Chairman Emeritus Pat Troy at the 2018 Grand Marshal Dinner.

The Ballyshaners regret to announce the passing of its founder and Chairman Emeritus Pat Troy on Thursday, March 22, 2018. The Alexandria Living Legend was responsible for starting the Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in 1982.

Pat  was from Kilcormac, in County Offaly. He immigrated to the United States in 1962, when he was 21 years old. With $50 in his pocket and a tenacious determination, Pat became the quintessence of the American dream.

With his beloved wife Bernadette, he purchased the Irish Walk in 1974 from Peter and Evelyn Butler, and in 1980, with investors, opened Ireland’s Own Restaurant and Pub.

A beloved resident of Alexandria for over 40 years, Pat was known throughout the city as a civic leader and small business owner. He served on the Board of Governors with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Alexandria Visitor Center.

In 1980 he founded the Ballyshaners to promote awareness of the Irish culture and their contribution to the City of Alexandria. “Alexandria’s history is filled with the contributions of the Irish people who lived here,” he said. “It is appropriate that we celebrate and recognize their contributions.” With that in mind he began to start raising funds for the Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day Parade which made its debut in 1982. Pat was also responsible for starting Alexandria’s Irish Festival. The festival helps raise money for the Parade.  Both the Festival and Parade, which are run by the Ballyshaners, are responsible for bringing thousands of visitors to Alexandria every year.

Ballyshaners Chairman, Kimberley Moore noted, "We have lost our dear friend. Pat's dedication to the Parade, the Ballyshaners and the City of Alexandria was a driving force behind our organization's success. We will foster his legacy--the Parade--with a new level of determination.

This year the Ballyshaners honored their founder and Chairman Emeritus by selecting him and his wife as Grand Marshals of the 2018 Parade. During the Grand Marshal’s Dinner held in February, many people stood up and spoke of his generosity and the helping hand he gave them.

"Pat helped many people and had a lasting impact on Alexandria. He was a dear friend and will be sorely missed," said Mayor Allison Silberberg tweeted in a statement announcing his passing.

Pat is survived by his wife Bernadette; son Patrick, daughter-in-law Dow and granddaughter Reyha; and daughter Kathleen, son-in-law Alan Molloy and granddaughter Mairead.

The viewing will be held on Friday, April 6, from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M at Demaine Funeral Home, 520 S. Washington St., Alexandria Virginia. The funeral will take place Saturday, April 7 at 11 a.m. at The Basilica of St. Mary, 310 South Royal St.