commitment and dedication, have served to better
the quality of life in our community and have had a measurable positive
impact on the lives of its residents; Mary C. Heneghan was one such
individual; and

WHEREAS, It is with profound sorrow and deep regret that this
Legislative Body records the passing of Mary C. Heneghan, noting the
significance of her purposeful life and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, Mary C. Heneghan of Orchard Park, New York, died on July
31, 2022, at the age of 76; and

WHEREAS, With a steadfast and unwavering commitment to her Irish
culture, Mary C. Heneghan was the longtime Director of the Buffalo Irish
Center, an organization dedicated to preserving traditional Irish
heritage and culture; she became chair of the Board of Directors more
than two decades ago, and was its longest tenured leader at the time of
her death; and

WHEREAS, A charismatic leader who did everything with love, Mary C.
Heneghan helped forge or improve the Irish Center's Emerald Room, pub,
library, Gaelic language and cultural classes, as well as its Annual
Buffalo Irish Center Civic Luncheon; and

WHEREAS, Furthermore, this extraordinary woman served as president
of the Gaelic American Athletic Association, and was the driving force
behind nearly every local Irish event, including the reinvention of the
Buffalo Irish Festival on Buffalo's Outer Harbor which she organized
from a hospital bed; and

WHEREAS, Mary C. Heneghan's final hours truly symbolized a
decades-long determination to assure that those with roots on the
Emerald Isle honor their ancestry; and

WHEREAS, Born on March 1, 1946, in Mercy Hospital, Mary C. Breen
grew up in South Buffalo; her father, John Breen, who moved in 1922 from
Kilmihil, County Clare, and mother, Katherine Scanlon, instilled their
cultural heritage at an early age, both at home and on frequent trips to
Ireland; and

WHEREAS, Love for her father's homeland and the family's roots in
her own South Buffalo community intensified after she met Thomas
Heneghan, who had moved to the neighborhood in 1955 from Kilmaine,
County Mayo; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Heneghan and Mary C. Breen were united in marriage
at St. Teresa's in 1965 and moved to West Seneca a couple of years
later; the couple moved to East Aurora in the mid-1970s, and along the

way, instilled the love of all things Irish in their four wonderful
children; and

WHEREAS, Mary C. Heneghan was a teacher at Winchester Elementary
School in West Seneca before leaving the profession in 1980 to open Tara
Gift Shoppe; located across from the Irish Center on Abbott Road in
South Buffalo, the shop was named after the Hill of Tara in County
Meath, seat of the high kings of Ireland in the early Christian era, and
offered Irish crystal and other collectibles, knitwear, jewelry and
more; under her able leadership, the gift shop became a regional
touchstone for all things Irish; and

WHEREAS, Predeceased by her beloved husband, Thomas, Mary C.
Heneghan is survived by her four children, Mary Kay, Thomas (Debbie),
Shannon (Vincent) and Barry (Tracy); and three grandchildren, Lucy,
Jonas and Allie; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews; and

WHEREAS, Mary C. Heneghan's infinite selflessness and benevolence
will shine on through her family's vivid and happy memories; her insight
and strength will forever serve as a beacon of love, light and hope to
the countless lives she touched; and

WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Mary C. Heneghan leaves behind a legacy which will long
endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all
who were privileged to have known and loved such an amazing woman; she
will be deeply missed and truly merits the grateful tribute of this
Legislative Body; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Mary C. Heneghan, and to express its deepest
condolences to her family; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to the family of Mary C. Heneghan.


  • 08 / Mar / 2023
  • 15 / Mar / 2023
  • 15 / Mar / 2023

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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