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Boston Irish Commentary

About the troubles facing the Catholic Church in Ireland

By Joe Leary, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, June 4, 2012

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR
Are the continuing controversies surrounding the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland as serious as they sometimes seem? After a 1,500-year history of strength and fidelity, has the Church been weakened so much that political leaders now find it advantageous to call for the resignation of its leader, Cardinal Sean Brady, for his role as a young priest-clerk in a tribunal investigating an abusive priest 37 years ago?
The answer to both questions is “yes.” Read more

A passionate connection to where we came from

By Joe Leary, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, April 6, 2012

The multitude of St. Patrick’s Day events we witness each year, with their music, speeches, singing, and dancing, illustrates the passionate Irish-American connection to the land of Ireland where our ancestors were born. Read more

Now, the Irish are stalking the Masters in Georgia

By BY PETER F. STEVENS, special to the BIR, April 3, 2012

Messrs. McIlroy, McDowell, Harrington strut ‘major’ stuff

In July 2011, the gifted Northern Irish golfer Graeme McDowell tweeted the following words: “Darren Clarke – the first Northern Irish golfer to win a major in almost four weeks.” McDowell, winner of the 2010 U.S. Open, was lauding Clarke’s stunning triumph at the 2011 British Open, the latest in a run of “Majors magic” by Irish golfers after no linkster from the Emerald Isle had snagged one of the game’s majors since Fred Daly in 1947. The question for those who play and follow the Tour is whether Irish names will continue to appear atop the leaderboard of the Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship Read more

At a time of changing seasons, The Ivy Leaf seems to be on the cusp of its own transition

By Staff, March 6, 2012

Hoary clichés and bad jokes just seem inevitable where the Boston-based traditional Irish band The Ivy Leaf is concerned: You could say, for instance, that The Ivy Leaf is blossoming, has deep roots in the Irish tradition, is branching out, and some day will be raking it in.

But horticultural-themed wisecracks should not obscure the fact that this quartet of young musicians—all in their early or almost-mid 20s—really is getting ready to bloom. Read more

St. Patrick’s Day fete will hail Society’s 275th anniversary

By Staff, March 6, 2012

The Charitable Irish Society of Boston will celebrate its 275th anniversary with a gala dinner on St. Patrick’s Day at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. The evening will commence with a reception at 6 p.m. that will be followed by dinner at 7. The event is optional black tie. Members and non-members of the society are welcome to attend. Read more

All in the Family: Hiring of noted doctor seen as Carney coup

By Bill Forry, special to the BIR, March 6, 2012

It’s far too early to know if Dorchester’s one-and-only hospital can survive and thrive under the for-profit model of its new owners, Steward Health Care Systems. But for those seeking a reliable indicator that Carney Hospital is moving in the right direction, a key appointment announced in January is a positive sign.

Dr. Glennon O’Grady, a New York native who has focused his career around a family-medicine practice, first in Lawrence and then in Boston, has been hired to head up Carney’s Family Medicine department. Read more

Ian Paisley, deathly ill at 85, did much harm; but healing has begun

By Joe Leary, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, March 6, 2012

One of Northern Ireland’s most fearful sectarian agitators is coming to the end of his life at the age of 85. Ian Paisley, minister, politician, bigot, and one-time leader of anti-Catholic sentiment in its most virulent forms, lies in a Belfast hospital with an ailing heart and other undisclosed medical problems, and with his family gathered around him, waiting. Read more

Of the Church and contraception

By James W. Dolan, Special to the Reporter, special to the BIR, March 6, 2012

The Catholic Church’s stance on contraceptive birth control is wrong and as a result is largely ignored by practicing Catholics.

There are two realistic methods to limit the size of families – now a matter of necessity not just for health concerns but also for family and economic stability: contraception and abortion. To suggest the two are the same is nonsense. Read more

Here & There

By Bill O'Donnell, special to the BIR, March 6, 2012

Returning to Kerry – the Flahertys and the O’Donnells Read more

Brown’s immigration stance on shaky ground: His GOP colleagues hold key to fate of E3 visa bill in Senate

By Peter F. Stevens, special to the BIR, March 6, 2012

It came as no surprise that on Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s recent swing through Boston, he met with a politician named Kennedy. In this case it was the new Kennedy on the political block, Joseph P. Kennedy III, who is running for Congress. Read more

Speaking of bargains for tourists, Ireland is hard to beat right now

By Joe Leary, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, February 2, 2012

Joe Byrne, Tourism Ireland’s New York-based executive vice president for North America, is typical of the hard-working Irish men and women who are sent to the United States to represent their country. Enthusiastic, loyal, focused, and extremely bright, his friendly outgoing personality belies a tough, single-minded dedication to improving Ireland’s annual visitor count – in the North and in the South – from the United States and Canada. Read more

Cause & effect & all of us

By Ed Forry, February 2, 2012

That God is the uncaused cause has long been one of the principal arguments for a supernatural, all-powerful being. Some unexplainable, mysterious force must have begun the creative process, otherwise there would be nothing, or so the argument goes. Read more

One Man’s Hero: In the ‘Age of Tebow,’ a forgotten Boston Irishman stands out as the ‘Genuine Article’

By BY PETER F. STEVENS, special to the BIR, January 3, 2012

What does this exhibit have to do with Tebow or the other celebrities whom so many folks deify? It reveals how they pale when set against bona-fide heroes, the type who stand for or against something with no fanfare and no desire for acclaim. Such a quiet hero was John Edward Kelly. Read more

Losing our balance: The Uncivil War

By Anonymous, January 3, 2012

As we observe the 150th-anniversary year of the start of the Civil War, we are again facing disunion and testing whether a nation, once the noble beacon of representative government, can survive.

The present-day unraveling of our democratic system of government is not territorial, nor is it based on states rights or slavery. Read more

Troubling signals all up the line; a painful year looms for Ireland

By Joe Leary, Special to the BIR, special to the BIR, January 3, 2012

With draconian cuts in their standard of living, the potential collapse of the European Union, and the irrelevance of the Catholic Church in their lives, the people of Ireland are looking at a bleak 2012 as the new year dawns. The huge debts run up by swashbuckling real estate developers and crooked bank officials, which required massive borrowing from Europe, have placed a horrendous burden on the Irish government and the Irish people. Read more