While they may be rivals on the cable news and talk circuit, Fox TVs Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Chris Matthews take great pride in their shared Irish heritage. Both men will show up to be inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at the Metropolitan Club in New York on Wednesday. For one day their rivalry will be put aside as both men earn their places in the Hall of Fame for their achievements.
Also there will be hero cop Steven McDonald, who will be inducted by police commissioner William Bratton.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, a possible White House contender in 2016, will also be inducted.
The full class for 2014 is: Christine Kinealy, the renowned authority on Ireland’s Great Hunger; Patrick Ryan, philanthropist and founder of Aon, the worldwide insurance giant; Andrew McKenna, businessman and Chicago civic leader; Brian Stack, Managing Director of CIE Tours International who has led the way in promoting tourism to Ireland; Governor O’Malley, the top-rated Irish politician in the U.S., Chris Matthews, whose TV show, "Hardball," airs on MSNBC and is the leading political commentary show on television, and Bill O’Reilly, the outspoken host of the syndicated "The O’Reilly Factor," America’s most watched broadcaster.
The McDonald family will be the first family to be inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.
“We are in this together, as a family,” Steven said, speaking on the phone to Irish America, on the upcoming induction.
Officer Steven McDonald was shot on July 12, 1986 when questioning a 15-year-old about possible bicycle thefts. The shooting left him a quadriplegic. But with the help of family and friends, notably his wife Patti, who was pregnant with their son Conor at the time, the family has turned tragedy into inspiration. Steven went on to become a noted public speaker and a proponent of conflict resolution. Patti is now the Mayor of Malverne on Long Island, and their son Conor joined the NYPD in 2010.
“Our Irish America Hall of Fame motto is ‘Cuimhnígí ar na daoine as ar tháinig sibh,’ which translated from Irish means, ‘Remember the people from whom you came.’ Our distinguished honorees, while making significant contributions to American life, continue to take pride in their Irish heritage and promote the land of their ancestors. We are delighted to honor such a diverse group of Irish Americans,” said Patricia Harty, Co-Founder and Editor of Irish America magazine.
The Irish America Hall of Fame celebrates its honorees’ diverse and significant contributions to American and Irish society, and their personal commitment to safeguarding their Irish heritage. The Hall is housed at the Dunbrody Famine Ship and National Emigration Centre in New Ross, Co. Wexford, the ancestral town of John F. Kennedy.