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Here and There

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

Small Irish engineering firm played big role in Chilean mine rescue

By Bill O'Donnell, November 1, 2010

Irish Firm Key Rescue Player -- There were many companies and countries that assisted in the near- miraculous rescue operation in the tiny desert mining outpost in Chile, but none played a more significant role than a small Shannon-based Irish engineering firm. Mincon Ltd. employs 52 workers at Shannon, 130 world wide, and specializes in precision mining equipment. The Irish company supplied the drill that first broke through the underground cavity that held the 33 miners. Read more

For the Taoiseach, a Bad Day at Galway

By Bill O'Donnell, October 20, 2010

Bad Day At Galway -- And sure don’t we all have the bad day every once in a while. Not so long ago Queen Elizabeth had an entire bad year that she resorted to Latin to describe. But the Irish Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, had a couple of days in Galway in mid-September that have left his Dail allies and his handlers scrambling for euphemisms in attempts to extricate the Irish leader from a continuing series of highly critical public and press thunderbolts. Some even posed the very real possibility that Cowen’s leadership could be hanging on public opinion polls due out in late September. Read more

Leftover Irish Pounds? Bring 'em to the Bank on Your Next Visit

By Bill O'Donnell, August 3, 2010

Get Thee To A Bank -- There is $300 million in old, outdated Irish pounds or punt still unredeemed after almost eight years. When the Irish shifted from its national currency to the European Union’s euro, millions were left on the table by residents in Ireland and also in the US, England, and other countries. Since the conversion at the end of 2002, only $75 million in old currency has been redeemed. Read more

Derry Shows The World

By Bill O'Donnell, July 2, 2010

Derry Shows The World – The good people of Derry – victims all in so many ways of the murders on January 30, 1972 -- showed a face to the world that will be hard to forget. It was the patience, civility, and loyalty of the citizens of Derry, with an enormous helping of dignity thrown in, that were easily the equal of the graceful words of the Tory Prime Minister when he described the events of 38 years ago as “unjustified and unjustifiable.” Read more

Jean Butler Happy In Post-Riverdance Life

By Bill O'Donnell, June 3, 2010

By Bill O’Donnell
In the mid-1990s, Jean Butler and her dance partner, Michael Flatley, were the talk of the entertainment world from The Point on Dublin’s Liffey to Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall. “Riverdance” was the show to see (and see again) and she was the perfect partner for the creative, self-absorbed dance maestro. Together they caught lightning in a bottle and her ethereal beauty, incandescently memorable, was every step the equal of Flatley’s genius on the dance stage. Read more