NEWARK, NJ — At the 16th annual Essex County Irish Heritage Celebration on Friday, March 22, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. recognized Gov. Phil Murphy as the 2019 Essex County Irishman of the Year and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill as the 2019 Essex County Irishwoman of the Year. The Irish Heritage event recognizes the impact Irish men and women have had on the cultural, civic, political, law enforcement and economic history of the county.
“I have always said that the strength of Essex County lies in the diversity of the people living and working within our borders. This diversity stems throughout every corner of the county and highlighting the contributions that each ethnicity has had on our economy, culture and history are part of what creates our sense of community,” DiVincenzo said. “Gov. Murphy and Congresswoman Sherrill have helped shape the quality of life in our county and the state through their leadership and civic involvement. We are proud to recognize their accomplishments and the positive impact they have had.”
Murphy became governor in 2018.
“I am incredibly honored. My mother used to say you are known by the company you keep and today is a big deal for me,” Murphy said. “I am proud to be an Irish-American. The Irish community is a great community, but we are a rainbow of communities and our population in New Jersey is diverse. Today is an example of that.”
Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill represents New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District; she was elected into office in 2018.
“What an honor it is to celebrate the contributions of the Irish community. I’m proud to be from Essex County,” Sherrill said. “It’s amazing to think of the stories of many ethnicities coming to America; to see how immigrants were able to thrive is a lesson to what our country has to offer. We are a nation of diversity.”