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October / November 2000

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A Gift of Time

Three generations return home. ℘℘℘ A summer journey fills the pockets with scraps of nothing and bits of...

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My Wild Irish Mother

In 1967 when she was 80, I tossed a birthday party for Mother. There were over 70 people present: my generation and hers,...

More
English or Irish?

My south London schoolmates and I struggled with our Irishness during the 1970s. Nearly all of us had Irish parents who had...

More
Puddle Jumping

The English Catholic martyr, St. Edmund Campion, lived in Dublin for a while in 1569 and here is what he wrote about the...

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The Irish as Playful Souls

The old St. Patrick’s Day quip about there being two kinds of people – those who are Irish and those who wish they...

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In This Issue

The Acting President

Martin Sheen, the star of The West Wing, is a complicated, ebullient tangle of philosophy, Catholicism, politics, altruism, and homespun wisdom. ℘℘℘ It’s a disconcerting sight: The...

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The First Word:
Now and in Time to Be

“I knew that we were Irish and I knew that Irish was the best thing to be.” – Novelist Alice McDermott ℘℘℘ Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief. When I immigrated to this...

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News From Ireland:
Irish Children Among Europe’s Poorest

According to a survey conducted by the Combat Poverty Agency, Irish children are the third poorest in the European Union, with one in four living in poverty. They are worse off than children of the...

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News from Ireland: Collins’ Letters Donated to Irish State

A collection of letters between Irish freedom fighter Michael Collins and his fiancée Kitty Kiernan was donated to the Irish government in July. The 305 letters provide insights into the softer,...

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News from Ireland: Ireland to Fingerprint Asylum Seekers

In an attempt to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the country, Ireland will introduce mandatory fingerprinting for all asylum seekers. This step has been roundly criticized by human...

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News from Ireland: Ulster Unionists Lose Party Leader

Pro-Agreement and anti-Agreement Unionists were united recently at the funeral of Sir Josias Cunningham, a leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, the largest Unionist party in Northern Ireland....

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News from Ireland:
The Marching Season –
Less Violence This Year

For the first time in many years, the marching season in Northern Ireland occurs against a backdrop of relatively stable political institutions. Yet as with other years, the marches erupted into...

More

News from Ireland:
“H Blocks” to Close

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, 430 Republican and Loyalist prisoners jailed in the notorious “H blocks” have been released as the Maze Prison prepares to close. Only a...

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News from Ireland: Irish Government Curbs Inflation

As Irish inflation approaches 5.5 percent, three times the European average, the Irish government has launched a crackdown. Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern has ordered government ministers to...

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News from Ireland: Loyalist Feud Erupts in N. Ireland

A feud between two Loyalist paramilitary groups has brought British troops back to the streets of Belfast. Fighting between the Ulster Defense Association (U.D.A.) and the Ulster Volunteer Force...

More

Hibernia: Going for the Gold

New York native Deirdre Murphy is the first woman cyclist ever to qualify Ireland for the Olympics. She talks to Sarah Curran about Ireland, her Olympic dream, and her strategy for...

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Hibernia: Ulysses
Back in Dublin

The original manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses traveled to Dublin this summer to be exhibited at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle. Entitled “Ulysses in Hand: The Rosenbach...

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Hibernia: Ellsworth Kelly Wins International Award

Irish-American artist Ellsworth Kelly and the Ulster Youth Orchestra were among the winners in the 12th Praemium Imperiale, the world’s largest arts awards. The Praemium Imperiale singles out...

More

Hibernia: A Twist
on Tradition

The familiar swirls and knots of Celtic design are under renovation – American style. “American Celtic – Beyond the Ninth Wave” brings the Celtic art of 21st-century American artists...

More

Hibernia: The Weir
Travels to Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is producing The Weir by Conor McPherson, one of Ireland’s hottest new playwrights. The play will run from October 22 to November 12 at the Steimke Theatre. A...

More

Hibernia: The eircom
Dublin Theatre Festival

For the first two weeks in October, Dublin will once again host a smorgasbord of exciting theater from throughout the Fair City. The eircom Dublin Theatre Festival will offer both epic and intimate...

More

Hibernia: The Gate
Theatre on Tour

For six weeks this fall, the Gate Theatre in Dublin will be barnstorming the U.S. with two acclaimed productions of Samuel Beckett’s plays Waiting for Godot and Krapp’s Last Tape. The...

More

Hibernia: New O’Neill Play Makes New York Debut

In August, the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City hosted the very first production of Eugene O’Neill’s play Personal Equation. The play was written in 1915, while O’Neill was...

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Hibernia: Tom’s Still Tops

Top 100 2000 honoree Tom Foley, the New York City firefighter thrust into the spotlight last year for his daring rescue of two construction workers, is in the spotlight again. Now People magazine...

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Hibernia:
The Madigan Men on ABC

If you missed Irish actor Gabriel Byrne’s critically acclaimed performance in Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten on Broadway last spring, take heart, soon you’ll be...

More

Hibernia: Film Briefs

Irish-American heartthrob Mel Gibson is rumored to be “very interested” in Wolfgang Peterson’s newest undertaking. The director of The Perfect Storm has now set his sights on...

More

Hibernia: The Cyberanarchists

When the heavy metal band Metallica hauled Internet service provider Napster into court, because fans were getting new Metallica tunes through the site for free, a new battle line was drawn in...

More

Hibernia: Meanwhile
in Silicon Valley…

“Whizkid,” “genius,” and “scourge of the music industry” are just a few of the names thrown at Shawn Fanning, 19. Fanning is the brain behind Napster.com, the MP3...

More

Hibernia: Irish
U.N. Sculpture

The United Nations recently received a sculpture from the Irish government. The work, by renowned Galway artist John Behan, celebrates the Irish diaspora and their contribution to the...

More

Hibernia: Jeanie Johnston’s Arrival Postponed

The arrival of the replica famine ship Jeanie Johnston in the U.S. has been postponed until spring 2001. The Jeanie Johnston Project had originally hoped to bring the ship to the U.S. later this...

More

Hibernia:
Recognize This Ship?

It could be the same vessel that carried your ancestors to America. It is one of a collection of 11 paintings of the McCorkell Shipping Line in Derry. The McCorkell line was operated and owned by...

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Hibernia: Cape Breton Festival Builds on Tradition

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is once again preparing for its annual world-class Celtic entertainment and cultural extravaganza this October. Over the past four years, the Celtic Colours International...

More

Hibernia: South Armagh

A tourist haven? Tommy Makem thinks so and he held a festival there to prove it. ℘℘℘ June, 2000. A bus packed with American tourists pulls out of Newry and takes the road to South...

More

Hibernia:
The Language of Form

The art of Bernadette O’Huiginn. ℘℘℘ “Semi-abstraction is the area that I feel happiest in, not pure geometry or pure abstraction or pure figurative representations, but...

More

Hibernia:
Deadline for Mitchell Scholarship Applications

The contest for the second annual George J. Mitchell Scholarships for the 2001-2002 academic year is underway. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2000. Twelve scholarships will be...

More

Hibernia: Ireland and U.S. Join to Improve Literacy

The Irish and American governments are joining together in the fight against illiteracy. They plan to tackle poor literacy levels, improve classroom teaching, and encourage student exchanges between...

More

Hibernia: O’Neill Was
a Key Figure on North

New papers show influence with Reagan. ℘℘℘ Newly released files from the Reagan White House papers show that the Irish-American president was persuaded by a personal appeal by then House...

More

Hibernia: Kennedy
and Dodd Push Patten

Senators Edward Kennedy and Christopher Dodd added their voices to the growing Irish-American demand that Britain implement the recommendations in the Patten Report on Policing in Northern Ireland....

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Gerry Adams

The Leader

Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, is the most well-known Irish politician outside the island of Ireland. As a civil rights activist in Northern Ireland in the late sixties, a victim of...

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Two Grandfathers

William Kennedy on his unsung origins. ℘℘℘ My grandfathers, George Kennedy and Peter McDonald, died before I was born. I came to know something of them through talks with my parents and...

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Puddle Jumping

The English Catholic martyr, St. Edmund Campion, lived in Dublin for a while in 1569 and here is what he wrote about the Irish: “The people are thus inclined: religious, franke, amorous,...

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The Blue Ribbon

When I was 13 years old, my mother took my siblings and me to Rockaway Beach in New York City for the day. After we romped in the ocean and were sufficiently sunburned, we ended up at a rather...

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Links in the Chain

Being Irish? Is being a clannish islander with all the good and all the bad that comes of that. Is being pagan and spiritual at the same time, in the same bone marrow, with all the good and...

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English or Irish?

My south London schoolmates and I struggled with our Irishness during the 1970s. Nearly all of us had Irish parents who had settled in England in the 1940s and 1950s, but we had been born and raised...

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Gregory Peck

Hollywood Legend

Gregory Peck, the Hollywood legend, will long be remembered for his Oscar-winning performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and his roles in such classics as The Yearling,...

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The Bearing of the Green

Some thoughts on being Irish-American. ℘℘℘ As a proud Irish-American, I begin with a simple assumption: there is no way to precisely define that elusive, complex human category called...

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Tip O’Neill

Master of the House

Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987. His 10-year tenure as Speaker of the House was the longest consecutive run in U.S. history....

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William Brennan

Champion of Justice

During his 34 years with the Supreme Court, Justice William Brennan, Jr. (1906 – 1998) was widely recognized as one of the primary architects of public policy in the country. ℘℘℘ On...

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Nora, an Excerpt

Even now, here 30 years since, when I turn to the southwest in Ennis from Shannon, and head out on the peninsula that ends at Loop Head, and somewhere on that road get my first wind of turfsmoke, I...

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Irish Memories

Thomas Fleming writes of the struggles and triumphs of an Irish-American family. ℘℘℘ My County Mayo-born grandfather, David Fleming, could not read or write. He had a brogue so thick I...

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Seamus Heaney

Poetic Champion

A native of Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. The following excerpts are taken from interviews conducted with him in 1986 and shortly after he won the Nobel in...

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Helen Hayes

First Lady of Theater

Dubbed the “First Lady of the Theater,” Helen Hayes charmed audiences for 75 years, appearing in such theatrical productions as What Every Woman Knows, Victoria Regina, and The Glass...

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Anjelica Huston

Renaissance Woman

Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Huston is perhaps most memorable to the Irish for her role as Gretta Conroy in her father John’s film of the James Joyce short story “The Dead.” Here...

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Pat Riley

The Coach

When Pat Riley coached the New York Knicks basketball team, journalist Pete Hamill listed him in a Thanksgiving column as “one of the things New Yorkers should be grateful for.” Riley...

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Michael Flatley

Lord of the Dance

Michael Flatley, star of Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Feet of Flames, has revolutionized Irish dance, making it relevant all over the world. ℘℘℘ I just always saw Irish dance...

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Paul O’Dwyer

Civil Rights Champion

Since his childhood in Mayo during the worst of the Black and Tan atrocities, Paul O’Dwyer has been a fearless champion of human rights. During the Red Scare and the civil rights movement he...

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Leaves of Pain

How too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart. ℘℘℘ At first, it seemed to be nothing. It was a curled-up dark brown leaf about the size of a good lock of hair and it was preserved...

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The Narrowback

I can’t remember when I first heard it, but my mother told me I was called a “narrowback” because it was slang for an Irish person born in the United States. When asked why a...

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Edward Kennedy

The Senior Senator

If you ask his fellow senators – liberals or conservatives – who’s on their list of the hardest-working and best senators, Edward Kennedy’s name is always there. Throughout his...

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Gene Kelly

The Ultimate Entertainer

As dancer, singer, actor, director, and producer, Gene Kelly has provided audiences with some of the greatest moments in the history of show business. ℘℘℘ On the Irish in dance: The Irish...

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The Perils of Pat

Peter Quinn writes about his immigrant grandfather. ℘℘℘ The man on the horse is my paternal grandfather, Patrick Francis Quinn. The date is September 5, 1904. Pat is about to take his...

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My Guiding Star

My grandparents were born in the Irish midlands in the 1870s, the decade that the Home Rule movement began. My grandfather Mick O’Rourke, a thatcher, was from Drumgilda, County Leitrim. My...

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George Mitchell

The Peace Maker

Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell has earned a hallowed place in the annals of Irish and Irish-American history for the crucial role he played in chairing the All Party talks in Northern Ireland...

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Maureen O’Hara

Hollywood Colleen

Throughout her film career, Maureen O’Hara captured the essence of the Irish colleen in all its contradictions. In The Quiet Man, as Mary Kate, she went toe-to-toe with John Wayne’s Jack...

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Confessions of a
Bronx Irish Catholic

Over the years, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what it means to be Irish. Occasionally, my public writings and ruminations on the subject have led to me being described...

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The Irish as Playful Souls

The old St. Patrick’s Day quip about there being two kinds of people – those who are Irish and those who wish they were – turns out to be not so far from wrong. The research my...

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Eoin McKiernan

The Educator

Dr. Eoin McKiernan, founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute, is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost authorities in the U.S. on Irish affairs. His resume includes author, lecturer,...

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Lust for Lust

A bawdy romance from the author of Angela’s Ashes. ℘℘℘ When he awoke that morning Mordecai O’Callaghan found himself in such a desperate state of tumescence he immediately...

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Rosie O’Donnell

Queen of Comedy

Rosie O’Donnell, the queen of daytime TV, recalls the time she and her family spent in Ireland shortly after the death of her mother. ℘℘℘ I remember eating salt and vinegar potato...

More

A Gift of Time

Three generations return home. ℘℘℘ A summer journey fills the pockets with scraps of nothing and bits of everything. The boarding coupon for seat 33F. A receipt for two crunchie bars, a...

More

William Flynn

The Optimist

William Flynn is living proof that sometimes big business and politics should mix. In his role as Chairman of insurance giant Mutual of America he has worked tirelessly to keep the U.S. involved in...

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In Pursuit of my
Ancestral Heritage

From The Seven Little Foys to Patriot Games. ℘℘℘ Once when I was a child, I asked my mother to let me dye my entire body green for St. Patrick’s Day. She refused, sensibly enough, or...

More

A Man of Two Countries

“I have lived so long abroad and in so many countries that I can feel at once the voice of Ireland in anything.” – James Joyce, in a letter to Frank Bludgeon ℘℘℘ A story:...

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My Wild Irish Mother

In 1967 when she was 80, I tossed a birthday party for Mother. There were over 70 people present: my generation and hers, friends and cousins, our children, cronies from way-back years. The party...

More

Sean Minihane

Immigrant Defender

In the late ’80s and early ’90s the Irish Immigration Reform Movement (I.I.R.M.) was a powerful lobbying group for Irish immigrants, working to change U.S. immigration law to provide...

More

Founding Father

A shy priest from Cavan who helped tame a frontier town. ℘℘℘ Imagine him, pale Irish skin against a black robe. On that bright spring morning in 1845 when he first arrived in the little...

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Donald Keough

The Philanthropist

Donald Keough, former president of Coca-Cola, is chairman of Allen & Company. A leading Irish-American philanthropist, he has played a leading role in strengthening the tie between the U.S. and...

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Sláinte! Irish
Eats Down Under

Regular readers have probably deduced I’m a boomer – a member of that generation born after WWII when the troops came home. Along with more than one hundred thousand other Americans, my Da...

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Book Reviews

The latest Irish books. ℘℘℘ Non-Fiction From the Bottom Up, by Pat O’Neill Often it’s easy to think that the only real Irish cities in America are New York, Chicago, and...

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Music: Rockin’ 15

The musicians who made being Irish “cool.” ℘℘℘ The year was 1985. At roughly about the same time that U2’s Bono was stage-diving into the massive crowd gathered for Live...

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Film Forum: The Patriot

Round two of Mel Gibson’s war with the British. ℘℘℘ Jack L. Warner once said he hated the kind of movie in which the hero “writes with a feather.” Hollywood’s...

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Roots: The Curran Clan

The surname Curran is common in all four provinces in Ireland, but especially in County Donegal and throughout Ulster. The name is also prevalent in the south of Ireland, appearing many times in the...

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Last Word:
15 Years a Growing

Fifteen years is a mere flicker in the continuum of time, but for us here at Irish America it is a landmark and a measure of how far we have come. Founding publisher Niall O’Dowd. Back at the...

More

Hibernia

News from Ireland:
“H Blocks” to Close

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, 430 Republican and Loyalist prisoners jailed in the...

Hibernia: Jeanie Johnston’s Arrival Postponed

The arrival of the replica famine ship Jeanie Johnston in the U.S. has been postponed until spring...

News from Ireland:
The Marching Season –
Less Violence This Year

For the first time in many years, the marching season in Northern Ireland occurs against a...

Hibernia: Ellsworth Kelly Wins International Award

Irish-American artist Ellsworth Kelly and the Ulster Youth Orchestra were among the winners in the...

Hibernia: New O’Neill Play Makes New York Debut

In August, the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City hosted the very first production of Eugene...

Hibernia: The Gate
Theatre on Tour

For six weeks this fall, the Gate Theatre in Dublin will be barnstorming the U.S. with two...

Hibernia:
The Language of Form

The art of Bernadette O’Huiginn. ℘℘℘ “Semi-abstraction is the area that I...

News from Ireland: Loyalist Feud Erupts in N. Ireland

A feud between two Loyalist paramilitary groups has brought British troops back to the streets of...

Hibernia:
Recognize This Ship?

It could be the same vessel that carried your ancestors to America. It is one of a collection of...

News from Ireland: Irish Government Curbs Inflation

As Irish inflation approaches 5.5 percent, three times the European average, the Irish government...

Hibernia: The Weir
Travels to Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is producing The Weir by Conor McPherson, one of Ireland’s...

Hibernia: Ulysses
Back in Dublin

The original manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses traveled to Dublin this summer to be...

Hibernia: A Twist
on Tradition

The familiar swirls and knots of Celtic design are under renovation – American style....

News from Ireland: Collins’ Letters Donated to Irish State

A collection of letters between Irish freedom fighter Michael Collins and his fiancée Kitty...

News From Ireland:
Irish Children Among Europe’s Poorest

According to a survey conducted by the Combat Poverty Agency, Irish children are the third poorest...

News from Ireland: Ulster Unionists Lose Party Leader

Pro-Agreement and anti-Agreement Unionists were united recently at the funeral of Sir Josias...

Hibernia: Irish
U.N. Sculpture

The United Nations recently received a sculpture from the Irish government. The work, by renowned...

News from Ireland: Ireland to Fingerprint Asylum Seekers

In an attempt to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the country, Ireland will...

Hibernia: Ireland and U.S. Join to Improve Literacy

The Irish and American governments are joining together in the fight against illiteracy. They plan...

Hibernia: Film Briefs

Irish-American heartthrob Mel Gibson is rumored to be “very interested” in Wolfgang...

Hibernia: Going for the Gold

New York native Deirdre Murphy is the first woman cyclist ever to qualify Ireland for the...

Hibernia:
The Madigan Men on ABC

If you missed Irish actor Gabriel Byrne’s critically acclaimed performance in Eugene...

Hibernia: Cape Breton Festival Builds on Tradition

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is once again preparing for its annual world-class Celtic entertainment...

Hibernia: The eircom
Dublin Theatre Festival

For the first two weeks in October, Dublin will once again host a smorgasbord of exciting theater...

Hibernia: O’Neill Was
a Key Figure on North

New papers show influence with Reagan. ℘℘℘ Newly released files from the Reagan White...

Hibernia:
Deadline for Mitchell Scholarship Applications

The contest for the second annual George J. Mitchell Scholarships for the 2001-2002 academic year...

Hibernia: Kennedy
and Dodd Push Patten

Senators Edward Kennedy and Christopher Dodd added their voices to the growing Irish-American...

Hibernia: Tom’s Still Tops

Top 100 2000 honoree Tom Foley, the New York City firefighter thrust into the spotlight last year...

Hibernia: The Cyberanarchists

When the heavy metal band Metallica hauled Internet service provider Napster into court, because...

Hibernia: South Armagh

A tourist haven? Tommy Makem thinks so and he held a festival there to prove...

Hibernia: Meanwhile
in Silicon Valley…

“Whizkid,” “genius,” and “scourge of the music industry” are...