Archive for December, 2003

One Life to Give

Chuck Feeney has just put into practice something he had been considering for many years. He has decided that all the vast wealth he accumulated in his lifetime should be given away while he is still alive. The graying, well preserved 72-year-old New Jersey native persuaded the board of Atlantic Philanthropies, which he created twoRead more..

First Word:
Giving While Living

A friend, a teacher in Northern Ireland, who is forever puzzling over the intricacies of our race, recently asked me what I considered to be the essence of the Irish character. Clarence Darrow, the great American defense attorney, came to mind. Darrow who spent his life defending the poor and the downtrodden, liked to haveRead more..

Peace Process Put on Hold

The hopes that were raised in the latest advances in the peace process were dashed as Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble criticized the transparency of IRA decommissioning and said he was “putting the process on hold.” Trimble demanded a more explicit statement from the IRA on the number and type of arms it put beyondRead more..

Bono Portrait Unveiled

Bono looked admiringly at the soft white portrait painted by one of today’s greatest Irish painters, Louis le Brocquy, an artist whom Bono has admired since he was 13, at an unveiling at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. The U2 frontman described le Brocquy as “one of the grandmasters of European painting.” TheRead more..

Irish Nuns Launch Website

A group of Irish nuns in Galway are both continuing their secluded religious worship and reaching out to the online world. The Poor Clares, an order of Roman Catholic nuns founded by St. Clare of Assisi, have launched a website at www.poorclares.ie. The launch date corresponded to the 750th anniversary of the death of St.Read more..

Terrorists Plotted
Against Kennedy and Hill

Irish Sunday Independent journalist Alan Murray unearthed a plot by loyalist terrorist Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair to assassinate Courtney Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy and her husband Paul Hill when they were in north Belfast in 1994. Adair had planned to attack the couple with a rocket-propelled grenade while they were driving in their car.Read more..

Filmmakers Threaten
to Leave Ireland

Recently Hollywood and the Irish government have come to blows over taxation. The debate is over the section 481 tax allowance, otherwise known as the film-tax incentive that has bolstered the film industry in Ireland by 18 percent over the last 10 years. The incentive is due to expire at the end of 2004, andRead more..

A Tribute to Courage

Thousands turned out in lower Manhattan on a rainy Sunday morning on September 28 to remember relatives and friends lost on September 11, and to retrace the final steps of Stephen Siller, a firefighter from Brooklyn. Siller, of Squad 1 in Park Slope, was off-duty when he strapped on 60 pounds of gear and walkedRead more..

Into Africa,
Seeing and Believing

We’re juggling with numbers here. Every five seconds someone in the world loses his/her sight; a child goes blind every minute. That amounts to seven million cases a year. Add that to 45 million people already blind and another 135 million with limited vision. Patricia Hallahan, regional director with Sight Savers International, confesses she’s notRead more..

Heaney Donates
Letters to Emory

Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s Nobel Prize-winning poet, is donating his papers and letters to Emory University in Atlanta. While Heaney’s manuscripts will stay in Ireland, his letters and papers will further enrich Emory’s impressive collection of Irish papers. Emory currently holds the correspondence, as well as manuscripts, of poets Michael Longley, James Simmons, Ciaran Carson andRead more..