Boston Irish Commentary

The judge got it right in sentencing former Probation Commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides. They were instruments for others who formulated a plan to facilitate patronage. Under the circumstances, severe sentences were unwarranted. A former... Read more
With a Catholic majority looming in the near future and the British government cutting back on funds to run the Northern Ireland government, rather profound changes are coming to this small province. One change may arrive before Christmas. For all the... Read more
Of late I have been grappling with a new theology that seeks to reconcile evolution and advances in scientific knowledge with Christianity. I did so with some trepidation, concerned that what I might learn would undermine the faith upon which I depend. A... Read more
Ireland has been in serious financial trouble for more than five year. Unscrupulous or unknowing bankers, greedy real-estate developers ,and a no-regulation compliant government were the chief causes of the onset of the crisis. The Irish people responded... Read more
Forty years ago, shortly before forced busing went into effect, I was a new judge appointed to Dorchester District Court. Since much of the anger and violence associated with that ill-conceived “solution” to segregated Boston schools spilled into the... Read more
Thomas Menino’s “Mayor for a New America” hits stores and tablets on October 14. It will no doubt find a well-deserved place in the libraries of Bostonians who have a keen interest in city history and politics. But it will find that shelf-space too... Read more
Accompanied by staff and donor supporters, The Irish American Partnership’s board of directors travelled to Ireland this August on a mission to evaluate the impact of their funding decisions and to learn more about Irish education as the Partnership... Read more
For many Irish Americans the key to a strong future for Ireland is the strength and creative energy of its educational system. A highly educated population and work force not only attracts inward investment but it also generates innovation, new ideas, and... Read more
After 27 years in existence, the Irish American Partnership is announcing a new opportunity for men and women of Irish heritage to give something back to the small island their ancestors left to come to America. The creation of an Irish American... Read more
There was a time in Washington when politics was the means to an end. The end was governing. The messy process of politics was applied to gain office and then to develop and secure passage of legislation that reflected a public policy consensus. Politics... Read more
The month of July marks the most difficult time of the year for Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital city. It is in the seventh month that the Protestant community, led by the notorious Orange Order, annually renews the famous “marching season,” sending... Read more
By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff The deal is completely legal. Medical-device titan Medtronic will soon complete a $42.9 billion deal to gobble up Massachusetts-based outfit Covidien. The swollen pact benefits Ireland’s economy, pays off big for two... Read more
Serenity rules over the ample space where neatly placed rows upon rows of plain-looking gravestones, some 750 in all, mark the final resting places of dedicated men who in the long ago invited me into their learning circle and helped steer my young self... Read more
Contrary to some of the criticism directed their way recently, Boston College and its Center for Irish Programs deserve great praise for the courage and good will they have created with multifaceted programs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Notre Dame,... Read more
April was quite a month in Northern Ireland. Despite the best efforts of Irish President Michael D. Higgins and Queen Elizabeth II to increase understanding between Ireland and the UK, serious problems occurred in the North, including rioting, racist... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR It was exciting, exhausting, and troubling at the same time! For most of us who were born in Ireland or whose families emigrated from Ireland, much of each March has been the focused of the many events celebrating our... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR As we celebrate the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of our Irish heritage, it is natural to reflect on the lives of our ancestors, their sacrifices that brought us to Boston, and the later sacrifices they made to... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR Public documents to be filed with the IRS and many state agencies throughout the United States reveal that The Irish American Partnership headquartered here in Boston raised nearly $900,000 in the year 2013, a 25 percent... Read more
A look at a controversial politician and a remarkable cleric reveals the difference between real history and hazy history BY PETER F. STEVENS BIR STAFF The Microsoft ad is both slick and moving – but there’s one note in it that likely rankles a great many... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR The strength, tenacity, and courage of the Irish people in dealing with their own share of the world’s collapsing economy in the 2007-2009 period should make Irish Americans very proud. Yes, there were abuses and perilous... Read more

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