A Boyle man was to the fore on Wednesday in New York as members of New York City Council welcomed the St. Patrick’s Day Parade organization for the Parade’s introduction of James T. Callahan as the Grand Marshal of the 259th Parade which will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
The NYC St Patrick’s Day Foundation chairman is Hilary Beirne, formerly from Rathdiveen, Carrick Road in Boyle.
He is a regular visitor to Boyle with family still living in the general area.
The event marked a new era of cooperation between the Parade and city government, a point that was noted in remarks made by Speaker of the City Council Johnson and Hilary Beirne Chairman of the NYC St Patrick’s Day Foundation, and asserted by the event’s venue.
Members of the Parade’s affiliated organizations, Parade Committee, Board of Directors, along with city government officials and the leadership of various labor unions were all welcomed to the council chambers by the Speaker of NYC Council, Corry Johnson and Danny Dromm, Leader of the Irish Caucus in City Hall and Chairman of the powerful Finance Committee in city government.
In his opening remarks, Hilary Beirne, Chairman of the St Patrick’s Day Foundation and Chief Administrator of the Parade,welcomed the members of the Irish Counties Associations, the Emerald Societies, Fraternal organizations, schools, colleges and universities to City Hall. Mr. Beirne introduced the new Commanding Officer of the Fighting 69th, L.T.C. Joe Whaley and Col Jim Ternary to the audience. He then went on to recognized and thanked the regiment for leading the Parade for the past 165 years.
In the audience were many noted New Yorkers and individuals associated with the Parade such as, the 2020 Grand Marshal family and his guests, Bill Lynn – Business Manager of Local 30,Brendan Benn – Local 30, Elizabeth Crabill – Chief Executive Officer of CIE Tours, John Tully – Chairman of the Knights of St Patrick and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, Tom Tuffy – President of the United Irish Associations of New York, Dr Robert Glass – Superintend of Schools in Eastchester, NY, Eileen Mackell – President of the Irish Institute, Adrian Flannley host of the Adrian Flannley Radio show and Chairman and CEO, Irish Radio Network USA, Paddie Ann McDonald, Andy Cooney who sang the National anthems of Ireland and the United States, as well as members of the Police Department, Fire Department and the Parade Committee and Board of Directors.
In his introduction of the Grand Marshal, Hilary Beirne expressed his admiration for Mr. Callahan leadership of 400,000 workers in the United States and Canada. Mr. Beirne noted the Grand Marshal’s contributions to New York City, most notably his worked at the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of the terrorist bombing of the parking garage in 1993 and again at Ground Zero after 9/11, where he worked throughout the entire recovery effort.
Mr. Callahan’s numerous contributions to labor in the City, State of New York and beyond were articulated by Mr. Beirne’s, as well as his contributions to a number of Irish causes. At the end of the proceedings, the Grand Marshal sash was placed on Mr. Callahan signaling his official introduction as the person who will lead the approximate 200,000 marchers up Fifth Avenues in the 259th New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 2020.
(Photograph shows Boyle’s Hilary Beirne on left addressing the New York City Council with Grand Marshal James T. Callahan)