The 2018 dignitaries


Grand Marshal- Thomas Flynn

Tom emigrated from County Kilkenny in 1954. He married his beautiful wife, Pauline in 1961 and was blessed with two children Anne Marie and Thomas. He was a member of the New Ross Pipe Band and the Augustinian Choir. He was a member of the St. Mary’s Choir in Rutherford as well as the CYO program. He was very active in the Gaelic Athletic Association and was a member of the NJ Hurling and Football Clubs, where he served as President for four years. Tom also represented NJ as a delegate to the NY Gaelic Athletic Association. Tom founded the North Jersey Irish Association that organized numerous events and hosted the Irish Dancing Club. Tom worked in the trucking leasing business and later formed his company, Star International Inc.

Deputy Grand Marshal- Anthony Bruton

Tony was born in Ashbourne, County Meath. At the age of 18, he emigrated to the United States. Tony married his beautiful wife, Rosemary and was blessed with 3 children, Anthony, Brian and Rory. He proudly served in the US Army during the Vietnam War. Tony was hallmarked on St. Patrick’s Day in 1964 as one of the few Irish born persons who served in the US Army. He was a founding member of the North Jersey Bergen Irish American Club and a member of the Bergen Irish Association. In 2006, he was awarded Irishman of the Year by the County of Bergen. Tony owned and operated Tara Construction for over 40 years.

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year- Michael Keane

Mike has served as an Officer of the Lyndhurst, NJ Police Department since 2009. On May 12, 2015, Amtrak Northeast Regional Train No. 188 was carrying more than 238 passengers and crew when it derailed in Philadelphia, PA.  Officer Keane and his fiancé at the time, were seated in the last car of the train.  After the crash, he led his fiancé to safety and located an injured conductor to inquire about tools; a flashlight was all he was given. Seriously injured, Officer Keane re-entered the wreckage and evacuated many people saving countless lives, not thinking of his own and the dangerous conditions he encountered.    

Firefighter of the Year- Thomas Twist Jr.

Tom joined the Rutherford Fire Department in 1966 and went up through the ranks to serve as Fire Chief in 1987. He is a life member of the NJ State Firefighters Relief Association, a member of the South Bergen Fire Chief’s Association and former Rutherford Fire Department Fund Drive Chair. Tom has displayed seasoned judgement and has expressed countless acts of bravery, throughout his many years of service. Tom has served the Borough of Rutherford for over 50 years and is still an active member of the Rutherford Fire Department today.

RIAA Member of the Year- Joseph Kelly

Joe is Chairperson of the Membership Committee. He has worked endlessly to recruit members which has resulted in the RIAA currently have 350+ members. These numbers are largely due to Joe’s relations within the Irish community and Borough of Rutherford.

RIAA Member of the Year- Deborah O'Neill

Debbie is the Chairperson of the Fundraising Committee. Her dedication and commitment has raised funds over and beyond what was expected. Debbie has brought a vision and purpose that will flourish because of her service-oriented mindset and ability to bring groups of people together.