Chronicle photographer does double-duty as Celt of the Year

Ed Bailey honored by the Greenwood Lake Gaelic Cultural Society, covers parade for the paper as usual

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  • Ed and Judy Bailey (left) with George Anderson, Grand Marshall of the 2017 Mid-Hudson St. Patrick's Parade in Goshen, (Photo by Heidi Mauler)

By Ginny Privitar

— The Chronicle's own long-time photographer Ed Bailey and his wife, Judy, were named 2017 Celts of the Year by the Greenwood Lake Gaelic Cultural Society. On March 4, the couple was feted with a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner and music by Mike Clarke from The Celtic Cross at a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance at the Arthur Finnegan American Legion Post 1443.

An acclaimed photographer, Bailey was on the Associated Press staff for 33 years before retiring from that agency. The New York Press Photographer's Association named him "Photographer of the Year" in 1970. He has worked as a freelance photographer and frequent contributor for Straus News: The Chronicle, The Warwick Advertiser, and The Photo News in Monroe. Bailey has produced memorable photos of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Goshen every year for The Chronicle, and was there at work this past frigid Sunday, even though he was among the honorees on the reviewing stand (see his photos on pages 2 and 3).

He has been a member of the Gaelic Society for many years, taking photographs and providing publicity for the group. He was honored for his contributions to the group and his service to the community.

A retired member of the military, Bailey said, “For me and my wife, it was probably the single greatest honor I received in civilian life.”

Bailey said he was worried when he gave his speech at the dinner-dance because he'd left his prepared remarks at home. But he thinks he did okay, thanks to his granddaughter Lily, who was in attendance and had her tablet with her. Bailey asked her to find an Irish joke he could use to conclude his remarks. Thanks to Lily and the internet, here’s what he said:

“I wanted to borrow some money, and so I asked Denis Mulcahy, 'Where should I borrow the money?'

"Denis said, 'I don't know.'

“So I told him, 'I’m just going to borrow money from a Leprechaun.'

"And Denis said, 'Don’t you know, you can’t borrow money from a Leprechaun — they’re always short.'"

During the dinner, the Baileys were presented with gifts, including a Belfast clock from Denis Mulcahy, former president and founder of the GWL Gaelic Society, and a “giant bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream” (no relation).

Mulcahy told The Chronicle that “Ed is one of the more dedicated members and was selected for his commitment to the organization and donating his time to Project Children."

Project Children was founded by Mulcahy, which, since the Irish Troubles of the ‘70s, has brought Catholic and Protestant children from Northern Ireland over for summer vacations in America, and much more.

Bailey and his wife and fellow honoree, Judy, a former schoolteacher, live on Greenwood Lake and have three children, Heather, Heidi and David; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

ProclamationsBailey also received many honors and certificates of appreciation and merit from local groups, including a Distinguished Service Award and Proclamations from:

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus

New York State Senator John Bonacic

Assemblyman Karl Brabenec

Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton

Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer

Commander of Greenwood Lake American Legion Arthur Finnegan Post 1443 Richard McKenna

Orange County Sheriff Carl Dubois

Orange County Legislator Barry Cheney

Orange County Legislature Chairman Stephen Brescia’s office

Dan O’Donnell of the Greenwood Lake Fire Department

President of Greenwood Lake Soccer Club Katheleen Holder

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