This year's Irish America magazine Irish American of the Year is Dr. Kevin Cahill, director general of the American Irish Historical Society in New York and a leading physician. Cahill has overseen the complete renovation of the American Irish building on Fifth Avenue, a $6 million project which recently won the award for the best restored building in Manhattan. The society, founded in 1897 to inform the world of the achievements of the Irish in America, is today a national center of scholarship and culture. From its home on New York's Fifth Avenue, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the society serves as a focal point of the contemporary trans-Atlantic Irish experience, a place where current public issues are explored, and where the great renaissance in Irish culture is celebrated in lectures, concerts, art exhibits and a literary journal. "Dr. Kevin Cahill has assured that one of Irish America's great treasures, the American Irish Historical Society building will remain the outstanding center of culture and quality it has been for generations," said Irish America founding editor Patricia Harty when announcing the award. Harty also stated that Cahill had an unmatched record of service to the Irish American community. "Despite an incredibly busy professional career, Kevin Cahill has always found time to be a leading proponent of Irish causes, whether it is peace in Northern Ireland, preserving Irish American history and culture or introducing new and exciting contemporary Irish performers to America. He richly deserves this award," Harty stated. Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen will present the trophy to Cahill. The Irish American of the Year award has previously been won by President Bill Clinton, Gregory Peck, John Cardinal O'Connor, Don Keough and Senator Edward Kennedy among others.
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