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FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 CANADA $4.95/ U.S. $3.95



WHAT ARE YOU LIKE? Questions for Thomas Cahill

“HERE’S JIMMY” Jimmy Fallon’s Irish Roots


Designated a National Treasure

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FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 Vol. 29 No. 2

Contents 62 34 24


FEATURES 10 RETROSPECTIVE A look back at the year 2013. From peat bogs to space tweats, and everything in between.

30 PORTALS TO THE PAST Photographs taken during a drive around the historic places in Ireland’s South East.

34 A MAN OF THE PEOPLE Marty Walsh, Boston’s new mayor, is a champion of the working man and a proud son of immigrants. Profile by Michael Quinlin.

44 WHAT ARE YOU LIKE? Thomas Cahill, the author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and other works, takes some questions.

46 “HERE’S JIMMY” Genealogy detective Megan Smolenyak uncovers the Irish roots of Jimmy Fallon, soon to be “Tonight Show” host.


52 TOY TRAINS A sister’s love turns out to be the most precious gift of all in this personal story by Joseph Cahalan.

56 SOUP’S ON Slainte columnist Edythe Preet writes about the history of soup-making with an Irish ingredient or two, thrown in.


EXTRA THE QUIET MAN June Parker Beck talks about the movie that is now part of the Library of Congress National Film Registry. Pg. 24.

An award-winning poem in praise of his Irish grandmother, by Timothy Walsh.

62 STRONG BOY Tom Deignan looks at a new book on the life and times of John L. Sullivan, America’s first sports hero.

64 BRIDGET’S IRISH SHAWL Bob Lyons writes about Bridget, his Irish immigrant ancestor, and the family treasures that she passed down.

DEPARTMENTS 8 16 54 60 66

Readers Forum Hibernia Roots Books Crossword

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{the first word} By Patricia Harty

“We Are All Immigrants” We are city of second chances and redemption, a place where hard times have forged – Marty Walsh from his inauguration speech character throughout our history.


nd so it begins. A new year, and already a happy one with the election of an Irish mayor in Boston. And who better to embody the tough, tireless, tender trajectory of our Irish story, than Marty Walsh, son of immigrants and champion of the working class. Marty’s campaign, aimed at a range of ethnic and social groups, echoes the political leadership of Boston’s first Irish mayor Hugh O’Brien. Also a master of coalition building, O’Brien’s election in 1885 was the start of an era that carried John Kennedy, the grandson of another Boston mayor, all the way to the White House in 1960. O’Brien emigrated with his family when he was five years old. It was a time when things were difficult for the Irish and it seemed well-nigh impossible that they would ever rise above the religious bigotry and economic hardship that they experienced. But they endured. And Irish working men and women went on to lay down roots and dream big dreams for their offspring. O’Brien’s own rise was extraordinary. Apprenticed to a printer at 12, he was foreman of the plant at 15. He went on to become a successful businessman and start his own newspaper. As mayor he gave Boston her Emerald Necklace of parks, and while he championed the poor, his conservative and transparent stewardship won him the respect the Yankee elite. Marty Walsh’s election embodies the leadership the clan has shown in the ensuing years; in politics, the labor movement, and every facet of American life. And his election too, has lifted the hearts and hopes of Irish people everywhere. Is it a sign of better times ahead for the Irish, here and at home? At the very least, it reminds us that we still have some political clout. And we are going to need it. Given the downturn in Ireland’s economy, the Irish are once again hitting the emigrant trail. Over 40,000 left for Australia in 2011 and 2012. But sadly, despite the bonds between our two countries, very few have made it to these shores. It’s not that they don’t want to. They can’t. The 1965 immigration act, while it favored more people from Asia and Latin America, greatly restricted the Irish, closing down most avenues for legal immigration. As a result, Irish immigrants are fast becoming an invisible entity in America. Our once vibrant Irish societies and organizations (see “The Fifth Province,” page 40) are in danger of extinction. And while, to newer immigrant groups, we have come to personify the American success story, we have


grown scarce on the ground ourselves. Senator Ted Kennedy said of the 1965 act, “what we were trying to do was eliminate discrimination . . . but it worked in a very direct and significant way against the Irish.” Ciaran Staunton, the head of Irish Lobby for Reform Movement, who was once part of the same laborer local as Marty Walsh, is trying to get the message out that immigration reform is not just a Hispanic issue. He says that most people are not aware that the 1965 bill in large part put an end to Irish immigration. “J.F.K.’s election in 1960 signaled the end of the ‘No Irish Need Apply Signs,’ but five years later, they took that sign and hung it on the Statue of Liberty,” he said. “If Marty Walsh’s parents were to come here today they wouldn’t get in. We’re meeting with people whose grandparents were immigrants and I tell them that under the regulations today, their grandparents wouldn’t get in,” Staunton continued. Thanks in main to IIRM’s lobbying, alone, and in coalition with other groups, the immigration reform bill passed the Senate last year. If the same legislation passes the House it will allow 10,500 visas a year for Ireland. Speaker of the House John Boehner has said that he is hopeful that the House can act on immigration legislation early this year. Paul Ryan (R.WI) has given assurances to the I.I.R.M. that he would be favorable to the bill, but the majority of Republicans in the House remain to be convinced. And that’s where you come in. It is up to you to get involved. You have it in your power to make the difference by making your voices heard. In 1885, when Mayor O’Brien was setting up his office, the statue of Liberty was just making her way into New York Harbor where she would become the “Mother of Exiles,” the greeter of immigrants. With your help, she will once again open her arms to the Irish. Mortas Cine,

For more information on the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform visit Source for Hugh O’Brien: Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston’s Colorful Irish Past by Michael Quinlin (Globe Pequot Press).

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{readers forum} en much to my surprise. She did the The History-Mystery Man Comments on Tom Deignan’s interview sign of the cross, and said, with writer Peter Quinn. “Children, something has hapI picked up Looking for Jimmy and pened. Your parents will be meetrealized it was almost my own family ing you, and you are dismissed.” story with my parents arriving in 1939 Most of us walked to school, and from Mayo. Thank you for writing. my mom met me right outside of the schoolyard. I asked her why I – Jim Thorton, posted online was going home so early. She told December 13 me as we were walking. I rememThank you for the illuminating article ber looking down at the sidewalk, it on Peter Quinn in Dec./Jan. 2014 issue. was cold outside, and feeling posiAs someone who has just finished tively horrible. I said, “Why would President John F. enjoying reading Banished Children of they do that?” My mom must’ve Kennedy in a Eve I have been duly amazed with the said something to the effect, “…the pensive moment. level of detail and attention to accuracy. person is not good.” Kennedy, at Indeed at one point in the book Peter that time for me, was my “crush.” Memories of J.F.K. refers to George Walker who was joint He was young, happy and I was devastatComments on Holly Millea’s book, Governor of Londonderry during the ed that he was gone. 7 Seconds, a collection of memories of Siege in 1689. He was killed at the The day of the funeral, my dad decided, the J.F.K. assassination. Battle of the Boyne where he was chapat the last minute, that we would drive to I’m glad someone is getting these stolain to William of Orange’s forces. Our D.C. to see the caisson pass the gates to ries down while people old enough to school currently occupies George Arlington Cemetery. We got there just in remember are still here to tell them. I Walker’s old glebe house. time, stood in the crowd, loved Nora Ephron’s movies and her Peter Quinn’s eye for detail and with all the hundreds of book I Feel Bad About My Neck. And I is matched by his story people, you could only hear loved reading her memory of that day. telling ability. I have the “clip clop” of the horses’ acquired his Detective Fintan hooves on the pavement, – Julie Herman, posted online Dunne trilogy for vacation carrying his body. I was up November 23 reading and it’s like having on my brother’s shoulders I was 7, in Catholic School in a suburb money in the bank. Peter and will never forget that of Washington, D.C. A nun came into the Quinn, to paraphrase an old lonely sound. class, whispered to our teacher, also a nun, saying, is proof that you can – Virginia, posted Peter Quinn who was quite strict, but was visibly shaktake the man out of Ireland online December 3

{contributors} Dr. Miriam Nyhan has been based at NYU since 2006 where she teaches Irish migration history, coordinates the Masters in Irish and Irish-American Studies program, and is co-director of the Archives of Irish America’s Oral History. Her book, Are You Still Below? The Ford Marina Plant Cork, 1917-1984, provides a social history of Ireland’s only Ford factory. Michael Quinlin, who writes our cover story on Mayor Marty Walsh, is the author of Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston’s Colorful Irish Past (Globe Pequot Press), and the editor of Classic Irish Stories (Lyons Press). He is a longstanding member of the Boston chapter of Comhaltas. Michael lives in Milton, Massachusetts with his wife, Colette, and son, Devin. 8 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

Megan Smolenyak is a genealogist and the author of six books, including Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are?, a companion to the TV series. She is only slightly less Irish in heritage than Jimmy Fallon, whose Irish roots she uncovers in this issue. Timothy Walsh is an assistant dean at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His poems and short stories have appeared in The North American Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Wisconsin Magazine, Inkwell, and others. His awards include the Grand Prize in the Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition. “Grandma Walsh’s Wake,” printed in this issue, won the Donn Goodwin Prize in the Milwaukee Irish Fest Poetry Contest.



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Vol.29 No.2 • Feb. /Mar. 2014

IRISH AMERICA Mórtas Cine Pride In Our Heritage

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty MICHELLE MEAGHER

The town of Westport, Co. Mayo.

but you can’t take Ireland out of the man. I look forward to more products of Peter’s pen. Bail ó Dhia ar an obair, (God’s strength on his work). Enda Cullen, Principal St Joseph’s Grammar School Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone

Comments on Sheila Langan’s interview with Michael Dowling. Wow! What a story. I am an immigrant and have achieved my dreams in this country.I am a Baldrige Examiner and a consultant to

Michael Dowling

Art Director: Marian Fairweather Assistant Editor: Adam Farley

health care organizations. I work with leadership to change the culture of the organizations to drive excellence. I spread the knowledge internationally to get other countries to the same level as the U.S.A. Shashi Madhok posted online December 13

All Around Ireland

Ahead of the Game

Vice President of Marketing: Kate Overbeck

Comment on Michelle Meagher’s Photographs of Ireland. Beautiful pictures, Michelle. My wife and I have been to Ireland four times, and have many of the ones you took. Each time we visit we end up taking about 1,000 photos. We have so many images that we’ve done travelogues. You have a great eye for the great shot. Thanks for sharing. I especially like the one of Westport [pictured above]. – Ken, posted online September 30

The Business 100 Comments on our annual list of Irish corporate chieftains. As I read “The First Word” in the Dec./Jan. issue, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the Business 100 honorees helped to decrease my little pension from 2007 to its current amount? I think quite a few had a part in it (however small or large). Money isn’t everything – unless you need it to live. J. Bourke Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Visit us online at to leave your comments, or write to us: Send a fax (212-244-3344), e-mail ( or write to Letters, Irish America Magazine, 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Letters should include the writer’s name, address and phone number and may be edited for clarity and length.

Copy Editor: John Anderson Advertising & Events Coordinator & Music Editor: Tara Dougherty Director of Special Projects: Turlough McConnell Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan Editorial Assistants: Michelle Meagher Matthew Skwiat

IRISH AMERICA 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York NY 10001 TEL: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344

Subscriptions: 1-800-582-6642 E-MAIL: Irish America Magazine ISSN 08844240) © by Irish America Inc. Published bi-monthly. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Editorial office: 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212-725-2993. Fax: 212-244-3344 E-mail: Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-582-6642. Subscription queries: 1-800-582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 150. Periodicals postage paid at New York and additional mailing offices. Postmaster please send address changes to Irish America Magazine, P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. IRISH AMERICA IS PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.



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From Peat Bogs to Space Tweets January F

rom small honors to great losses, 2013 was not without its moments for Ireland and the Irish American community. Since the turn of the millennium, the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball (pictured above) has made its minute-long descent to bring in the New Year, and the start of 2013 was no different. More than one billion people watched 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangle panels drop into the New Year, filled, as ever, with unknown possibilities. In January, Ireland assumed its six-month term for the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Pantone Color Institute declared Emerald the Color of the Year, Derry/Londonderry assumed its role as UK City of Culture for 2013, and on January 3, Rep. Joe Kennedy III was sworn in as as the first new congressman in Massachusettes’s 4th district in more than three decades. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo also announced that New York State would lead the nation by becoming the first state to require all hospitals to adopt best practices for the early iden-

tification and treatment of sepsis, the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. The protocols have been named “Rory's Regulations” for 12-year-old Rory Staunton who died from an undiagnosed case of sepsis on April, 1 2012.

ABOVE: Rep. Joe Kennedy III. RIGHT: Rory Staunton and his family


The McAleese Report revealed the Irish Government’s involvement with the Magdalene Laundries and Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially offered an apology from the State. 10 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

Canadian Chris Hadfield become the most popular astronaut in Ireland when he tweeted in Irish from space to accompany a night-time shot of Dublin.




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aoiseach Enda Kenny met with President Obama in the Oval Office to discuss an array of issues, including the undocumented Irish. Vice President Joe Biden was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at a luncheon in New York City. Residents of Breezy Point, still reeling from the aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy, received a visit from Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, who was honored by the Kelly Gang on March 13. The coach promised to help rebuild the Catholic Club which serves at the heart of the Breezy Point community.

April A

pril will be remembered as the cruelest month in Boston, the city steeped in Irish heritage.Yet, in the aftermath of the Marathon Bombings, the people of Boston inspired the nation as ordinary citizens turned into heroes and the community rallied to help the families affected.

LEFT: Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly. TOP RIGHT: Vice President Joe Biden.

May C

ardinal Sean O’Malley boycotted Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s commencement speech at Boston College over the abortion issue. Daniel Day Lewis made a surprise appearance at the NYC American Ireland Fund dinner. New York Sen. Charles Schumer promised that if Congress passes a new immigration bill, it will contain a visa program that will allow at least 10,500 Irish to legally come to the U.S. each year.

Former Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords received a JFK Profile in Courage Award.

June W

orld leaders, including President Obama, convened in Northern Ireland for the G8 Summit. GAA all-stars came to Breezy Point to play football and help those recovering from Superstorm Sandy. The Kennedy clan, some 35 members in all, arrived in New Ross, Co.Wexford to celebrate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s visit; attend the opening of the new exhibition at the Kennedy homestead; and the lighting of the Eternal Emigrant Flame (taken from JFK’s grave in Arlington). Legendary singer Judy Collins sang for a crowd of some 10,000 gathered on the quay as Caroline Kennedy and Jean Kennedy Smith lit the Flame.The previous evening Collins was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in New Ross.

ABOVE: Jack Kennedy Schlossberg in New Ross. RIGHT: The lighting of the Eternal Emigrant Flame. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 11



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July I

reland enjoyed a record hot summer with temperatures well above 80 degrees. Irish abortion legislation passed, allowing abortion in extreme medical cases. Boston College handed over IRA oral history tapes to Northern Irish police. An American peace envoy headed by Richard Haass went to Belfast after outbreaks of sectarian violence. Thousands of Irish rallied to “Protect the lives of women and girls and make abortion accessible.”

August FAR LEFT: Maureen O’Hara celebrates her 93rd birthday. CENTER: Seamus Heaney. LEFT: Jane Richard, who lost her leg in the Boston Marathon boming, continues be to be an incredible source of inspiration.


he U.S. Census confirmed the number of Irish Americans in the U.S. is six times the population of Ireland. An Early Christian settlement was discovered in Donegal and the world’s oldest fleshed remains were found in a bog in Laois. Maureen O’Hara celebrated her 93rd birthday in Boise, ID on August 17.Ann Anderson, Ireland’s first female ambassador to the U.S., assumed her role.The Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney died on August 30. His last words, texted to his wife, were “Noli temere,” Don’t be afraid. Jane Richard, an Irish dancer who lost her leg and her nine-year-old brother Martin to the Boston Marathon bombing, got back on her feet with the aid of a prostetic leg.“Watching her dance with her new leg . . . is absolutely priceless,” her parents said in a statement.

September H

Above: Clare became the All-Ireland hurling champions for 2013 after battling Cork for the title. Right: Haley O’Sullivan from Texas is crowned the 55th Rose of Tralee. 12 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

aley O’Sullivan from Texas was named the 55th Rose of Tralee. News reports claimed that 40,000 Irish people moved to Australia in 2011-12, with 5,000 settling there permanently.The two largest Irish diaspora sites, IrishCentral and WorldIrish, merged.The combined entity is operating as Clare assumed the 2013 All-Ireland hurling championship title after a sensational win over Cork in an eight-goal final replay at Croke Park, and Dublin won out over Mayo in the AllIreland football championship. Citi Bank’s Jim O’Donnell delivered the keynote address at Irish America’s Wall St. 50 dinner, with Northern Ireland ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness in attendance. Congressman Paul Ryan promised Irish Americans that he will do his utmost to deliver immigration reform.



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October T

he Dublin Marathon had the most runners in the history of the race, and Sean Hehir became the first Irish winner since 1993. Mollie Rogers, a.k.a. “Mother Mary Joseph,” the founder of the Maryknoll sisters and the daughter of Irish immigrants, was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame on October 12 in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American Women’s Rights Movement. Congressman Peter King (R-NY) is the voice of sanity as he stands up to hardliners in his Republican Party in an appeal to end the government shutdown.

ABOVE: The Dublin Marathon. LEFT: Mollie Rogers, “Mother Mary Joseph.”

November W

hitey Bulger, the infamos Boston outlaw, was sentenced to two life sentences plus five years. Residents of Breezy Point and Rockaway gathered on the beach at a “Rockaway Rising”event to mark the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Colin and Stephanie Mathers ran the NYC Marathon to raise funds for the Rory Staunton Foundation.The Irish government decides not to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus.The Irish Emigrant, IrishCentral, and Irish America, celebrated “Irish Heroes of New England,” paying homage to those who stepped forward and helped in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. Attendees included Boston mayor-elect Marty Walsh. In the weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, his legacy was recalled in TV programming, books and articles. On November 12, his daughter, Caroline Kennedy, was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

ABOVE: Caroline Kennedy is sworn in as Ambassador to Japan by Sec. of State John Kerry, as her husband, Edwin Schlossberg, holds the bible. FAR LEFT: Ambassador Ann Anderson. LEFT: A courthouse sketch of Whitey Bulger on trial.

December A


record eight million people visited Ireland in 2013, and Tourism Ireland set a goal of 25.6 mil. visitors in the next three years. As Ireland left the EU bailout on December 15, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “There are still demanding times ahead. It does not mean any windfall of cash. It won’t mean that our economic and financial challenges are over.” Michael Dowling, President & CEO of North Shore-LIJ Health System, served as Keynote Speaker at Irish America’s Business 100 Awards luncheon on December 5. In a fitting endnote to the year, the Waterford Crystal Ball dropped again in Times Square, serving as a reminder of the binding ties between Ireland and the U.S. IA

ABOVE: Winter Solstice in New Grange on December 21. TOP LEFT: The EU Flag flies even as Ireland left the EU bailout. LEFT: The Waterford Crystal Ball will now be enjoyed all year long. It is set to become a permanent exhibition at #1 Times Square, where it will sit atop a 150-foot pole.





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{news from ireland}

Irish Scientists Discover Genetic Basis for Memory Formation


cientists from Trinity College Dublin have shown for the first time that two genes involved in many neurological diseases act together to regulate specific aspects of protein production in nerve cells and allow the development of a simple form of memory called habituation. These findings have implications for our understanding of memory formation in general, and will also aid ongoing research in related diseases. Habituation occurs when we are repeatedly exposed to a stimulus and our response is lessened over time as a result. Two everyday examples include our ability to stop hearing ambient noise when concentrating on a particular task, and the fact that we stop feeling the clothes we are wearing once we are dressed. The scientists behind the discovery worked with fruit flies to explore the fundamentals of memory and learning and to investigate the molecular function of the two genes, called ‘Atx2’ and ‘FMRP’. Atx2 is associated with Motor Neurone Disease and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 2, while FMRP is known to impact mental retardation and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Drosophila brain with neurons of the olfactory system highlighted in green.

The Trinity scientists, led by Professor of Neurogenetics Mani Ramaswami, showed that flies that normally learned to ignore a familiar, unpleasant smell, failed to do so if they had defects in either gene. They proposed two potential explanations for defective protein regulation based on their results. Mutations that cause a loss of function in both genes lead to a failure to reduce protein production when associated proteins are not required, while an increased or altered

function of the genes leads to a ‘hyperrepressed’ state in which the stimulation of specific protein production is prevented when these proteins are required. Dr. Jens Hillebrand, Research Fellow in Genetics at Trinity and co-lead author on the paper, added: “It is nice to be able to potentially explain why FMRP and Atx2 diseases in humans are symptomatically different, even though the two proteins have rather similar normal functions.” – P.H.



UCD President Dr. Hugh Brady who supports the Laureate.

he realm of Irish literature was given a boost when the Irish Arts Council announced on December 13th its development of a Laureate for Irish Fiction.The new initiative is supported by the University College Dublin, New York University, and the Irish Times. Chairman of the Arts Council Pat Moylan said, “I am very proud that the Laureate for Irish Fiction has been created by the Arts Council. The Laureate represents a milestone for Irish literature and will place Irish writing at the forefront of global public thought.” The Laureate will be selected by a jury consisting of one writer from Ireland and one from America, representatives from the Arts Council, University College Dublin, New York University, and the Irish Times. The newly minted Laureate will be selected in 2014 and have a three-year term where he


or she will receive 150,000 euros ($206,000), teach at NYU and University College Dublin, develop his or her own work, and participate in major public events and promotions. Put in perspective the United States poet laureate receives $35,000 and the British an annual stipend of $9,400. Support for the initiative has been met with acclaim both within Ireland and the United States. Denis Staunton of the Irish Times wrote, “The Laureate will build on the illustrious literary history of the Irish and aim to encourage the next generation of Irish writers.” President of University College Dublin, Dr. Hugh Brady voiced support for the creation of a Laureate saying, “I am confident that this program will contribute to enhancing Ireland’s global reputation and, most importantly, the reputation of Ireland as the center of excellence for literature.” – M.S.


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{ irish eye on hollywood} By Tom Deigan Maybe they should call it the Father and Son Dance Film Festival! After all, it was an Irish family affair at this year’s Sundance Film Fest, which ran from January 16 - 26 in Park City, Utah. First up is Frank, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film has been described as an offbeat comedy about a musician struggling to make it with a band fronted by a selfproclaimed musical genius who is so odd he wears a large,

Brendan Gleeson will also team up with fellow veteran Irish thespian Fiona Shaw in an upcoming thriller based on an Edgar Allen Poe short story. Gleeson and Shaw — who recently wowed New York stage audiences in a performance of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” —will join Michael Caine, Kate Beckinsale, and Ben Kingsley in Eliza Graves. The original short story might well have been the inspiration for the phrase “The inmates are running the asylum,” because that’s exactly what the main character, a Harvard medical school graduate, encounters when he takes on his first job — a mental institution where the one-time patients are now posing Promotional still of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender and Domhnall as doctors. Look for Eliza Graves to hit Gleeson in Frank (2014). screens late this year or early next.

February is going to be a busy month for Irish film stars. Slated for a February 7 release is One Chance, about singer Paul Potts, a Welshman who stunned the audience, viewers and judges on the TV show “Britain’s Got Talent.” Colm Meaney stars in the film, along with James Corden and Alexandra Roach. Down the road, look for the always-busy Meaney to appear in a biopic about global football icon Pele. The film (simply entitled Pele) will feature Meaney as the coach of the Swedish national team that lost to Brazil in the 1958 World Cup, in which a 17 year-old Pele played. fake head when he performs on stage. Also in February, Irish veteran of Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, stage and screen Gabriel Byrne becomes the latest star to (if you will) What Richard Did), Frank is based on a memoir get sucked into the vampire trend. by Welsh journalist Jon Ronson and bears similarByrne will appear in Vampire Academy, ities to the life of musical artist Frank Sidebottom. based on the best-selling series of Reacting to the Sundance selection, Frank books by Richelle Mead, about the batdirector Lenny Abrahamson said, “I can’t think of tles between good and evil among the a better place for this film to begin its life.” undead at an elite school. Sarah Producer Ed Guiney added,“Sundance is the perHyland, Olga Kurylenko and Zoey fect place to launch the worldwide campaign of Deutch lead the cast of Vampire this great new film from Lenny Abrahamson. And Academy, which features the inevitable it’s great to be there with fellow Irishmen and coltagline: “They Suck at School.” laborators, Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson.” February will also see the release of Indeed, Gleeson’s father, Brendan, was also Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown two long-awaited films from two of represented at Sundance. Gleeson stars in Calvary, Findlay in Winter’s Tale. Ireland’s top stars: Colin Farrell and a dramedy about a tortured priest directed by John Michael McDonagh. The film re-teams Gleeson and Liam Neeson. The latter’s latest action flick, Non-Stop, is slated to hit screens in mid-February. Non-Stop, also starring McDonagh, who brought the excellent comedy The Guard Julianne Moore, is a kind of Speed at 30,000 feet. Neeson to cinemas in 2011. Calvary features an A-list Irish cast, plays an air marsha l who begins receiving texts which state including Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran and, that one passenger on the fight will be killed every 20 minyes, Domhnall Gleeson. utes until certain ransom demands are met. Meanwhile, Also screening at Sundance was The Last Days of Peter Colin Farrell’s long-awaited time-traveling film Winter’s Tale Bergmann, a short film about the case of a mysterious (based on the novel by Mark Helprin) will also hit screens in Austrian who showed up in Sligo in 2009. 16 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014



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considering starring in the film. Springfield’s many fans are hoping a strong movie about her life and work will create renewed interest in this beloved crooner. As the Irish Times columnist Brian Boyd put it recently, Springfield “is always left off that now all-too-familiar roll-call of great musicians of Irish descent. We have tested and tasted too much of the ‘Irishness’ of The Smiths, Oasis, John Lydon, et. al. But, in truth, Dusty was bigger and better than any of the boys.” The London-born “Irish Catholic girl” Dusty Springfield (left) and Adele (right).

February. Winter’s Tale also stars Russell Crowe, Will Smith and Jessica Brown Findlay. Finally for February, two Irish names we haven’t heard in a while: Stuart Townsend and Paddy Considine. Townsend was on Nicole the rise in the early 2000s, starring in films Kidman as such as About Adam, Queen of the Princess Damned, and The League of Extraordinary Grace. Gentleman, while also dating A-lister Charlize Theron. But after a number of quiet years recently, Townsend is jumping back into the fray with the film A Stranger in Paradise. A thriller set in the world of high finance, A Stranger in Paradise is about an ambitious money manager who is banished to Thailand, on the run from people trying to kill him. Meanwhile, Paddy Considine (who was inspired by his real-life Irish father in Jim Sheridan’s In America) will appear in the German romantic drama Girl on a Bicycle, about an Italian bus driver who has second thoughts after proposing marriage to his German girlfriend. Rumors of a Dusty Springfield biopic have been swirling around London and Hollywood for years. Well, the rumors are heating up once again, now that Grammy-award winning singer Adele has been mentioned as a possible star. For years, Nicole Kidman was said to be considering the lead role in any film about the celebrated “Son of a Preacher Man” singer, who was born Mary Catherine Bernadette O’Brien in London in 1930 and always described herself as “just an Irish Catholic girl.” In a separate project, comes word that “Boardwalk Empire” writer David Stenn has completed a script about the years when Springfield moved to Tennessee to record the now-classic album Dusty in Memphis. Adele has long counted Dusty Springfield as an influence, and is now said to be

But if you still feel you must see Nicole Kidman in a film about an

icon with Irish roots, then you’re in luck. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Kidman’s Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco will be released on March 14. Ed Burns has been making headlines starring in the critically acclaimed TNT drama “Mob City,” about cops and crooks in 1940s Los Angeles. Burns gets in touch with his dark side to portray infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel in the show, which was created by Hollywood big wig Frank Darabont, who directed such Hollywood hits as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. “Mob City” also features another actor whose parents, like Burns, came from Ireland: Neal McDonagh. In “Mob City,” McDonagh plays a crimefighting cop dedicated to tackling the West Coast mob. McDonagh is the son of Irish immigrants from Tipperary and Galway who raised their family in Dorchester, Massachusetts. McDonagh’s other small screen credits include HBO’s “Band of Brothers” as well as ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.” In other Ed Burns news, the writer/director has apparently changed his plans for a sequel to his groundbreaking 1995 film The Brothers McMullen. Burns now says catching up with the Long Island Irish clan in the 21st century was simply not working out, and he is now thinking of going further back in time. On Twitter, Burns recently wrote: “I had to throw out the McMullen sequel idea. I just didn’t fall in love with any of the ideas I had about where to find them 20 years later. So instead of a McMullen sequel, I’m writing a prequel. Set in 1986, Jack is a senior in college, Barry a senior in (high school), Pat finishing 8th grade.” IA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 17



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Celebrating With Concern C EO of Aer Lingus Christoph Mueller was honored by the international humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide U.S. in early December. Mueller was recognized at Concern’s annual Seeds of Hope dinner for bridging the gulf between business acumen and charitable efforts since assuming Aer Lingus’s top position in 2009. At the event, Dr. Joseph Cahalan, CEO of Concern, said that Mueller was “a driver of social change through charitable partnerships and programs that make a lasting impact on people... whose lives have been devastated by natural disaster or whose potential has been compromised because of extreme poverty.” Notably, Aer Lingus leads an in-flight fund-raising campaign on behalf of UNICEF that has raised $16 million to date. More recently, the company provided its planes to deliver emergency relief supplies to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. “I accept the award on behalf of all Aer Lingus employees, past and present, who have shown their generosity of spirit, throughout the years, to those less fortunate than them,” Mueller said in his acceptance speech at the Waldorf Astoria. The dinner raised more than $1.8 million for Concern. Tom Moran, Chairman & CEO of Mutual of America and Chairman of Concern Worldwide U.S., remembered the late Aengus Finucane, the Irish priest who founded Concern. He spoke of Finucane’s influence on his life, of the many trips that he himself has made with Concern to some of the most troubled spots in the world, and

ABOVE: From left: CEO of JetBlue Airways Dave Barger, Christoph Mueller, and Tom Moran. LEFT: From left: Carolyn Perla, Joseph Calahan, and Nobel laureate Elie Weisel.

the organization’s ability to change lives and create a better future for impoverished children and their families. Earlier in the month, Concern also hosted their Winter Ball at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, which raised $135,000 for Concern’s programs in 27 countries around the globe, the largest amount brought in at the event since the IA inaugural Ball 13 years ago. – A.F.

Ripples of Hope

T Muhammad Yunus, Ethel Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy and Stephen Colbert at the RFK Ripple of Hope Awards dinner.


he Bangladeshi banker, economist, and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award by the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, conceived as a living memorial for Robert Kennedy. More than 1,000 guests attended the December awards dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown, which was emceed by Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert and Kerry Kennedy. Yunus is widely regarded to be the father of micro-finance and microcredit, which allows entrepreneurs and small-business owners who lack strong credit history or access to traditional bank loans to obtain financing for their ventures. In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to curtail poverty by introducing these types of loans, lauded by the Nobel Committee for creating “economic and social development from below.” He joins the company of Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, Bono, George Clooney, and Al Gore, all of whom have been previously honored with the RKF Ripple of Hope Award. The award is given to leaders of the international business, entertainment, and activist communities who embody Robert Kennedy’s vision for pioneering social change and charity. Also honored were Niclas Matseke, head of the Swedish Postcode Lottery, and John Boyer, chairman of the Maximus Foundation. – A.F.

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Chris O’Dowd and Jim Norton to star in Of Mice and Men Revival


World Premier of Thomas Keneally’s New Musical Transport arther downtown in New York, the world premier of IrishAustralian author Thomas Keneally’s new musical Transport is set to open February 16 at the Irish Repertory Theater in Chelsea. Keneally, who wrote the lyrics and accompanying book, is


his spring, a star-studded cast will bring John Steinbeck’s seminal novella Of Mice and Men to Broadway for the first time in 40 years. Directed by the Tony-award winning director Anna D. Shapiro, the revival will star James Franco as the quickJames Franco and Chris O’Dowd tempered George, and Irish favorite as John Steinbeck’s George and Lennie. Chris O’Dowd as the well-intentioned but mentally challenged Lennie. It was recently announced that Jim Norton, the Irish actor who won a Tony for his role in Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer, will play the ranch hand Candy. “Gossip Girl” alumna Leighton Meester signed on to play Curley’s wife, whose temptations of Lennie and George play a pivotal role in Director Tony Walton, Thomas Keneally, the story’s tragic end. and Black 47 founder Larry Kirwan. Chris O’Dowd’s involvement with the play will mark his debut on Broadway. best known as the author of Schindler’s Known primarily to American audiences as the loveable cop in 2011’s Ark, which he later adapted to the Bridesmaids, for which he won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best screen for Steven Spielberg as Schindler’s Supporting Actor, and his current role on HBO’s “Family Tree,” O’Dowd is no List, the film that won the best picture stranger to the stage. He has performed to sold-out crowds in Garry Hynes’s critiOscar in 1993. cally-acclaimed Druid production of The Playboy of the Western World, and was in Transport is based on the real-life the Royal Court production of Under the Blue Sky. story of Keneally’s wife’s grandmother On the other end of the Broadway veteran spectrum, the Dublin-born thespian and other impoverished Irish women Jim Norton has been performing in New York for who were deported to Australia in 1846 decades and most recently received acclaim for his on the prison ship “The Whisper” for parts in Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s produccommitting minor crimes.The musical is tions, particularly The Seafarer, for which he won his directed by the acclaimed Tony Walton, Tony in 2008, as well as an Olivier Award in 2007. On who received an Oscar for Bob Fosse’s screen, his credits include the role of Bishop Brennan All That Jazz and has won numerous in the 90s sitcom “Father Ted,” a villain in the controTony awards.The score, written by versial Sam Peckinpaw film Straw Dogs, and most Larry Kirwan, the Irish-born founder of recently as a circus worker opposite Robert Pattinson the New York-based Celtic punk band in 2011’s Water for Elephants. Black 47, will draw from the influences The story of two migrant workers trying to achieve of Irish traditional music, folk rock, and the American dream of owning their own land in Broadway show tunes.The limited preDepression-era California, Of Mice and Men is one of Jim Norton mier run closes on April 6. – A.F. Steinbeck’s most well-known works and has become required reading in numerous classrooms as a staple of American writing. Almost immediately after the novella was pubIrish Voice Celebrates Top 100 Irish in Education lished, Steinbeck wrote the script for the he Irish Voice 2013 Education 100 recepfirst Broadway production in 1937. It was tion took place at the New York resirevived again in the 1974-75 season, stardence of Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny ring James Earl Jones as Lennie and on Wednesday, December 18. Pictured are Kevin Conway as George. Previews are Irish TD from Cork, David Stanton; Irish Voice set to begin at the Longacre Theater on publisher Niall O’Dowd; and honoree Frank Broadway on March 19, with the official Reynolds, benefactor of Chestnut Hill College opening night set for April 16. The onein Philadelphia. For more information visit time limited engagement run of the perIA formance ends on July 27. – A.F. PHOTO BY NUALA PURCELL





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{hibernia} Glucksman Ireland House NYU at Twenty:

Celebrations Continue with a Magnificent Exhibit




013 was an extraordinarily busy year at 1 Washington Mews. Starting last February, a plethora of activities has highlighted the range of this jewel in Greenwich Village: a memorable 20th Anniversary gala, conferences, exhibits, publications, concerts, workshops and all this on top of a range of classes offered to undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of Irish and Irish-American Studies. The current anniversary-related initiative is a stunning exhibit of eighteenth-century letters from Bordeaux’s Irish community, which draws on world-class collections of art and never-before-seen historical documents. “The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757: The Voice of an Irish Community Abroad” runs at the Mamdouha S. Bobst Gallery in NYU’s Bobst Library through April 1. In 1757, in the middle of the Seven Years’ War, an Irish wine ship en route from Bordeaux to Dublin was captured by the British Navy. In 2011, the mailbag from the Dublin-based ship the Seven Sisters was discovered in the British National Archives by New York University professor Tom Truxes. The majority of the letters had never been opened. The 125 letters in this exhibit are located in the historical context of the first truly global war and explicate the role of the Irish diaspora in eighteenth-century Europe and America. The letters take readers into a private and intimate world inhabited by ordinary men and women separated from their homeland by war. One of the most touching of letters was written by the wife of the ship’s captain. It contains expressions of longing and affection, along with the much more pragmatic concerns of bringing home olives and prunes. The following is an excerpt from “Mary Dennis, Dublin, to Mr Jon Dennis, Comander of the Too Sisters to be left at Mr Christopher Gernons, Merchant in Bordeaux, France:” My dear life, I take this opertunyty to let you know I am in good health & I hope this may find you din ye same it is ye greatest blessing I Desire if I cold hear you were safe & well I have bean very uneasey this past bad Wether but I trust in god for a happy Sight of you as there is as to reasons & paper fine & Corse & nuts & evry thing as befor ollivfs & peper if cheapan imbargo I think it Wold be proper to bring What you can to sell in ye shop or it is 2s per [ream] hear it is better have a Stock & you may Remit C munny for them at yr Return […] My Dr I beg you will not omit Riting as it is ye onely Pleasure I Can have in yr ab-s tance I beg you may take care of your self & I beg of the Allmyty God to Preserve heare

Margaret Cardosi, a Master’s student in Irish and IrishAmerican Studies at NYU, reads the letters on display in the Bordeaux-Dublin Letters exhibit.

Continue in this filthy Castle […] on this Occeason You thought a Creditt you from all Eavill & grant me a hapy sight Wich is ye Fervent prayers of YOUR LOVING AFFECTUNATE WIFE WHILLST MARY DENNIS The themes are universal. There are students asking their parents for money, and fathers chastising their children for being disobedient or lazy. There are letters filled with petty gossip and letters expressing the frustrations of Irish prisoners of war languishing in French jails. As a time capsule of 1757, the Bordeaux-Dublin letters offer a uniquely candid glimpse into the lives of ordinary people who never imagined that anyone else would ever read them. The exhibition is open to the public from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily on the ground floor of NYU’s Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South. A photo ID is required to enter the Mamdouha S. Bobst Gallery. To learn more about Glucksman Ireland House NYU and the book that accompanies this exhibit go to http://irelandhouse., or email – Dr. Miriam Nyhan

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“We Are All Immigrants” The resounding and proud sentiment of the 2013 Business 100 awards luncheon held on December 5th at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan.


eynote speaker Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of North Shore-LIJ Health System, speaking before a crowd of close to 200 Irish and Irish-American professionals and community figures, declared, “we are all immigrants.” Guests who gathered to celebrate the Business 100 honorees included former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson, Consul General Noel Kilkenny, and beloved singer/songwriter Judy Collins. Ringing in its 28th year, the Business 100 celebrates the extraordinary achievements of Irish-American and Irish-born leaders in the corporate world. This year’s list includes such leaders in advertising as Leeann Leahy, President, and Greg Smith, Chief Creative Officer of The Via Agency; Lisa Donohue CEO at Starcom USA, as well as a selection of young leaders in technology such as Paul Adams, Head of Product Design at Intercom; Katie Finnegan, Co-Founder of Hukkster; and Trevor Madigan, Founder of The Vision Lab. Honorees attending the awards luncheon, hosted by Irish America with the support of ICON PLC, included, Jo Ann Ross, President of TV Network Sales at CBS, Dermot O’Brien, Chief Human Resources Officer at ADP, Gordon Hardie, Managing Director of Bunge Food, Donald Colleran Executive President of Global Sales & Solutions for FexEx, and Ed Kelly President and CEO, American Express Publishing. Founding publisher Niall O’Dowd and co-founder Patricia Harty congratulated the attendees and honorees, especially welcoming into the fold those who were being recognized for the first time. Ambassador Anderson spoke to the great progress Ireland has made in recent months, as well as the incredible journeys and contributions of all of the honorees and of Dowling, who grew up in a small Limerick village close to where the Ambassador’s mother was raised. As he introduced Dowling, Governor Cuomo took time to reflect upon his own path and place as the son of Italian immigrants, and his belief that the term “melting pot” is inadequate when it comes to describing the interplay of immigrant cultures in America. He prefers, he explained, “mosaic,” because it acknowledges both our differences and distinctions, and the beautiful ways in which we join together to create something much bigger. He also hailed Dowling, who served as his Health and Social Services Commissioner, as the kind of leader the whole country needs when it comes to health care. Cuomo encouraged those in attendance to, in turn, encourage Dowling to consider taking on a more prominent role in health care on a national level in future years. Dowling gave a meditative and deeply moving keynote address, centering on the combination of hard work and luck that saw him rise from a childhood of hardship to a highly successful and still-evolving career in the U.S. “Life is not about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself,” he said. He expressed gratitude towards those, such as Cuomo, who gave him opportunities to test and prove himself, and encouraged attendees to take similar chances on people with the right drive and will, instead of simply those who have all the right experience. “Always do the right thing;” he said, quoting Mark Twain, “gratifying some people and astonishing the rest.” Following the remarks, the legendary Judy Collins, who was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame this past summer, treated the crowd to two songs: “Both Sides Now,” sung as beautifully as ever, and a powerful new composition inspired by her own Irish immigrant ancestors. You could hear a pin drop as she sang – and instantly gained 200 enthusiastic viewers for her Dromoland Castle PBS special, which she recorded in Ireland in September and will air on PBS in March. PHOTOS BY MARGARET PURCELL AND KIT DEFEVER

Patricia Harty and Niall O’Dowd present Michael Dowling with a beautiful Waterford Crystal bowl.

Mike Douglas and honoree Lisa Donohue of Starcom.

Singer and Irish America Hall of Fame inductee Judy Collins with Tom Moran, chairman and CEO of Mutual of America.

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Elgin Loane, publisher of the London Irish Post.



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Honorees Ed Kelly of American Express Publishing with Leeann Leahy and Greg Smith of the VIA Agency.

Wall Street 50 honoree Sean Lane with honoree Katie Finnegan of Hukkster.

ICON PLC’s Simon Holmes and Brendan Brennan with Anne Trimble of Barclays.

Honoree Margaret Molloy with Turlough McConnell and Ruth Riddick.

Ambassador Anne Anderson, Consul Gerneral Noel Kilkenny and his wife, Hanora.

Patricia Harty and honoree Dermot O’Brien of ADP.

Joe Mulvehill with honoree Pat Keough of Lion Consulting Group.

Honoree Gordon Hardie of Bunge with John Murphy and William Galvin.

Ralph Nappi, John V. Raggio, John J. Raggio, Michael Dowling and Laura Okrent.

Deputy Consul General Peter Ryan, honoree John Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Hotels, Frank Collins, and honoree Ruairi Twomey of Diageo.

From left: Harry Keeshan, Peggy Kelly, Chris Simon, honoree Jo Ann Ross of CBS, Larry Hunt, Elizabeth Ross, Sharon Cullen, and honoree Martin Daly also of CBS.

Keynote Speaker Michael Dowling and fmr. Governor Cuomo share a moment.



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The Quiet Man is a National Treasure


here was much rejoicing among Golden-Age film lovers on December 18, 2013, when they learned that the classic 1952 John Ford film The Quiet Man was officially added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry. Each year the organization selects 25 movies that have the largest number of supporters by way of campaigns and petitions. Devoted Quiet Man fans can now be assured that their favorite film is properly recognized as an important cinematic treasure and that it will be preserved and protected for generations to come. In a statement offered from her home in Boise, Idaho, Maureen O’Hara said, “I am overjoyed that the Library of Congress has inducted The Quiet Man into its National Film Registry. It was the thrill of our lives for John Ford, John Wayne, myself, and everyone to make it. I had never seen Ireland more majestic than she was that summer in 1951. It was the first time she would ever be captured in technicolor and we all knew while we were making it that the real star of The Quiet Man would be Ireland herself – and she truly is. “I loved playing Mary Kate Danaher. I liked the hell and fire in her. The Quiet Man is my favorite of all the pictures I made. I love it so much because it was the first great movie about Ireland, made her look wonderful, and shared her customs and traditions with the rest of the world. Yet I believe it has become a classic and endured for over sixty years because it’s a simple and timeless story about people in love. Thank you for preserving this cinematic treasure for all future generations. May its message of love endure throughout the ages.” O’Hara and John Wayne were romantic leads on screen and became life-long friends when the cameras weren’t rolling, which is why on May 23, 2013, at the age of 92, Maureen boarded a plane to make a sentimental journey to the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in the rural community of Winterset, Iowa. It was her first visit to the landmark and she was invited as the honored guest for their annual John Wayne Birthday celebration


fundraiser to support the museum. “He was the softest, kindest warmest, most loyal human being I’ve ever known,” Maureen said of Wayne. Her late brother, Charles FitzSimons had his own analysis of the couple’s lusty appeal: “Their chemistry was unique for two reasons…Wayne was a big man, he was physically powerful and he had no qualms about his abilities as a man or his masculinity, and it came across. He was a believable male! Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne in a scene from Maureen was the female version of the 1952 film The Quiet Man. that. She didn’t have to put on coquettish airs or she didn’t have to try to Quiet Man cottage restoration group, was be a sex pot. The same thing came through particularly instrumental in helping to get from her naturally and when these two the word out through his many contacts in [interacted] you had a fantastic situation, Ireland and the U.S. She also reached out and that’s why they were such an incredito the members of the voting board and ble team!” began a letter writing campaign to direcWayne was often questioned about his tors in Hollywood. association with the fiery O’Hara, and his “The film had so many fans who were favorite answer was always, ‘“O’Hara? willing to carry the ball a little further The greatest guy I ever knew.” down the field and keep the momentum When Maureen arrived in Winterset, going,” she said. The thing she hadn't with her grandson Conor FitzSimons, his anticipated in all of this was just how The wife Elga, their children Everest and Quiet Man had emotionally affected so Baylee, and her nephew Charles many people. FitzSimons, she received a Hollywood By the end of Laura’s campaign, the royal welcome with red-carpet treatment Facebook page she created had over for the next three days as the town 2,000 likes from across the world. “The buzzed with Wayne/O’Hara related activfilm is loved the world over,” she said, ities. The visit concluded with a dinner “and my experience with this effort has attended by over 800 guest, who were proven to me that film is a unifying audibly delighted when Maureen took thing.” the microphone to speak about her dear Now that the film is part of the National friend. She was interrupted repeatedly by Registry, The Quiet Man truly is a applause and ended her remarks by “Happily Ever After” story. returning returningWayne’s compliment, – June Parker Beck “John Wayne was a helluva guy.” It was writer Laura Bynum who, upon June Parker Beck is the founder and editor discoveing that The Quiet Man wasn’t part of the online publication Maureen O’Hara of the National Film registry, began a Magazine and its accompanying Facebook campaign to have her favoirte movie page. Since 1991 she has written extensiveincluded. ly on the many dimensions of Maureen In a conversation with Laura, she O’Hara and her relationship to Ireland. revealed that the task was not without its You can visit Maureen O’Hara Magazine challenges. She began in the summer of at:, or visit the 2012 with a Facebook campaign, reaching Facebook page at: out to fans of O'Hara, Wayne, and John, as well as classic film lovers and OHara-Magazine-on-Facebook-Officialhibernophiles. Patrick McCormick, head Site/131269913567989. of the White O’Morn Foundation, the

M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies New Scholarships Available in Irish and Irish-American Studies at New York University Glucksman Ireland House NYU is pleased to announce that significant financial aid is now available for students entering the M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies. Scholarships are available for students in the following fields: Irish Literature Irish History P Irish-American Studies P




Digital Scholarship Irish Music and Cultural Studies

The program takes advantage of our unique faculty strengths, our strong connections with Ireland, and our location in the heart of New York City. It allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary course of study in a dynamic field of Humanities and Social Science research. The M.A. degree can be completed in three semesters at NYU’s Greenwich Village campus in New York City, or in one calendar year with full-time summer study in New York and in Dublin. Untitled-1 1

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{those we lost}

Peter O’Toole 1932 - 2013


eter O’Toole, the actor who rose to international fame nearly overnight as T.E. Lawrence in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, died December 14th in a London hospital. His daughter, the actress Kate O’Toole, said in a statement that he had been ill for some time. He was 81 years old. He was 6 foot 2 inches with sandy blonde hair, eyes like a hurricane, and a jaw like a rocks glass. The epitome of the 1960s leading man, he was known as much for his on-screen bravado as his socalled “lost weekends” off screen. After his first leading role in Lawrence as the British archaeologist-turned-soldier who led an Arab uprising against the Ottoman

tion for gambling and the tracks, he allegedly lost most of his Lawrence of Arabia earnings in two nights gambling with his co-star Omar Sharif, The New York Times reported. So perhaps it wasn’t so facetious when he once explained in an interview that he took lesser roles because “it’s what I do for a living and, besides, I’ve got bookies to keep.” “We heralded the ‘60s,” he once said, according to The Irish Times. “Me, [Richard] Burton, Richard Harris; we did in public what everyone else did in private then, and does for show now. We drank in public, we knew about pot.” Though he gave up most drinking in the late 70s, he continued to smoke unfiltered Gauloises Peter O’Toole as Lawrence of Arabia with Omar Sharif

Empire during WWI, O’Toole was nominated for his first of eight Oscars. The 60s and early 70s continued to see O’Toole invoking power and extravagance in his roles that led to subsequent Oscar nods: Henry II in 1964’s Beckett and another Henry II, opposite Katharine Hepburn, in 1968’s The Lion in Winter; Arthur Chipping in 1970’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips; and in the last film of his peak career years, the mad 14th Earl of Gurney in The Ruling Class. But the roles O’Toole took were not always magnanimous filmic accomplishments (for example, Woody Allen’s 1965 What’s New, Pussycat?), and several were universally panned, like Night of the Generals (1967) and Caligula in 1979. But those years too saw his off-screen reputation grow. Known as having a predilec26 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

through a long cigarette holder the rest of his life. Irish President Michael D. Higgins too counted O’Toole as “a friend since 1969,” when Higgins spent part of the year in Clifden with him, meeting “almost daily,” he told The Irish Times. “All of us who knew him in the west will miss his warm humour and generous friendship.” According to The Washington Post, another explanation he provided links his ups and downs to his Irish heritage. “The Celts are, at rock bottom, deep pessimists,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but there’s something in me that after I build something, I knock it down – just for the hell of it.” Peter Seamus O’Toole was born in either Connemara or Leeds on August 2, 1932. (Some sources also say “Seamus

Peter.”) While O’Toole himself said his birthplace was uncertain, he was raised in Leeds by his mother Constance, a Scottish nurse, and his father Patrick, an Irishman from the west and a frequently indebted traveling bookie, yet whose affected upper class mannerisms and dress earned him the nickname “Spats.” According to The New York Times, O’Toole liked to joke that he was brought up “not working class but criminal class.” His father in fact lost most of the use of his right hand after his knuckles were broken by debt collectors. To support the family, O’Toole left school at 13 to work in the various industries Leeds had to offer, eventually making it to the copy room of The Yorkshire Evening News. This would have been a perfect job for O’Toole, who told The Washington Post in 1978 that his passion was language, if only he was any good at reporting. Instead, his editor fired him, telling O’Toole: “Try something else, be an actor, do anything.” That was in the late 40s and O’Toole had already had some amateur acting roles, but his editor’s words spurred him, and by 1955, O’Toole had graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on a full scholarship. He spent the next years honing his craft on stage and receiving national acclaim in numerous Shakespearean roles, including Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice,” which was seen by the casting director of the upcoming Lawrence of Arabia. It wasn’t until the 1990s that O’Toole seemed to regain some of his former clout as an actor, and in 2003 he was awarded an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. At the time, he had been nominated seven times and never won. His eighth Academy Award nomination came in 2006 for his portrayal of an aging actor consigned to play dying kings and sympathetic, but feeble-minded old men in Roger Mitchell’s Venus. O’Toole retired from acting about a year ago and since lived a quiet life in his London home. In addition to his daughter Kate, he is survived by his other two children, his daughter Pat his son Lorcan, and IA his sister, Patricia Coombs. – Adam Farley



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Mike Hegan

Conn McCluskey

1942 – 2013

1915 – 2013

Mike Hegan, the record-setting firstbaseman who got his start at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland and ended his career as a color commentator for the Indians, died at his home in South Carolina late December. He was 71. James Michael Hegan was born with baseball in his blood. His father, Jim

Tyrone general practitioner turned civil rights advocate Dr. Conn McCluskey died at the age of 98 in December. Together, he and his wife, Patricia McCluskey, who passed away in 2011, are two of the primary founders of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. They are survived by their three daughters and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. According to The Irish Times, even before he was born, Dr. McCluskey experienced sectarian discrimination. His parents moved to a house in a Protestant section of Dungannon but were intimidated into moving to the Catholic Warrenpoint, where he was born. By the early 1960s, McCluskey had experienced enough of the effects of Catholic discrimination on his own, particularly by the unionist-led Dungannon city housing authority. In 1963, he and his wife founded the the Homeless Citizen’s League as a direct response to its discriminatory housing practices. As former Independent Councillor Michael McLoughlin told The Tyrone Times: “As a Dungannon GPO, Dr. McCluskey had firsthand experience of the terrible deprivation experienced by the majority Dungannon population, who were subjugated by the minority.” By 1967 he was the vice-chairman of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and his influential social justice pamphlet, “The Plain Truth,” played a key role in spreading awareness of the issues facing Catholics throughout the North. Though he eventually left the campaign for civil rights at the outbreak of the Troubles, fearing it had become too radical, the former Irish nationalist politician Bríd Rodgers remembered the influence of the McCluskeys at the 40th

Mike Hegan c. 1969

Hegan, was the eminent Cleveland catcher from 1946 to 1957. After graduating high school, the younger Hegan played baseball and football at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts for a year before signing to the minor league system of the Yankees in 1961, where his father had recently joined the coaching staff. The Yankees brought him up to the major leagues in 1964, the same year they went to the World Series and lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was traded in 1969 to the recently-formed Seattle Pilots, where Hegan had arguably his best season, hitting the franchise’s first home run in the first inning of the first game and making it to the All-Star team that year. When the Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and became the Brewers, Hegan played 178 games as firstbaseman without committing an error, an MLB record he held until 2008. He retired in 1977 with a batting average of .242 and 53 home runs and returned to his hometown in 1989 to spend the next 23 seasons in the Indian’s broadcasting booth as one of the team’s signature voices. He is survived by Nancy McNeil, his wife of 50 years, their two sons, and four grandchildren. – A.F.

anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland, saying “Many of the younger generation may not realise that in some measure they owe the status of equality that they now take for granted to the sacrifices of a general practitioner in Dungannon and his wife.” – A.F.

Bernard L. Shaw 1945 – 2013

Bernard Lee Shaw was a San Francisco cop for 15 years before joining the staff of the Hearst Corporation in 1983 as vice president of corporate security. The company announced his death in December at the age of 68. But he is known primarily for his marriage to Patty Hearst, who was famously kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army, an urban terrorist Bernard Lee Shaw and Patty Hearst

organization, and later convicted and sent to prison for committing crimes with the group itself. Shaw was born into a working-class Irish-American family in San Francisco and was seen as an unlikely match for the heiress, who, in an interview with Conan O’Brien, once joked: “My parents gave us a Sears vacuum cleaner as a wedding present. They thought it wouldn’t last,” according to The New York Times. The couple met in 1976 when Shaw was hired as part of a 20-man security team for Ms. Hearst, who survives him now as Mrs. Hearst Shaw, while she was released on bail pending conviction. When she was sentenced to prison, he reportedly visited her four times a week and they were married in 1979 after President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence. He is also survived by their two daughters, two daughters from a previous marriage, and one granddaughter. – A.F. Dr. Constantine Mary “Conn” McCluskey and his wife. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 27



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Quote Unquote Irish and Irish-American perspectives

“For Francis, the church’s purpose is not to bring God to the world but simply to emphasize God’s presence – already there.” – James Carroll writing on Pope Francis in a New Yorker piece, “Who Am I to Judge: A radical Pope’s first year.”

“As an activist, I have pretty much been doing what Nelson Mandela tells me since I was a teenager. Mandela lived a life without sanctimony. His lack of piety helped him turn former foes into friends.” – Bono, in a TIME magazine tribute to Nelson Mandela. December 6.

“There’s an element of gallows humor to any accurate surveying of the state of affairs in this country and around the world. I think capturing that is an honest representation of the news.” – Ronan Farrow who will host his only daily news show on MSNBC this January. The New York Times Magazine

“As a 19 year old, Obama wrote respectable poetry, published in his college literary magazine. As a politician running for Senate, and then the presidency, he showed a masterful way with words. I like to think it’s the Irish in him, and indeed no failed revolution, no call to arms, no funeral passed in Ireland without a poet making larger meaning of it all.” –Timothy Egan, in the New York Times

“People are eating cornflakes for dinner. Economists say it’s an urban legend. Tell them it’s for real.” – Martin Brennan of Drimnagh, Dublin, in a New York Times article questioning Ireland’s reputation as Europe’s austerity measure success story. December 11, 2013. 28 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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Ireland’s Portals to the Past An afternoon in the South East PATRICIA HARTY




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FAR LEFT: The church at St. Mullins and (inset) the the graves of the men who fought in 1798. BELOW LEFT: The river Barrow from Graiguenamanagh Bridge. BELOW RIGHT: The plague on Graiguenamanagh Bridge, serves as a reminder of the 1798 Rising.


love to drive around Ireland, especially if I have the luxury of time. I aim my car in the direction that I hope to end up, and then take the by roads, leaving the highway behind. Many of the old “main” roads are still in use and, though narrow by today’s standards, they are still wide enough for another car passing in the opposite direction. It is down these backroads, with hedgerows on either side, that an older Ireland is revealed. These are the country roads of my childhood, and I drive them with the maxim that getting lost is taking travel directions from the Gods. I’ve sent many happy motoring hours this way. One recent drive led me to the Clare Glens, where the waterfalls of the River Clare separate counties Tipperary and Limerick. From the Glens I drove a short distance to the village of Newport, and on to the ancient Benedictine monastery Glenstal Abbey, where the monks sing in Latin at evening vespers, and where I unexpectedly ran into someone I knew, a professor visiting from Notre Dame, but that’s another story. You can expect the unexpected in Ireland, but what makes the trip truly special is how easy it is to step back in time. It’s a place where the ancient coexists alongside the present day, and you can find yourself communing with the ancestors while standing on an old battle site, or bending over a holy well. Not everyone likes to get lost, of course, and when I’m with one of my family, they insist on doing the driving. Last summer, my brother Noel took me for a drive around the South East, where I snapped these photos. We crossed over into three counties (by design) and came across several historical sites in just one afternoon. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2014 IRISH AMERICA 31



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LEFT: Pastoral Ireland. TOP : A view of the River Barrow. ABOVE: Doorway arch, Duske Abbey, which was restored in the 1980s and now serves as the parish church.

Leaving New Ross, Co. Wexford, we followed along the River Barrow to St. Mullens, Co. Carlow stopping at Ballicopagan cemetery where the Mac Murchadhas, Kings of Leinster are buried. It was Dermot MacMurrough who, in an effort to hold onto his own lands, appealed to Henry II to send his AngloNorman soldiers to Ireland, and, as the saying goes, they never left. Buried alongside the MacMurchadhas are rebels who fought and died in the 1798 Rebellion, another rising that did not fall our way. Seeing these graves so close together brought to mind the lines of a James Shirley a poem I learned in school: “Sceptre and crown /must tumble down / and in the dust be equal made.” Leaving St. Mullins we continued on to Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, where we parked the car and walked to an old bridge. Taking in the view of the river, I notice another sign of 32 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

battles’ lost. A plaque that reads: “This portion of the bridge was blown up on 13th June, 1778 by Crown Forces to prevent the insurgents crossing over into Kilkenny.” We walk on to Duiske Abbey. Graiguenamanagh translates as “village of the monks,” and the 13th century Cistercian Abbey now serves as the parish church. It is so peaceful, that at first I don’t notice that we aren’t alone. There is a singer and an accompanist rehearsing for an event to be. Noel and I quietly look around so as not to disturb them, but as we turn to go, a beautiful soprano voice fills the air. It’s a hymn to Mary, one that was a favorite of my mother’s. As I stand rooted to the spot overcome with emotion, I picture the notes wafting their way up to the heavens, connecting with the souls of the ancestors, and IA bringing them peace.



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ABOVE: Duske Abbey, which dates to the 13th Century, was once a Cistercian chapel. BELOW: Monk’s tomb. RIGHT: This beautiful stained glass window, donated by the Ryan family, dates to the 1930’s.



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Boston’s new mayor is the proud son of immigrants and an advocate for working people. By Michael Quinlin



Man of the People 34 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014



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here was world renowned musician Yo-Yo Ma on center stage, playing an audacious solo of Danny Boy on his cello before 8,000 enraptured listeners. Mid-way through the performance and without missing a note he suddenly turned around to smile and nod at a pretty, proper Irish woman named Mary Walsh sitting behind him with her two sons, Martin and John, on either side. The mom and Ma exchanged a wink and a nod, then chuckled at each other, and soon the entire audience was smiling too. It was a poignant, lighthearted moment, full of joy, sentimentality and emotion, as power brokers, sign holders, tax payers and well wishers gathered at Boston College’s Conte Forum to carry out this

and Walsh is the undisputed king of the castle known as City Hall. But it’s not just the Boston Irish who have rallied around him, for Walsh is a man of the people but also a man for the people – all of them. With his immigrant background, blue collar roots, community involvement, personal struggles and populist style, Walsh has connected with people from all walks of life over the past two decades, building an inclusive coalition of Bostonians who care deeply about their city and strive to improve it. These are the people who elected him. One of his enduring qualities, say Walsh’s family and friends, is his unfailing empathy for others, particularly for people who are struggling to better themselves. “He loves to help people, all the time,”

work hard to give everyone across the city the hope of a better tomorrow,” Hart believes. At the inauguration, hope of a better tomorrow seemed to shine on the faces of those gathered: a melting pot of Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White, young and old, gay and straight, white collar and blue collar, American-born and immigrant. This is the New Boston over which Walsh will preside. Let’s call it New Boston with an Irish twist, for while Boston has become a minority-majority city for the first time in its history, with 51 percent of residents categorized as people of color, the election made it clear that politicians from the city’s Irish enclaves still have the knack for putting together successful campaigns. In the primary, twelve candidates from

ABOVE: Mayor Marty Walsh at a campaign stop in Boston prior to the election. RIGHT: Yo-Yo Ma looks back at the Walsh family, just before the wink. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe via Getty Images).

special ritual of democracy: anointing Boston’s new mayor, a man who exudes a sense of purpose that seems especially promising going into the New Year. Martin Joseph Walsh, 46 year old son of Irish immigrants from Connemara in County Galway and denizen of Dorchester, Boston’s largest neighborhood, became Mayor of Boston on January 6, 2014, reclaiming a post that the Irish held for most of the 20th century but had been exiled from these past twenty years. The Boston Irish are back,

says Lorrie Higgins, his longtime partner of eight years, whom Walsh calls the love of his life and best friend. “Marty has seen people’s struggles, has personally known struggle himself and has been the beneficiary of the love and compassion of his extended Irish family,” says attorney Jack Hart, former state Senator from South Boston and close friend. “That’s why he connected with the voters of this city and why he deeply understands the struggles people face and will

African-American, Jewish, Italian, Cape Verdean, Puerto Rican, and Irish backgrounds entered the fray. Four were firstgeneration Americans born of immigrant parents, including Walsh. The primary election left two candidates standing: Boston City Councilor John Connolly and state representative Walsh. Both candidates conducted themselves in the finals with civility, passion and seriousness, thanks to the character of each man and due to the pressing issues facing Boston. But still, many




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pundits grumbled openly that “two white Irish guys” was not what they envisioned the New Boston looking like. The inauguration itself showed how embedded the Irish are in the city’s religious, civic and political institutions. On stage were Governor Deval Patrick, the state’s first African-American governor, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, followed by a slew of Irish names like Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, BC President Father William P. Leahy, City Clerk Maureen Feeney, Suffolk County clerk Michael Donovan, and city councilors named Linehan, O’Malley, McCarthy, Flaherty, and Murphy. In the front row sat former mayor and U.S. Ambassador Ray Flynn, state Senate President Therese Murray, and a

For Walsh, becoming mayor is surely the culmination of all that came before. He struggled mightily in his early years, overcoming obstacles that would have waylaid a lesser man. At a recent youth summit at Roxbury Community College, teenagers from across the city nod their heads in unison when Walsh shares the motto he lives by, “Perseverance, not quitting. Hard work, not giving up.” When Walsh says, “We are a city of second chances and redemption, a place where hard times have forged character throughout our history,” it’s as if he is referring to himself. Walsh’s parents, John Walsh and Mary O’Malley, both emigrated from Connemara, Galway to Boston in the 1950s. John came from Callowfeenish in

couple of lord mayors from Ireland. Coincidently, even the African-American chief justice who swore Walsh into office was named Roderick Ireland. The Boston Fire Gaelic Pipe Band serenaded the crowd as the flags were presented, followed by music from public and charter school children, representing a United Nations of voices. Yo-Yo Ma took the music to its highest level, before handing over the stage to famed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who brought the audience to its feet, and to tears, with his amazing rendition of God Bless America.

Carna, while his mother Mary FROM LEFT TO Parish.It was a loving household, Mayor hails from Ros Cide in Rosmuc. RIGHT: with uncles, aunts and cousins Walsh celebrates Hart recalls that Walsh his victory at the nearby, part of a vibrant Irish “recently spoke about how his Westin Copley immigrant community that had parents came from Ireland to Place Hotel in settled St. Margaret’s and neighBoston; America with virtually nothing, Campaigning in boring St. Williams parishes. even pointing out that his late Dorchester; When he was seven years old, father, as a child, went to school Young supporters Marty was diagnosed with every day without shoes on his carry Walsh’s cam- Burkett’s Lymphoma, a rare paign banner; feet.” childhood cancer. He endured Mayor Walsh tak“My father was one of four- ing the oath of four years of radiation treatment teen children,” Walsh says. “He office on Inaugur- and chemotherapy, having to Day (Photo went to England in 1949, and ation wear a wig to school and spending by Nicole O’Neil). worked on the roads for six months at Children’s Hospital. He years. He went there to send money home missed most of second and third grade and to his mom.” had to repeat fifth grade. He received his John Walsh arrived in Boston in 1956, First Communion at mass on Christmas following his older brother Pat, who had Day, because doctors didn’t expect him to come a few years earlier to New York live long enough for his class ceremony before heading up to Boston. They both the following May. His family came out joined the Boston Laborers Local 223, from Ireland for the communion, and with with Pat eventually rising to become the the entire neighborhood at the church, local’s legendary Business Agent. Other watched him walk to the altar, alone, to siblings joined them in Boston: Matty, receive the sacrament. Bridget, Barbara, Anne, Peggy and Kate. “They gave me six weeks to live,” Marty’s mother Mary comes from a Walsh recalls later. “The nuns at St. family of seven daughters and one son, Margaret’s deemed me the miracle boy

The Miracle Boy In his novel, Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game, author William Kennedy observes, “Some men moved through the daily sludge of their lives, and then with a stroke…transformed themselves. Yet what they became [is] not the result of a sudden act, but the culmination of all they had ever done: a triumph for self development, the end of something general, the beginning of something specific.” 36 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

says Marty’s cousin Joe O’Malley of Dorchester, whose father Peter is Mary’s only brother. She arrived in Boston in 1959. “She came out to her aunt, Nora O’Malley Curran, in Norwood, and lived there for two years,” Walsh says. She worked in suburban Brookline and Dedham, eventually finding work in a church rectory. Shortly after her arrival, Mary and John met at Intercolonial Hall in Dudley Square, Roxbury, where weekly Irish dances drew immigrants and IrishAmerican GIs returned from the war. They married, settled in Dorchester, and started a family. Marty and his younger brother Johnny grew up in a three-family house on Taft Street in St. Margaret’s



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when I got better.” Then, at age 11, doctors declared that Marty had beaten the odds and was now cancer free. His life returned to normal and he was a happy teenager, hanging out with his friends, and attending Newman Catholic High School in Boston’s Back Bay. Upon graduating high school, Walsh surprised and disappointed his parents by joining the union. “My father didn’t want me to join the union, he wanted me to get a college degree, but I wanted to do it,” Walsh says. Without a lot of schooling himself, John Walsh was a self-educated man with a great respect for learning and education, according to Bill McGowan, an immigration leader and accountant who did the Walsh family’s annual tax returns.

degree, eventually settling into a life of public service that would consume him, but ultimately rescue him. There was some poignancy in Walsh’s inauguration speech when he referenced the daily prayer of the recovering alcoholic. Describing the enormous tasks he had just vowed to shoulder over the next four years, Walsh said, “These are big goals, but as President Lincoln said, ‘The best thing about the future is that it comes One Day at a Time.’”

During that speech, Walsh promised Bostonians that he would listen, learn and

ethnicity, race, and class. People who have followed Walsh’s career and know him personally are convinced he can do it, and they have offered him heartfelt encouragement. Governor Patrick, his close ally at the State House, advised Walsh to always remember “The people…who look to you for a reason to hope, counting on you to see their second chances just as you have lived your very own. [To remember] not the powerful people only, but the powerless, the strivers and seekers who make this good city great.” Ray Flynn, whose family came from Spiddel, says “Marty Walsh will bring the traditional values of caring for the poor and needy which Irish Americans are noted for. The Walsh family represents all

McGowan’s wife Bridget Reaney is from Connemara so they got to know the Walshes at various social occasions over the years. McGowan recalls John as “a fabulous storyteller who knew the history of Ireland like the back of his hand, he was consumed by it actually. Every time I came to the house it’s all he wanted to talk about.” Eventually Marty would go to college, but he took the long and winding road. Working hard and partying hard, he faced another challenge in his twenties when it became clear to his family and friends, and finally himself, that he was an alcoholic. He later describes the “feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, all the feelings you get as an alcoholic,” that prompted him to get clean and go into detox. That’s when he took the journey of self-discovery, as novelist Kennedy would describe it, and put his life in order. He moved from a laborer on the job site to a union official in the front office, then became a top official at the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council. He took night classes at Boston College to earn his

lead, and that’s what he’s done so far. He’s convened public hearings on youth violence, human services, arts and culture, and public safety, soliciting ideas from the voters. He hired trusted political allies like chief legal council Eugene O’Flaherty, press secretary Kate Norton and policy chief Joyce Linehan. He named popular cop Bill Evans as police commissioner and brought Brian Golden, a former State House colleague, to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Walsh hired former City Councilor Felix Arroyo, one of his opponents in the mayoral race, as Boston’s head of Health and Human Services, a testament to the inclusiveness he has promised. In truth, the challenges facing Boston are similar to those facing most American cities: keeping the middle class vibrant through good jobs, affordable housing, and solid education; making sure the tax rate is fair and evenly distributed; and keeping health costs low and inner city crime even lower, all the while distributing resources and opportunities fairly across a city replete with boundaries of

that is special about the Irish coming to America: hard work, family, public service and integrity.” South Boston’s Bill Linehan, who was elected President of Boston City Council on inauguration day, promised to work together with Walsh, noting, “I’ve known him for a long time. I truly believe he’s a team builder and a collaborator.” And nationally, many Irish-American leaders are sending Walsh their best wishes, and some free advice. “Congratulations to Mayor Walsh and I wish you the best of luck as you embark on your first term as Mayor of Boston,” wrote Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who Walsh has cited as someone who impressed him when O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore. “One of the things I keep on my desk is an old “Irish Need Not Apply” sign as a reminder of our nation’s conflicted, yet awe-inspiring journey,” O’Malley continued. “No matter how difficult the challenges may be, remember that the journey of a great people is much more than one person, though every person is important.

Glad Tidings and Free Advice



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It’s more than any four year period, though every four year period is important. It’s a journey that reminds us that we’re all in this together. This belief has sustained me during the darkest and brightest days as mayor of Baltimore, the city I love. I pray it will do the same for you.” Michael E. Lamb, Controller for the City of Pittsburgh, with Connemara roots, believes “Marty’s blue-collar, working class, labor union background will be enormously helpful. He understands the value of family sustaining jobs and the important role of public education. His background has naturally instilled in him a sense of social and economic justice.” His brother Jim Lamb, president of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh and a longtime Northern Ireland peace advocate, likes Walsh’s approach to building coalitions. “The unfortunate reality is that city politics – whether its in Belfast or Dublin, Pittsburgh or Boston – is all about turf and loyalty,” he says. “The only way to get anything done is to reach out and build those alliances with elected officials and other leaders, regardless of party.” Speaking of Belfast, Walsh visited the city in 2010 to view the city’s new ice hockey arena, where the Boston Bruins played the Belfast Giants. Walsh met community organizers and discussed economic development. Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir recently sent Walsh a congratulatory message and invited him to visit Belfast again. Irish-American leaders also hope Walsh takes an active role in the nation’s immigration reform movement. “One of the first things you’ll see Marty address in the City of Boston is immigration,” says Bill McGowan, who helped create Boston’s immigration movement in the 1980s that led to the Donnelly Visa. As a child of Irish immigrants, McGowan says Walsh has a special understanding of how immigrants contribute to American society. Bruce Morrison, former U.S. Congressman and a leading advocate for immigration reform in D.C., says, “Marty Walsh is the kind of grass roots political leader that gives voice to the needs of real people. One of those needs is to remake our immigration system so that it allows immigrants to contribute to the growth and prosperity of communities like Boston without undermining the job opportunities of those already here. “Marty can speak up…for a system of future flows that keep the door open to tra38 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014



Mayor elect Wlash and Dr. John Lahey, President Quinnipiac University at the Irish Heroes of New England Awards in Nov. 2013.

ditional communities like the Irish, while welcoming newcomers from places that are new to the American experience,” says Morrison, who authored the Morrison Visa bill in 1992.

Rekindling the ConnemaraBoston Connection A side benefit of Walsh’s heightened profile is that it shines a light on the deeprooted connections between Connemara and Boston. While crediting Dorchester as the place that nurtured and shaped him, Walsh also speaks lovingly of his ancestral home of Connemara, a place that still fills him with pride and joy. “Every summer I’d go over as a kid to my grandparents’ house in Rosmuc, where my mother is from,” Walsh told Boston Globe travel writer Thomas Breathnach. I loved it there: planting cabbage or sowing potatoes in the fields, feeding the chickens or fishing on the pier.” Today, the people of Connemara are proudly claiming Walsh as a native son. The headline in the Galway Advertiser read, “Marty Walsh victory in Boston heralded as ‘great day for Galway,’” while the Connacht Tribune announced, “Connemara man elected mayor of Boston.” Colm Gannon, an All-Ireland button accordion champion from Dorchester who moved back to Spiddel and opened his own music store, says that Walsh’s candidacy has filled Connemara with “the sense of pride and anticipation (that) is overwhelming. The place is

filled with Marty Walsh bumper stickers and Marty for Mayor tee shirts. I can honestly say that the buzz throughout the whole campaign was electric.” Likewise, a special bond exists in Boston for Connemara, as immigrants stayed true to their cultural traditions even as they assimilated into American life. Johnny Joyce, from Innishbarr in Lettermore, came to Dorchester in 1955, followed by several of his sisters who settled in Boston and Pittsburgh. Joyce’s home sickness promoted him and Martin O’Donnell to form the Boston Irish Rowing Club, where immigrants could gather to race their prized currach boats on Boston Harbor and socialize afterwards. Dorchester’s publisher Paul Feeney, whose parents came from Spiddel, wrote in his weekly Boston City Paper that Walsh’s victory was a testament to that immigrant community. “How proud we are of our parents and grandparents, our aunts and uncles from the old country who have inspired us all with their love of America, their deep religious faith, their hard working nature and the pride in their culture.” Walsh’s cousin Joe O’Malley says, “When I was growing up in Dorchester, you were either from Connemara or Kerry. Whether it was the currach races in Boston Harbor, or the ceili dances at the Irish Social Club, the Connemara community always came together. When Marty was running for state representative in 1997, everyone came out of the woodwork to help.” It was the same with the mayor’s race, when local notables like boxing champ Sean Mannion, Irish speaker Michael Newell, and sean nos singer Mairin Ui Cheide all volunteered on the campaign. Mayor Walsh has a full agenda right now, but still, the nagging question around Boston is: Will he be going to Ireland anytime soon? It certainly seems so. Days after his November victory, Walsh spoke to Raidió na Gaeltachta, greeting the audience in Irish. He promised to visit Connemara in 2014, and rumor is that that trip will take place in April. When he returns, Walsh will be assured of a royal welcome befitting a native son who has done Connemara proud. And meanwhile, here in Boston, it is apparent that there is no Last Hurrah for the Irish IA coming to this town anytime soon.

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County Societies In New York


DR. MIRIAM NYHAN examines the importance of Irish County Societies that began in the early 1800s and continue today.


here is a well-known Irish saying: ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine that can be loosely translated as “it is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” Particularly during acts of migration, this adage becomes a critical component of immigrant success. In New York and other parts of the United States, as Irish immigrants attempted to recreate a sense of home in their new environment, they created organizations based around location, especially counties of origin, which became instrumental in replacing familiar networks that had been severed when they left home. Dances, dinners, communion breakfasts, memorial masses, picnics, excursions, field days, trips to Ireland, music, and protest marches were the mainstay of these societies. Young singles gathered to dance, court, and to find a match. Older immigrants reunited with friends and extended family members. And young, first-generation Irish Americans were exposed to Irish culture and heritage through the gatherings that took place. More than social activities, since the 1840s these county societies also provided a safe environment where more experienced immigrants could show the recently-arrived how the system worked, especially as many of the new immigrants grappled with the transition from rural to urban life. Most importantly, they could offer advice and point them in the right direction in terms of jobs and accommodation.



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OPPOSITE PAGE: Limerick outing, Bayville, New York, 1937; Program cover, United Irish Counties (UICA) Ball, 1931. BELOW LEFT: Roscommon Society marching on Fifth Avenue, NYC, in the 1957 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. BELOW RIGHT: Senator Robert F. Kennedy pictured with UICA President Brenda Kearns at the UICA Ball, 1968.


ry, clubs sprang up in every major U.S. city with a large Irish population. In fact, the United Irish Counties Association in New York (UICANY), an early attempt to bring all the county societies under one umbrella, was originally founded as the Irish Counties Athletic Union in 1904. The president of the new organization, a Kilkenny man named Luke Finn, remarked at the time: “At our last meeting we had men from nearly every county in Ireland and this alone is an encouraging feature of the new association. It is not only this, but you will hear the voice of Ireland concentrated in one little room. “Men from the North will meet the South; men from the East will meet the West, a fact which will be set down in the history, reminding us of our glorious days when our gallant forefathers met in conference on the hills of Tara. In fact, the good that this association has before it to do, can only be anticipated at present; it is not organized merely for sporting purposes alone, but to bring more closely together the Irish people on this side of the Atlantic in order to defend and uphold that which we are too often denied.” While the county societies were initially segregated by gender with auxiliary associations for women, from roughly the 1950s onwards, smaller Irish counties began to merge their Men’s and Ladies’ organizations, and women began to step into greater leadership roles. One woman who emerged as a leader to be reckoned with was Maureen Mulcahy, who ran the Welfare and Employment Bureau (established by the United Irish Counties Association in 1941) until 1982.

H PROVINCE Hurling and Gaelic football were also a factor in establishing ties with other immigrants from home counties. The earliest recorded game of hurling in North America was of a match in Newfoundland in 1788. Even before the formation of the Gaelic Athletic Association of New York in 1914, a symbiotic relationship existed between Irish county societies and county teams that faced each other in fierce competition on the sport’s field. Once the Gaelic Athletic Association (G.A.A.) became more formalized in North America at the dawn of the twentieth centu-





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A symbiotic relationship developed between county associations and the GAA. In fact, the United Irish Counties Association in New York had been founded originally as the Irish Counties Athletic Union in 1904. Maureen was known to start her day by visiting major corporations, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses with the aim of identifying employment openings for her compatriots. Many successful Irish men and women owe their start in New York to the tireless dedication of Maureen and she is fondly remembered in the community today. While all the county groups, individually and under the umbrella of the UICA, sought to create and support programs that promoted education, and preserved Irish heritage and culture, benevolence was central to all the groups. Most notably, no society worth its salt failed to help with funeral arrangements, even when the deceased had no connection with the society; and in the days before safety nets like medical insurance, pensions, and social security were standard practices, these societies provided a lifeline for families and individuals in need. The Mayo Society of New York was founded in 1879 specifically to help immigrants in need and their families back in Mayo. One of the hardest hit areas during the potato blight and subsequent Great Hunger, many thousands from this area had been forced to take the boat to America. The first Mayo Society Ball took place at Tammany Hall on December 9, 1890, and all the proceeds went back to the home county. Between 1891 and 1942, the Cavan Men’s Patriotic and Benevolent Association alone paid out $170,500 in sick and death benefits – approximately $2.5 million in today’s terms. Consider the multiplier effect of thirty-two county societies. The county associations and societies continue to contribute substantial sums of money to organizations and individuals in need. But what better way to promote the welfare of Irish immigrants and their families than by providing them with a means to secure employment? Networking was a key feature of county societies long before the term was coined in its most contemporary sense and long before the internet. In an oral history now deposited in the Archives of Irish America at NYU, one immigrant explained that he knew about 42 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014


the Mayo society from the very first day he arrived in New York. “The word of mouth was, if you have any trouble getting a job, see somebody, because the people that were in the Mayo Patriotic and Benevolent [Assoc-iation] had influence.” Many county associations had (and continue to have) strong links to unions in the city, which was a key factor in terms of new immigrants finding work, especially in the construction industry. Jack McCarthy was an active member of the Cork Men’s Benevolent, Patriotic and Protective Association and was also a business agent for the Cement & Concrete Workers Union. He was known for his particular attention to the hiring of Cork men. His motto was “Cork men first, and all others after or will follow.” The county societies, while reiterating a sense of being Irish, also taught immigrants about becoming American and taking pride in the Irish contribution to nation building. New York’s County Wexford Association has played a central role in marking the life of Commodore John Barry, the “Father of the American Navy,” who was born in Tacumshane, Co. Wexford in 1745. And in the post-war era, an annual pilgrimage to Barry’s grave in Philadelphia became a high point for many New York county societies, not just Wexford’s. Even today, the Commodore, who was himself one of the founding members of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, is the central image on the Wexford Association’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade banner. The Irish county societies continued to thrive through to the mid-century. However, the drop in numbers of immigrants from Ireland after the 1965 Immigration Act (which abolished the ethnic quota system and significantly lowered the numbers of visas available for the Irish) had an adverse effect on Irish American organizations. Mae O’Driscoll, a well-known community organizer and pastpresident of New York’s Cork Association, often refers to the break between the post-war influx and those who left Ireland for New York in the 1980s. The result was essentially the loss of a generation that might have bridged the two immigrant flows more seamlessly. Although more recent immigrants have not been as reliant on joining county societies as the internet has made maintaining a sense of home and making new connections less problematic, in comparative terms, these associations have been remarkably active over a sustained period, particularly when viewed in the context of other ethnic groups. Today’s Irish immigrants tend to organize along professional lines or to pursue sports activities. In this way, we have gone full circle in terms of the symbiotic relationship that existed between Irish county societies and the G.A.A. Sport was key to county societies in 1904 and over a century later we see evidence that the



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G.A.A. is still a significant rally-call to the Irish immigrant from New York to Boston, and from London to Perth and beyond. In fact, in late 2012, the Manhattan Gaels, the first G.A.A. Club to be based in New York City, was formed. Spearheaded by Deputy Consul General Peter Ryan and an ambitious group of individuals, the organization’s mission, as stated on its website, is “to promote all the games of the G.A.A. for the benefit of both experienced players and complete newcomers. We take special pride in introducing football and the G.A.A. to Manhattanites who would never have experienced the game normally. This will be our focus as we continue to grow and develop a ladies football team, as well as an underage system, while also promoting the language and culture of home to as many people as possible.” The new club’s charter is a reminder of Senator John F. Kennedy’s remarks at the Irish Institute in New York in January 1957, “Whether we live in Cork or in Boston, in New York or in Sydney, we are all members of a great family which is linked together by that strongest of chains, a common past.” For generations, immigrants to America, new and old have have found warmth and sustenance in the shelter of each other’s lives. IA

Irish America” exhibit. The evolution OPPOSITE PAGE: of this exhibit serves as an example of Men’s tug-o’-war: Armagh outing, 1941. a synergy between various groups invested in documenting and preserv- ABOVE: Leitrim ing a community’s historical footprint. Society’s’ St. Patrick’s This initiative brought together the Day Ball, 1946. interests of, historians such as John BELOW LEFT: The Ridge, the United Irish Counties 1946 International Association and New York’s Consul Women's Exposition. Pictured 2nd from General of Ireland. By drawing atten- right is Maureen tion to the role of county loyalty in Mulcahy, who until Irish New York, the effort led to a 1982, ran the Welfare Employment major archival deposit for the Archives and Bureau. of Irish America at Bobst Library, New York University, now the largest repos- BELOW, RIGHT: itory in the world for materials pertain- Members of the UICA Feis Committee, 2010. ing to county societies. “The Fifth Province” has run at the Irish Consulate New York, New York University, and the National Library of Ireland, Dublin. It is will open at Belfast’s Linen Hall Library in March.

Postscript: In 2010, Dr. Marion R. Casey and Dr. Miriam Nyhan, historians based at New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House curated “The Fifth Province: County Societies in

For more information on “The Fifth Province” exhibition visit For more on the United Irish Counties Association see







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{what are you like?} By Patricia Harty

Author Thomas Cahill

on his concerns for the future, his greatest extravagance, and his heroes. homas Cahill is a bestselling author and scholar whose landmark book, How the Irish Saved Civilization, marked its 18th anniversary in 2013. The book, which spent two years on The New York Times bestseller list, tells the story of fifthcentury Irish monks who copied, and thereby preserved, almost all of what has survived of Western classical poetry, history, oratory, and philosophy. It also explains how the monks took that learning to the continent, then overrun by Germanic barbarians, and left their unique mark on Western culture. How the Irish Saved Civilization was the first in Cahill’s Hinges of History series, which dissects formative moments in Western civilization. In the newest addition, Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World (Vol. VI) Cahill offers an engaging look at the period and its lasting influences on our modern world. Born in New York City to Irish-American parents and raised in the Bronx, Cahill was educated by Jesuits and studied ancient Greek and Latin. He continued his studies at Fordham University, where he completed both a B.A. in classical literature and philosophy, and a pontifical degree in philosophy. Cahill and his wife, Susan, also a writer, divide their time between New York and Rome. He is also the author of A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green, which chronicles the true story of a young man who was executed after eleven years on death row.


Who is your hero? Anyone who shows courage is a hero to me, whether in the distant past or the present moment. Dorothy Day, the great saint of New York, was a hero, as were the Irish peace activists, especially the atypical politician John Hume and the atypical priest Alec Reid. Edward Snowden is a hero. What a hard thing he has done out of a profound sense of responsibility. Dick Cheney has called Snowden a traitor, but it is actually Cheney who is the traitor, along with W. and the other Bushmen who led us into a war for which there was no reason. The blood of hundreds of thousands permanently stains their hands. Nelson Mandela was a hero, as is my dear friend Desmond Tutu. The archbishop and his wife, Leah, and their four children put their lives on the line on behalf of justice in South Africa. For the nearly three decades that Mandela was in prison, the Tutu family were in grave danger, but they never stopped speaking truth to power. Another great figure of courage is the Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, whom the insanely stupid Taliban are always trying to assassinate because she speaks out forthrightly on the rights of females – and even of Muslim girls! – to an education. But there are so many such figures in the East: I would mention especially the Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the imprisoned Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo, both sublimely admirable.

What is your current state of mind? I’m seriously concerned about the future of the U.S.A. and the future of the planet. In the U.S. we seem to have come to a political impasse in Washington, D.C., even though a clear majority of Americans favor the solutions of the Democratic Party – help for the poor and marginalized and the vigorous regulation of financial markets. Such sensible reforms would triumph easily if enormous amounts of secret money were not being funneled to the sneaky little pols in state capitals who create gerrymandered districts, which give us many more Republicans in the Congress than the voters actually want. The snowfall of secret money has been made possible because voters don’t pay much attention to what is being done in our state capitals and because of the Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, who have opened the gates of graft to the Koch brothers and other repulsive right-wingers. As for actual snowfalls, we will be seeing fewer of them and much wilder swings in our global weather patterns, as the planet continues to warm, thanks to the century-long machinations of corporate energy suppliers. The oil companies have been destroying the Earth, our only home, and we have been letting them do it.

What is on your bedside table? I usually have two books going, one fiction and one non. At present, I’m reading my way through Alan Furst’s extraordinary fictional accounts of life behind the European lines before and during World War II. I’m nearly finished the sixth book, Kingdom of Shadows, which offers a vivid account of what it was like to live in Paris in 1939. There are six more volumes to go. In my non-fiction reading, I’m trying to decide whether it is possible that the political culture of Washington, D.C. will ever be able to reach salvation. My current choice, the hilarious This Town by Mark Leibovich, offers a resounding “no.” Next will be The Dream of the Celt by the marvelous Mario Vargas Llosa. It’s about Roger Casement, a fascinatingly conflicted figure of tremendous courage from the early twentieth century.

Your greatest extravagance? Really good Irish whiskey. 44 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

What was your first job? In high school I was a caddy on a very upscale golf course and learned to loathe golfers. The ones who were there as part of the occasional office party, sponsored by their boss, were kind and humane (and big tippers). The regular members were a hideous bunch.



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Where do you go to think? Inside myself, which requires only silence, which is increasingly hard to find in our world. What is your hidden talent? I play the piano. Your favorite quality in friends? Loyalty, followed by intelligence – but the intelligence is useless without the loyalty. Favorite country you have visited? Italy. I love Ireland, where I’ve lived in the past and where all four of my grandparents came from (Galway, Kerry, and Laois). I often visit Paris, the most beautiful city in the world, where a part of my beloved family live. But Italy is for me the capital of pleasure – in art, architecture, music, food, and friendship. Best opening line in a book or piece of music? The “Kyrie” of Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Movie you will watch again and again? The Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray. Also Ashes and Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda. Your earliest memory? I was an infant, not yet able to walk, lying on my parents’ bed, and my mother was changing my diaper. My father was shaving in the nearby bathroom and they were talking to each other, even though they couldn’t see each other. I realized that these sounds that came out of their mouths were their messages to each other. I had discovered language.

What drives you? My wife Susan, our children Kristin and Joseph, and our grandchildren – Devlin, Lucia, Nina, and Conor, to whom my new book is dedicated.

Best advice ever received? My mother often quoted a saying of her own mother, an immigrant from Williamstown, Co. Galway: “When I had cash to treat the gang, this hand was never slow.” It was actually a quotation from a late nineteenth-century American barroom ballad, but my mother and her mother intended it as encouragement to be generous whenever one could. In recent years I noticed that an elderly neighbor, Shelly Wortzman, never passed a beggar without giving him a good-sized handout. So from my grandmother, whom I never met, the poetic advice of generosity to friends; from Shelly the silent example of generosity to strangers.

What is your motto? Age quod agis. Do what you’re doing.

What trait do you most deplore in others? Stupidity.

If you weren’t a writer what would you do? I would love to have been an operatic tenor. What have you been working on recently? My new book, Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World. It is the sixth volume in the Hinges of History series and it is the most difficult book I’ve ever written. No one tries to combine the Renaissance and the Reformation in one volume because they go off in such different directions, even though they emerge from the same sources and occur in the same period. What’s next for you? The seventh and last volume in the Hinges series, which will take us from the Enlightenment to IA the present.




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Jimmy Fallon

Family Tree

Megan Smolenyak, the roots detective, takes a look at Jimmy Fallon’s Irish side.


ot yet forty, Jimmy Fallon already has an impressive history to look back on. Between “Saturday Night Live” and hosting “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” he’s logged more than a decade on air, and is now primed for his take over of “The Tonight Show.” Not bad for a Brooklyn-born, Saugerties-raised kid who launched his career at the Bananas Comedy Club in Poughkeepsie. Husband to Nancy Juvonen and proud daddy of Winnie Rose (who debuted on Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr when only days old last July), he’s a third generation James Fallon whose entire family tree was firmly planted in Brooklyn until his parents moved their branch about a hundred miles to the north. In the shadow of the Catskills, Jimmy and his sister Gloria enjoyed an all-American childhood complete with pets, visits with Santa, Catholic school, lots of snowman 46 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

Jimmy’s daughter, Winnie Rose, born July 23, 2013.

building, trips to Lake George, proms, and grandparents (who also made the out-of-the-city trek) essentially in their backyard. Perhaps his name and the proximity of his grandparents help explain why Jimmy self-identifies as Irish. Fans are frequently treated to light-hearted references to his heritage, such as this remark

that’s familiar territory for many: “I try to get tan, but I’m Irish so I burn bright red – lobster red. But then it becomes a nice cinnamon toast color.” But just how Irish is this affable guynext-door who comes into our homes on a nightly basis? As a professional genealogist who’s peered into the Irish past of everyone from Joe Biden to Beyoncé, I decided to take a closer look. Jimmy, it turns out, is predominantly but not entirely Irish. To create a Jimmy Fallon, take five parts Irish and combine with two parts German and one part Norwegian. Make sure the five-eighths Irish portion is loaded with names like Daly, Devaney, Driscoll, Feeley, Graham, Kenny, Monahan, O’Brien, O’Neill, and Riordan, and add a gentle multicultural twist by sprinkling in a couple of Irish immigrant ancestors born in France and Spain. For good measure, start the distillation process in the counties of Cork, Galway, Leitrim, and



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Longford. Letting this concoction breathe for anywhere from 51 to 133 years after arrival in America yields one talented host and comedian that pairs well with a house band called The Roots.

Starting with the Stickevers Since even Jimmy’s Irish roots are quite diverse, exploring a chunk at a time will make his ancestry easier to follow, and his only American-born great-grandparents, William and Mary Fallon, provide a logical place to dive in. Departing the old country in sporadic bursts between 1841 and 1883, William and Mary’s parents and grandparents were the first of Jimmy’s ancestors to make their way to the United States. Launching the immigrant parade were William Fallon’s grandparents, Henry and Mary (née O’Brien) Stickevers, who alighted with an infant son on July 17, 1841. They initially settled in Jersey City adding a second son to the household before moving to Brooklyn later in the 1840s and having two more children. Henry was naturalized in 1848 making him Jimmy’s first American ancestor. Despite being born in France, his naturalization record shows him renouncing his allegiance to the “Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.” Stickevers is an unusual name in Ireland, but indications are that they were probably from County Galway. The Stickevers sons followed in their father’s occupational footsteps and became blacksmiths, but life would not be easy for their youngest child and only daughter, Louisa, a future great-greatgrandmother of Jimmy’s. Born around 1851, she lost her father to a pulmonary hemorrhage in December 1861 and her mother to consumption in October 1863. In between, a paternal uncle who would have been a likely surrogate father was killed on June 14, 1863 in Port Hudson, Louisiana fighting for the Union in the Civil War. Not long after this, the brother closest to Louisa in age also died, but she at least had the safety net of two remaining older brothers to shelter her until her wedding to Thomas Fallon in 1878.

TOP LEFT: On March 31, 1848, Henry Stickevers became a naturalized citizen of the United States. ( TOP RIGHT: Mary (O’Brien) Stickevers died of consumption on October 13, 1863. (Family History Library) ABOVE: The Fallon plot in Holy Cross Cemetery is the patch of grass immediately to the right of the Nava headstone.

Enter the Fallons

Thomas Fallon had journeyed from County Galway in the early 1870s, and shortly after marrying her, swept Louisa off to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she had their first child – a daughter named Maria who died when only four months old – in 1879. Two more children followed before the young family moved back to Brooklyn in the mid-1880s, and another two after. The baby of the brood, William, was Jimmy’s great-grandfather in the making.

Thomas worked all his life as a laborer, mostly as a handler in a lumber yard, and the fact that things were tight is evidenced by the family’s plot in Holy Cross Cemetery. Even though Louisa lived until 1908 and Thomas until 1924, there is no headstone for them. In 1914, the youngest Fallon son, William, married Mary Ann Monahan, the oldest child of immigrants James P. and Martha (née Worth) Monahan who had both arrived in America in the early 1880s before marrying several years later. Though of Irish stock, Martha Worth had something in common with Henry Stickevers in that she was also born outside of Ireland – in her case, in Spain. James supported Martha and the seven Monahan children in classic Brooklyn occupations, working initially as a fireman and later as a ferry engineer. William and Mary Ann Fallon had at least nine children, six of whom survived FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 47



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to adulthood. Hints of the origins of Jimmy’s playful and occasionally mischievous humor can be seen in a poem his great-aunt Geneve wrote about her brother, Joseph. I wonder how Joe felt when “My Little Brother” appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle? My little brother who is only eight years old, Never does what he is told. I believe he’s very bold. For my mother has to scold Because he never does what he is told!

There’s no mention in the poem of Jimmy’s future grandfather, Geneve’s then thirteen-year-old brother, James, but he may have provoked a different kind of reaction in the family when he tied the knot with a German immigrant the following decade. Though his choice of bride may have surprised his parents, his older sisters (including two who married brothers) were the first to break the tradition of marrying fellow Irish, so in all likelihood, Luise Schalla was welcomed into the family without much fuss or comment.

TOP: This March 31, 1924 obituary for Thomas Fallon in the Brooklyn Standard Union reveals his Galway origins. (

LEFT AND RIGHT: As a member of Aunt Jill’s Home Cheerio Club for children, Geneve Fallon submitted this poem about her little brother that was published on January 27, 1933. (; Google Maps shows the house where little Joe failed to do as he was told as it stands today. BELOW LEFT: The Feehily family of Cloncowley (Ballinamuck West), County Longford in the 1901 Irish census. (

Sturm und Drang for the Schallas It’s almost an exaggeration to refer to Luise (who later went by Louise) as an immigrant, but she and her twin sister were born in Osterholz-Scharmbeck and crossed the Atlantic when just over a year old. Curiously, the girls’ parents had emigrated about two decades earlier, but opted to go back to Germany for the birth of their daughters. Once they returned to New York, however, they swiftly petitioned to become American citizens, and by 1928, had ensconced themselves at 466 47th Street in Brooklyn, a house that

BELOW RIGHT: The marriage certificate of Thomas and Mary in 1863. (

remained in the family until 1996. James Fallon obviously got along with his Schalla in-laws – well enough that he moved in with them upon taking Louise as his wife – but sadly, this cozy arrangement didn’t last long. Louise’s father had asthma, prompting him to construct a makeshift apartment in the basement because he could breathe more easily there. In a tragedy that’s difficult to fathom today, Louise rose one morning to get a bottle for her nine-month-old firstborn,

only to detect the smell of gas. She dashed downstairs to her parents’ subterranean abode, where she discovered what was later starkly spelled out on their matching death certificates: “found on bed in cellar of home, having been overcome by illuminating gas from open gas jet on range.” I often say that our ancestors make those of us living today look like wimps by comparison, and the strength of Jimmy’s grandparents illustrates just this. In spite of this devastating shock, the fledgling family soldiered on, with the birth of Jimmy’s dad shortly after the first anniversary of the calamity marking a turning point for the better.

You Say Feeley, I Say Feehily James Jr. would eventually go on to marry Gloria Feeley, the granddaughter of one Norwegian and three Irish transplants. Her paternal grandfather, Thomas Feehily, disembarked in New York on September 5, 1903 with the original version of his name intact, but must have tired of correcting others’ spelling because he adopted the simpler “Feeley” by the time of his 1910 wedding to Mary Jane O’Neill. Embarking upon married life as an ice cream maker in a factory, he shifted gears in almost a literal sense and spent most of his life working as a motorman for Brooklyn Rapid Transit and its successor, Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit. Thomas was from Drumlish in County Longford, and thanks to the invaluable online posting of the 1901 census by the National Archives of Ireland, it’s possible to spy Thomas with his parents and siblings a couple of years before he crossed the pond. Similarly, the Irish Family History Foundation makes short work of Continued on page 50




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Jimmy Fallon Continued from page 48 May Driscoll married a steamer steward named William Shaw in 1908 and had a trio of sons. In an unfortunate repetition of history, she – like her mother – was widowed around the age of forty. Perhaps it was through her sister who had married a Norwegian that she met Hans Hovelsen, a Norwegian longshoreman she took as her second husband in 1920. May and Hans had a pair of daughters, and it was her youngest, Gloria Rose, who would become Jimmy’s grandmother.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Bernard and Teresa O’Neill and their children in the 1901 Irish census in County Leitrim; Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brian; The Driscoll family memorial at Holy Cross Cemetery.

A Rose Is Still a Rose

locating the 1863 marriage of his parents, Thomas Feehily and Mary Kenny. Thomas Jr.’s bride, Mary Jane O’Neill, came from the same neck of the woods. Originally from Killoe, County Longford, her family moved to nearby Corriga, County Leitrim in the 1890s. The 1901 census record shows Mary Jane with her parents, three brothers and two sisters just three years before her emigration and divulges that her father, Bernard, was retired from the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Holy Hovelsen! While Gloria Feeley’s paternal grandfather was named Thomas Feehily, her maternal grandfather sported the decidedly un-Irish-sounding name of Hans Hovelsen. A relatively late arrival who 50 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

found his way from Fredrikstad, Norway to New York in 1910, he was the second husband of Mary Frances “May” Driscoll. May was born in Kinsale, County Cork in 1881 to Joseph and Margaret (Daly) Driscoll. Thanks yet again – this time to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for its Irish Genealogy website that houses digitized church record images – the 1880 marriage of Joseph and Margaret can be found online. Not long after May’s birth, Joseph took off for America which helps explain why there’s a roughly nine year age gap between May and her closest sibling. Once the family was reunited in Brooklyn, her parents made up for lost time adding five more children in the 1890s. There might have been even more if Joseph, a ship rigger, hadn’t passed away in 1901, leaving Margaret widowed with a handful of children between the ages of six and nineteen. The Driscolls apparently managed better than many, as can be seen from their memorial at Holy Cross Cemetery, a marked contrast to the total absence of a Fallon headstone in the same cemetery. It’s sweet to note that even an infant brother is included in the inscription, which also reveals that another of May’s brothers died in service during World War I.

In one of those countless twists of fate that have a ripple effect down through the generations, had May not been widowed, Jimmy’s grandmother would never have been born and he would not exist. How fitting, then, that his daughter, Winnie Rose, shares her middle name with this near-miss ancestor, a subtle but enduring family heirloom. P.S. Jimmy, after you’ve read this article, hang on to it. Winnie’s bound to come home with a family tree homework assignment one day and will appreciate IA the easy A. Note: The photo below and many other personal family photos can be found at a blog written by Jimmy’s sister, Gloria: m/blogs/growing-up-fallon/.

Jimmy Fallon at his Junior Prom.

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Toy Trains By Joseph M. Cahalan

t had all the earmarks of a classic sibling rivalry. My Patsy and Joey Cahalan, ages 5 and 1. sister, Pat – or Patsy as she was called until adolescence – was born four years earlier than me and had our parents all to herself for those early formative years. When I came along, things changed dramatically in all the usual ways. She had to learn to share Mom and Dad. The new baby received disproportionate attention. And, to add insult to injury, she was expected to help care for me as well. So you would expect some rivalry, some jealousy, some acting out. And indeed, there is one often-told family story. When I was about one and a half years old, my mother put me outside in a playpen in the shade of the old crab apple tree in the garden. Patsy was asked to keep an eye on me. Within minutes, she was in the house reporting that I had taken my diaper off and was standing naked in the playpen. This was before Pampers and Huggies when diapers were cotton and fastened by safety pins so this seemed odd. But not to worry. My mother replaced the diaper, made sure the pins were safely and securely fastened and went back in the house. Within minutes, Patsy was back to report that I had taken my diaper off once again and was standing naked in the playpen. My mother was mystified, but again replaced the diaper, making it a little more snug and securing it with not one but two sets of safety pins. After a slightly longer interlude, Patsy was back to report that Joey, as I was called then, had done it yet again. At that point, my mother must have been thinking of renaming me Houdini. She was beside herself, not able to make sense out of what was happening. Until, that is, a neighbor who had been watching the entire incident explained to my mother what was going on. The culprit was not Joey, but Patsy. What’s remarkable about this incident is not that it happened, but that it is the single story I have of my sister doing something even remotely against me (never mind that she can sometimes portray a gruff exterior). She is – at her core and in her bones – a wonderfully loving and giving person. And my confidant as well – the only person I could truly rely on to keep a secret. Our longest running one was around a Christmas gift I coveted, but thought I’d never get. When I was ten years old and Pat fourteen, I confided that what



I really wanted for Christmas was out of the family’s reach – a set of electric trains complete with a steam locomotive, caboose, milk car, tracks, tunnel, and railroad station. The cost, I figured, was prohibitive. So I made my sister promise she wouldn’t tell a soul what I really wanted. It would be our secret and maybe, well just maybe, miracles really do happen. In this case, there were no miracles. Christmas came and went with no toy trains in evidence. But I knew, at least, my secret desire was safe. As you might expect, Christmas in our Irish Catholic family was special, and it was Patsy who never let us forget the holiday’s true meaning. Not very far from us was the New York Foundling Home for Children – a Catholic orphanage where hundreds of young children were cared for. Every Christmas for years, Patsy arranged for our family to “adopt” a child for the holidays. They lived with us for about a week, ate with us, slept with us, went to Church with us, and shared Christmas with us. Usually, the children were black or Hispanic and my father would take great delight in having them shadow him at work in the office building above our apartment – a six-year-old carrying his large toolbox as my father, the super, went from office to office fixing an electrical switch or getting a stubborn desk drawer to open and close more easily. And invariably he would introduce the young lad as his own, leaving people stunned and up to their own devices to figure out what was going on. Patsy contributed to my materialistic appreciation for Christmas as well. Having grown up in Kilnaleck and Borrisokane, our parents weren’t familiar with the concept of store-bought toys. That’s where Patsy came in. I would tell her what I wanted – things like a Hopalong Cassidy outfit and sixshooter, or a pair of ice skates and a hockey stick – and she would convince Mom and Dad that these were better ideas than a new sweater or a pair of boots. Everything except toy trains. She kept that secret as she promised and while that first Christmas came and went, my hunger for the trains did not. Yet I had accepted the fact that the nearest I would ever come to playing engineer over my own train empire was occasionally playing with Joe Andronico’s set across the street. The only two sources of such a gift would be



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“Cahalan home” at 1 East 79th Street in New York City.

my parents or the employees of 1 East 79th Street where we lived. I had sworn Patsy to secrecy when it came to my parents and knew she wouldn’t violate the trust between us. The employees of the Institute of Radio Engineers were a different story. Every year they chipped in and gave us each a gift and it was usually something quite special. So I held out a modicum of hope that maybe, just maybe, Patsy had told them of my dream. Their gift presentation took place at the office Christmas Party – a beautiful affair that took place in the enormous lobby and surrounding sitting rooms of our building, overlooking Fifth Avenue and Central Park. Uniformed bartenders mixed cocktails and waitresses passed food and music played in the background and office romances were born and people laughed and danced and sang Christmas carols. Our family was always decked out in our finest – Mom in a dress fit for a wedding, Dad in his navy blue suit and crisp white shirt, Patsy in a beautiful party dress, her long hair in ringlets, and me in my trousers, blazer, shirt and tie. It was important to my parents at these events that we dressed to the nines, that we fit in, that we showed we had class. Halfway through the party, one of the employees would go to the microphone and present my parents with a check and Patsy and I with our gifts. And they were among the finest Christmas gifts I could imagine. At eleven years old, I knew enough to know that a train set would come in a very large box, so my heart began to race when I saw my gift – about three feet high and two feet wide and wrapped in shiny silver paper with a huge red bow. The employee making the presentation this year was Rudy Spatarello, the enormously likeable and popular manager of the in-house printing plant. He usually had a hand in planning the party and in organizing the office softball team that played in an industrial league in Central Park. In his mid-thirties, he was also the kind of guy who would know what a kid would want. So I held my breath as Rudy began to make my gift presentation. “And now for Joey’s gift,” he said. “We’ve got something very special… something that we hope will give you long hours of enjoyment…something I always wanted myself when I was a boy your age. Why don’t you come up here and open your Christmas present. Maybe you’ll even let me play with it a little myself!” A big box? Something to play with? Something he wanted when he was a kid? Could it be? I opened the big box slowly,

hoping against hope that I would find my trains, but fearing in the pit of my stomach that I would not. So it was with decidedly mixed emotions that I discovered the box contained a New York Yankees baseball uniform, a new baseball glove, and a Louisville Slugger bearing the name of none other than the great Mickey Mantle. I cried when I discovered the contents. My sister grinned. Christmas morning dawned four days later and was filled with the usual bustle and anticipation. Our large – at least it seemed large to me – Christmas tree sparkled, its base surrounded by boxes wrapped in green and red, gold and silver. A fair share of the gifts were for me. New sneakers at a time when they came in two varieties, high tops and regulars. Mine were high tops. Good. There was a new baseball “signed” by Whitey Ford, the Yankee star pitcher. Excellent. And some new clothes. Okay. And then one big box remained – a present from my big sister Patsy. The box was heavy and hard to unwrap. Eventually I just tore the paper off. On the side of the big cardboard box were the words “American Flyer,” together with a picture of a train. Slowly, very slowly, the reality set in. I had my toy trains. I cried and this time there was no ambivalence about the source of my tears. This time, they came from pure joy. As I explored the contents of the box, I found everything I had dreamed of – a beautiful black locomotive and red caboose, a silver mild car and a brown gravel one, Mom and dad: dozens of feet of track, a railway station, Mary and Joseph Cahalan. and a card from Patsy that read simply, “To Joey, the best brother in the world. Love, Patsy.” And what an act of love it was. My mother was quick to explain what Patsy was reluctant to take credit for. For more than a year – ever since I had shared my secret desire – Patsy had been saving the money she made from babysitting to buy the trains. My parents had offered to help, but she wouldn’t accept. “She was on a mission,” my mother said. “This is something she wanted to do for you. It’s really quite a gift.” Quite a gift? It’s the best Christmas gift I ever received. IA The above is an excerpt from the memoir “Tipperary to Tibet,” a collection of Irish stories by Joseph M. Cahalan. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 53



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{roots} By Adam Farley

The O’Dowds


n 982 the King of Connaught, Aedh Ua Dubhda (or Hugh O’Dowd), “died an untroubled death.” This note in Lebor Laignech, the medieval Irish manuscript better known as the Book of Leinster, is the first record of the O’Dowd surname, making it one of the oldest continually-used family names in Europe. It is also one of the few names that has almost universally kept the “O,” O’Dowd being far more common than Dowd (modern Irish Ó Dubhda). Literally translated as “grandson of the Dark One,” the name derives from a 9thcentury king of Connacht called Dubhda, pronounced DOO-da, from the Irish root word dubh, black. The clan lineage however, can be traced even further back to the final decades of the 4th century and the early years of the 5th to Niall of the Nine Hostages,the famed Irish King, through his nephew, Daithi. Daithi, who succeeded Niall upon his death in 402, was also notably the last pagan King of Ireland. By 482, the antecedents of the O’Dowds had lost the throne at Tara but the clan continued to be the leading family in Connacht until the Anglo-Norman invasion in the 12th century when they were reduced to their original territorial holdings in Sligo and Mayo. Until the late 17th century, the O’Dowds impressively maintained hereditary historians to record the lineage of the chieftain, and there is also a highly detailed account of the clan’s inauguration ceremony recorded in the Leabhar Leacain, the Great Book of Lecan, written around the turn of the 15th century. Apart from Hugh and his sadly normal death, one of the oldest O’Dowds of note is Sen-Bhrian O’Dowd, who for several decades in 1354 drove all of the AngloNorman invaders out of Tireragh, the barony straddling Sligo and Mayo on the northern coast. Today, as one might expect, the majority of O’Dowds hail from those borderlands between Sligo and Mayo, though the diaspora, as with all Irish surnames, has spread the clan globally. In fact, only one of the three O’Dowds 54 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

of greatest fame in the 19th century was born in Ireland, and he died in Montreal. Father Patrick Dowd (baptized 1813, d. 1891) was a member of the Seminaire de Saint-Sulpice and director of St. Patrick’s church in Montreal. He was highly regarded by the French and Irish Catholic populations for his charity, especially during the Famine years. In fact, he refused a Papal Bull that would have promoted him to Bishop of Toronto so that he could stay in Montreal, inciting a six-month tribunal at the Vatican. In the United States, Charles F. Dowd (1825 – 1904) was the first person to propose

TOP LEFT: George Alan O’Dowd, known as Boy George. TOP RIGHT: Niall O’Dowd. ABOVE: Maureen Dowd.

time zones to ease train schedules, and though his specific plan was not adopted, the railroad industry did establish its own time zones based on the Greenwich Meridian a decade later. (Charles proposed a Washington Meridian.) The other 19th century clan member was Bernard

Patrick O’Dowd (1866 – 1953), an Australian educator, publisher, politician, and poet, known primarily for keeping all those occupations separate. Returning to American O’Dowds who invented things, Tom Dowd (1925 – 2002) was a sound engineer and the man responsible for multitrack recording while at Atlantic Records in the 1950s. In 1982, John H. Dowd (1922 – 2004) forever changed the relationship between candy and movies when he brokered the Hershey Company’s first product placement with the Reece’s Pieces tie-in for E.T. Twenty years earlier, painter and sculptor Robert Dowd (1936 – 1996) was included in the 1962 exhibition “New Painting of Common Objects” in Pasadena, which was the first institutional recognition for the Pop Art movement. Also in the arts in the United States, we may include Maureen Dowd (b. 1952), a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and editorial writer whose critically conversational newspaper columns have been earning her praise and influence for more than three decades. Across the pond again, the 80s British pop sensation Boy George is also a member of the clan. Born George Alan O’Dowd in 1961, Boy George is responsible for pioneering a new era of androgynous glam rockers, well as that paragon of 80s songs, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” Keeping with performance, but going back (roughly) to the original Ó Dubhda territory, Chris O’Dowd (b. 1979), is the Roscommon-born actor of Bridesmaids and The IT Crowd fame, currently, and fittingly, staring in the HBO documentarystyle comedy “Family Tree,” playing Tom Chadwick, a 30-something Irishman who goes to America to research his lineage. Maintaining the theme of transAtlantic familial bridges, we end with Tipperary brothers Fergus and Niall O’Dowd. Fergus O’Dowd (b. 1948) is a Fine Gael politician and current Minister of State for the NewEra Project. His brother Niall O’Dowd (b. 1953) is a U.S. journalist and publisher responsible for numerous Irish American publications IA including, you guessed it, this one.


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{sláinte} By Edythe Preet

Soup is ON! It’s good for the cold and good for the soul. By Edythe Preet t rained yesterday. That might not be a big thing in Ireland or New York where drenching downpours only generate brief comments from the weatherman. In Los Angeles even scattered showers are top news stories. Every cloud is tracked on radar, and when people in the street are quizzed about how they’re coping, they groan about the lack of sunshine. I, however, love a good rainstorm. Perhaps it’s my Irish genes or my East Coast roots. It might also be that rain motivates me to make soup. Rain makes me feel all comfy cozy, and soup is the ultimate comfort food. Plus, soup is a cinch to make. Just plunk some veggies and perhaps a bit of meat or fish in a pot filled with water, add some salt and herbs for flavor and cook until it tastes good. As a popular television commercial states, “It’s so easy, even a caveman could do it!” In fact, anthropologists theorize that soup is quite possibly the oldest form of cooking. I find that hard to believe since jabbing a piece of meat with a stick and holding it over a fire seems easier than devising a container to hold liquid prior to the invention of cooking pots. But truth be told, there were ‘containers’ for holding liquid back in the Stone Age. A dried animal’s stomach worked very well for hauling stream water back to the cave. And said stomach could be filled with ingredients, Chicken soup, made from Edythe’s personal recipe suspended above a fire and left to simmer until the contents became soup. This method did require watching, as burning a hole in the stomach and having the soup spurt out would of the local weapons maker) realized that metal sheets could be not only destroy dinner but also douse the fire, in itself a dicey connected and hammered into a bowl shape. Vessels of this type trick to ignite. were being made by Irish smiths as early as the seventh century A safer cooking method involved digging a pit, lining it with BC. Metal pots had many advantages. They could be placed stones and then animal hide. After filling the pit with water plus directly over an open flame. They were not breakable. And they the items to be cooked, red-hot rocks from a nearby fire were were easy to clean with sand and water. added until the food was ready for eating. The same result could With the onset of the Iron Age, bronze was replaced by iron, a be achieved by using a hollowed out log as the ‘pit’. More than more durable material that could be melted and cast into many 2,000 such cooking places, called Fulachta Fiadh, have been shapes, one of the most important being the cauldron. This large found in County Cork alone. A cooking pit experiment conducted metal pot had a round form, a wide mouth and an arc-shaped hanat a reconstructed Early Bronze Age site in Ballyvourney, Co. dle so it could be suspended over a fire. Cork, revealed that only one-half hour was needed to bring 450 Magical cauldrons appear in Celtic mythology. The Dagda, an liters of water to boil, and a 10 pound leg of mutton was ready to all-powerful figure of the Tuatha de Danaan, owned a wondrous eat in four hours. cauldron known as The Undry from which no person ever went According to legend, Fulachta Fiadh were the cooking places of away hungry. The Celtic goddess Cerridwen also had a marvelous Fionn MacCumhal and his band of warriors who roamed around cauldron. Anyone who drank the potion she brewed therein would the country feasting on wild game. It is more likely, however, that be endowed with great wisdom and the gift of poetry. fiadh comes from the Irish word for ‘deer.’ Legend also says that The cauldron even shows up in the Brehon Laws that stated a the warriors used the hot water for baths - hopefully after cooking cook could not be held responsible if someone were scalded when the meat! soup was being ladled out of one as long as the cook shouted a Soup making leaped forward once humans discovered how to warning to people around him! make metal objects. Granted, the first metallurgic accomplishEventually cauldrons were fashioned with concave lids and ments were probably sharp pointy things used to kill animals and three ‘feet’ so they could sit directly on the coals. These black iron other people. Eventually some culinary genius (probably the wife ‘bastable pots’ were used in every dwelling from the High King’s





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kitchen to the lowly cottage hearth. When set in the middle of the fire with the coals raked up and piled on top, a ‘bastable’ produces an even heat from all sides and is perfect for baking bread, roasting a chicken, and slow cooking a soup or stew. Determining the difference between ‘soup’ and ‘stew’ is like defining shades of grey. Soups tend to be more watery, have finely cut ingredients and are actually drinkable, while stews are thicker, the ingredients are chunky and they are eaten with a spoon. Once the potato was added to Ireland’s soup pot in the 16th century, hearty Irish Stew became the national dish. During the Great Famine of the 19th century, the Soup Kitchen Act of 1847 called for the starving population to be fed for free through soup kitchens sponsored by local relief committees and groups such as the Quakers. By August 1847, nearly 3 million people were being fed daily. Even so, the soup quality was so poor that thousands died. A few months later, the kitchens were closed and people went to workhouses for help where they received a meager diet in exchange for labor. Because many applicants were ill when

they arrived, disease was rampant and again thousands died. Also during the Famine Years, a phenomenon called ‘Souperism’ occurred. Non-Roman Catholic Bible Societies set up schools where starving children and adults were fed, but they were subjected to religious instruction at odds with their Catholic faith. People who converted for food were said ‘to take the soup’ and were derogatorily called ‘soupers’. Despite the effort made by various soup kitchens, the end result was that millions of starving Irish abandoned their homeland and fled to other countries. The concept of ‘soup kitchens’ spread to the United States along with the wave of Irish Famine immigration and entered mainstream American consciousness during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In today’s difficult economic climate, thousands upon thousands of people suffering hardships, many of them homeless, receive a good meal, a helping hand and frequently even shelter across the length and breadth of the United States in soup kitchens’ modern IA counterparts. Every day. Rain or shine. Slainte!

RECIPES IRISH STEW (Personal Recipe) Note: Debate rages whether Irish Stew should be made with lamb rather than beef. My mother made both, but I always liked the beef version better. 1 pound beef cut in bite-sized chunks 1 cup flour mixed with salt & pepper olive oil 3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut in bite-sized chunks 2-3 large potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-sized chunks 2-3 onions, skins removed and cut in eighths Water

Dust beef generously with flour mixture. Heat some olive oil in a large soup pot. Brown beef. Add carrots, potatoes and onions. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer at least two hours until beef is tender. Add salt to taste. Serves 4. (Accompany with crusty bread to soak up every drop of the gravy!)

Chicken Soup

(Personal Recipe) Note: There are two kinds of Chicken Soup: White Stock and Brown Stock. White is made with fresh chicken. Brown is made with the bones of roasted chickens. Whenever I have a roast chicken (even the store-bought ‘barbecue’ birds), I

always freeze the bones and skin after.

2 2 2-3 5-6 2 1

2 ⁄2 1


Fresh chicken (2 breasts, thighs and legs) OR two chicken carcasses large carrots, peeled and cut in quarters large onions, skinned and cut in quarters stalks celery, cut in quarters garlic cloves bay leaves tsp black peppercorns Water Salt carrots, peeled and grated cup frozen peas (optional) handful egg noodles

Place the fresh chicken pieces (or the chicken carcasses) in a large soup pot. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover generously with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 23 hours until liquid is reduced by onethird. Add salt to taste. Strain the broth into another large pot and reserve. If you have used fresh chicken, refrigerate the pieces until cool enough to handle, then remove and shred the meat. If you have used bones, discard them. In both cases, discard the vegetables. Whether you made White or Brown Stock, add two grated carrots, peas, and one heaping handful of egg noodles to the reserved broth. Cook until the carrots and noodles are tender. If you have made White Stock, also add some of the shred-

ded cooked chicken to the broth (save whatever you don’t use for chicken salad). Makes 4 servings.

Potato-Fish Chowder (Personal Recipe) tablespoons butter scallions, chopped stalks celery, chopped garlic cloves, minced tablespoons flour bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in bite-size chunks 1 bay leaf 1 pound fish fillet, cut into 2-inch chunks 1 cup whole milk Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 6 2 2 3 2 11⁄2

In a 5-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add scallions, celery, and garlic; cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour; stir to coat. Add clam juice and 2 cups water, whisking until smooth. Add potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 10 minutes. Add fish; cover, and cook until fish easily flakes, about 8 minutes. Pour in milk; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 57



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Anne Walsh looking out at the coast of Ireland, returning by boat in 1966 after an absence of thirty years.




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Grandma Walsh’s Wake After the viewing in the funeral home— all the young cousins marauding through the ghostly upstairs rooms, our parents whispering solemnly below— then came the night-long wake in the apartment of the bachelor cousins, the newest arrivals from the old country, the casket brought there by eight strong men. Next day would come the funeral Mass in the stone cathedral, the procession of black limousines through the cemetery gates, the varnished coffin lowered into the clay mouth of earth—a startling sight for ten-year-old eyes— the coffin a capsule jettisoning our grandmother into the reaches of eternity. It was a rollicking, high-spirited hullabaloo—the wake, I mean— everyone moistening memories with drink, summoning spirits with smoke, laughter and dancing, the old piano tinkling out tunes, cousins, aunts, and uncles each taking a turn giving a song, everyone thundering out the choruses. The coffin was off in an alcove, someone sitting beside it always, the nearest window kept open. All the clocks were stopped, and the mirrors were turned to the walls. We kids squeezed in at the long table, between glasses of whiskey and pints of porter, the new cousins still wide-eyed with the tall buildings, stupefied by the great city, the established New York phalanx nodding knowingly, bolstered by their wonder. A bottle appeared—holy water, the cousins said— poteen—the name sounding like a sneeze. Poteen. Brought from the green hills of Sligo, from the old stone cottage at Culdalee. They poured it into eager glasses, and floods of new memories came— Cloonacool, Drimina, Attymas, Tourlestrane. The words were magic, town names, we could tell, but when the old people began speaking Irish, we were whisked away to an even stranger land. I tried to stay awake, bobbing on the boisterous sea, but surrendering at last to sleep— all of us children curled up on couches and chairs like storm-tossed wreckage. As dawn crept into the canyons of Manhattan, there were mugs of strong tea, the smell of bacon sizzling on the stove, a hush of aftermath in the room, the family satisfied they’d ushered another soul safely across. – Timothy Walsh (www.//




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{ review of books} Recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest. Exchange Place

The Spinning Heart

by Ciaran Carson

by Donal Ryan

iaran Carson is a writer preoccupied with memory and perception. The author of five other prose collections and ten books of poetry, Exchange Place is Carson’s most recent meditation on these subjects, told through the conceit of a mystery surrounding the decade-old disappearance of a Belfast painter named, depending on who is narrating, either John Harland or John Bourne. But Exchange Place resists straight narrative, alternating between two perspectives, set in two different cities: John Kilfeather, a Belfast-based writer and antiques dealer with a penchant for smoking fair amounts of marijuana and purchasing fine suits, and John Kilpatrick, also a Belfast-based writer with a penchant for drinking absinthe and purchasing fine suits, who is in Paris working on a travel book to be composed almost entirely of literary excerpts that reference specific locations in the city of light. John Kilfeather is also working on a new project, also composed of quotations and excerpts, a common feature in Carson’s writing too. Thus, identities converge, and in reading Exchange Place, one not only reads Carson, but figures ranging from Walter Benjamin to Oliver Sacks. Early on in Carson’s novel, if it is right to even call it that, it becomes clear that these two men have more in common than the back cover suggests. In the novel’s own terms, it moves like a fugue through various themes, repetitions, and circuitous paths around the ostensible plot. More a study in tangential writing than the neo-noir the cover may suggest, Exchange Place at times suffers from too much circumlocution and repetition that almost bludgeon the themes of memory formation, truth in perception, and the difference between self identity and prescribed identity. Still, as the novel it self concedes, “One thing was certain: there was more to everything than met the eye.” Double takes might be in order. – Adam Farley

he story of Donal Ryan and his first published novel, The Spinning Heart, is now wide-spread in the literary world and among aspiring writers. A 37-year-old civil servant from Limerick, he wrote two novels and then over the course of three years received 47 rejection letters from publishers and agents. Then his luck rapidly changed. His second manuscript, The Spinning Heart, was released last year in Ireland and the U.K. to vast acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker prize, selected as the Irish Times Book of the Year and for the 2013 Guardian First Book award. Ryan’s first manuscript, The Thing About December, was just published in Ireland to glowing reviews. The Spinning Heart makes its U.S. debut on March 4. Reading it, you will say a quiet thank-you to the editor at Doubleday Ireland who saw Ryan’s extraordinary talent. Set in a small Irish town as the painful realities of the economic bust are just settling in, the slim novel is divided into 21 chapters, each containing an internal monologue from a different person in the town. Hopping through time and anecdote – sometimes intersecting, sometimes not – together they provide a deep understanding of their collective and individual experiences. There’s Bobby Mahon – the protagonist, if it can be said that the book has one – a solidly good man who everyone looks up to and quietly resents. He, along with a number of the other characters, including Vasya, a migrant worker from Khakassia, have been screwed out of their pensions by their construction boss Pokey Burke, who has fled the country (and whose voice, consequently, we never hear). There’s, Realtain, a young mother and incurable flirt who lives in one of two occupied homes in a new 44house estate, and Milly, a young girl who bears witness to her parents’ toxic marriage. One of the chapters even comes from beyond the grave. These stream of consciousness narratives, each completely different and yet entirely believable, will make you want to talk to


(Blackstaff Press / £8.99 / 224 pages) 60 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014


yourself just to see what you might say. While The Spinning Heart’s form and premise harken to Under Milk Wood and the Spoon River Anthology, its content is uniquely evocative of Ireland, thanks to the cultural archetypes Ryan examines and the contemporary realities and nuances he deftly portrays. – Sheila Langan (Steerforth Press / $15.00 / 160 pages)

The Visitors by Patrick O’Keefe

he Visitors is a follow-up to Patrick O’Keefe’s The Hill Road (2005), which won the Story Prize. O’Keefe who emigrated from Ireland in the mid-1980s and now teaches at Ohio University, returns to form with this novel, which is set in Ireland and the U.S., and weaves together the story of two neighboring families, the Dwyers and the Lions, who are connected by love and loss. Narrated by James Dwyer, the story opens in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a shabby stranger appearing late one night at James’s door with a request from Kevin Lyons, James’s childhood nemesis, to visit him in New York. Though deeply suspicious of Kevin’s motives, James makes the trip and during the visit, family secrets, that carry over from one generation to another, are revealed. The language and pace of O’Keefe’s writing is what lifts this story above the commonplace. He deftly sets the scene and captures the idioms of Irish rural life: “My father sat in one of the back seats at Breen’s and ordered a small Powers and a half pint from the barmaid. He knew the barmaid’s father and grandfather. He knew the men sitting back there. Men the same go as him . . .” Just as having grown up in Ireland lends an authenticity to O’Keefe’s writing, so too does the fact that he’s now an immigrant. He ably brings the story stateside with insights in what it’s like to be newly arrived in Boston and put down roots in America. The Visitors goes on sale March 17, and is definitely a worthwhile read. – Patricia Harty


(Viking / $26.95 / 275 pages)

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{review of books} By Tom Deignan

Strong Boy How John L. Sullivan Became America’s “First Sports Hero” n February 7, 1882, John L. Sullivan was on his way to becoming “America’s first sports hero.” All the 24-year-old son of Irish immigrants had to do was throw his hat into the ring. Literally. Nineteenth-century boxing tradition had it that when a challenger wanted to take on the champ, both would show up at a predetermined fight site and, in a highly elaborate ritual, the challenger’s entourage would toss a hat into the ring – hence the origin of the phrase still in use today. That February morning, reigning champion Paddy Ryan – himself born in Ireland – was put on notice: John L. Sullivan was coming after his title. The epic Sullivan-Ryan battle is one of many fascinating episodes included in a new book entitled Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero (Lyons Press) by Christopher Klein. Sullivan and Ryan had been trash talking for months. Initially, Ryan was able to dismiss Sullivan as a loudmouth upstart. Nevertheless, Sullivan’s “amazing displays of power electrified boxing fans across the country,” Klein writes. Once Sullivan’s challenge was accepted, there were other matters to settle. In an era when (as Klein puts it) “most American jurisdictions outlawed” boxing, where would this Fighting Irish bout take place? And would it be a match using gloves or bare knuckles? Boxing was undergoing rapid change and Sullivan, for one, saw “gloved fighting as the means to reform boxing and increase its popularity,” Klein writes. After weeks of debate, however, it was decided that Ryan and Sullivan would battle bare-knuckled style outside of New Orleans. Prior to the fight, both Irishmen had endured hard journeys. Sullivan’s father Michael was born in Kerry in 1830, and emigrated to Boston where he met and married Roscommon native Catherine Kelly in 1856. Two years later, a son, John Lawrence, was born. The precise details of Sullivan’s introduction to the boxing world remain



“murky,” according to Klein. What is known is that when Sullivan was around 20 years old, he attended a variety show during which a confident boxer challenged anyone in the audience. Sullivan promptly knocked the poor fellow “into the orchestra,” and was on his way to becoming the pugilist known as the “Boston Strong Boy.” Meanwhile, seven years older than

Sullivan, Paddy Ryan was born in Tipperary, before moving with his family to upstate New York. Ryan worked on the Erie Canal and as a saloon-keeper before becoming a fighter. Following an 86round fight against Joe Goss in 1880 (yes, 86!), Ryan claimed the bare-knuckle heavyweight championship. The stage was then set for the 1882 Ryan-Sullivan fight outside New Orleans, though not before Louisiana Governor Samuel McEnery complicated matters by declaring the fight illegal. This left promoters “less than forty-eight hours to find a new location.” They settled on a hotel in Mississippi, and while Ryan was ten pounds heavier and had two inches on Sullivan’s reach, “the thirty-seven-year-old champion… couldn’t match the youth of Sullivan.”

When the tenth round came, Ryan’s handlers in his corner “sent the sponge aloft in a sign of surrender.” Once he was champion, a number of forces converged to make Sullivan not only a champ, but an icon. His crosscountry barnstorming tour, during which he challenged literally any and all comers, was covered closely by the increasingly powerful and influential news media. Sullivan’s spellbinding victory over Jake Kilrain in 1889 only added to his legend, first, because the bout lasted 75 rounds, and second, because it was the last bare-knuckle title defense. Sullivan had ushered boxing into a new era. Irish Americans, of course, saw Sullivan as a national hero, whose appeal was far wider than the likes of Paddy Ryan or nearly any other athletic star of the late 19th century. Calling him a “minority champion,” legendary sports writer Frank DeFord has compared Sullivan to the likes of Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson and Billie Jean King. Sullivan finally lost his title to Gentleman Jim Corbett in 1892, and spent his retirement in various pursuits, ranging from actor to business owner. Never exactly careful about his diet or exercise regiment, Sullivan suffered through a series of health ailments before dying at the far-too-young age of 59 in 1918. By then, however, Sullivan’s legacy was firmly established. He was the last bare-knuckle champion who also laid the groundwork for charismatic, larger-thanlife 20th century sports stars such as Babe Ruth. Sullivan was a member of the first class of inductees voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Finally, in a fitting tribute, a barn which Sullivan used to train for the Jake Kilrain fight was converted into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame a few years back, located – fittingly – in IA Belfast, New York. Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero By Christopher Klein (Lyons Press /$26.95/ 352 pages)

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{photo album} Family Pictures

Bridget’s Shawl Precious artifacts provide a link to a young Irish girl who left Ireland in 1846 ridget O’Donnell of Cork, Ireland, my greatgrandmother, was sent out to Boston by her father in 1846. A recent discovery of her photograph in the Lyons family bible reignites interest in her story and our origins. Bridget was 14 years old, soon to be 15, when her father took her to Cobh, expecting to book passage for her to America. He gave her for the journey a silver butter knife and a linen-wool shawl made with flax and wool from his small plot of impoverished land outside of Cork City. Mr. O’Donnell had carefully saved enough coins from selling milk to purchase tickets in steerage for Bridget and her 17year-old sister Catherine, who were traveling with some cousins to America. They discovered that the ship captain would not take a single young girl. So father O’Donnell and daughter Bridget hung around a few days, searching for a prospective husband until they spotted a gentleman who was booking passage to America. They proposed to him: would he like to get married to a beautiful young Irish girl, about to turn age 15? He said, “Yes.” They went to the church in Cobh, got married and the newlyweds set sail on the next ship to Boston. They were but one couple of many from nearly destitute Irish families, scarred by British colonial rule and starvation, who were forced to immigrate to America. An Irish immigrant who settled in Wisconsin later would write of the period, “Parents’ aspirations for their children were to send everybody out because there was nothing there and there still isn’t.” In 1846, immigrants who traveled in steerage were segregated, men and women kept apart. Bridget’s husband took fever on the ship. When they landed in Boston, she could not find him. She was taken in by the DuPont family where she became a nanny-maid. There she learned to read and write. The DuPonts of Massachusetts were very kind to her. She said, “they were well to do but not rich.” Eventually, she found her bridegroom who was very ill. The DuPont family permitted Bridget to take him in to live with them and she nursed him back to health. In time, Bridget and her husband set out for Illinois. He


went to fight in the Mexican War (1848) and was never heard from again. Their two young children died during the “black diphtheria” epidemic. The young widow Bridget later moved to Wisconsin where she met James Crossgrove, a blacksmith and widower. They married and Katharine, my grandmother, was born in 1865. Twenty years later, Katharine graduated from Beloit Wisconsin Normal School and went to teach in the Irish farming community at Lake Badus, South Dakota where the Lyons side of my family had migrated from Iowa around 1880. A strong, beautiful woman, Katharine married a handsome young Irish farmer, Will Lyons, my grandfather, in 1887. My cousin Katharine says, “Grandma Kate told me that her mother, Bridget, never regretted leaving — so hungry and poor they were — she had gratitude to have gotten out of Ireland.” Bridget smoked her cob pipe while saying her rosary beads daily. At age 84, the year of Dublin’s Easter Rising in 1916, Bridget died. Her linen-wool shawl and silver butter knife passed to Katharine, and then to Katharine’s daughter, my aunt Mary, who passed it on to her daughter, Katharine Perko who now lives in Arizona. Apparently, my grandmother Kate pasted the photo of her mother Bridget in the Lyons family bible. That photo was rediscovered this spring at my brother Pat’s farm in Yankton, South Dakota. The faded photo and the linen shawl provide links for the great-grandchildren of Bridget O’Donnell Crossgrove to honor with great respect this young woman from Cork whose challenging journey made ours possible in America. Bridget’s story is but one of near-countless others like this and is a testament to the Irish and to the women of Ireland who came to this country and survived. Their spirit, their resourcefulness, and their contributions to building our country as immigrants continue to challenge us and inspire us (some of us!). – Submitted by Robert F. Lyons Kennebunkport, Maine

Sources: Conversation with cousin Katharine Perko, Flagstaff,Arizona,April 2013. Notes from my uncle Bob Lyons and cousin Bill McDonald’s book The Nunda Irish; Obituary of James Crossgrove, 1875;Will & Katharine Lyons Family Bible (with Pat Lyons,Yankton, South Dakota). 64 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014



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FAR LEFT: Bridget’s shawl worn by her greatgrandaughter Katharine Perko. LEFT: Bridget’s daughter Katharine Crossgrove Lyons. BELOW:A detail from Bridget’s shawl.

RIGHT: The recentlydiscovered photograph of Bridget. FAR RIGHT: Bridget’s silver butter knife.

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Adam Farley at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, then please send a good quality reproduction or e-mail the picture at 300 dpi resolution to No photocopies, please. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 IRISH AMERICA 65



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{crossword} By Darina Molloy

ACROSS 1 New book by Alice McDermott (7) 6 (& 5 down) This famous daughter is now following in her grandfather's Ambassadorial footsteps (8) 7 Alive, as Gaeilge (3) 10 Galway pool complex flooded in recent storms (11) 12 Dairy-based drink usually associated with Christmas or New Year (6) 15 Short for brother, in religious terms (2) 16 Thread holder (5) 17 Ancient Egyptian solar deity (2) 19 The fourth (1, 1) 20 (& 7 down) His many years on the run finally ended in two life sentences (6) 23 (& 30 down) His Freud triptych sold for an astonishing $142 million at auction recently (7) 25 Hit Broadway play, penned by Hugh Leonard (2) 27 This Ms. Quinn is also known as "The Voice" (6) 29 Clare seaside town which took quite a battering in recent Irish storms (7) 30 They look like rats with wings (4) 34 A French friend (3) 35 Country where 6 across has just been appointed Ambassador (5) 37 (& 40 down) He plays P.L. Travers’s father in Saving Mr. Banks (5) 38 See 39 across (5) 39 (& 38 across) Author of, among other works, the Fintan Dunne trilogy (5) 40 See 37 across (7) 41 Sometimes, you have to be _____ to be kind (5) 43 See 18 down (7) 44 There's a Limerick in this U.S. state (5)

DOWN 2 He's known for his 'meat is murder' slogan and his music (9) 3 _______: new novel by Christos Tsiolkas (9) 4 City of Culture 2014 (8) 5 See 6 across (7) 7 See 20 across (6)

8 See 22 down (10) 9 The 2009 Colm Tóibín book which will now be adapted for the screen 11 See 32 down (6) 13 See 24 down (1, 5) 14 Meat sauce (5) 18 (& 43 across) Pogues member who died recently (6) 21 Objects used on stage or screen to mimic real life situations (5) 22 (& 8 down) Belfast-born, LA-based engineer who has a dam, a Drive and a highway named after him (7) 24 (& 13 down) His self-named chat show is hosted on US cable TV station TBS (5) 26 Irish soul (4) 28 See 33 down (5) 30 See 23 across (5) 31 This chemical element has the symbol Sn (3)

Win a subscription to Irish America magazine Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than September 5, 2013. A winner will be drawn from among all correct entries. If there are no correct solutions, the prize will be awarded for the completed puzzle which comes closest in the opinion of our staff. Winner’s name will be published along with the solution in our next issue. Xerox copies are acceptable. Winner of the December / January Crossword: Elizabeth M. Long, Katy, TX 66 IRISH AMERICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

32 (& 11 down) This NI actor scooped the much coveted 50 Shades of Grey male lead (5) 33 (& 28 down) This Irish actress will play the lead role in upcoming film of Colm Tóibín's best-selling book 9 down (6) 36 Not slow (5) 39 Apple or pecan (3) 40 Florida, in short (3) 42 EM (2)

December / January Solution

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40050 Irish America Magazine.pdf



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Love it again and again. Enjoy the Coke. Recycle the bottle.

Š2014 The Coca-Cola Company.

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Irish America February / March 2014