Founded in 1962, the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI) is the leading Irish American cultural organization. The IACI is a federally recognized 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit national organization devoted to promoting an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and the role and contributions of the Irish in America. The IACI is strictly apolitical and nonsectarian, and is the only Irish American organization that has as its patron, The President of Ireland. The IACI was born when Dr. Eoin McKiernan, a Professor of English at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, recognized a strong sense of pride for Irish heritage in America. Many Americans he encountered regarded themselves as being proud Irish American, having relatives who came to the United States from Ireland. Interestingly to Dr. McKiernan, very few of those he encountered had ever been to Ireland, and yet their interest in the country, the culture, and its people were remarkable. As a result, Dr. McKiernan saw the significance in forming an organization that educated Americans about Irish heritage. Forty years later, the IACI has carved an honored place for the Irish dimension in American life. No comparable body has such an impressive track record of achievement and sustained programming.
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