NEWARK, NJ – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorated the heritage and traditions of the Irish community during its 2019 “Salute to the Irish” St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

As a former Grand Marshal of the Nutley St. Patrick's Day Parade (2014), Freeholder President Brendan Gill acknowledged the importance of celebrating diversity and heritage in Essex County and also shared his firsthand experience with the distinguished honorees.

The program, held in collaboration with Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin and Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, was highlighted by presentations of the Board’s Commendations to the Grand Marshals, Deputy Grand Marshals, and members of the organizing committees for Essex County’s three St. Patrick’s Day Parades: Nutley, West Orange, and Newark. Brief biographies of all the 2019 honorees can be seen below. 

Sign Up for E-News

The 68th Annual West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held on Sunday, March 10, was represented by Grand Marshal Carol Sharkey Corcoran, Deputy Grand Marshals Joseph Fagan, Carolyn Diver Torchia and Terrance Michael McHugh, and parade chair Sheila Parisi.

Grand Marshal Carol Sharkey Corcoran works with retailer H&M as a Global Incident Manager. She became involved in the Parade Committee when she was 16 years old. At first, as a member of the Finance Committee soliciting donations for the Ad Journal, stuffing envelopes and hanging posters around town to promote the Parade. Since then, she has served in several positions on the Committee including: Corresponding Secretary, Financial Secretary, Investiture Chairman, Grand Stand Announcer, Vice Chairman, Chairman, and currently as the Public Relations Officer. She has been married to the love of her life, Michael, for 24 years. They are blessed with three incredible sons, Michael, Ryan, and Jack.

Deputy Grand Marshal Joseph Fagan is a New Jersey State Licensed Master Plumber who has been self-employed for 32 years. At a young age, he took interest in West Orange history and has since written four books on the history of the town. His weekly newspaper article, Discover West Orange, has appeared in the West Orange Chronicle Newspaper in consecutive weeks for 10 years having begun in April 2009. He has given numerous lectures and historical presentations at the West Orange Public Library and for various civic organizations. The tradition of his Irish family heritage will be on full display as he marches up Main Street as a Deputy Grand Marshal with the walking stick of his 2nd generation Irish great-grandmother Mary E. Perry. He met his wife Debbie of 40 years while in high school. They have one son Joe and a granddaughter Emma Lynn.

Deputy Grand Marshal Carolyn Diver Torchia is a Project Manager for contracting/design with Smith Building Group. She was employed by RR Donnelley & Sons as a Senior Account Manager/Customer Relationship Manager for 26 years before changing careers. She has been an active member of the Women of Irish Heritage for 5 years. In those 5 years, she has served on the Executive Board as Sergeant at Arms for 2 years, and hostess for 2 years. For the past 4 years, she has co-chaired the Tricky Tray annual spring fundraiser. She is married to her husband Anthony and they have lived in Roseland for the past 18 years. They have 2 children, Jack and Emily.

Deputy Grand Marshal Terrance Michael McHugh, affectionately called “Terry”, was born in Montclair and grew up in West Caldwell. He spent his entire career in the construction industry, and is currently a Project Manager at Sloan & Company, Inc. He is a proud and active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) and Michael L. Delahunty Division 9. He is a Past President and Vice President of Division 9 and Past President of the AOH Essex County Board. He is a former member of the West Caldwell Democratic Committee, former Treasurer of the Associated Contractors of Essex County, former Trustee and Secretary of Laborers Local #694, and he is a current member of the Knights of Columbus #1277, the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, and the Giblin Association. He is a proud Irish-American and traces his Irish Roots to the towns of Kilteeven and Slatta-Roosky, County Roscommon. He and his wife Maryellen currently reside in Verona with their three sons, James Michael (Jimmy); John Francis (Jack); and Michael Patrick.

The 41st Annual Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held on Saturday, March 2, was represented by Grand Marshal Ed Saegers, Deputy Grand Marshal Noreen Haveron, Parade Queen Kellie Cole, “Member of the Year” Allen Magill, and “Firefighter of the Year” Richard Cavanagh.

Grand Marshal Ed Saegers is a Service Officer for American Legion Post 105, a Past Grand Knight of the Belleville Knights of Columbus Council 835, a life member of the Catholic War Veterans, and an active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 16. After graduating from High School, he served our nation in the United States Navy and was honorably discharged in 1968. He married his sweetheart Karen in Ossining, New York, and they reside in West Caldwell. They are blessed with two children, Ed, Jr., and Courtney and four beautiful grandchildren.

Deputy Grand Marshal Noreen Haveron is the Executive Director and President of the Board of Directors of the Job Haines Home in Bloomfield. She is an active parishioner of St. Mary’s Church where she currently volunteers on the Lay Leadership, Finance and the Oktoberfest committees.  Additionally, she currently is on the Advisory Board of the Cope Center in Montclair and previously was on the Board of Directors for JFK Hospital. She is one of 4 siblings and takes pride in being extremely involved in the lives of her eight nieces and nephews.

The 2019 “Member of the Year” Allen Magill has been a member of the “The Copy Shop Inc.” team in Nutley for over 30 years as part of the sales and service department.  He volunteers at many of the Nutley Irish American Association (NIAA) events and fundraisers. He has been a part of the Relay for Life team, raising funds for the American Cancer Society, and has also been the NIAA Post Parade Chair for over 5 years. He currently resides in Nutley with his lovely wife Shari and their three amazing and beautiful daughters Lindsay Kaitlyn, Samantha Rose and Jaclyn Ruth.

Parade Queen Kellie Cole of Nutley is a Customer Experience Associate for David Donahue, one of the leading menswear brands in the country. Her community engagement and involvement has always been a focal point of her life mission. Her volunteer activities include donating to various food banks, toy drives, and working with St. John’s Soup Kitchen. She credits her appreciation of the Irish culture to her large, and very close-knit family.

The 2019 “Firefighter of the Year” Richard Cavanagh began his fire service career with the Belleville Fire Department in 1996. He was promoted to Lieutenant on March 28, 2006, to the rank of Captain on October 24, 2011, then promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief on December 12, 2012. He has served as Vice President of the Belleville Fire Officers Association, Local 229 from 2006 to 2010, and became President of Local 229 in 2010. He currently serves in that position and is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 16. He is married to his wife Kelly and they live in West Caldwell with their son John Joseph.

The 2019 Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held on March 15th, is known as the infamous “granddaddy of them all.” The parade committee was represented by General Chairman Michael D. Byrne, Grand Marshal Sean O’Neil, and Deputy Grand Marshal Kathleen M. Conlon.

Grand Marshal Sean O’Neill is a Chief Engineer at the Panasonic Corporation of North America located in downtown, Newark. He has been a proud member of Local 68 Operating Engineers for the past 33 years and also a member of the union’s Executive Board. He is a past member of the Ironbound Irish American Association, was Grand Marshal of the 2006 Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and is a member of many organizations throughout Essex County and the State of New Jersey. He currently resides in Woodbridge, New Jersey with his wife Louann and they are proud parents of their daughter, Haley O’Neill.

Deputy Grand Marshal Kathleen M. Conlon, affectionately called “Kathe”, is the Director of the Burn Community Programs for the Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Hospital, where she is responsible for oversite of the burn foundation, grant management, and the development and implementation of all burn and disaster outreach programs. She serves on various state and national committees, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Burn Association, and a national faculty member of the American Burn Association Advanced Burn Life Support course. She has authored or co-authored several articles on burns and disaster preparedness. She is the oldest of five siblings, has six nieces and nephews, and a great niece and nephew.

This year’s parade was dedicated to the late Thomas James Gartland of Caldwell. He was born in Montclair and lived the entirety of his life in Caldwell. He served in the U.S. Army from 1959 until his honorable discharge in 1961, the same day that John F. Kennedy was sworn into office as President. He was very active in local politics and was elected to the Caldwell Municipal Council in 1971, was an active member of the Essex County Democratic Committee, and was elected to its Hall of Fame after 50 years of service to the Caldwell Democratic County Committee. He was deeply loved by his family and community and his memory will be cherished by his beloved wife of 47 years, Susan and their children, grandchildren, and extended family.

This year’s program also featured opening and closing prayers from Reverend Paul Donohue of St. Lucy’s Church. The program was filled with performances, including: a bagpipe performance by John “Jack” McGarry, a vocal selection from Cecily Williams, and a special Irish Dance performance by students from the DeNogla School of Irish Dance.