The Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee announced that The Irish Society for Education and Charity, Inc., has named Mike Gallagher its 2019 Parade Grand Marshal. The Irish Society oversees the parade, which will take place in Downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 16th, 2019 starting at 10 a.m., rain, snow, or shine.
Mike was born and raised in the Sheraden neighborhood of the city, on the west side of Pittsburgh. The seventh of eight children, Mike was raised in a tight-knit family steeped in Irish pride and a love of music. His father, John, was a singer with a live radio show on WWSW called “John Gallagher Sings Irish Songs.”
Mike followed in his father's footsteps and began singing in Pittsburgh Irish pubs 45 years ago. He married his wife, Marlea Mary Gallagher, 38 years ago and considers himself “the luckiest husband.” Together, Mike and Marlea raised their three sons, Brendan, Daniel, and Johnny, and their daughter, Mary-Kate. Mike considers the most important aspects of his life to be his faith, his wife and family, and his music.
Mike's involvement in the Irish community stems much farther than his 45 years of performing. He is a long-time member of Ancient Order of Hibernians Division #4. In addition, he has performed yearly at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival, and recently received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Irish Festival.
Mike's musical accolades include seven recordings, featuring traditional Irish ballads, guest performers, and Mike's own compilations. He has performed at venues in the Pittsburgh area including, but not limited to, Riley's Pour House, Mullaney's Harp and Fiddle, and the Blarney Stone. Mike's son, Johnny, has continued the tradition of Gallagher family musicians, and is currently performing as a local Irish singer throughout the Pittsburgh region. His family are no strangers to the Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day parade either. Mike's daughter, Mary-Kate (née Gallagher) Langer was the 2012 Miss Smiling Irish Eyes Queen.
In addition to his dedication to bringing traditional Irish music to the Pittsburgh community, Mike is a devoted and faith-filled husband and father. His four children have blessed him and Marlea with ten grandchildren. A member of the Bishop's Latin School Alumni Association, Mike has been a cantor at Holy Innocents church, Sts. Simon and Jude parish, St. John of God church, and St. Raphael's parish. Mike credits his faith and his family with supporting him through the ups and downs of life, including a current battle with stage IV urothelial cancer.