Weekly Comment:
Turlough McConnell Receives Holyoke Ambassador Award

Turlough McConnell with Brian and Eileen Burns at the American Ireland Fund Gala in Palm Beach, FL in February 2017. (Photo: James Higgins)
Turlough McConnell with Brian and Eileen Burns at the American Ireland Fund Gala in Palm Beach, FL in February 2017. (Photo: James Higgins)

By Dave Lewis, Editorial Assistant
March 10, 2017

On February 23, 2017, Turlough McConnell, a producer and writer of the Irish-American story, was announced as the 26th recipient of the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke’s Ambassador Award. The Ambassador Award is given every year in Massachusetts to a worthy individual committed to promoting Irish heritage and relationships with the Republic of Ireland.

“I am surprised and delighted that my work with the Irish American community has been recognized for this prestigious award,” McConnell told Irish America. “The 2017 Ambassador of Ireland Award belongs to the many colleagues and family members who have supported my labor of love over the years. The Saint Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke has my deepest gratitude.”

Kateri Walsh, chair of the Ambassador’s Award Selection Committee, stated that McConnell “truly embodies the spirit” of the award. “Through his two-decade experience as a creative executive in the Irish-American market, producing live events of interest to Irish America he is a most worthy recipient,” she said.

McConnell has been the CEO of Turlough McConnell Communications for the past 20 years and serves Irish America as Contributing Director of Special Features. Some of his projects include exhibitions, such as his recent 1916-2016: Proclaiming the American Story; A Monumental Legacy: Archbishop John J .Hughes and the Building of St. Patrick’s Cathedral; and Fighting Irishmen: Celebrating Celtic Prizefighters 1820 to the Present. As well, McConnell has produced live events, like How the Nuns of New York Tamed the Gangs of New York, a play that tells the story of the Sisters of Charity, whose heroic efforts as nurses and educators and general crisis mediators saved New York from falling into chaos during the aftermath of the Famine migration.

McConnell also serves as senior advisor to Brian P. Burns, who has been named by President Donald Trump as his choice for next U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Previously, McConnell collaborated with Burns to showcase his large collection of Irish art and authored features on Burns’s work with the Burns Library Visiting Irish Scholars Program at Boston College.

The award will be presented at the Ambassador’s breakfast on the morning of Holyoke’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade on March 19th. 

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