Boston Irish Honors to hail seven who salute their heritage

A former United States senator, the region’s newest Irish American CEO and his wife, and a pioneering Boston Irish family will be the honorees at this month’s Boston Irish Honors luncheon, the season’s premier celebration of Irish-American achievement in Massachusetts.

The luncheon, which serves as the anniversary celebration for the Boston Irish Reporter, will be held at the Seaport Boston Hotel on Fri., Oct. 28.

“This inspiring luncheon allows us to recognize and celebrate exemplary Irish individuals and their families who share our heritage in Boston and Ireland,” explained Ed Forry, the founder and publisher of the Irish Reporter.

Former US Senator Paul G. Kirk, Jr., who succeeded his longtime friend and mentor Edward M. Kennedy upon his death in 2009, will be honored as an outstanding public leader in Massachusetts. An attorney, Sen. Kirk served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a trustee at Stonehill College, and as co-chairman of the non-partisan Committee on Presidential Debates. A great-nephew of the late Bostoon Cardinal William O’Connell, Sen. Kirk is the son of Josephine Elizabeth (née O’Connell) and Judge Paul Grattan Kirk Sr., who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Jim Judge and his wife, Mary (Cahill) Judge, will be honored for their excellence in business and philanthropy. Judge began his duties last June as the president and CEO of Eversource Energy, the utility company with a market value of over $18 billon that serves more than 3.6 million customers throughout New England. Jim and Mary are natives of Dorchester— with roots in Cork and Mayo— and together they personify the Boston Irish ethos of doing well by always doing good for others.

The Leary family – including Irish American Partnership founder Joe Leary, philanthropist Kevin Leary, and their sisters, Mary Patricia Leary Dowling and Elizabeth Ann Leary Horrigan— will be honored for their exemplary work in better connecting Boston and Ireland through philanthropy, education and business.

The Leary siblings have devoted their personal and professional careers to celebrating the best qualities of the Irish American experience, working for peace through commerce and grassroots support for cross-cultural projects on both sides of the Atlantic. Together, their philanthropic efforts have been essential to the work of the Irish American Partnership, the Ursuline Sisters, Nativity Prep School, Boston Health Care for the Homeless and many others.

The 35-member luncheon committee is chaired by William Reilly and honorary co-chairs US Sen. Edward Markey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. The luncheon will start at 11:45 a.m. at the Seaport Hotel/Boston World Trade Center.
For tickets, call 617-436-1222 or email