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Dr. Kjell Dahlen named Irishperson of the year

Dr. Kjell Dahlen, right, accepts the award of Irishperson of the year from Kevin Killeen.

Dr. Kjell Dahlen, right, accepts the award of Irishperson of the year from Kevin Killeen. Photo by Shawn Ryan.

— It took 56 attempts, but the Royal Order of the Blarney Stone finally chose an Irishperson of the year who has actually lived in Ireland.

At the annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, hosted by the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Adirondack Bank, Master of Ceremonies Kevin Killeen conferred the honor of Irishperson of the Year on Dr. Kjell Dahlen. Dahlen accepted the award to a standing ovation at the packed and mostly green-clad crowd at the Angel Center ballroom. Dahlen in his acceptance speech pointed out that he lived in Dublin, Ireland for six years, and had, in fact, kissed the fabled Blarney Stone.

Dahlen said that when he moved to the Champlain Valley, he planned to be here for only a year, but between the lake, the mountains and the people, he had found a home. And even with a hard to spell name and an accent, he said, he has always felt welcomed here.

“I was totally surprised,” said Dahlen of the award. “There were so many other people here who were worthy. I’m honored and humbled. I’ve felt all along that I’ve been very well received in the community and the people have been welcoming and good to me since day one that I came to town.”

After receiving his award, Dahlen and the 450 strong Irish for the Day crowd were treated to an Irish blessing by the Cumberland Bay Chapter of Barbershop Harmony, before venturing out into the still well below freezing Monday morning air.

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