Boston Irish Commentary

By Greg O’Brien Special to the BIR “Ireland sober is Ireland stiff,” wrote James Joyce. And so we toast the Isle of Mists in throaty zest after the Shannon-bound Aer Lingus flight finally lifts off a rain-soaked JFK runway at 10:30 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 22... Read more
By Joseph F. Leary One of Britain’s most respected commentators, Chief Editorial Writer and columnist Mary Dejevsky of The London Independent has written a provocative article on Northern Ireland and the prospect of a United Ireland. In a column published... Read more
Like most of the world today, Northern Ireland is facing an uncertain financial future. But unlike most countries, it is an unsettled society, just emerging from 40 traumatic years of tragedy after tragedy. Although Northern Ireland now has its local,... Read more
Today, it sits just outside the most ethnically Irish of American cities, but in the mid-19th century, Boston College was basically a local school in Boston's South End neighborhood providing a Jesuit-Catholic education to the sons of recent Irish-... Read more
Philip W. Johnston, a former chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, always knew how to spot a winner. The knack surfaced as a teenager. At 14, he wrote to a junior senator from Massachusetts, urging him to run for president. The senator promptly... Read more
At a time when the nation faces severe financial depression, bank failures, and high unemployment, it should come as something of a consolation to recall that over the course of some 350 years New England has demonstrated an uncanny ability to adapt well... Read more
The July parades in Northern Ireland celebrate a Protestant military victory over a Catholic army at the Battle of the Boyne in the Republic of Ireland over 300 years ago. The marches are an in-your-face expression by some of Northern Ireland's... Read more
The tragedy of British arrogance towards Catholic Ireland over the past many centuries has never been more thoroughly revealed than in the official government report issued on the “Bloody Sunday” shootings and killings in Derry, Northern Ireland, on Jan.... Read more
By Robert P. Connolly Special to the BIR It is perhaps more than appropriate that the echoes of the gun shots fired in Derry on Jan. 30, 1972, have reverberated down through the decades. On a literal level, the shots fired by British soldiers that day... Read more
By Tom Mulvoy Associate Editor Last Saturday morning, two days shy of her 96th birthday, Elinor (Harrington) Barron died where she had prayed she would – in her home of 52 years in the Waban neighborhood of Newton. It was the end of a life that began in... Read more
By James W. Dolan Special to the Reporter There is no denying that Senator John McCain is a true American hero. He was badly injured when shot down over North Vietnam and then endured five years of imprisonment, deprivation, and torture. He said he “broke... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR The recent British Parliamentary elections indicate a dramatic new phase in Northern Ireland’s journey towards peaceful change. New leaders in London, a continuing increase in National/Republican votes, Unionist parties in... Read more
By Robert P. Connolly Special to the BIR For years, the political playbook for Northern Ireland’s unionists stressed saber-rattling and offering up the hardest of hard-line stands. After all, the party that dominated unionist politics for decades, the... Read more
Giving new definition to irony, Rob O'Leary's academic pedigree in the spirited arena of Boston politics reads like one from central casting: Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire; The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he rubbed... Read more
The results of the upcoming British Parliamentary elections will have a profound effect upon peace and understanding amongst the conflicted people of Northern Ireland. The people of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will elect 650 members of... Read more
BELFAST - While the party leaders who have the most at stake in this month's British election are named Brown, Cameron, and Clegg, the leaders of three of Northern Ireland's four main political parties also have a lot riding on the outcome of the... Read more
If you had told Thomas Bartlett in 1970 that 40 years later he would be the Burns Scholar at Boston College, teaching classes on Ireland in the early modern era and researching the holdings of the "best Irish collection in North America," he probably... Read more
$88,200. How many of you earn that amount in a year? Not I, says the teacher. Nor I, says the letter carrier. Nor I, says the clerk at the corner store. Certainly not I, says the senior citizen living on Social Security. $88,200. That’s 1,700 bucks a... Read more
The vast influence and power of Ireland throughout the world is proven every St. Patrick’s Day. And don’t think it is just parties and parades; it is testimony to the robust spirit and unique character of the Irish people who vigorously celebrate their... Read more
By Robert P. Connolly Special to the BIR With spring in the air and the landscape turning green, the mind wanders across the water… The upcoming British election means that Northern Ireland’s 18 Westminster seats will be up for grabs. The Democratic... Read more

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