Novelist Mary Pat Kelly receives Holyoke St. Patrick’s Committee Ambassador Award

Kelly wrote two novels influenced by stories of her Irish ancestors.

BOSTON (WWLP) – With the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade about a month away, the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Committee announced their Ambassador Award recipient in Boston.

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Committee presents their Ambassador Award annually to a person whose life’s work has helped connect the people of Ireland and the United States.

This year’s ambassador award recipient is Mary Pat Kelly, a historical fiction writer. The Committee told 22News that she received the honor for her work telling the stories of Irish ancestors and keeping their traditions alive. Kelly wrote two novels influenced by her family’s stories: Of Irish Blood and Galway Bay.

Mary Pat Kelly, Ambassador Award recipient: “For years, 40 years, I’ve been working, writing, making films, trying to tell the story of Ireland and Irish America and to be recognized for that,” Kelly told 22News. “To have someone say, ‘Yes, I’m glad you’re doing it. Come join us,’ is wonderful.”

2018 marks the 67th year of the St. Patrick’s Parade. The parade kicks off at 11:45 a.m. on Northampton Street on March 18.