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June / July 2016

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The Maid Behind the Mayhem

An Interview with Long Day’s Journey Into Night’s Colby Minifie. ℘℘℘ On the evening of November 7, 1956, after the...

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What Are You Like?
Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson made history as Ireland’s first female president, in office from 1990 – 1997. She has since devoted her...

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“Reach for the Stars”

On March 30 astronaut Eileen Collins, the first of two women Navy test pilots, the first woman to pilot a space shuttle, and...

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The Mother of Orphans

“She was a mother to the motherless; she was a friend to those who had no friends; she had wisdom greater than schools can...

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Roots:
The Unrelated Ryan Girls

Whether it’s stomping the boards on Broadway or on Hollywood’s silver screen, these girls all share a love of...

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In This Issue

Gillian Murphy: On Her Toes

Left and right: Gillian Murphy in Sylvia (Photos: Rosalie O'Connor); Center: In La Fille mal gardée (Photo: Marty Sohl).

After 20 years with American Ballet Theatre, principal dancer Gillian Murphy still loves the challenge of making the difficult look effortless. ℘℘℘ Gillian Murphy celebrated her 20th...

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Inaugural Top 50 Power Women

Irish America celebrates the inaugural Top 50 Power Women.

The women featured on this list perform some of the most pioneering work currently done in their manifold industries, from literature, media, and fashion to technology, business, finance, and...

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First Word:
“Reach for the Stars”

“We are adventuring into a new world.” – Astronaut Eileen Collins. ℘℘℘ The idea of an issue devoted to women has been brewing for some time but it really took hold these past months with...

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N.I. Assembly Gets First Opposition Government

Mike Nesbitt (UUP), left, and Colum Eastwood (SDLP), right, have formed the first opposition government in the Northern Irish Assembly.

An opposition government at Stormont is beginning to take shape after the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) decided to opt for opposition...

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28th Annual Afri Famine Walk

Afri Famine Walk 2016, Doolough, County Mayo. Famine Walk began at Delphi Lodge, led by walk Leaders Cathryn O'Reilly and Clare O'Grady Walshe (other Walk leaders not present here include; Rafeef Ziadah) among others. The Walkers commemorate an event where people in search of food were turned away from Delphi Lodge during the Great Famine in 1849. (Photo: Derek Speirs)

Palestinian poet and activist Rafeef Ziadah led the annual 10.5 mile Afri famine walk in Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, in May. The walk, which has been around since 1988, traces the footsteps of hundreds of...

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Queen Elizabeth Denies Twelve-year-old’s Request for Return of the Six Counties

Queen Elizabeth II.

After learning about the Easter Rising and subsequent Troubles, Reese Kilbride, a 12-year-old Irish student from Portmar- nock, Co. Dublin, wrote a letter to the Queen of England in February asking...

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Ireland Elected to U.N. Commission on the Status of Women for First Time

United Nations General Assembly Hall. Wikimedia Commons

In April, Ireland was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the first time during its U.N. membership. Charles Flanagan, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said at the...

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Bear Bone Discovery Potentially Re-writes Human History in Ireland

Brown Bear Kneecap 12,800-12,600 years old. James Connolly

An exciting artifact that changes what is currently known about human history in Ireland has been found in a cardboard box. A bear bone, which was discovered in a cave in Co. Clare in 1903 and lay...

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Ashford Castle Is Named the Best Hotel in the World

Ashford Castle in County Mayo has been named the best hotel in the world.

Ashford Castle, a massive hotel located at the shores of Lough Corrib on 350 acres of verdant Co. Mayo land, has been prestigiously ranked as the best hotel in the world by Virtuoso, a luxury travel...

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Donegal Man Shaves Seconds off Sheep Shearing World Record

Ivan Scott broke the sheep shearing record.

Co. Donegal man Ivan Scott (below left) has recently beaten the Guinness World Record for the fastest time in shearing a single adult sheep. Scott, 33, hails from Kilmacrennan and broke the record...

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Two Irish Writers Shortlisted for Bailey’s Prize

Anne Enright, left, and Lisa McInerney, who were shortlisted for the Bailey's Prize in May.

Irish novelists Anne Enright and Lisa McInerney have been shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, a £30,000 prize awarded for any original novel written in English and published...

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National Library of Ireland Receives Donation of Yeats’s Nobel Prize Medal

The Nobel Prize in Literature.

The National Library of Ireland has announced the receipt of the medal awarded to W.B. Yeats for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. The medal, valued at approximately $1.7 million, and the...

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Quilt Commemorates the Lives of 77 Women Detained after Rising

Members of the Yarn School in front of a portrait of the women held at Richmond Barracks in Dublin after the Rising.

As is all too often the case, the story of the role played by women in major historical events is often overlooked, downplayed, or altogether covered up. But the story of the women arrested following...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Affleck, Gleeson, & Lehane
“Live by Night”

Brendan Gleeson will star in Live by Night.

The Affleck family just can’t seem to get enough of Irish American novelist Dennis Lehane. Hollywood’s latest Batman, Ben Affleck, is going to get back in touch with his more gritty side (The...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Assassin’s Creed, Alien Covenant & More

Michael Fassbender

Speaking of Brendan Gleeson, the busy thespian is also teaming up with fellow Irish actor Michael Fassbender in not one but two upcoming movies. The dynamic duo will team up for Assassin’s Creed,...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Rhys Meyers In Roots

Jonathan Rhys Myers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers had a major role in the updated version of Roots, the epic mini-series about slavery which made a big splash on several cable channels back in May. The Dublin actor played Tom...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Loving Ruth Negga

Ruth Negga

In another film about breaking racial barriers, Ruth Negga is among the cast of Loving, which was featured at the Cannes Film Festival back in May. Negga was born to an Irish mother and Ethiopian...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Sinéad the Sleuth

Sinead Cuask in Marcella.

Irish star of stage and screen Sinéad Cusack (V for Vendetta, Eastern Promises) will star in a new British crime TV show that will soon be available to American audiences via Netflix. Entitled...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
The Real O’Neals

The Real O'Neals.

In other TV news, for better or worse, ABC has renewed the sitcom The Real O’Neals. The show looks at what some have called a typical Irish Catholic family – whose son has just come out as...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
A Couple of Irish Crooks

Cillian Murphy in BBC's Peaky Blinders. (Photo: Mandabach TV - Photographer: Robert Viglasky)

Irish actors Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor will also be teaming up to play a couple of Irish crooks. In the film Free Fire – also starring Armie Hammer and Brie Larson –  a couple of criminals...

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Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Gillen in Maze Runner

Aidan Gillen.

Finally, Dublin actor Aidan Gillen also appeared in Sing Street, and over the years has become a regular in high-quality TV dramas such as The Wire and Game of Thrones. This year he was in the cast...

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Joe Biden to Visit Ireland

Vice President Joe Biden delivers acceptance remarks. Photo by Sade Joseph.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden will make his first official visit to Ireland in late June. The announcement was made at the opening night of Ireland 100, a three-week...

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Mary Davis Named Special Olympics CEO

Mary Davis is the first non-American to head the Special Olympics. (Photo by Jan De Meuleneir / Photonews)

The special Olympics announced the appointment of Mary Davis (below left) as their new chief executive officer, where she will lead the world’s largest global movement for the empowerment of people...

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Connecticut Governor Awarded JFK Profile in Courage Award

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of Connecticut, has been awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his advocacy on behalf of Syrian refugees, even welcoming one family into his own home....

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Forgotten Faces of Art:
The Women of the Honan Chapel

Virginia Teehan, Director of Cultural Projects at UCC pictured in the Honan Chapel, UC., Cork. (Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision)

The stories of the extraordinary Irish women behind the design of the textiles at the Honan Chapel in Cork city and their contribution to Ireland’s arts and crafts movement have been largely...

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Mary Robinson Centre to Host International Sustainability Symposium

Mary Robinson event at Aula Maxima. (Photograph by Aengus McMahon)

The Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina, Co. Mayo is hosting an international symposium in July in partnership with the National University of Ireland Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies. The...

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Irish Navy’s Refugee Rescue Mission

LÉ Róisín. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

LÉ Róisín, a first-of-class offshore patrol vessel set sail from Cork on Sunday May 1, on a three month rescue and recovery mission in the Mediterranean Sea. The mission’s objective is to rescue...

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The King’s Irish and American Roots

A new document confirming why Elvis's ancestor left Ireland has been put up for auction.

Through an 18th century document up for auction in Whyte’s Auctioneers Eclectic Collector sale, new light has been shone on the Irish ancestry of Elvis Presley and his family’s origins in Ireland...

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The Perfect Spot: New York’s Rising Commemoration

Captain Peter Kelleher reads the 1916 Proclamation. (Photo: James Higgins)

New York City celebrated the centenary of the Easter Rising on April 24, 100 years to the day after Pádraig Pearse read the Proclamation on Sackville Street in Dublin. More than 2,000 people...

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Washington, D.C. Robert Emmet Statue Rededicated

The Smithsonian and Irish Embassy rededicated the statue of Robert Emmet in Washington D.C. in April.

In April, the Washington D.C. statue of Robert Emmet, the first of its kind and the model for several identical copies by Irish sculptor Jerome Connor, was rededicated in a national park currently...

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Irish Repertory Theatre Returns in Triumph

Ciaran O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore of the Irish Rep at the recently re-opened theater.

The Irish Repertory Theatre has come home to its dramatically redesigned original space on Manhattan’s west side this month with an exciting new production of Conor McPherson’s 2006 play Shining...

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New Exhibit for Irish Repertory Theatre

"16 Letters" is on display through June 26 at the Irish Repertory Theatre.

One of the advantages of the Irish Rep’s makeover is the addition of a reception room that doubles as an exhibition space. Geraldine O’Sullivan’s “16 Letters,” a series of lifescape...

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Ireland 100: “The Finest Strands of Who We Are”

Iarla Ó Lionáird and David Brophy with the National Symphony Orchestra on opening night of the Ireland 100 festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Margot Schulman)

Ireland celebrates the centenary of the Easter Rising in America with a three-week cultural festival in Washington, D.C. ℘℘℘   One of the most notable features of the John F. Kennedy...

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The Ambassador

Ambassador Anderson speaking at the Kennedy Center’s Ireland 100 program. (Photo: Marty Katz)

Anne Anderson, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, reflects on her career, her role in the United States, and Ireland’s centenary.  ℘℘℘ It’s hard to be an Irish American living in...

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Problem Solving
with Maureen Mitchell

Maureen Mitchell is president of Global Sales and Marketing for GE Asset Management. (Photo courtesy GE Asset Management)

Two years ago, Maureen Mitchell, who currently serves as the president of GE Asset Management’s Global Sales and Marketing organization, moved back into an apartment in her hometown – Manhattan....

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The Derry Girl Makes History

Downey on location in  Morocco during the filming of The Bible series.

The actress, producer and humanitarian, Roma Downey.  ℘℘℘ Roma Downey received the first ever Irish Diaspora Award from the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) and the government of...

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Beyond the Bog Road

Eileen Ivers with her blue electric fiddle. (Photo: Mel DiGiacomo)

The first new album in 10 years from fiddle virtuoso Eileen Ivers traces traditional Irish music to Canada’s Nova Scotia, and through the Scots/Irish root of Bluegrass and Old-Time music of...

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“Reach for the Stars”

Astronaut Col. Eileen Collins says "Reach for the stars" in her 2016 Irish America Hall of Fame acceptance speech. (Photo: Margaret Purcell)

On March 30 astronaut Eileen Collins, the first of two women Navy test pilots, the first woman to pilot a space shuttle, and the first woman to command a mission, was inducted into the Irish America...

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The Mother of Orphans

Margaret Haughery's statue in Margaret Place in New Orleans.

“She was a mother to the motherless; she was a friend to those who had no friends; she had wisdom greater than schools can teach; we will not let her memory go.” – Sara Cone Bryant, from...

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Roots:
The Unrelated Ryan Girls

Peggy Ryan and Donald O'Connor The Merry Monahans.

Whether it’s stomping the boards on Broadway or on Hollywood’s silver screen, these girls all share a love of performance. Perhaps it’s in the DNA? ℘℘℘ Thinking about writing an article...

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Mothers of Influence

Kevin Kline with his mother Agnes. Courtesy Kevin Kline.

A sampling of quotes from men interviewed in Irish America over the past 30 years on the impact that their Irish mothers had on their lives.  ℘℘℘ Hotelier John FitzPatrick John Fitzpatrick...

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What Are You Like?
Mary Robinson

MARY ROBINSON (Photo: The Ethical Globalization Initiative)

Mary Robinson made history as Ireland’s first female president, in office from 1990 – 1997. She has since devoted her life to human rights on a global scale, serving as United Nations High...

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Girl Talk

Aoife Duffin in Annie Ryan's stage adaptation of A Girl if a Half-formed Thing. (Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic)

A conversation with Annie Ryan about her brilliant adaptation of Eimear McBride’s novel, A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing, and Aoife Duffin, the young actress who gave life to the words on...

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In New Joyce Musical, Nora Barnacle Comes First

Whitney Bashor and Matt Bogart as Nora Barnacle and James Joyce.

A new Off-Broadway musical seeks to tell the story of the passionate, tumultuous, and prolific relationship between James Joyce and Nora Barnacle through Nora’s perspective of their nearly 40-year...

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The Maid Behind the Mayhem

Colby  Minifie as Cathleen.

An Interview with Long Day’s Journey Into Night’s Colby Minifie. ℘℘℘ On the evening of November 7, 1956, after the final curtain dropped on the New York premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s...

More

Edna O’Brien at the Lotos Club

Edna O’Brien (right) with Italian writer Antonio Monda at the Lotos Club  dinner in March. (Photo: Nicola Bailey / PEN America)

On March 29, against the elegant backdrop of books and crystal, sat the elegant Edna O’Brien. Irish America’s editor and co-founder, Patricia Harty, co-hosts Ellen McCourt, Joe & Mary Lou...

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Anne Enright’s “Springs of Affection” for Maeve Brennan

Maeve Brennan at her Greenwich Village home in an undated photograph. (Photo: Karl Blissinger / thelicentiate.com)

Anne Enright delivered the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction lecture on writer Maeve Brennan at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House at New York University. Enright’s lecture will serve as...

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Review of Books

Books of Irish and Irish American interest.

Books of Irish and Irish American interest. ℘℘℘ LITERATURE Spill Simmer Falter Wither By Sara Baume Before she began her creative writing Master’s degree at Trinity, Sara Baume studied fine...

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Sláinte! Women Rule

"Rosie the Riveter," by Norman Rockwell.

“I was elected by the women of Ireland who, instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.” – Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, 1990 – 1997 ℘℘℘ Several months ago, when 2016’s...

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Those We Lost

Clockwise from top left: Daniel Berrigan, David Beresford, Pat Conroy, Sr. Claire Crockett, Patricia Derian, Patty Duke.

Recent passings in Ireland and Irish America. ℘℘℘ Daniel Joseph Berrigan, S.J. 1921 – 2016 Daniel Berrigan, activist Jesuit priest and intellectual, author, and pacifist agitator who served...

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Photo Album: Molly Long’s 100th Birthday

Molly Long greets a baby lamb, one of the first signs of Spring, at Easter 2016. (Photo courtesy of the author)

To receive a personal letter and gift from the President is one of the lovely Irish ways of honoring centenarians. We were indeed proud on May 19, 2016, to read to our mother, Molly Long, a message...

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Last Word: An Irish Rebel Girl

Cumman na mBan, at Brookfield, near Omagh, in Tyrone. An Irish  republican women’s  organization formed in Dublin on April 2, 1914 as an auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers. (Photo: James Langston)

A laudable feature of this year’s Easter Rising commemorations is the conscientious effort to recognize the role women played in the insurrection for independence. Books, articles, and...

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Hibernia

The King’s Irish and American Roots

Through an 18th century document up for auction in Whyte’s Auctioneers Eclectic Collector sale,...

Mary Robinson Centre to Host International Sustainability Symposium

The Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina, Co. Mayo is hosting an international symposium in July in...

Ireland Elected to U.N. Commission on the Status of Women for First Time

In April, Ireland was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the first time during...

Irish Navy’s Refugee Rescue Mission

LÉ Róisín, a first-of-class offshore patrol vessel set sail from Cork on Sunday May 1, on a...

Quilt Commemorates the Lives of 77 Women Detained after Rising

As is all too often the case, the story of the role played by women in major historical events is...

National Library of Ireland Receives Donation of Yeats’s Nobel Prize Medal

The National Library of Ireland has announced the receipt of the medal awarded to W.B. Yeats for...

The Perfect Spot: New York’s Rising Commemoration

New York City celebrated the centenary of the Easter Rising on April 24, 100 years to the day after...

Irish Repertory Theatre Returns in Triumph

The Irish Repertory Theatre has come home to its dramatically redesigned original space on...

Queen Elizabeth Denies Twelve-year-old’s Request for Return of the Six Counties

After learning about the Easter Rising and subsequent Troubles, Reese Kilbride, a 12-year-old Irish...

New Exhibit for Irish Repertory Theatre

One of the advantages of the Irish Rep’s makeover is the addition of a reception room that...

Washington, D.C. Robert Emmet Statue Rededicated

In April, the Washington D.C. statue of Robert Emmet, the first of its kind and the model for...

Connecticut Governor Awarded JFK Profile in Courage Award

Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of Connecticut, has been awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage...

Forgotten Faces of Art:
The Women of the Honan Chapel

The stories of the extraordinary Irish women behind the design of the textiles at the Honan Chapel...

Two Irish Writers Shortlisted for Bailey’s Prize

Irish novelists Anne Enright and Lisa McInerney have been shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s...

N.I. Assembly Gets First Opposition Government

An opposition government at Stormont is beginning to take shape after the Ulster Unionist Party...

28th Annual Afri Famine Walk

Palestinian poet and activist Rafeef Ziadah led the annual 10.5 mile Afri famine walk in...

Mary Davis Named Special Olympics CEO

The special Olympics announced the appointment of Mary Davis (below left) as their new chief...

Ireland 100: “The Finest Strands of Who We Are”

Ireland celebrates the centenary of the Easter Rising in America with a three-week cultural...

Donegal Man Shaves Seconds off Sheep Shearing World Record

Co. Donegal man Ivan Scott (below left) has recently beaten the Guinness World Record for the...

Ashford Castle Is Named the Best Hotel in the World

Ashford Castle, a massive hotel located at the shores of Lough Corrib on 350 acres of verdant Co....

Bear Bone Discovery Potentially Re-writes Human History in Ireland

An exciting artifact that changes what is currently known about human history in Ireland has been...

Joe Biden to Visit Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden will make his first official visit to...