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Joe Buckley, proud Kerryman, was 72

POSTED ON March 20th  - POSTED IN News & Views
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Joseph V. Buckley.

 

Joseph V. Buckley, a native of County Kerry and a prominent member of the Irish American community on Long Island, died recently aged 72.

Buckley, born in Moyvane, was a well known bar and restaurant owner. He died peacefully after a short illness.

Buckley was the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters. He was father to Kelly, Michael, Sean, Ryan and a grandfather to Jack and Rylin.

He was the former owner The Jolly Tinker in Rockville Centre, Katie Daly’s Restaurant in Massapequa and was at the time of his death the owner of Molly Malone’s Restaurant in Bayshore.

In 1980, Buckley was named St. Rose of Lima Man of the Year. In 1987 he was Nassau County Police Emerald Society Irishman of the Year. In 1990 he was Grand Council of United Emerald Societies Man of the Year and in 1993 he was Grand Marshal of Glen Cove St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In 1979, Joe organized the first “Irish Open Golf Tournament” which over the years benefited the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, St. Mary of the Angels Home, St. Rose of Lima School, and the Holy Ghost Fathers of Dublin and many more worthy causes.

Throughout the years he was a member of the following: Founding Charter Member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Long Island Chapter, Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Chamber of Commerce, Hempstead Bay Power Squadron (honorary), Nassau County Restaurant Association and Nassau Shores Civic Association.

Joe Buckley first landed in New York in 1963. He loved going home to Ireland every September. He would attend the Listowel Races and the All Ireland Gaelic Football Final. Not surprisingly, he was a passionate fan of the Kerry Football Team and at every opportunity he would proudly tell people that he was from the Kingdom, the Kingdom of Kerry.

“He was more to people than just a business owner. He made people feel that they were part of his family and in turn people opened their hearts to him as well. He’d want to know about your kids and how your vacation was and how things were in your everyday life. He was so good at what he did because he genuinely loved it and got great joy from it,” said his family.

Green Day

POSTED ON March 20th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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By Ray O’Hanlon

Total global domination is a way’s off yet and in all truth the Irish would take a pass anyway. But total global greening – that’s another matter.

At the rate things are going the entire planet will be lit in green for March 17, 2030 – but for St. Patrick’s Day 2013 the greening, though global, was confined to landmarks, and in some cases, entire towns.

Among those landmarks borrowing one of the forty shades was the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

As Niall Gibbons, head of Tourism Ireland explained it, the idea of greening buildings worldwide really took off four years ago when the Sydney Opera House went “vert” to mark the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first Irish in Australia.

Of course, the idea of greening has been around for some years and owes much to the U.S. where the likes of the Chicago River and Empire State Building have been shaded green for March 17.

But they now have company and to name just a few companions: The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, the aforementioned Sydney Opera House, the Leaning (Greening?) Tower of Pisa, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the tower Tom Cruise ran down), Gorky Park in Moscow, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, the London Eye, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Anfield soccer stadium in Liverpool and an entire town in Brittany, France.

The entire operation in global greening was part of Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening” initiative for St. Patrick’s 2013.

Niall Gibbons himself was passing through New York on his way to Toronto and later Niagara Falls which were to be lit up – you guessed it!

“This has really captured imaginations around the world,” said Gibbons in an interview at the Tourism Ireland offices in Manhattan.

And to think that green isn’t even Ireland’s official national color. That would be “St. Patrick’s Blue.”

Here’s to 2-5-2

POSTED ON March 20th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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Al Smith IV leads bands, marching units

By Ray O’Hanlon

It was a parade full of the joyful and the poignant. It was also a parade of two meteorological halves.

The 252nd New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade marched into the history books last Saturday with Grand Marshal Al Smith IV following in the footsteps of his namesake great-grandfather, and with many thousands of pairs of feet following in his.

Those earlier followers were doing fine in shoes. Waterproof boots were the better choice later in the day after what had been a dry morning had turned into a snowy afternoon.

But weather is never a deterrent to the marchers, nor to green and Aran-clad spectators lining the 35 block parade route on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

With Cardinal Timothy Dolan in Rome, Cardinal Edward Egan celebrated the pre-parade Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and greeted marchers from the cathedral steps.

Those marchers included students, parents and the high school band from Newtown, Connecticut. They marched behind a banner proclaiming “We Are Newtown, Connecticut – We Choose Love.”

Led, as it is every year, by the fighting 69th, the parade attracted marchers and bands from all over the U.S., as well as from countries around the world including Spain, Canada, France Australia, and of course Ireland.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny marched with the United Irish Counties. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Peter King were among the participating politicians.

Other marching units included Covenant House, with 50 formerly homeless teens following the green line up the avenue, and the Breezy Point Catholic Club Pipe Band, whose members lost all of their instruments and uniforms in Hurricane Sandy.

The band used donated equipment and rented bagpipes and uniforms paid for with donations.

By day’s end the scene looked more like Christmas than St. Patrick’s Day. But it would take a lot more than snowflakes to stop this parade on its appointed day. And so, it duly joined the 251 that have gone before it. 253 beckons.

McGuinness defies death threat

POSTED ON March 13th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said the death threat he has received from dissident republicans won’t silence him.

Mr. McGuinness revealed that he was contacted by a senior PSNI officer last week to be informed of a “real and active threat” against his life from a dissident group in Derry City and said he and the police were taking the threat seriously.

It comes after Mr. McGuinness praised PSNI officers who stopped a mortar bomb attack in Derry last week.

On Wednesday, two men from Derry appeared in court charged in connection with the discovery of four mortars. They were arrested when police stopped a van in the Brandywell area on Sunday March 3.

Gary McDaid, 37, of Glenowen Park and Séamus McLaughlin, 35, of Eastway Gardens in Creggan, were both refused bail.

They are charged with having explosives with intent to endanger life, conspiracy to cause an explosion, and having a van for terrorist purposes. Refusing bail, the judge said the men posed a serious risk to society.

On Thursday, Mr. McGuinness said he had been visited by the PSNI who informed him of the threat against him.

“They linked the threat to my condemnation of the recent attempted mortar attack in the city and other remarks made in support of the PSNI,” he said.

“Both myself and the PSNI are taking this threat seriously. However, there are times when in political leadership staying silent is not an option and I will not be silenced by threats like this. I will defend the peace process from attack from whatever quarter, be it these groups, or the loyalist flag protesters over recent months.

“It says much about the mentality of those controlling groups like the one behind the threat that, in their warped logic, threatening Irish republicans and their families somehow advances the cause of Irish reunification.

All & Al ready for 252nd NY parade

POSTED ON March 13th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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by Ray O’Hanlon

Cardinal Timothy Dolan may or may not be back in New York from Rome by Saturday, but if he is not, Cardinal Edward Egan will be on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to review the 252nd New York parade and greet Grand Marshal Al Smith IV.

Smith will be leading a march that organizers style “The oldest, biggest and best St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world” and this year takes place on Saturday because tradition dictates that the parade doesn’t take place on St. Patrick’s Day if it falls on Sunday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is in New York for a series of events over the weekend including the pre-parade Mass on Saturday and the parade itself. On Sunday, he will visit Breezy Point in Queens to assess at first hand the post-Sandy recovery work which has been strongly aided by New York’s Irish community.

Saturday’s parade will have all its familiar marching groups but in addition, this year there will be a poignant addition – a special contingent from Newtown, Connecticut, so recently devastated in the school gun attack at Sandy Hook Elementary.

According to parade organizers, an estimated 250 members of the Newtown community, including students, teachers and first responders, will participate as a marching delegation.

The Newtown High School Marching Nighthawks will be making their first appearance in the parade. A group of 95 musicians will be led by the 27-member color guard from Newtown High.

“It is a great honor to participate in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Kurt Eckhardt, director of bands at Newtown High School.

“All of our kids are looking forward to the parade. Most of the performances by the Marching Band are in the fall, so this is something special. I think everyone who sees the parade will enjoy the band. I’ve been director now for 10 years and I think this is the finest band I have had the privilege to lead. We have an outstanding group of seniors who are great musicians and great leaders. As a group, I am sure the marching band and color guard will make everyone in Newtown proud,” he said.

The parade this year will be dedicated to Covenant House, the organization which for over 40 years has been caring for New York City’s homeless and runaway youth.

As part of the celebration, 50 formerly homeless youth, many of whom lived on the streets, will march in the parade.

“Our kids are so excited to be part of one of New York’s greatest traditions,” said Covenant House President, Kevin Ryan.

“Most of the kids who will be marching came to us from the streets, where they struggled to survive. Being honored by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is such a gift in their lives, another way we can show our kids that people really do care about them,” he said.

Throughout its history, the parade has been held in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland and the Archdiocese of New York. The parade starts at 44th Street at 11 a.m. and marches up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and continues to 79th Street, where the parade finishes at approximately 4:30 to 5 p.m.

The Parade is also televised for four hours on New York’s WNBC Channel 4 to over half a million households and, since 2008, video coverage has been streamed over the Internet at http://nycstpatricksparade.org.

After 64 years, ring travels full circle

POSTED ON March 13th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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By Ray O’Hanlon

This is a story about a ring that traveled full circle. And it’s journey took about as long as a Tolkien tale – 64 years to be precise.

It’s also a story about friendship, faith and fate. It has an unlikely beginning, but a very definite end. And for sure it’s a good ending.

It concerns a ring lost in 1949 but very quickly found, safely secured, but only last weekend restored to its rightful owner, Arthur V. Gallagher, at the annual Power Memorial Academy Alumni Association Mass of Remembrance in New York.

Gallagher’s ring was a 1949 Class Ring for the famed school, which no longer exists, but whose alumni march annually in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

After graduating Power in 1949, Arthur Gallagher attended Manhattan College. While at college, he signed up for a Marine Corps Platoon Leader program for college students in 1952. He went to Parris Island for his training and lost his Power ring while there. At the time, most of the instructors were combat vets from Korea.

Robert F. Kelly was at Parris Island at the same time as Arthur V. Gallagher and he found, in the sands, the Power Memorial ring. Kelly was a Korean combat veteran and survivor of the infamous Battle of the Chosin Reservoir where he had been assigned to Baker 1/7, of which 300 went in and only 27 survived, Kelly being one of them.

Robert Kelly held on to the ring after not being able to find its owner. But he knew that one day he would return the ring to that rightful owner.

He did not live to do so, but his nephew, Mark Mayhue, stepped up.

After Robert Kelly passed away, Mayhue took care of the estate and found the ring among his uncle’s possessions. His curiosity aroused, he researched the ring and found the Power website.

He could not figure how his uncle, who lived in Chicago all of his life, came across a ring from a New York City school. He did not know of the Parris Island connection.

The ring had a clue, however. “AVG” was engraved inside it.

Through the Power website, Mayhue located Arthur V. Gallagher’s name in the 1949 class roster, and through some emails found Chick Pisani, President of the Power Memorial Academy Alumni Association.

“I did some research and found Arthur, who lives locally,” said Pisani.

After a few phone calls we decided to meet for lunch. After speaking with Mark, it was decided to present the ring to Arthur at this Mass and have Bishop Gerald Walsh, Power Class of 1959, bless it.” This he did at the Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church 60th St and Columbus Avenue in New York last Saturday, March 9.

“This was a very emotional and joyous event. After 60 years, Arthur’s ring was returned due to the actions of a very honorable Marine and his family,” Pisani told the Echo.

New Bedford symposium on Douglass, O’Connell

POSTED ON March 7th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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By Irish Echo Staff

In 1845, Frederick Douglass, then an escaped slave from Maryland living in Massachusetts, traveled to Ireland and Britain, in part, to ensure his safety from “slave catchers” in the United States.

While in Ireland, Douglass remained an active and outspoken abolitionist and befriended the Irish nationalist and abolitionist Daniel O’Connell.

The product of the exchanges that took place between Douglass and O’Connell was the subject of a recent symposium in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Working with the National Park Service, the New Bedford Historical Society, the Irish Institute at Boston College, the Irish Network Boston, and the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O’Connell Project, hosted a series of panel discussions on Douglass and O’Connell.

Working closely with the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, run by Douglass’ descents, the Douglass-O’Connell project seeks to educate the Irish and American publics about the leadership of Douglass and O’Connell in the civil rights movement.

Don Mullan, a co-founder of the project, said: “The project’s primary objective is to harness the memory of Douglass and O’Connell to work for civil rights today.”

The mayor of New Bedford, Jon Mitchell, and the Consul General of Ireland in New England, Michael Lonergan, welcomed nearly 200 people to the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park for the symposium.

Lonergan told the crowd that he was particularly pleased to be in New Bedford to recognize the city’s strong connections to Ireland. Kristin Leary, a co-founder of the project, echoed Lonergan’s sentiment and added, “the symposium will foster greater public understanding between the Irish and African diasporas in the U.S.”

The symposium was made up of three panels. The opening session focused on Douglass’ political thought.

Denis Hale, professor of political science at Boston College, suggested that Douglass was a liberal republican in the classical sense who sought to promote self-governing societies where people could control their own destinies.

Christine Kinealy, professor of Irish history at Drew University, agreed, and pointed out that what Douglass and O’Connell shared above all was a fierce commitment to human rights and the development of individual consciousness.

The Frederick Douglass-Daniel O’Connell project plans many future events, including the establishment of the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Civil Rights at All Hallows College in Dublin and, with the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, a human rights education course designed to help young people understand human trafficking.

More at www.douglassoconnell.org.

Denies murdering Wexford woman

POSTED ON March 7th  - POSTED IN News & Views

By Sean Lehane

An American man accused of murdering a County Wexford woman in Japan last year has said he had no reason to kill her. Nicola Furlong was found dead in the Keio Plaza hotel in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district on May 24, 2012.

The trial in Tokyo began on Monday. Richard Hinds, aged 20 and originally from Memphis, denies murder.

He told the court he did “lightly press” Ms. Furlong’s neck but he did not believe he was the cause of her death.

Two witness statements were read out from bar workers at the nightclub where Nicola and her friend went with Hinds and his friend, American James Blackston, after a concert in the city.

The four had ordered three tequila shots as well as a round of vodka and

Red Bull. Security footage from the taxi the four took to the Keio Plaza Hotel was also played in court, however only the Furlong family could see the footage.

During the journey to the hotel the two men spoke about having sex with

the young women. Both women seemed to be unconscious in the taxi.

Night manager at the hotel, Takuya Niwano, told the court how he helped put the girls into wheelchairs when one of them collapsed in front of the

lifts. He later described going to Room 1427 following a complaint about noise.

He went inside to find Blackston and Hinds in the room with Furlong collapsed on the floor. He attempted CPR and called for an ambulance.

Blackston, has been accused of sexually assaulting Furlong’s friend. The verdict in his case is expected be delivered this week.

They’re back!

POSTED ON March 7th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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By Ray O’Hanlon

Just when you thought it was safe to don your Aran knits. T-shirts and other clothing items depicting St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to get drunk are cropping up again in stores and website.

And one of the biggest repeat offenders appears to be Urban Outfitters which caused a storm last year with t-shirts that state the likes of “Kiss Me I’m Irish Or Drunk Or Whatever and “Irish I Were Drunk.”

The shirts are essentially the same ones that were being sold a year ago. This year they can be found on the Urban Outfitters website under “The St. Patty’s Day Shop.”

A year ago, the Ancient Order of Hibernians led a campaign to get rid of the offending items but that did not apparently have a lasting effect.

And Urban Outfitters is not the only offender.

The Journal News, which circulates north of New York City, reported that members of Rockland County’s Irish-American community “are once again protesting a series of crude St. Patrick’s Day-themed merchandise being sold at the Palisades Center mall.”

The group, according to the report, is calling on the mall and retailers to stop selling T-shirts, hats and other items displaying a range of raunchy humor, sexual slogans and references to excessive inebriation.

“In particular, the group is targeting Spencer’s, a lifestyle and gag gifts retailer with more than 600 stores in the U.S. including White Plains and Yonkers, for profiting off items they believe mock Irish culture and feed into stereotypes.

“This has gone way beyond a St. Patrick’s Day T-shirt with beer mugs,” said Neil Cosgrove, 54, a New City resident and Anti-Defamation chairperson of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. “They are just pushing the bounds more and more. You don’t see other ethnic groups targeted like this,” he told the paper.

Eastchester set to march on March 10

POSTED ON February 27th  - POSTED IN News & Views

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By Irish Echo Staff

The Eastchester Irish American Social Club is readying for the Westchester County community’s 9th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 10.

This celebration has become a tradition and a source of pride and enjoyment for Eastchester and its surrounding area residents, said the EIASC in a release.

The group announced that this year’s grand marshal will be David Flannery, with Jean McCluskey and Breda Travers the parade honorees.

A native of Clonmel, County Tipperary, Flannery helped spearhead the inaugural Eastchester parade in 2004.

“I was seeing an influx of Irish people and I wanted to demonstrate our presence here,” he said.

Aside from being the club’s current treasurer, Flannery is also a contractor and owns a hardware store in the Bronx. For his aides, he has chosen his 15-year-old son, Jack, and long-time friend, Tom Cascione.

Honoree Jean McCluskey was born in Dublin and moved to Eastchester when she immigrated in 1978. She went on to work for the Irish Tourism Board and is presently its marketing director.

Professor Breda Travers came to Eastchester from Limerick.

“I joined (EIASC) because I was looking to share culture with other Irish people and wanted to raise my kids with heritage,” Travers said.

An official sash presentation to the grand marshal and honorees was held recently at J.C. Fogarty’s Town Tavern in Bronxville.

Stephen Huvane, public relations co-chair for EIASC, said the parade will stp off at 3 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe and proceed north on Route 22 to the Lake Isle Country Club.

The parade, he said, incorporates local schools and organizations and this year will feature ten pipe bands, seven brass marching bands and many other groups, including the police and fire Departments, veteran and active military, and antique cars.

The Eastchester Irish American Social Club is a nonprofit organization founded in 1966 and consisting of members from Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville and Crestwood who are of Irish descent. more details at www.eastchesterirish.org.

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