By Frank Cull
The Shanachie Emerald Society, still in formation and comprised of Irish American members of the press and media were the hosts for the 216th anniversary dinner celebrating the Evacuation of the British from New York City in 1783, ending the city’s only occupation in its glorious history.
Carrying on a tradition resurrected in 1983 by the late Mayo man Paul O’Dwyer, the Emerald trio of Joseph Fitzpatrick, John Mulligan and Jack Shanahan recently co-chaired a small party at Fraunces Tavern for a few patriots. They reenacted the 13 toasts that were originally presented by General George Washington in the same room at Fraunces Tavern on the night that his troops sent the British scurrying for their ships at the Battery seawall.
Piper Kevin Lynch from the Tyrone Pipers kicked off the festivities with a medley of delightful tunes. Dinner co-chairman Shanahan is chairman pro-tem for the newest Emerald Society and is the former Bureau Chief at City Hall for the Associated Press. P.R. guru Fitzpatrick is the former spokesman for the NYC Council and director of public relations for the late Thomas Cuite, the legendary speaker for the NYC Council and grand marshal for the 1977 NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Mulligan, no relation to the Revolutionary War hero and spy Hercules Mulligan, is the former deputy commissioner for Public Information for the NYC Fire Department.
Also on hand were Bill Farrell of the N.Y. Daily News, Dennis Duggan of Newsday, NYS Supreme Court Justice William Bellard, City Councilman Stanley Michaels, Phil O’Brien, the producer-director from WNBC-TV who oversees the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade telecast, John Concannon of Newsweek, co-author of the Irish American Who’s Who and contributor to the brand new Encyclopedia of the Irish in America, and Al O’Hagan, Mr. Brooklyn AOH, who is chairman of the Great Irish Fair.
Anyone interested in joining the fledging Press and Media Emerald Society should write to Shanahan at the N.Y. Press Club at 330 West 42nd St., New York, NY 10036.
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James Kirk, RIP
FDNY Emerald Society mourned the passing of James Kirk. Kirk, a World War II fighter pilot who rose to the rank of captain in the FDNY and served his beloved Emerald Society as Manhattan trustee from 1962 to 1966. His son Jim Jr., a retired Fire Emerald, is currently the mayor of River Edge, N.J. May Capt. Jim Kirk rest in everlasting peace.
Emerald congratulations are in order for NYC Police Emerald and Sergeants Benevolent Association President Joe Toal, who was unanimously elected chairman of the New York State Public Employees Conference. Founded in 1974, the Conference represents 45 labor unions across New York State and serves to review and support positive legislation affecting those unions.
Al O’Hagan, an honorary member of both the NYC Board of Education Emerald Society and the Tionol Emerald Society, sends word that his actor son Shaun O’Hagan will be appearing on the very successful cop show "NYPD Blue" on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Tionol Emerald Jim O’Keeffe celebrated his 60th birthday with a surprise Irish hooley and was toasted and roasted by a score of family, friends and Emeralds. Visibly upset that they were picking on her "little Jimmy," was his mom, Nancy O’Keeffe, a native of County Kerry. The lineup of Emeralds included Larry Dolan (Con Ed Emerald), Sean O’Keeffe (FBI) and Kevin O’Keeffe (Telephone).
The NYPD Emeralds responded with Tom Devine, Jack Madigan and Jack Finning. The FDNY Emeralds rolled in with Staff Chief Ed Dennehy and Bill Tully. Tully is currently the mayor of Chester, N.Y. Not to be outdone, the AOH was represented by Martin Fogarty, John Nolan, Shannon O’Keeffe and Bob DeRoss.
Kirby reelected in L.A.
The Los Angeles Police Emerald Society reelected Steve Kirby as president. His cabinet includes treasurer T.J. O’Donnell, secretary Gary MacNamara, and sergeant-at-arms Bob Callahan. Emerald best wishes are extended to Kirby and Co. for a long and successful tenure in office.
Good Shepherd APB
Good Shepherd Grammar School in the Inwood section of Manhattan has released an all-points bulletin for alumni. The school will be celebrating its 75th anniversary with a weekend-long celebration on May 5 that includes a Diamond Jubilee Mass followed by a gala diner dance at Manhattan College. Good Shepherd "faces" known to our community have included the late Finbar Devine, legendary drum major for the Men of the Pipes and Drums of the NYC Police Department Emerald Society Bagpipe Band; Rev. Donal Forrester; Justice John Keenan; Terry Connaughton of
GAA fame; Marion Phillips O’Halloran; Rev. Kevin Devine, and AOH stalwart Dick Cunningham. Anyone interested in the birthday bash should contact the Good Shepherd Rectory at (212) 567-1300.
Police Emeralds weigh anchor
John Tansey and his troops from the NYPD Emerald Society Bagpipe Band had their own Military Tattoo as they played Anchors Aweigh and the Marine Corps Hymn for the NYC Police Navy Association and the NYPD Marine Corps Association in dual ceremonies held at Police Headquarters. The Anchors Aweigh crowd were led by Freddie Crockett.
Taking part in the wreath laying ceremony were retired Chiefs Jim Meehan and John McCabe and Ed Cassidy, a past president of the NYC Police Department Emerald Society. At the Marine Corps party, Police Commissioner Edward Safir, himself a former Leatherneck, welcomed the U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team and the Bagpipe Band who were the highlight of the birthday festivities.