Provincial Board



Chair:  Frankie McCormick

Vice-Chair: Sue Spellman

Secretary: Mike Hoke

Treasurer: Kevin Furlong

Public Relations: Paul Keating

Irish Officer: Margaret McGrath

Youth Officer: Niamh Branigan

Delegate: Helen Gannon

Delegate: Paul Keating

Auditor: Cathy Thompson

Auditor: Jim Belcher

Webmaster: Tony O'Connell


Frankie McCormick (Chair)

Frankie currently serves as North American Chairperson for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. He has the responsibility for the oversight of all six Regions, Canada East, Canada West, Northeast, Mid Atlantic, Mid West and West. 


Prior to accepting the nomination for North American Chair at the Chicago Convention, Frankie served as Chair for the Mid Atlantic Region of Comhaltas from 2006 thru 2017. 


Born in Co. Tyrone and raised in Co. Armagh, Frankie was a member of the An Portmor Branch of Comhaltas. Starting in the late 1970’s many All Ireland Fleadhanna were attended with family and with success. In addition, Frankie was a member of the All Ireland winning GAA Scor Instrumental Group in 1985 representing his Football Club  An Portmor.


After completing a City & Guilds four year apprenticeship in 1986 from Armagh Technical College in Northern Ireland as a Carpenter & Joiner he emigrated to New York settling in the Bronx and joined the Carpenters Union. A year after that he joined the Michael Coleman Branch of CCE in the Bronx and started participating in the Mid Atlantic Fleadh as an Adjudicator. 


  Work as a Construction Superintendent took him to Florida in 1991 for a four year Project with Marlex Housing in Boca Raton. Upon his return to New York in 1995, having played in Bands since the age of eleven, he joined the popular Band, Celtic Cross and is still a member today. Frankie has been running Projects for the past 10 years as a Construction Superintendent for JT Magen in New York City and resides in Port Washington Long Island.


Sue Spellman (Vice-chair)

Hello, I’m Sue, and current Vice Chair for Comhaltas North America, having previously been on the Midwest Regional (County) Board & St. Louis Irish Arts Board totaling 32 years. I have a special interest in wishing to keep the Irish Tradition alive & progressing thru CCÉ North America, as my mom was from Tralee, County Kerry, by staying connected to Ireland thru music, song & dance & Comhaltas. I look forward in the coming years doing so & working with our CCÉ NA Team.



Mike Hoke (Secretary) 


Kevin Furlong, MBA, CAMS, CFE (Treasurer)

Kevin graduated from Iona College with a BBA in Finance and a MBA from Dominican College. Kevin retired from the NYPD as a Sergeant. Since retiring from the NYPD, Kevin became a certified as Fraud Examiner and Anti Money Laundering Specialist. This certification enabled Kevin to work as a consultant in numerous international and domestic banks in their compliance departments for the last 15 years and he is currently employed at the Bank of Intesa Sanpaolo.

Kevin has been involved in Irish dance and music since his childhood taking step dancing lessons from Erin O'Daly, Peter Smith and Roger Casey in the New York area. Kevin also took lessons on button accordion briefly from Pat Mahon and now doodles on banjo after taking lessons from Frankie McCormick.


Kevin's involvement in music and dance continued since marrying his wife Patty as there has always been music in their house for the past 30 years. As a member of the Martin Mulvihill branch. Kevin is dedicated to the vision and mission of promoting Irish culture though CCE. His commitment to CCE is evidenced as Kevin has been the Provincial Treasurer for Comhaltas Ceoltori Eireann  in North America since 2015.



Paul Keating (PRO, Delegate) 




Margaret McGrath (Irish Officer)


Niamh Branigan (Youth Officer) Niamh is an 18 year-old fiddle player and has served as Youth Officer to the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Micheál Ó Domhnaill Branch of Oregon since 2019; as the Regional Youth Officer to the West Region since 2020, and as the Provincial Youth Officer for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí North America as of 2022. Niamh hosts youth events, such as the youth session in Portland, attended the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in her father’s hometown of Drogheda, Ireland; and received a silver standard rating for her fiddle playing as part of the 2020 Chicago eComhortas Ceili. She has helped to plan, organize, and promote events including ceilis, sessions, and youth dance workshops around the Portland Metro Area; as well as attending and volunteering at the Celtic Community Night at Artichoke Music, Oíche na nAmhrán, and the annual CCÉ Oregon Campout. She also coordinated with other youth officers to plan and promote “Step into San Fran”, a 2020 virtual youth concert, featuring singers, dancers, and musicians from all over the world.


Niamh is inspired to share her love of Irish traditional arts with other youth so that others can enjoy and benefit from experiencing and interacting with the rich cultural traditions of Ireland.


If you have any questions, you can reach her by email at

Helen Gannon (Delegate)

Limerick woman Helen and Galway Husband Patrick ( known as PJ) arrived in St. Louis in 1967 as Doctor and Nurse. The first Comhaltas Concert passed through St. Louis in 1971 and the Gannon’s were hooked. In 1973 the Branch, St. Louis Irish Arts, was incorporated as a non for profit organization. Helen took over the leadership of the Branch in 1975. In 1987 Helen became the first TCRG in Missouri and the addition of the dance school took the Branch from strength to strength, today being one of the largest and most active Comhaltas Branch's in North America. Having served in many of the executive positions including North America Provincial Chair Helen, as the current Chair of Meithal, is enjoying her work in Comhaltas while Daughter Eileen All Ireland Harpist provides the Continuity.

Paul Keating (Delegate)




Cathy Thompson (Auditor) 


Jim Belcher (Auditor)