BIR History

There is no denying that the event is literally part of Boston’s turf – that’s not a point of view, but a simple fact. At the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast in South Boston, state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry will once again command center stage at the... Read more
The nightmare of the 2016 presidential election will soon end. A distressing question will linger amid the political ashes on Nov. 9: Will there be an even worse nightmare to follow? As of this writing, the political pundits and cognoscenti proclaim... Read more
The first 2016 presidential “debate” – more World Wrestling Federation than political discourse – is history. If recent past is prologue, Hillary vs. Trump II and III will decide whether or not a Nativist candidate will take up residence at 1600... Read more
By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff In politics, the word “pivot” evokes breathless excitement in the media. Now, the “Trump pivot” draws nigh, his acolytes and witting or unwitting political pundits salivating that they can pretty up the Pompadoured One and... Read more
The Glasnevin Cemetery Trust and Tourism Ireland is proud of an array of new features, tours, and sites that have made Glasnevin Cemetery one of Dublin’s most popular tourist destinations. At a meeting held recently at the Boston College Club in Boston... Read more
“The Immortal Irishman,” indeed. Some lives splash across a larger-than-life canvas. Such a saga is that of Thomas Francis Meagher. In the finely wrought new biography “The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero,”... Read more
Any of the 40 million or so Americans who have ancestral or immediate family ties to Ireland certainly want both the US and Ireland to prosper. As I wrote in December, though, there has to be a better way than one-sided corporate inversions, one that is... Read more
Fifth of five parts. In Boston, as elsewhere in the United States, many Irish viewed the rebels as heroes from the first news of the revolt. At four minutes past noon on Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, Patrick Pearse read the Proclamation of the... Read more
Patrick Pearse Fourth of four parts. One hundred years ago, on Wed., April 26, 1916, shock and excitement gripped Boston’s Irish neighborhoods. Readers collectively gasped that day at the Boston Globe’s morning-edition headline: “Serious Revolt Rises in... Read more
In mid-February 1920, people had gathered around a simple gravestone in a New Bedford cemetery where a tall, thin, bespectacled man bent down to lay a wreath in front of the marker. Etched on the face of the stone was the name of “George S. Anthony,”... Read more
Third in a four-part series. In Boston and other Irish-American centers in March 1916, few knew how close to armed rebellion the Irish Republican Brotherhood and an array of other Irish men and women in Ireland stood. Nationalists, socialists, workers,... Read more
Second in a four-part series. In early 1916, Ireland seethed on the verge of rebellion against Britain. The debate over “Home Rule,” which would give Ireland a constricted version of independence from the Parliament in London, had been argued for... Read more
First in a series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. A century ago, a defining moment – the defining moment for many historians – helped set the stage for the future for Ireland. As January 1916 dawned, the... Read more
John Kerry’s name has often appeared in this newspaper – not always accompanied by plaudits. Kerry came to this writer’s mind in recent days during the deserved outcry against Donald Trump’s outrageous comments about US Sen. John McCain’s service and... Read more
Would architect Patrick Keely be spinning in his grave at the changes awaiting his magnificent Holy Trinity Church? Or would the Tipperary-born builder understand that times change, and be grateful that his artistic vision will remain at least partly... Read more
Classiebawn, the home of Lord Mountbatten in Mullaghmore, County Sigo, was built in the 1860’s by twice Prime Minister of England, Lord Palmerston. Prince Charles will be visiting Sligo this month where Lord Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979. DUBLIN –... Read more
On St. Patrick’s Day of 1915, a monument began to take shape in Jamaica Plain The city of Boston owns the “house that James Michael Curley” built on the Jamaicaway in Jamaica Plain. Construction on the Curley mansion began on St. Patrick’s Day, 1915... Read more
The discovery of a hidden time capsule is always intriguing. To great fanfare a few weeks ago, the opening of a 1795 trove discovered by workers repairing a leak at the Massachusetts State House did not disappoint. The capsule, a link to the present... Read more
Just in time for the centenary of the Great War of 1914-18 (World War I), the publication in English of Gabriel Chevallier’s novel “Le Peur” (1930) is drawing deserved attention. Translated by Malcolm Imrie as “Fear” and available in the handsome New... Read more
A recent stop at The Last Hurrah whiskey bar at the Parker House (now Omni Parker House) got me thinking about the classic novel it is named after, a personal favorite and one synonymous with the battling “boyos and Brahmins” of yesteryear. Even now, it... Read more