Archive for August, 2008

August 16, 2008

Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners passed away on this day in 2008 at the age of 73. Drew began his career after moving to Spain, learning to play the flamenco guitar, and becoming interested in folk music. He returned to Ireland and founded “The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group” in 1962 along with Luke Kelly, CiaranRead more..

The Global Irishman: Brendan McDonagh

HSBC’s Brendan McDonagh is a new breed of international Irishman. Just six months after assuming his job as head of HSBC Finance in North America, Brendan McDonagh volunteered to appear before Congress, in March 2007, to address the growing subprime mortgage-lending crisis. It was a typical move by the 49-year-old Irishman who has become knownRead more..

The First Word: Global Irish

As more and more talk turns to globalization, the Irish are in a unique position – in terms of the global context, we are already there.  Whether it is running the world’s top rated hotel in Dubai, in the operating room of Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, or running a telecom business in theRead more..

Robert Downey Jr. & Sr. Moments

Iron Man started the summer block busting season with a $100.7 million opening at the box office, and marked a tremendous comeback for 43-year-old actor Robert Downey Jr., who in recent years has waged a public battle against drug addiction, which included a stint in jail. Jr., who plays a billionaire industrialist who invents aRead more..

Irish Eye on Hollywood

Amidst the popcorn blockbusters of the summer, keep an eye out for veterans as well as up-and-coming Irish talent in Hollywood. First up, Pierce Brosnan stars alongside Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, based on the musical, which itself was based on the songs of Swedish supergroup Abba. Mamma Mia!, scheduled for a July 18 release,Read more..

A Wilde Hotel in London

The Irish are travel birds. There’s probably not a spot on the globe where they haven’t touched down and built a nest or two. And finding corners of Ireland even in the most obscure places is always a fun travel thing to do. On a trip to London late last year, I stayed at theRead more..

More Than Just Round of Golf

I was fortunate to play the Old Head Golf Links on my most recent trip to Ireland.  The Links is one of the most unique golf courses ever conceived. It is built on a 220-acre diamond of land, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean.  The links and practice area occupy 180 acres,Read more..

The Tragedy of the Hannah

In April 1849, a ship carrying Irish immigrants hit an iceberg in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. John Kernaghan writes on the incident, and of plans for a documentary as Quebec celebrates its 400th anniversary. The crew of the Nicaragua could scarcely credit their eyes when they closed on the iceberg in the Gulf ofRead more..

In the Name of the Fada: Comedian Des Bishop

God help the Irish language!  Faced with insurmountable obstacles, it’s on the brink of extinction. You’ve heard such doom-laden predictions before, perhaps even in articles I’ve written.  But I’ve tired of pessimism.  Instead, I’m here to tell you about a new campaign to revitalize the language. It’s spearheaded by one of Ireland’s most prominent Irish-AmericanRead more..

Chicago and the Irish

Before he was president, Barack Obama was an ambitious young politician who learned a valuable lesson thanks to the Chicago Irish. The year was 1999. Obama, a state senator, announced he was going to challenge Congressman Bobby L. Rush, a legend in the working-class African-American wards of Chicago’s South Side. Decades earlier, the South SideRead more..