The campaign to have a street in the Bronx named after the late lawyer and human rights activist Frank Durkan has been given a boost
with the approval for the plan by the Transportation Committee of Community Board 8.
The hearing last week began with the presentation of a formal written submission by Martin Lyons, which included
almost 50 letters of support from Irish organizations, local businesses and prominent individuals for the proposal to re-name
one of the streets adjoining Gaelic Park as “Frank Durkan Way.”
The GAA, through former president Terry Connaughton had submitted a letter of support in advance of the meeting.
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Lyons, a Galway native and one of the founders of Irish Northern Aid, said that “Frank was deeply revered by the Irish American community for his hard work and commitment to a search
He outlined Durkan’s involvement in Irish organizations and issues beginning from the day of his arrival in the U.S. from Mayo and said that “the number and range of organizations and individuals present at this hearing were testimony to the character of the man”.
Former Assemblyman John Dearie said that he had “sat on many boards and committees, who had to decide on measures like that presented to Community Board 8, and often such measures had some controversy or complications” but Dearie said that with regard to Durkan, “there should be no hesitancy about honoring Frank Durkan. He is the type of person who personified why communities award such honors and
memorials. An approval would be applauded by the Irish American community.”
The Durkan proposal had been scheduled for a submission only, to be voted upon in November for December referral to the
entire community board. However, according to attorney Martin Galvin, a leading supporter of the proposal who was present at the meeting, the transportation committee chair, Dan Pasternack, was so impressed with the presentation and support
that he suggested that a vote be taken at once.
“It was approved and Dan Pasternack agreed to present the proposal at the November meeting of the full Community 8 Board,” said Galvin.