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For Immediate Release For Further Information
Contact: David O'Sullivan: (212) 867 6268

Council President Michael J. Gibbons Named
Grand Marshal Of 2009 New York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

October 21, 2008, New York, NY: Council President, Michael J. Gibbons, has been named Grand Marshal of the 2009 New York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Mr. Gibbons will lead the marchers up New York City’s Fifth Avenue on March 17 next year for the 248th staging of the world’s oldest and largest civic parade.

The Parade marched for the first time on March 17, 1762 - fourteen Years before the Declaration of Independence. Regarded as the most popular parade in New York City, the Parade is the largest and most famous of the many parades held in the city each year. The New York Parade consists only of marchers and does not allow floats, automobiles or other commercial displays. Each year, the Parade hosts some 250,000 marchers, along with many great marching bands, record numbers of bagpipers in marching formations, high-school and college bands from throughout the United States and from all over the world. The occasion is televised nationwide live for four hours by host station WNBC Channel Four to millions of households. It is also web-streamed live on the Internet and is also broadcast on cable television via satellite on The Travel Channel.

Council President-Elect, Dennis D. Swanson, said "We are truly delighted that Mike Gibbons has been selected as the 2009 Grand Marshal of the New York Parade. He is a man who is beloved in New York's Irish-American community. He is an outstanding American who has devoted a huge amount of his considerable energy and charisma to building enduring and durable ties between Ireland and America. We know that his selection will be a widely popular one, not just among members and friends of this Council, but throughout the community of businesses and organizations that shape the transatlantic commercial connections between Ireland and America."

Michael J. Gibbons
Michael J. Gibbons
Michael J. Gibbons was raised in New York City’s borough of the Bronx. Mike’s father hailed from County Mayo in Ireland and his mother was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada of Scotch-Irish descent. Mike graduated from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York and served in the U.S. Navy.

In 1967, he joined Estée Lauder, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin-care, makeup, fragrance and hair-care products. In his career there, he served as Vice President of Clinique and General Manager of Aramis. He retired as an Executive Vice President and General Manager in 2007.

Mr. Gibbons is currently the President of The Ireland-U.S. Council – a non-profit business organization dedicated to promoting business bonds and commercial connections between Ireland and America. The Council operates a variety of scholarship and internship programs, stages seminars and hosts frequent events in Ireland and in the United States. During his six years at the helm, the Council’s roster of programs and activities has been expanded and its stature has grown on both sides of the Atlantic.

He is currently a Director of Flax Trust America, a Member of the Mayo Society and a Director of The Irish Institute. He is also a Member of The Taoiseach’s Economic Advisory Board in the United States. Mr. Gibbons is a former Chairman of the International Center in New York, a private, not-for-profit organization that welcomes and assists immigrants and refugees to America. He is a past-Director of the American Ireland Fund, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Foundation and the former co-chairman of the Knights of St. Patrick. Mike and his wife, Cynthia, have four children and four grandchildren. They reside in Palm Beach, Florida and in Carmel, New York.

The Council is a not-for-profit business organization dedicated to building business bonds and commercial connections between America and Ireland. Mr. Gibbons, who will step down as Council President next month, has served in that role since his election in November, 2002.

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