Boston Irish Commentary

BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR As we celebrate the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of our Irish heritage, it is natural to reflect on the lives of our ancestors, their sacrifices that brought us to Boston, and the later sacrifices they made to... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR Public documents to be filed with the IRS and many state agencies throughout the United States reveal that The Irish American Partnership headquartered here in Boston raised nearly $900,000 in the year 2013, a 25 percent... Read more
A look at a controversial politician and a remarkable cleric reveals the difference between real history and hazy history BY PETER F. STEVENS BIR STAFF The Microsoft ad is both slick and moving – but there’s one note in it that likely rankles a great many... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR The strength, tenacity, and courage of the Irish people in dealing with their own share of the world’s collapsing economy in the 2007-2009 period should make Irish Americans very proud. Yes, there were abuses and perilous... Read more
The tragedy of the people of Northern Ireland killing each other was memorialized this past October by the families and friends of the 18 victims who died 20 years ago in two of the most tragic atrocities in the North’s difficult history. Today, as... Read more
Irish American Partnership study shows exciting growth Ireland is slowly emerging from its economic disaster and one of the main reasons is the medical device business led by Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and 200 other medical device companies located in... Read more
Echoes of the Past in Boston Politics and Sports By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff Two Boston Irish names at the top of the 2013 mayoral ticket – What’s old in the city’s politics is new again. In a Boston whose demographics are shifting, the fact that the... Read more
The first of two elections to choose the next mayor of Boston has come and gone. Two finalists have been chosen. It’ll be an exciting and informative six weeks until the Nov. 5 balloting. A little more than 30 percent of Bostonians who are registered to... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR On Friday night, Aug. 9, more than 1,000 rioting Unionist/Loyalist supporters attacked Belfast police while protesting a Sinn Fein parade memorializing the martial law internment of 342 Catholic Nationalists and Republicans... Read more
By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff It’s “ovah.” Or is it? James “Whitey” Bulger finally stood trial and received a long-belated, long-deserved verdict. One can only hope that his victims’ families received at least some scant measure of solace, courtesy of... Read more
The divide between the Irish Government and the Catholic Church in Ireland became more profound last month with the Irish Parliament’s approval of new laws liberalizing abortion restrictions. The aggressive moves by the Fine Gael/ Labor coalition... Read more
A great many Irish Americans have forgotten that their ancestors’ brogans and workers’ caps were the ‘hoodies’ of their day BY PETER F. STEVENS BIR STAFF No matter where one comes down of the verdict in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case, ignoring... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR The “Good Friday Agreement” of 1998 has made little difference in the lives of many in Northern Ireland – especially in the disadvantaged areas of both East and West Belfast. Where are the jobs that were promised? The... Read more
Recently, scientists announced the discovery of the actual strain of potato blight that unleashed the Great Famine, An Gorta Mor. The natural villain behind at least a million deaths from starvation or disease and the Irish Diaspora of the mid-1800s was... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR This is a bit of a personal story for me – testimony to the help that Irish America has provided to the most severely disadvantaged areas of Dublin and the rest of Ireland. Social planners 50-60 years ago built huge... Read more
By Thomas O’Grady Special to the BIR Today I walked along rue St. André des Arts in Paris, searching for an Arab tavern. I was following the footsteps of legendary Dublin-born man-of-letters Brendan Behan, or at least following their imprint in a poem he... Read more
The fight between Markey and Lynch for a US Senate seat is mere child’s play against the ‘good old days’ of Irish politics By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff It won’t be like the “good old days” of Boston Irish politics. No matter how many stiff jabs that Ed... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR Beneath all the tragic headlines emanating from Northern Ireland over these past 50 years lies a largely untold story of people on both sides that did their best to bring people together. Though many resisted change, there... Read more
After years of casually watching Fox TV News, I have come to distrust much of what is churned out daily by the so-called news channel on its cable network. And after reading the research and monitoring reports by the respected fact-gatherers at the Media... Read more
By Thomas O’Grady Special to the BIR Recently, but not for the first time, I paid a visit to a roadside shrine (as it were) that remembers one of the iconic figures of so-called Bohemian Dublin of the 1940s and ’50s. Actually, the “shrine”—commemorating... Read more