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Peekskill readies to wear the green

This year's grand marshal is Ray Bermingham.

"We're coming off a very successful 20th Anniversary year and we are looking forward to another successful series of events this year. Our annual selection of grand marshal and aides demonstrates how Irishmen and women impact our daily lives. Each honoree makes meaningful contributions to the greater Peekskill community," said parade committee chairman, Jack Murphy.

Grand marshal Bermingham is a native of County Cork who lives with his wife, Bridget, in Cortlandt Manor. He came to America in 1964 carrying with him his hurling sticks and love of Irish music.

Aligning himself with the Cork Hurling Club, he played with the junior and senior Cork teams, winning championship medals in 1969 and 1986.

Bermingham was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam in the army's Fourth Infantry Division. When he returned from Southeast Asia, he pursued night classes at Baruch College while beginning a career on Wall Street. He eventually expanded his career efforts into both the finance and hospitality fields.

While making a living for his family, Bermingham never lost his love for music. In 2009 he recorded songs on the Peekskill St. Patrick's Committee's 20th Anniversary CD along with other performers like Scott Mettey and the late Jimmy Guinan.

Bermingham is active in Irish American organizations such as the Peekskill St. Patrick's Committee, where he has served as chairperson. He is also active in Peekskill's Division 18 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In 2008, he was selected as the Hibernian of the Year and was honored in 1990 by the County Cork Hurling Club for his accomplishments on and off the field. Bermingham is also a proud 40-year member of the County Cork Association of New York City. Last fall, he was one of the leading organizers of the first annual Hudson Valley Irish Festival at Peekskill's Riverfront Green.

Meanwhile, parade marchers are being asked to line up near the fire house on Division Street for the start of the parade. Details on the march are at www.peekskillstpatricksparade.org.

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