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St. Patrick’s Day Memories: Chris Byrne

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The first year I marched with NYPD Emerald Society Pipe Band, we made the turn onto 5th Avenue, the crowd roared, and I got that feeling that only an Irish cop can have in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day. Have you ever marched in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade? I’ve marched with the above mentioned pipe band, I’ve marched with Irish Northern Aid, I’ve marched with the Glasgow Celtic Supporters Club, I’ve marched with St John’s University (my current employer), I’ve marched with the Richmond County Pipes and Drums, I’ve marched with the County Donegal Association. What can I tell you? I like marching. Five essential Irish albums that should be part of everyone’s music library: “Afterhours” by The Bothy Band; “Seize the Day” by Damien Dempsey; “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” by The Pogues; “Astral Weeks” by Van Morrison; Anything by Seanchai and the Unity Squad.
How much green do you wear on March 17th? I wear enough green to go with the program. I’ve always found those Irish people too cool to wear green tragically hip – sad, really. Do you eat corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? How about soda bread? I’ll eat corned beef and cabbage, I find it works better on rye than soda bread. Favorite Irish film? “The Informer” with Victor McLoughlin. My father made us all watch it. In my house if you told on someone, you received a harsher sentence from my father than the offending brother or sister you told on. Favorite Irish book? “Proud Island” by Peadar O’Donnell. He nails Ireland in about 125 pages – of course I didn’t realize the book was about Ireland until about page 123. Favorite Irish song? “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones. I was fifteen the summer it came out, so was she. Complete this sentence: The most Irish thing about me is . . . I can have a great laugh at a wake and get choked up at a baptism.

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