Speaking of Schumer, his chief of staff Martin Brennan will receive a well-deserved honor when he leads off the Bay Ridge St. Patrick's Day parade this year. It seems Brennan, whose parents hail from Mayo and who has been an outstanding worker for Irish causes, really wowed them with his acceptance speech at a recent kick-off function for the parade. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, "The celebration went to a lofty level of insight into why America is so beloved by immigrants with a speech by Martin Brennan, the new grand marshal. Brennan showed how passion, education and political acumen can produce the inspirational messages we need in these tough times." Brennan's boss Schumer was also present at the vent, and made no secret of the incredibly close ties he and Brennan, who has been a key figure at his side, share. Schumer said, "We're brothers with a lot in common, products of Harvard and, before that, high schools in Brooklyn. He went to Bishop Ford, I went to Madison." It was a multi-ethnic event. Speakers also included Alec Brook-Krasny, the first native Russian elected to the State Assembly, and Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the first Haitian native elected to the City Council. Congressmen Michael McMahon, Anthony Weiner, Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer, Councilman David Yassky and, of course, Bay Ridge native Charles (Joe) Hynes, Kings County district attorney, also spoke. Brennan proudly introduced his mother, Monica Brennan, who immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland with her husband, Patrick Dermot Brennan, who passed away in 1999. Like millions of other emigrants they brought little with them except the clothes on their backs. " "This country allowed them to work for and achieve a dream, " said Brennan, "and somehow, even in the face of the security problems in a new world of terrorism, we must find a way to keep alive America's greatness as a place that welcomes immigrants from all countries to find a new life that's the legacy of freedom that this country must never lose." The parade steps off on Sunday, March 22. Marchers will line up at Marine Avenue and 4th Avenue at noon for a 1 p.m. step-off.
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers