BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — When it comes to being Irish, Belmar and Lake Como clearly has what it takes on St. Patrick’s Day.

More residents in both towns claim to have Irish roots — between 26 and 27 percent of their combined 7,560 population — than any other ancestry. That is nearly double the statewide average of 14 percent and outpaces the national average of 10.7 percent, based on collective data from several statistical sources.

And there are a select handful of Irish luminaries in the Belmar/Lake Como community who are counted among “New Jersey’s Irish American Leaders 2018” by InsiderNJ, a nonpartisan website dedicated to political news in the state.

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Making that list is Belmar’s “Irish power couple” — Mayor Matthew Doherty and his wife, Maggie Moran. Doherty is a member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore (named its Irishman of the Year in 2012); Ancient Order of Hibernians; and trustee for the Belmar Arts Council. He was recently named deputy executive director of the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Moran is managing partner of Kivvit, a national public affairs firm, and former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Jon Corzine.

Also named to this year’s InsiderNJ list for “their accomplishments, numerous contributions and community service” are:

  • Chip Cavanaugh of Lake Como, longtime chairman of the Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  • Sean Darcy of Belmar, a well-known Democratic strategist; principal with Round World Consulting; and former press secretary to Gov. Richard Codey.   
  • Lake Como Councilman Kevin Higgins, a 2018 Monmouth County Irish American Democratic honoree.

As Irish pride runs deep in Belmar and Lake Como, there is much to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day and its residents and businesses are sure not to disappoint. In fact, today is considered the unofficial kickoff to the busy season for merchants, bars and restaurants along Main Street and Ocean Avenue. So as the Irish proudly say, Sláinte!

Editor’s Note: Analytical data for this story was derived from reports from NeighborhoodScout, a nationwide neighborhood search engine and provider of location based analytics, and Zip Atlas, a structured collection of zip code, area code, city and state demographic, social and economic profiles. Both utilize U.S. Census data as well.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

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