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 […]

Catching up with modern Ireland: February

A short roundup for a short month. … Just over two week until St. Patrick’s Day, and less than a month until the scheduled Brexit. As I publish, however, there is growing talk of postponing the split until June. We’ll see. “The British are about to kick us in the teeth again,” Irish border resident […]

First words on the 1919 Irish Race Convention

Below are the ledes of front-page stories about the Feb. 22-23, 1919, Irish Race Convention in Philadelphia. The stories appeared in U.S. newspapers, either during or the day after the convention, except the Irish weeklies (hyperlinked), which published March 1, 1919. I’ve edited references to dates and Philadelphia, and added a few other notes. Convention […]

Promoting the February 1919 Irish Race Convention

Fast-moving events in Ireland compelled nationalist supporters in America to call their third “Irish Race Convention” since 1916 for late February 1919. The Friends of Irish Freedom would mobilize 5,000 delegates to Philadelphia within two months of the Sinn Féin election victory and first meeting of the Dáil Éireann. The Philadelphia turnout was a tribute to the […]

On new Oscar Wilde biography and old newspapers

Dublin-born writer Oscar Wilde in 1882 made a yearlong, coast-to-coast lecture tour of America. It’s the focus of a new book, Making Oscar Wilde, by Michèle Mendelssohn. In the Jan. 25 issue of America magazine, reviewer Jeffrey Myers says the author: developed a new approach to biographical research. Vast online archives and databases provided a digital […]