Cooney jpg

Crooner Cooney for Coney fair

Andy Cooney


By Irish Echo Staff

Andy Cooney will be channeling the ocean air to deliver more than a few Irish airs at the 36th Annual Great Irish Fair which takes place on Saturday, September 16 in Coney Island.

Cooney is but one of a number of musical acts lined up for one of the biggest Irish gatherings on the east coast this fall.

The fair is an all-day family friendly affair running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Ford Amphitheater, Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn.

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In addition to Cooney, “Irish America’s Favorite Son” to his legions of fans, other musical and artistic acts lined up include U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire, the O’Malley Dance Academy & Pipe Band, the Buckley School of Dance & Pipe Band, the Canny Brothers, and Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones.

Traditional music fans will be entertained by Susan Gillespie and Gerard Corbett, Johnny Nolan and Friends, and the Brooklyn Bards.

The Great Irish Fair is famous for its awards and this year the honorees are a who’s who of the Irish American community in the New York area.

The 2017 honorees are: Chief Brehon, Jim F. O’Dea; Colleen Queen, Caitlin Ward; Kathleen Slattery Woman of the Year, S. Marie Mackey, CSJ; Bishop Joseph Sullivan Memorial Award, Fr. Robert Lauder; St. Thomas More Award, Edward C. O’Callaghan; Paul O’Dwyer Memorial Award, Frank Schorn.

Father Mychal Judge O.F.M. Memorial Award, Father Brian Jordan OFM; Captain Timothy Stackpole Memorial Award, Gerard Fitzgerald; Thomas Cuite Memorial Award, Michael Gibbons; The Round Tower Award, Mary Hogan; The Celtic Cross Award, Coach Donald Kent; The Bard of the Fair, Alice McDermott.

Patrolman Edward Byrne Memorial Award, Detective Brian Curley.

The Al O’Hagan Memorial Award will go to Senator Martin J. “Marty” Golden.

The fair’s origins go back to 1982 when it was established by Brooklyn members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In 2007 the running of the fair was taken up by the Irish American Building Society Charities, Inc.

All net proceeds derived from the Great Irish Fair are to a charitable fund for the benefit of Brooklyn and Queens Diocesan Catholic Elementary Schools.

Tickets for the fair run from $20 to $45 and all children under 14 are free. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Ford Amphitheater box office and there is a ticket buying link at