Quote Unquote

“It’s a chance to fix up the house, add a new bathroom, get a new garden shed. We’ll take care of family. We have no real plans set in stone.”
New York Lotto winner Niamh Finnan talked to the Irish Voice about the plans she and her husband Donal have for some of the $41 million that they won. The Finnans are both immigrants from Co. Kildare, Ireland.
“We may not have given you a perfect world, but we have given you dynamic opportunities for leaving a lasting legacy as a
generation that was fearless and imaginative, tireless and selfless in pursuit of solutions to these monumental problems, a
generation that emerged from this financial tsunami and rebuilt the financial landscape of their lives with an underpinning of sound values and an eye for proportion, knowing in fact that on some occasions, less can be more.”

- From Tom Brokaw’s commencement address at William & Mary.
“Remember that no matter which art you practice, there is no more valuable skill than the ability to listen carefully. Especially when you listen to the music, or listen to the text, listen! They will guide you well.”
- From Laura Linney’s commencement address at The Julliard School. -The New York Times
“Ireland from 1930 to the late 1990s was a closed state, ruled — the word is not too strong — by an all-powerful Catholic Church with the connivance of politicians and, indeed, the populace as a whole, with some honorable exceptions. The doctrine of original sin was ingrained in us from our earliest years, and we borrowed from Protestantism the concepts of the elect and the unelect. If children were sent to orphanages, industrial schools and reformatories, it must be because they were destined for it, and must belong there. What happened to them within those unscalable walls was no concern of ours. We knew, and did not know. That is our shame today.”
John Banville writing in The New York Times about the the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse report which documented the cruelty visited upon hundreds of thousands of children in state institutions in Ireland from 1914 to 2000.
“I want people to come to my show, and for there to be so much stuff going on that they want to come again because they missed things.”
- Carly Smithson, the Irish singer who placed sixth on American Idol, has a new album and a new band The Fallen. - Irish Voice
“The last thing this company needs at this point is for the family to be difficult, and rather than splinter, we have pulled together…If this were just a financial investment, the family probably would have been out of it years ago.”
- William C. Ford Jr., a great-grandson of the founder and chairman since 1999, quoted in a New York Times article entitled
“Family Loyalty Anchors Ford in Risky Times.”
“Over 40 years ago, when I was in my midteens, I announced at home that I had decided to become a lawyer. The first words I heard in response were, “You can’t because you are a woman.” It was the voice of our parish priest. The next voice I heard was my mother’s, saying, “Don’t listen to him.” To my mother’s surprise, I heeded her advice. A couple of years later, the same year that the first human walked on the moon, I started law school and our first textbook was called “Learning the Law” by a very eminent jurist, Prof. Glanville Williams. In a chapter ominously entitled “Women,” he stated his views that law school was no place for women and that our voices were too weak to be heard in a courtroom. That man had clearly never met my mother. He reckoned the only thing to be gained by having female law students was the opportunity it provided to meet suitable spouses. I married a dentist, just for spite.”
“Our Peace Process in Ireland is a good case in point for it was the combined imagination and determination of an educated generation of men and women that finally broke the stranglehold of history and allowed us, as the Ulster poet John Hewitt said, “to fill the centuries’ arrears.” We were blessed in our friends who helped shorten the road to peace. Above all, here in America: I think of Senator Kennedy; of Senator George Mitchell; Congressman Richie Neal here beside me; Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama; of now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. I think of people across the whole Irish-American community—who devoted their time, their energy and their concrete help to building the momentum for peace and the groundwork for reconciliation. In a world that has been turned upside down in so many ways recently, one strong, robust, enduring miracle is Ireland’s Peace Process which, though far yet from complete, has developed a solid resilience that is very reassuring of the human capacity to change hearts, change minds, and as Seamus Heaney says “make new meanings flare.”
-  Excerpts from President of Ireland Mary McAleese’s commencement address at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

“Not to bring up something upsetting, but when you leave here today, you may go through a period of unemployment. My suggestion is this: Enjoy the unemployment. Have a second cup of coffee. Go to the park. Read Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman loved being unemployed. I don’t believe he ever did a day’s work in his life. As you may know, he was a poet. If a lot of time goes by and you continue to be unemployed, you may want to consider announcing to all appropriate parties that you have become a poet.”

- From John Patrick Shanley’s commencement address at the College of Mount St. Vincent.  - The New York Times
“Too many of us view life only through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the world is necessarily a zero-sum game. The strong too often dominate the weak, and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice. And so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly familiar to those in ancient times. We know these things; and hopefully one of the benefits of the wonderful education you have received is that you have had time to consider these wrongs in the world, and grown determined, each in your own way, to right them.” 
- From President Barack Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame.