The co-founder and editor-in-chief of IrishCentral’s sister publication Irish America magazine is being honored with the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award from Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc.
As Irish America marks a phenomenal 30 years in print, Harty joins an impressive group of Eugene O’Neill honorees, including playwright John Patrick Shanley, winner of the Academy Award, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize, actor Brian Dennehy whose awards include two Tonys and a Golden Globe, writer and journalist Pete Hamill, and Charlotte Moore and Ciaran O’Reilly whose Irish Repertory Theatre has been cited by The Wall Street Journal for it’s ‘unfailingly consistent excellence.’
Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny issued a statement congratulating Harty on the award and the magazine’s milestone.
“In her roles as journalist, author and editor Paricia Harty has made an exceptional contribution to Irish and Irish American life,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny said as he commended Irish American Writers and Artists for their choice of Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor-in- chief of Irish America magazine as the 2015 recipient of The Eugene O’Neill Life Time Achievement Award.
“Harty, through Irish American Magazine, has fostered increased awareness of the Irish Family and their achievements and connected that family to each other and to Ireland in a very meaningful way.”
A native of Nenagh, County Tipperary, Harty came to New York in 1972 to study graphic design. “That summer I bought a $99 'See America’ ticket on the Greyhound and traveled through the country. Everywhere I met people who told me they were Irish, though they had never been to Ireland. I still think of them as my readers."
In an era when most new magazines fail, Patricia Harty’s outstanding abilities as a journalist, author, and editor have made Irish America a respected forum on a broad range of issues. Naming Harty its 2015 Woman of the Year, the Irish American Heritage and Cultural Committee said, “Patricia Harty has fostered a global awareness of the Irish community, its contributions, and numerous accomplishments. Her personal generosity to many Irish-American projects and events have helped to preserve 'things Irish.'”
“It is a great honor to receive the O’Neill Award,” Harty said. “I have been inspired in my work by something O’Neill said: that the critics had missed the most important thing about him and his work—the fact that he was Irish. His Irish roots contributed to O'Neill’s genius and in Irish America magazine we celebrate that heritage.”
Luminaries featured in the magazine and attending Irish America's award ceremonies have included President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, actors Gregory Peck and Maureen O'Hara, writers Frank McCourt and Seamus Heaney, and business leaders such as Don Keogh, Bill Flynn, Jack Welsh and Tom Moran.
Harty has edited the book "Greatest Irish Americans of the 20th Century" and contributed essays to "Being Irish: Personal Reflections on Irish Identity Today" and "The Irish Face in America." In addition to her cultural work, Harty is on the committee for the annual “Women of Concern” fundraiser for the Irish relief organization “Concern Worldwide.”
Established in 2009, the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award has become an esteemed annual event, honoring the accomplishments of a writer, actor, musician, or cultural institution that has sustained a body of work that best exemplifies the level of integrity maintained by O’Neill.
This year the O’Neill Award ceremony will be held on Monday, October 19, 2015, from 6 to 9 pm at The Manhattan Club at 800 Seventh Avenue, in Times Square, at a cocktail reception that has become one of the most highly anticipated events of the season.
A number of the previous honorees will be attending the event. Also expected are award winning novelist Peter Quinn, world champion boxer turned actor, John Duddy and television star Michael Murphy. Surprise guests in recent years incude Gabriel Byrne and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
For more information and to book tickets, visit the Irish American Writers and Artists website.
To learn more about Irish America or to read the current issue, visit irishamerica.com