Boston Irish Commentary

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
There are two irrefutable facts about the death penalty. If a mistake is made, it cannot be rectified; the ultimate punishment is disproportionately administered to the poor and minorities. No matter one’s view of capital punishment, those two truths... Read more
Although not opposed to gambling, I am disappointed that Massachusetts will soon be joining the casino cavalcade. It is unfortunate we feel compelled to turn to gambling to increase revenue and generate jobs. I am proud of the commonwealth’s opposition to... Read more
Sunday, Oct. 30, will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of one of Boston’s true heroes: Dr. Thomas S. Durant. An extraordinary man in so many ways, Tom Durant brought happiness and comfort to thousands, even tens of thousands, during his lifetime –... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR At least one segment of the Irish economy is doing very well this year -- exports of goods and services are way up, largely due to American companies doing business in Ireland. Some of the largest American corporations in... Read more
By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff The Boston Irish community of the 1850s would have recognized the ways and means of the Tea Party of today. Those immigrants from the “old sod” would have known exactly what the “I-want-my-country-back” crowd of 2011 was up... Read more
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