Our Story

Several years ago a group of Kansas Citians articulated a vision to create a place that would support, honor, preserve and celebrate the Irish and Celtic heritage of our community, families, and individuals year-round.

The Irish Center’s first home was in Union Station. It opened on St. Patrick’s Day 2007. Union Station and the Irish have a strong historical link. From the Irish immigrants who provided much of the workforce that built the railroads, to later immigrants coming through Union Station to start a new life in the Midwest, to the thousands of Irish-American soldiers who shipped out and came home through Union Station, to the Irish-American workers who dug the coal and butchered the livestock transported across the country from Union Station.

The Center’s programming and events have grown over the years to the point that a new, permanent home was needed. On September 1st, 2016 the Kansas City Irish Center purchased the historic Drexel Hall building at the corner of Linwood and Baltimore. This new home is in the heart of Kansas City’s historic Irish neighborhoods and is central to many of the Irish events in KC. Originally built in 1909 as a home for labor unions, with offices, three commercial storefronts and a large, high-ceilinged meeting hall with stage and upper balcony, Drexel has in recent decades hosted hundreds of wedding receptions, family and office parties, private concerts, fundraisers and Irish wakes.

Executive Director

Mary Kate Gliedt
Mary Kate Gliedt
Mary Kate first came to the Irish Center as an intern in 2011, and is thrilled to be back ten years later as a staff member. In between, Mary Kate earned a Master’s degree in Museum Studies at New York University and worked for the New-York Historical Society and Tenement Museum as a senior educator, sharing history with children and adults alike and piloting new programming. Most recently, Mary Kate was the Manager of Genealogy at the St. Louis Public Library.

Board of Directors

Kevin Bundy, President
Jan Aylward, Vice President
Mike O’Neill, Treasurer
Jeff Slattery, Secretary

Kian Byrne
Jon Capps
Kevin Collison
Sara Croke
Micheal Mahoney
Katie McGurk
Pat McInerney
Pat O’Neill
Lauren Whitaker

Emeritus Board

Jay Burrus
Kathie Conwell
Barbara Scanlon