NewsNotes from Around Boston

US, Canada help boost Irish tourism to healthy numbers
More gains seen for 2013 as ‘Gathering’ takes hold

BIR Staff
More than one million people from the US and Canada – a 3 percent increase on the previous year – visited the island of Ireland in 2012 acclording to figures recently released from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office. Gioven those numbers, revenue to the Irish economy from North America increased year-to-year by a strong 9.3 percent, to 742 million euros.

This year, prospects for another huge increase in visitors loom strong with “The Gathering Ireland 2013” program expected to entice tourists of Irish heritage from around the world to visit the land of their ancestors during this year.
The Gathering is a year-long series of festivals and events on the island of Ireland celebrating the unique nature of what it means to be Irish.
While the increasingnumber of American and Canadian visitors (1.017 million is the given figure) is seen as a wonderful endorsement of the unique experience which Ireland offers, it is the proportion of these folks who were vacationers/holidaymakers that is especially pleasing to Tourism Ireland, which markets the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday destination.
Said Joe Byrne, executive vice president of Tourism Ireland, US, and Canada: “The United States continues to be one of the strongest international markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and we are delighted with the figures for 2012. The extremely encouraging reports for 2013 so far suggest that we could be in for another bumper year.
“The Gathering has given us an unprecedented opportunity to shine a spotlight on Ireland in the US. It is being used as a ‘hook’ in all of our promotions, to make Ireland a ‘must visit’ destination, for both the Diaspora and non-Diaspora around the US.”
A critical factor that Tourism Ireland expects to underpin the continued growth of visigtors to Ireland is the significant increase in the number of airline seats between the US and Ireland. Summer 2013 is likely to see almost 25 percent more airline capacity on routes to Dublin, Shannon, and Belfast than in 2012 since all five carriers operating direct services have increased capacity or added new routes.

BC hosts Ulster students at John J. Burns Library
MSc students from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, have successfully completed a unit of study at the Irish Institute at Boston College. The week’s activities concluded with a reception at the John J. Burns Library, on the Chestnut Hill Campus, where students were awarded their certificate by University of Ulster Senior Lecturer, Alan Christie and by Dr Robert Mauro, Director of the Irish Institute at Boston College.
Diplomats from the British and Irish Governments spoke at the event and Marguerite Crossan from Invest Northern Ireland and Paul Breen from Enterprise Ireland were also in attendance. Dr Mauro invited Kyle Darcy, University of Ulster graduate and author of the best selling novel “Under Current Conditions” to address the students and guests.

D. Leo Monahan, at 86; versatile sportswriter who focused on hockey

D. Leo Monahan, longtime Boston sports reporter and columnist and hockey expert, died on March 27 at the age of 86. A native of South Boston, D. (for Daniel) Leo worked 38 years on Boston’s Hearst newspapers – the Daily Record, Record-American, Herald-American (He won the Hearst National Writing Contest three times) —and served as special Boston correspondent for Sports Illustrated from 1960-1990.
As part of that job, he was asked to keep an eye on promising local sportswriters for the relatively new national magazine. In 1964, he recommended Dorchester’s Mark Mulvoy for a rookie baseball-writing position at SI. Mulvoy left the Boston Globe’s sports staff and headed to New York. He stayed with SI for the next 34 years, and retired as the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Mr. Monahan also furnished a weekly column for the St. Louis-based Sporting News for 15 years and wrote a regular column for the Dorchester Reporter for a number of years after retiring from the Hearst company. He also worked in PR at UMass Boston.
In 1986, Mr. Monahan was enshrined in hockey’s Hall of Fame, one of the rare Americans to be so honored at that time. He covered the NHL, and especially the Boston Bruins, from 1948 to 1990.
A Belmont resident, Monahan was the husband of the late Stella (Frechette) and the loving father of Rita Monahan-Earley and her husband Charles of Arlington, Mary Reed and her husband Tommie of Texas, Gail Monahan of Belmont, and the late Stella Monahan LeDoux. He was the beloved grandfather of Kathleen and C. Daniel Leo Earley, and Daniel and Mary Reed and great-grandfather to five boys. Mr. Monahan’s brother Bob was also a sportswriter in Boston, first with the Hearst papers and then with the Boston Globe where he finished his writing career
Mr. Monahan served in the US Navy during the fighting in World War II.
There was a funeral Mass for Mr. Monahan on Tuesday at Sacred Heart Church in Watertown. Interment was in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Watertown.

Joseph F. Dolan, at age 88; was Milton insurance man

Joseph F. Dolan, 88, of Dorchester, a longtime resident of Milton who ran an insurance agency for many years, died peacefully at his home following a brief illness on Thurs., March 21.
At his funeral Mass at St. Gregory’s Church on Monday, Mr. Dolan’s son Tom delivered a eulogy, excerpts from which follow:
“On behalf of our entire family, I’d like to thank you all for coming here today to remember him, and celebrate his life.
He reveled in our successes, and he comforted us when we failed. He was the consummate family man.
“I was especially lucky because Dad and I worked together for over 10 years at the Dolan Insurance Agency. During those 10 years he and I became very close. … Dad was honest, very smart, funny, and fun to be with. He was comfortable with brilliant big-shots from fancy schools as well as homeless souls who had lost everything.
“Dad approached business the same way he approached life. He saw his business as a way to help other people. Dad lived a life of service to others, filled with compassion and kindness. Let me back up just a bit and share a few facts with you about Joe Dolan’s early life.
“He grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts. When he was a kid he was a book-worm or, as kids today would say, a Nerd. His mom and dad felt that education was a critical path to success and Joe studied really, really hard. In high school the only team Dad was on was the debating team. He never won any sports trophies … but he could win just about any argument that he got into. He could really talk. It was a skill that he practiced his whole life. Wherever is his right now, believe me, he is talking.
“He was the valedictorian at his high school graduation … and he followed in the footsteps of his father and brother when he went off to Harvard at the age of 16. Once he turned 17, he took the competitive exam held by his Congressman, and won an appointment to the [US Naval] Academy. He finished his freshman year at Harvard in May 1942 and reported to Annapolis the following week. … As a naval officer he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
“After serving his country, he settled in Milton with his wife and kids.
and felt a real desire to serve his community. He became actively involved in his local Catholic Church and Milton Town politics.
“After talking about the problems of poverty in a weekly Bible study group, Dad commented that he actually didn’t really know about poverty, as he had had a very comfortable upbringing. So his assignment for that week was to go into a poor section of Boston and talk to people. He went to the South End and visited two soup kitchens, including one that also housed homeless men, Haley House.
“He became an active member of the Haley House community and for over 30 years he helped Haley House feed and bring comfort to those who need it. He helped cook and serve the meals, clean the kitchen, and shared time and conversation with men who had lost everything.
“Haley House provided him with a way of fulfilling his desire to offer selfless, compassionate, service to others. He was special. He certainly loved to talk ….but he also turned talk into action.”
Beloved husband of the late Virginia (O’Toole) Dolan, Mr. Dolan leaves a daughter, Martha Dolan Cosgrove and her husband Brian of Milton; four sons, William Dolan and his wife Jill of Marshfield, Terry Dolan of Dorchester, Tom Dolan and his wife Maura of Westborough, and Joe Dolan, Jr. of Milton. A daughter, Kathy (Dolan) Newberry preceded him in death.
He also leaves five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, many loving nieces and nephews, and many friends.