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Michael C. "Chad" Donnelly


Michael “Chad” Donnelly was born in Newport to Humphrey J “Harp” Donnelly Jr. from County Kerry, Ireland and Edna Winters Donnelly, a born and raised Newport Fifth-Warder. He was one of nine siblings born into a typically large Irish Catholic family. His siblings include; the late Lorain Lewis, the late Diane Collela, the late Mayor Humphrey J “Harp” Donnelly III, the late John F “Jack” Donnelly, the late Thomas “Fox” Donnelly, Donald J Donnelly, Francis W Donnelly, and Brian P Donnelly. He has over one hundred nieces and nephews representing four generations of Donnelly’s. Chad was born and raised in Newport’s Fifth Ward section. He grew up as one of a very colorful and active family.

Growing up in a large, loving family taught Chad lessons in patience, sharing, and looking out for one another.  Growing up Catholic and Irish in the Fifth Ward, taught him all the other life lessons he needed. He is a member of Saint Augustin’s Parish. Although retired, he frequently bartends at Hibernian Hall where he spreads good cheer and laughter among the members and guests.

Chad is proud of his Irish American roots. He has been a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Dennis E Collins Division for forty-four years. He is a member of the Newport Irish Heritage Association and the Museum of Newport Irish history along with the Knights of Columbus (Newport), the Elks Lodge No. 104 (Newport), the Newport Preservation Society, Redwood Library, Gooseberry Beach Association, and Easton’s Beach. On any given day you can find him at one or more events supporting his organizations. You can also find him living his “Bachelor Life” patrolling the streets of the Fifth Ward in his auto and taking in the scene.

Growing up one of many children in a time when large families were common, Chad has always been content to be a supporter in all of life’s aspects. He is unassuming and always willing to help where he is needed.  He is never one to step into the spot light but rather, the one to help propel others into the spot light. He has always served in this capacity, as a brother, a friend, or a fellow member of any given organization. Because of all of these qualities, the Newport Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee has chosen to have him step out and lead the day with the spot light shining on him.  This is a change that is well earned and well deserved. 

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