Senior partner in the law firm of O’Dwyer and Bernstein and proud of his Mayo roots Brian O'Dwyer has been named as the 2019 Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Parade in New York.
Brian O’Dwyer has been named as the 2019 Grand Marshal of the New York St. Patrick’s Parade. O'Dwyer is the son of Paul O’Dwyer, a former New York City Council President who also a grand marshal in 1973. This is, possibly, the first time a father and son have been so honored.
O’Dwyer is a senior partner in the law firm of O’Dwyer and Bernstein, a law office known for devoting tremendous amounts of hours pro bono to Irish causes.
“O’Dwyer and Bernstein was the first stop for any emigrant or Irish freedom fighter in trouble,” said Ciaran Staunton head of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.
He cited Frank Durkan, a relative of Brian O’Dwyer as a fearless attorney for the downtrodden. “Brian O’Dwyer followed down that same noble path,” he said.
O’Dwyer is also a skilled political figure, especially close to the Clinton family and he would have been on a shortlist for ambassador to Ireland in a Hillary Clinton White House. He is a co-founder of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center set up to care for immigrants in need.
Intensely proud of his Mayo roots, O’Dwyer was present at Knock for the arrival of Pope Francis on his recent visit there. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his work for immigrants of all backgrounds.
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Brian O’Dwyer is a native New Yorker and was educated in the New York City public school system. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art, now known as LaGuardia High School, and is married to the former Marianna Page MacWilliam. They have two children, Brendan Keith O’Dwyer and Kathleen Page O’Dwyer, and they have four grandchildren: Paul Ellis O’Dwyer, Patrick Trescott O’Dwyer, Reilly Page O’Dwyer, and Hailey Grace O’Dwyer.
National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Judge James McKay issued the following statement:
"As the President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, I wish to congratulate our Brother Dr. Brian O’Dwyer of AOH Division 3 New York County on his selection as Grand Marshal to the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
"Dr. O’Dwyer exemplifies the Hibernian tradition of defending the Irish Immigrant community; fulfilling our Oath to espouse the Irish communities cause and aid them when in distress. Dr. O’Dwyer has been a tireless advocate for immigrants’ rights. He is a founder of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, the largest Irish immigrant center in the United States. In its almost 25 years of existence, the center has helped thousands of Irish men and women as they immigrated to New York City.
"Dr. O’Dwyer has never forgotten his connection to the home of his ancestors. He has been an active proponent of the peace process; serving as a member of several US Presidential delegations to Ireland and a White House advisor on the Northern Ireland Peace process.
"As chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA, Dr. O’Dwyer works to facilitate American investment in Ireland and Northern Ireland; cementing the peace of today by building hope for the future while reinforcing the special relationship between Ireland and the United States that, like the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, predates the American Revolution."