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Irish Walks of Life 2013

Irish Walks of Life
February 28, 2013

500 or so of Cleveland's Irish came together on February 28th to honor four distinguished recipients with the Walks of Life Award. As always Gerry Quinn was articulate, funny and masterful as the MC of the program.

Gerry Quinn at the podium

Gerry Quinn


Gerry Quinn, IAAS Trustee Emeritus, told about the start and the mission of the Irish American Archives Society and the Walks of Life Award. He told how we are all immigrants or sons and daughters of immigrants and remembered that the first thing he saw in the US was the Statue of Liberty.




Sister Maureen Doyle, OSU gave the invocation.

Sister Maureen Doyle, OSU gave the invocation

Sister Maureen Doyle, OSU




The very title of the Award gives one a clue as to its significance. It is awarded to "honor individuals of Irish descent who have made an extraordinary contribution to their community in their chosen "Walk of Life." It is only awarded to the living - no posthumous awards are given.

Current and Past Honorees - Irish Walks of Life

Current and Past Honorees - Irish Walks of Life


This year's honorees were Chris Connor, president of Sherwin Williams Paint Company, Dan Coughlin, Author and Journalist, Sister Susan Durkin, president of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland and Judge Richard McMonagle of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Chris Connor graduated from Walsh High School, and received a Bachelor's Degree from The Ohio State University. As chairman and CEO of Sherwin Williams he employs 38,000 people, distributes to 121 countries and boasts annual sales on more than nine billion dollars.

He also is chairman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership and sits on numerous boards.

Chris Connor, president of Sherwin Williams Paint Company

Chris Connor

In his acceptance remarks, Chris Connor spoke of two of his heroes in the room, Jim Boland and Jack Breen. He also joked about the expanded green palette of paints for the Irish community.




Dan Coughlin is one very familiar face in Northeast Ohio. He has covered area sports in print and television for almost fifty years, with a special affinity for High School sports. He is the author of two books "Crazy with the Papers to Prove It" and "Pass the Nuts" both of which chronicle his life in the amazing world of sports and journalism in the humorous way that only he can provide. (See the ClevelandSeniors.Com profile of Dan Coughlin)

Dan graduated from St. Edward's High School and attended the University Of Notre Dame. St. Ed's is still up there with his favorite places and he sits on their Board of Trustees.

Dan Coughlin

Dan Coughlin

The gregarious sports reporter told tales from his 48 years in Cleveland sports.




Sister Susan Durkin is president of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland where she provides leadership and inspiration to 177 nuns. She has taught at St. Clare in Lyndhurst and Urban Community School in Cleveland. Later she taught at Immaculate Conception, St. Patrick West Park and Ascension Schools.

She received her Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministry from The College of Mount St. Joseph. She also has a certificate in Non-profit management from CWRU. Sister Durkin was Director of the Children and Family Program in the Ursuline HIV/AIDS ministry in Youngstown.

Sister Susan Durkin

Sister Susan Durkin

Sister spoke of her blessings, especially her family and Ursuline community.




Judge McMonagle has been on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas bench for 34 years receiving the Bar Association's highest award. He is one of only eight judges in Ohio who have been chosen to handle Commercial Dockets. In most cases he is able to negotiate a settlement and avoid trial. This docket has become a model for most Asbestos cases in the United States.

He is the founder of The Mental Health Court and helped secure the funding for a Drug Court within the Cleveland Municipal Court. He is also responsible for the initiative to put all Common Pleas cases - civil and criminal - online.

Judge Richard J. McMonagle

Judge Richard J. McMonagle

The Judge told how his ancestors and others came here to work, and to work hard. They never expected or wanted a handout.




These four people chose very different paths in life. Yet, there is a common thread. They chose their path and then followed in with honor and passion. They used the lessons taught by Irish family and friends to rise to the top of their profession and are well deserved of the Award they received.

Enjoy these photos of some of the attendees

Rasa Chambers and Lee Brennan

Rasa Chambers and Lee Brennan


Judge Richard McMonagle, Stephanie and Sean Allan

Judge Richard McMonagle with Stephanie and Sean Allan


Rob Falls and Dan Walsh

Rob Falls and Dan Walsh


Patrick Murphy, Tom Lynch, Alec Berzin and Judge Brendan Sheehan

Patrick Murphy, Tom Lynch,
Alec Berzin and Judge Brendan Sheehan


Chris Connnor and Meg McGarry

Chris Connnor and Meg McGarry


Ed Fitzgerald, John Myers and Judge Ken Callahan

Ed Fitzgerald, John Myers and Judge Ken Callahan


Katie Lloyd and Amy Kennely

Katie Lloyd and Amy Kennely


Jim Brennan

Jim Brennan


Jack and Mary Coyne

Jack and Mary Coyne


Margaret Lynch and Patrick Sweeney

Margaret Lynch and Patrick Sweeney


Ed Crawford, Mike Solecky, Monte Bepasky

Ed Crawford, Mike Solecky and Monte Bepasky


Jack Coyne, Gerry Quinn and Tom Scanlon

Jack Coyne, Gerry Quinn and Tom Scanlon


Dan Coughlin, Tom Corrigan

Dan Coughlin and Tom Corrigan


Lee and Jim Brennan

Lee and Jim Brennan


Ann Coakley and Marty Burke

Ann Coakley and Marty Burke


Richard and Joanne Clark with Jack Kahl

Richard and Joanne Clark with Jack Kahl


Pat and Bill Monroe with son Bob

Pat and Bill Monroe with son Bob


John Patton and Mary Blatnik

John Patton and Mary Blatnik


Dan Coughlin

Dan Coughlin


Judge Richard McMonagle

Judge Richard McMonagle


Gerry Quinn and Melissa Zujkowski

Gerry Quinn and Melissa Zujkowski


Tom Patton

Tom Patton


Jim Proctor, Kathleen Casey-Proctor, Vera Casey, Margaret Lynch

Jim Proctor, Kathleen Casey-Proctor,
Vera Casey and Margaret Lynch


Tom Lynch, Tom Gibbons, Kathleen Gibbons

Tom Lynch with Tom and Kathleen Gibbons


Sheila Crawford and Candy Clemson

Sheila Crawford and Candy Clemson


Dennis Landsdowne and Neil Jamieson

Dennis Landsdowne and Neil Jamieson


Gerry Quinn and Dan Coughlin

Gerry Quinn and Dan Coughlin


Jack and Mary Coyne table

Jack and Mary Coyne table


Ray the bartender

Ray the bartender


Irish Walks of Life crowd

Irish Walks of Life crowd


Dick Goddard, Ralph Tarsitano, Dan Coughlin and Tim Taylor

Photo from Dan Coughlin's display
Dick Goddard, Ralph Tarsitano, Dan Coughlin and Tim Taylor


Irish American Archive Society banner



Video, photos and text by Debbie Hanson


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