Irishman/Irishwoman of the Year

January 5, 2022

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 his or her mark in an honorable field of endeavor.

In making the selection each year, the Grand Council feels inspired and proud that each recipient of their award 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 1975-1990.

In 2008 Past President Brian J. Sharkey was appointed to revive the Irishman/Irishwoman Dinner. Sharkey proposed that the Award dinner take place in December. 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 once again 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 Industralist – 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 McGuinnes, 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 & Honorable Mario Biaggi

2001 No Honoree

2002 Eamon Donohoe, 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-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

2020-2021 Edward P. Boles, FDNY ES

2022 Honorable Edward Grayson, DSNY 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