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Local Business and Community Leaders Hailed at Irish Heritage Celebration

White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators gathered Monday, March 12, to honor local businessmen and community leaders as part of the Board's annual Irish History and Heritage Celebration.

Legislator David Tubiolo presented a Board proclamation to Seamus Clarke, who owns and operates J.P. Clarke's Saloon on McLean Avenue in Yonkers.  Clarke's opened in 1996, realizing Seamus Clarke's dream of owning his own business after coming to the U.S. in the 1980s from County Leitrim.

Clarke is a board member of the McLean Avenue Merchant's Association and an active member of the Irish community in Yonkers, including running the annual fundraising golf outing for the Aisling Irish Community Center, which assists Irish immigrants in their transition to life in America.

Noting that McLean Avenue has the highest concentration of Irish population in Westchester, Legislator Tubiolo said, "Seamus epitomizes McLean, the Irish and us as Americans."

Clarke commented on the history of Irish immigrants in Westchester going back to the 19th century saying, "We are very proud as immigrants, that our ancestors played their part in building up this great county and this great country."

Board Chair Benjamin Boykin presented a proclamation to White Plains Common Council President John Martin, whose family emigrated from Ireland in the 19th century.

Martin has served for more than nine years on the Council, and also is the past Chair of the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency and the White Plains Business Improvement District. He is an attorney and entrepreneur and currently serves as Vice President and General Counsel of All New York Title Agency, Inc., which he founded in White Plains in 1995.  

He was recognized by the Board on Monday for his role as Founder and Chair of the White Plains St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, which launched the city's annual parades beginning in 1998.  The “green” parade has grown to be one of the biggest and most popular parades in Westchester.  For 21 years it has marched on under Martin’s consistent guidance.

“I’m proud of our parade and all that it has come from, from its humble beginnings,” Martin said. “I’m proud of all that it stands for, which includes the contribution of immigrants from Ireland and by extension the contributions of immigrants from all parts of the world and all faiths, creeds and colors.”

Monday evening’s festivities began with a performance by the Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society of Westchester, a rendition of the Irish national anthem by singer/guitarist Padraig Allen and a performance by the O’Rourke Irish Dancers.

(PICTURED ABOVE From left to right: Seamus Clarke, John Martin; PHOTO CREDIT: Teresa Toscano)


(From left to right: Board Chair Benjamin Boykin, Seamus Clarke, Caitriona Clarke, Leg. David Tubiolo; PHOTO CREDIT: Teresa Toscano)


(From left to right: Board Chair Benjamin Boykin, John Martin, Board Vice Chair Alfreda Williams; PHOTO CREDIT: Teresa Toscano)

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