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Arts and entertainment
Nov. 7, 2014

Frustration can lead to anger and despair – but also, sometimes, a potentially good idea like TradLife, a newly launched website that champions the teaching of traditional music.

Publisher's Notes
Nov. 7, 2014

If you are Irish and Boston-bred, the annual Boston Irish Honors luncheon hosted by the BIR can truly be said to be a “feel-good” event in the annual autumn calendar.

The idea we had when the honors was first conceived was to search out and tell the stories of families and individuals whose lives can be described as exemplary – that is, sterling examples of what it means to have been brought up in Irish homes from among our common ancestral community.

Traveling People
Nov. 7, 2014

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR

Story
Oct. 23, 2014

Former US Senator Gary Hart: Named Peace Envoy to Northern Ireland.Former US Senator Gary Hart: Named Peace Envoy to Northern Ireland.Former US Senator Gary Hart, 77, has been appointed by the Secretary of State John Kerry to serve as Peace Envoy to Northern Ireland. Hart will be tasked with helping major UK and Irish parties restore the endangered 1998 US-brokered Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland that ended more than 25 years of warfare.

The news of the appointment was first reported by Irish Central. Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed the appointment on Wednesday.

“I’ve asked Senator Hart to support the parties in Northern Ireland as they enter a new round of talks to achieve a lasting peace,” said Secretary Kerry said in a statement. “We welcome these new talks, supported by the United Kingdom and Ireland. Senator Hart has my confidence and trust.

Story
Oct. 20, 2014

The creators of last month's inaugural iFest, staged over the weekend of Sept. 26-28 at the Seaport-World Trade Center in Boston, have re-capped the event in this new released video.

Publisher's Notes
Oct. 3, 2014

Eire Milestone. Photo courtesy Bill BrettEire Milestone: It was come one, come all as the Eire Pub celebrated 50 years as a mainstay of the Adams Village neighborhood with a birthday party on Sept. 16. The local landmark, named for the Irish word for Ireland, was founded by Irish-born Tom Stenson, a native of Co. Sligo.

Story
Sep. 26, 2014

The mayor in Clifden: Marty Walsh made a new friend in Henry Kenneally, 75, in Lowry's Pub on Saturday, Sept. 21. Photo by Bill ForryThe mayor in Clifden: Marty Walsh made a new friend in Henry Kenneally, 75, in Lowry's Pub on Saturday, Sept. 21. Photo by Bill ForryGALWAY, Ireland – For a few hours last Saturday, Marty Walsh was just another Yank on holiday, enjoying the sights and sounds of Clifden, one of Co. Galway’s loveliest and liveliest towns.  Your mayor had just enjoyed a sailboat ride and a quiet lunch with his partner Lorrie Higgins and two other traveling companions.

Now, as he strolled through the scenic village with other tourists, he was incognito in blue jeans, sneakers, and an old-school Red Sox ball cap; mercifully, he was off the grid, stopping to buy scones and desserts for his mother at a local bakery called Walsh’s.

The respite would not last long.

Later that evening, he began a series of public events with a Mass celebrated in his mother’s home village of Rosmuc, followed by a reception that went late into the night.

The first five days of Walsh’s first trip abroad as mayor were a blur of bonfires, parties, church services, and endless photo opportunities— with the mayor getting rock star treatment at every stop. In a few places, the frenzy to get photos with him was such that he had to be hustled into a waiting car, often by his cousin, Winnie Curran, a Boston Police sergeant who is accompanying the mayor on the trip.

View a gallery of images from the Mayor's visit to the West of Ireland.

Story
Sep. 26, 2014

Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD: Hailed latest US-Ireland tourism stats in remarks to a luncheon sponsored by the Irish American Partnership on Fri., Sept. 26 in Boston.Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD: Hailed latest US-Ireland tourism stats in remarks to a luncheon sponsored by the Irish American Partnership on Fri., Sept. 26 in Boston. Photo by Harry Brett

Ireland's chief tourism minister today hailed newly released figures showing a big jump in summer tourists from the United States as the latest indicator of a recovering economic situation in the country. Paschal Donohoe, TD, who serves as the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport told a Boston lunch gathering of the Irish American Partnership that he had just been given figures this morning that show that US tourist visits between June and August 2014 was up roughly 18 percent over the previous year— a figure that is approximate to about 450,000 new tourists.

"We've had about one-fifth more American tourists this summer," said Donohoe, who told the luncheon audience at the Boston Harbor Hotel that he had been awakened to the good news in a text message. Donohoe is visiting the US this week as part of a Tourism Ireland tour to key American cities.

"The reason why it's all happening is that we have a private sector who have responded to the challenge of putting together a touring offering that is second to none," said Minister Donohoe, who pointed to the statistical leap as the latest in a string of indicators of a resurgent Irish economy. Ireland has added 70,000 jobs over the last year at a pace of about 1,000 per week, Donohoe noted.
Latest projections show the Irish economy growing at a rate of about 4.5 percent, he said.

Traveling People
Aug. 29, 2014

By Judy Enright

There was a very large billboard in Carna, Co. Galway, this spring celebrating Boston’s Irish Mayor Marty Walsh. The Connemara area will be thrilled to have him visit this autumn.There was a very large billboard in Carna, Co. Galway, this spring celebrating Boston’s Irish Mayor Marty Walsh. The Connemara area will be thrilled to have him visit this autumn.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has already taken Connemara by storm and he hasn’t even touched down on Irish soil for his first “official” visit. This spring, we came across a huge billboard applauding Walsh’s mayoral run at an intersection in Carna (Connemara, Co. Galway) where his father, John, was born.

Connemara is just one of many areas Walsh plans to visit when he lands in Ireland later this month and it’s an area he knows well from childhood visits to his grandparents’ home in Rosmuc.

Isn’t Walsh a lucky man? You could scarcely find a more varied or picturesque area of this stunning country to visit than Connemara – and he has familial roots there to boot.

Connemara really has it all – bogs, mountains, seashore, a fjord, wonderful hotels, lodges and B&Bs, great fishing, golf and many other sports, delicious food, friendly people, so-called green gold (Connemara marble), colorful towns, tourist attractions, including the first transatlantic radio station, and Connemara ponies – what more could anyone want?

Traveling People
Oct. 3, 2014

By JUDY ENRIGHT

Ewe being judged at the Achill Sheep Show in Co. Mayo. 	Judy Enright photosEwe being judged at the Achill Sheep Show in Co. Mayo. Judy Enright photos

Boston Irish Commentary
Oct. 3, 2014

Forty years ago, shortly before forced busing went into effect, I was a new judge appointed to Dorchester District Court. Since much of the anger and violence associated with that ill-conceived “solution” to segregated Boston schools spilled into the courts, I had a front-row seat from which to view its effects.

Story
Sep. 26, 2014

Emigrants Commemorative Centre: Mayor Martin Walsh unveiled a stone marker at the site of a planned Emigrant Commemorative Centre in Carna, Co. Galway. Máirtín Ó Catháin, the chairperson of the committee planning the centre, is shown at left. Photo by Bill ForryEmigrants Commemorative Centre: Mayor Martin Walsh unveiled a stone marker at the site of a planned Emigrant Commemorative Centre in Carna, Co. Galway. Máirtín Ó Catháin, the chairperson of the committee planning the centre, is shown at left. Photo by Bill Forry

Mayor Martin Walsh returned to Carna, Co. Galway on Tuesday at a ceremony to launch a planned Emigrants Commemorative Center in the town of his father's birth. The mayor dedicated a foundation stone at the site and pledged to help support the centre by helping to raise funds and awareness in the Boston Irish community.

Story
Sep. 12, 2014

Letterkenny-UMass partnership announced: Senate President Murray,right, with Senator Stanley Rosenberg, center, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology President Paul Hannigan.Letterkenny-UMass partnership announced: Senate President Murray,right, with Senator Stanley Rosenberg, center, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology President Paul Hannigan.Senate President Therese Murray, who is in Ireland for a trade mission with Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, visited County Donegal today to announced the expansion of the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) to Letterkenny Institute of Technology. The UMass incubator initiative will also partner with the Derry-based Clinical Transitional Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) in a partnership that will be announced formally on Monday in Northern Ireland.

Founded in 2008, M2D2 is a joint UMass Lowell and UMass Worcester initiative designed to accelerate the development and launch of new medical device companies. The opening of incubator space in Ireland and the North is the direct result of previous trade missions led by Murray.

“Massachusetts holds international recognition as a premiere research and development center for life sciences, biotechnology and medical devices,” President Murray said in a statement. “This exciting collaboration will offer assistance to Massachusetts-based companies looking to break into the European market while also attracting European companies that want to launch clinical trials in Massachusetts. Our shared goal is to create an environment where research, innovation and commercialization can all take place and this is a big step forward for innovators and entrepreneurs in Massachusetts and beyond.”

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