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IRISH AMERICA August/September 2009

Vol. 24 No. 4

FEATURES 34 THE HUMAN CRY An appreciation of Francis Bacon by the artist David Remfry. 38 THE LIFE OF BRIAN Bank of America’s president of global banking & wealth management talks to Patricia Harty about the economy, Ireland and Notre Dame. 43 THE WALL STREET 50 A celebration of the best and the brightest Irish demonstrating excellence in the financial industry. 62 ROBERTS’ RULES FOR SUCCESS Her husband may be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but Jane Sullivan Roberts is an amazing success story all of her own. By Niall O'Dowd.

73 AN GHORTA MÓR Christine Kinealy discusses the international response to Ireland’s Great Starvation.




67 THE SHANNON REGION County Clare lies in the heart of the Shannon region and offers a host of wonders. By Sharon Ní Chonchúir.


78 TRADING WITH THE ENEMY How Irish merchants fanned the flames of revolution in America. By Tom Deignan. 81 THE IRISH IN EARLY BASEBALL Sons of Irish immigrants can boast over two dozen spots in the Baseball Hall of Fame. By David Fleitz.


86 CIVILIZATION ON TRIAL Kara Rota speaks with Thomas Cahill about his new book, A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green. 106 STOP THE SILENCE Paul Hill writes that the sacrifice of the heroes of 9/11 must not be used as a justification for torture.

34 6 8 10 12 16 32

Contributors The First Word Letters News from Ireland Hibernia Quote Unquote


80 90 92 94 98 102

Roots Books Crossword Music Sláinte Photo Album






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{contributors} Vol. 24 No. 4 • August / September 2009


DAVID REMFRY, who writes about Francis Bacon in this issue, has an artistic career that spans more than 30 years. A figurative painter born and trained in England, and now living in New York, Remfry has a long-established reputation as a draftsman and watercolorist, having had over 50 solo exhibitions in Europe and America. Remfry works almost exclusively in watercolor, but not in the conventional way of small, polite landscapes. His watercolors are large; some single-figure pieces are practically life-size, and his subjects are decidedly urban. He is a member of The Royal Academy of Arts in London.

CHRISTINE KINEALY, who writes on the international response to the Famine in this issue, is a professor of Irish History at Drew University. She is author of a number of books on the Great Hunger, including This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-1852; A New History of Ireland; The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion; and The Hidden Famine: Hunger, Poverty and Sectarianism in Belfast 184050. Her latest publication, Repeal and Revolution: 1848 in Ireland, is being published by Manchester University Press in July 2009.

IRISH AMERICA 875 SIXTH AVENUE, SUITE 2100, N.Y., NY 10001 TEL: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344 E-MAIL: irishamag @ aol.com WEB: http://www.irishamerica.com

Mortas Cine Pride In Our Heritage

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd

Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty

Art Director:

Marian Fairweather

Assistant Editor: Kara Rota

Vice President of Marketing: Kathleen Overbeck

Director Special Projects Turlough McConnell

Financial Controller: DAVID FLEITZ, pictured here in an old style baseball uniform, is a writer and sports historian from Royal Oak, Michigan, and the author of The Irish in Baseball: An Early History. The book was released by McFarland Publishing in May of 2009. David decided to write the book on discovering that more than two dozen sons of Irish immigrants, who played in the 1880-1920 period, are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and many other great Irish players made their mark on the game as well. Also, as he has a little bit of Irish ancestry himself, the exploits of these Irish players, managers, and umpires were interesting to him.


Kevin M. Mangan

Copy Editor:

IAN WORPOLE is a painter and illustrator who came to this country from England and is now a resident of Woodstock, New York. He is an avid traditional Irish and Celtic musician, and in this issue interviews Frankie Gavin of De Dannan. “Believe it or not, the Hudson Valley is a hotbed of Irish sessions and great players,” he says.

John Anderson

Editorial Assistants: Tara Dougherty Andrew Phillips

Marketing Interns: Joanna Hayes and Kelly McDerby

Writers at Large: Bridget English and Declan O’Kelly

Irish America Magazine ISSN 0884-4240) © by Irish America Inc. Published bi-monthly. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 080995277. Editorial office: 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212 725-2993. Fax: 212-244-3344 E-mail: Irishamag@aol.com. Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-5826642. Subscription queries: 1-800-582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 16. 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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{the first word}

Finding Strength in Our Ancestors


am remembering a day around this time of year in the early seventies. My mother is driving me across the county to retrieve a suitcase I had loaned a friend. We are silent for long stretches as my mother navigates through the country roads of Tipperary passing from North Riding into South. She is never comfortable driving, always has both hands on the wheel as if propelling the car forward by sheer force of will. It’s beautiful farm country, lush green fields, and roads that had still to be widened with EC money. There is little traffic. Ireland back then had a sleepy quality; those who had jobs went about them quietly – those who didn’t, emigrated – there was no hint of the industry that was to come. “There’s nothing for you here,” my mother said as if reading my thoughts, giving me the final push out of the nest. She had brought us up with the maxim that “travel broadens the mind,” and I was about to begin my journey. And so it was on July 4, 1972 that my brother Henry and my cousin John picked me up at J.F.K airport. Home became a basement apartment in the Bronx that I shared with Nora and Philomena, two sisters from Mayo. It was next door to The Ranch, the local bar that was the center of our lives. It was here we stopped after our shifts as waitresses and bartenders, construction worker and sandhogs. It was where we got news of home and heard of work and received advice on how to navigate our way. I had never traveled much outside my own county, but here I met lads from Connemara and girls from Cork and a girl whose brother was interned in Northern Ireland. You could say that in New York I truly came to know Ireland. By the end of that year, I would also come to know Irish America. As that first summer drew to a close, I bought a Greyhound bus ticket for $99 that allowed unlimited travel for three months. You could get on and off wherever you liked in the United States and Canada, and three friends and I did just that. We went to Medicine Bow, Wyoming because I had a crush on Trampas (Doug McClure) from the TV series The Virginian. We danced the two step with real cowboys in Montana and had our photos taken for the local newspaper in Walzenburg, Colorado – because we were “real Irish.” We traveled south to New Orleans, north to Canada, and as far west as California, and along the way we met a lot of



“There’s no sense of entitlement, no sense of placement, it’s all a sense of you’ve got to go out and work hard to get there. It doesn’t all break your way all the time, so you’ve got to just power through it. I think that’s deeply imbedded in the culture of the Irish.” – Brian Moynihan, whose ancestors left Ireland in 1850.

people who told us they were Irish, though they had never been to Ireland. I didn’t know the story of the Irish in America when I started out on my journey, We had been told about the Famine in school and the “coffin ships,” but they didn’t tell us what happened after that. No one mentioned how many died on the journey or that thousands were buried in mass graves on Grosse Île and all along the St. Charles River in Canada. They didn’t tell us that in New Orleans the Irish died of yellow fever building the canals, or that there’s a statue to “Margaret,” an Irish woman who built an orphanage and supported it with a bakery, though she could neither read or write. They didn’t tell us about the Irish who fought in the Civil War, built the railroads, panned for gold and built great education systems. And no one said that there were 40 million Irish in America, so that I needn’t worry, I would always feel at home. I didn’t learn all of the history of Irish America on that trip around the country, but it was the beginning of an understanding. And years later, in 1985, when I helped found Irish America magazine, the people I met – who carried Ireland in their hearts and treated us like family – were the ones we had in mind to reach. At the end of our travels we arrived back in the Bronx and my friends departed for Ireland. I stayed on. I have never regretted that decision. Every July 4th I celebrate what I’ve come to call “my Independence Day.” I love America. I am grateful too that when the going gets rough I can find that place called Irish America and know the support and caring and the comfort of being amongst my own. Those early Irish ancestors knew, as Brian Moynihan reminds us, “It doesn’t all break your way all the time, so you’ve got to just power through it.” It’s good advice for these uncertain times. This is a great country and the Irish who helped build it were not quitters. We can take strength from that, and from those ancestors who would say to us that it’s a time to look to family and community and “power on through it” together. On an end note, I would like to say that the support we received from sponsors and advertisers for this issue, given so freely despite the economy, brought a sense of being part of a wider family, and reminded me of all of you across the country who opened your hearts and your homes to four young immigrant Irish girls all those years ago. Mortas Cine.



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about Major League Baseball’s love affair with Irish Americans? It is really obvious here in Chicago and might be in other cities too. They manufacture all sorts of Cubs and White Sox merchandise specifically for “Irish” fans. Flags, hats, t-shirts, etc. with shamrocks or in Kelly green or that actually say the word Irish on them. I don't see much of that for the other nationalities even though Chicago is a very multicultural city and our teams have African American, German, Polish, Italian, Chinese, Serbian, Puerto Rican, etc. fans that are just as enthusiastic. Keep up the good work,

Loved your latest issue. Especially loved the Beckett and Wilde stories and the excerpt from Colum McCann’s new book. And I loved those pictures of the launch of IrishCentral. And the one of Liam and Natasha at your Top 100 celebration. It was bittersweet. Holly Millea New York, New York

THE ABSURD WIGS I was delighted to see a letter dealing with the absurd issue of the new look in Irish dancers. The wigs, the makeup, tans and dresses all begin to detract from the wonderful talent and hard work of these young dancers. We need to celebrate their delightful individuality. Let their own brown, red and black hair fly as they dance. Let their lovely childhood faces shine in their efforts. We don't need makeup on young girls. Perhaps with these more difficult economic times we can put away the unnecessary expense of all that glitter and curl and get back to enjoying the exuberance of skilled and happy dancers of all ages. Watching a wonderful group of dancers from the Bronx, NY, PS 59, I was struck by how they loved their dancing and there was not a wig in the crowd. I have a feeling that parents, dancers and audiences alike will be pleased with a simpler, purer presentation. Then we get to focus on the beauty of the dance.

Kelly Naughton Chicago, Illinois

Editor’s Note: Hope you enjoy our story on the Irish in the early days of baseball in this issue.


FORGET THE LISTS I enjoy your magazine and pass it on to my neighbors so it gets around but I agree with Patrick Roe from Wisconsin and Bill Kelly (April/May issue) regarding the business-oriented lists printed in each issue. They are “too much.” Please give us some something different to read. There are endless stories about Ireland and the history that are not well publicized. No more business people. Maureen Devaney Woodside, New York

Eileen Flockhart Exeter, New Hampshire

I adore Irish dancing. Luckily, when I watch, I'm 99 percent looking at their feet, because those curly wigs are hideous. What is wrong with natural Irish hair, some of the prettiest in the world? Plus, who mandated that the wigs should be curly? Most Irish have straight hair, judging by my family and everyone I’ve ever known. At least with the wigs, all the girls' hairdos look equally goofy. But they really should go; they truly look stupid. Mary Neville Chicago, Illinois


DREAMY BROTHERS & THE IRISH LOVE OF BASEBALL I love your magazine and have been reading it for a long time. However, I just wanted to point out that in the June/July 2009 issue there was a mistake. On page 26, Kara refers to Ralph Fiennes’ “dreamy” portrayal of the Bard in the movie Shakespeare in Love, but it was actually his brother Joseph acting in that role. Joseph is a great actor too, but not nearly as well known as his brother. He needs to get credit when it is due to him. Also, I have an idea for a story. How

I am writing about Sinn Féin’s second U.S. Unite Ireland Forum held on June 27 in San Francisco during which Gerry Adams stated that “Irish America holds the key to a united Ireland.” Can someone please explain how Irish America holds the key to a united Ireland? Can someone please explain why no one in the media asks this question of Mr. Adams? Mr. Adams knows perfectly well that Irish America has absolutely no say in the matter. Even if every single person in the worldwide Irish diaspora wanted Ireland reunited it wouldn’t make one bit of difference. Gerry Adams knows exactly how a united Ireland can be achieved. He knows this because it is very clearly stated in the Good Friday Agreement which he signed. In reference to reunification the document states: “to bring about a united Ireland . . . this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland” (see page three of the agreement at www.nio.gov.uk/agreement.pdf). Let’s at least be honest about how Ireland can be reunited. Since the majority of people living in the North are Protestant and favor remaining in the United Kingdom (i.e. unionists), the Good Friday Agreement has given unionists veto power over the issue of Irish reunification. Jane Enright Woodside, New York



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{ news from ireland} By Frank Shouldice

McAleese Makes Apology to Victims


RESIDENT Mary McAleese made an official apology to victims of institutional abuse in an emotional ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin (residency of the President of Ireland). President McAleese invited over 300 former victims to a reception at the Áras to mark full recognition of what happened to generations of children at the hands of church and state authorities through the mid- and late-1900’s. One survivor, Christine Buckley, who suffered heavily at the Goldenbridge orphanage in Dublin, described it as “a day of happiness and a day of love and a day of deep sadness. It took us 25 years to be believed.” The reception followed publication of the findings by the Ryan Commission, an extensive investigation into practices at orphanages, borstal or “industrial schools” run by the religious orders. The 2,600-page report found that molestation and rape was “endemic” in facilities run for boys and humiliation was equally commonplace for girls placed in convent schools. Both the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy were castigated by the report, which drew on the testimonies of over 1,000 witnesses. Now aged in range from their 50’s to 70’s, many of those who testified had suffered severe abuse during their childhood. They traveled back to Ireland from the U.S., Australia and Britain in what many hope will be a definitive account of one of the blackest periods in the Catholic Church’s history in Ireland. It did not help the Christian Brothers’ reputation that they delayed the investigation for over a year by successfully insisting on the anonymity of individual Brothers named by witnesses. Judge Mary Laffoy, who originally chaired the Commission, resigned in 2003 over frustration that key documents were being withheld by the Department of Education, which administered the industrial school system. One victim, John Walsh, told reporters the report could not heal the wounds that had been inflicted so many years ago. “The little comfort we have is the knowledge that it vindicated the victims who


were raped and sexually abused,” he said. “I’m very angry, very bitter, and feel cheated and deceived. I would have never opened my wounds if I’d known this was going to be the end result. It has devastated me and will devastate most victims because there is no criminal proceedings and no accountability whatsoever.” Although there have been numerous reports and several TV documentaries – one featuring Christine Buckley – about systematic abuse suffered by those placed in care of religious orders, the Ryan Report revealed sexual, physical and psychological abuse at a level of severity and

The explicit horrors revealed by the Ryan Report renewed speculation over a highly secretive deal brokered by former government minister Michael Woods with the congregations in 2002. In that deal the legal representatives of the Church managed to elicit a money-saving liability limit of 128 million euros for compensation claims likely to emerge in subsequent years. The compensation bill has since topped the 1 billion euro mark and many feel that church congregations, whose own members carried out the abuse, have got off very lightly. Mr. Woods, a Fianna Fáil veteran with strong religious convictions, has defended the 2002 deal, arguing that the Irish state accepted a majority share of the legal responsibility because the children suffered abuse while under the supervision of the state. He was supported by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe, who said renegotiation of the Catholic Church’s liability to victims was not legally possible. However, public anger surrounding the Ryan Report has pushed the debate further, leaving the Catholic Church more open than before to the possibility of renegotiating its limit of financial liability. Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the state should push for renegotiation of terms and John Gormley, leader of the Green Party in coalition with Fianna Fáil, said there is a “moral responsibility on the Church authorities to live up President Mary McAleese made an apology to to their Christian values” regarding around 300 victims of institutional abuse. the treatment of abuse victims. scale few could believe possible. Reflecting public sentiment, a book of Days after the report, former mayor of solidarity was opened to the public at the Clonmel Michael O’Brien, once a resiMansion House in Dublin. Thousands of dent of Ferryhouse industrial school in people signed the book in sympathy with Co. Tipperary, stunned viewers with an the victims, but the Catholic Church has impassioned demand for recognition. yet to make a concrete offer on how it Appearing as an audience member of intends to take financial responsibility for RTE’s usually mild-mannered ‘Questions redress to victims. For the victims, howand Answers’ program, O’Brien cut ever, a generous and sympathetic receploose, explosively recalling childhood tion by the state’s top leader marked a memories of ritual clerical abuse. He welcome, if overdue, change of approach. called on the government to stop prevari“It was a brilliant day – I feel a free man cating on the issue as well as demanding now,” enthused Michael O’Brien afterthat church congregations accept their wards. “The President did us and the peoresponsibilities for what happened. ple of Ireland proud today.”



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Romanians Quit Belfast


Ryanair chief executive officer Michael O’Leary.

Ryanair Dispute With Shannon


YANAIR, Europe’s leading low-cost airline, is set to face a legal suit from Shannon airport following Ryanair’s decision to cut services to the facility. Following Aer Lingus’ highly disputed withdrawal of its Shannon-London route – later reinstated on a lesser frequency – Ryanair was given favorable terms on a deal to make Shannon a base in the west of Ireland. Part of the five-year deal cut by half the standard airport charges for departing Ryanair passengers. However, the concession was based on traffic volumes of almost two million passengers annually by the end of April next year, and the actual figures have come in significantly lower than that. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary blamed the government’s 10-euro air travel tax for declining figures and he vowed to contest any compensation claim by Shannon Airport Authority (SAA). “The Shannon base could well be closed,” said O’Leary. “If there is any increase in the cost base it will disappear. I have no desire to sustain (a loss-making enterprise) in the west of Ireland when Ryanair gets no thanks from the government or the tourist bodies there for our Shannon service.” The SAA is considering compensation in the region of 2 million euros. The shutdown comes amid a serious fall-off in transatlantic volumes with Delta withdrawing its winter service from New York to Shannon and Aer Lingus dropping its Chicago route.

LMOST 100 Romanians fled Northern Ireland following a spate of racist attacks.Their homes in The Village neighborhood of South Belfast were targeted by young loyalist gangs, forcing the group – including 49 children – to take shelter nearby in the City Church on University Avenue.The church subsequently had many of its windows broken by stone throwers. Although the attacks have been blamed on tensions arising from growing unemployment and competition for social services in South Belfast, the incident has soured positive feelings about post-ceasefire Northern Ireland. The attack appalled many ordinary people in Belfast and effectively put the spotlight on what is often referred to as “new sectarianism” in Northern Ireland. Pastor Malcolm Morgan discovered the damage to his church when he arrived the following day. “It would be easy to conclude that it was someone who did not like our work with the Romanians, but that is only guesswork,” he told reporters. “If it is, I think that is very sad.We had nothing but positive comments all last week – so many emails and local folk thanking us – so it was quite a surprise this morning.” Only 17 of the Romanians targeted have decided to stay on in Belfast, while the majority took a flight home to Bucharest. Margaret Ritchie, Minister for Social Development at the Northern Ireland Assembly, said the violence against non-Irish nationals had to stop. “It’s now time we took a serious look at ourselves,” she said. “There is now an urgency and an imperative to build a shared society. We live apart.We are educated apart, and therefore it is no surprise that this is a themand-us attitude.We have to work to challenge that attitude.There must be total respect for political, religious and ethnic differences.” The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is investigating the matter. Anna Lo, a Chinese national who was elected to the Assembly as a representative of the Alliance Party, criticized the PSNI for its slow response to emergency calls when gangs ran amok at the homes of the beleaguered Romanians. It was later revealed that the Alliance MLA received hate mail for her support of the immigrant victims.




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{news from ireland} Shell to Sea protest.

News In Brief • UNEMPLOYMENT in Ireland is set to hit

the half-million mark if current rates of job layoffs are to continue. The Live Register recorded 413,500 people out of work in June, an increase of almost 200,000 people from last year. The job crisis has knocked the government’s austerity drive backwards as the combined effect of a reduced taxtake along with increased expenditure on social welfare will cost the government in the region of 4 billion euros per annum. Politically, it is yet another blow for Taoiseach Brian Cowan whose tenure has been marked by some 520 jobs lost each day he has been in office . . .

IRELAND has agreed to accommodate two Uzbek detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the two men would be repatriated in Ireland “when the prison closes or when they are released” under an agreement between Dublin and Washington. Amnesty International welcomed the announcement and Amnesty’s executive director Colm O’Gorman reiterated claims that Shannon airport was used as a “launching pad for rendition operations by the CIA.” The government has been reluctant to press the issue in the past, accepting verbal assurances from Washington that no such CIA operations that would contravene Irish neutrality ever took place in Shannon . . .

Brian O’Driscoll, left, the winning Leinster captain.

LEINSTER completed a magical season for Irish rugby by winning the Heineken European Cup. Captained by Brian O’Driscoll, who also led Ireland to Grand Slam this year, Leinster defeated Leicester in a thrilling final to take the prestigious title, the principal tournament in European club rugby.


Protest Continues Against Shell Pipeline


HEAVY garda (Irish police) presence has been detailed to provide protection for the controversial Corrib gas facility in Broadhaven Bay on the northern coast of Co. Mayo. The gas refinery project is moving into a key final phase with the laying of a pipeline in the bay leading to the proposed inland refinery at Bellanaboy. Local residents have protested against the pipeline and refinery on safety grounds and they have been joined by environmental activists opposed to the Shell (Ireland) plan. Despite sustained and often bitter exchanges – which four years ago led to the imprisonment for 94 days of local men known as the Rossport Five – the Corrib gas project appears to be going ahead.The world’s largest pipe-laying ship ‘Solitaire’ is currently assembling the pipeline in Broadhaven Bay. Local fishermen have been angered by the implementation of a legally vague ‘exclusion zone’ to prevent small craft from getting near ‘Solitaire’ and impeding its work.The Erris Inshore Fisherman’s Association (EIFA), which reached agreement with Shell about the pipe-laying scheme, said it was “gravely concerned” that the government had allowed such a situation to develop without legal clarity. “It is not good enough for a legislative authority to refuse to take responsibility for this project once again, as it has done from day one,” EIFA chairman Eddie Diver said in a statement to the Irish Times. He was speaking after gardai had arrested two local fishermen and confiscated their fishing boats under the Maritime Safety Act. It is not the only controversial incident surrounding this phase of the operation. Prior to ‘Solitaire’s arrival, a trawler belonging to Pat O’Donnell was sunk in mysterious circumstances. Mr. O’Donnell, a vocal opponent of the gas pipeline, and crewman Martin McDonnell allege that they were threatened by a gang of masked men who boarded the ‘Iona Isle’ before sinking it. It remains unclear what exactly happened, or why. Meanwhile, two Irish Navy ships are patrolling the area. Shell’s private security company is also actively offering assistance to garda operations in Broadhaven Bay and about 300 garda officers have held the line ashore. IA



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{ hibernia }



THE GREAT HUNGER Remembered “A million a decade of human wrecks. Corpses lying in fever sheds. Corpses huddled on floundering decks, and shroudless dead on their rocky beds. Nerve and muscle and heart and brain, lost to Ireland – lost in vain.” - Inscription on memorial in Skibbereen, County Cork


his year, over a century and a half past the end of An Ghorta Mór (the great starvation) that claimed over one million lives between 1845 and 1851, Ireland at long last declared May 17, 2009 the first National Famine Memorial Day. During that six-year span some two million people left Ireland to escape the hunger, while those left at home were vulnerable to death by starvation and famineinduced ailments including malnutrition, measles, tuberculosis, whooping cough and cholera. Skibbereen, County Cork, one of the areas affected the worst, was chosen as the host town for the inaugural National Famine Memorial Day. On May 17, after a week of lectures, memorial walks and performances, remembrances began at O’Donovan Rossa Park, followed by a walk led by Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív to Skibbereen’s Abbeystrowry Cemetery, where between 8,000 to 10,000 victims are buried in a mass grave. That night, the Skibbereen Theatre Society presented Jim Minogue’s award-winning play Flight to Grosse Île at the Town Hall. In the days prior to the Skibbereen commemoration, Ó Cuív traveled to Canada to unveil a plaque on Grosse Île. The island, in the St. Lawrence River near Quebec City, served as a quarantine station during the worst years of the Famine years. Known locally as “L’Île des Irlandais”— The Island of the Irish— it was the first port of call for many of the Famine immigrants who survived the Atlantic crossing only to succumb to “ship’s fever.” Several thousand are buried in mass graves on the island. Minister Ó Cuív said, “The instinct for


survival, the will to live, which had seen the famine emigrants survive the calamity and the ocean crossing, must have been extraordinarily strong. It must have been one of the main factors that enabled them, and in time their children, to put down firm roots in their new countries. This determination to survive and to succeed was passed on to later generations of the Irish of the diaspora, and must have inspired them as they made their mark and reached the top in every area of the new societies in which they settled. We must ensure that the catastrophic events of the Great Famine are appropriately remembered and that the extraordinary contributions of those who emigrated, and of their many descendants abroad, are justly celebrated.” Ó Cuív remarked on the importance of using the commemoration of the Famine to raise awareness about those suffering starvation throughout the world. Marianna O’Gallagher, who has played an integral role in Canada’s commemoration efforts since the 1980s, remembered a similar sentiment when President Mary Robinson spoke at Grosse Île in 1994. “She made it very clear that famine, our famine, should not be forgotten, but much more — that we must realize that famine still exists around the world today, and for many of the same reasons: the heartlessness of governments with regard to care of their people.” Of course, many groups in Ireland, Canada and America have been commem-

L to R: Mary Pat Kelly at the Grainne statue in Chicago. Commemoration in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. Grandchildren of Michael Blanch, chairman of the Committee for the Commemoration of Famine Victims, at the Dublin event.

orating the Great Famine long before their governments recognized a day in its memorial. “Certainly here in Canada we have been remembering 1847 for a hundred years … now the world is getting into the act,” said Marianna O’Gallagher. “The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) has been holding pilgrimages to Grosse Île almost continually from about the 1890s. In 1909, in a ceremony that drew thousands, the AOH unveiled a 46-foothigh Celtic cross on Grosse Île atop Telegraph Hill, the highest point on the island. In the 1920s and 30s the pilgrim-



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age was an annual affair from Quebec City.” The Ancient Order of Hibernians will host a three-day celebration of the Centenary of the Cross on August 14, 15 and 16, 2009. AOH members from across Canada, the United States, Ireland and Europe are expected to attend. The New York Consulate General of Ireland held a series of lectures by prominent writers, professors and scholars of the Famine in correlation with the National Famine Memorial Day. The series reflected on the role of the Famine in drastically and permanently changing the history of both Ireland and New York, where many Irish emigrants sought refuge. Cathal Póirtéir, an expert on the Famine, drew from folklore to detail memories of those terrible times as they were kept alive in Irish-speaking communities. Christine Kinealy, author of The Great Calamity, spoke about the international response to the tragedy (see page 73), while Professor Maureen Murphy, Hofstra University, talked about the Great Irish Famine Curriculum and the pedagogy that was developed to teach the curriculum in New York. Mary Pat Kelly drew from her book Galway Bay, which tells the story of the Kelly and Keeley families of Bearna, County Galway and the challenges they faced when they settled in the Chicago area. “I prefer to call it the Great Starvation rather than the Great Famine or, as it is sometimes referred to, the Great Hunger,” said Kelly. “For Americans, to say ‘famine’ implies there was no food in the country, but food was being exported all those years.” Kelly, who also spoke at the Chicago commemoration hosted by The American Ireland Fund in conjunction with Old St. Patrick’s Parish and the Consul General of Ireland, believes that the phrase ‘Great Starvation’ encapsulates how “the relief efforts were so hampered by the ideology” of the policies and practices of the ruling class that prevented working-class Irish citizens’ access to food while grain was simultaneously being exported for profit. Another truly meaningful commemoration took place in Springfield, MA. An Irish-American society known as the John Boyle O’Reilly Club began its first food drive before St. Patrick’s Day to collect donations for the Open Pantry in Springfield and to commemorate victims of the Great Famine, without knowing their efforts would coincide with the first National Famine Memorial Day. Eric R. Devine, president of the John Boyle O’Reilly Club, said that the food drive’s success was “better than expected.” While the club intended to close the drive after St. Patrick’s Day, the tremendous amount of donations convinced them to continue it into May. Devine said, “We wanted to do our part to see if we could help out.” – Kara Rota For more information on the Centenary of the Cross: Tom Gargan, National Chair – 2009 Project via email at RESERVATIONS@AOH-2009.COM, or by calling (514) 639-0914 or (514) 928-7196.

OLD ST. PAT’S CELEBRATES 200 YEARS ver 1,000 people crowded into Manhattan’s Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral on June 7 to mark its bicentennial.The mass was celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who wore a cross that belonged to John Hughes, the first archbishop of the old church, which was home for the New York archdiocese until 1879 when the new cathedral opened on Fifth Avenue. Dolan also announced that he has asked the Pope to declare the church a basilica because of its historic significance. Construction began in 1809 but lack of funding as well as embargoes during the War of 1812 delayed the dedication until 1815.Thus, the bicentennial will be celebrated for six years as well. Long known as the church of the immigrants, St. Patrick’s welcomed everyone but the area was heavily Irish in the early years of the 19th century, when members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians were often called on to protect the church during antiCatholic riots. Today most parishioners are Asian and Latino. Mass was followed by a parade through the neighborhood. Re-enactors from the famed Irish Brigade commemorated the original mass that was said for them before they marched Archbishop Timothy Dolan with off to fight in Andrew Thi, parochial vicar of St. Pat’s. the Civil War. Police and Fire Department Emerald Societies marched, as did the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Knights of Columbus, and other groups.A scale model of the church itself was pulled along on a float. “It was such a happy day,” said James Garrity, the church historian and officer of the New York Irish History Roundtable. “The new archbishop was very friendly and people were overjoyed by that.” Many prominent Irish Americans are buried in the church yard cemetery and in the labyrinth of crypts beneath the church, including Honest John Kelly, the first Catholic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the man who helped bring down Boss Tweed. Buried under the sidewalk in front of the church door is the church’s third bishop, John DuBois, a French refugee who was given a hard time by the parishioners who would have preferred an Irish priest. DuBois’ sidewalk marker reads: “So you can walk all over me in death as you did in life.” IA - Marian Betancourt









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{ irish eye on hollywood} By Tom Deignan

Michael Fassbender may not

swirling that Liam Neeson will strike you as the most Irish soon depict Abraham Lincoln in a name in the world. Fassbender, Hollywood film. indeed, was born in Germany, As for Brendan Gleeson, next to an Irish mother and German up for the always-busy actor is father. But the family relocated Green Zone, a military drama also to Kerry when Fassbender was starring Matt Damon, Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear. Set in a lad, and last year, Fassbender 2003, Green Zone depicts the hunt earned critical acclaim playing for chemical weapons in Iraq. A a global Irish icon, Bobby team of experts scours the counSands, in the award-winning Look for Michael Fassbender, who played Bobby try, searching for a discovery indie film Hunger. (Republican Sands in the film Hunger, in Inglorious Basterds. which could very well lead to a icons should be easy for war which – at the time – was not believed to be a foregone Fassbender to play. According to reports, his mother is relatconclusion. Instead of finding chemical weapons, however, ed to Michael Collins.) the experts stumble upon an elaborate cover-up. Look for Look for Fassbender this summer in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Inglorious Basterds. (Yes, that’s the right spelling.) Green Zone to hit theaters later this year. Fassbender stars alongside Brad Pitt in the latest film from After that, Gleeson will be seen in Perrier’s County, alongthe famous director of Pulp Fiction and side fellow Irish thespian Cillian Murphy. the Kill Bill movies. In the film, Pitt and Perrier’s County is an Irish gangster Fassbender play Jewish-American solfilm set in Dublin and written by Mark diers on a bloody mission to kill Nazis in O’Rowe, whose credits include the occupied France. underrated Intermission. Prior to the opening of Inglorious Perrier’s County will be directed by Basterds, Fassbender (who has appeared in films such as 300 and TV shows such Ian Fitzgibbon, and should be hitting as HBO’s Band of Brothers) returned to theaters next year. Ireland to teach a class of aspiring actors A final note on Brendan Gleeson. Do at the Galway Film Fleadh in July. not look for him in the July film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You Brendan Gleeson recently teamed up can, however, expect to see him in the with Irish director Thaddeus O’Sullivan next film, Harry Potter and the Deathly for the HBO movie Into the Storm: Hollows. Gleeson will be reprising his Churchill at War. role as Mad-Eye Moody. Ciaran Hinds is also slated to appear in Deathly It is interesting to have two Irishmen Hollows, which will be a summer 2010 working on a film about a controversial movie. British leader. It was Churchill, after all, who played a key role in the 1920s negotiations that resulted in the partition Speaking of lucrative franchises, the of Ireland – and the Irish Civil aforementioned Kenneth Branagh will be stepping away from Shakespeare and taking a leap into War. Into the Storm, of course, the world of Marvel Comics movies. focused on Churchill’s World Branagh has been tapped as the director of Marvel’s forthWar II leadership. Politics aside, coming Thor movie, expected to hit theaters in 2011. it is interesting that Irish actors That may be nearly two years from now, but already Branagh is deep into the world of the Viking warrior. keep playing non-Irish world leaders. According to Internet reports, Branagh gave what amounts Kenneth Branagh played to a theatrical performance of the film to Marvel Comics Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the executives. recent HBO film Warm Springs. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada told Comic Book And there are still rumors Resources: “We sat with Kenneth and discussed the Thor movie and the overarching story of what that’s going to be, just to give our input before anything was put down to paper CENTER: Kenneth Branagh will direct the movie Thor. by screenwriters. And it was one of the highlights of my RIGHT: Brendan Gleeson, time here at Marvel because not only did Branagh sit there pictured at the Irish Film and and give you the story beat for beat, he and [Marvel Studios Television Awards, plays head] Kevin Feige formed a great team. It was performance Churchill in the HBO movie. 18 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009



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art. We sat there and literally got a three-hour one-man show from Kenneth Branagh. It was fantastic. People pay a lot of money for that kind of performance by one of the world’s greatest living actors.” Before the Thor movie opens, look for Branagh starring alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman (whose mother is Marilyn Connor) in The Boat That Rocked, opening in late August. The movie is being described as a musical romance.

Perhaps it was the announcement that he was battling a brain tumor, or just the chance people have had to reflect on his amazing career in the Senate. Either way, people are finally looking at Ted Kennedy as more than a punch line or source for tabloid stories. JFK’s younger brother – the last of a particular kind of Irish-American Democrat – will be the subject of an extensive HBO documentary in July. Teddy: In His Own Words will explore Anjelica Huston will star alongside Christina Kennedy’s life in the public eye, from Ricci in the drama Long Time Gone. his childhood of privilege to the inspiAnjelica Huston’s lifelong love of Irish film is well-docurational speech he gave at the 2008 Democratic National mented, perhaps most evidently in her performance in The Convention. All in all, Kennedy has now served nearly 50 Dead, directed by her father, John. Huston will star alongside years in the Senate. Christina Ricci in the drama Long Time Gone. In the film, The documentary will combine interviews with Kennedy – based on April Stevens’ mid-1990s novel Angel Angel, Huston as well as readings of letters and other correspondence – with and Ricci will play members of a dysfunctional family. Long moving images from news reports and even Kennedy family Time Gone will open later this year. home movies. As HBO executives have put it, “a portrait of a crusader Irish-Canadian actor Patrick Gallagher has had a pretty emerges.” So, it appears that those who find Kennedy too libgood year on TV and in movie theaters. Earlier this year he eral may be thrilled with the documentary. But the case can was in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, a film that made hundreds of millions of dollars, alongside Ben Stiller. He also has a recurring role on the hit HBO vampire show True Blood, which is not only a cable hit but has also proven to be a huge best-seller when it comes to DVD sales, swiftly passing one million units sold in early July. Next up for Gallagher is The Fallen Faithful, in which a religious man struggles to live a moral life, even as he consorts with violent men such as assassins and loan sharks. Previously, Gallagher was in the indie smash hit Sideways and the first Night at the Museum movie.



If you don’t like it when the children of famous or influential people become famous and influential, then you better not read this next item. Liam McMullan – son of celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan – is soon to appear in a movie entitled Twelve. The movie is about drug dealing at Manhattan’s elite high schools. The film is based on the novel by Nick McDonnell, son of Sports Illustrated editor and publishing big-wig Terry McDonnell. By the way, Nick McDonnell published The Kennedy brothers: Teddy, John, and Bobby, are the subject of docuTwelve when he was 17. mentary films by Peter Kunhardt, the latest of which will profile Teddy. Not surprisingly, Liam McMullan went to a high school similar to the one depicted in the film. He recently told the New York Post: be made that given the legislation he has authored, covering “It’s sheer irony that I know the drug dealer [‘White civil rights, the minimum wage and health care reform, Mike’],” who’s played by Chace Crawford in the film. “My Kennedy is not only the most liberal, but also hardest workfriends [went] to the fancy Upper East Side high schools . . . ing member of the Senate. White Mike is [programmed] in my phone.” Three-time Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt is directing the Joel Schumacher (who directed Tigerland, the debut movie Kennedy documentary. This makes sense, as his previous of a young Irish actor named Colin Farrell back in 2000) is HBO credits include documentaries JFK: In His Own Words IA directing Twelve, which will be released in 2010. and Bobby Kennedy: In His Own Words.



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My Goodness!

Guinness Turns 250! radition. A word that embodies Guinness, a brand which this year is celebrating its 250th anniversary. In 1759, Arthur Guinness set the stage for the iconic brand by signing a 9,000-year lease at St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. Guinness provided his workers with wages that were ten to twenty percent higher than the local average, provided paid holiday vacations, and offered free heath care. Since that historic year, Guinness has had some of the


even greater interest in Guinness and appealed to millions of people worldwide. With the use of such animals as the toucan and other exotic creatures, Guinness expanded its global reach to their consumers. Gilroy designed more than fifty posters for Guinness, many of which are still widely popular today. Approximately ten million glasses of Guinness are enjoyed every day around the globe, proving that every day is a lovely day for a Guinness. Brewed in

most successful advertising campaigns in history. From the legendary toucan to the harp logo that is synonymous with the Irish Coat of Arms, to slogans such as “Guinness Is Good For You,” “My Goodness, My Guinness,” and “Guinness for Strength,” the hallowed stout has touched millions of people worldwide. Kangaroos, ostriches, seals, whales and lions have appeared in the renowned campaign, but the most notable mascot is the Guinness toucan that was created by John Gilroy in the 1930’s. In the 1940’s Guinness ran an ad campaign that cemented the toucan’s legacy in Guinness lore with the jingle, “Toucans in their nests agree, Guinness is good for you, try some today and see, what one or toucan do.” This campaign ignited an

almost fifty countries and available in nearly one hundred, it is the world’s bestselling stout, and something that the Irish are extremely proud of. Guinness is not strictly Irish-brewed; in 1962 the company founded a large brewery in Nigeria that produces Foreign Extra Stout, also known as “Nigerian Guinness,” which is tremendously popular. The brewery also produces “Guinness Extra Smooth,” a less bitter variety of the Foreign Extra Stout. Nigeria is the thirdlargest Guinness market in the world. Guinness has other attributes as well, such


(The Guide to Guinness Collectables: $52.95/ 288 pages / Liberties Press)

as being good for you. Researchers have found certain antioxidants similar to those found in some fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol. The slogan “Guinness Is Good For You” is no longer used as frequently as it once was, and the company’s ads now advocate “Responsible Drinking.” This does not seem to affect consumers’ brand loyalty, however, and Guinness is still one of the most recognizable brands worldwide. Motivated by what can only be described as pride, Nick Fairall and David Hughes have compiled a unique, extensive collection of the history of Guinness through various ads and products that have been released throughout the years in their book, The Guide to Guinness Collectables, which is available now in celebration of the landmark anniversary. The Guide to Guinness Collectables pays homage to the rich history of the brand and the global reach that it has had throughout the years. Fairall, the founder of the Guinness Collectors Club, the only third party in the world with full legal permission to use Guinness copyrighted material, and Hughes, a Guinness brewer based in Park Royal and Nigeria between 1972 and 1988, have collaborated to come up with an extraordinary book that explores the deep history of Guinness, and pays tribute to the Guinness family’s creative genius. From the casual fan to the serious collector, there is always more to learn and to discover about one of the finest, well-respected brands in the world. IA Here’s to the next 250 years. – Andrew Phillips If you ever visit the Guinness Brewery in the heart of Dublin, be sure to visit the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate, which is Ireland’s number one international visitor attraction. http://www.guinnessstorehouse.com, Tel: + 353 1 408 4800



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Thomas Wins IMPAC Award


top ten book of 2007. A sprawling firstperson epic of over four hundred pages that focuses on four days in the life of Thomas’s narrator, Man Gone Down addresses complex questions of race and family and is rife with literary references to seminal writers like T.S. Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The panel of judges for the IMPAC award, which included Irish academic and writer James Ryan, said, “This extraordinary novel comes to us from a writer of enthralling voice and startling insight. Tuned urgently to the way we live now, the winner of the International Dublin IMPAC Prize 2009 is a novel brilliant in its scope and energy, and deeply moving in its human warmth.” Thomas currently resides in New York


he winner of this year’s International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was announced June 11 by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Éibhlin Byrne.The winning novel, Man Gone Down, was written by Boston native Michael Thomas, whose book beat 145 titles nominated by 157 public libraries from 41 countries. Man Gone Down was nominated by The National Library Service of Barbados, Bridgetown, which described it as “a vibrant, well written first novel, an exploration of identity, interracial relationships and societal values through the eye of a black male.” The novel was first published by Grove Atlantic, USA, and has gone through four printings with over 65,000 copies shipped. It was chosen by The New York Times as a

with his wife and three children. He told The New York Times that he is now writing a memoir covering the history of “four generations of Thomas men, and the Red Sox and Boston and New York.” — Kara Rota

Irish American Named Teacher of the Year



gram for nearly two decades. He entreats adults to reach out within their own communities as he has. “Today’s children live in very stressful times, and adults must volunteer their time and effort to help young people. Teenagers drop out of school because they feel disconnected with school, community, and too often their own family. High school students—especially at-risk students—crave positive adult role models and want real world experiences. No magical elixir exists to save at-risk high school students; only a small measure of compassion will rescue them. Internships save the teenagers I work with and they become contributing members of society rather than public wards. I encourage adults to contact high schools and offer internships to teenagers.” Mullen’s mother was born in Glasgow. His paternal grandfather came to America from Co. Galway when he was about 19. Mullen said his grandfather “learned quickly that Irish immigrants were a good source for conscription and was returned to ‘the other side of the pond’ to fight in the First World War. My mother’s parents died during the Second World War, forcing her to come to America for a better life . . . when I was young, my parents stressed the importance of education as ‘something nobody can take away from you’ and hoped I would be the first in my family to earn a college education. My parents died when I was young, so they did not have the pleasure of seeing me fulfill their dream.” As National Teacher of the Year, Mullen will be traveling full-time as a spokesperson for education. — Kara Rota AP / CHARLES DHARAPAK

he first Rose Garden ceremony of President Obama’s administration occurred this April 28 and honored Irish American Anthony Mullen, who was lauded as the 59th National Teacher of the Year for 2009. The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 and is the oldest, most esteemed national program to honor excellence in teaching. Mullen, who teaches ninth through twelfth grade special education at the ARCH school in Greenwich, Connecticut, has spent decades working in the public service sector. He served in the New York Police Department for twenty years and retired as a captain before he began working in schools. In an interview with Irish America, Mullen said, “My experiences in the NYPD helped shape my opinion about the importance of education to our society because the vast majority of young people arrested were high school dropouts or at-risk teenagers. I decided to change careers to help such teenagers. I wanted to be part of a profession that would enable me to be more proactive rather than reactive in the lives of young people.” Mullen’s colleagues have long noted his ability to connect with students who have been failed by the system and that other teachers have given up on. He said, “I specifically choose to work with at-risk teenagers because they need me more than any other population of students. I have the experience to identify with their struggles and see value in their lives. The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I get to recover lost students.” Besides his work as a teacher, Mullen has been a coach and league director of his town’s baseball pro-



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In Praise of Women Everywhere Annual Women of Concern Awards



ore than 300 friends and supporters gathered for Concern Worldwide’s annual Women of Concern Awards Luncheon June 3 at the New York Hilton to pay tribute to two extraordinary women: Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairperson, The American Ireland Fund; and Beth A. Brooke, global vice chair—public policy, sustainability and stakeholder engagement at Ernst & Young. Both women were recognized for their contributions to public service, and their efforts to empower women throughout the world. Glucksman received the 2009 “Woman of the Year Humanitarian Award,” while Brooke earned the 2009 “Woman of the Year Leadership Award.” They were each presented with contemporary handmade sculptures carved out of 4,500-year-old Irish bog oak. Lynda Baquero, WNBC-New York news anchor, served as emcee. Prior to the award ceremony, Joanne Smyth, Concern’s new Assistant Country Director in Rwanda, riveted the audience with an account of her two years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, speaking of the courage and resilience of women displaced by conflict—many of whom have been victims of sexual violence. “Displacement,” she said, “is a nice word—but what it actually means is that you have to run from your home, abandoning all you own.” Support for Concern, said Smyth, makes it possible for mothers to learn trades and earn income. Smyth cited one mother as saying, “Now I don’t have to go begging anymore; now I can feed my family.” Concerns works in 28 of the world’s poorest countries, including 17 sub-Saharan African nations, and reaches some 23 million people. The organization’s goal is the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty and the reduction of suffering. Programs focus on emergency relief and long-term development work in the areas of health, HIV and AIDS, livelihoods and education.

(From left to right) Honoree Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Concern US Chairman of the Board Tom Moran, Concern Assistant Country Director in Rwanda Joanne Smyth and honoree Beth A. Brooke. 30 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

Writer Pete Hamill, Professor Brendan O’Leary of the University of Pennsylvania, Gerry Adams, President of the Laborers International Union of North America Terence O’Sullivan, and author and broadcaster Brian Keenan.

Adams and Keenan Inspire at Sinn Féin Forum


ver 800 people, largely Irish Americans, turned out for a Unite Ireland Conference held by Sinn Féin at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan on June 13. Sinn Féin leader Adams spoke about the support needed from Irish communities worldwide to work towards the goal of national reunification. “Our struggle has taken many forms, sometimes armed, sometimes electoral, sometimes peaceful,” he told his audience. “We have fought on all fronts. We have suffered. Others have suffered also. With your support, we have made progress. There is an end to armed conflict and I believe the political and economic dynamics in Ireland today make a united Ireland a realizable and realistic objective in a reasonable period of time.” Other speakers at the forum included University of Pennsylvania professor Brendan O’Leary, who discussed the political steps he sees as necessary for a united Ireland, New York Senator Charles Schumer, author Pete Hamill, and national president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Seamus Boyle, who said, “I have called on our membership to be at this forum so that everyone present realizes that an Ireland united and free for all of its people is at the top of the agenda for the AOH.” Another speaker at the forum was Brian Keenan, who spent four and a half years as a political captive in Beirut after accepting a job at the American University there. Born to working-class liberal Protestant parents, Keenan told of being assaulted by neighborhood kids during his childhood in Belfast when he stood up for a Catholic boy who was being bullied and echoed Adams’ call to action. “If we are ever to come to some sort of understanding then we must take action in our own communities to bring about the change we wish to see,” he told the crowd. “I’m not a historian. I’m not a politician. I’m not an expert of demographics. But I want to tell you some stories. Stories about desire for belonging.” Adams expressed a similar sentiment. “What all the ideas we have heard today have in common is about putting this issue on the agenda here in the U.S. What we need is to form groups, alliances and coalitions . . . The fact is we do have the ability, we do have the capability, we do have the potential to be the generation that brings about Irish unity.” Sinn Féin followed up the New York conference with a simIA ilar forum in San Francisco on June 27. — Kara Rota



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“It’s a chance to fix up the house, add a new bathroom, get a new garden shed. We’ll take care of family. We have no real plans set in stone.” New York Lotto winner Niamh Finnan talked to the Irish Voice about the plans she and her husband Donal have for some of the $41 million that they won. The Finnans are both immigrants from Co. Kildare, Ireland.

“We may not have given you a perfect world, but we have given you dynamic opportunities for leaving a lasting legacy as a generation that was fearless and imaginative, tireless and selfless in pursuit of solutions to these monumental problems, a generation that emerged from this financial tsunami and rebuilt the financial landscape of their lives with an underpinning of sound values and an eye for proportion, knowing in fact that on some occasions, less can be more.” - From Tom Brokaw’s commencement address at William & Mary.


“Remember that no matter which art you practice, there is no more valuable skill than the ability to listen carefully. Especially when you listen to the music, or listen to the text, listen! They will guide you well.” - From Laura Linney’s commencement address at The Julliard School. -The New York Times

“Ireland from 1930 to the late 1990s was a closed state, ruled — the word is not too strong — by an allpowerful Catholic Church with the connivance of politicians and, indeed, the populace as a whole, with some honorable exceptions. The doctrine of original sin was ingrained in us from our earliest years, and we borrowed from Protestantism the concepts of the elect and the unelect. If children were sent to orphanages, industrial schools and reformatories, it must be because they were destined for it, and must belong there. What happened to them within those unscalable walls was no concern of ours. We knew, and did not know. That is our shame today.” John Banville writing in The New York Times about the the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse report which documented the cruelty visited upon hundreds of thousands of children in state institutions in Ireland from 1914 to 2000.

“I want people to come to my show, and for there to be so much stuff going on that they want to come again because they missed things.” - Carly Smithson, the Irish singer who placed sixth on American Idol, has a new album and a new band The Fallen. - Irish Voice



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“The last thing this company needs at this point is for the family to be difficult, and rather than splinter, we have pulled together…If this were just a financial investment, the family probably would have been out of it years ago.” - William C. Ford Jr., a great-grandson of the founder and chairman since 1999, quoted in a New York Times article entitled “Family Loyalty Anchors Ford in Risky Times.”

“Over 40 years ago, when I was in my midteens, I announced at home that I had decided to become a lawyer. The first words I heard in response were, “You can’t because you are a woman.” It was the voice of our parish priest. The next voice I heard was my mother’s, saying, “Don’t listen to him.” To my mother’s surprise, I heeded her advice. A couple of years later, the same year that the first human walked on the moon, I started law school and our first textbook was called “Learning the Law” by a very eminent jurist, Prof. Glanville Williams. In a chapter ominously entitled “Women,” he stated his views that law school was no place for women and that our voices were too weak to be heard in a courtroom. That man had clearly never met my mother. He reckoned the only thing to be gained by having female law students was the opportunity it provided to meet suitable spouses. I married a dentist, just for spite.”


“Our Peace Process in Ireland is a good case in point for it was the combined imagination and determination of an educated generation of men and women that finally broke the stranglehold of history and allowed us, as the Ulster poet John Hewitt said, “to fill the centuries’ arrears.” We were blessed in our friends who helped shorten the road to peace. Above all, here in America: I think of Senator Kennedy; of Senator George Mitchell; Congressman Richie Neal here beside me; Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama; of now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. I think of people across the whole Irish-American community—who devoted their time, their energy and their concrete help to building the momentum for peace and the groundwork for reconciliation. In a world that has been turned upside down in so many ways recently, one strong, robust, enduring miracle is Ireland’s Peace Process which, though far yet from complete, has developed a solid resilience that is very reassuring of the human capacity to change hearts, change minds, and as Seamus Heaney says “make new meanings flare.”” - Excerpts from President of Ireland Mary McAleese’s commencement address at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

“Not to bring up something upsetting, but when you leave here today, you may go through a period of unemployment. My suggestion is this: Enjoy the unemployment. Have a second cup of coffee. Go to the park. Read Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman loved being unemployed. I don’t believe he ever did a day’s work in his life. As you may know, he was a poet. If a lot of time goes by and you continue to be unemployed, you may want to consider announcing to all appropriate parties that you have become a poet.” - From John Patrick Shanley’s commencement address at the College of Mount St. Vincent. - The New York Times

“Too many of us view life only through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the world is necessarily a zero-sum game.The strong too often dominate the weak, and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice. And so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly familiar to those in ancient times.We know these things; and hopefully one of the benefits of the wonderful education you have received is that you have had time to consider these wrongs in the world, and grown determined, each in your own way, to right them.” - From President Barack Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 33



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An appreciation of Francis Bacon by David Remfry


If, in 1964, you were to have asked me which two things excited me most, aside of course from ‘The Siren Call of Sex’ as the poet Philip Larkin put it, I would have answered, the Ronettes and the paintings of Francis Bacon. Oh, and the fact that I was leaving Hull College of Art intent on a life of painting, so three things. The first Francis Bacon paintings I saw were in reproduction, around 50 years ago. They had a great effect on me even in this diminished form. I recall my painting tutor, James Neill, being scornful of Bacon’s work. Telling me that Bacon was passé. The years leading to the current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York show how wrong he was. The works reverberate with the energy of the painting and the violent intensity of the imagery they contain. Bacon said that one reason for the violent component of his paintings might have to do with his upbringing in Ireland. He was born in 1909, a century ago in Dublin, the son of a racehorse trainer. They lived quite near the Curragh where the British Cavalry Regiment was stationed. He remembered them using the drive to their house for practice maneuvers, galloping up and down the drive. This was just before the 1914 war. The family moved to London in that period because his father was in the War Office and Francis was instilled with the possi-


bility of impending danger. After the war he returned to Ireland and was raised during the period of the Sinn Féin Movement, living with his grandmother who was at that time the wife of the Commissioner of Police for Kildare. He remembered living in a sandbagged house, and some roads crossed with ditches dug, said Bacon, to trap the unwary car or horse and cart for the waiting snipers. When he was 17 he moved to Berlin. He said the Berlin of 1927 was violent, not in the military sense that Ireland was, but in the emotional sense. One thinks of Christopher Isherwood who lived in Berlin around the same time and later wrote Good-bye to Berlin, which was made into the musical Cabaret. One thinks of the latent violence too soon to become a reality that Bacon spoke of. For a young gay man it must have been very exciting, and later very dangerous. He went on to live in Paris during “all those disturbed years,” as he put it until 1939 when the war started. What Bacon said about the violence of his life, the violence he has lived amongst, is that it is different from the violence in painting, “that to speak about the violence of paint, it has nothing to do with the violence of war, it’s to do with an attempt to remake the violence of reality itself.” Bacon himself was obsessed with mortality and said that “If life excites you

then its opposite, like a shadow, death, must excite you,” that one is aware of it like the flip of a coin between life and death. In an interview with the writer and art critic David Sylvester, Bacon said he was always surprised when he woke up in the morning. Sylvester asked if that didn’t belie Bacon’s view that he was an essentially optimistic person, and Bacon replied, “Ah well, you can be optimistic and totally without hope.” That seems pleasingly Beckett-like to me. The visitor to this magnificent exhibition, if not already familiar with Bacon’s work, may be surprised, perhaps even a little shocked if that is still possible today, at the visceral quality of the painting. Near the beginning of the exhibit is a triptych “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion,” painted in 1944. The phallic figures are against a stark orange background; one looks down while the other two with snarling and gaping mouths evoke menace or pain. Bacon said that he was influenced by Picasso’s paintings of organic forms relating to the human figure but distortions of it. But the mouths, full of teeth in the Bacons, make his work altogether more sinister. Bacon said he did hope one day to make the best painting of the human cry, but that he was not able to do it. He thought the best depiction of the cry was in the still from Eisenstein’s great film Battleship Potemkin of the screaming



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Opposite page: Portrait of Francis Bacon by Lucian Freud, 1952. Stolen while on loan in Berlin in 1988 and never seen again. Left: Head III, 1949. Below: Figure in Movement, 1985. Bottom: Triptych -- In Memory of George Dyer, 1971.







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Left: Portrait of George Dyer Riding a Bicycle, 1966.


nanny. In painting, he felt the best human cry was probably in the “Massacre of the Innocents” by Poussin of around 1630. Again and again one can see the importance of the mouth as an expressive vehicle in Bacon’s works. When young in Paris he bought a second-hand book with hand-colored plates of diseases of the mouth. He tried to combine the Potemkin image with the images from the book, but it never worked out. A friend once gave me a textbook of reconstructive surgery of victims of traumatic injury (there is always someone wanting to cheer you up). One photograph showed a face with the flesh almost entirely lifted from one side revealing the teeth, jaw and skull. I always associated the image with Bacon – though Bacon’s paintings are neither horrific nor literal. Yet it is as if he reminds us of the skull beneath the flesh, reminds us of our mortality. ‘The mouth’ paintings evolved during 36 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

the 1940’s. The work entitled “Painting 1946” has a dark figure whose jaw and mouth emerge from the adumbration of an umbrella. A flayed carcass is behind, its limbs spread as if crucified. This, the first work by Bacon to be acquired by a museum, was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1949 and it seems to point the way to the ensuing works sometimes referred to as ‘Scream Paintings’ of heads, figures and Popes, in

the 1950’s. “Study for Innocent X,” 1962, seems a culmination of these, being derived from a reproduction of the Velazquez portrait (widely regarded as one of the finest portraits ever painted) . Interestingly, Bacon, though he spent two months in Rome, never visited the Galleria Doria-Pamphili to see the Velazquez painting. He said he probably feared seeing the original after he had tampered with it. He needed only the reproduced image for his purposes. Bacon certainly preferred to work from photographs as a starting point, rather than with models, partly as he said because he thought that models would be upset by what he did to them. There is a delicious painting called “Portrait of George Dyer riding a Bicycle,” 1966. Dyer’s face is turned to the viewer whilst surrounding it, a larger shadowy profile with a faint smile rides obliviously on. Dyer was Bacon’s lover, but their relationship was always tempestuous and in 1971 on the opening night of Bacon’s big retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris, Dyer committed suicide in his hotel room. I met Francis Bacon at the Chelsea Arts Club, London, which he occasionally came to in the late 1970’s, and in the 1980’s I’d occasionally see him walking in Kensington where I lived. He would nod but we never spoke. That was good enough for me. I met Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes too, but that is, as they say, IA another story. David Remfry’s artistic career spans more than 30 years. A figurative painter born and trained in England, he is now living in New York City.

THREE POSTSCRIPTS: The Chelsea Arts Club was a smoky club founded in 1891 at James McNeil Whistler’s suggestion for artists and other reprobates.Two large snooker tables dominated the large bar with a beautiful garden outside. It still exists although is no longer smoky. The club that most often found Bacon in residence was The Colony Room in Soho. Founded in 1948 by Muriel Belcher who managed to get a drinking license that allowed her to remain open when public houses were closed, this tiny green room was a home to many famous artists including Dublin-based Lisa Stansfield and Barry Flannagan. John Edwards, companion of Bacon for the last 16 years of his life and sole heir to the Estate, donated the contents of the Reece Mews Studio to The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin where it was reconstructed as a permanent display in the gallery.



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Brian Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan says “It doesn’t all break your way all the time, so you’ve got to just power through it.”


e has the look of an athlete, compact with broad shoulders. He also has something of a pre-game focus, a quiet intensity, and gives the impression, even as he answers questions, that he has his eye on the ball and he’s not forgetting for a moment that right now he’s involved in the biggest game

of his career. At just 49, Brian Moynihan is engaged in the complicated task of integrating Merrill Lynch into Bank of America. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Notre Dame Law School, Moynihan joined FleetBoston in April 1993 as deputy general counsel, and came to Bank of America following its acquisition of FleetBoston. He arrived at his present position as the head of Bank of America’s Global Banking and Wealth Management in January, after Bank of America’s $50 billion acquisition of Merrill Lynch and the departure of Merrill’s CEO John Thain.


“He has proved in difficult environments he is very capable,” said Anthony DiNovi, co-president of Boston private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, in a Wall Street Journal article by Dan Fitzpatrick and Suzanne Craig. The article addressed Moynihan’s emergence as a right-hand man and potential successor to Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis. DiNovi, who has worked with Moynihan on past deals, also said, “When Ken has a tough job at hand he turns to Brian, and Brian has always been there for him.” Moynihan, who grew up in a small town in Ohio, lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts with his wife, Susan Berry, whom he met while he was at Brown, and their three children. He credits Susan’s family, along with playing rugby (which has taken him to Ireland on occasion), with bringing him up to speed on Irish culture. “My wife’s grandmother is from Ireland so she’s more the classic sort of Boston Irish – the Clancy brothers, the Irish humor and all that stuff,” he says, adding that he’s been at many St. Patrick’s Day





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Parades in Southie. His own family immigrated in the 1850s to upstate New York and grew vegetables. Our meeting took place on the afternoon of June 15, at the newly constructed Bank of America Tower at Avenue on the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. The massive steel and glass structure – a one billion dollar project – located on Avenue of the Americas – would seem to signal Bank of America’s confidence that it will

this. But it is a tribute to those hardscrabble ancestors, and perhaps because he had inherited some of their tenacity and understanding “that it doesn’t all break your way all the time, so you’ve got to just power through it,” that Moynihan took time out from his hectic schedule to talk to Irish America, and agreed to give the Keynote Address at our annual Wall Street 50 dinner on August 24.

Your family came over when? In the 1850’s. Both my parents come from small towns in upstate New York where the Irish part of their families had farms and then opened some stores. My grandfather was a lawyer up there. My dad went to school and became a chemist to work for DuPont. I’m one of eight children, number six. My parents moved to a little town in Ohio, called Marietta, the month before I was born.

weather this current financial crisis. As I receive my visitor’s pass from Security and find my way into the inner sanctum of the largest bank in the United States, passing through a futuristic set of glass doors, I cannot help but think of Moynihan’s ancestors being processed by immigration officials after landing in New York. They could hardly have foreseen a future that included anything like 40 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

TOP LEFT: Brian and his father Robert, near the Lakes of Killarney. ABOVE: Brian with his wife Susan, daughter Mary, and son Christopher. LEFT: Brian and Mary on the family’s trip to Ireland in 2008.

After doing your undergrad at Brown you went to Notre Dame Law School.Was that a different experience? Very different. Brown was a great school but it was very heavily Eastern. My grandfather and my uncle both went to Notre Dame, so I had a great Notre Dame tradition. It was the best place in the world

to go to law school. It was a very supportive place and we had more fun than we probably should have had. It’s a great school for a lot of reasons, but the law school was small, you really knew the professors, you really knew the undergraduates. I played rugby so it was fun, too.

Do you think Rev. John Perkins, Notre Dame’s president, was right to invite President Obama to give the commencement speech? I think he was right, his reasoning was right. I think at the end of the day one of the challenges for a place like Notre Dame is to ensure that they maintain their willingness to have the debate. I think going back to Father Hesburgh [“Father Ted,” the man who led the University of Notre Dame for 35 years], the reason why the university has had such an

impact on political leaders and others in this country, is that they’re willing to have debates even though they have a heritage and a particular point of view. It served them well.

When were you last in Ireland? We went last August [2008]. We took my father and mother, and three of my siblings and our children went, so we had about 18 people traveling around in a bus, and it was a lot of fun. We went to Dublin for a few days and then took off down to the southwest. We had a bus



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driver who had that great Irish humor; we just laughed.

Did you discuss the economy? He [the bus driver] and other Irish people we met along the way had the common view that it was United States property values and subprime mortgages and all that that created this worldwide financial crisis which was starting to affect Ireland. But at the end of the day, it is local conditions that drive housing prices. Irish housing prices had gotten so out of control relative to what a person could pay that you knew they were going to face what they faced. It’s a classic problem that if you try to outgrow your normal growth rate there’s always a bubble on the other side of it. And as soon as the economy slowed down a little it just all came crashing down. It’ll adjust and come back.

The Irish government was the first to guarantee bank deposits. And after its bailout it now has 75 percent voting rights now in Anglo-Irish Bank. How does that compare to here? I thought the Irish government did a good job of stabilizing the situation. What’s hard to appreciate here is how much more consolidated most [national] economies are compared to the U.S. – like Ireland in banking. When you have three or four key institutions that aren’t stable and people start pulling their money out,


Will the U.S. economy also adjust? Our view, as a company, is that we’ll start to see a little growth in the latter part of this year and into next year, but the American consumer is still struggling to pay their debts. American companies are more – they’re stabilizing, I think would be the word we’d say right now, in terms of their employment, in terms of their view of their future. They’re not robust and growing but they’re stabilizing, so they’ve come through the worst of it, and we see we’re starting to come out the other side. And I think that bodes well for the whole world because when the American consumer spends, that helps everyone.

Brian Moynihan at the Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan.

it’s really tough. So I think the government did the right thing to calm the population down by guaranteeing their deposits, guaranteeing the liability side, and injecting their capital. I assume their goal would be to sell their stock positions down over time as the economy stabilizes. But in the U.S. because of the number of institutions and the size of the capital markets, we were able to raise our capital, our company and other companies, through private investors, after the government gave us capital.

Are there lessons to learn from the crisis?

Ireland and America and UK and Europe and China and Japan, everybody’s going to learn a series of lessons from all this, but I think the common lesson is going to be about leverage, and too much borrowing. In Ireland for example, I saw houses that were valued at over $2 million, beautiful houses but miles from the city in the countryside, where population pressures were nonexistent. People bought outside their means, they could’ve taken cash out to do something else with it, just the same as the United States. A financial crisis was created by

Continued on page 100 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 41



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WA L L S T R E E T 5 0 T H E N E W YO R K YA C H T C L U B 3 7 W E S T 4 4 T H S T R E E T, N E W YO R K C I T Y M O N DAY, A U G U S T 2 4 , 2 0 0 9


FOR TICKETS AND INFORMAT I O N 2 1 2 7 2 5 2 9 9 3 E X T. 1 1 9 O R V I A E- M A I L T O K AT E @ I R I S H A M E R I C A . C O M


America Magazine & FTI Consulting extend a special thank you to our sponsors:

Mutual of America • Waterford Crystal • 1-800-Flowers.com • The Coca-Cola Company • The American Ireland Fund • Continental Airlines • HSBC - North America • Invest Northern Ireland • Prudential • Shannon Development • UCD Michael Smurfit Business School • Irish Government Agencies: CIE Tours International • Enterprise Ireland • IDA Ireland • Tourism Ireland

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Celebrating the Irish in the Finance Industry AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 43

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his, our Twelfth Annual Wall Street 50, is a celebration of the best and the brightest Irish Americans and Irishborn who demonstrate standout success in the financial industry. From Chicago to Texas, Boston to California, to New York’s Wall Street itself, America’s financial companies and business executives have pressed through this year’s economic challenges and maintained a balance of optimism and thoughtful planning for the times ahead.The Irish have a long tradition as survivors, a history which has served many of our honorees well in staying afloat this year. In 2009’s Wall Street 50, we welcome new Irish and Irish-American faces as well as cheering on those past honorees who have withstood the economic downfalls that have surrounded us, and maintained their Irish spirit, humor and determination throughout. Our keynote speaker, Brian Moynihan, came from a small town in Ohio to become president of global banking and wealth management at Bank of America, and believes that the worst of the recent economic troubles are behind us.We congratulate this year’s Wall Street 50, and offer a special word of thanks to our sponsor and co-host of this year’s Wall Street 50 dinner, FTI Consulting, Inc. - Mortas Cine

Ancestral Links:




16% 22%


50 Gerald Beeson Citadel Investment Group, L.L.C. Gerald A. Beeson is a senior managing director and COO of Citadel Investment Group, L.L.C. He is responsible for key corporate functions, including treasury, finance, human capital development, marketing, investor relations and corporate communications. Gerald joined Citadel in 1993 and was among the company’s first employees. He served as Citadel’s CFO from 2003 to 2008. Gerald is currently on the Board of Directors for The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. He was named to Crain’s Chicago Business “Forty Under Forty” in 2007. Gerald has also maintained an active involvement with education through participation as a member of the Directory at Marist High School (Chicago), the Board of Trustees for DePaul University and involvement with the Big Shoulders Fund. Gerald received his MBA from the University of Chicago and his BS in commerce from DePaul University. He is a third-generation Irish American who traces his father's family back to County Mayo and his mother's family to County Cork. He believes that “the success of IrishAmericans is a testament to the work ethic and sacrifices of prior generations who overcame hardships, and is a powerful reminder of all that is possible in America.” Gerald is married with four children.

Michael Brewster Credit Suisse Michael Brewster, managing director in the Private Banking Division of Credit Suisse, recently joined the firm in September 2008 from Lehman Brothers. He is a registered investment advisor involved in analyzing, reviewing, and investing for the MB Value and Growth and MB Strategic Dividend & Income Portfolios. He also co-manages the Small Mid-Cap and Special Situations Portfolio on the team. Michael is a board member of the Enterprise Ireland Financial Services Advisory Board and the Irish in Business Network. He was honored as one of the “Top 40 under 40” by The Irish Echo in 2008. Michael’s career at Lehman Brothers began in February 1993, and he spent the past 16 years managing investments for high net worth and institutional clients. He graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland with a diploma in management finance and earned his BS from Thomas Edison State College with a degree in business administration. Michael was born in Ireland. His family on his father’s side comes from County Fermanagh; his mother’s family, the Hegartys, comes from County Longford. A member of the Ireland US Council, Michael lives in New York with his wife, Margaret.

Counties of Origin:


Cork Mayo Clare Kerry Donegal Fermanagh


Fordham Trinity St. John’s University College in Dublin New York University

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Marianne Brown Omgeo L.L.C. Marianne C. Brown is president and CEO of Omgeo L.L.C. Marianne is an accomplished chief executive with a proven track record of driving revenue and income growth within complex global organizations. Prior to joining Omgeo in 2006, Marianne served as CEO of Securities Industry Automation Corporation. She began her career in 1978 at Automatic Data Processing, Brokerage Services Group, now known as Broadridge Financial Services, where she remained until 2005. Throughout her 26 years at ADP, she held numerous positions that provided a broad swath of experience. Marianne has been profiled extensively in the press, in outlets such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, The Wall Street Journal, and Wall Street & Technology. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Marianne is a graduate of Concordia College with a degree in business. Marianne is a second-generation Irish American, and her father's side of the family came from County Fermanagh. She lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and son.

Christopher Condron AXA Financial Christopher M. “Kip” Condron was elected president and CEO of AXA Financial, Inc. and a member of the AXA Group Management Board in 2001. In addition, Kip is chairman of the board, president and CEO of AXA Financial’s principal insurance subsidiary, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, and is responsible for AllianceBernstein, AXA’s majority owned Asset Management firm. Kip joined The Boston Company in 1989 as vice chairman and head of the Private Client Group. Prior to joining the Boston Company, he was co-president of AYCO, the financial and tax planning subsidiary of American Express, which acquired his Pittsburgh-based firm, Condron Associates. Kip is on the board of AllianceBernstein Corporation and AXA Financial, Inc., a member of the Financial Services Roundtable and chairman of its Board of Directors. He is a director of The American Ireland Fund and also serves as treasurer and chairman of its Executive Committee. Married with three children, Kip is a third-generation Irish American with roots in counties Donegal and Cork.

Don Connelly Don Connelly & Associates Don Connelly, perhaps the nation’s most successful advisor to the retail brokerage industry, has long been a powerful beacon of wisdom to investors and financial services professionals. His career on Wall Street spans nearly 40 years and includes positions as stock broker, financial planner, branch manager, wholesaler, and national sales manager, and for nearly 19 years he was company spokesperson, senior vice president and senior marketing officer for Putnam. Now, as founder of CampConnelly.com, an extraordinary ‘e-boot camp,’ Don’s timely and provocative sales ideas are available to thousands of financial professionals around the globe. Audiences at England’s Cambridge University, Harvard, Wharton School of Business, Chapman College and Pepperdine have all benefited from his presentations. Offering practical guidance to financial services professionals, Don is known as a guru on managing client relationships, selling and becoming a successful financial advisor. A third-generation Irish American, Don says, “Being of Irish descent makes me stand just a bit taller.”


50 Mary Ann Callahan

Charles Carey

Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

Charles P. “Charlie” Carey is vice chairman of CME Group, a company formed by the 2007 merger of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Today, CME Group is the largest derivatives exchange in the world, with operations in over 85 countries. Earlier, Charlie was chairman of the CBOT from 2003 until assuming his current position at CME Group in July 2007. Previously, he served on the CBOT Board of Directors for eleven years in various roles, including vice chairman, first vice chairman and full member director. An independent futures trader, Charlie became a member of CBOT in 1978 and is a partner in the firm Henning and Carey. In 2007, Charlie was presented with the Oak Park and River Forest High School Tradition of Excellence Award and earlier that year with the Western Illinois University Distinguished Alumni Award for his business and professional accomplishments. He is president of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, an organization that provides scholarships for underprivileged youths. A lifelong resident of Chicago, Charlie received a BA degree in business administration from Western Illinois University.

Mary Ann Callahan, managing director of global relations and development at DTCC, has for over 20 years cultivated DTCC’s strategic business relationships and links with other market infrastructures. She served as head of DTCC’s London office for four years, and as president of the Americas’ Central Securities Depositories Association since 2007, she leads a regional forum of 25 national market infrastructures. A third-generation Irish American, Mary Ann earned a BA at Manhattanville College and an MBA in finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Her maternal grandfather, whose parents emigrated from Dublin, served with the Fighting 69th during WWI. During her childhood, her grandfather marched each year with his Irish-heritage regiment at the front of NY’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Her paternal greatgrandparents hailed from Mayo. Regularly in touch with Invest Northern Ireland’s NY team, Mary Ann is also a keen supporter of International Center in New York, Covenant House and Iona College.

CME Group Inc.

Brendan Connolly UBS Investment Bank Brendan Connolly is a managing director and head of Leveraged Capital Markets for UBS Investment Bank in New York. In this role, he manages UBS's Global High Yield Bond and Loan Capital Markets activities and is a member of the Credit/Fixed Income Management Committee and the IBD Americas Executive Committee. Brendan received a BA in economics from Rutgers University and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School. Prior to his current position, Brendan worked for Credit Suisse Group in New York. He joined UBS's High Yield Syndicate group in 2004, with responsibility for the firm's High Yield underwriting risk. A Bronx native, Brendan is married with three children. He is a first-generation Irish American and very proud of his Irish heritage. His father John hails from Tyholland, County Monaghan and is the proprietor of the popular Connolly's midtown Manhattan pubs; his mother Mary hails from Irishtown, County Mayo.

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Gavan Corr NYSE Technologies Gavan Corr is a director of NYSE Technologies, the commercial technology division of NYSE Euronext. Growing up in Ballyhegan, Co. Armagh, he was educated at Queen’s University, Belfast and the Ulster Business School. He has over 12 years experience working at the leading edge of financial technology. He lived and worked in Vienna, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Paris, Palo Alto and London before moving to New York full time in 2003. Gavan began his career with Irish based First Derivatives working with Morgan Stanley, JPMC and Bank of America amongst others. This was followed by three years at Gemstone Systems before moving to NYSE Euronext. Gavan travels often to Belfast where the firm has a substantial core engineering center serving the global needs of NYSE Technologies. He also works with Invest NI promoting Northern Ireland as a destination for high tech and financial companies. Gavan spends as much time as possible with his wife Aveen and sons Matthew and Dara. Since moving to NY, he admits to missing family, friends, Ballyhegan Gaelic football and a decent pint of stout.

Christopher Crotty Farina & Associates, Inc. Christopher C. Crotty, Esq. is vice president and director of convertible trading at Farina and Associates, Inc. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Chris was raised in Hamburg, NY, and studied at Fordham University and the New York Law School. During his time at Fordham, Chris was offered a position as an assistant research analyst at McMahan securities. After suggesting the company place someone on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, Chris found himself right in the heart of the NYSE. Chris later joined Cuttone and Company, who made him a broker in 1998. Chris joined Vincent Farina & Associates in 1994. The firm has since branched into the futures markets, prime brokerage, research, and compliance consulting. Chris traces his roots back to County Clare, Kilrush and Kilkee on his father’s side and Ennis on his mother’s. Chris resides in Pelham, NY with his wife Jennifer, daughters Delia and Emma, and son Will. In September 2008, Chris gave a human face to the economic crisis when this photo of him on the NYSE floor appeared on front pages of newspapers nationwide.

John Daly Goldman Sachs & Co. John Daly is co-head of the Industrial and Natural Resources (INR) Financing Group sector and head of the INR sector in Equity Capital Markets New York. He joined the firm in 1989 in Global Finance after working as a summer associate in 1988. John became a managing director in 1998 and a partner in 2000. After a three-year period in Hong Kong as co-head of Capital Markets, Asia ex-Japan, John returned to New York in his current role in late 2003. Before moving to Hong Kong, he had responsibility for Energy and Power transactions in the Equity Capital Markets (ECM) Group in New York. John worked for four years in the Corporate Finance Group within the Investment Banking Division prior to his transfer to ECM. John is a member of the Trinity College Dublin Foundation Board, the Trinity School of Business Advisory Board and the Financial Services Advisory Board of Enterprise Ireland. He earned an MBA from Wharton, a BAI in engineering, and a BA in mathematics from the University of Dublin, Trinity College. A Dublin native, John lives in New York City and is married with four children. 48 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

50 Hillary Cullen UBS Hillary Cullen joined UBS Financial Services in 1998 through its predecessor firm Paine Webber and currently works as the vice president of investments at UBS. She is a member of the Sager/Swasey Group in the Private Wealth Management office at UBS and works as a private wealth advisor. Hillary graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in mathematics. She is a former director of business development, RGE monitor and associate director of international sales for International Strategy & Investments (ISI), both leading macroeconomic research firms. She started her career as a portfolio assistant at Morris & McVeigh, LLP, a trust and estate law firm. Hillary then worked for the Archdiocese of New York with charitable fundraising and development. She is a member of the board of advisors for Cathedral High School in New York and a member of The American Ireland Fund. Hillary is a third-generation Irish American. Her father’s family hails from Blackwater, County Wexford and her mother’s family from County Clare. Hillary says that her Irish heritage gives her pride in where she comes from, in her family and her faith.

David Dempsey

Craig Donohue

Bentley Associates L.P.

CME Group Inc.

David Dempsey, who has over 28 years of experience as an international investment banker specializing in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, is a managing director at Bentley Associates L.P. in New York. Prior to joining Bentley, David worked with a number of banks in New York and London, on the merger and acquisition and corporate finance sides and also with a major management consulting firm. He began his career at the Chase Bank in London after completing his term as Secretary General of AIESEC International in Brussels, and also serves as the director of The New Ireland Fund, Inc., a closed-end diversified investment company with 80 percent of its assets in a portfolio of Irish securities. David is an advisory board member for the Pennell Venture Partners Marathon Fund L.P., and the founder of the China Investment Group, LLC. David grew up in Dublin and earned a bachelor of commerce degree from University College Dublin and his MBA from Fordham University. He lives in New York City with his wife Deborah and their daughter.

Craig S. Donohue has served as CEO of CME Group and its predecessor company, CME Holdings Inc., since 2003. He joined CME as an attorney in 1989. During his 20 years at CME, Craig has held a range of positions with increasing responsibilities, including general counsel and CAO. In 2009, Craig was named to Institutional Investor’s “Power 50” list of the world's most influential people in finance. He is a member of the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council and serves on the steering committee for its Future of Finance Initiative, as well as serving on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Global Markets Advisory Committee. Craig holds an MBA degree from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a JD degree from John Marshall Law School, an ML degree in financial services regulation from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and a BA degree in political science and history from Drake University. Craig is a third-generation Irish American with roots in County Cork. He lives in Northbrook, Illinois, with his wife and their three children.

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Michael Doorley • Fidelity Investments Michael Doorley is executive vice president, chief administrative officer and a member of the Executive Committee of Fidelity Investments. Prior to joining Fidelity, Michael was most recently chief administrative officer of the International Division of Prudential Financial Inc. Previously, Michael held the positions of chief financial officer and chief administrative officer for Van Eck Global. Michael received a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Fordham University and is certified public accountant and member of the New York State Society of CPAs. He travels to Ireland frequently both on personal trips and for business. He is a member of the IrelandUS Council and is associated with Irish-American philanthropic activities. Born in New York City, Michael is a first-generation Irish American whose parents were both from Strokestown, County Roscommon.

Mary Callahan Erdoes

Michael Farrell

J.P. Morgan

Michael K. Farrell is executive vice president at MetLife responsible for the Retirement & Wealth Management businesses. Since November 2008, Michael has run all aspects of MetLife’s annuity business. Michael has over 33 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before joining MetLife in 2001, he was president of Michael K. Farrell Associates, Inc., which at the time of its sale to ING in 2001 had over 1,500 clients. Michael’s interest in his Irish heritage was passed on to him from his parents. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Tuam, Co. Galway. Michael’s first of some 60 trips to Ireland was after his graduation from St. Benedict’s Prep and established a connection to family that continues to this day. Michael was named New Jersey Irishman of the Year in 2005 by the Brian Boru Society. He and his family were honored in 2007 by Fordham University with the prestigious Mara Award. Michael is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He and his wife Nancy live in New Vernon, NJ, and are the proud parents of Meghan and Seann.

Mary Callahan Erdoes is chairman and chief executive officer of Global Wealth Management for J.P. Morgan. A member of the J.P. Morgan Chase Executive Committee, Mary is responsible for the firm's ultra high net worth clients. Since joining J.P. Morgan in 1996, she has served in a variety of roles including head of Investment Management and Alternative Solutions for the Private Bank and chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan's Private Bank. An Illinois native, Mary is a fourth-generation Irish American. Her great-grandparents emigrated from counties Cork on her father's side and Tipperary on her mother's. Mary received her BS from Georgetown University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the US Fund for UNICEF. Mary lives with her husband and three daughters in New York City.



50 Terrence Duffy

Bryan Durkin

CME Group Inc.

CME Group Inc.

Terrence A. Duffy has served as executive chairman of CME Group since 2007. Previously, he served as chairman of the board of CME and CME Holdings since 2002 and as executive chairman since 2006. In 2002, Terrence was appointed by President Bush to serve on a National Saver Summit on Retirement Savings. He was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003 as a member of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB). Terrence currently serves on the Board of Directors of World Business Chicago, the Board of Regents for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, the Board of Trustees of Saint Xavier University, and is co-chair of the Mayo Clinic Greater Chicago Leadership Council. He is chairman of the NYMEX Foundation and vice chairman of the CME Group Foundation. Terrence is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club of Chicago and the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He attended the University of WisconsinWhitewater. In 2007, he received a Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul University.

Bryan T. Durkin has served as managing director and COO of CME Group Inc. since July 2007. He previously held a variety of leadership roles with Chicago Board of Trade from 1982 to 2007, most recently as executive vice president and COO. He also served as chairman of the Joint Compliance Committee for all US futures exchanges and represented CBOT on various industry panels concerning trading practices and trading operations. Bryan, who has also been an adjunct faculty member of Lewis University's MBA program teaching courses in organizational behavior and management, is a second-generation Irish American who traces his roots to County Mayo on both sides. He credits his Irish immigrant grandparents with “paving the way” for his “beautiful and productive life,” adding, “The Irish have proven to be a resilient and giving culture and I am most grateful to be a part of that legacy.” Bryan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Lewis University. Bryan lives in Chicago with his wife and five children.

Ryan Fennelly • RBC Capital Markets Ryan Fennelly is a director on The US Treasury Trading Desk at RBC Capital Markets, the investment-banking arm of Canada's biggest lender, the Royal Bank of Canada. Born and raised in New York, Ryan is a graduate of Cornell University with a BS in applied economics & business management. Ryan was previously the head US agency trader at Credit Suisse Securities. Ryan is a second-generation Irish American whose maternal grandparents came from Kerry and whose father’s grandparents emigrated from Kilkenny. Ryan is an avid golfer and makes annual trips to the emerald isle. Ryan appreciates his Irish heritage and work ethic and uses it to instill hard work and discipline in every day life. He says, “I can remember my grandmother who was proud to be an Irish American Catholic. My mother named me Ryan Patrick after my grandfather. She taught me to be a God-fearing, loyal citizen who respects country and his fellow man.” Ryan currently lives with his wife, Helen, and their three children in Rockville Centre, New York.

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Robert Golden

Matt Gorman

Michael Higgins

Prudential Financial

Credit Suisse

CIBC World Markets

Matt W. Gorman is a managing director of Credit Suisse and New York regional office manager of Private Banking USA. He joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 2000 when the firm merged with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, where he was a producing manager and a recipient of the Super Achiever Award in 1999. Prior to joining DLJ in 1994, he worked for Kidder Peabody in Private Client Services, where he served as the sales manager of the headquarters office. He graduated from Princeton in 1978 with a BA in economics, and spent two years working in public accounting with PriceWaterhouse prior to attending the Wharton Business School for his MBA. Matt is a third-generation Irish American. His great grandfather, William Gorman, came to the United States in 1855 when he was 18 years old with no money and looked for work, leaving his family behind in County Clare. William settled in the Hartford, CT area. Matt’s maternal ancestors, the Moroneys, came to America in 1842 and settled outside of Cleveland, OH. Matt has five children and three dogs. He and his wife of 27 years, Lorri, live in Pelham Manor, New York.

Michael Higgins is managing director and head of Real Estate Finance at CIBC World Markets. CIBC is a leading financial institution and one of the largest in North America, with total assets exceeding $200 billion and offices around the world. Michael is one of the most active and respected real estate finance executives in the U.S. He has experience in all aspects of the real estate industry and has been involved in the financing and advisory of over $50 billion of commercial real estate transactions. A native of County Mayo, Michael earned a bachelor of commerce degree from National University of Ireland, Galway, where he serves on the foundation board. He also holds a master of science degree in real estate finance from New York University. Michael, who is married and has four children, is a member of The American Ireland Fund. An avid golfer, he served as chairman of the AIF’s golf outing at Baltusrol, New Jersey in 2004.

Robert Charles “Bob” Golden joined Prudential in 1976 and is now executive vice president of Prudential Financial. Under his leadership, Prudential founded a technology and call center in County Donegal, which now employs 700 people. Bob, who earned his BS and MBA from Fordham University, serves as first vice chair and director of HeartShare Human Services of New York, a nonprofit organization for children in need. In 2000, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2001, he was named Man of the Year by Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and by the New York Aquarium. In 2002, Bob was named Man of the Year by Catholic Big Brothers, and in 2006 was named a Distinguished Irish American by New York City Comptroller, William Thompson. Bob is a Knight of Malta and a Knight Grand Cross of the Holy Sepulchre. A third-generation Irish American with roots in County Mayo, Bob is a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the St. Patrick Society of Brooklyn. He and his wife Maureen live in Staten Island with their two children, Katie and Bobby.

Karen HigginsCarter

James Hogan

GE Asset Management

James Hogan is executive vice president and regional head of Portfolio Management North America for HSBC Bank USA, N.A., a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HBC). In this role, which he assumed in December 2008, he is responsible for ensuring a satisfactory return on HSBC’s commercial lending portfolio from a capital management perspective. In more than 20 years of experience with HSBC, James has served in a variety of positions in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. He transferred from Hong Kong to New York City in September 2007. During his career, he has held senior management positions in Global Transaction Banking, Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Strategic Planning. James was born and grew up in Dublin; he earned a bachelor of commerce degree from University College in Dublin. He believes that “being Irish allows you to keep an open mind about relating to other people and their values.” James is married to Josie, who hails from Hong Kong, and they live in New York City.

Karen Higgins-Carter is the chief information officer for GE Asset Management. In this capacity, she oversees the operations and enhancement of all GEAM IT systems. Karen was hired as an IT strategy leader at General Electric Capital Services in 1998. In 1999, she joined GE Consumer Finance responsible for all IT project delivery for GE’s US private label credit card clients. Most recently, Karen led IT Operations for GE Commercial Finance with a specific focus on IT security, disaster recovery and continuous improvement in system availability and performance. Prior to GE, Karen was a manager at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in New York. While at Andersen, she specialized in application development to support emerging broadband services in the telecommunications industry. Karen earned a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA degree with a major in economics from Lafayette College. She is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in County Cork.



Paul Keary • FTI Consulting Paul Keary is senior managing director and director of business integration with NYSE listed FTI Consulting. Paul is also a board director of Financial Dynamics Ireland. He brings over 13 years experience on both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to joining FTI, Paul held a senior management position for an international PR agency and advised a wide number of blue chip technology companies on communications strategy surrounding IPOs and M&A activity. Previously he was also head of communications for Xerox Europe Ltd. A marketing and communications graduate, Paul has twice been awarded by the Public Relations Consultants Association, for Excellence in Financial Communications and Excellence in Corporate Communications. Paul is currently a director of the US Foundation Board for National University of Ireland, Galway, a founding board director of the IN-NYC business network, and was recently honored as a recipient of The Irish Echo’s “Top 40 Under 40” Awards for North America.

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Denis Kelleher

Sean Kelleher

Wall Street Access

Wall Street Access

Denis Kelleher is founder and chief executive officer of Wall Street Access. Since 1981, Wall Street Access has combined an independent, entrepreneurial culture with a powerful platform to build and operate a diverse set of successful financial services businesses. Denis began his career in 1958 as a messenger with Merrill Lynch, where through dynamic financial talent, he rose dramatically through the company ranks until 1969 when he founded Ruane Cunniff and its Sequoia Fund. In 1981, he founded Wall Street Access. Denis, a native of County Kerry, is a graduate of St. John’s University, where he served as chairman of the board for the last eight years. He is director of The New Ireland Fund and member of the Staten Island Foundation, and was proud to be recognized with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1995. In 2005, Denis was Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. He is married with three children and seven grandchildren.

As managing director of Wall Street Access, the financial services organization founded by his father Denis Kelleher, Sean has helped guide the firm through successful ventures in online brokerage, institutional research and trading, and asset management. In 1992, Sean joined the firm as a clerk and now manages a team of more than 50 analysts, traders and salespeople. A graduate of Wagner College, Sean now serves on the college’s alumni board and finance committee. He also serves as co-chairman of the Staten Island Film Festival and is the co-founder of the Gerry Red Wilson Foundation to support spinal meningitis research. Sean, who spent the summers of his youth in Ireland, working the bog, says the catalysts behind his love for Irish culture are his family and playing Gaelic football in his father’s village in County Kerry. He lives on Staten Island, New York with his wife Wendy and their three children, Maggie, Jack and Denis.

Donald Keough Allen & Company Incorporated Donald Keough is chairman of the board of Allen & Company Incorporated. He was elected to that position in 1993. Donald retired as president, COO and a director of The Coca-Cola Company in 1993, positions he held since 1981. His tenure with the company dates back to 1950. Donald currently serves on the boards of IAC/InterActive Corp, Global Yankee Holdings, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. Donald has served for many years as a member of the boards of McDonald’s Corp., The Washington Post Co., H. J. Heinz Co. and The Home Depot. He is chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees and a life trustee of the University of Notre Dame. Donald has received many honors including honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater Creighton University, and Trinity University in Dublin. He received the University of Notre Dame’s highest honor, the Laetare Medal, in 1993. Donald resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Marilyn. They have six children and eighteen grandchildren. Donald received honorary Irish citizenship in June 2007.


50 Shaun Kelly • KPMG Shaun Kelly is the vice chair in charge of KPMG’s US Tax practice and regional head of the Americas Tax practice. He is responsible for setting the strategic direction for, and overseeing the operations of, KPMG’s Tax practice. Shaun leads a team of over 400 tax partners and more than 4,000 tax professionals. He serves as a member of the firm’s Management and Operating Committees. Prior to assuming the vice chair role in 2005, Shaun led KPMG’s Global Transaction Services practice and was regional coordinating partner for the Transaction Services practice in the Americas. Shaun grew up in Belfast and attended Holy Child Primary School and St. Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School in West Belfast. He received a bachelor of commerce degree from University College, Dublin. Shaun first moved to the US in 1984 on a short-term assignment. After working in Belfast from 1990-1999 he returned to the US where he has worked in KPMG’s offices in San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Shaun lives in Connecticut with his wife Mary, who was born in Donegal, and their four children, two of whom were born in Belfast.

Sean Kilduff

Thomas Lynch


Milkie/Ferguson Investments

As senior vice president of investments at UBS Private Wealth Management, Sean T. Kilduff focuses on delivering customized solutions to high net worth individuals and families. He also serves as senior portfolio manager in the Portfolio Management Program concentrated on developing customized investment strategies that utilize strategic and tactical asset allocation models. Born and raised in New York, Sean is a graduate of St. John’s University with a BS in finance. He began his career at Shearson Lehman Brothers and spent nine years at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management before moving his team and practice to UBS Private Wealth Management. Sean is a first-generation Irish American whose mother was born and raised in Dublin. His father’s family is from Westmeath. Sean notes, “Having visited my grandmother in Dublin often, Ireland became a big part of my life from an early age. As a result, I gained a true appreciation for the world famous warmth and incredible wit of the Irish people.” Sean lives in Rockville Centre, New York with his wife Jean and their four children.

Thomas “Tom” Lynch is a vice president of investments and registered principal with the Dallas-based firm Milkie/Ferguson Investments. 2009 is Tom’s 25th year in the investment business. Throughout his career, Tom has earned numerous TopProducer awards. He specializes in stocks, exchange traded funds, option strategies and IRA rollovers. Tom graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a second-generation Irish American whose father’s family was from Roscommon and his mother’s from Cork. Pride in his Irish heritage was ingrained from childhood. Tom and his wife have been active in the past with Project Children, which brings children from the North of Ireland to the US each summer. He is also a member of the American Ireland Fund and supports Concern USA. The motto on the Lynch family Irishcoat of arms is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) and serves as Tom’s code of conduct: always faithful to family, friends, clients, Irish Catholic heritage and to Texas and the USA.

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Meg McCarthy • Aetna Inc. As chief information officer and senior vice president of Procurement and Real Estate, Meg McCarthy is responsible for all information technology services, process and performance improvement, procurement and real estate at Aetna Inc. Prior to being named CIO in 2005, Meg was vice president and head of Business Solutions Delivery at Aetna. Meg received her master’s of public health degree in hospital administration from Yale University and received her BA in philosophy from Providence College. Before working for Aetna, she was senior vice president of Information Technology at CIGNA. Meg’s military experience includes US Navy Medical Services Corps; lieutenant at Bethesda Naval Hospital; and US Navy Reserves, lieutenant commander. A third-generation Irish American whose father’s family came from Kerry, Meg is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and calls her Irish heritage a source of “strong spirit, personal warmth, and perseverance.”

Thomas Meagher Jr.

Anthony Murphy

Grosvenor Capital Management L.P.

Anthony J. “Tony” Murphy is senior executive vice president of Strategy Implementation at HSBC North America Holdings Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE:HBC). Prior to his appointment to this role, Tony was head of Portfolio Management for HNAH. He was formerly president and CEO of HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and a dual executive officer of HSBC Bank USA N.A. He had been a leading member of the Global Banking & Markets senior management team in the Americas since 2000, appointed CEO of HSI in 2003 and in 2006 took on the added responsibilities as COO of CIBM and INV in North America and oversight of Balance Sheet Management activities. He joined the HSBC Group in 1990 and has held various general management, trading, strategy and risk management positions in New York and London. Tony holds a degree from Trinity College, Dublin University, and a PhD in theoretical physics from Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Actuaries.

Thomas Meagher Jr. joined Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P., in 2001 and shares responsibility for business development. Grosvenor, established in 1971, is a pioneer in the hedge fund industry. From 1998 to 2001, Thomas was a director with First Union National Bank. From 1995 through 1998, he was a director with The ServiceMaster Company. Thomas also served as assistant to the governor on economic affairs in the office of Governor Thompson as well as the deputy director for the Illinois Housing Development Authority from 1982 to 1990. He received a BBA in marketing and management in 1982 from Texas Christian University. Thomas resides in Chicago with his wife, Diane, and son. In addition, he has two adult sons living in Chicago and Florida. Thomas is a member of the Economic Club and on the International Board of Visitors of Texas Christian University and the Board of Old St. Patrick’s Church, Chicago.


50 Brendan McDonagh

Liam McGee


Liam E. McGee is president of the Consumer & Small Business Bank for Bank of America, which serves 55 million US consumer and small business households. In addition, he is responsible for the corporation’s global technology and delivery in the over 30 countries in which Bank of America operates. Liam joined Bank of America in 1990 and has broad leadership experience in consumer banking, corporate and commercial banking, and technology and operations. In 2001, he was appointed president of the Bank of America Consumer Bank. Active in civic affairs and education, Liam is a member of the National Urban League Board of Trustees and the Financial Services Roundtable Board of Directors. Additionally, he serves on the board of the Andres H. Bechtler Arts Foundation. A native of County Donegal, Ireland, Liam grew up in Southern California and speaks Spanish fluently. He is a graduate of the University of San Diego, with a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University and a law degree from Loyola Law School.

Bank of America

Brendan McDonagh is chief executive officer of HSBC – North America Holdings Inc. Appointed CEO in February 2008, he is responsible for the group’s banking and consumer finance operations in the US and Canada. In 2008 Brendan also became group managing director for HSBC Holdings plc, and is a member of the HSBC Group Management Board. He joined HSBC in 1979 as an international manager and held a series of senior executive positions before becoming CEO. Brendan was born and raised in Dublin and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Trinity College. He is past chairman of the Consumer Bankers Association, a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Brendan is active in several USA/Ireland organizations, including the New York Regional Board of the American Ireland Fund and the USA Board of Co-operation Ireland. He resides in the Chicago area with his wife Kenane and their two children.

Conor Murphy • MetLife Conor Murphy is vice president and head of investor relations for MetLife. He was appointed to this position in 2007. Previously, Conor was vice president and CFO for MetLife’s investments department since 2002. He joined MetLife in 2000 after seven years with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he served in the New York Financial Services Industry Practice. Prior to that, he spent five years with Grant Thornton LLP in Dublin, Ireland. Conor is a founding trustee of Cristo Rey New York High School and a past president of the Association of Chartered Accountants in the United States. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Conor is also a chartered accountant and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Conor is a native of Donegal, where the third generation of Murphys still runs the family store, “Murphy of Ireland.” He resides in Westchester County, NY with his wife Ani and sons Jack and Aidan. He credits his good fortune to having received a great education that "started in a two-room village school" and to being married "to a saint." AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 57

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Kevin Murray

Alfred Nunan Jr.

Anthony O’Callaghan

AXA Financial, Inc.

Capital One Bank

Credit Suisse

In 2005, Kevin E. Murray was appointed executive vice president and CIO of AXA Financial, Inc. and member of the company’s Executive Management Committee. As executive vice president and CIO, Kevin directs all systems strategy and delivery towards the execution of its mission to become the industry leader. Over the past 25 years, Kevin has held a number of leadership roles in the technology industry with a significant focus on retiring legacy technologies and successfully implementing new strategic business systems. Prior to joining AXA, Kevin served as CIO of the American International Group. Kevin is a member of the American Ireland Fund New York Regional Advisory Board, the AT&T Technology Advisory Board, Hewlett Packard Advisory Board and the Enterprise Ireland’s Advisory Board. Kevin earned a BS in computer science with an emphasis in finance at Penn State University. He is a second-generation Irish American. All of his grandparents were born in West Cork and migrated to the Bronx, NY in the early 1900s. Kevin resides in New York City.

Alfred Nunan, Jr. is a senior vice president of Business Banking at Capital One Bank. He manages over one hundred business banking relationships for the bank and coordinates a team of bank product specialists. Despite the economic slowdown, Alfred continues to successfully develop new business for the bank, and credits his contacts within the Irish-American community for his continued success. Prior to joining Capital One Bank, Alfred worked for Deutsche Bank in the Leveraged Finance Portfolio Group and Allied Irish Bank in New York. Alfred is the president of the Irish Business Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Morris Center YMCA. He served nine years on the active roll of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, a unit within the Army National Guard, and continues to serve as a nonactive member. Alfred is a thirdgeneration Irish American who traces his Irish roots to Castletown Conyers, Limerick. He is a graduate of The Hun School of Princeton and received a BS degree in economics from Monmouth University. He resides in Maplewood, NJ with his wife Anne and three children Bridget, Freddy and Denis.

John O’Donoghue Cowen & Co. L.L.C. John F. O’Donoghue is the head of equities at Cowen & Company L.L.C and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. As such, John oversees the firm’s research sales, sales trading, and all trading areas of the firm, along with strategic planning and expansion of the firm’s franchise. Prior to joining Cowen in 2005, John was managing director and co-head of trading at Credit Suisse First Boston and was a member of that firm’s Global Equity Operating Committee. Before that, he was a partner at Schroders PLC and spent 17 years working with Schroders, including six years as managing director. A native of County Down, John received an honors BSc degree in economics from Queen’s University in Belfast. He moved to the United States in 1980 and has been active in the American Ireland Fund, serving on the last seven chairman’s committees for the annual New York Gala. John also serves on the QUB Advisory Board (US) and is married to Debbie with two sons, John Patrick and Brendan.

Anthony “Tony” O’Callaghan is a director and relationship manager for Credit Suisse Private Banking USA, based in New York. Tony has over 26 years of experience as an investment professional. Prior to joining Credit Suisse (DLJ) in 1994, he was with Kidder, Peabody & Co. for 12 years. Tony’s focus is on providing wealth management solutions for corporations, foundations and pension plans as well as senior corporate officers, family offices and ultra high net worth and high net worth individuals. Tony is among the most senior advisors in Credit Suisse’s Private Banking USA with particular expertise in asset allocation and fixed income. He earned his BA in economics from Michigan State University. Tony is a fourth-generation Irish American whose great grandfather came to the United States in the late 19th century. His branch of the O’Callaghans traces back to County Mayo, where you can still see the ruins of the once great O’Callaghan castle. Tony and his wife Patti have three children: Anthony Ryan, Julia Britten and Bonnie Diane. They have all visited Ireland and speak to their friends there regularly.

James O’Sullivan

Declan Quirke


Cowen & Co. L.L.C.

James “Jim” O’Sullivan is a managing director and senior economist for UBS. While the collapse in US housing was more dramatic than expected, he had been forecasting significant weakening in sales and prices and spillover to the overall economy. Jim was co-ranked first in economics in the Institutional Investor survey of fixed-income investors in 2007 and 2008. He was named Forecaster of the Year for 2008 and 2006 by Dow Jones MarketWatch. Born in New York, Jim grew up in Co. Offaly. His father is from Limerick and his mother is from Cork. Jim says, “People in Ireland take an exceptional interest in political and socioeconomic developments. Growing up there stimulated that interest in me. As an economist, I am focused on the interactions among government policy, financial markets, and the economy.” Jim holds a BA in economics from Trinity College Dublin, where he achieved the distinction of Scholar, and an MA in economics from Queen’s University in Ontario. He lives in Manhattan with his Offalyborn wife, Margaret Molloy, a marketing executive, and their sons, Finn and Emmet.

Declan Quirke grew up in Dalkey and moved to the US for studies at Columbia. Declan, head of health care M&A for Cowen and Company, joined the firm in 2001 from Robertson Stephens where he was co-head of their East Coast M&A activities. Prior to Robertson, he was a managing director in PaineWebber’s M&A Group responsible for all of their technology and healthcare M&A. Declan focuses on Cowen’s Biotechnology, Specialty Pharmaceutical and Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Services sectors in Europe and North America. He has originated and executed a large number of transactions across a range of geographies and sectors, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, exclusive sales, spin-offs and other assorted defense and financial advisory assignments. Declan received an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a BE in mechanical engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to business school, he was a project engineer for Babcock Power PLC, a nuclear and defense contractor in the UK. Declan is married to Karen Murphy and they have four daughters and one son.


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Brian Ruane

Sharon Sager

John Shea

Bank of New York Mellon


Eaton Vance

Sharon Sager, senior vice president of investments, is a private wealth advisor at UBS Financial Services Inc. A 25-year veteran of the financial securities industry, Sharon previously worked in the textile industry. She graduated from the College of Mount St. Vincent with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Later, she obtained the Certified Investment Analyst degree from the Investment Management Consultants Association. In 1983, she began her financial career at Kidder Peabody & Co., which merged with Paine Webber in 1995 and UBS in 2000. Sharon is a member of the board of directors of the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 Sharon was named one of Barron’s “Top 100 Women Financial Advisors,” and will be again in 2009. She was also named to Barron’s “Top 1,000 Advisors” in 2009. Sharon is a second-generation Irish American and holds membership in the Irish Georgian Society and the New York Irish History Roundtable. Her father’s family, the O’Tooles, are from County Galway, while her mother’s, the Carrolls, hail from County Cork.

John Shea is vice president and CIO for Eaton Vance. He is responsible for all technology leveraged across Eaton Vance and supervises a staff of more than 70 employees. John has over 10 years of experience in the investment industry and over 25 years working in technology. Prior to joining Eaton Vance, he was director of information technology at Batterymarch Financial Management, an asset management subsidiary of Legg Mason. Previously, John was senior vice president of MFS Investment Management. Before entering the financial services industry, John developed software for the nuclear power industry and spent nearly 10 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force (Nuclear Power Program). He is currently a captain in the Naval Reserve. John holds a BS in marine engineering from Maine Maritime Academy, an MBA from Anna Maria College and a graduate certificate in internet technologies from Boston University. The native Bostonian is a second-generation Irish American with roots in counties Killarney and Kerry, and is married with five children.

Brian Ruane is executive vice president of Client Management and head of Financial Institutions at The Bank of New York Mellon. Brian is a member of the Bank’s Operating Committee and sits on the board of Pershing LLC and BNY Mellon Financial Services PLC, an Irish bank. In March 2009, Brian joined the Bank's newly created Sovereign Advisory Board, tasked with best serving sovereign organizations, sovereign wealth funds, sovereign pension plans and central banks. Brian graduated from Colaiste Eanna in Dublin in 1982. In 1989, he graduated from The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in the U.K. and Ireland. In 1995, he received his MBA in international banking from The Zarb School of Business, New York. Brian sits on the advisory boards of The UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business, Dublin, and The Zarb School of Business, New York. Brian’s father comes from Crossmolina, County Mayo and his mother is from Drumhaldry, County Longford. He and his wife Anna, from Dublin, live in New York with their four children.

Patrick Shouvlin

Brian Sweeney


Marco Polo Network

Patrick J. “Pat” Shouvlin began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cincinnati in 1977. He moved to New York in 1986 to work in the firm's Strategic Planning department. He was admitted to the partnership in 1988 and joined the firm's Mergers & Acquisitions group in 1990. In 1992 he joined the Insurance group and led the group from 1996 to 2003. Pat is the global engagement partner on American Express and Zurich Financial Services. Pat holds a BA in history from Denison University and an MBA in finance from The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School with an MBA in finance. He is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Overseers of St. John’s University, School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science, is a member of the AICPA, and is a licensed CPA in NY, Connecticut and Ohio. Pat’s grandfather, PJ Shouvlin, was born in the town of Ardara, Donegal, in 1863 and emigrated with his family in 1866. PJ, with only four grades of formal education, became an engineer and designed one of the first internal combustion engines for use in the oil fields in the US.

Brian Sweeney is a managing director of Marco Polo Network, a financial services firm with a specialized focus on emerging markets. Brian was one of the founding members of the company, which was established in New York City in 2001. With offices across the major emerging markets, Marco Polo Network is one of the fastest growing platforms capitalizing on global demand for emerging market investments and the growth of new marketplaces across the globe. Brian, who has over 15 years experience in trading and operations, is responsible for client strategy and sales of equities, futures and fixed income to Quant Funds and Proprietary Trading Desks in Europe and the USA. He began his career at Citigroup before becoming an options specialist on the NYSE floor, and developed his emerging markets expertise while at the Standard Bank of South Africa. A Dublin native, Brian was educated at Terenure College and University College of Dublin, where he received a BA in economics and English. He resides in New York City with his wife, Fabienne and two children, Liam and Xavier.


• end quote • “My mother ran that house as if it were a navy destroyer, but with such calm and grace, we never knew how regimented it was.” The Crottys’ home doubled as the neighborhood playground, ball field, and general gathering place for the neighborhood. “With the community tennis courts and swimming pool at the end of the street, we never had to leave the neighborhood…we had everything.” – Christopher C. Crotty, vice president and director of convertible trading at Farina and Associates. The second of seven close knit siblings born a mere eight an a half years apart from each other, to James and Kathleen Crotty, Chris and his family grew up in Hamburg, in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York.



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Her husband may be Chief

Justice of the Supreme Court, but Jane Sullivan Roberts is an amazing success story all her own. By Niall O’Dowd.


ane Sullivan Roberts, 54, is one of those rare Washington women who won’t let her husband’s achievements overshadow her. When your husband is John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, that’s quite a trick, but it is one Jane Roberts pulls off with verve and panache. She’s a terrific lawyer in her own right, and right now is one of the top recruiters with Major Lindsay and Africa, one of the major legal recruitment firms in the capital. You get some sense of the intellect of the woman by looking at her biography. It states in part, “Prior to joining MLA, Jane was the Executive Partner for Talent Development at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Before assuming this role, she was a partner in the firm’s Global Technology Group focusing on IT sourcing and procurement of satellite systems. “Jane also practiced litigation at Shaw Pittman and Dorsey & Whitney in a wide variety of matters before various courts and decision-making bodies. In 1992, Ms. Roberts litigated before Australian courts with then Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks, a leading law firm in Australia. Jane also clerked for the Honorable James M. Sprouse, Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, during the 1984-85 Term.


Before entering the legal profession, she taught mathematics at the high-school and college levels and was a Systems Engineer at Bell Laboratories.” Whew. In addition, she’s busy raising her two children Josephine and Jack, both nine year olds this year, which she says is the ultimate grounding experience for her and her husband. Ireland is part of that grounding too, and when we met in her Washington office she was busy planning her upcoming trip to Ireland where she and her husband will be staying in the little Irish cottage they part own in Knocklong County Limerick not far from her mother’s home place in Charleville on the Limerick/Cork border. Jane’s husband John is eager for the trip as well. “He loves it. The way to his heart was through the golf. So our first trip, there was a lot of golfing, and he really enjoyed it. And last summer we didn’t get any golfing, and we hiked the Glen of Aherlow; there are many things to do there, it’s fabulous. We came to Ireland from Austria, and we did hiking there, but the hiking in Ireland is wilder; there’s hardly anybody out there, and it’s just us and the sheep. It was fabulous, great to get away.”



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Hiking in the Irish mountainside, staying in a small lrish cottage, visiting with the locals and dancing at local festivals – that is the Roberts itinerary. It sounds like an idyllic trip and one that Jane was clearly looking forward to – no limousines or major receptions, just family and friends. It is clear there are no airs and graces about Jane Roberts or her husband. When her husband was appointed by President Bush many of the profiles referred to her lack of pretentiousness, driving around in an old Volkswagen, making no effort to be noticed or with the in crowd. Top right: Jane and John pictured here There was a light moment after President Bush with their children made his announcement on national television that Jack and Josie at John Roberts would be the next Supreme Court justice the Glen of in July 2005. Their five-year-old son Jack impishly Aherlow in took over proceedings and commenced dancing away Tipperary in 2008. Top left: Jane at under klieg lights to his heart’s content. Jane Roberts 3 years old. confesses to being mortified at first but later laughing Center: Jane and about her free-spirited son. John’s wedding, On another occasion at the White House when John July 27, 1996. Bottom: Parents Roberts as new Chief Justice was introducing his famKathleen and John ily to the president, Jane’s mother had wandered off with their children somewhere to look at the White House treasures and Mary, Jane and kept the president waiting. Jane laughs at the memobaby John. They ry, “Only in America,” she says. are pictured here in Inwood, She recalls just one occasion when she was suddenManhattan in 1958. ly struck with a sense of awe – at a dinner for Queen Elizabeth, when the sight of her husband sitting beside the monarch momentarily made her realize what they had accomplished together. Perhaps she is grounded because nothing got handed easily to Jane Sullivan Roberts, a fact that becomes apparent when you speak with her. A child of Irish parents, from the Bronx, she grew up in modest circumstances. She remembers well the rooms set aside in her apartment for the use of the greenhorns over from Ireland, of whom her mother was once one. When she was growing up the sights and sounds of Ireland were never far from her mind. Irish dancing and music classes gave her a grounding AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 63



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in her heritage, and her parents’ strong Catholicism and sense of duty stayed with her all her life. There was also the famous relative – Eugene O’Neill, no less – to brag about. “We have a letter from O’Neill who described a relationship, I can’t remember exactly, but he knew exactly what it was. We were always proud of that,” she says. “There’s a lot of pride in our Irish background. We did Irish dancing, we did Irish music, had parties in my home where my grandfather and I danced together. Everybody had to have a party piece. I typically danced. I had one song, the ‘Gypsy Rover’ and I’m still asked to sing that song,” she says, laughing. Her mother, Kathleen Theresa O’Carroll, was her role model. She is still hale and hearty at 80. “My mother was very smart. She graduated high school at 16 having skipped two classes, and she graduated with honors. She was the only student in the whole town accepted to university – University of Cork. And

she didn’t go because it seemed so unattractive; she said you go to Cork and live with some old biddy, and she wanted no part of that. She broke my grandfather’s heart in that sense. He forced her to do a typing course, because he said ‘you’re equipped with nothing,’ and that, in fact, is how she made her living at her first employment in New York.” Her mother came to New York and ended up marrying the next-door neighbor, John Sullivan, by all accounts a remarkable man. Jane Sullivan Roberts takes her deep commitment to Catholicism from him. “It’s probably more from my father,” she says about her faith. “He was very devout, but not in a pious sort of way. He had done theological studies in Iona College, so it was a mature faith as well. I probably have a bit of an analytical nature, and that appeals to me as well. He was a very clear thinker, he could cut through a whole lot of nonsense, and see things clearly, whether it’s political or social distinction, or religion. So I probably get that from him.” As for the recent scandals involving pedophilia and the church in Ireland, she is still grappling with what it all means. “I’m still trying to reconcile all of that. I haven’t read the 64 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

reports. I don’t know what to make of it. My mother would say the Mercies [Mercy nuns] have no charity, and the Charities [Sisters of Charity] have no mercy. But that was kind of the extent of her criticism of the religious. The question is, was it just confined to the orphanages? And the unwed mothers? That’s a terrible thing.” Her parents had no easy time raising their family in the hungry fifties. “My dad started out in advertising and then he had a job on Wall Street; this was 1954/’55 and there was a recession and Catholics were the first ones laid off on Wall Street. He had me at the time, and my other sister was coming along, so he got a job in construction where, oddly, there was work. “Then he was a fireman in a New York City public school, and then he settled into being a mechanic for electric ice machines for a post office.” Jane’s parents both insisted their children get the best education, especially the girls. They had seen many women left bereft when the man of the house lost his job or was killed in workplace accidents, which were very common then. Little wonder then that Straight A student Sullivan found herself among the first class of girls ever to enter Holy Cross College in Massachusetts and later went to Georgetown Law School. Holy Cross was an experience that defined her. “The first week I had a date every day, one day there were two dates and I called my mother and said this is too much. To go from an all-girls school, it was too much. But things settled down, the girls were very talented and serious and everybody got down to studies. The college could not have been more welcoming. We constantly had meetings in the dorms, to see how progress was. And the professors were very welcoming, at a substantive, academic, intelTop left: John and Kathleen Sullivan on lectual level.” their wedding day, She worked her way through high September 19, 1953. school and college. “I always had jobs. Above: Kathleen When I was 15 I worked in Ocean City, O’Carroll in 1951, a New Jersey, as a waitress and hostess photo she sent home to her parents. one summer, and later I got a job in a restaurant in a Jewish neighborhood, working 5-8 every night. It was perfect because I could go to school, work and then go out on a date afterwards. But I made enough money to cover my books and uniforms.” Even in college as through her entire life, Ireland was never far from her thoughts. “The first trip that I remember was in second grade, in 1962, and we stayed in the house that my mother grew up in in Charleville, County Cork. The family had six children, relatives roughly our age, so we had lots and lots of fun. I just remember the freedom, because we could just run out the back of my grandma’s house. She lived in town, but right behind her house was farmland. The town was basically just one street. We jumped the hedges, and played in the fields.

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50 YEARS of Commitment to the Shannon Region

The Cliffs of Moher




T H E P E R F E C T P L A C E F O R B U S I N E S S & P L E A S U R E

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir and Patricia Harty


et’s set off on a journey through the Shannon region, a journey that will expose us to different eras of Irish history and different aspects of modern-day Irish culture in an area that encompasses counties Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary, South Offaly and North Kerry. In this feature we will explore the delights of County Clare. Don’t worry about the jet lag. Your sense of time is about to be scrambled as it is! “It’s a long, long way from Clare to here.” So go the words of the popular song. But is it really true? What with Shannon Airport’s ever-increasing network of connections with U.S. cities, it may not take you as long as you think to arrive in County

Clare – one of Ireland’s most culturally and geographically diverse counties. You’ll find that it’s certainly worth the journey. This is a county whose history stretches back millennia and its rich archaeology is testament to this. Dotted across the landscape are Stone Age burial sites built by Clare’s earliest inhabitants; Celtic high crosses erected by early Christians; round towers used by monks as protection against marauding Vikings; and ruined medieval monasteries and castles. These historical sites are set in stunning scenery. Clare’s natural beauty includes soaring sea cliffs, playful dolphins and the otherworldly limestone landscape of the Burren with its multitude of rare flora and fauna. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 67



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50 YEARS of Commitment to the Shannon Region Clare’s people are interesting too. This county has produced some of Ireland’s best traditional musicians – accordionist Sharon Shannon and fiddler Martin Hayes are two of the most famous. Its people also have a passion for hurling, the sport mythologized by Cúchulainn, a hero of Old Ireland. Our first stop after Shannon Airport is Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425 and restored in 1954, it’s Ireland’s most complete and authentic medieval fortress. As you cross over the drawbridge, you’ll feel as though you’ve traveled hundreds of years back in time. You’ll learn all about the hierarchy of life in the castle as you wander from room to room. The marble floor, oak ceiling, richly-colored tapestries and hunting horns of the Great Hall testify to the leisured life of the gentry, while the rough wooden boards and straw matting that servants slept on convey just how impoverished their lives must have been. There’s a folk park in the grounds of the castle where you can learn how the ordinary people of Ireland lived in bygone times. Marvel as daily life is recreated in rural farmhouses and village shops. Watch as women cook soda bread on open fires and churn butter before your very eyes. They may even give you a slice of warm bread slathered with freshly-made butter when it’s ready. You can keep up the pretense of time-traveling all day long if you like. Banquets are held in the castle most evenings. At these events, you’ll be entertained by musicians singing medieval madrigals and kilted pipers playing traditional tunes while you sit at a candlelit long oak table eating dishes from the medieval era washed down with mead, the honeyed drink of the gods. Once you’ve tired of medieval life in Bunratty, you can explore river life in Killaloe. Sitting on the banks of Lough Derg, Ireland’s pleasure lake, this is a town of charming narrow streets that wind up a steep hillside and overlook a 13th-century cathedral. It is also the hometown of perhaps the best known of Ireland’s high kings, Brian Ború. This 11th-century king must have navigated the waters of the Shannon in his time and you can follow in his footsteps (or should that be slipstream?) by chartering your own cruiser. A few days of slow-paced riverboat life, watching the countryside glide by, should leave you feeling utterly relaxed. And ready for more exploration? Having regained your land legs, head for the village of Tulla. A fishing center based around three lakes, Tulla boasts a medieval parish church and seven megalithic tombs. It also has a strong musical heritage. The Tulla Céilí Band is known for its rousing renditions of traditional music. Fishing, uncovering the secrets of the past and Irish dancing – you can do it all in Tulla. By this stage, you may be missing the bustle of the big town. Fortunately, Ennis is only a few miles away. One of Ireland’s most picturesque towns, you’ll find plenty to amuse you here. The old town is divided by the River Fergus, which means there are lots of riverside walks through the town. You can explore the 13th-century friary, wander through the winding streets and browse in its old shops while gabbling geese and dabbling ducks play alongside. Ennis is also known for contemporary culture. Its art galleries showcase the works of modern-day Irish artists. And 68 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009



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Opposite page: Biking in County Clare. Bunratty Castle at night. The Pulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren. Left: The championship golf course designed by Greg Norman at Doonbeg.

Glór, its state-of-the-art performance center, attracts the best national and international acts. Having had your fill of Irish culture – Clare style – it’s time to explore Clare’s most unique landscape, the Burren. Leave Ennis behind and head north. Before you arrive in the Burren proper, stop off for a walk in Dromore Woods, just outside Ruan. This nature reserve of rivers, lakes, flooded meadows, peat bogs and reed beds is rich in woodland species. Who knows what you’ll see as you wander? You should always anticipate the unexpected in the Burren. Consisting of 250 square kilometers of limestone, it’s an environment unlike any other. Here, Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine plants grow side by side, colorful flowers growing out of the crisscrossing cracks in the rock. The Burren, often referred to as Ireland’s rock garden, is an archaeological phenomenon, paradise for walkers, cyclists, and artists. The Stone Age people who lived here left behind dolmen structures, single-chamber tombs that are usually made from three or more upright stones. Later inhabitants left ancient cooking sites – known as fulachta fiadh – and others built the hundreds of ring forts that still dominate the landscape. Exploring all of these attractions would take months, so here are some highlights. Caherconnell Fort was built more than 1,000 years ago and occupied as late as the 17th century. It’s been scientifically excavated and developed for tourism. You can follow its stone pathways to the past as audiovisual displays tell the stories of the lives lived in the fort over the centuries. Nearby is perhaps the most famous dolmen of all – Poulnabrone. Translated as the Hole of Sorrows in Irish, this dolmen has stood starkly against the limestone landscape since at least 3800 B.C. Feeling invigorated, you should head for the coastal town of Doolin. This fishing village has long been a center for Irish

traditional music. Its three pubs trill to the sounds of jigs and reels every night of the week. Having spent the evening in the pub, you can spend the following day exploring the great outdoors (or should that be the great underground?). Aillwee Cave is full of subterranean surprises. Formed by the glacial melt-waters of the last Ice Age, the cave boasts caverns, chasms and even a frozen waterfall. Doolin cave is home to the largest accessible stalactite in the world. Back above ground, your next stop is one of Ireland’s most spectacular natural vistas – the Cliffs of Moher (featured in the new Harry Potter movie). At 702 feet above the ocean, these sea cliffs offer wonderful views of the Aran Islands and of the valleys and hills of Connemara in the next county. You may feel energized by these fabulous views. If so, head to Doonbeg for a game of golf on a championship course which is ranked among the best in the world. It also offers five star accommodation at the lodge. And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, take surfing lessons. Lahinch, and indeed the entire Clare coastline, offers some of the best surfing in all of Europe. Further down the road, Spanish Point – named after the Spanish Armada which was wrecked off the coast in 1588 – also offers golfing in one of the oldest courses in Ireland and perhaps the best surf break in Clare. You can choose between the two or, better yet, try both. You can recover from your exertions in the local hostelries or in nearby Ennistymon. Known for its 16th-century castle and traditional shop fronts, this is a riverside market town with character. Once you’ve replenished your energy, you can continue your coastal meanderings. Take in the sea cliffs. Marvel at the bird life. Watch out for dolphins and whales. And soak in all the history and scenery until you come to the remote Loophead Peninsula. With gulls circling overhead and ancient monuments to be seen on the horizon, the hubbub of




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50 YEARS of Commitment to the Shannon Region city life will feel very far away. Your journey is now almost over but if you’ve still got time to spare, pay a visit to Scattery Island at the mouth of the River Shannon. This has been an ecclesiastical center since early Christian times. A monastery was founded here in honor of St Senan in the 6th century. Some of it – several churches and a round tower – stands to this day. Finally, before heading back to Shannon, stop off to visit the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation in Kilrush. Here, you can learn all about the huge variety of local wildlife, especially the dolphins who are so attracted to the area. And before you go home, try to catch a game of hurling. Witnessing the clash of the ash is an experience that will never be forgotten and there are few places where hurling is played with such passion as Clare. And, if it truly is a long, long way from Clare to here, who knows when you’ll get the opportunity again?

THE BEST PLACE FOR BUSINESS Shannon Free Airport Development Company, or Shannon Development, as it is known today, is Ireland’s only regional development company. Its remit was formally inaugurated on 28th January 1959 when it was set up by Government to promote Shannon Airport and its hinterland. Its first Chairman was visionary and innovator Dr. Brendan O’Regan. Known today as the Shannon Free Zone, which now employs 7,000 people and is the largest multisectoral business park outside of Dublin, generating annual sales of over 3.5 billion euros. Over 100 companies have chosen to invest at the Shannon Free Zone, which is also home to the largest cluster of North American manufacturing and international service companies in Ireland. Over the years Shannon Development has built a wide range of business premises primed and ready for industry to locate. Today the company owns and manages a diverse range of 57 Technology Parks, Industrial Estates and Business Parks throughout the Shannon Region. The company has a large property portfolio which it uses to assist indigenous and foreign direct investment companies looking to locate in Ireland. On the tourism side the company came up with a novel idea of offering medieval banquets to U.S. visitors as an incentive to come to the Shannon Region. The scheme was initially undertaken on a pilot basis and the world’s first mediaeval banquet was held at Bunratty Castle in Co. Clare in 1963, followed a year later with the opening of Bunratty Folk Park as a visitor attraction. In its first year of operation the Bunratty Medieval Banquet recorded 4,500 visitors. To date over 4.5 million visitors have enjoyed the unique medieval banqueting experience. Over the years, Shannon Development has pioneered many new initiatives and continues to do so today. As a regional development agency, the Company carries out its work in a unique way. It looks at every part of the region as a blank canvas. It identifies the strengths and weaknesses of a particular area within its region and works out what type of development would best suit that area. In some cases this might be an industrial development; in others a tourism development, or something entirely new that has never been done before. Doonbeg Golf Club and Lodge on the west coast of Co. Clare is one of the largest tourism developments in Ireland in recent times and is an example of the unique way, as a regional development company, that Shannon Development has been able to realize development opportunities. The golf 70 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

course element of the Doonbeg project was designed by Greg Norman and it opened in 2002. The Lodge, the name of the luxury accommodation side of Doonbeg, opened in 2006. It is a massive project for this area, bringing U.S. and international golf tourists to the region, creating direct employment and a range of spin-off economic benefits.

WITH A KEEN EYE TO THE FUTURE With a keen eye to the future, Shannon Development is working with the people of the region, government, and the private sector in delivering new projects and initiatives that will enable the more developed areas of the Shannon Region achieve their full development potential, and ensure that the potential of the less developed areas of the Shannon Region is realized. During 2008 Shannon Development succeeded in signing 35 major tourism marketing agreements with key travel companies worldwide. These initiatives, undertaken directly by Shannon Development, resulted in over 426,000 additional bednights for the Shannon Region and boosted visitor spending in the area by over 43 million euros. As part of its role the Company undertakes tourism product development, and works closely with private sector promoters and investors

on a range of tourism product developments. Since 1989 alone, Shannon Development has assisted companies to develop a range of visitor attractions and tourism infrastructure around the Shannon Region valued at over 600 million euros. A new 2-million-euro tourism trails program to encourage the development of a series of visitor trails around the Shannon Region is just one of the latest Shannon Development tourism initiatives. On March 24, 2009, Paul Mockler was appointed Shannon Development’s Director of Tourism Marketing for the USA & Canada. With a background in tourism and aviation, Paul says that he looks forward to this fresh challenge. “In 2008, as the Regional Development Agency and Tourism Authority we spread the Region’s tourism message to over 250 million people worldwide. We celebrate the Wall Street 50 and as ambassadors for Ireland I look forward to introducing you to the Shannon Region and its many unique business and tourism opportunities.”

CONTACT INFORMATION Paul Mockler, Director of Tourism Marketing USA & Canada. Email: mocklerp@shannondevelopment.ie Phone: +353 61 710265. Address: Shannon Development HQ, Shannon Town Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland. Websites: www.shannondevelopment.ie www.DiscoverIreland.ie/ShannonRegion www.ShannonHeritage.com



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An Ghorta






he Irish government designated 17 May 2009 as the first National Famine Memorial Day. On that day, Irish people throughout the world remembered and honored the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger – which to this day remains one of the most lethal famines of the modern era. Out of a population of eight-and-a-half million, over one million people died, and approximately two million people emigrated. The British government chose not to use the resources of that vast empire to prevent suffering and starvation (Ireland had reluctantly been part of the United Kingdom since 1800.) However, one of the remarkable features of the Irish famine was that it was the first national disaster to attract international fundraising activities. These activities cut across traditional divides of religion, nationality, class and gender. Such a response was unprecedented. The first fundraising activities occurred in 1845, following the initial appearance of the potato blight, but most of them took place in the wake of the second and far more devastating failure of the potato crop in 1846. Outside intervention was short-lived, and by 1848 most of the donations had dried up. Sadly, the famine was far from over, with more people dying in 1849 than in ‘Black ’47.’ Calcutta, India was the first to send money to Ireland, in 1845. The fundraising was initiated by British citizens residing there who believed that their actions would show the Irish people the benefits of being part of the British Empire. The Calcutta committee was headed by English judge Sir Lawrence Peel and civil servant Sir James Grant and included a number of Irish men and native Indians. The committee appealed to other Europeans residing in India and to the ‘native community’ to become involved in its philanthropic activities. Moreover, a direct appeal was made to Sir Hugh Gough, a high-ranking soldier in the British Army who was Irish-born. At this time, over forty percent of the British Army serving in India were Irish-born and they gave generously. Indians also gave liberally, donations coming from wealthy Hindus and a number of Indian princes, but also from those who were less well off, including sepoys in the army, and many low-skilled and low-paid Indian servants. Within a few months, the Calcutta Committee had raised £14,000 for the relief of the Irish poor. To oversee the distribution of this money, a team was assembled in Dublin, headed by the Anglican Archbishop, Richard Whately. Most of the money received from India was sent to Connaught in the west of Ireland, some of it being channeled through the local Catholic priests. Just as relief efforts were getting underway in India, a committee was established in Boston, Massachusetts. In America, perhaps inevitably, famine relief became tied up with demands for Irish

political independence, with the committee being formed at the initiative of the local Repeal Association (followers of Daniel O’Connell). Predictably, the food shortages were cited as the most recent example of British misrule and of the failure of the British Empire. At a meeting in early December 1845, at which $750 was raised for the Irish poor, one speaker claimed that, due to “the fatal connection of Ireland with England, the rich grain harvests of the former country are carried off to pay an absentee government and absentee landlords.” These fundraising efforts were short-lived, drying up at the beginning of 1846, when it was suspected that reports of the distress had been exaggerated. There had been potato failures in Ireland before, and consequent AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 73



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of the Quakers was particularly important because it was direct, provided in the communities where it was most needed, and given without any religious or other stipulations. An even larger relief organization was the British Relief Association. It was formed in January 1847 by Lionel de Rothschild, a Jewish banker in London. Again, its fundraising activities were international, with donations being received from locations as diverse as Venezuela, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Russia and Italy. In total, over 15,000 individual contributions were sent to the Association, and approximately £400,000 was raised. This money was entrusted to a Polish count, Paul de Strzelecki, a renowned scientist and explorer. He traveled to Counties Mayo and Sligo in 1847, where he established schools at which free food was given to the local children. Despite falling victim to ‘famine fever,’ he survived and remained working with the poor in Ireland. In August 1848, when the Association’s funds ran out, the schools were closed despite promises from the Prime Minister that they would be supported. Strzelecki NATIONAL LIBRARY OF IRELAND refused to accept any money for his was immediate. A number of fund-raising work, but he was knighted by the British committees were established in both government in 1848. Ironically, the only Ireland and Britain. One of the most sucother person to be knighted for his work cessful and well- respected was the Central during the Famine was Charles Trevelyan, Relief Committee of the Society of Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, who Friends, which was established in Dublin was renowned for his parsimonious in November 1846 at the suggestion of approach to relief. Joseph Bewley (a tea and coffee merchant Unfortunately, the involvement of relief – Bewley’s cafés). organizations has been tainted by the Though the Irish Quakers were small in memory of proselytism or, as it is known number (ca. 3,000), they were very sucin Ireland, souperism, that is, giving relief cessful in raising money outside Ireland. to the Catholic poor in return for their conThese funds played an important role in version to Protestantism. Proselytism was providing relief, particularly through the not new in Ireland, but its use during this establishment of soup kitchens. By the end period of suffering seems particularly of 1847, when their funds dried up, the reprehensible. However, although it is Quakers had distributed approximately generally associated with the main £200,000 worth of relief throughout the Protestant churches in Ireland (the country. Anglican and the Presbyterian) in reality it Quakers themselves were personally was only practiced by a minority of evaninvolved in dispensing this relief, which gelicals, who genuinely believed that they took its toll. At least 15 Quakers died as a were saving souls, not merely lives, by result of famine-related diseases or from their actions. Money was raised in exhaustion, including Joseph Bewley. Protestant churches in Britain, Dublin and Undoubtedly though, their hard work had Belfast for this purpose. saved thousands of lives. The involvement A well-known missionary was Michael

Previous page: A Celtic Cross in Grosse Ile, Canada marks the graves of Irish Famine immigrants. Above: The Hannah carrying Irish immigrants hit an iceberg in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in April 1849 (artist’s impression). Irish family in the west of Ireland, circa 1860s.

food shortages, but they had never lasted for more than one year and in 1846 there was an expectation that the blight had run its course. This, sadly, was not the case. In the summer of 1846, the blight reappeared even more virulently than in the previous year. And it appeared earlier in the harvest period. The impact was devastating and immediate. As early as October, deaths from hunger and famine-related diseases were being reported. Despite the shortages, the British government decided not to interfere in the marketplace to provide food to the poor Irish, but left food import and distribution to free market forces. Moreover, they allowed foodstuffs – vast amounts of foodstuffs – to be exported from Ireland. Merchants made large profits while people starved. At the same time, public works, which entailed hard physical labor building roads that led nowhere and walls that surrounded nothing, were made the primary form of relief. By the end of 1846, deaths from hunger, exhaustion and famine-related diseases were commonplace. No part of the country, from Belfast to Skibbereen, had escaped. By the end of 1846, news of the second potato failure was being reported in newspapers throughout the world. The response 74 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009



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Brannigan, a convert from Catholicism to Presbyterianism, and a fluent Irish speaker. In 1847 he established 12 Protestant ‘Bible schools’ in Counties Mayo and Sligo. Attendance dropped when the British Relief Association began providing each child with a halfpound of cornmeal every day, but this ended in August 1848 when their funds ran out. By the end of 1848 the number of ‘Bible schools’ had grown to 28, despite ‘priestly opposition.’ The worries of the Catholic Church were articulated by Fr. William Flannelly of Galway, in a letter to Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, in April 1849. He wrote: “It cannot be wondered if a starving people would be perverted in shoals, especially as they [the missionaries] go from cabin to cabin, and when they find the inmates naked and starved to death, they proffer food, money and raiment, on the express condition of becoming members of their conventicle [churches].” By 1851, the main missions claimed that they had won 35,000 converts and they were determined to win more. Shortly afterwards, 100 additional preachers were sent to Ireland by the British Protestant Alliance to missionary settlements in destitute areas, such as Dingle and Achill Island. Ultimately, the impact of the missions was slight and tended to be localized, but many converts had to move elsewhere due to hostility and contempt in their own communities. Moreover, the memory of souperism, and ‘taking the soup,’ has been a long and bitter one in parts of Ireland. Some of the donations made by individuals to famine relief also proved to be controversial. In popular memory, Queen Victoria is remembered as ‘The Famine Queen’ for allegedly only giving £5 to help the starving Irish. In reality, she donated £2,000 to the British Relief Association in

ceremony to place a memorial plaque on the walls of the West Court Hotel, which, according to legend, used to be the old Government Building where the Turkish sailors and captains had stayed. During the unveiling, the Mayor drew attention to the city's logo, which consists of a crescent and star just like Top left: Queen Victoria. the Ottoman crescent and star. Above: There are no known He added that the plaque photos of victims of the Irish famine but the above would serve as the symbol of victims of famine in the late friendship between Ireland and 1800’s, one of several famines Turkey. So an act of kindness that occurred in Britishthat took place over 160 years administered India, is a stark reminder of what our ago continues to have reperancestors went through. cussions today. Left: Polish count Paul de Support for the Irish poor Strzelecki, who established schools in Mayo and Sligo in also came from the head of the 1847and fed the local children. Roman Catholic Church in Rome, Pope Pius IX. The January 1847. This made the Queen the involvement of a Pope in the secular largest single donor to famine relief. She affairs of another country was unusual. also published two letters, appealing to Nonetheless, at the beginning of 1847 Protestants in England to send money to Pope Pius donated 1,000 Roman crowns Ireland. Her involvement was widely critifrom his own pocket to Famine relief. In cized at the time, notably by the influential March 1847, he took the unprecedented London Times, which argued that giving step of issuing a papal encyclical to the money to Ireland would have the same international Catholic community, appealeffect as throwing money into an Irish bog. ing for support for the victims of the Another head of state to send money to Famine, both through prayer and financial Ireland was the Sultan of Turkey. He had contributions. As a result, large sums of an Irish doctor but he was also trying to money were raised by Catholic congregacreate an alliance with British government. tions throughout the world. Most of this He initially offered £10,000 but the British aid was put in the hands of Archbishop Consul in Istanbul told him that it would Murray in Dublin. offend royal protocol to send more money Other high profile donors to Famine than the British Queen. As a result of this relief in 1847 included the Tsar of Russia diplomatic intervention, Abdulmecid (Alexander II) and the President of the reduced his donation to £1,000. United States, James Polk. The latter, who Nonetheless, his generous contribution donated $50, was criticized for the smallwas gratefully received by people in ness of his donation. Arthur Guinness, the Ireland, with a formal letter of thanks Dublin brewing magnate, also made a being sent by “noblemen, gentlemen, and number of modest contributions. inhabitants of Ireland.” According to local legend, Abdulmecid tried to compensate Inevitably, a large portion of relief came for his reduced monetary donation by from the United States, not only from the sending two ships to Ireland, laden with Irish Catholic community, but from a wide food. Allegedly, but there is no documenvariety of groups, including Jews, Baptists, tary proof of this, the British government Methodists and Shakers. At the beginning refused to allow the ships to dock in either of 1847, the American Vice President, Cork or Dublin so, surreptitiously, they George Dallas, convened a mass meeting docked in Drogheda. This story is acceptin Washington to raise money for Ireland. ed in Drogheda today. On May 2, 2007, the He urged that every American state should Turkish ambassador to Ireland was invited follow suit. The Washington meeting was by the city’s mayor, Frank Goofrey, to a

Help from America




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consideration for bringing them out from benighted ignorance and heathen barbarism. Not only by contributing a few dollars, but by affording evidence that the labors of the Christian missionary have not been in vain.” Although the amounts that these poor and dispossessed people sent to Ireland were relatively small, in real terms they represented an enormous sacrifice on behalf of the donors. Towards the end of 1847, the British government announced that the Famine was over. It wasn’t. In 1848, over one million people were still dependent on relief for survival. Moreover, evictions, emigration and deaths were still rising, with proportionately more people dying in 1849 than in Black ’47. Unfortunately though, most of the private fund-raising efforts had come to an end by 1848 and the Irish poor were again dependent on Irish landlords and the British government for relief. To conclude, although the involvement of private charity was shortlived, it was vital to the survival of many. It proved to be particularly crucial as government relief was inadequate, provided with parsimony and reluctance, and constrained by views of the Irish poor as undeserving of assistance. In contrast, most private charity honored the dignity of the recipient. Moreover, without these generous contributions, many, many more Irish people would have died during that tragic period. On May 17 we honored the memory of the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger, but perhaps, briefly, we can also honor the memory of those people – many of whom are also nameless – who gave money generously to people whom they had never met, but whose tragic circumstances had touched IA their hearts. IRELAND PARK FOUNDATION

attended by many senators, notably the worth mentioning are those which came young Abraham Lincoln. from people who were themselves poor, During the meeting, letters were read politically marginalized, and had nothing from Ireland, including one from the to gain through their interventions. women of Dunmanway in County Cork. It Throughout 1847, subscriptions to was addressed to the Ladies of America. It Ireland came from some of the poorest said: “Oh that our American sisters could and most invisible groups in society. This see the laborers on our roads, able-bodied included former slaves in the Caribbean, men, scarcely clad, famishing with hunger, who had only achieved full freedom in with despair in their once cheerful faces, 1838, when slavery was finally ended in staggering at their work . . . Oh that they the British Empire (Daniel O’Connell could see the dead father, mother or child, played a role in that). The British governlying coffinless, and hear the screams of ment had given the slave-owners £22 the survivors around them, caused not by million pounds compensation for ending sorrow, but by the agony of hunger.” slavery; the slaves received nothing. Remarkably, even though America was Donations to Ireland came from Jamaica, at war with Mexico, Congress gave perBarbados, St. Kitts, and other small mission for two navy vessels to be used to islands. take supplies on behalf of the Boston Donations were also sent from slave Relief Committee to Ireland and Scotland, churches in some of the southern states of where the potato crop had also failed. The America. Children in a pauper orphanage resolution authorizing the use of the ships in New York raised $2 for the Irish poor. by private individuals, even to this day, Inmates in Sing Sing Prison, also in New “remains unique in the history of York, sent money, as did convicts on board Congress.” On 17 March 1847, foodstuffs were loaded onto The Jamestown. It left Boston for Cork a week later, taking only 15 days and three hours to complete the transatlantic journey. All of the crew were volunteers. The captain, Robert Forbes, caustically commented that as the food supplies had taken only 15 days to cross the Atlantic, they should not take a further 15 days to reach the Irish poor. His comment was apt. The labyrinth of bureaucracy attached to the public works had meant that it had taken between 6 and 8 Ireland Park, Toronto: A sculpture depicting weeks for them to be operative – a destitute Irish a prison ship at Woolwich in far too long for a people who immigrant stands in London. The latter lived in brutal the foreground to an were starving. and inhuman conditions, and all limestone wall in Forbes declared himself to be Irish of them were dead only twelve which the names of impressed with the women of some of the 1,500 months later from ship fever. Cork – because ‘they shake Irish immigrants who A number of Native hands like a man.’ Although he died on reaching Americans, including Choctaw Toronto are was feted, he shied away from engraved. Indians, also sent money to the publicity and, significantly, Irish poor. The Choctaws themrefused an invitation from the authorities selves had suffered great tragedy, having to travel to Dublin to receive an honor been displaced from their homelands and from the British government. This fantasforced to move to Oklahoma in the 1830s tic endeavor on behalf of the Irish poor – the infamous Trail of Tears. They sent was diminished only by the fact that on the $174 to Ireland. The involvement of the return journey, a man was lost overboard – Choctaw people did not go unnoticed. A and he was the only Irish-born member of newspaper in Oklahoma averred, “What the crew. an agreeable reflection it must give to the These examples represent only a small Christian and the philanthropist to witness portion of the assistance that was given to this evidence of civilization and Christian Ireland during the years of the Great spirit existing among our red neighbors. Hunger. Perhaps the contributions most They are repaying the Christian world a

Christine Kinealy is a professor of Irish History at Drew University. She is author of a number of books on the Great Hunger, including This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-1852; A New History of Ireland; The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion; and The Hidden Famine: Hunger, Poverty and Sectarianism in Belfast 1840-50. Her latest publication, Repeal and Revolution: 1848 in Ireland, is being published by Manchester University Press in July 2009. This article is a condensed version of a lecture that she gave in New York as part of the Famine Commemoration in May, 2009.



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Enemy with the

How Irish merchants fanned the flames of revolution in America. BY TOM DEIGNAN


n November 2, 1759, a veritable riot broke out along several blocks of lower Manhattan. The target of the torch-bearing crowds was a man deemed to be a “rogue” and informer named George Spencer. Spencer survived the crowds’ wrath, though he was banged up with bruises and cuts. What Spencer – or the mob – did not know was that they would be swept up into events which would have ramifications across the British Empire, which, in 1759, included New York and all of the colonies up and down the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States. Within 15 years, those colonies would, of course, revolt, an event marked for the 239th year this past July 4. The heroes of that American Revolution are well known, as are many of the events in the 1770s which led to the colonists’ famous Declaration of Independence. What is less well known is that events stretching as far back as the 1750s had planted the seeds of American Revolution. At the center of one key conflict was a small but influential group of Irish merchants and traders who had settled in New York. They were there – as most people in 18th-century New York were – to make a buck. But if, along the way, they also hurt the British Empire, well, that probably didn’t bother them too much.


The French,The British,The Irish How did these Irish merchants hurt the British? They continued to trade with the French in the 1750s, even as tensions between Great Britain and France eventually led to the full-blown conflict Europeans call The Seven Years’ War and Americans know as the French and Indian War. British colonial forces had tried to stop the commercial activity of the Irish merchants by passing numerous laws. The British hoped to keep key goods out of the hands of their enemy, the French. And yet, many merchants in New York continued the clandestine practice of trading with the French. They skirted laws by using faked records, by making stopovers on neutral islands or even routing goods through Ireland. The Irish – many of whom viewed France as a sympathetic Catholic ally going back to the Protestant Reformation – continued to trade with the French, thus undermining the British war effort, as the French and Indian War raged in the 1760s. True, the war ended in 1763 favorably for the British. “The British Army had routed the French from Canada and the American colonies,” Don Cook writes in his book The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760– 1785. However, the war had far-reaching,

unforeseen consequences for the British. “America was also imbued with a heightened sense of independent political and economic strength and a vision of expansion and destiny. The colonies simply wanted to be left alone to run their own affairs and to grow and expand on their own…. Thus the Seven Years’ War laid the long fuse that would eventually splutter into revolution.” So, perhaps every July 4, we should not only remember Ben Franklin and George Washington, but also Waddell Cunningham, William Kelly and Thomas Lynch. These were some of the merchants who – whether they knew it or not, whether they did it for independence or simply to make a buck – laid the groundwork for the American Revolution in New York in the 1760s.

Planning a Riot

The aforementioned riot of November 2, 1759 was actually planned the evening before by a group of Irish businessmen who met in the Merchants Coffee House, located not far from the East River docks in Manhattan. As Thomas M. Truxes notes in his fascinating new book Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York (Yale University Press), the Irish merchants had identified Spencer as a rat



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{history} who had told British colonial authorities about lucrative trading the Irishmen were engaged in with France. Tensions between France and Britain had already exploded into full-blown war. Thus, the Irishmen were not merely violating some commercial laws. In the eyes of British colonial authorities, this trade was treason. Yet, it was also very lucrative. That’s why men such as William Kelly, Jonathan Lawrence, Thomas Lynch, James Thomspon, Thomas White and (as Truxes calls him in his book “the de facto leader of the city’s Irish merchants”) Waddell Cunningham met in the Merchants Coffee House. They knew that Spencer had informed. “Rum and punch flowed,” Truxes writes, “as the group concocted an elaborate plan that would ‘render [Spencer] infamous and invalidate his testimony, and at the same time be a warning to others not to dare to make farther discovery for the fear of like treatment,’” writes Truxes, who teaches in the Irish Studies Department at New York University. Cunningham and the Irish merchants confronted Spencer. He would not recant his testimony, so they persuaded one of Spencer’s debtors to call in his loan. Spencer was arrested. As he was being walked to jail, the Irish merchants got the word out that a rat was being paraded through the streets. Swarms of people came out to hurl objects and insults at Spencer. If anyone doubted the influence of Cunningham and the Irish merchants in colonial New York, they no longer did.

Tied to the Elite

These expatriate Irish merchants “benefited from their close ties to New York’s political, social, and economic elite,” Truxes writes. “George Folliot, for example, a Derry native who emigrated to the city in 1752, married the daughter of…a high-ranking customs officials and the brother-in-law of Alexander Colden, son of Caldwallader Colden, president of the Governor’s Council and later lieutenant governor.” But this position of prominence was now being threatened, as British authorities aimed to crack down on IrishAmerican trade with the French. Things only got worse for the British

when it became clear that Spain – another Catholic nation – would be entering the Seven Years’ War on the side of France. The British soon began making mass arrests in New York. They picked up alleged French spies, as well as nearly 20 men accused of “illegal correspondence with His Majesty’s enemies.” Among them were Irish merchants Waddell Cunningham and Thomas White, who were eventually found guilty and ordered to pay what Truxes calls a “staggering” fine. The verdict “had an unsettling effect on the trading community in New York. In the weeks that followed, a long shadow fell over the city.”

ed to the Irish House of Commons in 1784, before dying in Kockbreda, Co. Down in 1797. It seemed, in the short run, that the British had effectively solved the problem of the Irish merchants. But Cunningham and his colleagues had exposed a crucial weakness in British supervision of the colonies. Yes, the British emerged from the Seven Years’ War strong. But, in doing so, they also were forced to use a heavy hand on colonial merchants. This became an increasingly common gripe among colonists, particularly as they were forced to pay more and more of the debt incurred by the British while fighting the war.

Opposite page: Waddell Cunningham, an Irish merchant who traded with the French. Above: Merchants Coffee House near the docks, right, served as a meeting place for Irish traders.

Test Run for Revolution Cunningham, who had a plantation in the West Indies called Belfast, and numbered among those who benefited from slavery, eventually left the colonies. He returned to Belfast where he tried but failed to establish a slave trading company. One reason was because the abolitionist movement was strong, and groups such as the United Irishmen, who supported Irish independence from Britain, opposed all forms of subservience. He became a prominent member of the Irish business community and was even elect-

There eventually came a point where the colonists wondered why they needed to maintain their relationship with the British. That is what led to the American Revolution. Of course, this likely would have happened whether or not Waddell Cunningham and his cronies defied the British and traded with the enemy. Still, their actions served as a kind of test run for the American colonists. Whether they did it out of bravery or greed, Cunningham and his fellow Irish merchants wrote one of the earliest chapters of IrishAmerican history on the crowded streets IA of New York in the 1760s. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 79



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The Moynahan Clan Tara Dougherty examines the history of the Moynahan family name


riginally anglicized from the Another public servant and politician Gaelic Ó Muimhneacháin, was Irish-American Daniel Patrick Moynihan is a principal surMoynihan (1927-2003). A U.S. senator name in the province of from New York, Moynihan served for Munster. The name, derived from the over 30 years in the Senate. He was the phrase ‘descendant of a Munsterman,’ United States Ambassador to the United can be found primarily in counties Kerry Nations under the Ford administration. In and Cork. The surname has evolved to a 2004, Mayor Bloomberg of New York startling variety of forms including City announced plans to construct a new Minihan, Minaghan, Moynaghan, railway hub in Manhattan which would Myneghane, Minighane, Munninghane, be named for the late politician. Minihane, Minnagh and Moyna. In Colin Moynihan (1955-) was a memCounty Mayo, the name for many was changed to its more literal meaning, Munster. Though descendants of the clan are found primarily in Munster itself, the name exists in great numbers now in the United States. The majority of these Moynihans came to the States during the Great Famine, many of whom are known to have traveled via the ship Hampden, which sailed from Liverpool to New York in December of 1846. The name was first found on written records in the census from the year 1659, found to be at the time the most popular surname in the Barony of Tulla. However, the name was in existence for some time Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan before that. In the 16th century, Michael and Mortimer Moynihan of ber of the English Parliament following Skibbereen were famous rebels. The his career as an Olympian. A coxswain name is mentioned in The Four Masters, for the British rowing team, Moynihan the ancient chronicle of medieval Irish won a gold medal in the World Rowing history, dated around the year 1220. Championships in Copenhagen in 1978 Maurice Gerard Moynihan (1902and a silver two years later at the 1999) was a co-drafter of the Moscow Olympics. He began his politiConstitution of Ireland in 1937. A lifecal career as Margaret Thatcher’s long civil servant, his career involved Minister of Sport before being elected to time as the secretary of the government Parliament in Lewisham East, a position of the Irish Free State and private secrehe held until 1992. He is now the chairtary to Taoiseach Eamon de Valera, and man for the British Olympic Association, governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. planning for the 2012 London games. He lived to the age of 96 and is still This issue’s cover story, Brian remembered for his influential work durMoynihan, is the president of Global ing the early formative years of the Irish Banking and Wealth Management for the government. Bank of America Corporation. Named to


his position in January of 2009, Moynihan’s experience in banking is evidenced by his years in the field and his accumulation of high level positions at both FleetBoston Financial Corporation and Bank of America. In the arts world, John Minihane (1946-) is an Irish photographer known best for capturing some of Ireland’s most famous literary faces. His recent exhibit in Kildare included many black and white photographs of writers like Samuel Beckett, Edna O’Brien and Martin McDonagh. Born in Dublin, Minihane was raised in Athy. It was Minihane’s photographs of Athy that would capture Beckett’s attention long enough for the reclusive writer to agree to be photographed. Bridget Moynahan (1971-) is a model/actress from Binghamton, New York. A steady career behind her, the young actress has appeared in films with stars like Will Smith and Nicolas Cage. Another actor, Bobby Moynihan (1977-) joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2008. He was a regular sketch comedian on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and continues working with the Derrick Comedy group for theater and Internet IA sketch comedy routines.



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The Irish in Early Baseball Roger Connor, New York’s first Irish baseball star, wore a green shamrock patch on his uniform shirt. He was baseball’s all-time home run leader before Babe Ruth.

More than two dozen sons of Irish immigrants, who played in the 1880-1920 period, are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Many other great Irish players have made their mark on the game as well.

By David L. Fleitz




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The National League began play in 1876, just as the sons of Irish famine refugees were reaching adulthood, and the number of Irish players in the league grew with each passing year.

he Irish potato famine of the 1840s and 1850s was probably the greatest human tragedy of the 19th century. The famine sparked a massive wave of emigration to America, with more than two million Irish men, women, and children leaving their homeland for the New World. Their presence on American shores added a distinctive Irish flavor to the so-called “melting pot,” as Irish immigrants raised families, built communities, and made a place for themselves in their adoptKeefe, the first two major leaguers to win 300 games, and ed country. Hugh Duffy, whose .440 batting average in 1894 has never Hundreds of thousands of these Irish immigrants were been surpassed. So many of the batting champions and young men, and their arrival created a potential new pitching leaders of the era were Irishmen that there are source of participants for America’s most rapidly growing almost too many to name. sport. Baseball was an activity that the immigrant Irishman The grandest Irish-American player of them all during could engage in to become part of his adopted country. this era was Mike Kelly, the “King of Ballplayers.” Born Through it, the Irishman could fit in and excel at someto Irish immigrants in Lansingburgh (now part of Troy), thing distinctly American. While the older generation New York, on New Year’s Eve in 1857, Mike Kelly treatcould not always understand this ed every day as a party. This multistrange new pastime and its appeal, talented player, who saw action at their young men embraced it with both catcher and shortstop as well as enthusiasm. Professional baseball, in the outfield, joined the Chicago which took root in America shortly White Stockings in 1880 after two after the Civil War, was attractive to years with the Cincinnati Reds. He the ambitious immigrant, and it did drove manager Cap Anson crazy not take long for the Irish to gain a with his carefree behavior, but his foothold in the increasingly popular on-field brilliance keyed the sport. Chicago attack and led the White The National League began play Stockings to five pennants in seven in 1876, just as the sons of Irish years. Before long he was “King” famine refugees were reaching Kelly, baseball’s first matinee idol adulthood, and the number of Irish and hero to Irish-Americans across players in the league grew with the nation. each passing year. One Irishman of The King smoked cigarettes on note was Roger Connor, a the bench, and once, when asked if Connecticut native whose Irishhe drank alcohol during games, born father had frowned on his replied cheerfully, “It depends on the son’s interest in the new American length of the game.” He invented game. Roger was nonetheless deternew ways to slide into bases, raising mined to make good in baseball. A large clouds of dust as the fans handsome, muscular first baseman, cheered, “Slide, Kelly, slide!” He the hard-hitting Connor soon was also known to hide an extra ball became the most popular player in in his uniform shirt for special occaNew York, where the fans called sions. One day, Kelly was in right him “Dear Old Roger.” Connor, field late in the game as the setting proud of his ancestry, wore a bright sun cast twilight over the field. The green shamrock stitched to his unibatter belted a liner to right, and form shirt. When he retired from Kelly made a spectacular headlong the game in 1897, he held the career dive in the darkness, rising with the record for home runs, a mark which ball in his hand as the crowd cheered was later broken by Babe Ruth. his game-saving play. Anson comConnor, however, was only one plimented him on the catch. “What of a legion of Irish stars in early catch?” asked Kelly in his Irish baseball. It has been estimated that brogue. “The ball went a mile over more than 40 percent of all major me head.” He had “caught” the extra league players during this era were John McGraw, son of immigrants from ball, not the game ball. Irish Americans; among them were County Tipperary, managed the New York The Chicago team was built pitchers Jim (Pud) Galvin and Tim Giants for 30 years beginning in 1902. around Irish-American ballplayers,




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with pitcher Larry Corcoran (who threw three no-hitters during his short career), catcher Frank (Silver) Flint, and third baseman Tom Burns also attaining stardom. However, Kelly always commanded the most attention. Sold to Boston in 1887 for the then-record sum of $10,000, Kelly was so popular that the Irish fans of the Hub bought him a house, complete with a horse-drawn carriage to convey their hero to the game each day. Sometimes the Boston Irish put the carriage aside and carried Kelly to the ballpark on their shoulders. The King’s stardom fizzled out after a while – whiskey and high living ended his career in 1893 and his life one year later – but Mike Kelly remains a symbol of IrishAmerican supremacy of early baseball. The Irish also dominated the umpiring ranks. The umpiring profession was a thankless one at the time, with only one arbiter present to keep order in games often marked by chaos and rowdiness. Arguments, fan violence, and even fistfights between players and umpires were common during the 1880s and 1890s, and only the strongest umpires sur- LEFT: Mike Kelly, the “King of during the 1880’s. vived. Many failed, but skilled, dedicated Ballplayers” RIGHT: Tim Keefe, one of baseball’s early Irishmen such as “Honest John” Gaffney and Irish pitching stars, won 19 games in a row in 1888. “Honest John” Kelly prospered. Gaffney, who conducted each game with patience and tact rather than physical intimidation, was the first man to be Tipperary years before and settled in the farming commucalled “King of Umpires.” nity of Truxton, New York. McGraw weighed only 121 Perhaps the most colorful umpire of the period was Tim pounds when he arrived in Baltimore at age 18, but his will Hurst, who grew up in the coal mining country of to succeed was second to none, and he made himself into Pennsylvania and brought a sharp wit and quick fists to the a star under Hanlon’s direction. The speedy McGraw National League in 1892. Hurst, who had learned to box taught himself to foul off pitches, one after another, until while working in the mines, gave his decisions in a thick he took a walk or found a pitch he could slap into the outIrish brogue and took no nonsense from anyone. He once field for a single. Despite his youth, he made himself the flattened an unruly fan with his mask during an argument, field leader of the Orioles, urging his teammates to “Get at then did the same to a police officer who tried to intervene. ’em!” In 1897, after receiving a constant stream of abuse from McGraw, who was known to trip opposing baserunners several Pittsburgh Pirates, the umpire invited three players or grab their belts to prevent them from rounding third, led to meet him under the stands after the game. Hurst took the way in bullying opponents, manhandling umpires, and them all on at once and emerged the victor. Despite his generally causing mayhem in the pursuit of winning. To temper, Hurst knew the rule book inside and out, and many McGraw, winning was everything, whatever the cost. He players considered him the most skilled arbiter in the and his fellow Irish Orioles – outfielders Joe Kelley and league. Wee Willie Keeler, shortstop Hugh Jennings, second baseHurst agreed with that assessment. He wore a cap with man “Kid” Gleason, and others – followed McGraw’s the letter B on it; when asked why, Hurst replied, “Because example and battled their way to the top of the league. The I’m the best.” He kept control of the game, though some Orioles were the most unpopular team in the circuit, but players found the quick-witted Hurst so entertaining that brought three pennants to Baltimore from 1894 to 1896. they started arguments with him just to hear him talk in his Many of these same Irish stars (though not McGraw) folcolorful Irish accent. lowed Ned Hanlon to Brooklyn several years later and The Baltimore Orioles, who dominated the National won two more pennants in 1899 and 1900. League during the mid-1890s, were almost totally Irish in A new circuit, the American League, began play in 1901 character. Manager Ned Hanlon, an outstanding judge of with several Irish Americans in key roles. Jimmy Collins, talent with a penchant for hiring his fellow Irishmen, built star third baseman for the Boston club of the National the also-ran Orioles into a contender with a series of trades League, jumped to the new league and became the playing and free-agent signings. His scrappiest player was John manager of a new contender, the Boston Americans (now McGraw, a third baseman whose parents had left County called the Red Sox). Collins, who imported several Irish AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 83



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stars from the old league, won two pennants and defeated Pittsburgh in the first modern World Series in 1903. Another important figure was Connie Mack, whose name was Cornelius McGillicuddy at his birth in 1862. Mack, whose immigrant father fought in an all-Irish regiment during the Civil War, was a soft-spoken and gentlemanly manager who bore no resemblance to the fiery John McGraw apart from his Irish ancestry. Mack took charge of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1901 and led the team to nine pennants and a thenrecord five World Series titles in a career that lasted until 1950. John McGraw was appointed manager of the moribund New York Giants in 1902, and, following the example of his mentor Hanlon, built the Giants into a powerhouse with a largely Irish roster. However, the Irish dominance of baseball had abated by this time, with the percentage of German Americans on major league teams surpassing that of the Irish by 1900. Indeed, the Chicago Cubs, chief rivals of the revitalized Giants, were an almost totally German team; McGraw publicly sneered at the “Dutchmen” in Chicago, but the Cubs won four pennants and two World Series Tim Hurst, the quick-witted, quick-fisted Irish-American umpire. He said that from 1906 to 1910. McGraw’s “Hibernian he wore the letter B on his cap “because I’m the best.” Giants” rebounded with pennants in 1911, 1912, and 1913, but lost all three World Series. The Irish and Irish-American managers won 13 of the first 16 no longer ruled the game, and as other ethnic groups American League pennants beginning in 1901. John (Italians, Eastern Europeans, and Scandinavians among McGraw, who led the Giants until 1932, and Connie Mack them) entered the fray, the Irish became merely one of a were only two of the many successful Irish-American field number of nationalities represented on major league rosleaders who left their mark on the game during the first ters. half of the 20th century. From 1932 to 1960, the New York Though Irishmen began to disappear from the playing Yankees won 18 pennants and 14 World Series titles under ranks, they remained a force in the managerial end of the two outstanding managers, the fully Irish Joe McCarthy game. Slightly more than half of all major league manand the half-Irish Casey Stengel. agers during the 1910-1920 period claimed Irish descent, Baseball eventually lost its Irish flavor, and today the game is more ethnically diverse than ever. The Irish made a significant contribution to the national pastime in its formative years, but now, more than 130 years after the first National League game was played, Irish-Americans make up only a tiny percentage of major league players. Irish domination of the game has passed IA into the realm of history.

The Irish made a significant contribution to the national pastime in its formative years, but now, more than 130 years after the first National League game was played, Irish Americans make up only a tiny percentage of major league players.


David Fleitz, a writer and sports historian from Royal Oak, Michigan, is the author of The Irish in Baseball: An Early History. The book was released by McFarland Publishing in May of 2009.



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[Civilization ] on Trial Thomas Cahill’s most recent book, A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green (March 2009), is

a departure from the Hinges of History series. Or is it? Story by Kara Rota 86 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009


first encountered Thomas Cahill in the reading requirements for ninth grade history, where Mr. Dachille’s designation of Cahill’s book The Gifts of the Jews as a substitute for the dry textbooks to which I was accustomed instantly granted him canonical stature in my mind. And for good reason: Cahill’s accessible and fascinating takes on the histories of the Irish, the Jews, Jesus Christ, the Greeks, and the Middle Ages (Volumes I-V of his Hinges of History series) have, besides reaching bestseller lists in the U.S. and beyond, reconditioned us as to how we ought to be learning and thinking about the history of the Western world. When I speak with Thomas Cahill about his most recent book, A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green, he elucidates the continuity between his approaches to both ancient history and contemporary issues. “I have to admit that when I was in high school, I didn’t have very many really good history courses, nor did I have very many in college,” says Cahill. “What I really loved was literature, in English and in other languages, and I realized subsequently that I got much of my history through literature. So when I began to write [the Hinges of History books], I really did write them through the prism of the literature of the time. I think if you want to know what warfare was like in 8th-century B.C. Greece, you should read Homer rather than some historian, and I think you could go through everything that way. If there is literature on the subject, it

will give you a much fuller picture than will common historians. . . . Literature may be very ancient and it may be very different from our sensibility in certain ways, but the human body has never changed; we still laugh and we still cry the same way that people did many, many centuries ago. And because of that we can still connect with them. So that’s what I feel I’m doing in the Hinges of History series, or what I hope to be doing. I’m never trying to come up with some new theory on some particular period. I base myself on the sort of middle-of-the-road academic historians, and at the same time, what I really want to do is answer the question, ‘What would it have been like to have been there? How would it have felt to be part of this period?’ I think that can be done much better through literature than through what we commonly think of as history.” Born one of six children in an IrishAmerican family, Cahill was raised in the Bronx and educated by Jesuits, studying ancient Greek and Latin, skills that allow him to create his own translations for his research and to consider ancient authors’ original intentions. He graduated from Fordham University, where he explored medieval philosophy, scripture and theology and continued studying Greek and Latin literature, earning a BA in classical literature and philosophy as well as a pontifical degree in philosophy. He earned an MFA in film and dramatic literature from Columbia University and studied scripture at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, rounding out an education whose breadth and depth reflects both his focus on the importance of narratives and his Irish Catholic background. While Cahill’s latest book is a depar-



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ture from the Hinges of History series, he feels that his underlying goals in it are the same. “Underneath it all, what I’m very often trying to figure out in the books of history is, what is civilization, and what makes for civilization? And what makes for its opposite, which is really barbarism? What are the works of civilization and what are the works of barbarism, or of tearing down civilization? I think that in every society and every culture, those are good questions to ask, because in every society and every culture there are forces that go in opposite directions. There are the forces of peace and there are the forces of war, there are the forces of mercy and the forces of cruelty. And they operate everywhere; they’re never completely absent, either in the best culture or the worst. In our case, as Americans, I think we have failed to notice the cruelty that we inflict with the death penalty, and how unjust our application of it is and always will be.” A Saint on Death Row is the story of Dominique Green, a young African American man born in Houston, Texas whose childhood was fraught with episodes of violence and discrimination that led to his arrest at age eighteen and execution by lethal injection twelve years later. Dominique’s mother was abusive and alcoholic, and he took it upon himself to care for his two younger brothers and serve as a buffer between them and her physical aggression, despite the fact that he had already suffered incredibly in his short life. At age seven, Dominique was raped by a priest at his Catholic school, St. Mary’s, and found no recourse as his father descended into drug addiction and his mother turned to prostitution and began to treat her children with neglect at best, outright violence at worst. His mother was diagnosed as schizophrenic, a fact that his attorneys failed to mention when she testified against him in court, and attempted to shoot Dominique with a pistol on two occasions. He and his younger brother, Marlon, were thrown out of their mother’s house when Dominique was fifteen, and he moved the two of them into a storage shed together, selling drugs because, as he later wrote, “I

didn’t have the nerve to be a burglar . . . the will to be a pimp, or the hate to be a hired killer. I was just a kid trying to find a way for me and my siblings.” “What we really do as a society,” says Cahill, “is that we pay no attention to those children. We don’t intervene, we don’t rescue them, we just wait until they’re old enough to incarcerate and then we put them in prison. So I think we are failing doubly at both ends. Are we so uncreative, are we so lacking in insight and ability that we cannot come up with better ways of intervening in the lives of abused children? That’s who ends up in prison: abused children who have grown up enough to be incarcerated. That’s who’s there.” In 1992, when he was eighteen, Dominique was arrested by Houston police along with three other young men and later charged with shooting and killing a man in an armed robbery gone wrong. The others testified against Dominique in exchange for the state dropping their capital murder charges; their testimony was the only evidence against him. Confident in his innocence, Dominique refused a similar deal. The only white male in the group, despite admitting to being present during the robbery and murder and even sharing the proceeds, was never even charged; instead, he was categorized as a “citizen informant.” Witnesses chosen by Dominique’s court-appointed lawyer to testify during his trial included a psychologist known to believe that race is a valid indication of propensity to future violence.

Although no proof stood against him except the testimony of the other three most likely suspects, Dominique was found guilty of capital murder and, five days later, sentenced to death. Says Cahill, “There is in Texas—I don’t want to ascribe this to all Texans, or anything remotely like that—but there is in Texas a desire for revenge and bloodlust that is really quite extraordinary. Not just in the number of executions [(438 since 1976— the runner-up, Virginia, can claim 103)], but in how little is given to poor kids in trouble both before and after their conviction. They’re assigned lawyers at the last minute who don’t really prepare cases. Of course they’re convicted, and they end up in prison where there is no mitigation. In these prisons there are no educational opportunities for them to grow. By the time they’re back out on the street again, if they’re ever put back on the street again, they’re just better criminals then they were when they went in.” Unfortunately for Dominique, he was never released from prison after his conviction at age eighteen. However, he eventually turned his death row sentence into the greatest educational opportunity of his life, not only for himself but also for those whose lives he touched inside and out of the prison walls. One such individual was Sheila Murphy, a retired Irish Catholic judge from Chicago, who heard about Dominique’s struggle at a 1999 conference of Americans working to end the death penalty. Sheila, who would several years later introduce Cahill to Dominique AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 87


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Green and his story, agreed immediately to represent Dominique in his final appeals despite the fact that she would have to commute from Chicago to Houston, had never handled a client who was sentenced to death, and was in semiretirement. Sheila’s presence was ultimately one of the most positive forces in Dominique’s life, as she gained his trust while telling him about her family and depicting a warm and fiercely loving parent-child relationship that was completely alien to him. Sheila’s son Patrick also developed a close friendship with Dominique, and Cahill describes the Murphys as Dominique’s surrogate family. “Sheila is a very Irish personality; she’s quick to emotion. I think that helped her tremendously with Dominique. I think she gave him exactly what he needed. The one thing he had never had, and there was no way for him to make up for on his own, was that he had never really had a mother. And she became his mother. She didn’t succeed in saving him, but she did succeed in becoming his mother, which is a great— almost, I think, biblical—encounter.” One of the most moving sections of the book chronicles Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s visit to Dominique in prison in March 2004. A personal hero of Dominique’s, the Archbishop spoke with him for an hour and a half, blessed him and told reporters there about his belief that the death penalty is “not a deterrent” but “an obscenity that brutalizes,” especially in cases like Dominique’s where guilt has not been proven sufficiently but ultimately in all situations. Tutu called it “the ultimate giving up, because our faith is a faith of ever-new beginnings.” Says Cahill, “In that passage, [Tutu] was not dealing with the question of whether the person is guilty or innocent. But assuming their guilt, you cut off the possibility of rehabilitation. If you’re just saying, ‘Well, he did it, now we’re going to kill him,’ you don’t give the person the chance to reexamine his own life. Of course, you may do so if it takes long enough to execute him, which is certainly what happened to Dominique. He had plenty of time to reexamine his own life. But I think Tutu nonetheless has a very good point. I think our whole prison system should be set up with a view towards rehabilitating people rather than simply punishing them.” Cahill emphasizes, “There are no good arguments in favor of the death penalty,” noting specifically that it costs significant-

“What we really do as a society,”

says Cahill,“is that we pay no attention to those children.

We don’t intervene, we don’t rescue them...”



ly more to execute someone than to keep them in prison for life and that one in every eight prisoners who are executed are later found to be innocent. He believes that the death penalty has continued in America for so long due to the fact that very few of those with the power to fight against it are personally affected. This is not just a book but also a call to action, a vehement challenge to Americans that we become informed about the practices and policies carried out in our country, in our name. “It wasn’t too long ago that twothirds of all Americans were in favor of the death penalty, but that’s been going down pretty quickly. I think that a lot of that has to do with the fact that—well, do you know anyone on death row? Any of your friends and relatives on death row? No, nor are mine, except for Dominique and others that I’ve met since then, but in my ordinary course of contact I would not come in touch with such people. Nor would you, nor would any of us. People who buy and read books belong to a different category. It means that we have a certain level of education; it means that we have a certain level of economic security that ensures that we would never find ourselves in such circumstances. If you or one of your siblings or children got in terrible trouble with the law, the first thing that you would do is hire a good attorney, which would mean that the person in trouble would never end up in Dominique’s circumstances. The only reason he was

there was because he didn’t have the resources to hire a good attorney.” On October 26, 2004, Dominique Green was executed by lethal injection. Those who opposed his death included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a global community of personal and political supporters, and the Lastrapes family: the widow and children of the man Dominique was accused of killing twelve years earlier, who had since outspokenly opposed the racially motivated scapegoating of Dominique and pleaded for his death sentence to be revoked. Despite the hard work of these advocates as well as Cahill and Sheila Murphy, the unjust Texas justice system prevailed. When I ask Cahill how he retains any optimism in American democracy in the face of Dominique’s tragic and appalling end, he replies, “We can change anytime we want to! We’re not incapable of change. We’re certainly at last moving in a better direction. We now at least have a president who understands that the world is larger than the United States. . . . We have very long prison sentences compared to any of the European countries. We do very odd things. We have more people in prison per capita than, I think, anywhere in the world except China. That’s pretty amazing. So can we change? Of course we can. Are there people who are trying to institute that change? Yes, and the whole end of the book is pointing the reader in the direction of movements and organizations that are working for this change, which any human being who wants to can be a part IA of. And that’s where the hope lies.”

Thomas Cahill is the author of the Hinges of History® series. He is currently working on its sixth book, which covers the Renaissance and Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries, and planning for the seventh and final book, which will discuss the 18th and 19th centuries, from the Enlightenment to the establishment of democracies, particularly American democracy. He has taught at Queens College, Fordham University, and Seton Hall University, served as the North American education correspondent for the Times of London, and was for many years a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Prior to retiring to write full-time, he was Director of Religious Publishing at Doubleday for six years. He and his wife, Susan, divide their time between New York and Rome.



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{ review of books}

Tom Deignan reviews a selection of recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest.

Recommended dna O’Brien is best known for her provocative novels which, over a span of nearly five decades, have broken daring ground all across the world, but particularly in Ireland, where she was banned before she was beloved. But O’Brien’s latest book is not another novel. Instead, it is a second short biography of a radical artist. This, naturally, is a good fit for O’Brien. A few years ago, O’Brien wrote a biography of James Joyce, a writer she has said she still reads every day. It is understandable why O’Brien would see Joyce as an interesting subject. Not only was Joyce the most influential writer of the 20th century, he was also censored in his homeland – just like O’Brien. O’Brien’s latest venture into biography is a powerful exploration of the life and times of the Romantic British poet Lord Byron entitled Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life. This might not seem as natural a fit as Joyce for O’Brien. That is, until you look at the details of Byron’s life a little more closely. Seen by some as the world’s first literary rock star, Byron in Love focuses closely on his hedonistic side, particularly his seemingly endless appetite for sex. He grew up in London with an ill mother and absent father. He shot to literary fame at the age of 24. As O’Brien makes clear, Byron had, to say the least, a lust for life. He continued writing, but also participated in wars of revolution in Greece and Italy. He was also a notorious lover (and not only of women). Given all of this, it’s easy to forget Byron was also one of the great poets of the 18th century Romantic movement that produced the likes of Shelley, Keats, Blake and Wordsworth. Readers of Byron in Love will come away understanding that Byron was a figure who captured his era’s political, sexual and artistic currents. In a way, he sounds like a character out of an O’Brien novel.



Of course, like many a rock star, part of Byron’s long-lasting appeal rests in the fact that he died young. He died when he was just 36, after becoming ill while fighting in Greece. O’Brien has clearly found a kindred spirit in Lord Byron. Byron in Love shows that O’Brien is not only a great novelist, but also a brilliant interpreter of literary life.

brothers who settle amidst the prostitutes and violence of the Bronx. But McCann’s book contains a chorus of voices. We also meet a group of mothers from very different parts of the city who are bound by one simple fact: they have lost sons in Vietnam. This storyline has particular resonance in this day and age, as American mothers continue to lose sons and daughters in the Middle East. McCann’s vision of New York is ecstatic, almost mystic, in this ambitious book. Let the Great World Spin may not quite measure up to Dancer, but is a disturbingly good read just the same. What Let the Great World Spin does show is that Colum McCann remains one of the most interesting fiction writers working today.

($24.95 / 240 pages / W.W. Norton)

($25 / 349 pages / Random House)

Fiction ollowing two novels about different kinds of artists (Dancer and Zoli), acclaimed novelist Colum McCann widens his lens with a new novel Let the Great World Spin. McCann channels the American novelist Don DeLillo in the new book’s opening scene. We get a breathless, microscopic panorama of downtown Manhattan as the French tightrope walker Philippe Petit makes his famous walk between the Twin Towers. Then, McCann takes us on a frenetic tour of New York in the 1970s, when the city was much more gritty than gleaming. At the center of this book are two Irish


ne of the most talked-about debut novels of the summer is J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement. Sullivan’s book takes the reader through the different perspectives of four young women at Sullivan’s own alma mater, Smith College, and into the first few years of their adult lives beyond. Thus, she has drawn comparisons to fellow Irish Catholic author Mary McCarthy: many say Commencement is The Group for a new generation of American women. Gloria Steinem claims that “Commencement makes clear that the feminist revolution is just beginning,” but Sullivan’s four heroines struggle throughout the novel with different and often contradictory ideas about what it


Photography An interesting little book which doesn’t quite convey the stark changes that have transformed Ireland in the past decade and a half, but nevertheless presents wonderful portraits, is Ireland Then and Now. Compiled by Irish American Victoria Murphy, the photos span all of the regions of Ireland, and contain famous structures such as the Blarney Castle and the O’Connell statue in Dublin, as well as lesser known buildings and landscape scenes. It might have helped if it was made clear when exactly all of the older portraits were taken. Still, Ireland Then and Now is a fine book to page through. ($37.95 / 192 pages / Mercier Press-Dufour)



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means to be a feminist, a friend, and a young woman in 21st century America. Among the cast of Sullivan’s novel is the Irish (lapsed) Catholic Celia, who says Hail Marys like a superstition, the beautiful Southerner Bree, who arrives at Smith engaged to her high school sweetheart but graduates with a very different idea of love, radical feminist April, who is willing to risk life and limb to expose the horrors of sex trafficking in America, and Sally, who begins college mourning the loss of her mother. While the four girls initially seem to have nothing in common, they form a bond that stays with them even as they face marriage, motherhood, and mortality. Look for an interview with Sullivan, who maintains her day job in the editorial department of The New York Times, in the next issue. ($24.95 / 336 pages / Knopf)

eather Barbieri’s The Lacemakers of Glenmara does not exactly have an original premise. Kate Robinson is a 26-year-old Irish American who flees to Ireland when she feels overwhelmed by life in the States. Naturally, she becomes enmeshed in the lives of a colorful cast of local characters in Glenmara, among them the members of a dedicated lace-making group. Still, Lacemakers has plenty of heart and charm. “You can always start again,” Kate’s mother once told her, “all it takes is a new thread.” Barbieri’s characters are nothing if not memorable, particularly the members of the group that gives the book its title. There’s Bernie, a widow, and Aileen, who seems helpless in the face of her teenage daughter’s growing independence. There’s also Moira, who is trapped in an abusive relationship. Meanwhile, it just so happens there’s also a fella Kate meets, an artist, who perhaps could use a lady friend to over-


come some of his own past traumas. The Lacemakers of Glenmara is not exactly for everyone. But those who enjoy a colorful romantic yarn will eat it up. ($24.99 / 268 pages / Harper)

Non Fiction n 2003, best-selling author Thomas Cahill (How the Irish Saved Civilization) was in Texas. A retired Irish Catholic judge named Sheila Murphy recommended he pay a visit to a convicted murderer named Dominique Green. He did not encounter a cold-blooded killer but, instead, what Cahill calls A Saint on Death Row, the title of his latest book. Green was arrested at the age of eighteen following the shooting of a man during a robbery, and was sentenced to the death penalty despite a lack of evidence. A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green explores the fight to stop Green’s execution, a fight which included a visit from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In October of 2004, Green died by lethal injection, but knowing the ending shouldn’t stop you from wanting to read this harrowing piece and find out why. Cahill outlines the serious flaws and corruption in the American justice system, as well as the spiritual journey undertaken by Green and his many supporters.


($18.95 / 160 pages / Nan A. Talese)

nother miscarriage of justice story is told in The Fence: A Police Coverup Along Boston’s Racial Lines. At the center of the story is South Boston Irish American cop Kenny Conley. In 1995, several Boston police officers brutally beat a man who they believed to be a gang member. Instead, it was Michael Cox, an undercover African American police officer. During the beating, Officer Conley


captured another suspect, and, so, denied witnessing the actual beating of Cox. Federal prosecutors accused Conley of lying, drawing him into a legal morass which, in Lehr’s mind, exposes huge flaws in the Boston police department. Lehr knows a lot about the ethnic wars and justice system in Boston. He (along with Gerard O’Neill) wrote Black Mass, the definitive account of Whitey Bulger and how the Southie Irish gangster manipulated law enforcement and escaped prosecution. ($25 / 383 pages / Harper)

Poetry he massive new Collected Poems of Ciaran Carson shows the Belfastborn poet to be one of the most impressive of his generation, particularly in the diversity of his language and subject matter. Early poems such as “Our Country Cousins” and “Great-Grandmother” are insightful portraits of familial intimacy, while later works, such as the simply titled cycle “Letters from the Alphabet,” are complex in their form and content. Throughout, there is a heavy presence of history, of Irish and Gaelic culture, not to mention a strong sense of universality.


($19.95 / 591 pages / Wake Forest University Press)

lso new from Wake Forest (which specializes in Irish poetry) is Paula Meehan’s Painting Rain, a collection rich with imagery of both the lush beauty and danger of nature. “The Wolf Tree” reads at one point, “Imagine the field you might survey / before the wolf tree’s unleaving / like the hours of your life / finds you shivering, naked, unmasked IA and old.”


($11.95 / 100 pages / Wake Forest University Press AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 91



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{crossword} By Darina Molloy

ACROSS 1 Christopher Columbus visited this western city in 1477. (6) 4 Mountcharles family castle and rock venue. (5) 6 (& 17 across) New host of the long-running Late Late Show. (4) 8 Mr. Rooney, new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. (3) 9 (& 7 down) He founded Sinn Féin. (6) 10 See 2 down. (7) 13 Known as the model county. (7) 14 Islands off Galway coast. (4) 17 See 6 across. (7) 18 See 25 down. (5) 21 Prior to the War of Independence, it was known as Queen’s County. (5) 22 Antrim location of world’s oldest legal distillery. (9) 23 Cry. (3) 26 Mr. Gray, Oscar Wilde’s ever-youthful protagonist. (6) 29 Intensely devoted or earnest. (7) 30 Observe. (3) 31 Wolfe Tone's first name. (8) 32 The ___: new Conor McPherson movie. (7) 34 Have possession of. (3) 37 Underwater link between UK and France. (10) 39 (& 38 down) Iconic comedy about hapless Irish priests. (6) 40 Poem or tribute. (3) 41 Dublin’s electric rail network. (4) 42 (& 28 down) Second man on the moon. (4) 43 Large body of water. (4)

DOWN 1 (& 12 down) Irish economics journalist turned Fine Gael TD. (6) 2 (& 10 across) Beaten by Roger Federer in this year’s Wimbledon final. (4) 3 Literary daughter of Mary Higgins Clark. (5) 5 Smallest county in Ireland. (5) 6 See 16 down. (5) 7 See 9 across. (8)

11 Birthplace of Seamus Heaney. (5) 12 See 1 down. (3) 15 Designated heritage town in Co. Kildare. (4) 16 (& 6 down) Irish dancer turned top model. (4) 19 Authored the first Land Act in 1870. (9) 20 Where the world's first transatlantic flight ended. (6) 22 European city in which U2 kicked off latest tour. (9) 23 To ___, perchance to dream. (5) 24 See 36 down. (6) 25 (& 18 across) Canadian singer back for more sold-out shows in Dublin. (7) 27 One of Ireland’s biggest banks. (1, 1, 1)

Win a subscription to Irish America magazine Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than September 17, 2009. 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 June/July Crossword: Meredith Lownes, Evanston, Illinois 92 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

28 See 42 across. (6) 33 This Sean was an Irish Taoiseach and Haughey father-in-law. (6) 35 Offaly bog, one of the largest in Europe. (5) 36 (& 24 down) Original female lead in Riverdance. (4) 38 See 39 across. (3) 40 In short, Australia. (2)

June/July Solution



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{music} By Ian Worpole

On the

Road Again Frankie Gavin is back with De Dannan and an exciting new lineup.

e Dannan, along with The tled “Hibernian Rhapsody,” on the album mail at the end of June. Bothy Band, Planxty and The of the same name – try listening to that Where do you call home Chieftains, is one of the semione without a smile! Through it all, the these days? nal super-group Irish tradianchor of the band, Frankie Gavin, also I’m back home in Ireland in Oughterard, tional bands that started up in the heady pursued his own eclectic path, playing County Galway; however, I did live in days of the 1970s and have powered along with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Austin, Texas, Charlottesville and in various incarnations to this day. Hailing Elvis Costello and Stéfan Grappelli, a Peachtree City, Georgia for a while. I met from Spiddal, Co. Galway, and originally classic duo album with De Dannan coand know amazing people in the U.S., made up of Frankie Gavin on fiddle, Alec founder Alec Finn, and solo albums such especially in Virginia and Georgia, and a Finn on bouzouki, Johnny “Ringo” as Fierce Traditional in 2001, which was few real decent friends in Louisiana too. McDonagh on bodhrán and Charlie partly in response to a suggestion that he Piggott on banjo, the band recruited powhad strayed a bit far from his traditional What have you been up to of erhouse singer Dolores Keane for their roots with the likes of Frankie Goes to late? Tell us about your current debut album Dé Danann (No, I haven’t Hollywood and, yes, Hibernian Rhapsody. band, Hibernian got my n’s the wrong way round; Rhapsody. they transposed them later). The I’ve been working with band was celebrated for its innoHibernian Rhapsody for about vative approach to performing four years and it has been very dance tunes, with Alec Finn’s enjoyable and exciting too. We complex 6-string bouzouki (as did a U.S. tour recently with The opposed to the usual 8-string Irish Women of Ireland and The version) providing a counterpoint Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. in harmony and percussion to Three months on the road and it Frankie Gavin’s virtuosic fiddle. was a great success. We were As Frankie describes it, “The working with Columbia Artists band highlights tightly percussive Management and played an melody lines set against a flowarray of beautiful halls and pering, contrapuntal background.” Michelle Lally, Frankie Gavin, Ron Wood and Eric Cunningham. forming arts centers, and had a Since those early days band memball. The Women of Ireland, I should menbers have included, variously, Jackie Daly, Frankie began playing the fiddle tion, are nominated in the Ireland’s Music Johnny Moynihan, Artie McGlynn, somewhat reluctantly (“Doesn’t it make Awards this year; the ceremony is in Tommy Fleming and a who’s who of a lot of squeaks when you’re learning?”) Castlebar County Mayo this August. Ireland’s finest female vocalists including at the age of ten, urged on by his older Maura O’Connell, Mary Black and brother Sean, and by the age of 17, in You yourself have been Eleanor Shanley. 1973, had won the All-Ireland champinominated in two categories. A string of stellar De Dannan albums onships in both fiddle and flute. He Yes, one nomination is in the “Best from 1976 onward, through the 80s and formed De Dannan with friend Alec Finn Crossover Act” category for my work 90s, has secured the band’s reputation as the following year. Remarking on his with Hibernian Rhapsody. We’re in there one of the handful of all-time great Irish influences at the time of the Fierce with The Chieftains and Sharon Shannon traditional bands. The earlier works, such Traditional album, he said, “A lot of the and some other greats. The other nominaas Star-Spangled Molly, hewed close to music is firmly based in the 1920s playtion is in the “Best Duo” category, which the traditional format, but as the band ing of James Morrison, my all-time I share with my good friend Maírtín grew more adventurous, How the West favorite fiddle player; another hero is O’Connor, the accordion player. was Won included a hit version of “Hey the late Tommy Potts – his musical brain [If you would like to vote, go to: www.ireJude,” and there’s the stunning rendering was extraordinary.” landsmusicawards.com. Even if you don’t of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” retiI caught up with Frankie Gavin via e-





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The new De Dannan lineup will be led by original member Frankie Gavin on fiddle, viola, flutes & whistles with Michelle Lally on vocals, Mike Galvin on bouzouki & guitars, Eric Cunningham on percussion, and Damien Mullane on accordian.

vote, check out the phenomenal list of nominees — there’s some fierce competition!]

De Dannan disbanded in 2003, do you have plans for a revival? In actual fact, I’ve started an all-new Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, and we will be doing a major concert in Castlebar at The World Fleadh on August 5. Mary Black, Dolores Keane and Maírtín O’Connor will make guest appearances on the night, and possibly a rock n’roll star and lifelong friend of mine! [I’m guessing Ronnie Wood.] The new De Dannan lineup consists of Mike Galvin on guitars and bouzouki, Michelle Lally, vocals, Eric Cunningham, percussion, and Damien Mullane, accordion, and of course Frankie, on fiddle and viola.

Over the years, De Dannan have had the finest of Irish singers: Dolores Keane, Maura O’Connell, and Mary Black. What are a few of your favorite

recollections of these ladies? Well, where could I begin to answer that one! They are all fabulous in every way. They are brilliant singers and it’s a joy and honor to work with them. And as I said, Mary and Dolores will be on stage with us at the Castlebar concert; check out the website: www.worldfleadh.com. The band, in the past, has been responsible for launching the careers of many of Ireland’s best-known traditional performers, and I believe it’s time now to write a new chapter in the De Dannan story — a band for the 21st century! We’ve nearly finished the new album and it’s really cookin’!

Who are some of your other favorite performers or influences? Jimmy McCarthy and Mick Hanly, two of Ireland’s finest songwriters, would be at the top of my list, and recently I did an album with Rick Epping on blues harmonica called Jiggin the Blues. We started on that when I was living in Charlottesville. I’ve also just finished recording some tracks with Tom Byrne,

The Women of De Dannan


aura O’Connell’s new album Naked with Friends is well worth a listen. It offers unaccompanied traditional and contemporary songs sung in the sean nós (old) style, or as duets with the likes of Alison Krauss, Mary Black and Paul Brady, with a cheeky cover to match the title. Maura calls Nashville her home these days. Eleanor Shanley, who was with the band for Jacket of Batteries and Half Set in Harlem, is still going strong, and recently recorded a Waterboys song,“Strange Boat,” with the man Mike Scott himself and Alec Finn (available soon on Eleanor’s website.) Eleanor recalls her stint with De Dannan with fond memories, and remains close to members of the band. Mary Black was recently interviewed in these pages and continues to record and tour; she, her sister Frances, and Dolores Keane went on to be a big part of the phenomenon A Woman’s Heart and record two widely acclaimed solo albums.This is a seriously successful bunch of alumnae!

the Larry Adler of Irish music.

There seems to be a mixed view of the value of All-Ireland Championships; some love it, others find it totally nerve-racking. Did you enjoy it? Did it open doors for you? Well, competitive work can be good and very bad, especially when it comes to music, I suppose. I never found it made any difference to me in the long run and I never made any money from anything I “won,” or anything else you care to mention! However, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann (CCE) has done great work in its nurturing of Irish music for a long time now and I suppose without CCE, it may not have survived as well as it has. Having said that, Sean Ó Riada in my view would have been the real savior of Irish music. He restored its dignity and swept it forwards onto the “performance stage” where it truly belongs. [Ó Riada, an influential leader in the renaissance of traditional music, was the leader of a group called Ceoltóirí Chualann in the 1960s and went on to compose great classical works such as Mise Eire that combined traditional music with orchestral arrangements.]

Has the recent economic downturn in Ireland affected the music at all in terms of getting it out there, or are you still having a ton of fun? I am happier now playing music than ever before. I’m thinking positively about everything and life’s too short for the other IA stuff! AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 95



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ROBERTS’ RULES FOR SUCCESS Continued from page 64 “Here I was, a Bronx kid, and in the summer in Ireland we could milk cows. It was just terrific. We went hiking together with my cousins, up the hills, and I remember banana and mayonnaise sandwiches. I still love that. Sugar on everything in Ireland. My cousins had rotten teeth! Then, there were always the parties, and everyone had their party piece. We visited the sights, the castles.” Her love of Ireland is not lost on her husband. John Roberts is of Welsh, Czech and Irish stock. His Celtic genes emerge at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland where he has danced on his frequent trips to the Emerald Isle. He also regularly attends ceilis and can dance the “Walls of Limerick” with the best of them, according to Jane. But Jane was never going to be just an accessory to a famous husband. By the time she met John Roberts she was already a star in the legal firmament in Washington and an activist on many issues. Her first meeting with her husband speaks volumes. They met at a beach house and she left soon after for a year in Australia. However, that first impression lasted for both of them. When they met again she bet him he didn’t remember what she was wearing the first time they met. He did, and she remembered what he wore too. She appreciated his intense interest in his own roots in the


steel towns in Indiana and his sense of place and culture in a society where firm roots are ever harder to find and define. “We were very attracted to each other,” she says shyly. “We had so much in common.” Besides, she notes, he charmed her Irish mother no end. She had no qualms when he accepted the Supreme Court job, despite the intense scrutiny. “ I had utter confidence in my husband,” she says. “I had confidence in his intelligence, and his integrity and his ability to handle whatever was asked of him.” Judge Roberts’ Senate hearings will be remembered as one of the most brilliant confirmation hearings ever, in which he dazzled even his sternest critics. Ironically now that he is on the court earning about $217,000 Jane is the major breadwinner. A recent story from Ireland noted that Chief Justice of the Irish Supreme Court earned about $450,000 last year. Jane Sullivan Roberts notes that if Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed there will be six Catholic judges out of nine on the Supreme Court – an indication how far Catholics have come since the bad old days of discrimination, and a testament to Catholic education. She too mirrors that journey in her own way, from the Bronx to Washington and a firsthand view of history. She stays rooted however in what got her there, her family, her heritage and her faith. “I am truly blessed on all those fronts,” IA she says.



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{sláinte} By Edythe Preet

Bless the Buttie!



Enjoying a sausage roll at Dublin market.


hen autumn arrives, trees turn shades of ochre, orange and scandalous scarlet, scents of wood smoke waft on the suddenly chill air, and I am annually reminded of my first trip to Ireland. It was October, and after landing at Shannon, I rented a car and headed for my lodging, a country estate in County Sligo. As I drove, I smelled something burning. Figuring I was passing through an industrial area I gave it no heed, but as I moved into the countryside, the smell persisted. Finally, I pulled into a gas station, sure that the car was on fire. The attendant looked the motor over thoroughly, gave me a bemused look, assured me there was nothing wrong, and waved me on my way. But the smell persisted. When I arrived at my destination and entered the house, I was hit with a fresh wave of the same burning odor. There in the fireplace before me lay my first encounter with a turf fire. Only then did I realize that all along I had been smelling the pungent aroma of burning peat coming from a multitude of home hearths. My embarrassment at mistaking the smell of peat for a fire in my vehicle was assuaged by the arrival of my hostess, who carried in a tray loaded with a steaming pot of tea, slices of butter-slathered bread still warm from the oven, and wild blackberry preserves. The following morning, the kitchen was all abuzz. Guests were enjoying hearty Irish breakfasts and the household’s children were being hustled off to school, each with a packed lunch of crisp juicy apples from the family orchard and thick slabs of buttered wholemeal brown bread sandwiching slices of the previous night’s dinner, a fine roast beef. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I slipped several decades back in time and remembered all the wonderful sandwiches I had enjoyed in grade school. My lunch was always more interesting than what my classmates had brought. Except for Paulette who sometimes had a thermos of soup, all the other girls only

ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My lunch, however, was rarely the same two days in a row as it almost always consisted of what my dad called ‘butties’ – basically anything at all sandwiched between two slices of buttered bread. His personal favorite was baked beans, but they didn’t travel well. The ‘butties’ I took to school were almost always made with dinner leftovers and ranged from roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken to Thanksgiving turkey, Easter ham, meatloaf or Italian meatballs. Meatless Fridays required a different approach, and on those days I had tuna fish salad or hard-boiled eggs with sliced tomatoes. One thing remained constant regardless of the filling: the bread was always buttered. Many years

later, while on a food foray in Northern Ireland, I discovered that a Fried Potato Buttie is a popular antidote to the wobblies one gets after an all-night pub crawl. Why ‘butties’ are practically a national dish in Ireland has little to do with the filling. Bread and butter are mainstays of the Irish diet. Every homemaker has treasured recipes for soda bread, wheaten bread, scones, biscuits and farls, and no table is complete without a tub of sweet creamy butter. Ancient Ireland was a land of cattle where healthy stock and an abundance of milk made all the difference between prosperity and poverty. Milk products were known as ban bhia, or white meat, and included all possible variations:



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fresh milk, sour milk, buttermilk, cream, butter, curds and cheese. Every farmhouse had its butter-making equipment: churn, crockery pans, ladles, skimmers, scoops, stamps for decorating butter with floral designs, and pats to cut butter into conveniently sized pieces for the table. The fairies, or si, played an important part in everyday rural life, and many things were explained by magic. The way golden butter solidified from milk was especially mysterious and many superstitions were associated with buttermaking. Occasionally butter refused to separate from the milk, and people believed that someone with an evil eye had enchanted the cow. To counteract such spells, magical rowan tree branches were tied to the churn dash, or salt, which evil creatures detest, was dropped into the milk. All visitors were expected to help churn except would-be suitors since it was believed that churning would

in peat bogs. When a family made more butter than it could use, the excess was buried in a cool moist bog to keep from spoiling. This method of keeping butter from turning rancid was also used by herders in mountain pastures who made butter all summer long but did not sell it until harvest fairs. Butter has always played an important economic role in Ireland. At one time, every family had a cow to provide its essential milk, butter and cheese. On a small scale, butter supplied families with a means of exchange for other food items and materials, or it was sold at market for a meager income. In places where production was high, butter was exported. County Cork became the center of Ireland’s dairy industry, and in the 18th century Cork City was considered The Butter Capital of the World. From its Butter Market and Butter Exchange in the Shandon district, the fresh butters of

The ‘butties’ I took to school were almost always made with dinner leftovers and ranged from roast beef, lamb, pork or chicken to Thanksgiving turkey, Easter ham, meatloaf or Italian meatballs. cause bachelors to become impotent. If the household’s butter was not going to be eaten immediately, salt was added as a preservative, but this was considered an inferior product. Like every other aspect of Irish life, there was a Brehon Law that addressed butter. Sons of farmers ate gruiten (salted butter) with their porridge, sons of chieftains had im ur (fresh butter), and sons of kings received sweet butter and honey. Butter was stored in baskets, cloth bags, or leather sacks, and turf cutters have discovered many examples buried

Cork and Kerry were salted and exported to the best tables of Europe. Butter still holds a primary place of honor in the Irish kitchen. It is drizzled on meats, stirred into sauces, beaten into cakes, puddled in bowls of colcannon, plunked into porridge, and slathered thickly on all types of bread at every possible opportunity. When guests come to call, a plate of Jam Butties and a hot pot of tea are evidence of Irish hospitality at its best, and nothing beats Left-over Dinner Butties IA for school lunches. Sláinte!


Sweet Whipped Butter 1

pint heavy whipping cream

Chill cream, a medium size stainless steel bowl and electric whipping beaters thoroughly. When cold, whip cream as you would to make whipped cream but continue whipping until it turns a pale yellow color and separates into clumps. Be patient, this will take time. Ladle into a plastic container, press down, smooth, and chill. Serve instead of commercial butter. Makes 1 pint. – Personal Recipe

Aran Blathai (Buttermilk Bread) Note: This is a very old traditional bread that I confess to never having made. Therefore: Na mol an t-aran go mbruitear! (Do not praise the bread until it is cooked!) 1 ⁄4 8 4 4 1 1 2

pints buttermilk ounces fine or medium oatmeal ounces white flour ounces wholemeal flour teaspoon baking soda teaspoon salt tablespoons brown sugar or honey

Stir the buttermilk into the oatmeal in a large bowl, cover and leave for 12 hours. Mix, and add the flour, soda and a little more buttermilk, enough to make a fairly stiff dough. Butter two bread-loaf pans well, divide dough into two portions and place one in each pan. Bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 45-55 minutes. Test before removing from the oven. Turn loaves out of pans and wrap in clean tea towels to cool. Makes 2 loaves. Serving suggestions: Cut into slices and make a variety of ‘butties’ using your own homemade sweet butter! – Irish Traditional Food: Theodora Fitzgibbon




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THE LIFE OF BRIAN Continued from page 41 the same thing that creates most of them – too much borrowing, and then when the day of reckoning came, when people had to pay it back and they weren’t earning as much money, because the economy slowed down, everybody got in trouble.

Do you think the banks are at fault in any of that? We’re all at fault. Everybody’s at fault, all the participants are at fault, from the banks to the regulatory environment to the corporations to the – we all sort of participated and when the liquidity bubble popped it was probably – Devastating— And I think we as an industry must do all we can to help educate people. We all, as consumers, have to be more responsible. It comes down to less complexity and less leverage. My children will probably be more conservative in how they save just because of the experience [of this crisis] that they’ve read about in the papers.

A rainy day in Ireland brings out the smiles and the umbrellas.

got a lot of great resources, a lot of great people, it’s a question of how do you keep reinventing yourself to stay ahead of the game, because these things always naturally have an ebb and flow to them.

How do we reinvent ourselves here? In the United States? I think it’s around the types of things that made the country very strong. We have a great natural tal-

“So I think the challenge for Ireland is, what’s next? The country has got a lot of great resources, a lot of great people, it’s a question of how do you keep reinventing yourself.” How global is Bank of America? Three hundred thousand people work at Bank of America [worldwide]. We’ve got a big [credit] card business in Ireland; we’ve got investment bankers and corporate bankers in Ireland. Ireland did a good job of figuring out the pickle they were in 30 years ago and said, Let’s develop some capabilities, some industries. And they were able to do that. Now the question is, it’s a never ending reinvention, so whether it’s Ireland, the northeastern United States after the manufacturing moved years ago, Michigan after the auto industry changes – you just got to keep reinventing yourself. So I think the challenge for Ireland is, what’s next? The country has 100 IRISH AMERICA AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009

ent base around industries, financial services being one of them, but also technology, healthcare and different kinds of manufacturing businesses. The energy infrastructure is an area where we should be at the leading edge of the world. We’re still on the cutting edge in terms of technology, medicine and other scientific research in biology, chemistry, etc. We just have to keep investing in our educational systems and our capabilities to be inventive.

Many of America’s greatest inventors were immigrants like your family and mine. Right now America has closed the door on immigration.Where do you stand on that?

I think we have to make sure that we [as a country] tap into the talents from people all around the world – that’s what got us where we are today. We as a company believe in that. I’ve been involved at Brown University and other places where you see the amount of talent that comes from other places. There was a young woman who spoke to us who came from Belarus. Think of that talent around the world which can, and wants to, come here to learn and help our country grow and prosper. I think that’s consistent with how we got here.

Is there anything in your Irish makeup, any particular Irish characteristics that maybe helped you to get to where you’re at? I think we Irish try to have a good sense of humor, and I think you’ve got to be serious but not take yourself too seriously. I think also that no matter how many generations removed, there’s a little bit of a chip on the shoulder, and that you always [feel you must] prove yourself. There’s no sense of entitlement, no sense of placement, it’s all a sense of you’ve got to go out and work hard to get there. It doesn’t all break your way all the time, so you’ve got to just power through it. I think that’s deeply embedded in the culture of the Irish, including the Irish that went around the world, not only to this country but other countries. There’s a common trait, the people all had a sense that they needed to keep pushing forward, and they were never sort of settled. And I think that if you look across generations and look across people and meet people in the current generation in Ireland you see that trait’s still there. IA



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{photo album} Family Pictures

Daddo W

hen I think of my father, that quiet, gentle man with the soft, lilting brogue, I honor his memory in song and in story for those are the gifts he passed down to me. My childhood was enriched with the songs and stories of his native land. I knew all about Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connemara, Sir Roger Casement, the nobleman who gave his life for Ireland and Kevin Barry, the eighteen-yearold martyr who was hung in the village square. I remember my father, who worked for the Third Avenue Transit Line, coming home from a long hard day, grabbing a quick dinner and taking me on two buses to Greenpoint, where I would take my Irish dancing lessons. “Professor” McKenna was the teacher, at 50 cents a lesson, and he taught us the jigs, reels, hornpipes and set dances while Joey Flynn played every tune you could name on the violin. My father loved being there and he would always praise my dancing as we hopped the two buses home. We forged a bond on those nights that would never be broken. On Sunday afternoons my father would bring out his old songbook that he brought with him from County Galway and The marriage of John Laffey (Galway) to Agnes Flynn (Mayo) in 1925. we would sit together, he and I, and sing all the old songs — “Skibbereen,” “The Galway Shawl,” “The Tanyard Side” Our family lived in a four-room apartment and my parand many more. To this day I remember all the words. ents had many parties there. As I stood at my bedroom When my father died, my sister (the nun) was cleaning out door, I saw all of their friends crowded together, sitting on his drawers and she found the old songbook with my picfolding chairs. Joe McGorty would play the accordion, ture in the middle of it. She handed me the book and said, Nora Joyce, the violin, and everyone would sing and dance. “This belongs only to you.” I was enraptured by the joy of it all. Then I would be




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Daddo, age 80, still very active.

At Rockaway Beach, 1947, L to R: Myself, Daddo, my mother Agnes Flynn Laffey, and my sister Rita.

allowed to come out and sing my songs, “Eileen McMahon” graduated from college. and “A Mother’s Love’s a Blessing,” and finish up with a The years went by and there were weddings, grandchildren hornpipe. I was the happiest person alive! and the convent for my younger sister, and always the Irish In later years, I took my first trip to Ireland and I went to songs, dances and stories. We were “keeping the traditions Galway to see the cottage where my father was born. It was alive” and passing them down to our children as well. gloriously situated right on the beach, looking out at the water I will end with the death of my father, which was both beauwith wildflowers growing all around. I asked my father why tiful and sad at the same time. On the night before he died, we he ever left such a lovely place and he sadly replied, “Because were all there telling him how much he was loved. He kept I had to, as did all the other young people of Ireland.” He then looking up at the painting my children had given him called told me the sad history of this tragic little island and its eight “An Irish Cottage” and I knew his heart was going back to the hundred years of oppression. beach in Connemara. After this trip, I quizzed my parents about their lives here in When I was arranging my father’s funeral Mass, I knew that America. My mother was brought over by her aunt who sent any ordinary hymn would not be fitting and so I gave the her to school to become a baby nurse. Her life was very pleaswords and music, to a wonderful organist, of one of his ant in elegant homes and she was treated with respect. My favorite songs. When, at the end, his casket was ready to leave father, on the other hand, landed in the church for the last time, the Boston and was greeted with signs music reverberated to— on the windows —“No Irish Need “Shall my soul pass through old Apply.” He suffered prejudice and Ireland, pass through Cork City discrimination until he came to New grand? York, found work on the Third Shall I see the old cathedral Avenue Transit System and foreverwhere St. Patrick took his stand? more sang the praises of Michael J. Shall I see the little chapel Quill the Kerry man who founded where I pledged my heart and the Transit Workers Union. hand? My mother and father had a marFather, tell me e’re I die, shall riage made in heaven. They truly my soul pass through Ireland?” loved each other, and so my life As I, and my family sat there, was very happy. We went to weeping copious tears, I prayed Rockaway Beach every summer that his soul would pass through and I thought I was very rich. My old Ireland, the land he loved so My confirmation in 1946. L to R: My aunt Dot Flynn, IA father insisted on the value of eduwell. myself in ringlets, Daddo, my sister Rita (who became cation – “No one can ever look down Sister Ave Regina), my cousins Mary (who became – Mary Joan Prendergast on you,” he would say, and so we all Sister Sharon Bernadette) and Martin.

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Kara Rota at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, then please send a good quality reproduction or e-mail the picture at high resolution to Irishamag@aol.com. No photocopies, please. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 IRISH AMERICA 103



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{ milestones} WEDDING


Amb. Tom Foley Weds in Ireland

Rooney Named Ambassador



ormer U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley returned to Ireland to marry Leslie Ann Fahrenkopf on Saturday, April 25. The Rev. Sandra Hales, a priest of the Church of Ireland, performed the ceremony at Christ Church in Dublin. The reception, held at Castletown House, included a “who’s who” of Irish politicians and celebrities, including U2 rockers Larry Mullen and The Edge. Thomas Foley, Jr. who served as his dad’s best man, arrived on the arm of teen actress Sarah Bolger. It is a second marriage for Foley (57) and the first for Leslie (41), a lawyer who worked in the White House before becoming a vice president at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Foley, who stepped down as Ambassador last January, said the couple picked Ireland to celebrate tying the knot because “it’s a beautiful place. We wanted an interesting place for our friends to enjoy and we wanted to be able to include the many friends we made in Ireland.” The couple, who live in Greenwich, Connecticut, began seeing each other after Leslie stopped in Ireland en route to Brussels in July of last year. – Patricia Harty

GRADUATION Conor Graduates from Boston College


onor McDonald, son of Patty and Steven McDonald, graduated from Boston College and will head to Denver to do volunteer work for the summer. He is considering law school, and expressed interest in the police department as a career. Patty was pregnant with Conor when Steven, a New York Police Department detective, was shot on July 12, 1986, leaving him a quadriplegic. Though paralyzed from the neck down, he has become a noted public speaker on peace initiatives in Northern Ireland and for the NYPD. Conor was born in Malverne, Long Island, where his mother Patty is now the mayor. She was honored as one of the Irish Voice’s 75 Most Influential Women this June. Steven McDonald, his son Conor and wife Patty.



aniel M. Rooney was confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland on June 25, 2009. Rooney, whose grandfather left County Down in the 1800’s for America, is the American owner and chairman of the NFL's 2008 Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and has long been an avid supporter of Ireland. He took over the team from his father Art Rooney, and has run it with his wife Patricia and his children by his side. Dan Rooney helped found The Ireland Fund in the 1970's, which later merged with the American Irish Foundation to form The American Ireland Fund. Rooney, a longstanding Republican, said in support of thenpresidential candidate Barack Obama last year, "When I think of Barack Obama's America I have great hope. I support his candidacy and look forward to his Presidency.” Obama returned the favor by nominating Rooney for the position of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, citing his extensive support for IrishAmerican charitable causes. Hopefully, Rooney will continue his staunch support of Ireland and make us even more proud with his new position. – Andrew Phillips

BIRTHDAYS Blowing Out the Candles


his August marks the celebration of the birthdays of several icons of the arts. The red-haired goddess of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Maureen O’Hara celebrates her 89th birthday on August 17. One of six children born in the Dublin suburb of Ranelagh, Maureen began her work in theater before conquering film. Her work spans several decades but she is most well known for her work alongside friend and fellow actor John Wayne. Their chemistry lit up the classic dramas Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles, McLintock! and Big Jake. Now officially retired, the former leading lady divides her time between her homes in Glengarriff, County Cork, Arizona and the Virgin Islands. The 18th of August marks IrishAmerican actor Denis Leary’s 52nd birthday. The star of Rescue Me is native to Worcester, Massachusetts. Following on the 19th is the birthday of Frank McCourt, famed IrishAmerican author of Angela’s Ashes. The Pulitzer Prize winner will be 79 years old. Also in August we remember the birthdays of those legends who have gone before us. Gene Kelly, the face of 20th century dancing, was born on August 23, 1912, and would have been 97 years old this year. Another great Irish-American dancer and actor Donald O’Conner was born on the 28th of August and would have celebrated his 84th birthday this year. The two will never be forgotten for their indelible performances together in IA Singin’ in the Rain. – Tara Dougherty



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{ news from irish argentina} By Guillermo MacLoughlin

Argentine writer Carlos Gamerro, María Kodama, and Mario “Pacho” O’Donnell.



n different parts of the country on June 15, there were celebrations in homage to James Joyce, the great Irish writer. The main event took place at Buenos Aires city, presided over by Irish Ambassador Philomena Murnaghan, and was sponsored by the local government, which was represented by Mr. Héctor Lombardi, local Minister for Culture. During the venue, Mario “Pacho” O’Donnell, famous writer, historian and politician who can trace his roots to the “Wild Geese,” spoke about the author and the importance of this celebration. Mrs. María Kodama, widow of the well-known writer Jorge Luis Borges, read some parts of Ulises and spoke about the admiration Borges had for Joyce. Borges wrote about Finnegans Wake and said that Joyce was one of the best writers in the English world. Also, María Kodama spoke about the wonderful moments Borges passed in Ireland, in 1982, when he had the opportunity to be at one Bloomsday in Dublin. There were other celebrations in Buenos Aires city, Rosario, Córdoba and Bahia Blanca, marking the importance of Joyce for the Argentinean, not only the Irish Argentinean. There are also different James Joyce Societies spread through out the country who recall the memory of this outstanding Irish writer.

Father Fahey Tribute


he extraordinary story of Father Anthony Fahey (1805-1871), a Dominic priest from Loughrea, Co. Galway, established in Argentina as of 1844, was remembered in July at his tombstone at the Recoleta Cemetery. In addition to acting as chaplain to the large number of Irish – mostly from the Midlands – arriving during and after the famine, Fr. Fahey, as he himself wrote, acted as consul, postmaster, financial adviser, marriage counselor, judge, interpreter and employment agent for his countrymen arrived to the River Plate. He was supported in all his initiatives by his friend, Thomas Armstrong, an Irish Protestant merchant, who made a big for-

tune in the country. As it was pointed out by Elsie Rivero Haedo, an Argentine writer, “in the summer of 1871 one of the most disastrous plagues ever experienced in South America, yellow fever, struck the city of Buenos Aires, and it swept over 13,600 to their graves. Among the victims was the greatly beloved Fr. Anthony Fahey.” Nowadays, Argentina is suffering not yellow fever but Influenza A, as recently passed in Mexico, which is causing disturbances in the economic and social lives of the local people. Schools and other public places have been closed and the local authorities have announced different measures in order to cut the pandemic. IA

RUGBY: Ireland Defeated Argentina Although the two countries did not do well at the Young World Rugby Cup held in Japan on June 5, the two national younger teams played with Ireland defeating Argentina 16 to 9. “It was an emotional match, despite the result,” said Ezequiel Fernández Gill, one of the Argentine coaches of Irish origin.

Guillermo MacLoughlin is the editor of the Irish-Argentinean newspaper The Southern Cross, founded in 1875. Guillermo, who was born in Buenos Aires, is a public accountant and an honorary advisor to the Irish Embassy in Argentina.




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{the last word}

Stop the Silence Paul Hill writes that the sacrifice of the heroes of 9/11 must not be used as a justification for torture.


eptember 11, 2001 will always remain an infamous day to the world. But to the men and women of the NYPD and FDNY it remains indelibly stamped in their minds. For on that tragic September morning in the dying embers of summer, they raced towards lower Manhattan by any means necessary. Battling their way through the sea of humanity, fearfully fleeing the devastation, these men frantically checked their pagers and mobile phones for any information that may enlighten them with regard to the inferno which was about to engulf them. They stood in ranks on Liberty, Church and Barkley Streets as terrified civilians by the thousands fled north on the elevated West Side Highway. These individuals whose aspirations in life were the most humbling – save enough for a house in the ‘burbs, enough to put their children through college, that long dreamed-of trip back to the old sod or whatever country bore their ancestors, the highlight of their week shooting the breeze over a few icecold beers – for many hundreds of these men these dreams and aspirations were to lay unfulfilled in the ruins and the wreckage of the World Trade Center. As they donned their breathing equipment and and held their torch-fire axes, many stood in silence, attempting to comprehend the incomprehensible as they stared skyward at what appeared to many as Dante’s Inferno. Some made frantic cellphone calls home, fully knowing it may be their last, some blessed themselves and prayed to their god, many thinking they may see him soon. If they were fearful, they did not show it, for it was not fear and self-motivation that propelled these individuals into the World Trade Center and up smoke-filled stairwells. It was, to quote Chief Edward F. Croker, an Irish-born American of the fire department of New York from 18991911, “an act of unselfish bravery.” Chief Croker said, “When a man becomes a firefighter, his greatest act of bravery has already been accomplished.” These sons and daughters of immigrants were the finest examples of bravery humanity has


ever produced. The compassion beating in the hearts of these individuals will remain unsurpassed in our lifetime. They defined everything great about the nation and the unconquerable soul of the human spirit. On the morning of this barbaric act, as millions viewed throughout the world on TV screens, questioning the very existence of a god in the face of such barbarism, the individuals of FDNY and NYPD restored my faith in the existence of a just compassionate god. For their

Fear did not hinder the finest from our race who stared it in the face and marched towards it. These men were not quiet on the morning of September 11 and their sacrifice should not be used, and their memory besmirched, as a justification for torture. actions exemplified that. They shall forever remain deep in our hearts and in our memory, as those who sacrificed their lives so that others might live. No greater tribute can be bestowed upon them. Just for a moment, remember where you were on that fearful morning and the fear you felt and think what these individuals were doing at that very exact moment. Yet the story of these individuals who emanated everything great about mankind has been tragically hijacked by those dark forces of mankind, those who took the sacrifice of these people and

repeatedly used it as an excuse for the justification of torture. These men did not give their lives so that people could torture in the name of political ends. The discussion of whether the U.S. government tortured or not is now moot. President Obama has stated that it did. The debate should not be one of silence. Where were those who protested outside the British Embassy in 1971 when Irish men were interned without charge or trial, when the same thing was happening in Guantánamo? Where were those who protested that Irish prisoners were being hooded, sleep deprived and subjected to white noise techniques and beaten in interrogation centers throughout Northern Ireland, when the recently released torture memos shows that the U.S. government authorized the same techniques? Where are those who said that Diplock courts with no jury in Northern Ireland was in breach of international law? And those who protested that the only evidence used to convict individuals wereconfessions beaten from people in Northern Ireland and English police stations? Where are those who protested that the case of the Birmingham Six and my own case, the Guildford Four, were show trials and an assault against all concepts of juris prudence? Where are those who protested the British Prevention of Terrorism Act, under which I was the first person arrested and spent the next fifteen years innocent in prison, as racist because it only applied to Irish people? Where are the protesters when we need them today? The Irish in America probably know more than any other group that Draconian laws do not work. Nor have we forgotten our history, that which defined us. Or in the cold light of day were afraid to speak. Fear did not hinder us when it happened to our own. And fear did not hinder the finest from our race who stared it in the face and marched towards it. These men were not quiet on the morning of September 11 and their sacrifice should not be used, and their memory besmirched, IA as a justification for torture. Paul Hill was one of the Guildford Four. He spent over 15 years in British jails for a crime that he and the others charged with him did not commit – the bombing of a pub in Guildford. Convictions were based on confessions obtained by torture.

Profile for Irish America Magazine

Irish America August / September 2009  

Irish America's annual Wall Street 50 celebrates the best and brightest Irish performing with panache in the financial industry and includes...

Irish America August / September 2009  

Irish America's annual Wall Street 50 celebrates the best and brightest Irish performing with panache in the financial industry and includes...