John “Jack” Ahern, the grand marshal of the 2014 New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, has passed away after a long battle against cancer. 

Ahern was business manager and financial secretary of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30 in New York. His parents were natives of Co. Cork. 

“Jack Ahern is an outstanding Irish American who has devoted a huge amount of his energy and charisma contributing to the legacy of the Irish in this great country,” New York parade chairman John Dunleavy said after Ahern was announced as grand marshal.