Family legend has it that my granddad Patrick Markey used a false passport to leave Ireland for America. He was a wanted man. He also was the only known Markey to leave County Armagh in Northern Ireland — ever. So who is this Mickey Markey guy, and why did New Orleans name a park after him?
There must have been another branch of the Markey family, perhaps hailing from outside County Armagh, who made it to the United States.
On Tuesday, July 28, 1970, a large crowd gathered for the ceremony dedicating the New Orleans Recreational Department's Mickey Markey Playground located at the intersection of Piety and Royal streets. The man for whom the park was named — Michael "Mickey" George Markey Jr. — was a civic leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children. Markey died three years before the dedication ceremony, but his parents, wife and children were in attendance along with Mayor Moon Landrieu and several City Council members.