The 2019 dignitaries

Grand Marshal- Patrick Kelly

 Patrick Francis Kelly was born on January 5, 1936 in Kiltimagh, County Mayo Ireland. He was the 4th of nine children born to Kate and Tom Kelly. He left Ireland in 1954 to work in South Hampton England doing construction. He then later went to Durham, and then to Wales where he worked in tunnels. In 1959 he emigrated to America, lived in Jersey City where he worked in various jobs including warehouses; this is where he met his best friend, the late Paddy Sweeney. He owned the Shillelagh Pub in North Bergen for 8 years. Pat then started Superior Construction in Jersey City and from there he went on to become a Local 580 Ironworker. In 1996, he and Dave Finucane started Piermount Ironworks and later retired in 2016. 

Deputy Grand Marshal- John Sullivan

John was born in Fermoyle (Sneem) County Kerry, Ireland. He was born May 19, 1944 and is 1 of 7. He left Ireland at the age of 15 in 1960 to England. John left England for the United States in 1963 at the age of 18 and resided in Jersey City. John is married to his lovely wife Bridget (nee Gaine) since 1966, they have three wonderful sons: Tim, John and Patrick and have seven beautiful grandchildren; Katie, Sean, Daniel, Bridget, Brenna, Patrick, and Devyn. John originally worked as a Sandhog for four years before becoming an employee at Thumanns where he is still currently employed. John has been instrumental in the Irish community by providing employment to many Irish who came to the United States throughout the years and continues to do so today.  

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year- Joseph Brennan

Joe is a Lieutenant with the New Jersey State Police assigned to the New Jersey Office of the Regional Operations Intelligence Center (NJ ROIC), the state fusion center, and commands the Intelligence Watch and Warning Unit, the state twenty four hour watch center. He is a proud second generation Irish American whose grandparents emigrated from Counties Tipperary, Donegal, Monaghan, and Cavan. He has played the bagpipes for 23 years and is a former Pipe Major and current member of the New Jersey State Police Pipe Band. In 2012, Joe coordinated the Corr-Stat Initiative.  In 2014, Joe was a principal leader in the creation of The Corr-Stat Region Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) from concept of operations to its current deployment. These initiatives created a close working relationship between Municipal Police Departments, the NJ ROIC, and the New Jersey State Police.  Joe attended Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in 1992. He resides in Rutherford with his wife Jamie and daughters; Makayla Rielly and Maeve Kathleen. 

Firefighter of the Year- Neil O'Hara

Neil O’Hara joined the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Dept. West End Engine & Hose Company #3 in 1969. He has served in all capacities in the fire service, from the rank of Lieutenant, Captain, President, Treasurer and then as Fire Chief in 1989. At the age of 70 Neil is still currently active in the Fire service today. He often drives the fire apparatus, fights fires, and assists the younger members with his training, knowledge and experiences. In April, 2019 Neil will be celebrating 50 years as a member of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Dept. As a resident of Rutherford for over 50 years, Neil has dedicated very much of his time to public service. He has become a role model for all firefighters. Neil and his wife Jane raised their son Brian in Rutherford who is also currently a member of West End Engine & Hose Company #3.  

Emergency Medical Tecnician (EMT) of the Year- Brian O'Keefe

Brian joined the Rutherford Volunteer Ambulance Corps in 1973 and has been a New Jersey State Department of Health certified Emergency Medical Technician for the last 45 years. He is a life member of the ambulance corps, has served in various leadership roles in the organization, as Training Officer, Squad Captain for 4 terms, and Corporation President and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for 13 consecutive years. Brian has been a resident of Rutherford since 1956 and continues to work at the Rutherford Health Department as a health official and registrar of vital statistics for the last 40 years. He is married to Catherine Gallagher O’Keefe who is also a fellow EMT on the ambulance corps in Rutherford. They reside in Rutherford with their two children, Patrick, a first year college student, and Kerry, a junior in high school. 

RIAA Member of the Year- Margaret Scanlon

 Margaret "Missy" Scanlon grew-up in Rutherford, went to St. Mary School in Rutherford and is currently the Borough Clerk of Rutherford.   Missy’s parents, Dan Moran was born in Dingle, Co. Kerry and her mother Peggy’s family hailed from Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. They chose Rutherford to raise their seven children. Missy continues to reside in Rutherford with her husband Glenn and their two children, Mikaela, a financial advisor in Manhattan, and Regan, a student at Seton Hall University.  Missy’s Irish heritage has always been an important part of her life.   Missy has always been willing to go out of her way to help; she prefers to be behind the scenes.   Missy has been instrumental in aiding the RIAA from permits to licenses to parade logistics; the RIAA's success in part has been possible due to the efforts of Missy Scanlon.