Kevin Conroy

Place of birth: Warsaw, NY.

What is your profession? General Manager at a family business.

How do you celebrate your Irishness? I celebrate my Irishness through the Irish language and Gaelic culture. I love sharing my knowledge of the language (and its history and development) with others. In order to keep engaged with the language in the US, I read a lot of Irish language literature. Irish and Gaelic music are also important to me. I also listen to Irish and Scottish Gaelic music every day, which transports my mind back to the Gaeltacht!

Name a hero you admire and why? I admire my Ukrainian friend Nina Dobrunova. She works tirelessly to support her country in these difficult times, and always keeps a positive attitude. Learning about the history of Ukraine has made me realize just how many similarities there are between Ireland and Ukraine. I have learned a lot from her. Nina inspires many people to love Ukraine and shows just how important it is to preserve own's language and culture.

Something people would be surprised to know about me... Celtic languages are not my only "unusual" interest. I also like birds - I raise dozens of species of exotic ducks and pheasants!

Biography: Kevin Conroy (Caoimhín Mac Con Raoi) grew up in a rural Western New York. He started teaching himself Irish when he was still in high school, which inspired him to study Linguistics at Boston College. Kevin has also studied Old Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and many other languages.

In 2009 Kevin was awarded a Fulbright grant which allowed him to study in Ireland. He completed two Masters degrees at NUI Galway, one in Nua-Ghaeilge (Modern Irish) and one in Pleanáil Teanga (Language Planning). Returning to the US, Kevin completed an MA in Linguistics at Boston College, and taught Modern Irish at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Since returning to Western New York, Kevin has been teaching weekly Irish classes through Scoil Chultúr agus Teanga na hÉireann, first at the Buffalo Irish Center, and now to students throughout New York and beyond on Zoom.

2024 Heroes of Irish America Awards