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Street To Be Co-Named in Honor of Irish-American Athletic Club, March 10

Courtesy of the American Irish Historical Society, Winged Fist Org

March 2, 2012 By Christian Murray

A Woodside street is scheduled to be co-named in honor of the Irish American Athletic Club on Saturday, March 10.

The club, which was known as the “Winged Fists of Celtic Park”, was headquartered where the Celtic Park apartments are today. Its members won more than 50 Olympic medals for the United States and were a prominent multi-ethnic and multi-cultural organization pre World War I. The club went into decline in the 1920s and 1930s.

In recognition of the club, 43rd Street—between 48th and 50th Aves.—will be co-named Winged Fist Way. That street runs through the Celtic Park apartment complex.

The winged fist was the emblem of the club, which had a raised fist, eagle wings, shamrocks and the US flag. That emblem initially caused controversy and made it a difficult task for Ian McGowan, a resident and history buff, to find a place to celebrate the club.

The battle to get recognition of the club’s history began in 2007, when McGowan approached the Celtic Park coop board seeking to place a small plaque in recognition of the club on one of the buildings.

The board was initially receptive to the idea and Congressman Joseph Crowley supported it; however, the board eventually denied his request arguing that the fist evoked racism.

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, NY State Sen. Mike Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer backed McGowan.

As a result of the board’s stance, local politicians came up with the concept of a street co-naming. It was approved late last year by the city council.

McGowan was particularly appreciative of the support provided by councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s chief of staff, Joe Kenton.

EVENT: Saturday March 10th, 11:00 AM

LOCATION: 43rd Street & 48th Ave.

© Copyright Ian McGowan / Winged Fist Organization

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

There some great history for that property. It would will foolish not to acknowledge it. People throw the term “racism” around far too freely.


This is good news. The Celtic co-op board was silly for not putting up a plaque. Just more mindless political correctness. The plaque evoked racism? Gimme a break.


Check your mask head, You are looking at the Dublin Foodtball team in front of the Celtic stands..

just looking

Most people of a certain age will think first of the Black Power movement, which used a raised fist, but perhaps those will be the minority of people seeing the symbol.


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