Great Irish Fair

The Celtic Cross Award

The Celtic Cross is the ancient symbol of the Catholic faith in Ireland. For over a thousand years, the High Crosses of Ireland have been landmarks that represent the celebration of that faith. The Great Irish Fair honors a person who exemplifies devotion to faith and the Irish expression of that faith here in New York City in the 21st century.


Accounting professional Martin McManus, a second-generation Irish American, is receiving The Celtic Cross Award.

His grandparents, who hailed from Rock Chapel in County Cork; Castleisland in County Kerry; County Longford and Balla, County Mayo, emigrated to the U.S. after the turn of the 20th century.

Born to Helen and Peter McManus, he was raised in Belle Harbor, where he continues to reside with his wife of 47 years, Francine.

He received his bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from Pace University, Manhattan, and later became a certified public accountant. He began his career at Peat Marwick and went on to positions at Merrill Lynch, PaineWebber and several other real estate services firms, working his way up to the roles of senior vice president and chief financial officer.

In 1997, he began working for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, where he instituted the Office of Fiscal Management, which assists parishes and schools with financial and administrative matters. In 2000, he was named diocesan comptroller. In this role, he oversees the accounting operations for diocesan parishes and schools as well as over 50 separate diocesan corporations and agencies.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and has devoted his time to shaping the minds of aspiring accountants as an associate professor on the undergraduate and graduate levels at Pratt Institute for 20 years.

At his home parish, he has served as treasurer of the Catholic Youth Organization and parish council vice president. He is one of the founding members of the parish finance council.

He is a past member of the board of trustees of Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, and the board of directors of Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services. He belongs to the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and the Knights of Columbus Council No. 2672, Rockaway Beach.

Over the past few years, he has actively participated in Covenant House’s annual Executive Sleep Out, which raises money for homeless and at-risk youth.

McManus and his wife have six children, Martin (Nanchine), Erik, James (Sarah), Kristine, Keith (Melanie) and Janelle, and six grandchildren, Michael, Ann, Cecilia, James, Charles and Emily.