Boston Irishman in Irelandby Larry Donnelly
- Why reform is needed in the Irish Senate over abolition - realizing the Seanad's 'real potential'
- All changed in Boston as first open mayoral race in 30 years takes place - Irish and Italian candidates under pressure from new ethnic groups
- Ireland and abortion - A divided country, an depressing and ongoing debate
- The Boston marathon bombing - absorbing the horror in my home city from 3,000 miles away
- Why I hope Irish American Steve Lynch is the next US Senator from Massachusetts
But he is no Steve Lynch. Steve Lynch’s story – a kid from the Southie projects who becomes a union leader, attorney, state legislator and US Congressman – is living testimony to the fact that what might seem impossible remains possible in America. That’s why, and regardless of where he stands in the polls a month from primary election day, I still think Steve Lynch can win the Democratic nomination and become the next US Senator from Massachusetts. As he commented when he launched his campaign in an iron workers’ hall in Boston, “some people have said I won’t fit in in the US Senate. I think they’re absolutely right.” And I’m hopeful that the significant number of Massachusetts voters with whom Steve Lynch’s sentiment and life story resonate will send him there.
One of the most vexing issues facing tens of millions of American families at present is the exorbitant cost of higher education. Surprisingly, it didn’t feature very much in last year’s presidential election. Cynics might say that Democrats are reluctant to spend much time on the issue because well-paid college and university academics and administrators are among their most strident activists and generous donors. On the flip side, those same cynics might say that Republicans’ blind faith in market forces and the fact that high tuitions aren’t much of an issue for their wealthy base make it less important for them. With respect to both parties, the cynics would have a point.
The issue remains, however. Tuitions in the US, especially at elite private colleges and universities, have always been high, but what has happened in the past twenty years has bordered on the incomprehensible. My alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts – which thousands and thousands of Irish-Americans from throughout New England, New York and New Jersey and elsewhere have attended over the years and which remains one of America’s highest ranked liberal arts colleges – is a case in point. Holy Cross is an outstanding school and I am proud to be a graduate.