Garracloon, County Mayo native and Cleveland radio host Gerry Quinn has been named Grand Marshal of Cleveland’s 144TH Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. As reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Quinn said “It’s the biggest honor in the Irish community. It’s truly humbling.” In his official role that day, however, he’ll be uncharacteristically silent.”The only thing I do is blow the whistle to start the parade”.
Since his arrival in 1961, Quinn has established himself as a natural and energetic leader. His soft brogue and genuine humility have always won him friends and accolades far and wide. In Cleveland, he began his radio show thirty years ago. He co-founded the Irish American Club East Side and the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. More recently, he took part in the restoration and 2010 re-dedication of the Irish Cultural Gardens in Cleveland. He’s been a member of the Boland-Berry Division of the AOH since shortly after his arrival in the 60s.
The United Irish Societies of Cleveland said “His promotion and support of the Irish Community is unparalleled. On the Radio Program, he regularly announces everything happening in the Irish Community. His passion for the Irish Events in our area is absolutely a joy to listen to.”
Gerry is a founding member and Past President of the Irish American Club East Side and the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. He is also a member of the West Side Irish American Club, the Irish Charitable Foundation, Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Padraic Pearse Center and the Irish American Archives Society. In 2006, he was honored as one of the Co-Chairs of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade for his many contributions to the community including promoting concerts presenting Irish entertainment of the highest quality. The Irish American Archives Society honored him with the Walks of Life Award.
The United Irish Societies said “Quinn is a wonderful, kind, and caring man, his contribution to the Irish Community in Cleveland make him the outstanding choice for Grand Marshal”.
Lifelong friend and fellow Mayoman (Ballina) John Garvey is Past-President of the New York Mayo Society. He and Quinn bonded while attending Patrician College in Ballyfin. “Without exception, he was the most-liked young man there. Now, we’re not just friends, we’re like brothers.” Humble as always, Quinn told Garvey that he thought others were more deserving of the award. “He co-founded the Irish American Club East Side and revived the long-dormant Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. “It just shows you the type of commitment he has towards the preservation and promotion of his Irish heritage and his Mayo heritage.”
His radio show, “The Gerry Quinn Irish Radio Show” can be streamed on the Internet at www.whkradio.com.
Gerry and his wife Nellie Stack were married at St. Ann’s Church in 1967. They are the proud parents of six children: Patrick, Sean, Kevin, Mary Ellen, Gerald and Michael and five grandchildren: Megan, Adelaide, Cecelia, Scarlet and Liam.