Tag Archives: Kilkenny

Photo essay: 50 years of Ireland in the European Union

Ireland this year marks 50 years of membership in the European Union. The short video below explains the history and how Ireland’s membership has helped the country’s development. Below the video are several images from my current visit to Brussels, including a stop at the Parlamentarium, a multi-language, multi-media museum at the E.U. headquarters.

Ireland at the heart of Brussels

Multi-media display of Ireland’s 13 MEPs at the Parlamentarian, the EU museum and visitor center. See them all from this link.

The museum declares James Joyce is “one of Europe’s best-known writers.” He lived in Dublin, Paris, Zurich, Rome, and Trieste, Italy.

Sign outside the Embassy of Ireland in Brussels, unofficial capital of the E.U., is written in Irish, English, French, and Dutch.

Kilkenny Limestone has supplied Irish blue limestone for street and sidewalk projects in central Brussels since 2019. This work site is outside the newly renovated Bourse, the former Brussels Stock Exchange, circa 1873.

Of course, there’s an Irish pub in nearly every major (and minor) city. This is one of several in Brussels.

On Chicago, baseball, rugby and Irish news coverage


The “black stain in Irish rugby has been removed,” with a first ever victory over the New Zealand All Blacks in 29 attempts, 40-29, before more than 63,000 in Chicago.


The Chicago Cubs’ historic World Series victory, which ended a 108-year championship drought, generated plenty of headlines on Irish media websites. The same was not true in print the last time the team won baseball’s fall classic.

I searched the Irish Newspaper Archive but couldn’t find any Cubs coverage from October 1908. Two days after Chicago’s Series win over Detroit, the Freemans Journal reported on a “big fire” that destroyed a railroad office and corn elevator in the city. A few weeks later, Kilkenny People detailed the sensational  case of a native-born priest who survived being shot twice outside of his Chicago church “by a ruffian whom he was attempting to arrest.”

Most contemporary Irish media coverage of the Cubs’ 10-inning win over Cleveland also included references to the 5 November rugby match between Ireland and New Zealand at Chicago’s Soldier’s Field. The teams have played 28 times over 111 years, with Ireland’s best result a 10-10 draw in 1973. Maybe another championship drought will come to an end.

Meanwhile, Cubs fans can select from plenty of Irish gear at the team’s official MLB shop.



Irish immigrants cited in veep debate

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) made two Irish references in his 4 October vice presidential debate against Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R). Kaine is Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Pence is paired with Donald Trump.

Kaine’s quotes, from the Vox debate transcript:

…we are a nation of immigrants. Mike Pence and I are both descendants from immigrant families. Some things, you know, maybe said weren’t so great about the Irish when we came in, but we [were] absorbed, and made our nation stronger. When Donald Trump said Mexicans are rapists and criminals, he said the judge was unqualified to hear a case because his parents were Mexican. I cannot imagine how you could defend that.


I grew up with a great Irish Catholic council. I was educated by Jesuits. I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras now nearly 35 years ago and they were the heroes of my life.

Pence also grew up in an Irish Catholic family. As I reported earlier this year in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he has family ties to Doonbeg, County Clare, where Trump owns a golf course. Kaine’s ancestors were from counties Longford and Kilkenny.

Astute readers will remember that Irishness was raised at the vice presidential debate four years ago between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.

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