Adrian was born in Attymass, County Mayo, in 1942; the son of Pádraic and Linda (née O'Dwyer) Flannelly (both school teachers). He is married to Áine Sheridan.
Adrian emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1959 at the age of seventeen. He is a member of one of New York's best-known political families. His uncle, Paul O'Dwyer (1907-1998) was a renowned civil rights activist and former City Council President from 1974 to 1977. Another uncle, Bill O'Dwyer (1890-1964) was the 100th Mayor of New York from 1946 to 1950, and the 1st Catholic Mayor of New York. His family is also musically inclined, and Adrian played both the piano and the piano-accordian with Irish-American bands for many years at various social occasions in his spare time. In 1998, he released a recorded compilation entitled "Ireland and beyond" in aid of a number of allied children’s hospitals in New York and Dublin.
Adrian has hosted a popular radio talk show since 1970, and strives to illuminate issues of concern to the Irish-American community. His programmes present a platform for discussion of the crucial issues affecting the Irish in America, and provide Irish America with an opportunity to explore its culture and heritage. The Adrian Flannelly Show is broadcast on WVNJ Radio (1160 AM) every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and enjoys a large following amongst Irish-American New Yorkers. The theme tune for his show is “O’Donnell Abu”. He interviewed President Mary McAleese on 26th June 1998.
Adrian is also president of Flannelly Promotions Limited, which is a full-service travel promotions, marketing communications, public relations, and North American event management company based in midtown Manhattan, New York City.
In 2000, the Irish government appointed Adrian as its U.S. Representative on its Task Force on “Policy Towards Emigrants”. He also serves as the Irish Cultural Liaison for the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City, adjacent to the World Trade Center and World Financial Center – a major attraction for millions of visitors.
In October 2004, Adrian was awarded the New York Post Liberty Medal in the “Freedom” category (photo below). This prestigious civic medal is annually awarded to “a New Yorker from a foreign land who best embodies the immigrant values of honesty, industriousness and hard-earned success” and recognised Adrian's tireless work on behalf of Irish immigrants in the U.S.A.
In 2006, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg appointed him Irish Cultural Liaison to City Hall. Adrian organised the Mayor’s three trips to Ireland: to Ballymote, County Sligo in August 2006 for the memorial dedication of the statue of General Michael Corcoran of New York’s "Fighting 69th" Civil War Regiment; to Knock Airport, County Mayo in January 2007 to launch the first transatlantic direct flight to New York; and as a delegate to the US Northern Ireland Investment Conference in Belfast May 2008, Adrian facilitated Mike Bloomberg’s first visit to Northern Ireland where the New York City Mayor was keynote speaker.
[his portrait is illustrated above; courtesy of Irish Radio Network USA]