Irishman/Irishwoman of the Year

History of the Irishman/Irishwoman of the Year Dinner

Since its inception and reorganization, the Grand Council of United Emerald Societies presents an award of accomplishment to an outstanding Irish American who made their mark in their field of endeavor.

In making the selection each year, the Grand Council feels inspired and proud that each award recipient is a proud American of Irish descent who has distinguished themselves by their leadership and dedication.

It’s no coincidence that Five of our honorees (Connie Doolan, Dorthy Hayden Cudahy, John Lawe, Bill Burke, and Ed Sheerin) were elected as the Grand Marshal over 15 years from 1975 thru 1990.

The Irishman/Irishwoman of the Year Dinner was usually held in November and several venues have been used since 1975: Leonards of Great Neck, Astoria Manor, Antuns, Durows.

In 2008, Past President Brian J. Sharkey spearheaded the Irishman/Irishwoman Dinner revival. Sharkey proposed that the Award dinner take place in December at Antuns. The Dinner would serve a dual purpose 1) to recognize the Aide to the Grand Marshal as the Irishman/Irishwoman of the Year and 2) Grand Council Delegates Christmas Party.

The Dinner has become part of the Grand Council lexicon and is now a yearly stand-alone event in January.

Recipients of the Irishman/Irishwoman of the Year Award

1975 James P. Moriarty, President- T. Moriarty and Sons Inc.

1976 Joseph Christian, Commissioner, NYC Housing Authority

1977 Denis Hanrahan, Executive Vice President, Aer Lingus Irish Airlines

1978 John Flynn, State Senator, Yonkers’ Irish contribution to Albany

1979 Monica Conway, Vice President, Bank of Ireland & Connie Doolan, Sales Manager, Guinness Harp Corp

1980 Ens Lanagan, Eastern Manager, CIE Tours & Jack Donohue, Donohue Restaurant and Pub chain

1981 Jerry Toner, Restauranteur, and Pub owner, Kennedy’s Pub & Dympna Kenny, Banking Executive, and Offlay’s First Lady

1982 Hal Madden, Irish Industrialist – Transit Mix Concrete Corp & Bridie McManus, Noted Restauranteur and Travel Agent

1983 Jack McCarthy, Telecaster, NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade & Mary O’Dowd, Noted Irish American Entertainer

1984 Brother John G. Driscoll, President, Iona College & Dorthy Hayden Cudahy, Radio Personality

1985 Paschal McGuinness, President, NYC District Council of Carpenters

1986 Anna Monahan McElroy, Director of Housekeeping, New York Hilton & John Lawe, International President of Transport Workers Union of America

1987 William Joseph Burke, Senior Vice President, Bank of Ireland

1988 Barbara Kane O’Neill, Outstanding Catholic Laywoman and Patron of Irish Culture

1989 Edward A. Sheeran, VP, Chase Bank, Queens Branch Network

1990 Joseph B. Buckley, Prop of Katie Daly’s Restaurant, Massapequa, NY

1991 James J. Boyle, President, UFA of Greater New York

1992 Patrick Harvey, Business Agent, Local 608

1993 Rosemary Lombard, Treasurer, NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee & Terry Connaughton, Prop, Riverdale Steakhouse

1995 Mary & Francis P. Beirne, Outstanding Catholic Laywoman, Past Chairman, Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee

1996 Judge Peter J. O’Donoghue, Past President, Saint Patrick’s Society

1997 Bob Burke, Chairman, Queens Surface Corporation

1998 ????, Justice, Suffolk County Court

1999 ????

2000 Msgr. Thomas P. Leonard, Irishman of the Year

Honorable Mario R. Biaggi, President’s Award

Dinner held at Durow’s of Glendale, NY

2001 No Honoree

2003 Eamon Donohoe, Retired NYPD Sgt and Prop of The Saloon and The INN, Long Beach, NY

  • Joseph Christian, 1976 Honoree
  • Denis Hanrahan, 1977 Honoree
  • John Flynn, 1978 Honoree
  • Connie Doolan, 1979 Honoree
  • Gerry Toner, 1981 Honoree
  • Mary O'Dowd, 1983 Honoree
  • Brother John Driscoll, 1984 Honoree
  • Dorothy Hayden Cudahy, 1984 Honoree
  • Anna Monahan McElroy, 1986 Honoree
  • John Lawe, 1986 Honoree
  • William Joseph Burke, 1987 Honoree
  • Jimmy Boyle, 1991 Honoree
  • Msgr. Thomas Leonard, 2000 Honoree
  • Mario Biaggi, 2000 Honoree

Irishman/woman of the Year and Aide to the Grand Marshal

2009 Denis Mulchay, NYPD ES and Chairman, Project Children

2010 Bernard Sullivan, DSNY ES

2011 Frank Beirne, FDNY ES

2012 William Fitzpatrick, WCFF ES

2013 Robert J. Creighton, SCPD ES

2014 Edwin Day, Rockland County Executive

2015 Thomas Doyle, DSNY ES

2016 Keith Lavalle, NCPES

2017 Brian Coughlan, NYPD ES

2018 Dr. Kathleen Cashin, NYCDOE ES

2019 Thomas B. Farrell, NYCD ES and Legislative Chairman, NYC COBA

2020-2021 Edward P. Boles, FDNY ES

2022 Honorable Edward Grayson, DSNY ES

2023 Patrick J. Lynch, NYPD ES, and President, NYC PBA

2024 Honorable Edward T. Cetnar, PAPD ES

  • Denis Mulcahy, 2009 Honoree
  • Bernard Sullivan, 2010 Honoree
  • Frank Beirne, 2011 Honoree
  • William Fitzpatrick, 2012 Honoree
  • Bob Creighton, 2013 Honoree
  • Edwin Day, 2014 Honoree
  • Tom Doyle, 2015 Honoree
  • Keith Lavalle, 2016 Honoree
  • Brian Coughlin, 2017 Honoree
  • Dr. Kathleen Cashin, 2018 Honoree
  • Thomas B. Farrell, 2019 Honoree
  • Edward P. Boles, 2020 Honoree