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20 Years of Celebrating the Irish in Finance

OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 CANADA $4.95 / U.S. $3.95

The Natural Beauty of County Kerry An Irish Soldier’s Memories of Vietnam Irish Eye on Hollywood

A Champion for Diversity in The Workplace


If you really want to help society, you have to figure out a way

to share all the lessons you’ve learned.


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contents |

The view from Great Blasket Island, County Kerry.

Vol. 32 No. 6 October / November 2017





34 The Beautiful Kingdom

How the landscapes and people of County Kerry captured a photographer’s imagination. By John Wesson

Irish Eye on Hollywood

Kenneth Branagh, Aidan Gillen, Martin McDonagh, Saoirse Ronan, & more. p. 16

38 Cover Story: Tim Ryan

PwC’s U.S. chairman has taken over the corporate conversation on diversity and inclusion. By Adam Farley

44 20th Anniversary Wall Street 50

The fifty best financiers who share a love of their Irish roots.



64 Delta 13 Charlie

Private First Class Michael Coyne, one of many Irishborn soldiers who fought in Vietnam, tells his story.

Yeats for Sale

An look at the possessions of the extended Yeats family recently auctioned by Sotheby’s. p. 28

Born in Dublin, Carmel Snow became one of the most influential American fashion editors. By Rosemary Rogers

The many Irish connections of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. By Geoffrey Cobb


The Moral Compass

78 No Stone Unturned

Dr. Michael Maguire is Northern Ireland’s Police Ombudsman.

Alex Gibney’s groundbreaking documentary about the 1994 Loughinisland Massacre. By Tom Deignan

p. 82

84 Roots: The Remarkable Ryans

The history and characters of the famous Ryan clan. By Olivia O’Mahony

86 Sláinte! Pork Eternal, Part I

Why pigs became known as “the gentleman who pays the rent.” By Edythe Preet

The Last Word

Dave Lewis asks whether new American rules for hurling ruin the game’s traditions and history. p. 98


88 Children Without Refuge

A new novel for children by Irish writer Jane Mitchell focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis. By Olivia O’Mahony

96 Family Photo Album

James Dette’s mother’s unique Irish aphorisms live on through him.

Irish architects had more than a small hand in the construction of Washington, D.C.

p. 26

70 The Fashionista

74 Custer’s Last Rally

Green Hills, White Houses

Bison hide painting of the Battle of the Little Bighorn by a Cheyenne artist, 1878.

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:submit@irishamerica.com. Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders:1-800-582-6642.Subscriptionqueries:1-800-582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 150. Periodicals postage paid at New York and additional mailing offices. Postmaster please send address changes to Irish America Magazine, P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Irish America is printed in the U.S.A.


DEPARTMENTS 6 12 90 92 94

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

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the first word | by Patricia Harty

Vol. 32 No. 6 • October/ November 2017

Tabhair dom do Lámh


If you really want to help society, you have to figure out a way to share all the lessons that you’ve learned. – Tim Ryan

ongratulations to all our honorees on this the 20th anniversary of our Wall Street 50. Some things have changed in the 20 years since we began to explore the relationship between the Irish and our steady ascent in the financial sector. For example, our first list, published in 1998, had just one Irish-born person but today a whopping 22 percent of our 50 were born in Ireland. The 1998 list only had three women while today the total is up to 14. Tim Ryan talks about how when he started out at PwC, the lone woman supervisor had to work harder than the men to continually prove herself. He never forgot that time with her. The first in his family to go to college, Tim was something of an outsider in the financial world, then still the bastion of the elite where many jobs were handed down, father to son. That experience, being different, being the “Other,” inspired him to put diversity front and center in his role as leader of some 50,000 employees. Tim encourages his people to have open dialogues in the workplace and discuss, among other issues, race and gender. He has inspired other CEOs to follow his example and make the same pledge to their organization. Like Tim, so many of our honorees believe strongly in giving back to their communities. The contributions of one of our honorees, Suni Harford are of special note. Suni, whose ancestors are from Tipperary, helped formalize Citi’s successful veterans’ initiative, CitiSalutes, in 2009. She went on to be a founding member of Veterans on Wall Street in 2010. For those efforts she recently received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army. Way to go Suni! It’s not just the veterans of today’s wars that need help. Ken Burns’s new documentary on Vietnam brings to mind the many young IrishAmericans who fought and died in this brutal conflict. Private Michael Coyne tells his story of that war in this issue. He’s still haunted by his time there, as are so many others. “No one wins in war,” a Viet Cong soldier tells Burns. In another documentary examined in this issue, the focus is on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Alex Gibney’s No Stone Unturned, takes us back to village of Louginisland, 6 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

County Down where, in 1994, an innocent group of Catholics watching a football game on TV in a local pub were gunned down. No one was ever charged with their murders. Gibney’s documentary is reminder of how much we owe the Irish Americans who helped ignite the peace process. One of them was Denis Kelleher, the Kerryman, who was on our first Wall Street list. He started in the mailroom in Merrill Lynch and worked his way up to great success. Today, his son Sean runs Wall Street Access, the firm founded by his father, and we are proud to have Sean on our list of honorees. In honor of Denis we bring you a picture essay on Kerry, one of the most beautiful counties of all. In truth, wherever you land in Ireland, you will find plenty to see and explore; it seems that history is ever present. In the midst of all the beautiful landscape are many reminders of our long struggle under British colonization. One such marker is the Treaty Stone in Limerick. No one knows better the consequences of broken treaties, than the Irish. It was the broken Treaty of Limerick, that gave us the “Wild Geese” and scattered us to the four corners of the world. It was a broken treaty that caused the Battle of Little Bighorn. Sitting Bull and his warriors may have won the day, but the retaliation by U.S. military was swift and cruel, and decimated the Native Americans. You can read about it in this issue. Adam Farley’s interview with Tim Ryan gave me pause to think about how in manifesting our own destiny we impacted the destiny of others, such as the Native Americans. Then there is America’s original sin, slavery, its legacy everywhere today especially in cities. As Native-Americans and African-Americans continue to suffer, the Irish have gone on to climb to greater heights, as our Wall Street 50 list shows. We could do worse that to reach out and say, “Tabhair dom do lámh” (give me your hand). President John F. Kennedy famously said, “One man can make a difference and every man should try.” Tim Ryan is one man who has made a huge difference and we could not have picked a better person for our 20th Anniversary Wall Street 50 cover. 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 Deputy Editor: Adam Farley Event Reservations & Advertising Coordinator: Áine Mc Manamon Copy Editor: Olivia O’Mahony Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan Editorial Assistant: Dave Lewis

875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York NY 10001 TEL: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344 Subscriptions: 1-800-582-6642 E-MAIL: submit@irishamerica.com www.irishamerica.com

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: submit@irishamerica.com. Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-5826642. Subscription queries:1-800582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 217. 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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letters | readers forum

Healthcare’s New Frontiersman

“Did Ye Get Healed?”

Congratulations on a great interview with Dan O’Day, CEO of Roche Pharma. He sounds like a terrific Irish American who is proud of his roots. Anything he can do to speed up clinical trials, especially in the area of cancer treatments, would be really important.

Noel O Flynn Received by e-mail

The Vanishing Irish Americans

One factor that might help stem the decline of Irish Americans [referenced in the piece on the latest U.S. figures showing a decrease in those who identify as Irish American] is the advent of DNA services such as Ancestry and 23andMe that help people ascertain their ancestral roots. In my own case, I was adopted as an infant and did not know that I had significant Irish ancestry until last year when I purchased these tests (I am 55 years old).

G. Cosby Submitted online

I blame St Patrick’s Day for diluting true Irish pride to the point that people are desensitized, whether or not they are of Irish heritage. Also, it has caused people to falsely claim they are Irish, as if it is the hottest novelty to have.

Ashley Hannan Submitted via Facebook

Man’s Best Friend

I would like to thank you for the beautiful article you wrote about my larger-than-life sister Mary. I am delighted to hear that she had a very positive impact on your life, like she had on so many others. She is sorely missed, but your piece has brought back some brilliant memories. Thank you again for the wonderful Patricia Harty (left) memories of Mary.

Thank you for sharing this [article by Cahir O’Doherty about grieving for his two with Mary Mac (right) Siamese cats]. The picture took my breath Geraldine O’Sullivan and Mary Murphy in away – it looks so much like my Siamese Submitted online Santa Monica, 1972. sisters! I am crying my eyes out after reading the beautiful writing. Sadly, our 22-year-old Hissy died Thank you for that lovely piece about recently, and now her sister, Heidi, is all alone. I hug her extra my late sister Mary. It has brought back tight, but at 22, I know it is only a matter of time for her. many memories of that summer of ’72 Elizabeth M. Thorp in Atlantic City. I was there also and Submitted via Facebook was a little bit put out when my big sister showed up with her friends! Beautiful tribute. I lost my But I soon got over it. I remember sweet cat this summer. She lived Mary and co. showing up at a few a long and happy life. It is never parties we were having in our easy when they leave us. But I apartment; maybe you were there also. know she is safe, forever in my Again my thanks for your kind words heart. and lovely memories of Mary. Patrice Kane Submitted via Facebook

Relief Efforts During the Famine

I am fairly new to this subject [the Irish Famine] despite my Irish Scottish ancestry. My ancestors have lived in the U.S. since the 1700s and were Presbyterian. It’s appalling that this was not taught in our schools, nor was the truth about “indentured servants!” It is unimaginable how a country such as Ireland could have been the victim of this sickening atrocity. It seems as though a great deal of relief was provided from all over the world. Where did it go? The Catholic Church must assume much of the responsibility due to its enormous wealth and its lack of educational help for Irish Catholics, but overall there is much shame and blame to be Irish potato shared by England, landlords, pickers, c. 1973. Protestants, and Irish complacency. England’s history in Ireland is comparable to the brutality of the Roman Empire, Nazi Germany, Stalin, and every other tyrannical regime! I’m absolutely horrified!! Kimberly McCord Wallace Submitted online


John McDonnell Submitted online

Mayo’s “Be Part of the Start” Campaign

My sincere thanks to the team at Irish America, particularly Mayo’s Áine Mc Manamon, for supporting our efforts in the U.S. The contribution the magazine has made to Ireland and Irish people across the United States is immeasurable and one that we at the Mayo Foundation value greatly.

Mike Hannon, County Mayo Foundation New York, NY

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letters | readers forum All Hail the Humble Irish Spud

Audience members at a reading during the West Cork Literary Festival.

Reading West Cork

What a wonderful, comprehensive, eloquent write-up on the West Cork Literary Festival by Olivia O’Mahony. We do hope you’ll come back again, Olivia, and we’ll look forward to the sequel.

Representatives of the West Cork Literary Festival Submitted via Facebook

contributors Geoffrey Cobb, who re-

veals the surprising Irish connections to the Battle of the Little Bighorn in this issue, is a Brooklyn high school history teacher, writer of the blog Historic Greenpoint, and the author of Greenpoint: Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past (CreateSpace, 2015). He has lived in the same north Brooklyn neighborhood for over 20 years.

Tom Deignan writes

columns about movies and history for Irish America, and is a weekly columnist for the Irish Voice and regular columnist and book reviewer for the Newark Star-Ledger. In this issue he interviews director Alex Gibney about his new Loughinisland Massacre documentary.

Before the defeat at Kinsale in 1601, the indigenous Irish were a pastoral people. Indeed, it was their non-practice of agriculture, which was the basis of the claim of English colonists to be “entitled” to make better use of the land. So, after 1601, the English drove off the Irish peasants into the waste lands, rustled all the cattle they found alive, seized all the best grazing lands, and “gifted” the Irish peasants with the new import from the Americas: the potato! The beef from the cattle ranching went to produce “corned beef,” also known as “bully beef,” from the image on the tins. It fed English armies for over 350 years. Not for the first time, the Irish got a bum deal on the exchange. The first time most Irishmen ever tasted beef was if they accepted the King’s shilling and partook of the rations he provided. Such were the consequences of the transition from pastoralism to potatoes!

Patrick McElroy Submitted via Facebook

It is important to note that nobody, apart from scientists, believed at that time that a “healthy person” could be infecting people. All that knowledge came later.

Brian Mallon Submitted via Facebook

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

Send a fax (212-244-3344), e-mail (submit@irishamerica .com) 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.


Adam Farley, whose profile of PwC’s U.S. chairman Tim Ryan appears in this issue, is Irish America’s deputy editor. He holds a Master of Arts in Irish and Irish American studies from NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, and a bachelor’s in creative writing from the University of Washington. He lives in Brooklyn.

Dave Lewis writes skeptically about a new adaptation of hurling for U.S. audiences in this issue. He is from Rahway, New Jersey, and is a graduate of the honors history program at Kean University, where he also established the Kean Hurling Club. He currently is the operations coordinator at Turlough McConnell Communications.

Wesley Bourke is editor of Ireland’s

Military Story magazine, which sets out to highlight and tell the rich story of Ireland’s military past. In this issue, Wesley interviews Michael Coyne, an Irish-born soldier who served in Vietnam.


Typhoid Mary


John Wesson has

been visiting and photographing the Kerry for 30 years. Based in Derbyshire and Valentia, County Kerry, he is married with two grown-up daughters and can often be seen out and about with his dog, Bella. An excerpt from his new book, Kerry: The Beautiful Kingdom (O’Brien, 2017), appears in this issue. More of his work can be found online at johnwesson.com.

Olivia O’Mahony is Irish

America’s editorial assistant and copyeditor. Born in New York and raised in Lucan, County Dublin, she holds an international degree in English literature and anthropology from Maynooth University. In this issue, she interviews Irish young adult writer Jane Mitchell about her latest book on the Syrian refugee crisis and details the history of the Ryan clan. She lives in Manhattan.

Rosemary Rogers co-authored,

with Sean Kelly, the best-selling humor/reference book Saints Preserve Us! (Random House, 1993), currently in its 18th international printing. The duo collaborated on four other books for Random House and calendars for Barnes & Noble. Rogers co-wrote two info/entertainment books for St. Martin’s Press. She is currently co-writing a book on empires for City Light Publishing. In this issue, she writes on acclaimed fashion editor Carmel Snow.

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The Springhill Peace Wall is demolished.

Removal of Belfast “Peace Wall” is a Milestone in Peace Process

A milestone in the Northern Irish peace process was reached in September when the Belfast community welcomed the first demolition of a “peace wall,” a ten foot high barrier erected in 1989 between Springfield Road and Springhill Avenue to separate loyalist and nationalist locals, as well as to protect a nearby police station. The decision to dismantle the wall comes as part of a promise by the authorities at Stormont to eradicate the presence of all Northern Irish peace walls by 2023. Since their construction, these barriers

have become known as landmarks of violence, with the communities around them suffering frequent bouts of vandalism and intimidation. The removal project received funding from the International Fund for Ireland’s Peace Walls Programme. Its chairman, Adrian Johnston, told the Irish Times, “There should be no place for physical separation barriers in a truly reconciled society. The communities’ decision to remove the wall at Springhill Avenue and the alterations that are taking place illustrate what

can be achieved with strong local leadership and by fully engaging those who live next to physical barriers.” “This is about more than just changing the look of this area,” Seamus Corr, project co-ordinator for the Black Mountain Shared Spaces, also said in an Irish Times interview. “The removal of a wall is not a starting point nor an end point, but a significant milestone on the journey towards a positive future.” The first peace lines were built in 1969. 109 are still in place across N.I. – O.O.

fter four years spent imprisoned in A Egypt, Ibrahim Halawa, the son of Egyptian immigrants to Ireland, was acquitted of all charges relating to a 2013 political protest that descended into violence. The aquittal came as the result of a September mass trial of hundreds of prisoners detained on charges related to the protest. Halawa’s detention sparked international sympathy and outrage, particularly due to his young age of 17 at the time of arrest. In a display of triumph, Irish diplomat Shane Gleeson raised his fist through a metal mesh and plastic screen as Halawa was declared innocent. In Dublin, Halawa’s sister Nosayba reported family members falling to their knees in relief. “Then we went back to crying and hugging each other,” she told the New York Times. Halawa is a son of Sheikh Hussein Halawa, Ireland’s senior-most Muslim cleric and imam of Ireland’s largest mosque. Hussein Halawa and his wife immigrated to Ireland from Egypt a year before Ibrahim was born. 12 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

The trial resulted from one of the most politically-charged and violent moments in modern Egyptian history, when on August 14 2013, national security forces killed over 800 people in Cairo as they dispersed Muslim Brotherhood supporters who had gathered to protest the ousting of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the military one month prior. This prompted a second protest days later, this time against the military, in Cairo’s Ramses Square which also became physical. Hundreds of people, including Halawa and his three sisters, hid inside a local mosque, but were later cleared out by police and arrested. The Halawa sisters were released on bail and returned to Dublin. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar promised in a statement that Irish diplomats will ensure Halawa “gets home as soon as possible,” welcoming the end of what he called “an extraordinarily protracted case.” Egyptian

Ibrahim Halawa

law dictates that the prosecution can repeal an acquittal within 60 days, so time is of the essence in returning Halawa to Irish soil before the prosecution appeals. A minimum of 439 other people, including 20 Americans, were found guilty and given sentences of five years to life in prison, a ruling condemned by Amnesty International as a “cruel farce.” Included in these is U.S. citizen student Ahmed Etiwy, who, despite a recent rejection, may like Halawa soon be eligible for release. – O.O.


Ibrahim Halawa Acquitted After Four Years

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or the first time ever, a referendum will be held on whether Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion, which puts women who illegally abort their pregnancies at risk of prison terms up to 14 years, will be lifted or loosened. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced in September that the referendum vote will be held between May and June next year. The eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, passed by a two-thirds majority in 1983, declares that the life of an unborn child is equal to that of the woman carrying it and effectively bans abortion on Irish soil. This means that Irish women seeking abortions, including cases of rape, incest, and

E.U. Sues Ireland Over Billions Apple Owes in Tax Revenue

reland is being sued by the European Union for its I$15failure to collect a year-old bill of €13 billion (over billion) from Apple, Inc. In October, the European

Commission referred the country to the European Court of Justice for failing to recoup the money, which was due January 3 but will likely not be collected for E.U. competition commissioner another six months. Margrethe Vestager. The European commission presented Apple with the bill in 2016 after ruling that a sweetheart tax arrangement between Ireland and the company equated to illegal state aid. In 2014, Apple paid a corporate tax rate of just 0.005 percent; the usual Irish corporate rate is 12 percent. “We of course understand that recovery in certain cases may be more complex than in others, and we are always ready to assist,” E.U. competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “But member states need to make sufficient progress to restore competition.” Ireland and Apple continue to repeal the decision, though both face European scrutiny for resisting rules for tech company taxation. “Until the money is recovered, Apple continues to get an illegal advantage,” Vestager said. – O.O.


Kurdish Refugee’s Croke Park Debut


fatal fetal abnormality, must travel abroad to safely undergo the procedure, with an estimated average of 12 women a day making the journey to Britain, a fact often cited by “Repeal the 8th” campaigners in their efforts to bring about change. Ireland’s current abortion laws are considered some of the most conservative in Europe, with the United Nations Human Rights Committee calling last July for the ban to be reversed, and public opinion on abortion is mixed, with most citizens believing in broadening access in some way, though the majority remains against outright legalization. “Our ideal is that the eighth amendment is completely repealed, and not replaced,” London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign volunteer Claire McGowran told the Independent. “The very minimum is that it’s not confusing any more and gives free, safe abortions to women in Ireland regardless of how they become pregnant.” McGowran added that the group were awaiting an exact date and wording for the referendum question and would soon after commence their year of campaigning. – O.O.

everybody else.” But he learned fast, and when his family moved to Dublin, he began to play for the Thomas Davis club in Tallaght. His loyalty, though, lies with the county that welcomed his family into its community 15 years ago: “I never lost the connection,” he said on the day of the final, which came to a 0-17 – 0-11 win to Warwickshire. “I have a lot of friends down there in Leitrim.” Moradi was named on the 2016 Lory Meagher all-star team and has gained popularity in his position as corner forward. He believes that the ethnic diversity in GAA will continue to broaden, and that the sporting sphere in Ireland is a place of welcome and inclusivity: “When you play GAA, you become part of the community and part of the culture.” – O.O.

istory was made in Dublin’s Croke Park during the Lory Meagher Cup final in June, when the Leitrim senior hurling team took to the terrain for the first time against Warwickshire. Equally significant, however, was the presence of Iraq-born Iranian-Kurdish refugee Zemnako Moradi, who goes by Zak. It marked the first time an immigrant of that background lined out in a national GAA final. Moradi, 26, arrived in Ireland at the age of 11 as one of some 100 Kurds placed in Leitrim’s Carrick-on-Shannon as part of a United Nations-supervised resettlement program in the early to mid-2000s. Several members of the group were profiled in the New York Times in September. During Leitrim hurler Zak Moradi. the 1980s, Zak’s parents fled to Iraq to escape persecution in their native Iran, but soon found themselves living in a terrorized community under Saddam Hussein. Arriving in Leitrim, Moradi spoke no English, and knew nothing of GAA until he met local hurling legend Clement Cunniffe. “It took me a year or two to get used to it,” Moradi told the Irish Times. “I started later than PHOTO: GAA

A “Repeal the 8th” march in Dublin this March.


Referendum to be Held on Abortion

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1,000-year-old Viking weaver’s sword was unearthed by archaeologists at the site of the former Beamer and Crawford brewery in Cork City in September. Dated back to the 11th century and perfectly-preserved, the yew sword measures roughly 11.8 inches and is patterned with human faces in the classic Ringerike Viking art style. “For a long time there was a belief that the strongest Viking influence was on Dublin and Waterford, but the full spectrum of evidence shows that Cork was in the same cultural sphere and that its development was very similar,” consultant archaeologist Maurice Hurley told the Irish Times. “A couple of objects similar to the weaver’s sword have been found in [Dublin’s] Wood Quay, but nothing of the quality of craftsmanship and preservation of this one.”

ABOVE: The loom sword measures about one foot long. RIGHT: a close-up of the human figure hilt carving.

After expert examination, the sword has been categorized as one used by women to hammer threads into place on a loom, with the pointed end being used to pick up threads in pattern-making. “It’s highly decorated,” Hurley noted. “The Vikings decorated every utilitarian object.” The sword was one of several artifacts found in “miraculous” condition at the South Main Street site, which also included intact ground plans for 19 Viking homes, remnants of central hearths, bedding material, and a wooden thread-winder carved with two horse’s heads, used, like the sword, for fabric-weaving. The items will go on display as early as February 2018. – O.O. 14 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017


Dr. Neale Gibson

QUB Study’s Astronomical Breakthrough

stronomers at Queens University Belfast have aided in detecting titanium oxide in the atmosphere of an exoplanet (or extrasolar planet, the name given to a planet outside of our solar system that orbits a star) for the very first time in September. This reveals groundbreaking information about exoplanet WASP-19b, which is notable for possessing one of the shortest orbital periods of any known planetary body and its large size, akin to that of Jupiter. With the help of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the team discovered new information about the swelteringly hot conditions of WASP-19b. “We used an algorithm that explores many millions of spectra spanning a wide range of chemical compositions, temperatures, and cloud or haze properties in order to draw our conclusions,” explained student Elyar Sedaghati in the journal Nature, where the study’s results were unveiled. “These results are the culmination of many years of work in improving these techniques,” said Queens University Belfast researcher Dr. Neale Gibson. “In the near future, we hope to use these techniques on more Earth-like worlds, and explore the diversity of terrestrial planets in our neighborhood.” – O.O.

Global Irish Diaspora Directory Launched


n keeping with promises made at the second Global Irish Civic Forum held at Dublin Castle in May, Minister of the State for the Diaspora Ciarán Cannon (above) launched the Global Irish Diaspora Directory in September. The directory contains publically-sourced details of Irish community welfare, culture, heritage, and networking groups and lists a total of 360 organizations, including all of those funded over the last half-decade by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s annual €11.59 ($13.66) million emigrant support programme. Also listed are the organizations represented at the first Global Irish Civic Forum in 2015, as well as its most recent counterpart. “Ultimately, the purpose of this diaspora directory is to help Irish diaspora organizations improve their communications and collaboration with each other, and to assist people looking to reach out to Irish organizations abroad,” Cannon said in a statement, adding that he is “pleased to see such excellent representation from groups engaging in frontline welfare services as well as those who are working tirelessly to preserve our heritage and culture overseas.” Electronic access to the directory is available via www.dfa.ie. – O.O.


Viking Sword Discovered in Cork

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hibernia | irish eye on hollywood Kenneth Branagh Can’t Stop

elfast native and Oscar winner Kenneth Branagh spent time behind the camera and in front of it during the shooting of Murder on the Orient Express, which hits theaters in November. Branagh starred and directed in this latest movie version of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel, featuring her beloved detective Hercules Poirot. Murder on the Orient Express tells the story of train passengers who end up riding the rails with a dead body. Poirot must put all of the clues together to figure out who the killer is. The star-studded cast Branagh directed includes Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, and Michelle Pfeiffer. This is at least the fourth film version of Christie’s novel, and Branagh recently told Entertainment Weekly he wouldn’t mind turning Murder on the Orient Express into a franchise. “I would be thrilled, I must say,”


Kenneth Branagh as Inspector Poirot

by Tom Deignan

McDonagh’s Buzz


lso in November, Martin McDonagh will unveil his latest film, Three

Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The title might be a tad unruly, but the buzz on the film is strong. The film – which stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Tipperary native Kerry Condon – earned a ten-minute standing ovation at the recent Venice Film Festival, where it also won the prize for Best Screenplay. The movie revolves around a woman who believes local police are not doing enough to find her daughter’s murderer. McDonagh initially received raves for his Irish plays such as The Beauty Queen of Leenane and A Skull in Connemara. He made the successful transition to Hollywood with profane, violent yet also funny films such as In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. Three Billboards seems very much to be cut from the same cloth.

There Will Be Fashion


aniel Day-Lewis (In the Name of the Father,

The Boxer) claims he is retiring, so the Christmas season movie he recently finished filming may be your last chance to see the Oscar winner in a darksaid Branagh. “I have enjoyed it enormously, to delve into the nature ened theater. Details are few and far between about of the character, to read more of the books, to understand, to admire the film, the title of which was only recently released. with greater intensity what Agatha Christie’s talents were. That’s been What we do know about Phantom Thread that it is really a great, great creative treat. So, I’d be absolutely delighted to do about a fashion designer in swinging 1950s London, more, yeah.” In other Branagh news, Disney reportedly has begun and teams Day-Lewis up again with director Paul casting for “Irish looking actors” for a movie based on Eoin Colfer’s Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Inherent Vice). Irish fantasy book series Artemis Fowl. Branagh – along with Irish Day-Lewis and Anderson previously worked together playwright Conor McPherson – has been attached to the Artemis Fowl on the intense 2007 film There Will be Blood, which project for years. For nearly as long, however, the movie has been was inspired, in part, by an Upton Sinclair book about languishing in Hollywood’s notorious “development hell.” The Ed Doheny, a ruthless tycoon whose father was an reports that Disney has finally begun holding auditions means the Irish immigrant. There Will be Blood was also Artemis Fowl movie might finally begin shooting sometime next year. recently dubbed, in a recent New York Times survey, the best movie of the 21st century, thus far. Joyce was a professional dancer and Joyce’s child by rish actor Aidan Gillen – best known for wife Nora Barnacle (the inspikey roles in cable dramas such as The Wire ration for Molly Bloom from and Game of Thrones – will get in touch with Ulysses). Lucia struggled once his inner Dubliner when he plays James she was diagnosed as schizoJoyce in an upcoming film about the acphrenic in the 1930s. James claimed Irish writer and his troubled daughand Lucia will be directed by ter. Entitled James and Lucia, Gillen will play British-born Robert Mullan. Gillen will also apthe Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man author pear in the next installment of the Maze Runner as he struggles to write his avant garde classic movie franchise (due in 2018) as well as the next Finnegan’s Wake. At the same time Joyce’s season of the BBC drama Peaky Blinders, about daughter, Lucia, was on the verge of a nervous Irish immigrants and gangsters in post World War Daniel Daybreakdown, brought on, in part, by a tumultuous I England. Previous seasons of the gritty Peaky Lewis with affair with Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Lucia Blinders can currently be seen on Netflix.

Aidan Gillen is Joyce



Paul Thomas Anderson

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Domhnall Gleeson Is Now in Charge

n a twist worthy of one of the dozens of movies he’s made, Brendan Gleeson no longer seems to be the hardest working member of the Gleeson family. The elder Gleeson recently starred in the Audience network streaming series Mr. Mercedes, based on Stephen King’s novels. He will also voice the upcoming Paddington 2. But Brendan’s son Domhnall Gleeson is the one with nearly half a dozen films set to come out soon, starring along side some of the biggest names in show business. Gleeson, this year, has already appeared in the big-budget American Made alongside Tom Cruise, as well as the indie comedy Crash Pad. There was also the creepy horror film from Darren Aronofsky, Mother! And (covering slightly different material) October’s Goodbye Christopher Robin, about the creator of Winnie the Pooh. But Gleeson will really be in another universe (so to speak) come December, when he appears in the much-anticipated next installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi. After the release of the Netflix comedy drama A Futile and Stupid Gesture (about Irish American comedy legends Michael O’Donaghue, Doug Kenney, and the roots of Saturday Night Live), Gleeson turns to 2018 and Peter Rabbit, as well as the latest from Irish director Lenny Abrahamson (Room), a mystery entitled The Little Stranger, based on the novel by Sarah Waters.

Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots


Saoirse Ronan’s Royal Turn

aoirse Ronan may be hoping that English best-selling author Ian McEwan gets her a second Academy Award nomination. Early next year, Ronan will star alongside English actor Bill Howle in the dark romance On Chesil Beach, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival back in September. Ronan, of course, burst onto the world stage back in 2007, with her star turn in Atonement, for which she earned an Academy Award nod – and which was also based on an Ian McEwan novel. Before that, Ronan will be seen in Lady Bird, a dark comedy also starring indie darling Greta Gerwig (who also directs) and Laurie Metcalf. Next year, Ronan has The Seagull – based on Chekhov’s play – as well as a full-blown costume drama about Mary Queen of Scots (Ronan plays the title character), also featuring Margot Robbie and Brendan Coyle, of Downton Abbey Fame, whose father was an Irish immigrant to England.


TV & Streaming Report

Here are some new, recent, and noteworthy Irish shows streaming on various services: Trying to capitalize on the success of her most famous novel The Handmaid’s Tale, Netflix has produced a series based on another Margaret Atwood book: Alias Grace. The series is about an Irish immigrant maid in 1840s Canada who may or may not have murdered her employers. And trying to capitalize on the gruesome buzz from its very own extended crime documentary Making a Murderer, Netflix recently released The Keepers. Set in Baltimore, the seven-episode series looks back at chilling events from the late 1960s. At the center of the story is Irish American Abbie

Fitzgerald, who – along with a fellow investigator – look into allegations that countless girls were abused at their Catholic high school decades earlier. The most gruesome questions revolve around an Irish American priest who appears to have been sent to Ireland for years when the investigation raised too many questions. Chris O’Dowd stars alongside Ray Romano in the Epix channel series Get Shorty, based on the John Travolta movie, which was based on the Elmore Leonard novel. O’Dowd plays a ruthless Irish gangster trying to break into Hollywood.


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hibernia | visits Joe Biden Opens Irish Hospice


Congressman Boyle Honored in Sligo


ongressman Brendan F. Boyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, received a warm welcome from the villagers of Easkey in Sligo, when he arrived with his father, Francis, a Donegal native, and his brother, State Representative Kevin Boyle, in mid-August. More than 100 people gathered at the Easkey Community Center to welcome the Congressman to the village where his maternal grandparents were born and lived. Later that evening, a dinner honoring the Boyles, included members of the Easkey Town Council, the Sligo County Council and all four of the area’s TD’s.

“I was so moved by the generous hospitality of the people of Sligo,” Boyle said in a statement on his return to Pennsylvania. “Ireland is an incredibly special place to me and my family. I have fond memories of visiting Sligo as a child with my mom, who has now passed. I will certainly cherish the memory of this visit and look forward to one day sharing our family’s uniquely Irish story with my own daughter.” Boyle left his own lasting impression on the village during his stay – he was invited to plant a tree in the center of town to commemorate the visit. – I.A.

Mayor of San Francisco Visits Cork


his past September, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, who is of Chinese descent, visited Cork City where he met with Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald. The two mayors signed a Memorandum of Understanding to carry out Sister City exchanges aimed at strengthening relations and cooperation between the two cities, which were first designated Sisters Cities in 1984. The City of Cork is situated on the River Lee, so it was a homecoming of sorts for the San Francisco mayor. “I think the contributions of immigrant families is the story of the connection between Cork and San Francisco and because of that we will always be a sanctuary city,” Lee told the Cork Evening Echo. “That’s just part of our DNA and who we are and what made us.” Irish and the Chinese immigrants made many contributions to the development of San Francisco, helping to build the tunnels for the City’s early public transportation systems and working to erect the Hetch Hetchy Dam, the fresh water source for San Francisco. The historic ties between San Francisco and Ireland were formalized in 1984 with the creation of the Sister City relationship between San Francisco and Cork. – I.A. Right to left: San Francisco First Lady Anita Lee, Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Lord Mayor of Cork Tony Fitzgerald, and members of the San Francisco – Cork Sister City Committee.


when Biden was given the Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President Obama. Speaking at the Mayo groundbreaking, Biden said he was “honored” that the new hospice would be forever linked to his son Beau, who died last year after a two-year battle with cancer. He also spoke movingly about his own family experiences with hospice, recalling the car accident that claimed the life of his wife, Neilia, and their one-year-old daughter, Naomi, while his sons, Beau and Hunter, were left in critical condition, and sharing how his parents were both cared for by hospice services in the later years of their lives. Biden still found room for levity, though. Remarking on the Blewitts’ emigration 160 years ago, he quipped, “I don’t know why my family left here in the first place – especially now.” – O.O.

Congressman Boyle, right, holding Sligo peat in Easkey.


Joe Biden takes a selfie with Irish officials at the groundbreaking.



ormer U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited County Mayo in September to preside over the official sodturning ceremony of a new €10 million 14-bed Mayo/Roscommon Hospice unit in Knockaphunta, Castlebar, where one of his Irish cousins, Laura Blewitt, is employed. Biden first pledged to support the project when he met his cousin in Washington, D.C. in January, and made good on his word by overseeing the beginning of the unit’s construction. It is Mayo’s first hospice care facility. “He said he would like to help raise funds for Mayo/Roscommon Hospice,” Blewitt told Mayo News, after attending a surprise ceremony in Washington D.C.

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hibernia | special recognition Loretta Brennan Glucksman Named 2018 NYC St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshal


rish America Hall of Fame inductee Loretta Brennan Glucksman will lead the 2018 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade as the parade’s 257th grand marshal. Glucksman, who has long been a champion of Irish causes and devoted Irish American philanthropist, is the chairman emeritus of the American Ireland Fund and co-founder of Glucksman Ireland House at New York University. She will be only the fifth woman in the parade’s history to serve as grand marshal. “It will be an inspiration and an honor for Irish women and men and all those who celebrate our traditions and the values of St. Patrick to march behind Loretta Brennan Glucksman, a truly great and noble woman who has worked tirelessly and selflessly for Irish causes,” parade board chairman John Lahey said. “The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade has captivated my heart and made me feel special and hopeful as an Irish American girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania, ever since my parents took me to the parade on a fantastic road trip when I was in school,” Glucksman said. “On behalf of my big Irish family and friends, I am as honored as I am humbled to serve as Grand Marshall, and I know that my late parents, Bill and Kitty Brennan from Allentown, will be marching right along with me.” A third-generation Irish American who traces her roots to counties Leitrim and Donegal, Loretta was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2012. This summer, she became the second-ever recipient of the Kennedy-Lemass Medal in Dublin, which is presented to an Irish American who has shown exceptional dedication to building links between Ireland and the U.S. Speaking at the ceremony, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, “She has inspired us all and it is very fitting she should be honored in this way.” – A.F.

Micheline’s March


his September, Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, the granddaughter of Irish patriot Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (who was executed without trial by a British firing squad during the Easter Rising) and his wife Hanna, arrived in New York City on board the Queen Mary II. She is embarking on a 12-week tour of the United States, following in her grandmother’s footsteps when she escaped Ireland in 1917 with a false name and spoke across the U.S. to sold-out crowds about the murder of her husband, Ireland’s struggle for independence, and women’s suffrage. “Both my grandparents were prominent feminists and Hanna is well known in Ireland for her suffrage activities, but


11-YearOld Cuts White House Lawn


arlier this year, Falls Church, Frank Giaccio and Donald Trump Virginia, resimow the White House lawn. dent Frank Giaccio, who is 11, went viral with a letter he wrote to President Donald Trump offering to mow the White House lawn free of charge, saying he respected the president’s business background and noting that he runs his own small grass-cutting business in his neighborhood. This September, the president took him up on the offer and made a surprise appearance while Giaccio was on the clock, complimenting his “great job” and telling a group of assembled reporters that “he’s going to do great things for our country.” Giaccio also earned a high-five from the president. Giaccio’s mother, Anne, is a fluent Irish speaker and originally from Malahide, County Dublin. “We were actually at home in Ireland at the time, on holidays – and Greg [Frank’s father] stays here for a few weeks and joins us at the end – so he was getting phone calls from the White House,” she told the Irish Mirror. “I was actually pretty low on money. I had to buy a leaf blower and some other things. But with my business I’ll get that back,” Frank told RTÉ. The event gave him a “major hit,” he said. “I’m planning on growing my business, going into different subjects, like babysitting.” – A.F.

her political career and her contribution to the Irish struggle for independence are largely forgotten, possibly in part because she was a woman,” she says. Micheline’s tour will become part of a documentary she is producing called Hanna and Me: Passing on the Flame. Micheline, a former ecologist at the National University of Ireland Galway and well-known feminist and activist, hopes to connect with modern-day Irish Americans in the same way her grandmother did. So far, she has raised nearly $30,000 for her tour and plans to raise an additional $25,000 to product the documentary upon her return. “I want to see what I can tap into of the Irish community,” she told Miriam Nyhan on the Glucksman Ireland House Radio Hour. Sheehy-Skeffington

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington

will be hitting all the major Irish American points across her tour, including Boston, Chicago, Butte, Seattle, and San Francisco, as well as numerous locales in between. She returns to New York at the end of November. – A.F. For updates on the tour and where she will be speaking, follow her on Facebook – @HannasUSTour.

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hibernia | events


Bringing Seeds of Hope to The World


rish relief organization Concern Worldwide U.S., which for the past 40 years has served the poorest of the poor across 26 countries around the world, will hold its 21st annual Seeds of Hope award dinner on November 28. This year’s Seeds of Hope honoree is Eileen McDonnell, chairman, president, and CEO of Penn Mutual Life. McDonnell, whose grandparents were born in Clare, Leitrim, Mayo, and Sligo said of her ancestors that their “courage and optimism embodies the spirit of the Irish, which I’m proud to have inherited.” On December 8, Concern will also host its ABOVE: Concern U.S. chair annual Winter Ball, where supporters and Joanna Geraghty, Concern U.S. CEO Colleen Kelly, friends of the organization will recognize the Seeds of Hope honoree humanitarian work achieved over the last Eileen McDonnell, and year, notably the aid provided to those comDominic MacSorley, CEO of bating the hunger crisis in East Asia, and look Concern Worldwide, at a ahead to challenges of 2018. For more infor- kick-off reception at the Irish Consulate in New York. mation, visit concernusa.org. – O.O.

Ireland Comes to Saks Fifth Avenue


ourism Ireland joined forces with Saks Fifth Avenue flagship locations in New York and Beverly Hills to showcase the majesty of Irish landmarks in a project that included window installations, in-store displays, and a double-page spread Ireland infographic in the Saks Fifth Avenue fall fashion book. Iconic images of Dublin, Northern Ireland, the Wild Atlantic Way, Ancient East and the country’s worldclass golf courses were highlighted. The project, which ran from September 21 into early October, also featured a chance for customers enrolled in the SaksFirst points system to win a luxury trip to Ireland. Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said that “working with such an iconic U.S. brand will help us raise awareness for some of the many experiences to be enjoyed around the island of Ireland, inspiring American travellers to put a trip to Ireland on their ‘must do’ list.” She explained that Tourism Ireland has targeted North America as its number one priority for 2017 due to the market’s strong return on investment with regards holiday visitors and expenditure, adding that “Visitor numbers from North America for the first seven months of 2017 are strong, up 17.4 percent on the same period last year.” – O.O. Right to left: Alison Metcalfe, left, with Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon, TD, and Irish fashion designer Don O'Neill at the September event.



elevision talk-show pioneer, writer, and film producer Phil Donahue will receive the Irish American Writers and Artists’ 2017 annual Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award in October during a ceremony in New York. Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, IAW&A board member and co-chair of the St. Pat’s For All Parade, which is held in Queens, New York, praised the choice of Donahue. “He has always been the ultimate Irish American voice for truth and justice in media. As our parade Grand Marshal last March, he spoke about human rights, LGBTQ rights, and an Irish history of immigration and how we should embrace new waves of immigrants from around the world,” she said Born in Cleveland, Donahue spent a decade as a Dayton reporter and radio interviewer of such notables as John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X before creating the innovative Phil Donahue Show, which often focused on topics dividing liberals and conservatives in America. On national television for 29 years, The Phil Donahue Show remains the longest continuous run of any syndicated TV talk show in U.S. history. During his career, Donahue received 20 Emmy Awards. He received a Peabody Award in 1980, and was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1993. In July 2002, after seven years of retirement, Phil Donahue returned to the air with Donahue on MSNBC, only to have the show cancelled in February 2003 because of Donahue’s public opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “Apart from Mr. Donahue’s many artistic triumphs,” said IAW&A president Larry Kirwan, “Irish American Writers and Artists, as a progressive organization, is proud to salute his political activism and his very meaningful and costly protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.” The Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2009 to honor the accomplishments of a writer, actor, musician or other artist whose body of work exemplifies the level of integrity established by O’Neill. For more information, visit i-am-wa.org. – I.A.


Talk-Show Pioneer Phil Donahue to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

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hibernia | art


An exhibition featuring Dublinborn photographer John Minihan’s black and white portraiture of Samuel Beckett and those he worked with in his lifetime, opened at the Irish Arts Center in New York in September. The exhibition, “John Minihan: Beckett and his World” is on view through December 15. Minihan first expressed interest in photographing Beckett after the playwright won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969, noting that all available pictures of

Beckett were low in quality: “It was like he didn’t exist – that was the moment I decided I wanted to meet this man and take his photograph.” They first met in 1980, and some time later, Minihan took his best-known photograph of Beckett (left), a candid shot in a Parisian cafe that appears on the cover of Minihan’s 1995 book of Beckett photos. Publisher John Calder credited Minihan with capturing “the introspective, infinitely sad gaze of a man looking into the abyss of the world’s woes.” “We talked until 4:50 p.m. He mesmerized me,” Minihan told the Guardian about the photo. “Daylight was quickly disappearing and I thought the moment had passed. Then Sam said: ‘John, would you like to take a photograph?’ I got out my Rolleiflex and took three frames. They turned out better than I expected because Sam directed the whole scene. He wanted it to say: ‘This is who I am.’” – O.O.


Beckett Photographs Displayed in NY

Irish Screen America 2017 Acclaimed Irish Director Jim Sheridan was on hand in New York in September for the NYC premiere of his new film The Secret Scripture, based on the Sebastian Barry novel of the same name, and starring Rooney Mara. The film was part of the 2017 Irish Screen America film series. The annual Irish filmmakers showcase takes place every September in Los Angeles and New York City. “We are invigorated by the show of support from our audiences – both in New York and Los Angeles. It reaffirms our mission statement and demonstrates the demand in the U.S. for contemporary, indigenous Irish representation in our theatres,” said Niall McKay, Irish Screen America’s executive director and programmer. The festival bestowed its inaugural Jim Sheridan Award for Achievement in Irish Filmmaking to Mark O’Connor, director of four independently produced Irish features released in the past five years, ABOVE: Malachy including 2017’s highMcCourt, Jim Sheridan, est-grossing Irish film, and Niall McKay at Irish Cardboard Gangsters. Screen America New – A.F. York this year.

From Northern Ireland’s “Silent Testimony” to “Jerusalem”

Belfast-born artist Colin Davidson’s new exhibition, Jerusalem, comprising 12 largescale portraits of individuals who live and work in the storied, multi-faceted titular city, was unveiled at the 92nd Street Y in New York in September. Co-conceived by Oliver Sears, the exhibition was first displayed in London to great acclaim. In Jerusalem, the theme of common humanity is the connecting thread which ties each piece to the others. Though the subjects include Jews, Muslims, Christians, Benedictine monks, politicians, doctors, peace activists, hotel workers and Holocaust survivors, all are uniform in their human dignity and the city that they call home. Over the course of the exhibition’s stay in New York (through Nov. 14), interactive guided tours 24 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

will be available from 92Y art appreciation educator Melanie Adsit. Prior to Jerusalem, Colin Davidson received mass attention in 2016 with his Silent Testimony exhibition, a similar portrait series of 18 people connected through personal experiences of loss and suffering during the Troubles (Irish America printed select paintings from the series in our April / May 2016 issue). The exhibition was displayed in the Ulster Museum and the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. – O.O.

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hibernia | architecture

Green Hills, White Houses The 200-Year Relationship Between Irish Builders and America’s Capital

BELOW: The U.S. Capitol under reconstruction following the War of 1812. BOTTOM: James Hoban’s Irish White House stamp.

BELOW LEFT: John McShain (left) and President Harry Truman lay the cornerstone for the NIH Clinical Center on June 22, 1951. BELOW RIGHT: Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphries speaks at the official reopening of Killarney House on July 3.


n September, the James Hoban Societies of the United States and Ireland organized a day-long celebration of the Irish connection to Washington, D.C., from its foundation as federal capital to its position as a world center of diplomacy, culture, and learning. In particular, the event recognized the 200th anniversary of the rebuilding of the White House and U.S. Capitol after their destruction by fire in the War of 1812 by Irish-born architect James Hoban, and the 65th anniversary of the interior rebuilding and modernizing of the White House by John McShain, the son of a Derry immigrant. When the city of Washington was commissioned in the late 1780s, the territory chosen for its early footprint was a sylvan tract already occupied by settled families of well-respected immigrant stock, most of them living in modest mansions and engaged in farming. Families like Barry, Carberry, Carroll, Corcoran, Hoban, Lalor, and Lynch were – or were descended from – the talented and dynamic emigrants from Ireland for whom the prospect of involvement in a project of unlimited possibility but considerable risk had a natural attraction. In the roll call of Washington’s early “movers and shakers,” the number of individuals and groupings of Irish origin or ancestry is truly remarkable. In addition to the major families and figures, there were hundreds of Irish clerics, traders, foremen, laborers, domestics and fortune-seekers who made up the diverse community of a town that took some time to find its shape and rhythm. The green hills and white houses of Ireland that had been the natural environment of many of these Irish immigrants were replaced by the green hills and


The shell of the White House during the 1948-1952 renovations led by John McShain.

white houses of Maryland, itself a unique political and religious entity in the English colonial system. Even Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the promoter of an English-style architectural approach favored by President Thomas Jefferson, was the son of an Irishborn father. But it would be James Hoban who would leave the first permanent Irish mark on the nation’s capital. In addition to winning the design competition to reconstruct the White House, Hoban, who was born near Callan, County Kilkenny, also supervised the construction of the U.S. Capitol building as well as numerous other public buildings throughout the city. More than 130 years later, John McShain, who took over his immigrant father’s construction company in 1919 at age 23, was selected to head the gutting and reconstruction of the White House interior under President Harry Truman, which was completed in 1952. McShain also oversaw the construction of the Pentagon, Washington National Airport, the Jefferson Memorial, the Kennedy Center, and the Library of Congress annex, earning him the nickname “the man who built Washington.” He also had a strong personal connection to Ireland himself, purchasing an estate in County Kerry in 1956 and bequeathing it to the Irish state upon his death in 1989 to be incorporated into Killarney National Park. In addition to the event in Washington, D.C., the society also held a series of summer school sessions in Callan, following the unveiling there of a heritage marker on Hoban’s life and work and in Killarney in conjunction with the formal opening of McShain’s Killarney House in July after a $8.2 IA million refurbishment.

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hibernia | family values

Sotheby’s $2.6 Million Yeats Family Auction TOP RIGHT: 133 letters from W.B. Yeats to Olivia Shakespeare. BELOW LEFT: John Butler Yeats self portrait. BELOW RIGHT: “The Runaway Horse,” by Jack Yeats.

ABOVE: Portrait of W.B. Yeats by John Butler Yeats. RIGHT: W.B. Yeats’s writing bureau.


ver 220 artifacts belonging to the family of William Butler Yeats were auctioned off in a Sotheby’s auction entitled “Yeats: the Family Collection” in London in September. The collection comprised paintings, drawings, letters, furniture, silver, and other personal items that once belonged to Yeats, his father, and his siblings. The auction realized a total of over $2.5 million. Through the National Museum of Ireland and the

National Library of Ireland, the Irish State purchased €650,000 ($768,300) worth of major pieces from the family archive, significantly expanding upon its pre-existing collection of Yeats paraphernalia. Objects acquired by the National Museum include a walnut bedside writing table, used by Yeats in the autumn years of his life; a Burmese giltwood coffer used to store the writer’s manuscripts; a chest of drawers decorated on the inside with illustrations by Yeats’s brother, Jack; an inscribed silver ring belonging to Yeats’ father, John; the family’s tea set; a number of occult artifacts, which serve as indicators of the influence of spiritualism in Yeats’ life; a collection of Japanese masks, referencing the elements of Noh Theatre present in his playwrit-


ing; and Yeats’ presentation set of the first issue of the Irish Free State coinage, designed by English sculptor and designer Percy Metcalfe and gifted to Yeats by the Minister of Finance Ernest Blythe in 1928. These purchases come after the Yeats family’s donation of their ancestor’s Nobel medal and certificate in 2016, and a further donation of material, currently being finalized under Section 1003 this year, which together will have a total value of almost $3 million. “Over the past nine months, I have been working with the National Library and the National Museum to ensure the purchase for the State of significant items, as identified by both institutions,” Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys, who provided significant funding to the venture, told the Irish Examiner on the day of the Sotheby’s auction. “These items will now form part of the national collections of our cultural institutions. In particular, the correspondence acquired by the National Library will significantly enhance what is already the largest collection of Yeats material in the world – a collection which began as far back as 1936.” The minister also noted that the National Library had placed winning bids on an additional number of artifacts valuing over €72,000 ($85,000). The National Museum and Library’s cooperation in managing the acquisition will allow for major exhibitions to be held in using the collections of both institutions in Dublin over the coming years. Also offered at the auction, though not purchased by the State, were a plethora of sketches and paintings by William’s father, John Butler Yeats, which included a sketch of William as a boy that brought in six times its estimated sum. – Olivia O’Mahony

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hibernia | events The 2017 Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 Awards

rish America magazine celebrated its annual Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 Awards at a dinner event at the New York Yacht Club September 6. The event, co-hosted by Irish clinical research company ICON plc, paid tribute to the impressive range of the Irish in the medical profession and the work of the best Irish and Irish American healthcare professionals on this year’s list. Roche Pharmaceuticals CEO Daniel O’Day, who was born in the U.S. and raised between here and Europe and whose ancestors come from County Clare, delivered the keynote speech. “The ability to overcome the challenges in healthcare, to innovate and make breakthroughs in progress requires a steely determination. The Irish have shown this throughout their history and I hope it will serve us in our work today,” he said. “But perseverance alone isn’t enough. We need to venture into new territory, to remain curious and have a pioneering mindset. Exploring new frontiers is also very much a part of the history and culture of Ireland.” O’Day received a House of Waterford Crystal Vase Award from Irish America co-founders Patricia Harty and Niall O’Dowd.











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7 12



1 Editor-in-chief and cofounder Patricia Harty, Dan O'Day, Dr. Steve Cutler, CEO ICON, and founding publisher Niall O'Dowd. 2 Dan O'Day with his wife, Mara. 3 Honorees Tom McGinn and Kevin Cahill. 4 Dan O'Day delivers keynote address. 5 Patricia Harty presents House of Waterford Crystal shamrock honoree award to Glenn Gormley, senior executive officer at Daiichi Sankyo. 6 Nobel Laureate Dr. James Watson and Dan O'Day. 7 Honoree Maureen Mulvehill. 8 2017 NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Michael Dowling and 2018 Grand Marshal Loretta Brennan Glucksman. 9 Honoree John Fraher and wife Monica. 10 Patricia Harty with honoree Trish O'Keefe. 11 Honoree Dr. Moira McCarthy. 12 Honoree Dan O’Connor and wife Kathleen with honorees Michael Dowling and Elaine Brennan. 13 Dan O'Day with Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton of the Sepsis Foundation. 14 Brendan Brennan, Tracy Hervey, Steve Cutler, and Jonathan Curtain of ICON plc. 15 Tom Moran and honoree Dr. John Kennedy. 16 Honoree Rory O'Connor, CMO of Pfizer Innovative Health, and wife Catherine.


Photos by Nuala Purcell OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 IRISH AMERICA 31

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hibernia | quote unquote “I felt completely at home in Ireland. Except that doing the Irish accent was hard. It’s a hard accent to master and one that often ends up being done horribly.”

Rooney Mara on her experience working on Jim Sheridan’s film adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture. – Irish Times 9/1/2017

“Your friends and family, the people who really love you, will always support you no matter what, and those that don’t, you probably don’t need anyway.”

“Operation ‘Safe City’ does not make our city safer and further sows seeds of distrust between our police and immigrants.”

Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia responding to the arrest of hundreds of people in a nationwide sweep of sanctuary cities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. – Philly Voice 9/28/2017

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first openly gay Taoiseach, speaking to Maureen Dowd. – New York Times 9/10/2017

“We continue to engage with the U.S. Congress and administration to explore all possible options for the undocumented.” A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs on Irish Government plans to engage with the United States to secure a deal for Irish immigration. – IrishCentral 10/2/2017

A group of Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform members campaigning in 2007 for a bilateral agreements between Ireland and U.S. 32 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

“He seemed like a normal fellow, a normal guy – nothing out of the ordinary.”

“The European Union cannot stand aside and allow EU citizens to be denied their right to vote.”

– Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams addressing the violent arrests and protests that occurred in Catalonia during a referendum vote on independence from Spain on October 1.

“My colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren’t public policy responses to this epidemic. . . . It’s time for Congress to get off its ass and do something.”

– U.S. Senator Chris Murphy responding to the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Christopher Sullivan, general manager of Guns & Guitars, in Mesquite, Nevada, who confirmed that the shop had sold Stephen Paddock five firearms within the last year, including one on the day of the attack. – New York Times 10/2/2017

Christopher Sullivan. PHOTO: CBS

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The Beautiful Kingdom

Photographer John Wesson on the landscape and people of Kerry that captured his imagination more than 30 years ago


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A still summer’s evening in Portmagee, a pocketsized place and yet the jewel in the crown of the kingdom of southwest Kerry. The heart of the village is its harbor, the setting-off point for trips to the Skellig Islands.


am lucky enough to have had a long association with Kerry, having returned on a regular basis for nearly thirty years. Each year I spend more and more time in “The Kingdom.” In most of Kerry, and certainly in the south and west, you are never very far from the sea or from a mountain. The county rises rugged and mountainous out of the Atlantic Ocean. Cliffs and steep slopes abound, and safe, sheltered access is limited. In the north, the land is sweeter, less acidic, and perfect for dairy farming. The green fields of Ireland are green for a good reason: rain. It pours for days on end, sometimes for weeks. With the temperate oceanic climate, grass grows all year round, and conditions are perfect for rearing cattle and for milk production. Kerry’s main export, food, is only possible because of

copious amounts of annual rainfall. Most visitors come to Kerry to experience its raw beauty; they do not come for the weather. But a period of high pressure can lead to days of settled weather, and there are those who are lucky to have their visit coincide with fine weather. If you are interested in landscapes and seascapes, Kerry is the perfect county. It is a joy to experience the astonishing and continually changing Atlantic light at first hand. My favorite times of the year to capture it are spring and autumn. This is when Atlantic showers blow in, bringing dark clouds that contrast with low, clean sunlight, illuminating the landscape in a way that has to be seen to be believed. It is possible to see more rainbows in a single morning here than in a whole year elsewhere.

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Wintertime brings low light all day, picking out the landscape in rich, fine detail. The usually quiet beaches are now completely empty. Huge Atlantic rollers come crashing in, and the cold weather puts white hats of snow on the mountaintops. These mountains really do look remarkable; the golden hues of the dead, dried grasses and heathers look wonderful against a cold, blue sky. It is often asked how many shades of green are there in Ireland. I would also like to know how many shades of gold there are on a Kerry mountainside in winter. Due to Kerry’s westerly position, you will notice that it gets dark later than you might suppose, allowing plenty of time for a “sundowner” while you admire the receding light … and take another sunset picture. Does the world need any more sunset pictures? I hope so. There is a lot more to Kerry than just scenery. Its people are fierce and proud of all things “Kerry,” be it sport, culture or produce. The locals are friendly, enquiring, helpful people who will direct you, quiz you and learn all there is to know about you – all in no more time than it takes to order a Guinness or fold away a map. They are delighted to have so many people visiting from around the world, are interested in where they live and are always curious, given the chance, to find out where visitors come from and what they do for a living. A ten-minute chat with a local will most likely have you both informed and laughing in a way that simply does not happen elsewhere. I have had a lifelong interest in photography, first picking up my dad’s camera as a schoolboy and taking it on fishing trips to record the catch. I still have some black-and-white prints of those unfortunate 36 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

3 1 Killarney: The McCarthy Már Castle on Lough Leane. The Killarney National Park sits on the very edge of town, along with Muckross House, Muckross Abbey, and Ross Castle, situated in ancient woodlands. Surrounding the lake, too, are what are often referred to as “famine cottages,”dwellings that were abandoned in the mid-1800s when the potato crop failed and famine gripped rural Ireland.

2 North Kerry: Friesian cattle heading back to their fields after milking. Less mountainous than the county, from the Shannon to Tralee is lush, rolling, verdant green countryside. History, heritage, culture, and scenery are all around you, with many Blue Flag beaches for bathing, surfing, and angling. Kerry’s “gold” is found here – be it the “written word” or the finest dairy produce in the world.

3 Dunquin: Twists and turns down to Dunquin Pier. There is hardly a more idyllic place to work than at the top of this windy road down to Dunquin Pier. There, a woman named Sibéal sells boat rides out to Great Blasket, the only one of the Blasket Islands open to visitors. Perched high on the cliff above the pier, Sibéal’s shed looks out over the Blasket Islands and the Atlantic Ocean.

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4 The Skelligs: Boatman Eoin Walsh on board the Agnes Olibhear heads out of the Portmagee Channel with another group of lucky passengers. I first traveled out to the Skelligs nearly 30 years ago with local boatman Dan McCrohan on board his famous wooden boat, Christmas Eve. I have returned many times sense, but that first trip, on a beautiful blue day in June, left an impression on me never to be forgotten.

5 St. Finian’s Bay: The cows are about to get wet again as yet another shower blows in from across the bay. The “white horse” waves on the west coast of Ireland can be enormous, having had more than 3,000 miles of uninterrupted ocean in which to travel and grow. The prevailing westerly winds that propel them also result in this air being the purest in Europe, if not the world, thanks to the vast Atlantic Ocean between here and the eastern seaboard of America.

6 Killarney: The Upper Lake. Situated on the shores of Lough Leane, Killarney is the tourist capital of Ireland and centrally placed within the country. The breathtaking Magillicuddy’s Reeks, the Gap of Dunloe, and the Black Valley are all nearby, and there is hiking, angling, golf, cycling, pony-trekking, wildlife (and photography!) all on one doorstep.

fish. Cycling the lanes of Derbyshire looking for new places to fish or explore, my friends and I acquired an interest in the countryside in all its glory, flora and fauna – a passion that I still have today. Later, as an engineering apprentice, I bought my first SLR camera, a 35mm Canon FTb, along with a 50mm lens. It cost me a month’s wages! It was a great camera that I used for years, and still own. I travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles with it, on various motorcycles. These days, I am still using Canon cameras, both full-frame and APS-C, and my subject matter is much varied. My favorite subjects are Irish seascapes and landscapes; however, I am interested in everything from weeds to weddings. I hope that my enthusiasm for the Kerry landscape, people and wildlife is portrayed through this book and helps you, the reader, to a greater appreciation of “The Kingdom.” There is an “edge” here, an anticipation. Who knows what you might find around the next bend, or over the next hill? My desire for the perfect image has never diminished, and the quality of the constantly changing light suggests that the search will continue for many years to come. Here is Kerry: with its big skies, huge vistas and big-hearted people. IA Excerpted from photographer John Wesson’s Kerry: The Beautiful Kingdom (O’Brien, 2017), a stunning book of photographs with well-thoughtout captions that are full of information about the landscape and people of Kerry located in the southwest of Ireland in the province of Munster. Kerry faces the Atlantic Ocean, is bordered on the north by the River Shannon, and is one of the mountainous regions in Ireland. Known for its rugged beauty and friendly people, the county featured in several Hollywood movies, including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ryan’s Daughter, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and this fall’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. ––––– For more information see obrien.ie Mail: O’Brien Press: 12 Terenure Road East, Rathgar, Dublin 6, D06 HD27, Ireland Phone: +353-1-4923333 Fax:+353-1-4922777 Email: books@obrien.ie


Tim Ryan:

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PwC’s U.S. chairman has permanently opened the door to frank and honest dialogue about difference in the workplace at his firm and recruited the country’s top CEOs to an effort to improve corporate diversity, inclusion, and communication nationwide.



By Adam Farley

im Ryan, the senior partner and U.S. chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, is the youngest executive of the Big Four auditing firms, which include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. Though he only assumed the role last July, at the age of 50, he has already made a name for himself, bringing PwC to new economic heights while simultaneously leading the conversation about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Ryan’s story is the story of the immigrant dream. He was born in Boston, a second-generation working class Irish American whose father’s parents had emigrated from counties Galway and Cork, and raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood at the southern reaches of the city limits until his family moved just over the border to Dedham, a blue collar suburb, when he was seven. He is the second child of four siblings, with an older brother and two younger sisters. Both his parents worked. His father had two jobs – a day gig as a lineman at Boston Edison utilities and a graveyard shift at the Boston Herald; his mother worked as a cashier at the local branch of the small New England grocery chain Roche Bros. Together, he says, his mother and father emphasized the singular importance of working hard, often at the expense of other activities. Ryan jokes often that he doesn’t have a single memory of doing homework. Despite that, he was the first member of his family to attend college, attending Babson College because they offered the most financial aid. Today, as a result of his own hard work and determination, as well as

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innate talent for managing people, he now has the responsibility of running one of the most influential professional services firms in the U.S. It has been a remarkable journey, and when I met with him on the 25th floor of PwC’s midtown Manhattan headquarters, it was a long way from where he started out.


yan is a lean man with full, brown hair that he keeps in the traditional business style of trim utility. He religiously works out, a holdover from his high school days playing ice hockey, rising early five to six days a week – he takes Mondays off for travel – to perform his morning routine: 600 situps, 75 push-ups, and a three-mile run. To date, he’s competed in 26 marathons, with his best time being 3:51 in Chicago a few years ago. “With my work schedule, I’m proud of that,” he says (though his fantasy is to take a six-month sabbatical and just train to see what he’s really capable of). He is happy explaining concepts and teaching ideas to other people, but he seems happiest when he is learning and listening, probing and asking questions. He gets that from his parents. “My parents were only high school educated, but they were the best educators you could have asked for because they taught us the lessons you needed to succeed in life,” he says. At his mother’s funeral two years ago, Ryan spoke about how she had always called him and his siblings out when they made a mistake, and would always promote the values of hard work, honesty, and treating people with respect. When most people speak in platitudes about things like that, especially in eulogies, it’s easy to dismiss them as canned or cliché. When Ryan speaks about them, they are not only believable but downright inspiring. It’s because he lives an ethos of humility and earnestness, which he again credits to his parents: “They did this unique thing when they were raising my siblings and me. They would regularly remind us to not to blame other people if we made a mistake, not to be so defensive, and to get over ourselves and stay humble. And that’s really a remarkable skill that I got from my parents. In managing PwC’s 50,000 people or when I’m working with other Fortune 1,000 CEOs, I’d never succeed if I got defensive every time somebody challenged me. This life lesson of not taking yourself too seriously goes all the way back to my Irish upbringing. That came from my parents.” Ryan also credits his Irish ancestry with simpler things like his knowledge of tea and family Sundays: “It was the good old days. It was family dinner on Sundays. The supermarkets were closed. It was tea;

I learned so many things about tea, like how to put the spoon in, and how to not let the heat out of it, and what a good cup of tea was and what a good cup of tea wasn’t.” Ryan has had a relationship with Ireland professionally since the 1991 New England banking crisis – one of his clients was a New Hampshire bank owned at the time by Bank of Ireland, and as a result was the only one in the state not to be taken over by the FDIC, he told me. Since then, he has been to Ireland at least half a dozen times. “What I love most about the people from Ireland who I interact with in the business community – executives at clients as well as at PwC – is their sense of responsibility, which is very clear. It goes beyond the dollar, beyond the money,” he says. When he was 14, Ryan joined his mother at Roche Bros. supermarket, taking a job stocking shelves. That’s where he found his other chief mentor, his manager Richie Ordway, who he credits more than any other figure in his life with his professional development. “He just understood people, and he was the one who really helped me understand relationships and the idea of inspiration versus telling.” Ryan worked there for ten years – throughout all of high school, for 40 hours per week during college in order to pay for it, and moonlighting during his first two years at Price Waterhouse, which wouldn’t merge with Coopers & Lybrand to become PwC until 1998, after he graduated. “I’m kind of famous for telling stories about the supermarket because it was so formative to me in terms of how you treat people, your work ethic, the idea of the customer always being right, growth, and respect for people.” One of those stories Ryan has told numerous times over, in various media appearances and in private. It does not cast a good light on his high school personality. He and his friends were making fun of a special-needs co-worker behind his back and Ryan was leading the assault. Ordway overheard and stopped him in his tracks. “He said, ‘He’s giving 100 percent of what he can give. Are you?’ That I’ll never forget.” It was his first lesson in what Ryan calls sustainable motivation, or trust-based leadership, the idea of managing fairly based on what people are capable of doing in order to get the most out of them and empowering people to make decisions. Another story Ryan tells less often also involves him getting a dressing down. “I prided myself on working hard. I prided myself on working harder than anybody else – always be sweating, always be going. So one


A Champion for Diversity in the Workplace


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TOP: Tim Ryan and Sean Hill, a manager in PwC's assurance practice, speak before a meeting this year. “It’s not about my views, it’s about people,” Ryan told Irish America. “One of the things I learned early on is you have to put yourself in other peoples’ shoes.” RIGHT: Tim Ryan and PwC staff take a selfie after a Town Hall meeting earlier this year. The average age of a PwC employee is 28.

day I was killing myself and I looked at him for approval. And he looked at me and he said, ‘Thanks for doing your job.’ He always knew the buttons to push. He made it clear: your job is to work hard.” Because of his experiences with the family-run Roche Bros., Ryan wanted to be an entrepreneur himself. He applied to colleges and was admitted to several, but accepted at Babson, just north of Boston, not knowing anything about the school except that they gave him the best aid package. “For me it was a whole new world. The diversity at Babson was tremendous. There was a big Latin American presence, even back then. So for somebody from Dedham, it was like, ‘Wow.’” It was also his first experience being on the receiving end of socio-economic differences. In a crowd of mostly affluent students and parents in business casual, his father dropped him off wearing his work boots, jeans, and a t-shirt while on lunch break and Ryan made the walk to his dorm carrying all his belongings in an uncle’s loaned Army duffel. “There were a lot of people who were not like me,” he said. It was in that environment that Ryan was persuaded to give accounting a try by a professor named Richard Bruno. “I think he saw, with the benefit of hindsight, that this business was about people and that I had an aptitude for that,” Ryan said. On Bruno’s recommendation, Ryan joined Price Waterhouse in their Boston office as a staff accountant in 1988. It proved to be a good career choice, and though his blue collar background stood out from the other recruits, he was a quick study and moved up the corporate ladder swiftly, but not before learning a few lessons about inequality. Ryan started at the firm the same year the Boston office hired its first female partner, Maryann Murphy, who would become his supervisor and mentor. His first years were uneventful. But the 1991 financial crisis changed that – mortgages went through the roof and banks went under. “I saw people losing their homes and saw the importance of the financial services,” he said. “A part-


ner told me when you’re in financial services, you know, next to people’s health and family, you’re looking after the most important thing in people’s lives, their money.” That’s when he really got into banking, when he was able to see what Richard Bruno saw in accounting – that the business is about people and that spreadsheets have real-world consequences. By the same token, Ryan saw that accountants are also people, and he witnessed the iniquity Maryann Murphy faced at the company. “I saw the struggles she had. She was massively supported, I will say, but as a woman she had to prove herself over and over again. That’s when I remember I started to realize it’s different. Like before I even got to race, I realized it was different for gender.” Greater racial awareness would come a few years later, after the 1991 banking crisis, when he developed an expertise in mortgages and was given the opportunity to travel the country. “I spent time in Jacksonville, in Columbia, South Carolina, where I had clients. I started spending more time in New York where there was a more diverse population at the time even than in Boston. I realized there were differences and uphill battles that people had.” It was the first time he had left New England. By the early 2000s, Ryan was made a partner, and was leading PwC’s consumer finance group and was serving on the U.S. board of partners and principals. In 2005, he became the head of financial services, and by 2009 was vice chairman of the assurance practice. Most recently, Ryan served from 2013 as vice chairman of U.S. markets, strategy, and stakeholders leader, where he demonstrated his ability to drive shareholder value, improve investor relations, and oversee regulatory affairs, public policy, corporate responsibility, and human capital. What has stayed with Ryan through all of this is

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the experience of being an outsider on his first day almost 30 years ago, when he committed the faux pas of wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Price Waterhouse was at the time very formal, known for their employees’ dark suits, white shirts, and red ties. Ryan tried to keep his jacket on for as much of the day as possible, even as the others in his class were hanging their jackets on their chairs and rolling up their shirtsleeves. But it was a hot June day and by lunch he couldn’t take it anymore, earning the skepticism of his cohort but the sympathy of his instructor, who walked him to Filene’s Basement to buy him new long-sleeved shirts. (Ryan has since changed the dress code to “dress for your day,” which allows for significantly greater flexibility and personal expression, including jeans.) Ryan’s management style is direct and lacks pretense, his voice still resonant with the cadences and confidence of a blue collar New Englander. It’s undeniable that he has the drive of generations of Irish ancestors who survived and strived, and that entrepreneurial spirit that allowed them to succeed in a new world despite hardship and prejudice. “Over the course of my life there was this constant reminder that you’re fortunate, you’re lucky, and everybody deserves to be treated the same,” Ryan told me. “It was just a recurring drumbeat that came at home.” As much as he is focused on his responsibilities to shareholders to run a profitable company today, that early education of difference has led him to need to do more with his time at the top of PwC by creating a culture where people are comfortable having dialogues about difficult subjects and there is an expectation of listening and learning from other points of view and experience, even, or especially, about subjects entirely unrelated to work. “I think right away he felt that he was the odd man out. I think that he looked at himself a little differently,” Brian Williamson, whom Ryan hired in 1990, told me. Williamson is now an audit partner at PwC and is the godfather to Ryan’s second youngest child. (Ryan has six children, ages nine to 17, and is divorced.) “So I think when he sees other people and thinks about other people being different, he wants to make sure they don’t feel like outsiders, too,” he said.

ince 2008 PwC has worked with Mahzarin Banaji – the pioneering Harvard social psychologist who helped develop the theory of unconscious biases in the 1990s – on training its 150-or-so top partners to learn how to address their blind spots on topics like race, class, and gender, and since 2011 the firm has ranked in the top 5 of DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies list. Ryan took Banaji’s executive training around the same time he became assurance vice chair, and it made a clear impact. Last year, as U.S. chairman, he appointed the most diverse leadership team in the company’s history. This past June, Ryan went even further, launching a corporate alliance committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the business world and hosting a nation-wide dialogue on how to do so. He called it the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, and as of September more than 300 CEOs have pledged that they will “continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion;” “implement and expand unconscious bias education;” and “share best – and unsuccessful – practices.” The CEO Action was born out of the events that happened during the first week of July 2016, Ryan’s first week as U.S. chairman. On Tuesday of that week, Alton Sterling was shot at least six times by police while pinned to the ground in Baton Rouge. On Wednesday, Philando Castile was shot five times by police outside of Minneapolis during a traffic stop in which he informed the officer he had a concealed carry license and had a pistol with him. On Thursday, a sniper intent on killing white police officers as retribution for the deaths of black men by police killed one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer, four Dallas Police Department officers, and wounded 11 others, including two civilians. That Friday, Ryan was on vacation in upstate New York. He remembers thinking, “You’re leading 50,000 people, and you now realize you’re the one who has to decide, ‘What do I do.’ Do you do something? Do you do nothing? Things happen in the news every day and the question is when do you react and when do you say that’s not a place for the firm to step in? But it clearly felt like this is something the firm should step in and say something about.” He got his leadership team on the phone immediately, including his diversity chief, human capital chief, and general counsel. They spoke for about 30 minutes and all agreed they had to do something, so Ryan decided he would send an email. “It wasn’t an earth-shattering email,” he told me. “All I said to our people was, ‘Look, we know a lot of you are waking up and reading this news and it’s tragic and many of us don’t know what to do and that’s okay. We’re here for each other.’” He was shocked by the responses his message received. The one that floored him was that the silence that week at PwC was deafening. “I remember thinking, ‘Here we are, a relatively progressive organization, rated very highly for diversity and have been investing for years on diversity, and we can’t even talk about it?’ If we couldn’t talk about it, how are the organizations doing that haven’t progressed as nicely as we had?” It was a wakeup call for him. When he returned to work the following Monday, he effectively threw out his incoming plans for the firm. Instead, Ryan and his OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 IRISH AMERICA 41

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leadership team came together to propose a day on race relations at PwC, to be held July 21, firm-wide, across the U.S. “It wasn’t terribly bold to send an email,” he said. “That was bold, that was risky.” Since those July 21 discussions, PwC has actively encouraged employees to “bring their whole selves to work,” according to Ryan. In other words, that means one of the most influential companies in the U.S. says that it’s no longer taboo to talk about politics, the news, and personal opinions in the office. Over the course of last year, Ryan estimates he met with 300 to 400 CEOs in his role as chairman. As clients, PwC claims 96 percent of Fortune 500 companies, as well as every entertainment firm, and 97

percent of automotive firms. And with every one of them Ryan deals with, he brings up his message. So make no mistake about it, PwC’s reach is huge. “Most first-year CEOs would pick other issues to make their mark,” Ron Parker, CEO of the Executive Leadership Council and a member of the CEO Action pledge steering committee, told me. “Tim could easily have followed the majority lead of driving shareholder value and say that we’re not going to get involved with the other – the social and political – things. But the world has changed. And Tim was courageous enough to step out of the crowd and up to the mic. And in doing so others followed.” Under Ryan’s direction, too, PwC launched a new series of corporate-wide training videos this January that teach Banaji’s unconscious bias research in an interactive way. (Modified versions of these videos are available to the public on PwC’s website and are worth watching.) His hope is that through the CEO Action pledge, “millions” will take and use the series to start a conversation, especially at small and medium sized organizations that don’t have PwC’s “deep pockets.” So far, 30,000 of PwC’s employees have taken it, and Ryan has made it a requirement for all new hires and anyone receiving a promotion. When I asked him whether he received any criticism over focusing on diversity and how he responded to that, he said the overwhelming response has been PHOTO: COURTESY TIM RYAN

Ryan with his children at Lake Tahoe in August. Left to right: Madison (16), Jack (14), Jamie (13), Thomas (17), Luke (9), and Ryley (12).


positive, but there will always be those who want him to focus on the majority. “It’s not about my views, it’s about people. One of the things I learned early on is you have to put yourself in other peoples’ shoes. I fundamentally believe that the majority of the people in the world wake up in the morning trying to do the right thing. Very few people wake up and say, ‘I’m going to be bad today.’ But, we often look at the world from our perspective,” he explained. “I learned early on that you can’t tell somebody how to feel. As much as it may be logical to you or me that they should feel this way, it’s more important to go to how they feel and figure out how you work from there.” What it comes down to, he told me, is either making an emotional argument, or a logical one, and sometimes both. “I approach it by saying what I truly believe, and I believe inclusion is the right thing to do, as the human race – that I got from my parents, to be clear. But I also believe it’s the right thing to do if you want a sustainable thriving organization. So, you either go with the intellectual approach or the heart approach. And if the heart doesn’t get you, the intellectual approach better.” The intellectual approach is this: by 2050, white Americans will be in the minority, and there is a direct link between diversity and economic growth and brand reputation. According to a 2015 study by McKinsey, companies that rank in the top quartile of executive diversity are 20 percent more likely to show returns above the national industry median than companies in the bottom quartile. And for brands that address race publically, more than 70 percent of people of all races who are aware of it say it “made them view the company in a more positive way,” according to a 2016 study by the Center for Talent Innovation sponsored in part by PwC . When I asked Ron Parker about this, and why he thinks Ryan has been so successful in his efforts to spread the message and grow the CEO Action pledge, he said it was just because of Tim Ryan the person. “No one is doing this because of Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman of PwC. They are doing this because they see the authentic, open, and fully transparent reasons why Tim is doing it.” It’s hard to say for sure, after just over a year of Ryan’s leadership, where this is heading, but at the very least it means that one of the country’s most influential and traditional companies has permanently moved the benchmark about what is and is not appropriate to talk about at work, encouraging difficult discussions that otherwise would never take place, and mandating unconscious bias training. It also means that every one of PwC’s clients hears about it, directly or indirectly, each time they meet with someone from the firm. Maybe most importantly, and most specifically, it means that an Irish American man from working class Boston in a position of power recognizes that there is a long, long way to go and is trying to do something about it: “You don’t change your culture on anything one and done. You have to be committed, focused, deliberate, and over a sustained period of time.” IA

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Celebrating the Irish in the Financial Industry

n 1998, we introduced the inaugural Wall Street 50 with the story of John J. Kiernan, the son of Irish emigrants who “would row from ship to ship in New York Harbor gathering financial information from overseas” for his 1860s Wall Street Financial News Service. The man had pluck and a good eye for talent, for it is because of him that today we have the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones – two of his early legmen were Charles Henry Dow and William Davis Jones, who founded both. Much has changed since Kiernan’s time (and much has changed since 1998), but the significance of Irish pluck to the industry remains. For twenty years, Irish America has sought to draw attention to that influence by recognizing those financiers who share a commitment to bettering the American economy and a passion for their heritage. We have never been lacking for candidates, whether seventhgeneration Irish Americans who are themselves the manifestation of their ancestors’ dreams or the many Irish-born who continually work to maintain the strong connections and forge new bonds between our two great countries. What the Irish on Wall Street have always shared is a sense of responsibility – to shareholders, to clients, to colleagues, to family, to society. We see this in the innovative work this year’s honorees do for their companies; we see this in the dedication they take in their philanthropic efforts; we see this in the pride they take in their families’ stories of perseverance and the humility they take in their successes. Together, they are a testament to the power, purpose, and necessity of the diaspora. Here’s to a hundred and fifty years of Kiernan’s legacy; here’s to our own twenty years; and here’s to many more years to come.

Mórtas Cine, The Irish America Team


The Generations:










Most Popular Counties Cork Tipperary Dublin Galway Donegal Clare Mayo Kerry

32% 14% 14% 12% 12% 11% 11% 9%

Most Mentioned Schools St. John’s University University of Pennsylvania Boston College Harvard University University College Dublin New York University

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Kieran Claffey PwC

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

Michael Cleary Santander Bank, N.A.

Michael Cleary is co-president and head of consumer and business banking for Santander Bank, N.A. In this role, he has direct oversight for all consumer and business banking businesses, including retail network banking, business banking, mortgage banking, Santander investments, and consumer lending. A native of Massachusetts, Michael received his B.S. from Princeton University and his M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He is a member of the board of directors for the Consumer Bankers Association and Friends of the Children – Boston. Michael is a fourth-generation Irish American on his father’s side. The first Cleary to immigrate to the United States was Michael O’Clary from County Clare, who arrived in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1847. The Cleary family also included Michael’s plasterer grandfather, Edward, who worked on the Empire State Building, and Jack Barrett Cleary, the first Dominican priest in Lowell and founder of a Chinese orphanage. “They were all incredibly hard workers and great storytellers with strong working class values that have been passed down to current generations,” Michael says.


Niall Coffey

Avoca Global Advisors

Niall Coffey is the CEO and chief investment officer of Avoca Global Advisors, a specialist investment management and research company based in Westport, Connecticut. Niall, like both of his parents, was born in Dublin, where Avoca is planning to open a subsidiary. His first job was as a golf caddy at the Irish Open at Portmarnock Golf Club in 1990. “It was an incredible experience to be so close to some of the greatest players in the world,” he recalls, noting that the great discipline of the golfers inspires him to this day. He graduated from Dublin City University with an undergraduate degree in business and a master’s in investment and treasury. Before Avoca, he served as a portfolio manager at both Millennium Management and Graham Capital. “Ireland is an open country that welcomes and respects people from all backgrounds and cultures,” Niall says. “We have a courageous and adventurous spirit that has emboldened positive change all across the world.” Niall and his wife Fiona have two daughters, Adelaide and Emma, and live in Connecticut.

Paul J. Collins Centerview Partners

Paul is a partner at Centerview Partners, which he joined in 2014 from Barclays Capital, where he was vice chairman, investment banking and global head of chemicals. Previously, he held various senior positions at Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and The Blackstone Group. He has advised on many of the largest and most complex mergers and acquisitions and strategic transactions in the chemicals space around the world, completing over $100 billion in transactions. Born in Dublin, Paul received his B.C.L. from University College Dublin and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His father, Sean, was the Irish long jump champion in 1948 and was chosen for the London Olympics by the Irish team. Sean was also founder of the Irish Equine Center and chairman of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the European Breeders Fund. Paul moved to the U.S. in 1984, beginning work with the Jefferson Smurfit Corporation. Paul is very proud of his Irish heritage and believes the intellectual curiosity, creativity, and appreciation of family values he grew up around have shaped the person he is today. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife and three children.

Vincent P. Colman PwC

Vincent P. Colman is the New York Metro vice chairman of PwC. He leads all aspects of the firm’s assurance, tax and advisory service delivery and practice development within the region. In Vin’s more than 30 years of professional experience at PwC, he has served marquis clients across a variety of industries in the areas of accounting, financial reporting, compliance, risk management, and mergers and acquisitions, and has held various management positions of increasing responsibility. Prior to assuming his current position, Vin led PwC’s U.S. assurance practice and was a member of the global executive assurance leadership team. A graduate of St. John’s University, Vin is third-generation Irish American on his father’s side, with roots in Cork. He is a member of the AICPA and the New York and New Jersey State Societies of Certified Public Accountants, serves on the boards of Ramapo College and St. John’s Tobin College of Business, 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.

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Brendan Coughlin Citizens Bank

Brendan Coughlin is president of consumer deposits and lending at Citizens Bank and a member of the bank’s executive committee. He has led his team in pioneering innovative product offerings, including unique financing partnerships with key technology companies like Apple and innovative student lending solutions. Brendan has been with Citizens for more than 13 years and most recently served as head of consumer lending. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of uAspire, a national nonprofit aimed at increasing access to higher education among inner-city youth and is an active member of CBA, participating on many of their key committees. Born and raised in Boston, Brendan is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Cork on both parents’ sides. “Family values and the importance of friendship are two elements of Irish culture that mean the most to me,” he says. “Applying that in a professional environment, having the right camaraderie allows teams to reach their potential.” Brendan received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College in finance and marketing and an M.B.A from Babson College. He and his wife Courtney live in Massachusetts and have three children, Chase, Drew, and Caden.

Tony Dalton R.J. O’Brien

Based in New York, Tony Dalton is head of the foreign exchange (FX) for 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 2015, he had been a managing director, running FX prime brokerage at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. 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 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Foundation. Born in Dublin, Tony is a former member of the Irish Junior Olympic basketball team and received a scholarship to play basketball in the U.S. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics with a concentration in finance from Manhattanville College. He lives in New York with his wife, Jeanette, and their four children.

Michael H. Devlin II Curragh Capital Partners

Michael Devlin is co-founder and managing director of Curragh Capital Partners, a private investment firm in New York, where he is responsible for overseeing firm investments across multiple industries. Michael has served on a number of corporate boards and currently is chairman of the board of directors of ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust. He also oversees Orchard View Sports & Entertainment. Michael is a fourth-generation Irish American and continues to research his family’s genealogy. His great-greatgrandfather, James, immigrated to the U.S. from County Donegal in 1848. While he hasn’t tracked down his blood relatives from his many trips to Ireland, he has formed deep kinship with Irish friends spanning from Dublin to Kerry to Killybegs. He enjoys long walks on the Irish coast, mostly with a golf club in hand. Michael is a graduate of Boston College where he serves as a university trustee. He also serves on the executive committee of the Boston College Wall Street Council and on the advisory board of the Woods College of Advancing Studies.

David Dineen Bankwell

As executive vice president, head of community banking at Bankwell, David Dineen oversees the organization’s deposit lines of businesses, including retail, commercial, and treasury management, as well as ebanking and marketing. Born in Jersey City, David graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a B.S. in business administration and marketing. Prior to Bankwell, he held the role of senior vice president and national market manager of Capital One Bank. David is a third-generation Irish American, with his father’s family, the Dineens, hailing from Roscommon and his mother’s, the Brodericks, from Mayo. His mother’s grandparents originally went to Long Island for their honeymoon, and, taken in by its charm, returned to Ireland only to tell their families that they would soon move permanently. “I think it’s an Irish family value to take care of each other always,” he says. “Our home was always open to friends for food, shelter, or just to spend time together, and these are qualities my children are learning as they grow up.” David lives in Darien, Connecticut with his wife Ashley and daughters Hayley, Colby, and Reagan.

Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch

Patrick Dwyer joined Merrill Lynch in 1993 after receiving his M.B.A. from the University of Miami, and clients have been able to reach him at the same telephone number for more than 23 years. In 1999, he became one of the first advisors to join the new private banking and investment group, established to serve the needs of ultra-high-net-worth families, Today, Dwyer & Associates is one of the four largest advisory teams at Merrill Lynch worldwide. Pat was named number five on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors for 2016-17 and has been recognized by Barron’s as one of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors from 2007 through 2017. In 2016 he was ranked the number one advisor in Florida by Barron’s for the fourth time in the last eight years. He holds a B.A. from Providence College. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Cork, Pat keeps a photo of his great-grandfather working at a bar near the University of Pennsylvania, where three generations of the family would attend, including Pat’s daughter Sara. “Looking at his photo each morning while I get dressed, I am filled with gratitude and humility for the opportunities that he gave all his descendants by making his journey to America.” He lives in Key Biscayne with his wife, Marisa, and four children. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 IRISH AMERICA 47


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Mary Callahan Erdoes JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Mary Callahan Erdoes is chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan’s asset and wealth management division, a global leader in financial services with $2.6 trillion in client assets. She is also a member of the company’s operating committee. Mary joined J.P. Morgan in 1996 from Meredith, Martin & Kaye, a fixed income specialty advisory firm. Previously, she worked at Bankers Trust in corporate finance, merchant banking, and high yield debt underwriting. Mary is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School. She is a board member of Robin Hood, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the U.S.-China Business Council. She also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets. An Illinois native, her great-grandparents emigrated from Cork and Tipperary. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters.

Hollie Fagan BlackRock

Hollie Fagan, managing director, is head of BlackRock’s registered investment advisor and retail investor platforms. Her team is responsible for delivering BlackRock’s full capabilities to RIAs, including distribution, marketing, and investment support as well as portfolio consulting and risk analytics. Additionally, the team supports BlackRock’s business with the direct to retail consumer platforms. Prior to joining BlackRock, Hollie was a managing director with Alliance Bernstein in their global business development group. She graduated magna cum laude from the College of New Jersey with a B.S. and cum laude from Rutgers University with an M.B.A., and holds her series 7, 66, 24, and Life & Health Insurance Licenses. As a fourth-generation Irish American, Hollie traces her family tree back to immigrants who settled in the New York and New Jersey area during the Great Hunger. She believes her heritage has endowed her with a thick skin like a “good Irish potato” and a sense of humor to help her stay resilient to life’s challenges. She currently resides in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, with her four children, Sophie, Cullen, Lawson, and Trip.

Anne M. Finucane Bank of America

Anne M. Finucane is vice chairman at Bank of America and a member of the company’s executive management team. She is responsible for the strategic positioning of Bank of America and leads the company’s environmental, social, and governance efforts, including its $125 billion environmental business initiative, in addition to overseeing public policy, customer research and analytics, and global marketing and communications. Anne chairs the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, including its 10-year, $2 billion charitable giving goal, oversees the company’s $1.2 billion Community Development Financial Institution portfolio, and helps manage Bank of America’s 10-year, $1.5 trillion community development lending and investing goal. Active in the community, Anne serves on both corporate and nonprofit boards of directors including the American Ireland Fund, Carnegie Hall, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, CVS Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Special Olympics. She also serves on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy board. 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. 48 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

Suni Harford UBS

Suni Harford was recently named head of investments at UBS Asset Management, overseeing $600 billion in assets invested for clients around the world across a variety of active, systematic and hedge fund investment strategies. Until her move to UBS in May, Suni served as a managing director and Citigroup’s regional head of markets for North America. Having worked at Citi for 24 years, she was a member of Citi’s Pension Plan Investment Committee and a director on the board of Citibank Canada. She has been a champion of diversity in the finance industry, serving as co-head of Citigroup’s global women’s initiative, Citi Women, and on the board of the Forte Foundation. She is also passionate about 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 Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative, helped formalize Citi’s successful Veterans Initiative, CitiSalutes, in 2009, and was a founding member of Veterans on Wall Street in 2010. For those efforts she recently received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army. Suni received her B.S. from Denison University, in physics and math, and holds an M.B.A. from the 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.

Tim Hughes

Douglass Winthrop Advisors

As a principal, chief operating officer, and chief compliance officer at Douglass Winthrop Advisors, Tim Hughes has over two decades of experience in financial services, including numerous leadership roles at management firms. Born in New York, Tim holds a B.A. in math and economics from Bowdoin College and a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining Douglass Winthrop, he served as CFO and chief compliance officer at 484Wall Capital Management. Tim is a second-generation Irish American with roots in Letterkenny, County Donegal and Bohola, County Mayo. He sits on the board of the Paul O’Dwyer Foundation, named for Tim’s grandfather, former president of the City Council of New York City. “From as early as I can remember, I have been immersed in Irish culture here in New York,” says Tim. “Being part of a large Irish family and Irish community brings a deep-seated feeling of comfort and belonging.” Tim lives in Darien, Connecticut, with his wife, Michelle, and children, Evan, Quinn, and Jackson.

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Margaret Keane Synchrony Financial

Margaret Keane is president and chief executive officer of Synchrony Financial, one of the nation’s premier consumer financial services companies. Margaret’s passion for emerging technology and employee development has solidified her reputation as a leader in the field. Prior to her current role, she was president and CEO of GE’s North American retail finance business and led the retail card platform at GE Capital as president and CEO. She held additional leadership roles during her 18 years at GE Capital and began her career at Citibank. Margaret earned her M.B.A. and a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. She is consistently ranked among the most powerful women in her field by American Banker and Fortune and serves on the board of directors for the Financial Services Roundtable and the youth-services non-profit buildOn. She is also a member of the board of trustees for St. John’s University and the Connecticut chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Cork and Clare, Margaret finds in her heritage “a big, loving, warm family who is there in good and difficult times.”

Daniel Keegan Citigroup

Daniel Keegan is co-head of global equities at Citigroup. Keegan, who was appointed co-head of the group in May, previously served for three years as head of equities Americas at Citi and joined Citi in 2007 as part of the bank’s purchase of ADT 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 JPMorgan Chase, where he established the Electronic Execution services business, and later sat on the executive committee and board of directors at Automated Trading Desk. A third-generation Irish American with ancestors from County 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. “When you think about the Irish and the ancestry, front and center in that consideration is a generation after generation of people who distinguish themselves by working hard,” Keegan, who was the Wall Street keynote speaker in 2016, says.

Martin Kehoe PwC

Martin Kehoe is a partner with PwC in New York. He has over 27 years of experience serving clients in the U.S. and internationally. Born and raised in Enniscorthy, County 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.” Martin is married to Mary Kelly from Bree, County Wexford, with whom he has two daughters, Allison and Laura. Martin is active with organizations such as Young People’s Chorus of NYC, the Gaelic Players Association, the American Ireland Fund 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. 50 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

Denis Kelleher Wall Street Access

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.

Sean Kelleher Wall Street Access

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

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Sean P. Kelly Nomura Securities International

Sean Kelly is a managing director at Nomura Securities International, where he heads the capital commitments team for the acquisition and leveraged finance business in the Americas. Sean is a graduate of Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in government. He later attended University College Cork, completing an M.A. in history, and Boston College where he earned an M.B.A. Sean has an extensive career in finance, having worked for FleetBoston, Bank of America, and Lehman Brothers prior to joining Nomura. A third-generation Irish American with ancestry from Kerry on his father’s side, Sean’s Irish heritage “has always been a significant source of pride and inspiration,” he says. “Being Irish means being the best you can be by making the most of what you’ve got. It’s about being loyal to your friends and family, sharing with them all the joys that make life worth living.” He is a member of Nomura’s debt/loan committee. Outside of work, Sean serves on the advisory board of Glucksman Ireland House NYU and is a member of the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield, Connecticut, and the Irish Arts Center. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Deirdre, and their children Aisling and Liam.

Shaun Kelly KPMG

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

Sean Kilduff UBS Private Wealth Management

Sean Kilduff is a certified financial planner and managing director 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. Sean was named to the Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors from 2014 to 2017. 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, Declan, Kate, Brendan, and Caroline. 52 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

Barbara G. Koster

Prudential Financial  

Barbara G. Koster is senior vice president and chief information officer for Prudential Financial, and head of the global business and technology solutions department. She is also chairman of the board of Pramerica Systems Ireland, founding member of Prudential Systems Japan, and oversees the company’s veteran’s initiatives office. Barbara joined Prudential in 1995 as CIO in individual and life insurance systems and previously held several positions with Chase Manhattan. In 2014, Barbara was named one of STEMConnector’s “100 Corporate Diverse Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” and in 2013 was inducted into Junior Achievement’s New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, NJ Biz newspaper named her one of the 50 Best Women in Business. She is a member of Executive Women of NJ and The Research Board. 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, and three grandsons, Zachary, Connor, and Aidan.

Sean Lane Morgan Stanley

Sean Lane is a senior vice president and financial advisor at Morgan Stanley with over 23 years of experience in the industry. He is responsible for providing expert financial planning, risk management and investment advice to ultra-high net-worth individuals, families, endowments and foundations. 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 Parade and the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation. He is also on the board of the 69th Regimental Trust, the Abbey Theatre Advisory board, and the leadership circle for the Northwell Health 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.

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Kathleen Lynch UBS Americas

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, County 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, New Jersey. Kathleen has her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Francis C. Mahoney Ernst & Young

Francis C. Mahoney currently serves as vice chair for assurance for EY Americas, heading a staff of more than 20,000 finance professionals. Frank was appointed to this position in 2014, after serving as EY global audit transformation and innovation leader and with more than 30 years of increasing management titles at the company. Born and raised in Boston (his first job was a hot dog vendor at Fenway Park), Frank is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in Cork on both his parents’ sides. “When I think about my Irish heritage,” he says, “I feel connected to a group of people who are widely known for an indefatigable work ethic, an openness to take on challenges and a tenacity that helps them see those challenges through.” Frank holds a B.A. from Boston College and has served on several boards in the Boston area, including Catholic Charities, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Business Roundtable. He currently serves as a trustee of Xaverian Brothers High School and the Newton Country Day School. Frank and his wife Mary have four children, Sarah, Frankie, Lindsey, and Jack.

Tara McCabe Morgan Stanley

Tara McCabe is a managing director of Morgan Stanley and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Her career has spanned leadership roles in wealth management and asset management. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Tara worked at the Permal Group, where she oversaw product strategy, marketing, and investor relations for institutional and high net worth clients. At Morgan Stanley, her earlier roles included chief administrative officer for investment products and client solutions, chief administrative officer for alternative investments, and other senior product development roles. She began her career at Prudential in marketing. A first-generation Irish American, Tara is proud of her Irish heritage and that both her parents are from lovely Leitrim. Tara is a board director of the American Ireland Fund and was instrumental in developing their Young Leaders program. She is an active supporter of the Irish Arts Center and Cristo Rey High School. Tara graduated from the College of the Holy Cross and studied at the National University of Ireland Galway. 54 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

Robert J. McCann UBS Americas

Robert J. McCann is chairman of UBS Americas. In this role, Mr. McCann works with the firm’s leaders across the Americas region to shape and advance UBS’s strategy, partnerships and business development efforts. Previously, he served as president of UBS Americas and president of UBS Wealth Management Americas, and a member of UBS’s group executive board from 2009 to 2015. Prior to joining UBS, Mr. McCann had a 26-year career at Merrill Lynch during which he held a variety of executive leadership positions. Mr. McCann serves on the board of directors of the American Ireland Fund, the Irish Arts Center, and is vice chairman of the board of trustees of Bethany College. A third-generation Irish American with roots in County Armagh, Mr. McCann received his B.A. in economics from Bethany College and his M.B.A. from Texas Christian University. He is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland.

Jeanmarie McFadden MetLife

Jeanmarie McFadden is the executive vice president and chief communications officer at MetLife, where she leads all internal and external communications and manages a team of over 60 global communications professionals. She has over 25 years of experience in strategic and crisis communications. Born in New York, Jeanmarie acquired her degree in psychology at the College of New Jersey. Prior to joining MetLife in 2014, she served as managing director and head of global corporate affairs at Morgan Stanley, and sat on the board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. A second-generation Irish American on her father’s side (rooted in Falcarragh, County Donegal) and a fifth generation on her mother’s (the O’Malleys of County Cork), Jeanmarie treasures the memory of her Irish grandfather, Daniel. “Every St. Patrick’s Day growing up, we heard him sing along to ‘Danny Boy’ with tears in his eyes,” she recalls. “He was a determined and strong man, forced to leave home and come to America at age 14. He helped build many of New York’s bridges and tunnels during his life.” Jeanmarie lives in Rumson, New Jersey, with her children, Hayden, Maggie, and Grace.

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Jim McLaughlin

Princeton Wealth Advisors of Raymond James

Jim McLaughlin is a founding member, senior vice president of investments, and branch manager of Princeton Wealth Advisors of Raymond James. Prior to this position, he served as a first vice president of investments and a wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch Jim was born in Jersey City and holds a B.A. from Montclair State University and an M.B.A. from Fordham University. He was recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Top 400 Advisors in the United States in 2014, 2016 and 2017, Baron’s Top 1,200 Advisors in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and Forbes’ Top 200 Advisors in 2016. Jim is a fifth-generation Irish American on both his father and mother’s side. Growing up, his father sang in a barbershop quartet that entertained parties with Irish songs, including “Danny Boy,” which frequently made the rounds. “I am very proud to have been exposed to a culture that strikes a balance between working hard for tomorrow and enjoying life for today,” he says. Jim and his wife, Meg, have four children, Michael, Mark, Bridget, and Nicole. They live in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

Peter Merrigan Taurus

As the chief executive officer of Taurus Investment Holdings, Peter Andrew Merrigan defines and oversees the company’s real estate, investment, and entrepreneurial strategies. He has negotiated over $3 billion worth of real estate transactions for his company, an achievement that spans over 20 years and nine countries. He holds both a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Peter is a second-generation Irish American and has paternal roots in Ballydangan, County Roscommon. Since 1851, he says, all males on this side of the family have shared the name of Peter Andrew Merrigan, and he has continued this tradition with his son. His mother’s line, the Melodys, traces back to Tiernascragh, County Galway. In honor of his roots, and in support of Irish studies at Holy Cross, Peter created the Professor Edward Callahan Irish Studies Support Fund; the Callahan Fund encourages student and faculty research, hosts renowned and exciting speakers, as well as promotes Irish cultural events, enriching the lives of students and faculty alike at Holy Cross. Peter was born in Boston and he continues to live in Massachusetts. He has three children: Peter Andrew (Drew), Caroline (Carlie), and Alexandra (Allie). 56 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

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. Bank of America is recognized as a top employer, including by Working Mother magazine, the Human Rights Campaign, and G.I. Jobs magazine. Moynihan participates in several organizations that focus on economic and market trends, including the World Economic Forum International Business Council, the Financial Services Forum, the Business Roundtable, and the supervisory board of The Clearing House. Moynihan leads the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council and 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.

Bill Mulrow Blackstone

Bill Mulrow is a senior advisor at Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms. Before rejoining the firm in 2017, he served as Secretary to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the highest appointive office in New York State and the chief aide of the governor. Over a career of more than 30 years, Bill’s areas of expertise have spanned finance, business, government, and academia. He is also a past recipient of the Roy Wilkins Humanitarian Award of the New York State NAACP. Born in the Bronx, Bill is a graduate of Yale and the Harvard Kennedy School and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Both his father and mother are natives of Clonbur, County Galway, a picturesque town which film buffs may recognize as one of the filming locations of John Wayne’s 1952 The Quiet Man. “I am a first-generation Irish American who is proud of his roots, grateful to his parents, and fortunate to be a part of the long history of Irish American contribution to our country,” Bill says. He is married to Teddy Mulrow, with whom he has three children, Kelly, Jennifer, and Jack, and lives in New York.

Bill Murphy Greenhill & Co.

Bill Murphy is a managing director of Greenhill & Co. and part of the firm’s capital advisory group, a role in which he advises institutional investors and private funds with respect to the private equity secondary market. Over 14 years, Bill has advised on secondary transactions involving more than $80 billion in investor commitments. Born in New York City, Bill obtained his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. at Columbia University. Prior to joining Greenhill, he was a senior member of Citigroup’s private equity group, where he guided new product development initiatives in private equity. Bill is a second-generation Irish American, with family roots in Skibbereen, County Cork, and Scarriff, County Clare. In 1920, his great uncle Richard Collins served alongside famous IRA leader Tom Barry as an officer in the Goleen Company of the 3rd West Cork Brigade, which he later took command of. “My Irish heritage defines who I am,” says Bill. “I am clearly the beneficiary of the efforts of my ancestors and the recognition of this fact has helped forge my identity.” Bill and his wife, Kim, have one daughter, Siobhan.


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Conor Murphy Brighthouse Financial

Conor Murphy is executive vice president and chief product and strategy officer at Brighthouse Financial, a new company established by MetLife. Previously, Conor was senior vice president and CFO of MetLife’s Latin American operations. MetLife is the largest life insurance company in Latin America with operations in seven countries. Conor joined MetLife in 2000 and held several leadership roles. He previously spent seven years with PwC in New York and five years with Grant Thornton in Dublin. He is a founding trustee of Cristo Rey New York High School in Harlem and has been a proud sponsor of the school’s work-internship program for over 10 years. He is a past president of the Association of Chartered Accountants in the U.S., 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 is now in its 78th year exporting the finest Donegal products to the rest of the world. Conor and his wife, Ani, have two sons, Jack and Aidan.

Kathleen Murphy Fidelity Investments

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

Marie O’Connor PwC Ireland

Marie O’Connor, who was the first woman to become a partner at PwC in Ireland, retired in September 2017 having served as an audit partner for 30 years. She led the development of PwC’s Irish asset management practice from inception for 12 years until 2007 and PwC’s financial services practice for four years. Marie was chair and a founding member of the 30% Club in Ireland, a group of chairs and CEO’s committed to accelerating gender balance in their organizations. The Irish government appointed her to a number of boards, including Dublin Airport and IDA Ireland. A certified accountant, Marie is also a barrister and was the first female student accepted to the Business Studies Diploma at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Born in Dublin, Marie is proud of her family roots in Sligo and Galway and her extended family in San Francisco and Kansas City. She has spent lots of time in the U.S. “I have greatly enjoyed working extensively with U.S. companies expanding into Europe and in promoting and developing Ireland as a location of choice for financial services,” she says.


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 co-head 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. 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 University. 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.

Michael O’Grady Northern Trust

Michael O’Grady is the president of Northern Trust and a member of the board, having been elected in January. Previously, he served as president of the corporate & institutional services business unit. Northern Trust’s C&IS business unit is a leading provider of asset servicing, investment management, banking and related services to institutional clients worldwide. Prior to becoming president of C&IS, Mike served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Northern Trust. Mike joined Northern Trust in 2011 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served as a managing director in the firm’s investment banking group and head of the depository institutions group for the Americas. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1992 as an associate. Prior to Merrill Lynch, Mike worked for Price Waterhouse. He holds a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. A board member of the Field Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Catholic Charities, Mike is third-generation Irish on both his father and mother’s sides. The O’Gradys are from County Mayo and the Kileys are from County Clare.

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Tim O’Hara Strategic Investment Group

Tim O’Hara is co-chief investment officer of Strategic Investment Group, taking responsibility for all aspects of the investment process, portfolios, and performance of a company that manages $35 billion on behalf of primarily foundations, endowments, and pensions. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Tim earned his B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and his B.S. in engineering from the Moore School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania as well as an M.B.A. in finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Prior to joining Strategic, he was managing director at Rockport Advisors. Tim is a third-generation Irish American, and though his migrant ancestors lost touch with their relatives overseas, he feels that “It’s clear that three generations is not sufficient to remove Ireland from one’s bones. We seem to inherit a certain Irish sensibility that serves us well.” This trait serves him well in his professional life, where he believes “A good leader works hard, keeps a healthy sense of humor, and tries to be an amadán [Irish for “fool”] as infrequently as possible.”

Thomas F. O’Neill Incapital

Thomas F. O’Neill is vice chairman at Incapital, advising the firm’s capital markets group and financial institutions group on all aspects of their businesses. He is the well-known co-founder of investment banking and brokerage firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners, where he spent 22 years. Most recently, he was the co-chief executive officer of The Kimberlite Group, which he co-founded in 2013. Thomas, a 40-year veteran of the financial services industry, currently serves on the board of Bank Financial, a bank holding company based in Chicago. Born in the Bronx, he is a graduate of New York University and a veteran of the United States Air Force. Thomas is a second-generation Irish American with family roots in counties Armagh (his father’s side) and Tipperary (his mother’s). He vividly recalls stories of his maternal grandfather’s decision to emigrate after standing up to the English lord whose estate he maintained in New Inn, Tipperary. Thomas still takes pride in what he regards as his grandfather’s “ability to overcome great challenges to be here.” He and his wife, Carol, have three daughters, Meredith, Melanie, and Heather.

Michael Pryce National Australia Bank

Michael Pryce is head of portfolio risk management and director of financial institutions in New York for National Australia Bank (NAB), a top 30 global bank. He manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio of counter party credit and market risk for NAB’s U.S. financial institutions group as well as its corporate clients. Prior to joining NAB, Michael was a vice president at Credit Lyonnais and previously managed their securities lending operation. Earlier in his career, he established and ran the securities lending Asia desk at Bankers Trust. Michael is a fundraiser and past-president of HOPe (Helping Other People), a non-profit development organization that oversees capacity building projects in Central and South America and Africa. On their behalf, he traveled to Ethiopia and Peru to evaluate and document grantee projects. He is a founding member of the Irish International Business Network in New York and was a mentor in their executive mentorship program. For four years, he was a volunteer mentor with iMentor, a non-profit that prepares students for college. Born in New York and raised in Ireland, Michael graduated from University College Cork with a B.A. in commerce and also holds an M.B.A. from Fordham University, where he graduated with honors in finance. 60 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

James W. Reid MetLife

James W. Reid is an executive vice president of MetLife’s U.S. business region responsible for leading regional & small business solutions and the U.S. direct business. James was born in Massachusetts and acquired his B.S. from the Ohio State University. He completed executive programs at Columbia University’s Business School as well as Harvard Business School. Prior to joining MetLife in 2012, he held various senior executive positions in a career spanning more than two decades with Aetna. He is the recipient of Aetna’s 2001 Chairman’s Award and has been named to both Business Insurance and Crain’s New York 40 Under 40 lists. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc. and serves on the board of trustees at the Rumson Country Day School. Descended from the Reids of County Cork and the Ryans of County Tipperary, James is a fourth-generation Irish American who is proud to note that MetLife has a global technology campus in Galway. He is married to Allyson Reid, with whom he has four children, Jackson, Hunter, Tucker, and Tristan. They live in Rumson, New Jersey.

G. Brint Ryan Ryan, LLC

G. Brint Ryan is the founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of directors for Ryan, LLC, a Dallasbased multi-national leader in the tax services industry. Ryan ended its 25th anniversary year in 2016 as the largest indirect tax practice in North America with a record annual revenue of more than $475 million. This year, Ryan was ranked among the top 100 chief executives in the Top Large Company category of Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Award. Born in west Texas, Brint is a seventh-generation Irish American whose ancestors emigrated from Tipperary and fought in the Revolutionary War. “My common link to generations of hard-working, risk-taking Irish that dreamed big and achieved amazing things inspires my determination to revolutionize the tax services industry in pursuit of building a billion dollar global brand in tax,” he says. Brint was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the board of regents at his alma mater, the University of North Texas, and received the Patriot Award for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in 2010. He lives in Dallas with his wife, Amanda, and their five children.

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Meredith Ryan-Reid MetLife

Meredith Ryan-Reid is a senior vice president in MetLife’s group benefits division leading distribution development. Responsibilities include broker strategy and relationship management, third party distribution, private exchanges, worksite strategy, and voluntary benefits delivery. Previously, she led the accident and health group and the product specialist organization. Meredith received her B.A. from the University of Richmond and M.B.A. from Cornell University, where she serves as her alumni class president and member of the Johnson School advisory council. Though Meredith says much information about her Irish ancestors prior to her paternal great-grandparents, who settled in Somerville, Massachusetts, is lost, she completed a DNA test that found she is 83 percent Irish, with Ryan roots in Tipperary. In America, her family made their living as boxers, police officers, domestics, and factory and railway workers. “I am proud of my heritage,” she says, “and never more so than when I had the honor of marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade with Grand Marshall Alfred Smith in 2013 when I was eight months pregnant with my second child, Madeline.” Meredith lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters.

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, and then by UBS. Sharon is only one of 16 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. In addition, Sharon has appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street and Closing Bell. Sharon was named to the 2017 Financial Times Top 400 Advisors and Forbes Top Women Advisors 2017, as well as to REP Magazine and WealthManagement.com’s Top 50 Wirehouse Women list 2012-2015. In 2016, 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 President’s Circle, James Beard Foundation, and was a mentor with the Clinton Economic Initiative UBS Small Business Advisory Program. 62 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

Martin Sheerin John Hancock Financial Services

Martin Sheerin is the chief financial officer of John Hancock Financial Services, the U.S. division of the Torontobased company Manulife. Martin was born in Dublin, as were both of his parents, though his father’s family roots can be traced to counties Wicklow and Meath and his mother’s in part to County Armagh. Martin attended Trinity College for his B.A. and master’s degree in mathematics. His first job was that of an Irish army reservist, primarily undertaking guard duties. Before taking on his current role in 2016, he was vice president and chief financial officer for John Hancock Annuities and held previous various roles at Aviva USA and Irish Life Assurance. Genealogy is a keen interest of Martin’s, and he has studied his family tree as far back as records go, finding that he has relations in not only the U.S. and Ireland but England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, among others. “Despite having emigrated over 30 years ago, I still consider myself Irish,” he says. Martin is married to May Lee Low, with whom he has twin boys. They live in Boston.

Joe Sullivan Legg Mason

Since 2012 Joe Sullivan has served as chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, a NYSE-listed global asset management firm. He joined the firm in 2008 as head of global distribution and then became chief administrative officer. Joe was the recipient of Fund Action’s 2017 “Fund Leader of the Year.” He serves on the board of governors for the ICI and previously as chair of the Securities Industry Institute and the Fixed Income Committee of the National Association of Securities Dealers. He is also a board member of the Bond Market Association and NYSE Hearing. Sullivan holds a B.A. in economics from St. John’s University and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. He demonstrates a commitment to public service by serving or having served as a member of the board of trustees for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Financial Services, Catholic Charities, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, Loyola Blakefield School, and the Baltimore Youth Hockey Association. His ancestors, Eugene T. Sullivan and Bridget Downing, were born in 1845 in County Cork.

Stephanie Whittier Morgan Stanley

Stephanie Whittier co-heads the foundation and endowment services team at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, offering specialized investment management solutions that range from the creation of investment policy statements to asset allocation and consolidated reporting advice. She joined Morgan Stanley in 1975 after graduating from Boston College with a B.S. in accounting and has since held positions across Morgan Stanley’s many sectors, including investment banking, real estate, and institutional equity. She has authored articles on issues relating to family office management, and has expertise in business and product development, business administration, risk management, finance, and personal wealth management. Stephanie serves on the boards of Grace Outreach, Hand in Hand, and National Executive Services Corps. She also works actively with Student Sponsored Partners and Christo Rey Schools, which recruits at-risk students motivated to take advantage of the opportunity for a quality high school education. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Mayo and Tipperary, Stephanie is involved in fundraising efforts for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

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Delta13 Charlie Recollections of an Irish Soldier in Vietnam  aS told to WeSley BouRke, edItoR of IReland’S MIlItaRy StoRy

y name is Michael Coyne. I was born in Cornamona, Galway, 1945. When I was seven we moved here to Jenkinstown, County Meath, as part of the Land Commission Resettlement program. Our family, including myself, spoke Irish. When I was 16 my mother was dying and my uncle arranged for me to go to Chicago. I got a job with an Italian gardener. For six months, I went around the suburbs cutting shrubs and that kind of thing. My uncle then got me a job with a furrier by the name of Jerome McCarthy. I had a great time learning about furs and helping run the fashion shows in all the big hotels in Chicago. In 1963, I turned 18 and had to sign up for the draft. I got called up two years later. Jerome McCarthy managed to get me off based on my job being vital.


LEFT: Michael Coyne, c. 1968.


I’ve no idea why a furrier was classed as vital. I was called up two or three times and each time I was told to go home. However, on October 23, 1966, I was called up again. I went through the medical and all the paperwork as before, and they told me to go home. I was on edge and apprehensive and I said, “No, I want to go.” I was fed up with being called up. That was it. Off I went to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Fort Campbell was our introduction to the military. Here you got your hair cut, were issued your uniform, and learned the ideology of the U.S. Army. Then it was down to Fort Stuart in Georgia for basic training. We arrived on a bus, the Drill Sergeants were there to meet us. “Out! Out! Out!” they shouted. You had to be quick. Then at 05:00 the next morning it was, “Up! Up! Up!” The training didn’t bother me. I was skinny and fit. I spent my time helping the poor devils who were breaking down crying. After basic, we were sent to Advanced Individual Training. One day an instructor came in and said, “We need two volunteers.” Two of

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Michael Coyne is one of many Irish-born soldiers who served in Vietnam. A crewman on a Patton tank, he spent most of his time far from base on patrol in jungle and rice paddies.

us put up our hands. “You! You’re going to Air Traffic Control. You! Coyne, are going to Film Projection School.” I had no idea what that was but it sounded like a nice cushy number. After a three-week course learning about recording and editing film, I did a test and passed it. Some guys in the unit who had been in Vietnam with the Film Projection Unit said it was a piece of cake. So I thought, “I’ll volunteer for that.” I went to the Administration Sergeant. He said no problem. The next day he called me back. “You are not a U.S. citizen. God damn! I am going to have to send all kinds of paperwork up to Washington to get security clearance for you.” That was all sorted and in April 1967, I flew from Tacoma, Washington, to Cam Ranh Bay, on the south-eastern coast of Vietnam, between Phan Rang and Nha Trang. I was tired after the journey and the heat was killing me. We were give hammocks to sleep on and told we’d be called at 07:00 to parade and get further orders. I was flat out and missed the first call. At 11:00 there was another parade. I fell in and my name

was called out. “Where were you at 07:00?” I was asked. “I heard nothing,” I said. “It’s going to cost you. You’re going up to Blackhorse.” I didn’t know what that meant. I’d never heard of Blackhorse, the 11th Armored Cavalry regiment famous for their exploits in World War II. When I arrived in Xuan Loc, Blackhorse were just coming off Operation Manhattan, a thrust into the Long Nguyen Secret Zone by the 1st and 2nd Squadrons. This zone was a long-suspected regional headquarter of the Viet Cong. Sixty tunnel complexes were uncovered, 1,884 fortifications were destroyed, and 621 tons of rice was evacuated during these operations. Colonel Roy Farley was the newly-appointed commanding officer of the regiment. Two or three of us were paraded in front of him. “I see you’re an Irishman” Farley said. “What’s that you have,” he asked, pointing at my camera. “I’m a projectionist,” I said. “I show training films.” He bellowed out, “Ain’t got no room for no training films here. You can be my driver,” he said. “That’s good,” I thought. Well, I was at that for about a week. One evening I was smoking pot with a bunch of other lads. The next day the Colonel called me over. “Coyne, I hear you were smoking pot.” There was no point denying it. “Right, as punishment you are going up with the scouts.” An ongoing operation at the time was Operation Kittyhawk. It began in April 1967 and ran to March 21, 1968. The Regiment was tasked to secure and pacify Long Khanh Province. It achieved three main objectives: Viet Cong were kept from interfering with travel by locals on the main roads, South Vietnamese were provided medical treatment in programs like MEDCAP and DENCAP, and finally, Reconnaissance In Force (RIF) operations were employed to keep the Viet Cong off balance, making it impossible for them to mount offensive operations. These operations brought us up to and into Cambodia and around the famous Iron Triangle. The Iron Triangle, or Tam Giác Sắt in Vietnamese, was a 120-square mile area in the Bình Dương Province. It was an active stronghold of the Việt Minh – the coalition formed by Ho Chi Minh in 1941, originally to gain independence from France (the colonial power in Vietnam from the mid-19th century through 1954), that later opposed the U.S. and South Vietnam – located between the Saigon River on the west and the Tinh River on the east and bordering Route 13 about 25 miles north of Saigon. The southern apex was seven miles from Phu Cong, the capital of Bình Dương Province. Its proximity to Saigon concerted American and South Vietnamese efforts to destabilize the region as a power base for Viet Cong operations. The Iron Triangle had a vast network of tunnels from which the Viet Cong operated. The tunnels, built during the war with the French colonialists during the 1945 – 1946 First Indochina War, were said to have a network of over 30,000 miles throughout North and South Vietnam. Hundreds of

FAR LEFT: A photo of the flight section of the 11th Cavalry supporting G Troop, on operations in Hau Nghia Province northwest of Phu Loi in early 1972. Deployed to Southeast Asia on March 11, 1966, the regiment specialized in combat in a counterinsurgency environment and had a reputation for carrying out effective Reconnaissance In Force operations. BELOW: Michael Coyne in Vietnam.


miles of this network were in the Iron Triangle. They were especially concentrated in the area around the town of Củ Chi. As part of Kittyhawk, 1st and 3rd Squadrons carried out Operation Emporia from July 21-September 14. These were road clearing operations with limited RIF missions. As I was the spare man, I would get called down to check foxholes and tunnels regularly. I was up with the scouts for three weeks. A replacement was needed on one of the tanks in 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Squadron, after a trooper was killed. I was transferred there, and that’s where I remained. A M48A3 Patton tank (named after General George S. Patton of World War II fame) had a crew of four: commander, gunner, loader, driver and backdeck gunner. My call sign was Delta13Charlie. Delta meant D Company, 13 was our tank, and Charlie was me. As in C for Coyne. On our Patton tank I was the back-deck gunner – otherwise known as the spare man. I had an M60 machine gun, M79 grenade launcher, an M3 .45-cal. grease gun, and an M16 assault rifle. We didn’t use the range finder down in the turret that much. In the close environment of the jungle, visibility was very poor. My vantage point on top was critical. We lost four tanks in my time. I was also wounded four times. Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) were a common enemy. They’d hit the tank and bits of shrapnel would go everywhere. We rarely saw Base Camp as we were constantly on operations. Food, fuel, ammunition, and spare parts were all flown out to us by helicopter. The squadrons were self-sufficient. Tank engines were even changed in the middle of the jungle. In the summer of 1967, the South Vietnamese presidential elections were being held. As part of Operation Valdosta I & II, the regiment was tasked with providing security at polling stations during the elections, and to maintain reaction forces to counter VC agitation. 1st and 3rd Squadrons operated in the Long Khánh District. The presidential election was held on September 3. The result was a victory for Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, a general in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and a cautious but calculating leader in the military junta that had ruled South Vietnam since 1965. He won 34.8 percent of the vote. The operation was a great success. Voter turnout was 83.2 percent. On one occasion, up at Binh Long, we were conducting a RIF. Lieutenant Reid came by. “We need you to carry the radio and go up and check out a fork in the trail with myself and Smithy,” he instructed. Smithy was a sergeant from Kansas City. I put on the radio and went up to the fork about 1,000 meters up

They told me “It’s okay, go home”. I was on edge and apprehensive and I said, “No, I want to go.” That was it. Off I was sent to Fort Campbell in Kentucky.


the trail. Lieutenant Reid and Sergeant Smith were in front to my left and right. The Lieutenant turned to me and said, “check that trail there.” Smithy said, “I’ll check it.” Up he jumped and went over. The next thing BANG! The top half of his body was gone. His legs were still standing there. Hard to believe, but his legs were still there. It was so fast. I looked down and parts of his rib cage was sticking in my arm. Within a fraction of a second myself and Lieutenant Reid were on the ground, our tanks were firing over our heads. The rockets that had hit us had gone on to hit the tanks. The Patton tank used the 90mm M377 canister anti-personnel round. This canister projectile was filled with 1,281 spherical steel pellets for use at short ranges. It was particularly effective against personnel in dense foliage. The tanks opened up, and all around us the jungle started to come down.

e went from one operation to another. Patrols and more patrols. On December 5, Colonel Roy Farley was replaced by Colonel Jack MacFarlane. From December 14 to 21, we conducted Operation Quicksilver. 1st and 2nd Squadrons were tasked with the security of the highway between Bến Cát and Phuroc Ninh. Its purpose was to secure routes that moved logistical personnel of the 101st Airborne Division between Bình Long and Tây Ninh Provinces. Cordon, search, and RIF missions were carried out. Quicksilver rolled into Operation Fargo, December 21-January 2, 1968. Fargo was a regimental seized operation. RIFs were conducted in Bình Long and Tây Ninh Provinces and Route 13 was opened to military traffic for the very first time. When we found a tunnel, as spare man I was always sent down to check it out. You grabbed your .45 and bayonet and down you went. On one occasion, I jumped down and found a room with a Singer sewing machine. In the corner of the room there was a trap door. I knew the Viet Cong (VC) or North Vietnamese (NVA) soldiers were on the other side. And they knew I knew they were there. I sat down and started peddling away on the sewing machine. I sat there for around 15 or 20 minutes peddling away. “Nothing down there except a sewing machine if you want it,” I said, when I crawled back up to the tank. If I’d opened that trap door, I wouldn’t be here now. In the villages, I was always the one to drop down and talk to the villagers. I’d ask them “Where VC? Where VC?” They’d always reply “No VC! No VC!” The Sergeant asked me one day, “God Damn Coyne! How do you speak to them?” “I speak English,” I told him. The Vietnamese spoke some English. Some better than others. One time, this old lady shouted, “Number 1! Number 1!” The guys on the tank just thought the villagers liked me. I knew what she meant. I was marked as a target. I got back up on the tank and told the commander, “They’re friendlies, let’s go!” You avoided a fire fight when you could. On another day, we were the lead tank. We came to a stream. I said to Danny Kind, “that looks like a



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mine.” Danny agreed. We stopped the tank and called in the engineer minesweepers. I could hear on the radio in my helmet, a captain shouting “Come on move it! I have a schedule to keep to.” He sent down an intelligence officer, who was also a captain. He started kicking the ground with his foot. I was looking down from the top of the tank at him. Danny shouted, “Sir, don’t go over there. It’s not safe.” The officer replied back, “I didn’t do all that training in the States for nothing.” BANG! He went 100 feet in the air. All that we found of him was his boot. His son wrote to me for some time after. I initially told him his father had stepped on the mine. Eventually I had to tell him he kicked it. He asked me why his father had kicked it. I told him he was under severe pressure to get the column moving again. I remember a chaplain arriving in camp. “Coyne, you’re a Catholic, aren’t you?” I replied yes. “Report to the chaplain.” We took a walk into the jungle. There were two big pits. Around 14 American dead soldiers. The chaplain said a few words, but wanted me then to also say some prayers. All I could remember was the Hail Mary. “What’s that priest doing over there at that other pit?” I asked. The chaplain replied, “That’s for the Protestants.” Can you believe that? Even in the middle of Vietnam they separated the Catholics from the Protestants. On January 30, 1968, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, coinciding with the Tết holiday (Vietnamese New Year). One of the largest campaigns of the war, it was fought over three phases from January 30 through September 23, 1968. The offensive centered around surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control

centers throughout South Vietnam. On the night of January 30, we were across the border in Cambodia and had just gone through a continuous fire fight to get there. When the offensive began we had to turn around and fight our way back to protect Saigon. We left tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) burning all along the road but we had to keep moving. RPGs kept coming at us, but we had to keep going and get through it. Saigon was a battlefield. Scenes just like what you would see in Syria on TV today. The place was being torn apart. Operation Adairsville began on January 31. Word was received by II Field Force HQs to immediately re-deploy to the Long Binh/Biên Hòa area to relieve threatened installations. At 14:00, 1st Squadron was called to move from our position south of the Michelin Rubber Plantation to the II Field Force Headquarters. The 2nd Squadron moved from north of the plantation to the III Corps POW Compound were enemy soldiers were sure to attempt to liberate the camp. The 3rd Squadron moved from An Lộc to III Corps Army, Republic of South Vietnam (ARVN) Headquarters. It took only 14 hours and 80 miles to arrive in position after first being alerted. 1st and 2nd Squadrons continued security operations in the Long Binh/Biên Hòa area and the area around Blackhorse Base Camp under Operation Alcorn Cove which began on March 22. This was a joint mission with the ARVN 18th Division and 25th Division. This operation rolled into Operation Toan Thang – a joint operation involving the 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions. Toan Thang was the first of a series of massive operations combining the assets and operations of the ARVN’s III Corps and our II Field Force. The purpose of this operation was to maintain

TOP: M-155 Sheridan of C Troop, 1st Squadron, crosses a ravine in An Loc, III Corps, near the Cambodian border.


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Michael’s decorations include, a Combat Infantry Badge, a Bronze Star with V Device, Purple Heart with two clusters (Michael was in fact wounded five times during the war), a Vietnam Campaign medal, and a Gallantry Medal awarded by the then South Vietnamese government.

Wesley Bourke is editor of Ireland’s Military Story magazine, where this article first appeared.

the post-Tet pressure on the enemy and to drive all remaining NVA/VC troops from III Corps and the Saigon area. A total of 42 U.S. combat battalions participated at one time or another in Toan Thang. The Tet Offensive allowed the regiment a chance to fight the enemy formations in open combat. Colonel MacFarlane was wounded in March 1968, and replaced on March 12, by Colonel Leonard Holder. He was killed only a few weeks later on March 21. Colonel Charles Gorder took command of the regiment on March 22. The VC and NVA launched Phase II of Tet in early May. This was known as the May Offensive, Little Tet, or MiniTet. The enemy struck 119 targets throughout South Vietnam, including Saigon. 13 VC battalions, slipped through the cordon and again turned Saigon into a battlefield. Mini Tet was nearly worse than the main offensive. In early May, I came across a guy from Kentucky. He was bent over, wrecked with worry. He had a wife and four kids. On May 13, the tanks and APCs were all lined up for a counterattack near Saigon. I can still remember our Captain with a machete in one hand. As he dropped his hand with the machete, he shouted, “Charge!” We all rolled forward, firing as we moved. Rockets and tracer rounds came at us from all over. Bullets were flying everywhere. I was on the top deck with the M60. On the tank beside me my counterpart, a guy from Dakota, Washington, was dancing away. Bullets flying all around. I thought, “He’s fucking gone.” At the end of the battle we counted 14 to 15 holes in his clothes. Not a scratch on him. That’s the way it played out. He was off his head on drugs. As for the poor devil from Kentucky, his track got hit. They were nearly all killed. The whole unit had to pull back. All night long we could hear them calling: “Help, help.” Awful shit. On May 30, the tanks and the APCs were all in the rice paddies at Đức Hòa, a rural district in the Mekong Delta region. There was an intense fire fight. Nearly everybody ran out of ammunition. The Captain was standing with a prisoner. He said to us, “There’s four APCs out there and there’s nine of our wounded in them. We need two or three guys to go out there and get them.” He looked at me. I got my M16 and headed out with Staff Sargeant Francis Hinnigan. It was like wading through mud. Next thing Hinnigan went down. Machine gun fire zeroed in on where we were. He was hit in the shoulder and leg. I kept going; bullets were whizzing all around. I got


hit. But I got there. There were nine guys wounded, some of them were in bits – legs and other parts missing. Another guy was wounded, but he was able to give me a hand. We got them all into a track (M113 APC). I got into the front and drove them out of there, all the time under fire.

caught malaria in mid-June that year. They flew me out of the jungle. I was so sick. By the time I got to hospital and they did tests, the malaria had gone into relapse so nothing showed up. Back on a chopper I was put and sent back to my unit. Within 12 hours I’d passed out. I was sent from hospital to hospital; Long Bihn hospital, Alaska, and then Valley Forge. I wouldn’t wish malaria on anyone. My temperature was so high my brain should have been cooked! I never returned to Vietnam after that. Colonel Gorder was replaced on July 15, by none other than Colonel George S. Patton Jr., he son of General George S. Patton IV of World War II fame. Colonel Patton requested that the regiment test the M551 Sheridan. 1st Squadron were the first to use the new tank. While all this was happening, I was in hospital. My military service was effectively over and I was “separated out” on disability on August 29, 1968. I went back to work for the fur company in Chicago. My boss’s son had gotten killed in a car accident while I was away. He couldn’t understand how I’d survived Vietnam and his son gets killed in a car crash. He was miserable. I worked for a bit with my brother in Indiana, got in trouble with the law. I eventually made my way to London where I worked as an electrician. In 1972, I spent a year in Saudi Arabia working on power plants. We were pulled out when the 1973 Arab-Israeli War broke out. Christmas 1973, I was broke. Wandering the streets, I looked up and saw a sign for Bank Line Shipping. Days later I was on a flight to Panama to meet my ship. That was another adventure. I was not the same guy after Vietnam. One thing stays with you after you have been in a battle – you never want to be in another one. For a least five or six years after the war I was a headbanger. I can’t remember mostly what I was doing. I didn’t give a shit about anything and I couldn’t remember anything. My head was a right mess. It still lingers.



ichael returned to Ireland in 1979. He became a founding member of the JFK Post, American Legion (Dublin), in 1996, he is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Irish Veterans, American Veterans of Vietnam and the Blackhorse 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Association. Michael later took a case against the U.S. government over the effects of Agent Orange. (Agent Orange was a chemical used to defoliate the jungles in Vietnam). He lives today in Jenkinstown, County Meath, with his wife Libby, two sons, Thomas and Michael, and their daughter, Vanessa.



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wild women | Carmel Snow


Fashionista One of the most extraordinary fashion editors of all time was an immigrant from Ireland.

By Rosemary Rogers


he Irish don’t spring to mind when discussing fashionistas, women such as Anna Wintour or her flamboyant forerunner, Diana Vreeland. And it was Vreeland who elevated fashion editors to iconic status but who hired her? Carmel Snow, an immigrant from Ireland and editor of Harper’s Bazaar strode onto the dance floor of the St. Regis in 1936 and offered Diana a job – just because she liked her outfit. Carmel was fashion’s most powerful voice from the 1930s to the 1950s but her reign was before editors were celebrities and she sank into obscurity. She was born Carmel White in Dalkey in 1887. The family firm was to represent Irish craft in the Chicago World Fair but Carmel’s father died suddenly. Days after his death, Annie, his wife and mother of six, was sailing, solo, across the Atlantic to manage the Irish Village at the fair. Selling lace hankies soon proved too small-time for the ambitious widow, and she opened a dress store in Chicago, where Carmel got her start in fashion. Then Chicago became too small-town for Annie, so she packed her brood and moved to New York where she opened another upmarket store. Her mother brought Carmel to the Paris shows as her daughter was gifted with “ocular total recall” – once she saw a design, every detail became embedded in her memory, allowing her to copy it back in New York. The fashion spy fell in love with Paris with



an amour éternel that never faded. The Whites, proudly Irish Catholic with brogues intact, were successes in New York, then still the bastion of Park Avenue Protestants. Annie’s business thrived and she acquired a new husband. Her son Tom White became an executive in the Hearst Organization. Another son, Victor, decorated the Roof Ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel. Carmel and her sister went into the magazine world. With the outbreak of WWI, Carmel joined the Red Cross, ostensibly to tend to doughboys, but really just to be away from her mother and especially to be back in Paris. In 1921, the writer who usually covered the Paris shows fell sick and Carmel stepped, or rather dived, in. Her report so impressed publisher Condé Nast that he hired her as an assistant editor at Vogue. Nast became Carmel’s mentor and taught her the magazine business. She was his pet, which earned her the jealousy of her immediate supervisor, Edna Chase Best, and weirdly, that of her mother. Annie, for some perverse reason, would call Carmel at work, taunting her, predicting her success at Vogue wouldn’t last. Edna, who demanded all women wear hats in the office, found Carmel too much of a free spirit. Carmel exhibited the behavior that stayed with her throughout her career – a tiny dynamo running at warp speed, always in a restless chase for the new and the next. She apparently didn’t need sleep or food and never stopped working, even having her secretary follow her into the rest room to take dictation. Through it all, she remained divinely chic. Her frenetic spirit paid off – she brought a new, bold look to Vogue, even putting the work of surrealist Man Ray on the cover. She worked closely with legendary photographer Edward Steichen, who brought his pictorial realism to the magazine, and the two revolutionized fashion photography. It was all too much for Edna. She reneged her promise to retire, and wouldn’t allow Carmel to be editor-inchief. Carmel, in turn, was chafing under Edna’s dominance; it reminded her of working under her likewise territorial and envious mother. In 1926, Miss White became Mrs. Snow or, oddly, Carmel White Snow, when she married George Palen Snow, a country squire, horseman, and mulcher. Stuttering and bumbling aside, “Snowie”

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TOP: Carmel Snow, born Carmel White in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, was the influential editor of the American edition of Harper's Bazaar from 1933 to 1958. LEFT: The Roof Ballroom of the New York St. Regis Hotel where Carmel discovered Diana Vreeland. The Ballroom was decorated by her brother Victor White.

was a catch for this Irish immigrant; his pedigree put Carmel in the Social Register. Snowie had no problem with Carmel continuing her career, since it allowed him to continue his career of not working. Married at 39, Carmel wasted no time in having three children, all girls, in rapid succession. Motherhood was barely a blip on her career screen. She was back to work straight out of the hospital, leaving her babies with a nanny and, presumably, Snowie. Theatre critic Kenneth Tynan once described Carmel as “half-Incan and half-Irish” and in 1936, her mythic Incan side took over. Nast, aware that Carmel’s brother Tom was at Hearst, Condé Nast’s fierce rival, asked Carmel to promise that she would never leave Vogue for Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar. She promised. Soon afterward, while still in the hospital after giving birth, Carmel accepted the Hearst offer. Nast took her defection personally, writing “Your treacherous act will cling to you and your conscience.” Carmel, her mother’s daughter, never looked back. Nast surely entertained some schadenfreude in discovering that Carmel went on to make Hearst’s life miserable, forcing him to howl in a memo, “Does anyone have any control over Mrs. Snow? I KNOW I don’t.” On the down low, Carmel learned that King Edward VIII planned to abdicate, so she immediately commissioned a photograph of Wallis Simpson in a chic Chinese jacket. Mrs. Simpson’s picture sailed off to New York, only to be snatched by Hearst who wanted the picture of the of world’s most famous woman to run, first, in his newspapers. Carmel stormed into Hearst’s office “like a little Irish firecracker” and nabbed the picture, which premiered… in her magazine.

When Carmel joined Harper’s Bazaar, it was a fusty, financially failing rag with none of the cachet of Vogue. As Harper’s editor-in-chief, she was finally able to re-fashion fashion magazines. Harper’s Bazaar became a reflection of Carmel and her oftrepeated vision of creating a magazine for “a welldressed woman with a well-dressed mind.” She presumed that her audience was like her, intelligent, independent and not chained to domesticity. Under Carmel Snow, art, literature, and journalism converged in the most unlikely of places – a fashion magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar became the most popular publication of its day. In 1933, she created a new way to feature clothing by moving the fashion shoot outdoors and putting the models, no longer just mannequins, in motion. She and her art director, the great Alexey Brodovitch, re-invented magazine design with interaction between text and pictures, white space and images that seemed to jump at the reader. She introduced photographers Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Richard Avedon, who later claimed, “Carmel Snow taught me everything I know.” During World War II, she and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson snuck into occupied France to get images of the destruction there since, as Carmel said, “people at home really have no idea of what war is.” She ran the photographs in two issues, educating readers on war, but integrated CartierBresson’s photos with the regular content. It was effective. Carmel made fashion seem not trivial, but beauty surviving in a world of suffering. Just as she wasn’t afraid of surrealism, she wasn’t afraid of realism. Ahead of her time on civil rights, she hired photojournalist Walker Evans to shoot picture-essays on African Americans – domestic servants, housing projects and poverty. She famously, and against Heart’s orders (“I won’t have that nigger in my living room!”), ran a picture of Marion Anderson, the great contralto. Colleagues adored her, finding Carmel a warm and witty but very bossy chief executive. Once photographer George HoyningenHuene showed her a “private” portrait of Greta Garbo, one he promised would never be published. “I don’t care,” she announced to her staff, “if George rots in jail. I’m running this picture.” More than anything else, Carmel’s Irish love of literature prompted her to give greatest weight to the writers. The “the well-dressed mind” could read, in Harper’s pages, Virginia Woolf, Truman Capote, Janet Flanner, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Marcel Proust, and members of the Algonquin Round Table. Harper’s Bazaar was now the one with cachet; it was “racy” and intimate, while Vogue was considered dowdy and suburban. Carmel had won. Her most famous hire for Bazaar was a woman as outrageous as she was gifted. When Carmel Snow hired Diana Vreeland, Mrs. Vreeland fauxOCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 IRISH AMERICA 71

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wild women |

Carmel Snow

“Fashion is an element as mysterious as uranium and just as explosive, but lighter than air.” – Carmel Snow


ABOVE: Carmel Snow with Coco Chanel.

protested, “But, Mrs. Snow, I’ve never worked before,” to which Carmel replied, “Well, why don’t you try it?” She did and soon was keeping up with Carmel’s 24/7 work days, rail-thin body, and aversion to food. Carmel, formerly the wild child under straight-laced Edna, was now the blue-haired matron charged with bringing the outrageous Diana down to earth. It was Carmel/Edna Redux as the much younger protégé stole all the vroom in the room. Later, Diana echoed her mentor, but in reverse, and left Harper’s for Vogue. Throughout her regime, Carmel’s opinion was absolute and as the high priestess of fashion, she gave the first live broadcasts from the Paris shows. Her instincts were said to be infallible – she would doze off at collections only to awaken when the right dress passed by. In 1947, at Dior’s famous fashion show introducing his radical line, Carmel sat, freezing, in her usual front row seat. The show over, the stunned audience remained mute until Carmel stood up and loudly baptized the collection, “Your dresses have such a new look!” World War II had left fashion, France’s second largest industry, moribund. Carmel worked hard to bring it back to life, championing its designers in the U.S., particularly Dior and Chanel. Her advocacy of the New Look made it the template for postwar design. Paris was back on top of the fashion world, to stay forever. Carmel similarly “made” the restaurant, Le Pavilion, by glamorizing it with her presence and those of her world-famous lunch guests. Waiters knew she would eschew food (unless jellied consommé counts as food) for a three-martini lunch, the first drink gulped down while the following two were sipped slowly with her characteristic elegance. She also “made” Cristóbal Balenciaga, dressing in his suits exclusively. By the end of his first show, she was championing him, loudly, and turned over Harper’s Paris issue to his collection. And, she was totally smitten with him, believing he returned her love. “Ours is an intuitive relationship that simply ignores the language barrier.” He may have supported her delusion when he designed a suit especially for her, one that accommodated her lack of a neck. Unknown to Carmel, everyone found the relationship comic, since Balenciaga, though closeted, was gay and in love with his milliner. The third act of Carmel’s life was a tragic free fall.


Cecil Beaton, whose work she introduced, repaid her patronage by announcing (accurately) she had begun to look like a fox terrier. After turning 70 in 1957, she was forced out at Harper’s, replaced by her niece Nancy, considered a dud by all including her aunt. Carmel despaired. She assumed she would be at Harper’s forever since it was, after all, her life. Her marriage was in name only, and her daughters openly resented their absentee mother. It was only when she was seated behind the cash register in the “Siberia” of Le Pavilion that she realized how far she had fallen from her perch. Truman Capote felt the restaurant’s treatment of Carmel threw “the meanness of New York” into relief. He was right. On her last Paris trip she called herself a “consultant” and wrangled an invitation to a party at the Rothschild estate. There she had a lot, a big lot, to drink, sat on a stairway and… relieved herself. Word of the incident, as it were, leaked out and even her most devoted fans, Parisians, thought her behavior profane, while Americans found it merely amusing. In any event, she was finished. Her last chance, she decided, was to go back to Ireland. Carmel bought a mansion in County Mayo and began writing her memoirs embracing Ireland. But, as her biographer Penelope Rowlands explained, “She loved the Irish countryside, but I think she was lonely. She thought there would be a flood of people arriving through on the way to the Paris collections, but nobody ever came.” Hearing that Snowie was dying, she returned to New York in 1961, but it was Carmel who, at age 73, soon died in her sleep. She was laid out wearing a red brocade Balenciaga suit and would have been delighted by her absolutely fabulous New York funeral, a return to her former glory. She would have loved, too, Parisians celebrating her with a tearful funeral mass honoring the love and loyalty she gave them during their darkest hour. But Carmel would have been indifferent to Snowie’s miraculous recovery and instant re-marriage to a beefy, horsy woman seldom out of hunting clothes. He was always a lousy dresser. It made sense that Carmel Snow refused to wear seat belts on planes, since she spent her life refusing limitations, never doing what was expected of a woman. She had a big career when few women even worked. An Irish immigrant, she triumphed in the WASPy world of fashion when the signs, “No Irish Need Apply,” were still around. Decades after her death, her groundbreaking influence is everywhere in the photography, writing and design of fashion magazines. Today she remains anonymous. But, leave it to the French – in 1949, the Irish girl from Dalkey received the Légion d’Honneur from the French government for “…her long friendship for France, and her influence in re-establishing French design in the United States.” That tribute was all the legacy IA she ever wanted.

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General Armstrong Custer

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, the most significant engagement of the Great Sioux War of 1876, saw the defeat of General Armstrong Custer and his soldiers of the 7th Cavalry (many of them Irish) by a battalion of united Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes.


Custer’s Last Rally By Geoffrey Cobb

ew people know the pain of being dispossessed of their land better than the Irish, but tragically in the 1870s, thousands of impoverished Irish immigrants ended up enlisting in American armies that were fighting to push Native Americans off their land. Irishmen fought and died in the most iconic conflict between Native Americans and the United States Army at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana. The defeat of the General Custer’s 7th Cavalry by Native Americans on June 25, 1876 has


become legendary. Many people know the story of Custer’s defeat, but few are aware of the role the Irish played in fighting the battle, and in creating the most famous painting of it. One hundred and three Irish soldiers perished on that fateful day, and yet another Irishman, John Mulvany, realizing the popularity a canvas of the battle would create, painted his iconic “Custer’s Last Rally,” which remains today one of the most celebrated paintings of the American West. In the 1870s, the hard and dangerous life as a trooper in the American cavalry was still the best option for many poor, newly arrived Irish immi-

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grants. In 1875, Custer’s 7th Cavalry was full of Irish immigrants when gold was discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the sacred ground to the Lakota. The Irish soldiers must have known the danger they faced when the United States claimed the land and invaded it, despite treaties the American government had signed with the Lakota, guaranteeing them its ownership. The military’s armed incursion into the area led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations, joining the rebel leaders, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans were camped along the Little Bighorn River – defying a War Department order to return to their reservations and setting the stage for the famous battle. The charismatic General George Armstrong Custer and almost 600 troops of the 7th Cavalry rode into the Little Bighorn Valley, determined to


attack the native encampments. Riding with Custer were over 100 Irishmen, ranging in rank from newly recruited troopers, many of whom could barely control their mounts, to Captain Myles Keough, a heroic veteran of the Civil War from County Carlow. There were 15 Irish sergeants and three Irish corporals in Custer’s command, the backbone of his noncommissioned officers. Today, we picture General Custer wearing his trademark buckskin jacket – it was sewn by an Irishman, Sergeant Jeremiah Finley from Tipperary, the regiment’s tailor. The song of the 7th Cavalry was another Irish influence. Just prior to Custer’s arrival in Fort Riley, Kansas, where he took command of the 7th Cavalry, Custer ran into an Irish trooper who, “under the influence of spirits,” was singing “Garryowen,” an Irish song. Custer loved the melody and began to hum the catchy tune to himself. Custer made it the official song of the 7th Cavalry

ABOVE: John Mulvany’s “Custer’s Last Rally” was the first and perhaps best-known renderings of the battle that took place on the Little Bighorn River on June 25, 1876, in what is now eastern Montana.



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ABOVE: Brevet Lt. Colonel Myles Keough 7th Calvary Regiment. Born March 25, 1840, Keough fought in Italy during the 1860 Papal War before volunteering for the Union side in the American Civil War. He was killed with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. ABOVE RIGHT: Lt. Colonel Myles Keogh’s horse, Comanche, survived the battle, but Lt. Keough did not. RIGHT: Mulvany’s “Scouts of the Yellowstone,” 1877.

and it was the last song played before Custer and his men separated from General Terry’s column at the Powder River and rode off into history. Before the battle, the famed Lakota warrior Sitting Bull had a vision in which he saw many soldiers, “as thick as grasshoppers,” falling upside down into the Lakota camp, which his people saw as a foreshadowing of a major victory in which a large number of soldiers would be killed. Custer, however, blinded by ego and visions of glory, made a reckless decision to attack the huge gathering of Native Americans, saying, ironically, “Boys, hold your horses, there are plenty down there for us all.” Foolishly splitting his command into three units, Custer tried in vain to attack and envelop the largest concentration of Native American fighters ever to face the American Army. The first assault against the Native American encampment was launched shortly after noon by three companies – 140 officers and men – led by Major Marcus Reno, whose men attacked along the valley floor towards the far end of the camp. Thrown back with many casualties, the 76 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

survivors scrambled meekly for their lives to the top of a hill. Custer, with five companies totaling more than 200 men, advanced along the ridgeline, commanding the river valley on its eastern side. He further divided this force into two groups, one of them led by Captain Keogh. There is debate about what occurred when Custer engaged the Native American forces just after 3 p.m. because the general and all his men were killed, so no one from Custer’s command could tell their tragic tale. Archaeological evidence suggests that Keogh PHOTO: HERITAGE AUCTIONS and his men fought bravely, being killed while trying to reach Custer’s final position after the right wing collapsed. On June 27, 1876, members of Gen. Terry’s column reached the Little Bighorn battlefield and began identifying bodies. Keogh was found with a small group of his men and his was one of the few bodies that had not been mutilated, apparently owing to a papal or religious medal that he wore about his neck (Keough had once served in the in the Battalion of St. Patrick, Papal Army). Although Captain Keough did not survive the battle, his horse, Comanche, did. The horse, spared by the Native American fighters for its heroism, recovered from its serious wounds and was falsely honored as the lone survivor of the battle (many other U.S. Army horses also survived). Comanche was retired with honors by the United States Army and lived on another 15 years. When Comanche died he was stuffed, and to this day remains in a glass case at the University of Kansas. Americans, shocked and angered by the defeat of Custer and his men, demanded retaliation. And they



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got it. Soon after, over a 1,000 U.S. troops under the leadership of General Ranald Mackenzie opened fire on a sleeping village of Cheyenne, killing many in the first few minutes. They burned all the Cheyenne’s winter food and slit the throats of their horses. The survivors, half naked, faced an 11-day walk north to Crazy Horse’s camp of Oglalas. The victory at Little Big Horn marked the beginning of the end of the Native Americans’ ability to resist the U.S. government, but 37-year-old John Mulvany from County Meath saw opportunity in the tragedy. Mulvany arrived in America as a 12year-old. He went to art school in New York City and became an assistant of famed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady. He later covered the Civil War as a sketch artist for a Chicago newspaper, developing an amazing ability to capture battlefields on canvas. Mulvany knew that a painting of the fight would be a sensation. He visited the battlefield twice and also found Sitting Bull in Canada so that his painting could capture the battle. Mulvany finished the epic 11 ft. x 20 ft. canvas in 1881, which was hailed as a masterpiece, and began a 17-year tour of the United States. The canvas made Mulvany the toast of Chicago, but his good fortune would not last. Mulvany eventually sold his painting and ended up destitute in Brooklyn, where he drowned in the East River in 1909 in what many labeled a suicide. Mulvany quickly became forgotten, but not the fame of his great canvas, which recently sold for $25 million. Sitting Bull would have more contact with the Irish. After the battle of the Little Bighorn, he became a star attraction in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. He gave away huge amounts of the money he earned from the show to the indigent and returned to the Standing Rock Reservation in 1881. In 1890, fearing that he was involved in planning another uprising, Indian Service agent James McLaughlin ordered his arrest. Sitting Bull was IA killed during the attempt.

S TOP: John Mulvany, who is know for his paintings of the American West and in particular “Custer's Last Rally,” also painted “The Battle of Aughrim,” in 1885, which was exhibited in Dublin in 2010. The battle, fought between the Jacobite and the Williamites forces in Aughrim, County Galway on July 12, 1699, it was one of the bloodiest battles in Ireland’s history, over 7,000 killed. The battle marked the end of Jacobitism in Ireland, a movement that aimed to restore the Roman Catholic Stuart King James II of England and Ireland (as James VII in Scotland) to the throne. ABOVE: Artist John Mulvany.

itting Bull (Thathánka Iyotake) a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people against government policies. He was killed by Bureau of Indian Affairs agents on the Standing Rock Reservation during an attempt to arrest him. Months after their victory at the battle of Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull and his group left the United States for Wood Mountain, North-West Territories (now Saskatchewan), where he remained until 1881, at which time he and most of his band returned to U.S. territory and surrendered to U.S. forces. A small remnant of his band under Waŋblí Ǧi decided to stay at Wood Mountain. After working as a performer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, Sitting Bull returned to the Standing Rock Agency in South Dakota. Because of fears that he would use his influence to support the Ghost Dance movement in another uprising, Indian Affairs agent James McLaughlin at Fort Yates ordered his arrest, resulting in Sitting Bull’s death in December 1890. McLaughlin, born in Ontario, Canada in 1841, and married to a Mdewakanton woman of mixedblood, would later pen a memoir in 1910 called My Friend the Indian, about his time at the bureau. TOP: Sitting Bull, Montreal, 1885. LEFT: James McLaughlin. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 IRISH AMERICA 77

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Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney has made a new documentary investigating the 1994 Loughinisland Massacre in County Down that killed six, and for which there were no arrests. By Tom Deignan

The Heights Bar, where the massacre took place. “I hope there are arrests as a result of this,” director Alex Gibney told Irish America.


any Irish on both sides of the Atlantic have vivid memories of June 18, 1994. It was on that sunny afternoon, at what was then called Giants Stadium in New Jersey, when the Republic of Ireland stunned Italy with a 1-0 victory in the first round of World Cup play. What may not be as well remembered, 23 years after this historic victory, is that the World Cup win was not even the lead story in many Irish newspapers the following day. That’s because also on June 18, on an isolated road in County Down, armed men wearing masks walked into a pub and sprayed the room with bullets, killing six of the patrons who sat sipping pints and discussing the World Cup match. Another five were wounded. The Ulster Volunteer Force – pro-


British Protestant paramilitaries – eventually claimed responsibility for the killings. The UVF said the pub was targeted because it was a known hangout for Catholics, and that the killings were retaliation for earlier shootings by the Irish National Liberation Army. What came to be called the “Loughinisland Massacre” severely dampened what should have been a gleeful day for the Irish all over the world. It was a reminder that, while there was some hope for peace in the early 1990s, Northern Ireland’s sectarian troubles were far from over. Worse, no arrests followed the gruesome killings. The victims’ families were left with terrible questions about who would have done such a thing to people who had no involvement in the North’s paramilitary sectarian struggles.

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he Loughinisland killings, and the subsequent botched police investigation, are the subject of an explosive new film by Oscar- and Emmy-award winning documentarian Alex Gibney. The film, entitled, No Stone Unturned, was screened at the recent New York and London film festivals, and will hit theaters on November 10. Gibney and his team of researchers in Northern Ireland have uncovered shocking new information about not only the killers, but about law enforcement authorities in both Britain and Northern Ireland. “I hope there are arrests as a result of this,” Gibney told Irish America in a recent interview. “I think we make a pretty compelling case that there should be.” He adds: “The people we’re naming…. If we’re right, they killed a lot of people.” Gibney’s documentary comes just over a year after Northern Ireland police ombudsman Michael Maguire released a damning report, and declared, “I have no hesitation in saying collusion (between loyalist killers and British police officials) was a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders.” Gibney discussed the making of No Stone Unturned, as well his some of his other acclaimed films, such as Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, while seated in his office in downtown Manhattan. “I feel like we solved the mystery,” said Gibney, an Irish American who was raised Catholic in Massachusetts. Initially, Gibney adds, he was merely interested in telling the story of the Loughinisland families, who spent decades grieving, with no answers about who might have killed their loved ones. “There was a kind of melancholy in (the families)... a haunting melancholy,” notes Gibney. “It’s hard to move on when you feel there is something so brutal that happened to you and you don’t know why.” Gibney first tackled the Loughinisland massacre in a short documentary made for ESPN’s acclaimed “30 for 30” series. But once that was completed, so many questions remained in Gibney’s mind that he wanted to take a longer look. “I’m Irish American. I’m interested in that part of PHOTO: COURTESY LOUGHINISLAND FILMS


the world and I’ve always been interested in the Troubles.” He adds: “And I’ve always been intrigued by mystery. Why this bar? Why this remote section of the country, which had little connection to the Troubles, or so we thought at the time.… We found out a lot of stuff we didn’t expect to find.”

t was not the first time Gibney’s work has taken him to Ireland. He also went there as part of the research for his dark epic Mea Maxima Culpa, perhaps the most comprehensive look at the pedophile scandal which rocked Ireland, America, and Catholic parishes all over the world. First aired on HBO, Mea Maxima Culpa won three primetime Emmy Awards as well as an Irish Film and Television Award. Going Clear, another HBO project, also won three Emmys in 2015. The highly-prolific Gibney also won an Academy Award for Taxi to the Dark Side (2007), while his Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer was nominated for an Oscar. Other Gibney films include We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, The Amstrong Lie, and, more recently, Zero Days (2016), which explores the frightening world of cyber warfare. “Whenever I dig into some story, I go in with my eyes open. Maybe I’ll find out some stuff people didn’t know about before,” said Gibney. Whatever viewers already do or don’t know about Loughinisland, one aspect of No Stone Unturned will certainly seem familiar to Irish Americans. “This is very much a Whitey Bulger kind of story,” said Gibney, noting that police informants who end up beyond the control of their handlers – as notorious Boston Irish mobster Whitey Bulger did – are central to the story. “One, possibly two, members of the gang who committed this atrocity were informants for the British Government” Gibney adds. Gibney’s revelations should not only jar authorities in Belfast, but may also send shockwaves down the corridors of power in London. “People in Great Britain will be sensitive to this because it involves collusion and government malfeasance. And secrets. Northern Ireland, like South Africa, like the West Bank, is a place where sectarian or racial violence has existed for a long time. The question is always, how do you move forward? But there’s also, how do you reckon with the



“You couldn’t have picked any more innocent [people],” says Aiden O’Toole, the pub’s bartender that evening, who himself was wounded.

No Stone Unturned director Alex Gibney.


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past? That was one of the issues that drew me to this.” This story, Gibney believes, also has deep relevance in the U.S. as well. “America is still dealing very much with its past in regards to slavery and racial justice.” As much as No Stone Unturned is a gripping exposé, it is also a meditation on history and conflict, on healing and not being able to heal. As the film notes, the Loughinisland killings happened at a time when there was actually hope for an TOP: A banner commemorating the six who died in the shooting.

end to the violence that had gripped Northern Ireland for three decades, and the island of Ireland for centuries. In 1994, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams had already been granted a controversial visa by President Bill Clinton’s administration, with hope that a visit to the U.S. might seal the Northern Ireland peace process. By early 1994, the IRA had even announced a “temporary cessation of hostilities.” There would be more death and destruction in the North, as negotiations ground on, and warring factions on both the nationalist and loyalist sides returned to violence. But by April of 1998, the Good Friday agreement was announced, eliciting cheers from large swaths of the entire island of Ireland. Amidst the celebrations, however, there remained darkness. There was the infamous Real IRA bombing in Omagh in 1998, which left 29 people dead. Then there was the lingering pain of those who lost loved ones in Loughinisland. Watching Gibney’s film makes you realize that for all of the joy the Good Friday agreements brought, they could not heal all of the wounds in Northern Ireland. “Tremendous progress has been made,” Gibney notes. “But the markers of history are still clear in 80 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

BOTTOM: Flowers mark the grave of one of the victims.



LEFT: The families of the victims, including Aidan O’Toole, a teenage bartender who was injured on the night of the shooting.

Northern Ireland.” Gibney then – noting the author is appropriately Irish American – quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald, from The Great Gatsby. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Gibney pauses, then adds, “If you don’t reckon with the past, it’s going to come back to haunt you.” No Stone Unturned is an important step towards closing a very dark chapter in Northern Ireland’s IA history.

See page over for more on this story.

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Dr. Michael Maguire, police ombudsman for Northern Ireland, who finally came through for the families of the victims.

Dr. Michael Maguire, the Northern Ireland police official who acknowledged that the families of the victims were treated with “indifference, and neglect.”



he victims’ families of the Loughinisland Massacre may be the emotional center of Alex Gibney’s stunning new documentary No Stone Unturned. But by the time the film builds to its climax, a Northern Ireland police official named Dr. Michael Maguire serves as the film’s moral compass. Dr. Maguire currently serves as the police ombudsman for Northern Ireland, a position he has held since 2012. The office was established in 2000 following the Good Friday agreements in an effort to bring more accountability to Northern Ireland law enforcement, long a source for tension between the North’s Catholics and Protestants. Towards the end of No Stone Unturned, at an emotional press conference packed with family

members who lost loved ones in the 1994 attack on the Heights Bar in Loughinisland, Dr. Maguire essentially acknowledges that the families have been victimized yet again by the police. Maguire eventually went on to say that previous investigations into this heinous crime were “characterized, in too many instances, by incompetence, indifference, and neglect.” For nearly a decade and a half, the Loughinisland families questioned how the police handled the investigation, and wondered if there was some level of collusion between Loyalist paramilitary groups and police in Northern Ireland. In 2012, former ombudsman Al Hutchinson released a report which criticized the police but ar-


gued there was not sufficient evidence to support charges of collusion. Many critics, however, charged that it was the Hutchinson investigation which was insufficient. The families eventually filed a lawsuit; soon after Hutchinson resigned. When Dr. Maguire took over the office, it might have been easier to avoid the entire thorny issue of Loughinisland and collusion. Instead, he dove back in and came to a very different conclusion. “I have no hesitation in saying collusion was a significant feature of the Loughinisland murders,” Dr. Maguire has said. His office found that police identified suspects within a day of the killings yet delayed arrests; that police looked the other way when evidence suggested an officer warned suspects of looming arrests; that some suspects served as informants for the British government; and that key evidence was mishandled, and even destroyed. In an interview with Irish America, filmmaker Alex Gibney said that history will prove Dr. Maguire to be a key figure, not just in Irish history but global history. “I see Michael Maguire in a broader, international context,” said Gibney, referring to other hot spots for tension and violence in the world, such as South Africa or the Middle East, where the past is nearly as difficult to deal with as the present, because so many questions about remembering and forgetting, hurt and healing, are easy to avoid. “Michael Maguire made it his job to reckon with these questions.” Grieving loved ones have added that confronting what really happened in Loughinisland is a necessary step in the North’s long-term peace process. “Today we have got the truth,” Moira Casement, niece of Loughinisland victim Barney Green, was quoted as saying, following Dr. Maguire’s press conference. “This ombudsman's office factual report gives no hesitation in unambiguously determining that collusion was a significant feature in the Loughinisland murders.” The next step? According to barman Aidan O’Toole, who was injured in the shooting: “We all deserve and demand justice from the British government, who are ultimately responsible.” – Tom Deignan

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roots | by Olivia O’Mahony

The Remarkable Ryans G

TOP: Privateer Captain Luke Ryan. BOTTOM: Irene Ryan, in character as The Beverly Hillbillies’ Granny.

iven its status as one of the ten most numerous surnames in Ireland, the name Ryan is recognizable to most people as a telltale indicator of green in the veins. Less commonly known, however, is the fact that the great majority of these Ryans are actually O’Mulryans, an earlier form of the name that has been buried away over time. More unusual source names for Ryan are Ó Riagháin (in modern Irish, Ó Riain), meaning “descendant of Rían”; Ó Maoilriain, “descendant of Maoilriaghain”; or Ó Ruaidhín, “descendant of the little red one.” The multiplicity of the name’s sources stems from the Middle Ages, a time in which the spelling of one’s name was made malleable by the local English official’s understanding and ability to pronounce it. As a result, the recorded spelling of a name could change multiple times over the course of an individual’s lifetime. The first appearance of Ryan as we now spell it was in County Tipperary in the 13th century. While some sources say the family claim descent from the Heremon Kings of Ireland through the MacMurrough line, specifically Eoghan, who was ancestor of O’Righin, anglicized Mulraine, O’Ryan, Ryan, and Ryne, others insist that they were descended from Ó Maolriain, located in Owney, which forms two modern baronies on the borders of counties Limerick and Tipperary. Both authorities were chief heralds of Ireland in their own time, so regardless of which lineage study is more accurate, the family’s war cry motto of Malo mori quam fodari, “I would rather die than be disgraced,” is fitting. The Robin Hood-esque romantic character Eamonn an Chnoic, or “Ned of the Hill,” bore the true name Éamonn Ó Riain (Edmund O’Ryan) and supposedly lived in County Tipperary from 1670 – 1724. Legend has it that, like many others, the aristocratic O’Ryan became a rapparee, or outlaw, after the confiscation of Irish Catholic land in the Act Settlement of 1652 following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The story goes that his life of banditry began the day he shot a tax collector dead in defense of a destitute woman and her livelihood, a cow which was in danger of confiscation. Although there exists no positive proof of O’Ryan’s existence, the rumors of his exploits were at least impactful enough that he was mentioned in a 1684 pamphlet alongside four other real-life leaders of rapparee gangs, calling for William of Orange to be over-


thrown in favor of James II, who was a Catholic. O’Ryan is embedded in Irish cultural memory by a traditional ballad which bears his alias, “Eamonn an Chnoic,” and has been recorded by many artists in both Irish and English. While traditionally a slow, mournful tune, its lyrics were adapted to a quicker tempo in 1989 by Irish group the Pogues, who called it “Young Ned of the Hill.” A segment of the ballad emphasizes O’Ryan’s bravery: There’s some of us have deemed to fight From Tipperary mountains high Noble men with wills of iron Who are not afraid to die Who’ll fight with Gaelic honor held on high.

Another prominent figure is Luke Ryan (1750 – 1789) from Rush, County Dublin, who first served as an officer in the Irish Brigade before turning to the profitable life of a privateer, using subterfuge to gain the confidence of his moneymakers. In 1778, the Friendship, the smuggling vessel upon which Ryan was stationed with 60 other Rush men, was converted to a privateering operation with Ryan as a minority owner. When the ship returned to Ireland carrying contraband goods, the revenue defined both Ryan and his cousin Wilde as “piratical smugglers.” The ship was arrested and its crew taken into custody, barring Ryan, who was not on board at the time. Wilde broke out of the Black Dog Prison in Dublin and reclaimed the Friendship, sailing to Rush to collect Luke. They traveled to France, renaming the ship the Black Prince, with Ryan in command and Wilde as his officer. Later, President Benjamin Franklin commissioned the ship as an American privateer with an American letter of marque. Officially, Ryan was never listed as captain due to American regulations, but he quickly rose to fame, having ransomed a total of seventy-six masters of British vessels and exchanged 161 merchant seamen during his twoyear career. However, by 1780 Irish privateers operating under American commissions had become a source of political irritation for the French government and a point of concern for Franklin. By this time, Ryan had acquired French citizenship and considered himself safe from British prosecution, but was unaware when Franklin decided to revoke his

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American commission and letter of marque. He was subsequently arrested and charged with mayhem, murder, mutiny, treason, and piracy against King George III. During his trial, Ryan never denied that he had committed acts of privateering, flying French and American colors while preying on British shipping in time of war. The main argument, interestingly, concerned his country of birth. If Ryan could prove he was French-born, English law had no bearing upon him and he would walk free. However, if Ryan’s Irish birthplace and subjecthood to the king was revealed, he would face execution. After three weeks, the truth came out and Ryan was found guilty, though was miraculously pardoned due to public outcry because of his popularity. But instead of walking free, he was trapped yet again by the debt he had accumulated during his defense trial. He wasn’t released from prison until 1784, and four years later was declared bankrupt and arrested for his inability to pay the doctor who had inoculated him against smallpox. He died of septicemia in the King’s Prison in June 1789. Another fascinating bearer of this name was third class Titanic passenger Edward Ryan, who boarded the ill-fated ship at Cobh. Born in Ballynaveen, County Tipperary, he was travelling to reconvene with his sister in Troy, New York. On the night of the sinking, he managed to board a lifeboat, describing the scene later in a letter to his parents: “I had a towel round my neck. I just threw it over my head and left it hang in the back. I then walked very stiff past the officers, who had declared they’d shoot the first man that dare pass out. They didn’t notice me. They thought I was a woman. I grasped a girl who was standing by in despair, and jumped with her thirty feet into the boat.” Once safe, Edward realized that he still had his smoking pipe in a pocket. He then scrounged up enough tobacco to light it, much to the outrage of a lady of first class sitting beside him. The strong personalities of the Ryans remain undiluted by time, as evidenced by their powerful presence under today’s media spotlight. American actress, director and producer Meg Ryan (b. 1961) is a household name and has appeared in films such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail. American actress, singer, voice actress and comedian Roz Ryan (b. 1951) is wellknown for her part as Amelia Hetebrink in the television show Amen and for her voice role as Thalia, the Greek muse of comedy in the Disney film,

Hercules. Irish American vaudeville, radio, film, television and Broadway star Irene Ryan (1902 – 1973) was best known for her role as Granny in the long-running television show The Beverly Hillbillies. John Ryan (1921 – 2009) was a British animator and cartoonist, most famous for the children’s comic strip “Captain Pugwash.” Ryan’s Daughter , a 1970 romantic drama directed by David McLean and starring Sarah Miles (The Servant) and Robert Mitchum (Cape Fear), is an adaptation of Gustav Flaubert’s Madam Bovary and tells the story of a married Irish woman who has an affair with an English officer during World War I, despite the fury it stirs up in her nationalist community. It was the eighthhighest grossing film of its year of release. The Ryans are also a clan of great standing in the world of sports, particularly baseball. John Collins “Blondy” Ryan (1906 – 1959) played a starring role in the New York Giants’ 1933 World Series win; New Orleans native Cornelius Joseph “Connie” Ryan (1920 – 1996) was coach to the Texas Rangers; and former pitcher Nolan Ryan (b. 1947), nicknamed “The Ryan Express,” is an all-time leader in nohitters with seven, three more than any other player to date. Another significant Ryan sportsman was Paddy Ryan (1851 – 1900), the Irish American heavyweight champion boxer who was scouted by an athletic director while dealing with troublemakers in his saloon in Troy, New York. Bringing further regard to the name of Ryan is PwC’s U.S. chair and senior partner Tim Ryan (b. 1965), keynote speaker of this year’s 20th anniversary of Irish America’s Wall Street 50 awards dinner. Since assuming his current role last July, Ryan has spearheaded dialogues of race, diversity and inclusion in the business community – an essential venture in which he will doubtlessly continue to do his Ryan IA ancestors proud.

TOP: The last known photograph of the Titanic, leaving Cobh. CENTER: Meg Ryan. BOTTOM: Nolan Ryan.


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The Gentleman Who Pays The Rent W

Edythe Preet’s first of a two-part series on the Irish pig. TOP LEFT: For Irish farmers, pigs paid the rent. BELOW: A 1935 Irish half penny depicting a sow with piglets.

henever I travel to a place I have visited before, the first thing I do is make a beeline for a foodie treat found only there. In Hawaii, it’s Spam musubi, a sushi-like morsel of seaweed, rice and WWII’s famous canned meat. In Italy, it’s a slice of pepperoni pizza. In China, it’s a fluffy barbecued pork dumpling. In Ireland, as soon as I clear customs, I head for a snack vendor selling freshly baked sausage rolls. Clearly, pork is a primary ingredient in my favorite international treats. Not surprising, as pork dishes top the list of popular foods in many nations. And Ireland is no exception Pork has been a mainstay of the Irish diet for more than 7,000 years. At the world’s oldest farming community, Ceide Fields (County Mayo) and enigmatic Newgrange (County Meath), excavations revealing copious animal bones have confirmed that cattle and pigs were principal foods for the Neolithic Irish, with pig bones far outnumbering cattle. Ireland’s first pigs were actually wild boars that crossed to the island via a land bridge from Europe just as early humans did. These fierce tusked animals were afraid of nothing. In the Fenian tale “The

Pursuit of Diarmaid and Grainne,” a wild boar caused the death of the hero Diarmaid atop craggy Ben Bulben (County Sligo). In the old days a wild boar hunt proved a man’s valor and social rank as well. At the post-hunt feast, a leg was served to the king, a haunch to the queen, and the most valiant warrior received the succulent carath mhir, the “champion’s share.” Sometimes hunt fever extended into the meal. In the 9th century tale “Mac Datho’s Pig,” Cet mac Matach won supremacy over all Ireland by challenging the gathered men to “endure battle with me, or leave the pig for me to divide!” Once Ireland’s ancient people learned to farm, they domesticated cattle, sheep and pigs. Cattle provided meat, but were even more valuable for a continuous supply of dairy products. Sheep were prized for their meat and also their wool that was spun and woven into blankets and clothing. Both cattle and sheep were grazing animals and the herds were moved between pastures by cowherds and shepherds. Pigs, on the other hand, were raised primarily for meat, required little care and could eat almost anything. They foraged the vast Irish woodlands and from Lughnasa (August) to Samhain (November) feasted on beechnuts, acorns, hazelnuts, and chestnuts – tree foods that were plentiful in early autumn. Even though pigs were allowed to roam somewhat



n ancient Celtic mythology, the boar represented fighting spirit, bravery, command, and control. A challenge to all hunters, this creature was powerful, vicious, hard to kill, and a fearless fighter that refused to give up even when facing a tougher opponent. As such, bronze Celtic battle horns were often fashioned in the shape of a boar, and their sound infused warriors with strength, energy and protection from harm. In contrast, the sow, who always bore large litters of piglets, was revered as a mother-provider figure and represented fertility, sustenance, prosperity, and abundance. Saint Brigid, the Irish paragon of hospitality and generosity, is said to have kept a large breeding sow 86 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

at her abbey. In medieval illustrated manuscripts, sows are often depicted with their piglets and beechnuts, which the druids considered sacred. The boar was also an iconic Celtic archetype of overcoming death. In addition to their method of seeking food by digging into earth, the mythological entrance to the Underworld, wild pigs fed and fattened on the nuts of trees that, due to the way they shed their leaves in winter and grew new ones in spring, demonstrated the divine forces of rebirth. In this context, swineherds, who watched over the sacred pigs, were mystical links between the real world and the supernatural. Prior to his escape from slavery in

Ireland and introduction to Christian beliefs in Europe, Saint Patrick had served as a swineherd herding sheep and pigs. The 14th century Book of Rights contains a very old story called “Senchas Fagbala Caisil,” “The Founding of Cashel,” that tells how two swineherds had a vision that prophesied Patrick would return to Ireland and make Cashel the center of Irish Christianity: “While masting their swine… Durdru, swineherd of the king of Éle, and Cularán, swineherd of the king of Múscraige… beheld a form as bright as the sun… and it said: ‘A good man shall rule over lofty and venerable Cashel in the name of the Father and of the Son of the Virgin with the grace of the Holy Ghost’.”

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sláinte | good cheer

Roast Pork Loin

Note: In ancient times, a haunch of pork would be roasted over an open fire. Ovens and meat thermometers guarantee a perfect meal. (Personal recipe)

freely, left completely unguarded their “rooting” behavior could easily destroy farmland. The seventh century Brehon Laws frequently mention pigs. The damage they could cause was the worst of all farm animals and “for the trespass of a large pig in a growing field, the fine was one sack of wheat.” If pigs tore up grazing land, the laws required they must be penned “until two horses could graze without getting mud on their teeth”. The Brehon Laws didn’t just stipulate fines that would be imposed if swine went walk-about and misbehaved; they also required pigs to be “kept in fenced pens at night.” Like cattle, the number of pigs a chieftain owned represented a significant part of the royal assets. By preventing the pigs in his charge from straying too far afield and rounding them up at slaughter time, the swineherd guarded his lord’s wealth and regional borders. Thus the position of swineherd was a very important job, requiring not only herding, hunting and trapping skills, but also bravery and cleverness, as semi-wild swine turned savage when cornered. While Irish kings owned many pigs, having just one or two was key to survival for commoners. Pork was the usual protein served at those infrequent times when meat appeared on an impoverished laborer’s table. Plus, a sow’s offspring and a farm’s pork products could be sold at village markets and were acceptable payment for living on and cultivating a landholder’s property. For that reason, the pig came to be known as “the gentleman who pays the rent.” Due to the importance a pig had in a tenant farmer’s revenue stream, keeping the “gentleman” safe was vital. It was common for the family pig to occupy a cozy straw-strewn corner by the hearth inside the house, much like the family dog. Another good reason for having one’s pig live indoors was the fact that landowners often levied extra tax on an outdoor pig sty claiming it was an additional structure. Tending the family pig was women’s work. While a pig gorged in early autumn on foraged acorns and other nuts, throughout the year women fed their charges on meal preparation scraps plus buttermilk from the family cow. When the potato arrived in Ireland and every cottage planted a potato plot, women supplemented their pig’s food with leavings from cooking the daily spuds. Such a healthy diet guaranteed pigs would be fat and meaty by slaughtering time on November 11, St. Martin’s Day. A County Kerry folktale explains how St. Martin “invented” the pig. Long ago, the saint asked a farmer what animal ate the chaff from his grain harvest. The man replied “none,” because he only had cattle and they wouldn’t touch the stuff. So, St. Martin gave a serving-girl some fat to put under a tub. Next day when the tub was lifted, to everyone’s amazement, there lay a sow and twelve piglets! Slaughtering a pig was men’s work. Whether the local butcher or the man of the house performed the task, it was a strenuous bloody job. But in rural Ireland slaughtering a pig was an autumn ritual that would fill larders for a while, and the feast that followed the work was a joyous social occasion. For that night, at least, every belly would be full. Sláinte! IA

1 4-pound pork loin Salt & pepper 1 cup apple juice or cider

Preheat oven to 350 F. Rub the loin with salt and pepper. Place fat side up on a rack in an uncovered roasting pan. Roast approximately 2 1/2 hours (35-45 min. per pound), until a meat thermometer registers 185 F when inserted

into the thickest part. Remove the roast to a serving platter. Pour off the fat in the roasting pan. Add apple juice or cider to the pan and bring to a boil. Thicken, if desired, with a little flour mixed with water. Pour into a gravy boat and serve with the meat. Serves six.

Chunky Applesauce (Personal recipe)

6 large sweet apples (Gala are best) peeled, cored and cut into chunks 1 cup water

Place apple chunks and water in a stainless steel or enamel soup pot. Cover pot with a lid. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft. Mash, but leave chunky. If there is too much liquid, remove lid and cook until some of the liquid has evaporated. Serve with roast pork. Serves six.



Edythe Preet’s roast port loin.


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Children Without



Awardwinning children’s author Jane Mitchell talks to Olivia O’Mahony

s one of the worst refugee crises in modern history, the Syrian Civil War has uprooted over two million children since it began in March 2011. The question of how to explain the scenes of human suffering that flood our media each day to the children of Western society has been a topic of heated debate for many. Irish children’s author Jane Mitchell has an answer – trust the young enough to tell it like it is. Mitchell’s latest of work fiction, Without Refuge, tells the story of Ghalib, a 13-year-old boy impacted by the first stirrings of conflict in Syria. Forced to abandon their homeland, Ghalib and his family join the multitude of Syrian asylum seekers who cross the border into Turkey, struggle to survive tear gas attacks and squalid refugee camp conditions, and undergo the perilous boat journey into the waters of Greece. Without Refuge, released in Ireland under the title A Dangerous Crossing and due for publication in North America in spring 2018, was written in just seven months. It is a deeply an affecting work, full of characters that perfectly reflect the universality of youth, reminding us that no aspect of religion or race can render a child any less a child. This is far from the first time that Mitchell has tackled the multi-faceted theme of displacement of young people in her novels. Chalkline (2009) is the heart-rending story of Rafiq, a child soldier stolen from his rural town in Kashmir at the age of nine. Lighter in subject, Olivia’s Collection (1998) is aimed at four- to six-year-olds and describes a little girl’s attempts to make new friends after a family move. Born in London to Irish emigrants, Mitchell found a new sense of place as a child when the family relocated, first to Northern Ireland when she was five (around which time she produced her first literary feat, a book of poems which she has kept to this day), and then, when she was seven, to Dublin. And, in a sense, she is still moving. Based in Ireland, Mitchell travels widely – Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia. She has hiked the foothills of the Annapurna range in Nepal, crossed the Tongariro Alpine in New Zealand on foot, and climbed through the Sun Gate overlooking Peru’s ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Exploring the world is a surefire way to become more aware of the other people that live in it, and Mitchell is living proof. Her charity and aid work is every bit as significant as her skill with a pen. “I am interested in human rights, and particularly the rights of the child,” she says.


An Irish writer focuses on the Sirian war crisis and its effect on children in a new novel aimed at young people.

“Children deserve to grow up in a safe environment, within a family who will protect and care for them, and with opportunities to learn, to have fun, to enjoy a childhood. But so many children the world over never get this chance: children in under-developed countries grow up fast because they have to.” Mitchell writes, she says, because, “I believe it is important for young readers to learn about the lives of children different to them: children who do not have the freedom they have, who do not have the privilege of an education, of reading books, of enjoying the richness and power of story.” On top of traveling and planning future projects, she works full-time with an NGO that provides local services for people living with disabilities, and often pays visits schools, reading groups and libraries all around Ireland to discuss her writing, human rights advocacy, and the intersection between the two. I caught up with Mitchell after a Without Refuge reading and Q&A at the West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry, County Cork, this July, where she informed her young audience of the many things that people can do to spread awareness of – and provide aid for – the Syrian conflict. The children in attendance received her words thoughtfully, and with compassion; thankfully, though, they didn’t ask all of my questions for me. Why is it important to you to that children are educated about human rights? I believe passionately that words have the power to create empathy, to engender understanding, and ultimately to provoke action. And I believe that young readers deserve to learn about the richness and diversity in the world around them. Some of the scenes in the novel, such as the tear gas attack, are realistically brutal. Were you ever tempted to self-censor given the young age of your readers? It is often tempting to shield children from the harsher realities of life, such as death and war, but children have a remarkable capacity to empathize when something is presented to them in a way they can understand. With such broad media coverage of the civil war, they are very aware of the crisis, but perhaps don’t quite appreciate what it means. To this end, fiction can be a good medium to explore difficult topics safely. An honest story line that doesn’t shy away from the truth enables young readers to explore

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multiple perspectives and gain insight into complex issues. However, I try to remain sensitive to the young minds absorbing the difficult narrative. I always try to include a note of optimism and hope, and even a touch of humor to lighten the tone. You visited an unofficial refugee camp in Calais to observe the daily life of migrants hoping to cross the Channel to the U.K. Why? I wanted to do something practical to help the thousands of desperate migrants traveling from so many countries for safety and sanctuary in Europe. I had previously traveled to Palestine and to townships in South Africa to see the terrible hardships experienced by people living in these places. Visiting Calais was something else I wanted to do and it gave authenticity to Ghalib’s experience of a refugee camp. Why did you finish the novel’s first draft before traveling to Calais? The people in the Calais Jungle were at an extremely low point in their lives. It would have been ethically wrong of me to exploit their hardships and distressing experiences for the purpose of my fictional story. For this reason, I wanted to finish my first draft so I wouldn’t be overly influenced by what I saw and heard – I didn’t want to tell someone else’s story. I want young readers to understand the complexities of the Syrian conflict and the choices faced by refugees; to have some insight into the experiences of children like Ghalib, and not only to be moved by feelings of pity and sympathy and guilt. What edits did you make to the manuscript after returning from Calais? I made my fictional refugee camp a lot grimier, tougher, and dirtier than I had previously imagined. The tear gas attack was also something I added after my time in Calais, based on my personal experience of one, and the sights in the refugee camp are mostly things I saw in Calais. Was there anything about the camp that came as a surprise? The filth and litter. The puddles of foul water between the endless clusters of tents and tarpaulin shelters. The shockingly primitive washing facilities at cold water taps. The remarkable good humor of the

refugees. How a smile can cross languages, barriers, religions and nationalities. How alike we all are at the end of the day.


Why did you feel it was important to use the real names of deceased Syrian children for your characters? I was looking for authentic Syrian names for my story, and I also wanted some way to remember the hundreds of children whose lives have been needlessly cut short by the war in Syria. Early on in my research, I found on the Syrian Network for Human Rights the names of children who had been killed in the war, and this seemed a fitting tribute to these lost children. Where it suited my story, I chose siblings’ names (such as Ghalib and Aylan/Alan), and also tried to choose children from a range of age-groups, to show young readers that war does not discriminate in the innocent lives it takes. The attempt by the refugees to reach Greece by boat is evocative of the “coffin ship” journeys undertaken by many Irish Famine refugees. Should Irish people have a specific empathy to the struggles of political asylum seekers today? We are not so dissimilar to the thousands of refugees currently seeking protection and sanctuary in Europe. Irish people have left our shores for almost every country in the world: we have fled persecution, poverty, famine, and recession, in search of hope and a better life for ourselves and our families. For this reason, Irish people perhaps have greater understanding of and compassion for the struggles faced by the desperate asylum seekers of today.

TOP: A view of the “Calais Jungle” refugee camp in January 2016. ABOVE: A Dangerous Crossing (Little Island, 2017) will be published in the U.S. next year by Carolrhoda Books as Without Refuge.

What’s next for you, in terms of both your writing and human rights advocacy? I want to write something closer to home on this occasion. Ireland is facing a housing crisis at the moment, with an excess of 750 homeless families living in hotel, hostels, B&Bs and family hubs. This is a shocking fact in a developed and peaceful European country. I want to explore this through the eyes of one such Irish teenager as she struggles to deal with homelessness and its impact on her and her family. Thank you.



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review of books | recently published books FICTION

Great Moments in Hurling


By Sportsfile


reat Moments In Hurling from Sportsfile is the ultimate visual history of the modern game of hurling, its major characters, and stories, beginning with the legendary era of the 1950s. Sportsfile, founded by Ray McManus in the 1980s, is the leading sports photography agency that covers every Irish sporting event, whether it be international competitions like the Olympics, Ireland’s national sports like hurling, and even localized sporting competitions. Ray McManus and his Sportsfile team has attended and covered every All-Ireland final, both hurling and Gaelic football since 1980. This experience has enabled Sportsfile to photograph moments both iconic, and not as iconic that should be recognized nonetheless, which is what Great Moments In Hurling accomplishes from page one. The photographs in the book exhibit the various emotions that one feels not only playing the sport of hurling but the emotions that the fans go through as they follow their club and county year after year. These photographs also produce a timeline of the evolution of the game with the expansion of stadiums, the introduction of helmets, and bigger bás, the curved front of the hurley stick. Those with a keen eye will see the changes of the game in its action and infrastructure throughout the book. In addition to the visual aspects of the book, there are some great passages and stories included from both photographers and their subjects. One of the most famous passages is a section of Galway captain Joe Connolly’s speech after he lead his side to their second All-Ireland victory in 1980. Another one of these passages details what happened after the photograph was taken. This particular photograph centers on a Waterford hurler feeling dejected after his team lost to Tipperary in 2015, in the foreground you can see the player crouched down, in the background however, you can see two players from Tipperary making their way over to console their opponent. Great Moments In Hurling is a brilliant showcase in which both diehard fans of the ancient game and new fans alike could delight in the glory and the hardships that hurling players and fans endure year after year.

– Dave Lewis (O’Brien / 208 pp. / €24.99)


Midwinter Break By Bernard MacLaverty


tella and Gerry, like any couple who have been together for decades, have their own ways of dealing with each other. He reluctantly agrees to tolerate the importance of religion in her life; she pretends to ignore his drinking. At times, she seems to despise him. He loves her deeply, but is bewildered by her need for something “other.” And yet, they are good together. There is so much common ground – years of shared humor and amusing shorthand for the physical foibles of middle age. A break in Amsterdam sees Gerry desperately and surreptitiously trying to maintain his comfort zone (at the bottom of a whiskey bottle), while Stella is on a mission to see if she can secure a safe harbor from the vicissitudes of this fractured relationship. The reader, meanwhile, is the silent audience for Gerry’s late-night musings about the couple’s early life in Belfast, and the events that drove them across the water to Glasgow. As an architect, Gerry resentfully views much of the Troubles in terms of the destruction of buildings; as a teacher, Stella questions everything – her part in the world, her life, and her overwhelming emotional reaction to Anne Frank’s house which led to a ham-fisted attempt at paying a tribute she later chastised herself for. This is MacLaverty’s first novel in 16 years, and it is a beautifully-written triumph. At one point towards the end of the book, Gerry lists all of Stella’s most impressive characteristics and achievements, the one fly in the ointment being her insistence on spelling carrots with two t’s. It is a declaration of love equal to any of Shakespeare’s flowery sonnets, and far more real. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another 16 years for another.

– Darina Molloy (Jonathan Cape / 256 pp. / £14.99)

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The Ninth Hour

The Devil’s Half Mile. A view down Wall Street, c. 1798, by Archibald Richardson.

By Alice McDermott


lice McDermott’s humble new novel opens with the suicide of a man, and it’s just about the last time so much chapter space in the book is devoted to the male point of view. (The chapter was published in the New Yorker two years ago as “These Short, Dark Days.”) Set in early 20th-century Brooklyn, The Ninth Hour focuses on the widowed Annie, an Irish immigrant who moved to New York for the man who would make her a widow, and her daughter, Sally, as told, in part, by Sally’s own children. Following her husband’s suicide, Annie is taken in by the Little Sisters of the Sick and Poor at the behest of Sister St. Savior, a matter-of-fact elder nun who knows a woman in need when she sees one and doesn’t worry so much about Church rules as she does about what simply needs doing for the down-and-out. Sally grows up in the convent’s laundry, exposed to the matter-of-fact grime the human body produces on a daily basis and, once she is older, to the realities of nursing the sick and poor. This premise McDermott turns into a sublime study of faith, sin, virtue, and doubt, weaving these themes beautifully with the corporeal reality of bodily function and human hesitation and folly. Towards the end of the novel, McDermott, who won the National Book Award in 2013 for her novel Someone and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times in as many decades, writes, “History was easy: the past with all loss burned out of it, all sorrow worn out of it – all that was merely personal comfortably removed.” The Ninth Hour is a stunning and intimate depiction of an era that has passed, all-too-easily, from reality to memory, reminding us that the uncomfortably personal has existed long before us, and will continue long afterwards.

– Adam Farley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux / 256 pp. / $26)

The Devil’s Half Mile


By Paddy Hirsch

ward-winning financial journalist Paddy Hirsch, whose commentaries on the economy as senior producer of NPR’s Marketplace reveal an intimate knowledge of the twists and turns of today’s markets, takes us back to 1799 Wall Street, the source of the title of his novel The Devil’s Half Mile. Part thriller, part love story and part cautionary tale, this page-turner also carries intimations of the future. Alexander Hamilton feared that the financial crisis of 1792 would destroy the fledgling United States and yet the bankers and traders Hirsch introduces us to care only about manipulating the system for their own profit. There are a few honest men. One of them, Frances Flanagan, was driven to suicide by the part he played in a financial scam – what did he really kill him self? Enter his son Justice Flanagan (Justy), educated as a lawyer at the newly open St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, one of the few places in Ireland open Catholic students, he returns to New York determined to avenge himself on those who involved his father in the financial scheme. Justy, who fought with the Defenders against the British in the Rebellion of 1798, finds he must battle the same kind of prejudice against the Irish among the Wall Street traders. But he has powerful allies in his uncle, Ignatius the Bull, boss of the criminal underworld, and Kerry O’Toole, the mixed-race daughter of an Irish father and free woman of color. One of the features of old New York in The Devil’s Half Mile is the interaction between the Irish and black communities who shared the same neighborhoods. Hirsch’s portrait of a city struggling to be born is vivid and part of the fun is comparing it to today’s New York. Amazing that this cluster of muddy, odorous streets with its rag-tag population could become the greatest city in the world. Hirsch says that he started out to write a history book, but found himself introducing a murder and watching as his fictional characters pushed out Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, though both men make cameo experiences. “I really really wanted to tell a story,” Hirsch says. And he does – an exciting one – but you can’t read it without thinking of today. As Hirsch says in an after note, “Many people might look back at those days wistfully; it’s certainly easy enough to find Wall Street players happy to argue that banks and investment houses can regulate themselves and government should just get out of the way. Unfortunately, experience has proved that a poorly regulated system is too easily abused, and that cynical bankers and traders – whether frock-coated and bewigged in 1799 or clad in business casual today – are quite willing to abuse it. The Devils Half Mile is available now for pre-order with an official publication date of May 2018.

– Mary Pat Kelly (Forge Books / 304 pp. / $24.99)


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crossword | by Darina Molloy ACROSS

2 See 44 across (7) 6 The humble potato (4) 9 Famous Yeats poem: “The Wild Swans at _____” (5) 11 See 28 across (8) 12 Netflix show starring Jason Bateman & Laura Linney (5) 15 Senator Susan Collins represents this state (5) 16 David Bowie's widow (4) 17 Goes well with movies! (7) 19 Where Typhoid Mary (Mallon) came from (6) 20 Autonomous community of Spain on the Iberian Peninsula (9) 21 (& 15 down) The German Chancellor (6) 26 The Beauty Queen of ______ (7) 28 (& 11 across, & 40 down) Tourism trail on the west coast of Ireland (4) 30 See 10 down (5) 31 See 32 down (6) 32 To poke, elbow or inject (3) 33 (& 43 across) Alice McDermott’s new book: The _____ ___ (5) 36 Island off Bantry, Co. Cork (6) 39 See 2 down (1, 5) 41 (& 27 down) AKA

Deep Throat (4) 42 See 20 down (4) 43 See 33 across (4) 44 (& 2 across) Showtime crime drama about a Boston Irish family now living in L.A. (3)


1 Ireland’s low-cost and slightly beleaguered airline (7) 2 (& 39 across) Irish businessman, now resident in Portugal, who was listed among the World’s Top 200 Billionaires in 2015 (5) 3 For want of a ____ the shoe was lost (4) 4 Keeps one cool in warm weather (1, 1) 5 Opposite of yes (2) 6 Chair, stool or bench (4) 7 Famous Irish thoroughbred racehorse of the 1960s (5) 8 (& 25 down) Founder of the Sisters of Charity (9) 10 (& 30 across) Best-selling Irish author whose newest novel is called The Break (6) 13 Graham Norton novel (7)

14 One of Waterford’s most iconic exports (7) 15 See 21 across (6) 18 (& 35 down) The annual September all-Ireland public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts (7) 20 (& 42 across) This Dublin pitch is home to the GAA’s biggest matches of the year (5) 22 Gorse (5) 23 Anew (4) 24 West Cork town (6) 25 See 8 down (5)

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


27 See 41 across (4) 29 Winning county in this year’s GAA All-Ireland Men’s and Ladies’ football finals (6) 32 (& 31 across) He plays the main character's father, Mickey, in 44

across (3) 34 (& 37 down) Headland in Co. Wexford (4) 35 See 18 down (5) 37 See 34 down (4) 38 Irish musician ______ Special (4) 40 See 28 across (3) 42 Father or dad (2)

August / September Solution

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10/6/17 2:53 PM

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those we lost | passages

Rosamond Mary Moore Carew


1911 – 2017 he most recent oldest living Irish American, Rosamund Mary Moore Carew, known to her loved ones as “Mema,” died in her family home in September. Her 106th birthday was celebrated at the Irish America Hall of Fame luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in March, with addresses from Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as well as a serenade of Liam Clancy’s “Red is the Rose” by General Martin Dempsey. Rosamond was born into a family of proud Irish Americans in Brooklyn. Her mother, Anna, had previously made history as the first woman in New York City to procure a driver’s license, and her maternal grandfather, Judge John J. Brady, was the first Bronx judge to sit on New York State’s Supreme Court. Rosamond attended the Scudder School of Business in Manhattan, where she met attorney and second-generation Irishman James F. Carew, who she later married. At the wedding, her future father-inlaw told her mother, “Your daughter is the luckiest woman in the world to be marrying my son.” Indignant, her mother loudly assured him he had it backwards. Rosamond’s community presence was lifelong: she was a member of the Church of St. Rosalie, many senior citizens organizations, and a Southampton Hospital volunteer for over 18 years. Rosamond is survived by four children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Her husband James died in 1981. She is remembered as a lover of chocolate, short highballs, and Turner Classic Movies. – O.O.

English language. Born in Brooklyn to Irish immigrant parents in 1926, James Patrick Donleavy grew up in the heavily Irish neighborhood of Woodlawn in the Bronx. He served in the U.S. army during World War II and relocated to Dublin at the age of 20 to study zoology at Trinity College following the war. His time there was marked less by academic study and more by his proclivity for finding himself in uncomfortable situations, his tweed jacket and smart mouth making him a well-known presence in bar fights around the city. He never finished his degree, but was soon published in the Dublin literary periodical Envoy, immersing himself in the hard-living literary scene and befriending Brendan Behan. Soon, he completed The Ginger Man, which chronicled the many sexual exploits of Sebastian Dangerfield, an Irish American student of law at Trin-

J.P. Donleavy


1926 – 2017 .P. Donleavy, the Irish American novelist and playwright who penned The Ginger Man, which was initially turned away by over 45 publishers for its sexual obscenity but eventually sold more than 45 million copies and became considered a modern cult classic, died in September in a hospital near his Mullingar, County Westmeath, home. He was 91 years old. Donleavy wrote more than a dozen Dublinbased novels and story collections, and was often dubbed one of the most comedic writers in the 94 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017


LEFT: Rosamond Mary Moore Carew and her husband James F. Carew. BOTTOM: J.P. Donleavy, photographed by Noel Shrine for Irish America at his home in County Westmeath in 2015.

IA.TWL.rev_IA Template 10/5/17 4:13 PM Page 95

Thomas Fleming


1927 – 2017 istorian and historical novelist Thomas Fleming, who specialized in subjects pertaining to the American Revolution, died in July. He was 90. Fleming was a lifelong advocate of the idea that the American struggle for independence was fundamental in understanding the country’s complex subsequent history. Thomas was born in Jersey City to Katherine and Teddy Fleming, the leader of Jersey City’s Sixth

Ward and sheriff of Hudson County, New Jersey. He served in WWII and graduated from Fordham University in 1950. In 1958, he was penning the novel All Good Men, a look at the world of Irish American politics taught to him by his father, when he was asked to research the Battle of Bunker Hill for a Cosmopolitan article. He wrote Now We Are Enemies about that same battle. It was the first of almost 50 books on the Revolutionary War. Fleming had been writing history books about the men behind America’s history for 50 years when, in 2009, he committed to chronicling the stories of the wives, mothers, and lovers of the founding fathers in The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers. Fleming also published historical fiction, including the 1983 novel Dreams of Glory, about a plot to kidnap George Washington, and was an early contributor to Irish America. “He was a man of natural ease with people and with stories,” fellow historical novelist David McCullough told the New York Times. “He had that good Irish ability to express in person and on paper.” Fleming is survived by his fellow author and wife, the former Alice Mulcahey Fleming, and four children. – O.O.

Gerry Toner


1933 – 2017 ohn Gerard “Gerry” Toner, a prominent New York-based entrepreneur in the bar and restaurant industry, died in August at the age of 84. Dubbed the “king of New York’s Irish” by the Belfast Telegraph, Toner was also an active player in the Northern Irish peace process, often hosting events and fundraising for Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume when he visited New York. Born in Ardoyne, Belfast, Toner worked in the bars of the legendary RMS Queen Mary before taking to the land for good one day to make his mark on New York. His dream came to pass when he rocketed from restaurant laborer to authority status on hospitality and fine dining, eventually coming to own and co-own many establishments around the city, such as the Abbey Tavern on Third Avenue and Kennedy’s on 57th Street, a spot once popular with the Kennedy family. He had a reputation for helping young Irish immigrants find their feet in the Big Apple and was quick to pledge support to countless benefit events. When the Irish Voice newspaper began printing in 1987, founder Niall O’Dowd says, Toner was among the first to buy an ad in its pages. “He had a store of stories to make a cat laugh about his early days in America, and no matter how often he told them, they still seemed hilarious.” Toner is survived by of his wife of 54 years, Cathy, and their three children, Gemma, Catherine, and Patricia, and four grandchildren. – O.O.


ity College, commonly believed to be a composite of Donleavy and his university friends. Behan, Donleavy told Irish America in 2015, was actually the first person to read the book, finding the manuscript by drunk accident when he was staying at Donleavy and his wife’s house while the two were away. When they returned home, Donleavy said, they found that Behan had blackened all their pots, stolen Donleavy’s shoes, and left the manuscript behind with heavy edits in the margins. Sometime later, after accepting that Behan’s suggestions were worthwhile, Donleavy had Behan review the manuscript again. “He read the book and put it down and said, ‘This book is going to shake the world!’” he recalled. But it was not to be without a fight. After copious rejection by Irish and American companies, The Ginger Man was published in 1955 under the pornography imprint of Parisian house Olympia Press, which issued the first print of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and also distributed many of the works of Samuel Beckett. This move enraged Donleavy, who felt that this label attacked the legitimacy of his novel, and resulted in over two decades of legal battles that culminated with Donleavy firmly on top: after Olympia fell into bankruptcy, he purchased it at an auction in 1970. The Ginger Man’s lewdness caused it to initially be banned in Ireland and the United States. However, it was named among the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century by the Modern Library in 1998, and has never been out of print. In the 2010 reissue of the novel, American writer Jay McInerney’s introduction noted that it “has undoubtedly launched thousands of benders, but it has also inspired scores of writers with its vivid and visceral narrative voice and the sheer poetry of its prose.” A later novel of Donleavy’s, the 1973 A Fairytale of New York, served as inspiration for the Pogues’ famous Christmas song “Fairytale of New York.” In 2015, Donleavy won the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. Donleavy was married and divorced twice, and is survived by two children from each union – Philip and Karen, children of Valerie Heron, and Rebecca and Rory, of actress Mary Wilson Price. Of old age, he once wrote, “It’s not nice, but take comfort that you won’t stay that way forever.” – O.O.


those we lost | passages

TOP: Thomas Fleming. ABOVE: Gerry Toner.


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photo album | by James T. Dette

As My Mother Would Say


I can hear her now – “If I weren’t Irish, I’d be ashamed of myself!”

TOP: Young Jim Dette (left) and his brother with their mother. ABOVE: Jim’s mother and friends in a photograph taken at the Jersey shore in early 1920s. She is the second from the left. She is also the daughter of James Burke, featured in the article which appeared in the October / November 2013 edition of Irish America.

es, my mother was Irish, and full of Irish sayings, and they came out whenever she was provoked by a situation requiring a fast one-liner. They were usually preceded by, “As my mother would say.” After hearing them for all those years, I will quote one when my situation requires, and attribute them with the same phrase. My mother was a strong influence on my life, but not because she was Irish. Except for the one-liners, she did not wear her ethnicity on her sleeve. The neighbors would not have known we were Irish from any outward celebration of, say, St. Patrick’s Day. Although derived through her Irish heritage, it was her Catholicism that formed me. She was a Catholic to a fault. And the fault was her scrupulosity, which, thank God, I did not inherit. The Church requires, for example, that a member go to confession and receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Paschal Season, from the first Sunday in Lent to Trinity Sunday. On the day before Trinity Sunday my mother would head for the car saying, “I hope this priest has a sense of humor.” The next day she would receive Holy Communion. I finally convinced her that she was not so sinful that she could not receive every week and have to confess more than once a month. There were other singularities in her life. After graduating high school she took a job as a secretary in an iron foundry where she met my father, 15 years her senior, who was the foundry superintendent. He was a widow with six children, three boys and three girls. The oldest, a girl, was already married and had one son. The youngest, also a girl, was born in 1918. Soon after giving birth, her mother died in the Spanish flu epidemic. So, upon marriage in 1925, my mother became the stepmother to my father’s brood. It wasn’t easy.

Before writing this piece, her Irish wit was not the first thing I thought of with respect to my relation with my mother. I had the typical relation of a suburban mother and son, but it was partially affected by her role as stepmother. When my youngest (half) sister married and left the house, a load seemed to have been lifted, and as I gathered the one liners with the help of my younger brother (there were just two of us) I began to see the wit she truly was. My favorite one-liner, and I don’t know the circumstance for which it was invoked, is the equine paradox, which states, “There are more horses’ arses in this world than there are horses.” On the occasion of going to the bathroom, mother would likely say, “I’m going to shed a tear for the poor orphans in Ireland.” Some were bordering risqué like, “Two heads on one pillow.” Reflecting on some recent incident, she might likely say “I haven’t seen; or heard; or done; that since Hector was a pup.” Observing someone whose attention is entirely devoted to accomplishing a task like threading a needle, she would advise, “It’s all in the way you hold your mouth.” And for the conclusion of a brief comment by a third party, “Short and sweet, like a roasted maggot.” And commenting on another’s ethnicity, “He’s as Irish as Paddy’s pig.” She also had a number of comments that were entirely her own. Upon the occasion of a bird desecrating her laundry, she declared, “There never was, nor ever be, a constipated bird.” Upon hearing the latest proclamation from the Vatican II Council, she remarked, “I hope when I die, I’m still a Catholic.” Another one is, “Fools’ names and fools’ faces always appear in public places.” This has come to my mind on too many occasions in my eventful life. She was full of them, and I am richer for it, though admittedly, this is partly due to my ignoring one of her one liners on marriage: “If you wait until you’re thirty, you’ll know enough not to.” I was 32 when I married. It was the best decision of my life. Evelyn and I shared our Catholic faith and a need for adventure. We spent two and a half years in Ecuador with the Association for International Development, a Catholic lay missionary group headquartered in Paterson, New Jersey. Two of our children were born there. Since our return 50 years ago, we’ve been very active in our parish and community. And as my mother would say, “You’re more Catholic than the IA Catholic Church.”

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 submit@irishamerica.com. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select. 96 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

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by Dave Lewis



Hurling in the United States


Does adapting the game for American viewers ruin the traditions of the ancient Gaelic sport?

ABOVE: Gaelic Park, 1965, shows the New York hurling team up against an unnamed competitor.


BELOW: Prior to 2015, the most recent hurling game at Fenway Park was an exhibition match between Cork and a team of all-Americans in 1954. The Americans lost 28-37. Boston Globe writer John Ahern described the sport for unfamiliar Bostonians as a “combination of field hockey, lacrosse, and mayhem.”

he Gaelic Players Association is an Irish not-for-profit organization that was created to advance the welfare and to protect the interests of the athletes that participate in Gaelic games at the county level. Since 1999, the GPA has fought for player’s rights and their well-being and have developed scholarships for players that want to pursue higher education. The GPA’s influence has reached out to the United States as well. In 2011, the GPA established a United States advisory board and in 2012, after the devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to Breezy Point, sent a group of players that helped to rebuild one of the largest Irish-American communities in the United States. A few months later, in 2013, the GPA brought over two teams of some of the best hurlers that Ireland had to offer to play an alternate version of hurling called Super 11s at the University of Notre Dame. The most recent attempt to attract an American audience to hurling took place at Fenway Park in Boston in 2015. A second game has been announced and will be played at the park later this year. While the GPA means well to spread hurling to a new audience, their efforts miss the mark as they promote a game that not only takes away the traditions of an ancient game, but takes away the culture of the game that helped Irish emigrants and their children feel more at home in the United States dating back to the 1850s. Super 11s was developed by Donal Óg Cusack, a former Cork goalkeeper and the former GPA chairman, to create a “more accessible” version of hurling to bring to the U.S. This modified version is played on a soccer pitch with soccer goals. There are no uprights and players are only allowed to shoot for goals (which range from 1-5 points, depending on where the player is on the pitch at the time of the shot). The game is played


with a baseball equivalent 27,000 fans turned of a sliotar and consists of out in Fenway Park a 2015 exhibition four periods rather than for match between two 35-minute halves. Any Galway and Dublin. sports fan will recognize that these rules for Super 11s were introduced as the GPA wanted to use American sporting archetypes to attract Americans to play the game. But these changes are not necessary because the game of hurling has already been played in the United States for over 150 years and is gaining an even larger American audience year after year. The game of hurling in the United States can be traced back to the 1770s. The earliest reference to the sport is a document in which it advertises an exhibition of the sport by Irishmen in the British Army, prior to the Revolutionary War. The Hoboken Hurling Club cites their inception to a story where Irish immigrants challenged the founders of baseball to a game of hurling in the 1850s. During the early 20th century, various Gaelic games parks popped up throughout the United States, especially in major cities like New York and Chicago. Why would the GPA not play the traditional games of hurling that the Irish have played for centuries? The “Americanized” version of hurling is an insult to those Irish Americans who have been playing the sport for generations and ignores the established organizations that continue to spread the sport in the United States. There is already an audience of thousands of Americans that play the traditional game of hurling on a daily basis. I started playing the game of hurling and participating in the development of the game in New York four years ago, a month after Super 11s was first played. I fell in love with the sport as it gave me an opportunity to connect to my family’s Irish past while at the same time enabling me to exercise, to compete against other people that were also passionate about their ancestry and culture. I am not the only one who was attracted to the game this way. Many Americans, not just ones with Irish ancestry, play the traditional game with the help of currently-established hurling organizations. The GPA would be wise to utilize the enthusiasm and the growing manpower of these clubs in order to promote the conventional game in order to foster the growth of hurling while simultaneously keeping IA the Irish traditions alive. TOP: More than

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Profile for Irish America Magazine

Irish America October / November 2017  

Irish America's 20th Anniversary Wall Street 50 issue, featuring PwC's U.S. chairman Tim Ryan. Also: photos of beautiful County Kerry; an Ir...

Irish America October / November 2017  

Irish America's 20th Anniversary Wall Street 50 issue, featuring PwC's U.S. chairman Tim Ryan. Also: photos of beautiful County Kerry; an Ir...