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December / January 2016

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Joanie Madden:
The Christmas Letter

A forgotten Irish song of emigration tells of a mother’s longing for her children who have gone so far away, is a big hit...

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Smoky the Lucky War Dog

The famous war dog who served in World War II, and Bill Wynne, the U.S. Army Air Force G.I. who adopted her. ℘℘℘ The...

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Moët Hennessy’s Jim Clerkin

From County Down to downtown Manhattan, Jim Clerkin has moved around, and systematically up, in the world. After a career in...

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A Child’s Christmas In Brooklyn

In the Brooklyn world of my childhood, Ireland seemed especially close at Christmas. While we kids looked forward to Santa,...

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Kathy “White House”

Were she alive today, the odds are that Kathy Buckley would be as well-known as celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella...

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In This Issue

Moët Hennessy’s Jim Clerkin

Jim Clerkin is the  president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America. Hennessy is celebrating its 250th birthday this year, and Clerkin is currently the longest-serving  CEO in the alcoholic beverage industry in  the U.S. (Photo: Kit DeFever)

From County Down to downtown Manhattan, Jim Clerkin has moved around, and systematically up, in the world. After a career in the alcoholic beverage industry, he’s landed the top position in Moët...

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The 30th Annual Irish America Business 100

Irish America recognizes the top 100 Irish and Irish American business leaders.

For 30 years, this list has sought to recognize the phenomenal success of the Irish in corporate America. We are proud to have the opportunity to celebrate three decades of executives, managers,...

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First Word: The French Connection

General Oliver Harty.

As we struggle with the magnitude of the recent terror attacks in Paris and live with the renewed fear of attacks here at home, we all find personal ways of coping. Mine is to reflect on the past...

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Peter Robinson Steps Down as N.I. First Minister

Peter Robinson stands down as N.I. First Minister. (Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto/REX)

Peter Robinson announced he is to step down as Northern Ireland First Minister and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) just days after a new deal was struck to break a months’ long...

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Same Sex Marriage Wins Historic N.I. Vote

Northern Ireland is one step closer to legalizing gay marriage.

Making history in November, a majority of Northern Ireland’s Assembly members voted in favor of same-sex marriage for the first time. Fifty-three ministers supported the motion, while 52 voted...

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Changes to J-1 Visa Requirements

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan, TD. (Photo: Paul Sherwood)

The two sponsoring bodies that administer the vast majority of Irish participants in the J-1 Summer visa program have announced a plan to introduce a new requirement for applicants to secure a job...

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Trinity College and UCSF to Establish Global Brain Health Institute

Brian Lawlor and Ian Robertson lead a new Trinity College research initiative.

The Atlantic Philanthropies, created in 1982 by Irish-American businessman Chuck Feeney, is giving  €138.4 million [$177 million] to Trinity College Dublin and the University of California, San...

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Irish Scientist Wins Nobel Prize

Professor William Campbell (center), former Director of Parasitology at Merck who was centrally involved in developing Ivermectin, the cure against river blindness, was conferred with a Doctor in Science (Sc.D) is pictured with the Chancellor of the University, Mary Robinson and  TCD Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast at Trinity College Dublin. (Photo: Justin Mac Innes / Mac Innes Photography)

Irish scientist William C. Campbell, a researcher at Drew University in New Jersey, has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Satoshi Ōmura and Tu Youyou. Campbell,...

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University of Limerick’s Lightning Wires

“Lightning Wires,”  by Matthew Gleeson.

Matthew Gleeson, postgraduate researcher at the University of Limerick (UL), is the winner of Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Image of the Year competition for his picture “Lightning...

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NUI Galway Research on Antibiotic Resistance

Áras Moyola, Health Science Building, NUI Galway. (Photo: LikeThatWillHappen / Wikimedia Commons)

Research by NUI Galway and Oxford University has led to a breakthrough in how antibiotics are prescribed. The initiative to improve the prescribing of antibiotics for urinary tract infections...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
True Story of Irish Frontiersman

Leonardo DiCaprio is Irish American Frontiersman Hugh Glass in The Revenant.

The new year will kick off with three movies showcasing lots of young Irish acting talent. First up is the highly anticipated new epic from Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Entitled The...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Jesus Makes Another Comeback

Tom Felton (left) and Joseph Fiennes in Risen.

Finally, in January, there is Risen, a new telling of the Biblical story of Jesus’ resurrection. This version is told through the eyes of a skeptical Roman named Clavius, who sets out to prove that...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Macken Goes From the Night Shift to the Forest

Eoin Macken.

Next up is the horror flick The Forest, starring Dublin native Eoin Macken. The 32-year-old Macken, who attended University College, Dublin, is branching out after spending several years as a model...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Clooney on the Money

George Clooney and Jack O'Connell filming Money Monster in New York's Financial District earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in March 2016, two celebrated English actors with strong Irish roots will team up with a trio of Hollywood legends for a movie entitled Money Monster. Directed by Oscar winner Jodie...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Sarah Bolger Is Into The Badlands

Sarah Bolger stars in AMC's new drama Into the Badlands.

Dubliner Sarah Bolger (left) was seen recently in the (American) football film My All American, alongside Aaron Eckhart, Finn Wittrock, and Robin Tunney. Also in late 2015, the actress – best...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Keogh – From Scorpion to King Fergus

Glenn Keogh has some exciting roles coming up, including as King Fergus in ABC's Once Upon a Time.

Irish actor Glenn Keogh – who has appeared in the cable drama Sons of Anarchy as well as one of the entries in the Transformers film franchise – will star as King Fergus in an upcoming two-hour...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Liam The Monster

Liam Neeson in the first production still from Silence.

Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds have wrapped up their latest prestige project – Martin Scorsese’s new movie. The film’s producer recently said Scorsese is now editing the movie Silence, which is...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Trainspotting – The Sequel

Danny Boyle will (hopefully) direct Trainspotting sequel.

Speaking of folks with Irish parents, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has made some of the most respected and praised movies in recent years, including Slumdog Millionaire and, more recently,...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Fassbender Thriller

Michael Fassbender is MacBeth.

Michael Fassbender – whose mother was from Antrim and who was raised in Kerry – has done the serious art film thing, from Shame (which earned him a slew of award nominations) to 12 Years a Slave...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Eve Hewson in Robin Hood

Eve Hewson.

Looking ahead to 2017, the aforementioned Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly producing a Robin Hood origin movie. The cast has not yet been assembled, but one actress who has apparently landed a role is...

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Farewell to Our Beloved Maureen O’Hara

June Parker Beck remembers Maureen O'Hara.

I.M. Maureen FitzSimons Blair August 17, 1920 – October 24, 2015 
 Maureen O’Hara has died at the age of 95. Born on August 17, 1920 in Dublin, the legend of the silver screen passed away on...

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Scott Kelly Breaks Space Record

A recent photograph of Scott Kelly on the International Space Station.

Scott Kelly, 51, an American astronaut and commander of the International Space Station’s Expedition 45 crew, has set the record for the longest time spent in space by an American citizen after...

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Irish Honors

Numerous Irish and Irish American public figures were honored this fall. Above, actress Fionnula Flanagan receives the Irish Post Award for her contribution to the entertainment industry from Irish Post editor Siobhan Breatnach. (Photo: Irish Post)

Music & Literary Honors Joanie Madden (left) and author Mary Pat Kelly. Musician Joanie Madden, founder of Cherish the Ladies, received the 2015 Turlough O’Carolan Award for Musical...

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Flax Trust Honors James Nesbitt, John Kelly

Pictured left to right: Tom Moran, honoree John Kelly, Sr., Mary  Turley, Trustee/Director of Flax Trust, honoree James Nesbitt, and  Jim Quinn.

The Flax Trust honored James Nesbitt, actor and chancellor of Ulster University, and John Kelly, a partner at Hanover Stone Partners LLC, at its 21 Club Banquet on October 7. It was the...

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The Eugene O’Neill Award

Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Irish America, receives the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award from Ireland’s Consul  General of New York  Barbara Jones and IAW&A Vice President Mary Pat Kelly.

Patricia Harty, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Irish America, received the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award from Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc., on October...

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The Celtic Heart of North America

John Kernaghan went to Nova Scotia to explore the heart of Celtic Canada. Sunset on the road to Sydney Mines. (Photo: Pam Martin / Periwinkledragonfly.com)

For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is home to a unique celebration of music and culture, with the finest of storytellers, musicians, and dancers from around the globe taking part in the...

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Smoky the Lucky War Dog

In this 1944 photo Smoky tosses back her head and “sings” with Bill Wynne (left) and his buddy, Cpl. Donald Esmond in Nadzab, New Guinea.

The famous war dog who served in World War II, and Bill Wynne, the U.S. Army Air Force G.I. who adopted her. ℘℘℘ The first time Cpl. William Wynne saw Smoky, he found it hard to believe she...

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Kathy “White House”

Kathy Buckley outside the White House.

Were she alive today, the odds are that Kathy Buckley would be as well-known as celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. Sharon Ní Chonchúir profiles the Irish woman who was head cook for...

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What Are You Like?
Michael Flatley: The Last Dance

Michael Flatley performing on Broadway in Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. (Photo: Brian Doherty)

Michael Flatley, 57, who has turned traditional Irish dancing into an international phenomenon, is retiring. It’s been his dream since he was a little boy to be on Broadway and that’s where he...

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From Ellen to Eileen

Left: Ellen Nelligan, the author’s great-great grandmother, who was born in Co. Kerry. Right: Just-wed Mike and Eileen Fontana. (All photos courtesy of the author)

An excerpt from In Search of Our Ancestors: 101 Stories of Serendipity and Connection by Megan Smolenyak. ℘℘℘ Many of us have a particular ancestor who calls to us louder than others, one with...

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Buried Anguish: An Interview with Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett's debut has earned wide-spread praise. He talks to Julia Brodsky. (Photo: Stinging Fly)

Dublin breakout writer Colin Barrett talks to Julia Brodsky about his angst- and anguish-ridden debut short story collection, Young Skins. ℘℘℘ Colin Barrett’s debut collection of short...

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Review of Books

Recently released books of Irish American interest, all.

FICTION The Dunning Man By Kevin Fortuna The characters in The Dunning Man are your friends, your wives and husbands, your acquaintances you see too seldom and when you see them again you remember...

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Séan Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize Goes to Evelyn Walsh

Evelyn Walsh pictured with a bust of Séan Ó Faoláin. (Photo: John Minihan)

The winner of the 2015 Séan Ó Faoláin short story prize is Evelyn Walsh, a first-generation Irish American living in Atlanta, Georgia. ‘White Rabbit,’ her winning short story, was selected...

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Shelley’s Irish Poem

Percy Bysshe Shelley, by Alfred Clint.

A long-lost poetical pamphlet by Percy Bysshe Shelley was unveiled at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on November 10th. Shelley wrote the pamphlet, Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things, in...

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Literarian Award for James Patterson

James Patterson. (Photo: David Burnett)

Novelist James Patterson, who grew up in a large, working-class Irish family in the Bronx, won the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award, which honors individuals for a lifetime of...

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Joanie Madden:
The Christmas Letter

Cherish the Ladies has a new Christmas album out. Joanie Madden (center) talks to Mary Pat Kelly.

A forgotten Irish song of emigration tells of a mother’s longing for her children who have gone so far away, is a big hit for Cherish the Ladies. ℘℘℘ Irish music was the soundtrack to life...

More

A Child’s Christmas In Brooklyn

Jimmy, Eileen,  and Joan with their dad, Patrick “Joe” Murphy on Christmas Day, 1948. (Photo courtesy of the author)

In the Brooklyn world of my childhood, Ireland seemed especially close at Christmas. While we kids looked forward to Santa, Mom and Dad were looking back to Ireland. Cards would arrive and Mom would...

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Sláinte! Everything’s Coming Up Ginger

One or two dunks for your gingerbread cookies? Edythe Preet answers.

Ireland is known for its redheads and also, Edythe Preet discovers, for its ginger lovers. So this Christmas, make some ginger cookies, grab a glass of milk, and settle down with J.P. Donleavy’s...

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Photo Album: The Young Americans

From left: Robert, Peter, William, Francis, and Paul Kirwin. (Photo courtesy of the author)

A widow leaves her children in care of the nuns in Galway and sets out for Boston, where she finds work as a domestic servant. In doing so, she sets the course for future generations. ℘℘℘ This...

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Those We Lost

From left: Joseph Coffey, Brian Friel, John "Jack" Irwin.

Joseph Coffey 1938 – 2015 Sergeant Joseph Coffey, the legendary New York City detective who took on the mob and worked on some of the city’s most high-profile cases, including Son of Sam, died at...

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Hibernia

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
True Story of Irish Frontiersman

The new year will kick off with three movies showcasing lots of young Irish acting talent. First up...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Clooney on the Money

Meanwhile, in March 2016, two celebrated English actors with strong Irish roots will team up with a...

University of Limerick’s Lightning Wires

Matthew Gleeson, postgraduate researcher at the University of Limerick (UL), is the winner of...

Scott Kelly Breaks Space Record

Scott Kelly, 51, an American astronaut and commander of the International Space Station’s...

Irish Scientist Wins Nobel Prize

Irish scientist William C. Campbell, a researcher at Drew University in New Jersey, has been...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Fassbender Thriller

Michael Fassbender – whose mother was from Antrim and who was raised in Kerry – has done the...

Flax Trust Honors James Nesbitt, John Kelly

The Flax Trust honored James Nesbitt, actor and chancellor of Ulster University, and John Kelly, a...

The Eugene O’Neill Award

Patricia Harty, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Irish America, received the...

NUI Galway Research on Antibiotic Resistance

Research by NUI Galway and Oxford University has led to a breakthrough in how antibiotics are...

Trinity College and UCSF to Establish Global Brain Health Institute

The Atlantic Philanthropies, created in 1982 by Irish-American businessman Chuck Feeney, is giving...

Literarian Award for James Patterson

Novelist James Patterson, who grew up in a large, working-class Irish family in the Bronx, won the...

Farewell to Our Beloved Maureen O’Hara

I.M. Maureen FitzSimons Blair August 17, 1920 – October 24, 2015 
 Maureen O’Hara has died...

Peter Robinson Steps Down as N.I. First Minister

Peter Robinson announced he is to step down as Northern Ireland First Minister and leader of the...

Irish Honors

Music & Literary Honors Joanie Madden (left) and author Mary Pat Kelly. Musician Joanie Madden,...

Shelley’s Irish Poem

A long-lost poetical pamphlet by Percy Bysshe Shelley was unveiled at the Bodleian Library in...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Keogh – From Scorpion to King Fergus

Irish actor Glenn Keogh – who has appeared in the cable drama Sons of Anarchy as well as one of...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Macken Goes From the Night Shift to the Forest

Next up is the horror flick The Forest, starring Dublin native Eoin Macken. The 32-year-old Macken,...

Same Sex Marriage Wins Historic N.I. Vote

Making history in November, a majority of Northern Ireland’s Assembly members voted in favor of...

Changes to J-1 Visa Requirements

The two sponsoring bodies that administer the vast majority of Irish participants in the J-1 Summer...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Eve Hewson in Robin Hood

Looking ahead to 2017, the aforementioned Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly producing a Robin Hood...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Sarah Bolger Is Into The Badlands

Dubliner Sarah Bolger (left) was seen recently in the (American) football film My All American,...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Jesus Makes Another Comeback

Finally, in January, there is Risen, a new telling of the Biblical story of Jesus’ resurrection....

Séan Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize Goes to Evelyn Walsh

The winner of the 2015 Séan Ó Faoláin short story prize is Evelyn Walsh, a first-generation...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Liam The Monster

Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds have wrapped up their latest prestige project – Martin Scorsese’s...

Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Trainspotting – The Sequel

Speaking of folks with Irish parents, Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has made some of the most...