Periscopeby Niall O'Dowd
- Recalling Irish America’s greatest moment: President Clinton’s first visit to Belfast
- Inquiries into pre-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland crimes must end
- “Philomena” a must-see movie that breaks your heart (VIDEO)
- What JFK’s America was really like in November 1963 - Time capsule of New York Daily News paper of the day
- An afternoon with Chuck Feeney, Irish America’s greatest hero
It was 18 years ago this week when I stood among the 200,000 people crammed into the center of Belfast waiting for President Bill Clinton to appear for the city’s Christmas tree lighting.
While we waited Van Morrison warmed us up on a cold and frosty afternoon with the song “There Will Be Days Like This.”
The Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin told an inconvenient truth when he stated that inquiries into crimes committed before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement should be discontinued.
Run, don’t walk, to see “Philomena,” the new movie about the true story of an Irish Magdalene laundry woman, the child she gave birth to and his subsequent adoption to America.
On Friday, the New York Daily News republished its entire edition from Saturday, November 23, 1963 the day after the Kennedy assassination.
Still cheap, I’m still paying for breakfast it seems.
Hooray for Ray Kelly, who says politicians are "full of sh**" for the way they abandoned him during the recent mayoral election. He was speaking in a frank Playboy interview.
Is former Irish president Mary McAleese in the frame to be appointed the first woman cardinal? In a just released interview in the Boston College Chronicle the former president makes clear the depth and range of her involvement in canon law and theology and her interest in playing a role in church politics.
There is serious talk of Pope Francis appointing a female cardinal, a task that is apparently in his purview unlike appointing a female bishop or priest.
The statement by GOP senior Congressman Kevin McCarthy that immigration reform is on the back burner until early next year is a grave disappointment.
McCarthy made the comments to a group of interested pro-reform activists in his home state of California.
And Marty Walsh will make a helluva mayor - and perhaps beyond!
Long may it last.
It was a good feeling.
Washington: Don’t count out immigration reform just yet in this most troubled of political seasons.
Republican insiders here believe that there may be an opportunity between Thanksgiving and Christmas to devote a week to political debate on the House floor to discussion on a House version of the Senate immigration bill.
South Bend Indiana: Fighting Irish fans arriving early for the USC game who happened to walk by Arlotta Stadium, usually home of the Fighting Irish lacrosse team, witnessed a unique moment.
The recent defeat by the Irish electorate of the proposal to shutter the Irish Senate offers a new opportunity for diaspora representation in Ireland.
The defeat was a major blow for the Irish government, but it has opened up new vistas for emigrant rights.
The lack of a U.S. Ambassador to Ireland since December 2012 has been bitterly criticized by leaders in the Irish American community.
“In my opinion it is an absolute disgrace and a real and total disrespect to the Irish American community,” said prominent New York lawyer Brian O’Dwyer, head of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, and a long-time Democratic party activist.
As a registered Democrat I decided to drop in on Megyn Kelly on Fox News the other night, intrigued by the huge ratings she is drawing and the fact that she managed to displace Sean Hannity from his prime time slot.
Maybe there would be a new Fox News type anchor I thought, less shrill, more open to constructive debate, more watchable.
May he rest in peace.
The demons appeared again, right on schedule, during the second half of the All-Ireland football final in Croke Park in Dublin on Sunday afternoon.
It appeared for a time that Mayo, the Chicago Cubs of Irish sport, lovable losers of seven All-Ireland final appearances since their last victory in 1951, would finally remove the curse and defeat Dublin.
Just in time for the Clinton Global Initiative in Manhattan this week comes a major new controversy about who has access to former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary. There is a large Irish angle also.
Recent media attacks on Doug Band, formerly Bill Clinton’s right hand man also rope in his Irish business partner Declan Kelly, both of whom run Teneo, a public affairs company closely connected to the Clintons. (Full disclosure: I have known Declan Kelly for many years.)
I attended the first fundraising dinner for a most unusual Irish showcase event this week.
The Wexford Opera Festival, among the most popular opera festivals in the world, put on a smashing first night in America at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York on Wednesday.
In fact it is horseshit.
Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson sat side by side at the Wall Street 50 event organized by our sister publication Irish America magazine in New York on Thursday night and seemed the best of colleagues.
At the podium when they spoke separately, the First Minister Robinson praised McGuinness and Deputy First Minister McGuinness did the same when it was his turn.
Randall Manor, Staten Island
There are about 200,000 native Irish living in the United States and a couple of hundred showed up at the Irish Center in Mineola, Long Island for the All-Ireland hurling final of 2013 between Cork and Clare on Sunday last.
It was a scene that was replicated in hundreds of Irish Centers and bars across America, Britain, Australia and wherever Irish gathered.
Politics is indeed a cruel sport.
I hope the innate good sense of the Southie Irish will bring about that outcome. It would speak volumes about how this is a far better era for race relations in Boston.
Dublin: They came to say goodbye to Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s greatest modern poet, on Sunday night and the crowd was somber and respectful.
Afterwards they spilled out into the surrounding church courtyard, men and women of all ages and background conversing on a beautiful late summer evening in South Dublin about a poet who touched the lives of so many.
All else is less important. Abraham Lincoln talked about the “mystic chords of memory” that bind us all in one of his greatest speeches. Ronald Reagan borrowed those lines in his address to the Irish parliament in 1984. They came alive to me last week in a special way.
As the new term looms, parents across the country are fretting about how they’re going to pay the college bills.
Attending university in America is insanely expensive. Even average colleges can cost well over $50,000 — the guts of €38,000 — per year for tuition, basic room and board.
Christine Quinn must be wondering what she needs to do to get some love from New York City voters in the mayoral election. The Irish American legislator was hot favorite and front-runner for much of the contest.
Despite the powerful endorsement of The New York Times and the support of the New York Daily News and New York Post she trails behind front-runner Bill De Blasio by a whopping 15 points and is barely ahead of Bill Thompson who is on 20.
The Gathering has shown us all a powerful new tool on how to reach out to them.
The decision by the Catholic Church to put their full weight behind comprehensive immigration reform is a very welcome and overdue one. It also smacks of the influence of the new pope and his vision of a more pastoral church reaching out to the neediest.
The loss of the Titanic was an incredible story even looking back 101 years to 1912 but to the people of the time it was the equivalent of 9/11 and then some.
Watch the accompanying video (about eight minutes long) of Kilkenny-born Father Patrick Dowling, the “miracle priest” who showed up at a bad accident in Missouri.
Many thought he was an angel as he gave comfort to the young woman trapped in the car and calmed down emergency workers desperately trying to free her.
He was more sinned against than sinning in the end, his son believes, and he is right. Eamon Casey fell victim to human frailty, no more no less. Let him without sin...
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