Irish America December / January 2008

Page 1



4:34 PM

Page 4

IRISH AMERICA December / January 2008

Vol. 22 No. 6

Cyril O’Flaherty’s “Holy Mountain”


IMPRESSIONS OF AN ISLAND An exhibition by two artists, Cyril O’Flaherty and Lol Hardiman, who spent five years capturing the islands off Ireland’s West Coast.




SIMPLY DELICIOUS How Myrtle and Darina Allen of Ballymaloe House and Culinary Institute changed Irish cooking forever. Story by Sharon Ní Chonchúir.


THE BUSINESS 100 A salute to Irish-American corporate chieftains, featuring interviews with Sean Conlon (pg. 46), Séamus Finn (pg. 56), Michael O’Hara Lynch (pg. 62), and Kathleen Murphy (pg.74).


VIRTUE, LIBERTY AND INDEPENDENCE A historical look at the Pennsylvania Irish and how they influenced America over the past three hundred years. By Tom Deignan.


DEPARTMENTS THE LIGHTNESS OF BRUEN Mystery writer Ken Bruen talks to Darina Molly about his life in Ireland, his career, and his latest book, American Skin.

100 THE GHOSTS OF IRELAND’S PAST The Irish Repertory Theatre’s production of John B. Keane’s Sive extracts an emotional reaction from editor Patricia Harty.


SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT Ireland’s Western Region: A Natural Place for Business

6 10 12 16 88 90 92 96 98 102 104 106

Reader’s Forum First Word News From Ireland Hibernia Music Crossword Books Roots Sláinte Ireland Today Photo Album Last Word

Irish America Magazine (ISSN 0884-4240) © Irish America, Inc. Published bi-monthly. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Editorial office: 875 Ave of the Americas, Suite 2100, New York, N.Y. 10001-8013. Telephone: 212 725 2993. Annual subscription: $21.95. Subscription orders: 1-800-582-6642.


94 100



4:42 PM

Page 6

{readers forum} MISSION POSSIBLE To the staff of Irish America magazine: I felt compelled to write you and say thank you for unintentionally helping my family. Because you put a group of wonderful people in the same room (for the awards ceremony of your “Top 100 Best & Brightest”) our lives have forever been changed. Let me explain: My husband John is a 15-year Army veteran who was severely injured on January 5, 2006, while on patrol on Taji, Iraq. John was driving an up-armored Humvee when an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was command detonated (by someone actually pushing a button) directly under him. He sustained multiple life-threatening injuries, but due to the amazing emergency medical care he received from his fellow soldiers, he survived – only to begin an extremely long road of recovery. Both of John’s legs were crushed, his left arm sustained two open fractures, his ring finger was severed, he fractured a vertebra in his neck, had contusions to his lungs, a lacerated liver, shrapnel to his eyes, face and torso, and multiple burns. John has had approximately fifty surgeries to date and is in need of several more. His right leg has been amputated, and he has been in a constant battle to save his left one. He was in an external fixator for 10 months but due to the extensive damage he required several more surgeries – all attempting to help him regain use of his foot and ankle. That’s where you come in! Because you saw fit to put so many wonderful Irish-Americans together in one room, we are getting the help we have been in dire need of. Three of your Top 100 who are very dear to us were honored at your Awards ceremony: John Melia, Flip Mullen, and Dr. John Kennedy. John Melia is the Founder of Wounded Warrior Project and he works with Flip Mullen every year for the summer water sports event that takes 6 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

place for the Wounded Warriors in Rockaway, New York. As they were all sitting there listening to you talk of Dr. Kennedy’s, Flip’s, and John’s many accomplishments, something magical happened. Through an amazing chain of events, Flip and Dr. Kennedy ended up discussing the care of the Wounded

The Border family: Mollie, John, Brittany and Xander.

Warriors. You see, we have been at Walter Reed Army Medical Center undergoing care for John’s injuries for nearly two years now and our care has been nothing short of excellent. (Just seeing John ride a bike or water skiing tells you all you need to know about the standard of care at this amazing facility.) But we had hit a plateau with John’s improvement and we wanted a “fresh set of eyes” to take a look at his leg because he had been considering amputation. Somehow, through the grapevine, Flip heard of John’s difficult decision and called to inform us that he had facilitated a number of second opinions for soldiers in John’s predicament with Dr. Kennedy at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He asked us if we would be interested in getting a second opinion before opting for amputation. Of course we would!

Needless to say, things are going well. We went to New York, stayed with Flip, got a ride to Dr. Kennedy’s office from a firehouse on 67th Street (Engine 39 Ladder 16 – thanks, guys!), and saw the amazing Dr. Kennedy! I was so very impressed – and because John has undergone approximately 50 surgeries, it’s not easy to impress me! Dr. Kennedy needed some more information to make his final decision so we came back to Walter Reed for more testing. The test results all looked good and we are scheduled for a surgery that should increase John’s function and simultaneously decrease his pain! We are more than excited to get this done. At a time in the world when it seems that so few people care – or even know – about the suffering that is happening to so many of our “war wounded,” it was a blessing to meet such a wonderful group pf people. We are forever in your debt for putting these amazing people under the same roof, which made this all possible. John is the fourth or fifth soldier Dr. Kennedy had helped and he is doing so out of the kindness of his heart – there is no money in it for him and he’s every bit the amazing man you at Irish America magazine thought him to be. Flip has been helping Wounded Warriors for years and will never understand how much what he does means to the lives of the families he touches. Our family will never be able to thank him enough for all he’s done. I only hope this letter expresses the deep gratitude John and I feel toward all those involved: John Melia, Flip Mullen, all the guys of Engine 39 Ladder 16 on 67th Street, Dr. Kennedy, and last but definitely not least, Irish America magazine! Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. SSG John, Mollie, Brittany and Xander Borders Silver Spring, Maryland

Editor’s Note: We are delighted to be part of such a wonderful story, and we are sure that the spirit of Mollie’s Irish immigrant great-grandmother, Mollie Mullens, is at work here also. As we go to press Dr. Kennedy has just operated on another soldier, 25-year-old Army Capt. Brian Jantzen (his fifth soldier to date). He is hopeful that he can save Capt. Jantzen’s right leg which was injured in Iraq.



4:42 PM

Page 8

{readers forum} SWEET MEMORIES OF THE SÚGÁN THEATRE Thank you for the article in your Oct./Nov. issue about Boston University’s Huntington Theatre’s production of Ronan Noone’s Brendan. The young Irish playwright, now an American citizen, is a gifted contributor to modern Irish drama. But in detailing Noone’s previous plays and awards, Irish America failed to mention The Súgán Theatre Company, which staged his first three plays. I am sure that Mr. Noone would be the first to credit the Súgán’s artistic director Carmel O’Reilly and her husband, managing director Peter O’Reilly, for nurturing his talent when he appeared on the Boston scene as a young immigrant. The Súgán provided Boston with 14 years of superb Irish and Celtic plays before what appears to have been its final curtain call at the end of the 2005-06 season. The O’Reillys were honored by your magazine a few years ago as Top 100 Irish Americans, and their productions are sorely missed by Irish-American and other theater lovers in the Boston area.

Ireland. Suddenly coming into view, long before I could identify the gate’s number, were several priests and nuns and a couple hundred people who looked like family. “There’s our gate,” I said to Susan. She smiled, the faces of those waiting were unmistakably Irish. When we landed at Shannon I looked at the people waiting for those arriving. They had the same faces as those of the passengers on the plane. Several men eagerly waiting for incoming relatives reminded me so much of my many long dead uncles – with prominent jaws, ruddy skin that seemed to be stretched over the bones of their faces, and watery blue eyes – that it was almost as if they had come back from the grave. It was immediately and abundantly clear that this was my tribe – that I had come

My most startling experience with the power of genetics, though, came at John Kehoe’s store in Oughteragh. I found the proprietor himself standing behind a counter and listening to Radio Na Gaelteachta. I thought that I was looking at my father, who had died nearly 27 years earlier. The same big jaw, prominent cheek bones, large, translucent blue eyes, hair – everything. It was eerie. I told him he looked just like my dad. He seemed pleased. I asked him if he had any McGrath in him, thinking that he certainly would reply, yes. “No, no McGrath,” he said. I then thought of my dad’s mom, Annice Riley. “Could your mom perhaps have been a Riley?” “No, me mother was a Garrity from County Mayo,” he replied. I stood silent for a moment. I was staring at my own blood.

Margaret M. Carlan Chelsea, Massachusetts

IRELAND FOR THE IRISH John Spain’s “Uniformity and the Irish Police” [about whether a Sikh member of the Irish police should be allowed to wear his turban – Oct./Nov. issue] reminds me that cultural Marxism, or political correctness as it is more commonly termed, is destroying Western civilization. I had thought that Ireland, a small island with a mostly homogeneous population, might be spared the worst effects of “multiculturalism” for at least my lifetime. No such luck. For hundreds of years the Irish, including my ancestors, have fought and died to make their island a nation once again – a nation of Irish men and Irish women. Now the European Union has opened Ireland to immigrants from all corners of the globe. My wife, Susan, and I spent the month of August, 1984, in Ireland, visiting the lands of our family septs. I was the last in my family to do so and fortunately I did so while Ireland was still Irish. We first flew from Los Angeles to New York on a flight that included a cross section of Americans with no particular distinction. We then began the trek through Kennedy to find the gate for our connection to 8 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

Two Sikhs dancing in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin.

home. And this was only at the airport. Day after day reinforced and amplified my first impression. We pulled into a gas station in Clifton and a tall and lanky young lad with a mop of wavy hair, brilliant blue eyes, and a cleft in his chin walked out to the pump to help us. He had obviously recently experienced an enormous growth spurt. His sleeves didn’t nearly reach his wrists and his trousers looked as if they had been rolled up for clam digging. Susan and I looked at each other. We were both reminded of a photo of her brother at 14 years old that was almost identical to the boy pumping gas, including the too-short sleeves and pant legs.

Both of my dad’s grandmothers were Garritys from County Mayo. Call me a tribalist or racist or any other thing you like, but I think Ireland should be for the Irish. Roger D. McGrath Thousand Oaks, California

Editor’s Note: Ah yes, but genetically we Irish are a mixed bag. Your blue eyes are probably from the Vikings. As Patricia Monaghan writes in “Becoming Native,” an essay in her book, The RedHaired Girl on the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth: “‘The sea spewed forth floods of foreigners over Erin,’ says the Annals of Ulster for 820, ‘so that no



4:42 PM

Page 9

{readers forum} in-cheek humor and satire in our commercials in an effort to communicate information about the Arby’s menu in an engaging and entertaining manner. Your opinion is very important to us, and we thank you for taking the time SIMPLY to provide feedback. The last WONDERFUL thing we want to do is offend I’ve just received my first anyone. We have shared issue of Irish America magayour comments with our zine. The articles and photos marketing and advertising are simply wonderful. John teams so they can be considSpain’s “Uniformity and the ered in the development of Irish Police,” Terry Golway’s future advertising. “We’ll Not See the Likes of Very truly yours, Him Again,” and Tom Arby’s Customer Relations Deignan’s “The First Family My response: of Irish America,” though my Dear Arby’s Customer favorites, numbered only a Relations: My point is that few of the interesting highyour ad is neither “tongue in lights of the Oct./Nov. issue. cheek” nor “satire.” After I was born and raised in decades of cultural and racial Alabama, but I dreamed of blunders, I thought that visiting Ireland, the land of advertising professionals my ancestors. As fate would would have learned somehave it, I received a writing thing. Your advertising team scholarship which allowed plowed ahead with a concept me to participate in Tourism without doing any real Ireland’s debut Summer of March 1987 cover of Irish America magazine showing Puck cartoon from 1880 homework other than the ridiculing the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. During that era, Punch and Travel writing program. usual focus groups. I hope Thomas Nast’s cartoons in Harper’s Weekly, typically compared the Irish to This past summer, I spent chimpanzees, which is why one reader finds the dancing chimpanzees in an that someone at Arby’s ten weeks traveling through- Arby’s restaurant commercial to be offensive. Corporate actually took the out the Northwest counties: time to visit the website that I IS ARBY’S LAMPOONING Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Donegal, and chose to provide in my initial email: THE IRISH? Sligo. What an experience it was to walk Irish/IrishPolitical A television commercial currently aired along the beaches of Sligo, to drive the Cartoons.htm. In their day, these repreby Arby’s restaurants features a group of craggy roads along Maghery in Donegal, sentations were considered “tongue in laboratory chimpanzees so happy to have to revel in the pristine beauty of Leitrim, cheek” and “satire” as well. sampled Arby’s product that they break and to meet gracious new friends in Cavan Thank you for your extreme kindness into a traditional Irish step dance. Rather and Monaghan. and thoughtful response. than elicit my normal belly laugh, I was Ireland is a country of magnificent Very truly yours, immediately reminded of the horrendous beauty, a place where from the moment Rianna Bryceland Punch and [Thomas] Nast political carmy feet landed on Galway soil, I felt at My point is simple. Would Arby’s air toons that lampooned our people in the home. I could have sworn that I’d been an ad featuring tap-dancing chimps or past. The sting was immediate, taking there many times before. By the time I monkeys breaking into a Hora? Nope. my breath away. In good faith, I contactleft in August, I’d written and submitted Then again, maybe no one else cares. But ed the Arby’s people via their corporate 90 travel articles and 300 photos. The I hope you get a chance to view the comwebsite and briefly explained my connumbers might seem significant, but how mercial. I’d like to know the opinion of cern with their representation, highlightcan anyone possibly cover five counties your readers. Rianna Bryceland ing my point by researching and providand do justice to all the mystical, spirituReceived by e-mail ing a link to a website which, in my opinal, and physical beauty in this wonderful ion, concisely evidenced my point. country? Send letters to: Irish America, 875 Avenue Arby’s response: My dream came true this summer in of The Americas, Suite 2100, New York, New Dear Arby’s Friend: Ireland, I can relive it again and again York 10001. Or We’re sorry to hear of your dissatisfacthrough Irish America magazine. Please include name, address, and phone Joy Davis tion with our current advertising. number. Letters may be edited for length Bessemer, Alabama Many times we choose to use tongueand clarity. haven, no landing place, no stronghold, no fort, no castle might be found, but it was submerged by waves of Vikings and pirates.’ My blue eyes are the genetic imprint of one of those pirates.”



Photo: Kit De Fever

{the first word}

Isle of Hope Isle of Tears

y God, what they went through to get here. Whenever I forget the lot of early Irish immigrants to America something pulls me back. As I write this, I have open in front of me a book called Forgotten Ellis Island: The Extraordinary Story of America’s Immigrant Hospital by Lorie Conway. (Smithsonian Books). Lorie’s book is dedicated to her son Max “whose greatgrandfather Edward Conway immigrated to America in 1900 at the age of 18. Arriving at Ellis Island from Ballina, Ireland, he had two dollars in his pocket.” Opposite the dedication is a full page photo of the nurses and doctors who staffed the Ellis Island Hospital – many Irish faces among them. Another photo shows a young patient on the steps of the hospital with nurse Jennie Colligan, who went by the nickname “Mother.” I’m only on page 40 of this 200-page book when the tears come. “I think the worst memory I have of Ellis Island was the physical because the doctors were seated at a long table with a basin full of potassium chloride and you had to stand in front of them….And you had to reveal yourself…. Right there in front of everyone, I mean, it wasn’t private! It’s a very unpleasant memory,” recalls one Irish immigrant. “We went to this big, open room, and there were a couple of doctors there, and they tell you, ‘Strip.’ And my mother had never, ever undressed in front of us. In those days nobody would. She was so embarrassed…” remembers an immigrant from Wales. Page 37 shows a photograph of a dozen young men with a chalk mark

X on their coats identifying them for further medical and mental testing. The X usually signaled the beginning of deportation proceedings. The book has many never-beforepublished photographs and stories from patients and medical staff. We learn that “Often times a child with trachoma would be denied entry, requiring one of the parents to [return home] with it. The mother and the rest of the children would have to return to Europe with the diseased one, and until the boat sailed, the father, wretched and unhappy, would haunt the detention quarters, while his family kept up a constant wailing and crying.” Since burial was not permitted on Ellis Island, many immigrants who never made it out of the hospital were buried in paupers’ graves in cemeteries around New York City. As one record noted: “Received from the chief Medical Officer, the following property of Edward Moran, age 55 years, admitted to the hospital, Feb. 14, 1928 and died in this institution Feb. 18, 1928: 1 hat, 1 pair shoes, 1 gray suit, 1 white shirt, 1 pair socks, 1 pair garters, 1 union suit, 1 belt, 1 overcoat, 1 pair gloves, 1 watch, keys, rosary beads, $23.15.” As tough as it was, there was also much kindness. Rev. Grogan, Catholic chaplain at Ellis Island 1900-1923, wrote: “I have been in daily contact with the doctors and nurses and can testify to the kindness and care that the patients receive at their hands. It is not generally known that the hospital physicians and surgeons often call in specialists from the city in doubtful and obstinate cases.”

Reluctantly, I put the book aside and get back to the business of editing the Business 100 bios and profiles. They are an impressive bunch, and as usual when I work on our Top 100 list I’m struck by the incredible success these descendants of Irish immigrants have achieved. Some have ancestors who went through Ellis Island, others come from families who migrated even earlier, landing in Boston Harbor and New Orleans. And a couple of our honorees are latter-day immigrants who left Ireland in the last 10 to 20 years before the Celtic Tiger economy took hold. I’m especially struck by the story of Sean Conlon, an Irish immigrant who at 20 started life in the U.S. working for a cousin who felt he would make a great janitor. At 38, Conlon is now one of the biggest property developers in Chicago. By holding on to the ideal that “you could be anything you wanted to be in America,” Conlon achieved his American dream, as did that immigrant of the last century, Edward Conway, who by 1915, at age 33, owned a home for his family. And so we dedicate this issue to a country where dreams can still come true. And as we pay tribute to those on our Business 100 list we put forth the hope that today’s immigrants, Irish and otherwise, who languish on the sidelines waiting for proper documentation, will eventually get through the process and have a shot at keeping the American IA dream alive.

December 2007 / January 2008

IRISH AMERICA Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Vice President of Marketing: Turlough McConnell Advertising & Events Coordinator: Kathleen Overbeck Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan

Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty Assistant Editor: Declan O’Kelly Copy Editor: John Anderson Art Director: Marian Fairweather

Editorial Interns: Bridget English, Kate Hartnett, Joanna Kelly, & Maeve Molloy Irish America Magazine ISSN 0884-4240) © by Irish America Inc. Published bi-monthly Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Editorial office: 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212-725-2993 Fax: 212-779-1198 E-mail: Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-582-6642 Subscription queries: 1-800-582-6642, (212)725-2993, Ext 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 US.




2:04 PM

Page 12

{ news from ireland} By Frank Shouldice Nuala O’Loan

Gov’t Takes Pay Hike


ith widespread evidence of the economy slowing down, the Irish government aroused an angry public reaction by awarding itself a double-figure pay hike. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will take a 14 percent pay rise which, at 38,000 euros, is itself worth 5,000 euros more than the average industrial wage. The substantial pay increase will apply to cabinet ministers as well as senior officers in the civil service, garda (Irish police force) and academia. Its generous terms were recommended by a civil service review committee, and the Taoiseach dismissed criticism by saying the pay award was calculated by an independent body. “I don’t tend to worry about these things,” he said blithely when it was pointed out he will now earn 310,000 euros per year. “The Government will implement the pay scales . . . that’s it.” For many, however, it is strange that the elected leader of a country of about four million people should be paid a salary greater than that of other international leaders, including George W. Bush, Gordon Brown and the premiers of ecoTaoiseach nomic powerhouses Bertie like Germany and Ahern got a bumper France. In comparison pay rise. with his EU colleagues, Bertie Ahern will earn well over double the salary of the Dutch prime minister and six times the pay of Polish counterpart Donald Tusk. The Taoiseach insisted he would not trouble himself with such comparisons. However, as state revenue begins to tail off from taxing a slowing economy, the immediate prospect for state finances is not so encouraging. Wage negotiations between unions and state bodies are expected to be more difficult than usual, and the government’s readiness to handsomely reward itself in a time of retrenchment will surely raise the temperature. Following the pay award controversy, Fianna Fáil’s approval rating crashed by nine percent (to 33 percent) in a TMS/mrbi opinion poll. Bertie Ahern’s personal rating fell by an even more significant 15 percent (to 43 percent).


O’Loan Reopens Nelson Case


orthern Ireland police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan has found that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (now named the Police Service of Northern Ireland) failed to deal properly with threats that preceded the murder of human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson. The 40-year-old solicitor was killed when a bomb was planted beneath her car in Lurgan, Co. Armagh in 1999. A loyalist group calling itself the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility for the killing. Rosemary Nelson represented a number of high-profile cases and also acted on behalf of the Garvaghy Road Residents, a nationalist community opposed to the Orange Lodge parade walking through the Garvaghy neighborhood in Portadown, Co. Armagh. Her work attracted open hostility and even death threats from loyalist elements, but the ombudsman’s investigation into her death found that the police “did not properly consider the particular nature of Mrs. Nelson’s public profile or the level of concern about her safety.” Nelson’s murder was reviewed by Canadian judge Peter Cory who recommended that an independent tribunal of inquiry be set up to examine the case. That inquiry is now scheduled to start, but the police ombudsman’s report supports the suspicion that the RUC failed to provide protection for the lawyer. Nuala O’Loan’s report referred to some 20 incidents, including seven death threats, which preceded Mrs. Nelson’s murder. The report also found “ill-disguised hostility” towards the lawyer by several senior RUC officers. Responding to the ombudsman’s report, Maggie Beirne, director of the Committee of the Administration of Justice (CAJ), welcomed a fuller examination when the tribunal of inquiry begins. “The ombudsman has confirmed that those threats were not treated with the gravity and urgency required,” said Beirne.



2:04 PM

Page 13

{news from ireland}

Less Competitive Ireland Losing Jobs


lenges. We continue to be a critical asset for the Intel Corporation and we are all committed to ensuring our success in the long haul. The most effective way to do this is to benchmark ourselves aggressively against our global competition and ensure we deliver a unique advantage from Ireland.” O’Hara insisted that the cuts did not signify a more serious threat to Intel’s future in Leixlip. An IDA spokeswoman told The Irish Times there were no grounds for alarm. “We don’t see it as a cause of concern,” she said. “It is very much an internal restructuring.” However, Ireland’s manufacturing base has eroded steadily in recent years in the face of intense competition from Eastern Europe, China and India. An estimated 30,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the state over the past five years. Fine Gael enterprise spokesman Leo Varadkar said the decline needed to be arrested as a matter of urgency. “Hightech exporters are no longer contributing to Irish economic growth, which was so crucial in the 1990’s. Ireland’s share of international trade has fallen by over a third since 2002,” he said, adding that Intel’s announcement was “a grim indicator” of Ireland losing ground in such a critical sector. PHOTOCALL IRELAND

anufacturing in Ireland took at a range of multinationals including another heavy blow with the Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Motorola, O2 announcement that Seagate is and Vodafone. Intel, the largest employer to close its high-tech plant at Limavady, in the private sector in Ireland, also Co. Derry. The closure will eliminate announced it would cut 200 jobs from 900 jobs in the northwest with the comthe payroll at Leixlip, Co. Kildare. Intel pany moving operations to a cheaper manufactures high-tech microprocessors alternative in Indonesia. Meanwhile and has been a leading light during the Waterford Glass said it would cut its so-called Celtic Tiger years. The thousand-strong workforce in half, company’s importance to Ireland’s adding to a worrying month on the employment front. Exports from the famous glassware factory have been steadily hit by a weakened US dollar and strong competition from Eastern Europe. When the cuts are implemented it will leave about 500 employees at a company that employed 3,200 people just twenty years ago. These cuts may not even be the end of drastic measures required to turn the company around. Facing a net debt of 412 The Intel headquarters in Leixlip, County Kildare. million euros chief executive John Foley manufacturing base is underlined by the attributed some of the company’s diffifact that with 5,150 employees at culties on high operating costs in Ireland. Leixlip, Intel has invested about 7 billion “While you could be tempted to slash euros in its Irish operation and received your wrists in this environment, what the considerable support from the Industrial situation does is ensure that you ruthlessDevelopment Authority (IDA) Ireland. ly focus on the cost base of the company “Intel Ireland needs to remain competto ensure that, even though there are outitive and agile in a dynamic marketside pressures, you control what you can place,” said company general manager control,” said Foley. Jim O’Hara. “While this action is very The announcements in Derry and difficult, it is essential that we face up to Waterford follow a spate of redundancies and respond to the competitive chal-

EU Warns Gov’t Over Irish Language The EU has blamed the Irish government for failing to produce an up-to-date version of grammar for the Irish language. Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban pointed out that since Irish was adopted as the 23rd official language within the EU, there are no current reference books for translators and the last edition of Irish Grammar is now out of print. The commissioner also pointed out that there is a short-

age of translators and interpreters fluent in Irish and other languages applicable to the EU. “We are determined to defend the right of languages at community level,” he said, asking that the Irish government make a bigger effort in recruiting and training interpretive staff. “The lack of suitable translators entails a risk for the Irish translation unit,” he warned. As if to underline the situation, he indicated that the print body of EU law – which runs to 100,000 pages – has yet to be translated into Irish. With an “acute shortage” in qualified staff, EU recognition of Irish as a living language may yet prove just a symbolic success.




2:04 PM

Page 14

{news from ireland}

Anne Enright


Irish Soccer and Rugby Hit Rock Bottom

2007 Man Booker Prize with her novel The Gathering. The judges

awarded the prize on the basis of an “emotionally-charged novel of family life” and so Enright emerged, ahead of favorite Ian McEwan, with the 72,000 euro prize. When asked how she intended to spend her prizemoney, the 45-year-old author replied, “I bought a dress yesterday (before the awards ceremony) and I am really glad I can afford it today.” Enright is the third Irish author to win the Booker, following in the footsteps of Roddy Doyle (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in 1993) and John Banville (The Sea in 2005) . . .



teve Staunton, manager of the Irish international soccer team, was fired by FAI soccer bosses after a dismal performance in the qualifying round of the European Championships. The qualifiers started in disarray, with Ireland losing 5-2 in Cyprus. The team struggled against San Marino and failed to beat Slovakia in Bratislava. Staunton, who played 102 times for Ireland, then watched his charges stumble to a 1-1 home draw with Cyprus at a poorly attended fixture in

Dublin author Anne Enright •surprised the odds by winning the

Dan Keating, the last survivor of the Irish War of Independence, died in Tralee, Co. Kerry. Aged 105 years, the IRA veteran was born in 1902 and joined

the IRA 18 years later, serving in the Farmers Bridge Unit. During the War of Independence he took part in the Castlemaine ambush in June 1921, in which five RIC officers were killed. He sided with republicans during the civil war and was imprisoned in Portlaoise and the Curragh after being captured by government forces. In later years he remained active in republican politics and lived out his last years in a nursing home in Tralee. He died following a short illness . . . Plans to demolish Liberty Hall in Dublin are advanced with a shortlist •drawn up for architectural designs to replace the 16-story structure in the city center. The building was constructed in 1965 and stood for years as the tallest structure in Dublin. It now houses the SIPTU trade union. When the new design is selected, demolition of the existing building is scheduled for 2009. It is hoped that construction of the new structure will be completed by 2011 . . . Steve Staunton

Dublin’s Croke Park. Leaving the field under a chorus of angry booing, Staunton’s contract was terminated less than two years into a four-year agreement. The search for his successor has begun, but the international soccer team has slipped from being a force in Europe to being a third-rate outfit. Hopes of making an impact in the rugby world cup also came to a shuddering halt. Having scraped past group minnows Namibia and Georgia, the hotly-tipped Irish squad were heavily beaten by host France and then lost a key game against Argentina by 30-15. Coach Eddie O’Sullivan, whose contract was extended to 2011 before the tournament began, has taken heavy criticism for the failings of the team, as the indications earlier this year were that Ireland was a contender for the biggest prize in the world game. The tournament was won by South Africa who beat England 15-6 in the final in Paris. 14 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

Ireland was voted the world’s most friendly country in a poll conducted •among writers of Lonely Planet travel guidebooks. According to the Lonely

Planet Bluelist 2008, “These days, after the end of The Troubles, a cautious optimism reigns supreme, infecting the land once again with the sense that anything is possible.” The U.S. ranked second in the Blue list for friendliness to visitors.

Vatican Appoints Irish Cardinal Dr. Sean Brady, Archbishop and Primate of All-Ireland was appointed a cardinal by the Vatican. For the first time ever Ireland will have three cardinals with 68year-old Brady joining Cathal Daly and Desmond Connell. Dr. Brady said he was deeply honored and humbled by the appointment from Rome. He also thanked Catholics “who in spite of the great challenges faced by the Church in Ireland in recent years, of the many reasons to feel hurt or unheard or uncertain, have remained faithful to the message of Jesus.” Leaders of the three main Protestant churches sent messages of goodwill to the cardinal-elect. “I hope that they will see in this announcement a renewed expression of the commitment of the Catholic Church to the vital work of ecumenical dialogue and greater understanding and reconciliation between the various traditions of Northern Ireland,” he said. The ceremony in Rome will take place on November 24. Two Americans were also appointed Cardinals, Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo, and Archbishop John Patrick Foley, an Irish-American, who is the grand master of the Order Cardinal Sean Brady of the Holy Sepulcher.



4:52 PM

Page 16

{ hibernia }



A Celebration of Grace


he Irish flag flew over Sotheby’s on October 15, 2007 when the exhibit “Grace, Princess of Monaco: A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Grace Kelly” opened as part of a ten-day “Celebration of Grace” in New York marking the 25th anniversary of her sad passing on September 14, 1982. The tricolor was most appropriate because both the New York exhibit and “The Grace Kelly Years,” an amazingly complete retrospective mounted at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco this summer, left no doubt as to Grace Patricia Kelly’s pride in her heritage as expressed in both her public and private life. And it’s she herself who speaks, through the souvenirs of a lifetime. Grace Kelly saved everything. Here’s her scrapbook from age eleven with a script from Don’t Feed The Animals performed at a local community center, which she labels “my first part.” Carefully pasted on another page is the Kelly Christmas card in which the face of an even younger Grace is superimposed on a drawing of a colleen. The greeting reads: Gracie put the kettle on Gracie put the toast on Gracie put the sugar on The Kellys want their tea. She preserved her baptismal certificate from St. Bridget’s Church, Philadelphia and an invitation to the marriage of her parents, Margaret Katherine Majer and John Brendan Kelly at the same church. In the wedding picture her father wears a morning suit, a top hat and a big smile. He seems to be enjoying the success he has achieved – he was a man who laid bricks himself before making Kelly Brickworks a hugely successful construction company. The Monte Carlo exhibit presented a 20-foot brick wall replica of the yard, and in New York the “Kelly for Brickworks” tee-shirt got pride of place. The Kelly crest with its rampant lions, tower and the motto “Turris Fortis Mihi Deus” – God is my Tower of Strength – is displayed as well as the Kelly Family Champagne Toast:


June 10, 1961: Princess Grace and Prince Rainier on their official visit to Ireland. Grace is wearing the green suit pictured right.

So children dear, while we are here Let’s drink a little toast The world is at your fingertips So make the very most. This juxtaposition reveals something about the character of Irish immigrants like Grace Kelly’s grandfather John Henry Kelly. He came to Philadelphia in 1869 from an Ireland shattered by starvation and oppression and yet managed not only to survive, but to imbue his son with the conviction that the world can be at your fingertips. Perhaps Princess Grace was thinking of him and her grandmother, Mary Costello, when she composed her speech accepting the position of International Chair of the Irish-American Cultural Institute in Dublin in 1973. The

hand-written draft reads “I think it was the Institute motto – ‘Not ancestor worship but filial gratitude’ – that attracted me first and I am very proud to join in the effort to spread knowledge of the history of Ireland as well as the many valuable contributions to both the old and new world made by Ireland’s sons and daughters. It is a rich heritage and one we all treasure – and it is my sincere hope to be long associated with you in this common endeavor to offer our children and friends whatever gifts we can cull from the nobility of the lives of a great people.” She preserved some of this “rich heritage” through the collection of Irish books and manuscripts in the Princess Grace Library and affirmed her personal



4:52 PM

Page 17


connection in June 1961 when she visited Ireland, returning to her ancestral Mayo where she would buy a house. On this trip she wore vivid green – Givenchy designed – and chose the same suit for lunch at the White House with President John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy earlier that year – an elegant way to “wrap the green flag round me.” This suit was selected by her son and daughters to be auctioned at the 25th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala along with the Helen Rose ballgown from High Society. The proceeds will benefit the foundation she created which presents fellowships to artists in theater, dance and film to “support continued excellence” in the arts. The exhibit provides a bounty of film clips, pictures, costumes and correspondence from her five years in Hollywood during which she starred in ten movies and won an Academy Award for her performance in The Country Girl. We still enjoy films such as To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, High Noon (salary $750 according to the contract displayed). “True Love,” the

Clockwise: Poster for the New York exhibit. The dress Grace wore in High Society. The green suit that Grace wore to the White House in May 1961, and in Ireland in June of the same year.

duet she sang with Bing Crosby in High Society, earned a gold record. We’re taken behind the scenes too. There’s a note from Cary Grant: “Delighted you are here dear Grace. It will cheer up the whole town. Me too.” And from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sinatra: “Thank you for your warm wishes and prayers. Prayers were answered.” The portrayal of the Monaco years also combines glamour and intimacy.

We see The Wedding from every angle and get a close look at her gowns and jewels. But also displayed is a poem from a seven-year-old Princess Stephanie for her mother’s birthday that starts: I love you Mother When I was one I had just begun. I love you Mother When I was two And nearly new. The photographs with her children clearly show her love for them and the good times they had together. In several photographs Grace is wearing her Claddagh ring. On her first trip to Ireland, President Eamon de Valera offered to send four-year-old Princess Caroline a pony. In a gesture that would be appreciated by any child ever promised a pony, which is probably every child, Princess Grace followed up. In a letter dated December 1961, President de Valera tells the Princess that the pony will be leaving for Monaco the first week of January. He explains it took some time for the National Stud to secure a suitable one and make arrangements for transportion. In a February 1962 letter, President de Valera says he’s “very glad to know that ‘Babbling Brook’” is giving satisfaction, and that your daughter is pleased with her.” He adds, “I was delighted to get the Princess’s letter, which I have shown to my wife.” In a famous photograph, Grace Kelly looks at President John F. Kennedy (see page 85). Here are two people who embodied so much for Irish America. Sad that neither reached an age when outside burdens lift and the inner person emerges. This exhibit, arranged by the Consulate of Monaco, the Princely Palace, the Princess Grace FoundationUSA, Van Cleef and Arpels is expected to travel to other cities in the U.S. It’s well worth a visit as it reveals how firmly the girl who became Hollywood star, fashion icon and Grace, Princess of Monaco, held on to her Irish-American identity in ways not seen before. Gracie, we hardly knew you. – By Mary Pat Kelly




4:54 PM

Page 18

{ irish eye on hollywood} By Tom Deignan Michael Madsen in a scene from Strength and Honor.

life of “Irish” Mickey Ward. Pitt is expected to play Ward’s half-brother Dickie Eklund, a tough boxer in his own right, who pushed Ward to the top of the fight game. Critically-acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream) is shooting the movie. In recent interviews, Wahlberg has said he idolized Irish Mickey Ward while growing up in working-class Dorchester, Massachusetts. Ward grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts. “Mickey Ward was, in my opinion, one of the greatest champions of all time, and the biggest heart that ever stepped into the ring,” Wahlberg recently said. “I am committed to making him proud, and I know that Brad feels the same way about portraying his brother Dickie. We are going to make it real.” The Fighter is slated for release in 2009.



The Irish and boxing are longtime Hollywood staples, from John Wayne as the reluctant slugger in The Quiet Man right up to Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man and Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. In December, a Cork-born writerdirector and quirky American actor are going to take their It’s not exactly a happy holiday film, but Daniel DayLewis’ epic There Will Be Blood is set for release the day shot at the genre with Strength and Honor. Buzz on the film is solid. True, one gossip web site said the film comafter Christmas. Directed by hip auteur Paul Thomas bines a couple of genres – the “poor and miserable Irish Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love), people movie and the boxing movie,” but Strength and the movie is based on a novel by muckraker Upton Sinclair Honor (written and directed by Mark Mahon) did win Best and looks at corruption following the discovery of oil in Picture and Best Actor at the recent Boston Film Festival. It Texas. Oil? Corruption? Texas? It’s safe to say a few was the first time a single movie nabbed these two awards. reviewers are going to see echoes of the present day in this Strength and Honor is about an Irish-American boxer historical movie. (Michael Madsen, best known for his psycho ear-chopColin Farrell will star alongside Ewan McGregor in ping role in Reservoir Dogs), who may have to break a Woody Allen’s next movie Cassandra’s Dream, due for promise he made to his wife when he finds out his son is release in late November. In yet another British-set movie dying. for the New York directing legend, Cassandra’s Dream folThe wife, by the way, is also dead. So, yes, it appears this lows English brothers lured into a movie is heavy on the Irish trauma. It also life of crime. explores the underground world of Irish travelMark Wahlberg, The movie “is simply a story of ers and their penchant for bare-knuckle boxing. seen here in The Departed, some very nice young people Strength and Honor was filmed in Mahon’s will play who get caught up because of native Cork last year and also stars Patrick “Irish” Mickey their weaknesses and ambitions Bergin, Richard Chamberlain and Vinnie Jones. Ward in The in a tragic situation,” Allen said After his triumph at the Boston Film fest, Fighter, a film based on the after the film premiered at the Mahon said: “To win top awards at such a life of the boxer. Venice film festival. “They mean prestigious festival is surreal – competition well. They were raised decently, was fierce this year with a large number of but it turns out that their own high profile titles competing. We’re absoluteevents and own actions bring ly ecstatic that Michael Madsen won for his them to a tragic demise at the end superb lead performance.” of the movie.” Initial reviews of the movie are Meanwhile, the Irish ring chronicles continue not very inspiring. Word is that with buzz building about a Brad Pitt-Mark Wahlberg pairing. The dynamic duo is slatboth Farrell and McGregor sport ed to star in The Fighter, a film based on the accents reminiscent of Dick Van



4:54 PM

Page 19

{hibernia} Colm Meaney, seen here in Intermission, stars in the Irish language movie Kings.

Dyke’s in Mary Poppins, while The Independent newspaper in Britain said, “To many critics, it seemed feeble and dispiriting fare – the work of an old master in decline.” The Oscars will not be held until February 2008 but the Irish film community is already making cinematic history. The Irish movie Kings, starring Colm Meaney, Brendan Conroy and Donal O’Kelly, has become the first movie from Ireland to be submitted to the Oscars for consideration as top film in a foreign language. Written and directed by Tom Collins, Kings explores a group of Irish-speaking men who leave the west of Ireland for London in the 1970s. They are so filled with hopes and dreams, they believe they can someday be “kings.” The men meet up 30 years later when one of their pals dies. “I know it’s always dangerous to have messages in Daniel DayLewis will star in There Will Be Blood due out in December.

Speaking of Colm Meaney, he will join fellow Irish actor Jason O’Mara on the ABC TV show Life on Mars. The show is a remake of a BBC show based on a time-traveling cop. Look for it mid-season on ABC. Actor Paddy Considine cemented his reputation with Irish film fans in Jim Sheridan’s New York immigrant tale In America. He’s also appeared in blockbusters such as The Bourne Ultimatum. Now, Considine says his own Irish Catholic background (his dad was born in Limerick) has inspired him to make his own short film Dog Altogether. The film is a loosely biographical look at Considine’s dad, who in the film is played by Scotsman Peter Mullan. The film had its world premiere earlier this year in Edinburgh and looks at Irish immigrants living in Britain. Considine recently said: “Within an Irish Catholic background often you do inherit a sense of guilt even though I’m not practicing. Sometimes you think of things you have done and want forgiveness. You think – ‘I did something wrong and I should be punished.’ I suppose that’s inherent in me and the film.” The plight of immigrants is also at the center of The Visitor, the latest movie from Irish-American director Tom McCarthy, best known for his indy smash The Station Agent starring Javier Bardem. In his latest work, which generated lots of buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival, a widowed and weary college professor (Richard Jenkins) drives to New York City for an academic conference, and finds an immigrant husband and wife squatting in his vacant apartment. McCarthy said his own immigrant past led him to ponder the difficulties of life as an immigrant in America today. “Our new Ellis Island is our detention centers,” McCarthy said.


films, but I hope people will watch Kings and empathize with the whole experience of emigrants in a foreign land and how hard it is for them to find their way home,” director Tom Collins said. “This is a universal story – it’s not just about paddies.” Kings was shot in Belfast, London and Dublin last year. “Kings is a powerful and moving story that transcends its native language and can communicate universally with its raw and honest storyline,” Aine Moriarty, CEO of The Irish Film and Television Academy, recently said. Each year, the Academy Awards accept one foreign language film from eligible nations. The five finalists will be announced in January.

slew of movies with Irish themes and talent hit theaters in September and October, so if you missed them, you should make an effort to nab them now that they are coming out on DVD. First there was the new George Clooney movie, Michael Clayton, in which the hunk Clooney plays a “fixer” for a powerful law firm. The movie makes a lot of Clayton’s Irish-American background. His dad is a retired cop, and there is a strong tradition of civil service work in the Clayton clan. It’s even implied that Michael’s work for the elite is somehow a betrayal of his upbringing. Also look for Terry George’s latest writing/directing work, a dead-child weepy starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connolly called Reservation Road. Another dead child pops up on the mean Irish streets surrounding Boston in Ben Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, based on a novel by the master of IrishIA American suspense Dennis Lehane. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 19



5:31 PM

Page 20


Edna O’Brien’s Irish Voice On October 17 author Edna O’Brien spoke at Marymount Manhattan College as part of the Irish Voices, Clementina Santi Flaherty Lecture Series. With characteristic poise and eloquence O’Brien quoted from Virginia Woolf and shared with the audience her experiences and inspirations as a writer as well as the obstacles she has faced. “Writing is about two things: thinking and feeling,” she told the audience; “when you have one without the other, you only have half.” O’Brien grew up in Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland

where there was only one book, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, readily available to her. She described growing up with a great hunger for literature without even knowing what it was. Despite her lack of literary resources, Edna spoke of several advantages given to her. Perhaps the most surprising is the influence Edna’s mother has had on her writing life. While her mother detested novels and deemed all literature obscene, the letters she wrote to Edna were what the novelist calls “true writer’s letters.” Several of her mother’s letters are included in the writer’s latest work, The Light of Evening. As for the writing life itself, Edna likened that experience to living in a tunnel, dark and isolating. While O’Brien agreed that the writing life can be a lonely one, she finds gratification in her readers’ response to her work. She said, “We are alone in our heads and thoughts. The transaction between reader and writer is a kind of love affair.” A particularly memorable part of O’Brien’s talk was her discussion of how Ireland has influenced her writing. Describing her drive as a writer to discover the “essence” of the country of Ireland, O’Brien said, “the thing about Ireland is there’s the people but also the land itself. Everything about it is wrought with stories, ghosts, past and present. Ireland stays with you wherever you go.” Edna O’Brien ended the night by reading a selection from The Light of the Evening. - Bridget English

Irish Man Builds Houses for Homeless in South Africa New York, September 24, 2007: Irish philanthropist, Niall the presence of Archbishop Tutu. Giving the plan his Mellon, unveiled plans to build the world’s first not-for-profit strongest public endorsement, the Archbishop said “This housing super-factory in South Africa in response to the bold initiative is the kind of solution we need in South Africa inability of traditional methods and elsewhere in the world of house construction to keep where homelessness if the pace with the growth of root cause of endemic poverty.” homelessness among the President of AIF, Kieran Developing World’s poor.The McLoughlin said “Niall Irishman’s radical plans to build Mellon’s pioneering project the first such factory near underlines the contribution Cape Town got the backing of that modern Irish philanthropy Nobel Peace Prize winner, is capable of making at a Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and global level. It is tremendous the South African Government to see a new generation of which donated the site for its successful Irish business construction. people embracing the culture Mellon unveiled the Trust’s of philanthropy which plans in a media briefing at the is one of America’s greatest office of The American Ireland exports. It also reflects an Fund (AIF) in New York, where unbroken tradition in Ireland earlier he addressed a meeting of giving to the Developing of Irish-American donors in World.” AIF President Keiran McLoughlin, Bishop Tutu and Niall Mellon.




4:46 PM

Page 22


Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears This book is lovingly dedicated to my son, Max George, whose great-grandfather Edward Conway immigrated to America in 1900 at the age of 18. Arriving at Ellis Island from Ballina, Ireland, he had two dollars in his pocket and listed his occupation as “laborer.” By 1915, he was already living the American dream – he had a family, owned a home, and in one photo, a derby hat sits jauntily on his head, his Irish eyes smiling as if he had not a care in the world. May my son Max fulfill his own dream, wherever that may lead. – Lorie Conway dedicating her book Forgotten Ellis Island to her son.


or nearly a century the shadowy image of New York’s Ellis Island has represented the long journey undertaken by many who went on to become American citizens. For others, however, the dream of a new beginning ended with the physical and mental screenings they were subjected to upon landing at the processing station. Many were deported back to their places of origin on the grounds that they were too sick or weak to become productive Americans. Others were deported because flawed psychiatric testing identified them as “feebleminded.” But a larger number were nursed to health by the dedicated medical staff at the Immigrant Hospital and allowed entry.

In a new book, Forgotten Ellis Island, Lorie Conway writes the first ever history of the Ellis Island hospital, the stateof-the-art complex which served as the nation’s first line of defense against immigrant-borne diseases such as typhus and cholera. Conway, an award-winning writer and independent film producer,

intertwines the history of the hospital with personal stories of the ailing, as well as the shifting political climate that changed the standards of immigration. She includes recent interviews with those who passed through the hospital as children and recall their experience as patients. In addition, excerpts from the oral histories of ward matrons, doctors, nurses and patients, and neverbefore- published photographs, add to the story. Conway’s work on Forgotten Ellis Island, published by Smithsonian Books, was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and includes a soon-to-be-released documentary film. The accompanying website for this book can be found at -By Katherine Hartnett

Photos clockwise: A young patient sits on the steps of the Ellis Island Hospital with nurse Jennie Colligan who went by the nickname “Mother.” Immigrants awaiting inspection. Chinese immigrants with nurses (many newly arrived did not speak English and had trouble understanding what was happening). Inspection of suspects for skin diseases, etc. “The worst memory I have of Ellis Island was the physical because the doctors were seated at a long table with a basin full of potassium chloride and you had to stand in front of them . . . . And you had to reveal yourself.” – Manny Steen, immigrant from Ireland, 1925. 22 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008



4:46 PM

Page 23


Campaign to Save Tara The harp that once through Tara’s halls The soul of music shed, Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls As if that soul were fled. – Thomas Moore



he Save Tara Campaign spread its wings to New York City and the steps of the Irish Consulate on Park Avenue on September 22 when a group of Irish artists gathered to protest the building of a motorway, approved by the Irish government in 2003, to run between the Hill of Tara (the historical seat of Ireland’s High Kings), and the Hill of Skryne, in County Meath (north of Dublin). The motorway will run through a complex of archaeological sites associated with the Hill of Tara, which were placed on the World Monuments Fund’s list of 100 Most Endangered Sites in June 2007. The New York event included piper Jerry Dixon; Strings of Tara, a group of seven women harpists who played “Brian Boru’s March” (Boru was the last of Ireland’s High Kings), and host Susan McKeown, who sang “Mise Éire” (I am Ireland), a Pádraic Pearse poem set to music. “Mise Éire” includes the words: “Great my glory; I who bore Cú Chulainn the valiant; Great my shame, my own children that sold their mother.” New

Top: An aerial photograph of Rath Lugh shows the 1500 people gathered to form a human harp on Tara to protest the building of a motorway. Left: Piper Jerry Dixon opens for “Strings of Tara” on the steps of the Irish Consulate, New York City. Harpists, left to right: Patricia Wik, Erin Nordt, Deirdre Ryan, Aimee Brehmer, Mary Jeanne Hawes, Amanda Rodriguez and Alice Smyth, played “Brian Boru’s March.”


she was heartened by the turnout. “The support for the campaign is growing — this was clearly demonstrated at the recent equinox event when 1,500 people gathered to form a huge human harp on Tara for the international artist John Quigley.” Ni Bhrolcháin went on to say, “With climate change a frightening reality, it is madness to persist in building motorways instead of public transport.”

York musicians Isaac Alderson, James Riley and Keith O’Neill performed a virtuoso set of tunes that had a neighboring construction crew rocking, and various speakers including Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon spoke of the spiritual need to preserve Tara. Meanwhile, in Ireland, a simultanious event was held, and a huge crowd gathered to form a human harp on Tara. Muireann Ni Bhrolcháin who heads the Save Tara Campaign in Ireland, said

- By Ian Worpole To lend your support to the campaign to save Tara check out ( and DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 23



6:04 PM

Page 24


The Stars of the South

Top, from left: Stars of the South host Don Keenan with Niall O’Dowd, publisher of Irish America. Dinner committee members Kif Cahillane, Dave P. Fitzgerald and Professor James Flannery. Honoree Sister Jane Gerety. Middle row: Left: Honoree Alison Brown performing at the dinner. Honoree J. Rhodes Haverty, MD. Honoree Mary Ann McGrath Swain. Bottom: Honoree Richard W. Riley and wife Ann. Theresa Keenan.


he performance by the American Alison Brown, banjo player and singer, and the Irish John Doyle, guitar player and singer, at the Stars of the South dinner in Atlanta on October 29, was one of the many highlights. Not only did the two first class musicians electrify the dinner guests, they also symbolized the relationship between the South and Ireland, which have many traditions in common. Don Keenan, a true son of the South, and a proud Irish-American, served as host for the evening. One of the most successful child advocate lawyers in the U.S., Keenan has helped numerous kids


through his Keenan Kids Foundation. The annual dinner, which was staged by Irish America and Keenan Kids Foundation, and co-hosted by Tourism Ireland, honored 12 Stars of the South, including former Secretary of Education Richard Riley. All of the honorees spoke eloquently about their Irish ancestors and the journeys they made through New Orleans and Boston Harbor and other ports before settling in the South. And the two Irish-born honorees, Irial Finan and Joe McCullough, spoke of the opportunities that America has afforded them, while remembering their families in Ireland. Finan, now an

executive with Coca-Cola, mentioned how, in poor economic times, his parents managed to put eight children through college. The Murphy family, John and Jeanette, who have 23 children, most of whom are adopted with Down Syndrome, were given special mention, as was the new home, which thanks to fundraising efforts on Don Keenan’s part, is being built for them. Tom Shannon, one of the honorees, who spoke about growing up in an Irish community in the Boston area, now the successful founder of Outback Steakhouse, made a donation that IA evening of $10,000.



2:13 PM

Page 26


The Diaspora Forum

Top: left to right: “Why The Diaspora Really Matters”panel: Don Keough, Chairman Allen & Company; John Duffy, CEO KBW, Inc.; Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman, The American Ireland Fund; Dr. Hugh Brady, President, UCD; and Denis P. Kelleher, Chairman, Wall Street Access. Top right: Dr. Hugh Brady, President UCD, and Irish America publisher, Niall O’Dowd. Right: “Where Do We Go from Here” panel: Thomas Ryan, Mangaging Director, ING; Turlough McConnell, Irish America’s Vice President of Marketing, who coordinated the Forum; Irish America editor, Patricia Harty; and Brian Jackson, Director, UCD Global Irish Institute. Photos by Naela El-Assad.


Top: Kip Condron, CEO, AXA Financial, Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council. Above: Professor Terence Dolan, Professor, School of English, UCD; writer Colum McCann and Loretta Brennan Glucksman. 26 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

he inaugural U.S.-Ireland Forum was held in New York on November 7 and 8. Irish America magazine, together with The American Ireland Fund and University College Dublin, co-hosted the event at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel. Over two days, some 800 people attended the Forum, which featured such noted speakers as Dr. Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin (UCD); Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairman of the American Ireland Fund; writer and journalist Pete Hamill; James Heckman, Nobel Laureate; Professor of Economics at University of Chicago and Professor of Science and Society at UCD; and Donald Keough, Chairman of Allen and Company and former President of Coca-Cola. “There is no more critical relationship – economically, politically and culturally – than that between Ireland and America. Yet even with such strong community ties this relationship is often taken for granted,” said Niall O’Dowd, Irish America’s publisher. Calling for a strengthening of U.S.-Ireland ties, Dr. Hugh Brady said, “The economic changes and political peace that have taken place over the past decade have brought a new confidence to Ireland. Ever since the formation of the State, we have, though organizations such as the United Nations played our part in the world arena. At the same time, the Irish diaspora has shared our culture and our heritage with their new communities, particularly in the United States.” The February/March issue of Irish America will carry a full report on the Forum, which in 2008 will be hosted by UCD in Dublin.

The Cadogan Sloane Street London Stein Hotels and Resorts’ The Cadogan combines old-world opulence with a townhouse steeped in the history of London and celebrates its 120th anninversary. Once home to Lille Langtry - the famous actress and close friend of Edward VII - The Cadogan was also the location of Oscar Wilde's arrest in room 118 for gross indecency. The Cadogan offers an intimate 65 rooms and suites, replete with delicate fabrics, furnishings and cosseting, intuitive service. Langtrys Restaurant serves traditional English gourmet cuisine with modern influences. A member of Leading Hotels of the World, The hotel has just completed a multi-million pound refurbishment. T +44 (0)20 7235 7141 F +44 (0)20 7245 0994 75 Sloane Street London SW1X 9SG United Kingdom

A haven in the heart of London’s Knightsbridge



6:34 PM

Page 28


Those We Lost TOM MURPHY 1968-2007 Actor Tom Murphy died on October 6 of lymphatic cancer. The Dublin native had a distinguished career both on stage and on the big screen. He was best known stateside for his 1998 Tony-award-winning portrayal of Ray Dooley in Martin McDonagh’s Beauty Queen of Leenane. Murphy infamously used the Irish curse word “feck” twice in his acceptance speech for his Best Performance by a Featured Actor award, but he was not cut off as the CBS censor was not familiar with the swear word. Murphy also appeared in several Irish movies during his career such as Intermission, Michael Collins, The General and Man About Dog. He was lauded for his portrayal of a hopeless junkie in 2004’s Adam and Paul, a bleak portrayal of two heroin addicts in Dublin. News of his death was greeted with shock and sadness by many of those he worked with. “All of us in Druid are terribly saddened by the premature death of Tom Murphy,” said Garry Hynes, artistic director of the Druid Theatre. He was 39 years old.

TONY RYAN 1936-2007 Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair, one of Europe’s leading airlines, died on October 3 in his home in County Kildare after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Ryan was considered a pioneer in finance and travel, and was the seventh richest man in Ireland, with an estimated fortune of two billion euros. Born in 1936, Ryan spent his career working for pri- Tony Ryan vate and commercial airlines. He joined Aer Lingus in 1956 and quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder. Ryan believed that simplicity was the key to any successful business. He followed this motto in 1975 when he founded Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA), a successful organization that leased 28 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

underused aircrafts to other airline carriers. Ryan used the same motto when he founded Ryanair in 1986, with a single fifteen-passenger aircraft flight from Dublin to London. The goal was to create a low-cost nofrills way to travel, and today the airline travels 500 routes to 26 countries, while still maintaining its stance as the most affordable airline in Europe. Ever the entrepreneur, Ryan was an art collector, owned a stud ranch in Kentucky, a vineyard in Bordeaux, and in 2005 donated 10 million euros to found a new business school in Dublin. Although he referred to himself as “just a Tipperary farmer” he spent most of his Tom Murphy with Anna Manahan in Martin time in Monte Carlo for tax McDonagh’s Beauty Queen Of Leenane. reasons. He is survived by his the Irish Free State forces and spent wife Mairead and their three sons. seven months in a prisoner of war camp. He served several short terms in prison Death of Ireland’s Last for insurrectionary activity, including an Independence War Veteran aborted assassination attempt of a former general of Free State forces. Keating DAN KEATING took part in an IRA bombing campaign 1902-2007 against London in 1939-40. On October 4 the world lost Dan Keating, Dan Keating was a staunch believer the last surviving veteran of Ireland’s that Ireland could not be at peace until 1919-21 War of Independence. The 105the border dividing the Republic of year-old member of the Irish Republican Ireland from the North was eliminated. Army died in County Kerry. He maintained his position of hard-line At the age of seventeen, Republicanism until the end. As a memKeating joined the First ber of the Provisional IRA, Keating spent Kerry Brigade of the Irish 27 years trying to overthrow British rule. Republican Army in 1920. Even after the Provisional IRA’s 1997 He took part in two major cease-fire agreement and decision to sup1921 attacks on British port Sinn Féin to push for a negotiated auxiliaries (Black and deal, Keating switched allegiance to a Tans) at Castlemaine and breakaway faction that supported continCastleisland where up to ued bombings. Denouncing the past 15 twelve Black and Tans years of peacemaking efforts Keating as were killed. The ambush “a joke,” he made one of his last appearalso resulted in the deaths of at least five ances in a 2007 newspaper ad appealing police officers and five IRA members. to Sinn Féin not to begin cooperating In Ireland’s Civil War (1922-3) with the police in Northern Ireland. Keating fought against former colleagues Dan Keating had no immediate suras a member of the IRA faction that vivors. His death, at the nursing home opposed the 1921 peace treaty with where he spent his last years, was conIA Britain. He was eventually captured by firmed by Sinn Féin.



6:30 PM

Page 32

ACHILL BEAG Impressions of an Island


Over the past five years two West of Ireland artists, Aran Islander Cyril O’Flaherty and Lol Hardiman, a Londoner living in County Galway, have been battling the elements to paint Ireland’s small deserted islands. Camping out, often with no electricity and totally alone except for a few wild sheep, the artists have produced amazing work as they slowly document the landscape of these Atlantic islands. The Burns Library at Boston College recently showcased an exhibition of work from a year the painters spent on the Achill Beag, the last of whose residents left in 1965. Titled, “Achill Beag: Impressions of an Island”


(September 29-November 5), the exhibition also featured photographs by Nick Hitchcox, a British photographer, who documented the artists at work. “They say that a picture paints a thousand words but I believe there is a novel in a single painting,” says Cyril O’Flaherty. The following pages show Cyril and Lol’s response to capturing the environment of Achill Beag, which sits, virtually untouched in Clew Bay off the coast of Mayo, within view of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. For more information on The Oiléan Project (Island Project) visit:



6:30 PM

Page 33

Left: Artist Cyril O’Flaherty waits for the muse in his makeshift camp on Achill Beag. Top: Looking Back At Connemara by Cyril O’Flaherty. Right: Bernie’s Machine, by Lol Hardiman.




6:30 PM

Top: Nick Hitchcox’s photograph of Cyril O’Flaherty at work. Below: Art O'Briain, Joe Boske & Lol Hardiman around a campfire on Achill Beag.

Visit or for more information. The Oiléan Project would be delighted to hear from any American venue which might like to host the exhibition after its run in Boston. For enquires please contact

Page 34



6:30 PM

Page 35

Left: Bernie, by Lol Hardiman. Below: Hardiman’s Light Changing on Oiléan an Sciorta.




6:30 PM

Page 36

Top: Lol Hardiman at work in one of the abandoned cottages on Achill Beag, as photographed by Nick Hitchcox. Right: Cyril O’Flaherty’s Afterglow. Below: Hitchcox's photograph of O’Flaherty on Achill Beag.




6:31 PM

Page 38



Story by Sharon Ní Chonchúir

Irish cuisine… Now there’s a thought. But is it an appetizing one? Traditionally, it conjures an image of the once ubiquitous bacon and cabbage, served with the requisite bowl of boiled potatoes. You are bound to have encountered such unimaginative fare on previous trips to Ireland. After all, it’s renowned as a country that has little or no food culture of its own. Until now, that is. In recent years, the Irish attitude to food and cooking has begun to change. And much of this is due to the passion and commitment of one particular family. The Allen family of Ballymaloe House and Cookery School in East Cork have almost single-handedly revolutionized the food culture of Ireland. Myrtle, its 80-year-old matriarch, has been its driving force. To this day, Myrtle supervises the running of her renowned guesthouse and restaurant, from where she has reshaped the values of Irish cooking. She is helped by her six children and their partners, one of whom is Darina Allen, her formidable daughter-in-law who runs an internationally-acclaimed cookery school in which she teaches the values she learned from Myrtle to the world. Myrtle and Darina make quite a team. Both are impassioned advocates of Irish cooking and food. “I love a good Irish stew,” says Myrtle, with gusto. “Then there’s brown yeast bread, an Irish breakfast, good floury potatoes, apple tarts… All of these are good things.” Darina is just as keen to suggest some favorites of her own. “I’m so fickle and it all depends on the season,” she says. “I love the first rhubarb tart of the year, fresh strawberries in the summer, fresh mackerel, damson jam and of course Irish stew with young lamb, floury potatoes, new season carrots and onions. What could be better?” Indeed it’s this enthusiasm for food that has brought the Allen family to prominence. What started with Myrtle



Irish chef, TV personality and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Darina Allen’s enthusiasm for food has brought the Allen family to prominence and made her a true celebrity in Ireland. But it all started with her mother-in-law, Myrtle.



6:31 PM

Page 39


has been passed down to Darina and others in the family. It has resulted in several generations of the Allen family working on a national – and sometimes international – scale to promote Irish food and to revitalize the food culture of Ireland both at home and abroad. It all began when Myrtle and her husband Ivan bought Ballymaloe House and Farm in 1947. At that stage, the now charming property which retains such architectural features as a 15th-century Norman tower and is surrounded by carefully tended farmland, was suffering from years of neglect. “We wanted to farm and that’s what we started to do,” says Myrtle. While Ivan was busy farming the land, Myrtle was preoccupied with looking after the couple’s growing family – a task that included cooking. “I’ve always cooked,” she says. “If you can’t cook, you can’t eat. The food on my table has always been the food of the farm, based on the local produce and what we could grow ourselves.” Through a combination of talent and trial and inevitable error, Myrtle became a good cook. She began to establish a reputation for it and was eventually encouraged to set up what would

Opposite page: Myrtle Allen, who reshaped the values of Irish cooking. Top: Students at Ballymaloe’s acclaimed cooking school. Above: Renowned chef Darina Allen. Center: Ballymaloe House.




6:31 PM

Page 40

become a world-famous restaurant in her home. She is modest about this achievement. She claims that she would never have become a cook had there not been an element of necessity – “we needed the extra money” – and credits the success of her dishes with the quality of her ingredients. “I had such good raw materials, what with my husband growing such marvelous produce on the farm,” she says. “And I also had a gourmet husband who appreciated good food. That encouraged me to improve my cooking.” Improve it did, and more and more people began to frequent her restaurant. This attracted the attention of The Irish Farmers’ Journal, a weekly newspaper that had a wide readership at the time. “They asked me to write a weekly column and it was this that really crystallized my attitude to food,” Myrtle recalls. The task

she says. “Today, all of them and their partners work with food.” The most famous of these partners is Darina, known to many Americans from her regular appearances on TV food programs. Darina’s first foray into the world of professional food production came in Myrtle’s kitchens in Ballymaloe. As a young chef who had been raised on a farm, she wanted to cook in a traditional way that prioritized seasonal and local food. When she married Tim Allen, she found in Myrtle a culinary mentor. “She was somebody whose Photos starting at left: Darina Allen offers advice to one of her students. Breakfast tray in one of the beautiful guest rooms which looks out on the organic garden (below). Right: Myrtle in the kitchen.

kept her busy testing recipes and led to her defining her personal food philosophy. “My attitude to food comes from living in the countryside,” she explains. “I was the first person [in Ireland] to write about cooking on a farm using seasonal ingredients. Whether it’s blackcurrants, rhubarb or carrots; there’s always a glut of something that needs to be used in the countryside.” Myrtle was several decades ahead of her time. Her seasonal approach had always been a tradition in the countryside but 1950s Ireland had already been seduced by the concept of processed, year-round ingredients. It’s a trend that has only really begun to reverse in recent years – long after Myrtle first suggested it. She was also pioneering in other ways. She and her husband Ivan ran their farm in an organic fashion and were members of the English Soil Association from the outset. “It was something we both believed in,” she says. What with her newspaper column, her popular restaurant and several best-selling cookbooks, Myrtle Allen was beginning to make an impact on Irish eating habits. However, perhaps her most enduring legacy was to be the effect she had on members of her own family. “I’ve got six children and they all grew up around food,” 40 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

philosophy I could immediately identify with,” remembers Darina. “She was serving parsnips, turnips, carrageen moss and tender spears of rhubarb at a time when they would have been considered far too humble for most restaurant menus. The confidence she had in her own local produce, used in season at its best, was an inspiration.” The pair worked together in the restaurant at Ballymaloe House, where they continued to convert diners to the potential of Irish food. Darina, like her mother-in-law, fervently believed in the quality of Irish produce and she started to attract a following of her own. She was asked to present cookery shows on RTE (Ireland’s main television channel), began publishing cookery books and was soon traveling the world spreading the good news about Irish food. Her international excursions included planning the menu for the New York St. Patrick’s Day Ball and giving cookery demonstrations in Macy’s. She also found the time to start up her own cookery school –



6:31 PM

Page 41

with her mother-in-law’s help of course. “We started out in 1983, teaching afternoon classes to about nine students,” recalls Darina. “I’m glad we started small because it gave us the chance to find out what we really wanted to do with the school.” And what she created was something truly unique – a school that attracts students and chefs from all over the globe who come to cook using produce from the surrounding farm and the local food-producing community: fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, home-cured hams, beef, lamb, artisan cheeses and much more. “I think what makes us so special is that we are a cookery school in the middle of an organic farm,” says Darina. “Most of what we use is our own produce or locally sourced. Our students regain a sense of connection to their food. They can help out in

“We have the climate and resources to grow the best food in the world,” says Darina, adamantly. “We have wonderful soil and plenty of rain. We should try to produce real food that delivers on its promise of taste. We have it and we should flaunt it.” Darina is prepared to go even further than that. She admits that Irish cuisine may not be internationally respected but thinks this situation is unfair. Instead, she maintains that Irish cooking may rank with the best in the world. “So many people think we have no culinary tradition worth talking about,” she says. “But there is far more to it than bacon and cabbage and Irish stew.” She goes on to cite from a seemingly endless list of examples – countless potato dishes with infinite regional varieties, an encyclopedic range of breads and cakes, vegetable dishes – what she describes as “the sort of wholesome, comforting dishes that nourished our ancestors for generations and are just as delicious today.” The Allen family believes wholeheartedly in the value and potential of Irish food. Darina and Myrtle have inspired the third generation in their family to follow in their culinary footsteps. Darina’s daughter-in-law Rachel is the latest Allen to have a cooking show of her own and unsurprisingly, she too promotes the use of locally sourced fresh food cooked simply and deliciously. This is the sort of food that has always been served in Ballymaloe House and these are the sorts of dishes you can learn how to cook in the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Over the years, many famous visitors have savored the taste of such delicacies. Hugh Grant, Liz Hurley, Jude Law, Sienna Miller and Lady Sarah Ferguson are just some of the celebrities who have sampled the fare. Both Myrtle and Darina remain committed to the cause. Myrtle continues to supervise the kitchens and the guesthouse. “I need to be here just in case something happens,” this sprightly 80-year-old says. Meanwhile Darina is kept busy running the cookery school. Both are actively involved with small food producers, groups and organizations that promote the use of highquality ingredients. Together, they continue a mission that started 60 years ago – a mission to bring the best Irish food and traditional Irish recipes to a wider and more appreciative audience. So, have you rethought your idea of Irish cuisine? You may still find bacon and cabbage on many menus but these days, it’s more likely to be home-cured bacon accompanied by locally grown cabbage, a tasty parsley sauce and the flouriest of organic potatoes. And it’ll be up against the likes of mutton pies, freshly grilled mackerel and homemade scones with damson jam and cream. You can thank Myrtle and Darina Allen and the many generations of cooks that went before them for such simple IA deliciousness.

“I love a good Irish stew,” says Myrtle,

with gusto. “Then there’s brown yeast bread, an Irish breakfast, good floury potatoes, apple tarts…

All of these are good things.” the garden, feed the hens, milk the cows, butcher the animals – it all adds an extra dimension.” As well as reintroducing students to the source of their food, Darina also aims to teach them the importance of using topquality ingredients. “That’s the main thing I want them to learn,” she insists. “Shopping (or sourcing your ingredients) is the most vital step of all. If you’ve got fresh, natural, local and seasonal food, all you need to do is cook it simply and it will taste wonderful. If you don’t have that, you’ll need to be a magician to make it taste good.” This is an attitude Darina has also brought to bear on her cooking programs and in her cookbooks – which go under the title of Simply Delicious. Simple food that is also delicious – there couldn’t be a more apt description. Darina and Myrtle may have spearheaded the revolution in Irish cuisine but many more have followed. This is a development that gives them cause for hope for the future.

For more information about the cookery school (where courses are held throughout the year and where afternoon demonstrations are held most days), visit For more information about Ballymaloe House (restaurant and guesthouse), visit DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 41



6:36 PM

Page 43

Irish America’s Annual

Business The Business 100 is a celebration of Irish-American corporate success, and this year is no exception. The executives profiled in the following pages represent some of the most powerful corporations in the world. It comes as no surprise that the Irish counties most affected by the famine, Cork, Mayo and Kerry, are the same counties that many of the ancestors of our honorees emigrated from. Regardless of place of birth, or generation, all of our Business 100 share one thing in common, pride in their Irish heritage.The accomplishments of the men and women on our list are immense, and it is an honor for this magazine to highlight their achievement and success. We thank all of those who took the time to fill out their personal biographical forms and share glimpses of what being Irish means to them. Congratulations to all our honorees.




6:36 PM

Page 44

Business100 Cathleen Black

Tim Brosnan

Kevin Burke

Brian Burns

Hearst Magazines

Major League Baseball

Consolidated Edison, Inc.

BF Enterprises, Inc.

As president of Hearst Magazines, one of the world’s largest publishers of magazines, Cathleen Black has four decades of experience in the media business. Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper's BAZAAR, Marie Claire, and Oprah’s O are among the 19 titles she manages, and she is in charge of almost 200 international editions of those magazines in more than 100 countries. Black began her career selling small ads for Holiday magazine and in 1979 she became the first woman publisher of a weekly consumer magazine: New York. For eight years she made a name for herself as president and then publisher of USA Today. In 1991 she became President and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, before joining Hearst. She serves as a member of the boards of IBM and the CocaCola Company, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A third-generation Irish-American, Black is married and has two children. Her new nook Basic Black, on how she has achieved both personal and professional fulfillment, has just been released.

As Executive Vice President, Business of Major League Baseball, Tim Brosnan oversees all domestic and business functions of Major League Baseball’s Office of the Commissioner, including licensing, sponsorship, domestic and international broadcasting, special events and MLB Productions. Tim joined Major League Baseball’s Office of the Commissioner in 1991 and was quickly promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball International. In his current position he oversees the multi-billion-dollar enterprise that baseball advertising and promotion has become. Brosnan foresees the day when countries including Ireland will play in the World Baseball Classic, an equivalent to soccer’s World Cup. A second- generation IrishAmerican whose grandparents immigrated from counties Kerry and Sligo, Kevin has visited Ireland many times and even taken in a game in Dublin where Peter O’Malley, former chairman of the Dodgers, gifted a baseball field. Kevin says that he thinks that an Irish player in the major leagues is a real possibility in the future.

As Chairman, President, and CEO of Consolidated Edison, Kevin Burke has spent the last 34 years at the company in varied capacities. From 2000 to 2005, Kevin was President and COO of the company’s principal subsidiary, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Before that, he was President of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison. Kevin received a Bachelor’s of Engineering from Cooper Union, a Master’s of Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master’s of Science from Columbia University, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Fordham University. He later won the Urban Visionary in Engineering Award from his alma mater, Cooper Union. A secondgeneration IrishAmerican with roots in Cork, Kevin says: “My Irish heritage reminds me of the importance of family. In family we find stability, a moral foundation, and a strong work ethic. I also consider the many challenges that Irish people have faced, and how they met those challenges with perseverance.” Kevin is married with two children.

Brian Burns is chairman and president of BF Enterprises, Inc., a publicly-owned real estate and development company. The driving force behind some 40 corporate mergers, Burns is a nationally regarded business executive. Before forming BF Enterprises, Brian served as the Chairman to the Executive Committee at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York. With roots in County Kerry and a strong connection to Ireland, Brian is the founder and principal benefactor of the John J. Burns Library of Rare Books, named for his father, at Boston College. The library houses more than 150,000 volumes – the largest research collection of Irish books in the United States. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Brian sits on the Taoiseach’s Economic Advisory Board, and serves on the Trinity College Foundation Board in Dublin. He was also a principal benefactor of the Irish Famine Memorial in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Brian is married to Eileen, who shares his passion for Ireland.

Patrick Burns

Timothy P. Cahill


Massachusetts State Treasury

As the director of Anheuser-Busch’s Bud.TV/Sports Entertainment Marketing, Patrick Burns works with marketing teams in identifying opportunities for Budweiser and coordinating the line production for Bud TV content. Patrick, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Evansville. He began his career with Merchants Bank in Deposit Products Administration, and moved to Anheuser-Busch Companies in 1990. His first job with Anheuser was as a Line Foreman but he soon rose through the ranks occupying a number of positions over the years, including Wholesaler Inventory Coordinator, Marketing Project Manager, International Sports Marketing Manager, Geographic Marketing Manager, Senior Sports Marketing Manager and Director. A third-generation Irish-American with roots in County Carlow, Patrick says of his Irish heritage: “The Dooleys and Burnses have handed down values that have allowed me to look at each day with a little curiosity that behind every situation you can find some humor.”


Timothy P. Cahill serves as Massachusetts State Treasurer and Receiver General. He was sworn in for his second term on January 17, 2007. As the Commonwealth’s Chief Financial Officer, Tim brings a business-minded approach to managing the state’s finances and has implemented better business practices in the Treasury Department and affiliated agencies. In 2005, Tim launched the first ever online auction of tangible property in Massachusetts, and has returned over $4.6 billion of Lottery aid to cities and towns across the state. Prior to his election in 2002, Tim served as Norfolk County Treasurer from 1997-2002, as a Quincy City Councilor from 1987-2003, and was a successful small business owner and the author of a book about local businessmen. He graduated from Boston University in 1981with a bachelor’s degree in political science and was a recipient of the 2007 Eisenhower Fellowship. Tim lives in Quincy with his wife, Tina, and their four daughters. He is a third-generation Irish-American with roots in counties Wexford and Dublin.



6:36 PM

Page 45

[the list] Timothy J. Cambias Massey-Fair and MacSource One of the South’s most successful businessmen, Timothy J. Cambias is a majority shareholder in Massey-Fair, an industrial food brokerage business with offices in Dallas, Nashville, Charlotte, Ocala and St. Louis, and MacSource, a distributor of raw material to food manufacturers throughout the Southeast. He is also the founder and past president of National Industrial Marketing Specialists. Tim, who enjoys a Spanish surname, has both paternal and maternal roots in Ireland. He was born in New Orleans, attended Jesuit High School and graduated with honors from the University of Lafayette, Louisiana. After college, Tim began his business career, in 1965, working for the American Can Company. He joined Massey-Fair in 1972. Tim and his wife, Mary Jane Moore, have been married since 1967. They have three children, Kelly, Timothy and Katie, and three grandchildren, Sarah, Patrick and Charles. He has served as Secretary, Sergeant at Arms of the Atlanta Rotary Club and is a current board member. He also supports St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Mercy Foundation, and The Marist School in Atlanta.

Charles P. Carey CME Group Charles P. Carey is Vice Chairman CME Group, the company which formed when the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange merged in July 2007. In his capacity as Chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade, a position he was appointed to in 2003, Charles and his friend Terry Duffy, Chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, were the key players behind the historic merger. Peter grew up on Chicago’s South Side but then moved to the west suburbs to attend Fenwick Franciscan High School. He transferred to Oak Park-River Forest High School to play football as a middle guard. After graduating from Western Illinois, he took a union job installing electrical conduit in the underground downtown tunnels that would become the site of the Great Chicago Flood of 1992 – not the typical route for someone aspiring to become chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade. He is a third-generation Irish-American, whose great-grandfather Simon Carey, a blacksmith, came to Chicago from County Clare. It was there he met and married Mary O’Brien from Roscommon. On his mother’s side, Peter traces his roots to County Monaghan.

Frank Comerford

Kieran Claffey

Patricia M. Cloherty

New York Yankees

Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP

Delta Private Equity Partners


Brian Cashman has been a part of the Yankees family since he was nineteen, working as an intern in the club’s Minor League and Scouting Department. In 1998, at age thirty-one Cashman became the second-youngest General Manager in baseball history. Now serving as both Senior Vice President and General Manager, he is the longesttenured GM under George Steinbrenner. Although Brian has spent the last twenty-one seasons with the Yankees, his first position in baseball was as bat boy for the Los Angeles Dodgers in spring training in 1982. Brian has received many accolades for his work with the Yankees. He was named “Executive of the Year” three times – by the Boston chapter of the BBWAA in 2000; and in 1999 and 2003 by the New Jersey Sportswriters Association. In 2005 he was honored with the “Ossie Davis Award for Inspirational Leadership.” Brian attended Catholic University where he played intercollegiate baseball and received a Bachelor’s degree in History.

Kieran Claffey is a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC), a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited. After joining PwC in 1985, Kieran spent over ten years in the assurance practice primarily servicing multinational clients. He then transferred to the firm’s national office to focus on major litigation and regulatory related issues. He is PwC’s representative on two professional committees of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants: the Professional Issues Task Force and the Technical Standards Committee. Kieran was a founding member and director of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States and a director of the European-American Chamber of Commerce. He is currently the national treasurer and board member of the Ireland-U.S. Council of Commerce & Industry. Born in Dublin, Kieran received his BA from University College Dublin. He is also a chartered accountant and a CPA. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Michelle and three sons, Ryan, CJ and Steven.

Chairman and Co-Managing Partner of Delta Private Equity Partners, LLC, Patricia Cloherty is manager of the U.S. Russia Investment Fund and Delta Russia Fund, L.P., two venture capital funds. Prior to that, she was Co-Chairman, President and General Partner of Apax Partners, Inc., a $10 billion private equity company. Patricia is a past President and Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association of the U.S. In 1981, she was the founding President of the Committee of 200, a prestigious organization of the country’s leading women entrepreneurs and corporate executives. The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia named her Businessperson of the Year 2004. She is a director of Columbia University, The U.S.-Russia Business Council, Vesch! (Russia) and DeltaLeasing (Russia). Patricia earned a B.A. from the San Francisco College for Women, and an M.A. and M.I.A. from Columbia University. A firstgeneration Irish-American whose father came from Kilkieran, Connemara, County Galway, Patricia served in the Peace Corps in Brazil from 1963 through 1965.

Frank Comerford is the President and General Manager of WNBC-TV. Prior to his current position, he served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the NBC Television Stations division. Frank has worked for WNBC since 1994 when he joined the company as President of Sales. An active member of the community, Frank serves on the Advisory Boards of the Committee of Hispanic Children and Families, and the Child Abuse Prevention Program, as well as a member of Lutheran Medical Center, the Association for a Better New York, the Executive Board of NYC and Co., the Archdiocese of New York Catholic Charity, Xavier High School and the Executive Board of the Television Bureau of Advertising. A graduate of Georgetown University, he holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Finance. Frank is a member of the AIF and the Ireland U.S. Council. A fourth-generation Irish-American, he traces his roots to Kilkenny. He and wife Maura live in New York.

Brian Cashman




6:23 PM

Page 46


Conlon’s American Dream Just 17 years ago at age 20, Sean Conlon arrived in this country and stayed in the basement of a cousin who put him to work as a custodian of some rental properties the cousin owned. Now at 38, he is a rising star in the real estate/development business in Chicago. Story by Abdon M. Pallasch “


love watching jets,” Sean Conlon says, following a white line down the blue Chicago sky on a cool October afternoon. “I always imagine they’re going somewhere exotic, but it’s probably just…Cleveland.” Few would have thought the poor boy from a big family in Rathangan would ever have landed at this destination, atop the six-story roof of his own building just west of the Loop, surveying the city skyline, with cranes building it ever higher, some of those projects his. Few but Conlon himself, who always said he was going to be a millionaire someday. Going to Kildare town with his dad to enter the bank and deal with checks that had bounced – Conlon resolved that would never happen to him. But it wasn’t easy. Just 17 years ago at age 20, he arrived in this country and stayed in the basement of a cousin who put him to work as a custodian of some rental properties the cousin owned. “He felt I’d make a great janitor,” Conlon said. “I thought I could be something more.” Now, at age 38, he’s jetting off to California to attend Oprah’s fundraiser for Barack Obama or off to Dublin to appear on The Late Late Show with Pat Kenny. “Ya looked great on the tele tonight,” the Irish customs officer delaying him at the airport told him after the show in September. Conlon came to the United States in 1990 from London, where he spent a year after dropping out of college in Dublin. He shared a flat with 14 other young Irish men, some of whom worked, others of whom drank too much. They would tease him when he put on a suit to go to interview for bank jobs. He’d come home to find them lying about the house having lost another job from not showing up to work and telling their family back home in Ireland, “Yeah, it’s racism. No jobs for the Irish here.” That galled Conlon, he told attendees at a symposium on the success of the Irish in America at Chicago’s Irish American Heritage Center. Yes there was anti-Irish sentiment in England


but it could be overcome with hard work. Conlon got hired at a Middle Eastern-owned bank but just could not get his head around finance. One night after his rowdy roommates had scattered broken car mirrors up to the front door of the flat and sent Conlon to answer the door when the police came, the irate patrolman gave Conlon some sound advice. “He said, ‘You don’t belong here with this crowd. I’m going to be back here again next week. Don’t be here,’” Conlon recalled. He took the advice. Conlon came to Chicago and kept up his cousin’s flats by day and studied real estate by night. He got in on the ground floor of a trend that swept Chicago’s gentrifying lakefront neighborhoods – tearing down small homes and replacing them with three-story condominiums. He was a pioneer and hero for developers – but the Grim Reaper to traditionalists who didn’t want to see their neighborhoods change. “I got to know every inch of Lakeview,” he says. “I knew every lot size, every lot’s zoning. I had done my homework. I was in the right place at the right time.” Every night and weekend, he would try to talk people into selling their homes, so he could tear them down and build condos. His closeness with Irish immigrant carpenters and other tradesmen was key. “One time, I jumped over a fence and fell into a big snowdrift,” Conlon recalled. “The woman who owned the place wasn’t too happy to see me but I did eventually talk her into selling me her house.” He hooked up with Koenig & Strey and was selling millions of dollars of real estate a year. He got married and divorced – working too many hours to attend to a marriage. By 2000, he started his own real estate firm, Sussex & Reilly, with six people. It grew to 300 people with $500 million in sales. “He was a man on a mission,” said Jim Kinney, president of competitor Rubloff Residential Properties. “If I knew [how



6:23 PM

Page 47

[the list]


he did it] I would only be hiring superstars.” A natural-born salesman with a reassuring smile, Conlon “treats the guy at Starbucks with an equal amount of respect as he treats his banker,” says his business partner, Tim Sullivan. “Nobody has the social skills of Sean. He’s got an unbelievable ability to engage people. He’s great at building longterm relationships. Even if the deal doesn’t go through, he’ll still send ’em a bottle of wine or something.” Conlon bought Near North National Title after former owner Michael Segal went to prison. He started Conlon & Co, his holding company. Among its concerns are Connaught Real Estate Finance, a $100 million fund that lends money to developers. He opened a Ralph Lauren on Armitage. He and a partner are building vacation homes in Michigan. He’s working on a resort in Colorado. One of his most successful ventures is Conlon & Co. Ireland, an office in Dublin that advises European investors where to put their money in American projects. With the Euro-to-dollar ratio as good as it has ever been for Europeans, a lot of them are looking to invest here, he says. Much of his job in this struggling real estate market involves holding the hands of his nervous investors and project partners

assuring them that everything will pick up again and to stay the course. He has mastered the art. “If people didn’t panic and took the long view, everything would be fine,” he says. “I’m buying a lot of stuff. By the end of next year, we’ll be out of this.” Conlon’s cavernous modern office in a rehabbed warehouse features exposed brick and wooden support beams. He sits behind a desk that 50 Titanic passengers could have floated on to safety. On it sits, among other stacks of paper, a picture of a fairly intact Irish castle that needs a bit of work. Is he thinking of buying it? He smiles. He’s thinking of trading up from his place in Carlow alright. If only his father could have lived to see his success. “He instilled in me that you can be anything you want in America,” Conlon recalled. He proved his father the busdriver right. Some of his five siblings have come to join him, including brother Kieran who helps run the company. “I think my story has captured people’s imagination because I’m an average person who did something pretty amazing because I believed I could,” Conlon said. “And honestly, I believe somebody getting off the plane today has the same opportunity. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen. IA Hard work will get it done.”

“I think my story has captured people’s imagination because I’m an average person who did something pretty amazing because I believed I could,” Conlon said. “And honestly, I believe somebody getting off the plane today has the same opportunity. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen. Hard work will get it done.”




6:49 PM

Page 48

Business100 Deirdre Connelly

Brian C. Connolly

Christopher M. Connor

Joseph Corcoran

Lilly USA

Avon Inc.


Corcoran Jennison

Deirdre Connelly has been President of Lilly USA since June 2005. In the fall of 2006, and again this year, Deirdre was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 most powerful women in business. She was also included on Fortune’s “Young and Powerful” list. Deirdre joined Lilly in 1983 as a sales representative and worked her way up the ranks. Before assuming the role of president, Deirdre was senior vice president of Human Resources. She joined the company’s policy committee in October 2004. She was vice president of human resources for pharmaceutical operations since May 2004. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Deirdre earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania in 1983. She graduated from the Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program in 2000. Born to an Irish father and Puerto Rican mother, Deirdre is one of nine children, and upon hearing that she would be in the Business 100 said her “father would be smiling from heaven.”

Brian Connolly, Executive Vice President, Global Direct Selling, is responsible for driving Avon’s direct-selling strategies as a source of continuing competitive advantage. His oversight extends across the company’s international markets. Prior to his current role, Brian was Executive Vice President and President, Avon North America, where he oversaw an operating unit with $2.5 billion in sales. Avon Inc., The Company For Women, is the world’s leading direct seller with $8.7 billion revenue in 2006 while employing over 40,000. Since 1992, Avon has raised over $500 million worldwide to fight breast cancer, and as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Brian has helped to spearhead Avon’s Breast Cancer Walks and other charitable activities. The son of Irish immigrants and one of eight children, Brian’s favorite motto is “Do the right thing when no one is looking,” a credo he picked up from his parents. He graduated with a B.S. in accounting from Penn State University and is the father of three.

Christopher M. Connor has spent most of his professional career with The SherwinWilliams Company, of which he is now Chairman, President and CEO. Starting in 1983 as Director of Advertising for the Paint Stores Group, Christopher was promoted the next year to Vice President – Merchandising. A string of promotions followed until, in 1997, Christopher was named President of the Paint Stores Group. He served in that capacity until he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Christopher serves on several boards, including the Board of Directors of National City Corporation and Eaton Corporation, the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. He is a trustee of University Hospitals of Cleveland as well as several other civic and economic boards in Cleveland, where he resides. Christopher, who is married with three children, received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Ohio State University. He is a fourthgeneration Irish-American with roots in County Roscommon.

Joseph Corcoran is founder and CEO of Corcoran Jennison Companies. He and his partner, Gary Jennison, have successfully developed, owned and managed over $2 billion in property over the last 35 years. A main focus for the Bostonbased company is the development of mixedincome housing and low-crime communities for the poor. Operations include a management team and social services, and involve the residents in all decisions about their living environment.The companies’ very successful efforts are the subject of A Decent Place to Live published by Northeastern University Press. The son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon, Joseph enjoys dual Irish and American citizenship. A board member of The American Ireland Fund, he also supports the Irish Chamber of Commerce, the Irish Cultural Center of New England, and the Boston Irish Famine Memorial Committee. He heads the Buildings and Properties Committee of his alma mater Boston College, and serves on the Board of Trustees. He has been married to Rosemary for 45 years. They have seven children and 15 grandchildren.

William M. Coughran, Jr.

John F. Crowley

Google, Inc.

Amicus Therapeutics

William Coughran joined Google, Inc. in 2003 serving as Senior Vice President of Engineering. At Google, he leads the broad systems infrastructure group underlying Google’s products and services. Before joining Google, William co-founded and served as CEO and in other executive roles at Entrisphere in Silicon Valley. William holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Mathematics from Caltech University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford. In the past he has served as an adjunct professor at Stanford, The ETH Zurich, and Duke University. He serves on the Board of Directors for nSolutions Inc and Clearwell Systems Inc. He is also the author of more than 50 publications and has served on several conference boards, and technical advisory committees. William resides in California with his wife and two children. A fourth-generation Irish-American, he connects to his heritage through his travels. “I have always been drawn to the liveliness of the Irish people and their arts when visiting the Emerald Isle,”he told Irish America. Google’s European headquarters is based in Dublin. 48 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

John Crowley is president and CEO of Amicus since January 2005. Before Amicus he was founding president and CEO of Orexigen Therapeutics. Prior to that, John was senior vice president at Genzyme Therapeutics, a position he assumed after overseeing the sale of Novazyme Pharmaceuticals to Genzyme in September 2001. John was the founding president and CEO of Novazyme that was developing a novel treatment for Pompe disease. John serves as president of the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, and is also on the Research Advisory Board of the national Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Board of Directors of St. Peter's University Hospital. John’s involvement with biotechnology came from the 1998 diagnosis of two of his children with Pompe disease – a fatal neuromuscular disorder. He and his family have appeared on The Today Show, The Paula Zahn Show and graced the cover of The Wall Street Journal. John has a B.S. in Foreign Service, a J.D. from Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. A first-generation IrishAmerican with Cork roots, he is married with three children.



6:49 PM

Page 50

Business100 Patricia Cunningham

Pamela Daley

John Donahoe

Craig S. Donohue

Continental Airlines

General Electric Company

eBay Marketplaces

CME Group

Pamela Daley is the Senior Vice President for Corporate Business Development of General Electric Company. She is responsible for GE's mergers, acquisitions, and divestiture activities. Before assuming her present position, Pamela was Vice President and Senior Counsel for Transactions at GE. Prior to joining GE in 1989, she was a partner of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Pamela received an A.B. degree in Romance Languages and Literatures with highest honors from Princeton University, and later, a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she graduated first in her class and served as Editor-inChief of The Law Review. She was an adjunct professor at her alma mater from 1982 through 1989, where she taught Federal Income Taxation of Partners and Partnerships. Pamela serves on the Board of Directors of General Electric Capital Corporation, GE Capital Services Inc., the GE Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund. A third-generation Irish-American, she traces her roots to County Meath. She is married with one son.

John Donahoe is the president of eBay Marketplaces, and is responsible for all elements of eBay’s global ecommerce activities, including sites in 25 countries, Stubhub, and eBay’s global portfolio of classified businesses. Donahoe was Worldwide Managing Director of Bain & Company, a global consulting firm, for 23 years prior to joining eBay. Before that he worked for the Rolm Corporation and Salomon Brothers, now a part of Citigroup Inc. John received a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A from Stanford Business School. He is an active alumnus of both schools, serving on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth and the Advisory Board at Stanford Business School. A fifth-generation IrishAmerican, John is very interested in his Irish ancestry. His family hails from Tipperary. Timothy Donahoe, his great-great-grandfather on his father’s side, came to the U.S in the mid-1800s. John was born in Evanston, Illinois. He is married to Eileen Chamberlain and they have four children.

Craig S. Donohue has served as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Board of CME Group since July 2007. Prior to his current position, Craig served as CEO of CME Holdings and CME since January, 2004. Since his appointment as CEO in 2004, Craig has set CME’s vision and developed growth strategies to expand the company’s core business lines and global distribution. He was a key player in the merger, this past July, of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. After receiving a BA from Drake University in 1983, Craig earned a Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1987, a Master of Laws degree in Financial Services Regulation from IIT Chicago-Kent College in 1989, and a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University in 1995. Craig, who is Chairman of the Board of the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE), a nonprofit organization, is a third-generation IrishAmerican with roots in County Cork. He lives in Northbrook, Illinois with his wife and their three children.

Patricia Cunningham is the Manager of Transatlantic Leisure Sales at Continental Airlines, the fourth-largest airline in the United States, employing 45,000 people and serving 287 destinations worldwide. Continental, along with Continental Express and Continental Connections, services more international destination than any other U.S. carrier. Patricia manages leisure sales for 30 destinations in Europe. These include three airport gateways on the island of Ireland – Belfast, Dublin and Shannon – the only transatlantic carrier with direct nonstop service to all three. Patricia was named the 2007 winner of the Chairman’s Award at Continental Airlines for outstanding sales achievements. She is past-President of the Airline Sales Manager Association in New York City and was the first female President of SKAL of Northern New Jersey, the worldwide travel trade organization. She also is a Board Member of The Ireland-U.S. Council. A second-generation Irish-American she traces her roots on her father’s side to County Roscommon.

Joseph F. Dooley

Michael J. Dowling

Procter and Gamble (Duracell)

North Shore-LIJ Health System

Joseph Dooley is president of the Procter and Gamble (Duracell) Company in Bethel, Connecticut as well as Chairman of Nanfu Battery Company in Nanping, China. He began his career with Duracell in 1976 in Scottsdale, Arizona as Territory Manager of Sales. Joseph is a third-generation Irish-American with roots on his father’s side in Offaly and Cork on his mother’s. A member of The Ireland Fund of Canada, Joseph held the title of Honorary Irishman for a day in March, 1997. His company, Procter and Gamble, has a subsidiary in Ireland. Of his Irish heritage Joseph says, “My Irish-Catholic heritage has always been a source of immense pride and motivation. Striving for the best through hard work, commitment and caring for others are values that have guided me throughout my personal and professional career.” Joseph is an alumnus of Husson College in Maine where he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration. He lives in Southbury, Connecticut with his wife Rebecca and their daughter Elizabeth.


Michael Dowling came to New York City from Limerick, Ireland looking for a job at age 17, and now almost 40 years later he is president and CEO of North Shore-LIJ Health Systems. He joined the organization in 1995 as senior vice president of hospital services. In 1997 he became executive vice president and chief operating officer, and oversaw development, operations, and planning while North Shore and LIJ merged. Before joining North Shore, Dowling served in New York government for 12 years, including seven as chief advisor to Governor Mario Cuomo. He was commissioner of New York State Department of Social Services from 1993-1994. He also was a professor of social policy and an assistant dean of the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. Michael maintains close ties to Ireland and visits every year. He serves on the board of the Smurfit School of Business at University College Dublin, and on numerous medical and charitable boards. He is married with two children.



6:49 PM

Page 51

[the list] Patrick Henry Dowling

Francis A. Doyle III

CIT Aerospace and Defense

Connell Limited Partnership

Since October 2005, Patrick Henry Dowling has been the Managing Director and General Manager of CIT Aerospace and Defense Finance. In his time at CIT, a leading provider of commercial and consumer financing solutions, Dowling has been responsible for expanding the global reach of CIT Aerospace & Defense Finance. Patrick, who received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Fordham University and a Juris Doctorate from Pace University School of Law, began his career at Price Waterhouse and The Continental Group. In 1984, he began working at GE Commercial Finance and later served as Managing Director and Industry LeaderAerospace and Defense for GE Commercial and Industrial Finance. An active member of the American Institute of CPA’s and the Connecticut Society of CPA’s, as well as the National Chamber Foundation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Institute for Defense & Business, Patrick is a second-generation Irish-American, whose mother’s family hails from County Cork. He is married to Kate and has three sons: Patrick (Paddy), Connor, and Mackenzie (Mack).

Francis Doyle is President and CEO of Connell Limited Partnership, and oversees the company’s 22 plants, 3,000 employees, and over $1 billion of consolidated sales. Prior to 2001, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he was Global Technology Leader and a member of the firm’s fourteen person Global Leadership Team. Francis received his Bachelor of Science as well as his Master’s degree from Boston College. In 2000, he was honored by his alma mater with the “Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award” through the Carroll School of Management, Graduate Program. He is a trustee of the Joslin Diabetes Center, Dana Farber’s Hematologic Oncology Visiting Committee, and several economic committees in Boston. A fourth-generation Irish-American with roots in Mallow, County Cork, Francis’ heritage has had a profound effect on his work ethic. When asked about his Irish background, he said that it means, “An ever present commitment to do my best in thanks for my ancestors who took risks and sacrificed so much so that each subsequent generation could have a better life.”

James Farley

John G. Duffy

Terrence A. Duffy

Anthony F. Earley, Jr.

KBW Inc.

CME Group

DTE Energy

Ford Motor Company

John Duffy has been with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods for more than 25 years and became chairman and CEO in September 2001. Previously, from July 1999, he was president and co-CEO. For nine years prior to that, John was executive vice president in charge of KBW’s Investment Banking Department. Before joining KBW, he was a vice president at Standard & Poor’s Corporation. John received his B.A. in economics from the City College of New York and attended the M.B.A. program at Bernard Baruch College. A member of the board of trustees of the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College, Dublin, he also serves, since 2004, on the board of The American Ireland Fund, and is chairman of the Investment Committee of the Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, New York. The Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the United States recently honored John, who is a first-generation Irish-American. His mother hails from Newtongore, County Leitrim and his father is from Culleens, County Sligo.

Terrence A. Daffy has served as Executive Chairman of the Board of CME Group since July 2007. Before that, he served as Chairman of the Board of CME and CME Holdings and Executive Chairman. A member of the Exchange since 1981 and a board member since 1995, Terrence was a key player in the merger, this past July, of The Chicago Board of Trade and The Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In 2002, he was appointed by President Bush to serve on a national summit on retirement savings, and in 2003, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, as a member of the federal retirement thrift investment board. He serves on the Board of World Business Chicago, the Board of Regents for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, the Board of Trustees of Saint Xavier University and the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation. A third-generation Irish-American, Terrence lives in Lemont, Illinois with his wife and twin sons. He attended the University of WisconsinWhitewater, and in 2007, received a Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul University.

Anthony F. Earley has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DTE Energy for the past nine years. He joined DTE Energy after working at its subsidiary company, Detroit Edison, where he served as president and chief operating officer starting in 1994. While at Detroit Edison, he focused on developing workforce skills and culture needed for Detroit Edison to be successful in a changing utility environment. Anthony earned a bachelor of science degree in physics, a masters of science in engineering, a law degree, and in 2006, an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. After college, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. On the board of directors of numerous educational and civic organizations, including the Nuclear Energy Institute, Edison Electric Institute, The Detroit Zoological Society, United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Cornerstone Schools, Anthony is fourth- generation IrishAmerican, and a member of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He is married and has four children.

James Farley is Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Ford Motor Company and is the company’s most senior marketing leader. Before joining Ford, James was Group Vice President and General Manager of Lexus, responsible for all sales, marketing and customer satisfaction activities for Toyota’s luxury brand. Farley joined Toyota in 1990 and had a distinguished career there, a highlight being his responsibility for the successful launch and rollout of Toyota’s new Scion brand. James was later promoted to vice president of Scion and was responsible for all Scion activities. A cousin of comedian Chris Farley, James earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from Georgetown University and has an M.B.A. from UCLA. His grandfather, Emmet Tracy, was a longtime Ford worker who evntually ran a Lincoln-Merury dealership near Detroit. James has many relatives who still live in the Detroit area where he plans to move with his wife Lia, and their two children.




6:49 PM

Page 52

Business100 Irial Finan

Anne M. Finucane

Dave P. Fitzgerald

Jayne Fitzpatrick

The Coca-Cola Company

Bank of America

Fitzgerald + Co.

Gulf Oil LP

Anne Finucane is Chief Marketing Officer & President, Northeast at Bank of America. As CMO she is responsible for overseeing the Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs group and advancing the company’s interests, image and reputation. Anne joined Bank of America predecessor FleetBoston Financial in 1995 as chief marketing officer, first as senior vice president and then from 1999 as executive vice president. Prior to joining FleetBoston, Anne ran her own consulting firm after holding a number of executive positions with advertising giant Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc. in her 14 years with the company. Anne serves on the advisory board of Urban Improv which educates at-risk youths through theater. She also serves on the Taoiseach’s Economic Advisory Board and is a member of The American Ireland Fund. Anne traces her Irish heritage on both her father’s and mother’s side to County Cork. She lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts with her husband, columnist Mike Barnicle, and their children.

In 1983, Dave Fitzgerald founded the successful advertising agency Fitzgerald+Co. He remains president and CEO, and his company was named the Best Agency in the Southeast by Adweek. Along with his success, his relationship with employees led Fitzgerald+Co to be named one of the 10 best companies in Atlanta to work for by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He was formerly the president of the Atlanta Advertising Club and past chairman of the board of directors for the Saint Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. A second-generation IrishAmerican, Dave ran the Order of the Green Jacket of Ireland, which helped raise funds for Irish athletes in the 1996 Olympics. A member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Metropolitan Atlanta Police Emerald Society, and the Hibernian Benevolent Society, he has twice been Grand Marshal of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Dave, who traces his family to the western counties of Kerry and Sligo, visits Ireland often, and became an Irish citizen this year.

In March 2006, Jayne Fitzpatrick was named Chief Financial Officer of Gulf Oil LP, a $5.5 billion wholesaler of petroleum products. Jayne joined Gulf Oil LP from Dunkin’ Brands, parent company to Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, where she held a number of leadership positions, most recently as the Chief Strategy Officer. She is a Bain and Company alumnus, where she provided strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 clients. Jayne received her Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from North Carolina State University. She also holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. A third-generation IrishAmerican, Jayne traces her Irish roots back to County Antrim to her paternal great-grandmother. She will be married next summer in Kilkea Castle, County Kildare, the birthplace of her fiancé, Kevin Conway. Of the match she says, “He is my constant reminder to the strength that I have drawn from a woman I never knew, and to a culture whose spirit can never be broken. Life indeed comes full circle.”

Irial Finan is Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company, and President of Bottling Investments and Supply Chain. Based in Atlanta, he is responsible for managing the five-billion-dollar internal bottling business. Irial joined Coca-Cola in 1981 and has a myriad of national and international experience. From 2001 to 2003, he served as CEO of Coca-Cola HBC, during which time he managed the merger of Coca-Cola Beverages and Hellenic Bottling, and led the combined company’s operations in 26 countries. He serves on the board of directors of Coca-Cola and other companies and is a non-executive director of Alltracel Pharmaceuticals and chairman of their Audit Committee. Irial is also a member of the Galway University Foundation Board, and is a non-executive director for Co-operation Ireland. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from National University of Ireland in Galway and is an Associate (later Fellow) of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants. He is a native of County Roscommon.

John Fitzpatrick

Lawrence Flanagan

Fitzpatrick Hotel Group

MasterCard Worldwide

John Fitzpatrick, Chairman and CEO of the North America Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, relocated to New York from Ireland over a decade ago and gained a significant reputation in hospitality in one of the most competitive cities in the world. He started his career at the family’s hotels in Bunratty and Dublin over 20 years ago. In 1991, Fitzpatrick opened the Fitzpatrick Group’s first U.S. hotel in Manhattan. In 1995, he added the Fitzpatrick East 55th Street to his portfolio, and in 1998 he opened the 155-room Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel. Expansion to downtown Chicago followed in May 2001 with the opening of the Fitzpatrick Chicago Hotel, which was later sold. John completed hotel management courses in Ireland and the prestigious course at UNLV in Las Vegas. He was recently appointed vice chairman of the hotel association of NYC and also serves on the executive committee of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. A board member of The American Ireland Fund and the Ireland-US Council, he has received numerous awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2002.


Lawrence Flanagan joined MasterCard in October 1996. He is currently the executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Worldwide Marketing and Communications, and a member of the company’s Operating Committee. Lawrence is responsible for building the value of the MasterCard brand on behalf of customer financial institutions and shareholders as well as managing the brands of the company’s various consumer payment solutions. The force behind MasterCard’s Priceless advertising campaign, his guidance has resulted in the ad currently airing in more than 90 countries. The campaign has won numerous awards and honors. In 2004, Lawrence was recognized as one of the most influential figures in sports by Sports Business International. Lawrence, a fourth-generation Irish-American with roots in Galway (the first Flanagan migrated to New Haven, Connecticut on January 10, 1850), holds a B.S. degree from the University of New Haven. He currently resides in Darien, Connecticut with his wife and three children.



6:49 PM

Page 54

Business100 William J. Flynn

Jack Foley

William Clay Ford Jr.

Robert Frank

Mutual of America

Aer Lingus, North America

Ford Motor Company

KOCH Entertainment

During his 34 years with Mutual of America, Bill Flynn established himself as a great leader, whose business skills were reflected in Mutual of America’s performance and recognized throughout the life insurance industry. Now Mutual’s Chairman Emeritus, Flynn’s commitment to social justice continues to be felt in the success of the Irish peace process and the work of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP). As the first IrishAmerican chairman of the NCAFP, it was Flynn who invited all of Northern Ireland’s political leaders, including Gerry Adams, to the U.S., a move that propelled Northern Ireland into the peace process. A graduate of Fordham University, Flynn is a first-generation Irish-American with roots in counties Mayo and Down. In 1996, he was Grand Marshal of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In 2005, the Tanenbaum Center for Inter-religious Understanding presented him with a Special Peacemaker in Action Award “for a lifetime devoted to conflict resolution.”

As Executive Vice President Aer Lingus, Jack Foley oversees all strategic, operational and marketing programs for the airline in North America. A customer-focused airline that offers a professional, efficient and friendly service, Aer Lingus was the first airline to apply the pricing strategies of discounters such as Southwest and America West to Trans-Atlantic travel. The company receives less than two complaints per thousand customers in the busiest period of travel. Jack has come a long way from his first job in the airline business, as a bag loader for Lufthansa at JFK. That job, however, paid for his Bachelor of Science and M.B.A. in international marketing from St. John’s University. In 1979, Jack joined British Airways and rose to the position of vice president of marketing in the U.S. In 1996 he was recruited by Aer Lingus to manage their TransAtlantic division. A second-generation IrishAmerican with roots in County Cork, Jack is on the board of directors of the Ireland-U.S. Business Council. He lives on Long Island with his wife and their son.

Ford Motor Executive Chairman William Clay Ford is the great-grandson of Henry Ford, who was the son of an Irish immigrant from County Cork. Henry “put the world on wheels by making personal mobility affordable,” and William Jr. is leading the 102year-old company that bears his family name. William, who joined Ford in 1979, is a dedicated environmentalist. His efforts have won him the President’s Commission on Environmental Quality Award. In 2000, under his leadership, Ford published its first corporate citizenship report outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of its global operations. As vice chairman of the Detroit Lions, he led efforts to build a new, environmentally friendly stadium in Detroit and helped expand the Detroit Police Athletic League youth football program. He is also Honorary Chairman of the Southeast Michigan Consortium for Water Quality. Ford, who holds a B.A. from Princeton University, where he has served as a trustee, and a master’s from MIT, is married with four children.

Robert Frank is president of KOCH Records, the leading and fastest growing independent music company in the U.S. Frank launched the label by coordinating KOCH’s deal with the Velvel Music Group in 1999. KOCH has released music from across all genres, including Ringo Starr, Earl Klugh, Foxy Brown, The Wiggles and many more. Frank has spent many years in the music industry. He became president of the Velvel Music Group in 1997. He also spent eight years with Polygram Records, four as the Senior Vice President/ General Manager of Mercury Nashville Records. During Frank’s time at Mercury the label released 10-time platinum albums by Shania Twain and Billy Ray Cyrus. Sales also increased from $16 to $150 million, and Mercury became the most profitable label in Polygram three years in a row. Married with one child, Frank traces his Irish roots to County Wexford. He made his first trip to Ireland during the 2004 Christmas season, and is known to be a big fan of Declan MacManus, better known as Elvis Costello.

Patrick Gallagher

Colleen Goggins

Giants Enterprises

Johnson & Johnson

Entering his 31st year with Giants Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, Patrick Gallagher has risen in the ranks from marketing director to president. Before joining the Giants organization, Patrick was an executive at Marine World/Africa USA and Sea World theme parks. With the Giants, he played a large role in the design and naming rights of the new stadium, SBC Stadium. Pacific Bell was the original partner. He also develops other uses for the stadium besides baseball, such as soccer matches and concerts. Under his leadership, the Giants have received numerous accolades, including the MLB Marketing Excellence award. Patrick is a past president for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Peninsula area. He also sits on the executive committees of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and Special Olympics of Northern California. A second-generation Irish-American, he traces his roots to counties Donegal and Clare. He and his wife Joan live in Palo Alto, California with their two children.


Colleen Goggins is a member of Johnson & Johnson’s Executive Committee and has served as Worldwide Chairman, Consumer Group since June, 2001. Goggins joined J&J in 1981. After working on several projects, she transferred to J&J GmbH in Germany, as Director of Marketing. In 1992, she became President of J&J Canada; in 1994, President, Personal Products Company, U.S.; in 1995, President, Consumer Products Company; she was promoted to Company Group Chairman in 1998. Colleen earned a B.S. in food chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and an M.M. from Northwestern University’s Business School. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Historic Morven, Inc., and The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey. Patricia, whose Irish heritage is on her father’s side, was named to the 2007 Fortune “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list, and has been a regular on the list for several years. She is proud of J&J’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, designed to support leadership development of the firm’s female employees around the world.



6:09 PM

Page 56


Mission Responsible A past president of the board of ICCR, Fr. Séamus Finn currently serves on the executive committee of 3IG, which represents a post-9/11 coming together of the major world religions to participate in what is known as “socially responsible investing.” Story by Lauren Byrne


t isn’t easy getting face time with Séamus Finn. It’s not that he didn’t want to be interviewed for Irish America; in e-mail exchanges he was friendly and willing. Pinning him down to a time and place was the problem. This member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a missionary order of 5,000 priests and brothers in 60 countries, reckons he travels on average 125,000 miles a year, which means he’s rarely in any one place for very long. Earlier this year, however, a public policy conference at Harvard Law School created an opening. We could meet, he said, at the end of the day’s session and before he made a dash for a brief visit to his 94-year-old mother who lives north of Boston, after which he was heading to Indonesia. I imagined it would be easy to spot him in the crowd emerging from the conference room that afternoon: he’d be the one in black suit, white dog collar, eyes glazed with travel fatigue. In the end it was he who approached me, sporting an open-necked shirt, tweed jacket, and the broad smile of a man who clearly enjoys his life. It’s his several roles that keep Reverend Finn on the move. He is director of the Oblate Order’s Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation offices in Washington, and their representative at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and at the International Interfaith Investment Group (3IG), two of the world’s leading faith-based investor organizations. His past accomplishments include his involvement with the shaping of the McBride Principles, developed to ensure fair labor practices in Ireland, and he’s the sort of person journalists turn to when they need background on the Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka, just one of many places he has an insider’s knowledge of. “Some people have compared me to the tinkers back home,” Finn smilingly told me, revealing his origins, now obscured by his American accent, in the reference to Ireland’s subculture of traveling people. Born in Kanturk, Ireland, he moved with his family to Lowell, Mass., when he was 14 years old. He conveys the magnitude of this cultural shift by pointing out that the number of pupils at the Lowell High School where he was 56 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

enrolled was twice the size of the entire population of Kanturk. His father, an auto mechanic, never really adjusted to life in the depressed former cotton manufacturing town, he says. His mother and the females in the family of seven proved more adaptable. Recalling memories of when he entered the priesthood, Finn smiles at the thought of the t-shirt with the words “Join the Oblates and see the world” that his father jokingly gave him, not knowing then the full extent of his son’s life of nonstop travel, only that as a missionary priest Séamus would see more of the world than his brother, Dan, a diocesan priest who has spent all his life in the Boston area. In the 1970s, in an effort to end South Africa’s apartheid regime and concerned about the growing production of armaments by U.S. companies for the Vietnam War, Tim Smith, a Methodist minister, got together with a number of other faithbased investors to form the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Today the New York-based ICCR is a coalition of 275 religious institutional investors representing over $100 billion in investments, which they have leveraged, Smith, its former director, has been quoted as saying, to “protect the environment, end sweatshops, guarantee equal employment, improve healthcare access for the poor and elderly, and build a more peaceful world.” For the past twenty years Finn, who has a doctorate in social justice from Boston University, has engaged with governments on behalf of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate on public policy issues and with corporations on a wide range of human rights and environmental issues. A past president of the board of ICCR, Finn currently serves on the executive committee of the more recently formed 3IG, which represents a post-9/11 coming together of the major world religions to participate in what is known as “socially responsible investing.” It’s the obverse of the get-rich-quick approach – one that espouses ideas like keeping workers healthy and therefore productive, and keeping the environment cleaner and therefore more sustainable – and one to which religious organizations bring a special perspective, Finn argues. “There is a capricious, greed-driven side to



6:09 PM

Page 57

[the list]

human nature, and it’s clear that for some people the accumulation of wealth is the number one priority they have in terms of the meaning of their lives, and one has to be honest about that. And sometimes shareholders are not any different. They’re looking for the greatest return – that’s a feature of the system. The faith perspective says, Hold on a minute. Human beings are created in God’s image and likeness.” He elaborates further, “Our perspective is from biblical and Catholic social teaching and what our understanding of what the mission of the church is. We’re not interested in making money so that we’ll have it in five years to pay someone’s college tuition or because we want to buy a bigger house. I’m not saying those are bad, but we feel that we have a vocation to look at the longer view.” While the Oblates may not be personally invested in a particular mining company in Bolivia with environmental issues, say, or a flower farm in Kenya whose employees are being exposed to pesticides, their mission centers close to such places make them accessible to Finn, and the information he gathers can be shared with ICCR or 3IG investors who do have a financial stake in these concerns. With bases all over the world, the Oblates have an unusually wide-lensed view of multinational corporations. “We have colleagues in Indonesia, Latin America, and in sixteen countries in Africa, and they wonder are they getting a fair shake; are any of these companies really interested in anything but making as much profit as they can.”

One of Finn’s frequent destinations is indeed Bolivia, where he has been participating in ongoing discussions between community leaders and mine owners about improved safety conditions for workers and the need to develop cleaner technologies to protect the surrounding environment. With the benefit of twenty years’ experience he knows that bringing about such changes is a “long, slow process.” But not an impossible one. After all, he says, “Reinvention is part of the story of capitalism.” There is no radical agenda, no whiff of revolutionary ardor, about the methods of ICCR or 3IG. Divesting from a company that is engaging in poor practices is only ever a last resort. Instead, ICCR investors prefer to stay involved, leveraging their combined financial clout to induce change. Finn explains, “We want to simply say that there are a number of things that should be included in the balance and some have to do with human rights. How do you treat your workers? How did you make this money? Was it fairly made or did you steal it? We want companies to count the environmental costs, the social costs, in their budgeting. Then I think you have a holistic system.” The increased transparency of Nike’s operations and the promise of a sustainability report from Wal-Mart by summer of 2007 were some of the breakthroughs for ICCR that Finn pointed to when asked for some examples of past successes. “We’ve been asking Wal-Mart for the past eight or nine years. We’ve been saying we don’t think your business model is sustainable. It might demonstrate some short-term money but it’s not viable in the long run. You’re creating hostility, you’re creating enemies!” When I checked on the status of the sustainability report at the end of the summer, Finn responded that it was still in draft form. At that point Wal-Mart had just released a reduced profits forecast. Was this proof, I asked, that they should have heeded ICCR’s warnings? Séamus’s circuitous response revealed that the world lost a fine politician when he chose the priesthood: “I think it is fair to say that these [reduced profits] should be attributed to a number of different causes; competition; China issues, etc. which would, I believe, fall under a sustainability report.” In July this year the SEC sent ICCR and other investor groups scurrying into action when it announced that it was considering imposing restrictions on shareholders’ rights to sponsor advisory resolutions, the main tool investors use to draw attention to their concerns. If the past offers any clues, then chances are high that ICCR in collaboration with other interested bodies will succeed in skewering the proposal. In 1998 more than 300 socially responsible and other groups successfully joined forces to oppose a similar SEC plan to end the shareholder resolution process. On the last occasion I contacted Séamus it was to get his response to the SEC proposal. He only had time to direct me to the topic on ICCR’s Web page. He was heading out the door to the airport, he said. IA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 57



6:52 PM

Page 58

Business100 David Greaney Synergy David Greaney is founder and president of Synergy, a Bostonbased real estate investment and development company. Synergy acquires, develops and manages real estate opportunities in the New England region. The company’s $250 million portfolio is scheduled to double in 2008, primarily due to its partnerships with Irish-based equity. David is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and has held positions in the investment management groups of Harvard University and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He serves on the board of the Massachusetts Special Olympics and is a director and trustee of the New England Chapter of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce U.S.A. He is also actively involved in numerous other Irish and business organizations throughout the region, including The American Ireland Fund. Born in Limerick, David is a graduate of University College Dublin. He currently resides in Boston with his wife Kathy and his son David.

John Hartnett

Philip C. Haughey

James J. Houlihan

Palm, Inc.

The Haughey Company

Houlihan-Parnes / iCap

As Senior Vice President of Global Markets, John Hartnett is responsible for Palm, Inc.’s worldwide sales, service and support. Palm is a market leader providing worldwide mobile computing solutions to consumers and business, via breakthrough innovations from the original Palm Pilot to today’s Treo line of smartphones. The company is headquartered in California and has offices around the world, including a European engineering center in Dublin. John earned a marketing degree through the Marketing Institute of Ireland, a postgraduate diploma in finance through the Association of Chartered Accountants and completed the executive management program at Stanford University. A native of Limerick, he is on the board of the University of Limerick Foundation. He is a partner in Atlantic Bridge Ventures, a European based venture capital firm with offices in Dublin and London. Married with four children, he is a founding member of Munster Rugby USA, and a member of The American Ireland Fund.

Phil Haughey is president of the Haughey Company, Inc., a family real estate investment, development and management firm located in Boston, Massachusetts. The company’s interests include retail, commercial and industrial properties in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine. A graduate of Harvard College, Phil serves as vice president and governor of the Harvard Club of Boston. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Ulster. Phil is a second-generation Irish-American who traces his roots to Keady, County Armagh on his father’s side, and Cork on his mother’s. He is a member of the North American Board of the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, U.C.D as well as the Eire Society of Boston and Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. He is also the Chairman of both the Friends of Harvard Celtic Studies and the Friends of the Boston Irish Famine Memorial. Phil and his wife Peggy live in Newton, Massachusetts. They have four children and ten grandchildren.

James J. Houlihan, representing the fourth generation in a family business founded in 1891, is managing partner of Houlihan-Parnes/iCap Realty Advisors, LLC, and a founding member of the new national real estate company, iCap Realty Advisors. A graduate of Manhattan Preparatory School and Fordham University’s School of Business, Jim recently put together an exhibit entitled “Fighting Irishmen: A Celebration of the Celtic Warrior” which premiered at the Irish Arts Center in New York City and is currently at South Street Seaport Museum. He is a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Westchester and has served as Chairman of the Great Hunger Memorial Committee of Westchester County. He also serves on the Board of Directors of St. Patrick’s Home in the Bronx. A fourth-generation Irish-American on his father’s side with roots in Kenmare, Co. Kerry, and second-generation, with roots in Tyrone and Donegal, on his mother’s side, Houlihan lives in Bronxville with his wife Pat and their five children.

Thomas J. Hynes

E. Neville Isdell

Meredith & Grew

The Coca-Cola Company

Thomas Hynes became president and chief executive officer of the real estate giant Meredith & Grew in 1988. A full-service commercial real estate firm, Meredith & Grew provides brokerage, development and advisory, counseling and valuation, capital markets, and property and asset management services to a broad range of clients. Tom, who has over 41 years of experience in the sales, leasing and consulting end of commercial, industrial and institutional real estate, joined the company in 1965. Prior to joining Meredith & Grew Tom served as a real estate advisor to the New Boston Garden Development Corporation. Tom has served as a trustee or director at various companies and organizations, including: Prentiss Properties Trust, New World Bank, Marine Biological Laboratory, and Sea Education Association. A graduate of Boston College, he holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Emmanuel College, where he is a former chairman of the board of trustees. Tom is married with two children. 58 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

Neville Isdell was named to his current position as CEO of The Coca-Cola Company in June 2004, and is the 12th chairman of the board in the history of the company. He began his career with Coca-Cola in 1966 at the local bottling plant in Zambia and held management positions throughout Coca-Cola worldwide. In 1998 he became chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Plc in Britain, where he oversaw that company’s merger with Hellenic Bottling and the formation of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, then the world’s second-largest Coca-Cola bottler. He is chairman of the U.S. Russia Business Council, a member of the board of trustees of the International Business Leaders Forum and the United States Council for International Business. Isdell received a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. A native of Downpatrick, County Down, Isdell moved to Zambia as a child. This year, he received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster.



6:52 PM

Page 60

Business100 Edward J. Joyce

Garrett Kelleher

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.

Declan Kelly

Chicago Board Options


American Express


Edward J. Joyce is president and chief operating officer of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). He began serving in that capacity in June 2000, following his election by the CBOE Board of Directors. Prior to that, Ed served as executive vice president in charge of business development and in that role was responsible for coordinating various key activities central to relationship management. He has been with the Exchange since 1974. Joyce serves on the Board of Directors of the Options Clearing Corporation and CBOE Futures Exchange. He is on the Advisory Board of the Illinois Council on Economic Education and is active in the Knights of Columbus. A second-generation IrishAmerican with roots in Kilkenny Wexford and Clare, he earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Illinois State University and an M.B.A. from DePaul University. Married with three daughters, he says, “ I am proud of my Irish heritage and the values that have been passed down to me, including the enjoyment of life and the importance of family and friends.”

Garrett Kelleher is executive chairman of Shelbourne Development Ltd and the Shelbourne Development Group, Inc. He owns substantial real estate investments in the U.S., Ireland, the UK, France and Belgium. Kelleher will own a significant share in The Chicago Spire Equity, the Santiago Calatrava designed building that will be the world’s tallest exclusively residential building and the tallest building in the western world. A Dublin native, Kelleher moved to Chicago in the early 80’s, starting off as a subcontractor renovating apartments. Before moving into property development and investment, he owned one of the largest painting companies in the Midwest. Kelleher moved back to Ireland in 1996 and has been involved in property development deals worth over 2.5 billion euros, not including The Chicago Spire. He considers Chicago his second home, and is a member of the Metropolitan Organizing Committee, a group dedicated to bringing the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to Chicago. Kelleher, who studied math at Trinity College Dublin, has seven children.

In June 2007, Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. became President of American Express Company. In this role, Kelly works closely with the company’s Chairman and CEO on developing the strategic direction for American Express and determining key policies affecting the company overall. Prior to that, Kelly served as Group President at American Express. Kelly joined the company's Strategic Planning department in 1987. Before that, he was head of Information Systems at The White House. He also held positions in Information Systems and Strategic and Financial Planning at Pepsi Co. Kelly serves on the Board of Directors of The Hershey Company and Concern Worldwide USA. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of New York Presbyterian Hospital, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was for 13 years a Trustee of Iona College. He received a BA (Summa Cum Laude) and MBA with Honors from Iona College. A second-generation IrishAmerican with roots in Cork, Kelly resides in New York's Westchester County with his wife and their five children.

In his role as President and CEO of FD/US, Declan Kelly oversees the company’s operations in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Declan is a senior advisor to several multinational corporations, governments and representative organizations. He specializes in crisis management assignments and corporate communications and has extensive international M&A experience both in the U.S. and in Europe. He is also chairman of FD Ireland, a business he founded. Declan received the 2005 Alumni Award for Business and Commerce from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Glucksman Ireland House at New York University. He sits on the board of directors of The American Ireland Fund and Cooperation Ireland. Born and reared just outside Nenagh, County Tipperary, Kelly is married to Julia and lives in Manhattan. In September 2006, Financial Dynamics was acquired by the business consulting firm FTI for $260 million.

Christopher G. Kennedy

Thomas C. Kennedy

Merchandise Mart

Vanguard Car Rental Group Inc.

Christopher Kennedy, son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, is the president of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc (MMPI). MMPI manages a wide variety of office space and sponsors numerous trade shows throughout the year. MMPI is a division of the Vornado Realty Trust, which purchased it from the Kennedy family in 1998. Christopher joined the company as a research analyst in 1987, becoming a vice president in 1991 and executive vice president in 1994. He was appointed president in 2000. Christopher is also involved in numerous nonprofit groups, and is on the board of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He belongs to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of Chicago. The Kennedy family has roots in County Wexford. Married with four children, Katherine, Christopher Jr., Sarah, and Clare, Christopher earned his bachelor’s degree at Boston College, and a master’s in management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern.


Thomas C. Kennedy is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Vanguard Car Rental Group, Inc., a position he has held for the last four years. Prior to joining Vanguard, Thomas served in various positions at Northwest Airlines, Inc, including Senior Vice President and Controller, 2003; Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis from 2000 to 2002; and several other financial positions since he started with the company in 1992. Thomas holds a B.A. in economics from Tulane University and an M.B.A from Harvard University. In 2003, he was recognized by Treasury and Risk Management magazine as one of 40 under 40 financial professionals. He resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he serves on the metropolitan board of the Y.M.C.A. A fourth-generation Irish-American whose family hails from Counties Roscommon, Kildare, Galway, and Cork, Thomas says of his heritage, “As an Irish-American I am proud of the struggles my ancestors overcame and the hard work they endured to provide the opportunities for my multi-cultural family.”



7:35 PM

Page 62


Everywhere He Wants to Be He travels the glove putting sponsorship deals together and whether it’s the soccer world cup in South Africa or the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs or the Olympics in Beijing, Michael O’Hara Lynch will be there. Story by Niall O’Dowd


ichael O’Hara Lynch is everywhere you would want to be. As head of Visa event and sponsorship marketing he flies to World Cups, Olympics, Super Bowls and every other major event on the planet. He negotiates multimillion-dollar contracts for Visa and helps create the marketing buzz for the world’s greatest sports events. He’s the kid brought up near the Bronx in the small town of Katonah who grew up to see the world and all that’s in it. And he loves every minute of it. He was one of the first sports agents, those Tom Cruise wannabees who scream “Show me the money” in movies like Scott Boras with Alex Rodriguez in real life except you couldn’t imagine Michael O’Hara Lynch doing that. He’s quiet, cool and very effective. As a sports agent he negotiated deals for superstars such as Michael Jordan and Arthur Ashe. With Jordan he put him on the box of Wheaties, achieving the ultimate iconic status for the Bulls superstar at the time. Strange as it may seem, he had a tough job convincing General Mills to do it. They only wanted already minted legends and were unsure that the new sensation Jordan belonged on the box. O’Hara Lynch convinced them otherwise. Wheaties has never looked the same since. These days he is near the top of a company which handles an average of 7,000 credit card transactions per second every second in the U.S. and $4.5 trillion in transactions every year. He travels the globe putting sponsorship deals together, and whether it’s the soccer World Cup in South Africa or the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs or the Olympics in Beijing, the tall, lanky O’Hara will be there. He’s fifty and looks forty, lives in the suburbs of beautiful San Francisco with his wife and two daughters, McKenzie, a star Irish dancer, and Dylan. For recreation he’s a Notre Dame sports nut as befits an alumni of that great Irish bastion. He attended Notre Dame and was a walk-on for the basketball team – he has never forgiven then coach Digger Phelps


for keeping him warming the bench. It might have had something to do with the fact that the Fighting Irish at the time were ranked near to No. 1 in the country, He was a contemporary of Joe Montana at Notre Dame and saw the golden years of the football program. He left in 1979. When we talked he had high hopes for the team for the 2007 season. Enough said. Suffice it to say South Bend is one of the places even Visa doesn’t want to be this football season. So how come the name Michael O’Hara Lynch? “The reason I use O’Hara, you know, is my mother Kathleen Jean O’Hara,” he says. “She had nine boys. I was the sixth but I was the only one who got her middle name. Out of respect for her I use it all the time.” A dutiful son it seems. He laughs that his parents, good Catholics, probably used the rhythm method when they got married. Nine boys arrived in rapid succession, not a baby girl in sight. “I guess they gave up trying after the last one,” he says with a smile. His dad was a high school principal and he gave Michael his love of sport. In 1976 his dad drove him from Katonah to faraway Montreal for the Olympics. All they could afford was standing-room for track and field tickets, but to the youngster it looked like heaven. “I got the bug right there – to this day, seeing all these countries and people coming together, there was something truly special about it all. Right there I knew I wanted to work on the Olympics.” Many of his siblings became teachers, but from an early age Michael had a head for numbers, a heart for sport and an eye for a deal. “ I don’t know where I got the business instinct from.” He says part of it was the influence of Notre Dame. “I always felt really comfortable in the marketing areas, and numbers came easy to me. Sport was a given.” He got a bachelor’s in business administration at Notre Dame and later went on to an MBA at Cornell. In between he fused his two great interests, sports and marketing, together.



7:35 PM

Page 621

[the list]

“Prior to Cornell I worked as an in-house consultant for the Timex Corporation and we were developing the iron man triathlon watch, we had hired two athletes, Alberto Salazar and Mary Slaney, to promote it. That’s where I learned about the business of sports marketing.” It was a brand-new business. He joined Proserv, founded in 1984, then one of the first companies in the field. “It was predominantly lawyers who were handling the athletes,” he remembers. “I came in with a marketing background to help build the athletes’ brand. We felt there wasn’t a single corporation out there that couldn’t use sports in one way or another to develop their business” He fondly remembers working with Jordan. “Michael is able to differentiate between the public person, the celebrity icon and the normal private person. He was a tremendously normal guy, and recognized that this celebrity thing was not who he was as a person. He was also raised by great parents and they raised him right.” O’Hara Lynch did Proserv for seven years before jumping to entertainment vehicles because he had a non-compete clause when he left. He ran the events business for Radio City Music Hall, jumping into a business that, like sport, was starting to attract massive new coverage from paparazzi to mainstream media. Radio City productions were not limited to the famed theater itself. They staged Super Bowl halftime shows, World Cup opening ceremonies, and of course the iconic Christmas

shows. “It was a way for me to learn different skills and to be on the inside of entertainment just as it exploded as a medium.” But his wife, a Northern California girl, had never fully settled in the Big Apple. When their first child became due they began thinking of moving to sunnier climes. A meeting with a senior Visa executive sealed the deal. “Over breakfast she asked me if I would be interested in running the sports and entertainment stuff that Visa was doing. They had the Olympic team sponsorship, they were actually doing an Elton John tour, and it just sounded great.” He had worked with Visa before when he brokered a deal which made them sponsor of the U.S. Open tennis championship. “They wanted someone who both worked in the entertainment business from a marketing perspective and knew the sports world. “When I mentioned it to my wife over dinner, she went to the closet and began packing her bag. Off we went to San Francisco. I managed the Olympics for Visa. We had just become sponsor of the NFL and a sponsor of racing’s Triple Crown.” “My job was essentially to manage those athletes, Olympic, NFL and the Visa Triple Crown, and essentially build an integrated marketing campaign around each event – ‘everywhere you want to be -unsurpassed acceptance.’” Because all credit card companies essentially work the same, the brand means everything, which is where O’Hara Lynch comes in. “When you think about a property like the Olympics, Visa gets you in there. It’s our main competitive difference with American Express,” he says. “But the Olympics doesn’t take MasterCard either. The campaign was essentially designed to differentiate between the brands.” The marketing has clearly worked. Visa has a 52 percent market share in the U.S. and a 64 percent share worldwide, up by over 33 percent. Visa is not only about sports, of course. Visa is the largest Broadway sponsor, the only card to get you into the Tony awards; they are also a proud sponsor of Disney productions. Among the places O’Hara Lynch wants to be is in Ireland with his wife and kids at some point in the future to trace the roots of his great-grandparents who left. He traces those roots to Cork but says he “got stuck in Dublin” every time he has gone over. “I’m dying to take the family over there. I’ve been waiting for my children to get older so they can appreciate it a little more. I want them to know what their history is all about.” No doubt when they do, O’Hara Lynch will see a land that has been transformed in the past few decades as prosperity has come home. Not unlike his own life from its modest beginnings to worldwide traveler and dealmaker. He has a visa for the world now. IA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 63



6:54 PM

Page 64

Business100 Donald R. Keough

Alan G. Lafley,

MacDara Lynch

Joanna Maguire

Allen & Company

Procter & Gamble


Lockheed Martin

Following his retirement as president, COO and director of the Coca-Cola Company in 1993, Donald Keough became chairman of the board of Allen & Company Incorporated, a New York investment banking firm. In 2004, Coca-Cola re-elected Donald to the post of director, making a change in its retirement policy. Donald has been a crucial member of the company since 1950. He also serves on the boards of IAC/InterActive Corp., Global Yankee Holdings, Convera Corporation, and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Donald has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater Creighton University, Emory University, Trinity College, Dublin, University College Dublin, and Clarke University. Notre Dame’s highest honor, the Laetare Medal, was presented to Donald in 1993. In 1995, he established the Keough Institute of Irish Studies at Notre Dame. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2002, and inducted into the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame in 2003.

As the Chairman, President and CEO of Procter and Gamble, Alan Lafley oversees the largest consumer company in the world. Under Alan’s leadership sales have grown from 40 billion to over 68 billion. Alan received a B.A. degree from Hamilton College in 1969 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1977, at which time he joined Procter and Gamble. He is also a director of General Electric Company, and Dell, Inc. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Hamilton College and is a member of the Lauder Institute Board of Governors, the Business Roundtable and the Business Council. Chief Executive magazine named Alan “CEO of the Year,” for 2006. Alan, who was Irish America’s Keynote Speaker for its 2005 Business 100 Awards Luncheon in New York City, is a second-generation IrishAmerican who traces his roots to County Cork. He cites the influence of his Irish grandmother, Catherine “Kitty” Irwin, as of huge importance during his childhood in Keene, New Hampshire. Alan lives in Cincinnati with his wife Margaret.

MacDara Lynch is the Vice President/Team Leader of Pfizer’s Global Contract Manufacturing Division. He joined Pfizer in 1972 in Ringaskiddy, Cork and over the years has worked in various roles in Belgium, Indonesia, and Nebraska. In 2000, MacDara transferred to Brooklyn as Site Leader for the manufacturing facility and in 2003 he was appointed as Vice President/ Team Leader of Pfizer’s Global Manufacturing Division, United States East/Canada Region before assuming his current position in 2007. Born in Bandon, County Cork, MacDara graduated from University College Cork in 1972 with a B.Sc. Degree in Chemistry. Throughout his travels, he has always been active in the local community. He served as Honorary Irish Consul in Indonesia for two years and serves on Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A’s Board of Directors. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Ireland - U.S. Council. MacDara and his wife Ita have three children and one granddaughter and live in Connecticut. He says being Irish “helps to refocus on what is really important in life.”

Joanna Maguire is executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and also an officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. In this role, she is responsible for the business operations and activities of approximately 18,000 company employees. Joanna, who was named to Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women,” list for 2007, earned her Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles. A graduate of the executive program in management at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Joanna also completed the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security. Joanna, who serves as a director on the boards of Space Foundation and INROADS, Inc., is also a member of American Institute of the Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Society of Women. She is a first-generation IrishAmerican whose father, Michael F. Maguire, was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal.

James F. McCann

Norman McClelland


Shamrock Foods Company

When Jim McCann founded 1-800-Flowers in 1976, people told him that he couldn’t change customers’purchase behaviors. Luckily, Jim did not listen to them, or he would not now be president and CEO of a company with annual revenues of almost $1 billion. Jim started his company with a single flower shop over 30 years ago in addition to his regular job as a social worker. He eventually expanded it to a regional chain in the New York area. was one of the first online retailers. The company now has several other brands including Plow & Hearth, 1-800-Baskets, The Popcorn Factory, Cheryl & Co. and Fannie May Confections. Jim is a third-generation Irish-American with roots in Counties Armagh and Limerick. He credits his love of storytelling to his Irish heritage, and has three books to his name including, Stop and Sell the Roses, published in 1998. His most recent book, A Year Full of Flowers, was co-authored with his sister Julie Mulligan. Jim is married with three children.


Norman McClelland took his father’s small dairy in Tucson, Arizona and transformed it into Shamrock Foods Company – the largest dairy in the Southwest and the seventh largest food distribution company in the U.S. As one of the largest employers in Arizona, Shamrock Foods is a significant contributor to the community by supporting more than 80 non-profit organizations – many of which are education-focused – and donating more than 80,000 pounds of food per month. After 85 years of successful business growth, Norm is proud of the family company’s ability to thrive as one of the top five privately held Arizona-based companies. He, himself, serves as a role model for the philosophy he instills in his company, by actively supporting many charitable, business and community organizations including the University of Arizona, Barrow Neurological Foundation, Goldwater Institute, Thomas J. Pappus Elementary, Arizona State University, and the Irish Cultural & Learning Center. In homage to his Ulster roots, Norm is leading the charge to create an 11,000-square-foot state-of-the-art library at the Phoenix Irish Cultural Center.



6:54 PM

Page 66

Business100 Frank H. McCourt Jr.

Joe McCullough

Patrick McGovern

Judy McGrath

McCourt Company & LA Dodgers

Oldcastle Group

International Data Group

MTV Networks

Frank McCourt is president and CEO of The McCourt Company, a Boston real estate development business specializing in commercial building properties. He is also the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball organization. Frank’s great-grandfather founded The McCourt construction company in 1893, and it has remained in the family ever since. In 1977 Frank’s father, who was also called Frank, founded The McCourt Company, a spin-off of the original construction business. Frank is not the first in his family to own a major league franchise, as his grandfather was part-owner of the Boston Braves. He previously attempted to purchase the Red Sox and the Angels and is a lifelong baseball fan and Red Sox season ticket holder. He is on the Board of Regents at Georgetown University, where he graduated in 1975. He also sits on a number of civic boards, including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, and the Make a Wish Foundation. Frank and his wife Jamie were married in 1979 and have four sons.

In 1979, Joe McCullough was recruited by a small Irish company as “an Irish-American with an MBA from a good school who wasn’t yearning for the green fields.” During his 27year career McCullough, now executive chairman, has seen Oldcastle grow from a $14-million business to the largest construction products company in North America with sales in excess of $15 billion. McCullough grew up in the Ardoyne area of Belfast. He moved to London for work in the 1960s. It was there he met his future wife, Mary Alyce, a nursing student from Maryland. They have been married for 38 years and reside in Atlanta, and have two grown children, Judith and Eamonn. In summing up his career with Oldcastle, McCullough highlights the satisfaction of accomplishment and of working with and building friendships with his Irish, American and European colleagues. He points out that working with an Irish company allowed him to maintain his ties to the homeland but also afforded the opportunity for his American-born family to establish an Irish heritage in their own right.

Patrick J. McGovern is the founder and chairman of International Data Group. IDG is the world’s leading technology publishing, event management and research company. Patrick began his publishing career as an editor at Computers and Automation, the first U.S. computer magazine. In 1964, he founded the International Data Corporation, which has become the leading source of reliable statistics on information technology. At IDG, Patrick has supervised the launch of more than 300 technology related magazines, 450 websites and 1,200 conferences and expositions in over 90 countries worldwide. In 2004 Patrick was named one of the top “Entrepreneurs We Love” by Inc. magazine. His other awards include the Henry Johnson Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award from the Magazine Publishers of America, and the Top Innovator in Business Publishing Award from BtoB Media Business magazine. Patrick, a graduate and trustee of MIT, traces his Irish heritage to Counties Cavan and Mayo. He is married with four children.

Judy McGrath was promoted to chairman and CEO, MTV Networks in July 2004. Previously, she was MTV Networks Group President and was responsible for MTV, MTV2, VH1, CMT, Comedy Central and LOGO, the first gay-themed cable channel. Judy’s role includes overall responsibility for these networks and Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Spike TV, TV Land, Noggin, The N, MTV Digital Suite, MTV Networks International and all of the company’s related consumer products and digital businesses. Since Judy joined MTV Network’s predecessor company in 1981, she has helped bring MTV from a maverick cable channel to a maverick global brand. The brainpower behind much of MTV’s most successful programming ventures, including The Osbournes, The Real World and Total Request Live, Judy was also integral in launching shows like the Emmy-winning Daily Show on Comedy Central with Jon Stewart. Raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, she is married and lives with her husband and daughter in New York City.

Gene McHugh

Thomas J. McInerney


ING Insurance America

Gene McHugh, VP/General Manager of WAGA/Fox5 Atlanta, one of the nation’s highestrated Fox Affiliates, has been with Fox since November 1993. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Gene worked various advertising and broadcasting positions in Missouri, New York City, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta before joining Fox. Actively involved in community projects, Gene serves on the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House’s Executive Committee Board of Directors, is a board member of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, USMC-R Toys For Tots Atlanta Campaign, and the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Foundation. A second-generation Irish-American, Gene’s roots are in County Roscommon. His grandfather Michael McHugh arrived at Ellis Island on April, 15, 1897. Gene says it was “Irish luck” that he married Deborah Ann Vivod. The couple has three grown children, Erin, Megan and Michael, and two grandchildren, Tommy Wood and Phoebe Eddings.


Thomas J. McInerney is the Chairman & CEO of ING Insurance America and also serves on the ING Group Executive Board. He is responsible for ING’s wealth management, retirement services, insurance and investment businesses in the Americas, and also oversees the global coordination of ING Investment Management. Tom was president of Aetna Financial Services and joined ING after they acquired Aetna Financial in December 2000. After graduating with honors from Colgate University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, Tom received a Master of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in Finance and Investments, from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in 1982. A fourth-generation Irish-American with roots in Counties Clare and Cork, Tom’s great-grandparents, both maternal and paternal, came to the United States in the 1840’s and 50’s working on the railroads in New Haven, the brass mills in Waterbury, and the cable mills in upstate New York.



6:54 PM

Page 68

Business100 Andrew J. McKenna

Thomas J. Moran

Alan Mulally

Anne M. Mulcahy


Mutual of America

Ford Motor Company

Xerox Corp

Besides his role as chairman of Schwarz Supply Source, an international distributor of paper packaging and allied products, Andrew McKenna is also nonexecutive chairman of McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, he serves as a director of the AON Corporation and the Chicago Bears Football Team and Skyline Corporation. Over the years, Andrew has served on many civic boards. He is a director of The American Ireland Fund, Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago, the Big Shoulders Fund of the Archdiocese of Chicago, The Ireland Economic Advisory Board and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. A graduate of Notre Dame with a B.S in business administration, Andrew was awarded the University’s Laetare Medal in 2000. He served as the chairman of the board of trustees from 19922000 and continues to serve today. He is also a graduate of the DePaul University Law School where he received a Doctor of Jurisprudence. A second-generation IrishAmerican, Andrew has roots in Mayo and Monaghan. He and his wife Joan have seven grown children and 23 grandchildren.

As Chairman, President and CEO of Mutual of America – one of the nation’s preeminent life insurance companies – Tom Moran is a familiar face in the business world. He began his career with Mutual in 1975 as a pension underwriter and in 1994 he became the first CEO to emerge from within its ranks. He serves on many other boards including Aer Lingus, the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, the Smurfit Graduate School of Business at UCD, and the American Cancer Society Foundation. He is a member of the Taoiseach’s Economic Advisory Board, and serves as chairman of Concern Worldwide (U.S.). Tom has been awarded the Calvary Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Terence Cardinal Cooke Award, and has received an honorary doctorate in law from the National University of Ireland and an honorary doctorate of science from Queen’s University. A native New Yorker, he earned a B.S. from Manhattan College. He traces his Irish ancestors to County Fermanagh and County Tipperary, and lives in New York City with his wife Joan.

President and CEO Alan Mulally joined Ford Motor Company in September, 2006. Prior to joining Ford he served as executive vice president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes where he was named president in 1998. Recognized throughout his career for his industry leadership, Alan was named “Person of the Year” in 2006 by Aviation Week magazine and one of the “Best Leaders of 2005” by Business Week. Alan holds both a B.A. and an M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Kansas. He has also earned a master’s in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a 1982 Alfred P. Sloan fellow. He has sat on the advisory boards of NASA, the University of Washington, the University of Kansas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. With a surname derived from the native Gaelic O’Maolalaidh, Mulally’s Irish roots can be traced to the western counties, Galway in particular.

Anne M. Mulcahy is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation. It is the culmination of a 30-year career with the corporation, providing highvalue technologies, products and solutions, document systems and services to business managers worldwide. Anne joined the company in 1976 as a sales representative and held various sales and senior management positions. Named Vice President for Human Resources in 1992, Senior Vice President in 1998 and Executive Vice President in 1999, in 2000 she was elected President and COO. Finally in August 2001 she was named CEO of Xerox and chairman on Jan 1, 2002. In addition to the Xerox board, Anne is a member of the boards of directors of Catalyst, Citigroup Inc., Fuji Xerox Company, Ltd.. and Target Corporation, and is a member of The Business Council. Born in Rockville Centre, New York, Anne holds a B.A. in English/Journalism from Marymount Manhattan College. A second-generation IrishAmerican, she traces her roots to counties Cavan and Mayo.

William J. Mullaney

Tom Murphy


New York Mets

As president of MetLife’s Institutional Business segment, William Mullaney oversees the section that provides a broad range of benefit solutions to group customers in the United States. This group includes 88 of the top one hundred Fortune 500 companies. In his previous role as president of MetLife Auto & Home, William oversaw Auto & Home’s operations including development and distribution of all of MetLife’s property and casualty products. Under his leadership the company delivered record operating earnings and distinguished itself for quick and compassionate response to customers affected by some of the worst hurricanes in the history of the United States. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, William received an M.B.A. from Pace University. He was also honored with a chartered life underwriter designation from The American College. A proud first-generation Irish-American whose family immigrated from Counties Roscommon and Cork, William is married with two children.


Tom Murphy is the senior vice president of Corporate Sales and Services for the New York Mets. He cites his current role with the Mets as the biggest professional accomplishment of his career aside from selling the General Motors sponsorship at the NFL. His current position gives him the ability to sell and deliver return on investment for Mets sponsors. Prior to joining the Mets, Tom was the vice president of sponsorship and entertainment for MasterCard. Murphy’s various positions have given him a view of the sports industry from several perspectives: first, of an agency with Advantage International (now Octagon), next from a league viewpoint with the NFL, a corporate stance with MasterCard and now with the New York Mets, a team view. A Connecticut native, Tom received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Connecticut. A fourth-generation IrishAmerican, he lives in New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife Sherri and their three children, Quentin, Aiden and Cameron.



6:54 PM

Page 70

Business100 John Nallen

Martin Naughton

Mike O’Driscoll

Kevin O’Leary

News Corporation

Glen Dimplex Group

Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover

QUMA Services Group

As Executive VP of Finance, John Nallen is in charge of capital market and merger and acquisition operations, along with other company-wide operation initiatives. John joined News Corporation in 1995. He has played important roles in recent transactions, including the purchase of interest in DirecTV, the sale of the LA Dodgers, and the IPOs of Fox Entertainment Group and News Digital Systems. News Corporation is one of the largest global media corporations with revenues of $21 billion. A first-generation IrishAmerican – his parents emigrated from Belmulett in County Mayo – John travels to Ireland three to four times a year for business and enjoyment. He is on the board of the IrelandU.S. Council for Commerce and Industry, the Irish-American Historical Society, and Carne Golf Club in Mayo. John is also a member of the Wild Geese. He graduated from Iona College with a BBA, and he recently received the Brother Loftus Award for achievements in business. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Patricia and their two children Kelly and Daniel.

Martin Naughton is the founder and chairman of the Glen Dimplex Group. He started the company in 1973 as Glen Electric, with a mere ten employees, later acquiring Dimplex, the leading brand in the U.K. heating market. An engineer by profession, Martin has overseen his company’s growth to become the world’s largest manufacturer in domestic heating appliances. A longtime supporter of the University of Notre Dame, in both a civic and philanthropic manner, Martin was honored by the university in 2006 by renaming their Institute for Irish Studies as the KeoughNaughton Institute for Irish Studies (Donald Keough, another of our Business 100, was the original benefactor of the Institute). Martin has served on Notre Dame’s Board of Directors since 1991. He cofounded the university’s Ireland Council, and received an honorary Doctor of Science in 1998. He is chairman of InterTradeIreland, a cross-border and business trade group, and has been extremely active in promoting peace in Ireland through economic ties. Naughton resides in County Meath.

Mike O'Driscoll is Managing Director of Jaguar Cars and is also President of Jaguar and Rover North America. As managing director he is responsible for the global management of the Jaguar brand, while simultaneously responsible for the marketing, sales and service of the company's automobiles in the United States, Canada, and Mexico as President of Jaguar Land Rover North America. Mike joined Jaguar Rover Triumph in 1975 as a business student, and held various positions in Finance, Product Development and Marketing. In 1987 he became Marketing and Product Planning Manager for Jaguar Cars North America, a position he held until 1992 when he was appointed General Sales Manager for the United States. Mike took a short break from Jaguar in 1995, when he went to work for Ford and Lincoln Mercury, where he held various senior management positions. He rejoined Jaguar in 1999 as president of Jaguar North America. Born in Coventry, England, to an Irish father from County Cork, Mike has an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Kevin O’Leary is the Chief Executive Officer of QUMAS, one of Ireland’s leading software companies. He has been with the company since its inception and was responsible for the original design of the company’s first product release. Kevin has worked within regulated industries since 1987. Born in County Cork, Ireland, Kevin studied Computer Science at Cork IT and later went on to study Industrial Management through the Federation of European Production & Industrial Management Societies. As part of the late 90’s software boom, QUMAS appeared as an early frontrunner. In 2006, QUMAS was named Company of the Year by the Irish Software Association. Then in 2007 QUMAS was named as a visionary in the GRC Magic Quadrant by Gartner. Kevin splits his time between Ireland and the United States, and says, “As an Irishman that has lived and worked on both sides of the Atlantic, I continue to take pride in the incredible understanding and bond that exists between Ireland and the United States.”

James E. Quinn

James E. Rohr

Tiffany & Co

The PNC Financial Services Group

James Quinn has been president of Tiffany & Co. since February 2003. He began his career with the internationally renowned jeweler and specialty retailer in 1986 when he was appointed vice president. In his current role he is responsible for Tiffany’s retail, corporate and direct marketing sales network. For the year ended in January 31, 2006, Tiffany reported an 11 percent rise in revenues to over $2.5 billion. Jim serves on the board of BNY Hamilton Funds, Mutual of America Capital Management, Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District and is a trustee of the Museum of the City of New York. He was appointed chairman of the Smurfit School of Business at University College Dublin in September 2003 and also serves as chairman of its North American Advisory Board. A graduate of Hofstra University, Jim received his M.B.A. from Pace University. Jim, who is married to Diane, with two children, traces his Irish roots to Counties Offaly and Westmeath on his father’s side, and County Kerry on his mother’s side. All four of his grandparents were from Ireland.


As Chairman and CEO of The PNC Financial Services Group, James Rohr is head of one of the largest financial companies in the United States. James has been with the company for over 35 years. He was elected vice chairman in 1989, chief executive officer in 2000, and chairman in 2001. James is also chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community. He is a director of Carnegie Mellon University and a member of Notre Dame’s College of Business Advisory Council. In October 2006, he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship and in May 2007, he received the Sesame Workshop Corporate Honoree Award. Married with three children, James is a fourth-generation IrishAmerican who earned his BA in 1970 from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA from Ohio State University in 1972. Of his Irish heritage, he says “A famous work ethic and devotion to having fun have always distinguished the Irish. I am pleased and proud that this great combination is such an integral part of my genes.”



6:54 PM

Page 72

Business100 Dan Rooney

Arthur F. Ryan,

Kevin P. Ryan

Patrick G. Ryan

Pittsburgh Steelers

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Alley Corp.

Aon Corporation

Dan Rooney has been involved with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1955. After graduating from Duquesne University with a degree in accounting Dan worked under his father Art, succeeding him as president of the franchise in 1975. Under Dan’s watch the franchise has enjoyed unprecedented success and his management style has become a model for efficiency in the league. In 2003 Dan handed over the reins to his son Art Rooney II and now serves as Chairman. He was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2000. In 1976, he and Tony O’Reilly co-founded the Ireland Fund, which merged with the American Irish Foundation to form the present-day American Ireland Fund. Today, Dan serves as ViceChairman of the Fund, which has raised over $300 million to support peace, culture and education in Ireland. In 1987, Dan founded an annual Prize for Irish Literature, which helps promising Irish writers under the age of 40. Dan is married to Peggy and has nine children. He traces his roots to Newry, County Down.

Arthur Ryan is chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial Inc., one of the largest diversified financial institutions in the world. When Arthur took his position in 1994, he became the first chairman and CEO in the company’s history to be elected from outside the company. Previously, he was president and COO of Chase Manhattan Bank, where he had a 22-year career. Arthur was named chairman of the American Council of Life Insurers in October 2003 and is co-chair of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of trustees of New York Presbyterian Hospital, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is co-chair of the board of Achieve, Inc., an organization created by U.S. governors and business leaders to drive high academic standards for public schools in the United States. Arthur, a second-generation Irish-American with roots in Tipperary, is married with four children. He graduated from Providence College, where he served as a trustee, with a degree in mathematics.

Kevin Ryan is CEO of Alley Corp., a New York-based startup advisory network that includes Music Nation, Panther Express, Silicon Alley Insider and ShopWiki. Previously, from 1996-2005, first as President and later CEO, Kevin helped build DoubleClick from a startup of 20 people to a very profitable global leader with more than 1500 employees. During his tenure, Silicon Alley Reporter named DoubleClick “New York Company of the Year” and he was named one of the “50 Most Influential Business People” by Crain's New York Business. Kevin was also an early investor and board member of HotJobs, which was sold to Yahoo! in 2002. He is on the board of Human Rights Watch and is a member of the Insead International Council, Yale International Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Born in Milwaukee, Kevin, a fourth-generation IrishAmerican, traces his Irish roots to Counties Clare and Cork. He received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from INSEAD, and is married with three children.

As Aon’s chairman and CEO, Patrick Ryan has watched his company become the world’s largest reinsurance broker. Aon has 55,000 employees in more than 125 countries. The company’s name: Aon, is Gaelic for one and it isn’t its only Irish link. Patrick has roots in Tipperary, and Aon has established reinsurance and risk management operations in Dublin’s International Financial Services Center, and has made substantial acquisitions of Irish-based companies operating in its sector. Named one of America’s top ten corporate directors in 1998, Patrick counts among his many honors being named Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s 2001 Man of the Year, and receiving the Order of Lincoln Medallion, Chicago’s highest award. In 2003, he was honored by the Ireland-U.S. Council at a dinner in New York. Patrick is chairman of the board of trustees of Northwestern University, his alma mater. He and his wife, Shirley, with whom he founded the Pathways Center for Children and the Pathways Awareness Foundation, have three sons.

Sheila A. Ryan

Thomas Shannon

Cambridge Associates

T-Bird Restaurant Group, Inc.

Sheila Ryan is a Senior Consultant at Cambridge Associates where she advises Endowments, Foundations and Family Offices on their venture capital, private equity and hard asset investment programs. Prior to her position, Sheila was a director at Intel Capital where she made venture capital and private equity investments that had a strategic interest for Intel Corporation. During her tenure at Intel Capital, Sheila completed over 50 transactions including their largest deal, a $600 million investment in Clearwire. Sheila earned her BA in Economics from Stanford University, graduating with distinction. While there, she played varsity soccer and was a member of the sailing team. She is a first-generation IrishAmerican and spent many summers growing up with her extended family in Ireland. Her mother, Kathleen, is from Longford and her father, Patrick, is from Dublin. She resides in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband Tony Lyons and her two children. She is active with local charities and is an Overseer at the Boston Children’s Museum.


In 1992, Tom Shannon formed the T-Bird Restaurant Group to develop the Outback Steakhouse concept in California. Today, the group has 62 Outback Steakhouse restaurants and continues to grow. The California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation named Shannon “Restaurateur of the Year 2002.” Tom, whose Irish grandparents settled in the Boston Harbor area in 1899, was born in Somerville, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Florida on a football/baseball scholarship and graduated with a double degree in Marketing and Management. He was named Most Valuable Player in the 1962 Gator Bowl, and inducted into the University of Florida’s Hall of Fame. Tom serves on the Outback Steakhouse Foundation executive committee, and as the Outback Pro-Am Tournament Chairman he helps raise over $600,000 annually for children’s charities in the Tampa area. In 2004, Tom received the “Spirit of Life Award” presented by the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute, and in 2006, he joined the roster of distinguished Americans when he was presented with the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor award.



6:57 PM

Page 76

Business100 Margaret M. Smyth

Brian W. Stack

Ted M. Sullivan

Dennis Swanson

United Technologies

CIE Tours International


Fox Television Stations

Margaret Smyth recently joined United Technologies as its Vice President and Controller. In this role, she is responsible for many of the global finance functions for this $50 billion plus, Dow 30 diversified company that provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries. Prior to her current position Margaret was Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of 3M and a senior partner at two leading global accounting and professional services firms in New York City. Margaret earned her undergraduate degree in economics from Fordham University, and her master’s degree in accounting from NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business, graduating summa cum laude from both. She currently serves as a Director for the following not-for-profit organizations: Concern Worldwide (U.S.) , Fordham University, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. A second-generation IrishAmerican and an Irish citizen, Margaret is married and has two sons.

Brian W. Stack was recently named Managing Director of CIE Tours International and is responsible for the worldwide operations of CIE Tours. In the 17 years he spent as head of CIE Tours International in North America, the company has grown to be Ireland’s leading tour operator. Prior to that, Brian worked as vice president of Marketing at the Ocean Reef Club and in 1989 he founded Stack International, a New Yorkbased specialist marketing service for the hotel and travel industry before joining CIE in 1990. His awards include “Man of the Year” from the Incentive Travel Industry, and “International Executive of the Year” by the World Congress on Marketing and Incentive Travel. He has also served a two-year term as President of SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Executives). A native of Dublin, Brian was the first Irishman as well as the first European to join the society. He is vice president and board member of the Ireland-US Council, and a director of the Irish American Cultural Institute. Brian is married to Ann-Marie and has two grown children.

Ted Maurice Sullivan is a managing director at KPMG LLP, and serves some of the firm’s largest advisory clients in the Southeast. KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International. Since joining KPMG in 1999, Ted has worked in the advisory practice, primarily servicing telecommunications and media clients. He currently leads a team of senior client service executives in the Southeast region. Ted traces his mother’s ancestors to County Tyrone, and his father’s to County Cork. He is a founding member of the Metro Atlanta Police Emerald Society and has served as the Georgia president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He has served twice as parade chairman of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade and was the parade’s honorary Grand Marshal in 2005. Ted visits Ireland every year to reconnect with friends in Navan, Cork, and the North of Ireland, where he has participated in various political forums. He holds a B.S. in Finance from Troy University. He and his wife Sara reside in Atlanta.

Dennis Swanson became President of Station Operations, Fox Television Stations Group in 2005. In this role he helps manage the 35 Fox owned-andoperated stations across the country. Before working for Fox, he was the executive vice president and COO of the Viacom Television Stations Group. In his previous capacity, as head of WNBC Channel 4 in New York, Dennis was named “Broadcaster of the Year” by Broadcasting & Cable, an industry trade publication. Swanson has received recognition throughout his career, including the George Foster Peabody Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was recently re-elected chairman of the board of trustees of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Ireland-US Council. Born in California, Dennis was raised in Springfield, Illinois, and earned an MS from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He traces his Irish ancestry to County Mayo. His great-grandfather emigrated during the famine in 1848. Dennis is married with three children and nine grandchildren.

Anne Sweeney ABC Cable Networks Group Being named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” by Forbes, comes naturally to Anne Sweeney. As co-chairman of Media Networks, The Walt Disney Co., and president of the DisneyABC Television Group, Sweeney has risen through the ranks of television with one success after another. She has presided over a quadrupling of Disney Channel subscribers, and the launch of the successful SOAPnet and Toon Disney channels. In 2004 she was awarded the Cable Television Public Affairs Association’s President’s Award. Anne, who earned a B.A. from the College of New Rochelle and a Ed.M. from Harvard, traces her Irish roots to counties Meath, Kerry and Mayo. Active in both industry and community organizations, she was elected a director of the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in March 2001. This past October Anne was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame, and also received the Committee of 200’s Luminary Award. Anne and husband, Philip Millier, live with their two children in Los Angeles. 76 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

Dawn Sweeney National Restaurant Association As president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association, Dawn Sweeney leads the chief business association for the restaurant industry, which represents nearly a million restaurant and foodservice outlets and approximately 12.8 million employees. Prior to that, Dawn was president and CEO of AARP Services and was responsible for generating more than $700 million in annual revenue to support AARP’s mission. She recently received a Bravo Women Business Achievement Award from Washington SmartCEO magazine and also featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal as a “Woman Worth Watching in 2006.” Also in 2006, Washington Business Journal named her one of its “Women Who Mean Business.” Dawn, a second-generation Irish-American, has roots on her father’s side in Cork and Belfast and on her mother’s in Clifden, County Galway. A member of the Save the Children board, Dawn, who has B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, recalls that “my grandfather would tell me about his youth in Ireland, and I remember bursting with pride that I was Irish. To this day, my favorite holiday is St. Patrick’s Day.” A native of Maine, she is married with one child.



6:57 PM

Page 78

Business100 Thomas J. Tierney

Dan Touhey

Susan Ungaro

James V. Walsh

Bridgespan Group

Spalding Sports

James Beard Foundation

Meijer, Inc.

Thomas J. Tierney is a recognized leader in serving the nonprofit sector. In 1999 he co-founded the Bridgespan Group, an independent, nonprofit organization designed to provide general management consulting services to foundations and other nonprofits. He previously was CEO of Bain & Company until stepping down in 2000. A native of California, he received his B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Davis, and later attended Harvard Business School where he received his M.B.A. In 2002 he co-authored Aligning the Stars, which was published by Harvard Business School Press. Thomas is a director of e-Bay as well as many nonprofit organizations including the United Way Massachusetts Bay, and the California Nature Conservancy. He is also a supporter of The American Ireland Fund. Thomas, a fifth-generation Irish-American, credits his philanthropy to his Irish heritage, which he says “influences my outlook on life, my commitment to people and place, my family orientation and even the twinkle in my eye.” He is married with two children.

Dan Touhey is Vice President of Marketing at Spalding Sports. In 2001, Dan was awarded the patent for, and launched the first and only basketball with a builtin micro-pump. The Spalding Infusion became the most successful basketball ever, and was the first in a series of groundbreaking innovations in sports equipment for Dan. In 2004, Dan was presented with the Russell Corporation’s Chairman’s Award, and earlier this year, he was named one of the Forty under 40 by Business West. A second-generation IrishAmerican, Dan has stayed close to his roots. During his junior year at Boston College he studied abroad at University College, Cork, earning a minor in Irish Studies. He also holds an MBA from NYU. Dan credits his success to the memory of his Irish grandparents. “From the sweat of their blue-collar beginnings in this country my family and I have achieved tremendous educational and professional opportunities. I have to believe my grandparents would be thrilled with how it all turned out.” Dan is married with two children.

As President of the James Beard Foundation, an organization dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America's culinary heritage, Susan Kelleher Ungaro hopes to expand the foundation’s culinary scholarship program, and increase its membership base and promotion on a national level. Before joining the Beard Foundation in April, 2006, she was editor-in-chief of the muchloved Family Circle magazine. A former Irish America Keynote Speaker, Susan’s many honors include the William Paterson University Legacy Award, and the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund Muriel Fox communication award. She was also honored by President Reagan’s Office for Consumer Affairs for her “outstanding contribution to increasing consumer awareness in America.” Susan is a first-generation Irish-American. Both her father, Thomas Gerard Kelleher, and her mother, the former Mary Christina Brosnan, were born in Castlegregory, County Kerry. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children, and has visited Ireland four times.

James V. Walsh is senior vice president and chief financial officer of Meijer, Inc., which employs over 60,000 people and is credited as introducing the supercenter retail concept in 1962. Meijer is one of the top ten privately held companies in the U.S. Walsh has been with the company for 15 years and first held the position of VP Controller. Prior to that he worked at the Warehouse Club Inc., where he was president of the $200 million publicly held membership club. James is active in the community. He is a church and scout leader, coaches youth sports, is a United Way leader, and a member of the Catholic Secondary Schools Development Committee. He received his BBA from Loyola University, and an MBA in Finance from Northwestern University, where he sits on the University Business Advisory Council. He became a CPA in Illinois in 1976. James is a second-generation Irish-American whose father and mother’s families (the Burkes) both came from Mayo. He is married for 31 years and has three children and four grandchildren.

Joseph Walsh

Matthew M. Walsh

Curtis Circulation Company

The Walsh Group

Look at any magazine rack in the United States or Canada, and you’ll find the fruits of Joseph Walsh’s labor. Walsh is chairman and chief executive officer of the Curtis Circulation Company, the leading national distributor of magazines, with over $1.7 billion in retail sales and 36 percent marketplace share. In all, Curtis distributes some 900 publications throughout the world, including Newsweek, Woman’s Day, Elle, and The Economist. In addition to his duties at Curtis, Joe also provides support to a homeless shelter in East Harlem, New York, which he and several fellow businessmen helped to open. He is also heavily involved with a number of Irish organizations, such as Project Children, which to date has brought over to the United States 20,000 Catholic and Protestant children for a four week vacation, the Irish American Partnership and the Irish American Unity Conference. As a first-generation Irish-American whose parents both hail from Cork, Joe’s Irish heritage is a very important to him. He, his wife, and their five children are all Irish citizens.


As Chief Executive Officer of The Walsh Group, Matthew Walsh represents the third generation of family ownership and management of the successful building and development company. The Walsh Group is recognized as one of the nation’s top builders, managing an annual volume of work valued in excess of $2.3 billion. Matthew attended the University of Notre Dame and also holds a degree of Juris Doctor from Loyola University School of Law. He currently sits on the Advisory Board at the University of Notre Dame. In 1990, as a way to encourage inner-city minority and female students to study and intern in the construction and engineering fields, Matthew, along with his brother, Daniel, created the Walsh Foundation. A second-generation Irish-American, Matthew was born and raised in Chicago, where he was honored to serve as the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. His family hails from County Armagh as well as County Mayo. Matthew is married with three children.

Ireland’s Western Region

A Natural Place for Business


he Western Development Commission’s (WDC) LookWest campaign has prompted thousands of people to express their interest in moving to the West of Ireland. LookWest highlights the benefits of living, working and doing business in the Western Region. So what are the big attractions to relocating or setting up a business there?

Gillian Buckley, Chief Executive of the WDC explains…

Why West is Best What does Ireland’s Western Region offer as a premium business location for you? Why have other business managers chosen to establish here and why have they stayed? The answer is simple – the West works for business. Our region genuinely has it all when it comes to helping your business succeed – whether it’s a start up or an expanding enterprise. We have: l An available, flexible workforce l High staff retention rates l Excellent colleges producing graduates and postgraduates across all disciplines l Significant research and innovation carried out by colleges and businesses l World class clusters in the medical devices, ICT and audio-visual sectors l Valuable business networks l Attractive financial incentives and supports



A rich quality of life, clean environment and unique heritage that is valued and safeguarded Confidence and ambition where excellence, innovation and creativity are rewarded and an entrepreneurial spirit flourishes

We’re inviting you to LookWest for your business location. We’ve drawn together useful facts and information showing that Ireland’s Western Region is the optimum choice. You’ll find additional information, including case studies of businesses already successfully sited here on

Natural Talent As a business manager you need highly skilled employees – the West offers a young, vibrant and highly educated workforce. Our population is steadily increasing – by 8% over the past four years. In fact Galway is the fastest growing city in Ireland. In total, there are 1.5 million people living within commuting distance of the West.

With 120 employees from over 15 countries working at our Information Technology solution centre, Ireland’s Western Region was an excellent choice for Lionbridge Technologies. In our decade of doing business here, we have seen a significant transformation of the region’s infrastructure. The company has grown both locally and internationally, and our Ballina centre now manages a team of 2,000 people in 65 countries globally, delivering services to over 3,000 customers. This growth attracts the best and brightest candidates for our Finance, HR, Operations, Linguistics, Sales, Management and Information Technology teams. We look forward to the future with confidence and to further decades of growth in the West.” Paul McBride, Vice President and General Manager, Lionbridge Technologies International, Ballina, Co Mayo

Skilled Workforce Not only do we have the people but we also have the skills. In the West we place great value on education and a higher proportion of our students go on to third level education than the national average. For example 72% of students who finish high school in Sligo continue their studies. After graduation students are keen to work here, both those who studied in the West and who studied elsewhere. Every year more and more people are getting their first job in the region and, as new businesses locate here, those figures will just keep climbing. As a high-tech software development company located in the West we can attract highly skilled people and keep them. Exceptional quality of life plays a big part in that.” Brian Kelly, Recruitment Manager, Pramerica Systems Ireland, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

We’re attracting more than just fresh graduates, every month a variety of people move West, from larger urban areas and from abroad, bringing their skills and expertise with them. An ever increasing share of our population – and workforce – have a third level degree or higher, its now 37% more than four years ago. The West boasts over 81,000 degree-holders. Education doesn’t stop after primary degree level either; there is a good appetite here for life long learning with people keen to upskill.

Knowledge Centres We have an excellent network of third level institutions across the West and surrounding counties with Universities, Institutes of Technology and specialist Colleges. Together they offer a

broad range of courses in business, science and engineering, software, media, hospitality, the humanities, art and others. Research specialisations cover a wide spectrum including biomedical engineering, laser applications, digital media/computer gaming, environmental sustainability, electronics production, renewable energy, information systems, design, tourism and manufacturing engineering. Businesses have regular opportunities to link with academic researchers in addressing business challenges. For example research institutes such as the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Digital Enterprises Research Institute foster close collaboration between higher education and business. The third level sector is increasingly committed to working with companies in our region to strengthen the enterprise base. Most third level institutions have business incubation centres, business liaison offices and/or technology transfer offices. These offer services for both start-ups and established companies including incubation space, training, facilitation of research collaboration and intellectual property advice.

Building on Business Success Here in Ireland’s Western Region business is thriving, from micro-enterprises to SMEs to large corporations. Companies represent all major sectors and particular business sector strengths include:

Life Sciences The West of Ireland is a leading global hub for the Medical Devices and Technologies (MDT) industry. Over 7,000 people are employed in the sector and our region is regarded as an international centre of excellence. A 2006 report by Forfás on regional skills stated that one of the main reasons for the cluster was ‘a large pool of managerial, professional and technical people who regard the area as attractive’. This cluster has attracted leading life sciences companies including Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Baxter Healthcare, Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Tyco Healthcare and Abbot Laboratories as well as a growing number of Irish owned enterprises

The pool of talented and suitably experienced people in the region is the critical success factor for the audio-visual industry and innovative training has been central to our growth.” Máire Ní Thuathail, CEO, Eo Teilifís, An Spidéal, Co Galway

supplying into the multinationals, while also expanding their own global presence. Close links between the life sciences industry and third level institutions have developed and centres of excellence in biomedical engineering, polymer technology and laser applications all contribute to the strength of the cluster.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) The region is closely linked into the global ICT market with the Galway and Shannon areas strongest in terms of ICT hardware production. They host some of the largest sectoral multinationals including Hewlett Packard, IBM and Cisco Systems. A welcome spin off is the large number of smaller Irish owned companies, many of which have been established by former employees of multinationals in the area.

Creative Sector The creative sector is deeply rooted in our culture here in the West, the light and landscape has inspired artists, writers and musicians for generations. The inspiration doesn’t stop there, creative businesses such as graphic design, architecture, media production, computer gaming, jewellery and crafts are spread right across the region. The West offers a lifestyle creative people crave, combined with the advantages their businesses need – the perfect balance of commerce and creativity. This is typified by the cluster of audio-visual companies that has emerged in Connemara.

Public Sector The public sector employs 80,000 people in the West and the decentralisation of government offices assures an increase in coming years. Their presence presents a potential sales opportunity for businesses. Additionally, as one factor in attracting skilled staff is the availability of employment options for their partners, the public sector plays an important role in helping you to attract staff. The region’s software industry is made up of some leading global software companies such as SAP, Oracle, RSA Security, Enterasys Networks and Pramerica. Alongside these are a significant number of relatively small Irish companies involved in providing specialised software solutions or standardised software products. Leading edge examples include Cora Systems (project management software), Nooked (internet Web 2.0 based business) and Instinct Technology (middleware for the gaming industry). Small software companies are scattered across all seven counties of the West, with their locations often determined by the owner’s lifestyle choice.

Engineering Engineering has had a long tradition in the Western Region, with the northwest being the traditional centre of Ireland’s tool-making sector. Activities range from aerospace technology to materials handling and automotive components. The engineering sector has made substantial moves towards higher value added products and services in recent years.

International Services The West has a strong presence of international services companies both large and small. They are involved in activities such as supply chain management, eLearning, shared services centres, content management, consulting and call centres. For example Bank of America/MBNA has a large customer contact centre in Leitrim while Fidelity Investments and GE Capital also have bases in the West.

Many smaller international services companies are also based here and operate efficiently at a global level through broadband telecommunications.

Food and Tourism The food sector has been the backbone of the rural West for generations. It is one of the region’s top employers and is particularly important in Donegal and Roscommon. Food companies range from small artisan producers to large, diversified Co-ops. We also have a vibrant organic food production sector. Increasingly, organic and artisan food producers are selling their products directly to the customer at the many farmers markets across our region.

Tourism The West has a huge amount to offer tourists, not least our stunning natural landscape. Areas of particular strength such as water-based activity holidays, and a genuine rural tourism experience combining heritage and culture with a green environment and quality food have shown growth in recent years. Significant support is available for encouraging more tourists to visit Ireland’s regions, offering great potential for new tourism enterprises in the West.

Helping Your Business You’re not on your own when setting up business in the West. Here in the West there are excellent supports for all sizes of businesses including cost effective workspace, grant aid and training support. Advice and grant aid assistance is available from: IDA Ireland which works to secure overseas investment in manufacuring and internationally traded services l Enterprise Ireland which works with Irish companies at home and abroad l Údarás na Gaeltachta which supports companies based in Irish speaking communities. l County & City Enterprise Boards which work with micro enterprises employing less that 10 people. l

Station serves Galway, Ballina, Castlebar, Westport, Limerick and Ennis. Within the region, services from Galway to Ennis are expected to commence in 2008 providing for onward connections to Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

Ireland’s low Corporation Tax rate (12.5%) is also very attractive and there are extra incentives for businesses in the West. Six of the seven Western Region counties are in the Border, Midlands and West (BMW) area which makes them eligible for higher levels of state assistance. Those counties are Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon and Galway. The higher levels of assistance apply to new businesses and relocations or expansions.

WDC Investment Fund The WDC Investment Fund provides risk capital investments to Irish-owned start-up or expanding SMEs and community enterprises. Investments are made on a commercial basis by way of ordinary share capital, preference share capital, and loans, or a combination of these mechanisms.

Telecommunications news is good too. Broadband is being rolled out across the West with a growing choice of service providers. All main towns are connected and special schemes and technological innovation are linking smaller centres and rural areas. Our staff talk about the benefits of living in the West – less commuting time, cheaper living costs, more affordable house prices, lots of family time, less stress and smaller class sizes in schools.” Martina Gillan, CEO, The Cat & the Moon, Goldsmiths, Irish Craft Boutique and Art Gallery, Sligo

The electricity infrastructure in the region is constantly being upgraded and the new GalwayMayo natural gas pipeline will provide gas connections for towns across those two counties.

Shorter and easier commutes to work leave everyone with more free time and plenty to do with it. An emerging artisan food network is having a wonderful impact on restaurants and dining options as well as supplying a growing number of Country and Farmers’ Markets. The Arts scene is flourishing in the West with festivals of music and song, culture, literature, visual arts, film and drama, including Galway, Boyle and Earagail Arts Festivals. The world famous Summer Schools cover everything from world politics and archaeology to traditional music and painting – from McGill to Merriman to Yeats to Willie Clancy and everything in between. Music and the West are inseparable; formal and informal, song and dance, traditional and modern.

Within Easy Reach Compared to congested urban areas, commuting in most of the West is almost a pleasure with less time spent getting to work and home again. Air access is better than ever with new routes and extended timetables. Two international airports and three regional airports make flying a very convenient option. Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport Knock have scheduled flights to Dublin, the UK, Europe and the US while Galway, Donegal and Sligo have domestic, UK and European routes as does City of Derry Airport. The comprehensive rail network is continually being upgraded and extended in the West. Inter city/town passenger services run from Dublin’s Connolly Station to Sligo, while Dublin’s Heuston

Life Changing… We’ve Got Balance People live here because they genuinely want to. It’s a wonderful place to raise families, the cost of living is lower, property prices are reasonable and the quality of life is unsurpassed. A good standard of healthcare is readily available and parents can be sure of securing school or childcare places for children. There’s plenty to do for kids as well: sports clubs, playgrounds, blue flag beaches, sailing, water sports, activity centres, cinemas and arts centres.

The landscape itself reads like a book, a rich tapestry of information revealing our past and traditions. Interwoven is the Irish language itself, still in daily use in Gaeltacht areas including Galway, Ireland’s only bilingual city, and some of the islands. Tradition truly lives in the West, effortlessly mingling with contemporary life, a blend and a lifestyle others can only dream of.

Towns have ‘hearts’ where the proprietor’s name still presides over shop doors, but the convenience of supermarkets is near at hand. Sports or leisure facilities are second to none especially for the golfer, fisherman or water sports enthusiast who will be spoilt for choice with world class facilities. For further information: Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, Ireland Telephone: 00 353 94 986 1441 E-mail: Fax: 00 353 94 986 1443 Websites: and www.



4:57 PM

Page 84

{history} By Tom Deignan

Virtue, Liberty, and Independence From the coal mines to Hollywood, the Pennsylvania Irish have shaped America for over three centuries.


William Penn may have been a trailblazer when it came to American freedom and tolerance. But when in the eyes of his father, he was a scandalous disappointment. Penn’s father (also William) served under Cromwell in Munster and he took part in the 1646 siege of Bunratty Castle in Clare. Following his service in the Royal Navy during the English Civil War, Admiral Penn (whose namesake son was born in 1644) was rewarded with several estates in Ireland. In the long run, the Penns’ connection to Ireland led to family shame – and shaped an American state whose ties to Ireland have been strong for three centuries now.

PENNSYLVANIA’S IRISH ROOTS The younger William Penn spent a substantial portion of his youth in Ireland. At the age of 23, he was living in Cork when, having pondered his family’s role in the violent colonization of Ireland, he converted to the pacifist religion of the Quakers. His father was appalled, but Penn went on to spread the Quaker message from London to Dublin to the American colonies. Penn’s early missionary work took him to a settlement known as West Jersey in which he (along with 17 Irishmen) was a shareholder. Thus, Penn ensured that the future city of Philadelphia – and state of 84 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

Pennsylvania – had strong Irish roots. In the decades and centuries to follow, Pennsylvania would serve as the cradle of American freedom and the site of deadly anti-Irish riots. The state’s largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, would respectively produce beauty Grace Kelly and dancer Gene Kelly. More broadly, the Pennsylvania Irish have given America the acclaimed novelist John O’Hara, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and Villanova University. Meanwhile, the canals and mining camps in the state’s rural sections would attract tens of thousands of Irish immigrants – many of whom died in accidents. Or, in the infamous case of the Molly Maguires, at the gallows’ pole. To this day, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Irish immigrants play an important political role. With the 2008 presidential race looming, Pennsylvania is again considered one of the most important swing states – and its Irish and Catholic residents the ultimate swing voters.

A HOLY EXPERIMENT William Penn envisioned the future state of Pennsylvania as a “Holy Experiment.” Penn’s Quakers were persecuted in England (though not Ireland) so the colony’s founders made efforts to reach

out to minorities, including non-English immigrants, Catholics and even Native Americans. Though its founders were heavily Quaker, Irish immigration to Pennsylvania during the 1700s was largely Presbyterian and Scotch Irish. Roughly half of all Irish immigrants settled in and around Philadelphia, while the other half went further west to rural areas. When the revolutionary elite descended upon Philadelphia on the eve of America’s break from Britain, the Declaration of Independence may have been conceived and written by Franklin, Adams and Jefferson. But it was printed by a local Irish immigrant from Tyrone named John Dunlap. By the 1770s, Philadelphia’s Irish community was so strong it decided to form a benevolent group which still exists to this day. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick was founded in Philly on St. Patrick’s Day in 1771. It was made up of prominent merchants and military men, such as Commodore John Barry and Cork native Stephen Moylan, a close aide to Washington who later became the Friendly Sons’ first president. From the start, the Friendly Sons was made up of both Catholics and Protestants. This certainly fit William Penn’s original harmonious vision. After all, Pennsylvania was one of the few colonies that did not ban Catholic religious services.



4:57 PM

Page 85


JEFFERSON AND THE IRISH As America grew in the 1780s and 1790s, Philadelphia became the nation’s capital and center of political debate, where newspapers flourished. One prominent publisher and pundit was William Duane, who grew up in Dublin. In 1795, Duane became editor of the Philadelphia Aurora and, during the presidential election of 1800, helped swing the vote to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was running against John Adams and the Federalist Party, which advocated the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts, which targeted Irish (as well as French) immigrants. Jefferson later said his victory could not have been possible without Duane and the Aurora.

Photos clockwise starting at top left: Gene Kelly with Cyd Charisse in Singin’ in the Rain, 1952. Grace Kelly at The White House with Prince Rainier and the Kennedys. John O’Hara pictured in a biography of him by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Sean Connery as Jack Kehoe in the 1970 movie The Molly Maguires.

Away from the intellectual fervor of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Irish were forging more modest lives. Consider County Donegal immigrant James Crockett and his wife Hannah. They purchased over 100 acres of land in western Pennsylvania, after Crockett struggled for nearly 20 years as a Philadelphia stonemason. In an 1822 letter to his father in Ireland, Crockett wrote: “Twelve years ago, for $2.00 an acre,

I bought the land where I now live. It looked a wild, uncultivated place to make a living, nothing but trees and bushes to be seen. But I went to work with my axe and grubbing hoe, and soon felled as many trees as would build a house and clear enough ground for our first crop. It is killing on nature to work outdoors in this country, the summers are so hot and the winters so cold, but I now have 30 acres cleared, 20 cattle, and a good harDECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 85



4:57 PM

Page 86

{history} vest. We are happy and contented. Our house is small but our barn is full. Thank God I came to this country where we are free from landlords, rent and the fear of eviction.” So many Irish immigrants, such as Crockett, used the Great Wagon Road, which runs from Pennsylvania to Georgia, that it came to be called the “Irish Road.”

THE MOLLY MAGUIRES In some ways, Pennsylvania would experience its own civil war in the 1870s, when workers and their unions battled owners and industrialists. One of the most notorious labor episodes in U.S. history unfolded in Pennsylvania’s coal region, when Irish miners formed a union to counter harsh policies of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. A faction within the union, calling itself the Molly Maguires, often used intimidation

1896, 135 miners became trapped in a Pittston mine, just outside of Scranton. Two hundred acres of ground above the Twin Shaft mine caved in. The bodies of the mostly-Irish miners were never recovered.



As the Pennsylvania Irish assimilated, they left the canals and the mines, and THE CANALS dynamic artists emerged. Gene Kelly AND THE RIOTS (born 1912) and Grace Kelly (born 1929) hailed from Pennsylvania’s cities, while As was the case throughout the U.S., famed novelist John O’Hara was born more and more Irish Catholics came in Pottsville in 1905. to Pennsylvania during the first One character in O’Hara’s bestdecades of the 1800s. Once arrived, seller Butterfield 8 summed up the there was hard work to be done. The author’s sense of Irishness: Pennsylvania Canal from “I want to tell you something Philadelphia to Pittsburgh was comabout myself that will help to explain pleted in the 1830s. Naturally, with a lot of things about me. You might this hard work came demands for as well hear it now. First of all, I am better conditions. Three hundred a Mick. I wear Brooks [Brothers] Philadelphia coal heavers, in 1835, clothes and I don’t eat salad with a went on strike and called for a 10spoon and I probably could play hour day. five-goal polo in two years, but I am The Irish of Pennsylvania would a Mick. Still a Mick.” spend the first half of the 19th cenIrish political and church leaders tury digging canals, and the second left their mark on the state as well. half digging in the mines. The “father of the Pittsburgh Meanwhile, by the 1840s, Renaissance,” David Lawrence, was William Penn’s vision of tolerance mayor of the Steel City from 1946 to was about to face its toughest test. 1959. Before Lawrence’s election, In 1844, a number of Irish homes, Pittsburgh was a smog-choked city two Catholic churches and a regularly beset by floods. Lawrence Sisters of Mercy seminary were all not only cleaned up the city’s streets burned to the ground by nativist and air, he brought Pittsburgh’s Frank J. Farrell introduces General Master Workman Terence mobs. The Irish responded by viomoribund economy into the 20th V. Powderly at the tenth annual convention of the Knights lently disrupting a meeting held by of Labor in Richmond, Virginia, 1886. century. Lawrence, according to one the anti-immigrant American Party. survey of great American mayors, and even violence to pressure manageThe Philadelphia Riots illustrated the loved to tell “Irish and Catholic stories as ment. Twenty alleged Mollys were ultiwave of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic senif he were straight off the boat from mately hanged in 1877, based on what is timent spreading across the U.S. at the County Mayo.” now believed to be flimsy evidence. height of the Famine. At the same time, Philadelphia did not elect an Irish A more moderate figure in the the Pennsylvania Irish were advancing. Catholic mayor until James H.J. Tate in Pennsylvania labor movement was Just a year before the riots, in September 1962. But Archbishop Dennis Dougherty Terence V. Powderly, one of 12 children 1843, Father John Possidius O’Dwyer (the son of an immigrant coal miner) was born to Irish immigrants who settled in was named president of a new a powerhouse in his native city for Carbondale. Powderly later became affiliAugustinian University in Philadelphia. decades, before dying in 1951. ated with a secret labor group that came to Villanova, as the school was called, Today’s most prominent Pennsylvania be known as The Knights of Labor, the would go on to educate generations of Irishman is Senator Robert P. Casey, most influential union of the late 19th cenPennsylvania’s Irish Catholics. whose father rose from the ranks of the tury. Again, in keeping with William Pennsylvania, of course, was the site Democratic machine to become governor. Penn’s vision, the Knights reached out to of the famous turning point of the U.S. Casey is unusual because he is a African Americans as well as women, Civil War. In 1863, the pivotal battle of Democrat but also a devout Catholic and such as Irish immigrant Leonora Barry, Gettysburg unfolded in which thus opposed to abortion. Casey attempts who led a key Knights committee. Pennsylvania’s 69th Irish Volunteers to find a harmonious middle ground when The Pennsylvania union movement played a central role. These mostly Irishit comes to the thorny politics of abortion was strong, but unsafe working condiborn soldiers helped turn back Pickett’s and religion. William Penn would be tions still often led to tragedy. In June of doomed charge. proud. IA 86 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008



5:01 PM

Page 88


Black is

Back Mary Black, one of Ireland’s most-loved performers, is back in the spotlight with Full Tide, her finest and most critically acclaimed album in many years. By Ian Worpole.


ary Black and her siblings, Frances, Michael, Shay and Martin, have long been Ireland’s premier musical family, performing together as The Black Family and in various combinations since the late 1970’s. Parents, Kevin and Patty, were traditional musicians who fostered the love of music in their children; from there Mary has been the one to most move on from the traditional songs, building a stellar career singing contemporary material by the likes of Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson and Nanci Griffith. She has often noted that she prefers to be thought of as a singer, rather than an “Irish” singer. With a catalogue of some 13 albums, nine of which went platinum, including the three hugely popular Woman’s Heart albums that also include sister Frances and many more of Ireland’s leading divas, Mary’s career continues its illustrious path. I caught up with Mary by phone at her Dublin home prior to her U.S. tour, which covered 10 cities in October (see accompanying review). I had planned to ask Mary about her old pal Maura O’Connell, long resident in Nashville, but she preempted me by casually mentioning that Maura was in the living room. They were rehearsing songs that Maura would be singing with her on some parts of the tour. Indeed, as we talked, there was a holler from Ms. O’Connell to get back to work. 88 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

Tell me about the tour. I try to tour the U.S. once a year, whether I have a new album or not. I have a fan base there that fills the halls no matter what, and it’s great to come back and perform for them, and meet up with old friends. I’ll have Bill Hanley on guitar, and a couple of Brits, Neal Drinkwater on piano and Martin Ditcham on drums. My son Danny [O’Reilly, age 22] will be joining me on some vocals. [Mary is married to Joe O’Reilly of Dara Records. Joe is also Mary’s manager]. Danny is becoming quite a performer. Yes. Danny is a fine singer/songwriter, he performs with me sometimes and on a fairly recent tour he was the opening act. We’ve cowritten some songs together too. My 19-year-old daughter Roisin is also singing, she appears on some of the tracks on Full Tide and will often join me on stage. My oldest son, Conor [age 25] also loves the music. He plays guitar and bass. Your most recent album (Full Tide, 2006) was very well received, awards and all. Do you feel you’re going from strength to strength? I don’t know, in a way it’s kind of scary. After Speaking with the Angel (1999), I wondered, ‘have I said everything?’ I honestly thought about calling it a day. But Danny persuaded me to try my hand at writing, and we co-wrote a song about the loss of my mother. When Noel died [Noel Brazil, a singer song-writer whose songs have long been a staple of Mary’s repertoire], I felt it would only be right to record some more of his great songs. I got together with the band at my home in Kerry and we recorded the basics of



5:01 PM

Page 89

quite a few songs, and then the enthusiasm was there again.

Full Tide includes a Sandy Denny track (“Full Moon”). Sandy was an idol of mine in the sixties (MB: Hey, I’m not that old!) and I’ve read that she was a big influence on you. I love Sandy Denny. It was a tragedy that she died so young. I’ve recorded quite a few of her songs. It was my older brother Shay who used to tune in to the BBC back then and introduce us to what we thought was the most amazing stuff, which would be Fairport Convention with Sandy and the like.

The Brother Black


ary Black’s brother Michael has a solo CD out on the Compass label titled Michael Black. This is a project that Mary encouraged him to do. It is a fine collection of traditional songs in the mold

of The Clancy Brothers and indeed, The Black

I grew up with the BBC also – Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Fairport – it was a great time for English folk rock. What do you think of, for want of a better word, the punkier side of Irish music, and the likes of Dolores O’Riordan and Sinead O’Connor? Well, I’m not sure. Most of them came up through the traditional line, so they would be more influenced by pop and rock music, so it’s not for me to say. On the other hand, if you’re a traditional musician these days, you’d better have a day job! Do you think the Celtic Tiger phenomenon has changed the music of Ireland? Riverdance and the like was a great thing for everyone in the business, and we rode the wave, but it may have had its day, particularly in America, where people are more likely to say, ‘Hey enough already, how about some South American music?’

Family, many of whom appear on the album. Michael has a stellar bunch of musicians backing him – most of the Solas group – with John Doyle’s guitar, bouzouki and producing skills in great evidence. This is true hoolie stuff, with wit, social commentary and an obvious and genuine love of the tradition-

Is there a chance you and/or Frances may get back together with DeDannan for old time’s sake? Well, it would be great. I loved singing with DeDannan. It’s how I developed my stage presence and confidence. It was a great time. But I know there have been personal issues between some of the guys, so I just don’t know [if the band will regroup]. But never say never.

al Irish style of singing. My favorite is “The

Mary, thanks so much for your time. I hear Maura calling. Good luck with the tour. Thanks! IA

featuring the grandest family in Irish music.

Deserter,” a pacifist song by John Richards, with Frances Black on background vocals. With rollicking shanties mixed in with contemporary songs, and a few tunes thrown in, Michael Black is a grand album all around,

bass, Mary has moved far beyond her THE EGG, ALBANY, OCT.10, 2007: traditional roots, but an impromptu his was the first concert in Mary’s version of “Anachie Gordon,” accompa2007 U.S. tour, and who better to nied only by guitarist Bill Hanley, had her open the show than old pal musing about getting back to those roots Maura O’Connell? Maura wasted no a bit more, to much approval from the time in belting into songs from what she audience. (I’ve found Paul Brady gets the called her “Least Old Album,” and had same reaction!). Son Danny joined her in the crowd cheering with the classic their beautiful tribute to Mary’s late “Blue Train.” Accompanied by John mother, “Your Love,” and on Bob Dylan’s Mock on guitar and Don Johnson on “Lay Down Your Weary Tune,” and with electric bass, this was a relaxed and Above: Maura O’Connell joins Mary on stage another extraordinary Noel Brazil song, delightful set with such admonitions as to share an encore of “No Woman No Cry.” “The Real You,” Mary and the band “No clapping along please, I’m in charge settled into a powerful and riveting performance. Mary here . . .” and the promise of a new album in the works. Black is indeed back, and may she stay a long time longer; After the intermission Ms. Black strode onto the stage with this was mighty stuff. Maura came back to share an encore her five piece band and launched into three songs by Cork of “A Woman’s Heart” and “No Woman No Cry,” and songwriter Jimmy McCarthy, followed by a stunning whichever stages of the tour she opens for Mary, it’s one “Columbus” by her late soul-mate songwriter, Noel Brazil. lucky audience. – I.W. With a heavy emphasis on electric piano and stand-up electric PHOTO: IAN WORPOLE





5:03 PM

Page 90

{crossword} By Darina Molloy

ACROSS 4. (& 7 across, 13 across) Dublin city park (2) 5. MD city named for West Cork town (9) 6. Ohio city, ninth largest in Midwest (6) 7. See 4 across (8) 12. (& 18 across) Former chat show host who died in August (4) 13. See 4 across (5) 14. Pertaining to a parish (9) 15. This Tom was famous for his Antarctic exploits (5) 16. Nutty breakfast food (6) 18. See 12 across (7) 21. (& 33 down) Famous college named for 'Our Lady' (5) 22. This James was also known as Gentleman Jim (7) 24. Regarded by Druids as a sacred tree (3) 26. See 11 down (6) 27. Short version of Internet (3) 29. Western state once known as Marlboro Country (7) 31. See 37 across (6) 35. To draw or stretch tight (6) 36. The ___ One: Neil Jordan film (5) 37. (& 31 across) He brought Oskar Schindler to life (4) 38. Picturesque Kerry town (7)

DOWN 1. __ and flow (3) 2. Largest city in Nebraska (5) 3. String this with popcorn for a festive decoration (9) 4. Galway's main street is aptly named (4) 6. Kerry town now called An Daingean (6) 8. The Ulster-American Folk Park is in this county (6) 9. Angela's Ashes netted Frank McCourt this coveted literary prize (8) 10. See 34 down (6) 11. (& 26 across) Dominick Dunne sister-in-law wrote The Year of Magical Thinking (4) 15. (& 16 across) He's the playboy of the western world (7) 16. See 15 across (5) 17. See 23 across (4) 19. Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald (5)

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 December 19, 2007. A winner will be drawn from among all correct entries received. In the event that there are no correct solutions, prizes will be awarded to the completed puzzle which comes closest in the opinion of our staff. Winner’s name will be published along with solution in our next issue. Xerox copies are acceptable. Winner of the October / November Crossword: Allan Goldberg, Brooklyn, New York. 90 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

20. The mountains of Mourne “sweep down to the sea” in this northern county (4) 23. (& 17 down) Lead singer of The Dubliners (6) 25. Smallest Irish county (5) 28. Meath town (4) 30. Where runners or hurdlers train and perform (5) 32. These kitchens provided food for Ireland's famine poor (4) 33. See 21 across (4) 34. (& 10 down) Legend has it that he created the Giant’s Causeway

October / November Solution:



5:06 PM

Page 92

{ review of books}

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

FICTION William Trevor continues to astound with both the quantity and quality of his fiction. He has released yet another story collection, Cheating at Canasta, and it stands alongside some of his most mesmerizing work. Among the standout tales in Canasta is “The Dressmaker’s Child,” which appeared in the 2006 O. Henry Award collection. The story revolves around a mechanic who has a bizarre confrontation with a local girl.


Perhaps the most provocative story is “Men of Ireland,” which explores an altar boy and priest with a past. In this day and age, this could be a salacious story ripped from the headlines, but with Trevor it is impressively understated, without losing the heft its characters might suggest. Cheating at Canasta is Trevor’s 26th book, and it is tempting to believe one is more or less the same as the others. But after reading this latest work, you will feel its urgency and the simple honor of

RECOMMENDED In October, Dublin-born novelist and short story writer Anne Enright won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction with her latest novel The Gathering.The book takes a close look at how the past haunts one large Irish family. The Hegartys at the center of Enright’s tale are shaken when son Liam (one of nine Hegarty children) commits suicide while living in England. Liam’s sister Veronica becomes responsible for coordinating efforts to bring the body back to Ireland. Following the initial tragedy of Liam’s death, The Gathering (Enright’s fourth novel) slowly explores the aftermath, as well as the seemingly mundane, yet in some ways equally tragic, events that took the Hegartys to this terrible point. Perhaps the most vivid character is Veronica, lost in mourning partially because a bond had formed between her and Liam while they lived as youngsters at a relative’s house. Readers will certainly sympathize with Veronica’s need to understand why Liam ended his life. But in Enright’s hands, it is also clear that the search for an answer to such an unanswerable question creates its own kind of profound trauma. All in all, The Gathering is a powerful novel of quiet, intense emotions, even though it is rooted in some of the harshest facts of life – and death. In winning the prestigious Man Booker, Enright became the second Irish writer to win the prize in three years. (John Banville won in 2005 for The Sea.) Chairman of the prize’s judging panel, Howard Davies, said: “We found it a very powerful, uncomfortable and even at times angry book. It’s an unflinching look at a grieving family in tough and striking language.’’ ($14 / 272 pages / Grove Press)


experiencing a master whose work will endure for a very long time. ($24.95 / 240 pages / Viking)

Ann Patchett’s new novel Run explores key themes in the IrishAmerican experience. This is Patchett’s highly anticipated follow up to Bel Canto, which sold more than a million copies and won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2002. Run revolves around the fictional Bernard Doyle, a former Irish-American mayor of Boston, a city scarred by the bussing crisis of the mid-1970s, which pit the working-class Irish against blacks. Doyle has adopted two AfricanAmerican boys and named them Tip and Teddy, after two of Boston’s most famous Irish politicians. The past collides with the present on a snowy night during a lecture by Jesse Jackson. This is not the first time Patchett has explored Irish characters. Her book Truth & Beauty was a memoir of her friendship with Irish writer Lucy Grealy, who struggled with cancer, disease and drug addiction and died in 2002.


($25.95 / 304 pages / HarperCollins)

In the Woods is Dublin resident Tana French’s first novel. This literary mystery delves into the grisly murder of a Dublin girl. The detectives on the case end up learning more about the victim’s family than the possible killer. Meanwhile, not unlike Maeve Binchy’s recent novel Whitethorn Woods, French’s book also explores changes in Ireland, as residents debate the construction of a highway. Efforts to compare In the Woods to Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River and Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones may be a somewhat clunky attempt by the publishers to lend a Hollywood sheen to this novel. But this is an engrossing




5:06 PM

Page 93

MEMOIR Mike O’Connor‘s family seemed more or less like most others around. It was the 1950s,America was prosperous and Senator Joseph McCarthy was doing his best to keep the Communists at bay. Then, as he notes in Crisis, Pursued by Disaster, Followed Closely by Catastrophe: A Memoir of Life on the Run, the O’Connors moved and moved again.They settled in Texas but then moved on to Mexico. It turns out that Mike’s Boston Irish dad and English mother are hiding a dark secret from their three children. What were the O’Connors running from? What were Mike’s parents hiding? Why did they always seem to run out of money? This book is O’Connor’s unflinching effort to answer these grueling questions. ($24.95 / 304 pages / Random House)

read, in which the police may be concealing as many secrets as the suspects. ($24.95 / 429 pages / Viking)

The Deportees and Other Stories, the latest from Roddy Doyle, started out as a series of topical newspaper pieces. These stories (it is the first such collection from Doyle) don’t have the impact of his novels such as the recent Paula Spencer, not to mention the classic Barrytown trilogy. The eight stories all revolve around an Irish-born character encountering someone who has come to Ireland to live. Like Tana French (and so many others) Doyle presents a vivid take on the new multicultural Ireland. It is worth adding that the title story continues the saga of The Commitments.


($24.95 / 256 pages / Viking)

Retired FDNY lieutenant John Finucane has written a deeply authentic novel called When the Bronx Burned. Set in the South Bronx during the notorious late 1960s and 70s, Finucane offers an insider’s perspective on an era when arson ruled and firefighters battled a dozen blazes every day. Finucane also explores the supporting characters from this terrible time, such as the arsonists themselves, residents driven from their homes, slumlords and even dirty politicians. Finucane (a South Bronx native) served in two of the Bronx’s busiest fire companies, Engine 85 and Ladder 59, so he knows what he’s writing about.


($15.95 / 236 pages / iUniverse)

NON-FICTION One does not normally expect to find an Irish immigrant story in a book by the president of Mexico. Yet just as U.S. presidents have had roots in Ireland, so does Vicente Fox. In his new book Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President, Fox writes about his grandfather, Joseph Fox, an Irish immigrant who went to Ohio and then to Mexico around 1890 where he found work at a carriage factory. Joseph never learned to speak Spanish but that didn’t stop him from eventually becoming an affluent plantation owner. In a recent interview about his book, Fox said he wanted to remind Americans of their country’s “rich immigrant soul, its heritage that is now threatened by fear, xenophobia . . . ” Fox added: “My grandfather embodied the dream of many Latin Americans and Americans who believe the American dream exists, whether in the United States, Mexico, or other parts of Latin America. That says something


TRAVEL From the British Charles Dickens to the Irish Joseph O’Connor, authors have always been fascinated by America, setting out to travels and write about it. Irish documentary host Manchan Magan puts a twist on this genre and sets out to find the essence of North and South America in Angels and Rabies: A Journey Through the Americas. Magan visits Colombia and Peru, as well as Hollywood and Seattle, exploring environmentalists and missionaries, not to mention a gallery of odd folks such as (believe it or not) women addicted to menstrual blood and others obsessed with enemas. The author lingers a bit too long on the bizarre, and it’s not clear, in the end, what links the Americas on a broad scale. But there is no denying this is an often fascinating read. ($22.95 / 278 pages / Brandon-Dufour)

about the universality of immigration.” ($27.95 / 352 pages / Viking)

Many human rights advocates are already calling for nations to boycott the 2008 Olympics in China. But this is certainly not the first time calls have been made for an Olympic boycott. In fact, a recent book outlines how Irish Catholic Americans played a key role in efforts to boycott the 1936 games. Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936 by David Clay Large outlines the extensive Irish Catholic involvement in the boycott movement. Two of the most prominent figures calling for a boycott of Hitler’s games were Al Smith, the beloved former governor of New York, who faced Ku Klux Klan opposition when he was the first Catholic to run for president in 1928. Another well-known Irish-American who supported a boycott was James Michael Curley, the rascal king governor of Massachusetts. But perhaps the most important figure in the movement was also the least well known. His name was Jeremiah T. Mahoney, a judge who was a former Olympic athlete. The boycott effort failed, but time has shown that Mahoney, Smith, Curley and others were on the right side of history.


($27.95 / 416 pages / Norton)

In his new book Ireland Now: Tales of Change from the Global Island, William Flanagan focuses on the past decade and a half, which have seen such profound economic, religious and cultural changes in Ireland. Perhaps most interesting about Ireland Now is that it combines analysis of broad current events with interviews with regular Irish people whose lives have been upended in recent years – for better or worse. IA


($23 / 288 pages / Notre Dame) DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 93



5:10 PM

Page 94

The Unbearable of Bruen

Darina Molloy talks to Irish writer Ken Bruen.


t’s no exaggeration to say that Ken Bruen could have stepped from the pages of one of his own novels. In fact if he didn’t already exist, he would have had to make himself up. Not that Bruen, a long-established crime writer, needs any help with the plots of his darkly gripping novels. But his life story is a page-turner in its own right. “You couldn’t make it up,” he notes more than once during the course of a two-hour chat in his native Galway, and he has a point. The soft-spoken Bruen – born in Galway in 1951 and now living there again after years spent away – is a study in contrasts. He never wanted to travel but ended up teaching all over the world. The schoolboy whose parents were told he was probably retarded went on to become a star student, ending up with a string of degrees. He writes about alcoholism in stripped-down, close-to-thebone prose, but says he rarely indulges in more than a couple of beers. He grew up in a house where there were no books, but he quickly learned to seek them out and remembers the library as a favorite haunt. But it is in Bruen’s many books (almost two dozen and counting) that the biggest contrasts take place. Bullies who spout Baudelaire, Rilke-loving kidnap victims, and – in his newest novel, American Skin – an Irish man trying desperately to pass as a Yank, in a neat reversal of the usual stereotype. In person, Bruen is wiry and angular, he could pass for a dancer, and his gentle voice has my tape recorder straining at times to pick up every word. He is entertaining company with a host of amusing


anecdotes – probably well rehearsed on the publicity circuit he is no stranger to. And yet, he says, people frequently expect him to be just like his most popular character – the hard-drinking, hardthinking Jack Taylor, an ex-cop turned private detective in Galway city, and the bane of existence to many. “Well, I’m not a Garda,” he laughs, but what probably surprises even more avid readers is that he’s not generally to be found propping up a bar counter with a double Jameson in his hand. “I just wanted one series of books to show the other side of the coin,” he says seriously. “There’s the fun, and the going to the pub and the terrific party time – but my own brother died from alcohol and my wife lost two of her siblings – and I just wanted one series of books that says this is what it’s really like. And there’s very few families [in Ireland] that aren’t touched by alcoholism.” If there is a raw quality to Bruen’s spare prose it’s a rawness that echoes throughout his telling of the lifechanging events that have shaped him. The death of his brother Noel a few years ago in Australia still weighs heavily on his mind, but it is just one of a number of blows that have hit through his life. One of the first descriptions of himself he remembers hearing as a child was that he was ‘odd as two left feet.’ Sent to boarding school at the age of 10, Bruen found it a horrendous place to be. “For the first three years, I always

came last in class because I just could not figure out what was going on. So they wrote home – my parents actually kept the letter – saying ‘Your son is retarded. Maybe he might be able to get a job in a restaurant washing dishes.’” He says it all just clicked together one day for him and he went on to do well in exams and be admitted to Trinity College in Dublin. But he never forgot the poor reception he had received from his earlier teachers and it continued to rankle with him. “My own teachers were so horrendous, I thought I’m going to be a teacher and be exactly the opposite,” he explains. “I think that sort of traumatic start either makes you or breaks you. You can either become incredibly bitter and cynical or you can try and fight against it.” One thing Bruen found himself unable to fight against was a brush with the law in Rio de Janeiro. In his late twenties, while working his way around the world teaching English, he ended up in a bar that Ronnie Biggs, one of the infamous English train robbers, was supposed to frequent. A fight broke out; Bruen and four other Europeans were arrested. Four months of incarceration followed, more than 100 days of torture and abuse. “It is certainly the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me,” he says quietly. “It sort of stopped everything.” On his release he flew to London where he had friends from college.



5:10 PM

Page 95

The writer Ken Bruen with his daughter Grace.

“They really looked after me. I was shattered. One day, they said to me, ‘We have these kids with horrendous backgrounds that we can’t reach,’ but I said, ‘No. I was finished with teaching.’ I wasn’t writing. I was just trying to keep my mind closed to anything and everything. Just trying to survive something that I never thought I would ever recover from.” In an attempt to repay his London friends who had minded him so well, Bruen finally agreed to have a go at teaching some of the troubled kids they told him about. An instant connection was struck between the deeply damaged teacher and his ‘no-hope’ students, and life slowly started again. Wanting to reach them on their own level, he set about writing a crime story set in their London neighborhood and the rest is history. Bruen had been scribbling for years, keeping a journal of his travels, and also trying his hand at poetry, but this marriage of crime and literature was one that appealed hugely. Through writing he also managed to sort his emotions. “The classic definition of depression is

rage turned inwards and I was seriously depressed,” he recalls. “I was talking to therapists, but I was afraid to release the rage because I was afraid I’d do damage, and I was afraid if I acknowledged how angry I was, terrible things would happen. And then one day I let all that rage out and wrote, and that’s what I do … I get it all out on paper and literally get rid of it that way.”


hirteen years ago, Ken and his wife Phil underwent another life-changing event with the birth of their daughter Grace, who had Down Syndrome. Six months later, doing what he did best, he penned a short novel called The Time of Serena May – the story of a couple living in London and trying to come to terms with the birth of their own Down Syndrome daughter. “If you ask Grace about Down Syndrome she’ll tell you: ‘It means I’m special, but that’s no big deal – I know lots of special people.’” When Grace

was about six, her parents decided to move from London back to Galway. “I really wanted Grace to grow up here,” he says. “I wanted her to be Irish, simple as that. I wanted her to be an Irish kid.” Bruen smiles a lot throughout our twohour chat but it is when talking about Grace that his face really lights up. “She has a mouth on her like a fishwife, just like her mother,” he jokes. “She’s terrific on the computer, she adores books, she cannot read enough. In school recently, the teacher was explaining about pessimism and optimism and asked Grace if she understood the concept. She said, ‘Of course.’ So the teacher said, ‘Would you like to tell us what a pessimist is?’ And Grace answered, ‘Yeah, my dad.’” Bruen is laughing aloud now, clearly enjoying his daughter’s sense of humor. “I thought, she understands it.” But the teacher had one final question on the subject. “And who would be an optimist?” “My mum,” replied Grace. The Bruens have had other blows in recent years – a number of close family deaths and Phil’s battle with cancer. After two recent appearances on CBS Sunday Morning in the U.S. and on Ireland’s long-running Late Late Show, he was inundated with messages from viewers who were touched by his story. His upcoming memoir, Bronach (Sorrow), will be published in the U.S. next year. Through it all, Ken continues to write, every day – including the day of his father’s funeral – and with determination. Someone asked Phil once if she thought her husband would stop writing if he got happy. Bruen laughs as he recalls her reply. “She said if you knew him, trust me, happiness is not on the horizon for quite a while yet so we don’t have to worry.” But as the interview winds to a close and he prepares to head off across Eyre Square in the rain, patting his pocket to make sure he has the list of items his wife has asked him to pick up on his way home, Ken Bruen looks pretty damn close to happy. IA Ken Bruen’s latest novel, American Skin, is published by Justin, Charles & Co. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 95



5:08 PM

Page 96

{roots} By Maeve Molloy

The Proud History of the Reidy Clan


he Reidy family surname (also Reedy, Riedy, Reid, and O’Reidy) is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name Ó Riada. The family was part of the Dalcassian sept and in early Gaelic times lived in the southwest of Ireland, in the Munster counties of Clare and Kerry. The Ó Riadas can claim lineage to the legendary King Oiloill Olum, who was Monarch of Munster in the third century. In the late 12th century the Ó Riadas gained control of lands belonging to the O’Donnegans, and an Ó Riada held the title of “King of Ara” (an area in Munster) for over three centuries. Records from the mid1600s show clusters of Ó Riadas in counties Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary, and as far east as Waterford. Reidy is often claimed as a Scottish or Scotch-Irish name, and in fact, the Irish Ó Riadas are related to Carbri Riada who established kingdoms in ancient Ireland and Scotland. The Reidy name has made it to the screen with John Reidy, a recognizable face on television due to numerous guest roles on TV favorites such as All My Children and Saturday Night Live. Behind the cameras is Joseph Reidy, well-known director and producer who has worked on such blockbuster films as The Departed, The Aviator, Analyze That, Gangs of New York and Casino. Find his image and look closely: you’ll likely recognize him as he has small acting parts in many of his films. Contemporary Reidys span the globe. Some notable ones include Joseph P. Reidy, professor of history at Howard University, best known for his research on American slavery and the American Civil War. His essays have been featured 96 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

in numerous Civil War anthologies, and his classical endeavors (called “Nomos”) he has served as editor of many of them, were his first musical passion. including Slaves No More, Free at Last, Around the time that Ó Riada had his and Freedom. name formally changed from John Reidy Maureen Reidy, previous president of to Seán Ó Riada, his compositions, like the Miss Universe Organization, did her his name, became increasingly traditionpart to beautify the Reidy name. A CPA al. Ó Riada found inspiration in Irish folk by trade, Maureen was hired by Donald music and combined it with classical Trump to save the Miss techniques and ensembles. One of his Universe Organization after strengths was music for theater and film years of losses. She did that (he was the music director of The Abbey and more, helping the comfor several years) as in the case of pany to not only make profGeorge Morrison’s acclaimed documenits, but also change the face tary about the founding of the Republic of the organization from a of Ireland, Mise Éire. beauty pageant to a legitiFrom the formidable starting block of mate source of career and Mise Éire, Ó Riada returned to Irish education opportunities for national radio with a series called “Our young women. Today, Musical Heritage.” Ó Riada’s promotion Maureen works as President and compositions began a restructuring of NYC Big Events, a diviof national opinion on traditional Irish sion of the New York City tunes. Prior to the success and popularigovernance, which actively seeks and ty of Ó Riada’s score for Mise Éire, organizes events in NYC in order to spur Irish music was held in generally low economic development. regard and most popular folk songs were Readers form the Boston area may sung in English. know Chris Reidy, reporter for The Ó Riada’s formation of the traditional Boston Globe. Reidy is a Irish band, Ceoltóirí Chualann, frequent contributor to the popularized Irish-lan“Daily Business Update” and guage music. Ceoltóirí has penned many an article on Chualann played in conmainstream-business news. cert halls and attracted Perhaps one of the most large crowds. It was one well known descendants of of the first modern poputhe Ó Riada clan is Irish lar Irish folk bands, and composer Seán Ó Riada. helped give rise to The Ó Riada, who was born Chieftains. John Reidy in 1931, reintroCredited with reintroduced and revolutionized ducing the bódhran, which traditional Irish music by had not been widely used combining it with the since the 16th century, Ó classical tradition. Riada died prematurely in Ó Riada studied music Sean Ó Riada, one of 1971, but he lives on as the at University College Cork Ireland’s greatest composers. father of the renaissance from Ó Riada Archive, UCC and played the violin, Image of traditional Irish music, Library, University College Cork. piano, and organ. He comand his extraordinary composed many classical positions continue to influEuropean-style orchestral pieces, and ence Irish folk groups and classical IA though they received little recognition, composers to this day.IA



5:13 PM

Page 98


By Edythe Preet

Scotland’s Immortal Bard A New Year’s Toast to Poet Robert Burns.



one Sunday in church while watching one of the loathsome blood-suckers crawl about a fellow parishoner’s shoulders). The poem, “Man Was Made To Mourn” addresses the injustice and inequality of the human condition, and “My Love Is Like a Red Red Rose” is the paragon ode to ardent and enduring love. Throughout his life Burns fought the force of the establishment with the power of poetry. Nothing, and no one, escaped the scathing satire and wry humor of his pen. At a time when speaking up was the surest and quickest route to exile and deportation, Burns boldly criticized the Crown, the Church and the entire legal profession. He wrote of justice, honor, love and freedom – the highest of human ideals. He articulated the grief of his disenfranchised nation and encouraged all people far and wide who would dream of higher aspirations. From his deathbed, Burns whispered, “In a hundred years, they will remember me,” and indeed they have. On January 25th in bonny Scotland and wherever those of Caledonian descent are found, Burns Night Suppers honor the Bard in a way that would please him immensely – with food and drink and caustic verse aplenty. The stars of the evening, other than Burns himself, are the haggis and malt whisky. Taken separately they are notably delicious, consumed together they are ambrosia fit for the gods. Though many food critics disparage the haggis as coarse peasant fare, this most PARKS DEPARTMENT, NEW YORK CITY

n case any reader has ever wondered how a gal named Preet could claim Irish ancestry, here’s my genealogy: my maiden name was Burns, my father was George Burns (Mom heard many a ‘So are you Gracie?’ wisecrack), and Dad’s mom was a McCaffrey, born in County Fermanagh. Like thousands of Northern Ireland’s population, Margaret McCaffrey was a descendant of the many Scots who emigrated to neighboring Eire during the 16th and 17th centuries. While Dad was Irish to the core, he held one particular Scotsman in highest esteem: Robert Burns, Scotland’s Immortal Bard. Dad loved poetry, and he took great pleasure reciting his ancestor’s rhymes (especially the racy or politically barbed verses) with vigor and full brogue. So it is to the Scots-Irish among us that I dedicate this article. Every New Year’s Eve, as the clock strikes 12, people the world over raise their glasses in a toast and their voices in song: “Lest auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind ... we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne.” Those heartfelt words, enjoining us to always remember and hold dear the good times and good friends we have known, were penned by Robert Burns. Burns, the man, was a humble country farmer. Burns, the poet, was a romantic, a humorist, a philosopher, a champion of human rights, and a fervent patriot. Born Jan. 25, 1756, he lived in a time of international political upheaval that wit-

nessed the American, Irish, and French revolutions, which changed the course of history. His sentiments won the hearts of his countrymen and patriots everywhere, and his words are etched forever in the English language. “A man’s a man for a’ that,” the phrase that has become a mantra of oppressed people the world over, is found in the allegorical epic Tam O’Shanter. “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men’’ appears in “To a Mouse,” and “To see ourselves as others see us” in “To a Louse” (which he was inspired to write



5:13 PM

Page 99

RECIPES leeks, washed & sliced thin cups boiling water teaspoons salt tablespoons butter cups chicken broth cup cream

Place the sliced leeks in a medium soup pot with the water and salt; simmer for 5-7 minutes until tender but not mushy. Add butter and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Stir in the cream. Makes 5-6 cups soup. – Edythe Preet recipe.

Modern Haggis 1

⁄2 ⁄2 2 1 1 ⁄4 1 ⁄4 1 ⁄2 1 ⁄2 1 ⁄4 1

pound calf’s liver cup oatmeal tablespoons shortening medium onion teaspoon cayenne pepper teaspoon black pepper teaspoon nutmeg teaspoon mace teaspoon salt

Boil the liver and parboil the onion. Reserve 1/2 cup of the stock. Mince the liver and onion together until the texture of coarse meal. Lightly brown the oatmeal and then mix all the ingredients together, along with the reserved stock. Place in a greased bowl. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 1/2 hours. Serves 4-6 Haggis lovers, or 6-8 more dubious diners. – The Robert Burns Club Milwaukee


NOTE: Information on staging a Burns Supper – including poems, toasts, and songs – can be found at: bsupper.htm

Cockaleekie Soup 6 3 11⁄2 2 11⁄2 1 ⁄2


drink like ducks to water. Should you choose to host a Burns Night Supper, be advised that there is a formula to the event. The evening festivities begin with a welcome, followed by recitation of the Grace Before the Meal, which Burns delivered when he supped with the Earl of Selkirk who shared the poet’s libertine political views. “Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it. But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Laird be thankit.” The meal begins with a serving of cockaleekie soup, after which a steaming hot haggis is ceremoniously brought into the room to the wail of bagpipes. An honored guest then recites “The Address to the Haggis” and all toast his performance with glasses of whisky, after which the noble haggis is retired to be sliced and dished up with portions of its traditional accompaniments – neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes). While waiting for dinner to be served, the evening’s honored guest speaks to the memory of the Immortal Bard, and more whisky is downed. Then a gentleman delivers The Toast to the Lassies (usually full of tongue-in-cheek wordplay) and more whisky is downed. Then a lady responds with The Toast to the Laddies (usually a wee bit bawdy) and more whisky is downed. While dining on the haggis (over each serving of which is poured a healthy measure of whisky), guests take turns reciting their favorite Burns verses, and after each performance more whisky is downed. When the dishes have been cleared, it’s time for dancing to the tune of fiddles and bagpipes, and between each reel more whisky is downed. When everyone is nigh unto swooning from the heady pace of the dance, all hoist their once-again full glasses of whisky in a final toast and raise their voices in song: “Lest auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind, we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne.” Sláinte! IA


quintessential of Gaelic dishes is truly a gourmet’s delight. Admittedly, perusing haggis recipes can be somewhat off-putting because they call for minced offal (heart, tongue, liver and lung) to be mixed with oats, salt and pepper, then stuffed into sheep or cow tripe (stomach), trussed closed and boiled for hours. Letting the description dissuade you from tasting it would be a classic case of judging a book by its cover. Indulging in a plateful of steaming, spicy, sliced haggis is one of life’s great taste treats, especially when said slices are liberally doused with a fine, aged, malt whisky. How haggis came to be Scotland’s best-known menu item is a matter for conjecture. In prehistoric times, slices of meat could be smoked over an open fire and kept for later use without spoiling, but the “humbles,” or innards, spoiled quickly, and it was necessary to consume them as soon as possible. Prior to the invention of pots and pans, the easiest way to cook bits and pieces of meat was to place them in the animal’s bag-like stomach and boil the whole affair in a water-filled pit heated with red-hot stones. Adding grain (in Scotland and Ireland, it was oats) allowed the nutrient-rich juices to be absorbed rather than dissipating into the cooking liquid. By the late 18th century, Scotland had been joined with Ireland, Wales, and England to form the United Kingdom, and while haggis was still the most popular Scottish meal, many gentrified Scots were attempting to modify their national culture by adopting English pronunciation to fit into the new society. Burns lambasted the trend by writing “The Address to the Haggis,” a pointed social satire in a full, flaming Scots dialect. It was an instant hit. More than 200 years later, it is still recited in a broad brogue at every Burns Supper. The night’s other star player is malt whisky. Arabia gets the credit for devising the alcohol-distillation process, which was subsequently discovered by monks traveling through the Middle East in the early days of Christianity. When the Church began sending missionaries to Ireland and Scotland in the 6th century, the pious prelates applied the same technique to a brew of the local grains – malt and barley – and invented malt whisky. Gaels took to the

Mashed Neeps & Tatties 11⁄2 pound potatoes, peeled & quartered 11⁄2 pound turnips or rutabagas, peeled & quartered Cream Salt and pepper

In two separate pots, cover potatoes and turnips with water and boil until tender. Drain, combine, and mash, adding cream as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6-8. – The Robert Burns Club Milwaukee

PHOTO (Opposite page): The Robert Burns statue in New York’s Central Park. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 99



5:16 PM

Page 100



Ghosts of

Past t was Frank McCourt who first brought Sive to New York. A friend at the Irish National Players, a 1950s New York theater group, now defunct, that showcased Irish classics, requested that he carry her over. And so the playwright John B. Keane traveled up to Limerick from Listowel to hand Sive over to Frank, who dutifully carried her across the water. The National players decided not to do the production for reasons long lost, and in all my years in America I had not seen the play until this season’s presentation by the Irish Rep players directed by Ciaran O’Reilly. O’Reilly and his partner Charlotte Moore have been carrying on the National’s tradition of producing Irish plays with an emphasis on the classic – G.B. Shaw’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape are recent productions. Like all good things we sometimes take for granted – like breathing – the Irish Rep has been turning out stellar work for over 15 years and so it’s just expected – taken for granted. Frankly, it was the idea that the company might lose its theater on 22nd Street that woke many of us in the Irish community up.






Fiana Toibin as Mena who is married to Sive’s uncle Michael. And Wrenn Schmidt as Sive, in the Irish Repertory company’s production of Sive by John B. Keane..

And I, for one, became a more frequent visitor. (Ellen McCourt, Frank’s wife, spearheaded the campaign to raise the $4 million needed to purchase the Rep’s theater, which it did last year). John B. too, has had his time of being underappreciated. Tagged a “naturalistic writer,” his plays, depicting rural life in all its hungry wants, were considered a bit too raw for the establishment. He persevered. The Field (1965), turned into a movie (in 1990) by Jim Sheridan and starring Richard Harris, brought a measure of respect, and The Listowel Writers’ Week, which draws the best writers Ireland has to offer, now honors Keane, who passed away in 2002. But I admit that a tiny seed of “maybe it’ll be a bit “too Irish” crossed my own mind as I approached the Rep’s final dress rehearsal for Sive. Being from rural Ireland, a generation removed from John B. (Sive is set in 1957) and more insulated from the poverty of the West by being born into the rich farmland of Tipperary, I’ve never overly identified with the more primitive aspects of the plays of J.M. Synge, Martin McDonagh, or John B. Keane. “I’ve never seen a play that reflects my Ireland,” I’ve been heard to lament. But after seeing Sive, I have to admit



5:16 PM

Page 101

that maybe it was a case of “the Ireland I didn’t want to see.” For in Keane’s Sive – the story of a young schoolgirl (played by the beautiful and talented Wrenn Schmidt) who is to be married off to an old farmer – I saw my own grandmother who at 20 was married off to a man 25 years her senior. There is a similar subtext to the play and my grandmother’s story. In Sive’s case, the family is stuck on the fringes of poverty, and Sive’s illegitimacy is also at issue. In my family’s case, it was fear of poverty inherited from the previous generation that saw to it that marriage was not a thing of romance but a contract that merged two farming families. My great-grandfather, who lived through the famine and was evicted from his 10-acre holding, passed on his fear of dispossession to his sons, to whom the acquisition of land became paramount. My grandfather and his two brothers worked hard to buy up farms, first for one brother then the other, but by then they were middle-aged – on the far side or middle age even – and it was time for wife-taking. And why wouldn’t they take a practical approach and find a young woman with “good child-bearing hips”?


o put my family story in context, this was the early part of the last century, and Ireland was stuck in the strict social mores imposed by the Catholic Church and Britain’s Victorian attitude towards women, which meant a woman had no rights, she belonged to her husband, and any property she brought to the marriage became her husband’s. (Ireland stuck to its Victorian principles longer than elsewhere, and right up to 1973 women had to resign from Civil Service jobs when they married, lest they stand in the way of a man’s career). I have looked often enough at the photograph (top right) of my grandparents on their wedding day to notice that my grandmother looks somewhat daunted, but it wasn’t until I watched Sive struggle with the awful weight of her powerlessness on the night before her wedding that I understood, emotionally, how my grandmother must have been felt. Like most women of that generation, she suffered in silence. I remember her as a kind woman, who never complained. She gave freely of what little money she

had (her old age pension was the first money she ever received that was hers), and took to her bed when things got too tough (a trait I’ve inherited). And things were tough, especially when her daughter Lil became pregnant and had a child, who like Sive, was born out of wedlock. “Now listen to me! [Mena to her husband Michael, Sive’s uncle] The child was born in want of wedlock. That much is well known from one end of the parish to the other. What is before her when she can put no name on her father? What better can she do when the chance of comfort is calling to her. Will you take stock of yourself, man! There is a fine farm waiting her with servants to tend her so that her hands will be soft and clean when the women of the parish will be up to their eyes in cow-dung and puddle. What better can she do? Who will take her with the slur and the doubt hanging over her?” Sive’s mother dies during childbirth, and Mena who is married to Sive’s uncle Michael is insistent that Sive marry the old man. (Fiana Toibin is magnificent in realizing Keane’s observation that Mena’s nastiness and bitterness is weaved out of her circumstances, for she too is a woman who is hard done by. Michael married her for the dowry she brought to the farm. “I have every right to this house. I earned it,” is one of her lines.) Nana, Sive’s grandmother (Terry Donnelly, a veteran player with the Irish Rep, who gives, as expected, a splendid performance), tries to save Sive but she is powerless. Her son won’t take her side over his wife’s who threatens Nana with banishment: “Go on and put your bag on your back and go begging from door to door.” My own grandmother tried to save Lil from banishment, the usual punishment for girls who got into trouble (see Peter Mullan’s movie The Magdalene Sisters), and Lil did come home for a stay after her baby was adopted. But it was a short visit. There was too much weighted against her – church, community, the “slur” to the family, which could not recover from its fall from grace with the reminder of the disgrace ever present. My grandfather was long

The wedding picture of Mary Seymour and William Harty, circa 1908.

dead but my father, like Sive’s uncle, an otherwise kind man, could not deal with Lil, who by some accounts was behaving irrationally – walking the roads at all hours. In any case, she was soon committed to a mental home where she remained until succumbing to breast cancer in her sixties.


e resisted doing John B for years because we thought his work might lose its primitive power in the journey,” Ciaran O’Reilly tells me. If Keane’s work is primitive, then it is because Ireland’s treatment of women in the not too distance past was primitive, barbaric in fact. It is the power of good theater that it allows us to access our country’s past in all its ills and glories. And it is the power of this play, in particular, which allowed me to connect up with two women who have long lived in my subconscious, my grandmother and my aunt, and helped me make my peace with them. It behooves all of us women who are lucky enough to have control over our lives, to give voice to the many women the world over who are still treated like chattel. In the closing act of the play Sive barely speaks, her voice muted by her circumstances. I’ve asked people in Ireland about Lil – they are nearly all gone who knew her, but I learned from one old friend of hers that she was full of fun and that “she had a lovely voice.” IA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 101



5:52 PM

Page 102

{ireland today} Opinion by John Spain

Ireland for



avid McWilliams is Ireland’s most talked about young economist, often credited with coining the phrase Celtic Tiger. His bestselling book The Pope’s Children not only explained how our economic boom got going but how it had changed people’s lives here, not always for the better. Throughout that book he cast a very jaundiced eye over what the boom had done to Irish society. Plus, unusually for a book by an economist, it was a great read. In it McWilliams invented names for all the different stereotypes that the new pressurized and pretentious Ireland was producing. The Decklanders, for example, were the people who as soon as they got their new overpriced little house in commuter land put a deck out the back. Breakfast Roll Man was probably his best creation – it’s now entered the language here – depicting the stressed-out, time-poor Celtic Tiger cub eating on the run in the service station shop every morning on the way to overcharging another client. And there were many others, all uncomfortably accurate. Everyone laughed, but it was uneasy laughter tinged with recognition. McWilliams was right. What a greedy, pretentious, harassed and dissatisfied people we had become. As an economics graduate and amateur economist myself, I probably write more columns about the Irish economy than I should. But I make no apology for doing so on this occasion because a new book from McWilliams, called The Generation Game, has just come out here and it includes an extraordinary idea – he wants to bring the Irish diaspora home. Or at least as many of them as we can attract back. McWilliams thinks we should try to 102 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008

tempt back all the Irish who left here since the gloom of the early 1980s and went on to develop entrepreneurial know-how and financial and technological skills over the years since then. He wants the skills and the drive and the experience that these people picked up abroad to come back here in the coming years to rescue us from what he sees as the inevitable deep slump facing us in the

immediate future. It’s not just the American Irish he is after. He wants us to widen the net to include Irish Americans, as well. He says that instead of the present rule which says that Irish Americans are automatically entitled to citizenship if both their grandparents were born in Ireland should be relaxed to include those whose Irish roots are further back, great-grandparents or even great-great-grandparents. “It is time to see the island of Ireland in the 21st century as the cradle of a global nation,” he says. And he makes

the comparison with Israel and how Jews in any part of the world have the right to citizenship there. McWilliams wants to do the same for the Irish diaspora. He calls it a “Right of Return” policy. Why does he want to do it? We all know that the phenomenal boom here is now coming to an end. Unemployment is already on the way up. One of the consequences of the boom is that costs in the Irish economy have soared. We have seen a long list of manufacturing plants (including many American multi-nationals) pulling out of Ireland and relocating in cheaper countries either in Eastern Europe or the E.ast. Even so-called high-tech jobs are not safe these days unless we raise our game far higher than at present. There is a growing worry here – verging on unspoken panic – about how we can combat this. McWilliams says, “The key to (Ireland’s) economic success in the future is to invest in people and brainpower rather than property (the Irish building boom). In the years ahead the countries with the best networks, contacts and brains will win. “This is called ‘soft power’ and the key to soft power is people. In the (Irish) diaspora we not only have the people, we have a ready made global network of talent. It is before our eyes and yet we don’t see it.” McWilliams is thinking of the hugely successful people of Irish descent not just in Irish America but in other places like the U.K. and Australia as well. If we could get this “global Irish tribe” to bring their contacts, financial muscle and cutting-edge experience back here, “globalization could be the golden era of the Irish.” It’s an intriguing idea and it’s one that makes a lot of sense. A lot of the detail



5:52 PM

Page 103

ent Irish society with a more manageable level of new cultures arriving. To sum up McWilliams’ new book in a sentence, he believes we should leave the euro and the European Union, devalue the (recreated) Irish punt and open our doors to the brains and energy of the Irish diaspora, which would boost our prosperity in a globalized world while alleviating the cultural and social strains of non-Irish immigration. It would give us the chance to become a real “knowledge economy,” now that manufacturing is only for the Chinese. Is he right? While you’re all mentally writing letters to Irish America about whether opening the door to the diaspora is just wishful thinking and romantic nonsense, let me tell you about some of the hilarious (and painfully perceptive) new labels that McWilliams has invented in his new book for the Irish as the boom starts to slow down. After 10 years of the boom, he says, Irish society has been turned on its head by the Generation Game (hence the title of the book). The clear winners have been the middle-aged Jagger Generation who have been enriched by the property

David Mcwilliams

would have to be worked out (like, for example, would all of your great-grandparents have to be Irish to allow you to qualify?). But we certainly need some new thinking here if our present prosperity is to be maintained in the years ahead instead of withering back to where we started from. There is no doubt that giving citizenship to the diaspora would greatly increase their interest and involvement in Ireland, and equally there is no doubt that the Irish diaspora could be a vast untapped well of resources for us. It could kick-start us and drive us on to a different level in the future. And talking about levels, there is also the view that it is not just the high fliers in the diaspora that would provide a boost back here, but also a lot of people in what we can call ordinary jobs, the bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, truck drivers, bar staff, etc. In the last few years we have had tens of thousands of immigrants coming here

“It is time to see the island of Ireland in the 21st century

as the cradle of a global nation.” to do these jobs, and the costs associated with this influx are significant and ongoing (English lessons for adults and specialist teachers for schools with high levels of immigrant children, for example). There are also growing concerns here about the long-term effects of the influx on Irish culture and Irish identity, and in spite of the “multi-culture is good for you” line pushed endlessly by the authorities here, the strain and unease are very visible if you don’t deliberately close your eyes. The fact is that if what McWilliams calls his right-of-return policy for the Irish diaspora was implemented, immigration here from Eastern Europe, Africa and elsewhere would be much lower and the result would be a much more coher-

boom, creating a new class of Accidental Millionaires. Meanwhile the younger generation – the cash-strapped Jugglers, who have to juggle their bills every month – can only afford a dogbox in commuterland as a home. The category I like best is what McWilliams calls the Bono Boomers, Ireland’s first “permalescents,” a permanently adolescent generation, too young to be old, too old to be hip, but with enough Celtic Tiger money to buy corporate packages at all the best rock gigs! Bring home the diaspora and we can IA all rock on. John Spain is a columnist for the Irish Voice newspaper where the above commentary previously appeared. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008 IRISH AMERICA 103



5:39 PM

Page 104

{photo album}

Family Pictures

The Legacy of Grandma Bell


n this photograph taken in 1925, my mother Kathleen (far left) and her ten siblings pose with their parents, Sam and Ellen Bell, as they leave their home in Crossgar, County Down, Northern Ireland. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago where, after only four years, my grandfather died, leaving Grandma Bell to raise a family of eleven children. In spite of suffering the devastating loss of her husband, Grandma Bell was a woman of tremendous faith and fortitude. The family home was near the stockyards on the south side of Chicago, and Grandma took in boarders who worked in the yards, many of whom were saving money to bring their own families over. She went to mass every morning leaving the older

girls, before they went to school, to fix breakfast for the lodgers. Grandma Bell was a friend to anyone in need of help or a warm meal. She lived to be 94 years old and left a legacy rich in faith, love, and Irish heritage. Today, my mother, at age 87, is the only one left of her siblings, but she has passed on Grandma’s legacy to her own family of seven children, 24 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She and our dad, Jon, have been married for 60 years and their devotion to each other is a love story that books are written about. We have a lot to be thankful for and much to be IA proud of. Submitted by Maureen Foster, Western Springs, Illinois

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and description, to Declan O’Kelly at Irish America magazine, 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, send a good quality reproduction or e-mail at 300 dpi resolution to No photocopies, please. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select. 104 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2008



5:41 PM

Page 106

{the last word} By Bruce Haney and Rev. Vincent Mainelli

The Quiet Philanthropist of Yesteryear




Cornelius had no money, but a kindly Quaker gentleman came to his aid. When Heeney asked for the man’s name and address, so that he might repay him, he was told that he could repay him by helping another in need. This experience, and

Cornelius Heeney was guardian and mentor to America’s first Cardinal, John McCloskey (pictured above). Left: Heeney’s tomb at St. Peter’sSt.Paul’s-Our Lady of Pilar.

the influence of the two Quaker men for whom he worked in Philadelphia, had a profound influence upon Heeney, and when he finally became affluent, he seemed to model the simplicity of his life and his generosity upon them. By 1786, Heeney was in New York City working for William Backhouse & Co., which traded in furs, salt, coal and other merchandise. When Backhouse retired and went back to London, Heeney COURTESY:THE TABLET

he Billionaire Who Wasn’t (excerpted in the Oct./Nov. issue) tells the story of Irish-American Chuck Feeney, who quietly gave away his money through his Atlantic Philanthropies. In the history of the Irish in the United States, we have an earlier example of this quiet, more biblical style of generosity. When Cornelius Heeney died in 1848 in Brooklyn, he left his property to fund what he called the Brooklyn Benevolent Society, which was to aid the poor, especially widows and orphans. It has continued to function for 150 years. The society does not bear Heeney’s name – it predates the era of personally named foundations such as Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie. Like Feeney, who believes that you should give while living, and not wait until you are dead, generosity was a lifelong trait of Heeney’s. In the early 1800s he was already active in donating to the building of St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street in Manhattan; he was instrumental in securing the site for the new St. Patrick’s Cathedral and later, in 1836, he donated the land and over $6,000 to build St. Paul’s Church in Brooklyn. The church stands at the corner of Court and Congress Streets and is now known as “St. Peter’s-St. Paul’s-Our Lady of Pilar.” The name is the result of several mergers. Heeney also helped build an orphanage in Manhattan and later one in Brooklyn. How did Heeney, an immigrant from Ireland, amass the fortune that made such generosity possible? In 1784, at the age of 30, he left King’s County, Ireland for Philadelphia, where his father and stepmother had preceded him. When he was nearing the shore the ship he was traveling on ran aground. The captain of the boat that came to the rescue demanded a dollar for passage;

and one of his fellow employees, John Jacob Astor, took over the business. But several years later Heeney went into business for himself as a fur merchant. He had a store and a residence over it at 82 Water Street, and began investing in real estate in Manhattan and Brooklyn. During that time Heeney became active in the support of orphans, the poor and the Catholic Church. In 1820, he became the guardian of a youth named John McCloskey. He oversaw his education, assured his study for the priesthood in Rome and was influential in promoting his career in New York City, where he became the archbishop and later the first cardinal in the United States. From 1818 to 1822, Heeney served as a representative in the New York State Assembly in Albany, one of the first Catholics to hold public office in New York. He became an influential politician of the Democratic Party and was a friend of Martin Van Buren, who later became President of the United States. In 1835, a devastating fire swept a large part of New York City destroying more than 1,000 business establishments, including the business and residence of Heeney. He retired to his farm in what is now downtown Brooklyn. He had a large house there and beautiful grounds, and although he never married, he enjoyed having orphans and other poor children from the city as his guests, so that they might enjoy the open green space and play on the lawns – a real treat for children being raised in institutions and tenements. Heeney died in 1848 and is buried in the churchyard at St. Peter-St. Paul-Our Lady of Pilar Church, which is built on land he donated at the corner of his farm. There is a Cornelius Heeney League of Prayer, whose members would like to see him canonized by the church. He was the outstanding immigrant of his generation, and his example of generosity and simplicity of lifestyle is an appropriate one IA for affluent Irish-Americans today.