Ireland House Oral History Collection

Pat Mahon

Pat Mahon at Glucksman Ireland House

Created/Published:

November 14, 2007

1 hour, 18 minutes, 18 seconds

Preferred Citation:

Ireland House Oral History Collection, Archives of Irish America, New York University

Biographical Note:

Pat Mahon (b. Bronx, NY, 1958), at the time of this interview an executive with Bear Stearns and Co., is the son of immigrants from Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland. Martin Joseph Mahon, a New York City bus driver, and Kathleen Mahon, a telephone operator, raised four children in the Crotona Park section of the Bronx where they all learned to play Irish traditional music. In 1973, when he was fifteen and studying with Martin Mulvihill, Mahon became the first American to win the All-Ireland Championship on the button accordion.

After St. Anthony’s School, the Bronx High School of Science, and a brief time at Fordham University, Mahon tried a career in music. He played in several bands, performing Top 40 hits as well as Irish traditional music in pubs, for weddings and dances, as well as on several cruise ships. He returned to college after a year and a half, earning a B.A. in accounting from Lehman College, City University of New York. Mahon began working as a Certified Public Accountant for Arthur Young and Co. Two years later he moved to Bear Stearns and at the time of this interview, Pat Mahon was their regional manager for middle office and operations in Europe, based in London.

Mahon moved to Tokyo in the early 1990s to expand Bear Stearns’ operations. While there, he found a diverse group of musicians to play with (including the Chieftains), and they appeared at events ranging from department store openings to concerts for the Irish Ambassador. After two and a half years, Bear Stearns relocated Mahon to England where he and his wife raised three children, all of whom play Irish music too.

Despite having lived abroad for many years, Pat Mahon views himself as strongly Irish and American.

Click on image to enlarge.

Interviewers:

Photo Credit:

  1. Pat Mahon (right) with his sister, Bronx, NY, circa 1963. Photo courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  2. Just one of many second generation New York Irish kids, Rockaway, NY, circa 1965. Photo courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  3. Entertaining a family friend, Mary Casey, circa 1970. Photo courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  4. The Garryowen Ceili Band, USA junior champions (10-17 ages group), circa 1973. Photo courtesy of Pat Mahon.

    Front row, left to right: Gail Mulvihill, Mike O’Hanlon, Brian Mulvihill, Pat Mahon, Mary Mahon.

    Back row, left to right: Brian Conway, Paulette Corbett, Lisa Dardzinski, Martin Mulvihill (teacher), James Early, Margie McGrath.

  5. Pat Mahon, All-Ireland Champion, circa 1973. Photo courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  6. Page from Pat Mahon’s scrapbook, circa 1972. Courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  7. Mary and Pat Mahon, circa 1975. Photo courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  8. Clipping from Pat Mahon’s scrapbook, early 1990s. Courtesy of Pat Mahon.
  9. Pat Mahon, 14 November 2007. Photo by Linda Dowling Almeida.