February March 2013 Issue – Irish America https://irishamerica.com Irish America Magazine Thu, 18 Apr 2019 19:22:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 82361074 The Genius of Day-Lewis Brings Lincoln Alive https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/the-genius-of-day-lewis-brings-lincoln-alive/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/the-genius-of-day-lewis-brings-lincoln-alive/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:30:34 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14449 Read more..]]> In the last decade, Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the greatest actors of our time, has made only five films. But when he chooses to play a part he commits to it fully, as his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s latest biopic exemplifies. Between roles? It’s all about his family, he tells Patricia Danaher.

Daniel Day-Lewis is in an extremely good mood. He’s in such high spirits when we meet at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills that, for a moment, I’m almost caught off guard. Dressed in a pair of baggy green combats and a navy bomber jacket, his salt and pepper hair combed upwards in a quiff, he looks like an off-duty detective.

He had been in New York for a few weeks, and although it’s a beautifully warm October day in Los Angeles, he’s missing Wicklow and the family as he goes out to do the business for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, in which Day-Lewis undertook the weighty task of portraying one of the most beloved, important and divisive presidents in American history.

Thus far, the praise has been resounding. Critics have hailed his slightly weary but determined stature and his high, reedily resonant voice, as have members of the cast and crew. Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplay, told the New York Times that Day-Lewis’s delivery of Lincoln’s 13th Amendment speech was “One of the greatest things I have ever seen. . . Everyone’s jaw was on the floor.” Day-Lewis received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor. Lincoln leads the pack at the Oscars this year, with 12 nominations in all, including Best Picture.

Liam Neeson had been slated to play the part for several years, but when his career as an action hero took off after Taken, he eventually told Spielberg to move on.

“When I was doing the first Taken, I was kind of preparing for Lincoln. But there comes a time when you’re past your sell-by date, and I felt like I was at that point seven years ago,” Neeson told me in New York in October.

“I was dropping weight when I thought we were getting close to shooting, then when we weren’t, I was putting weight on again. So one day, I called Steven up and said, ‘Steven, please call Daniel Day- Lewis if you haven’t already done so and give him the part.’ He made the right choice,” said Liam.

The multi-Oscar-winning director collaborated very closely with Day-Lewis, spending chunks of time in Ireland while the script was being developed.

“I was in Dublin and in Wicklow a few times working with Daniel and the screenwriter Tony Kushner on the script,” said Spielberg. “We were so thrilled when Daniel signed up to play the role and it was a joy working with him.”

Day-Lewis is no fan of interviews, hates being asked personal questions, which partly explains why he works so selectively as a film actor, making just five films in the last ten years. But it’s also much more because he hates being away from his wife, Rebecca Miller, and their two boys Cashel (10) and Ronan (14).

“With Lincoln and with the one I did before that, Nine, I wasn’t able to be with my family while I was working, and that is one of the reasons why I work less often than I might, because I don’t like to be away,” he tells me. “When they were younger, you could kind of pick them up and put them under your arm and just travel with them. But that’s no longer possible, and I miss them.”

Fatherhood is clearly an enduring source of joy for the actor, who also has a 17-year-old son, Gabriel Kane Adjani, whose mother is the French actress Isabelle Adjani. Day-Lewis and Rebecca Miller have been married since 1996, after meeting on the set of The Crucible. His intense admiration for her playwright father, Arthur Miller, has been well documented.

Annamoe, County Wicklow has been their home for a long time, and it’s clear what an oasis the village and their home are for him.

“In terms of having a confidant, Rebecca is somebody I would discuss everything with,” he readily admits. “We have worked together, on her movie Jack and Rose, which was an extremely rewarding experience, but we very often work in separate places. But there’s nothing we don’t share with each other. I’m always fascinated to know what she’s up to on that computer of hers,” he giggles almost coquettishly. “It’s like watching a scientist in a laboratory cooking up some chemical thing!”

He jokes that his sons aren’t quite sure what he does for a living, that they think he might be involved in making furniture.

“My 14-year-old boy was asked a couple of years ago what I did and he said, ‘I think he’s in construction.’ So that’s how much they know! I’m not building anything. A few years ago he heard someone on the radio say, ‘Daniel Day-Lewis makes chairs in his spare time.’ He thought that was the funniest thing he’d ever heard, that I was a chair maker.”

One of the reasons that Day-Lewis has done so few movies is because he wants to be “available” for his family. “It’s a selfish thing with the work, but I also think that they need me around as well, and I don’t like to be in the position of going from the set, back home to my house and then trying to deal with the bizarre transition. I like to take a lot of time to get ready for any piece of work, and when you go to these great lengths to create a life that’s believable to you, it seems so much stranger to me to jump in and out of it all day long.”

His relationship with his father, the  Irish-born English poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis was an intense and complex one, and no doubt this is in part what informs his own attitude to how he is as a father himself.

“I think I’m quite old-fashioned as a father. I’m surprised,” he admits. “I don’t know if all parents surprise themselves to discover the kind of parent they are, as opposed to the parent they imagine themselves to be,” he says, with a self-conscious laugh. “I think I’m very free in a certain kind of way. I was raised, not in a strict way, but my parents believed strongly in certain things and I tend to believe in those same things. I tend to wish that my children will observe the same things that I do, but there’s no guarantee they will.”

While talking about his family life makes him relax and open up in a surprising and very tender way, talking about work brings out that intensity for which he is so famous. But the near giddy mood he’s in this morning makes me think there’s been some shift in his psyche since we last met. Au contraire: according to Daniel’s view of himself, it’s the total opposite. He wants to assure me that he sees himself as playful and that he has never been someone who takes himself too seriously.

“It’s imperative to take the work seriously. I mean if anybody is going to spend the money that is spent even on low budget films, you have a responsibility to work seriously. But it’s important that you don’t take yourself seriously. I tend to give the impression that I take myself very seriously, but playfulness is what it’s all about. . . . If the work isn’t that, it’s nothing, even if you’re telling a great story about hard things with great loss and violence.”

Still, there’s no denying that he is renowned in the industry for the grueling Method-style preparation he undergoes for each role. While filming My Left Foot, in which he portrayed Christy Brown, the Irish poet and artist with cerebral palsy, he stayed in his wheelchair between scenes and was fed and cared for by crew members. To get into the mind of Bill the Butcher, his character in Gangs of New York, he took butchering lessons. For the duration of Lincoln, he maintained the president’s voice and accent on and off set, though he still discussed contemporary matters. All this has led to raised eyebrows from some detractors who say it’s just for show, but Day-Lewis, who in the past has been reluctant to discuss his process, is quick to clarify.

“You create for yourself the illusion that you can enter the life of the person. I know I am not Abraham Lincoln. I’m not that daft,” he says pointedly, “but I choose to believe for a period of time that I am, and I can shut out the voice in me that tells me I’m not. It’s like the simple game of make-believe we play as children and that some of us never stop playing.” There’s that playfulness again.

In addition to immersing himself in his characters’ psyches, Daniel is a thorough researcher. “My approach here was the same as it is for any other piece of work, which is to try to create an understanding for myself, in a very personal way, of a life,” he explained. “In the case of this very well documented life, it began with reading. I could be reading about Lincoln for the rest of my life and the next one, so much has been written about him, so I had to choose very carefully the books I read. I had a year to prepare, and at a certain moment, the books are put aside and the real work begins, which is always the same thing – the work of the imagination.”

For Daniel, it’s all about knowing when to work, which roles are worth the intense immersion and concentration. “I know myself well enough to know when it’s time, and I think I was blessed with a pretty strong sense of that from an early age, when I didn’t have the luxury of choosing when I was able to work and when I wasn’t. I’ve always felt in all creative fields that it’s much less to do with whatever gifts you might have for that work, and more whether you are compelled to do that work to the exclusion of everything else. I work when I feel the compulsion. The will has to come from you, because the energy has to come from you.”

Notwithstanding the two Oscars (for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood), the Golden Globes and the adulation of critics, Day-Lewis’s relationship with his wife and children is a key component in the work that he does, and when he chooses to do it.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that what I’m able to contribute to the work has been enriched by everything else that’s going on in my life. The family life, once you have a family, it’s very important that they don’t get pushed aside for the sake of a piece of work. And I seem to be able to work with the same intensity and still remain available to my family to the extent I can be.”

We’ve been talking for nearly an hour and his boisterous energy seems to be flagging a little, although he’s still in high spirits. I bring up Jim Sheridan, with whom some of his greatest collaborations have taken place and through whom Daniel developed his long and enduring love of Ireland. Their work on My Left Foot, which won him his first Oscar, followed by In the Name of the Father and The Boxer remain some of the work of which he is proudest. So, what are the prospects of the pair reteaming in the future? Mention of Sheridan brings a huge smile.

“Of course I would do anything with Jim. We’ve made three great movies together that I’ll always be proud and grateful for. We keep talking about doing something else but there’s nothing definite. Sheriff Street [an up-coming movie based on Sheridan’s upbringing in Dublin] is his huge passion these days, so you’d never know.”

Annamoe, County Wicklow continues to be the place to which Daniel returns to restore himself (and not make furniture), and he is already looking forward to going home. He likes how people leave him alone and his celebrity is not an issue.

“Compared to most people that you meet in the course of your work, I find people [in Annamoe] on the whole to be very gracious and unassuming. Even if they do feel the need to say something to you or ask you for a little something, it really is not an intrusion on my life to the extent that it makes any difference whatsoever.”

Excited as he is to be returning to life with his family, there is also a part of him that is sad to say goodbye to Lincoln. “I grew to love that man so much that I never wanted to part company with him,” he reflects, “in a way that I never really felt you could have for someone you’ve never met, and it takes time to exorcise the spirit of that character. [I] was reluctant to let go, because after all, [I had] invested a substantial amount of my life in exploring [his], taken some trouble to try and create it and make it live, and it’s very strange to go from one day to the next when all that ceases. But the beautiful thing is, I can now go back to loving Lincoln from the other side of the line.”

Watch a trailer for Lincoln:

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The First Word: Finding the Way https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/the-first-word-finding-the-way/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/the-first-word-finding-the-way/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:29:21 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14456 Read more..]]> “First determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way.

– Abraham Lincoln

 As we go to press, we learn that Lincoln received 12 Oscar nominations – more than any other film this year. It’s timely then, that we feature Daniel Day-Lewis on our cover.

Day-Lewis is an incredible actor who first came to prominence in a triumph-over-adversity movie called My Left Foot, the story of Christy Brown. A Dubliner afflicted with cerebral palsy, despite only being able to move his left foot Christy Brown became a writer and artist.

I won’t spoil Patricia Danaher’s in-depth interview with Day-Lewis by revealing too much here, but it’s enough to say that his portrayal of President Lincoln is such that you forget that there’s an actor involved. You become fully immersed in the drama as the 16th President methodically fights to pass the 13th Amendment, which would abolish slavery.

In Lincoln’s day, the amendment was immensely unpopular and faced fierce opposition, but looking back we see that it was necessary. He did what was right. He did what was hard.

On January 31, 1865, the 13th Amendment was passed by the House, and soon the bloodiest war in America’s history would be over.

Over 650,000 soldiers died during the four years of the conflict, and a fair share of them were Irish. Michael Burke, in his story on Green-Wood Cemetery, introduces us to such colorful Civil War heroes as “Fighting Tom,” General Tom Sweeny from County Cork, and others.

We cannot look at our history without marveling at the human spirit. The Irish too were enslaved, Denis O’Brien, founder of Digicel, reminded us in his address at our annual Business 100 awards in December. Thousands of young men and women were sold into slavery by Oliver Cromwell and transported to the Caribbean to work on the sugar and tobacco plantations.

In another triumph-over-tragedy story, Mary Pat Kelly writes that Derry City, a place that suffered much during the Troubles, is enjoying “a brand new day” because people put aside their grievances and worked together to make it so.

President Lincoln was himself no stranger to tragedy, but he didn’t allow it to lessen his resolve.

He  deeply mourned the loss of his son Willie, who died at age 11 of typhoid fever. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!” he is recorded as having said. It was the second loss of a child for the Lincolns – an elder son had died the year Willie was born.

The grief of losing a child is untenable.

Yet, in a story by Kelly Fincham, we see how the parents of one child, Rory Staunton, focused their grief on changing medical procedures so that other children would not suffer the same fate as their 12-year-old son, death by misdiagnosis.

“Redemptive truth telling,” Jim Dwyer, who has written about Rory’s case in the New York Times, calls the Stauntons’ campaign.

The death of children was very much on our minds during the holidays as we grappled with the horrific massacre of 20 schoolchildren and six adults gunned down by a mentally disturbed man in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14.

Since that incident, 400 Americans have died from gunshot wounds. Just two days before Christmas, another man with an assault rifle, a former prisoner who had served time for killing his grandmother, a man who should not have had access to weapons, burned down his house and shot and killed two volunteer firefighters who arrived to put out the blaze.

Yet, despite all of these deaths, the country is deeply divided on the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, with strong emotions on both sides.

We have to get through these recent tragedies to a place where senseless assaults can’t happen any more. In the coming days, President Obama and his team have to face down some tough opposition to changing the gun laws. Vice President Joe Biden, as we go to press, is meeting with the very powerful National Rifle Association, who are against tightening the laws on gun control.

In addressing the 2nd amendment, we need our political leaders to do what is right, though it be hard. President Lincoln too had many challenges to overcome, including a House divided, before the 13th amendment was passed.

Now is the time for fearless leadership. Lincoln changed the course of American history, and the leaders of this generation can do so too.

In his words: “First determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way.”

Instead of participating in an endless debate about whether the gun lobby is too strong, whether the house is too divided, we should look to Lincoln’s example and press forward – recognizing the obstacles, but not permitting them to keep us from making progress.

One hundred and fifty years down the line, this will be seen as the necessary moment of our time.

The future and the past demand nothing less of us.

Mórtas Cine.

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Pakistani Schoolgirl Activist Wins Tipperary Peace Award https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/pakistani-schoolgirl-activist-wins-tipperary-peace-award/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/pakistani-schoolgirl-activist-wins-tipperary-peace-award/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:28:44 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14461 Read more..]]> Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who survived a violent attack by Taliban gunmen in retaliation for her advocacy of girls’ education, is the recipient of the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award.

Yousafzai, a native of the Swat Valley region of Pakistan, gained prominence in 2009 after writing a blog for BBC Urdu chronicling her experience of the Taliban’s ban on girls’ schooling in the Swat Valley. She has since become a noted youth activist, serving as chairperson of the District Child Assembly Swat and receiving Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.

In October, Malala sustained two near-fatal gunshot wounds to the head and neck on her way home from school. After initial care in Pakistan, she was airlifted to the UK for intensive rehabilitation. Yousafzai was discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham on January 4, and will undergo cranial reconstructive surgery in early February. She and her family are likely to remain in the UK.

Granted annually by the Tipperary Peace Convention, the Tipperary International Peace Award has previously recognized South African president Nelson Mandela, former US president Bill Clinton, and former prime minister of Pakistan the late Benazir Bhutto, and most recently, former President of Ireland Mary McAleese and her husband, Senator Martin McAleese. A date for Yousafzai’s award ceremony has yet to be confirmed.

In a release, the Tipperary Peace Convention praised Malala’s bravery, stating that “her courage has proved to be an inspiration around the globe.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian Congress Leader Sonia Gandhi were among the five other 2012 finalists. Malala is youngest person ever to receive the award.

“The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world and the hopes of these children are represented by the courage, determination and by the voice of Malala Yousafzai,” the convention’s release continued.

“The Taliban tried and failed to silence her and have instead amplified her voice.”

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Ireland Begins Six-Month EU Presidency https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/ireland-begins-six-month-eu-presidency/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/ireland-begins-six-month-eu-presidency/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:27:24 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14465 Read more..]]> The New Year marked the start of Ireland’s six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. The transition began with a ceremony at Dublin Castle on New Year’s Eve, at which Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Táiniste Eamon Gilmore and Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton laid out Ireland’s agenda for the months ahead.

Kenny emphasized that the presidency offers Ireland a prime chance to strengthen bonds within the EU, and that it would bring “new hope, new possibility, new confidence to our people.

“The Irish presidency in 2013 will be about three crucial words: stability, jobs and growth,” he said, outlining Ireland’s focus for the presidency. “There are real actions to back up those three words. We will be in the business of solution, a recovery country, driving recovery in Europe.”

Ireland last held the presidency, which rotates between the EU member countries twice each year, in 2004, in a markedly different financial climate both nationally and throughout the European Union. It was a time of possibility and expansion for the EU, as 10 new countries – Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – were granted entry into the Union.

This time around, only Croatia will have its final monitoring report reviewed in anticipation of its accession to the EU in July. Turkey, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Serbia will also have a chance to further present their cases for joining.

Issues surrounding debt relief, future budgets and the European banking union will loom large, as will questions of trade. As Ireland also recently began its three-year term as part of the European Human Rights Council, human rights strategy is set for the agenda. With the 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals drawing nearer, the goals will be the subject of an international conference in Dublin in April.

The Irish government plans to spend €60 million over the six month period – over one-third less than it spent during the 2004 presidency. It will chair approximately 1,600 meetings of the EU council, 180 of which will take place in Ireland. The government was quick to assert that only buildings it owns will be used, in order to avoid unnecessary costs.

The presidency coincides with the 40th anniversary of  Ireland’s accession to the EU, or the European Economic Community, as it was called in 1973.

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Belfast Rocked By Union Jack Protests https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/belfast-rocked-by-union-jack-protests/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/belfast-rocked-by-union-jack-protests/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:26:43 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14469 Read more..]]> Loyalist protesters in Belfast have been marching against the City Council’s decision that the United Kingdom’s flag, the Union Jack, will no longer be flown above City Hall year-round.

The decision, reached by a council vote on December 3, came from a compromise motion proposed by the centrist Alliance Party that the Union Jack would be flown on 17 designated days – including birthdays of the royal family. Nationalists had wanted the flag to be permanently removed from City Hall; loyalists wanted to continue flying it daily.

Loyalists have protested most nights since the decision. Despite calls for peaceful action, many have wielded hatchets, sledge hammers and gasoline bombs, and children as young as 10 have been involved in attacks on members of the police force, who have responded with plastic bullets and water cannons. As of January 7, 52 police officers were injured and close to 100 protesters had been arrested.

Alliance party members and one journalist reported receiving death threats in the mail.

An editorial in the Belfast Telegraph spoke to the general reaction throughout the city: “The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland want no part of this violence. They have endured too much to see the fragile peace snatched away from them.”

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Quiet Man Pub for Sale https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/quiet-man-pub-for-sale/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/quiet-man-pub-for-sale/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:25:10 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14473 Read more..]]> Pat Cohan’s bar in Cong, Co. Mayo, where John Wayne and Victor McLaglen brawled and raised pints in John Ford’s The Quiet Man, was recently put up for sale. The asking price is €300,000, and auctioneer Vincent Walsh informed the Irish Independent that the majority of interest thus far is from overseas – the US and the UK in particular. The bar’s current owner is said to be in poor health and eager to sell.

Though it moonlighted as the local watering hole in Ford’s 1952 film, until 2008 the space was actually a small, family-run shop. It was purchased in 2004 and opened under new management as a pub in 2008.

One unnamed source explained that while many of the film’s devoted fans visit Pat Cohan’s, relatively few stay for a drink. “A lot of film fans who go into Pat Cohan’s don’t spend any money,” he said. “Tourists and fans of the movie often go in, take a few photos, maybe use the bathroom and then leave without buying a pint. And that just doesn’t pay the bills.”

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Emerald: 2013 Color of the Year https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/emerald-2013-color-of-the-year/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/emerald-2013-color-of-the-year/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:24:01 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14477 Read more..]]> It’s official, the Emerald Isle wins 2013. For the next 12 months, the national color of Hibernia has a new status as the Pantone Color Institute’s 2013 Color of the Year. Called Emerald 17-5641, the color will, according to trend forecasters, be making a strong debut this year everywhere from Le Creuset’s cookery to J. Crew’s jewelry.

For an island tempered by its past, Ireland is apparently forever on trend. The transition to 2013’s Emerald from last year’s Color of the Year, a bright orange called Tangerine Tango, nods to the green and orange of the Irish tricolor. In contrast to last year’s choice, aimed at energizing and boosting activity to move forward during a hectic year, the mood of Emerald is said to promote harmony and balance, and to allow more irenic insight.

Highlighting Pantone’s choice for 2013, executive director Leatrice Eiseman said in a press release, “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world.”

Just in time for the 2013 Gathering tourism initiative, this announcement puts the spotlight on the Emerald Isle as one of the most verdant destinations, renowned for its multitude of green hues. As Eiseman acknowledged, “Green is the most abundant hue in nature,” and for those heading home during any part of the year, a tour of the country promises access to the entire spectrum, made famous by Johnny Cash’s hit song “The Forty Shades of Green.”

Equally serendipitous for Irish and Irish Americans who may be low on emerald ornament, Pantone has also announced the Sephora + Pantone Universe 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection. The collection is due to hit Sephora stores in the U.S., Sephora in JCP stores, and Sephora.com beginning in March, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

The Pantone Color Institute is the global backbone for professional color standards in the design industries, and for more than a decade their Color of the Year has had major impact on which colors appear in fashion, home decor, graphic design and even industrial design. With  Emerald as 2013’s Color of the Year, it shouldn’t be surprising if a little more green and lots more attention fly over to Ireland in the months ahead.

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Hillary Clinton Visits Ireland and Northern Ireland https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/hillary-clinton-visits-ireland-and-northern-ireland/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/hillary-clinton-visits-ireland-and-northern-ireland/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:23:12 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14481 Read more..]]> Clinton included the Emerald Isle in her final visits as Secretary of State.

As part of one of her last international trips as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton spent two days in Ireland at the beginning of December. Following visits to Prague and Brussels, Clinton landed in Dublin on December 6.

While in the Irish capital, she participated in the ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, delivering a key speech on U.S. support of human rights action, visited the Áras for a brief meeting with President Michael D. Higgins, spoke with students at Dublin City University, and gave a joint press conference with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

At the American Embassy in Dublin, Clinton professed that she was “proud to be here in Ireland, representing our country and following the footsteps of President Obama’s incredibly successful trip [in 2011].”

With the Taoiseach, she spoke to America’s appreciation for the difficult times Ireland faces economically. “The view from the United States is the resilience, the hard work, the determination of the Irish people getting up every day and getting the job done,” she said, and reaffirmed the U.S.’s confidence in its economic partnership with Ireland, highlighting the significant fact that U.S. foreign investment in Ireland tops $191 billion, more than American companies have invested in Brazil, Russia, India, and China combined.

The following day Clinton departed for Belfast, where she addressed Stormont, visited the new Titanic Quarter, and attended a lunch by the Worldwide Ireland Funds, who honored her with a lifetime achievement award. Northern Ireland and Belfast in particular have long held a special place in the Secretary of State’s heart since she visited the city in December of 1995, one year after the 1994 ceasefire. Her husband, then president, was the first U.S. commander in chief to set foot in Northern Ireland.

At the Funds lunch, Clinton recalled that visit – one of the seminal steps in the peace process the U.S. would help broker. “We stood behind a bulletproof screen to turn on Belfast’s Christmas lights in front of a vast crowd that stretched so far I could not even find the end of it in any direction,” she said.  “It was a moment of such hope.  And it has been that image that has kept me going through any challenges that have come across my mind when I think about what lies ahead.”

At Stormont, standing with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Clinton expressed her dismay at the recent spate of violent protests in Belfast over the decision to fly the Union flag over city hall only on special days. “There will always be disagreements in any democratic society,” she said, “but you must not use violence as a means of expressing those strong feelings.  The only path forward is a peaceful, democratic one that recognizes the right of others to express their opinions, but not to resort to violence. And there can be no place in the new Northern Ireland for any violence.”

In her address at the Funds luncheon, Clinton pledged that she would continue to support and work with the group in Northern Ireland once she is a private citizen again. Her term as Secretary of State ends with the conclusion of President Obama’s first term in office. With Clinton back in good health after a blood clot scare at the end of December, Northern Ireland will surely be taking her up on that offer.

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Brian Kelly Is Coach of the Year https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/brian-kelly-is-coach-of-the-year/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/brian-kelly-is-coach-of-the-year/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:22:30 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14487 Read more..]]> Coach Kelly, who led Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish through a perfect season (up until the BCS championship game), was named the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) on December 13.

Kelly is the fourth Fighting Irish coach to win the award, following in the footsteps of Ara Parseghian (1964), Lou Holtz (1988) and Charlie Weis (2005).

Lenn Robbins, the FWAA president, commended Kelly for his work with the team. “Notre Dame, under Coach Kelly, has returned to national prominence in the college football ranks. This award recognizes that accomplishment for the 2012 season, a season that began with 124 teams vying for an elusive undefeated campaign. Notre Dame was the only bowl-eligible school to accomplish that impressive feat,” he commented.

Kelly was selected as the winner among eight finalists: Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, UCLA’s Jim Mora, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Alabama’s Nick Saban, Louisville’s Charlie Strong, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.
Kelly’s Fighting Irish went head-to-head with Saban’s Alabama team in the BCS championship in Miami on January 7, where they encountered an unceremonious end to an otherwise perfect season, losing 14-42. Kelly maintained that despite the disappointment in Miami, the team had come a long way this season, and promised that this was only the beginning.

A third-generation Irish American with Boston roots, Kelly worked at Grand Valley State from 1991-2003, Central Michigan from 2004-2006 and Cincinnati from 2007-2009. He was previously named Big East Coach of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2003.

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A Building in Commissioner Kelly’s Name https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/a-building-in-commissioner-kellys-name/ https://irishamerica.com/2013/01/a-building-in-commissioner-kellys-name/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:21:44 +0000 http://irishamerica.com/?p=14494 Read more..]]> New York City Police Commiss-ioner Ray Kelly is to have a building at his alma mater Manhattan College named in his honor. The commissioner, the grandson of Irish immigrants, graduated from Manhattan College in 1963.

Kelly was the guest of honor at the building’s groundbreaking ceremony on December 13. The five-story, 70,000 square-foot  Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons, set to open in 2014, will serve as a multi-purpose center. It is the result of a $48 million fundraising campaign, which was launched with a 10- million-dollar donation from Kelly’s classmate Thomas O’Malley, former chairman of the college’s board of trustees and executive chairman of the petroleum supplier PBF Energy Company.

Kelly told the New York Post, “There is a grand tradition in America of naming buildings after their benefactors, but it is rare, indeed, that the benefactor provides the single largest gift ever to Manhattan [College] and then suggests that the building be named not after him, but after the police commissioner!”

O’Malley explained that Kelly’s work and living legacy of public service is a testament to the college’s emphasis on service. “If we want an example of service to the community, well, he’s the greatest example we can possibly think of,” he said.

Commissioner Kelly was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame, housed in New Ross, Co. Wexford, in March 2012.

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