Out & About
Consul General Niall Burgess with Grand Marshal Ray Kelly, his wife Veronica and son Jim
Now that the dust has settled after another historic St. Patrick's Day Parade (which was one of the best ever seen in New York), I am proud to say I was part of it.
We started the day at Eamonn's Bar and Grill for the Grand Marshal's breakfast at 7am - yes, 7am in the morning! Despite the early start it was already filling up with the Grand Marshal's Aides when I got there.
The Grand Marshal Raymond Kelly came in at about 7:30am and presented all his aides with some nice gifts and, of course, we all had a great Irish breakfast.
John Mahon and Eamonn Maher were making sure that everybody was seated and comfortable and I can tell you that there are no better two to do the job! The service was superb and those waitress are the best.
After breakfast we all headed up to St. Patrick's Cathedral for the St. Patrick's Day Mass at 8:30am (yes, me at mass, there's hope for me yet... you can ask Mary Power she knows).
Now I'm walking up the steps of the Cathedral and who was at the top? Only Mae O'Driscoll, I thought it was me she was waiting to greet, but it was apparently somebody else who must be important. Well, she was looking great with her Green dress on though.
The Mass that was celebrated by His Excellency Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York was unbelievable and everyone that was anyone was at the mass (including me), now what do you think!
After Mass we went back down to Eamonn's Bar and Grill to whet our thirst. As you know it's a long day and with the parade and all the different events you can understand what I had to do.
I walked up to the Pierre Hotel for the Knights of Saint Patrick lunch and I was greeted by Joe and Katie Quillivan who do a wonderful job for this super lunch that is attended by all of the Irish Diaspora and the food was just mouthwatering.
I had a seat next to Paul Hurley and his wife Fiona and the who's who of the Irish community came to visit our table, including, Tommy Smyth, his wife Treasa, Maureen McLoughlin, Michael Gibbons - past Grand Marshal and John Doolan of Heineken - whose dad, the late Connie Doolan was a Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade.
The Grand Marshal Ray Kelly and his wife also attended the lunch and got rousing applause when they came in the room.
What a day it was as I then headed down to the the Adrian Flannelly Radio Show for an interview and ended up having a sing-song in the studio. I'm not too sure I had all the words right, but it sounded good I might say!
New York City Comptroller John C. Liu and Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in a "Presentation of Credentials" (traditional initial meeting between two dignitaries aimed at forging a long-lasting working relationship) on March 19, 2010. Marking a step in an ongoing dialogue of issues of mutual importance to both New York City and Northern Ireland. (John Harrison)
I missed walking up the Avenue with the Cork Association as I got held up talking with a lot of people and I missed them as they passed the Pierre Hotel since Treasa Goodwin Smyth the Cork Woman of the Year forgot to call me when she was leaving to join them after her coverage of the Parade (she and her husband covered for NBC and did a great job too I might say. Good on yea Tommy and Treasa, you're the best).
Sorry to say, Mary Power the President of the Cork Association was mad as hell at me at for missing walking up with her... just kidding, I know you missed me.
By the way, Greg Harrington has just given me some info about two upcoming performances in New York on April 16th and 17th in the Irish Arts Center after he gets back from my tour of China.
The concert is part of their "Masters in Collaboration" series in the Irish Arts Center (on 51st Street between 10th and 11th) and he's performing with legendary Irish fiddler Martin Hayes and guitarist Denis Cahill - they should be two great shows.
During a week long residency at the Irish Arts Center they will be fusing classical and traditional styles and genres, culminating in two performances that include the American premiere of a magnificent new work for fiddle, violin and guitar: "Music for the Departed" by Dublin composer David Flynn.
He will also be performing an individual set, with the backing of strings, that includes popular classical, tango and film scores so it should be a really diverse and eclectic evening... followed by a few drinks...
For more information phone (212) 757-3318 or visit irishartscenter.org/music. Tickets $50, $45 for members .
I would like to personally thank John Dunleavy, John Lahey and Hilary Bierne for a great Irish Parade. You should be very proud of everything you have accomplished, making this New York St. Patrick's Day Parade the best Parade in the World.
Congratulations to you all!
See you all next week!