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Around Town
Jan. 31, 2014

A tight-knit group of neighbors and family friends will form the nucleus of the inaugural Team MR8, a squad of 100-plus runners who will run in April’s Boston Marathon in memory of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old Dorchester boy who lost his life in last year’s terror bombing attack.
Each member of the team will raise thousands of dollars for the newly formed Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation, whose mission is “to honor Martin’s message of ‘No more hurting people – peace’ by investing in education, athletics, and community.”
Among those hand-picked by the Richard family and their foundation are close friends and neighbors, including Lisa Hourihan Jackson, Jose Calderon, Mike McCarthy, and Harry Benzan, who coached both Martin and his younger sister Jane, who lost a limb in the attack.

Arts and entertainment
Apr. 1, 2014

This year, Bud Sargent is celebrating three decades as a broadcaster of Irish music and culture via “Four Green Fields,” Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon on WCUW, 91.3 FM (and via the web at A native of Worcester who works as an attorney for his “day job,” Sargent also has become a high-profile promoter for Irish music events in and around Central Massachusetts. He recently spoke with Sean Smith of the Boston Irish Reporter about his 30 years behind the mike.

Traveling People
Apr. 1, 2014

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR
There are so many fun and interesting ways to travel to and around the Emerald Isle. Depending on your interests, you can book a regular coach tour and visit many fascinating sites across the land, participate in assorted golfing, bicycling, surfing, and other sports or adventure trips, sail down the Shannon or along the coast, or do a photographic or literary visit. There are many other special interest options available, too.

Here and There
Apr. 1, 2014

Loyalist Killer Hutchinson’s Remarks Offend – In a recent Belfast newspaper interview, Billy Hutchinson, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party in the North who killed two innocent (non-IRA) Catholics in 1974, justified the cold-blooded shooting of the two brothers as having “contributed to preventing a united Ireland.” Hutchinson made it clear that he has no regrets some 40 years later. These horrendous comments by the unionist political leader in post-Troubles-Northern Ireland have triggered angry words from nationalist political figures who have served with him in local government.

Arts and entertainment
Apr. 1, 2014

By Sean Smith
The recordings that Bridget Fitzgerald kept from her unreleased album with Carol Barney were deeply loved treasures – reminders of a partnership, and friendship, that ended far too soon when Barney died 14 years ago this month.
But Fitzgerald, a founding member of Cherish the Ladies and a widely recognized wellspring of traditional Irish song from Connemara who has lived in New England for 50 years, never let go of her desire to finish the project. And now, thanks to the assistance and encouragement of a group of friends, the album will finally see the light of day.

Boston Irish Commentary
Apr. 1, 2014

By Joe Leary
Special to the BIR

It was exciting, exhausting, and troubling at the same time!
For most of us who were born in Ireland or whose families emigrated from Ireland, much of each March has been the focused of the many events celebrating our heritage. Formal dinners, Mass at the Cathedral, parades, visitors from Ireland, and even a bit of controversy enlivened the whole month.Despite the fact that Irish Americans achieved leadership positions throughout our society many years ago, some still rely on exaggerated stereotypical images to profit from Saint Patrick’s Feast Day celebrations.

Arts and entertainment
Apr. 1, 2014

By R. J. Donovan
Special To The BIR

As a writer, director and arts administrator, Dawn M. Simmons wears a lot of hats. For the past nine years she has been director of programs at StageSource, the respected non-profit that provides leadership and services to advance the art of theater in the Greater Boston region.
Among its missions, StageSource is dedicated to increasing cultural participation through advocacy, communication, and education.

Breaking News
Feb. 4, 2014

On Aug. 30 last year, the world lost one of its greatest literary figures, the poet, writer, and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. Although he hailed from Ireland, Heaney spent many years in the Boston/Cambridge area, a number of them as Harvard University’s Boylston Professor. He made many friends in his years here, doing poetry readings and participating as a valued member of the local community. He was a popular figure at many area universities, including Bridgewater State and Boston State, where he developed close and lasting friendships with students and faculty.

Publisher's Notes
Apr. 1, 2014

At BC High on Sunday, April 6
By Ed Forry
Admissions officials from five Irish universities will be in Boston early this month to hold an open house to market the opportunities the schools offer to American students.
Education in Ireland will host a free admissions information event for students, parents, and high school college counselors from the greater Boston area, according to Kevin O’Brien of Enterprise Ireland, who said the event will provide “all you need to know” about studying at an Irish university.”
The session is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. this coming Sunday, April 6, at BC High on Morrissey Blvd. The admissions representatives will hail from Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, Dublin City University, and University College Cork.