Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Emerald Society

On the lovely Birch Street in Roslindale Square sits this building. It has a plaque identifying it as the Emerald Society, as well as some small family crests along the top, but no other indication as to what it is. Some quick internet research turns up the organization's mission and history:

"Over the years we have contributed to many worthwhile charities
here and abroad. We have found time to make our society known
throughout the world and, naturally, Ireland. We have taken part
in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in many
cities around the
country including our own in Boston."

The president's monthly letters are included on the website, and in the most recent letter he signs off with the following:

Slainte go seol agaibh agus go n-eirigh an bothar libh

I assume it's Gaelic. Anyone have any idea what it means?


• Eliane • said...

Not the slightest. That's a crisp and fresh fa├žade.

Mark O'Neill said...

The Gaelic/Irish means "health for life to you and may the road rise to meet you". It should be "saol", which means "life" in English, not "seol".

The coats of arms represent the four provinces of Ireland: Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connacht.

Nice photo. I wonder what's inside? I'm Irish myself, and live fairly close to it, but the neighboring Birch Street Bistro with its good selection of beers, cosmopolitan crowd, and great live blues music reminds me more of modern-day Ireland than places like the Emerald Society do.

Anonymous said...

The Emerald Society in Roslindale is actually the Emerald Society of the Boston Police Department. It was a group founded back in the early 70's by a group of Irish and Irish-American Police officers in an effort to make positive contributions to lives of others, to insure that their Irish heritage did not get lost as well as to nurture that heritage in years to come. When it was first founded there were quite a few members with thick brogues. Currently there are only a few left. So today it is a reminder to all of us of where we came from and how we have contributed and still can contribute to make this society a better place for all. We believe that every ethnic group should be proud of their respective heritages and this is our contribution to keep the Irish heritage alive for our future generations. We have a new website that is still growing but it has a lot of information about what some of the things are that we do. Please go to to see more. And by the way that is a pretty good interpretation of the Irish saying by Mr. O'Neill.