Boston Irish Commentary

For decades, Peter Robinson was the man in the background, a key player in the world of hard-line unionism but almost entirely obscured by Ian Paisley's epic shadow. In 1979, at the tender age of 29, Robinson was elected to the British parliament,... Read more
While they are striving mightily to attract new business investment to Northern Ireland and are encouraging tourists to visit, authorities, both elected and appointed, seem unable to stop the new terrorists (also called dissidents) and their many acts of... Read more
The recounting of his tenure as a United States senator in the media's compelling coverage of the death of Ted Kennedy and the current successor campaign is more than the story of one man's growth and influence in that body; it is also the latest... Read more
Though the general economy in Ireland is causing severe problems today, two to three years from now we may be looking at a far stronger country than would be the case if the Irish had not gone through these difficult times. Perhaps Ireland grew too fast,... Read more
It could be, as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown puts it, "the final piece in the jigsaw" puzzle. And, in this case, it is a rather expensive piece, indeed. If it is, however, the piece that makes the whole Northern puzzle knit together, then it will... Read more
In a perfect world, one might assume that when he was growing up, the celebrated Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy played catch with his dad every summer day and went to Fenway Park so often that the crease in his pants ran sideways. But... Read more
Michael Lonergan, Ireland's new Consul General to Boston, began his tenure here in a way none of his predecessors in the post had experienced. In an interview at the Consulate, he sat down with the BIR to talk about his memorable first days on the job,... Read more
Irish citizens faced a critical choice early this month and they bolstered the country's status in the European Union with a resounding vote in favor of accepting the "Lisbon Treaty" amendments to the European Union Charter just 16 months after rejecting... Read more
It wasn't supposed to happen. It was by accident, or maybe providence. Truth be told, I never liked children all that much. Or, more to the point, they never liked me. But it all started with something I like enormously: a holiday. During eight years... Read more
Following are excerpts from a letter exchange between Edward M. Kennedy and Pope Benedict XVI in the weeks before Kennedy’s death: SENATOR KENNEDY "Most Holy Father, I asked President Obama to personally hand deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep... Read more
These are parlous times in the news profession, print division. No one is sure where things are headed as newspaper proprietors work at fashioning a 21st century business model that will link news gathering and advocacy, advertising, circulation/... Read more
For more than a quarter of a century, the Irish republican party, Sinn Fein, has had a clear and undisputed leader, Gerry Adams. To be sure, Adams has had a leadership partner, Martin McGuinness, but fundamentally, it has been understood that Adams... Read more
An old Irish proverb graces Bridget Shaheen's modest office in Lawrence: "It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." In the shelter of Lazarus House Ministries on humble Holly Street, executive director Shaheen, who walks the Christian talk... Read more
While the season has not taken Northern Ireland to brink of civil war, as happened all too often during the turbulent 1990s, this summer certainly illustrates that many tensions, sectarian and otherwise, continue to bubble in the Northern cauldron. Summer... Read more
The terrain onto which the four major candidates for governor of the Commonwealth tread is one fundamentally different-looking than the turf onto which a former Justice Department official and corporate attorney named Deval Patrick trod in early 2005. And... Read more
Ominous may be the right word to describe Northern Ireland conditions today: On Saturday evening, March 14 this year, two British soldiers, Mark Quinsey, 23, and Cengiz Patrick Azimkar, 21, were shot and killed by automatic gunfire as a pizza delivery... Read more
He had his devotees and his detractors, but as far as this reviewer is concerned, one thing about Frank McCourt is and remains indisputable. Frank McCourt could flat out write. He had battled hard against melanoma and meningitis in recent months, but... Read more
At 92, Francis Patrick Brennan, dean of Boston's banking community, a first-generation Irish American who elbowed his way into the core of the once Yankee-dominated financial world where Irish need not apply, a vigorous, brassy, high-octane individual... Read more
By Thursday afternoon, June 25, the capitol had grown weary of waiting for Gov. Deval Patrick to pass judgment on bills on his desk re-wiring the transportation bureaucracy, tightening ethics laws, and escalating the state sales tax by 25 percent. Senate... Read more
As Ireland sinks deeper into the agonies of depression, Fianna Fail government leaders are working desperately to correct the problems caused by, "the most overheated of all advanced economies," according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report... Read more