Some 300 guests were present for the 9th annual Boston Irish Honors luncheon October 18 at Boston's Seaport Hotel. The year's honorees included Mary and Bob Scannell, Rev Richard "Doc" Conway and Dr Trevor McGill."These honorees represent the best qualities of the Irish— devotion to our fellow Bostonians; a sense of compassion for all people, no matter their place of birth or station in life; and a deep connection to our common ancestral homeland, Ireland,' said publisher Ed Forry
BY ED FORRY
A couple who have spent decades helping Boston kids stay safe and achieve their dreams; a Catholic priest who ministers to the city’s most vulnerable; and a pioneering ENT physician with roots in Dublin.
These were the very worthy honorees at this year’s Boston Irish Honors luncheon, which took place on October 18 in the main ballroom of Boston’s Seaport Hotel.
Founded in 2010 as a way to celebrate the contributions of Irish-American families and individuals who have brought honor and distinction to our city and region over many decades, this event has become a welcome tradition in our fall calendar. The event last month was our 9th annual gathering, and it has become one of the season’s premier celebrations of Irish-American achievement in Massachusetts.
This year, we were thrilled to tell the stories of four Boston Irish Americans: Mary and Bob Scannell, who have become surrogate parents to thousands of children as they lead the amazing Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester; Trevor McGill MD, who trained in medicine in his native Ireland and came to our city for a “brief stay,” and for more than 40 years has performed medical miracles here at Children’s Hospital; and Father Richard “Doc” Conway, a Roman Catholic priest of the Boston archdiocese whom Boston Police Commissioner Willie Gross has nicknamed “Rev. Clint Eastwood.”
These honorees represent the best qualities of the Irish— devotion to our fellow Bostonians; a sense of compassion for all people, no matter their place of birth or station in life; and a deep connection to our common ancestral homeland, Ireland.
In their personal and professional lives— as both individuals and with their families— they inspire us and our fellow citizens with their dedication to our country, to our Commonwealth, and to the neediest among us.
In the almost 30 years since the first edition of this newspaper, we have been amazed to learn about the accomplishments of so very many of our fellow Boston Irish neighbors, and we have been truly privileged to tell many of their stories. People of my generation will remember that phrase from a 1960s era television program- “There are 8 million stories in the city, and this is just one of them.”
From the very first sample edition, published in the fall of 1990, the BIR has “told the stories” of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of our neighbors who share our Irish ancestral roots, and have led exemplary lives right here in our midst.
Past Boston Irish Honorees include: 2017- the Kennedy family, Nora, Annmarie, Bill; Tom Tinlin, Kevin Cullen; 2016- Jim & Mary (Cahill) Judge, US Sen. Paul G Kirk Jr, Kevin & Joe Leary & family; 2015 - Margaret Stapleton, Mike Sheehan, BPD Commissioner William Evans & family; 2014 - Katherine Craven, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, the Burke family of South Boston; 2013 – State Senate President Therese Murray, Gerry and Bob Mulligan & family, John P. Driscoll Jr. (posthumously); 2012 – Congressman Richard Neal, Brendan & Greg Feeney, Mary & Bob Muse family family; 2011- Kathleen O’Toole, State Sen. Tom Kennedy, Joseph Corcoran family, James Hunt family, Mark & Tom Mulvoy and family. 2010 – US Sen. Ed Markey John Donohue, Jim Brett family, Mayor John Hynes family.
In today’s BIR, three gifted writers, Jack Thomas, Peter Stevens, and Bill Forry have filed profiles of the 2018 honorees. We invite you to enjoy reading about them on Pages 7 to 16 in this annual celebration of the best in our Boston Irish community.
We are already planning for next year’s event, and we hope to continue this luncheon celebration for years to come. We encourage you, dear readers, to send us your recommendations of other exemplary persons and families who help to make Boston’s Irish communities vibrant and strong. We welcome hearing from you. You can contact the BIR at firstname.lastname@example.org