By John Alexander
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Irish eyes were smiling in Brooklyn on Sunday as Park Slope held its 42nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In fact, it might have been the next best thing to celebrating back home in the Emerald Isle.
Park Slope hosted the borough’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and this year it was dedicated to the memories of all those who lost their lives during World War II in service to our country. The parade is always held in remembrance of the heroes and victims who lost their lives on 9/11. Attending the event was state Sen. Marty Golden, who warmly greeted the crowd.
This parade’s grand marshal was James Houlihan, owner of Farrell’s Bar and Grill in Windsor Terrace. Houlihan has been with Farrell’s for 51 years. He and his two fellow bartenders bought the bar after the death of owner Eddie Farrell.
Today, Farrell’s is one of the borough’s best-loved bar and grills. In fact, Farrell’s, established in 1933, was the first bar in New York to get its liquor license after the end of Prohibition.
Affectionately known as “Mr. Houlie,” Houlihan was born and raised in the neighborhood. A civic leader, he has always been a generous supporter of the parish, the church, the community and residents who refer to him as the “heart and soul of the neighborhood.”
He has held barbecues at the Bishop Boardman Senior Apartments, and for many years he had appeared as Santa Claus at the Ronald McDonald House. Houlihan has been recognized for his good works over the years, but he says, “The best honor of all is to be appointed grand marshal.”
The parade mass took place at 9 a.m. at Holy Name Church, 245 Prospect Park West with the Most Rev. James Massa. The parade assembly was at noon at Prospect Park West between 15th and 9th Street.