Irish America December / January 2015

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Play to Win

and know when to lead and when to follow


Shannon Deegan





JUDY COLLINS Songs for the Ancestors MAUREEN O’HARA Has Answers


DAYS In Ireland

CANADA $4.95/ U.S. $3.95

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December /January 2015 Vol. 30 No. 1




and “I feel the culture deled by attitude role-mo and later my grandparents was a big adopted by me . They part of this success work hard, to me taught constantly play ethically, be learn new things, change comfortable with the fact that and embrace fully you must success through work with and lish others to accomp great things.”



of phenomenal success recognizes the manThe Business 100 The executives, ate America. ng the Irish in corpor directors profiles in the followi and and agers, partners, most innovative some of the United pages represent business in the an izations doing impactful organ s like to well-established Americ y States. From startup nies are as integral to the econom we entities, these compa to their shareholders. Those of es are their esteem as our honore are bound by themselves or recognize here r born in Ireland whethe distant ge, their herita through a more emotional ties xpanding ever-e maintaining close the to a testament the Irish ancestor, and are plishment of , and accom scope, power ble d to this incredi diaspora. magazine is honore and innovators. Irish America , reneurs, leaders group of entrep es. s to all our honore Congratulation

to “I’m very proud n be Irish. I mentio I’m Irish and people smile We’re a and happy people culture.”

Beir Bua!

owed to my purpose – a debt m hard work, and us love, optimis e means family, working to give “My Irish heritag I’ve been alive spent every day parents who have an Dream.” at the Americ and a chance

ars to leave their of my forebe the struggles America to carve “I appreciate in coming to their heritage n. It was home but not and their childre for themselves me. out a new life lives inside of and that spirit incredibly brave

fostering “Building and is the core relationships to be of what it means ’t be where Irish. I wouldn t my I am today withou nce experie Dublin.” growing up in

of “I am very proud very being Irish and herproud of my Irish what Irish itage. Here is Intuitive means to me ndent Resilient Indepe ous.” Smart Humor


Top Counties: Dublin Cork • Mayo • l • Limerick Kerry • Donega

Mentioned: Top Colleges ity Harvard Univers Dublin University Collegeity Fordham Univers University Northwestern Boston College Dame University of Notre Ancestral Links:

5th Generation or more

4th Generation

1st Generation

3rd Generation 2nd Generation Irish Born




102 94 108


16 dublin’s digiTAl hub

The city is home to the world’s top internet and home-grown start-ups. By Stephen Smith

40 PlAy To win

From pro hockey to Google’s Global Head of Security, Shannon Deegan says it’s all about teamwork. By Patricia Harty

46 The business 100

The 29th annual Business 100, celebrating the best and the brightest Irish leaders in corporate America.

84 PoinT sT. ChArles

Montreal’s Irish neighborhood has a legacy that goes back to 1800s. By John Kernaghan

86 7 dAys in irelAnd

Writer photographer Chris Ryan travels the country from coast to coast and enjoys a myriad of experiences.


90 Kylemore Abbey

Founded by Benedictine sisters who fled Belgium in World War I, the Abbey takes on a new role.

94 Judy Collins

The singer talks to Mary Pat Kelly about what inspired her Irish song.

96 CArnA ConneCTions

DNA samplings connect up Carna, Connemara and Portland, Maine.

100 mAureen o’hArA

The famous actress provides some lively answers in What Are You Like?

102 The irish TriniTy

A new book on John Wayne examines his life and his connection to director John Ford, and his leading lady, Maureen O’Hara.

108 hAmill honored

A tribute to Pete Hamill, journalist, author, and New Yorker. By Dan Barry.

110 A sTiTCh in Time

When it comes to hand-knitting, Aran sweaters are the cream of the crop.

Hibernia Highlights Irish Eye on Hollywood All the latest movies with an Irish connection. p. 18

The Bridget Awards A fundraiser to eradicate breast cancer in honor of Bridget Mooney. p. 28

New Orlean’s Irish

The Crescent City host an Irish Famine Conference. p. 30

An Irish-Choctaw Thanksgiving

A history of diplomacy. p. 34


Kate FitzGerald is remembered by her husband Garret. p. 116

DEPARTMENTS 8 10 12 35 106 112 118

First Word Readers Forum News & Hibernia Those We Lost Books Crossword Family Album

Enjoy the Waterford Crystal Factory Experience. Book your tour online today. Visit or phone +353 (0)51 317000

Dublin to Waterford Car - M9 - 1.5hrs drive Bus - 11 daily scheduled departures to Waterford Train - 8 daily departures to Waterford Cork to Waterford Car - N25 - 1.15hrs drive Shannon to Waterford Car - M6 - 2hrs drive

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Vol.30 No.1 • December/ January 2015

IRISH AMERICA Mary Pat Kelly is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling novel Galway Bay, an epic family saga set in 19th-century Ireland and Chicago, and the just-published Of Irish Blood, which follows the next generation through WWI and the 1916 Easter Rising. In this issue she writes about the genealogy project in Carna, County Galway, and explores what inspired Judy Collins’ Irish songs. Tom Deignan writes columns about movies and history articles for Irish America, and is a weekly columnist for The Irish Voice and regular columnist and book reviewer for the Newark Star-Ledger. In this issue, he writes about Scott Eyman’s book, John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

John Kernaghan, who started his career as a photographer and reporter for The Armagh Guardian and The Portadown News, is a freelance writer based in Oakville, Ontario. He writes about The Point, Montreal’s historic Irish neighborhood.

Mórtas Cine

Pride In Our Heritage

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd

Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty Vice President of Marketing: Kate Overbeck Deputy Editor: Adam Farley

Art Director: Marian Fairweather

Advertising & Events Coordinator & Music Editor: Tara Dougherty Copy Editor: John Anderson

Contributing Editor Matthew Skwiat

Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan Editorial Assistant: Mary Egan


Chris Ryan, seen here doing research in Dublin, wrote and photographed “The Seven-Day Irish Sampler” in this issue. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, he specializes in travel, outdoors, and the environment. His photography is at

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:

Ryan pulling pints at the “smallest pub in Dublin” on the first night of his trip.

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

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By Patricia Harty

Google & Me oogle was following me. Or so it seemed. Immediately after my visit to the Google complex in Mountain View, California, I drove on to Big Sur and the Monterey Peninsula. I confess to being a bit jaded at this stage in my life, and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to spending a couple of nights in a cabin in the woods with my sister and my roommate from the early 80s. But it turned out great. Big Sur is God’s Country. The redwoods are magnificent and though our cabin happened to be under a pine tree that dropped cones on the roof all night long, it didn’t matter. The air was pristine, and in the early morning a family of deer grazed so close to the cabin you could almost touch them. They were safe here (not like up in Sonoma County where, on the same trip, I heard a terrible tale of one vineyard owner who delights in setting his dogs on any deer that wandered near his grapes). Here all was peaceful. One morning my sister and I, both early risers, left the roommate sleeping and found a magnificent beach that Shannon Deegan had told us about – it’s not signposted but we met a park ranger who told us how to get there. It was empty except for a couple and their dog, and you could hear the waves crash through a hole in the rocks that jut out into the ocean. Later we hiked a trail that ended on another beach and then hiked it again going the other way so as to end up on the bluffs. From our cabin we hiked through the redwoods to a waterfall – not very full now as California is in its third year of drought. (On a visit to Hearst Castle, the beautiful estate of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, we were greeted with Porta-potties – the toilets are closed to save water.) But back to Google. Of course, our cabin had been booked by Googling “Big Sur,” as were our tickets to Hearst Castle, and our hotel in Monterey, which we booked online from the road. It seemed that everywhere we went, Google accompanied us. In the Big Sur Lodge, I glanced at the local paper and the front-page photograph was of a park ranger with his Google trekking camera on 8 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

his back. (Google’s technology has now made it possible for you to virtually visit a host of national parks without leaving your home), and as we drove back up the coast to San Francisco, a driverless Google street mapping car drove in the lane beside us, and eventually passed us. Google is in our lives, and I for one am grateful. I remember when I first heard the term Google. It was my magazine designer at the time who told me of this great new search engine. It changed the way we operate at Irish

America. Google Docs and Gchat mean that we can work from anywhere (except the cabins in Big Sur), and Google Calendar is genius. Then there’s the fun stuff like Google Earth, the virtual globe that allows me to find my home in Ireland and see that the gate is painted (good man, Mike). It’s weird and wonderful. Of course, there’s a downside. Several years ago my friend Dolores called me from Ireland. “Patricia are you sitting down?” she asked before relaying the awful news. “Patricia, your age is up on the Internet.” Her daughter had Googled me and all was revealed. It hurt, but it also cuts down on fibbing, and motivates me to put on

lipstick before leaving the house because you never know where that photo is going to end up! I walked into the world of the future when I entered the Google complex. It was all a bit daunting but I had a good guide in Shannon Deegan who is the most down-toearth person you could meet. The experience made me glad that I’ve lived this long. I’ve seen so much of man’s ability to create. (Sometimes when I flick a light switch I remember as a little kid reaching up for the switch in the sitting room of our farmhouse, as the crew and my father toasted the rural electrification project that had just brought this magic into our lives.) I came away from my conversation with Shannon hopeful for the future, and convinced that Google is a force for good. Not just for the amazing products in development, and the money the company gives to fund scholarships for students, workshops for veterans, and programs to encourage more women in science. All the information Google is making available to us helps us see more clearly where we are in terms of our human evolution, and where we are going. And while it’s amusing to know that the most Googled recipes for Thanksgiving were Pig Pickin Cake in North Carolina and stuffed artichokes in New York, Google can predict a flu epidemic faster than the Center for Disease Control. It can, through satellite photos in the Google Earth project, monitor a natural disaster like the tsunami in Japan, and by showing before-and-after photos, where rescue workers need to be. It can predict weather patterns and help us find ways to save water and save the earth – this sweet spot on which we live. Mortas Cine,

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{readers forum} ing March 1922, as I.R.A. Chief of Staff. His death on the slopes of the Knockmealdown Mountains on 10 April, 1923, marked the effective end of what my father termed that “unmentionable” Civil War.

Dublin. Exiled from Ireland by the English after King James’ defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, he became a mercenary, training the French Army. I read that he was buried in the chapel of the then Irish University.

Ivan Lennon Rochester, NY

Ricardo Littrell Submitted online

Gay Groups Allowed to March in NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Kathleen Lynch: A Commitment to Excellence Thanks for the wonderfully written article on Kathleen Lynch. Kathleen was my dearest and closest friend in high school. The words about how she was raised by two devoted and loving parents in a great Irish family are so true. I can still hear her mother’s Irish accent. Being half Irish myself and very proud of my Irish heritage, I truly loved reading about the positive difference Kathleen has made in every aspect of her life: at home with her beautiful family; at work with her successful career (if you knew her like I knew her in high school, she was going places); and in giving back to her community and Ireland. Karen Garrison, née Flynn Submitted online

P.S. Even I would correct people if they called her Kathy instead of Kathleen. She had a thing about her name even back in high school.

Back in 1985, I heard then Mayor Koch speak about not permitting homosexual groups to participate in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Mayor Koch was in no way anti-homosexual. He remarked that homosexuals were more than welcome to march, however they could not march as an advocacy group. The IRA, the Regular IRA and others were quite active in Ireland and Britain with acts of violence then and Mayor Koch as well as the Parade officials solved the question of participation by refusing to permit any advocacy group, including homosexuals, to participate. If things have changed, the changes probably are a result of the end of violence in Ireland as well as changes in attitude.

Thanks for a wonderful article! I’m reading a thriller now, but looks like I’m going to have to get some Anne Rice or Michael Connelly reading in next!

Joseph C. Mohen Oaklyn, NJ

Laurie Carlson Submitted online

Anne Rice with her son, Christopher

The Big Thrill

Le Centre Culturel des Irlandais I read with interest the piece on Le Centre Culturel de Irlandais in Paris. An ancestor of mine may be buried in St. Patrick’s Chapel (on the grounds of the Centre). He was Simon Luttrell of Luttrellstown, Co.

Roots: Lynch As the son of an Oglaigh na hEireann ASU O/C and long time subscriber I thoroughly enjoy your magazine, especially its treatment of notable Irish surnames. However, to ignore Commandant Liam Lynch in your last issue’s “Roots” column does a disservice to the Volunteers of 1919-1921 and those “Irregulars” who continued the struggle for an Irish Republic. Lynch served as O/C First Southern Division of the Volunteers and, commenc10 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Your recent issue on Health Care heroes was brilliant. Now instead of business folks in high echelons, how about 50 or 100 highlights of heroes working with the poor, followed by more ways for all of us to get involved. Eileen Flockhart Exeter, NH

PAT R I C K J . H E A LY ‘ 6 6 , P h D Senior Vice President for Finance at Quinnipiac University

On the occasion of his retirement

With thanks for his exemplar y ser vice

“Pat has been a trusted advistor and confidante and partner for virtually every important university initiative during the past 28 years. His thoughtfulness and care for the entire Quinnipiac community have manifested themselves in so many ways—as teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. Please join me in saluting him for his unparalleled and truly unique service to the industry.” - John L. Lahey, President, Quinnipiac University

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{ hibernia } W



Distinguished Service Awards

inners of this year’s Presidential Russian business world as director Distinguished Service Awards of regional sales for Rosneft, one of for the Irish abroad included actress Russia’s biggest oil companies. Fionnula Flanagan, humanitarian Dr. Speaking of the 10 awardees, Kevin Cahill, and activist and foundCharles Flanagan, minister of ing publisher of Irish America magaForeign Affairs and Trade said, “We zine, Niall O’Dowd. owe a huge debt of gratitude to “Recognition from Ireland for the these remarkable people for what Irish abroad is always very special. I they individually contributed to feel I am in very distinguished compaIreland, to the Irish abroad and our ny,” O’Dowd, who was honored for his international reputation.” work on the Northern Ireland peace The Distinguished Service process, said upon receiving the news. Awards have been given since 2011 The awards, presented in October, and have been influential in shining included a diverse array of talented a light on the Irish diaspora around men and women from places as far the world. Jimmy Deenihan, minisaway as Australia and Russia to the ter for Diaspora Affairs, summed it U.S. and England. up nicely saying, “Taken together, President Michael D. Higgins presents publisher Niall Among the honorees are Australian- O’Dowd with Ireland’s Distinguished Service Award. this group shows diverse talents: born author and playwright Thomas cultural awareness, business acuKeneally whose work, both fiction and nonfiction, touches on the men, humanity, far sightedness and, in different ways, a concern Famine and emigration. This year also featured the first ever to make the world a better place.” Russian awardee, Avril Conroy. She is an important figure in the – M.S.


eologists from Trinity College Dublin have rewritten evolutionary history by finding that oxygen-producing life forms were present on Earth some three billion years ago – 60 million years earlier than previously thought. Working with colleagues from the Presidency University in Kolkata, India, the geologists found evidence for chemical weathering of rocks leading to soil formation that occurred in the presence of O2. Using the naturally occurring uraniumlead isotope decay system, which is used for age determinations on geological time-scales, the scientists deduced that these events took place at least 3.02 billion years ago. The ancient soil (or paleosol) came from the Singhbhum Craton of Odisha (pictured above), and was named the ‘Keonjhar Paleosol’ after the nearest local town. Trinity Professor Quentin Crowley commented on the discovery saying, “Our research gives further credence to the notion of early and short-lived atmospheric oxygenation. This particular example is the oldest known example of oxidative weathering from a terrestrial environment, occurring about 600 million years before the Great Oxidation Event that laid the foundations for the evolution of complex life.” – IA



The Kavanagh Prize he literary world welcomed a new talent in September when T the prestigious Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award was given to UCC librarian John Fitzgerald. A virtual unknown, having no previous publications, Fitzgerald was quoted in the Irish Times as saying, “I wasn’t into publishing anything, mainly because I did not think it was up to standard.” All that changed when his first collection of poems, Leaving My Husband, was released. Since his win, Fitzgerald’s book has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award 2015. Fitzgerald, who hails from Lissarda, Co. Cork, only started writing poetry four years ago. A graduate of UCC he had previously worked as a librarian for Trinity College, Dublin before starting at UCC in 1996. As he noted, “it’s very good to have the day job and to be working in an environment which is hospitable to literature.” He cites Elizabeth Bishop as an early influence and credits his schooling days at De La Salle College in Macroom as a place he said, “developed my love of literature.” – M.S.

President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina pictured with the 2014 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award winner John Fitzgerald.

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{news from ireland} THE IRISH 66ERS


he spirited “Irish 66ers” recently completed their 7th motorcycle journey on Route 66 in an effort to raise money for the Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin. They were escorted by the Los Angeles police Emerald Society for the last leg of the famous highway to Santa Monica Pier where Councilman Kevin McKeown spoke to the exultant crowd. “Your commitment and dedication are inspiring, and I’m happy to welcome you to Santa Monica, where you’ve earned some party time to celebrate your accomplishment,” he said. This year’s motorcycle assembly included more than 60 men and women

who traveled through nine states and three time zones to arrive in Santa Monica. They began on September 21 in Chicago and embarked on their journey out west on the now historic Route 66. Many of the riders kept journals that illuminate their exciting journey. Eric Lalor (pictured below) wrote of their arrival into Santa Monica: “All of our bikes were decked out in tricolors and were being flanked by the LAPD. Here we were, Irish men and women on 60 or so motorbikes being given a police escort through the city of Los Angeles and all for the cause of raising money for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. It was an incredible sight.” The Temple Street Children’s Hospital is one of the leading pediatric hospitals in Ireland and treats over 145,000 Irish youths a year. – M.S. For more on the ride visit:

Belfast City Hall floodlit on November 4 for John Bell



ground-breaking exhibition, Science and Art, on the life and work of John Stewart Bell opened at the Naughton Gallery in Queen’s University Belfast on November 4. The exhibition was one of many events celebrating the Northern Irish physicist who 50 years ago became the originator of Bell’s Theorem, which resolved a decades-old dispute involving Albert Einstein and showed that Einstein’s views on quantum mechanics were incorrect. Bell’s work also laid the foundation stone for quantum information technology which went on to revolutionize the world of computing, particularly in the areas of financial services and cyber security. Considered by some scientists to rank alongside Newton and Einstein, Bell, who was born in 1928 into a working-class family in Tate’s Avenue, Belfast, was widely believed to be a front runner for the Nobel Prize in Physics but died in

1990 from a stroke at age 62. To mark Bell’s achievement, scientists from the Royal Irish Academy, Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland Science Park, W5 and the Institute of Physics joined forces with Titanic Quarter Ltd, Belfast City Hall and the Watkin Jones Group, owners of old Belfast Met College to help make John Bell Northern Ireland’s best known scientist. In what will become an annual event, they are dubbing November 4, as “John Bell Day,” as this is the day that Bell’s Theorem was first revealed to the world of science when Bell’s article was received by the scientific journal that published it. Professor Mary Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said, “The Academy wants John Bell to be the best known scientist in Northern Ireland and to be acknowledged as one of the most important scientists in the world.” – P.H.



rish-American scientist John O’Keefe was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing the award with Norwegian husband-and-wife researchers May Britt-Moser and Edward Moser. O’Keefe’s groundbreaking work on the brain has opened up a new way of viewing how the mind works. He discovered a positioning system of the brain or an “inner GPS” that makes it possible to map out our brains. Thanks to O’Keefe’s breakthrough, more research and breakthrough’s of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s is now possible. O’Keefe was born in 1939 in New

York to Irish immigrants from Co. Cork. He is currently a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Department of Anatomy at University College London. Later this year he is set to receive an honorary doctorate from University College Cork. The O’Keefe name seems to be a popular one in the science field. The late NASA scientist John O’Keefe was credited with the discovery of the earths “pear shape” after studying satellite data from the 1950s. Their work is a clear sign that Irish ingenuity continues to resonate all around the world and even in space. – M.S. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 13

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The Easter Rising on Film


s the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising approaches, many cultural events and other commemorations are planned to celebrate the lives of the men and women of who risked everything in a bid to end British rule in Ireland. Two movies in the works with release dates planned to coincide with the centenary celebrations are Twelve Days In May, and The Rising. The subject of the first film is James Connolly, the solider, union organizer and newspaper man, who was born in Edinburgh to Irish immigrant parents, and executed by a British firing squad on May 12, 1916 for his part in the Rising. The latter film also focuses on an architect of the revolution, Seán MacDiarmada. Born in Co. Leitrim, MacDiarmada was a national organizer for Sinn Féin, and manager of the newspaper Irish Freedom. He was executed on the same day as Connolly. Twelve Days in May is being produced by Liffeyside Productions, and is based on a 2009 play of the same name by Frank Allen. A Dublin-born writer, Allen became fascinated with Connolly when as a young boy he visited the Stonebreakers’ Yard in Kilmainham Jail (where the leaders were executed). He learned about Connolly’s last moments there at dawn on May 12, 1916. When asked by the Capuchin Friar Father Aloysius, would he forgive the soldiers lined up in the firing squad, Connolly replied: “I forgive any man who does his duty according to his lights.” The film on Seán MacDiarmada, with the working title of The

ABOVE: Eamon de Valera (standing on car) speaking in Dublin, c. 1920. LEFT: James Connolly.

Rising, is the inspiration of filmmaker Kevin McCann, who envisions it as the completion of a trilogy of films about the birth of modern Ireland – a prequel to both Michael Collins and The Wind that Shakes the Barley – deeming it “not just an Irish story,” but “a human story about fighting for freedom from oppression that will resonate with people worldwide.” McCann also refers to MacDiarmada’s final words written right before his execution: “I feel happiness the likes of which I have never experienced. I might die so that the Irish nation might live.” The film is currently at the halfway point of production and McCann has just confirmed Sinead O’Connor to the cast. The production is set to wrap by 2016, in time for the centenary. To see more on The Rising, visit or email Kevin McCann at For more on 12 Days in May, contact Karina Robert: 353 (0) 87 195 9466



hile rain is free and plentiful and free in Ireland, it appears water is not. Public outrage is sweeping across Ireland over the introduction of mandatory water meters that would raise the cost of living for many in the country. With the introduction of the water meters, Ireland will be paying some of the highest rates for water in Europe. Previously, water came out of the taxes of the Irish people, but a stipulation in the 2010 EU bailout of Ireland now requires water meters for its citizens, raising the annual charge of water to 278 euro.


Protesters in Dublin

Many of the protests are centered not so much on the introduction of the meters themselves, but the poor levels of drinking water throughout Ireland. The country’s Environmental Protection Agency routinely fails more than 14% of Ireland’s drinking levels, finding parasitic bacteria that may be harmful to people. In many places, residents have taken to purchasing large amounts of bottled water. For now, peaceful protests continue to be waged across the island as dissatisfaction and anger continue to boil over. – M.S.

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By Stephen Smith

Dublin: Europe’s Tech Capital

Dublin today has a unique rhythm, a youthful impatience to succeed, and confidence in its ability to compete with the greatest cities in the world. Underpinning this sense of buoyancy is the city’s thriving digital hub, made up of international IT giants like Google and native start-ups that are gathering momentum and accelerating the speed at which the economy is recovering. 16 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015


reland’s capital city is a sprawling metropolis with pockets of Georgian elegance interspersed with modern, gleaming tributes to the Celtic Tiger that house some of the world’s top “born on the Internet” companies – Google (Ireland’s number one exporter), LinkedIn, Facebook, AirBnB, Hubspot and Squarespace – as well as hardware manufacturers like Intel, which recently announced a $5 billion investment in the country. Alongside these international companies are homegrown start-ups like Intercom, the online user intelligence platform which recently raised over $30 million in funding, and (formerly Ezetop), the eightyear-old Dublin-based mobile services firm, as just two examples. Brett Myers, founder of the fast growing Irish currency exchange start-up Currency Fair, explains that the presence of international companies coupled with Irelandbased start-ups are fueling the growth of

The 2014 Dublin Web Summit.

Dublin’s digital hub and positioning the city as Europe’s Tech Capital. “These types of systems, they feed themselves,” Myers says. “The bigger companies mean more people are working, more entrepreneurs have successful exits who then have money to invest in other startups and this feeds more people to the ecosystem.”

“THE HOT TICKET” Now in its fourth year, the Dublin Web Summit places the city at the center of the European tech world. Attendance had grown from 500 attendees in 2010, to over 22,000 attendees from 109 countries, 614 speakers, 2,160 start-ups, and 1,324 journalists this year. “Everywhere you go it’s buzzing and electric,” reported Bloomberg, dubbing the summit “Davos for Geeks.” Forbes called the Web Summit “The new hot ticket on the tech conference scene.” Among the many interesting happenings to emerge from this year’s conference, held

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over three days in early November, was Google’s announcement that it would invest $4 million in start-ups in the form of Google Cloud Platform credits.

SUCCESS ABROAD This past year has also seen a strong roster of Irish-born entrepreneurs makeing big strides in the U.S. Mark Roden, Ding’s founder, was named Ernst & Young entrepreneur of the year for 2014. Mark Roden

firm says, “When it comes to Ireland’s startup scene the two issues we face are confidence and scale. Historically perhaps Irish entrepreneurs lacked the confidence to create something world class and therefore went for best in Ireland or best in Europe. Now they realize that they benchmark well against global competition – and many of them are winning.” Niamh Bushnell, the recently appointed Start-up Commissioner for Dublin, echoes Prendergast’s sentiment. “I was amazed at the number and quality of start-ups in Dublin. I didn’t expect the quality to be so high. There is a sophistication and maturity among entrepreneurs in Dublin that I wouldn’t have seen even back in 2011 when I was mentoring companies Niamh Bushnell

In addition to Ding, which has annual revenues of $200 million, users in 130 countries, and 200 employees, the Collison brothers from County Limerick have earned a global reputation as tech wizards. In 2007, Patrick Collison, who at the age of 16 won Ireland’s Young Scientist Award, founded Shuppa with his brother John. The company later merged with Auctomatic and the Collisons moved to Silicon Valley where today, both still in their 20s, they are behind Stripe, a global payments company valued at more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, Oisin Hanrahan from Dublin recently closed a fundraising round in New York of $30 million for his home cleaning platform,

THE FUTURE Will Prendergast, Founding Partner of Frontline VC, an early-stage venture capital

here. I could sense the potential but wasn’t expecting things to develop so quickly,” she said. As in all success stories, there are challenges to be faced and improvements to be made to keep building momuntum and the Irish economy growing. “We can always improve and do things better and more efficiently,” says Tom Hayes, Enterprise Ireland’s divisional manager for micro enterprises and small businesses. “Our biggest challenge right now is to get this beyond Dublin and out to the re-

gions.” And in that regard, EI is meeting with some success. Small but growing clusters of technology hubs have sprung up in Cork, Galway, and Waterford. Another challenge is to continue to attract the best global companies to Ireland. “We have been lucky to catch many of the new waves of technology and we want to make sure that continues to be the case. We are always aware of the challenge posed by competitors, but we are committed to being the best at what we do,” says Martin Shanahan, the new CEO of the Industrial Development Authority (the government body that focuses on inward bound investment). There are others who believe that a reduction of the heavy bureaucratic process of establishing a company and simplification of the particulars of Irish tax law in the areas of employee share options could be tweaked to be more advantageous to startup companies. Mark Roden would like a level playing field for Irish companies. “Why can’t indigenous companies avail of the same corporate tax rate as the multi-nationals?” he asks. But such improvements and challenges not withstanding, the Dublin tech scene is booming and the future looks bright. As Will Prendergast concludes: “It’s like a flywheel, it takes a certain amount of energy to get it going but eventually you get to a point where it builds off its own momentum. “We are nearing that point in Ireland where things are about to take off.”

Stephen Smith is a board member of Digital Irish, a not for profit whose mission is to provide a soft landing in the US for Irish start-ups in the digital media sector through regular fast-pitch meetups in New York. Visit for more. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 17

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{ irish eye on hollywood}

By Tom Deignan

Two children of the Irish diaspora may well come together to tell the story of a recently deceased American icon. Oscar winning director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) is currently planning to shoot a biopic of legendary Apple designer and executive Steve Jobs. Boyle grew up in England, where his parents settled after emigrating from Galway. Christian Bale had been rumored to play the role, but the temperamental Dark Knight actor dropped out, leaving a giant hole to fill. Enter Oscar-nominated Irish-raised actor Michael Fassbender. “Sony has moved quickly to find the man to portray the late Apple founder Steve Burnett and Downey on the Jobs,” Variety recently reported, adding, set of “The Bible” miniseries. “Michael Fassbender is in early talks to play Jobs in the Sony biopic… based on Walter Isaacson’s biography.” Rumors are also swirling that up for you to tell Downey and Burnett your story for the Seth Rogen will play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, with show, slated to air in 2015. Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, Newsroom) on board to write Downey and Burnett have also launched an initiative the screenplay. along with Johnnie Moore and Chris Seiple to raise 25 mil“It’s a little like writing about the Beatles,” Sorkin has lion to help Christians in Iraq and Syria. In late October, said. “There are so many people out there that know him and Downey said in an email to Irish America, “We must hurry revere him.” to raise this money as next weeks rain will soon be snow and winter is coming. As you know the clock is ticking and we Irish-born actress Roma Downey and her husband Mark must act now. Evil thrives when good men do nothing. We Burnett are producing a new TV show that profiles people can and must help.” whose prayers have been answered. The show, not yet titled, Their “Cradle of Christianity Fund” is being administered is being shot for the TLC network. “Mark and I feel passionby the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), a leader on ate about providing projects that show people’s lives in posiinternational religious freedom issues which primarily tive and uplifting ways,” said Downey, who is also executiveworks in east Asia. producing the project with Burnett. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with TLC and host a series that will The new year brings with it another sequel to Taken, Liam Neeson’s action-packed franchise. What goes wrong this inspire and encourage viewers to remember that even in the time for poor, beleaguered Bryan Mills, with his “particular worst circumstances prayer can lead to divine intervention.” set of skills”? His daughter and wife have already Network officials say the series will follow people been kidnapped (Taken 1 and 2). Well, it seems this who claim to have been blessed by “modern-day Neeson time around, Mills is being framed for a murder that miracles, incredible twists of fate, and phenomena (shockingly) he did not commit. Neeson clearly that logic and science cannot explain.” enjoys the fun and box office receipts that come It’s not surprising that Downey and Burnett with these violent, popcorn thrillers, but it would be would continue to explore extraordinary themes of nice if one of the five or six movies he will also be faith after their TV blockbuster “The Bible.” That appearing in in 2015 (Ted 2, Entourage, Run All was followed up by “Son of God.” They are also Night) were a little more quiet and introspective. working on an NBC miniseries called A.D. and a new version on the biblical epic Ben-Hur. February 2015 is going to be an Irish month at the movies, Downey, of course, played a heavenly character on CBS’s starting with Stephen Rea’s latest film Out of the Dark. Rea – “Touched by an Angel.” who was nominated for an Academy Award for his stunning “TLC is always looking for remarkable, heart-warming, turn in The Crying Game – stars alongside Julia Stiles and and eye-opening stories,” said TLC general manager Nancy Scott Speedman in this thriller/ghost story set in South Daniels. “This project, and our fantastic partnership with America, where a young family is trying to start a new Things Roma and Mark, will deliver a television experience that get complicated, then downright terrifying, when ghosts force connects with the hearts, minds, and faith of our viewers.” them to confront more earthly family secrets. Have you been blessed by a miracle? A website has been set 18 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

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Perhaps the most anticipated forthcoming Irish movie is ‘71 starring Irish actress Valene Kane and English-born Irishman Jack O’Connell. ’71 is a gritty look at the darkest days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. O’Connell – whose father was born in Kerry – stars as a British soldier separated from his troops in hostile Catholic territory. The film features a wide range of Irish talent, including Newry-born Kane, who has already turned heads in Irish director Ivan Kavanagh’s The Fading Light. Kane also stars in the BBC series “The Fall” and will also be seen in the forthcoming big-budget adaptation of Frankenstein, to be directed by Scotsman Paul McGuigan and starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe. As for O’Connell, you can see him on Christmas Day in the Angelina Jolie – directed film Unbroken, in which he stars as Louis Zamperini, an Olympian who was later stranded at sea and imprisoned with an Irish-American partner during World War II. Domhnal Gleeson will also be seen in Unbroken. Jack O'Connell in '71

Also in February, there’s the frontier drama Jane Got a Gun starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor and directed by Gavin O’Connor, best known for the boxing epic Warrior and the Irish American cops drama (featuring Colin Farrell) Pride and Glory. Jane Got a Gone features Portman and Joel Edgarton (The Great Gatsby) as a couple trying to live a peaceful life but unable to avoid the violence of a brutal Wild West gang led by James Nesbitt McGregor. Violent in a very different way – and timed for Valentine’s Day – is the much-hyped 50 Shades of Grey adaptation, starring Down native Jamie Dornan. Kenneth Branagh continues his evolution from Shakespearean thespian to blockbuster maestro. The Belfast-born Branagh – whose excellent work directing the comic book epic Thor surprised some critics while also making tons of money – will direct a new version of Cinderella slated to hit theaters in March. English actress Lily James will take on the title role, joined in the all-star cast by such luminaries as Cate Blanchett, Stellan

Skarsgård, and Helena Bonham Carter. Look for Cinderella in theaters March 15. That same week, Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson star in the seafaring epic In the Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and based on the best-selling book of the same title by Nathaniel Philbrick. The film tells the harrowing story of a ship attacked by a whale in 1820 and the crew’s desperate efforts to stay alive. Another harrowing tale of survival based on a bestselling book is Room, currently being directed by Irishman Lenny Abrahamson whose recent rock-n-roll comedy Frank featured Michael Fassbender, mostly in an oversized fake head, which left more than a few critics and fans scratching their own heads. Room should be a different kind of movie entirely. The book, by Irish writer Emma Donoghue (who is also writing the screenplay) is about a mother and son who have been abducted and their efforts to stay alive long enough so that they can seize an opportunity to escape. Room has already begun shooting and should be in theaters in late 2015 or early 2016. Finally, Antrim native James Nesbitt will be having a busy winter. Nesbitt stars alongside Aussie-Irish actress Frances O’Connor in the Starz network drama “The Missing.” The show revolves around the devastation a husband and wife face when their son goes missing while on a trip to France. The eight-part series will run to the end of 2014. Nesbitt – who has appeared in Match Point and The Way as well as Irish movies such as Hear My Song and Bloody Sunday – will also be reprising his role in the latest entry in The Hobbit series of films come Christmas time. Nesbitt portrays middle earth dwarf Bofur in the upcoming film The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, which sports a massive cast including Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Irish actor Aidan Turner. Look for Battle of the Five Armies film to hit U.S. theaters on December 17.

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And the Winner Is... Maureen O’Hara Receives an Honorary Oscar

By June Parker Beck



TOP: Maureen O’Hara accepts an Honorary Award from Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2014 Governor’s Awards in Hollywood, California.


aureen O’Hara was presented with an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 2014 Governor’s Awards, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood. Little did I know 23 years ago, when I first began a website in tribute to Maureen that I would someday be sitting front-row center in a posh Hollywood hotel ballroom watching her receive this coveted recognition by the movie industry. Many fans feel this award is long overdue, and in a sense, that may be true – but why not now? She has come full circle, all the while remaining an icon of feminist strength, acting and singing her way through the entertainment world for over 70 years. In between her many TV appearances and films she battled cancer several times, endured the tragic death of her husband, General Charles Blair in 1976, and then took the helm to manage their Antilles Airboats commuter seaplane service in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Later she moved on, coming out of retirement in 1991 to make Only the Lonely for 20th Century Fox with John Candy and directed by Christopher Columbus. Getting back to work was the best medicine for Maureen at that time and in 1995 she made her first made-for-TV movie The Christmas Box for producer Beth Polson, followed by two more, Cab to Canada 1998 and The Last Dance in 2000. Things are more challenging now, but she remains undaunted by it all. In her wheelchair she displays the courage that has kept her going. Holding her Oscar, Maureen mentioned Charles Laughton who found her through a screen test at Elstree Studios in the U.K. On Ralph Edwards’s “This is Your Life Maureen O’Hara” TV show in 1957 Laughton describes his discovery: “I’ll never forget, I asked you why you wanted to be an actress and I cannot forget your reply, ‘When I was a child’ you said, ‘I used to go down to

LEFT: O’Hara with her grandson, Conor FitzSimons, his wife Elga, and their children Everest and Baylee. ABOVE: June Parker Beck (left) and Elaine Parkey, with Maureen O’Hara.

the garden and talk to the flowers, and then I’d pretend I was the flowers talking back to myself,’ and I figured it had to be a pretty nice girl, and a pretty good actress too, and goodness knows, you’re both.” Although Maureen’s career was in the U.S., her Irish heritage is the very fiber of her being. Her pride in her family and in Ireland brought her such contentment and purpose, it was a large motivation in her success. So there she was on the stage at age 94 re-

ceiving a standing ovation from her peers in the movie industry; surrounded by her family and friends; holding her much deserved Oscar – there wasn’t a dry eye in house. I could only think of her words to Johnny Carson when she and John Candy appeared to promote Only the Lonely in 1991. Johnny asked her what it was like to have so many classic movies to her credit and she quipped: “A hundred years from now, when I’m nailed into the box, you’ll still be seeing The Quiet Man every St. Patty’s Day and Miracle on 34th Street every Christmas.” And you know what? She’s absolutely right! Her legacy is guaranteed. She’ll always be a winner. June Parker Beck is the editor of Maureen O’Hara Magazine.

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Irish Post Awards


ollywood actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers was among those honored at this year’s Irish Post Awards on October 24 in London. Hosted by broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, the black tie event at the Hilton, Park Lane, which was attended by 700 guests, honored a number of exceptional people including Rhys Meyers, who received this year’s Legend award for his contribution to the film and entertainment industry. The Golden Globe winner was presented with his Legend Award by Lord of the Dance creator Michael Flatley. “What a star you are,” Flatley said. “You don’t get to the top of the world in anything without lots of talent, I suppose a little bit of luck, but mostly a mountain of hard work. And of ABOVE: Michael Flatley course the most and Jonathan Rhys handsome guy in Meyers. BELOW: Michael Hollywood is from Forde (left) from the Irish World Heritage Centre in Ireland.” Manchester, the Irish Post Accepting his Community Award winaward Jonathan said: ner, with Sinead Mac Lua (center), daughter of Irish “I’ve had so much rePost founder Brendan jection. I went to Mac Lua, and host Hollywood and was Eamonn Holmes (right). told no, no, no, then some people said yes, then some people said no. I’ve had ups and downs, I’ve fallen down as much as I’ve gotten up. I think you do that in life. But I’ve always remembered at the core of it that being Irish is special.”

Paul Kennedy with a picture of his son Michael, a firefighter who was honored posthumously with fellow firefighter Edward Walsh, pictured on the right.

Irish Hero Awards T

he Irish Emigrant newspaper, in partnership with, held its Irish Heroes of New England awards in Boston on December 3. Two firefighters, Michael Kennedy and Edward Walsh were honored posthumously in recognition of their heroism and ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty as firefighters for the City of Boston. Kennedy and Walsh died in a nine-alarm fire that tore through a Back Bay brownstone in the city on March 26. The four other awardees were: Officer James Flanagan, Weymouth Police Department who smashed his way into a burning vehicle to save the driver's life; Mark Porter, director of Let’s Stop Cancer Foundation, who has spent countless hours fundraising for local charities in Boston; John Dunleavy, who was honored in recognition of his work as a member of the Council for Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress; and Katie O'Halloran, who was honored for the determination she has shown in overcoming some daunting physical challenges. Born without arms, the Connemara native became a lawyer and is now getting used to her newly fitted Bionic arms. The awards were presented at a reception and awards ceremony held in downtown Boston. Diageo/Guinness and its “Made of More” campaign were the main supporters o the event.

Irish Arts Center Gala

From left: Irish Arts Center vice chair Pauline Turley, Martin Hayes, special guest Sting (whose grandmother is Irish), Robert McCann, and Irish Arts Center executive director Aidan Connolly, pictured at the 15th Annual Spirit of Ireland Gala in October. The Center honored musician Martin Hayes and Bob McCann, CEO of UBS Americas. A record $1.1 million was raised for the Irish Arts Center in New York, which is planning a building expansion project on Manhattan’s West Side. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 21

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{hibernia / history}

Tales from the Vault

The American investor and businessman Wilbur Ross, Jr. led a consortium of investors who took a stake in Bank of Ireland in 2011 in order to reduce the risk the Irish state had to take. The investment also helped restore investor confidence in the ability of Ireland’s economy to recover. For his efforts, Ross was presented with the American Irish Historical Society’s Gold Medal on November 6, 2014, at the society’s annual dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. In his acceptance speech, Ross, who Irish on his mother’s side, offered some insights into some of the lesser-known history of the Bank of Ireland. rom 1770 to 1782, all Irish government funds were held in the personal names of officials, but some of them kept the money, thereby creating government deficits. During the same period, many Irish private banks failed because of real estate speculation. (Does this sound familiar?) So, in 1783, the newly independent Irish Parliament created Bank of Ireland as the sole depository for government cash. Private investors contributed £600,000 in Irish Government bonds that were trading at £80 but valued at £100, a nice mark-up. Once the bank had earned a real £600,000, the bonds were canceled, eliminating one-third of the government’s indebtedness. It was a combination Ponzi scheme and government bailout – the first of many in European history. The bank was the first official issuer of currency and profited by printing paper money. Notes were engraved on the same paper and in the same dimensions and denominations as English Pounds Sterling, but also stated an official exchange rate of 13 Irish to 12 English. Ireland previously had no paper money, and its coinage had been limited to copper coins versus the gold and silver English coins that also changed hands there. Bad Irish coppers repeatedly drove the gold and silver coins out of circulation, causing periodic shortages, and creating recessions. Paper money solved the monetary supply problem, but led to forgery. Soon, Mr. Foliett Whiteway became the first convicted forger in Irish history, and forgery flourished despite increasingly harsh penalties. Finally, the Irish Parliament in 1797 decreed the death penalty for forgery, which did bring it under control somewhat. Religion was another issue for Bank of Ireland. Catholics could buy shares only after swearing adherence to “An Act to En-



able His Majesty’s Subjects of Whatever Persuasion to Testify their Allegiance to Him,” but the Board required prospective members to swear to Parliament’s “Act to Prevent the Further Growth of Popery.” The Board, therefore, included no Catholics, although it did include a former Catholic who recanted his faith in order to join the board. However, Irish Protestants were never on

though, to use non-combustible building materials and to store large quantities of water inside the bank, just in case. They wisely accepted his advice. The bank’s original charter did not authorize branching but in 1801 the bank opened a branch anyway. In fact, it opened 94 branches and 48 sub-branches over 128 years before Parliament passed an act permitting branches. The bank similarly ignored the prohibiWilbur Ross, Jr. speaking at the American tion against incurring liabiliIrish Historical Society Dinner. ties in excess of its capital. Until 1932 its charter had also provided that shareholders were liable for any debts the bank could not repay. Fortunately, this provision was never tested. The first branch had its own saga. When the Act of Union subsumed Ireland’s Parliament into the English one, the House of Commons was torn down and to prevent it from ever rebuilding, the bank was ordered to erect a branch there. They did so and again debated windows, this time creating just one small wintime so each newly-elected director de- dow on one of the top floors. Strangely, the posited five guineas from which would be adjoining House of Lords was not torn deducted a one shilling fine for fifteen min- down. Instead, the bank took it over and utes of tardiness and two shillings for an made it into the public museum which still hour. Fines actually became a profit center operates today. It exhibits a huge silver gilt for the bank. ceremonial mace, which the Lord ChancelAnother challenge was real estate. The lor consigned to Christie’s in London for bank’s original building abutted an open auction when the House was disbanded. sewer into which a cashier’s carriage soon The bank sent a staffer to buy it, and he did fell, costing the bank ten guineas in dam- but at a surprising four times the high estiages. So they purchased a new site from, of mate after a bidding war with an anonyall organizations, the “Commissioners for mous antagonist. Wide Streets,” and hired Sir John Soanes, On the steamboat returning to Dublin, the Bank of England architect, to design a build- staffer met the mysterious rival bidder who ing. The bank wanted no windows, just like said that the Government had commissioned the Bank of England, but Soanes convinced him to buy it as a present for the Bank of Irethem that their location was more secure land, not knowing if the bank itself was bidthan Threadneedle Street and that Iron bars ding. The mace, recently valued at £50 IA on the windows would suffice. He cautioned million, turned out to be a good buy.

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Flax Trust America Honors Charlie Rose


alk show host and journalist Charlie Rose was honored at the Flax Trust annual luncheon at the 21 Club, New York on October 15. Rose was introduced by Norah O’Donnell, his co-host on “CBS This Morning,” and presented with the Flax Trust Award by Sr. Mary Turley, trustee and director of the Flax Trust, who said, “Where so much of broadcasting is prejudiced and partisan, Charlie Rose is a beacon of objectivity and fairness.” Rose who has interviewed Tony Blair, Martin McGuinness and others involved in the N.I. peace process said, “It’s at the grassroots where the change has to take place, and that is why something like the Flax Trust makes so much difference.” The Trust was founded in 1977 in Belfast in an effort to reduce community

tensions and religious prejudices by intercommunity engagement in economic and social development, education and other activities.

Left to right: Flax Trust Director Sr. Mary Turley, CBS stars Charlie Rose, and Norah O’Donnell, Fr. Myles Kavanagh, Chairman Flax Trust, and Jim Quinn, President Flax Trust America.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

President Brian W. Stack presenting the Ireland-U.S. Council’s Award for Outstanding Achievement to Gerald C. Crotty, Chairman & CEO of Mayo Renewable Power at the 52nd Annual Dinner in New York. Seen at the Ireland-U.S. Council’s 52nd Annual Dinner were (left to right): Anne Anderson, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Sates; Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD being presented with the Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Council President-Emeritus, Dennis Swanson; and William B. Finneran, who served as chairman of the dinner and is a member of the Ireland-U.S. Council board of directors.


he Ireland-U.S. Council honored An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD with a Lifetime Achievement Award to mark his contributions to Ireland and IrelandU.S. relations, and presented its Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2014 to Gerald C. Crotty, chairman and chief operating officer of Mayo Renewable Power to mark his contributions to building business bonds between

the United States and Ireland. The awards were the centerpiece of the Council’s 52nd annual dinner, which was held at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on Thursday, November 13, 2014. The Ireland-U.S. Council was founded in 1962 by business leaders in the United States and Ireland to encourage and promote business between Ireland and the United States. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 23

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2 3 1 1/ Keynote Speaker Dr. Garret FitzGerald. 2/ ICON CEO Ciarán Murray with honorees Michael Dowling, and Jim Watson. 3/ Irish America editor-in-chief Patricia Harty with honoree John Connolly. 4/ Honoree Patrick Donohue and his daughter Sarah Jane. 5/ Honoree Karen Myrick with Irish America publisher Niall O’Dowd.



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6/ Dave Aldrich, honoree Mary McFadden, and Lawrence Stifler. 7/ ICON CEO Ciarán Murray. 8/ Honoree Garrett O’Connor with his wife Fionnula Flanagan. 9/ Honore Peter Green. 10/ Honoree John Kennedy. 11/ Aran Maree, honoree Niall Condon, Majella Condon, and honoree Macdara Lynch.




Healthcare & Life Sciences 50


rish America celebrated its inaugural Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 Awards with a reception at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on September 25. Dr. Garret FitzGerald, the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania, gave the Keynote address on how the cultural roots of the Irish have allowed Irish and Irish Americans to succeed in medicine. “Our roots give us our sense of irony, humor, resignation and doom, our love of music, river dancing and above all the talk, our way with words, our poetry, our inclination to sing,” he said. “But they also give us a sense of compassion, a love for the underdog,


a devotion to fairness,” he continued. “These are the instincts and qualities so central to the values of people in this room, intrinsic as they are to careers in medicine and science.” Patricia Harty and founding publisher Niall O’Dowd presented Dr. FitzGerald with the House of Waterford Crystal Kings Cup Keynote Speaker Award. Among the honorees recognized at the event were Dr. Bill and Kathy McGee, co-founders of Operation Smile and Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson, who discovered the double helix structure of DNA. The event was co-presented by ICON plc, a global leader in clinical research. – A.F.



12/ Ciarán Murray, honorees Bill and Kathy McGee, and Niall O’Dowd. 13/ Patricia Harty and honoree Kevin Horgan. 14/ Ciarán Murray with honoree Christopher O’Connor.


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The Wall Street 50 Awards


he 17th Annual Wall Street 50 Awards Dinner was celebrated at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan on September 18. Kathleen Lynch, chief operating officer of UBS Group Americas and Wealth Management Americas was the Keynote Speaker. In her empowering yet humorously personal speech, Lynch praised her fellow honorees, while calling them to action, saying, “Never has there been a greater need for strong leadership. What you do every day is incredibly important to millions of people around the world and you should feel incredibly proud of that work.” Speaking also on being a woman in an industry that has been predominantly

male-oriented, she said, “I didn’t see myself as one of the few women on the trading floor,” she says. “But rather one of the many Irish. That genuine sense of family was both comforting and exhilarating. Like anyone looking around seeing colleagues with backgrounds similar to my own, it went a long way in helping me acclimate to the business.” In addition to the honorees, attendees included former Irish America Wall Street 50 Keynote speakers Jim O’Donnell, managing director and global head of Investor Sales and Relationships at Citi, Denis Kelleher, founder and chairman of Wall Street Access, and Bob McCann, who introduced Lynch and is currently a UBS CEO. – A.F.

1 3




1/ Honoree Shaun Kelly, Brian Hull, and honoree Sean Dillon. 2/ Keynote Speaker Kathleen Lynch and Bob McCann, CEO of UBS Wealth Management Americas. 3/ Honoree Michael Brewster with Patricia Harty. 4/ Honoree Daniel O’Connell and his family. 5/ The 2014 Irish America Wall Street 50 honorees at the Metropolitan Club in New York.

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6/ Tourism Ireland’s Alison Metcalfe and Patricia Harty. 7/ Kristin Irish, honorees Francis O’Connor, Mary Ann Deignan, and Sharon Sager. 8/ Kieran McLoughlin, John Fitzpatrick, Consul General Barbara Jones, and Simon Carswell. 9/ Honoree Tara McCabe with her mother Bernadette. 10/ Honoree Tony O’Callaghan and Patricia Harty. 11/ Honoree Suni Harford and Jim O’Donnell raise a glass of Guinness 1759. 12/ Joe Cahalan of Concern. 13/ UBS’s Kathleen Lynch delivering the 2014 Wall Street 50 keynote address.

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UCC Celebrates the Legacy of George Boole


celebration of the life and legacy of George Boole was the theme of the gala dinner for alumni and friends of University College, Cork, which took place at the Princeton Club in New York in November. Boole, UCC’s first professor of mathematics turns 200 on November 2, 2015, and UCC will celebrate this bicentenary year with a program of events that will shine a global spotlight on Boole and his close connections to UCC. A mathematician, philosopher and logician, Boole, who is known as the father of the information age, worked in the fields of differential equations and algebraic logic, and is now best known as the author of The Laws of Thought. Boolean algebra is named after him, as is the crater Boole on the Moon. The keyword “bool” represents a Boolean datatype in many programming languages.

ABOVE: Members of New York Alumni Chapter committee included Emmet Browne, Susan O’Brien, Dr. Michael Murphy (President of UCC), Edmond Cunningham and Clayton Love (Chair of New York UCC Alumni Chapter) LEFT: Dr. Michael Murphy (President, UCC) with Dr. James Watson. PHOTOS: NUALA PURCELL


UCD Smurfit School Honors O’Bryne


he 12th annual University College, Dublin Smurfit New York Benefit Dinner was held in the Metropolitan Club on Wednesday, November 5. Over 240 guests attended and supported the school’s scholarship fund. Brian O’Bryne, chief executive officer and so-founder, INOV8 Beverage and Consulting Hydrive Energy LLC was honored for his achievements and acknowledged by guests Jimmy Deenihan, TD, Minister for the Diaspora; Shaun Kelly, chairman of the school’s North American Board; Consul General Barbara Jones and many other alumni and supporters of the school.


Left to right: Dr. Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway; honoree Garry Hynes; Aedhmar Hynes, CEO Text 100 Public Relations; and Sean O’Rourke,Chair of NUI Galway Alumni Association.

Damien McLoughlin (professor, marketing & associate dean, Internationalisation and Distance Learning at UCD Smurfit School), Shaun Kelly (chairman, North American Advisory Board), honoree Brian O’Byrne, Paul Haran (chairman emeritus, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School), and Tony Condon (director of development, UCD College of Business). 26 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

NUI Galway Dinner Supports Drama


he eighth annual National University Ireland, Galway Gala Dinner took place in November at the Metropolitan Club in New York. Garry Hynes, Tony Award winner and founder of the Druid Theatre in Galway city, was this year’s honoree. Proceeds from the gala benefited the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway. Attendees at the event included Cathal Goan, former DG, RTÉ and current Chair of Druid; John Fitzpatrick, Chairman, The American Ireland Fund; Walter O’Hara, Allen & Co.; Marie Mullen, Druid; Loretta Glucksman, The Ireland Funds; Barbara Jones, Consul General, Irish Embassy, New York; Caitríona Perry, RTÉ Washington Correspondent; Mike Higgins, Chair of the US Foundation Board.


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Meet in Ireland Initiative Announced According to Paul Mockler, Corporate and Incentive Manager at Failte Ireland, the role of the ambassador is very important. “Approximately 75 percent of business events are secured by an ambassador, so they are a vital tool for us in attracting corporate meetings,” he said. Ambassadors who bring in large scale meetings can qualify for their own reward trip to Ireland. Business tourism is worth in excess of €570 million a year to the Irish economy and, according to Mockler, the sector is experiencing strong growth. “Business tourism supports over 19,000 jobs in Ireland and in 2013 it grew by 9 percent, which is a clear indication of its importance to the country,” he said. “On average a business Pictured at the event promoting Meet in Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way at the Trump Soho Hotel in New York on Thursday, October 9th. tourist would be worth twice as much as a leisure tourist with an average of €1,400 per delegate.” Failte Ireland have launched a new campaign called “Meet in The “Meet in Ireland” campaign was celebrated at a reception Ireland,” to support corporate tourism. One of these initiatives is in New York on October 9. the Conference Ambassador Program, which rewards people who For more information on Failte Ireland’s business tourism bring their corporate meeting to Ireland. programs visit

Patrick Healy to Retire Patrick J. Healy, Quinnipiac University’s senior vice president for finance, is retiring effective June 30, 2015. His 43-year career cannot be fully captured, but there are several areas that deserve highlighting. First, under Pat’s leadership the university maintained a balanced budget during his entire tenure. He planned for and oversaw the construction and financing of scores of buildings, starting with the Buckman Center (1979) and the student residences called The Complex (1981) and culminating in the development and opening of the new medical and law centers on the North Haven campus. Pat’s strategic initiatives have far-reaching consequences. Under his leadership Quinnipiac more than doubled the size of the Mount Carmel campus and added two new campuses, York Hill and North Haven. He was responsible for acquiring the land for York Hill, purchasing three separate pieces in order to develop the striking campus that is now home to the TD Bank Sports Center, the Rocky Top Student Center and residence halls for 1,500 upper-class students. He played a similar role in the development of Quinnipiac’s School of Medicine. Pat, who is a graduate of the university, was also responsible for the “beautification project” which made Quinnipiac’s campus the pastoral setting it is today. The length and breadth of his service to the university is unparalleled, and he will be sorely missed.

The Irish Legal 100 From the era of the Brehon laws, the Irish have been famous worldwide for their commitment to principles and justice for all. Thus the Irish Voice 7th Annual Irish Legal 100 was celebrated at the home of Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 30. Pictured is Ambassador Anderson and Bill O’Connor of Thompson Knight. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 27

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Celebrating Young and Strong: The Bridget Awards


he first-ever Celebrating Young and Strong cocktail reception benefiting Dana-Farber’s program for young women with breast cancer was held on Friday, Oct. 17 at the Boston Harbor Hotel. With over 400 guests in attendance, the event raised more than $115,000 for Young and Strong: The Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. WCVB-TV/Channel 5 Boston reporter and cancer survivor Kelley Tuthill emceed the evening’s festivities, which included dancing, live music from The Marsels, live and silent auctions, and the presentation of the Bridget Awards. The “Bridget Awards” are presented to people and organizations that inspire with their dedication to the fight against cancer and their continuous support of young women everywhere facing a breast cancer diagnosis. The awards were created in honor of two women who fought courageously but ultimately lost their battles with breast cancer – Bridget Slotemaker and Bridget Mooney Spence. The 2014 Bridget Slotemaker Award was presented to

Bridget Spence after completing a three-day race with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Spence, née Mooney, was diagnosed with stage lV breast cancer at 21 and with the help of her family, looked the disease square in the eye and fought with courage, dignity, passion and friendship. Bridget gave herself fully to finding a cure – while knowing the cure would not likely be found in time to help her. She was Susan G. Komen’s national face the last year of her life and spoke at conferences all over the country telling her story of the shocking diagnosis, of fulfilling many of her dreams, of running out of trials as her health deteriorated, and of the importance of finding a cure.

Alex and Ani’s Charity by Design for its extraordinary commitment to supporting all Young and Strong, the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer women battling the disease. The 2014 Bridget Mooney Spence Award was presented to Geralyn Lucas, an award-winning TV producer, author, lecturer, women’s health advocate, and breast cancer survivor. Lucas has spent the years since her diagnosis committed to promoting breast cancer awareness and providing courage and hope to thousands of women by IA sharing her own story.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ana-Farber Cancer Institute, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is world renowned for its leadership in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it is one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of NCI and National Institutes of Health grant funding. For more information, go to



Above left: Bridget's mother Dottie Mooney (center) with friends Gita Tiku (left) and Viviana Atienzar (right). Above: Oncologist Dr. Ann Partridge. Photos: Mandy Mayberry

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Learn today Lead tomorrow

Study for your post-graduate degree in Ireland. Where business and inspiration meet on a daily basis. Irish creativity. It’s famous for the successes it has fostered in literature, music and business. UCD Smurfit School postgraduate business programmes are stimulating, inspiring and innovating. They’re chosen by people who want to make a real Tony Condon difference in their career progression and personal Director of Development development. Visit our website to find out more. UCD College of Business & Law Tel: + 353 1 7168895 Email:

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eather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, together with other Irish dignitaries visited New Orleans in November to take part in a program of activities that drew attention to the enduring impact of Irish immigration on the Crescent City. The influence of Irish immigrants on New Orleans’ economy and culture predates the Louisiana Purchase. Their impact on the city’s political, social, economic and financial spheres peaked in the 19th century when thousands of Irish poured into the historic port before and during the Great Famine of 1845-52.

From left: Minster Humphreys, IFC board member Fionuala McGlinchey Monsted, IFC board member and Executive Chair of the IFC Symposium Laura D. Kelley, and Maura O’Donovan (Sisters of the Holy Faith).

From left: Sean Tenner (Irish Famine Education Institute), Ciara Breathnach, Ph.D. (University of Limerick History Lecturer), Heather Humphreys, T.D., Christine Kinealy, Ph.D. (Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University), Laura D. Kelley, Ph.D., Caroilin Callery (Director of the National Irish Famine Museum, Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon).

In a program of activities that drew attention to the enduring legacy of Irish immigration, Tulane University hosted a symposium entitled “Ireland and New Orleans: From the Famine to Katrina – Stories of Recovery.” The event was held at St. Alphonsus Art and Cultural Center, in the heart of the historic Irish Channel neighborhood. Dr. Laura D. Kelley, the organizer of the symposium, said she wished “to reinforce the relevance of the Great Famine to contemporary issues. Hunger still exists – but not just in distant places like the African continent, but also on the streets in the 30 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015


United States and Europe.” Caroilin Callery, director of the National Irish Famine Museum, Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon (the National 2104 Famine Commemoration site) along with Sean Tenner, co-founder of the Irish Famine Education Institute in Chicago, highlighted the critical role of public policy and private charity in ameliorating or aggravating catastrophes. They each also emphasized the horrific impact of racism and prejudice, of the type seen in the Famine era, in exacerbating similar tragedies throughout the globe and the role that students can play in researching and advocating against modern day hunger. Dr. Ciara Breathnach, history lecturer at the University of Limerick, presented a stunning array of photographs from mid to late 19th century


Ireland and New Orleans Symposium

Richard Campanella gives his presentation.

From left: Minister Humphreys, Christine Kinealy, and Caroilin Callery.

Ireland, many of which had not been seen in public before. Dr. Christine Kinealy, Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University, discussed the extent to which people throughout the world had rallied to provide money, food and clothing to assist the starving Irish, with donations coming from as far away as Australia, China, India and South America. Large donations to Ireland for Famine relief also came from New Orleans.

The symposium also paid attention to the life Irish immigrants created in New Orleans. Richard Campanella, Geography Professor at Tulane University, examined where and why the Irish settled in New Orleans, while Dr. Terrence Fitzmorris, associate dean of Tulane’s School of Continuing Studies, discussed the reasons why some Irish chose to fight in the U.S., Civil War on the Confederate side while others abstained, or joined the Union Army. The symposium ended with a keynote address by Minister Humphreys, who reinforced many points made by the other speakers, and paid tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of the men, women and children who were forced to leave their homes in Ireland to escape starvation and death and who went to create a new comIA munity in New Orleans.

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Dublin, Ireland proudly congratulates Alumni, Board and Emeritus Board members Gordon Hardie Shaun Kelly Tom Moran Brian O’Byrne

for being named to Irish America Magazine’s Business 100. For further information Tony Condon, Director of Development Email: Tel: 011 353 1 716 8895

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Two Million Seeds of Hope The International humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide U.S. recognized Joe Ripp, CEO of Time Inc., at its Seeds of Hope Annual Award Dinner in New York.

The Seeds of Hope dinner, the annual fundraiser for Concern Worldwide U.S., raised just over two million dollars this year – a new record for the organization which helps the poorest of the poor in 25 countries around the world. The dinner, which was held at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on December 2, was attended by more than 700 people.

we serve,” said Joe Cahalan, CEO of Concern U.S., who went on to introduce Joe Ripp, CEO of Time Inc., this year’s Seeds of Hope honoree. “At the end of a year riddled by disaster, from war in Syria to ebola in West Africa, it is a privilege to recognize a man at the helm of a company making sure those crises, among other world events, are reported and are not forgotten.

Ripp, in turn talked about the organization’s 45-year legacy, saying, “Concern is so much more that the sum of its programs,” he said. “Its vision of a world where no one lives in poverty, fear or oppression is one we should all embrace. And I am proud that through the generous support shown to this event, we are able to help further the important work these men and women carry out every day.” The organization, founded in 1972 by the late great Fr. Angus Finnucane, a Holy Ghost priest from County Limerick, helps 6.5 million people on an annual basis. PHOTOS: BY BEN ASEN

“Concern teaches people not how to take a handout but gives them a hand up,” said Tom Moran, the chairman, president and CEO of Mutual of America, who chairs the board of Concern U.S. Moran who also said, “Every mother wants a life for her child and an education,” went on to talk about visiting Sierra Leone, where in the midst of the ebola crisis, Concern has been appointed by the U.N. to handle the burial of victims of the disease. Unsafe burials are thought to be responsible for 70 percent of new infections. Prior to Concern’s involvement only 30 percent of the dead were given safe burials. Concern workers have brought that figure up to 98 percent. “We work with and listen to the people 32 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

ABOVE: Don O’Neill, the Irish fashion designer behind the label Theia (front row, 2nd from right), with guests. RIGHT: Joe Cahalan, CEO Concern U.S., honoree Joe Ripp, CEO Time, Inc., and Tom Moran, chairman of Concern U.S. TOP RIGHT: Jimmy Kerr, actor and playwright, with Lorraine Turner head of the Northern Ireland Bureau's New York office.

“In his 20 years at Time Inc. and Time Warner, Joe has been an inspirational leader and visionary about how the news is documented and told. Our work would not have been possible without the spotlight that so many of his publications provide. It is a real honor to add his name to the list of Seeds of Hope honorees.”

Given that out of every dollar donated through Concern, more than 92 cents goes directly to those in need, the money raised will help transform lives all over the world. To learn more about Concern Worldwide IA U.S. visit

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Celebrating an IrishChoctaw Thanksgiving




he Choctaw Native American tribe and Irish people have a complex and nuanced relationship that has stretched across the centuries. Their histories of displacement and recovery inform and strengthen one another by providing a system of cooperation, generosity, and faith in the resilience of the human spirit. It was this connection that spurred the Queens Museum and Theatre to band together and celebrate the Irish and Choctaw people with an Irish-Choctaw Thanksgiving. Eyewitness accounts of the Trail of Tears that the Choctaw had suffered through in many ways mimic those that came out of the Irish Famine. Ironically, it would be this event where the two people’s met. Upon hearing of the tragedy of the famine in Ireland, many Choctaw leaders banded together and raised $170 as a generous donation to the Irish people. It is with this act of kindness in mind that the Queens Museum and Queens Theatre honored the Choctaw this past November 29 and 30th. All of the profits raised were split between Hour Children, Long Island Citybased nonprofit that works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children, and No Kid Hungry Share Our Strength, a nonprofit that connects children in need to nutritious food. The very special two day event was a cornucopia of movies, music, and laughter. Some of the highlights included performances by the Oklahoma Fancy Dancers, Darrah Carr Irish Dance, and Cruel Seamus at the Queen’s Theatre. Celtic Cross and singer/songwriter Deni Bonet performed to an enthusiastic crowd on Saturday night. Other standouts included the screening of the Choctaw Code Talkers which illuminated the role of Choctaw code breakers in WWII. Other films included The Native, Return to Sea, and A Pearl of Great Price. The Choctaw, like the Irish have suffered through a rough history of disease, famine, rebirth, and integration. They banded together as a powerful Native American group

land and further west into the desolate Oklahoma wild country. This episode is referred to as the “Trail of Tears” due to the treacherous weather conditions and severe loss of life. Alexis de Tocqueville, the influential French historian and philosopher was on hand to witness the tragedy, writing in his Democracy in America, “in the whole scene there was an air of ruin and destruction, something which betrayed a final and irrevocable adieu; one couldn’t LEFT: Coni Ledesma (left) and Luis Jalandoni (right) from the Philippines unveil a Famine Memorial on the grounds of Delphi Lodge during the 2014 Famine Walk.

LEFT: The Queens Museum poster for the 2014 celebration. ABOVE: “Choctaw Give Aid to the Irish” by America Meredith, who is a member of the Oklahoma Choctaw Nation.

in the 17th Century. Even though they were increasingly marginalized, they supported colonial independence during the Revolutionary War, and were later termed one of the “Five Civilized Nations” in the 19th century due to their adoption of many AngloAmerican habits. This unfortunately was unable to curtail the wave of westward expansion under the guise of Manifest Destiny headed by President Andrew Jackson. Beginning in 1831 through a series of unfair treaties, the Choctaw Nation were forced off of their

watch without feeling one’s heart wrung.” This same wringing of the heart has continued to strengthen the bond of the Irish and the Choctaws. Beginning in the 1990s, history and memory were united as a number of celebrations honored the role of the Choctaws in the Famine. Irish activists and Choctaw leaders took part in the first annual Famine walk at Doolough in Co. Mayo. This was later reciprocated with a 500 mile trek from Oklahoma to Mississippi in 1992. Then President Mary Robinson was also honored as a Choctaw Chief. Queens Theatre and Museum tapped into the spirit of Thanksgiving by bringing these two people together once again in a heartfelt and memorable way. – Matthew Skwiat

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Those We Lost Msgr. Lawrence M. Connaughton

of duty and care, even if it sometimes meant the occasional social faux pas. She once hung up on Ronald Reagan’s White House, thinking it was a prank call. “Nothing was so serious that her booming laugh and quick wit could not make you catch yourself and smile,” O’Dowd wrote. “There was no one better to while away a conversation and have a laugh with.” – A.F.

1944 – 2014

For the last 44 years, Monsignor Lawrence M. Connaughton was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Ordained by then Archbishop Terrance Cardinal Cook at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1970, Connaughton died in September at the age of 70. He was appointed a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness, Reverend Monsignor in August 1990 and was currently serving as pastor of St. John Nepomucene Church and administrator of St. John the Martyr Church in Manhattan, where he had served since 2012. He was born in West Brighton on Staten Island April 24, 1944 to Longford emigrants Frank and Elizabeth Connaughton and spent his entire life in and around New York City. After attending St. Peter’s Boys High School in New Brighton, he did his seminary training at St. Joseph’s in Yonkers, New York. After his ordination, he would hold a number of administrative roles within the archdiocese, first as dean of students and procurators at his alma mater between 1983 and 1988, and later being appointed to vice chancellor and director of priest’s personnel for the archdiocese from 1988 to 1990, when he was appointed monsignor. He is survived by his two siblings, along with nine nieces and nephews and 11 grand nieces and nephews. – A.F.

Joan Durcan 1945 – 2014

Joan Durcan, a fixture of the Irish American community in New York and the long-time office manager of Dr. Kevin Cahill, died unexpectedly November 11th at the age of 69. Durcan, who had dedicated the last 40 years of her life to Dr. Cahill and his patients, was dressed for work when she was found deceased in her apartment.

Galway Kinnell 1927 – 2014

“I talked to Joan usually once a week. I had in my mind to call her that very morning,” Niall O’Dowd eulogized on IrishCentral. “It was that peculiar friendship that only Irish emigrants can share, the sense of absurdity about life in America, the gossip, the jokes, the latest from the old country, the often understated affection that grows between emigrants in a different land together,” O’Dowd wrote. She was born in and raised in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, graduated from University College, Dublin, and began working for Dr. Cahill two days after their first telephone meeting. She had a “confident, solid lilt with a soft Sligo accent,” Dr. Cahill said in his eulogy. “Somehow I knew that I had discovered something wonderful.” But it was her generosity and selflessness that made her an integral part of Dr. Cahill’s practice, both in the office and outside of it. In the early days of the AIDS crisis, she would personally deliver homemade soup and other meals to Cahill’s patients in their homes after work. And in an office that saw many patients from the United Nations, she “had the inbred sensitivity, and unique capacity, to make people from different cultures and traditions feel comfortable in that strange and confusing time of illness, when fears can be overwhelming, and confidence has to be restored to allow essential decisions,” Cahill remembers. She was also down-to-earth, ready for gossip and treated all with the same sense

Famed Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Irish-American poet Galway Kinnell passed away this past October from leukemia. He was 87. Throughout his extensive career, Kinnell was able to tap into the heart and spirit of American poets Emily Dickin-

son and Walt Whitman by exploring themes of mortality, spiritual renewal, and sex. He was particularly influenced by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats whom Kinnell was introduced to by his friend and United States Poet Laureate W.S Merwin. Kinnell enjoyed Yeats so much that he named his first two children DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 35

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{those we lost} I can imagine the silence when the world will have stilled itself—no more poems tossed off the tongue, no more screams of raven lugging entrails of porcupine, no more tales of the Navajo, or Louisiana black man, or old-time Vermonter no more breathing in the ear of last lover, no more angelic beings left to be kissed into the claustrophobia of flesh, no more temples giving light from open doors into bitter winter nights, no more curious weasel who leaves her black ring frozen in the air, no more tooth that gnaws through gum and bones into the cathedral of the mouth. [...] From across the valley the thud of an axe arrives later than its strike and the call of goodbye slowly separates itself little by little from the vocal chords of everything.

Monsignor William O’Brien

– From “The Silence of the World” The New Yorker, May 13, 2013 Fergus and Maud after characters in Yeats. More than just a poet, Kinnell gave voice to a number of civil rights causes. He joined CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality), and marched for workplace integration in Louisiana, for which he was briefly jailed. Kinnell would explore themes of equality and social justice in his early works, particularly the poetry collection Body Rags (1968) and The Book of Nightmares (1971). Liz Rosenberg of the Boston Globe said he is “a poet of the rarest ability, the kind who comes once or twice in a generation, who can flesh out music, raise the spirits and break the heart.” Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island on February 1, 1927, the son of immigrant parents. His father, was a carpenter from Scotland and his mother, Elizabeth, was from Ireland. Kinnell would cherish his mother’s brogue, finding inspiration in the musicality of the Irish voice. He attended Princeton University and later went on to receive his master’s degree from the University of Rochester. Kinnell served in the navy and travelled extensively across Europe and through the Middle East. This inspired his first and only novel, Black Light, a tale of an Iranian carpet-mender. Kinnell taught at a number of prestigious universities including the University of Chicago and started to publish well received poetry, beginning with his 36 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

first collection What a Kingdom it Was in 1960. He married his first wife Ines Delgado de Torres in 1965, but they divorced 20 years later. Kinnell continued to publish for the rest of his life and received both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for his Selected Poems in 1983. He continued to teach and was poet resident at a number of universities, most recently at New York University where he was Erich Maria Remarque professor of creative writing. Kinnell is survived by his second wife Barbara, two children, and two grandchildren. – M.S.

Monsignor William O’Brien 1924 – 2014

Monsignor William O’Brien, one of the innovators in treating drug abuse addiction, has died at the age of 90. O’Brien was a Roman Catholic priest, but had made his name as one of the cofounders of Daytop Village, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Staten Island. Daytop has treated over 200,000 people with a success rate of 80%. O’Brien alongside his three partners: Dr. Daniel Casriel, Joseph Shelly, and social worker Alexander Bassin, started the project in 1963. He was inspired by Synanon, a therapeutic community in California. While a painstaking program, O’Brien described it as “tough love, not a sympathetic love.” Daytop’s model set the standard for future treatment centers around the world.

William O’Brien was born in Yonkers in 1924 to Irish-American parents William and Margaret O’Brien. He attended St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers where he was ordained in 1951. He was first assigned to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, and later St. Brendan’s Church in the Bronx. While a priest at St. Patrick’s, O’Brien was introduced to the harrowing drug problem that afflicted many of his parishioners. Options for many who battled drug and alcohol addiction were slim – either jail or hospital lockdown. O’Brien, however, wanted to make a change. That change happened with the opening of Daytop. After its opening, O’Brien’s name and work spread far. He became one of the leading faces of advocacy programs in the United States, with everyone from politicians to Pope John Paul II seeking his advice on drug rehabilitation. O’Brien also become a vocal critic of the “War on Drugs” program set up under President Reagan. He took to media, published books, and appeared frequently on news programs where he denounced the War on Drugs saying, “The American people are on a high. They think law enforcement can solve a major social problem like drug abuse, and politicians are following suit, insulating the public from the truth – that American society is in trouble – to make them feel good with simplistic solutions.” – M.S.

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Quote Unquote


“People shouldn’t be so scared of what’s going to happen. We’re just common people. I think there are a lot of fear mongers out there who are putting this down – but yet again, they’re probably living beside somebody that’s in this situation. “Their best friend, their neighbor, people they work with every day. They go out and have drinks after work with people who may be in this situation. I’m sure a lot of people don’t know I’m in it, because I keep it to myself.” A 41-year old undocumented Irish construction worker in New York City, speaking on the condition of anonymity on the announcement of President Obama’s executive order that will grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants, including some of the 50,000 from Ireland. IrishCentral, November 18

Enda Kenny, Irish Taoiseach presses the NASDAQ opening bell at the 4th annual Web Summit on November 4, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.

“It is a recognition of Ireland’s status as a digital leader and as a location for business and for innovation that this massive event is happening in Dublin…. And to help new entrepreneurs and startups the government will again create a generous capital seed scheme later this year to encourage more investment in new companies. We want to back the risk-takers and creators and the innovators.” Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the second annual Dublin Web Summit in November before pressing the Nasdaq opening bell.

“Folks, my great grandfather did not come here from Ireland to see this country overrun by immigrants.”

Stephen Colbert satirizing the immigration debate on “The Colbert Report,” Nov. 20, 2014. Colbert, whose ancestors emigrated from Limerick, is leaving the “Report” at the end of this year to take over CBS’s “Late Show” from David Letterman.

“Right now, our system is broken, and it needs to be fixed. It needs to continue to hold out the promise of possibilities. There are 11 million undocumented people living in the shadows. They hail from across the globe, including an estimated 50,000 from Ireland. They want what we all want: a decent life for our children, the chance to contribute to a free society, the chance to put down roots and help build the next great American century. It is long past time to bring these families out of the shadows, to eliminate the daily fear of separation and restore opportunity - and accountability – to millions of people living in our midst.” Vice President Joe Biden, IrishCentral, November 25

“There are Irish citizens on one-year working Visas in the US and Australia right now that wouldn’t be able to vote if a general election was called in the morning – that’s ridiculous. In the vast majority of democracies (120 and increasing), it wouldn’t be tolerated, because your citizenship still matters if you’re away.” Conor O’Neill, IrishCentral, Dec. 4, 2014. O’Neill is a founding member of We’re Coming Back, an emigrant organization campaigning for voting rights for Irish citizens abroad. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 37

Celebrating the Holidays in Ireland

Christmas Markets Christmas markets throughout Ireland are magical hubs of holiday spirit. If you’re in search of gifts, the choices are endless. Vendors fill the markets with beautifully delicate handmade jewelry, Aran sweaters directly from the Aran Islands, Irish-made crystal and more. Stay warm as you browse with mulled wine or cocoa, indulge in mince pies and take in the caroling sure to fill the air. Dublin’s Docklands 12 Days of Christmas festival is one of note, in part because it’s floating! Moored over George’s Dock in the city centre, the market is filled with locals and visitors in search of some merriment. Farther west, Galway’s Continental Christmas Market transforms the city’s Eyre Square into a holiday party. Belfast’s Christmas Market is perhaps one of the most beautiful, set in front of the festively lit City Hall building. Each city’s markets have their own unique traditions but all are filled with that familiar Christmas spirit!

New Year Festival

Dublin promises to be ringing in 2015 with style. Beginning on December 30th and lasting through January 1st, the New Year Festival in Dublin is set to be an unforgettable celebration. This exciting three-day festival boasts attractions citywide including amazing 3D animations and light shows at Luminosity events, a Food Village stocked with local vendors, and Spoken Word events for poetry and literature lovers. The Music and Arts Trail is a fantastic guide to live music and art exhibits throughout Dublin during the festival. After dancing at the Countdown Concert and taking in the gorgeous Procession of Light parade, start off 2015 right on Resolution Day. The final day’s events include a 5k run at Dublin Castle to make sure you start the year off on the right foot. With music, art, culture, food and more NYF promises to be one of the most spectacular parties Ireland’s ever seen! All photos courtesy of Tourism Ireland Written & designed by Tara Dougherty

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hannon Deegan, Director of Global Security Operations at Google, is taking me on a tour of the sprawling Googleplex in Mountain View, California. It’s a sea of primary colors, sculptures, bicycles, cafe umbrellas, and lots of casually dressed young people. Deegan pauses at the front entrance to the three buildings at the heart of the campus. “Did you see the movie The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson?” he asks. “A lot of the movie was filmed right in this area, which is kind of the campus hub,” he tells me. It’s lunchtime and the hub is busy, like a theater lobby infused with the buzz of an opening night. There’s an amazing array of food in the restaurant, which is cafeteria style. (Three free gourmet meals a day are

by wearing Google golf shirts recognize Shannon and say hello. Smiling back, Deegan then quietly asks how they’re doing “in the process,” and he offers them words of encouragement. He later explains that Google is in-sourcing the security officer team and the two officers he was talking to – like virtually all of the vendor officers – are interviewing for jobs that ultimately roll up through managers on one of Shannon’s teams. The successful candidates will receive a nice bump in benefits to their current situation. As we continue to stroll around campus, some of the Googlers who stop to greet Shannon take the time to put in a good word for their favorites, and after each entreaty he sends a quick text to the recruiting team to follow up. We stop at the Google Earth Virtual Globe exhibition, and Shannon discusses the com-

of Google’s operations. The restaurant, named for Google’s first chef Charlie Ayers (former chef of the Grateful Dead), is the largest restaurant in the complex. “It serves hot dogs and hamburgers and tends to be the place people take their kids,” Shannon says, “but on Thursdays, they take away all the tables and leave just rows of chairs. Larry and Sergey get up on stage and talk about new products and they follow that with Q&A for 45 minutes. They do it every week. “And the questions are always hard hitting, like, ‘Do you think you’re making a mistake with this?’ or ‘Explain the decision to pull out of China,’ when a few years ago we did that. And [Larry and Sergey] are very comfortable having the debate and talking about why they made certain decisions. They go through all the company strategy, and every quarter the chairman (Eric

Play to Win

Shannon Deegan, Director of Global Security Operations at Google, talks about growing up in Montreal, a grandfather who told him “always play to win,” the importance of knowing when to lead and when to follow, and why he loves his job at Google. Interview by Patricia Harty among the wide range of benefits and perks Google employees enjoy.) I’d expected a quiet atmosphere with everyone looking at Androids, but no, the restaurant is noisy – with conversation. I find it reassuring to see this kind of personto-person engagement in a company that is known for putting the world at your fingertips. In The Internship, Vaughn and Wilson are two salesmen left behind in the digital age who find themselves competing with techsavvy youngsters for a job at Google. But Deegan, 48, has no such worries. Though a lot of the Googlers are in their early 20s, he reminds me that Google was started 16 years ago and the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are now 41. At 6 foot 2 inches there’s a touch of Hollywood about Deegan, a throwback to his pro hockey days. He has a boyish charm and an easy manner, and is fun to be with. And as we tour the complex (that feels to be part college campus and part fun fair), he is greeted warmly. Two officers walking 40 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

pany’s work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. By using Google Earth tools Google is able to provide accurate information on refugees and refugee camp counts. As we walk we talk about how Google has changed the working environment. I enthuse about how Google Docs and Gchat has made life so much easier at Irish America – we can now share information and work from anywhere. “That’s kind of the philosophy; how do you get as much information as possible to people in an easy way,” says Shannon. “So everything we’re doing is all around that. How do you make e-mail easier, how do you make chat easier, the video conferencing? And the new products, such as the watch we’re introducing, are really to enhance that as well.” We pause outside Charlie’s Cafe, and Shannon talks about the transparency

Schmidt) gives the same presentation that he gave to the board. So the attitude is we’re going to be incredibly transparent about everything we’re doing, and very little gets leaked. For example, we were all using Google Plus for four or five months before it was announced publicly that we had this new product. And everyone in the company was using it, and it never got leaked. There’s just this understanding that we’re going to trust you with all this information; if you violate that trust, then maybe we won’t be able to trust you much longer with all this information.” As large as Charlie’s Cafe is, all of the more than 25,000 employees in this particular Google office couldn’t possibly fit into the space, so big screens are placed strategically throughout the complex. The only reserved seating is for Nooglers – the new hires – who are easily distinguish-

give people

freedom and they will absolutely

amaze you

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Family album: Left to right: Shannon’s grandfather, the baseball legend Frank ”Lefty” Deegan circa 1930. Some of the Deegan kids,1941. Shannon’s maternal grandfather Fire Chief Joe TImmons.

able by their multicolored beanie caps with propellers, which they wear to their first Larry and Sergey town hall meeting. As we continue our tour, we spot one Noogler holding onto a yellow and green Google bicycle (the employees use these bikes to go between buildings). He seems a bit lost. Shannon pauses, thinking that the Noogler might need help, but he decides that he doesn’t and we move on. Deegan has a soft spot for Nooglers, and recalls how as a youngster he was helped on a life path, that looking back now from the vantage point of Google, has been a “tremendous adventure,” by someone who took the time to point him in the right direction. Once touted in the media as “Silicon Valley’s Top Recruiter” Deegan (who for most of his career at Google was director of People Operations) is a former pro hockey player, and he says his experience on sports teams is still a big influence on his approach to work. Growing up in an large extended Irish family in Montreal (his father, with roots in County Clare is one of 9. His mother, one of 7 traces her family to Tyrone) sports was a big part of his life. His grandfather was a professional baseball player – a legend in the early 1900s – and a couple of uncles were Golden Glove boxers with one uncle going on to be a referee of note. But ice hockey is Canada’s premier sport, and Shannon played his first game at three and a half. As a 9-year-old, he would often be at the rink at 6 a.m. to practice before school. He signed a full four year-scholarship to

the University of Vermont at 16 years of age and became the youngest person to score a Division 1 NCAA hockey goal when he scored in his very first game After his freshman year, Deegan was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings but for the next three years he spurned the team’s offers of a pro contract in order to finish his education. On graduating in 1987 (the youngest student to graduate) he received the Most Outstanding Student Award, and was also named Player of the Year in hockey. Canada’s 1988 Olympic hockey team expressed interest – it was amateur players then – but he decided to turn pro with the LA Kings, signing a significant contract with the Kings after graduation. In his second year with the Kings organization he skated alongside the great Wayne Gretzky before succumbing to injuries that ended his career. Painful though it was, Deegan had academic honors to fall back on and went to work for Canada’s Prime Minister Jean Chretien. After two years in the job, knowing the election was two years away, he took 15 months to do a master’s in International Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. (He remembers “fitting right in,” though he took a ribbing about his name and was nicknamed “Liffey” by his new mates). He returned to work on the campaign where Chretien was elected Prime Minister and spent the next five years on Chretien’s foreign policy team. Then he and his wife, Patti Munce (from the Toronto area, also Irish Canadian – her mother is a Kearns), de-

know when to


and when to



cided to travel and for the next four years he worked in banking in Malaysia, Tokyo and then Hong Kong. Returning home, in 2000 he went to Yale School of Management and earned an M.B.A., and took a job with McKinsey & Co., a global management consultant company, where he was based in New York and then Toronto. In 2007, Laszlo Bock who had worked at McKinsey before becoming Google’s senior vice president of People Operations, offered him a job. Seven years later, Deegan is clearly at home. He’s happy to be a team player and a team builder at Google, which for five years in a row has been named by Fortune as the number one company to work for. And as for his title, Director of Global Security Operations, he says his job is not that much different from his previous job in HR – it’s still all about finding the right people for the job.

What do you love about your job? Without a doubt the thing I love most about my job is the people. A few years ago I led Google’s central staffing organization and I used to tell my teams that when it comes to hiring, in addition to making sure the person has the necessary skills etc., we should really focus on finding folks who live their lives with passion, who are excited about things, who want to do things, and change things, and be part of things. People who want to engage. I remember our founder Larry Page once saying: “I want to stand in line next to someone at a cafe and when we strike up a conversation I want them to be interesting not just for what their job is at Google, but more importantly, I want them to be interesting for what else they’re passionate

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Left: Shannon's first ever hockey game aged 3 and a half. Above. Shannon’s parents, Katie (nee Timmons) and Brendan. Left: Shannon’s uncle and godfather, referee Freddie Deegan peaks up at Trevor Burbick and John Tate at the Olympic Stadium in June 1980 as one of the undercard fights before the famous Durán-Leonard “No Mas” fight. Burbick was WBC Heavyweight champion but lost the title to 20-year-old Mike Tyson.

about.” I don’t think Larry cared specifically about what a person was passionate about – rock climbing, travel, sports, art, whatever. A recent example – albeit an over-the-top one – was at one of our recent weekly company meetings, Alan Eustace, the leader of a big chunk of our engineering organization, showed videos and talked about his recent skydive from the edge of space, breaking the world altitude record. He mesmerized us all detailing what it was like being strapped to a helium balloon, rising to 130,000 feet and then cutting himself loose with a small explosive to free-fall for fourand-a-half minutes to a top speed of 822 mph.

Would you say that playing hockey and being part of a team has influenced your work? Being part of sports teams growing up is a key influence on how I approach my work. The most successful sports teams I was part of were those where the team rallied together toward common goals and everyone understood that each player was equally important to success. It wasn’t – using the hockey example – just about the glamour of scoring a goal, but it was about the sacrifice – in the hockey instance sometimes painfully so – of blocking a shot, or taking a hit to make a play, about doing the little things to stop the other team from scoring, or to help set someone else on your team up for that goal. It’s about knowing when to lead and when to follow, which is a skill the best leaders have. Play to people’s strengths, celebrate them, shore up weaknesses and, as my grandfather

– a legend in Montreal’s professional baseball leagues in the early part of the 1900s – used to tell me, “Always play to win. “ Finally, I think a key element that often gets overlooked in sports and in business, is to have fun. The most successful teams I have been a part of – both in sports and business – have been a blast. While some of that was because it was fun to win, I think it goes the other way as well. Those fun teams I was part of were fun before we ever officially won, and the fun fueled the winning.

Outside your family, who were your early mentors? I grew up in the tough, working-class Montreal neighborhood of Verdun and went to the local school down the street. The school was run by the Presentation Brothers, and many of them were key mentors for me during high school. Brother Phillip – an incredible wit with a love of Chinese all-youcan-eat buffets that we indulged in together into his nineties – underscored the value of education. My father’s best friend while I was growing up was Father Bob Nagy – who would inevitably make an appearance at our home on Saturday nights to have a Scotch, smoke a cigar with my dad, and watch Hockey Night in Canada on TV– and he helped develop my love of reading, pushing difficult to

hire smart,

passionate people as they

will help drive an organization.

read books and poetry on me at a young age. Finally, one of the most important two minutes of my life came in the form of a fortuitous meeting with Montreal Canadians superstar goalie, Hall of Famer Ken Dryden. I was ten years old, had cut school, sneaked into a Canadians’ practice and was standing by the players’ bench when he emerged from the locker room. At 6’3” and on skates, Ken Dryden towered above me as he paused on his way to the ice. Looking down, he asked why I wasn’t in school. Not satisfied with my weak reply, he went on to ask where I played hockey and how I was actually doing in school. Apparently a little more satisfied with those two answers, he then advised, “Get back to school, work hard in both school and hockey and go get yourself a U.S. scholarship.” My family, friends and I had never really heard of scholarships but I decided then and there that if Ken Dryden thought it was the way to go, then that was what I was going to do. Six years after talking with him, I accepted a full athletic scholarship to the University of Vermont. Years later at a dinner in New York, I came face to face again with Mr. Dryden, who some twenty years earlier, had set me on the path of a tremendous life adventure. There’s a good chance I never would have gotten an education without having had that conversation. I probably would have quit school at some point in my teens to focus solely on hockey. In just two minutes, he essentially introduced me to a world that I did not know existed. When we met in New York I told him the story and thanked him for changing my life. It was an emotional moment.

Can you tell me about visiting your grandfather in the Point? When I was not off playing hockey, weekends were usually spent visiting with our large extended family in Montreal. Both DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 43


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of my parents were born and raised in the Point (Point St. Charles), the working-class neighborhood in Montreal where the Irish settled en masse in the 1800s. My mother’s large family was primarily firemen, and when I was growing up her parents and other family members spread out to neighboring communities where they served My father’s father lived in the same small two bedroom flat my father and his nine brothers and sisters were born in. My parents, brother and I regularly went to visit him – usually after Sunday mass – and I was always dumbfounded how that huge family could have made do in that tiny place, apparently with all the boys sharing a single bed, as my dad would inevitably point out in his effort to out-poor Frank McCourt. I would walk slowly around the dark flat studying the faces of family members in the old black and white photographs my grandfather had taped to the walls. I’d ask questions and learned to associate anecdotes with each person and photo as I grew. It felt like I was looking down through the years, and I could feel a clear connection to both who I was as a result of that family and toward who I was going to be. Often times when visiting my grandfather, he would either be across the street at the halfway house for convicts just out of prison where he seemed to work – although doing what I never figured out – or next door at the Capri Tavern where he’d meet friends and watch sports. He was a tough old man who didn’t say much and had his share of problems, but in his quiet, gruff way made me understand he was proud I was following in his sports steps. Occasionally he would take a sip of his pint and dispense a quick word of advice. He was a notorious bad sport back in his day, and the stories of pitcher Lefty Deegan brawling after losing a game were the stuff of legend. When I would ask about those times he’d smile wryly and say, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser,” and we would chuckle together quietly at the political incorrectness of his philosophy. The Point symbolizes to me that connection to roots, to family, to our Irish heritage. It’s not always about where you’re going, but also about where you’re coming from, and I guess that was the connection for Patti and me when we decided to get married at St. Gabriel’s in the Point. Here we were looking to build our future and a family together, and to do that across the street from the place where my father was born and raised, a couple of blocks from my mom’s childhood home, in the church where my parents met and married, underscored the 44 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

me. Weekly it was Sunday mass followed by crowding into the kitchen with relatives and friends, eating a huge breakfast, laughing, and storytelling while Irish music played in the background. I’d feel the connection on the way to my grandparents, driving by the huge stone next to the Victoria Bridge in the Point that was erected by the bridge builders who discovered a mass grave where victims of the typhus epidemic of 1847 had been quarantined in fever sheds, often as they disembarked from the coffin ships from Ireland. The workers, many of whom were Irish, erected the stone in 1859 to commemorate the thousands who died. My extended family were, and often still are, members of the Montreal Irish Society, the Harp and Thistle, the Knights, the Erin Club, and the AOH. While I was seemingly always accompanying my folks to meetings – and wakes – in legion halls and church basements, the crowning engagement for the community each year was Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which Deegan and his dog, Tula. Pets are welcome to this day is one of the largest St. Patrick’s at Google. Photo: Kit DeFever Day parades in the world. Some of my happiest memories of childimportance of family and history. It’s important to know your history, to hood are of walking in the parade, top hats know where you’re coming from, and as our stuffed with shamrocks, clutching shillechildren grow, my wife and I are endeavor- laghs, a solid St. Catherine Street breeze ing to make sure they understand and appre- nudging us along as we waved to the hunciate that as well. Each summer we spend dreds of thousands of fellow Montrealers – time in Montreal, always visiting the Point, most claiming Irish heritage for that one and we also attend the annual Kearns family day – who came out to celebrate our culreunion at the childhood farm of my mother- ture with us. Some years the weather was perfect and parade watchers wore T-shirts in-law, outside of London, Ontario. We tell our children stories of our youth, celebrating the early onslaught of spring, and our parents do the same. We talk of hi- which was usually followed days later by larious aunts, tough uncles, and fun cousins, April snow. Most years, we battled cold and of their seemingly endless variety of weather and some, the ones we talk most

a nice person who works hard is probably going to be a better employee than the brilliant jerk.

sometimes crazy, often comical and occasionally heartbreaking experiences. We get together with our large extended families so our children will understand the breadth and history of their families and their place in them. We want them connected to all of that.

Did you feel connected to your Irish heritage growing up? I’ve always felt – and continue to feel – a strong and ever-present connection to my Irish heritage. Growing up it was all around

fondly of, were the years we soldiered on through blizzards. I was also connected to my Irish heritage through my father as we loved reading books about Ireland – Trinity, Dubliners, Princes of Ireland, for example, and anything by Brendan Behan – and while growing up neither of us had ever been there, we held out, correctly, that one day we would explore the country together. And I think my appreciation of the Irishness of my childhood experience was magContinued on page 114

KPMG LLP would like to congratulate all the Irish America 2014 Business 100 honorees. In particular, we are proud to recognize and commend our KPMG partners: Shaun T. Kelly Vice Chair, Operations Shaun your professional excellence, community involvement, and ability to think beyond borders are an inspiration to us all.

© 2014 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 326275

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The Business 100 recognizes the phenomenal success of the Irish in corporate America. The executives, managers, partners, and directors profiles in the following pages represent some of the most innovative and impactful organizations doing business in the United States. From startups to well-established American entities, these companies are as integral to the economy as our honorees are to their shareholders. Those we recognize here are bound by their esteem for their heritage, whether born in Ireland themselves or maintaining close emotional ties through a more distant ancestor, they are a testament to the ever-expanding scope, power, and accomplishment of the Irish diaspora. Irish America is honored to salute this incredible group of entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators. Congratulations to all our honorees.

“I’m very proud to be Irish. I mention I’m Irish and people smile. We’re a happy people and culture.” Aisling McDonagh, Hearst Digital Media

Beir Bua!

“My Irish heritage means family, hard work, and purpose – a debt owed to my parents who have spent every day I’ve been alive working to give us love, optimism and a chance at the American Dream.” Padden Guy Murphy, Getaround 46 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

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“I feel the culture and attitude role-modeled by my grandparents and later adopted by me was a big part of this success. They taught me to work hard, play ethically, constantly learn new things, be comfortable with change and embrace the fact that you must successfully work with and through others to accomplish great things.” Thomas Finn, Proctor and Gamble

“I appreciate the struggles of my forebears to leave their home but not their heritage in coming to America to carve out a new life for themselves and their children. It was incredibly brave and their spirit lives inside of me. Jack O’Callahan, Ziegler Capital Management

“Building and fostering relationships is the core of what it means to be Irish. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience growing up in Dublin.” Oisin Hanrahan, Handy

“I am very proud of being Irish and very proud of my Irish heritage. Here is what Irish means to me Intuitive Resilient Independent Smart Humorous.” James O’Carroll, GoDaddy

Top Counties: Cork • Mayo • Dublin Kerry • Donegal • Limerick Top Colleges Mentioned: Harvard University University College Dublin Fordham University Northwestern University Boston College University of Notre Dame Ancestral Links: 5th Generation or more

3rd Generation



4th Generation

1st Generation

12% 2nd Generation


13% Irish Born



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BUSINESS100 “Dublin is a tech and innovation hub and I love working with the talent there. It’s great to be part of that energy.”

– Brian Halligan | HubSpot



Christie’s America

Wells Fargo

Bonnie Brennan is senior vice president and senior director, head of trusts, estates and wealth management services in the chairman’s office of Christie’s Americas, the world’s leading auction house. Before joining Christie’s in 2012, Bonnie had over 15 years in the auction business in a variety of marketing and leadership roles. A graduate of Northwestern University, Bonnie holds a B.A. in art history and communications. Bonnie is a native of Michigan and is a fifth-generation Irish American with paternal ancestry from Kilkenny and maternal ancestry in Cork. She speaks proudly of her Irish heritage, noting the warm and welcoming aspect of the Irish and praising their “strength of family, loving and consistent support, deep faith, determination and perseverance,” which she has admired her whole life. Besides her rigorous role at Christie’s, Bonnie also sits on a number of boards including the board of trustees for the Cristo Rey New York High School as well as the Advisory Council for Calvary Hospital and the Planned Giving Advisory Council for the New York Historical Society. She currently resides in New York City.

Maggie Cahill is a senior technology program manager with Wells Fargo in San Francisco. She has spent the last 11 years in their Wholesale Bank, building out web and mobile solutions for their largest customers. Prior to Wells Fargo, Maggie worked for Charles Schwab in San Francisco, and Solomon Brothers and Grumman Aircraft in New York. Her degree is in aerospace engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York, now part of NYU. Maggie was born in Brooklyn, and raised in New Jersey. Her grandparents, the Cahills, the O’Connors, the Athys, and the Garveys, all immigrated to New York through Ellis Island, hailed from Cork and Claremorris, Co. Mayo. She now lives in San Francisco with her partner of 22 years, Janet Haire. Maggie is very proud of being second generation Irish-American, and loves celebrating her Irish heritage. To honor her grandmother, Mary Garvey O’Connor, who lived with her family when she was a young girl, she was delighted to be able to obtain dual Irish citizenship and an Irish passport.







Steve Cahillane is president and chief executive officer of NBTY, one of the leading manufacturers of vitamins and nutritional supplements in the U.S. He joined the company in September, 2014 after more than six years working at Coca Cola, and has since become a member of NBTY’s board of directors. Steve has spent his entire career in the beverage industry, and prior to joining Coca Cola in 2007 as president of the Europe Group, he held positions at InBev, Interbrew, and Labatt, USA. He began his career in beverages as a sales representative for E&J Gallo Winery, before founding State Street Brewing Co. in Illinois in 1990 at the age of 26. One of four children of a New York firefighter with roots in Co. Kerry and a mother born and raised in Donegal, Steve holds a B.A. in political science from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Tracy, reside in Atlanta with their four children. 48 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

James Carroll is the executive vice president international for the world’s largest technology provider for small businesses, GoDaddy, which recently opened a customer care center in Belfast. Prior to joining GoDaddy in early 2013, he had decades-long experience in the business world, beginning as general manager for Microsoft and moving to Yahoo! as senior vice president. A native of Dublin, James attended the National University of Ireland at Maynooth where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in math, applied math, and computer science. A proud Irishman, he sums up his Irishness with a clever acronym: “Intuitive Resilient Independent Smart and Humorous.” He is on the advisory board of the Irish Technology Leadership Group. Among James’ many honors was his selection as one of Silicon Valley’s “Top 50 Irish Leaders in Technology” in 2014. He lives in Washington state with his wife Enrica and their two children, Ryan and Lia.

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, who earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in accounting from Adelphi University, currently serves on the board of directors of Concern Worldwide U.S. Having grown up in Wantagh, New York, Joan now resides in nearby Long Beach. Her grandfather, Patrick McHugh, was born in County Leitrim, while the Carroll name hails from Westport, Co. 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


Moët Hennessy USA

William M. Casey is the deputy vice chair for Ernst & Young’s Americas Transaction Advisory Services business. Bill joined the firm in 1983 and has been a partner for over 17 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 B.S. 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. He has over 30 years of diversified experience serving multinational clients and dealing with litigation and regulatory related issues. In 2013, he was elected to the global board of PwC’s business trust where he serves as chairman. He also 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 was 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 AllIreland dancing medals, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Michelle, and sons Ryan, CJ, and Steven.




FedEx Services

Thomas W. Codd is vice chairman at PwC and leader of U.S. Human Capital. 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 B.Sc. 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, SMU Cox School of Business, SMU Athletic Forum, Dallas Theater Center, University of Dallas, Circle 10 Council/Boy Scouts of America, Dallas Regional Chamber and Dallas Citizens Council. Tom, who is a second-generation Irish American – his paternal grandparents were born in counties Wexford 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.

Jim Clerkin has over 30 years of experience in the beer, wine and spirits industry. He began his career in Ireland where he rose through the ranks at Guinness in a variety of roles to Executive Sales Director, becoming a member of the board of directors. In 2008, Jim was recruited by Moët Hennessy USA, the wine, champagne and spirits division of LVMH, to take on a new role as executive vice president and chief operating officer with responsibility for global brands such as Hennessy cognac, Moët & Chandon Champagne, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Grand Marnier and Belvedere vodka. He was promoted to president and CEO of Moët Hennessy in 2010 and is also the vice chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of America. Jim, who was born in Rostrevor, Co. Down, has been involved with a number of charities including Co-operation Ireland where he serves as the chairman. He is the proud father of four children and resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife Jenny and their youngest son Luke.

Since 2006, Don Colleran has been executive vice president of Global Sales & Solutions for FedEx Services, leading a global organization of more than 8,000. Don started with FedEx in 1989. In 1992, he moved to Tokyo and began a 12-year career in international sales and operations management. In 1997 he was named vice president, Sales, for the Asia Pacific region. In 2000, he was promoted to president, FedEx Canada. Three years later he was named senior vice president, International Sales and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. A native of Boston, Don is a third-generation Irish American with roots in counties Galway and Cork. He earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of New Hampshire. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Indy Festival Foundation children’s charities, a member of the American Chamber of Commerce, the US-ASEAN Business Council, and member of the University of Tennessee Health Service Center Advisory Board. Don also serves on the board of the InMotion Orthopaedic Research Center.

“My Irishness has become my calling card everywhere I go across the globe. I’m the ‘Irish Guy’ and I feel that most people respect the Irish and have a warm place in their hearts for us.”

– Brendan P. Farrell, Jr. | Sunguard’s XSP DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 49

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Paramount Pictures

Univision Communications, Inc.







CBS Television Network

Megan Colligan is president of Worldwide Distribution and Marketing at Paramount Pictures, having previously served as president of Domestic Marketing and Distribution since 2011. Megan has led the marketing and distribution for many of Paramount’s recent hits, including the Transformers franchise, Interstellar, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the academy-nominated films The Wolf of Wall Street and Noah. She is currently at work on the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, and Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, with Mark Wahlberg. Before joining Paramount, Megan was vice president 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 an A.B. 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 are in Cork and Sligo. Megan “loves being Irish and is very proud of her Irish heritage.”

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 35-year career, she has held officer roles in sales, marketing, operations and advertising for AT&T. She serves on the board of directors of several organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and Northwestern University. She also leads AT&T’s “It Can Wait” effort to end texting while driving. Additionally, she is a strong advocate for attracting more women to pursue careers and leadership roles in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Cathy holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in finance from St. Louis University. Her maternal grandparents, John and Ellen (née Cleary) Byrne, were from County Wicklow and County Mayo in Ireland. 50 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Kevin Conroy serves as president of Digital and Enterprise Development for Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America. He is responsible for the company’s digital business and also leads the Enterprise Development group which is focused on identifying and incubating new business opportunities across UCI’s diverse portfolio of brands to create products and services that empower and enrich the quality of life for Hispanic consumers. Before joining Univision, Kevin was EVP of Global Products and Marketing for AOL. He holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and previously worked as VP of Marketing for CBS/Fox Video and President of New Technology at BMG Entertainment. He was recognized by Broadcasting & Cable as a “Digital All Star” and in Digital Media Wire’s “25 Executives to Watch.” Kevin is a third-generation Irish-American with two great-grandmothers born in Ireland; in Co. Tyrone and Co. Cavan. He lives in Washington D.C. with his wife Janet and their three children. He believes a good leader has “integrity, the ability to communicate clearly, demonstrates sincere commitment, and motivates and inspires.”

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 U.S., which was acquired by Google in 2005. That same year he was named one of the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” by MIT’s Technology Review. In 2009 he won the “Fast Money” bonus round on “Family Feud,” and he has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s “Forty under Forty” in 2010 and 2011. His work has been 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.

Adele Cooper is a director in the Global Business Partnerships team at Facebook. In this role, she develops and drives key, strategic brand partnerships globally. Prior to her current role, Adele was director of Global Customer Marketing and Communications for Facebook, based in Palo Alto, where she oversaw all outbound marketing and communications to Facebook’s advertising clients and agency partners globally. Prior to joining Facebook, Adele spent six years at Google, where she was director of Global Customer Marketing. In her early years at Google, she was director for Online Sales & Operations for the U.K., Irish and Benelux markets, based at the company’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin. Prior to joining Google, Adele spent several years in business development at a number of different technology ventures. She began her career in finance and business planning at Disney Interactive (the multi-media division of The Walt Disney Company), based in both the U.S. and France. Born and raised in Dublin, Adele has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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 three grown children, Laura, Ryan and Colin.

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DeHayes Consulting Group

Vin-Go / Cool Way Direct / Tide Intermodal Logistics

Denihan Hospitality Group

James Delaney is founder and chairman of Vin-Go LLC, Cool Way Direct LLC and Tide Intermodal Logistics, LLC. These companies specialize in the temperature controlled logistics and distribution of Beverages and Produce. He was also a founder of the leading Irish transport and freight company, City Air Express Ltd., which still operates successfully today. James immigrated to the U.S. in 2000 with his wife Mary Beth and five children, Kathryn, Edmund, James, Elizabeth, and Hannah. Originally from Rathoath in County Dublin, James was educated in Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare, and Trinity College Dublin. He is a keen golfer, and was a member of St. Margaret’s Golf Club in County Dublin. James is currently on the board of Concern Worldwide U.S., the Irish humanitarian organization. He is also an active board member of the National Association of Wine Retailers.

Brooke Denihan Barrett is the CEO of Denihan Hospitality, the hotel management arm of a familyowned, billion-dollar independent owner and operator of boutique hotels in the U.S. Under Barrett’s leadership the company has overseen over $500 million in redevelopment projects in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Miami that resulted in Inc. magazine naming the group as one of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in America. Born in Queens, NY, Brooke is a third generation Irish American. Her grandfather’s family is from Milford, Co. Cork. She attended Salve Regina University, Rhode Island. In 2013, Real Estate Forum named her a “Legend” in real estate. She has also been honored as an ‘Outstanding Woman in Real Estate’ by National Real Estate Investor. On the importance of her Irish heritage, Brooke says, “The U.S. wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Ireland, and Ireland wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for the U.S. It’s a very symbiotic relationship.” She lives in New York with her husband, John, and has two children, John and Michelle.




Starcom USA


North Shore LIJ Health System

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 M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. James is active in numerous organizations. He is a professional member of the World Future Society, an associate member of the New York Society of Security Analysts, and has held various leadership roles with the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Northern California. He is also 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.

As CEO of Starcom USA, Lisa Donohue is driving a next-generation media agency focused on the convergence of media, technology and creativity; enabling the design of unique human experiences, at scale, with impressive results. Under Donohue’s leadership, Starcom has exceeded challenges on behalf of some of the world’s top marketers, including Samsung, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Bank of America, Best Buy, Kellogg’s, Novartis, Allstate, Esurance, Mars/ Wrigley, and Spotify, among others. She has driven Starcom’s industry-leading digital offering and invested heavily in the agency’s Data & Analytics practice. In 2014, Starcom MediaVest Group was named Most Effective Agency Network by the North American Effies – the first media agency to receive this honor in Effie history – and Media Network of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Lisa is a third-generation Irish American on her father’s side and fourth-generation on her mother’s. Both families are from Cork.


John Donovan is senior executive vice president of AT&T Technology and Operations (ATO), responsible for AT&T’s global network and its bestin-class mobile broadband network along with creating a modern, software-defined and cloud-based technology ecosystem to support them. He is driving AT&T’s global leadership position in the technological transition to separate hardware and software and virtualize network elements to the cloud. Under his leadership, AT&T has turbocharged its innovation programs and now is recognized as an industry leader in working with developers to make AT&T’s network open to collaboration and innovation. John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. and earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Minnesota. He serves on the Palo Alto Networks board and has authored two books, The Value Enterprise and Value Creating Growth. He and his wife, Judy, have three children – Shaina, Rory and Julia. A third-generation Irish American, John says, “St. Patrick’s Day was one of the most important celebrations in my home. My dad was so proud of his heritage.”

Michael Dowling is the president and CEO of North Shore LIJ Health System and was our 2013 Business 100 keynote speaker. He began his career as a faculty member at Fordham University as a professor and the assistant dean at the Graduate School of Social Services. In 1983, under Governor Mario Cuomo, he served as deputy secretary and director of Health, Education, and Human Services. He became executive vice president and chief operating officer of North Shore LIJ in 1997, and was named president and CEO in 2002. Born and raised in Knockaderry, Co. Limerick, Michael is the eldest of five children. He had to help support his family from an early age, inspiring him to push further and achieve his dreams. “No” was never an option for Michael as he makes clear: “if you tell me I can’t do something, that’s when I become determined to get it done.” He was the first person in his family to attend college, graduating UCC while working odd jobs to pay for tuition. After graduation he went to New York and earned a master’s degree from Fordham. Michael and his wife Kathy live on Long Island with their two children, Brian and Elizabeth.

We salute the Irish and Irish-American financial leaders recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments. Congratulations to our own Kathleen Murphy on receiving this honor.

Fidelity Investments is proud to sponsor: ®

Irish America magazine’s Business 100

Fidelity, Fidelity Investments, and the Fidelity Investments and pyramid design logo are registered service marks of FMR LLC. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 © 2014 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. 707140.1.0

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Drew Company

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation


As founder and president of the Drew Company, a Boston-based real estate management and development company, John Drew has been instrumental in revitalizing Boston’s Seaport District. He is also chairman of Trade Center Management Associates which operates the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., developer and partner of the World Trade Center Boston and the Seaport Hotel, and Chairman of the World Trade Center, Dublin, which provides trade services to small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow. A second-generation Irish American and Boston native, John is a graduate of Stonehill College and Boston University and was recently recognized by Building Owners and Managers Association as the Outstanding Builder of the Year. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Newbury College. He is a member of the American Ireland Fund, serves on the boards of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Stonehill College, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, and is chairman of the board of Cathedral High School in Boston. He and his wife, Kathleen, have four children.

John Duffey is the chief financial officer of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, responsible for the finance and information technology functions of the company, which is 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 B.A. from Michigan State University. A father of three, he says of his thirdgeneration 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.’”

John Duffy is CEO and founder of 3Cinteractive, an enterprise software company specializing in mobile consumer engagement. With 25 years of experience in communications and payment processing, John has helped build several successful companies. 3Cinteractive, which he founded in 2005, ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ 2013 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.




Cardinal Health



Mike Duffy is president of Medical Products for Cardinal Health. In this role, he has responsibility for the Cardinal Health-branded product portfolio, global manufacturing, and global R&D. Prior to Cardinal Health, Mike served as vice president, Global Value Chain at the Gillette Co., where he had global responsibility for customer service, revenue management, demand planning, distribution and promotions management. Mike earned both a bachelor’s degree in operations research and a master’s degree in transportation from MIT. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation and is a former board member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. 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 says, “My family is from Boston where the Irish are 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.” 54 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

William Duggan is the vice president of North American Refrigerated Services at Maersk, where he began his career in 1985 as a sales representative. He has been in his current position since 2007 and has held various positions in Saudi Arabia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Florida. William is a native of New York and a thirdgeneration Irish American with roots from Cork on his father’s side and Galway on his mother’s side. He is immensely proud of his Irish heritage, Catholic education, and his ancestors, who he says, “paved the way for me to have this tremendous opportunity here in America.” He graduated from Ball State University in Indiana with a B.S. in management. William belongs to a number of organizations including the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in New Jersey and is a deputy grand knight for the Knights of Columbus. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Terri and four children William, Tara, Sean, and Kelly.

Kevin Dwyer is a partner and the senior vice president of corporate development at SupplyLogic, the leading provider of brand delivery solutions for corporate enterprises. Prior to joining SupplyLogic, Kevin spent nine years as the senior vice president and CDO for North ShoreLIJ Health System and 25 years at Spiro-Wallach Co. and received his B.A. from Boston College. A New York native, Kevin is a second-generation Irish American with roots from Mayo on his mother’s side. His grandfather, he says, “instilled a tremendous sense of pride in our Irish heritage.... His love of God, family, the Irish and all things Irish never left him. It has never left me.” Besides working at SupplyLogic, Kevin is also a board member of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Foundation, the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, and IGHL, which provides housing and programs for those with intellectual disabilities on Long Island. He is also a member of the Knights of Malta. Kevin and his wife Suzanne live in New York and have four grown children, Kieran, Timothy, Connor, and Courtney, and one grandson, Jackson Francis.

High Rise Capital Partners, LLC salutes the top 100 Irish Americans in Business We are proud to recognize you for your outstanding influence in business and the significant devotion you have demonstrated to the Irish Heritage.

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Brian Enright is the chief executive officer of Syncreon, a specialized provider of integrated logistic services. Prior to Syncreon, Brian was the CEO of Walsh Western International, a position he had held since 1999 before it was taken over by Syncreon in September 2007. Brian is an alumnus of the University College, Galway (now the National University of Ireland at Galway) where he received a B.A. in economics, sociology, and politics, and later went on to complete a master’s in information technology. He is a native of Cork with ancestry from Limerick on both his father’s and mother’s sides. Brian is a proud Irishman who speaks fondly discussing not only his own Irish roots, but the roots of his company and says he’s “always proud to raise the Irish flag.” Brian currently lives in Michigan with his wife Natasha.

JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Mary Callahan Erdoes is CEO of JP Morgan’s Asset Management division, a global leader in investment management and private banking with more than $2.5 trillion in assets under supervision. Mary is a member of JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s Operating Committee. She joined JP Morgan in 1996 from Meredith, Martin & Kaye. A graduate of Georgetown University (B.S.) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A.), Mary was recognized by Forbes and Fortune magazines for their “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” lists, respectively. Last year, Bloomberg Markets magazine named her the Most Influential Money Manager as part of its “World’s 50 Most Influential People” list. An Illinois native, Mary is a fourth-generation Irish American. Her great-grandparents emigrated from Cork on her father’s side and Tipperary on her mother’s. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters.

The Fallon Company




Ford Motor Company

SunGard’s XSP


James Farley is Ford Motor Company’s executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service, and is the company’s most senior marketing leader. Before being appointed to his current position this past September, he was also the senior global leader for Lincoln and served as group vice president, global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South America from September 2009 to 2012. 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 M.B.A. 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. 56 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Brendan P. Farrell, Jr. is executive vice president and general manager of SunGard’s XSP. Brendan, a founder of XSP, has over 27 years of experience in financial services. In 2009, Brendan created IMMRAM, an informal network for the Irish diaspora, which now has hundreds of members. He stays connected to the Irish-American community by serving on various committees including The American Ireland Fund New York Gala Dinner Committee and The Friends of Athlone Institute of Technology Foundation. Born in the U.S. to Brendan, Sr. of County Longford and Rita McAuliffe of County Kerry, Brendan was raised in Longford Town, Co. Longford, where his family ran O’Farrell’s Bar and Grocery. His Irishness, he says, “has become my calling card everywhere I go across the globe. I’m ‘the Irish guy.’ I feel that most people respect the Irish and have a warm place in their hearts for us.” A graduate of the Athlone Institute of Technology, he now lives in Denville, NJ with his wife of 23 years, Christine. Their children, Dylan and Brianna, are undergraduates in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

As president and CEO of The Fallon Company, Joseph F. Fallon oversees the development and investment operations of the company’s real estate portfolio, which includes some of the most sought after residential, hotel and commercial properties in Boston. Fallon has been recognized by the Boston Redevelopment Authority as “Developer of the Year,” Boston Magazine as the recipient of their “visionary” award, and the Real Estate Finance Association as recipient of the Robert S. Swain Jr. Distinguished Service Award. In 2013 Fallon sold the 1.1 million sq. ft. Vertex Pharmaceutical headquarters buildings in one of the largest transactions in Boston’s history. Among his current projects is 100 Northern Avenue, a 17 story glass tower with over 518,000 square feet of office and retail space. Fallon currently serves on the boards of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and WGBH. He has served on numerous non-profit boards including the Island Alliance, Sail Boston, the Boston Harbor Association, and the New England Aquarium. Joseph is a third-generation Irish American and resides in Boston with his wife, Susan.

Irial Finan is executive vice president at The Coca-Cola Company and president of Bottling Investments. With over 32 years of experience at Coca-Cola, he is responsible for managing a multibillion-dollar internal bottling business, Bottling Investments Group (BIG), which has operations in 5 continents. Irial joined the Coca-Cola Company in 2004 as president, Bottling Investments and Supply Chain, and was named executive vice president of the company later that year. Irial serves on the boards of directors of Coca-Cola FEMSA, Coca-Cola HBC, and the Supervisory Board of CCE AG. He is a non-executive director for Cooperation Ireland and NUI Galway Foundation. Irial is also a past recipient of the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Leadership Award, and is an Irish America Stars of the South honoree. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from National University of Ireland at Galway and is an associate (later fellow) of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants. Most recently he received an honorary Doctor of Law Degree from NUI Galway. Irial and his wife, Deirdre, have two daughters, Ciara and Roisin.

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Procter & Gamble

Tom Finn is the president of Procter & Gamble Global Health Care, a position he has held since 2007. Tom has spent over thirty years with P&G in a variety of global leadership roles. He has served as a long-standing Board member for both the largest hospital system in Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Health Collaborative. He is an appointed member of Ohio Governor Kasich’s Advisory Council on Health Care Payment Innovation and holds a B.A. in economics from Hamilton College. Tom is a native of Syracuse, New York and is a second-generation Irish American with paternal ancestry from County Cork. He credits his Irish heritage as playing a big role in his professional career, saying, “I feel the culture and attitude rolemodeled by my grandparents and later adopted by me was a big part of this success. They taught me to work hard, play ethically, constantly learn new things, be comfortable with change and embrace the fact that you must successfully work with and through others to accomplish great things.” Tom and his wife Deborah live in Cincinnati with their two children Lindsay and Ashley.


Daniel J. Finnegan is the chief financial officer of the Priceline Group Incorporated, an organization he has been with since 2004, when he joined as chief compliance officer. Since that time, the company has increased in size more than 30 fold, now with 10,000 employees and valued at over $60 billion. It also now has a subsidiary in Dublin. Daniel, a member of the Gaelic Club in Fairfield, CT, is a first-generation Irish American, whose parents, Daniel and Joan (née Flanagan) Finnegan, emigrated from counties Limerick and Galway respectively. Born in New York City, he earned a B.S. in accounting from St. John’s University. “I am very proud of my Irish heritage,” he says. “My parents loved Ireland and often told us stories about growing up in Ireland. It was important to them that we understood and appreciated our Irish heritage. My wife is from Cork and we often visit Ireland with our 4 kids to see her family and my relatives.” Daniel and his wife Marion have four children, Ashlynn, Daniel, Kyra, and Caitlin.

Bank of America




Fitzgerald & Co.

Fitzpatrick Hotel Group

Mutual of America

In 1983, Dave Fitzgerald founded the 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 B.S. and M.B.A. 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.” 58 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

John Fitzpatrick is President and CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, North America. He serves as Chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was Chairman of the Hotel Association of NYC for three terms. He is the Chairman of the American Ireland Fund and on the board of 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, and in 2013 Dublin City University bestowed an honorary philosophy degree. 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 $2.4 million for charities.

Anne M. Finucane is global chief strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America and is also a member of the executive management team. She is responsible for Bank of America’s public policy and brand positioning around the world, current and proposed legislation and other public affairs globally. As leader of the marketing, research, communications and public policy organizations, Anne directs the company’s engagement and position on global and domestic public affairs issues and advertising efforts. Anne also oversees the company’s corporate social responsibility program, which includes a 10-year, $2 billion charitable giving goal through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. A recipient of the 2013 New York Women in Communications Matrix Award and listed among American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, Anne is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on numerous boards including The American Ireland Fund. She has roots in Cork on both sides of her family, most notably through her grandfather, who came to the United States as a young boy.

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 Irish-American chairman of the NCAFP, it was Bill 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 County Mayo and County 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.


There is so much dramatic beauty to be found along the western coast of Ireland, the cliff faces and remote beaches, lush greens and panoramic views. It can be overwhelming to decide where to begin! Well as the saying goes, the journey is the destination, so why not make an adventure of your next trip to Ireland? The Wild Atlantic Way, the longest designated touring route in the world, stretches 1600 miles from the magnificent Inishowen Peninsula in the Northwest to Kinsale in County Cork. This magnificent discovery route takes in more than 500 visitor attractions, more than 100 golf courses, 50 looped walks and many stunning beaches. Steeped in rich Celtic history, this wild, rugged landscape offers an opportunity to get immersed in the many unique local experiences.

A special supplement to Irish America magazine in cooperation with Tourism Ireland.

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SCULPTED BY SEA From Malin Head to the Cliffs of Moher, views that take your breath away

What better place to start than the northernmost point of Ireland’s mainland, Malin Head. This remote but beautiful spot is at the very tip of the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal. The ocean waves have carved deep crevices into the rock and hundreds of birds find refuge in the dramatic cliff face, complete with churning seas below. Donegal’s southern coast boasts what have been called the best example of marine cliffs in Europe, the Slieve League Cliffs. At the top visitors can gaze out at the majestic ocean as well as take in the Sligo Mountains towering in the distance. If you take a boat tour to see the Slieve League Cliffs from the waterside, be sure to watch the waves for dolphins, whales and seals all known to make a splash in the area!

Down the coast into County Sligo, Mullaghmore Head is a very special piece of the Irish western coastline. It is a favorite surf spot of locals and vacationers and was host to Ireland’s first Big Wave contest in 2011. Surfing has become increasingly popular in Ireland, so what is it about Mullaghmore Head that makes it different from the other surf spots on the west coast? It’s here where the “prowlers” roll in from the Atlantic, waves reaching 30 feet high. The winter months are best for spectators looking to see the pros and if you’re looking to get your feet wet, there are dozens of surf schools along the Wild Atlantic Way! If riding waves isn’t your idea of a day at the beach, maybe riding horses is! The riding stables in Sligo offer an opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring scenery of the west coast on horseback—trotting along the untouched beaches of Dernish Island, exploring historical sites and ruins, and galloping through the lush greens all await visiting riders.

Perhaps some of the most legendary views of the Wild Atlantic are waiting to be seen at the Cliffs of Moher. With walking tours and ferries, it’s easy to have a guided exploration of the Cliffs by land or sea. If solo-traveling is more your speed, the visitor center is packed with information on the formations and their place in Irish history.

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Galway City, situated between River Corrib and Galway Bay, is one of Ireland’s most artistic hubs, and with shops lining the winding cobble streets and dozens of gourmet dining options, Galway City is a favorite of visitors to Ireland. The Corrib House Tea Rooms overlooking the Salmon Weir Fishery is a must-visit in Galway. The spectacular Georgian Townhouse’s two tearooms offer delicious baked treats and, of course, a warm cup to tame the chill of the breezes off the bay. While exploring Galway City, pop into any of the numerable pubs and there’s a good chance you’ll be greeted with traditional Irish music. The Kings Head Bar and The Crane Bar are just two Galway staples that offer live music nightly. As they say, Ireland’s greatest charm is its people, and the pubs of Galway offer a warm authentic way to relax with the locals. And what better time to make a few new friends than when you’re sipping a pint, tapping your toes to an Irish fiddle. Galway is also home to one of the most premier food festivals in Europe, the Galway International Oyster Festival. For six decades now, the festival has attracted thousands of visitors to Galway City. Attendees feast on the best seafood from the Irish coasts, participate in oyster opening or ‘shucking’ contests, as well as celebrate parades and enjoy top-notch entertainment. Held in September of each year, the Galway International Oyster Festival is a perfect place to experience not only the best Irish seafood and hospitality, but also to make lasting friendships and even learn a recipe or two to bring home!


Galway City vibes and a new kind of Island hopping

Very nearby in Galway Bay, the Aran Islands are easily accessible by ferry for a day trip off the mainland. The three islands, Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, offer a unique island-hopping experience and plenty of charming bed and breakfasts to stay a night or a few. Famous for not only their geological beauty and history, but also for their unique culture, the islands’ small-town feel juxtaposed with the fascinating landscape of criss-crossed stone walls make the Aran Islands a symbol of Ireland’s rugged west. Hear the locals speaking Irish, explore cliff-diving, biking, and then warm up in the pubs and cozy cafes in town.

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A wonder left from another time, the breathtaking Skellig Michael is a truly exceptional place to visit. Named an UNESCO World Heritage site, the towering island eight miles offshore is home to a remote hermitage built by 6th century monks. Take a short boat trip, weather permitting, from Portmagee, Valentia or Ballinaskelligs to climb the steep steps carved into the jagged rock. Some 700 feet above sea level are the remarkably wellpreserved monastic retreats, several beehive

shaped structures designed for solitary meditation far from civilization. For animal lovers, this unique location is also home to dozens of species of seabirds and the second largest colony of gannets in the world. The blend of natural wonder and manmade excellence is in perfect harmony at this historic place. Described by many visitors as a life-changing experience, there is truly nothing quite like Skellig Michael.

Start Planning Your Trip For more information on Ireland and traveling the Wild Atlantic Way plus great vacation offers visit:

All photos courtesy of Tourism Ireland Written and designed by Tara Dougherty

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Ford Motor Company

Silicon Valley Bank


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 Finance 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, Business Leaders for Michigan and eBay, Inc. Bill holds a B.A. from Princeton and an M.S. 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.

Mark Gallagher leads Silicon Valley Bank’s Technology practice in New England, working with high growth innovation companies in the region. Gallagher has provided financial services to venture capital funds and technology and life science companies for the majority of his career. A supporter and champion of the New England technology community, Gallagher serves on the board of overseers for the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MTLC) and previously served as a Board Member for the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership at Suffolk University. Prior to joining SVB in 2000, Gallagher spent 3 years at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. in Dublin, Ireland and ABN AMRO Corporate Finance (Ireland) Ltd. A native of Ireland, Gallagher is a member of SVB’s Ireland task force. He was recognized in 2014 as one of the Top 20 Irish Born Business Leaders in the US by The Irish Independent. Gallagher earned a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from University College, Dublin and an M.B.A. from Trinity College, Dublin. He received a diploma in Italian from Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy. He is married with three young children.

Matt Galligan is the co-founder and CEO of Circa, a media organization dedicated to producing news for mobile consumption. Matt and his co-founder Ben Huh developed the concept at the TechStars 2011 reunion. Circa was then officially founded in December 2011 and launched its app, Circa News, in October 2012. A version for Android recently launched. Matt’s first company was Socialthing, a platform designed to coordinate management of personal social networks, which was acquired by AOL in 2008. Galligan left AOL in 2009 to start SimpleGeo which facilitated ways for developers to leverage location data for apps and websites, and was acquired by UrbanAirship in 2011. A mentor for TechStars and Highway1 Accelerator, Matt is also an advisor to numerous start-up companies. In 2010, Matt was listed in Business Insider’s Silicon Valley 100, and has been a conference speaker at the Dublin Web Summit and SXSW Interactive. A native of Illinois, Matt feels very connected to his Irish heritage. He currently resides in San Francisco.




American Express Company

Synergy Investments

Haire Business Solutions

Ed Gilligan is president of the American Express Company, a position he has held since April 2013. Ed is responsible for the company’s global consumer, small business, merchant services, and network services businesses. While studying for his B.S. in economics and management at New York University in 1980, Ed joined American Express 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 New York City and a member on the boards of Concur Technologies and Ed is a first-generation Irish-American with family from Castlerea, Co. Roscommon on his father’s side. He lives in New York with his wife, Lisa, and their four children.

David Greaney is the founder and president of Synergy Investments, a Boston based real estate investment firm. Synergy is one of the largest commercial landlords in Boston owning and operating 30 buildings and providing a home to over 400 companies. David is responsible for overseeing the acquisition, equity and debt related activities of Synergy’s various investment partnerships. A graduate of University College, Dublin, and a CPA in Massachusetts, he has previously held positions in the investment management groups of Harvard University and PwC. David is active in the Irish-American business community and has received the Entrepreneurial Award from the Irish Chamber of Commerce and was named one of Business & Finance Magazine’s “Most Influential US-Irish Business Leaders.” David is a board member of the MA chapter of the NAIOP, the Downtown Business Improvement District and Downtown North Association. He actively supports a number of charitable causes, including the American Ireland Fund and the Claddagh Fund, the charitable foundation of the Dropkick Murphys.

Janet Haire is the founder of Haire Business Solutions, LLC, a media, marketing, & sales consultancy based in San Francisco. There, she represents the Parade/Athlon Media Group of brands (Parade, American Profile, Relish, Spry Living, and Athlon Sports) for advertising sales on the West Coast. Prior to starting her own firm this past February, Janet spent 20 years at Time Incorporated, where she worked for both the LIFE and TIME brands, in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Before joining Time Inc., she worked at Inc. magazine and Hearst, in New York, Boston and LA. Born in New York City, Janet now lives in San Francisco with her partner of 22 years, Maggie Cahill. Janet loves being Irish-American and is extremely proud of her Irish heritage. Her great grandparents, who immigrated to New York during the Famine, came from the Beara Peninsula in Cork as well as County Donegal.


Tops on Our List

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Congratulates our Chairman, President and CEO

Eileen C. McDonnell Named one of Irish America Magazine’s Business 100 leaders!

Š 2014 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Philadelphia, PA 19172

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Congratulations to the distinguished list of Irish America Business 100 Honorees

Cheers to your outstanding accomplishments, passion, and leadership!

Eileen C. McDonnell Chairman, President and CEO and The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company

Š 2014 The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA 19172

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Bunge Food & Ingredients

Brian Halligan is co-founder and chief executive officer of HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform. Before joining HubSpot, Brian was a venture partner at Longworth Ventures and a vice president of sales at Groove Networks. Halligan is also the author of two books, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead and Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, co-written with Dharmesh Shah. Brian is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Sherkin Island in West Cork. He is immensely proud of his heritage and the work his company is now doing in Ireland with its Dublin subsidiary. He says, “seeing HubSpot’s presence in Ireland grow so rapidly has been extremely rewarding. Dublin is a tech and innovation hub and I love working with the talent there; it’s great to be part of that energy.” Besides HubSpot, Brian is a professor at MIT and was named one of Ernst and Young’s “Entrepreneurs of the Year” in 2011 and was one of Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Rated CEOs in 2014. Halligan also serves on a number of boards including Fleetmatics Group and the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange.

Oisin Hanrahan is the co-founder and CEO of Handy, the on-demand home cleaning and repair service. Prior to Handy, Oisin founded Clearwater Group, a real estate development company in Budapest when he was only 18. From there, he established the Undergraduate Awards, the world’s only pan-discipline awards programs. Oisin continued his success in 2009 by co-founding MiCandidate, which has become one of the leading sources for online election information across Europe. Oisin is a native Dubliner and a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin where he received degrees in business and economics. Oisin ties his successful career and business acumen to his Irish heritage saying, “Building and fostering relationships is the core of what it means to be Irish. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience growing up in Dublin.” Oisin is also involved with a number of Irish organizations including the New York Digital Irish. In 2014, Oisin was a candidate for Ireland’s Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. Oisin currently lives in New York where he enjoys traveling, cooking, and snowboarding.

Gordon Hardie is the managing director of Bunge Food & Ingredients as well as a member of the executive committee of Bunge Ltd., a global agribusiness and food company dedicated to improving the food supply chain from farm to shelf to stovetop. Prior to joining Bunge, Gordon spent 12 years in Australia, where he co-led the IPO for Goodman Fielder, Ltd. on the Australian Stock Exchange. It has since become the largest listed food company in Australasia. A native of Cork, Gordon holds a B.A. in languages and psychology and a higher diploma in education from University College, Cork, and an M.B.A. from University College, Dublin’s Smurfit Graduate School of Business, where he was recently honored as Alumnus of the Year. Gordon lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children and holds dual Irish and Australian citizenship. He sees himself as part of an emerging global Irish community that believes in writer Colum McCann’s imperative to “create a contemporary Irishness that is agile enough to understand that we can live in more than two places at once.”




Mohawk Fine Papers



Jack Haren is the President and Chief Financial Officer of Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc. in Cohoes, NY. Prior to joining Mohawk in 1999, he spent 24 years with Union Camp Corporation where he concluded his career there as Corporate Controller. Haren received his B.S. from Fordham and later graduated from the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management program. Jack belongs to a number of organizations, including the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and is an executive member of the Archbishop John Hughes Commemorative Committee for the upcoming 200th celebration of the Basilica of the Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 2015. He was recently named the 2014 CFO of the Year by the Albany Business Review. Jack is a native of New York City and is a firstgeneration Irish American with ancestry from Clare and Kerry. Haren’s paternal grandmother Margaret Coll was a close cousin to Elizabeth Coll, Eamon de Valera’s mother. His heritage, he says, “anchors my religion, my sense of family and community, and my sense of duty to God and my country.” Jack lives in New Jersey with his wife Eileen and three children, Christine, Michelle, and John. 66 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

John Hughes is co-founder and president of Product at TubeMogul, one of the leading enterprise platform companies for digital branding. TubeMogul’s software is counted on every day by brands like Allstate, Mondelez International and Lenovo to put video ads on every screen and scale their efforts globally. Prior to TubeMogul, John worked for Adobe Systems and Gateway Inc. John is an M.B.A. graduate of UC Berkeley, and has a B.S. from Penn State. While at Cal, John co-created the video promotion platform A native of Denver, John’s paternal ancestors hail from Athlone. Bursting with Irish pride, John says of his heritage, “as a second-generation Irish American, I could not be more proud of my roots.” John’s many awards and honors include a Spark award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in 2014, the Best Advertising Platform Award from The Drum, and TubeMogul being named one of the “Best Places to Work” by the San Francisco Business Times this year. He is particularly proud of TubeMogul’s IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange in July. John and his wife Jeanne have three children, Avery, Owen, and Everett.

Alexandra Keating is the CEO of DWNLD, the mobile app company she developed with former Microsoft vice-president and Pinterest investor Fritz Lanman. She has a knack for creating successful business ventures, founding the non-profit online fundraising platform GoFundraise at 20, which has since become one of the largest fundraising platform systems in Australia. Alexandra attended the University of Sydney where she completed a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health science. Alexandra is a native of Sydney and is the daughter of former prime minister Paul Keating. With fourth-generation Irish ancestry, Keating finds strength in the empowerment of Irish women. Paramount among them is Irish screen actress Fionnula Flanagan, whom Keating quotes: “I think Irish women are strong as horses, incredibly loyal and for the most part, funny, witty, bright and optimistic in the face of devastating reality.” Among her numerous recognitions and awards include Business Insider’s “Silicon Alley 100,” “Top Women in New York Tech,” and “Top 30 Under 30.” Alexandra currently lives in New York.



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Photo – Northern Coast, Co. Antrim

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Trinity Brokerage

Keurig Green Mountain

Brian Kelley became the CEO and director of the coffee company Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. in December 2012. His business career has spanned 29 years, with experience at P&G, GE, the Ford Motor Company (where he was the president of Lincoln Mercury), and 5 years as the president and CEO of SIRVA (a $4 billion global relocation company which Brian took public in 2003). He joined Coca-Cola in 2007 as president of its $6 billion non-carbonated beverages business in North America, and in 2010 led the integration of the company’s acquisition of CocaCola Enterprises and the formation of CocaCola Refreshments. Brian was the third of seven children born to an Irish Catholic family in Cincinnati, OH. His great-grandfather, Eugene, emigrated from Co. Cork in the mid-1880s. A graduate of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. with a B.A. in economics, Brian has served on a number of boards including Hertz, Mazda, SIRVA, VWR and the Internet Capital Group. He and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, Erin and Gwen.


Colleen Kelly is a partner and director of Business Development at Triptent, an award-winning ad agency based in New York. Prior to joining Triptent, Colleen had many years experience at some of the top ad agencies in the country including Deutsch LA, Product of the Year USA, Dailey & Associates, and Vic Olsen & Partners. She is an alumna of Boston University where she obtained a degree in marketing. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Colleen is a third-generation Irish American. Her mother’s family hails from Co. Tyrone, while her father’s side hails from Counties Cork and Carlow. It is from her Irish roots where Colleen says she gets her love of laughter and music. She adds, “It means working hard and playing hard. But it means love of family and good friends the most.” Besides her advertising initiatives, Colleen has served as the president of the Los Angeles Association of Advertising Agencies as well as president and founding board member of thinkLA. Colleen currently resides in New York where she says she loves the winters, but dreads the summers.






Lion Group Consulting

Richard C. Keating is the president and founder of Trinity Brokerage, Inc. Based in NYC, Trinity has focused on delivering innovative and streamlined insurance brokerage options to corporate clients since 2009. Richard has created both retail and wholesale distribution channels focused on managing Professional Liabilities for corporate boards. He says his Irish heritage provided him “with a strong foundation in family, faith & friends from which to build upon.” He has remained committed to many Irish causes throughout his life, supporting organizations like the Irish Business Network, Irish Business Association, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Irish Northern Aid, The Dirty Dozen, and Westchester-Putnam Gaels. Richard is a graduate of Western New England University where he received his B.S. and attended Fordham University Graduate School of Education in New York City. Born in the U.S. to Richard Sr., from Co. Tipperary and Margaret (McKenna) from Co. Kilkenny, Rich was raised in Yonkers, NY. He now lives in Pawling, NY with his wife of 17 years, Allison, and their children, Richard, Aedan, and Thomas.

Shaun Kelly is vice chair of 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 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 UCD, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, and a CPA. He is treasurer and member of the executive committee of Enactus, co-chair of KPMG’s Disabilities Network, and a member of KPMG’s Diversity Advisory Board. He also serves on the North American Advisory Board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, and on the board of the Irish Arts Center in New York. Shaun and his wife, Mary, who is from Donegal, live in Connecticut. They have four children. 68 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Kathleen Kennedy is one of the most successful and respected producers and executives in the film industry. She joined Lucasfilm in 2012, personally selected by George Lucas to lead the company in a new multi-platform direction, beginning with Star Wars: Episode VII. She currently sits on the board of governors and board of trustees of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Kathleen has produced or executive produced over 60 films, which have collectively garnered 120 Academy Award nominations, 25 wins, and have grossed over $11 billion worldwide. Among her credits are four of the highest grossing films in motion picture history: Jurassic Park, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Sixth Sense, as well as such blockbusters as the Back to the Future trilogy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Kathleen attended San Diego University, where she studied telecommunications and film. A fourthgeneration Irish American, Kathleen traces her Irish ancestry through her father, Donald Kennedy. She and her husband, Frank Marshall, have two daughters, Lillian and Meghan.

Patrick Keough is President & CEO of Lion Group Consulting, a company he founded, which develops strategic marketing & communications platforms for global corporate clients, garnering a number of industry awards. Before founding Lion Group Consulting in 2009, Patrick had a distinguished career in advertising and corporate communications spanning over two decades. Working for industry leaders WPP, IPG and FD, he shepherded the advertising, marketing and corporate communications of such illustrious global brands as Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, Chevrolet, and The CocaCola Company. Patrick holds a B.A. from Notre Dame, an M.A. from the University of Georgia, and serves on Notre Dame’s College of Arts & Letters Advisory Council. Patrick and his wife, Megan live in Rye, NY with their four children.

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Procter & Gamble

VPNE Parking Solutions





The Walt Disney Company


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 chair of the U.S. China Business Council and member of the business council and the executive committee of SCI-America. She is a board member of Change the Equation and 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 B.S. 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.

Jim McCann is a highly successful entrepreneur whose passion is helping people deliver smiles. Jim’s belief in the universal need for social connections and interaction led to the founding of 1-800FLOWERS.COM, which he has built into the world’s leading florist and gift shop. Jim’s willingness to embrace new technologies that help people connect has enabled him to stay at the forefront of consumer and social trends. He has expanded his company’s gift offerings to become a leading player in the gourmet food and gift baskets business, including such iconic brands as Fannie May Fine Chocolates, Cheryl’s fresh baked cookies, The Popcorn Factory,, and In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Jim is the non-executive chairman of Willis Group Holdings Limited and a board member for a variety of private and not-for-profit boards. He is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Armagh and Limerick.


A.G. Lafley is Procter & Gamble’s chairman of the board, president, and CEO. He previously served as president & CEO from 2000 to 2009. During this time, the company more than doubled sales and grew its portfolio of billion-dollar brands from 10 to 23. A.G. grew up in Keene, New Hampshire, and graduated from Hamilton College. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1970 where he oversaw all the retail and service operations for 10,000 Navy and Marine Corps members and their families in Japan. After the Navy, A.G. graduated from Harvard Business School and joined Procter & Gamble in 1977. He returned to Japan in 1994, with responsibility for P&G’s operations in Asia. In 1999, he ran P&G’s fast-growing beauty business, along with the company’s business in North America. He retired from Procter & Gamble in early 2010 and served as a senior advisor at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice until returning in 2013. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Cork, A.G. says his Irish grandmother Katherine “Kitty” Irwin was a major influence during his childhood.

Christine M. McCarthy is executive vice president of Corporate Real Estate, Alliances and Treasurer of The Walt Disney Company. Prior to joining Disney, Christine spent 18 years in banking in executive roles. She has served as Disney’s representative on the board of FM Global since 2010. Christine is also a trustee of the Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, Calif., and a mentor for the National Math and Science Initiative’s STEM program. She has been named multiple times to Treasury & Risk magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in Finance.” A third-generation Irish American, Christine was raised in Wakefield, MA. She completed her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Smith College, where she received an award for excellence in botany. She has served as treasurer and a director of the Alumnae Association of Smith College as well as a member of the Smith College Investment Committee. She also earned an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She and her husband, Michael McCormick, have two children and live in California.

Kevin W. Leary founded VPNE Parking Solutions in 1990 and currently serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. VPNE provides parking services to healthcare facilities and office buildings and provides shuttles and buses to a variety of businesses, ranging from Brigham and Woman’s Hospital to the Mandarin Hotel and the Prudential Center in Boston. Born in Boston and raised in Milton, Mass., Kevin is a third-generation Irish American. Both his father, Joseph F. Leary, and his mother, Mary F. Leary (neé Nolan) have ancestry in County Cork. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Boston College and spent the next several years in the U.S. Navy, serving two tours before embarking on a 25-year career in the investment banking business and eventually founding VPNE. “For a country as small in area as Ireland, it is extraordinary that its people have had the impact on the U.S.A. and the world itself,” he says. Kevin and his wife Mary Kelleher (whose parents were both born in Co. Clare) have six children, Nora, Kevin, Matthew, Tim, Erica, and Theresa, and, “the joy of my life,” 14 grandchildren.

Robert H. McCooey, Jr. is a senior vice president of Nasdaq OMX and is responsible for relationship management with Nasdaq’s 3,400 listed companies. Previously, he ran New Listings and the Capital Markets Group at Nasdaq. Formed in 2006, the Capital Markets Group is primarily responsible for venture capital, private equity, and investment banking outreach and works to further Nasdaq OMX’s mission to support their business goals and growth plans. Prior to joining The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. in 2006, Bob founded and served as the chief executive officer of The Griswold Company from 1988 until 2006. He was a member of the New York Stock Exchange board of executives from 2003 – 2006. He served on the NYSE’s Group Market Performance Committee, was chairman of the NYSE’s Technology and Planning Oversight Committee and served on the boards of the NYSE Foundation, the Securities Industry Automation Corporation and the Committee for Review, part of NYSE Regulation. He is a member of the National Organization of Investment Professionals and attended the College of the Holy Cross.

is proud to salute

JAMES DELANEY And all of the

2014 Irish America Business 100 honorees

Vin-Go’s promise of exceptional service is at the heart of everything we do. We offer the most comprehensive selection of direct-to-consumer shipping services in the wine industry. Our nationwide temperature-controlled transport, warehousing and compliance administration is backed by the most advanced technology platform in the business. At Vin-Go, we pride ourselves on delivering the very best every time.

VIN-GO.NET / 1-888-VIN-GO23

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Westwood Partners, LLC.


Hearst Digital Media

David McCormack is managing partner of Westwood Partners, a premier retained executive search firm focusing on Financial Services. With offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and London, Westwood is dedicated to working closely with clients to help them assess the competitive environment, prioritize their critical business objectives, and optimize their organizational structures to compete most effectively in the future. Born and raised in Castlebar. Co. Mayo, David began his career at Merrill Lynch in London, before moving into Executive Search in 2001. He is considered one of the most influential headhunters in the U.S., having moved to New York in 2007. David comes from a big Mayo family on both sides; the McCormacks were a prominent building family and one of the oldest in Ireland. On his mothers side, the McGreals were big cattle dealers and David puts his success down to hard work, humility and never forgetting your roots. He is a very proud Mayo man and is heavily involved in social, charitable and philanthropic organizations. He, his wife Kate, and their son Jack live in Tribeca in New York City.

Bill McDermott is chief executive officer and executive board member of SAP, the world’s business software market leader. He leads the company’s 68,800 employees and 2-plus million person ecosystem in executing SAP’s vision and strategy to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Under Bill’s leadership, in 2014 SAP unveiled a strategy to help businesses of all sizes “Run Simple.” The company has placed an unrivaled focus on delivering a beautiful user experience and has built the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of solutions in the SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA. SAP also boasts the world’s largest business network, with more than $600 billion transacted annually. Since 2010, this innovation-led strategy has resulted in expansive increases in customers, total revenue, market value, and profitable growth. The SAP transformation is one of many authentic stories told in Bill’s national best-selling book, Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office. Bill is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Co. Roscommon on his father’s side.

Aisling McDonagh is the executive director of Sales and Marketing at Hearst Digital Media, a breakthrough digital company and development group. She manages all digital business for worldrenown titles such as Good Housekeeping, “Dr. Oz,” House Beautiful and ELLE Décor. Prior to joining Hearst, Aisling had spent a number of years in the advertising world, beginning with Excite@Home in 1999, then moving to Yahoo! International, Rodale Inc, BuzzMedia, and Refinery29. Aisling is a native of Kenilworth, Illinois, but moved back to Ireland when she was 3 months old. Both of her parents were born and raised in Dublin. Aisling retains a fond love for Ireland and her heritage saying, “I’m very proud to be Irish. I mention I’m Irish and people smile.” Outside of Hearst, Aisling devotes her time to a number of Irish organizations including the American Ireland Fund, Young Leaders organization. She has also been previously honored with the Sales Person of the Year from Rodale Inc. She is a graduate of William Smith College in New York where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts and currently resides in New York.




Accenture Strategy

Penn Mutual


Mark McDonald is a managing director and Digital Business Strategy lead at Accenture Strategy, which helps clients to create value and revenue from digital capabilities. Previously, Mark was a group vice president and fellow at Gartner, a technology research and advisory company. At Gartner, Mark was a member of the Executive Programs Leadership team and head of Executive Programs Research. Mark is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Financial Times and other publications on issues of technology and strategy. Most recently, he is the author of The Digital Edge: Exploiting Information and Technology for Business (Gartner, 2012). He has lectured at Oxford University and currently teaches courses at Columbia University in New York and the University of Wisconsin Business School. Mark graduated from Colgate University with honors in economics and political science, Trinity College in Connecticut with a master’s in economics and international finance and TU Delft with a Ph.D. in technology policy management. He is based in Chicago, where he lives with his family. 72 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Eileen McDonnell is the chairman, president, and CEO of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a position she has held since 2013. Prior to joining Penn Mutual, she was president of New England Financial, and vice president of Guardian Life Insurance Company. Eileen is a graduate of Molloy College and went on to complete her M.B.A. in finance and investments from Adelphi University, which also recognized her for “outstanding service” in 2013. Eileen is a native New Yorker and is a secondgeneration Irish American with ancestry from Mayo and Leitrim. She takes inspiration from her heritage, saying her grandparents’ “courage and optimism embodies the spirit of the Irish, which I’m proud to have inherited.” Eileen belongs to a number of organizations including the Irish American Business Chamber and Network board and the Executive Committee of American Council of Life Insurers. She has also been honored as one of Crain’s NY Business “40 under 40” and received an honorary doctorate from Molloy College. Eileen resides in Pennsylvania with her daughter Claire.

William McEnroe is a managing partner and founder of FTS, which he began in 2010. With over 25 years of experience in advising clients on business and diverse tax matters, including extensive knowledge of alternative investments, partnership taxation, offshore taxation, and multistate taxation, his focus at FTS is on assisting family offices and investment partnerships with entity structuring, tax planning and tax compliance. Prior to FTS, he was a founding partner of WTAS, a national tax advisory firm formerly part of HSBC, and was head of the Alternative Investment Tax Group in New York. He has also held positions with Occam Management, the Montrose Group, KPMG, and Laventhol & Horwath International. He is also a member of the Explorers Club, and the Forbes 400 Advisory Council. He is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received his Masters of Science in Finance and his Masters in Science in Taxation from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College in New York. The O’Neil part of his family is from Roscommon and the McEnroe family has its origins in Cavan.

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Cook Flour Co.

Brendan McEntee, born in Drogheda, Co. Louth, immigrated as an adolescent with his parents and siblings to upstate New York. He received a B.A. from Marist College and an M.B.A. from St. John’s University. After completing his education he relocated to San Francisco and spent ten years with Wells Fargo Bank where he helped establish their very successful Middle Market Sales effort. Unable to deny his entrepreneurial nature, Brendan acquired Cook Flour Company, a grain trading firm that had been established in San Francisco in 1908. Cook was a pioneer in the early days of Organic, converting wheat growers from all the major growing areas in the U.S. from Conventional to Certified Organic wheat. In recent years Brendan has directed his focus to developing food products aimed at improving children’s nutrition. Brendan is a former Director of the National Association of Flour Distributors and is on the Food Advisory Board of the Alameda County Food Bank. He lives in Lafayette, CA with Susan, his wife of 40 years and their 17 year old daughter, Mara.

McDonalds/Schwarz Supply Source

Andrew McKenna is one of Chicago’s premier businessmen and a member of the Irish America Hall of Fame. Currently, he serves as chairman of McDonald’s Corporation and Schwarz Supply Source, a position he has held since 1964. He is also a director of Ryan Specialty Group, McDonald’s Corporation, and the Chicago Bears Football Club. The father of seven and grandfather of 24, Andrew is a native Chicagoan who himself is one of six children. His father, Andrew J. McKenna, Sr., was a first-generation Irish American, with roots in Mayo and Monaghan. In addition to his private sector positions, he is a director of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Ireland Economic Advisory Board, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Metropolis Strategies, among others. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in business administration, Andrew 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 a graduate of the DePaul University Law School where he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence.

GE Asset Management




Mutual of America

Campbell Soup Company

Bank of America

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 has also been honored with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the National University of Ireland and an Honorary Doctor of Science in Economics from Queens University, Belfast. 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 B.S. in math from Manhattan College. Tom and his wife, Joan, live in New York. 74 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Denise Morrison became president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company in 2011, after more than eight years at Campbell and more than 30 years in the food business. She is regularly named among the Fortune and Forbes Most Powerful Women. Denise is a founding member of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and serves on the board of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Denise was named as a vice co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum in 2013 and serves on the organization’s board. Denise was named to President Barack Obama’s Export Council in 2012. She was elected to the MetLife, Inc. board in February 2014 and is on the board of directors for Catalyst. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Mayo and Cork, Denise earned her B.S. 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.

Maureen Mitchell joined GE Asset Management (GEAM) in 2009 as president, Institutional Sales and Marketing, and in 2011 was promoted to president of 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 previously spent 10 years with Bear Stearns Asset Management as a senior managing director. A two-time Business 100 honoree, Maureen is a graduate of City College of New York with a graduate degree from Fordham University, and is a member of the GEAM board of directors and the board of directors of GE Investment Distributors, Inc., as well as a director of GE Asset Management Limited, a London-based GEAM subsidiary. She has also held board positions with nonprofit organizations. Born and raised in New York City, Maureen is a first-generation Irish American with roots in Sligo, where her father worked as a lobsterman before immigrating to the U.S. with her Galway-born mother. She has two daughters, both of whom have traveled throughout Ireland with their mother.

Brian T. Moynihan is the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Bank of America, one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Brian was appointed CEO in 2010. He previously led each of the bank’s lines of business, including Consumer and Small Business Banking; Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth Management. 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. He is on the museum council for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 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.”

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Fidelity Investments

Kathleen Murphy is president of Personal Investing, a unit of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the U.S. She assumed her position in January 2009 and oversees more than $1.25 trillion in client assets, more than 14 million customer accounts and over 11,500 employees. Her business is the nation’s No.1 provider of individual retirement accounts (IRAs), the fastest growing major online brokerage company, and a leading provider of managed account programs and college savings plans. Prior to joining Fidelity, Kathy was CEO of ING U.S. Wealth Management. She received her B.A. summa cum laude from Fairfield University and earned her J.D. with highest honors from the University of Connecticut. Fortune magazine named her one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women” in American business. She is a third-generation Irish American. Her father’s family is from County Cork and her mother’s family is from Kerry. She is married with one son.


Padden Guy Murphy is the director of Public Policy and Business Development at Getaround, a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that was named one of the top startup companies by The Wall Street Journal. In that role Padden has forged strategic partnerships with major corporations and governments alike, from Mercedes-Benz to the White House. “It’s really exciting,” he says. “If you turn 1,000 cars in a city into Getarounds you’ll take 10,000 cars off the road, offset 100 million pounds of C02, and inject $10 million into the economy every year.” Padden received his B.A. in international relations and Chinese from Tufts University and his M.A. from Oxford University, where he studied U.S.-Chinese technology and innovation. Padden is a native of Great Falls, MT and is a third-generation Irish American with ancestry from Cork. He says, “My Irish heritage means family, hard work, and purpose – a debt owed to my parents who have spent every day I’ve been alive working to give us love, optimism and a chance at the American Dream.” Padden currently resides in San Francisco.

ICON plc





Inundata Innovations


Dennis Nally has served as chairman of PwC International Limited, the coordinating and governance entity of the PwC network, since 2009. He joined the company’s Detroit office in 1974. Dennis is a frequent speaker at major forums on issues affecting the global capital markets. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Dennis also completed executive programs at Columbia and Penn State universities. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs. He is a member of the Duke Kunshan University Advisory Board, The Carnegie Hall Society Board of Trustees, and The Business Roundtable. He also serves as Vice Chair of the US Council for International Business and on the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce. As a second-generation Irish American with roots in Mayo, Dennis believes that “with a strong foundation of hard work and determination, anything can be accomplished. “My Irish ancestry demonstrated this by my grandparents and parents,” he says. 76 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Shane Naughton is an Irish-born technology entrepreneur based in New York City, working to bring technology to bear to solve problems in various industries including financial services, media and the arts. He is a managing partner of Inundata Innovations, and an advisor to, board member of, and an investor in select NYC and Dublin-based technology businesses. In 2000, Shane co-founded and was CTO of TaxStream, a software business set up to address a deficiency in tax reporting procedures of publicly traded companies. The company rapidly grew to become the number one provider, ranking 51st on the 2007 INC 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. In 2008, TaxStream was acquired by Thomson Reuters. Shane is active within the Irish community in New York, serving on the boards of the Irish Arts Center, Trinity Foundation, and the American Ireland Fund. Shane grew up in Roscommon, earned his M.A. in computer science and M.Sc. in artificial intelligence from Trinity, and his M.B.A. from TRIUM, a collaboration between NYU Stern, HEC Paris, and LSE.

Ciarán Murray is the chief executive officer of ICON plc, a global leader in clinical research and one of Ireland’s most successful indigenous companies. He became CEO in 2011 and has led ICON to record levels of revenue and earnings growth. A native of Ireland, Ciarán graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from UCD, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law from UCD in 2013, and has continued to strengthen ICON’s commitment to building ties between industry and academia. Ciarán is also a strong supporter of the Gaelic Players Association and has established the ICONGPA Life Sciences Scholarship program, which provides funding for inter-county players engaged in undergraduate and post-graduate life science courses. He was honored by the GPA in 2013 with a Spirit of Ireland award in recognition of his contribution. Besides his work at ICON, Ciarán served as chairman of the Association of Clinical Research Organisations, and was named as a leader in CRO Innovation by PharmaVOICE 100 in 2014.

Denis O’Brien is a leading international businessman with interests in radio, media, property, leisure and oil distribution. He is the founder and chairman of Digicel, one of the largest cellular phone companies in the world. Chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network, Denis is a dedicated philanthropist. He funded the rebuilding of the iconic Iron Market in Port Au Prince following the 2010 Haitian earthquake. A major education project in Haiti has recently been completed with the construction of 150 schools. Last year the O’Brien Centre for Science at University College Dublin was officially opened. Denis currently serves on the board of directors of Concern Worldwide, U.S. In 2012, he served as Irish America’s Business 100 keynote speaker.

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ADP, Inc.

INOV8 Beverage Consulting Group

Brian O’Byrne is CEO and co-founder of the INOV8 Beverage Consulting Group, advisory service providers for both established and start-up beverage companies. Brian began his career at Coras Trachtala for which he served in Britain, Germany, and Austria. He has extensive history in the beverage industry and has held a number of positions at Irish Distillers, Pernod-Ricard USA, and Cadbury Schweppes before co-founding INOV8. He received a bachelor’s degree in commerce from University College, Dublin and completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. Brian is a native of Dublin and speaks highly of his Irish identity, saying, “It defines me and keeps me grounded.” He sits on a number of boards including the Ole Smoky Distillery, is senior advisor to Centerview Capital, and is on the Harvard Business Review advisory council. Brian and his wife Mary live in Rye, NY and have six children, Ronan, Darragh, Klara, Aoife, Conor, and Michael.

Ziegler Capital Management

Jack O’Callahan is president of Beanpot Financial Services and a Business Development consultant for Ziegler Capital Management, an affiliate of Stifel. He has had over 30 years of experience in the Financial Services and Investment Management industry that began in 1984 when he became a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. A native of Charlestown, Mass., Jack graduated from Boston University in 1979 where he was an All-American hockey player. He then went on to star as a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic Gold Medal-winning USA hockey team and followed that up with a 9-year professional hockey career with the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils. Jack is a second-generation Irish American whose great-grandparents all hail from Cork. “I appreciate the courage of my forebears to leave their home but not their heritage in coming to America and carving out a new life for themselves and their children,” he says. “It was incredibly brave and their spirit will forever live inside of me.” He lives in Chicago and he and his wife Jennifer have two grown children, Rachael and Aaron.




Great Western Mining Corporation

High Rise Capital Management


Dermot J. O’Brien is the chief human resources officer for ADP, a human-capital-management provider that ranked 255th on the 2013 Fortune 500 list. He joined the company in April 2012 and leads its global human-capital strategy for 52,000 associates. He was previously executive vice president of human resources at TIAACREF. Dermot started his financial services career at Morgan Stanley, where he spent nine years in various roles, including head of Human Resources for Japan. He is a founding member of the Human Resource-50 Group, and also serves on the CT Partners Advisory Board and helps develop the institute’s agenda and priorities. A native of Dublin, he holds a degree in finance from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University, where he is a frequent guest lecturer. Dermot is the son of the late Dermot O’Brien, 1957 All-Ireland GAA captain for County Louth and well-known Irish entertainer.

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 Co. Emmett has been involved with highly successful public companies quoted on the London, Dublin and Vancouver stock exchanges. In 2008, the London PLUS market awarded Great Western Mining Corp. 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. 78 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

David P. O’Connor is the senior managing partner at High Rise Capital Management, LP, a company he co-founded in 2001 and grew into one of the largest real estate securities hedge funds in the world until their peak liquidation in 2011. He serves as a director on several corporate boards, including: Paramount Group, Inc. in New York; Regency Centers, Inc., the national shopping center company; and Songbird Estates PLC, the majority owner of Canary Wharf in London. Born in Summit, NJ to Terrence and Diane O’Connor, Dave is a fourth-generation Irish American who earned his B.S. in management from Boston College, where he is now a two-term member of the Board of Trustees. “A continuing evolution,” is how he characterizes the importance of his Irish heritage, fitting for a man whose first entrepreneurial exploit involved being “stung by bees, falling off of ladders and getting turpentine in the eyes,” when he founded a house painting company while in high school. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife Maureen and their children, Janie and Kelly.

Jim O’Neill is the chief information officer of HubSpot, a software and marketing company. Prior to joining HubSpot in 2007, Jim was chief technology officer and president of Pyramid Digital Solutions. He attended the Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he completed a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. He also maintains membership to Worcester’s tech startup group, the WPI Technical Advisors Network. Jim is a fourth-generation Irish American. Family lore traces the O’Neill descendants on his father’s side from the O’Neills of Shane’s Castle. Jim retains a love and respect for his Irish heritage saying, “I believe our family has always been instilled to work (and never settle), keep a sense of humility, and most important – help others – all the while never taking yourself too seriously. My family and I try to stay grounded and enjoy each day we have together.” Jim sits on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council of Innovation and is a noted speaker at industry functions and events. He is always ready to offer help to other start-up companies looking for advice.




Is measured at the end of the day. Cashs Crystal City Martini Pair.


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O’Reilly Media


With 18 years experience in the media business, Sean O’Sullivan recently joined Starcom in his current position as SVP AOR Director for the Mars business in the U.S. Beginning his career in Dublin, after leading the winning team at a young advertising professionals training conference in London during the summer of 1999, Sean joined Universal McCann’s international planning department in New York in March of 2000. There he worked on global strategic planning for CPG clients and Pan Regional specific clients. In 2003 he also added U.S. responsibilities. A graduate of the University of Limerick and the Dublin Institute of Technology, Sean is a founding member of the UM Charity Council in support of Free the Children and a member of the Communications Council for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Sean, whose parents both came from Effin, Co. Limerick, was born in the Bronx, but grew up in Killaloe, Co. Clare and used to play hurling for Clare on a team in New York. He believes that “being Irish instills in a person a belief that with hard work and perseverance any challenge can be overcome.”

WL Ross & Co. / Invesco

Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. is chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, and Chairman of the investment committee of Invesco Mortgage Recovery Fund. An industry leader in bankruptcy, restructuring and privatization services, he has been involved in some of the largest bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings. He has assisted in restructuring more than $300 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 M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard University and an A.B. from Yale University, which recognized him with the Yale Legends of Leadership award in 2009. WL Ross & Co. is the largest private 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. He 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, also an Irish American.




Ryan Specialty Group

Pebble Beach

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media Inc. His original business plan was simple – “interesting work for interesting people” – and it’s worked out pretty well. Among his many pursuits, he publishes books and runs conferences about cutting-edge technologies, and invests in early-stage startups. Tim is also a founder and director of Safari, a pioneering subscription service for accessing books, video, and online training. He is a partner at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and is also a director on the boards of Code for America, PeerJ, Civis Analytics, and Maker Media. Tim was born in Cork, though his family is from Killarney on his father’s side, and from County Mayo on his grandmother’s. His family moved to San Francisco when he was 3 months old, but he has frequently returned to Killarney for family visits. He is a director of Killarney Castle, Ltd., a national monument. Tim’s father drew water from the River Flesk in sight of the castle; the family is now working to restore it in his memory, and in memory of the 130 years in which his forebears were schoolmasters in Lissivigeen and Killarney.

Patrick Ryan is the chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty Group, a company he founded in 2010 to provide specialty services to insurance brokers, agents, and carriers. In 1964 he founded Pat Ryan & Associates, which, following a series of mergers and acquisitions, was renamed Aon in 1987. “Aon” is a Gaelic word meaning “oneness.” Patrick was born to an Irish-American Ford dealer in a Milwaukee suburb and made Chicago his adopted home after graduating from Northwestern University in 1959. He was chairman of the board of trustees of his alma mater, Northwestern University, for 14 years and in 2009 received an honorary Doctorate from the university. Patrick has been recognized for his numerous philanthropic contributions to the city of Chicago, including backing the 5-year-old Modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1989 he and his wife Shirley co-founded the Pathways Center for Children and the Pathways Awareness Foundation, which promotes early detection and treatment for movement disorders such as cerebral palsy. He has been awarded the Order of Lincoln Medallion, the highest award granted by the state of Illinois. 80 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Tim Ryan began his career in the hospitality, meetings, and travel industry as a college intern with a small Sheraton Hotel in Central Pennsylvania. The experiences he amassed at American Express, Westin Hotels, The Scottsdale Princess and Pebble Beach Resorts continue to inspire him to grow, teach, embrace and capitalize on the changes that are rapidly engulfing his industry. Twenty-four plus years at Pebble Beach has been a launch pad for so many aspects of his life. Being accountable to four principal owners (Clint Eastwood, Dick Ferris, Arnold Palmer, and Peter Ueberroth) keeps him focused on growing his business. He’s led the corporate hospitality sales programs for the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Open Golf Championships and interfaces with the charitable foundations that run the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am, Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and Concours d’ Elegance. He’s looking forward to working with the United States Golf Association when the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship and 2019 U.S. Open Championship return to Pebble Beach.

Susan is the chief revenue officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, formally Buddy Media. She joined Buddy Media with over 20 years of leadership roles in technical, sales, and managerial capacities for the world’s leading technology companies. Prior to Buddy Media, Susan spent more than seven years at, most recently as SVP, Strategic Sales. In this role, she focused on’s largest clients within high tech, financial services, insurance, and media. Prior to this role, Susan served as SVP of Platform Sales, where she instantiated a new sales organization. She joined in 2004 and was responsible for global services consulting and support, as well as training sales and delivery. Prior to, Susan was vice president of the Global Manageability Services Practice at Sun Microsystems, Inc., and before that spent seven years as a software developer at the NSA, where she developed a deep knowledge of mission critical development, architecture, deployment and operations. A native of Pennsylvania, Susan graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with Bachelor of Science in computer science.

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

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

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CIE Tours International

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. 2013 marked the 82nd anniversary of CIE, and was also the company’s most successful year to date. He was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2014. 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 president of the IrelandU.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 previously being honored in the Top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America. A resident of Rye, NY, Brian is married to AnneMarie and has two grown children with five grandchildren. He is a Dublin native.


Ted M. Sullivan is an IBM executive with more than 18 years experience focusing on strategy and operational consulting. As a partner within IBM's Global Business Services he is responsible for servicing Fortune 500 multinational clients within the entertainment and media industry. Additionally, he leads the Social Analytics and Mobile organization for the industry sector. Prior to joining IBM, 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 B.S. in finance from Troy State University. Ted and his wife, Sara, reside in Atlanta with their daughter, Mary Lois.





JUICE Mobile

Relativity Media

Amalgamated Family of Companies

Neil Sweeney is the president and CEO of JUICE Mobile, a mobile ad tech firm he founded in 2010. JUICE Mobile has been recognized as a leading independent mobile firm in North America and was awarded Canada’s Most Promising Digital Media Company at the 2012 Digi Awards. In 2011, the Digi Awards also named Neil Canada’s Top Digital Executive. This year, JUICE Mobile was named one of the Companies-to-Watch by Deloitte and Neil became a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in the Emerging Entrepreneur category. Born in Toronto, Neil has an M.B.A. from the University of Edinburgh. At 12, he worked at a local water park with his cousin, an experience that developed his interest in business and appreciation for working with family. “Irish heritage to me means supporting others, building bonds and being aggressive in the business world,” says Neil, who is fifth-generation Irish American. Neil has excelled in the technology, media and entertainment industries for more than 15 years. 82 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Tucker Tooley is the President of Relativity Media. He oversees the company’s day-to-day operations, business divisions, personnel, and its theatrical film slate. Since Tucker joined the company in 2007, the film division has earned numerous Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, and three of its releases have opened at No. 1 at the box office. In 2009, the Ischia Global Film Festival named him Executive of the Year. Before joining Relativity, he served as CEO of Tooley Productions. In 1999, he established Newman/ Tooley Films, with then-producing partner Vincent Newman. He began his film career as a creative executive at Interlight Pictures after earnng a B.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The Irish are some of the best story tellers in the world,” Tucker 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 last November.

Anne Sweeney is currently co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, though it was announced in March she would be leaving in early 2015 to pursue a career in television directing. A leading industry figure, she 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. Anne, who earned a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle and an Ed.M. from Harvard, traces her roots to Meath, Kerry and Mayo.

David J. Walsh is president and CEO of the Amalgamated Family of Companies and is the CEO of Alico Services Corporation. Since taking on these leadership positions, David has introduced significant restructuring and improved both the infrastructure of Amalgamated and its national recognition and reach. Born and raised in an Irish enclave in Iowa, he holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, master’s degrees from both Alaska Pacific University and Cornell University, and a B.A. from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He is currently on the boards of the Life Insurance Council of New York, the Insurance Federation of New York, Medicare Rights Center Organization, the Sidney Hillman Foundation and New York City Technical College. He is also a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Northern Ireland Children’s Exchange. Of his Irish heritage, David says “I am proud of our relentless intellectual curiosity, passion and perseverance, our music, literature, and culture.”



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A visit to the McCord Museum helps uncover the history of two of Montreal’s historic Irish neighborhoods. By John Kernaghan


n this tale of two Irish neighborhoods, leafy and modest Point St. Charles is in some ways unchanged from its heyday as a gritty Celtic enclave while just across the Lachine Canal, Griffintown bristles with cranes erecting a phalanx of condos from the ashes of factories and working-class residential blocks. What ties them forever is the canal, almost whimsically named after a time when many of Canada’s inland waters were probed as potential avenues to the Far East, or La Chine, China. It was the making of the Irish, and the death of some of them. The McCord Museum on the bucolic McGill University campus has a display of two pages of a canal pay ledger of 1822. Of the almost 50 entries, only one is French. 84 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

There are Rileys, Kellys, and Cahills working for an average pay of 15 shillings for six days of work, many of them 10-hour shifts. The canal builders loved the Irish because they were strong and could work all day. The Lachine Canal they dug fostered an industrial boom as it bypassed rapids on the St. Lawrence River and provided inexpensive transport for factory goods. In 1848 it was enlarged, providing more work. According to the McCord Museum archives, Montreal grew by 54 per cent between 1852 and 1871 to 107,000 souls. Most of that growth was Irish immigration. But it was the Irish migration in 1847 and 1848 that is recalled darkly with the Immigrants Stone in Point St. Charles. It is erected at the foot of Victoria Bridge to mark the burial spot of 6,000 Irish who died

of typhus during the famine immigration. Though many were passed as “seemingly well,” in official immigration parlance, at a quarantine station at Grosse Isle further north in the St. Lawrence, the stone’s inscription makes clear that the sickness ran wild on steamships bound for Montreal. The sick and dying overwhelmed health authorities as 20 hospital tents were erected near docks. Nuns, priests, doctors and the sitting mayor of Montreal also died as they sacrificed personal safety to minister to the wretched passengers. On the final Sunday each May, the modern Irish community gathers at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church for the March to the Stone, a procession of a few miles that honors the dead at a grassy plot. The Stone, also known as the Black Rock,

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FAR LEFT: A view of Point St. Charles. LEFT: A newspaper illustration from 1860 shows the laying of the Black Rock marking the graves of 6000 immigrants near Victoria Bridge. ABOVE: The annual Christmas Bazaar at St. Gabriel’s Church. Katie Deegan is pictured on the left and her friend Pat Schell, with the red bow, is on the right. The Bazaar raised $15,000. BELOW LEFT: The annual pilgrimage to the Black Rock from St. Gabriel’s Church. The man in the white fedora is Victor Boyle who is the president of the AOH. The priest (center) is Fr. McCrory, 84 years old and still saying Masses every Sunday. INSET: Charles “Joe Beef” McKiernan, a working class hero.

is a prodigious piece of work. Thirty tons of black granite dedicated in 1860, it now sits in a desolate area, but a recently formed group, the Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation, seeks support to create a new park at the Black Rock. The Pointe and Griffintown were among Canada’s first bleak industrial areas with housing cheek-by-jowl with factories and rail yards.And that produced activists like Joe Beef, the publican who has a small park named after him in Point St. Charles. But Charles McKiernan, his square name, straddled both communities in Montreal’s SudOuest borough. Still remembered in Restaurant Joe Beef on Notre-Dame West in Griffintown, “a drunken crawl from the historic Atwater Market,” its website notes, McKiernan was

a working-class hero whose pub was the cultural center for a rollicking Irish community. He printed this proclamation to the community, according to a McGill University publication: “He cares not for Pope, Priest, Parson, or King William of the Boyne; all Joe wants is the Coin. He trusts in God in summer time to keep him from all harm; when he sees the first frost and snow poor old Joe trusts to the Almighty Dollar and good old maple wood to keep his belly warm, for Churches, Chapels, Ranters, Preachers, Beechers and such stuff Montreal has already got enough.” The New York Times was not impressed, dismissing his tavern as a “den of filth.” Maybe that was because he had a menagerie of animals in house that included up to four bears, several monkeys and an alligator, noted the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network. Its account added that one bear, Tom, was said to consume 20 pints of beer per day, seldom spilling a drop. Joe Beef claimed to refuse no one food and was a central figure in a strike by Lachine Canal workers in 1877. The times are tame now compared to then, and walks and bike rides around both communities show a much reduced Irish influence as the neighborhoods are gentrified. In the case of Griffintown, the population fell to less than 1,000 in the 1960s, not enough to support St. Ann’s Church. It was razed and is now a park with benches

arranged like a church setting. The Lachine Canal, which fell into disuse midway through the last century and was a dump for excavation material when building Expo ’67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics, is now reborn as a recreational route. Walkers and cyclists and kayakers enjoy the walkways and waters, many stopping at the aforementioned Atwater Market, which is hard by the canal and has an amazing array of food and produce from Quebec provisioners. Several of the clothing factories which once employed the Irish along both sides of the canal have been converted to fashionable condos, and the smart Hotel Alt has risen in the midst of the condo boom in Griffintown. Restaurants like Le Richmond on Rue Richmond now occupy former factory space offering starters like veal Carpaccio with a black pepper and fennel crust and mains like ballottine rabbit stuffed with black pudding. The elegant setting, northern Italian cuisine and professional service are a long haul from the mean meals immigrants once consumed here. For startling contrast, the Maison Saint Gabriel Museum and Historic Site in The Point showcases 17th century life in New France before the English, Scots and Irish arrived. It illustrates the progression of the homes and lands from school to farm and finally museum. But even it has an Irish touch – the magnificent grandmother clock crafted in 1763 in Quebec City by James Hanna. Time has changed much of this corner of Montreal, IA but the clock still ticks precisely. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 85

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The Seven-Day Irish Sampler

hoever coined the Irish proverb “When God made time, he made plenty of it” must have been blessed with immortality, or unlimited vacations. The rest of us measure our lives in years and our time off in weeks or days. If this has prevented you from visiting the land that spawned that bit of wisdom, take heart – you can see some of the best of Ireland in one week. Sure, you’ll be left wanting more, but any length of time on the Emerald Isle may leave you dreaming about your next trip. The High Kings of Ireland ruled from the Hill of Tara, but you’ll probably arrive in the modern-day capital of Dublin, on Ireland’s east coast. If navigating big cities



isn’t your idea of vacation, you’ll appreciate that the country’s biggest city feels friendly and walkable. And if the sun is out while you’re exploring town, there are few tall buildings to block its rays. Climb to the bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse and you’ll find an unimpeded, panoramic view of the city – and that’s just seven stories up. Back on the ground, you can get a flavor of Dublin with a walk that will feel invigorating rather than debilitating. Stroll to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a trip through much of the city’s fascinating history. The tombs, faded banners, sculptures, and parchments are brimming with stories and events, from a 15th century feud between earls to the sermons of Jonathan Swift to the first performance of Handel’s Messiah (in 1742). Hunger – or thirst – may then tempt you

towards the Temple Bar district on the River Liffey, a touristy but lively area to grab lunch, sip a frothy pint, and listen to the tunes of the street buskers. Before long you’ll be fed and watered and raring to see more of “The Fair City.” It’s hard to imagine traveling somewhere just to see a book, but if any tome is worthy of the honor, it might be the Book of Kells. It resides just a few blocks away, in the library of Trinity College. Containing the four gospels in Latin, it’s probably better known for its pictures (okay, illuminations). Human figures, mythical beasts, bright colors, and ornate motifs embellish the vellum pages of its four volumes, two of which are on display. But don’t expect to thumb through its pages – it’s under glass and is probably over 1,200 years old. All of this only scratches Dublin’s sur-

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Images and text by Chris Ryan Far left: The landscape of Connemara, County Galway. Left: Shoppers on Grafton Street, Dublin Below: Aerial view of Irishmore.

If the weather is fine, it’s a good time to leave the car behind and explore one of the area’s many hiking trails. Ambitious amblers can climb some of the Twelve Bens (a range of a dozen small mountains), while others may prefer to explore a beach at low tide, photograph the changing skyscape, or stop and smell the peat, which is cut in bricks from the bogs to heat homes and even flavor whiskey. If storm clouds threaten those plans, you can retreat early to your inn and watch the wild weather from a window, a book in one hand and maybe one of those peaty whiskeys in the other. Treat yourself to two nights here to give the country vibe enough time to set in. Leaving Connemara and heading south, festive Galway lies in your path, and this time you should stay awhile and see why it’s called “Ireland’s Cultural Heart.” Events and festivals fill its calendar, its

National University delivers a youthful vibe, and the sounds of guitars, fiddles, and bodhrans emanate from the open doors of pubs and taverns. If you have a taste for sampling local cuisine, find your way to one of the city’s excellent restaurants and try some of the native Galway Oysters. They’re in season from September to April, but if you’re there in the last week of September you’ll find yourself in the middle of the International Oyster Festival – Galway’s way of turning a tasty dish into a four-day-long party. When the food and festivities are fading in the rear-view mirror, it’s only an hour and a half’s drive to the town of Doolin further down the coast. From here you can board a ferry for a ride out to the isolated and fascinating Aran Islands. The three islands are teeming with religious and archeological history and hint at

face. Still, you’ll want to look beyond the capital – to me, the small towns, green hills, and rugged coastlines are where you’ll find the spirit and soul of Ireland. Head west on the smooth motorway, and in less than three hours you’ll find yourself rolling into Galway, on the opposite side of the country. But save this city for the way back – for now, the countryside calls. A bit farther west, you’ll find yourself in a region that might just resemble a fuzzy dream of how you imagined Ireland to be. In Connemara, glacier-scraped hills tinged with mist descend into rocky lowlands of lakes, peat bogs, and expanses of green and gold resembling watercolor landscapes. Coastal roads wend around rocky coves, along unexpected white-sand beaches, and through Gaeltacht regions where Irish is still the primary tongue. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 87

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Top to bottom: Visitor climbing to St. Benan’s Church, Inishmore, Aran Islands. A view over Dublin at Guinness Storehouse’s Gravity Bar

Irish life long ago. You’ll find fishermen, farmers, artists, and craftspeople among the 1,200 or so residents, most of whom speak Irish. Walk or cycle the narrow lanes past white-washed cottages (some with thatched roofs) and along fields divided and subdivided, seemingly ad infinitum, by a maze of stone walls built painstakingly by hand. On Inishmore, the largest island, explore “the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe,” Dun Aengus, a huge stone ring fort built upon 270-feet cliffs and dating back to the early Iron Age. The relaxed pace of the least populated island of Inishmaan (only about 160 people reside there year-round) will give you time to appreciate the area’s unusual arctic, Mediterranean, and alpine flowers, and the smallest island in size – Inisheer – is a wonderful perch from which to ponder the Cliffs of Moher in the distance. Stay the night on the island of your choice – each one has hotels and bed and breakfasts. After you return by ferry to Doolin, you can peer down from the very heights of the aforementioned Cliffs of Moher, one of the most spectacular natural sites in Ireland. You can drive to the adjacent visitor center, but if you have the time and energy, the 8-kilometer coastal trail from Doolin is a much more rewarding 88 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

and natural way to experience the cliffs. In fact, the entire west coast of the country sports a string of natural attractions and activities, from steep cliffs to long beaches, from whale watching to surfing waves. It all falls along the newly designated Wild Atlantic Way, a well-marked route guiding you to some of the best of Ireland’s scenery

and culture. If your next trip leaves you more time for exploring, you can follow the distinctive zigzag signs down the coast and see much more of Ireland’s wilder side. But for now, return to Doolin for the night because after dark, three pubs in this unassuming little town host top-quality traditional music sessions year round. Order

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Top to bottom: Light filtering through stained glass windows at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; View from Fitzwilliam Hotel to Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

Fly There Fast: Aer Lingus offers direct flights to Dublin from JFK, Chicago, Orlando, Toronto, and now San Francisco.


The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

a bowl of mussels and a well-earned pint of stout and enjoy the craic with a packed room of tourists and locals alike. You’ll probably want to spend your last night back in Dublin before your return flight. You could use the opportunity to do some shopping along Grafton Street, trace your Irish ancestors at the National Library, or just relax by the fountain in the city’s 22-acre St. Stephen’s Green, a quiet, leafy oasis in the heart of it all.

Few of us have enough time for meaningful travel, but seven days can serve you up a healthy slice of Ireland, and while it is just a tasting, the music, merriment, and memories will linger far longer. IA

Chris Ryan is a freelance writer and photographer based out of the San Francisco Bay area.

Cashel House Hotel, Cashel, Connemara

The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin


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Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey was founded in 1920 by Irish Benedictine nuns on the grounds of Kylemore Castle in Connemara after the nuns fled Belgium where they found refuge during penal times in Ireland during World War I. The nuns ran an international boarding school and established a day school for local girls, until they were forced to close the school in June 2010. In 2012, the Benedictine community launched a development plan to preserve the beauty and tranquillity of the place, and to welcome visitors for recreation, education, and renewal. By Mary Pat Kelly


e Benedictines have been providing places of peace and serenity since our founding almost 1,500 years ago,” Sister Maire Hickey, O.S.B., Abbess of Kylemore Abbey, says as we stand in the center of the expansive restored Victorian gardens below the castle-like abbey. The spectacular Connemara Mountains rise around us. The sun bounces off the deep dark lake. It’s a place out of time. “The natural world is God’s great gift to us,” Sister Maire continues. “As humans we have a visceral need to connect to nature. Many visitors have told me spending time at Kylemore satisfies a hunger they didn’t even realize they had. Distractions fall away and they experience the joy of creation itself.” She smiles at Sister Magdalena. “That was Sister Magdalena’s dream when as Abbess she began the restoration of the gardens many years ago.” A daunting task, I think, as Sister Magdalena de90 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

scribes the years of fundraising and the intense work with horticulturists that made a once dead patch of earth bloom again. Rescuing Mother Earth. Serving Mother Nature. No wonder women, nuns especially, are among the most committed environmentalists, determined to care for our abused planet so it can nurture us in mind, body and spirit. Sister Maire says that bringing the gardens of Kylemore Abbey back to life was an act of reverence, a way of honoring an ancient Celtic spirituality. “We wish to provide a place of peace and serenity for all,” she says. Where better than in Connemara, which has managed to evade the modern world in so many ways. How many untouched places exist anymore? I’d awakened that morning as the sun turned nearby Lough Inagh, a few miles from the abbey into a mirror reflecting the sky, trees and mountains of a landscape Frank McCourt called “both beautiful and bleak.” Heart stopping for anyone, but when you are an Irish

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LEFT: Sister Maire Hickey, O.S.B., Abbess of Kylemore Abbey. CENTER: The interior of the small gothic church that Mitchell Henry built on the grounds at Kylemore Castle after the death of his wife Margaret. BELOW: Students at Kylemore Abbey in 1977. Photo courtesy of Mary Reed.

Kylemore Abbey

American with Connemara roots, well, ecstasy is the only word. Here was the same scene my ancestors had looked at for generations. I felt great gratitude to my hosts at Lough Inagh Lodge, Maire O’Connor and her brother, Dominic O’Mhairain, for providing us Yanks with a way to touch the past so gloriously – while offering great accommodations in a beautiful historic house. Now I felt the same impulse of thankfulness for these Benedictine nuns. Preservation, in a time when bulldozing the old is presented as an economic necessity, is not for the faint of heart. But

then, the Benedictine nuns of Kylemore Abbey have a history of toughness. The original order was established in Ypres, Belgium in 1665 when religious fraternities were outlawed in Ireland. There is a movie called Les Dames Irlandaises which details these Irish exiles who for 250 years served as an emblem of Irish identity and resistance. They educated Irish girls, a subversive act forbidden by the laws of Ireland’s colonial rulers. (The Taliban are only the latest oppressors who fear intelligent women.) The abbey school flourished and young Irish women smuggled themselves into Belgium to study with the nuns. Some stayed on, joining the Order themselves. The abbesses came from Ireland’s great families – O’Briens, Butlers, Lynches, Ryans. Their fathers, brothers, and nephews were among the Wild Geese who served in the armies of Europe. When the famed Clare’s Dragoons captured a British regiment’s flag in the Battle of Ramillies during the War of Spanish Succession, the Irish soldiers brought their prize to the abbey. Thomas Davis wrote a song about the incident to inspire 19th-century Irish patriots. The song, “Clare’s Dragoons,” is now the regimental march of the 27th Battalion of the Irish Defense Forces and popular with traditional musicians. The lyrics go “The flags we conquered in that fray / looked lone in Ypres choir they say / we’ll win them company today or bravely die like Clare’s Dragoons.” The nuns brought that flag to Kylemore after fighting their own battle when the Germans invaded Belgium in September 1914, bombing their abbey into rubble. Sister Mary Columban wrote an account describing what she and the other nuns did to survive. Imagine these women, enclosed nuns who had not been outside the abbey walls for decades, suddenly on the front lines of a world war. Sister Columban writes about nuns who had done at most five or six turns around the garden walking miles in the thick mud that would make Flanders such a killing field, opening the abbey to refugees, feeding starving children, and tending wounded soldiers. They also sewed hundreds of Sacred Heart Badges that both soldiers and civilians came to see as powerful defensive weapons. The nuns became the “Sisters of the Little Heart,” and members of Irish regiments in the British Army insisted that the nuns themselves pin the badges on their uniforms. Sister Columban says that at crucial times as they moved across the battlefield, Irish soldiers DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 91

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Aerial view of Kylemore Abbey on the shore of Pollacapall Lough in County Gallway.

would appear to carry their bundles, commandeer a vehicle for them, or in one case cheer them on with a rousing “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” It was Father Flynn, a chaplain with the British forces, who arranged for them to sail to England where they stayed at a Benedictine convent until they were able to purchase Kylemore Castle – a house with its own dramatic history. Mitchell Henry, an English doctor whose father made a fortune in the cotton trade, built Kylemore Castle between 1863 and 1868. He became an MP from Galway, elected as a supporter of Home Rule. He and his Irish-born wife Margaret made Kylemore a showplace with its 33 bedrooms, grand ballroom, and billiard room, set in acres of formal gardens. They lived there with their nine children, but Margaret caught a fever during a trip to Egypt and died at the age of 50. After her death and in mourning, Henry built the small gothic church on the grounds but could live at Kylemore no more. The Duke of Manchester bought the castle with his wife’s money and proceeded to gamble away her fortune. Kylemore was to be sold, but no buyers were available and the property was deserted for years. Then in 1920 the Benedictines managed to gather the funds to buy Kylemore, which they turned into a boarding and day school. Many of their students came to Ireland from other countries throughout the world. Never before had educating girls seemed more important than at the birth of the new Irish state. Women had played such a central role in Ireland’s liberation that surely they had earned the right to take a prominent place in the Irish government and society. After all, Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the British Parliament and the first Minister of State in Europe. Educated women would be needed. Girls’ schools run by nuns sprang up all over Ireland. Even after the government reneged on the promise of equal rights for women, the commitment to educating girls continued – a mission which Kylemore School carried on until June 2010. The nuns are now looking for a way to continue this work anew. “Education comes from the Latin meaning to lead, we want Kylemore to continue to be a place to help people make their own journey into the light,” Sister Maire says. This June, past pupils of the school gathered at Kylemore Abbey 92 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

to share memories and to help with the transition of Kylemore from a school to the Center for Retreats and Educational Programs. The stories they shared were light-hearted. Sharon Molloy, a 1990 graduate, who now runs a pub in Barcelona, remembers the fun of a pea fight in the school dining room. “I stretched the rules to the limit and loved every minute of it.” Lydia O’Farrell Little, class of ’89, who writes a fictional series called K-Girls based on her experiences at the school, recalled the kindness of the operator at the post office who put through the Abbey’s calls. One night, after a homesick Lydia cried her goodbyes to her parents, the operator Betty, came on the line and consoled the young girl. Lydia remembered that when she didn’t like the food she photographed some of the dishes to show her father. But her father says that he would have been happy to have half of the food when he was a boy. Patricia Martinez of Madrid, Spain, ’86, remembers putting on plays in the hall. While Aileen Morgan, ’85, a New York singer and songwriter, says as an 11-year-old, she was startled by “the majestic and magnificent castle in the fog with the mossy brown green and gray craggy mountains behind and the reverent dark still lake in front. I was not sure if I were in a movie or in reality.” It’s an image she has never forgotten. For Claire Corcoran Stephling, ’76, one of three sisters who came to Kylemore from New York, says the school experience meant the kindness of the Benedictine nuns, the bond with students from all over the world, the spiritual enrichment, and the natural beauty. And then in a wonderful closing-of-the-circle way, Daniele de Ponthiere, ’65, recalled her journey from Belgium to Kylemore. No bombs exploded on her way but it was a long cold trip to a place where she did not speak the language. But she did understand Sister Jarlath’s welcome and the boiled eggs with brown bread she offered. At the end of our time together the Sisters take me through the rooms of the castle. “As you can see,” says Sister Magdalena, “much work needs to be done. We want Kylemore to be a warm, welcoming, comfortable place. Hospitality is a central Benedicting virtue,” she says. Sign me up, I think. A few days here might restore me too. IA

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Judy on stage for her “Live in Ireland” concert, which was filmed in Dromoland Castle.


for the



Judy Collins talks to Mary Pat Kelly about finding inspiration in the experiences of her antecedents.

hortly before Judy Collins was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in New Ross, County Wexford, this magazine interviewed her. In the article entitled El Troubadour she cited her father as her inspiration. She said that Charles Thomas Collins was a great singer and musician who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Idaho and was an adventurous reader. Because of his blindness he relied on Braille and talking books. “My dad could read in the dark,” Collins said. She learned “Danny Boy” and “Kerry Dances” from him. Judy Collins planned to sing the songs in her upcoming PBS Special to be recorded in Ireland. Well, now the special is airing across the country to excellent reviews, high ratings and de94 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

lighted audiences. And one piece that gets a great response from the crowd is a song Collins herself wrote called “New Moon Over the Hudson,” her antehm to immigrants inspired by the stories of her own ancestors. We talked about the genesis of the song over tea at the St. Regis Hotel under the painted ceiling of the dining room while a harp played and Christmas lights punctuated the late afternoon darkness. We were both aware that it was the hardships endured by our ancestors that made such moments of grace possible. That is the theme of “New Moon Over the Hudson.” While Judy’s father had a great passion for Ireland, he had little specific information about the Collins family to pass on to his daughter. That changed. Judy recalled the circumstances.

Through this magazine, Judy was introduced to genealogist Megan Smolenyak. “All I really wanted to know was where my family came from in Ireland and when they had arrived in America. Megan began by examining Civil War records and discovered that two of my ancestors had died in the Civil War fighting for the Union. I hadn’t had a clue about that. She also found a very touching letter to the Pension Administrator from the mother and sister of Rufus Collins. He had been their only support but now he was dead. And then Megan found out that an even earlier relative of mine had been a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War. Megan made this marvelous book of my family history. I read it over and over.” The information on her Irish ancestors especially resonated after the birth of her

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great-grandson added a brand new branch to the family tree during the time Judy was preparing for her “Live From Ireland” PBS Special. “I was thinking about my father’s family as I was getting ready to go to Ireland. The first two lines of the song, ‘There's a new moon over the Hudson and the stars are shining bright,’ had been in my songbook for years and then I realized that the next line should be ‘and I think about my true love in Ireland tonight.’ I also had the line ‘Central Park at midnight in a carriage in the snow’ in my book and now I heard ‘I find I think of Innisfree where the emerald shamrocks grow.’ When the words start coming it’s kind of like taking dictation. You just have to be ready. I got the words and the melody came along. Then I was doing a concert in Lexington and I realized probably my ancestor could have played his drum here. My father's father's fathers they sailed from Irish shores they played the drums at Lexington they fought the Civil War. They died to save the Union they lived to see me born and in their dreams they saw the Irish Morn. “I knew that they had suffered. That they had left against their will because of trouble and oppression and I heard the line ‘sailing in ships made of tears and smoke.’ “Megan thought my ancestors came from Northern Ireland. And interestingly on my first trip to Ireland in 1964 I was invited to the home of the McPeake family in Belfast and met their grandfather who had written ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ and brought the Irish harp back into vogue. They were devoted to the Irish tradition. I didn’t know then that my own family had probably come from not far away. “And now I have returned to Ireland and I am ‘singing the old sweet songs, singing and dancing in the purple heather.’” “New Moon Over the Hudson” speaks to the history of many Irish Americans and already sounds like a classic as do the two songs Judy Collins wrote for her parents. “In the Twilight,” released in 2012, evokes her mother: “Marjorie my mother / Sweet

Marjorie of the garden / That blooms now in my heart.” The emotions expressed are so real your heart stops. Now find her 1974 performance of “My Father” (also on YouTube), which, as she says in the introduction, is not quite biographical. But the spirit of Charles Collins is there. How glad he would be to see his daughter living out her dreams. Her songs speak to and for us, saying the unsayable through music. But there’s a challenge in Judy Collins’ songs too. As we headed out into the cold, past the decorated windows of Fifth Avenue, her Christmas song came to mind. “Come Rejoice” recounts the Nativity story but also reminds us that there are

ABOVE: This is an affidavit from the Civil War pension file of Rufus Collins where his mother, Margaret Ann, is testifying about the fact that her husband has died, she’s got a bunch of kids, and that Rufus was the main means of support for the family. You can see Margaret Ann’s mark in the upper right. This was 1865. Sadly, within two years, their house would burn down and Margaret Ann would die. As Megan Smolenyak, who discovered the affidavit, said about Thomas (Judy’s greatgrandfather), “Between the ages of eight and 14, then, young Thomas had endured the loss of his father, his brother, his family’s main means of support, his family home and all their possessions, and his mother.” FAR LEFT: Judy’s father Charlie Collins LEFT: Judy’s mother Marjorie.

“children who go to sleep on frozen ground’” who must be brought into the gladness of Christmas. Judy Collins looks at life from both sides IA and her insights enrich us all.

“New Moon Over The Hudson” is widely available. For more information, go to DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 95

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Carna Emigrants Centre

A village in County Galway uses DNA testing to connect with people whose ancestors immigrated to Portland, Maine and other places in the U.S. By Mary Pat Kelly aybe I am so excited about the partnership between the Carna Emigrants Centre and the Maine Irish Gaeltacht Project because I spent almost 40 years searching for my Irish ancestors. I spooled through miles of microfilm, asked vague questions at the doors of parish houses throughout Ireland and then was completely overwhelmed with the floods of information that hit the Internet. So much and so impersonal. But now I only have to walk into the old Carna National Schoolhouse with its glorious views of the sea, settle myself in a room modeled on an Irish country kitchen, share the results of the analysis I did on Family Tree DNA with a real person, then sit by the fire as I not only learn about the past generations of my own family but very likely meet present day cousins. If you have Connemara connections, as I learned I did, and as so many Irish Americans do, this experience can be yours. Though the physical Centre is still in the early stages of development, the data that allows family matches to be made is up and running now. The impetus of this project came from the Irish community in Portland, Maine where, as Maureen Coyne Norris, one of the directors of the project told me, “Ninety percent of us come from Connemara and until not so many years ago the Irish language was spoken here.” The community has always been proud of native son John Ford, whose real name was Feeney. A relative of his, Margaret Feeney, has for many years helped members do genealogical research and create their family trees. Using traditional methods she developed a database of 130,000 names, most connected with the Connemara Gaeltacht, which stretches from Bearna/Spiddal along the west coast of Galway Bay to the area around Carna, Kilkeerin and the Lettermore



Islands. Then in 1997 the threatened destruction of St. Dominic’s, for 175 years “the Irish church” in Portland, galvanized the community. They campaigned to save St. Doms, taking their case all the way to the Vatican. But the parish was closed. So they lobbied the

events such as lectures, ceilis, book clubs, Irish Masses, weddings, music sessions as well as holding the annual Claddagh Awards Dinner. Now Margaret Feeney’s genealogical project had a home. Then Maureen and other Center members became fascinated with the possibilities of DNA testing. Three hundred of them used Family Tree DNA to assemble profiles that showed how Irish clans in Portland intersected. Then Maureen thought, why not extend the LEFT: Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston unveils the Foundation Stone for the Emigrants Commemorative Center in Carna in Connemara in September. Project chairperson, Máirtin Ó Catháin (left) with the mayor. Mayor Walsh’s late father, John Walsh was a native of Carna and his mother Mary is a native of the neighboring parish of Ros Muc. Both parishes are in the Gaeltacht – the Irish speaking area of Ireland. BELOW: Local parish priest, Fr. Padraig Standún blesses the Foundation Stone as Mayor Walsh of Boston looks on. BELOW LEFT: Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave greets Mayor Walsh of Boston at the Emigrants Commemorative Center Foundation ceremony. Mr. Cosgrave went to primary school for a term in the old school building on the site in 1930. Now 94, Mr. Cosgrave travelled from Dublin for the occasion.

city council to buy the complex and allow the church building to become the Maine Irish Heritage Center. They won. The center, which opened in March 2002, now has an extensive library that includes genealogical works and schedules

testing to people in Connemara, where most Portland families had originated? “She swabbed a whole lot of us,” Mairtin O’Cathain, journalist, radio presenter and Chairman of the Carna Immigrants Centre Committee, says. “I was skeptical at first,” says Joe Cooke, fellow Committee member and a television presenter. After all Joe knew his relations and was a genealogist himself who had helped many visiting Irish

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The village of Carna, Co. Galway.

Americans find theirs. What could saliva add to his knowledge? “Then Maureen called me with my results. She cross indexed me with the database and told me about cousins right here in this area that I didn’t know were related to me.” I am sitting with Joe, Mairtin and Susan O’Cathain and another Committee member Josie Curran in the Carna Bay Hotel, looking across at the schoolhouse that will one day be the Centre. “We will also have an Emigrant Remembrance Garden too and a monument. Perhaps an elevated lantern as a symbolic call to the Diaspora wherever they be,” Mairtin says. “But the Centre will also be a Community Hall, a gathering place for the parishioners here.” Neighbors and strangers will be united in that most enduring of human experiences – telling stories by the fire. “Growing up, every evening one or two people would appear in our kitchen,” Mairtin remembers. “No knock. They would just take a place by the hearth and start to talk – hours and hours of it. And now I realize that as well as commenting on the events of the day and speculating on the future,

they were passing on the old tales, family histories, who married who going back generations, weaving our very identity, giving me a sense of who I was. All of this in the Irish language, of course, with singing and dancing in the Seán-nós style to round out the evening.” And though Mairtin and Joe checked e-mails on their cell phones, and the young people passing the hotel would have fit in on any city street in the U.S., in this part of Connemara where 96 percent of the people still speak Irish and are connected to their heritage, a sense of the eternal Ireland is so strong that I felt I was now part of the circle Mairtin had described. This is the kind of connection the Centre will provide, one that Carna is uniquely suited to offer. As Breandán Ó Caollaí, Consul General of Ireland in Boston, who himself studied and taught in the Connemara Gaeltacht, says “the area around Carna is reputed to offer the most authentic experience of traditional culture to be found not only in Ireland but in all of Western Europe. Here the singers, storytellers and dancers have a deep-down knowledge of the Gaelic tradition that

they are passing on to the next generation. It’s living. It’s real.” Carna native Joe Heaney, the renowned Seán-nós singer, is said to have known more than 500 songs – most learned while he was growing up in Carna. Though he died in 1984, a yearly festival in his honor features local singers such as Johnny Mairtin Larry McDonough who carrys the tradition forward. I saw teenage brothers John and Brendan Joyce, All-Ireland champion Seán-nós dancers perform in a friend’s living room. The music is a part of life as it was for all of our Irish ancestors. So even if you don’t have Connemara roots, you will be connecting with your own past by visiting here. And you may find yourself guided by your ancestors. It can happen to you too. Listen to this. An author friend in Chicago, Mary Terese Kanak, knew her Irish grandmother was from Rosmuc, only a few miles from where I was sipping tea with the Carna Committee. Her name was Ann Nee. Two summers ago Mary, her husband and two daughters went to Ireland for the first time to look for the place where her grandmother had been DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 97

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{roots} born. She was directed to the home of Sean Nee who might have some information about her family. But he was out in the fields. His wife, though pleasant, was a little hesitant at finding these strangers at her door. Then Mary said she was from Chicago. Mrs. Nee said her sister lives there. Did Mary by any chance know Ann French? Mary was astounded. While she was waiting for her plane in O’Hare Airport she had been chatting to the woman next to her. You guessed it. Ann French, who was expected there tomorrow. “When Sean came in,” Mary

ABOVE: The genealogists from Portland, Maine who worked on the Gaeltacht Project. LEFT: Left: Maureen Coyne Norris, Karen Nadeau Norcross, Matthew Jude Barker, Deb Sullivan Gellerson and Margaret Feeney LaCombe. (Missing from the photo is Krista Ozyagan). RIGHT: Maine Irish Heritage Center's home is the former St. Dominics’s Church at 34 Gray Street, Portland

had told me, “we were already part of the family. He took me across the field and over a rock wall so I could stand in the rooms of what was my grandmother’s childhood home.” Now I’ve always loved the story but couldn’t remember all the details so I texted Mary. She responded immediately with the exact location of the house, which I relayed to the group. “Ahh, she’s my cousin,” Joe Cooke says. “My mother’s people were Nees from Rosmuc.” He traces out the connections which leads Mairtin to say, “I’m related to her too.” And so the conversation went as the day drew in and we wove a transatlantic tapestry of who we were and who we are. Did I know White House Chief of 98 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Staff, Denis McDonough, has Carna roots? And so does former Maine Governor John Brennan who helped start George Mitchell’s career by appointing him to the Senate? Portland’s present mayor is also a Brennan, Michael. And was I aware that both parents of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh were born in the area – his father John in Callowfeenish and his mother Mary O’Malley in Rosmuc. I did know Mayor Walsh’s story having read about it in Irish America. The group then describes the emotional moment when Marty Walsh dedicated the foundation stone of the Carna Emigrant Centre in September 2014. “Bonfires lit up the hills and the whole place was covered in American flags and signs that said ‘Fáilte Abhaile, Mayor Marty Walsh’ and ‘Welcome Home!’” Mairtin remembers. Over 500 people came to the dedication of the Emigrants Centre cornerstone and another 1000 to the reception in Screebe House, a sizeable portion of the population of the area. Marty Walsh had his mother by his side and was surrounded by cousins as he greeted the crowds in Irish. Reporting on the visit, The Boston Globe found that the most affecting moment came when, during an Irish language Mass, schoolchildren dramatized

an emigrant’s journey. “Walsh’s mother, who left Rosmuc at age 17, sat in the front pew and wiped tears from her eyes,” the newspaper said. During his official tour of Ireland Mayor Walsh concentrated on economic development and efforts “to build upon a historic bond and build new dynamic partnerships with 21st century Ireland.” He traveled to Donegal, Derry, Belfast and Dublin and attended the All-Ireland Hurling Final seated between An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and President Michael D. Higgins. But my friends in Carna are sure the highlight for Walsh was bringing his mother home again to share his hero’s welcome. “You know she never lost her Irish,” Mairtin says. “I see the Mayor’s mother at many functions in Boston,” said Consul General Ó Caollaí. “It just wouldn’t be courteous to greet her in English.” The visit has had an effect in Maine too. “When we started the project,” Maureen Coyne Norris says, “everyone hoped they were connected to John Ford. Now they want to be related to Marty Walsh.” IA For more information on the Gaeltacht Project go to For the Centre go to

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{what are you like?}

By Patricia Harty

Maureen O’Hara


aureen O’Hara lit up the silver screen in 60 movies over a lifetime. We all have our favorites, How Green Was My Valley, which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, The Long Gray Line, Mary O’Donnell to Tyrone Power’s Marty Maher, Miracle on 34th Street, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, on and on, and of course, The Quiet Man, John Ford’s “irresistible valentine to the ‘Auld Sod,’ as one reviewer called it. John Wayne, Maureen’s co-star on that movie and many others, became a lifelong friend. Maureen wasn’t just a “My memories come movie star and the Queen of Hollywood, now in showers of she was also our laughter, good fun, Emigrant Queen; our Irish Coleen. happiness, sadness, She was always proud to say that she was and all the things Irish, even when it I’m feeling in the wasn’t so popular to be Irish, even if it meant moment, which taking on the U.S. then remind me Government. When she applied for an American of events from citizenship in 1946 the Irish were still listed as my past.” British on naturalization forms, Maureen took the issue to the Supreme Court and won the right to be listed as Irish. (The Republic of Ireland Act didn’t come in until 1948). As was said about Mary Kate Danaher, in The Quiet Man, Maureen is feisty in real life too. When her beloved husband Charles Blair passed away in 1978 she took over as CEO of Antilles Airboats, the first woman president of a scheduled airline.

What is your current state of mind?

Right this minute? I wouldn’t dare tell you.

What do you consider your greatest extravagance?

Oh God, I’ve got so many extravagances. I really do. I try to cut some of the nonsense out from time to time but I can’t stop buying new clothes with beautiful bold colors. 100 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

Following the release of her memoir ’Tis Herself in 2004, Maureen told Irish America, “You have to stay with what you believe in and what you feel. You cannot sway and swing with the opinion of the few who have big mouths. You have to stick with your own values.” On a memorable day in August 2011, Maureen, now 94, was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in New Ross, Co. Wexford. She arrived in a yellow convertible, and hundreds of fans thronged the quayside to greet her. Following the announcement on August 28, that she was to receive an Honorary Academy Award, she said, “I am very honored to receive this recognition from the Academy. What makes me so proud is that it comes from my peers who work in every element of in the motion-picture business. I could hardly believe the news when I first heard. I’ll know it’s really true when I’m finally holding Oscar in my hands. I owe so much to the fans who have supported me over the years because they helped make this award possible. ” After a long sojourn in West Cork, Maureen returned stateside this past year to be closer to her grandson. But she still has a soft spot in her heart for Ireland. One of the questions I put to her in the following What Are You Like? piece, which happened over the course of several emails in October, was if selling her house in Glengarrif, was, as reported in the media, a final break in her connection to Ireland.

Who are your heroes?

As a kid it was my father and all the top soccer players in Dublin. Later it was my husband Charlie. John Wayne also became a hero of mine both on screen and off.

Who is your favorite saint?

St. Patrick – I pray to him every night because he’s the patron saint of the Irish and will protect and watch over us all.

What’s on your bedside table?

Pictures of my loved ones and some of the saints.

Your first part on stage?

My very first dramatic performance on stage took place when I was six years old. My school gave a concert for family and friends and I was chosen to read a religious poem between scenes while the curtain was down and the scenery was being changed.

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Did the experience put you on the road to becoming an actress?

Any regrets?

It sure did. I discovered that I loved being in front of an audience. I loved their reaction and how it felt to receive applause! I also liked all the excitement backstage, dressing up in a costume, and how everything came together for a show. I was bitten by the acting bug that night and knew after the performance was over that I wanted to be an actress.

Your earliest memory?

One is that I didn’t fight harder for better scripts on the ones that the studio made me do that weren’t very good. I wish I had fought to have them rewritten and improved rather than just playing them out when I knew they were lousy.

Your idea of a perfect day?

Waking up at the crack of dawn to a good breakfast and then getting all the things you have to do for the day done early.

That’s a hard one because my memory isn’t the best anymore. My memories come now in showers of laughter, good fun, happiness, sadness, and all the things I’m feeling in the moment, which then remind me of events from my past.

Your favorite place outside Ireland?

Mexico. I made a lot of friends there over the years who showed me the whole country and I fell in love with it. And they love the Irish.

Most anything from Faust. It was one of the earliest pieces of music that I adored.

Your most prized possession?

My rosary [beads]. I say the rosary every night before I go to sleep and it’s very precious to me.

Charles Laughton told me early in my career, “They are going to say a lot of untrue things about you so never forget today’s headlines are tomorrow’s toilet paper. ”

Favorite character you’ve played? Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man, who else?

Do you have a hidden talent?

What was your grand passion?

I’m one helluva housekeeper but a lousy cook.

Singing. My real dream was to become an opera star.

Quality you seek in friends?

Who was your favorite on screen lover and why?

I like people who are kind and non-judgmental.

Qualities you deplore in others?

Name a movie that you think was particularly lousy?

I’m selling the larger property in Glengarrif but I still own another lovely home there. I hope whoever buys Lugdine Park enjoys the property and grounds as much as I have over the years.

Favorite opening piece of music?

Best advice you ever received?

Rudeness and cruelty. I deplore people who casually hurt other people’s feelings and gossip.

It’s been in the news that you have broken your ties with Ireland and sold your property there.

Opposite page: Maureen being inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in New Ross, Co. Wexford.

The one I made right after The Quiet Man – a western called The Redhead from Wyoming. It was disappointing to be working on such a lousy picture while I was being praised for having just made a highly regarded movie like The Quiet Man. I was also injured on set when an actor fired a prop gun too close to me in a gunfight scene. I got powder burns all over and it was just awful. The picture was a real stinkeroo.

Your favorite place in Ireland?

West Cork because it’s so beautiful to look at and every street and corner you turn you’re caught by the glory of the place. It makes you stop in your tracks and get lost in time. It’s one of the greatest pleasures you can have to just stand still and enjoy it.

Who could ask for a better on-screen lover than John Wayne? Our chemistry was so magical because Duke never had to defer to me as a woman. I was strong enough to stand up to him and be his equal. He used to say that I was the greatest guy he ever knew.

Of the current leading men and women who do you like? I’ve always been a sucker for tough leading men with a square jaw so take your pick. I love everything Meryl Streep does.

First play or film that you saw?

The first movies I ever saw were Laurel and Hardy pictures and I loved them.

A movie you will watch again? Swing Time with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.



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Hollywood’s Irish Trinity John Ford (center) with John Wayne (right) on set. Left: John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in a promotional photograph, c. 1950.

For all of the bluster surrounding the John Ford and John Wayne relationship, and the sizzling chemistry of Maureen O’Hara and Wayne, Scott Eyman’s book, John Wayne: The Life and Legend, is particularly insightful about how this magical trio managed to make such enduring films. While there’s plenty of gossipy sections about Wayne’s marriages and Ford’s tantrums, its great strength is its exploration of Wayne’s rise and what made him – as well as Ford and O’Hara – such great movie stars. By Tom Deignan 102 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015


he year was 1926, and young Duke Morrison had a job to do on the Hollywood set of an Irish immigrant picture called Mother Machree. Not yet 20 years old, Morrison – who would become better known as John Wayne – was tasked with herding a gaggle of live geese, which the ornery director of Mother Machree was using to enhance the film’s rural atmosphere. Suddenly, Wayne heard someone yell: “Hey, gooseherder!” It was the director John Ford. He’d heard that Morrison earned a football scholarship to the University of Southern California. The bombastic Ford challenged Morrison to strike a three-point stance, then declared: “I’ll bet you couldn’t even take me out!” The next thing Morrison knew, the director was barreling towards him. “Instead of trying to tackle him, Morrison stuck out a leg and hit the director in

the chest, knocking him down,” Scott Eyman writes in his brand new biography John Wayne: The Life and Legend (Simon & Schuster). “[Ford] sat there and for a minute, it was a case of whether or not I had a future in the motion pictures – I didn’t realize how important it was then,” Wayne later recalled. “But he took it humorously and laughed like hell – and the crew laughed. When he laughed, they laughed – they waited their turn.” According to Eyman, this physical encounter on the set of an Irish movie captured Ford and Wayne’s “fifty-year friendship in microcosm – goading and torment, followed by release and friendship.” Ford and Wayne, of course, later teamed up with Irish actress Maureen O’Hara for the most beloved Irish film in Hollywood history, The Quiet Man. But the Irish trio had actually been making popular and critically acclaimed movies for over a decade. The new Wayne biography – as well as the

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75th anniversary of the release of Stagecoach, the first FordWayne blockbuster – offer a valuable opportunity to look back at the artistic collaboration, brilliant films and offscreen relationships of Hollywood’s Irish trinity: John Ford, Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne.

Irish Roots John Ford (1894-1973) was easily the most prolific and arguably the most influential director of his generation. He was born in Maine to Irish immigrant parents and often said his birth name was actually Sean Aloysius O’Feeney. (For the record, Ford biographer Joseph McBride calls this “Fordian blarney.”) None of which changes the fact that Ford had a passionate interest in Irish storytelling, evident in early directorial efforts such as Mother Machree as well as Hangman’s House, The Informer (based on Liam O’Flaherty’s novel) and The Plough and the Stars (based on Sean O’Casey’s play of the same name). “John Ford was profoundly Irish in every way possible,” Eyman writes. “He was defensive, in total control of his art, if not his life, and he was some sort of genius.” Maureen O’Hara, in the book, sums up Ford this way: “He was talented, and he was intolerable.” Wayne, meanwhile, was different from Ford, who often acted as a (sometimes abusive) father figure to the rugged actor. Wayne, according to Eyman, “had grown up in a poverty further afflicted by [his mother] Mary Morrison’s shanty Irish pretensions.” Ford spotted a quality in Wayne that few actors had. “He was the only person I could think of at the time who could personify great strength and determination without talking much. That sounds easy, perhaps. But it’s not. Either you have it or you don’t.”

The Early Years The first of many great Ford-Wayne movies was 1939’s Stagecoach, also starring Claire Trevor. Filmed in Ford’s iconic Monument Valley, Stagecoach remains one of the most influential films in Hollywood history. The John Ford Ireland Symposium in Dublin celebrated the film’s 75th anniversary this past summer, noting that Orson Welles called it a “perfect film” and watched it

some 40 times while making his own masterpiece, Citizen Kane. Stagecoach was nominated for numerous Academy Awards in a legendary cinematic year that also saw the release of The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and another Irish-themed classic, Gone with the Wind. Astonishingly, that same year, Ford also directed Drums Along the Mohawk and Young Mr. Lincoln, both with Henry Fonda. The following year, Ford and Wayne collaborated again on a seafaring film based on the plays of Irish American Eugene O’Neill entitled The Long Voyage Home. Ford swiftly evolved into a “tough, demanding coach whose approval Wayne craved,” Eyman writes. Meanwhile, in 1941, Ford worked for the first time with a stunning 21 year-old beauty from Dublin named Maureen O’Hara, on the smash hit How Green Was My Valley, about the struggles of a Welsh mining family.

The War Years World War II (1941-1945) brought disruption to America, including its movie stars. Ford made films for the Navy, as chronicled in Mark Harris’ excellent recent book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. Wayne’s war years are a little more complicated. Given that he’d cultivated such a macho image, it has long been a source of curiosity that Wayne didn’t see action during the war, as stars such as Henry Fonda and Tyrone Power did. As Eyman writes: “Contrary to those who feel it convenient to regard Wayne as a classic case of war wimp, it is clear that he did make Wayne in a still from Rio Grande.

some effort to get into the service.” By this time, however, Wayne was a movie star with family, which would limited his chances for service. Wayne took part in USO tours and was eventually cited by Irish American William Donovan for “Honorably Serving the United States of America as a member of The Office of Strategic Services.” Eyman believes “the most medically valid” reason for Wayne’s deferments was a “recurring ear infection.”

The Golden Era Following World War II, Ford made My Darling Clementine with Henry Fonda as well as Fort Apache, 3 Godfathers and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, all with Wayne. With his star on the rise, Wayne would take a break from his hectic Hollywood schedule by spending “weekends on Ford’s yacht Araner,” Eyman writes. (Ford’s mother hailed from the Aran Islands.) Wayne never failed to show his appreciation for Ford. “I’d like to get up on housetops and shout out what I owe to [John Ford]” Wayne told gossip columnist Louella Parson in 1946. “I simply owe him every mouthful I eat, every dollar I’ve got, and practically every bit of happiness I know, that’s all.” Maureen O’Hara was also busy in the late 1940s, sometimes appearing in four pictures a year, most notably Sentimental Journey (1946) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947). But as the 1950s dawned, Wayne, Ford and Maureen O’Hara would collaborate on a trio of memorable films, still notable for their mix of comedy, drama, sizzling onscreen chemistry and – in the case of The Quiet Man – the most memorable, even controversial, Irish film in history.

Rio Grande First up was 1950’s Rio Grande, featuring Wayne as Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke, stationed on the Texas frontier to protect settlers from Native American attacks. (The screenplay was written by Irish-born James Kevin McGuiness.) Yorke has not seen his son in years – that is, until he is stationed under his own father’s command, prompting the arrival of Yorke’s wife (O’Hara) who does not want her son in harm’s way. Though best known for action sequences, Ford gets less credit for the kind of powerful, conflicted emotions O’Hara and Wayne display in Rio Grande. Though a strict taskmaster, “Espirit de corps was not an option [on Ford’s set]; it was enDECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 103

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forced,” Eyman writes. “The cast and crew stayed at the same hotel… and ate their meals together. At night, there were more theatricals – Maureen O’Hara sang Irish songs, Victor McLaglen did vaudeville sketches… and Wayne had to sing.” Over the years, rumors have swirled that Ford could be abusive to his entire cast – including stars like O’Hara and Wayne. Rio Grande co-star Claude Jarman Jr. said Ford “adored” O’Hara, adding “He treated her like a queen.” O’Hara, however, pulled no punches, recalling Ford’s “vicious… extremely severe” abuse aimed at Wayne, according to Eyman. Harry Carey Jr. later added that Wayne “was always frightened of Ford. He was more scared of him than I ever was. I got to know the old man really well, and Duke didn’t have to be that scared of him, but he was.” Wayne, however, remained appreciative towards Ford, always viewing his mean streak as a motivational tool employed to make an actor – and thus a film – better. They would need that for their next project, which no one thought would ever get made.

The Quiet Man Ford had been trying to make The Quiet Man since at least 1944, when he wanted “O’Hara, Wayne, Victor McLaglen, and Barry Fitzgerald to sign,” Eyman writes. But (proving William Goldman’s old saying that “no one in Hollywood knows anything”) producer Herbert Yates dismissed a film based on Maurice Walsh’s short story as “a silly little Irish story that won’t make a dime.” Eyman adds: “For the next six years, every major studio in Hollywood turned down The Quiet Man.” Once financing was finally secured, Wayne agreed to star, but only after making a more bankable Western for Yates (Rio Grande), and giving up his “contractually guaranteed” cut of the film’s profits for a “flat fee of $100,000.” Finally, Ford “would be able to make his film. In Ireland. In Technicolor,” Eyman writes. In an interview with Eyman, Maureen O’Hara fondly recalled working with Wayne. “He knew his lines. He worked like a dog. He tried to make each scene the best he 104 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

possibly could. He wanted to satisfy the fans who were coming to see the film… He was kind, he supported people. A good man.” She added, however, that Ford could be “a totally perverse human being,” aiming insults at a member of the cast “all day long… just awful. Your heart would turn over for them, and you wanted to poke [Ford] in the nose.” But O’Hara believes this was a tactic to make other actors “unsteady, ready to do a certain kind of scene. And the other actors would be totally involved with you, mad for you, unhappy for you. And then he’d shoot the scene.” Wayne and O’Hara in The Quiet Man.

Ford also had a tendency to exaggerate when it came to Ireland’s famously bad weather. “It was one of the finest summers I ever saw in Ireland,” O’Hara recalled. Ford and Wayne stayed “rigorously sober” on set, with the exception of one slow day when Wayne had an afternoon off from shooting and drank a bit too much with the locals. But “he was ready to go by seven the next morning,” Eyman writes. The Quiet Man cemented O’Hara and Wayne as one of Hollywood’s most memorable screen couples and Ford as the maestro in charge of a supremely talented Irish cinematic orchestra. But what about things off-screen? For decades, rumors swirled that O’Hara and Wayne (at the time married) had an affair. O’Hara has long denied this while director Andrew McLaglen (son of Victor) added: “There was nothing personal between them, but that’s the way it is sometimes – that makes the best screen relationships, people that don’t really know each other on a personal level, but they can sure act it.”

The Wings of Eagles As the 1950s progressed, the trio continued working together. Ford and O’Hara worked

on the criminally underrated The Long Gray Line, about Irish-born West Point lifer Marty Maher. Ford and Wayne, meanwhile, made what may well be their most enduring masterpiece, The Searchers. It was in 1957 that Ford, O’Hara and Wayne made their final film together, The Wings of Eagles, also starring Ward Bond and Dan Dailey. The film explores the history of the U.S. Navy through the colorful character of Frank “Spig” Wead, with Wayne playing the lead and O’Hara playing his long-suffering wife. Subsequent years would see Wayne, Ford and O’Hara do some of their best work. Ford and Wayne worked together on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Donovan’s Reef, while Wayne shot The Comancheros with Michel Curtiz and Rio Bravo with Howard Hawks. In 1960, Wayne himself directed The Alamo. For O’Hara, there was Spencer’s Mountain, The Parent Trap and Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. McClintock!, in 1963, featured both O’Hara and Wayne, and though not directed by Ford, it was helmed by a familiar name – Andrew V. McLaglen, son of Ford regular Victor McLaglen. The film was also produced by John Wayne’s son, Michael. John Ford died in 1973, and Wayne died six years later, after finally winning an Oscar for his turn in True Grit. Maureen O’Hara continued working regularly, even teaming up with John Wayne in 1971’s Big Jake, and offering up a particularly memorable turn alongside John Candy in Only the Lonely (1991). Her 2004 memoir ’Tis Herself was a bestselling chronicle of an eight-decade career. In the end, there’s simply never been an enduring Hollywood relationship – on screen and off – like the one forged by O’Hara, Wayne and Ford. What was the secret? Was it Wayne’s grit and generosity? O’Hara’s radiance and toughness? Ford’s intemperate vision? Perhaps the answer can be found in the famous final scene of The Quiet Man. Ford has wrapped up his wonderful Irish American story, and Mary Kate (O’Hara) whispers a secret into the ear of Sean Thornton (Wayne) before they run off. Was the secret comical or dramatic? Sexual or romantic? Philosophical or crude? The answer, simply, is yes. Because it is all of these things that made the Ford/O’Hara/ IA Wayne collaborations so great. John Wayne: The Life and Legend, by Scott Eyman, is out now. (Simon & Schuster / 672 pages / $32.50)

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{review of books}

Recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest.


Belfast Noir

Edited by Adrian McKinty & Stuart Neville


elfast, a city of conflicting allegiances and a dark and turbulent past, seems a perfect setting for Akashic’s latest “noir” anthology. Belfast Noir is presented as “an important snapshot” of the city’s burgeoning crime-writing community featuring stories from some of Ireland’s best-known crime writers including Lee Child, Brian McGilloway, and Claire McGowan. Beginning with an introduction that is useful to readers not familiar with Belfast’s history of sectarian violence, the book is split into four sections, “City of Ghosts,” “City of Walls,” “City of Commerce,” and “Brave New City” with each story aligned to a specific neighborhood. Unfortunately, for a reader whose knowledge of the city is minimal, many of these stories lack the true descriptive sense of place that is called for in an anthology so place-centered. McGowan recently claimed that Northern Irish fiction has moved past writing about “the Troubles” and this anthology has stories that do this very well. Eoin McNamee’s wonderfully creepy “Corpse Flowers” presents a narrative constructed of individual surveillance camera shots telling the story of the last night of a young murder victim. The gangsters in Ian McDonald’s ghost-revenge story “The Reservoir” could be from any modern city whose violence doesn’t necessarily have sectarian connections. But there are also stories that feature expected forms of violence – Ruth Dudley Edwards’ “Taking It Serious” about an autistic boy who becomes obsessed with sectarian violence and Lee Child’s “Wet With Rain” about mysterious Americans who are after an item buried under an old woman’s house. Throughout, the themes of violence in the city appear in different guises in different neighborhoods and among Belfast’s rich and poor alike. Many of these stories are entertaining but what’s often missing is the true essence of “noir” à la James M. Cain or Jim Thompson. “Noir” is not just criminal violence, but a pervasive dark cynicism that creates a sense of unease 106 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

and an expectation of creative plot-twists that some of these stories don’t meet. Certainly there is cynicism here and the city itself, when it is allowed to appear, is very dark – to quote Sam Millar, “Even when the sun shines, it’s dark.” As Lee Child states, Belfast is one of the “most noir” places on earth and the North has produced a number of powerful crime writers – some of them are showcased here, but like other books in this series, there is a lack of sense of place in some of the stories that overall, frustrates expectations. – Yvonne C. Garrett (Akashic Books / 256 pages / 515.95)

Forensic Songs

By Mike McCormack


ike McCormack’s new collection of short stories is underscored by suspicion and anxiety, offering certainty only in mistrust and concern – a brother worries for his younger sibling, a child tries to defer his fate of becoming a serial killer, a prisoner is forced to play a video game based on his own life. Forensic Songs, McCormack’s first new work since 2005’s Notes from a Coma, which was shortlisted for the Irish Book of the Year Award, is a measured and deliberate contemplation of the ways in which lives are mediated, whether through digital reality or American cop shows, as in the title story. McCormack, from Mayo but living now in Galway, is biting from the beginning, inserting himself into the long history of Irish short fiction and critiquing the divide between fiction and truth. In the first story, “The Last Thing We Need,” two rural Gardaí discuss “the only man in this jurisdiction not to have written a childhood memoir,” as if it is the most damning crime a man from the west of Ireland might commit. What Forensic Songs signals is an anxiety over privacy in an age of global contacts and information sharing, and the frustration that occurs when the picture, like many of his best stories, doesn’t flatten out. – Adam Farley (Soho Press / 208 pages / $15)

Here Are the Young Men By Rob Doyle


ob Doyle’s debut novel Here Are the Young Men from Dublin’s Lilliput Press (published in the U.S. by Bloomsbury) harkens the arrival of a gifted new author. Most critics are hailing it as the “Irish Trainspotting” with comparisons to other gritty and subversive novels like Fight Club, Less Than Zero, and A Clockwork Orange, but Doyle’s novel cracks into the troubled mind of the teenage subconsciousness like few novels have done before. The title, taken from a Joy Division lyric, crackles with its own dark music and deeply disturbing subconscious. This comes as no surprise given Doyle’s background in philosophy and psychoanalysis. He has a first class honors degree in philosophy and an M.Phil. in psychoanalysis from Trinity College, Dublin. This in no way makes the novel an impenetrable labyrinth of psychoanalytic allusions, but it does bring up a number of questions about ourselves and the society we live in, both Irish and American. The story takes place in 2003 at the tail end of the Celtic Tiger in Ireland and follows the lives of four young men: Matthew, the troubled heart of the story; Cocker, the lighthearted comic; Rez, the philosopher; and Kearney, the disturbed dreamer. The lives of these young men are detailed by Doyle with an unflinching eye as he captures the excessive drug taking, drinking, pornography, and violent game watching that ensue throughout the story. A thinly veiled critique of the 21st Century’s obsession with pop culture, 24-hour news media, and the glorification of violence is readily apparent. The character Rez asks the question, “What does it really mean to you to be Irish? I mean, like growing up in the suburbs, which may as well be anywhere, and watching American films and English telly and English football, and everyone you’re supposed to look up to, they all go on about cars and mortgages, and these are supposed to be the most important things.” It is this question that haunts Here Are the Young Men and which Doyle weaves throughout the story as each character tries to grapple with the answer.

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Many of these scenes may at first appear excessive and are often hard to read, but Doyle is able to balance them with a dark humor and an almost cinematic recreation of Dublin. Doyle has a knack for the colloquial sounds of Ireland’s inhabitants. He brings to life the gritty underbelly of Dublin society as you follow the characters through nightclubs, hostels, and a humorous journey to Bono’s home. While told through the perspective of young men, it is the female character Jen who is the most hopeful and mature, and is also the one that leaves Ireland. While the novel itself tackles these dark themes, one is left hopeful for the future, as Rez states, “The challenge was to live in this weird, catastrophic, haywire world and ride it out, create your own pride and meaning within it, to face up to the nihilism and not be crushed by it.” The story ends where it began with a jolt to the system and a chill down the spine. – Matthew Skwiat (Bloomsbury / 304 pages / $11.99)

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher By Hilary Mantel


ilary Mantel’s eerily crafted new book of short stories The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher combines the grotesque elements of gothic fiction with the acerbic wit and subtle discomforts her readers have come to love. In her bestselling and Man Booker Prize winning novels Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies (which recreate life of Thomas Cromwell and the court of Henry VIII) or The Giant, O’Brien and Fudd, Mantel showcases her mix of biting gallows humor and withering psychological insight that make her one of contemporary fiction’s “iron lady’s” of literature. In her new book of short stories, Mantel steeps her prose in an inventive and provocative concoction of wit and horror that boils over as she explores themes of isolation, personal tragedy, sexual identity, and reimagined history. In another author’s pen, stories like “The Long QT” about an unfaithful husband caught in the act and “Comma” about two young girls’ unsettling revelation in a small town


could appear tawdry and sensationalistic, but Mantel overcomes it with a deft hand and a command of language that stop you in your tracks. Mantel describes a sweltering summer’s day which, “by the end of July, had bleached adults of their purpose.” Standout stories include the largely autobiographical “Sorry to Disturb” about a woman’s psychological detachment from the closed off world of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a place Mantel herself lived for four years in the 1980s. Claustrophobia and self-imposed madness walk hand in hand as Mantel describes the “coffin-lid doors” or the air conditioner that “labored and hacked, spitting out water, coughing up lungfuls of mold spores, blights.” Mantel never loses track of her macabre sense of humor as she documents the life of a visiting literary celebrity in “How Shall I Know You.” The story reads like something out of Edgar Allen Poe, whom she cleverly nods to when describing the “poetasting engineers.” We meet a menacingly named “Mr. Simister” and are treated to Mantel’s ghoulish charms when she describes the hotel as “grayish-white and crinkled, like a split open brain.” Mantel’s final story, “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” finds the author returning to the world of historical fiction. This was not Mantel’s first inclusion of Thatcher in one of her stories, she had also made an appearance in An Experiment of Love. It’s clear the Anglo-Irish Mantel has little sympathy for Thatcher. This time around Mantel re-imagines how a series of subtle mistakes can lead to profound consequences. The title character unknowingly opens the door to what appears to be a radiator repairman, only to be taken hostage by an IRA gunman set on assassinating Thatcher across the street. Commonalities are hinted at and explored between the two as the reader watches spellbound as Mantel’s story builds. Mantel leaves us with a cleverly placed wink as she states, “Different histories lie close, they are curled like winter animals, breathing shallow, pulse undetected.” – Matthew Skwiat

aire Mhac an tSaoi published her first collection of poems, Margadh na Saoire, in 1956. As the title suggests, Mhac an tSaoi is an Irish language poet, so necessarily, the poems that appear in Wake Forrest’s American edition of her selected poems appear in translation, facing their Irish originals. For new-comers to Mhac an tSaoi’s work, the introduction written by the poet Louis de Paor provides a thorough argument not only for her importance and interest to contemporary readers, but also a critical essay that illuminates the significance and novelty of what Mhac an tSaoi has done throughout her career. He situates her among her contemporary Irish language poets, Seán Ó Ríordán and Máirtín Ó Direáin, and contends that she, more than either of them, deferred to the traditions of the Gaeltacht, allowing her to create new meanings and express the previously ineffable within the structures of Irish language literary history. Born in Dublin in 1922, Mhac an tSaoi was also a politician’s daughter and became a diplomat herself. The idea of the authentic “nation” plays a significant role in her work. What Mhac an tSaoi excels at is carrying on the tradition of narrative in the Irish language, but bringing to it a female perspective at a time in Irish history when the voices of women in Irish society were marginalized at best, and actively assaulted at worst. What this collection offers are deeply personal meditations that contemplate how best to understand one’s individuated role in a century of increasing possibilities for self-identity. As a result, readers of this volume will find her themes of citizenship, love, family, and undoing gender stereotypes piercingly relevant still. The Miraculous Parish: Selected Poems (An Paróiste Míorúilteach: Rogha Dánta in the Irish) is the first time her selected poems have appeared in the United States, and it is something to be IA celebrated. – Adam Farley

(Henry Holt / 244 pages / $27)

(Wake Forrest / 202 pages / $17.95)

The Miraculous Parish: Selected Poems By Maire Mhac an tSaoi, Edited by Louis de Paor



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Scones For Pete


he other morning I went downtown to see Pete Hamill. I like saying that. I went downtown. To see Pete Hamill. Anyway, I call Pete Hamill – did I mention that it was Pete Hamill I was going to see? – and I ask him: Pete – Pete Hamill – can I bring anything? He says don’t bother, really, and I say, are you sure, and he says don’t worry, and I say, come on, and he says, half-heartedly, in that voice of his: Maybe some scones. Scones. And I am thinking: Scones for Pete Hamill. It will be my distinct honor. If you do not know what I mean, then you do not belong here tonight. You do not belong in this city, tonight, or ever. There’s the door. This is because the rest of us know that so many things are stipulated just by saying “Pete Hamill.” It means world-class writing infused with a working-class ethos. It means observation and analysis that comes always from a default position of compassion. It means being tough when necessary, but never cruel. And it means that singular voice. That voice, seasoned by neighborhood bars and sobriety, by Gleason’s gym and the White House, by Mafia comedy and Vietnam tragedy, by Ireland and Brooklyn, Mexico and Japan. A voice that is weathered, but never weary. A virtuosic New York baritone. If the pavement of this city could speak, it would sound like Pete Hamill. 108 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

“The library is a place where most of the things I came to value as an adult had their beginnings.” – Pete Hamill


On October 20, Irish American Writers and Artists Inc. honored Pete Hamill, the legendary author journalist, novelist, essayist, and editor, with the Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award at the Manhattan Club in New York. Among those in attendance were Hamill’s wife, the Japanese journalist Fukiko Aoki; Larry Kirwan, president of IAW&A and the lead singer of the band Black 47; Mary Pat Kelly, vice president of IAW&A; writers Peter Quinn, Jimmy Breslin, and Malachy McCourt; actor Brian Dennehy and New York Governor Mario Cuomo, all of whom spoke elegantly and humorously. Dan Barry’s appreciation of Hamill follows.

Pete Hamill and his wife Fukiko at the IAW&A awards. Still recovering from a near fatal illness, Hamill joked that it was the best gathering of people he’d seen without a corpse in the room.

There is always surprise in life – Who wanted scones. And I am going to find him scones, dammit. It’s raining hard. So I duck into the Starbucks on Chambers Street, which has three of the sorriest-ass scones I have ever seen. They look like some kid made them in an Easy-Bake Oven. But I buy them: Pete wants scones. I head back out into the rain, determined to find scones that are WORTHY. Along West Broadway, I pass some workers delivering boxes of balloons to a novelty store. A well-dressed man whose

umbrella pops inside out. A nanny, determined to keep the child she’s responsible for safe and dry. As I walk, I think of those days when Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin spoke for the city. I think of Pete’s memoir, A Drinking Life – the vivid portraits of a distant Brooklyn and the struggles of his Irish immigrant parents. I think of all his magazine profiles, and his many novels –including Snow in August, Forever, and North River – each one conveying his profound knowledge and familial love for this city. Mostly, because I am who I am, I think

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of Pete Hamill the newspaperman. I am haunted by a column he wrote for the Village Voice once, after a cab he was a passenger in struck and killed an old man. He describes the police activity, the man’s hat on the ground, and a woman hurrying past, oblivious to the scene. He ends the piece with: “A gust of wind lifts the dead man’s sporty little hat and rolls it back against the curb.” Notice those words: “sporty little hat.” Finally, I think of what other newspaper types have told me. Jim Dwyer still has a column he clipped as a teenager in the 1970s. It’s a piece in which one of his heroes, Pete Hamill, announced that he was giving up his column. This decision turned out to be only temporary, but Jim still remembers how he felt: “Bereft.” Jim sent me a note today: “Forty years later, I wish I were there to pelt Pete with roses, but I have an unbreakable date to launch a new book. It’s actually HIS FAULT that I’m not there.” As you can see, we Irish have a gift for guilt. By the way, Jim and I recently joked about how, as kids, we couldn’t wait to reach drinking age, so that we could join Pete Hamill at the Lion’s Head. Of course, Pete had stopped drinking by then.

LEFT: Ellen McCourt, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, and NYU Prof. Marion Casey. BELOW: Pete with Dan Barry.

Pete’s help in editing a story she had written about her son, Sam, who has attention deficit disorder. A few months later, shortly after his mother died, Pete did a reading at Sam’s school – the Children’s School – in Park Slope. And it seemed that all of Brooklyn had turned out to greet him, and to say, with affection: Pete. I knew your mother. Clyde Haberman remembers walking into the Daily News with Pete on his first day as that newspaper’s editor, back in 1997, where the newsroom’s security guard greeted him with: “Good morning, Mr. Hammond.” Pete just laughed. Because, as Clyde wrote, he took his work seriously – not himself. Clyde, who is not one for Irish sentiment, said this about Pete: “I worship the man.” Whether you were a teenage runaway or a security guard, a fledgling hack on her way up or an old rewrite man on his way out – Pete encouraged you, treated you to

– if you pay attention. Which was pretty inconsiderate, if you ask me. The columnist Joanna Molloy remembers running away to Minnesota as a teenager, and writing a homesick letter back to her city: that is, to Pete Hamill, whom she didn’t know. Pete, among the most famous journalists in the world, wrote back, encouraging this kid to take up writing. Years later, Joanna wound up working for Pete at the Daily News. And she still has that cherished letter. Joanne Wasserman, for many years a reporter at the Daily News, hasn’t forgotten

small kindnesses – made you feel that you mattered. We children of immigrants know that what I am about to say is the highest of compliments: Pete Hamill never forgot where he came from. I find a precious café with better scones, and now I am carrying six scones – six! – to Pete Hamill. My back hurts from the load. He and his gracious wife, Fukiko, welcome me into the library that is their home. I present them with my three best scones: two blueberry scones, and a cranberry orange scone. Pete decides to have a croissant. But we talk about our Irish parents, and our shared love for comic strips, and about writing. Pete, you’ll be glad to know, had just gotten off another deadline. Then Pete says to me – in that tossed-off oracular way of his – he says: There is always surprise in life – if you pay attention. I write it down. As I walk back to the subway, I remember all that I had seen this morning. The man with the broken umbrella. The nanny. The delivery of some balloons. And one of the very best writers of our time, telling us all to pay attention – and embrace the surprise. Thank you, Pete.

A Pulitzer Prize-winner, Dan Barry is the author of three books, including Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball’s Longest Game, which won the 2012 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting. He is a reporter and columnist for The New York Times. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 109

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A Stitch inTime

Every year December swoops in with a blizzard of holiday parties. There are office parties, cookie trading parties, trim the tree parties, cocktail parties, secret Santa parties, and more. But the best I’ve heard of yet is the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. By Edythe Preet. hristmas sweaters are actually quite creative and we’ve all probably owned at least one. The problem with them is that they’re only wearable for a week or two and then they get packed away for a year. Sweaters are the handiest items in a winter wardrobe. They’re warm and snuggly, easy to layer, and compliment just about any fashion statement. Thus they make great holiday gifts. And the best are hand-knit. When it comes to hand-knitting, sweaters from Ireland’s Aran Islands are the cream of the crop. Not only are they exquisite examples of knitted art, they are also extremely warm, a necessary quality when winter winds blow. Tommy Located off the west Irish coast at the mouth Galway Makem and the Bay, the Aran Islands group includes Inishmor, the Clancy largest and westernmost; Inishmaan, the second largest Brothers middle island; and Inisherr, the smallest and easternmost. Three-hundred-sixty million years ago, a tropical sea covered the Aran Islands and the Burren in Co. Clare, which were connected by a landbridge. As the waters retreated, shells and skeletons of marine creatures were compressed into the limestone that is the geologic makeup of both regions. Retreating glaciers at the ends of successive ice ages left behind a mostly flat terrain except for random huge boulders, some measuring up to 80 feet high, and scoured the rock of precious topsoil. When people first arrived on the islands some 4,000 years ago, the harsh landscape must have been a daunting sight. But two of the oldest archaeological sites in Ireland, the Iron Age fortifications of Dun Aonghasa on Inishmor and Dun Choncuir on Inishmaan, prove that our ancestors were not only resourceful survivalists but master builders of their day as well. The larger of the two, Dun Aonghasa, has been called ‘the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe’ and is a registered World Heritage Site. Perched at the edge of a 300-foot cliff with a sheer drop to the wild North Atlantic, four concentric rings of mortarless stone walls (some measuring 12 feet thick at the base) surround an area encompassing 14 acres. Artifacts found at the site indicate it was a settlement, but the exact purpose of a massive stone slab positioned at the cliff edge is unknown. Some theorize it was used for seasonal Druidic rites such as the Samhain and Beltane bonfires, which would have been visible on the mainland. Despite being located at the same latitude as icy Quebec, Canada, the Aran Islands have a mostly temperate climate, a blessing bestowed by the warm Gulf Stream that sweeps the coastline. As a result arctic, Mediterranean and alpine plants grow alongside each other, and when the limestone surface has a covering of soil even orchids thrive.



Through the early Christian Era the island austerity appealed to those seeking spiritual enlightenment, and more than a dozen monasteries were built on Inishmor alone. When Cromwell invaded Ireland and gave Catholics the choice of going “to hell or Connacht,” some stalwart souls fled to the Arans and devised ways to survive in the harsh environment. By mixing seaweed with sand and a bit of precious dirt, the refugees created enough arable soil to cover small plots of land. Enclosed in stone walls that protected precious plants from ocean winds and eventually crisscrossed the islands like lacework, and

blessed by the mild climate and abundant rainfall, the walled gardens, plus a few grazing cattle and goats, provided the new residents with food. But the primary Aran Islands dietary staple has long been the bountiful harvest provided by the surrounding seas. It is here that the Aran Sweater enters our tale. Fishermen who rely on their catch for existence must venture out on the ocean rain or shine. Fortunately, the Aran Islands women became expert knitters. The sweaters they crafted from wool still saturated with water-resistant sheep’s lanolin kept their men comparatively warm and dry. A romantic, if grim, legend holds that the women knit patterns unique to each island family into their sweaters so that, should a man perish at sea, his body could be identified when it washed ashore. The belief more likely stems from Riders to the Sea, a 1904 play by Ireland’s illustrious author J.M. Synge, who wrote frequently about the Aran Islands. In it, a drowned fisherman is identified by the pattern on his stocking. Special sweaters were frequently made in the 1920s as garments for a child’s First Holy Communion. Some stitches that have acquired meanings include: Cable (fishermen’s ropes and safety),

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Honeycomb (luck and abundance), Diamond (wealth and success), The Aran Sweater Market has filled the gap. A search of their Double Zigzags (the trials and tribulations of marriage), and the website ( will reveal if a design has Tree of Life (hope that the wearer will have long and fruitful life). been created for your surname. That would be a Christmas IA Aran Sweaters were not made to sell until the mid-1930s when sweater one could wear all year! Slainte! Dr. Muriel Gahan, founder of the Irish Homespun Society, opened The Country Shop in Dublin, which specialized in Irish crafts. Some of the earliest commercial sweaters are n Inishmaan, Ruiari and MarieRuairí and Therese de Blacam have created now in Dublin’s National Museum. Marie-Therese Inis Meain, which is both a modern boude Blacam The first Aran knitting pattern was published tique hotel/restaurant and an homage to in the 1940s by Patons of England, then by the history and culture of their beloved Vogue magazine in 1956. Demand grew, comisland. On first sight the stone construcpanies began supplying needles and wool, and tion of the purpose built accommodation island women earned some needed income. is immediately evocative of Dun A serendipitous connection between Aonghasa, the Iron Age fortification on Ireland’s music and its knitwear set the Aran Inishmor, but one step inside whisks Sweater squarely on the world stage. In the guests into the 21st century. Each of the winter of 1960 when Tommy Makem and the five suites features custom made furnishClancy Brothers were scheduled to play at ings with cashmere Aran-styled pillows, Manhattan’s Blue Angel nightclub, Mrs. super king size beds, luxurious bedding, state-of-the-art bathrooms, and a 30-45 foot Clancy sent the boys sweaters to keep them continuous window providing uninterrupted views of the island and Galway Bay. After a warm. With a stroke of genius, the band’s manhearty in-room breakfast, bicycles, fishing rods, hiking staves, a guide-map and backpack ager insisted they wear the sweaters for their lunch (including a flask of hot soup!) encourage guests to explore the island. At twilight debut television appearance on the Ed Sullivan a 4-course dinner that changes daily is served in the adjoining restaurant that, like the Show. Forty million viewers fell in love with suites, has an expansive wrap-around view window. Island native Chef Ruairí de the music and the sweaters, and Aran Island Blacam’s credo of Elemental Eating insures that each course is an experience of simplicknitters were immediately deluged with orders. ity, beauty, purity and flavor with every ingredient having been fresh caught, raised or While Aran Sweaters did not originally disgrown either on site or by local providers. Called ‘Ireland’s ultimate destination restauplay patterns specific to particular families, rant’ by The Irish Times and recipient of the Overall Best Boutique Hotel in Ireland

Iron Age Meets Space Age



New England Fish Chowder (Personal recipe)

1 lb cod or salmon filet, cut in bite-sized pieces 2 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 ⁄2 cup celery, diced 2 cups raw potatoes, diced 1 ⁄2 cup carrots, diced 2 cups boiling water 1 tsp salt 1 ⁄2 tsp pepper 1 cup milk Place olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and celery and sauté until onion is translucent. Add potatoes, carrots, boiling water, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add fish and cook 10 minutes more. Add milk and reheat, but do not boil. Makes 4 servings. Accompany with hot crusty rolls and butter.

Hearty Seafood Stew

(personal recipe library) 11⁄2 pounds small white potatoes, cut in 1 ⁄2-inch chunks

Award, whatever else you may have planned for your visit to Ireland, Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites is truly worth a detour. For information visit 1 tbsp unsalted butter 4 slices thick bacon, sliced in 1 ⁄2-inch pieces 2 celery stalks, sliced thin 2 leeks, white & light green parts, washed, halved & sliced thin 1 garlic clove, minced 1 ⁄2 tsp salt 1 ⁄2 tsp fresh thyme leaves 2 pounds cod (or other white fish) filets, cut in 2-inch chunks 3 pounds littleneck clams, rinsed & scrubbed 2 cups heavy cream ground white pepper 1 ⁄4 cup fresh minced Italian parsley In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to boil, add potatoes, and simmer until pota-

toes are cooked but firm (10-12 minutes). Drain potatoes over a large bowl, and save cooking liquid. (DO AHEAD: Let potatoes cool, then refrigerate.) Next, in a 5-quart pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add bacon, stirring, until bacon browns (5 minutes). Add celery, leeks, and garlic, and cook until vegetables are translucent (6 minutes). Add potato liquid, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is tasty (30 minutes). (DO AHEAD: Make stew base and refrigerate up to 1 day.) When ready to serve, bring stew base to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cooked potatoes, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are heated through, then gently add fish and clams. Cover and simmer until clams open and fish is opaque and cooked through (7-9 minutes). Add cream and pepper and reheat to a simmer (do NOT boil!). Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley. Serve with crusty bread. Makes 6-8 servings. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 111

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By Darina Molloy

ACROSS 1 An Irish but (3) 3 City of Culture 2014 (8) 8 (& 23 across) New U2 album: _____ of _______ (5) 9 See 5 down (3) 12 Eye disorder which Bono reportedly suffers from (8) 15 (& 30 down) Main character in Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves (6) 17 Also called turf (4) 18 Grab (3) 21 Rock of ____ (4) 22 (& 19 down & 31 down) Father of Che (7) 23 See 8 across (9) 24 To fix a game or election (3) 26 (& 10 down) This Man Booker winner was born in Longford, Tasmania, the descendant of an Irish convict (7) 29 Ireland West Airport Knock is actually closest to this Mayo town (11) 31 Pig fat (4) 33 This Ms. Cahill is the grand-niece of an IRA founder who alleges abuse cover-up by Sinn Fein (6) 35 Formerly Queen’s County (5) 36 Main town in Co. Clare (5) 37 See 44 across (3) 38 (& 46 across) Former Taoiseach who died in August (6) 39 Classic trick-taking card game (5) 41 Comedian Billy Connolly is also known as ‘The Big ___’ (3) 44 (& 37 across) Mayo colors (5) 45 The main animal character in the movie Babe (3) 46 See 38 across (8)

DOWN 2 (& 27 down) Largest offshore island in Mayo (5) 4 It’s Raining ____ (3) 5 (& 9 across) October holiday in the U.S. which celebrates an event in 1492 (8) 6 (& 14 down) Colm Toibin’s eponymous heroine (4)

7 Exhausted or empty (5) 10 See 26 across (8) 11 Pilgrimage town in BosniaHerzegovina popular with Irish visitors (10) 13 See 34 down (2, 5) 14 See 6 down (7) 16 Nearest village to the Cliffs of Moher (9) 19 See 22 across (7) 20 Traditional Irish boat with a wooden frame and stretched animal hide (7) 25 (& 32 down) One of Cork’s main streets (5) 27 See 2 down (6) 28 Wicklow singer who’s currently taking the world by storm (6) 30 See 15 across (7) 31 See 22 across (5)

Win a subscription to Irish A merica magazine Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than Month and date, 2014. 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: Emily Black, Washington, D.C. 112 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

32 See 25 down (6) 34 (& 13 down) Professional golfer from Co. Down (4) 39 Opposite of lose (3) 40 Not happy (3) 42 Internet Protocol, in short (1,1) 43 Northern Ireland, in short (1,1)

October / November Solution

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SHANNON DEEGAN continued from page 44

nified when I had the opportunity to do some post-graduate study in Dublin. Visiting with the families of my classmates on a Sunday morning for a fry up, listening to the ebb and flow of conversations around me at Bewleys on Grafton Street, the sing song teasing of the old vendor ladies at the Moore Street market, and to the din of storytelling in the endless pubs, it struck me how similar my life and family experience in Montreal was to that of a Dubliner. I have never felt so at home in terms of my childhood experience anywhere in the world as I do in Ireland.

Some people would be reluctant to take on a career change as you did when you joined Google. Is it your nature to be adventurous? I’ve been fortunate to have a life filled with some interesting adventures thus far. I’ve traveled the world, lived in seven countries, and have met so many wonderful, interesting people along the way. My best friend – my wife Patti – and I have done most of that together and we’ve kind of taken the approach that we’re up for anything, including following up having twins with another baby two years later! We moved to Malaysia from Ottawa on a pretty quick whim in the mid-1990s and it was an awesome experience. We followed that with time in Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Toronto and now Silicon Valley. To me, home is wherever Patti is and careerwise, I’ve never really had a path that I wanted to follow. I just want to do interesting, challenging things with fun, cool people, and have just taken the approach of being open to new opportunities as they emerge vs. saying, “This is what I want to do next and then I’ll do this,” etc. I think if I look back at the path I’ve taken I can talk as if it all is connected in a logical way career-wise, but that’s always easier to do in hindsight. I certainly have no idea what’s next and have learned not to worry about that and just enjoy the ride. And Google is a pretty special vantage point from which to enjoy it.

There is so much online about how to ace the Google interview, does that make it harder or easier for you? I actually think that it enhances our interviewing experience. If a person has spent the time reading all of the online stuff about acing the Google interview, first of all that says they want the job and have pre114 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

pared for our conversation. Indeed, a question I often ask in interviews is “How did you prepare for this interview?” Being prepared says a lot about a person. Secondly, my questions aren’t going to be of the cookie-cutter-management-consultant “How many ping pong balls can you fit in a swimming pool? I’m going to ask a candidate to describe the hairiest, most challenging problem they’ve had to overcome at work and how they did so. Their answer helps me understand what they think is challenging and I can also subsequently probe how they structured the problem, the analysis they used to solve the problem, how they collaborated with others, and how they overcame obstacles. The conversation can also help me understand how the candidate measures success, etc. So I don’t mind if someone knows the question is coming, as we’re going to have a conversation that will go off in different directions. I’m not there to simply ask a question, listen to the candidates reply in full, and then go on to my next question. The best interviews are conversations, where both people learn about the other. We’ve done research that shows that three interviews with different people is the optimal amount to allow for a thoughtful decision on a candidate. Adding a fourth does not significantly impact the decision enough to warrant the additional time and commitment. Yet we also determined that a candidate needs four interviews to fully get their head around us and to know whether we, and the role, are a fit for them. Hence, we conduct four interviews. Finally, when I interview someone, I’m not only testing to see if they have the relevant experience and smarts to do the job, but more importantly, I’m trying to get to know the person, to understand what makes them tick, and, as noted earlier, if they demonstrate passion and if so, what they’re passionate about. If a candidate knows going into the interview that that’s what I’m hoping to get out of our conversation, then hopefully we’ll be able to delve deeper than if they’re scrambling in their head to find relevant answers.

Advice for hiring in startups? Hire smart, passionate people as they will help drive an organization and, particularly in a startup, that’s vital. Folks with a jackof-all-trades willingness to get done what needs to get done, regardless of their specific role, are imperative. Folks who see a problem and rather than just call it out, roll up their sleeves and fix it. Find folks who love learning new things, are excited to drink from a fire hose of issues coming at

them, and who embrace the ambiguity of a startup environment. And finally, and critically, hire people who are nice. Ask the receptionist how the candidate behaved with them while they waited. That tells you a lot about a person. You know they’re going to be on their best behavior with you in the interview, but how were they when they were interacting with others they didn’t feel were part of the process? And make sure throughout the interview you’re mentally conducting what I call the airport test. Constantly be asking yourself, “If I’m snowed in at the airport for eight hours with this person, would it be fun, or would I want to run away screaming?” These are people you’re going to spend more awake time with than anyone else in your life, make sure they’re people you really like. Maybe it’s the stereotypical Canadian in me, but I really believe being nice goes a long way, and over the long run, the smart, nice person who works hard is probably going to be a better employee than the brilliant jerk.

Can you talk about the Google culture and the relationship between work and home life? One of the things I love most about working at Google is how we embrace the idea of people being their true self. We’ve successfully created an environment where who you are at home in your non-work life is someone we want to see at work. Again, we think we do a good job of hiring smart, self-motivated, interesting people and we want those interesting things to be seen at Google. Getting to that culture requires a lot of trust on both sides. The employee needs to feel that they can truly express themselves in an open, transparent, and respectful environment. Company leaders need to trust employees to embrace that freedom, to appreciate it, and to carve out their own work style to be the most innovative and productive. This manifests itself in a myriad of ways. It can be as simple as being okay with someone who’s not a morning person showing up to start work mid-morning. Or someone else taking an hour or two each day to take a class, or go for a run, or hit the gym, or take a good walk with the dog they also bring to work. The point is that as a manager, I trust that you’re going to get your work done – and we’ll work together to determine what that is – and I’m not going to micromanage how you structure your life to get it done. Really, give people freedom and they will absolutely amaze you. A few years ago I was hosting some ex-

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ecutives from a large pharmaceutical company who were visiting our Mountain View headquarters to talk about culture. We were in a boardroom and every few minutes through the walls we could hear people cheering. Finally one of the guests asked me what the noise was and I said, “It’s the World Cup!” I explained that given the World Cup games started at 6AM and ran until about 2PM, we had put large screen TV’s in the lounges on each floor so folks could watch. My guests were shocked, admitting that they had put up firewalls on their internal systems so folks couldn’t even watch the highlights online lest they not be working. Our attitude was that rather than trying to clamp down on people’s excitement for the tournament, we would embrace it and make it easy for them to watch. We reasoned that folks would appreciate the gesture and thus would personally ensure that their work wouldn’t suffer. So folks would watch a game or two, or three, often with their laptops open to do emails. When the games for the day were over, I think folks went back to their desks and worked even harder for Google. They were happy and thus able to be even more productive and innovative.

There seems to be a trend for kids skipping college and teaching themselves. Is that something you’ve noticed? I’ve read about the folks who are advocating people skip college etc., but I haven’t seen enough folks at Google to recognize any specific trend in this regard at our company. That said, I am aware of colleagues who did go the non-academic route who are very successful at Google. I’m a big advocate of people following their own paths and can understand people perhaps wanting to follow that passion immediately versus spending time going to college. You see it in sports and entertainment, for example, and you see folks like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and think, “Hell, I can be like them.” When I see a candidate who didn’t go the traditional school route I am particularly interested, as I am with any candidate, in understanding the path they’ve taken thus far and the reasons for the decisions they have made. If they have experiences that demonstrate the cognitive ability and skill set required for a role I’m hiring for, and the explanation of their path makes sense and speaks to their passion, leadership, and intelligence, then I’d be delighted to have them on the team. Continuing on this for a moment, at Google I think we pride ourselves on our analytical approach to understanding our busi-

ness, and our people. We’ve done a fair amount of research into understanding our most successful people at Google and some of that research suggests that things like GPA and name brand school are not necessarily great proxies for success at Google. When you think about someone’s general cognitive ability to be successful in our environment, it’s about their ability to learn on the fly and to pull together various and often dissimilar bits of information to solve problems. All this said, though, for me personally, the academic path was absolutely instrumental to my ability to be successful professionally and in an environment like Google. To start, my liberal arts education opened up a whole world to me and taught me how to think across a broad range of subjects. My business degree to a large extent taught me not only key tools to help me be more analytical in problem solving, but it also helped me understand how to structure my approach to problem solving.

What’s new at Google? An amazing thing about working at Google is the truly game changing area in which we’re diving. Google’s original mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – is both crystal clear and audacious, and when I joined more than seven years ago, it was pretty evident how each new area of business – via either internal development or through acquisition – linked to that mission statement. The development of Android software to move into the mobile phone space, for example, was an effort to extend the accessibility of information. But as we’ve progressed through the years, it’s not always immediately clear how it links back and I always enjoy the challenge of understanding how it all fits. One cool project we’re working on is the development of a smart contact lens that’s exploring the possibility of measuring glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip. The lens could monitor and then warn people like my late grandfather, who suffered from diabetes for years to the point of having to have both of his legs amputated, of concerning changes in glucose levels. Our emerging effort to design tiny magnetic particles – called nanoparticles – that, from what I can understand, could ride through the body patrolling for signs of cancer and other diseases, is fascinating. The possibility of this kind of technology is still being explored, but imagine these nanoparticles could attach themselves to red blood cells, proteins or other molecules and – via a wearable monitoring device with a magnet

to attract and count the particles – we could have an early warning system for cancer and other diseases. My colleague Andy Conrad’s dream is for technology like this to usher in a new era of preventative medicine. Another area I’ve been following closely is with regard to Internet access, as I really believe in our efforts to help the Internet reach its maximum potential to make people’s lives better. That’s why we’ve always invested in projects that help the Internet grow, from Chrome to Google Fiber, and why we continue to develop new technologies that have the potential to bring hundreds of millions more people online in the coming years. For example, Project Loon is a system of balloons, carried by winds in the stratosphere, that can beam Internet access to rural, remote and underserved areas down on earth below at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster. The world needs more people trying new approaches to Internet access – two out of three people on the planet are still not online. Most people think current approaches will get us there, but they’re not. That’s why we thought Loon was worth a shot. And another project that I find particularly interesting – as do most people I talk to about Google – is the self-driving car. We believe a fully autonomous operating car could significantly reduce road injuries and deaths. Over 1.2 million people are killed in traffic accidents worldwide every year; in the US alone, it’s like a 737 crashing every weekday all year long.

What does the security aspect of your job entail? Our approach to security is multifaceted and covers a breadth of areas of responsibility. The most public facing and easiest to talk about is the physical security of our offices and employees around the world. This would include, among other things, being involved in the designs of our spaces around the world, the security systems we implement and the people at each location responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the space and people. There’s also a big chunk of the role that pulls in my previous life in foreign policy in the Canadian government as we’re constantly evaluating ongoing situations around the world and their possible impact on Google. As you can imagine, Google has a pretty significant global presence that requires us to really think through the appropriate approach we’ll take to a given IA situation.

Thank you, Shannon Deegan. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015 IRISH AMERICA 115

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Remembering Kate Dr. Garret FitzGerald writes about his late wife.

ate FitzGerald died peacefully on August 4, at home in Philadelphia with her family. Born to Catherine and Niall O’Connor on December 14, 1949, Kate grew up in Dublin; she attended Rathnew, studying history and archaeology at UCD. A gifted artist, she had initially enrolled in the College of Art, and retained her love of art, her creativity and her sense of democratic insurgency throughout her life. Her humor, intelligence and utter selflessness made for lifelong friends across the world. Kate and I married and she became a mother while we were still students. She quickly learned that the Ireland of the 1960s made little accommodation for young families. But ever practical, she made a home for her impecunious family by co-founding a daycare center that lasts to this day in Donnybrook, developing a hundred ways to cook and preKate FitzGerald pare mincemeat and wielding a glue gun and a paintbrush with an imagination and determination that would rival Martha Stewart. These talents she sustained as the family moved from the city, the respect of her colleagues and, best of all, the love to London, Nashville, Dublin, Philadelphia and Rome. of her pupils. In London, now with two children, John and Genevieve, Kate With our children grown, Kate had the opportunity to return to endured hospital accommodation in the immediate vicinity of her art, to travel widely and to spend time with time in our apartWormwood Scrubs. She used humor as an antidote to the bleak ment in Rome. There on her 60th birthday, friends, including classenvironment and worked at various jobs. The most interesting of mates from Rathnew, traveled from 11 countries to celebrate. these was hiring strippers to perform at lunchtime in a wine bar. Amongst those was the poet Billy Collins, who remembers her She enjoyed backstage chats with the girls as they knitted for their with the verses below. babies, even as cabs kept the engine running to take them to their She took great pride in our children and what wonderful parents next engagement. John and Genevieve were, and how they and Hugo had such supMoving to Nashville, but not before she had voted against Mar- porting partners, Missy, Andrew and Jen. Her grandchildren, Ben garet Thatcher’s first election, Kate felt at first that she had landed and Madeleine DeLemos and Matias and Zoe FitzGerald, were on the moon. However, she soon came to appreciate the hospital- her special joy and kept her happy, laughing and at peace during ity, friendliness and ease of the environment as her third child, her final illness. Hugo, joined the family, and she Kate had such a love of animals made lasting friends. that she was known in the family as Unable to counter my homing Madame Noah. She fed birds in winA long table in a roof garden, gene, Kate sustained and supported ter, supported her rescue dogs, Scotty platters of tomatoes, meats, cheeses, me during a brief but bruising return and Savannah, and her cats, Suki, then bowls of fruit, berries, cookies with jam, to Dublin in the early 90s. Next we Spooky, Max, Stella and Mimi to and glasses everywhere, a glassy forest of wine bottles, moved to Wayne, a suburb of longevity. She marveled at the deer, all enclosed in latticed sunlight, Philadelphia, where she worked in groundhogs, bees, ducks, squirrels, a geometry of other roofs spread across the view. the gardening program at Shipley woodpeckers and owls that visited School and led her students to mulher flower filled garden. But the deeper reason the six of us tiple awards at the Philadelphia Kate FitzGerald was a selfless perstretched lunch into early evening Flower Show. Then she embarked son, endowed with artistic, culinary, was the six of us, one disappearing every now and then down the narrow stairs on a long career working in the West pedagogic and horticultural talent, to hoist more bottles of red and white Philadelphia High School, teaching devoted to her family and to her so we could keep toasting life under the sun. English and History, and infusing her pupils, for whom she worked tirepupils, often from very deprived lessly. As one of her friends said of Kate, who just stepped away, backgrounds, with her love of hisher, “She was an adorable person an empty chair under a Roman sky, tory and fluency in English. She with a rebel attitude.” you who encouraged us to carpe that long diem, bought school supplies and buckets Besides her immediate family, who knew then that you would lead the way? to catch leaking rainwater, argued Kate is survived by her sisters Rose and advocated for her students in Levine and Jane Sheeran and her Forgive us now for staying so long, court and attended too many of their brothers Patrick, Francis and Johnnie and we will forgive you for leaving too soon. IA – Billy Collins funerals. Her work attracted awards O’Connor.







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Family Pictures

Ma Bell and Mom

Christine Daly at her NY Telephone Company Operation Board circa the early 1970s.


y mother Christine Daly (née Flynn), born in CastleGregory, County Kerry, came to the U.S. in 1949 when her Aunt Molly sponsored her. She met our late dad – Patrick Daly – also from Kerry (Killarney) and married him in 1951. I came along in 1952, my sister Ann in ’53 and our brother Michael in ’55. Our Irish parents raised us in the beautiful Bronx, and the three Daly ‘kids’ owe all our success in life to their example of hard work and devotion to their adopted homeland. This photograph of Mom, circa early 1970s, shows her at her New York Telephone Company operator board. She worked as a long distance call operator in the Bronx and then in New Jersey after the family moved to Bergen County in 1976. “Ma Bell” was a great company for many Irish immigrants

here in New York. She worked at the phone company for over 20 years. Our Mom is still active in “The Pioneers,” the retirement club for the telephone company workers. She is a very loving grandmother to her six grandchildren, Laura, Ryan, Courtney, Keelan, Colin and Sarah Christine. They are all very proud of their Flynn and Daly family heritage! Mom stays in touch with her extended family in Ireland who are now located throughout Kerry, Cork and Dublin. Her nieces, nephews and cousins are always welcome when they visit the U.S. – Martin Daly

Martin Daly is Senior Vice President and Director of News and Late Night Sales for CBS, see Business 100 profile.

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Adam Farley at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. You can also e-mail the picture to 118 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2015

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The Coca-Cola Company congratulates the 2014 Irish America Business 100 Honorees

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©2014 The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola,” “open happiness” and the Contour Bottle are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

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