Irish Campfire

The Grand Council was proud to partner with the Irish Echo at the third annual Big Irish Campfire at Iona University.

Máirtín ÓMuílleoir, Publisher of the Irish Echo opened up the Campfire at the beautiful Iona University’s Lynch Pavillon at 9 am sharp, and Dr. Seamus Carey, President of Iona University, gave some welcoming remarks.

After the forum, we were welcomed into the Campfire Luncheon at Spellman Hall by Iona’s catering staff, followed by Cara medal presentations and special honorees.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Seamus Carey, President of Iona University, SPIRIT OF IRELAND AWARD Theresa Tobin, Chief of Interagency Operations, NYPD (NYPD ES member), THE BLACK AND THE GREEN BRIDGE-BUILDER AWARD Sonnie W. Hereford IV and WINGS OF IRISH AMERICA AWARD Jeff Wright, Director of Sales North America, Aer Lingus.

Big Irish Campfire Farewell Finale was held at the beautiful lobby of the LaPenta School of business, featuring an exceptional performance by the Iona University Pipe Band; vote of Thanks to Iona University: Brendan Cremins, Business Development Executive Leader, Gartner, Washington DC, and the Presentation of Irish Echo Person of the Year Award to Professor Christine Kinealy.

The Grand Council is looking forward to the Big Campfire in 2023.


Peter F. Whalen, President

The Spirit of Ireland Award

Theresa Tobin & Brian J. Sharkey

Past President Brian J. Sharkey presented NYPD Chief of Interagency Operations Theresa Tobin, a proud NYPD Emerald Society member, ” The Spirit of Ireland Award” at the Big Irish Campfire.

Past President Sharkey remarks:

Theresa Tobin has risen to the NYPD’s top due to her commitment, determination, courage, and values.

Those values include her deep-seated respect for her Irish heritage and her desire to represent the best of the Irish tradition of public service through her police work.

She is a humble but revered hero of the horror that was 911, striving to help others even as she was gravely injured.

She carries her many achievements lightly and is not just a mentor to many in the NYPD but also a role model for those who put their lives on the line to serve and protect all New Yorkers.

We honor her today for all her accomplishments and because she Is an ambassador for the Irish of America.

She epitomizes the spirit of Ireland and is a fitting recipient of the Spirit of Ireland Award.

Big Irish Campfire hears Iona President pledge to ‘carry forward our Irish legacy.’

LEGACY AND AGENCY: Iona University President Séamus Carey addresses the Big Irish Campfire. Luncheon at the New Rochelle campus.
. Campfire Greeting 2nd VP Thomas J. Ryan
Great Reset Panel featuring Thomas J. Ryan

2022 Campfire-Watch Back

Campfire Pictures

Thank you to Nuala Purcell of Nuala Purcell photography and Glen Lynch of Take-two productions for their many photos of the day.

Visit the Irish Echo Big Irish Campfire Page

*The GCUES has signed on as a partner for the 2023 Big Irish Campfire*