Noel Kilkenny, Paddy McCarthy, Christine Quinn (@Bill Alatriste)

How It’s New York:  The woman of the year or man of the year is always someone in the New York Irish community.  And the paper giving the honors is a New York based paper.
How It’s Irish: The party was held at the residence of the Consul General, Noel Kilkenny.  Paddy McCarthy, Irish Examiner USA’s publisher and founder, seems to be known not just to everyone from Cork, but everyone in Ireland.

Every year Irish Examiner picks a woman of the year, and a man of the year.  The field is wide– it could be someone from the arts, politics, business. Last year’s woman of the year was Sheila Lynott, of the Irish Business Association (feature here); George C. Heslin of Origin Theatre was the man of the year (feature here).   

(@Bill Alatriste)

This year Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn was chosen.  There was a lovely party to honor her at the residence of the Consul General.   Paddy praised all she’s done for the commnity, admitting that  they’ve gone “head to head” a few times and he was surprised she agreed, which made everyone smile.  The ladies of New York Irish Arts attended, including me, Lucy Healy-Kelly and Michelle Woods.  We saw some of Noel Kilkenny’s international art collection too, from his days as a diplomat in Estonia and around the world (more on that later!)   Here are some photos from the event, and an excerpt from Vincent Murphy’s story about Speaker Quinn from the night. 

Gwen Orel, Lucy Healy-Kelly, Michelle Woods

Tuesday July 5, 2011

Christine Quinn

The Irish Examiner USA’s Woman Of The Year 2011

Speaker of the New York City Council and Irish Examiner USA’s Woman of the Year 2011 Christine Quinn talks to Vincent Murphy about her Irish roots, her plans for marriage and whether or not she’ll be NYC’s next mayor.
On the window of her office across the street from City Hall, Christine Quinn has a copy of Ireland’s 1916 Proclamation of Independence.
But it’s no valuable historical relic.
“That copy of the Proclamation actually came in a Clancy Brothers album,” she explains – you bought the record, and the proclamation was a freebie.
How Irish.
“That used to hang in the kitchen in Glen Cove [where she grew up], my mother had it framed.”
Around the office are several other indicators that with Quinn, her Irish heritage is something she wears on her sleeve.
Tiny figureen leprechauns dance in a circle on her mantelpiece, on the wall are photos of the City Council Speaker with Irish actor Liam Neeson in one, and Bono in another.
All four of Quinn’s grandparents were born in Ireland – three in Co. Cork and one in Co. Clare.
“I’m 100% Irish,” she says, “Most people in the United States nowadays aren’t 100 per cent anything – which is neither good nor bad – but it makes that country very central in your household.”
Her father, Larry, lived in Schull in west Cork for a time as a boy.

Read the rest of the article here!

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.