Garry mccarthy

Chicago bids farewell to an Irish dynasty

As of this week Chicago is not being run by a man named Daley. As Irish American political stories go, that's right up there with no elected Kennedy in Massachusetts.

Mayor Richard M. Daley took his leave of the mayor's job Monday as the city's top job passed into the hands of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, whose former job is now in the hands of Bill Daley, the now retired mayor's brother.

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Ex-mayor Daley, who is 69, had been chief citizen of Chicago for the past 22 years. His father, the legendary Richard J. Daley, Many Chicagoans would argue, had been mayor for ever.

The Daley family combined to form a dynasty which had father and son in the mayor's office for 42 of the last 55 years.

If any Irish American family could match the Kennedys for sustained political prominence then, it has surely been the Daleys.

But while the mayor's office is no longer home to a Daley, Chicago's enormous Irish political and civic legacy will be added to by Mayor Emanuel's new top cop.

Former Newark, NJ police chief and onetime NYPD second-in-command, Garry McCarthy, is Chicago's newly appointed police Superintendent, the title carried by the Windy City's police chiefs.

Bronx-born McCarthy, who was an honoree in the Irish Echo's inaugural Top 50 Irish Law and Order awards last October, has been broadly welcomed in his new role.

"McCarthy rose from the patrol ranks, which should be an advantage in Chicago. McCarthy was a deputy commissioner in New York during the Sept. 11 attacks, setting up a command post in the shadow of Ground Zero. He seems to understand that ethical policing is critical to building trust with citizens," the Chicago Tribune stated in an assessment of the new Superintendent.