2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade grand marshals chosen

Sister Bridget O'Sullivan

When the 2012 Bronx St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off from the corner of E. Tremont and Lafayette avenues on Sunday, March 11, three outstanding Irish-American community leaders will be honored.

Selected by the committee as the grand marshals for the parade, which steps off at noon, are Justice Douglas McKeon and businesswoman Regina Gallagher-Marengo. The honored clergy member is Sister Bridget O’Sullivan, a teacher for 49 years at St. Helena Girls and Monsignor Scanlan high schools.

“They are individuals who are known to us, or brought to our attention, who represent community service, spiritual dedication, and Bronx Irish spirit,” said Karin O’Conner of the parade committee.

Justice McKeon has been Administrative Judge for Civil Matters in the 12th Judicial District since January 2011. Previously, he served as presiding justice of the of the appellate first department, and as a New York State Supreme Court Justice has handled high profile cases including the Happy Land Fire case, and is currently presiding in the civil case brought by Nafissatou Diallo against Dominique Strauss-Khan.

His selection as one of the grand marshals serves as an expression of faith his Irish-American neighbors have placed in his work in the law and courts, and this work must have given them a sense of pride and a because they are publicly acknowledging them, McKeon said.

“It was totally unexpected, and I was really quite touched because I have been honored by law-related organizations, but in a way this is kind of a testament by my neighbors,” McKeon stated. “I obviously felt flattered that they would select me for such an honor.”

McKeon has lived his entire life in the Bronx, presently in the Pelham Parkway community. His his father Edwin McKeon was the Chief Clerk of the Bronx Civil Court.

Regina Gallagher-Marengo grew up in the Bronx and established Ensign Engineering, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm, in 1993. The firm is presently located off Bruckner Boulevard and has been working on the reconstruction of the World Trade Center since 2006, as well as on projects for the Department of Design and Construction and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Judge McKeon

She is also a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, and since 2009, has been commanding officer of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 26.

Having spent St. Patrick’s Day serving in Afghanistan in 2011 will make spending it as grand marshal of this parade even more sweet, Gallagher-Marengo stated.

“I am thrilled to be selected as a grand marshal in 2012 Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” Gallagher-Marengo stated. “This parade is such a great celebration of our Irish-American heritage in Throggs Neck. It exemplifies what is so wonderful in our area: the camaraderie of the community, the spirit of the neighborhood, and our wonderful merchants along E. Tremont Avenue.”

A Sparkill Dominican sister, Sr. Bridget Teresa O’Sullivan was raised in Mott Haven and Castle Hill in an Irish immigrant family, with her mother from County Cork, and her father from County Kerry, she said.

Upon her graduation from Walton High School in 1946, she felt herself called to a religious vocation. She professed her vows on April 6, 1948.

She retired from teaching on Labor Day 2011 after being on the faculty of Monsignor Scanlan for 49 years, and spent a total of 65 years teaching in Catholic schools, she stated. Her selection as honored clergy is an honor that came as a surprise and she has only watched the Bronx St. Patrick’s Day Parade as a spectator before, O’Sullivan stated.

“I was very surprised and it was one of those things that seemed to come out of the blue,” O’Sullivan. “I feel so honored.”

Regina Gallagher-Marengo

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