Boston Irish Commentary

At first, no one took the Brexit vote seriously. Few believed that the British would actually leave the European Union (EU). But the decision has become a reality and Ireland and the rest of the world could be among its casualties. The EU was originally... Read more
Four years ago, in this space, we endorsed Martin J. Walsh for mayor of Boston. The Reporter Newspapers was one of only two city newspapers (The Weekly Dig was the other) to back Walsh in the final election. This time, as Walsh seeks a second term, we... Read more
I have mixed feelings about the movement to eliminate Confederate monuments. How do we preserve our history without denying it? Can we honor the often gallant yet imperfect, misguided souls who believed they were right. While it’s true that the leaders of... Read more
Every county in Ireland has its dedicated followers. For me, the western part of Co. Cork is special. Not only have I spent a great deal of time there, but I can also trace my family roots to Inchigeelagh and Tracton Abbey, both in West Cork. My great-... Read more
As the poet Robert Frost famously penned, “Something there is that does not love a wall.” And, as experience teaches, walls can be made of stone, wire and, often, attitudes. I was recently invited to join a “Trek” involving a dozen graduating students... Read more
Organizers of Saturday’s overblown “free speech rally” on Boston Common got far more than they bargained for when they showed up to find tens of thousands of fired-up but mostly peaceful Bostonians and visitors intent on making a statement of their own.... Read more
My brother and I have a friendly dispute on the existence of an afterlife. He poetically defines the soul as “a power borrowed from the wheel of fire that animates the cosmos.” He compares it to an “ember of that cosmic fire” that one rides until death “... Read more
The vote of the British people to leave the European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit, has caused resentment, anger, and regret in many quarters. Its implementation will be very complicated. The two sides, European Union countries and the United... Read more
We are poised on the edge of a Constitutional crisis and a medical catastrophe for anywhere between 20 million and 50 million Americans. As President Trump – with the aid of numerous Irish-American lemmings such as GOP leaders Paul Ryan, Mick Mulvaney and... Read more
The sad continuation of officially sanctioned sectarian agitation occurs regularly every July in Northern Ireland. Hundreds of government-approved parades and dozens of subsidized massive bonfires together celebrate the superiority of Protestants over the... Read more
President Donald Trump is caught in a spinning wheel that he can’t control. He has every reason to be alarmed at the appointment of a special prosecutor, but not because there was collusion between his campaign and Russia or that he engaged in obstruction... Read more
“Nothing is politically right that is morally wrong.” Those words were uttered some 170 years ago by Daniel O’Connell, who scared the proverbial bejeezus out of the British government in his battle for Irish Catholic rights and on behalf of his homeland’... Read more
At a time when Ireland is facing a serious Brexit crisis in both the North and the South, the need for revitalized aggressive leadership and functioning political systems is very apparent. Far more than its population merits, Ireland is a country whose... Read more
Eric TrumpLike father, like son. This is not a matter of Republican vs. Democrat or Left, Center, or Right. In more dizzying ways than can be tallied, President Trump and his family are flouting any distinction between the family business and the nation... Read more
For over six centuries Ireland has suffered from its imperialistic neighbor. Located just across the Irish Sea, certain parts of the three cultures of Wales, Scotland, and England, collectively known as the British people, have considered Ireland their... Read more
No one expected the leading Unionist party to lose 10 seats in the recent Assembly election in Northern Ireland. No one expected that as a result of the voting, the Democratic Unionists would have only a one-seat advantage over the Sinn Fein. No one... Read more
Martin McGuinness, Photo courtesy Robert P. Connolly In some respects, it was as if he were just another government official showing up for work on a chilly Belfast morning. But as the man who had inspired cheers and chills for three decades emerged from... Read more
From left, Frank Burke, Martin McGuinness, and Joe Leary at the Clover Club years ago.The first time I saw Martin McGuinness was at the old Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston in 1996 as he was striding down the second-floor corridor to join a luncheon the Irish... Read more
Northern Ireland tribalism is a unique force that has created a near-permanent division amongst its people. This artificial state, set up and controlled by British leadership almost 100 years ago, has proven itself almost ungovernable since its inception... Read more
Finally! We have the answer to everything that comes from the mouths of Donald Trump and his acolytes. The answer? “Alternative facts.” Kellyanne Conway snapped at NBC’s Chuck Todd that “alternative facts” now govern the nation in which we live.... Read more