“Oh, the Green & Red of Mayo …
by John O’Brien, Jr.
We all know the Saw Doctor’s anthem. Mayo people are by far the largest county represented among Ohio’s 1.6 million Irish. It stands to reason that their influence and strength has not waned after the waves of emigrants has decreased, due to their numbers. I also believe it is the generosity of organizations, such as the Mayo Society, that has extended their influence and their impact.
The Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland’s mission is to promote cultural, charitable, scientific and/or literary exchanges between the People of the United States and the People of Ireland, with particular emphasis on County Mayo, including but not limited to research into the life and times of Irish immigration to America and the study of Irish and Irish-American history.
The Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland was founded in 2004 as a not-for-profit corporation to provide a forum for information and activities of interest to individuals of Irish descent particularly those with ancestral ties to County Mayo.
The Society makes contributions to public charities in the United States that have a link to County Mayo in Ireland or to Ireland, or to public charities in Ireland, or for temporary emergency relief to indigent Irish nationals in the United States who are in urgent need of medical attention, are victims of crime, or victims of man-made or natural disasters.
This year, The Society hosted a business panel, filled with development experts from the Irish delegation in Cleveland for the ball. John Carroll University hosted Alan Ahearn, Director of the Whitaker Institute and Professor of Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway; Ciaran O’Hara, who works in community development, especially in sports; Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager, a role which became Chief Executive in 2014; and John Magee, Head of Enterprise.
Brexit was on everyone’s mind and how it will affect Ireland, hard border or not as well as the Good Friday Agreement’s enforcement. Development, agriculture, tourism and overall economics fueled much of the presentations and follow up questions throughout the weekend.
Person of the Year
Each year the society nominates a person of the year. The 2019 Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland Person of the Year is Myles C. Gallagher, President of The Superlative Group in Cleveland. A natural sales and marketing leader, the Cleveland native is a graduate of St. Edward High School and John Carroll University.
A pioneer in premium seating and sponsorship sales with the Cleveland Indians and IMG’S Motorsports Division, Myles quite naturally morphed into a full-service agency, transitioning Naming Rights from a sports stadium niche to an integral part of infrastructure financing. “We saw a need and filled it.”
Formed 25 years ago, The Superlative Group (www.superlativegroup.com) is considered one of the premier consulting and sales organizations in the area of Naming Rights and Sponsorship Valuation and Sales in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and the U.K. Under Myles creative leadership, they have produced more than $2 billion worth of corporate sponsorships and naming rights, among them the US Marine Corps, US Army, Cleveland Clinic, Twentieth Century Fox, NUI Galway, Trinity University and others too numerous to mention.
Gallagher was honored at the Society’s 2019 Green and Red Ball at Cleveland’s InterContinental Hotel at Cleveland Clinic September 28. He and his spouse Laura have been married 32 years, and parents of Meghan, Molly, Myles F. and Sean.
The food at the Intercontinental Hotel was fantastic, the speeches were funny, and at times, moving. The night moved quickly and fenthusiastic dancing from students from Murphy Irish Arts led us right into the dancing with Marys Lane. Although my roots are Roscommon, I have been to five or six Mayo Balls in support of the work they do. This was the best one yet.
Each year, the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland funds a scholarship program between John Carroll University and National University Ireland Galway. For additional information regarding the scholarship, or details on how to apply, please contact [email protected]
Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland scholarship recipients from John Carroll University: