Archive : Category

New life for ‘darkly comic masterpiece’

POSTED ON April 1st  - POSTED IN News & Views

Page Turner / Edited by Peter McDermott

Alan Titley

When asked by the Echo what his latest book, “The Dirty Dust,” is about, Alan Titley said: “It’s about 320 pages long.”

But then he helpfully elaborated: “It is a novel about the wonderful bitchiness and savage petty hatreds of rural Ireland. All the characters are dead, but continue their feuds and fights and hatreds under the clay. All inhuman life is there. It is as wonderful as life and as real as the grave. It is both savage and funny, which are closely related.”

Of course, he was actually praising someone else: Máirtín Ó Cadhain, the author of the original, the Irish-language classic “Cré na Cille.”

It’s been left to others to hail the translator and his work.

Seamus Deane, for instance, said: “Alan Titley’s translation has the idiomatic speed and eagerness of the original. It has a composer’s grasp of tempo and of thematic signature. It is finally through it that we begin to see the nature of O Cadháin’s achievement. Now, with Titley’s wonderful translation, the great novel lives again.”

What the London Sunday Times reviewer Adam Lively called a “darkly comic masterpiece,” with its “exhilaratingly free-wheeling celebration of all that is worst in human nature,” has been, according to John Banville, “locked away from non-Irish speakers for too long.”

Banville added that Titley, the former professor of Irish at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, and Professor of Modern Irish at UCC, “was just the man to put it into English, and I welcome this wonderfully vigorous translation.”

Titley, who “has seen a goodly part of the world [and] wants to see more,” will be in New York for “The Dirty Dust” events during the last week of April.


Alan Titley

Date of birth: June 28, 1947

Place of birth: Cork City.

Spouse: Mary

Children: Gavan, Keelan, Aoife, Brona, Fergal.

Residence: Glasnevin, Dublin.

Published works: Six novels in Irish, three collections of stories, plays and poetry. In English “Parabolas” (Lagan Press, Belfast), a collection of stories, “A Short History of Gaelic Culture” (O’Brien Press, Dublin), “Nailing Theses: selected essays” (Lagan Press, Belfast).

What is your writing routine?

Sometimes this, sometimes that and sometimes the other. Depends entirely what needs to be done. A lot of writing takes place in the head, and this goes on all the time, even when in slumber deep.

Are there ideal conditions?

I was always used to children outside my door, laughing, talking, squabbling, cracking one another up, so I got used to noise and the patter of humanity. Silence kills me, so human noise, not the radio or the TV, is a great stimulus.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Just put one word in front of another. Then another sentence ahead of that. Then build a paragraph, then a page, then a chapter. Then another one. Keep going till you come to the end. And then, whatever criticism is made of you, take it to your heart, listen to it, and make all those faults and quibbles bigger and worser and awfuller, because that is what makes you you, and not some other dull workshopped dude.

Name three books that are memorable in terms of your reading pleasure.

“The Island of Second Sight” by Albert Vigoleis Thelen; “Autobiography” John Cowper Powys; and “An Béal Bocht/ ‘The Poor Mouth’, Myles na gCopaleen/ Flann O’Brien.

What book are you currently reading?

“Selected Poems” of Yannis Ritsos; Paul Preston’s “The Spanish Holocaust”; Anamlón Bliana,” the diaries of Seán Ó Ríordáin, edited by Tadhg Ó Dúshláine; and “Memory of Fire” by Eduardo Galeano, constantly.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

“The Little Red Book” by Mao Tse Tung, as it was a huge world-wide bestseller.

Name a book that you were pleasantly surprised by.

Fargher’s “English-Manx Dictionary.”

If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?

The guy who wrote ‘The Book of the Apocalypse’ in the New Testament, just to ask him what drugs he was on at the time.

 What book changed your life?

One of the “Rupert the Bear” books. I could read independently for the first time!

What is your favorite spot in Ireland?

Croke Park when Cork win the All-Ireland hurling championship.

You’re Irish if…..

The first question you ask another Irish person whom you meet abroad, even in Ulan Bator, or Tierra del Fuego, is “Where are you from?” And then, you reach for your battery of prejudices and batten down the hatches accordingly.

book cover

Ireland: it’s all about the light

POSTED ON March 27th  - POSTED IN News & Views

Page Turner / Edited by Peter McDermott

Another book of photographs of Ireland? Leslie Conron Carola’s short answer might be “Why not?” But her latest collaboration with leading Irish art historian and archeologist Peter Harbison focuses on a dimension that hasn’t perhaps gotten as much as attention as it deserves.

“Ireland: A Luminous Beauty,” said Carola, is a “look at Ireland and its extraordinary ever-changing, wind-blown, reflective island light through layers of time, a light that shines, reflects, and inspires.

“Stone Age builders knew to orient their structures to maximize the light for visibility and to utilize the seasonal light for phenomenal effects,” she added. “One of the first great pieces of architecture — the 5,000-year-old Newgrange passage-tomb which predates the pyramids of Egypt by more than 500 years – is oriented toward the rising sun at the winter’s solstice on Dec. 21, offering an extraordinary 17-minute light show ushering dawn’s light into the darkest recesses of the tomb.

“The two tallest stones at the front of Drombeg, one of the best-loved stone circles gracing the landscape in County Clare, frame an entrance leading to a point on the horizon where the sun sets on the winter solstice; other stone circles – their very shapes link them to the sun – point toward the midsummer sunrise on the horizon,” Carola said Carola, a long-time writer, editor and independent book producer. “The position of the ancient structures in the landscape heightens our observation and response to the surrounding light. From the icons and artifacts of the ancient world to the textural, colorful contrasts of the natural world and the imagination and style of the cultivated world we journey to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

“Lucky for me I was born into a book-and-music-loving family. Maybe that’s a nature-nurture discussion,” she said. “A frequent comment from my father when I was a child was ‘See it clearly. Take your time. Don’t just look. See it. See it with your mind’s eye.’ And that is how books take shape for me, most often from a very simple idea.

“The evolution of an illustrated book from concept to finished product is an exhilarating journey, one filled with seemingly endless questions, the answers to which provide fodder for more thought and questions,” Carola said. “The visual and text dialogue carry their own weight, running parallel and weaving in and around each other when appropriate, each one supporting and pushing the other. An exciting and stimulating challenge; theatre itself.”


Leslie Conron Carola

Place of birth: Newport, R.I.

Spouse: Robert Carola

Children: Maria Carola, Matthew Carola

Residence: Westport, Conn.

Published works: “Ireland: A Luminous Beauty”; “The Irish: A Treasury Of Art And Literature”; “Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Magic”;   “Wrapped With Style”;   “Irish Folk Tales”; “Magenta Style Paper Magic”;   “Creative Techniques For Stylish Cards Tags, Boxes, And More.”

 What is your writing routine? Are there ideal conditions?  

 Sometimes I scribble random ideas in a notebook to return to later. Other times I work on my computer with a fairly fleshed-out thought, or at least a progression of ideas. It depends on the project. In the early stages I love to have music playing—mostly Mozart.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers:            

Don’t be afraid to start. Small ideas grow into big ones. Slow down and let it happen. Do it.

Name three books that are memorable in terms of your reading pleasure.

It’s interesting to me to see the books I’ve listed here. They confirm my fascination with a sense of place. These are stories of time and place (quite varied places) as much as of the people inhabiting the places. They all implore us to slow down, observe, reflect. And I’ve named four. Difficult to eliminate one of them now that they are here on the list.

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen; “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy; “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “The Sea” by John Banville.

Is there a book you wish you had written?            

 A Mozart biography because I could listen all day to his music whole-heartedly and whole-headily concentrating and responding to it viscerally without feeling it was distracting me from work, but contributing to it necessarily. A joy.

Name a book that you were pleasantly surprised by.

“Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson. A wonderful example of the use of authorial devices and imagination.

If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?

Shakespeare, so I could find out who he really was.

What book are you currently reading?  

“Norah Webster” by Colm Tóibín. Extraordinary. What a stunning book.

What book changed your life?

“To the Actor by Michael Chekhov. Studying theater in college and specifically acting, this book on mastering the process of training your body as a creative instrument was electrifying. The practical work of a series of focused exercises made us more involved, aware, thoughtful and stronger as performers and as individuals. It was a lesson in finding and defining one’s own creative imagination, taking the time to see and express what is beyond the surface.

A few years later at my first interview for a job in publishing, the interview was interrupted by an editor who came in carrying this book. I waited for a brief pause in the editor’s concerned conversation with her boss and then said. “That is one of my favorite books. I didn’t realize you published it.” I think they had just bought the rights and were reissuing the book. They asked why I liked it. I went on and on about how exciting it was to have such practical information for a creative process especially for young actors and all creative people. And they just stared at me. I got the job.

What is your favorite spot in Ireland?    

I don’t think I have just one. I wouldn’t want to limit the choices since I have not seen every spot in Ireland. I love Connemara, Kerry and the sea, the town of Kenmare, Ballymaloe in Cork, Wexford, Trinity College, Dublin. And more.

You’re Irish if…  

you know that the best way to start any conversation is with a cuppa tea. And a Guinness might be a good way to top it off.



It’s a long long way from Clare to here…..

POSTED ON March 19th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

Lorcan Shannon NYC February 2015 Photo; James Higgins © 2015





by Áine Ní Shionnaigh

Lyrics that perhaps pass through Lorcan Shannon’s mind as he zigzags his way out of the morning madness of Grand Central and traverses a bustling Byrant Park to his new office ‘The Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon’ high up on the 39th floor of a midtown skyscraper that accommodates more persons than his native Co Clare.

Lorcan was born and raised in Doolin, a charming small seaside village on the northwest coast of County Clare on Irelands Wild Atlantic Way. Set against the rugged Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the spectacular bare limestone landscape of the Burren, Doolin is renowned the world over as a place of breathtaking beauty and is a haven for traditional music.

Lorcan is a graduate of National University of Ireland, Galway and Duke University School of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) and a Master of Laws (LL.M). He is also admitted to practice law in the State of New York and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Speaking about the launch of his new business, he stated “I’m delighted to announce the opening of my Law Offices here in New York. I have been practicing in Immigration Law for 5 years so it felt appropriate at this time to open my own firm. I am really looking forward to being able to continue to provide for my clients at my new location. We deal with applications from all over the US and the Irish community are always are the heart of our business, so we are thrilled to be able to continue our personalized service under the advocacy of the Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon”.

Lorcan has joined a long tradition of renowned Irish lawyers, many of them from the West of Ireland, making their mark here in NYC. When I meet Lorcan, he displays that typical West of Ireland trait, on the surface, an extremely laid back relaxed attitude which fails to conceal a sharpness of intellect, knowledge and an eagerness and ability to solve the most complex issues that I have encountered previously.  He is without doubt one to watch.

Law and the quest for fairness and rights is a tradition of the Irish which has been enhanced and embedded in tradition by successive generations going back to the Brehon laws. The name Brehon derives it’s name from the Irish word Breitheamh which is derived from Breith, meaning “judgement”. The Brehon Laws of Ireland are among are the oldest known European laws. The Brehons of ancient Ireland were wise men of the family who memorized and applied the laws to settle disputes among members of the family. They are the compilations of generations of learned Irish. The Tudor lawyer John Davies described the Irish people with respect to their laws: “There is no people under the sun that doth love equal and indifferent (impartial) justice better than the Irish, or will rest better satisfied with the execution thereof…”

The Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon, a boutique immigration law practice based in New York City, officially opened last week. The full service immigration firm offers a personalized approach on all immigration matters countrywide in order to guide clients through the immigration process. The expertise of the office will encompass non-immigrant and immigrant visa solutions for clients from various industries and backgrounds and will specialize in providing immigration counsel to entrepreneurs, investors, specialized employees and multinational managers from a range of industries as well as artists, performers and athletes.

The Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon has also formed a strategic partnership with boutique commercial litigation law firm, John Murphy & Associates. Mr. Shannon is Of Counsel to John Murphy & Associates and provides expert immigration advice to an array of corporate clients on behalf of the firm. Like the Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon, John Murphy & Associates combines cutting edge expertise with transparency and personal service.

The Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon will routinely provide expert advice and assistance on O-1, E-2, E-3, L, H-1B, H-3, J-1, F-1, K, TN, and B visas, as well as immigrant visas. Mr. Shannon regularily gives talks and seminars on visa options to the Irish Community around the State of New York at various locations including the Irish Consulate. He will also be attending the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington DC this March to give advice on immigration matters.

The Law Offices of Lorcan Shannon are located at 1450 Broadway, 39th Floor, New York, NY 10018. Please contact Ph: 646 237 7262 or see  for further assistance on all immigration matters.


Teideal: Is bealach fada fada ó Chláir go dtí seo … ..

B’fheidir go dteann na focail seo trí aigne Lorcan Sionainne nuair ata sé ar a bhealach amach as Staisiun Grand Central agus trasnaíonn se thar Byrant Páirc Byrant chuig a oifig nua ‘Oifigí Dlí Lorcáin Sionainne’ ard suas ar an urlár 42ú de foirgneamh ard ait ina bfhuil dócha níos mó daoine ná a dúchais gContae an Chláir.

Rugadh agus tógadh Lorcan i Dúlainn, sráidbhaile cois farraige a fheictear beag ar chósta thiar thuaidh Chontae an Chláir in Éireann. Socraithe in aghaidh an Aigéan Atlantach garbh agus timpeallaithe ag an tírdhreach aolchloiche iontach lom na Boirne, tá Dúlainn cáiliul ar fud an domhain mar áit áilleacht thar bharr agus is tearmann é do cheol traidisiúnta.

Is Lorcán céimí de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Scoil Dlí Duke. Tá Baitsiléir Dlí (LL.B) agus Máistir Dlíthe (LL.M) aige. Tá sé abalta dlí a chleachtadh sa Stát Nua-Eabhrac agus is ball den Eagraiocht Dlíodóirí Inimirce e. Ag labhairt mar gheall ar seoladh a ghnó nua, dúirt sé “Tá mé thar a bheith sásta a fhógairt go bhfuil oscailt mo Oifigí Dlí anseo i Nua-Eabhrac. Bhí mé ag cleachtadh i Dlí Inimirce feadh cuig bliana agus bhraith sé oiriúnach ag an am seo a oscailt mo ghnó féin. Tá mé ag súil go mór le bheith in ann leanúint ar aghaidh a chur ar fáil do mo chliaint ar mo shuíomh nua. Déileálfaimid le hiarratais ó gach cearn den Stát Aontaithe agus an pobal Éireannach atá i gcónaí i gcroílár ár ngnó, mar sin tá athas an domhain orainn a bheith in ann leanúint ar aghaidh lenár seirbhís phearsantaithe faoi abhcóideachta na n-Oifigí Dlí Lorcáin Sionainne “. 

Glacann Lorcan páirt den traidisiún fada dlíodóirí cáiliul na hÉireann, go leor acu ó Iarthar na hÉireann, ag déanamh a rian anseo i Nua Eabhraic. Nuair a bhuailim le Lorcan, léiríonn sé an trait tipiciúil sin o Iarthar na hÉireann, ar an dromchla, dearcadh ‘laid-back’ ach roimh an dromchla sin ta intleacht gear aige agus ta eolas agus díocas agus an cumas ceisteanna a réiteach is casta go bhfuil mé a bhíonn roimhe seo . Tá sé gan amhras ar ‘cheann chun féachaint.’

Is é an dlí agus tóraíocht ar cothroime agus ar chearta traidisiún na hÉireann atá feabhsaithe agus leabaithe i traidisiún ag na glúnta a chéile ag dul ar ais go dtí na dlíthe Brehon. An t-ainm Brehon, eascraíonn an t-ainm ón bhfocal Gaeilge Breitheamh atá díorthaithe ó Breith, a chiallaíonn “breithiúnas”. Is iad na Dlíthe Brehon na hÉireann i measc na dlíthe is sine i Eorpach ar eolas. B’iad na fhéineachais na hÉireann ársa fir ciallmhar an teaghlaigh a chruthu na dlíthe chun díospóidí a réiteach i measc bhaill den teaghlach. Is iad chnuasach na nglún de fhoghlaim na Gaeilge. Rinne an dlíodóir Tudor, John Davies, cur síos ar mhuintir na hÉireann i leith a gcuid dlíthe: “Níl aon duine faoi na gréine a doth grá cothrom agus ceartas níos fearr ná an Ghaeilge, nó eile níos fearr sásta leis a fhorghníomhú …”

D’oscail na hOifigí Dlí Lorcáin Sionainne, cleachtas dlí inimirce siopa atá bunaithe i Nua-Eabhrac, an tseachtain seo caite. Cuireann an comhlacht inimirce seirbhís iomlán cúrsaí an cur chuige pearsanta ar gach inimirce na tíre d’fhonn do chliaint a threorú tríd an bpróiseas inimirce. Beidh an saineolas na hoifige a chuimsiú neamh-inimirceach agus réitigh víosa inimirceach do chliaint ó na tionscail agus ó chúlraí éagsúla agus beidh speisialtóireacht i soláthar comhairle inimirce do fiontraithe, infheisteoirí, fostaithe speisialaithe agus bainisteoirí ilnáisiúnta ó raon tionscal chomh maith le healaíontóirí, taibheoirí agus lúthchleasaithe.

The long and winding avenue

POSTED ON March 13th  - POSTED IN News & Views

The New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been making headlines since its birth 254 years ago. But the last twenty-five parades, while in the news for numerous reasons, have generated a consistent story associated with the argument over whether or not to include a gay and lesbian group with an identifying banner in the line of march. The story opens in 1991, a distant year that, given recent headlines, seems to be not so far in the past after all.

Mary Holt Moore was the second woman grand marshal but the 230th parade would also be remembered for the attempt by the newly emerged Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization to secure a place in the line of march. The group was turned down by parade organizers but invited to march by a division of AOH members. The parade was marred by the behavior of some spectators who threw beer cans, coins and other objects at New York Mayor David Dinkins, members of AOH Div. 7 and ILGO, who were marching together as one unit. Some parade organizers turned their backs on ILGO and their fellow marchers as they reached the Fifth Avenue official reviewing stand. Rifts within the Hibernians and between the parade committee and the Hibernian leadership, were becoming visible. By June, relations between the AOH leadership and parade organizers deteriorated to the point that the parade committee chairman, Frank Beirne, was suspended from the order, and thus the parade committee, for refusing to cooperate with an AOH State Board inquiry.

The battle over the shape and future of the parade reached the courts and there was talk of an AOH split, and even two parades. The New York State Board eventually secured the parade permit, but, as part of an agreement between itself and the County Board, the actual running of the parade was left to the County Board which had sued the State Board in court. As part of the agreement, parade chairman Beirne agreed to relinquish his chairmanship.
The Hibernians had more than an internal rift to deal with as they faced a federal lawsuit brought by New York City and ILGO resulting from the decision to exclude the gay group from the 231st parade. In the end, a federal judge declined to intervene and the parade stepped off in a snow shower headed by Grand Marshal Connie Doolan. Before the parade, ILGO staged its own march on part of Fifth Avenue, with the city’s permission.

“Parade War Getting Nasty” was a front page headline in the Irish Echo six weeks before the 232nd march. New York City gave the parade permit to a recently formed group of Hibernians, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Inc. This group supported ILGO’s inclusion in the line of march. The move infuriated the AOH leadership to the point that the AOH national president, George Clough, called for a Hibernian boycott of the parade. Fearing a “partitioned” parade, the ILGO-backing committee withdrew, thus leaving the field to the traditional parade committee that was linked to the AOH New York County Board. With only days to go before the parade, this group secured the parade permit in a federal court battle against the New York City Human Rights Commission. ILGO threatened a counter-march down Fifth Avenue and former parade committee chairman Frank Beirne, now being described as parade “coordinator,” called for marchers walking in the parade up the avenue to pray and carry rosary beads. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly banned the ILGO march, but the group protested nevertheless and 230 members and supporters were arrested. The parade stepped out in the rain without a grand marshal, but was headed by eleven people who would otherwise have been the grand marshal’s aides.

Popular Queens Rep. Tom Manton was chosen as grand marshal for the 233rd consecutive parade. Manton’s elevation was announced by new parade committee chairman, John Dunleavy, even after other potential grand marshals were gearing up for an election. There were rumbles of discontent from parade-affiliated groups, most especially Emerald Societies, who were unhappy with a process that appeared to be now more of a selection than an election.
The parade itself passed into history in cold, clear weather. More than one hundred ILGO members were arrested after a street protest at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Cardinal John O’Connor, in a homily at the pre-parade Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, denied that the decision to bar ILGO from marching under its own banner was divisive or bigoted. “If it is a disgrace to be Irish, or a disgrace to be Catholic, I am proud to stand before you in disgrace,” he told the packed congregation.

Cardinal O’Connor made parade history as the first Archbishop of New York to lead the parade as grand marshal. Parade chairman Dunleavy promised “one of the greatest parades ever” and indeed there was something of a new spring in the parade step in the aftermath of the IRA calling a cease-fire the previous August. ILGO went to court in an effort to protest its exclusion along the entire parade route. This time the group was opposed by New York City on public order grounds. U.S. District Court Judge John F. Keenan ruled that ILGO had the right to proclaim its sexuality and Irish heritage, but that such a right was not absolute. Barred from the parade route, ILGO again protested at 42nd Street and 91 members were arrested. Cardinal O’Connor led the 234th parade in brilliant sunshine.

Oh what a difference a year made. The 235th parade stepped out against the backdrop of a renewed IRA campaign and, in response to the renewed violence, organizers dedicated the parade to peace in Ireland. Appropriately, the parade was headed by Grand Marshal Bill Flynn, who had risen to prominence in as a member of the Irish American peace delegation to the North. ILGO went to federal court again, failed to secure entry to the parade route in order to protest, and then staged what was now an annual protest at 42nd and Fifth. Forty-three were arrested.

One hundred years after feuding Hibernians ended a split and mounted one parade, an air of unanimity descended on the 236th parade, which was dedicated to the victims of the Great Hunger in Ireland. With Dr. John Lahey leading the parade as grand marshal, a minute’s silence descended on Fifth Avenue in memory of those countless victims. With the exception of a news helicopter overhead, that silence was absolute. ILGO again protested and made the point that their protest, like the parade, was now “consecutive” In their case, the seventh consecutive.

A row erupted over the selection of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds as grand marshal. A number of individuals and parade-affiliated groups were angry over the fact that Reynolds was from outside the U.S. Some claimed that he was not even a Hibernian, though the parade committee said that he was. Reynolds led the 237th parade under sunny skies and the “Pikemen” of 1798 were remembered from one end of the line of march – which included Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness – to the other. The line of march, published free in the Echo for over 40 years, was not forthcoming from the parade committee prior to the parade; neither was an explanation for its denial. ILGO, meanwhile, staged protest number eight. There were 14 arrests.

A calm year by recent standards. Actress Maureen O’Hara turned out to be one of the most popular grand marshals of all time judging by crowd reaction along Fifth Avenue during the 238TH parade. ILGO was not so impressed by nostalgia and staged its annual protest. Seventeen were arrested. The Irish American weekly papers were again without the line of march.

A new millennium for everybody was a tenth anniversary for ILGO. The group moved its street protest uptown to 59th Street to mark ten years of exclusion from the parade. Hundreds took part in the protest and about 70 were arrested. Down Fifth Avenue, however, the majority of people were noting an absence and a presence. The absence was that of an ailing Cardinal O’Connor from the reviewing stand outside St. Patrick’s. The presence was that of First Lady and New York Senate candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who marched in the parade to as many boos as cheers. The 239th parade was led by Grand Marshal Dr. Kevin Cahill under snowy skies and again the line of march was denied the Irish weeklies.

The 240th parade, now being run by the Bill Flynn-headed St. Patrick’s Day Parade Corporation, this according to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee, turned out to be the calm interlude before yet another storm. A growing showdown between the Hibernian national and state leadership and parade organizers was long-fingered until after the parade which was led by Grand Marshal Edward Malloy, and, following the death of Cardinal O’Connor, reviewed for the first time by Cardinal Edward Egan. ILGO stayed off Fifth Avenue this time, preferring to camp alongside the parade route a couple of blocks north of St. Patrick’s. The Echo, helped by marching groups in the parade, printed a line of march of its own. The parade passed without major incident. However, within weeks, differences between the Hibernian leadership and parade organizers over matters such as the permit and finances erupted into full public view with the national and state leadership moving to cut all ties with both the parade committee and corporation.

It was a case of rainy skies but rain holding. The parade itself seemed to be on a similar knife edge but this was not entirely due to the gay marching issue, indeed far from it as this was the first parade after 9/11. Cardinal Edward Egan became the second archbishop to step off as grand marshal and his spiritual power was matched by the political with the likes of Michael Bloomberg, George Pataki, Rudolph Giuliani, Hugh Carey, ED Koch, now Senator Hillary Clinton and Congressman Joe Crowley taking to the avenue. Rep. Crowley marched in memory of his cousin, firefighter John Moran. Irish President Mary McAleese was on the reviewing stand. The gay marching issue was in the shade but two groups protested. At 54th and 5th fifty ILGO members rallied under the banner “All our heroes gay and straight.” At 59th and 5th fifty members of a new group, Irish Queers held a silent black flag protest aimed at Bloomberg who had said he would not march in exclusionary parades. Firefighters had wanted a fire truck to lead the parade but the parade committee said no. ILGO had banners with fire trucks on them stating “they won’t let us in either. This parade would be especially remembered for the 343 flags, signifying the FDNY dead of 9/11 carried by probationary firefighters. At one point the entire parade turned to face south to where the world trade towers had stood only months before. There was a minute’s silence that all present will never forget

A warm sunny day, 62 degrees, though under the clouds of war. The Fighting 69th seemed to be marching with extra urgency. President Bush was to address the nation that evening about Iraq. The grand marshal was James O’Connor of the Ford Motor Company. Mayor Bloomberg and Police commissioner Ray Kelly marched as did other political luminaries including George Pataki, James McGreevy, Ed Koch, and Rudy Giuliani. There was a protest staged by ILGO but it was relatively low key. The parade dedicated to five deceased chairmen of the parade committee including the now deceased Francis Beirne who had stood against the first efforts of ILGO to march in the parade under its own banner back in 1991.

There was snow, though the conditions were better than the day before. The grand marshal was Tommy Gleason who began his parade by calling out “For G Company, 23rd” – a reference to his World War II Marine Corps comrades. One participant in the parade was named Sam Maguire, not a person but the All Ireland trophy. The Echo duly reported: “The exclusion of gay groups marching under their own banner is not the visible hot potato it was a few years ago. The ILGO was not noticeable in this parade though the group’s place on the sideline was taken by the kindred organization, Irish Queers. A small band of IQ protestors took up position opposite the Plaza Hotel and gave interviews to reporters in search of a line that wasn’t based on green paint, or the white weather.”

The 244th parade was headed by grand marshal Denis Kelleher. The 69th was away in Iraq so just a few members marched backed up by members of the famed regiment’s veterans’ corps. Many members of the FDNY wore Green Berets in defiance of a departmental order. It was a rather Irish day weather-wise, with a winter morning followed by a spring afternoon. Irish Queers held a St. Patrick’s Eve demonstration outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a “Black Flag” protest on parade route.

The fighting 69th was back in town “wounded but unbowed” as a report put it. The members of “Taskforce Wolfhound,” drawn from New York and Louisiana, marched proudly to loud applause and cheering. The grand marshal was Timothy Rooney. The weather forecast was dire but the day was fine. Irish Queers protested and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn mounted a “button boycott.” Quinn, herself gay, had wanted to march with a lapel button in support of gay rights, but this idea was rejected by parade organizers.

There was a lot of snow and slush on the avenue after a bad day before the parade but the march itself went off on a sunny though chilly day. The biggest flap was between firefighters and parade organizers over the former’s place in line of march. Firefighters, mostly FDNY members, were moved back in the line of march after New Orleans firefighters the year before had unfurled a banner thanking FDNY for post-Hurricane Katrina help. The parade committee said the parade had been held up for 35 minutes as a result. The grand marshal was former Boston mayor Ray Flynn. The New York City Council paraded without Speaker Christine Quinn who was marching in Dublin. Irish Queers again protested the denial of a chance to march under their own banner.

Fine weather greeted marchers led by grand marshal Tommy Smyth. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was named in the line of march but he had quit the governorship by the time the parade was just a couple of hours old. New Jersey stand in governor Richard Codey stepped in to host the traditional governor’s breakfast at the Waldorf. Mayor Bloomberg ended up skipping the parade as he headed for Albany and the swearing in of new governor, David Paterson. Commissioner Ray Kelly led the city’s representation in the parade. Irish Queers protested at IQ at 57th St. but given the day that was in it their protest attracted less attention than previous years.

It was a case of blue skies over the green line in a parade led by grand marshal Michael Gibbons. The 69th, who had been away again, this time in Afghanistan, were back home. Mayor Michael Bloomberg marched as did New York Governor David Paterson. The Echo reported that Irish gay activists staged what is now “their hardy annual protest on 57th St. and Fifth Avenue. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the council itself stayed away.

The parade, the 249th consecutive, stepped off in warm sunshine. The parade route still stretched from 44th to 86th Streets but the city was signaling that it wanted a shortened parade route. The grand marshal was Ray Kelly. Ever a man of action, on his way to Mass at St. Patrick’s – the first to be celebrated by new archbishop, Timothy Dolan – he tended to a woman knocked down by a bicycle. The weather brought out huge crowds. Irish Queers mounted their picket just north and across the avenue from St. Patrick’s. Speaker Quinn and the City Council continued their boycott.

A landmark parade, the 250th consecutive. Grand Marshal Mary Higgins Clark led the way in a horse-drawn carriage under sunny skies. As had been the case for twenty years there were gay activists at the 250th protesting their banner-topped exclusion from the parade.

A sunny and warm day greeted the grand marshal, Francis X. Comerford. The parade was dedicated by the organizing committee to the nation’s veterans, now returning in significant numbers from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. The parade was reviewed by Archbishop Dolan, now in his cardinal’s red hat. The route was shorter, ending at 79th and 5th but this prompted argument because the end fell shy of the American Irish Historical Society. Irish queers mounted their annual protest. Speaker Quinn and the city council were again absent.

Another one of those Irish days, though this time a dry morning was followed by a snowy afternoon. The grand marshal was Al Smith IV. Taoiseach Enda
Kenny marched with United Irish Counties. Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Peter King all marched. Christine Quinn, now a mayoral candidate, stayed away again. Irish Queers staged their traditional picket. Congressional sequester cuts meant that army brass, including the Chairman of the Joints chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, has to skip the parade.

The parade took place in frigid conditions. Grand Marshal Jack Ahern, who was ailing, took to the parade route in a vintage car. New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio and the City Council stayed away, and sponsors Guinness and Heineken pulled out at the last minute as a result of a reinvigorated row over the exclusion of a gay banner from the parade. De Blasio, however, did attend Mass at St. Patrick’s. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton marched as did Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Irish Queers staged their protest.

The 2015 parade, at the time of writing, will include a gay group marching under its own banner for the first time and parade sponsors, not least Guinness, have renewed support. But Mayor de Blasio and the City Council are not expected to march because the invited gay group, made up of NBC employees, is not, in their view, representative enough of the Irish and Irish American community. Irish Queers is planning to protest. So after 25 parades featuring an annual standoff over the matter of an identifiable gay marching group, there has been progress and change, enough for some, not enough for others.

Compiled by Ray O’Hanlon

Cardinal Edward Egan dead at 82

POSTED ON March 5th  - POSTED IN News & Views

Egan jpg

Cardinal Edward Egan, former spiritual leader of over two million Catholics in the Archdiocese of New York, died Thursday at the age of 82.

The cardinal was pronounced dead at NYU Langone Medical Center. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Cardinal Egan was born on April 2, 1932, in Oak Park, Illinois. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on December 15, 1957.

In 2000, he was appointed Archbishop of New York and made a cardinal in 2001. He retired in May, 2009.

Cardinal Egan’s death came just days before his successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is to lead the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade as its grand marshal.

ardinal Edward Egan, former spiritual leader of over two million Catholics in the Archdiocese of New York, died Thursday at the age of 82.

The cardinal was pronounced dead at NYU Langone Medical Center. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Cardinal Egan was born on April 2, 1932, in Oak Park, Illinois. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on December 15, 1957.

In 2000, he was appointed Archbishop of New York and made a cardinal in 2001. He retired in May, 2009.

Cardinal Egan’s death came just days before his successor, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is to lead the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade as its grand marshal.

Cardinal Egan was grand marshal in 2002.

Castlerea Calling ………

POSTED ON March 5th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

by Áine Ní Shionnaigh

There’s just something about Castlerea, a town where I spent most weekends as a child that continually draws me back in. An authentic Irish town, located in the West of Co. Roscommon, it has remained untouched by both the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger. Economically, this is challenging, but the town retains an untouched quality which is most appealing. During my childhood, I spent almost every Sunday in Castlerea. My two grandaunts, Aunt Sis and Aunt Win, had immigrated to Chicago in the twenties and had returned to Castlerea armed with more than a flavor of the Midwest. They lived right on the Main Street in the middle of the town and I got to know the town and its people through their eyes. I was lucky in that I got to spend time with them most weekends, time that I only appreciate fully now. If I could have time back with them, I would do one thing differently, I would ask more questions and wait for the answers.

When my grandaunts finished primary school in the tiny townland of Monasteraden, Co Sligo, there were no options: no secondary school, no third level college, no jobs, so they stayed in that small schoolroom in the back row concentrating on needlework, art and handwriting at which they excelled. Not surprisingly when an elderly aunt in Chicago offered an opportunity, they were quickly propelled across the Atlantic Ocean to Chicago. They went with hope in their hearts that this new city in a country they knew nothing about would grip their imagination, provide them with lifelong friendships and love, and forever alter their ideas about what life could potentially be at its fullest.
It was the roaring 20’s. Life in Chicago was pretty fast. I like to imagine that they drove automobiles, went to movies, listened to jazz, danced in chiffon gowns at palatial parties. Aunt Sis (Mary McHugh) and Aunt Win (Winifred McHugh) spent many years working at Sears Roebuck in Chicago but eventually returned and settled in Castlerea next door to each other and remained there until they passed away in the 80’s.
Just last week, my cousin found a diary which my third Grandaunt, Aunt Katherine or Kit as she was known, started when she arrived in Chicago. It read ‘Today is the first day of the rest of my life’. The rest of the diary was blank, I would love to fill in some of her blank pages but my imagination will only bring me so far. Aunt Kit (Katherine McHugh) was born in 1892 in Monasteraden and immigrated to Chicago with Sis and Win. However, she didn’t make it back and she was never spoken about. There are two stories told: that she died in childbirth, she died when her child was 2 years old. She died in Chicago. I have never heard who she married, when she married, who her child is, where her child is. I have never even seen a photograph of her. Also my grand-uncle Peter McHugh left Monasteraden for Canada. He was born in 1896 and passed away in 1949 in Canada and those are the only two facts that are known about my granduncle.
So hopefully if I get to travel to the Windy City this spring, I may find some long lost cousins. I’ll keep you all updated.


Dear Editor, I live in Shipley a small town in West Yorkshire England. My grandfather Wille Ryan moved to Shipley with his elder brother Richard (born 1896) in the 1920’s. Both came from Wilsbrook near Castlerea in County Roscommon Ireland. Richard left for New York in 1924 on the SS Cedric with his wife Ellen and son William. My mother and aunt are keen to trace their uncle Richards children. The passenger register indicates they were going to stay with Ellen’s brother a Joseph Cassidy who lived at 856 53rd street Brooklyn. I have contacted various organizations in New York. I have a bit more information from the 1940 census but appreciate your very busy and given the scale of immigration to the USA. I would appreciate any information to be sent to the editor. Kind regards David.


Ta rud éigin faoi Caisleáin an Riabhaigh, baile áit ar chaith mé an chuid is mó do mo shaol nuair a bhi me og. Tarraingíonn mé ar ais I gconai. An baile barántúla na hÉireann, atá lonnaithe in Iarthar Chontae Ros Comáin, nil tionchar ar bith on ardú agus titim dá cheann de na Ceilteach Tiger. Go heacnamaíoch, tá sé seo dúshlánach, ach coinníonn an baile ar chaighdeán nadurtha atá is tarraingtí. Le linn mo óige, chaith mé beagnach gach Domhnach sa Chaisleán Riabhach. Mo dhá seanaintini, Aintín Sis agus Aintín Win, a chuaigh thar lear go Chicago sna fichidí agus a thainig ar ais chuig An Caisleán Riabhach armtha le níos mó ná blas an Midwest. Chónaigh siad ar dheis ar an phríomhshráid i lár an bhaile agus fuair mé an eolais faoin mbaile agus a muintir trína súile. Bhí an tádh orm sa mhéid is go bhfuair mé am a chaitheamh leo an chuid is mó ag an deireadh seachtaine, am a meas mé ach go hiomlán anois. Má raibh an am ar ais agam, ba mhaith liom a dhéanamh rud amháin éagsúil, ba mhaith liom a iarraidh níos mó ceisteanna agus fanacht ar na freagraí.

Nuair a chríochnaigh mo seanaintini an mbunscoil i mbaile beag bídeach Monasteraden, Contae an Shligigh, ní raibh aon rogha acu, ni raibh aon mheánscoil, aon coláiste tríú leibhéal, aon postanna agus mar sin d’fhan siad sa seomra rangaa beag i ndiaidh a chéile ar ais ag díriú ar ‘needlework’, ealaín agus peannaireacht ag a barr feabhais. Ní nach ionadh nuair a thairg aintín scothaosta i Chicago deis, bhí siad inneallghluaiste go tapa ar fud an Aigéan Atlantach go Chicago. Chuaigh siad le áthas ina gcroí go dti an chathair nua seo i dtír a fhios acu aon rud faoi a bheadh greim a gcuid samhlaíochta, a chur ar fáil dóibh le cairdeas ar feadh an tsaoil agus grá, agus go deo a gcuid smaointe faoi na rudaí a saol d’fhéadfadh a bheith d’fhéadfadh a bheith ag a iomláine a athrú.
Ba iad na fichidi. Bhí an saol i Chicago go leor go tapaidh. Is maith liom a shamhlú go thiomáin siad glusteain, chuaigh said go dtí scannáin, d’éist said le snagcheol, chuaigh said go rince i gunai ag na páirtithe palatial. Chaith Aintín Sis (Mary McHugh) agus Aintín Win (Winifred McHugh) blianta fada caite ag obair ag Roebuck Sear i Chicago, ach sa deireadh thainig said ar ais agus socru iad i Chaisleán Riabhach, comharsana beal doras agus d’fhan said ann go dtí na hochtaidi nuair a fuair said bas.

An tseachtain seo caite, fuair mo chol ceathrair dialann i dtaobh mo thríú Grandaunt, Aintín Katherine nó Kit mar raibh aithne uirthi, thosaigh nuair a tháinig sí i Chicago. Léigh sé ‘Is é lá atá inniu ann an chéad lá den chuid eile de mo shaol’. Ba é an chuid eile den dialann bán, ba mhaith liom grá a líonadh i roinnt de na h leathanaigh bán, ach beidh mo shamhlaíocht a thabhairt dom ach go dtí seo. Aintín Kit (Katherine McHugh) Rugadh i 1892 i Monasteraden agus immigrated go Chicago le SIS agus Win. Mar sin féin, ní raibh sí é a dhéanamh ar ais agus ní raibh sí á labhairt faoi. Tá dhá scéalta a dúirt: go fuair sí bás i luí seoil, fuair sí bás nuair a bhí a leanbh 2 bhliain d’aois. Fuair sí bás i Chicago. Ní raibh mé riamh chuala a phós sí, nuair a phós sí, a bhfuil a leanbh, áit a bhfuil a leanbh. Ní fhaca mé fiú grianghraf de di. Chomh maith leis sin mo mhór-uncail Peter McHugh fhág Monasteraden do Cheanada. Rugadh é i 1896 agus fuair bás i 1949 i gCeanada agus iad siúd dá ach fíricí go bhfuil ar eolas faoi mo granduncle.

Language and Resistance – Dr. Feargal MacIonnrachtaigh

POSTED ON March 5th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

15.3.5. Feargal Lecture2- Lowell poster






by Áine Ní Shionnaigh

The Barra Ó Donnabháin lecture is an annual lecture established by Glucksman Ireland House NYU in 2006. It commemorates Barra Ó Donnabháin, a beloved and influential teacher and advocate of the Irish language. Ó Donnabháin, from Leap, Co. Cork, took a degree in Irish and Latin at University College, Cork and immigrated to the US in 1963. One of the leading Irish linguists in the tri-state area, Barra wrote an Irish language column in the Irish Echo for many years as well as contributing essays and articles to a variety of other publications.

On Saturday next, March 7th, Dr. Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh who is travelling all the way from Belfast will deliver the tenth annual Barra Ó Donnabháin Lecture on ‘Ó Chumann Chluain Árd go dtí an LÁ DEARG’- Ag Tógáil Gaelphobail ón Bhun Aníos i dtuaisceart na hÉireann”; or, “From Cumann Chluain Árd to An LÁ DEARG: Building Gaelic Communities from the Bottom Up in the North of Ireland.” This lecture will be delivered bilingually in English and in Irish. There will be introductions by Professors Pádraig Ó Cearúill and Hilary Mhic Suibhne of Glucksman Ireland House NYU. To ensure a seat at this event which is already heavily booked, please call or email Glucksman Ireland House NYU on 212-998-3950 or

Dr Feargal is one of the best examples of the success of Irish Medium Education in the North of Ireland. He is a product of Irish Medium Education, attending Colaiste Feirste in West Belfast which is the only Irish medium high school in the North of Ireland. He then attended Queens University, Belfast and completed his PhD thesis in 2009 which was published last year as a book: Language, Resistance and Revival: Republican Prisoners and the Irish Language in the North of Ireland.

This book has been widely acclaimed throughout Ireland, the UK and the US and the second edition is already being published. The contents of the book relate to a wide variety of research interests from sociolinguistics to identity politics and critical criminology. Dr Feargal works full time as a Project Worker with the Gaeltacht Quarter Irish Language development Agency, Forbairt Feirste. He is chairperson of Upper Springfield Irish Language organisation, Glór na Móna. He appears regularly as a commentator on Raidió Fáilte and Raidió na Gaeltachta and contributes Irish language opinions pieces to the Andersonstown News and Nósmag. He is also a prominent member of the Feachtas Dearg campaign. Further information:

Dr Feargal will speak about the background to the demise of the Irish language as Ireland’s spoken language due to Ireland’s cultural colonisation under British rule.

A central part is his own personal experience growing up as a product of the Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht Community in the 60’s, a grass roots community force which started the first Irish medium education in the North of Ireland. He also analyses the politics of incarceration in the Long Kesh (H Block) prison and the role the Irish language played in the prisoners struggle against the overt cultural discrimination of the British state.

He will discuss the Peace Process in the North of Ireland and how the promises laid out in the Good Friday Agreement were still not adhered to which has resulted in a political reawakening taking place, again starting at grass root level culminating in last year’s historic Irish language rights rally, AN LÁ DEARG. This movement reawakening has indirectly resulted in two very significant victories for the Irish language movement in the North of Ireland in the past few months. As a result of an Lá Dearg rally, Irish medium parents from North Belfast organised themselves into Tuistí an Tuaiscirt, a campaigning group to try to get closure on the long standing demand for transport for Irish medium pupils. Following a long campaign, the department eventually agreed to follow through on promises made in the GFA to facilitate Irish medium education and provide the transport. Secondly and equally important, the department agreed to support the creation of a standalone Irish medium high school in Derry as up to now, kids had to be transported to Colaiste Feirste in Belfast. Although two significant victories were achieved towards the end of 2014 thanks to the political re-awakening and campaigning culture, there is still a lot more to be achieved, mainly the campaign for a rights-based Irish language act.

Feargal will be giving the following talks in Boston and Brooklyn in addition to the Barra Ó Donnabháin lecture at Glucksman Ireland House, NYU.

Thursday March 5th, UMass Lowell Boston 5 pm Reception 6 pm Talk and Discussion

Saturday March 7th, 7 pm Glucksman Ireland House, NYU, NYC

Sunday March 8th, 7 pm Rocky Sullivan’s of Red Hook, Brooklyn

Is é an léacht Barra Ó Donnabháin léacht bhliantúil a bunaíodh le Glucksman Ireland House NYU i 2006. Comóradh ar Barra Ó Donnabháin, múinteoir cáiliúil. Rugadh agus togadh Ó Donnabháin i Leap, Co. Chorcaí. Ghlac se céim sa Ghaeilge agus sa Laidin i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh agus d’astraigh se go dtí na Stáit Aontaithe i 1963. Ceann de na teangeolaithe tosaigh Gaeilge sa cheantar trí-stáit, scríobh Barra an colún Gaeilge ins an Irish Echo ar feadh blianta fada, chomh maith le aistí cur agus earraí ar éagsúlacht na foilseacháin eile.

Ar an Satharn seo chugainn, 7 Márta, tá Dr Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh ag taisteal ó mBéal Feirste chun leacht a thabhairt ar an deichiú bliantúil Léacht Barra Ó Donnabháin ar ‘Ó Chumann Chluain Árd go dtí an LÁ DEARG’- Ag Tógáil Gaelphobail ón Bhun Aníos i dtuaisceart na hÉireann”. Beidh an léacht a sheachadadh go dátheangach i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge. Beidh an Ollúna Pádraig Ó Cearúill agus Hilary Mhic Suibhne na Glucksman Ireland House NYU ag deanamh aitne. Chun a chinntiú suíochán ag an ócáid seo a chur in áirithe go mór cheana féin, cuir glaoch nó seol ríomhphost Glucksman Ireland House NYU ar 212-998-3950 nó

Is é Feargal an shampla is fearr den Gaeloideachas i Tuaisceart na hEirinn. Is táirge é Feargal don Ghaeloideachas in Iarthar Bhéal Feirste, an taon meanscoil i Tuaisceart na hEirinn. D’fhreastail sé ar Ollscoil na Banríona, áit ar chomhlíon sé tráchtas PHD sa bhliain 2009. Dá thairbhe sin, foilsíodh an tráchtas mar leabhar anuraidh, dar teideal Language, Resistance and Revival: Republican Prisoners and the Irish Language in the North of Ireland le Pluto Press.

I ndiaidh rath na gcamchuairteanna leabhair in Éirinn, sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus sna Stáit Aontaithe, cuireadh an dara eagrán den leabhar amach. Sa bhreis air sin, tá neart alt agus páipéar foilsithe aige ag comhdhálacha acadúla ar fud na hEorpa bunaithe ar thaighde ildisciplíneach ar nós sochtheangeolaíochta, ceartas idirthréimhseach, léann Éireannach, stair na hÉireann, cultúir agus féiniúlachta, polaitíochta agus coireolaíocht chriticiúil. Is ball den Feachtas Dearg é Feargal a oibríonn go lánaimseartha mar oibrí tionscadail le Forbairt Feirste, eagraíocht forbartha Gaeilge sa Cheathrú Ghaeltachta, agus is cathaoirleach é ar Ghlór na Móna chomh maith, eagraíocht Ghaeilge san Uachtar Chluanaí. Is minic a bhíonn sé mar thráchtaire ar Raidió Fáilte agus Raidió na Gaeltachta agus é ag cur barúil na Gaeilge chun tosaigh i bpíosaí scríbhneoireachta in The Andersonstown News agus i Nósmag. Tuilleadh eolais:

In Dublin’s Fair City ………

POSTED ON February 13th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

Feb 11th page 8

The largest small town in the world

by Áine Ní Shionnaigh

Last week, I wrote about the magical transformation of the Dublin docklands into the most highly regarded global business and technology hub in Europe. However, the real magic of Dublin is that it’s not only a tech hub but has always been a literary and creative hub which combines to give this city an energy and spirit that cannot be recreated elsewhere. Similar to natural beauty, you either have it or you haven’t and Dublin most definitely has it. Dublin is a master blend of youth and tradition which effortlessly produces an authentic cool vibe blending old Dublin charm and character with new Dublin cool and creative.

Dublin is the largest small town in the world. The original small-town feeling has not been lost. It is a haven for foodies and coffee connoisseurs alike. Craft butchers, traditional bakeries still lie nestled amongst European-style coffee houses and great restaurants boasting world cuisines using local organic raw ingredients. Dublin boasts an abundance of artisan offerings: local meats, artisan breads, craft beers, vintage whiskies and meads, all in all an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants.

To paraphrase Dan Barry when he was describing Pete Hamill, “if the cobblestones of the Dublin streets could speak, they would sound like” James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Hugh Leonard and Maeve Binchy. Dubliners and indeed the Irish at large are renowned for being descriptive, historical and humorous; in short a melodic mélange of poets, artists, dreamers, fashionistas, foodies and storytellers. 

You see Dublin has a long history of being a cosmopolitan trading center. Back in the ninth Century, the Vikings made medieval Dublin a trading center, world renowned for wealthy merchants, meat and fish sellers, bakers and brewers which is now being revived.

The physical remains of medieval Dublin can be seen today in the Cathedral Quarter around St Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and Dublin Castle which was the administrative center for medieval Ireland. Dublin is world renowned for its architecture, it developed from a rough stonewalled medieval town to a graceful Georgian city. It boasts some of the best preserved Georgian architecture in Europe – most famously: Trinity College, Irish Parliament House and The Four Courts.

 For those looking for culture outside the hustle and bustle of the immediate city center, Dublin now has an ultra-modern enviable train and tram system, the DART and the LUAS that transport people to these small surrounding villages within a very short timeframe.  Many of these villages are conveniently within walking distance of the city center.

Smithfield is the location of the old fruit and fish market, an intricate web of worn cobblestones and character. Urban art projects such as the Smithfield Art Tunnel and Block T provide gallery, studio and community spaces for visitors and locals. The Old Jameson Distillery is a delight to behold, opposite of which is what used to be my favorite haunt in Dublin, The Lighthouse Cinema, recently voted by Artinfo as one of the coolest cinemas in the world! Showcasing some of the best Irish and International films in the world. Stoneybatter is the original inner-city Dublin. It is one of the last bastions of Old Dublin. A strong community spirit abounds. It is currently full of artistic endeavors: screen-printers, gallery spaces, an internationally renowned publishing house and bookshop and a recording studio. The Stoneybatter Guild is almost like a mini Etsy providing artists with a commercial environment in which to nurture their art and make it into a sustaining business.

Further afield, fifteen minutes on the DART, north of the city lies the village of Howth, a historic fishing village, a haven for foodies who like seafood. Outdoor activities such s hiking, scuba diving and sailing abound. William Butler Yeats spent some of his childhood here in a cute cottage on Balscadden road that still bears his name.

Fifteen minutes on the Southside of the city is Dalkey, a Mediterranen like village, Dublin’s original seaside resort village. It boasts stunning views of the ocean and a range of outdoor activities from abseiling in Dalkey quarry to taking a dip in the nip at The Vico outdoor swimming spot. It is also bursting with literary tradition, Maeve Binchy was born and lived here as a writer and Hugh Leonard one of our most famous playwrights lived here and based many of his plays here.

What makes Dublin special is the people. Everywhere you go, Dublin is heaving with smiling people that lift your spirits and have time to talk. That’s the magic of the Irish, we still have time to talk, time to be.

Welcome to Dublin.

An tseachtain seo caite, scríobh mé mar gheall ar an claochlú draíochta na dugthailte Bhaile Átha Cliath ar an mol gnó agus teicneolaíochta domhanda is mó a mheas san Eoraip. Ach, ta se tabhachtacht a ra go bhfuil nios mo na mol ardteicneolaíochta I mBaile Atha Cliath ach i gcónaí bhiodh mol liteartha agus cruthaitheach a thugann fuinneamh agus spiorad nach féidir a cruthu in áit eile. Cosúil le áilleacht nádúrtha, tá tú ceachtar ‘sé nó nach bhfuil tú’ tá sé agus Baile Átha Cliath an chuid is mó cinnte é. Is i mBaile Átha Cliath ata meascán óige agus traidisiún a cruthaionn ‘vibe’ barántúla fionnuar cruthaitheah.

Is é Baile Átha Cliath an baile beag is mó ar domhan. Níl an mothú beag-baile caillte. Is tearmann é do ‘foodies’ agus ‘connoisseurs’ caife araon. Búistéirí ceardaíochta, báicéireachta traidisiúnta fós bréag ghleoite i measc tithe caife na hEorpa-stíl agus bialanna mór ag diol bain domhanda ag baint úsáide as comhábhair orgánach áitiúil amh. Stór Baile Átha Cliath raidhse de tairiscintí ceardaithe: Feoil áitiúla, arán artisan, beers ceardaíochta, fuisce beatha seanré agus meads. Siopaí leabhar d’aois i gcás ina bhfuil seoda ag fanacht le fáil ag taitneamh as na sráideanna ‘cobbled’.


Chun Dan Barry a athinsint nuair a bhí sé ag deanamh cur síos ar Pete Hamill, dá bhféadfadh ‘cobbles’ na sráideanna i mBaile Átha Cliath a labhairt, chloisfeadh siad fuaime mar James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Hugh Leonard, Maeve Binchy, tá cáil muid ar a bheith tuairisciúil, stairiúil, humorous, is féidir le duine ar bith U2, Glen Hansard,

Melange séiseach filí, ealaíontóirí, briongloidoiri, ‘fashionistas’, ‘foodies’, scéalaithe agus na gormacha fíor a rugadh agus a togadh i mBaile Atha Cliath.

Tá an ailtireacht i mBaile Átha Cliath cáiliul ar fud an domhain, d’fhorbair sé ó bhaile meánaoiseach garbh go cathair seoirseach. Ta roinnt de na ailtireacht sheoirseach is fearr a chaomhnú san Eoraip : go hairithe, : Coláiste na Tríonóide, Gaeilge Teach an Pharlaimint agus Na Ceithre Chúirteanna.

Cad a dhéanann Baile Átha Cliath speisialta do na daoine. I ngach áit a théann tú, tá Baile Átha Cliath dubh le daoine a ardaitheoir do biotáillí agus ag am a labhairt miongháire. Sin an draíocht na n-Éireannach, tá muid fós am chun labhairt, am a bheith. Fáilte go dtí Baile Átha Cliath.

The rise of Dublin as a global tech hub.

POSTED ON February 12th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

Feb 4 2015 page 6

by Áine Ní Shionnaigh

Ireland is finally being officially recognized worldwide for what it is i.e. a great place to live and work. Recent accolades, to name a few, include: Forbes – Ireland is the best place in the world for ease of doing business, Citibank – Of the most competitive cities in the world, Dublin is the city with the best ‘human capital’,  ECA International – Dublin is the second most livable location in the world for North Americans, Condé Nast – Dublin is fifth of the world’s top shopping destinations, well ahead of New York, Paris and London,  Conde Nast – Dublin is one of the friendliest cities in the world, Travel Weekly – Ireland is the best travel destination in Europe, Global Traveler – Ireland is the Best Tourism Destination in the world, Lonely Planet – Ireland is listed in the Top 10 countries to visit for 2015. Dublin has also been the focus of numerous positive travel articles in The New York Times over recent weeks.

One of the most notable good news stories of late is the meteoric rise of Dublin as a global tech hub.  Fairytale like, an area of wasteland at the Dublin docks has literally been transformed into the most highly regarded business and technology hub in Europe.  Many high tech multinationals such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc., are thriving here. Over 7000 highly educated tech professionals work and more importantly live in this small area around Grand Canal Dock.  Tech start-ups from around the globe are literally queuing to set up base here.  Just beyond the docks, PayPal, Amazon, Twitter, Zynga, Hub spot, Dropbox and the 2 NYC born Etsy and Gilt Goupe, to name a few have all followed Google and set up home in a city, which to put into perspective, is one fifth the size of San Francisco. This is the beauty of Dublin, it feels like the largest small town in the world.

So who was responsible for waving the magic wand that transformed drab derelict warehouses into techie filled trendy lofts? This is where the fairytale analogy ends as there is no magic, just astute Irish intellect and foresight. Successive Irish governments have developed an open economy and invested heavily to develop Ireland’s infrastructure. Much credit has to be given to IDA, the Irish government agency tasked with attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ireland.

After the dotcom bubble burst, many of the European countries withdrew their foreign development offices from Silicon Valley. The IDA Ireland office in Palo Alto did not and continued to build relationships. One of these key relationships was with Google who began to eye Europe for a place to relocate to. Three times Google unequivocally stated their decision to move their headquarters to Neuchatel, a postcard pretty town in Switzerland instead of Ireland. This is where the determination and tenacity of the IDA shone through. IDA argued that, although Neuchatel had everything Google needed, it lacked one crucial factor, a suitable building which would cost easily in excess of $50 million.

Google wanted a property that resembled a village type, college style, campus environment. IDA had the perfect solution. They brought Google to see a rental on Barrow Street. This enlightened move by IDA was a watershed moment in the economic history of Ireland. Add to the equation: access to young talent from all over Europe, enlightened Irish public policy specifically the Tao Docklands Strategic Development zone which gives council planners the power to make decisions that cannot be appealed to An Bord Pleanala ensuring minimum delay for developers.  End result: Google picked Dublin for its headquarters and that’s where the story of Dublin becoming a Global Tech Hub begins.  

I took a stroll around Googles current base when I was home for Christmas, there are over 2500 staff, wonderful views of Dublin city, a stunning glass sky bridge that connects 3 of its 4 buildings, swimming pool, pool room, games room. More than 65 languages are spoken by employees from over 60 countries. Google and what followed has transformed Dublin’s city center and has done so much for Dublin city center inward investment.

What is the draw that Ireland has that makes IDA’s job easier in attracting all these multinationals and start-ups? Unequivocally the answer is talent.  Ireland boasts the youngest population in all of Europe, Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Eurozone and provides an ideal hub for organizations seeking a European base. The brightest talent from across Europe is attracted to Ireland and offers a multinational and multilingual melting pot of skills. The VP of Dropbox, Sujay Vaswa confirmed this recently by stating “Our No 1 decision criteria when we were looking at where to expand Dropbox in Europe was. “Where is the talent?” The IDA have being collaborating with the Irish education system for years encouraging extra emphasis on science, math and technology. Ireland is renowned for its great academic institutions, there has always been a history of the Irish being great educators.

The magic of Dublin is that it’s not just a tech hub, it has always been a literary and creative hub, all of which are intrinsically linked. A freelance writer Ratha Tep actually moved there and is so happy to be living in Dublin city “with its ivy-swathed Georgian buildings, winding cobblestone side streets and amiable spirit”. “What I found was a newly energized city rich not only with jovial cheer, but also an abundance of artisan offerings and a creative, literary spirit”

After all, what makes Ireland special is the Irish themselves.

Teideal: Ta Baile Átha Cliath ag baint taitneamh as na h-amanna.

Faoi lathair ta mBaile Átha Cliath, Eirinn ag baint formhor na awards atá le fail: lena n-áirítear an dara chathair is fearr ab fhearr le Meiriceánaigh chun cónaí ann, ceann scríbe siopadóireachta is fearr os comhair Páras, Milano, Londain, ceann scríbe taistil is fearr, Forbes áit is fearr le gnó a dhéanamh agus fós ar an stádas cánach na hÉireann tá ceist amháin agus gan ach go bhfuil labhair riamh faoi.

Bhi tús iontach le 2014 de bhri an bhfógra i Nollaig 2013 ag na Stáit Aontaithe Bíobla, Forbes, a ainmníodh Éire an tír is fearr ar fud an domhan le haghaidh gnó, den chéad uair i sé rangú de 145 náisiúin.

Díreach thar na duganna, thainig PayPal, Amazon, Twitter, Zynga agus Dropbox, a ainm a lua go léir ina dhiaidh sin Google agus ar bun sa bhaile i gcathair, a bhfuil a chur i bpeirspictíocht, tá Eirinn nios lu na San Francisco. Is é seo an áilleacht i mBaile Átha Cliath, mothaíonn sé cosúil leis an mbaile beag is mó an domhan.
Mar sin, cé a bhí freagrach as usaid an draíochta a chlaochlú stórais tréigthe dorcha  i techie líonadh nua aimsire.  Tá sé seo nuair a thagann deireadh leis an analaí síscéal mar nil aon draíochta, ach intleacht agus suileacht cliste Éireannach. Rialtais i ndiaidh a Éireannacha a bheith forbartha geilleagar oscailte agus infheistíocht mhór chun bonneagar na hÉireann a fhorbairt. Tá cuid mhór creidmheas a thabhairt don IDA, an ghníomhaireacht rialtais na hÉireann de chúram hinfheistíocht dhíreach choigríche (FDI) a mhealladh go hÉirinn.

Paddywhacked by a New York Times ‘paddy wagon’

POSTED ON February 12th  - POSTED IN News & Views
By James Mulvaney
The New York Times crossword puzzle is usually a breeze on Monday. On January 26 it stopped me in my tracks.
Clue 27 down was “police van” and the answer was “PADDYWAGON.”
I was horrified. The term refers to the historic bigoted presumption that most arrested people were Irish, likely drunk and disorderly.
I dashed off a letter of complaint to the editor and got a reply several days later from puzzle editor Will Shortz.
“Sorry to have offended you,” he started.
You’d think a crossword guy would know when to stop.
Shortz didn’t.
“But I’m afraid this isn’t a term I’m going to worry about. The Irish are not a group that’s discriminated against in the U.S. I don’t know anyone who has the slightest ill feeling about Irish people.”
An apology, by definition, cannot include the word “but,” my late mother said often enough for me to remember.
Eileen O’Keefe Mulvaney, a woman with a fine hand managing the English language and a doctorate in the teaching of reading, started me on the Times crossword. She also taught me not to use ethnic slurs. She would not be pleased with Mr. Shortz.
Beyond Shortz’ ignorance of that important rule, his condescension was insulting. He continued: “And virtually no one today would connect the term ‘paddy wagon’ in any disparaging way with the Irish anyway.”
The crossword puzzle editor of the New York Times has appointed himself the arbiter of the sensibilities of the as many as 44 million people who claim Irish ancestry based on the U.S. census.
Were we offered the chance to vote? Why is this the first time we’ve been informed?
I first spotted the phrase as a clue in a puzzle dated August 18, 2014 (35 down). I submitted a letter to the editor saying such an offensive term had no place in the paper.
I referred to the Times archives—quoting Pulitzer Prize Winning Columnist Anna Quindlen — to bolster my position that the phrase is offensive (I too have a Pulitzer Prize, albeit for Investigative Reporting, not opinion writing).
No reply was forthcoming. I occasionally stewed.
I am a today a teacher in the Law and Police Science Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
I teach my students— the next generation of the NYPD— that even innocent intent does no forgive the use of ethnic insults.
The year I was born, my father’s ethnicity proved more significant than his academic achievement.
He was managing editor of the Cornell Law Review but none of his applications to white shoe— read WASP— law firms were so much as acknowledged. “They don’t hire Irish,” he said.
His father, and my other grandfather, told me about clubs they couldn’t join, schools they couldn’t attend, and towns with restrictive covenants to keep our people out.
I didn’t give it much thought until the mid-1980s when I was working as an American reporter covering the war in Belfast.
On more than one occasion I was manhandled into the back of a prisoner van by the RUC.
As a resident of Andersonstown I was a presumed Paddy— a Royal-hating Catholic — therefore worthy of incarceration, penal law be damned.
My American press card would eventually win my freedom (albeit without apology for the temporary incarceration or gratuitous punches, kicks and verbal insults).
My second letter of complaint quoted a 1992 Times story in which the Rev. Calvin Butts III, Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem saying the phrase “paddy wagon” was “a slur against the Irish.”
It is true that we Irish do not suffer much discrimination these days.
That does not give license for ethnic insult. New York Governor, David Paterson, appointed me as deputy commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights, the nation’s oldest civil rights law enforcement agency.
Our historic law proscribes, among other things, discrimination on the basis of national origin. The law says nothing about a social statute of limitations that allows discrimination and hate-speech after a group attains a degree of comfort.
The New York Times is an important institution. Arrogance diminishes its value. The job of the New York Times is to present facts, and, in the case of puzzles, provide amusement.
Their job is not to tell me how to think. When a reader disagrees it should spark introspection, not dismissal.
Language matters in news stories, editorials and crossword puzzles.
My grandfathers spoke of newspaper classified ads that said “Irish Need Not Apply.”
I guess the new rule is “Irish Should Not complain.”
James Mulvaney was based in Ireland in 1984 and 1985 under a fellowship sponsored by St. John’s University and Newsday. He wrote extensively from both sides of the political divide quoting paramilitaries, politicians and non-aligned residents. He was the only American journalist at the 1985 Airlie House meeting that brought together unionist and nationalist leaders for private talks in Virginia in what is now recognized as the beginning of the Irish peace process.
In a 20-year newspaper career, Mulvaney wrote from five continents and led a team that won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. He was appointed by Governor David Paterson as Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights. He is an adjunct professor in the Law and Police Science Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.
caption: A Paddy Wagon is more than just a name as this early 20th century photo illustrates.
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