August September 2015 Issue – Irish America Irish America Magazine Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:56:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 82361074 Noah Galloway: Mission No Excuses Fri, 24 Jul 2015 04:00:19 +0000 Read more..]]> Noah Galloway’s battle to overcome depression has turned him into a fitness guru, a star performer, and a motivational speaker.

Like many of the millions who watched Noah Galloway’s performances on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, I was moved by his natural grace, strength, manliness, and humility. He did not hide his prosthetic leg or residual arm but showed the world that he is still his essential self – a man who has honed his physical strength and his body into a thing of beauty – like a Greek classical sculpture adorned with meaningful tattoos that reflect his life story.

Galloway, of course, would laugh at such a comparison. “I’m a little mixture of Forrest Gump and Joe Dirt,” he said when we spoke in June not long after the Dancing with the Stars finale that had wowed the judges and audiences alike and put him and his dance partner Sharna Burgess into a third place finish.

Now 33, Galloway dropped out of college and joined the armed forces following 9/11, and had his first deployment to Iraq with the 101st Airborne in 2003. He loved the military life. A fitness fanatic who as a teenager realized “girls like fit guys,” Galloway was one of the strongest soldiers in his unit until that night when a roadside bomb took out the Humvee he was driving.

He woke up on Christmas Day 2005 in Walter Reed hospital, his left arm amputated above the elbow, and his left leg gone above the knee and his broken jaw wired shut. What pained him most, the former sergeant said, was that the career in the military that he had loved was over.

Back home in Birmingham, Alabama, the soldier closed himself off, stopped going out. The “pity party” dogged him for five years and contributed to the breakup of his second marriage. Looking back, Galloway said, “We rushed into getting married; she had just come out of a lot in her own life and I had just been injured. We thought we were going to be this positive thing for each other but my depression made it hard.”

Motivated by the desire to be a better father to his three children, Galloway began his own version of basic training and it saved him. With no book or manual to show him how a man missing an arm and a leg should go about getting fit, he developed a unique way of working out, and joined a group of veterans involved in endurance racing, competing in hardcore 10 – 12-mile-long races over military-style obstacle courses called Tough Mudders.

Galloway cuts a dashing figure when he races, wearing a kilt both for the ease of movement it affords, and to honor his Scottish and Irish ancestry.

Men’s Health named the amputee their Ultimate Man, putting him on the cover of the November 2014 issue. Guest appearances on television, including The Ellen DeGeneres show and The Today Show were followed by an invitation to take part in season 20 of Dancing with the Stars.

In typical Galloway fashion, he took on the ultimate test and loved it. Never mind the physical limitations, the guy had never danced. Manning up, he faced the challenge like a soldier on a mission.

Noah Galloway taking part in an extreme race called Tough  Mudders, in  which ultimate  fitness athletes compete over tough obstacles that include fire, mud and water. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Noah Galloway taking part in an extreme race called Tough Mudders, in which ultimate fitness athletes compete over tough obstacles that include fire, mud and water. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Over several weeks, Galloway mastered the dance routines, the cha-cha, samba and Argentine tango, and sent nine other competitors packing. In the process he won hearts and changed the way people view those who on first sight appear to be physically disabled.

Galloway was happy to be underestimated. In his last dance, he and his partner Sharna performed a freestyle number to Toby Keith’s “American Soldier,” which mapped out the story of Galloway’s life. It was, he said, “the journey of acceptance from the man I was, to the man I have become.”

The dance culminated in a transcendent moment when all the hard work and talent came together and Galloway, reaching beyond the limits of the possible, hoisted his partner into the air in a one-armed lift.

The audience rose to their feet and the cameras panned to Noah’s parents, and back to Galloway who stood with head slightly bowed, his hand over his heart, a soldier who had given it his all, completed his mission and proved that hard work and determination can overcome major obstacles.

The pair received a perfect score from the judges and a third place finish.

Galloway, who was never in it to win it, had in his own way won. “They were always trying to get me to say on camera, “I want to win, I want this,” but I would say, ‘No,’ I’m doing this to challenge myself.”

Rumer Willis walked off with the coveted mirror ball trophy, but Galloway left the show with a fiancée. He proposed to his girlfriend Jamie Boyd on air and she accepted.

Even before Dancing with the Stars, Galloway had become a sought-after speaker and fitness trainer. His foundation “No Excuses” focuses on encouraging children and veterans to lead a healthy life.

Having lived such an inspiring life, it’s no surprise that next up for Galloway is a book, “So maybe people can get a better concept of why I am the way I am.”

On Dancing with the Stars Noah holds his partner Sharna Burgess aloft. (Photo courtesy ABC's Dancing with the Stars)

On Dancing with the Stars Noah holds his partner Sharna Burgess aloft. (Photo courtesy ABC’s Dancing with the Stars)

How is all of this fame affecting you? Will you continue to live in Alabama?

Yes. I love to travel, but Birmingham is home, this is where my family is. And in terms of how am I dealing with all the new attention, I absolutely love it. I love to talk, and I love to talk about myself. The fact that people want to hear my story means so much to me.

What was the biggest challenge you faced on Dancing with the Stars?

I’m a perfectionist. Sharna, my dance-partner, was constantly saying stuff like, “nobody’s expecting you to be this amazing dancer. It’s a reality show.” But I wanted to be the best I could be, and I was very hard on myself and it was draining. And of course, the fact that I was missing an arm and a leg was a challenge, not just for me, but also for Sharna who choreographed all the dances. My center of gravity is more to the right because my body tends to let my right leg do everything, so there were certain times when we would be doing something and she didn’t understand why my body was shifted to one side. And then she realized my prosthetic leg would not hold me. If it bends, it goes, so I can’t lean into it. So we would see what I could do, and each week she added a little more content to the dances.

Considering it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve been injured and all the fitness I do and the races I’ve run, my balance has improved over time. But Sharna working with me on dance made me move better on my prosthetic leg and in my daily life.

The dance you did for the finale to Toby Keith’s song “American Soldier” was based on your life story. How emotional was that for you?

The week going into it, I wasn’t showing a lot of emotion, I was just learning the movements. All I was thinking about is “you have to learn the dance.”

But during the performance a lot of different emotions hit me. When I picked Sharna up over my head with one arm, and that was a move that’s never been done on the show before, I heard the crowd jump to their feet and cheer. And it made me feel so good, and when we finished and walked over to the judges and everyone gave us a standing ovation, it was very emotional and so sweet to see the reaction of everyone.

Why did you enlist? Is there a history of military service in your family?

My family, especially my mom’s side, has a very strong military history. My grandfather actually changed his birth certificate when he was 15 to join the military. So he went to WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. And my grandmother’s brother was killed in action as a paratrooper in WWII. My mom’s brother Johnny was a paratrooper in Vietnam. And I have a cousin who is the same age as me who is in the Marines.

But I never wanted to join the military. I talked to recruiters a couple of times, but I never cared that much. I ended up going to college and started the same semester as 9/11, and watching that moment on television, that’s when I decided to go in. I went in as an infantry soldier and went to jump school and ended up in the 101st Airborne, and we were right up front. And on the first deployment to Iraq I fell in love with the job. And even at Fort Campbell, I realized I did fit in with the military. I loved the deployments. I didn’t care where it was, how dangerous it was, I just wanted to be deployed. What was the hardest, besides losing an arm and leg, the big thing that really hurt me when I woke up that Christmas day after I was injured, was that a career I had just found was snatched away from me. The military said I could stay in, but I couldn’t be a front line infantry soldier and couldn’t be deployed anymore, so I got out.

Noah with his grandfather, his father, and his son Colston in a photo taken before his deployment to Iraq. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Noah with his grandfather, his father, and his son Colston in a photo taken before his deployment to Iraq. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

What was your experience on the ground in Iraq?

People have heard this from other soldiers, when you get over there, politics back home in the States don’t matter. What’s going on doesn’t matter. It’s all about survival and taking care of your buddies. And you get to know the locals. I never lived in a camp, we lived out with the locals on those deployments. And I loved that. Yeah, it’s more dangerous, but you get to know the people and try to learn the language. I never had a chance to travel before, and I had the excitement of the danger and the joy of experiencing a completely different culture and lifestyle.

Do you hold a grudge against the Iraqi who planted the bomb?

No. Even when I was going through my depression, I didn’t really have that kind of anger. I feel like you are a good soldier if you can look beyond what’s happening. To understand your enemy, you have to respect him. I was hit by a roadside bomb, and I’ve had people say to me that it is a crappy way for them to attack us. I know it sucks, but it’s an effective way [for them to fight us], so keeping that understanding kept me from having any anger towards them.

In the American Revolution, the British said that us Americans weren’t fighting fair because we did not line up in a field shooting. We did not have the means to battle the British army that way. So we hid behind trees and camped out inside barns and were taking pot shots at them.

Sgt. Galloway in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, Oct. 24, 2005. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Sgt. Galloway in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, Oct. 24, 2005. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Tell me about your family.

I have three sisters. We are all close. We grew up not having a lot of money. I tell my mom that I’m impressed because we all turned out real good. I was the one most likely to screw up, but aside from me, my sisters are so successful and doing so well. Two of them are teachers, and my other sister manages a Walmart.

My dad lost his hand he was 18. He was working in a plant and a machine malfunctioned and squashed his hand. It was years before he met my mom. So I’ve never seen him with two hands, he doesn’t wear a prosthetic, and he’s always done construction work.

My mom is this little woman with white hair and you see her and you’re like “what a sweet little lady” but she has this side to her that she’s very direct and you think “I’m not going to cross this woman.”

When I was in the hospital and kind of depressed my mom made a comment to me one day, “You just had to outdo your dad and lose your arm and your leg.”And we laughed about it, but it was one of those moments when I needed to hear someone just straight up making a joke of it, and to remind me of what my daddy had gone through. Then I remember, it was very emotional when she said, “I’ve got to go back to Alabama. I’m not doing you any good, I’m helping you too much; you have to do more for yourself.” Well, she left, and then my dad was doing everything for me to the point where I said, “Dad, you have to leave, because I’m not going to get better.” It was such a sweet thing. He was so worried about me he was babying me in a way he had never done before.

Noah and his mom, Bebe Galloway.  (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Noah and his mom, Bebe Galloway. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

What about your heritage?

My grandfather was of Scottish descent and my grandmother Flynn was of Irish descent. My grandfather was Baptist and my grandmother was Catholic, and I always tell people that what you get when you bring those two countries and those two religions together is pure perfection.

How do people react to your prosthetics?

Kids will ask the questions adults are afraid of. It takes a little while for adults to ease in. Kids are hilarious. They will spot me across the room and they just want to know about my arm and leg. Yesterday I was at the gym and this boy who couldn’t have been more than five years old came up to me and said, “Hey Mr. Noah, I saw you on the dancing show” and then he walked away and then he came right at me and gave me a big hug, and said, “You did good at dancing.”

Tell me about your “No Excuses” fund.

I have three kids of my own so kids are so special to me. My fund raises money to reduce childhood obesity in the state of

Alabama and to empower injured veterans. We sponsor kids whose families don’t have the means, so that they can play games at the local YMCA, and we encourage eating healthy. I got into fitness very young and it got me through a lot in my life. I could walk into the gym with a bad attitude or upset and I always left in a good mood. So I think, introducing these kids to fitness may help them one day down the road.

And I support Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW) because it’s brought in so many injured guys. If you want to do the races you have to start getting into shape, and if you start getting into shape you’re less likely to over medicate or self medicate with alcohol because it affects your workout. So it causes this positive change in your life.

Family man. From left, Colston, Rian, Noah and Jack. (Photo Courtesy Noah Galloway)

Family man. From left, Colston, Rian, Noah and Jack. (Photo Courtesy Noah Galloway)

How did you become involved with Operation Enduring Warrior?

OEW were taking injured guys to events and honoring them. So when they contacted me, I thought it was nice, but I told them, “I don’t need a trip anywhere, I’m good.” Then they responded to me again and said, “You want to do a race with us don’t you?” I said, “I do.” I was the first

injured veteran to actually put on the mask and race with these other veterans. The mask cuts off 25 percent of your oxygen so you really have to be fit, and it signifies the challenges wounded veterans go through.

Can we do more for veterans?

There’s so many great organizations out there that are constantly trying to do things for veterans, and the main thing I hear is that many veterans get home and close themselves off and so it’s hard for these organizations to find them – to see what they need – and that makes it a challenge.

After I made the cover of Men’s Health, I had veterans reach out to me and thank me for being a positive image of veterans. I realized, there’s not enough of that being shown to the American public; that there are veterans out there who are moving forward – they have struggles but they keep pushing through. And I honestly feel that the more positive stories that are out there will motivate other veterans to get going.

(Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

(Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

How did you get back in shape?

It was extremely challenging for me because I was in the worst shape I’d ever been. I found a 24-hour gym so I could go in at two or three in the morning so nobody was there – and the biggest struggle was – there was no book – no magazine, there was nothing online that told me how to work out missing an arm and a leg. So I had to figure it out. For the first week or two I was in the gym, I was just messing with the equipment, seeing what worked, and I eventually discovered that I could take an ankle strap and hook it to my residual limb on my arm, and use a cable machine – and work my chest – work my shoulder – work my back – and I could do the same thing with my leg through my prosthetic. Then I figured out that I was able to work my left side separate from my right side, and that was exciting. And the fact that I’ve been able to help other people out, and say “Hey, this is what works for me” is incredible.

So what’s your message to veterans and others who want to get in shape?

It takes work. And you have to find something that is your motivation, and for me it was my children. I realized I was not being a good role model. And I needed to change that. And so whenever I wanted to give up, I had to think, no, they’re more important than me. My depression was me being very selfish and I could not be selfish and be a good father. So that’s what I had to tell myself. I had to be constantly convincing myself – this depression was me having a pity party, and I had to pull myself out of it. And what I tell a lot of veterans is: “We can never forget that we’re still soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. We are men and women who were brave enough to wear the uniform, willing to go to combat – we’re willing to do that, to sacrifice and risk our lives for the country, it is not that big of a challenge to get home and to keep moving forward and to improve yourself every day. Because sometimes we forget that. I know I did. I forgot it and I remind myself, I’m still a soldier; I’m just on a different mission now.

Noah Galloway’s son Jack standing in front of a newsstand displaying his dad on the cover of Men’s Health. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Noah Galloway’s son Jack standing in front of a newsstand displaying his dad on the cover of Men’s Health. (Photo courtesy Noah Galloway)

Tell me about your tattoos.

I have one tattoo on my right arm that’s from before I was injured. All of the others have been since I was injured. I’ve got one that represents the platoon I was in – it has a triangle behind it because we were in the triangle of death, and I have a mark for every friend of mine that I lost. And I have these different symbols that have these different little stories behind them, but what I want to ultimately do is, I want to finish my tattoos and I want the whole left side covered. And I have this idea that I want it so the bottom half is like a machine – but it’s a machine that is turning into a plant that’s wrapping around my body, and it’s constantly growing and changing because, this sounds funny to say out loud, but I treat my body like it’s a machine. It’s a well-oiled machine that I want to take care of – and always push it to the limits. But within life you’re always growing and changing, and that’s where the top half would be like this plant. I have this thought in my head, but I haven’t had the time to go and get a tattoo artist who could really draw it up and finish it. That’s one thing I want to do. ♦


To learn more about Noah’s No Excuses Fund visit:

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Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:59:49 +0000 Read more..]]> The inaugural Irish America Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 list celebrates Irish innovators who are leading the way in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. The work of these Irish-American and Irish-born medical professionals contributes everyday to the health and wellness of our communities, from pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotechnology to research and development and medical care.

Co-presented by ICON, plc., on September 25th, Irish America will celebrate the honorees in New York city with Inaugural Keynote Speaker Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to all our honorees. Click here for the complete 2015 list♦

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First Word: Darkness into Light Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:58:22 +0000 Read more..]]> “I believe in being better, not bitter.”  — Noah Galloway

“If you have your health you have everything,” my mother Norrie used to say. She said a lot of things that used to annoy me. Another catch-phrase when some difficult task was at hand: “It will build character,” or the adage, “There’s no use crying over spilt milk.”

As I grew older I realized that my mother was giving me survival tips, reminders that life doesn’t always break your way but you can’t let it break you, so keep on going. Working on this issue of Irish America another of her dictums came to mind: “Don’t be bitter. Bitterness corrodes.”

No one wants to be bitter, but since we are human it is easy to get caught up in self pity and ruminate on problems large and little. The antidote to such self-centeredness is to turn our attention to those who have experienced adversities that dwarf our own and not only survived, but thrived.

This issue is full of such stories.

I came away with such a positive frame of mind from my conversation with Noah Galloway, the subject of our cover story, and full to the brim with admiration at how, despite having lost an arm and a leg in a roadside bomb in Iraq, he has channeled his anger into action and ultimate fitness. Now at the height of his physical power, he’s inspiring others to drop the “pity party” and accept a healthier lifestyle and attitude. “I believe in being better, not bitter,” Noah says. No excuses.

Mary Pat Kelly profiled a group of women rowers – all breast cancer survivors – whose journey to recovery involves racing “dragon boats” while at the same time cleaning up Flushing Bay, one of our most toxic waterways. It is another inspiring story, as is Sharon Ní Chonchúir’s piece on Joan Freeman who turned the tragedy of her sister’s death into a suicide prevention project, and is now bringing her “Darkness Into Light” awareness message to the U.S.

Also in this issue, Rosemary Rogers writes about Margaret Higgins Sanger and her long struggle to legalize birth control in the U.S. Meanwhile, Leslie McCrea shines a light on Sister Bernie Kenny who founded St. Mary’s Health Wagon, a service that brings mobile healthcare to the uninsured in rural Virginia.

Tom Deignan’s story takes us back to 9/11 and the on-going health effects suffered by firemen who were part of the clean-up effort. But here too is inspiration in the creation of a community center on Long Island to honor the last wishes of firefighter Johnny Mac.

We don’t know what’s around the corner for us, or how we would meet adversity should it come our way, but these individuals serve as lighthouses that show us the grace and beauty of what it is to be human and just how precious life and wellness are. The same can be said for our 50 honorees in Healthcare and Life Sciences who are on the cutting edge of research – challenging Alzeimer’s, diseases of the eye, heart ailments and other afflictions. In their capacity as scientists, doctors, and caregivers, they are on the frontlines, touching people’s lives every day.

My mother was a health care professional too. A graduate of St. Vincent Hospital’s first class of women radiographers, she loved her profession and the world of medicine so much that where her last child, Ciaran, the youngest of 13, went off to school, she returned to work. It wasn’t easy, yet she saw to it that we were all loved and fed and well read. Though there was much in her life that she could have been bitter about, she always rose above it.

This one’s for you, Ma. ♦


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Irish Eye on Hollywood: Johnny Depp Goes Green Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:57:34 +0000 Read more..]]> A-lister Johnny Depp is going through some kind of Irish phase.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star – who played an Irish gypsy in the 2000 French flick Chocolat – has two films with heavy Irish themes coming out, including a big-screen version of a beloved classic of Irish-American literature.

First up is Black Mass, slated to hit movie theaters in September. Black Mass (based on the best-selling book by Boston Globe journalists Gerard O’Neill and Dick Lehr) is based on the FBI’s notorious relationship with Irish-American mobster Whitey Bulger. Depp plays Bulger in a role that is already garnering Oscar buzz. Black Mass will explore how FBI agent John Connolly (who grew up in the same housing project as Bulger) cultivated the South Boston criminal as an informant, only to get sucked into the temptations of the underworld himself. Black Mass has a star-studded cast, including Kevin Bacon, Sienna Miller, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dakota Johnson.

Meanwhile, reports also indicate that Depp is looking to bring J.P. Donleavy’s classic The Ginger Man to the big screen. Lilliput Press in Ireland recently published a 60th anniversary edition of The Ginger Man, “which comes with an introduction by Johnny Depp, who is also planning to make a movie out of it,” The New Yorker recently noted. “Depp, in the intro, describes the novel as ‘a bedeviled, timeless jewel of scandalous misdeeds.’” The Ginger Man is about the romantic and sexual escapades of Sebastian Dangerfield, an American law student who ends up living in Dublin. Donleavy himself was born in New York to Irish immigrant parents but ended up living in Ireland, flipping the traditional Irish immigrant narrative, one of many elements that make the novel so fascinating.

The Modern Library hailed The Ginger Man as one of the top 100 novels of the 20th century. And The New Yorker recently noted: “Sixty years later, the work remains a hilarious and upsetting portrait of postwar Ireland and the American G.I.s who showed up there, with the prerogative and the wherewithal to carouse and copulate on a level that the locals did not appreciate.”

Let’s just hope Depp does better with The Ginger Man than he did with The Lone Ranger. ♦

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Irish Eye on Hollywood: Ciaran Hinds Keeps Moving Up Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:56:59 +0000 Read more..]]> Northern Irishman Ciaran Hinds remains as busy as ever.  In August, he co-stars in Hitman: Agent 47, about a ruthless assassin who partners with a desperate woman in search of family secrets. Hinds will also appear in the upcoming biopic Bleed for This, about American boxer Vinny Pazienza.  Bleed for This will also star Katey Sagal and BAFTA nominee Miles Teller (Whiplash). Hinds and Liam Neeson will also team up for Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming religious epic Silence. ♦

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Irish Eye on Hollywood: Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:55:39 +0000 Read more..]]> Kenneth Branagh is getting back to his literary roots. The Belfast-born lover of Shakespeare – who in recent years has turned to popcorn fare like Thor and Cinderella – is planning to make a new version of the Agatha Christie mystery Murder on the Orient Express. Branagh is hoping the fourth time is a charm, as Christie’s tale of death on a train has been thrice made already. No word just yet though on a cast or release date for Branagh’s latest. ♦

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Irish Eye on Hollywood: Clones, Detectives, Priests, & Vigilantes Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:54:53 +0000 Read more..]]> The Irish are playing an outsized role in a number of the most-buzzed about TV shows these days – the so-called “golden age of television.” Of course, there’s Colin Farrell on True Detective as well as numerous Irish actors on Game of Thrones (Michelle Fairley, Liam Cunningham, Aiden Gillen, Conleth Hill). But there’s also Clontarf native Maria Doyle Kennedy on Orphan Black, the sci-fi series which explores the moral and dramatic implications of cloning. Another Dubliner, Jason O’Mara, recently starred in the USA network’s Complications, which seems to have been inspired by Liam Neeson’s Taken franchise. O’Mara plays a grieving father motivated to become a vigilante, in an effort to save another child’s life. Complications was planned as a 10-episode run and is still available on various streaming services.

Finally, there’s County Down writer Garth Ennis, whose graphic novel Preacher has been slated to become a pilot for the AMC network, which has developed critical and popular smashes such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Ennis teamed up with comedy legends Seth Rogen and Adam Goldberg to develop Preacher, which has already stirred up some controversy. The graphic novel’s plot revolves around a Texas preacher named Jesse Custer who befriends an Irish vampire – who (naturally) took part in the Easter Rising.

Oh, and they plot to kill God.

Ruth Negga.

Ruth Negga.

Not surprisingly, Ennis has voiced a pointed disdain for organized religion. How this will all play to American audiences remains to be seen. Ethiopian-born, Irish-raised actress Ruth Negga is among those who have signed onto the cast of Preacher. ♦

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Irish Eye on Hollywood: A Pregnant “Catastrophe” Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:53:49 +0000 Read more..]]> Then there is Sharon Horgan. The Meath-raised triple threat (actress/writer/director) stars alongside Boston-born Irish-American comic Rob Delaney in a new sitcom which streams on Netflix called Catastrophe. In the raunchy show, Horgan plays an Irish woman who has a fling with an American advertising executive.  When Horgan ends up pregnant – wait for it – these two strangers decide to give marriage a try, much to the surprise of their family and friends. Catastrophe earned raves when Amazon Prime released it earlier this summer. The New York Daily News said the show is “the latest confirmation that some of the best TV these days isn’t on traditional TV.” Up next for the BAFTA Award-winning Horgan is an even more highly-anticipated project, the upcoming HBO series Divorce, starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Horgan serves as a writer as well as co-producer on Divorce, which is Parker’s first big project since she left TV after a long run on a little show called Sex and the City. ♦

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Irish Eye on Hollywood: Pierce Brosnan Has No Escape Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:52:13 +0000 Read more..]]> In September, look for Pierce Brosnan in the action film No Escape, which had previously been titled The Coup.  Also starring Owen Wilson and Lake Bell, No Escape is about a straight-laced businessman trying to keep his family safe in an area that has suddenly become a war zone. Director Gavin O’Connor’s western vengeance flick Jane Got a Gun – starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor – will also be released in September. ♦

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Irish Eye on Hollywood: Carey Mulligan Is a “Suffragette” Fri, 24 Jul 2015 03:51:51 +0000 Read more..]]> Finally, and also in October, the film Suffragette chronicles the early days of the movement to win the right to vote for women. Starring Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, Suffragette also features the indomitable Irish actor Brendan Gleeson as well as Anne Marie-Duff, born in England to Irish parents, and familiar for Irish roles in films such as The Magdalene Sisters and TV shows such as Shameless (the British version) in which she played Fiona Gallagher. ♦

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