Great Irish Fair Honorees 2012

Msgr. Dominick Joseph Finnerty, pastor emeritus of St. Kevin Church, Auburndale, is receiving the Father Mychal Judge Award.

The son of Irish immigrants from County Galway, Msgr. Finnerty grew up in St. Saviour parish, Park Slope. From his parents, he and his siblings, Sister Mary Clare, S.S.N.D. (deceased), and Kevin Patrick, a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent, developed a strong bond of affection for their Irish heritage and their cousins in Galway.

Having discerned his vocation to the priesthood, he attended Cathedral College, Fort Greene, 1955-57; St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, Md., 1957-61; Fordham University Religious Education Institute, N.Y., 1971; and Fordham University, 1972-75.

Msgr. Finnerty was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 1963 by Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart at St. James Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn, and assigned to St. Pascal Baylon, St. Albans, 1963-69, with the inspiring and articulate spokesperson for interracial justice, Msgr. Archibald McLees.

The next decade was devoted to serving as a professor of theology at Cathedral College in Douglaston before returning to parish work as an assistant at St. Brendan, Midwood, and chaplain at St. Brendan H.S. He was named a monsignor in 1988.

While serving as pastor of St. Teresa and St. Sebastian churches in Woodside, 1984-90, and 1990-2002, respectively, he directed the Irish Apostolate, which was started by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero. During the downturn of the Irish economy in the 1980s, the Brooklyn Diocese experienced an influx of young Irish immigrants. Msgr. Finnerty served as the first coordinator of the Irish Apostolate and was instrumental in bringing Irish chaplains to assist in the pastoral outreach to these immigrants.

Through the years, he also served as a chaplain to the NYPD Emerald Society.

Ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and preaching has been an enriching part of his ministry because of the impact of the Second Vatican Council on his early priesthood.

Next year, he looks forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Lifelong Brooklynite Robert John Emmett Murphy is receiving the Celtic Cross Award.

The fourth child of George and Margaret, nee Healy, he arrived on the scene, Nov. 1, 1936 at St. Peter’s Hospital, Cobble Hill. He was raised in lower Park Slope with brothers, Harold and George, and sister, Peggy.

It was from his parents that he first learned to love God, family, country and all things Irish. His paternal grandparents hailed from County Cork and maternal grandparents from County Roscommon.

He graduated from St. Augustine Elementary School, Park Slope, and Boys High School, East Flatbush. He attended St. John’s University and Brooklyn College, but received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights. He was the first recipient of St. Francis’ Brother Urban Gonnoud, O.S.F., Proficiency in Business Management Medal.

He served six months active duty and then five-and-a-half years in the reserves of the N.Y.S. National Guard. He attained the rank of Sergeant First Class at the conclusion of his military service and was Chief of Guns with the 187 Field Artillery — A Battery-old 14th Regiment.

For 31 years, he worked for the Dime Savings Bank of New York, retiring as first senior vice president of human resources. He served the next 20 years at the N.Y.C. Board of Education, first as a consultant and then an employee in the area of human services. Now retired, he continues to work twice weekly as a consultant to the N.Y.C. Dept. of Education’s Office of School Food.

Faith and service have been the cornerstones of Murphy’s life. He is a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and a longtime parishioner at Our Lady Help of Christians, Midwood, where he serves on the finance council.

He is a past president of the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn; past grand knight and current financial secretary of the Knights of Columbus, Columbus Council No. 126; and former board member of Midwood Catholic Academy, Brooklyn.

He is board member of Rosary for Life; a member of the St. Patrick’s Society of Brooklyn, American Legion Post 1847, Breezy Point; financial secretary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), Division 35; and prior officer of the Kings County Board AOH.

He is the former vice president of the American Lung Association of Brooklyn and former board member of the New York Institute of Banking.

He founded the Knights of Columbus, Columbus Council No. 126 Pipes and Drums in 1991 and has served as the band’s drum major since its founding. It is the only pipe and drum band within the Knights of Columbus worldwide.

Murphy and his wife of 47 years, Mary Ellen, nee Lavelle, have four children, Robert, Patrick, Kathleen and Mary, and two daughters-in-law, Melissa and Alison. They are the proud grandparents of eight: Robert, Colleen, P.J., Christopher, Liam, Kevin, Courtney and Sean.

FDNY Chief Edward S. Kilduff is receiving the FDNY Capt. Timothy Stackpole Award.

Chief Kilduff, a 35-year veteran of the FDNY, became the 34th chief of department in early 2012. He oversees the department’s 15,000-member uniformed fire and EMS services, with five major bureaus: operations, training, communications, emergency medical service and fire prevention.

Chief Kilduff serves as an incident commander with the FDNY’s IMT group, trained by the federal government in management of large-scale disasters, and helped lead the agency’s response to Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005.

He also was a key member of the senior management team that created the department’s first two strategic plans in 2004-2005 and 2007-2008. These plans served as roadmaps for rebuilding after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, during which 343 of his brother firefighters, including Capt. Stackpole, gave their lives.

As a deputy chief in 2001, he worked as night commander for months after Sept. 11, supervising FDNY members working on rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site.

Chief Kilduff was appointed a N.Y.C. firefighter in August, 1977, and worked for six years at Ladder 34 in Manhattan. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1983 and worked at Ladder 112, Bushwick, until his 1989 promotion to captain of Engine 92 in the Bronx. He continued to rise through the ranks as battalion chief, 1993; division chief, 2001; deputy assistant chief, 2002; and assistant chief and Brooklyn borough commander, 2004.

He has been cited five times for bravery including in October, 1988, when he rescued a 51-year-old Brooklyn woman from a burning apartment, and in June, 1998, when he directed the rescue of five firefighters, including then-Lieut. Stackpole, trapped in a building collapse on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.

Chief Kilduff holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

A lifelong Queens resident, Chief Kilduff and his wife, Kathy, a guidance counselor at Sacred Heart School, Bayside, reside in Flushing, where they attend St. Andrew Avellino parish. They have two children, Daniel and Lauren.

NYPD Sergeant Edward D. Mullins, recipient of the P.O. Edward Byrne Memorial Award, traces his Irish roots to County Cork.

Born and raised in St. Veronica’s parish, Greenwich Village, he was one of four children born to Edward, a longshoreman, and Carmen Lopez-Mullins, a homemaker.

A member of the N.Y.C. Police Department since January, 1982, he was elected president of the Sargeants Benevolent Association (SBA) on July 1, 2002.

As president of the SBA, one of the largest police unions in the nation, he oversees daily administrative and operational functions, serves as the organization’s chief spokesman, serves as chairman and trustee to the union’s health benefits and annuity funds and is a trustee for the police pension fund.

He has done much to modernize the organization and update its business practices and expectations so that it is empowered to more effectively represent the interests of NYPD sergeants.

Early in his career he was assigned to the 13th Precinct on Manhattan’s East Side. After nearly 10 years, he was promoted to detective and assigned to the 10th Precinct in Manhattan’s Chelsea area.

Promoted to sergeant in 1993, he was assigned to the 19th Precinct on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and subsequently transferred to the Detective Bureau in Brooklyn South, where he served in the 67 Detective Squad, Special Victims Squad and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

He learned about labor management as a delegate to the patrolmen’s and then the sergeants benevolence associations.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, Bronxville, where he completed his studies while working as a full-time police sergeant, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, where he serves as an adjunct lecturer. He is a candidate for a master’s degree in business administration at Northeastern University, Boston, Mass., and is studying physical education at Boston University, Mass. Additionally, he is the founder and CEO of a private security firm in Manhattan.

He is the recipient of the 2005 Ellis Island Award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Award from District Council 37, Local 1457. He has been named Man of the Year by the New York State Shields; the Deborah Hospital Foundation; the Emerald Isle Immigration Center; and the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens Conservative Committee. He served on the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships and served as the national co-chairman for first responders on the McCain Leadership Team.

He has served as a speaker for the Cathedral Club of Brooklyn; a Nassau County volunteer firefighter; a member of the board of directors for Building Bridges of Long Island; and head coach of New York University’s men’s ice hockey team. He volunteers with the L.I. Amateur Hockey League.

He is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

He and his wife, Angela, a former NYPD detective, reside in Nassau County, where they attend St. Peter’s Church with their twin sons, Michael and Matthew.

John J. Walsh, Esq., is receiving the Thomas Cuite Memorial Award. A first-generation Irish-American, his mother hailed from Glengarriff, County Cork, while his father was raised in New Ross, County Wexford.

Born in Gerritsen Beach, Walsh attended Resurrection Church. In his seventh year, his family moved back to Ireland. He went to school in New Ross and spent summers on his grandparents’ mountainside farm in Glengarriff. When he was 10, his family returned to Gerritsen Beach, where he graduated from Resurrection School before attending St. Augustine D.H.S., Fort Greene.

He received his bachelor’s degree at St. John’s College, Brooklyn, and went on to attain his juris doctor degree at St. John’s University Law School, Brooklyn.

Walsh has more than 50 years of legal experience in estate planning, real estate law and personal injury law. He was a trial and managing attorney for the firm of Gross and Peters, an attorney for Allstate Insurance Company and a partner in the firm of Silletti and Walsh.

In private practice since 1966, he had an office in Downtown Brooklyn for many years, and he continues to maintain an office in Gerritsen Beach.

He served as assistant chief counsel to the N.Y.S. Senate-Assembly Committee on Crime; chief counsel of the Codes Committee of the N.Y.S. Assembly, 1970-74; counsel to pro-life Deputy Minority Leader of the N.Y.S. Assembly Dominick L. DiCarlo, 1975-78; and counsel to the Republican members of the N.Y.C. Board of Election, 1994-96.

Walsh often traveled in the same circles as N.Y. City Council Majority Leader Thomas J. Cuite, and both belonged to the Lawyers Club of Brooklyn. Walsh admired Cuite’s fortitude in standing up for Catholic beliefs and considered him both a mentor and friend. Walsh is a past president of the St. Patrick Society of Brooklyn; the Kings County Catholic Lawyers Guild; the Lawyers Club of Brooklyn; and the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association. For nearly 25 years, he gave seminars as part of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s wills and estates planning program. He currently serves on the board of directors of Morality in Media, Inc.

He was a lector at Resurrection parish for 42 years, 1964-2006, and is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Matthews Council No. 2882.

Walsh and his wife, Marilyn, reside in St. Francis de Sales parish, Belle Harbor. They have four children, Jacqueline, Anne, John and James, and six grandchildren.

Distinguished educator, Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, is receiving the Round Tower Award.

A second-generation Irish-American, her mother’s family hails from County Louth while her father’s roots go back to County Mayo. Her parents raised her in St. Teresa of Avila parish, Prospect Heights.

Dr. Chapey, who started her teaching career at P.S. 42 in the Rockaways, is currently serving her third five-year term on the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

Past president of Community School Board 27 and professor at the City University of New York, she has served on the Governor’s Advisory Council; the board of directors of the Association of Teachers of New York; and as a trustee for Cathedral College.

She is a past president of the Mayor’s City Directors of Speech, Language and Hearing in the United States and of numerous professional and community organizations in the N.Y.C. area.

She served as an administrator in the N.Y.C. Board of Education, directing and supervising citywide programs on the elementary and secondary levels in both general and special education. She was the first director of the N.Y.C. Board of Education’s Title I Nonpublic School Speech and Hearing Program for communicatively disabled children and chaired the first Parents in Partnership Program in Queens.

She served as academic dean at the School of Education and Human Services at St. Johns University, where she introduced numerous initiatives, including the Stay in School Partnership Program and the Teacher Opportunity Corps.

For her contributions to education, she has received numerous honors, including an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters, Dowling College, Oakdale, L.I.; Esse Non Videri Award, St. Joseph’s College, Clinton Hill; Alumni Achievement Award, Fordham University School of Education, Lincoln Center; and Educator of the Year, Association of Teachers of New York.

She earned her doctorate at Fordham University and her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Pathology (C.C.C.) from the American Speech and Hearing Association. Licensed by the N.Y.C. Board of Education as a teacher, principal, assistant director and supervisor, she also holds N.Y. state certification in school district administration and school administration.

She is the author of several books, including Developing Speaking Skills and Ready for School, and served as editor of the National Council of Administrative Women in Education Journal. She also moderated the televised teacher training series, State Your Case, and the radio series, You Are Your Child’s First Teacher.

A parishioner of St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor, for nearly 50 years, she is a dame in the Order of the Knights and Dames of Malta and a Lady of the Grand Cross in the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre.

She has two daughters, Dr. Roberta Chapey and Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, both of whom have also distinguished themselves in the field of education.

Sean E. Crowley, Esq., who specializes in government relations and lobbying, is receiving the St. Thomas More Award.

Crowley’s father traces his Irish roots to counties Cavan and Louth, while his mother, Eileen, nee Murphy, was born in County Armagh.

Raised in St. Mary’s parish, Winfield, he graduated from St. Mary’s and Power Memorial Academy, Manhattan. He went on to attain a bachelor’s degree in political economy at Fordham University, the Bronx, and his juris doctor degree at the City University of New York Law School at Queens College.

Crowley is a partner in the New York City law office of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, LLP, where he focuses on government affairs and lobbying efforts on behalf of a wide range of clients in New York state and N.Y.C., while providing a supporting role in the firm’s Washington D.C. practice. He brings his problem-solving skills to assist clients with business development goals, funding for non-for-profit organizations, intervention with government officials/agencies and to fulfill legislative objectives.

Prior to joining the firm, he was the managing partner of Crowley, Crowley & Kaufman, Elmhurst, where he practiced in the areas of general litigation, personal injury, trusts and estates, real estate transactions and guardianship matters.

Crowley worked as an investigator with the New York City Council, Campaign Coordinator for Congressman Thomas J. Manton. He is a member of the Queens County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. He is a past president of the Brehon Law Society of New York City and co-founder of the Joseph Doherty Civil Rights Fellowship at CUNY Law School. He was recognized in 2008 as one of the “Legal 100” by Irish America magazine.

Besides coaching various sports teams throughout the year, Crowley serves on the board of directors of the MAZ Fund, which raises money to help defer college educational expenses of children who have had a parent die as a result of a violent crime; Everyone Reading, which provides services for those with dyslexia and related learning disabilities; the Emerald Isle Immigration Center; and the board of the Power Memorial Academy Alumni Association.

He resides in Forest Hills with his wife, Maureen, and their three sons: Pearse, a junior at Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge; Owen, a sophomore at Xaverian H.S.; and Garrett, an eighth grader at Our Lady of Mercy School, Forest Hills.

Rosemary V. Lombard, a first generation Irish-American of Mayo and Sligo heritage, is receiving the Paul O’Dwyer Award.

Lombard was born and raised in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. A graduate of Blessed Sacrament High School, she holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Hunter College, New York. She also earned an educational leadership certificate from Manhattan College, the Bronx. Prior to entering the teaching profession, she held a position with the FBI.

Instilled at an early age with a love of Ireland and all things Irish, she has actively participated in the preservation and promotion of Irish heritage and culture. In March, 2012, N.Y.C. Comptroller John C. Liu presented her with a prestigious commendation in recognition of her leadership, dedication and untiring efforts in educating others on the Irish and the Irish experience, and for her tremendous contributions to the City of New York as an educator and community activist.

She is the recipient of a Partner in Education Award for co-authoring curriculum materials on the Irish for elementary schools.

Lombard serves as treasurer/director of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee; trustee of the Irish Institute, Inc.; member of the board of directors of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center; founding member, past president and trustee of the American Irish Teachers Association; past president, former board member and chair of the Irish History Essay Contest of the United Irish Counties Association of New York, Inc.

She is a past president of the Mayo Society of New York, Inc. and its first female president. She is a past chairperson of the Irish American Heritage and Cultural Week committee of the Department of Education and actively participates on the committee.

She served as president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH), Division 3, New York County Board. She is a charter member of the Irish American Heritage Museum and a member of the Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Center, Inc. She is an active member of LAOH Division 29, New York County.

She has been honored as Woman of the Year by the Mayo Society of New York, Inc; Bronx Borough President’s Office; the Irish American Heritage Committee of the Department of Education; Division 3 LAOH, New York County and the Grand Council of United Emerald Societies.

In 2000, Lombard was the female grand marshal for the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day Parade. She was selected in 2004 as an aide to the grand marshal of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. She also served as an aide in the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade representing the field of education. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Knights of St. Patrick’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

She is held in the highest esteem by her colleagues for her qualitative attributes of integrity, leadership, diligence and commitment.

She resides in the Bronx with her husband, James.

Sister Breige Lavery, R.S.M., executive director of the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center (DBMC), Fort Greene, is receiving the Kathleen Slattery Woman of the Year Award.

Humbled by the honor, Sister Breige admits that she would be more comfortable behind-the-scenes than on the main stage. In fact, at previous Fairs, she really was behind-the-scenes, selling hamburgers with fellow camogie players.

Born and raised in County Tyrone, she comes from a family of seven children, including herself and her twin sister. She attended St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, and the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, where she attained a degree in West European studies.

In 1974, she arrived in New York and earned a certificate in paralegal studies at New York University. She worked as a legal secretary and paralegal at law firms and the French bank, Crédit Lyonnais. In her free time, she enjoyed playing camogie, an Irish stick-and-ball team sport, with New York Young Ireland’s Camogie Club.

But in recent years, she’s devoted herself to counseling Irish and Latino immigrants at the Aisling Irish Center and Mercy Center, both in the Bronx; and St. Joseph Social Service Center, Elizabeth, N.J., and serving as coordinator of the Hispanic Apostolate of South Fork, L.I.

While volunteering with the Irish Apostolate in Woodside, she met Sister Kathleen Quinn, R.S.M., DBMC founding director, who became both a friend and mentor.

Having been living the charism of the Mercy Sisters for much of her life, she discerned her vocation to the religious community through the guidance of Sister Kathleen.

In 2000, she entered the Sisters of Mercy of the Mid-Atlantic Community and professed final vows seven years later.

She recently attained her master’s degree in social work at Fordham University, Lincoln Center, and was appointed DBMC’s executive director last February. DBMC serves Latino immigrants and first-generation Americans of all ages. She feels blessed to be at DBMC, where she continues her longtime ministry to immigrants, helping them adjust to life in the U.S. and ensuring they receive the vocational, educational and recreational opportunities they need to flourish in their adopted homeland.

Sister Breige resides in Richmond Hill with Sister Kathleen and Sister Kay Crumish, R.S.M., who has also been a friend and mentor. She attends Mass at St. Mary Gate of Heaven, Ozone Park, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, South Ozone Park.


At press time, biographical information was not available on Michael Flynn, recipient of the Jerry Forrest Memorial Award.