Grand Marshal

Each year, the Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade Committee recognizes one person of Irish heritage and Catholic faith who has contributed to the betterment of the greater Manchester area. This person is named the parade’s Grand Marshal, and marches with their family in the parade. The person(s) must be actively participating in their Catholic faith, attending Mass, and or serving their Parish in some Ministry or on committees in that Parish.

Nominations for Grand Marshal are due, in writing, by midnight on November 17 for the following year’s parade. The parade Grand Marshal is selected by a committee made up of the previous Grand Marshals and is announced in January.

Patrick O'Neil

2024 Grand Marshal:
 Patrick O’neil

The Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade Committee is thrilled to announce that Patrick O’Neil has been named as the Grand Marshal of the 27th annual Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade, which will be held on Sunday, March 24. Each year, the parade names a Grand Marshal who is of Irish heritage and Catholic faith, who has contributed to the betterment of the greater Manchester area.

Pat, the son of the late Dan and Joan (Mitchell) O’Neil, an Irish Catholic, was raised in Manchester, with his siblings; Kate, Brian and Dan. Pat and his family were parishioners of St. Anne’s Parish. Pat graduated from Trinity High School before going on to the University of New Hampshire, where he graduated with a degree in education. His degree in education began Pat’s path to make a positive difference.

Pat has been serving the Manchester community for many years in different capacities, all enriching the lives of the youth in Manchester. Pat has been a teacher at Hillside Middle School, in Manchester, for nearly 40 years. He also helps to run Bring It!, an afterschool program at Hillside that supports kids, inspires them to believe in themselves and helps them achieve their goals. In addition to having a positive impact on the youth through his time at Hillside, Pat was a coach.

Pat has spent many years coaching 13 year old Babe Ruth baseball, Central Little League Baseball, CYO basketball at St. Anne’s, high school football at Trinity and Central High School and basketball at Trinity and West High School. Not only did Pat teach his athletes about the sport itself, he taught them about respect, team work, good sportsmanship, life lessons and made sure his athletes worked hard in school.

Pat’s students and athletes are more than students and athletes to him. He does what he can for them and their families as needed, whether it be a ride to practice, help with food and clothing, Pat is willing to help.

In addition to being the Grand Marshal at this year’s St. Patrick’s parade, Pat is a member of the Catholic High School Hall of Fame and the Manchester Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame. Pat also received the Carl Lundholm Memorial Awards for his service to youth and athletics in New Hampshire.

The annual “Passing of the Sash” will take place following mass at St. Raphael Church on Saturday, March 9, 2024. Pat will march in the parade on March 24, with his family.

Pat is an incredible individual who worked hard for his family, volunteered serving his community and always held on to his faith. He is a great choice for Grand Marshal of the 2024 Manchester Saint Patrick’s Parade!

Grand Marshal candidates are nominated in the fall and are selected by a panel made up of the five previous Grand Marshals.

Past Grand Marhals

  • Richard “Dick” Phelan
  • Stephanie McLaughlin 2020
  • John & Marilyn Cashin 2019
  • Sheila Smith 2018
  • Alan Heidenreich 2017
  • Bill & Mary Ellen Biser 2016
  • John “Jack” O’Connor 2015
  • Sr. Patricia Sullivan, RSM 2014
  • Gerry Holleran 2013
  • John P. Jordan 2012
  • Father Jerome Day, OSB 2011
  • Robert E. Murphy, 2010
  • Catherine “Kay” Moran 2009
  • Rick Walsh 2008
  • Marty Quirk 2007
  • James J. Sheehan 2006
  • Charles J. Quinn 2005
  • Sr. Margaret Ahern, RSM 2004
  • Louis J. Craig 2003
  • George W. Smith 2002
  • Robert Collins 2001
  • Sr. Angie Whidden, RSM 2000
  • Tom King 1999
  • John “Jumbo” Reilly 1998
  • Hon. Martin Loughlin 1997
  • Bishop Leo O’Neil 1996


Nominations can be submitted in writing to: St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, P.O. Box 3567, Manchester, NH 03105. Nominations may also be e-mailed to saintpatsparadenh@gmail.com or submitted online.

Thomas J. King Award

Occasionally, the parade committee honors an individual who is not of Irish heritage or not of Catholic faith who has contributed to the betterment of the greater Manchester area. This person is named the recipient of the Thomas J. King award, and marches with their family in the parade.

George Rousseau

The Manchester Saint Patrick’s Parade Committee will honor George Rousseau as the 2020 recipient of the Thomas J. King Award.

George is CASA advocate and has been for more than 18 years. In that time he has worked on 11 cases supporting 18 children, driving as many as 2500 miles per year to meet with and follow up with the children he represents. These numbers prove that he is making a difference in his community. He is a talented and dedicated advocate, valued and treasured by everyone associated with CASA.

In addition to being an excellent advocate, he has also volunteered to be a team captain for the CASA “100 Men for 100 Children” campaign in 2015. He has been featured in many CASA marketing videos and hosted many advocate support meetings in his home.

George has been described as “Dependable”, “Dutiful”, “Reliable”, and “Ardent”. These are all excellent qualities for someone who advocates for some of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable children. He works diligently for the children whom he represents, and is enthusiastic as he works towards permanency for the children he serves.

George is considered by all service providers, the Court, and the DCYF (Division of Youth, Children and Families) as being very solid and trustworthy. He works well with parents and foster parents and is well respected and admired for his frankness in situations that are very emotional and difficult.

George has a wonderful sense of humor that helps him to connect with both parents and foster parents, making them instantly feel comfortable with him and not threatened which allows him to be very successful as an advocate for children.

Rousseau is known as a man of high caliber and integrity, and is dedicated to ensuring that children have access to safe, nurturing and permanent living situations. He visits the children wherever they may be living. Additionally, he considers the opinions of their parents and social workers. He attends their educational and therapeutic sessions and numerous judicial hearings before making his recommendations. It’s a complex process as evidenced by Rousseau putting nearly 2,500 miles on his car last year.

George serves his parish, St. Pius X, as a Eucharistic Minister and as a member of the Grief Team. He collects information about the decedent and their family so that a funeral may be more personal which promotes healing. He can identify with the families and help them to speak about the decedent with their hearts.

George Rousseau is the embodiment of the Thomas J. King Award. Please come to the Parade on Sunday, March 29th at noon to help us honor him as this year’s recipient.

Past Honorees

John Clayton

Dr. Sylvio Dupuis

Nancy Gati

Ray Caron

Reverend William Donoghue

Rev. Msgr Thomas J. Hannigan

Bobby Stephen

Parade Dedication

In certain years the Parade Committee will dedicate the Parade to or in remembrance of a cause, group, organization or individual whose efforts and accomplishments improved Greater Manchester, the state of New Hampshire or the United States.

The 2022 Manchester NH St. Patrick’s Day Parade is dedicated to everyone in Health Care, all Educators, Fire, Police and those in Public Health.

The parade is dedicated to all of the Music Educators, Music Directors and Music Staff who bring music to our schools and communities.

The parade was dedicated to those who are bringing awareness to the mental health and substance abuse issues in our community.

In remembrance of 100 years since the Easter Rebellion. The Rising began on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, and lasted for six days and ultimitely resulted in the independence of Ireland.

John F Kennedy said in a 1962 speech that Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable which is why we believe that it’s not the rebel that creates the violence, but the violence that creates the rebel.  Early Americans knew that and the American Revolution was the result.  The patriots of 1916 also knew that and the Easter Rising was the result.  But that rising was different from all others in Irish history.

This year’s parade is dedicated to the first responders and victims of the Boston Marathon bombing whose one-year anniversary is two weeks after the parade.

The Sisters of Mercy in America were recognized on the 150th anniversary of their remarkably dedicated service to Manchester and New Hampshire health care and educational establishments.

Cognizant of the large number of New Hampshire Reservists and National Guard called to serve on active duty, the Parade was dedicated to all deployed military personnel from New Hampshire.

In remembrance of 50 years since the advent of hostilities in South Korea, the Committee dedicated the Parade to all Korean War veterans. Special recognition was accorded to local members of The Chosin Few, an organization of Marine Corps and Army veterans of the savage Chosin Reservoir fighting.