Irish America October / November 2015

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CANADA $4.95 / U.S. $3.95


Shaun T. Kelly KPMG’s COO of the Americas His formula for success is having a global mindset, being inclusive and open to change


30 Irish America Magazine


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contents | october / november 2015


Hibernia Highlights

38 Cover Story: Shaun Kelly

KPMG’s Chief Operating Officer, Americas on his formula for globalized success. By Patricia Harty

46 Wall Street 50

The 18th annual list of the sharpest Irish and Irish-American minds in finance.

38 80

86 76

European Crisis

What is Ireland’s role in the European refugee crisis? p. 12

Irish Eye on Hollywood

This fall, movies with Johnny Depp, Carey Mulligan, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and more. p. 18

70 We’re 30!

Celebrating three decades of Irish America, from the peace process and immigration to icons of entertainment and culture.

76 Becky Lynch Is a Fighter

Literally. And since joining WWE Monday Night Raw she has helped raise the profile of women wrestlers to a national audience. By Kara Rota

Writing History: “No Irish Need Apply”

80 They Were Irish Slaves

In Barbados, the descendants of 17th century Irish slaves live in a marginalized community beset by poverty and ill health. By Sheena Jolley


86 What Are You Like?

Writer T.J. English, whose new book on Whitey Bulger hits stores in September, takes our questionnaire. By Patricia Harty Newly-released records in the National Library of Ireland reveal Bruce Springsteen’s roots. By Megan Smolenyak

Three Irish comics reveal what gets them laughing. By Sarah Fearon

96 88

96 The Girls of Girsa

An Irish-American trad group is earning some well-deserved notoriety. By Kristin Cotter McGowan

100 Dangerfield Lives!

In an exclusive interview, J.P. Donleavy talks 60 years of The Ginger Man. By Noel Shrine

104 70

Departments 6 8 12 32 110 112 114 118

First Word Readers Forum Hibernia Those We Lost Books Crossword Sláinte! Family Album


104 Who Was James O’Neill?

In search of playwright Eugene O’Neill’s father, a Kilkenny emigrant who became a Shakespearean actor. By Sean Reidy


Oonagh Keough The first woman admitted to a stock exchange was a Dubliner. p. 35

88 Born in the (Irish) U.S.A.

92 Humor Me

Matthew Skwiat looks at the recent historical controversy. p. 34

State of Play By Sharon Ní ” Chonchúir p. 116

Cover Photo: Kit DeFever

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By Patricia Harty

Our 30th Anniversary!


here is something about anniversaries that appeals to people. And it’s our 30th. If it were a wedding anniversary, pearls would be an appropriate gift. There is something about the pearl that speaks to the story of the Irish in America. Born out of grit, a grain of sand, an outsider makes its way into a shell and sets off a chain reaction that in time results in a precious gem. What could be a more appropriate symbol of those plucky early Irish immigrants – outsiders all – pushing past obstacles to gain a foothold and proceeding forward with grit and determination until they solidified as one of the true cultural cornerstones of American society? As I review our 30 years of publishing Irish America, all the stories merge into a cultural capsule. For the early immigrants the going is tough, but mingled into their hardscrabble existence are also great moments of joy. And, in all their trials there seems a strength of purpose, a refusal to quit and an indestructible pride in heritage that carries them forward. Looking back over the issues, I pause over every Civil War story – more often of late as the 150th anniversary is commemorated – and reflect on how this central event in American life was also a turning point for those early immigrants. Their brave fighting won them respect and more acceptance, but the cost was so very high in terms of lives lost. My hand hovers over the front cover of the Famine issue with its image of “Anguish,” a sculpture by Glenna Goodacre. It was a painful edition to produce; the rawness of that seminal event is a scar on my DNA that still hurts, but here too are stories of survival, and overcoming against the odds, and of people who helped us in the worst of times. And I fight back tears over the 9/11 coverage, reminded as I am at this time every year of the many we lost from the community. The traditional strongholds of the Irish in New York – the public service sector – firemen and police were decimated. And so many from the financial services industry – colleagues of those we honor in this issue. Our very first Wall Street 50 event was held at Windows on the World, a venue on top of the World


Trade Center’s north tower. But again, with this story, we are reminded of the forebearance of the survivors and the unifying force of the tragedy that forever melded Irish and Irish American. As I continue on my journey back through time, I’m often bemused by interviews with people who contribute to the sheer joy of life, reminding me that though those early immigrants had little in the way of material possessions when they embarked on their outward voyage into the unknown, they carried their music with them, and a love of dance, and a good story. And these gems of heritage have been passed down to future generations. Perhaps one of our most precious assets became the ability to meld our tradition with change and other cultures. Gene Kelly, the great song and dance man, in one interview talked about how Irish dance influenced American tap. In other stories we learn of Irish influences in country, folk, and other musical genres. And we see many cases of how our love of a good story gets carried onto stage and the silver screen by writers and actors and directors. The son of a famine immigrant, Eugene O’Neill would be the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1936, his work heavily influenced by his Irish heritage. I’m also reminded of how lucky I am to be part of Irish America as I peruse these back issues. My position as editor afforded me access to some of the greatest minds of our generation. I sat down with Seamus Heaney shortly after he received the Nobel Prize, and such legends as Gregory Peck and Maureen O’Hara, and I interviewed business leaders such as Jack Welch, and, for this issue, Shaun Kelly. And political leaders including George Mitchell and Gerry Adams, both of whom would play such a vital role in the peace process. I remember how thrilling it was to hear Adams, back in 1991, say it was time for talks and a political solution in Northern Ireland. I was privileged to see firsthand the role that Irish Americans would play in the years that followed – Bill Flynn, Tom Moran, Donald Keough, Chuck Feeney, and Ed Kenney, to name but a

few, who in Heaney’s words made “hope and history rhyme,” and helped put a peace plan in place. The North and immigration are two reoccurring themes over the years in all our issues. In the early days of the magazine, it was about the Morrison visas that threw a much-needed lifeline to the Irish as the economy struggled in the 80s. We saw the Celtic Tiger come and go, and sadly, more recently, we are witnesses to another generation of young Irish who are forced to leave in search of work. But even as a recent survey confirms that one in six Irish people born in Ireland now live abroad, we can take comfort in our global ability to integrate with other cultures, and find success in all corners of the globe. As our cover story attests, Shaun Kelly is a prime example of the successful Irish immigrant. His story also touches on Northern Ireland. Born in Belfast to an English mother and an Irish father, he grew up during the Troubles, and that experience had infused in him a desire for diversity in the workplace and purposedriven life. As KPMG’s COO, Americas, he is involved in various projects and communities around the globe. From all that I have gleaned from our pages, I’ve concluded that our very best quality – born out of our struggles – is the empathy we have with others. For what is our own story worth if it doesn’t serve as an inspiration to those struggling today and if we can’t reach a hand out to help? As we go to press, the good news is that Ireland, though still in recovery from the downturn in its economy, will take in 4,000 Syrian refugees. As President Michael D. Higgins said: “We have to decide at certain times in our life to do what is right and what is right is to come to the assistance of those who, like our own ancestors, were being lost in the sea of the Atlantic three generations ago.” Beautiful! Mórtas Cine,

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letters | readers forum

Margaret Sanger:


Wonder Woman

hen I read the story of Margaret Higgins Sanger and her pioneering efforts in the early 20th century to make contraception legal and available to all women, l was reminded of my mother’s views on this topic. Mary Carmelita Donohoe Lyons , mother of seven children, a granddaughter of Irish immigrants from County West Meath, would climb over snow banks to get to daily mass at her parish church up until two weeks before she died at age 93 in Yankton, South Dakota. Mother visited our home in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1984 shortly after Bernard Law had been installed as Archbishop of Boston. In his inaugural address, Law decried pro-choice women as “the greatest evil of our time.” I asked my mother what she thought about the archbishop’s charge against women. She snapped her fingers and instantly replied: “Well, they can’t have it both ways. You can’t deny a woman the right to decide whether or not to conceive and then expect her to live with the consequences.” And then, my mother, who not only knew her mind well, but could speak it well added: “I think it’s time for those bishops to get off their high horses.” That was very strong language from a devout Catholic mother. I told her that I thought she was a better theologian than any bishop. If my good mother were alive today, I am quite certain she would repeat the same charge to the Bishops. Thanks for presenting the story of the wonder woman at the beginning of the 20th century and for reminding me of another wonder woman, toward the end of that century, my mother.


Dear Reader, n the interest of focus and brevity, I omitted Ms. Sanger’s studies of eugenics as the article was about her historic contribution to women’s rights. Margaret Sanger did explore a potential overlap between birth control and eugenics since both addressed overpopulation and world hunger. Unfortunately, her studies afforded African-American presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson the opportunity to attack Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger, labeling both as “racist.” A progressive not a racist, Ms. Sanger worked closely with W.E.B. Du Bois, NAACP founder in 1930 to open a clinic in Harlem staffed with black doctors. At the time, she made a decidedly un-racist speech: “The Negro race has reached a place in its history when every possible effort should be made to have every Negro child count as a valuable contribution to the future of America.”

Chef Gabe Kennedy: Living Below the Line

What a concept. It leaves me with a feeling of hope. I feel Mr. Kennedy is right on in his assessment of the intimacy of food and its ability to be a catalyst for uplifting people and the planet. I applaud him and the efforts of Concern.

– Mary Mead, submitted online

Greg O’Brien: Fighting Against Alzheimer’s

I found this article so inspiring I can only imagine how interesting the book will be in helping me to understand what my mom is experiencing. Greg, thanks for having the insight and courage to write it, I can’t wait to read it!

– Philomena Guilfoyle, submitted online

Inspiring Seniors: Mother Knows Best

I love this peek into your Mom and Dad’s early lives and courtship and marriage. It was a desperate time to start a family with the war and poverty abounding. Their wedding photo is just beautiful… as are they. You lost your Dad early in life. Yet your Mom carried on. She has a great attitude and she is darling. I enjoyed this read – Robert F. Lyons, Kennebunkport, Maine very much. I have been a huge – Rosemary Rogers fan since Galway Bay. I have loaned my copy numerous ABOVE:Margaret osemary Rogers’s article on Margaret times here in Baja Mexico where Higgins Sanger. Sanger does not inform the reader of her I have retired. I was 76 this month TOP RIGHT: Gabe involvement in the eugenics movement. This and can appreciate all your dear mother went Kennedy in Haiti. MIDDLE: Greg O’Brien would refute the title “Wonder Woman” and through having raised 5 children by myself. She’s a (left) and his family. assign instead the title “Racist.” wonderful strong soul and you are her offspring… RIGHT: Mary Pat’s par– Brendan Murphy, Belleair Bluffs, Florida through and through. I had written to you after ents Mariann Williams reading Galway Bay. At that time the powers that and Michael Kelly be were considering making a mini series out of that book. Did that come to fruition? Visit us online at to leave your comments, or write to us: Big fan here!


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. 8 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

– Dixie McCormick, submitted online

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contributors |

Vol. 30 No. 6 • October / November 2015


Sheena Jolley is one of Ireland’s cele-

brated wildlife photographers. In 2013 she was IPPA Winner Best Wildlife Portfolio.In 2009 and 2015 she was a finalist in the BBC Wildlife photographer of the Year Competition. She has had many solo exhibitions of her work but now concentrates on exhibiting in her own gallery in Schull, County Cork, as well as through her website:

Sarah Fearon

is a playwright and performer of the short play TED Talks NYC that won first place at the Players Theater Short Play Festival in summer 2015, and was featured in the Origin’s 1st Irish Festival at the IAW&A 100th Salon. Her original comedic character Snazzy Peabody, who is a real estate legend in her own mind, has been showcased in the short play Air Rights and various You Tube videos.

Kristin Cotter McGowan

Sean Reidy

was most recently CEO of the JFK Trust, a role in which he was instrumental in developing the Dunbrody Famine Ship Project, the Emigration History Centre in New Ross, Co. Wexford, and the Irish America Hall of Fame. Sean also coordinated the visit of the Kennedy family to Ireland for the JFK50 celebrations and played a key role in the development of the new Kennedy Homestead Visitor Centre in Dunganstown, New Ross.

Kara Rota

is Director of Editorial & Partnerships for at Macmillan Publishers, where she also acquires and edits books. She previously wrote about feminism and professional wrestling for, and is on Twitter @karalearota.

is a writer and a musician. She lives in Glen Rock, NJ, with her husband and three daughters. Together they own and run Carrick Mór, a gift shop specializing in the best of Ireland and Irish culture.

Noel Shine

is a freelance photographer and journalist based in Kells, County Meath. He has worked extensively as a press photographer snapping some of his heroes including Mother Theresa, President Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Pelé, U2, Pierce Brosnan, and Maureen O'Hara along the way. As a writer, he has contributed to Irish-based weekly newspapers, trade magazines and GAA periodicals. Today, he specializes in interviews with people from the world of Irish business and the arts. More at:

Megan Smolenyak is a genealogist

and the author of six books, including Trace Your Roots with DNA and Who Do You Think You Are?, a companion to the TV series. She is an incurable genealogist and sometimes author who is delighted to have found the 1824 parish marriage record for her immigrant Reynolds ancestor in the new NLI collection she writes about in this issue. 10 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Mórtas Cine

Pride In Our Heritage

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Co-Founder/ Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty Vice President of Marketing: Kate Overbeck Art Director: Marian Fairweather Advertising & Events Coordinator & Music Editor: Tara Dougherty Deputy Editor: Adam Farley Copy Editor: John Anderson Contributing Editor Matthew Skwiat Editorial Assistant: Julia Brodsky R. Bryan Willits

875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York NY 10001 TEL: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344 Subscriptions: 1-800-582-6642 E-MAIL: Irish America Magazine ISSN 0884-4240) © by Irish America Inc. Published bi-monthly. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Editorial office: 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212-725-2993. Fax: 212-244-3344 E-mail: Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-5826642. Subscription queries:1-800582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 150. Periodicals postage paid at New York and additional mailing offices. Postmaster please send address changes to Irish America Magazine, P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. IRISH AMERICA IS PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

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hibernia | syria

Irish Aid for Europe’s Refugee Crisis


TOP TO BOTTOM: Syrian refugees wait in line for their winter clothes to be distributed by the Concern team at the informal tented settlement in northern Lebanon. Delivering mats to refugees. Basic living supplies are needed like hygiene kits and mattresses. Live Aid founder Bob Geldof.

chairman is Irish America Hall-of-Famer and CEO of Mutual of America Tom Moran) is engaging directly with the crisis in Syria and the neighboring countries. Though many displaced Syrian citizens have left the country, roughly 7.6 million within the country’s borders are homeless and in need of shelter. Concern has provided access to clean water for 250,000 people within Syria, as well as providing those displaced from their homes with hygienic products and supplies for the coming winter months. In Lebanon and Turkey, the organization is working to provide not only basic necessities for the refugees, but also access to education – Concern estimates that 80% of the school-age refugees in Turkey and Lebanon are not currently in school. The aid provided in Lebanon has proved just as crucial as the work in Syria itself; Concern’s President and COO, Aine Fay, tells us that “Lebanon, a country smaller than Connecticut, or roughly an eighth the size of Ireland, has provided a safe haven for 1.2 million Syrian refugees, an extraordinarily generous commitment that is increasingly strained, given the massive pressure this is having on the local economy and on overstretched health and education services.” In addition to attending to refugees’ physical needs, Concern is spearheading a new program offering psychological support to male Syrian refugees, many of whom are experiencing rage and frustration and their newfound inability to support their families. One group leader, Ahmed (whose name has been changed for security reasons), shared the story of his escape with Concern and lauded the program, which led participants to discuss not only their concerns for the immediate future, but also the long-term damage of violence against women and early marriage. “In all of us, something changed 180 [degrees],” said Ahmed. “A stone began to be lifted from our hearts. After these sessions, we could breathe again.” – Julia Brodsky



n September 3rd this year, the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian three-year-old whose body washed ashore on a Turkish beach, ran across the front pages of newspapers world-wide, putting a horrifying human image to the crisis that has embattled Syria for almost five years. Many periodicals, such as the Irish Times, debated whether or not to censor the image, but ultimately went forward with the undoctored photograph. Many have likened the harrowing picture to the 1972 “Napalm Girl” photograph, which put a face on the atrocities committed in Vietnam, rousing many in the western world to action. Over an estimated 4 million Syrians have left seeking refuge since the crisis began (which, according to Concern Worldwide US, is over one fifth of the total number of displaced people in the world), and while the majority have flooded into Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq, roughly 200,000 are making their way to Europe. As émigrés stream out of Syria, the EU has called upon its members to accept more refugees. Frances Fitzgerald, Ireland’s Justice Minister, recently confirmed that Ireland would accept 4,000 refugees. In her statement regarding this decision, Fitzgerald said, “Ireland will offer a welcome safe haven for families and children who have been forced to leave their homes due to war and conflict.” The head of the Irish Refugee Council has estimated that the country could house up to 40,000 Syrian refugees, and the government is currently examining vacant government buildings to determine if there is housing available for more than the agreed-upon 4,000. “We have to decide at certain times in our life to do what is right and what is right is to come to the assistance of those who, like our own ancestors, were being lost in the sea of the Atlantic three generations ago,” said Irish president Michael D. Higgins, drawing on the parallels between Ireland’s Famine emigrants and the modern crisis in the Middle East. In addition to the government’s response, Irish individuals and organizations are taking action. Rocker and humanitarian Bob Geldof has publicly stated that he and his wife, Jeanne, would be willing to open their homes in Kent and London to families of refugees. (The Dún Laoghaire native has a history of philanthropic activity; most notably, he was one of the main organizers of the Live Aid concert series in 1985, which raised over $125 million for famine relief in Africa.) Even Pope Francis has suggested a similar, community-level solution, wherein each Irish parish takes in a refugee family. The Irish non-profit Concern Worldwide (whose

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hibernia | news from ireland

Northern Irish Government in Turmoil


s we go to press, the Northern Irish peace process faces one of its greatest challenges. First Minister Peter Robinson, the Democratic Unionist Party leader resigned his position in September, along with several other DUP ministers, following the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) claim that individual members of the Provisional IRA (PIRA) were involved in the killing of former republican prisoner Kevin McGuigan last August. According to news reports, some PIRA members believed McGuigan was responsible for the killing of former IRA commander Gerard “Jock” Davison in May. George Hamilton, head of PSNI said that PIRA leadership did not sanction the murder of McGuigan, but his assertion that some structures of the organization still exist, led the more radical Ulster Unionist Party’s sole executive to resign his post, and the other twelve MLAs to withdraw urging the DUP to do so as well, citing an inability to trust Sinn Féin who deny the continued activity of PIRA members. Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the UUP were “playing fast and loose with the peace process,” and tweeted, “This decision by the UUP is more about inter Unionist rivalry than their & others feigned concern about our unequivocal commitment to #Peace.” Robinson and the DUP initially resisted, and sought an intervention from Downing Street, but were refused, with British Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly asking the Assembly to find an acceptable solution on its own. But tensions reached a high point

when the PSNI brought prominent Sinn Féin member Bobby Storey in for questioning in connection with the murder. Though he was released unconditionally a day later, Robinson under intense pressure from the UUP, resigned. Robinson retains his role as head of the DUP, but has appointed Minister of Finance Arlene Foster as acting First Minister, ostensibly allowing the Northern Irish Assembly to continue governance, but effectively causing a stalemate for the DUP – Sinn Féin power-sharing government. “Isn’t it ridiculous that criminals, low-life murderers who killed two men have the ability to bring down these democratic institutions?” McGuinness asked. Both Unionist parties argue that existence of the PIRA, violates the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and discredits their claim to non-violent governance. Yet they may be accused of ignoring the existence of other paramilitary organizations. A recent article in the New York Times, quoted a source as saying that there is abundant evidence that loyalist paramilitary groups are “not only still active, but have also been recruiting new members.” According to the Guardian, Cameron and Robinson did discuss options “to comprehensively address all remaining paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.” For more updates, visit – A.F.

TOP: Bobby Storey (left) with Martin McGuinness. ABOVE: Former First Minister Peter Robinson

One in Six Irish-Born Live Abroad


wo recent reports from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Central Statistics Office show that more than one in six Irish-born no longer live in Ireland. In the latest biennial assessment of the Irish economy published by the OECD, it is reported that in 2014, 17.5% of all people over age 15 that were born in Ireland were living abroad, while the CSO reports a 34% drop in 20 to 24-year-olds over the last seven years, along with a 27.5% drop in 25 to 29-year-olds. In a recent press release, Sinn Féin Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation spokesperson Peadar Tóibín commented on the figures: “A third of a million Irish people in the last six years voted with their feet, leaving an economy that put unsecured debt and upper income security above provision for citizens. “We have a huge housing crisis, a health crisis, reduced educational investment, high levels of personal debt, low wages, precarious employment, rising rental costs, regressive taxation including water charges and property tax, crippling childcare cost, and exorbitant mortgage

Long lines for Ireland’s repayments. But one of the most youth seeking work visas tragic and long lasting outcomes in advance of emigrating. of Fine Gael and Labour policy will be the loss of hundreds of thousands of our people.” Ireland’s percentage of native-born living abroad was the highest amongst the OECD’s other members, surpassing New Zealand, Portugal, and Mexico by several percentage points. Though the CSO says emigration has begun to slow, net migration is still negative, meaning still more people are leaving Ireland than are moving there. – R.B.W. OCTOBER OCTOBER // NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2015 2015 IRISH IRISH AMERICA AMERICA 13 13

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hibernia | news from ireland

Queen’s University

Pharmacy at Queen’s. The cystic fibrosis project, which was also launched in September and is expected to last five years, brings together world-leading lung specialists from across Europe, and is helmed by Queens’s Dean of the Medical School Stuart Elborn. “This work has the potential to deliver inhaled antibiotics that will improve the quality of life and survival of cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis patients,” he says. “It is the latest example of the commitment of researchers and staff at Queen’s University to advancing knowledge and changing lives by working with international experts.” And in August, Queens’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology received the CRUK (Cancer Research UK) Accelerator Award of almost £4 million in order to continue their work identifying faulty genes and molecules in tumors. The team, led by David Waugh, director of the center, will now lead a nationwide program dedicated to expanding the application and use of digital pathology to quantify specific tumor markers. Speaking on behalf of the university, Professor Peter Hamilton of the Digital Pathology program, said that the awards demonstrate “how Belfast has been leading in digital biotechnology research and diagnostics,” and serve as a testament to the university’s growing influence among U.K. institutions. – A.F.

Making Waves in Europe

his summer saw laurels upon laurels laid on Queen’s University Belfast, as cancer experts there received major U.S. and U.K. research awards, and researchers launched a €50 million, Europe-wide, cystic fibrosis drug treatment trial. Most recently, a £2.9 million U.S.-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Program grant was awarded to Queen’s, Dublin City University, and SUNY Buffalo to


develop new treatments for pancreatic cancer. “Working in partnership with researchers in New York and Dublin will allow us to generate valuable discoveries and innovations which can move our work out of the laboratory and towards clinical trials,” said Christopher Scott (pictured above), Director of Research, Molecular Therapeutics Cluster in the School of

Limerick Student Wins Irish Invention Award

athal Redmond, a 26-year-old University of Limerick student, has won the 2015 Irish James Dyson award for his underwater breathing invention. His device, called the “Express Dive,” allows divers to breathe underwater for up to two minutes. When their air runs out, they simply resurface and refill the apparatus. As opposed to traditional snorkels, Express Dive gives divers access to greater depths, but unlike traditional scuba diving equipment, which allow for similar feats, Redmond’s device costs roughly $500, as opposed to figures as high as $4,000. The prototype for which Redmond won is built of a compact air tank, an air regulator, and a compressor combination made of high-density foam, aluminum, and silicone. Speaking with the Irish Times, Redmond discussed his inspiration for the project: “It was when I was on holiday in Greece on a boat excursion when I saw a shiny object on the seabed that I recognized my curiosity for a method of increasing the amount of time spent underwater without carrying heavy equipment,” he said. “I wanted to be able to go a little further than I could with just my lungs, but without the rigor and preparation required for scuba.” An avid swimmer with an interest in adventure sports and music, Redmond received €2,500 from the James Dyson Foundation, named for the creator of Dyson vacuums, and will proceed to the international stage of the competition along with 600 students from 20 countries. The grand prize is €37,500. – A.F.


Researchers Cite ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for Ground-Breaking Discoveries


he ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, co-founded by Irish America Hall of Fame inductee Pat Quinn and re-launched this past August, is being credited by researchers at Johns Hopkins University for recent breakthroughs in research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jonathan Ling, Olga Pletnikova, Juan Troncoso, and Philip Wong of Johns Hopkins University recently published their findings in the journal Science, where they explain the function of TDP-43, a protein connected to ALS. TDP-43 is supposed to prevent unwanted genetic material from being used by nerve cells to make proteins. In patients with ALS, TDP-43 clumps together in the cells, ultimately preventing the protein from doing its job. Such a scenario leads to the death of brain and spinal cord cells. “TDP-43 doesn’t do its job in 97% of all ALS cases,” Ling explained in a recent Ask Me Anything thread on 14 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 “Scientists didn’t really know its function – now we do. We also show that it’s something that can be fixed!” Philip Wong, the Johns Hopkins professor who led the research team told the Washington Post that without the Ice Bucket Challenge “we wouldn’t have been able to come out with the studies as quickly as we did.” Ling also praised the challenge in his Reddit thread by noting, “I remember reading a lot of stories about people complaining that the Ice Bucket Challenge was a waste and that scientists weren’t using the money to do research, etc. I assure you that this is absolutely false….With the amount of money that the Ice Bucket Challenge raised, I feel that there’s a lot of hope and optimism now for real, meaningful therapies. After all, the best medicines come from a full understanding of a disease, and without the financial stability to do high risk, high reward research, none of this would be possible!” – R.B.W.

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hibernia | news from ireland


Commemorations for O’Donovan Rossa Funeral

reland has released a new 70-cent stamp to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Pádraig Pearse’s graveside oration at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa on August 1, 1915. And commemoration services were held in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin and Calvary Cemetery, New York. Born in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork, O’Donovan Rossa was a high-profile Fenian and Irish republican. Arrested in 1865, he was sentenced to a life of penal servitude in Australia for organizing a Fenian bid for Irish independence. He and the other prisoners were severely treated, with Rossa being chained with his arms behind his back for 34 days straight. News of the punishment led to a movement seeking amnesty for the prisoners. Eventually released in 1870, Rossa traveled to America along with four other Fenians including John Devoy. He died in Staten Island, New York City, on June 29, 1915, but his body was soon repatriated to Ireland. An enormous crowd followed the funeral cortège to Glasnevin Cemetery, where Pearse’s famous address with its closing lines, “but the fools, the fools, the fools! They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace,” was seen in retrospect as a call to arms. It fanned the flames of the short-lived Easter Rising in April of 1916, following which Pearse and 15 other rebel leaders were executed. President Michael D. Higgins led the official state commemoration of the centenary of O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral in Glasnevin. While John Whelpley, Rossa’s great-grandson, who is working on a documentary examining his great-grandfather’s legacy, unveiled the stamp in Rossa’s birthplace in Cork. Taoiseach Enda Kenny described O’Donovan Rossa as “an iconic figure in Irish history,” according to the Irish Examiner. “Even one hundred years after his death his name is synonymous with the Fenians and with Irish nationalism,” Kenny said. In New York, on September 26, Gerry Adams and Friends of Sinn Féin held a well-attended service commemorating O’Donovan Rossa at the historic Fenian Monument in Calvary Cemetery in Queens. – R.B.W.


Global Irish Parliamentarians Gather in Dublin


n September, 44 political representatives with Irish connections from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and France convened in Dublin for the first-ever Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum, hosted by Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan. The forum was established to foster Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora and included briefings on Ireland’s ecoPictured above at nomic development and 1916 commemoCroke Park are forum rations. Among the American participants participants (left to right) British Labour MP were Congressman Richard Neal (D – MA), Jon Cruddas, Congressall of whose grandparents were born in Ireman Neal, Minister land and who has been a friend of the Deenihan, South Down SDLP MP Margaret peace process his entire congressional caRitchie, and Western reer, and Congressman Brendan Boyle (D – Australia Legislative PA), the only member of the House of RepCouncil member resentatives with an Irish-born parent. — A.F. Stephen Dawson.

Young Travelers Name Dublin “Favorite City” in Worldwide Poll

eiterating Ireland’s prestige as one of the top places to visit in the world, Dublin was recently named the “favorite worldwide city” at the Trazee Awards in Orlando, Florida. Owned by Global Traveler magazine, set out to find the hip and swanky destinations of 18 to 35year-olds. Bringing nominations from web contributors and readers alike,


Half Penny Bridge


Trazee announced Dublin earned the top spot, with Aer Lingus also nabbing “favorite airline in Europe.” Speaking after the announcement, Orla Carroll, Director of Dublin for Fáilte Ireland said, “This award is a fantastic accolade for Dublin which proves that our capital has something unique and extraordinary to offer the young and discerning traveler. Fáilte Ireland and the Dublin Tourism Industry have been working hard to reposition Dublin as a destination that offers unforgettable experiences to the young, adventurous traveler.” Alison Metcalfe of Tourism Ireland spoke of the spell Dublin has cast on young travelers saying, “These young independent travelers are open to traveling for shorter breaks and are looking for cities that offer vibrant and distinctive cultural experiences.” – M.S.

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Enda Kenny and Michael D. Higgins Make State Visits to U.S.

wo Irish leaders graced America’s eastern shores this fall – Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D. Higgins both visited the United States in late September of the year, the latter making his sixth official state visit of 2015. Kenny received an honorary degree from Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University, home of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute. “Quinnipiac is proud to present an honorary degree to the taoiseach whose life has been dedicated to to his people and the world,” said university president John L. Lahey. “He has guided Ireland through its most difficult times and has been a passionate defender of the rights of others whether in Ireland, the United States, Africa or the European Union. Under his leadership, Ireland’s economy has gone from virtual collapse to being the fastest-growing economy in the European Union today.” The taoiseach also toured Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, which offers the largest collection of artifacts and visual art relating to the Irish Famine of the 1840s. While the prime minister was in Connecticut, President Higgins was in New York for an official state visit, having already been to Strasbourg, Gallipoli, Lebanon, Milan, and the U.K. this year. The president participated in the “UN Sustainable Development Summit,” continuing a recurring theme in his presidency, as he delivered a keynote address on sus-



tainable development to the UN Economic Commission for Africa last year and marked the European Year of Development in an address at the Dóchas (the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organizations) conference earlier in 2015. The president also participated in a Global Leaders’ Meeting on “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – A Commitment to Action,” which was hosted by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping. In addition to participating in the UN sessions, President Higgins delivered the annual Emile Noël lecture at New York University, entitled “The European Union – Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope.” – J.B.

ABOVE: President Michael D. Higgins.

Presidential Distinguished Service Awards 2015

ctor Gabriel Byrne, businessman Tom Moran, solicitor Gareth Peirce, and author Mario Vargas Llosa are among the recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for the Irish Abroad for 2015. The awards were announced in September by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to these remarkable individuals for what each of them has contributed to Ireland, to the Irish abroad, and to our country’s international reputation,” Minister Flanagan said. “Their service and commitment to Ireland is a shining example to us all and they are worthy recipients of this honor by the president.” Gabriel Byrne’s award recognizes his work as a Cultural Ambassador for Ireland, while London solicitor Gareth Peirce was nominated for her advocacy work on the cases of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six. Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, college professor, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, is being honored

for his book, The Dream of the Celt, which opened up the story of Irish patriot Roger Casement in a very sympathetic manner to the 650 million Spanish and Portuguese speakers in the world. Stateside, philanthropist and businessman Tom Moran, chairman of Mutual of America, is being honored for his contribution as an influential voice in the Irish peace process. “Over the years, Tom has developed relationships with social, political, and business leaders in Northern Ireland and continues to open doors to promote a positive future for this island,” Minister Flanagan said. Other recipients from the U.S. are Father Brendan McBride, founder and head of the Irish Immigration and Pastoral Center in San Francisco, who played a central role in providing support to those involved in the recent Berkeley tragedy, and Dr. Maureen Murphy. The Hofstra professor, who is currently serving as a Fulbright Fellow at University College Dublin, is being recognized for her work promoting Ireland as a cultural and literary powerhouse. – A.F.

TOP: Tom Moran ABOVE: Maureen Murphy


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hibernia | irish eye on hollywood ext year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, which paved the way for (first) the Irish War for Independence and then the partition of Ireland north and south. Plenty of events are already slated to mark this momentous date – including a much-anticipated movie chronicling all of the events and players. Belfast-born filmmaker Kevin McCann is teaming up with writer Colin Broderick to release the film, which will revolve around Sean Mac Diarmada, rather than the more familiar likes of Michael Collins or James Connolly. The cast for the Easter Rising film (entitled The Rising: 1916) is beginning to come together, and features Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle (British-born to an Irish father and Scottish mother) as well as a young lad named Michael Neeson, whose father is a Ballymena-born actor of some note. Northern Irish actor Colin Morgan is slated to play the lead role of Mac Diarmada, while Hollywood heavyweights Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Patrick Pearse) and Fiona Shaw (Countess Markievicz) are also reportedly attached to the film. Shane MacGowan is slated to record music for The Rising: 1916, which will be directed and cowritten by McCann, who is perhaps best known for his documentary The Boys of St. Columb’s, about the high number of famous folks (Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, Phil Coulter ) who attended the titular Catholic school in Northern Ireland at a time of severe religious discrimination.


Brendan Coyle in “The Fall.”


A Year for Ad-Meyer-ers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers recently Rhys joined Ron Perlman and a large cast Meyers with in the September film Stonewall, Michael Flatley at the capturing the moment in New York City, in 1969, Irish Post when many agree the modern gay rights moveAwards. ment began. Up next for Rhys Meyers is the international thriller Damascus Cover, the drama Shambhala and the romantic comedy Byrd and the Bees, to be directed by British actress Finola Hughes. Devin Druid with Gabriel Byrne in Louder than Bombs.


Casting “The Rising”

By Tom Deignan

Irish Film Festival Favorites

utumn means two things in the movie business: lots of film festivals as well as prestigious movies aimed at snagging Oscar nominations, which are traditionally announced in January. Among the films earning praise at the Toronto Film Festival was Louder Than Bombs, starring Irish thespian Gabriel Byrne as well as Irish American Amy Ryan, Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Isabelle Huppert, and up-and-coming Milwaukee native Rachel Brosnahan. Reviewing the film after it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Variety magazine noted that Louder Than Bombs “asks audiences to bring their brains, eschewing grand catharsis in favor of subtle psychological nuance, resulting in a film that runs both slender and cold on the surface, but rewards the arthouse audiences willing to give it a deeper reading.” (Byrne will also return to the New York stage soon, in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night.) Byrne remains busy for the big screen, with several films planned for 2016. First there’s an adaptation of the play No Pay, Nudity starring Byrne alongside Nathan Lane, Frances Conroy and Irish American Donna Murphy. After that for Byrne is a thriller entitled Lies We Tell. Also at the Toronto fest was the movie based on Irish journalist David Walsh’s exposé of famed cyclist Lance Armstrong. Now titled The Program (formerly Icon), the film stars Irish actor Chris O’Dowd as Walsh and Ben Foster as Armstrong. Supporting talent in The Program - which does not yet have a U.S. release date – includes the legendary Dustin Hoffman as well as Irish actresses Elaine Cassidy (Felicia’s Journey) and Laura Donnelly. Finally at Toronto, and then later in New York, there was The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, in a dystopian film set in a future where finding a lover is (literally) a matter of life and death. Late September also saw the first-ever “Irish American Movie Hooley” in Chicago, a celebration of Irish cinema, including the documentary Name Your Poison, about an unlikely, Mafia-linked murder plot against an Irish immigrant during the Great Depression.


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Irish Apples

hen there are the movies being released in the run-up to the Oscars. The Irish feature prominently in a number of top-flight films with strong odds to be in the Academy Award discussion. One of the most highly-anticipated films of the season is Steve Jobs, about the legendary Apple computers founder. Set to be released October 9th, the Jobs biopic stars Cork native and Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender as the tortured genius, who helped create Apple, fell out of favor with the company, only to return triumphantly and make Apple perhaps the most prestigious and lucrative company in the world. (Jobs died in 2011.) Steve Jobs also stars Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels and was directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), who was born in Scotland to parents from Galway.


Cork man Fassbender as Steve Jobs.

There’s Room on the Bridge for U2

lso hitting screens in October is Room, a kidnapping drama Room starring Brie Larson, William H. director Lenny Macy and Joan Allen. Based on Irish writer Emma Donoghue’s thrilling Abrahamson. lawyer James Joseph Donovan, a Cold War best-seller, Room is about a mother and diplomat with roots in Clonakilty, Cork. Amy son kidnapped and stashed away in a room, as Ryan and Eve Hewson (also known to some as they plot their escape, and wait to see if their cap“Bono’s daughter”) also star in this 1960s tor will allow them to live. Room, out October 16, political thriller. was directed by Irishman Lenny Abrahamson And speaking of U2, keep an eye out for a new (Adam & Paul, What Richard Did). documentary from the supergroup on HBO, slated Another film sure to get rave reviews is Bridge to air November 7, to be followed a week later by of Spies starring Tom Hanks as Irish American a new U2 live concert film on the same network.


The Irish Vote

Finally in October, Brendan Gleeson and Ann-Marie Duff (born in England to Irish parents) shore up the cast of Suffragette, which also stars Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan (left) and Helena Bonham Carter. Suffragette will closely look at the movement to obtain the right to vote for women in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Season of Saoirse

n November, Brooklyn finally arrives in theaters. This long-awaited Irish immigrant saga (based on Colm Tóibín novel) stars Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson and was directed by Cork native John Crowley. Ronan plays an immigrant to 1950s New York who falls in love with an Italian American only to face a tough choice when family troubles arise back home in Ireland. Ronan recently announced she will be joining the cast on the latest Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s witch-hunting play The Crucible. This theatrical experience should prove helpful for Ronan’s next film role. This past June she began shooting her latest flick in New York City entitled The Seagull. Also starring Annette Bening and Corey Stoll, the film (to be directed by Michael Mayer) is based on Anton Chekov’s classic play.


(L-R) John Crowley, Saoirse Ronan, and Emory Cohen at the Brooklyn premier at Sundance.

Spotlight on Tom McCarthy

astly, in November watch for Spotlight, a close look at the Boston Globe journalists (including Irish Americans such as Kevin Cullen) who doggedly investigated the sexual abuse scandals of the Catholic church. Starring Michael Keaton, Spotlight was directed by New Jerseyborn Irish American Tom McCarthy, who recently told Variety that being Irish and Catholic lent special poignancy to directing the film. “There are two places I wanted to take this movie. One is Italy, the other is Ireland. My heritage is Irish, I was raised Catholic. There is also a selfish part of me that just wanted to come to the Venice Film Festival. But it was not lost on me that this would be the perfect place to premiere this movie.”



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Kennedy Center Announces 2016 Irish Festival


The Kennedy Center.

rish writers, musicians, singers, playwrights, actors, and dancers will converge in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom for a threeweek Irish festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts next spring. “Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture” will take place May 17 through June 5, coinciding with the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916, which served as inspiration for generations of Irish writers, including W.B. Yeats, Sean O’Casey, and others. The Kennedy Center opened in 1971 and has since served as a living memorial to President Kennedy and become the busiest cultural center in the U.S. With more than twenty performances and readings scheduled (not including the yet-unannounced workshops, panel discussions, and culinary events), the festival is the first time an Irish-themed program of this scale has been done at the country’s national arts center. “Ireland is a nation of storytellers and we have a long history of presenting many of the great stories and work of Irish artists,” said Alicia Adams, Kennedy Center Vice President for International Programming and Dance. “We look forward to presenting the best of Irish arts and culture as we celebrate with Ireland a remarkable journey of the creative arts and expression.”

Bloody Irish on PBS

Playwright Enda Walsh, Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns, actress Charlie Murphy, Riverdance alumna Jean Butler, trad group The Gloaming, and writers like Kevin Barry, Anne Enright, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Paul Muldoon are all scheduled to participate during the three-week festival. And actress Fiona Shaw will be serving as the artist-in-residence, offering workshops and discussions for local artists, playwrights, and directors throughout. Irish Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson articulated the longestablished ties between Ireland’s Easter Rising and the U.S. “Five of the seven signatories to the 1916 Proclamation spent periods of time in the U.S. that significantly influenced their thinking and actions,” she said. “The U.S. is the only foreign country specifically mentioned in the Proclamation; it has the greatest concentration of our diaspora; and the contemporary ties are of extraordinary depth and breadth. “This festival will give us an opportunity to express our gratitude for the support that the U.S. has provided to Ireland throughout the last century, and, we hope, will help to renew and strengthen the bonds of friendship into the future,” she said. Tickets are now on sale. For more information visit the Kennedy Center website, – A.F.

n uplifting and original musical stage show depicting the armed rebellion, the 1916 Easter Rising, will air on PBS on October 17. The Bloody Irish, recently recorded live in the Helix theater, Dublin, is a remarkable performance that is sure to move its audience but will also raise questions about the events of the Rising. The stage show combines rousing Irish ballads of that time, such as “Rocky Road to Dublin” and “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” with the poignant human story of bravery, doubt and loss on the ground. Barry Devlin’s play steers away from the the man tasked with quelling the rebellion “standard reiteration” of this often dis- and pacifying Ireland. Oft painted as an cussed part of Irish history. What he hoped ogre, Maxwell is masterfully portrayed by to achieve was something strikingly differ- Malcolm Sinclair. ent and this musical show is certainly that. Devlin told Irish America “Maxwell obThe play opens with a little girl haunt- viously states it straight down the line as he ingly singing in the foreground as seven saw it, as the Empire saw it and he only Irish rebel leaders are shot dead while gradually comes to terms with something standing on a Union that he already knows: that the rebels Jack. The audience is Pictured above: the cast were always going to lose and that of “Bloody Irish.” For then introduced to the your local scheduling failure was going to win it for them. narrator of the play, Sir visit They became martyrs. Bloody Irish John Grenfell Maxwell, ics/arts-entertainment depicts the fear felt by the rebels them-



selves, showing them as mortals with doubts about their undertaking. It also shows what the Irish at the time would have felt about the Rising. “What I tried to analyze was the way 1916 has been baked and sermonized into this perfect thing,” Devlin said. “And yet at the time it was fluid, it was a close up thing that could easily have gone either way in terms of how the public viewed it. They were seen to have brought down the wrath of hell on them. People weren’t sure for what.” The show’s 23-strong cast includes Lorcan Cranitch as James Connolly, Gavin O’Connor as Patrick Pearse, as well as Lisa Lambe and Fiachna O’Braonain, among the lead vocals. Bloody Irish is set to air on PBS on October 17, 2015, and again during the station’s December pledge drive. In February, the musical will be launched in cinemas across America and it’s hoped that by April 2016, at the time of the 1916 centenary, the actual stage show of Bloody Irish could be touring the United States. – Kate Hickey

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hibernia | arts Redheads Galore



Ist Irish Theater Festival in NYC On Nine Stages

ed hair and blue eyes are the rarest combination in the world, though you wouldn’t have known it in Crosshaven, Co. Cork the weekend of Aug. 21st during he only all-Irish theater festival encore run of “Made in China,” the 6th annual Red Head Convention. in the world kicked off in Sep- which traces his two-year attempt to Crosshaven is a village with beautiful views tember across nine stages in become fluent in Mandarin and estabof the Cork Harbor and is famous for its Royal New York. Now in its eighth year, the lish a stand-up comedy scene in Cork Yacht Club, and jolly 2015 Origin Theater Company’s 1st Beijing. folks came as far as CaliIrish Festival, founded by Origin’s fornia and as close as Other plays in competition include artistic director, George C. Heslin, fea- Genevieve Hulme-Beaman’s solo around the corner to tures nine productions from Belfast, “Pondling,” winner of the 2014 Stewtake part in the fesDublin, Limerick, and New York, art Parker Award for Best Debut Play, tivities. Fun facts including four U.S. premieres, three about the perils of teenage love and were aplenty: red world premieres, and two special, lim- lust; Myles Breen’s subversive “Lanheads are more ited-run performances. sensitive to pain (no guage Unbecoming a Lady,” which Highlights of the festival included explores themes of identity as it traces dentist, please); less two of Ireland’s best-known comic one gay man’s journey of self-discovthan two percent of performers. Pat Shortt, who won rave ery; and the world premiere of the world’s population reviews last season for his role in the “Stoopdreamer,” a distinctly Amerihave red hair; the Romans Broadway staging of The Cripple of can story by Pat Fenton of one kept redheaded slaves at a Inishmaan, starred in his new play, stalwart Irish-American Brooklyn higher price; and Mark Twain once quipped Selfie, about a singing undertaker who neighborhood’s attempt to maintain its that “while the rest of the human race are lifts the veil, so to speak, of the oft- identity in the face of 20th-century descended from monkeys, redheads derive stereotyped Irish funeral. And Des eminent domain policy and changing from cats.” Bishop (pictured above) performed an demographics. – A.F. A spirit of camaraderie, shared stories and good cheer marked the weekend. There were book readings and signings, speed dating, n Monday, August 17, legendary actress, said it brought tears to her eyes to see all of the screenings, music, and most famous redhead of them all, submissions. “We were quite thrilled to be a part and carrot tossing for Maureen O’Hara celebrated her of it,” she said. “It was an incredible experience kids, as well as a 95th birthday at a small gathering of friends and seeing this cross-section of fans – some as young spoon race. And redfamily hosted by her grandson, Conor, and his as 15 and spanning three generations – tell Mauheads competed in wife, Elga FitzSimons in Boise, Idaho. To honor reen how she has inspired them over the years.” several categories, the occasion, fans who frequent the Maureen Some fans sang to O’Hara, some talked about including best red O’Hara Magazine on Facebook website were entheir favorite movies, and still others praised her for beard, best red dog, couraged to pay tribute to the star by making 30her tenacity both on and off the screen. The videos curliest red hair, and second videos that were uploaded to YouTube. were a fitting tribute to a grand lady. most freckles. More than sixty videos were submitted from all – Jen Nixon Beck, Co-Administrator, Kerry man Alan over the world, including Ireland, Belgium, AusMaureen O’Hara Magazine Reidy, sporting a wild tralia, Israel and the U.S. Irish singer-songwriter red afro coupled with Family and friends gather with Maureen O’Hara for Cathy Maguire and Ralna English of The a sweet smile, freckher 95th birthday. Lawrence Welk Show were les and dimples, was also a part of this heartcrowned King of the warming tribute. The videos Redheads. And the were shown to lovely Grainne Keena Maureen at her party. from Cork was our Generations of fans Queen. Together, spoke of how Maureen had they led a parade of touched their lives, and redheads around the thanked her for the many village, halting traffic years of joy and inspiration behind them. she had brought them. June – Julia Judge Parker Beck, editor of Maureen O’Hara Magazine,


Maureen O’Hara Celebrates Her 95th Birthday



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“Quiet Man” Cottage Given Protected Status

here were huge sighs of relief and joy from thousands of fans when they learned that the iconic thatched cottage “White o’ Morn” that featured in The Quiet Man movie, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, had been placed under state protection. Galway County Council voted unanimously in late July to add the 19th century cottage to its list of protected structures. “This was the final step in the process to add it to the list of protected structures and it means the cottage now has legal protection,” Councilor Tom Healy said. The cottage, which is located in Maam Valley, Connemara, was an actual family home dating from the 19th century and was still a family cottage when it was used as the exterior location for The Quiet Man. Although it was painted and landscaped for the film, the 64 years since the movie premiered have taken their toll and it now lies in ruin, needing professional and historic guidance to guarantee an authentic restoration.

that it is properly restored for them and in their memory – and for Ireland.” In a personal statement of support, actor Liam Neeson said, “This little piece of movie architecture would then shine like a beacon for many generations to come, delighting thousands of tourists with its simple magic and standing as a monument to the great Irish grit, perseverance and welcoming charm that we are The campaign to secure the The remains of known for worldwide.” The White o’ future of the property and restore Morn cottage, The application to protected it to its former beauty has the sup- which featured status was prepared in collaboraport of A-list celebrities, including in The Quiet tion with a Grade 1 RIAI ConserLiam Neeson, Michael Flatley, Man. vation Architect who specializes and Maureen O’Hara herself. in heritage conservation projects throughout “If you think about Duke, John Ford and Ireland, and restoration project supporters all the people who worked on the picture, have already reviewed restoration requireit is sad to see the cottage in shambles,” ments with a specialist heritage architect to Maureen O’Hara told Maureen O’Hara guarantee an emphasis on authenticity. Magazine. “How can anyone say anything – June Parker Beck, editor but wonderful things about it, and see to it Maureen O’Hara Magazine

Henry Ford’s Ancestral Home Opens in West Cork


he West Cork ancestral home of Henry Ford, the Ford Motors founder whose Model T revolutionized transportation in the United States, opened to the public in September following a €20,000 renovation project. Located on what is now the 200-acre “Ford Farm,” the home is a traditional stone-built, single-story cottage believed to date from the 1700s when the Fords emigrated from England as tenant farmers, and in which Ford’s grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather were born. The opening came as part of the 6th annual Ford Heritage Event and saw roughly 4,000 attendees. Left in a sorely run-down state, the house and surrounding farm were bought by Vivian Buttimer, a Ford descendant. “We re-roofed it, rebuilt the walls, and replaced the doors and windows, including installing a traditional half-door,” she told The Irish Examiner. The cottage now has a corrugated iron roof to protect it from the elements, and the center hopes to eventually furnish it with traditional 18th and 19th century furniture. “They rented 44 acres to begin with. The first settlers were Thomas Ford and his brothers in the 1700s.” Ford’s father John was born in nearby Madame and emigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1847 during the Famine. Henry Ford himself remained committed to Ireland, opening an assembly plant in Cork that at its peak employed 7,000 workers before closing in the 1980s.

Interestingly, today Ireland remains Henry Ford pictured the only country where Ford Motor with his Model T automobile. Company isn’t officially called Ford Motor Company. “After Henry came over to visit Ireland in 1917 he wanted to open a Model T facility in Cork, and his Board of Directors said, ‘No chance. We’ve got other priorities,’” Ford’s great-grandson Bill Ford said at the 2012 Irish America Business 100 Awards. “So he took his own money and built the Model T plant, but he couldn’t call it ‘Ford Motor Company,’ so he called it ‘Henry Ford and Son.’ And so, to this day, Ford’s name in Ireland is, legally, still Henry Ford and Son.” – A.F. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 23

KPMG LLP congratulates KPMG LLP congratulates Irish America Magazine Irish America Magazine’s 2015Wall WallStreet Street50 50 2015 We are particularly proud that honorees include KPMG partner Shaun Kelly, Chief Operating Officer, Americas Region. Shaun truly embodies the best and brightest of both Irish and KPMG leaders.

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100th Salon Celebration


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“...a fine green thread binds us together…”


Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc., celebrate.

Vice President and the author of Galway Bay, shared excerpts of her newest novel, Of Irish Blood at the Salon. Two writers described the influence of the Irish American community in encouraging their work. Colin Broderick, author of two memoirs and a filmmaker from County Tyrone, is editing a book, The Writing Irish of New York. Honor Molloy, author of Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage, and frequent Salon performer, told of coming to America as an Irish child. Every Salon has a musical performance. Contemporary singer Cathy Maguire was accompanied by guitar virtuoso Damien Kelly. Maxine Linehan sang about the trials and tribulations of living in NYC. Her song, written by her husband/accompanist Andrew Koss, debuted at a past Salon. Larry Kirwan, IAW&A President, premiered a brand new song, about his great-grandfather, a Wexford sea captain, whose ship went down off Cornwall in 1898. Author, raconteur, and Salon guiding spirit Malachy McCourt brought the 100th Salon to a close with story and song. Numerous other artists credit the IAW&A Salon for helping develop their work. They include John Brennan, John Cappelletti, Kathleen Donohoe, Kathleen Frazier, John Kearns, Maura Knowles, Margaret McCarthy and Vivian O’Shaugnessy. —By John Kearns and Karen Daly

eptember 16, 2015: Irish American Writers and Artists, Inc. (IAW&A) celebrated its 100th Manhattan Salon at the Cell Theatre on September 15 with a curated evening of readings and performances and a retrospective of IAW&A Salon photographs by Cathleen Dwyer. The brainchild of actor and writer Malachy McCourt, the Salons provide a forum for IAW&A members to present their work in any genre – fiction, memoir, poetry, music, dance, film, visual and theatre arts. Produced and hosted by IAW&A treasurer John Kearns, the 100th Salon featured more than a dozen artists whose work has been developed over the bimonthly series’ first four years. Special guests included George C. Heslin, Artistic Director of Origin Theatre Company’s annual 1st Irish Theatre Festival, who welcomed the IAW&A to this year’s festival line-up, and Deputy Consul General Anna McGillicuddy. The program included Sarah Fearon’s comedy routine that evolved into her play, Ted Talks NYC, winner of first prize at the Players Theatre Short Play Festival, and Mary Lou Quinlan, who had read her early work on The God Box at a Salon in 2011. Her book, a tribute to her late mother, became a New York Times bestseller, website, mobile app, and one-woman play performed in the More about IAW&A Salons at U.S., Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014. Maura Mulligan, whose first effort at sean nos stepdancing took place at a spring 2015 Salon, was also present. In the All-Ireland sean nós competition at Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo this summer, she won a third-place medal. Trad musician Patty Furlong accompausicians and spectators from nied Maura on buttonacross the globe descended on Sligo in August to accordion. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Jake James, Brianna Brown, take part in Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the annual Megan O’Donnell read and Finbar Kantor. week-long festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance. several poems. An awardNow in its 64th year, this competition for amateur musicians brought crowds of 400,000 winning fiction and nonpeople to the town, hosting the competition for the second year running. The event was fiction writer, she is a estimated to have brought in revenues of €40 million, with more than 8,000 competitors recent CCNY graduate taking part. At the core of the Fleadh were traditional musicians, dancers and singers of all who studied with IAW&A ages competing at All Ireland level, and this year, there were several successful American board member Brendan participants including Brianna Brown of St. Louis Irish Arts and Jake James from the Niall Costello. Among the ficO’Leary School of Irish Dance in New York. Each placed first in their respective age catetion writers who had pregory – Brown in the under-12 concertina category, and James in the 15-18 fiddle category. viewed their stories at There was also success for Finbar Kantor from Pearl River, New York, who placed third in his Salons was Mary Lannon, category – the over-18 fiddle slow airs. whose “Frank N. Stein” Director general of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann Labhras Ó Murchu commented on the was published in Story festival saying, “Fleadh 2015 will rank as one of the great Fleadhanna of all time. It was a magazine. Tom Mahon wonderful celebration of Irish culture involving people of all ages, from all parts of Ireland read “Unforgivable,” a and many parts of the World.” Next year’s festival will take place in Ennis, Co. Clare from selection from his novel. August 14 through 21. – S.P. Mary Pat Kelly, IAW&A

American Success at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2015



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hibernia | news Scientists Engineer “Blight-Free” Potato

Mathew Brady’s Irish Mystery


variety of potato engineered to be ren August, a sign in Johnsburg, New York sistant to the pathogen that caused the that claimed to mark the birthplace of acGreat Irish Potato Famine has been apclaimed Civil War photographer Mathew proved for deregulation by the USDA. The Brady went missing. But in addition to J.R. Simplot Company’s so-called Innate posparking a search for the sign itself, its tato is more resistant to bruising and black absence sent historians into a quest to find spots than most varieties. When cooked at the true birthplace of Brady, eventually dishigh temperatures, this potato also procovering he was probably born in Ireland. duces less acrylamide, a chemical compound While there is no doubt that Brady, often that some suggest might cause cancer in cited as the “father of American modern humans if ingested in high amounts. photography,” spent his childhood in JohnsThe Innate potato can also be stored burg, speculation about his birthplace has been brewing for years. No birth cerat lower temperatures, tificate or any kind of documentation has been found to link his birth to New York increasing its shelf life State. In fact, an 1855 New York Census lists Brady’s place of birth as Ireland, as and further reducing does an 1860 census and Brady’s own 1863 draft records. food waste. Perhaps “From the new documents, I have no doubt that Mathew Brady was born in its most impressive Ireland to Andrew and Julia Brady,” said Mary Panzer, author of Mathew Brady trait, however, is its and the Image of History. Brady himself maintained he was born in New York, ability to stave off which many biographers took as fact. But the truth is open to debate. Brady grew potato blight, not up in a 19th-century America that was hostile to immigrants, especially the Irish. only reducing the And towards the end of his life he was plagued by poverty, and perhaps he felt amount of fungicide needed to prothat admitting his Irish origins would further damage his dwindling image. tect the crops in the field, but also reducing Even though Brady’s birthplace may be unknown, the photos he is responsible the likelihood of total crop failures such as for remain the greatest images we have of the Civil War. And any American with those that decimated the Irish population in a five-dollar bill carries a Brady photograph, his image of Lincoln having been the mid-nineteenth century. used on the bill since 1914. “For historical reasons and current agricul“My greatest aim has been to advance the art of photography,” Brady once said. ture reasons, this is an important milestone,” “And to make it a great and truthful medium of history.” Though Johnsburg may said Haven Baker, vice president of plant scihave lost its paternal claim on Brady this summer, his art remains for us all. ences at Simplot. “The Irish potato famine – M.S. did change a lot of Western history. Even today – 160 years later – late blight is a $5 billion n estimated 600-900 neglected and forgotten have not been able to find where their family memproblem for the Famine-era graves were discovered in bers are buried,” she said. Eventually, she uncovglobal potato Massachusetts in September when Rhode ered a news report that the graves in the cemetery industry.” Islander Annie McMullen was attempting to trace had been reinterred in the city’s Calvary Cemetery Though there are her husband’s Irish ancestry in New England. following an agreement between Waltham and the opponents of McMullen’s journey to discovery began Archdiocese of Boston in 1947. But when she GMOs, the Innate several years ago when she became interwent there, all she encountered was a field potato is cisgenic, ested in learning more about her inwith a few headstones. meaning that it laws’ journey from Ireland to the U.S. “That seemed odd, this big grassy doesn’t contain any She soon learned that her husband’s area and only four headstones,” she genes from any great-great-grandfather and three told the Waltham News Tribune. So she other species than brothers came to the U.S. during the took to excavating on her own, and dispotatoes. Famine, and that shortly afterwards one covered, under a few inches of topsoil, “It’s potato genes of the brothers died in a freak accident and grave markers for immigrants from counin the potato,” says was buried in the Irish Catholic Cemetery in ties Cork, Kerry, Donegal, Galway, and more. Baker. “There are Waltham, Massachusetts. But when she went to the After her discovery, she reached out to the clear benefits for cemetery, it was gone, replaced by a school, a new Waltham Historical Society and the Irish Ancestry everybody, and it’s church, and residential housing. Research Association. The triumvirate is embarking just a potato.” “I began to wonder about all the individuals who on a headstone reclamation project, hoping to restore – R.B.W. have been searching their Irish family history and the cemetery to its former state. – A.F.


Forgotten Famine-era Graves Discovered in Massachusetts



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hibernia | news Rare Titanic Artifacts Up for Auction


he Belfast-built H.M.S. Titanic was thought to be unsinkable after it set sail from Cobh, Co. Cork, on its fated maiden voyage. Of the roughly 2,220 people aboard the Titanic, around 164 were Irish, only 54 of whom were found amongst the ship’s 700-some survivors. Its wreckage lay undiscovered until September 2, 1985, and now on the 30th anniversary of the discovery several Titanic artifacts will go on auction, and are likely to sell for hefty sums. The items come from Abraham Lincoln Salmon, who was one of the 12 survivors on the infamous Lifeboat No. 1, nicknamed the “money boat” due to unsubstantiated allegations that these survivors bribed the crewmen to paddle away from danger while others struggled to survive. The most coveted item to be auctioned is the menu for the last lunch served on the Titanic, of which only a few are thought to remain in existence. The crumpled artifact is estimated to fetch $50,000 or more. Salmon also saved his ticket from a special chair found in the ship’s Turkish Baths used to determine a passenger’s weight. This item is just one of four in existence, and is likely to go for around $10,000. Inscribed on this ticket are several names of the other survivors from Lifeboat No. 1. The final item is a letter penned six months after the disaster. It was sent to Salmon from Laura Mabel Francatelli, who was also in Lifeboat No. 1. It should sell for about $6,000. If the “money boat” moniker was undeserved in its day, the auction of its artifacts surely validates it now. – R.B.W.

Irish Sweep World Handball Championship


wo Irish GAA handball players retain the rights to call themselves the king and queen of handball following the 2015 World Handball Championships in Calgary this past August. Paul Brady, from Cavan, won the men’s event for a record fifth straight year, while Belfast’s Aisling Reilly retained her title from last year’s win in a tie-breaking round (and despite having been hit in the eye with a ball in the previous round). Sinéad Meagher from Tipperary and her partner Clodagh Nash from Clare won the doubles championship. Reilly was inundated with congratulations, including one from Gerry Adams, who sent her a video of himself wearing a t-shirt with her name on it and a message of support. “I had a lot to lose,” Reilly told the Calgary Herald. “I kept thinking of how much I didn’t want to lose my world title. Now I get to keep it for another three years.” Handball is one of the four GAA games, in addition to Gaelic football, hurling, and rounders, and one of the first accounts of handball in its modern form was recorded in Galway in 1527, when a city ordinance forbade its play against city-owned walls. By the 18th century, Irish immigrants were bringing the game to America, where it remains virtually unchanged. – A.F. 30 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

John Kelly’s Irish Landscapes


orld-renowned Irish-Australian-British artist John Kelly makes his U.S. debut in New York City through mid-October, bringing his stark land and seascape paintings and several small sculptures to a whole new audience. Born in 1965 to an Irish father and English mother in the U.K., his family immigrated to Australia when he was six months old and he grew up there. He moved to County Cork in the early 2000s. Though Kelly maintains passports for all three countries, and all three have contributed greatly to his artistic and cultural identity, the New York show, titled simply “John Kelly: Irish Landscapes,” focuses on his more recent work, inspired both by the vistas he sees daily at his picturesque home on the Reen Peninsula, and what he views as the “peculiar lack of visual repre-

sentations” of the Famine in British and Irish fine art. Speaking on his “Sticks” series, paintings of Irish artist Susan O’Toole’s installation of numerous massive bare tree trunks on the peninsula, Kelly says, “As the years have passed some have yielded and now lie in the long grass. [She] created this work as a blessing to the land where an Gorta Mór impacted with such devastating results. The remaining ten attracted my eye for not only what they represented but also their austere beauty.” The paintings on display were painted “in the elements,” he says, sketching and painting on a field easel propped up on a tombstone to achieve the best views he could. Kelly first gained notoriety in the 1990s for his paintings and bronze sculptures of cows, inspired by an Australian artist’s papier-mâché bovines installed on Australian airfields during WWII to deceive Japanese pilots. Since, he has exhibited at such renowned places as the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Agnews Gallery in London, the National Gallery of Australia, and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. “John Kelly: Irish Landscapes,” O’Sullivan Antiques, September 16 to October 15. – A.F.

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hibernia | passages


Jerry Berrigan 1919 – 2015

erry Berrigan, the legendary Catholic educator and political activist, passed away this past July at 95. Alongside his brothers Philip and Daniel, both priests, he helped implement national strikes against American involvement in Vietnam and in 1973 was arrested for holding a prayer protest against the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. Further arrests followed as he protested nuclear proliferation, the Iraq war, and, most recently, drone attacks at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in 2011. Berrigan’s commitment to his faith and political activism was inspired by his Catholicism and Syracuse upbringing. Jerome Berrigan was born December 20, 1919 in Ely, Minnesota. His family later relocated to Syracuse, New York, where his father worked as a community organizer and his mother taught him the power of faith, sending him to Catholic high school. Berrigan fought in WWII and served mass for Padre Pio in Sicily, who would later be canonized as a saint for bearing the stigmata. Jerry tried studying for the priesthood, but realized his vocation was teaching and social activism. In the 1950s, he was one of the early followers of the Catholic Worker tradition in Syracuse, founded by Dorothy Day with whom he remained friends. In the 1960s, he marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma. In an interview for right before his death, Berrigan said his faith means “always remaining open,” a mantra he stuck to throughout his long life. In addition to his brother Daniel, Berrigan is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carol, his three children, and five grandchildren. – M.S.

Berrigan, left, and his brother Daniel, right, with Sr. Elizabeth McAlister in 1972



Michael McCourt 1936 – 2015

ichael McCourt, a legend in the San Francisco bar scene for nearly 50 years and younger brother to the late Frank McCourt, died this September following a stroke and a battle with cancer, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Joan, their three daughters and one son, and his brothers Malachy and Alphie. He was 79, but hadn’t accepted retirement yet. Despite ailing health and a recent fall, McCourt still came in to his regular twiceweekly lunch shifts at Original Joe’s, the North Beach tavern where he had worked since 2012, getting paid to simply sit and sip a Guinness – he was that important to the atmosphere of the bar. “He could keep a bar going because people liked to listen to him talk. He could charm anybody,” Mike Fraser, who had worked with McCourt for more than 40 years around San Francisco, including 32 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Original Joe’s, told The San Francisco Gate. “He remembered people’s names. He remembered people’s drinks. He’d have them ready before they order it,” said Perry Butler, who brought McCourt to San Francisco in 1969 to work at his newly-opened Perry’s bar. “He is the last of that breed; a oncein-a-generation guy.” Born February 24, 1936 in Limerick, McCourt was one of seven impoverished children, as documented by his brother Frank’s memoir Angela’s Ashes, though only one of four who survived past the age of three. At 18, he came to the U.S. and served a four-year tour in the Air Force before coming to New York and joining his older brother Malachy working bars. But Michael soon moved west, eventually rubbing shoulders with and counting among his friends the likes of John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and Neville Brand. In a statement on Facebook, Malachy McCourt wrote, “I have no reason to doubt that he is dead, but I can’t absorb it. Mike was one of the funniest, wittiest of men, a hugely popular figure in San Francisco in the bar business. He could tell you to go to hell in such a charming way that you would enjoy the journey.” – A.F. PHOTO: SF GATE

From left, Malachy, Alphie, Frank, and Michael McCourt in 2004.


Garrett O’Connor 1937 – 2015

enowned physician and psychiatrist Dr. Garrett O’Connor, the founding president of the Betty Ford Institute for Prevention, Research and Education in Addictive Disease who was lauded for his life-long work on addiction treatment, died early September at his home in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow. Dr. O’Connor was born April 15, 1937 in Dublin and graduated as a physician from the Royal College of Surgeons and later Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. His career was marked by a devotion to expanding psychiatric services, developing novel treatment methods for addiction, as well as studying the role of cultural malignant shame in the development of addiction among the Irish. He was also highly dedicated to the communities he served, no matter where he lived. During the 1967 Baltimore riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. O’Connor was instrumental in opening channels between East Baltimore community leaders, the National Guard command, the Baltimore police department, and the then-besieged Johns Hopkins Hospital, earning him a commendation from the Mayor of Baltimore. In 1972, Dr. O’Connor met and married the actress Fionnula Flanagan and the two moved to Los Angeles, where he served as Associate Professor of Psychiatry-in-Residence at UCLA for more than 30 years before joining Betty Ford. Dr. O’Connor had been in recovery from alcoholism since March 6, 1977, and was widely known for using his own life story as a tool for teaching about recovery to patients, medical students, and other audiences, including his fellow physicians, and was recently included among the 2015 Irish America Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 honorees. In addition to his wife, Dr. O’Connor is survived by his two sons, Matthew and Turlough, his daughter Mary Lee-Woolf, two daughters-in-law, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. – A.F.

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caint | commentary

“No Irish Need Apply” a Myth?


his summer, an eighth-grade student and a retired history professor re-ignited the debate about the prominence of “No Irish Need Apply” signs in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Irish history, like Irish politics, is an often murky and tricky path for anyone to travel along. James Joyce may have been onto something when he said that history was a nightmare from which he could never wake. It can be argued that all of history is fraught with tricky entanglements and bitter feuding. This was the case when retired historian and Professor of History Richard Jensen published an article

in the Journal of Social History in 2002 entitled “No Irish Need Apply: A Myth of Victimization.” It is clear from the title that Professor Jensen was not going for subtlety, opting instead for controversy courted with revisionism. Irish history is no stranger to revisionism as was shown by the overwhelming silence and later academic revisionism of the Great Irish Famine that occurred throughout the 1980s and 1990s, spearheaded by lauded academics like Roy Foster and Mary Daly. The same debates that plagued Famine research have invaded the very heart of the Irish American narrative of immigration and assimilation. Professor Jensen, who has devoted ample research and published widely on American history, took on his notions of perceived “victimization” of the Irish throughout history, using as his centerpiece the sign 34 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

“No Irish Need Apply.” As Jensen sees it, “the Irish American community harbors a deeply held belief that it was the victim of systematic job discrimination in America, and that discrimination was done publicly in highly humiliating fashion.” Jensen contends that this idea of victimhood is a myth and found “there were no contemporary or retrospective accounts of a specific sign at a specific location” and that “zero such signs were seen at commercial establishments, shops, factories, stores, hotels, etc. anywhere in America, at any time.” Jensen’s ideas were thought-provoking and intended to dispel perceived “myths” that plague history.

he issue did not stop there however, as a budding 8th-grade historian, Rebecca A. Fried of Washington, D.C., found evidence to contradict Jensen’s argument. In articles that were published widely across the Internet, Fried was declared the victor in this academic exercise. Fried was able to find numerous articles dating back to the 1840s that advertised and implemented NINA signs. She concluded, “The documentary record better supports the earlier view that Irish Americans have a communal recollection of NINA advertising because NINA advertising did, in fact, exist over a substantial period of United States history.” Our sister publication IrishCentral ran numerous pieces on finding over 1,400 examples of NINA signs and ads, and Niall O’Dowd wrote a blistering piece in The Irish Voice condemning Jensen and applauding Fried, arguing that Jensen’s article constituted “a dangerous precedent, rewriting the history of a people who by any standard faced very hard times.” Jensen later responded to Fried’s argument by upholding the importance of historical context and accusing her of cherry-picking examples. His contention is with their pervasiveness, which he says is still open to interpretation. The fact is, calling NINA signs a myth is inaccurate. And it is a testament to the passionate interest within the Irish American community that Jensen's claim is still generating headlines over a decade later. History is not the objective oasis mythologized by Gibbon, Carlyle, and Macaulay, but a highly subjective arena filled with emotion and personal prejudice. And Jensen’s paper and Fried’s response raise perplexing questions of how we view ourselves and our history. Instead of declaring a victor in this debate, perhaps we should applaud the unique research uncovered on both sides, and use it to further propel historical research forward. – Matthew Skwiat


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natural function of women to have charge of households.” This was the type of mindset that Oonagh was up against. Those who oversaw her application soon found, however, that she held all the necessary prerequisites to allow for her admission to the exchange. Her father, Joseph Keogh, was a long-established member of the stock exchange and thus Oonagh had been immersed in the industry from an early age, giving her something of a head start. That she had had access to private fee-paying education was also certainly to her advantage. From the ages of 11 to 13, she was educated at St. Mary’s Priory, Warwickshire, an exclusive English Roman Catholic convent boarding school for girls. From 1917 to 1918 she attended Alexandra College. She also studied for one term at the Metropolitan School of Art, now the National College of Art and Design. It was whilst studying in London that Oonagh tendered her application to join the Dublin Stock Exchange. After three weeks of deliberation by members of the Exchange she was admitted at the age of 22. Such a notable achievement at a young age may be comparable to her father’s, who became the youngest ever bank manager in Ireland in the late 1880s, when he took over the running of Hibernian’s bank branch in Swinford, Co. Mayo before he turned 25. When Oonagh first began working at the Exchange, she joined Joseph Keogh and Co. Stockbroking, working for her father behind his desk and somewhat behind the scenes. However, when he fell ill it became clear that Oonagh was extremely capable at managing on her own, to the extent that clients of her fathers did not realize that his daughter had taken charge in his absence. Business had gone on “as well as ever” according to the aforementioned interview in the London Times. Male colleagues, who had previously declared their intentions of ignoring her on the floor, quickly realized her talents, offering her help when it was needed, in such instances for example when her voice would not carry across the trading floor. Keogh resigned from the Dublin Stock Exchange in 1939. She had become increasingly frustrated with the patriarchal nature of her working environment where she was never joined by another woman during her tenure and also wished to concentrate on raising her children. She married Russian artist Bayan Giltsoff in 1933, with whom she had four children, Tatiana, Rurik, Nicholi, and Bayan Jr. The couple began their married life in Taunton, Somerset, England, moved back to Ireland in 1947, and to Canada for a short while before returning to England in 1953. They subsequently separated in the late 1950s, sparking a move to Spain for Oonagh where she lived until her final return to Ireland in 1980. Keogh died on July 18, 1989 at the age of 86. Although her name may not be widely recognized today, she undoubtedly created a space for the inclusion of women in the public sphere, in a particularly male-dominated Irish society at the time. In a tribute to his mother as part of detailed research undertaken and published by the ISE, her son, Bayan Jr. describes her: “She always saw the positive in life and was always ready with her good humor and practical attitude towards life in general and to fight against all odds.”

Oonagh Keogh leaving the Dublin Four Courts with her solicitor.

What Oonagh Did


n paper, the 1916 Proclamation and the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State appeared to signal a new beginning in regards to equal opportunities for Irish men and women. However, the socio-political landscape of 1920s Ireland remained one of restriction for women. Religated to roles as housewives and mothers excluded from employment within the public sphere, any gains made by women in the changing political environment of the time were ultimately constricted by the colluding forces of the new Free State government and the Roman Catholic Church. And yet it was an anti-discriminatory provision of the Irish Free State Constitution that allowed one woman, Oonagh Keogh, to become the first female member of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) and the first woman worldwide to join a stock exchange. Article 3 of the 1922 Free State Constitution guaranteed equality and opportunity to all Irish citizens over the age of 21, so Oonagh’s application could not be revoked on the basis of gender alone. Born Oonagh Mary Irene Keogh in 1903, in the family home on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin, her successful application was all the more remarkable when one takes into consideration that the first inclusion of a woman to the New York Stock Exchange occurred in 1967 and in London in 1973. In an interview with the London Times in 1956 detailing her admittance to the Dublin Stock Exchange, Oonagh Keogh herself notes how her application created “consternation and sensation.” Kevin O’Higgins, Minister for Justice at the time, is quoted in the Dail debates of February 23, 1927 as saying, “It is the normal and natural function of women to have children. It is the normal and


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| quote unquote “There is a blindness here ... that leaves so many good, decent, gentlemanly men like Francis still carrying a residual element of misogyny that closes them off to the dangers of not dealing with these issues.”

Mary McAleese speaking about the frustrated relationship between the Catholic church and Pope Francis and women in the RTÉ documentary “Pope Francis: A Sinner.” PBS, September 14.

“It’s useful to play the part of a fool. Maybe that’s what the Kerryman is about.”

Morrison in Belfast, August 30.

“I’d be lying if I told you when I stepped onto Cyprus Avenue I didn’t get goose bumps. I always wanted to see Van in Belfast, but to see him on his birthday on this street is something special.”

Rick Haught, of Eugene, Oregon, after seeing Van Morrison perform two consecutive concerts on Cypress Avenue in Belfast, made famous in Morrison’s 1968 album Astral Weeks, in celebration of Morrison’s 70th birthday. Belfast Telegraph. August 31.

“As I started walking down the streets of Limerick, people smiled and said, ‘Hello.’ I almost forgot the heaviness of being a black Muslim in North America; I felt redefined. I saw a little girl on a bike with two of her friends and, after snapping a quick photo, I asked them where their family was. They laughed and pointed at a house. Moments later, I found myself talking to their full family—the mother of the children told me no one had ever taken a photo of them with a real camera. I sat down with them for hours.”

Yasin Osman, who is from inner-city Toronto, writing on Limerick hospitality and poverty after a recent business trip to Ireland’s 2014 City of Culture. Vice, August 20.

Michael Fassbender, who grew up in County Kerry with his Northern Irish mother and German father, on why his home county may be an Irish punch line. New York Times Magazine, September 11.

“I love how many times you’ve said, ‘My mom had an expression,’ because my mom had so many expressions – ‘What’s the use of being Irish if you don’t know that life is going to break your heart?’ That’s the best one.” Stephen Colbert speaking with Vice President Joe Biden about the recent loss of Biden’s son Beau and the role an Irish Catholic faith plays in the grieving process. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, September 10.

“People need to know there’s hopefulness before they’re going to even admit there’s a problem. If you give them a problem with no solution, they pretend it isn’t happening or they stand still, because they’re too afraid of it. What we see now is, we actually have solutions—and we’re actually being hit with the problem now.”

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy speaking with Charlie Rose following President Obama’s announcement of the Clean Power Plan in August. The plan, implemented by executive order, seeks to reduce the U.S.’s carbon emissions by more than 30 percent by 2030. Bloomberg, August 6.


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Shaun T. Kelly, Chief

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Operating Officer, Americas

Shaun Kelly believes that the key to personal and professional success is having a global mindset, being inclusive and open to change, and above all, seeing the broader picture and relative importance of things. haun Kelly won’t stop smiling. Photographer Kit DeFever asks him to put on a serious face for our cover shot but Kelly, a COO of KPMG, just can’t hold it and soon the corners of his mouth are curling up again and his eyes are sparkling behind his glasses – ever the Catholic school boy failing to repress some devilish, clever thought. Even in the most lighthearted moment, you can see the intellect at work. Anyone who knows Kelly can tell you how the kid from West Belfast grew up to be Chief Operating Officer of the Americas for one of the Big 4 accounting firms. “Rarely have I met a man of such great intelligence and accomplishment who is still able to maintain his wonderful sense of humor,” said Tom Moran, Chairman of Mutual of America, who has served on several boards with Kelly. “His wonderful smile instantly tells you that this is someone you want as a friend!” From the minute you enter his office in the towering skyscraper on Park Avenue, the COO projects the natural warmth and generous spirit that puts those around him at immediate ease. Add to that a quiet confidence and lyrical laugh, and you under-

Interview by Patricia Harty

stand why he’s not just respected, but a beloved figure in the firm. “Life is too short to be taken seriously,” Kelly says, his boyhood accent undiminished by 30-plus years of travel around the globe, the most recent being a business trip to Colombia where his Spanish was only más o menos. “Every time I start a presentation I have to apologize that I don’t speak Spanish and that my English isn’t very good either," he laughs. “But I’m determined to learn!” The good news? “Everyone smiles in the same language.” Born in 1959, Shaun was a teenager in the 70s, a heightened time of segregation, bombings and street warfare in Belfast. Guts and a sense of humor were essential survival tools. “We were just kids trying to have fun,” he says, “but looking back it was when the Shankill Butchers [a brutal gang] roamed the streets. Our parents must have been so worried when we went out at night.” The Troubles affected everyone. Some more than others. Shaun’s Uncle John, his father’s brother, was shot and killed by the British Army. “They said it was a mistake; they thought he was holding a gun.” A mistake that should never have happened. But OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 39

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Shaun holds no rancor. In fact, his experiences growing up during the Troubles have turned him into a champion of diversity with a vision for the future of Northern Ireland as a place where everyone feels comfortable regardless of background. The 70s was also a time of joblessness. “Eighty to ninety percent of Catholic males in certain parts of Northern Ireland were unemployed,” said Shaun, whose father worked for a big construction company. On the weekends, he would do “homers,” installing windows and doors. As the only son (Shaun had two sisters, one of whom has passed away), Shaun would accompany his father on these part time jobs. “He was very skilled with his hands and I was a total klutz. I couldn’t do anything! I think that was part of why he brought me with him. It was his way of saying, ‘Look, this is not what you are going to be doing. You are going to get a degree and get your qualifications. You are going to do that.’ He always wanted me to be an architect because he left school when he was 16. I am sure if he had the opportunities, he would have been an engineer or an architect. But coming from the Falls Road and a family of nine, he just didn’t have the opportunity.” Shaun’s mother was English. “They met when my father was working in England. That’s why I am S-h-a-u-n. So that was the compromise.” Architecture didn’t tempt Shaun, who couldn’t draw, but he was interested in business. “I always loved math, history and economics. I really got into accounting – the numbers appealed to me.” He went south to University College Dublin (UCD), rather than Belfast’s Queen’s University, because he wanted to play Gaelic football. Sports, in particular football, offered an escape from everything that was going on during the Troubles. “It gave you a sense of camaraderie and something to look forward to,” says Shaun. He was a good enough athlete to play for the County Antrim minor team – a big deal even by today’s standards. And he is “a great believer in sports and the importance of teamwork.” Shaun joined KPMG International’s Irish member firm in Dublin soon after graduating with a first class honors degree in commerce, and in 1983, he sat for the accountancy exam, coming first in Ireland. Within a year, he had gotten married and transferred to the KPMG San Francisco office. He has spent most of his career at KPMG. Taking a break in the early 1990s, he returned to Belfast and was part of the team that established a new audit, tax and consulting firm in the city. But by the end of the decade he was back with the firm. Now, as COO of the Americas, he spends about 60 percent of his time traveling to meet with company leaders in Latin and South America. A student of history, the travel allows Kelly to explore other cultures, and with 162,000 partners and professionals in 152 countries, the firm is a perfect fit for someone with a global approach to life and appreciation for how others live their lives. He’s 40 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

quick to point out that the firm is more than just about finance. “We are not just a bunch of accountants,” he says of KPMG’s involvement in major world events. “Our firm verified the first multi-racial elections in South Africa in 1994 that brought an end to apartheid. And during the Iranian hostage crisis in Tehran in 1979, Peat Marwick (precursor to KPMG) was called in to sort through an intricate web of conflicting claims and counter-claims, before the 54 U.S. hostages could be released. In New York, we were on-site at Ground Zero on the morning after 9/11 to help oversee the clean-up and monitor the costs. Working around the clock, our team quickly built a cost data capturing system to track expenses. And beyond that, the capital markets wouldn’t function without the auditor, and audited financial statements. And the stock market and the financial markets in general would not function the way they do.” For all the financial transactions that KPMG enacts, Shaun emphasizes that it is also a big-hearted firm with tremendous public outreach across a range of programs. Through KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL) program, which works to eradicate childhood illiteracy, over 2.5 million books have been given to children from low income communities since its inception in 2008. He himself is co-chair of KPMG’s Disabilities Network, and a member of KPMG’s Diversity Advisory Board. He is also the treasurer of Enactus, a community of student, academic and business leaders, that has the backing of KPMG in transforming lives and shaping a more sustainable world. The Irish-American community also benefits from Shaun’s largesse. Wall Street 50 honoree Tara McCabe who is a board director of the American Ireland Fund, and is involved in the Irish Arts Center – two of the several organizations that Shaun is involved with – says, “I am so impressed by Shaun – not just for his success but even more so for his character, generosity and compassion and support of meaningful causes.” For his part, Shaun says that the arts were an essential part of his early life in Belfast. “I see beyond

TOP: Pictured at the annual Irish Arts Center Spirit of Ireland Gala, Mary Kelly, Liam Neeson and Shaun Kelly. RIGHT: Queen’s University honored Shaun with an honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) for services to business and commerce.

“Shaun is a key board member of The American Ireland Fund and a great supporter of good causes. He does the work with generosity, commitment and good humor.”

– John Fitzpatrick, president of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, North America, and chairman of The American Ireland Fund.

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the arts, to how important they are in the social community context,” he says. “Growing up, I remember going to see Planxty, Christy Moore, the Undertones and other acts at the Ulster Hall and they were a welcome distraction from what was going on. And that is why I am such an avid supporter of the Irish Arts Center in New York and their capital campaign to build a new center.” In all that he does, Belfast is never far from Shaun’s thoughts. He expresses gratitude for Bill and Hillary Clinton’s part in the peace process and their ongoing commitment to Northern Ireland. And he greatly admires former SDLP leader John Hume for his part in the undertaking. His own deep knowledge and commitment to his hometown is one of the reasons Declan Kelly, who served as Hillary Clinton’s economic envoy to Northern Ireland from 2009-11, sought his help. “For many reasons, Shaun was one of the first guys I went to when I was putting the advisory group together,” said Kelly. “He understands the dynamic of Northern Ireland exceptionally well given his background, and his professional expertise was incredibly helpful because the focus of my work was bringing inward investment into the region.” Kelly went on to compliment Shaun as “someone who does the work and doesn’t ask for any of the recognition. He is interested in the outcome of the process and not just the process itself. In other words, he knows how to get the job done.” For all his charm and talent for closing a deal, there is one notable holdout who turned Kelly down three times before finally agreeing to his offer. His wife Mary only accepted his proposal on the fourth try – when he had qualified as a Chartered Accountant and “I could afford her.” It’s clear that she's the love of his life. And he’s obviously the love of hers. How else could you explain the willingness to uproot and move seven times around the globe as Kelly followed his career path with KPMG? He beams too when he talks about his children. His two eldest, Rachel and Natalie, now in their 20s, were born in San Francisco. Rachel is pursuing her Ph.D. in micro and molecular biology, and Natalie works in private equity. His two youngest, Lauren and Timothy, were born in Belfast. Timothy, who is now at George Washington University, is interested in politics. He interned for the British Embassy this past summer, and is involved with the American Ireland Fund Young Leaders in Washington, D.C. Lauren, now 24, has Down syndrome. “It gives you another perspective, and it made us closer as a family,” says Kelly, who talks about his daughter’s fierce determination. When she was young she was an avid swimmer and has always loved music. She’s one of the reasons why he’s a co-chair of KPMG’s Disabilities Network, and a supporter of Special Olympics. At the World Games in New Jersey in 2014, KPMG sponsored the Golf Tournament with hundreds of its employees volunteering to drive golf carts and help in other ways. It’s no surprise that “inclusion” is a favorite word of Kelly’s – it comes up when he speaks of family, of work, and his world view. The very definition of inclusion may well be the key to his personal and professional success. After all, he’d be the first to tell you he didn’t do it alone. Who were your early influences at KPMG? I have worked with great leaders in KPMG, including Eugene O’Kelly, Tim Flynn and John Veihmeyer, all of whom set some really great values for the firm. Gene was the first partner I worked for when I arrived in San Francisco in 1984. I learned a lot from him about the importance of building relationships and recognizing what your own person-

al unique selling point is. He helped me understand that my Irish background was a way to help distinguish myself and build relationships. He was also a great believer in investing in people. In the late 1980s when Mary and I were thinking about returning to Ireland to raise our two daughters, I was flying to Belfast from San Francisco to speak to a few people about what opportunities there might be. I had told only a few close friends that I was thinking of going home. Gene got wind of it and as I was sitting at the gate in SFO my name was paged that there was an urgent call for me. I thought it was Mary looking for me but it was Gene. He said he understood that I was considering going back home and if that was my decision he would respect it but he urged me to at least speak to him before making a final decision. He said I really needed to fully understand all of my options in the U.S. before deciding. In the end Mary and I did decide to go back, but Gene taking time to reach out was the mark of a great leader. Just before

he passed away in 2005, he sent me a personal note thanking me for all that I had done when I had worked for him and to wish me well in the future. He sent similar notes to many others. One of the things I learned from Tim Flynn was the importance of recognizing the leadership potential of your team and to have the courage to give them the opportunity to lead even when it seemed like a strange move or a stretch for them. In 2005 I was leading our Transaction Services (M&A) practice. When Tim became KPMG Chairman and CEO, succeeding Gene, he reached out to me to ask me to become the leader of our U.S. Tax practice. I had never worked in our tax practice and it was a much bigger business than the one I had been running. When I raised this with him, he outlined his rationale. He told me that I would be working with a strong tax leadership team that had great tax skills and that what I was bringing to the table was strong communication and relationship building skills and the ability to grow businesses. I was very nervous at the start, but in the end it worked and I look back with pride on what we achieved in the tax practice for the five years I had the privilege of leading it. What I have learned from John Veihmeyer, who just finished his term as U.S. Chairman and CEO and is now Global Chairman, and who despite his name is an Irish American and a Notre Dame alum, is that the key to an organization’s success is culture. In a purpose-driven culture where the people feel inspired by their work and the opportunities ahead of them, and valued for their OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 41

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contributions to their team, the organization and the community at large. Last year, we invited our people to share their own stories of higher purpose in the work that they do and we received more than 40,000 stories. John always says that KPMG’s success comes from our people putting our values and purpose into action, and these stories were a true testament to his belief.” What are some of your own personal leadership maxims? In our business of public accounting, I think trust and integrity and being honest and telling the truth at all times, are paramount. It sounds very simple, but to always say please and thank you is important. That’s something we Irish learned at an early age from our parents and grandparents, and another was to treat people with respect and dignity. Seeing a lot of things I saw in the 70s, you certainly understood that everybody is important no matter their background and you should treat them all equally and with respect and dignity. And in business, if in difficult times you sometimes have to let people go you have to remember they are important and they have a family and people who depend on them, so treat them with respect, and help them move on. The other thing that is important is to take responsibility, particularly in leadership. It is good to celebrate success and take the credit for success on behalf of the team, but also take responsibility when things don’t go right, by saying, “I was in charge, that was on my watch, that was my responsibility.” So hold yourself accountable and do the same for others. I’ve seen young leaders make the mistake of not holding others accountable. If someone is working for you and they aren‘t delivering, you have to call them out. Don’t try to brush it under the carpet or not take it head on because you don’t want to have a difficult conversation. Having those honest and difficult conversations in the right way, in the right manner, is the way to go. What comes first, strategy or team? I remember at UCD Business School the message was, “Set your strategy and then hire people who fit your strategy.” I’ve learned that yes, you need to have a strategy, but things change so much. Look at what I have seen in the past 15 years – the dot com bubble burst, 9/11, the financial crisis. These events happen more regularly now, but if you‘ve got the right people, smart people, they’ll figure out the right strategy. They will know when to change and how to change the course. In other words, hire the right people and the strategy will follow. Also, I am a big believer in building strong trusting relationships both in business, internal to your own organization, and personal. No matter what we say about technology advances, having the right relationships is really important. I still keep in touch with the people I went to UCD with. Now they are CEOs and in other important positions, and that network and those relationships are important to me. And on the personal side, I remember moving to San Francisco in 1984, having just married Mary. We knew very few people. We were learning the new environment but during that time we built strong relationships, friends that we have today over thirty years later. So, I would tell the young millennials to remember to build strong and trusting relationships; internal and external. 42 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

What are some other qualities of a good leader? Don’t panic when things are getting tough. You have to have a sense of urgency, but don’t panic. Your team is relying on you to say, “Let’s take stock of the situation. What do we need to get done? Here are the ten things we need to address.” And you know, people do amazing things in tough situations. I saw it – especially after 9/11. The last thing the team needs [in a tough situation] is a leader running around with their hair on fire. And then finally – as Oscar Wilde said, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Have fun. I think you have got to have fun with what you do. Particularly with millennials we are seeing that work is more than just getting a paycheck. It’s, “Am I enjoying what I am doing and am I working with people I enjoy? Do I feel I have value? Do I have a sense of purpose?” You left KPMG and moved back to Belfast for a time. How did that work out? I moved back to Belfast in the 1990s, when I joined a small firm with other KPMG guys. We actually built it up into one of the largest firms in Northern Ireland. My sister works with Belfast City Council. And when I was there, I did a lot of work with the city on economic development. I worked in corporate recovery and one of the jobs we had was that we were the receivers to the Europa Hotel in Belfast. It was bombed twice when we were the receivers. The first time it was bombed, the head of security called me late one night and said, “Mr. Kelly, I have good news and I have bad

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news.” And I said, “Well, give me the good news first.” He said, “We won’t need the window cleaners for a while.” The Europa was the most bombed hotel in the world. The government did provide some funds to help with the rebuilding, but as the hotel was in receivership, we did not know if we could access enough funding to keep it up and running. I remember that we had a meeting with the staff. There was this one guy from West Belfast. He said, “Mr. Kelly, I know you are all very smart men, but I’m telling you that this hotel was never closed and it’s not going to close now.” We did keep it open and were able to find a buyer, and the hotel is a very successful business today. I remember having some similar discussions with people after 9/11. You can’t let [a disaster] stop you getting on with your life. Instead you say, “You bomb it – we will build it again. You keep bombing, we‘ll build it back up again.” And that resilience is what got us through the Troubles and it’s still there today. The other thing I learned in the 1990s was that if people have an opportunity to make a living, to have education, to have homes, they tend not to be shooting at each other. So we worked closely with government and the private sector to attract investment. We worked on the Laganside Project to develop and regenerate the center of Belfast and build the Waterfront Hall and the Belfast Hilton. We worked on financing for that and helped get it established with the support of the International Fund for Ireland. And that is why the work of International Fund, and the American Ireland Fund (AIF) is so important. When did you join the AIF? I joined when I came to New York. I saw what the AIF were doing and I said, “Look, I have the ability now to help, because I did a lot of work with the government on investment coming into Belfast.” I actually helped the AIF, which was really pleasing, to bring Enactus to Ireland to set it up. KPMG has been a big supporter of Enactus [the non-profit that works with students and business leaders to transform lives through entrepreneurship], for many years and I am the secretary treasurer. UCD won the Irish competition last year, which was great. And there is an Enactus team at Queen’s [university] in Belfast. Also, KPMG has been a strong participant in the U.S.– Northern Ireland Mentorship Program that Declan Kelly started with the American Ireland Fund. We are in the process of hiring our fifth mentee in the U.S. And one of our mentees just joined KPMG in Dublin. The other thing we have done with Queen’s, through the City Scholars Program, is take students at the end of their first year and give them three weeks experience with our firm. Part of the reason why I am very supportive of that is because I think Queen’s has a big role to play [in the future of Northern Ireland]. Back in the 70s, Queen’s was non-sectarian and encouraged enrollment from Catholics and Protestants. And I

think what they are doing today, and what [University President] Paddy Johnson is doing with the cancer research and his vision for Queen’s is very important for Northern Ireland. We are great supporters of the university, and the caliber of the students who come over is just outstanding. You recently were in Belfast to receive an honorary degree from Queen’s. How was it to be honored on your home turf? It was amazing. I spoke at the graduation of three distinct groups: The School of Education, The School of Modern Languages, and St. Mary’s University College in the Falls Road, and a lot of those students actually graduated in Irish [language]. Many of their parents there were contemporaries of mine, and it was great seeing them all again. The experience also reinforced where Northern Ireland is at now. It still has a way to go but we are moving forward. We are starting to see the vision of what the new Northern Ireland is going to be like, and that vision is of a more open society. My younger nieces and nephews get a little bit tired when we start

saying, “Oh, remember how it was like in the 70s? It was terrible!” But I think to move forward, you have to remember the past because you don’t want to make the same mistakes. Seamus Heaney is someone you admire – are you moved by his poetry or is it his life story and NI connection? It is his poetry but probably also because of his life story and NI connection. How he reflected NI life both rural and urban and the impact of the Troubles. Having a Nobel Prize winner from NI is a great inspiration to us all that we should have the confidence that we can achieve great things even being from such a small place. I had the honor of meeting him several times and what impressed me was how humble and open he was. We had great conversations on many topics including Gaelic football and the financial markets. I was also impressed

“Shaun is someone who does the work and doesn't ask for any of the recognition.”

– Declan Kelly, Hillary Clinton’s economic envoy to Northern Ireland 2009-11.

ABOVE: Shaun and his wife, Mary, surrounded by their children, left to right, Timothy, Lauren, Natalie and Rachel. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: Shaun with Tom Moran, chairman of Mutual of America and Chancellor of Queen’s University, under the portrait of peacemaker George Mitchell. OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM: Shaun with NI golfer Rory McIlroy, current number one player in the official World Golf Ranking.


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that he was not only highly admired by critics and academics but also by the broader public. My wife is big fan of his too!

“One of the things I learned from Tim Flynn was the importance of recognizing the leadership potential of your team and to have the courage to give them the opportunity to lead.”

In addition to its other good works, KPMG is also shining a spotlight on women. Yes. This year KPMG developed a one-of-kind multifaceted program called the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. As the first partnership between the LPGA Tour, PGA of America, and KPMG, we wanted to further demonstrate KPMG’s commitment to the development, advancement, and empowerment of women. The Championship is not only a world-class women’s golf tournament, but a women’s leadership summit held on site during the week of the tournament and an ongoing community initiative focused on developing the next generation of female leaders. The Summit provides content, tools and networking to encourage women’s advancement to an advisory council comprised of exemplary leaders from across business, sports, and the media help guide it. Our goal is to help more women move into the C-suite. What do you love about golf? Many things! I was introduced to it by my fatherin-law who was a longtime member of North West Golf Club outside Buncrana in Donegal. I find it such a great stress reliever – most of the time! I like the challenge, it is not a game of perfect shots, it’s a great test of your character and patience. It is also a great way to build relationships and friendships. I have a group of friends and we have been going to play in the British Isles for a week every year for almost 20 years. I particularly love playing the great links courses of Ireland. My favorite is Ballyliffin in Donegal where I am a member, but there are many other great courses particularly in the North, Royal Portrush Royal County Down, Portstewart, and many more. It has also given me the opportunity to spend time with my son Timothy. He likes to play and it’s a great way to spend 4-5 hours together. It is getting harder now as he is away at college. Like most fathers and sons who play golf together, we do not say a lot on the course but it is great quality time. 44 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015


John Hume (former Social Democratic Labor Party leader) is one of your heroes. Why? First of all, he was part of the first generation in Northern Ireland to have access to free public education, and coming from the Bogside and achieving all that he did, he was always focused on giving back to the community. He helped establish the first credit union in Northern Ireland. He also was such an influential figure in the peace process from the early days of civil rights marches to the Good Friday Agreement. Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. he was a strong proponent of nonviolent protest. His courage in initiating private talks with Gerry Adams was a pivotal marker on the road to peace. And again, he’s another Nobel Peace Prize winner.

A last word about Belfast. There’s a lot of pride. Belfast played a key role in the postindustrial revolution. John Dunlop developed his pneumatic tire there. The first air-conditioned public building in the world was the Royal Victoria Hospital. The Titanic was the largest man-made object ever to take to the seas – and in addition to shipbuilding you had the linen industry. Belfast was like the Silicon Valley of its day. Its [success] was based on entrepreneurship, and I see that coming back. When I attended the American Ireland Fund conference last year in Belfast, I met some of these young entrepreneurs. You’ve got young guys and gals in Belfast going, “I am a founder and CEO of such and such. I want to build my headquarters here.” And that sounds so “can do.” You have great U.S. companies such as Citi, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and NYSE Technologies. It is really exciting seeing that. I think sometimes we undersell entrepreneurship in Ireland. It is a bit like we undersell ourselves. That entrepreneurial spirit – and it goes way back into the industrial revolution – is still very much alive. IA

TOP: Shaun at KPMG’s offices in New York City. ABOVE: KPMG sponsors pro golfers Phil Mickelson and Stacy Lewis, who, pictured above with Shaun, support KPMG's literacy efforts. KPMG donates 5,000 books to a local organization for every win on the golf course.

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Celebrating the Irish in the Financial Industry


or eighteen years, Irish America has sought out and recognized the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders in the financial sphere, and this year is no exception. The fifty honorees of 2015 are an extraordinary, inspiring, and diverse group – from standout rising stars to masterful Wall Street veterans, this year’s list is comprised of both new faces and longtime friends of Irish America. And as varied as the counties they come from, so too are the sectors in which these distinguished financiers work. The 2015 Wall Street 50 honorees share a commitment to bettering the American economy. Some do this by handling investments and capital, some by developing and implementing the strategies and technology that make it all happen. Together, they recognize a heritage of unrelenting perseverance, a commitment to family, and the responsibility to others because of the struggles of their ancestors. That shared heritage is also, as Aidan Kehoe puts it, “an instant ice breaker with everyone you meet.” We couldn’t agree more. The honorees featured in the pages ahead are a testament to the power of the diaspora and its ground-breaking influence – from the fourth-generation Irish Americans who are themselves the manifestation of their ancestors’ dreams, to the many Irish-born who continue to work to maintain the strong connections and forge new bonds between our two great countries. Mortas Cine, The Irish America Team


The Generations:









Most Popular Counties Cork Dublin Kerry Mayo Tipperary

Most Mentioned Schools College of the Holy Cross Boston College Georgetown University St. John’s University

UBS celebrates the outstanding achievements of our colleagues named to Irish America’s Wall Street 50 Patrick Corry Managing Director Chief Marketing Officer Wealth Management Americas Weehawken, NJ

Kathleen Lynch Chief Operating Officer Americas and Wealth Management New York, NY

Sean Kilduff Managing Director Wealth Management Private Wealth Management New York, NY

Robert J. McCann President Americas and Wealth Management Americas New York, NY

Sharon Sager Managing Director Wealth Management Private Wealth Management New York, NY


Accolades are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications. For more information on a particular rating, visit their corresponding website. Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor its employees pay a fee in exchange for these ratings. Accolades can be based on a variety of criteria including length of service, compliance records, client satisfaction, assets under management, revenue, type of clientele and more. ŠUBS 2015. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. 140821-1337 v2

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Wall Street 50

Michael Brewster

Michael Brewster is the sole manager of the MB Value & Growth and MB Strategic Dividend & Income Portfolios at Credit Suisse Private Banking USA. He also co-manages the Small, Mid-Cap and Special Situations Portfolio on the team. He began his career in ledger accounting at Bally’s Casino Hotel, Atlantic City and casino credit at Trump Castle Casino. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he worked at Lehman Brothers for 16 years. Born in Ireland, Michael graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology with a higher diploma in management finance and earned his B.Sc. in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College. He serves on the boards of the Irish International Business Network, and on the U.S. board of the National University of Ireland, Galway and Advisory U.S. Board of the GPA (Gaelic Players Association). Michael has been recognized from 2010-2015 as one of Barron’s Top 1,000 Advisors in America. He lives in New York with his wife, Margaret. His father’s family comes from Co. Fermanagh; his mother’s family, the Hegartys, hail from Co. Longford.

Credit Suisse Private Banking USA

Vincent P. Colman PwC

Vincent P. Colman is Vice Chairman and U.S. Assurance Leader of PwC. Additionally, he serves as West Cluster Assurance Leader with responsibility for North, Central and South America, and is a member of the Global Executive Assurance Leadership Team. PwC’s U.S. Assurance practice is a multi-billion dollar business with approximately 16,000 partners and staff. Previously, Vin was East Region Vice Chairman, where he oversaw all aspects of Assurance, Tax and Advisory client service delivery for the region. He also served as the National Office Leader, where he led the firm’s professional practice of technical experts and was responsible for formulating the firm’s positions on accounting, auditing, external reporting, and risk management matters, as well as liaising with the standard setters and regulators. A magna cum laude graduate of St. John’s University and a New Jersey native, Vincent is third-generation Irish American on his father’s side, with roots in Cork. He serves on the St. John’s Tobin College of Business Advisory Board, and has worked closely with the Irish non-profit Project Children, hosting several children from Belfast and Derry. He and his wife Jean live in New Jersey with their four children, Kevin, Chris, Conor, and Katelyn. 48 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Shane Clifford is a member of Permal’s Executive Committee, responsible for broadening and executing Permal’s global business development strategy. Prior to joining Permal in 2008, Shane was with BlackRock in London and the U.S. He began his career with Merrill Lynch covering institutional markets in the Americas. Shane, who serves on the board of the Gregorian Foundation, was born in Limerick but has been based in the U.S. since 1998. He received his M.B.A. in international management from Boston University, and also holds a B.B.S. in business from the University of Limerick. He says that his Limerick origins have endowed him with a “drive to succeed.” Shane lives in New Jersey with his wife, Tricia, and three children, Liam, Owen, and Sean.

Shane Clifford Permal Group

Joe Connolly is Executive Vice President and Head of U.S. Business Development for Bank of Ireland’s U.S. Branch. In this role he and his team are responsible for identifying and establishing relationships with the many U.S. multinationals operating in Ireland. Regarding his role, he says, “U.S. foreign direct investment played a key role in the Irish recovery story and is recognized as such. Our position as the leading Irish bank working with these U.S. multinationals is something we are very proud of and do not take for granted.” The Bank’s U.S. office also works closely with the fast growing number of Irish companies that have established U.S. subsidiaries in recent years. These companies employ over 89,000 people in the United States, putting Ireland in the top ten of international companies providing U.S. employment. Born and raised in Dublin, Joe has worked for the Bank of Ireland for 37 years, holding a number of senior treasury management positions in Dublin before relocating to the U.S. with his family in late 2003. While always proud of his Irish background, he says he has been very humbled during his 13 years living in the U.S. by experiencing first-hand the enormous pride Irish Americans have in Ireland and their desire to support its continued recovery.

Joe Connolly Bank of Ireland, U.S.

Richard Connolly Morgan Stanley

Dick Connolly is a Managing Director, Private Wealth Advisor at Morgan Stanley. Dick has consistently been recognized in Barron’s magazine as one of the Top 100 brokers in the United States. He is a graduate of The College of the Holy Cross and completed his M.B.A. from Babson College. Dick also holds an honorary doctorate from Thomas Aquinas College. He attributes his legendary, tireless work ethic to his parents and his grandmother, Nora McHale, who emigrated from Pontoon Co. Mayo. Dick’s grandmother raised 10 children during the depression, seven of whom served in WWII – two did not return. Because of these great sacrifices, Dick feels a responsibility to work hard every day and share his successes with others. Along with his wife Ann Marie, Dick devotes his spare time to various philanthropic and educational initiatives. He is especially proud that in 2013, Our Lady’s Hospital in Dublin dedicated the Richard F. Connolly, Jr. Microscopy Center recognizing Dick’s 30-year (and counting) commitment to the hospital. His dedication to this effort has raised in excess of 6 million dollars. Additionally, Dick has been awarded the Laboure Medal, the National Multiple Sclerosis Businessman of the Year, and The Francis Ouimet Spirit of Golf Award. In January 2016, Dick will receive The Frank H. Sellman Distinguished Service Award from the Massachusetts Golf Association for his exemplary service to the sport of golf.

Prudential is proud that Barbara Koster, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Prudential, has been named one of Irish America magazine’s 2015 Wall Street 50!

We congratulate Barbara and all of this year’s honorees.

Just another great day for the Irish.

© 2015. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. 0252322-00003-00

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Patrick J. Corry UBS

Patrick J. Corry is the chief marketing officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas and a managing director of UBS, responsible for all aspects of the Wealth Management brand, including creative marketing and content management, advisor support, on-and off-line media strategy, regional marketing, internal and external communication and sponsorship events. He joined UBS as head of marketing for WMA in 2008. Prior to joining UBS, Patrick helped create the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch, and was a manager of Merrill’s Private Client brand during the post-9/11 and techbubble crises. While at Merrill, he also supported the development and roll-out of the Total Merrill model. A second-generation Irish American on his mother’s side (O’Brien) and a third-generation Irish American on his father’s, Patrick’s ancestors hailed from Leitrim, Cavan, Clare, and Wexford, before settling in the Bronx. He notes: “I’m keenly aware of the influence of my heritage, and it manifests itself in everything I do, from how I approach creative problem-solving to story-telling to the emphasis I place on genuine friendship. The echoes of my ancestors ring in everything I am.” A graduate of Boston College, Patrick lives in Chatham, New Jersey with his wife Beth and their three children, Bridget, Griffin, and Jack, and can usually be found on the coaching fields there when he’s not in the office.

Tony Dalton R.J. O’Brien

Based in New York, Tony Dalton is head of the Foreign Exchange (FX) Division at Chicago-based R.J. O’Brien & Associates, the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the U.S. Until accepting this role in July of this year, he had been a managing director in FX Prime Brokerage at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. “There is strong potential among hedge funds and other institutional investors who trade FX as an asset class,” Tony says of his new role at R.J. O’Brien. “It’s an honor for me to play a role in bridging those two worlds and leading the team to build the FX business to the next level.” Tony joined Bank of America in 2000 and played a major role in successfully building FX Prime Brokerage businesses from the ground up, first at Barclays Bank in the mid 1990s, and subsequently at ABN AMRO in 1998. He began his career in financial services at MBIA. He is a member of the Bond Club of New York and is also a board member of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Foundation. Born in Dublin, Tony is a former member of the Irish Junior Olympic basketball team. He holds a B.A. in economics with a concentration in finance from Manhattanville College. He lives in New York with his wife, Jeanette, and their four children.

Karen M. Elinski TIAA-CREF

Karen M. Elinski is the senior vice president, general counsel, and head of Government Relations & Public Policy at TIAA-CREF in New York. In this role, she is responsible for managing the corporate federal, state and international government relations and public policy function. Born in Buffalo with a B.A. and J.D. both from the State University of New York there, Karen, who is the eldest in a large Irish Catholic family with ties to Limerick and Cork, says, “It’s the great Irish songs, celebrations, and traditions that bring a lighthearted smile to my face when I realize that I am taking myself or circumstances way too seriously!” Prior to TIAA-CREF, Karen served as vice president of Government Affairs at Prudential Financial and at the global law firm of White & Case. She has also worked as international human rights lawyer on a pro bono basis. On the board of directors of Financial Women’s Association, Karen recently received the Annual Women’s Leadership Award from CUNY and the New York Times and has been a frequent public speaker on topics ranging from financial services regulation to women and leadership. 50 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Mary Callahan Erdoes JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Mary Callahan Erdoes is CEO of J.P. Morgan’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 JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Operating Committee. She joined J.P. Morgan in 1996 from Meredith, Martin & Kaye. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School, Mary is consistently recognized by Forbes and Fortune magazines for their “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” lists, respectively. In 2013, Bloomberg Markets named her the Most Influential Money Manager as part of its “World’s 50 Most Influential People” list. Mary is a fourth-generation Irish American. Her great-grandparents emigrated from Cork on her father’s side and Tipperary on her mother’s. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters.

Siobhan Dunn Morgan Stanley

Siobhan Dunn is the chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Bank North America’s Investment Portfolios in addition to serving as Balance Sheet Management’s chief operating officer for Morgan Stanley Bank Private National Association and secretary for the Pricing Committee for Retail Lending Products. Dunn joined Morgan Stanley in 2010, from Dresdner Bank where she served as Head of Operational Risk Management, Americas and as the Chief Administrative Officer for Global Debt and for Capital Markets N.A. Previously, she traded mortgage treasury options and GNMAs for Lehman Brothers as well as Money Markets for off-shore funding at the First National Bank of Boston. With Brooklyn roots, Siobhan has third-generation Mayo ancestry on her mother’s side (the Broderick clan) and fourth-generation Meath roots on her father’s, and she credits her traditional upbringing for her success today, saying that the “combination of Irish persistence and the appreciation of my blessings allows me to reach for my dreams while always finding the beauty and laughter of life that is rooted in friends and family.” In addition to her professional pursuits, she is an active member of the Women’s Bond Club, having served on the Board where she chaired the Rising Star Program. Additionally, she was co-founder, and currently serves on the board, of the Jersey Shore chapter of the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation. She is a playing member of, and former team captain, for the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association.

Permal is proud to congratulate Shane Clifford and Tara McCabe, and all the honorees of the Irish America Wall Street 50

Permal is a leading global alternative asset manager, offering investment solutions through established funds and customized portfolios. Phone: 212-418-6500

This material is not an offer or a solicitation to subscribe to any Permal fund. Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC (LMIS), Member FINRA, SIPC. LMIS and Permal Group are Legg Mason, Inc. affiliated companies.

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Ryan Fennelly TD Securities

Ryan Fennelly is a director of U.S. Rates on the U.S. Treasury Trading Desk at TD Securities. The Toronto Dominion bank is the second largest bank in Canada by market capitalization and based on assets. It is also the sixth largest bank branch network in North America. Born and raised in New York, Ryan is a graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in applied economics and business management. Ryan was previously the head U.S. agency trader at RBC Capital Markets. Ryan, whose maternal grandparents came from Kerry and whose father’s grandparents emigrated from Kilkenny, is an avid golfer and makes annual trips to the Emerald Isle. He appreciates his Irish heritage and uses it to instill hard work and discipline in everyday life. He says, “I can remember my grandmother, who was proud to be an Irish Catholic. My mother named me Ryan Patrick after my grandfather. She taught me to be a God-fearing, loyal citizen who respects country and his fellow man.” Ryan and his wife, Helen, live with their three children in Rockville Centre, New York.

Michael Geoghegan CBRE

Michael Geoghegan is Vice Chairman of CBRE and co-head of the Consulting Group, one of the top real estate and advisory practices in the U.S. Michael graduated with a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Throughout Michael’s 25 years in commercial real estate, he has been responsible for many of the largest real estate transactions in NYC and has been at the forefront of structuring new development opportunities in Midtown Manhattan and Hudson Yards. His client list includes such prestigious firms as Citi, Morgan Stanley, Boston Consulting Group, and L’Oreal. For his accomplishments, Michael is consistently recognized as one of CBRE’s top performers and is regularly featured in the New York Times and Crains. A former P-3 pilot and retired Commander in the Navy, Michael is a native New Yorker and second-generation Irish American. His parents have roots in Westmeath and Clare with the Geoghegan name dating back to a Medieval barony in Moycashel. Grateful of his Irish ancestors, Michael notes their sacrifice and fight for a better way of life, saying, ”The Irish continue to succeed and contribute to this great democracy.” Michael and his wife Katherine reside in New York and together have three children, Blaine, James, and Katie, a son-in-law Brian, and a grandchild, Lilly.

Joseph L. Hooley State Street Corporation

Joseph (Jay) L. Hooley is chairman and CEO of State Street Corporation, one of the top financial services providers to institutional investors, a position he has held since 2010. Hooley joined State Street in 1986 and has held a number of diverse leadership positions with increasing responsibility with the company, including head of the U.S. Mutual Fund sales organization, president and CEO of National Financial Data Services from 1988-1990, and of Boston Financial Data Services from 1990-2000. Prior to his current position, Hooley served as State Street’s president and COO. In addition to the financial services sector, Jay is also a director on the board of Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the President’s Council of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, and a trustee of the board of Boston College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hooley is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Counties Cork and Kinsale and is a national board member of the American Ireland Fund. He and his wife Linda have four children. 52 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Anne M. Finucane

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

Bank of America

Suni Harford Citigroup

Suni Harford is a Managing Director and Citigroup’s Regional Head of Markets for North America. In this capacity, Suni oversees the North American sales, trading, and origination businesses of Citi’s securities and banking franchise. In addition to her current responsibilities, Suni is a member of Citi’s Pension Plan Investment Committee, and a Director on the Board of Citibank Canada. Suni is also the co-head of Citigroup’s global women’s initiative, Citi Women. Ms. Harford is also passionate about awareness and support for our veteran community, and is involved in many organizations in this regard. In addition to serving on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Veterans’ Employment Advisory Council, she has worked with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative. She represents Citi as a founding member of Veterans on Wall Street, a coalition of major financial services firms established in 2010 to engage the broader industry in efforts to support our transitioning veterans. Having helped formalize Citi’s very successful Veterans Initiative, CitiSalutes, in 2009, Ms. Harford remains the senior business sponsor for the initiative. For those efforts she recently received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army. Suni received her Bachelor of Science from Denison University, where she majored in physics and math, and holds an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Suni lives in Connecticut with her husband, three children – Devon, Jenna and Liam – and their dogs, Sully and Mike Wazowski.





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Paul Jennings Silicon Valley Bank

Paul Jennings is Head of Product Advisory Services at Silicon Valley Bank, the premier global bank for technology, life science, venture capital, and private equity. Paul has responsibility for the Bank’s foreign exchange and interest rate advisory business. He is also part of the SVB Ireland Team, which expects a lending commitment of $100M to the fast-moving Irish technology and life science sectors. Paul is the winner of the Silicon Valley Bank President’s Club in 2011 and 2012, and received the prestigious Irish American Wall Street 50 award in 2013 and 2014. He was born in Warrenpoint, County Down, Northern Ireland, moved to Boston in 1992 and became an American Citizen in 1997. Paul is a graduate of University of Ulster, President of UU New England alumni group and a board member of The American Friends of the University of Ulster. He lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts with his wife, Aine, and their three children, Catherine, Maura, and Neil. Of his heritage, he says: “I’ve gained so much from being in the U.S., and being Irish, I have a strong sense of giving back and helping others. It’s in the Irish DNA to give back when you can.”

Daniel Keegan Equities Americas

Daniel Keegan is head of Equities Americas at Citigroup. Prior to his current position he served as head of Electronic Trading. Born in New Jersey, Daniel attended the University of Notre Dame, receiving a B.A., and later a J.D. at Notre Dame Law School. Before joining Citigroup, Daniel was employed at J.P. Morgan Chase, where he established the Electronic Execution services business, and later sat on the executive committee and board of directors at Automated Trading Desk. Daniel is currently on the board of BATS Global Markets. A third-generation Irish American with ancestors from Co. Meath on his father’s side and counties Meath and Louth on his mother’s, Daniel lives in New York with his wife, Elizabeth, and four children, Danny, Rosemary, Margaret, and Katherine.

Thomas J. Keegan Merrill Lynch

Thomas J. Keegan is a Managing Director in the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch. Tom began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1980 and is the Co-Founder of Private Executive Services. Primary clients serviced include executive officers of public and private companies that have amassed significant wealth requiring sophisticated protection strategies. Tom has been named to the Barron’s Top 100 Advisors list from 2009-2015. Tom was former Chairman of the Private Banking and Investment Groups Advisory Council to Management and is now the current Chairman of the Institutional Advisory Council to Management. As a third-generation Irish American with Roscommon and Cork roots from both parents, one of Tom’s favorite quotes is “There are two types of people in this world, those that are Irish and those that wish they were Irish.” He lives in Fairfield, CT with his wife Patti and they are proud parents of four wonderful children. Both are Benefactors and Sponsors of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Cancer Center as well as hosts of the Center’s annual fundraising event. They also serve on the Parents Council of the University of South Carolina and volunteer with St. John’s Bridgeport Soup Kitchen. Tom received his B.S. from Providence College, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. 54 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Adrian Jones Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Adrian Jones is a managing director in the Principal Investment Area (PIA) of the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in New York, where he is co-head of the Americas Equity business and a member of the Global Investment Committee. A Roscommon native, Adrian joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 as an associate in the Investment Banking Division. He joined PIA in London in 1998; returning to New York in 2002, he was named managing director. He became a partner in 2004. Following his cadetship at the Irish Military College, Adrian was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Irish Army in 1983. From 1987 to 1988, he served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Southern Lebanon. After moving to the United States in 1989, he worked for two years at the Bank of Boston in Credit Derivatives. Adrian is a graduate of NUI Galway (B.A.), UCD (M.A.) and Harvard (M.B.A.). In addition to representing GS Capital Partners on a number of corporate boards, Adrian serves on the boards of Autism Speaks, The American Ireland Fund, and the Galway University Foundation. In 2012, he was the Wall Street 50 keynote speaker. He resides in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Christina, and sons Danny and Liam.

Aidan Kehoe Oxford Global

Aidan Kehoe is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Oxford Global and Oxford Solutions. In addition to his role at Oxford, he is also a partner with the Pascucci family where he was involved in co-founding Oxford Global, and previously held head roles at Duck Pond Corp. and Sebonack Golf Club. Aidan attended the Waterford Institute of Technology and began his career by working in a variety of different sectors including hospitality, transport, and financial services. Born and bred in Ireland with ancestors hailing from Laois on his father’s and mother’s sides. Aidan is very proud of his heritage and considers it a key tool in his success, saying, “having an Irish heritage has been a huge advantage to me in the U.S. It’s an instant ice breaker with everyone you meet.” Aidan is also involved in a number of organizations including the LP advisory committee of ComVest Capital and serves on the boards of Surry Capital LLC, the National Business and Disability Council, and Friends of Karen. He currently serves as the chairman of Cordaid’s U.S. Leaders Council. Aidan lives in New York with his wife Tricia and son Liam.

Leading the way from vision to reality Since 1998, Irish America magazine has recognized the outstanding contributions Irish leaders have made in the financial industry and their communities. We are delighted to congratulate this year’s honorees, Vin Colman and Martin Kehoe, and participate in tonight’s 18th Annual Wall Street 50 Gala.

© 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved.

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Martin Kehoe PwC

Martin Kehoe is a partner with PwC in New York. He has over 25 years of experience serving clients in the U.S. and internationally. Born and raised in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Martin attended the Christian Brothers School and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with an honors degree in business. Joining PwC Dublin after graduation, he subsequently moved to New York with PwC, becoming a partner with the firm in 1996. He says, “It is great to be part of the Irish community in this wonderfully diverse and vibrant city.” Married to Mary Kelly from Bree, Wexford, with whom he has two daughters, Allison and Laura, Martin is active with organizations such as Young People’s Chorus of NYC, The American Ireland Fund, The Gaelic Players Association, and The American Friends of Wexford Opera. Martin and his family also enjoy supporting Part of the Solution in the Bronx, which attends to the basic needs of people in their community.

Kathleen Kelley BlackRock

Kathleen Kelley is a Senior Investment Consultant focusing on commodities at BlackRock. Prior to Blackrock, Ms. Kelley founded and was Chief Investment Officer of Queen Anne’s Gate Capital Management, a discretionary global macro hedge fund with a commodity focus that launched in September 2012. Kathleen has over 20 years of experience in global macro research and portfolio management across such firms as Kingdon Capital Management, Vantis Capital and Tudor Investment Corporation. She holds a B.A. in economics with a minor in math from Smith College and a General Course Degree from the London School of Economics. Kathleen serves on the North American Advisory Board of the LSE, the Smith Investment Committee and a number of non-for-profit boards. She is also a co-founder of High Water Women, a non-profit organization founded by women in the hedge fund and investment industries with a focus on providing enriched educational opportunities for low-income youth. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Tipperary and Killarney, Kathleen says, “My Irish heritage has always been a big part of my family’s identity. We grew up going to Irish step dance lessons, parties at the Knights of Columbus and Clancy Brothers concerts.”

Sean Kilduff UBS Private Wealth Management

Sean Kilduff is a managing director and private wealth advisor at UBS Private Wealth Management. He focuses on managing risk and delivering needs-based solutions to corporate executives, entrepreneurs and their families. He is also a senior portfolio manager in the portfolio management program and concentrates on developing customized investment strategies that incorporate tactical allocations. Born and raised in New York, Sean is a graduate of St. John’s University with a B.S. in finance. He began his career at Lehman Brothers and spent nine years at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management before moving his team and practice to UBS Private Wealth Management. Sean’s mother was born and raised in Dublin and his father’s family is from Westmeath. He notes, “Having visited my grandmother in Dublin often, Ireland has been a part of my life from an early age. I gained a true appreciation for the world-famous warmth and incredible wit of the Irish people.” Sean lives in Rockville Centre, New York with his wife, Jean, and their four children. 56 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Denis Kelleher

Denis Kelleher is founder and chairman of Wall Street Access, which combines an independent, entrepreneurial culture with a powerful platform to build and operate a diverse set of successful financial service businesses. He began his career in 1958 as a messenger with Merrill Lynch. He rose through the ranks at Merrill Lynch and was the head of operations at Ruane Cunniff and treasurer of Sequoia Fund. In 1981, he founded Wall Street Access. A native of County Kerry, Ireland, he is a graduate of St. John’s University where he also served as Chairman and member of the board of trustees. He is currently a member of the Staten Island Foundation, and is a former director of The New Ireland Fund and a former member of the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2005, Denis was Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame. He lives on Staten Island with his wife, Carol. They have three children and eight grandchildren.

Wall Street Access

Joseph Kenney

Joe Kenney, region head at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, is responsible for the management and strategic development of the Private Bank teams throughout New York and New England. Joe has held a number of leading roles of increasing responsibility at J.P. Morgan during his 26 years with the company. Most recently, he served as head of U.S. Private Banking Investment Specialists and Capital Advisors, and previously was the chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan’s Private Wealth Management, responsible for overseeing one of the largest providers of wealth management services in the United States with more than $150 billion in client assets. Prior to that, he was head of the West Coast’s Investment Practice for J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank. He joined J.P. Morgan in 1988, working in the Domestic Loan Syndication and Emerging Market Loan Swap Department and joined the Private Bank in February 1991. Joe received his B.S. from Saint Michael’s College. He is a fourth-generation Irish American whose ancestors come from counties Cork and Roscommon. A native of New Jersey, Joe is married with three children, Sean, Grace, and Owen.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank

We salute the Irish and Irish-American financial leaders recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments. Congratulations to our own Kathleen Murphy on her selection as one of this year’s honorees.

 Fidelity Investments is proud to sponsor: ®

Irish America magazine’s Wall Street 50

Fidelity, Fidelity Investments, and the Fidelity Investments and pyramid design logo are registered service marks of FMR LLC. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 © 2013 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. 655323.1.0

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Barbara G. Koster Prudential Financial, Inc.

Barbara G. Koster is senior vice president and chief information officer for Prudential Financial, Inc., and head of the Global Business & Technology Solutions Department. She is also chairman of the board of Pramerica Systems Ireland, Ltd., and founding member of Prudential Systems Japan, Ltd. Barbara joined Prudential in 1995 as VP and CIO in Individual and Life Insurance Systems. She previously held several positions with Chase Manhattan, including president of Chase Access Services. Last year, Koster was named one of STEMConnector’s “100 Corporate Diverse Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” and in 2013, she was inducted into Junior Achievement’s New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, NJ Biz newspaper named her one of the “Fifty Best Women in Business.” She is a member of Executive Women in NJ and Research Board, an international think tank. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Cork and Tipperary, Barbara holds both an A.S. and B.S. from St. Francis College, from which she also has an honorary doctorate. Barbara and her husband, Robert, have two daughters, Kathryn and Diana.

Sean Lane J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Sean Lane is a senior private banker at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. He is responsible for growing and managing client relationships. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Sean served as Senior Vice President and private bank team leader at U.S. Trust. Sean holds an honors post-graduate diploma in business and a B.A. in French and English literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and is a board member of the university’s foundation. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Financial Planner designations. A first-generation Irish American born in New York, Sean is vice-chairman of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Foundation, and a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He is also on the board of the 69th Regimental Trust, the Abbey Theatre Advisory board, and the leadership circle for the North Shore LIJ Department of Medicine. He also holds a black belt in Judo. His mother hailed from County Mayo and his father from Galway. Sean lives in Garden City, New York with his wife, Cielo, and their two children, Sarah and Ryan.

Annemarie V. Long Long Consulting Group

Annemarie “Anne” Long is the founder and president of Long Consulting Group, a consulting firm specializing in revenue growth strategies for the distribution of insurance and financial services products. Anne’s background includes successful executive leadership roles with Manulife, Merrill Lynch, and NFP. Born in Philadelphia to an Irish woman from Co. Carlow, Anne was adopted by Larry and Bonnie Long, who helped foster a love of her Irish heritage. She says, “What my Irish heritage means to me is to live with optimism and to see the possibilities, not the obstacles! Just as my birth mother came to this country in search of more opportunities and had to overcome adversity, I too always look for what is possible in life.” Anne serves on the Board of Trustees of the American College and on Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts Board of Visitors, her alma mater. She carries her affinities for relationships and effecting positive change into her rewarding personal endeavors where she is currently pursuing her passion for developing girls’ confidence and self-esteem through her organization Girl Possible. She lives in Austin, TX with her wife Sarah. 58 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Kathleen Lynch UBS

Kathleen Lynch is Chief Operating Officer Americas and Wealth Management Americas (WMA), UBS. She is also a member of the Americas and WMA Executive Committees. As WMA COO, Kathleen supports the execution of the business division's strategy, while also ensuring operational efficiency and effectiveness to make WMA a better place to be a client and an employee. In her role as Americas COO, Kathleen is focused on further integrating all of the firm's businesses and support functions across the region. Kathleen joined UBS in June 2012 as an advisor to senior management on a number of key initiatives, including the strengthening of UBS's regulatory and operating framework. Born and raised in the United States, her mother's roots in Burtenport, Co. Donegal have greatly influenced her interest and appreciation for Irish culture. And as a first generation Irish American, Kathleen dedicates her time to philanthropic efforts on both sides of the Atlantic. Married with three children, she and her husband Tim are actively involved in their local community of Madison, NJ. Kathleen has her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Desmond Mac Intyre Standish

Des was most recently the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Standish, a specialist fixed income asset manager with $170 billion under management. Standish is part of BNY Mellon Asset Management. He sat on the Executive and Operating Committees of BNY Mellon Investment Management. In 2012, he was made a member of the Bank’s Operating Committee. Des joined Standish in January 2005 as the Chief Operating Officer and subsequently rose to the position of President in 2007 before becoming the President & CEO in February 2009 and Chairman in 2012. Under his leadership, Standish became a global integrated firm with operations in the U.S., the U.K. and Singapore with clients in 42 countries. Des has an M.Phil. in Management Studies from the University of Exeter, where he also served as an Honorary Research Fellow, and a B.A. from University College Dublin. He serves on the New England Advisory Board of the American Ireland Fund and Chaired the Boston Gala in 2013. He also sits on the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts / New Hampshire Chapter and recently retired from the Board of Inly School in Massachusetts. Born in Dublin, with roots in counties Cork (by way of Butte, Montana), Cavan, and Kildare. Des says: “My Irish heritage means looking outward but always with a view towards home.” He and his wife, Linda have three children and live in Boston.


The majesty, the wonder, the castles and tombs, which pepper the glorious eastern landcapes of Ireland are calling out for visitors. Ireland’s east is home to some of the most awe-inspring, authentic pieces of European history. Come peel back the layers of time and explore the dramatic structures across the rolling green hills and valleys of Ireland’s Ancient East.

A supplement to Irish America magazine sponsored by Tourism Ireland Written and designed by Tara Dougherty

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ANCIENT IRELAND NEWGRANGE, HILL OF TARA Ireland is home to some of the most fascinating relics predating even the Egyptian pyramids. For the culturally curious, it is a treasure trove of ruins, archictecture, and art from prehistoric Ireland through the dawn of civilization. Ireland’s prehistoric past left behind a fabulous trail of Druid warriors, mystical Stone Age art, and historic heritage sites. One of Ireland’s oldest and most mysterious attractions is Newgrange. The 80-metre mound supported by spiral engraved kerbstones could have been built as a tomb or a temple — the utility of its design has been lost to the centuries. Visitors learn of the many myths and tales that shroud this passage tomb in mystery before entering the chambers. After ducking under some wooden beams and shuffling past graffiti dating to the 1800s, visitors enter the cruciformshaped chamber which is spookily illuminated by natural light every winter solstice. Only a few lucky lottery winners will experience Newgrange at winter solstice, but for the rest, a reenactment is ready to show off the fascinating design of this mysterious place. Nearby in the Boyne Valley, the ancient seat of power in Ireland, the Hill of Tara is open to visitors. Said to have been visited by 142 prehistoric and historic kings,

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mythology even assigns this collection of earthen structures the significance of the dwelling for the gods. The oldest structures at the Hill of Tara are Neolithic, dating to 2500 BC. Guides lead visitors through centuries of stories and around structures like the Mound of Hostages and the Stone of Destiny. The Hill of Tara is home to not just one imprint of prehistoric Ireland, but enough to spend hours exploring, learning, and imagining.

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EARLY CHRISTIAN IRELAND CLONMACNOISE, GLENDALOUGH Early Christian Ireland encompasses the golden age of monastic scholars. Art, manuscripts, and calligraphy flourished in one of the most educationally enlightened eras of Ireland’s development. Founded by St. Ciarán in the 6th century, the Clonmacnoise monastary is a fascinating example of the time. It is home to the largest collection of early graveslabs in Ireland as well as a cathedral, towers, seven churches, and more.


Glendalough, the ‘valley of two lakes,’ is an area rich with early Christian Irish history. Its stunning scenery has attracted people for centuries, including 6th century monks. In the Glendalough valley lies Monastic City, an impressively large group of monastic remains. Visitors marvel at the granite crosses, round towers, and church remains all with the backdrop of the glorious Wicklow Mountain National Park. The combination of awe-inspiring nature and culturally-rich ruins make Glendalough a must-see in Ireland’s ancient east.

MEDIEVAL IRELAND ROCK OF CASHEL, VIKING TRIANGLE The Medieval Era in Ireland brought fortresses and castles to adorn the lush, rolling greens of the east. A turbulent time to revist, Medieval Ireland left relics of Vikings, talented craftspeople, and artisans. The Rock of Cashel is an unforgettable jewel of Medieval Ireland. It is home to 800-year-old frescoes, the oldest of their kind in Ireland. In the Cormac Chapel at the Rock

of Cashel, the frescoes stretch to the ornate archways, brush-to-wall images now being restored from centuries of age and decay. In Waterford City, the Viking Triangle is a medieval treasure trove of adventure.This northeast section of the city is filled with museums and walking tours dedicated to the fascinating era of art, arcitechture, and Norse invaders.


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Moving into the 18th and 19th centuries, Anglo Ireland’s imprints tell stories of the contrasting lives of residents of Ireland: the lavish gardens and thriving market towns, the famine ships and failed rebellions. The Powerscourt Estate is home to the most spectacular gardens from this era, and that’s only where Powerscourt’s charm begins. Completed in 1741,the mansion designed to be the height of extravagance, is now home to a range of shops showcasing the many artisan and crafts Ireland has become known for. Plan a visit around a round of golf at one of two world-renowned Championship Courses on the Powerscourt Estate. Powerscourt hosts theater evenings, gardening workshops, and guided tours to enhance the experience of strolling through its majestic history.

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Bridget A. Macaskill First Eagle Investment Management

Bridget A. Macaskill is president and CEO of First Eagle Investment Management, a New York-based investment management company, a position she has held since 2010. She joined the company in 2009 as chief operating officer and president. Prior to joining First Eagle, Bridget served variously as CEO, president, COO, and chairman of Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. During her tenure as CEO, she promoted gender diversity among senior leadership; by the time she left Oppenheimer, more than 40 percent of the firm’s senior management was women. Bridget is also recognized for creating the Oppenheimer Funds’ Women & Investing program, which is dedicated to educating American women about the need to take charge of their personal finances. Additionally, Bridget currently serves as a trustee and member of the investment committee of the TIAA-CREF funds. She has been active as a board member and advocate for numerous non-profit organizations. Bridget, whose mother was born in County Louth, is a native of the United Kingdom. She received her B.S. with honors from the University of Edinburgh, and completed postgraduate studies at the Edinburgh College of Commerce.

Tara McCabe Permal Group

Tara McCabe is senior vice president of product development and marketing for the Permal Group. Prior to joining Permal in 2013, Tara was with Morgan Stanley for 15 years as an executive director in Alternative Investments, chief administrative officer of Client Solutions and vice president of private wealth management in London. Tara serves on the board of directors of The American Ireland Fund and was instrumental in developing their Young Leaders program. She is a member of the Irish government’s Global Irish Network, and she has been recognized by The Irish Echo, The Irish Voice, The American Ireland Fund and the Irish Arts Center. Tara is proud of her Irish heritage especially of both her parents from Leitrim. She is delighted to share this honor with an early and unsurpassed mentor, her sister Kathleen. Tara graduated from the College of the Holy Cross and studied a year at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Wall Street 50 Kathleen McCabe Morgan Stanley

Kathleen McCabe is the Global Head of Investor Relations for Morgan Stanley. She also serves as a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Kathleen joined the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley in 1998 and was named a Managing Director in 2006. Before joining Morgan Stanley, she began her career at Bankers Trust in its real estate investment banking group. Kathleen serves on the board of trustees of the Morgan Stanley Foundation as well as Youth INC, where she serves as Co-President. She is a past trustee of the George F. Baker Scholars Program at Georgetown University, where she earned her B.A. in government. Both of Kathleen’s parents are from County Leitrim and she is an active supporter of the American Ireland Fund and the Irish Arts Center in New York City. Her heritage has given her “a deep commitment to family and faith, a strong work ethic, and a sense of humor.” She and her husband Dana LaForge have two children.

Robert J. McCann UBS

Bob McCann is President Americas and President Wealth Management Americas, UBS. He is also a member of the Group Executive Board of UBS AG. He leads a workforce of more than 20,000 people and is responsible for executing a cross-divisional strategy to integrate UBS’s platform for the benefit of individuals, corporations, institutions and governments. Additionally, since joining UBS in 2011, Bob has led the wealth management business's return to consistent profitability, with a field of roughly 7,000 financial advisors now managing more than $1 trillion in client assets. Prior to joining UBS, Bob had a 26-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he held a variety of executive leadership positions. He serves on the Executive Committee of the board of directors for The American Ireland Fund and is vice chairman of the board of trustees of Bethany College. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Co. Armagh, Bob received his B.A. in economics from Bethany College and an M.B.A. from Texas Christian University. He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland. Bob and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters.

Robert H. McCooey, JR. Nasdaq

Robert H. McCooey, Jr. is a Senior Vice President of Nasdaq’s Listing Services unit. He is responsible for New Listings as well as Relationship Management with Nasdaq’s 3,500 listed companies in the Americas and throughout Asia Pacific. Previously, Robert ran New Listings and the Capital Markets Group at Nasdaq. In this role, he managed Nasdaq’s new listings efforts domestically, in the Americas and throughout the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining Nasdaq in 2006, Robert founded and served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Griswold Company, a brokerage firm, from 1988 until 2006. He was a member of the New York Stock Exchange Board of Executives from 2003-2006. Mr. McCooey served on the NYSE’s Group Market Performance Committee, was chairman of the NYSE’s Technology and Planning Oversight Committee and served on the Boards of the NYSE Foundation, the Securities Industry Automation Corporation and the Committee for Review, part of NYSE Regulation. He is a member of the National Organization of Investment Professionals. Robert is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 63

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Wall Street 50 Thomas E. McInerney Bluff Point

Thomas E. McInerney is the CEO of Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm based in Westport, Connecticut. Prior to Bluff Point, Tom worked for 23 years as a general partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, an NYC-based private equity firm. A graduate of St. John’s University with a B.A. in literature, he attended New York University Graduate School of Business and began his career at the American Stock Exchange, serving as senior vice president of Operations and Technology. Tom served on the board of trustees at St. John’s University for 13 years, four of them as Board Chairman. In 2001, St. John’s awarded him an honorary doctorate of commercial science and the University Gold Medal, St. John’s highest alumnus award. He is a vice chairman of St. John’s Bread and Life, Brooklyn’s largest emergency food program, and is also on the board of IrishCentral, and 9 other private companies. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Clare and Cork, he believes that “the contributions that Ireland has made to the world are astounding for a nation of only four million people.” He and his wife, Paula, have five children and twelve grandchildren.

Conor Murphy MetLife

Conor Murphy is senior vice president and CFO of MetLife’s Latin American operations. MetLife is the largest life insurance company in Latin America. He is also CFO of MetLife’s direct to consumer businesses in the United States, which is a relatively new venture for the company. Conor joined MetLife in 2000, having previously spent seven years with PwC in New York. Prior to PwC, he spent five years with Grant Thornton in Dublin, Ireland. He is a founding trustee of Cristo Rey New York High School in Harlem and a past president of the Association of Chartered Accountants in the U.S. He is a member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Conor is a native of Donegal, where the third and fourth generations of Murphys run the family store, Murphy of Ireland, which recently celebrated their 75th year exporting the finest Donegal products to the rest of the world. Conor lives in New York with his wife, Ani, and sons, Jack and Aidan.

Kathleen Murphy Fidelity Investments

Kathleen Murphy is president of Personal Investing, a unit of Fidelity Investments – the largest mutual fund company in the U.S. She assumed her position in January 2009 and oversees more than $1.84 trillion in assets under administration – a record 16 million customer accounts – and over 12,000 employees. Her business is the nation’s No.1 provider of individual retirement accounts (IRAs), one of the largest brokerage businesses, one of the largest providers of mutual fund managed account 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 named her one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women” in American business. She is a third-generation Irish American – her father’s family is from County Cork and her mother’s family is from Kerry. She is married with one son.


Brian Moynihan Bank of America

Brian Moynihan leads a team of more than 200,000 employees dedicated to making financial lives better for people, companies of every size, and institutional investors across the United States and around the world. Under his stewardship as CEO, the company has simplified its operations, built capital and liquidity to its highest levels, and developed a straightforward business model providing core financial services to customers and clients. In his more than 20 years at Bank of America, Moynihan has run each of the major customer and client businesses: consumer and small business banking, wealth management, and corporate and investment banking. He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Notre Dame Law School. Moynihan is a member of the Museum Council for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Moynihan is also a trustee of the Corporation of Brown University. He served as Irish America’s Wall Street 50 Keynote Speaker in 2009.

Daniel Murphy Scotiabank

Dan Murphy is a managing director at Scotiabank. He is a member of the bank’s U.S. Executive Committee and the Scotia Capital USA board of directors. Dan is responsible for strategy and business execution for the Global Banking and Markets division in the U.S. Prior to joining Scotiabank, Dan held various senior management positions at Wachovia and Merrill Lynch. Dan earned his B.S. in finance from Manhattan College and his M.B.A. from Pace University. A second-generation Irish-American with ties to counties Kerry and Waterford, Dan obtained his Irish citizenship in 2009. Dan currently lives in Jersey City, NJ with his wife, Deirdre. Dan has three children, Ryan, Kellyann and Mackenzie. He says: “My Irish heritage forms the foundation of much of who I am. It binds me to a history and people with a deep devotion to God, family and country.” Dan is a volunteer for Hudson County CASA as a court-appointed special advocate for neglected and abused children. Dan is also an avid sailor and a licensed United States Coast Guard Captain.

2011 Clot To the Wall Street 50 – Sláinte!

Now available

BNY Mellon is proud to recognize the Irish American impact on finance as we offer a warm thanks to our many clients. We salute this year’s honorees to the Irish America Wall Street 50, especially keynote speaker Shaun Kelly from KPMG and our very own Brian Ruane. They represent the best and brightest that the Emerald Isle has to offer. ©2015 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

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Wall Street 50

Terrence Murphy ClearBridge Investments

Terrence Murphy is president and chief executive officer of ClearBridge Investments, a well-established global investment manager with a legacy dating back more than 50 years. Appointed president in 2011 and CEO in 2012, Terrence has more than 26 years of financial industry experience and also serves as chairman of the ClearBridge Management and Risk Committees. Prior to his current positions, he served as Interim Chief Financial Officer of Legg Mason Inc., COO at ClearBridge Investments, and CFO at predecessor firm Citigroup Asset Management. Born in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, Terrence holds an M.B.A. in banking and finance from Hofstra University and a bachelor’s in accounting from Adelphi University. A fourth-generation Irish American with paternal roots in County Cork, Terrence attributes his ethical priorities to his sense of heritage. He says: “My Irish heritage has taught me the value of hard work, ambition, and dedication. My ancestors have instilled a strong sense of community, to be grateful for those in our lives and the importance of helping others.” He and his wife Mindy have two children, Jack and Samuel, and live in New York.

Anthony O’Callaghan Credit Suisse Private Banking USA

Tony O’Callaghan is a director and relationship manager for Credit Suisse Private Banking USA, and has over 32 years of experience as an investment professional. Prior to joining Credit Suisse in 1994, he was with Kidder, Peabody & Co. for 12 years. Tony is among the most senior advisors in Credit Suisse’s Private Banking USA with particular expertise in asset allocation and fixed income. He earned his B.A. in economics from Michigan State University. He is a fourth-generation Irish American whose great-grandfather came to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Tony’s branch of the O’Callaghans traces back to the town of Mallow in County Cork, where you can still see the ruins of the once great O’Callaghan castle. He and his wife Patti have three children: Anthony Ryan, Julia Britten, and Bonnie Diane. They have all visited Ireland and speak to their friends there regularly.

Dan O’Connell Merrill Lynch

Dan O’Connell is a Managing Director of Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch. He graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. and joined Merrill Lynch in 1983. Dan has advised high net worth families for over 30 years. The O’Connell Group has been entrusted with over $2 billion (as of January 2015) in assets for individuals, families, foundations, and privately-held companies. He has been named as one of the Top 100 Financial Advisors in America by both Barron’s and Registered Rep. Dan has also been recognized by the Financial Times as a Top 400 Global Advisor. For the past 20 years, Dan has been a member of the Merrill Lynch Circle of Champions and remains active with various boards and charities. A native of Port Washington, New York, Dan is a third-generation Irish American with roots in counties Cork, Kerry and Waterford. Dan and his wife Sue reside in Sands Point on Long Island and have four children, Molly, Daniel, Jack, and Moira.


James O’Donnell Citibank

James O’Donnell is a managing director and global head of Investor Sales and Relationships at Citi. He joined Citi in 1999 and served as head of U.S. Equities for four years. Afterwards, he was cohead of Global Investor Sales, and was appointed to his current position in 2008. Jim is responsible for the distribution of Global Markets products to Citi’s Equities, Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities clients. Prior to joining Citi, he was president and CEO of HSBC Securities Inc. His responsibilities included all equity, debt, futures and investment banking operations for HSBC in the U.S. He was also CEO of HSBC James Cape, HSBC’s global equity business. Before his tenure at HSBC, Jim was president and CEO of NatWest Securities in the U.S. He also held various roles at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Jim received his B.A. in comparative religion from Princeton. He is second-generation Irish American, with his father’s family hailing from Dublin and his mother’s from Galway. He credits his Irish heritage, along with his family and his faith, as being the foundation of his life.

Brian Ruane The Bank of New York Mellon Brian is the CEO of BNY Mellon Broker Dealer & Tri-Party Collateral Services. In 2015, BNY Mellon successfully led efforts to reform and strengthen the $3 trillion U.S. tri-party repo market, allowing the company to reduce the secured credit extended in the triparty repo market by 97 percent, resulting in the practical elimination of credit, a critical goal the Industry of Task Force for U.S. Tri-Party Infrastructure Reform. Brian is also responsible for BNY Mellon’s Bank, Broker-Dealer and Advisor Market Segment. Prior to his current role, Brian was CEO and founder of Alternative Investment Services and co-head of Pershing Prime Brokerage Services. He is a member of the executive committee of Pershing LLC and the board of directors of Promontory Interfinancial Network, as well as a member of the advisory board to the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business in New York. His father Anthony comes from Cominch, County Mayo and his mother Rose from Drumhaldry, Co. Longford. In 2011, Irish America honored Brian as the Wall Street 50 Keynote Speaker. He and his wife, Anna, who is also from Dublin, live in New York with their four children, Sarah, Emma, Jack, and Ellie.

Bluff Point Associates is pleased to congratulate

Shaun Kelly

Chief Operating Officer, Americas KPMG and the entire Wall Street 50 Paula and Tom McInerney

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Wall Street 50 Thomas F. Ryan Jr. Repligen

Thomas F. Ryan Jr. has served as a director of Repligen since September 2003 and is currently a private investor. He served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Stock Exchange from October 1995 to April 1999. Prior to 1995, Tom held a variety of positions at the investment banking firm of Kidder, Peabody & Co., serving as the firm’s Chairman in 1995. A third-generation Irish American with roots in County Cork, Tom is the grandson of a Boston policeman and grew up in the predominantly Irish-Catholic neighborhood of Brighton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. He holds a B.A. from Boston College and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School. Tom is a Director for the New York State Independent System Operator, a director for BNY Mellon Asset Management Mutual Funds Board. His qualifications to sit on the company’s Board of Directors of Repligen include his years of experience in the areas of securities trading and investment banking.

Sharon T. Sager UBS Private Wealth Management

Sharon T. Sager is a managing director and private wealth advisor at UBS Private Wealth Management. A CIMA, she began her career in financial services in 1983 with Kidder, Peabody & Co., which was acquired by Paine Webber Inc. and then by UBS. Sharon is only one of sixteen women to be named to Barron’s “Top 100 Women Financial Advisors” each year since the list’s inception in 2006, and was also featured in Barron’s “Best Advice” column. Sharon was also most recently named to the 2014 Financial Times Top 400 Advisors. In June, UBS presented Sharon with the “Aspire” award, a recognition that she serves as a role model for other advisors and as a culture carrier for the firm. A native New Yorker, Sharon earned a B.A. from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Her father’s family, the O’Tooles, are from Galway, and her mother’s family, the Carrolls, hail from Cork. She and her husband, Loring Swasey, live in Manhattan and Long Island. She is co-chairman of the board of Overseers for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, secretary of the board for Careers Through Culinary Arts Programs, a member of the Economic Club of NY and the Financial Women’s Association, and was a mentor with the Clinton Economic Initiative UBS Small Business Advisory Program.

Joseph A. Sullivan Legg Mason, Inc.

Joe Sullivan is chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange-listed global asset management firm, a position he has held since 2012. With over 30 years of industry experience, he also serves as a current trustee and former chair of the Securities Industry Institute and is a former member of the New York Stock Exchange Hearing Board. Prior to joining Legg Mason in 2008 as head of global distribution and chief administrative officer, Sullivan served on the board of directors of Stifel Financial and as executive vice president and head of Fixed Income Capital Markets for Stifel Nicolaus. Joe holds a B.A. in economics from St. John’s University in Minnesota, and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is active in public service and committed to improving education by serving or having served as a member of the board of trustees for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Financial Services Advisory Board, Catholic Charities, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, chair of the board of trustees of Loyola Blakefield School, and president of the Baltimore Youth Hockey Association. His ancestors, Eugene T. Sullivan and Bridget Downing, were born in 1845 in County Cork. 68 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

Ronan Ryan IEX Group

Ronan Ryan is the Chief Strategy Officer, and co-founder of IEX, a fair, simple & transparent equity trading venue. A graduate of Fairfield University with a degree in International Studies, Ronan has over 18 years’ experience in networking infrastructure. He was the head of Financial Services Development at Switch and Data before moving to RBC Capital Markets, where he became head of Electronic Trading Strategy and was instrumental in developing THOR, RBC’s award-winning trading technology. Ronan and his parents are all natives of Dublin. He moved to America in 1990 at age 16 and accredits a lot of his business initiative to his Irish heritage, because, as he says, “to be Irish is to be innovative.” In 2014, he and IEX made global headlines when they were featured prominently in Michael Lewis’s latest best-seller, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, interviews with BBC and a feature on “60 Minutes” all highlighted the success of Ronan’s start-up stock market. In 2015, IEX continued to grow market share to become the 3rd largest Alternative Trading System in the United States. Ronan and his wife Kara have two children, Emma and Jack.

Emmet Savage Rubicoin

Emmet Savage is CEO and co-founder of Rubicoin, a Dublin and New York based company with a mission to get the world investing. Over the past 20 years, Emmet has taught stock investing to wide audiences, contributed as a writer to The Motley Fool and broadcast all decisions relating to his personal portfolio. In January 2014, the audited average annual return of his personal stock portfolio was in excess of 24.4% per year for eleven years. For the last 5 years, his return was 44% per annum. Almost everything he owns is invested in U.S.-listed stocks. Rubicoin stands for getting started, moving new investors from Zero to One. Emmet’s passion is to make it simple for people to start investing by giving straightforward instructions on how to buy shares and make clear choices on what shares to buy. Rubicoin has developed proprietary technology to make it easy for new investors to identify and buy great stocks that they believe in. Emmet was born, educated, and lives in Dublin, Ireland. He studied Physics in Dublin City University, Finance in the Irish Management Institute, and Business Strategy at Trinity College Dublin.

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30 Years | 1985 - 2015


Looking back at Irish America’s premier issue we see that it set the tone for what was to come: a thorough investigation into what it means to be Irish American. Thirty years later, we are still answering that question and still pondering the answers. Enjoy these quotes compiled over 30 years. – The Irish America Team




“Growing up as a youngster in Boston, you were instilled with three things. The first was the “No Irish Need Apply” signs and what those signs were doing to the Irish. The second was the way your forefathers came over here – off Famine ships – and you thanked God they were able to work to provide for their families. ….The third thing was a United Ireland, which was a key issue. A local congressman from this area lost his seat when he missed a vote on it. It was just as much part of your faith as anything else. Tip O’Neill served in the U.S House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987. His tenyear tenure as Speaker of the House was the longest in U.S. history. Interview by Susan O’Grady Fox. October, 1986.



Do you see the development of the Provisional IRA as an outgrowth of the civil rights movement? “The people took to the streets and raised the issues, and almost as soon as they raised them they realized that, because of the political reality of the six counties state, there was no political way to achieve those ordinary democratic aims. The movement split into its two historic components, the constitutional and the unconstitutional. The civil rights movement gave birth to the Provos and the Social Democratic Labor Party (SDLP) at exactly the same time. Those two strands have always existed in Irish history whether it was Parnell and the Fenians or Daniel OConnell and the Young Irelanders.”

McAliskey speaking on the 20th anniversary of the Northern Irish civil rights movement. Interview by Patrick Farrelly. January, 1988.


“Years later I realized that the songs and the poems [my grandmother Ellen Treacy] taught me were unique oral histories of the turbulent period the Irish had come through. She inspired me.” Author of The Year of the French and other novels. Interview by Niall O’Dowd. January, 1987.

RIGHT: Former New York City Council President Paul O’Dwyer, Irish America publisher Niall O’Dowd, Charles McCabe of Manufacturers Hanover Bank, and former Mayor of Boston Ray Flynn at the launch of Irish America magazine.


“I am not going to forget that for 20 years the door was closed for the Irish.” Donnelly is referring to the 1965 immigration law that discriminated against the Irish. His contribution to immigration legislation helped thousands of Irish people gain legal residence in the U.S. He was named Irish American of the Year in March, 1989.


“I was not raised as an Irish person but I have Ireland in my blood and every exciting actor or actress that I’ve known has an Irish background. It’s a strange thing, but we are performers, we are actors by heritage.” “The First Lady of American Theater” in one of her final media appearances. Interview by Kevin Lewis. November, 1990.




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“I’ve been elected by the people of West Belfast, they’ve elected me three times. Refusing to talk to me means that these people are being disenfranchised, that the British are refusing to recognize their rights. We’re an important part of the equation; the people who I represent have the same rights as everyone else. I don’t want to talk to Peter Brooks [then Northern Secretary] for the craic. I’m interested in trying to move the whole thing forward. I think the 1990s should be a period when we get peace and we should have talks. “No matter how much you discuss what’s happening, no matter how much you examine all the different characteristics of it and the history of it, the past and the future, it has to be settled and it can only be settled when people start talking.”


Interview by Patricia Harty, April, 1991.

“The Irish have this love for literature and music and these, combined with an emphasis on family and a devotion to freedom in their history, are pretty fundamental ingredients that go into political life. But here’s another part to this, too. The Irish came to politics out of necessity in earlier generations. They saw it as a way of moving upwards and achieving their hopes and aspirations. And the Irish have done that well.”


Interview by Michael Scanlon. May, 1992.

“There are some commitments which one makes out of obligation, some out of position and some out of choice. There are other commitments that are thrust upon one by the weight of history and heritage. For me, religious liberty and freedom of conscience are such a commitment. I speak as a Catholic of Irish heritage whose father was from the north and whose mother was from the south.




And I am deeply saddened when I see the violence that divides neighbors and the bitterness that hardens the soul. We must uphold and renew that which makes us caring persons striving for a just nation and a peaceful world.” As Chairman of Mutual of America, Bill Flynn worked tirelessly to keep the U.S. involved in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Interview by Niall O’Dowd. November, 1993.


“My generation was really the first generation of the post Famine Irish to have the luxury to lift our heads up, take a breath and say, ‘I want to know more about that place where we came from.’ I think the next generation – my children – are going to be even more interested and more curious and more sensitive to that little island that has produced over 70 million people around the world.” Interview by Niall O’Dowd. November / December, 1994.


“What, to me, the Irish are all about is tremendous pride, a great work ethic, and a great discipline that comes from that. I sense it in Chuck Daly, I sense it in Mike Dunleavy, and in other coaches I have known in the past who are of Irish descent. Born out of that Irish upbringing, too, are just values. The values of doing right, knowing the difference between right and wrong; it’s simple, very cut-anddried.” Riley was then head coach of the Knicks. Interview by Patricia Harty. July / August, 1995.


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30 Years | 1985 - 2015





“It is a labor of love and I mean it. I believe this is a moment of historic opportunity that could set the framework for life in Ireland for not just a few years, but decades, or even centuries. It’s an historic time and a tremendous opportunity to make progress.” Senator Mitchell (Maine) on chairing the All-Party talks. Two years later those talks culminated in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Interview by Patricia Harty. May / June, 1996


“There seems to be something in the Irish that makes them partial to poetry. “There’s a tradition, a value system, which is given an historical myth or truth that predisposes us as a community and as individuals to trust in poetry. If a poet publishes a poem in a newspaper in Ireland, the judges will read it, the Taoiseach will read it, the Protestant bishop will read it, and the name of the poet will be a possession. I think it’s a mater of some RIGHT: Irish American of the Year President Bill Clinton at the 1996 Top 100 Awards, with NYPD Detective Stephen McDonald, his wife Patti and their son Conor. The McDonalds were inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2014.




indifference whether they are equipped in any special way to read or judge poetry. We are actually talking about the actual role of the poet in society, and in Ireland there is no doubt that he role is alive and . . . I think you have to concede that there is public psychic and artistic reality in this, which is a genuine positive cultural possession of the country.”


Interview by Patricia Harty. May/June, 1996.

“This agreement is good for all the people, North and South, and while many will try to defeat it, I believe it will pass. Ordinary people North and South will finally get a chance to prove that they want a just and lasting peace.” Talk Chairman George Mitchell on the occasion of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. May / June, 1998.


“It’s not simply as an award to myself but as a powerful statement of the international goodwill towards peace on our streets in Northern Ireland.” Hume was the leader of the SDLP and winner of the 1998 Nobel Peach Prize. Interview by Kelly Candaele. February / March, 1999.


“All along we looked back over the years and across the ocean and deferred to the history, the tradition, the land. . .. Then something happened. Damn! Who’s this Michael Flatley, this Seamus Egan, this Joanie Madden and her Cherished Ladies? And who do they think they are, coming to Ireland and, not only sweeping the competition but, talented, pushing their way into the culture of their ancestors? … The Atlantic has become a puddle which poets and musicians leap without a second thought. …. So that’s what it is to be Irish nowadays?” From McCourt’s article, “Puddle Jumping.” October / November, 2000.

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“It almost seems to me, just from a pure scientific point of view, chances are there is life – maybe just microscopic life [in outer space].” Her favorite trick that she likes to do in space. “I’ll put my face right up against a window, so I can’t see anything else in the shuttle, and I’ll put my arms out and my legs out, and I feel like I’m flying over the earth with no spacecraft. And it’s really neat. You feel like you’re Superman flying over the earth.”

Collins was the first female to command a NASA space mission. Interview by Patricia Harty


“Many nations counted their dead on September 11th and many nations have combined to create the unique passion that flourishes in this great city, a passion for life. Evil men thought they could kill that passion; that the ugliness of violence, the awesomeness of wanton deaths, would snuff it out. They were wrong. New York is still passionate about life and now that very passion has been deepened and stretched by the avalanche of grief it has had to struggle through, to find its way back to the future again. Irish men and women can rightly claim to have planted their flags on the landscape of that future and the words those flags bear are courage, fortitude, perseverance and selflessness. The generations who went before them would be proud of a modern generation who have known the easy times and comfort of prosperity but who when tested, chose the hardest road of all.” Then-President McAleese speaking at Irish America’s Top 100, which honored the heroes of 9/11. March, 2002.






“In the late 1950s, I started to learn the craft of writing and that turned me more seriously to Ireland. I found my way to Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde, to Yeats, and Joyce and O’Casey. I didn’t read them to affirm my Irishness, or to pretend that I understood every line they wrote, or to wrap myself in their unfurled banners. I never thought that because they were great writers, I could become one too. They weren’t even guides to conduct, models for the way a writer should live his life. I read them because no writer – no educated human being – could not read them.”


Interview by Patricia Harty. February / March, 2003.

“Everyone knows when they’re born but nobody knows when they died. If you want to give it away, think about giving it away while you are alive because you’ll get a lot more satisfaction than if you wait until you are dead. Besides, it’s a lot more fun. Giving gave me a lot of pleasure.”

Feeney, founder of Duty Free Shops, quietly gave away a fortune over the years. Interview by Conor O’Cleary.


“We worshipped FDR, and we thought the second coming was when Kennedy was elected president. School was a big deal. So was storytelling. Both my novels are stuffed with tales, facts and lore gleaned from a lifetime in New York.”

ABOVE: Irish President Mary McAleese (right) congratulates Port Authority Police Chief Joe Morris. With NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (left) and FDNY Chief Pete Hayden (center) at the 2002 Irish America Top 100 Awards.

Peter Quinn. Interview by Tom Deignan. December, 2005.


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30 Years | 1985 - 2015


2006 JOHN MCCAIN 2007


“This right here is the promise of America. Look at the faces, look at the hope. Their eyes are alive with hero daring.”

Senator McCain, pointing to a photograph of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island late in the 19th century. McCain, whose ancestors are Scots Irish, sponsored an Immigration bill with Senator Edward Kennedy. Interview by Niall O’Dowd. August / September, 2006.


“I went into public service because I grew up in a house where that was considered an honorable and important thing to do. My parents met putting together a Young Democrats newsletter. My mom had her collection of campaign buttons and pictures of John F. Kennedy. My father was someone who, albeit a lawyer in private practice, raised us to be involved in the public affairs of our community and country. So that’s the motivation in my heart.” O’Malley was then governor of Maryland, and is now a presidential candidate. Interview by Patricia Harty. August / September, 2007.


“As you travel around the world you realize what an incredible influence the United States has and the potential that we have to do great good in the most difficult of situations. The peace process in Northern Ireland was greatly supported by the government of the United States, which believed that peace was possible and made it clear that it would 74 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015



be supportive of any efforts for peace. In Sri Lanka we heard stories about the U.S. military that came immediately following the tsunami to rebuild schools. In Africa, in the poorest countries, what a great sense of pride it is to see the Concern workers taking the bags marked ‘U.S. AID,’ and to know that the U.S. has supported efforts to keep children alive and to provide for a better existence and a better life. It’s awfully easy sometimes to see the negative sides of our world, but I think that those who have traveled and understood and heard from the people who suffer the most, recognize how powerful our country is for the good.” Tom Moran is Chairman & CEO of Mutual of America and Chairman of Concern Worldwide. Interview by Patricia Harty. April / May, 2008.


“It was exciting. Usually when you dance, you dance in front of a crowd that has no clue who you are, so you can mess up, fall down, be exhausted and no one will really notice. But [at the Gaultier show] everyone knew me and I was really nervous because usually all I have to do is walk.” Supermodel Coco Roach, whose grandmother is from Belfast, was discovered while performing in an Irish dance competition. She’s talking here about doing an Irish dance down the runway at a fashion show. Interview by Kara Rota. June / July, 2009.


“I remember it perfectly. It sounds like it’s out of a travelogue or something, but what I remember first is just how green it was. It really does strike you. I had no idea. From the sky, I remember wanting to understand all the walls that were up and what they represented. I couldn’t get over the value, in a host of ways, an Irishman puts on owning property.” McCann, president of UBS Americas and Wealth Management Americas, on his first trip to Ireland. Interview by Kara Rota. August / September.

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President Obama announces Gina McCarthy (left) as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency in 2013.

“My great-grandparents were from Ireland. My grandfather was a Boston cop for 35 years, and my first introduction to Irish culture was talking to him about where the term Paddy Wagon came from. We lived in Chelsea, Massachusetts, which was a naval pier town where all the Navy guys would come in and they’d have some beers and then the police would be called in to round them up. They [the police] drove an open-air police truck and it was so cold at night that the guys who drove it had to have a little Irish Paddy [whiskey] to stay warm and that’s why they called it the Paddy Wagon. Whether it’s true or not, I have no idea. But it’s a good story, and that’s why I tell it.


Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly on his Irish ancestors. Interview by Niall O’Dowd. December / January, 2011.

“I try not to take myself too seriously. When my best friend in Killarney, Emerson Johnson, and I were in school together and we’d bunk off at lunchtime sometimes, I’d always be really nervous, but I remember he used to say ‘What’ll it matter in 100 years’ time?’ and he’s right. If you can relieve yourself of that pressure and not take yourself too seriously, then you can afford to look like a bit of an idiot. I think I am quite immature, or maybe just childlike.” Fassbender stars as Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic Steve Jobs. Interview by Patricia Danaher. August / September, 2012.


Do you still believe music will heal the world? “Well, art and music are the only thing we’ve got. They have always been the only thing we’ve got, because we always have problems. We always have murder. We always have greed. We always have people who are nuts and there’s always something awful happening somewhere. So, you have to have art. Every culture in the world has realized that art is the thing, that art is primary.” Interview by Patricia Harty. June / July, 2013.


“I come from a very much service-oriented family. We have firemen, policemen, post office, school teachers – my sister, Elaine, is a middle school history teacher – and it’s not like someone told you that was the thing you had to do, but public service was seen as very much an honorable thing to do. And that’s what I grew up wanting to do; my parents’ gift to me was two things, public service and hard work. I don’t know anybody I grew up with that didn’t teach their kids that there was a larger meaning in life.”


Gina McCarthy is head of the EPA. Interview by Patricia Harty. August / September, 2014.


“Play to people’s strengths, celebrate them, shore up weaknesses and, as my grandfather – a legend in Montreal’s professional baseball leagues in the early part of the 1900s – used to tell me, “Always play to win. “ Finally, I think a key element that often gets overlooked in sports and in business, is to have fun. The most successful teams I have been a part of – both in sports and business – have been a blast. While some of that was because it was fun to win, I think it goes the other way as well. Those fun teams I was part of were fun before we ever officially won, and the fun fueled the winning.” Shannon Deegan is Google’s director of Global Security Operations, and was the Keynote Speaker at the 2014 Irish America Business 100 Awards. Interview by Patricia Harty. December / January, 2015.


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Becky Lynch is becoming one of the major figures in what appears to be a revolution in women’s professional sports – pro wrestling. Enthusiastic, opinionated, and, yes, mouthy, Lynch spoke with Kara Rota about her rise in the unique, theatrical, and athletically demanding combat sport.



ecky Lynch failed P.E. in school. It’s almost impossible to imagine now, watching her at the top of her game as she flies off the ropes of the ring and delivers her signature finisher, an armbar called the Dis-arm-Her. In July, she debuted on WWE Monday Night Raw, pro wrestling’s flagship show, and quickly began climbing the ranks of the roster to audience enthusiasm. There were no professional wrestling schools in Ireland when Lynch was born Rebecca Quin in Dublin in 1987. “Me and my brother would watch it [on TV] all the time and I loved it. But if you wanted to be a wrestler, you’d have to go off to England or America to train,” she said when we spoke on the phone in July. That changed in 2002, when current NXT superstar Finn Bálor (then wrestling as Fergal “Prince” 76 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015


Devitt) opened a school in Bray, County Wicklow. “It was about an hour and a half away from me. And it didn’t even have a ring at the time. We wrestled for three months on just six blue mats on the floor in this tiny little hall at Saint Andrew’s national school,” Lynch recalls. “We’d go down there every Sunday and that’s how we learned, on the mats. We’d go across to England and do these summer camps where you’d train eight or nine hours a day in a gym. You’d sleep on the mats in the ring or under the ring.” Using the name Rebecca Knox, Lynch made her professional wrestling debut at the end of 2002, teaming up with her brother in mixed tag team matches. But she still wasn’t thinking of it as a career. She thought she’d try her hand at acting, then seriously considered a career as a lawyer. “That way I’d get to argue with people. I’d get to talk! I liked

Above: Rebecca Quin as her WWE character Becky Lynch. Right: Becky Lynch entering the stage at a WWE NXT show this year.


Irish Lass B

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being in front of people and performing in any aspect, so being a lawyer seemed like a good way to go because I was a good little debater and talker and I was mouthy.” After high school, Lynch went to University College Dublin where she studied history, politics, and philosophy, but she continued to wrestle and one day she realized she wanted to pursue wrestling as a career. “I had a match in Kildare, and I remember coming home afterwards and just sitting down and turning to my brother (who has wrestled as Gonzo de Mondo) and saying, this is what I have to do with my life. This is all I want to do with the rest of my life. “I told my mom that I was going to Canada just for the summer and that I’d get back to college the next year and do sports and exercise science, which maybe I kind of had as a fall-back plan, but I didn’t really want that.” At just 18, not knowing anyone in Canada but having it in her mind that there was more wrestling going on over there and that she would have more opportunities, “I just headed over, and was really lucky.” Her second day after arriving,

Lynch got in touch with Scotty Mac, a wrestler she’d met once before in Ireland, and ended up trying out for the company he was involved in, Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. “I remember it being really scary, but not in a paralyzing way. It was a good fear. One that motivated me more than it held me back. It was, ‘Okay, I’m scared. I’m 18 and I don’t know anybody, but this is what’s right.’ “When things are scary or there’s a struggle, I always think, ‘how is this going to sound in my biography?’ Sometimes I would just be living on protein shakes or the cheapest food that I could afford, because I didn’t have a lot of money. I would be sleeping on the floors of friends apartments, and all the time I was thinking, ‘this is what makes for a good memoir.’ “I’d read Stone Cold’s biography about how he lived on, like, raw potatoes, and I thought, this is all part of it. This is what wrestlers do and this is what I’m going to do. “I was lucky to find a school and find a company that really took me under its wing and supported me. I was lucky. It all worked out really well in the end.” Of course, it was more than luck that propelled Lynch’s success in Super Girls Wrestling, an offshoot of Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling. After making a name for herself in Canada, Lynch began to wrestle in various promotions as Rebecca Knox, traveling for matches in America and Japan. Both in the ring and on the microphone, Lynch has always set herself apart as a performer. She puts on a show, and jumps into full-out brawls with an enthusiasm and skill that’s unique in all of wrestling, not only the Divas division. “I think when you’ve got a passion for something, it comes out of you and people can feel it. Then your mind is so geared towards that, and how you can improve on it, and you’re so excited about performing that it comes together.... “Everybody has that thing about them that makes them special, and sometimes we try to dull it down or we don’t always want to expose it, and maybe

we’ve been taught that way or whatever. It’s just a matter of letting it out and letting it go and letting people in on it.” In 2006, Lynch sustained a head injury during a match in Germany and was diagnosed with possible damage to her eighth cranial nerve. She left the ring for years, first as a result of the injury and then to explore other possible career paths. She went back to school and worked as an actress, a stuntwoman, a flight attendant, a personal trainer, and even a wrestling manager. Then in 2013, she signed with WWE. And now, she has no intention of leaving. “I want to be in this business my entire life. I stepped away from it for seven years, long enough to know that there is nothing else I want to do.” And she’s not the only Irish fighter in the ring these days. Lynch is enthusiastic in singing the praises of her Irish cohorts. “We have that thing about us anyway that we’re the Fighting Irish, and now with all the attention that we’re getting, it’s just unbelievable.” Lynch sounds like any other fan while listing athletes that share her Irish heritage. “First you’ve got Sheamus blazing the trail [in WWE], and then you’ve got [UFC Featherweight champion] Conor McGregor, who is just unbelievable; what he is doing for mixed martial arts is just amazing. He’s entertaining, and he backs it up with real talent, he always delivers. Pound for pound, he’s just one of the best fighters going at the moment. And then you’ve got [NXT champion] Finn Bálor, who’s just incredible. I consider him to be probably the best sports entertainer in the world right now. And then you’ve got [boxing champion] Katie Taylor. I’m so proud to be one of the people that’s in that category, doing Ireland proud, putting us more on the map. Bringing home some belts, and hopefully, winning some titles and championships.” We shouldn’t have to hope too hard. Lynch’s skills are notable, and her physical training is relentless. She trains at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, spending three hours daily in the ring plus plenty of hours of weight training, cardio, and yoga. “Just something to center myself and keep moving. I feel like yoga’s helped me so much just to stay injury-free and relaxed and calm. “To be honest with you, I could not tell you the last time I took a day off from the gym, which is probably not the greatest! I just love it. It helps me keep my head in the game and know that I’m working towards OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 77


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Top: Becky Lynch using her signature move, the “Dis-arm-Her,” on opponent Charlotte Flair. Above: Lynch with Sasha Banks at WWE Smackdown in August.

something that I love more than anything.” Professional wrestling, while too often dismissed as a “fake sport” or for kids, is actually hugely popular, and more mainstream than many believe. Over five and a half million people watched the episode of Monday Night Raw that aired the night after Wrestlemania, referred to as “the Super Bowl of wrestling.” While female wrestlers such as The Fabulous Moolah, Mildred Burke, and Mae Young were instrumental in increasing the popularity of pro wrestling in the early and mid20th century, more recent decades have relegated most women in wrestling to ringside sidekicks or cheerleaders, catfighting it out in pudding or mud, and hardly respected for their athletic accomplishments. Now, as women dominate in soccer, tennis, and combat sports, they’re climbing the ranks in pro wrestling as well. “For me right now, what is going on is what I’ve always dreamed of and what I’ve always wanted, and it’s that [female wrestlers] have this credibility.


Before this, I think women’s wrestling wasn’t always respected. It was more of an afterthought.” Regarded by some fans as time for a beer or a bathroom break, women’s matches now can be the highlight of a show. “We want it where it’s not just, ‘Oh it’s a girl’s match, let me go put the kettle on and have a cup of tea,’ or whatever. It’s like, ‘Oh, no, the girls are on. I need to see this. I can’t miss it!’ We want that for women’s wrestling. For the whole state of the division. For women in general, you know what I mean? It should never be an afterthought. It should always be that we are equally as credible as the guys, if not more so.” Lynch is not only helping to garner the respect of the fans, she’s helping to carve out a larger place for female talent in the annals of wrestling fame. “When I walk down to the Performance Center, there’s a hallway, and there’s a display of all the pay-per-view posters. It’s all the headliners, all the moneymakers, and they’re all men. All of them. Every single one of them. I walk down and every single time I just kind of shake my head a little bit. Because I know in five years, definitely in ten years, but no, five years, even three years, I know I’m going to be walking down and I’m going to see female wrestlers like Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks and Bayley, and maybe myself, there on those posters. That’s what it’s going to be, because that is the future.” IA


IT’S 1903. Nora Kelly, twenty-four, is talented, outspoken, progressive, and climbing the ladder of opportunity, until she falls for an attractive but dangerous man who sends her running back to Paris. There she stumbles into the centuries-old Collège des Irlandais and meets a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and Ireland’s revolutionary women who challenge Nora to honor her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland.

“Of Irish Blood is a riveting novel that brings the heroines of the Irish Revolution to vivid life…a great read and a wonderful addition to every Irish-American’s library.” —PATRICIA HARTY, Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Irish America Magazine

“Captures the drama, the turmoil, and the excitement of the complex history of Irish and Irish Americans in the early twentieth century...and illuminates the arduous task of finding one’s true self in the heart of a whirlwind.” —MARY GORDON, award-winning author of The Company of Women

“Kelly is a wonderful, creative, intelligent writer who’s endowed with a sense of humor.” —MALACHY MCCOURT, New York Times bestselling author of A Monk Swimming

“A passionately told tale of romance and revolution...Irresistable.” —PETER QUINN, Winner of the American Book Award for Banished Children of Eve

Visit the author online at FOLLOW US on Twitter and Facebook // GET FREE EXCERPTS when you sign up for the free Tor/Forge monthly newsletter GET UPDATES about your favorite Forge authors when you sign up for Author Updates

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978-0-7653-2913-4 Hardcover and eBook February 2015

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The Irish in Barbados The descendants of Irish people sold into slavery in the 1600s live in a close-knit community beset by poverty and ill health.



Story and Photographs by Sheena Jolley 80 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

uring the winter of 1636, a ship bearing a consignment of 61 men and women destined to be slaves on the plantations of Barbados slipped quietly out of Kinsale Harbor on Ireland’s rugged southern coast. By the time Captain Joseph West’s ship arrived in the Caribbean in January 1637, eight of the 61 had died. The remainder were sold, including ten to the governor of Barbados, for 450 pounds of sugar apiece. Captain West was instructed to return to London to sell the sugar and then proceed to Kinsale to procure another cargo of Irish slaves. That first small trickle soon became a human flood. It was a lucrative business. An Irish white slave could be sold in Barbados for between £10 and £35. In all, more than 50,000 Irish were transported from Ireland to Barbados (more were sent to other islands in the West Indies), many of them prisoners captured by Oliver Cromwell during the wars in Ireland and Scotland and following the Monmouth Rebellion. The slaves became known as Redlegs, almost certainly a reference to the sunburn they picked up in the hot tropical sun. By the mid-1700s most were free, their places taken by Africans. However, minute books from the

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island show that no more than a fifth of those who were freed became farmers, owners, or artisans. The remainder formed a wretched, poor and isolated community. In 1689, the governor of Barbados, Colonel James Kendall, described the Redlegs as being “dominated over and used like dogs.” He suggested to the local assembly that the emancipated slaves be given two acres (0.8 hectares) of land, as was their due, but the assembly contemptuously turned down the request. Today, the few hundred remaining Redlegs in Barbados, also known as the Baccra, a name they were given as they were only allowed to sit in the back row at church, stand out as anomalies in a predominantly black population, struggling for survival in a society that has no niche for them, looked down upon by both blacks and better-off whites.

CLOCKWISE: Erlene Downie and Betty Fenty, the great-aunt of singer Rihanna. Erlene gets a helping hand from her daughters, Hazel (left) and Ann (right), accompanied Irish musician Willie Kerr of The Merrymen. Eric Bailey. Danny Fenty.

There is a strong sense of community among the Redlegs. “If I need to eat, I go next door, and if they need to eat, they come to me,” 86-year-old Eustace Norris, who spent 30 years working in a factory in England before returning to Barbados, told me. And they are an insular community. Despite having lived in Barbados for a number of


Making Contact


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years, I had only glimpsed these conspicuously poor, bare-footed individuals hauling coconuts up the hill in the New Castle district of Saint John Parish on the east coast of Barbados. In order to get to know them better, I spent time with them in 2000 and again in 2008 and 2014. They were initially suspicious of me, but the fact that I had worked in the area helped to break the ice. And as one of them exclaimed, “Ah, that makes you Bajan.” The Redlegs have retained a racial pride and a degree of aloofness from their black neighbors, mostly marrying within their own community. They do not know much about Ireland except that some of their ancestors came from there. Though one man I met, Wilson Norris, is passionate about Irish music and has a collection of CDs, these people are poor and their main concentration is on survival, not the past. Ill health, inadequate housing, little ownership of land to produce their own food, and a lack of job opportunities have locked the community into a poverty trap that has hardly improved in the last century. Poor diet and a lack of dental care have left most of the older generation with either bad teeth or no teeth at all, and young people who don’t realize that this is preventable. Illnesses and premature deaths caused by blood diseases such as haemophilia (probably as a result of inbreeding) and diabetes have had a devastating effect on the community. When I first visited Erlene Downie in 2000, she





had been living alone for 33 years, following the death of her husband from leukemia. Her home had neither electricity nor running water, which she had to carry from a standpipe. Once a week, she boiled some water on a fire outside so that she could wash. To earn money, she collected coconuts, splitting them with a pick-axe and supplying the husks to a local nursery for orchid cultivation. In 2008, I found Erlene, then 78 years old, still smiling, but living in even worse conditions. She had moved onto a plot beside her daughter’s house, where she lived in a wooden shack, again without running water, proper sanitation, or electricity. To make matters worse, she was sharing the tiny space with a nephew and her youngest son, who is a haemophiliac. In 2000, I visited 78-year-old bachelor Chris Watson, who spent his whole life as a fisherman. The tropical sun had taken its toll on his fair skin, and his face was half destroyed by skin cancer left untreated for too long. Although he was living in appalling conditions, lying on a dirty mattress in a room bare of any other furniture, his wooden house was perched high on a hill with a breath-taking view of the wild Atlantic coast. I learned that Chris died soon after my visit. I also spent time with Wilson and Louise Yearwood in 2000. They were living comfortably in a small, government-supplied wooden house. However, Wilson was unable to work as a result of

CLOCKWISE: Oriel Farnum and her grandson Daniel Gibson. Three generations: Louise and Wilson Yearwood, their daughter and grandchildren. Ann Downie Banfield with her daughter Sapphire. Ann is proudly holding a photograph of her granddaughter, who was the first in the community to go to university, and is currently studying for a Master’s in law. Erlene Downie outside her home in 2008. George Highland Hickson.



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operations for an ulcerated stomach and a hernia, and there was little money for basic necessities. I was glad to see them both again in 2008, but it was a great shock to discover that a house built for two was now housing their daughter, her boyfriend, and three small children. The young family shared the front room with a section partitioned for an adult bed. Wilson and Louise now used the kitchen as their main room with a section partitioned off for their bed. The toilet and very basic shower facility were in corrugated sheds in the back yard. An outside sink was used for washing clothes.

Returning With Music

In December 2014, I arrived in Barbados hoping that some had found a way out of poverty since my previous visits. People had grown older and the two amputees suffering from diabetes that I had photographed had died. Children had grown up and more children had been born. Eric Bailey had saved enough money from his previous job working on the roads to buy his own fishing boat. His brother Terence works in construction and has also built up a pack of Akita dogs through his own breeding plan. Each dog is vaccinated and in beautiful condition, but he says he cannot command the going price for them because of where he lives. Erlene Downie is now 84 years old. She lives in a small wooden structure next to the homes of two of her daughters Ann and Hazel. Ann, who worked in Bridgetown for many years, including 13 years for Cave Sheppard, a large department store in town, proudly showed me a photograph of her granddaughter’s graduation – the first from the community to go to university, she is now studying for her master’s in law. Ann’s husband Herbert is of mixed race, and of

late there has been much more integration with the black population and there are many more mixedrace children. As attitudes towards matters of color, race, and class begin to change, those who don’t join the white middle class via better educational and job opportunities will, via mixed marriages, become absorbed into the black majority. There was little change in circumstances from previous visits, but I was still welcomed with warm smiles and generous hugs. Though they liked my photographs, and I felt privileged that they allowed me in to their homes, I wanted to do more for these people I have come to know and respect. The opportunity came when I met musician Willie Kerr, an old friend, who for many years played with the very successful Merrymen band. Willie, who now lives and works in Barbados, helps to raise funds for disadvantaged and homeless in Bridgetown through The Love Day Project, an organization founded five years ago by musician Terry “Mexican” Arthur, a member of the band Square! (The exclamation point is part of the band’s name.) Before and during Christmas that year, volunteers from Love Day set up tables, chairs, and food in Queens Park in Bridgetown and offered people breakfast, new clothes, haircuts, blood pressure checks, diabetes checks, and AIDS checks. I suggested to Willie that they do something similar for the Irish descendants on the other side of the island. A plan was made and Willie, Terry, and fellow musician Lawrence Lorenzo Gittens duly turned up in St. Martin’s Bay armed with musical instruments, hampers, and Christmas gifts. It was an important gesture that showed respect and appreciation for a forgotten people, and I was glad to have been able to share their story with others on the island, and elsewhere, and bring them back in the fold of the Irish diaspora. IA


For more of Sheena Jolley’s work, visit



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White Cargo The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to be sent to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish made up the majority of slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70 percent of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves. From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1.5 million to 600,000 in a single decade. Families were ripped apart since the British did not allow Irish fathers to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well. During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia, and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold in Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2,000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers. In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share and began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock enabling the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves. This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that by 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company. Britain continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold in both America and Australia.

CLOCKWISE: Erlene Downie's sisters stop for a chat. A game of dominoes: Terrence Bailey and his sister Monique, the great-niece and great-nephew of Erlene Downie (2014).

From left: Herbert and Ann Banfield with a family friend and their grandkids (2008). Wilson Norris sorting eggs. Wilson is proud of his collection of Irish music.



Joyce Hudson (sister of Erlene).

Excerpted from an article by John Martin in Oped News,


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T. J. English what are you like | By Patricia Harty

What is your current state of mind?

In the daily here-and-now, things are hectic, and the dominant mood is restlessness. With a new book on the verge of publication, after four years of concentrated labor to make it happen, there are heightened expectations and some anxiety. On the other hand, in the larger scheme of things, I am at peace. Getting to make a living by doing the thing that is most satisfying and gratifying is a blessing for which I am thankful on a daily basis.

What is on your bedside table?

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow. This is an epic novel, published in 1997, about the narco war in Mexico, with a sprawling cast of characters that includes DEA agents, narcos, politicians, gangsters, and prostitutes, etc. I’m reading this in preparation for reading Winslow’s new book, The Cartel, an updated examination of the narco war, which continues to destroy lives and undermine democracy in Mexico with no end in sight.

Your earliest memory?

I must have been around one year old. I’m standing in a crib, with wooden slats that rise above my head. I’m alone in an upstairs room in the house. Big family, parents, nine brothers and sisters, so it’s noisy in the house. I can hear voices from other rooms, maybe the sound of a TV or radio, banging doors. Clearly, I’m not in the womb anymore. I stand there taking it all in, looking at these bars in front of me, and I’m thinking, “I gotta get out of here.”

Did you read a lot as a child?

I did. I still have the copy of what I think is the first book I ever read: King Arthur and His Knights by Maude L. Radford, passed on to me by a great-aunt. I also remember reading Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Jack 86 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

When did you begin to think of yourself as a writer?

At some point in grade school, writing a short story or an essay and getting positive feedback. And then in high school I began working on a very good school newspaper and was introduced to journalism. Doing this kind of writing got me out of the house and made me feel engaged with the social universe around me. From that point onward, I knew it was what I hoped to do with my life.

What genres do you enjoy reading and which do you avoid?

I am a big reader of social history, what the publishing biz calls “narrative non-fiction.” A well told true story, thoroughly researched and documented, made compelling and entertaining through the use of fictional writing techniques. I’m also drawn to crime fiction, especially the work of masters like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, James M. Cain, and Jim Thompson. I read their work as much for the style of the writing as the content of the story. I stay away from romance novels, sports books, celebrity memoirs, and books by Bill O’Reilly.

Do you have a favorite book of all time?

I feel as though I’ve been greatly influenced by the works of Dostoyevsky, so Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and Notes from Underground all could qualify. Also, The White Album by Joan Didion. And also Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trial ’72 by Hunter Thompson. And the book that most directly led me to the kind of writing I do, The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer. I could go on and on.

All of your books are based on street gangs and real-life criminals. When did you begin to develop an interest in the criminal underworld?

I don’t necessarily think of it as writing about crime; I think of it as writing about how the social universe functions, albeit from a particular point of view. The criminal activity I write about – organized crime – is almost always an extension of some large aspect of the culture – politics, business, neighborhood, ethnicity, or the simple human desire to survive and prosper. I write about criminals and cops, but I don’t


T.J. English is a noted journalist, screenwriter, and author of the New York Times bestsellers Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, The Savage City, The Westies, and Born to Kill, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. He has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Playboy, among other publications. His screenwriting credits include episodes for the television crime dramas NYPD Blue and Homicide, for which he was awarded the Humanitas Prize. In his first book, The Westies, English explored New York’s first Irish mob and its leader, Mickey Featherstone. He followed up with Paddy Whacked, which covered nearly two centuries of Irish-American gangs operating in the underbelly of America’s most dangerous cities – including New York, Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, and Cleveland. And now in Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World that Made Him he brings us the story of the most infamous Irish-American gangster of them all. Published on September 15, 2015, just days before the Whitey Bulger movie Black Mass starring Johnny Depp hit theaters, the book presents a rich story that includes interviews with Bulger associates, retired FBI agents, victims and their families and gives the reader a breathtaking look at the government corruption that played a role in enabling one of the most brutal underworld conspiracies in U.S. history. T.J., who was a valuable member of the team that founded Irish America magazine in 1985, grew up in Tacoma, Washington and lives in New York City. He is also a co-founder of Irish American Writers and Artists.

London (The Call of the Wild), and The Three Musketeers. But my favorite early writer, without a doubt, was Mark Twain, particularly The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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is the soul of the universe. The nice thing about drums is that if you have rhythm, you can play. You may start out with a very simple rhythm – 1/2, 1/2 – but if you can hold that rhythm you can play along with the most sophisticated music. And as you practice and get better, developing a facility for playing more complicated patterns, you can elevate your game and your spirit along with it.

Your perfect day?

Mind, body, and spirit. If I get my writing done, maybe go to the gym and have a workout, and then take a long walk along the Hudson River at sunset, that’s a full and complete day.

Your favorite meal? Paella.

Favorite country you have visited?

You mean besides Ireland? Brazil. Or maybe Cuba. Or maybe Mexico.

Do you have a favorite place in Ireland?

T.J. English.

see the world in black and white, good and evil. We are all fallen angels. Granted, some people engage in horrible acts, and my books contain violence and depravity that is almost beyond comprehension. And those acts need to be dealt with by the criminal justice system. But as a writer, I try to not be judgmental. I view the underworld and the upperworld as basically flip sides of the same coin.

Name one thing about Whitey Bulger that you discovered that surprised you.

That the story of Whitey Bulger – the scandal of the Bulger years – is only partly about Whitey Bulger. With Where the Bodies Were Buried, I try to move the discussion beyond Whitey Bulger to the universe that created Bulger. How did this happen? How did Bulger ever get into a position of power to wreak havoc all those years? The answer involves a staggering historical continuity of corruption, some of it buried and covered up for generations. We need to move beyond the cult of Bulger and be honest about how he was enabled by a compromised criminal justice system. I hope this book will be part of that process.

If you’re hosting a literary dinner party, who would you invite (dead or alive)?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Flannery O’Connor, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Jack Kerouac, and Nicki Minaj (okay, she’s not a literary figure, but I would want her there).

Do you have a hidden talent?

I am an amateur percussionist – conga drums, bongos, etc. Started playing about twenty years ago. I love music that has heavy rhythm and percussion – African, Afro-Cuban, and American jazz that’s heavy on percussion. The rhythm of the drum

I was once driving through the town of Glencolumbkille, in Donegal, and thought it was possibly the most beautiful place I’d ever encountered. But then I continued on to the coast, to Buncrana, and walked along the beach at sunset. It was almost thirty years ago, but the memory is still fragrant.

What’s next for you?

A book that I wrote called The Savage City is being developed into a 10-hour mini-series for FX television. The book is about a period of hostility between the NYPD and the black liberation movement in the 1960s and early 1970s. I think it’s the most important book I’ve published, and the subject matter is especially relevant today. I will be involved as an executive producer. Also, my book Havana Nocturne, about the era of the Mob in Cuba in the 1950s, has been in development for a while as a feature film, and looks as though it could go into production soon. I won’t be involved in the production, per se, but it will no doubt be an exciting event if and when it happens.

Hero – dead or alive?

I don’t really engage in hero worship, though there are many people who I admire. If forced to single out one person, I would say Rosa Parks. There has been much discussion about finally putting the face of a woman on U.S. currency, and she would get my vote.

Best advice you ever received?

When receiving advice from others, take it with a grain of salt. Better to trust your own instincts, even if you turn out to have been wrong. IA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 87

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Ancestors of Irish American Celebrities in New Online Catholic Parish Registers Roots detective Megan Smolenyak explores the National Library of Ireland’s online collection of Catholic parish registers, uncovers entries for ancestors of a few wellknow Irish Americans, including Bruce Springsteen, and offers a guide to finding yours.


he last few years have been kind to those of us interested in pursuing our Irish roots. Between 2007 and 2010, the National Archives of Ireland rolled out the entirety of the 1901 and 1911 Irish census, posting these records – digitized, searchable, and free – online (http://www.census. This database has proved invaluable for descendants of Ellis Island-era immigrants, and also handy for tracking down aging hometown siblings of Famine-era departees. And now, motivated at least partly by the evident correlation between ancestral curiosity and tourism, the Irish government has done it again. Specifically, on July 8th, the National Library of Ireland (NLI) introduced a massive online collection of Catholic parish registers ( – digitized, free, and quasisearchable (more on this shortly). Speaking at the launch, Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated that there was “no doubt the registers will contribute to the number of genealogical tourists to Ireland.” All told, 3,550 registers from 1,086 parishes have been scanned and uploaded, resulting in a website offering more than 370,000 digital images. Cover-

age reflects the availability of original records, so it varies from parish to parish, starting as early as the 1740s for some and as late as the 1860s for others.

Finding Yours

There’s just one small (and probably temporary) catch: The site does not incorporate any sort of index or transcription, so unearthing records pertaining to your family will involve one of the following scenarios. You’ll need to:

• Be lucky enough to hail from a county and/or

parish that has a readily accessible search tool, whether free (e.g., /churchrecords/) or fee-based (e.g., In this case, you can query the other resource and use the details furnished to find the corresponding NLI register image.

• Already know the parish or vicinity that your

family came from (or figure this out by other means). Given this situation, you can go directly to the NLI site and use its built-in capacity to drill down by record type (baptism, marriage, death, or conversions), year, and month to zero in on a life event of a known ancestor and then expand the hunt for additional family members.

• Be willing to methodically slog through all the 1863 marriage of Thomas Feehily and Mary Kenny, greatgreat-grandparents of Jimmy Fallon, in Drumlish Parish, County Longford.

1839 marriage of Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle, great-greatgrandparents of Joe Biden, in Cooley Parish (Carlingford), County Louth.

1827 marriage of Christopher Geraghty/Garrity and Catherine Kelly, great-great-great-grandparents of Bruce Springsteen, in Kildare Parish (Rathangan), County Kildare.

1842 marriage of Henry McCrory and Margaret McCreash, greatgreat-grandparents of Stephen Colbert, at St. Patrick’s in Belfast.

registers for all the parishes in your county of origin or those counties where your surname is most pronounced. For this, you’ll need some sense of several immigrants (say, the rough year of birth for your great-grandfather and a few of his siblings) or the names of the immigrants’ parents, so you can be confident that you’ve spotted your family and not another sporting the same name.

• Be patient and wait for the almost inevitable

search tools that will appear on other websites. More than likely, one or more genealogy companies such as, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage began transcribing the records the day they went live, and will eventually link through to the relevant pages.

Both to familiarize myself with this remarkable collection and provide a sampling of its content, I went on a mini-quest seeking entries for ancestors of a few well-known Irish Americans, but there’s no need to be famous to benefit. If you’ve got Catholic forebears, odds are excellent that at least some of them are included, and now you can surf from home to help make your next visit to Ireland even more special.



You’ve heard of the Dog Whisperer? Meet the Ancestor Rescuer...



Author of Who Do You Think You Are?

“Megan Smolenyak2 decodes our fascinating, complicated past in this tour de force of detective work.” —KEN BURNS

★ “This splendid book makes genealogy come alive in the most vivid and compelling manner.” —FROM THE FOREWORD BY


★ “Megan is a genealogist’s dream, a forensic investigator who can also tell a great story.” —SAM ROBERTS, THE NEW YORK TIMES


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Bruce Springsteen’s Irish Megan Smolenyak

On the Prowl for


Ann’s Loss, Our Gain

Diving in, I soon discovered that despite his surname, Bruce’s father, Douglas Frederick Springsteen (nicknamed “Dutch”) was at least three-quarters Irish. For crossing the pond, I could have targeted his O’Hagan, Farrell, Sullivan, Garrity, or McNicholas lines, but opted for Garrity – mainly because Ann Garrity caught my attention. Born in Ireland, Ann had journeyed to Freehold, New Jersey, married a fellow Irish immigrant, and given birth to at least eight children, only to be widowed at age 34. Perhaps as a matter of practicality, she married a widowed Irishman the following year, and the next census shows them with nine children – a mixture of his, hers and theirs – still living at home. Ann’s misfortune is to our benefit today, as Bruce is descended from one of the twin girls from her second marriage. Had she not lost her first husband, none of us would be able to belt out “Born in the USA.”

Chasing Ann

Assorted records for Ann indicated that she was


born sometime between 1835 and 1848. I suspected that the truth was in the early part of this range, but with the names Ann and Garrity both being quite common, I needed more information to try to pick up her trail in Ireland. Without more specifics, I could dig through all the databases I wanted, but have no way to pluck out the correct Ann. Hoping to learn her parents’ names, I took a quick jaunt to the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton with my husband. Though many think everything is on the Internet, there’s plenty that’s still not, such as most of New Jersey’s birth, marriage, and death records. We scrolled through rolls of microfilm locating several records, including Ann’s death certificate which gave her parents’ names as Christopher Garrity and Julia Kelly. Parents’ names on death certificates of immigrants are notoriously inaccurate since the survivors completing these forms usually never met their old-country grandparents, so are prone to guessing. Even so, I was optimistic in this case because I had seen the name Christopher Garrity before. In two of Ann’s census records, there was an older “Christy” Garrity living next door. I had speculated that he was related, but now I had reason to be confident that he was.

Christy’s Turn

Shifting my attention from Ann to her father, I poked through records and determined that he had arrived in New Jersey before 1860 and was born around 1805-1810. While I was at it, I kept my eyes open for any other Irish-born Garritys in the area with the notion that Christopher almost certainly had more


everal years ago, I had the pleasure of watching Bruce Springsteen accept the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award with his lively mother and aunts whose parents were Italian immigrants (for a charming video, Google Springsteen Ellis Island). I love researching immigrant roots of all origins, but admit that my ears perked up when he mentioned that he and his wife, Patti, were carrying on the “Irish-Italian mating tradition of Central New Jersey” and described his father as “a turbulent Irishman.” Preparing to write about the National Library of Ireland’s recently released Catholic parish records, I flashed back to that day and thought that an ancestor of “The Boss” would be a fun addition. But to do this, I would need to clamber up his family tree, identify one or more Irish immigrants, and then ferret them out of this new database, and as anyone who’s ever dabbled in Irish genealogy knows, that’s often easier said than done. The key is identifying the home town or parish – or at a bare minimum, the county – and particularly for those descended from Famine emigrants when records were patchy and barebones, this can be a challenge. Because Springsteen is so famous, I was well aware that I could probably Google my way to a fair bit about his family tree, including his Irish ancestry, but experience has taught me that such sources are often riddled with errors, so as is my habit, I started from scratch. This, it turned out, was a smart move.

Bruce Springsteen with his mother (with the gold medallion) and aunts at Ellis Island.

ABOVE: Names of Ann Garrity’s parents from her New Jersey death certificate. (New Jersey State Archives) BELOW: Obituary of Christopher Garrity. (Red Bank Register, 1884)

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children, and identified a few candidates. All this was helpful, but didn’t tell me where to look in Ireland. Having exhausted the more popular resources, I turned to lesser known, more specialized ones. As a youngster, I once lived in Red Bank, New Jersey near Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold, so knew of a hidden genealogical gem – a local digitization project by the Middletown Township and Red Bank public libraries to put over a hundred years of the Red Bank Register online ( Entering “Christopher Garrity” and “Christy Garrity” popped up a few articles, but not what I was hoping for – his obituary. A New Jersey State Archives database recorded Christopher “Gerraty” dying in Freehold on August 26, 1884, so I had another go at the newspaper browsing by date. Sure enough, his obituary was there, masked because he had been slightly misidentified as “Christian” Garrity. Better yet, his obituary held the critical clue I needed. He had been born in County Kildare. So now I knew that Ann Garrity had been born circa 1835-1848 in County Kildare to Christopher Garrity and Julia Kelly. And I had the names of a handful of potential siblings. Plenty of reasons to venture to Ireland.

Almost There

Crossing my fingers that Ann’s family was among those in the online parish indexes, I performed searches at and got mixed results. While there was no sign of Ann, I found several children born between the late 1820s and the early 1840s to Christopher “Christy” Geraty and Catherine (not Julia) Kelly – and some of them mapped with those in later Freehold, New Jersey records. A couple, though, were new names, and this would prove useful later on. Given the issue I mentioned earlier about the accuracy of parents’ names on immigrants’ death certificates, I had no problem accepting that Ann’s mother might really have been named Catherine instead of Julia. After all, her maiden name was right. But it concerned me that Ann was missing. To be a decent genealogist, you have to be prepared to “work” every database you deal with and show the wildcard who’s boss. Playing with different combinations of fields and renditions of names, I surfaced an Ann “Gerathy” born in December 1838 to “Charles.” His wife? Catherine Kelly. Yes, this was the Ann I was looking for, and I knew instantly what had happened. Christy’s name had been abbreviated in the original and the transcriber had taken it for “Chas,” the common, shorter version of Charles. So the seemingly straightforward name of Christopher

had morphed into Christian and Charles, creating minor road blocks in two entirely different search environments, but now I was over those hurdles.

Kildare at Last

Equipped with names and dates from a specific place, I finally allowed myself to turn to the online Catholic parish registers ( Ann’s entry showed that the family was from Mount Prospect in the parish of Kildare (formally known as Kildare and Rathangan) within County Kildare, so I looked for this parish. Once there, I clicked on the appropriate register and selected baptisms for December 1838 and quickly spotted Ann, along with an abbreviation of her father’s name that could easily be taken for Charles. Taking this one step further, I sought the family in the 1853 Griffith’s Valuation and found Ann’s mother, Catherine “Geraghty” in Mount Prospect, Rathangan Parish, County Kildare. I would soon learn that her husband had left for America a couple of years earlier, which is presumably why the listing was in her name.

TOP: Baptism of Ann Geraty, December 1838. ABOVE: Catherine Geraghty in Griffith’s Valuation. (

A Cautionary Tale

So it’s Rathangan – oddly also home to the singing twins known as Jedward – that gets the bragging rights for Bruce Springsteen’s Garrity roots, but I might not have discovered that had I begun my quest with basic Googling. That’s because numerous articles over the last six years assert that Ann Garrity was from Rathowen outside of Mullingar, two counties over in Westmeath. As far as I can tell, no proof was ever offered, but that hasn’t kept it from being widely accepted and repeated. I have no doubt that those who made the claim had reason to believe it, but that in itself is a lesson for how easy it is to go astray when seeking an Irish hometown – and incidentally, this isn’t the only aspect of Springsteen’s Irish heritage that most have wrong. The flip side of this is that gaining traction on the family in their Irish hometown made it possible to uncover more. Thanks to parish records revealing additional siblings, I was able to spot Ann arriving in America in November 1853. All of 14, she was traveling with her younger sisters Catherine (age 12) and Eliza (age 10). A trio of Irish tweens crossing the ocean on their own in the winter of 1853. Now that sounds song-worthy. IA

Ann Garrity arriving with her younger sisters in 1853. (


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What’s So

Funny? Three comedic performers with Irish roots share how they get to the laughter. Is it the collective painful history as a people? The tendency not to take themselves too seriously? The influence of Irish hospitality? Or maybe they were just born that way. The larger-than-life Malachy McCourt, the sardonic Kevin Brennan, and joyable times are at wakes. The Irish have such a marvelous time with the storytelling, the greatest laughs and the music, and the way the sophisticated, witty Maureen they talk about the deceased. When they talk about a fella getting Langan shed some light on how married they say ‘ah, poor old Tim is gone now.’” An Irish penchant for irreverence magically changes the focus to they process life into material. By Sarah Fearon


ecently I had the pleasure of witnessing the talent of three Irish artists who are famous for being funny. According to the actor and writer Malachy McCourt and stand-up comedians Kevin Brennan and Maureen Langan, life provides endless material, and there’s always enough humor to go around. The tradition of Irish hospitality shines through in their ability to listen, take in life, and then use it in performance. Whether it’s a small crowd or a standing-room-only house, this comedic trio always leaves the audience wanting more. Here’s a glimpse of their personal perspectives on humor.

alachy McCourt is an actor with Limerick roots, an oldschool storyteller (seanachie), radio personality notorious for his humorous rants on current events, and founding board member of Irish American Writers and Artists. He admits that he’s always been kind of a show-off, and that was his defense against despair and darkness. There is a certain equality in humor, as words are free and everyone is welcome to laugh. The kind of humor Malachy likes is when a powerless person triumphs over the established order. “What appeals to me is the absurd and odd misuse of the language, absurdity of life, satire, wit as a weapon, less of joke telling, most of all storytelling. I’m too old to be crying so better to be laughing.” He believes that tragedy is the great stimulus to humor. McCourt says, “The Irish mourn marriages and celebrate death. The most en-



something funny, lest we all be sitting around crying. Soon after I met with Malachy, he fractured his knee. He urged his concerned fans and friends not to send thoughts and prayers; instead, they should send large sums of money. He also told a hospital visitor that he hurt the knee kneeling down to pray too often. Devoted to his craft, he snuck out of the rehab facility for a day to work on a film. So much of the humor he grew up with was connected with death, the next world, the pearly gates to heaven, and the characters who gain access or are sent to hell. He relayed a story from a radio interview that showed laughter to be a life-or-death situation. “I was doing a thing one night on the radio, talking about death, and an Irish woman called in who said that she got in difficulties swimming and she essentially drowned according to what she was told, but they got her on land and they were giving her CPR. While she was unconscious, she said she was walking across a meadow and she met her father who had died a couple years before. She said to him, ‘You promised Mom that you would come back and let her know where you were and if you were alright.’ He said, ‘Yeah I know,’ and she said, ‘Why didn't you?’ and he said, ‘Let her drop dead and find out for herself.’ She said she started laughing and she spurted out the water and was revived. Laughter brought her back to life.” McCourt believes that laughter is the best revenge. For the Irish, “wit and satire are greatly appreciated, and visited mostly on the Brits. You can’t laugh at me if I make you laugh first. I’ll have the first and last laugh, thank you.” McCourt adds that the Irish are masters at being indirect, and can even make an insult sound like a compliment. He believes that the root in Irish skill at provoking laughter comes by way of wanting to outsmart the oppressor, to combat the years of British rule. “It used to be the Church that did not allow for merriment. Now Ireland is on to another form of worship. Ireland’s values have changed; they are now on to extreme capital-

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Kevin Brennan, Maureen Langan, and Malachy McCourt.

ism. There’s the worship of money, and you have to be solemn to make money, otherwise people won’t trust you with their money. Money is not funny and sort of takes the humor out of the day.” McCourt supposes the Irish disease is an obsession with respectability. One of the potential penalties for being funny is you could be dismissed as just a joker. One could risk never being taken seriously or accepted socially. The Irish are so conscious of what they think to be proper or improper behavior. He notes that it goes as far back as pagan law forbidding one to let anyone pass the house without being a good host lest they talk about you. “Who do you think you are? Don’t be a show off, stop drawing attention to yourself, keep quiet and nobody gets hurt, don’t ruin it for all of us, what will people say?” Keeping the laughter going involves taking risks and some degree of courage. The pursuit of laughter has to overpower the “what will people think?” syndrome. Once people are laughing they stop thinking too much. Malachy took the risk and kept himself entertained as a kid by being a prankster. He once placed a newspaper ad that resulted in a mound of used Christmas trees on a curmudgeon’s lawn. When Malachy was sent out for twine he asked one lady at the end of a road to hold one end and a gentleman around the corner to hold the other end, and just left them in their own Beckettian play. He’s even had a phone prank that lasted 20 years. Ultimately, you have to be able to laugh at yourself.

evin Brennan has been in the funny business for about 25 years. His mother’s parents were from Counties Mayo and Kerry and his paternal grand father was from County Laois. There was not a lot of time spent sitting around reminiscing about the old days in Ireland. Growing up in a family of ten children, most of the energy was focused on feeding everyone at the table. In one of his bits Kevin mentions that his parents were considering adopting another child and his first response was, “Go ahead, we’ll eat him.” You didn’t really get to talk to your parents like today. They were like the president of a corporation. The first time Kevin was alone with his own mother was after he was married.


One of the revelations Kevin Brennan had when he first did stand-up was that it was the first time he experienced speaking without a room full of people talking at the same time. Kevin thinks there would be fewer Irish artists if they could just say what it is to be sad without having to transform it into a story, painting, play, poem, or comedy. Malachy pointed out that the Irish humor is steeped in being indirect. Kevin describes it as “the Irish filter.” The Irish are not well known for articulating feelings; feelings and emotions must be repackaged into a joke in order to be processed. Brennan processes life through his Irish filter. “My dad grew up in a family of 12 funny people,” Kevin says. “So I think there is definitely something in the DNA to being funny. I don't even consider myself dry. Compared to my uncles, they are the driest.” Some people are just born funny, and Kevin is one of them. Kevin has talked with therapists, and though he swears he was not trying to be funny, he says they would just laugh at him. The truth can be funny. “A good comic has to keep pushing for new material. I still think a great joke is a great thing. A lot of guys are done with their act. Once you say, ‘That’s my act, I’m done,’ then you’re really done. Lately I haven't been coming up with anything so I'll have to sit down and force myself to write, what am I thinking about, and then I have to work on a joke. Seinfeld said years ago, ‘A new joke has to make the lineup. It can’t just work once or twice, it has to be able to make the lineup because it has to compete with the other jokes, so if you come up with a new joke it has to be as good as the other jokes.’” Misery loves company, or at least needs an audience. Brennan keeps his trim physique by being agitated – “Another curse of being Irish is the act of taking oneself too seriously.” Some of his fellow comics have mocked him, saying, “Wow, you’re really a tortured soul.” “I can’t avoid being miserable,” Brennan says. “Not as heavy as a Beckett play, but miserable.” He has to talk himself back to sanity in the morning by saying to himself, “Dude, isn’t it a little early in the day for this default setting of agitated outrage?” Timing is everything. When Kevin looks at life’s crazy, awkward, or sad moments, his main question is How long before this is funny? OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 93

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Any truth to the cliché of Irish grudges? “Oh yeah, that’s all I have. I might be the worst ever,” he says. “I don’t think I can ever let go of something. I can’t do it, I don’t know why that is. My kids are helping me with that. They don’t really care about what happened to you, your past, what happened to you before they were born. They are funny, too. My wife’s the perfect woman for me and it’s still a challenge being married.” In one of his bits, his wife asks, “Why are you acting so weird now?” His response is, “I’m not acting weird. When we were dating I was being nice and buying you stuff all the time, then I was acting weird. This is the real me.” Who’s to say what the right way to staying sane is? Especially these days as it seems more and more we need to laugh. At the end of the day Kevin is just another writer struggling to create and find meaning in his life and not go insane.

aureen Langan’s mother was born in Cavan and her father is from St. Jerome’s Parish in the Bronx. Her paternal grandmother is from Tullamore in County Offaly, and her paternal grandfather is from Mullingar in County Westmeath. Langan says, “I’m really proud to be Irish. Being Irish does not mean green beer and green bagels and beating each other up on St. Patrick’s Day, that’s for sure. I’m very proud of my heritage, I have dual citizenship. I’m proud of what the Irish have to offer culturally. The writing, the words, the wit is second to none, the quick mind, the sparring, taking the piss out of each other, it’s just so quick.” Langan added that the inherent Irish quality of hospitality tends to compel Irish comedians to listen closely to what’s going on, take it all in, then put a spin on it. They are also the best audiences, hands down. Langan has at least 17 years in the business, and a rant style that gets her audience thinking. Stand-up was an offshoot of the voice Maureen had found as a journalist on TV and radio. She worked at Bloomberg doing celebrity interviews, satirical segments on local, national and world news, and humorous commentary. Then she decided she liked taking what’s going on in our society and putting her spin on it. She draws attention to life’s injustices and flips it using humor. People sometimes think that comics emerge from some deep-rooted pain and anguish, but Langan doesn’t necessarily agree with that. “Laughter can just come from wit. I think some people can paint, some can draw, dance, play music, and some people are just naturally funny. Wit is a muscle that the Irish have been able to exercise for ages. My father always told me I had moxie. I think I have a wit – I love having a wit; it’s your brain working fast. Performing really is


ABOVE: Sarah Fearon, the author of this piece, performing her own stand-up routine at the Irish Arts Center in New York.


a relief and a release. If you go to the gym, your body feels better. Emotionally, stand-up is a boxing ring – it’s an emotional release that lets all that anger and pent up stuff just come out. I’m not always funny; I’m not a clown; I don’t need to be on when I’m off stage.” Someone once commented to her, “Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” to which she replied, “I have walked a mile in another person’s shoes – my father worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation. “It’s not the hand you get in life, it’s how you play it,” she says. “You have to flip it, flip it, flip it. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves and keep moving forward.” One thing she cherished when she was growing up was the importance of education. Her parents stressed that if you had an education you had freedom. She was first in her family to attend college. She tries to shine the light on who is getting rewarded for the right things in this society. In her act she asks, “Who gets the book deals these days? The English major in school? No! Spitzer gets a talk show and the call girl of client #9 gets the book deal. Where is the smart sharp stuff that’s getting rewarded? This is not why my mother got on a boat from Ireland and my father worked himself to the bone. I don’t have a problem with reality TV necessarily, escaping with the Housewives of Beverly Hills or God love the Kardashians, if in addition things with substance were equally or more so being rewarded. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places, I don’t know. What’s happened is the news and the entertainment lines are blurred and the collective intellect has gotten watered down. “There’s this Irish thing where you have to be humble and not draw attention to yourself. Being raised in New York and performing here I have seen a lot of other cultures really support each other. I would look at an organization like the Friars Club and see the support people gave each other within the community. I’d like to see more of that. When I performed in Ireland I asked some of the comics for their card because I thought maybe I could refer them. They were embarrassed, almost defensive: ‘We don’t have cards, if they want to know us they’ll find us.’ So it’s almost like too much pride to say, ‘This is what I really want.’” Instead of the old motto ‘Don’t be a show-off,’ she thinks it would be great for comics to support each other more – like Maureen’s friends, Fiona Walsh and Ann Design, who host the monthly “Sundays at Seven” comedy and music evening at the Irish Arts Center. Warm, welcoming Irish hospitality, that is a place where talent can really develop. George Carlin said, “Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it.” These three artists have the ability to help us make sense of life through humor. Laughter is contagious; when we are laughing we are not alone, and we are able to absorb the truth. There is no way to describe what you have to experience yourself. So I urge you to run, don’t walk, to check them out and experience what’s so funny yourself. IA

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music |

The With their melodious voices, masterful musicianship and enthusiasm, the Irish American women’s group Girsa has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere by bringing a creative mix of vocals, fiddle, accordion, banjo, tin whistle, bodhran, guitar, and piano to their shows. Kristin Cotter McGowan stops by a Girsa rehearsal.

Girls GIRSA of Irish Trad

“Cup of tea? Of course you’ll have one!”

My welcome into the home of Rose Flanagan, former Cherish the Ladies fiddler and mother to Girsa members Maeve and Bernadette, is as warm and inviting as the young women gathered around the table. Girsa, Irish for “young girls,” is the exciting next generation of Irish traditional musicians. The Flanagan sisters, joined by their friends, cousins Pamela Geraghty and Emily McShane, laughed and joked with each other, catching up to rehearse for an upcoming show and tell me their story. Maeve: “We have been together for a long time – we grew up competing against each other in competitions.” “With each other,” corrects Rose. “…Mom!” Girsa was raised on Irish music; their families encouraged them – “we were forced!” they joke – to play at every gathering. They started lessons early on and quickly excelled in many music and dance competitions here and in Ireland. Maeve plays


fiddle and whistle, and has written several tunes for their latest CD, A Sweeter Place, blending a modern sound with traditional style. Her sister Bernadette plays bodhran and piano, and is an award-winning step dancer. Emily plays piano and along with her cousin Pamela, also sings and plays guitar. Pamela also plays accordion along with Blaithin “Bla” Loughran. (Blaithin, a champion accordion player, is away at school and unable to make this rehearsal). Pamela: “I always competed against Blaithin in accordion. I never won. Then one year she broke her arm – I won.” Bernadette: “We still don’t know how she broke her arm.” It was Pamela’s mother who said the group needed to give themselves a name and start playing gigs. Regular Sunday appearances at the Porter House in Montvale, New Jersey and Rory Dolan’s in Yonkers, New York, solidified the group and built its fan base. Maeve: “It’s crazy to think how young we were.” Emily: “I was 11? 12? It’s crazy to think that people actually watched us!” Maeve: “In my college essay, I started off by writ-

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ing that I had grown up in bars, and came home smelling of cigarette smoke – this was back when you could smoke in bars – my parents were there with me, encouraging me – and then at the end of the essay, I wrote, ‘but I’m no drinker, I’m an Irish musician.’ It’s just so funny to think about it – it was just our life. We were playing music.” There were plenty of kids who could play music, but if these youngsters were exceptionally good, it’s because it’s embedded in their DNA, and their talents were nurtured by great musicians. Many of Girsa’s teachers, including Maeve and Bernadette’s mother, played with the celebrated Irish music group Cherish the Ladies, whose front woman, Joanie Madden, lauds Rose and her fellow teachers for their commitment to keeping traditional Irish music alive. “When the great teachers from the 1970s passed away or stopped teaching, mothers who had played

teacher – so very strict, but so very good.” (Uncle Brian is Brian Conway, an All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Champion and well-respected Sligo-style fiddler.) Pamela: “Appreciation for your own teachers comes out of teaching. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into it. I remember my teacher, Patty Furlong, would come home from work, have her dinner on the table and try to eat at the same time as teaching me… For her it was work, teaching, bed. And the next day would be the same exact thing. I joke with my students sometimes – ‘You’re the next Girsa! You’ve got to carry it on!’” Emily: “When your student came into my piano class the other day and sang the song I sang on the first CD – “The Home I Left Behind’ – I was so touched.” Both Pamela and Emily teach at the Erin Loughran School of Irish Music & Arts. Erin is a former Girsa member and a sister to Blaithin.

when they were younger and now wanted their own children to learn, pulled out their instruments, started practicing again, and started teaching,” Madden said. “Women like Rose Conway Flanagan, Margie Mulvahill, Kathy Linnane, and Patty Conway Furlong. All are great players and as good as you’d get. And what they’ve managed to achieve with this next generation is amazing.” In the spirit and tradition of their teachers, the young women of Girsa, who are now in their very early 20s, are also instructors of fiddle, whistle, piano, and sean-nós, or “old style,” singing. In addition to the fundamentals, the girls instruct their students on the performance aspect of music. Maeve: “Teaching has made me appreciate more the great teachers that I had – don’t tell my mom that!” Rose (From the other room) “I can hear you!” Maeve: “When she got sick of teaching me, she sent me to my uncle Brian who was such a good

Pamela: “The songs we teach are ones that Emily and I learned growing up. It’s fun. The students look up to us, almost like we’re superstars!” Maeve: “Pamela’s being really humble during this interview.” Pamela: “No! But like, in their eyes, we’re really cool…when we might not be that cool!” In their eleven years together, Girsa has released two CDs and an EP, and has toured, playing gigs in the trendy Austin music scene, a stint at Disney World, and the trifecta of summer Irish Festivals – Kansas City, Dublin (Ohio), and Milwaukee. A typical year brings a March madness lineup of St. Patrick’s Day shows, summer and fall festivals, and Christmas concerts. Maeve: “We love playing festivals because we get to hang out with other bands. When we were younger, we used to travel to Ireland all the time for music competitions, and we loved that because we

OPPOSITE PAGE: Emily McShane, Bernadette Flanagan, Blaithin Loughran, Deirdre Brennan (no longer with the group), Maeve Flanagan, and Pamela Geraghty. ABOVE: Rehearsal at the home of Rose Flanagan, herself a former Cherish The Ladies fiddler, are flute player Sean Tierney, a regular guest performer with Girsa, Maeve Flanagan, Emily McShane, Bernadette Flanagan, and Pamela Geraghty.


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music | the girsa girls

CLOCKWISE: Girsa on stage: Emily McShane, Bernadette Flanagan, Pamela Geraghty, flute player Sean Tierney, the newest member of the group, and Blaithin Loughran. Blaithin, a regular winner at the Mid-Atlantic regional Fleadh Cheoil in both solo button accordion and group competitions. Emily McShane, who sings, plays the piano, the guitar, and the bodhran; and Bernadette Flanagan, who is skilled in the bodhran, the piano, and Irish dancing. Maeve Flanagan, Bernadette’s sister, an accomplished fiddle and whistle player, and Irish dancer.

got to meet people from everywhere, and now those people are kind of coming to us and playing at the big festivals here in America. The comradery of it all is fun – staying up until five a.m. playing music.” Pamela: “There was a woman at the last concert we had in Ireland who had seen us when we first started. She said that it’s been such a great experience seeing us grow into ‘the beautiful women that we are now.’” The girls all have a hearty laugh at this. “People have kind of made the journey with us, so that’s pretty cool. You can see the growth in our recordings. Our first album is very ceili-bandish, very tight musically, we all played the same thing and didn’t venture out melodically. And now we’ve grown and are able to improvise and do different things.” Emily: “It is cool to have our second CD recorded so that we can see that progression.” Girsa’s self-titled first release features traditional set music and ballads and covers Rod Stewart’s “Rhythm of My Heart” with a definite Irish twist. Pamela describes it as a “memory of the time period we were in.” The liner notes features snapshots of the girls growing up. Their second CD, A Sweeter Place, offers another generous mix of jigs, reels, and slow airs, along with covers of Dougie Maclean’s “Garden Valley” and Van Morrison’s “Irish Heartbeat.” Pamela: “After that first CD was released, we were reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. I remember we were in the Catskills and we were all freaking out.” Maeve: “We all huddled around one computer to read it online. We weren’t equipped for [the public response] because we weren’t yet on iTunes, and people were emailing us telling us we needed to get on iTunes!” As the girls matured, graduated college, and embarked on careers, the band dwindled from the eight original members to six, and now is surviving the most recent departure of Deirdre Brennan, who


left to pursue other music opportunities. Maeve admits to the challenge of keeping the group together. “Everyone’s doing a million different things. Having played together for so long is an accomplishment. All the festivals and concerts and our CDs are great, but staying together for over eleven years is bigger than all of that.” Maeve: “Pamela’s going to Ireland for a few months, when she gets back we’ll be doing all the fall festivals and another Christmas concert. The EP we just did is only five tracks, so we’d like to finish that. We’re also playing on Disney Cruises! Pamela, Blaithin, and Blaithin’s sister Neidin are going to Iceland and Norway, and Bernadette, myself, and Emily are going to Stockholm, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg.” Pamela: “I’m attempting to write songs. I wrote one, but haven’t finished it.” Emily: “It’s really nice.” Pamela: “I always see Bla writing down random things in her notebook all the time. She’s trying to write songs, I know it. And she would be very good at forming words.” Maeve: “Forming words?” (More laughter). The evening’s rehearsal was not only to prepare for upcoming shows, but to welcome their newest member, the sight of which may give audiences another reason to stand up and take notice. Sean Tierney, a “he” in the house of “she,” brings a wealth of talent, playing the flute, uilleann pipes, low whistle, sax, and ‘foot percussion’ as a step dancer. They’ve all known each other since childhood, making this transition a seamless one. Maeve: “Emily had an assignment in her English class the other day where she had to write her obituary and she wrote that ‘Emily McShane played with Girsa until she was 76 years old.’” Pamela: “But she dies at 105 so Maeve was like, ‘Why weren’t you playing with Girsa until you were 105?’” Maeve: “We’ve all been asked multiple times ‘What are you going to do when you’re no longer young girls?’ because that’s what Girsa means, and it was Pamela who first responded with, ‘We’ll be young forever.’ So that’s our motto. We’ll be young forever.” IA

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Authentic Irish Foods

Enjoy a Taste of Ireland Untitled-1 1

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At 89, J.P. Donleavy celebrates 60 years of his best-selling cult-classic, The Ginger Man. At his countryside retreat near Mullingar, he spoke to Noel Shine about his extraordinary life and the novel that gave rise to his notoriety all those years ago.



. P. Donleavy first came to prominence at a time in the 20th century when to be a novelist had a certain cachet. An era when television, pop music, and the virtual world of the internet had yet to be subsumed into the culture. A more innocent time when the church-state axis held sway over the moral compass in much the same way the humanist brigade do now. It was a far-off land, where to utter the word “nipple” was considered taboo and “balloons,” positively inflammatory. It was against this backdrop that a loose affiliation of young, Irish writers converged on late 1940s Dublin to form what would later be regarded as the vanguard of modern Irish literature. Theirs was essentially a European aesthetic, at odds with the prevailing insularity which typified Ireland at that time. A motley crew which included the likes of Flann O’Brien, Paddy Kavanagh, Brendan Behan, Mary Lavin, Samuel Beckett in absentia, and standing there among them, the IrishAmerican, James Patrick Donleavy. In 1955 his seminal work, The Ginger Man, caused such a furore that it was banned outright in both the U.S. and Ireland. It even became the subject of a protracted litigation between Donleavy and its initial publisher, Olympia Press of Paris. Were it not for the obstinacy of its fledgling author, The Ginger Man may never have seen the light of day. He persisted and established a career for himself as a successful playwright, journalist, and author in the U.K., having relocated to London in 1955. The ensuing years would see J.P. Donleavy add even more novels and plays to his burgeoning canon of work, including The Fairy Tales of New York, whose title was famously appropriated by The Pogues for their Christmas classic. More latterly, Donleavy scripted and starred in a televisual paean to his Ireland, titled In All Her Sins and Graces. For better or ill though, it is The Ginger Man for which he will best be remembered. From a remove of some sixty years it is difficult to comprehend the tumult caused by a book that is, by today’s standards, relatively tame. Regardless, the good people of Lilliput Press in Dublin have seen fit to issue a special anniversary hardback edition of The Ginger Man. Complete with a considered foreword by heartthrob Johnny Depp and a superb chronology of the events which have made up J.P.’s life thus far, it is a worthy bookend to a career that has been extraordinary to say the least.

The Ginger Man is a timeless evocation of a Dublin that has long ceased to be. Written in a stream of consciousness-like narrative, it draws heavily upon the real life exploits of Donleavy and his contemporaries at Trinity College Dublin for inspiration. Most notably seeing fellow Americans Gainor Crist and A.K. Donoghue cast in the roles of Sebastian Balfe Dangerfield and Kenneth O’Keeffe, respectively. In the book, we see Dangerfield as he ducks and weaves his way through the streets and bars of late-1940s Dublin, running up credit and breaking hearts as he goes. It is a delusional tale of thwarted ambition, impending doom, and sexual degeneracy carried off with aplomb, often with comic consequences. It endures in the memory, not just because of the merits of its actual plot, but rather because it contains the finest prose this side of Joyce. It is a book where the rules of syntax are carefully put aside, in deference to the young Donleavy’s own god-like grasp of the English language and its many nuances. It is English as seen through the eyes of an artist, where both master brush strokes and a keen eye for detail come into sharp focus as poetry, bringing each and every episode to a pithy climax. All this makes the fact that this work of inherent genius was banned by reason of obscenity all the more lamentable. Thankfully, the craw-thumpers have had their day. At the age of 89 now, J.P. continues to live out his life in splendid isolation (with his son, Philip) at Levington Park House, the 180-acre organic farm he has called home since 1972. Situated high above the shores of Lough Owel, near Mullingar, it stands in mute testimony to the life of a man who has come a long way since his childhood days in the Woodlawn district of the Bronx. Yet as his experience of life continues, time has compressed to the point where he is basically the Mike Donleavy who arrived on our shores in the wake of World War II to take Sciences at Trinity. His extracurricular activities soon put paid to any hopes he may have had of a career in medicine. But they have given us the tour de force that is The Ginger Man. The intervening years have seen J.P. reside in both the U.S. and England before returning to his spiritual home in Ireland in 1969. For a time in the early 70s he lived in Bective, near Navan, before settling on Levington Park. Despite his reputation as a recluse, he has of late been granting more interview requests than usual, perhaps out of a sense of duty to his publisher, or maybe even as a sincere wish to engage with the

LEFT: J.P. Donleavy at his home in Levington Park House. TOP: The special anniversary edition of The Ginger Man.


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disparate group of admirers he calls his friends. Wherever the truth lies, it is with some trepidation that I embark on my quest to establish his exact whereabouts. For even though J.P. lives less than thirty miles from my home, he inhabits an entirely different world. A world wherein media-types who dare to match wits with someone as erudite and sophisticated as he can expect to be met with a truculent silence. Or worse – flogged! There is also the occupational hazard of curbing one’s instincts as avid admirer in deference to the professional approach that is a prerequisite of such meets. I may be frogmarched to the gates by manservants as he recoils in horror upon the discovery that I am but another rabid fan, come in search of Dangerfield. By the time I arrive at the gates of his sprawling estate, I have already reasoned that one should never confuse an author with his texts. Further, I determine to recount this day to grandchildren with gusto, sometime in the distant future. Upon my arrival at the Doric porch entrance, I am greeted by his personal assistant, the lovely Deborah Goss. She ushers me into his presence via a reception hall and a meandering corridor. When we meet, it soon becomes apparent that, in the style of a practiced showman, he is not only fixing me with an enigmatic countenance, but is also looking far beyond his immediate realm to America, the land of his youth. “Both of my parents were born in Ireland and came to America. But they never wanted to make an issue of it at all. We lived in a place called Woodlawn [in the Bronx],” he says before stating plainly “they were not impressed by Ireland,” amplifying it thusly, “they would say things about the way people did behave in Ireland.” A reference, perhaps, to the parochial nature of Irish society at the dawn of the 20th century. Born on April 23, 1926 in Brooklyn, J.P’s family moved to the Bronx when he was three. The remembers his youth in Woodlawn as being “a pretty good life.” His father Patrick Donleavy, from Longford, had gardens “away from the house where we lived.” He grew orchids there for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Central Park, and later becoming an inspector at the FDNY. Prior to her marriage, his mother Margaret, from Galway, had worked as a private secretary to a much-traveled American heiress. He cites his mother as his chief influence in that she encouraged him to strive to achieve the American dream as if it were his birthright. “My mother took the attitude that a person could do anything they wanted to do. I was given a good life. If I wanted to travel or do something, it was absolutely allowed immediately.” It was this same attitude which prompted her to enroll J.P. at a prestigious school run by the Jesuit Order called Fordham Preparatory School. “They chucked me out after a short spell. It had to do with getting into a fight or something.” Fighting, specifically boxing, would be a recurring theme throughout the rest of J.P.’s life. It provided him with both the mental and physical agility he would require in later life to cope with the many vipers which lurk at the business-end of showbusiness. But as a teenager it exposed him to a whole other strata of society when he and his friend Thomas Gill joined the New York Athletic Club. Here he honed his skills as boxer and learned to play tennis and golf. Membership implied a certain social standing, as captains of industry, politicians, and professional types mixed freely with some of America’s finest Olympians. At that time, the club was populated almost exclusively by unapologetic WASPs. Donleavy joined as a junior member in 1941 and remains one of the club’s longest-serving members. The conver102 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015


sation momentarily turns to boxing once more, as he points out a photo of himself with Smokin’ Joe Frazier taken in 1971. It was taken sometime prior to Frazier’s successful bout with Ali, in what was then hyped as “The Fight of the Century.” I regale him with my tale of how I came to meet Ali in Ennis, County Clare, when he came there to acknowledge his Irish roots. It was as a child that J.P. first learned the power of writing. “Where we lived in Woodlawn was all big private houses,” he said. “I was delivering newspapers. They paid me every three weeks and some of them would refuse to pay me. I remember I would write on their newspaper, ‘How does it feel to cheat a child?’” He laughs at the recollection of it now, adding, “That would really get people! I would walk along and I was really surprised that it shook them up.” Later, he became confirmed in the belief that he was an atheist, “I was just thinking with a few pals of mine, exchanging a few ideas of how we lived and what we wanted to do and what we thought of being a Catholic. I think we all joined together and broke away from these things when we were quite young. You just disregarded it.” In 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was released without ever seeing enemy action. Yet World War II informed his world view and led to his decision to come to Ireland in 1946. “I heard stories from naval people. Some would talk about Dublin as a very strange place, a place worthy of being seen and of being in.” He enrolled at Trinity on the G.I. Bill, ostensibly to study Zoology and Microbiology. Through Tony McInerney, a proud

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Dubliner, he gained an entrée into the city’s bohemian set, “but I didn’t get into that circle of people who were authors.” That would come later. For a while, J.P. entertained the notion of becoming a serious artist, staging his first art exhibition in December 1948. A month later, he married Valerie Heron, a speech therapist from Yorkshire, England. Together they set up home in the rustic idyll of Kilcoole, County Wicklow (Glenroe, the TV series, was later filmed there). Here, he indulged his passion for painting and country pursuits before dropping out of Trinity altogether. More exhibitions would follow, but it soon became evident that his future lay not in the world of painting but the written word. By 1951, this was a pressing matter with the birth of his firstborn, baby Philip. His college pals had gone their separate ways by the time he sat down to type in some desperation what would become The Ginger Man. “I suddenly found myself just writing it. I didn’t stop myself. I just went and carried on.” The plot echoes that of his own circumstances, but he is unequivocal in citing fellow American student, the charismatic Gainor Crist as being the inspiration for the book’s chief protagonist, Sebastian Dangerfield. “Certainly insofar as his survival of his own life, and my survival and so on. That would have been the point that made me take up and focus on The Ginger Man. I found him inspirational.” Someone else whom he would find inspirational was his old friend Brendan Behan. Behan broke into Donleavy’s cottage at Kilcoole while he and Valerie were attending the funeral of her father in the Isle of Man. Obviously somewhat the worse for wear, Behan made himself at home blackening all Valerie’s cooking pots and utensils before chancing upon the unfinished manuscripts of The Ginger Man. He took it upon himself to edit the pages, adding notes before making good his escape to a nearby pub in Donleavy’s prized shoes. Initially dismayed, Donleavy forgave the intrusion on the grounds that Behan’s unsolicited intervention proved more beneficial than harmful to his work-in-progress. At a later stage, a more contrite Behan returned and “read the book and put it down and said, ‘This book is going to shake the world!’ – he was the first person who did read it actually,” Dunleavy laughs. It is telling, that this dapper gent before me cannot bring himself to repeat Behan’s oft-quoted, slightly blasphemous, Eureka! moment, wherein he actually said The Ginger Man is going to “go ’round the world and beat the bejaysus out of the Bible!” It never did. But, from auspicious beginnings it did go on to sell millions of copies world-wide, presumably leaving its author in some wealth. Today, J.P. remembers Behan as being “a delight – his company, everything about him. He would do anything and say anything. I never questioned anything he had to say or what he would do or what he thought.” These days, J.P.’s artistic pursuits are limited to “doing some drawings for pleasure.” Upon the subject of doing some more writing he is more circumspect, suggesting, “There will be one or two books that I’ve already written a good bit of. I have it in mind always without it overtaking me.” Having lived in Ireland consistently since 1969, he still regards himself “as an Irish-American.” On the subject of a film version of The Ginger Man, he says he’s not particularly bothered by the prospect. He proffers that it’s “absolutely impossible to say – Johnny Depp came here. He was in this room and Cillian Murphy.” He becomes considerably more animated on the subject of

James Joyce, who as a young man stayed at Levington Park House, long before it acquired the dilapidated grandeur it enjoys now. “There’s another room here and a door opens up out to the garden out there and I would remind myself, ‘My God, James Joyce was standing here.’ I read it in a book.” That book being Joyce’s posthumous publication, Stephen Hero. The way J.P. tells the story it is clear that he was smitten by Joyce and his association with his house, while claiming that it didn’t actually influence his decision to purchase it, “but it is a coincidence. It shook me up a little bit.” He attributes his longevity to “training like a boxer all the time.” At this point J.P. stands up from the table and gives me a brief demonstration of his shadow-boxing, throwing five quick jabs in a second! While I may be his junior by some forty years, I was genuinely relieved that he chose not to spar with me. I conclude our convivial chat by asking if he has any plans for his 90th birthday. He replies with mock humility, “Goodness I don’t know, except to say, I’m sorry I’ve done what I did!” Not for the first time that afternoon, he has both myself and the ever-attendant Deborah Goss in mild hysterics. With that, he gives me a grand tour of the house, highlighting a bust of James Joyce which rests atop a piano. Through a doorway at the spot where Joyce actually stood, I decide to take J.P.’s photograph. He shows me his study where archivist Bill Dunn has been hard at work compartmentalizing a lifetime’s work of plays, novels, and promotional ephemera. I take another photograph of him before a giant hallway mirror. He strikes a pose on cue and waits patiently for the camera shutter to release. As I survey him through the viewfinder, I think to myself that there is something wonderfully gentle and serene about him. He might have been a pistol in his early years, particularly in terms of his secular philosophy, but at this stage in his life he looks quite sage, almost saint-like. Deborah Goss points out a blank canvas that J.P. has had mounted and framed, with the title “What it used to look like before,” stating that it is “pure J.P.” Suddenly, I am struck with the realization that this great writer of books and plays, artist, gentleman farmer, and erstwhile boxer is, in fact, the sum of his own imaginings; he is his own greatest creation. He walks me to the door. As we part he grips me with a firm handshake and looks me in the eye as if to say, “This is it, kid, there won’t be an encore. Go, do me proud.” I trouble him for one last photograph under the porch in the daylight. I ask him to break the habit of a lifetime and smile. He does so, but it barely registers from beneath his trademark beard. Inside he’s ecstatic, outside enigmatic. He bids me fond farewell and I drive through the gates, back into the real world once more. Only happier. As I make my way down the winding roads towards Mullingar, I am transported to a scene on a parallel universe, where a court is in session with J.P. in the dock for crimes unknown. The court is presided over by an unseen Judge – the same one who in the final analysis judges us all. I call him m’Lord, while J.P. persists in calling him “The Mad Molecule.” I am but a witness, however, as it is Sebastian Dangerfield, newly released from the bar and bedecked in a jet-black, silk gown who has deigned to take J.P.’s case. Without warning, the judge intones, “That man Donleavy hath committed no crime. He’s done no wrong, so he’ll do no time.” Dangerfield turns to his nonplussed client, giving a knowing wink, while the judge concludes. “Case dismissed!” IA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015 IRISH AMERICA 103

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A Long Day’s Journey:

New Ross to New London


James O’Neill had a remarkable life, emigrating from Ireland at the age of five, abandoned by his father at 10, raised by a mother who spoke very little English. Yet, having little formal education, he was playing Shakespearean roles by his early twenties, and n May of this year I visited the Monte his son Eugene Cristo Cottage in New London, Connectiwent on to cut, the childhood home of celebrated playwright Eugene O’Neill. I made the receive the journey with Richard Hayes, Head of Nobel Prize in Humanities at Waterford Institute of Technology, an O’Neill scholar. Literature. For both of us, it was a pilgrimage to a sacred site, but for different reasons. Richard, having read all of Sean Reidy O’Neill’s works, is moved by O’Neill’s genius. For visits the me it’s the remarkable story of an Irish immigrant, Eugene’s father, James O’Neill, that fascinates. O’Neill family It was a memorable visit. We had a wonderful guide in Mary Reagan who brought alive the story of home in New the Monte Cristo Cottage. As we sat in the living London, room, where Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical Long Day’s Journey into Night takes place, Mary delivered Connecticut, the final speech of the play when Mary Tyrone, the character based on Eugene’s mother, recalls falling in and on his love with James: return to “Then in the spring something happened to me. Yes, I remember. I fell in love with James Tyrone and Ireland, visits was so happy for a time.” the birthplace The play reveals the Tyrone family at odds with the world and at odds with themselves. The mother, of James Mary, introduced to morphine during a difficult birth and now addicted to it, is torn between her love for O’Neill in her husband and sons, and her desire to lose herself County in morphine and vanish from their sight. One son, Jamie, is a disillusioned actor and alcoholic; the Kilkenny. other, Edmond (Eugene), is the sickly, dark, brooding intellectual younger brother. (In real life, there was a third son, Edmund, who died young). The father, James, is a highly successful actor but embittered by being trapped in a role that does not fulfill his potential, and also embittered by being abandoned by his father at 10 years of age. Long Day’s Journey into Night resembles the life of the O’Neills in many respects, including Mary “Ella” O’Neill’s addiction to morphine, and James


O’Neill’s squandering of his potential as an actor for the cash that one role brought in. (The playwright described it as “a play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood.”) But for now, let’s skip over the obvious parallels between the play and the O’Neills’ home life, and go back to the beginning for a better understanding of James’s fear of the poorhouse. The story begins in the townland of Tinneranny, in the parish of Rosbercon in County Kilkenny in the mid 1800s. Edmund O’Neill and Mary O’Neill, two distant cousins, marry. They have a small allocation of no more than 10 acres. When James, their sixth child, is born on October 14, 1845, he is delivered into a world of turmoil. The month before, in September, a strange disease struck the potatoes, turning them black and rotten. The blight had struck with dire consequences. The next five years were a nightmare for the O’Neills. Prior to the blight, they had just enough money to survive on, but as most of what they produced went to the landlord for rent, they had little to sustain themselves. The future prospects for the children (a seventh child, Anastasia, was born in 1848) are very bleak and they decide, like many others at the time, to seek passage for a better life in America. William Graves and Son, a merchant family, are offering regular sailings to Quebec out of nearby New Ross, less than three miles away, and the O’Neills set sail on The India, a three-masted barque, on April 5, 1851. It’s an arduous journey with only two bunks six

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Ireland, and wanted to go back there to die. So he went and he did die. He must have been a peculiar man, too.” If the real-life Edmund did have a premonition of his death, or if he planned to return to America, or bring his family home to Ireland, is not known. On June 18, 1862, he died of poisoning. An enquiry into his death was inconclusive. And here we see how the incident is played out IDY RE AN SE PHOTO: in Long Day’s Journey when James Tyrone tells the story himself: feet by six feet allocated to the entire family. But at “When I was ten my father deserted my mother least the Graves ships were well run and passengers and went back to Ireland to die. Which he did soon usually arrived in good condition. The O’Neills enough, and deserved to, and I hope he’s roasting in landed, after 38 days at sea, in Quebec on May 11. hell. He mistook rat poison for flour, or sugar, or After clearing quarantine in Grosse Isle on the St. something. There was gossip it wasn’t a mistake but Lawrence River, the family went by steamer to that’s a lie.” Buffalo, where most likely they were met by friends Patricia O’Neill, a relative of Edmond’s wife, or relatives who helped them find accommodation. Mary, who lives in Tinneranny, Co. Kilkenny, is Buffalo had a large Irish community at the time, but adamant that research compiled with great diligence the situation that the O’Neills found themselves in over many years by her late father Brian shows that was probably less than ideal. In 1851, the Buffalo Edmund was poisoned by an in-law over land he had Courier described the heavily Irish First and Eighth laid claim to. Wards as “the spectacle of a most squalid poverty Patricia brought me to see what remains of the hardly credible in this land of plenty.” This is where original O’Neill homestead – a broken-down wall – five-year-old James began his life in America. and to the cemetery in Ballyneal There is very little account of what happened to where Edmund O’Neill is buried. the family in Buffalo, but we do know that about five (Ballyneal translated into Irish years later they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. At around means the townland of the O’Neills. this time Edmund returned to Ireland, where he died This area is still an O’Neill strongsoon afterwards. hold.) In the play, Mary credits Edmund’s desertion as Patricia confirms that her cousin the reason for her husband’s “close-fisted” approach Mary, Edmund’s wife, was a and tries to justify his behavior to her son: native Irish speaker whose lack of “Your father is a strange man, Edmund. It took English would have made it diffimany years before I understood him. You must try to cult for her to earn a living. And understand and forgive him, too, and not feel conwe know that when James was in tempt because he’s close-fisted. His father deserted his early teens the burden fell on his mother and their six children a year or so after him to become the breadwinner. they came to America. He told them he had a premoHis two older brothers left PHOTO: SEA N REIDY nition he would die soon, and he was homesick for home (one was killed fighting in the

PHOTOS FROM LEFT: The actor James O’Neill. Mary Reagan, guide for the O’Neill home in New London, and Richard Hayes, Head of Humanities at WIT, an O’Neill scholar. Eugene O’Neill, his brother Jamie, and his father James on the porch of Monte Cristo Cottage in New London, their summer home. The Monte Cristo Cottage today. BELOW: The fireplace in the O’Neill home, with its concrete shamrock display. The living room in which O’Neill would set Long Day’s Journey into Night.




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Civil War), and James left school to find work. Through John and William O’Neill (who may have been cousins) he got an apprenticeship in a machinery shop. Later, his sister Anastasia’s husband helped him find a job making uniforms for the military and later costumes for the stage, and also arranged for a tutor to help with his education. James’s work often found him backstage at a theater company in Cincinnati. When an opportunity arose during a strike by actors he was able to step in and read a part in The Colleen Bawn, a melodramatic play by Irishman Dion Boucicault. This first stage appearance would set off his meteoric rise in the theater. In no time he was playing a variety of but the enormous success of Monte Cristo kept him roles, including Romeo in Romeo and Juliet from doing other things. He could go out year after opposite Adelaide Neilson, the English-born year and clear fifty thousand in a season. He thought actress who described him as “the greatest that he simply couldn’t afford to do anything else. Romeo I ever played with.” But in his later years he was full of bitter regrets. He In addition to classical good looks, James had felt Monte Cristo had ruined his career as an artist.” a magnetic stage presence. The San Francisco In August 1920, James was in an automobile acChronicle of August 3, 1879 described him as cident in New York and while injured in the hospital “...a quiet gentleman of medium height, wellhe was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He died proportioned figure, square shoulders and stands very FROM ABOVE LEFT: some months later at the cottage in New London. He erect. He has black hair, black eyes, rather dark com- Eugene O’Neill. Patricia was 72. Ella, who had been cured of her morphine O’Neill at the remaining plexion, a black mustache, and a fine set of teeth wall of the O’Neill addiction in 1914, sold the cottage soon after her huswhich he knows how to display to advantage.” band’s death. On a trip to California with her son homestead in Co. James was quite the matinee idol and particularly Kilkenny. The graveyard Jamie in 1922, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor Ballyneal where popular with women. However, when Ella Quinlan’s in and died. She was 64. Edmund O’Neill, father father, a friend of O’Neill’s, took her to see him in A of James O’Neill, is His parents’ Irish background (Ella was first genTale of Two Cities, the actor and the convent school- buried. Mary “Ella” eration with parents from Tipperary) became part of girl fell in love and two years later, on June 14, 1877, O’Neill, whose parents Eugene O’Neill’s dramatic heritage. “One thing that Thomas and Bridget at St. Ann’s Church on 12th Street in New York City, Quinlan were from explains more than anything about me is the fact that they were married. I’m Irish, and strangely enough it is something that all Tipperary. Their son James Jr. was born the following year, in writers who have attempted to explain me and my San Francisco. And another son, Edmund, was born in 1883. That work have overlooked,” he is reported to have told his son Eugene, year James took over the lead role in the Count of Monte Cristo at in 1946. Booth’s Theater in New York, after Charles R. Towne died sudThough he never visited Ireland, we need look no further than denly in the wings after his first performance. the Irishman Driscoll in Bound for East Cardiff, one of Eugene He was a sensation, and soon bought the rights to the play and O’Neill’s four short plays set on the S.S. Glencairn, to see the set up his own company to tour. Ella joined him on the road, leavauthor reflecting back to New Ross, County Wexford, the town his ing behind James Jr. and the young baby Edmund in New York. father emigrated from in 1851. Driscoll sings the Irish ballad “The While they were away, Edmund contracted measles and died, and Boys of Wexford.” “We are the boys of Wexford who fought with it is said that Ella never forgave herself. heart and hand....” Coincidentally, the song was also a favorite of In 1988, Eugene was born in a hotel on Broadway and 43rd President John F. Kennedy, whose family’s homestead in Street. By this time James was on the road with his traveling comDunganstown is only five miles from the O’Neill home. I can’t pany, he toured with Monte Cristo for nearly 40 years. Except for help thinking that if Eugene, like JFK, had visited his father’s home the Monte Cristo summer cottage the family never had a home. place, he too would have got a warm welcome, and perhaps would According to Eugene: “My father was really a remarkable actor, have found an emotional home for his troubled spirit. IA 106 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015

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eugene o’neill | award





and Celebrating Irish American Writers and Artists

achievements, and to connect with each other through a shared “Pride in our Heritage – Mortas Cine,” the magazine’s motto. The spirit of the honorees infuses the event – warm, intimate, fun. The welcome extended by Mike Carty, father and son, at their legendary Rosie O’Grady’s, includes great food, a generous bar, and a space conducive to good conversation and spontaneous encounters. Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped by. Gabriel Byrne is a frequent and approachable guest. Malachy McCourt can be counted on to lead us in song. The website,, will fill you in on the organization and allow you to buy a ticket, which includes membership in Irish American Writers and Artists. But, to borrow a phrase the Irish Tourist Board used to describe the North of Ireland, “You’ll never know unless you go.” There’s still time to come along this year or mark your calendar for next. When the Swedish Academy awarded Eugene O’Neill the 1936 Nobel Prize for Literature, they cited his dramatic works for their “vital energy, sincerity, and intensity of feeling, stamped with an original conception of tragedy.” Irish no question. – Mary Pat Kelly

LEFT: Brian Dennehy, who received the O’Neill Award in 2011. BELOW: Pete Hamill, last year’s O’Neill Award recipient, pictured with writer Maria Deasy.



ABOVE: Mary Pat Kelly, Vice President of IAW&A.


ounded in 2008, and operated as a nonprofit organization, Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc. (IAW&A) welcomes Irish-American writers, actors, filmmakers, musicians and artists of every (and no) religion. As well as celebrating the achievements of Irish-American writers and artists, past and present, IAW&A’s purpose is to highlight, energize and encourage Irish Americans working in the arts. IAW&A is committed both to bringing together the Irish American creative community in new self-awareness and to being a force for interethnic and interracial solidarity, understanding and active cooperation. As the members and supporters IAW&A gather on October 19 for the 7th annual presentation of the organization’s Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award, the words of this year’s honoree, Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Irish America magazine provide a touchstone for the event and the group’s mission. “I have been inspired in my work by something O’Neill said. He pointed out that the critics had missed the most important thing about him and his work – the fact that he was Irish. His Irish roots contributed to O’Neill’s genius, and in Irish America magazine we celebrate that heritage.” A look at past winners underlines how various are the ways that this heritage informs artistic expression. The inaugural awardee William Kennedy’s portrayal of the Phelans of Albany earned him the Pulitzer Prize. Brian Dennehy brings the characters of O’Neill to unforgettable life. In creating the Irish Repertory Theatre, Charlotte Moore and Ciaran O’Reilly insure that the dramatic voice of Ireland and Irish America is heard. John Patrick Shanley gives that dramatic voice contemporary expression. Judy Collins says that she sings from an Irish-American soul. Pete Hamill chronicles the Irish-American experience in a way that combines realism and lyricism. And for thirty years, this year’s winner, Patricia Harty has provided a unique forum to present Irish and Irish-American history, to celebrate our

For tickets for the Eugene O’Neill Award and information on the IAW&A go to


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review of books | recently published books The Mark and the Void


Thirteen Ways of Looking

By Paul Murray



By Colum McCann

here are two types of people who will read n a his first collection of short fiction in over a decade, award-winning Paul Murray’s highly ambitious new novel – author Colum McCann brings together a novella and three short stories those who have worked, or do work, in the in his new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking. finance industry, and those who haven’t. At almost These stories are filled with characters riddled with nostalgia, who must 500 pages, the novel is a deep dive into the recent grapple with everyday struggles, human foibles, loss, and displacement. history of the financial crisis, set in post-2008, but In the title story, the reader travels vicariously from past to present, to pre-Ireland bail-out, Dublin. Though this isn’t Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Ireland, and back again through the reflections Joyce’s Dublin of Dubliners or Ulysses, it’s the and ruminations of a wizened New York judge. McCann bends time furgleaming International Financial Services Center ther when he reveals early on in the story that the reader is peering in on that “operates almost as a private fiefdom,” the final moments before the judge meets his untimely end. This revelaMurray writes, and is filled tion is particularly effective, providing an extra layer of importance to the with “people who are paid intimate glimpse into this old man’s life and mind. Suspenseful yet sensinot to be themselves.” In tive to the trials of old age and the tragedies of life, this novella is an other words, removed from engrossing achievement all on its own. the city and its locals, but In “What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?” an unnamed narrator-cumconnected to a global author explores the meaning of family, separation, death, and war, while virtual economy. simultaneously struggling to find a way to write it. In One of these people, “Sh’khol,” the story of a single mother whose deaf son Claude Martingale, is the disappears at sea, Irish literary tropes and legends unnovel’s narrator, a French expectedly emerge alongside prose laced with Hebrew immigrant working for the and the Irish language, while in “Treaty,” an aging nun Bank of Torabundo (the battles with the meaning of grace as she faces the man “national” bank of a small, who once kidnapped, tortured, and raped her. almost uninhabited Pacific island whose headquarThough the stories and characters from these stories ters are in Dublin). In this, he is representative of are disparate, their commonalities still manage to the contemporary global citizen, operating without emerge, demonstrating McCann’s acumen for writing national borders and following market plans inwith a sense of understanding and empathy for many of stead of city grids. Because of this, Claude is being life’s most difficult quandaries. – R. Bryan Willits followed and shadowed by Paul, a writer who (Random House / 256p / $26) wishes to write the next Ulysses (his words) based on the financial industry to “show its NON-FICTION humanity.” This set-up is the crux of the book – stereotyped notions of both writers and bankers: the writer who wants to make By Josephine B. Marnell and Nora M. Breathnach it big after his first book underperand Ann A. Martin and Mor Murnaghan formed, and the banker who feels he or those of us who grew up in Ireland in the latter half of must defend his profession, and is the 20th century, the bible of the Irish kitchen was All in skeptical of flattery, but willing to the Cooking. First published in 1946, the official textindulge outside interests. Parts of the book of Coláiste Mhuire Cookery School in Dublin, it quickly novel rely too heavily on such stereobecame a mainstay in Irish households and domestic science types, and what seem clichéd percepclasses and was popular well into the 70s. tions of the finance industry at this It was the first Irish cookbook (with one or two exceptions, point. (“If you do it in the bookies, it’s cookbooks available to Irish public were published abroad), a bet … If you pay some 23-year-old in and it covered everything a home cook needed to know – from soup to sauces to fish an Armani suit two hundred grand to and meat dishes, breads, cakes and desserts – it was Ireland’s answer to Julia Child – go to the window for you, it’s a derivabefore Julia Child ever hit the American airways. tive,” says one character.) But overall, Not only did it offer great recipes aimed at the Irish palate – soda bread, apple tart Murray, whose 2010 novel Skippy Dies and jam tarts (my own speciality was Coconut Buns), it offered advice on planning was shortlisted for a number of prestimeals and organizing your kitchen. gious awards, offers us a funny, exagAll in the Cooking, is more than a recipe book, it has an emotional connection for all gerated, well-paced periscope into the of us Irish baby boomers who learned to cook at the kitchen table. An original copy is globalized world of everything from priced on Amazon at $199.99. My mother’s well-worn, batter-stained copy has long derivatives to start-ups. – Adam Farley disappeared (I have my suspicions about which family member has secreted it away), (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / 480p / $27) and for years I’ve been searching for a replacement copy at an affordable price.

All in the Cooking



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Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution By Rachel Moran


aid For, Rachel Moran’s account of her years working as a prostitute in Dublin from the ages of 15 to 22, is not solely a memoir. Clear from the start is Moran’s larger aim, to expose prostitution “for what it really is” – abuse, and a soul-destroying trap from which the women caught in it have little hope of escaping. She offers a compelling argument for the so-called Nordic model of legislation, by which purchasing sex – rather than selling it – is criminalized. Moran writes that prostitution caused her “to believe that this was the only way for me – that I was fit for nothing else. You get submerged into prostitution on many levels, including the things it teaches you about yourself.” The personal history she shares is harrowing. Her childhood on a Dublin housing estate with a manic-depressive, suicidal father and schizophrenic mother, both addicted to pills; her first time working Benburb Street, at age 14; her experiences in all parts of the prostitution world – street walking, brothels, stripping, porn, escort services; her increasing reliance to drugs to cope; her eventual struggle to extract herself. It took Moran ten years to write the book, and it shows in the candor and intense self-reflection of her words. For a long time, she struggled with whether to publish her story under a pseudonym to protect herself, her son, and the rest of her family. But ultimately she decided “not to wear a mask here, not even one I like in some ways, because to take my mask off is my way of confronting shame and daring it to do the same thing. That is why I’ve decided to tell the world my name is Rachel Moran.”


Where the Bodies Are Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him


By T.J. English

t’s a fair question to ask if the world really needs another Whitey Bulger book. Even before the release of the Hollywood film Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp, the South Boston Irish godfather had become something of a publishing niche unto himself. And that doesn’t even include the books written by or about lesser-known Bulger “associates” such as Kevin Weeks, Johnny Martorano or Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. So when you pick up Where the Bodies Are Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him, you might be tempted to think it’s just another look at this criminal mastermind who manipulated FBI agents such as John Connolly into looking the other way as Bulger went about committing crimes. But author T.J. English has something much more important to say. “I did not believe that [disgraced FBI agent John] Connolly was a totally innocent man,” writes English, who attending the Bulger trial before writing Where the Bodies Were Buried. “But there was in the government’s pursuit of Connolly the whiff of an attempt to make him the fall guy for the entire system’s corrupt relationship with Bulger.” Indeed, while English does an excellent job of analyzing Bulger’s blood-soaked rise to power, as well as his many years on the run from the law, it is his analysis of how the federal government prosecuted Bulger that raises the most unsettling questions. In short, English argues that the lawmen behaved nearly as – Sheila Langan badly as the gangsters they were charged with putting away. (W.W. Norton / 320p / $15.95) The long-time practice of using criminals as informants comes under particularly withering criticism in English’s book. Not only has this encouraged FBI agents to indulge their own criminal dark sides, but, accordI’m not alone. ing to English, it has corrupted officials at the A site called has posted many requests for information on highest levels of law enforcement. obtaining a copy, including this one from someone with the user handle “It was my hope that the People of the United Edengarden: “Hi my mother has been looking for a cookbook she used in States v. James J. Bulger would be a final accountschool in the 60s called All in the Cooking – Coláiste Mhuire. Does anyone ing of the entire Bulger scandal, not only laying know where I could get a copy?” out the full cast of characters that had enabled Yes, Edengarden. I do. Bulger…but also delving into the historical I’m happy to share the news that All in the Cooking has been reprinted, antecedents that had helped create Bulger in the with the same familiar black and white tiled cover and a foreword from the first place,” English writes. original co-author Anne A. Browne, now in her 97th year. But after sitting through the trial and interviewThe new edition is the perfect gift for those who fondly remember it from ing key players, English was left with a much their childhood, but more than that it’s a great resource for the modern day more damning conclusion: “(T)he policies that cook with simple nourishing recipes, and wonderful tidbits that speak to the created Whitey Bulger are still in place.” past, including “An Ideal Diet” which outlines “A dietary to maintain a man English, the author of impressive Irish Ameriin health and efficiency,” a glossary of French terms used in cookery, can true crime books such as The Westies and “Dinners for Special Occasions,” and a page on “What We Should Eat and Paddy Whacked, has ultimately written a fine – Why.” It also comes with a handy “conversions” bookmark for measures and possibly more disturbing – companion and temperatures for U.S. users, and room for notes in the back. Enjoy and volume to the movie Black Mass. – Tom Deignan be sure to try out the recipe for Coconut Buns! – Patricia Harty (The O’Brien Press / 250p / €16.99 + postage)

(William Morrow / 448p / $28.99)


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crossword | Across

1 ___ humbug! (3) 4 See 40 down (4) 7 This Ms. Donoghue wrote Room, among other novels (4) 8 Told an untruth (4) 11 ___ Mahal (3) 13 See 32 across (5) 16 Winners of this year’s All Ireland Football Final (6) 17 (& 32 down) New movie telling the Whitey Bulger story (5) 1 8 Galway theatre company that celebrated 30th anniversary this year (5) 19 (& 54 across) Actress mother of Ben Stiller who passed away earlier this year (4) 23 See 21 down (7) 25 See 40 down (2, 5) 26 Acts as a prompt or reminder (3) 28 A line joining two prominent points in the landscape (3) 29 To embrace someone (3) 31 See 36 across (7) 32 (& 13 across) New book by Nuala O’Connor about poet Emily Dickinson (4) 33 The company formerly known as Eircom (3) 34 Two rocky islands rising out of the Atlantic off the coast of Co. Kerry (8) 35 See 6 down (5) 36 (& 44 down, & 31 across) Belfastfilmed epic series


39 41 44 46 49 52 53


By Darina Molloy

which cleaned up at this year’s Emmy Awards (4) (& 5 down) Executed in 1916, he received a state funeral in September of this year (6) To pose a question or query (3) Iconic U.S. motorhome or RV (9) See 22 down (1, 4) See 30 down (11) High _____ : movie starring Gary Cooper (4) See 12 down (4) (& 20 down) 1970 film, starring Robert Mitchum, set in West of Ireland (5) See 19 across (5)


2 __ Swim-TwoBirds: Novel by Flann O’Brien (2) 3 “Bhí nuachtán aige” translates to “He ___ a newspaper” (3) 5 See 37 across (4) 6 (& 35 across) Irish organization helps those with suicidal ideation (5) 7 Small uninhabited island off the coast of Co. Dublin: Ireland’s ___ (3) 9 Paper never refuses _____ (3) 10 Famous famine ship replica in New Ross, Co. Wexford (8) 12 (& 52 across) Ireland’s first state exams, commonly done at age 15 or 16 (6)

Win a subscription to Irish America magazine

14 Margaret Higgins _____: famous US birth control activist who died in 1966 (6) 15 Patron saint of lost or hopeless causes (4) 20 See 53 across (8) 21 (& 23 across) Belfast-born actor, director, producer and screenwriter (7) 22 (& 44 across) This Irish-American actress and singer won a Tony Award this year (5) 23 To ___ or not to ___ (2) 24 If you can’t stand this, get out of the kitchen! (4) 26 Irish friend (4) 27 See 45 down (7) 29 W.B. Yeats epitaph: ______ pass by (8) 30 (& 46 across) Protagonist of The

Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than November 15, 2015. A winner will be drawn from among all correct entries. If there are no correct solutions, the prize will be awarded for the completed puzzle which comes closest in the opinion of our staff. Winner’s name will be published along with the solution in our next issue. Xerox copies are acceptable. Winner of the Aug./Sept. crossword: Hillary Preston, Seymour, IN


Ginger Man (9) 32 See 17 across (4) 38 See 47 down (5) 40 (& 4 across, & 25 across) This son of Tatum O’Neal has just published his first novel (5) 42 Flight of the _____ (5) 4 3 “I will ____ and go now, and go to Innisfree” (5) 44 See 36 across (2) 45 (& 27 down) Her newest novel didn’t get the Booker shortlist nod this year (4)

47 (& 38 down) Regional airline that served the Aran Islands for many years (3) 48 A barrier that impounds water or underground streams (3) 50 New Hampshire state motto: Live Free ___ Die (2) 51 The use of assessment and treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily skills of people with a disorder. (1, 1)

August / September Solution

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Celtic Myths and Birds of

In Irish folklore the raven was thought to be a messenger from the other world. By Edythe Preet

Sunset Raven wallpaper from Dark wallpapers at


utumn is upon us. The leaves have gone gold and scarlet, night falls earlier, the air turns chill, and the season to plant crops won’t come again until spring. For our ancestors, it was time to breathe a sigh of relief that summer had produced a bountiful harvest and rejoice in that good fortune with a feast. In ancient Ireland, the final harvest celebration was known as Samhain, the three-day period of the full moon midway between the fall equinox and winter solstice, which usually occurred in early November. As every schoolchild learns, the Puritan colonists of Massachusetts celebrated surviving their first year in North America with an elaborate feast in November, which coincidently lasted three days. Much less known is the fact that this early band of European immigrants would never have made it to that event had they not been rescued from starvation nine months earlier. On February 21, 1621 the Irish-registered ship Lyon arrived at Plymouth with a full cargo of supplies that had been sent by a Dublin merchant whose daughter was married to one of the Puritan congregation. With supermarkets today offering culinary abundance flown in year-round from every corner of the globe, 21st century moderns have no cause to worry about having enough food to make it through the winter. Even so, Americans still gather for a Feast of Thanksgiving in November, and the featured entrée of that meal is the continent’s native bird, the turkey. Unique to the Americas, the turkey almost played a far bigger role in American history. When designs were being considered for the Great Seal of the United States, Benjamin Franklin opined that an image of the wily American turkey would be a fine choice for the central motif, but his fellow statesmen voted instead to make the bald eagle the official American avian symbol. While many countries, especially those in Europe, have designated “national” birds, Ireland does not. This is somewhat curious since one particular family of winged beauties, the Corvids (which includes ravens, crows, and rooks) figures repeatedly in Irish myth. The raven is the largest member of the group, measuring as much as three feet from beak to tail, with long wings that enable it to perform extremely agile aerial acrobatics, and glossy black plumage that


ornithologists believe is an asset for retaining heat in cold Northern climes. While they gather in social groups when fledglings, by the age of three years ravens mate in lifelong monogamous and very territorial pairs. Their sounds range from deep croaks and high-pitched “tocs” to grating “kaas,” but ravens can also mimic the voices of other birds and animals. When captive, the highly intelligent birds can even learn to replicate words spoken by their handlers. Ravens appear in several Celtic myths and legends. They were the favored bird of Lludd, the god of artists and artisans, who had two raven attendants that supplied him all his life with all his needs. The fierce warrior and son of Lugh, God of Light, Cu Chulainn, who single-handedly defended Ulster against the forces of Connacht’s Queen Mebh in the Táin Bó Cúailnge

(The Cattle Raid of Cooley), was not believed to be dead until a raven perched on his shoulder. Ravens were also thought to be messengers from the Other World, and like the wail of the Bean Sidhe, their piercing cry could foretell imminent death for someone. The Raven is closely linked to the Morrigan, one of the most complex deities in the Celtic pantheon. A “triple” goddess, whose sphere of influence includes fertility, birth, and death, she is also known as Badb Catha (Battle Raven), Macha (Sovereign Queen), and Nemain (Terror). On the bank of the River Unshin, County Sligo, she is said to have seduced and joined with the All-Father Dagda at Samhain in an annual renewal of the life and death cycle. The Morrigan is best known, however, for her warrior nature especially when her favored people, the Tuatha de

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Danaan, are threatened. In the tale Cath Maige Tuireadh (The Battle of Mag Tuired) she shape-shifts into an immense raven, swoops over the battlefield shrieking “kaas” so fearful the enemy drops dead on the spot, and carries off her valiant fallen to their afterlife reward. Since the Morrigan always knew in advance the outcome of any battle, the Irish proverb “…has a Raven’s knowledge” means the person it describes can see into the future. While the raven is indeed a black bird, it is not a blackbird, which belongs to an entirely different family, the thrush genus. And while Ireland’s raven is not known to have ever taken top billing on any menu like America’s turkey, the blackbird’s role a medieval Irish feasts is legendary. Remember “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie?” That the birds in this beloved kiddies’ jingle began to sing once the pie was opened may seem like fiction, but it’s not. In a noble’s home during the Middle Ages, the main meal was the main event. This was especially true when royalty came to call, which happened far too frequently for many a landowner’s peace of mind and pocketbook. We think of kings and queens staying home and bidding the world come to them, but such was not the case at all. Rulers spent months on the road, arriving at the gate of their loyal subjects’ manors with huge retinues – coachmen, footmen, mounted guards, foot soldiers, stablehands, personal attendants, seamstresses, blacksmiths, and lords and ladies in waiting who had their own servants as well. With little more amusement than perhaps a morning’s hunt, dining was the chief entertainment. There were lute players and singers, meat carvers as deft as jugglers, pomp, ceremony, and a non-stop parade of surprises from the kitchen. Producing elaborate edible fantasies – like live birds caged inside a faux pie – marked a household’s sophistication and wealth. Another favorite way to wow regal diners was the “bird in a bird in a bird in a bird” presentation. A small quail was stuffed inside a larger guinea hen which was stuffed inside an even larger bird and so on and so on, until the final bird (usually a swan or peacock) came to the table feathered, gilded, and perhaps even wearing a tiny crown. That particular Medieval culinary masterpiece still graces feasting tables today as a “tur-duck-en” (chicken in a duck in a turkey) and, if you’re in the mood to serve something a wee bit different for your Thanksgiving meal this November, one can be ordered from a specialty poultry provider. Slainte! IA

sláinte | recipes


An Irish Roast Turkey w/ Thyme & Onion Stuffing INGREDIENTS To Cook 15 pound turkey, oven ready Salt, black pepper, and a little flour

2 tbsp. soft butter

8 slices streaky bacon


1 pound loaf of bread, broken into pieces 6 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 medium onion, cut into quarters Salt and black pepper

⁄3 cup butter, softened


the stuffing •PlaceTo make the bread, parsley, thyme and onion in a food

processor. Process until you have fine breadcrumbs and the onion is finely chopped. Remove to a bowl, season and mix in the butter.

To stuff the turkey •Loosen the skin at the neck end with your hands.

Pack the stuffing in, pushing it up between the flesh and the skin, but not too tightly because it will expand during cooking. Tuck the neck flap under the bird’s back and secure with a toothpick. Any remain ing stuffing can be cooked in a covered baking dish with the turkey. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time. Allow 15-20 minutes per lb. Place the turkey breast side up in an oiled roasting tin.

To cook the turkey •Preheat the oven at 450°F

Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper and dust with a little flour. Rub all over with the butter, then lay the bacon slices on the breast, overlapping each other. Cover the bacon with a piece of buttered parchment paper. This will keep the bacon in place. Wrap the turkey in foil and roast in the preheated oven. After the first 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 325°F. Baste a couple of times during roasting. For the last half hour, remove the foil. To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the leg, the juices should run clear. When the turkey is cooked, remove from the oven and transfer to a large plate. Reserve the cooking juices in the tin to make the gravy. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and let rest for half an hour in a warm place until you are ready to serve it. (Bord Bia – Irish Food Board)

Guide to Good Gravy

A well-flavored stock is important, so a day ahead, place the giblets, some onion slices and a bay leaf in a saucepan. Cover with water, then simmer gently for 1½ - 2 hours. Then strain, season, and refrigerate. After removing the turkey from the roasting tin, pour off the fat and leave behind the juices. Over medium heat, stir in a tablespoon of flour. Blend well. Add a dash of wine. Continue to cook. Stir in the stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes. A tablespoon of red currant jelly, cream or balsamic vinegar will also add to the flavor. Season to taste.



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last word | By Sharon Ní Chonchúir

The State of

Why women are still fighting male chauvinism on the greens of Ireland


reland is now a rainbow nation. With the passing of the referendum on samesex marriage in May, all romantic relationships gained equality in the eyes of the law. But does this equality extend elsewhere? It may seem like a trivial question, but does it extend to golf courses? Is everyone afforded equal rights when they tee off in Ireland? Golf clubs were once the sole preserve of a certain class of men. Membership was restricted to gentlemen only, and those gentlemen socialized and conducted informal yet influential conversations on the golf course and in the clubhouse. Irish women have struggled to gain access to these clubs. For many years, they were only allowed to play on specified days of the week, usually weekdays when demand was low, and were often forbidden from certain areas such as the clubhouse and bar. They’ve made more progress in recent years. Last September, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in Saint Andrews, Scotland voted to admit women members for the first time in its 260-year history. “This club isn’t Irish,” says Sarah Crowe, public relations officer with the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU). “But as the home of golf, it has a huge impact on the progression of the game in terms of equality and recognition.” Here in Ireland, the chief executive of the ILGU, Sinéad Heraty, recently delivered workshops to lady captains and vice-captains. She was told that equality in golf clubs was still a pressing concern. “In 2000, the Equal Status Act instigated change in the Republic,” says Sinéad. “Most clubs have since moved in the direction of equality. But some, especially in Northern Ireland where the legislation is different, have retained the traditional golf structure where men are members and women are associate members. Women pay a lower subscription for fewer playing rights and no decision making power in the


club. There’s still a long way to go.” Most of the Republic’s 430-odd golf clubs have opened access to women members since 2000. Most did so voluntarily but some had to be forced to do so. The Bray Golf Club in County Wicklow was one. In 2002, the club was accused of putting an elaborate set of procedures in place for women who wanted to become members. They claimed the €5,000 fee for transferring membership from associated member to full member was ‘exorbitant.’ They also alleged they were allocated substantially less playing time than men and were often excluded from playing on weekends. The situation was only resolved when legal action was threatened, but as a result, women are finally welcome as full members of the club today. “We advertised for women members in Image magazine and Social and Personal magazine this year,” says Jean Courtney, Head of Operations and Membership at Bray Golf Club. “We are delighted to offer full membership to women golfers, with the same criteria as for men golfers.” The club even makes extra efforts to attract women with its “Get into Golf Academy for Women.” “We run this on an annual basis and it’s resulted in a number of beginner members joining the club,” says Jean. “It’s our hope that as they progress, they will become full members with the same entitlements as the men.” Two of Ireland’s most prestigious clubs, Portmarnock Golf Club and the Royal Dublin Golf Club, have yet to progress to the same extent. They are the only clubs in Ireland to still adhere to a male-only membership policy. There have been legal challenges. In 2004, District Court Judge Mary Collins ruled that Portmarnock discriminated against females by not allowing them to join. She held that private golf clubs were not allowed to bar women. This ruling was overturned in 2005. The High Court found that Portmarnock Golf Club was formed


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for the needs of men and should therefore be allowed to continue to cater to men only. At the time, Niall Crowley, Chief Executive of the Equality Authority, was dismayed by the judgement. “This judgement maintains the unsatisfactory status quo that a significant institution in our society can continue to exclude women,” he said. Currently, women can play in Portmarnock if they pay green fees as a visitor, if they are wives of members, or if they play with a member. They cannot qualify as members in their own right. There was some controversy in 1990 when Mary Robinson became Ireland’s first female President. The assumption at that time was that Irish Presidents were automatically given honorary membership of Portmarnock Golf Club. What would happen now that Ireland had a woman President and the club didn’t allow for women members? The club sidestepped the issue. They maintained that Patrick Hillery (the Irish President prior to Robinson) had been given honorary membership “because of his active involvement in the game and existing membership of several clubs.” If President Robinson were to be so honored, she would first have to become an ordinary member of the club, which was impossible because the rules restricted membership to “gentlemen properly elected.” This past May, Portmarnock took a tentative step towards equality when it embarked on a consultative process to consider admitting female members. Some think they are doing this for reasons of expediency. Since its foundation in 1894, Portmarnock has been considered the spiritual home of golf in Ireland. It hosted the inaugural Irish Open in 1927 and it’s hosted the event 19 times since then. However, it hasn’t done so since 2003, when the National Women’s Council threatened to boycott the event because of the club’s membership policy. In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that Portmarnock

Golf Club could continue to exclude women as full members because it is exempted under equal status legislation. However, some club officials now think this policy is holding Portmarnock back. “Our current gender policy may impair our ability to contribute to the development and promotion of golf in Ireland,” said Club Captain John Conway in a letter sent out to members in May. “This is a proud tradition which is important to us. We’re examining this issue and its implications by taking soundings from members on attitudes to admitting female members.” This process is underway but there is no indication when a decision will be reached. “We will take as long as we need,” says Conway. The gender divide in golfing is particularly pronounced in Leinster. The west of Ireland appears to be more emancipated in that its golf clubs allow women as full members. Even Castlerea Golf Club in Roscommon, the only constituency in Ireland to reject the same-sex marriage referendum, allows for women as equal members. Newer clubs don’t prioritize men over women either. Clubs built in recent decades that have complied with equality legislation include prestigious names such as Mount Juliet, the K Club, and the Glasson Golf and Country Club. Where does the old guard’s reluctance to admit women stem from? Some men see the golf course as the final frontier of male-only recreation. Some women see their exclusion as a symptom of the worst kind of outdated chauvinism. Others see gender politics at work. We’ve heard from various enquiries into the Irish economic collapse that former Taoiseach Brian Cowen played regular games of golf with heads of Irish banking prior to the crisis. This is an example – if one were needed – of how important conversations are had by influential people on the golf course. Maintaining a menonly policy could be seen as serving men’s interests in this regard and mitigating against women’s. Whatever the reason for women’s inferior position on some golf courses, equality does seem to be on its way. In the U.K., clubs including Royal Troon, Muirfield, and Royal Saint George’s have begun to reconsider their men-only policies since the Royal and Ancient Golf Club ended its ban on women last year. In the U.S., Augusta allowed women to join in 2012. Now that Portmarnock may be following suit, full equality for Irish women golfers should only be a matter of time. As Sinéad Heraty says, “There are still a few clubs in Ireland that do not allow female members, but women’s golf seems to be moving in the right direction and we are working towards equality in all clubs in the future.” IA

LEFT: Portmarnock Golf Club, one of the most prestigious clubs in Ireland, may soon open its doors to women. ABOVE: Chief Executive of the Irish Ladies Golf Union, Sinéad Heraty.


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photo album | The Cole Family

Great-Grandpa Cole’s Legacy

LEFT: Four generations of the Cole family: Michael with son Jimmy and grandson Jimmy, Jr., and Jim Cole’s sister Susan, June 1946. ABOVE: 1932 Lenox Coachman article about the inheritance in 1932. RIGHT: Michael and Susan, c. 1890. BELOW: Michael with stable dogs in 1900.


y great-grandfather Michael Cole was born in Claudy, County Derry in 1860. His parents were farmers in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains. He made his way to the States on the steamship Lord Clive, arriving in Philadelphia on June 9, 1880, three weeks after his 20th birthday. He found employment as a stable boy for a member of the prominent Philadelphia family, the Biddles. Not long after, he was made coachman, a job he would hold over the next 50 years. In 1885 Michael married Susan Gallen from Meenreagh, County Donegal. Over the next 16 years they had 9 children. Among them was my grandfather Jimmy, who became a professional golfer of some renown during the 1920s and 30s. During the late 1880s Michael helped bring his brothers James and Patrick to the States. He taught them the coachman trade, and they worked for some of Philadelphia’s finest families. His younger sister Mary came in 1888 and worked as a lady’s maid in the Biddle household. Michael’s loyalty to the Biddles was well rewarded. When Miss Emily Biddle died in 1931, he had worked for the family for over 50 years. She left him quite a legacy, including houses and a lifetime income. When Michael died in 1946, one of his friends wrote, “Michael had that Irish trait, a faculty for making friends and retaining them.” He passed that trait onto his descendants, and it has served us well. – Submitted by Jim Cole


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.

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