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Boston Irish Commentary

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

Boston College and the Irish Way: Connected at Birth, and Still At It

By Matthew DeLuca, special to the BIR, September 1, 2010

Today, it sits just outside the most ethnically Irish of American cities, but in the mid-19th century, Boston College was basically a local school in Boston's South End neighborhood providing a Jesuit-Catholic education to the sons of recent Irish-Catholic immigrants. Read more

Phil Johnston, Lifelong Democratic Stalwart, Has Three Passions: Politics, Fairness, Equality

By Greg O'Brien, special to the BIR, August 1, 2010

Philip W. Johnston, a former chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, always knew how to spot a winner. Read more

Over The Years, The 'Yankee Spirit' Has Been An Economic Boon

By Thomas H. O'Connor, special to the BIR, August 1, 2010

At a time when the nation faces severe financial depression, bank failures, and high unemployment, it should come as something of a consolation to recall that over the course of some 350 years New England has demonstrated an uncanny ability to adapt well to all kinds of economic changes. Read more

July Still Means Troubles in Belfast

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

The July parades in Northern Ireland celebrate a Protestant military victory over a Catholic army at the Battle of the Boyne in the Republic of Ireland over 300 years ago. The marches are an in-your-face expression by some of Northern Ireland's Protestants to maintain their appearance of superiority over Catholics. Read more

Recognizing Our Faults, Our Flaws

By Anonymous, August 1, 2010

Institutions perform poorly because they are composed of human beings. That observation should not come as a surprise to anyone older than 30; yet we are frequently shocked when it happens. Read more

At Last, After 38 Long Years, People of Derry Absolved

By by Joe Leary, Special to the Reporter, special to the BIR, July 2, 2010

The tragedy of British arrogance towards Catholic Ireland over the past many centuries has never been more thoroughly revealed than in the official government report issued on the “Bloody Sunday” shootings and killings in Derry, Northern Ireland, on Jan. 30, 1972. Twenty seven unarmed Catholic protesters were shot by British soldiers just after four o’clock that afternoon – and 14 of them died. Read more

Review, Apology ‘Transformative,’ says U.S. Rep. Neal

By Reporter Staff, special to the BIR, July 2, 2010

By Robert P. Connolly
Special to the BIR
It is perhaps more than appropriate that the echoes of the gun shots fired in Derry on Jan. 30, 1972, have reverberated down through the decades. Read more

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