Restoring Duffy’s Glory

Mayor Bloomberg at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Duffy SAURE

By Bridget English, Editorial Assistant
December / January 2009

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Duffy Square was attended by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Bishop Dennis Sullivan of the New York Archdiocese, members of the 69th Regiment, the Coalition for Father Duffy, the Times Square Alliance and the Theatre Development Fund.

The renovations on Times Square have transformed what was once merely a tarnished statue of Father Duffy in the shadows of the half-price theater tickets TKTS booth. Duffy’s statue now stands against a 27-step amphitheater-style staircase constructed of red glass with seating room for more than 500 people, and a newly designed futuristic TKTS booth.

At the ribbon ceremony on October 16, Bruce Meyerson, chairman of the Coalition for Father Duffy said, “This renovation restores a true sense of glory to Father Francis Patrick Duffy and rightly features him as the centerpiece of this place of reverence, remembrance and reflection.”

Francis P. Duffy was a chaplain for the predominately Irish “Fighting 69th” regiment that became part of the 42nd Division during World War 1. Duffy, an ordained Catholic priest, is the most highly decorated cleric in U.S. Army history.

Duffy returned to New York after the war and served as pastor of  Holy Cross Church on 42nd Street, just off Broadway. He also wrote a best-selling book, Father Duffy’s Story in 1919, chronicling his experiences during the war.

Five years after Duffy’s death in 1932, New York City Mayor LaGuardia renamed a part of Times Square in his honor.

Leave a Reply


More Articles

History Loves a Parade
260 Years of the New York
St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 4:00 pm EST, 8:00 pm Ireland The New York Irish Center Presents: History Loves A...


The Life and Death
of Seneca Village

An exhibition tells the story of an interracial community destroyed to make way for New York’s Central...


News: Sinn Féin Surge
in Irish Election

The Irish people went to the polls on February 8 to elect a new government. Almost a month later, that government has...


News: Ireland’s Best
Vacation Destinations

The best hotel and tourism operators in Ireland were recently recognized at the 30th CIE Tours International Awards of...