essex county commissioners celebrate st. patrick’s day and honor local parades

Top: Nutley Parade honorees with (L to R) Comm'rs Pomares (Pres.), Sebold, Luciano, and Gill

Middle: Newark Parade honorees with Commissioners

Bottom: West Orange Parade honorees with Commissioners


(Newark, NJ) Wednesday evening, February 28, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners held its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This event commemorates the heritage, culture, and spirit of the County’s Irish-American community, recognizing the contributions of local St. Patrick’s Day Parades and their honorees – in Nutley, Newark, and West Orange.

“Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans have a long history and great influence in Essex County dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, and are an important part of the County’s diverse tapestry,” said Commissioner At-Large Brendan W. Gill. “My Irish heritage and the Essex Irish community are great sources of joy for me and my family, so I am proud to lift up our local St. Patrick’s Day parades who are helping keep our culture alive and thriving. Congratulations to all the honorees and thank you to the Parade Committees for continuing these important traditions for future generations."

Father Benny Prado, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Montclair, conducted opening and closing prayers. Musical accompaniment was provided by third generation bagpiper Joe McGonigal of Saint Columcille United Gaelic PipeBand from Kearny, and a dance performance was provided by the dancers of the DeNogla Academy of Irish Dance from Verona.

See more pictures of the event here.



The 45th Annual Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 2nd. The Parade was represented by Nutley Irish American Association President Deidre Hollywood, and honorees included Grand Marshal Detective Captain Robert Irwin, Deputy Grand Marshal Maureen Callaghan, Firefighter of the Year Gabriel Miller, Member of the Year Barbara O’Halloran, and Parade Queen Barbara O Halloran.

Nutley Grand Marshal Detective Captain Robert Irwin was born in Belleville and raised in Lyndhurst. His family immigrated from Belfast Ireland to the U.S. in the 1890s, initially settling in Jersey City, Kearny and finally Lyndhurst where Robert was raised. Robert attended Bergen County Vocational and Technical school, graduating in 1991. He went on to study Aviation at The Teterboro School of Aeronautics. This is also where he began his career in public service as a volunteer with the Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad. Robert moved to Nutley in 1997 where he and his wife Cheryl bought their home. Robert’s passion for Emergency Services led him to pursue a career in Law enforcement. He was hired by The Nutley Police Department in 1998 and attended Essex County Police Academy, Class 99-1. Robert served many functions in the police department over the course of 25 years starting with Patrol, then moving on to the Detective Bureau as a Detective Sergeant, Administrative Lieutenant and ultimately Detective Captain. After a long and fulfilling career Robert retired from The Nutley Police Department as of February 1st, 2024. He and his wife of 26 years Cheryl are also small business owners, owning and operating Sign Explosion LLC of Nutley. He is the proud father of his daughter Danielle, his two sons Andrew and Alexander, and daughter Madison, his little angel in heaven. For more information on Nutley Grand Marshal Robert Irwin and the rest of the Nutley Parade honorees, click here.

The 89th Annual Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Friday, March 15th. The Parade was represented by Parade Chairwoman Susan H. Gartland, and honorees included Grand Marshal Ted Giblin, and Deputy Grand Marshals Gwen Glazier, Abbot Augustine Curley, and Kevin Reilly.

Newark Grand Marshal Edward M. “Ted” Giblin is a native of Montclair, NJ and is the third of five children born to Thomas and Mary Giblin. He traces his Irish ancestry to the counties of Longford, Meath, Mayo, and Roscommon. Ted attended Saint Cassian Grammar School and is a graduate of Saint Peter’s Prep, Class of 1992, and Providence College, Class of 1996. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Seton Hall University. Since childhood, Ted has been involved in the John J. Giblin Association, a social and civic group founded by his late grandfather in 1954. Over the last two decades, he has held several leadership positions in the organization including President and Chairman of the Board of Governors. A Verona resident, Ted is a parishioner at Our Lady of Lake Parish and has served as a member of the Township’s Recreation and Mayor’s Charity Ball Committee. In 2017, he was elected to serve a 4-year term on the Verona Township Council. As a Certified Financial Planner, he operates his practice with Creative Financial Group in Fairfield, primarily focused on assisting families and business owners accumulating funds for retirement needs, estate planning, as well as employee benefits. Ted and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth (Walsh) Giblin, are the proud parents of Finola, a sophomore at Mount Saint Dominic Academy and Natalie, a 6th grader at Henry B. Whitehorne Middle School. As a family, they continue to “keep the tradition alive” by attending many Irish cultural events throughout the year. For more information on Newark Grand Marshal Ted Giblin and the rest of the Newark Parade honorees, click here.

The 71st Annual West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Sunday, March 10th. The Parade was represented by Parade Chair Michael Cunningham, and honorees included Grand Marshal Patrick O’Rourke, and Deputy Grand Marshals Dennis Cleary, Larry Lonergan, and Matthew Mulligan.

West Orange Grand Marshal Patrick E. O’Rourke, Jr., was born in Glen Ridge in 1963, son of Patrick Sr. and Eileen (nee Kavanagh), the oldest of three with Lisa (his twin) and younger brother Thomas. Patrick lived in Nutley until the age of six, when the family moved to the Caldwells where he was raised and attended High School, graduating in 1981. He continued his studies at Rutgers University Newark, School of Business, graduating in 1985. Patrick’s parents would remarry; Patrick Sr. to Pam Moscetti, and Eileen to Joseph DiPaolo, who welcomed two more children, Lee and Robert (Corey). Patrick Sr.’s family arrived in America in the 1860s, settling in Ironbound Newark and moving to Nutley decades later where he was born and raised. Eileen’s Family settled in downtown Manhattan. Eileen’s parents were raised in Pelham, NY, and after the war moved to Bloomfield. Patrick met his wife Maria (Tsapanidis) Maxwell in 2001. Today they live in West Caldwell. Maria is first generation Greek and has embraced the Shillelagh club. She has created and continues to Chair the Luck O’ The Pup Pet Adoption fair held at the Club every fall.  Patrick has been in the construction industry since college. He was a journeyman carpenter with Local#1342, is a member of Local 1 I.U.E.C. Licensed Elevator Constructor in NJ, NY and NYC, and was employed by Otis Elevator for almost 25 years. Patrick earned his Electrical license (#15957) and has owned and operated ORuairc Electric since 2007 with retirement hopes on the horizon. Patrick joined the Shillelagh Club in 2012 and was an integral force behind many the improvements. He joined the Executive Board in 2013 after being elected Keeper, then progressed to becoming Financial Secretary and finally serving a three-year term as President, from 2017 to 2020. For more information on West Orange Grand Marshal Patrick O’Rourke and the rest of the West Orange Parade honorees, click here.

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For Additional Information - Contact:
Adam Tucker, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
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Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
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Newark, New Jersey 07102