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April / May 2014

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The Light of Munster

If I could be dropped anywhere in Ireland with my camera and lenses, I’d choose the region of Munster nearly every time....

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Chris O’Dowd:
Boyle to Broadway

The actor has been busy since Bridesmaids, and it’s made him eager to return to his roots as an actor and...

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The Orphan Trains

Over 250,000 children were transported from New York to the Midwest over a 75-year period (1854-1929) in the largest mass...

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“The Gift of Conversation”

JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY TALKS ABOUT LOVE, LOSS, AND HIS LATEST PLAY, OUTSIDE MULLINGAR It was late afternoon in February at a...

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What Are You Like?
Brían F. O’Byrne

Brían F. O’Byrne, 46, is currently starring in the Broadway production of Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick...

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In This Issue

At Home with the McDonalds

Patti Ann, Steven, and Conor McDonald, the first family to be inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame. Photo by Kit DeFever.

A family who used love and forgiveness to move past tragedy. February 2014:  The houses in Malverne look pretty. The snow lends a fairytale quality to the winter scene. Photographer Kit DeFever and...

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The First Word: Hall of Fame

The House of Waterford Crystal Hall of Fame Awards. Photo by Nuala Purcell.

Past, Present, and Future In this issue, in which we celebrate the new inductees into our Hall of Fame, I’m reminded of great Irish Americans of the past such as John Barry, the father of the...

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Christine Kinealy:
Historian, Author, Activist

Christine Kinealy is the world-renowned historian and newly appointed professor of history and founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. Beginning...

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Chris Matthews:
Political Commentator, Author

Chris Matthews has been following American politics since the first Eisenhower campaign. As a young teen, he became enthralled with the historic rivalry of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. It was a...

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Andrew McKenna:
Corporate Titan, Community Leader

Andrew McKenna is one of Chicago’s premier businessmen. He is nicknamed “St. Andrew of the Boardroom” because most of his work happens behind the scenes. But at the age of 84, “an age when...

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Martin O’Malley:
Politician, Lawyer, Musician

Martin O’Malley is the governor of Maryland and the former mayor of Baltimore. He was born, one of six children, in Washington, D.C. to Barbara and Thomas O’Malley, a former U.S Army Air Force...

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Bill O’Reilly:
Broadcaster, Author

Since he joined the Fox News Channel as the anchor of “The O’Reilly Factor” in 1996, Bill O’Reilly has been the exemplar of cable news personalities. His style of challenging inquiry, the...

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Patrick Ryan:
Businessman, Philanthropist

The son of an Irish-American Ford dealer in a Milwaukee suburb, Patrick Ryan has made Chicago his residence since graduating from Northwestern University in 1959 and is now one of the city’s...

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Brian Stack:
Championing Ireland

Dublin native Brian W. Stack is the managing director of CIE Tours International and president of the Ireland-U.S Council for Commerce and Industry. In both these positions, Brian is at the forefront...

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Ireland Wracked by Storms

A Truck overturned by high winds on the M8 near Fermoy, Co. Cork. Photo: An Garda Siochana.

Ireland has experienced heavier than usual winter storms with high winds and massive flooding particularly in the Shannon River basin. The extreme weather also had a devastating effect on Ireland’s...

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Vinegar Hill Archeological Study

Front row from left: Grace Warren, Emily Deacon, Aoibhe Oakes, and Eva Bailey from St. Mary’s N.S., Enniscorthy. Back row from left: Dr. Tony Pollard, director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow; Jacqui Hynes, manager of the National 1798 Rebellion Centre, Enniscorthy; and Tony Larkin, Enniscorthy town manager. Picture: Patrick Browne.

This year marks the beginning of a three-year full archeological study of the 1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill site in County Wexford. The Rebellion battle, in which over 1,000 rebels were killed, was not...

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New Chair for University of Limerick Foundation

From left: David Cronin, CEO University of Limerick Foundation; Mrs. Brennan Glucksman, Chairman of the Board; Prof. Don Barry, President, University of Limerick. Photo: Alan Place.

Loretta Brennan Glucksman is the new Chairman of the Board for the University of Limerick Foundation. Formerly the chairman of the American Ireland Funds, the Allentown, Pennsylvania-born...

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Coin for McCormack

The Central Bank of Ireland issued a 10-euro coin, their first new collection coin for 2014, to celebrate the life of Irish tenor John McCormack (1884-1945), who reached worldwide fame for his...

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Ballymurphy Inquiry Moves Forward

Members of the Ballymurphy Massacre families with Kartik Raj (second from left) of Amnesty International.

Relatives of 11 people killed in Belfast by the British Army in 1971 met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in January to ask him to lobby the British Government to set up an independent panel inquiry into...

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Ireland’s Social, Cultural Environment Is Harmful to Mental Health

Cuts to services, fear of crime, and loneliness brought on by emigration of loved ones have led to a huge surge in calls to a helpline for the elderly, The Irish Examiner reported at the end of...

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Members of U.S. Congress to Visit Derry/Londonderry

On the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama: (top row) Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Jim Crowley (D-NY); (bottom row) Michael Collins (Chief of Staff, Rep. Lewis), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Liz McCloskey (President & CEO, FPI) and Kristin Leary (Co-Founder, The Frederick Douglass-Daniel O’Connell Project).

“When we stood together on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama during our 2013 Civil Rights pilgrimage, we vowed ‘Next Year in Ireland.’ In April we will fulfill that promise,” says...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood

Left to right: Ryan Jones, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Florian Weghorn, and Nathan Vamson at the Berlin premier of Hide Your Smiling Faces.

The St. Patrick’s Day season brings with it two movies featuring Irish actors – one an established veteran and the other a versatile up and comer. First, there’s the always-busy Ciaran Hinds in...

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The Long Road Back to “White O’Morn” Cottage

The romantic cottage, central to the movie The Quiet Man, now lies in ruins.

It was a magical place – a romantic place – the mythical cottage of Mary Kate and Sean Thornton that was featured in John Ford’s classic 1952 movie The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and...

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American Song Becomes Anthem of Hope in Ireland

Left to right: Mairead Carlin, Carly Simon, and Damian McGinty.

Legendary singer/songwriter Carly Simon was moved to tears by a new cover of her iconic “Let the River Run,” which became the theme song for Derry/Londonderry City of Culture celebrations. The...

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Ban on Makeup and False Eyelashes for Irish Dancers

World Irish Dancing Championships 3/25/2013

Irish dancers under 10 years old are now forbidden to wear makeup or false eyelashes during competition but can still wear wigs. The Irish Dancing Commission’s site announced that the ban would...

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Judy Collins Live in Ireland

Judy Collins and some of Ireland’s best loved musicians took over Dromoland Castle last September to film a concert that will be broadcast on PBS this coming spring: Judy Collins Live in...

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Brennan’s Torpedo

Wall installation in Gillingham, Kent, showing some of Louis Brennan's inventions.

A renowned Irish inventor is honored in London. Louis Philip Brennan was born on Main Street, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, on 28 January 1852. He was the tenth child  of Thomas Brennan, a hardware merchant...

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Fordham Calls For Finucane Inquiry

Pat Finucane.

Human Rights First joined the family of Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane on the 25th anniversary of his murder to discuss the campaign for a public inquiry into his killing.The...

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Phoenix Irish Honor O’Connor

Left to right: Norman McClelland, chair, McClelland Irish Library; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Jim Daugherty, president, Irish Cultural and Learning Foundation, Phoenix.

On January 16, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was presented with the prestigious Anam Cara Award (Irish Soul Friend) from the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix. Justice O’Connor...

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NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House Gala

Pulizer Prize winners Jimmy Breslin (left) with Pete Hamill at the GIH Gala. Photos by James Higgins.

Tony-winning actor Brian Dennehy presented the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for Arts & Letters to acclaimed writer Pete Hamill at Glucksman Ireland House NYU’s Annual Gala on Tuesday, February...

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Rea Does Joyce at Fairfield

Stephen Rea.

Hearing Stephen Rea read the Cyclops chapter from Ulysses makes you realize that Joyce wanted us to enjoy his masterpiece, and to laugh. I was lucky to catch one of Rea’s performances in Ireland...

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Lady of Sligo Finds New Home in Quinnipiac

Portrait of Lady Hester Catherine de Burgh, later Lady Sligo.

Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT recently acquired the historically significant collection of Hester Catherine de Burgh, Lady Sligo (1800-1878). The letters...

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The Light of Munster

Ancient dolmen in farmer's field above the River Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

If I could be dropped anywhere in Ireland with my camera and lenses, I’d choose the region of Munster nearly every time. The spectacular cliffs on the coast of Clare, the wild headlands of the...

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Brían Boru’s Last Battle

800px-'Battle_of_Clontarf',_oil_on_canvas_painting_by_Hugh_Frazer,_1826

A thousand years ago, on April 23, 1014, the Battle of Clontarf, and Brían Boru’s last costly victory, changed Irish political life forever.  The following, from The Story of the Irish Race by...

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The Battle of Clontarf: Millennium Celebrations

Members of the Clontarf 2014 committee presenting commemorative Brían Boru medallions to Minister Jimmy Deenihan and the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Left to right: Kay Lonergan, Chair, Clontarf Historical Society; Minister Jimmy Deenihan; Collette Gill, Chair, Clontarf 2014 Committee; Cllr. Oisin Quinn, Lord Mayor of Dublin; and Douglas Appleyard, Chair Raheny Heritage Society.

Vikings, mercenary warriors, and competing clans made up the terrifying cast in one of Ireland’s oldest and best-known battles. All of these different elements will once again play their part in...

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Normandy

The American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, just above Omaha Beach. Photos by John Fay.

An Irish American takes a family trip to Normandy’s WWII battle site. This June marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings when the United States and her allies, primarily Britain and Canada,...

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The Orphan Trains

A train bound for the Midwest, c. 1920. National Orphan Train Complex Archives.

Over 250,000 children were transported from New York to the Midwest over a 75-year period (1854-1929) in the largest mass migration of children in American history. As many as one in four were...

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Clan Kennedy:
Of Presidents and Kings

The Kennedy brothers in 1960. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Camelot might be a misnomer. Brían Boru, the last High King of Ireland, was a Kennedy. Boru sculpture on the Chapel Royal outside Dublin. The O’Kennedy genealogies, held by the Royal Irish...

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Chris O’Dowd:
Boyle to Broadway

David Rawle as Martin Moone with Chris O'Dowd as his imaginary friend Sean in "Moone Boy." Sky1 2014.

The actor has been busy since Bridesmaids, and it’s made him eager to return to his roots as an actor and Roscommoner. From the beginning of our conversation, Chris O’Dowd is enthusiastic. I only...

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What Are You Like?
Brían F. O’Byrne

Brían F. O’Byrne, 46, as Anthony in the Broadway production of Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick Shanley. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Brían F. O’Byrne, 46, is currently starring in the Broadway production of Outside Mullingar, a play by John Patrick Shanley. O’Byrne, who grew up in Mullagh, Co. Cavan, trained at the Samuel...

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“The Gift of Conversation”

Actors Brían  F. O’Byrne and Debra Messing, who star in Outside Mullingar, with playwright John Patrick Shanley, and  director Doug Hughes. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY TALKS ABOUT LOVE, LOSS, AND HIS LATEST PLAY, OUTSIDE MULLINGAR It was late afternoon in February at a bistro in New York’s East Village that playwright and screenwriter John...

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Review of Books

Recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest. Fiction The Blessings By Elise Juska There’s a certain kind of belonging that comes with being part of a large, extended...

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Sláinte: Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA.

It is perhaps a love of words that endears the Irish to Saint Patrick.  Son of a West Britain Roman family, at age sixteen Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Six...

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“The Hard Way Home”

Paddy Homan

Paddy Homan’s newest CD reflects the Irish tenor’s philosophy of life. In the tradition of a lively rambling house, Irish tenor Paddy Homan has been presiding for six years every Sunday night at...

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Those We Lost

Clockwise from top left: Dr. James J. Gallagher, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John McGinty receiving the Medal of Honor from Lyndon Johnson, Daniel Tracy with baby Sykes and his mother, Jimmy Murphy with Nancy Reagan, and Eugene McGovern.

Dr. James J. Gallagher 1927 – 2014 Dr. James J. Gallagher, who fought tirelessly for children with special disabilities, died January 17 in Chapel Hill. He was 87. Born June 11, 1926 in...

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An Orphan Boy Who Was Fond of Horses

John J. Callahan, c. 1905. Charcoal on paper, by Rosalie Lewis.

John J. Callahan was one of fifteen boys who arrived in Philippi, West Virginia, on an Orphan Train. It was on June 24, 1903. He was taken by C.K. Switzer, owner of a flour mill in Mansfield, now an...

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Hibernia

Rea Does Joyce at Fairfield

Hearing Stephen Rea read the Cyclops chapter from Ulysses makes you realize that Joyce wanted us to...

Coin for McCormack

The Central Bank of Ireland issued a 10-euro coin, their first new collection coin for 2014, to...

NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House Gala

Tony-winning actor Brian Dennehy presented the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for Arts & Letters...

Ireland’s Social, Cultural Environment Is Harmful to Mental Health

Cuts to services, fear of crime, and loneliness brought on by emigration of loved ones have led to...

Brían Boru’s Last Battle

A thousand years ago, on April 23, 1014, the Battle of Clontarf, and Brían Boru’s last costly...

Ban on Makeup and False Eyelashes for Irish Dancers

Irish dancers under 10 years old are now forbidden to wear makeup or false eyelashes during...

American Song Becomes Anthem of Hope in Ireland

Legendary singer/songwriter Carly Simon was moved to tears by a new cover of her iconic “Let the...

Phoenix Irish Honor O’Connor

On January 16, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was presented with the...

Judy Collins Live in Ireland

Judy Collins and some of Ireland’s best loved musicians took over Dromoland Castle last September...

Members of U.S. Congress to Visit Derry/Londonderry

“When we stood together on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama during our 2013 Civil...

Lady of Sligo Finds New Home in Quinnipiac

Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT recently acquired the...

Brennan’s Torpedo

A renowned Irish inventor is honored in London. Louis Philip Brennan was born on Main Street,...

Fordham Calls For Finucane Inquiry

Human Rights First joined the family of Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane on the...

New Chair for University of Limerick Foundation

Loretta Brennan Glucksman is the new Chairman of the Board for the University of Limerick...

Ireland Wracked by Storms

Ireland has experienced heavier than usual winter storms with high winds and massive flooding...

Vinegar Hill Archeological Study

This year marks the beginning of a three-year full archeological study of the 1798 Battle of...

Irish Eye on Hollywood

The St. Patrick’s Day season brings with it two movies featuring Irish actors – one an...

Ballymurphy Inquiry Moves Forward

Relatives of 11 people killed in Belfast by the British Army in 1971 met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny...

The Long Road Back to “White O’Morn” Cottage

It was a magical place – a romantic place – the mythical cottage of Mary Kate and Sean Thornton...