Maria Kirrane McKenna hails from the village of Kildysart, County Clare. She is 1 of 7 children born on a farm to Susan and Jack. Maria from an early age knew the meaning of hard work, she earned her nursing degree and began her career at Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin. After being recruited by Memorial Sloan Kettering, Maria bravely made her solo journey across the Atlantic. Living in Hoboken among other Irish immigrants she met her late husband, Larry. After the birth of their first daughter, Katarina, they moved to the “Borough of Trees” Rutherford; this is where they had their second daughter, Caroline. As an Irish Catholic immigrant, Maria has always been proud of her birth country. Maria and her fiancé, PJ Leonard, plan to return to the old country in June 2021 for an Irish wedding. Maria was the founding vice president of the RIAA and has been an integral part in making this organization a great success! We thank her for her time and dedication to the organization!
UP THE IRISH!!!
Patrick Michael Dunne was born in Jersey City to Alice Mary Buckley Dunne and John Joseph Dunne Jr. His Irish paternal lineage originates from County Sligo and his maternal lineage from County Mayo. The Dunne and Buckley roots in JC can be traced back to the late 1800’s. Patrick, born youngest of five was raised in the Greenville section of Jersey City. He attended St. Paul’s Grammar School where he met his best friend and wife of 23 years, Mary Lynn Kenney Dunne. Their greatest joy is their 3 beautiful children Patrick, Megan and Molly. Patrick attended Xavier High School in NYC and received his college degree from St. Peter’s University; Pat credits his years of Jesuit influence in teaching him to be a ‘Man for Others,'' along with his mother’s devout Catholic faith and hardworking attitude that pushed him throughout life. Patrick is currently the Managing Director of Business Furniture Inc., a nationally recognized full-service business interior resource company. Pat has spent many years supporting local organizations that serve in helping others. Pat serves on the Board of Directors for the Make A Wish Foundation, Hudson Catholic High School and Team Walker. He serves on the board and as a Corporate Sponsor to the South Hudson Civic Association, a member of the Rutherford Library Foundation and proud supporter of the GI-GO Fund/Navy in support of homeless veterans. Pat and his family have been engaged with the Rutherford Community for over a decade. Pat has always been humbled with the knowledge of the meager beginnings from where his Irish family began and feels honored and blessed to have the opportunity to serve and celebrate in this community as an Irish American.
Todd Roth is a 20-year veteran of the East Rutherford Police Department and is also a founding member of the Honor Guard Unit. He served as a patrolman for several years and was later promoted to Detective Sergeant, while also serving as a Task Force Officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)- NJ Division. Throughout the past 12 years, Todd’s expertise grew as he continued to investigate and arrest members of large-scale drug trafficking organizations, as well as international money launderers. Todd has been recognized for his hard work by ERPD, DEA, United States Attorney’s Office, as well as the NJ Police Honor Legion and NJ Narcotic’s Enforcement Officers Association, as he received several letters of commendation for high profile investigations, which led to successful federal prosecutions. In addition, Todd is a Petty Officer 2nd Class with the United States Coast Guard Reserve- Sector New York, serving as a Maritime Law Enforcement Specialist with the Enforcement Division/Boarding team. Todd was born and raised in East Rutherford and currently resides in Nutley with his wife, Melissa and their beautiful children, Ella Grace and Robert James. Todd’s Irish roots stem from County Cork, where his grandfather, John F. Maguire’s family hailed from.
Thomas Verdino’s Irish roots may not be obvious, but his O’Hara grandmother hailed from County Cork. Tom grew up in Rutherford and is married to his wife, Cori. Tommy is a 30-year veteran of the Rutherford Fire Department, joining Engine Company 2 in 1990. Since then he has been company Lieutenant or Captain many times over the years as well as Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief and finally, Chief in 2006. Tom was Apparatus Maintenance Officer for 10 plus years and is currently on the committee to refurbish existing fire trucks. He is currently a Captain in the Jersey City Fire Department and a proud member of the JCFD Emerald Society. Tommy is certified to train firefighters in NJ on many topics including Confined Space Rescue and High Angle Rope Rescue; he has been cited numerous times for various forms of rescues. He worked at the DPW as a mechanic for over 25 years. He has been involved in town sports, coaching both Rutherford Junior Football and Little League Baseball for several years for both of his sons, Christopher (also a member of Company 2) and JT.
Doug Chadwick is a lifelong resident of Rutherford and has been a member of the Rutherford First Aid Ambulance Corps since 1962. He followed in the footsteps of his mother Barbara Chadwick, former Rutherford Mayor and Bergen County Freeholder. At age 16, he joined the Youth Squad of the Ambulance Corps. Doug is currently the Vice-Chair of the 24th District of the EMS Council of NJ, which represents EMS agencies in Southern Bergen County. His prior held offices of the Ambulance Corps have included President, Vice-President, Secretary, Captain, Second Lieutenant and Training Officer of the Squad. He has also been a First Aid, CPR, and EMT instructor. Doug attended The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He spent his 45-year career as a field engineer and manager with companies in the scientific instrumentation industry before retiring in 2015. Doug’s wife of forty years, Jane, is also a member of the Ambulance Corps. They share a beautiful daughter, Lauren.
Rob and John “Jack” Donnelly have been residents of Carlstadt for almost 40 years. They are 3rd generation Irish American on both sides with their father’s family emigrating from Roscommon and their mother’s side, the O’Malley’s hailing from Mayo. It is rumored they are descendants of the Infamous Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. Their parents raised them along with their four sisters in an environment that fostered a real love of Irish music and culture. They eagerly joined the RIAA shortly after its inception. The Donnelly Brothers wanted to get involved and take some of the burden off of the executive board who worked so hard to put on the parade and run all of the other fundraisers and social events so in 2018 and again in 2019 they ran successful golf outings to provide the RIAA with both a social event as well as a successful charity fundraiser. The annual event was canceled in 2020 but they look forward to the most successful one yet in 2021!!