Hibernian Radio Podcast, Sat. March 4, 2023

Gene McNulty

Fox’s Pizza, Guinness, Big Corner Tavern, Madden Funds and Flood Brothers Disposal present the Hibernian Radio Hour as we return to our First Responders Tour at our new recording location, Big Corner Tavern and this week we welcome retired Oak Lawn Sergeant, Gene McNulty. Gene grew up in Alsip and spent 31 years on the Force before retiring as Sergeant of Patrol in 2022. He graduated from Marist High School in ’86 followed by Western Illinois University in 1990 and has worked in multiple districts including Oak Lawn and the City of Burbank. Gene is actively involved in many clubs and social communities. He is involved at Our Lady of St. Germaine as well as being a member of both the Men’s Club and the Raiders Social Athletic Club. Gene and his wife, Diana, have been married for 28 years and have 4 children; Cassidy, Carlin, Gene and Logan.  He is also a member of one of our favorite societies and dear friends of the show, the Emerald Society! He has a crew of supporters at the show this week so there’s a great buzz at our first recording at the great Big Corner Tavern! Gene begins by sharing some stories from his first post in Justice to when he took the test to join Burbank’s team. When asked to share some of his favorite stories from his extensive career, Gene mentions one particular story about a party they were called to during his time working in Justice and his ingenious way to end that party quickly! “Those were the good old days!”. He goes on to share some more exciting stories from his 8 years in Burbank including his experience working Plain Clothes Tac to deal with the Latin Kings and their graffiti tagging around the town. That particular case was such a big deal because Gene and his partner were given the green light to “do what you gotta do to solve the problem”. He describes his move to Oak Lawn in 2000 as “a great career move” where he worked afternoons and he gives a lovely shout-out to his wonderful wife for her support during that time. Houli and Gene go on to discuss the current political and social climate here in Chicago as well as nationwide, and how important police support is right now. “I would never think of doing anything else!”. Gene goes on to explain how Oak Lawn has changed since he began working there over 20 years ago and mentions 5 shootings that took place within a week in the neighborhood. The riots during the pandemic touched the Oak Lawn neighborhood and Gene explains to Houli how they were able to keep everything under control. “90% of the Oak Lawn residents support the police!”. These two delve deep into some of the serious issues facing our officers today as well as the fact that most people are now silenced due to the ‘Cancel Culture’. The differences in policing today compared to 20 years ago, the importance of shedding light on our injured or fallen officers and how parents used to rely on cops to keep their kids in check are just some of the other topics these two pals discuss on this week’s show. Gene ends his interview by reminding listeners that our police officers witness horrific things everyday including overdoses and that officers take their lives in their hands when they come into contact with these dangerous substances. “These guys are seeing this everyday. If they breathe it, it could kill them.” We’re delighted to have Gene join us and share some great stories from his successful career. We hope to have him return to share some more in the future! Our second guest is Kevin O’Shea who created ‘Ceol & Craic Trasna na dTonnta‘, which translates to ‘Music and Fun, over the waves’. It was created as a non-profit entity to work with other cultural organizations to facilitate and enable Irish musicians to come to the USA and showcase their skills. They just had Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfe Tones travel over to play at ‘Irish Rebel Fest’ – the successful fundraiser for Officer Danny Golden. “We raised a lot of dough and had a great time!”. Kevin shares some of the organization’s upcoming events for St. Patrick’s Day including the Irish musical duo called “Where’s Paddy?” playing at Chief O’Neill’s, the Irish American Heritage Center and Celtic Crossing on March 11th. “Where’s Paddy?” will also be playing Reilly’s Daughter on Thurs. March 16th and Houli will be there to welcome them – Don’t miss it! He’s looking forward to his upcoming trip to Ireland and shares his holiday plans with Houli. Sounds like it’ll be a blast! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us at our opening night at Big Corner Tavern, aka: Hibernian Radio’s new home!