Katie Barrett (nee Gallagher), born in Manchester, England to Denis and Sheila (nee Coll), is the older sister to Sarah and Donnchadh. She was reared in Gweedore, County Donegal. In June 2000, Katie immigrated to New York to join then boyfriend from Gweedore, Michael Barrett who had immigrated earlier.
Shortly thereafter, Katie’s healthcare career in the private practice of Dr. Margaret Fitzsimons in Maspeth, Queens, New York, expanded from dental assistant through insurance clerk to office manager with all of the requisite practice, law courses and business guidelines to be updated and maintained. A true people person, there is no doubt that Katie’s kind and witty personality put many a patient at ease.
Katie and Michael Barrett were married on February 21, 2004, and are the proud and doting parents of 12-year-old Neil and 10-year-old Megan. The Barrett Family currently resides in the wilds of Connecticut. Their weeknights and weekends are kept busy now as Neil is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, and Megan is an up and coming Irish step dancer and, with her talent and determination, future champion. Katie and Michael speak fluent Gaelic, and are delighted to impart their knowledge of their native language to Neil and Megan.
Katie has served two separate terms as President of the Donegal Association of New York and has served various offices of the United Irish Counties Assn. of New York, currently being the Immediate Past President. Katie was the fourth woman, and first woman to represent her native Donegal as President of The United Irish Counties Association. She just ended her tenure as President of the UIC and was honored to serve in this prestigious position.
In 2009, Katie earned the Shining Star Award from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, an honor bestowed on immigrant parishioners in the Brooklyn Diocese who contribute to their local community through the Church, which for Katie would be her work with the Irish Apostolate. In 2010, Katie was named one of the Irish Voice’s “Most Influential Women.” She shared this title with several extraordinary and distinguished women, among them Ireland’s 17th and current Ambassador to the United States, Anne Anderson. In 2016, Katie was honored by the Queen County Ladies AOH with the Irish Heritage and Culture Award. In 2017, Katie was honored by the Irish Echo receiving a Community Champion Award.
On her Irish heritage, Katie herself summed it up perfectly when she was previously honored in 2010. “My Irish heritage influences my life and that of my family on a daily basis. My upbringing has made me who I am today. My sense of humor and the gift of the gab are assets that are truly Irish. My desire is to impart as much knowledge of my culture as possible to all who may be interested in learning about what binds us to our ancestry. I love all that America offers my family. Ireland may be far away but never far from my heart.”
Katie is overjoyed to represent the United Irish Counties this March 17 on 5th Avenue