Hall of Fame – 2019 – Irish America https://irishamerica.com Irish America Magazine Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 82361074 Ciarán O’Reilly https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/ciaran-oreilly/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/ciaran-oreilly/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:06:38 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41739 Read more..]]> Ciarán O’Reilly was born and raised in County Cavan, Ireland, before immigrating to New York City. He met Charlotte Moore when they were in an off-Broadway play called Summer by Irish playwright Hugh Leonard.

The two decided to get into producing, and so in 1988 they rented a small theater on West 18th Street in Manhattan and put together a production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough in the Stars. The show was a success, so they put the proceeds into the production of another play, and then another. 30 years later, the Irish Repertory Theatre is still going strong.

For its milestone anniversary celebration, the theater is both going back to its roots as well as attempting its most ambitious project to date: a comprehensive retrospective of the work of Sean O’Casey, including his renowned “Dublin Trilogy”: The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926).

Each play is having its own run, followed by a month of all three dramas in repertory, including three “Dublin Saturdays,” which will feature the three works staged all on the same day. Other pieces of the retrospective include symposiums, lectures, film screenings, a musical evening, and free readings of the other O’Casey plays.

O’Reilly has won numerous awards in his career and has been honored in Irish America’s Top 100 three times.


Click here to read O’Reilly’s March / April 2019 Hall of Fame profile.

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James P. O’Neill https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/james-p-oneill/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/james-p-oneill/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:05:04 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41593 Read more..]]> The 43rd NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill joined the Transit Police in 1983, which merged with the NYPD in 1995, and since then he has held almost every rank in the department to eventually become commissioner.

O’Neill was born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, to two first-generation Irish Americans. His mother’s parents emigrated from County Longford, and his father’s parents were from County Monaghan. He attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in government as well as a master’s degree in public administration.

He was promoted to sergeant in the Transit Police in 1987, and then to lieutenant. Two years after the departments merged he became captain, then deputy inspector in 2003, and deputy chief in 2005. In 2014 he was promoted to chief of patrol and later that year to chief of department, the highest-ranked uniformed position in the NYPD. He has been NYPD commissioner since September 2016.

As chief of patrol, O’Neill developed Neighborhood Policing, a comprehensive crime-fighting strategy based on improved communication and collaboration between police officers and community members. The theory is that if the sectors are drawn according to natural neighborhoods instead of arbitrarily, and the same police officers work in the same sectors each day, residents of a neighborhood will develop relationships with the officers and policing in New York City will be much more cohesive.

As chief of department he expanded the program and ensured it had sufficient funding for it to be successful. It worked – the philosophy is extremely successful. Crime in New York City is down to 1950s levels.

O’Neill continues to increase trust and transparency in the NYPD through both internal reform and state legislation.

He has two sons: Danny, who works for an insurance company, and Christopher, who works in video production at the office of the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information.

“I’m proud of my Irish heritage,” says O’Neill, “and I’m proud of being American, also. It’s all helped me be who I am.”


Click here to read O’Neill’s March / April 2019 Hall of Fame profile.

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Arturo O’Farrill https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/arturo-ofarrill/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/arturo-ofarrill/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:04:07 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41725 Read more..]]> Four-time Grammy Award-winning musician Arturo O’Farrill was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to Cuban jazz musician, arranger and bandleader Chico O’Farrill and his wife, singer Lupe Valero.

Unsure of the future when the Catholic King James II was deposed, O’Farrill’s ancestor left County Longford, Ireland, to start a new life in Cuba as Don Ricardo O’Farrill y O’Daly. The O’Farrills lived in Cuba until O’Farrill’s father Chico moved to Brooklyn in 1948. In 1957, he moved to Mexico, where Arturo was born. The family moved back to New York City in 1965.

When O’Farrill was 19, experimental artist Carla Bley heard him playing piano in a bar and hired him on the spot to play in her band in an upcoming show at Carnegie Hall. After four years with the band, he went solo and toured the globe with artists such as Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte.

O’Farrill returned to his roots to join in his father’s comeback. They assembled what became the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, of which O’Farrill was the pianist and musical director. When Chico passed away in 2001, O’Farrill became bandleader.

Wynton Marsalis offered him the opportunity to form and lead an Afro-Cuban jazz band that would perform regularly at Lincoln Center, and thus the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance was born. It has a traditional jazz big band instrumentation with a three-piece Cuban percussion section.

In 2007 he became an assistant professor of jazz at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he established the non-profit organization the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, which provides instruments and musical lessons for New York City public school students.

In December 2010 O’Farrill traveled to Cuba with his mother, sons, and the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Orchestra in order to bring his father’s music back to the island. On August 21, 2015, O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra released Cuba: The Conversation Continues. It was recorded in Havana 48 hours after President Obama announced his plan to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

On August 14, 2015, O’Farrill was among those who were invited to witness the moment the U.S. flag was raised over a newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Cuba for the first time in 54 years.


Click here to read O’Farrill’s March / April 2018 Hall of Fame profile.

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Charlotte Moore https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/charlotte-moore-2/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/charlotte-moore-2/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:03:05 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41735 Read more..]]> Tony-nominated actress Charlotte Moore is the artistic director and co-founder with Ciarán O’Reilly of the Irish Repertory Theatre, a theater company in New York City devoted to showcasing Irish and Irish-American works and performers.

The granddaughter of Irish emigrants from County Wexford, Moore grew up in Southern Illinois in a rural farming community. After earning her master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis, she moved to New York City to be an actress.

She has had a distinguished career in acting and directing, having appeared in over ten Broadway productions, including Private Lives, in which she co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

In 1988, Moore and actor Ciarán O’Reilly founded the Irish Repertory Theatre with a production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars. The two had met when they were performing together in an off-Broadway play called Summer, by Irish writer Hugh Leonard. The Irish Rep is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its most ambitious undertaking to date, a comprehensive retrospective of Sean O’Casey’s life and work.

“It’s a geographically isolated country that produces extraordinary story tellers,” Moore says of Ireland. “It’s in the DNA.”

Among her awards are two Tony nominations, the Irish American Writers and Artists Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, the Outer Critic’s Circle Award, Irish America Top 100, Irish America Top 50 Power Women, and being named Director of the Year by the Wall Street Journal in 2011.


Click here to read Moore’s March / April 2019 Hall of Fame profile.

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Terry George https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/terry-george/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/terry-george/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:02:20 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41644 Read more..]]> Growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter Terry George learned first hand about oppression. It’s the thread that that links all of his projects, which focus on world conflicts. George briefly attended Queens University Belfast before he, his wife Rita, and their infant daughter Oorlagh moved to New York City in 1981. Once there, they had a son named Seamus.

George wrote a freelance music column for the Irish Voice and was the first to interview the Pogues for Rolling Stone when they came to the United States for their debut tour. He made his debut as a playwright in 1985 with The Tunnel, a stage drama based on the real-life 1976 prison escape attempt from Long Kesh.

In 1993, he made his screenwriting and assistant directing debut with the film In the Name of the Father, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis as the late Gerry Conlon, an innocent Belfast man who spent 15 years in an English prison after being wrongly accused.

George was named Young European Director of the Year in 1996 for his film Some Mother’s Son, which he wrote the screenplay for and directed, and which starred Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan as mothers of hunger strikers imprisoned in The Maze prison in Northern Ireland. It is based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike by IRA prisoners led by Bobby Sands.

George is the co-creator and executive producer of the CBS television series The District, which starred Craig T. Nelson, David O’Hara and Lynne Thigpen. In 2004, he directed, produced, and co-wrote the Academy Award-winning film Hotel Rwanda, which starred Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo.

In 2010, George wrote and directed the film The Shore, which was filmed over six days outside his home in County Down. His daughter Oorlagh produced the film, which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. In 2016, he wrote and directed The Promise, a film set during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale.


Click here to read George’s March / April 2019 Hall of Fame profile.

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Adrian Flannelly https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/adrian-flannelly-2/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/adrian-flannelly-2/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:01:21 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41603 Read more..]]> Legendary radio broadcaster Adrian Flannelly has been hosting The Adrian Flannelly Show for the last 50 years and has garnered plenty of praise in that time.

The New York Daily News called him the “Dean of Irish Radio in the United States,” New York Newsday called him “a promoter of incredible charm and energy,” The Irish Times called him “an entertainer, lobbyist, and an entrepreneur,” and The New York Times called him “an avuncular host.”

Flannelly was born in Attymass, County Mayo, to two schoolteachers. He immigrated to the United States in 1959 when he was 17 years old and got a job playing piano in Mickey Carton’s Irish band.

Always one to use his radio show as a conduit for change, Flannelly dives deep into politics and social issues facing the Irish in America and back home, especially immigration reform. He was a major force on behalf of applicants during the Donnelly and Morrison visa programs, even filling up a truck with thousands of applications from Irish immigrants and driving to Washington, D.C., with his daughter Linda to personally deliver them to the government lottery.

He has had many notable guests on his show over the years, including former President of Ireland Mary McAleese while she was in office; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who called Flannelly his “good friend” and appointed him Irish Cultural Liaison to City Hall; and his two uncles, former Mayor of New York and United States Ambassador to Mexico William O’Dwyer, and renowned civil rights activist and former New York City Council President Paul O’Dwyer. His wife, Aine Sheridan, is his partner on the show and on irishradio.com.

On Flannelly’s annual St. Patrick’s Day show, NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially declared March 17, 1997, to be “Adrian Flannelly Day.”


Click here to read Flannelly’s March / April 2018 Hall of Fame profile.

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John C. Dearie https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/john-dearie/ https://irishamerica.com/2019/03/john-dearie/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:00:42 +0000 https://irishamerica.com/?p=41617 Read more..]]> Lawyer, public servant, and peace negotiator John C. Dearie grew up in St. Raymond’s parish in the heavily Irish Parkchester neighborhood in the Bronx. His father was a union plumber and his mother worked for an advertising company.

He attended Manhattan Prep High School, which was run by the Irish Christian Brothers. He was an all-city basketball player, and he received a basketball scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, where he averaged 10 points and eight rebounds a game playing against many future NBA Hall of Famers.

After graduating college, Dearie attended business and law school and worked at the United Nations, which gave him valuable experience in international negotiations.

He served in the New York State Assembly for two decades, representing at different times the 85th District and the 75th District.

Dearie was instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace process. In April of 1992 he organized a forum on Irish issues at Manhattan’s Sheraton Hotel for Democratic presidential hopefuls Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton. The United States had thus far maintained a hands-off approach to the tense situation in Northern Ireland, citing our “special relationship” with Great Britain.

That’s why it was so remarkable that these forums Dearie arranged got then-Governor Clinton to say that as president he would appoint a peace envoy to Northern Ireland (senator from Maine George Mitchell), authorize a visa for Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, and endorse the MacBride Principles. Many credit these forums with putting Northern Ireland on the U.S. political agenda.


Click here to read Dearie’s March / April 2019 Hall of Fame profile.

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