Boston Irish Commentary

The tributes have been constant and numerous since Brian O’Donovan died in October, as well they should be. He did so much to make Boston a fertile environment for folk and acoustic music, Irish/Celtic in particular, through his WGBH “Celtic Sojourn”... Read more
The Boston theater community was stunned to learn of the passing of Tony Award-winning actor, Michael McGrath.  He was 65 and died suddenly at his New Jersey home last Thursday (Sept. 14), a few days short of his birthday.  He leaves his wife of 30 years... Read more
At the hour of writing, the New York Rose, Róisín Wiley, has just been named the 62nd International Rose of Tralee for 2023.  She was a worthy winner, even if it is instinctively hard for me to congratulate a New Yorker.  Over two nights, after in-depth... Read more
Brian Donnelly, the Lower Mills guy from St Gregory’s parish who served six years as a Dorchester state rep and fourteen years as a member of Congress, will be memorialized this month when the Irish Cultural Centre gathers to present the first “Brian... Read more
I will always be indebted to the late Congressman Brian Donnelly. His initiative and legislative skill created a visa lottery program that helped me and around 25,000 other Irish people obtain permanent resident status in the United States followed by the... Read more
Family album: Above, my Uncle Brian and Aunt Ginny smile for the cameras during his unsuccessful campaign for governor of Massachusetts in 1998.     As I write, the proud veterans of the “Yes Equality” group, who campaigned to introduce same-sex marriage... Read more
Every year Irish politicians joke that in America St. Patrick’s Day lasts at least a week. This year, it seemed closer to two months.  Ireland dominated the agenda of senior American policy makers in March and April with three, weeklong events: The annual... Read more
 Is my yearning for something better than what I see around me just an indication of my fretful human nature? Or am I being pulled by a force that draws me toward a destiny beyond my own mortality? Is it a dream or a promise? True contentment is... Read more
By Peter F. StevensBoston Irish Contributor “A lie does not consist in the indirect position of words, but in the desire and intention, by false speaking, to deceive and injure your neighbor.”  – Jonathan Swift The above quote flows from the pen of an... Read more
President Biden made a stealthy, but stirring visit to Ukraine’s capital city in February, greeting the war-torn nation’s leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and touring Kyiv on foot as air raid sirens blared in the distance. It was a brilliant piece of... Read more
Plumbing the myths, and realities, of an Gorta Mor,and why the whole story has for so long been ignored “Those in power write the history, those who suffer write the songs.”– Robbie O’Connell  Readers of BostonIrish know that the Great Hunger, an Gorta... Read more
 Immigration as political issue … Bertie’s back … Biden’s running again WICKLOW – When I wrote in this space at Christmas, there were widespread protests in Ireland at the government’s often hastily conceived moves to house thousands of refugees and ... Read more
On initial consideration, one might see an attraction like Caherconnell Stone Fort  as perhaps another fort, similar to Dun Aengus or any other of the many stone age remnants dotting the Irish landscape. We were delighted to learn that Caherconnell offers... Read more
“It’s not as important where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes   DUBLIN – Ireland’s population was 2.8 million (4.3 with the North) in 1960 and is projected to pass 8 million (10 with the North) by 2050.  All political... Read more
WICKLOW – The widespread successes of conservative, populist politicians – some of whom are aptly described as “far right” – at the ballot box has been the subject of much reportage and academic study, with plenty to consider on this front in the United... Read more
In the weeks leading up to my most recent visit to Ireland, my thoughts kept drifting to my mother, who passed away in 2004. Mum’s parents hailed from County Mayo and County Leitrim and had resided in the states for several years before starting a family... Read more
Matthew Rooney, a third-year Ulster University student, started the process to obtain his J-1 Graduate Visa with excitement as well as nerves. On the one hand, he knew he wanted to work in the sports industry, as he’s currently working toward his degree... Read more
Q. What is the status of the Work and Family Mobility Act? What should I know about it?  A. On June 9, 2022, the Massachusetts Senate voted, 32-8 ,to override Gov. Baker’s veto of the Work and Family Mobility Act to create a law that allows state... Read more
By Martin McGovernSpecial to Boston Irish A comment from one of my professors while I was a student at University College Dublin (UCD) in 1978 alerted me to a job opening at The Irish Press, then one of Ireland’s national newspapers. Following up, I... Read more
  WICKLOW – In the run-up to and following the May 5 Northern Ireland Assembly elections, the word “seismic” was employed repeatedly.  There was some justification for its widespread usage in that, as forecast, Sinn Féin has become the largest party and... Read more