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Irish memorial for fallen firefighter

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

The family of Michael Mullan, an Irish-American firefighter killed on Sept. 11, traveled to Ireland on Tuesday to dedicate a memorial in his memory.

Fifty-six Mullan family members in all left New York for Ireland, where they plan to attend a Mass on Friday, Aug. 16, in St Patrick’s Church, in Belfast, and in St. Ailbe’s Church, Tipperary. There will be other services in Counties Down and Kerry, in places associated with the Mullan family’s heritage.

Mullan’s remains were recovered from the World Trade Center ruins on Oct. 7, and he was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Queens on Oct. 20.

Speaking of the somber trip to Ireland, his mother, Theresa Mullan, said: “We not only honor Michael, but our Irish heritage that has produced gallant men and women for centuries.

“We are bringing this tribute home to our Irish family, so that they too may share their grief and pride with us.”

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Mullan, 34, was a firefighter with Ladder 12 in Chelsea. An accomplished musician, he had played the piano in Belfast’s Europa Hotel on previous visits to Ireland.

He was also a registered nurse who worked at Mercy General Hospital, and was a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Mullan was killed on Sept. 11 when he reentered the ruins of the Marriott Hotel, trying to help other injured firefighters find their way out.

As a young man growing up in Bayside, Queens, Mullan had worked with disabled children, which led to his being drawn to “helping professions,” his mother said.

She added, “he played the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, and when he got up, the piano went into cardiac arrest.”

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