Skip to content

Here and There

Peace Walls' Days May Be Numbered

By Bill O'Donnell, October 12, 2011

Peace Walls’ Days May Be Numbered –When the first peace walls were erected in 1969, they were intended to be temporary. A British general at the time said, “The peace line will be a very, very temporary affair. We will not have a Berlin Wall or anything like that in this city.” That was then and over 40 years on there are 42 so-called peace walls to separate the two major traditions in the six counties, the most famous being the wall that divides loyalist Shankill Road and republican Falls Road in West Belfast. Read more

Here and There September 2011

By Bill O'Donnell, August 31, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell

Lenihan Family Passes On Politics – For the first time in a third of a century no member of the Lenihan family will stand for election in Dublin West. The death three months ago of Fianna Fail TD and former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has brought to a close the active participation of the family members in Irish national politics. Mary O’Rourke, an aunt of Brian, and a longtime Fianna Fail TD and minister, was defeated for reelection earlier this year. Read more

Here and There - August 2011

By Bill O'Donnell, July 29, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell

Irish Mass Emigration a Myth – Since the onset of Ireland’s economic crisis there have been countless anecdotal accounts of departures from Ireland, a mass exodus supposedly taking the Isle’s best and brightest to Britain, Australia, and America. Not so, says the first readings of Ireland’s 2011 census. The preliminary results show a population of 4,581,269 in the Republic, an increase of just over eight percent in the five years since the last census. Read more

Bulger capture leads summer news cycle

By Bill O'Donnell, July 5, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell

Bulger Capture Leads Summer News Cycle—
No matter how you slice it, the Federales have achieved a stunning high performance perfecta in recent weeks. On May 2 it was the Navy Seals surprising Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad and taking him out. Some 51 days later it was the FBI, with a tip from Iceland (purportedly), ending Whitey Bulger’s 16-year Santa Monica retreat. Throw in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win a week before the Bulger bust and you have a blogger’s delight. Read more

Dark History in Two Parts

By Bill O'Donnell, June 3, 2011

Dark History In Two Parts – The Rhode Island House of Representatives took a giant step forward for justice last month when they cleared the name of an Irish immigrant who was hanged on Valentine’s Day, 1845. John Gordon, 29, was convicted of murdering a well-connected mill owner and brother of a sitting U.S. senator in ugly circumstances that reflected the strong anti-Irish sentiment of the day. Read more

Here & There, May 2011- Booby-Trapped Bombs and IRA Dissidents

By Bill O'Donnell, May 6, 2011

Breakaways/Dissidents Buoyed By IRA Veterans -- The rules of engagement and the identity of those leading the anti-government assault in the six counties is changing and the threat to peace and stability in the North is presently at a high-water mark. The booby-trapped bomb murder of a Catholic member of the Northern police (PSNI), Ronan Kerr, has publicly highlighted what security forces have known for some time: old line, veteran members of the provisional IRA have been defecting from the Adams-McGuinness political operation and are now playing an increasingly major role in the campaign of violence. Read more

Here & There: Libyan Fighting Threatens IRA Victim's Claims

By Bill O'Donnell, April 2, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell
Libyan Fighting Threatens IRA Victims’ Claims –
War, even the no-fly-zone type of war being waged today against Colonel Khadafy’s brutal regime, has many casualties. One of the probable losers of the conflict in Libya is a secret deal between the British government and Khadafy to win compensation from Libya for British victims (including Northern Ireland) of IRA bombs and violence. Read more

Published Reports Bring More Bad Publicity, Add to Ireland's Woes

By Bill O'Donnell, March 1, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell

Reading More, Liking It Less – If you are an Irish citizen you would be forgiven if you took little solace in the bruised cliche that all publicity is good publicity. That is demonstrably untrue and especially so with two articles last month in major US publications that savaged the Irish economic crisis and its perps, and a second article that inflicted yet more damage on that country’s reeling Catholic Church. Read more

Kennedy "History" Cable Program Deserved to be Axed

By Bill O'Donnell, February 4, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell
Kennedy ‘History’ Series Deserved Axe – The History Channel produced and planned to air an expensive TV miniseries allegedly depicting the Kennedy family saga, which, after considerable controversy about the accuracy of its content, the cable channel killed. Read more

More Trouble for Irish Church

By Bill O'Donnell, January 7, 2011

By Bill O’Donnell
More Trouble for Irish Church – Boston’s archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, has not completed his report to the Vatican on the Dublin abuse investigation, but the situation in Irish Catholic Ireland at the moment can only be described as toxic, tawdry, and seemingly endless. The latest chapter in the Murphy Report just released describes a "breathtaking coverup" of a serial priest-abuser, Father Tony Walsh, by church officials for 17 long, painful years.
An Irish Times analysis clearly shows church leaders in Ireland knew and did nothing to corral Walsh’s predatory actions. As the Times notes, "Archbishops, bishops, chancellors, vicars general, parish priests –the list of senior clerics who knew of Walsh’s serial sexual abuse of children is virtually endless." Read more