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Boston Irish Commentary

SDLP Elects Margaret Ritchie as 'Leader' - First Woman to Head Major Party in North

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

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

Officials See North's Policing Accord As Signaling End to 'Troubles' Era

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

Irish Immigration Center Is Quick to Pitch In

By Sue Asci, special to the BIR, February 6, 2010

The Irish Immigration Center is partnering with several organizations throughout the city to help Haitian immigrants seeking Temporary Protected Status (TPS) complete applications by a June deadline. Read more

The Waiting Line is Fast Dwindling, and Soon They Will All Be Gone

By Anonymous, February 6, 2010

The ranks are thin. Where once stood thousands of young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. there are huge gaps. Those who are left are stooped, wrinkled, and gray. As we watch, more crumple to the ground. Taps sounds in the distance. The rest remain silent ... waiting. Read more

Climate Change in Scott Brown's Massachusetts

By Jim O'Sullivan, special to the BIR, February 6, 2010

The Jan. 19 election to succeed Paul Kirk - and Ted Kennedy - in the United States Senate was supposed to be the tripwire. The vote that launched a thousand domino campaigns, Democrats vying against Democrats for seats long held safe by Democrats, and expected to be held by Democrats long into the foreseeable.

Instead, state Sen. Scott Brown's election over Attorney General Martha Coakley has sent the state's plurality party into an unaccustomed place: the wilderness contemplative. Read more

Cardinal Daly, Leader of Ireland's Catholics During Violent Years in Belfast, and Hero of the Peace Process, is Dead at 92

By Joe Leary, special to the BIR, February 6, 2010

One of the more substantive heroes of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, Cardinal Cahal Daly, died in a Belfast hospital last month at the age of 92. A saintly man of small stature, the cardinal was trusted by Protestant church leaders on all sides. A quiet man who carried a pleasant wry smile, he served as the bishop of Belfast and the surrounding area during the height of the bombings and shootings that pervaded Northern Ireland in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. Read more

'Salesman' for Northern Ireland Brings Belief, Zest to His Economic Envoy Post

By Robert P. Connolly, special to the BIR, February 6, 2010

Declan Kelly describes himself as "a salesman for Northern Ireland" and like any good salesman, he comes to the job armed with facts and figures - and brimming with energy, determination, and ideas. Read more

Murphy, a Mover on the Boston City Council, Takes Stock of Voter Anger in Mulling Future

By Greg O'Brien, special to the BIR, February 6, 2010

The view is serene from Stephen John Murphy's office on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall. It overlooks Faneuil Hall and a swath of Boston Harbor in the distance on this promising late January day when the sun is a bit higher in the sky and the temperature is flirting with the 50s. Inside this dense concrete bunker, the political climate is chilling, as observers assess the damage from the storm surge of angry voters that swept Scott Brown into the United States Senate faster than you could say "All bets are off!" Read more

Wider Horizons Offers New Career Path for Irish Youth

By Katie Forberg, special to the BIR, January 7, 2010

When Maureen Gates received a phone call asking if she would like an intern from Ireland, she didn't waste a moment to jump at the opportunity. Gates works on the EagleEyes project at the Boston College Campus School and for the past decade she has helped develop technology for educational and communication purposes for students with severe physical disabilities. After visiting Cork City to implement the technology in a school there, Gates thought it would be beneficial to try to strengthen that relationship. Read more

As Leaders Work on Recession Woes, They're Creating Future Benefits

By Joe Leary, special to the BIR, January 6, 2010

Every once in a while we have to be told to "slow down, you are going too fast; stop and think." Sometimes it is a speeding accident, or an exciting idea gone wrong, or a personal excess that should be controlled. Read more

For Gerry Adams, It Was a Year of Trials at Work and at Home

By Robert P. Connolly, special to the BIR, January 6, 2010

First came the startling news that the republican leader's brother, Liam Adams, was on the run, charged with having sexually abused his daughter for an eight-year period that began when the girl was 4. He was reported to be hiding in the Republic of Ireland and Gerry appealed to his brother to return to Northern Ireland to face the charges lodged against him. Read more

Chasing Joy – and Loving It!

By Anonymous, January 2, 2010

The golf clubs have been put away and the skis are out. So begins another season. The sand in the upper chamber of life's hourglass slips inexorably below where all my yesterdays are stored. Read more

Of Center Field, a Darkened Dog Track, and Golf's Tiger

By Tom Mulvoy, BIR Staff, special to the BIR, January 2, 2010

Baseball has long carried the day when it comes to locutions that insiders and true fans use as a second language - the hot corner, a can of corn, the cycle, suicide squeeze, ribbie, Ks, the nickel curve, and the slider, to name just a few. Then there's the Hot Stove League, which for me conjures up a long-ago scene in an up-country general store where fans gathered around the warm central stove to swap baseball stories and promote a trade or two for the off-season. Read more

USA Graduate Program Has Irish Links

By Sue Asci, special to the BIR, January 2, 2010

An innovative program to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM fields) is attracting thousands of students to Syracuse, N.Y.

USAGraduate is a 10-week interactive internet-based quiz program that offers students in grades 6 through 12 an opportunity to study STEM topics and compete for prizes such as iPods and laptop computers. Read more

Success Follows Hard Work and Then Some for Tom 'Red' Martin, BC Hockey Legend

By Greg O'Brien, special to the BIR, January 2, 2010

Tom Martin took to ice as a young boy as cod take to the sea. It was his lifeblood. In high school, he used to run to his Cambridge home backwards from Harvard Square, practicing the art of a pivot so he could perform the difficult maneuver without hesitation on ice. Read more