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Boston Irish Commentary

No Relaxing in Northern Ireland; Trouble Continues to Haunt Region

By Joe Leary, special to the BIR, May 6, 2011

BY JOE LEARY
SPECIAL TO THE BIR
After nearly ninety years, so many deaths, and so much anger and sorrow, the tragic partitioning of Ireland in 1922 and the violence it created remain the chief causes of deep community hostility across Northern Ireland.
For the casual visitor, the tension is not so apparent, but at night, otherwise healthy communities, both Catholic and Protestant, live behind 12- to 30-foot high walls to protect themselves from the other side. Fear rules the streets after dark, especially in areas where the two communities live close to each other. There are now 140 of these walls, perhaps as many as 60 more than was the case before the “Good Friday” Peace agreement was signed. The walls are encouraged and paid for by a Government anxious to keep peace regardless of the cost. Residents welcome the walls for the feeling of security they provide. Read more

It was a Bitter Cup of Tea Then, and the Same is True Today

By Peter Stevens, special to the BIR, May 6, 2011

I’m begging anyone in these parts with green bloodlines to please put down the “tea.” Every time anyone in or around Boston, or the rest of Massachusetts, imbibes the Tea Party brew, a historical fog envelops him or her. The lessons of the past evaporate, the concoction’s residue a soggy, sorry blend of simplistic bromides, cultural, racial, and ethnic epithets, and distortion of the past. Read more

Blessed ‘Bongo’ – Man, Priest, Teacher

By Ed Forry, May 6, 2011

BY JAMES W. DOLAN
SPECIAL TO THE REPORTER
This is the season of acceptances and rejections when high school seniors experience the joy of victory or the agony of defeat when the dreaded envelopes arrive.
My oldest grandchild, a senior at BC High, applied to about 10 colleges and, unlike me, got into most of them. It looks like he will be studying engineering at Notre Dame next year. Read more

A Look on the Bright Side for the Future of Ireland

By Ed Forry, April 2, 2011

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR
Even before the recent elections, there were abundant signs that the people of Ireland are surviving and doing well. Media stories in Europe and the United States portray Ireland as a stricken country. It isn’t!
A recent trip to Dublin found the city streets full of busy people hurrying along, getting on with their normal lives. Read more

As the lingering winter eases off …

By Ed Forry, April 2, 2011

By James W. Dolan
Special to the Reporter
The snow lingers. Will this winter ever end?
This year Mother Nature took a swipe at global warming by sending us a blast from the past. Winter wrapped around us with an intensity that shouted: “Not so soon, I’m still around.” Read more

The Tale of My Left Foot

By Ed Forry, March 1, 2011

By James W. Dolan
Special to the Reporter
My left foot greets me from the end of a cast that stretches from my thigh to my heel. I can see it, feel it, and even wiggle my toes, but it might as well be on the moon should I try to reach it.
A skiing accident might give my condition some style; but no such luck. I went down on ice as I exited my back door to feed the birds. While I was able to get up and hobble on my right leg, I knew I had injured something. Read more

Anger, Disgust Drive Irish Voters to Send Fianna Fail to Sidelines

By by Joe Leary, special to the BIR, March 1, 2011

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR
DUBLIN – Foreclosures, higher taxes, higher health insurance costs, and huge pay cuts for most everyone over the last several years had created an Irish anger that demanded change, and right away. In addition to those woes, there was a broad disgust and a deep loss of pride at the government having to borrow from European banks to bail out Irish banks. On Feb. 25, Ireland’s voters complied resoundingly with the call for change and sent the former leaders of Fianna Fail into oblivion. Read more

Reflections on Love, the Ultimate Virtue

By by Jim Dolan, special to the BIR, February 4, 2011

By James W. Dolan
Special to the Reporter
Love is the all-encompassing virtue. Yet in our culture it is corrupted, distorted, and debased. Emphasis is placed on the self rather than the other. Self-absorption and self-seeking replace the essential generosity or selflessness that are so much a part of what love really means. Read more

Ireland’s Political Upheaval Foretells New Beginning

By by Joe Leary, special to the BIR, February 4, 2011

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR
Whether it was the fault of Ireland’s unscrupulous bankers, greed-driven businessmen, or incompetent politicians, the country is now experiencing a traumatic collapse of its ruling government. Read more

News Continues to Disappoint; Irish Turn to 2011 with Hope

By Ed Forry, January 7, 2011

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR

Unemployment is high, existing salaries have been cut, taxes are being increased, furious bitter criticism is everywhere, politicians are screaming at each other, and amateur economic experts are demanding their economic solutions be adopted. Newspaper reporters are delighted to offer their own advice and commentary.
This is an unhappy time in Ireland. Read more

Angst and Hatred Continue to Roil Everyday Life in Northern Ireland

By Jo, special to the BIR, November 2, 2010

Minister’s Call to Cut Funds for Catholic Schools a Case in Point

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR

Many Irish Americans express wonderment as to why, after all the progress towards peace and understanding, Northern Ireland still has sporadic violence and such difficulty in bringing Catholics and Protestants together. Read more

All rise please! Paul Murphy’s Court is now adjourned

By Anonymous, October 29, 2010

Dorchester buried one of its favorite sons on Monday, October 25 when Judge Paul Murphy was laid to rest. A graduate of St. Mark’s School, BC High, Boston College, and Harvard Law School and a Korean war veteran, Judge Murphy had a long and distinguished career; first as a state representative and then as First Justice of the West Roxbury District Court.

Essentially shy and reserved, he nonetheless was an effective politician who won the respect and admiration of his colleagues as much for his humility as for his brilliant mind. Read more

Going Back Home: A Visit to the Isle of Mists

By Anonymous, October 20, 2010

By Greg O’Brien
Special to the BIR

“Ireland sober is Ireland stiff,” wrote James Joyce. And so we toast the Isle of Mists in throaty zest after the Shannon-bound Aer Lingus flight finally lifts off a rain-soaked JFK runway at 10:30 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 22 after a four-hour weather delay that featured boisterous thunder and angry bolts of lightening. It was an ill-omened beginning to a family pilgrimage to plumb the depths of our Irish ancestry and in the process rediscover one another. Read more

Should Britain sell Northern Ireland to The Republic of Ireland?

By Ed Forry, October 20, 2010

By Joseph F. Leary
One of Britain’s most respected commentators, Chief Editorial Writer and columnist Mary Dejevsky of The London Independent has written a provocative article on Northern Ireland and the prospect of a United Ireland. In a column published in the Independent in August and two days later in the Belfast Telegraph, Dejevsky suggests – perhaps tongue and cheek - that Britain sell Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland as part of their solution to their budget problems.
Of course this would need the approval of Northern Ireland voters but the reporter was speculating on the benefits of such a move. Read more

Reduced Corporate Taxes May Help in the North's Struggle With Finances

By Joe Leary, special to the BIR, September 1, 2010

Like most of the world today, Northern Ireland is facing an uncertain financial future. But unlike most countries, it is an unsettled society, just emerging from 40 traumatic years of tragedy after tragedy. Although Northern Ireland now has its local, self-governing assembly, the purse strings are still controlled in London where the new conservative government is taking severe steps to limit spending while keeping the government running. Read more

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