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Thursday, September 24, 2015

South Boston's Billy Higgins is Honored for his Quiet Leadership and for Forging Ties Between Limerick and Boston

Billy Higgins (right) with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh
(Photo Courtesy of Steve Allen, Neighborhood Photo News)

Billy Higgins of South Boston, a community leader who is renowned for helping people, organizations and neighborhoods in need, is himself being honored with the Quiet Leadership Award from the Pinch Foundation (People in Neighborhoods Can Help).

The awards ceremony is taking place from 7:00 p.m. to midnight on Friday, September 25, 2015 at Elks Club in West Roxbury.

Higgins has a long history of public service.  Born and raised in South Boston's Lower End, Higgins traveled to Limerick City in 1985 to watch his daughter Andrea compete in a track and field meet. He found himself in a tough neighborhood called Southill, which reminded him of the Lower End in Southie.  He got to know some of the people there, and before long was bringing school classes to Boston for an educational exchange.

Billy eventually set up the Southill Children's Fund to help the Limerick neighborhood, while creating a sister-city relationship between Southill and Southie that still flourishes today.

In fact, just a few weeks after receiving the Quiet Leadership Award, Billy is holding a fundraiser for the Southill Children's Fund on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Phillips Old Colony House on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester.  Suggestion donation is $75 and 100% of the proceeds go to the children of Southill.

Ray Flynn, former Mayor of Boston and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, has this to say about his life-long friend and neighborhood, when Billy received the Golden Bridges Award from the Irish Echo last October

"I saw what Billy did in Southill and in South Boston and he deserves our gratitude and praise," Flynn said.  "We celebrate the cherished and special bond we have with the people of Ireland today and we thank all those who continue to keep the flame of hope burning.  Bill has helped keep that flame burning and we thank him for all that he has done."

Also, Flynn continued, "Billy Higgins is a loyal and devoted family man and friend. He has a big heart and always willing to help others. In honoring Billy, you must also recognize the moral strength behind him, his wife Rachel." 

Find more information about the Southill Children's Fund.

For year round information on the Irish in Boston, visit

Thanks to Paul Feeney, publisher of Boston City Paper, for supplying additional information for this blog post. 

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