Fourth Feeney To Lead St. Pat’s Parade
A former Dix Hills Water District employee will become the fourth in his family to lead the Huntington St. Patrick’s Parade in its 80th installment next year.
The Huntington division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians announced its choice of Dominick Feeney Jr. at Finley’s on Green Street Sunday afternoon. His father, Dominick Sr., and Hibernians Treasurer Rich McGrath introduced him to the group.
“It’s really a recognition of what he’s done with his life and to preserve Irish heritage, which is the whole purpose of the Hibernians,” McGrath said.
A panel of past grand marshals makes a recommendation to the general membership of the Huntington Hibernians, which makes the final call, McGrath explained.
Feeney Jr., a retired 37-year Town of Huntington employee who concluded his career at the Dix Hills Water District, currently works as a consultant with the Suffolk County Water District.
His biggest cheerleader in attendance may have been his granddaughter, Dahlia Sileo, who shouted “go Grandpa!” before running up to give the new grand marshal a big hug after the announcement.
Dominick Jr.’s uncle Martin – the 1985 grand marshal – will be coming up from Florida to see his nephew become the fourth to lead the parade. Dominick Jr.’s grandfather Martin, who died in 1973, was grand marshal in 1960.
With assistance from his brothers Mike and Dave, Feeney Jr. has been running the Hibernians’ annual St. Patrick’s Parade in Huntington since 1979 – the year his father, Dominick Sr., was the grand marshal.
“This is the best thing, as far as I’m concerned, because I’m still here to see it,” Dominick Sr. said to applause.
Not only is the annual parade one of the Town of Huntington’s biggest parties – and the largest parade of the year in Huntington village – much of the money raised by the Hibernians aids the community’s most vulnerable citizens. Funds are donated to food pantries in Huntington Township and churches with the greatest need.
“Our biggest one right now is food banks. We believe we’re the largest donators to the local parish food banks,” McGrath said. “That’s been our drive lately, since 2008 when the economy took a hit.”
“All in all, we do a good thing, and we try to have some fun doing it,” Feeney Jr. added.