Boston Irish Commentary

No, Mitt Romney is not claiming Irish heritage to pander for Irish-American votes here or elsewhere. He’s also not claiming publicly his investments in Ireland. No surprise there. After all, as Ann Romney bluntly told ABC’s Robin Roberts: “We’ve given... Read more
Tip O'Neill meets with his friend, Joe Leary In early 1990, through the intercession of two friends, the famous Dr. Tom Durant of MGH and the speaker’s nephew, Brian O’Neill, Esq., I first met the then-retired O’Neill at his office in Washington. My... Read more
There’s no question that US Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, are “debating.” The televised debate proposed by Vickie Kennedy, widow of the late senator Edward M. Kennedy, to be moderated by heavyweight Tom Brokaw fell... Read more
When Brian Cowan, then prime minister of Ireland, came to Boston in August 2009 to attend Ted Kennedy’s funeral, he met with reporters after Mass. Soaking wet in a rumpled suit from the rain that day and very tired from his late night flight from Ireland... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR Are the continuing controversies surrounding the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland as serious as they sometimes seem? After a 1,500-year history of strength and fidelity, has the Church been weakened so much that political... Read more
The multitude of St. Patrick’s Day events we witness each year, with their music, speeches, singing, and dancing, illustrates the passionate Irish-American connection to the land of Ireland where our ancestors were born. The nearly month-long series of... Read more
Messrs. McIlroy, McDowell, Harrington strut ‘major’ stuff In July 2011, the gifted Northern Irish golfer Graeme McDowell tweeted the following words: “Darren Clarke – the first Northern Irish golfer to win a major in almost four weeks.” McDowell, winner... Read more
Hoary clichés and bad jokes just seem inevitable where the Boston-based traditional Irish band The Ivy Leaf is concerned: You could say, for instance, that The Ivy Leaf is blossoming, has deep roots in the Irish tradition, is branching out, and some day... Read more
The Charitable Irish Society of Boston will celebrate its 275th anniversary with a gala dinner on St. Patrick’s Day at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. The evening will commence with a reception at 6 p.m. that will be followed by dinner at 7.... Read more
It’s far too early to know if Dorchester’s one-and-only hospital can survive and thrive under the for-profit model of its new owners, Steward Health Care Systems. But for those seeking a reliable indicator that Carney Hospital is moving in the right... Read more
One of Northern Ireland’s most fearful sectarian agitators is coming to the end of his life at the age of 85. Ian Paisley, minister, politician, bigot, and one-time leader of anti-Catholic sentiment in its most virulent forms, lies in a Belfast hospital... Read more
The Catholic Church’s stance on contraceptive birth control is wrong and as a result is largely ignored by practicing Catholics. There are two realistic methods to limit the size of families – now a matter of necessity not just for health concerns but... Read more
Returning to Kerry – the Flahertys and the O’Donnells My cousin Dan Flaherty died twenty years ago at age 53. As he left us, he was doing what he loved: tending his sheep atop the mountain overlooking the farm below that he shared with his wife Eileen... Read more
It came as no surprise that on Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s recent swing through Boston, he met with a politician named Kennedy. In this case it was the new Kennedy on the political block, Joseph P. Kennedy III, who is running for Congress. It used to be that... Read more
Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s New York-based executive vice president for North America, is typical of the hard-working Irish men and women who are sent to the United States to represent their country. Enthusiastic, loyal, focused, and extremely bright,... Read more
What does this exhibit have to do with Tebow or the other celebrities whom so many folks deify? It reveals how they pale when set against bona-fide heroes, the type who stand for or against something with no fanfare and no desire for acclaim. Such a... Read more
With draconian cuts in their standard of living, the potential collapse of the European Union, and the irrelevance of the Catholic Church in their lives, the people of Ireland are looking at a bleak 2012 as the new year dawns. The huge debts run up by... Read more
The celebration of Christmas in Ireland is a remarkable occasion. Not only is it the commemoration of the birth of the baby Jesus and, in fact, the beginning of the Catholic Church as we know it today, but for the Irish it is also a homecoming, a reunion... Read more
Damon and Affleck ‘muscle’ their way onto the crowded cinematic turf to bring Jimmy Bulger & Co. to the Big Screen It’s getting crowded in Whitey Bulger biopic field. The news that local-boys-made-good-Hollywood-wise Matt Damon and Ben Affleck plan... Read more
European and American business leaders are praising Ireland's government for setting a courageous course to return the Irish economy to financial prosperity in the years ahead. A balanced mix of increased taxes and reduced spending has both European Union... Read more

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