Hibernian Radio Podcast, Sat. February 26, 2022

Kelley Leyden

Fox’s Pizza, Guinness, the Cork and Kerry Irish Pub and Flood Brothers Disposal present the Hibernian Radio Hour as we continue on our First Responders Tour at The Cork and Kerry Pub on Western Avenue and this week we welcome back an old friend of the show’s and this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen, CPD Officer Kelley Leyden. Kelley grew up in St. Michael’s Parish in Orland Park, attended Carl Sandburg High School and studied to become an X-ray technician at Moraine Valley Community College. She has been with CPD for the last 3 and a half years but still has her fair share of tales from medical work that she shares with her listeners. She currently works in the 22nd District but spent 2 months downtown during the 2020 riots as well as briefly working in the Englewood neighborhood. She speaks very highly of Jason, her work partner and mentions the importance of having a good partner in this type of job. Kelley also chats to Houli about the reason she left the medical field to join the Force and how she never dreamed about being a police officer growing up. Her parents were in shock when she announced she was joining the Force but knew she was being serious when she started going to the gym! “No regrets ever since!” Beginning in April, she’ll visit local Grammar Schools with the Officer Friendly Program and chat to kids from Kindergarten through 3rd grade about being an officer. Kelley explains why it’s important “for the kids to get to know the police in a different role”. She also discusses her duties as a member of the Queen’s Court and mentions the disappointment when they cancelled the Queen Contest in 2020. She explains how the contest was held over Zoom and what their St. Patrick’s Day looked like during Covid. Kelley just joined the Emerald Society and discusses gaining confidence through the contest as well as being the first Cop Queen – she is one of a kind! She delves into her Irish heritage and discusses how her Mom came here in 1988 from Cobh in County Cork and how her father’s family hail from Clare and Kerry. Kelley’s parents, Catherine & Mike, met shortly after Catherine emigrated and she chats about their plans for a future family trip to the Emerald Isle. She and Houli briefly discuss the current social unrest. “Who wants to live in a world without law and order?”. Kelley has some shout-outs especially for the big crowd who came out to support her at the Cork & Kerry. Kelley is a charming lady who we are very honored to have back on the show! Houli then brings us up to date on some upcoming St. Patrick’s Day events including Houli Fest. We welcome Jeff Lange as second guest to discuss the Emerald Society‘s hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day party that you won’t want to miss on Saturday, March 12th at Local 399 Hall where The Larkin & Moran Brothers Band will be providing lively music as well as the Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society. Jeff and Houli have a quick catchup with some of their regular banter. “We’re back in business!” Houli then brings us up to date on the latest obituaries followed by one final trip to “Houli-Town”.