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April / May 2013

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The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, or The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from...

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Joey From Scranton – Vice President Biden’s Irish Roots

It’s well known that Vice President Joe Biden spent his early years in the very Irish city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. But...

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James Kelly: A Sculptor of American History

James E. Kelly, sculptor and illustrator, specialized in depicting people and events surrounding the American Civil War. ...

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Irish Folk Furniture – An Interview With Tony Donoghue

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one Irish short made big waves. Filmmaker Tony Donoghue spoke with Sheila Langan...

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A Sacred Place: Skellig Michael

Photographer and writer Chris Ryan visited the larger of the two Skellig Islands off the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry,...

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In This Issue

Joey From Scranton – Vice President Biden’s Irish Roots

Joe Biden with his mother, Jean Finnegan Biden, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Photo: AP.

It’s well known that Vice President Joe Biden spent his early years in the very Irish city of Scranton, Pennsylvania. But what about his ancestors? Genealogist Megan Smolenyak, who also traced...

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The First Word: The Emigrants’ Flame

The Eternal Flame at Arlington National Cemetery.

The First Word, by Patricia Harty. “Cuimhnígí ar na daoine ar tháinig sibh.” (Remember the people from whom you came.) – Irish America Hall of Fame motto It’s that time of year when...

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Vice President Joe Biden: Statesman & Everyman

Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden is suddenly the most popular politician in Washington. On the fiscal cliff he galloped to the rescue and cut the deal with Senator Mitch McConnell, and now on gun control he...

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Brian P. Burns: Art Collector & Benefactor

Brian Burns.

Brian P. Burns, grandson of an Irish immigrant, is a nationally regarded business executive, attorney and philanthropist. He is the chairman of BF Enterprises, Inc., a publicly owned real estate...

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Robert M. Devlin: Businessman & Philanthropist

Bob Devlin.

For Bob Devlin, the combination of natural business acumen, strong family ties and Irish roots has proven unbeatable. Today, at 72, he is chairman of Curragh Capital Partners, a New York-based...

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John Fitzpatrick: Hotelier & Humanitarian

John Fitzpatrick. Photo: Kit DeFever.

John Fitzpatrick is one of the most down to earth people you could meet. When he walks into a room he instantly puts you at your ease. Perhaps it’s a talent that he has developed over the years...

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Bruce Morrison: Immigration Reformer & Peacekeeper

Bruce Morrison

A lawyer, lobbyist and former U.S. congressman, Bruce Morrison is not an unlikely hero. Since his days as a student organizer at the University of Illinois, where he founded and chaired the Graduate...

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Irish State Apology for the Magdalenes

A rally by the advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes. Photo: Google Images.

On behalf of the Irish State,  on February 19 Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave a long-awaited and forthright apology to the victims of Ireland’s Magdalene laundries, the Church-run institutions where...

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The Most Globalized Nation of the Western World

Ireland has been named the most globalized nation in the western hemisphere.

Ireland has been ranked as the most globalized nation in the West and the world’s third most globalized economy in terms of GDP according to the annual globalization index published by accounting...

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New Chinese Translation of Joyce Becomes Best-seller

The popular Chinese translation of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.

The new translation of James Joyce’s epically complex Finnegans Wake into Chinese has become an unexpected success. The first print run of 8,000 copies sold out in just under five weeks and a...

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Canadian Tweets in Irish From the International Space Station

Commander Chris Hadfield's photo of Dublin from space.

A galactic photograph of Dublin released via Twitter in February by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, was accompanied by another small first:...

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Fighting Irish Coach Honored by Kelly Gang

Brian Kelly, Football Coach for Notre Dame visits Breezy Point. In this photo, he brings joy to Jim McGuire, an 80-year-old resident. Photo: Peter Foley.

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame’s famed football coach, was honored by the Kelly Gang at Michael’s Restaurant in New York City on March 13. Earlier that day he visited Breezy Point, where he witnessed...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood

Liam Neeson's latest action turn, as an air marshal in Non-Stop.

1. The Irish Goodfellas are getting back together! Back in 1990, Robert DeNiro wowed audiences playing Irish-American hood Jimmy Conway in the electric Martin Scorsese gangster flick Goodfellas. Ray...

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Fighting Irishmen Exhibition Opens in Phoenix

James J. Houlihan, curator of the Fighting Irishmen exhibition, at the Phoenix opening. Photo: Mike Moore.

After traveling from New York to Boston and then to Ireland, the Fighting Irishmen boxing exhibition, which details nearly 200 years of Irish fighters, is now open for viewing in Phoenix, Arizona, in...

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New Edward M. Kennedy Prize Celebrates American Drama

Siblings Jean Kennedy Smith and Ted Kennedy. Photo: Google Images.

Columbia University and Jean Kennedy Smith have inaugurated a new award, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, or the EMK Prize. This year’s prize is actually shared...

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200 Years of People v. Philips and Religious Freedom

William Sampson, the Irish Protestant who argued People v. Phillips; A sketch of old St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church on Barclay Street in NY.

1813 brought the first test of the right of free religious practice and expression in the United States. The famous case, People v. Philips, which eventually solidified the priest-penitent...

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St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in the East Village Reopens

The rennovated interior of St. Brigid's Church in Manhattan's East Village. Photo: Google Images.

After more than a decade of closed doors and legal battles, St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church in New York’s Alphabet City is restored and open again for worship. Built between 1848 and 1849, St....

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The Fight to Save Chicago’s St. James Parish

St. James Church on Chicago's South Side.

Parishioners and friends of historic St. James Parish, founded in 1855 on Chicago’s South Side by Irish immigrants who’d escaped the Great Starvation, spent Easter in a prayer vigil in front of...

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Stopping the Famine Trigger – Phytophthora infestans

Evidence of the famine pathogen in a potato crop. Photo: Google Images.

A pathogen called Phytophthora infestans has long been recognized as the cause of the Irish Potato Famine, which led to over one million deaths. But until recently, scientists were unsure of exactly...

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USS Monitor Sailors Laid to Rest

Two sailors recovered from the ironclad USS Monitor are buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Todd Frantom.

What will likely be the last burial of the U.S. Civil War took place at Arlington National Cemetery on March 8. Two sailors whose skeletons were found in 2002, when the gun turret of the sunken USS...

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Those We Lost

Those Lost: Inez McCormack, Dennis O'Driscoll, Dolours Price, Tony Sheridan, Josephine Stout, and Walt Sweeney.

Recent passings in the Irish and Irish-American communities. Inez McCormack 1946 – 2013 Northern Irish civil rights and labor activist Inez McCormack died late January. She was 66. McCormack, who...

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A Sacred Place: Skellig Michael

Beehive huts on Skellig Michael; Little Skellig peaking out of clouds in background. County Kerry, Ireland. Photo: Chris Ryan.

Photographer and writer Chris Ryan visited the larger of the two Skellig Islands off the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, where an early-medieval monastery survives at the edge of the material...

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I’ll Be Back In the Springtime – JFK in Ireland

President Kennedy taking tea with his cousin Mary Kennedy Ryan and her daughter Mary Ann at the family home in Dunganstown, Co. Wexford. Photo: PJ Browne Photography.

Sean Reidy, CEO of the JFK Trust, looks back on President Kennedy’s visit to New Ross in 1963, and forward to celebrations on the 50th anniversary of that visit. “I’ll be back in the...

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True Grit – Sandy Fails to Derail the Xavier Knights’ Run for Glory

Xavier H.S. Knights gather on field at Mitchell Field Stadium, Uniondale, NY, after defeating St. John  the Baptist 35 to 14 to win Catholic High School crown only five weeks after 11 Knights were forced from homes in wake of Super-storm Sandy. They are:  Left to right: John  Strehle, Jimmy Wolfer, Ricky Comis, Bryan  Carley, Ryan McDade,  Dan Smith, Ryan  Sullivan (Trophy),  Eddie McCarthy,  Jimmy Morgan and  Dylan Bergstol.  (Not pictured Ryan Kilgallen.) Courtesy of Xavier HS.

All they wanted was a chance for ten more days of football. Just before the end of the season, a quarter of the players and one of the coaches on the Xavier High School Knights had been forced from...

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The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

Some of the founding Friendly Sons. Top row: Thomas Fitzsimons, Stephen Moylan and John Barry. Bottom Row: John Dickinson, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne and Robert Morris.

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, or The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland, was founded in Philadelphia on March 17, 1771 and continues on as a...

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James Kelly: A Sculptor of American History

James Kelly's depiction of General Philip Sheridan's famous 1864 ride to the Battle of Cedar Creek.

James E. Kelly, sculptor and illustrator, specialized in depicting people and events surrounding the American Civil War.  Historian and author William B. Styple discovered Kelly’s journals, which...

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TransAtlantic – A New Work by Colum McCann

Burying The Child by Lilian Lucy Davidson. Courtesy of Quinnipiac University's Ireland's Great Hunger Museum Collection.

An excerpt adapted from Colum McCann’s new novel, TransAtlantic. Colum McCann won the National Book Award in 2012 for Let the Great World Spin, which through an extraordinary feat of...

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Irish in the Heartland: St. Patrick, Missouri

St. Patrick, MO's official March cancel stamp. Photo: Google images.

Irish Place Names: St. Patrick, MO In the northeast corner of Missouri, 150 miles north of St. Louis and three miles west of the intersection of Highway 61 and State Route Z, an oak grove marks the...

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What Are You Like? Mary Robinson

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.

Ireland’s first female president answers questions about her life and work. Mary Robinson made history as Ireland’s first female president, in office from 1990 – 1997. She has since devoted...

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Harrington: Taking Classical Music out of the Concert Hall

Gregory Harrington. Photo: Daniel D’Ottavio.

Greg Harrington doesn’t look like your average classical violinist. When we met at a pub in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on a recent snowy evening, he was wearing a gray hoodie and peppered his...

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Bean an Tí – Celebrating Loretta & 20 Years of Glucksman Ireland House

Loretta’s family and friends: Jim Blumenfeld, Chris Cooney, Loretta, Seamus Heaney, Kate Cooney Picco, Caitlin Cooney and John V. Cooney, Jr. Photo: James Higgins.

Glucksman Ireland House, NYU’s center for Irish Studies celebrated 20 years and its founders, Loretta Brennan Glucksman and her late husband Lewis Glucksman. Seamus Heaney read “Lauds for...

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Molloy College Celebrates St. Brigid’s Day

Gearóid Ó Ceallaigh (Jerry Kelly), Irish language and culture instructor. Photo: Jim Norton.

On February 2, Molloy College’s Irish Studies Institute held its first St. Brigid’s Day Celebration – a fun afternoon of songs and stories that held the promise of exciting things to come for...

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Irish Folk Furniture – An Interview With Tony Donoghue

One of the stars of Irish Folk Furniture – before restoration. Courtesy of Tony Donoghue.

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one Irish short made big waves. Filmmaker Tony Donoghue spoke with Sheila Langan about his utterly charming stop-motion animated film Irish Folk...

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Sláinte! Mother Earth

Two side-by-side hills in County Kerry are known as The Paps of Anu, the Earth goddess. Pastel on paper by Patricia Harty.

Edythe Preet writes of the many reasons why Ireland is called the Motherland. Civilization began when hunter-gatherers learned to cultivate grain and evolved into permanent agricultural communities....

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Country Girl – Edna O’Brien’s New Memoir

Edna O'Brien's new memoir, Country Girl.

Edna O’Brien has published the memoir she swore she’d never write. Readers will be very glad she did. “You can write and I will never forgive you,” said Ernest Gébler, Edna O’Brien’s...

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Nuala – A New Documentary

Nuala O'Faolain

Nuala O’Faolain shook Ireland and captivated the world with her forthright memoir Are You Somebody? A new documentary seeks to present a full picture of the woman behind the writing. For the...

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Review of Books

Everybody Matters by Mary Robinson, Fever by Mary Beth Keane, Tracing Your Sligo Ancestors by James Ryan.

Fiction Fever With her 2010 literary debut, The Walking People, Mary Beth Keane, the daughter of Irish immigrants, established herself as a writer who is especially sensitive to the experience of...

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Music Reviews

This New Morning by Luka Bloom, Lúnasa with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, The Modest Revolution by Enter the Haggis.

The latest from Luka Bloom, Lúnasa, and Enter the Haggis. Luka Bloom This New Morning It is no secret that Ireland boasts some of the most potent singer-songwriters of modern music. Joining the...

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Family Photo Album: Neither a Nun Nor Married

Aunt Peggy, far left, in New York City's Central Park, before she moved back to Ireland to take care of her parents. Submitted by Cecilia Donohoe.

Aunt Peggy Last year my mother began to hang old photographs and framed documents on what she calls the “family wall” in her living room.  No need for a coat of arms or Céad Míle Fáilte sign...

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Hibernia

Irish State Apology for the Magdalenes

On behalf of the Irish State,  on February 19 Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave a long-awaited and...

New Chinese Translation of Joyce Becomes Best-seller

The new translation of James Joyce’s epically complex Finnegans Wake into Chinese has become an...

New Edward M. Kennedy Prize Celebrates American Drama

Columbia University and Jean Kennedy Smith have inaugurated a new award, the Edward M. Kennedy...

Irish Eye on Hollywood

1. The Irish Goodfellas are getting back together! Back in 1990, Robert DeNiro wowed audiences...

Fighting Irish Coach Honored by Kelly Gang

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame’s famed football coach, was honored by the Kelly Gang at Michael’s...

St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in the East Village Reopens

After more than a decade of closed doors and legal battles, St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church in...

200 Years of People v. Philips and Religious Freedom

1813 brought the first test of the right of free religious practice and expression in the United...

Canadian Tweets in Irish From the International Space Station

A galactic photograph of Dublin released via Twitter in February by Canadian Space Agency astronaut...

The Fight to Save Chicago’s St. James Parish

Parishioners and friends of historic St. James Parish, founded in 1855 on Chicago’s South Side by...

USS Monitor Sailors Laid to Rest

What will likely be the last burial of the U.S. Civil War took place at Arlington National Cemetery...

Stopping the Famine Trigger – Phytophthora infestans

A pathogen called Phytophthora infestans has long been recognized as the cause of the Irish Potato...