Tom Barrett’s 2015 Irish American Leaders from New Jersey

President John F. Kennedy shown in a photo in Newark during press interview. Essex County Democratic Chairman Dennis Carey (second from left) and Thomas P. J. Barrett, NY Herald Tribune reporter shown at right.

President John F. Kennedy shown in a photo in Newark during press interview. Essex County Democratic Chairman Dennis Carey (second from left) and Thomas P. J. Barrett, NY Herald Tribune reporter shown at right.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and its month long celebrations and festivities, once again presents a profiled list of statewide leaders and activists as a salute to New Jersey’s Irish Americans.

The list is an acknowledgement of their accomplishments, contributions and broad range of community service. It includes both veterans of previous lists and newcomers alike, all of whom have demonstrated a commitment to their Irish American heritage.

The list was compiled to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Newark march is the oldest Irish parade in New Jersey (1936-present), interrupted only by WWII (1943-46). This year’s Irish march in Newark is scheduled for Friday, March 13 at 1:00pm.

For the first time in the parade’s history the delegates have chosen a woman, Rosemarie L. Mellody of County Longford, Ireland and Upper Montclair, New Jersey, as its Grand Marshal. This year’s parade is dedicated to the memory of Raymond M. Durkin.

Tom Barrett, compiler of the list, admires the parade’s sense of tradition and staying power. He is a partner at Barrett & Mottola, a Nutley-based public relations firm. His father was a 3-time chairman of the Newark Parade. The list is purely subjective.

We hope you enjoy it.


John A. Brennan, MD. MPH, Executive VP for Barnabas Health, President & CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. 2014 Newark Grand Marshal. 2015 Annie Moore Award Recipient for Irish American Cultural Institute.

Joseph P. Brennan, Esq. Former 3-term Essex County Surrogate. Twice elected West Orange Council president. Vietnam war veteran awarded the Bronze Star, and former Grand Marshal of West Orange Irish Parade. Now in private practice.

Laurel Brennan. Highly regarded South Jersey Labor leader now serving fourth term as Secretary-Treasurer of the State AFL-CIO. 2014 recipient of The Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Award given annually to NJ women for outstanding contributions to the state.

Brendan T. Byrne. Two term Democratic Governor (1974-82) and last Democratic Governor to win re-election. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for navigating B-17’s over Nazi Germany, Brendan, known for his intelligence and rapier wit, is considered one of NJ’s most revered elder statesmen.

Eugene J. Byrne, Esq. Trustee of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges, long time Montclair GOP district leader and former Grand Marshal of Newark Irish Parade. Gene has marched in the NYC Irish parade every year for 57 years.

Michael D. Byrne. General Chairman of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade, he is the youngest sub-committee chairman in Parade history. Served as Assistant Adjutant, Recording Secretary, Trustee and Second Vice-Chair.  Byrne works for conservative candidates and causes both in NJ and nationwide.

Tom Byrne Jr. Former chairman of the NJ State Democratic Committee, Son of former Gov. Brendan T. Byrne. Founder of Byrne Asset Management LLP. Currently member/ New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission.

Dennis F. Carey, III. Well-respected Essex County Superior Court Judge. Grandson of the legendary Dennis “ I run Essex” Carey who as Essex Democratic Chairman (1953 – 1969) engineered a 50,000 county-wide vote plurality for JFK in 1960 when his state margin was 22,000 votes.

Michael Patrick Carroll. GOP member of the State Assembly (R-25), a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the son of Maurice (Mickey) Carroll, former NY Herald Tribune reporter who is presently director of the Quinnipiac poll.

Robert “Bobby” Carroll. Son of the late and famed labor leader ‘Big’ Jim Carroll of Heavy Construction Laborer’s Local 472 in Newark. Currently, a successful attorney in private practice in New Jersey.

Chip Cavanaugh. Well-regarded Chairman/Belmar & Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade led this year by Grand Marshal Paul Caverly and Deputy Jane Marie Zimmerman Donovan. Chip’s mom, Jackie, was 2013 Deputy Grand Marshal.

Dennis M. Cavanaugh. Former U.S. District Court Judge/ District of NJ whose mother was born in County Clare, Ireland. Related to the late Frank McGovern, the famous proprietor of McGovern’s Tavern in Newark. Now in private practice.

James A. Cavanaugh. Former Essex County Freeholder, now successful Morristown restaurateur and President/Phoenix Contractors/Fairfield. 2015 Man of the Year honoree/ Giblin Association 61st Anniversary fete’ at Caldwell University. Former Grand Marshal of the Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D. President and CEO/ Clara Maass Medical Center. Only person who holds a BSN, MSN and a Ph.D in Nursing from Seton Hall University. Inducted into the SHU College of Nursing Hall of Honor. 2013 Essex County Irishwoman of the Year.

Former Governor Richard J. Codey.

Former Governor Richard J. Codey.

Richard J. Codey. Served with distinction and bi-partisan praise as New Jersey’s Governor and as President of the NJ Senate. Strong advocate for mental health reforms and one of the most influential legislative leaders in New Jersey history.

Jere’ Cole. Essex County Sheriff’s officer (retired) and currently National Secretary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Pat Colligan. President of the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association.

Jack Collins. Former Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly. College Professor. Basketball Coach. Lawyer. Farmer.

Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney, known professionally as Mary Higgins Clark. Renowned Irish story teller, award winning novelist, author of more than 42 books, (sales in the U.S. alone number over 80 million). Resident of Bergen County and Grand Marshal of the 2011 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Patricia K. Costello. Essex County Assignment Judge (recently retired). Well respected for stellar judicial career that spanned 25 years including 10 years as top judge in NJ’s busiest courthouse. Roots in Hudson County, helped establish Int’l Business Court In Nigeria, Africa.

Craig Coughlin. Democratic Assemblyman from Woodbridge.

Joseph Cryan. Union County Sheriff. Son of the late and legendary John F. Cryan. Former State Assemblyman and Chairman of the NJ Democratic State Committee. An influential figure in state Democratic politics.

Michael Critchley. Well known Defense Attorney whose family is involved with numerous Irish American and charitable organizations. This year’s keynote speaker for the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges’ annual black-tie event. Known for his brilliance in court and for his discretion.

Sean Darcy. Democratic Party operative.

Erica Daughtrey. Communications Director, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8).

Ellen M. Davenport. Former Mayor of Maplewood/Essex County Freeholder who served as Secretary of the NJ State Senate. Essex County Irishwoman of The Year (2009).

Jimmy Davis. Former Bayonne police officer. Recently won a bruising battle to become the current Mayor of Bayonne. Involved in numerous community fund raising activities including raising money for slain police officers and autism.

Pat Diegnan. Eighteenth District Assemblyman from South Plainfield.

John J. Degnan. Former NJ Attorney General, gubernatorial candidate and Vice-Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of The Chubb Corporation. Harvard Law School graduate. Chairman of the bi-state Port Authority of NY/NJ.

Matt Doherty. Mayor of Belmar. Member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh; Ancient Order of Hibernians; trustee for the Belmar Art Council. 2012 Irishman of the Year, Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh.

Michael J. Doherty. GOP Member of NJ State Senate from Warren County. Graduate of West Point and Seton Hall Law School. Captain in the Army Reserves from 1985-93.

Ed Donnelly, President of the New Jersey FMBA. Sixteen year veteran, Union Fire Department.

Mike Donohue. Chairman of the Cape May County Republican Party.

Fr. Pat Donohue. Newark’s “Chaplain to the Irish.” for 25 years. Former Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in the Vailsburg section of Newark.  Founded the CYO Summer Program in 1971 with 21 sites in Newark and the surrounding area. This year’s Deputy Grand Marshal for the Newark Parade.

Kathe’ Donovan. Former Bergen County Executive, Clerk and former Chairlady of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Served on the Port Authority of NY/NJ. One-time Republican Chair of the NJ Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

Tim Dougherty. Former councilman and now popular two-term Mayor of Morristown. Serves as Chief engineer at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Patrick C. Dunican, Jr. Chairman and Managing Director of the Gibbons Law Firm in Newark. Major supporter and 2013 Grand Marshal of the Newark Parade.

Margaret O’Boyle Dunigan. Active in numerous Irish American organizations. Two term Bloomfield Councilwoman. Former Deputy Marshal/Newark and Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parades. Secretary/Friends of Brian Boru. 2015 Essex County Woman of The Year.

Christopher Durkin. Essex County Clerk. Son of the late Raymond M. Durkin. Former Essex County Sheriff’s Detective /Director of Personnel for the County of Essex. 2010 Grand Marshal of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Seeking third term in 2015.

Sister Mary Walter Dwyer. Sister of Charity and sister of late State Senator Tom Cowan of Hudson County. Principal of Columba School in Newark for 25 years. Now on staff at St. Vincent’s Academy in Newark. Native of Jersey City.

Joe Egan. Seventeenth District Assemblyman from New Brunswick.

John Farmer Jr. Son of former Star-Ledger Editorial Page editor and columnist John Farmer, former NJ Attorney General, columnist and Dean of Rutgers Law School.

Valerie E. Feeney. Stalwart member/Women of Irish Heritage. Former Chairlady of the NJ Irish Festival and former Essex County Irishwoman of the Year.

Jamie Fox. Currently NJ State Transportation Commissioner. Former Chief of Staff to Governor Jim McGreevey and U.S. States Senator Robert Torricelli. Stellar career in both state and national politics. Former Deputy Director of the Port Authority of NY/NJ.

 Eamon de Valera. (1882 –1975). One of the dominant political figures in 20th century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century (1917 to 1973). Served multiple terms as head of government and head of state. Shown (circa 1959) with former US Congressman Neil Gallagher whose term in office (1959-1973) coincided with deValera’s term as President of Ireland.

Eamon de Valera. (1882 –1975). One of the dominant political figures in 20th century Ireland. His political career spanned over half a century (1917 to 1973). Served multiple terms as head of government and head of state. Shown (circa 1959) with former US Congressman Neil Gallagher whose term in office (1959-1973) coincided with deValera’s term as President of Ireland.

Cornelius (Neil) Gallagher. Congressman from Hudson County (1959-73). Potential Vice-Presidential nominee in 1964. As a Captain in U.S. Army, commanded a World War II infantry rifle company in General George S. Patton’s 3rd Army. Actively retired and still spotted in Bayonne.

Susan H. Gartland. Former Caldwell Councilwoman and Mayor and former Deputy Grand Marshal of the Newark Irish Parade.

Noreen M. Giblin. Served in the McGreevey administration. Former State Director for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. 2006 Essex County Irishwoman Of The Year. Seton Hall Law School grad now with the Gibbons law firm’s Government Affairs Department.

Thomas P. Giblin. Former Essex County Freeholder Board president and former Essex County Surrogate. Served as both Essex

Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-34), Montclair.

Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-34), Montclair.

County and NJ State Democratic Chairman. He and his dad are the only father and son to serve as both Chairman and Grand Marshal of the Newark Irish Parade. Currently State Assemblyman.

Monsignor John J. Gilchrist. 58-year parish priest and Spiritual Director to Essex-West Hudson Labor Council and State AFL-CIO. Columnist for the Catholic Advocate. Former honoree of the Giblin Association. Celebrating his 80th birthday.

Brendan Gill. Vice-President /Essex County Freeholder Board. Member /Division # 9 AOH Montclair and 2014 Grand Marshal of the Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Accomplished campaign consultant who heads up the BGill Group.

Eileen P. Gilleece. NJ State Police Detective. Fellow with both JFK School of Government and United Nations Leadership School. Past President of Women of Irish Heritage (North). United Nations war crimes investigator at the Int’l Criminal Tribunal/ Former Yugoslavia. Deputy Grand Marshal for Newark (2013) and West Orange (2009).

Don Gilmartin. Traces roots to County Roscommon. 2008 Newark Parade Grand Marshal. Founding member and Past President of the Essex County Police and Fire Emerald Society. Founding member of the Newark Firefighters Pipe Band.

William L. Gormley. Notre Dame graduate, former Marine Corp captain, freeholder, Assemblyman (1977-1982), and State Senator who chaired the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee. Bill’s father was a former Atlantic County Sheriff.

John F. X. Graham. Founder of Verona based Fairview Insurance. Prolific Democratic fundraiser and successful insurance executive who infamously heads up “The Group”, the much sought after state-wide fund raising organization. Friend of U. S. Presidents and Secretaries of State and those who want to be.

Don Hannon. Owner and operator of family Carpet and Home Furnishing business based in Union, NJ since 1933. Former Newark Parade Grand Marshal and former Chairman of the NJ Irish Festival.

Jerramiah Healy. Former Jersey City Mayor. His first official act was to enclose his porch after he was photographed on it. Former Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic organization and renowned singer of Irish ballads.

Elmer J. Herrmann, Jr. Long time supporter/Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges, The St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor and Friends of Brian Boru. His mother, Theresa Gillen, was the niece of former Newark Mayor Charles P. Gillen who was born in Roscommon, Ireland and the Newark Parade’s first Grand Marshal (1936).

Pat Hobbs. Well respected and popular former Dean of Seton Hall Law School, a current member of the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) and a member of the Newark Alliance.

Matthew Holleran. Young Irish American leader, related to the Durkin’s of Essex County by marriage and an executive with a Middlesex County security firm.

Brian Hughes. Son of the late Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Hughes. Currently serving his third term as Mercer County Executive. Considered a rising star in the state Democratic ranks.

John Hughes. Also, son of the late Governor Richard Hughes. Retired from the Federal bench and is currently engaged in mediation work.

Kathleen Ginty Hyland. Former Mayor/Morris Township. Former Grand Marshal and ‘Unofficial’ outfitter, along with Mary Agnes Parker, of the Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade. Owner of Ginty’s Irish Gifts in Morristown.

Sean T. Kean. NJ General Assembly/ (R-30) Monmouth County. Traces roots to County Cork, Ireland. 2011 Irishman of the Year/ Order of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh/ Jersey Shore. Sponsor of legislation celebrating Irish-American contributions to American society.

Mary Boyle Crerand Keaney. President/Women of Irish Heritage -Jersey Shore. Served as Treasurer and Trustee. Born in Newark, resident of Brick Township, traces her roots to County Mayo, Ireland. Served as Deputy Grand Marshal of the 2014 Belmar/Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Fr. Mike E. Kelly. Popular Headmaster of Seton Hall Prep, the oldest Catholic prep school in NJ. His Holiness Pope John Paul II named Fr. Kelly as a Prelate of Honor, with the title of Reverend Monsignor. In 1990 then Archbishop McCarrick appointed Fr. Kelly liaison to the Irish Community in the Archdiocese of Newark.

Jim Kennedy. Former Rahway Mayor, lobbyist and 22nd District Assembly candidate.

John C. Kennedy. Well-respected Judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Division. Former Corporation Counsel/Jersey City. Fellow: Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource Center in Washington, D.C.

Bernard F. Kenny. Popular former member of both the NJ General Assembly and NJ State Senate. Served with distinction as Senate Majority Leader. Bernie held the rank of Lieutenant in U.S. Navy. Former Grand Marshal and Man of The Year for the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Kenneth F. Kunzman. Partner/ Connell Foley law firm. President, St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor. Dedicated to providing scholarships for needy students for community service. US Air Force Captain (1962-1965) and 2010 Grand Marshal of the West Orange Parade.

Gerald P. Lenihan. Retired from Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Currently Director of Security at Seton Hall Law School. Former Grand Marshal and General Chairman of the Newark Parade and the NJ Irish Festival.

Jim Logue. President of the Burlington County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

Robert Lynch. Well-known proprietor of the Kilkenny Ale House on Central Avenue in Newark. Past recipient of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee’s Irish Heritage Award for active involvement in the Irish American community.

Barbara A. Lyons. Irish American Cultural Institute. Board of Directors/ Treasurer and Chair/Annual Washington St. Patrick’s Day Ball. 2014 Woman of the Year/ Giblin Association. Former West Orange Deputy Grand Marshal. Member/ Women of Irish Heritage. Serves on soup kitchen committee at St. Joseph Church, West Orange.

Colleen M. Mahr, Popular Mayor of Fanwood Boro. Former President of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. Currently heads up Union County Division of Strategic Planning and serves as Vice-Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Kevin McCabe. Seasoned political veteran. Currently Middlesex County Democratic Party Chairman. Former Chairman /Woodbridge Dem Committee and served as NJ Labor Commissioner in McGreevey Administration.

Raymond McCarthy. Former mayor of Bloomfield Township where he also served as Chairman of the Bloomfield Business Advisory Board and as a Trustee of the Township’s Board of Education.

John E. McCormac. In 2006, elected Mayor of Woodbridge, the oldest original township in the state of New Jersey. Former New Jersey State Treasurer.

Frank McEnerney. Accountant and member of numerous Irish American organizations. Long time Parade official in West Orange. Former Irishman of the Year for the County of Essex.

Jennifer Nagle McGovern. Founder/Director of the award winning DeNogla School of Irish Dance which Jen started with her sister Alison in 1993. Five locations in Tri-State area. World-wide competitors including 2015 World Championships in Montreal. 2010 Deputy Grand Marshal of the Newark Parade.

Sean McGovern. Former Roseland councilman. Newark based attorney and well-known proprietor of McGovern’s Tavern in Newark.

James E. McGreevey. Elected Governor of New Jersey in 2001. Former State Assemblyman and State Senator. Grand Marshal /Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade (2001). Currently, Director of Employment & Training for Jersey City. Widely regarded for pioneering efforts on behalf of prison reform.

Patti McGuire. Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Jon Corzine, former aide to now U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. Well respected as a campaign operative. Now a successful lobbyist and officer of New Leaders Council of NJ.

John McKeon. Former Mayor of West Orange, attorney and member of the State Assembly where he chairs the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Long time organizer of the West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Owen McNany, President of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges, Inc.

Jim McQueeney. Former White House Bureau Chief and Star-Ledger reporter. Served as Chief of Staff for U. S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. With roots in County Leitrim, he is now a successful public relations executive, political analyst and the host of New Jersey Now, on My9 (WWOR-TV).

Rosemarie L. Mellody. 2015 Grand Marshal of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the first woman Grand Marshal in the parade’s 80-year history. Served as Newark Parade General Chairman and Deputy Grand Marshal of the Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade (1999). A resident of Upper Montclair, she is a native of County Longford, Ireland.

Maggee Miggins. Successful Maplewood/Short Hills real-estate broker whose family hails from Vailsburg, Newark. Served as Deputy Grand Marshal of Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Much sought after soloist in the church choir.

Maggie Moran. Former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Jon Corzine. Leader in state politics. Experienced with the NJ Democratic State Committee. Former State Director for both NJ Senators Corzine and Lautenberg. Now runs her own PR shop, M Public Affairs.

Paul Moriarty. Fourth District Assemblyman.

William ‘Bill’ Mullen. Former president of Ironworkers Local11, now President of the powerful NJ State Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO. His advice is often sought by legislative leaders in Trenton.

Michael Murphy. Former Morris County prosecutor and gubernatorial candidate in the 1997 Democratic primary. Finished a strong third behind Jim McGreevey and Congressman Rob Andrews. Now a successful lobbyist and a member of the Waterfront Commission.

Philip D. Murphy. Ambassador to Germany (2009-2013), Goldman Sachs Exec and national finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee. Now heads up nonprofit advocacy org. New Start New Jersey. Considering a campaign for Governor.

Carolyn A. Murray. Acting Essex County Prosecutor. Former counsel to NJ Attorney General, graduate of Georgetown University (cum laude) and NYU Law School. 2012 Essex County Irishwoman of the Year and 2013 honoree of the Friends of Brian Boru.

Bill O’Dea. Author of The Legacy of Haguesville. In 1985 was the youngest member ever elected to the Jersey City Council at age 26. Five term member of the Hudson County Freeholder Board. Known as an “outspoken maverick that likes to ruffle feathers.”

Jason O’Donnell. Member of the State Assembly (D-31). First elected in 2010. Former Public Safety Director and Fire Captain with City of Bayonne. City Democratic Chairman.

Chuck O’Mara. Teamster Union official and Grand Marshal of the 2015 Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Declan O’Scanlon. Veteran Republican Assemblyman from Monmouth County.

Kevin O’Toole. New Jersey State Senator (R-40). Former Essex County Republican Chairman and member of the Cedar Grove Township Council. Three term Township Mayor as was his father Councilman Robert O’Toole. 2015 Essex County Irishman of The Year.

Sean Pender. National Director of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), State AOH President and former Grand Marshal of the Hamilton St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Joan Quigley. Former State Assemblywoman from Jersey City. President and CEO/ North Hudson Community Action Corp. in Union City. Her column appears in the Jersey Journal every Tuesday.

Paul Reilly. Former Newark Deputy Mayor. Long time booster of the

Essex-based Friends of Brian Boru. Master of Ceremonies for the Newark Parade.

Joseph “Joe” Roberts, Jr. Former Camden County Freeholder Director who went on to serve with distinction as Majority Leader and Speaker of the General Assembly. Considered one of the all time popular leaders in NJ legislature.

Robert ‘Bob’ Ruane. Former member of both the Bloomfield Township Council and the NJ State Assembly. Long time member of Ironworkers Local 11.

Kevin J. Ryan. Essex County Undersheriff, former State Assemblyman and Grand Marshal of the 2003 Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Jack Sayers. 2015 Grand Marshal of the West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Lawyer, veteran of the Essex County Sheriff’s Dept. and Business Manager for West Orange Township.

Marguerite “Peg” Schaffer. Chair of the Somerset County Democratic Party, partner at Shain, Schaffer and Rafanello.

William “Bill” Scully. Legend in Irish circles for his quick wit, fine voice, his classic moustache, his short game in golf which includes putting from sand traps and as the long time proprietor and host of McGovern’s Tavern in Newark.

Michael Sweeney. President /Hudson County Ancient Order of Hibernians Mychal Judge Division 1. Recently heralded for restoration of Bayview Cemetery gravesite of Thomas Clark Luby (1822-1901), Irish Revolutionary and founding member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

Stephen Sweeney. President of the NJ State Senate. Considered a 2017 candidate for Governor. Represents the 3rd Legislative District since 2002. Former Gloucester County Freeholder. Former Business Agent for Ironworkers Local 399 and now General Organizer for the Intl Assoc./Ironworkers.

Ann Twomey. Distinguished President of the Hospitable and Professional and Allied Employees (HPAE), a state nurse’s union. Named Labor Leader of The Year by Rutgers University. VP/NJ State AFL-CIO. Recipient of the 1996 NJ Governor’s Award for Labor Excellence. Columnist for this website.

Virginia “Ginny” Treacy. Executive Director/Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization (JNESO). Respected leader with 35 years of service to labor causes (now retired)). 2008 Deputy Grand Marshal of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Jim Whelan. State Senator from the 2nd District and former Mayor of Atlantic City.

Daniel J. Zeisner. Director of Union Township Police. Grand Marshal of the 2009 Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Former Newark police officer.

Ray Durkin (crop), et al. jpg

In Memoriam

Raymond M. Durkin (1936-2014). Former Essex County and State Democratic Chairman (above, right) who led the Essex County Democratic organization to prominence in the embattled 1980’s. Mentor and advisor to numerous party and government officials, played a major role in electing Donald Payne as NJ’s first African American congressman. This year’s Newark parade is dedicated to him.

Adrian Foley (1922-2015).  Founding partner of the prestigious law firm Connell Foley. Decorated WWII veteran. Former Essex County Surrogate. President of the NJ Constitutional Convention in 1966 and a confidant of the late Richard J. Hughes, William Cahill and also Gov. Brendan T. Byrne.

Elmer M. Matthews. (1928-2015)). University of Notre Dame graduate (cum laude) at age 19. U.S Army officer/ General Counsel to NJ Catholic Conference of Bishops, Knight/Order of St. Gregory. Representing Essex County, served as Speaker of the NJ General Assembly and Acting Governor.

Brendan Tevlin (1995-2014). Seton Hall Prep grad and University of Richmond freshman. Posthumously named 2015 Young Irishman by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges. Donations in his memory: Brendan P. Tevlin ’13 Memorial Field Fund c/o Seton Hall Prep. 120 Northfield Ave., West Orange, NJ. 07052

Tom Barrett’s 2015 Irish American Leaders from New Jersey