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Friday, June 27, 2014

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Named "Irish American of the Year" in 2014 by Irish America Magazine

Congratulations to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has been named the 2014 "Irish American of the Year" by the New York-based publication, Irish America Magazine.

Mayor Walsh accepted the award at a luncheon held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the Seaport Boston Hotel, hosted by the non-profit group, the Irish American Partnership.

Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Irish America Magazine, praised Walsh for his empathy and for overcoming challenges early in his life, saying, “Who better to embody the tough, tireless, tender trajectory of our Irish story than Mayor Marty Walsh, son of immigrants and champion of the working class. We are thrilled to honor him as our Irish American of the Year.”

Mayor Walsh, who was profiled in the February/March 2014 issue of Irish America Magazine, is the son of Irish parents who emigrated from Connemara in County Galway to Boston in the 1950s and settled in the city's Dorchester neighborhood.

Upon accepting the award, Mayor Walsh said, "John F. Kennedy spoke of an 'emerald thread' running through the history of the Irish and surviving in all their descendants around the world, and this pattern runs deeply through the fabric of Boston. Irish-American identity is not something that survives without some effort. It has to be cultivated and encouraged, or else it can fade away into a distant memory.

"This award is about gathering together and recognizing that the heritage we share is meaningful and worth preserving," the mayor continued. "It's a great honor to receive this award."

Also speaking at the awards ceremony were Ireland's Consul General for Boston, Breandan O Caollai, and Mary Sugrue McAleer, executive director of the Partnership, who said that "Mayor Walsh has been a long-time supporter of the Partnership's efforts to honor our Irish heritage by supporting education and community programs in Ireland, North and South."

State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and  State Representative Brian Honan, along with Jim Brett, president and CEO of the New England Council, and Joe Leary, president and CEO of the Partnership, also attended the event. 

Walsh is the twelfth Boston Mayor of Irish descent to hold the office, which began with the election of Hugh O'Brien, an immigrant from County Cork, who served from 1885-88.

For more about Boston's Irish heritage, visit

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