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Irish family continues tradition of celebrating heritage

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- St. Patrick's Day is not just a day to wear green and drink beer. For many it's a day to celebrate their Irish heritage.

Owners of the Irish store Sinead's Cottage on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington say today is a celebration of where they come from.

Though only a few years old, the store has a lot of history behind it.

When Kathleen Lynch and her daughter Cathy opened Sinead's in 2007, it was the fourth generation of Irish retail shops in their family.

So why are they proud to be Irish?

"It just reminds us of our culture, of our history, and it's our one day where we can remember that culture and that history," Cathy said.

Kathleen said, "Oh, do I really have a choice?"

Sinead's Cottage sells all things Irish.

"Irish jewelry, Irish pottery. We have all your St. Patrick's day needs," Cathy said. "We sell T-shirt, sweatshirts, glass wear, pub wear."

The family's first Irish shop opened in New York City in 1923. It was the first Irish import retailer in the Big Apple.

Kathleen moved to America from Ireland in 1950 to help work at the family store. Since then, the tradition of selling Irish merchandise has continued.

"Everybody likes to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day," Cathy said. "We sell a shirt that says, 'I'm not Irish, but kiss me anyway.' It's one of our best sellers."

After all on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish.

At about 37 million strong, people of Irish heritage make up the second largest ethnic group in America behind only those of German decent.

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