CURRENT ISSUE:  OCTOBER 2023

This Just In: Congratulations to Your 2024 St. Patrick’s Day Honorees!

Edited by John O’Brien 

United Irish Societies (UIS)

Grand Marshal Patrick Murphy
Grand Marshal Patrick Murphy

Patrick Thomas Murphy was born the third of eight children in Polranny, Achill Parish, County Mayo to Thomas and Angela Murphy. His family came to the United States in 1962 and have been active members of the West Side Irish American Club ever since. He lives in Avon with his wife Carlene and they have three children, Kelly (Kurt), Tim (Samantha) and Danny. Pat is the proud Papa of four grandchildren, Breck, Keegan, Maddie and Gabby.

Pat is a former trustee and officer of the West Side Irish American Club. When he was young, he marched with the Junior Fife and Drum Corps, later becoming an instructor and leader of that unit. Pat also marched with the Senior Fife and Drum Corps.

In 1983 he became the Club’s Delegate to the United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland. He was selected as Inside Co-Chair of the Parade in 1985, the same year his mother was the West Side Club’s Woman of the Year. Pat went on to become a Deputy Director, Executive Director and now Director Emeritus of the Parade Committee.

As Director, Emeritus Pat had the idea to create a published history of the Cleveland Parade. He engaged and worked alongside the Irish American Archives Society to publish The Day We Celebrate, 175 Years of Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Pat is a member of the West Side Irish American Club, the Irish American Club East Side, and the Mayo Society. He is a founding member and trustee of the Thomas J. Scanlon Irish American Law Society of Cleveland. In 2016 and 2022 Patrick chaired the Law Society’s symposiums in Galway, Dublin, and Cork.

Pat was honored with the Walks of Life Award from the Irish American Archives Society in 2020 and named the ilrish Person of the Year in 2023. Recently Pat was selected to become a member of the Irish Heritage Advisory Committee for the Irishtown Bend project.

Pat graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1986. He is a partner at Dworken and Bernstein Co. LPA, where he has worked for over 35 years. He focuses his practice on nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases.

Pat has been selected to the Irish Legal 100, named as an Ohio Super Lawyer and was voted as a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubble.

In addition to his love of all things Irish, Pat enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling and gardening. Pat is extremely proud of the mission of the United Irish Societies and having had the privilege of working on the Parade Committee for over 40 years.

Pat Homan Irish Mother
Patricia Homan

Irish Mother Patricia Homan

Patricia Homan, the daughter of John and Nora O’Donnell Corcoran of County Mayo, is a first-generation Irish American. She grew up in Euclid, Ohio, where she attended St. William’s Grade School and went on to Villa Angela High School, graduating in 1967. Pat began her working career at Mid-West Forge Corporation and retired in February 2015. She is married to Bill Homan; they are the proud parents of Heather, John (wife Marcella) and Erin, grandparents of Louisa, Isabella and Declan.

Pat’s commitment to the Irish community has spanned for more than 40 years. She has dedicated her time, talent, and treasure into many Irish organizations in the Cleveland area.
Pat is a founding member of the Irish American Club East Side, serving on the Executive Board. She has served the Club as Sergeant at Arms, Chair of the Anniversary Dance, member of the Ladies Drill Team and several other committees. Currently, Pat is the Circulation Manager for the Club’s newsletter; the Shanachie.

1n 2010, Pat was recognized as the Irish American East Club Member of the Year. In addition, she is also a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the West Side Irish American Club, Cleveland Mayo Society, and the Irish American Archives Society. She is a supporter of the United Irish Societies, the Padraic Pearse Center, the Irish National Caucus, Cleveland Feis Society and many local Irish festivals.

Pat considers her greatest accomplishment as being a loving mother to her children. She has raised her family to appreciate their Irish heritage, spanning back to County Mayo, where her father, John Corcoran, fought for Irish freedom.

Her children were raised in the Irish community, participating in Irish dance, and marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Irish American Club’s Fife & Drum Unit.
The Homans are active parishioners of St. Justine Martyr Parish in Eastlake and are proud to follow their father Bill Homan, the 2019 Grand Marshal.

Inside Chair David McLaughlin

Inside Chair: David McLaughlin

David Joseph McLaughlin grew up in Middletown, Ohio. He is the eldest of three boys and the son of Betty and Dave McLaughlin. David’s family attended Holy Trinity Grade School and Church.
Everything David learned about Irish Culture and heritage came from his home, school, and church. David attended Bishop Fenwick High School in Middletown. After high school he attended St. Joseph College in Indiana and graduated with a Bachler of Science in History.

David went back to Middletown, working for a finance company in Cincinnati. He was soon set up on a blind date with Nancy Kelley, a night that changed his life forever. David would follow Nancy to her hometown of Cleveland Heights.

They were married in 1979 and lived in East Cleveland and Cleveland before purchasing a house in Cleveland Heights. Dave and Nancy have two adult children, Patrick and Kelley Catanese, and three grandsons.

Dave and his family are active members of St. Philomena Church, Communion of Saints Parish, where he is a Eucharistic Minister and volunteer, trying to maintain the grounds and interior of the church.

Dave followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Cleveland with the Western Reserve and then Bluestone Division. He is a past Vice President of Western Reserve and Bluestone Division and is chairperson for the Freedom for All Ireland committee. He also serves on the AOH Cuyahoga County Board as Secretary and was their past president.

David is one of the volunteer coordinators with the Irish Cultural Garden. He also is a volunteer with the Cleveland Cultural Gardens on One World Day and current treasurer of the new Scottish Cultural Garden. A longtime member of the Irish American Club-Eastside, he was 16-year member of the Jack McDonough Fife and Drum. He also enjoyed set dancing with the Cleveland Ceili Club at the IACES and was on the Float Committee prior to joining Fife and Drum.

Dave joined the United Irish Societies as a delegate from the Irish American Club-East Side. He was later appointed as a Deputy Director, where he has been part of transitioning the application process from paper to an online version.

Dave initially joined the Line of March committee, and later concentrated on the new Parade participants, where he took the lead on contacting and meeting with all the new applicants to the Parade. In doing so, he created a required orientation process for all new Parade participants which included creating a short video on the history of the Parade.

Dave also has been gathering and organizing the Certificate of Liability Insurance forms from the parade participants and continues to be a Marshall for the end of the Parade each year.

Outside Chair Fr Walsh
Fr. Walsh

Outside Chair: Fr. Francis Walsh

Fr. Francis Walsh is the son of John and Cecelia Fallon Walsh. He was raised in Rocky River, where he attended St. Christopher. Fr. Walsh graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1949 and attended John Carroll University before entering the Seminary. In 1957, Fr. Walsh was ordained by Archbishop Edward Hoban.

Fr. Walsh served many parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland as an Associate Pastor before being named as the Pastor of St. Jerome in 1976. In 1992, Bishop Pilla named him as Pastor of St. Luke’s in Lakewood.

He served as Pastor of St.Luke’s for 21 years. He has been an incredible blessing to the Irish community and every parish he has served over the last 24 years with his tireless dedication. He is active in the Irish community with membership in the Ancient Order of Hibernians Bluestone Division, Irish American Club, and the West Side Irish American Club. The Bluestone Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are honored that Fr. Walsh serves as their Chaplain.

Hibernian of the Year Sarah OBrien Dirk
Sarah O'Brien Dirk

Ancient Order of Hibernians; Ladies Ancient Order of hibernians

Hibernian of the Year Sarah O’Brien Dirk

Sarah and her brother Ricky were born to Timothy and Joyce (nee Goodwin) O’Brien. Sadly, Ricky passed away in 1986 from a brain tumor. Sarah’s family relied on the strength of their Catholic faith, as well as the love and support from their family and Irish community to heal and carry on.

Sarah attended Holy Cross and St. Justin Martyr Elementary Schools and Lake Catholic High School. She attended the University of Akron, followed by Ursuline College. Sarah became a Nurse Practitioner and has been taking care of cancer patients in Cleveland for the last 18 years. Presently, she is a Leukemia Nurse Practitioner at Cleveland Clinic.

She adopted her son, Eamon Marcel Padraig Dirk in 2019; he is the light of her life. He attends Our Lady of the Lake School. Sarah and Eamon live in Euclid and are parishioners at St. Malachi Church.

Sarah’s parents were founding members (Tim always reminded everyone he was Charter Member #2!) of the Irish American Club East Side and she is proud to carry on their legacy as an active lifelong member. She has served as an Executive Board member and has chaired and volunteered for different committees and events over the years. Sarah was a member of the Fife & Drum Corps throughout her childhood.

In 2007, she was appointed to United Irish Societies as a Delegate from the Irish American Club East Side. She was later appointed as a Deputy Director, where she manages Line of March.

After years of wanting to establish a Ladies’ Hibernian presence on the east side of Cleveland, Sarah and several other passionate women founded LAOH Division 11 Deirfiúr of Charity in March 2022. Sarah is serving as the Division’s first President.

Under her leadership, Deirfiúr of Charity Division has grown to over 75 sisters. The Division has been active since its inception, holding various food and clothing drives throughout the year; establishing a monthly volunteer commitment at St. Philomena’s Food and Clothing Bank; holding several fundraisers throughout the year, the proceeds of which help local charities, including Laura’s Home, Project HOPE, Malachi House, Our Lady of the Wayside and Ronald McDonald House and establishing quarterly Hibernian masses along with AOH Bluestone in historic Irish parishes across the city of Cleveland.

In June 2023, Sarah was elected to the LAOH State of Ohio Board as State Catholic Action Officer. In addition to her commitments in LAOH, Sarah also serves as Director of Cultural Programs for Bluestone Hibernian Charities, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support Catholic education through scholarships.

IACES co members of the year 24

Irish American Club East Side (IACES)

Co-Member of the Year: Mary McClusky

Mary was born December 16 to her parents, Nora & Thomas Hastings, from County Mayo, Ireland. She has loved and studied Irish music and customs since early childhood, dancing with the Gaelic League Society Dancers with her sister Norine and brothers Thomas and Frank.

Mary attended St. Philomena Grade School and Ursuline Sacred Heart Academy in East Cleveland. When she was a freshman in high school, Mary joined the West Side Irish American Club’s Ladies Drill Team. By 1962 she became the leader of the Drill Team and continued for over 50 years, known as Sergeant Major,” before handing over the reins to her daughter Katie.  She assisted her sister Norine and Heather O’Brien with the Irish American Club East Side’s Ladies Drill Team.

Mary met her husband Joe at the West Side Irish American Club; they were married February 3, 1962. Mary & Joe had seven children, Mary, Christine, Kevin, Tom, Tricia, Maureen and Katie.

She is so proud of her grandchildren, Andrew and Patrick Philion, and Sean, Meghan and Cara O’Donnell. She has passed along her love of her Irish heritage to her family and enjoys traveling to the Irish Dance Feis’s to watch her granddaughters Meghan and Cara compete.

Mary handles the club’s hall rentals and Tuesday Ladies Cleaning Crew.

Co-Member of the Year: Robert (Fitz) T. Fitzgerald

Robert Thomas Fitzgerald (Bob) is better known as “Fitz” to all who know him. He is the eldest of six children (Jeanne, Mary Alice, Kathleen, Sharon, and Sean) born to Robert and Corrine Fitzgerald (Quinlan).

He attended St. Paul’s School in Euclid and then St. Joseph High School. Bob earned the rank of Eagle Scout, which may surprise some, but not those who know him well. After high school Bob attended The Ohio State University. 

Bob married Shelly Gardner on September 14th, 1996. Gabrielle was born March 10, 1999, they reside in Euclid.

If Bob is not helping out at IACES, or at a friend or family’s home, he is most likely at his personal slice of heaven, their cottage in Andover.  For many years, volleyball was Bob’s passion. He played in several men’s leagues for both the city of Euclid and Turners. Additionally, he coached both CYO and JO and helped found the Utopia Beach Club Junior Olympics Club.  

Bob retired from the State of Ohio in 2017, where he was a tax auditor for over 30 years, then spent most days caring for his father with the help of his siblings. Meeting up with friends and family for morning coffee or a few beers at night is some of his favorite activities. He even claims he plays a weekly round of golf.

Fitz is a long-time member of IACES. He has been co-chairing the 317 Raffle since its inception; volunteered as a bartender; shows up on Tuesday for club clean up; and chaired the OSU vs. Michigan party. 

“Banger Boards”, which have been used at many events to help raise money for the club over the years, was his brilliant contribution. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Bluestone Division, where he serves as an officer and their delegate to the United Irish Society.

West Side Irish American Club (WSIA)

Erin Mackin, Queen
Queen - Erin Mackin

Queen – Erin Mackin

Erin’s family has a long history in the foundation of the West Side Irish American Club. Her grandfather, Thomas Mackin, hailed from Clonbur, County Galway, while her grandmother, Mary Coletta (Dever) Mackin’s family hails from Achill, County Mayo. On her mother’s side (McNamara), Irish roots originate from County Clare.

Erin is the youngest child of Tom and Bridget (McNamara) Mackin’s seven children, attended St. Christopher grade school and is a proud graduate of Magnificat High School, where she was involved in student council, the Magnificat Outreach Service Club, and Campus Ministry Projects. She went on to further her education at Tri-C and now works as a Loan Officer for Rocket Mortgage.

Erin has spent a good part of her life marching for the West Side Irish American Club. She started her tenure as a Banner Carrier for the majorette unit. After a few years, she moved up to a majorette and then the Flag Unit. 

She joined the Junior Fife and Drum Corp, where she fifed until high school, then marched in the Ladies Drill Team with her three older sisters. Erin continues to carry on the tradition today as a proud marcher of the Drill Team Unit.

Erin has been a volunteer with the IA Cleaning crew for many years; er favorite part of the day is sitting down after the work is done, enjoying a cup of tea. She truly enjoys hearing stories about her grandparents and learning more about her Irish heritage from the individuals she volunteers with.  

Bernadette Campbell Woman of the Year
Bernadette Campbell Woman of the Year

Bernadette is the daughter of John & Julia Togher (both deceased). She is the proud sister to Mary Ellen (English), Veronica (DeClemente), Bill and John Togher.

Bernadette’s love for Irish culture and the WSIA was instilled at a very young age, when her father brought her family to functions at the club. She remembers selling tickets for the “Drive for 75” that helped purchase the land that would be the current location of the WSIA.

While her sisters marched with the majorettes and drill team, Bernadette marched with the “Ireland’s 32” pom-pom unit. She was the leader of this unit throughout her high school years.

Bernadette grew up on the west side of Cleveland, attended St. Patrick’s West Park school, Fairview High School and received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Cleveland State University in Statistics. After graduating college, she worked at local hospitals as a supervisor in the Financial Collection Department. She then began working for the State of Ohio Workers Compensation Division as a business consultant, where she worked until her retirement in 2019.

In 1983, she married Timothy Campbell. Together they have two children. TJ works as a truck driver for Kimble Recycling and Daniel works at the State of Ohio, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Department as a Senior Disability Adjudicator.

When her sons were in the marching units, Bernadette cooked hot dogs and burgers for the practices. She has also helped her husband for over 30 years in preparing the WSIA’s award winning float. Bernadette brought back the Jim Caffrey WSIA Craft Show this past holiday season and is excited to keep this traditional craft show growing. Bernadette also helps as a volunteer around the club wherever help is needed.

When not at club volunteering, Bernadette is at home in Lagrange quilting blankets for her family and friends.

Jim McGuirk Man of the Year
Man of the Year - James “Jim” McGuirk

Jim is the son of Catherine (Kilcoyne) and Frank (both deceased). He has six siblings: Frank, Anne McDonnell, John, Dennis, Mary Kay and David. He is the grandson of Bernard Kilcoyne from Mulranny, Co. Mayo and Annie Egan from Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo.

Jim grew up in Parma, attended St. Anthony of Padua Elementary School, and graduated from Cleveland Central Catholic High School in 1975. Having been referred by his high school computer teacher, Jim found immediate employment with the Cleveland School Board of Education as a computer operator, where he worked until retiring after 36 years.

Soon after graduating, Jim joined the West Side Irish American Club on Madison Avenue, participating in the Ceili Dances/Competitions and Irish Language and Masses. Jim belongs to and held offices in The Cleveland Gaelic Society, The Greater Cleveland Feis Society, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish American Club East Side, The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, the Irish Music Academy of Cleveland, Irish American Archives Society and the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland.

Jim traveled around the country and Canada for dance competitions for the many Feis’s and Oireachtas Rince. He is proud to promote his Irish culture. Jim was selected to be the Outside Co-Chair for the parade in 2000, and in 2004 was the Hibernian of the Year.

Jim volunteers at Friday Night Pub Grubs, Tuesday volunteer days working outside in the gardens or inside doing whatever is needed, as well as many other special events that take place throughout the year at the WSIA.

Diana & Dan Flick Volunteers
Volunteers of the Year - Dan and Diana Flick

The late Edward and Eleanore Flick gave birth to Daniel, the youngest of his three siblings (Eleanore, Laura, & John).  The departed William T. and Patricia L. Wolff welcomed Diana into their world. She was also the youngest, with four siblings preceding her (Sandy, Billy (deceased), Terry (deceased), & Kevin).

Both Dan and Diana were raised on the West Side of Cleveland.  They married in 1984 and will celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. The best gifts from their union are three sons (Brian, Jason, & David).

Dan worked 20 years for the City of Cleveland, 12 years at FedEx and three years at the Cuyahoga County Correction Center. Diana worked 15 years at Kaiser Permanente in the health care industry.

Diana and Dan volunteered for over 20 years at WVIZ auction. Diana volunteered at the school library and was active in the PTA In their spare time, they enjoy attending concerts and sporting events. Diana also is an avid tennis player.

The Flicks joined the West Side Irish American Club about 23 years ago. Dan started assisting with the Fish Fry’s, working with the McDonough Brigade. Diana joined the team shortly after. They have assisted, chaired, and volunteered for over 20 years, including The Night at the Races, Pig Roasts, Christmas Concerts, and Easter Bunny Breakfast, as well as other organizations events, like Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, Pioneer Dinners and more.

Columbus Area Honorees

Columbus

Clann na Gael: Rich and Karen Finn

AOH Patrick Pearse Division
Hibernian of the Year – Scott Robinson

Commodore John Barry Award – John Homan, Kurt Wolf

Daughters of Erin Irish Woman of the Year – Cheryl Costello

Member of the Year – Karen Fahy

Emerald Society
Member of the Year – Gary McGovern

Greater Columbus Irish Cultural Foundation
Irish Cultural Award  – Colleen Marshall

Shamrock Club of Columbus
Irishman of the Year – Mike Murphy
Parade Grand Marshal – Tim Feeney
Member of the Year – Christina McConahay
President Awards – Kyle Collins, Mark Syx

Pittsburgh Area Honorees

Rob Tierney

Grand Marshal – Rob Tierney

Robert Tierney, a native of Lucan Co. Dublin, will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal. Rob first came to Pittsburgh in 1997, where he led groups of young people experiencing inter-generational unemployment and sectarianism in Ireland. He returned in 2001, when he began working with Jim Lamb (a former Grand Marshal) and the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.

While at the IIP, Rob served as Vice President and oversaw the non-profit’s via programs, which offers young people from Ireland and beyond the opportunity to spend extended time in the United States on work or internship programs.

Rob also began working with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and held many integral roles within the Pittsburgh GAA, including Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and most recently, Youth Officer. In 2016, he was appointed Games Development Officer of the USGAA and in 2023, he became the first Head of Operations and Games Development of USGAA.

In addition to his work at the IIP and GAA, Rob is a member of AOH Division 32 Sean McBride out of Carnegie, were he enjoys golf outings, parties, and other events with his AOH brethren. He appreciates the opportunity the AOH provides to meet many of the great Irish-Americans furthering Irish culture in Western PA and particularly enjoys marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where he carries the flag of his native county, Dublin.

Rob is the proud son of PJ and Catherine Tierney, proud Galway people who Rob credits with giving him his sense of identity, self-belief, and determination. His sister, Marie Young, is an Irish Language and Culture instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, while his other sister, Karen, is a high school career teacher in Dublin. Rob’s wife, Christy Sue, has embraced the Irish-American culture, supports Rob in all of his activities, and has shared many adventures with Rob over the years, which he deeply appreciates.

When asked to summarize his feelings about Pittsburgh and the honor of being named the 2024 Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal, Rob said “the [Grand Marshal] sash represents the tireless work of thousands of Irish American volunteers, throughout this region and beyond. We stand on the shoulders of those that have come before us, and ensure that our traditions, culture, and sports are kept alive and well for future generations to experience and love – Ní neart go cur le chéile (there is no strength without unity).”

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