Obituary for Patrick Tierney
Patrick James "P.J." Tierney, 82, husband of the late Mary Patricia (Callahan) Tierney, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, Sept. 25 after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland on June 22, 1930, to the late Patrick and Sarah (Burke) Tierney. P.J. was predeceased by a sister, Phyllis Mulveen of Galway, Ireland. After immigrating to the United States in 1957, P.J. worked as a stereotypist at The Hartford Times until 1976 and served as president of the stereotypists' union. He worked as permittee at the Irish-American Home in Glastonbury from 1979 to 1989, and worked for the State Division of Special Revenue until he retired. P.J. will long be remembered for his love and fierce pride of all things Irish, in particular the Dublin Gaelic Football team, his passion for horse racing and Saratoga Racecourse, and his devotion to his family. During his life, P.J. played an instrumental role in launching the Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade. In 2000, he had the honor of serving as Grand Marshal of the parade. P.J. was a lifelong member of the Irish-American Home in Glastonbury, served as secretary, vice president, and president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and helped plan several dances and fund-raising events at the Irish Club over the past 40 years. In addition, P.J. was heavily involved in the Manchester St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee. P.J. also promoted several Irish concerts over the years throughout Connecticut, including world renowned acts such as The Dubliners, The Wolfe Tones, The Artane Boys Band, Phil Coulter, and Brendan Grace. He also hosted a longtime Irish radio show titled "The Music of Erin" and coordinated "Irish Night" at the Manchester Band Shell each summer. Known as "The Godfather" to the famed Irish runners who comprised the "Irish Connection" that participated in the venerable Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race, P.J. was a driving force in transforming the race from a regional community event into an international affair in the late 1970's. P.J. secured world renowned Irish runners, including Olympic silver medalist John Treacy and legendary Olympian Eamonn Coghlan to participate in the race. P.J. and his family hosted Treacy, Coghlan, and a slew of other Irish runners for years at Thanksgiving. In recent years, P.J. had been a fixture on WDRC's radio coverage of the Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race. Irish-born runners won all but one Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race from 1978 to 1987. P.J. shared his enthusiasm for horse racing with many friends. He organized several bus trips to Belmont Park and visited Saratoga Racecourse annually with his family since the early 1960s. Saratoga Springs was his favorite place to visit. P.J. is survived by his daughter, Kathleen (Tierney) English of Bolton, and her husband, Mark, and their two daughters, Maggie and Kelly; a son, Patrick J. Tierney, Jr. of East Hartford, and his girlfriend, Cheryl Deschaine, and two sons, Maxwell and Tyler; and a son, James Tierney of Wallingford, and his wife, Amy (Johannes) Tierney, and their two daughters, Sadie and Callie. He is also survived by two sisters, Kitty O'Brien of Swords, County Dublin, Ireland, and Myra Ryan of Dublin, Ireland; and a brother, Joseph Tierney of Dublin, Ireland. He also leaves behind several nieces, nephews, and good friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, Sept 28 at 10 a.m. at St. Bridget Church, 80 Main St., Manchester, Everyone is asked to go directly to the church. Burial will follow at St. James Cemetery. Calling hours will be held Thursday, Sept. 27 from 4-8 p.m. at Tierney Funeral Horne, 219 W. Center St., Manchester. Contributions may be made in P.J.'s memory to North Central Hospice and Palliative Care, 8 Keynote Drive Vernon, CT 06066. For online condolences please visit www.tierneyfuneralhome com.
Ancient Order of Hibernians
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