Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll was scheduled to honor Congressman James Walsh and long-time neighborhood activist Bob Oberst during the annual St. Patrick's Day Ceremony at Tipperary Hill Park today . But NCC News Reporter Shea Meddin says neither Driscoll nor Walsh attended because they were in Albany for Governor Paterson's inauguration.
Walsh is retiring after 10 terms in Washington. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Ireland and is Past Chair of the Friends of Ireland. Walsh helped Congress pass the Walsh Visa program in 1998 and reauthorized the program in 2004. It allows people from Northern Ireland and its border counties to live and work in the U.S. for three years.
Walsh also won the 2002 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations and has been honored in his hometown by the local Ancient Order of Hibernians, receiving the Bobby Sands Award in 1998. Additionally, he received the Flax Trust Award in 1997 for effort in drafting economic support plans for Ireland, including the International Fund.
NCC News Reporter Shea Meddin will have a report on the ceremony in our 4:30 p.m. newscast. Keep visiting the NCC News Web site as the story develops.