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The Irish American community and Labor community have lost a legend in the passing of International Labor Leader William (Bill) O’Driscoll who died Friday, July 8, 2016, at the age of 87. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this Cork born Rebel – for Labor, who defended the rights of all working men & women and fair immigration laws for everyone within the USA.
Visitation will be on Monday 7:00-9:30 pm and Tuesday 2:00- 5:00 and 7:00-9:30pm at Dalton Funeral Home, 29 Atlantic Avenue, Floral Park. Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, 10:30 am at Our Lady of Victory Church, 2 Floral Parkway, Floral Park. Interment at St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale. In lieu of flowers, donations to Co. Cork Educucation Charitable Trust or the Emerald Isle Immigration Center.
Born and raised in Lisheen, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, he attended Lisheen National School and St. Fachtna’s High School, Skibbereen. Prior to immigrating to New York in 1957, Bill attended the Catholic Workers College in Dublin, and in NY he continued his labor studies, graduating from Cornell University. While employed with Trans World Airlines, Bill became active within the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Airline Members Union of New York, serving as Chairman of the 1966 Strike Committee.
O’Driscoll served “the cause of labor” locally and nationally; in 1968, Bill was elected President of the largest transportation Union in the United States; Local Lodge 1056 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). In 1974, he was elected General Chairman of District Lodge 142 representing workers in 21 airlines. In 1988, he was elected President-Directing General Chairman of District Lodge 142, a position he held until his retirement in 2006. Bill served on the board of directors of Trans World Airlines as well as delegate to the International Transport Federation (ITF); the largest transportation federation in the world, serving over 5 million members worldwide.
Bill O’Driscoll was a devoted Corkman, Officer and Chairman of numerous committees within the County Cork BP&P Association, including the Association’s 1984 Centennial Committee from New York to Cork & the Association’s 125th Anniversary. We are proud of Bill’s legacy & contributions to the Irish American community, who was an advocate for Immigration reform and served on the Board of Directors for the Emerald Isle Immigration Center.
In addition to being celebrated as Corkman of the Year, Bill was honored by numerous Irish organizations including the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, Clan na Gael, the United Irish Counties Association of New York as Gael of the Year, and as Grand Marshal to the Queens County St. Patrick’s Parade, NY.
We are grateful for Bill’s friendship and leadership to our community and towards his adopted country. We extend our condolences to his wife Catherine (nee Murphy), Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, their four children, Hannah, John Stephen, Deirdre & William, their seven grandchildren; Stephen Andrew, Thomas Joseph, Bridget Jane and Shannon Rose O’Driscoll, and Kiera Elizabeth, Caitlin Rose and Jillian Marie Murphy, several nieces, nephews and extended family members. Sincerest condolences also to Bill’s brother Sean and sister Mae, who share in Bill’s loss, but joyful for his reunion with their departed siblings Denis, Paddy, Joe & Eileen.
Ar Dheis Dé Go Raibh a Anam – May He Rest in Peace!
Tá leaba aige i measc na Bfhinni – He Rests among the Fenians
County Cork BP&P Association ~Denis McCarthy, Past President