Irish Heritage

Joseph Murphy (1842-1919)

The Murphy Memorial in Woodlawn’s Parkview Plot commemorates the life of Joseph Murphy. Murphy was an Irish actor who performed his well known plays to the miners and workers who were developing the west. His memorial features a large granite basket surrounded by an archway that reads The Kerry Gow as well as shamrocks, upturned horseshoes and statues of Saint Patrick and Bridget carved into the stone.



William Sullivan (1876-1947)

Known as the “Patron of Music,” William Sullivan was an attorney who represented many artists, specifically stars of opera. He hosted a music festival in Connecticut and his support of the arts continues today through the William Sullivan Foundation which gives grants to support the work of opera singers. Among those who have received these prestigious funding awards is Metropolitan Opera star Rene Fleming.



Chauncey Olcott (1858-1932)

A famous songwriter, Olcott was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1970. The Buffalo-born, first generation Irish-American wrote When Irish Eyes are Smiling and My Wild Irish Rose. In addition to composing several tunes about Ireland, he was a beloved Broadway star. Olcott’s unique memorial is located on the Hickory Knoll Plot at Woodlawn.



Victor Herbert (1859-1924)

Famous for his work in “Light Opera” and one of the founders of the ASCAP, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Herbert was born in Dublin, trained in Germany and moved to NYC at the age of 27. He was a conductor, played the cello and Naughty Marietta is considered his most successful composition. Immediately after his passing, a death mask was made; it is in the collection of the United States Library of Congress.



Herminie Templeton Kavanagh (1861-1933)

Tales of Ireland were recorded in the writings of Herminie Templeton Kavanagh, author of Darby O’Gill and the Good People. Her work provided the basis for the Disney film starring Sean Connery. She is at rest under a beautiful Celtic cross in the Rose Hill Plot.



James “Jimmy” Gralton (1886-1945)

Gralton is known as the only Irish citizen to be deported from his own country. A political activist associated with the Communist Party, Gralton ran a dance hall where political rallies were held. His story was depicted in the 2014 movie Jimmy’s Hall.



Francis Millen (1831-1889)

An activist who fled his homeland of Ireland, Millen was a republican sympathizer involved in what became known as the “Jubilee Plot,” an attempt on the life of Queen Victoria. Millen was reported to be a member of the Clan na Gael and was also thought to be a British spy. He was allowed to flee the county and took up residency in New York.



Thomas Joseph Kelly (1833-1908)

Kelly fought for the Union during the Civil War and served the people of New York. Born in County Galway and apprenticed in the printing trade, Kelly emigrated to America in 1851 to work as a printer and enlisted in the Union Army 10 years after arriving in New York. At the end of the war Kelly took up residency in New York where he became active in the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He played a role in the Fenian Rising of 1867, was involved in the “Manchester Martyrs” incident, and remained active in Irish politics until the end of his life. Kelly’s memorial was issued by the U.S Veterans Administration and is located along the fence line in Lot A.



Dennis Burke (1841-1893)

Burke was the last leader of New York’s “Irish Brigade” during the Civil War. His monument is decorated with his Civil War cap, a sword and patch of shamrocks carved in a light pink stone. Originally buried with the members of the “Fighting 69th”, three years after his death Burke was moved to Woodlawn where he could have a unique memorial that accommodated the symbols of his career.



John McCullagh (1845-1917)

In 1897, McCullagh was appointed to the position of Superintendent of the New York City Police Department, making him the first “top cop” to supervise the protection of the five boroughs following consolidation. When McCullagh took office he said, “Let us start fairly and do the best for this city.” Following McCullagh’s death in 1917, the “John McCullagh Memorial Committee” was formed to raise funds to erect a suitable memorial. Sculptor Ernest W. Keyser was commissioned to create the bronze image of the lawman.



Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005)

Fitzgerald was an Irish-American actress and a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Born in Greystones, County Wicklow, she received an Academy Award nomination for her supporting performance in Wuthering Heights. To younger movie-goers, she played Dudley Moore’s mom in Arthur in 1981.