Céad míle fáilte: Editor-in-Chief Patricia Harty welcomes you to the new IrishAmerica.com
2011 was a great year for Irish America magazine, and the icing on the cake is that we are starting off the New Year with this brand new site. We see it as a home – a place to display each new issue and our finest treasures from the past 26 years.
Over the next year we will be mining the depths of our archives, which are a virtual treasure chest full of history and information about the Irish in America, and bringing those stories to you.
As a taste of what’s to come, you will find here highlights of the past year, which include the Irish America Hall of Fame featuring great Americans of Irish heritage. Other spectacular events of 2011 included our Business 100 awards luncheon in December, where Bill Ford of Ford Motors gave a powerful Keynote speech. You can now access video highlights from that event , and from our Wall Street 50 dinner, which was another stand-out event featuring Brian Ruane of BNY Mellon and Ireland’s Deputy Taoiseach Eamon Gilmore. The Irish America Hall of Fame and all of our annual lists now have a new home on this site, too .
Editorially we had a bumper year, with featured short stories from two of Ireland’s great writers, William Trevor and Edna O’Brien, who you can now hear reading “Green Georgette” on our homepage. Deputy Editor Sheila Langan’s cover interviews with Gabriel Byrne and Brendan Gleeson particularly stand out, as does her start-of-the-year feature on new Irish writers. Tara Dougherty also contributed many fine pieces on music and entertainment, including interviews with Alison Brown and her husband Garry West , the founders of Compass Records. Sláinte columnist Edythe Preet is one of our most popular contributors – her piece on the Irish influences of Halloween was one of our most-read articles of the year . In the current issue she writes about Irish Christmas traditions.
Tom Deignan, our Irish Eye on Hollywood, keeps us up-to-date on the silver screen and also contributes fantastic history articles (such as his round-up of American presidential visits to Ireland and his side-by-side comparison of criminal outlaws Billy the Kid and Whitey Bulger), while Michael Quinlin wrote two fine pieces, one on the Irish-American musician organization Comhaltas’ 75th anniversary, and in the current issue, Irish Sculptors of the Civil War. We also have many other fine contributors and articles that you will come across as you explore the issues and our archives.
In this past issue I personally had a cornucopia of experiences. Spending an afternoon at the Concannon winery in Livermore, California and discovering an Aran Island connection; talking to Martin Sheen about his new movie The Way, a really inspirational film that set me on the road to physical fitness and the goal of walking at least part of El Camino de Santiago; and to top it all, finally getting to met Bill Ford of Ford Motor Company. It was a brilliant close to the year – getting to interview Bill and hearing his great keynote speech at our Business 100 awards.
The Ford family’s history in America began in hard times, but ultimately it is the story of endurance and contribution – like so many Irish American stories. Family is very important to Irish America and we invite you to share our space.
Send us your family stories – check out our Family Album page, which we feature in each issue and look forward to expanding on irishamerica.com. Send us your travel photos and short stories of your trips to Ireland; your quotes and ideas about what you would like to see on the site. This past year we asked our Irish America Facebook friends to pick our Hall of Fame cover, we look forward to more interactions through the year – so keep coming back and share your thoughts and stories with irishamerica.com as we grow in the months ahead.