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October / November 2015

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Dangerfield Lives!
The Ginger Man at 60

At 89, J.P. Donleavy celebrates 60 years of his best-selling cult-classic, The Ginger Man. At his countryside retreat near...

More
The Girsa Girls of Irish Trad

With their melodious voices, masterful musicianship and enthusiasm, the Irish American women’s group Girsa has captured...

More
What’s So Funny?

Three comedic performers with Irish roots share how they get to the laughter. Is it the collective painful history as a...

More
Becky Lynch:
A Fighting Irish Lass

Becky Lynch is becoming one of the major figures in what appears to be a revolution in women’s professional sports – pro...

More
Celebrating Thirty Years of
Irish America

Looking back at Irish America’s premier issue we see that it set the tone for what was to come: a thorough investigation...

More

In This Issue

2015 Wall Street 50
Keynote Interview:
KPMG’s Shaun Kelly

Shaun Kelly is Chief Operating Officer Americas for KPMG. Having worked for the company his entire career in Belfast and the U.S. he brings a unique perspective to the market, writes Patricia Harty. (Photo: Kit DeFever)

Shaun Kelly won’t stop smiling. Photographer Kit DeFever asks him to put on a serious face for our cover shot but Kelly, a COO of KPMG, just can’t hold it and soon the corners of his mouth are...

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The 2015 Wall Street 50

Celebrating the 18th Annual Irish America Wall Street 50

For eighteen years, Irish America has sought out and recognized the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders in the financial sphere, and this year is no exception. The fifty...

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First Word:
Our 30th Anniversary!

"One of our most precious assets became the ability to meld our tradition with change and other cultures," writes Irish America Editor in Chief Patricia Harty.

There is something about anniversaries that appeals to people. And it’s our 30th. If it were a wedding anniversary, pearls would be an appropriate gift. There is something about the pearl that...

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Celebrating Thirty Years of
Irish America

Former New York City Council President Paul O’Dwyer, Irish America publisher Niall O’Dowd, Charles McCabe of Manufacturers Hanover Bank, and former Mayor of Boston Ray Flynn at the launch of Irish America magazine.

Looking back at Irish America’s premier issue we see that it set the tone for what was to come: a thorough investigation into what it means to be Irish American. Thirty years later, we are still...

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Irish Aid for Europe’s
Refugee Crisis

Syrian refugees wait in line for their winter clothes to be distributed by the Concern team at the informal tented settlement in the village of Mohamara, in Akkar, north of Lebanon Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Photographer: Dalia Khamissy

On September 3rd this year, the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian three-year-old whose body washed ashore on a Turkish beach, ran across the front pages of newspapers world-wide, putting a...

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Turmoil in Northern Ireland

Bobby Storey (left) with Martin McGuinness.

As we go to press, the Northern Irish peace process faces one of its greatest challenges. First Minister Peter Robinson, the Democratic Unionist Party leader resigned his position in September, along...

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One in Six Irish-Born
Living Abroad

Long lines for Ireland’s youth seeking work visas in advance of emigrating.

Two recent reports from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Central Statistics Office show that more than one in six Irish-born no longer live in Ireland. In the latest...

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Queen’s University Making Waves in Europe

Prof. Christopher Scott.

This summer saw laurels upon laurels laid on Queen’s University Belfast, as cancer experts there received major U.S. and U.K. research awards, and researchers launched a €50 million, Europe-wide,...

More

Researchers Cite ALS Ice
Bucket Challenge for Ground-
Breaking Discoveries

A crowd of 700 was on hand to take part in the relaunch of the ALS Water Bucket Challenge on Sunday, August 2, at Empire City Casino, including founder Pat Quinn.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, co-founded by Irish America Hall of Fame inductee Pat Quinn and re-launched this past August, is being credited by researchers at Johns Hopkins University for recent...

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Limerick Student Wins Irish
Invention Award

Cathal Redmond with Express Dive invention.

Cathal Redmond, a 26-year-old University of Limerick student, has won the 2015 Irish James Dyson award for his underwater breathing invention. His device, called the “Express Dive,” allows divers...

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Centenary Commemorations
for O’Donovan Rossa Funeral

A new stamp by the GPO commemorates the funeral oration of Padraig Pearse.

Ireland has released a new 70-cent stamp to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Pádraig Pearse’s graveside oration at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa on August 1, 1915. And...

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Global Irish Parliamentarians
Gather in Dublin

Pictured above at Croke Park are forum participants (left to right) British Labour MP Jon Cruddas, Congressman Neal, Minister Deenihan, South Down SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie, and Western Australia Legislative Council member Stephen Dawson.

In September, 44 political representatives with Irish connections from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and France convened in Dublin for the first-ever Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum,...

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Young Travelers Name Dublin
“Favorite City” in World Poll

Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge.

Reiterating Ireland’s prestige as one of the top places to visit in the world, Dublin was recently named the “favorite worldwide city” at the Trazee Awards in Orlando, Florida. Owned by Global...

More

Kenny and Higgins Make
State Visits to U.S.

Irish President to make official state visit to US.

Two Irish leaders graced America’s eastern shores this fall ­– Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D. Higgins both visited the United States in late September of the year, the latter...

More

Presidential Distinguished Service Awards 2015

Tom Moran and Maureen Murphy receive Irish Presidential Awards in 2015.

Actor Gabriel Byrne, businessman Tom Moran, solicitor Gareth Peirce, and author Mario Vargas Llosa are among the recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for the Irish Abroad for...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Casting “The Rising”

Colin Morgan in "The Fall."

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, which paved the way for (first) the Irish War for Independence and then the partition of Ireland north and south. Plenty of...

More

A Year for Ad-Meyer-ers

Rhys  Meyers with Michael  Flatley at The Irish Post Awards 2014 and Business Gala Dinner

Jonathan Rhys Meyers recently joined Ron Perlman and a large cast in the September film Stonewall, capturing the moment in New York City, in 1969, when many agree the modern gay rights movement...

More

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Irish Film Festival Favorites

Devin  Druid with Gabriel Byrne in Louder than Bombs.

Autumn means two things in the movie business: lots of film festivals as well as prestigious movies aimed at snagging Oscar nominations, which are traditionally announced in January. Among the films...

More

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Fassbender

Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs.

Then there are the movies being released in the run-up to the Oscars. The Irish feature prominently in a number of top-flight films with strong odds to be in the Academy Award discussion. One of the...

More

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Room on the Bridge for U2

Lenny Abrhamson.

Also hitting screens in October is Room, a kidnapping drama starring Brie Larson, William H. Macy and Joan Allen. Based on Irish writer Emma Donoghue’s thrilling best-seller, Room is about a mother...

More

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
The Irish Vote

Carey Mulligan.

Finally in October, Brendan Gleeson and Ann-Marie Duff (born in England to Irish parents) shore up the cast of Suffragette, which also stars Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter....

More

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Season of Saoirse

John Crowley (left), Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen attend the Brooklyn premiere during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (Photo: Getty Images)

In November, Brooklyn finally arrives in theaters. This long-awaited Irish immigrant saga (based on Colm Tóibín novel) stars Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson and was directed by Cork native John...

More

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Spotlight on Tom McCarthy

Tom McCarthy.

Lastly, in November watch for Spotlight, a close look at the Boston Globe journalists (including Irish Americans such as Kevin Cullen) who doggedly investigated the sexual abuse scandals of the...

More

Kennedy Center Announces
2016 Irish Festival

Kennedy Center.

I rish writers, musicians, singers, playwrights, actors, and dancers will converge in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom for a three-week Irish festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for...

More

Bloody Irish on PBS

Pictured above: the cast of “Bloody Irish.” For your local scheduling visit www.pbs.org/topics/arts-entertainment .

An uplifting and original musical stage show depicting the armed rebellion, the 1916 Easter Rising, will air on PBS on October 17. The Bloody Irish, recently recorded live in the Helix theater,...

More

Red Heads Galore

Red Head Convention 2015 - king and queen

Red hair and blue eyes are the rarest combination in the world, though you wouldn’t have known it in Crosshaven, Co. Cork the weekend of Aug. 21st during the 6th annual Red Head...

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1st Irish Theater Festival in
NYC On Nine Stages

“Language Unbecoming a Lady."

The only all-Irish theater festival in the world kicked off in September across nine stages in New York. Now in its eighth year, the 2015 Origin Theater Company’s 1st Irish Festival, founded by...

More

Maureen O’Hara’s 95th Birthday

Family and friends gather with Maureen O’Hara for her 95th birthday.

On Monday, August 17, legendary actress, and most famous redhead of them all, Maureen O’Hara celebrated her 95th birthday at a small gathering of friends and family hosted by her grandson, Conor,...

More

“Quiet Man” Cottage
Given Protected Status

The Quiet Man Cottege now and then (top right).

There were huge sighs of relief and joy from thousands of fans when they learned that the iconic thatched cottage “White o’ Morn” that featured in The Quiet Man movie, starring John Wayne and...

More

Henry Ford’s Ancestral Home
Opens in West Cork

Henry Ford with the Model T.

The West Cork ancestral home of Henry Ford, the Ford Motors founder whose Model T revolutionized transportation in the United States, opened to the public in September following a €20,000...

More

100th Salon Celebration

Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc.,  celebrate.

Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc. (IAW&A) celebrated its 100th Manhattan Salon at the Cell Theatre on September 15 with a curated evening of readings and performances and a retrospective...

More

American Success at Fleadh
Cheoil na hÉireann 2015

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:  Brianna Brown, Jake James, and Finbar Kantor.

Musicians and spectators from across the globe descended on Sligo in August to take part in Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the annual week-long festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Now...

More

A “Blight-Free” Potato?

Sustainable potato that resists blight given green light by USDA, but anti-GMO activists remain opposed. (geneticliteracyproject.org)

A variety of potato engineered to be resistant to the pathogen that caused the Great Irish Potato Famine has been approved for deregulation by the USDA. The J.R. Simplot Company’s so-called Innate...

More

Mathew Brady’s Irish Mystery

Civil War Photographer Mathew Brady was probably born in Ireland. Mathew Brady circa 1875. Library of Congress.

In August, a sign in Johnsburg, New York that claimed to mark the birthplace of acclaimed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady went missing. But in addition to sparking a search for the sign itself,...

More

Forgotten Famine-era Graves
Discovered in Massachusetts

One of theunearthed headstones at Calvary Cemetery. Another 600-900 headstones are estimated to remain burried. Waltham News Tribune.

An estimated 600-900 neglected and forgotten Famine-era graves were discovered in Massachusetts in September when Rhode Islander Annie McMullen was attempting to trace her husband’s Irish...

More

Rare Titanic Artifacts
Up for Auction

Titanic.

The Belfast-built H.M.S. Titanic was thought to be unsinkable after it set sail from Cobh, Co. Cork, on its fated maiden voyage. Of the roughly 2,220 people aboard the Titanic, around 164 were Irish,...

More

Irish Sweep World Handball
Championships

Aisling Reilly. Irish News.

Two Irish GAA handball players retain the rights to call themselves the king and queen of handball following the 2015 World Handball Championships in Calgary this past August. Paul Brady, from Cavan,...

More

John Kelly’s Irish Landscapes

Sticks, 2015 (photo courtesy of Spark Associates Art Management and John Kelly)

World-renowned Irish-Australian-British artist John Kelly makes his U.S. debut in New York City through mid-October, bringing his stark land and seascape paintings and several small sculptures to a...

More

Those We Lost

Jerry Berrigan, left, and his brother the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, right, with Sister Elizabeth McAlister in 1972 in Harrisburg, Pa. Credit United Press International.

Jerry Berrigan 1919 – 2015 Jerry Berrigan, the legendary Catholic educator and political activist, passed away this past July at 95. Alongside his brothers Philip and Daniel, both priests, he...

More

Commentary:
“No Irish Need Apply” a Myth?

Were the No Irish Need Apply signs and ads a myth? A new historical debate is sparked, writes Matthew Skwiat.

This summer, an eighth-grade student and a retired history professor re-ignited the debate about the prominence of “No Irish Need Apply” signs in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Irish...

More

Commentary:
What Oonagh Did

Oonagh Keogh leaving the Dublin Four Courts with her solicitor.

On paper, the 1916 Proclamation and the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State appeared to signal a new beginning in regards to equal opportunities for Irish men and women. However, the...

More

Becky Lynch:
A Fighting Irish Lass

Rebecca Quin as her WWE character Becky Lynch.

Becky Lynch is becoming one of the major figures in what appears to be a revolution in women’s professional sports – pro wrestling. Enthusiastic, opinionated, and, yes, mouthy, Lynch spoke with...

More

The Irish of Barbados (Photos)

The Irish in Barbados have a long and troubled history. Pictured above are Erlene Downie (left) and Betty Fenty, who is the great aunt of singer Rihanna. All photos by Sheena Joley.

The descendants of Irish people sold into slavery in the 1600s live in a close-knit community beset by poverty and ill health. ℘℘℘ During the winter of 1636, a ship bearing a consignment of 61...

More

What Are You Like?
T.J. English

Author T.J. English takes our questionnaire. (Photo: Brandon Cotter)

T.J. English is a noted journalist, screenwriter, and author of the New York Times bestsellers Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, The Savage City, The Westies, and Born to Kill, which was nominated for...

More

On the Prowl for Springsteen’s
Irish Roots

Bruce Springsteen with his mother (with the gold medallion) and aunts at Ellis Island.

Roots detective Megan Smolenyak explores the National Library of Ireland’s online collection of Catholic parish registers, uncovers entries for ancestors of a few well-know Irish Americans,...

More

What’s So Funny?

What makes the Irish so funny? Malachy McCourt (above at the IAW&A Salon at The Cell in New York in April) and two other comics weigh in.

Three comedic performers with Irish roots share how they get to the laughter. Is it the collective painful history as a people? The tendency not to take themselves too seriously? The influence of...

More

The Girsa Girls of Irish Trad

Emily McShane, Bernadette Flanagan, Blaithin Loughran, Deirdre Brennan (no longer with the group), Maeve Flanagan, and Pamela Geraghty.

With their melodious voices, masterful musicianship and enthusiasm, the Irish American women’s group Girsa has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere by bringing a creative mix of vocals,...

More

Dangerfield Lives!
The Ginger Man at 60

J.P. Donleavy at his home in Levington Park House.

At 89, J.P. Donleavy celebrates 60 years of his best-selling cult-classic, The Ginger Man. At his countryside retreat near Mullingar, he spoke to Noel Shine about his extraordinary life and the novel...

More

A Long Day’s Journey:
New Ross to New London

In search of Eugene O'Neill's family history.

James O’Neill had a remarkable life, emigrating from Ireland at the age of five, abandoned by his father at 10, raised by a mother who spoke very little English. Yet, having little formal...

More

Remembering Eugene O’Neill
and Celebrating Irish American
Writers and Artists

Mary Pat Kelly, Vice President of IAW&A.

Founded in 2008, and operated as a non-profit organization, Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. (IAW&A) welcomes Irish-American writers, actors, filmmakers, musicians and artists of every...

More

Review of Books

Recently published books of Irish and Irish American interest.

NON-FICTION All in the Cooking By Josephine B. Marnell and Nora M. Breathnach and Ann A. Martin and Mor Murnaghan For those of us who grew up in Ireland in the latter half of the 20th century, the...

More

Sláinte! Birds of Celtic
Myths and Legend

Sunset Raven wallpaper from  Dark wallpapers at www.dark.pozadia.org.

In Irish folklore the raven was thought to be a messenger from the other world. ℘℘℘ Autumn is upon us. The leaves have gone gold and scarlet, night falls earlier, the air turns chill, and the...

More

Last Word: The State of Play

Portmarnock Golf Club, one of the most prestigious clubs in Ireland, may soon open its doors to women.

Why women are still fighting male chauvinism on the greens of Ireland. ℘℘℘ Ireland is now a rainbow nation. With the passing of the referendum on same-sex marriage in May, all...

More

Photo Album:
Great-Grandpa Cole’s Legacy

Michael and Susan, c. 1890. See below for full-size image.

My great-grandfather Michael Cole was born in Claudy, County Derry in 1860. His parents were farmers in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains. He made his way to the States on the steamship Lord...

More

Hibernia

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Room on the Bridge for U2

Also hitting screens in October is Room, a kidnapping drama starring Brie Larson, William H. Macy...

Presidential Distinguished Service Awards 2015

Actor Gabriel Byrne, businessman Tom Moran, solicitor Gareth Peirce, and author Mario Vargas Llosa...

Maureen O’Hara’s 95th Birthday

On Monday, August 17, legendary actress, and most famous redhead of them all, Maureen O’Hara...

“Quiet Man” Cottage
Given Protected Status

There were huge sighs of relief and joy from thousands of fans when they learned that the iconic...

Forgotten Famine-era Graves
Discovered in Massachusetts

An estimated 600-900 neglected and forgotten Famine-era graves were discovered in Massachusetts in...

Henry Ford’s Ancestral Home
Opens in West Cork

The West Cork ancestral home of Henry Ford, the Ford Motors founder whose Model T revolutionized...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Casting “The Rising”

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, which paved the way for...

Centenary Commemorations
for O’Donovan Rossa Funeral

Ireland has released a new 70-cent stamp to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Pádraig...

Irish Aid for Europe’s
Refugee Crisis

On September 3rd this year, the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian three-year-old whose body...

Commentary:
What Oonagh Did

On paper, the 1916 Proclamation and the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State appeared to...

Limerick Student Wins Irish
Invention Award

Cathal Redmond, a 26-year-old University of Limerick student, has won the 2015 Irish James Dyson...

John Kelly’s Irish Landscapes

World-renowned Irish-Australian-British artist John Kelly makes his U.S. debut in New York City...

A Year for Ad-Meyer-ers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers recently joined Ron Perlman and a large cast in the September film Stonewall,...

Commentary:
“No Irish Need Apply” a Myth?

This summer, an eighth-grade student and a retired history professor re-ignited the debate about...

Mathew Brady’s Irish Mystery

In August, a sign in Johnsburg, New York that claimed to mark the birthplace of acclaimed Civil War...

Young Travelers Name Dublin
“Favorite City” in World Poll

Reiterating Ireland’s prestige as one of the top places to visit in the world, Dublin was...

Turmoil in Northern Ireland

As we go to press, the Northern Irish peace process faces one of its greatest challenges. First...

Kenny and Higgins Make
State Visits to U.S.

Two Irish leaders graced America’s eastern shores this fall ­– Taoiseach Enda Kenny and...

Those We Lost

Jerry Berrigan 1919 – 2015 Jerry Berrigan, the legendary Catholic educator and political...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Fassbender

Then there are the movies being released in the run-up to the Oscars. The Irish feature...

100th Salon Celebration

Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc. (IAW&A) celebrated its 100th Manhattan Salon at the...

American Success at Fleadh
Cheoil na hÉireann 2015

Musicians and spectators from across the globe descended on Sligo in August to take part in Fleadh...

Bloody Irish on PBS

An uplifting and original musical stage show depicting the armed rebellion, the 1916 Easter Rising,...

Red Heads Galore

Red hair and blue eyes are the rarest combination in the world, though you wouldn’t have known it...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Season of Saoirse

In November, Brooklyn finally arrives in theaters. This long-awaited Irish immigrant saga (based on...

Researchers Cite ALS Ice
Bucket Challenge for Ground-
Breaking Discoveries

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, co-founded by Irish America Hall of Fame inductee Pat Quinn...

One in Six Irish-Born
Living Abroad

Two recent reports from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Central...

Queen’s University Making Waves in Europe

This summer saw laurels upon laurels laid on Queen’s University Belfast, as cancer experts there...

A “Blight-Free” Potato?

A variety of potato engineered to be resistant to the pathogen that caused the Great Irish Potato...

Rare Titanic Artifacts
Up for Auction

The Belfast-built H.M.S. Titanic was thought to be unsinkable after it set sail from Cobh, Co....

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Irish Film Festival Favorites

Autumn means two things in the movie business: lots of film festivals as well as prestigious movies...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
The Irish Vote

Finally in October, Brendan Gleeson and Ann-Marie Duff (born in England to Irish parents) shore up...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Spotlight on Tom McCarthy

Lastly, in November watch for Spotlight, a close look at the Boston Globe journalists (including...

Global Irish Parliamentarians
Gather in Dublin

In September, 44 political representatives with Irish connections from the U.S., U.K., Canada,...

Irish Sweep World Handball
Championships

Two Irish GAA handball players retain the rights to call themselves the king and queen of handball...

Kennedy Center Announces
2016 Irish Festival

I rish writers, musicians, singers, playwrights, actors, and dancers will converge in Washington,...

1st Irish Theater Festival in
NYC On Nine Stages

The only all-Irish theater festival in the world kicked off in September across nine stages in New...