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Overseas Irish let down again says Daly

POSTED ON April 21st  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

2/10/2008 Irish Financial Banking Crisis
Senator Mark Daly Photocall

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.com

The Irish government is “utterly failing” Irish citizens living abroad when it comes to voting rights, this according to Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Irish overseas and diaspora, Senator Mark Daly.
The diaspora will have not an opportunity to vote in the next election for Seanad Éireann, despite Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s promise of a “democratic revolution,” said Daly in a statement.
A working group set up by the government to examine the matter of Seanad voting rights last week recommended that Irish citizens in the North and overseas should have voting rights in Seanad elections.
The Working Group on Seanad Reform was chaired by former leader of the Seanad, and current chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Maurice Manning.
It was set up by Enda Kenny after the proposed abolition of the Seanad/Senate was rejected in a referendum vote. Kenny committed his government to implementing any reforms proposed.
“While there might be a desire to implement the proposals, given that votes for emigrants have been promised for a long time, the sheer logistics of what is involved would probably require a much longer run-in period,’’ the Irish Times, citing a government source, reported.
The seeming lack of urgency in moving towards Irish citizens in the North and overseas voting for a small number of Seanad seats was described as “another big disappointment for Irish citizens living abroad,” by Senator Daly.
“They should not be treated as second-class citizens and should be given a vote and a voice in the election of senators at the time of the next election. Unfortunately, this government has completely disenfranchised this group of people because reforms will not be enacted in time and instead will only apply to elections held after the next Seanad members are voted into office,” he said.
“Following the last general election the government committed to increasing the voice of the Irish diaspora. The Constitutional Convention, which Fianna Fáil was extremely supportive of and participated in, was tasked with examining the possibility of extending voting rights to the diaspora.
The convention decided in September 2013 voting rights should be extended to our diaspora. This was a strong a positive step forward because the members of the convention were drawn largely from the public themselves,” Daly said.
And he added: “In the French Senate there are twelve senators elected to represent French nationals living abroad. In an Irish context a reformed Irish Senate is one way to ensure that Irish citizens who live abroad and in the North have a voice in Leinster House.
“I am urging the government to expedite the reforms needed to secure voting rights for Irish citizens living overseas. Quite frankly they have been waiting long enough and the government should step up to the mark.
“Unfortunately this government has taken little or no action and shown little interest in progressing this. Fianna Fáil recognizes the important contribution our diaspora makes towards Irish life.
“In our reform proposal for Seanad Éireann, published in 2013, we committed to ensuring that the diaspora would be directly represented in Seanad Éireann. This would be an important first step to give our diaspora the recognition that they deserve.”
Sinn Féin spokesman on the diaspora, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, was critical of the actual proposals from the working group.
He said the proposals for Irish citizens living abroad fell far short of what people wanted and deserved.
“The fact that it won’t even be delivered in time for the next Seanad election gives this the whiff of another Fine Gael/Labour pre-election promise which won’t be delivered upon,” Ó Clochartaigh said.

SEAL hero Michael now honored in Ireland

POSTED ON April 20th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

Murphy jpg
Michael Murphy

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.com

Michael Murphy has been remembered on his homeland American shore.

His heroism in Afghanistan has been recorded in a book and a movie.

A U.S. Navy destroyer bearing his name sails proudly with the Pacific Fleet.
Now Michael Murphy’s name will have a permanent home in Ireland, specifically at a new post for U.S. military veterans in Kinsale, County Cork.

The post has come about as a result of American veterans living in Ireland, and there also being a number of Irish citizens who have served with the U.S. military.

It is being run by the recently formed Irish Veterans organization and the post, the group’s first, was over the weekend formally named in honor of Lieutenant Murphy.

Irish Veterans is open to anyone in Ireland who has served with overseas militaries but, not surprisingly, service in various branches of the the U.S. armed forces is especially prominent in the membership ranks.

Long Islander Murphy lost his life and won the Congressional Medal of Honor fighting in the Afghanistan war that directly followed the 9/11 attack on America.

It was in a 2005 firefight against the Taliban that Lt. Murphy exposed himself to enemy fire in an effort to secure fire support for his vastly outnumbered four-man team.

Two of Murphy’s comrades were also killed that day. One survived. Murphy’s men were all awarded the Navy Cross, thus making the unit the most decorated in the history of the SEALS.

In addition to his Medal of Honor, Murphy was also the recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Murphy was the first service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, and the first member of the U.S. Navy to receive the award since the Vietnam War.

The heroism displayed by Murphy and his comrades against overwhelming odds was portrayed in the movie “Lone Survivor.”

Irish veterans asked Murphy’s parents, Dan and Maureen, for permission to name the post after their son. Permission was readily granted and so, with a plaque to tell all who come and visit, the “Navy SEAL LT Michael P. Murphy Irish Veterans Post #1” has come into being.

“This became a big deal and the Navy, Naval Special Operations community, the American Embassy, and the Irish Navy, all became involved,” said Dan Murphy.

A contingent of crewmen from the USS Michael Murphy, the former commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, Tom Shultz, other naval personnel and the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley, were all expected at the dedication.

The dedication was yet another proud moment for the Murphy family.

“Michael was known as the ‘fiery Irishman from New York,’ said Dan.

The weekend’s events included an inaugural fundraising dinner for Irish Veterans that also benefited the Michael Murphy Foundation.

Now you see them (votes) now you don’t

POSTED ON April 17th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

27/11/2014 American Chamber of Commerce Thanksgiving Lunches
Enda Kenny

 

By Ray O’Hanlon

rohanlon@irishecho.com

 

 

Americans citizens living in Ireland can vote in U.S. elections. Irish citizens living in the United States are barred from voting in Irish elections.

The two counties are both democracies and, fair to say, bask in strong mutual admiration.

So why the extreme dichotomy when it comes to voting?

The answer depends on who you ask.

While few Americans would ever question the right of Americans to vote no matter where in the world they live, quite a few Irish would question the right of the overseas Irish to have a vote in any form of Irish election or vote, be it Dáil, Seanad, presidential or in a referendum.

The lack of voting rights is clear evidence of this antipathy.

At the same time, just about every significant Irish political leader of the last couple of decades has been in favor of granting at least limited voting rights to the overseas Irish.

But that’s while being in opposition.

Something seems to happen to the voting rights idea after the step is made from opposition to government.

And this something spans the party divide.

Back in 1997, Fianna Fáil, then in opposition, went into a general election campaign with a clear cut promise to extend voting rights to the diaspora Irish.

The party, in its election manifesto, “People Before Politics,” stated that it was “Committed to working out the arrangements to give emigrants the right to vote in Dáil, presidential and European Parliament elections, and in referendums. This can be done without amending the Constitution. Initially those who have lived abroad for up to 10 years will be eligible. Our target is to have a voting system for emigrants in place by the year 2000.”

As it turned out, however, politics came before people. The voting rights pledge ended up on the cutting floor when Fianna Fáil won that year’s election.

A few years into government, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, ruled out votes for emigrants in what was considered the most likely entity for which voting rights might be awarded – the Seanad, or Senate.

In a submission to the then Seanad sub-committee examining the future role and functions of the upper house of the Oireachtas, Cowen said that from the point of view of the Irish abroad, his view would be that the issue of votes for emigrants was “not a pressing matter.”

If the Irish abroad were to be given a voice in the Seanad, Cowen said, “it would be better to do so through the nomination of a person or persons with an awareness of emigrant issues, as proposed by the Committee on the Constitution, rather than by the election of a formal representative of the Diaspora.”

Cowen said the Emigrant Task Force – which had presented the Irish government with a report on the state of immigrant communities in the U.S. Britain and Australia – found in its consultations with Irish communities abroad that it was notable that very few people raised the question of votes for emigrants.

“Indeed, a majority of those who expressed a view agreed that, given the numbers of Irish emigrants abroad and those born abroad entitled to Irish citizenship, it would be impractical and inappropriate to give the vote to emigrants,” the minister said.

There is something of hint here of the difficulty in nailing down even limited voting rights for the overseas Irish, and it has nothing to do with reluctant politicians or even skeptical emigrants, but rather committees, sub-committees and task forces.

When governments want to pay simply lip service to an issue it is their habit to establish the likes of committees and task forces.

In the Irish case, all these above mentioned entities would be topped up by a Constitutional Convention and, most recently, the Working Group on Seanad Reform.

Back in 2013, the Constitutional Convention recommended an extension of voting rights in Irish presidential elections to the Irish overseas and in Northern Ireland.

And in recent days the Working Group came out with a recommendation that Irish citizens living abroad and in Northern Ireland should be able to vote in Seanad elections.

Promises and recommendations surround the voting issue, but in the end it is political leaders who have the power and thus far they have been most reluctant to wield it on behalf of a disenfranchised diaspora.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is especially notable in this regard.

During the years of Fianna Fáil-led government, from 1997 until 2011, Kenny and his party Fine Gael were in favor of Seanad voting rights for the overseas Irish. Specifically, Kenny and his party backed overseas voting for three seats out of sixty in Seanad.

In outlining his party’s view of the Seanad’s future role in Irish political life, Kenny said that three senators should be elected by “overseas Irish citizens.” At one point he reiterated this view during a visit to New York.

His party’s submission to the aforementioned Seanad sub-committee was broadly in line with a 1996 consultation document – presented to the then “Rainbow” coalition government that included Fine Gael – that proposed Irish citizens living abroad for up to twenty years be entitled to elect three members to the Seanad.

Fianna Fáil – “People Before Politics” now well in the rear view mirror, at least with regard to diaspora voting – said no, though it did respond by suggesting that nomination of emigrant representatives to the senate might be possible.

Brian Cowen, still foreign minister and not yet taoiseach, argued that given the numbers of Irish emigrants abroad, and those born abroad entitled to Irish citizenship, it would be “impractical and inappropriate” to give the vote to emigrants.

Cowen’s successor at foreign affairs, Dermot Ahern, didn’t move from this position. During a U.S. visit he said: “Personally I can’t see that,” referring to the emigrant vote idea.

For those advocating diaspora voting rights there was renewed hope when Enda Kenny led a new coalition government into power after the February, 2011 Irish general election.

Prior to the election, both Fine Gael and Labour had supported a degree of voting rights – or so it seemed.

But even before the election vote there were signs of division between the future government partners.

Labour wanted to extend voting rights to emigrants in local, general and presidential elections for up to five years after they had left Ireland, but Fine Gael’s proposal at the time would have limited voting rights to only presidential elections.

Suddenly the Seanad was out of the picture.

Why this was the case would become apparent in time when Enda Kenny moved to abolish the upper house.

Before even that, and in his role as taoiseach, Kenny had, as was his right as the leader of the government, nominated eleven new members to the Seanad.

None among the eleven was drawn from overseas.

As it turned out, voters in the Republic turned back Mr. Kenny’s bid to cast the Seanad into the dustbin of history, a development which of course kept alive the idea of three senators speaking for the Irish who live in Australia and Arkansas, and everywhere else beyond Ireland’s shores.

But alive or on life support?

The Fine Gael/Labour coalition has run most of its course and there will be general election in 2016.

Clearly, there are many significant issues to be debated and battled over in the run-up to this election, not a few of them more urgent and divisive than granting voting rights to emigrants.

But the voting rights issue will be aired during the 2016 campaign.

It has never gone away.

And despite the political inertia of recent years it could be around for a long time to come.

But just there and going nowhere.

O’Brien funds Boston College fellowship

POSTED ON April 15th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

Denis jpg

Denis O’Brien.

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.com

Irish businessman Denis O’Brien has established a fellowship at Boston College that will provide two Irish students annually with a fully-funded master’s degree in business administration at the college’s Carroll School of Management in Chestnut Hill.

O’Brien, chairman and principal shareholder of Digicel Group, one of the world’s leading cellular companies, and owner and board member of Communicorp, Ireland’s largest media holding company, has, according to a release, created the Denis O’Brien Fellowship at Boston College to provide an opportunity for aspiring business leaders from Ireland to obtain a world-class graduate education at a premier American university.

O’Brien graduated from Boston College with an MBA in corporate finance in 1982, the release stated.

And it added: The O’Brien Fellowship will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, books and living expenses for the duration of the MBA program, as well as international travel to and from Boston. The candidates for the fellowship must be Irish citizens of exceptional academic and/or career achievement, who possess the high personal and professional standards of the program’s namesake.

“Boston College and Ireland have had a long and illustrious association,” said O’Brien.

“I am delighted to continue this with a Scholarship Program for two Irish nationals to have the opportunity to pursue a two-year MBA program in management at Boston College,” he added.

Andy Boynton, dean of the Carroll School of Management, thanked O’Brien for establishing the fellowship.

“We are honored that Denis has created the O’Brien Fellowship at Boston College, as it will provide an invaluable opportunity for Irish students who want to pursue an MBA at one of the top business schools in the United States,” Boynton said.

“He is a person who has brought acclaim to his alma mater as a student, global business leader and generous alumnus. We are grateful for his support.”

Ranked fourth among business schools in the United States by Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management is internationally regarded for its graduate programs in entrepreneurial and asset management, corporate finance, marketing and accounting.

The MBA program, said the BC release, attracts top students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who work closely with Boston College faculty in a program that combines sequenced course work with experiential learning. Its alumni are among the top leaders in the corporate, non-profit and finance world.

The release added: “Outside of his extensive business interests, O’Brien chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland, which featured teams from 160 countries and more than 30,000 volunteers, in the first-ever games held outside of the United States.

“O’Brien is also a director on the U.S. Board of Concern Worldwide and a member of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

“In addition, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Based in Dublin, Frontline works to ensure that the standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, are known, respected and adhered to worldwide.

“He also established The Iris O’Brien Foundation to identify and assist projects in Ireland and abroad that aim to alleviate disadvantaged communities.”
O’Brien holds a BA degree from University College Dublin, which also honored him with an honorary degree in 2006.

Details on the O’Brien Fellowship are at: http://www.bc.edu/schools/csom/graduate/admissions/scholarships/obrienfellowship.html.

Irish American Democrats back Hillary

POSTED ON April 14th  - POSTED IN News, News & Views

Stella jpg

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.com

Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t Irish American per se, but that matters for naught as far as the lobby group Irish American Democrats is concerned.

IAD said in a statement that Sunday’s announcement by Hillary Clinton that she is running for president was “exciting news for all Americans and for Ireland and Irish Americans in particular.”

“As Irish American Democrats we welcome the announcement,” the statement said.

The statement of welcome, while not actually using the word “endorse,” does effectively read as an endorsement of Clinton’s candidacy, and one issued just hours after it was unveiled in a tweet and online video.

And it leaves no apparent room for endorsing possible rivals to Clinton for the Democratic nomination – even though the most prominent name being mentioned in reports right now is in fact an Irish American: former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.

The IAD statement, issued jointly by the group’s Washington, D.C.-based president, Stella O’Leary, and New York-based vice president, Brian O’Dwyer, said at the outset that Hillary Clinton needed no introduction to Irish America.

“Few would take issue with the claim that there would be no peace in Northern Ireland, fragile as it may be, without the direct involvement of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton,” the statement said.

“We, along with many others, worked with President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton on the Northern Ireland peace process that commenced with the granting of a visa to Gerry Adams, and culminated in the Good Friday agreement.

“Many would claim that the peace was inevitable, but it was not,” added the statement, which pointed to the historical distrust that had to be overcome.
And it continued: “Initially, the parties would not even acknowledge each other’s existence. We worked with First Lady Hillary Clinton and her Vital Voices campaign, enlisting Northern Ireland women, from both sides of the divide, to pressure the negotiators to compromise. Even today the situation in Northern Ireland remains tense and no candidate is more qualified, or committed, than Hillary Clinton to help us sustain that fragile peace.”
The statement does not only deal with the North, but also focuses on immigration and looks to a possible Clinton presidency for solutions to the current immigration impasse.
“This election, however, is not just about repaying debts, but also about looking to the future,” it stated.

And it continued: “Unjust United States immigration laws are in dire need of fixing. Irish America is so adversely affected by the provisions of the present laws that they are tantamount to a sign on the border ‘Irish need not apply.’

“Thousands of Irish are living in the shadows because of these unjust and cruel laws. American corporations are being deprived of the considerable gifts that the graduates of Irish universities are willing and able to provide.

“Despite the almost universal consensus that the immigration policies of the United States are badly broken, no action has been taken to fix the law.

Having visited Ireland numerous times as First Lady, as Senator, and as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is well aware of the hardships these laws impose on Irish families, on both sides of the Atlantic.

“She will make it a priority to enact comprehensive immigration reform, in particular she is fully supportive of President Obama’s executive action that will allow many of our undocumented to remain in the United States to work and lead productive lives.

“We, as Irish American Democrats, will, throughout this campaign, do our best to ensure that Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States.

“Her presidency will strengthen the bonds that exist between Ireland and America and will immeasurably help the struggling middle class to achieve equitable wage parity.

“She will break new ground as the first female President of America. Her presidency will benefit not only Ireland and Irish Americans, but will benefit all America. We are proud to support her.”

A new Irish comity for Capitol Hill

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

Carney jpg

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.

With a nod to a former time when political rivals Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill could debate, argue, shoot the breeze and conduct the nation’s business, a group of Washington, D.C. staffers have formed a new group that speaks of their lineage – even as they hope it will encourage civil speaking.

“Hill Irish” proclaims itself as is non-partisan, non-political, non-denominational and non-profit and a membership organization open to current and former congressional staff of Irish descent.
“Our objective is to return the Hill to the days of comity and to do this through our Irish roots. We will be educating our members about their Irishness and exposing them to the many blessings we of Irish ancestry share in music, culture, dance, literature, travel, food, sports and history,” said Hill Irish founder and spokesman, Keith Carney.
Carney grew up in New York but has been based in Washington, D.C. for 35 years. His family is from New England with its Irish roots in Cork.
Hill Irish is holding a launch reception this Friday, April 17.
Carney, who runs a broadcast news organization on the Hill called FedNet (it provides daily radio/TV coverage of Floor debates, press conferences and hearings) worked as a staffer on the Hill back in the mid-1980s designing computer systems for the Senate.
“When I first worked on Capitol Hill, and until recent times, there was a very congenial atmosphere. People could actually socialize and use their personal relationships to reach across the aisle and get things done.
“In the past five plus years working on the Hill has become so partisan, almost venomous between the Democrats and Republicans, and the staff has become very entrenched to the point of gridlock,” he said.
And he continued: “I ran into Susan O’Neill, daughter of Speaker Tip O’Neill, at an event in Washington about a year ago and I expressed to her that I truly missed the days her father was the Speaker of the House.
“She agreed, and felt that there are very few staff making their work on the Hill a true career anymore. Tip O’Neill was a man who used his Irish heritage as a tool to get things done, as did Ronald Reagan.
“These two, opposites in nearly every way, one a Catholic Democrat and the other a Protestant Republican, forged a friendship and a working relationship based upon their common Irish roots.
“This is the comity I am trying to bring back to the staff. Many of the current and former staff that I speak with about Hill Irish are excited to get involved. They too see the need for better social interaction on the Hill, and being Irish is a great way to start.”
Membership requirements are simple, according to Carney.
“You have to be a current or former congressional staffer, and you have to have Irish lineage.”
Hill Irish plan to hold a few large events a year and, according to a release, lots of smaller events depending on the interest of members.
“My philosophy is to provide information and outlets on getting in touch with your Irish heritage, and then let our members be as Irish as they want to be,” Carney said

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 www.lorcanshannonlaw.com  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.

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 ireland.house@nyu.edu

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: www.feargalmac.org

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 ireland.house@nyu.edu.

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: www.feargalmac.org

Cassidy to lead Queens County parade

POSTED ON February 26th  - POSTED IN News

Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York, has been named Grand Marshal of the 40th Annual Queens County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to be held on March 7 in Rockaway Beach.

Cassidy leads the UFA, New York’s and the nation’s largest local firefighters’ union representing over 8,100 active and 14,000 retired New York City Firefighters. 2015 also marks the FDNY’s 150th anniversary.

“It is a great honor and privilege to be selected to lead the march for the 40th Annual Queens St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Cassidy.

Steve Cassidy.

Steve Cassidy.

“This event, and what it means to generations of Americans of Irish heritage, can simply not be measured. Our great nation was founded by immigrants, like my Irish grandparents and great grandparents, who came here to work hard and establish a better life for their children.   For them to see one of their descendants honored at the head of the parade would bring great joy as it does to me.”

Queens Parade Committee Chairman Michael Benn said: “We honor members of labor and community organizations of Irish heritage who play a positive role in New York. Steve Cassidy is a prominent Irish labor leader who proudly promotes his Irish heritage and culture.

“Given this is the 150th anniversary of the FDNY and the significant contributions of New York City Firefighters across our city and locally, this was a natural selection.”

Cassidy’s Irish heritage is on both sides of his family. His maternal grandparents were Myles D’Arcy from Dune, County Limerick and Margaret Quinlivan from Bird Hill, County Tipperary. His paternal great grandparents were James V. Cassidy from Cavan, and Mary L. Connoly from Galway.

The Queens County parade, which attracts up to 50,000 spectators steps off 1 p.m. at Beach 129th St. and Newport Ave., then continues east on Newport Ave. (across Beach 116th Street) and down Rockaway Beach Blvd. It will end by the St. Camillus parking lot on Beach 100th St.

Meanwhile, this Saturday, Feb. 21, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the parade committee will also host its annual Queens County Ball at Antun’s on Springfield Blvd., honoring Grand Marshal Steve Cassidy, U.S. Representative Joseph Crowley as Gael of the Year, and John T. Dunleavy, Chairman of the NY City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, as Honorary Grand Marshal.

Proceeds from this event benefit educational, cultural and community activities in the Rockaways. Tickets are $100 each, tables are $1,000 and reservations are required. For tickets, sponsorships or journal ads, contact Michael A. Benn via email at kroppyboy@aol.com.

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