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Remembering the founder of north country’s Irish festival

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A north country activist passed away this week, leaving behind a legacy that spans across the globe.

Pat Keogh came to the north country from Ireland in the 1960s and has kept the Irish community strong within the area ever since.

He was the co-founder of the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival and helped expand “Project Children” to the north country, a mission that started when Northern Ireland was experiencing a political divide between Protestant and Catholic worshipers.

With Project Children, Keogh brought Protestant and Catholic children from Northern Ireland to the north country, and placed them with families of the opposite religious denomination to show them that we can all get along.

Keogh passed on Monday, but friends say his legacy will live on.

“His love for children is the thing I’ll remember. He’d bring these children over here and a lot of them were damaged mentally and sometimes physically, too. But, he treated them all the same, and I think they’re better people today than they would have been if they hadn’t have met Pat,” said Sean Hennessy, former co-executive director of the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival.

Keogh was also involved with the Jefferson County Democratic Party, mentoring countless politicians and community leaders.

He served as the Supervisor of the town of Wilna for two years in the 1990s, and was a board member for a number of years.

If you would like to honor Keogh, his family is asking that you donate to the Augustinian Academy in Carthage.

See his full obituary here

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