Boston Irish Commentary

By Joe Leary Special to the BIR The population of Ireland before the famine was a little over 8 million people. Many thought this was an over-population that was at least partly responsible for the tragedy. Now there are predictions that, despite the... Read more
By Tom Mulvoy Reporter Staff My older brother, first in a line of the five children of Tom and Julia (Harrington) Mulvoy, turns 70 next month, the patriarch of an American Irish clan whose gritty founders lived in smoky huts far from any mansion’s candles... Read more
By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff “Darren Clarke – the first Northern Irish golfer to win a major in almost four weeks.” The words were those of Graeme McDowell, the gifted Northern Irish golfer who won the 2010 U.S. Open, on Twitter following Clarke’s... Read more
Masked loyalists attack Belfast neighborhood in late June / Photopressbelfast By Joe Leary Special to the BIR After many years of relative peace, severe rioting and gunfire broke out again in Belfast in June. Practically everyone was surprised. Guns being... Read more
DUBLIN — Garret FitzGerald, a beloved figure who as Ireland’s prime minister in the 1980s was an early architect for peace in neighboring Northern Ireland, died on Thurs., May 19, in a Dublin hospital, the government and his family announced. He was 85.... Read more
Waterboarding, sensory deprivation, beatings, and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” – are these viable and morally justifiable means to an end in the struggle against terrorism? Does a nation’s ongoing struggle against those who unleash terrorist... Read more
It was remarkable, really. Both visits, Queen Elizabeth’s and President Obama’s, were triumphant victories for the Irish people. What small country has the power to attract as much investment, tourism, and attention as Ireland? This magical island and its... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR After nearly ninety years, so many deaths, and so much anger and sorrow, the tragic partitioning of Ireland in 1922 and the violence it created remain the chief causes of deep community hostility across Northern Ireland.... Read more
I’m begging anyone in these parts with green bloodlines to please put down the “tea.” Every time anyone in or around Boston, or the rest of Massachusetts, imbibes the Tea Party brew, a historical fog envelops him or her. The lessons of the past... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR Even before the recent elections, there were abundant signs that the people of Ireland are surviving and doing well. Media stories in Europe and the United States portray Ireland as a stricken country. It isn’t! A recent... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR DUBLIN – Foreclosures, higher taxes, higher health insurance costs, and huge pay cuts for most everyone over the last several years had created an Irish anger that demanded change, and right away. In addition to those woes... Read more
By James W. Dolan Special to the Reporter Love is the all-encompassing virtue. Yet in our culture it is corrupted, distorted, and debased. Emphasis is placed on the self rather than the other. Self-absorption and self-seeking replace the essential... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR Whether it was the fault of Ireland’s unscrupulous bankers, greed-driven businessmen, or incompetent politicians, the country is now experiencing a traumatic collapse of its ruling government. Prime Minister Brian Cowen... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR Unemployment is high, existing salaries have been cut, taxes are being increased, furious bitter criticism is everywhere, politicians are screaming at each other, and amateur economic experts are demanding their economic... Read more
Minister’s Call to Cut Funds for Catholic Schools a Case in Point By Joe Leary Special to the BIR Many Irish Americans express wonderment as to why, after all the progress towards peace and understanding, Northern Ireland still has sporadic violence and... Read more
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