Father Patrick O'Brien is 2009 Grand Marshal

Father Patrick O'Brien.
Father Patrick O'Brien.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For a Savannahian who dreams of being Grand Marshal of the Saint Patrick's Day parade, the walk down the corridors of Benedictine High school is the longest mile.

It was the last few steps before the big election, where the Saint Patrick's Day committee voted to decide who would receive the honor.

This year only one name was put into nomination, Father Patrick O'Brien.

"He's always there when people need him, we couldn't have selected a better Grand Marshall," said John Forbes the 2009 General Chairman.

"He fits the mold," agreed Joe Welch.

O'Brien is 40 years a priest in the Diocese of Savannah where he built St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church while also serving as chaplain of the Savannah police department, Chatham County Sherriff's department and the Saint Patrick's day parade committee.

Somewhere along the line he learned to scrap with the best of the Irish.

"He's got a heck of a right punch," said Welch.

Leaving BC, Grand Marshal O'Brien left little doubt that the fun was just beginning and the committee had chosen just the right man to lead that parade.

Later this week there will be the formal announcement and presentation of the Grand Marshal. Father O'Brien will receive his sash and greet the public.