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Irish America June / July 2015 Cover

June / July 2015

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Mama Tina:
The Story of Christina Noble

The story of Christina Noble, whose memories of her poverty-ridden childhood in Dublin inspired her to help thousands of...

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Des Bishop Is Seriously Funny

He grew up in Queens, went to high school in Ireland, spent a year in the Gaeltacht, two years in China, and just bought an...

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A Challenging Response:
Concern in Nepal

Concern Worldwide has been responding to emergencies around the world since it was born amid the chaos of the Biafran war in...

More
Foot Tapping…
Modern Trad in New York

There is always a welcoming buzz of familiarity at the Irish Arts Center. On a night in late April, This Is How We Fly made...

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What Are You Like?
Actor Barry Ward

Actor Barry Ward, 32, plays the lead role in Jimmy’s Hall, directed by Ken Loach with a screenplay by Paul Laverty, the...

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In This Issue

Des Bishop Is Seriously Funny

Comedian and social commentator Des Bishop has returned to the U.S. after more than two decades of living abroad in Ireland, and having spent the last two years in China. He is eager to break down some unhealthy cultural stereotypes. Shown here in "Under the Influence," a documentary he did in Ireland on problem drinking, from 2012.

He grew up in Queens, went to high school in Ireland, spent a year in the Gaeltacht, two years in China, and just bought an apartment back in New York. And here is an incomplete list of things he has...

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First Word: High Notes

Father John Jenkins speaks at the 2015 Irish America Hall of Fame. (Photo: Nuala Purcell)

One of the many highlights of our recent Hall of Fame lunch was Notre Dame’s president Rev. John Jenkins’s tribute to Don Keough, the late great Irish American who contributed so much to Ireland...

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World Irish Dance-Off

Form, function, and hair at the Irish World Dance Championships..

Hairspray, fake wigs, and oodles of bling were on full display in front of 20,000 spectators for the 45th installment of the Irish World Dance Championships which took place in Montreal at the Palais...

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Ireland’s Action Plan for Jobs
Brings Results

Ciaran Murray Announces New ICON Innovation Hub earlier this year.  (Picture by Shane O'Neill / Copyright Fennell Photography 2015.)

In his April 28th Spring Economic Statement speech, Finance Minister Michael Noonan T.D. announced that Ireland currently has the fastest growing economy in Europe. He said that 95,000 new jobs have...

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News From Our Honorees

Brian Kelly, Paqui Kelly, Steven McDonald, Conor McDonald, Patti Ann McDonald, Ray Kelly

Irish businessman and 2012 Irish America Business 100 Keynote Speaker Denis O’Brien has created a fellowship that will, on an annual basis, offer two Irish students a fully-funded master’s...

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Dublin Mural to Gay Marriage

A closeup of the mural on George Street in Dublin.

A touchingly brave four-story mural of two men embracing was recently plastered on the side of a Dublin building on George Street. The black and white image is meant to be a “poignant...

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Michael Longley Given
Freedom of the City in Belfast

Portrait of Michael Longley (b.1939), Poet, Editor and Anthologist, 2011-12  © Colin Davidson (b.1968)

Michael Longley, poet, educator, and promoter of the arts, received the highest honor that one can receive from the Belfast City Council on March 23, 2015. The Freedom of the City title, much like...

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NLI to Make 400,000 Parish
Records Digitally Available

Archives-C-717x450

The National Library of Ireland recently announced that it will be digitizing their parish records and providing free online access starting on July 8th. These records are considered the most...

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The Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

Sarah Churchill, Assistant to Ireland's Great Hunger Institute examines a photo of a Grey Nuns. Images by Johnathon Henninger

A new exhibit on the Grey Nuns hosted by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University opened April 1. A private event launching the exhibit took place on March 31 with the Canadian...

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Gallipoli Remembered

Pictured left to right: Ertan Yalçin, Consul General of Turkey; Peta Conn, Consul General of New Zealand; Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland; and Nick Minchin, Consul General of Australia.

Consul General Barbara Jones laid a traditional Irish green laurel wreath to commemorate the more than 3,000 Irish serving with Allied forces who lost their lives during the WWI Gallipoli campaign....

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“Lone Survivor”
Navy SEAL Honored

KINSALE, Ireland (April 18, 2015) Capt. Duncan Smith, director of SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman scout team for Naval Special Warfare Command, and James Sikora, executive director of the Irish Veterans Post 001, attach a plaque dedicated in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy to the outside wall of the White House Hotel in Kinsale, Ireland. The Irish Veterans Association dedicated a plaque to honor the memory of Murphy, a Navy SEAL, for his heroic action in Afghanistan in June 2005 for which he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in October 2007. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

On April 18 in Kinsale, County Cork, Lt. Michael Murphy was honored at a commemoration of the Irish Veterans Association’s and a plaque was dedicated to his memory. The Navy SEAL, a Long Island...

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A Challenging Response:
Concern in Nepal

A man stands in the rubble of what were offices and shops in Gongabu, Kathmandu one week after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rattled the capital on April 25th. (All photos: Crystal Wells / Concern Worldwide)

Concern Worldwide has been responding to emergencies around the world since it was born amid the chaos of the Biafran war in Nigeria 47 years ago. Floods, famines, wars, and earthquakes all provide...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood

Evanna Lynch (right) with George  Webster in My Name  Is Emily.

O’Dowd. Irish talent meets American controversy in the upcoming film Icon. Icon is a biopic about American cyclist Lance Armstrong, who won seven consecutive Tour de France races and survived...

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Thousands Mourn
a Fallen Officer in Queens

Police officers carry Moore’s coffin from the church. (All photos by Peter Foley)

Family members, friends, neighbors, and thousands of police officers from across the country, gathered at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, New York, on Friday, May 8, to pay their last...

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Edward M. Kennedy Institute
Opens in Boston

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate opened in Dorchester, Mass. (Photo: Bruce T. Martin)

A new institute honoring the life and legacy of Senator Ted Kennedy opened in Boston with a historic ceremony featuring President Obama, Vice President Biden and other dignitaries. Chilly weather...

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“Irish Dave” and the Yanks
Who Liberated Normandy

Distant View thru trees

Belfast native David Ashe retired to Normandy, France, and became a champion for visiting GIs who had liberated his adopted homeland during World War II. In September 2011, Guy Whidden, a World War...

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Mama Tina:
The Story of Christina Noble

Christina Noble, center with baby, surrounded by children she has rescued from abandonment. She is now the subject of a new movie called "Noble" starring Deirdre O'Kane.

The story of Christina Noble, whose memories of her poverty-ridden childhood in Dublin inspired her to help thousands of children in Vietnam, is now the subject of a major movie. Christina Noble...

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150 Years of Yeats’s Sligo

View of the statue “Waiting On Shore” from Coastal Walk, Rosses Point, Co. Sligo.

On the 150th anniversary of W.B. Yeats’s birth we look at some of the places in Sligo that inspired his best-loved poems. 1. BENBULBEN and DRUMCLIFFE CHURCHYARD: At his request, Yeats’s body...

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The Rebel Countess

Countess Markievicz in an Abbey performance, c. 1915.

Rosemary Rodgers, continuing her series on Irish women of note, profiles Constance Georgine Gore-Booth, the social agitator and revolutionary who took part in the Easter Rising of...

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The Willis Family

The Willis Clan performing on stage. (Courtesy Willis family)

The Willis Clan have carved out quite the reputation for their musical skills and now have a new reality TV show on TLC. There is a moment during a Willis Clan performance when the stage lights seem...

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A Challenging Woman:
Remembering Inez McCormack

Inez McCormack is the subject of a new documentary.

Inez McCormack, the late labor leader and human rights activist from Northern Ireland, once said that her greatest achievement was “seeing the glint in the eye of the woman who thought she was...

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What Would Jimmy Do?
“Jimmy’s Hall” at Tribeca

Rivals on screen, but not on 39th Street. Barry Ward (right) with Jim Norton, who plays Father Sheridan in Jimmy’s Hall, the Leitrim priest who had James Gralton branded as an “antichrist” and, some sources argue, incited the local IRA to burn the hall down on Christmas Eve, 1932. Photo by P. Harty.

In August 1933, James Gralton became the only Irish citizen to have been deported from Ireland. Despite having no evidence to substantiate their charge that he was a subversive communist, de...

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Foot Tapping…
Modern Trad in New York

Not depressing. This Is How We Fly (from left): Seán Mac Erlaine, Nic Gareiss, Petter Berndalen, and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh at the  Irish Arts Center in New York. (Amanda Gentile / Irish Arts Center)

There is always a welcoming buzz of familiarity at the Irish Arts Center. On a night in late April, This Is How We Fly made their New York City debut. The quartet of fiddle, clarinet, drums, and...

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What Are You Like?
Actor Barry Ward

Barry Ward takes our questionnaire.

Actor Barry Ward, 32, plays the lead role in Jimmy’s Hall, directed by Ken Loach with a screenplay by Paul Laverty, the movie is based on the life of Leitrim man James “Jimmy” Gralton, who...

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Roots: Is Oscar Irish?

Oscar Wilde.  Photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony. Albumen silver print. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Oscar Wilde, the playwright, novelist, poet, and critic of world renown, has long been labeled Anglo-Irish, but an examination of his roots puts the question of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills...

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All Too Human: An Interview
with Author Rob Doyle

Rob Doyle. Photo by Al Higgins

Breakout novelist Rob Doyle discusses the existential strands of isolation that run through his debut, as well as the processes of writing, his relationship with Ireland, his views on Irish and...

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Review of Books

Recently-published books of Irish and Irish American interest.

Recently-published books of Irish-American interest. NON-FICTION Poets and the Peacock Dinner By Lucy McDiarmid Virginia Woolf wrote, “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not...

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Sláinte! Flower Power

Dandelion field.

The long days of summer are upon us, and gardens everywhere are in bloom. Admiring the pretty flowers will satisfy some, but Sláinte columnist, Edythe Preet, likes to eat her plants. Freshly picked...

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Those We Lost

From Left: Cardinal Edward Egan, Anna McCoy, Mary Doyle Keefe.

Cardinal Edward M. Egan 1932 – 2015 Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the former archbishop of New York, died in March of cardiac arrest at the age of 82. He led the Archdiocese of New York from 2000 to...

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Last Word:
Great Hunger in the North

A close-up of the little-known stained glass window commemorating  the Great Hunger in Belfast City Hall.  Click image below for full-size image.

A Window on the Past: Historian Christine Kinealy debunks the myth that Ulster was untouched by the Great Hunger. The myth of Ulster exceptionalism and affluence has roots in the Great Hunger itself....

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Photo Album:
The Road to the Bright City

John B. Hynes, Mayor  of Boston (first row center, with hat in hand), outside O'Dea's Hotel in Loughrea, Co. Galway with his uncle, Thomas Hynes (first row, third from right). On October 17, 1953, Mayor Hynes received  a Civic Reception from the Loughrea Town Commissioners.

My grandfather John Bernard “Barney” Hynes and his brother Thomas J. Hynes emigrated from Loughrea, Galway, Ireland to Boston, Massachusetts in 1875. They were in their early teens. Barney got a...

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Hibernia

World Irish Dance-Off

Hairspray, fake wigs, and oodles of bling were on full display in front of 20,000 spectators for...

The Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

A new exhibit on the Grey Nuns hosted by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac...

News From Our Honorees

Irish businessman and 2012 Irish America Business 100 Keynote Speaker Denis O’Brien has...

“Lone Survivor”
Navy SEAL Honored

On April 18 in Kinsale, County Cork, Lt. Michael Murphy was honored at a commemoration of the...

Ireland’s Action Plan for Jobs
Brings Results

In his April 28th Spring Economic Statement speech, Finance Minister Michael Noonan T.D. announced...

Gallipoli Remembered

Consul General Barbara Jones laid a traditional Irish green laurel wreath to commemorate the more...

Thousands Mourn
a Fallen Officer in Queens

Family members, friends, neighbors, and thousands of police officers from across the country,...

Michael Longley Given
Freedom of the City in Belfast

Michael Longley, poet, educator, and promoter of the arts, received the highest honor that one can...

NLI to Make 400,000 Parish
Records Digitally Available

The National Library of Ireland recently announced that it will be digitizing their parish records...

Dublin Mural to Gay Marriage

A touchingly brave four-story mural of two men embracing was recently plastered on the side of a...

Edward M. Kennedy Institute
Opens in Boston

A new institute honoring the life and legacy of Senator Ted Kennedy opened in Boston with a...