Picture of Minority Whip James Nolan w/Liam McLaughlin & Board Chair Vedat Gashi, Leg. David Tubiolo w/Ray O’Hanlon & Board Chair Vedat Gashi

White Plains, NY — On Monday, the Westchester County Board of Legislators held their annual Irish-American Heritage Month celebration, with an in-person ceremony presenting proclamations to the two honorees, Inspector General Liam McLaughlin and Irish Echo Editor-in-Chief, Ray O’Hanlon.

Board Chair Vedat Gashi (D - Ossining, New Castle, Somers, Yorktown) convened the ceremony, welcoming guests both virtually and in-person. He said, “As always, tonight is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the significant contributions of our many outstanding Irish-American constituents, and to recognize how these individuals have enriched the culture of Westchester County.”

“Tonight, we have the pleasure of honoring two Irish-Americans – Yonkers Inspector General Liam McLaughlin, born and raised in that great city, who has made positive impacts on his community through his various governmental roles. The other is Dublin native Roy O’Hanlon, Editor of the Irish Echo, who came to this country on a journalistic mission to expand Ireland’s voice throughout the world.”

Minority Whip James Nolan (R – Bronxville, Yonkers) presented the first proclamation to Mr. McLaughlin saying, “As an Irishman myself, I can tell you that Liam truly emulates the tenacity of the Irish spirit. As the highest elected official of Irish heritage in the last 30 years in the City of Yonkers, Liam has always been a leader and a fighter. In 2020, Liam was appointed to serve as Yonkers Inspector General, the watchdog for the people of Yonkers, after serving 14 years on the Yonkers City Council.”

“Liam exemplifies the Irish Spirt with his willingness to fight the good fight. The Irish Spirt is to have poetry in your heart while facing adversity and never backing down from a battle for what is right, even against all odds. The Irish Spirt is to love the underdog, because the Irish have been underestimated and persecuted throughout our history. It is an incredible honor to honor the fighting Irishman from Yonkers, Liam McLaughlin, for this year’s Irish-American Heritage Month.”

Mr. McLaughlin expressed his gratitude for the honor saying, “I would like to thank the County Board of Legislators and particularly Legislator Nolan for this wonderful honor. My Irish heritage is very important to me and therefore receiving this recognition is truly very special. Most of us revel in the ethnic diversity that is Westchester County. Being proud of our own heritage while at the same time celebrating the different backgrounds of our friends and neighbors is a part of what makes Westchester so warm and inviting. As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, I welcome everyone to enjoy the food, drink, singing and laughter that is a major part of our Irish heritage.”

The Board declared March 8, 2024 “Liam McLaughlin Day” in Westchester County.

Legislator David Tubiolo (D – Yonkers, Mount Vernon) presented the second proclamation to Ray O’Hanlon, saying “Representing the vibrant community of McLean Avenue with our beloved Irish and Irish-Americans is a distinct privilege. Ray O’Hanlon has been the voice for the Irish community for 45 years. He is a source of information of interest to the Irish community here and around the world on historical and educational topics, current events, and so much more. To honor him is to honor someone who epitomizes the Irish-American experience of valuing education, ambition, family values and hard work.”

Mr. O’Hanlon graciously accepted the honor saying, “I am humbled and proud to be honored by Westchester County legislators in the month of March, Irish Heritage Month. My wife, Lisa, and I have lived in the County for over thirty years. We raised our three children in Ossining, on the banks of the majestic Hudson River. In accepting this honor, I do so on behalf of all who work at the Irish Echo, and all who have guided the paper down the years since it was founded in New York City in 1928. Through all those years, the Irish Echo has relied on a solid core of readers in Westchester County. The ‘Irishness’ of Westchester is made evident by the number of St. Patrick's Day parades in county towns and villages throughout March. Those parades are an Irish welcome mat for all residents of the County, and in their collective spirit I wish all my fellow ‘Westchesterites’ a Happy and Joyful St. Patrick's Day.”

The Board declared March 9, 2024 “Ray O’Hanlon Day” in Westchester County.

Read the program for Monday night’s event at: https://www.westchesterlegislators.com/images/Newsroom/2024/2024-ihm-program.pdf