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THE IRISH COWBOY & THE CALGARY STAMPEDE
MCSORLEY’S OLD IRISH ALE HOUSE
THE CHARISMATIC PRESIDENT OF FIDELITY PERSONAL INVESTING TALKS FAMILY, HERITAGE, AND INTRODUCING THE INDUSTRY'S FIRST ZERO-FEE INDEX FUNDS
TOM O’NEILL’S 20-YEAR SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH “40 SHADES OF GREEN” AT 60 LOUISE O’MURPHY: THE KING’S MISTRESS IMAGES OF A LOST IRELAND
WALL STREET THE
Celebrating the Irish in Finance
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contents | Vol. 34 No. 5 October / November 2019
38 Kathleen Murphy, Financial Guru
News and Hibernia
The charismatic president of Fidelity Personal Investing talks to Patricia Harty about family, heritage, and educating people on their investments. By Patricia Harty
Minister of Finance Michael D’Arcy; Irish Eye on Hollywood; the Irish of the American Revolution; and more. p. 12
34 250 Years of Swinford, County Mayo The town as proud of its heritage as its time-honored strength of community celebrates 250 years. By Gerry O’Shea
44 2019 Wall Street 50 Celebrating 50 of the best and brightest Wall Street professionals of Irish descent.
Learn about the history of the prolific Murphy surname and some of its notable bearers. p. 64
60 King Louis XV’s Irish Mistress
An excerpt from Richard Fitzgerald’s book Dark Ireland: Images of a Lost World. p. 84
Our Wild Irish Woman Marie-Louise O’Murphy came from nothing to make quite a name for herself. By Rosemary Rogers
68 The Calgary Stampede
72 McSorely’s Old Ale House
It was everyone’s first rodeo – and it was organized by a New Yorker with Irish roots. By Ray Cavanaugh
The 50th anniversary of Woodstock; Remembering Eddie Money. p. 91 Edythe Preet tells of the Ballinasloe October Fair and gives a recipe for the Bookmaker’s Sandwich.
Sawdust on the floor, two kinds of beer – light or dark – what’s not to love about this timeless N.Y. pub? By Geoffrey Cobb
76 Irish Poets’ Adventures in America What did the famed Irish poets and writers get up to when they crossed the Atlantic? By Sean Kelly
80 What Are You Like, Tom O’Neill? He took 20 years to finish his book on the Tate murders – but what is Tom O’Neill like? By Patricia Harty
90 Johnny Cash’s “Forty Shades of Green” “The names in Ireland just beg to be sung,” said the Man in Black when he wrote the song 60 years ago. By Christine Kinealy Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation. Irish America Magazine (ISSN 0884-4240) © 1999 by Irish America, Inc. Published bi-monthly. Publication #761070. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Editorial office: 875 Ave of the Americas, Suite 1606, New York, N.Y. 10001-8013. Subscription rate is $21.95. The name of the corporation is Irish America, Inc. The principal shareholders are Niall Oliver O'Dowd, Patricia Harty, Brendan MacLua & Downdaniel Investment Holdings Ltd. There are no other known bondholders. Average number of copies printed each issue during the last 12 months: 6,599. Average sales through dealers, carriers, vendors, counters: 1,477. Mail subscription: 3,248. Total paid circulation: 4,725. Free distribution by mail: 0. Free distribution outside mail: 1,200. Total free distribution: 1,200. Returns from newsagents: 674. Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 6,621. Actual sales through dealers, carriers, vendors, counters: 1,382. Mail subscription: 3,190. Total paid circulation: 4,572. Free distribution by mail: 0. Free distribution outside mail: 1,200. Total free distribution: 1,200. Returns from newsagents: 849. Periodicals postage paid at New York and additional offices I certify the above statement is correct. Niall Oliver O'Dowd (Publisher).
Violet McHale kept Ireland alive for the next generations in story, song, and celebration. p. 96
DEPARTMENTS 8 10 32 86 98
Letters First Word Quote Unquote Books Crossword
Cover Photo: Fidelity
We’re proud to celebrate our heritage. KPMG LLP congratulates Irish America Magazine’s 2019 Wall Street 50. We are particularly proud that honorees include retired KPMG partner, Shaun Kelly, Global Chief Operating Officer. Shaun truly embodies the best and brightest of both Irish and KPMG leaders. kpmg.com
© 2019 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Printed in the U.S.A. NDPPS 898937
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contributors | Gerry O’Shea has written for the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal and a number of other publications. Based in Boston, Gerry enjoys escaping the glare of his laptop to explore New England with his wife and young son, whether on Cape Cod’s beaches, Vermont’s Green Mountains, or the ski slopes of Maine. A dual citizen of Ireland and the U.S., Gerry is currently writing a book about living in Galway in the late 1990s. He can be reached via gerryoshea.com.
Geoffrey Cobb is a teacher of social studies and English as a second language at the High School for Service and Learning in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He has written three books on Brooklyn history as well as articles for Irish America, The New York Irish History Roundtable and The Irish Echo. Sean Kelly co-wrote the infamous off-Broadway mockrock musical Lemmings. He was an editor of the National Lampoon magazine when it was funny – from 1971 until 1978 – during which he “broke his own record for obscurantism several times, reaching an apotheosis with a dense parody of Finnegans Wake.” – Nathaniel Stein, The Daily Beast. He won an Emmy in 2004 for the early literacy PBS series, Between the Lions. He has written many books, only one of which has been translated into Japanese.
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. Most recently, he co-wrote, with the late Tom Hayden, an essay on Thomas Addis Emmet that appears in the new book, Nine Irish Lives (Algonquin, 2018).
Ray Cavanaugh is a freelance scribe from Massachusetts who enjoys long walks, short novels, and colorful characters. He has written for such publications as Time, the Guardian, Celtic Life, History Today and New Oxford Review. His mother comes straight from Kerry, and his father is a few generations removed from Wexford.
co-authored, with Sean Kelly, the best-selling humor / reference book Saints Preserve Us! Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You’ll Ever Need (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 cowrote two info / entertainment books for St. Martin’s Press. She is currently co-writing a book on empires for City Light Publishing.
Maggie Holland is an assistant editor
Mary Gallagher is an assistant
for Irish America magazine. She hails from Burlingame, California, and graduated from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in May 2018 with a B.S. in Media, Culture, & Communication and was a Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholar. She is a third generation Irish American, with roots in counties Cork and Galway. She lives in Manhattan.
editor and advertising and events coordinator for the magazine. She lives on Long Island, and graduated from Molloy College in 2018 with a B.A. in literature and a minor in history. She continues to nurture a fervent interest in Ireland’s storied history and literary tradition, and has roots in Cork, Mayo, and Donegal.
Gregory Chestler is a May 2019 graduate from NYU with a major in Media, Culture & Communication and a minor in Italian. A third generation Irish descendant with roots in Co. Cork, Gregory was thrilled to join the Irish America team for the summer of 2019. An interest in global networks has led to his current residency in Lima, Peru, although to him, nothing quite compares to good craic and a pint at a pub in Galway – Sláinte!
6 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Christine Kinealy is the Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, where she also is curator of the “Frederick Douglass in Ireland: ‘The Black O’Connell’” exhibit. Her major new publication Frederick Douglass and Ireland: In His Own Words was published in July 2018. She has published several groundbreaking books on Ireland’s Great Hunger.
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caint | readers forum Dr. Kevin J. Tracey:
I have a Tracy in my lineage. My grandmother Anna Larney’s grandmother was Mary Tracy McCormick born in the parish of Lagan, County Longford, in 1796 and passed in 1886 in Brooklyn’s Irishtown on High Street, where my grandparents, Patrick Henry Larney and Anna, lived and raised 12 children to adulthood. (I was featured in Irish America in 2008, as I twice represented the U.S. at the Olympics as a javelin thrower in 1952 (at age 15) and again in 1956.) Dr. Kevin Tracey is truly inspiring. What a wonderful life of dedicated medical research!
Inventing the Future of Medicine By Maggie Holland; Aug. / Sept. issue
I loved reading the article on Dr. Tracey. The work and research that he does is so interesting. I also love that he knows about and is proud of his Irish background. – Elizabeth A. McCarthy-Woods, submitted online
Fascinating individual. The procedure to cure Crohn’s particularly caught my eye as my wife has suffered with the illness for nearly 20 years. I wonder if this procedure is still being done.
Roots: O’Treasaigh, Tracy, Tracey, Treacy By Gregory Chestler; Aug. / Sept. issue
– Marjorie Larney, submitted online
What an interesting doctor. I loved that he has done such great research on the nervous system, and that he makes furniture. I sent the piece to my daughter the doctor, and my son the cabinet-maker. – Nadine Gallo, submitted online
– Michael Tracy, submitted online
This is awesome!! Editor’s Note: The implant did not “cure” Kelly’s Crohn’s disease; it put it into remission.
– Colin McCracken, Burlingame, California, Twitter
Our Story Aug. / Sept. issue
I did not want to read this article, but I knew that I had to share in the pain that the writer felt about her daughter. It is such a crisis and such heartache for those who love their family members afflicted this way. There are so many friends and family who have some form of mental distress and never share their pain. My avoidance in not wanting to read this is part of the problem, as mental illness is still not accepted as a topic for open discussion, so the families affected must live with this pain in the shadows. I am glad you were able to share this, and I am glad that I read it, and I can only hope that the world accepts and loves and tries their best to help the victims of this agony, whether they are in your family or not. – Mary N. Cain, submitted online Note: The writer of “Our Story” wishes to remain anoymous.
Things Fall Apart By Peter Quinn; Aug. / Sept. issue Mary Beth Keane: What Are You Like? By Patricia Harty; Aug. / Sept. issue
Mary Beth Keane is a wonderful writer. I could not put her book, Ask Again, Yes, down. I also loved her first book, The Walking People. Mary Beth is a great storyteller and she definitely gets the Irish. – Karen Molloy, New York, NY
Just watched Mary Beth on Jimmy Fallon. I can see why she enjoyed being interviewed – she is good craic herself! I must buy her book. – Enda Cullen, Armagh, Northern Ireland, Facebook
Update: Keane’s bestseller Ask Again, Yes will be turned into a limited mini-series.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, visit us at irishamerica.com, or write to us: Email (email@example.com), comment on our Facebook page (facebook.com/IrishAmericaMagazine), tweet at us (@irishamerica), or write to Letters, Irish America Magazine, 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1606, New York, NY 10001. Letters should include the writer’s name, address, and phone number. They may be edited for clarity and length. 8 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Peter: I will be 80 next week and have many of your “symptoms.” For the last few years, I have been vigorously working out with a trainer twice a week, and once a week on my own. So far, so good. I miss my running, but the orthopedist stopped that years ago. I’m reading two books a week and doing the NYT crossword puzzles. I don’t want to live forever, but would like to see my five young grandchildren into college. – Jim Healey, submitted online
Dolours Price By Rosemary Rogers; May / June issue The Bobby Sands “Stars of Freedom” poem [in the article on Dolours Price] makes me think additionally of our U.S. young and old victims of gun violence, of migrant mothers, fathers, and children dying / starving like morning stars, and of global refugees making our beloved planet a “queen of tears.” I pray that we soon rediscover the meaning of being human. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., always taught us: “Stand where you must, be human there!” – Patricia McCormick, submitted via email
Leaders take us to places we would never have gone And Irish America provides the platform for Irish and Irish-American leaders to share wisdom and insights with the leaders of tomorrow. We are very pleased to be a part of Irish America’s Wall Street 50, and congratulate all of the individuals honored tonight. We especially recognize PwC partner honorees Vin Coleman, Martin Kehoe, Ciaran Claffey, Ellen Walsh, Colette Cribbin, and Tim Ryan, PwC’s US Kieran Senior Partner and Chairman, who are humbled and honored to be part of this distinguished group of leaders. Thank you to the PwC honorees for living our firm’s purpose—to build trust in society and solve important problems—each and every day. www.pwc.com
© 2019 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved.
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Vol 34 No. 5 October / November 2019
IRISH AMERICA Mórtas Cine Pride In Our Heritage
the first word | By Patricia Harty
Profit and Loss
and empowering women to take care of their financial futures.
Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty Art Director: Marian Fairweather Assistant Editor / Advertising and Events Coordinator Mary Gallagher Assistant Editor / Social Media Coordinator Maggie Holland Editorial Assistant: Gregory Chestler Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan Accounts: Mairead Bresnan
IRISH AMERICA 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1606 New York NY 10001 TEL: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344
Subscriptions: 1-800-582-6642 EMAIL:
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 1606, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212-725-2993. Fax: 212-244-3344 E-mail: email@example.com. Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-582-6642. Subscription queries: 1-800-582-6642, (212) 7252993, 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.
10 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
rofiling so many successful Irish people working in the financial industry has me questioning my P own relationship with money. I don’t ever remember anyone talking to me about investing when I was a student. The nun who was supposed to teach us about bookkeeping and commerce used to read to us from the Lives of the Saints. I suspect she didn’t know anything about balance sheets. I do remember an ad on television – for the Irish Permanent Building Society – that offered four percent tax-free on chairs. It was years before it occurred to me that whoever was doing the voiceover was saying “shares” not chairs. We never talked about money in our house, and my first experience with profit and loss left me with a deep distrust of financial transactions. It had to do with a pretty little white calf my father gave to me. Whitey was separated from her mother soon after she was born – it was the way of the farm – calves were fed by hand so that mama cow could get back to producing milk for human consumption. I loved Whitey. I would rush home from school to feed her, so proud that my father had trusted me with such a big responsibility. All was good until the day I dropped my school bag in the house and ran out to find that Whitey was missing – her stall empty. I was stunned to learn that she’d been sold at market. “You now have five pounds in your post office account,” my mother informed me rather nonchalantly. I suppose she meant it as a consolation, but there was no comfort there. Another incident involving money happened when I was 21. On my birthday, the head of the HR office called me in to say it was time for me to join the company’s pension scheme. This sent me into a panic. I saw myself growing old working a job that was okay – but – surely life had more to offer? Within months, I had handed in my notice and was headed to America. I wish I had known someone like Kathleen Murphy back then, someone who would have talked some sense into me. Not to stop me from immigrating, but to tell me that joining the pension scheme was a good idea and it didn’t mean I had to work for the same company all my life. Someone who had explained to me, in a way that made sense, that following your heart and your passion is all well and good, but life goes by very fast, and no matter how good you are at saving – you have to learn how to make your money work for you. A recent report by Justice in Aging shows that a significant percentage of older women are struggling to stay out of poverty. There are reasons for this. Women are paid less than men, and more often than not, they are the caregivers; leaving the job market to look after children, and later, caring for elderly parents. Or, as single women, or through divorce, or simply because they outlive their spouses, they find themselves at a financial disadvantage. After the death of her father at just 57, Kathleen Murphy witnessed her mother’s struggle with money, and now, as Fidelity’s President of Personal Investing, she has made it her mission to educate women about finance. She and her team are not only sharing their expertise with women of all ages through webcasts and country-wide talks, they are educating millennials and Gen X. Turns out you are never too young – or too old – to start learning about how to make your money work for you. Within a short time of finishing my conversation with Kathleen, who intuited that I could use some financial guidance, I received a call from a young woman named Kelly, a financial adviser at Fidelity. I made an appointment to meet with her. I’m ready to listen! Mórtas Cine
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HIBERNIA • NEWS by Sharon Ní Chonchúir
he October 31 deadline is fast approaching and yet we seem to be as far as ever from agreeing on a deal for Brexit. The question of the Irish border continues to be a bone of contention between the Irish and British governments, and in recent weeks, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has described British proposals to solve the issue as “fanciful.” In a speech that the second most senior perIreland is the infrastructure itself would become a target for son in the Irish government gave at a breakfast hosted particularly paramilitary groups that continue to exist, albeit in by the Irish Consulate in New York, he expressed frusexposed to reduced numbers, in Northern Ireland and the border tration that Ireland was spending “hundreds of mileconomic area. lions” to prepare for Brexit, which he described as a turbulence from a noMeanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that “problem that is not of our making and that we disdeal Brexit. there has been a distinct change of policy due to the agree with.” change of prime minister. “Prime Minister May and Tánaiste Coveney warned that border infrastrucher government were very much for a close relationship with ture would be inevitable if a hard Brexit resulted in two difthe single market and a single customs territory…whereas ferent regulatory systems on the island of Ireland. This would mean checks and controls at ports, airports and at cer- the new prime minister and his government are looking tain points on the land border between both countries. While for a looser arrangement, something more akin to the relationship the E.U. has with Canada. This actually makes the this would cause inevitable inconvenience to business and to backstop all the more important and all the more necessary.” regulatory bodies in both countries, the main worry is that
DUBLIN LOSING ITS CULTURAL CACHET
number of recent closures of highprofile cultural venues in Dublin City has led to an outcry that the city is losing its cultural cachet and replacing it with high-cost accommodation and hotels. Matters came to a head following the announcement that the Bernard Shaw pub was closing its Portobello location after 13 years. This pub – with its beer garden, food market, art, and performance spaces – was hugely popular and for many, it was the last straw.
The response from the public has led to a political move to safeguard Dublin’s cultural spaces. Dublin city councillors took a vote to protect cultural spaces and limit the number of hotels in the city. As they are the ones who control planning, this vote could have an impact in the future. The Minister for the Arts Josepha Madigan has set up two late-night culture pilot schemes for both Dublin and Cork. These will look at the situation in
detail and will also ask whether changing the country’s licensing laws could have a beneficial effect on Ireland’s nightlife.“We want to ensure that we protect our cultural spaces,” said Minister Madigan. “Artists are part of the fabric and DNA of being Irish, and we want to allow them to have the spaces to enjoy themselves and do something a bit different on a night out.” We want to ensure that we protect our cultural spaces,” she said.
The Bernard Shaw pub
12 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
TOURISM IRELAND IMAGERY
BREXIT AND THE BORDER
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NEWS • HIBERNIA
THE PLOUGHING STARS IN CARLOW
he National Ploughing Championships is one of Ireland’s most unusual and unique events. It takes place in a different location every year and this year, it was the turn of Fenagh in County Carlow. From September 17-19, this small village was transformed into the beating heart of Irish agriculture. Over the course of the three days, a total of 297,000 people made their way to the grounds to see displays of livestock, machinery, crafts, live music, fashion, innovative technologies, over 1,700 exhibitors, and more than 300 competitors. The event was officially opened on by President Michael D. Higgins, who used the opportunity to call for more support for Irish beef farmers in light of their recent protests about pricing. The focus of the event is always the ploughing competitions themselves. Former world champion Eamon Tracey from County Carlow won his tenth senior conventional plough title in a row and will shortly be competing for another world title in Russia. Kilkenny’s Siobhán Darmody won the Farmerette (women’s) class and William Kehoe won gold in the Macra (or young farmer’s) category. This was the 88th year of the championships and every year sees record-breaking crowds. This looks set to continue, for the next generation are fans of this event too, as was obvious from the high number of entries in junior competitions.
Gerry Reilly, County Galway, offering his expert advice to GAA stars Eoghan Kerin and Steven O’Brien and Queen of the Land Louise Crowley.
JULIEN BEHAL /THE LONGFORD LEADER.
IRELAND’S YOUTH DELEGATES AT UN
reland’s U.N. Youth Delegates Valery Molay from Dublin and Jack O’Connor from Kilcolman, County Limerick, were selected to join Ireland’s official delegation to the United Nations for the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September. There they had the opportunity to represent the youth of Ireland during sessions of the U.N. committee dealing with human rights issues. Speaking ahead of their departure for New York, the delegates highlighted issues of importance to young people, who engaged with them on social media and sent video messages voicing their concerns in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit. “This summer alone, we have seen the lungs of the earth on fire, extreme heat like never seen before across Europe, and strong hurricanes destroy millions of livelihoods. More importantly, a generation that has decided not to look the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign other way while our future goes out Affairs and Trade, in flame has taken center stage. We Simon Coveney, may have contributed the least to met with Molay this crisis, but if world leaders, corpo- and O’Connor, at rations, industries, and individuals do a special event held Government not step up to the challenge, our en- in Buildings, Dublin, tire generation will be condemned to prior to their a gloomy future,” they said in a joint departure for New York. statement.
IRISH CHILDREN JOIN CLIMATE STRIKE
T RTE NEWS
housands of Irish schoolchildren joined the Global Climate Strike, which took place on Friday, the September 20. There were more than 4,000 events registered worldwide for the international day of action and hundreds of schools across Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Galway city centers got involved, as
well as local communities in locations as scattered as Enniscorthy, Maynooth, and Dingle. In Dublin, more than 10,000 children and young people gathered at the city’s Custom House Quay, where they held signs and chanted for over an hour. Despite Ireland becoming only the second country in the world to declare a climate emergency, the prevalent mood at these strikes was that the government was not doing enough to tackle the problem. While their message was serious, their chosen means of communication was often humorous. Handmade signs included slogans such as “I’ve seen smarter cabinets in IKEA” and “Save the Sea, Michael D.”There was some controversy in the days before the strike when the prestigious fee-paying school Blackrock College barred its students from attending. Nevertheless, some Blackrock school uniforms were spotted in the crowds. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 13
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HIBERNIA • NEWS Fans celebrate Dublin’s win.
DUBLIN BEATS KERRY IN ALL-IRELAND
ld rivals Kerry and Dublin met in the All-Ireland Football Final again this year. Following a nail-biting draw on Sunday, September 1, which finished with both teams on 1-16 apiece, the teams took to the pitch of Croke Park for a replay on Saturday, the 14. Dublin started in fine form and were 0-5 to 0-1 up after eight minutes. But Kerry rallied and the teams went into the second half with ten points each. Everything changed in the first minute of the second half. Eoin Murchan scored a goal for Dublin. Although Kerry came back to within a point of the Dubs, they never managed to pull ahead. The older and more experienced Dublin team triumphed over Kerry manager Peter Keane’s young side and the game ended on a score of Dublin 1-18 to Kerry 0-15. Dublin made history. They are the first team in Gaelic Athletic Association
record and make it six in a row next year. The rest of the country may have something to say about that, especially the Kerry team, who are young, quickly gaining in experience, and champing at the bit for a win.
SMALL TOWNS BEAR THE BRUNT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS
reland’s latest economic boom passed by the small rural towns like Oughterard, County Galway; Moville, County Donegal; and Rooskey, County Roscommon, which have unwittingly generated international headlines after locals opposed centers designated by the Irish government to accommodate hundreds of asylum-seekers. The town of Oranmore in County Galway has become a focal point in the protest. A public meeting that was organized in the town to discuss turning a closed hotel into an accommodation center for asylum seekers attracted a crowd of up to 700 people in early September and a few days later, hundreds marched through the town to protest. According to the 2011 census, Oranmore has a population of 4,799 people. The main objection cited by locals was that it was too small to absorb an immigrant population of 300 asylum seekers. They also complained that they were not being properly consulted about the possibility of having an asylum center located in their town. Politicians have rowed into the debate. Local Independent TD Noel Grealish was recorded speaking at the initial meeting, calling the asylum seekers “economic migrants from Africa who were coming to Ireland to sponge off the system.” His remarks prompted widespread criticism, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar urging him to withdraw them. President Michael D. Higgins has spoken out too, appealing to both sides. Speaking on a visit to New York, he said: “People are entitled, as citizens going through processes of change, to be 14 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
communicated with and given the best possible information.” However, he added that there had been “sinister anti-migrant” messages put out and that people needed to discuss migration armed “straightforwardly with facts.” “When you look at the evidence that is sometimes fired around, have migrants replaced workers,” he asked. “The empirical evidence is that they have not. Then look at whether migrants replaced people on housing lists. They have not. We must correct facts when they’re abused in this way.” Meanwhile in Galway, GAA stars ran along asylum seekers in an 8K race to show their support for those living in Direct Provision. The race took place on August 10 with race-walking world champion and Olympic medalist Olive Loughnane and AllIreland winner Alan Kerins joining the Sanctuary Runners. GALWAY DAILY
history to ever have won five All-Ireland Football Finals in a row. Kerry tried and failed to do so in 1982, having won the previous four finals. Dublin’s feat may never be repeated. Or they may go on to break their own
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NEWS • HIBERNIA
IRELAND LOOKS TO FINANCES IN 2025
reland’s Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy, was in New York City on July 28 to launch the “Ireland for Finance” five-year strategy plan at a breakfast at the Irish Consulate, attended by representatives from top financial firms based in New York and Dublin. In order to achieve the goals laid out for each pillar, the department has outlined three priorities that will apply across the board: regionalization, sustainable finance, and diversity. Branching outside of Dublin for business development has already commenced but, over the next five years, increased development of infrastructure hopes to spearhead further business in all areas of Ireland. Using the term “crossover” to describe bringing together minds from different sectors, the government has already funded a six-acre innovation district in Dublin that is being led by Holy Trinity College. The Grand Canal Innovation District will include apartment buildings, work spaces, bars, coffee shops, and more areas of congregation that will allow young people the ability to meet,
N Minister Michael D’Arcy, Deirdre O’Connor, a managing director at BlackRock, and Consul General Ciarán Madden.
share ideas, and collaborate. Many are hopeful the district will become a hub for conceptual development and innovation. Citing an analogy recently made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, D’Arcy suggested that Ireland can be the bridge between Asia and America. As the time zone is in the middle of both parties and as the only English-speaking country set to be in the E.U., the opportunity to bridge the gap between the western and eastern global financial hubs is not just a possibility but something that is already being pursued. Beyond technological infrastructure, the new runway currently under construction at the Dublin airport, already a major hub for business travel, will facilitate the increased demand as traffic at the airport continues to increase with June 2019 seeing a record-breaking 3.2 million passengers. Minister D’Arcy, who had already announced the strategy in Brussels, followed New York with visits to Chicago, Singapore, and Hong Kong to continue the launch tour for the 2025 plan. – By Gregory Chestler
THE FUTURE OF BERTRA STRAND
UI Galway’s School of Geography and Archaeology hosted an event on September 26 to kickstart local climate action that threatens the long-term future of Bertra Strand in County Mayo. Located on the southern shore of Clew Bay, Bertra Strand and its dunes are in a precarious state. It has been pounded by a series of storms in the past decade with dire consequences. These and other pressures, especially climate change, threaten its long-term future. An integrated vision is needed for the future welfare of the whole coastal landscape, where the natural environment is inextricably linked to that of the local communities of Murrisk, Lecanvy, and Belclare. Ongoing coastal erosion and flooding, a perceived lack of integration in planning and management to-date, and local jobs into the future are issues that have been identified in the area. Dr. Kevin Lynch, School of Geography at NUI Galway, says: “We must capitalize now, on the surging political consciousness of climaterelated threats that coastal communities have been highlighting for years. Locally led actions supported by responsible authorities can drive real change, if citizens act now.” Professor Enzo Pranzini (University of Florence), Professor Bas Pedroli (Wageningen University), and Dr. Maura Farrell (NUI Galway), shared experiences at a follow-up event by the E.U. AELCLIC Project at The Tavern, Murrisk, County Mayo, on October 1. The outcomes of the events are expected to be a greater awareness of possible solutions and a solid commitment from those interested to work together to take action. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 15
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HIBERNIA • ART
IRISH AMERICANS HONORED IN NEW ROSS The Hall of Fame, Kennedy Summer School, and the opening of a Savannah exhibit all happened in New Ross in early September.
wo Americans with connections to New Ross were inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in County Wexford in September. Dr. Frank Rossiter, a pioneering Savannah doctor, and the late John McShain, a philanthropist who donated vast amounts of money to schools, colleges, and hospitals, and provided financial support to students including Alice O’Neill McLoughlin, one of the closest Irish relatives to James O’Neill (Eugene O’Neill’s father), who had proposed McShain’s induction. McShain, who was known as “The Man Who Built Washington,” was born in Philadelphia to Irish parents from County Derry. From the 1930s to the 1960s, McShain set his sights on building the nation’s capital, and erected about a hundred buildings in Washington, D.C., including the Pentagon, the Jefferson Memorial, the State Department, Washington National Airport, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He also worked from 1949-52 on reconstructing the White House. McShain stayed close to his Irish roots, and in 1960 he bought 8,500 acres in Kerry, including Inisfallen Monastic Island and Ross Castle, which he donated to the Irish nation in 1973, retaining Killarney House and 50 acres, where he died on September 9, 1989. A large crowd gathered at the Dunbrody Centre in New Ross, where the Irish America Hall of Fame is housed, for the induction of both McShain and Dr. Rossiter. Dr. Rossiter regaled guests with stories of his family history, adding that his great-grandfather married a woman who immigrated to Quebec from New Ross. He acknowledged the presence of Bishop Denis Brennan, and the visiting group from Savannah, where Dr. Rossiter is celebrated for his work in the medical field and his commitment to his Irish heritage. For 10 years he served as a medical doctor in the U.S. army, following which he went on to establish himself in private practice in his home city, building a highly respected office offering pediatric, allergy, and clinical immunology services to an economically and racially broad cross-section of the Savannah community. In addition to his private practice, he served on the staff of each of the city’s full-service teaching hospitals: St. Joseph’s (founded by Irish nuns in 1875), Candler, and Memorial Health. At the 16 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
TOP: The New Savannah exhibition is officially opened at the Dunbrody Center, by Sean Connick, the Centre’s CEO, and Dr. Frank Rossiter. LEFT: Bruce Morrison, the former congressman from Connecticut best known for pioneering the Immigration Reform Act of 1990, which granted 48,000 work visas to Irish people. He was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2013. BELOW: Betsy Joyce Bracken, John McShain’s niece, receiving the Hall of Fame award for her uncle, who was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame posthumously. Betsy was presented with the award by fellow inductee Dr. Frank Rossiter.
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PHOTOS: MARY BROWN
LEFT: Irish America’s publisher Niall O’Dowd with journalist Maureen Dowd CENTER: The late John McShain, the great American businessman and philanthropist BELOW: Ellen McCourt.
Memorial unit called Backus Children’s Hospital (the only such hospital in southeast Georgia), Dr. Rossiter performed a number of roles over the decades, most notably serving as chair of the department of pediatrics. For Memorial as a whole, he was appointed chair of the medical advisory committee and a member of the ethics committee. Dr. Rossiter, who traveled to New Ross with his family, served as the grand marshal of Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2008. In his acceptance remarks he said, “I could not be more proud of my Irish heritage as a member and past president of the Hibernian society.” He added that his dad was really the one who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His father, Francis P. Rossiter, Sr., had captained a U.S. military landing craft during the D-Day invasion, taking time out from his career as a journalist on the Savannah Morning News to serve his country. His “City Beat” column became a Savannah institution, so much so that readers began their day with the paper’s back page, where “City Beat” appeared. Over the last 13 years of his life, Frank Sr. served multiple consecutive terms as deputy mayor of Savannah, invariably securing the highest vote tallies in citywide races.
Savannah and New Ross have a long and deep connection, and to honor that bond, the Dunbrody Visitor Experience has opened a new Savannah exhibit which depicts what immigrants might expect had they arrived in Savannah in the 1840s and 1850s – some 20,000 Irish immigrated from New Ross to Savannah during that period, mainly from Wexford and Tipperary. The exhibit is located at the end of the ship tour, just before visitors arrive at the Irish America Hall of Fame.
THE KENNEDY SUMMER SCHOOL Other visitors to the Irish America Hall of Fame in September, included Ellen McCourt, who was there as a tourist; former congressman Bruce Morrison; Irish America’s publisher Niall O’Dowd; and Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, who were in New Ross to take part in the seventh annual Kennedy Summer School, which ran from September 5 through the 7. Brexit, the upcoming Irish budget, and the possibility of an imminent general election were all discussed in detail by the expert guest speakers. Northern Ireland was very much in the spotlight, with DUP chief whip at Westminster Jeffrey Donaldson and Senator Michael McDowell discussing the twists and turns of Brexit. Niall O’Dowd and Michael Lonergan, the deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C., discussed the future of the Trump administration, and his time in office to date, considering his chances of re-election and the particularly crowded race for Democratic presidential nominees. There was also a series of public interviews, including an audience with Maureen Dowd, who won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for journalism, and authored three New York Times bestsellers. Former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Seamus Mallon and former congressman and classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton Bruce Morrison also took part. For his part in procuring permanent residency for thousands of Irish people in the 1980s and ’90s, Morrison was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame in 2016. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 17
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HIBERNIA • IRISH EYE ON HOLLYWOOD
By Tom Deignan
FROM AILES TO POWER
cademy Award winner Russell Crowe was most recently seen on the Showtime political drama The Loudest Voice, about TV kingmaker Roger Ailes and the rise of Fox News. Now, instead of a character who enrages American Democrats, Crowe is headed home to play an Irishman who enrages Australian authorities. Crowe is slated to star in The True History of the Kelly Gang, based on Peter Carey’s best-selling 2000 novel. If a movie based on Kelly’s life sounds familiar, that’s because the late Heath Ledger starred in a similar movie – entitled Ned Kelly, which came out in 2003. Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger also starred in a famously quirky version of the Kelly story back in 1970. This time around, Crowe plays Harry Power, who was born in Waterford in 1819, but was sent to a penal colony in Australia. It was there that Power teamed up with a younger troublemaker by the name of Ned Kelly (played by Brit George MacKay), whose own parents made their way to Australia by way of Ireland. Kelly, of course, would go on to become a notorious outlaw in the eyes of British authorities in Australia, and a folk hero of sorts to many struggling Irish Catholics. The True History of the Kelly Gang premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and is expected to open in Australia, the U.S., and across Europe in late 2019 or early 2020.
PETER RABBIT IS BACK
lso in early 2020, on the other end of the sequel spectrum, there is Peter Rabbit 2, featuring the talents (voices, as well as live-action acting) of Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, James Corden, and David Oleyowo. Gleeson – who was just in the Irish-American crime caper The Kitchen, and will be in a little film called The Rise of Skywalker in December – reprises his role as Thomas McGregor, for another round of chicanery and adventures based on the famous Beatrix Potter stories, with the titular bunny (voiced by Corden), his pal Benjamin, and a menagerie of other mischievous creatures.
BLINDERS AND QUIET
ith all of the hype surrounding the impending return to Netflix of Peaky Blinders, it’s easy to forget Cillian Murphy is also a movie star. Next spring, look for Murphy in A Quiet Place: Part II, a sequel to the smash 2018 horror flick from The Office sitcom star and all around Renaissance man John Krasinski. When last we checked in with the Abbott family (Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt), they were doing their best to silently survive in the wake of some type of cataclysmic event, which left the earth teeming with alien life forms with hyper-sensitive hearing (hence the title). Any noise usually results in a deadly attack. Not much is yet known about the sequel to A Quiet Place, other than the fact that Emily Blunt is returning, as are the two Abbott children (Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds), along with newcomers Murphy and Djimon Honsou. Meanwhile, season 5 of Peaky Blinders – about Irish and British gangsters in 1920s England – debuted on BBC One in August and will hit Netflix in October.
COPPOLA’S CONTEMPORARY COTTON CLUB
uch of the talk at this year’s New York Film Festival (running through October 13) will be about Martin Scorsese’s epic The Irishman. In fact, time will be set aside to talk about The Irishman – and Scorsese’s entire career – when Kent Jones interviews the acclaimed director and film historian on Saturday, September 28, at Alice Tully Hall. Another legendary director, Francis Ford Coppola, will also be front and center at the NYFF. Best known for the first two Godfather movies, Coppola will also be talking about an updated version of his 1984 movie The Cotton Club – the screenplay of which was written by celebrated Irish-American novelist William Kennedy. Kennedy teamed up with Coppola right after the former was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his “Albany cycle” novel Ironweed, which was later turned into a film starring acting legends Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. Film Festival organizers describe The Cotton Club as a “stylish throwback to those 1930s Hollywood standbys, the gang-
18 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
ster film and the musical.” It “was considered a costly disappointment, altered seemingly irrevocably due to behind-the-scenes conflicts with producers and financiers. Yet this sophisticated, witty, wildly ambitious movie...was always something special, a rousing American entertainment that was both an Director evocation of the work of such directors as Raoul Francis Ford Walsh and William Wellman and a loving recreation Coppola of the period itself.” Bob Hoskins plays Irish-American gangster Owney “The Killer” Madden in The Cotton Club, while a young Nicholas Cage (who is Coppola’s nephew) portrays Vincent Dwyer, who seems an awful lot like the infamous hood Irish Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll. Richard Gere plays a more peaceful type, Irish-American musician Dixie Dwyer. The Cotton Club screens, along with a Coppola Q&A, on October 5 at Alice Tully Hall.
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Peaky Blinders, returning to Netflix in October
GAVIN O’CONNOR’S NEXT FLICK
NEXT ROCKER IN LINE FOR A BIOPIC?
reddie Mercury and Elton John have already gotten the Hollywood rock-n-roll bio treatment. A Boy George (born George O’Dowd, to Irish parents in England) flick is in the works. So it makes sense that the next rocker to move from music to movies is Irish punker Shane MacGowan. Hollywood legend Johnny Depp Shane and Irish rising star Barry Keoghan are MacGowan, slated to star in a film about the fafrontman of mously colorful and decadent singer The Pogues of The Pogues and his wife Victoria Mary Clarke. The movie will focus on Shane and Victoria’s romance, as The Pogues were trying to hit it big with a mix of Irish folk and Brit punk in the 1980s. MacGowan was born in England to Irish parents and spent lots of time in Tipperary before falling under the spell of 1970s punk like The Clash and The Sex Pistols. As well-known for his wild ways as his electrifying music, MacGowan and The Pogues had several unlikely hits, including the Christmas classic “Fairytale of New York” and the raucous “Body of an American,” which was featured numerous times in the classic TV drama The Wire – whenever a police officer was buried. As for Barry Keoghan, you know he’s on the cusp of the big time because he’s moving from Indy Irish dramas (like ‘71 and Black ‘47) to centuries-spanning superhero movies. In 2020, he will appear in Green Knight (based on the old Sir Gawain tales) as well as The Eternals, one of the next big Marvel Comics Universe movies, which also stars Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek. Keoghan will also appear in the FX network’s cable drama Y, a sci-fi series about a post-apocalyptic world in which only one male has survived.
rish-American director Gavin O’Connor has had an interesting Hollywood career. The Long Island-reared O’Connor made a name for himself with smaller films like 1999’s Tumbleweeds and the 2004 drama about the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team Miracle. In 2008 came what seemed to be a breakthrough – the epic Pride and Glory, starring Colin Farrell, Ed Norton, and John Voight. The film – written, directed, and produced by O’Connor – harkened back to 1970s cinema that strove to be both very serious and very entertaining. It explored the dysfunctional Irish-American Tierneys, a family of New York police officers dabbling in secrets and corruption. For all of this potential, however, the film received mixed reviews and barely broke even at the box office. Still, big stars appeared in O’Connor’s subsequent gritty movies – Tom Hardy in Warrior, Natalie Portman in Jane Got a Gun, and Ben Affleck in The Accountant. Affleck is back again in O’Connor’s forthcoming spring 2020 film The Way Back, about Ben Affleck a one-time basketball star named Jack in The Cunningham, Accountant whose life has run off the rails. Cunningham tries to get his life together by becoming the basketball coach at his former high school. Comedian Al Madrigal and Janina Gavankar also star.
inally, he may not have been the most glamorous Irish Hollywood player, but Anthony “Bronco” McLoughlin – who died back in March – lived quite a life. As a supporting actor and stuntman, he worked on Stars Wars and Gangs of New York. Legend has it that on the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark, he taught Harrison Ford how to use Indiana Jones’ beloved bullwhip. Born in Kildare, McLoughlin – who was 80 when he died – also appeared in The Mission and Total Recall, eventually earning his way into something called the Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame, which is based in Moab, Utah, but is currently without a home due to financial trouble. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 19
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HIBERNIA • ART
LOVE OF COUNTRY
hen music legend Bruce Springsteen recorded his excellent 2007 “Live in Dublin” concert, it’s no accident that the famed rock-n-roller opted for a decidedly more country flavor, using fiddles and slide guitars, on tunes such as “Jesse James” and “My Oklahoma Home.” Springsteen – who in his recent biography said he grew up on a New Jersey block surrounded by “old-school musicians into the country staple “The Streets of Irish, the people who have raised me: McNiLaredo.” Country star Vince Gill performed cholases, O’Hagans, Farrells” – is a music historian “Streets” on the soundtrack to the Irish immigrant as well as performer. So, the Dublin concert documentary Long Journey Home. seemed to be The Boss’ way of acknowledging More recently, Irish country music fans should the massive role the Irish played in the evolution check out the Coen Brothers’ 2018 movie The Balof American country music – which would then go lad of Buster Scruggs, for Brendan Gleeson’s vocal on to play a massive role in the evolution of performance of “Streets,” and the wonderful overall Springsteen’s beloved rock ‘n’ roll. Celtic-tinged score. The history and influence of country music is the Burns does an admirable job exploring the latest sprawling subject to be tackled by acmany influences that shaped country – immiclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. grants, yes, but also slavery, nostalgia, heartBest known for epic projects such as The Civil War, break, and even big-city folk like songwriter Baseball and Vietnam – all of which run well over Stephen Foster. Later episodes feature alternately 10 hours – Burns has now turned his eye to this touching and hilarious interviews with, and profiles TOP: Johnny quintessential American art form. of, mega stars from Dolly Parton to Johnny Cash. “Country music is about two four-letter words,” Cash. Cash, of course, loved Ireland and penned “40 Burns said in a recent interview. “Love and loss.” Shade of Green,” as a tribute. (Read more about that ABOVE: Documentary filmRight up front in Country Music, Burns makes it clear on page 88). A memorable comic moment comes maker Ken Burns. that the roots of country music run far and deep, from when country-fried fiddler Charlie Daniel recalls meetAfrica to Europe. So, of course, it would be a challenge ing celebrated violinist Itzhak Perlman – who promptly for any filmmaker to do proper justice to Ireland’s contribution to declares, “We’re all fiddlers!” country music, which remains easily one of the most popular and By the 1920s, when the national press had christened this profitable art forms in America. Still, some viewers may also note music craze beloved by southern whites “hillbilly music,” counthat in a film that runs over 16 hours in the course of eight try’s old-world influences were being overpowered by distinctly episodes, Burns – and collaborator Dayron Duncan – could have American factors, from the spread of radio technology to Jim spent a bit more time focusing on distinctly Irish or Scotch-Irish Crow racism. If Burns doesn’t quite spend adequate time on influences, rather than speaking so broadly about “the British how the Irish shaped country music, Irish and Irish-American Isles,” as narrator Peter Coyote so often does. artists have more than made up for it over the years. There is Early on, Country Music does make it clear that the fiddle – even an Irish Country Music Hall of Fame in Ireland. Artists from widely acknowledged as a central instrument in the history of Mick Maloney to Van Morrison, Ronan Keating to Tim McGraw, Irish music – played a pivotal role in the tunes that frontier 18thhave all illustrated how vibrant and diverse Irish country can be. and 19th-century American settlers used to tell stories, and remiIf you doubt it, check out Springsteen’s version of “Jesse nisce about old days and ways. Burns’ documentary makes speJames” – and then listen to Shane MacGowan’s. They are comcific reference to the many lives of a traditional Irish song like the pletely different – which is to say they are both utterly Irish and “Bard of Armagh,” which would later be turned by southern American. – Tom Deignan Leenane. The 1998 Donagh’ forsher TheBroadway Beauty Music Man Queen turn officially in ofMartin opens Mcnext year. Meanwhile, Conor McPherson’s midwest musical
ON BROADWAY: MULLEN, McPHERSON AND MORE Dublin, story and and characters the musical to life brings on stage. the same
he bright lights of Broadway are going to have a strong tint of green in the comingand shows collaborating months. performances withSeveral A-list names. big-time feature Irish music stars First, there is a new production of the celebrated show The Music Man. Starring Hugh Jackman porting winner theater decades, Marie star cast and on includes Mullen. Mullen won both andaSutton sides Sligo-born Best Actress ofFoster, the hasTony Atlantic been Tony theAward supainfor
Donnacha Dennehy is featured as part of ing the the Alarm country Will Sound performing project, which is tour-
Girl From the North Country features words writer of previous and story works bylike theThe great Weir, Irishand theJohn on musicCarney’s of Bob Dylan. film A musical based Sing Street will also be opening this fall. The to movie NewisYork set in theater the 1980s audiences
20 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
The Hunger, an oratorio September New midwest, St. and perform. Louis. Irish York, folk British including –and about performances Tom singer Boston, soprano Deignan the aLarla November Irish it Katherine O moves in famine. Lionaird Newto 9Jersey, After show the Manley alsoin
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HIBERNIA • ART
DUBLIN MURDERS AIRING ON STARZ NETWORK
WHO WAS “THE IRISHMAN”?
few years back, author Tana French told Irish America about her unusual journey from under-employed actress to “First Lady he mysteries surrounding the disappearance of longtime organized of Irish Crime.” labor leader Jimmy Hoffa were so numerous, and eventually so “I needed a day job,” said French, an Americanoutlandish, they became a source of dark comedy in many movies born longtime resident of Dublin. French ended up and TV shows. So much so that acclaimed singer Aimee Mann once working on an archeological dig when she was actually wrote a song entitled “Jimmy Hoffa Jokes.” bowled over by a disturbing thought. There may be one or two such gags in Martin Scorsese’s much antici“What if three children went in to play (in the pated new movie The Irishman, which prominently features Hoffa, played site) and only one came by Hollywood legend Al Pacino. out?” But Hoffa is not the Irishman of the title. Begging the question – who is? Those were the humHis name is Frank Sheeran. He was born outside of Philadelphia, in ble beginnings of what 1920, to Irish-American parents Mary and Tom. He enlisted in the army would become French’s in 1941, before the attack on Pearl Harbor, serving in Italy, France, and riveting, best-selling Germany. And though he later described some rather horrific experidebut In the Woods, ences during the war, so far, Sheeran’s life hardly seems to be the stuff which won an Edgar of a three-hour Martin Scorsese movie. It may well have been during the Award for best debut war that Sheeran (played by Robert DeNiro) developed a rather indiffernovel. ent attitude toward human life. After the war, he worked as truck driver, This fall, the Starz netand married an Irish immigrant named Mary. They had three children towork will begin broadgether before divorcing in 1968. By then, he was rubbing shoulders with casting an eight-episode Italian-American mobsters, who sensed a useful, violent streak in series called Dublin MurSheeran. Underworld figures like Philly kingpin Angelo Bruno (played by ders, based on French’s Harvey Keitel in The Irishman film) and Pennsylvania mob boss Russell first two books. Bufalino (played by Joe Pesci) recruited Sheeran for some of the more Set during the height of the Celtic Tiger financial gruesome work that’s called for in the world of organized crime. boom of the early 2000s, Dublin Murders revolves Sheeran is even believed to be the trigger man in one of the most higharound French’s detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie profile gangland slayings in mob history – the 1972 murder of “Crazy” Maddox. Joe Gallo (played by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco) at Umbertos’ When they begin to look into a child’s murder, Clam House in Manhattan’s Little Italy. they discover a tense community caught between It was in 1975 that Sheeran, who allegedly had a very successful career old and new Ireland. A local teenage girl has been “painting houses,” a code phrase for killing people, (maybe) pulled off his found dead in the middle of an archeological site. most audacious job. He had worked regularly with Teamster’s union boss Developers had been planning to built a new Jimmy Hoffa, who himself had many ties to the underworld. This led to motorway through the area. many lucrative opportunities – that is, until those underworld figures A neighboring estate, Knocknaree, started to turn on him. Hoffa also had highly-publicized battles missed out on much of the Celtic Tiger with Bobby Kennedy, who waged a high-profile war on organized boom. And this is the not the first time crime, particularly as it influenced unions, and other elements of a local child has been lost – two the labor movement. decades earlier, three children went According to Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint missing, and only one came back alive. Houses: Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran and Closing the Case Dublin Murders stars Killian Scott as on Jimmy Hoffa (the basis for Scorsese’s movie), Sheeran met Rob Reilly. Scott has appeared on the up with Hoffa on the evening of July 30, 1975. They were both RTÉ TV show Love/Hate, as well as driven by an associate named Chuckie O’Brien to a house in movies such as Calvary, ‘71, and The Detroit, where a topic of discussion was likely to be Hoffa’s Commuter. Cassie Maddox, meanwhile, ongoing conflict with numerous mob figures. In the end, LEFT: Sarah is portrayed by Tony Award-nominee Sheeran shot Hoffa, whose body never turned up. Thus began Greene and Killian Sarah Greene, who has appeared in decades of dark comedy about corpses buried underneath Scott in Dublin Showtime’s Penny Dreadful and the Irish Giants Stadium in the swamps of New Jersey. Murders Famine epic Black ‘47. Conleth Hill, For what it’s worth, law enforcement has never managed to deTOP RIGHT: Al Pacino and Robert Lea McNamara, and Eugene O’Hare finitively tie Sheeran – who died in 2003 – to Hoffa’s disappearance. De Niro in The also appear in Dublin Murders, which The irony is that Sheeran’s father, Thomas Francis Sheeran Jr., Irishman begins airing on the Starz network in was, in fact, a house painter. ABOVE: Frank Sheeran November. –Tom Deignan Scorsese’s movie is on Netflix. – Tom Deignan
22 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
UBS honorees celebrate Irish America on their 22nd Annual Wall Street 50 Awards Dennis McCann
Managing Director– Chief Communications Officer - Americas New York, NY
Managing Director– Wealth Management Private Wealth Management New York, NY
Managing Director– Wealth Management Private Wealth Management New York, NY
Senior Vice President– Wealth Management Private Wealth Management New York, NY
Irish America’s annual Wall Street 50 recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and success of the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders of the financial industry. Accolades are independently determined and awarded by their respective publications. For more information on the award, visit the publication’s website. Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor its employees pay a fee in exchange for these ratings. Accolades can be based on a variety of criteria including length of service, compliance records, client satisfaction, assets under management, revenue, type of clientele and more. © UBS 2019. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC.
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HIBERNIA • ART
PHOENIX REMEMBERS THE GREAT HUNGER
PHOTO: JAMES CONNOLLY
subsequent years of emigration which saw many Famine Irish and their descendants make an enormous contribution to the western U.S., and the ongoing role of the Irish diaspora and Irish Americans in Arizona and throughout the western U.S,” Madigan commented. This will be the fifth time the commemoration has been held in the United States, having previously been hosted in New York, Boston, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. Phoenix will be the westernmost venue to date. With a total of 10 international commemorations since its inception in 2009, the event has also been held in Toronto, Quebec, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The commemoration in Phoenix coincides with the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the city’s Great Hunger Memorial, commissioned by the Irish 24 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
(PHOTO BY MICHAEL BAXTER BAXTER IMAGING LLC.)
he 2019 International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, November 3. Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, Josepha Madigan T.D., made the announcement in July. “This year’s commemoration represents an opportunity to not only recognize the work of the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library in Phoenix itself, but to honor the memory of those who left Ireland during the Famine itself, the
cultural activities, while the Cottage is a replica of a typical 1850s Irish cottage. Towering over both, the Castle houses McClelland Library and serves as a place to study genealogy, attend classes, and view exhibits from Irish history. In fact, a color fascimile of the famed eighth-ninthcentury New Testament manuscript the Book of Kells resides there on permanent display. Regular, seasonal, and annual events at the complex include Christmas at the Castle, the Winter Solstice An Taoiseach, Leo Celebration, genealogy Varadkar, speaking at workshops, family story Cultural Center in 1999. Dethe National Famine hour, celtic singing, ceili signed by Phoenix artist Commemoration, dancing, and more. You Maureen McGuire, the meStephen St. Car Park, Sligo. can also take classes in morial takes the form of a music, dancing, art, gedolmen and stands on the TOP: An Gorta Mór nealogy, language, and grounds of the center. Great Hunger Memorial in Phoenix, Arizona, drama. Tours are available McGuire, who grew up in was commissioned by during normal open hours an Irish enclave of Bay Ridge, the Irish Cultural Cenand start at the Cottage. Brooklyn, also designed the ter in 1999. Meanwhile, in Ireland, stained-glass windows of the the annual national commemoration recenter, which themselves are works of volves between the four provinces. An art. The entire complex looks like it just Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. officiated at got transported from an Ireland of centhe 2019 National Famine Commemoraturies ago. tion which took place in Sligo on Sunday, The center contains three buildings – May 19, paying tribute to the more than the Great Hall, the Cottage and the 2,000 famine victims who are buried on Castle – that surround a central Clos, or the grounds of what is now St. John’s large courtyard, and An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger Memorial). The Great Hall Community Hospital in Ballytivnan, a townland in Calry Civil Parish, in Barony, contains Irish artwork, a fireplace with stone from County Clare, and hosts reg- County Sligo. –Irish America Staff ular dancing, swordfighting, and other
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS… Titanic Belfast
Home to the hum of festivals. To the thrilling notes of traditional music. To the chatter of family and feasts shared with friends. And to the legendary buzz of the Irish pub. Listen carefully because Ireland is calling, from the fast-paced beat of the Titanic city to cozy corners where laughter rises to the roof. There, against a backdrop of Ireland’s one hundred thousand welcomes, memories are prompted, acquaintances rekindled and promises made to stay connected. They say you should always listen to you heart, and it’s telling you to come home. Find your way home at
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HIBERNIA • ART
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND IRELAND
PHOTO COPYRIGHT NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND.
26 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
event perfectly complements our special exhibition “Cost of Revolution,” which brings together significant artifacts and works of art from three continents to tell the dramatic, personal story of an illfated Irish soldier who found himself repeatedly on the wrong side of history.” Irish Ambassador to the United States Daniel Mulhall was in Philadelphia October 1 for a special conversation with Dr. Martin Mansergh as part of an evening presentation at the museum. Dr. Mansergh is a historian and former Irish political advisor who helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement. He is also a descendent of Richard St. George. “Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier” will be on view from September 28, 2019, until March 17, 2020. – Maggie Holland For more information: amrevmuseum.org/events/ american-revolution-and-ireland
CREDIT NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA, MELBOURNE, FELTON BEQUEST, 1922.
he Irish involvement in the American Revolution is often lost in the stories dominated by tales of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. Now, a new exhibition at Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution seeks to change that. Called “Cost of Revolution: The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier,” this special exhibition follows the untold story of Richard Mansergh St. George, an Irish artist and officer in the British Army, whose personal trauma and untimely death provide a window into the entangled histories of the American Revolution of 1776 and the Irish Revolution of 1798. The exhibition will include treasures from Ireland’s 18th-century revolutionary history on display in America for the very first time, including Wolfe Tone’s bloodstained wallet from the National Museum of Ireland. “We are delighted to bring such distinguished Irish voices to Philadelphia to explore the intertwined histories of Ireland and America, and to reflect on the legacy of our shared revolutionary heritage for the world today,” said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution. “This
TOP: Light infantry officer William Dansey captured this flag from a Delaware militia colonel. ABOVE: Painting of Richard St. George by Thomas Gainsborough (1776). LEFT: A redcoat’s dog’s brass collar. BOTTOM LEFT: 1798 Irish Rebellion leader Wolfe Tone’s bloodstained wallet. BOTTOM RIGHT: Painting of the Battle of Germantown by Xavier della Gatta.
Refinitiv is proud to support Irish America and the extraordinary achievements of Irish American leaders. refinitiv.com
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HIBERNIA • EVENTS
PRESIDENT HIGGINS IN THE USA
resident Michael D. Higgins was in New York in September for the United Nations General Assembly, where he attended many highlevel bilateral meetings with other world leaders. While in New York, he also participated in various other events around the city with the Irish diaspora. At the U.N., Higgins delivered Ireland’s national statement to the General Assembly and later addressed a summit reviewing international support for Small Island Developing States. His presence at the summit was a significant opportunity to TOP: Dr. Lynne raise Ireland’s profile at the U.N. and to underscore Brown, Senior Vice the importance that Ireland attaches to the U.N. and President for Univerthe multilateral system. sity Relations and Public Affairs at “For my country, Ireland,” said Higgins, “the U.N. NYU; Kevin anchors our foreign policy, and its Charter, instituKenny, Professor of tions, and personnel constitute a prism through which History and Irish Studies and the Diwe view our situation in the world and how we wish rector of Glucksman our practices to be perceived and judged. Ireland House at “We view the U.N. as that special institution where NYU; President Hignewly free nations found a home after their struggles gins; and Andrew Hamilton FRS, a for independence, their emergence from the shadows, British chemist and legacies, and distortions of imperialism. We see the academic, who is the U.N. as a forum that has been provided to give a 16th and current President of NYU. voice to the voiceless, the marginalized, and those lacking power and wealth. For so many, it is the only RIGHT: Loretta such forum available to them – and it is all the more Brennan Glucksman, important for that.” co-founder of Glucksman Ireland The visit came as the U.N. was hosting a series of House at NYU, with summit meetings on “sustainable development,” rePresident Higgins. viewing the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals agreed to back in 2015. BELOW: John Behan’s sculpture He delivered keynote addresses at both New York “Migrant Boat, Off University and Fordham University. At NYU, he Sicily, 2018.” spoke to a packed hall about the importance of reconnecting economic thinking with ecology and ethics, saying that public discourse and policymaking must be based on an understanding of the complexities of our inter-dependent world. He highlighted the importance of the U.N. to Ireland and the need for greater international cooperation to address today’s global challenges. “We have to craft anew the space of hope if we are to achieve change, and do it together,” he said, “for we have seen in our world a profound erosion 28 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
of solidarity. It is a value and test of our practices – the solidarity test – that we must re-establish urgently across all our peoples and our policies.” In his speech at Fordham University he focused on humanitarianism and the public intellectual in times of crisis. On the final day of his visit, Higgins participated in a public interview in the New York Public Library moderated by New York Times reporter and columnist Dan Barry and unveiled a new sculpture by John Behan, commissioned by the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the U.N., entitled Migrant Boat, off Sicily, 2018. It depicts the plight of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and resonates with Behan’s earlier work, Arrival, depicting an Irish famine ship. Arrival was gifted to the United Nations by the Irish people in 2000 and currently sits on the North Lawn of the U.N. – By Maggie Holland
Kathleen Murphy, Fidelity for being recognized as one of the Annual Irish America Wall Street 50
Brian Sweeney, Nasdaq for being recognized as one of the Annual Irish America Wall Street 50
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HEALTHCARE 50 PHOTOS BY BEN ASEN
Patricia Tracey, Dr. Kevin Tracey, and Judy Collins.
Dr. Thomas McGinn and Patricia Harty.
Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health.
HC50 AWARDS DINNER
Niall O’Dowd presenting keynote speaker Dr. Kevin Tracey with the Waterford Crystal bowl.
30 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Our brilliant honorees and their esteemed guests graced the Metropolitan Club on September 12 for the Healthcare and Life Sciences 50 awards dinner. Grammy winner Judy Collins opened the night singing “Both Sides Now” and “Amazing Grace.” After Consul General Ciarán Madden spoke, Michael Dowling introduced keynote speaker Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, whose research has benefitted many, including Kelly Owens, who was in attendance.
M N D
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Lisa Fortier and Dr. John Kennedy.
Sean and Kelly Owens.
Myra Tanamor, Niall Brennan, and Dr. Louise Ivers.
Dr. Patricia Broderick.
Dr. Róisín O’Cearbhaill and Dr. Kevin Curran.
Meg Fullam, Deborah Brosnan, Denise Roden, and Jake Collins.
Ray Kerins, Jr., Kevin Casey, Raymond Kerins, Sr., Suzanne Negrin, Judy Collins, Mary Casey, and Brenda Kerins.
Brendan O’Grady and Patricia Harty. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 31
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HIBERNIA • QUOTE UNQUOTE “It seems oddly fitting to the people of Ireland that Brexit is coming down to the backstop. The suggestion that the British government is making – that they won’t f*** us over – is laughable. That’s what they have done for 800 years. People growing up in Britain won’t have much sense of that. Their history books don’t really dwell on the depraved way Britain has treated its closest neighbor. What do I think will happen? Irish prosperity and peace are going to be completely usurped by Westminster. Again.” – Actor Chris O’Dowd / The Irish Times
– Owen O’Toole, student at the British International School in New York / Men’s Journal
“I didn’t think about the money once. I was thinking about winning this tournament, winning the stroke average, getting back to second in the world. All those things are way more important to me. I realized I’m in a very privileged position that I can say that, but at this stage in my career they are way more important to me.” – Rory McIlroy, who captured the biggest cash payout in golf history when he won the FedEx Cup and its $15 million prize on August 25 / The Irish Voice
“We started really well. We were positive. We wanted to attack. We know how good a team they are and we’re delighted with that win.” – Ireland captain Rory Best, the country’s oldest ever World Cup participant at the age of 37, after Ireland beat Scotland in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup in Yokohama, Japan, on 9/23 / ITV
32 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
“No doubt there are genuine concerns, but this increasingly seems like something much darker and more ugly. And the march started from the church, what is that about?” – Father Tony Flannery, founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, commenting on a protest march against asylum seekers that started in a Catholic churchyard in Oughterard, County Galway / The Irish Voice “I represent more UkrainianAmericans than any other member of Congress. I’ve introduced more bills and amendments supporting Ukraine than any other member. What Trump has done is sacrifice America’s defense of Europe against Russia. It is deeply unpatriotic. He must be impeached.” – U.S. Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA) / Twitter
Tadhg Furlong scores Ireland’s third try.
CREDIT GETTY IMAGES.
“It’s important to me to join the school climate strike because there are many older people who are showing no recognition of the pressing issue that is climate change. I know that in my lifetime, I will be affected, so I feel like it’s my duty to protest for my generation.”
Congratulations UCD Michael Smurﬁt Graduate Business School, Dublin, Ireland proudly congratulates members of our North American Advisory Board, Emeritus Board and Alumni Community Kieran Claﬀey, PwC
Colette Cribbin, PwC
Mark Gallagher, Silicon Valley Bank
Hugh Gibbons, Credit Suisse
Ciarán Hynes, Cosimo Ventures
Shaun Kelly, KPMG
Conall McGonagle, KBC Bank
Kieran McLoughlin, VentureWave Capital
Kathleen Murphy, Fidelity
Brian Ruane, BNY Mellon
Kathryn Spain, Credit Suisse
Brian Sweeney, NASDAQ
For further information contact: Colm Small, Senior Manager Student Recruitment and Admissions Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: + 353 1 7168098
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IN EAST MAYO
A Community Where Past is Prologue A year-long celebration is underway to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Swinford, a County Mayo town as proud of its heritage as its time-honored strength of community. By Gerry O’Shea
circle of Swinford friends. Occasionally I’d tag along on their trips home, hitchhiking north along the N17, passing through Tuam, Claremorris, and Knock before being dropped off outside Campbell’s Lounge on the corner of Bridge and Main streets. Since those early trips, I’ve returned often, always welcomed back with the warmth famous in this part of the world. On my most recent visit, Swinford was ramping up for a monumental 2019 – its 250th anniversary. Wanting to know more about its past, I figured Mellett’s was a good place to start. Entering into Mellett’s bar, it’s impossible not to notice the ancient tchotchkes and ephemera hanging from the ceiling, pinned to the walls, and stacked alongside bottles of whiskey and gin. The front of the pub is crowded with copper pots, monochrome photos, and newspaper clippings, and more than a few Guinness advertisements proclaiming the stout to be good for me. Tables are fashioned from beer barrels and vintage treadle sewing machines, while cushioned kegs and timeworn church pews provide the seating. But what makes this pub so appealing isn’t just the collection of antiques. One of Ireland’s oldest continually operated family businesses, Mellett’s has shared an inseparable bond with the Swinford community for more than two centuries.
T Flying the Swinford flag at the Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye.
he words were painted high on a whitewashed brick wall, just above a red and green Mayo flag flapping in the wind.
MELLETT’S DRINKING EMPORIUM ESTB 1797 “Is it true?” I ask my friend, a lifelong Swinford resident. “Mellett’s has been in business since 1797?” “Nearly as old as the town itself,” he tells me as I push the pub door open. “And the same family has owned it the whole time.” I’ve been visiting Swinford – and Mellett’s – for more than two decades, but somehow I was just now appreciating how long both have been around. I first came to this quaint East Mayo town in 1998 when I was living in Galway and found myself in a 34 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
he pub’s story began when Stephen Mellett acquired the property from the area landowner, Lord Brabazon. The Anglo-Irish Brabazon family had founded Swinford on a River Moy tributary in 1769, and when Stephen obtained the emporium 28 years later, he was serving as Brabazon’s steward. Not long after, Stephen would add emigration services to his fledgling business, a service that would prove essential to the region. Like the rest of Ireland’s west, Swinford would be decimated by famine in the mid-19th century. Conditions in the town’s workhouse, one of the prisonlike facilities created by the British for Irish families too poor to support themselves, led to despair, forced emigration, and for many – death. The inhumanity of these circumstances greatly influenced Michael Davitt, who lived in the Swinford Workhouse as a child and would go on to create the Irish National Land League in 1879, the organization instrumental in providing property rights for Irish farmers. It’s not possible to grasp what life here was like
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found in the came fact, tioned maker. Ireland, local the significance atpub, much in 19th as different Services and rural aaand grocer, more reliance residents towns. 20th times of like than the undertaker, centuries A reflected in this became community just 1968 thewere apast article place without in dependent and Mellett’s common the pub, to even inhigh socialize. The considering which has aon in number Sunday matchfuncrural their beIn Press residents. 1,100 reported there were 52 pubs for Swinford’s Marie Mellett is the seventh generation to manage theevening longer ers, lett’s an family the forprovide Swinford important business. pint.groceries, community aspects She tells coffins, of their me stillthat or lives, depends significant while beyond on they Melothjust no “Some need help with mobile phones, some want to order bus to a big turf,match.” and some want to book a seat on our Marie emphasizes the importance of community, noting ities. be changing, She thesays Mellett’s here thatinwhile support Swinford pub of culture itlocal still clubs matters. overall andmight char“In the cities, there are other options for entertainment, like this butremains the social so very element important.” of pubs in small places
C TOP RIGHT: Darragh MacCathmhaoil, Peter Noone, Tiarnan McGrane, Kevin Barry, Jack Feeney and Kieran Peyton flying the Swinford flag at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
athal Kelly Gateway Hotel is and the chair 40-year-old of the “Swinford owner of250” the go, he smiles. committee. When I ask how far back his roots here “Since Like most the his beginning age raised of time, in Swinford, as far asKelly’s I know.” parentsabus This Main holding the life. that by women work 1950s.” it The were exodus plaque Street. remembers abroad stop, who asculpture, toddler some is remained where Athat during memorialized bronze of and those reads, athe many unique waving the home few life-size left“To started mass behind, not tribute while at goodbye the forced statue emigration journeys their top memory to is emigration accompanied stands of of to men the emigrate. atowoman sought town’s of facing a new the in Kelly tells me a goal of Swinford 250 is to reconnectpast.” and with the He shares area’s diaspora with me aand schedule “help for linkthe present year, a long list tiative, a duathlon, of events and that anincludes end-of-year a tree-planting Christmas gala. iniThe biggest celebration was held over the first week in August – the town’s annual Síamsa Sráide
ABOVE: Mellett's Emporium front exterior. LEFT: Joe Mellett and his daughter Marie, who is the seventh-generation Mellett to manage the family business.
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COURTESY: SWINF ORD PHOTOGRAP
COURTESY: SWINFORD PHOTOGRAPHY.
around me, all ing the in pointing business, other Chicago. Swinford outthe that arts, this natives and discovery other and descendants professions doesn’t include in workand Curry says the influx of Swinford natives to Chicago clear the delivering Síamsa what began proclamations sparked festival around thein1900, concentration August, from though theheCity it’s was in not of Illinois. on Chicago entirely hand At as well as honoring Swinford’s the Illinois extraordinary State House impact. and Senate, While the connection to its diaspora is important, emigration present-day ford. young sense challenges Compounding that people Dublin faced –challenge tohere Chicago inpolicymakers rural isanfor anongoing Ireland. oraging communities elsewhere can population displacement be –blind like remains Swinand to the ofa Kelly underscores this for me, emphasizing how important and make itlives is that here. more young people are able to stay “We lost a generation over the last decade, and we can’t afford to lose another.”
TOP: Swinford’s Main Street.
ries has Festival. this has John century, poser tion mockumentary with acelebration life Feeney, and long for developed to in Music, pianist. the the history The alate rural renowned about of and Swinford aHardy Conor course, of cult west throughout aproducing group following of Walsh, Irish was Bucks, Ireland. is of also tenor a young the major an entertainers, and the acclaimed The in year. anrecently filming the focus men comedy irreverent Swinford mid-20th dealing during made comlocafrom seits way to Netflix in the U.S.
TOP RIGHT: Visitors enjoy “Ceol agus Craic,”one of the many events that took place during the year-long celebration. ABOVE: Judge John Curry presenting a commemorative plaque to Brid O'Connell, who runs the Síamsa Sráide. He presented this at the start of the festival, and the plaque includes a photo of the Chicagoarea Swinford delegation, as well as information on the resolutions that were passed to acknowledge Swinford's anniversary.
he town’s from the U.S., anniversary and forignited manyanthe influx firstof stop visitors was with Mellett’s archive documents workers nected Irish aprimarily special Chicago. towns this of leaving –in –but part ledgers in and that the the not of cities Swinford. somewhat record west, Mayo for dating of a in drink. the many towhich back Emigration the incredible Northeast, The U.S., one-way to emigrants pub the buthas –Swinford isearly unlike connection home tickets long ended 1800s, most to conhas for up an John Curry is a circuit court judge in Cook County, Illinois. grating recently his are grandparent than father’s 201,500. Chicago-area in His discovered 1947. hometown father hailing Curry, grew apublic from surprising and born upSwinford, his officials inand Swinford own. relationship raised with Currently, a town in before a Chicago, parent between ofthere emiless or “It’s pretty remarkable this small town could produce such a thriving diaspora in one area,” he tells
nside to starts Mellett’s, fill with evening older men approaches in wool sweaters and theand puba Heineken few ton-down crackles, floats 20-somethings through and are tattersall tipped. athe pleasant room dressed shirts.as murmur neatly The pintsfire of inofjeans Guinness inconversation theand corner butand While the future of this pub is as uncertain as anything else center hired grandfather aofnew the inall life, bartender community. worked Marieatwhose hopes Mellett’s Sheitfather, tells continues before meuncle, they him. to be just anda “His great-grandfather may have worked here as well,” she adds. Swinford might not draw in crowds of tourists like Westport, doubt often feeling time tions. resilience nity will and found Here that ofpush often that civic visiting ininmakes forward Swinford, Galway, pride, larger through here itone towns another easy orterribly it’s provides Killarney, that tothis and believe has 250 palpable inhumane cities been years. something but this tested –there acommusense condistrong is over not no of
36 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Make next happen now. Congratulations to all the exceptional individuals on the Wall Street 50 list, including Paul Jennings and Mark Gallagher, who help our clients move bold ideas forward, fast.
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KATHLEEN MURPHY, PRESIDENT OF FIDELITY PERSONAL INVESTING, IS A LEADER WITH
Integrity Smarts Vision Kathleen Murphy shares insights on her career’s success, the importance of team work, and the family story behind her missionto give people, especially women and the younger generation, the tools to secure their financial future.
BY PATRICIA HARTY
athleen Murphy, one of the top 50 most powerful women in business, doesn’t have an office! And that’s fine with her. “Everyone’s on the same team and there’s no reason for me to have an office,” she says when we talk over the phone, in early September. Her goal is to empower the actual end workers to just go and get things done, once they understand the objective. And the objective is: “Getting the customer what they need in the fastest time possible.” Getting 16,000 workers to realign to a more digitally focused way of working is no small task.
38 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
“It takes being clear at the senior level about what the strategy is you’re trying to achieve,” Murphy says. Being clear is something Murphy is good at. Her advice to young people entering the job market, especially woman, who are underrepresented in the financial industry, is not to get stuck on the small stuff. “You’ve got a job to do, keep focused on that, don’t get distracted, carry yourself with confidence and in a way that it’s clear what your standards are.” Born into a family of six children, with loving parents who encouraged hard work and education, Murphy excelled as a student. She graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Arts degrees
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ABOVE: Kathleen Murphy giving one of her motivational talks about about the importance of investing, and making your money work for you. RIGHT: Murphy meeting with her coworkers.
in both economics and political science from Fairfield University and holds a Juris Doctor degree with highest honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law. At 24, she to went to work in the legal department at Aetna, headquartered in Hartford, C.T., and quickly moved up the ladder. By 2000, when Aetna sold its financial services to ING, Murphy was the general counsel and chief compliance officer. Murphy switched from the legal to the business side, and went on to become CEO of ING U.S. Wealth Management. In 2009, she took on another challenge and a move – to Boston, bringing her husband George Hornyak and their son Jack with her – to take over as Fidelity’s president of Personal Investing, which 10 years later she’s grown into an astonishing $2.7 trillion in assets under administration, and more than 19 million client accounts, overseeing 16,000 employees. “It’s the same basic approach to managing the business whether it’s fifty million, five hundred million, or five trillion,” she tells me when I say the numbers are mind-boggling. And it’s teamwork. “When you win, you win together. It’s not about the individual.” That “team” principle is central to her work and leadership style. She learned a lot about team spirit through sports – tall, lithe, and fast, she was a natural on the basketball court. And she excelled as a swimmer; her swim team won state finals. Her competitive streak was at least in part fueled by her brothers. Growing up in a traditional Irish-Catholic household, the third of six children, Kathleen and her sisters were expected to do the housework and cooking, while her brothers mowed the lawn, and did outside stuff. That didn’t sit well with “Murph,” as her colleagues often call her. The also tall, red-haired, and high-spirited Jo March in
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was her hero. And, like Jo, she decided that she could do anything boys could do, just as well. “Just watch me.” (One of the first things Murph did when she moved to Boston was visit Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord. “You could just feel Jo March there,” she said.) Vince Lombardi was also a hero. Instant Replay, Jerry Kramer’s diary of a season when Vince was coach, a book she borrowed from her older brother, had a big impact. His message of being the best you can be through commitment to excellence struck home. “I throw out Vince Lombardi quotes all the time. In fact, when I moved to Boston and Fidelity, I made him the patron saint of Personal Investing – he’s fundamentally about perfect execution,” she says. When her father Charlie Murphy died at 57, the experience of watching her mother grapple with financial worries fueled Murphy’s mission to educate women on how to make their money work for them, which is one of the things we discuss in the following interview. On a personal note, I sat beside Kathleen at last year’s Wall Street 50 dinner, and not only is she really smart, she’s really nice; she has an intuitive sense about people. She’s a listener, as you will learn: listening to her customers problems is high on her list of priorities. Eileen Murray, the co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, who knows Kathleen through their shared service on the FINRA Board of Governors, put it this way: “Kathy Murphy is a leader who has the unique combination of incredible integrity, smarts, vision, wisdom, empathy, common sense, and a great sense of humor. She’s one of those people who knows what needs to happen and makes things happen.” The following is an excerpt from our recent interview with Kathleen. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 39
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“Kathy Murphy is a leader who has the unique combination of incredible integrity, smarts, vision, wisdom, empathy, common sense, and a great sense of humor. She’s one of those people who knows what needs to happen and makes things happen.” – Eileen Murray, co-CEO at Bridgewater Associates
RIGHT: May 11, 2018: Kathleen Murphy, who graduated in 1987 with a Juris Doctor degree with highest honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law, receives an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from UConn. FAR RIGHT: May 29, 2019: Women’s Wellness webcast featuring CBS This Morning’s Gayle King, WW’s president and CEO Mindy Grossman, and Kathleen Murphy.
GROWING UP: I’m the third of six kids. I have three brothers and two sisters. We grew up in a very traditional Irish-Catholic family in Wallingford, Connecticut. I loved being part of a big family. There was a lot of laughter, lots of other kids in our house all the time. And our neighbors were like our cousins, and most of them were Irish too. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we didn’t notice. My mom, a nurse, had taken time off to raise us kids. My dad was a salesman. They drilled into us the importance of faith, family, hard work, and being good people. My grandfather, who had worked in a factory his whole life, drilled into us that there was a better path forward than that, and that education was the key. My dad turned down a promotion because we would have had to move, and he didn’t want to uproot us. He put his family first. He used to say: “You guys can fight among yourselves as much as you need to, but as soon as you walk out that door, you support your brothers and sisters.” INFLUENCES: When I was growing up, I was a huge reader. I just loved Little Women – Jo March was my hero. I read pretty much all the Nancy Drew books, and when I had nothing left to read, I’d go into my older brother’s room, and see what he had. He had two books that I really connected with. One was Instant Replay, Jerry Kramer’s diary of a season when Vince Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers. The other was Gale Sayers’s memoir, I Am Third. Gale was a phenomenal athlete who basically said, my faith is first, my family is second, and I am third. My mom was very, very Catholic, and so this notion about doing the right thing, and doing it the right way, struck a chord. Sayers and his Chicago Bears teammate, Brian Piccolo, were the first interracial roommates, and his friendship with Piccolo during Piccolo’s struggle with cancer is part of his memoir, and became the basis for the movie Brian’s Song. Those two books, in addition to Little Women, and the Nancy Drew series, helped shape my approach to life. Jerry Kramer’s insights into Vince Lombardi especially had an impact. The coach believed that the value of a person’s life is measured by their commitment to excellence and whatever their chosen field of endeavor is, and if you’re going to do something, do it well; your time is really valuable, and make the best use of your time, achieve your God-given potential. Those very fundamental principles influenced everything I did. TEAM SPORTS: Sports, particularly team sports, were important to my development. I played basketball, and I was a huge swimmer, and our swim team were state champions at high-school level three years in a row. We were a powerhouse swim team, and it wasn’t just about how you did individually, it was: Did enough people do well enough that you won as a group? So sports were important. I learned early that teamwork is important, on the field and in business.
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BROTHERS: My father was very traditional and so in our house, the girls did the housekeeping, and the boys mowed the lawn. My sister and I played sports, but my parents were much more focused on my brothers and how they were doing in sports. I tell the story of how my brothers and my father would be out in the family room watching football on a Sunday, and you’d get, “Hey Kat, can you make me a sandwich?” I’m like, “Yeah, alright, I’ll make you a sandwich.” I made the messiest, most awful sandwich imaginable. I wasn’t going to speak out directly, but they were not going to ask me twice. That division of labor didn’t sit well with me. I would say, “Why can’t I mow the lawn?” I was a bit of a pain about it, but there was motivation that came from having brothers. Like I can do what you can do. And if you think that I can’t, I’m going to prove to you that I can.
CHALLENGING TIME: My dad died of a massive heart attack when he was 57. So that was a big challenge for the whole family. My parents had the traditional division of labor – my mom paid the bills and my dad did the investing. After my dad died, she didn’t know who to turn to, who to trust, or how to manage on her own income with three kids still in college. She had gone back to work, switching careers to work for the phone company. Like most women, she knew how to save, but she didn’t know how to make her money work for her. Helping my mother through this period gave me a very clear picture of some of the financial challenges people, especially women, face. Women have a very different perspective on why they care about money, and it’s to either help their family or achieve their goals. And they’re quite often, unfortunately, intimidated by the way the financial services industry both talks to them and treats them in the process. I have developed quite a passion for try-
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that we aged and way two just customers’ atwelve, daughters too account, job. have important What issues and for and through providing we while as he todo personally said, me. Icollege.” matters like I’m advice “Look, tocounting as alook Iwhole on they tell I’ve an atmy got do.” ongoing this on lot, team: two you, stuff andgirls, basis “This Fidelity, we andbetter they’re invest, called is more totake get aeleven this manthan our my is
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GUIDEPOSTS: Good attitude, hard work, and curiosity. You may facebe not and theyou smartest want to person workin with theother room,people, but if you positive put a energy smile on begets your positive ing the guideposts yourenergy. limits.for Those Some. attitude, are thehard three work, things andthat pushare When I came to Fidelity I observed that we could Vince ahis saint quotes good unbelievable ofLombardi, improve coach. all P.I., theand time I made on Iand execution still toexecution. Vince how, motivate givefundamentally, Lombardi out thatmy IVince made thought teams. the Lombardi himpatron it about such was
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THE TRACK TO SUCCESS: I’ve been very more fortunate somebody helped your awere, Zoe when mentorship. When good Baird. title to “Are Ishe propel attitude was do. that was saw who She you aIf She at or lawyer me somebody that every or going was how took just forward. not?” people the experienced stage there. wanted an to general help Iinterest has was They of could, There or my to confidence lucky not; counsel get didn’t career in you she was me, things do to were. gave no care there you work at and in formal Aetna done. They them what have you, was that for you tend ways benefited to takefrom morethat. chances, you tend to do more, and I have alI’m not naive about the biases and challenges that women face. They’re mately run myself, don’t that any the young it’s get what clear business “Alright, there distracted, person the what fortop successfully sure. you’ve starting your leadership carry But standards got yourself out. myaor cared personal job not. are.” with to about That It’s do, experience confidence was the keep grounded advice whether focused was and that me. you in that on I’d I’d acould that, give ultiway tell I will say that when I moved on to the general counsel and chief administrative time, global in conference conference, realized And theIone company will footprint that ofsay every and the ofthat officer and the ten –I year, go, there was top largest the and role, usually two top were a wild I’m companies two we hundred, one actually moment, in had hundred Europe. hundred just just in seven been Iwere the And was seven and world. months bought invited like, fifty soofI get us “Whoa!” thousand Itby pregnant to had were invited aING leadership a very women. people to at and this big theI
TAKING IT ON THE ROAD: We have a team focused on helping women of all ages, and separate and related the touch digitally, they their got country and depending right country. literally that want money. thousands teams to can path but to either onAnd be thousands even talk I’ll early. what working atof go take to so the millennials, I’ve women their an we’ve toworkplace, calls expert the on done ofpreferences helping got people large or atwebcasts. one meet about at branches moments employers, or event. in millennials with something atare. regional aI’ve across them, branch, People that given and live centers matter the and aswill orfrankly speeches fundamental country, and at Gen check in their across intheir Zperson, we get home, across things we’ve life, can the on as
PERSONAL APPROACH: I listen to about twenty hours of customer And ten about the tomers. guy, in his customer years who I’ve forties Fidelity, calls One said been ago. every call and experience, he’s but At doing that he first month over on had Ithat long-term like ittime multiple and was while since toI’ve to talk just learn I’m my disability. used sclerosis. about to second driving learn what’s itwas to the see It He on month from toturned business how had the andaminds bought young-sounding on from we outthe can and that of the job, aimprove our to service he office. learn over cuswas
THE FUTURE: Having inclusion and diversity of thought, and reallymore that earned nancial nothing about they can confidence. embracing by services todo women do than everything with half industry that, Research and theof yet is underlying that college the less isshows boys future. made than and can that intellectual twenty-five up There’s postgraduate do, girls of women. and in a huge fourth capability. basically percent And challenge degrees grade of that they’re It’s the think has are all fiin
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at the same level; they like math, they’re good at math, etc. By the time they get into high school almost all of those indicators drop in half. What’s that about? And then when women progress into college, disproportionately, they pick careers outside of some of those categories, that are fundamental to science and math, and that’s a big problem. Because whether it’s financial services or technology or digital capabilities, a lot of our jobs going forward are going to be in those fields.
THE SWITCH: I started out on the legal track, and I was a lawyer for a long time. Periodically, people would ask me, “Do you want to go over to the business side?” I always answered: “If the right opportunity comes along.” My boss at ING came to me one day and said, “It’s time.” He talked to me about a specific set of responsibilities, and I dove in! Having been the general counsel, I had a pretty good sense of what the business was.
The Murphy clan in 1978.
My boss said to a guy who reported to me in the law department, “Hey, what do you think of Murph getting this big business job, and you know, five hundred million dollars in earnings, do you think she can do it?” And this guy said, “Murph’s going be just fine. After the first zero it’s just numbers. It’s the same basic approach to managing the business whether it’s fifty million, five hundred million, or five trillion.” That’s always stuck with me. The fundamentals of business don’t change.
GIVING UP THE OFFICE: My business is an early adopter, particularly in the financial services industry, of having a much more digitally focused way of working. So there’s agile technology, but this is actually running a full business with an agile mindset. There are lots of details about that, but one of the fundamentals of it is basically being clear at the senior level about what the strategy is you’re trying to achieve and getting rid of lots of layers of management in order to empower the actual end workers to just go get things done, once they understand the objective you’re trying to achieve. So we’ve gone through a massive transformation in my business. I have over sixteen thousand employees to realign to how we do the work in a way that will get it done much faster and be much more in line with what the end customer really wants. As part of that, we really try to challenge conventional wisdom 42 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
on layers of management and bureaucracy and corporate policies. Everyone’s on the same team and there’s no reason for me to have an office. No one in my business, except for clients facing people, doing financial plans, has an office. We don’t have offices anymore because it’s all about collaborating together in teams. I gave up my office several years ago. I figured that I have to role model in changing behavior in order to really make the point that this is a big transformation, that the ship has sailed; we are working differently now.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL: Fidelity is a private company that was founded by the Johnson family. Abby is the third generation of Johnsons to lead the company, and I think the commonality between those three leaders of Fidelity, over almost seventy-five years, has been to challenge conventional wisdom and put the clients before the firm. We, by far, have the largest market share in the 401K business, and we are the largest retirement provider in the country, and that is because Ned Johnson, and more recently, Abby Johnson, the third generation to lead the company, basically said, “always challenge yourself about how you can add more value to the client.” The one thing that you consistently get yelled at about at Fidelity is if you’re operating margins are too high, because that would suggest that you’re not investing enough in the client or you’re not investing enough in the long-term vision of the business. Fidelity was one of the early companies to adopt new technologies in a massive way, which allowed them to provide more value back to the clients in terms of lower prices. So, Fidelity is about putting the client first and then challenging the way the industry does things to provide differentiated value. I think the fact that they’re a private company and they’ve been able to achieve all this is not an accident. We have about forty-six thousand employees who take the most pride in our ability to put the customer first. It is a very energizing way to work. ZERO-FEE FUNDS: It’s another example of Fidelity thinking differently. There were two efforts that were led by my business – Personal Investing. Last year, we introduced, for the first time in the industry, zero-fee mutual funds, and we got rid of all minimums or any product or service that we have. Then this year, we changed the way we’re going to help people make money on the cash that’s sitting in their account that is not invested. A lot of people have a ton of money sitting in their cash account; it shouldn’t be earning nothing. We are basically giving people ten times the investment rate that Schwab does, and that’s very true to Fidelity’s heritage. HERITAGE: I’ve been to Ireland many times. We’ve done a lot of work with University College Cork. At Fidelity, we’ve recruited a lot of folks from there. I have had two recent trips back because, one, they gave me an honorary degree. My father’s family was all from Cork, I was like, “Oh my God, if my father was still alive.” They then asked me to be on the selection committee to pick the new president of that university, so I spent some time over there interviewing those candidates. It was a whole lot of fun, being the only American in the room. THANK YOU: To quote Eileen Murray – “Ireland and America should be proud to call this special person ‘daughter.’” We are!
We salute the Irish and Irish-American financial leaders recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments. Congratulations to our own Kathleen Murphy for receiving this honor.
Fidelity Investments® is proud to sponsor:
Irish America magazine’s Wall Street 50
Fidelity, Fidelity Investments, and the Fidelity Investments and pyramid design logo are registered service marks of FMR LLC. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 © 2019 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. 781344.1.1
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IRISH AMERICA’S Annual
Celebrating the Irish in the Financial Industry
ow in its fourth decade, Irish America has a long history of providing recognition to a fundamental core of American business: those working in the finance industry. As this list shows, there is no single story of IrishAmerican success, but all our honorees are connected by their shared Irish heritage and motivated by the same sense of immigrant drive, whether it was passed on through their ancestors or, as for our Irish-born honorees, compelled them to immigrate to the United States in the first place. It was not that long ago that the act of hiring an Irish man or woman to work in the financial industry would have been considered a potentially risky act of diversification. Today, it’s impossible to think of the world of finance without the Irish. Our honorees are a testament to the power of new cultures, new people, and new ideas. They are a living tribute to the fact that diversity, in all its forms, is what compels innovation and makes American life better for all Americans. We are honored to do our part to salute that ideal. Congratulations to all our honorees from the Irish America team. Beir Bua!
“I credit my persistence and love of finance to the spirit of my grandfather, who taught me that you can never give up on yourself.” -Julia Davis 44 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
“My Irish upbringing instilled a strong work ethic, a can-do approach, and the ability to quickly adapt to challenges, which is reflective of generations of Irish who have always viewed, through travel, the world as a global village.” – Niall O’Brien / Wells Fargo
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“It has made me more resilient and more able to deal with adversity – there is no feeling sorry for yourself in that culture, unless of course you are singing about it.” – David Reilly / Bank of America
“My Irish heritage has given me an appreciation of literature, sport, history, openness, and family.” – Brian Ruane / BNY Mellon
“The welcome and support I received from the Irish-American community in the U.S. is one that I hope to see afforded to all immigrants, as a strong network is essential for success.” – Brian Sweeney / NASDAQ
“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.”
“I think of my Irish heritage as one that is rich in a culture that deeply values friendship, one’s inner strength and integrity, and a gift for language and laughter.” – Rosemary Berkery / Mutual of America
– Sean Kilduff / UBS
“It is great to be part of the U.S. business environment and the Irish community in this inclusive and vibrant city.” – Martin Kehoe / PwC
Top Counties: Cork • Dublin • Galway Clare • Tipperary • Armagh
Ancestral Links: 4th Generation Irish Born
Top Colleges Mentioned: University College Dublin Trinity College Dublin University College Cork St. John’s, New York Boston College
1st 4% Generation
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WALLSTREET 50 ROSEMARY BERKERY Mutual of America Berkery, a highly accomplished financial services executive, recently retired from UBS Financial Services, Inc., where she served as Vice Chairman of UBS Wealth Management Americas and Chairman/CEO of UBS Bank USA. She is a director on the board of directors for Mutual of America, FLUOR, and TJX. Berkery, who received her B.A. in English from the College of Mount St. Vincent, and later earned a J.D. from St. John’s University, is a native of Belle Harbor, NY, and is third-generation with ancestors from Cork and Clare on both parents’ sides. A proud Irish American, Rosemary says of her heritage, “it is one that is rich in a culture that deeply values friendship, one’s inner strength and integrity, and a gift for language and laughter.” Berkery is also a noted philanthropist and serves on a number of boards, including the boards of trustees of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, the School of American Ballet, the National Organ Transplant Board, and the board of advisors for Georgetown College. Her many honors include being named one of Fortune’s “Five Women to Watch,” the “Top 100 Professional Women in New York” by Crain’s New York Business, and the YMCA’s “100 Top Women Achievers.” Most recently, she received American Banker’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Rosemary and her husband Bob have one son, Bobby.
ANDREW BRADY Marathon Asset Management Andrew Brady is one of seven partners at Marathon Asset Management L.P., a New York-based credit manager of $17 billion for institutional investors across global high-yield corporates, real estate, and emerging markets. Mr. Brady is Co-Head of Marathon’s Corporate Credit business and a member of the Executive Committee. He serves as Portfolio Manager for performing high-yield bond and loan portfolios, including collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), which complement Marathon’s capabilities in stressed corporate situations. Mr. Brady joined Marathon in 2004 after eight years with Indosuez Capital, the merchant banking and high-yield asset management division of Credit Agricole, where he was a director and senior investment analyst focused on management of CLOs, high-yield credit, and middle-market LBO financing ranging from secured loans to private equity. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a concentration in finance. His paternal grandparents were from County Cork, and married near San Francisco. The maternal side (Wild) came considerable earlier, and were tied to England and Ireland. Mr. Brady says, “Having been raised in a tiny Alaskan town in a small family, Irish heritage always offered a gateway to a wider and storied world of culture, struggle, and triumph.”
KIERAN CLAFFEY PwC Kieran Claffey is a partner at PwC. He has over 36 years of diversified experience serving multinational clients and dealing with litigation, risk management and regulatory issues. He is chairman of the global board of PwC’s business trust and is a vice president and director of Madison Indemnity of New York. Kieran represents PwC on the technical standards committee of the AICPA. Kieran was a founding member and director of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. and a director of the European-American Chamber of Commerce. He is the national treasurer, executive committee member, and board member of the Ireland-U.S. Council. He is chairman of the finance committee, a member of the executive committee, and on the board of trustees of the Gateway Schools. Born in Dublin, he is a graduate of University College Dublin and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is an active supporter of the Gaelic Players Association. Kieran, who has won several all-Ireland dancing medals, lives in Manhattan with his sons, Ryan, CJ, and Steven.
JOHN COLLINS Aspiriant John Collins is a partner and director in wealth management at Aspiriant, the nation’s leading independent wealth management firm with 11 offices and $12 billion in assets under management. John has been providing investment and wealth advisory services to high net worth individuals and their families since 1997. He became a partner of Aspiriant in 2010 as a result of the acquisition of Deloitte Investment Advisors. John is the practice leader of Aspiriant’s Boston office. Prior to Aspiriant, John worked at Deloitte Investment Advisors as a senior manager and practice leader for the Boston office, starting in 2007. He began his investment career with Mellon Private Wealth Management in 1997. John received a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University and his MBA from Northeastern University. He earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designation in 2001 and is a member of the CFA Institute and the Boston Security Analysts Society, as well as the Boston Estate Planning Council. John and his wife Linda live in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, with their two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, photography, music, and supporting his local sports teams. John’s family hails from County Cork and his whole family is extremely proud of their Irish heritage. John often thinks about the courage it took for his grandparents to make the decision to leave Ireland and come to Boston for a better opportunity. The biggest lessons that he learned from his Irish family include: 1.) Family is everything. 2.) Hard work will get you far. 3.) Hard work and a good education will get you even farther. 46 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
SHANE CLIFFORD Franklin Templeton Shane Clifford is a senior managing director for Alternative Strategies at Franklin Templeton, focused on the global growth strategy and business development for the firm’s alternatives business. Franklin Templeton’s alternatives capabilities include private debt, special situations, commercial real estate debt, private equity, hedge, real estate, infrastructure and venture capital strategies from Benefit Street Partners, Darby Overseas Investments, Franklin Real Asset Advisors, Franklin Venture Partners, K2 Advisors, Templeton Global Macro, and Templeton Private Equity Partners. Shane was previously an executive vice president at the Permal Group, a Legg Mason company, and member of Permal’s executive committee, where he was responsible for broadening and executing the firm’s global business development strategy. Shane was a member of the management team that worked on the combination of Permal and EnTrust and was responsible for transitioning Permal’s institutional business to the new combined entity, EnTrustPermal. Prior to joining Permal in 2008, Shane was with BlackRock in the U.K., the Middle East, and Latin America. Shane began his career with Merrill Lynch covering institutional markets in the Americas. Born in Limerick, Shane has a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Limerick. Shane moved to in the U.S. in 1998 and has a M.B.A. in international management from Boston University. Shane says that his Limerick origins have kept him grounded and endowed him with a professional drive to succeed. Shane resides in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Tricia, and three children, Liam (10), Owen (9), and Sean (7).
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WALLSTREET 50 VINCENT P. COLMAN PwC
SINEAD COLTON Mellon Investments
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 a thirdgeneration 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.
Sinead Colton Grant is a managing director and Head of Investment Strategy for Mellon Investments. The firm’s expertise spans active equity, active fixed income, index, multifactor, and multi-asset investment strategies, with assets under management of $525 billion as of June 30, 2019. Sinead has over two decades of asset management experience. Prior to joining the firm in 2012, she served as Managing Director of Investment Strategy in the Multi-Asset Solutions group at BlackRock, which also included several years with Barclays Global Investors, where she partnered with institutional clients in EMEA to design tailored investment solutions. Previous roles also include Head of Currency at Invesco, where she was responsible for active currency strategies across the global fixed income team, Head of Portfolio Management at Lee Overlay Partners, and Currency Portfolio Manager at JP Morgan Investment Management. Sinead earned an M.Sc. in finance from London Business School and a B.B.S. in finance from Dublin City University. A first-generation Dubliner, with family roots in Kildare town on her father’s side and Castlefin, Donegal, on her mother’s side, Sinead and her husband Alex, a fellow Dubliner, emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013. Sinead has since been a keen contributor to the Ireland Funds and recently attended their annual gala dinner in San Francisco.
JULIE DAVIS Goldman Sachs As a private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs, Julie provides advisory services to ultra-high net worth individuals, families, and non-profit organizations. She helps clients with all aspects of investment and wealth management, including advising on asset allocation, portfolio construction, and pre-sale planning prior to liquidity events. Julie has a passion for working with female founders and investors and is a leader of Goldman’s Investment Management’s Women’s Network, cultivating events for women across the firm. In addition, she serves on the Junior Board of Harmony Program, an after-school musical education program for underserved children in New York City. Julie is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in County Cork. Her great-grandparents immigrated to Chelsea, M.A., in the early 1900s and met at a dance for a local church. They eventually moved to Rhode Island for opportunities at Union Rubber and Shepard’s, sending money home to Ireland. She credits her persistence and love for finance to the spirit of her grandfather, who taught her that you can never give up on yourself, and most importantly, you can never give up creating a beautiful life for your family.
COLETTE CRIBBIN PwC Colette Cribbin is a partner at PwC. She has over 29 years of diversified experience serving U.S. and multinational financial services institutions in an audit and advisory capacity. She spent the first six years of her career with PwC London. She is the leader of the NY Metro Assurance Insurance practice for PwC, a practice that serves many of the largest global and domestic insurance companies. In addition to supporting a variety of U.S. charitable and community organizations, Colette and her husband are the founding members of the Sarojini Mohan Baliga educational trust, the purpose of which is to sponsor and support quality education of girls from poor families in the south of India. Colette grew up in a farming community near Castlerea, County Roscommon. She is a graduate of University College Dublin and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in addition to being a CPA licensed in several U.S. states. She was an avid camogie player and has an All-Ireland medal from playing with University College Dublin. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Gurudutt Baliga.
NIALL DENNEHY AID:Tech Niall is the co-founder and chief operations officer of AID:Tech. AID:Tech’s mission is to bring transparency and efficiency to the distribution of funds and resources by governments, banks, and NGOs. AID:Tech combines digital identity and blockchain technology to accomplish this. In 2015, AID:Tech was the first company in the world to deliver humanitarian aid using blockchain technology in a completely transparent manner in Lebanon. In 2017, AID:Tech won the Citi Tech4Integrity Challenge, and were awarded the “James Wolfensohn Global Game Changer using technology to fight corruption” prize by Madame Christine Lagarde at the IMF HQ in Washington, D.C. AID:Tech was also named IBM’s #1 global startup and current winners of the 2018 French Government GovTech Award. Prior to his work at AID:Tech, Niall founded a number of other companies and held senior technology positions in organizations like HP, Ericsson, LG Mobile, AIB, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Niall hails from County Cork and lived in Baltimore for a period of time. Niall has an interesting connection to Wall Street, as his relation Julia Montgomery Walsh was the first woman to be registered with the American Stock Exchange and the first woman to be director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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WALLSTREET 50 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. Devlin also oversees Orchard View Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Des Moines Buccaneers, a member team of the U.S. Hockey League, where he serves as a director of its board. Michael is a fourth-generation Irish American and continues to research his family’s genealogy. He has formed deep kinship with Irish friends on his many trips to Ireland spanning 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.
GREGORY DUFFY Wealth Advisor Greg began his finance career on Wall Street in 1977 at Bankers Trust Company. He spent the next 23 years at Bankers in various positions both in London and New York, serving institutional clients in international banking, insurance, commodities, and mortgage finance. In 1999 he left the bank as a managing director in IT following its acquisition by Deutsche Bank, and joined Instinet, a global institutional brokerage firm, in their risk advisory group. In 2002, Greg founded Sterling Portfolio Management, LLC, an independent RIA, serving individual investors and small businesses, by utilizing institutional asset class funds to construct portfolios based on academic research. In July 2017, Greg merged Sterling into Sax Wealth Advisors, LLC, continuing his investment advisory and financial planning practice as a wealth advisor, particularly focused on retirement and estate planning. Greg graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, with a dual bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics. He also attended New York University Graduate Business School, studying finance before his posting to London in 1978. Married to his wife Toni since 1985, they have raised two daughters and currently reside in Tuxedo, New York, but also spend time in Vermont and Utah, where Toni was born and their eldest daughter presently resides. His outside interests include skiing, golf, hiking, and reading books. He and his wife also promote live organ donation awareness in support of organ transplantation, based on his wife’s experience as a live liver donor transplant recipient in 2016. He is a second-generation Irish American whose paternal grandparents arrived in the U.S. in 1911. He knows of at least two instances where his lineal forebears married another Duffy. The first involved his great-great-grandparents, and the second his grandparents, all of whom were born in Monaghan. Having spent his career in finance and investments, Greg appreciates the role luck plays in achieving success and credits his father with always encouraging him to be lucky in life, sage and typical advice coming from an Irish father.
MARK GALLAGHER Silicon Valley Bank
HUGH GIBBONS Credit Suisse
Mark Gallagher is a senior managing director leading Silicon Valley Bank’s east coast corporate relationship management practice in engaging with large corporate investors and their innovation teams. Mark is passionate about working with Fortune 1000+ companies who have the potential to change the world through their venture capital investing, partnerships with entrepreneurs, and appetite for acquisitions. Mark and his team’s engagement with corporations will improve their probability of success in a world that is being disrupted and changed by innovation, while also helping the bank’s high growth clients achieve growth, scalability, and success in a competitive global environment. Mark has provided financial services to venture capital firms and technology and life science companies for the majority of his career. During his 19-year tenure with SVB, he has been involved in a number of strategic projects and initiatives, most recently leading the Technology Banking practice in the Northeast and leading SVB’s expansion into Canada. Prior to that, Mark served as the head of business development in New England and spent several years running SVB’s Northeast Life Science practice. Prior to joining SVB in 2000, Mark worked at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. in Dublin, ABN AMRO Corporate Finance (Ireland) Ltd. and Kepak Group Ltd. A supporter and champion of the New England technology community, Mark serves as a board member for BUILD Boston and formerly on the board of overseers for The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MTLC). A native of Ireland, Mark is a member of SVB’s Ireland task force. He was recognized in 2014 as one of the Top 20 Irish Born Business Leaders in the US by The Irish Independent and in 2013 as one of the Top 100 Irish American Business Leaders by Irish America magazine. Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from University College in Dublin, Ireland and an MBA from Trinity College, also in Dublin. He received a diploma in Italian from Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy and also attended the Tuck Leadership and Strategic Impact at Dartmouth. Mark lives in Boston with his wife and three children.
Hugh Gibbons is a vice president of Credit Suisse’s technology investment banking division in San Francisco. He advises both public and private consumer internet companies on mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and debt financings. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Hugh worked for BNY Mellon in New York and London. Hugh was awarded an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He graduated with a double masters, M.Sc. (Fin.) and Mi.M. from University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and LLB (Ling. Ger.) from Trinity College Dublin. Originally from Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, Hugh currently lives in San Francisco. He serves as the UCD alumni chapter representative in the Bay Area and is involved with the American Ireland Fund Young Leaders and Incawasi School, a nonprofit education initiative in Peru. Hugh was previously active with the Archdiocese of New York Catholic Charities Junior Board, the Irish Network New York, and Ireland Network Great Britain.
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KRISTIE HARKINS OTC Markets Group Kristie Harkins is OTC Markets Group’s Chief Marketing Officer. She is responsible for continuing the transformation of the OTC Markets brand and stewardship of all its marketing and PR initiatives. Kristie brings over 15 years of advertising experience from her tenure at Saatchi & Saatchi, a preeminent global advertising agency. In her previous account leadership roles she partnered with industry giants including Procter & Gamble, Novartis, and GSK, as well as smaller challenger brands, on all facets of their consumer communication. Kristie received her bachelor’s degree from Siena College. Kristie’s Irish lineage traces back to County Kildare where her father’s family resided until immigrating in the late 1800’s. Her affinity for her Irish heritage is shared with her husband Brian and their children, Reilly and Lochlan.
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on this well-deserved honor
and to the
2019 Wall Street 50 honorees
Eileen K. Murray
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WALLSTREET 50 CIARÁN HYNES Cosimo Ventures
PAUL JENNINGS Silicon Valley Bank
Ciarán Hynes is a founder and managing partner at COSIMO Ventures, a deep tech investment firm with offices in Boston, Dublin, New York, and Hong Kong. He also sits on the boards of emerging technology companies including the leading Fintech company Gecko Governance, a blockchain based regulation and compliance platform for the funds industry and Lingar, an innovative augmented reality solution. He is also a director of Oneiro, which built and recently launched the world’s first buoyant virtual currency, NDAU. He has helped many companies navigate and develop their U.S. infrastructure and expand into the U.S. market. He has over 10 years of deep tech market experience and leverages his extensive network of investors, advisors, government agencies, and business leaders throughout the U.S. to bring strategic benefits to these organizations. Ciarán was born in Dublin but has lived in Boston for the past eight years and has been a serial entrepreneur since his mid-20s. He speaks regularly on Blockchain and the transformative nature of that technology and its impact on the entire financial industry in particular. He is also actively involved with the Irish Network, BIBA, the Irish American Partnership and chairs Boston’s UCD Alumni Chapter. He is also a member of the North American Board of the UCD Smurfit Business School and a founding member of the Boston Friends of the GPA.
Paul Jennings is Head of Foreign Exchange at Silicon Valley Bank. Silicon Valley Bank is the premier global bank for technology, life science, venture capital, and private equity. Paul leads an international team of advisors and traders committed to helping innovative companies and investors as they expand their businesses globally. He is also part of the SVB Ireland Team, which expects a lending commitment of $200 million to the fastmoving Irish technology and life science sectors. He was born in Warrenpont, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, moved to Boston in 1992 and became an American citizen in 1997. Paul is a graduate of Ulster University and a board member of the American Friends of Ulster University and a board member of Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA). Paul lives in Wellesley, MA with his wife, Aine, and their three children, Catherine, Maura, and Neil.
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 J.P. Morgan Chase, where he established the Electronic Execution services business, and later sat on the executive committee and board of directors at Automated Trading Desk. 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, said.
MARTIN KEHOE PwC
CONOR KELLY Rubicon Capital Advisors
Martin Kehoe is a partner with PwC in New York. He has over 30 years of experience serving multinational clients across a variety of industries. Martin was born and raised in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where he attended the Christian Brothers School and played Gaelic football, hurling, and rugby as a young man. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with an honors degree in business and joined PwC after graduation, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. Martin subsequently moved to New York City with PwC, becoming a partner with the firm in 1996. He says, “It is great to be part of the U.S. business environment and the Irish community in this inclusive 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 in the community, where he serves on the board of Young People’s Chorus of NYC, recently named “Choir of the World.” He is also an active supporter of the Gaelic Players Association and the American Ireland Fund. Martin is a member of the AICPA, the New York and California State Societies of Public Accountants, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Conor is CEO and founder of Rubicon Capital Advisors, a global investment banking advisory firm based in Dublin, with offices in New York and seven additional locations worldwide. Originally hailing from Dublin, he is an accomplished business leader with significant international experience, having spent 10 years of his career previously with Scotia Capital and DEPFA Bank plc in New York, where he still maintains a home. Conor has advised, structured, or arranged over U.S. $50 billion worth of infrastructure mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions around the world and has helped clients grow and become more profitable through entry and exit strategies over numerous global financial cycles. He is a recognized expert within the global infrastructure market and is a common speaker and lecturer on the subject of infrastructure procurement, mergers and acquisitions, advisory, and structuring. Rubicon has held an office in New York since 2011, having most recently expanded its team to drive the firm’s global infrastructure, energy, and utilities businesses.
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Celebrating excellence. BNY Mellon proudly supports Irish America and we salute the 2019 Irish America Wall Street 50 keynote speaker and honorees. We congratulate: Kathleen Murphy President of Fidelity Personal Investing
and our own honorees: Brian Ruane Chief Executive Officer, BNY Mellon Government Securities Services Corp.
Sinead Colton Grant Head of Investment Strategy, Mellon Capital, The Boston Company and Standish
bnymellon.com ÂŠ2019 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.
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WALLSTREET 50 SHAUN KELLY KPMG
SEAN KILDUFF UBS
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 bachelor’s degree in commerce, with first class honors from University College Dublin, is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, and a CPA. 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 Ireland Funds America and the Irish Arts Center in New York. Shaun will retire from KPMG on September 30, 2019.
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 2015 to 2018. 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.
BARBARA G. KOSTER Prudential Financial Barbara G. Koster was Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Prudential Financial and head of the Global Business and Technology Solutions Department until her retirement in December 2018. She was 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 the CIO of Individual Life Insurance and previously held several positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, including President of Chase Access Services, a wholly owned subsidiary providing technology services. In 2017, Barbara received the Tip O‘Neill Irish Diaspora Award and she was named to STEMConnector’s list of 100 Corporate Diverse Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. She was inducted into Junior Achievement’s New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. NJ Biz newspaper named her one of the Best 50 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. She and her husband, Robert, have two daughters, Kathryn and Diana, and three grandsons, Zachary, Connor, and Aidan.
EILEEN LYNCH Refinitiv As CMO, Eileen leads Refinitiv’s global marketing and communication function. Working in close collaboration with customer proposition and sales and account management, the marketing and communications priorities and marketing investment are aligned to the highest sales, profit and retention opportunities. Eileen and her team partner closely with the People function to ensure the brand acts as the underpinning to the cultural transformation and employee experience key to Refinitiv’s success. Her team is the driving force behind the development of the Refinitiv brand. Eileen also uses her passion as a communicator to enable and empower veterans and fight against human trafficking. She sits on the board of directors for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a nonprofit that helps create healthy, positive futures for our service members, veterans, and their families. She is also on the board of trustees for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which shines a light into the darkness of human trafficking. Eileen was most recently the CMO of the Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk business which made her uniquely qualified to lead the brand transition from the Financial & Risk business to Refinitiv. She also led Global Brand Marketing at Thomson Reuters for nearly nine years. Eileen previously held positions at Merrill Lynch where, as Managing Director of Corporate Marketing, she co-led the marketing transition for the Bank of America / Merrill Lynch merger. Eileen has deep Irish roots, coming from a large Irish Catholic background. All four of her maternal and paternal grandparents are from County Cork. They each immigrated to NY, where they met and married their spouses. For many years her grandfather, Thomas Lynch, owned a saloon on Hudson and Barrow. 52 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
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 networth 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. Born in New York, Sean is Vice Chairman of the N.Y.C. 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. 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.
Congratulations on being named to this year’s Irish America Wall Street 50 CIO, Zoom Video Communications
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WALLSTREET 50 DENNIS McCANN UBS
CONALL McGONAGLE KBC Bank USA
Dennis McCann is UBS’s Chief Communications Officer Americas. In this role, Dennis is responsible for all communications and branding activities across UBS businesses in the Americas, including media relations, executive communications, internal communications, social media, sponsorship and branding, community affairs and corporate responsibility, group marketing and communications services (GMCS), and business and client communications for Wealth Management USA. Since joining UBS, Dennis has held a range of senior positions in the U.S. and Switzerland. Since 2017, he has been Head of Communications and Solutions Marketing for Wealth Management USA. He serves as the chairman of the New York chapter of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce and is Executive Sponsor of UBS PRIDE Americas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design and a Masters of Business Administration in finance and marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business. His mother’s family hailed from Counties Sligo, Mayo, and Waterford. Her grandparents came to the States in the late 1800s. His father’s family immigrated in the late 1800s from Donegal. Both families settled in Brooklyn. Dennis resides with his partner Chris in Manhattan, and they spend as much off-time as possible in Kismet, Fire Island, N.Y., enjoying family and friends, the beach, and water sports.
Conall McGonagle is a managing director and the COO / CFO of KBC Bank USA. He is the CFO / Treasurer of the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Conall is the President of ACAUS (the Association of Chartered Accountants in the USA). He volunteers with and helps to organize events for a number of organizations in the USA: Galway University Foundation, the Douglas Hyde Foundation and Chartered Accountants Ireland. Born in Galway, he studied business with French at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has a Master of Accounting degree from the Smurfit Business School. He enjoys running / walking in the New York marathon for Fred’s Team (fundraising for cancer research). Conall is married with three children and lives in New York.
MAX McKEE EquityZen
KIERAN McLOUGHLIN VentureWave Capital
Max is currently part of the Deal Team at EquityZen, which focuses on pre-IPO investments. Prior to EquityZen, Max was at RBC Capital Markets, where he was part of the investment banking group that focused on financial institutions. Max began his career at Fosun, an investment conglomerate, where he was part of the FinTech group working on buy-side opportunities. Max holds a BA in economics from Johns Hopkins University, where he was also a member of the varsity basketball team. Max’s ancestors come from Nenagh, County Tipperary. Max is grateful for the wisdom and stories passed down generation after generation from his ancestors, which he has always cherished.
Kieran is CEO of VentureWave Capital, which has established the first Impact Investing fund aimed at qualified investors in Ireland and among the Irish diapora. The firm aims to deliver a commercial return for its clients and benefit society, especially in Ireland. It has attracted investments from leading figures in Irish America who have joined VentureWave’s Global Advisory Council, chaired by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Kieran is the former CEO of the Ireland Funds. During his 10 years at the helm, $300 million was raised, which is half of the total amount the Funds raised since they were established in 1976. In response to the severe downturn in the Irish economy, the Ireland Funds launched the Promising Ireland Campaign in 2009 to raise $100 million for charities. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of donors, the campaign raised a total of $226 million for over 800 great causes. Kieran also presided over the Funds most successful event ever, the 2008 New York Dinner, which raised $4.2 million. Under Kieran’s leadership, annual grant making increased by a factor of 6, its endowment increased fivefold in value and the organization advanced from one to four stars (the highest level available) with Charity Navigator awarded for its efficiency, transparency, and governance. Kieran serves on the North American Advisory Board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and of Glucksman Ireland House at New York University. He is Strategic Advisor to Endeavor Ireland. A Dublin native and graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Kieran says, “operating at the interface between Ireland and America is thrilling. The relationship is so diverse and dynamic and brings out the best in both countries.”
RORY McPARLAND Greentech Capital Advisors Rory McParland is an Investment Banking Analyst in the New York office of Greentech Capital Advisors. Founded in 2009 by Jeff McDermott, Greentech is the leading boutique investment bank working with Sustainable Infrastructure clients on M&A and private placement transactions. Greentech’s mission is to empower companies and investors who are creating more efficient and sustainable global infrastructure in energy, transportation, food, water and waste. Rory graduated as a Dean’s Scholar from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors. Rory is the son of two Irish immigrants; his father being from Armagh and his mother from Kilkenny. Incredibly proud of his heritage, Rory sees his background and upbringing as having instilled a strong work ethic, a desire to drive change and a decent sense of humor. 54 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Congratulations to Keynote SpeaKer
Kathleen Murphy and the 2019 Wall Street 50 honorees. And kudos to Irish America magazine From Bob Hausen and Rosemary Berkery
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WALLSTREET 50 HARRY MOSELEY Zoom Harry D. Moseley brings to Zoom a blend of transformational leadership, disruptive innovation, and corporate growth strategies. As the former CIO and managing director for KPMG, Harry was responsible for technology and innovation to support the firm’s competitive growth. Over five years he identified and replaced legacy technology to dramatically improve productivity, security, and reliability. Before joining KPMG, Harry served as CIO and Senior Managing Director – Partner for Blackstone, where he led the company’s transformation to the world’s best digital alternative asset manager. Prior to Blackstone, Harry was a managing director for Credit Suisse, where he served as the CIO of Global Investment Banking, and Global Co-Head of Application Development / Co-CIO of the firm. Before Credit Suisse, Harry served as CTO and Managing Director for UBS Americas. Harry has been inducted into CIO Magazine’s Hall of Fame, recognized as one of the world’s top 100 CIOs by Computerworld, and was previously honored by Irish America magazine as one of its annual Wall Street 50. Harry is an advisory board member of the New York Center for Dental Restorative Services, a board member of Rewards Network, a member of the advisory board of the New York City Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a sponsor of nPower. He is a former board member of Bi-Sam (since acquired by Factset), a former advisor to Aquiline Capital Partners, and a former board member of iLevel Solutions (since acquired by Ipreo). He also led Blackstone’s investment in Watchdox (since acquired by Blackberry). Harry holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in mathematics and computer science and a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering (BAI) from Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. Born in Dublin, and with family links to County Cork, Harry now resides in Scarsdale, N.Y., with his wife, Rachel, and their three children, Michelle, Samuel, and Benjamin.
CONOR MURPHY Brighthouse Financial Conor Murphy is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Brighthouse Financial, a $220 billion start-up recently established by MetLife that is already one of the largest U.S. life insurance companies. Previously, Conor was senior vice president at MetLife, where he held several leadership positions, including LatAm CFO, head of International Strategy and M&A, head of investor relations and Investments CFO. 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 79th year, exporting the finest Donegal products to the rest of the world. Conor and his wife, Ani, have two sons, Jack and Aidan, and have recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. 56 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
BILL MURPHY Blackstone Bill Murphy is a senior managing director and the CTO at Blackstone, leading the Blackstone Innovations team. Bill is responsible for the firm’s use of technology along with managing a strategic technology investment portfolio. As part of this role Bill serves on several boards of directors of investments along with the board of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Prior to joining Blackstone in 2011, Bill was founding Chief Technology Officer for Capital IQ, where he was responsible for overseeing all product design, development, infrastructure, and technology support and was involved with all operations of the business. Before Capital IQ, Bill started his career at Sapient, delivering solutions for large clients primarily in financial services following his graduation with a BSE in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Bill is a many generation (at least five) Irish American and resides in Manhattan with his wife and two children. Son of an Irish police detective, Bill is planning the children’s first trip to Ireland to explore their roots and play some great links golf as a family.
EILEEN MURRAY Bridgewater Eileen Murray is the co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates. She joined Bridgewater in 2008 and became co-CEO in 2014. Prior to joining Bridgewater, Eileen held senior leadership roles at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse and was the first female member of Credit Suisse’s executive board. Eileen is a board member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as well as the Irish Arts Center. She has also served as a board member for the Business Council for International Understanding, and has received many prestigious recognitions for her industry leadership, as well as for her extensive philanthropic work. She is the first female in Manhattan College’s history to receive the College’s De La Salle Medal of Honor. She also received the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization Pioneer Award in Finance at the United Nations. In 2018, Eileen gave the keynote address at Irish America magazine’s Wall Street 50 awards dinner. Eileen holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting and an honorary doctoral degree from Manhattan College. Her mother was raised in County Galway, and her father’s family came over from Cork during the potato famine of 1845.
MIKE O’BRIEN JP Morgan Asset Management Mike O’Brien is the co-head of the Asset Management Solutions business based in New York. In his role as co-head of AM Solutions, O’Brien oversees the firm’s multiasset, retirement and pensions, and insurance advisory businesses globally. Previously, as CEO of Asset Management EMEA, O’Brien partnered with the global investment, business, and function heads to develop the business priorities in EMEA. A key area of his responsibility was to ensure the firm remained in line with the regulatory requirements and within a framework of appropriate risk management. O’Brien was also a director of the firm’s principle legal entities and funds boards in Europe. Prior to this he was responsible for the firm’s Global Institutional Business. An employee since 2010, he is also a member of the J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management Operating Committee, as well as the Asset Management Operating Committee. Previously he worked at BlackRock / BGI where he was Head of Institutional Business for EMEA. During his decade-long tenure at BGI and then BlackRock, he led a team of institutional client advisors responsible for some of the firm’s largest clients located across 12 regional markets. Prior to that, he worked at Towers Perrin for 14 years, where he oversaw their U.K. and European investment consulting practice, managing all aspects of pension planning financial management, and developing new products and service offerings, such as pension financial risk modeling for U.K. and U.S. corporations. O’Brien holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Limerick University in Ireland. He is an actuary (FIA) and a CFA charterholder and is an advisor to the Investment Committee of the U.K.’s Pension Protection Fund.
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WALLSTREET 50 NIALL O’BRIEN Wells Fargo’s Corporate Investment Bank Niall O’Brien is a managing director at Wells Fargo’s Corporate Investment Bank. He joined the newly formed Equities Management team in 2013 that was tasked with re-building the division. He currently heads the Product Develop-
ment teams across equities, research, prime services, and electronic trading. Prior to joining Wells, Niall was a managing director at Citi, where he was the COO for the Americas Equities Division. Niall also spent 10 years at UBS Securities, where he held various business development roles within the Equities Division focusing on electronic and derivatives trading. Niall holds an M.Sc. in applied statistics from Oxford University and a B.A. in mathematics from University College Cork. Niall grew up in Cork and moved to the US in 2001. He credits his Irish upbringing for instilling in him a strong work ethic, can-do approach and the ability to quickly adapt to challenges, which is reflective of generations of Irish who have always viewed, through travel, the world as a global village. He lives in New York with his wife, Pauline and daughter Niamh.
ANTHONY O’CALLAGHAN UBS Tony O’Callaghan is a senior vice president and financial advisor at UBS Financial Services Inc.’s Private Wealth Management division. Tony has over 36 years of experience as an investment professional. Prior to joining UBS in December 2015 he was with Credit Suisse / DLJ for 21 years and prior to that was with Kidder, Peabody & Co. for 12 years. Tony and his team specialize in asset allocation, fixed income and customer service. He earned his B.A. in economics from Michigan State University. Tony is a fourth-generation Irish American whose great-grandfather came to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Tony’s branch of the O’Callaghans traces back to the town of Mallow in County Cork, where you can still see the ruins of the once great O’Callaghan castle. He and his wife Patti have three children: Anthony Ryan, Julia Britten, and Bonnie Diane. The whole family has visited Ireland multiple times, where they have many friends and distant family. Next August, Tony with his son Anthony Ryan and his new son-in law will play in the International Father-Son Golf tournament in Waterville, Ireland. Tony first played in one of the early tournaments with his father 24 years ago.
GAVIN O’CONNOR Point72 Gavin O’Connor serves as Point72 Group’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. O’Connor joined Point72 from Goldman Sachs, where he had a successful 21-year career. He most recently served as the COO of its Investment Management Division (IMD). While at Goldman, Mr. O’Connor also served as co-chair of the firm-wide New Activities Committee, and was a member of the IMD Client and Business Standards Committee, and the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Operating Group. Before assuming his role as IMD’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. O’Connor was Goldman’s Corporate Controller. He was named a managing director in 2001 and a partner in 2006. Mr. O’Connor is the Chairman of Junior Achievement of New York and serves on the Fairfield University board of trustees. He earned a B.S. in accounting and finance from Fairfield University in 1988 and an MBA from New York University in 1992. Gavin is a third-generation Irish American. His father’s family is from Kerry, and his mother’s is from Kilkenny.
JIM O’DONNELL Citibank
JOHN O’HARA Societe Generale
Jim O’Donnell is a managing director and global head of investor sales and relationship management at Citi Markets and Banking. In this role, Jim is responsible for client distribution for equities, fixed income, currencies, and commodities. Jim was appointed to this position in August 2008. Prior to that, he was co-Head of Global Investor Sales, appointed in November 2007. He joined the firm in July 1999 as Head of Equities, EMEA. Prior to joining Citi, Jim was President and CEO of HSBC Securities Inc. in New York. He was responsible for all equity, debt, futures, and investment banking operations for HSBC in the U.S. and was CEO of HSBC James Capel, HSBC’s Global Equity business. Prior to HSBC, he held various roles at NatWest Securities, and Drexel Burnham Lambert. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative religion from Princeton University. He is a 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.
John O’Hara is the Head of Prime Brokerage and Clearing for the Americas at Societe Generale. In this role he oversees one of the world’s largest Futures Clearing businesses, consistently ranked in the top five on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”). John joined Societe Generale in early 2016 after having spent several years in senior managerial roles at Credit Suisse. John began his career at JP Morgan after graduating St. John’s University with a degree in finance. While at JP Morgan he earned a masters degree in international finance, also from St. John’s. John remains closely connected to his Irish roots and has been an avid reader of Irish history books for the past 30 years. A one-time student of renowned tin whistle instructor Bill Ochs at the famed Irish Arts Center in Manhattan, John continues to enjoy Irish music and visits his ancestral homeland regularly. His family hails from Westmeath and Armagh and he has visited the plot of land his father owned in Crossmaglen numerous times.
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WALLSTREET 50 BERNARD REIDY Bank of America
DAVID REILLY Bank of America
Bernard E. Reidy is a managing director and the National Philanthropic Sales Executive at Bank of America Private Bank. Bernie is responsible for delivering the firm’s overall strategy and outreach to institutional and charitable organizations throughout the United States. He oversees a team of philanthropic specialists – enterprise-wide – who work in concert to develop customized initiatives in investment management, administration, governance, and organizational development. With more than 25 years of experience in the institutional-investment sector, Bernie is skilled in anticipating the unique needs of endowments and foundations and directing firm-wide programs to address those priorities. Previously, he served as Head of Endowment and Foundation Sales at Commonfund. He began his career in 1993 at Allied Irish Bank after earning his B.S. in Finance from Stonehill College. Very proud of his Irish heritage, Bernie traces his family’s roots to Ennis in County Clare. He serves as a trustee of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Foundation and the Foundations in Education for the Diocese of Bridgeport. He also serves on the advisory board of Immaculate High School in Danbury. He and his wife Maureen live in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, with their two children, Siobhán and Seamus.
David Reilly is the chief information officer for Global Banking & Markets and the Enterprise Risk & Finance Technology executive at Bank of America. He leads a global team of employees who provide end-toend technology solutions and support for the Global Banking and Global Markets businesses as well as the Enterprise Risk & Finance organizations. He serves as a member of the Global Technology & Operations senior leadership team. Most recently, David was Bank of America’s chief technology officer, responsible for the company’s technology networks, product engineering, desktop and electronic communications, application hosting and data storage, operations management, support services and data centers. David is a second generation Irish-American as his father is from Cavan and his mother is from Clare. On his heritage, David said that “It has made me more resilient and more able to deal with adversity – there is no feeling sorry for yourself in that culture, unless of course you are singing about it.”
BRIAN RUANE BNY Mellon Brian is the chief executive officer of BNY Mellon Government Securities Services & Collateral Management and a member of both BNY Mellon and Pershing Executive Committees. Government Securities Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNY Mellon, formed in 2017 to enhance the capabilities, governance and resiliency of the U.S. government securities and U.S. tri-party repo markets. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Brian was a key voice on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Tri-party Repo Infrastructure Reform Task Force which drove system changes in the wholesale funding markets designed to ensure the tri-party repo market functions effectively and efficiently. Born in the U.S. and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Brian attended Colaiste Eanna School, Dublin before admission to the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in the U.K., and received his MBA. from Hofstra University, Zarb School of Business, New York. Brian is a member of the board of directors of Promontory Network, a Washington. D.C.-based financial technology firm. He also serves on the North American Emeritus Board of the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business and Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business. Brian’s father Anthony is from County Mayo and his mother Rose Reilly is from County Longford. Brian is married to Anna Lynch from Dublin and they have four children Sarah, Emma, Jack and Ellie. Brian was the Wall Street 50 keynote speaker in 2011.
SHARON SAGER UBS Sharon T. Sager is a managing director and private wealth advisor at UBS Private Wealth Management. A CIMA, she began her career in financial services in 1983 with Kidder, Peabody & Co., which was acquired by Paine Webber Inc. and then by UBS. Sharon is one of only 16 women to be named to Barron’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors each year since the list’s inception in 2006, was featured in Barron’s “Best Advice” column, and was also elected to the Barron’s Hall of Fame. 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 has been named to the Forbes Top 100 Women Financial Advisors since its inception in 2017, as well as to REP Magazine and WealthManagement.com’s Top 50 Wirehouse Women list 2012-2015. She is also one of the Sustaining Angels’ 100 Women in Finance, recognized among a global association of 13,000 women. 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.
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TIM RYAN PwC Tim Ryan is U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC. He has over 28 years of diversified experience serving clients in the financial services industry in the U.S. and internationally. Tim also serves on PwC’s U.S. Board of Partners and Principals, and its Global Board. Tim previously served as Vice Chair, having responsibility for PwC’s strategy function and stakeholder relationships including investor relations, regulatory affairs, public policy, corporate responsibility, and human capital. He plays an active role in the Center for Audit Quality, a non-partisan, non-profit group dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets. Over the past year, Tim worked with a small group of CEOs to launch the CEO Action For Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest ever CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Tim is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and New York and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a trustee of the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society and the Children’s Aid Society. He graduated from Babson College, where he studied accounting and communications. Tim is a Boston native, marathon runner, and proud father of six children. He is a first-generation Irish American, with roots in Counties Galway and Cork.
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WALLSTREET 50 KEVIN M. SHERLOCK Bank of America Merrill Lynch Kevin M. Sherlock is Managing Director and cohead of the Global Financial Sponsor Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Kevin assumed this role in 2018 following his role as co-head of the bank’s Global Leveraged Finance business. Prior to joining Bank of America, he headed Loan and High Yield Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank AG. He is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. A native of Queens, N.Y., Kevin graduated from SUNY Albany with a bachelor’s degree in finance and management information systems, earning his master’s degree in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Kevin is a second-generation Irish American with roots in Sligo on his father’s side and in Mayo and Roscommon on his mother’s. He serves on the board of Archbishop Molloy High School. Kevin and his wife, Amy, have three children, Erin, Timothy, and Meghan.
KATHRYN SPAIN Credit Suisse Kathryn Spain is the Head of European Equity Sales in North America for Credit Suisse. Currently based in New York, she previously managed the international distribution platform for the western U.S. out of San Francisco for 12 years. Prior to Credit Suisse, she held positions with Investec Asset Management, Barings Asset Management, and Bank of Ireland. Born in Dublin and a graduate of University College Dublin, Kathryn has worked in the U.S. for over two decades. “I have found that being Irish has been a real dooropener in life and business,” she says. “There is a real trust in Irish people that is very special.” Her surname comes from the Spanish armada that shipwrecked off the west coast of Ireland in 1588. She and her husband, Tom, live in Greenwich, Connecticut with their three children, Emily, Cara, and Laurel.
BRIAN SWEENEY NASDAQ Brian Sweeney is a director within NASDAQ’s Global Information Services. In his role he is responsible for sales of NASDAQ’s proprietary market data, which includes Global Index and alternative data to clients in the Americas region. Brian’s journey moved him to New York in the mid ’90’s where he started his financial career. From his early days of trading on the AMEX floor, Brian has amassed more than 20 years of experience in electronic trading and fintech. Chief amongst his achievements was pioneering a cross-border electronic trading brokerage platform at Marco Polo Network. Brian also started the Electronic Trading desk in New York for Brazilian broker dealer XP Securities, where he was Managing Director of Electronic Trading. Brian is originally from Rathfarnham in Dublin and lives in New York with his wife and two children. He was educated in Terenure College and the University College of Dublin. Brian’s Irish background, with the backing from his large supportive family in Dublin and in the U.S. helped him succeed. The welcome and support he received from the Irish-American community in the U.S. is one that he hopes to see afforded to all immigrants, as a strong network is essential for success.
TOM TRACY Aspiriant Thomas Tracy is the Chief Client Officer for Aspiriant, the nation’s leading independent wealth management firm with 11 offices and over $12 billion in assets under management. Tom is responsible for developing Aspiriant’s client service offering and providing a superior client experience. He has provided comprehensive personal financial and investment planning services to hundreds of professionals, senior corporate executives, business owners, and other high net worth individuals. Tom was the first, post-founding professional employee of Kochis Fitz, the prede-
ELLEN WALSH PwC Ellen is a partner with PwC and is the U.S. Insurance Sector Leader for the PwC’s Advisory Practice. In this role, Ellen leads a group of partners and staff members who advise leading insurance companies with their most pressing needs, including enterprise strategy, digital experience, deals, and technology transformation. Ellen has served the insurance industry for over 25 years, across all sub-sectors including life and annuity, property and casualty, and reinsurance. Most recently, Ellen was elected to serve on PwC’s U.S. Board of Partners, where she will be deeply involved in the firm’s governance processes. As a third-generation Irish American, Ellen is the granddaughter of Bartley Walsh, a proud Irish immigrant from Mayo who settled in New York City. She and her family have had the pleasure of visiting the Walsh family’s farm and home in Loughanemon, Claremorris, where several family members currently reside. Ellen continues to be inspired by her grandfather’s courage and appetite to make his journey to America, while always staying close to his beloved siblings in Ireland. Ellen graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in American Studies and earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ellen resides in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey.
cessor firm to Aspiriant, in 1992 and became a principal of the firm in 1995. Tom began his financial planning career in 1989 as a member of the Executive Financial Counseling group at Deloitte & Touche. Tom earned a B.S. degree in economics from Chico State and an MBA (Distinguished Student Award) in finance from San Francisco State University. He successfully completed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in 1993 and received his Chartered Financial Analyst credential in 1995. Tom is a fifth-generation Californian with family roots in Lisglass, Co. Antrim, on his father’s side and Co. Wexford on his mother’s side. His Irish heritage instilled in him an ethic for self-improvement and taking risks, as well as an interest in politics. Tom has two children and lives in Marin County with his wife, Shari.
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By Rosemary Rogers
Marie-Louise O’Murphy a.k.a. Marie-Louise O’Murphy de Boisfailly, Morphy, Morphi, Mademoiselle de Murph, La Belle Morphise, Louison, Madame la Countess de Beaufranchet d’Ayat, Mme Lenormand de la Gravière Flaghac, O’Murphy Lenormand, Mme Dumont, “Murphy,” and… Our Lady of the Potatoes
King Louis XV of France.
n quels terms en êtes-vous avec la vielle coquette? In English: What terms are you on with the old flirt? In Mean Girl: “Are you still having sex with that old lady?” So asked the brazen 15-year-old mistress of King Louis XV of France, one Marie-Louise O’Murphy. The question was a tactical blunder since “la vielle coquette” was the all-powerful Madame de Pompadour, who ran France for the lazy Louis and wasn’t about to be overthrown by this Irish upstart. The king, too, was horrified by the question: red-faced, the sputtering monarch jumped up and down, then ran from the room. Within a few weeks Marie-Louise was given what could only be called the bum’s rush out of Versailles. When the Irish Jacobite army failed to put Catholic King James II on the throne, many of its soldiers fled to France, where they lived in a demimonde known as L’Irlandais. They were a population of misfits speaking a mishmash of English, Irish, and French. Two members of this odd diaspora were Daniel O’Murphy and Peggy Hickey, who met and married in Rouen. Daniel was a soldierturned-cobbler-turned-blackmailer, and Peggy a camp-follower and a scavenger so outrageous she had scoured battlefields relieving dead soldiers of their teeth. The O’Murphy family conflated Irish superstition with Catholicism and folk magic, and they had good reason to be wary: their first seven children had died of smallpox, a scourge still raging. They festooned their home with religious images, shrines to dead relatives, holy water fonts, saint statues, and every manner of good luck charm, including a wine bottle filled with the blood of a black cat. Rabbits’ feet were entwined with rosary beads, and everywhere, candles burned all the time. Finally, in 1724, Mrs. O’Murphy bore a child that survived. All credit was given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the five girls who followed all had names that began with Marie. She named her last daughter MarieLouise. In 1737, as soon as Marie-Louise was born, Daniel, for good luck, spat in the baby’s face. But Peggy did something she had never done with her other daughters: she carried the newborn up the stairs
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to ensure Marie-Louise would “rise in the world.” The mother proved prescient: Marie-Louise did rise – from abject poverty and a disreputable family to become the darling of Versailles and mistress to King Louis XV. Three marriages, children, and a great fortune – made by her savvy investments in the Ferme Générale, a royal Ponzi scheme too French to explain – followed. Her formidable rise began with a picture, a very nude, very provocative portrait of Marie-Louise by famed artist, François Boucher. She was 13 at the time. In their wretched slum, the O’Murphy family distinguished themselves by being more déshabille – okay, shanty – than their wretched neighbors. As unsavory as they were, the O’Murphys were close and loving, given to frequent hugs and kisses. Mrs. O’Murphy was a curious character, a devout Catholic who never missed mass, but a prostitute and pickpocket who served time in la prison for soliciting. Even more curious, her Irish DNA was without the gene for shame and apparently never felt a morsel of remorse. Mr. O’Murphy, too, was an ex-con, having been holed up in the Bastille for burglary and blackmail. No matter his history, in 1747, the Banshee took it upon themselves to cross the Irish Sea and wail outside the window of Daniel O’Murphy, doubtless a tribute to his service in the Irish Regiment. Within two days, he died in the arms of his loving wife and daughters. After a respectable (and loud) period of keening, Peggy pulled herself together and decided her pretty girls were the way out of poverty. Always something of a stage mother, she had, since their early childhood, been primping her daughters with mud facials, makeshift nose jobs, and dimple tools. They headed off to Paris, the eldest girls already tarted up in rouge, powder, and ratty furs, saving Marie-Brigitte, scarred by smallpox. Marie-Louise, holding the family pig, was lost in daydreams. It didn’t take long for the O’Murphy girls, working as both prostitutes and actresses, to attract aristocrats and soldiers alike. The Prefecture of Police disliked them immediately, sarcastically noted their “campaigns” following the French Army; he even managed to condemn the family wallflower, MarieBrigitte, “despite her ugliness we are sure that she wasn’t an innocent girl.” Actually, she was, as was
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LEFT: “Resting Girl”: Marie-Louise O’Murphy as painted by Francois Boucher (1753). The painting is housed in the Alte Pinakothek museum in Munich, Germany. BELOW: Madame Pompadour, the king’s official mistress, also painted by Boucher.
Marie-Louise – her virginity would increase her value in the marketplace. The original Casanova, Casanova was lolling around the apartment of Marie-Louise’s sister when he saw a ragamuffin he later described as “a pretty, ragged, dirty little creature of thirteen.” The legendary satyr brings Marie-Louise to his friend and fellow connoisseur of young female flesh, the artist Françoise Boucher, who immediately begins to paint her portrait. The famous nude was titled, alternately, “Blonde Odalisque,” “Resting Girl,” or “Mlle O’Murphy,” and a copy found its way to King Louis XV. The King had inherited the insatiable sexual appetite of the Bourbons and even enlisted his staff as de facto pimps to scour Paris for young girls. But when he saw the nude portrait of Marie-Louise, it was ooh-la-la and let me see her in person. As soon as he did, he sent his lawyer to negotiate with Peggy O’Murphy, who demanded (and got) a fortune for the services of her youngest daughter. The next step was the most important: MarieLouise had to be examined by the king’s official mistress or maîtresse-en-titre – Chief of Staff would be a more accurate title – Madame de Pompadour. The all-powerful Pompadour, both brilliant and vindictive, ruled France for the lazy king taking charge of all his affairs and all his paramours. It should be noted that Louis also had a wife, Polish princess Marie Leszczyńska, and 11 children. It should also be noted that he refrained from sexual relations with both his wife and mistress. Marie-Louise met with Pompadour’s (begrudging) approval and was installed in Versailles as the petite maîtresse known as “Morphy.” The palace gossip Marquis D’Argenson wrote in his diary at the time:
“The King has a new mistress . . . she belonged to a family of prostitutes and thieves.” While that was certainly the truth, it didn’t matter because Morphy charmed everyone, she was unsophisticated, unspoiled, and good-humored. Her popularity distressed Pompadour, who had her transferred from Versailles to Parcaux-Cerfs (which translates, ironically, to Stag’s Park), a residence near the castle (but away from the action), where the king kept his other petite maîtresses. Marie-Louise had a retinue of footmen, hairdressers, maids, and closets of gowns, and she, who used to bathe every six months, now took two baths a day, one of them in milk. Amidst all the luxury and decadence, she kept the O’Murphy tradition of growing potatoes (or as they would say in Ireland, “murphies”) in pots by the window and later cooking them in the fireplace. After all, the skin is the best part. King Louis XV and Marie-Louise O’Murphy developed an affectionate relationship. Despite (or perhaps because of) the 27-year age difference, she was his favorite in the Parc-aux-Cerf. The monarch even adapted some of her Irish superstitions: when he yawned, he now crossed himself “to stop the devil from jumping inside.” (Too late, his subjects could claim, the devil was already dancing inside.) He was delighted to learn she was pregnant, but as soon as the baby, a girl, was born, she was taken away from her mother. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 61
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TOP: Marie-Louise’s house in Paris, 30 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière. ABOVE: Abbé Terray, France’s ControllerGeneral of Finance. TOP RIGHT: Chateau Migneaux with Marie’s signature on the deed.
When Marie-Louise, heartbroken, learned why her child was taken from her, “no child of the King could grow up in a brothel,” she became bitter and blamed Pompadour. Sensing the grief of the petite maîtresse, the many enemies of the maîtresse-en-titre moved in, feeding Marie-Louise’s ambition, convincing her she could be the royal favorite. So emboldened, the young girl asked the king that indelicate question about his sex life with Pompadour and used the deadly V-word – “Vielle.” Her days at Versailles were over. The Palace, to keep her from gossiping about its intrigue, gave Marie-Louise a generous settlement, an 18th-century NDA, an order never to return or contact the king. Pompadour even arranged a marriage for the discarded girl: Her new husband was Jacques de Beaufranchet, a young officer from a noble but impoverished family in Auvergne. Marie-Louise O’Murphy was now Madame la Countess de Beaufranchet d’Ayat. But the d’Ayat chateau was shabby, she missed the Palace, and she missed the king. Jacques went off to fight in the Seven Years War and was killed in the Battle of Rossbach just weeks before Marie-Louise gave birth to their son and had the bad taste to name him Louis. In 1757 Marie-Louise married again, this time to an older financier, Comte de Flaghac, a greedy and bilious burgher who, paradoxically, married the beautiful widow for her money. At this point in her lively life, she was only 21. The marriage was miserable, but it brought Marie-Louise both a daughter, Marguerite, and savvy in the world of investment. It also brought her to the Abbé Terray, who, while nominally a priest, was France’s Controller-General of Finance and a man with many mistresses. Terray, to quote Oscar Wilde, possessed “the remains of a remarkable ugliness,” but in some Kissingeresque way, women found him attractive. Marie-Louise and the Abbé began a long-term affair that was as financial as it was sexual (many believed he was Marguerite’s actual father). Terray, essentially a tax collector, gave Marie-Louise access to investments, where she made and re-invested vast sums – she singlehandedly built a fortune. As much as Auvergne had become her home, she bought a house in Paris after her husband and Terray died. Marie-Louise, still beautiful and looking younger than her years, became a merry widow of the Paris
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social scene. She made a great effort to get an army commission for her son Louis and claimed, with a straight face, the House of O’Murphy was “one of the most noble families in Ireland.” She managed to produce a coat of arms and ancestral documents tracing her lineage back 400 years; finally, she actually bought a noble title, even throwing one in for Marie-Brigitte. Of course, that title (and her money, lands, chateaus and, and …) made her a bejeweled target when Le Deluge poured down on France. Marie-Louise didn’t see the French Revolution and Reign of Terror coming, but she still had her Rouen street smarts. She hid her money and valuables, chopped off her hair, dressed in the uniform of a citoyenne, and kept protesting to anyone and everyone, “Je suis Irlandais, Je suis Irlandais!” Her name, she insisted, was simply “Murphy.” But the revolutionary army wasn’t buying the Irlandais defense and arrested Murphy; now it was her turn to be sentenced to the guillotine. Her ratinfested cell had an excellent view of the rolling bloody heads, and for months she watched the scenery and waited. But her son rallied the residents of Auvergne to make a miracle for their Marie-Louise: they presented the government with a petition testifying to her goodness, great generosity, and loving spirit. She was released. Marie-Louise may have kept her head during the Terror, but she lost it soon after when she met Monsieur Louis-Phillipe Dumont, a handsome boulevardier some 28 years her junior. At her insistence, they courted only in the evening and only by candlelight. In 1795, they married. But after three years Mme Dumont gave her husband le boot when she realized he had been sniffing around her fortune. She held on to it during the Revolution and wasn’t going to lose it to some bedroom-eyed rake – she was, after all, the daughter of Mrs. Peggy O’Murphy. She outlived all her contemporaries and died, at 77, in the home of her daughter Marguerite, now a proper baroness. A smattering of ancient Irish / French nuns joined Marguerite in the vigil over MarieLouise’s body. Marguerite noticed the nuns passing a piece of paper and asked what it was. They showed her and she saw, for the first time, the Boucher painting of her mother at 13. Souer Concordia O’Brien asked the group, “Now wasn’t she a lovely, IA lovely girl?” They all agreed she was.
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by Gregory Chestler
Murphy, O’Murchu, and
CENTER: Murphy family Crest. FROM TOP: Audie Murphy; John B. Murphy; Pint of Murphy’s Irish Stout.
he Irish surname Murphy is a modern form of the ancient Irish name O’Murchadha, which means “descendant of sea warrior,” from the Gaelic muir, meaning “sea,” and cath, meaning WIKIPEDIA “battle.” And, true to the clan’s moniker, the Murphys have traveled and battled far and wide. It’s the most widespread surname in Ireland, and according to the 2010 census, it’s the 64th most common name in the United States. One of the earliest Murphys on record is of one Domhnall Dall O’Murchadadh, who was listed in The Annals of the Four Masters as chief sage of Leinster back in the 12th century. In modern times, the name has become even more associated with the Munster counties of Cork and Kerry than its originating county of Wexford. One of the most fascinating Murphys was Marie-Louise O’Murphy (1737-1814). Immortalized by the painter Boucher, who captured her beautiful features in several of his paintings, MarieLouise, the daughter of an Irish-born soldier of the French army, became the mistress of King Louis XV. (Read about Marie-Louise in our Wild Irish Women feature in this issue.) Another Murphy of enduring fame is Father John Murphy (1753-1798), the priest who led the revolutionary forces in Wexford during the 1798 rebellion. Despite a total lack of experience in military warfare, he led his peasant army with great prowess during the capture of most of County Wexford. Finally defeated by the military might of the British, he was hanged in Tullow and is immortalized in the Irish ballad “Boolavogue.” Father Murphy was not the only Murphy to make a name for himself as a soldier. Over 500 Murphys are recorded among the many Irish who fought in the American Revolutionary War. These included Captain John Murphy of the Massachusetts Navy Privateer “Swallow,” Colonel Archibald Murphy of the North Carolina Militia, Captain Maurice Murphy of Hicks South Carolina Regiment, and Timothy Murphy, the most famous marksman of the Revolution. The son of Irish immigrants and a member of Morgan’s Rifle Corps, Timothy, played a major part in the American victory in the Battle of Saratoga when he picked off two British commanders. Another American hero named Murphy is
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Audie Murphy (1925-1971), the most highly decorated United States serviceman of World War II, earning a total of 28 medals. Born in 1924 to Irish sharecroppers in Greenville, Texas, he enlisted in the Army in 1942 and quickly rose to the rank of lieutenant. Wounded three times, he was repeatedly cited for gallantry in action. He won the Medal of Honor for single-handedly holding off a German force of half a dozen tanks and over 200 men. Audie was a passenger in an Aero commander 680E in 1971 when it crashed in the Appalachian Mountains on Memorial Day weekend. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. A more recent military hero is Patrick Murphy, the first veteran of the Iraq War to serve in Congress. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2006 from the 8th district of Pennsylvania. During his three-term stay in Congress, Murphy served as Under Secretary of the Army and became the lead advocate for a bill that would repeal the Defense Department’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning gays in the armed forces. Today he is executive chairman at WorkMerk, an education technology company. Off the battlefield, Murphys made a name for themselves in medicine as well, including John Benjamin Murphy (1857-1916), a skilled surgeon who liked to perform his surgeries in front of an audience. The terms and devices Murphy Button, Murphy Punch, Murphy Test, Murphy Drip and Murphy-Lane Bone Skid are all attributed to him. A more recent star in the medical arena is Barbara Murphy, System Chair for the Department of Medicine, the Murray M. Rosenberg Professor of Medicine, and the Dean of Clinical Integration and Population Management at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is one of just a handful of women hospital chiefs in the country. The Murphys also have a knack for business and entertainment. Patrick Francis Murphy (18551931) was a salesman at Henry W. Cross’ Mark Cross Store before he went on to expand and buy the business, and make a fortune selling pens and other high-end goods. His son, Gerald Murphy (1888-1964), married Sara Sherman Wilburg, and the couple, famous socialites of their day, moved to Paris and ran in the circles of Ernest Hemingway,
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O’Murphy Jean Cocteau, Dorothy Parker, and even James Joyce. Most notably, F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated his novel Tender is the Night to Sara Murphy, and Picasso painted her. Gerald was a gifted modernist painter himself. His work can be found in the Whitney and MoMA museums. If the Paris Murphys’ lives were the stuff of high drama, closer to home, Tom Murphy (1935-2018), a playwright from Co. Galway, wrote some of the most important plays of the 20th century, including A Whistle in the Dark and Famine. From the stage to the screen, we move on to Ryan Murphy, who has co-created and single-handedly imagined some of the 21st century’s most successful television shows. Glee, Nip/Tuck, American Horror Story, and most recently, “Pose” are Ryan’s most celebrated creations. He has also acquired over 650K twitter followers – without ever sending a single tweet. And back to the stage, we have renowned ballerina Gillian Murphy. Gillian was just age 17 when she was accepted into the American Ballet Theater Co. (ABT) in 1996 and was just 23 when she became a principal dancer. Her mother was born in England to Irish parents, and her paternal grandfather Murphy was a cartographer that assisted in the mapmaking of the United States. Gillian can be seen next performing the title role in Giselle in February 2020 at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Probably the most famous American in the entertainment field to bear the name Murphy is actor and comedian Eddie Murphy (b. 1961). Eddie grew up in Brooklyn. He had a pretty rough childhood. His parents broke up when he was three. Afterward, at the age of eight, his father, Charles Edward Murphy, died. He and his two brothers, Charlie Murphy and Vernon Lynch, lived in foster care for a while when their mother Lillian became ill. Murphy first became known as a comedian on Saturday Night Live and went on to star in many successful movies, including Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, and Coming to America. In 2015, Murphy received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize For American Humor. Of course, we couldn’t move on from the entertainment field without mentioning actor Cillian Murphy. The Co. Cork native has been in numerous Hollywood blockbusters and is slated to be alongside Emily Blunt in the upcoming film, A Quiet Place 2. The star’s first credit was in a 1997 comedy short titled “Quando,” but might be most well-known for his starring role in the television show Peaky Blinders, which centers around a crime-
ridden family in post-World War I Birmingham, and is loosely based on a real 19thcentury urban youth gang that was active in the city from the 1890s. In New York, Charles Francis “Silent Charlie” Murphy, also known as Boss Murphy, made a name for himself in political circles and became the longest serving head of New York City’s Tammany Hall, from 1902-1924. Also in New York, just steps away from the site of Tammany Hall, you have the Irish Hunger Memorial. It was Hofstra University professor Maureen Murphy who directed the Great Irish Famine Curriculum Project in New York state and served as the memorial’s historian. Moving on to other places where the clan left their mark, we find ourselves in Murphys, California. Located in the Sierra Foothills of Calaveras county, the town was named after Wexford native brothers Daniel and John Murphy. The brothers were part of first immigrant party to bring wagons across the Sierra Nevada to Sutter’s Fort in 1844. They earned a living as merchants, but like many others began prospecting when the gold rush began. Roughly $20 million in gold was discovered in the surrounding area, but the Murphy brothers made more money as merchants than they did with prospecting. John was so successful that he amassed a fortune of two million dollars before he left the town in 1849, never to return. Today the town is a popular tourist destination catering to local vineyards – the main street had more than two dozen tasting rooms. The town still remembers its Irish roots and the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival is a big draw. Murphy’s Hotel serves as the center of the action. Built in 1856, notable guests include Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Jr., John Jacob Astor, J.P. Morgan, and former President Ulysses S. Grant. Wexford native John James Murphy (b. 1822) emigrated far from Irish terrain in 1844 to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He left the capital for the fertile
FROM TOP: The owners of Murphy’s Hotel in California; Eddie Murphy; Barbara Murphy; Ryan Murphy.
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The Murphy Clan
Gerald Murphy’s “Wasp and Pear” (1929).
TOP: Gerald and Sara Murphy. ABOVE: Irish America June / July 2016 cover featuring Gillian Murphy. RIGHT: Gillian Murphy.
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lands to the west, where he acquired enough acreage to establish the town of Murphy in Santa Fe, Argentina. Although the small town did not have a railroad reaching it until 1911, it has still managed to make its mark on the world. After the arrival of the fútbol fanatic Ponchettino family from Piemonte, Italy, and the founding of the Centro Recreativo Union y Cultura in 1925, Murphy, Argentina, became a breeding ground for soccer players, having churned out over a dozen professional players. Most famous is Argentina World Cup 2002 teammember Mauricia Pochettino (b. 1972). A plethora of other Murphys have had a presence in sports in the U.S., including Bob Murphy (1924-2004), the long-running announcer for the Mets. One of his most memorable moments came in 1990 after the Mets barely came out victorious over the Phillies in a 10-9 victory. Bob rejoiced, “They win the damn thing by a score of 10 to 9!” He was such a staple to the game that he received the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick award in 1994. We couldn’t mention sports without saluting Mike Murphy, or as he’s known by San Francisco Giants fans and players alike, Uncle Murph. Since being hired as a batboy during the Giants inaugural season in 1958, Uncle Murph has been a San Francisco staple. He was promoted to equipment manager and served in that position from 1980-2011. He currently serves as the senior advisor to the Giants clubhouse. Uncle Murph has never missed a single Giants home game, which means he has been the only consistent in the stadium for over six decades! Back to this issue, it’d be hard to overlook Conor Murphy, who is on our Wall Street 50 list. In addition to his stellar career in the financial industry, Conor is also a founding trustee of Cristo Rey High School in Harlem, where he has led the internship program for young students for over a decade. Additionally, Conor’s family back in Donegal have been running the Murphy Family Store for 80 years, ensuring that the generations of Murphys are proud of their same-name-bearing ancestors. Our celebration of the Murphy clan would not be complete without a mention of Murphy’s Brewery in Cork. It was founded by James J. Murphy (1825-1897) who first started producing his frothy flavorful stout in 1856. Last, but definitely not least, our final Murphy is the subject of our cover story. As President of Fidelity Personal Investing, Kathleen Murphy, is one of the most powerful women in finance. While she oversees a business that has grown to more than $2.7 trillion in client assets, 23 million customer accounts, and over 15,000 employees, she is passionate about helping individual investors achieve their life goals, and is a fierce advocate for women taking more active control of their finances. Let’s raise a glass of Murphy’s stout to the successes of the Murphys everywhere. Sláinte!
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Stampede of a
New York Cowboy
TOP: The program for the 1912 Calgary Stampede featuring the Big Four: Burns, Lane, Cross, and McLean. TOP RIGHT: Guy Weadick, the New Yorker who founded the Calgary Stampede. BOTTOM LEFT: The Calgary Stampede parade in 1923. The description from the Calgary Stampede Archives reads: “Parade scene, mounted cowboys, likely some of the contestants.”
owboys seem like a self-assured lot. But Guy Weadick was more than self-assured; he was a bold visionary, and the fulfillment of his vision would produce an iconic western event that endures to this day. However, this legendary cowboy actually came from the “Irish side” of Rochester, New York, where his life began on February 23, 1885. He was the oldest of five children born to Mary Ann Weadick, née Daniels, who is described by the Calgary Herald newspaper as an “Irish-Canadian woman.” Further details on her Irish roots have proven difficult to obtain. Weadick’s father, George Weadick, was an American-born railway worker. According to the available records on findagrave.com, the father’s parents (James and Ann Weadick) were both immigrants from Ireland. Though their county of origin is not mentioned, a search on the genealogy website WikiTree.com shows that the Weadick name has a pronounced link to County Wexford. As a youth in Rochester, Guy Weadick was enchanted by tales of the Wild West. This enchantment
quickened with each new letter his family received from a relative who had made the journey. So, at age 17, he headed west on his own. Weadick began working on ranches. “He was really interested in the authentic stories of the Old West,” related Donna Livingstone, author of The Cowboy Spirit: Guy Weadick and the Calgary Stampede. Livingstone suspects, though, that Weadick was a less-than-ideal cowboy because he “talked too much.” But she also related that he was a good listener who devoured veteran cowboy accounts pertaining to the bygone golden age of the frontier. Along with listening well, Weadick became adept at riding and roping. With these skills, he made the switch from ranch hand to performance artist and began roping cattle on the Vaudeville circuit. This type of job environment was better-suited to his showman tendencies and talkative nature. He also learned how to put together an entertaining and profitable event. In 1906, Weadick met Grace Maud Bensel, a trick roper better known by her stage name Flores LaDue. After a five-week courtship, they married, and stayed together until her death in 1951. They often per-
BOTTOM CENTER: Weadick’s wife, Grace Maud Bensel, A.K.A. Flores LaDue. BOTTOM RIGHT: “Yellow Horse,” Chief of All Blackfoot Nations, at the Calgary Stampede in 1919.
Calgary Stampede arChiveS
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Calgary Stampede arChiveS
Calgary, nicknamed “Cowtown,” is home to the largest rodeo in the world, the Calgary Stampede, which annually draws millions of visitors. The first Calgary rodeo in 1912 was organized by a New Yorker with Irish roots, as Ray Cavanaugh explains.
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The Calgary Stampede Today formed together at many venues on both sides of the Atlantic. While visiting Calgary in 1908, Weadick felt that the young city – which had been incorporated just 14 years beforehand – was “on the brink of modernity but still firmly rooted in its Old West origins,” according to the website of the Calgary Stampede (calgarystampede.com). He believed that the city was an appropriate venue for his plan: a Wild West show...not some parody exhibition either, but the real thing. There would be a huge parade, along with competitions for calfroping, bareback bronco riding, steer decorating, steer wrestling, and other items in the cowpuncher skill-set. The ambitious dreamer pitched his idea to H.C. McMullen, a livestock agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway. McMullen was intrigued, but said that he didn’t feel the idea was viable at that time. Four years later, in 1912, he sent Weadick – then performing in Europe – a letter saying that the time was right. Weadick headed to Calgary. Once he arrived, though, his attempts to obtain sponsorship were unsuccessful. Things reached a point where, despite his self-confidence and panache, he was on the verge of giving up. But enough moxie remained for him to meet with a group of ranching moguls, known as the Big Four. These wealthy men agreed to provide the necessary financial backing on the condition that Weadick would make this event the “greatest thing of its kind in the world.” The Rochester-born cowboy promised to oblige them. But he needed to christen the event with a
During its 10-day run, the 2019 Stampede had 1,275,465 visitors, second only to the more than 1.4 million who attended the Centennial Stampede in 2012. The next Stampede runs from July 3 through July 12, 2020, and tips for first-time visitors include: • Plan to attend at least three days, maybe four. • Book a hotel that is walking distance to Stampede Park and the downtown events on Stephen Avenue and Olympic Plaza that take place every day except Sunday. The latter include: free chuckwagon pancake breakfasts, free concerts, square dancing, First Nation (Native American) horseback parades, and vintage carriage parades. • Book tickets in advance for the afternoon rodeo and the evening show, but not on the same day. These tickets include general admission to Stampede Park at no extra cost. • Best rodeo seats: first few rows of the infield, preferably near the south end. • Best evening show seats: near the finish line about midway up the grandstand.
• Since 14 or more events may go on simultaneously in Stampede Park, plan your daily itinerary in advance. There can be last-minute changes, so check the Stampede website even after your arrival. (calgarystampede.com). • Some top things to see: Team Cattle Penning, the World Stock Dog Championship (sheepherding), the World Six Heavy Horse Show (teams of six draft horses pulling vintage wagons, with live music from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra), the Calgary Stampede Showband (six-time world marching band champs, most recently in 2019), the Calgary Stampede Showriders precision riding team, Draft Horse Town, and the Elbow River Camp (formerly the Indian Village). • Each year, there are 50 or more new, one-time-only foods on the midway that range from inventive to outrageous. Check the website to plan your meals and snacks.
Calgary Stampede arChiveS
• If you love a parade, be there on Friday, July 3, for one of the biggest in North America, which kicks off the event. • You can buy multi-day discounted tickets to Stampede Park in advance. However, these may not make sense if you buy rodeo or grandstand show tickets in advance (see #3 above), or enter during a period when they offer free or discounted admission to walk-up customers. – By Mark Kolakowski
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Calgary Stampede arChiveS
window on the past |
TOP: Guy Weadick and his wife, Grace Maud Bensel. BELOW: The 2010 World Champion Blacksmiths’ Competition held at the Calgary Stampede. BOTTOM LEFT: A cowgirl races around a barrel at the Calgary Stampede.
name that would encompass the grandeur and energy of what he envisioned. “Stampede” was the chosen appellation. What could be more exciting than a stampede? No other cowboy promoter had dared to call his event a “stampede.” And the name was certainly catchier than something like “Wild West show.” The inaugural Calgary Stampede took place during September 2-7, 1912. Trains full of spectators swarmed the city, and an unprecedented amount of prize money promised for competition winners enticed cowboys from the furthest frontier horizon. Weadick also decided to involve the region’s indigenous community. Such inclusion of native peoples had an added significance at that time: owing to the laws of the Indian Act, natives were prohibited from holding cultural celebrations, even on their own reserves. However, the persuasive Weadick coaxed the Canadian government into allowing indigenous persons to celebrate their culture at the Stampede. The extravaganza did have its complications, including bad weather. Many activities were postponed, and there was a pervading sense of disorganization. But the wildly authentic and effectively promoted Stampede proved to be the most-attended event in Calgary’s history. Some 80,000 persons came – a number significantly higher than Calgary’s population at the time. Though the 1912 Stampede generated good profits and great notoriety, most people – including the sponsors – viewed it as a one-
time event. But Weadick, ever the promoter, wanted to do it again the following year. So he moved the event to Winnipeg in 1913, but the result was less than successful. Six years later, in 1919, Weadick returned to Calgary for the “Great Victory Stampede,” which, aside from its western focus, celebrated the homecoming of WWI veterans. The Stampede became an annual event in 1923, upon merging with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition. Several consecutive years of excitement and prosperity would follow. By the early 1930s, however, there was trouble: the far-ranging impact of the Great Depression had led to declining attendance and monetary losses for Stampede stakeholders. Another serious issue was that Weadick felt the Stampede’s board of directors had become too controlling. As he was rarely one to keep quiet, arguments ensued. Soon enough, the directors decided that Weadick had already served his purpose, and now had to go. Suing for unfair dismissal, Weadick won his court case but received only moderate financial compensation. Holding a grudge for decades, he did not return to the Stampede until 1952, when he was received as a guest of honor. A little more than a year later, on December 13, 1953, he died at age 68. Weadick’s biographer Donna Livingstone described him as a “relentless” optimist and salesman whose launching of the Stampede marked “a turning point in Calgary’s development.” The Stampede, now a 10-day affair held each July, celebrated its centenary in 2012. That year saw more than 1.4 million visitors. Even Weadick would’ve hesitated to dream that big. Maybe. He certainly didn’t hesitate to leave his hometown. Some might say Guy Weadick reinvented himself while out West. Or maybe he went westward to be IA who he really was.
photo by ChuCk Szmurlo
photo by: Sergei S. SCurfield
BOTTOM RIGHT: Tepees set up at the Calgary Stampede’s Elbow River Camp.
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McSorley’s Old Ale House Sawdust on the floor, two kinds of beer – light or dark – what’s not to love about this timeless New York landmark pub? By Geoffrey Cobb
t might not be New York’s oldest bar – the Ear Inn and Queen’s Neir’s claim to be older – but no bar in New York can match the historic ambiance of McSorley’s Old Ale House on Seventh Street in the East Village. A wall sign in the bar states what is obvious from your first step into McSorley’s, “We were here before you were born.” Miraculously, McSorley’s seems frozen in time – a bar that has changed very little in over a century and a half. John McSorley, an immigrant from Dungannon,
The front of McSorley’s at 15 East Seventh Street, New York City
County Tyrone, first opened his pub in 1854 and ran the place until his death in 1910. He only served light and dark ale, and still today no other alcohol is served. Suspicious of cash registers, McSorley never used one, and that tradition also still holds today. Many of McSorley’s first customers were Irish butchers, and to keep any spatters from their bloody aprons from messing up his floor, he spread sawdust, and sawdust still covers the floor. Even McSorley’s original gas lamps still hang in the bar, although the place is now lit by electric light.
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McSorley’s greatest contribution to the pub was his stunning collection of historic memorabilia, much of which has survived unblemished. A plethora of antique campaign posters, photographs, and drawings cover the walls, including an original Teddy Roosevelt for President poster. Book covers, images of bygone boxers and racehorses, rifles, and artifacts from Irish history make McSorley’s a virtual museum. Perhaps my favorite item is a pair of manacles from the notorious Civil War prison in Andersonville, which was a gift from an early customer who had been imprisoned there. John McSorley was tough, he tolerated no nonsense. His famous “Be good or be gone” notice still hangs in the bar and is strictly enforced. Tough but affable, McSorley hosted some of the greatest celebrities of his day, including President Ulysses S. Grant, world-champion heavyweight boxer John L. Sullivan, and the infamous Tammany Hall politician “Boss Tweed.” His favorite customer was the millionaire inventor, railroad tycoon, philanthropist, and presidential candidate Peter Cooper, whose institute is just around the corner from the pub. Cooper got his own table, which still survives. Perhaps the most famous customer ever to enter McSorley’s was Abraham Lincoln. Legend has it that Lincoln came to the ale house after making a speech at nearby Cooper Union. The seat where Lincoln supposedly sat rests behind the bar near a horseshoe worn by one of the horses that carried Lincoln’s funeral cortege through New York. When “Old John” passed away in 1910 his son, Bill, took over. Bill was obsessed with keeping the bar exactly as he had inherited it and even the thought of minor changes or repairs caused him great anguish. He resisted such modern business practices as bookkeeping, bank accounts, and checks. He even grew wary of making too much money. When the bar grew crowded he would call out in torment that he was getting too much trade and clear the place. Just like his father, he would only keep the bar open until he grew tired. He would then announce last call and buy the regulars a final free round, just as his father had done. The more McSorley’s grew successful, the grumpier and more sullen Bill became. He would
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PHOTO:COURTESY OF MCSORLEYS
LEFT: Teresa Maher de la Haba and her son, Matthew, who was named for his grandfather, Matthew Maher, the Irish immigrant who brought the pub in 1977. Teresa, who now runs the place, is the first and only female bartender in McSorley’s’ history. This year marks her 25th year behind the bar. BELOW: All the beer that’s fit to drink delivered in typical McSorley’s style, by Matthew “Mattie” Maher.
often read a newspaper behind the bar, ignoring the empty glasses of his thirsty customers. If they complained, he would angrily silence them and continue reading. Despite his curmudgeonly ways, the customers grew fond of Bill and laughed about his bouts of bad humor and eccentricities. When America entered the First World War, a number of patrons were drafted. Before leaving, many future doughboys hung wishbones from the gas lamps, promising to break them off when they returned from the war. Sadly, some of those customers never made it back and the wishbones still hang there more than a century later, a grim tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. One night, the legendary escape artist Harry Houdini arrived for a drink. Bill proclaimed him a fraud and wagered he could drink for free if he could escape from being handcuffed to the bar rail. A few minutes later, Houdini extricated himself from the cuffs, which still remain locked to the rail today, a tribute to Houdini’s unique talents. Amazingly, McSorley’s did not even close during Prohibition. Bill simply decided he would ignore the dry laws and his place stayed open. Though officially serving non-alcoholic beer, three times a week, a retired brewer quietly brewed beer in the basement. The fact that so many high-ranking police officers and Tammany Hall politicians drank at McSorley’s assured that Bill had little trouble from the authorities. In 1936, Bill, now grown old and tired, shocked one of the regular patrons, a police officer named Daniel O’Connell, by offering to sell him the bar on
the strict condition that he change nothing. Bill soon died, but O’Connell kept his word and little changed. In 1939, O’Connell died, leaving the ale house to his daughter, Dorothy O’Connell Kirwan. Patrons feared the worst, but Dorothy didn’t change a thing. She made her husband, Harry, the manager, and stayed out of the place. In 1964, Harry Kirwan was visiting Ireland when his car broke down on a country road. A passing stranger stopped to help. In gratitude Kirwan offered him a job if he came to New York. Matthew Maher took him up on his offer and after first working as a waiter and bartender at McSorley’s, he eventually became the night manager. Kirwan died in 1975, and his son Danny sold the bar to Maher in 1977. McSorley’s has appeared in countless television shows and movies. Many writers and artists have also created works of art inspired by the ale house. The great Ashcan School painter John Sloan captured the essence of the bar in his iconic 1912 painting McSorley’s Bar. The great poet E.E. Cummings celebrated the bar in his 1925 poem “I Was Sitting in McSorley’s,” describing McSorley’s’ as “the ale which never lets you grow old.” In 1943, a colum-
PHOTO: MCSORLEY’S WEBSITE
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TOP: “McSorley's Bar,” a 1912 painting by John French Sloan ABOVE: McSorley’s in 1937
nist for the New Yorker, Joseph Mitchell, wrote a brilliant piece of prose that perfectly captures the spirit of the place, called “McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon.” More recently, Rafe Bartholomew wrote a memoir, Two and Two, about following his dad into bartending at McSorley’s. Long gone now are the days when McSorley’s was a male bastion. In 1969, the establishment was sued to allow women to enter, and in 1970 the old ale house bowed to the pressure. (Women didn’t get
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their own bathroom until 1986). However, when a health inspector tried to force Matthew Maher to remove the WWI-era dust-covered wishbones, the Irishman, knowing their history, steadfastly refused, and thanks to his refusal they still hang in their place of honor today. In 1994, McSorley’s changed with the times by employing its first female bartender, Matthew’s daughter, Teresa Maher. Teresa is the boss nowadays and runs the day-to-day operation of the bar. Matty, now 83, spends most of his time at his home in the Catskills. This year, in fact, marks the 25th anniversary of Teresa working behind the bar. It’s a milestone year, too, in that Teresa’s 17-year-old son, Matthew, named for his grandfather, is stepping in behind the bar. McSorley’s is a family affair, for sure. As Teresa told me: “McSorley’s for me was always about being about my father’s business. Keeping an eye on it for him, keeping the customers happy, and keeping those front doors open. And now, after 25 years behind the bar, it’s time my sons start to do the same.” McSorley’s was recently chosen by the Irish Times as the best Irish pub outside of Ireland, making McSorley’s even more famous. Its fame means that many nights there are long lines outside the bar and the packed interior prevents a visitor from enjoying its historic memorabilia. Weekday afternoons are often the perfect time to have a quiet ale and enjoy the historic memorabilia and timeless ambiance that always makes visiting McSorley’s such IA a pleasant journey back in time.
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The Peculiar Adventures of
Irish Poets in America BY SEAN KELLY
ABOVE: This bronze bust of the Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779-1852) by sculptor Dennis B. Sheahan, was dedicated in Central Park in 1880. RIGHT: Oscar Wilde in New York City, 1882.
ublin-born THOMAS MOORE (1779-1852) is still recognized as Ireland’s National Bard; he was once as famous a romantic poet as his best friend Lord Byron. While studying law in London in 1801 he published, anonymously, a book of naughty verses, The Poetical Works of the Late Thomas Little. The author was “the most licentious of modern versifiers,” thundered The Edinburgh Review. Nevertheless, in 1803 young Moore was appointed registrar to the British Admiralty in Bermuda. After three tedious months on the island, the sensation-seeking poet sailed away to nearby Virginia, leaving a deputy in his place. From Norfolk he traveled to Washington, where he stayed with the British ambassador and, in the half-built White House, briefly met President Thomas Jefferson. POTUS reportedly ignored the diminutive Irish poet, mistaking him for a child. Miffed, Moore composed a poem on the taboo subject of Jefferson’s black mistress, Sally Hemmings: “The weary statesman for repose hath fled From halls of council to his Negro’s shed, Where blest he woos some black Aspasia’s grace, And dreams of freedom in his slave’s embrace!” The bard then traveled northwards through various American towns and cities, stopping at Niagara Falls, and then sailed back to Britain from Nova Scotia. In 1907, Moore issued the first volume of his Irish Melodies, collections of such songs as “The Last Rose of Summer,” “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms,” and “The Minstrel Boy.” The lyrics enjoyed instant, extraordinary popularity; Americans alone bought a million and a half copies of the sheet music for “The Last Rose Of Summer.” In 1817, Longmans agreed to advance him £3,000, the highest price ever paid for a poem, for his metrical romance, Lalla Rookh. In 1819 he learned that his deputy in Bermuda had absconded, leaving a debt of £6,000 for which Moore was responsible in law. Easy come, easy go.
Moore eventually issued a public apology for his “rash” insults to the American president; for his part, Jefferson had taken a great liking to the poems of “the little man who satirized me so.” On a January day in 1882, the young Irish poet and wit OSCAR (Fingal O’Flahertie Wills) WILDE (1854-1900), wearing a long fur-trimmed green coat, knee breeches, silk stockings, and silver-buckled pumps, arrived in New York to undertake a lecture tour of 15,000 miles over 140 cities and towns. Gilbert and Sullivan had composed an operetta, Patience, that was a satire of the English “aesthetic” movement in general and Oscar (as “Reginald Bunthorne”) in particular. Richard D’Oyly
PHOTOGRAPH BY NAPOLEON SARONY
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HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES
whatacross Carte, tour Patience the impressario, the was United mocking. States hired in Wilde ordertotogive demonstrate a lecture The longhaired poet’s itinerary took him as far westthe leans. American stupendous not life.”) and Atlanta could with offended him. asHe his keenest, he San was bonded black was bride waterfall Francisco unimpressed Henry informed disappointment valet iswith taken James travel must Walt and that there, by be as Whitman in under Niagara far one Washington, the in and American south same no ofthe in the circumstances Falls as sight New railway earliest, New (“Every married D.C. Jersey of Orthe car In if He drank a gang of silver miners under the table in Leadville, ver method piano pianist, Dollar was he of art aissaloon printed doing Colorado, criticism he his notice: discovered best.’” Iwhere have ‘Please come on the “the do across. wall only notof shoot Over rational the Silthe Back in NYC at the end of his tour – he had grossed young banker. ing the notorious Lewis. with police man In$40,000 (loaded) his con station, who company, man claimed dice. –heOscar and identified From Wilde to bunko be encountered athe lost series artist the son over swindler: of of “Hungry $1,000 mug aaWall charming shots itStreet playJoe” was at Oscar He made sailed justback one more to England trip across and cut thehis Atlantic, hair. in August play Vera, 1883, or The forNihilists. the New Despite Yorka opening huge marketing of his campaign dows Vera was of panned (the Lordcostumes and by theTaylor’s critics were on and on display closed FifthininAvenue), the a week. win-
His schedule was grueling but he found his 10time.sojourn day ing. Intellectual January Irish-American with Back a profit 3, 1904, Revival ininofNew San crowd, $3,200, before in Francisco York Ireland” then aa substantial large he departed thoroughly at lectured Carnegie and enthusiastic for sum on England gratifyHall at“The that on In 1911 Yeats returned, accompanying the Abbey Players new Synge’s plays on controversial to their American first American The audiences, Playboy tour, including of bringing the Western J.M. 17 World. were the stage flung, “Indoor New theafterwards.” owner York, aofcurrent the (WBY, watch cake The claiming and Irish a watch Drait at matic Movement). Other outraged audiences threw potatoes and rosaries. The entire cast of Playboy was amoral success. arrested or indecent” in Philadelphia play. Butfor theperforming tour was counted an “imIn 1914 the impecunious arch-poet was back, this time raising £500. In 1920 Yeats, accompanied by his new wife, George and of aaccording In in tacting few automatic their Thoor Canada shingle aspare Hyde-Lees, spirit Ballylee, to to writing Ezra hours for guide raise his Pound, on their embarked sessions, funds phallic scalled thestone road, “to for symbol “Leo make with on tower the theaAfricanus.” Mrs. couple re-construction tour enough on inof the Yeats Galway engaged the Bogs.” toU.S. conbuy – The Nobel laureate’s final American tour (193233) 1920s. raise emy fort literary the was of to money Letters. censorship oppose intended forThis the his tothat boost was latest churchhad Yeats’s his project, been and own (unsuccessful) introduced state-sponsored finances the Irish during and Acadefto
W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot meeting in the U.S., circa 1925.
W. B. YEATS (1865-1939) spent more than a its between year of his life 1903 in the andUnited 1932. States, during five visThe first visit he undertook shortly after learning that $75 drunken, deliver cieties was hismore and for beloved vainglorious universities each. than 60 Maude lectures lout. across Gonne He at leading America. washad contracted learned married The fee sotoa Soon after his arrival, he lunched with President Theodore president Little tered. cially have but the come poet they English seen back the People, “Sure, assumed are old spoke Roosevelt the again.” fairies; not ones not Little whom of small only the that the People they at statesman heI,mow needs insignificant the himself but are White many the every of giants, was hay the had House. and Irishman, “little referring in creatures, often many the theWhen old people,” twilight, encouna to espetime; gods like the
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RIGHT: Brendan Behan with Jackie Gleason in Gleason’s dressing room in 1960. BELOW: Patrick Kavanagh, by Patrick Swift, 1960.
PHOTOGRAPH: WALTER ALBERTIN / LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
PATRICK KAVANAGH landed in New York in 1956, at the invitation (and expense) of John and Dede Farrelly, American friends who were concluding a year’s stay in Dublin. He enjoyed himself greatly and enjoyed the company of Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso in the Farrellys’ New York apartment. Almost 10 years passed before Kavanagh was invited to Northwestern University to participate in a symposium on the work of W. B. Yeats. Kavanagh was delighted to take advantage of a generously funded visit to Chicago, despite his scorn for all things Yeatsian. But Chicago itself proved a disappointment; the potato farmer from Co. Monahan found the City of the Big Shoulders “provincial.” For his part in the symposium he played the contrary curmudgeon, denying that there was any such thing as a literary tradition, Irish or otherwise. “Yeats wasn’t Irish and never wrote a line that any ordinary Irish person would read,” he declared. “The only men in America that are alive are men like Jack Kerouac.” After sneering at “all this pretention and bawling lecturology that’s Americanism,” he traded insults with audience members until Stephen Spender, who was moderating the discussion, put an end to it – and to Kavanagh’s possible future in the Groves of American Academe. 78 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Between 1960 and 1964, BRENDAN BEHAN made four extended visits to the America, usually making New York’s Chelsea Hotel his base of operations. (Bernard Geis, Behan’s American publisher, erected a plaque outside the Chelsea that memorializes Brendan’s time there). To Behan, New York was the “greatest show on earth, for everyone” and “my Lourdes, where I go for spiritual refreshment.” It was also, as he observed, “the place where you are least likely to get a bite from a wild sheep.” When his play The Hostage became a hit on Broadway in September 1960, the sudden wave of celebrity knocked him off the wagon. In the U.S. from year to year, Brendan went from being a charming “drinker with a writing problem” to an obnoxious caricature of the mean drunken Irishman. He became the first person in history to be banned from the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He cheated on his wife Beatrice with men and women; in San Francisco he fathered a child with Ernest Hemingway’s secretary. He escaped naked from a New York hospital. When Beatrice visited him in May 1963 to tell him she was pregnant, she found him in a stupor, mumbling of his lust for Spanish boy dancers. She took him home to Ireland, where he died from sclerosis of the liver and his neglect of his diabetes. Behan’s plaque on the front of the Chelsea Hotel features a quote. “To America, my new found land: The man that hates you hates the human race.” He loved America. In return, America loved him. To IA death.
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what are you like? |
By Patricia Harty
Writer Tom O’Neill On the best advice he ever received, talking on plane rides, and being 20 years late on his book deadline!
t took 20 years of intensive research, hundreds of interviews, missed deadlines, and publishers demanding their money back, but Tom O’Neill’s CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties is worth the wait. It’s a chilling page-turner documenting the writer’s quest to find the truth behind the Manson Family murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others that happened over two nights in Los Angeles in 1969. In his two-decade investigation, O’Neill uncovered new details about the crime and its aftermath, including evidence of a cover-up by the prosecutor of the Manson Family, Vincent Bugliosi; police carelessness; the solicitousness of Manson’s parole officer, who was always ready to vouch for his character; and if that wasn’t enough, links to the U.S. government’s supersecretive mind-control program MKULTRA. O’Neill is an award-winning investigative journalist and entertainment writer who has contributed articles to daily newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Daily News, as well as national magazines and news weeklies, including the Village Voice, New York, Premiere, Details, Out, Philadelphia, Irish America, Live, and Detour. As a contributing editor at Us magazine (19911999), he wrote cover stories on some of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars, including Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and Richard Gere, while reporting from the sets of hit television shows such as Saturday Night Live, Frasier, and Northern Exposure. His first investigative story, “Welcome to the Jungle” for Us, about the cutthroat battles waged by daytime talk-show producers for their guests, spawned the magazine’s popular investigative series, The Us Report. A subsequent story O’Neill contributed, called “Dangerous Minds,” about the
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stalking and murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer by a deranged fan, was, in turn, used as the prototype for what would become the now-iconic E! Channel documentary series, E! True Hollywood Story. O’Neill’s investigative story into the unsolved slaying of a Hollywood starlet, called “The Life and Death of Miss Hollywood,” which ran in Details magazine, was also adapted into a True Hollywood Story by the E! Channel, and his exposé of sexism at Saturday Night Live (“The Incredible Shrinking Woman of Saturday Night Live“) won an Exceptional Merit Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus and Radcliffe College in 1995. Raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont, O’Neill graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He currently resides in Venice, California, and is as fiercely proud of his mother’s Italian heritage as he is of his father’s Irish ancestry.
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What is your current state of mind? Relieved. Your greatest extravagance? Spending twenty years on one project without, with few exceptions, being paid for it. Who are your heroes? My dad. And my ma. (And Patti Smith). What is on your bedside table? The New York Times Magazine 1619 Project issue, my meds, and, FYI, beneath the table, my earthquake kit. What was your first job? Shoeshine boy at Villanova University. Your earliest memory? (A) Coming home from a summer vacation to find an empty pen in the backyard which should have contained my beloved pet duck, Quack, and turning in tears to my parents, who admitted they’d received a letter from its caretaker, Cindy Dilworth, informing them Quack had flown the coop, but they didn’t tell me because they didn’t want to spoil my vacation. I never trusted adults again. (B) After being told I couldn’t play with Cindy Dilworth anymore because she was a girl (an older girl, eight to my six – they were worried what we might be doing), Cindy lured me to her backyard to tell me a secret after I’d told her in no uncertain terms I wasn’t allowed there, and she said just for
one secret, then, behind a bush, kissed me. I never trusted women again (and became gay).
Best advice ever received? From a priest (Monsignor Jerome Wilkerson), when I went to the Masters and Johnson Institute in St. Louis to undergo their homosexualto-heterosexual conversion therapy, that I should consider not doing it, because it was okay to be gay. (Postscript: It didn’t work, and I wish I’d listened to him). Do you strike up conversations on long plane journeys? Absolutely never (though I used to when there were smoking sections; they were the only places in the sky where you might have encountered a person worth talking to). Where do you go to think? It’s more like where do I go to stop thinking (Netflix, HBO, etc.).
TOP: Tom O’Neill. ABOVE: The cover of Tom O’Neill’s book, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties. LEFT: Tom O’Neill’s mother, Jean, at a bookstore in Philadelphia.
What is your hidden talent? None, honestly. Okay, maybe identifying foreign or U.S.A. regional accents (from eight years driving a horse and carriage). Your favorite quality in friends? That they’re not actors, in A.A., or spiritually inclined (I live in Los Angeles). OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 81
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what are you like?
By Patricia Harty
You went to film school and worked on movies – what made you switch to writing? I always wanted to write screenplays, then plays, but they were crap. Tried journalism, not much better, but the people who paid for it didn’t seem to care (and kept paying).
Your perfect day? Any one at my ma’s senior living facility outside of Philadelphia (I feel young and sprightly there and stay for months – so much to do!) Favorite country you’ve visited? Depends on my state of mind and who I’m with, but I don’t think there’s ever been a country I didn’t enjoy. Well, except maybe Japan, but that’s only because I was there for 24 hours, the most confusing and unpleasant 24 hours of my life (all my fault, not enough time to figure it out).
ABOVE: Tom O’Neill in his home office, surrounded by 20 years of investigative material. TOP: With his friend Greg Fitzsimmons, comedian, writer, and host of Fitzdog Radio Podcast.
Best opening line in a book or piece of music? A) “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.” (Patti Smith.) B) “No regrets Coyote.” (Joni Mitchell.) C) “First, after your eyes have adjusted to the smoke, behold the bouffants.” (Okay haters, me.) Favorite musician? Duh! Patti Smith A movie you will watch again and again? Wait Until Dark, The Innocents, Chinatown. Have you ever been approached about a film adaptation of CHAOS? Yes, in the works (says the author, nervously).
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You spent 20 years working on this book – what were some of the jobs you had to support yourself? One cover story for Irish America, Uber driver, English as a Second Language teacher, manny, and, far and away most profitable, AirBnB host (meaning I spent a lot of time on friends’ couches or back at Waverly Heights, my ma’s senior living facility). What kept you going during rough times? Rage about being lied to. Your mother is Italian and your father is Irish. What was it like growing up in a mixed household? It wasn’t mixed. My mother was a more recent immigrant – her father came from Italy at fifteen, and her mother crossed the ocean in her mother’s womb, so it was the present at our house, not past – all Italian, all the time. Our Irish relations were “the Americans.” Vincent Bugliosi, the lead prosecutor in the Charles Manson case, threatened you. Were you sorry he died before you published? More than anything in the world. I wanted him to be accountable to my findings. Manson’s death, I was okay with. Are you looking forward to getting back to “entertainment” journalism? No way. Never again! So, Tom O’Neill, what are you like? Bringing us back to question number one, relieved.
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books | dark ireland
Images of a Lost World
The following is an extract from the foreword to Richard Fitzgeraldâ€™s stunning book of photographs taken in Ireland over the past 45 years.
RIGHT TOP: A man rides on a donkey already burdened with two heavy laden creels. LEFT: Michael Hussey plays the tin whistle at the fireside, entertaining his young neighbour Joe Casey and two dogs at his farmhouse near Sneem.
or more than forty years I have travelled the length and breadth of the land recording the beauty of Ireland and its people. I love the ever-changing light and the shadows creeping across the fern-covered hills; the shafts of sunlight picking out the bare trees on the old dusty roads. I recall the quiet-natured donkeys returning home from the peat bogs after a heavy rainstorm, and the cows being milked on the roadside. I remember too, the soft-spoken men at the horse fairs, and the laughter on the rugged faces of the characters encountered on my journey; their warm handshakes as they welcomed me into their homes; the sound of sad music played on melodeons and fiddles; the sweet aroma from the turf fires, and the flickering red flames flashing light into the dark corners of the dimly-lit rooms. Amongst the colours of my childhood recollec-
CENTER: An elderly mother and father are making a cock of hay with help from their daughter. FAR RIGHT: People kneeling saying the rosary at a farmhouse in Currabaha.
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tions, I remember the blue skies over ripened yellow corn-fields; mouth-watering red-speckled apples drooping from the trees in the orchard beside our cottage, and the lush green meadows where I ran as a boy hunting wild rabbits. But of all the rich colours stored in my memory, black is by far the most prominent and persistent. Priests; nuns, and undertakers were dressed in dark clothing, men drank bottles of dark porter, and old women wore black shawls. Black caldrons, pots and kettles hung in soot-covered fireplaces, black crows silhouetted against the skies, cawed above our homes at night, and tar-painted currachs carried over the heads of fishermen seemed to crawl along the seashore. When the modern world arrived the same black tar covered the old stony roads, its substance sticking to the soles of our bare feet. The same colour dripped off the nib of our pens when we dipped them into the ink-well on our school-desks. Women wore black mantillas on their heads at Sunday mass, and mourners wore black arm bands sewn onto their coat-sleeves as a mark of respect when a family member or relative died. And then there was the darkness of night itself which enveloped every corner of our homes. As a young boy trying to make sense of my surroundings, Ireland seemed a
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very dark bewildering place. The photographs in my book happened because of my upbringing in rural Ireland; it is a world I knew intimately before emigration was forced upon me. In the years following my departure, I became aware that many of the old customs and traditions were rapidly changing, soon to be lost forever. The beauty of this alluring twilight found its way through my camera lens, coaxing my eye to record remnants of its passing. The fond memory of that distant time will forever remain the cornerstone of my dark boyhood dreams.â€?
Note: Photographer Richard Fitzgerald comes from County Waterford and now resides in London. www.richardfitzgerald.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dark Ireland: Images of a Lost World is published by Currach Press. www.currach.ie
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review of books | recently published books FICTION
by E.M. Reapy
by Catherine Ryan Howard
lizabeth Reapy’s Natalie is one of those characters who stays with you long after you’ve finished the book she occupies. If “occupies” is even the right word, given Natalie’s preoccupation with not taking up too much space in the world. Fixated on her body and her tendency to binge at times of stress, she takes the reader on a journey – both literal and metaphorical. As she moves through the world, the book begins to resemble a series of linked short stories more than a novel, but there’s something very fitting about where the chapter breaks tend to fall. The girl we first meet in Bali is very at odds with herself; but by the time she finishes up in Dublin, she is much more comfortable in her own skin, and well able to stand up for herself and articulate her needs and desires. Along the way she meets a host of interesting characters – some interesting, some off-putting – and learns something about herself in the process. Skin is a book to be savored slowly, all the better to appreciate Reapy’s gift for description and character. She joins a wealth of Irish writers hailing from Mayo – in the same illustrious company as Sally Rooney and Mike McCormack, to name but two. – Darina Molloy $17 / Head of Zeus Publishser / 304 pages
atalie is an influencer who worries that somebody is trying to tell her something about her husband. When she arrives at the isolated Shanamore Holiday Cottages in Cork, she finds the manager Andrew to be a creep of the highest order. But she has a very good reason for being there and is determined not to leave until she’s found what she’s looking for. There begins the tease – the reader watches Andrew watching his guest on a hidden camera. There is a murder, sudden and brutal. And a journalist who needs to get off her sister’s couch and back on her own two feet. Rewind is full of twists and turns, and they don’t always make sense until the next piece of the puzzle is revealed. Ultimately, though, the whodunnit (and more importantly, why-they-dunnit) seems an implausible step too far against the backdrop of a most excellent first half. But, on the whole, Catherine Ryan Howard is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Irish crime writers. Women writers have definitely made this a genre of their own – with Ryan Howard in excellent company alongside Jane Casey, Liz Nugent, Claire McGowan, Tana French, Claire Allan and Dervla McTiernan. It is truly a golden time for Irish crime connoisseurs! – Darina Molloy $17 / Blackstone Publishing / 314 pages
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
ith its almost Joycean title, the new novel from Mary Beth Keane (the author of Fever) starts slowly, almost melodically, saving the first of many sucker punches for a few chapters. Peter Stanhope and Kate Gleeson are childhood neighbours – both the offspring of NYPD cops, both the offspring of Irish immigrants (his mother; her father). They are good friends, and their fathers rub along reasonably well, although the odd behavior of Peter’s mother does not endear her to her neighbors (or indeed to many others). After one particularly disturbing incident, the Stanhopes leave the neighborhood and the friendship between the two kids comes to an abrupt end. Keane keeps the action humming along nicely and the reader springs forward through the years, seeing all too vividly the way life progresses for Peter and Kate, and for their families. Ireland is a bit character throughout, never revisited, not often spoken about, but still playing an important role in the ways in which the characters take shape and are fleshed out. The twin demons of depression and alcoholism – obviously not unique to Ireland but carrying some weight in the national psyche – also come calling in this rich and beautiful novel. With Keane’s deft touch, characters are rendered as real as those you encounter in daily life, and it’s hard not to think about them even after reading the last few pages. If we mentioned Keane’s Mayo roots (her mother hails from Louisburgh) you would think we were making it up! – Darina Molloy $27 / Simon & Schuster / 390 pages
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A striking tale of the enduring Irish-American spirit “Irish Above All combines the myths and magic of Ireland with the grit and energy of Irish-American Chicago in the first half of the 20th century.” —ROMA DOWNEY, acclaimed actress, producer, and New York Times bestselling author
“Nobody knows the Irish like Mary Pat Kelly. And nobody writing today knows better how to breathe life into Irish-Americans, with all their dreams, hopes, and aspirations.” —WILLIAM MARTIN, New York Times bestselling author of Bound for Gold
“Prepare to be transported through 1920s-40s Chicago and Ireland for an epic story of love, loss, and the strength of one incredible Irish woman.” —MARTHA HALL KELLY, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls Hardcover and eBook • Available Now
“Mary Pat Kelly is a peerless storyteller. In Irish Above All, she blends history and fiction into a seamless narrative that is gripping, poignant and enlightening.” —PETER QUINN, American Book Award-winning author of Banished Children of Eve
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Irish Women New Women and & Nationalism: Wicked HagsSoldiers, Edited by Louise Ryan and Margaret Ward
t’s quite revealing that one of the most prominent female nationalists in Irish history was born in London and bears the not-very-Irish name of Constance “Countess” Markievicz. She participated in the 1916 Easter Rising and was elected to a number of government positions in England and Ireland throughout the 1920s. But, alas, she is best remembered by the name of her husband, a Polish-born artist. (The “Countess” was actually born Constance Gore-Booth.) Irish Women & Nationalism goes a long way towards correcting this lopsided history, charting the pivotal role Irish women have played in various Irish liberation movements, from the Rising of 1641 right up to the Troubles in the north of Ireland in the late 20th century. After all, over two decades before David Trimble and John Hume won the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland,” Belfast natives Betty Williams Mairead Corrigan were awarded the prestigious honor, for their work with the group Community of Peace People. – Tom Deignan $25 / Irish Academic Press / 240 pages
This Land: America, Lost and Found By Dan Barry
or over a decade, Irish-American journalist Dan Barry has been filing dispatches from across America for a column in The New York Times entitled This Land. Now, many of Barry’s best have been collected in this handsome volume, which also includes plenty of gorgeous photography to complement Barry’s poetic work. From coal country to Manhattan’s Bowery, from the front lines of the Great Recession to death row, This Land ultimately presents a portrait of a nation still filled with promise, but also plagued by no small amounts of anxiety and fear. In Barry’s hands, the joy, drama, and dignity of daily life shines through all the folks he writes about. It is impossible to pick a favorite here, but Barry’s lengthy report on Rhode Island “mobster” Ralph DeMasi – once shot by Irish gangster James “Whitey” Bulger “several times in the drive-by killing of another target” – certainly stands out. But even the shorter pieces pack tremendous power – like a Springsteen song or Heaney poem. “The men and women I encountered were not numbers to be tallied in yet another political survey, they were individuals, trying to get through another day in America,” Barry writes in a touching introduction. “I witnessed their wills being tested by crime, by fate, by natural disaster. I watched them struggle and tumble, laugh and cry, pause to take a breath and whisper a prayer. To echo Faulkner, I saw them endure.” – Tom Deignan $29.99 / Black Dog & Leventhal / 391 pages
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Good Things Out of Nazareth: The Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor & Friends Edited by Benjamin B. Alexander
lannery O’Connor remains one of the most fascinating and enigmatic writers in American letters, in part because she seems contradictory in so many ways. A southerner and a devout Catholic, Irish-American and thoroughly rural, she somehow managed to produce a deep, rich ouvre of short stories and novels, before dying at just 39 years old in March of 1964. Four decades after the important collection of O’Connor’s letters, The Habit of Being, was published, a new batch of correspondence arrives to give us fresh insights into O’Connor’s fiction. Edited by Benjamin B. Alexander, this new collection includes many posts to Irish-American Jesuit priest, James McCown, who (according to Alexander) “contributed to O’Connor’s creation of Ignatius Vogle, S.J., in her story ‘The Enduring Chill.’” In his preface, Alexander recalls attending a literary festival in Dublin held a few years back, to celebrate the life and work of 19th-century English poet (and Jesuit priest) Gerard Manley Hopkins. But following Alexander’s discussion about O’Connor, the Georgia-born writer “stole Hopkins’ thunder.” Irish “attendees were amazed that O’Connor was an amusing yet compelling apologist for the historical faith the cerebral James Joyce loathed.” Overall, these letters range from light-hearted to literary to downright gossipy, but overall they humanize this great artist to a fascinating degree. Perhaps most interesting are the insights the letters provide into O’Connor as a reader. Though endlessly fascinated by religion, she also finds time to defend a young John Updike, whose early novel Rabbit, Run had been criticized for its frank sexuality. All in all this a fine companion volume to The Habit of Being and, much more importantly, O’Connor’s novels and short stories. – Tom Deignan $26 / 372 pages / Convergent Books
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‘‘Forty Shades of Green’’ at The iconic song about Ireland, written by country music legend Johnny Cash in 1969, is still popular today. By Christine Kinealy
hen Cash visited Ireland in 1959, he was already a successful country musician, his hits including “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line.” He came to Ireland, though, as a tourist. He later explained his inspiration for writing the song as, “I was in a car with a road map of Ireland in my lap, rhyming the names – the names in Ireland just beg to be sung, anyway. To get the title, I guess I just looked out of the window, and there they were, the Forty Shades of Green.” I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea From the fishing boats at Dingle to the shores of Dunardee I miss the River Shannon and the folks at Skibbereen The moorlands and the midlands with their forty shades of green But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town And most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown Again I want to see and do the things we’ve done and seen Where the breeze is sweet as Shalimar and there’s forty shades of green I wish that I could spend an hour at Dublin’s churching surf I’d love to watch the farmers drain the bogs and spade the turf To see again the thatching of the straw the women glean I’d walk from Cork to Larne to see the forty shades of green…
Which county, you might ask, is Shalimar in? Cash admitted that this was not a name on his road map, but the perfume that he purchased for his wife, Vivian, on the same day – and he liked the sound of it. A further legacy of Cash’s visit was that he encountered a terrible storm, which forced him to take shelter in a barn near Tara in County Meath. He named his fourth daughter, who was born in 1961, Tara. 90 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
Although “Forty Shades of Green” was written in 1959, it was not released as a single until 1961, and then only as a B side. However, the song was a hit in Ireland that year, when recorded by Maisie McDaniel, “Ireland’s Queen of Song.” Sligo-born Maisie, who was a household name in the 1960s, was part of the showband scene that flourished in Ireland during that period. In October 1963, Cash undertook his first tour of Ireland. Earlier that year, he had released what was to be one of his biggest-ever hit singles, “Ring of Fire,” so he arrived in Ireland with superstar status. By the time of his appearance in the country, he had sold nearly ten million “discs,” and before leaving America, Cash had played to capacity audiences in Carnegie Hall in New York and in the 10,000-seater Hollywood Bowl. Not everybody in Ireland, however, was impressed with the country star; the music critic in the Dublin Evening Herald writing, “Jimmy Rodgers I like. Tennessee Ernie, I like. But Cash, for some reason, does not register with me.” Cash was accompanied by his band, The Tennessee Three, and by June Carter. Carter, who would marry Cash in 1968, was described in the Irish media as “America’s Glamorous Country and Western Queen.” The publicity referred to Cash as the “World’s Number One Country and Western Singer” whose records included “his fantastic Irish hit, ‘Forty Shades of Green.’” None of his other records were mentioned. It proved to be an intense schedule, Cash and his band performing 17 shows in 14 locations over an 11-day period. Their final concert was in the National Stadium in Dublin, but most venues were small and part of the showband circuit. They included the Granada Ballroom in Kingscourt, County Cavan, (which marked the commencement of the tour), the Carlton in Kilkenny, the Adelphi in Dundalk, the Jetland Ballroom in Limerick, the Majestic Ballroom in Mallow, the Lakeland Ballroom in Mullingar, and the Palladium Dancehall in Rush, near Skerries. The advertisement for the show in the Dreamland Ballroom in Athy pointed out that it was a venue “where only the best bands play,” helpfully adding that, for those attending, “Bus as usual from Carlow at 9:00 pm.”
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The Irish Contribution
imi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, Joan Baez, Santana, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and – Henry McCullough. They all played at Woodstock in 1969. McCullough has the distinction of being, reputedly, the only Irishman to play in the festival. For guitarist McCullough, it was literally a flying visit. He was helicoptered in, performed with Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, and then they all left to play at the next gig on their own tour of the United States. McCullough was born in Portstewart in Co. Derry in 1943. He was part of a generation of people born in the north that also produced Seamus Deane, Seamus Heaney, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, Mary McAleese, Gerry Adams and George Best. It was also the generation that witnessed the onset of the “Troubles.” McCullough’s passion was music; he got his first guitar at age 17 and then joined a succession of bands – the Skyrockets, Gene and the Gents, the People, and Éire Apparent. The latter toured with Pink Floyd, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Amen Corner. McCullough next joined the Grease Band, the backing band of Joe Cocker. It was while touring in the U.S. that the band appeared in Woodstock on August 17. The Grease Band played two opening pieces, then, with Cocker, they performed a further 11, which included Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman” and the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.” The latter song, which had already been a PHOTO CREDIT: WWW.THE-PAULMCCARTNEY-PROJECT.COM massive hit for Cocker, was to become the anthem for Henry McCullough at Woodstock. the Woodstock era. But, in terms of payment, Joe Cocker and his supporting band were near the bottom of the spectrum. Headliner and undisputed Rock God, Jimi Hendrix was paid $18,000. Blood, Sweat and Tears came in second with $15,000. Cocker received only $1,375. Tragically, just over a year later, Hen-
On the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival, Christine Kinealy remembers the legendary guitarist from Northern Ireland who gave a celebrated performance.
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drix was dead, the London coroner determining that he had aspirated from his own vomit and died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates. In 1971, McCullough was recruited by former Beatle Paul McCartney to join Wings. It was a period of success for both, McCullough featuring with a guitar solo in the hit song “My Love.” It is thought that McCullough influenced McCartney to write a song in February 1972, protesting against Bloody Sunday. It was called “Give Ireland Back to the Irish.” The single was banned by the BBC and even Radio Luxembourg (a non-regulated channel) refused to play it. Regardless of the censorship, “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” reached No. 16 in Britain, No. 21 in the U.S., and No. 1 in the Republic of Ireland and Spain. McCullough left Wings in 1973, playing with a variety of leading artists and even forming his own Henry McCullough Band. By the 1980s, he had settled in Dublin, often playing with the Fleadh Cowboys. At the end of the decade, he again formed his own band and toured Ireland with them. During this period, he also penned several songs and released a number of albums, which were all well received. In 2012, McCullough had a major heart attack that left him debilitated. He died in June 2016 at his home in Antrim. In a rare interview given in 2008, McCullough reflected on his life, “I’ve had a better life than most players, because it’s not every day you get to play with Paul McCartney. I saw Flower Power, ’69, the summer of this and that, and Woodstock. I remember 85 percent of it. Not many do.”
New Release by Martin Hayes
he celebrated Clare fiddle player, Martin Hayes, and the multi-faceted string quartet Brooklyn Rider, released “The Butterfly,” their much-anticipated collaboration in August. Siobhan Long writing in the Irish Times called it a “a masterclass in risk-taking and at the same time an unapologetic doffing of their collective caps to the seemingly simple tunes that form the backbone of most early traditional musicians’ repertoires.” This new take on some of Ireland’s lesser known tunes is definitely one to add to your collection.
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Johnny Cash at the Crystal Ballroom, Dublin, 1963.
Upon arriving in Ireland, Cash had appealed to amateur writers to send their songs to him. He explained that his contract required him to record 32 songs every year, some as singles, some for albums – consequently, he was always looking for new material. In response, Cash received 350 songs and he promised to review and return them all. Cash was not the only notable visitor to Ireland in 1963. In June of that year, President John F. Kennedy had undertaken an emotional journey to the land of his ancestors, they having left Wexford during the Great Hunger. As his plane landed, President Kennedy looked out the window and said: “I see Johnny Cash’s Forty Shades of Green.” Cash later commented, “That was a big moment in my life and my career, to know that that song had reached out that far.” During his long career, Cash visited Ireland on many other occasions, always performing “Forty Shades of Green” to delighted audiences. The song was also included in two of Cash’s greatest songs compilations. Cash’s relationship with Ireland continued in other ways. In 1993, he was the lead singer on “The Wanderer,” a track on U2’s studio album, Zooropa. Cash and Bono also recorded a duet of “One,” and Bono planned to write a song called “Ellis Island” for Cash to record,
but the project was not completed. Cash died in September 2003, only a few months after his beloved June had passed away. He was aged 71. The world mourned the loss of “the man in black,” and poignantly, as was pointed out in one Irish newspaper, his death “has left the dispossessed of America without their most iconic champion.” Born in Arkansas in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Cash understood poverty, dispossession, and despair – he battled with drug addiction for most of his adult life – all of which positioned him well to take on the mantle of being “the man of the people,” and to capture their suffering in his powerful lyrics: I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town, I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, But is there because he’s a victim of the times. (“Man in Black,” 1971)
Johnny Cash, however, was a man of many parts, and his “Forty Shades of Green” was a tender tribute to a country that he loved IA and, as he admitted, “has a special place in my heart.”
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 91
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The Great October The Ballinasloe October Fair is one of the oldest fairs in Ireland. While now predominantly associated with horses, in its heyday it served as a market for the sale of cattle and sheep by the farmers of the west to their counterparts in the east of Ireland. Edythe Preet
An Irish adage advises: Go East for a woman; go West for a horse.
hen I was a girl I had a bicycle. I wanted a horse. That was not in the cards for this city child, so I named my bike Lightning and careened about the neighborhood, crouched racing-low over the handlebars, doing daring (so I thought) one-legged pedal stands, hair flying, pulse
ABOVE: A string of fine colts await their turn at auction. FAR RIGHT: Paddy Harty (father of Irish America’s editor), never missed an opportunity to show his horses at the Ballinasloe Fair (photo: circa 1951). RIGHT BOTTOM: A winning bet that calls for a celebatory “Bookmaker’s Sandwich.”
pounding, and imagining I was galloping over wideopen countryside. My uncle owned a pair of ponies. Despite their slight height they looked darn big to me, and I thought my cousin was the luckiest boy in the world. Vivid memories center on the times I accompanied them to the boarding stable, where my uncle poohpoohed my mother’s protests and allowed me to feed his beauties carrots and apples. I can still feel their velvet noses nuzzling my palm, hear their hooves thunk and bridles clink as they trotted out from their stalls, and smell the musky mix of horse and hay. I grew up hearing stories about ancestors whose lives intertwined with horses: my grandma’s beloved black mare and her cavalry vet father, my dad’s Han-
94 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
som cabbie pater and famous jockey cousin. But my urban upbringing never permitted me to become the horsewoman I yearned to be. So I seize every opportunity that comes my way for even the briefest encounters of the equine kind. Several years ago, while planning a trip to Ireland, I discovered that Europe’s longest-running horse fair occurs annually in Ballinasloe, County Galway, and fortuitously coincided with my time on the island. It galloped to the top of my Must Do list. Lying just 40 miles east of Galway, I expected modern horsepower to reduce the one-day horseback trek to less than an hour. Ten miles outside town my zippy little compact was gridlocked in a sea of cars, trucks, and horse trailers. Dusk was settling in when I topped the stone bridge overlooking the Fair Green and gaped at the sight below. Seemingly shoulder-toshoulder they stood. Huge Clydesdales and petite Connemara ponies. Jumpers, hunters, and thoroughbred racers. Darling docile donkeys. Shaggy massive black and white Piebalds, the trademark horse of Ireland’s gypsy Travelers. That Ballinasloe is a gathering spot is no accident. Beneath the region’s green fields an underpinning of shale left at the retreat of the last ice age affords safe passage through the boggy Midlands and easy crossing of the River Suck. For centuries the sure terrain was known as the “royal road” between Connacht and Tara, seat of the Irish kings. At most times the hamlet is a sleepy one-horse town, but during the Great October Fair the number swells to thousands. Millions of cattle, goats, and sheep have traded hands since the event’s inception as a harvest celebration in 1757, but it is Ireland’s magnificent horses that steal the show. And no wonder. The history of the Irish and their horses stretches across centuries. It is a tale of friendships and working partners. It is a romance born of the land, nurtured by necessity, and fastened by ancient bonds. It is one of the oldest love stories on earth. Horses arrived in Ireland long before it became an island. Millennia ago a land bridge connected it to Scotland and another joined Britain to France. From the Asian steppes where the horse originated, herds migrated west. Diggings at Lough Gur, County Limerick, and Newgrange, County Meath, indicate the Irish had domesticated horses before 2,000 B.C. In the ancient Irish epic Tain Bo Cualnge, the great warrior Cúchulainn rode a chariot pulled by two horses that were equal in size, beauty, and speed. One was grey, broad in the haunches, fleet, and wild. The other was jet black, his head firmly knit, his feet broad-hoofed and slender. These steeds were so swift that even the best Ulster horses could not catch them. A story about the goddess Rhiannon also concerns
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sláinte | good cheer
The Bookmaker’s Sandwich
(Irish Traditional Food – Theodora Fitzgibbon)
Note: Before automation, horserace bookmakers were so busy taking bets that they never took time to have a real meal. 1
For two blissful days I wandered Wellie-shod and awestruck through the Fair, rubbing shoulders with city and country folk, bluebloods, commoners, and hordes of horse-loving tourists. I noted the signs that warned “enter the Fair Green at your own risk,” threw my mother’s cautionary “never walk behind a horse” to the wind, remembered my grandma say “stepping in manure means good luck,” and dodged more horses’ rears than I’ll ever again see in life. I watched the judging of the Fair’s best cattle, sheep, and pigs, and fell madly in love with the exquisite winner of the Connemara Pony competition. I saw Traveler men seal deals on their gorgeous Piebalds with palm spits and hand-slaps, succumbed to the lure of knowing my future via a palm reading by one of the Traveler women, and was nearly trampled by perhaps the world’s biggest, blackest stallion ridden by a devilishly dashing Black Irish fellow. In nearly three centuries, the Ballinasloe Great October Fair has remained much the same. Handlers still haggle endlessly over their equine prizes. Church bells, children’s squeals, and traditional music fill the air. Smoke plumes hover over the Traveler camps of chrome caravans and floral handcrafted wagons. In the pubs gallons of Guinness wash down thousands of sausage rolls and Bookmaker’s Sandwiches. One thing will certainly never change: whether you buy or not, it’s the show of shows IA for the horsey set. Sláinte!
NOTE: Ballinasloe’s 2019 Great October Fair took place September 29-October 6. For more information and photos visit: www.ballinasloeoctoberfair.com.
long crusty loaf of bread, Vienna style tablespoons butter pound sirloin steak mustard salt and pepper
Slice the loaf in half lengthways and butter it well. Cut the steak in two lengthways, rub with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the steak under high heat but do not over-cook. Put the meat strips straight away onto the buttered half loaves. Season with salt and pepper, and spread with mustard. Put the two halves of the sandwich together. Wrap tightly with foil, and put a weight on top. The steak juices will absorb into the bread and keep it moist. When cool cut into fairly thick slices and serve. Makes 3-4 servings.
horses. While out riding her magical white mount, a prince tried to capture her. Every time he neared, she sped off and left him in her dust. Finally, the fellow thought maybe he should just ask her to wait. The polite request was exactly what Rhiannon had wanted to hear. When he trotted up beside her, she admonished, “It would have been far better for your horse had you asked long before this.” More than just legend, horses count as one of Ireland’s most important industries. This vital economic resource centers on three breeds: the Connemara Pony, the Irish Draught, and the Thoroughbred. The Connemara is the oldest pure Irish breed. Small native ponies called Breakers were crossed with two imports, Welsh Mountain Ponies, which arrived with traders in the seventh century, and Spanish Andalusians brought in a thousand years later. The Connemara’s size and sure-footed agility made them ideally suited for harvesting and hauling turf from the bogs of West Galway. The Normans came to Ireland with largeboned Great Horses, which had been bred to carry armored knights. These behemoths crossed with another small native horse, the Hobby, produced an entirely new breed: the Irish Draught. This hefty workhorse is tough, agile, intelligent, and well-mannered. It was ideally suited to farm labor, and until tanks replaced cavalry it was the preferred horse of Europe’s cavalries. During the 19th century, as many as 6,000 Irish Draughts changed hands at Ballinasloe in a few days! The most famous steed bought was Marengo, Napoleon’s mount at Waterloo. Local wags boast the emperor met his defeat because Wellington probably shopped the Fair first. Today the Irish Draught is prized as one of the world’s finest show jumpers. The Connemara and the Irish Draught cut deep hoofprints in Irish history, but it is the Thoroughbred racehorse that became a multimillion-dollar business. Part of the reason is environmental. Calcium-rich grass grown in limestone-rich soil ensures rock-hard bone structure. The other half of the equation is simply that the Irish love a good horse race. With dozens of racetracks scattered about the island, there is a horse race somewhere nearly every day of the year. Sometimes a track isn’t even needed, as proven by the several times I ducked into doorways to avoid bareback riders dashing pell-mell in spontaneous races that erupted on Ballinasloe’s narrow streets.
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photo album | By Mary Gallagher
An Ocean Away: Violet McHale RIGHT: Violet, at her daughter Janie’s First Holy Communion. BELOW: Nanny with my mom, Anne. They would sit together as Mom was getting to know my dad’s large family. Nanny made it easy, telling stories and jokes so there was no need for small talk and introducing her to anyone she didn’t know. BOTTOM RIGHT: My grandparents’ wedding. (From left) John “Poppy” McHale, Nanny, Anne, Frank, Margaret “Nanny” Gallagher, and Edward “Poppy” Gallagher.
y paternal great-grandmother Violet May Carroll McHale was born in 1906 in Castlebar, Mayo, and raised as a farmer’s daughter. She and her sisters (Delia, Lucy, and Jane) did much of the grunt work that was usually reserved for males, since their father Martin had a bad leg and couldn’t do it on his own. Violet eventually had to leave school completely at about age 10 to help keep the farm going with jobs like cutting peat and bringing in the potato crop. When Martin died in 1920, their mother Sarah sold the farm, and the women made their way to America under the sponsorship of Bill Elliott, as his part in a marriage arranged between him and Delia (or “Geenie”), the oldest. They settled in Brooklyn on Fulton Street, in a tenement where the subway ran just outside their window. Grieved, homesick, and fragile after a weeks-long voyage in steerage, Sarah did not last long in their new home, and died soon after arriving. Violet helped support the family by working as a “liver-outer,” a maid who resides off-site. She would later work in a factory, making gauges during WWII. Before that, though, she married John Patrick McHale (a Liverpudlian with Irish parents) and they had five children: Violet (called “Snookie” after Fanny Brice’s radio persona Baby Snooks), Ellen, Anne (my grandmother), Jack, and Janie. Living to be 103 awarded my nanny the distinction of being the oldest and first native Irish person I knew. Though she wouldn’t revisit Ireland until 1969 (she came back saying the place had regressed), she kept enough of it about her to passionately imprint her experience of it on her children and grandchildren. She loved attention and never wasted it, carrying on the oral tradition of the seanachies in a more unofficial but still essential way – holding forth at family gatherings with stories from her childhood. Without attempting voices, she brought each word and inflection to life with unique emphasis, so that we could see it unfolding ourselves. She peppered our lives with sayings that still earn the odd look when mentioned outside the family circle. The disdainful proclamation of too light a meal as a “daisy in a cow’s mouth” rings in my ears to this day in her voice. I can’t even be sure I heard her say it myself; it might well come from my father, remembering the grandmother who epitomized the term “spitfire.” Talk of Nanny never fails to bring an ear-splitting grin to his face, a shake of the head and the declaration, “She was a nut.” Which she was – of the highest order. She protected her family with a force of will bigger than she was: turning champion in the time it took to
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stretch out a hand to whomever needed her, and say “Come with me” – and off they’d go to slay a dragon. That assertive nature lent itself to a temper which flared at infrequent moments, like the naming of her first great-grandchild, my cousin Sean. Nanny held that the correct spelling was S-H-A-W-N, even calling the Irish Consulate for support. No one heard the response, just a pause before she shouted “You’re wrong, you’re WRONG!” and slammed down the phone. She found immense happiness and gratitude just in being alive. She must have missed home bitterly, so fierce was the effort she put into giving us all of it that she could. A life’s mission was to make tea drinkers out of her offspring, serving it on china and sweetening the deal with Twinkies. She taught herself to play the accordion at 42 and kept it up well into her 90s, insisting that without music, it wasn’t a party. With a “Give us a step!” from Nanny, her granddaughters Mary Anne and Kathleen would break into the step dances they learned in their lessons, to her utter delight. At one event she attended, the highlight of the evening was supposed to be the Irish tenor performing. Nanny stole the spotlight, starting a conga line in the audience that no one dared to resist. After another gathering that was more spiritual than musical, she patted the host (my uncle Tom) soberly on the back, saying, “You did your best – but it was a flop.” She lived through some hardships I don’t know and others I can’t bear to imagine, like losing her only son to a heart attack at 48, in that perversion of the natural order that would rock the foundations of most, and make smiles impossible. Yet her Catholic faith was rock-solid; she had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and said the rosary every day, and I remember her as one of the happiest people I’ve ever known (“an advocate for the fun and lively,” as her daughter puts it). I’ve only now begun to realize what tenacity that must have taken, to be such a steady wellspring of joy for the little ones she loved so very much, whom she insisted could do no wrong. I know I’ve inherited her flair for drama; I hope I have some of her strength. In her later years, my dad was inspired to record her.
TOP LEFT: Nanny’s 100th birthday – note the shamrocks on the cake.
I thank God he did; I can watch Nanny in her element with the touch of a button, challenging small children to spell words like “transubstantiation” and “paragraph,” even spelling them proudly herself, for the benefit of the camera, the beloved grandson manning it, and her rapt posterity. I’d swear she can hear me laughing, that the twinkle in her eye is for me, as a proud speller and attention lover in my own right. I am by descent a third-generation Irish American, a title I learned to employ only recently. In the older and deeper recesses of my mind, I am simply Irish, because Nanny told me I was, and made me want to be more than anything in the world. She instilled a nascent but passion-infused idea of what we take from that heritage: a love of family and home that transcends either’s presence; a hearty respect for a good story, which earns even more if it can also be a song, and wins the night if it has a beat fast enough to dance to; and a pervasive gratitude to God and the people who came before us, who formed our futures, sometimes at a cost to their own, with a heartrending spirit of self-sacrifice that inspires and terrifies me still. It’s to live in the present with a piece of your heart in the past, and a glass raised to what’s to come.
TOP CENTER: Nanny surrounded by her granddaughters (from left) Mary Jane, Bernadette, and Meg. LEFT: My dad’s graduation from Iona College. Nanny and her sisters were so proud of the young ones. (From left) Lucy, my father Frank, Jane, my uncle John, and Nanny. ABOVE: Playing ball!
Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Patricia Harty at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1606, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, then please send a good quality reproduction or email the picture at 300 DPI resolution to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select.
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019 IRISH AMERICA 97
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crossword | ACROSS 1 The western seaside edge of Galway city (8) 6 See 5 down (6) 7 See 26 down (8) 9 Trouble or afflict someone in mind or body (3) 11 See 18 across (7) 14 (& 34 across) Dublin-based independent publisher that specializes in Irish fiction (5) 15 Postal abbreviation of Georgia (1,1) 16 (& 10 down) Manager of Dublin’s five-in-arow All-Ireland Gaelic football champions (3) 17 (& 23 down) He brought John B. Keane’s Bull McCabe to life in the film version of The Field (7) 18 (& 11 across) This Wall Street pioneer invented the ticker tape (4) 22 A long, deep cut or wound (4) 24 The act of deliberately setting fire to property (5) 25 One of the comedic creations of the much-loved late comedian Brendan Grace (7) 28 See 37 down (7) 30 (& 35 down) This Roscommon native scooped up an Emmy recently in L.A. (5) 31 Birth surname of Frederick
By Darina Molloy
Douglass (6) 33 A moving component of an electromagnetic system (5) 34 See 14 across (5) 36 Ms. Mallon was known as Typhoid ________ (4) 38 (& 19 down) Iconic Irish singer who has made a return to touring (6) 42 British-founded American multinational corporation headquartered in New York City which comprises an iconic auction house (8) 43 (& 39 down) Late night television variety show beloved in America for more than four decades: Saturday ______ ______ (5) 44 See 27 down (6)
DOWN 1 This Andrew was a Scottish-born, U.S.-based philanthropist who funded more than 3,000 libraries in English-speaking parts of the world (8) 2 Upper limb of the human body (3) 3 See 40 down (6) 4 An Irish welcome (6) 5 (& 6 across) Actor, comedian, filmmaker, and writer born in Wilmette, Illinois (4) 6 Dublin _______ :
10 12 13
new tv show based on the crime novels of Tana French (7) An abrupt, uncontrolled movement (5) See 16 across (5) Random-access memory (3) The Kids Are _____: New show by Roseanne writer Tim Doyle, based on his own Irish Catholic upbringing in the 1970s (7) See 38 across (1, 6) Ireland’s hidden heartland winds along this river (7) Enduring pain without showing feelings (5) See 17 across (6) (& 7 across) To Hell or to Connacht was the famous phrase
Win a subscription to Irish America magazine Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1606, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than October 31, 2019. 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. The winner’s name will be published along with the solution in our next issue. Xerox copies accepted. Winner of the August / September 2019 crossword: Frank Collins, East Northport, NY 98 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2019
of this English political and military leader (6) 27 (& 44 across) Professor, historian, author, and journalist whose latest book is called Frank and Al (5) 29 This smoking substitute is gradually being banned on college campuses (6) 32 Slang word deeply connected in the Philadelphia culture (2)
35 See 30 across (1, 4) 37 (& 28 across) Crime drama series starring Liev Schreiber as a fixer and Jon Voigt as his ne’er-do-well father (3) 38 Unites muscle to bone (5) 39 See 43 across (4) 40 (& 3 down) Irish Olympian and chief executive of Sport Ireland (4) 41 A large gulp of a drink (4)
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Irish America magazine's October / November issue, featuring an interview with president of Fidelity Personal Investing Kathleen Murphy. Plu...
Published on Oct 1, 2019
Irish America magazine's October / November issue, featuring an interview with president of Fidelity Personal Investing Kathleen Murphy. Plu...