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Posts Tagged ‘Irish-American identity’

Puddle Jumping

The English Catholic martyr, St. Edmund Campion, lived in Dublin for a while in 1569 and here is what he wrote about the Irish: “The people are thus inclined: religious, franke, amorous, irefull, sufferable of paines infinite, very glorious, many sorcerers, excellent horsemen, delighted with warres, great almes-givers, passing in hospitalitie: the lewder sort bothRead more..

The Blue Ribbon

When I was 13 years old, my mother took my siblings and me to Rockaway Beach in New York City for the day. After we romped in the ocean and were sufficiently sunburned, we ended up at a rather run-down Irish tavern that was hosting a singing contest. Since I can carry a tune, myRead more..

The Bearing of the Green

Some thoughts on being Irish-American. ℘℘℘ As a proud Irish-American, I begin with a simple assumption: there is no way to precisely define that elusive, complex human category called the Irish-American. The tools of sociology are as inadequate to the task as the forms of the Census Bureau, and the jeweler’s art of the lexicographerRead more..

Tip O’Neill

Master of the House

Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987. His 10-year tenure as Speaker of the House was the longest consecutive run in U.S. history. Here he recalls growing up in Boston with his widower father. ℘℘℘ Growing up as a youngster, you were instilled with three things. TheRead more..

William Brennan

Champion of Justice

During his 34 years with the Supreme Court, Justice William Brennan, Jr. (1906 – 1998) was widely recognized as one of the primary architects of public policy in the country. ℘℘℘ On his childhood in Newark, N.J.: I had every kind of job in the world. Across the street from us was a dairy farm,Read more..

Irish Memories

Thomas Fleming writes of the struggles and triumphs of an Irish-American family. ℘℘℘ My County Mayo-born grandfather, David Fleming, could not read or write. He had a brogue so thick I couldn’t understand a word he said. But I knew one thing. He was Irish and proud of it. He had a favorite poem thatRead more..

Helen Hayes

First Lady of Theater

Dubbed the “First Lady of the Theater,” Helen Hayes charmed audiences for 75 years, appearing in such theatrical productions as What Every Woman Knows, Victoria Regina, and The Glass Menagerie. In Hollywood she won Oscars for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) and Airport (1970). ℘℘℘ On her stardom: My very lack of glamour hasRead more..

Pat Riley

The Coach

When Pat Riley coached the New York Knicks basketball team, journalist Pete Hamill listed him in a Thanksgiving column as “one of the things New Yorkers should be grateful for.” Riley now coaches the Miami Heat and is a motivational speaker. He is the author of The Winner Within. ℘℘℘ When I was about nineRead more..

Michael Flatley

Lord of the Dance

Michael Flatley, star of Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Feet of Flames, has revolutionized Irish dance, making it relevant all over the world. ℘℘℘ I just always saw Irish dance differently. When I retired from competition I just knew the minute I was done that I would start trying new things that weren’t reallyRead more..

Edward Kennedy

The Senior Senator

If you ask his fellow senators – liberals or conservatives – who’s on their list of the hardest-working and best senators, Edward Kennedy’s name is always there. Throughout his tenure he has defended the poor, elderly, and handicapped of the country, and any significant legislation affecting these groups in the areas of education, jobs, housing,Read more..