IRISH AMERICAN HALL OF FAME NAMES 2019 MEMBERS
The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame has
announced its 2019 class of inductees. The Hall recognizes Irish Americans who have made important
contributions in various fields in Michigan
life. The honorees will be inducted in a ceremony at noon on Saturday,
September 14, 2019, at the Michigan Irish
Music Festival in Muskegon,
MI, on the Galway Stage.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony and following reception.
In the category of Public Service, the
Hall of Fame is honoring the most distinguished public leader in Michigan history, Frank
Murphy. A native of the Lake Huron town of Harbor Beach, Murphy achieved the rank of
Lt. Colonel while serving in the U.S Army in both World War 1 and World War
II. After World War 1, he served as U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern
District of Michigan. He next was elected as a Judge of Recorder’s Court in
and later was elected Mayor of Detroit. President Franklin Roosevelt then
appointed him to serve as the Governor General and High Commissioner of the
Murphy returned in 1936 to be elected Governor of Michigan for two years,
when President Roosevelt appointed him as Attorney General of the U.S. In 1940 President Roosevelt appointed
Murphy as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served for nine
years until his death in 1949 at age 59.
Also in the field of Public Service, the
Hall of Fame is honoring Austin “Barry” McGuire and Timothy “Tim”
McGuire, the first father and son to be inducted as members. Barry
McGuire, who died in 2012, was a U.S. Army veteran, and served as the
Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Counties from 1968 until
1984, and Tim McGuire served as Executive Director of the Michigan
Association of Counties from 1994 until 2016. Together they served a total
of 38 years guiding and improving county government for the citizens of Michigan’s 83
counties. Barry McGuire also was the Executive Director of the Michigan
Automobile Dealers Association from 1984 until his retirement in 2001. Both
Barry and Tim McGuire were appointed to numerous governmental commissions
and committees, and were respected by the leaders of both major political
parties in Lansing and Washington.
Tim McGuire continues in his public service career as the
Administrator of the Michigan Counties Workmens Compensation Fund. Both
Barry and Tim have participated in many charitable activities, and Tim
currently is a board member of Habitat for Humanity.
In the category of Arts and Entertainment,
the Hall of Fame is proud to induct the preeminent Irish fiddler Michael
“Mick” Gavin. A native of Ireland, Mick Gavin immigrated to the Detroit in the 1970’s.
For the more than forty years, Mick has shared his love and talent as an
Irish fiddler in Michigan. Over the past decades, Mick has
entertained at countless events, both Irish and non-Irish, and he has
instructed numerous individuals including his own sons. Many of his
students have gone on to win local and international awards. He has been a
leader in the Detroit Irish Music Association, and has helped present
cultural awareness programs in schools in the Detroit area. Through his performances and other
activities, Mick shares his knowledge of Irish traditions, history, music,
dance, and language.
In the field of Education, the Hall of
Fame has selected for membership Roger Schlosser. Roger is the retired founder and Director of the Irish Studies
Program at Grand Rapids Community College, believed to be the only Irish
Studies Program at a community college in the U.S. In addition to his students studying on
campus, Roger also took 14 groups of students to Ireland over the years. As part
of those study trips, Roger arranged for the students to meet and interview
many of the leaders on all sides of the Irish disputes. As an author, Roger has written 3
historical novels related to the years of the Irish "Troubles."
He has also been the long-time President of the Gaelic
League/Irish-American Club of West Michigan. As a side note, Roger built
his home library to emulate the Long Room of the Trinity College Library in
his home library has 28 foot high ceilings!
In the category of Philanthropy
or Community Service, the Hall of Fame is recognizing Nora Ann
Cassidy for her service to the Detroit Irish community. For more than
40 years she has been a volunteer devoted to all areas of metro Detroit
Irish activities. She has held offices and/or been a leader in The Friendly
Sons of St. Patrick, the United Irish Societies, the Gaelic League/Irish
American Club of Detroit, and currently is a Board Member of the Motor City
Irish Festival. She has been key in
the success of the competition for the selection of The Queen of the United
Irish Societies, the Court of St. Bridget, and the work in Africa of the Irish Pallotine Fathers. In her youth
she was a distinguished Irish step dancer, and she coached her daughter to
qualify for the step-dancing "All World Finals" in Galway. She has mentored and promoted Irish dance
schools in the Detroit
area. In 2013 she was selected as the Grand Marshal of the Detroit St.
Patrick's Day Parade.
Also in the category of Philanthropy
or Community Service, the Hall of Fame is honoring Patrick J.
Johnson for his service to the Irish community in Southeast
Michigan and beyond. He
is the Executive Director of the Michigan Irish American Chamber of
Commerce, and hosts a popular weekly Irish radio show from Detroit
that also has national and international listening audiences, including Ireland..
He has been the owner of Shamrock DJ Services for more than 20 years. He
often volunteers his services as Master of Ceremonies at the Great Lakes
Feis in Lansing, the Glass
City feis in Toledo, the Motor City Irish Festival,
the Detroit St. Patrick's Day Parade, the St. Patrick's Senior Center Irish
Festival, the Ardan Academy Celtic Extravaganza, and other events. In 2011
he received the John Heinzman Sr. award for his dedication and support of
the Great Lakes Feis. He is an active member of many Irish organizations in
In the category of Religion,
the Hall of Fame is honoring Brother James Boynton. He is a native
of St. Ignace, Michigan, and attended Lake Superior
State College before joining at age 20 the Jesuit order to become a
Brother. He devoted many years of his ministry to missionary work in
northern India, Mexico, and Haiti,
and with migrant workers in northern Michigan.
For the past 20 years he has been a Religious Studies teacher at St. Ignatius
High School in Cleveland and the
University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He is also an accomplished Irish
fiddle player, and was inspired by Irish fiddler Pat Bonner of Beaver Island, who is also a Hall of Fame
member. Brother Boynton’s Christian life of service to others has been an
example to all who know him.
The Michigan Irish American Hall of Fame was
founded in 2012 by the Muskegon Irish American Society, and is permanently
displayed at Hennessy’s Irish Pub in Muskegon
and on the Hall of Fame website. A traveling exhibit of the Hall of Fame is
being planned to visit locations across Michigan. For more information, please
visit the Hall of Fame website at http://www.michiganirishamericanhalloffame.org.