Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Hibernians Sponsor St. Patrick’s Day Events

Published February 18, 2010

The Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta will hold a number of annual events to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Events include a St. Patrick’s Day parade, a St. Patrick’s Day Mass, a memorial Mass for Father Thomas O’Reilly and the annual Hibernian Black Tie Ball.

The HBSA expects the 2010 parade to be the largest since the first Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade held 152 years ago in 1858. The 2010 parade will feature over 200 units marching, including clowns, floats, military units, bagpipe and drum corps, Irish dancers, police units, drill teams, dogs, horses, antique cars and dignitaries from Ireland. Former University of Georgia football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley will serve as the grand marshal for the parade.

The parade will begin on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta on Saturday, March 13, at 12 noon and will end at Underground Atlanta with vendors, food, free entertainment, music and dancing.

The Society will also sponsor the St. Patrick’s Day Mass, celebrated this year at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, on Wednesday, March 17, at 10:30 a.m. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will serve as the main celebrant for the Mass, assisted by priests and deacons of the archdiocese. Father Darragh Griffith will be the homilist. A reception featuring homemade scones and Irish soda bread and Irish dancers will follow the Mass. The public is invited.

On Thursday, March 11, following a social and tour, a Mass will be celebrated at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta, at 12:10 p.m., in honor of Father Thomas O’Reilly. Father O’Reilly served as pastor of the Shrine during the Civil War and is credited with arranging to save the downtown churches and Atlanta’s City Hall from the torch of General William T. Sherman and his forces.

The March 11 Mass will be followed at 1 p.m. by the annual laying of a wreath at the memorial for Father O’Reilly, which is located at the Old Atlanta City Hall at the corner of Washington Street and Mitchell Street.

Units from the Atlanta Fire Department, Atlanta Police Department, the Fire Emerald Society of Metro Atlanta and the Metropolitan Atlanta Police Emerald Society will be present for the laying of the wreath.

The HBSA will hold its annual Black Tie Ball and banquet at the Druid Hills Golf Club on Friday, March 12, from 6:30 to 11:45 p.m., during which it will bestow the 2010 Irishman of the Year award. The Society recently announced that Kevin Conboy will be the recipient of the award for his numerous contributions to the Irish and Irish-American community in greater Atlanta and beyond.

Currently, Conboy is president of ICCUSA, the Irish chamber of commerce USA, an organization that is instrumental in developing commercial, cultural and business ties between Atlanta and the Republic of Ireland. He is also president of the Shamrock Society, a philanthropic group that contributes to charities and events in Atlanta, and is a member of the Atlanta St Patrick’s Day parade committee.

In 2008, he was honored by Irish America magazine as a Star of the South. Conboy is a partner in the law firm of Paul Hastings, Janofsky, and Walker, specializing in commercial lending and debt finance transactions. An author of several articles in law journals, Conboy also speaks on legal topics throughout the region. He earned his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law where he also serves as an adjunct professor.

Conboy and his wife Maureen have been married for 34 years and have three daughters. They reside in Atlanta.

Entertainment at the Black Tie Ball will be provided by the Laigh Langley Dance Band, renowned for their repertoire of songs that range from popular and contemporary to old-time classics and ballroom tunes. Following dinner there will be a program of Irish dancing provided by the King-O’Sullivan School of Irish Dance and a singalong of traditional Irish songs.

A plated dinner that includes filet of beef and wild salmon with sides of vegetables and potatoes along with salad and dessert will be served at the ball. Two bottles of wine are included at each table for the guests. A cash bar is also available before and after dinner.

Individual tickets are $95 apiece or $950 for a table of 10. Seating is limited and tickets can be purchased early by calling the event chairpersons Bob or Lilly O’Neil at (770) 640-0287 or e-mailing

For additional information on the Hibernian Ball and other events sponsored by HBSA, visit