And the 2014 Irish America Hall of Fame honorees are...


His wife of over twenty years, Patricia Ann McDonald, was elected Mayor of Malverne on Long Island in March 2007 and his son, Conor McDonald, joined the NYPD in 2010. “We are in this together, as a family,” Steven said speaking on the phone to Irish America. And we are proud to honor the McDonalds as the first family to be inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.

Chris Matthews – Lifelong Political Advisor and Pundit

Chris Matthews has been the host of "Hardball," an hour-long political show that airs weeknights MSNBC, since 1997. He was also the host of "The Chris Matthews Show" from 2002 -2013, a NBC-syndicated half-hour weekly Sunday program.

Born into an Irish Catholic family in North Philadelphia in 1945, Chris attended Holy Cross College, and after a stint in the Peace Corps moved to Washington in 1971. He worked for various politicians including Tip O’Neill and Ralph Nader and went on to become a speechwriter for Democratic president Jimmy Carter. He turned to journalism after that and soon became the Washington bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle, and his fiery on-air style as a commentator on shows such as "The McLaughlin Group" earned him his own show. He is the author of numerous books including his latest, "Tip and the Gipper" is about the relationship between Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill and President Ronald Regan.

Andrew McKenna – Businessman and Civic Leader

Andrew McKenna is chairman of McDonald’s Corporation and Schwarz Supply Source. He serves as a director of Ryan Specialty Group, McDonald’s Corporation, the Chicago Bears Football Club and Skyline Corporation. He is a director of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund, the Ireland Economic Advisory Board, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, Civic Committee and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BS in business administration, McKenna was awarded the university’s Laetare Medal in 2000. He served as the chairman of the board of trustees from 1992-2000 and continues on the board today. A second-generation Irish American, he is a graduate of the DePaul University Law School where he received a Doctor of Jurisprudence.

Martin O’Malley – Governor of Maryland

Martin Joseph O'Malley, seen by many as viable contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, is serving the people of Maryland in his second term as governor. Called “arguably the best manager in government” by Washington Monthly magazine, O’Malley has championed education (MD has the #1 ranking for best public schools in America), entrepreneurship (one of the top two states for science and technology), and environment -- the creation of thousands of green energy sector jobs, and has still cut state spending more than any previous governor in Maryland’s history. He has also expanded healthcare to 380,000 previously uninsured, been vocal on immigration reform and raising the minimum wage, and signed legislation on same-sex marriage.

Proud of his west of Ireland roots, O’Malley is a gifted musician who still performs with his band O’Malley’s March.

Bill O’Reilly – America's Most-Watched Broadcaster

Since the inception of the Fox News Chanel in 1996, Bill O'Reilly has served as the anchor for "The O'Reilly Factor," the most watched cable news program on the air. The program is famous for what O'Reilly coined as the "No Spin Zone," and features a range of programming from investigative journalism to hard-hitting interviews with conservatives and liberals alike.

Born in New York in 1949, Bill grew up on Long Island in the blue-collar Irish suburb of Levittown. After attending Catholic school, Bill graduated from Marist College in 1971 with a Bachelor's in history. He received a Master's in broadcast journalism from Boston University and since then has been on the air. In 1989, he became the host of "Inside Edition," before joining Fox for its inaugural season. He also holds a Master's in public administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In addition to anchoring "The Factor," Bill has published a novel, five works of non-fiction based on his program, one best-selling memoir, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity," and a series of well-received works of history, most recently "Killing Jesus." All three history books have reached number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list and in 2013 "Killing Kennedy" was adapted by the History Channel to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination. Bill currently lives on Long Island.

Patrick Ryan – Entrepreneur and Worldwide Insurance Leader

Patrick Ryan is the chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty Group, a company which he founded in 2010 to provide specialty services to insurance brokers, agents, and carriers.

A life-long entrepreneur, Patrick founded Pat Ryan & Associates in 1964, just a few years after graduating with a Bachelor's from Northwestern University. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions, Patrick continued to grow his company and it was renamed Aon in 1987. "Aon" is a Gaelic word meaning "oneness." Patrick served as chairman and CEO for the cooperation until his retirement in 2008, overseeing its expansion into the largest insurance brokerage in the world.