Brian O’Dwyer will lead marchers up Fifth Avenue as grand marshal of the 258th New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 16, at 11 a.m.
Cardinal Dolan will be the principal celebrant of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 8:30 a.m. Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem who served as a priest and auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese, will be the homilist. A ticket is needed to attend Mass.
O’Dwyer, a native New Yorker, is an attorney who serves as senior partner of O’Dwyer & Bernstein, a law firm established by his father, Paul O’Dwyer. He is a founder of Emerald Isle Immigration Center, the largest Irish immigrant center in the United States. He received his Master in Law from George Washington University and was awarded the doctor of philosophy degree by Dublin City University in 2013.
His father served as president of the New York City Council, 1974-1979, and his uncle, William O’Dwyer, served as the 100th mayor of New York City, 1946-1950. Paul and William were grand marshals of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1974 and 1938, respectively.
The 16 aides at the 2019 parade will include Msgr. Robert Ritchie, rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Msgr. Kevin Nelan, pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Manhattan and dean of South Manhattan.
Sean Lane, chairman of the parade board, called O’Dwyer “a man who is beloved in the New York’s Irish-American community and in Ireland. He is an outstanding Irish-American who has devoted a huge amount of his considerable energy and charisma to building enduring and durable ties between Ireland and America.”
O’Dwyer was a participant in Northern Ireland’s peace negotiations with members of the Clinton administration and has been honored for his efforts over the years on behalf of immigrants and Ireland.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which dates back to 1762, honors the patron saint of Ireland and of the archdiocese on March 17, except for years when the date falls on a Sunday and the parade is held on Saturday, March 16. The parade begins at 44th Street and continues up Fifth Avenue to 79th Street with an estimated 250,000 marchers and 2 million spectators.