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Son of a Coolroe man gets central role in NYC parade

Niall O’Leary who will be the IBO grand marshal for the Patrick’s Day parade in New York.
Image source: IBO Facebook

The son of a Kerryman has been given the honour of leading the Irish Business Organisation up Fifth Avenue for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in New York.

Niall O’Leary, who runs his own architecture practice as well as a traditional Irish dance school in the city, will have the honour of being IBO grand marshal at the big event that will be watched by tens of thousands of people on March 17.

Niall, who grew up in Mount Merrion, Dublin, is the son of the late Daniel O’Leary, a native of Coolroe, Listry, who held a senior position in the Central Bank of Ireland. He passed away on the eve of St Patrick’s Day in 2020.

The New York parade is the biggest in the world

Niall’s late mother, Josephine (Jo) Elliot, from Abbeyfeale, passed away in 2007.

His sister, Dr Aideen O’Leary, is a director at the Centre for Celtic an Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Niall has many first cousins living in and around Killarney, including the O’Learys of Cooloe and the O’Sheas of Pallas, Beaufort.

An accomplished traditional musician, Niall is a long-time member of the Irish Business Organisation and served as president in 2010-2011.

The New York City St Patrick’s Day parade – ­the oldest and largest event of its kind in the world – marches up Fifth Avenue and is reviewed from the steps of St Patrick’s Cathedral by the Archbishop of New York.

This year’s march will be the first major celebration in the US post-Covid.