Catching up with modern Ireland: May

Irish voters overturned a 35-year-old constitutional abortion ban by a decisive two thirds margin. More about that at the bottom of this post. First, a quick look at some other Irish news in May, from both sides of the Atlantic: Ireland moved to sixth place from ninth place in the E.U. Digital Economy and Society Index. The improvement […]

Pope Francis to visit Ireland in 2018, maybe the North

Pope Francis will visit Ireland in 2018, according to statements by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who has just visited the Pontiff in Rome. Catholic bishops in the Republic of Ireland had extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit Dublin in August 2018 for the World Meeting of Families. The BBC reports that some Northern Ireland political leaders […]

Troubles at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has decided to remove three seminarians from his dioceses at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, due to “an atmosphere of strange goings-on” at the national seminary. Martin is transferring the trainee priests to the Irish Pontifical College in Rome, according to The Irish Times. In May, The Irish Catholic reported on […]

How a 19th century anti-Irish Catholic voting law helped unseat modern Bangladeshi Muslim mayor near London

Earlier this year an English judge used an obscure section of 19th century election law to unseat the mayor of Tower Hamlets, a borough of London. The Guardian tells how the term “undue spiritual influence” was passed down from the 1880s, when it was intended “specifically to constrain the influence of the Roman Catholic clergy […]

Tampa mayor seeks stronger economic ties with Ireland

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn positions himself in the long line of Irish-American  political figures. During his first term in office he instituted the Mayor’s River O’ Green Fest, coloring the Hillsborough River a fine shade of emerald. Now in his second term and with an eye on the Florida governorship, Buckhorn and other Tampa Bay officials have […]

Boston Mayor Walsh named Irish-American of the Year

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was named Irish American of the Year by Irish America magazine. He was elected in November and moved into City Hall in January. In remarks at the magazine’s ceremony, Walsh said: Whether they were in the South during the turn of the century in counties like Cork and Kerry, or in the North in […]

American press coverage of first Dáil Éireann

Dáil Éireann, the revolutionary parliament of the Irish Republic, on 21 January 1919, adopted the fledgling nation’s Declaration of Independence at Mansion House, Dublin. The political statement and same day IRA ambush of Royal Irish Constabulary officers (British police) at Soloheadbeg, County Tipperary, marked the start of Ireland’s War of Independence. “Nearly 100 American and European journalists are […]

‘Irish American’ publisher’s Irish-American story

Kentucky Irish American Publisher William M. Higgins served on the official committee that Oct. 10, 1919, welcomed Irish President Eamon de Valera to Louisville. The city’s enthusiastic reception for the rebel leader demonstrated the “feelings of the American people who know and appreciate the blessings of freedom with the people of Ireland who are striving […]

Brexit feck it; no confidence next?

UPDATE:  “A day after overwhelmingly rejecting her Brexit deal, rebel Tories and Democratic Unionist party MPs swung behind the prime minister to defeat Labour’s motion of no confidence by 325 votes to 306 – a majority of 19,” The Irish Times reports. BBC Q & A on Brexit and the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border,  […]

Two found books about Northern Ireland

Since the current troubles in Northern Ireland began in 1968, there has been an explosion of research on the area. Hundreds of books and an even larger number of articles have been published. … It is quite possible that, in proportion to size, Northern Ireland is the most heavily researched area on earth. –John Whyte, […]