Patrick E. O’Rourke Jr was born in Glen Ridge, NJ July 1963 son of Patrick Sr. and Eileen (nee Kavanagh) The oldest of three children, Lisa (his twin) and younger brother Thomas. Patrick lived in Nutley until the age of six, when the family moved to the Caldwell’s where he was raised and attended High School, graduating in 1981. Upon graduation, he continued his studies at Rutgers University Newark, School of Business graduating in 1985. Patrick’s Parents would remarry; Patrick Sr. to Pam Moscetti, currently residing in Glen Gardner NJ. Eileen married Joseph DiPaolo and the pair welcomed two more children, Lee and Robert (Corey) bringing the sibling count to five. Currently living in Hackettstown. Patrick Sr.’s family arrived in America in the 1860s settling in Ironbound Newark. The family would remain in Newark for decades, eventually moving to Nutley where he was born and raised. Eileen’s Family would arrive in the U.S. around the same time. They settled in downtown Manhattan; Eileen’s parents were raised in Pelham NY and after the war moved to Bloomfield NJ. Both families came to America during great turmoil in Ireland never expecting to go back or see their, families again. At this time, we cannot locate records of their arrival or their hometowns.
Neither family forgot their Irish heritage and instilled a strong belief in their children. Patrick would meet Maria (Tsapanidis) Maxwell in 2001. They live in West Caldwell NJ. Maria is first generation Greek and has embraced the Shillelagh club. She has created and continues to Chair the Luck O’ The Pup Pet Adoption fair held at the Club every fall. This event has raised almost $50,000 for contributions to many pet-friendly organizations.
Patrick has been in the construction industry since college. He was a journeyman carpenter with Local#1342. He is a member of Local 1 I.U.E.C. Licensed Elevator Constructor in NJ, NY and NYC, employed by Otis Elevator for almost 25 years. Patrick earned his Electrical license (#15957) and has owned and operated ORuairc Electric since 2007. With hopes of retirement on the horizon. He has acquired his Elevator inspectors, Subcode and
Construction official licenses for future employment. He expects his retirement to last a week.
Patrick joined the Shillelagh Club in 2012 and became active straight away by joining the Dinner Dance Committee. Patrick was an integral force behind many of the improvements at the Club including the most visible, the deck. Patrick along with Joe Kennedy set about re-opening the kitchen, cooking every Tuesday and Friday night and donating all proceeds back to the Shillelagh Club. He joined the Executive Board in 2013 after being elected Keeper, then progressed to becoming Financial Secretary and finally serving a three-year term as President, from 2017 to 2020.
During his presidency, he oversaw the latest renovation of the bar, and helped keep stability and continuity to all activities during Covid. He introduced new charities to the club and continued to highlight contributions we already made to the community. His focus has been and still is continued outreach to the other Irish organizations in the area believing there is more strength in numbers. Patrick is also active in the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Michael L. Delahunty Division 9 and is the current Vice President. He is a proud member of the Ironbound Irish and the Irish American Society of the Oranges.
Dennis Sean Cleary grew up in West Orange, the son of Jack and Terry Cleary. The grandson of Conor and Mary Cleary who were from Six-mile Bridge, a village in County Clare, Ireland. Conor and Mary came to the U.S and settled in East Orange. Conor ran a cemetery for many years. When Conor passed away, Jack Cleary moved his mother to Chestnut Street in West Orange while Jack and Terry bought a house on Mountain Avenue.
Growing up at the top of Moore Terrace, some of Dennis’ earliest and fondest memories were walking down the hill with his brothers to watch the West Orange Parade. Extended family and friends would come over afterward for corned beef and cabbage. Even as a kid there was nothing like the sound of pipes and drums.
Dennis went to Our Lady of Lourdes, served as Chief Altar Boy and opened up the Church for daily mass. He played PAL and Mountaintop sports.
In high school, he worked at the Lourdes Rectory answering phones and counting the collection.
He graduated from West Orange High School where he captained the basketball team under Coach Michael Fess. He then attended his father’s alma mater Providence College where he played basketball for three years under Pete Gillen. Not just any team, this Big East Team had legends like God Shammgod and Austin Croshere. In 1997, this Friar team went to the Elite Eight losing in overtime to the eventual National Champion Arizona.
Even in college, Dennis came home specifically for the parade, and began hosting Kegs and Eggs, an annual Pre-parade event at his Mother’s house.
Following College, Dennis attended Seton Hall Law School where he served as a student senator and ran the Irish American Law School Association (IALSA).
After a one-year clerkship with Judge Petrolle, Dennis was hired by the Public Defender’s Office and then started his own practice now located in West Orange. He now lives in Roseland with his wife, Janelle, a federal prosecutor, and their three children, Jack, Claire, and Kevin. The Clearys are active in the community and recreation sports. As a small business owner in town, Dennis supports West Orange businesses, athletics and the PBA.
The West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade is an institution and the best parade in the State. He is honored and humbled to serve along with the other honorees, past and present.
Lawrence R. (Larry) Lonergan was born on a U.S. military base in Wildeflecken, West Germany to Lawrence and Carol Lonergan (nee O’Brien) in 1964. In 1967 the family settled in the Irish Riviera, Rockaway Beach in Queens New York. Larry was fortunate to attend and graduate from Regis High School, New York City in 1982. He then attended the oldest Jesuit College in New England, the College of the Holy Cross, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1986, and then went on to obtain his law degree from New York Law School in 1992. Larry then went on to pass the Bar Exams in both New York and Massachusetts later that year, and was admitted to
practice in New Jersey in 2007.
A blind date set up by friends brought him to the love of his life, Karen O’Connor, and the rest was history. They married in 1998 and moved to Verona where they still live over twenty-five years later. Karen is a paralegal and manages the Lonergan Law Firm in Montclair. Most importantly, she and Larry raised three children in Verona, Christopher, Katherine and Bridget. Chris, 24, graduated from Bucknell University in 2021 with a chemical engineering degree and now works as a scientist for a major pharmaceutical company. Katie, 21, is a junior at the University of South Carolina and Bridget, 18, is a freshman at Tufts University.
Larry grew up with his two sisters, Kimberly and Ellen, and started his professional life working the beaches of Rockaway as a Lifeguard for the New York City Parks Dept. in the summers. After college, he stayed in Boston until he returned to join up with a childhood friend, James (Jimmy) Woods, and the two formed the Woods Lonergan law firm in Manhattan. The firm has expanded and grown with branches on both sides of the Hudson. Woods Lonergan specializes in corporate and business law, while establishing a reputation as a dynamic and industrious law firm.
Larry has continued his love of playing basketball, and passed that passion on to his children, which he coached to championships in Verona over the years. In addition to coaching in Verona, Larry has served the community for many years in various positions and recently retired as Chairman of the Verona Planning Board after a 10-year stint.
Larry’s Irish roots stem from Munster, with his mother’s family hailing from the Kingdom of Kerry and his father’s family hailing from the Premier County, Tipperary. Karen and Larry love visiting his homestead and have passed down their love of the Irish countryside to their children.
Larry joined the Essex Shillelaghs in 2003, at the invitation of long-time friend and fellow former president of the Shillelaghs, Scott Harrington. Since then, Larry has taken on many roles on the Executive Board including the positions of Keeper, Vice President and then serving as President for a two-year term, wishing everyone a hearty “cilantro” at many meetings. Larry was instrumental in forming the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Foundation in 2013, the charitable non-profit 501-c-3 organization that is the backbone of the Club. He also served as chairman on multiple Committees and was a Trustee. All the while, Larry has been the Legal Advisor (pro bono) to the Essex Shillelaghs, guiding and protecting the Club and its members. Larry was honored as Shillelagh Man of the Year in 2019.
Matthew Paul Mulligan Jr was born in 1959 in Orange Memorial Hospital to Matthew Paul Mulligan Sr and Rose, and was raised as a child in Orange, New Jersey. The Grandson of Matthew Valentine and Gertrude Mulligan, Great Grandchild of Matthew H., and Mary Mulligan (Nee Morrisroe) from Frenchpark, Roscommon, Ireland. Matthew Valentine and Gertude settled in East Orange N.J. Matthew worked as a Clerk for Erie Lackawanna until his retirement in 1969. Matthew Paul Mulligan Sr. after returning from the military, being stationed in Korea during the Korean war, married Rose Spallone and settled in Orange NJ. on High Street. Matthew worked for the Orange Board of Education as a custodian for 36 years until retirement.
As young kids, we loved walking to Colgate Field for the Fireworks and walking from our house to the West Orange Parade. The West Orange Parade continued to be one of our annual favorites, leaving our home with our children and walking down to the Parade. A very close friend would have a gathering every Parade morning at his home on Valley Way right across from Lourdes where we would eat corned beef and drink Guinness to start the festivities for Parade Day. For many years, Matthew has worked with
the Parade committee, helping them secure the crane for the sign on Main Street and setting up the viewing stand at the end of the parade.
Matthew attended grammar school, middle school, and High School in Orange NJ. Matthew loved playing sports and participated in football and baseball from PAL to High School, graduating in 1977.
Matthew married Sherrie in 1987 and settled in West Orange, renting an apartment on Watson Ave. In 1998, Matthew and Sherrie purchased a home on Woodside Terrace, raised three children, Matthew III, a Sergeant for the Essex County Department of Corrections, Amanda Lynn, Manager of Lifetime Fitness in Florham Park NJ, and Ryan, Project Manager and Safety Officer for The Shauger Group, Inc. All three of Matthew and Sherrie’s children went through the West Orange School system, participated in PAL, Amanda as a cheerleader and High School football and all graduated from West Orange HS.
Matthew is active with the Elks Organization, serving in various capacities during his 43 years as a member, including Exalted Ruler and reaching the high office of District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2023. Matthew was once selected by the City of Orange Department of Cultural Affairs as Irishman of
the Year, an honor he shared with his father, Matthew Sr. and was honored by Governor Codey as Citizen of the year in 2003. Matthew is a 29-year employee of the Shauger Group, Inc. and serves as President of Operations.
Matthew and Sherrie still reside on Woodside Terrace and are active with many Charitable endeavors, support the FOP and PBA and continue to assist the Parade committee. Matthew is so thankful to be honored, along with the Grand Marshal and other honorees in this year’s Parade and being part of the greatest Parade tradition in the State of New Jersey, The West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade!!