Greenpoint woman is aide to St. Patrick grand marshal
A lifelong resident of Greenpoint who is active in the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH) and the Catholic charitable group the Saint Vincent de Paul Society has been tapped to serve as the Brooklyn aide to the grand marshal of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Virginia “Gina” Sheehan, 86, will walk the parade route on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, alongside Grand Marshal George Mitchell.
Mitchell, a former U.S. senator from Maine, served as the U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland in the Clinton administration and helped broker the peace accord in 1998.
Sheehan was born in Greenpoint on New Year’s Day in 1930. Her parents emigrated to the U.S. from County Cork.
A graduate of St. Anthony of Padua School and St. Joseph’s High School, Sheehan worked at Western Electric for 33 years and later worked for Lucent Technologies until her retirement.
“Gina’s love of Ireland has been a constant throughout her life and a gift she’s shared with her many family members,” said her nephew Neil Sheehan. “Over the years, she’s helped put together Irish history displays at the local banks and libraries and loves to take part in Irish lectures and walking tours. She’s made several trips to Ireland and served as a volunteer for many years at the Great Irish Fair in Brooklyn.”
Sheehan has been a member of the Rosary Society at her church for decades and continues to pray the rosary every day, her family said.
She is also one of the original volunteers at the New York Irish Immigration Center.
Sheehan joined the LAOH, Division Six, in 1976. In 2001, the New York state board of the LAOH honored her for her charity work.
In 2012, her Hibernian colleagues selected Sheehan to represent the LAOH as an aide to the grand marshal of the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade. She has marched with the LAOH in both the New York City and Brooklyn parades for many years.
In addition, Sheehan maintains her membership in the Telephone Pioneers, a group of telephone retirees who do charity work.
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