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Ireland’s Lake District


CANADA $4.95 / U.S. $3.95



Chris Matthews on Bobby Kennedy

RITA HAYWORTH The Ravishing & Ravished Redhead


“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”


Irish Eye on Hollywood

“ This is a generation that is inspired by purpose and our purpose is to help the world run better.” — Bill McDermott



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contents |

Vol. 33 No. 1 December / January 2018



32 Ireland’s Lake District

Roscommon is known for its medieval castles, and lakes and rivers that are bountiful with pike and trout. By Mary Egan

Irish Eye on Hollywood

New RFK biopics, rising Irish stars, Beckett on film, & more. p. 16

38 Cover Story: Bill McDermott

The CEO of SAP knows the only way to win is to work hard, dream big, and have a little bit of showmanship. By Patricia Harty

44 2017 Business 100


John J. Kiernan

The best business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who share a love of their Irish roots.


78 Wild Irish Women

p. 24

Rita Hayworth, the ravishing and ravished redhead who was Fred Astaire’s favorite dancer. By Rosemary Rogers

82 Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit

A new book by Chris Matthews serves as a timely reminder of what political leadership looks like. By Tom Deignan


The Irishman responsible for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones.

Her Place at the Table

Enterprise Ireland is on a mission to invest in more female entrepreneurs. p. 28


Ireland’s Watchmaking Revolution

Three Irish watchmakers are reinventing the trade in the country that gave us the word “clock.” By Dave Lewis


90 Out of Reach

Novelist and historian Peter Quinn’s reflections on a distant father.

The Jewelry of Nigel O’Reilly The stunning creations of one of Ireland’s top jewelers. p. 88

The Last Word

96 ”When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”

Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey on the leadership lessons of W.B. Yeats. p. 106

98 Sláinte! Pork Eternal, Part II


In the Irish American memory, there is one song that stands out above all others. By Thomas Hauser

The second installment of Edythe Preet’s series on the importance of the Irish pig.

100 Roots: MacDermot Royalty

The MacDermots are one of only a handful of clans to maintain a direct heir and state-recognized chieftain. By Dave Lewis

16 Irish America Magazine (ISSN 0884-4240) © by Irish America Inc. Published bi-monthly. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Editorial office: 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212-725-2993. Fax: 212-244-3344 E-mail: Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-582-6642. Subscription queries:1-800-582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 150. Periodicals postage paid at New York and additional mailing offices. Postmaster please send address changes to Irish America Magazine, P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Irish America is Printed in the U.S.A.


6 8 12 92 94 104 105

First Word Readers Forum Hibernia Books Crossword Photo Album Those We Lost Cover Photo: Kit DeFever

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the first word | by Patricia Harty

American Dreamers


“Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.”

Vol. 33 No. 1 • Dec. / Jan. 2018


Pride In Our Heritage

The definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams, 1931

ongratulations to our Business 100 honorees and our Keynote Speaker Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. You exemplify our cultural heritage and we are thrilled to profile you in this issue, which marks the beginning of our 33rd year in publishing. Bill McDermott’s story is that of the underdog who dreams big, overcomes all odds, and succeeds and inspires others in the pursuit of their own goals and dreams. His is one of the great stories of the Irish in America, stories that are the heartbeat of this magazine. Like McDermott, this magazine is a bit of an underdog, too. When we published our first issue at the end of 1985, no one was betting that we would succeed. It was a hard scrabble and fast scramble beginning. We had little money and few resources, but whenever the urge to give up overtook us, a story, lost to history, would make itself known and demand to be heard. The chance to tell it would lift our spirits. One such story, reprinted in this issue, came my way in 1996. It’s of John J. Kiernan, who started life as one of six children born to Irish immigrants in Brooklyn. With just a grade school education, Kiernan built up a successful financial news agency. Each day he would row his skiff out into New York Harbor to collect days-old newspapers from the ships from London and other ports. He’d mine the papers for financial information, which he would sell to his clients. Today his office is the site of the New York Stock Exchange. And so to our present day, and another inspirational story. Bill McDermott has a vision to make the world run better using SAP software, and is doing just that on a global level. His colleagues at SAP Labs Ireland have been to all corners of Africa delivering “train-thetrainer” sessions in coding as part of Africa Code Week, an initiative that this year will have reached 1.3 million children introducing them to the language of coding. And another initiative, Autism@SAP program just celebrated five years in partnership with Specialisterne Ireland, enabling over 100 young people with autism start roles in Irish industry. Ireland is just one small piece of SAP’s 6 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

global reach, which is now in 190 countries, with 87,000 employees who are encouraged to take paid leave to bring their expertise to charitable organizations. I met with McDermott in at the end of October at SAP headquarters in New York. His office, on a high floor of the Hudson Yards complex, overlooks New York Harbor, where in the distance, Lady Liberty holds up her lamp against the sky. I think of the many thousands of Irish immigrants including McDermott’s ancestors, who three generations back, made their way into this same harbor. Says McDermott, “You can never forget where you came from.” His hardscrabble roots inform his every move, and should he need a reminder, he just has to look out the window at the magnificent icon of freedom and hope for so many immigrants. McDermott is not alone in effecting change. The honorees profiled in the following pages represent some of the most innovative individuals and impactful organizations doing business in the United States and Ireland. From start-ups to long-established entities, they are integral to the global economy, and a testament to the ever-expanding scope of power, and accomplishment of the Irish in America. We rejoice in your success, and celebrate our shared culture and heritage. You come from a people of great tenacity and will to survive – we are all members of the same tribe. And knowing our history we have empathy for those who are struggling today, whose idea of the American dream is a safe roof over their heads and a chance to educate their kids. Honoree Kate McCulley put it so well: “As Irish Americans, I believe it is our duty to speak up for the immigrants of today. We must protect the people who came here to create a better life for their families, just as millions of Irish did before them.” I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that the Irish are also happy to protect those Americans of many races and religions who protected us on our journeys. Let’s raise a glass to a Happy New Year for one and all. Mórtas Cine.

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Co-Founder/ Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty Vice President of Marketing: Kate Overbeck Deputy Editor: Adam Farley Art Director: Marian Fairweather Advertising & Editorial Coordinator: Áine Mc Manamon Copy Editor: Olivia O’Mahony Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan Editorial Assistant: Dave Lewis

875 Avenue of the Americas Suite 201, New York NY 10001 TELEPHONE: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344 E-MAIL: Subscriptions: 1-800-582-6642

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letters | readers forum

Hurling’s New Super 11s American Rules are Bad for the Sport

I couldn’t agree more that this is an unnecessary modification to this amazing sport. If the G.A.A., G.P.A., and N.A.C.B. wish to grow this sport with American audiences, then it needs to be played the traditional way and not “Americanized.” Clubs are growing all over the U.S. and new clubs are popping up all the time. America needs this sport in the mainstream and the clubs, players, and supporters need the clout of the G.A.A., N.A.C.B., and G.P.A. to get this done.

Jason Hall, Costal Virginia G.A.A. Matthews, VA

The growth of hurling in America in

Super 11s has yet to come to Florida, and I doubt it would catch on at all here – there are strong Irish communities here, with proper hurling taught and played from the hands of fathers to their sons. Super 11s is an embarrassment to U.S. hurlers, and, lest we be thought of as butchers of Irish culture, ought to be dropped.

Austin Rushnell, Tampa Bay G.A.A., Brevard G.A.A. Captain, Viera, FL

I’m not convinced by Dave Lewis’s argument in his Last Word piece on

Death Need Not Be Fatal

I just finished Malachy McCourt’s Death Need Not Be Fatal. Though he holds back NOTHING, he tells Malachy and Frank McCourt, the truth as he lived it c. 1996. and I respect that. The chapters made me laugh aloud at times, and these days it is a bit more difficult to do that. I heard Frank McCourt speak at a luncheon several years ago and afterward, as others and I stood in line to buy his book ’Tis, I handed him my copy of Irish America, with his photo on the front cover – him depicted on a motorcycle. He smiled and autographed the photo. I seldom buy books, even from the author herself or himself – I check books out of the library, as I did Malachy’s book. Malachy shared his heart with us and that is a gift.

Pat McCormick, submitted online

2017 AIG Hurling Classic Fenway Park. Galway, Clare, Tipperary, and Dublin.

the last 15 years has been incredible. I do not think the game should be “Americanized.” Play the game according to the rules that have made the game interesting to the Americans who play hurling. What America needs is to have the games available on mainstream television. There are enough outlets in America for the game to be covered instead of what they put on these channels to fill space. Please don’t bastardize our game.

Joe Lydon, submitted online

First of all, this is an excellent article and states what needs to be said about the state of American hurling. As an American hurler myself, I haven’t actually heard of Super 11s, but I’m appalled at the not only the concept of it, but the fact that it came into reality; hurling is, as stated in the article, an ancient and honorable sport, and a solid tie to Irish heritage roots for Americans. 8 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

American rules hurling. Americans have a history of making things American when they adopt them. The feedback indicates Irish are of one opinion about this, however. Irish sports are played here in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. What a great, great sport, hurling. Loved it when I played it. The fact that a thing can undergo changes is a healthy sign. Other articles from Irish America have stated that Irish hurling itself has undergone modifications over the centuries. Of course, the U.S. Marines did not change the cry “Semper Fidelis,” found in Limerick in the 1700s. Peter Garland, submitted online

Irish Heroes of the Vietnam War

I was very proud to read this article, as I have always known that the people of Ireland are courageous and willing to fight for whatever country they live in. My parents were both born in Dunmore, County Galway, and although my brother was not born in Ireland, he made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam when he was killed on March 3, 1968. When my father found out about Peter, he lowered the American flag and the Irish flag because our family never separated the two. God Bless all the Armored personnel families in the carrier in Vietnam, c. article and all 1968. the Irish who made this country great.

Mary Cain, submitted online

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letters | readers forum Ireland’s Pro-Choice Referendum

As an Irish American specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, I would encourage that the Eighth Amendment to the Irish constitution not be repealed. I have always been very proud that Ireland respects all human life from conception to natural death. Here in the U.S. we continue to suffer under the shameful, unscientific, and inhumane Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. All science points to the fact that human life begins at conception, contrary to propaganda from radical pro-abortion advocates. The mother and child are both victims when elective abortion is chosen as an answer to pregnancy. The humane answer in difficult circumstances

regarding pregnancy is not to encourage feticide, but to support young women who find themselves in difficulty. We continue the fight to overturn Roe in the U.S., where elective abortion continues to be a disastrous and shameful response to innocent new life. When any human beings are legislated out of the human race, all of society suffers. We own the shameful history of slavery, and now of elective abortion. I pray that you do not shame Ireland by going down the same selfish path. All human life is precious!

Laurence Burns, D.O., FACOG Grand Rapids, MI

The 2017 March for Choice in Dublin, November 30.

Irish Sculptors Led the Way in Celebrating Civil War Heroes

I’m a second year master’s student in American history at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. My field of specialization in the Civil War and Reconstruction period. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this article. Nils Valdis Vytautas Skudra, Greensboro, NC

Visit us online at to leave your comments, or write to us:

Send a fax (212-244-3344), e-mail ( or write to Letters, Irish America Magazine, 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Letters should include the writer’s name, address and phone number and may be edited for clarity and length. 10 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston, completed in 1897 by Dublin-born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.


In our Roots column “The Remarkable Ryans,” Benjamin Franklin was incorrectly identified as president of the United States in the late 1770s. Franklin never served as U.S. president and at the time was U.S. Minister to France. George Washington became the country’s first president in 1789.

Irish America’s Travel Archives Are Live

Irish America has thrived in providing the best travel writing about Ireland since it’s founding 32 years ago. Until now though, that writing has been without a dedicated home on our archives page online. But in November, we compiled all our travel writing in one place, sort-by-topic/travelarchives, bringing you the most interesting stories from a country overflowing with them. From documenting the majesty of County Kerry in our most recent issue, to Tom Coyne, who spent four months walking Ireland and playing every single one of its golf courses in search of the greatest round ever played, our travel stories take delight in the unexpected and pride in exposing the unknown. We welcome any and all submissions for travel pieces, and if selected, we’ll feature your story on our dedicated Travel page here. So take a trip, send us your photos, and have the opportunity to be published by America’s oldest Irish magazine. Email with “My Travel Story” in the subject line for consideration.

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hibernia | news

he Republic of Ireland and the U.K. reached a deal in early December assuring Ireland that there would be no hard border on the island after Britain leaves the E.U., allowing Brexit negotiations to move on to phase two. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the deal in a statement, calling it “politically bullet-proof” and highlighting that the relationship between Northern Ireland, the rest of the U.K., and the Republic would remain as close as possible to the current arrangement, with the rights of E.U. citizens living in the U.K. to live, work, and study protected, and vise versa. Northern Ireland residents will still be allowed to obtain an Irish passport as well, granting them E.U. citizenship. “The strongest political commitment that exist in this document is the commitment that there will be no hard border... They are politically bulletproof. They’re cast iron,” Varadkar said. “As we get into the detail more and more, the British people will understand why it makes sense that we have very similar or almost identical rules and regulations.” While some are still hoping Brexit may lead to a united Ireland, Varadkar assuaged unionist fears by confirming, “There is no question of us trying to exploit Brexit to move toward Irish unity without consent.” – A.F.

erry Adams, president of Sinn Féin and G one of the most formidable figures in Irish nationalist politics for nearly 50 years,

announced at the Sinn Féin party conference in November that he plans to retire in 2018, ceding control of the party he has led for 34 years, and making way for a new generation of Irish republicans to come to the fore. “Leadership means knowing when it is Gerry Adams speaks at Irish America's time for change,” he said during a heartfelt 2017 Hall of Fame Awards in New York. speech at the convention in front of a 2,500person crowd. “That time is now.” Currently, Sinn Féin is the third-largest party in suspicious, even, possibly, entering government in the Republic of Ireland, and the second-largest in Dublin for the first time. Speaking to the New York Northern Ireland, and its new president could be Times, University College Dublin politics profespoised to make the party’s image even more legit- sor David Farrell said, “Under a new Sinn Féin imate and palatable to many who still view it as leader I think anything is possible.” – A.F.



Gerry Adams Announces Retirement

LinkedIn Launches New HQ in Ireland

inkedIn officially opened its new Europe, Lin September, Middle East, and Africa headquarters in Dublin revealing a new $100 million premises on the Grand Canal Dock. The headquarters was built to meet the needs of LinkedIn’s growing workforce in Ireland, which has ballooned from three employees in 2010 to 1,200 today. It marks the company’s first new construction outside of the United States. “A lot of effort has gone into making [the building] look absolutely fabulous,” Lisa Finnegan, LinkedIn’s human resources director, told Silicon Republic. The new offices feature a soundproof music room, gym with personal trainers, and games room, and are energy efficient, with 250 bicycle parking spots and a rainwater-harvesting system. – O.O.


A Brexit Breakthrough for Ireland

Clockwise from far right: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; Sharon McCooey, head of LinkedIn Ireland; Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland; then-Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald; and John Hurley, managing director for EMEA LinkedIn.

New Irish Embassies and Consulates to Open in 2018

n October, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney announced the opening of six new IColombia, Irish diplomatic missions as part of the government’s 2018 budget package. New embassies in Chile, Jordan, and New Zealand will assist in promoting trade and investment. A new consulate in Vancouver, British Columbia, will benefit the Irish diaspora in Canada and improve the already-strong Irish-Canadian relations. And in Mumbai, a new consulate will allow Ireland to engage more thoroughly with the western regions of India. “The announcement of these new Irish embassies and consulates are important first steps in expanding our global footprint and diversifying our trade portfolio as we prepare for Brexit,” Coveney said in a statement at Leinster House. For 2018, the government also allocated over $834 million to overseas official development assistance. “We will use these additional resources to continue the fight against poverty and hunger, to build on our work delivering sustainable improvements in living standards for some of the world’s poorest people, and in increasing our response to the unprecedented level of humanitarian needs worldwide,” Minister for International Development and the Diaspora Ciaran Cannon said. – O.O.


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More than 100 Syrian Refugees at Home in Roscommon


allaghadereen is a small B town in County Roscommon of about 2,000 people, and


hibernia | news

since March, locals have been working hard to welcome more than 100 Syrian refugees living on the grounds of the defunct Abbeyfield Hotel. Recently, local barbershop owner Sajjad Hussain, who is also involved in the local Islamic Cultural Centre, began by organizing a soccer friendly between arriving Syrian refugees and the existing local Pakistani community. The games are now weekly and the spectators include friends and family of players and local Irish fans. “It’s not easy sitting in the hotel all day. You think more and more about your past and lots of people have had really hard times in

Syria. It’s nice to forget for a little while and be involved in sport and have a laugh and a bit of fun,” he told the Irish Examiner. “If something doesn’t touch our hearts when all that happens in Syria, we are not human,” local shop owner Mary said in a November TV3/BBC documentary about the community response. The Syrians are part of an Irish government program pledged to host 4,000 refugees by 2019. Last year, Ireland admitted 760 refugees. – A.F.

Slane Castle Open for Whiskey Touring

fter eight years in the making and two years of building and renovaA tions, a new distillery has opened on the historic grounds of the 18th century Slane Castle Estate, 30 miles north of Dublin. Much of the distill-


ery is located in the estate’s Georgian stables, dating to the 1750s, which have been completely retrofitted and are open for tours as well. The Slane Distillery and Visitors Experience represents the latest expansion of Slane Irish Whiskey, conceived in 2009 by Lord Henry Mount Charles and his son, Alex Conynham, whose family own the estate. Previously, Slane Whiskey aged other manufacturers’ whiskeys, but the new distillery will allow the company to produce their own whiskey, reviving a distilling tradition in the Boyne Valley as old as the castle itself. “With the opening of Slane Distillery, we aim to restore this legacy for future generations by combining the best of traditional Irish whiskey craftsmanship with progressive process innovation,” Conyngham said. “We are also delighted to be able to open the distillery to visitors where they can see and experience the whole production process for themselves and enjoy a sensory based tasting experience of Slane Irish Whiskey.” – D.L.

Alex Conynham at the Slane Castle distillery.

Irish Passport Service Wins World Class Civil Service Award


he Irish Passport Service was recognized for its outstanding achievement with the World Class Civil Service award at the Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards at Dublin Castle in November. The award was made in respect of the Online Passport Renewal Project, which saw launch of the online passport application system in March. The service means that Irish citizens renewing their passport can do so online anywhere in the world, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and with no requirement for forms, witnesses, or printed photos. It is one of the first fully online passport renewal services in Europe and since the launch, more than 100,000 citizens have already been issued with passports through the online system. Processing time for an online application is 10 days plus postage time, with no requirement for forms, witnesses, or printed photos. “I am very proud to say that the Passport Service continues to perform very strongly in delivering excellent customer service to Irish citizens across the word,” Simon Coveney T.D. (above), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and newly-appointed Tánaiste, said at the awards. “This award is a reflection of that excellent service, while also demonstrating the innovation, dedication and enthusiasm of staff in my Department to deliver a world class service.” – I.A. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 IRISH AMERICA 13

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hibernia | news

everal outstanding University College Cork graduates were S recently honored at the university’s annual alumni awards in November, including the first visually-impaired athlete to complete seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. UCC law alumna Sinead Kane (right), who qualified as Ireland’s first legally blind solicitor in 2009, was among those honored. Kane,



UCD’s Smurfit Business School Annual New York Fundraiser

who recently completed the World Marathon Challenge, led an effort to secure visually impaired legal professionals equal opportunities in court that resulted in the introduction of legislation in 2008 allowing for visually impaired persons appearing before a court to have an assistant. Also honored were (l-r) Ruth Buckley, deputy chief executive and head of ICT and business services for Cork City Council; Gillian Keating, a partner in Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors; and Caroline O’Driscoll, a tax partner with KPMG Cork, the founders of I WISH, an initiative to inspire female secondary school students to consider STEM careers. They said, “we cannot tolerate a system which delivers lesser outcomes for women than for men.” – I.A.

he University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School held its 15th Annual New York Benefit Dinner at the Metropolitan Club in New York in October, with more than 200 alumni and friends in attendance. Angela Moore (center), managing director of Macha Capital; Paul Mulligan (center left), president of Coca-Cola Refreshments North America; and Brian O’Driscoll (center right), a former Leinster, Ireland and Lions professional rugby player, were all honored at the gala dinner. Over the years, the dinner has raised more than $2.4 million, which has gone to scholarships for students to attend the school. Moore is the wife of the late Dr. George Moore, founder of the Virginia Distillery Company in the Blue Ridge Mountains and one of Irish America’s longtime Business 100 leaders. Speaking at the event, professor Anthony Brabazon (left), Dean of UCD College of Business, highlighted the work of the college said, “Our ambition is to place the UCD school of business firmly in the top 50 of business schools globally,” emphasizing that the Financial Times has ranked several programs in that category. “Because our students aspire to be the best, so must we.” – A.F.

Gaelic League Donates Archives to NUIG

and plans to digitize the entire archives of Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League). The archives, which contain hoards of documents, press clippings, pictures, campaign materials, and letters, including personal correspondence of Douglas Hyde, Conradh na Gaeilge’s founder and the first president of Ireland, are being donated in advance of the league’s 125th anniversary in 2018. The trove of more than 500 boxes also contains previously unseen documents related to the founders of the modern Irish state, including Michael Collins, Patrick Pearse, and Thomas Ashe, as well as cultural figures like Brendan Behan. 14 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

“The person who spends time looking through the archive material will recognize immediately that it contains a remarkable insight into a decisive period in the country’s history,” Conradh na Gaeilge president Dr. Niall Comer said in a statement. “Now, with NUI Galway’s plan to catalogue and digitize the material, this jewel will be available widely.” NUI Galway has long been committed to Irish language learning and scholarship, located as it is near the Connemara Gaeltacht, and the Conradh na Gaeilge archives will only add to it’s reputation as a center for linguistic study and Irish language history, says Dr. John Walsh, senior PHOTO COURTESY NUIG

new chapter in Irish language scholarA ship is about to begin as the National University of Ireland at Galway has received

Jim Browne, president of NUIG; Monica Crump, NUIG Special Collections, University Library; and Dr Niall Comer, president of Conradh na Gaeilge.

lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway: “By studying Conradh na Gaeilge we can better understand contemporary European minority language movements which continue to have such resonance today.” – A.F.


Girl Power: University College Cork’s Annual Alumni Awards

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hibernia | irish eye on hollywood RFK Biopics in the Works for 50th Anniversary of his Death

une 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and Hollywood is ready to mark the occasion with not one but two projects in the works telling the story of the Kennedy brother often considered the most Irish and Catholic. First there is a major motion picture featuring Matt Damon as RFK, who ran for president in 1968, only to be gunned down after winning the California primary. The Dark Tower director Nikolaj Arcel wrote the script for the film, currently entitled RFK. This past summer, Arcel also signed on to direct. RFK also stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, and is slated for a summer 2018 release. Meanwhile, streaming TV service Hulu will also produce a mini-series about Bobby Kennedy, starring Chris Pine, best known for playing Captain Kirk in recent Star Trek flicks. Based on Larry Tye’s book Bobby Kennedy: The Making Of A Liberal Icon, the as-yet-untitled Kennedy Hulu series will be written and executive-produced by network TV veteran Todd E. Kessler (The Practice, The Good Wife). Hulu has had success with Kennedy material in the past. A few years back, they produced the sprawling series 11/22/63, based on Stephen King’s book about JFK’s assassination, and starring James Franco.


Ronan (left) and Gerwig on the set of Lady Bird

Saoirse Ronan Just Can’t Do Wrong

he Irish actress earned raves in the November coming-of-age movie Lady Bird, which was directed to great acclaim by indie darling Greta Gerwig. Prior to that, Ronan was in the visually-groundbreaking (if coolly reviewed) Loving Vincent, which told the story of painter Vincent van Gogh’s life and featured thousands of handpainted scenes. The new year will see Ronan in a range of projects


with serious literary and historical chops. There’s On Chesil Beach, based on the Ian McEwan novel. (McEwan, of course, is the Scottish author behind Atonement, the movie adaptation of which earned Ronan an Oscar nomination at the age of 13 in 2007.) In 2018, Ronan will also appear in a film based on Anton Chekov’s The Seagull, and in the title role of the historical drama Mary Queen of Scots.


by Tom Deignan

Rising Irish Stars On Both Sides of the Camera

he Hollywood Reporter recently highlighted 10 rising Irish stars set to make serious waves in front of, as well as behind, the camera. Among this new crop of talent was Dublin actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (above), set to appear in the May 2018 star-packed action film Avengers: Infinity War. Vaughan-Lawlor, who has appeared in Irish films such as The Cured, as well as Jim Sheridan’s Secret Scripture, will appear alongside A-listers such as Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel and about 20 other bold-faced names. Other Irish talent to keep an eye out for, according to the Hollywood Reporter, are writerdirector Aoife McCardle and producer Andrew Freedman. This dynamic duo teamed up for the recent film Kissing Candice, described by the magazine as “an unconventional love story and comingof-age drama... set in a seaside town along Ireland’s north/south border.” Other Irish double threats (director-writer) lauded by the Hollywood Reporter include Peter Foott (The Young Offenders) and David Freyne (The Cured). Two other names that stand out on this list are directors Nora Twomey and Emer Reynolds, especially given the soul-searching currently going on in the entertainment industry, in the wake of sex scandals, and charges that women are not given a fair shake in Hollywood. Ireland has also struggled to bring up the number of women wielding power behind the scenes. Twomey’s directorial debut, The Breadwinner, as well as Reynolds’s The Farthest – about the Voyager space mission – show that the time might finally have arrived for Irish women to obtain real clout in showbiz.


Aoife McCardle

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Barry Lyndon Joins the Criterion Collection

n the annals of classic Irish films, Barry LynBeckett don holds a strange spot. It has impeccable cre(left) with dentials: the stars include Irish American, Ryan Keaton (right, O’Neal, (best known for Love Story, What’s Up, in hat) on the set of Doc?, and Paper Moon, also featuring his daughFilm ter Tatum) and Armagh native Patrick Magee. Now, for a decidedly more offbeat DVD release. There’s also good source material – the novel The It sounds like a Ph.D. candidate’s idea of a joke: What do you get when Luck of Barry Lyndon, by William Thackeray. you cross the great Irish playwright Samuel Beckett with the American The 1975 film was also directed by the great comic genius Buster Keaton? You get one of the strangest movies in cineStanley Kubrick. Barry Lyndon was the film he matic history. And a recent DVD release takes us for a peek behind the exischose to make after classics such as 2001: A tential scenes. It all begins in 1964, when Beckett, at the heights of his fame, Space Odyssey and A set out to make a movie. But, of course, it would have to be a film that made Clockwork Orange. For all a statement about the nature of film. And so, of course, it was called Film. of this, however, Barry And starred Buster Keaton. Milestone Films recently released a deeper examLyndon is rarely placed in ination of Beckett’s 30-minute movie. Entitled Notfilm, this feature-length the same category as Irish work examines all of the players and production of Film, (which is also availclassics from The Quiet able from Milestone). Both are packed with extras, perhaps most intriguingly Man to Michael Collins. (if you purchase Film) a 1961 version of Waiting for Godot starring Zero The folks over at the Ryan O’Neal Mostel and Burgess Merideth. The Notfilm extras aren’t too shabby either, Criterion Collection are as Barry Lyndon and include reflections on the careers of both Keaton and Beckett. looking to change that, with a new Blu-ray restoration of the film. The Atlantic recently lauded this new release, adding: “The 18th-century high society (Kubrick) depicts is just as unsettling as the austere spaceships of 2001 and the views with the film’s cast and crew, as well as excerpts from a violent dystopia of A Clockwork Orange.” 1976 interview with the famously-reclusive director. For hardBarry Lyndon revolves around the title character (O’Neal), who core film nerds there is a slew of material with the film’s tech journies from an Irish farm to military glory, before aiming for crew, including cinematographer John Alcott, editor Tony Lawson marriage and a position amongst the elite. The new Criterion and even a 1976 interview with Ulla-Britt Söderlund, who corelease is packed with extra goodies. Not only has the film been designed the film’s Oscar-winning costumes. All of this is wrapped digitally restored, there is also a new documentary featuring inter- up nicely with an essay by Irish American critic Geoffrey O’Brien.


Film / Notfilm

TV & Streaming Report

Here are some new, recent, and noteworthy Irish shows streaming on various services. ABC has given Irish American comedy veteran Tim Doyle the go-ahead to shoot a show about what Variety calls

“an Irish-Catholic family with a working class dad, traditional mom and eight sons as they struggle to cope in the turbulent 1970s.” Doyle has spent decades in the comedy business, working on diverse shows such as Ellen and Roseanne, and, more recently, The Real O’Neals and Last Man Standing. American-born and Dublin-educated acting veteran Holt McCallany has perhaps his biggest role yet in the Netflix series Mindhunter. McCallany has spent nearly 40 years on stage and screen, from films such as Casualties of War and Three Kings to TV shows like Criminal Minds and the Law & Order franchises. McCallany was born into a showbiz family in New York. His father, Michael McAloney, starred in a Tony-award winning production of Brendan

Behan’s Borstal Boy. McCallany was educated in Howth, Dublin and Kildare, before pursuing an acting career. In Mindhunter – produced by David Fincher – McCallany plays a veteran 1970s FBI investigator who uses groundbreaking methods to get inside the minds of sexual predators. Also on Netflix, Alias Grace – about an Irish Hunger immigrant girl in Canada accused of murder – has earned raves. Like the well-received The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace was also based on a Margaret Atwood novel. Finally, Showtime is wagering Irish Southie can spawn yet another hit – SMILF, about a wisecracking, loveable, single mom from the rough Irish American neighborhood. Boston native Frankie Shaw plays Bridgette, and also created the show, which features Rosie O’Donnell as Bridgette’s wisecracking, loveable mom.

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Irish American Priest Beatified in Detroit


California High Schooler Wins Surfing Competitions on Tricolor Longboard

ather Solanus Casey (left), a first-generation Irish American Capuchin priest, was beatified in Detroit in November, creating the possibility that he may become the first American-born male to os Angeles area high schooler Emily Rose Flavin, 17, is an awardbecome a saint. Casey is only the third person born winning amateur competitive surfer in both short and longboard. This in the U.S. to receive the title of “blessed,” the level summer 2017 she won three longboard championships, all while riding below sainthood. her trademark green, white, and orange Irish tricolor board. Emily is fourthCasey’s beatification comes after a generation Irish American with roots in Cork and Tipperary. Panamanian woman was cured of a “I wear a lot of sunscreen,” she jokes about her heritage, adding, “My Irish genetic skin disease following prayers temper helps me when I am competing. Ireland is surrounded by water and I she said over his tomb in Detroit earlier basically live in the water, so I feel connected to that aspect as well.” Emily this year. “The beatification of Father hasn’t been to Ireland yet, but has plans with her father to tour the country Solanus Casey is an incomparable within the next two years and make a documentary about Ireland’s connection grace for the church in the Archdiocese to surfing culture. of Detroit and for the whole commuEmily, a senior at Santa Monica High School, has com- Emily Flavin nity of southeast Michigan,” Detroit her tricolor peted since age 12. To date, she has won over thirty trophies rides archbishop Allen Vigneron said in a longboard in and has no plans to stop, with a schedule that will see her Manhattan statement. “He is an inspiration to all compete in more than 20 contests before June 2018. – A.F. Beach, CA. us Catholics – and to all – of the power of grace to transform one’s life.” Casey was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin in 1870, the sixth of ten boys and six girls born to Bernard James Casey from County Monaghan and Ellen Murphy from County Armagh. He joined the Capuchins in Detroit in 1896, serving for 20 years in New York City and returning to Detroit in 1924, before moving to ith a finish time of 2 hours 26 minutes, Shalane Huntington, Indiana, in 1945, where he died in 1957. – A.F. Flanagan (below) became the first American in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon in November. It was her first major international win after more than a decade of professional racing. Flanagan, who was raised in an Irish American household in Marblehead, MA, represented the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning the bronze hen the results of the July New York medal in the 10,000-meter race. The medal was Bar Exam were posted this fall, Aoife changed to silver this August when it was revealed Moore Kavanagh (right), a law graduate of that the second-place finisher had failed a drug test. Dublin City University from County Louth, became Outside racing, Flanagan has been a fierce one of the youngest people ever to pass the grueling test, at age 22. supporter of female runners. When she joined the “A lot of my fellow classmates and people I met while in New York Portland, Oregon-based distance group Bowerman didn’t know that it was even an option to sit the Bar Exam without Track Club in 2009, she was the only woman, but going to an American law school,” she told IrishCentral. “But I am worked with the club’s founder to establish a team of proof that it can be done.” all-female distance runners. Last year, all 11 of her Kavanagh spent time in San Francisco on a J-1 Visa two summers running partners made it to the Olympics. ago and saw there would be more opportunities as a law graduate in “I thoroughly enjoy working with other women,” the U.S. than in Ireland. She first took the Bar in February of this year, Flanagan told the New but failed by ten points. York Times. “I think it “I had to try again. I owed it to myself to give it my very best shot makes me a better and now that I knew New York was where I wanted to be I had this athlete and person. It new-found drive and longing,” she said. “For the next two months I allows me to have more focused solely on the exam. There were times when I couldn’t even passion toward my remember the last time I got dressed. I lived and breathed the Amertraining and racing. ican law materials. I recorded myself reciting rules and fell asleep When we achieve great listening to it. I studied 9-plus hours a day, six days a week.” things on our own, it Kavanagh intends to move to New York with the aim of becoming doesn’t feel nearly as a judge, she told the Irish Mirror. “I can’t wait to get stuck in.” – A.F. special.” – A.F.


First American Wins NY Marathon in 40 Years

Irish Woman Among Youngest Ever to Pass New York Bar





hibernia | culture

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rish President Michael D. Higgins honored ten members of the Irish diaspora in November with the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad in a range of categories, including Irish America’s own editor-inchief Patricia Harty for Business and Education. Pictured above, back row: (left to right) Dr. William Campbell (U.S. / Science, Technology, and Innovation), General John De Chastelain (Canada / Peace, Reconcilliation, and Development), Sabina Higgins, Tanáiste Simon Coveney, Minister for the Diaspora and International De-

velopment Ciarán Cannon, and Bernard Canavan (Britain / Arts, Culture, and Sport). Front row: (left to right) Professor Marianne Elliot (Britain / Peace, Reconcilliation, and Development), Jacqueline O’Donovan (Britain / Irish Community Support), President Michael D. Higgins, Patricia Harty, Denis Mulcahy (U.S. / Charitable Works), Hideki Mimura (Japan / Irish Community Support), and Mary T. Murphy (Ethiopia / Charitable Works). For complete coverage of the event, visit

Irish Books, Arts, and Music Celebration 2017 Honors Deserving Irish

he Ninth Annual iBAM! 2017 opened in October with a near-sold-out concert when Daniel O’Donnell took the stage with his band and gave folks a show to remember. O’Donnell (second from right) was honored at the annual awards gala, held at the Irish American Heritage Center, for his outstanding contributions in the field of music. Also honored were: (left to right) Frank Mathie for Media/Journalism, Timothy Egan for Literature, Kevin Dundon for Culinary Arts, Joan Freeman as Person of the Year for her work with Pieta House, Mary McNally as Volunteer of the Year, and Philip Gray of Ireland for Visual Arts, and Jim Sheridan (not pictured) for Visual Arts.





oncern Worldwide U.S. recognized Penn Mutual chairman and CEO Eileen McDonnell at its 21st annual Seeds of Hope dinner in November. McDonnell was honored for her outstanding dedication to improving the lives of the world’s poorest people, particularly women and young girls. “I am humbled by Concern Worldwide’s perseverance in their commitment not only to emergency relief, but more vitally, to people’s long–term needs,” she said in her keynote address. Over 600 attended the gala dinner, including David Donoghue, former representative of Ireland to the United Nations, and Brian d’Arcy James, three-time Tony award nominee and star of Broadway’s Hamilton (and McDonnell’s cousin), who also performed. In total, the dinner raised more than $2 million, with more than $230,000 raised on the night of the event – a record for Concern Worldwide.


Diaspora Receive Presidential Service Award

Eugene O’Neill Awards

elevision host and entertainer Phil Donahue (second from left) was awarded with the Irish American Writers and Artists’ annual Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award in a dinner gala ceremony at New York City’s Manhattan Club in October. Pictured with Donahue above are IAW&A director Maria Deasy, Rosie O’Donnell, and IAW&A presenter Mark Butler. Donahue is awarded for his lifetime of service to the television industry, including pioneering audience interaction in talk shows and his opposition to the Iraq war in 2003, which resulted in his firing from MSNBC. Past honorees have included Brian Dennehy, Judy Collins, John Patrick Shanley, Pete Hamill, and Irish America’s own Patricia Harty.



Eileen McDonnell Honored at Concern U.S. Seeds of Hope Awards


hibernia | events + awards

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hibernia | awards IRISH POST AWARDS 2017

“Together We are Immense” A night of community, Brexit, and high praise of the Irish in Britain as Bob Geldof and Johnny McDaid were among those honored at 40th annual Irish Post Awards on November 23 at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London. Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid praised the collective energy, spirit, and positive impact of the Irish in Britain. “We come from a history of nations that fought

immense. Together we are really immense.” He also took the opportunity to make an impassioned plea on Brexit, saying, “It is in the interest of Britain to stay in Europe, as it is in the interest of Ireland to be allied with Britain in Europe, and this is very dangerous for our native country and it is very dangerous for here. We have a year and a half to prevent this catastrophe.” Apprentice star Baroness Karren Brady, singer Imelda May, and Olympic rowers Gary and Paul

O’Donovan were also honored on the night. This year’s Building Britain Award was won by Ground Construction Ltd, while a special award was presented to Kerryman Danny O’Sullivan for over 30 years’ service to the Irish community. And it was that sense of community that Derry native Johnny McDaid spoke of with huge admiration and passion. “Everything that you have seen here tonight is about community, we are all of us a community, we are people from Ireland who left and came here to England to make more of our life,” he said. McDaid was joined by his mother Pauline and his partner, Hollywood actress Courteney Cox.


TOP: The Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid, M.P., Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. ABOVE LEFT: Honoree Baroness Karren Brady and husband Paul Peschisolido with actress Courteney Cox and honoree Johnny McDaid. CENTER: Chris Davies of DRS Bond Management and Paddy Shanahan, Building Britain Award-winner. RIGHT: Master of Ceremonies Eamonn Holmes, Fionnula Flanagan, and Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Bob Geldof.

Honoree Imelda May received her award from Dara O'Briain.

each other. It’s amazing to see this gathering of people fighting for each other,” he said. The Boomtown Rats singer, Bob Geldof, said of the Irish community in Britain: “Together we are

Steve Martin Honored at Irish Arts Center Gala


ew York’s Irish Arts Center honored Oscar-, Emmy-, and Grammywinning performer Steve Martin in October at the 2017 Spirit of Ireland Gala at Cipriani, raising a record-breaking $1.5 million over the course of the evening. The event also honored Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul 22 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

Left to Right: IAC executive director Aidan Connolly; honorees Paul Muldoon, Sharon Patrick, and Steve Martin; and IAC vice chair Pauline Turley.

Attendees included honorary chairs Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, singers Cassandra Wilson and Camille O’Sullivan, visual artist Peter Max, former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, and former Senator George Mitchell. PHOTO: ERIN BAIANO Throughout the evening, guests sipped Bushmills Irish whiskey, Muldoon and Sharon Patrick, co-founder including Bushmills Red Bush, the and former CEO of Martha Stewart newest release from the iconic brand. Living.

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hibernia | window on the past JOHN J. KIERNAN:

Wall Street’s Forgotten Financial News Genius


TOP: John J. Kiernan. BOTTOM: Kiernan began his financial news service by rowing ship-to-ship in New York Harbor and aggregating old newspaper reports of the global financial situation.


This article originally appeared in Irish America’s November / December 1996 issue.

tched against the burgeoning lower Manhattan skyline, a lone figure rowed his tiny skiff toward the white-capped inner port. This was no fitness buff; his dark suit and bowler hat rose and dipped rhythmically from one ship to another, visits to each brief and businesslike. The year was 1868. The solitary oarsman was John J. Kiernan, an innovative pioneer in the field of financial news-gathering. Today he is remembered for hiring Wall Street Journal founders Charles Henry Dow and William Davis Jones as early leg-men in his growing financial news bureau. Kiernan’s daily rowing missions allowed him to scavenge days-old newspapers from ships newly arrived from London and other distant ports. This information would be distilled into news items, then relayed by Kiernan and his messengers to Wall Street Financial News Bureau subscribers. Besides scanning news from overseas papers, Kiernan interviewed ship’s officers and well-informed businessmen on board. His office, soon known as “Kiernan’s Corner,” was located at Wall and Broad Streets, the site of today’s New York Stock Exchange. Hiring Dow and Jones in 1880 was a stroke of genius and a source of future regret for the 35-year-old Brooklyn-born entrepreneur. The eldest of six children of Irish immigrants Frank and Ellen Kiernan, John J. was born in Brooklyn on February 1, 1845. Armed with only a grade school education, he found work as a lad of 12 running errands for the Magnetic Telegraph Company, later becoming a Western Union messenger. While delivering dispatches in the financial district, Kiernan quickly saw the value businessmen put upon his service. They snapped up Kiernan’s messages and offered money for other news coming


across the wires. Using his own small savings and borrowing from friends and family, Kiernan decided to launch his own news business in 1869. Subscribers to Kiernan’s News Agency paid $300 per month for late-breaking news items in the shipping, rail-road, and construction fields, as well as other financial information. As his agency prospered, thanks, in part, to hard work and long hours from Dow and Jones, Kiernan was free to turn his attention to politics. As a Democrat, he won two terms as a state senator, beginning in 1881, and is credited with authoring bills to improve New York Harbor and its ferry service. Kiernan’s proudest moment may have come in 1880 during Charles Stewart Parnell’s visit to America. The senator-to-be escorted Ireland’s leading home-rule advocate through Wall Street and into the Stock Exchange. There, Parnell was introduced to financial movers and shakers, many of whom were friends of Kiernan. His plea for “subscriptions” to improve living conditions among Ireland’s distressed tenant farmers won great support. While their employer turned his attention to politics, Dow and Jones saw their chance. They abandoned Kiernan and launched their own financial sheet in 1882. In the basement of a candy store at 15 Wall Street, they began publishing the Customer’s Afternoon Letter. In little more than a year, they had 1,000 customers. Eventually, the newsletter became the Wall Street Journal. Kiernan saw his bureau slowly decline. He brought in William P. Sullivan as a partner, but they quarreled privately, in print, and finally in court. In 1888 Sullivan bought the Kiernan News Agency for what the New York Times said was “a few thousand dollars.” No longer a senator and stripped of his agency, Kiernan, was anxious to regain a measure of his old political clout. He was honored by leading political figures, from ward through federal levels, at a testimonial dinner in July, 1883. “The illustrious senator,” wrote the New York Times, “has earned the applause of his Democratic supporters by his uniform sobriety and good behavior. It was never reported of him, as it has been of some of his associates, that he has been addicted to the flowing bowl... So shining an example... should not pass without recognition.” When Kiernan’s supporters nominated him to fill a post as surveyor for the Port of New York, the Times had new praise: “He is very popular, and has many friends who would be very glad to see him get this job.” However, Kiernan’s dreams of future glory weren’t to be. What the doctors had said was a heavy cold developed into pneumonia and heart failure. On November 29, 1893, John J. Kiernan, at the young age of 48, died on his Brooklyn home. A century after his death, New York State archives turned up only a one-page, 252-word account of Senator Kiernan’s accomplishments. – Paul M. McCarthy

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hibernia | events 20th Anniversary | Oct. 13

Irish America magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary Wall Street 50 Awards October 11 at the St. Regis New York in Manhattan, featuring PwC’s senior partner and U.S. chairman Tim Ryan as the evening’s keynote speaker. “Whether we all realize it or not, we are all leaders,” Ryan said. “And like it or not, people are looking to us for our lead. And looking to us at a time of tremendous uncertainty and where people can be very scared.” Ryan was presented with a House of Waterford Crystal Lismore Essence Vase by co-founder and editor Patricia Harty and founding publisher Niall O’Dowd.



Photos by Nuala Purcell



“As we think about our retirement party, I would ask all of us to think – Are people going to talk to us about how we increase shareholder value? How we increase earnings-per-share? Or how, as leaders, we brought certainty to the people who are looking up to us?”




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– Tim Ryan

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12 “As collective leaders we can make the United States the most inclusive society in the world. And as Irish professionals, we can lead the way.” 14

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– Tim Ryan

1 Niall O'Dowd and Patricia Harty present Tim Ryan with the House of Waterford Crystal Lismore Essence Vase. 2 Honoree Michael Devlin and family. 3 Honoree Hollie Fagan receives a House of Waterford Crystal award from Irish America founding editor Patricia Harty. 4 Irish America founding publisher Niall O’Dowd presents a House of Waterford Crystal to honoree James Reid. 5 Tim Ryan and Ambassador Dan Mulhall. 6 Honoree Tony Dalton, Patricia Harty, and Tony's children, Gerard and Ciara. 7 Wendy and Sean Kelleher. 8 Allison, Mary, and Martin Kehoe with Tim Ryan. 9 Honoree Peter Merrigan and James Kelly. 10 Honoree Bill Mulrow receives a House of Waterford Crystal award from Irish America founding editor Patricia Harty. 11 Keynote remarks by Tim Ryan. 12 Honoree Jim McLaughlin receives a House of Waterford Crystal award from Irish America founding editor Patricia Harty. 13 Musician Maeve Flanagan. 14 Niall O'Dowd, Greta Mulhall, Ambassador Dan Mulhall, and Patricia Harty. 15 Honoree Brendan Coughlin with honoree Michael Cleary and his wife Peg.16 Ron Parker, Kate Overbeck, Tim Ryan, and Adam Farley. 17 Honorees Meredith Ryan-Reid, Stephanie Whittier, and Jeanmarie McFadden with Patricia Harty. 18 Honoree Sean Kilduff receives a House of Waterford Crystal award from Patricia Harty. 19 PwC’s Kieran Claffey, Martin Kehoe, Tim Ryan, and Marie O'Connor with Ambassador Mulhall. 20 Joe Hummel, Ed Kenney, and Paul O'Hara. 21 Mary Ann Callahan, Andrea Haughian, and Jane McCabe. 22 Kyle Clifford, Kieran McLoughlin, Grainne McNamara, and Tim Ryan.

“Be honest, be simple, respect people, and work hard. That is embedded in our Irish ancestry.”

– Tim Ryan

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hibernia | women in leadership

Her Place at the Table E

TOP: Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, delivers the keynote speech at the Women in Leadership Event in New York. BOTTOM: Julie Sinnamon, then-Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, and Caitriona Perry of RTÉ News.

nterprise Ireland hosted their inaugural female leadership and entrepreneurship event in New York City in November with Ireland’s then-Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Frances Fitzgerald and Enterprise Ireland PHOTO: JAMES HIGGINS CEO Julie Sinnamon addressing “We funded 63 women-led start-ups last year, and more than 100 corporate leaders and entrepreneurs. in 2017 we are pushing to increase our investment The event, titled “Her Place at the Table,” was in female-led start-ups even further. Enterprise Irepart of Enterprise Ireland’s trade and investment land is deeply committed to female entrepreneurmission to the United States. The mission focused ship and this is embedded in the agency’s 2020 on boosting the profile of Enterprise Ireland clients strategy. We continue to work to reach the levels of and the Irish advantage they bring to U.S. buyers, female entrepreneurship achieved in the U.S., where particularly across banking, construction and life women now make up 40 percent of new entrepresciences sectors. neurs – the highest percentage since 1996.” Enterprise Ireland is a government agency reFitzgerald echoed Sinnamon’s statement during sponsible for the development of Irish businesses her remarks at the event. “Ireland has made signifabroad and is also officially Europe’s third largest icant progress in empowering women in entrepreventure capitalist by deal count. neurship, and the establishment of the Enterprise Ireland Female Entrepreneurship Unit was central to achieving our goal of more gender balance in Irish entrepreneurship,” she said. “I am proud of this achievement and to see that Enterprise Ireland’s investment in female-led companies at €5.5 million in 2016 is at a record high. This strategic investment to support women to realize their full business potential is not only the right thing to do, but is also critical to Ireland’s economic prosperity.” The event also included a panel discussion with Cork-born Samantha Barry, an executive producer for social and emerging media for CNN; Aoife Ní Mhuirí, founder and CEO of the Kerry based connected health technology company Salaso Health; and Maureen Mitchell, an Irish American and senior advisor with Boston Consulting Group and former president at GE Asset Management. The panel disPHOTO: JAMES HIGGINS cussion was moderated by RTÉ’s Washington, D.C. The event also coincided with the announcement correspondent Caitriona Perry. – I.A. that Enterprise Ireland’s investment in female-led companies has reached a record level and is curEd. Fitzgerald stepped down as Tánaiste on rently the highest level in the agency’s history. More November 28 following uncorroborated than €5.5 million ($6.5 million) was approved for allegations of interference with a Gardaí investment in female-led companies in 2016 and whistleblower investigation and calls from the this level of investment will be higher again in opposition party for a snap election that would 2017, Sinnamon said during her keynote remarks. have jeopardized the country’s stability.


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hibernia | quote unquote

“It’s disheartening. It’s a shame that is the climate in this world – to focus that much on that or to be discriminatory in that sense. But I think at the end of the day I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from.”

“I used to be a very bad stutterer. Everybody thinks I know Irish poets because I’m Irish. But I know them because of my uncle [who] had a volume of Yeats. And I used to get up at night and put a flashlight on the mirror, practicing and practicing, reading aloud from those books. Everybody has a burden to carry.”

– Former Vice President Joe Biden. New York Times, November 7.

– Meghan Markle, whose mother is African American and whose father is of Dutch-Irish descent, responding to a question about the harassment she received as a result of her ethnicity in the British tabloids following news of her engagement to Prince Harry. BBC, November 27.

“I happen to be an Irish American. Threatening me is like waving the red flag in front of the bull.”

– Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), whose seat is up for reelection next November, speaking about the direct challenges he faces from Donald Trump, who won Ohio by 20 points in 2017. New York Times, October 20.

“Ireland has a platform that more marginalized undocumented immigrants don’t have. [And yet] Ireland has had years of failure on advancing the rights of its undocumented citizens in America. By looking beyond familiar last names and searching for true allies, Ireland has its best chance of finding the deal it’s been longing for.”

– Colm F. Quinn, Director of New Media for the think tank Center for Strategic & International Studies. Splinter, October 17.

Joe Biden presented John McCain with the prestigious Liberty Medal in October.

“To refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

– Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in his acceptance speech for the National Constitution Center Liberty Medal. CNN, October 16.

“I’m a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign. Because I don’t let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread word around town that I am not a woman – that I am a cold piece of marble statuary. I guess Hollywood won’t consider me as anything except a cold hunk of marble until I divorce my husband, give my baby away and get my name and photograph in all the newspapers. If that’s Hollywood’s idea of being a woman I’m ready to quit now.”

– Maureen O’Hara in a May 1945 interview with the New York Mirror, speaking about sexual harassment in Hollywood’s “casting couch” culture more than 60 years ago.

“Ageing is an activity. It is something that you do, not something that happens. When you age – active verb – you are proactive. If you really age, you become a better person.”

– Belfast psychotherapist Thomas Moore, who has spent his career studying the emotional effects of aging and recently published a book called Ageless Soul: An Uplifting Meditation on The Art of Growing Older. Belfast Telegraph, November 28. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 IRISH AMERICA 29

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Ireland's Lake District

he third largest of Connacht’s five counties, Roscommon is also the province’s most water-logged. Threequarters bound by fresh water, it contains the longest stretch of the River Shannon of all 10 counties through which it flows. Quiet country roads, delightful views over undulating countryside dotted with lakes, streams, hills, and forests, and plenty of historical and archaeological sites await the Roscommon visitor. The county gets its name (in Irish Ros Comáin, meaning “Coman’s woods”) from St. Coman, a bishop who founded a monastery on the banks of the River Suck that became a noted place of learning in the early part of the eighth century. The land is rich in pasture that provides prime grazing for cattle and sheep, but given that the county is practically surrounded by water, it’s not surprising that Roscommon is known for its river and lake fishing. Anglers from all over Europe come here for trout and pike fishing on Lough Ree, the River Shannon and the River Suck. In fact, the World Pike Fishing Championship was held on Lough Ree in October. The River Suck, flowing along the western side of the county, is the main tributary of the River Shannon. At 65 miles long, it forms the border between Roscommon and Galway, meeting the Shannon just 32 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

south of the village of Shannonbridge, which gets its name from the bridge connecting County Offaly and County Roscommon. From here you can enjoy a one-hour cruise, taking in not only the spectacular natural beauty of the River Shannon, but views of Clonmacnoise, Europe’s most highly regarded monastic site. Founded in 544 by St. Ciarán, a young Roscommon man from Rathcroghan, this sixth-century site is home to three high crosses, a cathedral, seven churches, and two round towers. While Clonmacnoise is actually located on the Offaly side of the river, Roscommon itself sports some of Ireland’s best examples of early medieval architecture. Donamon Castle (Dún Lomáin), set in one of the most beautiful sections of the Suck Valley region near Roscommon town, is one of the oldest inhabited buildings in Ireland. Mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1154, Donamon was once the seat of the Ó Fionnachta chief of Clann Chonnmhaigh. Destroyed and rebuilt over centuries of warfare, it was taken over, in 1932, by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who set up an IRA training camp on the grounds.

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Today it is enjoying one of the most peaceful times in its ancient history. The Divine Word Missionaries (the largest missionary congregation in the Catholic Church) bought the castle from the Irish State in 1939, and it is still their home, though their numbers have greatly reduced. The former seminary is now occupied by Cuisle, a popular vacation resort run by the Irish Wheelchair Association for people with disabilities. Another popular medieval destination in Roscommon is Boyle Abbey, regarded as the finest examples of a Cistercian church to survive in Ireland. Situated at the foot of the Curlew Mountains and near Lough Key, the Abbey is now a national monument in state care and admission is free while restoration work is being carried out. You can take a guided tour or walk on your own around the immense stone compound dating from 1160. There are Gothic arches, soaring towers and massive chimneys all still intact. And if you chose to stay in Abbey House, right under the walls of the monastery, you can see the river in the morning without ever leaving your bed. Or you can take an early morning stroll to the town and delight in the old world charm of its country shops and pubs.

King House, an early Georgian mansion, built around 1730 for Sir Henry King whose family was one of the wealthiest in Ireland at the time, serves as the cultural center of the town. It boasts fascinating exhibitions on the history of the area. The “Gaelic Ireland” collection tells the story of Boyle before the arrival of the King family, when the Mac Diarmada (MacDermots) were the ruling dynasty. The clan held sway from the 10th through the 16th centuries, ruling from a stronghold called The Rock on Castle Island in what is now Lough Key Forest Park. Today, the island is home to a 19th-century folly castle built by the King family, and the park, encompasing most of the King family’s former estate, is a popular visitors attraction, featuring wooded trails, a canopy walk through the trees, ziplining, an indoor activity center, and modern lookout tower. The MacDermots were a lively bunch by all accounts. In ancient Ireland cattle raiding was a seen as a sport to show off one’s prowess and gain wealth, and the Gaelic Ireland exhibition shows the clan enjoying a feast in celebration of one such successful raid. History records that huge caskets of wine were

TOP LEFT: Castle Island, Lough Key, once the stronghold of the MacDermot clan. TOP RIGHT: A gargoyle on the wall of Boyle Abbey. ABOVE: Boyle Abbey is an impressive and well preserved Cistercian monastery founded in the 12th century. RIGHT: King House, located in Boyle, is a museum to the Connaught Rangers and serves as a historic and local cultural center.


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TOP: Roscommon Castle, to the north of the town, was built by the Normans in 1269. Four years later, it was captured by the Irish and razed. It was rebuilt in 1280. CENTER: Statue of Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first president.


opened with an axe blow and the wine flowed freely while the clan feasted on wild boar, venison and beef roasted on a great fire. The Battle of the Curlews Pass, another major incident, fought between English soldiers and Irish forces in 1599, is also covered in the exhibition. In the 19th century, the house served as a base for the Connaught Rangers, and the history of the regiment is explored. Maureen O’Sullivan, the Hollywood star whose father was an adjutant in the Connaught Rangers is also featured. The family lived three doors down the street, where the film legend

was born. O’Sullivan is perhaps best remembered as Jane Parker in the Tarzan films of the 1930s. Her daughter, Mia Farrow, has made many visits of Boyle. The queen of the jungle is not the only actor to come out of Boyle, Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, The IT Crowd) also grew up here. Other famous Roscommon people include Douglas Hyde, Ireland’s first president. The songwriter Percy French (“The Mountains of Mourne,” “Are Ye Right There Michael”), was a proud Roscommon man who gained international fame. An annual summer school is held in his honor in nearby Castlecoote.


couple of unplanned events shaped the course of Douglas Hyde’s early life. He should have been born in County Sligo, where his family resided, but instead he arrived on January 17, 1860 in Castlerea, County Roscommon, where his mother was visiting her parents. Seven years later, the family were back in Roscommon, this time in Frenchpark, after his father – the Reverend Arthur Hyde, Jr. – was appointed rector in the parish of Tibohine. With two older brothers away at school, Hyde would have been expected to follow in their footsteps – as was customary for Anglo-Irish gentry at the time – but an illness (some accounts refer to measles; Hyde himself wrote “I hurt my left thigh, and it was a great hindrance to my studying”) saw him return home from Dublin after a very short time. On his return, he continued his schooling at home under his father’s supervision. His relative freedom at home also ensured that he came in regular contact with the Irish families living nearby and he practiced his newly-gleaned Irish phrases with “James Hart, the keeper of the bogs” and “Mrs. William Connolly when she came to milk the cows in the evening.” In December 1878, three weeks before his nineteenth birthday, reviewing his life to date, Hyde wrote: “When I started learning Irish I had no hope at all that there would ever be any interest in it, or that it would be of any use to me, only that I thought it was a fine worthy language; but when the society for preserving the Irish language started last year I knew then 34 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

that I had done well in learning it.” By 1880, Hyde himself was a member of said society, and had been admitted to the divinity program at Trinity College Dublin (much to the disgust of his rabidly anti-TCD father). He soon garnered a reputation as an outstanding scholar, and life in Dublin allowed him the freedom to join the Gaelic Union, and a social circle that included Maud Gonne and W.B. Yeats which styled themselves “the Young Irelanders” in homage to the 1840s revolutionary movement of the same name. Hyde’s father Arthur, himself descended from a long line of clergymen (and Arthurs), assumed that at least one of his sons would follow family tradition and enter the ministry. But Hyde, who had long rebelled against his father’s tendency to force his son to teach Sunday School when the reverend was indisposed (i.e. hungover), instead threw himself into his study of languages and amassed a huge range of scholarly publications, with his studies eventually culminating in a law doctorate. His dedication to the Irish language continued, and between 1879 and 1884 he published hundreds of Irish poems under the pen name “An Craoibhín Aoibhinn” (the charming little branch). A visit to Scotland in 1886 revealed the “healthier and more vigorous” regard the people there had for their native tongue, which he ascribed to its predominant use in churches and schools. In 1889 he published his first book, Leabhar Sgeulaigheachta (A Book of Storytelling), a collection of folk-tales, rhymes and riddles – the first of its kind in the Irish language.

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And no trip to Roscommon would be complete without a visit to Roscommon Castle, the imposing 13th century Norman ruin located on a hillside just outside Roscommon town. The castle, which defended the town until it was finally taken by Cromwell’s troops in 1652, is open to the public. Alas, there is no access to the towers. However, there is a beautiful park with walking trails adjacent to the castle. The park includes a crannog (an ancient fortified dwelling), known locally as the Hill o’ Bones, a turlough (disappearing lake), a wildflower meadow, bird walk, children’s playground, and car park. Finally, for those hoping to uncover their ancestors’ pasts in their foray through Roscommon, the County Roscommon Heritage and Genealogy Centre, located in Strokestown, is worth a visit. The center contains a display of ancient artifacts from the region and presents an audiovisual show on the history and heritage of the county. It also provides a research service (for a fee) for people with Roscommon roots wishing to trace their ancestors. But as with any trip to Ireland, perhaps it’s best to leave your trip up to the travel gods and take the journey as it unfolds. IA You won’t be disappointed.

Joe McDermott, the 2017 World Pike Fishing Champion.

French and Matt Molloy of the Chieftains, are just two of many musicians to come from Roscommon, where traditional music has a rich history. While Boyle is worth a longer visit, especially in August when the town holds a heritage festival every August with music, dancing, and street entertainment, there are many popular stops en route through Roscommon. Ballintober, home of the St. Ciarán, contains the remains of a stone castle first mentioned in writing in 1311; and at Tulsk, the village between Strokestown and Bellanagare, you’ll find the remains of a Dominican abbey founded in 1433. Three miles to the west is a small steep-sided hill that is reputed to have been the residence of Queen Maeve. And nearby, Relig na Ri, the burial ground of the kings, and Rath na dTarbh “fort of the bulls,” deserve a visit.

The following year, Hyde took a post at the University of New Brunswick as interim professor of modern languages (“I did not find any great difficulty in that,” he noted). On his return to Ireland, he became president of the National Literary Society, and continued to espouse his views that Ireland should do more to protect its mother tongue “not as a protest against imitating what is best in the English people, for that would be absurd, but rather to show the folly of neglecting what is Irish and hastening to adopt pell-mell and indiscriminately everything that is English simply because it is English.” Two significant events in Hyde’s life were to happen in 1893: he got married (to a young German heiress named Lucy Cometina Kurtz) and the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge) came into being. Hyde is generally referred to as the founder of the League, but his own diaries make light of that: “We established the Gaelic League and I was made president of it. MacNeill and Lloyd … were the people who did most of the work. I didn’t do much.” He was altogether more enthusiastic about the other big news: “The greatest thing I did in the past year – indeed, the greatest thing I ever did in my life – was that I got married.” But the Gaelic League, of course, was to prove hugely influential in shaping the course of Irish history, and Hyde along with its other leaders was determined to keep their goal of preserving and reviving the Irish language as non-political and non-sectarian as humanly possible. In 1905, he and his wife embarked on a

fund-raising tour of the United States, covering ground from New York to San Francisco over a period of eight months. By 1908, the year in which the National University of Ireland was founded, there were more than 550 branches of the Gaelic League throughout Ireland. After the politicization of the Gaelic League in 1915, Hyde stepped down as president and left the organization. After a short stint in Seanad Eireann, he returned to academia as Professor of Irish at University College Dublin. On retirement, he and his wife returned to live in Frenchpark. A second short stint as a Senator was cut even shorter by his election as the first President of Ireland, on May 6, 1938, after an inter-party unanimous recommendation. Hyde set a precedent by reciting the Presidential Declaration of Office in Irish. His recitation, in Roscommon Irish, is one of a few recordings of a dialect of which Hyde was one of the last speakers. Upon inauguration, he moved into the long-vacant Viceregal Lodge  in Phoenix Park, since known as  Áras an Uachtaráin. Douglas Hyde He served his seven-year term, despite the death of his wife in December 1938 and a severe stroke in 1940, and died on July 12, 1949. After a service in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, his funeral cortege travelled to Frenchpark, passing through the towns of Mullingar, Longford, Carrick-on-Shannon and Boyle, with an honor guard standing ready in each to pay tribute to Ireland’s first president. – Darina Molloy DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 IRISH AMERICA 35

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that whole families who retire at night are corpses in the morning.” The town of Strokestown achieved grim notoriety at the end of 1847 when the local landlord, Major Dennis Mahon, was assassinated. Mahon was an “improving” landlord, and he used ROSCOMMON WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST the dislocation caused by the Famine to make changes to his HIT COUNTIES DURING THE FAMINE, LOSING estate. The resulting evictions (3,000 in 1847 alone) and assisted 31 PERCENT OF ITS POPULATION emigration (a large portion of whom died during the voyage) made him deeply unpopular within the community. Mahon’s n 1845, County Roscommon was one of the first counties to death caused outrage in Britain, confirming, in the eyes of some, record the appearance of the blight in the locality. The return the lawlessness of the Irish and their ingratitude. It may have conof the disease the following year – earlier in the season and tributing to a hardening in attitudes in terms of providing further more lethal – resulted in an immediate increase in distress. On 12 relief – either government or private – the Irish poor. The impact on the county was devastating, with Roscommon October 1846, the local constabulary stated that 7,500 people losing 31 percent of its population in the decade after 1845. This were existing on boiled cabbage leaves only once in 48 hours. The second failure of the potato crop in 1846 also brought a makes it one of the highest losses in the whole of the country. number of voluntary relief workers to the country. A young Moreover, in the post-Famine decades, the population continued Quaker from Liverpool, Joseph Crosfield, passed through Boyle to fall dramatically: in 1841, the population of Roscommon had been 252,118, in 2011, it had fallen to 64,065. in December and reported: Today, Strokestown is associated with the Famine Museum, “In this place, the condition of the poor previously to their obtaining admission into the work-house is one of great distress; which opened in 1994. The Museum is located on the grounds many of them declare that they have not tasted food of any kind of the Strokestown House estate, thus providing a compelling for forty-eight hours; and numbers of them have eaten nothing contrast between the lives of the poor and the lives of the wealthy Anglo-Irish elite during the Famine. It is also home to the Strokebut cabbage or turnips for days and weeks.” stown Park Archive, which contains over 50,000 As was the case elsewhere, the potato failure put original documents describing life on the estate in pressure on the local workhouses. To cope with the ABOVE: Strokestown the mid-nineteenth century. A large part of the colincrease in disease, a 40-bed fever hospital was House, a beautiful 18th century palladian lections relates to the period of the Great Hunger. erected near to the Roscommon workhouse and an mansion. Once home of In May, 2017, Strokestown inaugurated a addition house was rented to accommodate fever the Packenham Mahon National  Famine Walk recreating the route – patients, while local stables were fitted up for the family, it has a sad history almost a 100 miles on foot – along the Royal reception of patients. However, at the beginning of of evictions during the Great Hunger. Canal, from Longford to Dublin, taken by the 1847 the Roscommon workhouse was full and, 1,490 tenants who were evicted and sent to under the terms of the 1838 Poor Law, had to refuse BELOW: 2017 National Canada in 1847. relief to other applicants regardless of their need. Famine Walkers arrives in Dublin and are pictured The tenants were escorted by Bailiff Robinson The suffering of the local poor was captured in the on the Jeannie Johnston, to Dublin to ensure they boarded ship and did not Dublin-based newspaper The Nation in March 1847: a replica of a sailing ship return home. The story of the tenants’ fate after “In Roscommon, deaths by famine are so prevalent from the 1800s. they left Dublin is a harrowing one. They traveled on open deck packet steamers to Liverpool, where they waited in the cellars of quayside buildings at Liverpool docks to board their ships to Canada. The four ships they boarded – Erin’s Queen, Naomi, The Virginius, and The John Munn – were badly fitted out and poorly provisioned. Almost half of those who embarked died aboard ship or in the fever sheds at Grosse Isle when they arrived in Quebec. – Dr. Christine Kinealy


Dr. Kinealy, director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipeac University, took part in the Famine Walk in May. Her publications include the groundbreaking work This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52 (Roberts Rinehart, 1995) and The Bad Times: An Drochshaol (XanEdu, 2015), a graphic novel written with John Walsh. 36 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

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Bill McDermott, Chief Executive Officer of SAP


With tenacity, focus, a lot of hard work, and an ability to inspire others to dream big, Bill McDermott rose to the top job at SAP. But, never one to rest on his laurels, he is always on to the next achievement. Could he be a future President? By Patricia Harty


ill McDermott’s expansive Manhattan office, overlooking the Hudson River, is just a short train ride from the Queens neighborhood where he was born, but it’s a world away. The décor is simple, a desk, a couch, some chairs, a flat screen television tuned to a news channel, sound muted. There is sophistication in simplicity McDermott has said, and his office is all that. The man himself is immaculate. Beautifully groomed and impeccably dressed, McDermott looks like he stepped off the cover of GQ. He’s a youthful 56 years old and he’s all boyish charm. But the most striking thing about the CEO of SAP is his vitality. When he enters a room, the needle flies on the energy amp. He is quick to shake hands with the Irish America team and invites us to sit during his photo shoot, but it’s hard to stay seated watching McDermott in action – his energy is that catching. It’s interesting to watch how McDermott operates. He is 6’2” and trim. He moves with the grace of an athlete and uses his hands a lot. It’s easy to picture him shooting a basketball, or coaching a team from the sidelines as he did when he was still a teenager. “You got this. You’re a pro,” he says to Kit, the photographer, with a trace of that unmistakable Long Island accent that connects McDermott to his working-class roots. A copy of Winners Dream, McDermott’s bestselling book, sits on the coffee table. Part memoir, part leadership strategy, it’s an uplifting story of a working-class kid driven by passion and a refusal to quit, who succeeded against the odds, and is now the CEO of the world’s largest business software company. McDermott’s first home was a modest apartment in Flushing, Queens. When he was born, his mother, Kathy, was just 18, and his father, Bill, Sr., was 22. The family didn’t have a whole lot of money, but there was a lot of love and his mother was unflaggingly positive. When his baby brother, Jamie, who was born with congenital defects, died at age five, she assuaged her grief by lifting the spirits of her husband and her young sons. “Jamie is your guardian


angel now and he’ll always be there protecting you,” she said. “She had an amazing ability to feel blessed instead of cursed,” says McDermott, who dedicated his book to her. McDermott’s father worked for Con Edison. His young son used to think of him as Spider-Man jumping down into the tunnels “to keep the lights on” when an emergency call came in the middle of the night, and he left for work. Bill, Sr. took every overtime shift that the power company offered. Still, money was always short. Being the oldest, Bill was never shielded from the family’s financial challenges. “I had court side seats to the pressures that come with living paycheck-to-paycheck,” McDermott says. He vowed that his family’s poverty would stop with his generation. His journey to the corner office began at age 11 when he started delivering newspapers in his Amityville, Long Island, neighborhood. He didn’t just toss and go, he got to know his customers and their needs – who wanted the paper behind the screen door, who wanted it wrapped. Early on, he became “keenly aware of the connection between my money and my customers’ happiness.” It remains the modus operandi to his success. Fast forward to Bill at age 15. He has traded the paper route for a busboy job at an upscale Italian restaurant where he wore a tuxedo – which he actually liked – and a job in the local supermarket. After waiting in a long line to put in his application, he walked up to the manager and stuck out his hand, saying, “Mr. Kelly, I’m Bill McDermott and if you give me this job, I’ll be your best worker.” So committed was he, that when he slashed his hand with a packing knife while opening boxes, he returned to work from the emergency room. He had 20 stitches in his hand but figured he owed Mr. Kelly 90 more minutes on the clock. When Bill was 16, he worked in a deli. Within a year he bought the business for $7,000 on a promissory note due in a year. He sealed the deal by telling his lenders, “If I don’t make the payment, you own all the stock.” He talked his suppliers into giving him credit and he attracted young customers with video

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BELOW: At the 2017 SAP Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany: (l-r) Rob Enslin, Bernd Leukert, Stefan Ries, Adaire Fox-Martin, Hasso Plattner, Bill McDermott, Jennifer Morgan, Michael Kleinemeier, and Luka Mucic.

games, making a deal with the distributor for a 50/50 profit split. Under the 17-year-old’s management, the deli thrived. McDermott paid attention to his customers, remembering their personal stories, asking about their families, delivering to older people, and extending credit to those he knew were living paycheck-to-paycheck. He was still in high school, so his mother, father, brother Kevin, and sister Gennifer, as well as good friends, helped out. And when he enrolled in Dowling College, he scheduled his classes for mid-week so that he would be back at work for the busiest time. After he graduated, McDermott sold the deli. It was, after all, only a means to an end. He paid off his college debts and bought his parents a vacation home in Myrtle Beach with what was left of the profits. One of McDermott’s deli customers worked for Xerox and told him that the company had the best

training program for salesmen. What happened next is brilliantly relayed in Winners Dream, beginning with how, on the day of the interview, Kevin, carried him out of the house because their first floor was flooded and Bill didn’t want to get his suit wet. (Their house, which stood right next to a canal, was often waterlogged, despite Kathy McDermott’s devotion to St. Jude, whose statue she would put in the front yard in the hope that he would hold back the flood). A top salesman by age 21, McDermott was, by 24, managing one of the company’s highest-performing sales teams PHOTO COURTESY OF SAP and soon moved into more senior positions. Another great thing that happened to him at ABOVE: McDermott and Stefan Ries, SAP’s chief Xerox – it was there he met his future wife, Julie. human resources officer. Today they have two sons, Michael and John. Had he stayed at Xerox, there is no doubt that he OPPOSITE: McDermott in Croke Park, Dublin, to would have become CEO. But after 17 years, he left celebrates 20 years of the company. The world outside was changing, and SAP Labs Ireland. he felt top management wasn’t changing quickly enough to match the digital age. He moved on to senior executive roles with Siebel Systems and Gartner before joining SAP in 2002. He quickly turned the flagging business in North Amer-



ica around and took on responsibility for Asia and South America. In 2010, McDermott was named coCEO, and four years later he was sole CEO, the first American in the role. That same year, he unveiled a digital age strategy to help businesses of all sizes “Run Simple,” which was met with huge success. Today, with the SAP HANA Cloud platform, business applications, and business networks, SAP serves nearly 335,000 customers in 190 countries. McDermott now oversees 87,000 SAP employees and never expects more from them than he expects from himself – he leads by example, and inspires others to do the same. He wants to make the world run better and improve peoples’ lives, and has ensured that SAP is a company that values giving back. Employees are encouraged to give a month of service each year to charitable organizations. And SAP technology has saved lives in natural disasters and is helping researchers conquer diseases such as cancer. A positive attitude, inherited from both parents, has helped McDermott jump over so many hurdles. In his book, he writes of visiting his father in the hospital after he’d been injured on the job. His dad had 60 stitches in his head, but when his son asked how he was doing, he answered with a smile, “Never better.” It’s the kind of forbearance that Bill exhibited in 2015 when he fell down a flight of stairs at his brother’s house and was badly injured. He managed to crawl to the street to get help, though he couldn’t see through the blood on his face. A shard of glass had pierced his left eye. Despite 12 operations, the eye could not be saved. McDermott pushed himself to get well. “I tell people now, the world will never remember how you fell. But they will never forget how you got back up and kept moving forward,”  he said. Just two months after his accident, a competitor, taking advantage of the crisis, tried to poach on SAP’s turf. In an extraordinary meeting, Bill coached his team from the sidelines and took them to victory. McDermott’s leadership style has won him accolades from other corporate leaders. In an email to Irish America, Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of GE, expressed his admiration, saying, “Bill McDermott is an energizing and exciting leader who sets a clear vision and executes every day to assure the vision is realized. He is the epitome of a say/do leader.” Another ringing endorsement came from a former colleague at Xerox. Anne Mulcahy, Xerox’s chairman and CEO from 2001 to 2009, said she was “thrilled” that McDermott was being recognized by the magazine “and proud that we share the same ancestry.” She continued, “Some leaders are good at delivering business results. Others at inspiring and motivating people; still others at exemplifying the aspirational values of an organization. Bill is one of the rare few who is phenomenal at all three. He always does the right thing. He wouldn't have it any other way.” My takeaway from McDermott is that he is a player/coach. He knows how to build a team and lead them to victory. It’s something that’s in his DNA.

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You’ve said that basketball and your parents were the biggest influences in your life. Let’s start with basketball. In my family, everything was focused on playing hoops, competing, being the best you can. And we love to win. I inherited from my grandfather – who was a Hall of Fame basketball player who gave it to my father, who gave it to me – this passion to perform at your best and there are no excuses. It’s show time, and when it’s show time, you show up. My dad loved basketball and coached our school team. He taught me that it’s not about winning as an individual, it’s about the team, and that it’s much better to get the assist than the basket. He would channel everything into, “We’re a team. This is the way we play.”

precise. His shoes were immaculate, even when he went on a construction site. My dad was a very hard worker. He would get up at 11 o’clock at night to chisel the ice off the car to make it in time for his midnight shift. He would often work two or three shifts to get the overtime. He was a very dedicated dad.

You are also big on giving back, and making it part of the culture of your company. Why? I believe we have a higher purpose to our vision. Not just because it is the right thing to do but because it’s the smart thing to do. This is a generation that is inspired by purpose, and our purpose is to help the world run better. We look at ways our software can improve peoples’ lives. It could be giving university students access to our Tell me about your mother. software so they can be trained for a better She really was amazing. She would say, “Bill, paying job when they come out of school. the best part of you is you.” She was always enIt could be making the world run better by couraging, telling me there was no ceiling on initiating the uninitiated with a mobile what I could achieve. We’d move from this business application. apartment to that house, to this foreclosure, to One of my fun stories is from when I this flood and that fire, and through it all she became co-CEO in 2014. I gave a speech stood so tall with such resolve. Not just resolve, in Germany at the CeBIT conference, humanity and happiness and joy. She was alwhich is the biggest technology conferways there for the underdog. You could say, “As ence there is. It was a packed house and a working class kid in Long Island, weren’t you here I was, the American who doesn’t the underdog?” But there are always people speak German, taking center stage with whose circumstances are more challenging than Chancellor Merkel and other dignitaries. yours. And my mother could find them all. She So I brought up a woman named had such a great heart. PHOTO: CURTIS / DESIGN MAKE TAKE Christina Marole from South Africa because I wanted her to be the story. She has a spaza, a little conYou need a lot of self-confidence to be a good salesvenience store, and she used to spent 80 percent of her profits on man. Where does yours come from? transportation costs going to get stock on the shelves and replenI was a relatively shy kid, but not so shy that I couldn’t deliver ish inventory. She was losing most of her profits just on that exnewspapers. I derived tremendous self-confidence from work. I ercise. But the worst part was, her son had to watch the store learned that if I am actually in service to you, giving you what while she was traveling. With one mobile application, she is now you want, you will give me a good tip. It’s the old-school, “I can able to augment her supply chain and do things digitally so that get anything in this world I want if I help enough other people suppliers now bring the stuff to her. Not only did her profits go get what they want.” That became a kind of a force-multiplier up by 80 percent, but her son was able to finish his education. So in my teens when I came into my own. I give the credit to my the moral of the story is, we are improving people’s lives. And mom and dad, definitely my grandfathers – not just my grandthe audience got it and Chancellor Merkel was inspired when she father the basketball player, but also my grandfather the concame to the stage. It was a great moment. struction engineer. His workshop was organized, everything was DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 IRISH AMERICA 41

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Any advice to young people starting out? You can’t go wrong when you’re being human. You can only go wrong where you are trying to be something you are not or you are working with material that you don’t believe in. Pretty simple. Do you think robots will replace humans? The reason why humans still matter and will always matter is because robots and artificial intelligence can’t replace the instinct to do what’s right. To have the judgment in the crucible of the moment where a call has to be made, you have to rely on all of your instincts and all of your skills and all the trust that you built around you to make the right decision. You have to have the judgment to do the right thing.

laborative network with these other women and men to make them better than you and that together you can be the best team in the world. Over time, the celebrations really did make a difference. It’s always taking the thing that inspires the human dignity and the human dream to a level of pageantry. Where, for just a moment, you can be the greatest in the world. And that really does matter. Somehow, I don’t think people spend enough time thinking about what it means – even if is just for a moment – to a person to be the greatest in the world at what they do. What's the best thing about being in the top job? You can get anything in this life you want if you help enough other people get what they want. The best part of being a leader is that people look to you for the permission to dream and for a clear path to help them to achieve it. How important is it to you to remember where you came from? My mom always told me, “Be you – the best part of you is you.” Always remember: how it was in the beginning, it shall be in the end. I’ve learned that the privilege of a lifetime is being yourself. That’s why your winner’s dream is your journey as you strive to be true to who you really are and create a life of authenticity.


An early photo of McDermott (second from right) with his Xerox sales team.

What’s your greatest gift? Thank god, of all the things that I am, I feel I am blessed with the emotional intelligence to calm it down when the field is moving real fast and sort it out and make the call. And when you make the call, have a lot of confidence in it. Because a lack of decisiveness only leaves people hovering for a decision and getting frustrated because one isn’t being made. And making a decision based upon outcomes that aren’t tied to the purpose of the company is something that doesn’t work. So, having the purpose, having the emotional intelligence and the team around you to make the judgment call with great confidence and trust, and the belief that you are doing the right thing, is a gift. You are known for making pageantry and celebration of achievement an important part of your management style. Why? You don’t play basketball at a high level to get paid. You play to win. You play to be a champion. You don’t go door-to-door in the grueling cold of New York for a paycheck. You do it to be the number one salesman in the world. You don’t trade off a high paying job to manage people to become a leader for the money, you do it because now you think you have a skill that can be transferred, or you can create a col-


What are some of your leadership maxims? Trust is the ultimate human currency. Know what you want, then want it more, and then want it more again. What you focus on in life expands. Vision is not only what you can see. It’s how you feel and how you make other people feel. It’s about creating a cause, a movement. Empathy – it’s about coaching people to see the world one engagement at a time through the eyes of the other person. Putting your agenda to the side and reading the room. How important is the culture of your company – i.e., what sort of behaviors do you cultivate at SAP? Culture is the difference between a group of people and a team. Together, everyone does achieve more. A great culture challenges people to build bridges rather than silos, to stay curious, and to always keep the promise. We are never done. Intellectual adventure and self-renewal are essential to capturing new frontiers. What are you looking for in an SAP hire? There is no room at SAP for small dreams. We want people who see the world’s biggest challenges as the greatest opportunities. We want underdogs who never take anything for granted. We want people who confront every challenge with their mind, their will, their heart, and their soul. Continued on page 102

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Business Now in its fourth decade, the Irish America Business 100 has a long history of providing recognition to a fundamental core of American business. It can be easy to assume that the Irish in America and their descendants are a monolithic bloc, but as this list has continually shown, there is no single story of Irish American success, interest, venture, or course. Those we celebrate here come from all aspects of the unique environment of American entrepreneurs, from start-ups that promise to revolutionize overlooked markets to generations-old staples of the American consumer landscape. They are connected by their shared Irish heritage, and motivated by the same sense of immigrant drive, whether it was passed on through their ancestors or, for our Irish-born honorees, compelled them to immigrate to the United States in the first place. It was not that long ago that the act of hiring an Irish man or woman would have been considered a potentially risky act of diversification. Today, it’s impossible to think of corporate America without the Irish. Our honorees are a testament to the power of new cultures, new people, and new ideas. They are a living tribute to the fact that diversity, in all its forms, is what compels innovation and makes American life better for all Americans. We are honored to do our part to salute that ideal. Congratulations to all our honorees. Beir Bua!

“As beneficiaries of the foundation laid by prior generations of Irish people globally, I feel we are duty-bound to develop the connective tissue between Irish people at home and around the world.” – Colman Lydon, Everwise

“My heritage has always been about family, community, religion, education, gratitude and, giving back.” – Kate Kelly Smith, Hearst


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“When I think of my Irish heritage, I think about the hardworking, industrious men and women in my bloodline who immigrated to America to provide future generations a shot at the American dream. It’s that proud heritage that helps me fuel my drive as an entrepreneur.” – Brian Hart, Flackable

Top Counties: Cork • Dublin • Mayo • Galway • Kerry • Roscommon “I have found that being Irish has been a real door opener in life and business. There is a real trust in Irish people that is very special.” – Kathryn Spain, Credit Suisse

“As Irish Americans, I believe it is our duty to speak up for the immigrants of today. We must protect the people who came here to create a better life for their families, just as millions of Irish did before them.”

“As a business leader I draw heavily on my Irish heritage and value greatly the opportunity to represent our country and our culture.”

– Kate McCulley, Adventurous Kate

– Ronan Dunne, Verizon Wireless

Top Colleges Mentioned: University College Dublin Trinity College Dublin Harvard University Fairfield University Boston College Ancestral Links: Irish Born




5th 6% Generation

1st Generation

13% 2nd Generation

16% 11% 9%

3rd Generation 4th Generation


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“The Irish people are a testimony to tenacity and overcoming obstacles.”

Kate Barton, EY

Sa ma n t h a Ba r r y

a l ex Ba r r y

Silicon Valley  Bank

Alex Barry is a director with Silicon Valley Bank in New York. He works with Silicon Valley Bank’s technology banking group, where he develops and manages relationships with early stage technology founders and provides senior and mezzanine debt for companies that have raised institutional venture capital. Before moving to Silicon Valley Bank, he spent nine years with Allied Irish Banks’ U.S. Credit fund back and forth between Los Angeles and New York where he focused on a wide variety of technology industries like consumer products, gaming, and lodging. Alex was born in Dublin where he would obtain a degree in economics and sociology from University College Dublin. His family is from Tipperary and Kilkenny, where his father was a member of all-Ireland hurling championship teams at both minor and senior levels. “I feel a great sense of pride about my heritage and roots,” he says. “And the Ring of Kerry remains at the top my list of favorite places to visit, despite some of the amazing places I have been lucky enough to travel to.”


Samantha Barry is the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Under her leadership, CNN has become the most followed and fanned news organization in the world. Samantha spearheaded CNN’s 2016 election coverage across social platforms, which received the first ever Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in social media and a Webby Award. Born in Ireland (her father’s family is from Bantry and her mother is from Bere Island), Samantha has worked in over 25 countries. She joined CNN from BBC World News in London and previously worked for RTÉ and Newstalk in Ireland, spent time in Papua New Guinea with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and has worked as a trainer for the U.S. State Department, the United States Institute of Peace, and Internews. “I am extremely proud of coming from a long line of Irish people who leave, seek opportunities abroad, and are fearless travelers,” she says. Samantha, who lives in New York, graduated from Dublin City University with a master’s in journalism. She is a 2016 fellow of Columbia University School’s prestigious Sulzberger executive program and is a guest lecturer at Yale University.

Ka t e Ba r t o n

Pa u l Ber r y

As Americas vice chair of tax services at EY, Kate Barton leads more than 13,000 tax professionals across North, Central, and South America as well as Israel. A partner since 1996, Kate also serves as executive sponsor for the EY Black Professional Network and as a member of the Americas operating executive board, the global practice group, and the global tax executive committee. Born in Boston, Kate is a second-generation Irish American, all four of whose grandparents emigrated from Ireland and would eventually meet in Boston at Irish dances. She has roots in counties Kerry, Galway, and Roscommon and credits her grandparents with instilling a pride in her heritage from a young age. “The Irish people are a testimony to tenacity and overcoming obstacles,” she says. “Their zest for life and always looking for the bright side are attitudinal attributes that I admire and try to follow in my life.” Kate, who serves on the board of directors for the All Stars Project, a youth development nonprofit, is currently based out of the New York area.

Paul Berry is the CEO of RebelMouse, a mobile-optimized content management system used by some of the world’s largest brands and media companies, including T-Mobile and MTV. A veteran entrepreneur in the tech start-up industry, Paul founded RebelMouse in 2012 and currently sits on the digital advisory board for American Express and is an advisor to Lerer Hippea Ventures. Prior to RebelMouse, Paul was the CTO of the Huffington Post and later the AOL/Huffington Post Media properties. Paul, who born in Mexico City and is a graduate of NYU, is a third-generation Irish American whose paternal great-grandfather emigrated from County Cork to Massachusetts. His grandfather eventually migrated to California, where he became the first eye surgeon in the state. “I believe one of the things that I got from my Irish side is the ability to manage my own happiness. My grandfather has always been like this and it is something that I don’t feel I had to learn from him – I have it from him,” he says. Paul and his wife, Milena, live in New York City with their four children, Eva, Boyan, Mila, and Timo.




mic h a el c a Sey MIT Media Lab

Michael Casey is a senior advisor at the Digital Currency Initiative at MIT’s Media Lab and a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. A writer, researcher, and public speaker in the fields of economics, finance, and digital-currency technology, he previously spent 18 years as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. This February, he will publish his fifth book, The Truth Machine (co-authored with Paul Vigna), about bitcoin and blockchain technology. He is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, and Cornell University. A forth-generation Irish Australian born in Perth, Michael traces his ancestors, who emigrated during the Great Hunger, to counties Tyrone and Kerry. “The Irish are people of passion – song, poetry, and drama – but also hard work, with an ethos of struggle and determination, along with an well-formed understanding of the destructive impact of oppression,” he says. “I felt there was more Irishness than Englishness in Australia’s culture and I tended to identify with it more than the English roots of my mother’s family.” He and his wife, Alicia, live in Massachusetts with their daughters Zoe and Analia.

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William M. Casey is the EY Americas vice chair of transaction advisory services. He joined the firm in 1983. Over the last decade, he has worked to help double the talent and revenues of Americas TAS practices. Earlier in his career, he  leveraged his fluency in both Spanish and Portuguese while working on company transactions in Latin America for over ten years. Bill is a first-generation Irish American with both sides of his lineage based in Mayo. “The Irish culture is associated with humility, kindness, and a deep appreciation for these qualities in others,” he says. “I work hard to connect with those around me because I want to understand their strengths and how best to communicate with them. This enables all of us to work together and coalesce around our shared purpose of building a better working world.” Bill was born in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois, where he obtained a degree in accounting. He earned his M.B.A. at DePaul University. He and his wife, Amy, live in Miami with their two children, Sarah and Hannah.

Kieran Claffey is a partner at PwC. He has over 35 years of diversified experience serving multinational clients and dealing with litigation, risk management and regulatory issues. He is chairman of the global board of PwC’s business trust and is a vice president and director of Madison Indemnity of New York. Kieran represents PwC on the technical standards committee of the AICPA. Kieran was a founding member and director of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. and a director of the European-American Chamber of Commerce. He is the national treasurer, executive committee member, and board member of the Ireland-U.S. Council. He is chairman of the finance committee, a member of the executive committee, and on the board of trustees of the Gateway Schools. Born in Dublin, he is a graduate of University College Dublin and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is an active supporter of the Gaelic Players Association. Kieran, who has won several all-Ireland dancing medals, lives in Manhattan with his sons, Ryan, CJ, and Steven.

With over 40 years of experience in the beer, wine and spirits industry, Jim Clerkin became president and CEO of Moët Hennessy North America in November 2015, having served as president and CEO of Moët Hennessy U.S.A. since 2010. Clerkin  began his career in Ireland, where he rose through the ranks at Guinness, eventually becoming a member of the board of directors. He joined Moët Hennessy in 2008 to take on a new role as executive vice president and COO with responsibility for global brands such as Hennessy Cognac, Moët & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Grand Marnier, and Belvedere. In his current role, Clerkin helms the U.S. markets in addition to the growth markets of Canada and Mexico, which combined contribute to a volume of nearly six million cases annually. Clerkin, who served as the Business 100 Keynote Speaker in 2015, was born in Rostrevor, County Down and has been involved with a number of charities including Co-operation Ireland, where he serves as chairman. He is the proud father of four children and resides in Manhattan.



Moët Hennessy North America



Tom Codd is a client service partner at PwC, serving multinational corporations. He joined PwC in 1982 and has served the firm in many roles, including U.S. human capital leader, North Texas managing partner, and an elected member of PwC’s U.S. board. Tom is a director of the American Ireland Fund, served the North American advisory board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, and is a member of the New York City Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He earned a B.Sc. in management from Purdue University. He is immediate past chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber and serves on many civic boards, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Catholic Charities of Dallas, Cooper Institute, SMU Cox School of Business, SMU Athletic Forum, Purdue University Krannert Business School Dean’s Advisory Council, and the Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Tom, whose paternal grandparents were born in counties Wexford and Sligo, says, “I attribute my fundamental values of work ethic, loyalty, fortitude, charity, humor, grace, and humility in large part to my ancestry.” Tom and his wife, Shelly, live in Dallas with their four children. 

Don Colleran is executive vice president and chief sales officer at FedEx Corporation. He leads a global organization of approximately 15,000 team members responsible for more than $60 billion in worldwide revenue across multiple FedEx operating companies. His organization owns the customer relationship from the trusted and strategic business consultants to teams who develop and deliver back-end systems, tools, and integrated digital shipping platforms to manage the ongoing customer experience. Global Sales & Solutions teams execute on the FedEx growth strategy and help customers grow their businesses through unique selling solutions, and by providing opportunities to reach new markets, eliminate trade barriers and expand their businesses globally. Don is also a member of FedEx’s strategic management committee. A native of Boston, Don is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Galway and Cork. He holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of New Hampshire. He is a member of the board of EastGroup Properties, Youth Program/FedEx St. Jude Classic, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is also a member of the American Chamber of Commerce and US-ASEAN Business Council.



“The Irish culture is associated with humility, kindness, and a deep appreciation for these qualities in others.”

William M. Casey, EY


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Since January 2017, Tim Coolican has served as president of L’Oréal Paris. He first joined L’Oréal U.S.A. in 2015 as deputy general manager of L’Oréal Paris. During his tenure, he has guided the vision to transform and modernize the brand, focusing specifically on consumer connectivity and digital innovation. Tim began his career at L’Oréal Canada in 2004 and held several positions across the world with the company, including leading the global innovation team for Garnier in Paris, and general manager for Garnier, Maybelline, and Essie for the U.K and Ireland. In 2014, Tim was promoted to general manager of the consumer products division for Southeast Asia in Singapore, where he worked across the seven Asian countries as well as Australia and New Zealand. Tim, whose mother’s family hails from County Dublin, says he is constantly impressed with the fortitude of his ancestors. “I am grateful and humbled by the courage it must have taken to leave everything familiar behind and start a new life,” he says. Tim holds a Bachelor of Commerce in business from Queen’s University in Ontario and has two children, Fynn and Gray, with his wife, Ashlynne.

Elizabeth Crabill is CEO of CIE Tours International, the largest Irish-owned tour operator in the U.S. With more than 15 years’ experience leading sales, marketing, and strategy for some of the travel industry’s best brands, she is one of the leading travel and tourism executives in the United States. She took the reins of the 85-year old highly established tour operator in 2016, with a mission to expand the digital footprint of the brand, raise the visibility of Irish tourism expertise, and introduce a new generation of travelers to the tour experience. CIE Tours currently sends 50,000 travelers into Ireland and Britain each year, and hosts a team of Irish university students to Morristown, New Jersey, headquarters annually for a year-long student work experience program. A graduate of Smith College with an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Elizabeth, whose Irish heritage is on her mother’s side of the family, is actively involved with the promotion of international tourism and development of new travel experiences throughout Ireland for all ages and interests.

Sharon Cullen is the executive director of investment at Hearts & Science Advertising. Sharon started her career at A&E Networks in the ad sales and research departments before transferring over to the agency side of the business. Sharon has been with Hearts’ parent company, Omnicom Media Group, for over 25 years working on a large list of clients across a diverse variety of businesses. Sharon’s parents instilled a strong sense of Irish pride in her as a child. Her mom was a Kilduff whose mother came from County Galway and whose father was from County Longford. Her dad’s mother came over from County Roscommon. Sharon graduated from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and currently lives in Connecticut with her 11-year-old-son, Henry Kilduff. 




Kelly Currie is a partner with the international law firm Crowell & Moring, where he chairs the firm’s investigations practice and is a member of the white collar and regulatory enforcement group. Previously, he was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York for a dozen years, and served as Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney to Loretta E. Lynch, and as Acting United States Attorney upon Lynch’s confirmation as U.S. Attorney General. From 1996 to 1998, Kelly served in Belfast as a senior advisor to former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, who chaired the Northern Ireland peace process. The negotiations resulted in the Good Friday Agreement. He previously served on Mitchell’s Senate staff. Today, Kelly is a member of the New York chapter of the International Irish Business Network. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. Kelly grew up in Maine and is a fifth-generation Irish American with paternal ancestry from County Kildare. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Tara Sher, and daughters, Maggie and Bebe.

Marty Daly is the senior vice president and director of News and Late Night Sales for the CBS TV Network. He started at CBS as a traffic clerk in 1974 and now manages all the marketing and sales for CBS This Morning,  The Evening News with Anthony Mason, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,  and  The Late, Late Show with James Corden. Marty, whose parents hail from County Kerry, went to All Hallows High School in the Bronx and graduated from Iona College. He says, “My parents taught us the value of hard work and the importance of education. The example they set by putting their children’s education in front of any personal comforts for them is the reason we were able to achieve the American dream!” Marty was inducted into the All Hallows High School Hall of Fame in 2011, where he now serves as chairman of their board of directors. He and his wife, Kathy Daly, whose parents were born in County Cork, have three grown children, Laura, Ryan, and Colin, and a very Celtic-named two-year-old granddaughter called Nuala.

A partner at Accenture since 1999, Paul Daugherty currently serves as chief technology and innovation officer and leads Accenture’s technology innovation and ecosystem group. He is a member of the global management committee and is responsible for research and development in Accenture’s Labs, recently opening a dedicated artificial intelligence R&D Lab in Dublin. Paul has long been recognized as a leader in Accenture’s tech business, founding their cloud computing business and developing a digital business vision. He was also instrumental in launching Accenture’s SaaS business and is a passionate advocate for gender equality in the workplace, sponsoring many STEM-related diversity initiatives. With ancestry from Donegal, Paul says, “We couldn’t trace the lineage past my grandparents, but we always celebrated the heritage and recognized our Irish roots,” estimating that he is thirdor fourth-generation Irish American. “I think my roots have given me Irish characteristics such as independence, family values, and a balanced approach to work and life.” He and his wife, Beth, have four children, Emma, Jesse, John, and Lucy.

L’Oréal Paris

Crowell & Moring


CIE Tours International


Hearts & Science


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Shannon Deegan is chief of staff and global director for real estate and workplace services at Google. Joining Google in 2007 as the director of people operations, he led the M&A team, served as lead business partner to Google’s global business organization, and as head of central staffing and the global talent and outreach programs, including diversity. He most recently led Google’s global security operations organization for three years. Previously, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. in New York, in the financial industry in Asia, and as an advisor to the prime minister of Canada. He also played hockey at a professional level with the Los Angeles Kings. Shannon has a B.A. from the University of Vermont, an M.Phil. in international studies from Trinity College Dublin, and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. Born in Verdun, Quebec, Shannon lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with his wife, Patti, and their three children, Conal, Orla, and Bridget. In the late 1840s, Shannon’s ancestors sailed to Canada to join Montreal’s growing Irish community in Pointe St. Charles.

A. James DeHayes is chairman of DCG Corporation, a financial services consulting firm he founded in 1983. The firm specializes in strategic acquisitions as well as marketing and distribution enhancements. He has successfully guided clients through the complex process of designing and developing distribution systems tailored for new products, enhancing productivity and profitability of existing distribution, and adjusting legacy distribution to new competitive realities. Previously, Jim served as chief marketing officer for a major diversified financial services company. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program, a chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant from the American College, and holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. Jim is a member of the North American advisory board for the UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School, and a second-generation Irish American, whose mother’s family has roots in Belfast. Jim is a native of Milford, CT, and a resident of northern California since 1977. He and his wife, Carolyn, celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary this year.

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


DeHayes Consulting Group

Vin-Go / Cool Way Direct




Michael Dowling is president and CEO of Northwell Health and was our 2015 Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 keynote speaker. He began his career as a faculty member at Fordham University as a professor and the assistant dean at the Graduate School of Social Services. In 1983, under Governor Mario Cuomo, he served as deputy secretary and director of Health, Education, and Human Services. He became executive vice president and COO of Northwell in 1997, and was named president and CEO in 2002. Born and raised in Knockaderry, County Limerick, Michael had to help support his family from an early age, inspiring him to push further and achieve his dreams. “No” was never an option, he says. “If you tell me I can’t do something, that’s when I become determined to get it done.” A University College Cork graduate, he was the first person in his family to attend college. Afterwards, he went to New York and earned a master’s from Fordham. Michael and his wife, Kathy, live on Long Island with their two children, Brian and Elizabeth. This year, he had the honor of serving as the grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

David Dunne is founder and CEO of New Yorkbased Velocidi, a data and analytics software company at the forefront of innovation for marketing. Originally from Navan, County Meath, David first worked in retail at Primark, before opening restaurants for Grand Met and Planet Hollywood in the U.K. and U.S. In 1994, he combined love of computers and marketing to co-found the first of three digital startups. In 1998, Edelman enticed him to develop its global digital practice, which he built into the world’s largest social media agency. After pioneering in digital at Edelman, he returned to entrepreneurism in 2009 with the launch of Velocidi. The roots of his enterprising spirit are in Ireland. “Ireland has depth, soul, and creativity, traits that enable Ireland to reinvent itself and are found in many who have left Ireland’s shores.” David’s professional journey recently came full circle with the opening of Velocidi’s first E.U. office in Dublin, a city at the nexus of digital growth in Europe. A frequent speaker on how data will transform marketing, David is a car enthusiast and triathlete in his leisure time. He resides in Brooklyn with his family.

Ronan Dunne is executive vice president and group president of Verizon Wireless with responsibility for all aspects of operations, including marketing operations, wireless operations, network operations, customer care, and digital operations. Previously, he was CEO of O2 for eight years and a member of the Telefónica SA executive committee. While at O2, Ronan built his reputation for brand and customer experience, being recognized as CEO of the Year by Ethical Corporation and O2 as the Marketing Society’s Brand of the Year in 2015. Born and raised in Dublin, Ronan qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte before moving to London in 1987, where he held senior positions with Banque Nationale de Paris, Exel plc, and Waste Management International plc. He is also a member of the Global Irish Network, a participant in the Irish government’s Global Irish Economic Forum, and works closely with Enterprise Ireland and the IDA. “I’m a very proud of my Irish heritage and of the role played by the Irish diaspora globally,” he says. “As a business leader I draw heavily on that heritage and value greatly the opportunity to represent our country and our culture.”

Northwell Health



Verizon Wireless

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a l a n En n is

ma r y c a l l a h a n  Er d o Es

Jo h n mic h a El  Fa r r El l

Mary Callahan Erdoes is chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s asset management division, a global leader in investment management and private banking with $2.4 trillion in client assets. She is also a member of J.P. Morgan Chase’s operating committee. Mary  joined J.P. Morgan in 1996 from Meredith, Martin & Kaye, a fixed income specialty advisory firm. Previously, she worked at Bankers Trust in corporate finance, merchant banking, and high-yield debt underwriting. Mary is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School. She is a board member of Robin Hood, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the U.S.-China Business Council. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets.  An Illinois native, her great-grandparents emigrated from counties Cork and Tipperary. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters.

John Michael Farrell is the national managing partner for innovation & enterprise solutions at KPMG, based in New York, with over 28 years of  strategic, management, and risk consulting experience. John, who received his Master of Science in accounting, and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Long Island University, C.W. Post Center, is also a certified public accountant in New York State and belongs to the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. John  is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in County Monaghan on his father’s side. His grandmother was one of eleven children born at the turn of the century in New York. John’s great-grandparents came to America from Ireland in the 1880s.

d a v id Fit z g Er a l d

Ed w in a Fit z ma u r ic E

Jo h n Fit z pa t r ic k

A father of six and grandfather of three, Dave Fitzgerald  founded the advertising agency Fitzgerald & Co., where he remains chairman. His company was named Best Agency in the Southeast by Adweek and for five straight years was named one of the best Atlanta companies to work for by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, which also named him one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs this year. A second-generation Irish American, Dave ran the Order of the Green Jacket of Ireland, which helped raise funds for Irish athletes in the 1996 Olympics. He is on the boards of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and the National Advertising Review Board. He is chairman of the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade and St. Joseph’s Health System and is a member of the Global Irish Economic Forum.  Dave received his B.S. and M.B.A. from the University of Dayton, where he was honored with the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Having visited Ireland over 40 times, Dave calls his Irish heritage “a source of great pride.” He became an Irish citizen in 2004 and traces his family to counties Kerry and Mayo.

As the global advisory markets leader at EY, Edwina Fitzmaurice is responsible for the markets strategy and business development activities for EY’s consulting business, which covers 140 countries and 65,000 people. Previously, Edwina ran EY’s IT strategy practice in London and spent 15 years in the life assurance sector as the CEO, COO, CIO, and non-executive director of a number of international life assurance companies based in the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin. Edwina is the founder of the EY Educating Girls initiative, which has raised over $50,000 to put 30 girls in an orphanage in India through high school and college, and serves on the board of the Innovation Value Institute. She is a patron of the Irish Arts Center and of the Manhattan Theater Club. Born in Dublin, Edwina holds a computer science degree and M.A. from Trinity College Dublin. “We strongly identify with the Ireland that we know, which is based on family and community, friendliness, equality, and tolerance,” she says. Edwina and her husband, Aidan, have two daughters, Rachel and Jessica, and are based in New York.

John Fitzpatrick is president and CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, North America. He served as chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and was chairman of the Hotel Association of New York City for three terms. He is the chairman of the American Ireland Fund and on the board of the IrelandU.S. Council. Active in a number of philanthropic activities that aid children and advance the peace process in Northern Ireland, John was conferred with an honorary OBE in 2008. Queen’s University Belfast awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Science in economics in 2011, and in 2013 Dublin City University bestowed him with an honorary philosophy degree. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2002. In 1993, John founded the Eithne and Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Foundation in memory of his parents. The foundation has generated more than $2.4 million for charities.


Alan Ennis is the president and CEO of Glansaol, a luxury brand beauty and personal care company with an integrated portfolio of premium brands including Laura Geller, Julep, and Clark’s Botanicals. Prior to joining Glansaol in 2015, he served as president and CEO of the $2.5-billion Revlon company from 2009. Born in Dublin, Alan comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. His grandfather on his mother’s side (based in Leap, County Cork) was the manager of a local creamery and his paternal grandfather (from Cahir, County Tipperary) opened his own convenience store. Learning their ways, Alan obtained a degree in commerce from University College Dublin and an M.B.A. in business administration from New York University. “There is an intimacy to Ireland and Irish people that cannot be recreated in the U.S.,” he says. “The very reasons that some people leave Ireland – too small; everyone knows your business; the weather – are the most endearing characteristics of Ireland.” Alan and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Bridget, Timothy, and Daniel.

Fitzgerald & Co.


J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.



Fitzpatrick Hotel Group

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

As executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford, Jr. is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. Bill joined Ford in 1979 as a product planning analyst. A member of the board since 1988, he became chairman in 1999 and is also chairman of the board’s finance committee. He served as CEO from October 2001 to September 2006. Bill is vice chairman of the Detroit Lions football team, a member of the boards of the Henry Ford Foundation and the Henry Ford Health System, and is chairman of the New Michigan Initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan. In 2015, in recognition of his commitment to education and his devotion to the Detroit community, Bill was given the Ambassador for Humanity Award by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. Bill holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.S. in management as an Alfred P. Sloan fellow from MIT. He is the great-grandson of founder and innovator Henry Ford, who was the son of an Irish immigrant from County Cork.

Kevin Fortuna is an entrepreneur, author and filmmaker. He runs the tech incubator, Gramercy Labs, and is CEO of its largest two companies: Tasting Room and GeistM. Kevin is also the former president of Quigo, a marketing technology company that was sold to AOL Time Warner in 2007. Kevin’s family hails from Cobh, County Cork. His mother is an Irish citizen and he serves on the board of Irish-born charity Concern Worldwide U.S. Kevin’s heritage has found its way into his writing: his critically acclaimed debut collection of short stories, The Dunning Man, features an edgy cast of Irish and Irish American characters. His feature film by the same name has been screened internationally at 34 festivals and has garnered 19 awards, including seven awards for best feature. Kevin is currently at work on his second film, which will be a collaboration with celebrated Irish filmmaker and author, Colin Broderick (Emerald City, Orangutan). Kevin graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University and earned an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of New Orleans, where he studied on a full fellowship.




Sean Gaffey is a first vice president and senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, where he leads the Gaffey Mellody Group. Within the group, Sean crafts customized portfolios with a focus on impact investing, alternative investments and uncovering unique opportunities to support each client’s specific goals. Currently, Sean serves on the board for three Irish non-profits – Co-operation Ireland, which focuses on peace and reconciliation throughout the isle of Ireland; the Children’s Medical Research Foundation, which supports Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin; and the Irish International Business Network. In addition, Sean is proud to be a mentor with the U.S.Northern Ireland Mentorship Program and the Irish Executive Mentorship Program. All of Sean’s grandparents were born in Ireland, with the paternal side coming from Ballymoe, County Galway, and his mother’s family from Drangan and Thurles, County Tipperary. Born in the Bronx and raised in New Jersey, Sean resides in Rockville Centre, NY, with his wife, Allison, and their two sons, Aiden and Liam.

Joanna Geraghty is JetBlue Airlines’ executive vice president of customer experience, a role in which she leads over 12,000 employees across 100 airports, the customer support team, and the inflight service team. Joanna joined JetBlue in 2005 as the airline’s vice president, later serving as associate general counsel, director of litigation and regulatory affairs, and as the executive vice president and chief people officer from 2010 to 2014. Previously, she served as a partner at law firm Holland & Knight. Joanna received her B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in 1994, and went on to earn a master’s in international relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1997 and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in the same year. Joanna, who is a third-generation Irish American, chairs the board of the Irish nonprofit organization Concern Worldwide U.S. Though a resident of New York, she considers herself based in all locations that JetBlue flies.

Tom Goodwin is a partner at McCarter & English and practices in the areas of commercial litigation, franchise and distribution, unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and product liability. Additionally, Tom chairs the firm’s franchise and distribution law group. Tom was born in Dublin and later attended Fordham University where he earned his B.S. and J.D., was a three-time MVP and captain of the soccer team, and is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He is director of the Ireland-U.S. Council and the Children’s Medical & Research Foundation at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin. “Being Irish means I will always have two homes,” he says. “The home I made here in the U.S. where I established a family, and the home I left behind physically but that I always hold dear in my heart. It also means I never forget that America is a nation of immigrants and a beacon to many seeking to improve their lives, and those of their children.” Tom and his wife, Elaine, reside in New York and have three children – Ernie, Brendan, and Jennifer – and eight grandchildren.

Mutual of America

Merrill Lynch

Ford Motor Company


Gramercy Labs

McCarter & English


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John R. Greed is president and chief executive officer of Mutual of America Life Insurance Company. Previously, he was Mutual of America’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, a position he held since December 2007. John joined Mutual of America in 1996 after 14 years at Arthur Andersen, where he had risen to partner. Before his appointment as CFO, he served as executive vice president and treasurer. He currently serves on the board and executive committee of the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America, the board of the Life Insurance Council of New York, the boards of trustees of La Salle University and Thirteen WNET New York, and the board of the Citizens Budget Commission. He is a member of the Archdiocese of New York finance council. He makes his home in Philadelphia with his wife, Theresa, and has two adult children, Timothy and Megan.

Jim Hackett was named president and CEO of Ford Motor Company in May 2017. Under Hackett’s leadership, together with Bill Ford, Ford is committed to becoming the world’s most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world that help people move more safely, confidently, and freely. In March 2016, Hackett was named chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, a subsidiary of Ford formed to accelerate the company’s plans to design, build, grow, and invest in emerging mobility services. Before Ford, Hackett retired as CEO of Steelcase after spending 20 years leading the global office furniture company. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in 1977. The Hacketts are from the southern and central parts of Ireland, from counties Waterford and Cork in the south to County Carlow in the east and County Galway in the west. The family moved to Ohio in 1852, leaving his great-grandfather, William, the last to be born in Ireland, in 1851. Both he and his later son, William J. Hackett, married women of Irish descent and all were farmers in central Ohio.

Brian Halligan is co-founder and CEO of HubSpot. Previously, he was a venture partner at Longworth Ventures and vice president of sales at Groove Networks, which was acquired by Microsoft. He has co-authored two books, Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs with Dharmesh Shah, and Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead with David Meerman Scott and Bill Walton. Brian recently donated $1.6 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center for Jerry Garcia’s guitar to support two things he cares deeply about: social justice and music. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Sherkin Island in west Cork, Brian was a Top 10 Highest Rated CEO by Glassdoor in 2014, 2015, and 2017, was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of the Year in 2011 and an Inc. Founders 40 in 2016. He is a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School Of Management, where he earned his M.B.A. He also earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University Of Vermont. In his spare time, he practices his guitar, plays tennis, and follows the Red Sox.




As head of partnerships and business development at MaxMyInterest, Michael Halloran is responsible for building relationships with registered investment advisers, family offices, and private banks, as well as advancing product development and supporting marketing efforts with the financial advisor community. Born in Massachusetts, Michael received his B.A. from Brown University and his M.B.A. from the London Business School. Beginning his career as a developer with Fidelity, he also previously worked in product areas with Morgan Stanley from 2007 to 2015, supporting the firm’s engagement with venture capital and startups. A fifth-generation Irish American, Michael has traced his father’s family roots to County Waterford. “Family lore was that my great-greatgrandfather was a Fenian and fled to the United States to avoid trouble with the British police,” he reveals. To Michael, his Irish heritage means “having a deep appreciation of the hard work of all immigrants and outsiders to be accepted.” Michael and his wife, Denise, live with their children, John, Annabelle, and Reilly, in San Francisco.

Paul Hanlon is president of BlueHive, Continental Woodcraft, and Paris Marketing, a trio of strategic marketing solutions firms. Paul was born in Concord, Massachusetts. At the age of 17, he was fired from his job in a candle factory and decided that in the future, he would be his own boss. “In order to be successful, you must first be able to manage your own emotions,” he explains. “This means, I always put my people first, our vendors second, and our clients third.” His philosophy is if you have the best people and the best vendors, then the clients receive the best service. A third-generation Irish American with paternal roots in County Armagh, Paul has done extensive research into his family name. He discovered that his great-great grandfather, William O’Hanlon, immigrated to New England in the mid-1800s, and his son, Albert, a successful pigfarmer, eliminated the “O” from the family’s name to make business signs less expensive. Paul is married to Cynthia, and has two children, Caitlyn and Michael. He lives in Florida.

Mike Hanrahan is the senior vice president and general manager of Project Kepler at Walmart’s newly-formed innovation hub Store No. 8. He is also a trained chartered accountant and a co-founder of online retailer, purchased by Walmart for $3 billion in 2016. He previously served as Jet’s CFO. Like his mother, Mike was born in County Waterford. His first job was as a salesman in the shoe shop his mother operated, learning early the importance of empathy between clerk and customer. His father hailed from New Ross, County Wexford, and was present during John F. Kennedy’s 1963 visit to his homestead in the town. “The Irish immigration story has always resonated locally given this connection,” he says. Mike attended the Waterford Institute of Technology and immigrated to the U.S. in 2010. He adds, “I can’t help but think that the new wave of Irish immigrants have it better than previous generations. The Irish are seen as welleducated, technically savvy, and hardworking.” Mike and his wife, Jo, have four children, Molly, Tom, Rosie, and Rory. They live in New Jersey.

Mutual of America



Ford Motor Company




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Brian Hart is the founder and president of Flackable, a national public relations and digital marketing agency he brought to life in 2014 at the age of just 27. The agency, based in Philadelphia, represents a national client base of financial and professional service firms. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Brian graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in strategic communications and frequently returns to the university as a guest speaker and lecturer. In 2017 he joined Inc. magazine as a weekly online columnist covering leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, and public relations. Brian’s previous recognition includes PR News’s 2017 Rising PR Stars 30 & Under, Lehigh Valley Business’s 2016 Forty Under 40 and Adweek’s 2015 PR Industry 30 Under 30. Brian is a fifth-generation Irish American. “When I think of my Irish heritage,” he says, “I think about the hardworking, industrious men and women in my bloodline who immigrated to America to provide future generations a shot at the American dream. It’s that proud heritage that helps me fuel my drive as an entrepreneur.”

Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and  Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV, and business podcast host of All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on C-Suite Radio. He is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and chairman of  C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Hayzlett is a well-traveled public speaker, former Fortune 100 CMO, and author of three best-selling business books: Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless, Running the Gauntlet, and The Mirror Test. Hayzlett is also an inductee into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame. As a leading business expert, Hayzlett is a former Bloomberg contributing editor and primetime host, and has appeared as a guest celebrity judge for three seasons on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump. Jeffrey bought a piece of his ancestral land, so he can say he truly owns a piece of Ireland. True to his Irish heritage, Hayzlett’s roots trace back to his family’s ancestral home in Derry. He spends his time between his native Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and New York City. 

Tom Higgins is CAO of First Data and serves on the management committee. He leads cyber security, physical security, business resiliency, and crisis management and is the driving force behind First Data’s military and veteran’s affairs function that focuses on the employment of military members, their spouses, and veterans. In 2010, Tom retired from a 24-year career with the U.S. government, where he worked in the national security and foreign policy areas and as a member of the senior executive service. A U.S. Navy veteran, Tom attended the U.S. Naval War College and is a graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College. “My Irish ancestors on both my father’s and mother’s sides of the family came to the U.S. to seek opportunity, freedom, and success,” Tom says. “I have always believed it was my duty to achieve something that would honor their journey and their struggle.” He is second-generation Irish American on his father’s side, with connections to Mayo, and fifth-generation on his mother’s side, which is rooted in Kerry. Tom and his wife, Fiona, live in New York.




As executive vice president of business development, Peggy Johnson is responsible for driving strategic partnerships and transactions to accelerate growth for Microsoft and its customers. Johnson works with external partners around the world, to identify areas of collaboration, drive innovation, and unlock shared value and also manages Microsoft’s relationship with the venture capital community. Previously, Johnson spent 24 years at Qualcomm and worked as an engineer for General Electric’s military electronics division. Peggy holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from San Diego State and serves on the board of directors for Live Nation Entertainment and the international non-profit PATH. She has been recognized by multiple organizations, including Business Insider, Silicon Republic, Connected World, Women in Technology International, and STEM. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Longford and Sligo, Peggy attributes her work ethic to her Irish grandparents, both of whom “separately moved to a new country, with nothing in their pockets but addresses of friends.” She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, the youngest of their three children, four dogs, and one cat.

Ann B. Kelleher is corporate vice president and general manager of the technology and manufacturing group at Intel. She is responsible for corporate quality assurance, corporate services, customer fulfillment, and supply chain management. She is also responsible for strategic planning for the company’s worldwide manufacturing operations, including silicon fabrication, assembly, and test. Before assuming her current position in the technology and manufacturing group, Ann was general manager of the fabrication/sort manufacturing organization. In that role, she was responsible for all aspects of Intel’s high-volume silicon manufacturing. Earlier in her Intel career, Ann was the site manager of Intel’s Fab 11X fabrication facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the plant manager of Intel’s Fab 12 facility in Chandler, Arizona, as well as the factory manager of Fab 24 in Leixlip, Ireland. Ann joined Intel in 1996 as a process engineer, going on to manage technology transfers and factory ramp-ups in a variety of positions spanning 200mm and 300mm technologies. A County Cork native, she holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering, all from University College Cork.

Brian Kelly is the founder and CEO of The Points Guy, the digital platform renowned worldwide for all points, miles, and travel related tips. Launched in 2010 during Brian’s time as a Wall Street road warrior (where Brian developed his keen sense for maximizing travel experiences while minimizing spending), the company has grown into a global powerhouse travel and lifestyle media platform. With Brian at the helm, The Points Guy’s audience has doubled every year since. The Points Guy uses travel as a force for good through its nonprofit arm, Points for Peace, connecting people for social impact through a shared love for exploring the world. Brian is a fourth-generation Irish American and descends from the O’Reillys of County Cavan and the Dempseys of County Offaly. He graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and economics from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as student body president. “My first trip to abroad was to Dublin with my friend,” he has said. “We saw a $300 round-trip airfare, so Ireland was my first real trip outside the U.S. I caught the travel bug after that.”



C-Suite Network


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Fin n eg a n Pa t r ic K Kel l y

Sh a u n Kel l y

Ka t e Kel l y Smit h

Finnegan Patrick Kelly is the CEO of The Go Game, the world leader in real world games, immersive entertainment, and corporate team building games. A pioneer of the industry back in 2001, Finn drew upon his B.A. from Oberlin College in jazz piano performance and psychology, which he earned in 1995, as well as his early employment in the dot-com boom to build the first real-world game engine, which is now licensed around the world. He also performed in several jazz bands in San Francisco, created a performance venue for immersive entertainment, and was the brain child of the Karaoke Rickshaw, a Burning Man vision come to life. His Irish roots are in County Roscommon. When the Kelly family arrived in the U.S., they joined a small but vibrant Irish enclave in Topeka, Kansas. His heritage, he says, has taught him to live by the Irish phrase, Ní saol gan ceol ná grá! – There’s no life without music or love!

Shaun is the global chief operating officer for KPMG International. In this position, he manages the day-to-day operational aspects of KPMG’s global strategy and  oversees the delivery of the firm’s global initiatives. A native of Belfast, Shaun joined KPMG International’s Irish member firm in Dublin in 1980 and transferred to the San Francisco office in 1984. He was admitted to the U.S. partnership in 1999. Shaun earned a B.Comm. with first class honors from University College Dublin, is a fellow of Chartered  Accountants Ireland, and a certified public accountant. Shaun is co-chair of KPMG’s disabilities  network, and a member of KPMG’s diversity advisory board. He is treasurer and member of the executive committee of Enactus. He also serves as chairman of the North American advisory board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business and is on the boards of the American Ireland Fund and the Irish Arts Center in New York. Shaun and his wife, Mary, who is from Donegal, live in New York City.

As senior vice president and publishing director of Hearst Design Group, Kate Kelly Smith is responsible for growing advertising reach for a powerhouse division of Hearst Magazines that includes Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda, and a recently reimagined Metropolitan Home. Previously, she was vice president and publisher of Women’s Health and Prevention and served as publisher of Child magazine. Under her leadership, Hearst Design Group magazines have received numerous industry awards in both Adweek and Advertising Age. Media Industry Newsletter has also named Kate one of the 21 Most Intriguing People and Folio recognized her as a corporate visionary, naming her one of the Top Women in Media in 2015. A fifth-generation Irish American whose Sligo ancestors immigrated during the 1850s, Kate says, “My heritage has always been about family, community, religion, education, gratitude, and giving back.” Born in New York, she a proud member of the Kelly Gang, a charity foundation built by a group of media “Kellys” that hosts an annual fundraiser on St Patrick’s Day.

Fea r g a l l Ken n y

Kev in Do o l ey  Ken t

Pa t r ic K Keo u g h

Feargall Kenny is the founder and executive recruiter of the Glenborn Corporation, which took root in 2009. Glenborn is a boutique executive search firm centered on senior sales hires in venture-backed marketing and e-commerce firms. He is also the founder of the U.S.-based Digital Irish group, which promotes Irish startups through monthly events. Born in Dublin, and with some family from County Leitrim, Feargall graduated from Trinity College with a B.A. in business studies in 1994. After moving to New York, he took a job in the newly-opened Cafe Centro. “Good waiters were calm and walked slowly,” he says. “I was terrible, ran everywhere, and managed to escape into technology sales in the nick of time!” “Being Irish in New York City gives us the best of both sides of the Atlantic,” he adds, “as well as the ability to play everywhere on the scale between supremely confident to disarmingly selfdeprecating and not get called out for being inconsistent!” Feargall is based in New York with his wife, Deirdre, and their children, Ava, Colin, and Cliona.

Kevin Kent  is a shareholder of Conrad O’Brien, one of the leading litigation and government investigations law firms in the United States. He is licensed as a lawyer not only in the U.S.,  but also in Ireland, England, and Wales, and  his experience includes a broad range of complex commercial litigation and compliance matters, focusing on alleged fraud, privatization of public assets, director and officer liability, partnership disputes, professional malpractice, fiduciary, securities, and employment litigation. He also frequently conducts internal investigations.  Kevin  is chairman of the Irish American Business Chamber and Network, and is an officer of American Friends of the Arts in Ireland. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University and his B.A. from Boston College, where he participated in BC’s Irish studies program. He also studied at the U.N. Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Magee College, University of Ulster. Kevin has roots in counties Galway, Cavan, Kilkenny, and Derry.

Patrick Keough is founder, president, and CEO of Lion Group Consulting, which provides strategic corporate communications counsel and develops compelling internal and external content that increases employee engagement and improves the public image of leading companies and brands. As corporate storytellers and content creators, Lion Group Consulting works collaboratively with clients to develop communications strategies, build effective messaging, and produce impactful videos and other collateral materials to achieve critical communications milestones that create sustained value. Before founding Lion Group Consulting in 2009, Patrick had a distinguished career in advertising and corporate communications. He managed the multi-platform communications needs, both internal and external, of such illustrious global brands as Johnson & Johnson, Chevrolet, Samsung, and Coca-Cola. Patrick holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, where he also currently serves as an executive fellow of the Keough School of Global Affairs, and an M.A. from the University of Georgia. Patrick and his wife, Megan, live in Rye, New York, with their four children.

The Go Game




Conrad O’Brien

Hearst Design Group

Lion Group Consulting

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Fluent in 3 Months



Colman Lydon is vice president of life sciences at Everwise, a Silicon Valley technology company in the professional development space that helps professionals fulfill their career potential through a variety of learning experiences centered around mentorship. Colman was born in Dublin, the hometown of his mother’s family (his father’s family came from County Galway). His maternal grandfather, after a career with the Irish police force, joined the Commissioners of Irish Lights and was the last lightkeeper of the Howth Lighthouse in Dublin before its automation. Colman holds a B.A. International from University College Dublin. “As beneficiaries of the foundation laid by prior generations of Irish people globally, I feel we are duty-bound to develop the connective tissue between Irish people at home and around the world,” says Colman. “This is the drive behind my involvement with the Irish International Business Network and the Irish Executive Mentoring Program [both of which organizations he co-founded].” Colman lives in New York with his wife, Bell (née Courtney), and their children, Antonia and Mariella.

Liam Lynch is an entrepreneur and venture capital investor focused on growth companies that have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. He is the founder and managing partner of Studio.VC, which invests in early stage companies, primarily focused on media and entertainment, internet, health, transportation, fintech, and AI. Previously, as an executive of Key Brand Entertainment, Liam is credited as the driving force behind their acquisition and growth of He holds an M.B.A. from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and a B.A. from Rhodes College with additional studies at Oxford. Liam is a New Jersey-born Irish American with connections to counties Cork and Belfast. His father worked for the Lawyers Alliance for Justice in Ireland, leading to Liam’s interest in Ireland from a young age. Today, Liam serves on the board of Co-operation Ireland and is the chairman of IrishCentral. Liam lives in Manhattan with his wife, Kristine Covillo, a Broadway performer and choreographer.






Robert MacGoey joined Apollo Global Management in 2017 as the chief accounting officer and controller and is responsible for a variety of key areas within the finance function. Prior to joining Apollo, Rob was a partner in PwC’s financial services deals practice, providing a broad range of M&A-related services to private equity and corporate clients. Prior to that, he was a partner in PwC’s banking and capital markets assurance practice, serving some of the largest global banks. Rob moved to New York in 2002. He graduated from the Waterford Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Business Studies in accounting and received his master’s in accounting from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is a certified public accountant in New York. Rob previously served three terms as chairman of the American Ireland Fund’s Young Leaders in New York and is a member of the board of advisors for Self Help Africa U.S.A.

As managing director of closing at Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, Lisa Maloney is responsible for the closing, post-closing, and delivery functions of the company. Prior to joining Berkadia, Lisa was senior vice president of Capmark Finance. Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Maloney obtained a B.A. in politics from Fairfield University and her J.D. from the Villanova University School of Law. She is a first-generation Irish American with roots in County Mayo on both sides, as well as ties to Roscommon on her father’s. “My twelve-year-old daughter, Sarah, was born in Dublin,” she says. “So that makes the Mayo-Dublin all-Ireland finals very interesting!” Her mother, Sarah Gibbons Maloney, came to the U.S. in 1959. “This year, we (my mother, daughter, Aunt Mary, and I) had the opportunity to visit Cobh and walk the path my mom and aunt took as 16-year-olds to travel to a new country,” she says. “It was a special experience, one that impressed upon my daughter a real-life, close-to-home immigration story.” Lisa and Sarah live in Pennsylvania.

As the manager of data science at Wealthfront, a software-driven automated investing service, Daniel McAuley is responsible for improving decision-making across the company by using data and the scientific method. Daniel was born in Leeds, England, and his father’s family hails from the town of Bangor, just outside Belfast in County Down. After moving stateside, he worked his first job bussing tables at a steakhouse on the TPC golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona, and had saved up $15,000 by his 18th birthday. He attended Arizona State University and the Wharton School, acquiring his B.S. in finance and an M.B.A. in quantitative marketing. At Wharton, he co-founded Wharton FinTech, the first student-led initiative dedicated to sharing ideas for technological innovation and investment. “My fondest memories growing up are from my time in Ireland,” Daniel says. “Christmas at my grandparents’ home in Bangor was a highlight of my childhood. The spirit and kindness of my family and of all Irish people truly make me proud to call myself a McAuley and an Irishman.”

Benny Lewis is the founder of Fluent in 3 Months, the world’s most popular language learning blog. He has also launched an internationally best-selling book by the same title, as well as multiple language courses. Fluent in 3 Months encourages adults to learn new languages, no matter their background, age, or natural ability. Born in County Cavan, Benny also has roots from County Monaghan on his mother’s side and the U.K. on his father’s. His grandfather founded the street he grew up on and ran a successful hatchery business there. His first job was as a FTSE100 stock investor for a local businessman. The task required software familiarity and 13year-old Benny was among the only locals up to the job. Benny graduated from University College Dublin with a bachelor’s in electronic engineering. Today, Benny regularly lectures at universities all over the country and has spoken at TedX talks. He speaks professionally in his current hometown of New York, where he lives with his wife, Lauren.

Apollo Global Management

Berkadia Commercial Mortgage



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As a senior vice president of CBRE, Matthew McBride serves as an advisor to corporate, government and nonprofit organizations on their real estate needs throughout major U.S. markets. In 20 years, Matthew has led the company in transactions totaling more than 17 million square feet. Raised in Omagh, County Tyrone, Matthew came to the U.S. for the 1994 World Cup and never left. Over two decades later, his love for his home country has remained with him and he has partnered with many Irish organizations, from the Bank of Ireland to the government itself, to serve their U.S. real estate needs. He is heavily involved with the Real Estate Board of New York and the American Ireland Fund. Matthew graduated from the University of Liverpool, England with an honors degree in urban estate management and is a certified member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Casey, and sons, Liam, Max, Jude, and Callum, who join him in visiting County Donegal every summer.



As PwC’s U.S. technology, media, and telecommunications sector leader based in Silicon Valley, Mark is responsible for leading an experienced team of professionals who advise clients in the technology, media, and telecommunications industries. He is frequent speaker at industry conferences throughout the world and hosts several annual workshops for financial and operational executives and board members. He also lectures at colleges and universities on the subject of leadership. A graduate of Pace University, he is also on the board at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation. Mark’s Irish heritage begins in the County of Fermanagh, from where his family emigrated in the mid-1800s, and settled in Brooklyn, New York. Mark’s grandfather, Daniel, worked at a printing press in Manhattan and Mark’s father, Jerry, was the first McCaffrey to attend college, at Saint John’s University, and subsequently spent his entire 45 year career at New York Life Insurance, retiring as an executive. Mark’s wife, Lisa, is a technology executive in San Francisco whose family resides in Inishbofin, County Galway.

Jim McCann is a successful entrepreneur, business leader, author, media personality, and philanthropist whose passion is helping people deliver smiles. Jim’s belief in the universal need for social connections and interaction led to his founding of, which he has grown into one of the world’s top gifting companies. Jim’s willingness to embrace new technologies has enabled him to stay at the forefront of consumer and social trends. He has expanded his company’s offerings to become a leading player in the gift baskets business, including brands like Harry & David, Cheryl’s, The Popcorn Factory, and His focus on customer engagement has enabled the organization to stake out an industry leading position in social and mobile commerce, earning numerous awards for its initiatives in these exciting new business areas. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Armagh and Limerick, Jim is chairman of, non-executive chairman of Willis Towers Watson, and director for Scotts MiracleGro and International Game Technology, as well as for several non-profit organizations.




Tamara McCleary is the CEO of Thulium, a marketing and digital consulting agency specializing in social media, brand amplification, influencer marketing, and account-based marketing. As an internationally recognized expert in new technologies, branding, storytelling, and social influence, Tamara is the world’s leading female technology influencer, at or near the top of every digital and social media ranking in key technology disciplines ranging from AI to robotics, big data to digital transformation, blockchain to augmented reality. Last year, B2B Marketing named her the Most Influential Woman in Martech. An in-demand international speaker, delivering over 20 big stage keynotes per year for organizations such as SAP, IBM, and Gartner, Tamara is also a unique advisor and consultant to a variety of leading global technology companies, such as Verizon, IBM, Mercer, SAP, Dell EMC, Huawei, and Ericsson. Her reputation for creating powerful digital brand recognition is unparalleled. Tamara is fourth-generation Irish American. Her mother, Bonnie McCracken, is descended from the McCracken and Kennedy families who arrived in the United States in the early 1800s.

Kate McCulley is the founder and publisher of Adventurous Kate. Since being founded in 2010, the site has become one of the premiere resources for women seeking to independently travel the world on their own terms. This year, Kate was named was named one of Forbes’s 10 Most Influential Travelers in part for her promotion of intersectional feminist travel. A graduate of Fairfield University and resident of New York City, Kate is a fifth-generation Irish American with roots in County Laois. Her ancestors immigrated to Prince Edward Island in 1823 before settling in Boston in the early 1900s. “At one point the Irish were among the most reviled in America,” she says. “Today we are seeing history repeat itself as similar scorn is heaped upon Latin American immigrants today. As Irish Americans, I believe it is our duty to speak up for the immigrants of today. We must protect the people who came here to create a better life for their families, just as millions of Irish did before them.”

Eileen McDonnell is the chairman and CEO of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, a position she has held since 2013. She is a graduate of Molloy College and went on to complete her M.B.A. in finance and investments at Adelphi University. She received an honorary doctorate from Molloy College in 2011. In 2017, Eileen was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the greater Philadelphia region. Eileen is a native New Yorker and is a secondgeneration Irish American with ancestry from counties Clare, Leitrim, Mayo, and Sligo. She takes inspiration from her heritage, saying her grandparents’ “courage and optimism embodies the spirit of the Irish which I’m proud to have inherited.” Eileen belongs to a number of organizations, including the Irish American Business Chamber and Network. She has also been honored as one of Crain’s New York Business 40 under 40. Eileen has also been awarded the honor of being inducted into the Business Excellence Institute Excellence Hall of Fame in Dublin.



Adventurous Kate

Penn Mutual Life Insurance

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Mary McEvoy is vice president of global procurement at PepsiCo, where she has global responsibility for commodities spanning sweeteners, food oils, energy, and grains. After starting in PepsiCo as an R&D chemist, she has held positions of increasing responsibility across the portfolio during her 19-year career. Mary earned a B.Sc. in physics and chemistry from the University of Dublin and began her career in chemistry in New York. A native of Kilkenny, she is an inveterate hurling fan, and an avid supporter of the “Black and Amber” Kilkenny county team. A terrific athlete herself, Mary was an active camogie, soccer, and Gaelic football player who played for New York at the all-Ireland junior football level. Off the field, Mary brings her positive approach to her community. She serves on the advisory board of Self Help Africa, is a board member of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and is the co-founder of LEAP, a novel leadership acceleration program which links Irish and Irish American female professionals with community organizations to solve real business challenges.

Mike McGavick serves as CEO of XL Group, which provides insurance and reinsurance risk solutions globally under the XL Catlin brand. From 2001 to 2005, Mike was chairman, president, and CEO of Safeco Insurance. Prior to joining Safeco, Mike spent six years with CNA Financial Corporation, where he held various senior positions, including president and CEO of the company’s largest commercial insurance unit. Mike is an active participant in the industry’s trade and representative bodies, including serving as chairman of the Geneva Association, and has received numerous recognitions for his professional and community leadership, including Insurance Day’s Industry Achiever of the Year, the Charles E. Odegaard Award for his efforts in promoting diversity at the University of Washington (from where he earned his B.A.), and most recently the Leslie C. Quick Leadership Award from the American Ireland Fund in 2016. A native of Seattle, Mike is also a founding member of the Washington D.C.-based old boys’ rugby club Wild Geese RFC. He and his wife, Gaelynn, have three sons, Jack, Gates, and Marco.

Kieran McGrath is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of CA Technologies, one of the world’s leading providers of information technology management software and solutions. Kieran joined CA in 2014 after a thirty year career with IBM, where he held a variety of finance leadership roles domestically and internationally, including several years working in Dublin during the Celtic Tiger boom of the late 1990s. Kieran is a first-generation American whose parents, John and Elizabeth (née Canning) McGrath, hail from Elphin, County Roscommon, and Mohill, County Leitrim. Kieran was born in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan and raised in Queens, where he attended Holy Cross High School and earned a B.S. in accounting from St. John’s University. Kieran and his wife, Debbie, reside in New Milford, Connecticut, and are the parents of three grown sons, Brian, Sean, and Brendan.



In his role as the senior vice president and general manager of southern services of SAP America, Kevin McManus has responsibility for all customers in the southern U.S. Since joining SAP in 2005, Kevin has been involved in over a dozen post-merger consolidations utilizing SAP technology, and has held many roles within field services. His accomplishments include the largest global implementation of SAP CRM service, the largest SAP upgrade, and the successful deployment of SAP’s industry solution for media. With roots in counties Fermanagh and Sligo, Kevin is a fourth-generation Irish American who takes pride in the McManus line of “funny men” – his great-grandfather was a well-respected vaudeville performer. “In a world of text messages, I want an Irishman to deliver context and humor,” he says. Kevin was born in Rochester, New York, and obtained a B.A. in economics and finance from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he remains based with his wife, Alexia, and three sons, Ian, Gavin, and Donovan.

Gerry McNamara is the global managing director of the Information Officers Center for Expertise for Korn Ferry, the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. He provides guidance and oversight to the CIO leadership teams in North America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA. Previously, Gerry spent 18 years with a leading executive search firm, 15 years with IBM, and held the rank of captain in the United States Marine Corps. He holds a master’s from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s from Mount St. Mary’s University. He is a surviving passenger of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 which made an emergency landing on New York’s Hudson River in 2009. Born in Brooklyn, Gerry is a second-generation Irish American with roots in counties Down, Cavan, and Kerry. “I have always admired with greatest pride the courage my ancestors showed leaving their homeland to chart a course for the future here in the U.S.,” he says. A dual citizen of Ireland and America, he also serves on the board of the Ireland-U.S. Council and La Salle Academy in New York. He and his wife, Debbie, have three children.



McDonald’s / Schwarz Supply Source

Andrew McKenna is one of Chicago’s premier businessmen and a member of the Irish America Hall of Fame. Currently, he serves as chairman emeritus of McDonald’s Corporation and chairman of Schwarz Supply Source, a position he has held since 1964. He is also a director of Ryan Specialty Group, McDonald’s Corporation, and the Chicago Bears Football Club. The father of seven and grandfather of 24, Andrew is a native Chicagoan who himself is one of six children. His father, Andrew J. McKenna, Sr., was a first-generation Irish American with roots in counties Mayo and Monaghan. In addition to his private sector positions, he is a director of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Ireland Economic Advisory Board, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Metropolis Strategies, among others. A Notre Dame graduate with a B.S. in business administration, Andrew was awarded the university’s Laetare Medal in 2000. He served as the chairman of the board of trustees from 1992 to 2000 and continues on the board today. He earned his J.D. from DePaul University. 66 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

XL Group

SAP America

CA Technologies

Korn Ferry International

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James McVeigh is the founder and chief executive officer of Cyndx Networks, a rapidly expanding financial services firm focused on strategic advisory and private placements services across several industries with global execution capabilities. Jim has more than 20 years of investment banking experience at Salomon Brothers, DLJ, Credit Suisse, and most recently Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, where he ran the technology, media, and telecom banking group. Among others, Jim has advised, AOL, eBay, Expedia, Exponential, Facebook, Glam, GSI Commerce, Getty Images, Google, Kynetic, LinkedIn, OpenTable, Priceline, QuinStreet, Rubicon, SurveyMonkey, Synacor, TripAdvisor,, Yahoo, and Zynga. He currently sits on the board of the job-listing site Jim earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. in finance from the Columbia University School of Business. He also served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for over four years.

Michael J. Mellody is a senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch. Since 1994, Michael has been focused on aligning clients’ financial lives with their personal ambitions. When supporting families, he strives to customize wealth management strategies that reflect their unique goals, values, and needs. Michael joined Merrill in 2005 and has worked in financial services since graduating from Rutgers University with a B.A. in economics. He is a certified financial planner, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Born in New Jersey, Michael is a first-generation Irish American whose father is from County Galway and mother is from County Longford. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in New Jersey and the Irish International Business Network in New York. “My parents taught us to be proud of our Irish heritage and not to be afraid of hard work, an ethos that was reinforced spending childhood summers on family farms in Ireland,” he says. He and his wife, Denise, live in New York City with their son, Gavin.

Orla is the president of the gum and mints CBU for Mars Wrigley Confectionery and a member of the global leadership team. She leads the strategic development and delivery of some of the world’s most iconic brands, from Orbit, Extra, and 5 to Doublemint, and Altoids. Orla has worked for Mars for more than a decade, beginning as marketing director of Mars Petcare and previously serving as chief marketing officer of Wrigley. Now based in Chicago, Orla was born in Ireland with roots in counties Galway, Wexford, Sligo, and Wicklow. She holds a bachelor’s in business studies and marketing from the National University of Ireland and an M.B.S. from University College Dublin. She argues that “Ireland continues to develop as an open nation economically and socially at the heart of the world because of a can-do attitude combined with hard work and an education system that supports maximum participation for those who choose, all of course underpinned by a sense of humor that ensures we do not take ourselves too seriously as there is always someone close by to bring you back to earth!”




Margaret Molloy, from Offaly, is global chief marketing officer at Siegel+Gale, the strategic branding consultancy. A marketing thought leader, she has held previous leadership roles at Gerson Lehrman Group, Siebel Systems, and Eir; has published in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and elsewhere; is recognized as one the most influential CMOs on Twitter; and was named 2017 Marketer of the Year by The Drum. She is also an influential advocate for Irish design, launching the #WearingIrish initiative in 2016, encouraging everyone to wear Irish fashion at least once during the month of March and envisions it becoming an annual movement. For her part, she dons fashion and accessories by Irish designers each day of the campaign. She also sits on the board of the Origin Theatre in New York. Margaret earned her M.B.A. from Harvard University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Ulster and La Universidad de Valladolid in Spain. Growing up the eldest of six children on a farm, Margaret credits her accomplishments to her parents’ work ethic and thirst for education. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Jim, and their sons, Finn and Emmet.

Thomas J. Moran is chairman of Mutual of America, a position he has held since 2005, and previously served as president and CEO of Mutual from 1994 to 2016. During more than four decades with Mutual, Tom participated in the company’s growth from a small retirement association to a life insurance company with over $20 billion in assets. He is an active member of the board of Concern Worldwide U.S. and Concern in Ireland and has traveled with the organization to many of the poorest countries in the world to visit the its programs that aid the most vulnerable people in those countries. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the National University of Ireland and an Honorary Doctor of Science in economics from Queens University Belfast, where he also serves as chancellor. This year, he received an honorary degree in humane letters from his alma mater, Manhattan College, and delivered the annual undergraduate commencement speech. With roots in counties Fermanagh and Tipperary, he is well known in Ireland and the Irish-American community and currently lives in New York with his wife, Joan.

Denise Morrison is president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, a leader in soup, fresh carrots, refrigerated juice, and organic baby food with brands such as Campbell’s, Bolthouse Farms, and Plum Organics. Under her leadership, Campbell is committed to strengthening its core business while expanding into faster-growing spaces to become the leading health and wellbeing food company. She is regularly named among the Fortune and Forbes Most Powerful Women and serves as a board member for the Consumer Goods Forum, MetLife, Catalyst, and Boston College, from which she graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in economics and psychology. In 2012, she was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Export Council. A third-generation Irish American with roots in counties Mayo and Cork, Denise was inducted into the Order of the Cross and Crown Honor Society for academic and extracurricular achievement. “I see the world through Irish eyes and they are smiling,” she says. Denise and her husband, Tom, have two children, Michelle and Kelly.

Cyndx Networks



Merrill Lynch

Mutual of America

Mars Wrigley Confectionary

Campbell Soup Company

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Bill Mullaney is a managing director in Deloitte’s insurance practice. In this role, he works with life, annuities, property, and casualty clients on wide range of strategic and operational issues. In addition, Bill is very active in understanding the growing influence of fintech/ insurtech companies and counsels clients on the potential disruption these start-ups can create to the products and business models of insurers. He has over 30 years of insurance industry experience. Born in the Bronx, Bill is a first-generation Irish American whose parents hail from counties Roscommon and Cork. “Growing up, we learned the value of hard work and perseverance mixed with a strong dose of Irish and American pride,” he says. “I see it in my siblings and my children. It has served us all well.” He received a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, his M.B.A. from Pace University, and a chartered life underwriter designation from the American College. Bill and his wife, Terry, live in New Jersey and have two children.

Global CEO of Havas Health & You Donna Murphy has helped to build the agency into the world’s largest global health-and-wellness communications network, comprised of 65-plus multidisciplinary health-focused marketing agencies in 50 countries. She joined Havas in 1987 as it expanded into North America from its home base in France, tasked with acquiring agencies and weaving the network together having previously held positions at EY and Goldman Sachs. Donna has been named among the Most Influential Women of the Year by the Irish Voice, selected as one of the 100 People Who Make Advertising Great by the 4A’s, and selected as Advertising Person of the Year by Med Ad News, in addition to other awards. She is a trustee for Bishop Kearney High School, a member of the Red Sox Foundation, the Mass General Hospital Home Base leadership council, the Coalition for Healthcare Communication executive committee, and a board member of Project HOPE. Donna, who has an Irish grandmother, Margaret Flanagan, received a B.B.A. from Pace University and lives in Wilton, Connecticut.

Kathleen Murphy is president of Fidelity Personal Investing. She assumed her position in January 2009 and oversees a business with more than $2.2 trillion in client assets under administration, 18.3 million customer accounts, and over 15,000 employees. Her business is the nation’s number one provider of individual retirement accounts, one of the largest brokerage businesses, one of the largest providers of investment advisory programs, and one of the leading providers of college savings plans. Prior to joining Fidelity, Kathy was CEO of ING U.S. Wealth Management. She received her B.A. summa cum laude from Fairfield University and earned her J.D. with highest honors from the University of Connecticut. Fortune magazine has consistently named her one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business. She is a third-generation Irish American – her father’s family is from County Cork and her mother’s family is from County Kerry. She is married with one son.




Eileen Murray is an award-winning leader in the financial services industry and currently serves as coCEO at Bridgewater Associates and co-chair of the management committee. She has over two decades of Wall Street experience, having held senior leadership roles at Duff Capital Advisors, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse, where she was appointed the first female member of the executive board. Eileen  currently serves as a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Irish Arts Center.  In 2015, she received an honorary doctorate from Manhattan College, from which she also holds B.S. in accounting. One of nine children, Eileen grew up in Upper Manhattan’s Dyckman Housing Project (“as diverse a community as you can imagine”). With roots in counties Cork and Galway, she credits her parents’ Irish values, work ethic, and views on diversity as a key advantage doing business in a global economy. “Diversity of thought was encouraged,” she says. “As a result, what I tend to focus on are commonalities, what brings people together, not the differences – which is what keeps these Irish eyes smiling.”

Shane Naughton is managing partner of Equilink, focused on investing in and advising early stage technology businesses, and managing parter of Artech Holdings, focused on building technology platforms and products for the performing arts industries. Previously, Shane cofounded and was chief technology officer of TaxStream, a software business set up to address deficiencies in tax reporting procedures of publicly traded companies. TaxStream was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2008. A Roscommon native, Shane is highly active in the Irish community in New York City, serving on the boards of the American Ireland Fund and the Irish Arts Center, as well as on the Provosts Council at Trinity College Dublin. He earned his M.A. in computer science and M.Sc. in artificial intelligence from Trinity College Dublin and his M.B.A. from TRIUM, a collaboration between the New York University Stern School of Business, HEC Paris, and the London School of Economics.

As general manager and fourth-generation principal of Boston Harbor Cruises, Alison Nolan oversees the daily operations of the cruise line’s 60-vessel fleet, which serves over 2.5 million passengers each year. With Boston Harbor Cruises being a family business, Alison began her work there early, spending time with family members working on the docks. “At 12, instead of just visiting, I would be tasked with picking up trash around the docks,” she recalls. “At the end of each ‘work day,’ one of my family members would give me $2 for every hour I worked. I remember being proud of the money I earned myself.” She later attended Stonehill College, where she earned her B.S. in biology. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Alison is a fourth-generation Irish American, with paternal roots in counties Cork and Mayo. “For me, my Irish heritage means so much more than shamrocks and parades,” she says. “BHC is a family business with deep Irish roots. We’ve always looked to the examples set by our ancestors.”


Bridgewater Associates


Havas Health & You

Equilink / Artech


Boston Harbor Cruises

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As global vice president of digital retail services at SAP, Manhattan native Andrew O’Flaherty leverages lessons learned across the regions while assisting and supporting the firm’s GTM strategy. He joined SAP in 2005 and has held numerous positions there, including senior program director, director of the retail project management office, and director of retail consulting services. In 2013, SAP named him North America’s Vice President of the Year. Andrew is a second-generation Irish American with Galway and Roscommon ties. He has studied the story of his family name in great detail, saying, “The inscription over the Gates of Galway – ‘The ferocious O’Flahertys from whom God defends us’ – indicates the family’s colorful history.” He adds, “Pride in my heritage that I have passed down to my sons, Brendan and Connor, and will be passed to my new grandson, Keane. Where we came from shapes who we are and where we are going.” Andrew holds a degree in business from the State University of New York and lives in upstate New York with his wife, Colleen.

Patrick M. O’Keefe is founder and CEO of O’Keefe, a financial and strategic advisory firm. For over 30 years, Patrick has been active as a financial consultant and turnaround advisor to under-performing businesses in various industries and is currently a receiver appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over a large portfolio of real estate assets in Flint, Michigan. Additionally, Patrick is CEO of Glycadia, a diabetes research company, and was recently named CEO of Grow Michigan. In January, he was elected the 100th president of the Detroit Athletic Club. Patrick says his Irish ancestry has made him a better consultant for troubled corporate transactions as a calming influence who is not afraid to deal objectively with the perils of adversity. Born in Detroit, Patrick graduated cum laude from Michigan State and holds an M.B.A. from Wayne State. He is a fourth-generation Irish American with a paternal Cork connection and believes that the Irish people’s “strong commitment to family” has made him a better father to his children, Bryan, Caitlin, and Matthew. He and his wife Carol, live in Michigan.

As the recently-appointed senior vice president of people for American Airlines, Patrick J. O’Keeffe is responsible for all aspects of traditional human resources functions within the company. He also oversees benefits and wellness programs, as well as supports business units through people business partners. Born in San Francisco, Patrick lived in Kanturk, County Cork, during his teen years and graduated from the University of Limerick with a B.A. in business studies, accounting, and finance. He is a first-generation Irish American, with his mother’s family rooted in Coleman’s Well, County Limerick and his father’s in Newmarket, County Cork. “Mom and dad were both from big families and immigrated to the U.S. when they were in their late teens,” Patrick says. “They met in San Francisco and realized they had the same last name, and grew up 30 miles apart in Ireland.” Patrick eventually moved to the U.S. himself, beginning his studies at Rice University in Texas for an M.B.A. He and his husband, Frankie Perez, live in Texas.






Collin O’Mara serves as president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest wildlife conservation organization, with 51 state and territorial affiliates and nearly six million members. He also serves on the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and the Blue Ribbon Panel for Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. In 2015, he was named Bass Pro Shop’s Conservation Partner of the Year. He is regularly called before Congress to testify about wildlife, water, and sportsmen issues. Prior to the National Wildlife Federation, Collin led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as Cabinet Secretary from 2009 through 2014, then the youngest state cabinet official in the nation. A native of Syracuse, New York, Collin was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, holds an M.P.A. from Syracuse University, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College. He lives in Delaware and spends every possible moment in nature fishing, hunting, hiking, and birding with his wife, Krishanti, and daughters Riley and Alana.

Don O’Neill is the creative director of Theia, an evening wear and bridal collection he founded in 2009. Previously, he served as the creative director for Carmen Marc Valvo and Badgley Mischka Platinum. Don was bestowed an Honorary Doctor of the Arts by University College Cork in 2015. In April he was voted Ireland’s Favorite Designer at the Peter Mark/ V.I.P. Style awards in Dublin, and at November’s Irish Tatler Man Men of the Year Awards, Don won the International Man of the Year award. Don was born in the seaside town of Ballyheigue, County Kerry, where his parents ran a bed and breakfast. He studied at the Barbara Bourke College of Fashion Design in Dublin before working in London and Paris. The incredible Atlantic vistas from his childhood home in part inspired his creativity, and he says his Irish heritage and west coast upbringing have very much “informed the man and designer I am today.” He and his husband, Pascal Guillermie, were married in Ireland on June 11th, 2016 and live in New York City.

As the managing director of healthcare at Google, Ryan Olohan helps develop and manage the company’s relationships with pharmaceutical and consumer health companies. For his work, he was named a 2016 Top 40 Healthcare Transformer by MM&M and a 2017 Top 50 Healthcare Influencer by PRWeek. Born in Boston, Ryan attended Providence College and earned a B.S. in business management. He is a first-generation Irish American. His father was born in Inchicore, County Dublin, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 18, and his mother’s grandparents were famine immigrants from County Mayo. “My father came to the U.S. with literally nothing, married my Irish American mom, and raised nine children who have all gone on to be very successful, and, more importantly, very decent people,” Ryan says. “While my amazing wife is from Korea, we still continue the Irish tradition with our seven children who know their Irish history and can sing many traditional songs in our family band.” Ryan and his wife, Anne, live in New Jersey with their children, Anna Cate, William, Jack, Finn, Braden, Ryan, Jr., and Tess.

National Wildlife Federation


PATRICK O’KEEFFE American Airlines

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In 2017, Meetings & Conventions named Mary Ann Pierce, founder and CEO of MAP Digital, as one of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry, noting, “Pierce is ahead of the curve, as the rest of the industry now embraces data capture and analytics as the next frontier.” For 20 years, Mary Ann worked with her financial industry clients to build MetaMeetings, a secure, compliant platform to manage event content, webcasts, attendee engagement and data. She recently deployed MetaMeetings for Masters & Robots and SingularityU Warsaw. Mary Ann sits on the boards of Digital Irish, Irish International Business Network New York, the Cuala Foundation, and is an advisor for Dublin’s Inspirefest. She has worked with J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street Journal, Novartis, Pfizer, and Havas. She taught at New York University and has been a speaker at Evolve or Die, PCMA Educon, and MPI Conferences. MAP Digital is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

Wayne Reuvers is the founder and chief strategy officer of LiveTechnology Holdings, a dominant player in marketing automation, versioning, and customization industry. He has founded seven companies and is an investor in nine – having raised and invested more than $35 million in these organizations. At the age of 14, he developed, marketed, and sold his first software product, a technical analysis program for the stock market called Graph-It. After a short period of time in the military, he produced derivative modeling software, created the fastest fingerprint matching algorithm, rolled out the first web-pixel tracking system, designed a web programming language, built a high transaction object oriented database, and is now leading development in two untapped markets: personal clouds and content networks. A South African-born, Irish-Dutch-American businessman, engineer, software inventor, and investor, Wayne has made his horse farm just outside New York City his home with his wife, four dachshunds, and multitude of farm animals. His grandfather, James Donnelly, was born in Portadown, County Armagh.


MAP Digital





Alfred J. Small is senior vice president and chief financial officer of Castle Brands, a producer, marketer, and distributor of spirits with a strong portfolio of Irish brands, such as Clontarf Whiskey, Boru Irish Vodka, and Brady’s Irish Cream. He has over fifteen years of experience in finance, operations, and compliance in the spirits industry. Alfred joined Castle Brands during its early stages in 2004, playing a critical role in taking the company public and in its growth over the subsequent years. Previously, he was a practicing accountant at Grodsky, Caporrino & Kaufman. He is a certified public accountant and holds a B.S. from the State University of New York. A fourth-generation Irish American on both sides of his family, Alfred traces his father’s lineage back to County Tipperary, and his mother’s to County Clare. “Growing up in a family proud of its Irish heritage provided me with the work ethic, charity, loyalty, and humor to meet all challenges head-on,” he says. Alfred lives on Long Island with his wife, Joanna. They have four children, Alfred, Matthew, Gabriella, and Giovanna.

Kathryn Spain is the head of European equity sales in North America for Credit Suisse. Currently based in New York, she previously managed the international distribution platform for the Western U.S. out of San Francisco for 12 years. Prior to Credit Suisse, she held positions with Investec Asset Management, Barings Asset Management, and Bank of Ireland. “At a time when the European and Irish economy are really coming into their own, I am proud of being able to represent a European bank known for excellence in research in the North American markets,” she says. Born in Dublin and a graduate of University College Dublin, Kathryn has worked in the U.S. for over two decades. “I have found that being Irish has been a real door opener in life and business,” she says. “There is a real trust in Irish people that is very special.” Her surname comes from the Spanish armada that shipwrecked off the west coast of Ireland in 1588. She and her husband, Tom, live in New York with their three children, Emily, Cara, and Laurel.

The Rising Tides

In July 2015, Eileen Scully launched The Rising Tides to advise organizations on making their workplaces more equal for female employees, establishing a business culture that supports their professional and personal lives. This spring, she will publish her first book, In the Company of Men: How Women can Succeed in a World Built Without Them, showcasing the stories of women who have had remarkable success in male-dominated spaces and are widening the path for other women. Born in Connecticut, Eileen had always been aware that she was adopted and of Irish stock, but did not learn that she was a first-generation Irish American until, pregnant with her own daughter, she sought out the medical information of her birth parents. “My first trip to Ireland was in 1984 and I felt a strong connection to the country. It made perfect sense later, when I learned of my lineage,” she says. Her daughter, Kathleen Erin, now lives in London. Eileen, who attended Hofstra University and lives in Massachusetts, is also active on the boards of the Get In Touch Foundation and the Innovadores Foundation. 74 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

Castle Brands


John Saunders is president and CEO of public relations giant FleishmanHillard and  was  Irish America’s 2016 Business 100 keynote speaker. Saunders began his career as a journalist at RTÉ. In 1990, he founded FleishmanHillard Saunders and helped it develop into Ireland’s largest and most successful public relations consultancy, earning more awards than any other firm during his tenure. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO of FleishmanHillard, he served as regional president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa for four years. Saunders is only the fourth individual to hold his current title in FleishmanHillard’s 70-year history. In 2007, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Public Relations Institution of Ireland and was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame in 2011. A native of Dublin, Saunders has been married to his wife, Jean, for 36 years. Together they have three children, Colin, Caroline, and Hannah, and one granddaughter, Matilda. He currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and this year was grand marshal of the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Credit Suisse

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CAROLINE SULLIVAN Caroline Sullivan is a managing director and global banking controller for Bank of America. Based in New York, Caroline joined the company in 2011 as the controller for Bank of America’s main broker dealer. Previously, she spent six years at Morgan Stanley, where she held a variety of controllership roles in New York and Hong Kong, and before that held positions at Allied Irish Banks in New York and EY, where she began her accounting career. She is also a U.S. board member of Children’s Medical Research Foundation and an active member of Summit Performing Arts Resource Committee. Caroline is a certified public accountant and holds an M.B.A. from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s in primary teacher education from St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. Born in Dublin to a Kilkenny father and Donegal mother, Caroline immigrated to the U.S. in 1989 and became a U.S. citizen in 2004 when her third American child was born. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jay, sons, Peter and Michael, and daughter, Anna.

Kelley Spillane is senior vice president of global sales at Castle Brands. He joined Castle Brands during its start-up and has been an integral part in the company’s substantial domestic and international growth. Previously, Kelley was with Carillon Importers, where he was instrumental in the development of Absolut Vodka and the launch of Bombay Sapphire Gin. Kelley takes enormous pride in his Irish heritage, noting, “The company I helped start was primarily focused on Irish products and they represent today a significant portion of our overall sales.” He says that growing up in an Irish Catholic home with 11 brothers and sisters “made for an extraordinary experience and has provided my children a wonderful extended family to form bonds with. As I grow older, I look forward to making contributions to the Irish community at large that will advance opportunity and strengthen bonds between our two countries.” Spillane is third-generation Irish American with his father’s family originating in Ballyspillane, County Kerry, while his mother’s family comes out of Ballyferriter in Dingle.


Bill Sullivan is the global head of Capgemini’s financial services market intelligence group, responsible for Capgemini’s global portfolio of financial services and overseeing a team of strategy consultants and sector analysts to help Capgemini’s financial services clients across the globe address complex strategic issues. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bill attended Tufts University and graduated with a B.S. double major in economics and psychology. Over the past two decades, he has overseen the development of some of the industry’s most recognized thought leadership, including the World Wealth Report, Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, World Retail Banking Report, and World Insurance Report. He was recently named to the Financial Brand’s FinServ25 Most Influential Voices in Banking and serves on the panel of judges for the PWM/The Banker Global Private Banking Awards. Bill currently resides in Virginia with his wife and two daughters, after a period between 2009 and 2012 in which the family made their home in the city of Hyderabad, India, where he ran Capgemini’s marking intelligence team.

Bank of America




Castle Brands

SAP America

Ted M. Sullivan is a global client partner at SAP America’s consulting practice, serving over 300,000 customers in 190 countries. With more than 18 years of experience focusing on strategy and operational consulting, Ted previously held executive positions at dRSTi360, which he cofounded, IBM, and KPMG. 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 as well as on the national board. 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. He also serves on the boards of Wildlife Aviation Group and Adaptive Learning Center. Ted visits Ireland every year to reconnect with friends in Navan, Cork, and Northern Ireland, where he has participated in various political forums. Ted holds a B.S. in accounting and finance from Troy State University and currently lives in Atlanta. He enjoys playing golf with his daughter, Mary Lois. 76 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

Prime Clerk / Duke Law

As a senior advisor at Prime Clerk, Jim Waldron cultivates client relationships, communicates regularly with the bankruptcy community, and assists with the development of marketing strategies. He is also the director of EDRM at Duke Law and previously served for three decades as the Clerk of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. A Newark native, he earned his law degree from Rutgers and his B.A. from St. Vincent. Jim is a second-generation Irish American and the president of the County Mayo Foundation. “All four grandparents immigrated from County Mayo. When they came over they were policeman and laborers,” he says. “My father’s mother lived with us for the last 10 years of her life and embodied all the qualities of a strong Irish woman – faith, love, endurance, and commitment. My father went to engineering school at night and my mother got her master’s from Columbia University. We were taught to be proud of our heritage.” He and his wife, Kathleen, live in New York and have three children and one grandson.

Amalgamated Family of Companies

David J. Walsh is president and CEO of Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, CEO of Alico Services Corporation, and oversees operations for the entire Amalgamated Family of Companies. His leadership team is credited with improving the organization’s infrastructure and expanding its offerings and national footprint. Previously, David served in senior executive positions at AIG and Swiss Re. He also served as director of insurance and director of international trade for the state of Alaska. Walsh earned a master’s degree in professional studies, and industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.B.A. from Alaska Pacific University, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Loras College. He is currently working toward a Ph.D. from University College Dublin. Born and raised in an Irish enclave in Iowa and a proud member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Northern Ireland Children’s Exchange, Walsh says, “I am proud of our relentless intellectual curiosity, passion and perseverance, our music, literature and culture.”

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Rita, the Ravishing and Ravished Rita Hayworth

Redhead H

er mother, the improbably named Volga, was an ex-Ziegfeld Girl, born to a printer, Allynn Hayworth, and his wife, Maggie O’Hare, the daughter of Patrick and Bridget O’Hare, immigrants from Ireland. Her father, Eduardo Cansino, as black-hearted a villain as ever lived (saving a few of her husbands), was an exotic Spanish dancer and son of the man who introduced a sensuous dance, the Bolero, to Americans. Her parents settled into a humble Brooklyn apartment where she was born in 1918. Volga wanted to name her daughter Margaret after her mother, but Eduardo insisted on Carmen. They By Rosemary compromised, probably for the only time, and named Rogers the baby Margarita Carmen. Years later, Margarita shortened her first name, took her mother’s maiden name and became, arguably, the most glamorous woman who ever lived, Rita Hayworth. Rita Hayworth, c. 1938. The Cansino family increased by two sons and, in the interest of his career, Eduardo moved his family to Southern California, where he gave dancing lessons to studio players. In 1930, the Depression forced Eduardo to close his studio and go on the road. He was looking around for a new dancing partner when his leer landed close to home on his 12-year-old daughter – “Jesus, I wake up! She has a figure! She ain’t no baby anymore!” This awakening solved both his money problems and his insatiable lust. He pulled Margarita out of school, made her up to look older, taught her his dance routines, and began his ritual sexual abuse. The Dancing Cansinos, posing as husband and wife, art imitating sordid life, took their act to the underbelly of show business, Mexican border towns, gin mills, and casinos. Margarita followed her father’s rules by dancing seductively, flashing her eyes, and submitting, nightly, to rape.

The tragic star who burned too bright but always gave the loveliest light.



Every time Margarita returned home, her mother tried to protect her, bringing her into her bed, but Volga was penniless, powerless and slipping into chronic alcoholism. A picture of young Margarita at this time shows a “roly-poly” girl staring into space, too shy to join with other children, even her younger brothers. Like most victims of incest, she had learned to disassociate, distance herself psychologically and go to another world. Many years later she explained that she would retreat into an imaginary carousel ride, “If I don’t like where I am, if I don’t like me… I hear the music, I’m on a horse, I’m on the carousel.” Their dancing tours weren’t proving too profitable, so Eduardo looked for other ways to monetize his child. Margarita worked as an extra in Mexican films and was finally cast in a 1935 Fox film, Dante’s Inferno, starring Spencer Tracy. The acutely withdrawn girl stepped outside her shy self, danced a sensuous dance and inspired a press release describing her as a, “beautiful sixteen-year-old Spanish-Irish dancer who has circled the globe a dozen times.’’ Still, she was dropped. Eduardo Cansino needed help and he turned to Edward Judson, a character as loathsome as himself, a much older, thrice-married grifter and snappy dresser who claimed to be an oilman, though the oil he proffered was pure snake. Judson saw Rita as an “investment,” and married her to control her money. He pushed Eduardo out of the picture along with any traces of her ethnicity – electrolysis removed her widow’s peak and her black hair was dyed red. He put her on a diet, the better to squeeze into tight (rented) gowns for publicity shots at the Trocadero. In addition to playing Pygmalion to his wife, Judson played pimp, offering her up to various producers. In the end, he was successful. Rita got a seven-year contract with Columbia. The head of Columbia Pictures, Harry Cohn, the Harvey Weinstein of his day, gorged on his starlets, viewing them as commodities to satisfy his outsized libido. Judson assured him that Rita soon would be his. Cohn, obsessed with Rita, attempted to control her by bugging her dressing room, issuing fines, and forcing her to punch a time clock even when she was

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his biggest star. In a rare show of empowerment, Rita refused her husband and refused to bed Harry Cohn. Judson, feeling his grip slipping, threatened her with, among other imaginative forms of disfigurement, throwing lye in her face. By 1941 Rita’s life was a nightmare, menaced by her husband at home and stalked by her boss at work but, using the technique developed as a child, she detached. She was able to check out of the misery of her life, light up the screen and make an entire country fall in love with her. In 1941, she stole the show from bigger names in The Strawberry Blond, and danced with Fred Astaire in You’ll Never Get Rich. Astaire later claimed she was his favorite dancing partner, saying, “Nothing is too difficult for her. She watches, goes home, practices up, and the next day she’s got it perfect.” After turning over all her assets to Judson, she was able to divorce him in 1942, but was left so broke she asked her friend Hermes Pan if she could eat at his home. Just as her dark hair turned red, her ethnicity disappeared and a new persona emerged, the Love Goddess. No longer Hispanic or Irish, she was now an all-American girl and, after starring with Gene Kelly in Cover Girl, it seemed technicolor was invented just for her. The iconic 1941 Life magazine photograph of Rita kneeling on a rumpled bed wearing a satin nightgown and welcoming smile was a favorite pin-up of GIs during World War II. In the film noir, 1946’s Gilda, she begins a sultry striptease to “Put the Blame on Mame,” a cinematic milestone that landed her on the nose of an atomic bomb. It also gave rise to her ubiquitous quote, “Men fall in love with ‘Gilda,’ but they wake up with me.” It was a poignant statement that reflected on how trapped she was in her image. The public fetishized her as goddess or raging siren, but it was a manufactured, one-dimensional image – in reality, she was pathologically shy, passive, and needy and would always remain that way. Upon seeing Rita’s 1942 Life cover, “boy genius” Orson Welles announced, before even meeting her, that he would marry her, which he did in 1943, becoming, as she always claimed, “the love of my life.” She read all the high-brow books he assigned her, though it’s doubtful she ever reached his conversational level. “The Beauty and the Brain” became the most prominent leftist Democrats in Hollywood, even sending out Christmas cards soliciting funds for the anti-fascists in Spain. But by the time their daughter Rebecca was born, Orson, overwhelmed by Rita’s insecurity and jealousy, submerged himself in his work. For some perverse reason, men married to desirable women often have affairs with undesirable women, and Orson Welles did just that. Hollywood wags reported his infidelities to Rita, now alone with a new baby, but still she refused to give up on the marriage. To make her restless, workaholic hubby happy (and to make Harry Cohn miserable), she cut her hair


short and bleached it platinum blond to star in Orson’s film, The Lady from Shanghai. Now recognized as a classic, it tanked when it opened, and so did the marriage. No matter. Rita looked back at this time as the happiest of her life. Orson later said to her biographer, Barbara Leaming, “If this was happiness, imagine what the rest of her life must have been.” Welles always held his ex-wife in a special place and she may have been the love of his life. Interviewed on a talk show the very evening before he died, all he talked about was Rita Hayworth. What’s a girl to do when she’s recovering from a divorce? If she’s Rita Hayworth, she lets her hair grow back, dyes it red, dates Aristotle Onassis and heads to Cannes. It was there she met Prince Aly Khan, who, like Welles, fell in love with her image before he met her. Rita had heard of the dissolute – some would say oversexed – playboy famous for his wealth, racehorses, and flaring nostrils which he patterned after Rudolf Valentino. He was considered the most promiscuous man in Europe, an unfortunate choice for a woman plagued by feelings of inadequacy and fear of abandonment, which no doubt propelled the self-destructive star right to him. The couple, still not divorced from their former spouses, were skewered in the international press, Aly even being described as a “colored prince.” But, discovering she was pregnant, they married and Rita

ABOVE: Rita Hayworth as Gilda Mundson Farrell in Gilda (1946), directed by Charles Vidor.


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Rita Hayworth

became, briefly, an American princess, years before Grace Kelly. The Cinderella wedding, hosted by Aly’s father, Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Shia Muslims, featured Rita propped on a chair. There she was surrounded, according to a guest, by Ismaili’s who knelt beside her, “and kissed her foot. And each one had something to give her – pearls, a little gold object. It was extraordinary!” After their daughter Yasmin was born, Aly began a series of well-publicized extramartial affairs which drove Rita to hysterics, she even had a fit when he went out for a haircut. Finally, the humiliation was too much, Rita returned to the U.S. and filed for divorce. Back in Hollywood, she is suspended from Columbia resulting in an inspired headline in the Hollywood Reporter: “From Cohn to Cannes to Khan to Canned.” The third act of Rita’s life was the most tragic, best described by Orson Welles, “After Aly, Rita was on a downward path, a steep, steep toboggan slide.” Despite

Rita’s past experience with men – her father and five husbands alternately abused, neglected, and exploited her – she still believed she required men to take care of her. Her need drove her to a snoutnosed crooner, Dick Haymes, probably the worst move of her life. Rita took up with Haynes, an alcoholic known by le tout Hollywood as “Mr. Evil,” just he was about to be deported – he had dodged the draft by using his Argentinian birth. His career over, he was sunk in debt to the IRS and the dead-


TOP: With Fred Astaire in You Were Never Lovelier (1942). Astaire said Hayworth was the best dancer he ever worked with. ABOVE: September 7, 1943, Santa Monica, CA: Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth on their wedding day, with best man Joseph Cotten.


beat dad in arrears in child support payments to two wives. When Rita married him, Mr. Evil, emboldened, demanded Columbia put him in all her movies. In other words – no Dick, no Rita. She remained unemployed for four years. Broke, with the government on Haymes’s tail, the couple hid out in a Manhattan hotel, leaving Yasmin and Rebecca in the White Plains home of their nanny, a singularly sloppy woman who got the attention of Confidential Magazine, the forerunner of the National Enquirer. The rag ran pictures of the girls playing in garbage-strewn yard, a kitchen sink overflowing with dirty dishes and peeling paint on the walls. All this and Yasmin was a real-life princess! Soon Rita’s children were under the protective custody of children’s court, neglect charges were considered and both Aly Khan and Orson Welles attempted to gain custody of the kids. Now Rita’s drinking is officially out of control (Put the Blame on Haymes) and photos taken of her at the time reveal a bloated, unkempt and defeated woman. It was only when Haymes publically blackens her eye in a night club that she walks out. It was 1955. She attempts a comeback, starring in Pal Joey with Frank Sinatra and her “replacement” at Columbia, Kim Novak, and vowed to stay single. In less than three years she was married to producer James Hill, another manipulative alcoholic who, determined to make her a serious actress, put her in “arty” independent films where she did indeed give sensitive performances. But their life, fueled by alcohol, was deemed “marital massacre” and it quickly ended. In the years that followed, she found it difficult, then impossible, to remember dialogue and was given to irrational outbursts. She, famously, became agitated on a plane trip and photos of her, disheveled and confused, went around the world. Her behavior was first attributed to alcoholism, but in 1980, when she was 62, she was diagnosed as a victim of advanced Alzheimer’s disease, a debilitating condition that degenerates brain cells and destroys memory. She was placed in the care of Princess Yasmin, who became her legal guardian and lovingly cared for her until her death in 1987. Alzheimer’s Disease, discovered in 1906 by German physician Alois Alzheimer, was largely forgotten until Rita Hayworth became its most famous victim. She alone raised universal awareness of this puzzling, often misdiagnosed, disease. And Yasmin, in turn, founded and still heads Alzheimer’s Disease International, the research and support group for sufferers and their families; her Rita Hayworth Gala raises millions every year to develop new drugs and hopefully, a cure. For all the joy this gifted, gorgeous woman brought to her legions of fans and all the gossip generated by her tempestuous life, bringing this disease out in the open has proved to be Rita Hayworth’s greatest legacy. IA

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Message of Unity Bobby Kennedy’s

Chris Matthews talks to Tom Deignan about his new book, which offers valuable insights into Bobby Kennedy, and why we need someone of Kennedy’s ilk today.


ext year, on St. Patrick’s Day, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open a new exhibit entitled “The Train: RFK’s Last Journey.” The centerpiece of the show will be more than two dozen large color portraits taken by Look magazine photographer Paul Fusco, who was on board the train that carried Bobby Kennedy’s body from New York City to Washington, D.C., following the presidential candidate’s assassination on June 6, 1968. These stunning photos, in many ways, represent the way the martyred Kennedy has been remembered in the 50 years since his death. Fusco took over 1,000 photographs of people who came to watch the train pass. They were old and young, rich and poor, urban and rural, black and white. And for those few months when Kennedy was running for president, many actually believed he was the one man who could bring together a country that seemed intent on tearing itself apart. “Bobby Kennedy is the kind of leader we don’t have today,” political pundit Chris Matthews told Irish America during a recent phone interview, taking a break from preparations for that evening’s episode of his long-running and highly-rated


MSNBC talk show Hardball with Chris Matthews. “We don’t have a leader with empathy, who’ll fight for unity… we don’t have someone who’s a moral authority. [Bobby Kennedy’s] what we don’t have, he’s what we lack [and] he fits the needs of the country right now.” Matthews, who grew up attending Catholic schools in an Irish American Philadelphia family, has just published a new book about RFK entitled Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit. The book, Matthews writes, “is about the Bobby Kennedy we’d want to have today.” Many readers seem to agree. On the day we spoke, right before Thanksgiving, the book was lodged at fourth on the New York Times best-seller list for non-fiction.


n his book, Matthews quotes journalist Jack Newfield, who said Bobby Kennedy “felt the same empathy for white workingmen and women that he felt for blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans.” Congressman John Lewis added, “People treated him like he was some rock star. It was young people. It was blacks, whites, Hispanic, just pulling for him.” But Matthews doesn’t shy away from a full portrait of Kennedy, exploring his numerous shortcomings, among them his life-long affection for notorious Irish American commie hunter Senator Joseph McCarthy. “Bobby was with [McCarthy] all the way – until he saw how Roy Cohn was ruining him,” Matthews said, referring to the aide who, like McCarthy, launched reckless charges and ruined lives during the desperate 1950s hunt for communists in the U.S. government. Even after Kennedy left McCarthy’s staff and wrote the U.S. Senate resolution condemning McCarthy, he maintained (as Matthews put it), “a tremendous personal affection for McCarthy.” In his book, Matthews relays the famous story of Bobby quietly attending McCarthy’s funeral. In Matthews’ opinion, this illustrates one of Kennedy’s most distinctive traits. “He was so loyal,” Matthews said. “Both Jack and Teddy always said what they honored most in their brother was his loyalty.”

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obby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit is Matthews’s eighth book about politics and history, most written in the 20 years since he has been hosting Hardball. His parents were a “mixed-marriage” by mid20th century standards. His mother, Theresa, came from a large Irish Catholic family, while his father was a Protestant (who converted) with roots in Antrim. Matthews attended Holy Cross College in Massachusetts and served in Africa in the Peace Corps, before moving on to Washington. His first job there, however, was not political. Matthews actually worked as a U.S. Capitol police officer. Soon enough, though, Matthews worked for several Democratic congressmen, and even mounted a run for a congressional seat outside of Philadelphia in 1974. (He lost.) Matthews then worked as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, before moving on to his biggest political job, as Chief of Staff for legendary Boston Irish American Tip O’Neill, during O’Neill’s years as Speaker of the House. (This informed one of Matthews’ best books about two of Irish America’s most famous politicians, 2013’s Tip and Gipper: When Politics Worked.) Without question, Matthews experiences as a political insider inform some of the best passages in Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit.

Bobby hustling behind the scenes at the 1956 and 1960 Democratic conventions makes for great reading, and Matthews strikes a good balance by offering a view from inside the beltway, while also making sure the focus stays on the Kennedy clan, and not Matthews himself. The book also offers valuable insight into Bobby’s youth. Always emotional, he “couldn’t help but reveal himself if circumstances evoked it,” Matthews writes. Kennedy even once wrote a letter to Boston’s Richard Cardinal Cushing, voicing complaints about a priest who argued that salvation could not be found outside the Catholic Church. John F. Kennedy, who Matthews has also written two books about, often referred to his younger brother as “Black Robert,” and felt that Bobby was sometimes “too serious, too earnest, too much the straight arrow,” Matthews writes. But, as Matthews also makes clear, it was those qualities – sprinkled with heaping doses of ruthlessness and ambition – that made Bobby an effective taskmaster for his more dashing brother. “Jack was kind of a Brit, he was kind of an aristocrat,” Matthews said. “Bobby wasn’t trying to fit in with the country club types… he didn’t want to go off with the aristocrats like Jack did.” This was also the result of Bobby trying to prove

ABOVE: One of Paul Fusco’s photographs from the train carrying the body of Robert F. Kennedy from New York City to Washington, D.C., where the former attorney general was interred in 1968. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open a new exhibit entitled “The Train: RFK’s Last Journey,” next March.

LEFT: Chris Matthews.


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Message of Unity Bobby Kennedy’s

People treated him like he was some rock star. It was young people. It was blacks, whites, Hispanic, just pulling for him.”

– Congressman John Lewis

to his father, Joseph Sr., that he could be tough. The Kennedy patriarch lavished so much attention upon his older sons, Joe Jr. and Jack, that Bobby was often ignored, and made to feel weak. “There was… a permanent scar left on him by his relationship with his father, which carried a personal experience of rejection,” writes Matthews, adding that Bobby “yearned for Joe’s attention and dreaded his disapproval.” Perhaps most interestingly, Matthews writes that Bobby was the “least assimilated” of the Kennedy children. As Matthews said, “He was really driven by family. He had an almost ferocious loyalty to the family. Which is very Irish.” There’s also “no doubt,” Matthews said, “Bobby was the most religious of the Kennedy boys.” Kennedy was also the most likely to draw on his family’s own immigrant past when looking at the problems America faced once he began serving in his own brother’s presidential administration. “The Irish were not wanted when my grandfather arrived in Boston,” Bobby remarked following race riots in Montgomery, Alabama. “Now an Irish Catholic is president of the United States. There is no question about it – in the next 40 years, a Negro can achieve the same position my brother did.” (Kennedy, of course, actually wasn’t far off.) As Matthews writes, “The most Irish of the Kennedy children… it wouldn’t be wrong to say [Bobby] was, despite being a third-generation American, the least changed from the old country.”


ll of this combined to fuel Kennedy’s ambition, which often crossed the line into cutthroat ruthlessness. And yet, so much changed for Bobby – and for the country – on November 22, 1963, when his brother was assassinated in Dallas. In the years that followed, Bobby’s sense of Irishness and Catholicism transformed. Now, according to Matthews, Bobby Kennedy identified with the downtrodden, and felt a Christian duty to help those in need. By 1968, as the Vietnam War took a turn from bad to worse, some Democrats felt President Lyndon Johnson, who just four years earlier had been overwhelmingly reelected, needed to be challenged. Initially, Kennedy turned such overtures down. But after torturing over the decision, Bobby Kennedy belatedly entered the race for president in March of 1968. His main opponent was fellow anti-war candidate (and Irish Catholic) Minnesota senator Eugene McCarthy. And for a few months – as the Vietnam war ground on, as racial tensions grew, and as Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated – McCarthy and Kennedy tried to persuade the American public there was still hope.


Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit (Simon & Schuster / 416 pp. / $28.99)

Kennedy won a major victory in the California primary on June 5, and told the ecstatic audience at the Ambassador Hotel afterwards: “I think we can end the divisions within the United States, whether it’s between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups or on the war in Vietnam. We can start to work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country. I intend to make that my basis for running.” As he left the hotel with his wife, Ethel, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by 24-year-old Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian activist, who cited Kennedy’s support for Israel as his motive. Kennedy’s killer, now 73, remains imprisoned at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. “It was simply about loss,” writes Matthews, who was 22 at the time. “It’s what I felt as I watched the news footage of the Penn Central train, carrying him south from his funeral at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral down through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, to Washington’s Union Station. His presidential campaign had lasted eighty two days. ‘The Impossible Dream’ was Bobby’s song. He knew the odds against him. Conscience, not glory, was what had called Kennedy into service. Now his death left a void as large as his promise.” IA Fifty years later, it is a void we still feel.

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Watchmaking tion Revolu

The word “clock,” one of the oldest human inventions, is derived from the Celtic words clagan and clocca, meaning “bell” (clog in modern Irish), so it’s only fitting that the Irish are having a major impact on the world of watchmaking, traditionally dominated by the Swiss.


By Dave Lewis

here is a revolution happening in Ireland – a horological revolution. Horology is the study of time and the instruments that measure time. When you think of Ireland, you usually don’t associate the country with the production of luxury watches and watchmakers. However, two brothers from Athlone, Stephen and John McGonigle, and Belfast’s Stephen McDonnell, are bringing Irish ingenuity and revolutionary passion into the Swiss dominated luxury watch sector. The McGonigles came to watchmaking through their father, Johnny McGonigle, a horological hobbyist whose passion ignited a fire in his sons. As the boys got older, their father, a compositor for the Irish Times, encouraged them to pursue watchmaking as a career. John and Stephen attended the Irish Swiss Institute of Horology in Blanchardstown, Dublin, a now defunct watchmaking school set up by the Swiss watchmaking industry. After graduating from the institute in 1996, Stephen was hired at Christophe Claret in London, where he developed prototypes for various complications like tourbillons and minute repeaters. He went on to work for Breguet and other high-end watchmakers. John also worked for powerhouses of haute horology, such as Audemars Piguet, the makers of the increasingly popular Royal Oak, and Christophe Claret. 86 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

It was John who first made the move back to Athlone, in 1999. Having already developed a reputation as an atelier, he found work developing and creating complications for other companies. In 2003, Stephen followed in his brother’s footsteps, returning home to be an atelier as well. They started their own company in 2006 and since then they have released three watches, the Tourbillon, the Tuscar, and the most recent model, the Ceol. A tourbillon is originally a French-made complication. Abraham-Louis Breguet came up with a mechanism in 1801 that would fight against the negative effects gravity has on a watch’s balance wheel. The brothers wanted their Tourbillon to feature the elements that they loved and respected in the masterpieces, and they wanted to add something of their own, something distinctly Irish. The crown of the McGonigle’s watch spells out “TIME” in ogham, the ancient Irish script, and the back, or the mainplate, is engraved with a Celtic pattern inspired by sea birds and waves that their sister, Frances, an artist whose work has been featured in private and public collections around the world. After showcasing the Tourbillon to collectors, the brothers decided to develop an archetypal base to work off for their future watches. The Tuscar, named after the Tuskar Rock lighthouse of the coast of County Wexford that is often described as the first

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glimpse of Ireland, was born and released in 2011 as a series of 10 in white gold. After the first series sold out, the brothers produced Tuscar Bánú. The movement, the MCG01, the first time-only watch developed in Ireland with an in-house hand-wound calibre movement, comes in two variants: 20 watches were made in rose gold and an additional 20 were made in white gold. Like the Tourbillon, the Bánú was a success, and the brothers decided to challenge themselves even further and develop and create their own minute repeater, a highly complicated mechanism that is reserved only for master watchmakers to develop and create. The Ceol was born. Ceol is the Irish word for “music,” and a minute repeater the brothers developed “sings” as its hammers strike against a gong that chimes out the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. While the Ceol features one of the most sophisticated complication in horology, the watch still harkens back to the brand’s roots with its detailed hand finishings. The crown (and the bog oak box the watch comes in), is engraved and detailed with “McGonigle” and “Ireland” in ogham, the back of the movement has a Celtic design of ravens that can be found in the Book of Kells.

ust as the McGonigle brothers have developed master watchmaker level complications and calibres, Stephen McDonnell, a Belfast native, has done the same with the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual. Like the McGonigle brothers, Stephen had a relative introduce him horology. “When I was four or five, my grandfather discovered a broken clock that had been lying in his attic for many years. I loved it so much that I used to plead with my mother every day to take me to visit my grandparents, just so I could ‘play’ with this old clock,” McDonnell says. He got to a point where he could disassemble and reassemble the clock and a local clockmaker not only gave him the parts to make it come alive again, he showed him how to fix the clock. “I still remember clearly the first time I got it to tick properly,” he says. Back then, McDonnell didn’t know that watchmaking could be an actual career, but after obtaining


TOP: Brothers John (left) and Stephen (right) McGonigle. CENTER: Stephen McDonnell. ABOVE and TOP LEFT: Face and reverse views of McGonigle’s Tuscar Bánú timepiece in rose gold, one of a limited 20-piece collection.

a degree in theology at Oxford University, he decided to follow his passion. In 2001 he completed a six-month Swiss watchmaking training program and was asked to stay on and teach after he graduated. Later, McDonnell, who specializes in designing movements and mechanisms, became in involved with Swiss watchmaking brand MB&F in 2007 when he helped founder Max Büsser by retouching the parts needed for the company’s first release, the HM1, when the company was running out of money and time. Four years later, in 2011, MB&F had made a name for itself as a company that challenges traditional watchmaking techniques, and when Büsser heard that McDonnell wanted to revolutionize the perpetual calendar complication, he asked him to take the helm on the new watch for their Legacy Machine series. A perpetual calendar complication is one of the most difficult complications to construct, let alone to change the way they are designed. Perpetual calendars display the date and automatically correct the months that have less than 31 days, factor in leap years, and only have to be corrected once every century. The earliest example known was made by master watchmaker, Thomas Mudge in 1762 but there are older clocks that have a very similar complication. McDonnell’s design features 28 teeth and a mechanical processor that adds in the extra days you need for each month, and then retrogrades from the last day of each month to the first day of each month, thus changing the way perpetual calendars work. His processor also allows the owner to correct months and years where previously you would risk breaking the mechanism all together. For McDonnell to change the way masters like Mudge and AbrahamLouis Breguet made their perpetual calendars was a major technological feat, and he won praise from horologists on a global scale. His biggest fans are the McGonigles. “Stephen is one of the finest watchmakers alive. Most people (even watchmakers) will never appreciate just how incredible that watch really is,” said Stephen McGonigle. These three Irishmen have made their mark on the world of horology, and their work will be talked IA about long after we’re gone. DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 IRISH AMERICA 87

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Golden Touch



he most surprising thing about Nigel O’Reilly is not that he looks so young (at least 10 years younger than his actual age) or that he’s creating high-end jewelry out of a small town in Mayo, but the fact that so few people have heard of him. “Yeah, I’ve kind of kept a low profile deliberately,” he laughs. But we get the feeling that’s about to change.

TOP: Rose Gold Talisman Pendant. CENTER: O’Reilly with the Morganite Pendant. BOTTOM: A model is fitted with earrings.

After a few years working out of his Claremorris home, O’Reilly has recently moved to a studio in nearby Castlebar, and he knows that it’s past time to start getting his name, and his work, out there. His website is a dangerous place to visit, as even the most jewelry-averse would find it hard to resist the beauty of his work. Some of the top jewelry houses on London’s Bond Street are very familiar with his work. Earlier this summer, the accomplished goldsmith visited New York for a Mayo Foundation event, and a specially commissioned piece of his was presented to philanthropist Geraldine Kundstadter, who hosted the event at


her Fifth Avenue home. Last year, he was a finalist in the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Award, having won the Mayo and Connaught regional stages. It’s all a far cry from his school days, when his severe dyslexia saw him learn to read later than his peers. His mother, a teacher, picked up on it and pushed for a diagnosis. But his parents never made it into a big deal, and he says he was never told to hide it. “Their attitude was, well this is it, but you’re good at a lot of other things,” he says. He chose a lot of practice-based subjects for his leaving cert, and after leaving school was apprenticed as a toolmaker. Using the lathe at work one day, he fashioned a ring for his then girlfriend (now wife) Tracy. She loved it, and planted the seed in his brain – should he think about making more jewelry? An intensive course in Kilkenny, the only such course in Ireland, followed, and O’Reilly’s work with elements of movement in jewelry solidified his success. He has been apprenticed to or mentored by some of the big names in jewelry – including Rudolf Heltzel and Erwin Springbunn – and lived in Stockholm and London before moving back to Mayo. “I love the buzz of a city but I really love living in the countryside,” he says. “What I have now is the perfect mix of being able to make high-end jewelry and still live in Mayo.” He radiates the satisfaction of being lucky enough to love what you do for a living. “Since the very first day I started in jewelry, I’ve never regretted it. I’ve never had trouble getting up in the morning,” he says with a smile. “I make a piece because I want to make the most beautiful piece there is. It should all be about the beauty of the piece.” Nigel O’Reilly. Remember the name. We’ll be hearing more about him. – Darina Molloy

For more information, visit ABOVE LEFT: Voila Diamond Sapphire Drop Earrings. LEFT: Diamond Double Halo Engagement Ring.

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Memories of a Distant Father

reached for my father’s hand as he lay in his hospital bed. Sensing his unease, I quickly let go. It was my last attempt at intimacy. He died several days later, maintaining the distance between us to the end. I arrived in my father’s life as part of a double surprise, the elder of boy twins. Nine months earlier, he lost his seat as a congressman from New York and my mother accompanied him to Washington to close his office. They were the parents of two daughters. He was forty-three, she forty. I suspect that my father thought his begetting days were done. My mother made no secret that we were conceived in a hotel close to the White House. She disliked the way politics kept our father away from home and the public scrutiny she felt it brought them both. Less than disappointed by his loss, she considered herself blessed rather than burdened by our arrival. For my father, a passionate Democrat and rising star, his defeat had to be a crushing blow. But I never heard my father mention it. Glad, sad, or otherwise, he never discussed his emotions with me or, as far as I know, anyone else. As for sex, he shunned any mention to the point my mother once teased him, “Do you want your children to think they were conceived by the milkman?” In the opening days of the post-war era, when a returning army of youthful G.I.s coached and encouraged their ball-playing sons, my father was an anomaly. Too old to serve in the war, he preferred homburgs to baseball caps. Instead of spending Saturdays on the playing field, he retired to his room to read. On Sundays after Mass, he tackled the crossword. Any time we spent together was usually at my mother’s insistence. He took us to an occasional ball game at the Polo Grounds, or to the Bronx Zoo, or schlepped us to the Museum of Natural History, where we spent listless Saturday afternoons wandering among stuffed bison and dinosaur bones. Wherever we went, he was half-present, orbiting in his own mental sphere and landing in places that made him appear more grieved than distracted. My brother and I attended the same schools he had. Lackluster students, we were inevitably – and unfavorably – measured against his star performance. He made no secret of his disappointment. Try as we might, his approval seemed out of reach. The best we could do was avoid his displeasure. “I don’t know if any man was ever less thrilled at having twin boys,” my mother said. My father’s father was an Irish immigrant. Still in his teens, uneducated and unskilled, he paid his way west stoking coal on the railroad. He tried his hand at professional boxing, joined the labor movement, and became an itinerant union organizer. Eventually, he came back east, apprenticed as a coppersmith, married, and had a daughter. He fled to Cuba after his wife died, returned to New York, and married my grandBY PETER mother. 90 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

My father never knew his father had a first wife or that his sister was his half-sister until informed by my grandfather from his deathbed. “I hope you won’t use that to cheat your sister out of what’s coming to her,” he said. I never met my grandfather. But I have pictures of him. In one, he is seated on a horse at the head of New York City’s Labor Day Parade. In another, his laborer’s build is on display – thick, broad shoulders and Popeye-sized forearms. In contrast, my father as a young man had a dancer’s build. Tall, thin, a jaunty dresser, he was of a type his father’s generation disparagingly referred to as “narrowbacks,” those liberated by American birth and Jazz Age mobility from a lifetime of digging and hauling. Afraid my grandmother was spoiling their youngest child into a “mama’s boy,” my grandfather occasionally brought my father along on his union-organizing expeditions. On one trip, my father remembered being surrounded by a menacing crowd furious with what his father had to say. Unintimidated, he continued with his speech. My father enjoyed telling stories about his father’s exploits in Cuba, where he found himself caught up in the Spanish-American War, and the time the Pinkertons threatened his life when he was organizing a strike. In my father’s telling, there was a heroic aura about my grandfather that made him sound to me more like a character out of a novel than an intimate part of my father’s life. There was also a hardness that could cross into the cruel. When my father was just five or six, he took him to a pier in Coney Island and threw him off. The lesson was simple. The weak went under. The strong taught themselves how to survive. My father never said how long he flailed helplessly in the water or how terrified he was that his father would walk away. Deeply attached to his mother, my father never spoke of his parents’ relationship. Nor did he ever hint at the resentment he must have felt when his father disdained his ambitions to be an actor and pushed him into politics. It’s easy to theorize that the distance between my father and me owed itself in part to a pattern of emotional repression that reached back generations through grim, unsparing annals of poverty, oppression, and famine. Hard countries breed hard men. As a child, I didn’t have the luxury of reflecting on any of this. All I knew was my father’s remoteness. A civil engineer as well as a lawyer, my father had a long and distinguished career as a judge. After his death, I meandered toward a Ph.D. in history until an unexpected bend in the road led me into political speechwriting. Although I never entertained following him into law or politics, I worked six years in Albany writing for two governors. Several times, upon hearing my name, people QUINN recalled my father from his decade in the state

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legislature. “He was a brilliant orator,” one long-term ordinary and extraordinary experiences of raising our legislator remarked. A lawyer who argued several two children. In the beginning, I acted out of sheer cases before him said, “He was the most compassiondetermination to avoid my father’s mistakes. But I ate judge I ever encountered.” quickly discovered that, along with the tribulations I moved on to a career in corporate writing and and frustrations, fatherhood brought intense joy and became absorbed in the added responsibilities of satisfaction in love openly given and freely recipromarriage and fatherhood. I started rising at 5:30 a.m. cated. I understood that in the gulf that separated us, to begin a long-contemplated novel. I had little time my father’s loss had been greater than mine. For the for distractions. Memories of my childhood felt as first time, when I thought of him, I wept. distant and irrelevant as the hodgepodge of fading black-and-white photos my mother kept in a box in her closet. Soon after my daughter was born, my life was upended by back pain so excruciating it threatened my ability to work. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc and told it would require surgery. Seeking an alternative, I spoke with a friend who recommended a program that treated back pain as a symptom of psychological distress. I was reluctant at first. I knew little about the relationship between psychic and physical pain and feared the stigma of mental instability. Instead of the quick fix of surgery, there was no way to tell how long psychotherapy would take. Yet, as hesitant as I was, I sensed that the root of my trouble was more profound than a disc. I began working with a wise and caring therapist. She patiently helped me face the unspoken fear and anxiety that I felt PHOTO: OSSIE LEVINESS / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS at replicating with my daughter my unhappy relationship with my father. My back pain I recently turned the age at which my father died. gradually subsided. I find myself often thinking about him. I remember It returned with a vengeance several years later the soulful sighs drawn from a place burrowed when my son was born. I began to doubt that psywithin, as though he were exhausted from wrestling chotherapy could bring permanent relief. I toyed with with ghosts he left unnamed. I recall how as a small surgery before I went back to my therapist. We dug boy I walked beside him on a pitch-black summer’s deeper this time. Progress was slower. “When you night and, rather than voice my fear, bit my lip until talk about your father,” she said, “you seem to know it bled. Once, on a rare excursion, he took my brother everything yet feel nothing.” At one session, after I and me fishing. Far away from land, bathed in seaspent an hour circling around various memories, she sparkled air, he sang lightheartedly, as if delighted asked, “What crime did you commit?” with our company. Sometimes I ache with all that Whatever my misdeeds, I was certain they never went unsaid. rose to the level of criminal. It was a while before I I’ve reconciled as best I can to my father’s limitaput what she said in the context of my religious uptions. I’ve also come to appreciate and admire his bringing and substituted sin for crime. Instead of foldecency and honesty. He was utterly devoid of racial lowing the biblical commandment to honor my father, or religious prejudices. His generosity to various I’d been possessed by silent resentment and rage, and causes and charities sometimes squeezed our housethe guilt that followed. It was only after I allowed hold finances. His intellect and integrity earned him myself to feel and articulate the full measure of those the respect and high regard of colleagues and peers. emotions that I could confront the lode of sadness and Yet none of that can change what did or didn’t take regret that I’d done my best to leave unearthed. place between us. It’s useless to wish otherwise. Except for the occasional twinge, I was never bothFacing my own mortality, all I can do is reach for his IA ered by back pain again. I joined my wife in the hand and say that I love him.

The author (right) with his father and twin brother in 1949.

Peter Quinn is the author of Dry Bones and Banished Children of Eve (both from Overlook Press), and other books. This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Commonweal.


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review of books | recently published books FICTION

Playing with Fire:


The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics By Lawrence O’Donnell


SNBC pundit Lawrence O’Donnell found himself in an Irish feud a few months back with Donald Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly. O’Donnell, himself a Boston-born Irish American, blasted Kelly’s comments about an African American congresswoman. “I know the neighborhood John Kelly comes from. I know the culture,” said O’Donnell. “You know what wasn’t sacred when he was a kid growing up? Black women.” Whoever you agree with, this war of words epitomizes how nasty political debate has become. How did things get that way? In attempting to answer this very question, O’Donnell gets in touch with his more calm and cerebral side in a fascinating and timely new book, Playing With Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics. The big political story during this eventful and chaotic year was not whether or not Lyndon Johnson could win reelection against Republican candidate Richard Nixon, but who would challenge Johnson’s ability to even face Nixon. O’Donnell excellently chronicles the dramatic face-off between Irish Americans Eugene McCarthy and Robert F. Kennedy – that is, until June, when Kennedy was assassinated. Overall, O’Donnell manages to make lots of sense of this anarchic year, which also included the military unraveling in Vietnam and the explosive Democratic Convention in Chicago. O’Donnell does miss some subtleties about the year, particularly in relation to Catholic voters, like Irish Americans, who began seriously flirting with more conservative politicians after years of loyalty to the Democratic party. (There is, however, a lot in the book about how Irish Catholicism influenced prominent figures like the Kennedys.) Still, O’Donnell did dig up this revealing nugget from a supporter of pro-segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace: “I am a racist. I don’t even believe in Irish marrying Germans.” This type of brazen comment, made 50 years ago, goes a long way towards explaining the tone of political debate today.

– Tom Deignan (Penguin / 496 pp. / $28)


The Ghosts of Galway By Ken Bruen


f you’ve seen the engaging music video that accompanies Ed Sheeran’s slightly twee “Galway Girl” hit single, you’ll have a picture of a city filled with craic and ceol and whatever you’re having yourself. Actress Saoirse Ronan, comedian Tommy Tiernan and Love/Hate hoodlum Laurence Kinlan all play their parts to perfection, and all Bord Fáilte need to do is make sure it’s played all over the world and the tourists will surely come in their droves. Ken Bruen’s The Ghosts of Galway is an altogether different kettle of fish, and his Galway girl would kill you as easily and effortlessly as she’d look at you. His hard-bitten detective Jack Taylor has not softened with age, and the book is rife with potshots he takes at anything that annoys him: Trump, ungrateful buskers, the Catholic church, the Irish water fiasco, Brexit, Fenians, and so on. He is still drinking too much and smoking, having won a slight health reprieve after a death’s-door diagnosis turned out to be slightly exaggerated. His attempt at suicide has failed and he’s made the reluctant decision to give life another chance. When asked by a Ukrainian gangster to track down a supposedly priceless book of religious heresy, Jack finds the hefty paycheck hard to resist, although his search will bring him in close contact with the priests he professes to despise. The colorful Em, who has been flitting in and out of his life seamlessly, but not without trouble, is hanging around again. And where Em hangs out, the bodies quickly begin to pile up. The ghosts of the title refer to the ghosts of Taylor’s past – the people who journey with him, despite his best efforts to leave them behind. Bruen’s trademark machine gun prose often sends word flying around the page, but it’s in keeping with the almost poetic meditations that occupy Taylor when he’s not actively fighting for his life. Ed Sheeran Galway-lite it ain’t!

– Darina Molloy (The Mysterious Press / 330 pp. $25)

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The First Day By Phil Harrison


n his debut novel, The First Day, Phil Harrison tells a story of passion and betrayal, fury and heartbreak in a tone so steadfastly nonpartisan that it might just leave readers wondering how he didn’t boil over in the process. While emotions fly hard and fast between the principal characters of the text – Anna, a young scholar specializing in the work of Samuel Beckett, and Samuel Orr, a Protestant minister and family man with whom she enters into a zealous affair – Harrison, as narrator, tells their story with a nearscientific attention to the correlation and causation of what brings people together and tears them apart. The result is beyond effective – it’s addictive. The First Day is more than a novel, it’s a philosophical study hiding in plain sight. Harrison, who wrote and directed his first feature-length film, The Good Man, in 2012, retains many cinematic techniques in his transition from screen to sheet. Most significantly, to his creations he is a distant god. Over the course of the narrative, he alters, fast-forwards, and often roadblocks their journeys to reveal not the essence of who they are, but what they stand for. The interrogation is merciless. Asked in an interview with the British literary magazine Litro whether the story had been with him for some time before he’d committed it to paper, he confirmed that it had always been more about the ideas: “How far can a person go while equally committed to his faith and his desire? To what extent does faith or desire compromise autonomy?” The results of Anna and Samuel’s tryst are both tragic and full of promise. Years later, as the setting fades from Belfast to New York, their son must face this history. From further off, so too does Harrison. What he observes, unclouded by judgment and reported in stark, concise prose, is worth hearing about.

– Olivia O’Mahony (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 214 pp. / $23)

Conversations with Friends By Sally Rooney


n Irish novels of the 20th century, the Church, the State, or social pressure (often conditioned by those first two aspects of Irish life) were the structural antagonist whose influence over the individual agency of a character had to be reckoned with – think Catholicism in Joyce, the government in Liam O’Flaherty, cultural mores in Edna O’Brien. Thank goodness the country is evolving and Irish literature along with it. Not that these are issues of the past, but with the recent post-crash socially liberal resurgence, church and state are no longer necessarily the main enemies of individual lives (the Eighth Amendment – Ireland’s pro-life constitutional provision – excepted). In Sally Rooney’s debut novel, a sharp, sardonic, and hyperarticulate story of female friendship, anxiety, adultery, and burgeoning adulthood, it is not these old signifiers of control that exert their force over the book’s characters, but resolutely 21st century power structures – masculinity and feminism, capitalism and technology. Conversations with Friends centers on two 20-year-old Trinity College students, Frances and Bobby, best friends since high school who also briefly dated. The novel opens at a poetry reading, where the two women perform a joint spoken word act and are recruited into the circle of Melissa, a well-known writer ten years their senior who wants to profile them as up-and-coming Irish literati. She takes them home for a nightcap to her large house in the Dublin suburbs, and introduces them to her husband, Nick, a semi-famous actor without much good work lately. Bobby and Melissa immediately get along. Nick and Frances soon enter into an affair (about which the novel, refreshingly, remains amoral). Told from Frances’s perspective, the conversations of the book’s title take place in person, over email and chats, in texts, and on the phone. Both women are smart, at times arrestingly and callously so, constantly challenging each other and their friends with their intellect and irony. But both still have much to learn about the heady and heartbreaking transition between adolescence and adulthood, where high-minded ideals come crashing into the practicality of compromised ethics and moral dubiousness that attends growing up. (Example: When Frances and Nick finally have sex, she tells him, “We can sleep together if you want, but you should know I’m only doing it ironically.”) Conversations with Friends doesn’t preach, it doesn’t contain “literary” descriptions of scenery or cityscapes, it barely even names the city of Dublin. Instead, it’s an insightful and damning study of how human beings talk to, through, and at each other, and the consequences of ignoring the staying power of words.

– Adam Farley (Hogarth / 320 pp. / $26)


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crossword | ACROSS

1 See 7 across (9) 7 (& 1 across, & 12 down) Grand Marshal of the 2018 New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade (7) 8 Parliament buildings in Belfast (8) 10 (& 30 across) Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development (6) 11 Band headed by the late Ronnie Drew (9) 13 To sketch (4) 14 See 42 across (2,4) 15 See 40 across (8) 16 Comedian Tommy Tiernan will take to the stage in this John B. Keane play in 2018 (4) 17 Historic port and fishing town in County Cork (7) 20 (& 6 down) This son of Woody Allen has been hailed for his investigative work exposing Harvey Weinstein (5) 21 (& 33 across) Netflix hit series based on Margaret Atwood novel (5) 22 See 27 across (7) 25 See 24 down (5) 27 (& 22 across) This Belfast-born actor is the newest

by Darina Molloy

Hercule Poirot (7) 28 Snake-like fish (3) 30 See 10 across (6) 31 (& 5 down) Brendan Gleeson shines in this series adaptation of a Stephen King novel (1,1) 33 See 21 across (5) 34 Rock type in Giant’s Causeway (6) 36 Make ___ while the sun shines (3) 38 This river bisects Ireland (7) 40 (& 15 across) Former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader who died in October (4) 41 (& 26 down) Ireland’s biggest lake (5) 42 (& 14 across) Director of Ryan’s Daughter (5)


2 The all-Ireland Gaelic Football cup is commonly called by this name (3) 3 This Conor McGregor documentary proved very popular at the Irish box office (9) 4 Poet Patrick Kavanagh came from this county (8) 5 See 31 across (8)

6 9 12 14 18

See 20 across (6) See 19 down (1,5) See 7 across (7) Happy (5) (& 23 down) Irish citizen released in October after four years in prison in Egypt (7) 19 (& 9 down) Irish soccer manager (6) 23 See 18 down (6) 24 (& 25 across) Famous British theatre critic who wrote for The New Yorker in the

Win a subscription to Irish America magazine Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than January 15, 2017. A winner will be drawn from among all correct entries. If there are no correct solutions, the prize will be awarded for the completed puzzle which comes closest in the opinion of our staff. Winner’s name will be published along with the solution in our next issue. Xerox copies accepted. Winner of the October / November crossword: Anne Jackson, Annapolis, MD.


late 1950s (7) 26 See 41 across (5) 27 County Kerry is often called this (7) 29 (& 37 down) New Saoirse Ronan movie, not to be confused with LBJ wife (4)

32 To propel or start (6) 35 James Joyce’s troubled daughter (5) 37 See 29 down (4) 39 To cause pain, uneasiness, or trouble (3)

October / November Solution

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When Irish Eyes Are

music |

By Thomas Hauser

TOP RIGHT: An undated promotional card for Chauncey Olcott (1860 – 1930).


he history of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” begins with Chauncey Olcott. Olcott’s mother, Margaret Doyle, was born in Ireland. In the 1840s, when she was eight, her family immigrated to Canada and eventually settled in Lockport, New York. Later, she married Mellon Whitney Olcott and the couple moved to Buffalo where, in 1860, Chauncey (christened Chancellor John Olcott) was born. Soon after, Mellon Olcott died and Margaret married Patrick Brennan, who was chief engineer for the Buffalo Water Works. Chauncey was raised in Buffalo, where he attended public school. During the summer, he would visit his mother’s family in Lockport, where they lived in what he later described as “an Irish shanty on the banks of the Erie Canal.” As a child, Olcott had a gift for song. Often, at the Lockport firehouse, he was lifted onto a table and encouraged to sing Irish ballads. Eventually his performances became more formal. In 1879, at 19, he joined the first in a series of minstrel companies that took him to Chicago, San Francisco, London, and other locales. His good looks, Gaelic personality, and light lyric tenor voice left him much in demand and led to a series of leading roles in plays and light operas. In 1886, Olcott made his New York City debut with the Lillian Russell Opera Company as leading man in a production of Pepita. Thereafter, he starred in HMS Pinafore and The Mikado before returning to London, where he made stage appearances and studied voice from 1890 to 1893. Then, back in the United States, he starred in a series of shows with Irish themes. Among these were Minstrel of Clare (1896); Sweet Inniscarra (1897); A Romance of Athlone (1899), which was highlighted by a ballad Olcott himself wrote entitled “My Wild Irish Rose;” Mavourneen (1900), featuring the song “The Auld Countrie;” Garrett O’Magh (1901); Old Limerick Town (1902); Edmund Burke (1905); Eileen Ashore (1906); O’Neill of Derry (1907); and Barry of Ballymore (1911). The last of these productions showcased the songs “Mother Machree” and “I Love the Name of Mary,” both of which had lyrics written by Olcott with music by Ernest R. Ball. By this time, Olcott’s following among women was so great that Jean Schwartz, a popular composersinger of the day, wrote a song entitled “Bedelia” which contained the line, “I’ll Be Your Chauncey Olcott.” Meanwhile, the Olcott-Ball partnership was becoming a fruitful one. Ernest Ball was born in Cleveland in 1878 and studied music at the Cleveland Conservatory. As a young man, he moved to New York. Then, in 1905,


he took a verse written by an obscure state senator named James J. Walker (who later became mayor of the City of New York) and turned it into the popular song “Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May?” Thereafter, Ball wrote songs for a Tin Pan Alley company called Witmark Music and appeared on stage as a vaudeville performer. He had a gift for writing heart-warming melodies, and that was what he wrote. He and Olcott collaborated often on music and words, and it was Olcott as a performer who introduced many of Ball’s most popular ballads. “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” marked the high point of the Olcott-Ball collaboration. Ball wrote the music and Olcott penned the lyrics with George Graff, Jr. The song was published in 1912 and introduced to the public with help from an Ohio socialite named Rida Johnson Young. Young had pursued a career in theater, first as an actress and then as a writer. Starting with a play entitled Brown of Harvard that opened in 1906, she wrote the book and often the musical lyrics for more than twenty Broadway productions. In fact, the current Broadway hit Thoroughly Modern Millie features several of her songs. One of Young’s works was Isle O’ Dreams, which opened at the Grand Opera House on Broadway on


The world has been enriched by many distinctly Irish songs. “Danny Boy” and “MacNamara’s Band” are among the diverse offerings. But no song is more deeply embedded in hearts than “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

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“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” Music by Ernest R. Ball Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr. CHORUS: When Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, it’s like a morn in Spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter, You can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy, All the world seems bright and gay. And when Irish eyes are smiling, Sure, they steal your heart away. VERSE: There’s a tear in your eye, And I’m wondering why, For it never should be there at all. With such power in your smile, Sure a stone you’d beguile, So there’s never a teardrop should fall.

TOP RIGHT: Original sheet music cover for “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

When your sweet lilting laughter’s Like some fairy song, And your eyes twinkle bright as can be, You should laugh all the while And all other times smile, And now, smile a smile for me.

BELOW: Two promotional posters for the 1900 performance of Mavourneen, starring Chauncey Olcott.


CHORUS: When Irish eyes are smiling…


January 27, 1913. The play starred Olcott, and audiences were mesmerized by his rendition of its signature ballad: “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” Isle O’ Dreams closed after 32 performances, but “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” swept the nation. For several months in 1913, it was the best-selling recording in the United States. Recently, the Recording Industry Association of America cited it as one of the top-selling songs of all time. Olcott enjoyed another number-one hit in 1914, when he recorded “Too Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby).” He also starred in Shameen Dhu (1913), Terence (1914), and Once Upon A Time (1918) produced by the legendary George M. Cohan. His last starring role on Broadway was in The Voice of McConnell, which opened on Christmas Day, 1918. Seven years later, he collapsed on stage while appearing in The Rivals, never fully recovered, and never graced a theater production again. Olcott died in 1932. Among the pallbearers at his funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York were New York City Mayor James J. Walker and New York Governor Al Smith. Ball had died five years earlier, suffering a fatal heart attack moments after leaving the stage of a vaudeville theatre in California. Olcott was 72 at the time of his death. Ball was 49. Both Olcott and Ball live on in their music and on film. Ball’s life was celebrated in the 1944 motion picture When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, co-starring Dick Haymes as the composer and June Haver as his love interest. In 1947, Warner Brothers produced My Wild Irish Rose based on a biography of Olcott written by his wife Margaret O’Donovan Olcott. The film starred Dennis Morgan as Olcott, Arlene Dahl as IA Margaret, and Andrea King as Lillian Russell.

VERSE: For your smile is a part Of the love in your heart, And it makes even sunshine more bright. Like the linnet’s sweet song, Crooning all the day long, Comes your laughter and light. For the springtime of life Is the sweetest of all. There is never a real care or regret. And while springtime is ours Throughout all of youth’s hours, Let us smile each chance we get. CHORUS: When Irish eyes are smiling…


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The Irish Pig, Part II

Everything But The Oink A Edythe Preet on how the Irish used every part of the pig to create varied and resourceful dishes.

ABOVE: In Ireland, no part of the pig would go to waste. J. Morgan’s Butchers, Broad Street, Waterford, 1916. CENTER: A traditional Irish breakfast with bacon, blood sausage, and eggs.

nyone who has ever visited Ireland has encountered one of the nation’s legendary feasts: The Irish Breakfast. When I was a child, my journey to enjoy that treat was a lot shorter. All I had to do was roll out of bed on Saturday morning and go downstairs to the kitchen of my family’s Philadelphia row house. Unless he was shooting a wedding, I’d find my photographer Dad doing his “King of the Kitchen” thing and whipping up his special weekend morning meal of eggs sunny-side up, fried potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, toast with butter and jam, coffee with sugar and cream, and a plate piled high with bacon, sausages, or slices of ham. Decades later when I began writing about Ireland’s food traditions, I discovered Dad’s Saturday cooking extravaganzas were not just one of his endearing culinary quirks, but evidence of his Irish heritage. His mother had been raised in Northern Ireland, a

region once known as the Kingdom of Ulster, where a meal like Dad’s breakfast was so popular it was simply called an Ulster Fry. Mind you, an Ulster Fry wasn’t something served only on special occasions. It was eaten at any time of day and often, because every element was commonly at hand in every cottage pantry – eggs from the family hen, potatoes from the garden, mushrooms foraged in nearby woodlands, wholemeal bread baked


on the turf hearth, butter and cream from the family cow, homemade jam from local fruits, and a variety of pork products harvested from the family pig. While every household, large or small, had at least one cow and one pig, the cow was more valuable for its constant supply of dairy products and beef was a rare treat in all but wealthy homes. Pigs, especially sows that could produce many piglets, were kept specifically for the meat they provided, and pork was the average family’s primary source of protein. Carefully nurtured and fattened through the year, pigs were slaughtered in the cool fall months to prevent spoilage. It was a huge job, and neighbors who brought a handful of salt for curing and pitched in to help received a share of the meat. A few cuts were cooked and eaten immediately to celebrate the pork harvest, but most of the pig was salted, placed in the brine barrel to “cure” or suspended in the hearth’s chimney to be smoked, and graced the table over time. Not one precious part of the pig went to waste. After visiting Ireland in the early 19th century, the French gourmet Grimod de la Reyniere quipped, “The Irish eat everything but the oink!” Immediately after slaughter, the women began preserving the parts that would spoil most easily and quickest. The intestines were carefully emptied and flushed with fresh water to be used as casings for sausages and sausage-like “puddings.” Every drop of blood was caught and mixed with onions, lard, spices, oatmeal and flour to be transformed into Ireland’s famous black puddings. Trimmings that were cooked, minced, and mixed with more oatmeal and spices, became white puddings. After the pig’s head was boiled for hours, the tongue and every scrap of meat was chopped, returned to the liquid with pepper and spices, placed in a mold, and left to gel into a sliceable delicacy called “brawn.” The stuffed and roasted stomach, known as “poor man’s goose,” and fried liver with onions made fine dinners, as did the heart when it was sliced and stewed with onions and vegetables. The “trotters” (feet) were boiled and roasted to make “crubeens,” or, with the addition of a bit of vinegar, became a tangy dish eaten cold. Once all the fat was collected, it was rendered into lard that would be used for frying and making flaky pie pastry. Fried in bubbling lard and sprinkled with salt, the pig’s skin became crisp “cracklin” that was a treat for young and old alike.

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sláinte | good cheer

RECIPES Irish Parsley Sauce ⁄4 3 1 ⁄4 1

11⁄4 1 ⁄2 Pigs feet, or crubeens, at the butcher.

While the most perishable parts of a pig were either preserved or eaten straight away, the several hundred pounds of meat remaining were quickly butchered and salted as “bacon.” This generic Irish term for most cuts of cured pork confuses the heck out of Americans who only think of bacon as something served with fried eggs or in a B.L.T. In Ireland, however, bacon comes in many forms. Back bacon is cut from the loin and can be served as a roast, cut into chops, or combined with other meats. Bacon rashers, also cut from the loin but having more fat and therefore more flavor, star in Irish breakfasts and “butties” (buttered sandwiches). Rashers plus sausages are the main ingredients in Dublin’s most famous dish, Dublin Coddle. A god-send for Dubliners who had spent a little too much time downing pints in their “local,” coddle is a Saturday night specialty that historically was ready to eat when the men came home from the pubs. Boiling bacon is the delectable shoulder cut that is traditionally cooked with cabbage. The late Irish writer John B. Keane claimed, “When this kind of bacon is boiling with its old colleague, white cabbage, there is a gurgle from the pot that would tear the heart out of any hungry man.” In fact, the only parts of the pig not known as “bacon” are the rear legs which have the singular distinction of being known worldwide as “ham.” The renown Limerick cured ham was developed in the late 19th century. According to a 1902 document from Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, it came about largely by accident: “Limerick producers were short of money [so] they produced what was considered meat in a half-cured condition. The unintentional cure proved extremely popular and others followed suit.” Recognizing the change in tastes that preferred mild salting, Alexander Shaw commented in 1902, “The hard cured bacon of former days would [today] be looked on as akin to Lot’s wife.” When coated in brown sugar mixed with bread crumbs and perhaps a pinch of dry mustard, studded with cloves, oven cooked, and served with fresh parsley sauce, baked ham is the crowning glory to the Irish Christmas table. Maybe you could replace the IA turkey with it this year! Sláinte!

cup butter tbsp. flour cup chicken stock cups hot milk cup Italian parsley, minced Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to make a loose roux. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is golden – do not brown! Add broth slowly and stir to blend. Still stirring, add hot milk gradually and cook until thickened. Add parsley and stir to combine. Serve hot. Makes 2 cups. (Irish Tradition Food / Theodora Fitzgibbon)

Baked Ham w/ Mustard Brown Sugar Glaze 1

1 1 2

12-lb. boneless skinless ham Whole cloves cup packed light brown sugar tbsp. mustard powder tbsp. apple cider

Preheat oven to 350º F. Score top of ham into diamonds and press a clove into the center of each diamond. Place ham on a rack in a roasting pan and bake for 11⁄2 hours. In a bowl combine the sugar, mustard and cider and spread glaze evenly over ham. Bake for another 35 minutes Transfer ham to a platter and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serves 12. (personal recipe)

Dublin Coddle ⁄2


1 11⁄2


lb. thick bacon slices cut in 3-in. lengths lb. Irish pork sausages lb. potatoes, peeled and sliced 1⁄2-in. thick lb. onions salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350º F. Boil a kettle of water. Put the bacon and sausages in a saucepan and pour in enough boiling water to cover. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove the bacon and sausages to a greased oven-proof casserole and save the liquid. Place the potatoes and onions on top of the sausages and bacon. Pour in enough reserved boiling liquid to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or a lid. Place casserole in the oven and bake for one hour. Serves 4. (personal recipe)

Dublin Coddle


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roots |

by Dave Lewis

The MacDermots:


Clan of Royalty and Rebels

TOP: 1916 leader Seán MacDiarmada. ABOVE: Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby McDermott.

he MacDermot clan and its descendants have produced kings, revolutionaries, politicians, CEOs, sports figures, authors and at least one Hall of Famer throughout the centuries. In addition to “MacDermot,” the name has several geographic variants, including the Irish MacDiarmada, McDermitt, and McDiarmid, and the Manx Kermit or Kermode. If you have the aforementioned surnames, you qualify as a descendant of 10th century king Dermot mac Tadhg Mor (d. 1159), who ruled as King of Moylagh and as vassal of the famous Ó Conchubhair Kings of Connacht. The seat of the MacDermot clan was Carraig Mhic Dhiarmada, anglicized as Carrick McDermott and also known as “The Rock,” located on Castle Island in Lough Key, County Roscommon. One historical chronicle, the Annals of Loch Cé, mentions the early castle as it burned down as a result of a lighting strike. “The Rock of Loch-Cé was burned by lighting, the kingly home of the descendants of Máel Runanaid […] where six or seven score of distinguished persons were destroyed along with fifteen men of the race of kings and chieftains.” In addition to recorded history, the clan is steeped in Irish legend. On another Lough Key island called Trinity Island, just a swim away from The Rock, Una Bhan MacDermott, fell in love with Tomás Laidir Costello, a local man of whom her father disapproved. As a result of this disapproval, Una Bhan fell into a deep melancholy and became gravely ill. But her brother felt pity for her and called upon Tomás to come and sit by her bedside. Tomás came and she began to recover. However, before he left the island to go to back to Trinity Island, he vowed that he would never return unless Una’s father called on him before he reached the shores of Trinity. Una returned to her melancholic state after her beloved left. Una’s father then rushed to get the message across to Tomás but was too late – Una Bhan had died. Tomás was so broken-hearted that every night after her tragic death, he swam the distance from Trinity Island to Castle Island just to sit by Una’s grave. One stormy night, however, Tomás drowned. He was buried next to Una. It is said that their love manifested itself into a tree, as one grew near their graves and had their branches intertwine making their love everlasting. Throughout the Middle Ages, the MacDermot clan held power within the kingdom of Connacht even after the Norman invasion in 1169. But in the


late 1580s, the last King of Moylagh, Turlough, died, and the land that was once the MacDermot’s was confiscated for English lords by King Charles II. Even with their lands lost, the MacDermot clan survived. The clan and their subjects still considered the MacDermots royalty and, by the early 1700s, they had assumed the title of Prince of Coolavin, so called for the area where they were able to acquire land in County Sligo, just north of their previous holdings in Roscommon. Still in use today, the title was most recently inherited by Rory MacDermot in 2003, who is also officially recognized by the Irish Genealogical Office, a subsidiary of the government’s Department of Art, Sport, and Tourism, as the authentic chieftain of the clan. As the MacDermots of old resisted the English colonization of their lands, their descendant Seán MacDiarmada (1883 – 1916), while not a prince or a chieftain, resisted the English influence on Ireland and died for the cause his ancestors fought for. MacDiarmada was born in rural Leitrim amidst the hallmarks of 20th-century British imperial oppression. After earning his education in bookkeeping and Irish, MacDiarmada settled in Belfast in 1905 where he joined the Gaelic League, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Sinn Féin, wanting Ireland’s language, culture, and politics to overcome the British influence on Ireland at the time. MacDiarmada soon joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). He was sworn in by Tom Clarke in 1910 and became the organization’s full-time recruiter and organizer. From this point on, MacDiarmada constantly toured the country, recruiting officers and establishing branches of the IRB. He would attend Gaelic Athletic Association matches, and Gaelic League-sponsored céilí to recruit members for the revolution that was brewing. MacDiarmada became a key member on the IRB’s military council. This led to the planning of what would later be known as the 1916 Easter Rising. As MacDiarmada knew his fair share of Irish revolutionary history, he made sure that everything that was discussed within the military council was treated with the utmost secrecy. During the Rising itself, MacDiarmada, who had no formal military rank, was stationed at the General Post Office headquarters. After the rebels held out in the GPO for almost a week, the Provisional Government surrendered and Seán MacDiarmada alongside 15 other leaders, were court-martialed and executed by firing

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squad. While Seán MacDiarmada spread the seeds of Irish revolution and independence, another McDermott, Bobby McDermott, spread the seeds of basketball as a profession during the early 1930s and ’40s. Robert “Bobby” McDermott (1914 – 1963) was born in Whitestone, Queens, where he had always had a basketball in his hands and was constantly honing his game in both high school and local playgrounds. As a teenager during the Great Depression, McDermott’s basketball skills, and perhaps his Irish ingenuity, led him to making bets with other players in the park that he would beat them. He was so successful – making up to 5 dollars a day – that he ended up dropping out of school. McDermott joined the Brooklyn Visitations in 1934 and led the league in scoring, enabling them to win the ABL championship. After his time at the Visitations, McDermott went on to the Baltimore Clippers and played with them from 1939-1941. After this time is when Bobby McDermott really began to shine. For the next five years, McDermott played for the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons in the National Basketball League (NBL). While at the Pistons, he worked on his signature set shot relentlessly and soon became the NBL’s top scorer with an 80-percent-and-above free throw conversion and was deadly from long range. His conversion rate led to the Pistons to win 80 percent of the games he played during his time there and led them to five championships of which they won two. Not only was McDermott successful as a player but he went on to become a player-coach from 1943 to 1950. After the 1946-47 season, players, coaches, and sportswriters named Bobby McDermott as the greatest player in the NBL’s history. In 1988, he was inducted to the NBA’s Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Our honoree, Bill McDermott takes after his grandfather in his work ethic and success. (See page 38 for our cover interview with him). Former Congressman Jim McDermott (b. 1936) was the first member of his family to attend college. He graduated from Wheaton College and went on to earn a doctorate at the University of Illinois in psychiatry. In 1970 he ran for public office and was elected to the Washington State legislature as a representative from the 43rd district. He later ran for state senate in 1974, where he created and sponsored

what would be eventually the Washington Basic Health plan, the first state program in the United States that offered health insurance to the unemployed and the working poor. Looking after the sick and the welfare of others would be hallmarks of his future career in politics. In 1987, McDermott became a Foreign Service medical officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire). There, he provided psychiatric services to soldiers and personnel from USAID and the Peace Corps. A year later, in 1988, McDermott made his triumphant return to Washington State and successfully ran for its 7th congressional district. In his first term in Congress, McDermott sponsored the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act, which provides state and local governments with resources to devise long-term strategies for meeting housing needs for those with AIDS and their families. Congressman McDermott continued to help Americans as he sponsored the Violence Against Women Justice Department Reauthorization Act of 2005, and the Depleted Uranium Study Act of 2006. After 14 terms in the House of Representatives, he retired in January. The author in the aforementioned list of marvelous MacDermots is Alice McDermott (b. 1953). She has written short stories and articles published in the New Yorker, Seventeen, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Her writing is often compared to a time machine because her works are so detailed that readers can be transported back to the 1960s, like in After This, or the 1920s, like in Someone. She is also known for her 1998 book, Charming Billy about Billy Lynch, beloved member of a New York Irish community and the impact of his lifelong struggle with alcohol after the death of his love, Eva. She has been inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. McDermott has been nominated over ten times for awards like the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. Those with the name of MacDermot and its other variants have gone on to do great things, from being authors who have created masterpieces, politicians who have served the people, revolutionaries fighting for a greater cause, or a dedicated sportsman. The MacDermot name will continue to live on and will IA produce wondrous results.

TOP: Castle Island, Lough Key, County Roscommon, the historic seat of the MacDermot clan. CENTER: Former U.S. Senator Jim McDermott. BOTTOM: Author Alice McDermott.


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The American Dreamer continued from page 42

Best career and life advice you ever received? “Leadership is the art of developing followership,” from Barry Rand. Looking back, what was the most crucial decision that you made in terms of your career trajectory? To go for my dream job at Xerox Corporation. If you were to pick one thing that was a game-changer for SAP, what would it be? SAP HANA. Hasso Plattner was the first person in the technology industry to predict that the future of business would be built on realtime data. HANA as the next generation database is the fastest growing product in our history. How do you stay ahead of the game when everything is changing lightening fast in this digital/technology age? Design thinking and innovation. We believe that innovation is a constant process built on an outside-in perspective. We have to constantly challenge ourselves in three areas. Desirability – do we have

SAP Ireland Celebrates 20 Years


Bill McDermott is the most inspirational leader I have ever met. It is a pleasure to be in his company. His primary focus is always on serving the customer and treating everyone he meets with respect and empathy. This is important here as it relates to real people – customers, employees, and those whose lives we are striving to improve. Bill shares so many examples of how innovation is driving change for the better in areas such as healthcare, disaster relief, and environmental impact. Bill’s unerring focus is on leading SAP to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. SAP Labs Ireland celebrated 20 years in Ireland this year. We employ over 2,100 people in Research & Development, Services & Support, and Commercial Support. Colleagues for the SAP Labs here have been to all corners of Africa delivering “train-the-trainer” sessions in coding as part of Africa Code Week, an initiative that this year will have reached 1.3 million children, introducing them to the language of coding. At a local level, our Community Involvement Forum drives fundraising, volunteering projects, and the SAP Foundation helping charities and schools. This year, our Autism@SAP program will celebrate five years in partnership with Specialisterne Ireland, enabling over 100 young people with autism to Liam Ryan with Bill start roles in Irish industry. McDermott at Croke A hearty congratulations to you, Bill, Park in Dublin, from all of us here in Ireland! celebrating SAP’s 20th – Liam Ryan, CEO, SAP Labs Ireland anniversary in Ireland.

the big ideas that are going to fundamentally change the world? Feasibility – can we pull this off? If not, what will it take? Viability – do we have the right plan to create value from our ideas. Having reached the top, how do you stay motivated? I focus on making the news, not reporting the news. Complexity is ruining companies really fast. Leaders need to stop “playing office,” get out from behind the desk, and understand what’s really happening in the world. Appreciate every conversation – you never know which one will give you the big idea. If you were to give one piece of advice to young people what would it be? We believe in our responsibility to help young people build great careers. In terms of advice, I’d offer two suggestions. First, passion and planning can overcome age and experience. Second, excuses never built a single stair step to success. You have such high energy. Are you naturally that way? Do you just have great physical stamina? And how do you unwind? I’ve always absorbed energy from the people I have the privilege to meet along the journey. In terms of unwinding, I always enjoy time on the basketball court. What does your Irish heritage mean to you? I am very proud of my Irish heritage. I hold up and honor my ancestors who came before me. They gave everything they had to set up a better life for future generations. Can you talk about the future of SAP? I always tell my colleagues that there is no ceiling on our dreams for SAP. We want nothing less than to be one of the world’s most interesting and admired companies. We want to be a top-10 brand and to exceed every expectation that is set for us. In the end, none of these aspirations matter as much as our ability to live up the vision we set: to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. If we continue to succeed in this endeavor, we will remain a proud, purpose-driven market leader. Can you talk about your accident? Did you really have to dig deep for your mother's positivity to come through on that one? I remember my mom telling me after a house fire – “There’s nothing inside that house that’s as important as what’s outside of it.” She was a relentless optimist. In my own adversity, I remember thinking that my beautiful family, friends, and colleagues were all counting on me to get up, get out, and get on with it. My indomitable will to rise overruled my rational mind. As I tell people now, the world will never remember how you fell. It will never forget the manner in which you came back and kept moving forward. Lastly, rumors abound that you will run for political office when your term is up at SAP. Is that a possibility? I am the CEO of SAP. This is the job I want and the one in which I believe I can make a meaningful difference. I’m more than satisfied to live this journey one fulfilling day at a time. Thank you, Bill McDermott. Beir Bua.



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photo album | Christmas, 1959


A Visit to Santa

BELOW: The Harty siblings in 1959. Left to right: Patricia Harty, brothers Henry (San Francisco), Martin (Tipperary), Desmond (San Francisco), the twins Michael (Tipperary) and Margaret (Toronto), and Noel (Waterford).

ne Christmas was so much like another in those years, to borrow a line from Dylan Thomas. My mother began the preparations in autumn. The plum pudding was stirred for good luck, then tied in gauze and seamed in a bowl on top of the our wood-burning Stanley stove. The big square Christmas cake, heavy with fruit, raisins sultanas, glace cherries, was baked until it was

ABOVE: Mother Norrie Harty with her daughter Honora on New Year’s Eve, 1999, at Marcello’s San Francisco. Mother passed away on New Year’s Eve, 2008.

golden brown, and in the weeks ahead it would doused with whiskey to keep it moist. Closer to Christmas it was covered with almond paste, which required a lot of kneading and rolling to get to the right thickness. Two days later the white icing would be applied using a spoon to raise the icing into little peaks to give it a snow effect. One year, I remember mother made a snow house with cardboard and white icing that she used for decoration on top. I think that was the year that someone started eating the icing off the back side of the cake (I didn’t start it, but I did indulge), and so on Christmas morning we had a cake that was iced on three sides. I don’t remember mother being mad over this.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, anticipation would build. The annual letter was written to Santa, each of us got to name the present we wanted. Christmas cards would begin to arrive from relatives in America, England, and Australia, and from my mother’s friend Pat, in South Africa. Part of the Christmas ritual for us kids was the annual trip to Todds Department Store in Limerick city (30 miles away) for a photograph with Santa. Since it was the same Santa year after year, we had no trouble believing he was authentic. Midnight mass was another ritual. I can remember the crunch of feet on frosty gravel as we made our way to the car, and the bright stars in the dark country sky. Mass itself was a glorious production – the choir and the smell of incense all lending a sense of pageantry. Santa always came while we were at mass. The first thing to do when we got home was to put the baby Jesus in the crib. Then we were allowed to open our stockings, which usually held an orange, banana, chocolate and some little presents – once I got a yellow chicken that actually laid plastic eggs when you pressed it down. The big presents, under the tree, had to wait until morning to be opened. Christmas dinner (which was held in the middle of the day) was a feast. My mother would get up in early morning to put the large turkey in the oven. It would cook slowly and was basted on the hour until the skin was brown and crispy and the meat just fell off the bone. The table was laid in the good room we called the Drawing Room. There was a fire burning in the grate and a Christmas cracker at every place. Brussels sprouts and a carrot parsnip mix mashed with plenty of butter and roast potatoes as side dishes. Dessert was sherry trifle or plum pudding. It was magic. Mother passed away on New Year’s Eve, 2008, taking some of the magic with her, but she left us many warm memories, and the reminder to celebrate life’s special moments with gratitude and grace. – Patricia Harty

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Patricia Harty at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, then please send a good quality reproduction or e-mail the picture at 300 dpi resolution to We will pay $65 for each submission that we select. 104 IRISH AMERICA DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018

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those we lost | passages Glen Campbell


1936 – 2017 ountry singer, songwriter, session musician, actor, and television host Glen Campbell, best known for his 1975 hit “Rhinestone Cowboy,” died in Nashville, Tennessee in August following a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 81. Campbell sold over 45 million records in his six-decade career, outselling even The Beatles at the height of his popularity, in 1968. Campbell was born into a sharecropping family in Billstown, Arkansas, the seventh of 12 children. His mother, Carrie Stone, was the daughter of Irish immigrant parents from Tipperary and his father was from Scotland. By 1962, Campbell had moved to Los Angeles and in 1963 alone appeared on 586 tracks as a session guitarist. Throughout the decade, he played with bands like The Irish Rovers, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Righteous Brothers, and Elvis. In 1969, he appeared alongside John Wayne in True Grit and hosted his own variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from 1969 to 1972, working with writers like Steve Martin and Rob Reiner. In 2011, he embarked on a farewell tour following his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Commenting at the time, President Bill Clinton said, “This tour of his just says, ‘Here I am, here’s what’s happening to me. I’m going out with a smile on my face and a song in my heart so you will know.’ And that may be more of his enduring legacy than all the music he made.” Married four times, he is survived by his last wife, Kimberly Woollen, whom he married in 1982, and eight children. – A.F.

Maurice Hinchey

1938 – 2017 Ten-term New York Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey, Jr. died at his home in Saugerties in November at the age of 79. He was diagnosed with frontotemporal degeneration, a rare terminal neurological disorder, earlier this year. Representing a district covering eight counties of upstate New York from the Hudson River to the Finger Lakes, Hinchey retired in 2013. A pugnacious Democrat, he was an advocate for environmental regulations, blue-collar workers in his district, and economic development in the form of renewable energy. Hinchey’s father, Maurice, Sr., was the son of Irish immigrants and bestowed his Irish name on his son (pronounced “Morris”), but his mother made the pronunciation French to avoid confusion. He grew up in Greenwich Village in Manhattan before the family relocated to Saugerties in 1948. There, he helped found a gang called the Black Cats (Hinchey named it himself), and learned to fight, a skill that, after earning a master’s degree at SUNY New Palz, would translate well to his time in public service, beginning when he was elected State Assemblyman in 1975, and later, as a congressman in 1993. In 2000, he told the Middletown Times-Herald, “I know that I’m a

better fighter than most people, and I’m happy to employ those skills on [my constituents’] behalf.” Speaking to the New York Times, New York Senator Chuck Schumer said, “‘Mighty Moe,’ as I used to call him, was a man of great conviction, principle, endless energy and rare legislative ability.” Hinchey is survived by his wife, Ilene Marder Hinchey, three children, and four grandchildren. – A.F.

Steve McFadden

1942 – 2017 Founder of the New York Midtown East institution McFadden’s Saloon, Steve “Pally” McFadden, died in October following a battle with lung cancer. He was 75 years old. McFadden was known among the Irish community in New York and beyond for his charitable spirit, enterprising mind, and ability to pour a great pint. Formerly a junior high school math teacher, McFadden took to crunching numbers for a different cause when he opened the saloon in 1977 at 800 Second Avenue in Manhattan. The establishment became known for the variety of people it attracted – everyone from politicians to firefighters – and was the setting for Nora Ephron’s 2013 play Lucky Guy, which depicted the life and times of Pulitzer prizewinning Daily News writer and columnist Mike McAlary. The bar famously hosted a birthday party for McAlary back when he was a regular – which he shared with future governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and documentary maker Dan Klores. McFadden sold the saloon to John Sullivan and East Coast Saloons in 1999, though continued to frequent its bar stools as a patron. The popularity of McFadden’s eventually allowed it to franchise and it now has more than a dozen locations in cities across the United States, including in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – O.O.

Joseph Connelly

1922 – 2017 Joseph Connolly, a dear friend to many including this magazine, died peacefully at his San Francisco home in October. He was 95. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas, he served in the Army Air Corps in WWII and was stationed at the Pentagon. He and his brother, Bernard, came to San Francisco to visit their brother, John, who was stationed at the Presidio, fell in love with the city and basically never left. He is pre-deceased by his parents, John and Marcella, and his siblings, Rosamund, John, and Bernard. A devout Catholic, he had close friends at many parishes throughout San Francisco, including St. Anne’s, St. Cecelia’s, and his home parish, Most Holy Redeemer. He is buried at Olivet Memorial IA Park in Colma, California.

TOP to BOTTOM: Glen Campbell, Maurice Hinchey, McFadden’s Saloon, and Joseph Connelly.


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last word |

Lessons on

Leadership General Martin Dempsey on what he learned from the writings of W.B. Yeats.

General Dempsey talks with U.S. Marine Corps  drill instructors in March 2013.


first became interested in the poetry of William Butler Yeats in graduate school. By that time I had accumulated enough life experience to help make sense of this prolific poet who wrote of folklore, history, romance, heroism, and mysticism in the years between his first published book of verse in 1889 and his death in 1939. Early on, I found and committed this Yeats quote to memory: “Talent perceives differences; genius, unity.” It resonated then with my own experiences as a young officer dealing with race issues in the mili-

tary, and it resonated with me again later as a much older officer trying to assist and encourage Iraq’s various ethnic and religious groups to rebuild their country. More recently, looking for ways to explain the post-9/11 world, I found Yeats helpful once again: “We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of


our quiet” (“Earth, Fire and Water,” in The Celtic Twilight, 1893). In 1893, Yeats felt the need to remind himself and others that the way to find clarity and depth in life is to slow down and take the time to reflect. In 2017, I find this message even more compelling. Moreover, this passage speaks to me about the kind of leadership most needed in this Era of Digital Echoes: Leadership that lowers the volume of selfabsorption and divisiveness. Leadership that clarifies. Leadership that encourages self-awareness and openness. The kind of leadership that builds trust. Quiet, confident, reflective, encouraging, empowering, sense-making leadership. Clearer, fiercer leadership. Obviously, we’re unlikely to become clearer, fiercer leaders simply by becoming more contemplative. But we can become clearer, fiercer, and better leaders if we listen to learn, amplify to reinforce, IA and include to build trust.

Martin “Marty” Dempsey was a United States Army general who served as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2011 until September 25, 2015. After 41 years in service, General Dempsey retired as the nation’s highest-ranking military officer. He now lives in North Carolina where he is faculty at Duke University, sits on two nonprofit boards, plays a leadership role in the NBA, serves as chairman of USA Basketball, and develops leaders with Starfish Leadership. General Dempsey, who also has a master’s degree in literature from Duke where he wrote his thesis on the Irish literary revival, is the co-author of Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership (Missionday) with New York Times bestselling author Ori Brafman. The book is set for release on March 6, 2018. General Dempsey was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2015.

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Irish America December / January 2018  
Irish America December / January 2018  

Irish America's annual Business 100 Awards List featuring Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. Plus: Ireland's magical lake district in County Roscom...