Great Irish Fair Honorees 2011

William HoganWilliam Hogan, vice president and general manager of enterprise sales for NetApp, will rule over the Great Irish Fair as Chief Brehon.

Having joined NetApp in 2003, Hogan has risen through the ranks and  currently oversees business operations of the Eastern Americas, NetApp’s largest and most productive enterprise area. Hogan has played a key role in NetApp’s unprecedented growth. He has established a reputation in the industry as a leader in building management teams that attract and retain talent. As executive in charge of NetApp’s New York City office, his emphasis on collaboration, innovation and execution helped garner recognition as Crain’s No. 2 Best Place to Work in NYC and Fortune’s Top Ten Best Places to Work in the U.S. for the past seven years.

A product of Catholic education, Hogan has a strong and proud Irish heritage by way of Kerry and Cork. He was educated at Resurrection School, Gerritsen Beach, followed by Regis H.S., Manhattan, and finally Boston College. He has gone through additional leadership programs at Northwestern and Thayer Academy at West Point, among others.

He started his career with EMC’s sales training program, spending a decade in various sales and sales management positions, his last role being regional vice president of sales.  After EMC, he spent a brief time at BearingPoint and was an executive with Virtualization Start Up, StorageApps, prior to their acquisition by HP. At HP, he served as general manager of the storage virtualization solutions group.

Corporate accomplishments aside, Hogan is an avid philanthropist. He sits on the board of directors of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Futures in Education Foundation and its corporate advisory board. He founded and co-chairs the annual Angels on the Fairways Outing as well its annual dinner.

As NetApp’s executive sponsor for the St. Baldrick’s Organization, he has lead NetApp to become the foundation’s top global supporter and annual Shavee. He also sits on the advisory board of Justin Tuck’s RUSH for Literacy Foundation and MercyFirst.  In the aftermath of 9/11, he founded and co-chaired the Friends of RVC911 Foundation, funding the college education of dozens who lost a parent on 9/11.

Hogan lives with his wife of 17 years, Kate, and their four children at their home in Rockville Centre, N.Y. Liam, 14, is a freshman at Regis H.S. Daughters, Elle, 12 and Maddie, 10, along with son, Aidan, 8, all attend St Agnes Cathedral Grammar School, Rockville Centre.

Hogan coaches soccer and basketball and is a supporter of St. Agnes Mother’s Club and Father’s Club, St. Agnes CYO, and Long Island Lightning AAU. He remains a consistent supporter Regis H.S., Boston College, and many local charities. When he has the time, he enjoys hitting the links—and even has a lifetime membership to Ballyliffin in Donegal, Ireland.

Elizabeth FloodElizabeth Flood will reign over the Great Irish Fair as Colleen Queen.

Elizabeth is the youngest of three children born to Daniel and Kathryn (Healy) Flood, parishioners at Our Lady of Victory Church in Floral Park. Elizabeth is a June graduate of Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale. She received a community service scholarship to Molloy College, Rockville Centre, and is currently beginning her freshman year there. She is thinking about studying nursing or special education.

During her high school career, Elizabeth volunteered at Camp A.N.C.H.O.R (Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps through Organized Recreation) in Lido Beach. She became devoted to the program, which is open to children and adults, and was pleased to have been chosen as a staff member this past summer.  Her plans are to continue working with the disabled as this has become a great passion for her.

She has a deep appreciation for all of the teachers in her life, and is grateful to her parents for providing her with a quality Catholic education.

She traces her Irish lineage back to counties Kerry, Meath, Sligo and Mayo. She traveled to Ireland with her family in 2005 to visit her cousins in Kerry.

Flood, who will turn 18 on Sept. 12, is honored to have been chosen as this year’s Colleen Queen and is looking forward to all the festivities.

John Nolan, Esq., an assistant district attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, is receiving the Paul O’Dwyer Award.
Nolan has more than 35 years of advanced trial, investigative, research and drafting experience in complex criminal, taxation, commercial and administrative law cases.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Pace University, Manhattan, he went on to attain his juris doctor degree at Brooklyn Law School, Downtown Brooklyn, in June, 1975.

He honed his research, drafting and courtroom skills as an associate attorney in a small general practice law office and as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society.

In 1977, he became an assistant district attorney in the criminal court bureau of the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, later becoming a trial assistant and eventually chief of the Supreme Court Trial Bureau.

He served as principal law clerk to Justice John J. Leahy of the Queens County Supreme Court, 1984-86, and as assistant counsel in the Professional Discipline Office of the NYS Dept. of Education, 1986-88.

He was an assistant U.S. attorney in the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, S.D.N.Y., prior to joining the Kings County D.A.’s Office in 1990.

In the Kings County D.A.’s Office, he’s served as chief of the Early Case Assessment Bureau and counsel to the Special Prosecutions Bureau and the Crimes Against Children Bureau. Since 2005, he’s served as counsel to the Money Laundering and Revenue Crimes Bureau.

Father Peter J. RayderFather Peter J. Rayder, pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians parish, Midwood, is the recipient of the Father Mychael Judge Award.
The 10th of 12 children born to the late Charles J. and Alice Mary Rayder, Father Rayder’s parents were both born and lived their entire life on the Irish Riviera, Rockaway Beach.

His parents sent all of their children to St. Francis De Sales School, Belle Harbor, and gave each child the opportunity for a Catholic high school education. Father Rayder graduated from Msgr. McClancy Memorial H.S., Elmhurst, and received an associate of science degree from SUNY Empire State College, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. John’s University, Jamaica, and a master’s in theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, L.I.

Family is extremely important to Father Rayder, who is proud to come from a large Irish Catholic family, which includes four sisters, seven brothers, 39 nieces and nephews, and 25 great nieces and nephews. He even knows each one’s birthday!

Father Rayder was a late vocation to the priesthood, and worked as an “A-Journeyman Electrician in the IBEW, Local Union No. 3.  He left the electrical industry to follow a higher vocation, to that of the priesthood.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Brooklyn on June 29, 2002, and was assigned to Holy Name parish, Windsor Terrace, where he served the faithful until Feb. 1, 2008, when he was assigned to serve as pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians.

He is a chaplain to the Catholic Council of Electrical Workers, IBEW Local Union No. 3 and to the Sword of Light Pipe Band of the IBEW Local 3.

Faith, family and friends are the fabric of his life, and in his spare time Father Rayder continues to keep the electric at Our Lady Help of Christians up to code, loves to ski, golf, enjoys good laugh and sitting on the beaches of Rockaway. His heart bleeds for the New York Mets and whomever is playing the team from the Bronx.


NYPD Sergeant Brian J. CoughlanNYPD Sergeant Brian J. Coughlan, Bomb Squad, recipient of the P.O. Edward Byrne Memorial Award, is the seventh of nine children born to Mary and the recently deceased John of Kilmihil, County Clare.

Raised in Bay Ridge, he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, Sunset Park. He graduated from O.L.P.H. School and Bishop Ford H.S., Park Slope, and was awarded and academic and bagpipe scholarship to Iona College, New Rochelle.

As a youngster, Coughlan aspired to be a bagpiper and sought the tutelage of the legendary Pipe Major, Chris Coughlin of the Clan Eireann Pipe Band. He performed with the Clan Eireann Pipe Band and the NYC Dept. of Correction Emerald Pipe Band, with Pipe Major Bob Hanley.

In 1988, his lifelong dream of becoming a New York police officer was realized. After graduating from the academy, he served as a patrolman in Manhattan. In 1990, he received the “Rookie of the Year” award from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association for capturing two armed bank robbers. Five years later, he was promoted to sergeant.

In 1999, he transferred to the NYPD Detective Bureau serving as a squad supervisor. Two years later, he was assigned to the NYPD Bomb Squad as a bomb technician/squad supervisor, where he continues to serve.

In 2004, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly bestowed upon Coughlan the discretionary promotion rank of Sergeant/Supervisor Detective Squad.

He is also a proud graduate of the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School and the 235th Session of the FBI National Academy.

As a rookie officer, he joined the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. He has served as its Secretary, Pipe Sergeant, Pipe Major, and for the past nine years, as its Bandmaster. He is only the second person to have ever served as both Pipe Major and Bandmaster in the band’s 51-year history.

What Coughlan enjoys most about belonging to the NYPD Emerald Society is sharing his Irish heritage and the camaraderie he feels among his fellow Irish-American police officers.

Coughlan received the New York Knicks’ Citizen’s Spirit Award for his volunteer work with the Physically Challenged Irish and American Youth Team and also served as an Aide to the Grand Marshal at the 1997 Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Coughlan is able to achieve so much because of the love and encouragement he receives from his wife, Patricia, and their four children — sons Conor, John and Brian, and daughter, Caile. The family lives in Massapequa Park, L.I., and attends St. Rose of Lima parish, where Coughlan serves as a catechist. He also belongs to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Michael Hogan Division 15, Massapequa Park.

Katy GallagherBreezy Point resident Katy Tunny Gallagher is receiving the Kathleen Slattery Woman of the Year Award.

Gallagher, a parishioner at Blessed Trinity parish, most recently served as director of development at St. Saviour H.S., Park Slope, for 13 years. A graduate of St. Saviour H.S.’s Class of 1960, she is proud that both of her daughters, Shelagh, ’86 and Katie, ’92, attended her alma mater.

She also has three sons, John, David, and Brendan, all graduates of Xavier H.S., Manhattan, and is the proud grandmother of 15.

Following high school graduation, she attended St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing where she became a registered nurse.

She has always been active in the fund-raising aspects of her children’s schools.

When approached by Sister Valeria Belanger, S.S.N.D., St. Saviour H.S. principal, with the opportunity to lead the school in the new direction of development, she moved into the position of strengthening alumnae relations, developing fund-raising efforts, and developing relationships with the community.

She retired in June, 2011 and remains a member of the school’s board of advisors.

NYFD Captain Liam Flaherty, a Bay Ridge resident, is the recipient of the Captain Timothy Stackpole Memorial Award.
Born in the Fordham section of the Bronx, Capt. Flaherty attended Our Lady of Refuge parish until his family moved to the Rosedale section of Queens. He attended St. Clare’s Church in Rosedale; Archbishop Molloy H.S., Briarwood and St. John’s University, Jamaica.

He worked as a carpenter in Local Union 608 before joining the NYC Fire Dept. in 1990. Over the last 21 years, he’s worked on Ladder 44 in the Bronx and Rescue 4 in Queens. He served as a lieutenant in Ladder 157 in Flatbush and Rescue Co. 2 in Brooklyn.

Presently, he’s the captain of Rescue 2 and a Drum Major and Chairman of the FDNY Pipes and Drums.

He is proud to have been among the FDNY task force responders to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and to have joined the USAR New York Task Force 1 to help the earthquake victims in Haiti.

John DonohueJohn Donahue, recipient of the Thomas Cuite Memorial Award, is a career public servant who has served the city in various capacities for the last 40 years. He has also been involved with various charitable and other organizations throughout these years.

A graduate of St. Vincent Ferrer Grammar School, Brooklyn Prep and Saint Francis College, Donohue is the second oldest child of George and Margaret Donahue. His mother was born in County Westmeath to John McGarry of Mayo and Catherine Carr of Westmeath. His paternal great grandfather Thomas emigrated from Ireland as an infant with his mother in 1850 in flight from the Great Famine of 1847-1850.

Donahue has worked for the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development since it was created in 1996 through a merger of the city’s former Community Development Agency and Youth Services Department. He currently serves as the compliance manager and Freedom of Information Law officer for his department. He is also responsible for the management of his department’s official records and archives.

Prior to that time, he had worked for the Community Development Agency, which he joined in 1979 during Mayor Koch’s reorganization of the city’s community action (anti-poverty) agencies. During his time at Community Development, he served as the agency’s chief of staff, public information officer, staff director of the Citywide Community Action Board and director of Intergovernmental Relations.

From 1972 through 1979, he served as a legislative finance analyst for the City Council under Majority Leader Tom Cuite. In this capacity, he represented Majority Leader Cuite and Finance Chairman Matt Troy before various human services groups and organizations formed to address the impact of the city’s fiscal crisis on human services. Likewise, he served as the majority leader’s primary liaison to the city’s human services agencies and community.

Donahue began his career in city service in the summer of 1967 as a crew chief for the Neighborhood Youth Corps and subsequently worked as a job developer for the city’s then Manpower and Career Development Agency. Immediately before joining the City Council staff, he directed the not-for-profit Community Labor Institute and served as executive director of the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists.

Besides his public service career, he serves on the Mercy Development Advisory Board of the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy and is a director and past president of The Emerald Association of Long Island. He is member of the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn, Irish Institute and is a Third Degree Knight of Columbus, Flatbush Council K. of C. No. 497.

Donohue and his wife of 28 years, Anne Holst Donahue, reside in Old Mill Basin/Flatlands with their son John (Sean). The family attends St. Thomas Aquinas parish. Donohue was proud to serve on the parish’s 125th Anniversary Committee in 2010.


James A. Jennings III, recipient of the Irish Man of the Year Award, is the president of James A. Jennings (JAJ), Inc., a privately held construction management/general contracting firm located in midtown Manhattan. He works exclusively within the private sector.

JAJ represents hospitals, law firms, schools as well as a number of property managers.  As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, JAJ is committed to working with clients on sustainable building practices.

Jennings enjoys working with nonprofits, such as The Achilles Foundation; spending time with his grandchildren; and playing golf in Bermuda.

Dympna_BowlesBrooklynite Dr. Dympna Bowles, dean for Curriculum and Instruction at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), is receiving the Celtic Cross Award.

Born in Belfast, County Antrim, she finds her paternal roots in Geevagh, County Sligo, and her maternal roots in Kilmessan, County Meath. She emigrated with her family to the United States at age seven. Coming to America as a young immigrant in the 1950s on KLM Airlines and landing at Idelwild Airport was a formative moment in her life.

In her youth, her parents fostered the values of education, hard work and a love of Irish culture — of drama, literature, dance, and music.

She attended Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Ridgewood; and then St. Gabriel Elementary School and High School, both in New Rochelle.

She went on to attain her bachelor’s degree in English from St. John’s University, a master’s degree in reading from Fordham University, and a doctorate in linguistics and reading from Columbia University Teachers College.

At FIT, Dr. Bowles facilitates the development and approval of new degree programs and curricula, and serves as the liaison to SUNY and Middle States. She is responsible for faculty development, the Teaching Institute, and the Office of Online Learning, overseeing 115 fully online and 14 blended courses. She facilitated the creation of FIT’s first Center for Excellence in Teaching, a state-of-the-art technology training facility for faculty.

She feels privileged to serve as chair of the Advisory Board of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies based at Lehman College. She noted that its mission to foster the Irish language and promote the music, literature and history of the Irish experience in America very much resonate with her Celtic heritage and roots.

Dr. Bowles was recently named among the top 100 Irish Educators by The Irish Voice and Irish America Magazine in October 2009, and among the top 65 Women of Influence in 2010 by The Irish Voice. In 2007, she participated in Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Before joining FIT in 2001, she was director of planning at John Jay College of Criminal Justice for six years. At John Jay, she coordinated the college’s multi-year plan and its periodic review report for Middle States, oversaw evening/weekend and summer programs and an associate’s degree program for correctional officers at Rikers Island.

She previously served in a variety of administrative positions at CUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs in the areas of faculty development, teacher education, and articulation and transfer. She directed the project to develop CUNY’s first Course Equivalency Guide in 1985. She led the collaboration to create a new Family College at Bronx Community College in cooperation with the NYC Dept. of Education and HRA. She has authored many documents and publications on a range of higher education topics, including articulation and transfer, faculty development, teacher education, and public-private partnerships.

In June, 2006, she led a panel of FIT faculty at the IFFTI Conference at NC State in a presentation titled, “How Well do we Fit: Reporting on an FIT Fashion/Textile Industry Survey,” and was a panelist at the 2010 Campus Technology Conference in Boston on “Rethinking Online Pedagogies.” She currently serves on the Middle States Substantive Change Committee.
Prior to her administrative positions, Dr. Bowles was an assistant professor of reading at Brooklyn College.

Judge Kevin Barry McGrath, Jr., Kings County Criminal Court Judge, is the recipient of the Thomas More Award.

Judge McGrath has a long and proud Irish heritage. His great grandfather, Michael J.  McGrath, was born in County Waterford in the town of Dungarvan and married Anne Donohue who was born in New York a few months after her parents arrived from Dungarvan.  Their son, Judge McGrath’s grandfather, the Honorable Christopher C. McGrath married Helen Gaffney whose parents were Barnard Gaffney and Catherine Reilly. She was baptized in the Church of St. Mary’s in County Meath and Bernard was born in the parish of Mountnugent in County Cavan. He retired as an NYPD lieutenant. Helen’s brother, Msgr. Edward Gaffney was the vicar general and chancellor of the Archdioceses of New York.

Judge McGrath’s mother, Genevieve Daly McGrath, is a retired New York City school teacher and his father, Kevin B. McGrath, Sr. is a partner in the law firm of Phillips Nizer, LLP.

Judge McGrath graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., before becoming a legislative assistant with the New York State Office of Federal Affairs in Washington. He attended Fordham University School of Law and went on to enjoy 15 years of service as an assistant district attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, ultimately holding the position of chief of the Criminal Court Bureau.

In September, 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed him a Civil Court Judge of the City of New York assigned to Criminal Court. In January, 2009, Mayor Bloomberg re-appointed the him to the Criminal Court of the City of New York.  His current term ends in 2018.

Judge McGrath serves on the board of directors of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind and the Kings County Criminal Bar Association. He is a member of the Fordham Law Alumni Association, Brehon Law Society, The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Guild of Catholic Lawyers of New York City, and the Bar Association of the City of New York.