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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 CANADA $4.95/ U.S. $3.95

The Irish 69th Fights Again


The Man Behind the Races

A Jazz Age Couple

Ellin Mackay & Irving Berlin

Irish Vampires Dracula Comes to Television

The Merry Men

Making Music with Russell Crowe

Lyndsay Faye’s Historical Novels Set in Irish New York

James J. O’Donnell “I only know one speed – if you are going to do something, make sure you do it well.”

on banking, his Irish roots, his faith, and the future

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October / November 2013 Vol. 28 No. 6

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84 THE 69TH FIGHTS AGAIN On the 150 anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Corinne Dillon talks to members of the 69th New York Historical Association, and Tom Deignan reviews a “Photographs of the Civil War” exhibit, and a new biography of photographer Mathew Brady.

38 ON THE WATERFRONT Joe Weatherby recasts a decommissioned WWII troop ship into an artificial reef that supports sealife in the Florida Keys. By Holly Millea.



Christine Kinealy writes about the American abolitionist Frederick Douglass who visited Ireland and came to be known as the “Black O’Connell.”

Citi’s Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management inspires confidence and provides a different perspective on Wall Street. By Sheila Langan.



Count Dracula is reborn in a new series on NBC to air this fall.Patricia Danaher visits the set in Budapest.

The 16th annual Wall Street 50, celebrating the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders in finance.

98 THE MERRY MEN Russel Crowe’s musical collaborators include the O’Suilleabhains brothers and Alan Doyle. Jaime Lubin talks to the lads about what brought them together.

74 SARATOGA’S IRISH VISIONARY As Saratoga Springs celebrates 150 years of racing, Liz O’Connell tells the tale of John Morrissey, an Irish immigrant who organized, operated, and had the vision to develop what is now one of the world’s greatest racecourses.

78 A JAZZ AGE COUPLE Irving Berlin and Ellin Mackay put aside their differences in culture, background and age to form one of the most enduring and loving relationships in New York social history. By Michael Burke. COVER PHOTO: KIT DEFEVER


DEPARTMENTS 8 12 110 112 114 116 118

Readers Forum Hibernia Books Sláinte Roots Family Album Crossword

Roma Downey talks about faith, fancy sheets, missing her mother, and being exhilarated over the bible series.

106 THE COPPER STAR Lyndsay Faye talks to Tom Deignan about her Irish roots, her acting past, her fascination with history, and her new book.


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Vol.28 No.6 • Oct. / Nov. 2013

By Patricia Harty


Faugh a Ballagh

Mórtas Cine Pride In Our Heritage

Founding Publisher: Niall O’Dowd Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief: Patricia Harty

“The past is never dead. It is not even past.” – William Faulkner, from Requiem for a Nun (1951) rish America’s impact on the history of America is well established, as these pages will attest. From titans of industry such as the silver king John Mackay, to the boxer John Morrissey, who was behind the fabled racecourse at Saratoga Springs, and on to today’s “Wall Street 50” honorees, who are at the top of their game in the financial industry. Suffice to say, America wouldn’t be America without the Irish. From Notre Dame football to the White House; from Hollywood to Wall Street, the Irish American experience is allencompassing But there are stories that still need to be told of ordinary men and women on whose brave shoulders we stand. And often times serendipity plays a part in bringing these stories to light. As the anniversary of the American Civil War is upon us, we turn our attention once more to the feats of young men, brave in battle, who carved out a place for the Irish in America. While the broader story of the Irish Brigade, and the Fighting 69th, is well-known, many of the individual stories have gotten lost in time. And so it was that this particular period in American history was on my mind when I stopped into Paddy Reilly’s bar to catch a late night session on a recent Thursday evening. Here I would have an encounter that convinced me that the stories of our ancestors reveal themselves at just the right moment. Though the musicians were first-class, my mind kept wandering back to a piece I was editing on the Fighting 69th, whose famous battle cry was “Faugh a Ballagh” (Clear the Way.) A Google search had turned up 55 Irish-born Civil War soldiers who were recipients of the Medal of Honor, but there was scant information, just name and rank, and no mention of their birthplace in Ireland. Had Col. James Tierney introduced himself on any other evening at Paddy Reilly’s, I might not have been paying attention. But the colonel, as it turned out, was a member of the 69th and had for many years been the regiment’s historian. The fact that his father was from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, my home town, seemed



an uncanny coincidence, but when he went on to tell me that Private Timothy Donoghue, 69th Infantry, the first Irish-born Civil War soldier to receive the Medal of Honor, was also from Nenagh, I was speechless. I was still processing this serendipitous encounter, when the colonel introduced his son Dennis, also with the 69th, who was just back from Afghanistan. Meeting Dennis and his father, brought the story of the 69th regiment full circle – past to present – and served as a reminder that our place in this nation’s history was hard won, and is still being earned. It is through stories that we come to know the ingredients that make us who we are. It’s important too, that these stories get passed down to the children, so that they know they have in their DNA the ability to be brave should troubles come their way. Those Civil War soldiers “cleared the way” not just on the battlefield; they laid foundations on which later generations would build. Yet, they could not have imagined the heights to which our Wall Street 50 honorees would scale. These men and women, who we honor as much for their community activism as for their financial acumen, are an inspiration. None more so than Sheila Langan’s cover story subject Citi bank’s Jim O’Donnell. When it comes to Wall Street, Jim says: “The world needs people to write checks and make donations, people to get involved, and that’s part of why I respect my colleagues on Wall Street so much – for all the good work that they do.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And so the story of the Irish in America continues with a new generation picking up the banner and “clearing the way” as they shape the culture, history and destinies of the two countries that share our allegiance. I salute you all.

Vice President of Marketing: Kate Overbeck Art Director: Marian Fairweather Deputy Editor: Sheila Langan Copy Editor: John Anderson Advertising & Events Coordinator & Music Editor: Tara Dougherty Director of Special Projects: Turlough McConnell Financial Controller: Kevin M. Mangan Editorial Assistants: Adam Farley Michelle Meagher Claire McWeeney Matthew Skwiat

IRISH AMERICA 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York NY 10001 TEL: 212-725-2993 FAX: 212-244-3344

Subscriptions: 1-800-582-6642 E-MAIL:


www.irishamerica.com Irish America Magazine ISSN 08844240) © by Irish America Inc. Published bi-monthly. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. Editorial office: 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Telephone: 212-725-2993. Fax: 212-244-3344 Email: Irishamag@aol.com. Subscription rate is $21.95 for one year. Subscription orders: 1-800-582-6642. Subscription queries: 1-800-582-6642, (212) 725-2993, ext. 150. Periodicals postage paid at New York and additional mailing offices. Postmaster please send address changes to Irish America Magazine, P.O. Box 1277, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-5277. IRISH AMERICA IS PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

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{readers forum} Congratulations Excellent issue. Thank you. – John M. Dooley, via Facebook

Sober: Malachy Malachy McCourt is doing great work right now. And, despite his age of 83, he can still enthrall a room with his captivating charm. – John C. Begley Posted online August 12

The Great Hunger and the Celtic Gene I thank God that both my maternal and paternal grandparents, as well as most of my [great] aunts and uncles, lived through the famine. They emigrated to America only to have more of my [great] aunts and uncles taken by diphtheria. – Kathy O’Callahan Miller, via Facebook

It is an excellent report, but have to disagree about the ‘selfdestructive diet’ there was no choice in diet given the complete obliteration of land ownership among the Irish by a foreign power and oppressive laws. – Margaret Dunne, via Facebook

Excellent paper with conclusions based on well researched facts. If I may be a bit picky, though, I feel the tannins from tea drinking could not have been a factor among the Famine Irish. Coffee was the major beverage across the British Isles up to the mid-19th century. The loss of the coffee plantations in India and Ceylon from disease (– a plant pathogen similar to the Phythopthora infestans that devastated our potato), and their subsequent replanting with tea plants brought from Kenya, led to a major push by the British government to get the population of these islands to drink tea instead, reached its peak in the latter decades of the 19th century (i.e. well post-Famine), when fast, ocean-going sailing ships or clippers, like the Cutty Sark, made record breaking runs each autumn with the first new season’s tea. – Tim Collins, via Facebook

My family survived the famine. When I showed [a picture of] my dad’s home to a genealogist at Milwaukee Irish Fest: he said it was pre-famine and we were a hearty stock to have survived. Right now I am living up to the prediction: I just turned 83. – Helen Gammon Posted online, August 29

All About Autoimmunity I was very much interested in your article, as I have mixed connective tissue disease with over lap syndrome, specifically CREST. I live in CT and was not diagnosed until 2002. I was healthy up until that point. I am Irish and am on several meds including Retuxin which seems to help. Do you know of other therapies I could try? I am 63 years old – Nancy Wiatr Posted online August 20


The Family Stories Were Special What a delight it was to receive and read the August/September issue of Irish America. Although born in Roscrea in Co.Tipperary, I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and I appreciate the great work that John Gilligan has done for that city and the entire State of Ohio. It would seem to me that an IrishAmerican dream ticket for the American presidency/vice-presidency would include Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius with Martin O’Malley! Secondly, I very much appreciated the devotion of the entire issue to health matters. Special to me were the family stories. My father’s mother, Kathleen Amy Rodgers Cardosi, enlisted in the United States Nurses Training Reserve during WWI. [See picture above.] She later was a Red Cross nurse who worked throughout most of Kentucky and in Florida serving the medical needs of the rural poor in those states. She is said to have unhooded a member of the Klu Klux Klan in Florida after he tried to prevent her from working with poor, mostly black, families in rural Florida. Unfortunately, she died in 1942 as a result of the effects of atrial fibrillation and a blood clot to her lung. My father followed his mother’s footsteps by becoming a family physician in Cincinnati. He started his own solo practice in 1954 and retired from full-time practice in 1989. The “John F. Cardosi Physician of the Year” award is given annually at the Anderson Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati to the physician who exemplifies the same compassion, respect for human dignity, and willingness to serve as my father. At the age of nearly 88, he still volunteers as the part-time medical director of the Catherine McAuley Health Center, a small clinic that serves a poor and elderly population in Cincinnati’s east end. Again, thank you and your staff for honoring those whose lives have been and/or are dedicated to health matters. Mark (J. Cardosi)

PS: I was adopted. Thus, the previously mentioned Tipperary birth coupled with the Italian surname!

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FRANK H. NETTER MD SCHOOL OF MEDICINE Committed to educating the health care team with our School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing

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{readers forum}

Michael Burke, a funeral director in Brooklyn, NY, has been researching the Irish buried in Green-Wood Cemetery for many years. He writes on the relationship between Ellin Mackay and Irving Berlin in this issue. He recently finished a biography of Irish-born writer Fitz-James O’Brien, and is working on a biography of Irish-born sculptor, Launt Thompson. Patricia Danaher is a writer, journalist and producer based in Los Angeles. She is the only Irish member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with a vote in the Golden Globes. Patricia, who interviews the cast of Dracula in this issue, has just completed her first novel and is developing a movie on Mother Jones.

The Healing Way You account of the trip, especially the richness of the details, is quite a read. – Ralph Rogers Received by e-mail

Wow. That was my first reaction after reading the article “The Healing Way.” What an emotional journey Honora made in honor or her brother. The article was beautifully written. It was so eloquent and so from the heart. I felt as if it were me traveling on the adventure. – G.G. Kelly Received by e-mail

Herbal Medicine Terrific article packed with info. – Marjorie Larney, via Facebook

Comfortable in My Own Skin

Corinne Dillon is a Harvard graduate and fluent Mandarin speaker who spent six years living and working in Beijing, China. She has written for the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times and the Huffington Post on everything from vocational education to marriage prospects for urban Chinese women. In this issue, she writes about the Irish Fighting 69th. For over a decade, Tom Deignan has written the weekly “Sidewalks” column for The Irish Voice newspaper. He also writes columns about movies and history for Irish America, and is a regular columnist and book reviewer for the Newark StarLedger. In this issue, he interviews writer Lyndsay Faye. Dr. Christine Kinealy is the director of the Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. She is a director of the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O’Connell Project. Her publications include Daniel O’Connell and Anti-Slavery. The Saddest People the Sun Sees (2011) and the forthcoming Private Charity and the Great Hunger: The Kindness of Strangers. (Bloomsbury, 2013). She writes on Frederick Douglass in this issue.

Sláinte. Great article. – Helen McDevitt-Smith

Quinnipiac’s New Medical School As a family physician, admittedly far from Connecticut, in an area short on primary care, where recruitment of new family doctors has been nearly impossible for the last several years, I’m hopeful that this type of school will add to the pool of FPs in 7 years.

Sheila Langan, Irish America’s deputy editor, is a firstgeneration Irish American with an Irish passport and a love of Irish literature. In this issue, she interviews Wall Street 50 Keynote Speaker James O’Donnell.


Jaime Lubin is a native New Yorker who regularly contributes to The Huffington Post on arts and culture. She also does research and editing with biographers and journalists, including Patricia Bosworth. Jaime is a graduate of Barnard College. Also an actress and singer, she currently studies with Austin Pendleton. In this issue, she writes about Russell Crowe and his musician friends.

• Family Photo Album: The name of the neighborhood doctor who saved Emmett O’Connell’s life as a baby was Dr. Henry Kubel, not Hubert. • The fact sheet about hemochromatosis erroneously stated that the gene mutation first occurred in Ireland 40,000 years ago – there was no Ireland 40,000 years ago.

Holly Millea is a journalist whose profiles include Mark Wahlberg, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Depp, Sandra Bullock, and Warren Beatty. Her work has been published in ELLE, Premiere, Details, and New York magazine. In this issue, Holly writes about Joe Weatherby the reefmaker.

– Dr. Eddie Pullen Posted online August 7

Visit us online at Irishamerica.com to leave your comments, or write to us: Send a fax (212-244-3344), e-mail (irishamag@aol.com) or write to Letters, Irish America Magazine, 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Letters should include the writer’s name, address and phone number and may be edited for clarity and length. 10 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Liz O’Connell, a writer and professional horsewoman in upstate New York, writes about John Morrissey in this issue. She recently curated:“The Irish and Horse Racing: John Morrissey,” exhibit at the Irish American Heritage Museum, Albany, NY. She is working on a biography, John Morrissey: The Lion of Saratoga.




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{ hibernia }




he naturally mummified body of a young adult male found in the Cúl na Móna bog in Cashel, Co. Laois is officially the oldest fleshed human remains ever discovered in the world. It dates back roughly 4,000 years, or 700 years before Egypt’s Tutankhamun. The body, discovered in 2011 by a Bord na Móna worker, was originally presumed to be that of a young Iron Age female and estimated to be about as old as other “bog bodies” (c. 500 BC - AD 400). But recently released radiocarbon dating results have dated the body to the early Bronze Age. Eamonn Kelly, the keeper of Irish antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland


4,000-Year-Old Bog Body from Laois Officially World’s Oldest

said that they took three separate samples, which were sent to two different labs, and all of the results came back at 2000 BC. Moreover, because of blade wounds on the body’s back and a broken arm, Kelly believes the body was royal-born and sacrificed Jason Phelan, who found the prehistoric human as part of a ritual ceremony. Kelly remains pictured with Eamonn Kelly, Keeper of Irish and his fellow researchers believe it Antiquities at the National Museum at the Bord Na Móna Cashel Bog outside Portlaoise. is not unlikely such bodies belong to “kings that failed in their kingship and the relationship of Bronze Age Ireland to were been sacrificed as a consequence,” he later millennia. “It seems to be the same told the Independent. type of ritual that we’ve observed in later The discovery of the age of the body Iron Age finds. What’s surprising here is means that much more can be studied about that it’s so much earlier,” Kelly said. – A.F.

U.S. CONGRESSMEN VISIT IRELAND TO DISCUSS THE UNDOCUMENTED n the heels of the U.S. Senate’s passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in June, 12 congressmen traveled to Ireland in early August to meet with Fine Gael TD Pat Breen about the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants currently living in the United States. Breen, who is chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, is scheduled to lead a delegation of Irish politicians to Washington, D.C. in September to lobby congressional representatives on immigration reform in advance of the House vote. An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States, six million of whom are Mexican, and roughly 40% of whom entered the United States through a legal port of entry but stayed after their visas had expired, according to PRI’s The World. Though less than half of one percent of undocumented immigrants are Irish, Breen put the figure in individual terms for The Journal. “Sadly, it’s not uncommon at Irish funerals to see somebody holding up a smart phone or tablet so that an undocumented son or daughter or brother or sister in the U.S. can connect in a small way with the funeral of their loved one.” Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, however, criticized Leinster House’s involvement with the U.S. immigration reform debate, wondering in a recently-published article in the Irish quarterly review Studies, whether it was not “hypocritical in seeking to have the status of perhaps 50,000 ‘undocumented’ Irish citizens, living and working illegally in the U.S., regularized, while at the same time adopting measures which make it quite uninviting to seek asylum in Ireland.” – A.F.

O THE RED-HEAD PROJECT – RESULTS ARE IN reland and red hair are almost synonymous – or so it was thought. New research from a study led by ancestry company Britain’s DNA shows that it is actually south-east Scotland that has the highest concentration of red-heads with 40% carrying one of the three common red-head gene variants.Titled “The Red-Head Project,” the study was conducted in connection with the second annual Red Head Convention, which took place in Crosshaven, County Cork from August 23-25. Due to genetics, Britain, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have the largest red-headed populations. There are three variations of the MC1R (redhair) gene, and both parents need to be carriers in order to


have red-headed offspring. Even so, there is only a 25% chance the child of two carriers will have red hair. 2,343 people who wanted to learn more about their ancestry participated in the research and underwent DNA tests. The results of the study, published on August 24, show that more than 20 million people in the UK and Ireland carry the red hair gene: 36.5% of the population of Scotland, 34.7% of Ireland, and 32.4% of England. The results put no damper on the Irish Redhead convention, however, which celebrated the MC1R gene throughout the weekend, with carrot tossing championships, a genetics seminar, the premiere of a new documentary called Being Ginger, and much more. – M.M.




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{news from ireland}

Rosie’s Memorial Bridge T

he nephew of trade unionist Rosie Hackett has said she would be “giggling quietly to herself” if she knew that Dublin’s newest bridge, which spans the Liffey over Marlborough Street, had been named in her honor. “She’d be slightly embarrassed about it, but she’d also be very proud,” John Gray, Rosie’s nephew, said speaking on the radio show “Morning Ireland.” Rosie, a founding member of the Irish Women Workers’ Union, was involved in the 1913 Dublin Lockout, and the Irish Citizen Army during the 1916 Rising. It is the first time that a bridge over the Liffey, immortalized by James Joyce as the muse Anna Livia Plurabelle, has been named for a woman. The Dublin Lock-out, the most significant industrial dispute in Irish history, lasted from August 26, 1913 to January 18, 1914. Central to the strike was the right to unionize. Workers were forced to labor up to 17 hours a day, and were at the mercy of their employers, who blacklisted them if they tried to unionize. William Martin Murphy who, among other interests, was the chairman of the Dublin United Tramway Company, was particularly opposed to unionizing workers and saw Jim Larkin, who set up the General Workers’ Union (ITGWU), as a dangerous revolutionary.

Presiding over a meeting of 300 other employers, Murphy, and the group determined to take on the ITGWU. On August 15, Murphy dismissed 40 workers he suspected of being union members and dismissed 300 more the Rosie Hackett and Delia Larkin (front, centre) with workers at Liberty Hall, 1913. following week. Thus began the strike, with employers locking something that was wrong, she’d do out workers and employing scab labor something to right it. Not just for her from Britain. sake, but primarily for others.” Guinness was the one notable employer The new bridge, which is costing an that did not lock out its workers, even estimated €13 million, is due to open in though 400 of its employees were union February. – M.E. members. But some 20,000 other Dublin workers took part in the strike. As they were already the poorest paid workers in Europe, the dispute drove them to the edge of starvation, but they refused to break the strike. Rosie Hackett was very active in the ITGWU. As a co-founder (with Jim Larkin’s sister Delia) of the Irish Women Workers’ Union, she had organized the 1911 women workers strike at Dublin’s Jacob’s biscuit factory. Rosie’s nephew also said that although she was small in stature, she had a big character: “If she seen [sic]

TEXAS ROSE ROUNDS UP THE VOTES he winner of the 2013 Rose of Tralee International Festival is 25-year-old Dallas, Texas native Haley O’Sullivan. Teary-eyed and overjoyed, Haley, who beat 31 other contestants from around the world on August 20 said: “Everyone was so fabulous, I can’t believe this is happening.” An American Ireland Fund Young Leader, Haley is a 2010 graduate of the University of Arizona with an honors degree in elementary education. After teaching for one year she changed careers and now serves as a marketing coordinator for an industrial chemical company. Haley is also passionate about fitness. She is a member of Dallas’ GAA club, the Fion Mac Cumhaills, where she plays midfield on the ladies Gaelic football team. The new Rose, whose relations hail from Longford and Cork, received a Newbridge Silverware tiara, the Rose trophy, a world travel prize worth €25,000 and a year’s driving in a brand new Kia pro_cee’d. Haley may have won the title but New Orleans Rose Molly Molloy Gamble stole the show when Kyle Catlett, 23, in the first ever on-stage marriage proposal the the 54-year-long festival has experienced, asked a stunned Molly for her hand. She could hardly keep her composure as her boyfriend bent down on one knee. After a repetitive chorus of “no’s” (clearly caused by shock) Molly said “yes,” to the delight of the packed Haley O’Sullivan dome and the half million viewers at home. – M.M.


and presenter Daithi O Se



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{news from irish america} HONORING THE SAN PATRICIOS developed with Mexican troops, the clarion call was sounded. Congress declared war and Mexico was invaded by five U.S. armies of occupation. Anti-war sentiment was strong. Abraham Lincoln vigorously opposed the conflict and Ulysses S. Grant called it “the most unjust war ever waged by a stranger over a weaker nation,” and Congressman John Quincy Adams died after suffering a stroke on the floor of the House while urging U.S. soldiers to desert rather than serve. Nearly 250 Irish immigrants led by Jon Riley did desert. Calling themselves the Saint Patrick’s Battalion they fought on the Mexican side. The Mexicans were easily outgunned by the superior American forces. The San Patricios who were captured were punished as traitors and The San Patricio Pipe Band on the New Ross quay. sentenced to death by hanging. Those soldiers who had left Mexican Ambassador Carlos Garcia de Alba is pictured far right. the American Army before war The event shed light on the story of the San was declared, Riley among them, received 50 Patricio Battalion whose legacy is writ large in lashes, were branded with the letter ‘D’ for Mexico but little known in Ireland. deserter, and had to wear iron yokes around By most accounts, the U.S.-Mexican war their necks for the duration of the war. was a pure and simple land grab. President A memorial in Mexico City commemorates James K. Polk and other expansionist politithe battalion, and many schools, churches and cians believed that Mexico stood in the way of streets take their name from the Batallón de a U.S.-dominated continent from the Atlantic San Patricio. to Pacific coasts. After winning its independReilly, in an account of the battalion wrote: ence from Mexico in 1836, Texas claimed that “In all my letters, I forgot to tell you under its southern border was the Rio Grande, while what banner we fought so bravely. It was that the Mexicans insisted it was the Nueces River, glorious Emblem of native rights, that being 150 miles to the north. Ten years later, spoiling the banner which should have floated over our for a fight, President James K. Polk ordered native soil many years ago, it was St. Patrick, Gen. Zachary Taylor’s army to encamp on the the Harp of Erin, the Shamrock upon a green banks of the Rio Grande. When a skirmish field.” – Mark Day he San Patricio Battalion were posthumously inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame on August 8. The ceremony, held at the Dunbrody Immigrant Experience in New Ross, Co. Wexford, was attended by the Mexican Ambassador to Ireland, Carlos Garcia de Alba, Chairman of the JFK Trust, Noel Whelan, and the San Patricio Pipe Band from Mexico City.


IRISHCENTRAL.COM AND WORLDIRISH.COM JOIN FORCES rish America’s sister publication IrishCentral.com and WorldIrish.com, the two largest Irish diaspora sites, announced a decision to merge on September 2. The new entity, which will operate as IrishCentral.com, will have offices in New York and Dublin and will have over 2 million unique visitors. The merger takes effect from September 15. Wold Irish was founded in 2011 by John McColgan, who, with his wife, Moya Doherty, produced and directed Riverdance. “We are delighted to join with John McColgan and the team at WorldIrish,” IrishCentral founder Niall O’Dowd said.“We believe the potential to create a super site for the Irish is very real.” McColgan serve as a director/ advisor to the new entity. “John has proven through Riverdance and WorldIrish that he has a deep and important understanding of the Irish diaspora, and he has never been afraid to put voice to that vision. We look forward to working with his vision at IrishCentral,” O’Dowd added. John McColgan said “This is a truly exciting opportunity for WorldIrish to grow and develop under the IrishCentral.com brand.”


IRISH AMERICANS NUMBER SIX TIMES POPULATION OF IRELAND ecently analyzed U.S. Census data shows that the population of Irish Americans living in the U.S. far outnumbers the population of Ireland itself. According to the census, 12.9% of all Americans claim at least some Irish ancestry, including Scots-Irish. That is 39.6 million Irish Americans, compared with the 6.4 million people who live in Ireland. (4.6 million in the Republic and 1.8 million in Northern Ireland.) Jed Kolko, chief economist at the online real estate company Trulia, recently compiled all the data on a county-by-county map of the U.S. to visualize the distribution of Irish Americans across the country. “Irish-Americans are at least 5 percent of



the population in most counties across the U.S., and 10 percent or more in most of New England, New York state, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and other smaller counties across the country,” Kolko wrote in his report. This is evident on the map

which shows nearly every county as a darker shade of green with the exception of Southern Texas and the northern plains states. New York has the greatest concentration by state at 12.9%. Boston is the city with the highest percentage of Irish Americans at 20.4% of the metro population, while Miami has the lowest concentration at only 1%. Broken down further, there is precisely one zip code in the country in which more than half the population claims Irish heritage: Breezy Point in Queens, New York at 54.3%. – A.F.

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The Connector

Terry Clune’s mission to turn the economy around by connecting the Irish on a global level. By Cathal Dervan


he Italian tourists seemed lost, stopped at the top of Dawson Street with a curious look in their eye as the August sun came up on St Stephen’s Green. An appointment at businessman Terry Clune’s office was calling from around the corner but the elderly couple, map in hand, appeared in need of a little direction. The pair did indeed need some helpful guidance. They had already walked past their hotel in the fashionable Dublin 2 quarter, they just didn’t know it. The connection with local knowledge was made and they were sent happily on their way to bed and board at La Stampa. The chance encounter turned out to be the perfect analogy for the conversation that followed as Clune, a Wicklow man now resident in Kilkenny, explained how the ConnectIreland concept he is funding and leading can help to turn the Irish economy around. As Bill Clinton once said: “half the world is Irish and the other half wants to be.” ConnectIreland offers a conduit between those in business seeking to expand into Europe and those villages and towns in Ireland looking to reduce the

unemployment in an economy picking itself up off the canvas post-Celtic Tiger. Introduced by Taxback founder Clune, a former Irish Entrepreneur of the Year, at the 2011 Global Economic Forum thinktank in the government’s Farmleigh Estate, ConnectIreland is a concept that promises to create employment and boost an economy on the rebound by asking anyone who cares about Ireland to keep their eyes and ears open to opportunity. erry Clune is a man with a story to tell and a country to sell. His life changed forever thanks to a Guinness sports bag and a chance meeting in the elevator of a German tax office back in his student days at Trinity College. A poor university student (his words not mine), he was more entrepreneur than scholar even in the early 90s when following bands like the Waterboys and In Tua Nua around Ireland, and promoting discos and events, was more attractive than studying business and economics. Germany first called this son of a Wicklow farmer to its shores in 1993 and the boss of the plastics factory who hired him was impressed with his work ethic and application, so impressed that Clune struck a deal with him. He would bring 110 Irish


Michael McLoughlin CEO ConnectIreland, Mathew Gilfillan of Mafic, Bernadette Brannigan of Mafic, Hugh Morris who made the connection with Mafic that brought 70 jobs to Kells, Brian Dougan, managing director Mafic, and Terry Clune, founder ConnectIreland. 16 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

students back to the same plant for summer work the following year – for a fee. Dispatched by his charges to try and claim some of their tax back from the local authority at the end of that summer, Clune hit a brick wall at first. “I stood in front of the taxman with my dreadlocks and my dirty jeans, leather jacket and my Doc Martens and I must have been a sight,” explains the Taxback founder. “He explained that our documents were in order, that our taxes were all paid and there were no rebates available. I went back to my students with the news and they told me out straight to try again. “Second time around, another guy had a look at the P45s and mumbled something about some of us underpaying our tax. That’s when I decided to leave the building. I was in the lift on the way back to reception with all the documents in my Guinness sports holdall when the lift stopped and this giant of a man, impeccably dressed in the best suit imaginable, got in. He looked at me, first in shock and horror, and then he saw my Guinness bag. A smile came over his face and he asked me if I was from Ireland. When I said I was indeed Irish, he remarked that he was just back from a cycling holiday in Cork and Kerry and he had loved it. “The Guinness bag made the connection with Ireland and it changed my life. He told me his name was Horst and he was the boss of the tax office. He asked what he could do to help me. I explained how I was trying to claim some tax back for over a hundred student workers from Ireland and in that instant my life changed forever. “He brought some of his officials down to the foyer, we worked there for two hours and I left knowing exactly how the process worked to get our German taxes back. The only reason that happened for me was because of the Guinness bag. We all have connections that we don’t realize. That can be really useful if we only know how to use them.” Terry Clune has made the most of that chance meeting with a German tax boss. He had already established his Taxback company in his mother’s kitchen before he finished his degree course at Trinity. An office followed on Dublin’s Aston Quay, beside the student travel body USIT who organize working holidays for Irish kids all across the globe. The location offered Terry Clune’s fledgling business a stream of prospective clients on tap. A contract to sort the



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“If you care about Ireland then make the connection with us. That’s all we ask.”

Terry Clune, founder of ConnectIreland

tax affairs of the thousands of Irish students who work in America on J1 visas every year soon followed. An Irish success story was up and running before the degree was landed. The dreadlocks went before he began a trial as a trainee accountant with Price WaterhouseCooper, an experience that lasted all of two days. (His mother has the dreadlocks stored in a sealed bag at the family home near Avoca where they await a public appearance). Taxback won Deloitte Ireland’s Gold Standard company award winner in 2013, and is now one of the great hopes of Irish business with almost a thousand employees worldwide, 200 of whom are in Dublin and Kilkenny. Its success across 94 countries, where it helps the biggest corporations reclaim tax and VAT, has allowed Clune to fund ConnectIreland to the tune of almost $4 million in the first year as it helps to fuel the Irish government’s Action Plan for Jobs. Endorsed by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and luminaries from all walks of life including Martin Sheen, Donald Keough, Martin Naughton, Wilbur Ross, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, business mogul Denis O’Brien, Goldman Sachs chairman Peter Sutherland, actress Saoirse Ronan and Irish dance king Michael Flatley, ConnectIreland is all about connections and introductions to foreign firms looking to Europe, and working with the IDA and the Irish government to create jobs. Connectors who make the introductions

receive a reward for every job that is created, two years after the job becomes a reality. It’s a win-win situation for all concerned. The Kieran Leavy story is typical of the ConnectIreland experience. A security firm owner in the Midlands town of Portarlington, Kieran met some American executives from the Michigan based Magni Group in the bar after a game of golf in the Heritage, a Seve Ballesteros design, just outside Portlaoise. Over a pint of Guinness and a sociable chat, he discovered they were on their way to the Czech Republic to finalize plans to establish a Europe base there. Thanks to his strong association with Ireland’s national sport’s governing body, the GAA, Kieran was aware of the ConnectIreland opportunity. He introduced Magni Group Managing Director Ted Berry, a direct descendant of an Irishman who left for America during the Famine, to ConnectIreland and the rest of the story will become history when the Magni Group introduce 50 jobs to Portarlington in September 2014 when their $20 million plant is completed, the first Direct Foreign Investment in the town in 26 years. Kieran Leavy will receive over $100,000 as a reward for bringing the Magni jobs to Ireland. He is not alone. Meath auctioneer Hugh Morris introduced the Mafic group to the town of Kells where they will employ 70 people and many more in ancillary services. Terry Clune knows there are more jobs to come in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. Now a father of four and hap-

pily resident in Kilkenny where he loves nothing more than hurling with his kids at the James Stephens Club, chess addict Terry is as passionate about Ireland as he is about ConnectIreland. “When the world economy improves – and even a bad economics student knows the graph will go up again – Ireland will be best placed to take advantage of the improvement,” he says emphatically. “We want to make use of that. We want the introductions to companies to give them that message, to tell them why four of the top five internet companies in the world have their European HQ in Dublin, why nine out of the top 10 global pharmaceutical corporations are already here. “Ireland is the place to do business. We understand the American culture, we speak the language. We are in the Eurozone and we are committed to the Eurozone. “American companies in Britain are reporting in dollars, working in sterling and selling into Europe in Euros. We offer a two currency solution and a gateway to the biggest market in the world, a market valued at $32 trillion. “There are many American companies, not just the multi-nationals, who will look to expand into that market and Ireland is the perfect place for their European base. Anyone who cares about Ireland may have connections to those companies. All we need is to know about it. “We will reward those who supply the information and allow us to make the pitch. The average reward is $20,000, at $2,000 a job. We have GAA clubs in Ireland looking to make introductions to pay for hurling walls. We have a community in Kerry looking to bring jobs to their town and a finder’s fee to pay for a lifeboat that is badly needed. “Our target is 5,000 jobs over the first five years of ConnectIreland. We will have created 750 jobs by the end of year one and I know from ongoing talks that there are more to come. We are in dialogue with 250 companies worldwide. They say there are 40 million people of Irish extraction in America alone. If only 5,000 of them help us to find one company each that could produce 250,000 jobs and end Ireland’s unemployment issue. “Imagine that. It could be the doorman of a company, or a secretary, or a cleaner who hears something and makes the connection.”

continued on page 19 OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 17



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Valentia Island’s Buried Treasure


uried treasure on a remote Irish island, the descendants of a 13thcentury Knight and a 19th century American entrepreneur – and the birth of the modern communications industry. It’s not the plot of some barely-believable potboiler, but the real-life back story behind a bid to have the small island of Valentia – off the coast of south west Ireland – recognized formally as one of the wonders of the industrial world. Valentia is the point at which, in 1866, Europe and the North American continent were linked for the first time via a

the hallmarks of the modern world was a reality. The old world of Europe and the new world of North America were, effectively, plugged in. Field’s Atlantic Telegraph Company ultimately opened the way for the development of other networks that further connected the world. Eighteen years later, for example, John William Mackay’s Commercial Cable Company successfully laid a cable from Canso in Nova Scotia to Waterville, also in County Kerry – just 25 miles from where the 1866 cable came ashore.

Heritage Status automatically hoists a location onto the radar of international tourism. And in Ireland, where tourism is one of the country’s most important industries, that’s potentially a very big deal indeed. It’s one of the reasons why, last June, Valentia Island hosted its first ever Trans Atlantic Communications and Light Gathering, an event designed to celebrate and highlight the island’s historic contribution to the development of modern communications. Ireland’s Minister for Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan, was joined at the official Gathering event by Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Loyola Hearn and U.S.


(L-to-r) The Knight of Kerry, Adrian Fitzgerald, and Cyrus Field IV meet on Valentia Island off the coast of Kerry.

permanent, fully-functioning telecommunications cable. The underwater wire stretched almost 2,000 miles (3,200k) from Valentia to the delightfully-named Heart’s Content in Newfoundland. Attempts in 1857 and 1858 to create a communications bridge between Europe and the North American continent had proved costly failures. But the successful laying of the 1866 cable ushered in a world of near-instant communication. It meant that a message that would have taken ten days to cross the Atlantic by boat, could be received in London or Paris within hours of being transmitted from New York. The new cable successfully laid by the Great Eastern – the largest ship in the world in 1866 – wasn’t cheap to use, but it was fast, it was reliable and, most importantly, it worked. Suddenly the world was a smaller, more connected place. Suddenly the instant communication we now consider one of 18 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Professor Al Gillespie in the Slate Yard – the site of Valentia Island’s “buried treasure.”

But it was Field’s Valentia project that established beyond doubt that submarine cable was an achievable goal. “The world changed in Valentia,” says Professor Al Gillespie, an expert in international heritage sites. “It became a world of telecommunications.” According to Gillespie, a New Zealand academic and rapporteur for the World Heritage Convention, Valentia’s role in the birth of modern communications marks the island as worthy of recognition as a UNESCO heritage site – alongside worldfamous historical landmarks like the Cornwall and Devon Mining Landscape in the U.K., and Canada’s Rideau Canal. He says Valentia Island is sitting on “buried treasure” – a site of potentially worldwide historical importance. History and heritage on this scale, as officially designated by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – guarantees international interest and respect. But it’s a status that’s more than academic. World

A memorial on Valentia marks the laying of the first transatlantic cable.

Chargé d’affaires John Hennessy Niland, amongst others. Their presence provided a sense that Valentia’s bid to acquire world heritage status has, notionally at least, a political and governmental thumbs-up. But the event was marked by a remarkable meeting that was significant in a way far beyond mundane politics or the nitty gritty of acquiring UNESCO recognition. That weekend on Valentia, history did what it isn’t supposed to do – it repeated itself. In the 1850s and ’60s, Massachusettsborn businessman Cyrus Field had led the attempts to bridge the communications gap between Europe and north America. It was essentially his vision and ambition that had driven the entire transatlantic cable development. He didn’t work alone, of course. And as the project progressed on Valentia, it caught the interest of Sir Maurice Fitzgerald, the Knight of Kerry – a local landowner and holder of a hereditary knighthood with its origins in the 13th



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{hibernia} century. The Knight became an early and first transatlantic cable message was enthusiastic backer of the cable project received on Valentia in 1866 – is now and became firm friends with Field. buried beneath a site known locally as the Fast forward to June 2013. At the Slate Yard. If the island’s bid for heritage Transatlantic Communications and Light status is developed and receives the impriGathering, the Knight of Kerry’s greatmatur of UNESCO, the site could be great grandson, Sir Adrian Fitzgerald, and transformed into a world-recognized locaCyrus Field IV, the great-great grandson tion that would move it far beyond the staof the original Cyrus Field, did what their tus of the Slate Yard. famous ancestors had done a century and “Valentia is sitting on buried treasure,” a half previously – they meet on Valentia Gillespie said. “The treasure is in the Slate and become firm friends. Yard. It’s time Valentia, and Ireland, real“It was a remarkable occasion,” said ize the potentially huge resource they have Cyrus Field IV, a lawyer who lives on on their doorstep. Shaw Island, off the coast of Washington “Most countries would give their eye IA state. teeth for a site like this.” “I feel privileged that I was invited to — Colin Lacey this event on Valentia to walk in the footsteps of Cyrus and celebrate his achievements. “But to have the opportunity to meet and get to know the man whose life, like my own, is linked through history to the cable and Valentia Island, was a special, unforgettable experience. “When we met and shook hands – two men whose ancestors were really central to the cable’s success on Valentia – it was an unforgettable experience that will remain forever with both of us,” he said. Field said the role of Valentia in the development of modern communications is indisputable, and a story that should be recognized worldwide. “This is my first visit to Ireland and to Valentia Island. My incredible experience here tells me that the island and the story of the transatlantic cable is worth telling around the world. It’s a heritage worth recognizing and acknowledging,” he said. Meanwhile, at around the time that Cyrus Field IV and the current Knight of Kerry were meeting, Professor Al Gillespie was having what he called his “Indiana Jones day”. It involved a hunt through some of Valentia Island’s beautiful spots in search of buried treasure. And in a development that could be significant in any future bid by the island for UNESCO’s heritage status, Top: The Great Eastern, the largest steamship in the world, was fitted with tanks that held he says he found what he was looking 2,300 miles of cable. for. The treasure – the site at which the Above: Part of the original cable.

ConnectIreland continued from page 17 “We are talking to taxi drivers and limo drivers in Dublin, hotel doormen across Ireland, golf operators bringing Americans in to play our great links courses. They all have connections and connections can lead to jobs. We’re not asking companies to ‘please give us some jobs.’ We are asking them to listen to our pitch and let us sell Ireland to them. “Every Christmas I travel through Dublin Airport and I see the parents welcoming their children home from abroad and then sending them on their way again after the holidays. It’s the saddest sight in the world and those parents feel helpless and powerless. But they have power, they have connections. And we can make those connections work. Terry Clune and his wife Kate tried living in a number of towns and cities in Ireland for a week before they settled on Kilkenny as the perfect place to raise their four kids. Clune describes it as a “town of winners.” Within his first week in town, Terry met the Kilkenny hurling boss Brian Cody, the most decorated manager in the ancient and great game, and he made an amazing discovery that inspired the ConnectIreland concept. “I was speaking at an event in Kilkenny about how businesses can fight their way out of recession and expand in these tough times, and I asked the audience if they had connections and relatives in business abroad. The oldest lady in the room, a woman in her mid 70s, put her hand up and said that she was the last descendant left in Callan from the Candler family who had gone to America in 1820 and founded Coca-Cola with two other families in 1896. “That fascinated me, and when I got talking to my neighbor about the connection, he told me how the man who designed the White House, James Hoban, was born only down the road from that woman’s homestead, and how Walt Disney’s family came from eight miles away as the crow flies. That’s when the idea of Connect-Ireland was born. That’s the power of the connections we have. “We all have connections that can really work for Ireland, if we think about it. If you care about Ireland, then make the connection with us. That’s all we ask.” IA More information on ConnectIreland is available at www.connectireland.com. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 19



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{ irish eye on hollywood} By Tom Deignan Interest in Irish American history – preferably with a violent twist – apparently remains so strong that TV and movie producers just can’t resist. Perhaps spurred by the success of BBC America’s Copper (now in its second season), A-list director Martin Scorsese is trying to recapture the success of his 2002 film Gangs of New York with a TV show revolving around a similar time period and cast of characters. “The series would draw from the history of late 1800s gangs not only in New York, but also in other cities such as Chicago and New Orleans,” according to a report in Entertainment Weekly. Scorsese himself added: “This time and era of America’s history and heritage is rich with characters and stories that we could not fully explore in a two-hour film. A television series allows us the time and creative freedom to bring this colorful world, and all the implications it had and still does on our society, to life.” Meanwhile, Guy Ritchie, who directed the most recent Sherlock Holmes megablockbuster with Robert Downey Jr., has partnered up with Warner Brothers to purchase the rights of Thomas Kelly’s 2006 Domhnall novel Empire Rising. Kelly’s novel explores Gleeson the construction of the Empire State Building and focuses on the Irish immigrant wave of the 1920s and 1930s, when Ireland was emerging from a brutal civil war. Construction of the Empire State Building actually began on St. Patrick’s Day in 1930 and was overseen by former New York governor Al Smith, who was battered by antiCatholicism when he ran for president in 1928. Kelly’s protagonist in the novel is Michael Briody, who is still running guns for Irish rebels. Briody falls in love with Grace Masterson, an artist who lives in a houseboat off of the East River. Of course, Grace is also involved with a Tammany Hall operative – hence the potentially explosive love triangle. Kelly – a New York-born Irish American who was a producer for the TV show Blue Bloods and now is a writer/producer for Copper – is expected to write the Empire Rising screenplay. Michael Fassbender (who was raised in Kerry by his Irishborn mother) is going to have a busy fall. On October 25, The Counselor hits theaters. Fassbender stars alongside Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem in this film, based on an original screenplay by best-selling Irish American author Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men). Chills and thrills expert Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) directs this A-list class. Fassbender stars as the title character, a lawyer who finds himself drawn into the drug trade. A week before The Counselor’s release, Fassbender will also star in Twelve Years a Slave, directed by long-time collaborator Steve McQueen, and based on the harrowing memoirs of Solomon Northrup, a free African American who was kidnapped and sold back into slavery. 20 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Michael Fassbenber

Fassbender also has at least three projects slated for 2014 – each quite a bit different than the other. First there’s an as-yet-untitled Terence Malick movie, then a new version of MacBeth (in which Fassbender will play Lord MacBeth) and, finally, the latest X-Men film. Though his ambitious family film project At Swim-Two Birds (based on the Flann O’Brien novel) has stalled, Domhnall Gleeson remains busy. His next film comes out November 1. Gleeson stars alongside Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams in About Time, which explores a family whose men can travel back and forth through time. The men cannot alter the course of major historical events but can change things that happened in their own lives. This sci-fi comedy was directed by British A-lister Richard Curtis, who has been behind the camera for just about every touching British comedy ever made, including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones Diary, Notting Hill and Love, Actually. As for At Swim-Two Birds – which is to be directed by Brendan Gleeson and star Domhnall as well as (deep breath please) Colin Farrell, Michael Fassbender and Cillian Murphy, among others – the future of the project is currently cloudy. “We were very close last year and it just didn’t happen,” Brendan Gleeson told the Irish Times. “I am trying to not drive it too hard and am just waiting for it to drop into place. If I stress it to death then that is just what will happen. I am hoping I am still ready to do it. I do actually feel calm about it. I feel that when it gets reassembled, I will know what to do with it.” Speaking of Brendan Gleeson, his latest film Calvary is up for a September 19 release. Gleeson plays a kindly Sligo priest in this latest collaboration with John Michael McDonagh. (The Irish duo also worked together on The Guard.) In Calvary, Gleeson’s character runs afoul of some bad guys when he hears of a murder through confession.



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McDonagh has humbly described Calvary’s cast as “the best ensemble cast ever assembled in the history of Irish cinema.” He’s not far off however, with Aidan Gillen, Chris O’Dowd, David Wilmot and Kelly Reilly also starring in the film. The biopic of Irish American beauty Grace Kelly will be released November 27. Starring Nicole Kidman, the film looks at the tumultuous months when Princess Grace – as she was known after marrying Rainier III – helped prevent a coup in Monaco. Tim Roth (playing Rainier III) and Frank Langella also star. Kelly was born in Philadelphia and became one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, appearing in Alfred Hitchcock classics such as Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. Following her marriage, Nicole Kidman she stopped making films. She died in a car accident in 1982. Irish film director Dearbhla Walsh recently landed a plum assignment. The Sligo native will direct a stellar cast including Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench in a BBC production of Esio Trot, based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book. Walsh, who won an Emmy for her 2009 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit, will begin shooting the 90-minute film next Spring, according to The Irish Independent. Judi Dench’s performance as an Irish woman searching for her son in the title role of Philomena caused a stir at the Venice film festival. Based on the The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, the 1999 book by Martin Sixsmith, the movie, which director Stephen Frears calls “an odd-couple film, an extraordinary road trip,” covers the journey to the U.S. made by Sixsmith (Ed Coogan), a worldweary British journalist and Philomena (Dench) who despite having been put to work in a laundry after having a child out of wedlock in 1952, and having had her son taken from her and given up for adoption, is still attached to her Catholic faith. Colin Farrell’s long-awaited film Winter’s Tale

(see page 98 for more) finally has a release date – February 14, 2014. The time-traveling film, Judi Dench based on Mark Helprin’s novel of the same name, also stars Will Smith, Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. Farrell plays a thief who falls in love with a dying woman. The film shifts from 1916 to present day Manhattan, and features Crowe as menacing gangster Pearly Soames. Winter’s Tale is being directed by acclaimed screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) who penned the screenplay for Cinderella Man, about Irish American boxer Jim Braddock and won an Academy Award for his A Beautiful Mind screenplay. Until Winter’s Tale hits screens, look for Farrell in December’s Saving Mr. Banks, alongside Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, in the flick about how Mary Poppins became a movie.

On to television: Jonathan Rhys Myers’ TV show Dracula will debut on NBC October 25. Rhys Myers (who won an Emmy for his work in The Tudors) stars as the title character in this latest reimagining of the infamous character created by Irish writer Bram Stoker. (See page 94 for more on the series and interviews with the stars.) The setting is late 19th century London, and Ryhs Myers’ Count Dracula is masquerading as an American entrepreneur seeking to bring modern science to Victorian society. “He’s especially interested in the new technology of electricity, which promises to brighten the night – useful for someone who avoids the sun. But he has another reason for his travels: he hopes to take revenge on those who cursed him with immortality centuries earlier,” according to NBC. Dracula also features Wicklow native Katie McGrath, as well as Ballykissangel actress Victoria Smurfit. Meanwhile, the Hallmark channel is currently producing two separate projects based on books by the Irish American mother-daughter duo Mary and Carol Higgins Clark. First up is The Mystery Cruise starring Irish American Gail O’Grady. Based on the Regan Reilly mystery book The Santa Cruise, the twohour pilot will introduce viewers to partners in crime-solving Alvirah Meehan (three-time Emmy nominee Gail O’Grady) and Regan Reilly (Michelle Harrison). If the pilot proves successful, The Mystery Cruise will be picked up as a regular Hallmark series. Look for Elizabeth Higgins Clark, Mary’s granddaughter to appear in The Mystery Cruise, which is slated to air in late October. Meanwhile, in 2014, look for another two-hour pilot on Hallmark entitled called My Gal Sunday. Based on short stories by Mary Higgins Clark, My Gal Sunday will star Jack Wagner, Rachel Blanchard and Cameron Mathison. Word is that Marry Higgins Clark as well as her daughter Carol, will also have roles in My Gal Sunday. Finally, Liam Neeson continues to do . . . everything. In October, Neeson will lend his vocal talents to the animated 3-D zebra flick Khumba. Then in December, Neeson joins the cast of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, starring Will Ferrell, and a lengthly list of comic actors. Two more animated flicks follow in 2014 for Neeson – Nut Job (about squirrels) and The Lego Movie (yes, based on the kid’s toy . . . because that Battleship movie, also starring Neeson, was just so good, right?) To see Neeson actually act, 2014 also offers the thriller Non-Stop with Julianne Moore (think Taken on a plane), A Million Ways to Die in the West (a goofy Western directed by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane) and A Walk Among the Tombstones, (a crime drama IA based on the Lawrence Block novel). OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 21



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Gaelic Games Kick Off in Cleveland T

his past Labor Day weekend, onebeen a fantastic weekend, at a fantastic hundred Gaelic sports teams and venue. I haven’t seen anything as well thousands more fans of Irish football, hurlorganized before. Cleveland has done a ing and camogie came together for the fantastic job, every credit to them.” North American County Board (NACB) Fans from San Francisco had a lot to Finals in Cleveland, Ohio. The annual cheer for. The senior football final went to GAA finals keep growing: this year teams San Francisco’s Ulster team, who came traveled from 36 cities and 17 states across away with a three-point lead over Boston’s the U.S. to compete. Connemara Gaels. Na Mark Owens, the Fianna San Fran took event chairman and a home the senior hurling member of Cleveland’s final and Fog City San Gaelic football team, Fran claimed the ladies estimated that there senior football final. were 8,000 players and Teams from Toronto, spectators in attendance. Boston, Chicago and The local team in more all went home Cleveland had been Cleveland champions. St. Mary’s take home campaigning for the Chicago’s “The standard of game the trophy for Senior Camogie chance to host the finals here is great, to see so for six years. The Irish community of many people born in America playing our Cleveland rallied around the games, so games so well, particularly hurling and much so that Owens said there was a surcamogie,” O’Neill went on to say. “The plus of volunteers. level of skill has been amazing. I saw a President of the GAA Liam O’Neill catch today by a young fella called Teddy, told IrishCentral.com’s Kate Hickey “It’s from Milwaukee, and it’s the best catch

The Cusacks win over Twin Cities in the Junior B hurling finals.

I’ve ever seen in a hurling match. Because they’re so athletic they do different things with the ball we wouldn’t even dream of.” Aileen Lawlor, the Camogie President has attended three NACB Finals and gave IrishCentral.com an example just how exponentially the Gaelic games have grown each year. “I did a coaching workshop last year and I just watched a game [this weekend] where there were three of the girls who had attended playing. The best thing is they’re doing what they were shown. “Their team came here last year with not enough numbers so they actually amalgamated with their twin city. This year they both came back with their own teams. That just shows you the growth.” – T.D.

Kelly Twins Participate in Space Study


rish-American identical twin astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly have volunteered for an observational study to determine the effects of space travel on human genetics. Scott, who has spent 180 days in space, including a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station in 2011, is scheduled to blast off again in 2015 for a record-breaking year-long stay. Mark, who went on his final flight commanding the Shuttle Endeavor in 2011, has spent a total of 54 days in space, in 50 different aircrafts. He retired from NASA to help his wife, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, recover from the critical wounds she sustained during the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona. By the time Scott Kelly returns from the ISS in 2016, he will have clocked 540 days in space – 10 times as many as his twin. This gave the Kelly brothers the idea that they could be useful observational subjects for NASA, providing researchers with a unique opportunity to learn more about how space travel and microgravity affect the human body. They pitched the idea to NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP), which recently invited the scientific community to submit proposals for investigation. 22 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Scott and Mark Kelly

“The way we wrote the proposal is, essentially, anything that researchers think is relevant to understanding the genomics and proteomics and metabolomics and other ‘omics’ that can be deduced from a study of one astronaut in flight and one astronaut who is retired and not flying and living the good life in Albuquerque,” said John Charles, chief of the HRP’s International Science Office. Scott is slated to launch in March 2015, a month after the twins’ 50th birthday. – S.L.

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{hibernia} Fr. Whelan: “The Angel of Andersonville” is Honored in Wexford


ather Peter Whelan didn’t take sides. He was on God’s side. The Civil War priest was known, to Confederate and Union soldiers alike, as a good man who administered to their needs. Fr. Peter was born in Wexford and made his way to America where he was ordained a priest in 1830. He served in Charleston, South Carolina, and the See embraced North Carolina and Georgia as well. He went on to become the pastor of the first Catholic parish in Georgia and, following the death of the bishop (Francis Gartland of Dublin, the first bishop of Savannah, who died during the yellow fever epidemic of 1854), Fr. Peter became the sole administrator of the entire parish of Savannah. When the Civil War broke, out Fr. Peter signed on as chaplain to the Montgomery Guards, an Irish company established in Savannah, for the First Georgia Volunteer Regiment. He ministered to Confederate troops during and following the capture of Fort Pulaski by Union soldiers; volunteering to stay with his men during their imprisonment on Governor’s Island, New York. He was offered early release but refused to leave the prison. After a year, he returned to Savannah and went on to administer to the prisoners at Camp Sumter Military prison at Andersonville, Georgia. Built for 6,000, Andersonville, held up to 45,000 Union soldiers as prisoners, most of them without shelter, water or food – conditions under which some 13,000 of them died. Fr. Peter was the only priest, and he was in his sixties at the time. In fact, he was the only chaplin of any denomination to serve at Andersonville. He was tireless in his ministry: giving last rites to the dying, hearing confessions, and consoling the men in that living hell, putrid with the smell of gangrene. At one point, officers in charge gave Fr. Peter a new suit of clothing, so threadbare and worn were his own, but he quickly

Above: A group from Clongeen, dedicate a plaque to Fr. Peter Whelan. Left: Fr. Peter Whelan.

gave the suit away to a soldier who had been captured in his underclothes. When asked why he hadn’t given the soldier his old threadbare suit, he answered, “When I give for Christ’s sake, I give the best.” Fr. Peter stayed at Andersonville until the end of the war, ministering to Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Surviving letters and prison diaries are filled with admiration for the man they called “the Angel of Andersonville.” After the war, Fr. Peter returned to Savannah as pastor of the new St. Patrick’s church. He died just a few years later, on February 6, 1871, from a lung disease he is said to have contacted at Andersonville. His funeral procession was the largest that Savannah had ever seen – stretching two miles. Though it was known that Fr. Peter was from Wexford (Savannah and the surrounding area was heavily populated with immigrants from Wexford), it wasn’t until recently that his homeplace was identified. This past summer, a family in Clongeen, Foulksmills, Co. Wexford discovered a photo of Fr. Whelan in their home. Since then, a complete family tree has been put together. And this past August 18, two plaques honoring Fr. Whelan were unveiled: one at his homestead, and one at Clongeen Church. The unveilings were attended by relatives of Fr. Whelan and a group of invited guests from Savannah. The “Angel of Andersonville” is now remembered on both sides of the Atlantic, and a plaque honoring Fr. Peter also stands at the site of the former Andersonville prison, now a historic site. It serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation’s history. – P.H.

Early Christian Settlement


he remains of an early Christian settlement, probably from around the seventh century, were recently discovered in Donegal. The medieval monastery enclosure is at Drumholm, near Ballintra, Co Donegal, and is close to where St. Ernan, a nephew of St. Columba, is said to have been buried in around 640 AD. Experts are saying that the discovery could be as important as that of Clonmacnoise (“Meadow of the Sons of Nós”) in County Offaly. The site is beside an old church and graveyard, and the find came about when a local Church of Ireland group looking to expand the graveyard and add a parking lot, called in archeological experts as 24 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

part of their due-diligence. Mick Drumm and his team from Wolfhound Archeology spent months studying the area before digging the test-trenches, which revealed the large oval-shaped enclosure. The team found two pieces of pottery – one is of Gaelic origin, and one is from the Anglo-Norman traThe old church dition.They also and graveyard unearthed evidence next to the that animals had been archaeological dig. butchered, and iron smelted on the site. “I can’t overstate the national importance of this. It is very, very exciting,” Drumm

said, speaking to the Irish Independent. “I will be reporting the discoveries to the National Museum of Ireland and to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht so that it can be declared a national monument and be protected,” Drumm said. – M.E..

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The Road to Recovery Jane Richard is dancing again. Jane Richard, the tiny Irish step dancer from Dorchester, who lost her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombing in April, endured 12 operations on her leg last Spring, followed by months of physical therapy at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Jane’s nine year old brother Martin was killed by the bomb, and both her parents suffered injuries. Like many of the survivors and victims of the bombing and its aftermath, the Richard family has been out of the public eye for months, focused on recovery and putting their lives back together, but buoyed by the outpouring of love and support from their neighbors and from strangers around the world. In August, the Richard family issued a statement expressing the pure agony at the loss of Martin, while cherishing the small victories they find: “Jane continues to be an incredible source of inspiration – and exhaustion. The loss of her leg has not slowed her one bit, or deterred her in any way. As we knew she would, when we finally returned home, Jane walked into the house with the aid of her crutches, but under her own power. She has since received her prosthetic leg. And while she is getting more comfortable with it, she is also limited with how much she can wear it at any one time. When she is able to have it on, she struts around on it with great pride and a total sense of accomplishment. Her strength, balance and comfort with the leg improve every day. Watching her dance with her new leg, with her weight primarily on the other leg, is absolutely priceless.” Meanwhile, Boston continues to rebound after the bombing, seeking to return to a normal pace of life that belies the hurt inflicted by a reckless, illconceived act of ignorant brutality. Boylston Street in the Back Bay, the site of the finish line, is bustling once again with students, tourists, conventioneers and office workers. The metal barriers that enclosed the crime scene for several 26 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

The public memorial that sprang up in the aftermath of the bombings will become part of the Boston city archives.

Jane Richard

blocks are gone, and the small businesses that shut down have re-opened. The sprawling public memorial at Copley Square, which sprouted up in the aftermath of the bombing, was carefully dismantled in June by city officials, and the artifacts will become a permanent part of the city’s archival history. Dr. John McColgan, Boston’s chief archivist, oversaw the deconstruction of

the public memorial. A day after the bombing, he explained, a make-shift memorial had appeared at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth: assorted sneakers, race badges, and shiny silver foil blankets that marathon runners use to cool down, along with flowers and notes of condolence. When those streets opened up to traffic, officials moved the materials over to Copley Square, one of the city’s beautiful public spaces, and just yards away from the finish line. The Copley Square memorial grew daily, as residents and visitors made a pilgrimage to the site, to reflect quietly on the tragedy, to make a gesture of solidarity with the victims, to find comfort in shared grief. When the rains came, McColgan and his crew moved paper materials like cards and placards inside to protect them, and later they took away dozens of teddy bears and stuffed animals, but new materials appeared and the memorial continued to grow. “The city was sensitive to the victims,” McColgan said. “We conferred with them about the best time to take the materials down. We had an initial meeting with the families at the end of May, but some of them weren’t even ready to go down to visit the park.” On June 26, the city held a private

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Mollie Rogers Inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame


other Mary Joseph, the founder of the Maryknoll sisters, is one of nine women who will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame this October. Last year, 2012, marked the 100th anniversary of the Maryknoll sisters, so it’s an appropriate time to highlight the work of Mother Mary Joseph, or Mollie Rogers, as she was known prior to joining religious life.

Lucena City, Philippines. The Maryknoll nuns also worked with marginalized groups in the United States. In 1955, almost a decade before passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Sisters founded Queen of the World Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, the first integrated hospital in America where African-American doctors and nurses worked side-by-side with white doctors and nurses to care for patients of all races. “We are thrilled by Mother Mary

Mother Mary Joseph

Mollie was raised in an Irish Catholic family in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, went to public schools and later attended Smith College in Northampton, MA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. The Maryknoll Sisters were the first group of Catholic Sisters in the United States founded specifically for overseas missions, and they established hospitals and schools all over the world. Some of the schools the sisters founded are Maryknoll Convent School in Kowloon, Hong Kong; Holy Spirit School (later Maryknoll Sisters’ School, now Marymount Secondary School) in Happy Valley, Hong Kong; Maryknoll College (now Miriam College) in Quezon City, Philippines; and the Maryknoll Academy (now Maryhill College) in 28 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Joseph’s selection,” said Sister Janice McLaughlin, president of the Maryknoll Sisters, “and happy for the recognition it brings to our founder who achieved so much, not only for women religious, but for all American women. She proved that women were equal to the demands of life and ministry abroad, particularly in places where poverty, physical hardship and sometimes, even safety during wartime were commonplace.” Mary Joseph died in 1955, but she left behind a great legacy. Today the Maryknoll Sisters have approximately 500 members from 18 nations serving in 25 countries worldwide. The National Women’s Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 and is located in Seneca, New York. – P.H.

The Road to Recovery continued from page 26 reception for the families of the victims and the injured, and about 200 people attended. The following morning, at 6:00 a.m., the preservation team began dismantling the memorial. “I was taken aback by the volume of materials,” says McColgan. “Thousands of people wrote on banners – completely covered, with notes, individual notes and placards. Someone went to the trouble of cutting up thousands of pieces of blue and yellow strips of paper to create a paper chain for people to write on. The people of Newtown, Connecticut sent a card, and thousands of notes were addressed to the Richard family.” The four people killed – Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and Sean Collier – have not been forgotten, nor have the hundreds of victims who suffered life-changing injuries due to the blast. The OneFund, set up to assist the victims of the bombings and their families, has raised over $69 million in donations from 185,000 people in all fifty states and in fifty countries around the world, from individuals and businesses, from lemonade stands and neighborhood fundraisers. Dick Donohue, the transit policeman injured in a shoot-out with the bombers, is on the road to recovery, and has been appearing at Red Cross blood drives and other charitable events for the victims. Donohue, who went into cardiac arrest from loss of blood from his gun shot wound, was saved by first responders and medical staff at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge. In 2014, the Boston Marathon will return stronger than ever. Boston Athletic Association officials announced they will add 9,000 extra runners, for a total of 36,000 runners competing next year. The 5,624 runners who did not finish this year’s race after it was halted by the bombings are being invited to run the race in 2014. And Jane Richard is dancing again. – By Michael Quinlin For information on OneFund, see: onefundboston.org For the Richard family, see: richardfamilyboston.tumblr.com

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Those We Lost Eileen Brennan 1932–2013

Eileen Brennan, whose low, coarse timbre was a fixture of the stage and screen (silver and small) for over half a century, passed away in her Burbank, CA home on July 28. She was 80 years old. Though she had been acting for over two decades prior, Brennan reached her widest acclaim in 1980’s Private Benjamin (and the 1981 CBS TV spin-off of the same name) as Capt. Doreen Lewis, Goldie Hawn’s tough Army trainer foil. For her part in the film, Brennan garnered an Academy Award nomination, and for the TV series won an Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy, variety, or music series, and was nominated twice more. The series was cancelled in 1983, after Brennan was forced to leave the show after being struck by a car and critically wounded in Venice, CA. Following the accident, Brennan also began to struggle with an addiction to pain medication and alcohol, which she later beat. Although she never regained her former dynamo comedienne status, Brennan continued to act in highly visible guest appearances on TV shows like Will and Grace, Newhart, and Thirtysomething, all of which earned her Emmy nominations. Most recently in film, she played William Shatner’s mother in 2005’s Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, despite being a year younger than him. Born Verla Eileen Regina Brennen in Los Angeles in 1932, her first major role was on the stage as the lead in Little Mary Sunshine, a 1959 off-Broadway show that earned her an Obie Award. Her first major film role came in Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 The Last Picture Show. In 1998, she was on Broadway again in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan. She is survived by two sons, Patrick and Sam, her sister Kathleen, and two grandchildren. – A.F.

John J. Gilligan 1921 – 2013

John Joyce Gilligan, the former governor of Ohio and father of the current Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, died on August 26. He was 92. Jack, who served as a gunner in the U.S. Navy in WWII (he was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action at Okinawa), was born on March 22, 1921 in Cincinnati. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and went on to teach English literature at Xavier University. He married Susan Fremont, with whom he had two daughters, Kathleen and Ellen, and two sons, Donald and John. A passionate civil rights activist, Gilligan was approached in 1953 to run for Cincinnati City Council, which he did, and won. After serving for 10 years, in 1964 he was elected to Congress as a 30 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

representative for Ohio’s 1st District, serving from January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1967. He narrowly lost his re-election bid to Robert Taft, Jr., when the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly redrew his district to favor Republicans. (Ironically, Jack’s grandmother had worked as a maid in the Taft household.) Jack remained active in politics and won the election for the governorship of Ohio in 1970, defeating Republican Roger Cloud, serving from 1971 to 1975 and implementing reforms in education, tax, mental health and environmental concerns. After his time as governor, Gilligan led the U.S. Agency for International Development for two years, and then returned to Notre Dame to teach and lead the university’s institute for International Peace Studies. He went on to serve as a fellow of the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and in 1999, at 78, he was elected to the board of Education of the Cincinnati Public Schools, a position he retired from in 2008. Gilligan is survived by his wife and their four children. In 2002, when Kathleen was elected Governor of Kansas, they became the first-ever father and daughter to both serve as U.S. governors. In a recent interview with Irish America, Secretary Sebelius praised her father’s hard work and legacy: “He taught my siblings and me that public service was an important way to make a contribution to our communities and that it was important to have a strong moral code as a guidepost, even if our positions were unpopular.”– S.L.

Judge Joseph M. McLaughlin 1933 – 2013

A former New York federal judge and dean of Fordham University Law School, Joseph M. McLaughlin died of pneumonia on August 8 in Queens, NY. He was 80. Judge McLaughlin was named dean at Fordham Law in 1971 and served for ten years. In 1981, he was appointed to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York by President Reagan. Nine years later, President Bush appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Born on March 20, 1933 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Joseph Michael McLaughlin was the youngest child and only son of Joseph and Mary Flanagan McLaughlin, emigrants from Co. Longford. He attended Brooklyn Preparatory School and graduated from Fordham College in 1954. He was drafted into the Army in 1955, only a year into law school, and served 2 years in the Corps of Engineers during the Korean War. When he returned to Fordham, he became editor-in-chief of the Fordham Law Review and graduated at the top of his class in 1959. He joined the firm Cahill, Gordon and Reindel and returned to Fordham two years later to teach. During his ten years as dean, he expanded the faculty and hired some of the school’s first female law professors. McLaughlin wrote over 800 opinions he during his time on the bench. His other publications include Weinstein’s Evidence, and New York and Federal Rules of Evidence. Joseph is survived by his wife, Frances; children Joseph, Matthew, Andrew, and Mary Jo; and 13 grandchildren. – M.M.

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We Will Not See His Like Again Remembering Seamus Heaney Heaney.

Lightenings viii The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise Were all at prayers inside the oratory / A ship appeared above them in the air. The anchor dragged along behind so deep / It hooked itself into the altar rails And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill, A crewman shinned and grappled down the rope / And struggled to release it. But in vain. / ‘This man can’t bear our life here and will drown,’ The abbot said, ‘unless we help him.’ So / They did, the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back / Out of the marvellous as he had known it. —One of Heaney’s poems cited by the Nobel Prize Committee in 1995.


eamus Heaney, 74, died on Friday, August 30, 2013 at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin after a brief illness. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said his death was a “great sorrow to Ireland,” and that perhaps only Heaney himself could describe the import of his own death to the nation. “For us, Seamus Heaney was the keeper of language, our codes, our essence as a people.” Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins, said “Generations of Irish people will


have been familiar with Seamus’ poems. Scholars all over the world will have gained from the depth of the critical essays, and so many rights organizations will want to thank him for all the solidarity he gave to the struggles within the republic of conscience.” Heaney was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” All of Ireland was proud. It wasn’t that there

hadn’t been Irish writers who had taken the prize before – W.B. Yeats, G.B. Shaw, and Samuel Beckett had all been honored – but the confirmation of Heaney was different. At that time, institutions such as the New York Times still referred to Shaw as British. Yeats was constantly labeled as Anglo-Irish and Beckett was placed outside the realm of Ireland. But no such claim could be made of Heaney, as both the work and person were unmistakably Irish. Born on April 13, 1939, the first of Margaret and Patrick Heaney’s nine children, at the family farm in Mossbawn, County Derry, the poet remembered his upbringing in his Nobel acceptance speech: “In the 1940s, when I was the eldest child of an ever-growing family in rural County Derry, we crowded together in the three rooms of a traditional thatched farmstead and lived a kind of den-life which was more or less emotionally and intellectually proofed against the outside world. It

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{in memoriam} was an intimate, physical, creaturely existeaching at Dublin’s Carysfort College in be to poetry’s credit: the power to pertence in which the night sounds of the 1975, and six years later took the position suade that vulnerable part of our conhorse in the stable beyond one bedroom of visiting professor at Harvard sciousness of its rightness in spite of the wall mingles with the sounds of adult conUniversity. Three more collections of evidence of wrongness around it, the versation from the kitchen beyond the his work were published during this time power to remind us that we are hunters other….” – Field Work, Selected Poems, and and gatherers of values, that our very soliAfter attending the local school at Preoccupations: Selected Prose. tudes and distresses are creditable, in so Anahorish, Heaney studied at Queens By 1984, Heaney’s Station Island had far as they, too, are an earnest of our veriUniversity in Belfast – his father referred been published, and he had been elected table human being.” to him as a “scholarship boy” – and gradthe Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Heaney continued to write prolifically, uated with a degree in English in 1961. He Oratory at Harvard. turning, in later years, more and more to earned a teaching certificate at St. The deaths of his parents – his mother classicism, spirituality, and returning to Joseph’s College in Belfast the following in 1984 and his father in 1987 – had great the mysteries of modern life as manifestayear, and went on to lecture in English at influence on Heaney’s work, and were tions of ancient tropes. the same school. It was during this time reflected in The Haw Lantern (1987) and If he was not a household name before, that he began to write, publishing in Seeing Things (1991). His series of sonhis 2000 translation of Beowulf became a school magazines under the pseudonym nets titled Clearances were written as a rapid bestseller and brought him further Incertus. memorial to his mother. acclaim. After Beowulf, Heaney began In the mid-1960s, Heaney published Although Heaney had not lived in translating in earnest, publishing seven Eleven Poems. He married Marie more translations, including Devlin in 1965, and a year later Sophocles’s Antigone. became a lecturer in modern His 2006 release District and English literature at Queens Circle won the T.S. Eliot Prize, the University, the same year that most prestigious prize in the U.K., Faber and Faber published his coland Colm Toibin wrote for the lection Death of a Naturalist, Guardian that Heaney’s volume, which won the E.C. Gregory Human Chain (2010), was “his best Award, the Cholmondeley Award, single volume for many years.” the Somerset Maugham Award, and “He appealed not just to the critthe Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. ics and fellow poets but to the man During this period Heaney and in the street,” his fellow poet his wife had two sons, Michael Michael Longley told RTE. (1965) and Christopher (1968). In recent years, Heaney made Heaney struggled long and hard the business of loss as much his with the complexity of the situasubject as memory, aging, or the tion in Northern Ireland at the pastoral, and his elegies became time, and eventually decided to Seamus, his wife Marie, and their children, circa late 70s. more of a focal point in his last two leave his home. “What I was longcollections. As NYU Professor ing for was not quite stability but an Northern Ireland for some years, there Gregory Londe eulogized, “It’s a strange active escape from the quicksand of relawas always been a link between his writcomfort when someone dies who has tivism, a way of crediting poetry without ings and the tragic situation that played taught you so much about how to mourn.” anxiety or apology,” he said. itself out there. It seems only fitting that “With his brilliant mind and extravaIn 1969, his second of ten volumes of lines from his 1990 play, The Cure at Troy, gant heart, he was, himself, a healing well. poems, Door into the Dark, was pubwhich in an act of artistic bravery preAnd for a while, he saved us,” says lished, and in 1970 Heaney and his family miered in the heart of Derry, should come Loretta Brennan Glucksman, founder of moved to Berkeley, California, where he to embody the hope of a nation in the Glucksman Ireland House at NYU and a was a guest lecturer at the University of wake of the IRA and loyalist cease-fires in friend of the poet. California. He returned to the North in 1994: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore echoed that 1971, but a year later resigned his position “History says, / Don’t hope / On this side sentiment with perfect simplicity: “He at Queens University and moved to the of the grave./ But then, once in a lifetime/ explained us to ourselves,” he said. Irish Republic. The longed-for tidal wave/ Of justice can Heaney is survived by his wife Marie, “So It was that I found myself in the midrise up,/ And hope and history rhyme.” herself an accomplished writer, and their 1970s in another small house, this time in In recent decades, those lines became children: Christopher, Michael, and County Wicklow, south of Dublin, with a some of the most frequently quoted by Catherine Ann. The funeral mass was held young family of my own,” Heaney said. politicians hoping to affect change. Bill at Church of the Sacred Heart in In 1972, Heaney published Wintering Clinton famously uttered them during his Donnybrook, Dublin on September 2. He Out, and the following year his daughter, 1995 address to the people of Derry, in the was buried in Bellaghy, County Derry, Catherine Ann, was born. During this midst of the peace process. next to his younger brother Christopher, period, Heaney won many awards, gave In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, whose death at only three years-of-age readings in England and the U.S., and Heaney spoke of “poetry’s power to do inspired one of Heaney’s most famous edited two poetry anthologies. He began the thing which always is and always will poems, “Mid-Term Break.” 34 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013



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Seamus Heaney’s final words, sent in a text message from his hospital bed to Marie just minutes before he died, were: “Noli timere,” a Latin phrase that translates to “Do not be afraid.” – A.F/P.H.

In His Own Words In April 1996, six months after Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Patricia Harty interviewed the poet. Excerpts follow. What does it mean to call yourself a poet? I think that if you call yourself a poet it means that you live by it, so to speak, and for it, in a very serious way. There’s a phrase of Ted Hughes, which I like very much. He said that the true poem emerges from the place of ultimate suffering and decision in us, and I think if you call yourself a poet, you publicly consecrate yourself to living somehow by the places of suffering and decision.

which is given, an historical myth or truth that predisposes us as a community and as individuals to trust in poetry. It’s a reality, there’s no doubt about it. If a poet published a poem in a newspaper in Ireland the judges will read it, the afternoon drinkers in the pub will read it, the Taoiseach will read it, the Protestant bishop will read it, the Catholic bishop will read it, the hostesses will read it, the gossip columnists will read it, and the name of the poet will be a possession. I think it’s a matter of some indifference whether they are equipped in any special literary way to read or judge poetry. We are talking about the actual role of the poet in society, and in Ireland there is no doubt

How does it feel to have the world reflect back at you that yes, indeed, you are a poet? I think the discipline which writers must perfect is the discipline of doubting the world, the discipline of self-knowledge and self-castigation. Certainly the activity should induce a sense of vigilance – it’s a kind of spiritual exaction to be a writer. But the answer is that I accept the recognition in good faith. Did you always have an instinct that this was what you wanted to do? I didn’t have an instinct, no. When I look back on that long ache that was my adolescence (and everybody else’s adolescence) I realize that I certainly had some artistic yearnings. I had a real desire to be able to play music, and I remember just wishing – there was no resentment here, by the way – wishing for access to music, to be able to play the piano, maybe. I was also, in my late teens and early 20s, working with marquetry – making pictures from wood and so on – so there was some desire for artistic expression. Writing poems did give me a sense of myself, it verified something in me. There’s a psychic verification that artwork performs for the artist, and gradually I realized that writing was something that I could do. There seems to be something in the Irish that makes them partial to poetry. There’s a tradition, a value system,

that that role is alive and it contrasts vividly with what will happen if a poet publishes a poem in the Times of London, or in the New York Times. So fearful as I am of talking up romantic notions about Ireland, I think you have to concede that there is a public psyche and artistic reality in this which is a genuine positive cultural possession of the country. In terms of your own writing, are you disciplined or do you wait for the muse? I’m not very disciplined, no. I’m half disciplined. I’m not a person who gets up every morning at the same time and sits at a desk and plunges into it. Prose writers have to do that. On the other hand, the older I get the more I feel that you should peg out a pitch and provide space for the

game to be played, mark out a landing place for the muse if she wants to come down. So time, time alone, when the pages are in front of you, or you’re reading, time is what’s important. Did you feel like James Joyce who went off into exile, when you left the North? Well, he went off in dudgeon. I didn’t leave in any form of dudgeon or resentment; I left because of a desire to be freer within myself, or simply to be more alone. This was not political, this was artistic and domestic. Moving to Wicklow was a crucial moment. Our own lives (I mean Marie’s life as well as mine) were reconstituted emotionally by going into a lonely place together. And it was very fortifying for the two of us. You took the measure of things again and started up again. Do you still see yourself as a citizen of the North? The image I have is of the ripple going out, which is an image you can find in Joyce’s work. For him it was Sallins, Kildare, Ireland, British Isles, Europe, the universe; for me it was Derry, St. Columb’s, Queens, Berkeley, Wicklow, Harvard, Oxford – it’s the same sort of ripple. There’s a part of you that’s still an extension of the original self – moving at the circumference of your adult cognition and realization. There’s something out there that is actually continuous with your first awareness. Your consciousness is such a strange, strange thing; it’s hard to talk about the inwardness of it – it’s both fixed from the beginning and yet at the same time it’s capable of taking in experience and newness. So I see myself as a big set of ripples, because if you look at the ripples in a pool when the stone is first thrown in you can see them going out in big rings, but then at a certain point it looks like they are also going in towards the center. The circumference represents some form of knowledge. On the other hand, you always have to work with that which was there at the core from the beginning. I’m still writing about that. It’s just your perspective on your imaginative possessions changes. Your perspective on your cultural and emotional possessions changes. This negotiation between the center and the circumference, that’s where IA I live anyway. The entire interview with Seamus Heaney can be viewed on irishamerica.com OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 35

Proud to call you one of our own. Citi congratulates Jim O’Donnell on being recognized as one of Irish America’s Wall Street 50, a prestigious group who today represent some of the leading lights in the financial industry.


© 2013 Citigroup Inc. Citi and Citi with Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.

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On the

Waterfront Joe Weatherby repurposes old ships, such as the USS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a decommissioned World War II troop carrier, and turns them into eco-friendly sunken reefs that support sea life, attract divers, and even become an underwater museum. By Holly Millea



of a man who’s self-made opportunities were at turns smooth sailing and stormily survived. “He’s quite the character,” says his friend and college roommate, Corey “Ira” Stein. “He’s got some kind of charisma, an eloquence. He knows how to talk with anybody, even when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s quite the salesman. Quite whimsical, actually.” Though Weatherby is an English name, “I’ve always felt that my background is Irish, having grown up in such a big Irish family,” says Weatherby, whose mother’s side of the family hails from counties Cork and Clare. “That makes me mostly Irish. I think I certainly exhibit some of the stereotypical Irish characteristics.” He chuckles. “And Robert Frost is my favorite poet.” (You must resist the urge to tell him that Frost is of Scottish/English descent). Last year Reefmakers sank the USS Mohawk off the Sanibel Coast. “She fought in 14 different U-boat engagements,” Weatherby says. “But her most famous feat was that she broadcast the weather from Greenland that greenlighted the invasion of D-Day.” Sinking the USS Vandenberg in 2009, seven miles off the Florida Keys put Reefmakers on the map. The ship, which had transported soldiers during World War II, carried refugees from the Hungarian

Joe “The Shipwrecker” Weatherby.


ombine the Life of Riley with a good amount of Walter Mitty; toss in a heap of Ernest Hemingway; add tons of water; and you’ll get an idea of how Joe Weatherby navigates the world. His adventures began growing up on the Jersey Shore hustling for the family marina, Weatherby’s Wharf, before heading off to the University of Delaware from where he’d take long leaves to work on a fishing boat in Alaska; ride an elephant through the jungle in Thailand; tend bar in the Florida Keys; borrow a friend’s diploma to teach English in Japan; and foray into the urban forest of finance before ultimately being called back to the sea. “When I was very young I’d read all the accounts of Sir Francis Drake and Captain Cook, Kon-Tiki and the Master and Commander series, and most everything Hemingway published,” says Weatherby over a beer in a bar with a view of the East River. “I always knew my future led to the Keys.” Today he is the co-founder and project manager for Reefmakers, an artificial reef making company. Smiling, he hands you a business card with his preferred title: “Shipwrecker.” Weatherby, 52, was the captain of his own dive boat business before his current incarnation. At 6’ 2”, with a gravelly voice, sandy hair and blue-green eyes, he has the weathered appeal and easy charm


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ghostly ships and layered photographs of people re-enacting every day occurrences on her decks, bringing them eerily back to 3-dimensional life. Sealed in plexiglass and attached to the sides of the steel vessels with magnets, the photographs include ballet dancers using the ship’s rail as a barre, a woman hanging laundry on a line, a little girl with a butterfly net chasing minnows, and a sailor being tattooed. “Andreas had photographed the wrecks and contacted me with the idea of hanging an underwater exhibition and it was just crazy enough that I loved it,” recalls Weatherby. “The really cool thing is that when we pulled the pictures up, the algae and microorganisms in the salt water attached to the glass and embellished the art. It gives it a burnished, rich patina. It makes it that much more surreal.” (You can see the artworks above board at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts gallery in Fort Myers, Florida, October 4-28). “Joe’s a dreamer and a schemer,” observes Reefmakers CEO Jeffrey “Tiny” Dey, a close friend from college. “He has so many things going on, he’s incredibly ADD. I love him for it, but he’s all over the place.” Next up on Weatherby’s radar is a benefit for Wounded Warriors. Three years ago when the BP oil spill started, he brainstormed ways to bring people back down to the Keys. And then it struck him: “An underwater race to showcase the clear water and the wreck of the Vandenberg.” Thus, his Wreck Racing League – “underwater NASCAR meets pro wrestling” – was born. In other words, guys racing diver propulsion scooters around sunken ships adorned with sexy girls dressed up as mermaids. On September 20, the League (cofounded with Dave Sirak), is co-sponsoring the Weeki Wachee Warrior Challenge, a threeday event in Weeki Wachee Springs State Park benefitting wounded Special Operations veterans and their families. “Given the history of these ships, it’s really a privilege to be involved and work with the veterans groups,” Weatherby says. The waitress, who’s been flirting with the captain at every turn around the table, comes by with the check. Old school cool, Weatherby says, “thanks doll.” A

Photos, clockwise: The sinking of the Mohawk. A diver checking out Andreas Franke’s exhibition “The Sinking World.” Another diver exploring the superstructure of the Vandenberg artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Key West. The Vandenberg was awarded the prestigious gold medal for Eco tourism from the Society of American Travel Writers. Amidst the sea sponges and coral species and invertebrates inhabiting the ship, you’ll find some 200 species of fish schooling around the wreck, including “the very rare long-spined black sea urchin, which had been blighted in the Caribbean for many years. But the juveniles are back in big numbers.”

Revolution, and monitored Soviet missile launches during the Cold War, now rests on the ocean floor serving as the most successful artificial reef and the second largest dive ship in the world. Measuring ten stories high, two football fields long and weighing 17 tons, it took less than 3 minutes to slip down 150 feet into the deep. Now the Mohawk and the Vandenberg can add “underwater art gallery” to their list of credits. Through September, the Mohawk is home to “The Sinking World,” an exhibition of photographs taken by the award-winning Austrian photographer Andreas Franke, who took pictures of the




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The resting ships at the bottom of the sea offer a unique background for the photographs of Andreas Franke. The photographer says: “With my photographs of sunken shipwrecks, I want to pull the spectators into unreal and strange worlds. Mystified scenes of the past play within a fictional space. Dreamworlds you can get lost in or that you can identify with. This creates a new and unexpected atmosphere. This work shows [a lot] of myself, since I am always on the lookout for stunning themes to create new images never seen before.” ANDREAS FRANKE

Above: The USS Vandenberg. Right: Joe Weatherby, in Rome, where the 2011 Wreck Racing League event was held. He embodies the Herman Melville quote: “A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.”




crimson flare lights up her cheeks. “His nickname in college was ‘Dog,’” Dey says, laughing. “You know the guy who walks out of a party with the best looking woman? That was always Joe.” Stein confirms this fact, but is quick to note, “Dog is man’s best friend. There’s rarely a person who knows Joe that doesn’t love him.” Unlike his closest confidants, Weatherby has yet to marry. “I was in the crosshairs a couple of times, and managed to wiggle out,” he says, adding, “I’m an old dog, I find it hard to learn a new trick.” Outside it’s dark and wet, a heavy rain falling. Weatherby will head home in the morning, weather permitting. He seems restless, anxious even, to get there. You can feel the pull. Like Frost’s woods, the ocean is lovely, dark and deep. “Everybody needs a place where they can go that puts their soul in a place that feels comfortable and that’s always been the water for me,” he says, holding out a hand to catch some rain. “In the water burdensome things are taken away. The water is my church.” IA

EXCEPTIONAL LEADERSHIP. EXCEPTIONAL RESULTS. BlackRock congratulates Jim O’Donnell and the Wall Street 50. We applaud your many accomplishments and contributions that have helped make a positive difference both within the Irish-American community and the world at large. Rob Kapito, Richie Prager and your friends at BlackRock.

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WALL STREET Keynote Interview

Keeping the Faith: Jim O’Donnell With his strong foundation in family and faith, Citi’s Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management inspires confidence and provides a different perspective on Wall Street. By Sheila Langan. nyone who thinks banking is a soulless profession has never met Jim O’Donnell. Raised in Seaford, Long Island, one of four children of a financial services executive and a career nurse, O’Donnell became successful early and quickly. But his rise was by no means linear. In fact, many of his greatest achievements have been determined by a number of unexpected but ultimately important risks that demonstrate a quiet selfknowledge, a thirst for answers and a strong foundation of belief. He was the first student from his high school to get accepted by Harvard, but chose to go to Princeton instead, impressed by the sense of community. A comparative religion major with thoughts of joining the priesthood, he jumped at a chance to join Merrill Lynch’s corporate internship program straight out of college. After traveling to London on an assignment, instead of returning to New York to complete the internship program, he accepted a position at the London office, beginning a ten-year stint abroad. When, at a mere thirty-six-years of age, he was CEO of HSBC’s securities and global equities businesses, dividing his time between London and New York, he chose to trade in his tie for a clerical collar and resigned to join a seminary. Eighteen months later, certain that, while he was very devout, the priesthood was not for him, O’Donnell left and returned to the world of banking, determined to both do well for himself and do good in the world. In person, O’Donnell, 51, is so jovial and relaxed you’d never immediately guess his story has quite so many layers. Tall (though not as tall as his 6’7” great-grandfather from Co. Kerry) and ruggedly good looking, O’Donnell is the kind of person who’s



just as at ease in the boardroom as he is at the pub with friends. When we sat down to chat in his office on the 4th floor of the Citi headquarters at 390 Greenwich Street, his hearty laugh filled the room as he shared stories about his first trip to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day 1984, and he was by equal turns solemn and contemplative as he discussed the things that are most important to him: his family, faith and Irish heritage. He’s also passionate about his profession and the financial industry, and the questions asked by so many about its character and value in the wake of the financial crisis are questions he has also thought long and hard about. “Some people think it’s so insular,” he said, “but what I’ve learned about the markets is that you have to understand what’s happening in the world overall. You have to know what’s going on with the economy, with the employment rate, with the housing market. With how a world event – a natural disaster, a conflict, or something positive – will impact everything else. It’s a tremendous learning curve every day. “People have also asked me, how could you care about religion and work on Wall Street? But I love this industry and the people who work in it,” he affirmed. “They’re some of the most generous, caring people I have ever met, with a real understanding of the phrase ‘To whomever much is given, of him much will be required.’” It is partly thanks to his faith that O’Donnell got his start in finance. In 1983, through the church at Princeton, O’Donnell met Bill Schreyer, then the head of Merrill Lynch. One day after mass, with the end of Jim’s senior year approaching, the two spoke about his plans for the future. Schreyer wound up



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offering O’Donnell, who was president of his class, a spot in Merrill Lynch’s corporate internship program, making him the eleventh intern in what was supposed to be a group of ten. It was an invaluable opportunity, and Jim had to hit the ground running. “I got there and I realized all of my colleagues were business administration, finance and economic majors,” he recalled, “so the first couple of days in the orientation and training program was a real ‘OSM’ – I didn’t know a lot of the terminology so I had to learn the language, and it was a lot of scrambling and studying. You don’t see too many religion majors on Wall Street.” Still, Jim’s background in comparative religion provided him with an outlook and broad understanding that served him well when he started out and continues to shape his approach. “Studying religion from a secular perspective (not a theological or doctrinal perspective) was the best thing I ever did, because I learned that it’s a big, wide world,” he said.

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James O’Donnell II, had a long and accomplished Wall Street career. He worked at Equitable Life, then at Merrill Lynch, and then became one of the authors of the first Series 7 exam, formally titled the General Securities Representative Exam, which anyone who wants to become a registered representative on Wall Street has to take. He later became president of a securities training company that prepared people for the Series 7, and after retiring started his own business, Global Training and Development, which focused on emerging markets around the world, such as Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Vietnam, and helped them to develop examination processes for their securities and exchanges. Jim’s mother, Jeanne, also provided a model for hard work and perseverance. A nurse, she went back to school to earn her master’s in nursing when Jim was young, and then worked for years as an elementary school nurse, only retiring two years ago at 73.

O’Donnell’s parents, James O’Donnell and Jeanne Fergus O’Donnell

“Throughout the history of humanity, nothing has affected our history more than religion. Whether in art, in architecture, or world history – and especially conflicts, even to this day, they’re often about religion. Yet when you get to the essence and the heart of what religion is, it’s beauty and sacredness and teachings of love, mercy, goodness and kindness. It gave me tremendous respect, acceptance and understanding,” he added, “so while you definitely can’t bring religion into the workplace, it’s important to have a set of ethics to live by.” Jim also had another advantage starting out – finance was in his genes. His father, 44 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

“I respect my dad’s entrepreneurship and work ethic; my mom’s determination in going back to school,” he said. “From them, I only know one speed, which is if you’re going to do something, make sure you do it well.” And that’s the speed at which O’Donnell has run for his entire career. Making his father proud, he passed the Series 7 with flying colors, missing only one out of 250 questions. Starting out at Merrill Lynch, he worked for Bob McCann, a past Wall Street 50 Keynote and current CEO of UBS Group Americas and Wealth Management Americas, an experience Jim described

as “phenomenal.” When the opportunity arose for one of the Merrill Lynch corporate interns to help out with implementing a new CMA (Cash Management Accounts) program for the European market, O’Donnell volunteered and in January of 1984 he went to London for a few months. Instead of returning to New York and the internship program, he accepted a job in the London office’s European equities business as an equity sales trader, doing both US equities and international equities. There he worked under a man named Terry Hurley, who he described as “a big, tough Chicago Irishman. He was incredibly principled, all about doing your work, being honest and taking the time to learn the mechanics and keep a clear record.” Jim recalled one pivotal moment when a colleague in another office asked him to buy 25,000 shares in a certain stock, but when the price moved $2 against him later that day, he maintained that he had told Jim to sell. “Here I am, this 22-yearold kid, so scared,” he said, “and Terry goes ‘let me see your sheets. So he flips through them and sees that I had a B written down next to the order, just like he taught me, and he says to the guy, ‘There’s no way you told him to sell.’ Terry backed me, and that showed me how incredibly important integrity and ethics are, but also how important it is to make sure you’re on your game.” O’Donnell loved London, where he would end up spending the formative years of his career and early adulthood. “If you spend your 20s and early 30s in one city, it’s important. It became home,” he reflected. “My first few years there I couldn’t really afford it; I could just go to the pubs and eat meat pies and have a few pints. I played on a rugby team called the Stock Exchange Stags. But it’s such a great stepping-stone to all of Europe.” Two months after arriving in London, he visited Ireland for the first time, which resulted in the first of many great stories. “I was an Irish American in London in 1984, and I thought to myself, there’s no way I can spend St. Patrick’s Day here. So I got on a plane, flew to Dublin and stayed in the Shelbourne,” he remembered. “The concierge sent me to O’Donoghue’s pub off of St. Stephen’s Green, and I was so excited to have my first Guinness in Ireland. So I sit down at the bar with my pint and there are a bunch of guys about my age and one of them says to me, ‘You think you can



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drink, you Americans, but we can drink you under the table.’ Back then I was a pretty big beer drinker, so I just said, ‘No, I really don’t think you can, but cheers, happy St. Patrick’s Day.’ And he goes ‘Are you challenging me?’” Fourteen pints later (thirteen to win, one in celebration), O’Donnell left the bar. In the years since he has been to Dublin over a dozen times, and looks forward (“Especially after this,” he said) to visiting Tralee and Galway to trace his family roots. His paternal grandmother’s family, the Manions, hailed from Roundstone, Co. Galway, while his father’s father had family in Kildare, Co. Naas and Tralee, Co. Kerry. After rising in the ranks at Merrill Lynch in London, O’Donnell joined Drexel Burnham Lambert to run their international sales and trading operation for equities, and moved back to New York to manage their global sales trading effort. Shortly before the firm filed for bankruptcy in 1990, O’Donnell returned to London with NatWest Bank, to manage their equity business in Europe. “Hindsight being 20/20, I think Tim Ferguson [who was then CEO of NatWest Securities Global] took a huge leap of faith in hiring me,” he reflected. “I was a twenty-eight-year-old kid, an exuberant American with experience managing 50 or so people, suddenly managing 1,000 people at a very traditional British firm. I had some great senior partners who were more senior than I was though they were reporting to me – and who frankly could have buried me – but by being honest and respectful we ended up creating a really strong team.” While at NatWest he was approached by HSBC to become CEO of HSBC James Capel, their global securities business. Shortly after starting, he was asked to also become CEO of their global equi-

ties business. “It was a challenging job, and I was over-stretched” he said candidly. “I was 36, in charge of 5,000 people around the world, and running both U.S. equities and fixed income, and the global equities franchise.” It was at this point that some of the lingering questions about the direction of his life took center stage. “During dinner and a couple of drinks with friends we would have these great conversations about life and the world, as good Irish people do, and I kept thinking ‘Well, I’m not married, maybe I really should explore whether I should have become a priest?’ One of my friends said, ‘You always talk about it, why don’t you just do it?’ So I decided that if I didn’t try it I would never know if it was my calling.” He left HSBC and applied for a spot in a seminary. This career change was an uncommon one to say the least and garnered the attention of the media. The New York Times described him as “known for his worldly success in a series of high-power, high-pay jobs in the financial world,” and The Independent pointed out that as a priest in New York he would “take home a salary of less than £6,000 a year, less than 1 per cent of what he was earning on Wall Street.” After transitioning out of HSBC and James Capel, Jim moved back to New York, began studying for the priesthood, and joined the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception on Long Island, which has since merged with other religious institutions in the area. “It was a greater transition than I ever could have imagined,” he said solemnly. “I probably made a mistake in not insisting I go to a seminary for older vocations. Immaculate Conception had great people – a really caring and loving staff and priests and nuns – but I was 37, a former CEO, and I had lived in the world. All my classmates were 21 and just out

of college. So it was a real challenge.” The hardest part, though, was the instinct he felt to question things, to say “Yes, but what about this?” While he was thrilled to be studying to become a priest in an institution he loved, he realized that he couldn’t see eye to eye with the Church on all of its teachings. “I have tremendous respect and reverence for the Church, and I will always consider myself a Catholic,” he said, “but my social beliefs developed through time and experience and are very different today. My views on celibacy, on women in the priesthood, on birth control, on same sex marriage, on annulments, they’re just different. I respected and continue to respect the Church’s views, but I also realized that there was no way I could be a priest.” Coming to terms with this was a tremendous personal struggle. “I had always been somebody who had great faith in listening to authority, always agreeing,” Jim explained. “Today I still believe in respecting authority, but you also have a responsibility to be truthful and transparent in your own views and beliefs, and if you don’t do that then you are failing yourself.” It took time, but rather than seeing the experience as a failure, he came to recognize it as a necessary decision on his part and a sign of the wisdom and forbearance of the Church. “Was there disappointment and anger? Of course there was. But it made me a stronger person, and I now look at it as one of the best things I ever did. People said ‘Well, you failed.’ But one of the reasons why I respect the Church so much is because in the Formation process you’re supposed to reflect on whether this path is right for you. So as opposed to failing, I actually think the Formation process worked OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 45



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incredibly well for me. It was a few years before I could see it this way, but what became clear was that it wouldn’t have been the right decision for me, but it was the right decision to find out. And I have no regrets about that.” After eighteen months out of the business, O’Donnell returned to finance. “It was like putting on my favorite suit and feeling comfortable again,” he said, smiling. He went back to London, working as a managing director and deputy head of equities in Europe for Salomon Smith Barney, and then as the head of Citigroup’s European equities business. Jim has been with Citi for close to fifteen years now, and he’s in good company. “It’s by far the best firm I’ve ever worked with,” he enthused. “My boss, Jamie Forese, and I had a conversation a while back about how to describe the culture of Citi, and he said ‘the difference is we allow you to be who you are,’ and that to me says it all.” A number of his colleagues, including Citi’s CAO Don Callahan and head of Equities Americas Dan Keegan are past or current Wall Street 50 honorees. Citi has had a presence in Ireland since 1965 – it was one of the first foreign banks to open an office in Ireland – and today employs 2,200 in Dublin. In Northern Ireland, Citi employs close to 1,000 people in Belfast at the Titanic Quarter campus. A few years after joining Citi in 1999, O’Donnell relocated to New York to serve as head of U.S. equities. In 2007, in the early days of the financial crisis, Forese promoted him to co-head of global investor sales and relationship management. Two months later on December 27, after a few days of chest pains, O’Donnell underwent emergency double bypass surgery to clear two blockages in his arteries. After five months recovering and a new esteem for diet and exercise, he returned to Citi. “They [doctors] encourage you to go back when you’re younger and I’m glad I did because I was able to experience one of the most difficult and interesting moments in U.S. financial history,” he said – Bear Sterns had just gone under and Lehman Brothers was about to. He soon took over in his current role as head of investor sales and relationship management. Five years later, he has a clean bill of health and continues to be enthusiastic about the work he does with Citi’s sales teams, clients, investors and buying partners, traveling around the world for close to five months out of every year. 46 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

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He is also well attuned to the shift in attitude and atmosphere that has taken place over the last few years as the new financial regulations are implemented. “Transparency in the way you operate your business is critical; strong risk management is essential. Being truly clientcentric and open with customers, making sure you do all you can to deliver for them as opposed to just yourself and the firm is critical,” he said. “As we say, the business has become a job. Nobody wants to see what happened in the past happen again. Today there’s much more attention to detail and we’re much more questioning of things. At the same time, we have to have real respect for the rules.”

“Let’s be honest,” he said, “in addition to the people who are out in the field, the world needs people to write checks and make donations, people to get involved, and that’s part of why I respect my colleagues on Wall Street so much – for all the good work that they do.” Over the past fourteen years, O’Donnell has also come to terms with the conflict that troubled him throughout his early days in the industry: how to reconcile doing good with making money. The idea may induce a few eye rolls, but it’s a classic case of Irish guilt – feeling bad about being successful and wanting to do something to atone. When he returned to finance from the seminary, he realized that it is possible to make money and do good, and that in fact, one can help out considerably with the other. “Let’s be honest,” he said, “in addition to the people who are out in the field, the world needs people to write checks and make donations, people to get involved, and that’s part of why I respect my colleagues on Wall Street so much – for all the good work that they do.” Though he described himself as “a small fry” in comparison, Jim’s philan-

thropy and generosity are very notable. Each year he sponsors a number of scholarships that allow kids from underprivileged areas to attend Catholic schools. “A dear friend of mine, Joanne O’Brien, who has worked with many Catholic schools on Long Island, convinced me it was an important thing to do,” he said. “I give the scholarships anonymously, but you get letters from these kids and their stories are just unbelievable. Many of them come from challenged homes, or have a parent who died or lost their job and the whole family is struggling to get by. Then you see the kids go through high school and some of them get full scholarships to great colleges. I’m okay with them not knowing who I am – it’s a change a life, change the world type of thing.” Thanks to his friend Buzzy Geduld, CEO of Cougar Trading and former partner in the legendary Wall Street trading house Herzog Heine Geduld, O’Donnell became involved with the Friar’s Club, the fraternal group for comedy and the arts (and host of the hilarious celebrity roasts) in New York. “I love it there!” he said with delight. “It kind of fits with my personality – it’s irreverent, it can be bawdy at times, and they have this phrase: ‘We only roast the ones we love.’ It means we can all make fun of each other, but we’re also totally accepting.” O’Donnell is on the board of the Friar’s Foundation, the club’s charitable arm, and in 2012 was named Friar of the Year for his work with The Gift of Laughter program, which brings comedy to wounded veterans and their families. When we spoke, he had also recently been elected to the club’s board of governors. “The Friars strike a good balance,” he reflected, “and I hope I do too. I aim to be both someone who works hard and someone who’s fun. “One of the things I respect so much about my faith, my family history and heritage,” he continued, “is that the Irish diaspora has done so much for the world and particularly the United States and New York. Whether they were politicians or nuns or cops or firemen or on Wall Street [O’Donnell has all of the above in his family] they had to work hard to set up roots in this country. But they did it all with this tremendous exuberance for life that’s been key to everything.” With his palpable exuberance for life, his strong moral compass, and great insight into the world of finance and beyond, it’s safe to say that there are many great things still to come from Jim O’Donnell. IA

We salute our friend Jim O’Donnell Congratulations on your success in business, support of Irish culture and the valuable contributions you’ve made in our communities.

Bob and Cindy McCann

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21ST CENTURY BELFAST Titanic Belfast

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast Metropolitan College


Titanic Quarter 10K Road Race

Northern Ireland Science Park

Part of a 21st Century cityscape encompassing a 185-acre mixed use, waterfront location in central Belfast • Belfast among the top destination cities globally for FS technology investments (FT FDI Markets, 2012)

• TQ FSC Phase 1: 130,000 sq ft “Gateway” facility (occupied by Citi)

• Belfast is No.1 destination globally for financial technology R&D investments (FT FDI Markets, 2012)

• FS Tech Workspace: Planning permission being sought for 190,000 sq ft office

• Skilled, available people – 44% of population is aged under 30

• TQ FSC Phase 2: Planning Permission granted for c.600,000 sq ft of agile work space

• Total occupancy costs up to 77% lower than other UK and Irish locations

• Access to Project Kelvin, Europe’s fastest direct fibre optic link to North America

CONTACT: T: +44 (0)28 9076 6300 E: michael.graham@titanicquarter.com


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Celebrating the Irish in the Financial Industry




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or sixteen years, Irish America has sought out and recognized the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders in finance. The fifty honorees of 2013 are an inspiring and diverse group of rising stars and Wall Street veterans, new faces and longtime friends of Irish America, from as many different sectors of the industry as the various counties in Ireland from which their ancestors came. The 2013 Wall Street 50 honorees share a commitment to building-up the American economy. Some do this by handling investments and capital, some by developing and implementing the strategies and technology that make it all happen. If there is one thing all of the honorees have in common (in addition to their Irish heritage, of course), it’s a talent for leadership. As Michael Daly of Berkshire Bank phrases it,“I have always believed that being direct and straightforward, and embracing the concerns and opinions of others, is linked to Irish heritage. These are, in my opinion, critical characteristics of leadership.” It’s possible that they learned these traits from their ancestors, who, as Tara McCabe of Permal Group notes, made “personal sacrifices to pave the way.” From the fourth-generation Irish Americans, who have seen their ancestors’ dreams manifested, to the great number of Irish-born who continue to forge strong bonds between our two countries, they are a testament to the power of the diaspora.



36% 4%





Cork Dublin Galway Mayo Tipperary


NUI Galway St. Johns University Trinity College Dublin University College Dublin University of Pennsylvania

~ Mortas Cine ~

“It never ceases to amaze me the passion that so many people feel for a country where they are often generations removed from their Irish born ancestors. There is a great pride and sense of loyalty among the Irish diaspora; we have benefited from the reputation we have inherited, and so have a responsibility to protect it for future generations.” – Rob MacGoey 50 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

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Prudential is proud that Barbara Koster, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Prudential, has been named one of


IrIsh AmerIcA mAgAzIne’s 2013 WAll street 50! We congrAtulAte BArBArA And All of thIs yeAr’s honorees.

Sobol DATE: 8 PM JOB#: M DESC: Ir PUB: 16 Wall St



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© 2013. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the rock symbol and Bring your challenges are service marks of Prudential financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A4099 0205991-00006-00

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“I have always looked to the humor and personality of my forebears, which brought them forward to the U.S., and the grit and determination that gained them a foothold in New York.” – Robert E. Curry III

Michael Brewster

John Cannon

Credit Suisse Private Banking USA Michael Brewster, who joined Credit Suisse Private Banking USA as a managing director in 2008, has spent the past 21 years managing investments for high net worth and institutional clients. He began his career in ledger accounting at Bally’s Casino Hotel Atlantic City and casino credit at Trump Castle Casino. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he worked at Lehman Brothers for 16 years. Born in Ireland, Michael graduated from Athlone Institute of Technology with a higher diploma in management finance and earned his B.Sc. in business administration from Thomas Edison State College. He serves on the boards of Enterprise Ireland Financial Services, the Irish International Business Network, and on the U.S. board of the National University of Ireland, Galway. Michael, who was recognized from 2010-2012 as one of Barron’s Top 1,000 Advisors, lives in New York with his wife, Margaret. His father’s family come from Co. Fermanagh; his mother’s family, the Hegartys, hail from Co. Longford.

Deutsche Bank John Cannon is a managing director of the Equity Sales Trading Group at Deutsche Bank in New York. He covers institutional accounts and is responsible for the New York Equity Sales Trading Team at Deutsche Bank. John has worked on Wall Street as a sales trader for 22 years: two years at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette’s Pershing division, seven years at DLJ’s Autranet division and thirteen years at Credit Suisse. A proud first-generation Irish American born in New York to Carmel Kelly from Crinkle, Co. Offaly, and John Cannon from Roscommon and Mayo, John earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Peters College in 1989. He is married to Dublin-born Barbara Reeves and is the proud father of three children, Lorcan, Saoirse and Blathnat.

Shane Clifford

Joe Connolly

Robert E. Curry III

Permal Group

Bank of Ireland, U.S.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Shane Clifford is the executive vice president and co-head of global business development for the Permal Group where he is responsible for broadening the group’s world-wide footprint. Before joining Permal in 2008, Shane covered the U.K., Ireland, and Middle East markets as a vice president for BlackRock in London. He began his career in New York and New Jersey working for Merrill Lynch, where he held numerous positions covering institutional markets in the Americas. Born in Limerick but based in the U.S. since 1998, Shane received his M.B.A. in international management from Boston University. He also holds a B.B.S. in business from the University of Limerick and says that his Limerick origins have endowed him with a personal and professional “drive to succeed.” He was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Irish in America by the Irish Echo for 2010. Shane currently lives stateside with his wife, Tricia, and three children: Liam, Owen, and Sean.

Joe Connolly is executive vice president and head of business development for Bank of Ireland’s U.S. Branch. In this role he and his team are responsible for identifying and establishing relationships with the many U.S. multinationals operating in Ireland. Regarding his role he says “U.S. foreign direct investment is a key part of the Irish recovery and it’s important that the Bank of Ireland supports these companies in any way that we can.” The Bank’s U.S. office also works closely with the fast growing number of Irish companies that have established U.S. subsidiaries in recent years. These companies employ over 89,000 people in the States. Joe, born and raised in Dublin, has worked for the Bank of Ireland for 35 years, holding a number of senior treasury management positions in Dublin before relocating to the U.S. with his family in late 2003. While always proud of his Irish background he says he has been very humbled during his 10 years living in the U.S. by experiencing first-hand the enormous pride Irish Americans have in Ireland and their desire to support its continued recovery.

Robert Emmet Curry III is a director and senior analyst in the Alternative Investments Group at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. A graduate with honors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and recipient of a J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, Robert began his career as a senior paralegal in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. While in law school at night, he worked at the SEC in Washington, DC, and upon graduation served as legal counsel to an agency of the French government. He then transitioned into alternative investments, with roles at Deloitte & Touche and, before joining Merrill Lynch, Cadogan Management, where he served as a vice president and analyst. Robert is a third-generation Irish American with roots in Galway, Fermanagh, and Sligo on both his father’s and mother’s sides. His great-grandfather John F. Curry led Tammany Hall from 1929-1934. Regarding his Irish heritage, he remarked, “I have always looked to the humor and personality of my forebears, which brought them forward to the U.S., and the grit and determination that gained them a foothold in New York.”


We proudly congratulate George Reilly of Reilly Financial Group, an office of MetLife Financial Services, and all of Irish America’s 2013 Wall Street 50 Honorees.


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John S. Daly

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Tony Dalton is a managing director in FX Prime Brokerage at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, a position he has held since 2010. The global FX Prime Brokerage business is dedicated to providing customized FX structures to institutional investors. Tony joined Bank of America in 2000 and has played a major role in successfully building FX Prime Brokerage businesses from the ground up, first at Barclays Bank in the mid 1990s, and subsequently at ABN AMRO in 1998. He began his career in financial services at MBIA. Born in Dublin, Tony is a former member of the Irish Junior Olympic basketball team. He holds a B.S. in economics and finance from Manhattanville College. He is a member of the Bond Club of New York and is a board member of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Foundation.

John S. Daly is head of the Americas Equity Capital Markets Group at Goldman Sachs. He joined GS in the Investment Banking Division and has held various positions, including responsibility for Energy and Power transactions in the Equity Capital Markets Group in New York; a three-year period in Hong Kong as co-head of Capital Markets for Asia ex-Japan; and co-head of the Industrial and Natural Resources Financing Group in New York. He became a managing director in 1998 and a partner in 2000. Prior to attending business school he spent four years as an engineer at GE. John earned an M.B.A. from Wharton, a B.A.I. in engineering, and a B.A. in mathematics from Trinity College Dublin. He is a member of Trinity’s Foundation Board, the Trinity School of Business Advisory Board and the Financial Services Advisory Board of Enterprise Ireland. A Clontarf native, he lives in New York City with his wife, Norah, and their four children: Claire, Grace, Jack and Harry.

William N. Dooley AIG

Kevin Drea MassMutual

William N. Dooley is executive vice president – Investments at AIG, where he has overall responsibility for AIG’s asset management. William joined the company 35 years ago and was elected AIG vice president in 1996. He has held numerous positions with the company including, executive vice president of investments and financial services from 2010-11; senior vice president of financial services from 1998-2010; senior vice president and chief investment officer of American International Underwriters. A second and third generation Irish American on his father’s and mother’s side respectively, William received his M.B.A. in finance from Pace University and holds a B.S. in business administration from Manhattan College. He is active in the Irish American community, where he is a member of both the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in New York City as well as the Jersey Shore chapter. William and his wife, Maureen, have four grown children: Margaret, William, Mary Kate, and Patrick.

Kevin Drea is a director of relationship management in the Retirement Services Division of MassMutual. In this position, he is responsible for managing a broad suite of strategic resources to ensure overall client satisfaction while actively supporting plan sponsor efforts to help drive plan and participant health, and fulfill their fiduciary role. Prior to joining MassMutual in 2013, Kevin was a senior relationship manager at The Hartford, working in the Corporate Markets. Kevin holds a B.A. in communications and philosophy from Stonehill College and an M.B.A. from Suffolk University. He also holds FINRA Series 6 and 63 registrations and a Massachusetts Life Insurance license. A holder of dual U.S.–Irish citizenship, Kevin is a second-generation Irish American, with roots in Kilkenny on his father’s side and Cork on his mother’s. He says, “I am proud to be part of a hardworking, faithbased people. These virtues have been, and will continue to be, central to me and my family.” Kevin and his wife, Sue, have two sons, Timothy and Brendan.


“I have always believed that being direct and straightforward, and embracing the concerns and opinions of others, is linked to Irish heritage. These are, in my opinion, critical characteristics of leadership. I remain proud to be an Irishman always.” – Michael P. Daly

Michael P. Daly Berkshire Bank Michael Daly is the chairman, president, and CEO of Berkshire Bank in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He began his banking career in 1986 as a commercial lender and eventually moved up the ranks at Berkshire Bank, acceding to president and CEO in 2002. He serves as chairman of the board of the Berkshire Business Round Table, and the Berkshire County Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Past activities include director of Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Health Systems, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Board of Catholic Schools in Pittsfield, and Robert Morris Associates. In 2008, he was recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Lawrence M. Strattner, Jr. Distinguished Citizens Award. Michael, a native of Pittsfield, attended Westfield State College, earning a Bachelor of Science and later attended Columbia University where he received his Masters in Business Administration. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Kinsale, Co. Cork, he makes it a point to go to Ireland every few years to enjoy “the honest, down to earth authenticity of the Irish people.” Furthermore, he says, “I have always believed that being direct and straightforward, and embracing the concerns and opinions of others is linked to Irish heritage. These are, in my opinion, critical characteristics of leadership.” Michael and his his wife, Carol, have two daughters, Katherine and Colleen.

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WALL STREET Paul Durnan RBC Capital Markets Paul Durnan is a director on the Institutional Equity Research Sales desk at RBC Capital Markets. Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets he worked at Morgan Stanley, Fulcrum Global Partners, and Soundview Technology Group. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor’s in economics. A third-generation Irish American with roots in County Cork on his father’s side, Paul speaks fondly of his Irish ancestry. “My Irish heritage and its Catholic values have been, and continue to be, a central part of my everyday life. I only hope that our strong values are passed on for many generations to come.” Paul and his wife, Anne, live in Rockville Center, New York, with their four sons: Paul, Jack, and twins Justin and Joseph.

Mary Callahan Erdoes J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Mary Callahan Erdoes is CEO of J.P. Morgan’s Asset Management division, a global leader in investment management and private banking with more than $2.0 trillion in assets under supervision. In addition to being a member of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s Operating Committee, Mary leads the firm’s strategic partnership with Highbridge Capital Management and Gávea Investimentos. She joined J.P. Morgan in 1996 from Meredith, Martin & Kaye. A graduate of Georgetown University (B.S.) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A.), Mary was recognized by Forbes and Fortune magazines for their “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” lists, respectively. This year, Bloomberg Markets magazine named her the Most Influential Money Manager as part of its “World’s 50 Most Influential People” list. An Illinois native, Mary is a fourth-generation Irish American. Her great-grandparents emigrated from Cork on her father’s side and Tipperary on her mother’s. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters. 56 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

“My Irish father’s favorite quote: ‘Less talk, more action.’” – Thomas Huvane

Anne M. Finucane Bank of America Anne M. Finucane is global strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America and is also a member of the company’s executive management team. Anne is responsible for Bank of America’s public policy and brand positioning around the world, current and proposed legislation and other public affairs globally, and directing the company’s brand engagement in all its geographies. She leads marketing, advertising, communications and customer research activities for Bank of America, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and U.S. Trust globally. She also oversees the company's corporate social responsibility program, which includes a 10-year, $2 billion charitable giving goal through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and a $50 billion environmental business initiative that follows the fulfillment of the bank’s 10year $20 billion environmental goal more than four years ahead of schedule. A recipient of the 2013 New York Women in Communications Matrix Award and listed among American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, Anne is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on numerous boards including Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation, Partners Healthcare, and the American Ireland Fund. She has roots in County Cork on both sides of her family, most notably through her grandfather, Michael Finucane, who came to the United States as a young boy.

Bob Garrett

Thomas Huvane


Thomas Huvane is a senior vice president of investments at UBS Financial Services in New York. His twenty-five years of experience in the financial world have earned him the title of “Wealth Advisor,” a designation given only to highly esteemed wealth management employees at UBS Financial Services. A native of the Bronx, Tom attended Fordham Prep and Fordham University, earning a B.A in economics and history. He later graduated from the Financial Planning Program at Pace University. He is a first-generation Irish American. His mother, Bridget, and his father, Thomas, emigrated from County Mayo, Ireland and instilled in their son a strong sense of Irish pride and a robust work ethic. He recalls his father’s favorite quote: “Less talk, more action.” Tom resides in Westchester with his wife, Bernadette, and their two children, Thomas and Jacqueline. He is the cofounder and co-chairman of the Eastchester St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Bob Garrett serves as the New York office managing partner for KPMG. He is responsible for overseeing the delivery of highquality client service, driving cross-functional quality growth efforts, attracting and retaining key resources, and representing KPMG in the New York marketplace and community. He has over 25 years of client service experience within the financial services industry and has worked with many of KPMG’s largest clients. Bob is a member of several organizations including the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Cardinal’s Committee for Charity, the American Ireland Fund and the KPMG NY Foundation. Bob is a second-generation Irish American with roots in County Mayo on his father’s side. Of his Irish ancestry he says, “My Irish heritage provides me with a solid foundation on how I choose to live my life. A foundation built on family, hard work, community, faith, and friendship.” Bob lives in New Jersey with his wife, Trina, and their two children, Robert and Alexandra.

UBS Financial Services

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“I’m constantly amazed by the deep connections between the Irish and the Americans, and how welcoming Americans are to the Irish. I’ve gained so much from being in the U.S.” – Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings

Adrian Jones

Daniel Keegan

Silicon Valley Bank

Goldman, Sachs & Co.


Paul Jennings is a senior manager with Global Financial Services Group at Silicon Valley Bank in Boston. He is responsible for foreign exchange market advisory sales to the bank’s private equity and venture capital clients. Paul is also part of the SVB Ireland strategy group, which expects a lending commitment of $100 million to the fast-moving Irish technology and life science sectors. He is a board member of the Boston Irish Business Association, the winner of the Silicon Valley Bank President’s Club in 2011 and 2012, and the recipient of the Irish Voice Newspaper’s Dreamer of Dreams in 2000. Born in Warrenpoint, Co. Down, and raised in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, Paul is a graduate of the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Co. Antrim, and maintains an active involvement in the New England alumni group. He is on the board of the American Friends of the University of Ulster. He lives in Winthrop, MA with his wife, Aine, and his three children, Catherine, Maura, and Neil. “I’ve gained so much from being in the U.S.,” said Paul, who became an American citizen in 1997. He adds, “being Irish, I have a strong sense of giving back and helping others. It’s in the Irish DNA to give back when you can.”

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

Martin Kehoe PwC Martin Kehoe is a partner with PwC in New York. He has over 25 years of experience serving clients in the U.S. and internationally. Martin was born and raised in Enniscorthy, Wexford, Ireland and attended the Christian Brothers School. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with an honors degree in business. He joined PwC Dublin after graduation and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Martin subsequently moved to PwC in New York to join PwC U.S., where he qualified as a certified public accountant and became a partner with the firm in 1996. Martin says, “It is great to be part of the Irish community in this wonderfully diverse and vibrant city.” Martin is married to Mary Kelly from Bree, Wexford and the proud father of two daughters, Allison and Laura. He is active in the Irish community in the U.S. with organizations such as The American Ireland Fund, The Gaelic Players Association, and The American Friends of Wexford Opera, among others. Martin and his family enjoy supporting POTS (Part of the Solution) in the Bronx, an organization that nourishes the basic needs and hungers of all who enter their door. He enjoys sports, coaching rugby on the weekends, and playing golf in his spare time. 58 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Daniel Keegan is head of Equities Americas at Citigroup. Born in New Jersey, he attended the University of Notre Dame, receiving a B.A. and later J.D. at Notre Dame Law School. Prior to 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. He is currently on the Board of BATS Global Markets and BIDS Trading, L.P. Daniel is a thirdgeneration Irish American with ancestors from Co. Meath on his father’s side and counties Meath and Louth on his mother’s. He lives in New York with his wife, Elizabeth, and four children, Danny, Rosemary, Margaret, and Katherine.

Denis Kelleher Wall Street Access Denis Kelleher is founder and chairman of Wall Street Access, which combines an independent, entrepreneurial culture with a powerful platform to build and operate a diverse set of successful financial services businesses. He began his career in 1958 as a messenger with Merrill Lynch, where he rose through the company ranks until 1969 when he founded Ruane Cunniff and its Sequoia Fund. In 1981 he founded Wall Street Access. A native of County Kerry, Ireland, he is a graduate of St. John's University where he also served as Chairman and member of the board of trustees. He is a former director of The New Ireland Fund, a member of the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a member of the Staten Island Foundation. In 2005, Denis was Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame. He lives on Staten Island with his wife, Carol. They have three children and eight grandchildren.



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Jump into

Northern Ireland


he magically diverse landscape, the growing art and music scenes and the vibrant city life, Northern Ireland is home to some of the world’s most magnificent natural and man-made attractions. From the stunning Causeway Coast and Glens, which include the ruined wonder of Dunluce Castle and the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, to the serene lakelands, it is really no wonder that Northern Ireland has been the backdrop to the beloved fantasy world featured in HBO’s Game of Thrones and the inspiration for much of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. Not to mention the friendly pubs, world-class restaurants and shopping that make cities like Belfast and Derry-Londonderry unforgettable. Come and explore, there is so much to experience and the first step is jumping in!

A special supplement to Irish America magazine in cooperation with Tourism Ireland.



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City Vibe


ith the promise of business on the rise, art and culture flourishing and developments in tourism and commercial centers, cities like Derry-Londonderry and Belfast are showing the world their potential! One of the fastest growing and most fun cities in Northern Ireland is Derry-Londonderry, the UK City of Culture 2013. What fosters such a unique culture as Derry-Londonderry’s is the city’s compact size; its historic 400-year-old walls are wrapped around a hub of new venues welcoming local and international singers and theater groups and all just a stone’s throw from the historical award-winning Tower Museum. Derry-Londonderry is a rare gem of ancient tales and monuments mixed with a vibrant, youthful energy set to redefine this remarkable city in the 21st century. A center of music, history and art, Belfast is a renaissance city on the rise. Stroll around this fascinating town and one cannot help but notice the colorful array of murals. The street art encompasses so much of Belfast’s character, showing off bits of its history, local heroes and visions of the future. Belfast has all the quaint charm of a small city with the sophistication of a bustling European metropolis. With fabulous concert venues, café bars, shops and pubs lining its cobbled streets,

there’s never a lack of entertainment in Belfast! The Cathedral Quarter is an area where the culture of the city truly comes to life. Whether you’re hunting for some high fashion boutiques, the best contemporary cuisine or a quiet public square to relax in this veritable hub of art and nightlife is an area every local will point you toward. Also located in Belfast is the new Titanic Quarter. Near the building site of the RMS Titanic, this ambitious new urban quarter is redefining what it means to work and live in Belfast. Complete with new state-ofthe-art residential, commercial, education and retail space, Titanic Quarter is also home to the Titanic Belfast, the largest Titanic visitor attraction in the world. As these new modern centers of commercial and cultural life continue to pop up throughout Northern Ireland, it has fast become a favorite for world-class events. Northern Ireland hosted the 29th G8 summit at the Lough Erne Resort, County Fermanagh. Belfast was also home in August 2013 to the annual World Police and Fire Games. This year’s WPFG, a biennial event for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers, has been called the ‘friendliest Games ever.’ With 67 countries and 41 venues across Northern Ireland participating, The Games hopes to leave a lasting legacy of awareness and community interaction.

Titanic Belfast

The Titanic Visitor Experience History buffs simply cannot miss one of Belfast’s largest and most interesting attractions: The Titanic Belfast. Opened in the Titanic Quarter in April 2012, it has instantly become a must-see for all visitors, young and old. This six-story center presents an unparalleled look into the history, the tales and the life of the RMS Titanic. Through its many galleries and interactive exhibits, the Titanic Belfast not only narrates the story of the voyage of the Titanic and discovery of its remains on the ocean floor in 1985, but also offers a look into Industrial Era Belfast, the backdrop of the grand ship’s construction. With so much history to be told, the Titanic Belfast makes the journey back through time informative and exciting, engaging visitors to take an active part in discovering what intrigues them the most.


Derry-Londonderry, UK City of Culture 2013



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Northern Ireland is nothing if not scenic though some would argue that no place quite compares to the wonder of the Giant’s Causeway. For centuries this piece of the northeast coast has inspired legend, captivated scientists and amazed admirers from all corners of the world. Lined against the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the Causeway is an area of 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns. With a new award-winning Causeway Coast Visitor Center open since June 2012, there is no better time to hear the folklore and walk along those mysterious columns for yourself!

At the edge of a basalt cliff on the coast is the at first puzzling scene of Dunluce Castle. This medieval ruin seems to grow like an old stone tree right out of the ground. Its steep walls and high towers are a sight to see. With the blues and grays of the sea stretched out beyond the cliff, nothing compares to the picturesque ruins of Dunluce. Of course, after taking in the views and feeling the cool Atlantic winds off the coast, a nice Irish whiskey is just the thing to relax and warm up. Bushmills’ Old Distillery, the oldest distillery in the world, is located in the town of Bushmills just a few miles from the Giant’s Causeway visitor center and offers tours of the distilling process that creates that legendary Bushmills taste.

Dunluce Castle

Finding Westeros: A Home for Game of Thrones Northern Ireland feels like the epicenter of all things Game of Thrones. The hit HBO epic fantasy series, based on the books by George R.R. Martin, has taken the world by storm winning the hearts of fans and quite a number of awards, too. Aside from the gorgeous landscapes, there’s another good reason that Northern Ireland was chosen as the backdrop of this beloved story: the castles. All throughout the countryside these authentic structures can easily catapult your imagination right into rolling hills, stunning cliffs and all across the mythical land of Westeros. For fans of fire and ice, there is a world of magic waiting to be seen. Just south of Belfast, 18th-century Castle Ward is one of the great monuments to Northern Ireland of yesteryear. This towering relic was converted to create the town of Winterfell. Castle Ward’s grounds are a real-life wonderland with beautiful walking trails, an exotic garden and lovely little farmyard. More memorable sites from the show are along the Causeway Coast. By the rock-strewn hills of Antrim’s Larrybane Chalk Quarry, the GOT cast and crew filmed Renly Baratheon’s massive army camp sequences. And just nearby another familiar setting for fans, the cliff top of Murlough Bay, served as the setting of the scene of the Baratheon brothers meeting. But, of course, as any fan can tell you the mystical world of Game of Thrones would not be complete without the looming threat of the dreaded White-Walkers. Tollymore Forest Park played the backdrop to the unforgettable moment when fans were given a first glimpse of the White-Walkers.

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

Tollymore Forest Park



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Home of Champions


o compact with a great variety of landscapes, Northern Ireland is a dream destination for golfers. With courses that peak on grand sea cliffs and dip into the quiet lakeside greens, the challenge and thrill of Northern Ireland’s golf circuit leaves no mystery as to why it is the home of champions like Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell. Two links courses, Royal Portrush and Royal County Down, are just a sampling of why Northern Ireland is a golfer’s paradise. In McDowell’s hometown of Portrush is one of Northern Ireland’s most beloved courses, the Royal Portrush Golf Club. Host to last summer’s Irish Open, Royal Portrush has

been praised by golfers and fans alike as a truly magnificent course and is a favorite of former President Bill Clinton and Rory McIlroy. Another highlight of Northern Ireland’s impressive golf scene is Royal County Down, which lies nestled at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne. It is one of the finest courses in the world. With the crisp air rolling in off the Irish sea, the course is located in the little town of Newcastle a short 30 miles from Belfast. Royal County Down Golf Club features rugged sand dunes, naturally green fairways and its fair share of blind drives and a few points of friction to keep golfers on their toes.

Plan Your Trip For more information and great vacation offers visit ireland.com/northernireland. Above: Royal Portrush Cover: The Giant’s Causeway All photos courtesy of Tourism Ireland Written by Tara Dougherty Designed by Marian Fairweather 24 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

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“Ireland will always be my home, somewhere I’m always excited to return to. I now appreciate the beauty of the country, and my friends and family more, knowing they are there waiting whenever I visit.” – Mark Kelly


Kathleen Kelley

Mark Kelly

Shaun Kelly

Queen Anne’s Gate Capital Management

Teewinot Capital Advisors


Kathleen Kelley is founder and chief investment officer of Queen Anne’s Gate Capital Management, a discretionary global macro hedge fund with a commodity focus that launched in September 2012. Kathleen has over 20 years of experience in global macro research and portfolio management across such firms as Kingdon Capital Management, Vantis Capital and Tudor Investment Corporation. She holds a B.A. in economics with a minor in math from Smith College and a General Course Degree from the London School of Economics. Kathleen serves on the North American Advisory Board of the LSE, the Smith Investment Committee and a number of non-for-profit boards. She is also a cofounder of High Water Women. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Tipperary and Killarney, Kathleen says “My Irish heritage has always been a big part of my family’s identity. We grew up going to Irish step dance lessons, parties at the Knights of Columbus and Clancy brothers concerts.”

Dublin-native Mark Kelly is chief financial officer & chief compliance officer at Teewinot Capital Advisors. He joined the company in May 2008, as chief financial officer, and was charged with all financial and regulatory oversight. Mark’s financial education began at National University of Ireland, Maynooth where he received a joint Honors B.A & an M.A. in economics and finance. Post graduation, he worked for BISYS Hedge Fund Services Ltd., in Bermuda, and went on to join 1861 Capital Management, LLC, where he served as the head of operations and managed the operations department of a Municipal Bond Arbitrage hedge fund. He also participated in the Investor Relations group, where his responsibilities included client and prospect communication and due diligence. Born in Dublin, Mark grew up in Craughwell, Co. Galway. He thinks of Ireland as home, somewhere he is always excited to return to. “I now appreciate the beauty of the country, and my friends and family more, knowing they are there waiting whenever I visit,” he says. He is an ardent supporter of the Irish relief organization Concern Worldwide.

Sean Kilduff UBS Private Wealth Management As senior vice president of Investments at UBS Private Wealth Management, Sean focuses on managing risk and delivering objective based solutions to high net worth individuals and families. He serves as a senior portfolio manager in the Portfolio Management Program, concentrating on developing customized investment strategies that utilize tactical allocations. Born and raised in New York, Sean is a graduate of St. John’s University with a B.S. in finance. He began his career at Lehman Brothers and spent nine years at Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management before moving his team and practice to UBS Private Wealth Management. Sean’s mother was born and raised in Dublin and his father is from Westmeath. He notes, “Having visited my grandmother in Dublin often, Ireland has been apart 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.

Shaun Kelly is vice chair – operations for KPMG LLP, responsible for the execution of the firm’s financial plan. In October 2010 he was appointed chief operating officer, Americas. In this position, he works with the leaders of the KPMG International member firms to align their respective strategies, structure and plans. 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. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce, first class honors from University College, Dublin, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, and a certified public accountant. He is treasurer and member of the executive committee of Enactus, co-chair of KPMG’s Disabilities Network, and a member of KPMG’s Diversity Advisory Board. He also serves on the North American Advisory Board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, and on the board of directors of the Irish Arts Center in New York. Shaun and his wife, Mary, who is from Donegal, live in Connecticut. They have four children.

Barbara G. Koster Prudential Financial, Inc. Barbara G. Koster is senior vice president and chief information officer for Prudential Financial, Inc., and head of the Global Business & Technology Solutions Department. In addition, she is chairman of the board of Pramerica Systems Ireland, Ltd., and founding member of Prudential Systems Japan, Ltd., both technology subsidiaries of Prudential Financial. Barbara joined Prudential in 1995 as VP and CIO in Individual and Life Insurance Systems. She previously held several positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, including president of Chase Access Services. In 2013, Barbara was inducted into Junior Achievement’s New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, NJ Biz newspaper named her one of the “Fifty Best Women in Business.” She was named CIO of the Year in 2008 by the Executive Council and listed among the top Executive Women of New Jersey. Barbara received the 1999 Women in Science and Technology award from the Smithsonian Institute and she serves on the boards of trustees of Liberty Science Center in New Jersey and St. Francis College. She also is a member of Executive Women in NJ and Research Board, an international think tank. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Cork and Tipperary, Barbara has a B.S. in business administration and an Associate of Science degree in computer technology from St. Francis College, from which she also holds an honorary doctorate. Barbara and her husband, Robert, have two daughters, Kathryn and Diana. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 63

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WALL STREET Sean M. Lane U.S.Trust, Bank of America Sean Lane is a senior vice president and private bank team leader at U.S. Trust, Bank of America. He is responsible for growing and managing client relationships and identifying, formulating and delivering wealth management solutions to high-networth individuals, families, and nonprofit clients. Sean holds an honors post-graduate diploma in business and a B.A. in French and English literature from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and is a board member of the University’s foundation. He holds both the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Financial Planner designations. A first-generation Irish American born in New York, Sean is vicechairman of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Foundation, a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the AOH, and the American Ireland Fund. He also holds a blackbelt in Judo. His mother hailed from Co. Mayo; his father from Galway. Sean lives in Garden City, N.Y. with his wife, Cielo, and their two children, Sarah and Ryan.

“My Irish heritage has taught me to laugh often and embrace opportunity because many before me, like my parents, made personal sacrifices to pave the way.” – Tara McCabe

Lance F. Lonergan

Rob MacGoey

Weeden and Co.

Rob MacGoey is partner in PwC’s Banking and Capital practice. He is a graduate of the Waterford Institute of Technology, and the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is a CPA in New York. A native of County Clare, Rob immigrated to the U.S. ten years ago and serves as the chairman of the American Ireland Fund’s New York Steering Committee. He speaks gratefully of his Irish heritage, saying “It never ceases to amaze me the passion that so many people feel for a country where they are often generations removed from their Irish-born ancestors. There is a great pride and sense of loyalty among the Irish diaspora; we have benefited from the reputation we have inherited and so have a responsibility to protect it for future generations.” Rob lives in New York City with his wife, Clare.

Lance Lonergan is the co-CEO and senior managing partner at Weeden and Co., a full-service institutional broker headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. Prior to joining Weeden, Lance worked at CitiGroup as head of U.S sales and trading. He is a graduate of Penn State University with B.S. and M.B.A. in finance. He was a member of Penn State’s National Championship football team in 1986 and worked as a graduate assistant coach while earning his M.B.A. Lance was elected to the Penn State President’s Circle and currently sits on the board of directors of both Weeden and Co. and Pragma Securities. Lance resides in Connecticut with his wife, Anne, and four children, Lance Jr., Meghan, Claire and Max. He is a secondgeneration Irish American with ancestors from Tipperary on his father’s side and Longford on his mother’s side. Of his Irish heritage, Lance says, “it is the foundation for everything I believe in my convictions, my ambitions, and my sense of honor to do the right thing.”

Tara A. McCabe Permal Group Tara McCabe joins the Permal Group in September 2013 as senior vice president of product development and marketing. Prior to joining Permal, Tara was with Morgan Stanley for 15 years, most recently as an executive director in Alternative Investments and previously chief administrative officer of Client Solutions and Investment Products. Tara began her career with Prudential. In recent years, Tara has earned laurels from numerous organizations, being named the Irish Arts Center Young Patron Honoree in 2012, a Woman of Influence by the Irish Voice and Top 40 Under 40 by the Irish Echo. Business and Finance named her One to Watch on the Most Influential U.S.-Irish Business Leaders for 2008, and in 2006 she was honored as the American Ireland Fund’s first Young Leader of the Year and continues to shape the growth of the Young Leaders. She is on the board of directors of the American Ireland Fund, a patron of the Irish Arts Center, and on the advisory committee for Cristo Rey High School. A first-generation Irish American with both parents from Leitrim, Tara earned her B.A. from College of the Holy Cross and studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway. For Tara, her Irish heritage has “instilled a strong work ethic and passion to embrace opportunities.” 64 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013


Robert J. McCann UBS Group Americas Bob McCann is the CEO of UBS Group Americas and Wealth Management Americas. He is also a member of the Group Executive Board of UBS AG. He leads a workforce of more than 20,000 people and is responsible for executing a cross-divisional strategy to fully integrate UBS’s platform for the benefit of individuals, corporations, institutions and governments. He serves on the Executive Committee of the board of directors for the American Ireland Fund, is vice chairman of the board of trustees of Bethany College, and is a member of the board of trustees of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. A third-generation Irish American with roots in Co. Armagh, Bob received his B.A. in economics from Bethany College and an M.B.A. from Texas Christian University. He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland. Bob and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters.

THE SECRET TO SUCCESS CAN BE SUMMED UP IN ONE WORD — EXCELLENCE. At BNY Mellon, we are proud to recognize the outstanding accomplishments and success of the best and the brightest Irish-American and Irish-born leaders of the financial industry. We extend our congratulations to all honorees for their hard work and dedication.

And we proudly recognize James O’Donnell, Managing Director and Global Head of Investor Sales and Relationship Management at CitiGroup.


©2013 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

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“My grandparents came to New York from Ireland and Scotland and started families who worked hard to succeed and take care of each other, and did it all with a twinkle in their eyes.” – Henry Mulholland

Sean M. McCooey

Melissa McGowan

Thomas E. McInerney

Pulteney Street Capital, LLC

Avenue Capital Group

Bluff Point Associates Corporation

In 2012, Sean M. McCooey founded Pulteney Street Capital Management, LLC and is currently a managing member of the Madison Avenue hedge fund. He has been a registered representative of SEC-registered broker-dealer Concept Capital Markets, LLC since 2009, when he also became a partner with the company. For nine years, Sean was the governor of the New York Stock Exchange, and from 1988 to 1994 he was an NYSE floor official. From 2003 to 2006, he co-chaired the New Broker Orientation Committee and from 2005 to 2006, he cochaired the Hybrid Rules Committee. A fourth-generation Irish American, Sean graduated with a B.A. in economics from Hobart College in upstate New York and went on to be an independent broker on the trading floor under his own company, Sean M. McCooey & Co. Sean is a member of the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation. He and his wife, Jane, have three children, Bryan, Kellen, and Brendan.

Melissa McGowan joined global investment firm Avenue Capital Group in 2008 and is currently a vice president. In this role, she has primary responsibility for investor relations and marketing. Prior to joining Avenue, Melissa worked for Merrill Lynch as a controller in their Equity Derivatives Group. There, she was responsible for analyzing and accounting for a proprietary derivatives portfolio. She was also an analyst in Equity Management Reporting at Morgan Stanley. A native of California, Melissa received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Syracuse University, from which she graduated cum laude in 2005. Melissa says that the meaning she finds in her Irish heritage is best summed up by the famous Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright and poet Oliver Goldsmith (1730 – 1774), who wrote “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

Thomas E. McInerney is the CEO of Bluff Point Associates, a private equity firm based in Westport, Connecticut. Prior to Bluff Point, Tom worked as a general partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. A graduate of St. John’s University with a B.A. in literature, Tom attended New York University Graduate School of Business and began his career at the American Stock Exchange, serving as senior vice president of Operations and Technology. Tom is on the board of trustees at St. John’s University, and in 2001, St. John’s awarded him an honorary doctorate of commercial science. He also received the University Gold Medal, St. John’s highest alumnus award. Tom is a board member for the Institute for Catholic Schools and is on the board of IrishCentral. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Clare and Cork, he believes that “the contributions that Ireland has made to the world are astounding for a nation of about four million people.” He and his wife, Paula, have five children.

Brian T. Moynihan Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan is the CEO and a member of the board of directors of Bank of America, one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Brian joined Bank of America in 2004 following the company’s merger with FleetBoston Financial and became CEO in 2010. He is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Notre Dame Law School. In 2010, he was elected a trustee of the Corporation of Brown University. In May 2012, Brian received the American Ireland Fund’s Leslie C. Quick Junior Leadership Award. In accepting the award, he talked about his heritage as a fourth-generation Irish American whose ancestors emigrated from Ireland to upstate New York in the 1850s. “The fighting spirit that led our relatives to come to America with little or nothing…that spirit is deeply ingrained in all Irish Americans. Hard work, tenacity and drive to do the right thing is something that serves us in good stead.” 66 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Henry W. Mulholland Bank of America Merrill Lynch As managing director and head of Americas Equities at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Henry W. Mulholland is responsible for the firm’s sales, trading and related risk management activities throughout the region. Since Henry joined Merrill Lynch in 1990, he has held a number of senior trading positions in New York and London. Prior to his role as head of Americas Cash Equities, he served as head of Americas Sector Trading from 2004 to 2011. He began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in New York after receiving his B.A. in economics from the University of Virginia. The many industry committees Henry has served on over the years include the Market Performance and Upstairs Advisory committees of the New York Stock Exchange. Born in the Bronx, Henry is a second-generation Irish American on his father’s side, and second-generation Scottish American on his mother’s. Of his grandparents, who emigrated from Connemara and Glasgow respectively, Henry says he is “proud” to be descended from such strong stock who “started families, who worked hard to succeed and take care of each other, and did it all with a twinkle in their eye.”

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

 Fidelity Investments is proud to sponsor: ®

Irish America magazine’s Wall Street 50

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

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WALL STREET Conor Murphy MetLife In 2012, Conor Murphy was named senior vice president and CFO of MetLife’s Latin American Operations. MetLife is the largest life insurance company in Latin America. He was concurrently named CFO of MetLife’s new U.S. Sponsored Direct Marketing division. Since 2000, Conor has worked with MetLife, where he has had many jobs and twice as many bosses. He previously spent seven years with PwC, in New York, after spending five years with Grant Thornton in Dublin, Ireland. Conor is a founding trustee of Cristo Rey New York High School in Harlem and a past president of the Association of Chartered Accountants in the U.S. He is a member of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Conor is a native of Donegal, where the third generation of Murphys still runs the family store, “Murphy of Ireland.” He lives in Pelham, New York with his wife, Ani, and sons, Jack and Aidan. He says that he “foolishly still plays soccer on Sunday mornings, when he should really stick to golf.”

“[Being Irish] is the foundation for how I approach life and work. Key values ingrained in the Irish culture are hard work, building long term relationships, and sharing lessons learned with the next generation.” – Deirdre O’Connor

Kathleen Murphy

Declan O’Beirne

Fidelity Investments

Declan O’Beirne is vice president and CFO of John Hancock’s broker/dealers in the U.S., including Signator Investors, Inc., John Hancock Funds LLC, and John Hancock Distributors LLC. In addition, he serves as the CFO of two of John Hancock’s distribution companies: Signator Insurance Agency, Inc. and John Hancock Financial Network. Prior to joining John Hancock, Declan was CFO of GunnAllen Holdings, Inc. A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Declan holds a B.S. degree in accounting and has a FINRA Series 27 license. Born in Ireland, he now resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife, Leighanne, and two children, Colin and Ciara. Declan notes, “I am proud of my Irish heritage. It gives me a profound connection to a wonderful people and dynamic culture, and it is something I cherish sharing with my children and family.”

Kathleen Murphy is president of Personal Investing, a unit of Fidelity Investments – the largest mutual fund company in the U.S. She assumed her position in January 2009 and oversees more than $1.25 trillion in client assets, more than 14 million customer accounts and over 11,500 employees. Her business is the nation’s No.1 provider of individual retirement accounts (IRAs), the fastest growing major online brokerage company, the industry’s No. 1 most trusted brand and a leading provider of managed account programs and college savings plans. Prior to joining Fidelity, Kathy was CEO of ING U.S. Wealth Management. Before assuming that position, she was group president, ING Worksite and Institutional Financial Services. She began her career at Aetna where she spent 15 years. Kathy received her B.A. summa cum laude from Fairfield University and earned her J.D. with highest honors from the University of Connecticut. Fortune magazine named her one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women” in American business. She is a third-generation Irish American – her father’s family is from County Cork and her mother’s family is from Kerry. She is married with one son.

Orla Nallen BNY Mellon Orla Nallen is a managing director of BNY Mellon’s Asset Servicing Business. Prior to her current role, she was a senior sales manager tasked with growing the bank’s business with Fund of Hedge Funds. Orla has spent her career at the bank focused on broker dealers and alternative investment funds. Having begun her career in the Securities Industry Banking Division, she spent two years in the International Division. A native of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Orla attended the Shannon College of Hotel Management and Cornell University’s Executive Program. She joined BNY Mellon while completing her M.B.A. at Northeastern University. She is a member of the Woman’s Bond Club and is on the Steering Committee for the Bank’s Women’s Initiative. Orla co-authored The Hedge Fund of Tomorrow: Building an Enduring Firm with Casey, Quirk and Associates. Orla and her husband, Peter Sweeney, have two children, Breanna and Aidan. She has roots in Offaly on her father’s side and in Waterford on her mother’s side. 68 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

John Hancock

Deirdre O’Connor Och-Ziff Capital Management Deirdre O’Connor is a managing director at Och-Ziff Capital Management. Previously, she was a managing director in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs. She was the controller of Goldman Sachs Investment Strategies, responsible for $150 billion in assets under management. Deirdre is a fellow at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a member of the Chartered Global Management Accountants. She is on the board of the Women’s Bond Club and is also a board member of the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. Deirdre studied accounting at the Cork Institute of Technology. Born in Cobh, Co. Cork, she lives in New York City with her husband, Feargall, and their three children, Cliona, Colin, and Ava. Deirdre says that she is “extremely proud of her Irish heritage,” and calls it “the foundation upon which I approach life and work. Key values ingrained in the Irish culture are hard work, building long term relationships, and sharing lessons learned with the next generation.”

Well deserved. Buzzy  Geduld

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“As financial planners, we can educate our clients through stories. This art of storytelling evolved in Ireland and for that I am truly thankful.” – George Reilly

Thomas O’Connor

Michael Pryce

Wells Capital Management, Inc.

National Australia Bank

Thomas O’Connor is a managing director, senior portfolio manager and co-head for the Montgomery Fixed Income team at Wells Capital Management. Prior to joining the firm in 2000, Tom was a senior portfolio manager in charge of Agency mortgages at Vanderbilt Capital Advisors (formerly ARM Capital Advisors). Earlier, Tom was a senior trader of Agency mortgages in both a proprietary and market-making role at the Union Bank of Switzerland. He was also a senior trader at First Boston and Smith Barney. Tom has been in the investment industry since 1988. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont and has earned the right to use the CFA designation. A third-generation Irish American, Thomas’s patrilineal Irish roots lie in Ulster. He was born in Hempstead, NY and received his B.S. in finance from the University of Vermont. He has two children, Liam and Abigail.

Michael Pryce is head of portfolio risk management and director of financial institutions in New York for National Australia Bank (NAB), the largest financial institution in Australia, based on market capitalization and assets. He manages a multi-billion dollar portfolio of counter party credit and market risk for NAB’s U.S. Financial Institutions group of global banks, sovereigns and diversified financial institutions. Prior to joining NAB, Michael was a vice president at Credit Lyonnais and previously managed their Securities Lending Operation. Earlier in his career, he established and ran the Securities Lending Asia Desk at Bankers Trust. Michael is also President of HOPe (Helping Other People), a non-profit development organization that oversees capacity building projects in Ethiopia, South Africa, Peru and Costa Rica. He is a founding member of the Irish International Business Network in New York and a mentor in their Irish Executive Mentorship Program. He is involved in the Irish Business Organization and the University College Cork Alumni Association. Born in New York and raised in Ireland, Michael graduated from UCC with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and he also holds an M.B.A. from Fordham University, where he graduated with honors in finance. Michael and his wife, Emmy-winning producer Maura Kelly, reside in Westchester, New York.

Terrence Purcell State of Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds As principal investment officer for the $26.7 billion State of Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds (CRPTF), Terrence has primary responsibility for the CRPTF’s investments in hedge funds, private equity, real assets, venture capital and opportunistic investments. In addition, he assists in setting policy for the CRPTF’s public equity and emerging manager programs. Institutional Investor Magazine recently named Terrence as a 2013 Hedge Fund Rising Star. Prior to joining the CRPTF in early 2012, Terrence was managing partner of Purcell Capital Management LLC, a hedge fund firm he founded in 1998. A second-generation Irish American with roots in Kilkenny and Strabane, Terrence was born in Philadelphia. He earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Terrence and his wife, Kristin, live with their two daughters in Fairfield County. 70 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

George Reilly

Sean H. Reynolds

Reilly Financial Group

Lazard Asset Management, LLC

George Reilly is the senior financial planner and services executive at Reilly Financial Group, an office of MetLife in Piscataway New Jersey. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in business and economics and joined MetLife in 1993. He has been with the company ever since and has a long list of honors and accomplishments, including induction into the MetLife Hall of Fame, National Sales Achievement Award, Million Dollar Round Table, and life membership of the Chairman’s Council. He is also on the board of the Planned Giving and Estate Planning Committee’s Catholic Charity, is a member of the National Association of Industrial Office Properties and of the board for Somerset College. Born in Staten Island, New York to Jay and Paulette Reilly, George has a deep and abiding respect for his Irish ancestry. “I learned the importance of faith, work ethic, family, sense of humor and storytelling from my Irish relatives,” he said, relating that “as financial planners, we can educate our clients through stories. This art of storytelling evolved in Ireland and for that I am truly grateful.” George, whose grandfather was born in Co. Clare, lives in New Jersey with his wife, Ann, and his three daughters, Meg, Katie, and Trish.

As senior portfolio manager for all capital structure and convertible securities-based strategies with Lazard Asset Management in New York, Sean H. Reynolds manages $3 billion assets under management in hedge fund and alternatives investments, and is the recipient of several awards from Lazard Rathmore, including the Absolute Returns Arbitrage Fund of the Year in 2010. He joined Lazard in 2007 and prior to that worked as a portfolio manager for convertible arbitrage strategies at SAC Capital Management, and held a similar position at Clinton Group, Inc. He also worked for Deutsche Bank Securities. Sean was born in Drogheda, Co. Louth and says that his Irish heritage is “everything” to him. He is an alumnus of Trinity College Dublin, where he earned a B.A. in math and a B.A.I. (B.Sc) in engineering. He earned his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Sean is currently on the U.S. Advisory Board of TCD, the Hunstsman International Advisory board of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a board member of the international humanitarian agency GOAL U.S.A, Inc. He lives in Westchester County, New York.

UBS salutes the outstanding accomplishments and leadership of these individuals named to Irish America’s Wall Street 50 Robert J. McCann CEO of UBS Group Americas 1200 Harbor Boulevard Weehawken, NJ 07086 Sharon Sager Managing Director Private Wealth Management 299 Park Avenue New York, NY 10171 Sean Kilduff Senior Vice President–Wealth Management Private Wealth Management 299 Park Avenue New York, NY 10171 Tom Huvane Senior Vice President–Wealth Management 1251 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 ubs.com/fs

We will not rest ©UBS 2013. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. 1.00_Ad_7x9.875_WL0823_MccB

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“Being Irish you are associated with a global network of people with whom you share a rich cultural identity, something that I am incredibly proud of.” – Anita M. Sands

Brian Ruane

Tim Ryan PwC

BNY Mellon and Pershing, LLC

Tim Ryan is vice chairman and the Markets, Strategy and Stakeholders leader at PwC. He has over 25 years of diversified experience serving clients in the financial services industry in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to his current role, Tim led PwC’s Assurance practice. In addition, he led PwC’s Financial Services practice and its Consumer Finance practice. Tim was a member of PwC’s “Closing the Expectation Gap Committee,” which designed and implemented improvements to PwC’s audit process to address the expectations of constituents and accounting standards. He has also served on the U.S. board of partners and principals and the board’s admissions committee, the management evaluation and compensation committee, and the clients committee. Tim has also served on the network’s global board. Tim is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and New York, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He serves on the board of trustees for the Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society. A Boston native, Tim is a graduate of Babson College. He is the proud father of six children.

Brian Ruane is a member of the Executive Committee for Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, and a member of BNY Mellon’s Operating Committee. He is responsible for Broker-Dealer Services, U.S. Tri-Party Services, Derivatives Clearing and co-leads Pershing Prime Services. Prior to his current role, Brian was CEO of BNY Mellon’s Alternative Investment and Broker-Dealer Services. He is a member of the board of directors of BNY Mellon Clearing International Limited, and BNY Mellon’s Sovereign Wealth Advisory Group. He is also a member of the advisory board of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, from which he received an M.B.A. in international finance. Born in the U.S. and raised in Ireland, Brian is a graduate of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants in the U.K. and Ireland. His father comes from Crossmolina, Co. Mayo and his mother from Drumhaldry, Co. Longford. He and his wife, Anna, who is from Dublin, live in New York with their four children.

Sharon T. Sager UBS Wealth Management Sharon T. Sager is a managing director and private wealth advisor at UBS Private Wealth Management. A CIMA, she began her career in financial services in 1983 with Kidder Peabody & Co., which was acquired by Paine Webber Inc. and then by UBS. Barron’s has named her to its Top 100 Women Financial Advisors each year since its inception in 2006, and she was recently featured in Barron’s “Best Advice” column. 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 Remsenburg, Long Island. She is co-chairman of the of Overseers for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, secretary of the board for Careers Through Culinary Arts, a member of The Economic Club of New York and the Financial Women’s Association, and was a mentor with the CEOUBS Small Business Advisory Program. 72 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Anita M. Sands

Brian M. Travers

UBS Wealth Management

Managing partner at Travers & Associates, Brian M. Travers has extensive experience in life insurance, estate planning, charitable giving, and wealth transfer strategies. His firm works specifically with high net worth families to implement life insurance strategies, and assists in fundamental estate tax planning strategies that protect his clients’ heirs and their charitable interests. Born in Brooklyn, Brian is a third-generation Irish American on his father’s side. He is a member of the American Ireland Fund and supports a number of charitable causes. He is currently chairman of the Day One Foundation, which was recently established to assist underprivileged children gain access to health care and education. He is an active member of the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Task Force and the Wounded Warrior Project, which for a decade has aimed to create a network of support for America’s wounded soldiers. He and his firm support One Warm Coat and are partners with Men’s Warehouse National Suit Drive campaigns. Brian lives with his wife, Michelle, and their two sons, Nicholas and Brandon, in Kings Park on Long Island.

Anita M. Sands is the former chief operating officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas, where she most recently served as group managing director and head of Change Leadership. Previously, she was managing director, head of Transformational Management for Global Operations and Technology at Citigroup. Before moving to the U.S., Anita was at the Royal Bank of Canada, where in 2007, she was appointed as the youngest senior vice president in the history of the company. Anita was recently named one of “ The TEN to Watch” by Registered Rep. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics and a first-class honors degree in physics and applied mathematics from Queen’s University Belfast. She attended Carnegie Mellon University where, as a Fulbright Scholar, she graduated with a master’s in public policy and management. She is also a graduate of the London School of Music, and a former all-Ireland public speaking champion. She was born in Drogheda, Co. Louth. Anita received the 2012 Women of Concern Award from the Irish relief organization Concern Worldwide, U.S.

Travers & Associates, Inc.



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As Saratoga Springs celebrates 150 years of thoroughbred racing, Liz O’Connell tells the tale of John Morrissey, an Irish immigrant who organized, operated and had the vision to develop what is now one of the world’s greatest racecourses. scant month after the Confederate Army was pushed back at Gettysburg, the “swells” holidaying in Saratoga Springs, New York, flocked to the first thoroughbred race meet contested on the Union Avenue trotting track. It was August 1863 and the meet lasted four days. One hundred fifty years later, hundreds of thousands of fans trek annually to the peerless Saratoga Race Course, across the road from the site of those first races, for six weeks of the finest racing in America. John Morrissey would be proud. That



first, seminal meeting of thoroughbreds in 1863 was his brainchild that he organized, financed, operated and leveraged to immediate success. Charging $1 admission, Morrissey not only earned back his operating costs, he caught the interest of the men who would join him to form the Saratoga Association. Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, Leonard Jerome, William Travers, John Purdy and John Hunter were the socially prominent public face of the Saratoga Association. Morrissey knew his background was too hardscrabble to position Saratoga racing at the top of the elite racing circuit. However, he was a major

investor and the overall manager of the facility, ruling with the proverbial velvetgloved iron hand behind the scenes.

The Far Side of The Moon When John Morrissey was born in 1831 in Templemore, County Tipperary, the likelihood that in 32 years he would be running an elite race meet in upstate New York was as implausible as a Jules Verne adventure. In 1833, Timothy and Julia Morrissey, emigrated with their many daughters and only son, John. Eventually landing in Troy, New York, Timothy was a day-laborer providing a bare-bones existence for his family.



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and learning the ways of street fighting. In fact, his prowess with his fists led to work as a bouncer and security for any number of illicit enterprises. The docks and wharves along Troy’s riverfront offered larcenous, pugilistic, and romantic opportunities. Working on the docks and as a steamboat deckhand, Morrissey’s horizons were expanding. He met Susie Smith, the daughter of steamboat captain Levi Smith, fancied her and realized he would need to step-up in life to contend for her hand in marriage. Morrissey was ambitious. He taught himself to read and write in his teens. After a two-month stint in the lock-up for an assault charge, and his relationship with Smith on the rocks, Morrissey decamped from Troy to base himself in New York City. He had won fight after fight in Troy and sought professional fighting opportunities in New York. When he arrived in the city, however, he received a gang-beating so severe it took him weeks to recover. He vowed revenge upon his assailants and systematically found each of them and took his retribution. Morrissey’s size, skill and determination were noticed by Tammany Hall leaders, and he was engaged as an immigrant runner. As boats from Ireland docked at the wharves, Morrissey would meet the disembarking families and direct them to tenement housing. Soon enough, the new arrivals would be naturalized and become voters for Tammany politicians. Staying close to his fighting roots, Morrissey was also a “shoulderthumper,” a Tammany enforcer. This was the brutal era so accurately portrayed in the Martin Scorsese film, The Gangs of New York. It was during this period that Morrissey fought Tom McCann for the right to court Kate Ridgely. The brawlers overturned a woodstove, Morrissey was pinned to the coals and his clothes smoldered, giving him the sobriquet, “Old Smoke.”

Opposite page: The Club House at Saratoga Springs Race Course, circa 1900. Top: John Morrissey as a young man. Above: A photograph of the Race Course in the early 1900s.

At 12, young Morrissey went to work in the mills of Troy. His earnings were needed by his family, and he was uninspired in the classroom. As he grew and physically matured, Morrissey worked in Troy’s iron works becoming strong and impervious to physical stress. In his off-hours, Morrissey knocked about Troy and environs, leading a gang

Seeking Adventure and Fortune Looking for a big score, Morrissey hatched a plan to go to California for the gold rush. He and his companion, Daniel “Dad” Cunningham stowed away on a series of boats to make their way to San Francisco. On the final leg of the trip, Morrissey saw a cabin boy severely berated by the ship’s captain and stepped in to defend him. The captain demanded to see Morrissey’s ticket. Upon learning Morrissey was a stowaway, the captain threatened to drop him off ashore. However, the passengers were threatening to revolt and the captain wisely enlisted Morrissey to protect him — promising a cabin and ship-fare in return. Morrissey and Cunningham menacingly quashed the uprising with nary a blow. It turned out gold mining was not of interest to Morrissey. He preferred to profit from the miners coming back from the hills and provided them with gambling opportunities, mainly the card game faro. While in California, Morrissey won his first professional bare-knuckle fight in 1852 against George Thompson. Finally he had earned some money fighting and decided it was time to find bigger opportunities in New York. When he returned to New York, Morrissey bought into gambling houses, eventually starting his own. At the same time, he was back in the fold of Tammany Hall whose imprimatur protected his gambling endeavors. Fighting was still on his agenda though, and in 1853, a 37-round fight at Boston Corners, N.Y. against Yankee Sullivan gave him national champion bragging rights.

The Next Stage Morrissey had never gotten over Susie Smith, his first love, and when the couple got together again and married in 1854, Morrissey promised to give up fighting. His bride was a graduate of what is now the Emma Willard School in Troy. She demanded better from John and he complied. Throughout their marriage, the affection and devotion between the pair never paled. But there was one last fight for Morrissey. In 1858 he was badgered into meeting his childhood nemesis John “Benecia Boy” Heenan in the ring. The press keenly followed the preparations OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 75



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FAR LEFT: Barnstorming, with jockey Sean McDermott in the saddle, flies over the final fence to win The Michael D. Walsh Novice Stakes on Aug. 15th at Saratoga Race Course. LEFT: Jockey Paddy Young gives Mr. Hot Stuff a pat on the neck after winning the 18th running of The A.P. Smithwick on the afternoon of Aug. 1st at Saratoga Race Course. BELOW: Michael Dilger with horse Wired Bryan. SKIP DICKSTEIN/TIMES UNION

The Irish at






he bond between the Irish and horses transcends generations. Irish emigrants to the United States and Irish Americans alike, have always been drawn to horses and at Saratoga you will find them all. Some are owners, jockeys and trainers, and others are there simply for fun, to place a wager and enjoy the style. Michael Dilger left County Meath eight years ago to work with American trainer his dukes, and challenge all comers – because Todd Pletcher. This past January, Dilger he had “the blood of the fighting Irish struck out on his own and uses the Morrissey in his veins.” Kathleen is currently Saratoga Race Course as his northern tracing her family and Morrissey’s roots to home base.“It’s a good place to train horsverify the claim. es.We come in May and stay until the mid“The John Morrissey story emphasizes dle or end of October. Over here everytwo points: the Irish love affair with horses, body is based at the racetrack, you have and the contribution of Irish immigrants to access to the same veterinarians, the same American life,” said Brian Kavanagh, chief farriers that the top trainers have, so in a executive of Horse Racing Ireland and sense it’s a more level playing field guest speaker at the annual Jockey Club as it’s accessible to trainers starting roundtable in Saratoga Springs. He also out,” Dilger says. paid tribute to Morrissey’s home county. Over the meet’s opening week“Tipperary is at the heart of the Irish end Dilger, established himself by bloodstock industry, and it is highly winning the highly prized Sanford appropriate that it was a Tipperary-man Stakes with Wired Bryan. who had the vision to first develop what Meanwhile, Irish jockeys Sean is now one of the world’s greatest raceMcDermott and Paddy Young also courses,” says Kavanagh. had winners. Riding Brainstorming, “Morrissey’s story is that of the Irish McDermott, from Tralee, Co. Kerry, TOP: Aug. 8, 2013, members of the Boland School of Irish Dance perform during International Day at immigrant writ large,” says Ed Collins, won the Michael D.Walsh Novice Saratoga Race Course. ABOVE RIGHT: Brian chairman of the Irish American Heritage Stakes, while the Irish-born Paddy Kavanagh, Horse Racing Ireland’s chief executive. Museum in Albany. “Anyone who needs ABOVE LEFT: Sisters, Kathleen and Laurie Cronin, Young, who makes his home in strike a glamorous pose. to be reminded about the lives of our Unionville, PA, rode Mr. Hot Stuff to Irish immigrant ancestors who struggled a win the 18th running of the A.P. Smithwick. to help make America what it is today, need only spend a Opening day at Saratoga, is a feast of great racing and great few hours tracing the footprints of Morrissey,” he added. fashion. In recent years, a return to bygone style has been The Irish American Heritage Museum is celebrating the150th embraced by race-goers. While not as over-the-top as the chaanniversary of thoroughbred racing in Saratoga Springs, with an peaus at the Kentucky Derby, Saratoga keeps the edge with exhibition on John Morrissey. New York chic. Albany’s Kathleen Cronin sports to-die-for hats as part of her track ensembles. Cronin met her husband,Thomas Carr, at a Saratoga race day party, and they have made it an annual event ever since. According to Cronin family lore, when grandfather was feeling feisty he would roll up his sleeves, put up


For more on the Irish American Heritage Museum, located at 370 Broadway in the heart of downtown Albany, visit: http://www.irishamericanheritagemuseum.org



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Back then, no matter how successful or useful John Morrissey became, he could not overcome the pervasive discrimination against the Irish.

for the fight, noting that Susie had given her permission for one last battle. To circumvent the New York laws against fighting, the pair met in Long Point, Canada. Morrissey won in 11 rounds and retired permanently from the ring. Turning his attention to his gambling enterprises and political affiliations, Morrissey amassed a fortune. It was time to start thinking about his legacy to his son, John Morrissey, Jr., born in 1855. Eventually, Morrissey upgraded his gambling and faro houses to elegant, well appointed casinos. With cash in hand, he played the stock market and sought to join the ranks of the gentlemen who ran New York. Morrissey struck up a friendship with Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, a sportsman and gambler as well as a game-changing transportation titan. Vanderbilt gambled in Morrissey’s establishments and Morrissey picked up stock tips from Vanderbilt. The two men got along well. Vanderbilt was a tall, athletic man who was entirely self-made. His advantage over Morrissey was that he was born in America. Back then, no matter how successful or useful John Morrissey became, he could not overcome the pervasive discrimination against the Irish. Nonetheless, it was this basis of mutual like and trust that would serve both Morrissey and Vanderbilt well when they formed the Saratoga Association.

Ah, Saratoga! The summer of 1861 saw Susie and John Morrissey visit Saratoga Springs. Morrissey was casing out the town to set up a casino – the place was perfect, it was full of well-heeled vacationers with time and money. Morrissey opened a gambling house conveniently near the train station. Morrissey’s casino operated during the evening and night hours. To keep his clients and their wives happy, they need-


Powerful Friends

ed more diversions than the mineral springs during the day. This is where founding and running the Saratoga Race Course comes in. It gave people something fun to do. Going to the races was a means of daytime gambling, and kept visitors in town so they could frequent Morrissey’s casino at night. Later on, needing another daytime diversion, Morrissey also founded and ran regattas on Saratoga Lake. Perfect! As he grew wealthier, Morrissey wielded considerable influence in politics and government circles. Still loosely affiliated with Tammany, he ran for Congress in New York’s 5th District in 1867 and won. Finally, he had a job that was legal and something he could proudly present to his son. Morrissey was easily re-elected to a second term. At last, tiring of the corruption rampant in Tammany Hall, he split to join the reformers in the Young Democracy in 1870. He did not seek re-election to Congress for a third term. As John, Jr. grew older, he was afforded the privileges of wealth. He was well schooled and enjoyed an active life. There are stories of him owning trotting horses and of rowing in regattas on Saratoga Lake. He played baseball and

was a member of a social club. Even though the father was still kept at arms length by the so-called elite, John, Jr. was a card carrying member of the young smart set. In 1871 Morrissey opened his chef d’oeuvre, the Club House. Designed, built, and outfitted to be a gambling palace, the Club House drew the movers and shakers of the day. To keep peace in Saratoga Springs, Morrissey did not allow locals nor women to gamble there, and he was generous to local philanthropies and causes. He endowed schools, rescued homes from foreclosure, and donated to churches. His charity was wide reaching. There is a record of a donation of $500 to build the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles, Tipperary. Like a dog with a bone, Morrissey could not give up politics. He ran for New York State Senate in 1875 and won on an anti-Tammany platform. He ran from another district and won in 1877.

A Great Loss By this time, despite all his success, Morrissey had experienced his greatest loss. His son John, Jr. died of Bright’s Disease on Jan. 1, 1877. It was a blow, hard to recover from for his parents. During a hard fought 1877 campaign for office, Morrissey’s health began to fail. After the election he went south for the winter, returning to New York in the spring no better. Morrissey wanted to return to Saratoga, for better or worse. He, Susie and a retinue of friends and family retainers stayed at the Adelphi Hotel. He died there on May 1, 1878, holding the hand of a priest. The citizens of Saratoga paid their respects. Morrissey’s remains were taken to Troy where thousands of people streamed past the casket on view at his mother-in-law’s Troy manse. From there, to the church to the cemetery, the streets were lined with the working people that John Morrissey championed, who treasIA ured him in return. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 77



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Ellin Mackay and Irving Berlin.

Irving Berlin and Ellin Mackay put aside their differences in culture, background and age to form one of the bestknown, enduring and loving relationships in New York social history. At the same time, the stories of the Berlin and Mackay families, which both started with brave immigrants taking a chance in America, are not so different as they first appear. By Michael Burke


heir whirlwind romance caused a media feeding frenzy on both coasts and extended as far as Europe, keeping the paparazzi in flashbulbs for over a year. Their semiclandestine affair was aided by several unlikely sources, from the bride’s estranged mother to the Prince of Wales. They evaded the ever-present press by eloping to New York’s City Hall on January 4, 1926, not using his chauffeured Minerva limousine, which was constantly followed, but by taking the subway – a first for the young heiress. Their tenminute wedding ceremony led to years of



controversy for the couple, who ultimately became one of the great love and success stories of the twentieth century. Their love endured for sixty-two years, ending only in 1988 with the death of Ellin Mackay, wife of Irving Berlin. Many parallels can be found in the widely differing histories of the Mackay and Berlin families, especially between those of Irving Berlin and John Mackay, Ellin’s grandfather. Both started out in similar circumstances, in abject poverty in nineteenth century Europe. John Mackay was born on November 28, 1831, a product of the slums of Dublin, Ireland, about as humble a beginning as one could imag-

ine at the time. Approximately sixty years later, in a very different but equally impoverished part of Europe, six-year-old Irving Berlin (then called Israel Baline) watched the only home he had ever known, located in the Jewish ghetto, burn to the ground at the hands of the Russian Cossacks. The Baline family: father, mother and seven children fled with only the clothes on their backs. They miraculously wound their way through Europe and finally landed in New York City. In 1840, at age nine, John Mackay also immigrated with his parents and a sister to New York City. Mackay pére died shortly thereafter, plunging the remaining family




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2 3


1. Harbor Hill, the house in Roslyn, Long Island where Ellin grew up. 2. Ellin and Irving on their honeymoon, January 1926. 3. With Mary Ellin and Linda, two of their three daughters. 4. The statue of John Mackay in front of the Nevada School of Mines. 5. Young Ellin and Irving. 6. The lavish Mackay mausoleum at Green-Wood Cemetery. 7. Ellin around the time she met Irving. 8. Clarence Mackay and Anna Case.









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members into extreme poverty. and then sleep until noon. This led to one able existence than she had ever known. As a child, John Mackay sold newspaof his most popular songs, describing his John proved to be extremely generous pers to help support his mother and sister. experience in the army in World War I: with his newfound wealth and treated his As soon as he was old enough to work, he “Oh, How I Hate To Get Up in The little stepdaughter as if she were his own, got a job in a shipyard, but at age twenty Morning.” eventually legally adopting her. The he left for California to try his luck in gold John Mackay was a quiet, polite, hardMackays moved into a comfortable house mining. Similarly, Irving Berlin lost his working man, who sometimes spoke with in San Francisco, where their first son, father, a cantor, at a young age. As the olda slight stutter. The statue of him in front John William, Jr. was born in 1870. est boy in the family he also first sold of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences They lived quietly and happily in San newspapers but then left school and took a and Engineering at the University of Francisco, with John gradually becoming job as a singing waiter at Mike Salter’s Nevada, by sculptor Gutzon Borglum of more of a corporate miner, although he Chinatown bar to support his mother and Mount Rushmore fame, depicts a sinewy, still often supervised his mining operasiblings. There he co-wrote, with another muscular man in miner’s clothes. He was tions personally. He also expanded into singing waiter, his first song – “Marie a liberally minded Roman Catholic, and banking. When the big silver was struck, From Sunny Italy.” also a member of the Freemasons. This their lives changed forever. They were Out West, John Mackay struggled in membership led indirectly to his marriage. soon one of the richest families in vain to find gold. Unfortunately, but not Louise Antoinette Hungerford was born in America. John became the Bill Gates or unexpectedly, he found very little and New York City but came out West as a Michael Bloomberg of his day. He turned soon left for Virginia City, Nevada. There child with her parents, who were searchto philanthropy, founding a Catholic he teamed up with three other Irishmen ing for a way out of their own poverty. At orphanage in Virginia City and the Opera (James Graham Fair, James C. House in San Francisco, Flood, and William S. O’Brien) to among many other works. form a mining corporation. The Louise wanted to return to her partners did achieve initial sucnative New York City and cess in gold and silver, enough to enter society, but their ethnicimake them all millionaires. But ty and religion – moreso than their 1873 discovery of the single their nouveau riche status – largest lode of silver ore in the stood in their way. Louise world, eventually known as the could be reluctantly accepted Comstock Lode, earned them the as a Catholic since she was of name The Silver Kings. They French and English descent, found it by digging down over a but social status for the wife of thousand feet in the Virginia an Irish Catholic was out of the Range, at Mackay’s insistence. question. In Silver Platter, her The amount of silver was later biography of her grandmother, described by a journalist as equal Ellin Mackay Berlin quotes to the size of New York’s City one of the New York snobs as RICHARD GUY WILSON: HARBOR HILL Hall Park (8.8 acres) and rising LIBRARY OF CONGRESS saying: “Mackay? Oh Irish, of 120 feet. Although estimates vary, John William Mackay and Louise Hungerford Mackay. course. They don’t even proby the time the ore was exhausted nounce it properly.” (John proit had yielded at least $190,000,000 worth sixteen she married a doctor and the future nounced his name MACK-ee as opposed of silver. It made Mackay wealthy beyond looked promising until he succumbed to to the Scottish pronunciation of machis wildest dreams. alcoholism and drug abuse and died at a KAY.) Furious at the treatment accorded Irving Berlin had his own version of the young age. Since the doctor was a memhis wife, John packed up his family and Comstock Lode with the song ber of the same Masonic Lodge as John moved to Paris where he bought one of the “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” which cataMackay, he and two others visited the city’s largest mansions, and Louise soon pulted him into a lifetime of artistic and widow after her husband’s death, bringing became one of the most popular hostesses financial success. With his first surge in with them a gift of money to tide her over in Parisian society. They then rented a secincome he bought a house in the Bronx during the difficult time. Louise politely ond house in London and became friends (then a fashionable suburb of New York declined their offer on the grounds that with the upper echelons of English society. City) for his mother. Although he never she could not accept charity and, although John would leave his family in Paris or learned to read or write music, Berlin she had a young daughter, she was deterLondon and commute across the Atlantic found his niche in writing popular songs – mined to somehow manage on her own. to take care of his now expanding business he would compose the melody by ear and John felt he could not let a beautiful empire. hire someone to write it out for him. While woman with that kind of character get Despite his wealth and success, John Irving achieved success early in his career, away. On November 27, 1866 John never lost his grit or moral compass. At he continually struggled to stay on top. William Mackay and Louise Antoinette one point, one of the infamous London Although the term was not coined in his Hungerford Bryant were married in tabloids tried to dig up dirt on the day, he could be described as a classic Virginia City, Nevada by the Rev. Father Mackays, targeting Louise in particular, workaholic. His work habits were unusual Manogue, a personal friend of both. accusing her of being a former “washer in that he would stay up all night working Louise moved into a much more comfortwoman.” Though a seamstress and 80 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013



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embroiderer in her youth she never actually took in wash, although neither honest occupation is anything to be ashamed of. John hired detectives to find the source of the rumor and when he located the cad, an unsuccessful businessman, in one of the banks of which Mackay was a director, he confronted him. Although several years the man’s senior, the still muscular fiftynine year old Mackay punched him twice in the face. He then challenged him to a fistfight, which the hapless slanderer wisely declined from his position on the floor. The Mackays sued the tabloid, won a large financial settlement, and donated it all to charity. In a later unfortunate incident, a failed miner unreasonably blamed John for his bad luck and shot him. The bullet went into his chest and out his back, but John survived. John William, Jr. was slated to take over his father’s enterprises, which grew to include the Postal Telegraph Company following one of his fathers major accomplishments: the laying of the second Atlantic Cable, by which he drastically reduced the price of telegraphic communications between the United States and Europe. However, tragedy stuck when young John was killed in a horse racing accident. His parents wanted him laid to rest in New York City and began the construction of what was, and still is, one of the most elaborate mausoleums in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. It is the only one built with electricity and a heating system so that the priests who prayed for John, Jr. (and ultimately the rest of the family) would be comfortable. A fund, which survives to this day, was set up to cover the costs. Back in New York with second son Clarence set to take over the vast Mackay empire, they bought a townhouse at 3 East 75th Street in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. When Clarence met and fell in love with a beautiful society heiress named Katherine Duer, John built them a fiftyroom mansion on Long Island’s North Shore as a wedding present. Named Harbor Hill and designed by the famous architect Stanford White of McKim, Mead and White, it became one of the social centers of New York High Society, which now welcomed the Mackays. Among their many guests were the Cole


Above: Clarence Mackay with his three children: Katherine, Ellin and John William. Left: Katherine Duer Mackay with a young Ellin, 1905.

Porters (Mrs. Porter, the former Linda Lee, was an old friend of the family’s), the F. Scott Fitzgeralds, the Charles Lindberghs and the Prince of Wales. Clarence always maintained that he was a devout Catholic, but that did not prevent him from marrying a Protestant. However, their differing religious views caused conflict throughout their marriage. After having three children with Katherine, Clarence developed throat cancer and was treated by the brilliant society doctor Joseph Blake. Upon his recovery, however, Clarence’s wife left him to marry Dr. Blake, abandoning her children in the

process. Clarence was left to raise his three children by himself (assisted, of course, by numerous servants) and Katherine went on to have four children with Joseph Blake. She then developed cancer of the eye, which her husband removed and replaced with a glass one. During her recovery her husband left her for her nurse. Clarence’s strict Catholicism forbade him from marrying again but somehow did not prevent him from having a long-standing affair with the opera singer Anna Case. Later, Katherine’s cancer returned, this time in her liver. During her illness she and Clarence became close again, which seemed to suggest that a remarriage might well be in store, until Katherine suddenly died in 1931. Her death freed him to marry Anna Case, who became the second Mrs. Mackay. Ellin Mackay, Clarence and Katherine’s middle child (her sister, Katherine, was OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 81



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older and her brother, John William, younger), grew up a pampered heiress; independent, headstrong and not a little flirtatious. She was enjoying the good life of a New York debutante when, at twentyone years of age, she attended a dinner party and met the already famous Irving Berlin. After that, nothing was to be quite the same. Irving, a widower fifteen years her senior, and Ellin soon became an item and the darlings of the press. Clarence, unaccustomed to defiance from anyone, was furious. He refused to speak of the affair. He considered Irving totally out of the question as a son-in-law, being, first of all, far older than his daughter and in the shady world of “show business,” not to mention Jewish. When talk of an imminent wedding surfaced Clarence’s only comment was “Over my dead body.” The wedding did occur, and rather than dying he disinherited the defiant Ellin. By the time Ellin and Irving wed, Berlin had long enjoyed success as a prosperous composer and songwriter. He owned the building in Manhattan where he lived and had his business offices, and was part owner of a Broadway theatre, the Music Box. In response to Clarence’s action, he immediately went to his attorney and signed over music rights to his wife. While Irving was not as wealthy as Clarence, far from it, the Berlins were hardly uncomfortable. Ellin never went one day in her life without at least one maid. While she had inherited money of her own, probably through her grandfather’s will, it was estimated that the marriage cost her nine million dollars. This was soon to prove a paper loss only. Clarence was considered an astute businessman, managing the vast Mackay enterprises. He completed the laying of the first Pacific cable, a project started by his father before his death in 1902. However, he later managed to make one of the most colossal financial blunders of the twentieth century. He sold his major holding, and source of income, The Postal Telegraph Company, to the newly formed conglomerate International Telephone and Telegraph Company, not for cash but for an enormous amount of stock, shortly before the market crash that led to the Great Depression. Clarence, who probably planned to live the rest of his life in retirement or at least semi-retirement, was now practically wiped out. He still had his fifty-room mansion but could now no longer pay his vast army of servants and had to move into his own gatehouse. Irving Berlin, also heavily invested in the 82 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

stock market, was financially hurt. He continued to work, however, and soon recouped his wealth. He also relied temporarily on his wife’s trust fund, which was conservatively invested and was practically unaffected by the market crash. The Berlins sailed through the Great Depression mostly unscathed. In fact, the music and movies created by such composers as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter became even more popular, and profitable, during that time as people sought relief from their worries and troubles by escaping into the fantasy lives of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, among others. Clarence managed to make a bit of a comeback, partially from the sale of his vast art and antiques collection. After he married Anna Case they lived together happily for a few years until his cancer returned. This time, however, even the best doctors could do nothing and

long career Irving Berlin became the most successful and beloved songwriter of the twentieth century. Like his wife’s grandfather, his generosity was unparalleled: among other things, he donated the proceeds from his second most popular song, “God Bless America,” to the Boy and Girl Scouts Fund. He was especially generous during World War II, with the profits of one of his most popular plays, This Is The Army, going to the Army Emergency Relief Fund, which assisted soldiers’ families. This show was extremely well received, playing on Broadway, touring throughout the country, playing in London and touring Britain and other Allied countries in Europe and the Pacific. This led to recognition from General Eisenhower, Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, Winston Churchill and even King George VI. Clarence eventually warmed up to Irving and Ellin. Unfortunately, this change of heart was precipitated by a tragedy. The couple’s only son, Irving, Jr., born on December 1, 1928, was found dead in his crib on Christmas Day. Ellin was devastated and Irving, equally distraught, did everything he could to console her. Clarence’s hostility cooled somewhat at the news of his daughter’s loss and he visited the couple, which later resulted in a complete reconciliation. Ellin and Irving were guests at Clarence and Anna’s wedding and the subsequent reception at Harbor Hill. During the entire time of Clarence’s hostility toward him Irving never retaliated nor showed Ellin and Irving at any signs of bitterness embracing their home on Manhattan’s their eventual friendship happily. Beekman Place, There is no such thing as a perChristmas 1963. fect marriage but Irving and Ellin MARY ELLIN BARRETT: IRVING BERLIN, A DAUGHTER’S MEMOIR Berlin’s survived for sixty-two Clarence died in 1938. His funeral at a years, which might be a record for a packed St. Patrick’s Cathedral was a “show business couple.” They overcame major, traffic-stopping event, with music the differences in their religious and ethby the New York Philharmonic, of which nic backgrounds. In fact, their marriage he had once been Chairman of the Board. probably set an example for many All during this time Irving Berlin’s “mixed-marriage” couples to follow in the career continued to thrive, leaving an future. Despite many challenges they indelible mark on American culture. Ellin remained devoted to each other until also distinguished herself as a writer, pubEllin’s death in 1988. Irving died the follishing three novels and the biography of lowing year, at age one hundred and one. her grandmother, Louise Mackay, in addiBecause they had still been estranged tion to many articles and short stories, espefrom Clarence at the time of Irving, Jr.’s cially for The New Yorker. Their daughter death, their baby was buried in Woodlawn Mary Ellin Barrett also became a writer, Cemetery, with Ellin’s mother’s family, turning out several books, including Irving rather than in the Mackay Mausoleum. Berlin, A Daughter’s Memoir, both a lovEllin and Irving chose to be buried in the IA ing and an unbiased account. During his same grave with their son.

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The Irish 69th

Fights Again As America reflects upon the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and its deciding turn at Gettysburg, thousands of Americans are donning the uniforms of yore as they re-enact the long war’s battles. Corinne Dillon talks to members of the 69th New York State Volunteer Historical Association about the continuing legacy of the Irish regiment. his year has been a busy one down in Gettysburg, with both the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary commemorations of the most famous Civil War battle itself (July1-3, 1863) as well as the sesquicentennial of the Gettysburg Address coming up on November 19th. An estimated 8,000 re-enactors from the Blue Gray Alliance participated in June events marking the battle, with thousands more living historians taking part in a separate series of re-enactments in early July. In addition, tens of thousands of spectators drove from as far north as Maine and as far south as Louisiana, the ladies in broad-brimmed bonnets and hoop



skirts, the gentlemen in period wool uniforms, to watch the mock battles with the famous names: Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, Pickett’s Charge. One hundred and fifty years after the fact, the annual Gettysburg re-enactments feel more county fair than battleground, with children slurping ginger beer and waving miniature Union and Confederate flags as the adults enjoy leisurely picnic lunches nearby. For many of the attendees, however, Gettysburg is a sacred place and one to which they feel a deep, personal connection. Bill Jenkins of Virginia, whose ancestor was one of the few survivors of Pickett’s Charge, brings his children to reenactments “to make sure they know, understand and are proud of who they

are.” He named his sons in honor of Confederate generals James Longstreet and Jeb Stuart. Jenkins’ strong sense of himself as a Southerner is matched by Mary and John Harper’s pride in their Pennsylvania roots. “My great-great grandfather fought at Gettysburg and ended up losing a leg the following year at Cold Harbor, so my wife and I attend the battle [re-enactment] every year to honor his sacrifice,” says John, a businessman from Scranton. “My participation is about preserving the memory of the soldiers, especially those who fell in battle, and honoring an earlier generation of 69th men,” says Ron McGovern, a New Jersey native and one of the soldier re-enactors. McGovern, a credit analyst, has spent much of his spare time over the past 20 years “sweating in wool,” re-creating some of the Civil War’s most famous battles. For McGovern and his colleagues who make up the 69th New York State Volunteer Historical Association, re-enacting is more than donning period uniforms, training to use a musket and camping out overnight on such hallowed ground as Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellor-



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Left to right: Members of the 69th NYSV Historical Association in a half plate tin type photograph by Robert Szabo. The U.S. flag and the flag of the Irish brigade fly together. The 69th NYSV Historical Society members marching in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.


sville. They work to preserve the memory of New York’s most famous Irish regiment, whose soldiers fought gallantly and died by the hundreds in the call to freedom. McGovern says he has felt a close connection to the regiment since he was a kid. “My dad showed us the James Cagney movie The Fighting 69th, and told us that as Irish Americans ‘this was our regiment,’” he says. “And ever since, I’ve felt that the sacrifices of these soldiers really embodied the Irish American experience.” So when he decided to explore his passion for Civil War history through re-enacting, there was never any question as to which regiment he would align himself with. In 1992, he founded the 69th New York State Volunteer Historical Association “to serve as a visual representation to the general public of the Irish soldier in the Union Army,” and ever since, the association has participated in countless battlefield re-enactments, living histories, and New York City’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. “Spectators can immediately identify us when we march beneath the green banner of the Irish Brigade,” says McGovern, referring to the Kelly green flag with the harp, shamrocks, and sunburst that the Brigade’s five Irish regiments – the 69th, 63rd and 88th New York Infantries, the 28th Massachusetts Infantry, and the 116th Pennsylvania – carried into battle. Even more potent than the symbolism of the flag’s visual elements, is the famous battle cry “Faugh a Ballagh” stitched into the banners. The Irish words translate as “Clear the Way.”

“The green flag really meant something to them,” says Dr. Patrick Griffin, Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. “These men knew they would have to take the worst positions, often in the center of the battlefield, often against great odds, but it was a sacrifice they had to be willing to make to stake out a place in American society.” They also knew that “fighting for American freedom was, in effect, fighting for Irish freedom,” says Griffin. They understood that “an American republic had to survive if there was ever going to be a free Ireland.”

The Irish on the Battlefields The Irish Brigade lost more than 60 percent of the 63rd and 69th regiments at the Battle of Antietam and suffered a 45 percent casualty rate just months later at Fredericksburg. By the time the Irish Brigade staggered off the field after participating in some of the fiercest fighting at Gettysburg in the Wheat Field and Devil’s Den skirmishes, they had lost 202 of the 530 men with whom they had gone into battle. At the end of the war, of the 7,715 men who served with the Brigade, 961 were dead, and nearly 3,000 were wounded. For their courage under fire, many were recipients of the Medal of Honor. In the 69th regiment alone, seven soldiers were so honored, including Private Timothy Donoghue. Born in Nenagh, County Tipperary, he joined Company B, 69th New York Infantry. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia on December, 13, 1862, Donoghue voluntarily carried a wounded officer off the field from

between the lines; while doing this he was himself wounded. “They felt they could never flinch before the enemy because they were fighting for something larger than themselves,” explains Griffin. The well-documented heroism of the nearly 150,000 Irish-born Union troops made it hard to ignore the contributions they made on the battlefield, and this reputation for bravery helped them gain acceptance into American society. The Irish Brigade was disbanded in 1864, and between 1917 and 1992 the 69th was also designated as the 165th Infantry. Its soldiers fought with distinction in WWI and WWII. Headquartered at the 69th Armory in Manhattan, the 69th currently consists of a single light infantry battalion (1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment) and is part of the 27th Infantry Brigade of the 42nd Infantry Divisions. The regiment has seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bringing the Flag Home When President John F. Kennedy visited Ireland in June, 1963, he presented Eamon de Valera with one of the flags under which the 69th fought so valiantly. In his address to the Irish Parliament, President Kennedy spoke movingly of the bravery of the soldiers: “The 13th day of September, 1862, will be a day long remembered in American history. At Fredericksburg, Maryland, thousands of men fought and died on one of the bloodiest battlefields of the American Civil War. One of the most brilliant stories of that day was written by a band of 1,200 men who went OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 85



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into battle wearing a green sprig in their hats. They bore a proud heritage and a special courage, given to those who had long fought for the cause of freedom. I am referring, of course, to the Irish Brigade. “General Robert E. Lee, the great military leader of the Southern Confederate forces, said of this group of men after the battle: ‘The gallant stand, which this bold brigade made on the heights of Fredericksburg is well known. Never were men so brave. They ennobled their race by their splendid gallantry on that desperate occasion. Their brilliant, though hopeless, assaults on our lines excited the hearty applause of our officers and soldiers.’ “Of the 1,200 men who took part in that assault, 280 survived the battle. In the fall of 1862, after serving with distinction and gallantry in some of the toughest fighting of this most bloody struggle, the Irish Brigade was presented with a new set of flags. In the city ceremony, the city chamberlain gave them the motto ‘The Union, our Country, and Ireland Forever.’ Their old ones having been torn to shreds by bullets in previous battles, Captain Richard McGee took possession of these flags on September 2nd in New York City and arrived with them at the Battle of Fredericksburg and carried them in the battle. Today, in recognition of what these gallant Irishmen and what millions of other Irish have done for my country, and through the generosity of the Fighting 69th, I would like to present one of these flags to the people of Ireland.”

The Fighting 69th Today Lieutenant Colonel James Gonyo may not be Irish by birth, but as Battalion Commander of the Lexington Street Armory in New York City, home to the Fighting 69th since 1904, he is certainly Irish by conviction. A 23-year Army veteran who served in Iraq, Gonyo has worn many hats over the course of his distinguished career, but says that the 69th is “a defining kind of unit” and that “the proud history, the fighting spirit and, in fact, the whole atmosphere of the regiment, is absolutely unique.” A tour of the Armory only serves to highlight Gonyo’s claim that the 69th is immersed in history – both its own and that of the country as a whole. The Armory is a treasure-trove of 69th memo86 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

Clockwise: The New York 69th infantry battalion march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with Irish wolfhounds – the company’s mascots. The Irish Brigade memorial at Gettysburg. The 69th insignia bears the motto “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” The flag flies in Afghanistan. PHOTOS COURTESY OF LT. COL JAMES GONYO

rabilia, everything from the actual flags that its men carried into battle during the Civil War, to a framed photograph of President John Kennedy’s address to the Irish Parliament. Gonyo says an integral part of his job is knowing – and sharing – the regiment’s history with its own soldiers and the public alike, which is why he welcomes the involvement of the 69th New York Historical Association’s re-enactors. “They are absolutely immersed in the history of the regiment and are able to help us tell our story to the public. They take something that doesn’t make sense when you read it in a book or on the web and bring it alive for people.” Re-enactors like Steve O’Neill understand the kind of impact that passionate living historians can have on those who attend the re-enactments, and on the re-enactors

themselves. Steve’s son, Michael, now 31-yearsold, is the one who convinced his dad to join the 69th Historical Society with him when he was just nine. And it was Michael’s time with the 69th reenactors that inspired his real-life service: a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, the younger O’Neill served with the 1st Armored Division and is now attending college on the GI Bill. He is also a enlisted with the actual 69th National Guard unit. Michael O’Neill happens to be IrishAmerican, but most members of the 69th today are not necessarily of Irish descent. According to Gonyo, however, “you can’t help but bleed green when you leave here. Regardless of where you are from or your background, we all become ‘Irish’ when we serve in the Regiment.” IA

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Nation at War An exhibition on the Civil War, featuring photographs by Mathew Brady,Timothy O’Sullivan and others, and a new biography of Brady, are reviewed by Tom Deignan.


ne of the most chilling portraits in the exhibition “Photography and the American Civil War” – which just finished a five-month run at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art – is also one of the most seemingly banal. The mustachioed fellow in the photo is striking, with a full head of black hair, and a spotted neck tie. His hand fashionably rests inside his lapel. The picture is credited to photographic pioneer – and son of Irish immigrants – Mathew Brady. In an exhibition that features gruesome photos of the dead at Gettysburg, as well as slaves scarred by abusive masters, it’s hard to see how this portrait of a dashing young man could carry any emotional impact whatsoever. That is, until you see the fellow’s name: John Wilkes Booth. The photo was taken before the acclaimed Shakespearean actor assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in the final days of the war. The casual nature of the photo makes the actions of Booth and his co-conspirators seem all the more chilling. More broadly, thanks to Brady and his team of photographers – including Irish immigrant Timothy O’Sullivan and Scottish immigrant Alexander Gardner – we are able to better comprehend the full horror of the Civil War. The exhibition examines the important, if generally misunderstood, role played by Brady in conceiving the first extended photographic coverage of any war. It also addresses the widely held, but inaccurate belief that Brady produced most of the surviving Civil War images. Although he actually made a few field photographs during the conflict, he commissioned and published, under his own 88 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

name and imprint, negatives made by an ever-expanding team of field operators, chief among them being Gardner and O’Sullivan. The curators also acknowledge that many of the more famous photos Brady and his team took were staged. (A writer for The Wall Street Journal wondered “how much of Brady’s wartime product – and how much of the output of his fellow photographers – presents an honest view of the brutal strife and how much instead is tendentious fabrication.”) But, I for one, found it impossible not to be moved by the images in this collection. The battlefield dead and the shocking portraits of the maimed and injured garner the most attention, but there Abraham Lincoln by Mathew B. Brady. The photograph are also poetic landscape was taken three months before Lincoln’s nomination shots, made all the more as the Republican Party candidate for president. He visited New York City on February 27, 1860, to deliver evocative by the knowledge a powerful anti-slavery lecture at the Cooper Institute, that they were the sites of using these closing words: “Let us have faith that right some of the bloodiest battles. makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare do our duty as we understand it.” Earlier in the day Constrained as they were to Lincoln sat for this portrait at Mathew B. Brady’s by the limits of the equipment gallery on Broadway and 10 Street, just a few blocks and the long exposure time from the lecture hall. that it took to properly transpose these images onto the glass negaO’Sullivan attempts the extraordinary for tives typically used in the field, these that period – an action shot. “Whether or early war photographers were most not Company B were truly under fire or effective when chronicling things that just drilling is moot,” the exhibit’s capdid not move – ruins, dead bodies, tents tion writer notes correctly. – which makes one photograph by The exhibition also shows how these O’Sullivan all the more interesting. early photographs made by Brady and Titled “Pennsylvania Light Artillery, company changed the way news was Battery B, Petersburg, Virginia,” reported and distributed. The first broad-



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ABOVE: “A Harvest of Death,” Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Irish-born Timothy O’Sullivan, shows the rotting dead awaiting burial after the Battle of Gettysburg – perhaps the best-known Civil War landscape. It was published by Alexander Gardner with the words, “It was indeed, ‘a harvest of death.’ . . . Such a picture conveys a useful moral; it shows the blank horror and reality of war, in opposition to its pageantry. Here are the dreadful details! Let them aid in preventing such another calamity falling upon the nation.” RIGHT: General Robert E. Lee by Mathew B. Brady who received permission to photograph the general on April 16, 1865, just two days after President Lincoln was assassinated. The fifty-eight-year-old Confederate hero poses in the uniform he had worn at the surrender. It would be Brady’s last wartime photograph. BELOW: Timothy O’Sullivan’s “Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery B, Petersburg, Virginia,” which is one of the few “action” shots of the Civil War.

side illustrated with a photograph appeared following Lincoln’s assassination. This was a photograph of Booth tipped onto a sheet and posted around the country with news of the atrocity and the $100,000 reward offered for the capture of Booth and his accomplices. As well as being central to the exhibition, Brady is also the subject of a new biography by Robert Wilson. In Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation, Wilson explains that information about Brady’s youth and Irish roots are

scarce, in part because “Brady himself was never much help on his origins,” but he does attest that “Brady was born around 1823 to an Irish immigrant named Andrew Brady and his wife, Julia, in Warren County, New York.” Ironically, this pioneer of visual imagery developed a severe eye ailment as a child and was left nearly blind. “I met a Dr. Hinckley, who restored my sight, though my eyes were never very strong,” Brady later recalled. The poor eyesight is likely one reason Brady wrote

so few letters and seemed to keep no journals, thus making details of his early life difficult to assemble. Wilson does describe an important moment in Brady’s life when, in the late 1830s, he met up with Samuel F. B. Morse. Though best known as the inventor of the telegraph, Morse was also dabbling in daguerrotypes, the forerunner to photography. Brady would later credit Morse for helping him learn, then perfect, this new technology, which had only been invented in 1837. Ironically, Morse was not only a technological whiz but also, as Wilson notes, a fierce opponent of immigrants, especially Irish Catholics (he even ran for mayor in 1836 as a nativist party candidate). Perhaps Brady’s unwillingness to talk about his early life had to do with the anti-Irish bias prevalent at that time. Would Morse have helped him if he knew Brady’s background? By 1844, Brady had his own daguerrotype studio in Manhattan, dedicated to creating portraits. According to Wilson, Brady was able to persuade prominent members of mid-19th century American society to sit for portraits because he was so charming, and skilled at cultivating friendships with the bold-faced names of his day. Thus, when the Civil War broke out, Brady was well-positioned to visually record some of the most important moments in American history – photos that retain their power to this day, as evidence in many of the beautiful and harrowing images collected in “Photography and the American Civil War.” Life after the Civil War, for Brady, was not so kind. His fortunes – and health – declined steadily, and he was living in near poverty when he died in 1894. He is buried, next to his wife, in the Congressional Cemetery IA in Washington, D.C. “Photography and the American Civil War” runs at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, South Carolina from September 27, 2013 to January 5, 2014 and at The New Orleans Museum of Art from January 31 to May 4, 2014. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 89



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Christine Kinealy writes about the American abolitionist Frederick Douglass who visited Ireland and came to be known as the “Black O’Connell.”



n 1845, Frederick Douglass traveled to Ireland. He stayed there for only four months, but regarded the experience as “transformative.” Fifty years later, an American friend, who claimed to have accompanied the recently deceased Douglass on that visit, published his recollection of the first meeting between the 27-year-old fugitive slave and Ireland’s 70-year-old “Liberator,” Daniel O’Connell: “Douglass had a letter of introduction from Charles Sumner, but when O’Connell’s servant announced that there was a colored man at the door, the great Irishman rushed out and clasping Douglass in a warm embrace, said: ‘Fred Douglass, the American slave, needs no letter of introduction to me.’ Delightful though it is to imagine the doorstep encounter at O’Connell’s Merrion Square home, it is unlikely that it ever took place. In fact, only one brief, unplanned meeting between Douglass and O’Connell has been recorded, and it seems to have marked the beginning, and the end, of any direct communication between the two men. Nonetheless, Daniel O’Connell and Ireland were to become a major influence on the fugitive slave’s subsequent political development, and in his transformation from an abolitionist to a human rights activist. What were the steps that brought Douglass to Ireland? Douglass had been born into slavery in Maryland in 1818. His given name was Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, but he changed it to Frederick Douglass. His father was a white man, possibly the master of the plantation. Douglass was separated from his mother when an infant and only saw her four or five times. He had been taught to read by




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the wife of one of his owners; this was rare, because teaching slaves to read had been outlawed. When Douglass was about 12, two Irishmen working in the same ship yard advised him to, ‘run away to the north.’ Eight years later, aged only 20, Douglass escaped from his servitude. It was a brave decision as, even when resident in the northern states of America, he would be in danger of being returned to slavery. Regardless, he did not hide from public view, giving lectures that provided a powerful personal testimony of the horrors of slavery. His passion and eloquence launched his career as an anti-slavery lecturer on behalf of the abolitionist and social reformer William Lloyd Garrison. In 1845, Douglass published his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. The resulting publicity put him in danger of capture, so he was persuaded to travel to Ireland and from there, to Britain, for safety and to lecture on anti-slavery. Douglass arrived in Ireland on August 31, 1845. He wrote immediately to friends

me, on account of my color. The change of circumstances, in this, is particularly striking. . . . I find myself not treated as a color, but as a man – not as a thing, but as a child of the common Father of us all.” Inevitably, Douglass’s presence in Ireland attracted attention in the local press, his appearance being described in detail, albeit through a racialized lens: “Evidently from his colour and conformation, descended from parents of different race, his appearance is singularly pleasing and agreeable. The hue of his face and hands is rather a yellow brown or bronze, while there is little if anything in his features of that particular prominence of lower face, thickness of lips, and flatness of nose, which particularly characterize the true Negro type. His voice is well toned and musical, his selection of language most happy, and his manner easy and graceful.” There were many highlights in Douglass’s stay in Dublin: meeting with Father Mathew, “the Apostle of temperance”(Douglass was himself a champion of temperance); being invited to dine

abolition movement, consistently arguing for immediate, not gradual, abolition, and insisting that black people were the equals of white people – an unpopular view at the time. Unusually, O’Connell also saw the ending of slavery, and his demand for Irish independence, as part of wider struggle for human rights, a view not shared by many abolitionists or nationalists. He averred: “I am the friend of liberty in every clime, class and colour. My sympathy is not confined to the limits of my own green island; my spirit walks abroad on sea and land, and wherever there is oppression, I hate the oppressor.” In contrast, on arrival in Ireland, Douglass claimed that he was concerned with only one issue – the ending of slavery. However, O’Connell’s internationalist view on human suffering was to have a profound impact on Douglass’s own political development. Douglass claimed that as a slave he had heard his master berate O’Connell’s anti-slavery activities and that he had read some of his speeches, which had been reprinted in American newspapers.

“It seems to me that the voice of O’Connell is enough to calm the most violent passion.” in America, “I am now safe in old Ireland, in the beautiful city of Dublin.” Initially, his stay was to be of only a few weeks’ duration, but it was prolonged when a Dublin abolitionist, Richard Webb, offered to publish an Irish version of the Narrative. The timing of Douglass’s visit coincided with the first appearance of a blight in the potato crop. At this stage nobody knew that the crop failure would mark the onset of prolonged famine in Ireland. Douglass did comment on the poverty of the Irish people, even in Dublin. But he, like O’Connell, drew an important distinction between Irish oppression and American slavery, explaining, “The Irish man is poor, but he is not a slave. He may be in rags, but he is not a slave. He is still the master of his body.” Moreover, being in Ireland’s capital city proved a liberating experience: “One of the most pleasing features of my visit, thus far, has been a total absence of all manifestations of prejudice against

with the Lord Mayor of Dublin in the Mansion House; and hearing O’Connell speak in Conciliation Hall. By the 1840s, Daniel O’Connell was the most famous and outspoken abolitionist on both sides of the Atlantic. He had been committed to this cause since the 1820s, and, as a new member of the British parliament following Catholic Emancipation, had played a pivotal role in ending slavery in the British Empire. O’Connell’s abolitionist activities were known and simultaneously applauded and deplored in the United States. In the introduction to the first edition of the Narrative, William Lloyd Garrison had referred to the Irishman thus: “Daniel O’Connell, the distinguished advocate of universal emancipation, and the mightiest champion of prostrate but not conquered Ireland.” By doing so, Garrison had created a tangible link between the seasoned Irish abolitionist and the young rising star of American anti-slavery. O’Connell was at the radical end of the

It was no surprise then, that while in Ireland he would want to hear the Irishman in person. Douglass was not, as it has sometimes been suggested, invited to Conciliation Hall, the headquarters of the Repeal Association, by O’Connell. Hearing that O’Connell was in Dublin, he decided to attend a Repeal meeting, although once there, “having observed the denseness of the crowd, I almost despaired of getting in.” But he did squeeze in and, in a letter he composed later that night, admitted to having been entranced by O’Connell’s eloquence: “I have heard many speakers within the last four years – speakers of the first order; but I confess, I have never heard one, by whom I was more completely captivated than by Mr. O’Connell. . . . It seems to me that the voice of O’Connell is enough to calm the most violent passion. . . . There is a sweet persuasiveness in it, beyond any voice I ever heard. His power over an audience is perfect.” Towards the end of the meeting when OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 91



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the audience was thinning out, Douglass moved to the front of the hall where he was introduced to O’Connell by a fellow American. He was then invited on stage to say a few words. Douglass recorded, “although I scarce knew what to say, I managed to say something, which was quite well received.” In the course of his short speech, his admiration for the Irish man was palpable: “The poor trampled slave of Carolina had heard the name of the Liberator with joy and hope, and he himself had heard the wish that some black O’Connell would yet rise up among his countrymen and cry ‘Agitate, agitate, agitate!’” he said. The phrase “Black O’Connell” appears to have originated with Douglass, who, later in life, would suggest that the appellation had been bestowed upon him by O’Connell – a claim that has been frequently repeated. However, the real significance of this phrase is what it reveals about Douglass’s appeal for black people to take responsibility for their own liberation. Douglass left Dublin at the beginning of October, to travel to other parts of the country. He gave lectures in Wexford, Waterford, Youghal, Limerick and Belfast. His treatment as an equal continued to surprise and delight him. He wrote, “I saw no-one that seemed to be shocked or disturbed at my dark presence. No one seemed to feel himself contaminated by contact with me.” Douglass left Ireland in January 1846. He continued his tour in Britain, staying away from America for almost two years. He gave almost 200 lectures, over 40 of them in Ireland. On the eve of his departure from Belfast, Douglass reflected on his isolation: “. . . as to nation, I belong to none. . . . The land of my birth welcomes me to her shores only as a slave, and spurns with contempt the idea of treating me differently. So I am an outcast from the society of my childhood, and an outlaw in the land of my birth.” He went on to add, “I can truly say, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country.” Shortly after leaving Ireland, Douglass wrote to Garrison. The letter revealed that, as a result of this visit, he had come to see the crusade for abolition as part of a much wider struggle for social justice: “I see much here to remind me of my former condition, and I confess I should be ashamed to lift up my voice against American slavery, but that I know the cause of humanity is one the world over. He who really and truly feels for the 92 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

American slave, cannot steel his heart to the woes of others; and he who thinks himself an abolitionist, yet cannot enter into the wrongs of others, has yet to find a true foundation for his anti-slavery.” Douglass’s time in Ireland freed him in another way; he wrote his own Preface to the Irish edition of Narrative, thus demonstrating a new-found confidence in no longer having to rely on a white abolitionist to give his writing authority. Douglass returned to the United States in 1847 as a free man, his freedom having been “purchased” for £150. Nonetheless, even on the return journey from Liverpool The Daniel O’Connell statue in Dublin

he was subjected to racial discrimination. When home, Douglass continued lecturing and writing, even starting his own newspaper. His recently declared commitment to equal rights for all was evident in 1848 when he was one of the few men to sign the declaration supporting the rights of women at the Seneca Falls Conference. Over the subsequent decades, Douglass fought for civil rights in all areas of life, arguing for black men to serve in the Union army, for equality in the

Reconstruction Era, and for an end to the racist Jim Crow laws. During his lifetime, he held many public positions. He also supported and advised six American Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln. However, he never lost his affection for Ireland, even speaking at a meeting in Washington to promote Home Rule. Douglass’s time in Ireland, when he became “a man,” helped to consolidate his view that the struggle of black slaves was part of a wider struggle for social justice. His experiences in 1845 provided a prism through which he could view suffering and oppression everywhere, and articulate the demand for universal human rights. This approach remained pivotal to his subsequent political activities. Towards the end of his life, Douglass served as Minister to Haiti. In 1893, no longer in that position, he paid public tribute to the beleaguered country – the first black republic – referencing both Ireland and Daniel O’Connell in his speech: “It was once said by the great Daniel O’Connell, that the history of Ireland might be traced, like a wounded man through a crowd, by the blood. The same can be said of the history of Haiti as a free state.” Frederick Douglass died in February 1895. O’Connell had passed away many years earlier, in 1847, not long after their brief, but significant, meeting. Their ideas outlived them. In 2011, President Barack Obama, who has admitted the influence of Douglass on his own thinking, acknowledged Ireland’s role in Douglass’s development: “For his part, Douglass drew inspiration from the Irishman’s courage and intelligence, ultimately modeling his own struggle for justice on O’Connell’s belief that change could be achieved peacefully through rule of law . . . the two men shared a universal desire for freedom – one that cannot be contained by language or culture or even the span of an ocean.” Even if Daniel O’Connell, the Irish “Liberator” and Frederick Douglass, “the black O’Connell,” did not hug on a doorstep in Dublin, Douglass’s brief time in Ireland transformed him into a fearless champion of international human rights, whose legacy continues to IA inspire today. Dr Christine Kinealy is Director of the Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University. She is a Director of the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O'Connell Project. Her publications include Daniel O'Connell and Anti-Slavery.The Saddest People the Sun Sees (2011) and the forthcoming Private Charity and the Great Hunger.The Kindness of Strangers (Bloomsbury, 2013).

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The Irish The 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, famous for introducing the character of vampire Count Dracula, is reborn as a new series on NBC. Patricia Danaher visits the set in Budapest. lthough vampires seem to be everywhere these days in popular culture, there’s never been one quite like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He’s been the subject of multiple movies going back almost a century, and the novel never goes out of print. On October 25, television viewers will be in for a treat, when the new series Dracula, airs on NBC. Two of the principal leads are played by Irish actors: Jonathan Rhys Myers is the count himself and Victoria Smurfit plays Lady Jayne Wetherby, a vampire hunter and leading London socialite. Katie McGrath, who’s been in The Tudors, plays Lucy Westenra. I visited the set of the show in Budapest recently to get a sense of its take on the story and to sit down with the stellar Irish cast. The lavish ten-part drama is a co-production between NBC


and Sky Living. Dracula arrives in London posing as American entrepreneur Alexander Grayson, who claims he has come to bring modern science to Victorian London. But he’s really there to wreak revenge on those who ruined his life several centuries earlier. When I see Jonathan Rhys Myers at work on Dracula, my first thought is that Dubliner Bram Stoker could have been channeling the actor when he sat down to write his novel. Everyone working on the set says he was born to play the part – that the whiff of danger that Rhys Myers throws off makes him the perfect seductive vampire. Even he’s inclined to agree. “I have to make him diabolical and erotic at the same time and let it pass between these two things, so that it’s a balance between ‘oh my god, I’m really repulsed by this, but I can’t stop watch-

ing,’” Rhys Myers tells me. “There’s something about me physically which makes me look a little dangerous. I have too much of the serpent in me to play someone erstwhile. I don’t get offered that many sweet parts because directors have this idea that I always want to be incredibly serious and that’s not necessarily the case. Parts [in movies] like August Rush and Bend It Like Beckham are sadly few and far between. “I wouldn’t exactly call myself Twilight material! I’m 36, a bit older than most people think I am,” he laughs. It’s difficult to believe how much Rhys Myers has packed into his 36 years. He’s made more than 30 movies and counting. He won a Golden Globe for playing Elvis a 2005 miniseries of the same name and was nominated for a Globe for his unforgettable portrayal of King Henry XIII on The Tudors. This is the first television show he’s done since he spent five years working on The Tudors, which was all filmed in Wicklow. He likes moving between film and television, likes being in Europe, and is very happy to be working with two Irish actresses, one of whom, Katie



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Jonathan Rhys Myers as Count Dracula and Victoria Smurfit as Lady Jayne Wetherby in the Dracula series coming to NBC this Fall.

McGrath, he is rumored to have dated. “Speaking of tough Irish women! Katie is an angel who I’ve known for a long time and I’m incredibly fond of her. She’s very grounded and very well educated. Victoria has this incredible elegance that’s very different to Katie and she’s very, very powerful. It’s a pleasure to work with women like that. They keep me in line!” Jonathan was in a turbulent long-term relationship with heiress Reena Hammer for over eight years, but they parted ways last year. He has since been involved with the Australian model Victoria Keon-Cohen, and they moved in together in London earlier this year. He reportedly has not had a drink in a few years, after a series of very public and embarrassing incidents. Everyone talks of how calm and focused he is on Dracula and how much he brings to the part. “I don’t get much time to go out really. I try to go home to London once a month, but I live very quietly here in Budapest. Some trips to restaurants with people are always nice. Hungarian is a very difficult language and mine is nonexistent. There’s a charm in trying to

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Victoria Smurfit. Rhys Meyers tweeted this picture of the pair as lovers on the set of the new Dracula series.

communicate with people by not using a language. You have to search a little bit harder.” Given how many interpretations of Dracula there have been on-screen, from Bela Lugosi to Gary Oldman, I wonder how terrifying it was to undertake such an iconic role? “Gary Oldman was pretty spectacular, because he brought romance as well as horror and he balanced the pain with the monster. I am not afraid of not being as good as somebody else, and I am not Cast members from left to right: Jonathan Rhys Myers, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Kretschmann, Katie McGrath, Nonso Anozie, Victoria Smurfit, Ben Miles and Robert Bathurst.

afraid of being better than somebody else. I think I’m old enough now not to be intimidated by those who have come before me. Success has very little to do with me, beyond my performance and paying attention to what is happening on set. Success will be decided by the people who view it. We are working very hard to make it as erotic, as entertaining and as provocative as we possibly can, so that people can enjoy it. “I’ve taken part of my interpretation of Dracula from the book, part of it from the history of Vlad Tepes himself, and partly from my own personal experiences, both the good and the bad. These will all come out.” This is the first big part that Victoria Smurfit (40) has played on U.S. television since she moved to Los Angeles three years ago. “It’s a gift of a part. Lady Jayne is a sexy, sassy woman who takes no prisoners and she’s really grounded. She’s the Daphne Guinness of her day,” she told me. “She kicks a lot of ass, but she’s not Lara Croft, she’s very much a woman out of her time. She understands the minutiae of the social life of London in the 1840’s, but she also lives outside of society.” Smurfit has played many sexy, no nonsense characters on British television over the years and admits that she loves playing action roles. “I consider myself part stunt girl and I relish parts where you are physically challenged. I adore it when I get on set and they do your hair and your costume and then I get to do loads of fighting. I’ve trained in a few different martial




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Jonathan Rhys Myers as Count Dracula on the new NBC series.

arts and when I was at theatre school, they put you through a lot of combat and I was the only one who regularly partnered with a six-foot-one guy for fights.” She has nothing but praise for Jonathan Rhys Myers, with whom she had never previously worked. “When you walk into a room with Johnny, it’s like walking into a scene with a stallion. You don’t know what he’s going to do. He’s very exciting to work with. And he’s great craic. Himself, Katie and myself have a kind of Irish shorthand and we’re often roaring laughing at things that no one else understands,” said Victoria. Late last year Victoria sold a television show she wrote to the other American TV giant, ABC. She has written and is developing two other series ideas and gradually making her way in Hollywood as a writer and actress. The element of danger and Rhys Myers also stand out for Katie McGrath. “Dracula and Johnny have a lot in common. They walk into a room and you don’t know what they are going to do. You think you know what he’s going to do, but he surprises you every time and then you have to respond,” said Katie. “Dracula is someone everyone knows and loves. I’ve always loved Dracula. I read it years ago and I was always surprised at how readable it is. It’s a bloody good yarn,” she says, with gusto. Katie (29) is not your typical actress by any standards. Educated at Trinity College Dublin, she has a degree in his96 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

admits frankly. “I didn’t think that acting was a real job until I got to work on the set of The Tudors and I saw how people work every day. When you have an office job, you don’t know that acting can be a viable thing. I came home one day and I told my mum ‘I’m quitting work and I’m becoming an actor! I found an agent and I got a job!’ I could see her face going through a range of emotions, but by the end of it she was okay,” laughs Katie. “Rather than saying, ‘you’re giving up work after getting your good education’ my parents were cautious about me becoming an actor. But now they’re very proud of me.” Over the past six years, Katie has worked consistently, mostly in television. She played the evil Morgana for five years on the BBC drama Merlin, which she really enjoyed. Her character developed a somewhat obsessive fan following and two years ago, the face of her character was on a stamp in the U.K. She’s been living in London for the past several years, which she loves and where she feels very much at home. “When you’re an actor, you have to divorce yourself from where you live. You end up going wherever the work is. You learn to make your home where you are at the time,” she says, more than a little wistfully. “I go home to London quite a bit from Katie McGrath the evil Morgana on the BBC Budapest and I go home to drama Merlin. Ireland whenever I can. All my tory, but has no formal training as an family are in Ashford. They’re the most actress. Born and brought up in Ashford, perfect family. I wish I could live there. County Wicklow, Katie was always I wish I could work there. interested in fashion, thanks to her moth“Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula, er’s work with designer Lainey Keogh. was a typical Irish man – he loved lanKatie herself briefly wrote about fashion guage and he had a great way with words. for Image magazine and for a time she He didn’t think he was writing War and also worked as a wardrobe assistant with Peace. I think he just wanted to tell a the Oscar-winning designer Joan Bergin bloody good story. The cast has really on The Tudors, after being introduced by bonded, and of course it’s great to have so a friend of Katie’s mother. It was there many Irish here. I love being back workthat she managed to switch professions ing with Johnny again. Victoria is like the entirely. By virtue of being in the right glue that holds us all together. We’re like place on a day they were short of actors, family on the set. There aren’t many jobs Katie found herself getting cast in a regwhere you’re excited about going to work ular role on The Tudors. every day, but I genuinely am. There’s a Her memorable scenes with Jonathan richness about costume drama that everyIA and her natural beauty, which the camera body loves.” easily beheld, launched her career unexpectedly and spectacularly. “I was dramatic growing up, but not Dracula will air on Friday, October especially interested in acting,” she 25th on NBC at 10/9pm central.

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{music} The Merry Men and guest performers at the Indoor Garden Party in New York, October 2012. L-R: Moley O’Suilleabhain, Alan Doyle, Roberta Duchak, Samantha Barks, Russell Crowe, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Owen O’Suilleabhain.

A Winter’s Tale and a Garden Party with

The Merry Men After his turn as Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, Russell Crowe’s passion for music is no longer a secret. In fact, he has been playing for years with a number of close friends and musical collaborators, all famous in their own rights. Jaime Lubin talks to a few of the lads about what brought them together. 98 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

ackstage at New York’s Town Hall, I catch up with three of Russell Crowe’s closest colleagues, Moley and Owen O’Suilleabhain, a brotherly musical duo formerly known as Size2Shoes, and Alan Doyle, the lead singer of Canadian band Great Big Sea, who are in the city on their 20th anniversary tour. The three guys are part of Crowe’s boisterous, tight-knit circle of cre-




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Doyle, Durand, Crowe and Grimes on the set of Robin Hood

ative talent – which also includes actors Kevin Durand (Fruitvale Station) and Scott Grimes (American Dad!). A modern-day Rat Pack, they are a gang of true companions passionately dedicated to producing quality art and having fun while they’re at it. Informally dubbed “The Merry Men” after their experiences on the set of the 2010 movie Robin Hood, the guys have collaborated for nearly a decade on projects spanning the arenas of film, television, music, and live performance. Last year they reunited in New York for one of their trademark Indoor Garden Party concerts (variety-show-style evenings of songs and stories), and spent the rest of their time in the city filming Winter’s Tale, Akiva Goldsman’s highly-anticipated adaptation of Mark Helprin’s epic novel. “I hear the sound of Irish wankers!” Alan shouts (he hails from Petty Harbour, Newfoundland), breaking into a huge smile as the O’Suilleabhains (Limerick natives now living in Manhattan) round the corner into the dressing room. And just like that, we’ve passed through the invisible gate to the boys’ club. The trio’s steady, overlapping stream of inside jokes flows like a familiar vaudeville routine. “There’s a definite lads’ buzz going on [in our friendship],” Moley admits, slapping Andy on the back. “Everyone is so funny. You could kill yourself laughing,” says Owen. But it’s not all about fun. “We’ve never met a more virtuosic, more talented group of people,” says Moley seriously. It was Crowe who brought the group together over a period of several years. He first worked with Scott and Kevin on the

1999 film Mystery, Alaska, where they introduced him to the music of Great Big Sea; in 2004 Russell met Alan in person and broached the idea of joining creative forces, which resulted in the album My Hand, My Heart and countless songs for both Great Big Sea and Russell’s band The Ordinary Fear of God. Crowe and Doyle met the O’Suilleabhain brothers, the sons of Ireland’s famous composer Micheal O’Suilleabhain, in Kilkee, West Clare in 2008. “[It was] at the unveiling of a statue that the Kilkee community had erected for Richard Harris, and Russell, whose ancestors are from Clare, and Alan were going to sing this song “Mr. Harris Take the Field” [an in memoriam track from My Hand, My Heart] at the ceremony. Russell had previously written to the local council asking them to provide a choir and some other musicians. We were very good friends with the people involved with this statue, and they asked us to be the band,” says Owen. Moley laughs. “Russell was told it would be a fifty-person choir.” “And then me and Moley just show up,” Owen says, grinning. “There was this guy with lights, four old women, and me and Moley. And that was it. We sat down in front of Russell and Alan, and they instantly responded to what we were doing [musically]. We hung out with them for two nights, and then Russell just says, ‘Keep in touch.’ And we did.” That meeting led to an invitation to visit the set of Robin Hood in the English countryside two years later, where the Merry Men concept solidified following a casual jam session that provided the template for the first Indoor Garden Party (IGP).

Moley and Owen O’Suilleabhain

Alan believes much of the IGP’s appeal stems from its deep ancestral roots: “The cool thing about the Garden Parties is they’re fun and the format is kind of oldschool. For me it’s [reminiscent] of when I was growing up in Petty Harbour – that’s the way the Christmas concerts were. There was a big chorus at the beginning where everyone sings, and then Mary from down the harbor comes and she’s gonna sing [her solo song]. It was a way for communities to entertain themselves.” The variety-show concert seems to be prevalent in Irish-influenced locales, as Owen concurs, “For some reason in Ireland and in Newfoundland too, those pre-mass music traditions survive. Every Christmas in our family, when we all gather, everyone has their song that they sing. Every year the exact same song.” “It’s that lovely reassurance,” Moley posits. “‘Everyone’s still alive! Another year down!’ It’s kind of like a ritual. And the Garden Party definitely has that.” Alan notes, “We end up doing these concerts in crazy different parts of the world, whether in England or Ireland or St. Johns, Newfoundland or New York. But it’s always the same gang. The films and the Garden Parties – they’re really vehicles that get us all together. And I hope that’s okay, because I love that.” Few vehicles could be better suited to the Merry Men’s purposes than Winter’s Tale, the story of a thief (Colin Farrell) with a magic horse who runs afoul of the murderous Pearly Soames (Russell) and his gang the Short Tails. The film’s setting switches back and forth between 1916 and present-day New York, and its cast is starstudded: Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint and OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 99



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{music} Downton Abbey’s Jessica films (and, knowing Brown Findlay all appear in Russell, developing a torroles significant to the plot. rent of new music). Apart Winter’s Tale, which will from his television work, be released on Valentine’s Scott is writing and comDay 2014, is a longtime pasposing songs for an sion project – and the feature upcoming album and directorial debut – for Akiva plays an integral role in Goldsman, the writer-producthe celebrity musical er behind a slew of major group Band From TV, motion pictures including A which raises money for Beautiful Mind, Mr. and Mrs. various good causes (he Smith, and I Am Legend. and lead singer Bob “Everybody loves Akiva,” Guiney formed an offsays Doyle (who plays the Moley, Kevin Corrigan, Russell, Alan and Owen on the set of Winter’s Tale shoot act, Guiney and villainous Dingy Worthington Grimes, which enables in the film), “so anyone that Akiva asked to extras between takes,” Moley says. “That them to perform at a wider range of do the movie said yes. And getting to work was a long day. Russell gave a rousing events). Alan is touring both individually with Russell and Akiva, the excellence that speech, got the energy all up again, and and with Great Big Sea, and is writing a came with that team, it’s mind-blowing.” when he was done he cued us to sing some book of personal anecdotes to be pub“If you look at The Life of Pi, it’s the Gregorian chant. It was a divine experilished Fall 2014. Owen and Moley recentsame vein of magical realism, and it’s just ence.” ly released a new album, Sacred Songs, going to be beautiful,” Moley interjects. Yet another element to Winter’s Tale’s containing a mix of original material and He and Owen play Russell’s silent, glowraw majesty lies in the film’s intrinsic Irish traditional Irish tunes with their own ering henchmen. sensibility, which proved powerfully resounique spin. The O’Suilleabhains do an Doyle describes the film as a love letter nant for the guys. enviable amount of globe-trotting on their to New York. “There’s no better place in According to Moley, “We were blown own and with Irish poet David Whyte, and the world to situate the timeless battle away at the Irishness of New York, and in addition to their numerous other between good and evil than in New York America in general, when we first moved endeavors they speak at religious festivals City, because it’s the microcosm of Planet here. To then be placed into a project that and charity events. Clearly the lads know Earth.” is essentially an Irish story, at a time how to give back in more ways than one. Shooting in New York might have [1916] when the city was almost comOwen sums it up very nicely: sounded like a dream come true, but in pletely Irish, at the end of nine months liv“Russell’s idea to Alan, Scott, Kevin, ourOctober 2012 Hurricane Sandy struck the ing in New York, it felt really right but selves, was it’s actually about the enternortheastern United States, plunging the completely random as well. There was one tainment, the audience, and it’s about this city into darkness and wreaking havoc scene on a bridge where Russell is beating generosity. That’s what sort of drives us, with production. up Colin Farrell, and Russell walks in and is to go out and give. Every time, any “I think the producers would say it was hands us his hat and takes off his jacket –” crowd, one hundred percent. That’s one a bit of a nightmare,” Doyle observes. “And it’s epic,” Owen interrupts excitthing we all share. It’s not an ego thing; Though they caught some flak for edly, eyes gleaming. “Totally epic. This is it’s just going out and making sure everyshooting in storm-damaged parts of an iconic Irish scene in Hollywood movie thing happens. It’s all about vibes and Brooklyn and Manhattan, the good feelhistory, where Russell punches Colin off a generosity and letting people in.” ings the production brought to the borbridge. It was a big deal because Colin It all sounds very simple – pure fun, oughs during that turbulent period resulted Farrell’s like one of Ireland’s coolest pure giving. Maybe that’s why it’s so in a positive impact. motherfuckers, and Russell uses an Irish rare, and so enjoyable, to see the Merry “What was cool about the whole situaaccent for this. He’s sort of channeled this Men do what they do. Plans for an IGP in tion,” Doyle says, “is that we were in this Richard Harris-esque accent.” Australia this January have been movie, effectively all about New York, “Russell actually pulls off a really evil announced to much rejoicing. right at the time the city needed it the character,” Moley agrees. “He gets kind of “As friends,” Moley notes, “we have most.” demonic.” achieved a level of excellence that cross“As musicians we have nothing to lose “Being Irish [and working on this film] es genre and boundary. And that Rat Pack and nothing to prove,” Owen asserts, “so was a big deal, and a joy to be part of. It IGP is a throwback to this more imaginawe could really enjoy ourselves. We’d start could’ve been any movie, but the generostive time where you don’t need special singing songs, just having a laugh with the ity of Russell and Akiva to invite us into effects.” lads, and we got a lot of great response to that... The fit was amazing,” says Owen. “Shouldn’t that be what movies are?” that from the other people on set.” “It’s not like they were asking you to be Alan inquires. “Shouldn’t that be what Even their fearless leader did his part to Italian waiters,” Alan cracks. concerts are? Guys that want to get togethinstill confidence in the masses. “There Each of the Merry Men is currently er and do stuff, sing a song, tell stories? was one scene we shot in the basement of blazing through his own projects. Russell That’s cool, right?” a church and Russell had to sing for all the and Kevin are already on to their next It doesn’t get any cooler than that. IA 100 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

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{what are you like?} By Patricia Harty

Actress Roma Downey on fancy sheets, missing her mother, and being exhilarated over the Bible.


oma Downey, actress, author and producer, is enjoying a runaway hit with The Bible: Epic MiniSeries, which aired on the History Channel in March, and with its release to DVD has become the topselling TV series of all time. Born in Derry, Roma, who produced The Bible (she also plays Mother Mary in the series) with her husband Mark Burnett of Survivor fame, received a classical training at the Drama Studio London and toured the U.S. with the Abbey Players in Playboy of the Western World. She went on to act on Broadway, but it was on television that Roma would make her name: first as Jackie Kennedy in A Woman Named Jackie, which won a 1992 Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, and then as the angel Monica in Touched by an Angel, which premiered on CBS in September 1994 and ran for nine seasons. Roma and Mark live in Malibu with Reilly, her daughter from her previous marriage to David Anspaugh, and James and Cameron, Mark’s sons. In addition to her entertainment career, Roma, who graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a 102 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

master’s degree in spiritual psychology, is a Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile. She and her close-knit family often travel together as volunteers for the organization, which provides surgeries for children around the world who are born with severe cleft lip and palate. What at is your current state of mind? Exhausted and exhilarated! Exhausted having just finished four years of working full-steam-ahead as executive producer of The Bible series. Exhilarated as 100 million viewers tuned in to watch the series on the History Channel and many millions more got the DVD. It was also very gratifying to receive a Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Miniseries. Your greatest extravagance? Frette sheets. I love the feel of that cool crisp cotton next to my skin. Who is your hero? Della Reese, my former co star from Touched By An Angel, has been both mentor and mother to me. She is brave and



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bold, wise and loving. She has something to say and she is not afraid to say it. She is a black woman who made it in a white man’s world. I am full of love and admiration for her. What is on your bedside table? My father’s rosary. My well-worn Bible. Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers. Several poetry collections from my favorites: Rumi,Yeats, David Whtye and Mary Oliver. What was your first job? While I was still a teenager in Northern Ireland I had a Saturday job as a sales assistant in a shoe shop. The job was short-lived as the shoe shop was blown up by an IRA bomb. No one was hurt, thank God, and we all had time to get out of the building, but I remember after it exploded there were odd shoes scattered all over the street. Your earliest memory? My mother died when I was ten. I have missed her so much all my life. As a little girl, I searched every corner of my mind, hungry for memories of her. My earliest memory is just a fragment but I have a fleeting vision of hugging her. She wore a yellow dress and I can remember my little arms wrapped around her legs and looking up to her face. But I don’t quite remember her face, that has faded and I just see an old black and white photograph of her. Best advice ever received? When you get out of bed in the morning and your feet touch the ground, say thank you with each step that takes you to the bathroom. Start your day in gratitude. Do you strike up conversations on long plane journeys? Not usually. I prefer to read or listen to music.I did recently watch Terms of Endearment on a long flight. I had not seen it

Opposite page: Roma Downey on location in Morocco for the epic TV series The Bible. Below: Jesus and his disciples. Diogo Morgado (center) as Jesus, and Roma as Mother Mary (center right).

for years and I sobbed all the way from NYC to LA! The stranger next to me was squirming as I had tears and snot all over my face! Where do you go to think? The ocean. I have always done my best thinking and praying by the water’s edge. I don’t like to be in the water or even on the water. I just like to be near it. I find the ebb and flow is like a massage of my mind and my spirit, and the scale of the sea helps keep any worries I have in perspective. It’s humbling. What is your hidden talent? Interior decorating. I love making a living space beautiful. I also make a great chili. Your favorite quality in friends? Kindness and a good sense of humor. Your typical day? Starts with gratitude then a good work-out. After a healthy breakfast, I am in my office working, making calls, taking meetings. The Bible series is airing all over the world and there is much to do. Mark and I have one son (James) at college and two teenagers (Reilly and Cameron) still at home. We try to have dinner together as a family in the evening. It’s an important time for all of us to feel connected. On weekends we entertain. We love to throw dinner parties. Good food, good wine, good friends. Good fun! Your perfect day? Any combination of time spent with family and friends. Love and laughter and a hike in the hills. continued over




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{what are you like?} Continued from page 103

Favorite country you have visited? I love to travel and I am so fortunate to be able to travel a great deal. I have been all over the world on international medical missions with Operation Smile, to Asia, Africa and Central America. My husband produces the TV show Survivor so we have visited many exotic islands. For the making of The Bible we filmed in Morocco and, of course, I spent time researching in the city of Jerusalem, but Jordan has a special place in my heart. Petra is amazing and the Wadi Rum desert changes color as the light moves across the dunes, like poetry in the sand. Best opening line in a book or piece of music? “These are the days,” by Van Morrison. These are the days of the endless summer These are the days, the time is now There is no past, there’s only future There’s only here, there’s only now

Above: Roma and her husband, Mark Burnett, and (below) as Mother Mary consoling Jesus on the cross.

Movie you will watch again and again? Gladiator.

What trait do you most deplore in others? Unkindness, unreliability, dishonesty and rudeness.

What drives you? My father’s voice in my head saying,“If a job is worth doing then it’s worth doing well.”

What is your motto? Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

Your most embarrassing moment? Meeting President Obama at a White House event on the very day the silly news story broke that we had cast an actor to look like him in our Bible series, which of course was utter nonsense. But for this to happen on that very day was quite a bizarre coincidence. I was secretly mortified but he, of course, was very gracious and kind when I shook his hand. Your favorite place? Two places: Grianan of Aileach, an old Druid fortress in County Donegal, near my childhood town of Derry, and my current home, “The Sanctuary” in Malibu, California. Favorite sound? The sound of the sea. Favorite smell? Damp grass after rainfall. Favorite meal? Grilled sea bass or salmon and fresh vegetables and salad. Favorite drink? Water, tea, red wine. What is your most distinguishing characteristic? I am kind, reliable, honest and polite. 104 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

If you weren’t doing what you are doing, what would you do? Move to a village and run a little B and B, write poetry and breed Irish wolfhounds! What question do you wish someone would ask you? Do you really believe in God? As I see it, either there is no God or there is only God and for me there is only God. What are you working on now? Recutting and editing a feature length film from the Bible series called Son of God. To see it as a stand-alone film is powerful and poignant. It tells the story of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. It is truly inspiring. It will be released through our company LightWorkers Media and will be in theaters in the springtime. What’s next for you? Along with the movie, I am currently working on the follow-up series to The Bible tentatively called A.D. Beyond the Bible. Our hope is this will begin filming later next year. So I will be packing my bags and heading back to Morocco to shoot that on location. What are you like? I am smaller than I appear on TV!




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Copper Star

Lyndsay Faye’s Gods of Gotham series, about the earliest days of the New York City Police Department, has taken the literary world by storm. With a second book, Seven for a Secret, just released, Faye talks to Tom Deignan about her Irish roots, her acting past and her fascination with history. 106 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013



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“My great-great-grandmother was Irish,” says Lyndsay Faye, whose latest Famineera historical thriller Seven For A Secret has just hit bookstores. This is the second book in a planned trilogy that explores New York City in the middle of the 19th -century, when the NYPD was created and thousands of destitute Irish were arriving each week. Seven For A Secret has already earned praise, including starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Book List. Bestselling author (Gone Girl) Gillian Flynn has called Faye’s books “a series for the ages. . . . Amazing.” “Katie was her name,” says Faye, 33, of her great-great grandmother. “Her mother was widowed at a young age and she remarried a Pennsylvania Dutch German. Apparently this guy was a sociopath. He enforced a strict disciplinary code with a cat o’ nine tails whip. Katie was never allowed to go to school and did all the work around the farm.” Faye, who learned the story from her own grandmother, continued: “Katie married and had three children but her husband died. She was determined to give her children the education she never received, and supported the family by becoming an exceptional cook and pastry chef.” Given that we are seated in a cozy coffee house, in the literary capital of the world discussing Faye’s justreleased third novel, it’s tempting to see Katie’s adversity as yet another ultimately triumphant part of the Irish American dream. Later generations could perhaps track down Katie’s roots in Ireland and honor her sacrifice. “There’s just one problem,” says Faye.“ We don’t know her last name. Her mother never told her anything but the German name. It bothers my grandmother to this day.”

Giving Names Back History is filled with horrors — the Holocaust, American slavery, the Soviet gulag. For each of these horrors, a durable literary masterpiece has been produced by those who were there: Night by Elie Wiesel, Frederick Douglass’ memoirs, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. However, the toll of the Great Hunger on those who fled Ireland was apparently so calamitous that those

who lived through it were never to produce such an enduring work. In recent years, a diverse array of authors have labored to fill this historical gap. Writers such as Peter Quinn and Kevin Baker, Peter Behrens and Joseph O’Connor have given names — and joy and sadness and love and rage — back to people like Katie. We can now add Lyndsay Faye to this impressive list of novelists. Her first published book was 2009’s Dust and Shadow, in which she turned a life-long passion for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries into a brilliant mash-up, featuring the famed Baker

(somewhere between Rachel Maddow and actress Ally Sheedy), Faye does not fit the stereotype of someone who spends hours peering at microfilm copies of 19th-century New York newspapers. She does, however, look exactly like someone who would belong to an irreverent literary circle of Sherlock Holmes devotees called “The Baker Street Babes,” who produce a popular podcast and analyze all things Holmes, from A Study in Scarlet to the BBC series Sherlock. In search of a follow-up to Dust and Shadow, Faye became fascinated by the glut of TV shows, movies and books that revolve around the NYPD. It led to the question: What was it like when the NYPD was actually created? That is how “copper star” Timothy Wilde was born.

Holy War

Street detective trying to solve the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. “I’ve been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes since I was 10,” says Faye, who shifts easily from serious literary analysis to ironic observation, sometimes while discussing the same subject, all before punctuating her point with a burst of laughter. (On the restrictions of marketing in publishing: “What would the cover of a Jane Austen novel look like today? It would be pink!”) With her fashionably cropped dark hair and ready-for-stage appearance

We first met Wilde in Faye’s 2012 historical thriller The Gods of Gotham. He, along with his brother Valentine, are “copper stars,” the first police officers to patrol the mean streets of the Five Points and beyond in 1845, when New York City’s first municipal police force was created. “People often ask me: ‘How did you come up with that?’ “Faye says, regarding the coincidental timing of the Famine and the creation of the police force. “And I say ‘I didn’t!’ That actually happened!” Timothy (an orphan who is unsure of his own origins) was left horribly disfigured by a devastating fire in downtown Manhattan and spends much of The Gods of Gotham trying to track down a killer who may or may be motivated by the CatholicProtestant holy war simmering on New York City’s streets. Faye vividly recreates life in the harsh Irish wards, and even includes snippets of primary sources from the day, to convey the vehemence of anti-Irish sentiment in certain quarters. Like the young police force to which he belongs, Timothy Wilde experiences growing pains, battling his own politically-connected (not to mention sexually and narcotically adventurous) brother and falling in love with the charitable daughter of a respected reverend, Mercy Underhill, who spends her days “tending to low Irish families, against all sense,” as one anti-immigrant character puts it. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 107



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Gods of Gotham earned high praise, particularly for Faye’s use of “flash patter,” a street language commonly practiced by thieves and believed to have originated in London. New York police chief (and recurring Faye character) George Washington Matsell even wrote a book called Vocabulum: Or The Rogue’s Lexicon, collecting underworld words and phrases such as “dead rabbit” and “kinchin.” (Interestingly, in his acclaimed book How the Irish Invented Slang, the late Daniel Cassidy argues that the flash patter collected by Matsell was actually popularized by 19th Century Irish writer Pierce Egan, and that since London’s slum districts were “overwhelmingly Irish” the “slang that emerged from its back streets and lanes was as Irish as Egan himself.”)

explores the gritty life of a Five Points police officer, though the show is set a few years later, during the Civil War.

Sold Into Slavery

“I knew how to write dialogue because I’d been on stage doing it for 10 years. It’s the best training in the world when it comes to character development.”

In Faye’s new book, Seven for a Secret, Timothy Wilde has learned from his experiences – somewhat. “He’s not quite as hapless as he used to be,” Faye says, adding that Timothy is still an “unreliable” narrator – well intentioned, but naive and unable to read certain people well. If religion was the central historical question in Gods of Gotham, it is race that is central to Seven for a Secret. Its fastpaced, multi-layered plot revolves around the revolting underworld of “blackbirders,” who kidnap free blacks in the North and sell them into the slave system still flourishing in the South in the 1840s. Aside from allowing Faye to create a complex cast of characters who are good, bad, and somewhere in between, Seven for a Secret also probes the historical tensions between the Irish and African Americans, as well as the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party, and even New York City’s complicity in the slave trade. “I really wanted to highlight the resilience of the African American community,” says Faye, who notes that her latest book is coming out at roughly the same time as the film 12 Years a Slave, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and acclaimed Irish actor Michael Fassbender. The film (which is slated to open October 18) is based on the memoirs of Solomon Northrup, which Faye considered a “harrowing” yet “riveting” resource. Meanwhile, BBC America’s show Copper is in its second season. It, too, 108 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

“A Zeitgeist Thing” “When Copper first came out, I got a lot of Tweets about how I should get a lawyer,” Faye says with a laugh. But she isn’t claiming to have been ripped off. Instead, she calls this glut of quality historical stories “a zeitgeist thing,” which indicates there is a desire to understand crucial moments in American history. “It’s an important task for us to remember where we came from,” says Faye.

An Actress First Faye did not initially intend to become a writer. In fact, she was a successful theatrical performer for about a decade on the West Coast, but said the grind of auditioning – and the sheer level of acting talent out there – was daunting. Like fellow actress-turned-mystery writer Tana French (whose books are set in Dublin, where she lives), Faye says acting was great training for novel writing. “I knew how to write dialogue because I’d been on stage doing it for 10 years. It’s the best training in the world when it comes to character development,” she says.

In 2005, Faye, who says she is “about as ethnically American as you can get,” (aside from her Irish roots, she also has German and Native American ancestry, and is also a direct descendant of Mayflower passenger Jahn Alden), moved to New York with her husband Gabriel, a writer, performer and painter, to further her acting career. When the restaurant she worked in closed, Faye began to examine the intense demands of acting and turned to writing, in search of more “autonomy” in her life. “If you go to an audition room in New York, you’re going to see fifty of me in the hallway. But there aren’t fifty of me who could sit down and say: ‘I’m going to write a novel that is as close to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s voice as possible – since I am an actor – mixed with all of the elements of the Jack the Ripper killings,’” she says, referring to Dust and Shadow, her first novel. Faye will spend September on an extensive cross-country book tour, which will include a final stop in Portland, Oregon, not too far from Washington, where she grew up. “I’ve never done a signing where people from my high school could show up,” she says. “I’m excited about it.” Faye also had a chance to visit Ireland for nearly a week while promoting Gods of Gotham. “It was utterly beautiful and just as gorgeous as I always imagined it. All the Irish people we met were just as friendly and sharp and funny and warm as I always thought them to be.” Currently, Faye is at work on the third installment of her trilogy, which will again follow Timothy Wilde, but will be set a few years later and explore the world of seamstresses and, more broadly, the role of women workers in the mid19th Century. Has Faye ever been tempted to transform her Irish great-great-grandmother’s life into fiction? “I think her story has informed my writing and enriched what I was writing . . . [but] that’s part of my history.” Faye adds: “She’s real to me, so I don’t want to fictionalize that.” No matter. In her fiction, Lyndsay Faye has managed to recreate the world inhabited by her great-great grandmother – and millions of other Irish Americans IA like her.



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{ review of books}

Recently published books of Irish and Irish-American interest. By Sheila Langan.

Dark Lies the Island

n Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry returns to the form that marked his literary debut. (American readers who enjoyed his novel, City of Bohane, take note – his first short story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, is also being released in the U.S. by Graywolf.) Barry, born and raised in Limerick, is the rare writer who has you laughing at things you mightn’t otherwise find funny, before you fully understand what’s happening. His humor is rarely gratuitous, however, and between the laughs he’s equally skilled at exposing mundane stories for how much they mean to the people who live them. “Beer Trip to Llandudno,” which won the (U.K.) Sunday Times Short Story award, follows the six middle-aged men of the Merseyside Real Ale Club on their summer outing. “Across the Rooftops,” the first story in the collection, perfectly captures a fleeting moment that quietly goes less than perfect. Turning an eye to Celtic Tiger hysteria and the personal (in addition to economic) inflation that went with it, “Wifey Redux” toes the line between being a resounding example of “recession literature” and subtly making fun of the entire idea. This delicate satire is something Barry excels at as he zeroes in on the hilarity and the dangers – especially the dangers – of small-town Irish ennui and insularity. In “Ernestine and Kit,” two old dears out for a Saturday drive are not at all what you’d expect. “Fjord of Killary” upends the romanticism of the Aran Islands, with a disappointed poet narrator, a bar full of eccentric but immediately recognizable locals, a staff of resentful Latvian teens facing an apocalyptic flood. The collection has its quieter moments too, in “A Cruelty,” which follows a young mentally challenged man on his daily routine, and “The Mainland Campaign,” which peers inside the mind and motivations of an IRA bomber-in-training in London. In short, Dark Lies the Island achieves what any good story collection strives to, displaying Barry’s vast range of talent and writerly moods. The final story, “Berlin Arkonaplatz – My Lesbian Summer,” com-



bines them all, and provides a glimpse into Barry’s artistic salad days, in a powerful ode to a friend long gone but not forgotten. (Graywolf Press / $24.00 / 192 pages)

The Fall of Ireland

n his latest novella, Dermot Bolger sets out to tackle the mentality of Ireland's fall from trumped-up Celtic Tiger glory into recessionary, IMF-controlled disgrace. A brief but potent volume of 113 pages, The Fall of Ireland is an intimate psychological portrait of Martin, a middling civil servant on a keeping-up-appearances St. Patrick’s Day visit to Beijing. There, his sole purpose is to ensure his Junior Minister seems important and to make his counterparts in the lower levels of the Chinese government feel as though they are being heard. For Martin, things are less than rosy back in Ireland. While he has a loving relationship with his three teen-age daughters (and – unlike his neighbors – the satisfaction of actually owning his house and never investing in a deluxe rental in Bulgaria) he is increasingly estranged from his wife, Rachel, who, in trying to find herself after accepting an early retirement package, has decided that she no longer cares for Martin on an emotional or physical level. During some downtime in his luxury hotel room, he is alone with his thoughts. In a form of rebellion that would be of little consequence to some but is a big deal for Martin, he calls a masseuse to his room. She makes him aware of what he wants and what he will never have. Heavy-handed at times (it may have been best to leave it to the reader to conclude that “his fall had been as abrupt and humiliating as the fall of Ireland”), the novella is still worth delving into as the cry of a writer who has seen his country hurt and taken up his pen (or keyboard) in response. Rich in detail, it is a believable portrait of a person and a state of mind we all know.


(Island Press & Dufour Editions / $23.95 / 114 pages)

The Gamal

iarán Collins, a secondary school teacher from West Cork, made his literary debut in July with The Gamal. The novel is brilliant, a sign of more inventive things to come from a writer with powerful imagination, empathy, and a cutting sense of humor. Collins’s narrator is Charlie, 25, from the fictional (but very real) town of Ballyronan, Co. Cork. Charlie has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which means, as he puts it, that he “doesn't give a fuck.” Assuming him to be “a bit of a ‘God help us,’” the town calls him the Gamal, short for the Irish “gamallogue,” which roughly translates to fool or idiot. They let their guards down around Charlie, who doesn’t miss a thing. The only people Charlie really ever liked (and the only ones who saw his true worth) were his friends Sinead O’Riordan and James Kent. In love for as long as anyone in the town could remember, they were a talented musical duo with sights set on Dublin and then the U.S. From the start of The Gamal we know that something tragic has happened to them involving a bridge, a death, a court case and national media attention. Charlie, suffering from PTSD, has been assigned by his therapist, Dr. Quinn, to write 1,000 words a day to help him process awful events from five years ago. Charlie is a reluctant writer at first, copying and pasting things from the Internet to meet the daily quota. These insertions continue throughout, as Charlie adds photos, drawings, court transcript excerpts and asks the reader to write in song lyrics (on blank lines he provides) to save him from “pay[ing] the people who made up the songs millions to put the words in my book.” Far from post-modernly precious, these elements bring a great sense of connection to the book and force the reader to pause, to really think about what Charlie (and Collins) wants them to. The Gamal is a riveting, sometimes terrifying, and heartbreaking look at insidious small-town jealousy and the things people do for love. (Bloomsbury / $18.00 / 408



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{sláinte} By Edythe Preet

Goblins, Ghosts & Ghoulies hen it comes to goblins, ghosts, and ghoulies, most folk – without a fluttering heartbeat’s hesitation – will name Transylvania as the epicenter for scary creatures of the night. There’s hardly a soul that hasn’t shivered in fear while watching one of the many filmed scenes of a midnight visitation from that archetype of the undead Count Dracula, a chancy encounter with some sinister siren from the Count’s bevy of blood-lusting beauties, or a fatal full-moon face-off with a snarling fang-gnashing werewolf. Few folk, however, realize that the author of literature’s ultimate tale of Transylvanian terror was, in fact, an Irishman named Bram Stoker, who was born November 8, 1847, in Clontarf, a coastal suburb of Dublin. A victim of physical frailties that kept him bedridden for most of his childhood, his birthday fell in the shadow of Samhain, the Celtic year-end celebration when legends warned that all should wear disguises when traveling so as not to be whisked away by one of the malevolent spirits stalking the land. It is no wonder, then, that the best of Stoker’s tales spring from nightmarish ‘The Banshee Appears’ a picture by R. Prowse for a serial story, “The Whiteboys” in The Halfpenny Miscellany (1862). themes. The story of Count Dracula, though set in Transylvania, could The majestic equine Phouka tosses unwary folk upon its back as easily have been situated anywhere in Erin with Ireland’s own for a terrifying gallop across hill and dale. Fishermen ply their Dearg-due (Red Blood-Sucker) as its central character. trade on ocean and lake ever mindful of the watery grave awaitDracula’s seductive vampire companions, in fact, are most likeing should they cross paths with the ravenous crocodilian ly drawn from Waterford tales of a local female Dearg-due who Wurrum that measures more than fifty feet long and can swalrises from her coffin on certain nights to lure unsuspecting men low man and boat in one scaly lunge. Teine Sidhe, the fire fairies into her arms and suck the lifeblood from their necks. fond of darting about in peat bogs, lead those who would foolThough not so universally known as Dracula, three other of ishly follow their flickering flames to a marshy grave. A 13th Stoker’s works treat matters filled with foreboding and fear. His century poem entitled Wonders of Ireland, tells of the Laignech rarely found first book of tales Under The Sunset (1881) Faelad, men who under a full-moon can change into wolves and recounts many of Ireland’s grisly myths. Though innocuous despite returning to human form have been spied with gobbets sounding, The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903) is a tale about a of raw flesh clamped in their bloody jaws. The Lanhuan Shee, vengeful mummy’s curse. In Stoker’s final opus, Lair of the or Fairy Mistress, casts a glamour on men with her dazzling White Worm (1911), the protagonist finds himself caught up in a beauty and draws off their life-force until they wither away and horrifying web of inexplicably evil circumstances. (For those die. Dubhlachans, the headless drivers of the Death Coach, who would rather watch than read, the latter was filmed in 1988 strike fear in the hearts of all with the sound of their snorting by director Ken Russell. But I must tell you that the pace of steeds and cracking whips as they rattle through towns to carry reading is so much more exquisitely terrifying that once while off the souls of the newly deceased. Even the pretty gossamerreading Dracula, when a light suddenly switched off, I leaped gowned Daoine Sidh has the nasty habit of spiriting unwary and shrieked aloud!) mortals away from friends and families to live in the fairy The list of creatures inhabiting forest, fen, hillock, and shore mounds and dance jigs beneath the moon forever. of the Emerald Isle is a veritable encyclopedia of the scary Of all the supernatural creatures found in Irish myth, none is supernatural from which seanachies have drawn tales to chill the more feared than the Bean Si (Banshee). Hearing her mournful very marrow of listeners’ bones since time immemorial. wail is said to predict the death of a family member and seeing





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RECIPES Ghoulish Goodies FADGE FINGERS & TOES a Banshee foretells one’s own death. Perhaps the most unsettling trait of these spirits is that they can appear in the guise of a lovely lass, a maternal Machree (mother) figure, or an aged woman. Thus, you are well advised to be courteous to all women regardless of their age. Whether young, middle-aged, or elder, the Banshee always has long ashen hair that she untangles with a silver comb. She may wear a flowing dress of white, green, or black covered by a billowing grey cloak, or she may be wrapped in a linen grave shroud. There is some basis for fact in the myth of the Banshee, as it was common at funerals for a woman to sing a caoineadh from which comes the modern word ‘keen’ meaning ‘to sing a sad lament.’ While most families’ keeners were mortal women, legend tells that five ancient bloodlines (the O’Gradys, O’Neills, O’Briens, O’Connors, and Kavanaghs) each had their own personal Bean Si who would appear to keen the funeral song. As time passed, however, these families widely intermarried and the Banshee’s wail, supposedly shrill enough to shatter glass, became feared by folk throughout the land. Lastly, there is the Tash – the Irish ghost. From ruined castle and stately manor house to busy thoroughfares and remote country lanes, Ireland overflows with stories of ghosts, phantoms, specters, and wraiths that can appear as humans, dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, or even butterflies. Most Tash are believed to be the spirits of people who died violently and are bound on the mortal plane to haunt their place of death as a lesson to others. Not all of Ireland’s ghosts are mean-spirited. Once when staying in a lovely manor home in Wexford, I switched rooms the second night because a group of Ralph Lauren male models had booked in during a location shoot for the fashion mogul’s upcoming Fall line. At breakfast the following morning one of the fellows mentioned that his sleep had been interrupted by what sounded like someone entering his room, and when he opened his eyes, he swore he saw a man standing at the foot of his bed. At hearing this, the Lady of the house exclaimed: “How strange, the Captain usually only visits women!” Evidently the roguish Captain had come looking for me! Why we humans enjoy being scared out of our wits is a mystery no one can explain, but since ancient days, autumn with its death of all green-growing things has been the chief time to do so, especially on Samhain and on All Hallow’s Eve, which both fall on 10/31 in 2013. Witness the roster of horror movies that Hollywood releases each October. This year, how about doing something really scary? Ask some friends over for a night of spooky Irish storytelling guaranteed to send shivers up the staunchest spines. Set the scene with copious flickering candles. Costumes optional, but advised so that spirits stalking the streets won’t recognize you. Tasty food and drink a must to quell the hunger and quench the thirst of the seanachies. And don’t forget to leave a plate of Soul Cakes at the door. You might even be visited by one of the wandering goblins, ghosts, and IA ghoulies. Sláinte!

(Adapted from Martha Stewart Halloween) Mashed potatoes, well seasoned Flour Blanched almonds Red food coloring Add enough flour to the mashed potatoes to make a dough. Take meatball-sized pieces of dough and roll between your palms until each piece becomes a knobby 4-inch long 1-inch thick pretzel shape (like a knuckled finger). Place the fadge ‘fingers’ on a parchment lined baking sheet. Dunk one almond per ‘finger’ in a quarter-cup of water, tinted dark red with food coloring, until the almond turns red. Stick an almond, pointed end out, in one end of each dough strip like a fingernail. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until firm and lightly browned (15-20 minutes). To make toes: use walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll into stubby big toe shapes. Use blanched almonds (un-dyed and round end out) for toenails. Sprinkle with dried dill if you want them to look hairy (ugh!).

CREEPY CIDER (Adapted from Martha Stewart Halloween) Apple cider Red food coloring Disposable latex gloves Two days before your Scary Story Night, rinse 6-10 disposable gloves free of all traces of powder. Fill each glove with water, close tightly with rubber bands, and place in freezer to harden. Before guests arrive, fill a large punchbowl with apple cider and add enough red food coloring to turn the cider a deep shade of ‘blood’. Remove ice ‘hands’ from the freezer, peel away latex glove material (do this most easily under running water), and place ‘hands’ in the punchbowl. NOTE: Ice ‘hands’ can also be used to chill a bowl of eyeball crudités.

EYEBALL CRUDITÉS (Adapted from Martha Stewart Halloween) Radishes Pimento-stuffed Green Olives Trim ends and peel or scrub radishes until streaky red like a bloodshot eyeball. Carve out a small depression on one side. Slice olives in halves, and wedge one half, cut side out, in each depression.

SOUL CAKES (Personal Recipe) 1 3⁄4 cups oatmeal flakes 1 ⁄4 teaspoon baking powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon melted butter 8 tablespoons hot water Preheat oven to 350F. Pulverize 1 cup oatmeal in a blender. In a small bowl, combine ground oats, baking powder and salt. Stir in butter. Gradually add water to make a thick dough. Gather into a ball, place on a board lightly sprinkled with 1/4 cup oatmeal and roll around until completely covered with oat flakes. Spread another 1/4 cup of oatmeal on the board and roll the ball to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 2-inch circles (I use a whiskey glass). Transfer circles to a pan sprinkled with the remaining oat flakes. Bake 1015 minutes or barely brown. Remove from oven and dry on wire racks. Makes approx 3 dozen. [Serve with a crock of PortCheddar Cheese that looks like it’s streaked with blood.] NOTE: You may want to double or triple this recipe as Soul Cakes appeal to humans as well as wandering ghosts.




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{roots} By Adam Farley


The O’Donnells

hey came from Donegal. Legend says they are descended from the 5th-century Ulsterman Niall of the Nine Hostages, whose son Conall was baptized by St. Patrick. It is from Domhnaill (d.901), a descendant of that mythic Conall, that the family name, which has since been anglicized as O’Donnell, emerged. St. Patrick gave the O’Donnells their crest. According to the early 17th century Book of O’Donnell’s Daughter (Lebhar Inghine i Domhnaill), St. Patrick struck Conall’s shield with his crosier, inscribing there the sign of the cross, and told Conall so long as he and his descendants followed the sign, victory would follow them. And so it has: from Tyrconnell through the Flight of the Earls to today, from Austria to Australia, from Argentina to Antarctica, the O’Donnells have had a large and impressive diaspora. It was not until the 13th century that the clan gained significant land and status in Ulster. From then until the 16th century, the O’Donnells and the O’Neills (also Ulster descendants of Niall) alternated between land wars and mutual trade. After the decisive victory of the O’Donnells in 1567, the last alliance was forged and led to the most famous jailbreak in early modern Irish history. In 1587, the English kidnapped the 15-yearold Red Hugh O’Donnell, heir apparent to the kingdom of Tyrconnell. He was imprisoned in Dublin Castle along with two O’Neills, but Red Hugh’s friend Hugh O’Neill arranged the trio’s escape to the Wicklow Mountains in the middle of winter 1592. The next year, he became An Ó Domhnaill, “The O’Donnell,” chief of the O’Donnell name and territory. In 1593 Red Hugh led a revolt against the English government in Ulster, and between 1595 and 1603 was instrumental in operating the Nine Years’ War with England until the combined O’Donnell and O’Neill forces lost at the Battle of Kinsale. O’Donnell fled to Spain to enlist more aid but died shortly after arriving, allegedly poisoned by an Irish doubleagent for the crown. Though the clan’s territorial holdings 114 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

were confiscated, the line of succession to Prince and Chief of the Name is one of the oldest in Irish history. The current heir apparent is the Spanish Don Hugo O’Donnell y Duque de Estrada, 7th Duke of Tetuan (b. 1948), who is descended from Calvagh O’Donnell, grandfather to Red Hugh. This group of Spanish nobles comes from the Flight of the Earls, after which many O’Donnells chose to stay in Spain. Eventually, one, Leopoldo O’Donnell y Jorris (1809 – 1867) rose to power and prominence, commanding Spanish troops in the Spanish-Moroccan War, earning himself the title of Duke of Red Hugh O’Donnell

Daniel O’Donnell

Leopoldo O’Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell

Tetuan, and serving as Prime Minister of Spain from 1858 – 1863, and again from 1864 – 1866. Other descendants of 16th-century continental gallowglass O’Donnells can be found in France and Austria. In France, Comte Jean Louis Barthelemy O’Donnell (1783 – 1836) was born a count and survived the French revolution, eventually becoming a career military man, serving under Napoleon in France, Spain, and Italy. In Austria, Maximilian Karl Lamoral Graf O’Donnell von Tyrconnell (1812 – 1895) rose to fame when, as aide-decamp to the Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria, he prevented an assassination attempt on the Emperor in 1853. According to a 1987 O’Donnell clan

newsletter, his nobly embellished O’Donnell coat of arms can be seen in the portico of No. 2 Mirabellplatz in Salzburg, where he lived. The history of the O’Donnells isn’t all wrapped up in orders of chivalry. Other successful O’Donnells abroad include Argentenian brothers Guillermo and Pacho O’Donnell. Guillermo (1936 – 2011) was a leading political scientist and theorist on authoritarianism and democratization at the University of Notre Dame. Pacho (b. 1941) is an eminent writer, politician, and psychoanalyst who has made significant contributions to the field of historiography. Even farther south lies O’Donnell Peak in Antarctica, just west of the Ross Ice Shelf, named for meteorologist Frank B. O’Donnell, who was a researcher at the nearby Hallett Station in 1962. The many O’Donnells born in Ireland include Cardinal Patrick O’Donnell (1856 – 1927), from Glenties, who, when he became Bishop of Raphoe in 1888, was the youngest bishop in the Catholic Church. There was the ghost hunter and supernatural writer Elliott O’Donnell (1872 – 1965).There’s Peadar O’Donnell (1893 – 1986), a well-known republican and editor of the literary magazine The Bell from 1946 to 1954. Conel Hugh O’Donel Alexander (1909 – 1974) was born in Cork and twice became British chess champion and an International Master, in addition to heading the cryptanalysis division at the British Government Communications Headquarters. And, of course, there’s the beloved Donegal-born singer of Irish country and folk, Daniel O’Donnell (b. 1961). Here in the U.S. we have a few prominent O’Donnells as well. There is Chris O’Donnell (b. 1970), currently starring in NCIS: Los Angeles, and the two O’Donnell talk-show hosts: the comedienne Rosie O’Donnell (b. 1962), best known for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and her LGBT activism, and political pundit Lawrence O’Donnell (b. 1951), the host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and an emmy-winning producer and writer. Finally, at the Citi headquarters at 390 Greenwich Street, there is James O’Donnell, who you’ll IA recognize from this issue’s cover.

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{photo album} Family Pictures

SeaVoyages With Father Writing from his mother’s perspective, Jim Dette pays tribute to the memory of his grandfather Jim Burke. y son has been after me to write down some of the remembrances of my father I’ve shared with him over the years. Before it’s too late, I’m sure he’s thinking. He keeps referring to an old, faded photograph of a group of refinery workers. It’s one of the few I have of my father. But the loving memories I have of him have left an indelible portrait in my mind. There was, for example, the respiratory illness I contracted as a child. The doctor had recommended a sea voyage. “A sea voyage!” Ma exclaimed. “Can you imagine? A stationary fireman with six kids. Where is he going to get the money?” Well, he had a solution. He would bundle me up and take me from our home in Garfield, New Jersey, to Battery Park in New York City to spend the day sitting on a bench and walking the waterfront. I remember it so well. It’s the spring of 1899. We’re getting on the train in Garfield, sandwiches in his lunch pail and a blanket to wrap me in as we take the sea air. He’s dressed in his Sunday best: a dark suit, white shirt, and tie. A woolen scarf and derby guard against the late March breezes. I’m wearing a hand-me-down blue woolen coat from my sister Mame. A knitted gray scarf and a matching hat, pulled down over my ears, protecting me from the breezes. After the twenty-minute ride on the Erie Railroad comes the ferryboat to Cortlandt



Street. We stay inside. He doesn’t want to overdo it on the first trip. We walk toward the Battery. He holds me tightly by the hand as we pass the busy docks: longshoremen unloading mahogany and ingots of tin from the Congo, the teamsters tending their horses as they wait their turn to board the ferry at Liberty Street. It’s an exciting experience for an eight-year-old. Maybe too exciting. The effects of the illness slow me down. No trouble for a man who shovels coal all day. Up on his shoulders, I go for a quick walk to Broadway, where we take a trolley to the end of the line. We find a bench near the water. He wraps me in the blanket, and we settle down for our ‘sea voyage.’ “You look just like one of those swells on the first class deck,” he says, admiring his little passenger. “I think the captain’s ready to sail. All ashore that’s going ashore,” he adds to complete the game. I’m soon absorbed in the sights of the harbor. The big ferries leave regularly for Staten Island. A group of excited tourists board a small launch for the Statue of Liberty. “Could we go someday?” I ask. We plan an excursion for the whole family. He takes out a cigar and lights it. As the smoke drifts away, he gazes out at the Statue of Liberty. It wasn’t there that March day in 1870 when he first saw this harbor from the deck of a steamship out of Cobh. He was fourteen and worried that

his older brother wouldn’t be there. But Uncle William was there and whisked him away to Jersey City and a job the next morning. They all come through Ellis Island now, with the Statue of Liberty to greet them. Life’s been good to him. He married Annie Curry in 1880. ‘Ah, Annie, how did she ever go for a greenhorn like me?’ he thinks and smiles at the thought of his outspoken American-born wife. “Annie,” he says, turning his attention back to me, “shall we see what your ma has made us for lunch?” He opens the pail he carries every day to work and hands me one of the sandwiches. My eyes brighten. “Oh, meatloaf!” I exclaim. “Yes, your Ma knows what you like,” he says, seeing my eyes light up. “God bless you, Annie. You never let anything get you down.” We eat in silence, watching the gulls scrambling for the pieces of bread we throw to them. When we finish, he asks, “Would you like to go to the ferry terminal for a cup of tea?” I struggle out of the blanket in response. We fold it up and walk through the yawning entrance of the large building. The cafe ceiling seems to stretch up to the sky. Along the far side of the room runs a long, marble-topped counter; behind it stands a dazzling array of coffee



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On a refinery site with his fellow workers, Jim Burke is the one on the right wearing the derby – the hard hat of his day.

urns, glass cases with assorted pastries, fruits, beverage bottles, and a variety of sandwiches. Waiters stand ready to serve the few customers seated on tall chairs with wire legs and backs shaped like hearts. Since the Saturday crowd is light, we quickly find seats at one of the marbletopped tables with chairs matching those at the counter. A waitress appears, and he orders tea. She turns and asks, “And what will you have, miss?” “Tea,” I blurt out. “Will that be all?” “Yes, ma’am,” he says, and then, as an

afterthought, “Would you be havin’ any scones?” “I’ll see.” The waitress returns with a steaming pot of tea, a creamer, a sugar bowl, and a plate with two of the biscuits. “Tea for the lady,” she announces as she sets a cup and saucer before me with an extra flourish, “and tea for the gentleman. I’m sorry, there were only these two left from the breakfast.” “That will do fine,” he answers.

there was this big sailboat that came around from the East River, and we went to this fine restaurant for tea and scones.” “Tea and scones is it. Aren’t we the fancy ones?” my mother says, smiling up at my father just now entering the kitchen. “And I suppose next week it will be steak, potatoes, and Pluto water at Delmonico’s. And how is my little Annie?” she asks, bending over to help me off with my coat. “Fine, Ma, fine.”

“Ma! Ma! It was grand! We watched the ferries, and there were these big boats coming in, and we watched seagulls, and

So the days went. Every Saturday for a month and a half we made the ‘sea IA voyage.’ And I got better.

Please send photographs along with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description, to Sheila Langan at Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. If photos are irreplaceable, then please send a good quality reproduction or e-mail the picture at 300 dpi resolution to submit@irishamerica.com. No photocopies, please. We will pay $65 for each submission that we select. OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013 IRISH AMERICA 117



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{crossword} By Darina Molloy

ACROSS 1 See 33 down (5) 2 (& 11 across) One of Dublin's most popular tourist attractions (8) 4 (& 34 down) Belfast murder drama starring Gillian Anderson (3) 6 Christy Moore sang of this lively Co. Clare town (12) 10 (& 2 down) Tony Soprano, RIP (5) 11 See 2 across (10) 14 See 21 down (9) 16 Life of ___: 2002 fantasy novel by Yann Martel (2) 18 This Martin is governor of Maryland (1, 6) 20 (& 29 across) Founder of the Sisters of Mercy (9) 22 ____ of Castlebar: 1798 French-English standoff in Mayo's county town (5) 25 First mystery thriller by Andrew Greeley: The Cardinals of _____ (4) 28 The clash of the ___, aka hurling (3) 29 See 20 across (2, 5) 31 (& 13 down) This priest is head of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus (4) 32 This debut novel won Amazon Canada First Novel Award in April (7) 33 Early Irish law (6) 35 This Mike was a Pulitzer prizewinning journalist who died in 1998 and was played by Tom Hanks on Broadway (2, 5) 36 County town of North Tipperary (6) 37 This Donal's debut novel was nominated for a Booker Prize and a Guardian First Book Award (5) 38 Seamus ______: Beloved poet and Nobel Laureate who passed away in August (6) 39 (& 5 down) The Irish one-fifth of One Direction (5)

DOWN 1 Annual Kilkenny festival featuring mash-up of economics, current affairs and comedy (11) 2 See 10 across (10) 3 Angry (5) 5 See 39 across (5) 7 Viking ______: Dublin city tour with watery difference (6)

8 Kerry town (7) 9 One of Boston's many nicknames, though rarely used by natives (8) 12 Aid or assistance (4) 13 See 31 across (2, 5) 15 Scattered population with common origin in a smaller geographic area (8) 17 (& 30 down) Emmy-winning Irish director set for adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Twits (8) 19 His scientific name is Panthera Leo (4) 21 (& 14 across) She wrote 32 across, a quirky and humorous novel set in County Mayo (7) 23 Leonard Cohen words of wisdom: “There is a ______ in everything. That's how the light gets in.” (5) 24 Whitey ______ (6)

Win a subscription to Irish America magazine Please send your completed crossword puzzle to Irish America, 875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001, to arrive no later than November 1, 2013. A winner will be drawn from among all correct entries. If there are no correct solutions, the prize will be awarded for the completed puzzle which comes closest in the opinion of our staff. Winner’s name will be published along with the solution in our next issue. Xerox copies are acceptable. Winner of the August/September Crossword: Frank Collins, East Northport, NY 118 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2013

26 A Kilkenny ____ refers to a tenacious fighter (3) 27 This Mickey Harte-managed Gaelic football team were beaten by Mayo in a memorable All Ireland semi-final (6) 30 See 17 down (5) 33 (& 1 across) Notre Dame head coach since 2009 (5) 34. See 4 across (4)

August / September Solution

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