Boston Irish Commentary

By JOE LEARY Special to the BIR In a stunning surprise the British people have narrowly voted to leave the 28-nation European Union (EU), with the Brexit (short for British exit) campaign winning 51.8 percent of the vote on June 23. Anger against rules... Read more
by JAMES W. DOLAN Special to the BIR Can you hear that noise in the background? A consistent drone, more often shrill than muffled; a public spectacle that cannot be avoided. It’s the campaign, what we call the democratic process at work. Sure, democracy... Read more
President Trump announced today that his long-promised plan for a huge wall along the United States-Mexico border now appears more costly than he expected and he was having difficulty getting Mexico to pay for it. Instead, he proposed a simpler solution... Read more
Recent parliamentary elections in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland have created a political instability not seen in many years. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when the controversial prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the European... Read more
I was asleep when the phone rang. Who could be calling at this hour? I reached over to answer it and said: “Hello, who is this? “It’s me Joan,” came the reply. “Is this some kind of joke,” I said. “No! No! Don’t hang up; it really is me. Occasionally they... Read more
Our current presidential campaign will only intensify over the next six months. Speech after speech, newspaper articles, and radio and television news and commercials will be coming at us every day from many angles and interests. With the Democrats and... Read more
The decline of a nation usually is the result of internal forces that undermine its strength and confidence. The likely nomination of Donald Trump and the possibility of his being elected president is more than alarming; it’s perilous. I have lived under... Read more
Irish voters may have shot themselves in the foot in the Parliamentary election in late February. In the wake of the catastrophic recession of the last decade, Ireland seems to be confused about which of its political parties and which of its politicians... Read more
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal spoke at a Boston College forum – “Reflections on the 100th Anniversary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising” – on Feb. 22 in Gasson Hall on the BC campus. They were welcomed by the Rev.... Read more
Over the past 10 years Boston’s Irish American Partnership has sent more than $800,000 to support Ireland’s emphasis on science education for its young people who, 30 to 50 years from now, will be guiding the country’s future. A strong educational system... Read more
George Mitchell for the High Court By Bill Forry The sudden death of the conservative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia has set the stage for a constitutional crisis in this still very fluid election year. Republican lawmakers – urged on by the GOP... Read more
With all the trauma caused by the recent erratic turns of the world’s stock markets, investment executives and those responsible for Ireland’s economic well being have become very nervous about 2016. While Wall Street experts keep saying don’t panic, stay... Read more
Current events don’t seem as interesting after the death of a loved one. Much of the news of the day, viewed in the broader perspective of life’s fragility, seem trivial and inconsequential. The larger issues of the how and why of existence tend to get... Read more
Ireland’s long-standing struggle for independence from the British had been going on for hundreds of years when, on April 14, 1916, Easter Monday, an armed rebellion by a few thousand Irish men and women in Dublin began a sequence of seven years of bitter... Read more
By Joe Leary Special to the BIR December is the month of giving. Whether it is to our families under the tree, a few coins in the Salvation Army basket, or the local homeless shelter, most of us are already planning our Christmas gift list. This column is... Read more
By Peter F. Stevens BIR Staff The issue of corporate inversion has erupted again, and again Ireland stands center stage in the controversy. The long-expected news that Pfizer Inc. will swallow Allergan Plc. in a $160-billion “merger” has drawn sharp... Read more
Greg O’Brien during a 2015 visit to Ireland.Duncannon, County Wexford – The tapering headland of Hook Head on the Irish Sea, at the mouth of rivers Barrow, Nore and Suir, is wholly inspiring in its rugged landscape, primeval history, and the majesty this... Read more
The year 2016 will mark the anniversary of several important Irish events. First and most important are the 100th anniversary celebrations in Ireland and the United States American of the famous “Easter Rebellion.” Another event will also be remembered... Read more
It can be safely said that the government in Northern Ireland set up by the Good Friday agreement in 1998 is barely working and could be in serious danger of collapse. There is deep resistance within the Unionist community, especially among the political... Read more
Sometimes, glimpses of an old gravestone or a memorial trigger historical memory, compelling one to pause and ponder their significance. In the Copp’s Hill Cemetery stands one such marker, a weather-beaten stone that bears the name of Captain Daniel... Read more