John Young

Place of birth: Newry Co. Down.

What is your profession? Sportwear Sales.

How do you celebrate your Irishness? As a family, we celebrate our Irish heritage by actively engaging with the vibrant Irish Community in Pittsburgh. My sons enthusiastically participate in Irish sports as proud members of the Pittsburgh Youth Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Furthermore, my wife, who hails from Lucan Co Dublin, serves as a distinguished professor of Irish Language and Culture at the esteemed University of Pittsburgh. Within the confines of our home, Irish culture holds a preeminent position in our family ethos. 

Personally, I am deeply entrenched in the GAA community in the United States. Since immigrating to the USA three decades ago, I have been an integral member of the Pittsburgh GAA. Moreover, I actively volunteer to advance the development of Gaelic Games in the United States. Presently, I hold a role on the board of the Continental Youth Championships (CYC), which oversees the largest youth Gaelic games tournament outside of Ireland. Additionally, I serve as the Chair of the steering committee for the United States Gaelic Athletic Association (USGAA) County Junior All-Ireland team. My previous engagements include positions on the Midwest GAA Board and the USGAA board.

I firmly believe that the GAA serves as an invaluable conduit for the Irish diaspora, American Irish, and other community members to flourish in various facets of life. Through initiatives such as the Pittsburgh GAA and the USGAA, we aim to provide support and opportunities that extend beyond the realm of sports, including housing, employment, social integration, and mental well-being.

Name a hero you admire and why? Tim Feeney - Pittsburgh PA; When I first met Tim Feeney, he imparted a valuable lesson that has resonated with me for three decades: 'Say what you're going to do and do what you say!

Today, I strive to uphold this principle in all aspects of my life. Tim is not only a successful businessman but also a partner and mentor who has provided me with the opportunity to pursue the American dream and achieve success in my professional endeavors.

Something people would be surprised to know about me... Donated a Kidney in 2020 as part of a 8-person chain!

Biography: John's journey began in County Down, Northern Ireland, before relocating to the Pittsburgh PA in 1991. He now serves as Director of Sales and Marketing at Pro Knitwear a local sportwear manufacturer in Pittsburgh, supplying uniforms to prestigious sports teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers.

Despite the distance, John maintains strong ties to his Irish roots through his enduring involvement with the GAA, including previous roles with the Midwest GAA Board and the USGAA Board. 

Married to Marie, John is a devoted father to three sons: Jack (23), Ronan (16), and Tiernan (10), sharing a profound connection to their Irish heritage.

2024 Heroes of Irish America Awards