Sidewalksby Tom Deignan
- “Philomena’s” story is just one example of the forced adoption of Irish children (VIDEO)
- Mayor-elect de Blasio blundered by not including Catholic on transition team
- Kennedy’s greatest legacy: proving that the Irish could be American, too
- The hypocritical Irish American right-wing anti-immigration reform “Lynch” mob
- Don’t cheer just yet, Pope appoints new bishop who went after outspoken US nuns
There was a kerfuffle recently in the race to become the next governor of Virginia. Apparently Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe – always proud of his Irish roots -- made a joke about how he’d use the persuasive power of drink to prod folks who might disagree with him.
J.F. Powers is often referred to -- if anyone still refers to him, that is -- as a “Catholic writer.”
This is understandable. His short stories, as well as his highly-praised novels Wheat that Springeth Green (1988) and Morte D’Urban (which won 1963’s National Book Award, are about priests as well as the rewards and challenges of a spiritual life.
A bunch of people just ran to become New York City’s next mayor. And you’d need to put all of these decent but bland folks together to come up with a figure as compelling and complex as William O’Dwyer, New York’s last Irish-born mayor who served from 1946-1950.
O’Dwyer -- and all of his inspiring achievements and shady connections -- serves as the inspiration for the character Charlie O’Kane in Kevin Baker’s big, new historical novel The Big Crowd.
Seamus Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week at the age of 74, but he will live on for generations in thousands of classrooms, including my own. I have been teaching Heaney’s poetry to inner city kids from Brooklyn for 10 years now.
True, there are a lot of rural and religious images in Heaney’s poetry that might not be accessible or interesting to 21st century teens in general and Brooklyn kids in particular.
By one count, nearly 50 books about President John F. Kennedy are slated for release this fall, when the 50th anniversary of the first Catholic president’s assassination is upon us.
But for the Irish in America, there is a whole lot more to 1963 then November 22 in Dallas, as traumatic as that event was.