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Denis O’Brien The Irish Cell Phone Billionaire Who is Helping in Haiti’s Recovery

Hurricane Irish Immigrants Turn Out to Help Old Irish Neighborhood Devastated by Storm

The Irish Giants The Hibernian Legacy of San Francisco’s World Series Winning Team

Girls On A Bus A Tour of Ireland Not Soon to be Forgotten

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Filmmaker Ed Burns On His New Irish Movie



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Business100 Corporate America’s Irish Leaders

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Congratulations to this year’s honorees and Denis O’Brien, a great Irish philanthropist. for over 35 years The American Ireland Fund has supported innovative work that preserves Irish culture, counters sectarianism,





development and cares for those in need. Today, our Promising Ireland Campaign seeks to raise $140 million for Irish charities by the end of 2013. With charities facing increased demand for services with fewer resources, your support is needed more than ever. So far, over 350 outstanding projects and organizations have received support from the Promising Ireland Campaign. Please join us in Promising Ireland.

We invite you to learn about giving back to the land that has given us so much. Please visit

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Contents December / January 2013 Vol. 28 No. 1









FEATURES 37 REBUILDING THE ROCKAWAYS The Irish Americans whose neighborhoods were devastated by Hurricane Sandy are determined to rebuild, and the Irish are helping.

42 IRISH POWER – IRISH CONCERN Denis O’Brien, the Irish founder of Digicel, is empowering people in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean. Interview by Niall O’Dowd.

48 THE BUSINESS 100 The 27th annual Business 100 is a celebration of the best and the brightest Irish Americans in the corporate world.

86 THE HIBERNIAN LEGACY OF THE GIANTS The legacy of the San Francisco Giants, who just won their second World Series in three years, began as an IrishAmerican ball club in New York. By Jerrold Casway.

92 THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS Ed Burns, the Hollywood actor, director, writer and producer, returns to his Irish roots with his latest movie. By Tom Deignan.


Irish Famine Museum The history of the Irish famine is explored through art and artifacts at Quinnipiac University’s Irish Famine museum. Page 57.

96 GIRLS ON A BUS Irish America team members Tara Dougherty and Sheila Langan share their experiences on a CIE coach tour of Ireland.

100 SHERLOCK HOLMES’ IRISH ROOTS As fans celebrate the 125th anniversary of the novel in which Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes, Tom Deignan investigates the author’s Irish roots.

104 WHAT ARE YOU LIKE? Robert Ballagh, one of Ireland’s foremost artists, answers questions about his life and work. By Patricia Harty

108 LELIA’S PICTURE PALACE The Irish producer Lelia Doolan, who has left an indelible mark on Ireland’s arts and culture, talks to Patrick Farrelly about building a community cinema for the people of the West of Ireland.

DEPARTMENTS 8 10 12 14 32

First Word Readers Forum Photo Album Hibernia Those We Lost

111 112 114 116 118

Roots Books Crossword Sláinte Last Word


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IRISH AMERICA Mortas Cine Pride In Our Heritage

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty Vice President of Marketing: Kate Overbeck

Jerrold Casway Dr. Jerrold Casway is a professor of history and division chairman of social sciences at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. The author of two award-winning books, Owen Roe O’Neill and the Struggle for Catholic Ireland and Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball, Dr. Casway is preparing his latest book, The ‘Olde’ Ball Game, The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth-Century Baseball for publication. Casway has written over fifty articles on Irish history and culture, and has spoken on Irish topics on both sides of the Atlantic.

Art Director: Marian Fairweather Deputy Editor: Sheila Langan Copy Editor: John Anderson Advertising & Events Coordinator & Music Editor: Tara Dougherty Editorial Assistant: Michelle Meagher Director of Special Projects: Turlough McConnell Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan

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 0884-4240) © 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.


Tom Deignan For over a decade, Tom Deignan has written the weekly “Sidewalks” column for The Irish Voice newspaper. He also writes about movies and history for Irish America, and is a monthly columnist and a regular book reviewer for the Newark Star-Ledger and America magazine.

Tara Dougherty and Sheila Langan Irish America staffers Tara Dougherty (left) and Sheila Langan (far left) write about their CIE coach tour of Ireland. Tara, who doubles as Irish America’s music editor and advertising and events coordinator, is a graduate of New York University. She is a musician, writer and second-generation Irish American, with roots in County Roscommon. Sheila, Irish America’s deputy editor, is a graduate of Bard College with an Irish passport and a love of Irish literature. Her family is from counties Kerry and Mayo.

Patrick Farrelly Patrick Farrelly is an award-winning documentary film maker. His latest film, Nuala, about the life and death of the Irish writer Nuala O’Faolain, will have its U.S. premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January. He is a former editor of the Irish Voice newspaper and contributor to Irish America magazine.

Peter Foley Peter Foley is a freelance photographer based in New York City. His credits include the New York Times and New York Times Sunday Magazine, TIME, Newsweek, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, New York Daily News and New York Post; magazines such as New York, Irish America, People, US, Entertainment Weekly. Peter currently works as photojournalist for European Pressphoto Agency, Bloomberg News, and the Wall Street Journal.

Edythe Preet Edythe Preet has served as culinary historian for Irish America since 1994. Her continuing feature series “Sláinte!” traces the histories of traditional Irish food, drink and celebration, liberally laced with a wealth of folklore, mythology and popular customs. Edythe owns The Heritage Kitchen, a specialty food business producing sweets and savories based on historical recipes.

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{the first word} By Patricia Harty

“They are extraordinary. It boggles my mind that there are still good people like that in the world.” – Jim O’Connor said of the Mormon missionaries who showed up in the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy and are still helping with the clean-up. The Daily News


“The Wounded Warrior project has helped us heal,” Flip Mullen, one of main organizers, said when I talked to him last summer. And when I contacted him after Sandy, he and his wife Rita sent back a message, saying,“Thank you for your concern. We are safe. Many homes were destroyed, but we are a faith-built community and we will rebuild the town we love so well.” And I have no doubt that the Rockaway Irish will rebuild. They have shown what they are made of, and what people can do when they stick together. And, please God, by next July, they will be ready for those soldiers to descend on their beach again. And as our own East Coast region moves forward with recovery efforts, let us not forget that the hurricane also left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, causing millions of dollars of damage in Jamaica. The consequences for Haiti were even greater. Flooding killed 54 and left 200,000, already in temporary housing from the earthquake, homeless. In this issue, we recognize the work of Denis O’Brien who received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for his work in Haiti. Denis is the Irish-born founder of Digicel, one of the largest cellular phone companies in the world. Since it set up shop in Jamaica in 2001, Digicel has become a godsend to the people of the Caribbean, especially Haiti, where the work that it has done post-earthquake has been phenomenal. Digicel’s slogan is “Share the Extraordinary.” More than anything, Hurricane Sandy has shown us that there are many ordinary human beings who, in times of need, prove to be quite extraordinary. Mortas Cine.



s we head into the holiday season and look forward to celebrating with family and friends, we are reminded of all the things we have to be thankful for. I personally had a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving as I sat down with good friends for a wonderful dinner. I was grateful to have survived “Sandy.” I live in Manhattan on the East River – a tidal strait that connects on both sides to the ocean. It was pretty scary when Hurricane Sandy hit and the river overflowed. The salt marks are still on the walls of the lower level of my apartment complex, the flood water having reached the first floor. But other than being scared, and having the inconvenience of living without power for seven days, I was unscathed and physically the better for having to walk up and down fourteen flights of stairs every day. One of the hardest hit areas was the Rockaways (see article on page 37). These tight-knit Irish-American families of New York firemen and police officers are a bit skeptical of help from outsiders. They like to solve their own problems. But the enormity of the storm damage was overwhelming. Among the first to arrive on the scene were a group of young Irish workers from Navillus Contracting, whose president, Donal O’Sullivan, is one of our Business 100 honorees. Help also arrived from another surprising source. About 6,000 Mormon volunteers arrived from across the country to help with the recovery effort and were embraced by the community. Rockaway has known more than its share of tragedy. The community lost 50 people on 9/11, many of them firefighters. You would think that this new tragedy would kill the spirit in the people, but it hasn’t. The Irish in Rockaway have extraordinary resilience, and heart. As they struggled to rise again after 9/11, they reached out to help wounded soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. For eight years now, the community has hosted an annual Wounded Warrior Weekend – a four-day summer water sports festival. The soldiers stay with local families, and trained instructors teach them how to use water-skiing equipment that has been specially adapted for amputees, so that they can enjoy the freedom of the water. This past July, 52 wounded soldiers, 19 of whom were in wheelchairs (three were triple amputees and one was a quadruple amputee), took part in the festival.


Share the Extraordinary


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{readers forum} The Charms of the West Country Leenane, Co. Galway

It was with much pleasure that I read “The Charms of the West” by Patricia Danaher. I visited Galway City and the Connemara region while in Ireland last summer. Some of the sites I admired in the city included the steps where St. Brendan and Christopher Columbus walked down to their vessels on their way to the New World, and St. Nicholas parish church familiar to Lady Gregory. In Connemara and surroundings: Ross Errily Franciscan Abbey; stone circles and cairns from the Neolithic Period; breathtaking Lough Nafooay and its hidden valley; Killary Fjord; mythical Imag valley and the “Quiet Man” bridge. As a seafood lover, I was overwhelmed by the best Atlantic chowder and those magnificent Galway Bay raw oysters! But the most memorable part of my voyage was meeting the people, as genuine and welcoming as in every corner of this remarkable island. Pierre Rochon, Cornwall, Ontario Posted online

Running Rings Around the Empire & Rex

Matt McGrath, The Hammer Thrower

As a person of Nenagh, Co. Tipperary birth, I was delighted to read [in the Aug./Sept. issue] of the contributions of North Tipperary athletes like Matt McGrath and Johnny Hayes to the American triumph of the 1908 Olympics, shown in Roger D. Rex McGrath’s article “Running Rings Ingram Around the Empire.” Also, Bill Grantham’s excellent biography of the great director Rex Ingram in the same issue was an additional bonus. Though a Dubliner, Rex lived in the Summerhill section of Nenagh where his father was a curate in the Church of Ireland there, around the turn of the century. Mary Brennan Philadelphia, PA. Note: Irish America’s co-founder, Patricia Harty, is also from Nenagh.

Hunger and Silence [First Word Aug./Sept. issue on the Queen’s visit to N. I.]. Putting aside all feelings about pro or anti union, it seems that a united Ireland would become a dynamic powerhouse in the European and world economies. With all the emotion and muscle that is now devoted to demonizing or ignoring the other side, a united Ireland could be a shining example to the world for at least as many years as it was a divided nation. The Queen wears green on her visit to N. Ireland.


Thomas F. Marshall Posted online

Here’s Jimmy [Murphy] I am very proud to say the great man [Jimmy Murphy, iconic Beverly Hills restaurateur from Patricia Danaher’s article in the Oct./Nov. issue] is my uncle, a great example of what can be achieved from humble beginnings. Michael Power Posted online

Jimmy Murphy

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.



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{photo album} Family Pictures

Mary’s Gift


his is a photo of my maternal grandmother Mary Clifford, or Nom as she was always known to me. She was born in the rural picturesque parish of Cartron, Kilmore, Co Roscommon in 1913. Kilmore is a tiny townland tucked away between Dromod and Carrickon-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. At the young age of 16, Mary left Ireland behind and set out for a new life in America. As with all the Irish emigrants of her generation, Mary arrived in the U.S. with nothing but hope. Hope that must surely have dimmed when she found that she had left a poverty-stricken Ireland to arrive in America on October 28, one day before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. A lesser person might accept that they were doomed from the beginning. But not Mary, she had determination and strength of spirit. Her ability to defy adversity and draw on inner hope and faith inspires me and motivate me daily. Mary worked hard and sent money home to Kilmore to help fund the passage of more family members. Later, she fell in love with Johann Azrnitz, a German immigrant, and married him. Together they settled in Forest Hills, Queens and raised five children: Joseph, John, Francis, Patricia and my mother, Eileen. In order to educate herself, Mary joined a Jewish women’s book club and attended it every week for decades. She always credited her Jewish friends for the expansion of her knowledge. She was too busy and practical to be nostalgic for the Ireland she had left behind, but this did not deter her from passing her love of the Irish culture and language on to her children and grandchildren. When I was growing up, every Sunday after mass we piled into my dad’s car and went to visit Mary, “Nom,” in Queens. We sat around the kitchen table and shared the stories of the week, our joys and sorrows. This was the same kitchen table that I was sitting under when I overheard a conversation between Nom and my aunt about an upcoming trip to Ireland. Perhaps it was destiny, but for some inexplicable reason I decided I was going too. So at the tender age of five, too young to conceptualize what or where Ireland was, I embarked on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean with Mary and my Aunt Pat to visit the homestead in Kilmore. This visit turned out to be a very formative experience. I fell in love with Ireland, its people and its culture. In that small thatched cottage and its stony surroundings, I was immersed in a sensory experience that has never left me. For many summers, I returned again to Granny Mary’s cottage. I heard Irish music and saw Irish dance; through stories around the peat fire, I learned the troubled history of Ireland’s past. How those few stony acres had been in my family since pre-famine times, and how my ancestors had sweated blood and tears to hold on to them. On returning to the U.S. after that first visit, I assimilated back into life in Nassau County, Long Island. But I was a changed boy. With Mary’s motivation, I excelled at school and college, played college lacrosse and became a lawyer. I have been blessed in sharing in the American dream of career and family. Even in this, Mary

Mary Clifford

has had a formative role. I see her in my children: Conor, Shannon and Alanna who play tin whistle and fiddle, and compete in Irish dancing, I hear her in their Irish music, I feel her in the warmth of their embrace. And although my life journey so far has kept me in the U.S., I did leave a piece of my heart back in Ireland and I go back frequently to try to recapture it. When Nom passed away some years ago, I wanted to keep her memory alive to help fill the void of not having her tangible presence in my life. I created a foundation that enriches the lives of the children of Ireland by enhancing their opportunities and experience with the Irish language. When there are dark moments in my life, I think of those unpredictable showers in the West of Ireland, where the sky clouds over and everything becomes grey, and then in an instant there appears a dazzling spectrum of colors when the sun breaks through. Mary’s gift to me – her optimism – is eternal. Her ray of sunshine now brings hope to others’ lives through the charitable foundation I founded and named in her honor, Mary’s Gift IA Irish Language Foundation, Inc. – Michael Breen

Mary’s Gift Irish Language Foundation Mary’s Gift is a 100% voluntary organization. All donations are redirected to Irish language immersion schools in Ireland. Mary’s Gift is not affiliated with any religious or political group. It is a nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c) (3) public charity. For further information please see or contact Michael Breen, founder and executive director, at 201-745-3144 or email

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Sheila Langan at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, 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. 12 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

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Hospital Death Prompts Demands For Irish Abortion Legislation


he hospital death of Savita Halappanavar, an Indian dentist living in Ireland, has brought the fight for abortion legislation in Ireland front and center. Halappanavar, who was 31, was 17 weeks pregnant with her first child when she sought treatment for severe back pain at University Hospital Galway on October 21. Halappanavar and her husband, Praveen, were told that she was miscarrying and that the fetus would not survive, but their requests that the fetus be aborted were repeatedly denied, even as Halappanavar’s condition worsened. According to Mr. Halappanavar, they were told that it would be illegal to perform an abortion while the fetus still had a heartbeat. “This is a Catholic country,” was the explanation. It was not until three days later that the heartbeat stopped and the remains of the fetus were surgically removed. By then, Halappanavar had contracted the bacterial blood disease septicemia. She was admitted to intensive care but never recovered, and died on October 28. “I still can’t believe she’s gone,” Mr. Halappanavar told the Irish Times. “I was with her those four days in intensive care. Every time they kept telling me: ‘She’s young. She’ll get over it.’ But things never changed, they only got worse.” Savita’s death sparked outrage throughout the island of Ireland, with thousands protesting in front of the Dáil in Dublin, and calls for action across the country.

Following the X Case in 1992, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that abortions would be allowed in cases where the life of the mother was in jeopardy. However, the Irish government has yet to put this into law, or to develop a standard procedure by which a woman’s eligibility for an abortion can be determined. On this ground, in 2010, the European Court on Human Rights found Ireland in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. In response

to the court’s findings, an expert group was established to prepare a report outlining the government’s options for implementing the abortion law. The report was released on November 28, and the government has said it will make a decision by the end of the year. In addition to calls for legislation, the government has also come under pressure to begin an independent public inquiry into Savita’s death. The current course of action

– private inquiries by the Health Service Executive and by the Health Information and Quality Authority – has been largely panned by both the public and Halappanavar’s family. Mr. Halappanavar has refused to participate in the HIQA inquiry, and, through his lawyer, Gerard O’Donnell, has expressed doubts that it would be objective. They are preparing to take the case to the European Court on Human Rights. President Michael D. Higgins has echoed Mr. Halappanavar’s concerns. “These people are salaried by the HSE,” he said. “They pay them. We think that there would be some kind of bias during the investigation.” He added that the investigation must “above all else” meet “the needs of the public’s concern, the need of the family and meet the need of the State.” Mr. Halappanavar has stated that his main concern in seeking a thorough investigation is insuring that what happened to his wife won’t happen to another woman in Ireland. “What is the use in being angry?” he told the Irish Times. “I’ve lost her. I am talking about this because it shouldn’t happen to anyone else. . . [It’s] very hard to understand how this can happen in the 21st century, very hard to explain to her family. If it had happened in the UK or India, the whole thing would have been over in a few hours. We just pray now, wherever she is, she is happy.” – S.L.

IRISH TDS SHOW SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRANTS t’s an issue of significant division within the US government, but a recent survey of Irish elected officials found largely positive attitudes towards reforms that would benefit immigrants living in Ireland.The survey, led by international research agency Millward Brown, polled a sampling of 71 Irish TDs (the elected officials of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament) via phone. Over half said that they had personally addressed the issue of immigrant rights in the Dáil since 2011, and another 7 percent said they intended to do so in the future. When it came to education, 82 percent agreed that if the children of immigrants had already completed second-level education in Ireland, they shouldn’t have to pay international fees for third-level education. In addition, the survey noted the TDs’ support of diversifying and expanding school curriculum to reflect Ireland’s increased range of faith and culture.



More than half of the participants indicated support for allowing asylum-seekers to work while waiting for their visas, and 65 percent said they were in favor of fast-tracking the visa process for qualified immigrants. The main point of contention concerned the question of which government body should oversee immigration issues. Thirty-eight percent agreed that the Minister for Justice should have the final say on citizenship approvals, while another 38 percent disagreed. Killian Forde, CEO of The Integration Centre, an NGO that advocates the integration of immigrants into Irish society, told the Irish Times that this division spoke to “a gap between the local authorities and national government on the issue of integration.” Seventy-five percent of the TDs agreed that immigrants will be crucial in Ireland’s path to economic recovery. – M.M.



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{news from ireland} THE ABBEY GOES ONLINE ublin’s renowned Abbey Theatre and the National University of Ireland Galway announced an unprecedented digital archive partnership on October 22. The collaboration, which is the largest digital theater project ever undertaken, will entail the digitization of the 1.8 million items in the Abbey’s archives. The range of artifacts includes posters, programs and photographs, lighting plans, set and costume designs, sound cues, and historic audio recordings. The earliest item in the archive, an 1894 poster of the first production of W.B. Yeats’ The Land of Heart’s Desire at the Avenue Theatre in London, predates the theater’s founding but is hugely significant as a testament to Yeats’ ambition to present Irish theatre outside of Ireland. Another gem reveals that Éamon De Valera took part in the Abbey’s 1905 production of A Christmas Hamper. Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said that the project would “see NUI Galway bring the most advanced digital technology to bear on one of the country’s most historic theatre archives,” and added that the project was based on “an awareness of the importance of the Abbey Theatre for the social, cultural and economic history of this country.” The project began in September and will continue at the Galway campus’s James Hardiman Library over the course of three to four years, bringing together the university’s top researchers, students and archivists. – S.L.


GOOGLE PLAYS A ROLE IN HILL OF TARA DISCOVERY University College Dublin lecturer discovered an unknown prehistoric site at the Hill of Tara, courtesy of Google Earth. Dr. Andrew O’Sullivan was preparing a presentation on Tara, the seat of Ireland’s ancient kings, for his first year students when he noticed The Hill of Tara, an unfamiliar, dark, circular feature in a as seen on photograph taken by Google Earth, a Google Earth virtual mapping program. O’Sullivan quickly confirmed that the feature was not listed in the online database of monuments by the National Monuments Service Archaeological Survey of Ireland, nor was it visible on any of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland’s historic maps or aerial photographs. The Sunday Times reports that the discovery, a large, embanked enclosure dating back 4,000 years, is between 263ft and 328ft in diameter. It is located 2,000ft southwest of Rath na Riogh (Fort of Kings), an Iron Age enclosure at the summit of Tara. O’Sullivan told the Times that the enclosure was likely used for open-air religious rituals in the late neolithic era or Bronze Age, though it may also have served as a burial mound. He added that the enclosure’s purpose could not be confirmed without an excavation, which will be unlikely as few monuments on the Hill of Tara, which is an official UNESCO World Heritage site, have been excavated due to concerns over preservation. Ireland’s Archaeological Research Institute has confirmed O’Sullivan’s discovery. O’Sullivan noted that his experience is indicative of how digital resources are changing the field of archaeology, which traditionally relies on hands-on research. “It’s now possible to make new archaeological discoveries just sitting in your office,” he said. – S.L.


2013: A “LEGENDERRY” YEAR IN NORTHERN IRELAND. “Let it be Legenderry” is the phrase being coined by the Derry-Londonderry 2013 City of Culture initiative, a year-long celebration of the Northern Irish city. There has been a flurry of activity about Derry ever since it won the first-ever UK City of Culture title, for which it competed against 54 cities in the United Kingdom. The result was announced in 2010, and the famous walled city has been busy preparing ever since. Culture Company 2013, an independent group formed in partnership with Derry City Council, Ilex Urban Regeneration Company and the Strategic Investment Board, is planning the program. Though the initiative’s official name, Derry-Londonderry City of Culture, points to the social, political and religious divisions still to be navigated, the opportunity for the city to show all that it has to

offer is a clear indication of how far it has come from the days when its name was most closely associated with The Troubles and Bloody Sunday. Throughout 2013, the city will host an array of events. Derry is known for its rich musical heritage, and the City of Culture website promises that “the city will be overrun with musical talent.” Phil

Coulter will return to his hometown on June 15 to perform with the Ulster Orchestra. There will also be a 10-day (August 11-18) All Ireland Fleadh, the world’s largest Irish festival, brought by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. For theater lovers, Brian Friel and Stephen Rea’s Field Day company will return to Derry with a new work by American playwright Sam Shepard. From May 19 -25 a festival will mark the 80th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s landing in a Derry field, with over 40 events to celebrate the pilot’s legacy. Derry will also host the World GAA Congress from March 22-24. In anticipation of the year ahead, Lonely Planet guidebooks named Derry fourth in its list of the top ten cities to visit in 2013. Visit for further information. – M.M. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 15



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{ irish eye on hollywood} By Tom Deignan

Irish actor Chris O’Dowd is among the stars of Judd Apatow’s latest comedy This is 40, to be released December 21. O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Friends With Kids) plays the annoying pal of Apatow regular Paul Rudd in this film, which has been described as a “sort of sequel” to the mega-smash newparents flick Knocked Up. This time around, Apatow is exploring the jampacked lives of fortysomething parents. As their children grow up, their parents grow old and their jobs demand more time, Rudd and co-star Leslie Mann play a married couple trying to stay sane – and married. The Sligo-born O’Dowd (apparently holding on to his accent, at least to judge by the film’s trailer) plays Apatow’s carefree, stoner friend. Chris O’Dowd will also be appearing with actress Kelly Reilly and a host of other Irish talent in 2013’s Calvary. The red-headed Reilly earned raves this fall in the thriller Flight, starring alongside Denzel Washington. Reilly (born Jessica Kelly Siobhán Reilly) has slowly and steadi- Above: Kelly Reilly The cast of The ly been building an impres- Below: Fitzgerald Family Christmas sive Hollywood career, recently appearing alongside Robert Downey Jr. in both of the mega-hit Sherlock Holmes films. Reilly’s next role will team her up with numerous fellow Irish actors. (Reilly’s grandparents emigrated from Ireland to England.) After locking lips with Denzel in Flight, Reilly is next slated to appear in Calvary which will also star the aforementioned Chris O’Dowd as well as Brendan Gleeson. Calvary is about a priest who listens to a potentially dangerous confession and then goes on the run. Calvary – slated to be released next year – was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, who also worked with Brendan Gleeson in the film The Guard. McDonagh is the brother of acclaimed playwright Martin McDonagh. Also in time for Christmas, there’s Ed Burns’ Long Island Irish dramedy The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (see interview on page 92). And another mem16 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

ber of the Gleeson clan – Brendan’s son Domhnall – will star in the latest big screen version of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenina. Gleeson co-stars with Jude Law and Keira Knightley. And one final bit of Gleeson family news: Domhnall and fellow Irish actor Michael Fassbender have both signed on to star in a comedy about rock musicians entitled Frank. Fassbender plays the eccentric title Chris character, a rock star who recruits an O’Dowd up-and-coming player (Gleeson) for his band. The film was written by Jon Ronson, whose book The Men Who Stare At Goats was made into a film by Irish-American hunk George Clooney. The BBC may be asking for trouble on this one. Last summer, some people grumbled when BBC America announced plans that they would be airing Copper, a series about the Famine-era Irish in New York City. Some feared the renowned British broadcasting giant would resurrect anti-Irish stereotypes. However, most critics agreed Copper was a fair depiction of the era, and a second season is planned. But the BBC is wading into more controversial waters now that it has announced plans to develop a series based on the mystery novels of acclaimed Irish writer John Banville, writing under his pseudonym Benjamin Black. Currently titled Quirke, the series will star Dublin native Gabriel Byrne. Set in 1950s Dublin, the books feature Quirke as a brooding figure who runs the city morgue. Given the access this position grants Quirke to dead bodies, it should be no surprise to learn that he gets caught up in murder investigations from time to time. Thus far, this may seem none too controversial. But John Banville has had some tough words for the era in which his Quirke novels are set. Last year, Banville told the editor of The New York Times Book Review that Ireland in the fifties “was a time of great secrecy. We were in the clutch of the Catholic Church. The church for us was what the Communist party was for Eastern Europe. We only discovered this when we got older, how unfree we were. And everything was hidden, as we have discovered, to our horror, in the past five or 10 years.” It’s one thing for an Irish



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Catholic to say such things. Will the venerable BBC explore such controversial terrain? Or will they focus simply on the steamy streets and the bloody murders? Time will tell. Byrne is set to start filming Quirke soon, and the series is expected to air on BBC next year. No word yet as to whether or not the series will cross the pond and be shown on BBC America. In another Irish broadcasting controversy, Downton Abbey’s Irish-born actor Allen Leech recently defended the show’s exploration of Irish rebellion. Leech plays Irish chauffeur Tom Branson in the hit series. Some viewers were offended in one episode this past season when the Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) referred to an Irish character as a “drunken gorilla.” Other not-so-nice things have been uttered about the Irish and the Catholic Church since another Downton character has decided to raise his child as a Catholic. Leech defended the series and its use of anti-Irish sentiment. “You have to remember that, at that time, in England, that’s actually how the Irish were depicted,” Leech told Ireland’s Herald newspaper. “Ireland is pretty much to the fore in this series. I think it opens a dialogue in relation to what actually did happen and makes people realize what Ireland was going through at the time.” He added: “I think Branson shows how passionate people can be in relation to their own country and he’s passionate about everything he does, be it in going after a woman or his pleas for his country. It’s great that it brings Ireland’s history to a whole new audience.” Leech will be seen in an upcoming thriller called In Fear and will star alongside Irish American star John Cusack in another future film called Grand Piano.

uncovering the extent of abuse allegations. The paper’s coverage will serve as the basis for McCarthy’s film. Among the revelations published in the Globe: Cardinal Bernard Law had covered up abuse by shuffling accused priests from one parish to another. Many of the same priests were later again accused of abuse. Law, meanwhile, was granted a post in the Vatican. The shockwaves in Boston unleashed a wave of revelations in parishes all across America. McCarthy is a New Jersey native who, aside from writing and directing, has appeared in many TV shows and films, including Little Fockers and Michael Clayton. He also played the corrupt journalist Scott Templeton in the celebrated HBO series The Wire. Speaking of Irish American cable TV stars, Mad Man John Slattery is slated to star in an upcoming film In Our Nature. Slattery’s character brings his much younger girlfriend (Gabrielle Union) to his family’s cabin in upstate New York, where he happens upon his estranged son (Zach Gilford from

Clockwise from left: Allen Leech as Tom Branson in Downton Abbey; Gabrielle Union, John Slattery, Jenna Malone and Zach Gilford in In Our Nature; Thomas McCarthy.

Friday Night Lights), who had a similar weekend planned with his girlfriend (Jenna Malone). Father and son have many issues to work out, though it’s not likely Slattery, in real life, would go too deep into therapeutic chit chat. Slattery told Vanity Fair in 2009: “I grew up Irish Catholic in Boston and there was a mentality that was, you know, don’t whinge about it. Just get on with it. You got a problem? Figure it out.”

Irish American actor / director Thomas McCarthy – whose indy film

hits include The Station Agent and The Visitor – has reportedly signed on to direct a film which is sure to kick up yet more controversy in Catholic circles: a drama chronicling the Church’s cover-up of rampant child abuse allegations in the U.S. “This is a story that feels like it has to be told,” McCarthy told the Boston Globe, which is widely credited for

In TV news, the Irish are coming and going on CBS. First, Las Vegas is turning into Little Ireland. The CBS crime show starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis also features Dublin-born star Jason O’Mara as well as Irish American actors Michael Reilly Burke and Michael O’Neill. And finally, Jersey City Irish American Susan Flannery is leaving the CBS IA soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful after 25 years. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 17



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From Santa to St. Patrick T

he movie Miracle on 34th Street won’t be the only place Maureen O’Hara will shine this Christmas season. Bean Ui Dhombnaill, a school-teacher from Donacarney National School in County Meath, decided to compile a series of children’s bilingual books and CDs of Irish folklore. These books

ten books in the series and along with the CDs will be published by Irish Folklore Publications. Bean Ui Dhombnaill is negotiating with other Irish acting legends to narrate the remaining nine stories. The books will be available in bookshops and from Amazon. Even today, with the Internet, websites, and social networks Maureen O’Hara remains tremendously popular. Fans still love Miracle on 34th Street.” When we spoke recently, Maureen said, “I also love it!” After all, Maureen, herself is from a large family and very sentimental about Christmas. She has always embraced the warm values the movie portrayed. She also adored her costars in the film, and has special memories of all of them. John Payne, who played her romantic lead, was a frequent co-star and good friend, as well. Edmund Gwenn, who played Kris Kringle, was “a sweetheart. By the end of the movie, I think he really believed he was Santa Claus and so did we!” Perhaps the fondest memory she has of Gwenn was that he was “always good to chat with.” Maureen also loves talking about Natalie Wood, who during the making of Miracle on 34th Street bestowed on Miss O’Hara the endearing nickname “Mama Maureen.” Maureen describes young Natalie as a polite, normal, happy girl, “a real sweetheart,” with a very nice mother. She also revealed that during the making of the film little Natalie still believed in Santa Claus. Another great Christmas holiday venture for Maureen was the made-for-TV movie A Christmas Box in 1998. Without question, Maureen can light up a frame of film like no one else at any age, and The Christmas Box is no exception. She was then 78 years old. There are many things that bring us the spirit of Christmas, but Maureen O’Hara’s presence in this film remains a very special gift to her fans. Whether reading Irish folklore, starring in Christmas classics or enjoying a Christmas phone call from her family, the Christmas holiday is clearly very close to Maureen’s heart. When asked what her favorite Christmas food is, she replied, “All of them!” Maureen has now returned to the U.S., and resides near her grandson, Conor FitzSimons, his wife and two children in Boise, Idaho. She is a strong believer in family, hard work, and simple kindness. Clearly, with these values as her guide, the warmth she has displayed in all her films is no surprise. No wonder she's one of the world's favorites during the Holidays. When she appeared on the Johnny Carson show in 1991, Johnny asked what it was like to be in all these timeless classics. The always feisty O’Hara quipped, “When I’m nailed into the box and long gone, you’ll still be seeing [Miracle on 34th Street] every IA Christmas and The Quiet Man on St. Paddy’s Day.” – June Parker Beck

will retell the great stories like those of Cuchulainn, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, and the Children of Lir. Her first story is about St. Patrick and her idea blossomed further when she decided that Maureen O’Hara, legendary actress and native Dubliner, would be the perfect narrator. Much to Bean’s surprise, Ms. O’Hara cheerfully accepted the assignment. Bean said, “There wasn’t a dry eye in the INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING AUTOGRAPH: house” as she recited St. Patrick’s Prayer. Send only one photo for autograph to Maureen O'Hara (she does not provide photos) “She was wonderful!” PO Box 667 - Eagle, Idaho 83616 Maureen’s narration of the St. Patrick Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of the photo. Any further questions email story for the CD is in English and the Irish June Beck at version is narrated by Prof. Alan Titley of DO NOT SEND BOOKS FOR AUTOGRAPH the University of College Cork. There are 18 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Learn today Lead tomorrow

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Galway University Dinner a Smashing Success

Clockwise from top left: Honorees Michael Higgins and Anjelica Huston; Moya Brennan performing; Hotelier John Fitzpatrick and Anjelica Huston; Law and Order SVU star and comedian Richard Belzer; The Higgins Family – Laura, Tess, Niall and Michael – with Anjelica Huston, center; Galway University board member Sean Lane presents Moya Brennan with a gift. ALL PHOTOS: SEAN MCPHAIL


n Thursday, November 1, the National University of Ireland, Galway hosted its 6th annual Gala Dinner at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. This year’s event honored two graduates: Michael P. Higgins, Galway graduate, 1982 and managing director of Real Estate Finance, CIBC World Markets, and Academy Award-winning actress and honorary Galway graduate Anjelica Huston. The evening also featured a special performance by internationally acclaimed singer Moya Brennan of Clannad. Proceeds from the event will support the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI, Galway, which was established in 2003 under the active patronage of the family of film director John Huston, who called Galway home for more than two decades. Anjelica Huston, who spent many of her early years in Galway where her father, film director John Huston had a house for 20 years, was gracious in her acceptance speech acknowledging how having her father’s archives at Galway meant that she always had a piece of home in Ireland. Sean Lane, a Galway graduate, now a partner at U.S. Trust, talked about how Michael P. Higgins had served as a mentor when he was first starting out in the financial industry, advising him to be direct and always give your client your best price. Higgins in turn, talked about how his Irish heritage had stood by him over the years, especially that Irish ability to “keep on keeping on.”


Moya Brennan and Clannad, fresh off a tour of the U.S., held the crowd in raptures with songs such as “The Lass of Aughrim,” the song that featured in John Huston’s last movie The Dead (from Joyce’s short story), while Anjelica Huston, who starred in the movie along with Donal McCann, mouthed the words to herself. Huston, now starring in the TV series Smash, was one of the last to leave the dinner and professed that she had had “a grand time.” There was a particular celebratory note to the occasion, as those assembled had safely come through Hurricane Sandy which had struck just 48 hours before the event. Dr. Jim Browne, president of NUI Galway, said, “Despite the enormous challenges posed by Hurricane Sandy, our dinner was at capacity, with many of our guests traveling great distances and under very difficult conditions to be with us. Our friends and graduates closer to home left their darkened houses in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey to show their support for NUI Galway. It was a very special evening.” Past honorees of the Annual Galway Gala in New York City include Gabriel Byrne; President Bill Clinton; chairman of the American Ireland Fund Loretta Brennan Glucksman; singer/songwriter Paul Brady; Galway graduate and vice president of the Coca-Cola Company, Irial Finan; and managing director of Goldman Sachs, Adrian Jones, also a Galway alumnus. – P.H.

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{hibernia} Pete Hamill Launches New Book


Left to right: Tom Paxton, Malachy McCourt, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Tom Moran

Judy Collins Honored at Memorable Eugene O’Neill Award Celebration


he Irish American Writers & Artists honored Judy Collins with the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award before a packed house at Rosie O’Grady’s Manhattan Club on October 15. Among those lauding the iconic folksinger was 93-year-old singer/songwriter and activist Pete Seeger, who declared, “If the world is still around in another 100 years, it will be because of the arts.” Also along to honor Collins were folk legend Tom Paxton, Malachy McCourt, IAW&A president T.J. English, singer Ashley Davis, filmmaker Charles Hale, and musician and writer Larry Kirwan, the evening’s master of ceremonies. Collins was introduced by her good friend Tom Moran, CEO of Mutual of America. Moran, who professed not to have any talent, except for the ability to listen, not only with his ears but with his heart, praised Collins’s work on behalf of the relief organization Concern Worldwide U.S., of which he is chairman. Collins happily accepted the award, say-

ing she was honored to have her name associated with Eugene O’Neill. “I always believed that, in my heart, I am first and foremost a storyteller descended from a long line of Irish storytellers and balladeers,” she said. Those thoughts were echoed in the video tribute screened that night, in which she said, “Everyone in their heart is in some ways Irish, I’m convinced, because there’s a piece of all of us that has this deeply wounded place that needs to be healed by music. The Irish do that all the time.” The award was established in 2009 to honor the accomplishments of a writer, actor, musician, or cultural institution that has sustained a body of work that best exemplifies the level of integrity maintained by O’Neill. Judy Collins was the first musician to receive the award. IAW&A is a non-profit organization dedicated to the celebration of the Irish arts and of artists both past and present. For more information about IAW&A, go to

Flatley and Weinstein To Collaborate On World Dance Awards


arvey Weinstein, co-chairman of Weinstein Company, is joining forces with Irish step dancing star and choreographer Michael Flatley to create an epic dance awards show, the World Dance Awards. The lord of the dance and the media mogul announced the show’s concept at the international television event MIPCOM in Cannes. Weinstein’s hope is that the World Dance Awards will become an “annual staple” of television programming, likening it to the Grammys and the Oscars. “It’s going to be a game changer,” he told The Guardian, “for all the networks that buy


Michael Flatley and Harvey Weinstein

the show. This is going to be a ratings blockbuster that the people who buy it early will have year after year after year.” Flatley elaborated on the awards’ creative


ew York City’s best chronicler, Pete Hamill, celebrated the launch of his new collection of short stories,The Christmas Kid, at Glucksman Ireland House in November. After reading a wonderful story about a character called Wonderful Kelly, who, as it turns out, wasn’t quite so wonderful after all, Hamill centered his discussion on the art of the short story. He compared it to an artist producing a very fine drawing. He said that one could read James Joyce’s short “The Dead” twenty times and still get something different from it. For those interested in writing or reading short stories, he recommended The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story, by Irish writer Frank O’Connor. A journalist, novelist, and essayist, Hamill is now a Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. – P.H.

Hamill chats with fans Bridget and James Cagney

merits. “We owe this to the millions and millions of kids around the world who dance,” he told The Guardian. Flatley believes in the immense popularity of international dance. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter he said, “I think people have underestimated the popularity of dance around the world. But it is huge and it is only growing.” No date has been set for the show, which will present awards in 6-8 categories to dancers from around the world, but Weinstein mentioned that they are aiming for April 2013. – M.M.



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The Four Irish Nobel Laureates

U.S. Heroes Visit Ireland



ithout the titanic vision of one man, Brian P. Burns, none of this would have been possible,” writes Roger Kohn of The Four Irish Nobel Laureates, a series of sculptures created by noted Irish artist Rowan Gillespie, now permanently housed in the John J. Burns Library, in the historic, leafy suburb of Chestnut Hill, at the heart of the Boston College campus. Under the direction of Dr. Robert O’Neill, the Burns Library continues to be the world’s premier repository of Irish cultural heritage outside Ireland. Earlier this year, Brian Burns phoned Gillespie, whose work includes international memorials to Ireland’s Great Hunger, inviting him to create a sculpture of Irish poet Seamus Heaney, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. This commission


TOP: Artist Rowan Gillespie with his sculpture, “The Four Irish Nobel Laureates,” John J. Burns Library. LEFT: Brian P. Burns and his wife Eileen Burns with Fr. William P. Leahy, SJ, president of Boston College at the Honorable John J. Burns Library to dedicate and install “The Four Irish Nobel Laureates”


would complement the artist’s James Joyce bust already on display at the library. For Gillespie, this was “a golden opportunity to work again with Burns,” a man whom he “admires enormously.” As Gillespie’s biographer, Roger Kohn, tells it, “Rowan met Heaney at an exhibition opening in Dublin and asked if he would be prepared to sit for the bust. In Rowan’s words, Seamus was ‘sweet and charming as usual,’” and Gillespie created the bust forthwith. On seeing Gillespie’s completed work, Brian Burns decided that a broader commission should include each of the other three Irish Nobel Laureates, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. He convinced Gillespie, who created busts of the three, and the result was formally unveiled in November. When Heaney was asked how it felt hav-

ing his name included in the Irish Nobel pantheon along with Yeats, Shaw and Beckett, he is reported to have replied: “It’s like being a little foothill at the bottom of a mountain range. You hope you just live up to it. It’s extraordinary.” “Burns has done much to redress the woefully inadequate perception of Irish art in America,” says Kohn. “His extraordinary private collection of Irish art is the finest in America. Together with the collection in the Burns Library the two collections blend seamlessly to showcase the unparalleled richness of Irish culture.” Burns, an Irish-American entrepreneur and CEO of San Francisco-based BF Enterprises, is a business attorney and philanthropist. In 1999 he was named one of the Greatest Irish Americans of the Twentieth Century by Irish America. Thanks to an earlier gift made by the Burns family, the college has been able to fund an endowed chair in Irish Studies since 1991, which, next year, will be held by Mary McAleese, immediate past President of Ireland. – Turlough McConnell

ourteen U.S. veterans – all wounded in the line of duty – 11 family members and caregivers were invited to take part in a gratis twelve-day golf tour of Ireland in October. More than 40 Irish tourism operators offered their services, including free air fare from Aer Lingus, as well as accommodations at Killarney Plaza, Merrion Hotel and Dromoland Castle. Some of Ireland’s most prestigious golf courses, including Old Head, Ballybunion and the European Club, also waived their green fees. The trip was organized by Linton Walsh, the editor and publisher of Golf Digest Ireland. Walsh’s idea for the trip sparked when he met with the Folds of Honor Foundation while visiting the United States. The foundation provides support and counseling for seriously wounded soldiers, some of whom play golf for physical therapy. As a way to promote his new golf tour business,Walsh decided to invite them to visit Ireland. As he told the Irish Times, he soon realized that the trip transcended the marketing and business prospects he originally had in mind. “The more I learnt about the incredible stories of these people it changed the nature of the thing,” he said. Walsh’s hope for the trip is to “remind people in America that supporting this organization is so important – to bridge the gap between what they need and what they get.” Fáilte Ireland awarded the group a grant to cover day-to-day expenses. Walsh was overwhelmed and appreciative of the response, and estimates that the tour would otherwise have cost approximately $517,500. A group of American golf journalists traveled with the veterans. Their accommodations were also covered by Tourism Ireland. – M.M.




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Election 2012 Irish Americans have played a major role in U.S. politics on both a local and national level since the founding of the nation, when three signers of the Declaration of Independence were Irish-born and five others were of Irish descent. And at least 22 of the 44 presidents of the United States had some Irish or Scots-Irish ancestry. The following state-by-state breakdown of politicians, newly elected or already serving, shows that the Irish presence is still strong on Capitol Hill.

MINNESOTA House of Representatives: Betty McCollum – D District 4 Rick Nolan – D District 8

WISCONSIN House of Representatives: Paul Ryan – R District 1 Sean Duffy – R District 7

WASHINGTON Senate: Patty Murray – D

House of Representatives: Jim McDermott – D District 7

IOWA Senate: Tom Harkin – D

CALIFORNIA Governor: Jerry Brown – D

KANSAS Senate: Jerry Moran – R

MISSOURI Senate: Claire Connor McCaskill – D

House of Representatives: Jerry McNerney – D District 9 Kevin McCarthy – R District 23

ARIZONA Senate: John McCain – R House of Representatives: Ann Kirkpatrick – D District 1

ALASKA Governor: Sean Parnell – R


TEXAS House of Representatives: Kevin Brady – R District 8 Michael McCaul – R District 10

ARKANSAS House of Representatives: Tim Griffin – R District 2



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ILLINOIS Governor: Pat Quinn – D

House of Representatives: Mike Quigley – D District 5 INDIANA Senate: Joe Donnelly-D

MICHIGAN House of Representatives: Daniel Kildee – D District 5

NEW YORK House of Representatives: Peter King – R District 2 Carolyn McCarthy – D District 4 Joe Crowley – D District 14 Sean Maloney – D District 18 Brian Higgins – D District 26 Chris Collins – R District 27 OHIO House of Representatives: Tim Ryan – D District 13 David Joyce – R District 14

MAINE Senate: Susan M. Collins – R Senate: Angus King – I

VERMONT Senate: Patrick Leahy – D House of Representatives: Peter Welch – D District 1 NEW HAMPSHIRE Governor: Maggie Wood Hassan – D

CONNECTICUT Senate: Governor: Chris Murphy – D Dan Molloy – D

e: rkin – D

DELAWARE House of Representatives: John Carney – D District 1

KENTUCKY Senate: Mitch McConnell – R

MARYLAND Governor: Martin O’Malley – D House of Representatives: John Delaney – D District 6 NORTH CAROLINA Governor: Pat McCrory – R House of Representative: Patrick McHenry – R District 10 SOUTH CAROLINA House of Representative: Mick Mulvaney – R District 5 GEORGIA House of Representatives: Doug Collins – R District 9

S tives: R

LOUISIANA House of Representatives: John Fleming – R District 4 Bill Cassidy – R District 4

MASSACHUSETTS House of Representatives: Richard Neal – D District 1 Jim McGovern – D District 3 Joe Kennedy – D District 4 Ed Markey – D District 5 Joe Tierney – D District 6 Stephen Lynch – D District 8

PENNSYLVANIA Senate: Patrick Toomey – R Bob Casey – D District 1 Governor: Tom Corbett – R House of Representatives: Robert Brady – D District 1 Mike Kelly – R District 3 Patrick Meehan – R District 7 Mike Fitzpatrick – R District 8 Mike Doyle – D District 14 Tim Murphy – R District 18

VIRGINIA Senate: Timothy Kaine – D Governor: Bob McDonnell – R House of Representatives: Jim Moran – D District 8 Gerry Connolly – D District 11 WEST VIRGINIA House of Representatives: David McKinley – R District 1

FLORIDA House of Representatives: Tom Rooney – R District 17 Patrick Murphy – D District 18 DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 25

Next year marks the year of The Gathering in Ireland, a call to the worldwide Irish tribe to come on home, back to where it all started, and enjoy the very best of what the country has to offer. It’s an important year for Ireland as the country is turning a corner economically and every other way. Tourism has always been one of Ireland’s defining features, and once again it’s rising to the forefront in helping the country get back on its feet. Those who take advantage of the many great deals and attractions on offer in 2013 will be treated to the best of the Irish – breathtaking scenery, a wide range of historical, cultural and sporting activities to suit every interest, wonderful food, fan-

tastic shopping – and most of all, an Irish welcome that will out-do anything offered in the past. In short, Ireland is waiting for you! There’s never been a better time to plan a busness meeting, conference, golf event – nothing goes better like business and golf, after all! – or any other type of visit you have in mind. The Gathering is all about bringing the Irish Diaspora home, but let’s face it, when it comes to a good time “the more the merrier” is definitely true in Ireland. Next year is a golden opportunity to introduce non-Irish friends and family members to the Emerald Isle, too – and they won’t be disappointed! There’s plenty of help available to assist you in planning the perfect Irish business getaway.

DINING When it comes to food and restaurants, Ireland has

plenty to offer the discerning palate and plenty to excite an incentive group or impress conference delegates. From award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurants to modern Irish cuisine, we have a huge variety of fantastic dining options. There are plenty of options for eating out in Ireland, including fine dining in hotel restaurants, banquets in castles and conference venues, roomy restaurants suited to large groups, pub grub, local cafes and delis. If you want to heat things up on an incentive book your group into one of Ireland’s renowned cookery schools in beautiful settings around the country. Of course, whether it’s direct from an artisan cheesemongers or rural smokehouse, there are plenty of tastes to explore on a day trip.


Ireland is one of the best choices as a destination for meetings, conferences, corporate events and incentive travel in the world. The country’s temperate climate, high standard of conference facilities, tasteful and comfortable accommodation, selection of leisure and after-hours activities put it in a class of its own. The diverse range of scenery across this small country means business travelers can pack plenty of things to do into a short space of time. High-tech facilities come as standard at conference and meeting venues in Ireland, whether it is in the luxury of a historical castle or modern purpose-built conference centre. The emphasis on science, technology and innovation in the country in recent years has resulted in a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure.

SPA & WELLNESS If your incentive is all about rec-

ognizing and rewarding guests, you can be sure they’ll be well looked after in Ireland’s spas. Schedule some time out with a day or two to recharge and refresh the mind and body in one of Ireland’s state-of-the-art luxury spas. Impress incentive guests with a team-building event that includes time to relax and unwind in tranquil and beautiful surroundings. A wide variety of spa options carefully designed to meet the needs of your group can be organized.


Surprise your delegates by holding your incentive, conference, corporate meeting or social program in one of Ireland’s many unique and unusual venues. Motivate your team and impress guests with a venue that will stand out in their memories. From historic universities to little known urban architectural gems and from awe-inspiring contemporary design to ancient castles, these venues offer state-of-the-art facilities and enjoy a major wow-factor.

GOLF There’s nothing like getting out on

the golf course as part of an incentive itinerary. In Ireland, there is always a great golf course nearby whether you’re in a city or in any of the regions. Delegates can play a round of golf in Ireland amidst stunning scenery, fascinating history, and a choice of world-class golf courses. Or how about hiring a helicopter to bring you from course to course? Ireland’s top championship courses, luscious parkland courses and amazing golf links are renowned worldwide and are bound to impress your guests and team.

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{hibernia} Irish All-Star Athletes Take New York


he Gaelic Players Association “GPA,” the umbrella group for 2,500 Irish football and hurling athletes, held their first annual dinner in New York on November 15. It was a smashing success, with over 400 prominent Irish-Americans attending as well as the two All-Star teams from Ireland, the Minister of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, and GAA president Liam O’Neill. Donald Keough, former Coca-Cola president, who was on hand to receive the inaugural Irish-U.S. Gaelic Heritage Award, praised the Irish footballers and hurlers, who play for love and not for money, calling them an example to athletes everywhere. Keough, who founded the Keough-Naughton Center of Irish Studies at Notre Dame and works tirelessly to promote Irish and IrishAmerican relations, was one of the main movers behind the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in Ireland this year, which was an outstanding success. Dessie Farrell, GPA’s CEO, who did an admirable job as MC for the evening, talked about the need to promote all aspects of player welfare, especially in the areas of health care, job placement and education.The event was sponsored by Teneo, whose Tipperary-born CEO Declan Kelly, a former player, is passionate about Gaelic games. A film tribute to Keough featured remarks from such luminaries as Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former President George H.W. Bush, and Warren Buffet.

Above left: player Karl Lacey holds the Sam Maguire Cup, awarded to the All-Ireland Senior Football champions, while Henry Shefflin holds the AllIreland Hurling championship McCarthy Cup. Martin Kehoe and John Gallahue hold the McCarthy Cup. Members of the 2012 and 2011 All-Star teams in Times Square.

Honoring New England’s Irish T

he first annual Irish Leaders of New England Awards took return of the Kennedy family to Washington politics. place on October 11 in Boston, when and Dave Greaney, founder and president of Synergy Investments, the Irish Voice newspaper teamed up with Boston-based affiliate was recognized as Leader in Business, Kerry-born John J. Irish Emigrant, to recognize the vast contributions of Irish Somers of Somers Pubs was presented with the award for Leader Americans in the New England area. in Irish Hospitality, and the Leadership in Law honoree was Dr. John L. Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University in Aidan F. Browne, a partner at Sullivan & Worcester, LLP. Hamden, Connecticut, was celebrated as Irish Person of the Year The Leader in Community Service Award went to Sr. – a timely recognition given that Marguerite Kelly and Fr. John just two weeks earlier he had overMcCarthy for their work with the seen the opening of the nation’s first Irish Pastoral Centre in Boston. museum dedicated to the Great Irish Sr. Lena Deevy, executive director Famine, located near the Quinnipiac of Boston’s Irish International campus. Immigration Center, was honored as Representative-elect Joseph P. Leader in Bridging Communities. Kennedy III (D), who at the time Earlier this year, Sr. Deevy was was in the final weeks of his camselected by the Irish government to paign to represent Massachusetts’ be one of the first recipients of the 4th Congressional District, was rec- Irish Consul General to Boston Michael Lonergan; Dr. John L. Distinguished Service Award for ognized as Leader of Tomorrow. Lahey; Publisher Niall O’Dowd; Representative-elect Joseph P. the Irish Abroad. Kennedy III and Irish Emigrant publisher Connell Gallagher. Kennedy, 31, is the son of former In a joint statement, Connell Congressman Joseph Kennedy II and grandson of Robert F. Gallagher, publisher of the Irish Emigrant and Niall O’Dowd, Kennedy. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law publisher of, the Irish Voice (and Irish America) School, Kennedy volunteered with the Peace Corps from 2004stated, “The extraordinary accomplishments of this year’s hon2006, and served as Assistant District Attorney for the Middlesex orees show what a successful, vital, and caring community the District Attorney’s Office prior to his campaign. His win against Irish throughout New England are. We believe this type of recogRepublican candidate Sean Bielat on November 6 marked the nition is long overdue.” – S.L.



Declan Kelly, Donald Keough, Minister Jimmy Deenihan and Dessie Farrell

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The 2012 Wall Street 50 honorees with Niall O’Dowd and Patricia Harty



rish America celebrated the 15th Anniversary Wall Street 50 on September 20 at the New York Yacht Club with co-host Teneo, a global consulting firm and investment bank. In addition to his fellow honorees, the event recognized the outstanding achievements of Adrian Jones, a managing director of the Principal Investment Area of the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in New York, who delivered the Keynote Address. Publisher Niall O’Dowd and Editor-inChief Patricia Harty presented Jones with the Keynote Speaker award – a House of Waterford Crystal Kings Bowl. His moving speech touched upon how far Ireland has come, how far it has still to go, and how those in the room and the Irish diaspora could help. He also communicated how much Ireland values its emigrants and descendants of emigrants: “You may not have met [your relatives in Ireland] before, but they have heard of you, they know you, and – believe me – they are proud.” Attendees included Consul General Noel Kilkenny; Loretta Brennan Glucksman and Kieran McLoughlin of the American Ireland Fund and Julie Menin, New York City political figure and host of NBC cable talk show Give and Take. Irish soprano Mary Deady brought the evening to an end with two songs – “Song for Ireland” and “Goodnight New York.”

American Ireland Fund’s Kieran McLoughlin and Keynote speaker Adrian Jones

Above: Patricia Harty presenting honoree Denis Kelleher with his House of Waterford Crystal Shamrock paperweight award. Right: Honorees Michael Brewster, John Cannon and Matt Gorman

Honoree Colleen Casey with parents, Bridget and former honoree John Casey

Hugh Gordon and the Coca-Cola Company guests

Irene Narissi and her mother, the Aug/Sept. issue’s celebrated Irish senior, Terry McLaughlin


Keynote Speaker Adrian Jones

Goldman Sachs honorees Deirdre Connolly, Adrian Jones and Kathleen Hughes

(top row) Tourism Ireland’s Joe Byrne, Niall O’Dowd, Consul General Noel Kilkenny, Hanora Kilkenny, Adrian Jones, Christina Jones (bottom The House of Waterford row) Julie Menin, American Ireland Fund Chairman Loretta Brennan Crystal Kings Bowl Glucksman, Patricia Harty and honoree Denis Kelleher Keynote Speaker award

Emmett O’Connell with Quinnipiac University’s Lynn Bushnell and Turlough McConnell

Honoree Barbara Koster of Prudential with her table of female coworkers

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Those We Lost

Larry Reynolds 1922 – 2012

Larry Reynolds, a masterful fiddle player from County Galway and a staple of the Boston Irish music scene, passed away on October 3 at the age of 80 from complications due to amyliodosis, a protein disorder. One of thirteen children born and raised in Ahascragh, County Galway, near Ballinasloe, Reynolds immigrated to Boston in 1953. There he met his wife, Phyllis, with whom he shared a love of music. Reynolds quickly became a central figure in the blossoming Irish music community. Over the years, his talents were enjoyed by everyone from locals and fellow musicians to the Irish-American political elite, including House Speaker Tip O’Neill, and former Irish presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese. In 1976, Reynolds helped found the Boston chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and served as its chairman for many years. He was an inductee of the Comhaltas Hall of Fame and was also honored by the Irish Cultural Center of New England. He was the co-host of CCE’s weekly radio program of traditional Irish music on WNTN-1550, which he first co-hosted with fellow fiddler Seamus Connolly, and later with his son Sean Reynolds. Though most of his life was dedicated to music, Reynolds was a carpenter by day, He was a father to five sons and a daughter, all of whom play Irish music. He is also survived by Phyllis, their 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, in addition to one sister, Eleanor, in California, and a brother, Sean, who still lives in Ahascragh. – M.M.

Isaiah Sheffer 1935 – 2012

Isaiah Sheffer, the visionary behind Symphony Space, a venue for the performing arts on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, died on November 9 of complications following a stroke, his wife, Ethel, told the New York Times. He was 76. Over 30 years ago, Sheffer oversaw the transformation of an abandoned skating rink 32 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

and movie theater into an esteemed institution for the arts. In his 32-year tenure as artistic director, he introduced an astounding array of programs in music, dance and theater, literacy initatives and high-profile literary events, including the popular “Selected Shorts,” which features acclaimed actors reading short stories and is broadcast weekly by NPR on more than 160 radio stations across the nation. A lover of literature with a special fondness for James Joyce, the Jewish Sheffer created the annual “Bloomsday on Broadway” celebration, which entered its 31st year this June. Each Bloomsday, Sheffer invited actors, writers, figures in the Irish community and Joyce aficionados to participate in readings of Ulysses that would start mid-day on the 16th and go on well into the early hours of the following day. In recent years, readers included Stephen Colbert, Tony Roberts, Marian Seldes and Colum McCann. Traditionally, actress Fionnula Flanagan brings Bloomsday to a close with her celebrated reading of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy. Sheffer was born on December 30, 1935 in the Bronx, and grew up in Greenwich Village. In addition to Ethel, he is survived by his daughter, Susannah, and a sister, Barbara Brook. – S.L.

Arthur William Vincent 1919 – 2012

Arthur William Vincent, known as “Billy,” died at the age of 93 on October 18. He was a former vicechairman of the American Ireland Fund, and, prior to its merger with The Ireland Funds in 1987, had been president and chairman of the American Irish Foundation. Vincent was born to an Irish father and an American mother in London on July 17, 1919. He grew up in Muckross House, Killarney but frequented California, his mother’s birthplace. He was educated in Bryanston School in Dorset, and received his BA from Magdalene College, Cambridge. He enlisted as a guardsman in the Irish Guards at the start of World War II. With the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers he served in India, the Middle East and Italy. After the war, he moved to California and joined United Helicopters. In 1949, he was named vice-president in charge of sales. Vincent later partnered with the Carver-Dodge oil company in 1962, and in 1983 he was appointed chairman of the board of Inishtech Capital Fund Ltd. He was a director of Independent News Media from 1990-99. Vincent co-established the Parnell Fellowship for Irish Studies at his alma mater in 1990. He has been honored by Trinity College Dublin and the University of Ulster. In 1998 he moved to Monaco, where he spearheaded the establishment of The Ireland Fund of Monaco, and served as president until he stepped down in 2005. Vincent is survived by his wife, Elisabeth and his Sheffer reading at a 2011 stepson, Marc, and grandsons Mathieu, Antoine and Bloomsday celebration in NY Adrien. – M.M.

IRISH AMERICA would like to extend a special thank you to our annual sponsors

Mutual of America The Coca-Cola Company House of Waterford Crystal Tourism Ireland Quinnipiac University UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School The American Ireland Fund Cashs Ireland CIE Tours International

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{those we lost}

Those We Lost In Hurricane Sandy


n October 29, Hurricane Sandy swept up the eastern seaboard with a fury and intensity the region hadn’t experienced in decades. The hardest-hit areas included Staten Island, the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, Long Island and the Jersey Shore. Over 100 lives were lost in the tri-state area: 64 in New York, 37 in New Jersey and 5 in Connecticut, according to the most recent figures. A number of them were Irish American, and here we take the time to reflect on those we lost in Hurricane Sandy. About some we have details of lives lived to the full and cut tragically short, about others we still know far too little. Overwhelmingly, the most vulnerable

Brandon Moore

Connor Moore

O’Regan, 79, a retired New York firefighter who had fought in the Korean War, passed away after complications from a fall on October 31. According to an article in the Staten Island Advance, O’Regan was in very good health and was a volunteer at the senior center. He fell in a dark, wet hallway of the building, which had lost power, and sustained a fatal spinal fracture. A Staten Island native, O’Regan is survived by his son George and his longtime companion, Jessie Mattia. He had been awarded Bronze and Silver Stars for his service as a sergeant major in Korea. In an all too similar situation, William McKeon, 78, died at Jamaica Hospital in Queens on the night of November 6. He

George O’Regan

people were the most in danger, particularly the elderly and the very young. In the Great Kills neighborhood of Staten Island, four-year-old Connor Moore and twoyear-old Brandon Moore perished in the storm as their mother, Glenda, tried to get them to safety. The area was not a designated evacuation zone, but the flooding began quickly on the evening of the 29th, and Glenda decided to flee to her sister’s house in Brooklyn. Their car stalled in the water en route, and she was trying to take Connor and Brendan to higher ground when a surge of water swept them out of her arms. Their father, Donegal-born Damien Moore, an employee of the New York City Sanitation Department, had been called in to work to prepare for clean-up after the storm. Connor and Brendan were found on November 1, 100 feet apart from each other in a marsh-land area some distance away from where they were separated from their mother. A service for the brothers was held in Brooklyn, and a memorial service was organized in Portnoo, Co. Donegal, where their grandparents Paddy and Fay live. At the New Lane Senior Houses in the Rosebank area of Staten Island, George P. 34 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

Russell F. Neary

Anne Marie Dolan

had been found after Sandy struck, unconscious in the dark, wet stairway of an apartment building on Shorefront Parkway in Rockaway. The building was also without power. In the Belle Harbor section of Rockaway, Henry Sullivan, 57, a teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, was found dead in the basement of his house on Beach 136th Street and Rockaway Park. His wife, Brenda Sullivan, told the New York Times that Henry drowned when he ventured down to their basement to shut off the gas. Russell F. Neary, 55, of Easton, Connecticut, was struck by a tree on October 29 as he was clearing debris from a roadway. A volunteer fireman, he was president and lieutenant of the Easton Fire Company. Born in Bridgeport, CT on July 8, 1957, Neary grew up in Easton and was a graduate of College of the Holy Cross. He was vice president of the Global Ocean Marine Department at General Reinsurance in Stamford, CT. Russell is survived by his wife, Maryanne, their two daughters, Cara and Caitlin, and by his brother, Peter, in addition to a large extended family. They have established

the Russell Neary Memorial Trust Fund to benefit Joel Barlow High School’s Girls Cross Country & Girls Track and Field Teams, and the American Red Cross. In Long Island, Anne Marie Dolan, 57, was also killed by a falling tree. Dolan, who was homeless, was living out of a tent in the woods near Veterans Memorial Highway. A friend who was aware of her situation went to look for Dolan during and after the storm, but was not able to locate her tent until November 5. Michael Fleming, 80, of Bay Shore Long Island, died at a local hospital after 8 hours of surgery to alleviate a head injury he sustained after being pulled out of his house’s open storm doors by a gust of wind and dropped on the front stairs. His son, Mike Fleming, Jr., is the film editor for Deadline Hollywood, and after returning to work on November 13 he wrote a moving tribute to his father. The following excerpt speaks to his loss, and its concluding message is universal: Michael Fleming “I appreciate the time I spent and the love I had for this Irishman with a generous spirit and rich sense of humor, who was proud he’d reached 80 and was eager to celebrate his 55th wedding anniversary with my mom next April. And who was so meticulously organized in his own affairs that he actually had sent in his absentee ballot, casting a vote for President Obama even though he was dead one week by the time the polls opened. “I won’t belabor this any longer because it seems needy and my father would hate that; I recall vividly how much my dad loathed that drunken Irish father from Angela’s Ashes, who brought the coffins of his dead kids to bars to get sympathy [and] free drinks. But there is one more thing. Many who wrote asked if there was anything they could do. There is something. If you are lucky enough to still have parents alive, or siblings or other relatives you’ve lost touch with, please make time to call them. See them if you can. Life is so fragile, and at times like this you realize that family, friends, and faith are the only permanent things. I’ve learned I have those in abundance, and in places I IA had not anticipated.”

Congratulations to the

2012 Irish America Business 100 Honorees

Brian Stack CIE Tours International

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Quote Unquote “I’ve no interest in looking for credit or thanks. Providing a prosperous future for all our people, that’s what drives me.” – Taoiseach Enda Kenny in an October 15 interview with Catherine Mayer, Time magazine’s Europe Editor. Kenny is the first Taoiseach to appear on the cover of Time since Sean Lemass in 1963.

“I grew up in an interesting family. My father was Irish, and my mother was Italian. It’s a rich tapestry. . . It’s soaking in volatility. But I was raised well. I put them through some hell, of course.” – Bradley Cooper, in an interview with Scott Raab of Esquire magazine. November 13.

“Every time I have complained about being illegal over here, people are like, ‘Sure why don’t you go home, then?’ It’s not as simple as that. . .There are better opportunities to get ahead here if you’re willing to work hard. There is big money to be made. It’s a great way of life out here. It’s hard to go back and work and live in Ireland after here.” – “Steve M.” From an article on the hopes of New York’s undocumented Irish that President Obama will deliver on immigration reform in his second term.

“It was a tremendous achievement what we did in two years [with the Imagine Ireland initiative]. I was really disappointed the way all those contacts, all that hard work was just dropped and it really made me disillusioned and disappointed with this Government who go on about their love for culture [and] arts and actually really don’t give a toss about it. . . I wish The Gathering the very best of luck but they have to understand that the bridge between the diaspora and the people is broken. I tried to fix that for two years and it’s still broken.” – Actor and former Cultural Ambassador for Ireland Gabriel Byrne, speaking on Today FM’s The Last Word. November 6.

“A really close friend of mine is [Senator] Susan Collins [R. Me]. One time, on a long trip on a military plane, we were talking about how our parents induced guilt. She was raised in a traditional Roman Catholic family in Caribou, Maine. Susan concluded, “Your people invented guilt, but my people perfected it.” – Senator Joe Lieberman, in a November 2 interview with the New York Times Magazine. Senator Collins is of Irish descent.

“First communion has to be something simple and I think we have to try and keep to that. It’s up to every parish then to decide what way they go about that so there isn’t that sort of expense. One should be very clearly looking at the amount of money spent on outfits and sometimes transport and partying as well. . . Parishes should encourage people to celebrate the sacrament with the simplicity and authenticity which will help the child to fully understand the mystery of the Eucharist.” – Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin in response to the results of an Irish survey that found even struggling families spending an estimated $710 on First Communion celebrations. The Irish Examiner, October 2. 36 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013


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Rebuilding the


The devastation of the Rockaways has been well-documented in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In many stories in local papers and international news, Irish Americans featured large. In spite of the destruction, the message they sent was one of determination to rebuild. And lending a hand in the rebuilding effort are many Irish immigrants. BY PATRICIA HARTY

THE LOCALS There’s James Brennan, one of many Rockaway ex-pats who returned to help clean up after the storm. There’s Sean Herron, who looked after his wife’s sister and sister-in-law and four children on “the scariest night of my life.” There’s Mike McDonald, who sheltered with his neighbors when a tidal wave rushed down the street. And when a gas line blew and house after house burst into flame, he led the family of six through the Above: Photograph by Peter Foley who went to Rockaway the day after Hurricane Sandy to document the devastation. More of Peter’s photos can be seen in the following pages.

flood, making a rope out of extension cords and twine and lamp cords. (“First of all we are being chased by fire and then the alternative is to jump into raging water that looks like a tsunami.”) There’s Jim O’Connor who, when the house across the street caught fire, jumped into the water and helped three women and a three-month-old baby to safety. (“My wife likened it to the Titanic meets Gone With the Wind when Atlanta was burning.”) And there’s the Brady family, mother Susan and father Denis, brothers Billy and Brian, both firefighters, and Patrick who is applying to the FDNY. These Irish Americans, profiled on 60

Minutes, were among those who talked to the press about the havoc wreaked on their Rockaway community by Sandy. Over a hundred houses in Rockaway’s Irish enclaves of Breezy Point (also known as Cuis Farraige, Irish for “by the sea”), Belle Harbor and Neponsit, burned to the ground, and many homes still standing have extensive flood damage. Yet, in equal measure, the devastation is being met with determination to rebuild. A constant theme throughout the press coverage following the super storm was that the Rockaway Irish stick together, neighbors look out for each other, and family and faith are paramount. Susan Brady put it this way: “It’s the DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 37

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3Fs: family, friends and faith.” Mike McDonald explained,“Rockaway has a great fabric running through it. It’s a community of first responders, there are firemen and police officers. They don’t mind putting their lives on the line if there’s a possibility to save another.” James Brennan, born in Rockaway, now the owner of a successful restaurant chain in California, is one of the many who returned home to help with the clean-up and arranged for five mothers with 15 children to fly to San Diego and stay there until things improved. This way the kids could go to school while the fathers stayed behind and did the clean-up. A childhood friend of Sean Herron, Brennan talked to 60 Minutes about his start as a busboy in Herron’s father’s Harbor Light Pub. The restaurant was the

consumed the building. It burned to the ground. But luckily no one connected to the Herron family died. “Charlie was watching over us,” Sean Herron said. Michael Daly wrote in a report published by the Daily Beast how the Harbor Light awning, which had miraculously survived the fire, was raised by off-duty firemen. It was attached to the brick stoop, all that’s left of the pub, as a symbol that Rockaway would rise again. Daly’s was one of many excellent articles by Irish Americans chronicling the aftermath of the storm. Cory Kilgannon for the New York Times wrote a story on Ed Shevlin, a sanitation worker who called the storm “an tabaise mor” – Irish for big disaster. Shevlin, who learned this Irish phrase and others as a boy growing up in



epicenter of life in Belle Harbor – a place for first dates and first communions, anniversaries and christenings. And after 9/11 it served as a kind of memorial, with a wall of photographs showing that the 50 people from the Rockaways who lost their lives on that 2001 day were not forgotten. One of those photographs was of Charles Herron, Sean’s brother. Photographs of another disaster were added just two months after 9/11, when an American Airlines jet on its way to the Dominican Republic crashed across the street from Harbor Light, killing all 260 passengers and five people on the ground, including Charles Herron’s best friend, Chris Lawler, and his mother, Kathy. Harbor Light Pub survived that crash but did not survive Hurricane Sandy. A raging fire caused by exploding gas lines 38 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

“A Loss of the Finer Things,” was the fate of Michael “Buzzy” O’Keefe’s upmarket restaurant the River Café, which had occupied a barge in the East River at Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Landing for 35 years. Buzzy’s other restaurant, the Water Club on the East River at 30th Street, also suffered severe flood damage and it’s still not known when they will reopen. Across the Hudson, Hoboken’s Irish pubs were flooded, including the Nag’s Head pub, opened 14 years ago by Irish immigrants Ruth Finnegan and her husband, Barney. A later CBS News clip showed Ruth sanding down barstools and getting rid of the muck. “Our bartenders are not making any money. They have to pay their rent. We have to pay our mort-

Rockaway, was assigned to take part in the immense clean-up and found himself clearing away contents from the houses of friends and neighbors. He said of the battered sections of the boardwalk where he used to play, “If these piles could talk, they’d be screaming.” Sanitation workers have become the new heroes of Rockaway, most of them doing double shifts. “I’ll be wearing this uniform every day for months,” Shevlin said. “We were the first boots on the ground and we’ll be the last to leave.”


The devastation did not settle on Rockaway alone, but was widely distributed around the New York, New Jersey area. Receiving front-page coverage in the New York Times, in a story entitled

gage,” Finnegan said. “There’s no money coming in, so we have to get ourselves up and going as soon as possible.”

THE SADDEST STORY One of the saddest stories happened in Staten Island and was carried in several newspapers, but added a new dimension, when they identified the father of two young boys who slipped from their mother’s grasp as she tried to get help and drowned. He’s a Donegal man, Damien Moore. Moore, a city worker, had been called in to work, and his young wife, Glenda, alone with Connor, 4, and Brandon 2, had left her flooded home and was driving towards her sister’s house in Brooklyn when her SUV became stuck. As the water swelled,

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she lost her grip on the boys and they were swept away. Millions of people in the New York area were without power for at least a week after the storm, some for several weeks. So as the world watched in disbelief the destruction of the storm, many New Yorkers missed out on the news and didn’t know the enormity of what had hit them. Nova’s “Inside the Mega Storm” aired on PBS two weeks after. It showed the anatomy of the disaster from beginning to end, tracking Sandy from her birth as a tropical depression in the Caribbean to her growth into a super storm carrying the energy of five Hiroshima bombs and reaching an expanse of a thousand miles, as she crashed into the East Coast. Belle Harbor residents featured large on the 60 Minutes special, while Nova covered Breezy Point. Marty Ingram, a local volunteer fire group captain who was one of those interviewed, explained how despite their best pre-storm efforts, Breezy Point had become one of the worst hit areas of Sandy’s fury. The storm surge submerged the entire town two and a half hours before high tide, and even the community center where many residents had taken shelter started to flood. When a house burst into flames and the fire spread, firemen trapped by rising flood waters could do nothing but watch as the neighborhood burned. When the tide began to recede, the firemen found, in the cruelest of ironies, that low pressure in the fire hydrants had left them without water to fill their hoses. Ingram said he will never forget watching his men walking into the fire. “That memory of seeing my men just unrestrained and motivated, without any fear, so dedicated to others and not themselves, that is so outstanding. I am so proud of them.”

THE HISTORY The Irish started going out to Rockaway, a peninsula about 45 miles from New York City, around the 1900s, renting summer bungalows and staying in boarding houses. Rosemary Rogers, whose family used to spend summer vacations there in the 1950s, talked to Irish America. “Rockaway was a great place to meet people from home in Ireland,” she said. “We sometimes stayed in the home of our cousins, Bridie and John Duigan who,



Opposite page: One of the houses in Breezy Point that survived. A bulldozer with Irish and American flags. Above: A resident walks among the ruins. Right: The Emerald Guild volunteers.

like my father, were from County Longford. On weekends our families went to 103rd Street, Irishtown, the hotbed of Rockaway nightlife where the dance halls were named after counties – Leitrim House, Sligo House, Dublin House, etc. The entertainers – the McNulty Family, Ruthie Morrissey and Mickey Carton.” Labor leader John Sweeney, who served as head of the AFL-CIO from 1995 until 2009, and whose family used to vacation there in the late 30s and 40s, recalled: “Some of my favorite memories are from the Rockaways. There was such a great sense of family values there. When I was a child, my family would rent a room or a cottage during the summers. We loved to run on the beach, swim in the water, ride bikes and play handball. We especially loved to visit the amusement park. I truly miss those days.” The number of Irish vacationers dwindled in the 1960s, but many Irish had already settled into the Rockaways, winterizing summer cottages and building new homes in Neponsit, Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, which today has the second-highest concentration of Irish Americans in the U.S. (Quincy, MA is higher).

HELP ARRIVES The Rockaway Irish, three and four generations removed from Ireland, are deeply proud of their Irish heritage. And it is only fitting that Irish immigrants are helping with the clean-up. The Emerald Guild, a New York City group of Irish building managers and

superintendents, were able to mobilize quickly and distribute supplies through the Irish Center in Long Island. Owen Rogers, from Co. Tyrone, who had done three consecutive weekends of clean-up work with other volunteers from the Emerald Guild when we spoke, said that the group planned to keep on working and organizing. “We are building managers and supers who deal with leaks in our buildings, and this was one big leak. We organized around fifteen teams; some of them were volunteers who went out with generators, pumps, tools and supplies like garbage bags, and bleach [for the mold],” he said. Volunteers from the Aisling Irish Community Center, which provides services to Irish immigrants, young and old, in the Bronx and Yonkers area of New York, went door-to-door in highrise buildings without power, to check on residents, many of whom were elderly and unable to leave their homes. Orla Kelleher, Aisling’s executive director, explained: “We put out an appeal through social media on November 1 to make donations of clothing, non-perishable food, cleaning products and other critical supplies. The response was overwhelming and we had a truck full of donations within 24 hours, which was then transported by Liffey Van Lines to the DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 39

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Clockwise: Charred and twisted ruins from the fire that burned over 100 homes in Breezy Point. A statue of the Virgin Mary, which Mary McNulty placed in her garden years ago, stands intact amid the ruins. Fallen mailboxes belonging to the Carroll and O’Grady families. Bottom right: Flag still flying.


Rockaways. Since then, we have donated a further 4-5 truck loads of supplies.” A group of Irish construction workers from Navillus Contracting, whose president is Kerryman Donal O’Sullivan, were also among the first-responders. O’Sullivan went out to Rockaway the day after the storm and, stunned by the damage, offered his company’s services. By the following night, over 100 families had asked for help, and by the second week in November, Navillus had dug out 300 houses.

degree that’s true, but right now we need some help.” He talked about all the money that was spent on the recent election, with millionaires contributing to whatever candidate, and said, “We’re here with a plan that’s probably going to cost us another seven hundred thousand bucks to get these houses of firefighters and NYPD and sanitation workers heated up. I’m hoping that there are some people out there who will recognize that this is America, no matter what party you are in, and rise to the occasion IA for something that matters.”



ning, and repairing their own home. “Do you think of yourselves as victims?” they were asked. “Not at all,” they answered in unison. “We are alive and we are here together,” Brian continued. “We are the lucky ones.” What was lost, he explained, were just “things” but “the neighborhood is still here, people are still here. It brought us together and brought countless other families together. People have flown from all over the country – the storm brought everyone back and grounded us again.” “Are folks around here so self sufficient that it sometimes prevents them from getting the help they should be getting?” 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley asked James Brennan, who had left his California home to return to his birthplace to help out. “I think it’s two-fold,” Brennan answered. “Number one, there’s a lot of pride involved here, and number two, I think there’s a general perception that ‘those guys will help themselves,’ and to a



“Navillus is fantastic along with volunteers from Rubicon, former military men and women, who come and help at disaster areas, and also a group of Mormons. Each and every one of these groups has helped our community, we will be forever grateful to all of them,” Rita Mullen, a Breezy Point resident wrote in an email to Irish America. And on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, hundreds of Irish immigrants, on buses organized by the Irish Consulate, and other organizations, descended on Rockaway to help out in any way they could – from preparing food to clearing debris. And of course, the locals are pitching in. Denis Brady who was in Florida when the storm hit, drove 19 hours to get home, bringing with him every generator and water pump he could find. “I figured if I couldn’t use them all the neighbors would,” he told 60 Minutes. The Brady boys are helping to get local businesses up and run-

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Denis O’Brien with local people in Haiti. Opposite page top to bottom: Denis O’Brien receiving his Clinton Global Citizen Award from Tim Shriver. Denis O’Brien in Malawi. Denis with Tom Arnold, then head of Irish relief organization Concern Worldwide, in Malawi. Irish Times photo of Denis.



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Irish Power Irish Concern

Denis O’Brien, a Clinton Global Citizen honoree, is empowering people in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Interview by Niall O'Dowd enis O’Brien, 54, is Ireland’s most successful businessman and biggest philanthropist. He created Digicel, one of the most successful cell phone companies in the world, and he has a vast media empire, but he is known as much for his philanthropy as he is for his business acumen, especially in the Third World. Former president Bill Clinton wrote in a Time cover story on October 1 that Digicel’s founder and chairman’s move to make cash transactions available for the poorest in the world via cell phones was the number one idea in changing the world for the poor in 2012. I caught up with O’Brien just as Time was hitting the newsstands. He was in New York to receive a corporate philanthropic award from the Clinton Global Initiative. In addition to being featured in Time, Forbes magazine had just published their Richest 400 list and O’Brien was rated at number 205 with a $5 billion fortune. When we met up at the Helmsley Palace Hotel, he had just come from a small dinner with President Clinton and Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, and a few other heavyweights, and he described with evident relish how the evening had ended with a few spontaneous songs from all concerned. O’Brien’s company has achieved amazing growth over the past decade. Since its launch in Jamaica in 2001, Digicel has secured some 13 million users in 31 countries in the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific, and is the largest single investor in Haiti – 600 million dollars. The Digicel chairman has become an ambassador for Haiti, talking up investment opportunities to businessmen. And while he is ready to admit there are problems, from a foreign investment point of view, he is more ready to point out that there are really





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“Denis has deservedly received great recognition for his financial good opportunities. From retail stores to abilities and business success. But there aren’t enough words to truly hotels, Haiti is a prime market for corpoexpress the generosity of his heart. His attention to his rations looking to turn a profit. philanthropic interests, including Concern Worldwide, may Digicel has made a good return for its even exceed his focused attention to business. He has truly investment in Haiti, but it’s not all about earned the riches of this world and the next!” making money. Since the earthquake that killed upwards of 300,000 people – Tom Moran, Chairman, CEO Mutual of America and devastated the capital city, Port-auand Chairman, Concern Worldwide U.S. Prince, Digicel has donated and raised $30 million towards redevelopment including reconstruction of Port-auPrince’s Iron Market, a key commercial hub. Digicel has also donated free phone the first time the Games were staged outO’Brien has extensive other media time worth $10 million, as well as relief side the U.S., with teams from 160 couninterests in Ireland and has drawn some supplies. It is also constructing 50 tries and over 30,000 volunteers, and it criticism that he controls too much, but schools. And, in a country where only 10 was the most successful Games in the compared to the O’Reilly clan and their percent of the population have bank history of the Special Olympics. relentless pursuits and vendettas in their accounts, Digicel worked with These days, Ireland’s downslide is very newspapers down the decades, he is a Scotiabank to allow people to withdraw much on O’Brien’s mind, but here too he paragon of hands-off ownership. cash and make deposits and person-tois upbeat about the future and says that Tom Moran, Chairman and CEO of person transactions using their mobile Ireland is in recovery mode. He’s bullish the insurance giant Mutual of America, phones. about the economy. And as he does for who also serves as chairman of Concern In an August 9, 2010 article in Worldwide U.S., had this to say: Time, Tim Padgett wrote: “The “Denis has deservedly received Haiti work has made O’Brien and great recognition for his financial the Irish the world’s newest poster abilities and business success. But boys for enterprise-oriented aid of there aren’t enough words to truly the kind championed by leaders express the generosity of his heart. like former U.S. President Bill His attention to his philanthropic Clinton, the UN’s special envoy to interests, including Concern Haiti, and his New York CityWorldwide, may even exceed his based Clinton Global Initiative.” focused attention to business. He O’Brien, who was coordinating has truly earned the riches of this CGI’s Haiti Action Group before world and the next!” Wilbur Ross, the earthquake hit, has come to himself a financial wizard who has admire the tenacity and fortitude invested in Bank of Ireland, of the people and their willingness Digicel employees from the British Virgin Islands took to praised O’Brien’s ability to face to work and learn, and in return he the streets selling roses to raise money for Haiti. down challenges. “Denis has built a is seen as a champion of the people. (The Haiti, he talks up Ireland as a place to do major telecom business despite the well Digicel building in Port-au-Prince was business. Interviewed by Margaret known problems of the region it serves. untouched during the 2008 food riots.) Brennan for Bloomberg TV recently, he This carries Irish resourcefulness and And it’s not just Haiti. O’Brien, who said the opportunity for inward investresiliency to new heights,” he said. was born in Dublin, is well-known to ment in Ireland is at an all-time high – In the Caribbean, O’Brien and Digicel Third World relief agencies, especially particularly in the banking industry. are seen as a godsend, raising the bar for Concern Worldwide (he serves on the He, himself, is heavily invested in everyone, with an emphasis on educaU.S. board). He has made numerous trips Ireland where he has just won a major tion. Digicel Foundation in Jamaica, set with the organization to troubled spots in media war and is now the controlling up in 2004, has a goal of 100 percent litthe globe including Sudan and Malawi. shareholder in Independent Newspapers, eracy by 2015. In Haiti it built 20 schools In Ireland, where he is often the subformerly the fiefdom of the O’Reilly in its first year, and in Papua New ject of controversy because he is outspoclan. During that brutish battle he was Guinea it is building community-based ken and direct, he has also made enoroften painted in an unflattering light by learning centers and reaching children mous contributions. He chaired the 2003 the O’Reilly-controlled press but still who would not otherwise have access to Special Olympic Summer Games. It was came out triumphant. education.

“Denis O’Brien does magnificent work both here and in Ireland. The range of his generosity is astounding – from funding the first Special Olympics in Ireland, to his life-saving humanitarian work in Haiti. Denis is a true philanthropist who quietly and intelligently uses his hard-earned resources to change lives and make the world a better place. I am honored and humbled to be his friend.” – Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman, The American Ireland Fund 44 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013



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One Jamaican homeowner I talked to said, “Denis O’Brien may be known as a communications giant but in Jamaica he’s known as a man who communicates with his heart.”

How does it feel to be named in a Time cover story by Bill Clinton as the person who has made the most difference to the world in the last year? Well look, you know, it was extremely generous of him. It certainly doesn’t feel like that, because everybody is doing their bit in Haiti. There are so many people doing projects – small projects, big projects. There are thousands of people trying to help Haiti at the moment.

How did you come up with this idea of people being able to send money by cell phone? They’ve been doing it in Africa for many years, but nobody has turned it into a commercial proposition yet. So we have four beta tests at the moment. Well, Haiti has gone beyond beta tests, but Haiti was the number one, and then Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and also Samoa.

Tell me about Bill Clinton.

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Why was Clinton so enamored of your idea? Ninety-five percent of people are unbanked in Haiti. In Papua New Guinea it’s probably even more. So now for the first time people can have money, save money, without having to put cash under a bed or hide it somewhere. They have a pin code so nobody can access that cash and it’s totally secure.

Looking back, what was the moment when you said, “I’m going to go there, to the underdeveloped countries, the path not taken by so many others?” It wasn’t really that brilliant, because if you see a country and only ten percent of the people have a mobile phone, while every other country in the world is at seventy-eighty percent – some are at one hundred – you know it’s going to go there, it’s going to go in that direction. It’s a matter of having the best combination of things in your proposition: a good network, good prices, and a good team and good marketing. So we just rolled out teams – mainly Irish people – who put this into effect in country after country. Now we have local managers, who we have trained up. So we probably have, worldwide, still about 200 senior Irish managers sprinkled all over our operations. Burma is like – there are only two million people who have cell phones there and about 63 million people in the country. So the only three places left in the world where phones are needed, where somebody needs to bring a network to them, are North Korea, Cuba and Myanmar [laughs]. That’s it!

“Denis is a really exceptional person. Not only does he possess all the attributes you’d expect in a very successful businessman but he is also a true humanitarian and philanthropist on a global scale – for which he never gets enough recognition at home. He also remains loyal to his friends and quietly helps them in so many ways.” – Tony Condon, Director of Development, UCD College of Business & Law, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

What’s next? I think, the next thing is this: If you take all our mobile phone customers, they’re all eventually going to go on the Internet, and many of them already have. We’ve built 4G networks in fifteen of our countries, and everybody now is buying smart phones. So it’s a completely different revenue stream. And I’m sure in another few years there will be another major business opportunity that will be attached to a cell phone.

[Laughs.] You know, his best snippet from last night was, “the weight of ants is more than the weight of human beings in the world today.” He was weaving this thing together… He always surprises, and he gets more and more interesting. And the Clinton Global Initiative is the real model. Everybody goes to CGI, and we all have a good chat and we head Let me ask you about the Irish home. We learn a few things. But if you diaspora. Do you think the potengo to the CGI, number one you’re maktial is tapped in Ireland, or ing a promise and you do you think people fully have to deliver on it. And comprehend? what he’s done is he’s Well, do you know, I was so used all of his contacts disappointed with the Institute of around the world and he’s Directors when several Irishcorralled them all to do American business leaders something good. offered to serve on Irish boards His engagement in and [an Irish] chief executive Ireland is critical. I mean, came out and said, “We do not talk about having an ally. need these people, you should be Think about all the counappointing people in Ireland who tries in the world, there have expertise in Ireland to the are two hundred and boards, we don’t need people something – yet he’s a from the States.” And I thought, great advocate for that is just such a closed mentalIreland. He has such a ity. You know, Ireland is globalgreat mind. ized now and there are so many He was Google before they invented Google, and Bill Clinton speaking about Denis O’Brien and the other Global Citizen talented people in the diaspora Award honorees. who have something to conhe still is Google. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 45



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tribute. You take a guy like Craig Barrett – you say Holy God, he is one of the iconic figures of the information age, CEO of Intel, and he’s the perfect guy to bring in your board. So why would you rule out the opportunity to bring in a Craig Barrett for any business in Ireland, any state-owned company?

In what other areas do you see the diaspora being helpful? You know, there’s so many Irish Americans who have had a real experience of crisis – financial crisis or whatever. Many of them worked on Wall Street, many of them were in government, and it’s just a matter of tapping them. Maybe it’s too late now because most of the steps have already been taken by the [Irish] government, but if you were back in 2008 again, you wouldn’t be ringing Merrill Lynch, you’d be ringing three or four IrishAmerican guys like Adrian Jones at Goldman Sachs who you’d have on a list as your crisis cabinet.

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“[Denis O’Brien] may be known as a communications giant but in Jamaica he’s known as a man who communicates with his heart.” – Lawrence Chambers – home owner, Jamaica

We’re well past the point of no return now, and we have been the model country in terms of handling our problems. Everybody else has done a bit but not Denis O’Brien accepting his Clinton Global Citizen Award

Did you do that with your dad?

What do you see when you look at Ireland now? I’m positive about Ireland. There’s recognition in Wall Street, and writers in the know on what is happening in Europe are saying Ireland has taken its medicine in a serious, serious way. You know, they’re still fighting away in Greece about what they’re going to do, whether it’s going to be eleven or twelve billion, and it’s really an academic argument at this stage about whether or not you’re going to do it. So Ireland has taken all its medicine.


enough, and you can never do enough in this area.

“The Haiti work has made O’Brien and the Irish the world’s newest poster boys for enterpriseoriented aid of the kind championed by leaders like former US President Bill Clinton, the UN’s special envoy to Haiti, and his New York City-based Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).” – Tim Padgett, Time 46 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

think that is where it comes from. City kids miss that. Going to the fair, looking at that whole thing of trade – when do you sell, when do you buy, the whole emotional intelligence. If you go to a mart you’ll learn an awful lot, it’s like a life’s education in a day.

Do you ever look at something like the Forbes World’s Billionaires list, see your name on it and say,“Who’s this guy? How did I get here?” [Laughs] Not really, not really, no.

No, but I would have gone to Tandragee in Armagh and they had a chicken farm at that stage, so I understand “what’s the price this week for eggs” and so on. When I look at managers, some of our best new managers in Digicel come from Kerry; they come from country, hard livings. And I look at kids today in, say Dublin, and they’re the 4x4 generation. They don’t have that toughness. I think physical toughness transfers into business and you become more resolute if you’ve had a harder upbringing. And, you know, now there’s probably no science to what I’m saying, but it’s just kind of my instinct. I listen to presentations in Digicel and these tough country guys are up there talking about what’s going on, and it might be a tough market, so you need these men. In fact, in some of our harder markets, we put the mountainy men in!

Where does your philanthropic gene come from?

Buying and selling.

Everybody in Ireland has a philanthropic gene. If you were raised in Ireland in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, everybody was collecting for something. There was always a tin somewhere. If you go into a shop in Ireland there are always at least three tins – there could be five in the west of Ireland.

Right. Buying and selling. My father was born in Cork but my mother was born to a farming family in Armagh. My father’s whole side of the family came from a small farming background, and I

Now that Chuck Feeney’s foundation is paying itself down – what’s left when Atlantic Philanthropy leaves Ireland?

Where does your acumen come from? Was it your parents? You know, I’d like to think it comes from the farming background.



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Denis O’Brien at the opening of the Mutinneo CLC’s new classroom at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

“Denis O’Brien is a man who goes out of his way to help people in need. I’ve seen it time and time again, in Ethiopia, in South Sudan, and in Haiti. He listens to people, asks about the solutions they are proposing and then helps make things happen. His commitment to helping the people of Haiti rebuild their country is nothing short of extraordinary.” – Siobhan Walsh Executive Director, Concern Worldwide U.S.

Philanthropy in Ireland is different to here. Here people do it for tax reasons and they do it because they feel good about it, and it’s very public. It’s a bigbang approach. In Ireland there are certain levels, like large-scale philanthropy, and then the next level down, but people don’t really advertise it. They’re not interested in getting a photo with a big check for a university or whatever. I’m involved in fundraising for UCD. There’s an incredible amount of philanthropy that has supported UCD and the reforms that President Hugh Brady has made. It’s the same in Limerick [University], and it’s the same all over the country. So people say, “Oh, there isn’t much philanthropy in Ireland…” There is, but it’s quieter.

People in Ireland – some people here too – have the view that everything that is reported in the [Irish] media is overly negative. Well, there’s a lot of hare coursing of people in Ireland. People in political life have made mistakes, but it’s just a constant, constant theme of chasing them, photographing them, following them, putting them on the front page. And that kind of negative journalism… I mean, look, people made mistakes. But they are also human beings. Remember that. I thought chasing Brian Cowen to some

university in California was an appalling thing to do. He’s out of public life, he’s a private citizen. Leave him alone. That would be my view. So I think we need to stop it. And it’s mainly in the print media, and we need to move forward, Yes, in all of this there should be a light shone on it, but we can’t keep regurgitating the same negative personal stuff.

What’s the future of newspapers? Integrating a parallel online business to your existing print business is where everybody has to go. We’re doing that in radio, we have to do it with newspapers in INM [Independent News & Media], from a very, very low base. So there’s a lot of effort to do that. The old board of INM just didn’t believe in the Internet, which is pretty startling when everything else is changing in the world. It’s like saying “oh, nobody is going to buy a smart phone tomorrow.” So that has to happen. It’s going to be a very painful process for INM for the next two or three years. And it may not get there. I’m a realist to think that the business has so many challenges, mainly from a banking point of view, that it may not… we’re at the mercy of our banks at the moment because we’ve too much leverage and a declining profitability profile. We have a new CEO that everybody believes in, we have a new chairman in Leslie Buckley, and you couldn’t get a bet-

“Denis has built a major telecom business despite the well known problems of the region it serves. This carries Irish resourcefulness and resiliency to new heights. Bravo, Denis!” – Wilbur Ross, Chairman and CEO, WL Ross & Co./Chairman, Invesco

ter person, but my God, it’s going to be a huge struggle. We’re late into the field and now we’re doing what we should have done six or seven years ago. But look, it’s not all bad, and some great people work for INM, it’s just a “how do you turn a whole ship around and motor as quick as you can” story.

What needs to be done to improve Irish economic prospects? What we need is more investment, especially on the SME side, with small businesses. How do you take medium sized businesses and turn them into multinationals? That is the key. And how can you persuade Irish entrepreneurs to hang in there, come to Wall Street, raise some money and keep going. How do you create the next multinational like Smurfit, Cappa, CRH, whoever the hell it is, out of Ireland? That’s the real trick here. And I know Enterprise Ireland [government agency responsible for helping Irish companies], it kills them to see Irish companies being sold, having nurtured them, the whole team working with businesses. And the other thing, if you take our relationship with the United States, we need to develop – and we’ll probably never develop the same relationship – but we need to develop a different kind of relationship towards China. And still I think that we need a minister for China. It could be a junior minister, but we need a minister for China and indeed a minister for the diaspora.

Denis O’Brien, thank you.





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BUSINESS The Business 100 celebrates the phenomenal success of the Irish in corporate America. The executives profiled in the following pages represent some of the most influential and innovative corporations in the world, in sectors ranging from technology to film, from social media to insurance, from advertising to automobiles. From those who were born in Ireland to those who feel strongly connected to an ancestor who immigrated generations ago, all of the honorees hold their Irish heritage in the highest regard. Their achievements are a testament to the incredible scope, power and accomplishments of the Irish diaspora. Irish America is proud to recognize this remarkable group of men and women. Congratulations to all of the honorees.

Beir Bua!


“The Irish are some of the best storytellers in the world. Being of Irish heritage and in the entertainment business, I feel a sense of responsibility to tell stories that will enlighten and endure the test of time.” – Tucker Tooley, Relativity Media

“My Irish heritage gave me intelligence, intuition and humor. A love of a great story and a deep laugh. Gratitude for what I’ve been given, and a desire to give back.” – Maggie Sullivan Wilderotter, Frontier Communications




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“The Irish have tremendous pride, which is passed down from generation to generation, regardless of where they live. Growing up in an Irish Catholic family with five siblings and 31 cousins taught me values I will use and cherish throughout my life. I am proud of my Irish heritage, and when my children are asked of their nationality, they always have the same answer, ‘Irish.’” – John Duffey, Six Flags Entertainment Corp.

“As a first-generation Irish American I have had the privilege of being shaped by the particular qualities of two distinct cultures – the passion, creativity and mirth of the Irish along with the unbridled sense of optimism and opportunity that America affords.” – Maureen Mitchell, GE Asset Management

“I sometimes need to pinch myself and smile when I think how far we have come and how much we have achieved, with so many chancers.” – Trevor Madigan, Facebook

“Being Irish is far more than genetics or genealogy. It is a spirit, an attitude and a foundation.” – Kieran Gallahue, CareFusion

Most Mentioned Colleges and Universities: Harvard • University College Dublin • Notre Dame • DePaul University • New York University Most Popular Counties of Origin: Cork • Kerry • Mayo Tipperary • Donegal • Sligo Ancestral Links: 5th Generation


Irish Born


19% 2nd Generation

15% 4th Generation

1st Generation

20% 3rd Generation





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Western & Southern

General Electric

Paul Adams is the global head of Brand Design at Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, Paul led social research at Google, where he played a major role in building Google+. Previously, he worked as a user experience consultant at Flow, leading research and design projects for clients including the BBC, The Guardian, Vodafone and UK Government. Before Flow, he worked as an industrial designer at Dyson, and also worked designing car interiors at Faurecia. Paul’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, AdWeek and other leading publications. In 2011, Fortune magazine described Paul as “one of Silicon Valley’s most wanted,” and his presentation on the next evolution of social networks, “The Real Life Social Network,” is one of the most viewed and downloaded presentations ever published on the web. Paul holds a Master of Science degree in interactive media and a Bachelor of Design in industrial design from the University of Limerick. He was born in Sligo and grew up in Swords, Co. Dublin.

John F. Barrett is chairman, president and CEO of Western & Southern Financial Group, a Cincinnati-based diversified family of financial services companies, which, under his leadership has grown from a $5 billion Midwestern life insurance company to a national financial services enterprise with assets in excess of $55 billion. John is a director and former chairman of the American Council of Life Insurers, president of the Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies, and a past chairman of the Ohio Business Roundtable. He is a trustee of the Financial Services Roundtable and the Business Roundtable in Washington, DC. He is also on the board of Cintas Corporation and Convergys Corporation. He is a member of the Cincinnati Business committee and co-chairman of the Greater Cincinnati Scholarship Association. A fourth-generation Irish American with roots in counties Kilkenny and Mayo, John holds a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Cincinnati. He and wife, Eileen, have three grown children.

Charlene Begley is president and CEO of GE Home & Business Solutions and a senior vice president and CIO for GE. Charlene joined GE in 1988 and progressed through leadership roles including vice president, GE Corporate Audit Staff and president and CEO for several GE businesses including GE FANUC Automation, Transportation, Plastics, and Enterprise Solutions. At 32, she became the company’s youngest ever corporate officer, and she also set the record as the first woman to lead one of GE’s major business units and the first female senior vice president. Her accomplishments have been recognized on lists in Fortune, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. Charlene is a member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council and the boards of Morpho Detection, Inc. and the National Association of Manufacturers. A fifth-generation Irish American, Charlene graduated from the University of Vermont.




OMD, The Content Collective

The Coca-Cola Company


Claudia Claudia leads OMD’s entertainment practice, The Content Collective, a re-imagined media and content entertainment group with offices in LA, Chicago and New York, that services OMD clients like Pepsico, JC Penney, Lowe’s, Hershey’s, Beiersdorf and GE by leveraging brand media investments to generate custom media and content programs in theatrical, television and digital mediums. Current work includes Pepsi’s X Factor partnership, 2013 Superbowl and Grammy programs, custom programs for Pepsi’s Live for Now campaign with MTVN and ABC, Lowe’s programs with NBC’s Smash and ABC’s Suburgatory, Hilton partnerships with the Grammy’s Hawaii Five O, and the Tribeca Film Festival. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Co. Cork, Claudia grew up in New Orleans and received a BA from Tulane University. Reflecting on her Irish heritage, Claudia says “I will never forget choosing to interpret an Irish jig in front of my entire grammar school in first grade and learning the meaning of stage fright.” Claudia is based in Los Angeles and has a son, Nofio Pecoraro III.

Steve Cahillane is the president and CEO of CocaCola Refreshments, an operating unit that represents nearly 90% of the North American business of The Coca-Cola Company. Steve began his career as a sales representative for E&J Gallo Winery. In 1995, he founded State Street Brewing Company in Chicago, which he owned until 1997, when he sold the business and joined Coors Distribution Company as VP and general manager. He joined InBev in 1999, serving as VP of U.S. Sales until 2001, when he was promoted to CEO of Labatt USA. From 2003 to 2005, he served as CEO of Interbrew UK and Ireland. He then became COO for InBev, and in 2007, was appointed president of the Europe Group for Coca-Cola Enterprises. In 2008, he was named president of CCE’s North American Business Unit. One of four children of a New York firefighter with roots in Co. Kerry and a mother who was born and raised in Donegal, Steve holds a BA in political science from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard. He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Atlanta with their four children.

Joan Carroll is a director in the Personal Finance Services Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. For over 20 years, she has provided comprehensive tax and financial planning services to high net worth individuals, managers and investors of hedge funds and private equity funds, senior corporate executives, and owners of closely held businesses. Joan holds a BBA in accounting from Adelphi University, and currently serves on the board of directors of Concern Worldwide US. Joan grew up in Wantagh, New York and now resides in nearby Long Beach. Her grandfather, Patrick McHugh, was born in County Leitrim, while the Carroll name hails from Westport, County Mayo. Joan is very proud to be of Irish descent, and is “grateful for the strong faith that was passed down to me.”




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Ernst & Young



William M. Casey is the chief operating officer for Ernst & Young’s Americas Transaction Advisory Services business. Bill joined the firm in 1983 and has been a partner for over 15 years. Fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese, he worked on transactions in Latin America for more than a decade and spent four years as a partner in Ernst & Young’s Sao Paulo office. Throughout his career, Bill has worked with strategic and private equity buyers in payment and transaction processing, electronic funds transfer and outsourcing. His work has extended to the beverage, automotive, and telecommunications industries. A Chicago native, Bill graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in accountancy, and went on to earn an MBA from DePaul University. His mother is a native of Crossmolina and his father is from Castlebar, both in County Mayo. He and wife, Amy, have two daughters, Sarah and Hannah. He says, “the Chicago Irish community has given me an appreciation of the intelligence, creativity and passion of the Irish people and their tremendous achievements.”

Kieran Claffey is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. After joining PwC in 1985, he spent over ten years in the Assurance practice before transferring to the national office to focus on litigation and regulatory related issues. He represents PwC on the Technical Standards Committee of the American Institute of CPAs. Kieran was a founding member and director of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. and a director of the European-American Chamber of Commerce. He is the national treasurer, executive committee member and board member of the Ireland-U.S. Council for Commerce & Industry. He is chairman of the finance committee, member of the executive committee and on the board of trustees of The Gateway Schools, and is a director of Legal Information for Families Today. Born in Dublin, he is a graduate of UCD and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Kieran, who has won several all Ireland dancing medals, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Michelle, and sons Ryan, CJ and Steven.

Thomas W. Codd is PwC’s North Texas managing partner. He joined PwC in 1982 and has spent his entire career serving manufacturing and distribution companies, ranging from private companies to multinational corporations. Tom is a director of the American Ireland Fund, a member of the North American Advisory Board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and a member of the New York City Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He earned a BSc in management from Purdue University. He also serves on many civic boards in Dallas, including The Catholic Foundation, World Affairs Council of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Dallas Theater Center, University of Dallas and Circle 10 Council/Boy Scouts of America. Tom, who is a second-generation Irish American – his paternal grandparents were born in counties Carlow and Sligo – says, “I attribute my fundamental values of work ethic, loyalty, fortitude, charity, humor, and humility in large part to my ancestry.” He and his wife, Shelly, live in Dallas, Texas with their four children: Tommy, Kevin, Mike and Kaitlin.




Paramount Pictures

NBC Owned Television Stations

Joie de Vivre Hotels

Megan Colligan is president of Domestic Marketing and Distribution for Paramount Pictures, a position she has held since 2011. She previously served as co-president of Domestic Marketing. Megan has led the marketing and distribution for many of Paramount’s recent hits, including Madagascar 3, the 3-D re-release of Titanic, and the Academy Award-nominated films Puss in Boots, The Adventures of Tin-Tin, and Hugo. Before joining Paramount, Megan was VP at Fox Searchlight. She began her career as a publicist at Miramax Films, served as publicity director for Brill Media Holdings and Media Central, and then joined Fenton Communications. Megan attended Harvard University, where she received a BA in American history and African American studies. She and her husband, Mark Roybal, have three sons, Lukas, Simon and Jesse. A third-generation Irish American, Megan was born in Mineola, NY., to James and Margaret, whose roots go back to Counties Cork and Sligo, respectively. Megan “loves being Irish and is very proud of her Irish heritage.”

Francis X. Comerford is the chief revenue officer & president of commercial operations for NBC Owned Television Stations. Frank joined NBC in 1994. Before being promoted to his current role in 2008, he was president and general manager of NBC’s flagship station, WNBC. His career in the television industry spans over 30 years. Frank is very active in the community, serving on many charitable boards including the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, the Association for a Better New York and The Television Bureau of Advertising. He has been honored by several organizations, including: the Child Abuse Prevention Program, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and Friends of AHRC Nassau Autism Program. He was Chief Brehon of Brooklyn’s Great Irish Fair in 2003 and has been named a “Favorite Son of Brooklyn.” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declared Nov. 26, 2002 Frank Comerford Day. Frank, his wife, Maura, and their son Francis Jr., live in Manhattan and Long Island. He has roots in Co. Kilkenny and he served as Grand Marshal of the 2012 NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

At the age of 26, Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels began the transformation of a bedraggled 1950s hotel into the renowned Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco. From this first creation sprang Joie de Vivre Hotels, which has accrued nearly 40 award-winning hotels in America and is now America’s second largest boutique hotelier. Also an author, Chip shares his theories to success in life and business in bestsellers Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success, and Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. The San Francisco Business Times called Chip “the most innovative CEO among business leaders across all industries.” He has received top awards in the hospitality industry, including the 2012 Pioneer Award. Chip, who received his BA and MBA from Stanford University, is a fifth-generation IrishAmerican with ancestral links to Co. Cork on his father’s side. He has two sons, Damien and Eli, and credits his “persistence and courage” with coming from his “humble, faithful Irish roots.” DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 51



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Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.


Deirdre Connelly is president, North America Pharmaceuticals for GlaxoSmithKline. She is a member of the global Corporate Executive Team and co-chairs, along with the chairman, Research and Development, the Portfolio Management Board. Prior to joining GSK, Deirdre served as president of U.S. operations at Eli Lilly and Company. Deirdre has been consistently recognized by Fortune as one of the 50 most powerful women in business. In 2008, she was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. In 2010, she was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Deirdre was born in San Juan to an Irish father and a Puerto Rican mother. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania in 1983. In 2000, she graduated from Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.

Dr. John Connolly, president and CEO of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., is the nation’s leading expert on identifying top physicians. He was president of New York Medical College for over ten years. John is a member of President’s Council of the United Hospital Fund and serves on the boards of Baker and Taylor, Air Methods Corporation, Dearborn Risk Management, and on the advisory board of the Hudson Group. He was founder and chairman of the American Lyme Disease Foundation, and was chairman of the Culinary Institute of America. John received a BS from Worcester State, an MA from the University of Connecticut, and an Ed.D. in college and university administration from Columbia University Teacher’s College. He and his wife, Ingrid, have two children, Sean and Cheryl. His Irish roots come from Clare on his father’s side and Killarney on his mother’s. A member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, John says, “When you learn of the suffering the Irish went through in Ireland and when they first came to the United States, and now [think of] what they have achieved, you cannot help but to be proud of being of Irish descent, and proud to be an American!”

As senior executive vice president and global marketing officer, Cathy Coughlin oversees AT&T brand strategy, advertising, corporate communications, events and sponsorships worldwide. Cathy began her communications career in 1979 when she joined Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in her hometown of St. Louis. During her 33-year career, she has held officer roles in sales, marketing, operations and advertising for AT&T. Prior to her current role, Cathy was president and chief executive officer of AT&T Midwest. Throughout her career, Cathy has been committed to serving the community. She serves on the board of directors of several organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the USA and Northwestern University. She also serves on the board of trustees of the American Film Institute. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Northwestern University and a Master of Science degree in finance from St. Louis University.






CBS Television Network

Dennis Crowley is the co-founder of Foursquare, a service that mixes social, locative and gaming elements to encourage people to explore the cities in which they live. Previously, Dennis founded, one of the first mobile social services in the US, which was acquired by Google in 2005. In 2005 Dennis was named one of the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” by MIT’s Technology Review magazine. In 2009 he won the “Fast Money” bonus round on the TV game show Family Feud. His work has featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Time, Newsweek, MTV, Slashdot and NBC. Dennis is currently an adjunct professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). A fourth-generation Irish American, Dennis holds a master’s degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and a bachelor’s degree from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. His great-great-grandparents emigrated from Sneem, County Kerry.

As national account manager for United, the world’s largest airline as of October 2012, Patricia Cunningham oversees leisure accounts throughout the U.S. and is responsible for local marketing activities for Europe including Belfast, Dublin and Shannon. She started her airline career at Varig Brazilian Airline and served as director of Airline Sales for Virgin Atlantic Airways, before going to Continental Airlines in 1997. In 2011 she was hired by United during the merger process of Continental and United Airlines. Patricia, who is past president of the Airline Sales Manager Association in New York City, was the first female president of SKAL in New Jersey. She is a second-generation Irish-American with roots in Roscommon on her father’s side. Of her Irish heritage she says, “My Irish heritage has been a source of immense pride, and has provided me with strong work ethics and a commitment to hard work in both my professional career and personal life.” She resides in Neptune, New Jersey.

Marty Daly is the senior vice president & director of News & Late Night Sales for the CBS TV Network. He started at CBS as a traffic clerk in 1974 and worked his way up to his present position in the Sales Department. He now manages all the marketing and sales for CBS This Morning, The Evening News with Scott Pelley, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Marty, whose parents hail from Co. Kerry, went to All Hallows High School in the Bronx, NY and graduated from Iona College. He says, “My parents taught us the value of hard work and the importance of education. The example they set by putting their children’s education in front of any personal comforts for them is the reason we were able to achieve the American dream!” Last year, Marty was inducted into the All Hallows HS Hall of Fame, where he now serves as chairman of their board of directors. He and his wife, Kathleen, whose parents were born in Co. Cork, have 3 grown children: Laura, Ryan and Colin Daly.


Thanks for showing us the

power of possible.

AT&T salutes Cathy Coughlin and John Donovan. Their vision and leadership have made them two of Irish America magazine’s 2012 Business 100 honorees.

©2012 AT&T Intellectual Property. Service provided by AT&T Mobility. All rights reserved. AT&T and the AT&T logo are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Google Inc.

DeHayes Consulting Group


As director of People Operations at Google, Shannon Deegan leads several key global teams, including M&A and Pre-University Education Outreach. During his five years at Google, he has served as the lead business partner to Google’s Global Business organization, as the head of the central staffing organization, and the global Talent and Outreach Programs, including Diversity. Shannon joined Google after several years in media and publishing. He worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York City, and in public service in Canada. He was also a professional hockey player with the Los Angeles Kings organization. Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont, where he received the university’s “Most Outstanding Student” award. He also holds an MPhil degree in international studies from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. A native of Verdun, Quebec, Shannon lives in San Jose, California with his wife, Patti, and their three children, twins Conal and Orla, and Bridget.

A. James DeHayes is an authority on strategy development and implementation in marketing, distribution, and M&A support for the financial services industry. Prior to founding DeHayes Consulting Group, James served as CMO for a major diversified financial services company. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, a graduate of Leadership in Professional Services, a chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant from the American College, and holds an MBA from Pepperdine University. James is active in numerous organizations, including a professional member of the World Future Society, an associate member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, various leadership roles with the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Northern California, and a member of the North American Advisory Board for the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin. A second-generation Irish American whose mother’s family has roots in Belfast, James is married with six children.

With 27 years of experience serving clients in the life sciences, consumer products, retail and manufacturing industries, Daniel Doherty, a partner at KPMG, is the firm’s national market development leader for Advisory. Dan serves as KPMG’s senior client service partner for Abbott Laboratories, Chrysler Group, Fortune Brands, Schawk, Walgreens and WW Grainger. A graduate of De Paul University and a CPA, Dan serves on the advisory board of the DePaul University School of Accountancy. He is a trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and is on the board of the Big Shoulders Fund and the Civic Consulting Alliance. Dan’s father, Owen Doherty, emigrated from Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal, and his mother, Mary Burke, came from Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo. He says, “My Irish heritage and, specifically, my parents’ successes and life journey are a constant source of pride and inspiration.” He and his wife, Laurie, have two sons, Thomas and Brian.




Exxon Mobil

eBay Inc.

Starcom USA

Michael J. Dolan has worked in the oil and petrochemical business for over 36 years. He began his career in research and development, and proceeded through a variety of research, engineering, manufacturing and business management positions. Michael has worked in all parts of Exxon Mobil’s business both domestically and abroad. Today he is senior vice president and a member of the management committee of Exxon Mobil Corporation in Irving, TX. Michael is a director of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council, the U.S.-China Business Council, and a former director of the American Petroleum Institute. He is also trustee of his alma mater, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he received a BS in chemical engineering. Michael holds an MBA from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Ballincollig, Co Cork. He says, “My great-grandfather came to America, served in the army and bought a small farm. His descendants have been living the American dream as a result.” Michael and his wife, Debora, have four children and one grandchild.

John Donahoe became president and CEO of eBay Inc. in 2008. In this role, he leads a global ecommerce and payments leader with revenues of $11.7 billion in 2011 and hundreds of millions of users around the world. John has driven a strong focus on innovation and customers across eBay Inc.’s core businesses, which include eBay, PayPal, GSI Commerce and X.commerce, the company’s platform division. John joined eBay in March 2005 as president of eBay Marketplaces, responsible for all elements of eBay’s global ecommerce businesses. In this role, he focused on expanding eBay’s core business. John also oversaw a number of strategic acquisitions, including and StubHub. Prior to eBay, John spent more than 20 years at Bain & Company, a worldwide consulting firm based in Boston. He received a BA in economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Additionally, John serves on the Board of Directors for eBay Inc. and Intel Corp. A fifth-generation Irish American, John has roots in Tipperary. He and his wife, Eileen Chamberlain, have four children.

As CEO of Starcom USA, Lisa Donohue empowers her company to exceed challenges on behalf of some of the country’s mightiest marketers, including Allstate, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of America, Burger King, Kellogg, Microsoft, P&G, Samsung and more, connecting them with people through human understanding, real-time business intelligence and creative ideas. Since becoming CEO in 2009, Lisa has spurred creative transformation, establishing Starcom as MEDIA’s 2011 Creative Media Agency of the Year. She is a member of Starcom MediaVest Group’s global Executive Management Group. Lisa received the honor of Chicago Advertising Federation’s Advertising Woman of the Year in 2011, as well as Adweek’s 2011 Executive Media All-Star. In 2006 Advertising Age recognized her as a Woman to Watch. She also has two Cannes Media Lion victories (2001) for work on Nintendo. Lisa is a third-generation Irish American on her father’s side and fourth-generation on her mother’s. Both families are from Cork.


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North Shore-LIJ Health Systems

John Donovan is senior executive vice president of AT&T Technology and Network Operations, responsible for AT&T’s technology and global network, including the company’s best-in-class mobile broadband network. He first joined AT&T as chief technology officer in 2007, having begun his career at Deloitte Consulting, where he advanced to partner. He moved on to become chairman and CEO of inCode Telecom Group Inc., and also worked at VeriSign Inc., where he was executive vice president of product, sales, marketing and operations. John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BSEE degree and earned an MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota. He is the author of two books, The Value of Enterprise and Value of Creating Growth. He and his wife, Judy, have three children – Shaina, Rory and Julia. A third-generation Irish American with roots in in Ireland on both of his parents’ sides, John says of his Irish heritage, “St. Patrick’s Day was one of the most important celebrations in my home. My dad was so proud of his heritage.”

Michael J. Dowling is president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, which delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education, highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ is the largest integrated healthcare system in New York State with total revenue of more than $6.7 billion, and is the nation’s third-largest, non-profit secular health system. Prior to joining North Shore-LIJ, he served in New York State government for 12 years, including two years as commissioner of social services. He was a long-time chief advisor to former New York Governor Mario Cuomo on health and human services issues. Earlier, he was a professor of social policy and an assistant dean of the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. He started his career as a caseworker in the New York City schools, having earned his master’s degree from Fordham and undergraduate degree from University College in Cork.




Cardinal Health

CME Group Inc.

John Duffy is CEO and founder of 3Cinteractive, an enterprise software company specializing in mobile business solutions. With 25 years of experience in communications and payment processing, John has established several successful companies. 3Cinteractive, which he founded in 2005, ranked 12th on Forbes’ 2011 list of America’s Most Promising Companies. In 2012, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award in Florida, and the Sun Sentinel’s Excalibur Award. He serves on the boards of the Dan Marino Foundation and the FAU Foundation. A second-generation Irish American, with family from Carrigart, Co. Donegal on his father’s side, John graduated from Ohio University with a degree in business administration. He made his first trip to Ireland as a teenager, and says that it made him understand “what it mean[s] to be Irish. Ingrained in the culture and etched on the faces of the people, I saw the characteristics I admired most in my father – loyalty and hard work” He and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, Emily and Annie.

Mike Duffy is executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain for Cardinal Health. Prior to Cardinal Health, Duffy served as vice president, Global Value Chain at The Gillette Co. Mike is president of the Corporate Advisory Council at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Master of Supply Chain Management Program and a former board member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). Mike earned both his bachelor’s degree (operations research) and master’s degree (transportation) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in Dublin on both sides of the family, and ancestors from Kilkenny on his mother’s side. He remarks, “my family is from Boston, where the Irish community is still very active. I am proud to be a descendant of the Irish community that both built the city infrastructure and shaped its local culture. It is that work ethic and sense of purpose that I carry with me every day.”

Terrence A. Duffy has been executive chairman of CME Group since 2007. Previously, he was chairman of the board of CME and CME Holdings since 2002 and executive chairman since 2006. He is vice chairman of the CME Group Foundation, serves on the board of directors of World Business Chicago, the board of trustees of Saint Xavier University, and the regional advisory board of The American Ireland Fund. He is also co-chair of the Mayo Clinic Greater Chicago Leadership Council. In 2002, Duffy was appointed by President Bush to serve on a National Saver Summit on Retirement Savings and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003 to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. A third-generation Irish American, Terrence attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In 2007, he received a Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul University.



Six Flags Entertainment Corp. John Duffey is the chief financial officer of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, responsible for the finance and information technology functions in the company, the largest regional theme park operator in the world. Prior to joining Six Flags, John served as executive vice president and chief integration officer of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, and was responsible for leading the integration of Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics and Dade Behring. Prior to Dade Behring’s acquisition by Siemens AG, John served as the EVP and CFO of Dade Behring. John holds a BA in accounting from Michigan State University. A father of three, he said of his third-generation Derry and Donegal roots, “The Irish have tremendous pride which is passed down from generation to generation, regardless of where they live. Family is extremely important and growing up in an Irish Catholic family with five siblings and 31 cousins taught me values I will use and cherish throughout my life. I am proud of my Irish heritage and when my children are asked of their nationality, they always have the same answer, ‘Irish.’”


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Welcome to Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum/Músaem An Ghorta Mhóir, in Hamden, CT. This is the only museum of its kind in North America, the continent of refuge to so many famine victims and home to generations of their descendants. A special supplement to Irish America Magazine produced by Turlough McConnell

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rom 1845 to 1852, more than 1 million Irish men, women and children either starved to death or died from complications caused by famine. More than 2

million fled Ireland to avoid death, disease and destitution. If it takes seven generations to assimilate such a national disaster, the time has come to address the silence and tell the story of Ireland’s Great Hunger. That’s a mission that Quinnipiac University has now assumed. Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum/Músaem An Ghorta Mhóir in Hamden, Connecticut, brings the world’s largest collection of paintings, sculptures and other visual arts relating to the catastrophe to the general public.

HISTORY OF THE COLLECTION The story behind the Ireland’s Great Hunger collection begins in 1997 when Quinnipiac President John L. Lahey served as grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He made Ireland’s Great Hunger the theme of that year’s parade in order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Black ‘47, the worst year of the Irish famine. The late Murray Lender, a Quinnipiac alumnus and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, was deeply moved, grasping at once the compelling nature of the story and the importance of educating people about the true causes and consequences of the catastrophe. Murray Lender’s generous financial support, and that of his brother Marvin, led to the creation of the Lender Family Special Collection Room, original home to a small but compelling art collection and where an important trove of educational and research materials is housed. Over the years, the collection grew to where it deserved its own museum space. Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum on Whitney Avenue in Hamden is designed by the Connecticut team of Wyeth Architects. Exhibition design by Group C, with selection and arrangement of the works by Inaugural Exhibition Curator, Niamh O’Sullivan, Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland, captures the visitor’s full attention. The museum aims to strengthen and advance Quinnipiac University’s commitment to education about Ireland’s Great Hunger and be a showcase for world-class Irish visual arts, as well as a center of artistic and academic excellence illustrating the richness of Irish culture and ideas. The museum was formally dedicated by Leo Varadkar, TD, Ireland's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, on September 28, 2012.

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Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, said at the 2012 National Famine Commemoration in Boston, “It is when we acknowledge the facts of what has been omitted, and speculate on why, that we are best prepared to use our own Famine experience in such a way as would generate an appropriately ethical response to the obscenity of recurring famines in our own time in different parts of our shared vulnerable planet. “Given our Famine experience, hunger has a deep resonance with the Irish people,” the president, academic and poet, concluded. “Our experience of famine has echoed through the generations and has shaped the values and principles that are embedded in our people.” Quinnipiac University has a tradition of charting visionary courses even as it predictably and consistently appears on lists of the country’s top schools.

WO R KS O F A R T More than 100 original works of art by noted contemporary Irish and American artists in a variety of visual media are featured, as well as a number of important 19th- and 20th-century paintings. Begun in 1997, this dynamic collection continues to grow. Artists represented in the inaugural exhibition include John Behan, Micheal Farrell, Glenna Goodacre, Rowan Gillespie, Brian Maguire, Eamon O'Doherty, Alanna O'Kelly and Geraldine O'Reilly.

BOOKS The Lender Family Special Collection Room at Quinnipiac’s Arnold Bernhard Library includes more than 700 books on the Famine period, including historical novels and academic works, available for research.

PROGRAMS Museum programs will highlight the richness of Irish culture and encourage its fullest appreciation by the general public, scholars, researchers, artists and students.

Top: Dr. John L. Lahey, President, Quinnipiac University, addresses the IGHM Dedication. Robert Ballagh’s stained glass window, An Gorta Mór, appears in the background. Middle: Leo Varadkar, TD, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, presents Tourism Ireland’s Trip for Two to lucky winner, Quinnipiac student Michelle Ayrapetyan of Richboro, PA, at the IGHM concert headlined by Dropkick Murphys. Bottom: Artists John Behan and Brian Maguire with Catherine Marshall, senior curator and head of the collection at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and moderator of the panel, Depicting the Great Hunger Through Art.

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Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University opened to the public on October 11, 2012. It houses exceptional images and supporting documentation that address the history, culture and memory of the worst catastrophe of the nineteenth century. The museum is a unique repository, and my challenge, as its first Director, is to help audiences find ways to remember a past that shaped our world on both sides of the Atlantic. The task – to introduce people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to the shocking events of the Famine in Ireland in the nineteenth century – extends to sensitizing people to ongoing famine around the world today. This will be augmented by special exhibitions, conferences, scholarly panels, and publications. An immediate ancillary goal is to assess the vast printed material collection in order to make it as widely accessible for scholars as possible. The museum promotes exemplary historic, cultural and educational practices. The growth of audiences and the experiences of viewers are integral to the museum’s future development. Grace Brady Executive Director November 6, 2012

Top: Historian Christine Kinealy, author of The Great Calamity, with New York Consul General of Ireland, Noel Kilkenny and Hanora O’Dea Kilkenny, at the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum Dedication. Middle: Cynthia Gibbons of Palm Beach, FL, with Betsy White, George White, Founder and Chairman, Eugene O'Neill Center, CT, and Mike Gibbons, President-Emeritus, IrelandU.S. Council. Bottom: Artist Rowan Gillespie, whose work features in the IGHM collection, with Inaugural Exhibition Curator, Niamh O’Sullivan.

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Top: Mick Moloney (on banjo) with distinguished musical guests, The Green Fields of America. Far Left: Darrah Carr appearing with the Niall O’Leary Irish Dance Troupe, the Pilatzke Brothers and Cara Butler. Above: Eileen Burns of Palm Beach, FL, with Irish artist Robert Ballagh and Brian P. Burns, whose gift of the 19th century painting, Lest We Forget, hangs in IGHM. Near Left: Visiting Irish artist Alanna O’Kelly’s work appears in the collection.

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“Famine was not the stuff of art. Those who witnessed the Great Hunger, or survived it, or even just heard of it, would have considered it improper to represent it, or elevate it to the condition of art. Artists painted for an elite market, and it was unlikely that the merchant classes, landlords (absentee or otherwise) or the governing strata would purchase pictures of rotting potatoes, emaciated bodies or diseased corpses to hang in their dining or withdrawing rooms.” Niamh O’Sullivan Curator, Inaugural Exhibition Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland




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1. Rowan Gillespie b. 1953 The Victim modeled 1996, cast 1998 Bronze 9.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 in The first piece acquired by the museum, The Victim is a quintessential work of representation. Gift of the Lender Family.

2. Kieran Tuohy b. 1953 Thank you to the Choctaw 2005 Bog oak 54 x 8 x 8 in Tuohy works with hard black oak from the forests that once covered Ireland. Using wood, he tells stories of Ireland’s Famine, from which he believes the country has never fully recovered. The Choctaw tribe took the sufferings of the Irish on themselves. In 1847, the Choctaw tribe raised for Irish Famine


relief $170-a huge amount, considering their own needs. The Palaeoecology Centre, Queens University Belfast, dated this piece of oak as from 1705 BC to 1389 BC.

3. Lilian Lucy Davidson ARHA 1879-1954 Burying the Child Oil on canvas 24 x 30 in Burying the Child is unusual for Irish painting of the time, echoing the European tradition in those apocalyptic years of World War I. These are the poorest of the poor, suffering an annihilating grief albeit that Ireland may be in the post-Famine period.

4. Micheal Farrell 1940−2000 Black ’47 1997−98 Hillier’s medium and acrylic on canvas 118 x 177 in Charles Trevelyan, the assistant secretary to the British Treasury, was officially responsible for Irish Famine relief. A man of chilling rectitude, his solution to the problem was noninterference and selfreliance. He saw the Famine as a “mechanism for reducing surplus population,” and in 1846 declared that the Famine was “the direct stroke of an all-wise Providence in a manner as unexpected and as unthought-of as it is likely to be effectual.” Gift of the Lender Family.

5. Daniel MacDonald 1821-53 Irish Peasant Children 1847 Oil on canvas 33 x 29 in Completed at the height of the Famine, the idyllic landscape may be classically serene, but the


gathering storm hints at the social and political reprisals to come.

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“The Great Hunger [also] resulted in a cultural loss, which was less tangible, but still devastating. In the words of one survivor Maire Ni Grianna from the Rosses, County Donegal (translated from the Irish language): ‘Recreation and leisure ceased. Poetry, music and dancing died. These things were lost and completely forgotten. When life improved in other ways, these pursuits never returned as they had been. The famine killed everything.’” Christine Kinealy Professor of History, Drew University Author, This Great Calamity:


The Irish Famine 1845–52

6. Paul Henry RHA 1876–1958 Cottages, West of Ireland 1928–30 Oil on canvas 22 x 26 in A cosmopolitan, Henry moved to Achill Island where he conceived a style that identified the West as the repository of the spiritual values of the nation.

7. Irish School 19th Century Lest We Forget Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in The setting is a sparsely furnished traditional Irish cottage, with the hearth at the center of the home – a rural world, still hovering in the shadow of the Famine, but on the verge of change. From the Brian P. Burns Collection of Irish Art. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Brian P. Burns, September 28, 2012.


I R E L A N D ’ S G R E AT H U N G E R M U S E U M 3011 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT 06518 203-582-6500 90 min from NYC 2 hrs from Boston

Museum Hours Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Monday & Tuesday: Closed

Last admission 30 minutes prior to closing Adults and school groups of 10 or more require advance reservations

ADMISSION IS FREE Closed major holidays Early closing at 3:00 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

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FTI Consulting, Inc.

Revlon, Inc.

Jack Dunn has been chief executive officer of FTI Consulting, Inc. since 1995, and has served as a director of the firm since 1992. In May 2004, he assumed the position of president, a position he also held from October 1995 to December 1998. Over this time, he has helped guide FTI Consulting from a small forensic consulting firm into one of the largest global business advisory firms. Jack joined FTI Consulting as CFO following a 10-year career at the regional investment banking firm Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. Prior to his investment banking career, he practiced corporate and securities law. Jack received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and his JD from the University of Maryland School of Law (Order of the Coif). He is a member of the board of directors for Pepco Holdings, Inc., a member of the board of trustees for Johns Hopkins Medicine and a limited partner of the Baltimore Orioles. A fifthgeneration Irish-American, Jack, who lives in Maryland with his wife and sons, has visited Ireland numerous times.

Alan T. Ennis has served as Revlon’s president and CEO since May 2009 and has been a director on the company’s board since March 2009. He was named a “Top 40 financial executive under 40” by Treasury & Risk magazine in 2008. Prior to joining Revlon, Alan held several senior positions with Ingersoll-Rand Company. He began his career in 1991 with Arthur Andersen in Dublin. A chartered accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered accountants in Ireland, Alan is on the board of directors of the Ireland U.S. Council. Alan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, and a Master of Business Administration degree from NYU Stern. Born in Dublin to Michael Ennis of Tipperary and Maggie Ennis of Cork, Alan believes that “being Irish is about perseverance, resilience, and gratitude.” He currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, Michelle, and their three young children.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management




Ford Motor Company



James Farley is Ford Motor Company’s group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service and is the company’s most senior marketing leader. Before being appointed to his current position in August 2010, Jim was group vice president, global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South America. Before joining Ford, he was group vice president and general manager of Lexus. James joined Toyota in 1990 and had a distinguished career there, a highlight being his responsibility for the successful launch and rollout of Toyota’s new Scion brand. James was later promoted to vice president of Scion and was responsible for all Scion activities. A cousin of the late comedian Chris Farley, James Farley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from Georgetown University and has an MBA from UCLA. His grandfather was a longtime Ford worker who eventually ran a Lincoln-Mercury dealership near Detroit. James and his wife, Lia, have three children.

Brendan P. Farrell, Jr. is CEO of XSP, the global leader in automated end-to-end Corporate Actions solutions for the financial industry. With almost 30 years of experience in financial services he was previously VP of Sales and Marketing at Financial Information, Inc. and held various positions at Bank of New York. Brendan created IMMRAM, an informal network for the Irish Diaspora. Most recently, IMMRAM and XSP helped raise over $25,000 for Self Help Africa. Brendan is a director to the board of the American Friends of Athlone Institute of Technology, Inc. Foundation and serves on the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation NYC board. In 2012, he was named Person of the Year by FTF News, and CEO of the Year by Goodacre Systems in the City. Born in the U.S. to Brendan, Sr. from Ballinalee, Co. Longford and Rita from Knockbrack, Knockagoshel, Co. Kerry, Brendan was raised in Longford Town, where his family ran O’Farrell’s Bar and Grocery. He lives in Denville, NJ with his wife of 21 years, Christine, and their children, Dylan and Brianna.

John Michael Farrell is a consulting partner in KPMG’s New York office, with over 25 years of management and risk consulting experience. John has received his master’s of science degree in accounting and a master’s of business administration in finance from Long Island University. He is also a certified public accountant in New York State and belongs to the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. John is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in County Monaghan on his father’s side. His grandmother was one of eleven children born at the turn of the century in New York. John’s great-grandparents came to America from Ireland in the 1880s.

Mary Callahan Erdoes is CEO of J.P. Morgan’s Asset Management Division, a global leader in investment management and private banking with over $2.0 trillion in assets under supervision. In addition to being a member of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Operating and Executive Committees, she leads the firm’s strategic partnership with Highbridge Capital Management and Gavea Investments. She joined J.P. Morgan in 1996 from Meredith, Martin & Kaye. A graduate of Georgetown University (BS) and Harvard Business School (MBA), Mary is a board member of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets. She ranks among Forbes and Fortune magazines most recent “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” lists, respectively. An Illinois native, whose great-grandparents emigrated from Cork on her father’s side and Tipperary on her mother’s, Mary lives in New York City with her husband and three daughters


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Bank of America

Fitzgerald & Co.

Irial Finan is executive vice president, The CocaCola Company and president of Bottling Investments and Supply Chain. He is responsible for managing a multi-billion-dollar internal bottling business, Bottling Investments Group (BIG), which has operations in 5 continents. Irial has 29 years experience in the Coca-Cola system. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola HBC. Irial joined the Coca-Cola Company in 2004 as president, Bottling Investments and Supply Chain, and was named executive vice president of the company in 2004. Irial serves on the boards of directors of Coca-Cola FEMSA, Coca-Cola HBC, and the Supervisory Board of CCE AG. He also serves as a non-executive director for Co-operation Ireland and NUI Galway Foundation. He holds a BC from National University of Ireland in Galway and is an Associate (later Fellow) of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants. Irial and his wife, Deirdre, have two daughters, Ciara and Roisin.

Anne M. Finucane is global strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America and is also a member of the company’s executive management team. She oversees public policy, government affairs, consumer policy, corporate social responsibility, communications, marketing, and directs the largest community development and investment goal ever established by a U.S. financial institution ($1.5 trillion over 10 years). In addition, she oversees a 10-year, $2 billion philanthropic goal through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, one of the largest corporate philanthropic organizations in the world. Listed on American Banker’s 2012 list of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and among Advertising Age’s 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising, Anne is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on numerous boards including the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Partners Healthcare, and the American Ireland Fund. She has roots in Co. Cork on both sides of her family, most notably through her grandfather, Michael Finucane, who came to the United States as a young boy.

In 1983, Dave Fitzgerald founded advertising agency Fitzgerald+CO, where he remains president and CEO. His company was named Best Agency in the Southeast by Adweek and, for five straight years, was named one of the best Atlanta companies to work for by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. A second-generation Irish American, Dave ran the Order of the Green Jacket of Ireland, which helped raise funds for Irish athletes in the 1996 Olympics. He is a member of the board of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia and Road Safe America. He has twice been Grand Marshal of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He is chairman of the 2011 and 2012 Atlanta St Patrick’s Day Parades and was a participant in the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum.. Dave received his BS and MBA from the University of Dayton, where he was honored with the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Having visited Ireland over forty times, he became an Irish citizen in 2004 and traces his family to the western counties of Kerry and Sligo. Dave calls his Irish heritage “a source of great pride.”




Fitzpatrick Hotel Group

Epic Records

Mutual of America

John Fitzpatrick is president and CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, North America. He began his impressive career almost 30 years ago with a hotel management course in Ireland, followed by the prestigious hotel management course offered at UNLV in Las Vegas. He then returned to Ireland to work at the family hotels in Dublin and Bunratty, before moving back to the U.S. in 1991. John currently serves as chairman of the Hotel Association of NYC, and as secretary/treasurer for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He is on the boards of both The American Ireland Fund and the Ireland-U.S. Council. Active in a number of philanthropic activities that aid children and advance the peace process in Northern Ireland, John was conferred with an honorary OBE in 2008. Queen’s University Belfast awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Science in Economics in 2011. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2002. In 1993 John founded the Eithne and Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Foundation in memory of his parents. The foundation has generated more than $1.3 million for charities.

An accomplished musician, writer, and producer, Michael Francis Flynn is Epic Records’ executive vice president of A&R, and staff producer. Mike began his career in 1998, when he was signed as an artist to Epic. Later he became a staff producer while serving as A&R for the label. Mike has worked with artists such as John Mellencamp, The Fray, Sara Bareilles, Cher Loyd, Howie Day, and American Idol winner Kris Allen. His production work on The Fray’s albums How to Save a Life and The FRAY helped the band sell over five million albums and 15 million singles worldwide. He is a Grammy-nominated producer, and has been recognized in Billboard’s 40 Under 40 list. Mike is a graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he received a BA in audio engineering. A second-generation IrishAmerican, Mike traces his maternal roots to Co. Cork. He says, “My Irish heritage means a lot to me because I feel like the Irish always fought through adversity and came out on top.”

During his 34 years with Mutual of America, Bill Flynn established himself as a great leader whose business skills were reflected in Mutual of America’s performance and recognized throughout the life insurance industry. Today he is Mutual’s chairman emeritus. Bill’s commitment to social justice continues to be felt in the success of the Irish peace process and the work of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP). As the first IrishAmerican chairman of the NCAFP, it was Flynn who invited all of Northern Ireland’s political leaders, including Gerry Adams, to the U.S., a move that propelled Northern Ireland into the peace process. A graduate of Fordham University, Bill is a first-generation Irish American with roots in Counties Mayo and Down. In 1996, he was Grand Marshal of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Bill was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2011.

The Coca-Cola Company


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Ford Motor Co.


American Express

As executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford, Jr., is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. Bill joined Ford in 1979 as a product planning analyst. He held a variety of domestic and international assignments in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development and finance, before becoming vice president, Commercial Truck Vehicle Center in 1994. He served as CEO from October 2001 to September 2006. A member of the board since 1988, he became chairman in 1999, and is also chairman of the board’s Environmental and Public Policy Committee. Bill is vice chairman of the Detroit Lions football team, chairman of the board of the Detroit Economic Club, and a member of the boards of The Henry Ford Foundation, the Henry Ford Health System, and eBay, Inc. Bill holds a BA degree from Princeton and an MS degree in management as an Alfred P. Sloan fellow from MIT. He is the great-grandson of founder and innovator Henry Ford, who was the son of an Irish immigrant from Cork. In 2011, Bill was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.

Kieran Gallahue, chairman and chief executive officer of CareFusion, has nearly 20 years of strategic, operational and corporate management experience in the healthcare industry. Previously, he served as president, CEO and a director of ResMed. Since 2007, Kieran has served on the board of Volcano Corp., a developer of products for interventional cardiology. He also serves on the executive committee of the board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association and has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization since 2002. Prior to joining ResMed, Kieran held various general management and functional roles at Nanogen, Instrumentation Laboratory, The Procter & Gamble Company and GE. He holds a BS in economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. The grandson of four Irish emigrants, he has roots in Cork, Ballybunion, Newry, and Ballylanders. For Kieran, “being Irish is about far more than genetics or genealogy. It is a spirit, an attitude and a foundation.”

Ed Gilligan is vice chairman of American Express Company, a position he has held since June 2007. Ed is responsible for the company’s global consumer, small business, merchant services, and network services businesses. While studying for his BS in economics and management at New York University in 1980, Ed joined American Express where he worked as a temp. He became full time with the company in 1982. In June 1995, Ed took the position of president for Commercial Card and Business Travel for the United States. He was named one of the two group presidents at American Express in 2002 and ran the international consumer card business as well as the global portfolio of payment and travel services. Ed is a member of the board of directors of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in NY and a member on the boards of Zipcar Inc., Concur Technologies, and The Ed is a first-generation Irish-American with family from Castlerea, Co. Roscommon on his father side. He lives in New York with his wife, Lisa, and their four children.




American Express

Grey Group


For the past 18 years, John Hayes has led global marketing at American Express, helping shape both the company and its brand. In addition to overseeing marketing strategies and product development, John leads the company’s global advertising, digital marketing strategy, market research, corporate sponsorships, brand management and publishing organizations. He has been the force behind the business strategies that have resulted in iconic campaigns such as “My life. My card.” and leading edge marketing programs such as Members Project. Additionally, under John’s leadership American Express has created over 200 new product launches, including the coveted Centurion black card, AmEx Blue and more recently ZYNC from American Express. Prior to joining American Express, John was the president of Lowe and Partners, and held senior positions at Geer DuBois, Ammirati & Puris and Saatchi & Saatchi Compton. John is currently a member of the Save the Children – Newborn and Child Survival campaign council.

James R. Heekin III became chairman and CEO of Grey Group in January 2007, after leading Grey, the company’s global advertising arm, since 2005. Under his leadership, Grey has enjoyed the most successful years in its history, adding over $1 billion in new business and producing such award-winning campaigns as the ETrade baby and Ellen DeGeneres for CoverGirl. Ad Age named Grey to its prestigious A-List of the world’s best agencies and Fast Company named Grey to its “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.” Earlier in his career, Jim served as chairman and CEO of EuroRSCG Worldwide, McCann-Erickson WorldGroup and McCann-Erickson Worldwide. A graduate of Williams College, Jim served previously on the board of directors for JWT, the Interpublic Group of Companies, The American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Ad Council. A fourth-generation Irish American whose father’s family came from Co. Donegal, Jim says that he has been “proud to witness and be a small part of the rise of the Irish in America and the transformation of Ireland.”

PJ Hough is a corporate vice president for Program Management at Microsoft. His responsibilities involve product planning, design, research and program management. Having joined Microsoft in 1994, PJ has worked his way through the company. After working seven years in programmability and program management, he joined the Office product planning team, based in Ireland. Then, in 2004, he returned to Redmond, Washington as group program manager for the SharePoint Services team. PJ was born in Manchester, England, and his mother and father both hail from Co. Tipperary. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer applications from Dublin City University. PJ lives in North Bend, Washington, with his wife, Mar Lydon and his daughter, Aoife.


SHARING SMILES ACROSS THE GLOBE Digicel congratulates the 2012 Irish America Business 100 Honorees.

Be Extraordinary


11/30/12 10:46 AM


ratulates the 2012 Irish America 0 Honorees.



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Choice Hotels

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Shelley Hurley is executive director of Accenture Risk Management. A past president of ERI Trading, Inc., Shelley has had an extensive career in trading and risk management. She was a seat holder on the New York Mercantile Exchange and is a past recipient of Accenture’s Developer of the Year award. A native of Kansas, Shelley graduated from Friends University and earned her MBA from the Tunderbird International School of Business in Arizona. Shelley is a fifth-generation Irish American with ancestral links to County Cork on her father’s side of the family. Of her Irish heritage, she says, “Knowing that there is a 6th generation – in my nephew, Dr. Patrick Ryan Hurley (Paddy Ryan), who received his master’s in history from UCD – makes me proud to be part of a long line of Irish Americans.” She and Travis Barrett reside in Austin, Texas.

Stephen P. Joyce is president, CEO, and member of the board of directors of Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s largest hotel franchises, a position he has held since 2008. Under Stephen’s leadership, Choice has seen significant gains in market share position, expansion into new markets and the advancement of new brands. The company has also seen further enhancements in marketing strategies, brand awareness and eCommerce initiatives, including the launch of the industry’s first global iPhone application. An active member of the lodging industry, Stephen is the incoming chairman of the International Franchise Association, effective 2014, and is currently vice chairman of the board of ServiceSource Foundation. He also serves as a member of the board of directors for the Autism Learning Center and The Real Estate Roundtable. Stephen, whose family hail from Galway, holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Virginia and has done graduate work at Cornell University, Wharton Business School, and the Aspen Institute.

Brian Kelley is CEO of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. He assumed leadership of Green Mountain on December 3. Brian’s career has spanned 29 years, with experience at Procter & Gamble, GE, the Ford Motor Company (where he was the president of Lincoln Mercury), 5 years as the president and CEO of SIRVA (a $4 billion global relocation company which Brian took public in 2003), and 5 years with Coca-Cola. He joined Coca-Cola in 2007 as president of its $6 billion non-carbonated beverages business in North America, and was selected in 2010 to lead the integration of the company’s acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises and the formation of Coca-Cola Refreshments. After the integration, Brian was named chief product supply officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments. Brian was the third of seven children born to an Irish Catholic family in Cincinnati, OH. His greatgrandfather Eugene emigrated from Co. Cork in the mid-1880s. A graduate of Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA with a degree in economics, Brian lives in Atlanta with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Erin and Gwen.




Jelly Belly Candy Co.

Teneo Holdings


A fourth-generation candy maker, Bill Kelley is vice chairman of Jelly Belly Candy Co. He joined the family business, Goelitz Confectionery, in 1965, after graduating from Xavier University and serving as an army officer in the U.S. and Korea. In 1974, like his grandfather and father before him, Bill became president of the company, which in 2001 merged with Herman Goelitz Candy Co., run by Bill’s cousin, Herman Rowland, to form Jelly Belly. Bill has been honored by the National Confectioners Association (of which he is a past chairman), Candy Industry Magazine, Retail Confectioners International, and was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in Hershey, PA. He serves on the boards of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the North Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers with the American Cancer Society. He and his wife, Joanie, live in Winnetka, IL and have two children, Meghan and Brian, and four grandchildren. Bill’s great-great-grandfather, Patrick Kelly, emigrated from Ireland around 1835. Four of Patrick’s children, including Bill’s great-grandfather William Kelley, fought in the Civil War.

Declan Kelly is CEO of Teneo. Previously, he served as the U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September 2009. Prior to his government service, he was executive vice president and chief integration officer of FTI Consulting, one of the world’s leading international consulting companies. Before joining FTI, he was chairman and CEO of Financial Dynamics (FD) in the U.S. and chairman of FD in Ireland. He joined FD when he sold his company, Gallagher and Kelly Public Relations, to FD in 2000. Declan, who is from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, previously worked as a journalist for over a decade. A graduate of NUI Galway, he also holds an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast in recognition of his service to business and the economy of Northern Ireland. He created and continues to underwrite and oversee the Northern Ireland Mentorship Program in partnership with the American Ireland Fund, on whose executive board he serves. In 2012, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Shaun Kelly is vice chair – operations for KPMG LLP, responsible for the execution of the firm’s financial plan. In October 2010 he was appointed chief operating officer, Americas. In this position, he works with the leaders of the KPMG International member firms to align their respective strategies, structure and plans. A native of Belfast, Shaun joined KPMG International’s Irish member firm in Dublin in 1980 and transferred to the U.S. San Francisco office in 1984. He was admitted to the U.S. partnership in 1999. He earned a bachelor of commerce, first class honors from University College, Dublin and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and a certified public accountant. He is treasurer and a member of the board of Enactus, a member of the UCD Smurfit School North American Board and a member of the board of the Irish Arts Center in New York. Shaun also co-chairs KPMG’s Disabilities Network, and is a member of KPMG’s Diversity Advisory Board. Shaun lives in Connecticut with his wife, Mary, who is from Donegal, and their four children.


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Audi of America

Seven-time Academy Award nominated Kathleen Kennedy, co-chair of Lucasfilm, is one of the most successful and respected producers and executives in the film industry today. Her credits include three of the highest grossing films in motion picture history: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and The Sixth Sense. Her production credits include over 70 films, such as the Indiana Jones series, Schindler’s List, the Bourne Identity series, War Horse and, most recently, Lincoln. Kathleen is the recipient of the Producers Guild of America’s prestigious David O. Selznick Award and is on the board of governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She joined Lucasfilm in June 2012. Kathleen attended San Diego University, where she studied telecommunications and film. A fourth-generation Irish American, Kathleen traces her Irish ancestry through her father, Donald Kennedy. She and her husband, Frank Marshall, have two daughters, Lillian and Megan.

Kevin Kennedy is the president and chief executive officer of Avaya, a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions. Prior to joining Avaya in 2009, Kevin was president and CEO of JDS Uniphase Corporation, a position he held since 2003. Before joining JDSU, he served as COO of Openwave Systems, Inc. In January 2011, Kevin was appointed to the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee by President Obama. He also currently serves on the boards of directors of JDSU and KLA-Tencor Corporation. Kevin holds a BS in engineering from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and MS and PhD degrees in engineering from Rutgers University, where he was an adjunct professor from 1982-1984. In 2006, Kevin was honored as the School of Engineering at Rutgers Alumnus of the Year, and awarded an Alumni Medal of Excellence. He is a co-author of Going the Distance: Why Some Companies Dominate and Others Fail (2003). Avaya’s Irish subsidiary, Avaya Ireland, Ltd., is based in Galway.

Scott Keogh is president of Audi of America, with responsibility for all U.S. activities of the brand. Keogh stepped into the top management position on June 20, 2012. He will lead Audi as it moves to become the leading premium brand before 2020 and exceed 200,000 in sales from record sales of 117,561 cars and SUVs in 2011. In his previous role, as chief marketing officer, Keogh had responsibility for building the Audi brand in the U.S. market and overseeing product planning and launches. Prior to joining Audi, Scott worked at MercedesBenz USA for more than a decade. Most recently, he was general manager, marketing communications. Previous positions at Mercedes-Benz included general manager, Smart USA where Scott was responsible for sales, marketing, product planning and retail development for the new automotive brand. Scott has a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. He is a secondgeneration Irish American with roots in counties Sligo, Antrim and Carlow. Scott remarks that his Irish heritage “acts as a powerful and beautiful anchor in an often transient world.”




Allen & Company, Inc.

Summit Entertainment


Don Keough has been chairman of the board of Allen & Company, Inc., a New York investmentbanking firm, since 1993. In 1993, Don retired as president, COO and a director of The CocaCola Company after 43 years of working with Coca-Cola. From 1986 to 1993, he was chairman of the board of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., the world’s largest bottling system. He also served as chairman of Columbia Pictures, before it was sold to Sony Inc. Don serves on the boards of InterActive Corp, Global Yankee Holdings, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. Don has also served as a member on the boards of McDonald’s Corporation, The Washington Post Company, H. J. Heinz Company and The Home Depot. He is chairman emeritus of the board of trustees and a life trustee of the University of Notre Dame. He is a trustee of several other educational, charitable and civic organizations. Don resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Marilyn. They have six children and 18 grandchildren.

Nancy Kirkpatrick serves as president of Worldwide Marketing for Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate company. She is responsible for the marketing campaigns for releases in all media, including the film The Hurt Locker which took home six Academy Awards including Best Motion Picture, and the highly successful Twilight films. Prior to joining Summit, Nancy was EVP of Worldwide Publicity for Paramount’s Motion Picture Group. While at Paramount she was integrally involved in the marketing, corporate messaging and positioning as well as overseeing the worldwide publicity campaigns. Nancy began her career at Warner Bros. as an administrative assistant, ultimately rising to the post of SVP, Domestic Publicity where her campaigns were recognized with several awards. Nancy grew up in Virginia and is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in English. Nancy, whose great-grandmother was born in Cork, is a mother of three and says, “Having a big, noisy, loving Irish family is the foundation of my happiest memories. It is where I find my greatest joy.”

Ellen Kullman is chair of the board and chief executive officer of DuPont. As CEO, she has championed market-driven science to drive innovation across the company’s businesses. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Ellen began her career at DuPont in 1988 as a marketing manager. She is a member of the U.S.-India CEO Forum, the Business Council, and the executive committee of SCI-America. She is co-chair of the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Changing the Conversation: From Research to Action. Ellen is on the board of directors of United Technologies Corp. She is also on the board of trustees of Tufts University and serves on the board of overseers at Tufts University School of Engineering. Prior to joining DuPont, Ellen worked for General Electric. She holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts and a master’s degree in management from Northwestern. Ellen is a third-generation Irish American whose mother’s family came from Nenagh, Tipperary.


Purpose-driven leaders Irish America’s 2012 Business 100 recognizes the best and brightest Irish-American leaders at the helms of some of the most innovative and powerful corporations in the world. We are proud to congratulate this year’s Business 100 honorees, including our director, Joan Carroll, and our partners, Kieran Claffey and Thomas Codd.

© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved.

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The VIA Agency


Teneo Capital

Leeann Leahy is a seasoned brand strategist and consumer insights expert. On November 26, she became president of The VIA Agency, a leading independent marketing agency, headquartered in Portland, Maine. Prior to this, she was president of Translation, LLC. Before joining Translation, Leeann was chief strategy officer of Lowe, NY, where she was also global chief strategy officer for all of Johnson & Johnson. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including global and domestic Effies, an International Obie, and Cannes Lions. A native of New York, Leeann graduated from College of the Holy Cross with a BA in political science. She is a second-generation Irish American with roots in Williamstown, Co. Galway on her father’s side of the family, and in Co. Cork on her mother’s. Her husband, Thomas Leahy, Jr,. is a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. They have three children, Mac, Winnie and Duncan.

Dr. T. Pearse Lyons is the founder and president of Alltech, a global animal health company that employs more than 2,800 people and conducts business in 128 countries. Founded in 1980, the company has grown to annual sales of $700 million. Pearse received his bachelor’s degree from University College Dublin and obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Birmingham, England. He worked as a biochemist for Irish Distillers before founding Alltech. Since then, he has authored more than 20 books and numerous research papers in scientific journals. Alltech’s commitment to equestrian sport began with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky, attended by more than half a million spectators and seen by 500 million television viewers. Pearse’s leadership led to his receiving the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s first-ever Legacy Award in 2011. In 2012, he was named Business Person of the Year by Business & Finance and received the Ireland-U.S. Council’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Dublin-born Pearse and his wife, Deirdre, have two children, Aoife and Mark. His Irish heritage fills him “with a sense of belonging.”

Michael Madden is the chairman of Teneo Capital. In addition to his role with Teneo, he is also the managing partner and founder of Ronoc, an investment and advisory business primarily focused on financial services in emerging economies, and the founding CEO of Renaissance Credit Group, where he established one of the largest Consumer Finance banks in Russia from scratch. In 2005 he also launched the first retailer financial services joint venture in Russia with IKEA (IKANO), and was appointed as chairman of the IKANO financial services business in Russia. Prior to building Renaissance Credit, Michael, who was born in Ireland, had an extensive career with American Express. He joined the company in Ireland in 1988 and having spent four years in Russia establishing the American Express Card business across the former Soviet Union, he moved to the UK in 1996, first as director for a portfolio of Franchise Markets and then as VP for the American Express Franchise business in EMEA, as well as managing the American Express International Dollar Card business in Europe.





Lockheed Martin

Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Trevor Madigan joined the Facebook team in New York in early 2011 as global business manager. He leads international sales & business development for Facebook’s key partners, advertisers and some of the world’s leading brands. Trevor joined Facebook after seven years at Nokia, where he held several global sales leadership positions in its consumer services business unit, most recently as head of North American Sales for Location & Advertising. Trevor has also recently joined the North American Advisory Board of UCD Michael Smurfit, Graduate Business School and the Advisory board of Prior to Nokia, Trevor held senior marketing roles at Mulberry Ltd and Mitsubishi Telecom Europe. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and politics from University College Dublin and a DBS in business strategy from the London School of Economics. Trevor is a native of Dublin and now resides in Manhattan with his wife, Breanne. Of being Irish, Trevor says “I sometimes need to pinch myself and smile when I think how far we have come and how much we have achieved, with so many chancers.”

Joanne Maguire is executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company business area and an officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. She sits on the board of United Launch Alliance, a Lockheed Martin joint venture; is a member of the advisory council for the Denver School of Science and Technology; chairs the advisory council for the Rocky Mountain USO; and is a member of the UCLA Engineering Advisory Council. Joanne assumed her current position in 2006. She previously served as vice president and deputy of SSC. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 2003, she worked at TRW’s Space & Electronics sector, now Northrop Grumman Space Technology. Joanne earned a BA from Michigan State University and an MA from UCLA. She is a graduate of the executive program in management at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and completed the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security. Joanne is a first-generation Irish American whose father, Michael F. Maguire, was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal.

Phil McAveety is executive vice president and chief brand officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a leading hotel and leisure company. He is responsible for worldwide marketing and brand performance. Phil previously served as global brand director for Camper International in Spain, where he developed the company’s strategic growth plan. Prior to joining Camper International, Phil spent nine years with Nike Inc. in several positions, including vice president of marketing for Nike Europe, Middle East and Asia. Before joining Nike, he worked with Leo Burnett International in a variety of roles. He has lived and worked in the U.K., Portugal, Hong Kong, the U.S., the Netherlands and Spain. Phil earned an AMP from Harvard Business School and a BA in economic history from Exeter University. He is a first-generation Irish American, by way of London, who fondly remembers his first visit to the U.S. It was for the 1994 World Cup. His father, Jim, hails from Swalinbar, in County Cavan, and his mother, Bridie, from Kilmichael, County Cork.


Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. Publishers of

Top Doctors: New York Metro Area

America’s Top Doctors® America’s Top Doctors® for Cancer

Congratulates Irish America Magazine BUSINESS 100 HONOREES


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Westmeath Communications

Jim McCann is a successful entrepreneur, public speaker and author whose passion is to help people deliver smiles. Jim’s belief in the universal need for social connections and interaction led to his founding of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, which he has built into a leading florist and gift shop, and, a leading website for expert party planning content and advice. Jim’s willingness to embrace new technologies that help people connect and express themselves, such as the Internet, mobile commerce and social networking, often long before others, has enabled him to stay at the forefront of consumer and social trends. As a result, he has become an award-winning public speaker, a published author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs nationwide. In addition to serving as chairman of the board of directors for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Jim is a member of the board of directors of Willis Group Holdings Limited and a variety of private and not-for-profit boards. He is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Armagh and Limerick.

Anne M. McCarthy, president and founder of Westmeath Communications, has a passion for business and a mandate for crisp, clear communications. She has spent more than 25 years in corporate communications, serving as both a strategist and an executor for Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In 2010 she founded Westmeath, a Denver, Colorado-based consulting firm that offers such services as reputation management, corporate social responsibility, issues management, messaging/positioning and change management. Westmeath was named after the Irish county where Anne’s maternal grandmother was born. Anne serves as a trustee on several nonprofit boards, including Alliance for Choice in Education, Domus Pacis, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She is actively involved with the American Ireland Fund and the Aspen Ideas Festival. A trustee of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Anne earned a BA in journalism from Michigan State University and has completed executive education programs at The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania and at INSEAD at Fontainebleau.

Christine M. McCarthy is treasurer and executive vice president of Corporate Finance and Real Estate of The Walt Disney Company. Prior to joining Disney, Christine was the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Imperial Bancorp from 1997 to 1999 and an EVP at First Interstate until it was acquired by Wells Fargo in 1996. Christine is currently on the board and finance committee of FM Global. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Westridge School in Pasadena and is a mentor for the National Math and Science Initiative’s STEM program. Treasury & Risk named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance in 2003 and 2011. Christine was a board member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association from 1998 to 2001. A third-generation Irish American, Christine was born in Winthrop, MA. She completed her bachelor’s degree in biology at Smith College, later earning an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA. She and her husband, Michael McCormick, live in California with their two children.




O’Connor Davies, LLP


Matthew G. McCrosson is a partner of O’Connor Davies, LLP Accounting and Consultants, and has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting. Prior to joining O’Connor Davies, Matt held a senior position at a Big Four accounting firm. Earlier he served as the COO or CFO for several not-forprofit organizations. He currently serves as a director of CMS Bank. Matt is president of the Westchester Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, director of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Assoc., chairman of the board of the Westchester Community Foundation, and is a member of the boards of the Business Council of Westchester and of Westchester Community College Foundation. A graduate of Manhattan College, where he earned his BA and MBA degrees, Matt has roots in counties Tyrone and Fermanagh on his father’s side, and in counties Tipperary and Limerick on his mother’s. He and his wife, Joy, have four children. Matt describes his Irish heritage as “ever-present in my strong sense of family, my faith, and a love of a people and a country that has gifted me with an inner strength and and sense of humor in good times and bad.”

Bill McDermott was appointed co-CEO of SAP alongside Jim Hagemann Snabe in February 2010. In this capacity, and as a member of the SAP Executive Board, Bill oversees strategic business activities for all customer operations, sales, marketing, communications, corporate development, and ecosystem activities. He previously oversaw SAP’s operations in the Americas and Asia Pacific Japan regions. Bill earned his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a BS from Dowling College. He has completed the Executive Development Program at the Wharton School. In 2010, Bill McDermott was named among the “Top 25 Most Influential Executives of 2010” in information technology by CRN (Computer Reseller News) magazine. As an active community leader and advocate for corporate social responsibility, he has been widely recognized for his civic leadership, most recently as the 2012 NPower Gala Honoree. Bill is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Co. Roscommon on his father’s side.

McDonald’s Corporation Schwarz Supply Source



The Walt Disney Company

Andrew McKenna is chairman of Schwarz Supply Source, a leading provider of supply chain solutions. He is also chairman of McDonald’s Corporation and serves as a director of Ryan Specialty Group, McDonalds Corporation, and the Chicago Bears Football Club Team and Skyline Corporation. Over the years, Andy has served on many civic boards. He is a director of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Ireland Economic Advisory Board and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BS in business administration, he was awarded the university’s Laetare Medal in 2000. He served as the chairman of the board of trustees from 1992-2000 and continues on the board today. He is also a graduate of the DePaul University Law School where he received a Doctor of Jurisprudence. A second-generation Irish American, with roots in Mayo and Monaghan, he and his wife, Joan, have seven grown children, 24 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Fidelity Investments is proud to congratulate Kathleen Murphy and all the honorees of the Irish America Business 100.


Fidelity Brokerage Services, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 © 2011 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. 600831.1.0

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GE Asset Management

Ravensdale Capital, LLC

Ralph Lauren

Maureen Mitchell joined GE Asset Management (GEAM) in 2009 as president, Institutional Sales and Marketing, and in 2011 was promoted to president, Global Sales and Marketing. With over 25 years’ experience in the investment management industry, including 20 in sales, Maureen has built a distinguished career. She spent 10 years with Bear Stearns Asset Management as a senior managing director, and held executive leadership positions with Highland Capital Management, Scudder Kemper and U.S. Trust. A graduate of City College of New York with a graduate degree from Fordham University, Maureen is a member of the GEAM board of directors and the board of GE Asset Management Funds II plc., and has held board positions with other nonprofit organizations. A first-generation Irish American with roots in Sligo, where her father worked as a lobsterman before immigrating to the U.S. with her Galwayborn mother, Maureen has two daughters, graduates of Stanford, Wesleyan and Harvard Medical School, both of whom have traveled throughout Ireland with their mother.

George Moore is managing partner of Ravensdale Capital, LLC, a fund that invests primarily in early stage IT companies with a focus on consumer data analytics and decision sciences. A pioneer in consumer information analytics and delivery technologies for business applications, until 2012 he was chairman and CEO of TARGUSinfo, a company he founded in 1993 and sold to Neustar in 2011. He is chairman of Erne Heritage Holdings and a member of the board of the New Ireland Fund. In 2007, he was recognized for his contribution to the Northern Ireland economy and his international work on behalf of all of Ireland with an Honorary CBE. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Board to the Prime Minister of Ireland, Northern Ireland Trade & Investment Council, The Flax Trust, and a trustee of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund. George holds both Commerce and MBS degrees from the University College Dublin, an MBA and DBA from George Washington University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Sciences from the University of Ulster. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Angela, originally from Northern Ireland. They have three children.

Danielle Moran is the manager of operations at Ralph Lauren, Denim and Supply. Responsible for operational management of the merchandising and design teams, Danielle is also the point person for the senior vice presidents of Merchandising and Creative Design. She joined the company in 2005, as an administrative assistant to the Senior Director in Knits & Sweaters. She then became the executive assistant to both the SVP of Merchandising at Polo Jeans and the SVP of Creative Design, a position she maintains today in addition to her managerial responsibilities. A graduate of Hofstra University, Danielle is a talented performer and recipient of the Circle in the Square Musical Theatre Award. A secondgeneration Irish American, Danielle traces her paternal roots to Moate, County Westmeath, to Kilgarvin, County Kerry and New Market on Fergus, County Clare. She says, “Every year when I march in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade with my parents, I truly feel the joy of how well we Irish have thrived in America. I owe a tremendous part of my success to my Irish heritage.”



Mutual of America

Campbell Soup Company


Thomas J. Moran has been president and CEO of Mutual of America since 1994, and was appointed chairman of the board in 2005. During more than three decades of service, over which he also served as COO, Tom has participated in Mutual’s growth from a small retirement association to a mutual life insurance company with over $13 billion in assets. Chairman of Concern Worldwide U.S., Tom serves on the boards of directors of the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Educational Broadcasting System, the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and the NYC Irish Hunger Memorial. He received membership to the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way and Excalibur membership. Awards include the NYC Police Foundation Commissioner’s Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. With roots in Fermanagh and Tipperary, he serves on the Irish Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Board and the boards of the Irish Chamber of Commerce and the Ireland-U.S. Council. He earned a BS in math from Manhattan College. Tom and his wife, Joan, live in New York City.

Denise Morrison became president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company on August 1, 2011. She joined Campbell in 2003. Previously, she served as executive vice president and general manager of Kraft Foods’ Snacks and Confections divisions. Denise, who was named to the Wall Street Journal’s “Top 50 Women to Watch” list in 2007, serves on several boards including the Grocery Manufacturers Association. She is the chair of its Health & Wellness Committee and is a founding member of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, an initiative designed to combat obesity in the marketplace, workplace, and in schools. She also serves on the board of Students In Free Enterprise. A third-generation Irish American, with roots in Mayo and Cork, Denise earned her BS in economics and psychology from Boston College, graduating magna cum laude. She was inducted into the Order of the Cross and Crown Honor Society for academic and extracurricular achievement. Of her Irish heritage Denise says, “I see the world through Irish eyes and they are smiling.” She and her husband, Tom, have two children, Michelle and Kelly.


Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan is the chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Bank of America, one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Bank of America serves people, companies and institutional investors with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Brian joined Bank of America in 2004 following the company’s merger with FleetBoston Financial and became CEO on January 1, 2010. He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Notre Dame Law School. In 2010, he was elected a trustee of the Corporation of Brown University. In May 2012, Brian received the American Ireland Fund’s Leslie C. Quick Junior Leadership Award. In accepting the award, he talked about his heritage as a fourth-generation Irish American whose ancestors emigrated from Ireland to upstate New York in the 1850s. “The fighting spirit that led our relatives to come to America with little or nothing…that spirit is deeply ingrained in all Irish Americans. Hard work, tenacity and drive to do the right thing is something that serves us in good stead.”

congratulates this year’s Irish America Magazine’s Business 100 honorees including our own Tucker Tooley

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Ford Motor Company

The Apple Leisure Group

Fidelity Investments

Alan Mulally is president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. and a member of the board of directors. Before joining Ford in 2006, Alan was executive vice president of The Boeing Company, and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Throughout his career, Alan has been recognized for his industry leadership, including being named one of The World’s Most Influential People by Time, one of The 30 Most Respected CEOs by Barrons, Person of the Year by Aviation Week and a Best Leader by Business Week. Alan serves on President Obama’s Export Council. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of England’s Royal Academy of Engineering. A Kansas native, Alan holds BS and MS degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Kansas, and earned a master’s in management from MIT as a 1982 Alfred P. Sloan fellow. With a surname derived from the Gaelic Ó Maolalaidh, Alan traces his roots to the western counties of Ireland, and to Galway in particular.

John J. Mullen, chairman and owner of The Apple Leisure Group, began his travel career with United Airlines and later Lufthansa. In 1969, he opened a small travel agency in Drexel Hill, PA, specializing in Group Tours. Today, Apple Vacations is one of the largest vacation companies and tour operators in North America, serving nearly one million passengers annually, and with 6,000 employees. In 2001, the Apple Leisure Group became fully integrated with the start-up of its new hotel division, AMResorts, all-inclusive resort management company in Mexico and the Caribbean. The company’s brands of exclusive resort properties include Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Now Resorts & Spas and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. John is a first-generation Irish American whose parents both hail from County Mayo. He has been married to Joan Alice Atkinson for 49 years. Their four grown children work in the business today.

Kathleen Murphy is president of Personal Investing, a unit of Fidelity Investments – the largest mutual fund company in the U.S., the largest retail brokerage company and the number one provider of workplace retirement savings plans. She assumed her current position in January 2009. Fidelity Investments serves over 13.5 million accounts and Kathy is responsible for over one trillion dollars in assets. Prior to joining Fidelity, Kathy was CEO of ING U.S. Wealth Management. Before assuming that position, she was group president, ING Worksite and Institutional Financial Services. Kathy began her career with 15 years at Aetna She received her BA summa cum laude from Fairfield University and earned her JD with highest honors from the University of Connecticut. Fortune magazine named her one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women” in American business. Kathy’s father’s family is from Cork and her mother’s is from Kerry. A third-generation Irish American, she is married with one son.





Great Western Mining Corp.

Starcom USA

As vice president of global sales for Google, Eileen Naughton is responsible for sales strategy and relationship management for Google’s largest agency and advertising clients around the world. She most recently led Google’s high-growth display business in the Americas, and is responsible for sales, development, media strategy and operations across YouTube and the Google Display Network. Prior to joining Google, Eileen had a distinguished career at Time Warner Inc., where she was president of the Time Group. AdAge magazine featured her as a “Woman to Watch,” in a 2007 issue, and in 2009, she was featured in How Remarkable Women Lead, a book by McKinsey & Co., Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston, focusing on successful female leaders. The American Diabetes Association has named Eileen a “Woman of Valor” for her work to raise awareness of the obesity epidemic. Eileen holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from its Wharton School. Her father was from Roscommon and her mother grew up in Drumcliff, in the mountains near Sligo.

Emmett O’Connell is chairman of the Great Western Mining Corporation, a mineral exploration company based in Nevada with headquarters in Dublin. A promoter of technology and exploration companies for over thirty years, Emmett has acted as founder and director of other companies including Eglington Exploration plc., Bryson Oil and Gas plc., Texas Continental Securities plc., and Seminole Land & Cattle Company. Emmett’s career has taken him to many countries on five continents. He has been involved with highly successful public companies quoted on the London, Dublin and Vancouver stock exchanges. In April 2008, the London PLUS market awarded Great Western Mining Corp. plc. the best resource stock award for the continued investing and expansion of the company’s North American mineral resources. The company is now listed on the AIM market in London and the ESM market in Dublin. Emmett was inducted as a Knight of St. Gregory in the Vatican in 1986. When not in some distant part of the world, he lives on a farm in Wexford with his wife of 50 years. He has three children and seven grandchildren.

Patrick O’Connor is the chief financial officer at Starcom USA. Based in Chicago, he is a member of the Starcom managing board, and directs a 100-person professional finance and media operations group. Pat became CFO at Starcom in 2003, expanding his role to include financial start-up and oversight of additional business units, including both traditional media and diverse media disciplines. He is responsible for all real estate activities of Starcom MediaVest Group business units in Chicago, including space planning and expansion. He became a certified public accountant in May 1989, and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society. Outside the office, he is an active supporter of the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House. Pat is a fourth-generation Irish American, with roots in Cork on his father’s side, and Roscommon on his mother’s. He received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Saint Francis before going on to earn his MBA at Loyola University in 1996. He and his wife, Anne, have five children.




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The Hershey Company

General Mills

General Mills

Terence L. O’Day is senior vice president, global operations for The Hershey Company. He leads the company’s global supply chain, which includes the sourcing, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, quality, regulatory compliance, facilities and flight operations functions. Before joining Hershey in 2008, Terry served as EVP and COO for Mannatech Inc. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs with a bachelor of science, Terry was also a pilot for the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, and reached the rank of major. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University. Terry and his wife, Susan, have two children, Corinne Shannon and Kyle Patrick. He is a second-generation Irish American with ancestry from County Clare on his father Russell’s side and County Galway on his mother Marguerite’s side. Of his Irish heritage, Terry said, “I can still remember talks with my grandmother on how tough life was on the West Coast of Ireland and why so many of her family left. I learned from that experience the value of family, hard work, humility, and to always keep a sense of humor.”

Shawn P. O’Grady is president, Sales and Channel Development and senior vice president of General Mills. He leads the function responsible for all U.S. retail sales and brands on the go. Shawn joined General Mills in 1990. His appointment as president, U.S. Retail Sales in 2007 was preceded by his innovation in the Consumers Foods Sales division in the Midwest, and his addition of the Club and Discount, Drug and Dollar regions in 2006. He became senior vice president in 2010, and assumed his current role in June, 2012. Shawn graduated from the University of Notre Dame with honors and a BS in chemical engineering, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Westport on his father, George’s side and Donegal on his mother, Maggie’s, he says, “I was taught early on that there were two types of people – the Irish, and those who wish they were. Being Irish has always been a blessing to me.” Shawn and his wife, Becky, live in Minneapolis with their two children, Jack and Mary.

Christopher D. O’Leary is executive vice president and COO International at General Mills. Chris spent 17 years at PepsiCo, Inc. before joining General Mills in 1997 as vice president, Corporate Growth. In 1999, he was elected a General Mills senior vice president and named president of the Betty Crocker Division. He then held the position of president of the Meals Division from 2001 to 2006, and was assigned to his current role in June 2006. Chris is a director of TDS Telecom Inc., and co-chairman of the World Economic Forum Consumer Steering Board Committee. Chris, who received his BA in marketing from Pace University and his MBA from New York University, is a second-generation Irish American on his father’s side, with family from Co. Leitrim. He describes his Irish heritage as very important and says it keeps the memory of his father close. “While born in N.Y., my father lived in Ireland from ages 3 to 12. He was very proud to be Irish, and holding onto my Irish heritage keeps me close to him as he is no longer of this world.” Chris and his wife, Julie, have four children, Kevin, John Patrick, Lexi and Joe, and reside in Edina, Minnesota.



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Discovery Communications

Zenith Technologies

Navillus Contracting

Eileen O’Neill is group president for Discovery, TLC and Discovery Fit & Health networks. She was previously president and general manager of TLC. Prior to assuming responsibility for TLC in 2008, she was president of Planet Green and general manager of Discovery Health. Under Eileen’s leadership, in 2011 Discovery marked its best year ever with male viewers ages 2454, with hit series Moonshiners and Gold Rush. The network also aired acclaimed specials such as The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero, executive produced by Stephen Spielberg. In 2012, Discovery celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Shark Week programming. With TLC, Eileen has overseen the launches of series including Breaking Amish, Honey Boo Boo, AllAmerican Muslim and Sister Wives. She has been recognized in Hollywood Reporter’s 2012 “Reality Power List” and Vanity Fair, among other publications. A homegrown talent, Eileen started at Discovery as an unpaid intern while earning a graduate degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University. She is a third-generation Irish American with relatives from Kerry, Cork and Galway.

Brendan O’Regan is CEO of Zenith Technologies, a privately owned company he established in 1998. The company now employs over 375 people across the world, and has offices in Dublin, the UK, India, China, Singapore and the US, with global headquarters in Cork. Zenith offers services in systems integration, site services, MES and professional secondments for the global process automation and manufacturing execution system markets. Brendan, a native of Co. Cork, who was a finalist in the 2008 Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year awards, has a diploma in instrument physics from Cork Institute of Technology. He is a mentor in the Endeavor Program, which is geared toward nurturing up-and-coming entrepreneurs. He and his wife, Dorothy, have a daughter, Dara. Brendan chose a John O’Donohue quote to describe what it means to be Irish: “Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”

A native of Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Donal O’Sullivan immigrated to the U.S. in 1984 in search of work in construction. Today, he is the president and co-owner of Navillus Contracting, which he founded with his sister Helen and his brothers Kevin and Leonard. Navillus, one of the largest union contractors in NYC, has been contributing to the city skyline for the last 25 years. It has been Donal’s honor to have Navillus involved with building the 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center, and to aid in rebuilding Rockaway after Hurricane Sandy. Donal is a supporter of the Irish Arts Center and the GAA. He is a member of the Kerryman’s Patriotic & Benevolent Association, the Kerry Football Club of NY, and serves on the board of Haven US, an extension of Haven Partnership, an Irish nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunity and building homes in Haiti. The US Friends of Maynooth College recognized him as Honoree of the Year 2012. Donal and his wife, Kathleen, have six children, Jack, Donal, Katie, Caroline, Michael and Kelly. He frequently returns to Ireland to visit his mother, Teresa, and connect with his roots.




Freeport-McMoRan, Inc.

American Management Assoc.

WL Ross & Co. LLC / Invesco

Kathleen L. Quirk has served as chief financial officer and treasurer of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) since December, 2003. FCX is the world’s largest publicly owned copper producer. She joined Freeport-McMoRan in 1989 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in tax, investor relations, treasury, corporate finance and business development. Following Freeport-McMoRan’s acquisition of Phelps Dodge Corporation in 2007, she was named executive vice president. In each of the past three years, she was named the Best CFO in Metals and Mining by Institutional Investor magazine. Kathleen holds a BS in accounting from Louisiana State University and is a member of the board of directors of the Valley of the Sun United Way. With roots in Co. Galway, Kathleen says of her Irish heritage, “As a native of New Orleans, and a third-generation Irish American, I am a beneficiary of the wonderful Irish culture and tradition that the many Irish immigrants brought to the city in the 1800s. The immigrants were industrious and fun loving, and made a lasting contribution to the city’s unique culture.”

Since 2001, Edward T. Reilly has been the 17th president and CEO of the American Management Association. AMA is the world’s leading not-forprofit membership-based management development, research and publishing organization. Ed previously served as president and CEO of Big Flower Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of integrated marketing and advertising services. Prior to that, Ed spent 30 years with the broadcasting and book publishing groups of the McGraw-Hill Companies. Ed holds a BA in business administration from St. Francis College and attended the Stanford Executive Program. He serves as the following: member of the North American Advisory Board of the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business; immediate past chairman of the USO World Headquarters board of governors; co-chairman of the USO Operation Enduring Care Campaign; fellow of the International Academy of Management; member of the U.S. Advisory Board of IESE Business School, Barcelona. A fourth-generation Irish American, he resides in Westport, CT, with his wife, Susan. Ed has roots in Cavan on his father’s side and Limerick on his mother’s.

Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. is CEO and chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, and member of the Office of the Chairman and Investment Committee of Invesco. An industry leader in bankruptcy, restructuring and privatization services, he is one of the leading financial advisors and investors to have been involved in some of the largest bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings. He has assisted in restructuring more than $200 billion of corporate liabilities. Wilbur was executive managing director of Rothschild Inc. for 24 years before acquiring that firm’s private equity partnerships in 2000. He holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard University and an AB from Yale University, which recognized him with the Yale Leadership award in 2009. WL Ross & Co. is a large investor in Bank of Ireland. A fourth-generation Irish American through his mother, Agnes O’Neill, Wilbur was honored by the American Ireland Fund in 2011. Of his link to Ireland, Wilbur says, “Resiliency is a major irish trait that is very important to me as an investor in distressed companies.” He has two daughters, Amanda and Jessica, and is married to Hilary Geary Ross.


We Applaud You KPMG LLP would like to congratulate all the Irish America 2012 Business 100 honorees. In particular, we are proud to recognize and commend our KPMG Partners: Shaun T. Kelly Vice Chairman, Operations John M. Farrell Partner, Advisory Daniel J. Doherty Partner, Advisory Shaun, John and Dan, your professional excellence, community involvement, and ability to think beyond borders are an inspiration to us all.

© 2012 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. The KPMG name, logo and “cutting through complexity” are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. NDPPS 133617

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BNY Mellon

CIE Tours International

Brian Ruane is a member of the Executive Committee for Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, and a member of BNY Mellon’s Operating Committee. He is responsible for Broker-Dealer Services, U.S. Tri-Party Services, Derivatives Clearing and co-leads Pershing Prime Services. Prior to his current role, Brian was CEO of BNY Mellon’s Alternative Investment and Broker-Dealer Services. He was previously head of Global Client Management in North America. He served on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Working Committee on The Future of The U.S. Government Securities Markets. Brian is a member of the board of directors of BNY Mellon Clearing International Limited, and BNY Mellon’s Sovereign Wealth Advisory Group. He is also a member of the advisory board of The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business and The Frank G. Zarb School of Business, from which he received an MBA in international finance. Born in the U.S. and raised in Ireland, Brian is also a graduate of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in the UK and Ireland.

Brian W. Stack is managing director of CIE Tours International, one of the largest producers of tourists to Ireland, Scotland, and many other areas of Europe. 2012 marks the 80th anniversary of CIE, and is also the company’s most successful year to date. Prior to joining CIE, Brian worked with Aer Lingus, The Irish Tourist Board, and Ocean Reef Club in Florida. Brian has served as chairman of the United States Tour Operators Association, was president of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives, is vice chairman of the Irish American Cultural Institute and is currently vice president of the Ireland-U.S. Council for Commerce and Industry. His awards also include “Man of the Year” from the Incentive Travel Industry and “International Executive of the Year” by the World Congress on Marketing and Incentive Travel, in addition to being honored in the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America. A resident of Rye, New York, Brian is married to Anne-Marie and has two grown children. He is a Dublin native.

Hibernia Management Consulting




Disney Media Networks

Relativity Media

Frontier Communications

As co-chairman of Media Networks, The Walt Disney Co., and president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, Anne Sweeney has risen through the ranks of television and was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune and one of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes. Anne is a recipient of the Cable Television Public Affairs Association’s President’s Award, the Golden Mike Award for Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and the Matrix Award for television from New York Women in Communications, Inc. Anne was elected director of the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2001. In 2007, she was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame. She has received the Committee of 200’s Luminary Award, and in October of 2011 became the first female executive in history to receive MIPCOM’s Personality of the Year honor. Anne, who earned a BA from the College of New Rochelle and an EdM from Harvard, traces her roots to Meath, Kerry and Mayo.

Tucker Tooley serves as president, Relativity Media, overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations, its business divisions, personnel, and theatrical motion picture film slate. Joining Relativity in 2007 as president, Worldwide Production, Tucker was integral in transitioning the company’s Single Picture Films division into a full-fledged studio. His credits as executive producer include the 3-d adventure Immortals, the paranoia-thriller Limitless, the Oscar-nominated The Fighter and the box office hit Dear John. Previously, Tucker served as CEO of Tooley Productions. In 1999, he established Newman/ Tooley Films, with then-producing partner Vincent Newman. A UC Santa Barbara graduate, Tucker began his career as a creative executive at Interlight Pictures. “The Irish are some of the best story tellers in the world,” he says. “Being of Irish heritage and in the entertainment business, I feel a sense of responsibility to tell stories that will enlighten and endure the test of time.” Tucker is a fifth-generation Irish American with roots in Carrignamuck Knockamara, County Wicklow. He and his wife, Tessa, welcomed their first child in November.

Maggie Wilderotter has been chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications, a Fortune 500 company, since 2006, having joined it in 2004 as president, CEO and a member of the board. Before this, she was SVP of Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft. Maggie chairs the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and serves on the boards of Xerox and Procter & Gamble, as well as a number of non-profits focused on mentoring and supporting women entrepreneurs. She has been included in Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for the past four years and in 2011 the Financial Times named her one of “The Top 50 Women in World Business.” A third-generation Irish American with roots in Mayo and Cork, Maggie was born in Neptune, NJ, to Dennis Sullivan and Connie Shields. She says, “My Irish heritage has given me great gifts: faith, intuition, humor and a strong work ethic, the love of a good story and a deep laugh, and above all, gratitude.” Maggie earned a BA in economics from the College of the Holy Cross. She and her husband, Jay, have two sons, Christopher and Daniel.


Ted M. Sullivan serves as a principal with Hibernia Management Consulting (HMC). With more than 18 years experience focusing on strategy and operational consulting, he is responsible for servicing Fortune 500 multinational clients within the entertainment and media industry. Prior to cofounding HMC, he was a managing director within KPMG’s Entertainment and Media Practice. Ted traces his mother’s ancestors to Co. Tyrone, and his father’s to Co. Cork. He is a founding member of the Metro Atlanta Police Emerald Society and has served as the Georgia president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He has served twice as parade chairman of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade and was the parade’s honorary Grand Marshal in 2005. Ted visits Ireland every year to reconnect with friends in Navan, Cork, and the North of Ireland, where he has participated in various political forums. He holds a BS in finance from Troy State University. Ted and his wife, Sara, reside in Atlanta with their daughter, Mary Lois.


Teneo is proud to support the

Irish America Business 100 and congratulates all of this year's honorees.


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The Hibernian Legacy of the

Giants Baseball Team This year the San Francisco Giants won their second World Series in three years. Not since the days of John McGraw and their Irish heyday have the Giants enjoyed such post-season success. Jerrold Casway traces the history of the team. o appreciate the legacy of the San Francisco Giants we have to return to their New York beginnings and the ballplayers who made it all possible. The story begins in 1880 when a prosperous tobacco merchant, John B. Day, began to look at baseball as a good investment. With the support of his Tammany Hall associates, John B. and his brother-in law, Joseph Gordon, formed the Metropolitan Exhibition Company “MEC,” and bought the Metropolitans, a local independent ball club. John B. hired Jim Mutrie, an experienced field captain, to manage the team, which played on the polo fields, a tract of land owned by New York Herald pub-



lisher James Gordon Bennett, between West 110th-112th Streets across from Central Park. The Metropolitans were invited to join the National League in 1882, having achieved much success under Mutrie’s stewardship. But as the team was making good money off home crowds and exhibition games with National League players, John B. did not take up the offer. However, never one to pass up a business opportunity, he decided to form a new team, the Gothams, later known as the Giants, and he set about recruiting players from the defunct Troy franchise, which had been eliminated from the National League to make room for new franchises in New York City and Philadelphia. All images courtesy of The Library of Congress



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Both teams shared Bennett’s polo grounds. The site was awkwardly divided: separated by a canvas curtain into the eastern field, the Gothams’ site, and the western field, held by the Metropolitans. The Metropolitans won the inaugural American Association pennant in 1884,

Left: Polo Grounds 1913 World Series. Above: 7/11/13: New York Giants Opening Day line-up at the Polo Grounds: Fred Snodgrass, Tillie Shafer, George Burns, Larry Doyle, Red Murray, Fred Merkle, Buck Herzog, Chief Meyers. Below, but John B. decided to Metropolitans were no left to right: Manager unload the team. He more. The Giants Jim Mutrie, Buck Ewing, believed he could make opened the New Year at Roger Conner and more money out of his the St. George’s Cricket Tim Keefe.

National League team. He shifted manager Mutrie to the Gothams. He also poached pitcher Tim Keefe and infielder “Dude” Esterbrook from the Metropolitans. These machinations strengthened the Gothams, who were led by Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch on the mound, and Roger Connor, Buck Ewing, John Montgomery Ward, and Jim O’Rourke on offense. Mutrie was so impressed with the team that he spoke of his players as “my Giants.” (The Gothams were called the “Giants” in 1885, but it wasn’t until 1886 that they had a full season known as the Giants.) After the 1888 season the original polo grounds and the

Ground on Staten Island. The pavilions there had a panoramic view of New York Harbor and were leased from the same person who ran the ferry system. But Mutrie and his Giants wanted to return to uptown Manhattan. The construction of a new ball field soon began near the terminus of the Ninth Avenue elevated train. This ball park, Polo Grounds II, was located below the lofty site known as Coogan’s Bluff, a large cliff extending northward from 155th Street, owned by James J. Coogan a real estate merchant who also happened to be the Manhattan Borough President. During the Players’ League strike season of 1890 a competing ball park was built adjacent to Polo Grounds II, at the northern part of Coogan’s Bluff, known as “the Hollow.” Only a narrow alley separated the two ball fields. When the Players’ League disbanded in 1891, the National League Giants took over their DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 87



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“Give me a good Irish infield and I will show you a good team. I don’t mean it is necessary to have them all Irish, but you want two quick-thinking Celts to keep the Germans and [other players] moving.” - Bill Joyce, the Giants manager in the late 1890s.

Clockwise from above: Ned Hanlon who managed the Baltimore Orioles in the 1890s. Giants’ ballboy and mascot Dick Hennessy in 1913; Roger Bresnahan known as the “Duke of Tralee”, and Christy Mathewson.

park and renamed it Polo Grounds III. (In 1893 John B. sold the Giants franchise to Cornelius C. Van Cott, though he returned briefly to manage the team in 1899.) On April 14, 1911 a fire destroyed most of the grandstand seating, which was replaced by concrete and steel, and the grounds re-opened on June 28, 1911. The team tried to change the name to Brush Stadium for their new owner, John T. Brush, but the name did not stick The Giants remained at this site, Polo Grounds IV, for forty-six years. The Giants’ tenure in New York can be divided into three eras, each distinguished by the ethnicity of its players. The first two eras encompassed the 1883-1902 seasons. When John B. Day operated two franchises in 1883 to 1887, the dominant ethnic group was Irish-American players. Fortyeight percent of the Gotham roster and thirty-two percent of the Metropolitan players were of Irish descent. In the 18881902 period, forty-nine percent of the Giants were Irish. These seasons saw the Giants win league championships in 1888, 1889 and 1894. Those teams were com88 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

posed of pitchers such as “Smiling Mickey” Welch, Tim Keefe and the “Hoosier Fireball” Amos Rusie. Their offense was built around the slugging of Roger Connor, Buck Ewing, John Ward, James O’Rourke and Mike Tiernan. (Ewing and Ward had Irish mothers.) The next major era was under the legendary John McGraw. He came over from the American League Orioles of Baltimore and managed the Giants from 1902 to 1932. He won ten pennants and three World Series: 1905, 1921, and 1922. His most dominant eras were 1904-1905, 1911-1913 and 1921-1924. In his early years from 1903 to 1920, thirty-six percent of his players were of Irish extraction. Roger Bresnahan, nicknamed “The Duke of Tralee,” Joe McGinnity, “Turkey” Mike Donlin and “Laughing

Larry” Doyle were his most dominant stars behind the great Christy Mathewson. The Giants won the 1905 World Series over the Philadelphia Athletics, but the A’s, managed by Connie Mack, went on to defeat the Giants in the 1911 and 1913 Series with Irish players such as Eddie Collins (second base), Jack Barry (shortstop), John “Stuffy” McInnis on first base, and outfielder Danny Murphy. In McGraw’s remaining managerial years, the roster of Irish players on his Giants was at nineteen percent. These years were dominated by players of different ethnicities — Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Freddie Lindstrom, Frankie Frisch, and Carl Hubbell. Nevertheless, George Kelly, Freddy Fitzsimmons, Lefty O’Doul and Emil “Irish” Meusel made their contributions. McGraw, who enjoyed great success as a player before becoming a manager, was a protégé of Ned Hanlon who managed the Orioles of Baltimore during their championship years in the 1890s.



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Clockwise starting above: McGraw and Pat Moran, manager, Philadelphia NL, (1916); Frank “Leftie” O’Doul; George L. "Highpockets" Kelly (1920); Freddy Fitzsimmons; Mike Donlin; Libeus "Libe" Washburn, Richard William "Rube" Marquard, and Mike Donlin examining a baseball (1908).




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Playing what was said to be Irish-style baseball, Hanlon and McGraw promoted smart take-charge and aggressive ball playing. They intimidated umpires and players with “disorganizing baseball.” Bill Joyce, the Giants’ manager in the late 1890s declared, “Give me a good Irish infield and I will show you a good team. I don’t mean it is necessary to have them all Irish, but you want two quick-thinking Celts to keep the Germans and [other players] moving.” For a good many of McGraw’s years he followed what Hanlon’s Irish Orioles – Hugh Jennings, Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley. Jack Doyle and Jimmy Donnelly – put into practice. After McGraw’s departure, he handed over the team to Bill Terry in 1932 The

Clockwise: Babe Ruth and John McGraw. Boxer Jim Corbett (center) and Blossom Seeley (wife of Rube Marquard) at Game One of the 1913 World Series at the Polo Grounds New John Mize and Carl York. “Laughing Larry” Hubbell were replaced Doyle sliding into first by Willie Mays, Monte base (1905).

Giants won the World Series in 1933, and won four more National League championships – 1936, 1937, 1951 and 1954. It wasn’t until their last effort in 1954 that the New York Giants won their final 90 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

World Series. They finished playing in New York in 1957. During this postMcGraw era the east coast Giants were led by German and later by AfricanAmerican and Hispanic players. Mel Ott,

Irvin, Hank Thompson, Willie Kirkland and Bill White and then by Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Alou and Ruben Gomez. The Giants finished playing in New York in 1957. The Polo Grounds was closed in December 1963 and demolished a few months later. It was replaced by the Polo Ground Towers, a public housing project. Once the team relocated to the west coast a new chapter in Giants’ history was written. Despite three National League titles, the San Francisco Giants had to wait until 2010 for their next World Championship. After a disappointing 2011 season the team captured the 2012 series.Whatever the future has in store for these new “Giants on the Bay,” it will be built on a long-winning ethnic tradition of IA its ballplayers.



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Ed Burns’


Family Christmas Ed Burns and Connie Britton in The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Opposite page: Ed Burns

The Hollywood actor, director, writer and producer returns to his Irish roots with his latest movie. By Tom Deignan


irst things first: Actor and filmmaker Ed Burns is well known as a Long Island native, and when we spoke about his latest film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, it had been only two weeks since Hurricane Sandy upended lives across New York and New Jersey. “My immediate family is okay,” Burns said. “They lost power but that’s all.” Burns has cousins, however, who live in the Long Beach section of Long Island, including one whose home was so damaged it “looks like it might be condemned.” Members of Burns’ family who were displaced by the storm ended up staying at his parents’ home in Rockville Centre. Perhaps none of this should be all that surprising. Burns shot to stardom exploring tight-knit Irish American families and the ties that bind — and occasionally threaten to choke — them. Earlier films such as The Brothers


McMullen and She’s the One explored the fine line between family as a support system and family as the thing that requires you to find a new, much more sane and stable support system. These films were also among the more honest and authentic portraits of Irish Catholic life in American movie history. (Burns’ own parents, Ed Sr. and Molly, have roots in Cork and Westmeath.)

A Christmas Surprise The Fitzgerald Family Christmas explores a decidedly darker side of family ties. Burns stars as Gerry Fitzgerald, a Long Islander whose mother, brothers and sisters do not realize he is about to spring a big Christmas surprise on them. Gerry has discovered that the Fitzgeralds’ long-gone father (Ed Lauter) is dying and wants to spend one last holiday with his family. The matriarch of the Fitzgerald clan, Rose (Anita Gillette), wants no part of her former husband and

can’t understand why Gerry is even considering the unlikely reunion. Meanwhile, several of the Fitzgerald siblings (including Kerry Bishé and Mike McGlone), are dealing with their own messy, complicated lives. Along the way, Gerry finds himself unexpectedly falling in love. As the holiday approaches, several simmering conflicts boil over, new problems are created, and all of the Fitzgeralds need to come to terms with the past and the present. Though he was the product of a famously supportive family — Burns’ dad is a retired New York Police Department sergeant, and his brother Brian is a writer on the CBS TV show Blue Bloods — the filmmaker says The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is his most personal film. “With any movie you make you’re going to draw from folks you know and the experiences you have,” said Burns. But he adds, “I’ve always made a point



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of not hitting too close to home.” Burns continues: “Some plot points in this film are not from my life.” But he adds that many smaller moments and even actual lines of dialogue, came directly from personal experiences.

role as the deeply flawed father who gave every member of the Fitzgerald family a reason to despise him.

Burns also drew inspiration from the fact that The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is itself a kind of family reunion. The cast

Burns’ 2011 film Newlyweds), as well as Malachy McCourt, who played a chauffeur in Burns 1996 film She’s the One. This time around, the beloved raconteur and outspoken critic of religion plays — you guessed it — the Fitzgerald family priest. Broadway veteran Brian D’Arcy James also stars, though the best performances in the film probably belong to the Fitzgerald parents: Anita Gillette and

is not only brilliant, but most have a long working history with Burns. Mike McGlone starred alongside Burns in The Brothers McMullen. So did the luminous Connie Britton, who went on to star in the brilliant TV series Friday Night Lights and can currently be seen on the ABC musical drama Nashville. Naturally, there’s no shortage of Irish talent in Burns’ latest movie. There’s Caitlin Fitzgerald (who appeared in

Ed Lauter. Gillette plays Rosie Fitzgerald as equal parts loving and stubborn, and compelled the New York Daily News to dub her performance “Oscarworthy.” Meanwhile, Ed Lauter is one of those character actors who quietly made a dozen movies better. Best known for a key role in The Longest Yard, as well as a string of 1980s films in which he played the hard-ass authority figure, Lauter brings a poignancy and complexity to his

At a Crossroads

A Film Family Reunion

Irish American Authenticity From the cast to the shooting locations, Burns went to great lengths to capture a level of Irish American workingclass authenticity. “The Brothers McMullen, we shot that in the house I grew up in,” recalls Burns. “As I was writing this I was drawing from a lot of my recollections and memories, and I was imagining the bars that I hung out in, the kitchens and living rooms I grew up in.” For this film, he settled on another Irish American home, that of the Costello family, located on the same block. “Shooting in a dining room that I can remember sitting in with my family was very surreal, but it was also an exciting experience.” Burns continues to stay very busy in front of the camera. He has starred in films from Saving Private Ryan to 27 Dresses, and in 2012 he appeared in two films — Alex Cross and Man on a Ledge — as well as The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. It was while shooting Alex Cross that co-star Tyler Perry offered Burns some important advice. Perry has become a superstar making the “Madea” movies, which have a strong, devoted fan following. He suggested Burns return to the Irish American setting he’d mined so successfully in The Brothers McMullen and She’s the One. Burns had also explored Irish characters in subsequent films, from Ash Wednesday to Purple Violets. But he acknowledges that the audience reception to these films was not as strong as earlier ones. “I was at a real crossroads,” Burns admits. “I flirted with the idea of becoming a director-for-hire or writing biggerbudget stuff.” DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 93



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tion, Burns is also wading into another well-worn genre: the Christmas movie. “There are two types of Christmas movies,” notes Burns. “There are the ones that are goofy fun...and then there are movies like It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey has to cover a lot of tough ground to get to that emotional payoff. There are plenty of laughs but it’s also about all that tough stuff that comes up during the holidays.” Shocking as it may seem, the 20th

However, several projects along these lines were not getting off the ground. It didn’t help that the film business had radically transformed since Burns burst onto the scene in 1995. “In the mid-90s, I was lucky enough to be part of that movement where you could make a no-budget movie,” notes Burns. “Then, something happened around 2006.” One major change, Burns said, is the amount of high-quality television shows


Left: Ed Lauter and Michael McGlone. Below: Kerry Bishé and Noah Emmerich in The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.

“Did you make this movie because you wanted to be famous in Hollywood? Or did you do it because this is the thing you need to do?” available as an alternative to a pricey night at the movie theater. From 24 to The Sopranos, audiences in search of quality entertainment had more reasons to stay home. This forced Burns to rethink the type of filmmaker he wanted to be. After yet another “depressing meeting,” he decided to embrace his own past as well as the cinematic future. Burns has returned to what he calls the “Brothers McMullen production model”: shooting with low budgets, on location, often without permits. He is also using new forms of technology and distribution. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, for example, is already available on demand and for download on iTunes, 94 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

before it hits theaters in New York City on December 7.

Opening the Floodgates When Tyler Perry offered his suggestion, Burns said he immediately went off to his trailer and began writing The Fitzgerald Family Christmas. “It was like opening the floodgates,” he says. Why had Burns avoided returning to the Irish American setting? “Other things came up (but) I don’t have a real good explanation for why I hadn’t gone back to it.” Aside from the Irish American tradi-

anniversary of The Brothers McMullen is looming. And, yes, Burns is still slowly putting together a sequel. When not working, Burns spends time with his supermodel wife Christy Turlington and his two children, Grace and Finn. (Ed’s brother Brian is married to Christy’s sister, Kelly.) Ed says he also gets to Ireland every couple of years, most recently for a friend’s wedding. “I’m always looking for an excuse to go over.” Whenever the movie business seems tough, Burns recalls a supportive talk his dad gave him at a particular low point, when Burns was still trying to sell The Brothers McMullen. “I was pissing and moaning about why no one in Hollywood was interested. And he said to me: ‘Did you make this movie because you wanted to be famous in Hollywood? Or did you do it because this is the thing you need to do?’” Two decades later, it is still the thing Ed Burns needs to do. It just so happens that, along the way, he also got famous in IA Hollywood.

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Clockwise from left: Sheila and Tara. A view of traffic from the front seat of our CIE bus. The vista from Valentia Island in Co. Kerry. A young boy poses for photos on the Ring of Kerry. A rainbow appeared on our last day in Dublin. The Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin’s Merrion Square. The infamous Durty Nelly’s. Bunratty Castle. J90 performing in Killarney. A monument to St. Brendan the Navigator near Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry.

on a

Girls B

In August, Irish America’s Tara Dougherty and Sheila Langan went on CIE’s Taste An Irish American’s First Time in Ireland: Tara Perhaps the sentiment you hear most about Ireland is just how nice the people are. For years I’d heard it, that the most striking element of the country was the warmth of its people. It may be my own cynical New York mindset but I couldn’t help but think, “How nice could they really be?” After the trip, I was singing the same tune as all those I’d known. Having grown up a competitive Irish dancer and later studying Irish literature, music, history and language in college, it seems like part of me has always been in Ireland. So much of the music and culture of Ireland has been an integral part of my life and identity that it felt almost strange to be visiting the source of it all for the first time. Ireland has always had a mystical quality for me, and to say that my expectations were high would be quite the understatement. I was not disappointed.

Seeing Ireland Differently: Sheila From ages one to fourteen, a trip to Ireland in August was part of my yearly 96 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

itinerary. My granny’s birthday was on the 1st, and that cause for celebration, combined with the prospect of 9:00 pm twilights, would bring my relatives back to Ireland, to Kerry, in droves. Days were slow and lazy – I was stubborn about adjusting from jet lag, preferring to wake at noon and go to sleep after midnight. We visited neighbors, packed blankets and banana sandwiches for a day on the beach at Banna Strand. Nights were spent sitting together by the fire, eating Irish apple pie (tart, with whole cloves) and playing rounds of Old Maid and ThirtyOne. My last August visit to Ireland had been in 2008 – a heavy and strange time to be there, due to the impending financial bust – when I spent two weeks with family in Naas and Dublin before starting a busy semester at Trinity. This – being with family – is what Ireland in August has always meant to me, and it’s a hard memory to live up to. But when presented with the chance to return with the CIE Taste of Ireland Tour, I leapt. This would be a trip on different terms and from different eyes. For the first time I would be seeing Ireland not as a daughter or granddaughter, or as a student, but as a tourist. And instead of nestled with my

own, I would be part of a 30-person CIE tour bus family as we rolled through countryside from Dublin to Kerry and back again.

Seeing the Sights The trip began with a 5:00 am landing at Dublin Airport. Exhausted from the time change and a mostly sleepless flight, we spent the first day touring Ireland’s capital in a daze. The absolutely wonderful thing about a bus tour, though, is the luxury it affords you to sit back, relax, and let yourself be ferried from place to place – your only responsibilities are to be on time and take it all in. So it was all right that our first few hours on Irish soil were a pleasant blur of St. Stephen’s Green, O’Connell Street, Dublin Castle, the cheekily lounging Oscar Wilde statue and the Merry Ploughboys Pub in Rathfarnham. The following morning we traveled south and west, stopping to take in the Rock of Cashel and to give the Blarney Stone its customary kiss before arriving in the lovely Co. Kerry town of Killarney, where we would be spending two nights. The third and fourth days took us through the hills, valleys and seaside cliffs of the Munster landscape, then

of Ire



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s Bus aste

of Ireland Tour. It was a trip not soon to be forgotten. across the River Shannon via car ferry and on to Bunratty Castle and Folk Village. The final day was spent returning to Dublin after an all-too-brief stop in beautiful Connemara and Galway City. Of course, this was all made possible by our wonderful guide and driver, Pat Smith from Kells, Co. Mayo, who made navigating a 30-person bus around hairbend turns while giving a lecture on Irish history seem like the easiest thing in the world. Pat was brimming with wonderful suggestions, facts and stories. He was also the model of patience and understanding, thoughtfully answering any question, including, on the third day, a few about when we were going to see the Ring of Kerry – when we had already been on the famous road for a few hours. “The Ring of Kerry is not a physical ring, if you like,” he cheerfully explained over the bus’ sound system. “It’s a driving route, and we’re on it.”

Making Friends: Our first of two nights in Killarney was the most Irish night of our stay as far as the weather was concerned. We wandered the streets through a downpour, shoes soaked, umbrellas snapping in the wind, just trying

to find the perfect pub to hear some music and get a feel for the town. There are over 50 pubs in Killarney, which is not very big, so it wasn’t as though we were lacking in options. Dodging a tourist trap or two, we settled on a smaller pub, the Dunloe Lodge, drawn in by the lively tunes of a few men on guitar, fiddle and button accordion. Unfortunately, just as we arrived they were wrapping up their music seisún. Seeing some stylishly dressed ladies around our age who had been enthusiastically singing and dancing to “The Fields of Athenry,” we decided to take a chance on asking for a recommendation. We only got as far as, “We’re not from around here and we’re looking for…” before we were instantly adopted. “You’re coming with us!” they declared, and with that a few girls visiting Killarney from Galway City became our personal social tour guides for the evening. They swept us up Plunkett Street and down Main Street to Sheehan’s at the Killarney Grand. Inside, we did not find the absorbing seisún we had been looking for, but we did find, performing live, a group called J90, who turned out to be the best top-40 cover band either of us had ever heard. Even



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though they were performing contemporary hits, it was unlike anything you would see in the U.S. – especially on a Monday night. They were a modern-day equivalent of what the showbands of the ’50s and ’60s must have been, and, judging by the crowd and by the praise of Neill, a farmer who drives into Killarney every Monday to see them perform, just as popular. The resounding lesson of the night was a valuable one, especially for a pair of slightly guarded New Yorkers with exacting expectations: if you go traipsing around dead-set on finding the authentic Irish experience, chances are you’re not going to find it. Better to take it all in, talk to people and enjoy what’s really going on.

Finding Roots The CIE Tour gave us the unique experience of interacting daily with a large group of fellow tourists. While this may not sound appealing to everyone, there is no quicker way to learn about the sheer magnetism of Ireland; the pull it has on so many people from different places and of different ages. We shared a few meals with our fellow CIE-ers, told our own stories and heard many more, and the theme of our conversations seemed to always harken back to family. Of the thirty or so on our tour, we were just about the only ones traveling without a relative. Two older couples from the Midwest were making the trip together – an epic double date by any standards. Chuck and Katie Cavanaugh, a father and daughter from Connecticut, were celebrating her high school graduation, and the Bachmans, a mother and her two daughters from New York, had also come to Ireland to celebrate the younger girl’s commencement. We could see these groups bonding with each other and with Ireland itself. Another mother and daughter by the name of O’Brien, visiting from Florida, were excited to encounter the popular O’Brien’s chain of sandwich and coffee shops, and were even more delighted to learn that Bunratty Castle (which we visited on our fourth night) had been owned by the O’Brien clan. “We’re royalty!” they exclaimed. The stories and connections went on and on in our bus full of families. Along the road we encountered another CIE group of over 30 brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins on a family reunion through Ireland and Scotland. They were on a quest to find a connection to their roots, but more 98 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

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Photos: A harpist at the Cliffs of Moher. Ambrose Joyce, Sr. and Kim Clemons at the Connemara Marble Factory. Farmer Brendan Ferris does his sheep herding demonstration. A roadside view of the Rock of Cashel, which is being renovated. The stunning Cliffs of Moher. The gardens and grounds of Blarney Castle.

importantly, it seemed, to renew their connections with each other. Even for those on our tour with no Irish roots, there was one moment in particular that made it difficult not to feel the pull of the ancestors. On the trip headed back towards Dublin from the west, we stopped for a brief visit to the family-owned Connemara Marble Factory in Moycullen, just eight miles from Galway City. Ambrose Joyce, Jr. welcomed us with a brief tour of the factory and delineated for us the types of Connemara marble. He showcased million-year-old slabs that varied in color from vibrant greens to lush pinks, some with full aquatic scenes imprinted from ages ago. Connemara marble can be found all over the world, from the floor of Galway Cathedral to the walls of the Senate Chamber of the State Capital Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania As Ambrose’s tour ended we were free to wander the gift shop and take a closer look at some of the factory equipment. Kim Clemons, a woman on our tour from Mattydale, NY, approached Ambrose with a question about her ring. She asked if the stone, an heirloom from her grandmother, might be the same Connemara marble. To all of our surprise, Ambrose affirmed her theory and brought Kim over to meet his father, Ambrose Sr. To Kim’s shock and delight, Ambrose Sr. not only confirmed that the ring had been made in that very factory, but that he himself had cut the stone decades before. Kim had stumbled upon an almost unbelievable coincidence, and we couldn’t help but be moved to see the same man who had cut the ring for a grandmother clean up and polish the stone once again for her granddaughter.

Something for Everyone For such a small country, Ireland really does offer something for everyone. Accordingly, so did our tour. For history buffs, there was time to see the sights of Dublin and Galway and, at the Skellig Experience museum, learn the fascinating history of Skellig Michael, the forbidding rocky outcrop off the coast of Kerry where a determined order of monks erected a monastery in the 6th century.

For those who wanted to sit back and take it easy, there was ample time for tea and scones before roaring fireplaces. And for those wanting to connect with the land, there were plenty of opportunities to explore the green fields and stunning vistas, and a memorable sheep herding demonstration by Kerry farmer Brendan Ferris, who had trained each of his dogs to respond to a specific whistle. “Now you know that your dogs can hear you,” he told the amazed audience after the sheepdog trials were over. “It’s just that they aren’t listening.” The main attraction, of course, was the landscape, which, no matter what the weather, was amazing each day. After the Giant’s Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher are probably the most mentioned, photographed and visited geological attraction on the island of Ireland. And after just two hours of gaping at them on the fourth day of the tour, we completely understood why. When we disembarked from the bus, we were greeted by the sight of a few hundred visitors ambling up the sloping cliffs while complacent cows resting in the nearby fields looked on. Wooden signs asked us to stay within the bounds of fences so low they seemed to know they were futile, as tourist after tourist hopped over and continued on the wellworn path along the cliff’s edge. We would have kept walking and staring, staring and walking, for hours had Pat and the rest of the crew not been waiting. The best night of the tour turned out to be the one for which we had the lowest expectations. Our home for the fourth night was Bunratty Castle and Folk Village, in Co. Clare, just a short distance from Shannon Airport. The 15th century castle, which has been owned by a number of families, from the O’Briens to the Studderts, is now open to visitors, and hosts a great number each night for a musical, medieval banquet. Our inner children were of course excited, but our adult selves couldn’t help but wonder if



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we were a perhaps a little old for this sort of entertainment. Judging by the expressions of our fellow visitors as we were handed goblets of honey mead and greeted as lords and ladies, we weren’t the only ones with this concern. The man and woman randomly selected to be king and queen for the night looked none too pleased as they were given their crowns and instructed to order the crowd to the banquet hall. We shouldn’t have worried. The hosts, servers and masters of ceremony, who, in addition to moving the evening along were all incredibly talented singers and musicians, as adept at speaking in rhyming couplets as they were performing madrigals, maintained that delicate balance between knowing kitsch and genuine entertainment. By the time the banquet was in full swing, even the oncereticent king was gesturing royally and ordering subjects to the dungeon. Back in the 21st century, we headed over to The Creamery bar to take in a trad seisún, and then to the infamous Durty Nelly’s. One of Ireland’s oldest pubs, Durty Nelly’s is, to say the least, welcoming. Its dark, low-ceilinged first floor was packed with both tourists and locals, a group of whom sat at the center of a large and enthusiastic crowd of singers, taking requests on guitar and piano. These were not your sensitive artist type musicians, they were large, mostly bald, and serious-looking; clearly not guys to be messed with. But they were also adept at playing and totally appreciative of any song people wanted to sing, from trad tunes to “Islands in the Sun” to “New York, New York.” Up until this point, I (Tara) had kept my identity as a musician pretty well under wraps to all our fellow tourists, so what happened next came as a big surprise to me. As the local players finished up a bar-wide sing-a-long of Glen Hansard’s “Falling Slowly,” I felt a hand on my back pushing me up front. Before I knew it, I was face-to-face with the

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burly musicians, who met me with some fairly skeptical expressions, until I asked to borrow one’s guitar. I played the first song that came to my head, an original song I’d written a year or two earlier. Much to my surprise, the rowdy bar was silent a minute into the song. Three songs later, the intimidating, singing Irishmen were wiping tears away and I was back in the crowd shaking hands, exchanging emails and promising to send CDs. However, it really wasn’t until our loquacious tour guide Pat Smith told me, “I’ve been speechless twice in my life and you’ve just made me for the third. These guys are here every couple of nights. I don’t think you have any idea what you’ve done here” that I realized the significance of silencing Durty Nelly’s. It may not be the ten thousand seat stadium some musicians dream of, but it was more than a dream come true for me. I can’t wait to go back. Galway, where we stopped on the last day, on our way back to Dublin, was the place we were the saddest to leave, and where we wished we’d had more time. Dashing off the bus and straight into the city center, we could sense just how alive, interesting and special a community Galway is, and we immediately began making grand plans to return another time for the Galway Arts Festival. After strolling along the Quay and High Street, and the little tributaries of streets branching off, it was time to treat ourselves with stops at Powell & Sons Music and a local book store. In true form, within the two hours we were in Galway the weather went from glorious to absolutely miserable and back again, and we had to spend the majority of the second hour sheltered in a café. But as we reluctantly walked back to the bus, holding a brand new fiddle and a pile of books not yet available in the U.S., respectively, we couldn’t help but feel that we had each found what we were IA looking for. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 99



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Arthur Conan Doyle’s


As Sherlock Holmes fans celebrate the 125th anniversary of the novel in which Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his famous sleuth, Tom Deignan investigates the author’s Irish roots.

he two recent Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law have earned well over one billion dollars worldwide, so it’s no surprise that screenwriters are currently toiling away at another installment of the lucrative franchise. Current Hollywood buzz has it that filming of the third Sherlock Holmes flick will begin sometime next year, with the movie in theaters possibly by Christmas 2014. Sherlock Holmes — who celebrates his 125th birthday this year — shows no signs of slowing down. Author Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation, who first appeared in the 1887 murder mystery novel A Study in Scarlet, has had a long life in books and on radio, in television and stage adaptations, and in the movies. Generations of Sherlock Holmes fans have watched the sleuth, alongside his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, wield his trademark



magnifying glass in order to navigate fog-shrouded British streets, debating theories in plummy accents. The most iconic Holmes, perhaps, is Basil Rathbone, who played the great detective in over a dozen films, and even Robert Downey, Jr. earned raves for his British accent. Though he never really went out of style, Doyle is currently enjoying a renaissance. In addition to the film franchise, consulting detective Holmes is also the subject of two hit television series that give Doyle’s stories a contemporary spin: In Britain, the BBC mini-series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and in the U.S., the new CBS show Elementary, featuring Johnny Lee Miller, Lisa Liu, and Aidan Quinn.

Exploring Irish History Given Sherlock Holmes’ undeniable British pedigree, it may come as a surprise to some that his creator actually comes from a strong Irish Catholic background. Indeed, both the Conan and Doyle families — not to mention the Foleys, on the great writer’s mother’s side — all hail from Dublin. One of Arthur’s uncles, Henry Doyle, was a prominent artist who went on to serve as director of the National Gallery of Ireland. As for Arthur Conan Doyle himself, though best known for creating Sherlock Holmes, he also wrote many stories that explore Irish themes and characters. Perhaps most interesting to Irish Americans is the fourth and final Sherlock Homes novel, The Valley of Fear (1915), which may have been inspired by two notable episodes in Irish history — the rise of the Molly Maguires, the secret organization that sought to improve labor conditions in Pennsylvania in the 1870s, and the Phoenix



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Park murders in Dublin in May of 1882. (Lord Frederick Cavendish, the newly appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Thomas Henry Burke, the Permanent Undersecretary, were fatally stabbed by members of the Irish National Invincibles.) More broadly, Doyle (1859 - 1930) was alive to witness some of the most tumultuous years of Irish political history, from the post-Famine years to the Easter Rising to the Irish Civil War. Doyle actively followed the so-called “Irish question” and corresponded with prominent Irish nationalists such as Erskine Childers and Roger Casement. However, from his fiction to his political positions, Doyle was complicated. For example, despite his strong Irish roots, he once defended British policy in Ireland. So it is fitting that the greatest mystery writer of them all has created quite a mystery about his own past: Precisely how did Arthur Conan Doyle’s Irish background influence his writing?

A Dublin Family

Disraeli and Charles Dickens. John and Marianne gave birth to Arthur Conan Doyle’s father, Charles, in 1832. The great writer’s mother, meanwhile, was born in Dublin. The daughter of a doctor who died young, Mary Foley moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where her mother established a boardinghouse. Charles also had moved to Scotland as a young man. Mary Foley and Charles Doyle married in 1855 and settled in Edinburgh. Doyle himself acknowledged his strong Irish roots in his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures. “I, an Irishman by extraction, was born in the Scottish capital,” Doyle wrote. Of his parents, he said: “Two separate lines of Irish wanderers came together under one roof.”

A Visit to Waterford Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859. He was baptized at St. Mary’s Cathedral and received a Jesuit education into his teenage years, before studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Doyle was only 20 years old when he published his first story in a Scottish journal. As early as 1881, Doyle spent time with family in Ireland, visiting Waterford during a time of agrarian unrest that came to be called “The Land War.” Doyle wrote of his time in Ireland in an essay (with photographs) called “To the Waterford Coast and Along It.” In 1885, Doyle married Louisa Hawkins, and the couple went to Ireland for their honeymoon. Throughout the 1880s, however, Doyle struggled as both a writer and doctor. Patients were not exactly knocking down the door of his practice, and publishers

Opposite page: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Clockwise from top left: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson through the years: Basil Rathbone (l) and Nigel Bruce; Robert Downey, Jr. (r) and Jude Law; Benedict Cumberbatch (l) and Martin Freeman.

John Doyle (Arthur’s grandfather) was born in Dublin in 1797, into a devoutly Catholic family with an artistic bent. John, who was already showcasing his work at 17, married fellow Dubliner Marianne Conan, a daughter of a tailor, in 1820. Two years later they sought a new life in London, where they soon had three children while John was struggling to succeed as a painter. After changing his artistic style, John Doyle eventually found success as a political cartoonist. The children kept on coming, as the family moved to the more affluent neighborhood of Hyde Park. They lived in a home where party guests included Benjamin



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and journals rejected many of Doyle’s manuscripts. One magazine that finally agreed to publish a new work by Arthur Conan Doyle was Beeton’s Christmas Annual. The November 1887 edition of that magazine contained a story called “A Study in Scarlet.” Critics in The Scotsman and Glasgow Herald newspapers liked the story. Little did they know that the history of literature was about to change.

Sherlock — and Support for Irish Home Rule? “A Study in Scarlet” was the first story to feature a detective named Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson. Doyle eventually achieved widespread popularity, with Holmes starring in three subsequent novels: The Sign of the Four (1890), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) and The Valley of Fear (1915). But just as he was more or less creating the modern detective novel, Doyle was also exploring Irish themes in stories such as “That Little Square Box,” “The Heiress of Glenmahowley,” “Touch and Go: A Midshipman’s Story,” and “The Green Flag.” “These stories are testimonies to Doyle’s keen and sympathetic interest in Irish political grievances,” writes Catherine Wynne, author of the scholarly text The Colonial Conan Doyle.



Above: Arthur Conan Doyle and family in New York City, 1922. A poster for Charles Frohman’s stage production of Sherlock Holmes, starring William Gillette. Below: James McParland, the private detective who infiltrated the Molly Maguires.

Policy,” Doyle himself wrote in his memoirs, referring to the British prime minister who supported Home Rule for Ireland. The famous writer’s attitude changed in the coming decade. In February 1912 he wrote a letter to Roger Casement stating: “Yes, I feel strongly for Ireland and hope I may strike some blow in that cause.” On the other hand, Doyle felt compelled to add: “I see the British point of view very clearly, also. However, from both points of view, I am convinced that Home Rule is the solution.” Scholars such as Catherine Wynne believe Doyle never quite resolved the tensions he felt about Ireland. On the one hand he saw himself as an Irishman, visited Ireland and followed the political situation there. But he was also a successful writer who shied away from more radical political ideas. Wynne believes this conflict manifested itself in Doyle’s writing, leading him to follow the tradition of Gothic Irish literature, a genre perhaps best exemplified by the Dublin-born writer Bram Stroker, the author of Dracula.

Doyle and Ireland And yet, despite his roots and his visits to Ireland, the now-successful Arthur Conan Doyle opposed Irish Home Rule in the early 1900s. “I was what was called a LiberalUnionist, that is, a man whose general position was Liberal, but who could not see his way to support Gladstone’s Irish 102 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

Doyle’s “preoccupations with colonialism are demonstrated in recurring obsessions with land, mind, racial identity and sexuality,” Wynne writes. “The Gothic is an important mode within the colonial context because... it gives a voice to those who are without power and are disenfranchised.” Doyle’s complex take on Irish matters is perhaps most evident in the final Sherlock Holmes novel, Valley of Fear.

Part of the novel takes place in 1875, and features a meeting on a train during which two passengers (one carrying a gun) identify themselves as members of a secret society most critics believe was based on the Molly Maguires. Doyle was said to be fascinated by James McParland, the detective who infiltrated the Molly Maguires. He met with William Pinkerton – head of the private detective agency that McParland worked for – and many speculate that hearing the Molly Maguires story from Pinkerton inspired Doyle to write Valley of Fear and to base the detective character on McParland, who was born in Armagh. One of the key characters in Valley of Fear is lost at sea. However, Sherlock Holmes fears he was in fact executed and thrown overboard. This echoes the death of James Carey, who informed on his fellow comrades in the Irish National Invincibles, the group that perpetrated the murders in Phoenix Park. Carey was shot dead on board a ship by Donegal man Patrick O’Donnell, an Irish revolutionary who likely had relatives who belonged to – you guessed it – the Molly Maguires. O’Donnell may even have visited Pennsylvania as part of his search for the informant who exposed the Phoenix Park assassins. In the end, Arthur Conan Doyle’s relationship with Ireland may have been complicated, but it was most certainly intimate. In fact, if Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law stay at this long enough, it’s more than likely that they will someday be in a scene featuring an Irish-American IA coal miner with a gun on a train.



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{what are you like?} By Patricia Harty

Robert Ballagh R

obert Ballagh is one of Ireland’s most distinguished artists. Born in Dublin in 1943, he is represented in many important collections including the National Gallery of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Besides painting, has also produced book covers, posters, limited editions, over 70 stamps for the Irish postal service and the last Irish bank notes produced by the Central Bank of Ireland. In 1985 he was commissioned by the Gate Theatre, Dublin to design Barry McGovern’s acclaimed oneman Beckett piece I’ll Go On, and since then he has designed many successful theatrical shows, including the imagery and set design for the dance phenomenon Riverdance. Ballagh has chaired the national executive of the Irish National Congress, a non-party political organization working for peace, unity and justice in Ireland, and is currently president of the Ireland Institute, a center for historical and cultural studies. He is also a member of Aosdána, a self-governing trust of Ireland’s most dis-

Who were your early influences? Largely, but not exclusively, American pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. I always loved that kind of American cool from the movies, and pop art carried that cool irony, and that’s what got me going. I didn’t train as an artist. I trained as an architect until I gave up being a student and became a musician. When I decided to relabel myself an artist, the pop art form seemed simple and something that I could do. I rapidly became Ireland’s Number 1 pop artist, which wasn’t hard as I was the only Irish artist doing that kind of work. Yet you resisted being pigeonholed as an artist. One of the dark sides of American art is consumer branding. Lichtenstein, in spite of his brilliance, was trapped in this comic-book style for the rest of his life. So I very slowly began to try and improve and do work that’s more in line with the classic artists that I admired – Vermeer, Holbein, Velazquez – and after 104 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

tinguished artists, and is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. Fellow artist Brian O’Doherty, speaking at the American Irish Historical Society New York launch of Robert Ballagh: Citizen Artist by Ciaran Carty, said, “We know that the arts attract their quota of poseurs and esthetes. Bobby – and this was shared by his wonderful late wife, Betty – detests pretentiousness and artistic snobbery. His realism is a rebuke to all kinds of fakery social and otherwise. That doesn’t make you popular with the pretentious. He has lived a simple life as husband and father. If you want to know how a Dublin life – Ballagh’s life – was/is lived, look at the marvelous paintings of his domestic life.” Betty, the subject of many of Ballagh’s paintings, and the mother of his two children, Rachel and Bruce, passed away suddenly in 2011. Robert has been very critical of the Irish health service and the treatment she received. Here are excerpts from a conversation with Robert Ballagh on a visit to New York.

45 years I’ve ended up painting as I always wanted to paint.

Greatest achievement? A commissioned portrait that I just finished. I think that if you ask any artist they will say the last thing they did. I can now concentrate mostly on painting. And I actually think I’m getting quite good at it. It’s an accumulation over the years. My son, looking at my latest work, said, “Isn’t it tragic you are just getting good at it and it’s almost over.” Meaning that I will be 70 next September. For years you were known as the stamp-and-money man. I did 70 stamps for the post office and that gave me some profile in that area, and later I was commissioned for the bank notes in Ireland. It was the one area of my achievement that the people in the U.S. knew about, and I’d be introduced as the guy who did the Irish money. Unfortunately I can no longer pull out samples of my work. For a long time that’s what kept me going.

Theater break? In 1985 Michael Colgan employed me to design a set for the Gate Theatre. I knew nothing about set design but sometimes not knowing anything is a plus. It was for a Beckett one-man show and it went on to win awards, and suddenly I had a career in the theater. I went on to work on the Riverdance set for Moya Doherty and John McColgan. The difference between working in theater and working on your own? Theater is intrinsically cooperative. What you do is just one part of the process and I was fortunate to work with the very best people. Hero, dead or alive? Noel Browne (d. 1997). He was born into grinding poverty. The family was evicted after the father contacted TB and died. His mother and several of his siblings also died of TB. Yet his is an extraordinary story of how he overcame circumstances to become a doctor and politician and help



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Opposite page: Ballagh’s portrait of James D. Watson. This page, clockwise: The cover of Robert Ballagh: Citizen Artist by Ciaran Carty. Ballagh’s painting of Dr. Liam McCormick. Part of the Riverdance set designed by Ballagh.

eradicate TB, which was a curse in Ireland. He went on to try and establish a health service that would help mothers and children, which provoked savage attacks on him, and he resigned as Minister of Health. During the ’80s I had been commissioned to paint many of the Irish establishment, but not Noel Browne. By that time I had a few dollars so I commissioned myself to paint him. He had a certain reticence but we met up and he invited me to come to Connemara where he and his wife, Phyllis, had a cottage. It was an extraordinary experience for me. We took many walks along the seashore discussing politics and life. What struck me at the time was that there wasn’t a trace of bitterness for the way he was treated. I would say the only negative emotion he expressed was disappointment.

Modern day person of interest? Doctor James D. Watson, the scientist who unraveled the structure of DNA. I was commissioned to paint his portrait, which now hangs in the Department of Genetics at Trinity College. When I asked him what he thought of the finished painting, he said, “It’s a marvelous portrait and the start of a marvelous friendship,” and it has been. He recently commissioned me to paint one of the benefactors of his Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. I feel like I’ve done an exam after a few hours with Jim — he doesn’t do

small talk. I always enjoy being in his company. I find it very exciting. We talk about everything from the economy to the presidential election and he always has fresh ideas – ideas coming from a different direction.

Your typical day? I get up at about seven or eight and go to the studio and get back from the studio at around six. My work is a slog. Someone joked that great work is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. Your idea of a perfect day? I had a few perfect days on this visit to New York. I walked the Highline and the weather was gorgeous. I had lunch at The River Cafe in Brooklyn with friends and afterwards the sun was shining and I said, ‘I’m walking the bridge going back,’ so I did. I had never done that before. Something you do on every visit to New York? I always go to the Frick when I come here to see the work done by the old masters. I look at Holbein’s painting from 500 years ago of Thomas More that’s right beside the fireplace. I take off my glasses because my vision is good up to six or nine inches and I get as close to the painting as I can, and every time I go the security guard will come up and say, “Please sir, move away.” I look at that

painting and I think, I’ve been at it for 45 years and I’m not half as good as that.

Your pet peeve? Cell phones. You’re with people and having a great conversation and the next thing they are talking on the phone. It’s the equivalent of being at a party and the person you are talking to says ‘excuse me, there is someone more interesting over there.’ Everything about human relations have developed an etiquette around it and there hasn’t been time to develop an etiquette around the mobile phone. On embracing technology. I don’t have a computer or a mobile phone. It might sound pretentious but I don’t have enough time to learn how to use that stuff. I have to give the rest of my time to my own craft and to trying to get better at what I do. But it makes you an outsider – people get annoyed when they ask for my cell phone number and I say I don’t have one. I miss the way things used to be – the amount of conversation that I struck up on the subway over the years – no one talks to anyone any more, they are all plugged into something. On growing up. My father was Presbyterian and my mother Roman Catholic, and because of DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 105



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{what are you like?} the Ne Temere Decree I was brought up Catholic. I remember a priest saying that only Catholics could enter heaven and I wanted to say, “What about my Da?” We never talked about politics in the house because my mother’s parents ended up on opposite sides in the civil war and the families didn’t talk for 10 years after the war. So my mother would not talk about politics. Who you voted for was your own business and no one else’s.

Ballagh's painting of Noel Browne

Earliest memory? I don’t think I’ve ever discussed this before. My mother was a very neat person but for some reason she hated straight hair so when I was small she permed my hair. I remember going out to play and she would put clips in my hair. Hidden talent? I was a professional musician but I retired in 1966 and haven’t lifted a bass guitar since. But there’s an element of celebrity in the fact that when I retired I sold my guitar to a young fellow called Phil Lynnot who was just taking up the bass, and if you check all the iconic photos of Phil he’s playing my bass. I might not have become a famous musician but my instrument did. What’s with the earring? When Betty died and we were cleaning out I found these earrings that I’d given her of Kokopelli. I bought her diamond earrings and they stayed in the box, but Kokopelli, which I found in a Native American store in Oklahoma years ago, never left her ears. So I thought that as a personal memorial it would be interesting to wear one of the earrings, which involved me having to go into a tattoo shop to get my ear pierced, which was a kind of interesting experience. Kokopelli is the god of fertility and agriculture so he’s quite important, mostly to the Hopi Indians but the Aztec and the Mayans have a similar guy so it’s obviously something that is part of the Americas. I discussed doing a Riverdance show with Native Americans but it never came to anything. Working on at the moment? A stained-glass window for Quinnipiac – have to get stuck into that when I get home. Then there’s also a Connecticut bloke who wants to do a 1916 Memorial, so they want me to do something. 106 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

I’m also doing a big project at home, which is really interesting. Next year is the centenary of the 1913 Lockout. SIPTU, once the Irish transport and general workers union, the union that was locked out, commissioned me and another artist, Cathy Henderson, to design a tapestry to be executed by voluntary groups and individuals. Which in theory is great but in practice means working with about 200 people with no experience and wide range of skills.

The legacy of Section 31? Section 31 [members of Sinn Féin members were banned from radio and TV under the broadcasting ban, 1971 to 1993, as were rebel songs] was culturally and psychologically damaging. When a friend of mine, an actor from Belfast, was auditioning and he was told, “We are not casting Northern actors – we find the Northern accent very threatening,” I just felt it was time to do something about it. I was involved in a project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1991, a small program of poetry and song, which we wanted to do outside the GPO [General Post Office which was central to the Rising]. We got a flat bed lorry and it was my job to get 100 tricolors and after I placed the order with the flag company, the special branch contacted me on the basis that only Provos would be organizing an event that used the tricolor. I got involved in political issues for cultural reasons. The driving force for me was what I saw as the destruction of the cultural identity of a people.

On being libeled. It was a bizarre period. Because I was chairman of a national commemoration committee, I had to defend what we were doing on radio debates, and Shane Ross issued a statement saying, “Robert Ballagh represents the interest of the IRA.” After the peace process was in place, I sued both the Sunday Times and the Irish Independent newspapers and I got thirty thousand [euros] out of the Indo and thirty-five out of the Sunday Times, who had said I represented the cultural wing of the IRA. They went through 30 years of files and found not one piece of evidence that I supported violence. Favorite music? I love rock & roll. I’m old enough that I was in at the start. When I was thirteen my father brought me to Rock Around the Clock and I was transfixed and became obsessed. I’m lucky enough that the people I started off listening to were Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino etcetera. I’m kind of snobby about it. When I hear young people talking about music, I think, “you don’t know what good music is.” I also adore Bernard Herrmann who wrote the music for Alfred Hitchcock movies. Scorsese recognized Herrmann’s greatness and took him out of retirement to do the music for Taxi Driver and the remake of Cape Fear, which was Herrmann’s last movie before he died. Love his stuff. His music for Vertigo is mesmerizing. And I love Nino Rota, who did the music for Fellini’s films. And then I love the classic American music – Cole Porter and George Gershwin, and I’m fond of classical music but more baroque. I love Vivaldi – so very Catholic stuff. I used to always let the radio run in the studio, but more and more I’m playing CDs rather than listening to current affairs, which is so depressing. Favorite sound? Every Sunday at around 12 o’clock my grandchildren come in calling out “Granddad Bobbie.” I like that. How do you know when a painting is finished? That’s a hard one. A crucial skill is knowIA ing when to stop. Note: Ballagh’s stained-glass window is now installed in Quinnipiac University’s Famine Museum.

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Picture Palace Lelia Doolan, once described by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid as “mad, bad, and dangerous,” has left an indelible mark on Ireland’s arts and culture. She is now struggling to build in Galway a cinema complex for the people of the west of Ireland. By Patrick Farrelly

he actress Fionnula Flanagan was searching for words to describe Lelia Doolan. It’s not so easy to capture the essence of a woman who at the short end of her seventies is still bringing the same dervish energy and intelligence to countless endeavors as she has done for many decades. “She has such brio and has been relentless and tireless in the service of so many great things,” Flanagan says. And then she remembers that the conservative archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, once described Lelia Doolan as “mad, bad and dangerous.” Flanagan adds, “Now there’s a badge of honor!” Doolan has made a remarkable and often unheralded contribution to so many parts of Irish life. In theater (the first female artistic director of the Abbey Theatre); film (she revived the Irish Film Board and relaunched Irish independent film); television (she produced the most inventive dramas and public affairs shows in the early days of Irish television); and the environment (she led a successful ten-



year battle to save the Burren’s unique ecosystem). And this leaves out an awful lot, including a recent multi-award-winning documentary film she made about Bernadette Devlin. When we met recently she had just attended a screening of Bernadette at New York’s Irish Film Festival, where she and the film received standing ovations from the full house. Doolan is a trim and lively presence with a laser intelligence, roguish sense of humor and an almost girlish enthusiasm for the challenge at hand. She moves easily across different circles and classes, always eschewing negativity, cynicism and conventional wisdom. Never one to dwell on accolades,

Doolan wanted to talk about a challenge that is preoccupying her: building in Galway a community cinema complex for the people of the west of Ireland. “Right now, if you want to see an Irish-made film you mostly have to make a three-hour drive to Dublin,” Doolan says. Doolan calls her Galway cinema complex the Picture Palace and believes that it should be a non-commercial community project. The actor Gabriel Byrne shares Doolan’s sense of the importance of a cinema born out of a community. “The Picture Palace has been a dream of hers for a long time. Lelia knows that when you put a cinema in a town you open up awareness of everything from history to



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Opposite page, top: Elevation drawing of the Picture Palace. Photos clockwise: Facade of the building; construction begins; an actor in a dramatic performance to mark the beginning of construction; color sketch plan for the cinema.

politics to morality. You reach people’s imaginations by exposing them to other visions, other cultures and the common universal heartbeat.” Doolan recruited Tracy Geraghty, a brilliant young arts executive and film buff, to devise a strategy to get the Picture Palace off the ground. After many spreadsheets and meetings, and designs, and more meetings and submissions, a number of government agencies agreed to fund a spectacularly designed three cinema complex with a cafe bar, film library and shop in Galway, near the city’s historic Spanish Arch. The project had started construction when two related events almost brought it to an end. The project’s construction company went belly-up — a not uncommon event when Ireland’s economy tanked after its property bubble burst. And the bigger problem: A cash-strapped Irish government started to falter on the financial commitments it had made to the Picture Palace. The end result — after companies had to re-tender for the construction contract —was that the project was now a million

euros short. To make matters worse, the government warned that if Doolan and Geraghty couldn’t find that million they would lose the rest of the promised money. The situation was not for the fainthearted: the entire project was on the line and construction had already started. Fionnula Flanagan, now a member of the Picture Palace’s board, is emphatic about the nature of the problem: “This is the result of mismanagement of the arts by the Irish government,” she tells me. “Lelia’s really up against it. And this is such an important project for a woman who is the godmother of independent Irish film.” Undaunted, Doolan set out to raise the money and save the project. Her commitment to any undertaking is never halfhearted. Gabriel Byrne remembers the incredulous Hollywood executive who told him about the gift bag of Irish bacon and sausages that landed on his desk “from a crazy woman in Galway” as an inducement to fund an independent film she was producing. The executive came up with the financing. Doolan has a special association with

the west of Ireland, where she lives in a traditional thatched cottage on an inlet of Galway Bay. Her parents came from nearby County Clare, and most of her endeavors over the last 30 years have been centered in what is for many the cultural heartland of Ireland. At University College Dublin, Lelia studied modern languages. “But I spent more of my time at the college drama society than anywhere else. Friday afternoons were spent at the cinema. They were changing films and you could watch three for the price of one at 2:00 pm, 4:20 and 6:10, and be home in time to fool your mother that you had been studying.” “My father was a widely read, curious man and there was always a lot of music in the house — my mother played the piano. My father and mother loved one another and it was a very settled place, a very happy home.” That happiness was shattered when during Lelia’s second year in college her father died suddenly. “It was a terrible trauma, a shocking time. My mother was 54, and how she got over it I don’t know — she didn’t, really. You just keep going.” Lelia got a scholarship to Berlin to study at the Free University for a a year. She spent a lot of time at Bertolt Brecht’s legendary theater in East Berlin. “You could scoot across and get a ticket to attend rehearsals. It was frightening in a way — it was very militarized with Russian soldiers, their guns pointed everywhere.” While the 21-year-old Irish student watched, Brecht was directing rehearsals of The Playboy of the Western World. “It was a Playboy without any poetry of any description. There were song performancDECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 109



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es between scenes, and characters commented on what was going on,” she remembers. “It was played in a neo-realist style — provoking people to question their reaction to this young man who had killed his father,” she said. At the beginning of the 1960s, the advent of RTE, the first Irish television network, excited Doolan and many others with its possibilities. Doolan’s groundbreaking work in both television drama and public affairs shows made a big impression. But RTE was born into a visegrip of government, which saw the station as an instrument of public policy and commerce. Management bureaucracy increasingly devoted itself to satisfying these two powerful masters. Clockwise: Lelia working as a reporter for Unhappy with the direction RTE; chatting with people from the Burren (she led a campaign to save the area’s of the station, Doolan co- ecosystem); at Glucksman Ireland House authored a book about RTE with Gabriel Byrne and Niall McKay, the and then resigned from the curator of Irish Film New York. station. In the late ’80s Doolan moved back to There followed a stint as artistic director the west of Ireland and settled in Galway. of Abbey Theatre — the first woman to She was there in 1993 when Michael D. hold this most exalted post in Irish theatre. Higgins, then a new Irish government culDoolan wanted to inject some European ture minister (and now President), asked influence into a repertory that was domiher to revive the Irish Film Board. She nated by mostly tired revivals of Irish classays she agreed to do so “only if it was sics. It was a battle she lost. “I think it was based in Galway.” the only place where she was truly unhapIt was a very unusual demand, because py,” Irish film critic Patsy Murphy says. most people would have seen a Dublin Doolan shook off the disappointment of posting and its establishment milieu as the Abbey and — never a woman of limpart of the prize. But Lelia insisted and ited interests — went off to Belfast to do a despite opposition from industry insiders, doctorate in anthropology at Queens she got her way. University. One typical Doolan innovation was to She arrived in Belfast when sectarian found Cinemobile, a hundred-seat cinema assassinations were at their height. on wheels. The most successful of Typically, Doolan spent most of her time Ireland’s Millennium projects, twelve working with the radical priest Fr. Des years on, Cinemobile still brings films to Wilson, whose Ballymurphy parish was the schools and market squares of small the cockpit of the war between the IRA towns and villages in rural Ireland. and the British Army. “I learnt how utterCinemobile is the first time many of these ly, shockingly complacent and unaware I communities can watch independent Irish was about the North,” Doolan says. and international films. Nearly five years in Belfast were folAlthough Lelia had been a founder of lowed by work with an anti-poverty the Galway Film Fleadh, now Ireland’s agency in the west of Ireland and with premier film festival, Galway was still homeless women in Dublin. She also lacking a cinema that was not dominated began teaching media studies, but brought by the Hollywood fare shown in cineher own spirit to the table. “She took what plexes across the western world. “[Film] was ordained to be a very pedestrian was such an important piece of the culturmedia diploma and turned it into a dynamal jigsaw,” she says. “It was from that ic film and journalism course,” says practical need that the idea of the Picture Murphy, who also lectured with Doolan at Palace was born.” Rathmines College in Dublin. Construction is already under way on 110 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

the cinema. Lelia has begun an international campaign to find the additional money for the project. Having a cinema seat engraved with your name is one of many attractions for donors to the Picture Palace. Fionnula Flanagan hosted a Los Angeles fundraiser for the Picture Palace — a screening of Bernadette — and believes that Lelia will succeed. “She is relentless, smart as a whip and she finishes what she starts. What she is building for the people of Galway is hugely important because we need a venue that will show Irish and international films. Build it and they will come. And Lelia will build it.” Gabriel Byrne agrees. “She can plamás (Gaelic for ‘flatter’), cajole, beg, borrow and sweetly bully. She is passionate about what she believes in but never self-serving,” he said. Doolan acknowledged that it was “tough being so deeply involved in a project of this magnitude without knowing the final outcome. But,” she added, “it will be done and it will be a beautiful and permanent addition to the life of the west of Ireland.” Once our conversation was finished she was rushing down a subway stairs on her way to visit a recuperating Fr. Daniel Berrigan in the Bronx, with a bottle of liquor in her bag that she hoped to smuggle in to the 92-year-old peace activist. You knew she would succeed. IA



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{roots} By Liam Moriarty

The Bold O’Briens T

he O’Briens are an illustrious and prominent clan that has shaped the history of Ireland. The name, also spelled O’Bryan or O’Brian, means “of Brian” indicating descendance from Brian Borumha mac Cennetig, or Brian Boru, the celebrated High King of Ireland. Brian Boru (925-1014) received the throne of Thomond (an area which covers much of modern day County Clare as well as parts of Limerick and Tipperary) after his elder brother, Mathgamain, was killed in 976. By 1002, he had attained the title of High King of Ireland, subjugating all the other kings in Ireland under his rule. The King of Leinster Máelmorda mac Murchada, aided by the Dublin Vikings, rebelled against Brian’s rule. The two armies met on the field of Clontarf (now a suburb of Dublin) in 1014. Brian Boru’s army won, but at the cost of Boru’s life. During the Tudor conquest of Ireland, the hereditary titles Earl of Thomond, Viscount of Clare, and Earl and Baron of Inchiquin, were contracted for the O’Briens to garner their support for the English crown. However, many of the clan supported Ireland’s independence. Daniel O’Brien, the third Viscount of Clare, was one of the founders of the famed Irish Brigade within the Army of France. This brigade took part in nearly all major French land combat from 1690-1790. The regiment came to be known as Clare’s Dragoons. The fifth Viscount of Clare gave his life in service to the regiment, and the sixth Viscount led the brigade during the French victory at the Battle of Fontenoy. The brigade was immortalized not only through their actions but also by the writer Thomas Davies in his poem “The Battle Eve of the Irish Brigade.” The O’Briens also played important roles in the battles of America. A resounding 231 O’Briens took part in the Revolutionary War. Jeremiah O’Brien helped orchestrate the capture of the British ships the Union and the Margaritta during the first naval engagement of the war. George Morgan O’Brien was Union Brevet Brigadier General and acted as a model of bravery for the O’Briens during the American Civil War. Fitzjames

O’Brien, an immigrant to the U.S. and writer for Harpers and Atlantic Monthly, lost his life while serving in the NY National Guard during the Civil War. A more recent O’Brien patriot, George H. O’Brien Jr, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War. In Ireland, William Smith O’Brien (MP) carried the fighting spirit of the O’Briens by leading the Young Ireland Movement. He was to be hanged, drawn and quartered because of his leadership in a bloodless peasant insurrection that distastefully became known as “The Battle for Widow McCormack’s Cabbage Patch.” His sentence, however, was commuted, and he was transported to Australia. O’Brien was eventually pardoned after

Country Girls trilogy, despite the fact that they were banned throughout Ireland. O’Brien’s latest issue is a revealing and powerful memoir, A Country Girl, to be released in the U.S. in April. Tim O’Brien is another literary luminary who has written Tomcat in Love and The Things They Carried, a fictionalized account of his time in Vietnam. O’Briens have been in the film industry since its inception. Eugene O’Brien was an early pioneer in the silent age of film and received a star on the celebrated Hollywood Walk of Fame. George O’Brien was a rugged cowboy in both silent and talkie films of the 1930s. Pat O’Brien “Hollywood’s Irishman in residence,” played good-guy Irish priests and cops in many Warner Bros. crime dramas of the 30’s and 40’s. Edmond O’Brien won a best supporting Oscar playing a Edna sweaty press agent in 1954’s The Barefoot O’Brien Contessa. Virginia O’Brien was MGM’s deadpan singing comedienne in the 40s and 50s. Seven-year-old Margaret O’Brien almost stole Meet Me in St. Louis from Judy Garland. Richard O’Brien was the writer of and an actor in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Today, the O’Briens can watch a few of their own on some of the best-liked shows on television. Soledad O’Brien Soledad anchors CNN’s morning news proO’Brien gram Starting Point. And for those O’Briens who stay up late, there is Conan O’Brien, the tall, ginger comedian who hosts the late night talk show Conan on TBS. In technology, Denis O’Brien, 2012 Business 100 keynote speaker and subject of this issue’s cover story, leads the industry in introducing cellular phone service to the Conan O’Brien Caribbean and Pacific Islands. The founder of Digicel, the leading service attempted escapes and five years in prison. provider in the region, Irish-born O’Brien A statue of him now stands on Dublin’s was recently praised by Bill Clinton in O’Connell Street. His daughter, Charlotte Time magazine for his work in Haiti. O’Brien, was an activist against the unfit The O’Brien name has been used on conditions aboard emigration ships. And everything from battleships to booze. because of her efforts, the Board of Trade Brian Boru Vodka is a popular drink in eventually imposed stricter constraints. Ireland, and Lily O’Brien’s chocolates are The O’Briens are well known in many famous the world round. If the O’Briens’ fields of the arts and entertainment. In the long and celebrated past is any indication, literary world, the O’Briens have produced they will remain a talented clan for many such talent as Edna O’Brien, who had IA years to come. great early success in the 1960s with her DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 111



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{ review of books}

Recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest.

Recommended The Christmas Kid

ete Hamill is New York’s City’s citizen chronicler. The constantly changing metropolis features in most of his books and articles. For many years he worked as a reporter and columnist for the New York Daily News. His novel Forever (2003) is perhaps his best known paean to the city, a sweeping historical saga that takes us though the growth of the city from prerevolution days to 9/11. In his new collection of stories, The Christmas Kid, Hamill returns to his old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Vivid characters such as “Wonderful Kelly” and “Facts McCarthy” abound, but it’s not all Irish. “The Christmas Kid,” the title story is a poignant tale of a young Jewish boy that evokes the Nazi death camps. In another story called “A Death in the Family,” Hamill writes about the drug lords who brought death and destruction to New York neighborhoods in the late ’60s and ’70s. “There was a plague at home and the plague was called heroin. If the neighborhood was a family, then the family was dying,” he writes. Many of the stories in this collection were originally written as O. Henry style stories for the Daily News, and Hamill’s skill as a reporter is evident here. His simple descriptions and careful observance record a place and time that is physically no more but is imprinted on the DNA of the city. Taken as a whole, The Christmas Kid leaves the impression that Hamill’s great love is New York City and his mission is to open a portal to the vanished world that lies beneath and alongside the modern trappings of today’s New York. He succeeds. – P.H.


(Little, Brown and Company / $14.00 / 288 pages)

Ancient Light

t has been three years since John Banville’s last novel, The Infinities, was published. But if we haven’t been missing Banville, it’s because he hasn’t been absent. Since The Infinities he has issued three new mysteries under his pseudonym Benjamin Black and collaborated with Glenn Close on the screenplay for Albert



Nobbs. Maybe this is why it feels as though Ancient Light, Banville’s fifteenth novel, has snuck up on us. What comes as an even greater surprise is that Ancient Light links back to two previous works, Eclipse (2000) and Shroud (2002), belatedly forming a trilogy. In Eclipse, Banville introduced us to Alex Cleave, a stage actor who, after freezing

of Mrs. Gray and his present, as the film and his young co-star push him to revisit Cass’s death. Banville has done this before, with the Revolutions Trilogy (Doctor Copernicus, Kepler and The Newton Letter) and the Frames Trilogy (The Book of Evidence, Ghosts and Athena). The linking threads of the Cleave novels (it might be hasty to declare them a trilogy) create the most complex pattern yet, connected as they are by meditations on family, performance, scholarship, identity, and – as always – memory. – S.L. (Knopf / $25.95 / 304 pages)

Fiction Astray

hen you first dip your toe into Astray, Emma Donoghue’s new collection of stories, it takes some getting used to. These brief, often fantastical glimpses into a wide range of minds and lives are much more fleeting than the wholly engrossing narrative of Room, Donoghue’s bestselling 2010 novel, which earned her wide acclaim. But as we read on, we find that, as in Room (which was based on the Fritzl case), these stories are mostly drawn from real-life figures and events, and Donoghue’s talent for capturing each character’s idiosyncratic voice is just as strong as it was when she so brilliantly inhabited the perspective of 5-year-old Jack. Astray is divided into three sections: Departures, In Transit, Arrivals and Aftermaths, and the stories span four centuries, from the Puritan society of Cape Cod in 1639 in “The Lost Seed,” to Newmarket, Ontario in the mid1900s in “What Remains.” Each is followed by a brief afterword of sorts, in which Donoghue gives the facts on which the story is based, or the context by which it was inspired. These are the forgotten but (mostly fascinating) ones of history: Matthew Scott, handler to the famous circus elephant Jumbo; Lewis Cass Swegles, the Secret Service agent who infiltrated a gang planning to steal Abraham Lincoln’s corpse. The collection’s afterword links


during a performance, retreats to his empty childhood home and ruminates in writing. Much of his reflections concern his troubled daughter, Cass, who by the end of the novel has drowned herself in Italy. Shroud then told us Cass’s story as her father may never know it. Her scholarly work led her to discover damning secrets about an acclaimed literary theorist, the anagrammatically named Axel Vander, with whom she was intimately involved. Ancient Light revisits Cleave ten years later. He is still grieving for Cass, still obliquely trying to make sense of everything through writing, but this time he is consumed by another memory, that of his first love affair, which took place in the spring and summer he was fifteen, with his best friend’s thirty-fiveyear-old mother, Mrs. Gray. It’s an inverse Lolita, and though Cleave is a much more sympathetic figure than Humbert Humbert, his memory is also fickle, and his way of processing things is often exceptionally accommodating to the way he wants to see them. In an uncomfortable turn of fate, Cleave is invited to star in a film adaptation of the definitive biography of Axel Vander, appropriately titled The Invention of the Past. The narrative meanders between Cleave’s recollections



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them all together: These are stories of migrants – people who have “gone astray,” crossed both physical borders and more intangible ones of religion, politics, sex or race. Donoghue, is herself an immigrant (she grew up in Dublin and now lives in London, Ontario), and that makes these stories some of her most personal writing so far. – S.L. (Little, Brown and Company / $25.95/ 288 pages)


he Irish are wonderful at writing about Ireland. But, to borrow a phrase from Ulysses that repeats throughout Enrique Vila-Matas’s Dublinesque, “always someone turns up you never dreamt of,” who shines a keen and fresh perspective. With Dublinesque, Vila-Matas is that someone. One of Spain’s leading contemporary writers, Vila-Matas is highly regarded for his meta-fictional adventures that build layer upon layer of references to other writers and works – mostly real, some not. Of his 21 novels, only four have been published in English, and we are very lucky that Dublinesque is the latest. Masterfully translated by Anne McLean and Rosalind Harvey, Dublinesque, which borrows its title from the Philip Larkin poem by the same name, centers on Samuel Riba, an esteemed literary publisher of the old guard who, having closed his publishing house, now spends most of his days sitting in front of his computer (he likes to Google himself), worrying his wife with his reclusive behavior, and regretting that he never discovered that one brilliant author – a Beckett of his generation, say – who would have made it all unequivocally worth it. Now a teetotaler after years of heavy drinking, Riba becomes obsessed with a vivid, possibly portentous dream he had two years prior, while recovering in hospital, of visiting Dublin. Thinking that a trip to Ireland might be just the thing, he gathers three of his writer friends to make the journey with him. His secondary motive: to host a funeral for the golden days of literature, the “Gutenberg Galaxy,” as he calls it, at Glasnevin Cemetery on Bloomsday.


Joyce and Beckett are of course everywhere, and Flann O'Brien and Brendan Behan have their time in the spotlight. Contemporary Irish writers such as John Banville, Colum McCann, Matthew Sweeney and Claire Keegan get nods in the narrative as well, and some unfamiliar names had this reader running for Google to see whether they were real. John Ford makes a few appearances, as does a Liam Clancy song. In addition to being a beautifully executed literary balancing act, Dublinesque is a love letter to Irish literature, by someone who knows it very well. –S.L. (New Directions / $16.95/308 pages)

Non-Fiction Atlas of the Great Irish Famine

ver the past few decades, the Great Irish Famine, once a topic addressed quietly and with no small amount of contention, has become a rich area for scholarly research. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, a 712 page tome released by University College Cork and published in the U.S. by New York University Press, is a testament to how far our collective under-


standing of the famine and its consequences have come. Edited by John Crowley, Mike Murphy and William Smyth of UCC, and featuring contributions from scores of other scholars, historians and voices in the field, the Atlas achieves the remarkable feat of communicating both the most technical aspects of the famine as well as the most emotional. Over 200 maps, drawn from the censuses of 1841 and 1851, show the devastation of the famine at the national, provincial and county level – dwindling land values, population decline that remains shocking to this day. The beautifully reproduced maps and charts are interspersed with wrenching and exacting chronicles of the famine’s devastation in different counties and parishes; accounts of life in the workhouses; personal histories. A section entitled “The Scattering,” which chronicles the journeys of famine immigrants to New York, Boston and Toronto, among other places, offering glimpses of their lives there, will be of particular interest to Irish Americans. This Atlas, the most thorough portrait of the famine to date, puts us on the right side – the aware and communicative side, that is – of history. – S.L. (NYU Press / $75.00 / 712 pages)


Children’s Books

Oisin the Brave: Moon Adventure In this whimsical, delightful and educational tale (intended for children ages 3-7) Oisin the Brave, a modern-day Irish hero for the younger set, embarks on an out of this world adventure. Studying the night sky with his sidekick Orane the Dragon of N’Scaul, Oisin notices a strange flashing light coming from what appears to be the surface of the moon. Before long the friends power up their magical Dolmen of Time and are off to discover the cause. Waiting for them are the moonians, gentle alien creatures who have the added benefit of teaching little readers some basics of the Irish language.The names on their shirts (Aon, Dó and Tri) reflect the number of eyes they each have. Interestingly, there is already an Irish flag on the moon’s surface – a positive sign for the source of that bright light. Despite a humorously portrayed language barrier, the moonians eventually lead Oisin and Orane to the source, a wrecked spaceship.They approach with trepidation, but the surprise is a good one. It’s their friend Princess Eire, who was off on an adventure of her own. Building on the Irish within the story, the final pages of the book contain a nicely illustrated Irish lesson, with the names for animals, shapes, colors and emotions.This is the first in a new series by Michelle Melville and Derek Mulveen, founders of the recently launched brand Eire Kids.We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Oisin next. – S.L. (Eire Kids / $7.00 / 24 pages) DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 113



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{crossword} By Darina Molloy

ACROSS 1 Halt or cease, same in Irish as in English (4) 6 See 32 across (6) 7 (& 16 down) The Quiet Man filmed in this Connemara beauty spot (4) 9 Irish suicide charity (7) 12 Nickname for longtime Irish pol Mary O’Rourke (5) 14 See 11 down (7) 15 Cocktail containing mint and lime (6) 18 Get ferries from here to Fishguard or Cherbourg (8) 20 Make a sound in response to pain or despair (5) 21 See 43 across (3) 23 Tipperary town (6) 25 (& 33 down) Katie Taylor book: Journey to Olympic ____ (7) 26 (& 3 down) Deputy Irish Taoiseach, or PM (5) 27 (& 35 across) This Druid head took the best director award at the UK Theatre Awards (5) 29 Methodically cut something up (7) 31 Charity set up by disgraced cyclist Lance (10) 32 (& 6 across) Maeve Binchy’s last book: A ____ in _____ (4) 35 See 27 across (5) 38 Basic unit of matter (4) 40 See 2 down (5) 43 (& 21 across) Iconic ice cream of Irish childhoods – ice cream surrounded by chocolate (4) 44 __ and behold (2) 45 Is, plural (3) 46 Much ___ about nothing (3) 47 Gaelic apple (3) 48 The siblings in 17 down were turned into these (5) 49 (&34 down) Hit book by IrishAmerican author Gillian Flynn (4) 50 See 24 down (5)

DOWN 2 (& 40 across) New Roddy Doyle book (3)

3 See 26 across (7) 4 See 40 down (6) 5 (& 28 down) Michelle Obama is a big fan of this hit TV show (7) 8 Action-packed movie with Ben Affleck and George Clooney (4) 10 Not nasty (4) 11 (& 14 across) New JK Rowling book: The ____ ______ (6) 13 Aer _______ (6) 16 See 7 across (6) 17 The only girl in the Children of Lir (9) 19 High school in Ireland (9) 22 U.S. store a big hit in Dublin: Abercrombie & ______ (5) 24 (& 50 across) Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad (6) 28 See 5 down (5) 30 The hurricane that caused so much pain in NY in October (5)

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 January 15, 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 OCT./NOV. Crossword: Jodie Hynes, Merion Station, PA 114 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013

33 34 35 36 37 39 40 41 42 46

See 25 across (4) See 49 across (4) Embrace (3) Irish bun with or without raisins (5) See 39 down (3) (& 37 down) Hit TV show created by Chris O’Dowd (5) (& 4 down) Gabriel Byrne’s In Treatment character (4) American classical pianist: Anton ____ (3) Shell-less mollusc (4) French friend (3)

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{sláinte} By Edythe Preet

Irish Glass: It’s Crystal Clear When it comes to ringing in the New Year in New York, the sparkle is all Irish.


ust before midnight on December 31, 2012, hordes of people will be crunched together like so many sardines in the icy cold midwinter streets surrounding New York City’s Times Square. They will be counting down to the beginning of a New Year. Exactly one minute before midnight, a huge lighted ball will begin its slow descent down a mighty steel flagpole atop the One Times Square Building. The tension will mount. All eyes will turn skyward. For the final seconds, the crowd will chant “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1!” Instantly, the massive ball The Waterford will erupt in a blazing disCrystal ball will ring in the new year in play of rainbow colors to Times Square. mark the start of 2013. It’s a ritual and a street party that has been going on for more than one hundred years. Begun in 1904 by Alfred Ochs, owner of the New York Times newspaper, the Times Square affair did not have humble beginnings. Thousands of Manhattanites crowded the square and fireworks lit the inky sky to mark the year’s transition. It is said the hoopla could be heard as far away as Crotonon-Hudson, some thirty miles removed from the festivities. Two years on, New York City banned the pyrotechnics, but Ochs was determined to continue the event. He arranged for a large illuminated ball to be lowered from a flagpole on the tower of the newspaper’s building precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908. In the intervening century only the number of revelers and the size of the New Year’s Eve Ball have changed. It’s difficult to determine which has been more dramatic. Through the middle of the 20th century the Times Square attendees swelled from thousands to tens of thousands. With the advent of television in the 1950s, hundreds of thousands more people tuned in to the spectacle on their living room small screens. These days, estimates calculate the on-site crowd at one million, with one billion watching the satellite televised transmission in all corners of the globe. The New Year’s Eve Ball has gotten a wee bit bigger as well. From its modest beginning as a seven-hundred-pound wood and


iron sphere polka-dotted with 100 newfangled electric light bulbs, it now measures 12 feet in diameter, weighs 11,875 pounds, is illuminated by 32,256 LEDs, and produces 16 million colors, in billions of patterns, all made possible by the 2,688 multifaceted crystals affixed to its geodesic structural grid. And here’s the best part: since the 2000 Millennium Celebration, the glittering crystals (which change year to year, 2013 featuring stylized doves to signify Let There Be Peace) have been manufactured by none other than Ireland’s own Waterford Crystal! When it comes to international brand recognition, Waterford, as the global leader in crystal design, ranks among other superstars (Rolls Royce, Rolex, Harley Davidson, Apple, Microsoft, Disney, and Google to name a few). But the journey to its exalted position was bumpy. While glass making existed in Ireland as far back as the 13th century, it was of a common sort until 1783 when brothers George and William Penrose launched their crystal-making enterprise in the busy port city of Waterford. By adding 33% lead to the silica-soda ash mix, the crystal that resulted had an unmatched purity of color and created dazzling light refraction. For almost one hundred years Waterford’s high-quality, uniquely patterned crystal was in demand across Europe, North America and the West Indies. Then the company failed due to increased taxation and lack of investment capital. A century passed before the enterprise was revived. In 1947, a small glass-making operation was opened just down the road from the original location. Using the same rigorous crafting methods and traditional cutting designs, Waterford again cornered the Irish crystal market. Nearly twenty-five years ago, due to worldwide competition in less expensive labor markets, Waterford downsized and several of the firm’s master craftsmen moved on to open their own glassmaking operations. Adhering to the ethic of completely hand-fashioning their work and developing their own extraordinary deeply cut patterns, numerous Irish crystal studios have garnered loyal fan bases around the world. Even so, it is the leg-



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RECIPES endary Waterford hallmark that reigns supreme. Like many a first-time visitor, on my initial trip to Ireland I was determined to bring home the ultimate keepsake: a pair of Irish crystal whiskey glasses. Having attended the annual Kinsale Food Festival and being more interested in the cultural aspects of Ireland’s culinary history than gross weight of crop yields, I had plenty of time to wander the streets of the picturesque village. On one such foray I chanced upon the atelier of Kinsale Crystal founded by former Waterford master cutter Gerry Daly. As luck would have it, the master was there. For more than an hour, he explained the arduous (and dangerous!) process of mouth-blowing molten glass, twirling and shaping it in wooden molds, curing it from 1200C degrees to room temperature, and the painstaking work that went into designing and cutting deep patterns. I also got the inside track on the best whiskey glass: a heavy weighted tumbler with a rounded base that fits neatly into one’s palm. Why that shape? So that a) the glass won’t tip over and waste even a drop of the heavenly nectar, and b) the warmth of one’s hand will gently heat the liquid within to the perfect temperature that will release the whiskey’s heady bouquet. I bought two, swaddled them in a favorite sweater and hand-carried them in my purse back home. Since that time, they are the only glasses I have ever used for whiskey sipping. Irish crystal can be found in many forms. There are gorgeous bowls, vases, decanters, candlesticks, glittering accessories galore for your home, even (if the budget will allow) breathtakingly beautiful crystal chandeliers! And nothing complements a holiday table set with luxurious Irish linen more than fine Irish crystal glassware. On New Year’s Eve it’s traditional to watch the Times Square New Year’s Ball drop and welcome the New Year with a sparkling crystal glass of bubbly champagne in hand. Call me a

The Chisholm-Hasker Family Eggnog 2 1 1 1 1 ⁄2 1 1

quarts whole milk quart cream quart Bourbon pint Dark Rum pint Brandy dozen eggs cup sugar Nutmeg to taste

Separate eggs. Beat yolks; add sugar; beat well. Slowly drizzle whiskey into egg mixture, stirring constantly. Slowly add rum, then brandy. Add milk and cream. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold egg whites into liquid mixture. Refrigerate several days or at least overnight to ripen. Stir before serving to recombine ingredients. Serve with a sprinkling of nutmeg on top. NOTE: This recipe calls for raw eggs, which not everyone can eat. The quantities specified make Eggnog for a crowd; recipe can be halved.

maverick. I’ll be filling my precious tumblers more than once (they’re small!) with my favorite Holiday Eggnog, the recipe for which comes from a pal’s Irish American family that has been mixing it up several generations longer than the Ball’s been IA dropping. Sláinte! Editor’s Note: The House of Waterford Crystal, now located in Waterford City, offers a guided factory tour that showcases master craftsmen at work and an opulent retail store featuring a large collection of the world’s coveted crystal.



When searching for Irish Crystal, bear in mind that each manufacturer produces unique designs.

Fine crystal can crack when subjected to extremes of hot and cold. Before putting very warm food or liquid into a crystal container, preheat the crystal with moderately hot tap water. Do not pour cold beverages into crystal that’s just been washed with hot water. Likewise, do not wash a crystal piece that’s just come out of the refrigerator; allow it to warm to room temperature first. Hand washing with mild dish detergent is recommended as dishwasher detergent is abrasive and can scratch the crystal. Air dry upside down on a rack. Always store stemware upright to prevent chipping.


HOW IRISH CRYSTAL IS MADE To watch a great video that explains how Irish Crystal is made, go to: DECEMBER / JANUARY 2013 IRISH AMERICA 117



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{the last word} By Darina Molloy

Enough Sitting on the Fence The young Indian dentist who died in Galway when doctors refused to terminate her pregnancy even though she was carrying a non-viable fetus, has sparked protests all over Ireland, with citizens calling for the government to consider the life of the mother in such cases. Dear Taoiseach, have never before ‘made representations’ to my TD on any matter, and I must confess that up to now I have found the very idea to be ludicrous, and I have no truck with those who contact political offices for help with allowances or out-of-date passports. Like almost everybody else in the country, I have at times despaired at the financial mess we are in and I am infuriated by the injustice of watching my pay packet being raided while bankers continue to receive massive payouts and politicians receive unvouched expenses. But I have never voiced an official complaint. I have paid my household charge, hold a television license, both household cars are taxed and insured, and my husband and I regularly volunteer on committees relating to our childrens’ activities and schooling. We have made, and continue to make, every effort to raise our children to be part of a new generation of respectful and hard-working Irish citizens. I know some or all of them are probably destined to leave the country at some point, but as a former resident of the US, I don’t believe this to be a terrible outcome – emigration can be a wonderful thing. In short, I tolerate a lot. Yes, I give out, and shout at my television, but I don’t join protest marches or write to my TDs demanding this, that or the other. But Taoiseach, that changes here. The untimely and tragic death of Savita Halappanavar is altogether a step too far in what purports to be a civilized country, one which values life. Ten years ago, on March 6, 2002, I gave birth to my second child, a beautiful boy. Later that evening, with permission from my doctor, I left my hospital bed to cast my pro-choice vote in the referendum. Very luckily for me, abortion has never been something I’ve had to worry about, but the difficult business of birthing, and



the even more challenging business of child-rearing made it clear to me that I could never preach to another woman about her choices. It seems to me that while Ireland has the easy option of England on the doorstep, politicians would be happy to just let things lie, in order to avoid the wrath of such vocal lobbyists as the so-called prolife groups. But the rallies held this week in Dublin, Cork and Galway should sure-

ly indicate to you – our legislators – that we have had ENOUGH. Enough sitting on the fence, enough shaming ourselves in the eyes of the world, enough refusing to tackle the difficult issues, and enough allowing the Catholic Church to dictate our civil laws. The Church had control of this country for long enough and look where that got us. So please, Taoiseach, grasp the bull firmly by the horns here. It’s time to sort out this abortion mess, for once and for all. Let us show our daughters that this is a country which values their freedom of choice. My eight-year-old daughter Zoe recently showed you around her school’s willow garden when you visited Snugboro N.S. She was a combustible mix of nerves and excitement in the lead-up to her big moment, but greatly enjoyed the day. She may be young, but she is already starting to think deeply about things, asks many questions about the way in which the

world works, and like most children has an innate sense of fairness and justice. I do not relish having to explain to her the workings of a country that would not listen to a dying woman’s plea for help. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of pride as we saw images of you, just days after your appointment as Taoiseach, with President Obama in the White House on St. Patrick’s Day. It rather surprised me, that sense of pride, as I always saw being Irish (or any other nationality) as a condition of birth rather than something to get puffed up about. Perhaps it came from our shared Castlebar roots, or maybe it was because I felt that we were ushering in a new political era in Ireland – a welcome change from the corruption and greed of the preceding years. For whatever reason, at that moment, I felt very proud to be Irish. Reading about the death of Savita Halappanavar this week, I felt nothing but shame. I realize that the Irish electorate is not always deserving of being asked to determine such crucial issues – particularly after the disastrous turnout for the Children’s referendum – but this is a key issue that has long stalked our country and will continue to do so until we tackle it. As one who was disenfranchised for six years while living in the U.S., I have never shirked my voting responsibilities, and have regularly brought my children to the ballot box with me in order to demonstrate to them the importance of voting when they are old enough. The death of Savita Halappanavar, and the way in which you and your Cabinet respond to it, is something that will weigh heavily on my mind the next time I have occasion to vote in a general election. Yours, in hope, Darina Molloy, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Darina Molloy is a former Assistant Editor of this magazine. For more information on the Savita Halappanavar case see story on page 14.

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Irish America December / January 2013  
Irish America December / January 2013  

The December / January 2013 issue of Irish America magazine, featuring Irish cell phone billionaire and philanthropist Denis O'Brien and the...