Renaming NYC street Frank Durkan Way sign now

We write to urge Community Board #1 to rename Elk Street, Frank Durkan Way, in honor of our friend and lawyer, who served the Irish American community for more than four decades. Frank Durkan died on November 16th, 2006.

We are members of the celebrated case that became known as "Fort Worth Five", a group of New York Irish Americans who were imprisoned for allegedly running weapons to the Republican forces opposing British rule in Northern Ireland. We were imprisoned for more than eleven months and never charged with crime.

Our lawyer and friend defended us before the Grand Jury during these horrific days.

Frank Durkan was born in County Mayo, Ireland, on August 13th, 1930 and emigrated to New York in 1947. He went straight to Gracie Mansion, the home of his uncle, William O'Dwyer, but to Frank's surprise his uncle Paul O'Dwyer, former New York City Council President and civil rights attorney, ran him out of the Mansion, to a janitor's job at a multiple dwelling building located on 97th Street in Manhattan.

In 1951, Frank graduated from Columbia University. Following his graduation from New York Law School in 1953, Frank went to work at his Uncle Paul's law firm, O'Dwyer and Bernstein, where he handled a variety of civil and criminal matters.

In 1989, the firm of O'Dwyer and Berstein moved to 52 Duane Street where Frank Durkan was a senior partner. He and his partner, Brian O'Dwyer, chose Foley Square to locate the firm so Frank could be closer to the Supreme Court where he tried many cases and to the US District Court where he was called upon, on may occasions, to defend the ideals in our Constitution. This is one of the many reasons that we wish to rename Elk Street, Frank Durkan Way.

During his 53 year career, he became a pro bono defender for Irish Nationalists caught up in the struggle in Northern Ireland, immigrants, the labor movement, police officers, firefighters and a few notable authors.

Our friend Frank was always an advocate for the underdog in the traditions of William and Paul O'Dwyer.

We urge the Community Board to give favorable consideration to our application to rename Elk Street, Frank Durkan Way.

Sincerely,

The Committee requesting renaming NYC street Frank Durkan Way

Ken Tierney
Tom Laffey
Matthias Reilly
Danny Crawford
Paschal Morahan

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Latest Signatures

  • 14 January 2016600. Eileen Gradyb
    Frank Durkan deserves this honor for his distinctive and impressive work on all legal cases in which he was involved. It would be only fitting to have a NYC street in that location proudly bearing his name. Please give recognition to a man who helped so m
  • 08 January 2016599. Annmari D
    I support this petition
  • 04 January 2016598. John H
    Marshal, Div. 1 Bristol, PA
  • 30 December 2015597. Tom F
    I support this petition
  • 17 December 2015596. Melissa Gullottie
    I support this petition
  • 17 December 2015595. Hugh Pb
    I support this petition
  • 05 December 2015594. Timothy Ss
    I support this petition
  • 30 November 2015593. James Pm
    The recognition of Frank Durkin for his lifelong committment to justice and compassion for the marginalized is overdue.
  • 14 November 2015592. James M
    I support this petition
  • 06 November 2015591. Joanne Morahans
    I support this petition
  • 29 October 2015590. Niccolo S
    I support this petition
  • 24 October 2015589. Bernard D
    would be a well-deserved tribute
  • 08 October 2015588. Teresa M
    I support this petition
  • 21 September 2015587. Jerome Eboylee
    Frank was a great person, a great Irishman, a great American, a great New Yorker. We should have a street bearing his name to remind us of his extraordinary legacy.
  • 15 September 2015586. Gregory Rmalee
    I support this petition
  • 04 September 2015585. Loretta F
    GREAT GUY
  • 23 August 2015584. Brendan O
    I support this petition
  • 23 August 2015583. Mary C
    I support this petition
  • 08 August 2015582. James G
    Well Deserved Honor!
  • 08 August 2015581. Shauna O
    I support this petition
  • 01 August 2015580. Clare Rc
    I support this petition
  • 01 August 2015579. Adrian L
    Frank was a Gift, not only to the Irish community, but to all communities. A true leader, he was a staunch supporter of things that would have otherwise gone unrecognized, and therefore deserves the recognition of Frank Durkan Way. AFL.
  • 16 July 2015578. Raphael R
    I support this petition
  • 14 July 2015577. John K
    I support this petition
  • 08 July 2015576. Kevin H
    I support this petition
  • 06 July 2015575. George T
    I support this petition
  • 03 July 2015574. Siobhan C
    I support this petition

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Francis MccartyBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Community Board #1

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