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A university chancellor, the Massachusetts’ state treasurer and one of America’s greatest Irish rock bands were honored today at this year’s Irish Echo Golden Bridges Awards, which were held at the JFK Library in Boston and sponsored by the Northern Ireland Bureau, Bank of Ireland and NYPPEX.
Chancellor Marty Meehan of UMass Lowell also unveiled a new partnership between the Massachusetts college and its Belfast counterpart, Queen’s University, at the celebratory luncheon which was attended by the political, community and business leaders of Irish America in the Boston area.
Said Irish Echo publisher Mairtin O Muilleoir (also CEO of the Belfast Media Group): “In our 80th anniversary year, the Irish Echo is thrilled to be bringing together the heroes of Irish America in New England, champions of Irish America who have built golden bridges of peace, business, education and culture between Ireland and the US. This builds on our campaign to ensure that Irish American assistance for the peace process in Northern Ireland now transforms into practical alliances of mutual benefit to underpin the peace.”
UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan was recognized for his groundbreaking support for the Irish peace process both as a member of Congress and in higher education.
“It is wonderful that the Golden Bridges Awards acknowledge the contributions many have made to help bring peace and prosperity to the North of Ireland and I am humbled to be a recipient,” said Meehan. “At UMass Lowell, I fully believe that we must provide an education with an international focus. I am happy to announce a partnership between UMass Lowell and Queen's University Belfast in which we envision exchanges of students and collaboration by faculty in education and research.”
Among others who were honored at the Golden Bridges were developer John Hynes III, Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill, Dropkick Murphys founder Ken Casey, business leaders Joe Leary and Jim O’Brien, and Philips Healthcare of Andover, Mass., which recently bought Belfast firm TOMCAT, as well as Dr. Anne Donnellon of Babson College and Boston Irish Reporter publisher Ed Forry.