March 17, 2014
Chief Justice Speaks at St. Patrick’s Day Event

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor today spoke about her Irish ancestry and the importance of family and heritage during her keynote remarks at the annual Irish Good Fellowship Club Luncheon.

As part of the luncheon that precedes Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, the club also announced Cleveland attorney Edward Maher of Edward J. Maher Co., L.P.A as the “Irish Good Person of the Year.”

Chief Justice O’Connor traced her family’s history in the United States to when her great, great grandfather immigrated here to work on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal as an indentured servant in the 19th Century.

She said pinpointing his name, which she thinks is Thomas Patrick O’Connor, had been elusive.

“Thomas and Patrick, along with Edward and Francis, turn up over and over again in my family tree,” she said. “So it’s a good bet it’s one of those.”

Beyond explaining what she found from researching her Irish past, Chief Justice O’Connor also urged the attendees to consider what kind of legacy each would leave succeeding generations.

“For many of you, your deepest thoughts, greatest fears, and proudest moments are displayed on Twitter and Facebook, “she said. “And that’s all fine and good.”

“But what if we as a society were to return to the old-fashioned way of transcribing a family’s history through a journal, or a diary, or recording generations in the family Bible?,” she continued. “The social media account in its present form may not last forever. No one knows if those records will be permanent. No one can be sure of that.”

“Please consider what’s the best way to preserve your thoughts and ‘who you are.’ Part of the obligation of passing things on is to ensure they will be there later.”

For a high-resolution, print-quality photo of Chief Justice O'Connor, visit: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/news/images/justices/oconnor_highres.zip.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.