It's that time of year again! It’s time to look back on the year that was and look ahead to the New Year.
What will 2015 bring? Well, let’s peer into the crystal ball and see what the future holds for the Irish on both sides of the Atlantic.
JANUARY: Following a New York Times report in December that the New York Archdiocese will likely close or consolidate even more churches and parishes than originally proposed, Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan drops a New Year’s Day bombshell.
“We’re thinking we can save money and serve New York’s Catholic community by keeping St. Patrick’s Cathedral – and only St. Patrick’s Cathedral – open. I mean, that place is really big. Plus we just cleaned it. Have you seen how white and shiny it is?”
FEBRUARY: After announcing on her website that she was “joining Sinn Fein now. If they'll have me,” Sinead O’Connor receives a response.
“We’ll not have you,” a Sinn Fein spokesman says. “We can help run a government and overcome centuries of repression. But listen to Sinead O’Connor’s political opinions? C’mon. We’re only human.”
MARCH: The first St. Patrick’s Day parade with a gay group marching is mired in controversy when the sky does not fall and a plague of locusts is not visited upon Fifth Avenue.
“Wait ’til next year,” grumbles Catholic League honcho Bill Donohue, who boycotted the parade.
APRIL: Pope Francis’ visit to New York City gets off to a rocky start when Cardinal Dolan explains there’s pretty much only one church left open in the entire archdiocese.
“But it’s a really big one,” adds Dolan.
“Well, okay,” shrugs the pope. “I guess it’s not a real crisis. Like, you know, female priests.”
MAY: After finally recovering from multiple injuries sustained during a bike ride, Bono must go back to the hospital following an assault by a suspect who looked suspiciously like rising Irish singing star Hozier.
“It’s the 21st century, old man!” the attacker was heard muttering. “That’s what you get for forcing that new U2 album on those poor iTunes users.”
JUNE: After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the film Brooklyn, about a 1950s Irish immigrant, opens in theaters and baffles hipsters. “Where are all the lumberjack beards and skinny jeans?” one asks. Another wonders: “Brooklyn has been around since 1950?”
JULY: A bidding war erupts between Showtime, HBO, Netflix and Amazon for a hot new cable drama about gun-running Irish monks. “It’s 'Game of Thrones' meets 'How the Irish Saved Civilization,'” whispers an insider. The end of 'Sons of Anarchy' (which featured IRA weapons suppliers) and 'Boardwalk Empire' (which featured real as well as fictional Irish gangsters) left a gaping Hibernian hole is TV land. Rumors that the 'Breaking Bad' spinoff 'Better Call Saul' would include an Irish (gun-running, of course) sidekick turned out to be baseless, leading to the crisis.
“It’s been months since we’ve had Irish bad guys on critically acclaimed cable programs!” lamented an insider. “That can’t go on.”
AUGUST: Not content with being seen as the guy who threw hundreds of Irish horse and carriage drivers out of work, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declares war on the summertime scourge of children’s lemonade stands.
SEPTEMBER: Liam Neeson stars in 12 movies this month, including "Taken" 7, 8 and 9.
OCTOBER: Hottest Halloween trend: ironic “Irish immigrant” Brooklynites.
NOVEMBER: Election time! Just a year to go before someone can run against Obama’s appalling record of booming Wall Street profits, lower unemployment and no terror attacks. Biden 2016, anyone?
DECEMBER: The brilliant Irish novelist Edna O’Brien is finally, at the age of 84, awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, joining Beckett, Shaw, Yeats and Heaney as Irish winners. O’Brien – ever combative – is tempted to throw the prize back in the face of the Nobel committee. But, alas, she decides to accept it.
“I worked hard for the damn thing. Was banished from my own country for daring to reveal that women as well as men think about sex. It’s about time you folks paid attention!”
Happy New Year!
(Contact “Sidewalks” at tdeignan.blogspot.com.)