James 'Seamus' Farrell
Killarney's Publick House
James “Seamus” Farrell was born in Queens, New York. His mother worked in the restaurant industry, while his father was an Irish musician, allowing Seamus to travel “home” to Ireland frequently. When Seamus was 11, his father passed away in Ireland from lung cancer. After his passing, Seamus moved back to New York with his mother and sister. He began working full-time at a dairy farm when he was only in 6th grade, while still going to school. Relocating to New Jersey, Seamus continued working and going to school, earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. After his stepfather's passing, Seamus found strength and support from the strong women in his life: his mom and sister. In 2007, he and his friends (turned business partners) purchased a restaurant in Hamilton. Within three months, Killarney’s Publick House opened its doors in March 2008.
While Seamus has overcome more than his share of adversity, his biggest challenge came when he was in 5th grade following the death of his father, one of the most difficult years of his life. He was singled out and bullied by one of his teachers, verbally embarrassed in front of his peers, leaving him angry. Six months later, a classmate kept knocking Seamus down in the hallway. After the third time, Seamus retaliated and hit the boy. Soon after, he felt remorse knowing that violence was not the right choice, and that he could have handled the situation differently. Holding this in for twenty years, he decided recently to reach out to his bully to apologize.
These situations have taught Seamus self-respect and restraint, and that taking a non-violent approach is the best way to handle situations. He exercises these practices daily, both at Killarney’s as well as at home, where he instills these values in his three-year-old son, Declan. He teaches Declan to be a defender, never a bully, and to treat others the way you want to be treated. Having been bullied as a child, Seamus is enthusiastic to be a Kidsbridge 2019 Humanitarian Honoree to bring attention to the important cause of bullying prevention for youth.
Seamus and Killarney’s also support the local community, such as Ryan’s Quest, the Cancer Center at RWJ Hamilton, Miracle League and Riders for a Cause. He is an honorary member of the Hamilton PBA #66.