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Here and There

Returning to Kerry – the Flahertys and the O’Donnells

By Bill O'Donnell, March 6, 2012

My cousin Dan Flaherty died twenty years ago at age 53. As he left us, he was doing what he loved: tending his sheep atop the mountain overlooking the farm below that he shared with his wife Eileen and daughter Margaret. I love all the Flahertys, but I reserve a special place for Dan. He was a community leader, a regular in the Castlemaine players group, and a much-loved performer in his neighborhood musicales. Read more

Irish-Based Charity to Aid Chernobyl Children Is Scammed

By Bill O'Donnell, March 5, 2012

Irish-Based Charity Is Scammed – The Chernobyl Children International charity founded and run out of Ireland by humanitarian Adi Roche is one of the most admired and successful efforts of its kind anywhere in the world. Read more

Vatican Embassy Closing by Ireland Spurs Criticism

By Bill O'Donnell, February 2, 2012

The recent decision by the Irish government to shut down its embassy in Rome is meeting with widespread public disapproval. Although the closing was characterized as an economy move at the time, there is a feeling among many of the country’s punters that it was a retaliatory back-of-the-hand to Rome. Read more

"Belfast Project" takes a hit in federal court

By Bill O'Donnell, December 30, 2011

by Bill O'Donnell
The Fat Lady Hasn’t Sung Last Note Yet At BC—Those working to quash the Northern Ireland Police/US Justice Department subpoenas against Boston College’s “Belfast Project” oral history interviews took a hit last month when a federal judge supported the Police Service/Justice view of things. On Dec. 27, Judge William Young ordered BC to turn over the tapes of recorded interviews with a former IRA member, Dolours Price, to the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston for a transfer to the police in Northern Ireland who are continuing their probes of the killing times in the North during the Troubles. Young gave the university a deadline of Dec. 30 and BC said it would not appeal the ruling. Meanwhile, the judge still has in hand for his own review scores of interviews with numerous other IRA figures. Read more

Pope John XXIII and the case for his long-delayed canonization

By Bill O'Donnell, December 5, 2011

by Bill O'Donnell
Is Pope John’s Case Buried—What in God’s name is happening at the Vatican and the long-delayed canonization of Pope John XXIII? The case for Pope John, who died in 1963 and was beatified in September 2000, remains in some ideological backroom queue while Pope John Paul II has been fast-tracked for sainthood by the current denizens of the Vatican Curia. Read more

Irish Look Into Facebook Complaints

By Bill O'Donnell, November 14, 2011

The popular social network Facebook has 600 million users across Europe but that hasn't stopped an Irish agency from auditing the internet phenomenon. The Irish Data Protection Commission has agreed to audit Facebook following complaints about privacy issues from the tiny Europe-v-Facebook group. The complaints stem from an investigation begun by a concerned Facebook user, Max Schrems, an Austrian law student who believes that Facebook is collecting and misusing his personal information. Read more

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