Irish Hero Awards

Paul Kennedy with a picture of his son Michael, a firefighter who was honored posthumously with fellow firefighter Edward Walsh (below).

By Irish America Staff
December / January 2015

The Irish Emigrant newspaper, in partnership with, held its Irish Heroes of New England awards in Boston on December 3.

Two firefighters, Michael Kennedy and Edward Walsh were honored posthumously in recognition of their heroism and ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty as firefighters for the City of Boston.

Edward Walsh.

Edward Walsh.

Kennedy and Walsh died in a nine-alarm fire that tore through a Back Bay brownstone in the city on March 26.

The four other awardees were: Officer James Flanagan, Weymouth Police Department who smashed his way into a burning vehicle to save the driver’s life; Mark Porter, director of Let’s Stop Cancer Foundation, who has spent countless hours fundraising for local charities in Boston; John Dunleavy, who was honored in recognition of his work as a member of the Council for Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress; and Katie O’Halloran, who was honored for the determination she has shown in overcoming some daunting physical challenges. Born without arms, the Connemara native became a lawyer and is now getting used to her newly fitted Bionic arms.

The awards were presented at a reception and awards ceremony held in downtown Boston. Diageo/Guinness and its “Made of More” campaign were the main supporters o the event.

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