On Thursday evening, November 7th, nine men and women were honored by The Irish Emigrant in conjunction with Irish Central and Irish America magazine for their acts of courage, bravery and dedication in the face of tragedy. The recipients of the awards, which was held in the historic surrounding of Faneuil Hall, Boston, were police officers and firefighters who responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings and the Boston Bombings, as well as citizens who worked to provided much needed funds for the victims and survivors.
Honorees on the night included Lt. J. Paul Vance, Commanding Officer of the Connecticut State Police Public Information Office; Lt. Sean O'Brien, Boston Fire Department, Officer Richard Donohue, MBTA Transit Police; Officer Richard Moriarty, Boston Police Department; Mike Sheehan, Co-founder of One Fund Boston; James D. Gallagher, Co-Founder of One Fund Boston; Alana & Claire O'Brien, Dance out for Jane; and Ken Casey, The Claddagh Fund.
Martin. J. Walsh, son of Irish emigrants from Galway, made his first public appearance as new Mayor Elect of Boston and talked about how despite the region the experiencing a year of harrowing events, its citizens had endured "It just shows you how strong we are as a country, how strong we are as a region ... and how strong we are as a city."
There was a large crowd in attendance as each honoree was presented with a Certificate of Irish heritage by The Consul of General of Ireland to Boston, Breandán Ó Caollaí, on behalf of the Irish Government.
Special thanks to all who attended and made this event such a wonderful celebration of the heroes in our Irish American Community.