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The Return of the Can Man: Honoring the Memory of Firefighter Richie Muldowney

A Tribute Through Beer and Support for First Responders

In a touching tribute to the late firefighter Richie Muldowney, Christopher Mills, a volunteer firefighter and brewery owner, has been traveling down the East Coast with a special beer in tow. The "Muldowney Irish Red" was created by Mills' brewery, Jones Beach Brewing Company, in honor of Muldowney, who lost his life during the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. In September, 33 cases of the beer were donated, and a check was written to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which will provide ongoing support to heroic first responders.

Mills has been dropping off four-packs of "Muldowney Irish Red" at volunteer firehouses along the coast and plans to meet with his best friend in Naples, Florida, to launch their beer there. But before that, he's making a special stop at O'Brien's in Tampa, Muldowney's favorite hangout. The former bartender at O'Brien's, Connie Muldowney, later became Muldowney's wife, and he spent many of his vacations visiting his mother and brother in Tampa and hanging out at the bar. Mills' plan to donate a case of "Can Man" to the bar is a touching tribute to Muldowney's memory.

The "Muldowney Irish Red" is not just a beer; it is a symbol of remembrance and support for the brave men and women who risk their lives every day as first responders. The beer is named after Muldowney, who was known to his colleagues and friends as "Moondog" and remembered fondly for his love of firefighting, his cooking, and his sense of humor. He spent all 13 years of his career at Ladder 7 in Manhattan and had a reputation as a natural leader.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, another batch of the "Muldowney Irish Red" was made, complete with a shamrock on the shield of the helmet, a fitting holiday to not only remember Muldowney during a tough time but some of the best times, too. Although the remains of only three of the six firefighters from Ladder 7 have been found, Muldowney's memory lives on in the hearts of his family, friends, and colleagues. Mills' tribute to Muldowney serves as a reminder of the sacrifice he and so many others made on that fateful day and continues to support those who put their lives on the line every day.

DeGregory, L. (2002, April 14). Farewell to the Ladder 7 can man. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved from

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