Gibbons Chairman and Managing Director to Receive a Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award
The Donegal County Council in Ireland has presented one of its 2019 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards to Patrick C. Dunican Jr, Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons P.C. The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Councillor Nicholas Crossan, announced the awards at a special event in the Letterkenny Public Service Centre. Award recipients will be honoured at a ceremony on 27 September at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana, Ireland.
The Tip O’Neill Award is an initiative of the Donegal County Council’s Donegal Diaspora Project, created in 2012 to mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Thomas Phillip “Tip” O’Neill, Speaker of the US House of Representatives from 1977–1987 and one of the most prominent American statesmen of his time, whose maternal grandparents hailed from Donegal. The award is presented annually to people of Irish background in recognition of achievements in their chosen fields and their interest in and support for Ireland and its diaspora. Mr Dunican is being honoured for his high-profile work as Managing Director of one of America’s largest and most prominent law firms, his community leadership, and his longstanding efforts to develop and strengthen economic ties between New Jersey and Ireland.
Also honoured this year is author and playwright Frank McGuinness, who is celebrated as one of Ireland’s greatest living writers, best known for such plays as “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me”, “The Factory Girls”, and “Dolly West’s Kitchen”. Rounding out the 2019 recipients are Dublin-based developer, Pat Doherty, and Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO of Independence Health Group, parent of one of the leading health insurers in the US.
Prior recipients include Chris Matthews, host of the nightly news programme “Hardball” on MSNBC; former Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley; and former governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer.
On 26 September, the evening before the award ceremony, all four 2019 honourees took part in “A Life Stories Event with Professor Paul Moore”, an informal programme hosted by Donegal County Council and Ulster University at Magee.
“Their achievements speak for themselves and I am delighted that we in Donegal County Council, through the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award, are in a position to honour the outstanding contributions made by all four worthy recipients”, said Councillor Crossan.
Mr Dunican, whose four grandparents emigrated to the US from Ireland, including his maternal grandfather, John Doherty, from Donegal, is a founding member of the Irish American Bar Association of New Jersey (IABANJ) and has long been active in initiatives to develop and strengthen local and regional business communities’ connections with Ireland and Irish business ventures. These efforts are key components of widerranging, state-wide platforms to further economic partnerships between New Jersey and Ireland.
Gibbons itself has strong ties to Ireland, dating back to its 1926 founding by Irish American attorney Andrew B. Crummy. Gibbons and the IABANJ were among the hosts of a special networking reception featuring then-sitting Taoiseach of Ireland, Enda Kenny, during the New Jersey State Bar Association’s mid-year meeting in Dublin in 2011. The Gibbons corporate department represents numerous Irish companies and subsidiaries in mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, public securities offerings, business contracts, service agreements, and general business expansion in the US. These clients include companies in key sectors of both New Jersey’s and Ireland’s economies, including healthcare, technology, medical devices, and biotech. Gibbons also represents US-based companies engaging or investing in Ireland, including, for example, one financial firm’s significant investment in a new high-effciency/CHP power plant in County Mayo. The firm regularly assists the Irish Consulate in New York with legal matters and has acted on behalf of Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, maintaining close relations with state and semi-state offcials in the US.
Gibbons also upholds several cultural traditions reflecting its Irish heritage. As Grand Marshal of the seventy-eighth Newark St Patrick’s Day Parade, Mr Dunican led a full-day celebration, hosted in large part by Gibbons, in March 2013 and raised more money for more charities than ever before in the parade’s 78-year history. St Patrick’s Day has long been an annual celebration at the firm, featuring Irish meals, bagpipers, step dancers, a limerick contest, and other festivities, including presentation of the John T. “Chuck” Dolan Spirit Award, named in honour of one of the firm’s founding partners, who was Irish American, and awarded to employees who share his tremendous spirit. Notably, five Gibbons attorneys, including Mr Dunican, are featured on the most recent “Irish Legal 100” list, a compilation of some of the most distinguished and accomplished men and women of Irish heritage in the legal profession in the US, published annually since 2008 by the Irish Voice newspaper.
Mr Dunican is a nationally recognised legal-industry leader in the US who, after being elected Managing Director of Gibbons in 2004, at age 36, transformed the firm into a major force in the Mid-Atlantic legal market. He has been named by Law360 as one of the nation’s most innovative law firm managing partners and by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the state’s “Distinguished Leaders” in the legal industry. For nine consecutive years, NJBIZ has selected him for its “Power 100” list of the most powerful people in New Jersey business, and, for the past two years, ROI-NJ has featured him on its “Influencers Power List”. His focus on marketing and branding initiatives earned Gibbons a place as the only law firm featured in Steve Adubato’s book, “You Are the Brand”. Mr Dunican continues to oversee the firm’s growth, leading operations in Newark, Trenton, and (as of 01 September) Red Bank, New Jersey; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Washington, DC; and West Palm Beach, Florida. He is Vice Chairman of the board of his alma mater, Iona College, and Chair Emeritus of the Seton Hall University School of Law Board of Visitors.
In addition to his regular listing in the “Irish Legal 100”, Mr Dunican has been recognised among the “Irish Education 100”, which celebrates Irish American leaders and major supporters of educational institutions throughout the US. He has also been named among PolitickerNJ’s “Irish American Leaders of New Jersey”. In 2018, the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI) presented Mr Dunican with its Annie Moore Award, an annual honour recognising an individual who has made significant contributions to the Irish and/or Irish American community and legacy through excellence in business, commerce, education, or the arts. In 2019, he delivered the keynote address at the 118th Friendly Sons of St Patrick of the Oranges Dinner; the two most recent previous keynote speakers were Cardinal Joseph Tobin, sixth Archbishop of Newark, and New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy.
Patrick C. Dunican
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Patrick C. Dunican