By James W. Dolan
Special to the Reporter
There is no denying that Senator John McCain is a true American hero. He was badly injured when shot down over North Vietnam and then endured five years of imprisonment, deprivation, and torture. He said he “broke,” but if so, it was only after resisting to a point far beyond what could reasonably be expected of anyone. Read more
By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR
The recent British Parliamentary elections indicate a dramatic new phase in Northern Ireland’s journey towards peaceful change. New leaders in London, a continuing increase in National/Republican votes, Unionist parties in disarray, and the promise of lower corporate tax rates all portend change. It appears much is happening to set the stage for movement towards a United Ireland.
The success of the two Nationalist/Republican political parties, Sinn Fein and the Social Democratic Labor Party (SDLP), both aggressively advocating Northern Ireland unity with the Republic of Ireland, was seen in many of the 18 constituencies where the election was fought. Read more
By Robert P. Connolly
Special to the BIR
For years, the political playbook for Northern Ireland’s unionists stressed saber-rattling and offering up the hardest of hard-line stands. After all, the party that dominated unionist politics for decades, the Ulster Unionist Party, once had its armed wing and in the aftermath of partition made clear that Northern Ireland was a Protestant state and that Catholics were a barely tolerated and little-trusted enemy within the North’s borders. Read more
Giving new definition to irony, Rob O'Leary's academic pedigree in the spirited arena of Boston politics reads like one from central casting: Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire; The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he rubbed shoulders with a young Bill Clinton; a master's in public policy from Harvard; and a PhD in history from Tufts. The state senator serving Cape Cod and the Islands, with his trademark Kennedy good looks, was the first Democrat to represent the region in the state Legislature since the Civil War. He now seeks bigger fish to fry - by replacing retiring Congressman Bill Delahunt in the state's 10th Congressional District. Read more
What will my church do to confront the continuing scandal associated with the sexual abuse of children? In an effort to avoid scandal, church leaders were complicit in efforts to cover up not only serious crimes but also grievous sins. Read more
The results of the upcoming British Parliamentary elections will have a profound effect upon peace and understanding amongst the conflicted people of Northern Ireland. The people of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will elect 650 members of the newly constituted Parliament, which will rule the country for the next five years unless the new government fails to maintain its majority. Read more
By Robert P. Connolly, special to the BIR, May 1, 2010
BELFAST - While the party leaders who have the most at stake in this month's British election are named Brown, Cameron, and Clegg, the leaders of three of Northern Ireland's four main political parties also have a lot riding on the outcome of the Westminster vote. Read more
If you had told Thomas Bartlett in 1970 that 40 years later he would be the Burns Scholar at Boston College, teaching classes on Ireland in the early modern era and researching the holdings of the "best Irish collection in North America," he probably would not have believed you. Read more
How many of you earn that amount in a year?
Not I, says the teacher. Nor I, says the letter carrier. Nor I, says the clerk at the corner store. Certainly not I, says the senior citizen living on Social Security.
$88,200. That’s 1,700 bucks a week in your paycheck. If yours is a family of four, and you make less than that, some relief is here, at last. Read more
By Joseph F Leary, special to the BIR, April 3, 2010
The vast influence and power of Ireland throughout the world is proven every St. Patrick’s Day. And don’t think it is just parties and parades; it is testimony to the robust spirit and unique character of the Irish people who vigorously celebrate their loyalty and love for their native land. Read more
By Robert P. Connolly, special to the BIR, April 3, 2010
By Robert P. Connolly
Special to the BIR
With spring in the air and the landscape turning green, the mind wanders across the water…
The upcoming British election means that Northern Ireland’s 18 Westminster seats will be up for grabs. The Democratic Unionist Party has a lot on the line because it holds nine of those seats, but it is also important that Sinn Fein, which has five seats, do well and help party leader Gerry Adams bounce back from his annus horribilis of 2009. Read more
The Haiti earthquake claimed the life of Andrew Grene, but his legacy lives on through his twin brother – the Prodigals' Gregory Grene - and a foundation for the children of Haiti.
For 44-year-old Gregory Grene, of the popular band The Prodigals, nothing will ever be the same. His twin brother, Andrew, a well-known UN political affairs officer, perished in the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January. Gregory headed to another island, Ireland, to help bury his brother in Belturbet, County Cavan. Read more
By Greg O'Brien, special to the BIR, March 1, 2010
A student of the classics and ancient Greece, Tom Hynes delights in the story of Pheidippides, the Athenian herald who in 490 B.C. announced the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon. As legend has it, Pheidippides ran a marathon 150 miles in two days, then raced 25 miles from the battlefield to Athens to proclaim victory. "We have won," he declared. He then collapsed, dead from exhaustion. Read more
In a close election last month, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) of Northern Ireland elected Minister Margaret Ritchie, 51, as its "leader" to guide the party into the second decade of the 21st century. With her ascension, Miss Ritchie becomes the first female head of a major party in Northern Ireland. Read more
By Robert P. Connolly, special to the BIR, March 1, 2010
Northern Ireland's Troubles began with its police force front and center and in a very real sense may have ended with a grand compromise on the vexing question of where the ultimate control over policing should rest. Read more