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Celtic Park Champions Exhibit in Manhattan


Sept. 6, 2011 By Christian Murray

The New York City Police Museum in Lower Manhattan is hosting an exhibit entitled: “The Irish Whales: Olympic Champions of the NYPD, 1900 –1924,” from Labor Day through October 30th. This exhibit focuses on a group of New York City police officers who were champion weight-throwers of the once world-renowned Irish-American Athletic Club of Celtic Park, Queens.

Between 1904 and 1924, three New York City police officers – Martin Sheridan; Matt McGrath; and Pat McDonald – won 15 Olympic medals for the United States. They were part of a group of athletes that collectively became known as the “Irish Whales.” This exhibit includes photographs from more than a century ago of these athletes and their Celtic Park track & field in Sunnyside/Woodside, Queens, from a time when Western Queens had more sheep than residents.

Sponsored by the NYPD Emerald Society and the Winged Fist Organization, and made possible by a grant from PD O’Hurley’s Bar & Restaurant, this exhibit includes dozens of original photographs, medals and trophies, many never publically displayed, from the collection of the American Irish Historical Society.

For museum hours and directions, see:

For additional information about the Irish-American Athletic Club, see:

Last month, New York City honored the Irish-American Athletic Club by co-naming a street after the club’s emblem– a winged fist.

Today, “Winged Fist Way/ 43rd Street”  is located between 48th and 50th Avenues in Woodside.

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It is great that we honor our heroes of the past. what a touching story about these men especially this history is part of our town. we should all to this exibit too bad it cannot be shown at our library on greenpoint for people who may not be able to get there. and a bravo to their families who should be very proud of the family histrory


the Celtic Park co-op board will not be happy about this!

They seem to be ashamed of their property’s history.


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