Four Fairfield residents have been named the winners of the 2020 Mr. and Miss Shamrock Scholarship Program.
The scholarship contest is held annually at the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield. The program, overseen by the Greater Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Committee, is open to all high school seniors of Irish descent in the greater Bridgeport area.
Applicants submit their applications to the committee for consideration and are interviewed by a panel of judges — made up of local educators.
The judges picked the winners based on their knowledge of their Irish heritage, traditions, history and the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Candidates are also evaluated on their involvement in their community and activities or interests they are involved with.
Mr. and Miss Shamrock each received a $4,000 scholarship for future educational endeavors. They will also participate in the Greater Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day Parade festivities, including riding on the float during the parade in downtown Bridgeport on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
The runner-ups each were awarded a $2,000 scholarship.
Miss Shamrock 2020 is Mary Feeney, a senior at Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall, in Milford. She is the daughter of Caroline and James Feeney.
Feeney has been Irish step dancing in the annual parade since she was 7. She attends the Sheeaun Academy of Irish Dance in Fairfield. She is a camp counselor at the St. Patrick’s Gaelic Football Cul, a summer program teaching Irish football — a sport similar to rugby.
She is also a member of the Lauralton Hall Irish Club, captain of the cross country team at her school and a member of the National Honor Society.
Mr. Shamrock 2020 is Seamus Carolan, a senior at Fairfield College Preparatory School. He is the son of Jim and Jen Carolan.
Carolan has been at every parade since he was born. Both of his grandfathers have served as grand marshals in the parade. He plays Gaelic football and is a member of his school’s hockey and lacrosse teams.
He is president of the Irish Cultural Club at his school. Carolan also raises funds for children in need in Africa and volunteers at Bridgeport’s Cardinal Shehan Center.
Miss Shamrock runner-up is Bridget Keary, who attends Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall. She is the daughter of Amy and James Keary.
Mr. Shamrock runner-up is Jack Clyne, a senior at Regis High School — a Jesuit school in Manhattan. He is the son of Annie and Joe Clyne.
The winners will be introduced by 2020 Grand Marshal Mary Ann Doonan at the Grand Marshal’s Ball on Jan. 24, 2020, at Vazzano’s Four Seasons in Stratford.
For more information on the parade, visit http://stpatricksdaybridgeport.com/.