Maureen Forry-Sorrell, Ed Forry, Bill Forry
From its origins, this event has been a celebration of our shared Irish heritage with an emphasis on men and women— past and present— who have excelled and inspired us with their personal and professional achievements, generous spirit, wisdom and wit. Over the last dozen years, some of Irish America’s best-known and beloved people and families have graced the Seaport ballroom stage. This year’s cohort of honorees continues that proud tradition.
Jon Cronin, Mary Swanton and Jerry York have distinguished themselves in their lives and careers and causes— each in their own distinct way. But the common denominator— as it’s been for all those we’ve highlighted since 2010’s inaugural event— is not just their roots in Ireland. It’s the way these special people have stay connected to those roots and honored their forebears by exhibiting compassion, respect and generosity to people of all backgrounds who have followed their lead in carving out a life in a new land.
Boston has always been a city of immigrants. The Irish are central to that story, of course. And we hope that in telling our stories we might propel and inspire our fellow Bostonians, no matter their place of birth or station in life.
As we gather here today, we remember in a special way dear friends who can no longer take their seat beside us, but who still bring a smile to our face. Last month, we lost Jack Thomas, the longtime Boston Globe reporter and dear friend to the Boston Irish and Reporter team, after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. Jack, a Dorchester native who profiled many of our past honorees in past editions of this publication, moved us with his words, but even more so with his bravery.
And, of course, we lovingly recall Mary Casey Forry, who co-founded the Reporter newspapers in 1983. This event and the community journalism it supports, is a tribute to her life and passion for writing and the best qualities of our people.
We are grateful for the leadership of our event chairman, the indefatigable Joseph R. Nolan, Jr., whose enthusiasm, energy, kindness and connections have conspired to make this 2022 luncheon the most successful on record. Joe is the CEO of Eversource, which is the lead sponsor of today’s event. Joe, thank you for your leadership and friendship. And thanks to all of our sponsors who have made this event possible.
May we offer a word of gratitude to Tom Tinlin, our dear friend from South Boston who serves as today’s Master of Ceremonies. Tom survived a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 2016 and is a fierce advocate in the fight to bring awareness and funds to the cause of detecting the threat of aneurysms in Massachusetts and worldwide. Tommy, we salute you and support you in this work.
Finally, thanks to all of you who are here to support this event. We are so pleased to be back together in this ballroom to enjoy each other’s company. Sláinte!
– Ed Forry, Bill Forry, and Maureen Forry-Sorrell