The Irish Person of the Year (IPOY), is the Irish American Society’s annual award to one of its outstanding members. The award recognizes the recipient’s commitment to the promotion of the social and cultural goals not only of the Irish American Society but also of those of other Irish organizations in the area.
Phil Faulkner always knew he was Irish, but he didn’t know many specifics at first. His mother, orphaned at a young age, had no idea where her famine grandparents had been born. An elderly aunt once told him, “someday perhaps you will visit my home village, which is known for a very famous song.” Little did he know at a young age that the ballad was “The Rose of Tralee.” It wasn’t until 1990 that he discovered that Tralee, County Kerry was his ancestrial home.
The search for his roots heated up shortly after arriving in Dallas in 1971 and discovering the lively sing-alongs at the old NFL (Nick Farley’s Lounge). He joined the Friendly Sons & Daughters of St. Patrick (now called the Irish American Society) in 1975 and, along with vivacious wife, Sue, has held most of its offices. The couple also have been instrumental in the success of the Texas arm of the international Rose of Tralee competition.
In addition to his many offices with the Irish American Society, Phil has served as Deputy Grand Marshall of the 1993 Downtown Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and on the host committee housing bands from Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day festivities for several years. He originated the important program of genealogy research for the Irish American Society members who, like him, have been searching for their heritage. He also was invited to be a selection judge for the AOH Houston St. Patrick’s Day Queen competition from 1991 to 1994.
Phil was born in Orean, New York, and graduated from the Ohio State University with a double major in real estate and finance. For the past 25 years, he has been with USLIFE Real Estate Service Corp., serving as President and CEO most of that time. He is a member of the Appraisal Institute, a licensed Texas real estate broker and a NASD securities licensee.