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Author: New York Irish History Roundtable

Publication Year: 1998

Journal Volume: 12

Article Reference: NYIHR-V12-01

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Paul O'Dwyer

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There were many accolades indeath certificate, we should remember the City's newspapers-all and give thanks for the great gift to New York City that was Paul O'Dwyer.

O'Dwyer upon his death this past June. Paul also had the inspiration for But there was no hint of the man that The New York Irish, Ronald H. Bayor the New York Irish History Roundtable and Timothy J. Meagher, eds. knew and loved. We tried to remedy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins this with a brief insertion in the New University Press, 1996). As he wrote in York Times on 27 June 1998: the foreward to that historic volume: Paul O'Dwyer's interest in When I looked through my the history of the City of New library several years ago, it struck York and his deep commitment me that books had been written to the preservation of archival about the Irish in Boston, Butte, source materials has encouraged Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and strengthened us. The New Lowell, New Orleans, Philadel-York Irish History Roundtable phia, San Francisco and St. Louis. notes with sadness the passing of a Why wasn't there a history of the unique friend, and extends deep-Irish in New York City?... In the 1980s certain events came to pass est sympathy to his family. that allowed a financial and Few know that Paul was directly administrative collaboration responsible for the legislation that creat between the Irish Institute of New ed the Municipal Archives, a division of York, Inc., and the New York Irish the Department of Records and History Roundtable. Together we Information Services. Its mandate is "to had the means to commission the maintain, catalog, and make available best scholars in the country to historic New York City government undertake primary research. We records." He was honored for this in asked them to examine our rela- 1988 with the Award for Outstanding tionship to New York City honestly Support of Archives by the Archivists and to give us no credit but that Round Table of Metropolitan New which we deserved. This volume is York. Every time we cross the threshold the result. It is only a start a colof room 103 at 31 Chambers Street, lection of essays to help us better perhaps to search for a birth, marriage or understand our history in this city. PAGE 6 NEW YORK 1R15H HISTORY In the three years since The New amounting to more than one million York Irish was published, the harddollars. The Irish Institute building cover edition has sold out and the at 326 West 48th Street was the paperback edition is in its second headquarters for hundreds of Irish printing. Reviews have consistently American organizations until it was praised the book as a major contribusold in 1982. tion to the historiography of the Irish The New York Irish History in America. It was also adopted as : Roundtable, which was founded in classroom text for the first time at 1984, soon attracted Paul O'Dwyer's New York University this fall. attention. Not only did he become a The New York Irish, seven years member, but on several occasionsin production, was made possible by through his influence and that of his a series of major grants from the Irish protégé, Kevin Morrissey-the Institute. The Irish Institute is an Roundtable was the beneficiary of Irish organization founded in Paul Institute support. The best example is 'Dwyer's Central Park West aparttheir unhesitating funding of the printment fifty years ago and incorporating costs for The Irish Experience in ed two years later, on 11 December New York City: A Select Bibliography, 1950. It is dedicated to promoting Ann M. Shea and Marion R. Casey the bonds of friendship between the (New York: The New York Irish people of Ireland and the United History Roundtable, 1995), published States by encouraging cultural pura as a companion volume to The New suits. Its purposes are to promote York Irish.

Irish art, music, dance, language, The Roundtable humbly dedilaw, history and folklore; to support cates Volume 12 of New York Irish Photo: Timothy J. Meagher, the institutions and scholars who History to Paul O'Dwyer. The follow-Kevin Morrissey, Dorothy Hayden Cudahy, Paul study, preserve and present these dising pages are just the smallest of O Dwyer, Angela Carter, ciplines; and to mark and suitably memorials to a giant of the twentieth Dennis Clark, James S. record the accomplishments of Irish century whom we had the privilege to Donnelly, Jr. and Ronald H. immigrants to the United States and call our friend.

Bayor at Harbor Lights, South Street Seaport, 11 January their descendants. Since 1960 the 1990, after the first planning Irish Institute has quietly pursued a meeting for The New York policy of financial support for cultur-Irish. Photo by Tom Matthews.

Courtesy of the NYTHR. al projects in Ireland and America, Vol.12, 1998