Barry Lynch, advertising director with the Irish Echo in New York for the last seven years, is leaving the newspaper this week to embark on a career in the hotel and catering business.
Lynch, 39, will next month take up the position of general manager of the Shannon Inn & Pub, located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
Last Friday afternoon, friends and colleagues of Lynch gathered in Fitzpatrick’s Manhattan Hotel for a farewell reception hosted by Echo publisher Claire Grimes.
Although he expressed a sadness at leaving the newspaper advertising business behind, Lynch said that, in a way, he was returning to his roots.
“My working background in Ireland before I immigrated to America was in hotels. As advertising director with the Irish Echo, I gained an intimate knowledge of the Irish business and entertainment scene and I now look forward to this new challenge,” he said.
In addition to his position in New York as the Echo’s advertising director, Lynch is also well known as the U.S. representative of Crof, the Galway-based West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation. Since his arrival in the U.S., he has helped raise more than $100,000 for Crof.
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He has also been the recipient of numerous awards and citations for his charity and community work in New York.
He founded the Cara Program, an innovative volunteer project which arranges visits by young people to the elderly in New York hospitals and homes on Christmas morning. On Friday, that work was recognized when he was presented with a special award by Margaret Keaveney, herself the Irish Apostolate of Brooklyn and Queens 1998 Volunteer of the Year. She made the presentation on behalf of Bishop Sullivan of Brooklyn.
On Tuesday evening, a presentation was made to Lynch in acknowledgement of his work with the Irish Apostolate by Fr. Colm Campbell, the apostolate’s chaplain and coordinator.
Last year, Lynch was chosen by his local Astoria Gaels Club in New York as the recipient of its Person of the Year Award.
Lynch revealed that among his first priorities in the Shannon Inn & Pub will be the initiation and development of family vacation packages and special week and weekend family activities. He will also focus greater attention on marketing the Shannon Inn & Pub as well as promoting the array of winter and summer activities in the surrounding area.
The Shannon Inn and Pub includes an Irish style pub-restaurant, an oversized swimming pool, and a range of leisure activities including golf, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, and winter sports such as skiing and snow mobiling.
“What the customer desires is what will drive our program at the Shannon Inn and Pub,” Lynch said. “We will offer custom-designed week and weekend vacations for individual groups and families.”
Lynch, son of Perry Lynch and the late Bernard Lynch, attended St. Enda’s National School in Salthill and The Bish in Galway City. He studied hotel management at Galway Regional Technical College. He subsequently worked for an array of bars, restaurants and hotels throughout Ireland, eventually becoming manager of the The Hermitage in Tuam and, later, the Yeats Country Ryan in Rosses Point, Co. Sligo.
In 1985, he immigrated to the U.S. with his wife, Madge Kilkelly, a native of Kinvara, Co. Galway. The couple now have two children, Sarah, 6, and William, 2. They live at present in Astoria, N.Y., but will relocate to East Stroudsburg, Pa.