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February / March 2015

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Gemma Hayes:
Crowd-sourcing Her Sound

The Irish musician, singer-songwriter, and composer Gemma Hayes on making music her way. I’ve never done an interview...

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The Girls Are Alright

Five years after the tragic loss of their mother and sister, the five Murray daughters and their father, Sean, continue...

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John Duddy: Actor

Middleweight champion John Duddy on hanging up his gloves.  In 2011, John Duddy retired from boxing. Living in New York,...

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Follow the Music:
Advice from a November
Holiday in Ireland

Liz Cunningham-Purchia, her boyfriend Tim Gannon, his sister Clare, and her husband Jano Cabrera, all Washington, D.C....

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What Are You Like?
Mary Pat Kelly

Author Mary Pat Kelly weaves historical characters such as Maud Gonne, William Butler Yeats, Countess Markievicz, Michael...

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In This Issue

Stephen Colbert: One Last
Report (It’s Genealogical)

Host Stephen Colbert appears during the "Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscapeon" special of The Colbert Report on September 8, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/PictureGroup)

It was a damp morning in late February 2008 when the phone rang. Harvard scholar and PBS host Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. was calling with one of his random genealogical requests. He was going...

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First Word:
Telling It Like It Is

Left to Right: Professional Irish American talkers Steve Allen, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien, and Stephen Colbert.

Our cover story on Stephen Colbert’s Irish roots reminds us that with his ascension to the Late Show throne this coming fall,  he will be joining a venerable group of Irish-American hosts on late...

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Compadre Plant Matrix

Plants like these will have their life events documented for posterity.

Botanists at Trinity College Dublin have launched a database that documents significant ‘life events’ for nearly 600 plant species across the globe. Working with like-minded individuals across...

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The President’s
New Year Message

President Michael D. Higgins speaking at the Irish Consulate in New York, on the first night of his U.S. visit. Photo by Fennell Photography.

President Michael D. Higgins’s Christmas New Year message, broadcast from Aras on Uchtairan on December 31, remembered the Irish abroad, those who assist them, and the communities which have...

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100,000 Protesters March
Against Water Charges

The largest protests yet in Ireland. So far, no resolution has been made.

Up to 100,000 protesters opposed to the introduction of water charges brought Dublin to a standstill in December when they rallied outside the Irish parliament building. The December 10th protest was...

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Winter Solstice in Newgrange

Newgrange during the Winter Solstice.

There were 30,532 entries for a lottery to experience Winter Solstice 2014 at Newgrange in Co. Meath. Fifty names were drawn, and each of those fifty people were invited along with a guest to gather...

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Rising Sea Levels
A Danger for Ireland

The scene at 8am on Jan. 10 in Bundoran as the tide continued to breach the wall.

In a global warming special on RTÉ’s environment series Eco Eye, experts warned about the catastrophic dangers of climate change on Ireland. They predicted that rising sea levels would bring...

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U.S. Lifts Ban on Irish Beef

The U.S. agreed last year to lift the ban on Irish beef. The ban had been in place for 16 years, following a Europe-wide ban in the late 1990s due to an outbreak of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy...

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Hop Into Dublin

Dublin Coach Launch at The RDS, Dublin Photo:Michael Donnelly.

Is there a better way to take in Ireland’s capital than sitting back with coffee on a hop-on hop-off coach tour while a great Irish storyteller fills you in on the history? Unlike many major cities...

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Irish Eye On Hollywood

Belfast-born Jamie Dornan, left, with Dakota Johnson, center, in a still from 50 Shades of Grey.

1As television dramas become more prestigious, Irish acting talent continues to flock to both cable and network shows. We already know that, this year, Irish American cable-drama veteran Denis Leary...

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Golden Globe Moments
and Oscar Nominations

Left to right: Michael Keaton, Imelda Staunton, Bill Murray.

At the Golden Globes in January,  Michael Keaton took home the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy prize for Birdman, beating out two other actors with Irish ties – Chicago-born Bill Murray, and...

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Khloe Kardashian
Rocks Irish Design

Khloe Kardashian in her black Theia dress. Image: Instagram

Khloe Kardashian looked fierce wearing a Theia gown at the Golden Globes E! Entertainment after party. The dress from Theia’s spring 2015 collection featured a turtleneck halter bodice in black...

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Irish Rep Stages Da at New Home

"Da" is currently playing at the Irish Repertory Theater in New York.

The beloved Irish Repertory Theatre on West 22nd Street in Manhattan has been all but hammered to bits – but not for long! Breaking ground in September 2014, the Irish Rep has begun the massive...

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Irish Win Smarter Planet Challenge

Dr. Michael Murphy, President, UCC (center) with students (L-R) Lily Pinson, Fiona Edwards Murphy, Katie Hetherington, Liam O’Leary and Killian Troy. Image: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision.

A project using smart technology to help the plight of the humble honey bee has won a global competition for Irish students at University College Cork against challengers from MIT/Boston University...

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Governor Martin O’Malley
Grants Stays of Execution

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Maryland governor Martin O’Malley announced late December that he would commute the execution sentence of the last four death row inmates in the state. O’Malley, a Democrat who is wrapping...

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IACI Gifts Irish Collection to Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University

"Burying the Child." Oil on Canvas. Photo by Frank Poole.

The Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University recently received over 4,000 books, historical documents and rare first editions, from the Irish American Cultural Institute. Professor Christine...

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Accolades for Ward’s
Irish Music Archives

"The Army's Full of Irish" sheet music cover detail. Part of the Ward s Irish Music Archive. See below for full size image.

Following the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, the Ward Irish Music Archives, the largest public collection of Irish music in America, is receiving national...

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Shannon Gaels:
Field of Dreams

Members of the Shannon Gaels GAA Club playing Gaelic football.

The Shannon Gaels GAA Club in New York is one step closer to building its field of dreams – a children’s playing field in Frank Golden Park in College Point, New York. In January, Minister for...

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The Abbey:
110 Years, 110 Moments

Inside the Abbey Theatre, a timeline of events. Images:  Monika Chmielarz | Abbey Theatre

In a fitting public tribute to Lady Gregory’s call for the Abbey Theatre “to bring upon the stage the deeper thoughts and emotions of Ireland,” the theater spent all of 2014 collecting memories...

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Hunger:
Tragedy, Comedy, Both?

Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen's 2007 Project 'Hunger.'

The British broadcaster Channel 4 plans to create a sitcom based on a script by Irish writer Hugh Travers. “Hunger” centers on the Irish Famine and has become a lightening rod of...

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John McDermott:
Golf Hall of Famer

John McDermott

John McDermott is finally getting his due over a hundred years after he became the first American to win the U.S. Open national golf championship. Winning at the age of 19, he also remains the...

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NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House Annual Gala

Peter Quinn

Award-winning writer Peter Quinn and McGraw Hill financial executive Ted Smyth will receive the Seamus Heaney Award for Arts & Letters and the Lewis L. Glucksman Award for Leadership,...

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The Things They Carried

Left: Lucky pig charm carved out of Irish bog-oak (Catalogue #EPH 3473). Right: Marble four-leaf clover lucky charm belonging to an unknown soldier (Catalogue #EPH 3464). Images © IWM.

Connemara marble boot charm, carried by an Irish soldier (Catalogue #EPH 4892). © IWM What more fascinatingly intimate look into the lives of soldiers of WWI than a glimpse into the tokens they...

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Project Children Draws to a Close

From left: William Crawley, a Project Children Alumnus; Project Children alumna Patricia MacBride; Norman Houston, director of the Northern Ireland Bureau; and Denis Mulcahy, Founder and Chairman of Project Children all speaking in Washington, D.C.

Project Children’s 40th anniversary celebration in Washington D.C. in September brought to a close an important chapter in Northern Ireland’s struggle for peace. For decades, this all-volunteer...

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New Edition of John Kerr’s
“Cardigan Bay” (Review)

Cardigan Bay is published by Robert Hale, Ltd.

As a work-a-day archival historian, I am generally allergic to historical fiction. But occasionally I discover a novel that reaches into the minds of contemporaries in a way that historians...

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Those We Lost

From left: Jackie Healy-Rae, Kevin M. Kearney, Aodhan Madden, and J.J. Sheridan.

Jackie Healy-Rae 1931 – 2014 Following a long illness, Former Fianna Fáil TD for South Kerry Jackie Healy-Rae died early December. He was 83. Acknowledging Healy-Rae’s deep involvement with and...

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Follow the Music:
Advice from a November
Holiday in Ireland

From left: Jano Cabrera, Clare Gannon, Liz Cunningham-Purchia, and Tim Gannon at Croke Park in Dublin for the U.S./Ireland Men’s soccer friendly. Despite their World Cup performance, the U.S. lost. All photos courtesy of the authors.

Liz Cunningham-Purchia, her boyfriend Tim Gannon, his sister Clare, and her husband Jano Cabrera, all Washington, D.C. transplants, planned a November escape to trace their roots and follow the...

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The Girls Are Alright

Meghan Murray reaches out to the photos of her mother, Kelly Murray, and her younger sister Sloane Murray, on Thursday July 24, 2014 in Chevy Chase, MD. The two passed away in a car accident five years ago. (Photo by Yue Wu/The Washington Post)

Five years after the tragic loss of their mother and sister, the five Murray daughters and their father, Sean, continue to thrive. Tie-dyed sheets line the back of a Chevy Chase classroom where a...

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John Duddy: Actor

John Duddy in a scene from the 2011 production of Kid Shamrock.

Middleweight champion John Duddy on hanging up his gloves.  In 2011, John Duddy retired from boxing. Living in New York, the popular Derry native had compiled a 29-and-2 record with 18 knockouts....

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Reflections in Bere Island

The Ardnakinna Lighthouse on Bere Island’s western shoreline.

A community of healers gathers for a retreat on the role of spirituality in healing. Bere Island is a small island a mile off the southwest coast of West Cork. Twice as long as it is wide and...

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What Are You Like?
Mary Pat Kelly

Mary Pat Kelly wearing her father’s tweed hat.

Author Mary Pat Kelly weaves historical characters such as Maud Gonne, William Butler Yeats, Countess Markievicz, Michael Collins, and Eamon de Valera, as well as Gabrielle Chanel, Gertrude Stein,...

More

Gemma Hayes:
Crowd-sourcing Her Sound

Gemma Hayes in Dungeness, U.K. (Photo: Pip)

The Irish musician, singer-songwriter, and composer Gemma Hayes on making music her way. I’ve never done an interview with a baby before,” says an apologetic Gemma Hayes who has just run off to...

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His Irish Table

Dublin native Cathal Armstrong, who owns and operates Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA. Photo: Scott Suchman

Growing up, Cathal Armstrong learned that a man’s place was in the kitchen. From an early age, Cathal Armstrong understood the importance of time spent together at the dinner table, as well as...

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Sláinte! Love Mór

Detail of “Áine,” by Caroline Evans. Watercolor and Ink. Image: carolineevans.net

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Edythe Preet gives us the story of Áine goddess of love, and the star-crossed lovers the warrior Diarmuid Ua and Gráinne, daughter of the High King...

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Review of Books

Recently published and forthcoming books of Irish American interest.

FICTION Nora Webster By Colm Tóibín Colm Tóibín’s latest novel Nora Webster finds the gifted Irish author writing one of his most personal novels since Brooklyn. Throughout Nora Webster,...

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Roots: The Macs

Ed McMahon (left) with Johnny Carson in the early days of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

This issue’s Roots column is slightly different from the traditional format. Instead of looking at a single surname, or different but etymologically related surnames, I examine three unique but...

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Photo Album: John Harrington

The Mine of Allihies, Beara, Co. Cork, a drawing by Lady Chatterton published in 1838, just a decade before the Harringtons emigrated.

John Harrington My great-great-grandfather John Harrington’s family had probably been in the Beara peninsula of southwest Ireland for many generations before he emigrated in 1848, during the Great...

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Hibernia

U.S. Lifts Ban on Irish Beef

The U.S. agreed last year to lift the ban on Irish beef. The ban had been in place for 16 years,...

Irish Win Smarter Planet Challenge

A project using smart technology to help the plight of the humble honey bee has won a global...

100,000 Protesters March
Against Water Charges

Up to 100,000 protesters opposed to the introduction of water charges brought Dublin to a...

NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House Annual Gala

Award-winning writer Peter Quinn and McGraw Hill financial executive Ted Smyth will receive the...

Winter Solstice in Newgrange

There were 30,532 entries for a lottery to experience Winter Solstice 2014 at Newgrange in Co....

New Edition of John Kerr’s
“Cardigan Bay” (Review)

As a work-a-day archival historian, I am generally allergic to historical fiction. But occasionally...

IACI Gifts Irish Collection to Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University

The Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University recently received over 4,000 books, historical...

The Things They Carried

Connemara marble boot charm, carried by an Irish soldier (Catalogue #EPH 4892). © IWM What more...

John McDermott:
Golf Hall of Famer

John McDermott is finally getting his due over a hundred years after he became the first American...

Hop Into Dublin

Is there a better way to take in Ireland’s capital than sitting back with coffee on a hop-on...

Compadre Plant Matrix

Botanists at Trinity College Dublin have launched a database that documents significant ‘life...

The Abbey:
110 Years, 110 Moments

In a fitting public tribute to Lady Gregory’s call for the Abbey Theatre “to bring upon the...

Project Children Draws to a Close

Project Children’s 40th anniversary celebration in Washington D.C. in September brought to a...

Rising Sea Levels
A Danger for Ireland

In a global warming special on RTÉ’s environment series Eco Eye, experts warned about the...

Shannon Gaels:
Field of Dreams

The Shannon Gaels GAA Club in New York is one step closer to building its field of dreams – a...

Irish Rep Stages Da at New Home

The beloved Irish Repertory Theatre on West 22nd Street in Manhattan has been all but hammered to...

Hunger:
Tragedy, Comedy, Both?

The British broadcaster Channel 4 plans to create a sitcom based on a script by Irish writer Hugh...

Governor Martin O’Malley
Grants Stays of Execution

Maryland governor Martin O’Malley announced late December that he would commute the execution...

Golden Globe Moments
and Oscar Nominations

At the Golden Globes in January,  Michael Keaton took home the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy...

Khloe Kardashian
Rocks Irish Design

Khloe Kardashian looked fierce wearing a Theia gown at the Golden Globes E! Entertainment after...

Those We Lost

Jackie Healy-Rae 1931 – 2014 Following a long illness, Former Fianna Fáil TD for South Kerry...

Accolades for Ward’s
Irish Music Archives

Following the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, the Ward...

The President’s
New Year Message

President Michael D. Higgins’s Christmas New Year message, broadcast from Aras on Uchtairan on...