Bravest jpg

NY Bravest honor brave Irish brother

Ian McCormack gives a thumbs up when he met up with the FDNY Gaelic Football Team at the Irish Consulate. Also pictured, on right, Consul General Barbara Jones and, on left, Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy.

By Ray O’Hanlon

It’s a camaraderie that spans an ocean.

And it was never as evident as when the Fire Department of New York honored Dublin firefighter Ian McCormack, one of the Irish capital’s Bravest, who is waging the biggest battle of his life.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

Ian, who has brain cancer, was in New York as a guest of the FDNY Gaelic Football Team.

A highlight of Ian’s five day visit came when he was sworn in as an honorary New York Firefighter by FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and Chief of Department James Leonard at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn.

Along with his wife Gemma, Ian was also taken on a tour of the city that included a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, a boat ride in New York Harbor, and a Broadway show.

Ian was also hosted at a reception, along with members of the FDNY Gaelic Football Team, at the Irish Consulate in Manhattan hosted by Consul General Barbara Jones, and Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy.

The gaelic footballers presented Ian with full membership of the team, and a jersey to proudly wear.

Consul General Jones lauded the long relationship between the Dublin Fire Brigade, the FDNY and the FDNY team, which became even stronger in the aftermath of 9/11.

Ian, based in the Dolphin’s Barn area of Dublin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor over two years ago.

A family friend began a fundraising campaign to help Ian live his dream of visiting New York City.
Ian’s sister-in-law, Liz Hanley, told a local newspaper, the Tallaght Echo: “My brother-in-law Ian was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor two years ago, and before he was diagnosed he never got to live out his dream, which was to go to New York.”

Thanks to family, friends and fellow firefighters on both side of the Atlantic, Ian has now fulfilled that dream, and in so doing has returned to Ireland with the support and encouragement of a whole new band of brothers.