Flynn, former Boston mayor and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, donned the sash at the installation ceremony held at the New York Athletic Club attended by Cardinal Edward Egan.
The moment marked the official end to the year in office for Flynn’s predecessor as grand marshal, Timothy Rooney.
“The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City is the oldest, largest and greatest Irish event in the world. I am grateful to the parade committee for selecting me grand marshal,” Flynn told the well-attended gathering.
In his address, Flynn spoke of the many unsung heroes of Irish America
“A monument with their names on it will never be erected in a city square in Boston or New York, but the esteem in which they are held is boundless. This coming St. Patrick’s Day, let us reflect on their sacrifices and contributions to our great Irish heritage,” Flynn said.
Flynn spoke of his pride as a Bostonian to be leading the New York parade.
“I am also grateful to be only the third non-New Yorker to be given this honor. Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds and Academy Award winning actress Maureen O’Hara of the Quiet Man movie who were also selected as grand marshal of this historic parade,” he said.
“I credit my parents, my Catholic faith and my South Boston neighbors and friends for my success in life. God has blessed me with a loving wife, six great children and fourteen wonderful grandchildren,” he said to warm applause.
Flynn will lead the parade, the 246th consecutive, on Saturday, March 17 starting on Fifth Avenue at 11 a.m.
O’MALLEY TAKES OATH
Martin O’Malley was sworn in as Maryland’s new governor last week at a ceremony in Annapolis.
Included in the crowd, and also acknowledged by O’Malley in his inaugural address, was Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, Noel Fahey, and former taoiseach John Bruton who is now the European Union’s ambassador to Washington.
Later that evening O’Malley, dressed in a tuxedo, rejoined members of his old band, O’Malley’s March and, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun, electrified a crowd of more than 8,000 at the Baltimore Convention Center. The event had also harnessed the talents of the Irish band the Saw Doctors, one of the freshman governor’s favorite groups.
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