New York – The St. Patrick’s season kicked off in high gear at a reception at the Irish Consulate Thursday in what promised to be a bittersweet event, sweet because this is always high season, but bitter because it brings the departure of Consul General Tim O’Connor, who has served in the post for only 19 months. The consul has promoted to secretary general to President of Ireland Mary McAleese. For his labors here, O’Connor was dubbed an honorary New Yorker on Thursday night by Irish Heritage and Culture Week Committeewoman Flora Costello.
We caught up with the man of the hour and he graciously gave us a few moments of his time and insight.
WGT – What are you proudest of during your tenure here in New York?
O’Connor – The advancement of the immigration issue, which is huge, working with David Healey and others in the community to create a network of young Irish professionals; working with the brilliant Irish Arts community in New York in advancing the cause of Irish culture here; and working with the Irish economic agencies promoting Irish-US business.
WGT – What is the most important thing you want to accomplish in the next few years in your new post?
O’Connor – To support President McAleese in the remaining years of her outstanding presidency.
WGT – Will you go on to become president of Ireland?
O’Connor – (shaking his head) – Oh, no.
WGT – What will you miss most about New York?
O’Connor – The spirit and the warmth and the sense that any dream may be made come true here.
And that same warmth of spirit has made Tim O’Connor a superb consul general, one whom we will miss greatly. President McAleese, your gain is New York’s loss.
WGT wishes Consul General and Mrs. O’Connor slán abhaile and go n-éirí an t-ádh leat! Ádh mór ort!
Culture Editor, www.thewildgeese.com