With his mother Mary looking on and his late father John present in spirit, Connemara pride went through the roof on Monday when Marty Walsh was sworn in as the first new mayor of Boston in over two decades.
Beginning a new political era in the city, Mayor Walsh took the oath of office during an inaugural ceremony at Boston College, succeeding Thomas Menino, the longest-serving mayor in Boston history who tearfully exited his office and left the keys and a letter on his desk for the new mayor.
Marty Walsh’s late father John was from Callowfeenish in Carna, while his mother Mary O’Malley (71) comes from a few parishes further away, in Ros Cide, Rosmuc. As a result, Galway City Council and Galway County Council were represented at the event in Boston College — both mayor Padraig Conneely and Liam Carroll attended the event as did County Manager Martina Moloney and City Council Head of Finance Edel McCormack.
There are high hopes that Mayor Walsh will be visiting Galway after Easter when he plans to visit Connemara to meet his joyous relatives in the Carna and Rosmuc areas. Mayor Walsh is a very regular visitor to Galway — on each trip back, he visits the grave of his grandparents at the cemetery on Mweenish.
Mayor Walsh highlighted violence prevention in his first mayoral address at a packed Conte Forum on Monday morning.
“No parent should worry that a bullet will stop a daughter or son from coming home. No woman should be scared on our streets. No senior should be afraid in their home. And no child should be forced to live with trauma and the indelible scars of violence,” Walsh told the crowd.
“I will bring together mothers of children killed by that violence, with members of the law enforcement community who work hard to stop it. Members of the recovery community, who know too well that hard road back from drug and alcohol abuse, and how such abuse contributes to the violence and crime. And people who know what it takes to move away from a life of violence to become productive, contributing neighbours in a safe community.”
He also quoted Abraham Lincoln — “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
At 11:07 a.m. Monday, Mayor Walsh completed the oath of office and officially took over the mayoralty from Tom Menino, who had held the office since the summer of 1993 when his position as City Council president made him the acting mayor when Ray Flynn was named US ambassador to the Vatican.
Walsh himself was grazed by a stray bullet in 1990, and he has battled cancer as a child and alcoholism as a young adult.
Walsh is the 54th mayor of Boston, according to City Clerk Maureen Feeney.
Members of families from every single 20th-century Boston mayor were in attendance at the celebration at Boston College’s Conte Forum — the second biggest inaugural in history, after James Michael Curley’s 1919 swearing-in, which was held outdoors.