March 15-17, 2018
2019 Irish Citizen of the Year
Kevin Charles Murray
Kevin Murray is an Indianapolis Irish Catholic Democrat lawyer who has practiced law and politics for 40 years. He is a graduate of the College of Architecture and Planning, Ball State University (2014), the School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana University, cum laude (1979), and the College of Arts and Science at Indiana State University (1975), magna cum laude, where he created his own major area of study, “Political Urban Sociology”. Kevin’s most recent advanced degree is a Master of Science in Historic Preservation.
Kevin started at the Indiana General Assembly as an intern in the fall of 1974. He continued at the Indiana State House for nearly 30 years. He departed the Capitol in January 2005, having served as Senate Reading Clerk, Caucus Assistant, Legal Assistant, Counsel (1974 – 1980), and House Counsel (1981 – 1988). When South Bend Mayor Joe Kernan was elected Lt. Governor, Kevin returned to the Senate serving as Senate Counsel, and then served as Senate Parliamentarian for both Lt. Governor Kernan and Lt. Governor Kathy Davis. During Joe Kernan’s administration as Governor, Kevin served as Special Counsel to him and had responsibilities for the State’s gaming agencies. He also served as Parliamentarian to the Indiana Democratic Party 2003 to 2012. Kevin helped former Governor Kernan preserve professional baseball for South Bend, and was a minority owner of the South Bend Silverhawks (2006 – 2013).
Upon graduation from law school in 1979, Kevin joined Locke Reynolds and initially concentrated his law practice in medical malpractice defense. He successfully represented numerous hospitals, physicians, and surgeons throughout Indiana during the period of 1980 through 2003. In 2008, Locke Reynolds merged with Frost Brown Todd. Kevin is an equity member of the firm which includes over 500 lawyers and stretches from Texas to Virginia. Currently, Kevin is celebrating 40 years of practicing law with the same group of Indianapolis lawyers.
In 2002, at the request of Congresswoman Julia Carson, Kevin successfully managed the Frank Anderson for Sheriff campaign. Anderson, the former U.S. Marshal, the only Democratic to win Marion County, garnered nearly 70% of the vote. Kevin’s next task was to serve as the Sheriff’s Legal Deputy to resolve the 30-year litigation contesting the unconstitutional conditions within the Marion County Jail. As this task was being completed, the Mayor of Indianapolis, Bart Peterson, advocated the consolidation of the Indianapolis Department with the law enforcement divisions of the Sheriff’s Office. Kevin served as Sheriff Anderson’s counsel and negotiated the creation of the new “Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department” (IMPD) under Sheriff Anderson. Sheriff Anderson was handily re-elected in 2006. In 2007, a Republican Mayor was elected and had the political ability to strip the IMPD away from Sheriff Anderson. Kevin negotiated the transfer of power and authority over IMPD. He continued to serve Sheriff John Layton, Anderson’s successor, as Legal Deputy. At the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, he has championed public art such as the “Fallen Deputy” statue and “The Peace Dove”, the latter made from destroyed firearms previously used in criminal activity. Kevin has also provided advice and counsel to Layton as he ascended to the presidency of the National Sheriffs’ Association. Currently, Kevin is serving as Legal Deputy and General Counsel to newly-elected Marion County Sheriff Kerry J. Forestal.
In 2000, Kevin became active in State Law Resources, Inc. (SLR) an international association of law firms specializing in state governmental affairs. He served as SLR Secretary for several years, before assuming the Presidency in 2014. The organization has provided Kevin with a wide network of professional colleagues throughout the nation.
Kevin has been long active in the Indianapolis Irish community. He joined the Kevin Barry Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) in 1978. In 1981, he co-founded the Indianapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He served as Kevin Barry President in 1983. Kevin co-founded the Celtic Cross Committee in 1990, which erected a Celtic Cross in St. John’s Churchyard. Thereafter, in 2001, he helped form the “1st Irish” Memorial Committee which constructed a monument in Holy Cross Cemetery to memorialize the 35th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He has served as Legal Counsel to Irish Fest for many years. Kevin has received various honors from the Indianapolis Irish community, and has hosted the Irish government on official visits to Indianapolis.
Ever passionate about family history, Kevin has authored four books: The Great Kepi (1981); Sgt. “A.F. Kelly” Murray, U.S. M.C. (2011); and The 1st Fighting Irish: The 35th Volunteer Infantry (2013); and Indiana Shanachie: A Hoosier’s Tales of Ireland (2017).
Kevin enjoys traveling, having visited Ireland some 30 times, and now maintains a wee cottage there in Drumnacarry, on the Owencarrow River, outside Creeslough, County Donegal. In addition, he has traveled outside the United States to Greece and Turkey (2008), the Equadorian Amazon and the Galapogos (2014), and Cuba (2017).
Kevin’s arcane collection of notable items include a restored 1978 MGB, a vintage 1973 Land Rover, Civil War memorabilia, early 20th Century Irish American sheet music, Florida Keys ephemera, Donegal and St. Kevin’s postcards, historic stained glass, and most recently vintage hickory golf clubs. In addition, Kevin is trying to develop an interest in golf, a sport that his father made fun of, but heartily recommended as he went off to college. Lastly, in March 2018, Kevin assisted his cousin, Joe Sweeney, with “lambing” at Joe’s Donegal farm.
Kevin’s two adult children live outside Indiana. His Son Conor, a gifted lacrosse player and musician, lives in Portland where he is completing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Conor will be doing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in Neurobiology. His Daughter Caitlin Kelly, a talented entrepreneur, resides in Los Angeles, where she owns and operates her own interior design firm, Black Lacquer Design.