Hilary Beirne -“A New York City Hero”

The day before hosting the world’s largest and oldest St Patrick’s Day Parade, Parade official, Hilary Beirne who hails from Boyle, Co Roscommon, Ireland, received the inaugural “A New York City Hero” award presented by the Bowling Green Association at the Irish flag raising ceremony at Bowling Green marking the official start of St Patrick’s Day in NYC.

Hilary Beirne, is credited in not only bringing the Parade into the modern technology era, but helping to guide it through a difficult time in which there were challenges to the Board of Directors and the Covid Pandemic. He is particularly credited in ensuring there were parades in 2016, the 100 anniversary of the 1916 rising and again, in organizing symbolic Parades in 2020 and 2021 during the Pandemic. It is because of his dedication and zeal in ensuring the St Patrick’s Day Parade continued without interruption during his tenure, the Bowling Green Association selected him as their first recipient of this award.

The inscription on the award reads: “New York City, as the nation’s largest city, creates many heroes all the time. Many are unsung heroes from every part of our city, and from every ethnic and racial group, we have so many ever since 1613, and the arrival of Juan Rodriguez at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, which is today’s Bowling Green. We have the honor and opportunity to recognize just some of them each year. Today, we honor one of these heroes, who in his life has made a difference and a better city for all of us. Today, on the occasion of the rising of the Irish flag high over New York City here at Bowling Green, we honor on this day March 16, 2023 A NEW YORK CITY HERO, Hilary Beirne, Chairman of the St Patrick’s Day Parade Foundation, Arthur Piccolo Chairman, Bowling Green Association”

Arthur Piccolo, Chairman of the Bowling Green Association, thanked Mr. Beirne for his work on behalf of all New Yorkers, and Irish emigrants who 262 years ago entered New York City from Ireland just south of Bowling Green. “Bowling Green is significant to the Irish in this city, it was the site of the first St Patrick’s Day Parade in a then colonial New York” said Mr. Piccolo before presenting the award. “I admire the Irish of 1762, they had the guts to Parade here in New York, at a time when in Ireland they could not, due to British rule”. ” I admire Hilary Beirne for the work he has done for the benefit, not only of the Irish community, but all communities here in New York City”. ” He is a New York City Hero!”.

“I am deeply humbled and am appreciative to Arthur Piccolo and the Bowling Green association for their graciousness today. On days like this, we have to remember those who came before us, those who helped sustain the parade for the past 260 years, we stand on their legacy and shoulders. We thank them!!! ” said Hilary Beirne.

The flag-raising ceremony at Bowling Green was attended by NYC Mayor Eric Adams, the 2023 Grand Marshal, Kevin Conway, several of the 2023 Aides to the Grand Marshal, Arthur Piccolo Chairman Bowling Green Association, members of “the Sons of the Revolution℠ in the State of New York, and the general public