An American in Irelandby The Yank
- Wake Up America! You're ruining Thanksgiving.
- Notre Dame Stadium in late November – a new experience for my daughter
- Train journey between Albany and New York is special (PHOTOS)
- Part Messier, part Mattingly and part LT, Roy Keane returns to Ireland's soccer team
- HSBC survey says Ireland's a terrible place to live if you're an expat
Jay Leno referred to Taoiseach Brian Cowen (Ireland's Prime Minister) in his September 22 monologue and, well, it's a big deal here despite the fact that Leno is not all that well known in Ireland. During the segment (seen
An extremely well-publicized and media-promoted boycott of Mass by Ireland's Catholic women was almost universally ignored yesterday. The boycott was originally called by 81-year-old Jennifer Sleeman, who hoped the boycott would “let the Vatican and the Irish church know that women are tired of being treated as second-class citizens.”
Sleeman claimed that the empty pews at Mass yesterday would show the Church's hierarchy that “the days of an exclusively male-dominated church are over.” From what I saw at our parish yesterday and from what I read on Twitter and in the newspapers today attendance at Sunday Mass was unaffected by the boycott. Even a last minute appeal to those women who didn't want to miss Mass that they wear green arm bands was totally ignored. The boycott/protest was an abject failure.
The child abuse scandals in the Church that have dominated the headlines here for the past decade or more have seriously dented the Church. There is no denying that. However, the failure of Sunday's boycott's demonstrates that the Church in Ireland is far from dead, despite the fact that the media has pronounced its demise frequently.
Notre Dame is going to play Navy at the new soccer/rugby stadium in Dublin on September 1, 2012. It In America Notre Dame vs Navy is simply a college football game. Nothing more. That will probably not be the case here because Navy is, after all, part of the United States Navy, which is, as we all know, part of the 'American death machine.' I fully expect tens of people from the usual anti-American rent-a-crowd to turn up to protest at the presence of the Navy's midshipmen in Dublin.
Those protesters will be annoying, at most, but nothing the local police force can't handle. However, there is a far more spine-chilling threat that the Irish government and gardaí (Ireland's police force) will have to devote a great deal of time and energy on: al Qaeda and friends.
Is it likely al Qaeda will target the game? I don't really know, but I do know that there are very few opportunities in Europe where 30,000 Americans, including possibly thousands in the military, are gathered in one place. Yet, that's exactly what we'll have here on September 1, 2012.
Anyone who willingly reads the business and finance pages in Ireland's newspapers is asking to be scared. Skyrocketing unemployment, bankrupt banks and a state that is piling up debt, which is getting pricier by the day. On top of that property prices are still tanking and a
"Irish Premier denies being drunk on air" was the headline and it seemed to be on just about every news site across the English-speaking world yesterday. Brian Cowen denied it, but was he "somewhere between drunk and hungover" as suggested by an opposition member of parliament? Well, I don't think so, but he sure sounded groggy and hoarse. He seemed to be stifling yawns at times. Exhausted I would definitely agree with.
If you've ever driven in Ireland you might well believe that there are no rules of the road only some general guidelines that you can ignore at your pleasure. Well, that's not quite true; there are rules of the road and they're even enforced, sometimes rigidly.
Yet recently the Dun Laoghaire County Council, which is responsible for the roads in the southeast part of County Dublin, created a situation that I don't think is covered by the actual rules of the road. They have established a 4‑Way Stop.
I know Americans (& Canadians too, I believe) are used to the concept of a 4‑Way (or All‑Way in some places), but I've never seen one here before. Generally speaking you will find round‑abouts here. And there. And just about everywhere.
Harland & Wolff is a name you will certainly know if you're an aficionado of the Titanic story. However, even if you are only familiar with Belfast you will recognize the two massive yellow cranes that loom over the Harland & Wolff shipyard.
I was in Belfast a few years ago and drove over to East Belfast to see what the Harland & Wolff site looked like. 'Desolate wasteland' sums up pretty much what I saw as I stared through the rusted iron gates. Broken glass, broken concrete, broken dreams were all that was visible.
However, on a later visit I toured the site and two things struck me. First, that although it's a modern day ruin, the dry dock where the Titanic was built is still there as is the building where the plans for the great ship were first drawn.