Boston Irish Commentary

Every weekday, 24 Irish children, ages 5 to 12, attend a two-room school house in the remote West Cork countryside between the villages of Drinagh and Drimoleague. It is here, under the caring guidance of Principal Teresa Holland, that these children... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR Five Irish universities, ninety-four primary schools in the Republic, fifteen primary and secondary schools in Northern Ireland, and twelve community groups throughout Ireland received support from the Irish American... Read more
The dead can’t defend themselves. While cliché, the sentence is a truism nonetheless as witness the recent release of FBI files on the late Kevin White offering some 500 pages of roughly composed, heavily redacted documents that delve into purported... Read more
As I see it, homicide is always evil; the degree, however, depends upon the context – circumstances and intent. Thus, we determine if the killing of another in self defense or the execution of one convicted of murder is justifiable. In war, the killing of... Read more
The people of Ireland are struggling. Incomes are lower, taxes and fees are higher, unemployment is 14.8 percent, and tens of thousands of young people are once again leaving. After enjoying a booming economy for a brief time a few years ago, Ireland is... Read more
Saturday Night Live should come up with a new formula that combines debating and prizefighting as a way to give viewers a definite winner and loser instead of the endless “spinning” that occurs under the traditional debate formula. Both sides now claim to... Read more
BY JOE LEARY SPECIAL TO THE BIR The United States is the most powerful, resourceful nation in the world, so what goes on here is of intense interest to all other countries. especially Ireland. In fact, there is so much attention paid to American elections... Read more
by Peter F. Stevens Bear with me here, but I’m wondering if somewhere, somehow on the Romney family tree, an Irish branch stretches out. Why is that? Whether or not Mitt Romney wins the Oval Office this month, a question will remain. Who is Willard Mitt... Read more
Above, one of many sessions involving members of the Irish American Partnership and Irish officials that took place during the Partnership's mission to Ireland in August. A group of 14 Irish American Partnership members, including several Bostonians,... Read more
J. Barry Driscoll Barry Driscoll has taken good notes on life for 82 years now and the sketchpad of his character lays out both a standard for success in a business set up to serve others and a lesson in what a gut will to persevere can make happen, the... Read more
It was built on a bluff overlooking Vineyard Sound around 1900 by a wealthy mining executive and was one of the first structures on what at the time was a lonely stretch of beach between Woods Hole and Falmouth not far from Nobska Light. The history of... Read more
The school population in Northern Ireland, through University level, has been heavily Catholic for many years, so it is only a matter of time before there will be a Catholic majority in the six counties. Northern Ireland as a culturally Catholic area for... Read more
No, Mitt Romney is not claiming Irish heritage to pander for Irish-American votes here or elsewhere. He’s also not claiming publicly his investments in Ireland. No surprise there. After all, as Ann Romney bluntly told ABC’s Robin Roberts: “We’ve given... Read more
Tip O'Neill meets with his friend, Joe Leary In early 1990, through the intercession of two friends, the famous Dr. Tom Durant of MGH and the speaker’s nephew, Brian O’Neill, Esq., I first met the then-retired O’Neill at his office in Washington. My... Read more
There’s no question that US Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, are “debating.” The televised debate proposed by Vickie Kennedy, widow of the late senator Edward M. Kennedy, to be moderated by heavyweight Tom Brokaw fell... Read more
When Brian Cowan, then prime minister of Ireland, came to Boston in August 2009 to attend Ted Kennedy’s funeral, he met with reporters after Mass. Soaking wet in a rumpled suit from the rain that day and very tired from his late night flight from Ireland... Read more
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... Read more
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. The nearly month-long series of... Read more
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... Read more
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... Read more