Polly Ireland — former staff member of Alabama Citizens Action Program and wife of ALCAP’s longest-serving executive director, the late Dan Ireland — died May 31. She was 91.
During the early days of her husband’s 30-year ministry, Ireland was the only help he had around the office. As they built support for the ALCAP ministry, they were able to hire additional employees.
At that point, she became the office manager and helped keep the work in the office moving forward while her husband met with state officials and church and denominational leaders.
Known for Polly’s Party
For decades, Ireland was famous among state legislative and judicial leaders for the buffet of homemade treats she baked for Polly’s Party. This annual reception offered her husband a chance to share the gospel and ALCAP’s values, and it opened many doors to build relationships with state leaders.
Greg Davis, current ALCAP president and CEO, said Ireland’s name and influence is still prevalent in ALCAP’s ministry.
“I never walk the halls of the State House without someone asking about her,” he said. “She and Dr. Ireland have left a shadow from which we all still benefit.”
The couple were also active members of Green Valley Baptist Church in Hoover and were actively involved in state Baptist life.
Joe Godfrey, who followed Dan Ireland as ALCAP executive director in 2008 and retired earlier this year, said he’s grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the Irelands.
“How grateful I am for all they did during their 30 years of ministry in Alabama through ALCAP,” he said. “They are now together again in the presence of the Jesus to whom they devoted their lives.”
Ireland is preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, who died in 2019. She is survived by her daughter, Denise; son, Jeffrey; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held June 3, 9-10 a.m., at Currie-Jefferson Funeral Home in Hoover, with a graveside service at 10:30 a.m.