Tag Archives: Niall O’Dowd

Columnists spar over undocumented Irish in America

An opinion column in The Irish Times by freelance writer Colm Quinn has drawn quite a sharp response by IrishCentral founder and editor Niall O’Dowd.

On the surface, both pieces are about the status of some 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the US. But the deeper issue in Quinn’s column is about the state of Irish America.

“When it comes to Ireland’s view of itself in the psyche of the United States, it seems we are still stuck in the 1960s, when “Irish” America reigned supreme,” Quinn writes. “The reality is the US has moved on. Irish America is now mainstream and any expectation of special treatment because of the past is misplaced.”

O’Dowd never directly tackles this larger issue. He disputes that Irish leaders and their political peers in Washington, D.C. are seeking special treatment for the undocumented emigrants. But he spends far more column inches in an ad hominem attack on Quinn.

I generally like O’Dowd’s stuff. He’s better than stooping to such tactics. He might have acknowledged that Quinn mentions one his own beefs: that the U.S. has failed to appoint an ambassador to Ireland for over two years.

Quinn’s contention that, “In 2014, an Irish-American is a lot more American than Irish” is too simplistic. That’s been true for decades and misses the point of whether there’s still a special relationship between residents and leaders of the two nations.

And he doesn’t help his credibility by referring to U.S. “midterm elections in October.” Election Day is Nov. 4.

Take a deep breath lads, then try making another run at these issues in the future.



Irish Central launches website makeover

My wee blog can’t compete with powerhouse Irish Central, which has just launched a redesigned website.

IrishCentral wanted a creative new vision for our site, encompassing all we have learned in our first few years when we quickly grew to be the largest Irish site in America,” founder Niall O’Dowd said in a release. “We hired a full creative, editorial and design team including New York based creative agency Mayday Mayday Mayday to reimagine our digital experience.”

Irish CentralOne new feature is the publication’s first “Power 50” ranking of the most influential Irish Americans, and a piece by O’Dowd speculating on the first Catholic president since JFK in 2016.

The website looks great. Congratulations.

Online Irish “super site” forged in media merger

IrishCentral.com and WorldIrish.com have merged into what the business backers are calling a “super site worldwide for the Irish.”

The combined entity, to be called IrishCentral.com, will have over 2 million unique visitors monthly making it by far the biggest Irish diaspora website, according to a statement. It will have offices in New York and Dublin.

IrishCentral founder Niall O’Dowd noted that the Irish Post in Britain also recently bought in to Irish America Magazine and Irish Voice newspaper, sister publications of Irish Central.

“Clearly there is enormous potential in this area to create a super site for the 70 million Irish worldwide in U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, Asia and Ireland,” O’Dowd said in the release.

Riverdance promoter John McColgan launched the World Irish social media site in October 2011 with the aim of signing up 100,000 subscribers at the end of its first year of operation, according to The Irish Times. In January the founder acknowledged he had only half that many subscribers, while Irish Central was topping 700,000 unique visitors per month.

I won’t reveal the Google Analytics of this blog, but suffice to say I wish I had a few of those 0s to the right of the digits. Tough for a small bloggers like me to compete.

Hey Irish Central: need a writer in Florida?