Meet the marshals: Here are the 2017 Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade honorees

March 17, 2017 Editorial Staff
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Grand Marshal Reverend Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington

The Reverend Monsignor Kieran Harrington is vicar for communications for the Diocese of Brooklyn. He is the president and chairperson of the DeSales Media Group, Inc. a full service media company which includes NET NY, a cable television station that can be seen in New York City.

Harrington was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn on June 2, 2001. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the rank of monsignor on September 3, 2009.

He graduated cum laude from St. John’s University with a degree in Philosophy and holds a Masters of Divinity degree from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and a Masters of Business Administration from the New York University Stern School of Business.

Harrington hosts “In the Arena,” a weekly series on WOR radio, with world-renowned guests, intense debates and compelling interviews covering various topics and social opinions from a Catholic cultural perspective.

Harrington’s family ancestry leads straight back to Ireland. His mother is from Tubbercurry, County Sligo and his paternal grandparents from Templemore, Tipperary and Abbeyleix, County Laois. His paternal grandfather, an IRA volunteer, was imprisoned in Portlaoise during the Irish Civil War.

Harrington is currently rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights.

Deputy Marshal Kevin Anderson


Kevin Anderson was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and grew up in the same house that his father did.

The son of Gustave Anderson and Maureen Duggan Anderson, Anderson can trace his roots back to County Wexford, Ireland on his father’s side and County Tipperary, Ireland on his mother’s side. However, both families ended up immigrating to St. John’s and Chapel’s Cove, Newfoundland, Canada before ultimately settling in Bay Ridge.

Anderson is the youngest of four children and the only boy. He has three older sisters Kathleen, Kerri and Jackie.

As a life-long Bay Ridge resident, Anderson attended Saint Patrick’s, Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School, St. Francis College and the College of Staten Island.

In 1989, Anderson became a member of Iron Workers Local 40 following in his grandfather’s and many other family members’ footsteps. In 1991, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a member of the FDNY.

Anderson was assigned to Ladder 114 located in Sunset Park on June 12, 1991. Known by the nickname of “Tally Ho,” L114 is well known on the job as being an Irish house and this is well displayed by numerous shamrocks on the fire truck.

In Anderson’s 26 years in the FDNY, he worked through New York City’s and the Fire Department’s darkest day, September 11, 2001.

Anderson has also experienced the rewarding side of the job, which is making lifelong friends and being part of an amazing brotherhood of firefighters.  Anderson has received two unit citations and the World Trade Center Medal as he participated in the rescue of 33 civilians at a three alarm fire.

Anderson is currently a member of the FDNY Ceremonial Unit and is also the union delegate and senior man of Ladder 114. He is also a proud member of the Emerald, Vikings and Holy Name and Knights of Columbus Fraternal organizations.

Anderson is involved in many charities but one that is close to his heart is breast cancer. Kevin lost his sister, Kerri, in 2003 to breast cancer at the young age of 41. He has participated in numerous breast cancer fund raisers including the Avon three-day walk from Bear Mountain to New York City.

Anderson and his wife, Kristi, have two beautiful children, Connor, 5, and Anneliese, 3. They are also expecting a third child next month!

Anderson is a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Mets and Rangers fan, frequent customer of many Bay Ridge bars, and Coors Light connoisseur.

Deputy Marshal Christopher Byrne


Christopher Byrne is a proud, lifelong, Bay Ridge resident.

His father, Michael, a native of Waterford, served as a deputy grand marshal under Grand Marshal Maureen O’Hara, for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. He was also a past president of King’s County for the AOH.

Byrne plans to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the AOH in the coming year.

His mother, Kathleen, was born and raised in Bay Ridge. She is an active member of her community, participating in many types of volunteer work. Her tremendous love and support for her son is evident to all.

Byrne attended P.S. 185 and I.S. 187. He later went on to Xavier High School, where he was a member of the JROTC and the hockey team.

Since then, Byrne has been a great supporter of various causes for the community over the years. He has contributed to, participated in and held fundraisers for groups such as Toys for Tots, Special Olympics, Autism Speaks, Viking Love and the Polar Bear Plunge. He is also very involved with the Third Avenue Merchants, and is a staunch supporter of the Fifth Avenue BID.

These days, we can find Byrne behind the stick at the Pour House, working during the festival and the Summer Stroll. Also, we can always find him watching and cheering for his beloved New York Mets, Jets and Rangers.

Deputy Marshal Kelly MacLellan Byrnes


Kelly MacLellan Byrnes grew up in Dyker Heights/Bay Ridge and currently lives in Staten Island with her husband Brian.

She’s the daughter of Thomas and Kathleen MacLellan, sister to Caitlin and Meghan, and granddaughter of George and Patricia Watt of St Ephrem’s and William and Marilyn MacLellan of OLA.

She attended St. Ephrem’s School, Fontbonne Hall Academy, St. Francis College and Mercy College.

While in grammar school, she became an altar server as soon as the church allowed female servers. Prior to that, Byrnes was on the choir where the Prayer of St. Francis has always spoken to her, especially the line “For it is in giving that we receive.” While attending SFC, she served as a lector and Eucharistic minister.

After her father was chosen to be a deputy in 2013, both he and Byrnes decided to join the Parade Committee for the following year’s parade and both are active members.

Byrnes is also a proud member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernian’s Division 22 with numerous family members (grandmother, mother, sister and aunt) and many family friends, and St. Patrick’s Society of Brooklyn.

If you’ve ever stopped into the Salty Dog, Byrnes has likely been your server. As a waitress, she’s been there for numerous fundraisers for the neighborhood though out the past 14 years. When not working at the Dog, Kelly works for a Manhattan construction company, Veracity Partners, in its expediting department, managing the preparation of filing paperwork, various approvals, permits and closing out applications at the Department of Buildings.

Deputy Marshal Mary Elizabeth Donnelly


Mary Elizabeth Donnelly was born and currently resides in Bay Ridge.

She attended St. Ephrem’s Grammar School along with her two brothers and one sister.

Donnelly has two children, Elizabeth, 9, and Matthew, 8, who currently attend St. Ephrem’s, the third generation of the family to do so.

Donnelly graduated from Bishop Ford High School and Manhattan College. She obtained her Masters of Education from Cambridge University in Boston.

Donnelly met her husband Matthew, a proud member of FDNY for the past 18 years, in Breezy Point where the family spent summers growing up as kids. They have been married for the past 12 years.

Donnelly has a passion for teaching and working with the youth in the community. She started her education career as a physical education teacher in Holy Innocents Grammar School in Flatbush. After seven years in Catholic education, Donnelly transitioned over to P.S./I.S. 104 as a Physical Education and Health teacher for 10 years. Most recently, Donnelly switched positions within P.S./I.S. 104 and is now a dean of students.

Donnelly is actively involved in the Bay Ridge community and St. Ephrem’s Parish. She is currently a coach for girls’ basketball, girls’ softball and both boys’ and girls’ swimming for St. Ephrem’s school. Donnelly is also the athletic director for St. Pat’s girls’ volleyball. She also volunteers for OLPH soccer programs in the spring and fall sessions. She also partakes in the children’s liturgy at 10 a.m. mass at St. Ephrem’s.

Recently, Donnelly chaired the Swish for Kids event at St. Ephrem’s gymnasium with all proceeds going towards Frankie’s Mission.  The Swish for Kids event raised over 20K to support Frankie’s Mission.

She is a proud member of LAOH, Division 22.

Deputy Marshal Fran Gillen


Fran Gillen and her siblings were born and raised in Our lady of Angels Parish.

She is a graduate of Our Lady of Angels Grammar School, Bishop Kearney High School and St. Francis College.

Gillen married Romeo Petric in 1984; together they have three sons. Frank, Andrew and Daniel. Gillen works at Weill Cornell Medical College NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. She is the practice manager of the division and the administrator of the Nephrology Fellowship Program.

Gillen’s maternal grandparents, Maryann and John Flanagan, came to the U.S. from County Louth and County Galway respectively. They met, married and raised their family in OLPH Parish.

Gillen caught the volunteer bug from her parents, Harry and Clare Gillen, who were active volunteers in Our Lady of Angels parish. Gillen and Petric became active in St. Patrick’s parish in 1993, lending a hand and supporting various ministries through the years such as the CYO Sports Program, World Youth Day and the Pastoral Planning Council.

Gillen has also played an active role in various schools that her sons have attended.  She was on the PTA for many years at P.S. 185 and I.S. 187. When her sons graduated and started high school at Xaverian, she brought her volunteer skills to that great school as a part of the parent circle and many other committees. She continues to be an active part of the Xaverian community, lending a hand, joining committees and volunteering wherever needed.

At the 2014 Spirit of Xaverian Gala, Gillen was presented with the St. Francis Xavier Award for her volunteer service to Xaverian.

Deputy Marshal Kristen Hayes


Kristen Hayes was born and raised in Dyker Heights.

Her Irish roots stem from County Limerick. Her parents Richard and Debbie Hayes instilled the importance of Catholic education in Kristen and her siblings Brian, Kathy, Shannon and Sean from a very young age.

Hayes attended St. Ephrem Grammar School and St. Saviour High School. She began her college career at Manhattan College and later graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Health Sciences.

In 2006, after graduation, Hayes began teaching science at Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge. It was there where her commitment to Catholic education grew and she decided to get her Master’s degree in Science Education from Brooklyn College followed by her Master’s degree in School Building Leadership from Fordham University. While at Xaverian, she has been head of the science department, and in 2016 was appointed Dean of Students.

Lastly, Hayes is a proud supporter of the Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

Deputy Marshal Brendan Lally


Brendan Lally was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. He is the president of IRL Systems, Inc., a company that specializes in commercial fire alarm and security systems installation, service and maintenance.

Founded in 2002, IRL has had year-over-year growth for all of its 14 years and currently employs a staff of 24 people, with nine IRL trucks on the road every day serving New York City.

Lally has been recognized as a future and present leader to watch and named one of the “Top 20 Under 40” by Security Systems News for his leadership in the industry.

Lally has also been involved with the Gaelic Football Association through the Brooklyn Shamrocks Gaelic Football Club, which he has been a supporter of for many years.

In 2006, Lally was nominated as president of the Brooklyn Shamrocks and served as president for three years. During his tenure he started the first ever youth division. The Junior Shamrocks rose quickly to the top, winning the 2009 U-10’s Championship.

Lally is also very active in fundraising for the club, and his company IRL Systems has been a main sponsor for many years. Lally was named Brooklyn Shamrocks’ 2016 Guest of Honor

Lally has been happily married for 14 years to his wife, Sinead. They live in Bay Ridge with their son, Finn, 4, their daughter, Claire, 2 and their dog, Roger, 9.

Deputy Marshal Brian Xuereb


Brian Gerard Xuereb was born and raised in Brooklyn, baptized at Our Lady of Angels Church and raised in the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

His father, Alfred, was born in Manhattan and his parents are from Malta. His mother Jean’s ancestors are from the city of Limerick and county of Tyrone.

Xuereb was commissioned into the New York State Chaplain Task Force in December and hope to work as a Chaplain for the NYPD in the coming months. He has been a substance abuse counselor for four years and currently an instructor in the field.

Xuereb has 11 nieces and nephews with number 12 on the way. He has a passion for woodworking, and building furniture for his family and friends as well as toys for children.

Xuereb is a proud and active member in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, with goals of continuing to preserve the Irish heritage, culture and Catholic faith.

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