The city of Peekskill has slipped under the radar as a Hudson Valley destination for Irish culture. It may not have events as widely popular as Pearl River’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade or East Durham’s Irish Festival, but Peekskill has its own special connection to the Emerald Isle — a “sister city.”
Since 2000, Peekskill has had a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with the town of Castlebar in County Mayo, Ireland. A sort of unofficial exchange program existed between the two towns, where artists from each would spend time in the sister city in an attempt to blend cultures. Then, in 2013, towns made it official with the signing of the Joint Declaration of Intended Programs, designed to “exchange ideas to solve shared challenges and promote each other’s successes.” This direct connection to Ireland puts Peekskill in a unique position to advocate Irish culture here in the Hudson Valley.
One of Peekskill’s most important Irish landmarks is the Hudson Valley Irish Center and Library. Operating under the patronage of the Consulate General of Ireland in New York, the library holds one of the state’s most extensive collections of Irish literature and historic documents. The center often teams up with Peekskill’s St. Patrick’s Committee to host various events, such as the annual Hudson Valley Irish Fest held at Riverfront Green Park every September. The St. Patrick’s Committee is a local group devoted to promoting Irish culture, and often works in collaboration with representatives from Castlebar.
Despite all these prestigious connections to Gaelic culture, no Irish town is complete without a pub. Peekskill’s Quiet Man Public House is the place to go for a properly poured Guinness or classic dishes, like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips.
For more information on Peekskill or to plan a trip, visit www.cityofpeekskill.com.
The Quiet Man Irish House’s signature sherpherd’s pie (left); at right, the bar interior